Thursday, December 10, 2009

Here Comes Santa Claus!

Christmas will soon be upon us and as we hurry to ready ourselves for this glorious day, we should all take a moment to remember our brave troops who are abroad and unable to celebrate Christmas with their families. May God bless them one and all.

Another thing we should all do this Christmas season is to remember to sit back every now and then to catch our breath and enjoy all that is going on around us with our family and friends. We move at too fast a pace in our normal lives and need to make every effort to appreciate what we have and not take our blessings for granted.

So, to that end, while you're catching your breath and having a "me" moment, remember to visit our site and replenish your supply of Vitamin J (jewelry)! I will once again give credit to one of our customers for coining that catchy phrase. Thank you for letting us use it!

We have lots of new handmade and unique pieces at our online store at prices that are sure to please! Pick something out for yourself, wrap it up and stuff it down into your stocking! I always buy myself a little something at Christmastime...at least that way I know I'll get something I adore! That's not a jab at my children or my husband, who sometimes buy me things that make me go "Huh??".


Shauna and I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. You won't be hearing from us again for a while so continue to visit our online store and enjoy reading our stories here at our blog. If you're into it, you can also follow us on Twitter. We haven't jumped into Facebook yet but watch for that coming soon. Merry Christmas and God bless!












Saturday, November 07, 2009

Bronzed


Good evening. I have "finished" these earrings, bronze with chrysoprase and moonstones. They are the bronze domes I showed in a recent post, just fired with the three holes in each. I think these earrings are prettier with all three stones green, but these will stay as they are unless something else occurs to me, which is possible since I am not settled with them.

We are going to start making our own earwires, one pair shown with the earrings. We each got a set of cup burs, which work great for quickly filing the ends of the wire for a comfortable fit. Sometimes finishing afterward with a file is necessary, but it's just a few swipes and usually you're done. Needless to say the cup burs will become one of my favorite tools; now I can see myself sitting down and giving an hour to making a bunch of earwires. Before, filing the wire ends to a smooth rounded end was very tedious, at least for me.

I just got some more BronzClay, the only brand I have used. We have some of Hadar Jacobson's bronze powder which I plan to test, but later. I'm going to make more of the leaf disk seen here, seen in earrings on the website, and make some new, shorter earrings with it (by request!), then perhaps play around with making a necklace using the same mold, just manipulated for a different result.

I have another pair of sterling wire earrings on the bench; they also have chrysoprase cabs in them. I love the color of this stone.

Hook 'em Horns!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Make Your Plans! (The holidays are here!)

I would like to talk about the Mary Queen Christmas Bazaar this evening, because it's coming up--before we know it--the first weekend in December! This art, craft, and food festival is held annually in Friendswood, and was first suggested to us in 2005 by my sister-in-law. We learned that the bazaar is a juried arts and crafts event with top-quality goods. We got in that year, and plan to continue our annual streak of participation in this "feel-good" event. The bazaar is held in the parish hall--indoors!--so bad weather can't put a hole in your calendar, so plan to join us December 4th and 5th.

Attending the MQCB will light your holiday mood like a fireworks sparkler! Booths are always appealing to the eye; a wide range of goods is offered from holiday foods and snacks to wood-working, jewelry, hand-made books, drawings, paintings, quilts, pottery, clothing, Christmas decorations and lots more--and all made by the artists/crafters themselves! Holiday music sustains the mood, people are happy, and the sights and smells are nothing but Christmas! It's sparkling, interesting, attractive, and lively.

Lunch can be purchased in the middle hallway, where tables are set up with tableclothes and holiday centerpieces. Elves run around taking orders and delivering plates to diners. To one side of this area is a lengthy buffet filled with endless confections and pastries, along with hot coffee and tea. A lovely decorated Christmas tree stands at the end of this hall, surrounded by door prizes that can be won through the purchase of raffle tickets. Always something going on! And don't forget to visit the extra room across from the big hall! There are two rooms of booths, on opposite sides of the dining hallway, so don't miss out on all of the offerings. Another nice thing about MQCB is that it's small enough that you can see everything without getting entirely worn out, but large enough to offer a wide variety of goods to enjoy and purchase for yourself or for gifts (like Alone Star's jewelry!).


Mary Queen Christmas Bazaar is managed and operated throught the hard work of Alice Malek of MQ Church, and begins Friday, December 4 and runs through Saturday, December 5 (9:30am - 5:00pm both days). Lots of shoppers enjoy visiting Friday while the kids are at school.

