Archive for May, 2012


true // shahir zag

lately i’ve been overwhelmed with the reality of setting up a permanent space. {liability insurance, licenses, signage, the commute.} lately i’ve been wondering what i was thinking. lately i’ve been getting ready for saturation fest. lately i’ve been staying up late into the wee hours. lately i’ve been exhausted all. day. long. lately i’ve been at peace.

{apologies for being out of touch, but lately i’m just one ball short of a juggling disaster.}

May 24, 2012 at 3:16 pm Leave a comment

what i learned

holy cow, i had so much fun taking that class last weekend. i learned so much, but i’m really glad that i had already been playing around with soldering because there is so much to learn that i’m sure a weekend wouldn’t have been enough. it was nice to already have some of the basics down {anneal, quench, pickle, work, repeat} so that i could practice honing my skills. having one on one instruction from a great teacher is invaluable.

working with a proper torch and bench set up {as well as amazing tools that i can’t yet afford} i was able to do some pretty fun stuff. it’s inspired me to build my tool collection. my friend gave me a new torch head that i’m itching to try out {just need to pick up the right gas} and this week i took the financial plunge and bought a jewelers flex shaft, complete with foot pedal for maximum fun. vroom, vroom! {this will allow me to drill, sand, and polish pieces.}

probably the most valuable thing that i learned is that i can do this, given enough patience, some sleep, and a few sips of caffeine. i’m hoping to be able to bring rings like these, which both started from a flat piece of sterling silver sheet metal, to my etsy shop soon.

just as soon as those tools arrive…


May 18, 2012 at 12:39 pm Leave a comment

so. much. fun!

hey there! i’m having a great time at my class at the crucible, honing my existing techniques and learning some valuable new ones. check out the fun times i’m having:

furnace // the crucible

last night i went to the fireside lounge at the crucible, where i got to check out all the different fun techniques they teach: leather work, wood work, metal smithing, black smithing, welding, glass fusing, neon…so many fun possibilites! {plus my friend ben was demonstrating his corpse reviver, the coolest kinetic cocktail making machine ever.}

playing with texture // in class

class started with playing with stamping and hammering metal to texture it.

fun copper ring // a little kate spade-ish, no?

we got to play more, and i made this fun ring. i like to think of it as a manly kate spade ring. i’m honing my soldering skills and learning all those things you can’t pick up from a book or youtube. {why didn’t i take classes before?}

my favorites samosas!

for dinner i got to eat at my favorite indian restaurant and–even though they’re not gluten-free–i had samosas. totally worth it.

May 12, 2012 at 9:08 pm Leave a comment

last minute {handmade} gifts for mother’s day

oh gosh, it’s this sunday, isn’t it? there’s still time to whip up a few handmade, last minute gifts for mother’s day. i’m in the mood for something a little less sweet and a little more personal. shall we?

love these clipboards // from marta writes

hop on over to marta writes for ten of her favorite last minute gifts, {perfect for tons of occasions, really} like these cute clipboards.

mud scrub // from adelyn stone

visit the tip junkie for a collection of bath & body products to diy for pampering mom {or let’s be honest, yourself}. this round-up’s got scrubs, lotions, face masks, and lip balm. {i’m partial to this coffee and sugar scrub from adelyn stone. toning and exfoliating? sign. me. up.}

simple and pretty // from lauren elise crafted

or how about just a nice bouquet of a flowers and breakfast in bed, just like when you were a kid? i like this simple diy bouquet that uses stuff you have around the house from lauren elise crafted. then make something delicious with your own two hands and shower her with kisses.

customize an e-card for mom // this one by nikki mcclure

can’t be with mom and it’s too late to send a gift on time? {send one anyway} and then get over here to these divinely different mother’s day cards. no, they don’t look like anything you can get at the store, but that’s sort of the point, isn’t it?

enjoy the last minute scramble!

May 12, 2012 at 8:36 am Leave a comment

why the shutters are drawn

i want to tell you about why my etsy shop is closed today. to read about the protest, click here. to read the funny version of how this all started, click here then read the update here, then read the continuing “legal” silliness here {all at regretsy and worth every hilarious minute of your time}. to read my version of events, keep going.

first, a little history: etsy was started as a marketplace for handmade items, distinguishing itself as a way to connect buyers to makers–not resellers. they later added vintage and supply categories. the goal was to be different than ebay or amazon, offering items that were not mass-produced {unless they were clearly marked as supplies}.

