Monday, December 03, 2007

And now it is time for Christmas

Last weekend was the Mary Queen Bazaar, and we had fun as usual. We saw many old customers, and met new ones, which is always nice on both counts! There were positives and negatives about the show, so I will discuss both of those, but first is a picture of Lisa at our booth, which was new and improved this year:

You can't see the entire booth because I cropped the image, but we added more festive decorations this year. One thing we plan to do for future featuring of our wares is streamline the display stands. We scatter jewelry on all sorts of platters, bowls, tiles, boxes, etc., and while it looks cute overall, we wondered this time if some of our pieces got lost in the mosaic of colors and shapes. We have a tendency to rearrange constantly; Lisa would probably disavow that for herself because I seem to recall her constant admonitions to me concerning that activity...("Did you change it again?!? Now I have to take more pictures!!")

Positives: We love going to any show and having the exposure. We heard "James Avery" again. We didn't hear "Sundance", which popped up at Artoberfest, but it wasn't that kind of crowd. I am not crazy for the James Avery lines, personally, and I don't know why people make that relationship to us. In fact, I just looked at that website and I still don't know why, but we do take it as a compliment. We also heard again "the best jewelry at the show"--that, of course, is a completely subjective statement, but we certainly agree and understand! It's natural that some people will connect with our jewelry while others will not. That's the way it goes! It makes us feel like we have a style that means something to others as well as us.

Other positives: as mentioned above, we hit upon new ideas for display. Thanks to Mike, Lisa's husband, for making us a new table this year. It's completely dismantle-able and has an undershelf that I love. Our other table? Still an old door sitting on small sawhorses, oh-well. Good snacks, wine, Lisa stayed at my house (always fun), and I just enjoy the whole show atmosphere. We got a lead on a couple of new shows to attend, one being the Houston Livestock Show, and some tips about approaching some big department stores like Neiman's. A-cha-cha-cha....

Negatives: Okay, here goes. We didn't sell as much at this show as we did last year. Our first year wasn't great, but at least we didn't have the overhead Artoberfest sucked out of us. Last year's Bazaar was over twice as big in sales as the first. Good, but for us to come in below that in our third year is not good. So, although this is my own church, and we have been given a premier spot for 2 years, we are calling it quits. The Bazaar is primarily a crafts fair, and our jewelry doesn't exactly fit into that category, especially when there are other jewelry booths selling a pair of earrings for $5.00! Of course, customers know the difference and will buy accordingly, but that leads to another discussion: what are people buying, and more to the point, who are they buying FOR, at Christmas craft fairs? Many women who looked at our wares were not buying for themselves, and they just didn't want to spend that much on others, when they had a long list of giftees. Those who bought big-ticket items were, for the larger part, buying for themselves, but they had the bucks to plunk down for themselves in addition to buying for others. Those sales we love, but they are not to be counted on at a craft fair like the Bazaar. Those kinds of sales will only come consistently at jewelry shows, so we are going to shift our direction to those if we can find one that is affordable. I will miss the Christmas Bazaar! We are counting on residual sales will make up for the loss, plus looking for regular Christmas sales, one of which came in yesterday, a day after the show. Keep 'em coming!

Bottom line is we need to expand our marketing beyond 1-2 shows a year. Artoberfest is a juried fine arts show, so that is a good one to continue attending unless we find some juried jewelry shows to enter. Love you guys, rock on, and personal adornment RULES!


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Something New for You


I wanted everyone who has asked the last couple of years to know that we are offering cross jewelry this year; Lisa has a new set with earrings, too.
For the necklace shown, I used a heavy gauge wire, balled on the ends, which were then hammered and hole-punched where Jesus was nailed to the cross. The cord is called Tenara™: if you scroll down the blog to the Country Girl necklace there is a description of this strong thread that's found another home in the jewelry industry. We really like the casual and delicate feel of this slender string; in this necklace the color is brown (apologies for a lousy photo). I first put the pendant on a 1mm, black leather cord, but it overpowered the cross. I love the solution of the Tenara™ which to me is symbolic for this piece: the thread looks as vulnerable as Jesus did when he was dying, but is actually very strong. Its strength won't last as long as His, but for our purposes it certainly has a better chance of that than the leather! See you at the Christmas Bazaar (see previous post)!



Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Next Show Looms.....


We are preparing for our third year at the Mary Queen Christmas Bazaar--it's one of the only two shows we are now doing annually, but it's our favorite! If you have never been, I will describe it in short order: WE LOVE CHRISTMAS! :-) :-) The Bazaar suits that attitude because booths are appropriatedly decorated and since many of them sell goods for the holiday, the atmosphere is ripe. Everyone is happy and happy, o'course, and since we are all under the roof weather isn't an issue, and then there's the lifeblood of the show--piles of people trek through. The event always attracts loads of visitors, to which our success last year attests! The Bazaar offers dining, too, with tables set out with coverings and centerpieces--it feels elegant and in turn (conjure Austin Powers if you dare) makes you feel it, baby! And, as ever, that instrumental Christmas music is piped through to buttress the mood.

So come on down! We have new work to Show & Sell--those of you who have been watching the website know that, but some new things will be presented in the next couple of days...one will be my new necklace and earrings set, so I will give you a preview by posting a pic of the necklace. The stone is a fluorite bought last year at the Beadoholique Bead Shop in Copperfield, Houston. I love the subtle color of this particular stone (fluorite comes in many colors). It has nice soft facets and the shape is perfection on the necklace. Are you interested in the powers of fluorite? This stone purportedly promotes calm and mental balance, and an increase in perception of higher reality. WOW! You need to wear this puppy! And the earrings, too!

I made this one by hammering out my frustrations.....16-gauge wire hammered into a circle, riveted, then sawed in half, drilled, wrapped with wire and hammered again...then I began to calm down...especially after I decided to use the fluorite, pulling it out of the gem box, shaking out the gems, pushing them with my fingers to pick the best ones, holding them while they were captured by the wire that would tie them to silver forever....the calm of the stone began to permeate my stressed-out state of mind and.........or was it all that hammering??!! I don't know, but I am not one to cast off the powers of Mother Earth, so don't get me wrong...

Please check the website soon for more on this necklace and the matching earrings. And please come see us at the Mary Queen Christmas Bazaar, November 30 & December 1 at Mary Queen Catholic Church in Friendswood, Texas! Phone is 281-482-1391, and the following link gives driving directions: http://www.maryqueenchurch.org/index_files/Page414.html

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Winter's Come Early to the Coast

Fall's here, winter's comin', and we are gearing up for our favorite seasons at Alone Star with a couple of additions to the collection. Lisa and I both love the cooler temperatures, fall colors, the snow, icicles, even the dicey stuff like sleet and ice--mainly because in our part of Texas the divide between summer-to-fall and winter is so half-hearted, the lackluster seems to spill over into winter and we end up with a season that doesn't really know it's supposed to be cold. Especially in this coastal region you just have to reminisce, and you can if you have good kid memories like we do. Those of foot-long icicles hanging from the eaves when we lived near Ft. Worth, or when snow came there one winter with 2-foot drifts in the front ditch! Man, we haven't seen snow like that since then: moving to Austin was the end of that. I remember one winter in the Cap'tol, though, when there was an ice storm that moved through. I got up with the sun that day to see the uncommon site of every last twig on every tree branch covered with a crystal clear layer of ice. I'd never seen such a crystalline world as that, with the sun making all the scenes sparkle. That reminds me--have you seen our Snow Dreams bracelet and earrings?

While a few years ago the Houston area got, as judged by all, a quality snow storm, since then all we can do is wish for more. We have two new pieces that reflect the current and coming season, and the most recent is a pair of earrings Lisa made just today, seen in the photo above. She calls them Sleeting Earrings and you can read her description of them on the site. They are made with Argentium sterling silver wire. This is a newly developed, improved sterling--improved I say because it resists tarnish to a high degree, a most desirable quality. The magic ingredient is germanium; Lisa provides a link with the earrings' description for further education on the subject. One thing I like about Argentium is clearly seen in the photo: it makes great-looking ball-end wires. Sterling silver wire balls up surely enough, but most of the time irregularly, with wretched little pits, not perfectly round like in these earrings. It's usually a crap shoot for me trying to make nice round bulbs with regular sterling wire, but it looks like Lisa had no trouble t'all using the Argentium. These are some heap gorgeous earrings, and I love the way she dropped a couple of the wires significantly lower than the rest--a very nice touch indeed.