The location is Mary Queen Catholic Church at 606 Cedarwood Drive, just off of FM518 (Friendswood Drive); turn south onto Stonesthrow Avenue between the cemetery and the snowcone hut and proceed forward to the church parking lot.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Hallowe'en! & other (technical) topics




Working on a few projects at once, as usual. Keeps it interesting...

I have been working with bronze clay over the last few weeks. My first experiences were with domes that fired to about 1.5" but I had some problems with uneven shrinkage so had to cut them to a smaller diameter. Warping is always a strong possibility, but uneven shrinkage is when the edges of your shape pull in; a circle is no longer a circle, in my case. I have been doing some research which has helped me consider the issues.

The following can effect shrinkage:
1) thickness--thinner pieces not only warp easily but if pieces have uneven
thicknesses, edge to center shrinkage can be affected, leading to #2
2) added decorations--I found that waiting for the dome to dry first, then
adding decorations later kept the dome from irregular shrinkage. Three other
domes I made in which decorations were added to the wet dome ALL suffered
shape deformations
3) with bronze, air quality can be important. Mardel Reins at Cool Tools cautions to keep air flow at a minimum, and humid air at a maximum. Uneven temperatures and pockets of dry/humid air will affect bronze clay more than silver clay. I have had very few problems of this nature will silver clay.

As for warping with bronze clay, it will likely happen no matter what you do. But fired bronze is easy to bend back into shape. One important point, though: after firing, it's important to anneal the bronze because one dome I began hammering right out of the kiln developed cracks. Annealing prevents this.

The next photo shows a project in the works. The bronze discolors with firing; sometimes it's a nice effect. This one is another disk with three cabochons on it for a pair of earrings. I made another pair like this earlier with three chrysoprase stones; the new ones will feature chrysoprase and...it's a secret! These domes fired nicely and kept their shape despite the pre-cut holes.

I am very careful with arrangement of pieces in the stainless firing box, placing them at the back and sides, avoiding the front of the kiln if possible since it's a front-loader. Always arrange the pieces in exactly the same way in the box--for example if firing a pair of earrings, place them in "mirror" positions along the same horizontal or vertical. There are other considerations such as gravity (fire domes in a "bowl" position). I use Mardel's schedule for firing with can be found at www.cooltools.us.

So far I have been cutting holes for the fine silver bezel cups I am using, seen in the photo, but making my own bezels may be the next step. It isn't easy to fire the proper sized hole so time's spent filing them to the correct size. Then, bezel cups need more filing, or filling to make sure the stone sits at the right height. And another discovery: as an example, all 4mm stones do not fit 4mm bezels, and so on. I have had to stretch bezels because I don't want to file a stone--but that's an idea. It all adds up to more time and more cost to the customer.

Making your own bezels isn't the easiest thing, either, because matching up the ends for a good closing soldering point can be time-consuming. But I can do it, and it would mean the holes I cut in the bronze pre-fire would not have to be precise. No filing of them would be required; they would just need to be large enough to allow light to penetrate from the back. So I think that might be a plan.

Bronze polishes beautifully. I love the its soft golden color. I always treat with Minwax polyurethane to preserve the color and prevent tarnishing, which is a necessity with bronze since it tarnishes quicker'n you can sneeze. The photo below shows my latest project, and I simply love the gold color setting off the cornflower blue of the topaz. I am going to make more of these earrings, but without the shrinkage issues suffered with the earlier domes. I had to cut these earrings down to 1.25" after drying in order to achieve a true circle, so they are smaller than I had wanted but no less attractive. #2 in the list above was the culprit: I added the decorations to the wet circle, and because of the uneven positioning of the petals and stem, shrinkage was uneven. Wish me luck that this theory holds water when I make more of these earrings!

www.alonestarjewelry.com/proddetail.asp?prod=EBTF01&cat=21

Happy Halloween, y'all, and happy creating! Ciao.


Friday, October 30, 2009

All Hallow's Eve


ArtoberFest 2009, Galveston, Texas

Tomorrow is Hallowe'en! It's always been my second favorite holiday. Mom used to make donuts in our kitchen, and we trick-or-treated faithfully until well into junior high. So now our kids are carrying on the tradition! I will be out contributing, dressed witchly with my pit fire burning, enticing the juicy little ones into the backyard lair....

But that means it's after Artoberfest 'way back on the 17th-18th! Seems like months ago by now, but we had a great show and need to thank Galveston! My earlier post explained how much we love going there, and this year was even better since we had the best show ever. We rearranged a few things and it must have been the ticket because we were busy selling a lot of jewelry! It's put us in a great mood for the Mary Queen Bazaar that will be coming up the first week of December, and inspired us to apply for the Bayou City Art Festival in Memorial Park this spring in Houston. We had so much good feedback from customers and non-customers alike.

