Saturday, December 31, 2011

A set for me and two more pieces for the shop

I made this set a few weeks ago, but finally got around to photographing it for myself. I got this Ice Resin pendant from a friend of mine a few months ago, and found it in one of my boxes as I was organizing the stash just after Thanksgiving.

red ice resin set

The pendant has little bitty watch parts in it! You should check out the rest of her ice resin jewelry creations.

This set finally got photographed today as I was getting a couple of new creations ready for listing. First, a new necklace. What? More pearls? Yes. More pearls. I love pearls. So sue me.

Freshwater Pearl and Antique Crystal Wedding Choker with Silver Chain

And secondly, I didn't have enough of the purple spiderweb fabric left over to completely recover a second parasol, but I did have enough to cover half of a second parasol.

Black Gothic Parasol Purple Laced Silver Spiderweb with Black Lace

It was brought home to me again just how lacking purple is in the fabric and trim market. Don't suppliers realize how much people love this color? We need to stand up and demand more purple options!

Off now to start making goodies for our NYE and NYD celebrations. Big wishes for a wonderful new year to all of you, and stay safe, okay?


Friday, December 30, 2011

Getting home safely on New Year's Eve

Or any other night of the year, really. Here's a list of services throughout the United States that will get you home safely if you've been drinking.

Click on your state on the list, and then it's broken down by county.

Please, as the site says, verify whether these services are still operating in your area and what restrictions they may have BEFORE you go out!

Friday Favorites!

OOAK fantasy creature by feythcrafts:

Nefertari Egyptian Wire Wrap Collar, by WireAritsansGuild:

Communications Bracer: Production Model by *Winneganfake on deviantART

Vintage signed Zoe Coste blue parure, Made in France, from creativegatherings:

Deck Officers Gorget. Made to Measure. Steampunk Collar., by POBDesigns:

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New haircut and playing with a self-portrait

I got another chopchop yesterday, and my hair is now shorter than it's been since I was still in single digits. I got a pretty good self-portrait shot in the mirror today, trying to capture the new 'do:


But what fun is a self-portrait when you haven't played with it?

First, color correction:


Then, desaturation and aging:


And then I decided I didn't like the complete desaturation, so I added a yellow tint back:


Maybe someday I'll recreate this with a antique camera!

Two new necklaces!

I have a few pieces left over from the vintage necklace that resulted in this piece:

Black Cinnabar with a Twist

Some of the link loops had broken off of a few of the pieces. They're so nifty, though, that I've been trying to decide what I can still do with them. Well, today, I figured it out:

Victorian Necklace Vintage Silver Charm Blue Glass Beads on Sterling

That's a classic Victorian style, but the vintage bit gives it a slightly more modern twist, I think!

I've also had a necklace idea playing around in my head for a few months. I saw a piece at a local antique mall, from the late 1960s or early 1970s, and while I loved the style, I hated the materials. I have never been a fan of what I've always called the "scrambled egg" variety of amber, the bright yellow opaque kind, and that's what this necklace was made of, nuggets of this variety with brass chains. I've been thinking ever since that it would have looked so much better in crystal and silver. So here it is:

Rock Crystal and Vintage Chain Choker Silvertone Adjustable Length

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

More purple parasol fun

I tried something different with my latest parasol, creating a faux lacing pattern on alternating panels, in between sections covered in the sheer purple fabric with the silver spiderweb pattern I used on the previous piece. It was mainly a thrifty necessity, as I didn't have enough of the remnant left to do all 8 panels, but I've been wanting to try something like this for some time now, so it all worked out, right?

laced purple parasol in progress

Again, I'm hampered by color balance in photographs. I either get a blurry shot that is almost true to color, or a focused shot with the flash or sunlight where the purple turns cobalt blue. Blurry it is, at least for now:

Laced Purple Spiderweb Parasol with Purple trim

I do now have a couple of yards of a bright purple lace, so I'll probably be doing another iteration or two in this color combination in the near future.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

