Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sometimes it takes a week in the hospital...

Yes, I know I've been totally MIA lately.  But life has been kinda crazy.

It all started with a bullying incident involving two thugs.  Then a couple of life changing events (good ones, but still stressful) one creepy loser, several trips to the vet, a serious case of foot in mouth disease, and finally a week-long hospital stay.  Woohoo!!

Not only have these things left me with no time to design new jewelry (i will again soon, i promise!) they've also made me realize how amazingly blessed I am. 
Look, crappy things are always going to happen, it's just how you deal with them that matters. 

The bullying thugs and creepy loser incidents could have been much worse and turned physical.  But they didn't. 
The life changing events and pet health issues could have went in a totally different direction.  But they didn't.
I apologized and managed to diffuse the foot in mouth situation before it became a whole thing.  It could've went much worse.  But it didn't.
And then there was the hospital stay.  It was seriously the most miserable, painful experience I've ever been through, it was major. 
I could have died. 
But I didn't.

And I'm so incredibly thankful.

I was in a dark place.  But sometimes that's what it takes to bring you out of your complacency and closer to God.

Eeek!  Looking pretty rough.
Feeling much better now!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

My Skull Obsession

I've always liked creepy stuff.  Vampires, Edgar Allan Poe, spiders, skulls and just macabre in general. 
I was secretly hoping to meet a vampire boyfriend loooong before the Twilight sensation. 
I took 'The Tell-Tale Heart' to bed with me as a kid.  You know, for some light reading material. 
I have a strict catch and release policy when it comes to spiders (no stomping them!)
And I've been drawing, wearing, and decorating with skulls since before I can remember.

So when Target started carrying skull socks, little froo froo dogs were sporting skull sweaters, and skulls popped up on bibs and diapers I realized skulls had officially hit mainstream.
I gotta say I was kind of bummed.  My fear was that once the novelty wore off they would be seen as outdated and I would be like one of those people who still pegged their jeans in 1996 (we all know this went out of style at least by 1994). 

But alas, I believe the skull is here to stay! 
Thank God because lately that seems like all I've been making in my jewelry world. 

Dainty Skulls

Mohawk Skull

Guitar Pick Skull

Big skulls, tiny skulls, mohawk skulls, and even musically inclined skulls.   

And I'm sure many more skulls to come.  So even if the world falls out of love with the skull, I don't really care.  I'll still be rocking them...and I know a few of you will too. 

ps~ i'm totally one of those people who put a skull sweater on my froo froo dog :/

Friday, October 19, 2012

Handmade Has A Heart And Soul

I recently had a really cool customer contact me with a special request.  He needed a gift for his girl and he needed it like now.  He said he understood these things take time and my time was valuable but he would be willing to pay extra to make this happen. 

Woah!  Who says stuff like this anymore?  I knew this guy appreciated handmade and I needed to accommodate him. 
I mean really, he could just walk into a store and get something.  But he wanted my something. 

So, as I was making his piece I decided to document the journey. 
I don't think many people realize what goes into handmade.  The care we take, the thought we put into it, and the time.  It takes a long time.  Like a really long time.  Or maybe I'm just slow.  See for yourself. 

This particular piece was a Hebrew Name Necklace.
I started by sawing the letters into a piece of silver...

Then I cut the excess silver off the edges and filed it into the desired shape...

Next, I cut another bigger piece of silver for this piece to sit on, stamped the back, did my "trashing", then prepared them both for soldering.  The piece with the letters was turned upside down, heated, and fluxed.  Tiny pieces of solder were placed around the edges...

Then out came the torch...

The piece was heated until the solder flowed. 
This piece was then placed on top of the bigger piece and they were both heated until the solder flowed again and the pieces were permanently connected...
Now it's into the pickle pot for a warm acid bath...
After about 20 minutes or so the piece comes out, gets rinsed off, sanded and more filing if necessary.  A hole is then drilled in the top for the bail attachment.  Next the piece gets oxidized, brushed with steel wool, and buffed to a nice satin finish. 

In the home stretch now, the bail and chain are attached and it's officially a necklace!
Now for photographs, packaging, and shipping. 

Are you bored yet?  See, I told you this takes a long time!

There will never be another piece exactly like this one because it was made with my hands and not stamped out by a machine.  And honestly, I couldn't do it exactly the same again if my life depended on it. 

