Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Maker's Faire Kansas City 2012 - A Craft and Science Fair

AAAAAHHHHH!!! It's Maker's Faire time!

We did this event last year and just loved it! They have so many things going on throughout the weekend that there's no way to be bored. This is a new event in Kansas City, however, they've had this event in cities around the country for years. They had their beginnings in San Mateo, California in 2006 then slowly made their way to Detroit, MI and New York, NY and finally to our very own KC.

Saturday, June 23, 2012,
9:30 am – 7 pm

Sunday, June 24, 2012,
9:30 am – 5 pm

One of the best things about this Fair is that it celebrates the Makers and Creaters in the world. This includes those crafty artistic types like me, a jewelry artist. The Makers that join the Faire make all kinds of things like Robots, Tesla Coils (you know...those lightening like things in the movie The Sorcer's Apprentice in 2010), Crafts, and Woodworking. Many of the booths will be having what's called a Make-and-Take so you'll get to do some projects and learn techniques directly from the Maker's.

The team that built this calls it the "Arc Attach." And yes, those people are really inside a cage that is getting struck by lightening which also happens to make music! 

Are you interested in learning how to solder? You can learn that skill this weekend from CCCKC Hakerspace at their booth. I'm pretty sure their form of soldering is geared more toward computers and such but some of the techniques and information can still be transferred to some forms of jewelry making. Last year they even had a little flyer with the steps for soldering that you can take with you. Definitely helps to remember the steps.

Did you know that Kids are Maker's too? There are two kids who will have a booth this year. A 15-year old young man named Joey created an LED cube that makes 3D patterns. While a young lady, age 10, named Sylvia hosts YouTube videos on some DIY projects such as rockets and sidewalk chalk.

Need something a little more robust? Check out the Maker Faire Blog and read up on some really neat Maker's. They'll have Art Cars, Super Hero Robots, Power Wheels Racing and Live Music.

Check out the Program Guide so you'll be ready!
You're probably wondering how I fit into this. Since this fair is for Maker's, people who create things in the "craft" bracket are invited to have a booth as well. That means yours truly gets to have a booth! 

This is our booth from Last Year. 

Although our booth turned out fantastic, we've come up with an even better design for this year. We took the new layout to Art in the Park in Lawrence, KS just a few months ago and absolutely loved it! 

Art in the Park - Lawrence, KS - May 6, 2012

The picture is a bit fuzzy, sorry about that. It was taken with my phone since I try not to travel with my good camera. Don't want to break it. At least the picture shows you what to look for!
We can't wait to see everyone! We love meeting our customers. Both Carrie (she's behind the mirror on the right. She's also in the Maker Faire Booth Photo) and I will be there. We always bring a selection of our supplies with us as well and demonstrate how we create our pieces. Please feel free to ask us any questions you may have. We are happy to answer and assist!
Have a good day everyone!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Gemstone Lore: Aquamarine for March

As a jewelry artist, I use all sorts of gemstones. I love gemstones. Aquamarine has a soft place in my heart though since it is my sisters birth stone.

Being the patron stone of March isn't the only thing Aquamarine is known for. The light blue stone is the stone of Courage, Serenity, Love and Foresight. It was believed  to keep them safe during sea voyages in olden times. The Romans believed it to be a stone of love and gave it as a gift the morning after weddings. Such a romantic stone.

So how did we get the name Aquamarine? The beautiful blues and greens of this stone reminded people of the sea. Since the Latin word for "Seawater" is Aquamarine, it's a fitting name. The colors of this gemstone range from an almost colorless pale blue or a deep blue aqua to a blue-green and even to teal. If you are wanting jewelry that reminds you of your seaside home, Aquamarine is a great start with it's sea-worthy foamy colors.

I was really wanting to show you a picture of what I made my sister over Christmas. But like a silly person, I forgot to take any pictures before I gave her the earrings! I'll see if I can get them away from her long enough to show you the earrings. I just love them.

I had planned on having this particular post go out in March right around my sis's birthday, but as you can see, I fell a bit behind. Below are two examples of some Aquamarine in my collection. Enjoy!

These beautiful Aquamarine Pearl Drops in Gold were a custom order for Laura a few months back. The Aquamarine and Pearls make them look like sea foam on an ocean wave. 

The ring had some matching earrings which have since sold on Etsy. 

*The gemstone history information was gained from Jewels For Me's History, Legend and Lore of Aquamarine and from Bernardine Fine Art Jewelry's Aquamarine - Facts, Information and Description

Friday, June 15, 2012

Beginning Work on My Jewelry Studio

As my husband and I have recently just moved into our first home, (Yippeee!) I'm now going to have an actual studio! Granted, this is an extra bedroom that we are converting into my personal work space but it's still my studio!