We are slowly transitioning to Argentium. It should be a great fit with PMC, which is very slow to show tarnish, too.

The Fall Triangle Necklace is the other new seasonal piece to which I refer above, and you can see it on the home page. It's the same necklace as the Spring Triangle, new name for the old Flower Patch necklace I worried over some earlier time in this blog journey. The whole thing was revamped, renamed and reconceptualized, then pushed to a reflect an additional season. Now I am thinking of a winter version, but finding the time to put that together before the Bazaar would be like an early Christmas present itself! Oh, well, even if winter is vague in these parts, it is still winter that lasts through February, and of course, there's that miracle of modern living the world wide web, which brings Winter & Those Living in It to us all year round.


Monday, October 29, 2007

Post-Artoberfest

We made it through Artoberfest! It was a lot of fun despite the fact that we ran into a few little problems, not the least that our booth was turned the wrong way on day one! That wasn't our fault--and we fixed it for the second day. We met some very nice people, particularly the lovely ladies in the booth next to us: Becci King and her long-time friend and show-partner Katharine Spanier. Becci lives in Galveston and knits and crochets her goods, our favorite the child's long-sleeved boleros. Kathy is a very skilled watercolorist, and Kathy, you need a website! I bought one of her original paintings, and Lisa a print. Both of these women were a delight to meet and enjoy, and we are happy that Becci is coming to see us at the upcoming Christmas Bazaar at Mary Queen Catholic Church in Friendswood. She is interested in getting a booth there next year. Cool!

Galveston is a great town, folks. Try to visit sometime if you can. There is loads of history (my own relative sailed with Jean Lafitte, the pirate, who camped out there for quite a while when it was called Campeche) and accompanying architecture. Neighborhoods off the main path are filled with both large historic homes and ancient tinderbox residences, capped off on the corners with a grocery or BBQ restaurant or breakfast cafe. The populace is friendly and relaxed, a mix of traditional and fringe elements. http://www.galveston.com/history/

It was hot but the wind was ever-present, and once the sun traveled its path the first part of the day, the air was wonderful. We sold a comparable amount to our first year at Mary Queen (enough to pay for overhead), but we made so many more contacts, and are now in the habit of handing out gift certificates to everyone who visits our booth. We also give those with purchases. We ran out of business cards--so we have learned how to market better, at least at shows. The compliments were many, and again we heard the references to Sundance: our work is "reminiscent" of what's in their catalog but we are "much less expensive". One woman told us that Pot Luck would cost about $385 in their catalog (we sell it for $113)--then she promptly purchased Stacked Hearts Bracelet. That was a popular item, as was Turquoise Wrap and both versions of the Tejas bracelet. We feel like the feedback is sincere and of course that kind of support feels great as we make just what we want to make, not what we think people want.

If you are in town (Friendswood) November 30th and December 1st, please come see us at the Mary Queen Christmas Bazaar, for our third successive year! Email us if you want directions or have any other questions or comments. We are excited to be there again--we have grown very fond of this event and look forward to seeing the friends we have made there in previous years. Happy Holidays, everyone!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Artoberfest


We have been accepted to participate in Artoberfest, "...Galveston's premier art event! The Island's hospitality, and the relaxed atmosphere provide a beautiful setting in which to enjoy the wide variety of original art in all media." That's a quote from Kathy Modzelewski, coordinator of the festival. We are looking forward to a new show experience, and we love Galveston, Texas, just a shell's throw away to the south. We have bought a tent, and are going to get some kerchief neck coolers, since there is no electricity and even late in October you never know the weather's plans in these parts. We are, of course, shoring up inventory of the old and new, trying to stack it up because we will be in the Christmas Bazaar again this year around the first of December. This is a great season for doing shows--we had such success last year at the Bazaar that we are hoping for even more this year. But for now, it's Artoberfest and an excuse to rent some rooms in Galveston! Come and see us if you are going to be in the area; we would love to meet new friends.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Country Girl finally makes an appearance!

Well, Country Girl has finally arrived! I know it took forever for me to get around to finishing this but there just always seems to be something else to do. I'm trying to stay on top of things these days so, with any luck, you'll see more new things from my tiny little studio.