More Christmas fun

Last night we made cookies for Santa. Instead of making regular chocolate chip cookies, we decided to try to mold them with cookie cutters. Much hilarity ensued:

christmas cookies 1

christmas cookies 3

Of course, they had to be decorated:

christmas cookies 7

christmas cookies 8

And we underestimated how much the cookies would spread when cooked:

christmas cookies 10

They were still tasty!

christmas cookies 11

There was much to be unwrapped:

christmas cookies 9

christmas carnage 1

The husband surprised me with a shiny:

christmas necklace

And we are replete on our traditional Christmas breakfast of cheesecake and mimosas. Cheers!


Saturday, December 24, 2011

O Christmas Tree!

Our Christmas tree is a bit influenced by my particular color preferences each year:

christmas tree

Even up to the angel at the top of the tree:

christmas tree angel

We're all set for Christmas. The pumpkin puree I made back in October and froze is thawing, there is a huge ham in the fridge, and wonder of wonders all the presents are already wrapped!

Mrs Nellie Claus

So Merry Christmas from our household to yours! May it be everything you hoped it to be!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas to Me!

Normally I let the business buy me a Christmas present each year, but this year things have been a bit slow, so instead I'm letting the business make me a Christmas present! I found these gorgeous roses, and made myself a shiny collar for the holidays:

Silver Roses necklace

It's adjustable in length, but I like it sitting right across my collarbones.

Silver Roses necklace

It's strung with silver and red glass beads - my favorite color combination!

Silver Roses necklace

Now for an occasion to wear it....


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Purple Spiders fly!

Well, purple spiderwebs, actually. I spent the last couple of days working on a new parasol, after finding a yard of fabric in the stash that I'd bought a few Halloweens ago and deciding I should put it on a parasol. I started with a new ruffled parasol, black satin, and covered it with this fabric, a sheer purple with a silver spiderweb pattern on it. Added some purple ribbon, black Venice lace, and some black and purple sequined trim, and voila!

purple spiderweb parasol

The color purple is one my camera does not particularly like, it seems. Even after trying to tweak the colors in photoshop, I still couldn't get the true royal hues to come through.

purple spiderweb parasol-2

I think I may have enough fabric to do one more, but I'll have to come up with some different trim options, as I only found one suitable trim from my source this time! Why, oh why do fabric suppliers not realize that purple is such a hot commodity?

(This one isn't listed anywhere, because it sold in less than five minutes after I posted an image of it to my facebook page, by the way.)


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Ice Queen's Wedding Necklace

Perfect for a winter wedding, a combination of two different sizes of faceted clear glass beads, modern crystal points and antique aurora borealis faceted crystal beads, with variously shaped pieces of opalite, or opalized glass, all hand-wrapped in sterling wire.

The Ice Queen's Wedding by *dbvictoria on deviantART

I've been trying to decide what to do with the three pieces of glass that are at the centers of the three inside sections of the necklace for ages, and finally inspiration struck last night!

Ice Queen Necklace Close-up by *dbvictoria on deviantART

The Ice Queen's Wedding

The Ice Queen's Wedding

The Ice Queen's Wedding

Sunday, December 11, 2011

December Birthstone

There are two choices for birthstones for December babies: blue topaz or turquoise. I lean towards turquoise for my daughter, but we'll see what she picks for herself when she gets older.

Topaz is a silicate mineral, and a very hard stone, having a hardness of 8 on the Mohs hardness scale. It can still be split by a hard blow, however, so care must be taken while wearing this stone.

Sterling Silver Ring Bezel Set London Blue Topaz, by Jewelry24Seven:

Naturally occurring blue topaz is quite rare. Usually grey or yellow turquoise is irradiated to produce a deep blue color.

Sky Blue Topaz Wire Wrapped Oxidized Necklace, by SilverSmack:

Topaz is also the suggested anniversary gemstone for the 4th, 19th and 23rd years of marriage!