I also want to report on the good energy in the Gulf city because of its comeback from Hurricane Ike last year, which stole the Artoberfest and devastated the region. Residents told us they were so happy to see the festival back in swing, because it was just another sign of life coming back to the island. The weather was beautiful and cool, and there was good art to be seen! My favorite was the rock art of Carlos Moseley, seen at http://www.artisansatrockyhill.com/. You have to see his work in person--I was blown away (sorry for the overworked descriptive). There were a few very talented painters, too. We were happy to see that Artoberfest is thus far keeping its character as an artist-driven show. There are no food booths still, but remember that New York Times booth we complained about seeing at Pecan Street? Yep, in Galveston, too. YUCK. But the rest was happily crafted by the artists who attended. Kudos to Kathy Modzelewski for her hard work keeping it reallllll-y a great show!

So please come see us in Friendswood on December 4-5 at Mary Queen! Remember, it's a lovely Christmas show and really brings out the holiday in you. Pretty tables are set up for luncheon, there's a dessert table a mile long, and the wares are always top quality and varied. Alice Malek does a great job every year to keep this show true to its high standards and we love being a part of it.

See you there!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ready to show!

The last new pieces have been finished and we are now in our packing mode, getting ready for the trek to ARToberFEST!

This pendant is called "Warmth" and features a Rhodolite cab (garnet family) and 24k gold, which was applied using the Keum-boo technique. Read more about the pendant at our site.

We hope to see many friends at this show. Please come by if you are out and about this weekend.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

ARToberFEST is this weekend!


We are burning the midnight oil getting ready for ARToberFEST on the 17th and 18th! It's great to be down in Galveston--an important historical town in Texas, and there's nothing like being at the Gulf! I anticipate meeting the artists who will be on either side of us--an inevitable and pleasant aspect of doing these shows. Last ARToberFEST we met Becci King and Kathy Spanier, very nice people to say the least. We traded with Kathy for some of her beautiful watercolors. Best news of all though is that it's supposed to be SUNNY! We have had buckets of rain lately--yesterday I thought the curbs might wash away but the local forecast is looking up as the week works itself out. HOOK 'EM HORNS! BEAT THE SOONERS!

I make the Indian Head Nickel bracelets but this time will offer several with the Buffalo side of the coin showing. Last night I put two on a deep red-maroon dyed leather that is quite stout. Lovely with the silver. Several other kinds will be available at the show; these bracelets are popular. I wear mine all the time and love how leather ages, softening and conforming to your body. Plus, silver and especially bronze, as I learned with these new earrings-- look wonderful on leather (http://www.alonestarjewelry.com/proddetail.asp?prod=EBHOL01&cat=26

I am working on a design for a "Lonesome Dove" bracelet along the same lines. The Indian/Buffalo nickels are one of the very few items (outside of sterling chains and clasps, etc.) that we purchase from a supply house, since we make 99% of our metal components in our studios. You can look at the bracelets here: http://www.alonestarjewelry.com/proddetail.asp?prod=BIHN01&cat=26

We have several new pieces for the show, so come and visit us! I was up at 5am this morning in anticipation, so it's off to the studio for a little bronze sanding until it's time to get my 10-year-old off to school!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

One Down and Two to Go








Alone Star was in Austin at the Pecan Street Festival just a couple of weeks ago. It was a good experience for us going back to Austin, our home town, and as usual, such jaunts continue to be learning experiences as we hone down just what we want to to with our presentation during shows. Every show is different, so our displays have been different for each. One thing we know for sure is that we want to make setting up and breaking down much simpler than it has been in the past, for all the shows. And we think we are getting closer to that goal as we get ready for this weekend's show down on the Strand in Galveston, Artoberfest 2009.

How was Pecan Street? This is a show that's been a tradition in Austin for a few decades now. We saw a lot of good work there, some really nice art. I was very impressed with Alan Christopher Smith's work of Battlefield Texas. Chris makes wonderful stippled images both in paper and canvas print media, and since he was right next to us I had opportunity to look and talk to him. Aside from artists like Chris, though, were other booths promoting say, the New York Times. Wow! Does something like that belong in an art fair? How about motorized scooters?

Artoberfest, at least what we saw 2 years ago when we participated (Ike blew away any chance of the show last year), remains a pure fine arts event. We will see what it's like again this year, and I can speak for Lisa too when I say that we are looking forward to it! I am posting some pictures from Austin's show; we may have questions about the changing character of the festival (at least from an arts standpoint), but we certainly loved the entertainment and being able to watch the Longhorns from outside a bar just across the street! Austin is definitely keeping weird!






