April 29, 2008

A couple of new items

Posted in etsy, Misc, New Jewelry tagged , , , , at 3:28 pm by jewelrybyleyla

Things have been slow lately. So much happening in my life, and yet at the same time seemingly so little. I was promoting the heck out of my shop and blog in February and beginning of March. But other than views and visits, no sales came of it. And then a few things happened in my personal life that stressed me out, and the outcome of all of it, I was burnt out. But I’m finally getting back into the swing of things, stuff doesn’t seem quite some hopeless or helpless anymore, and I’m creating again.

So here are a couple of pictures of my newest bracelets… The pink and brown bracelet uses the same Right Angle Weave technique as the Swarovski crystal bracelet I made in February (that just recently sold *yay*).

This tennis bracelet, I used a base of green Delicas and Swarovski Crystals, to give a different look than your typical gold or silver tennis bracelet. I like the look of it, but the pattern and instructions I used need some help…. This may end up being an absolute one of a kind…(this will be listed on Etsy soon)

March 10, 2008

Tumblers, part 7

Posted in Tumbler tagged , , , , at 1:35 pm by jewelrybyleyla

I know I know… late. *hangs head in shame* I did check the tumblers on Friday, and took pictures… but other things happened… and I didn’t post them here… but it’s well worth the wait, in my opinion.

First the boring stuff….The large tumbler just had the standard check. A few pieces were done, most everything went back in. Some of them are pretty close but just not quite there. A chip or a crack, just waiting for the chip to get ground down, or the crack to fully break and the edges to be re-rounded. So we’ll see what happens in the coming weeks.

Not finished ready for 2

Now on to the fun stuff. The small tumbler has been running the polish stage for the past week. When I checked them, they were happily polished, so I rinsed them, and then retumbled them with some Borax soap for a few hours to burnish them. Then it was time to see what goodies I had. This can be such a long process sometimes you put a rock into the tumbler, and its 2 months before you see the final product. And things change, so sometimes I don’t remember what the rock looked like before it went into the tumbler. Others you remember vividly because they might have been such a trouble maker. The last several batches of rocks that I’ve done were difficult, and I wasn’t all that happy with the results. But these I was extremely happy… so here are a few of my favorites. The first one had such great colors, but after putting it through a couple of rounds of polishes it never came out all nice and shiny… finally its polished *wooohooo*

img_0326.jpg

This is a piece of tree agate, that just wowed me…. I don’t remember putting it into the tumbler but I loved the way it turned out.

img_0327.jpg

This is a piece of jasper (red… not sure beyond that, it came in a mix of rocks for tumbling)… and even though I’m not a fan of red… its kind of a dark brown-ey red and its kind of cool

img_0329.jpg

And here is the full batch…. they are sitting on an 8 in paper dinner plate to give some idea of their sizes. Most of the larger ones will become pendants, the rest we’ll have to see… if I can come up with some pairs maybe earrings, or other items.

polished

I started a new batch of rocks in the small tumbler… mostly sodalite, with a bit of amazonite and agate.  Currently in stage 2, for a week or so to smooth them out.

Check in the coming weeks for the finished items in my Etsy shop.  And I’ll continue to post regular tumbler updates here… as they are running 24/7.

March 4, 2008

Just a quick update….

Posted in etsy, New Jewelry tagged , , , at 10:54 pm by jewelrybyleyla

Finished up a couple of items….photographed them, and listed them on Etsy… Check them out.

Swarovski Bracelet and Diamond earrings.

I know, evil of me…. they aren’t real diamonds…but I made you look 😉

March 1, 2008

How many addictions can one person have?

Posted in etsy, Misc, unfinished works tagged , , , at 7:32 pm by jewelrybyleyla

Ok.. so mine are fairly calm… Although I might run a few people off the road trying to get to a bead store, or a rock shop… but hey I’m not driving drunk.

I’ve been composing a bracelet in my head for a few days.  On some sort of whim I bought root beer, smoked topaz, and powder almond beads.  For those who know me, I’m not a huge fan of brown…unless its mud splashed all over my truck, because I just drove through a huge mud puddle.  So I’m working up these browns, and I have a design I like, and then I added to it… and now I can’t figure out how to add a clasp.  Or what kind of clasp to add…. so I have this beautiful band… unable to be worn… with threads hanging out and I NEED to finish it.  But how?  So it’ll be another day while I work it out in my head.

In other news… my other addiction… feeding this blog.  After I finish one post, I’m ready to post another… even when I have nothing to post about.  Given that February was the first full month I was really promoting my blog and my Etsy shop, I was looking at the numbers….   The readership is steadily growing.  I had 509 views in January, I was hoping to meet that in February.  It was getting close, I was kind of worried, watching the numbers… can I really meet my goal… then bam…. 509 was passed… Hmmm, the way this is going I wonder if I can have 100 more views.  Yep, had 100, maybe 200?  Ok, not quite 200… topped out at 688, just 21 shy.  Not bad.  So, thank you everyone for reading, and surpassing my goals.

Don’t forget, next friday, I should have happily polished rocks for new jewelry, so check back.