So, the next time you're buying something for yourself or as a gift think about what kind of message you want to send.  You're unique, you have a heart and a soul and what you wear should should too. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pumpkin Love

It's my favorite season and the yearly pumpkin obsession has begun!
This is the time of year I come to life.  The oppressive heat has lifted and I can finally wear boots again (my shoe of choice).  I can spend time outdoors enjoying the crisp air and amazing colors without melting. 
And Dunkin Donuts brings back their Pumpkin Coffee.   
Boots and Pumpkin Coffee...what could be better?!

Every Fall I feel the need to feed my pumpkin obsession. 
Last year I bought this amazing face scrub by BellaRoma...

It seriously smells so good you will want to lick your own face. 

I also bought one of these kick ass hand blown glass pumpkins from my friend Angela's shop, A&J Jewelry Designs.

These are so beautifully made that I kept mine out all year. 
He may need a new friend soon though :)

This year I bought this ridiculously delicious smelling candle from Anhoki's Place.

It's natural, organic, and makes my place smell like I actually baked something (ha!)

And how cool is this?!
I've purchased a few amazing products from Wicked Soaps in the past and just stumbled upon this.I've always loved horror and creepy stuff and was fascinated by Ichabod Crane as a child. 
This is so going in my cart!

So take a minute and enjoy this season.  Before you know it we'll be all bundled up and complaining about the cold. 
Happy Fall Everyone!!!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Procrastinate...who me?

Tomorrow September 6th, 2012 is National Fight Procrastination Day.
I had no idea either, but apparently this is a real thing.

I am the self-declared queen of procrastination!  I will wait and wait and wait until I'm totally stressed out.  But that's when I do my best work.  I just can't seem to get anything done if I try to do it right away.  I'm sure it annoys those type A personalities out there but I just can't help it. 

Like today, for instance.  I've been meaning to do this thing for the longest time.  I decided today would be the day.  I'm not sure why I chose today but I did.  And of course, here it is after 8pm and I just now finished it. 
But it's a really cool thing and I'm super excited!

I enrolled in classes at The Gemological Institute of America!!
I'll be working towards receiving a Graduate Gemologist Diploma. 

Me hard at work on the GIA website. 
Well, not really working yet since I just enrolled, but humor me.

I know I'm not alone in my procrastination.  I know there are others of you out there that totally get me.  We may wait until the last minute, but we will always get it done. 
And usually better than everyone else anyway ;)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

MTV Movie Awards Goodness

This post is a long time coming but better late than never, right?
So, a few weeks ago some of my jewelry was displayed at The Artisan Group's exhibit at the GBK Produtions MTV Movie Awards Gift Lounge.  There were a ton of fun young celebs that showed up. 
I was lucky enough to have two gorgeous ladies pose with my Talisman Necklace.

Renee Olstead
Emma Greenwell

The first celeb to pose with my necklace was the multi-talented Renee Olstead, known for her role on The Secret Life of the American Teenager as well as her superb singing ability.  (I have to say I used to watch her way back when on Still Standing though.)
The second celeb was Emma Greenwell of Shameless.  I love her effortless boho style.  Totally my kind of girl!

Then, to top it all off, the super sweet and beautiful Ms. Kirby Bliss Blanton from the movie Project X wore not one, but two of my Boho Antique Brass Necklaces on the MTV Movie Awards Red Carpet!!  

Kirby Bliss Blanton Photo by: PR Photos

I'm so honored that she chose my necklace out of all the swag she received from the gift lounge.  And I LOVE that she wore two of them at the same time!

This was such a fun event and has brought recognition to my business that could not have been achieved on my own.  A huge thanks to Valerie of The Artisan Group, as well as all the other Artisans who helped make this event such a huge success!  Your hard work and support is much appreciated.  

And for those of you who are still reading this...
I'm offering a special discount on my Talisman Necklace.  Use coupon code MTVMA20 to receive 20% off this item through July 8th, 2012.  

Peace & Love my friends...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Joshua Staar and Autumn Bradley Go On Tour...

I'm going on tour!
Well, my jewelry is at least. 

I've recently teamed up with Joshua Staar, a Chicago-based musician, to create a couple of pieces for his upcoming tour. 
He approached me a few weeks ago with some ideas.  After a few conversations, a vision, and a torch this is what we came up with...

Pretty cool, right?

I had a blast collaborating with Josh on these.  It's always so awesome when music and metal come together, and this is our version of just that. 

If you would like to have a little piece of our collection they can be purchased exclusively on Josh's tour. 
Can't make it out?  You can still get your hands on these by contacting Josh.  
For more info visit his site

Be sure to check out Josh's music on...
and like him on...
and follow him on...