Sunday, October 04, 2009

ARToberFEST Gallery of Artisans

Shauna and I have received special mention this year in the ARToberFEST gallery. Please take a moment to go view the gallery to get a small taste of the outstanding art to be shown this coming weekend. We hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Almost Showtime!

Well, tomorrow we head for Austin and spend the evening making final preparations for the Pecan Street Festival on Saturday and Sunday.

We are both working fast today to finish up any pieces that still need final touches. For instance, this image features a new necklace that I started yesterday and completed the remaining necklaces this morning. It's called Twirly and is made from Greek leather and Argentium sterling silver wire. For more information, please click here to view the necklace on our website.

And if you'll be in Austin, TX this weekend, don't forget to come by booth 94 to see us! You may get lucky and win a gift certificate to use on our website.

Talk to you after the show!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Alone Star Jewelry Shows

To find out what shows we do each year just follow this link. Maybe we'll see you there!

Here's where you can find us throughout the year:

Old Pecan Street Festival: September 26-27, 2009, Austin, TX, for more information http://www.OldPecanStreetFestival.com

ARToberFEST, October 17-18, 2009, Galveston, TX, for more information http://www.ARToberFEST.com

Mary Queen Christmas Bazaar, Dec. 4-5, 2009, Friendswood, TX, for more information http://www.MaryQueenChurch.org/

Come see our new pieces!


This is just a quick note to let you know that we've been adding new designs to our site and invite you to go take a look. Just follow this link to go directly to our new pieces!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The question of reworking existing designs


No matter the reason, whether an old design leaves something to be desired or it is good enough to inspire further ideas, it's cool to rework older designs. Just so happens the Texas Star earrings (right) were recently the target of such reconstruction. My ears are currently adorned with them since I love the smaller dime-size and bouncy sparkle, but resistance was futile as a new idea pushed its way in, simple as it was.

Called Texas Star Banded earrings. the irregular surface of the band reminds me of rough stone, limestone in fact, of the Hill Country. That and the star make for a real Texas flavor piece of jewelry. The Texas star inside a circle is a classic design that nowadays is seen everywhere--people love putting these stars on their homes like they do with icicle lights come Christmas. I find both the stars and the lights attractive, and classics, too! I also took the originals in another direction, carbon copies but now the size of a quarter. I hope you enjoy all these newfangled regurgitations!


Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Just Dropping In

I had insomnia (again) which resulted in some very early morning jewelry work. I have been buried with lots of other things to the detriment of exorcising jewelry projects but am exerting myself to make up for it, which has resulted in some long-awaited revamping of a couple of pieces. The first photo shows, among others, a larger "Heartbeat" drop that is now nickel-sized compared to its original 3/8" diameter. Other changes are to the Texas Star earrings, seen in the second photo. The smallest pair is the original design (just under dime-sized); for another avenue of interest I added a band around the outside, and for the last pair the original is blown up to about an inch. The new windmill and swirl pieces will be part of a new piece (not telling here!), and I keep making Texas for one of our best sellers, the Alone Star State necklace.

The fired pieces in the photo above have a satiny sheen because they have been brass brushed right after firing. When silver clay is fired, the particles are not properly aligned to create a smooth and shiny surface. Pieces in unbrushed state can be tumbled or burnished, but with brushing the process speeds up considerably, and with a better result in my opinion.

This second photo shows unfired pieces ready to be put in the kiln. They are "green"-- dry but unfired. The large domes have been placed on piles of plaster as a safeguard against flattening. I have always used art plaster for this purpose but there are other materials that work, too. You can barely see the little sterling silver earwire findings in the 2 pair on the left, which I point out for discussion below.

I included the last photo just to show my trusty 5-year-old kiln; it is a Paragon SC2. I usually try to load the kiln with many pieces, up to 2 layers, but these were the ones with sterling earwire findings embedded in them and they have to be fired at a temperature lower than 1470F, the melting point of silver. I torched and pickled the findings to bring a layer of fine silver to the surfaces, which protects the silver and allows it to be fired into the clay. Otherwise it can break afterward, and this happened to me before I learned to depletion gild--and the sterling broke after a couple of years! So it may look fine, but that isn't something to trust.

Keep checking the site for new jewelry! We work on productivity during the spring and summer to gear up for fall shows.