fast forward to today: etsy has become a lucrative business and a well-known name, even getting its own spot on the martha stewart show. who wouldn’t want in on that? but etsy has some staff that–with the assistance of people who flag items as violating the etsy do’s and don’ts–crack down on this behavior. unless of course they condone it, which in a nutshell is why i–along with other like-minded shop owners–am currently upset. {i even wrote a carefully crafted letter to etsy, only to receive a pat reply that they are “continually working to improve [their] clarity on shop policies”.}

so let’s pretend: imagine that there are two people selling purses. both are handmade because hands were actually used to produce them {much as my iphone is apparently largely made by hand}. one shop owner works out of a corner of her living room while her small children nap. she answers emails herself, packages and ships items herself, and sells her goods at a few local fairs. another shop owner runs a small factory and employs twenty people. she designs the bags herself, sources the materials, and hands over the sketches to be made into the final product by her workers.

so who should be able to sell on etsy? i’ve always envisioned it being that first person, or even a small group of people {which etsy would designate a collective} who work together to design, source, and create. but technically, the purses coming out of the factory are handmade. just not my version of handmade, even if –and that’s a big if–the owner is upfront about being a collective, giving credit to each person who helps create the finished product.

the reason my shop is closed today is that i don’t think that the second owner should be able to sell on etsy. because she doesn’t do all the work herself–and pays her workers wages as opposed to them having a share in the company, which is my understanding of a collective–she is better able to compete in this global marketplace and doesn’t need a unique venue like etsy. many of us crafters work another job, or live precariously close to the financial edge to be able to make our wares. we burn our fingers on glue guns, prick them with needles, get them stuck on packing tape. we have small profit margins, we can’t always buy in bulk and keep costs down, and when we take a business risk we take a huge personal risk. i’m sure the factory owner works hard but the fact is that it’s just not the same. i want etsy to honor that.

etsy is a special place. a community for crafters. i’d like it to stay that way.



May 10, 2012 at 12:45 pm Leave a comment

evenings in the garage

bamboo inspired ring, coming soon

sounds fancy, doesn’t it? spending the few hours between dinner in bed in the garage? it’s been lovely, though. almost heaven.

new necklace coming soon!

i’ve been delving back into metalsmithing. well soldering and hammering at any rate. i even tried switching up my creative methods {my usual technique is to craft on the fly, but i sat down and drew up some imaginings and then made them. i know, right?*}

hoops inspired by rose petals

i’m looking forward to my classes {this weekend!} so that i can get better. faster at least. and maybe a little less messy.

*sorry lindsey

May 9, 2012 at 11:38 am 2 comments

little miss know-it-all

roger hargreaves was a genius*

i have a bad case of i-know-how-to-do-it-myself-itis. it goes nicely with my know-it-all-ness.

it makes it a challenge to delegate, among other things: invite others to help in the kitchen, hire someone to paint the house, let the hubby bathe the dogs. yep, i’m a control freak. occasionally i wonder what i’m missing by not trusting others…like free time. {i’m feeling the pressure of that this week, especially.}

i’m trying to get better at admitting that i don’t know everything, i really really am. to that end i’ll be taking some jewelry making classes this summer. i’m heading back to the lovely bay area for two classes at the crucible. next weekend i’ll be learning how to saw, chase, and solder…things i taught myself and sort of know how to do already, but i’m hoping that i can learn how to do them better. then next month i’ll head back to learn how to carve my own wax designs and then cast them, which would mean i could make my own sterling silver charms and pendants, making my jewelry more my own creation.

and who knows, maybe in the process i’ll become a little less flawed.

~augusten burroughs

*though i was surprised to find out that he didn’t actually make a little miss know-it-all. huge oversight, i think. {yeah, i would say that, huh}

augusten burroughs quote found here via pinterest.

May 4, 2012 at 2:03 pm Leave a comment

weekend wrap-up

what a weekend! friday night we went to see an amazing cellist {and i don’t say that lightly, having gotten more than my fair share of classical music in my youth}. but zoe keating is not your average cellist. she uses looping and computers to create layers of sound, making her sound like her own small orchestra. it’s pretty amazing. i would not have believed that it was just one person had i not seen her in action. {check out this video to hear her talk about her art. i love how she sees herself as part of her music!}

saturday morning we had a little yard sale, which mainly gave us an excuse to hang out with some fabulous friends. in the afternoon i gave in to extreme exhaustion and took a nap. i woke up in time to watch the muppet movie. a great day all around.

the hubby // looking dapper

sunday we headed to laguna beach to spend some time with good friends who are about to move {to hawaii, don’t feel too sad for them!}. it was a cool, overcast day. we ate fish tacos and played with their little baby. a great mini getaway.

these next few weeks are looking busy and mother’s day is coming soon! please order by next tuesday to get your jewelry in time!

May 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm Leave a comment

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