Thursday, January 27, 2011

Just a few more treasuries...

Can you tell that I have recently found a feature that shows me when people include my work in Etsy treasuries?  Yeah.  I'm not ashamed.  It's exciting to know that people see--and like--what I create!  

Here are a few more...

Here is a nice World of WarCraft inspired one.

I am truly honored to be a part of this one--curated by one of my Etsy
mentors.  It was inspired by Neil Gaiman's Stardust.

My Labyrinth's Masquerade earrings appear again!  Whee!
I like the whimsical nature of this treasury.

And now off I go to make some hairsticks!  (Or, at least, to clean up my workspace a little so that I can make some hairsticks....)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Posted: The One Ring

Remember this post?  In it, I discussed making jewelry with the One Ring (from Lord of the Rings).  At the very bottom of the post, I said that I had one design that I was going to make.

Well, this is it.

I introduce:  The One Ring Hairsticks!

I seem to be having difficulty uploading pictures, however.  I will be sure to post pictures here as soon as blogger and I have worked out our issues.  In the meantime, however, go and check them out here:  One Ring - Hairsticks.


Edit:  Success in uploading photos!  Here they are!  Enjoy!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Recent Treasuries

Want to know something exciting?  I have been featured in several treasuries on Etsy, just since the beginning of this month.  Yipee!

Can you find my items?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Story of the Wilds

Imagine!  I have posted another hairstick!  

I am proud to introduce:  The Wilds.

I would like to tell two stories about this hairstick.  The first is the story that gives it its name (the one that shows up as the product description).  The second is the story of how and when I made it.  Why do I want to share these stories?  Honestly, why not!  :)

And so, without further ado, here is the first story:

In the heart of the Enchanted Forest, there is an area that remains completely untouched by humans. Aptly called “The Wilds,” this area is not even frequented by trackers and woodsmen. 

Why is this part of the forest avoided? The legends that describe the Wilds offer some insight. It is said that this area is the heart of the Fae King’s realm, where the plant-life is unpredictable and the sun randomly disappears. The forest there has a mind of its own, or so the stories say—and, understandably, not many people want to risk exploring it. Those that do are seldom heard from again. And so, the Wilds lives on in legend and story—tantalizing, beautiful, and mysterious.

This hairstick is made in the colors of the Wilds. The focal stone is shades of green and shadows; the accents are golden like the rare sunshine. It is a reminder of things that are unknown, mysterious—and often more than a little beautiful.


Now, here is the second story:

In the summer of 2008, I had just started making my own hairsticks.  I was interested in learning, experimenting, creating; it was a different art form, and I was hooked.  In fact, I had not even thought of selling them yet...  I was simply making them for my own enjoyment.  

Frankly, making hairsticks was one of the things that I did to keep myself sane while preparing for my wedding.  I was due to be married in September 2008, and I needed a creative-non-wedding-related-activity to keep me stable.  (Planning such a large event messes with your brain, it really does!)  Calligraphy was out of the question--I used that to address all of my wedding invitations.  Making necklaces and earrings was out of the question--I was busy trying to figure out what I was going to wear for the Big Day (tm).  In fact, even sewing had connotations--I did not want to make my own wedding dress, and did not even want to approach my sewing machine.  

And so, I settled on making hairsticks.

My first designs were not bad.  Actually, there are some of them that I still wear on a regular basis now.  Yet, as the months progressed, so did my skill.  And, on August 8, 2008, I made a series of sticks that I immediately loved.  They were simple, elegant, and well-balanced.

One of them was this:

Look familiar?

Yes, indeed, it was the hairstick that would eventually be called "The Wilds."  I was incredibly pleased with my work.

Yet, I never wore the hairstick.  Before I knew it, the wedding was upon me--and it was like a fairy tale!  And almost immediately afterwards, my husband and I moved into an apartment.  However, that meant that this hairstick went into a box and was never worn.  How unfortunate!

To me, this hairstick is special.  It represents a very special time in my life--preparing to be married, and learning a new skill.  I have never worn it, and probably never will.  (I just don't own enough green.)  And so, I would love to share it with someone--someone who will not just get a hairstick, but a little piece of my growth as an artist and a person.

Morning Snow

Yesterday, it was a very snowy day.  The sky was shrouded in clouds; everything seemed hushed and heavy.  Most of yesterday was spent spreading salt on our infamous sloped driveway (see this post), wrestling to put out the trash (because of the aforementioned infamous sloped driveway), counting the inches as they piled up (ultimately, I think we got around 5), and trying to stay warm (tea was definitely a requirement).

Today, however, the snow has stopped.  The world is still hushed, but the sun is out.  What was shadowed and dark yesterday has been turned to brilliance.

And, of course, that means it's time for pictures!  

View from my window this morning...  This picture was
taken through a screen, but you can still see the light-play
on the branches.

Sun cresting the trees in the backyard.

Another shot of the sun's entrance... quite spectacular,
if you ask me.

Light cast on the picnic table,
complete with sun flare.