The room originally had a closet. But....the closet in our bedroom was tiny and butted up to it. So, what'd we decide to do? That's right. I don't need a closet in my studio so we're combining the closets to make a slightly larger than standard small walk-in closet for our master bedroom. With this decision comes lots of work. Hopefully, we haven't bitten off more than we can chew (that comment is mainly geared toward me as my husband is one handy man). He has done a fantastic job so far on the drywall and re-wiring so far while I'm pretty awesome at the puttying part for the drywall.

So, without further ado, here are some current pictures of the room in its demolished state. I can only hope it turns out like I want it to. It's definitely not inspirational right now!

This is what the room originally looked like. The carpet stank so bad we decided to start all our home updates with this room! When we ripped the carpet out I didn't even want to touch it. It was revolting! I'm glad it's out now. We are planning on putting hardwood down and found some on discount at Home Depot. 

Here's the closet minus the doors and trip. This picture also shows the floor after we removed the carpet. Since this, we've taken the back wall out...

Here's the closet...No Wall! Sorry, I know this is dark. I took the picture on my phone. :(  Mike, that's my hubby, did the electrical work and there will be a very nice ceiling light in the closet so we can see in the morning. 

Here's Mike working on the drywall. See all that wood in the back? That was the center wall frame, all the trim, and the closet doors we took off. Most of that is now in our backyard. 

Stay tuned for more updates on the studio!


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Relay For Life - Walk for Breast Cancer

I am participating in the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life because I want to make a meaningful difference in the fight against cancer and I am hoping that you will help support me and those fighting for their lives. Each of us has our own reasons for caring about the fight against cancer, but it seems that we all know someone who has personally battled this disease. 

My team and I have set a goal to raise at least $100 per teammate. Currently, I'm only $15 closer to reaching my goal. Any donation you can make, large or small, will help me reach my fundraising goal and helps us reach the greater goal of saving lives from cancer!

Please visit my personal web page to make a secure, tax-deductible online donation to the American Cancer Society. You can make a one-time gift, or increase your impact by donating monthly!  

You can Join my team or donate on my behalf and Walk with us next Friday!

2012 Relay For Life of Shawnee.
Friday, June 15 - Saturday, June 16 6pm-6am.
at Swarner Park.

Event Details12012 Relay For Life of Shawnee
Event Date: June 15th
Event Time: 6pm Friday to 6am Saturday
Event Location: Swarner Park at W. 63rd St and Lackman Rd

Purple Vertical  Divider 350x2

Opening Ceremony: 6:00pm
Survivor Lap: 6:30 pm
Fight Back: TBD
Luminaria Ceremony: 10:00 pm
Closing Ceremony: 6:00 am

No matter who you are, there's a place for you at Relay. Each dollar you raise will help save lives. How far will you go to make a difference in the fight against cancer?

Your reasons for walking in the Relay For Life are as unique and special as the story that motivates you. This is your opportunity to not only honor cancer survivors and remember people we have lost, but also to raise funds and awareness to help save lives. Because of your support, we are creating a world where cancer can't claim another year of anyone's life. You are helping create a world with less cancer and more birthdays!

Garnet Necklace for Amanda - Completing the "Amanda Collection"

This is the newest piece in my "Amanda Collection." Working on this collection began about a year ago when Amanda asked me to make her a ring for her anniversary. Since she's a January baby, she wanted her stone to be a beautiful red Garnet gemstone. She wanted the cost to stay affordable though so I ordered up some Imitation Garnet Gemstones from one of my favorite supply providers. 


The first piece I made for her last year was a Garnet Ring with a heart motif and tiny genuine Garnet accents. 


She has some earrings that match but I didn't get pictures of them. 
This year, she asked me to make her a necklace to go with her ring. I found a beautiful design by Magdalena Marszalik which I based my design on. Of course, no two pieces are alike even if an artist tries. 

One of the first steps to beginning a design is to draw it out. I like to use a pencil, OfficeMax Just Basics Economy Woodcase Pencils, #2 Medium Soft 72/pkwhich allows me to erase any portion I don't want. Once you've got your overall design, the components have to be broken down. Can't begin something if you don't know the size of your stone or where you want to wire to go. 

Here's a picture of what this process looks like in my sketchbook. The top portion is the ring I made for Amanda and the bottom quarter is the pendant. 

I started making the pendant with the frame. Can't begin a piece without a good sturdy area to put your stone. Once that's done, it's just a matter of securing the main Garnet, adding all the beautiful filigree and scroll work then embellishing with your chosen beads. In my case, I garnished the pendant with some small 4mm Garnets and Sterling beads. Add a chain and some more embellishments and you have yourself a stunning pendant.

Each piece of this glorious necklace was handmade solely with wire. There is no soldering in this piece. It is very delicate.