Country Girl comes in at 4.6 grams of handcrafted fine silver. The thread I used is call Tenara™ (previously Gore-Tex™) and it's used in a lot of things, including parkas, marine stuff, and even jewelry. It wears so well and is really tough, so it won't snap or wear out. It has a slick feel to it and because of that, took me a little longer to braid it. But boy does it hang nicely around your neck!

I stuck that little silver bead into the braid just as something extra - I think that was Shauna's idea, only I can't remember if she suggested a silver bead or a turquoise one. What do you think? I think it looks good.

Of course, this needed to be part of a set so there are earrings to match. They went through 3 sizes before it was "just right". Shauna told me they were too small so I tried again. Still too small, she said. At last we were both satisfied with them. I put them on these simple but pretty ear wires. Nothing fancy. I like earrings to move when I'm wearing them and these ear wires make that happen!
So, I'm thinking that it's Shauna's turn to throw something on this blog. She's usually the one who does all of the writing. Things have been really busy around her house lately, though, so once it calms down I'm sure she'll start pounding on the keyboard again!
Ok, be sure to go visit the site and check out all of the new stuff. Another newsletter will be going out soon with a new discount so you won't have any reason not to shop till you drop! Until then!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Moving into Limited Editions

I'm sure all artists feel this way eventually - you want to create your work but you don't necessarily want to create that same piece of work over and over and over and over again. Your brain works overtime coming up with new ideas and you barely have enough time to jump out of bed (I do a lot of my design thinking early in the morning before I've gotten up) and write them down (or draw them, as the case may be). At any rate, that's where I'm at these days. I want to create the pieces that I've drawn on paper but I don't particularly want to make them 10 times each, or even 3 times each. Anyway, that's how the Limited Editions section of our website came to be. The pieces you see in this section will be available until they are sold out. We may never make them again but we'll probably leave them up there so you can see what we've been up to and what people like so much they've bought.

Hinged finally made it onto the site in the Limited Editions section. I apologize for taking so long in getting it up there but I've been really busy with my "real" job and, because of that, I got very behind.

Along with Hinged (Shauna named that one for me), I added two more pieces that I just finished (the amethyst version is shown here). As I say on the website, I'm not sure where the inspiration came from so I'll just say it came from my Dad. It's probably true. If I ever get close to crafting as well as he did, I'll be very happy! These are called Screened In Amethyst and Screened In Peridot. Window screens. Yup, that's what they remind me of!


Well, I can't think of anything else to say for now. I'm anxious to get back to my work table and open my notebook to see which piece I'll start next! Until then!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Ga-a-ack....

That's my synonym for "Arghh!" I scrolled down the blog and saw the Flower necklace, and it is still sitting in the waiting room. I have changed the design--it's more modern and groovy, with a custom bead for the bottom, into which the triangle feeds and from which the pendant hangs. It has to be fired and I wanted to wait for some other elements to crowd the kiln before screaming up the kilowatts over one little tiny bead. This is what I mean by 'Jewelry Life, Interrupted'! The photo says it all.

Life Goes On....

Many things have interrupted the small sculpture part of our lives, but lo and behold, Lisa popped up recently with a new design. I had been wondering why she was so quiet lately...

She was inspired by looking at the work of other jewelry artists--that's a rub for me. I almost hate doing that because I mistakenly think it will overly influence my own designs. But usually what happens is what Lisa said: other artists' works can stretch the mind, and it's what emerges to fill the extra space that can come from your own preferences for shape, texture, color and form. You have to be true to the elements that you personally enjoy using in your work. You have to know what you want to do.


Looking at the work of other artists is a good stretching exercise!


This new necklace hasn't been posted to the store yet, but here is a look at it. Lisa set one of Dad's turquoise rocks, showing off her inherited craftsmanship. He's proud!

She hasn't named it yet, but I keep calling it Hinged. The opposite would be more appropriate to the way I feel about 'Jewelry Life, Interrupted', but after all, that's the artist's choice, not mine!











Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Magnetic Clasp (a slight variation)


A previous post mentioned re-making the silver "Tech" bead bracelet that I made for my son Micah, who is a big Red Raider fan. I finished the improved version today and mailed it off to him for his birthday upcoming April 6. A couple of snaps show how the clasp works, and by the way, these photos came out pretty well in light of my usual complaints!