February 29, 2008

Tumbler, part 6

Posted in Tumbler tagged , , , at 12:02 pm by jewelrybyleyla

I’ve been thinking about this update since yesterday. It feels like some sort of milestone, although in reality, that will be next week. The weather has been nice and I’ve been itching to get out and see how my rocks are doing.

So… how are they? Great! First off, I checked the small tumbler, last week I started the rocks on the fine grit, or prepolish. Today, they’ll be started on the polish stage. Will be? Why haven’t I started them yet, because first they have to go through a washing stage. I washed off the rocks and the plastic pellets, and washed out the tumbler. The rocks and the pellets went back into the tumbler, with a bit of Borax to wash them up. They’ll tumble for a few hours… anywhere from 5-12 hours (I usually aim for 5-6). This afternoon I’ll rinse off the soap, and put in AO polish (Aluminum Oxide). There isn’t any visual change in the rocks today, as the last two stages are working on the surface of the rocks at a very fine level. You’d have to use a microscope to see most of the changes.

On to the 15 lb tumbler…. Many of the rocks that I’ve put into the coarse grit the last 2-3 weeks have been very rough. There are pits and holes, which take a much longer time to even out, than to wear down a square corner. This means that many of the rocks are not done yet. I pulled out the ones which have been nicely rounded and smoothed out. And the rest went back in for a few more weeks, perhaps. I do have a few photos from the stage 1 batch. As usual, the first photo is the rocks that are done with the stage, and the second is the rocks that are going back in.

Stage 1 done Not quite done

The friend of any rock enthusiast is the Flat Rate Box from the USPS. For under $10 you can send as much as the box will hold. On the right forums, or bulletin boards, people sell their rock odds and ends for a few bucks plus shipping, or just for shipping… I purchased one, and quite a few of the rocks in the stage 1 picks have been from the box. It came from a woman who, as near as I can tell, cut open a rock, maybe made a cab out of one half, and tossed the ends into the box. A few of these ends, I looked at them, thought their color was good, but wasn’t sure what would happen when I tumbled them. I found one of these ends today, and was totally impressed by the results.

Its not quite ready for the next stage, as the backside is still kind of rough. But I had to take a picture…. the first is how I saw it when I pulled it out… the second picture is backlit to really show its uniqueness.

normal backlit

With any luck, the polish stage will be done next friday, maybe the following monday. And I’ll have the end result of the past 7 weeks. Of course, its not the true end, as then I can make all the treasures into jewelry, and I have several more pounds of rocks that are done with stage 1 and are ready for stage 2.

As always, check out my Etsy shop to see what I’ve done with some of the previous batches…and check back next week to see what’s new.

February 28, 2008

I’m addicted….

Posted in etsy, New Jewelry tagged , , , , at 10:32 am by jewelrybyleyla

Ok, I knew that 15-ish yrs ago when I worked in a bead store. Back then, I did a ton of seed bead work, and just a little bit of stringing beads. Since then, the focus has changed, I’ve mostly strung or restrung (repaired) things. Necklaces, bracelets, anklets. Simple earrings that didn’t involve weaving or stitching.

But sitting here looking at my stash of seed beads with vials that are maybe 1/5 full. There’s not enough for any major project, but too many to just ignore. I’ve gotten back into seed bead work. (see the last couple of posts…) And again, I’m addicted. And I wish I worked in a beadstore again. I started a bracelet yesterday, but was unhappy with the color choices, I want to just go over to the wall and pick up the color I want. Rather than, drive to the nearest store to see what they have… or go online to guess if their pictures are accurate.

So anyway, after starting and undoing a number of projects… I finished a bracelet yesterday… It’ll be up on Etsy soon.

bracelet

February 18, 2008

New Stuff

Posted in etsy, Misc, New Jewelry tagged , , at 3:13 pm by jewelrybyleyla

So, as mentioned last week, I’m in the process of making a couple of changes in the shop. I took a whole bunch of new photos yesterday, and edited them today. In the next week, they’ll be making their way into the shop.

For now, check out my new necklace, Amethyst Dreams, which coordinates great with my Passionately Purple earrings that debuted last month.

I’m creating separate listing for some of the items that I’ve listed as “take your pick”.  Currently, this Quartz Beach Pebble necklace has its own listing, and its rounder buddy will be listed on its own tomorrow. Check back!

February 15, 2008

Tumblers, part 4

Posted in Tumbler tagged , at 10:49 am by jewelrybyleyla

Wow, week four already. By the general formula, I should have happy polished rocks now. But I’m not one to follow the norm. A four week process can give you a nice shine…but a longer process will make the perfectionist in everyone happy.

So, since I haven’t done a real update on the blog in a couple of days, I wanted to do this one early. There’s no pictures, because there’s not much to show this week.

Here’s what we have: The large tumbler I’ve pulled out most of the well rounded finished rocks, so when I opened it up this week, the rocks are still in various shapes of square. A number of pointy edges, cracks and crevices greeted me. So they all went back in for another week. I also added a few more rocks, to add some bulk to the barrel.

In the smaller tumbler, I started a small batch of rocks on stage two last week. They are shaping up nicely, but I am leaving them in stage two for another week, to finish smoothing them out for stage three.

So check back next week, to see the progress… In the meantime, check out Etsy to see what I’ve done with past batches.