Monday, October 11, 2010


Here's an update to my earlier "Food for Thought" post. The picture above is shot of the risotto I talked about - almost finished. It has butternut squash instead of mushrooms. It was yummy. The chicken I've been using in this recipe is from the frozen section of Trader Joes - I think it's just called 'roasted chicken'. You defrost it in the microwave, cut it up into small pieces and add it with the last cup of broth to heat it up. The squash is a great addition to anything. I take a butternut squash, split it long wise, spread olive oil on the cut parts (facing up), salt and pepper, and back for 40 minutes at 375 degrees. easy. Then I let it cool in the fridge, and later peel it and cut it into bite size pieces. I just keep it in a tupperware until I need it. I added half of a single squash to this risotto. The rest I actually ate cold as a side to a sandwich for lunch with some more salt and pepper on it. Yum!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Blog Carnival: EtsyMetal & Me!

This October marks the 4 year anniversary of the street Team EtsyMetal. Our blog carnival this month asks about the group:
When/Why did you join?
I am proud to be a founding member of our team. There was a forum post in the EtsyForums asking for interest in a metal group and I was eager to join. I'd been selling on Etsy for a few months and teams were brand new, so I was excited to exchange ideas with other metal jewelry makers. In those days, there weren't established tags for jewelry items, so it was difficult to find a way to set our items apart from the many other jewelry making techniques, and teaming up was a way to figure out how to do that. There was a period of contact through group convo, and then a private forum and then a better one. Our contact with one another is almost exclusively online so it's nice to have a well organized place to ask questions, make comments, ask for advice, complain and have some fun
Is it what you expected?
It's been much more than I expected. I have grown to have some really nice friendships inside the group. Before I had any online presence, I thought only crazy people had relationships online, but much has changed! There have been some bumps along the road, but it is going great now. I have learned a lot and my work has grown thanks to the influence of my EM friends.
What does it mean to you to be a part of the team?
This team is particularly great because we all work in the same medium. I belong to some local groups, but there isn't the same feeling among the members. I have access to this team 24/7. I can always count on replies to a question within a very short period of time. Since leaving school and having kids, I am not surrounded by people who want to discuss jewelry for very long. My friends here are interested and are my best customers, but they can't tell me what I'm doing wrong when I'm stuck with a good design idea and can't figure out the right way to execute it. I love the monthly challenges - some of my best work has emerged from them. The charm swaps have been great! I learned how to blog and be a craft faire vendor from my teammates. They've helped me to aim higher in my business goals. I hope I've contributed some of the same to my fellow members. We are professional as well as a load of fun!

Check out what other members say:

Friday, October 1, 2010

Charm Swap VI!

The charms for the EtsyMetal team's 6th charms swap (CS6) are finished. I waited until the last minute as usual. So here is the process for making 22 charms. A small production line. It started with a butterfly sketch I swiped from my good friend and artist, Michelle Byran. Butterflies are everywhere in jewelry, but I was attracted to the great feeling of flight and movement in the tiny sketch on a post it note. I made a prototype to see if it would work in metal. Michelle will be getting a charm. Maybe she'll give me some more sketches :)

I shrunk the image down and traced it. Then adhered the tracings to sheet copper.
Cut out all the little butterfly shapes.
Cut sterling silver half bead wire for the bodies and balled up the ends of silver wire for the antennas. Then the pieces were soldered together and I put a bend in the butterfly bodies to give them more dimension.
All that was left to do was add a patina, tumble, and seal with a little bit of wax.
All done! I am the partner of the curator, Inbar Baraket for this charm swap and have been receiving all the charms over the past couple of weeks. There are still several to come in, but it promises to be a fantastic bracelet. Everyone has done lovely work.