It is made with 2 sterling end tubes constructed by moi, each that measure about a half-inch and are loaded with a few magnets and epoxied to the round leather cord. I discovered that sliding the sterling ends inside the bead allowed for proper alignment of the magnetized tubes so that full contact was made and they stuck together. Outside of the tube, the stress of the leather pulling into a circle doesn't allow the ends to meet flat on each other, and they fall apart (shown in the photo above). Fully assembled the result is a cool way to clasp because you don't feel the metal on the inside of your wrist. Micah will test it out and see if the strength of the magnets is enough to hold everything together for daily wear.

The texture on the bead was made by use of a polymer plate textured with a piece of window screen: I pressed it in a couple of directions to make a more complex pattern that was also small enough to contrast against the letters, which needed emphasis. I capped the ends of the bead after applying the letters for a nice finish before firing. I am going to explore photopolymer plates soon to see if that process will be more fun than my current method of applying raised text. I am getting faster at it, but it's more tedious than anything else since I cut them out after pressing into a mold. Four letters isn't too bad, (!) but I like to have fun when I am making jewelry, so if the PPP process can reduce the tedium, then hey baby hey baby hey!

This bead is such an improvement over my last one and I know Micah is going to like this good-looking piece of jewelry... I am going to make more of these kinds of bead bracelets with hidden clasps, and I think one that says "Texas" would be entirely appropriate in more ways than one! Ciao for niao!






Saturday, March 31, 2007

Revisiting the Flower Necklace

I have been working on, but have not finished, the Flower necklace that's about three photos below this post. I decided that the spiraling wire on each side would simply be too hard to clean, so I am looking at a beading alternative. Plain wire just kills the piece, so until I find the right substitute, this necklace remains on the bench. I will find a way!

Galveston Gumbo

I have to thank Matt again for another great name, this time for the bracelet posted here. "Galveston Gumbo" is made from jump ring chain that Rio started selling in its current catalog; we bought both small and large varieties and this is the large one seen here. The jumps are a combination of regular wire jump rings, then flat wire jumps. Not what I expected but I got used to it fast. I made a slew of shells, then picked graduated sizes and attached 7 of them. The pretty hook and eye clasp works fine, but as usual, the shells began slipping down and while the clasp is nice-looking, it's not the centerpiece. So I started looking around the local shops for something interesting and found a very juicy strand of serpentine beads. They are flat and round and have an absolutely intoxicating color. I made a ball head pin from 18-gauge wire, slipped the bead on the bracelet, and that did the trick. Shells remain on top of the wrist--for the most part. All bracelets will slip unless you do something medieval like hook 'em to your fingers (I am not knocking that idea), but overall the weight of the new jade bead works.

Lisa and I were talking about it and agreed that the color of the jade bead reminds us of the color of the Gulf waves, right off the beach. How many times have we peered through that color looking for intact shells and sand dollars, and shark's teeth? The jump ring chain reminds me of seafoam--not the icky kind that gets stuck and dries up on the beach, but the kind that those shallow waves deposit on the shore, when it's wet and starts popping and vanishing, revealing its cargo of new shells and fragments on the sand. Nice--so natually I planned the name "Seafoam" until Matt injected his sense of humor into it, and I couldn't resist that!

Coming soon!

Whoa, blew past my birthday on the 23rd and still didn't get a post up. Things are going on in the personal life--kid stuff, relative stuff, work stuff--as usual. But I am here today because a couple of new items stand to be posted soon--the recent earrings for which I uploaded a drawing, and a new bracelet about which I had no time to post information.

Above are the promised new Texas earrings, which we lovingly call "Texas Bling Earrings" thanks to my clever husband Matt, always full of good ideas. They are a whopping 1.38 inches in width, and for me that is big, but they glorious in this size. You will have to excuse me, but I reserve the right to brag when I am in the blog. And at shows. But I do personally love these earrings. They are fun to wear--not too heavy at all despite the size--and flashy. But even while having the "bling" factor, they are very pretty because of the texture contrast. I used a small grinding bit, and lightly sanded the entire outside area, then polished to a high shine the state of Texas--as promised!! The result is smashing, in my opinion. The blue topaz are very pretty--you can see the star that's cut into them, but not too easily since the stone is small at 3mm. But anything bigger did not appeal to me for some reason. I may change that, because a larger bezel would be easier to work with at least. Bling, bling, bling!


Hopefully the picture will look good on the site. Despite the fact that we have a nice photography setup (we have an EZ Cube and accoutrements), silver is not easy to photograph when it hasn't been oxidized or has large areas of smooth and/or polished texture.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Spring green, pink, blue, yellow, violet....


Spring is here in Friendswood, and my azaleas are bursting buds open daily. Just one of the colors (rose, second row in the middle) in my latest necklace. This is the first one I made so any flaws like horizontal wire that isn't quite straight will be corrected on final versions. I couldn't say initially where the design came from, but after checking my sketchbooks I had been drawing triangular images with curving wire, stars, grids and other elements before the design found itself in just one drawing. Also, the swarovski crystal beads at my bead shop haunt are displayed like candy and I had been pawing through them like pirate treasure, so probably this design came about from the drawings, the crystals, and the new season.

I love the silver pendant because the flower is in high polish, contrasting with the sanded texture of the background. It tones down the shine and blends the pendant well with the pastel colors. The photo doesn't show it well so look for a better one when we put the necklace on the website.

At first I did not have the spiral jumps at the top corners, but after trying the necklace on, I installed them because the pendant was stealing the show. I also changed the chain from a delicate little 1.5mm cable to the larger linked flat cable chain seen in the photo. The flat links reflect more light, and along with the spiral jumps, the top of the little garden popped out. Have you ever tried making wire spiral pairs (of anything) to match? It's h-e-double-hockey-sticks! We are looking for a better way--a wig jig? Any tips?

Look for this new creation at our store soon. And I am still working on the earring bezels!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

New earrings


Be looking for a new pair of Texas-style earrings at the site soon. I have already fired and semi-polished them, have received the order of blue topaz stones, and once my husband lets me off the hook helping him with work and I get my dapping block back from Lisa, I will finish these! I wanted to make something that was kind of flashy. That hasn't been my style in the past, but evolution is a good thing, even darting down and then back up a side road now and then...I want to see if these earrings generate any interest. They are not an outlandish design (some might think a large silver disk isn't adventurous at all!) but the disk is indeed a large one, which is a stretch for me.

After making the model from polymer clay, I formed the mold and then used it to shape the disks using metal clay three cards thick. The earrings fired nicely thin, and they are not too heavy, even with the Texas shape slightly raised. The dapping block will help re-shape one that did not fire perfectly concave. The swirl lines were drawn on the wet clay with a needle tool. I will bezel-set the stones and then polish Texas to a high shine, leaving the semi-polished finish surrounding the state, the finish earlier achieved in the tumbler. I should have re-shaped the out-of-whack disk before tumbling, since it is now work-hardened, but I think it will hammer out just fine.

The picture above was drawn in Adobe Photoshop, one of my other most favorite pastimes. You should see what I did with "American Gothic" lately, for my father-in-law's birthday! Posted only by request!

P.S.-- I got my dapping block left and the earring tapped out perfectly. I will start on the bezels today or tomorrow! Also, I left out a MOST IMPORTANT detail: blue topaz is the Texas state stone! It is mined in Mason County in the Texas hill country.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

It's been a while....


Greetings--just wanted to show off a new clasp we are using on our groovy Silver-on-Leather bracelets. We had been using bayonet clasps, but they are difficult to manage in a bracelet that fits more snugly like these. You can see this button clasp in the photo at right.

The photo also shows two newly available textures: "dimpled" at the top and "diamond-etched" just below it ("organic", currently on the website, is at the bottom). These upper two previously were sold only at our shows and not through the website. Remedied! I love all of these textures. Recently I created my own (seen below) for a Texas Tech bead I made for my oldest son--I apologize for the crummy picture quality; it was one of those quickies I shot off to Lisa for her comments. So-whoa I wanted to re-do this bead and use a texture that is inspired by Lisa's diamond-etched pattern--yep, a texture that makes the letters pop out much better--plus make some other changes too.

I am working on designing a magnetic clasp for this new bracelet, too. It's hard to find magnetic clasps that are not overly-feminine in style or that fit leather this thick (4mm). Don't forget, though--these Silver-on-Leather bracelets are not just for men! In fact, that brings on a whole new slew of ideas....Groovy!

Friday, January 12, 2007

P.S. to the Previous Post

Please see the comment attached to the previous post (Thursday, January 11, below). Thank you!

Thursday, January 11, 2007




Here is a luscious li'l pendant. These look like a piece of candy, and everyone, girls especially, always have to touch them. It's the glaze--the clear on top of that low-fire white clay is ever so creamy-looking. I am going to find some matching beads this weekend and see how those look, but this one is strung with braided white linen waxed cord. We call this one the Salsa heart after the name of the reddish-pink glaze. It isn't a tomato red by any stretch, though; it's nice and different.

Valentine's is ON! and other...stuff


Greetings once again. Why, it's time to publish to the blog!


Be sure to check our website for jewelry pieces that would be perfect for this next & sweet holiday..we have necklaces, earrings, and bracelets that fall into that category.

I was taking a walk with the dog the other day (no, I was actually walking the dog--I am a Cesar fan), and musing about what my next blog post would be about. I am still somewhat foggy about the matter. Here are a few strays that are but surface observations and explanations that lack deeper meaning at this time.....We have new pieces that have been posted to the site: the reworked Tejas bracelet, The Ride bracelet, the tabbed hearts which have new and lovely strands of beads, and the Seashell pendant necklace with its new variety of bead strands...Gosh, Wally, this is starting to sound like a compilation category on the website (kind of like a muscian's 'greatest hits' album??)....Maybe, but the pendants look great in their new fresh looks.

I am thinking of doing a series of bird pendants and am working out the format now. Cardinalis cardinalis fussing at mimus polyglottis inspired me the other day while walking. They will have stones incorporated. A new bracelet design in the sketchbook will test my patience and another pendant design has been doing that for some time. I am finding that my ideas are now focusing more on elements of Mama Nature (except for a pair of earrings of the state's great shape). Lisa has a pretty set of silver hearts in necklace and earrings that she's been working on since before Christmas, the Country Girl set, but there have been many orders to fill since then and she has been very busy with that and her other job. As for me, I should at this very moment be working on my brother's Powerpoint presentation so once I conclude this rather vacuous post I will be on that. As I told a friend last night, I feel like our jewelry has for now taken the very back seat in one of those long, stretch limousines. I realize that could be a frightening thought for our many fans out there, but no worries, mate. We are always at least thinking and drawing jewelry, and we love to play website and blog. For now it seems to be paying off!








Friday, January 05, 2007

A change for 2007



Greetings once again; now that the holidays have passed and our resolutions are in our faces it is time to set our sights not just to the future but to open our eyes to now. Our sister-in-law is undergoing her initial chemo treatments for breast cancer, and last night her hair finally let go--now she is bald. This makes one realize, and in her words, that for many of us the next 16 hours, the next stretch of awake time, should be the most important hours of our lives. Those exempt thus far from such huge and monstrous situations have to strive to appreciate our gifts, and I personally plan to do that.

For those with the creative spirit in full bloom, the words fit soundly, too. The now is when we spend time looking around for inspiration and that means being open not just in heart but in senses and in mind. It's also the time when we put our new ideas down in design, and even begin manifesting those into gifts of art while learning, appreciating and loving every part of the process. After these 16 hours are gone is when the next stretch of waking hours begins as the process of working on happiness cycles again.

And within those 16 hours change should come! Alone Star Jewelry is planning some changes in the near future that are intended to free us to be more in the moment with our art. We will begin to offer one-of-a-kind pieces instead of being faced with making those more complex pieces as many times over as we do now. Relief! As an artist it is difficult to be a mass production technician. For simply-made pieces reproduction is more easily accomplished, but for complex ones it isn't. Even making simple pieces over and over again can prevent creative thinking, which is cumulative. An idea comes and in the best scenario should be expressed in finished form so that others can develop from it. That’s how an artist grows, and I think that a true artist can’t be without this kind of progression.

Also, think of it this way: would Picasso have reproduced Guernica because someone wanted a copy? Some media are for reproduction, as Picasso knew when he made prints of drawings. There is no easy way to do this with a piece of complex jewelry.

So look for our jewelry to be split into two categories at the website, and in addition we will set up a gallery for singular pieces that have sold but we still want to show off! Of course, since we take custom orders, by keeping these at the site they can conceivably be made again. Note: the slide clasp pictured above is not fully closed, which is why it sticks up in an unusual way.