You can actually see the snow glittering!  See!  There,
in the background.

Sycamore tree branches, covered in snow.

Another shot of the tree branches.

The snow itself, glistening in the brilliant sunlight.

...I am glad, today, to enjoy some of the beauty of the snow.  Certainly, it's not as much as some places get during the winter, but it can certainly wreak havoc in my neck of the woods.  And so, now that I am nestled and cozy in my room, I can appreciate the view outside my window.

Black Rose and River Therr

I have posted two pairs of hairsticks these past two days.  The first one, Black Rose, was purchased within hours of its appearance.  (I was rather taken aback, actually--quite pleasantly surprised!)  The second pair, River Therr, is still available.  I am posting about both of them here.

Black Rose

This beautiful picture was taken with my beautiful new camera!

Ahhhh...  look at the detail.  :)

And now, for the story...

The Landus Fantasticus is filled with many beautiful and exotic plants—flowers and fruits that inspire the imagination and delight the senses. The famous Ninah issilina, or “Black Rose,” is certainly no exception.

Flowers are usually brightly colored—the plants’ attempts to lure in butterflies and birds and other pollinators. The Black Rose, however, is not like those. As the name suggests, its petals are jet black. It is found in small clumps all through the foothills of the High Mountains; its appearance is striking amongst the other Mountain vegetation.

It is also said that the Ninah issilina is the favorite flower of certain Dragon Walkers—dragons that occasionally take the form of humans. For understandable reasons, this claim has never been verified—not many people talk with dragons, after all. Still, many artists identify their subjects as Dragon Walkers through the use of these flowers. There is one such portrait found in the kingdom of Kessinal, which portrays a woman with a Black Rose in her hair. The woman is said to be none other the Lady Lynneth—a famous dragon who walked among men.

With a carved black agate flower and antiqued silver, this hairstick is reminiscent of the Ninah issilina. It would be at home in the hair of someone from the High Mountains—or perhaps even a Dragon Walker herself.


River Therr

This picture was taken with my old camera...  I love the lighting.

I also like the coloring of this set--brown and silver and blue.

Here is the story!

As might be expected, there are many rivers in the Landus Fantasticus—all fed from springs in the High Mountains. The river that divides the Enchanted Forest from the Haunted Forest, in particular, is wide and deep. Its waters are an ever-shifting shade of blue—teal and dark blue, with a hint of green from reflected trees. 

This is the mighty River Therr—the lifeblood of the land. Merchants use the river to transport goods from one end of the land to the other. Farmers use it to irrigate their fields. Poets use it as a source of inspiration for their fluid verses. It can be said that this mighty river touches all aspects of life in the Landus Fantasticus—and such a claim would be true.

This pair of hairsticks is made in the colors of the River Therr: the swirling teal, green, and dark blue of the waters, accented with browns from the riverbank forests. Touched with antiqued silver, these sticks look as if they would be at home in the hair of a merchant, a farmer, a poet—anyone who appreciates the connection between the water and the land.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Also Recently Posted...

You may have noticed that I have been posting a lot of new items to my store.  (If you haven't noticed, here's the announcement: I have been posting a lot of new items to my store.)  

You might also have noticed that I usually like highlighting new items here on my blog.  I do this mostly to keep up to date, so that I can see my progress over time.  However, that is not the only reason.  I also like to bring a little more life to the listing, explaining the thoughts and circumstances that went into making it.  I try to make things more approachable, more personal.  Whether or not I succeed, I am not sure...  It is simply something for which I strive.

And so, here are today's new listings.  Each one has a little blurb that goes with it...  Enjoy!

Creamberry - Earrings
I love the story that goes with these plucky little earrings...
I felt very accomplished when I came up with it.  Now I
want creamberries to put in my tea!  :)

Unbroken Circle - Earrings
This pair of earrings are remarkably light weight,
considering the circles are actually made of horn.  I have
found only one strand of these focal beads; I am glad I did.

Unbroken Circle - Hairstick
I really like the look of this hairstick--
very elegant and streamlined.  It makes me
want to wear more brown, so that I can
make one for me!

Sunset on the Sea - Hairsticks
I had already posted one pair of these
hairsticks...  so excited to find the
materials to do another!

Sunset on the Sea - Earrings (Design 2)
A variation on a theme...  These were made to match the
above pair of hairsticks, as the name suggests.  They are
also not the first earrings made to this purpose, although
perhaps my favorite.

Also of note, those last two photos were taken with my new camera.  As I said, I am incorporating them a little at a time!  Yay!

And, so, there we go.  Thank you for humoring me...  Every item that I make is special to me, each one has a story (both in its concept and its creation).  I am glad to share that here.

The Debut!

This morning, I posted two new pairs of earrings: Caged Dew and Creamberry.  I am delighted by both of them.  However, Caged Dew is particularly special.  Why is that? 

All but one of the featured pictures for the Caged Dew earrings were taken with my new camera.

That's right!  My new camera has officially made its Etsy debut!  Here are the lovely shots that I posted:

Isn't that exciting?!  Well, I find it exciting, at least.

The complete transition to the new camera is not going to be immediate.  There are still going to be quite a few pictures posted that were taken by my old camera (such as the ones for the Creamberry earrings--which still turned out well, I think).  After all, the shots from my old camera are still beautiful--and they give me something to use while I continue to learn my new fancy-dancy piece of equipment.

Overall, I am pleased.  I strive to be the best in every way that I can be, especially when it comes to my store...  I am thrilled beyond words to be able to take these next steps in my picture project.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

...And yet another two sets!

One with silver...

Midnight Rainbow - Hairsticks

Midnight Rainbow - Earrings

...And one with gold:

Candied Apples - Hairsticks

Candied Apples - Earrings

All of these lovelies have just been posted to my store!  Want to know the stories that go along with them?  Go check them out!

Two New Sets

I have two new sets recently posted to my store...  I proudly present: Gold of El Dorado and Rain Dragon!

Gold of El Dorado - Hairsticks

Gold of El Dorado - Earrings

Rain Dragon - Necklace

Rain Dragon - Earrings

Want to find out of the stories to go with them?  Usually, I would just direct you to my store itself, but I am feeling generous.  Here you go!

Gold of El Dorado:
The animated movie Road to El Dorado centers around two con artists, Tulio and Miguel.  These two ne’er-do-wells go through a strange series of adventures, which takes them from the streets of Spain to a hidden paradise in the New World: El Dorado, the land of gold.  Once there, through a set of bizarre circumstances, they are seen as gods. The movie then follows their antics and growth as they first try to con the locals out of their gold, and then decide to protect the paradise that they have uncovered.

One of the first people that Miguel and Tulio run into in El Dorado is a young woman named Chel.  She is first introduced as a thief; later, she becomes part of their charade.  She is sassy and intelligent, and proves invaluable to their schemes—whatever those schemes may be.

This set, whose gold focal beads are reminiscent of ancient Mesoamerican art, look like they could have been worn by Chel throughout her adventures with Tulio and Miguel in El Dorado.

Rain Dragon:

Everyone reacts differently to rain.  It is wet, after all, and can be uncomfortable.  Some animals—indeed, even some people—respond to rain by holing away and waiting for it to pass.  Other creatures patiently endure it, longing for the sun to appear once more.

And yet there are others, like the Rain Dragon of the High Mountains, who seem to revel in it.

The Rain Dragon got its name due to its apparent fondness for downpours.  Hardly a thunderstorm goes by without the familiar blue-and-silver dragon taking to the sky.  Although many people have tried to analyze this behavior—short of asking the dragon itself, of course—it seems that the Rain Dragon dances in the mountain deluges simply because it wants to.

This set is made in the color of the Rain Dragon: silver and rain-blue, reminiscent both of raindrops in water and dragon scales.  Small mementos, they look like they could be part of the dragon’s horde—reminders of the joys of rain.

Enjoy!  Thanks for looking!  :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Pretty as a Peacock

This just listed:  the Pretty as a Peacock set!

Although, technically, it isn't listed as a set anymore.  Each item now shows up separately in my store.  More than one person told me that they liked the hairstick, but didn't have need for the necklace or the earrings--and so, taking my customer's feedback, I decided to list them one by one.


Pretty as a Peacock - Hairstick

Pretty as a Peacock - Necklace

Pretty as a Peacock - Earrings

Yes, these are pictures taken with my old camera.  I am still practicing taking store photos with my new one.  What fun!  

Friday, January 7, 2011

Pictures of Plasma

Yesterday, I posted pictures of all sorts of lovely things that I have on my desk (including, but not limited to, Silmarils and Jim Bone the Desk Diplodocus).  There was one major thing, however, that I did not photograph.

That was, until last night.

Meet my husband's plasma ball:

Yes, it really is a plasma ball.  (And yes, it really does belong to my husband--I am just borrowing it.  For an extended period.  Really...)  Purchased from, this lovely little beauty is attached to my computer via USB and is constantly swirling with purple/pink plasma.  

It is absolutely mesmerizing, and fantastically geeky.  It is also ridiculously hard to photograph.  But there is no challenge that my new camera and I will not face!  Of course, I should mention that it was my husband who figured out the best settings to use, but ah well.  He shows me these things so that I can look good, right?

Here are the fruits of our labor:

I was happy with the distinct lines visible in this picture.

This picture captures more of the plasma's movement.

Plasma ball from above...  fun with different angles!

I have also been playing around with a new photo editing software (nothing fancy, but still rather daunting--to me, at least).  So far, I haven't figured out how to scale images down to different sizes, but I have learned to take this:

...and turn it into this:

And I didn't even have to get my husband's help!  ;)  

I have been having an extreme amount of fun with this whole process.  It looks like my original picture project has just taken on a whole new light!  (And, no, I don't do crazy effects on my store photos--that was just for fun.)

Let's see what I else I can take pictures of around here...  Watch out, world, I've got a camera!