Baby Stella Blue Topaz, December birthstone, sterling silver star necklace, by metalicious:

Turquoise got its name because it was first brought to Europe from Turkey in the 16th century. It was cherished in ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian cultures, but is most known for its usage by Native Americans in the Southwestern USA and in Central America.

Turquoise and Rice Pearls Necklace on Sterling Silver, by dbvictoria:

Turquoise ranges in color between many shades of blue and green, with even some yellow shades to be found. Blue shades are caused by the presence of copper, green hues occur if the turquoise forms in areas where there is a high aluminum content, and the yellow shades occur rarely in deposits with zinc.

Turquoise Teardrop Earrings on Marquis Shaped Sterling Silver Earwires, by NightSkyJewelry:

Turquoise is a relatively soft stone, so care should be taken not to scratch or chip your turquoise jewelry. It is only ranked at 5-6 on the Mohs scale. Sometimes softer stones are stabilized with an infusion of epoxy resin, which preserves the stone from wear. Natural stones acquire a patina or luster from the oils in the wearer's skin, to which stabilized stones are immune.

December Birthstone Necklace - Turquoise with Coral & Sterling Silver, by RoughMagicCreations:

Whichever stone your December baby prefers, there are a multitude of choices available for him or her!


Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Favorites!

A quickie tonight, as we just got home from a Christmas Pops concert. I am approaching being in a holiday mood.

Red & Green Monster Holiday Stocking, by girlgoth:

Alien Bug Head Pin, by spiderwings

Eye of Cthulhu Stick Pin, by clockworkbeetle

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Cooking safely

When you're cooking meats, if you don't cook them thoroughly enough you run the risk of making yourself and anyone else you're feeding sick. Recommended temperatures for different meats are 145°F for whole meats, 160°F for ground meats and 165°F for all poultry.

There are a bunch of different thermometers you can use, but I prefer the old fashioned kind.

thermometer 1

Their accuracy can be affected, though, if they're dropped, or if they're not used for long periods of time. That's easily corrected, though. Test their accuracy by immersing them in boiling water. They should read 212°F, like the thermometer in the picture above. (Unless you're at a high altitude, and in that case the boiling point will be lower.) If they don't read 210°F, they can be easily adjusted by turning the screw under the dial.

thermometer 2

Also, when checking the temperature of your cooking meat, make sure that you insert the thermometer at least 2/3 of the length of the stem into the meat. That means if you're cooking chicken breasts or burgers, you need to insert the thermometer in the side of the piece. And you're cooking a roast or a whole bird, make sure the thermometer isn't touching the bone, which will be warmer than the rest of the bird.

Happy and safe cooking!


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Support small businesses this holiday season

Watching some of the news reports for Black Friday, I was quite happy to be ensconced on the sofa next to my daughter, with a cup of steaming hot chai and a kitty lying across my chest purring her furry little heart out. This year, again, I'll be making presents, canning, and buying handcrafted gifts from other small businesses.

Tomorrow is becoming known as Cyber Monday, and there are many places other than large chain websites from which you can purchase items online!.

I'm running a sale for the holidays - 10% off my Designs by Victoria shop on Artfire. Enter the coupon code "10-THANKYOU" at checkout to receive this discount.

And guess what? I've got even more new goodies posted for your perusal!

Bloodstone Earrings on Sterling Silver Earwires:

Order of the Nautilus Seahorse Grey Faux Pearl Steampunk Necklace:

Brass Flower and Black Onyx Earrings:

Sunshine Earrings - Orange Glass on Sterling Silver Earwires:

Key to a Hidden Door Steampunk Necklace with Pearls and Sterling Chain:

Moss Agate Briolette Earrings on Sterling Silver Earwires:

Cobalt Blue Sparkle Earrings on Sterling Silver Earwires:

Orca Earrings - oval glass beads on silver earwires:

Brown Pearl Y Necklace with Pewter Celtic Knot on Sterling Silver: