Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sneak Peak...

As I have previously mentioned, I am very excited about the June 1st opening of Shining Silmarils.

See!  Here's the shop banner again--just because I'm goofy.

How excited, you may ask?

I'm so excited, it's all I can think about.  (I honestly think I may be driving my husband crazy... Lucky for me, he is loving and tolerant, and very supportive of my store.  However, I should try not to press my luck.)

I'm so excited, that I decided to share these pictures of items to come.

Brand new, never before posted silmaril pendants!

Yes, these are neon colors... so bright, that my camera couldn't capture
their complete awesomeness.

And, as promised, there are magnets!  Lookie!

They are just a little smaller than the pendants--perfect magnet size!

A close-up, to showcase some of the colors.

That's not the end of it, either.

I'm so excited that yesterday I sat outside on the hard picnic table bench for two hours--despite the fact that it hurts to sit down at all, even on a cushion.  I wanted to work on making more shinies!  

Currently, I'm taking the time to make the silmarils by colors, to guarantee that I have a good showing of the different shades.  Currently, I have finished blue, purple, and red.  Left to do: every other color.  That surely narrows it down!  Obviously, this is going to be a work in progress.

Some of the red shinies made yesterday.

So, yes, I'm excited.  I realize that I am probably being boring and blathering to everyone else--but I am enjoying myself greatly.  Hopefully that much, at least, is evident.

And besides, isn't it nice that Tolkien also shares my excitement?

Doesn't he look thrilled?
He kept me company the entire time I was at the picnic table.

He certainly does look comfortable!

Look! More Pictures of Ouroboros Necklaces...

This entry is designed to do three things at once.

First, it's designed to take my mind off of the ouchiness caused by falling down the stairs.  (I am doing much, much better...  but it will be nice when my back stops hurting!)

Second, I want to show off my cool new prop for photographing necklaces!  (I've had it for awhile, but haven't actually written about it at all.  I know--the horror!  *grin*)

Third, I want to show off the two cool ways that Ouroboros necklaces can be worn.

Imagine!  A blog entry can do all of those things simultaneously!  Will wonders never cease?  :)

Anyway!  Enough talk.  I want to show that the first way that an Ouroboros necklace can be worn is double-stranded, with the toggle clasp fastened in the front:

The second way is single-stranded, with the loop of the toggle clasp acting as a pendant:

See, let me show you again!

Here is the first way:

...and the second way!

How exciting that my new photographing prop made that so much easier to document!  Hurrah!

...It really is the little things that make me happy.  (Like sitting down and not being in pain...  that's certainly high up on my list, as well.  *grin*)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Coming Soon! (update)

This is an update on the Etsy store that I'm opening, dedicated to my silmarils.  Let it be known that:

I have pushed back the opening date to June 1st.


Because I fell down the stairs.  While nothing is broken (thankfully!), I am very sore and achy and bruised... I can only sit at my computer for short periods of time, and that puts me a bit behind schedule.

But!  I am still very excited!  June 1st will be a very happy day!

...and now I'm going to go lie down again.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Coming Soon!


Soon--as in a week from today--I am going to be doing something very, very special.  It is something that I've been debating about for awhile now... And with the urging of my husband, I'm going to just go ahead and do it!

Do you want to know what it is?  Of course you do!

On May 30th, I am going to be opening a brand new Etsy store, completely devoted to my silmarils!  Yay!

The name of the store is, aptly, going to be Shining Silmarils:

It will be here that you will find such dazzling beauties as:

....and many more!

Starting May 30th, I will be taking the silmaril listings from my current store and moving them over there.  There will also be many other silmarils, too.  I have been working very hard the past few weeks to bring about some more colors and combinations...  and even an additional style of silmaril.

That's right...  some of the silmarils at my new store will be magnets.

How exciting!  I am having a great deal of fun preparing for the grand opening...  I'm even planning a grand opening sale!  Stay tuned to find out what the sale will be!


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Crafting Outside, Take 2

This time, without the sunburn!

How did I manage it?  By going outside after dinner last night, about 2 or 3 hours before the sun was going to set.

See, the shadows are starting to
get long.

I enjoyed time at the picnic table, making silmarils and listening to music.  It was very peaceful, honestly.  It is very relaxing for me to just craft hours on end, getting lost in what I'm doing... and that was what I was doing.

However, my presence did not go unnoticed--both by annoying buggsies, and by an over-zealous kitty.

Tolkien: "Why are you doing something boring?
You should be loooooooving me."

Tolkien:  "Ahem...  I am cute.  Pay attention to the
cute thing that is sitting on your foot!"

Eventually, when I didn't give in to the urge to scratch his fuzzy belly, he gave up and prowled off.  I think he was rather put out.

Yes, that orange-ish blob is Tolkien in the distance.

Ultimately, I was outside for about two hours...  I moved inside when I started to notice that it was getting darker, and that the bugs were getting a bit more vigorous.

So, no sunburn, but a few bug bites.  All in all, it was a good night!

I told you that the shadows were
getting long.

Now all I have to do is finish working on those silmarils!  This part can be done inside, though...  Although, who knows?  I might just use it as an excuse to go outside tonight, too.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Something Sparkly This Way Comes...

I was incredibly productive yesterday...  I posted 14 new items!  I think that's a new record for me!  *happy dance*

Of course, 8 of those items were in the same style, and therefore shared the same story.  (And, for the record--it is very difficult to come up a story to unify colors as disparate as the ones featured below.*)

Still, I am very content with the outcome.  I present: The Fashion Contest!

Here we have Day 7--a brilliant shade of turquoise blue:

Next up is Day 15: clear and silver...

Followed closely by bright pink for Day 19:

And, last but not least, black for Day 28:

Aren't they sparkly?

And, because I am proud of the story, here is the accompanying tale of fashion and jealousy:

Lady Vellys was known amongst the women of the Noble Court for having unparalleled fashion sense. Especially famous was her ability to accessorize impeccably with any outfit. No matter what the color, she always had jewelry—and hat, and scarf, and shoes, and stockings—to match. She was the unofficial fashion queen of the Noble Court, the fashion capital of the Landus Fantasticus.

She did not particularly care for her reputation; to her, it was simply about the enjoyment of looking her best. Yet, her status brought about the jealousy of many other aspiring Noble Court fashionistas. Some of the women would openly vie for her position, trying to out-accessorize the accessory queen. Others took a more passive-aggressive approach. They would give her gifts of hard-to-match items, and insist that she wear them. And wear them she would, complete with wonderfully matching accessories.

Eventually, the fashion tension came to a head when a Grand Contest was announced. It was decided amongst the fashion powers-at-be that, for a month, participating contestants had to wear a different color each day. The prize was intangible, but still coveted: the honorary title of Noble Court Fashion Specialist.

Many noble court ladies participated in the contest, including Lady Vellys. It soon became evident that it was going to be a tough competition; after the second week, most of the contestants had already dropped out (especially since there was a disasterous debate about the difference between “lavender” and “lilac,” causing at least a third of the women to give up in a huff). 

After the month was over, the results were announced. Everyone was not surprised when Lady Vellys won. However, they were surprised to learn that there were, in fact, five other winners. Each woman was given the honorary title and the appropriate respect. 

Lady Vellys, for her part, was pleased. The jealous attention was no longer focused solely on her, and she had peace to do what she loved: spend time to look her best.

These earrings and hairsticks look as if they could be part of Lady Vellys' collection--different colors worn on different days.

* - I mean, honestly...  With turquoise, clear, black, and bright pink, you can't really represent the four seasons, or the four cardinal directions, or the four winds, or the four humors, or...  I am happy I came up with what I did!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I officially have 200 items for sale!

I'm sure that, for some people, this is not important news.  To me, however, this represents an achievement!  I'm so happy!

Working on my store, itself, makes me happy...  This is an excerpt from a letter I recently wrote to my mother, and I think that it sums everything up quite nicely: 

I really have been doing a lot of work on my store recently.  I have been taking photos to replace some of the not-as-good photos online.  I have been creating new designs (like the hairmarks, and the ouroboros necklaces).  I have been posting many items—both repeat designs, and new ones.

And, through it all, I realized something the other day… something that I had already known, but never actually thought about.  I realized that working on my store brings me joy.  True, I can get stressed about the details and imaginary deadlines that I enforce upon myself—but if I am upset, working on my store brings me peace.  Case in point: the other day, I was really anxious and worried about something… and then I sat down, worked on my store, and it was like the stress just faded away.
Can you believe it?  

I, certainly, can't believe it.  My store, my labor of love, has come a long way from its humble beginnings...  I'm excited to see what the future holds for it!  

I am so, so blessed to be doing what I love!

Saturday, May 14, 2011


...So that your hair won't lose it's place!

Yes, it's cheesy--but it makes me happy. 

So, what are hairmarks?  Simply put: hairmarks are hairsticks with tassels!  

Hairmark, in black and gold

Although it sounds remarkably cliché, the idea came from a dream that I had a few weeks ago.

In the dream, I was shopping with my mother.  While that might not sound fascinating to you, I can assure you that it was.  We were poking around in an antique/oddities shop--and it had everything.  There was Aladdin's lamp, there was Cinderella's slipper, there were maps of Middle Earth, there was the grail diary from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.  It also had token glass dishes, fine lace, and odd perfume bottles--somehow made even more amazing, considering the other items in the shop.

It was a veritable treasure trove of geekery.

Nestled in one corner, I came across a glass full of colored pencils with tassels.  The girl who worked at the store came over to me and confided, "Oh, I sometimes use those to put up my hair."

...And so a design was born.  When I woke up, I ordered some tassels.  I was delighted when they arrived...  after some playing around, I had an entire new line of hairsticks!  (Just in time for graduation, too--can you imagine hairmarks in school colors?  I believe I can.)

Currently, I have the following colors of tassels available, and I'm selling them as custom orders--both as solo and pairs of hairsticks:

1 - Burgundy
2 - Red
3 - Orange
4 - Yellow
5 - Kelly Green
6 - Light Blue
7 - Royal Blue
8 - Purple
9 - Black
10 - White
11 - Ginger Brown
12 - Maroon
13 - Dark Brown
14 - Antique Gold
15 - Silver

I, personally, am excited... but perhaps that's just because I get to play with tassels!  (If I were a lesser person, I would consider going outside and using some of my prototypes to play with Tolkien.  Oh, who am I kidding...  the next sunny day we get!)

Yay for tassels, yay for hairmarks, and yay for being easily delighted!

Friday, May 13, 2011

I am the Champion!

...or, rather, my husband is the champion!

This week has been full of technical difficulties.  From blogger going on the fritz to a patchy internet connection (I think it's a problem with the router?), it's been enough for me to consider a quiet cabin in the middle of the mountain, away from computers and their issues.

My heaven on earth...
Location of family vacations and my honeymoon, both.

Yet, even going to that quiet cabin in the middle of the mountains won't get me away from my biggest problem: user error.

Case in point: this week, I sat down and took over 500 pictures.

And then promptly deleted them.

To my credit, I was trying to import them to my computer.  Yet, somehow, I dragged them to the recycle bin instead.  Bye-bye pictures!  That is, until my wonderful and tech-savvy husband was able to recover them from the SD card.  He got many, many brownie points for that.

That is not the end of the story, however.  Yesterday, I sat down to work with that same batch of pictures.

And deleted them again.

This time, I had (and have) no clue what happened.  They just went poof!

Luckily, my husband once more came to my rescue.  After much toil, he was able to recover them again.

I am happy to report that today I was finally able to sort them and crop them and use them--some of them have even been uploaded to my store.  It feels so nice to be able to interact with pictures and not completely wipe them from my computer.

I have a wonderful husband.


To celebrate, another cabin picture!  :)

First Sunburn of the Year...

Repost from yesterday, since blogger was having a few issues. 


Today, I crafted outside.

Today, I burned to a crisp.*

But, it was worth it!  I love being outside when the weather is nice...  Whether it's crafting on the picnic table, or taking a walk at the park, I like the fresh air and the feel of the breeze.  The only problem is that my skin is ridiculously pale.  I go outside for five minutes, and I burn.

Some people, when they burn, have it mellow into a tan over a few days.  Does mine do that?  Of course not.  It will fade completely in a few days, and then I'll go right back to being pale.

Maybe, just maybe, it will happen this time.  Not likely...  but I can always hope!

In the meantime, I'll enjoy my pictures of the sky:

Yes, it really was that lovely!  That was the view over my head, the entire time that I was crafting.


* - Okay, okay, it's not that bad...  I'm just tinged red.  So, enough to whine about it, but no need to visit the emergency room.  :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Story behind the story...

I find inspiration everywhere.  

I have notebook after notebook full of thoughts and sketches--ideas for hairsticks, ideas for earrings, ideas for the stories that go with them.  I write down dreams that I've had, words that strike my fancy.  I cut out pictures that intrigue me and tape them in.  They are messy notebooks--but that's not the point.  They are my idea notebooks.

Most of the time, these notebooks hide from the limelight, letting my creations shine for themselves.  There is no thought of what inspired those works of art--they are just there.

Yet, every once and awhile, I feel the need to share what prompts me to create.  And that is the case for some of the items that I posted today.  

Which items are those, you might ask?  I present: Noble Court Celebration!

Noble Court Celebration - Earrings

Noble Court Celebration - Hairstick

Rather striking, isn't it?  I love the combination of red and silver...  It's not done very often, so when it is, I think it's dynamic!

Beyond the color combination, however, this set is special to me.  Why?  Because of what inspired it.

This set was inspired by my mother.  

And so, here is the story behind the story...  

Several summers ago, my mother told me that she was having trouble finding necklaces that she were a good length for her.  (Most necklaces are 18 inches, but she prefers them to be 16 inches.)  Excited at the thought of a project, I offered to make her some jewelry.  

Together, we went to the bead store (oh what glorious fun!), and she picked out colors that would match her outfits.  Thus armed, I went to work.

I made many, many necklaces for her that summer... all with matching earrings.  One of the sets that I made for her was this one:

Look familiar?

I wrote stories for all of my creations, too... including the one for this set, entitled "Noble Court Celebration".  That story was inspired by the relationship between my parents: two wonderful people, who get more awesome every passing day.  I am truly honored to know them.

...And, with that said, I am honored to dedicate today's listings, the Noble Court Celebration, to my mother.  She was the one who picked out the beads that inspired it, and she was the one who prompted its story.

Happy Mother's Day!