Ciao,
Shauna


Friday, May 08, 2009

Deerskin Lariat

Wrap a lariat around your neck for a quick way to dress up your outfit! This lariat is made out of "dusk" colored deerskin leather which is so buttery soft to the feel! The lariat is 47" in length and you can wear it so many ways. Fold it in half and wrap it around your neck and slide the two ends through the loop. Wrap it up close around your throat and then loop the ends through each other. Wrap it around your throat once and let the ends hang free. I'm sure you could come up with more ways to wear this versatile lariat! At each end of the lariat you will find gorgeous Kingman turquoise nuggets that are just weighty enough to drape the lariat perfectly around your neck. Made by Lisa.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Three Silver Hearts Bracelet

I've just added my latest creation on our website and, as I've decided to do from now on, wanted to update the blog for those of you who subscribe. Thanks for that, by the way! Below is the text taken from the website describing this new bracelet.

I like working with leather, and more, I like wearing it! My three hearts bracelet is 12mm wide (just under 1/2") and is cut from a hide of chocolate brown distressed leather. The focal point for the bracelet is a handmade fine silver plate featuring three hearts and is stitched to the leather using red Tenara thread (previously known as Gore-Tex). The buckle is also handmade from Argentium sterling silver wire, which is polished to a high shine. Next to the buckle is a loop to pass the end of the bracelet through. 

 
This bracelet comes in 2 lengths to accommodate most sizes by featuring 4 punched holes. The lengths will accommodate sizes 6 to 7.5" and 7" to 8.5", respectively. A nice feature of this bracelet is that it is made to buckle comfortably on the outer side of your wrist so that when you lay your arm down on a table the feeling is smooth, as the buckle is out of the way. If you find the need to, the end of the leather can be trimmed off. Made by Lisa.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Outer Rim Territory

I'm a Star Wars fan and this explains the name of this necklace. Tatooine is in the distant Outer Rim and is a desert planet. Tatooine has an endless desert environment and twin yellow suns. The soil is very parched, yet life persists. You can find all of this information on the Internet or from the movie itself, if you're a fan like me. 

The necklace has a free swinging disc in the center that shows off a beautiful Chrysoprase cab. The outer rim has many small silver planets and the texture on both the inner disc and outer rim represent the parched landscape.

OK. Enough. Here are some facts about the necklace. The pendant itself is approximately 1.25" in diameter. The Chrysoprase cab is 6mm. The inner disc is attached by balling each end of a small piece of 20 gauge silver wire. The outer ring (or rim!) is dotted with handmade silver balls. Double jump rings form the bail and the chain is sterling silver balled chain. It's finished with a sterling lobster clasp. 

This necklace took a long time for me to finish. I wasn't sure which stone I was going to use but just love the green of the Chrysoprase so it won out over the other choices. It sat lonely on my work bench for the longest time because it was so pretty without the patina that I dwelled over that one decision for a long time. Finally, the desire to have the texture really stand out won over and it took it's dip in liver of sulphur yesterday. I spent a long time polishing it because I wanted those silver balls to be very bright and shiny against the textured background. 

Saturday, April 18, 2009

First Copper Clay Pieces


Just as you can create beautiful pure silver jewelry from PMC (precious metal clay), you can now create beautiful copper jewelry from Copper Clay! There is also another jew product - Bronze Clay - but I haven't tried it yet. I believe Shauna is working on a bronze clay piece.

Anyway, the copper clay is a dream to work with. You have plenty of time to work with your piece before it starts to harden and refining the piece before it's fired is...well...easy!

With silver clay you have less time before it starts to harden so you must know what you're going to do before you open it up and get started. Also, in the hardened state before being fired in the kiln, you must work with great care so as not to break your piece, especially if it's delicate. It's a totally different world from working with copper clay, and I suspect, bronze clay.

But, enough going on about that. The first pair shown above are just simple little hearts with a large open bail. It's a design I've had sitting around for a couple of years. I must have known then they were meant for copper clay. Ha-ha! I wish I were that intuitive! Anyway, they are thin and about 1" tall, including the bail. They hang from sterling silver ear wires.

The second pair are more delicate and are my favorite of the two. They are about 1-1/4" tall, including the twisted bail, and elongated. This design is also a couple of years old and I actually tried making these out of silver clay but they were just too fragile. They work great with the copper clay. Yeah!
So, if you want to visit our website to see better pictures of these then just click on the Title of this blog entry and it will take you right to them. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hanging in There

'Lo. I am trying to stay in the loop, but as happens in life, priorities must shift periodically. My husband's new business over the past few months has been eating most of my time, and my elderly mother and 10-year-old boy demand the rest. I need a maid and some sleep, but this will pass. Finally pried myself away one recent afternoon to visit the bead shop down the road that is called Antiques, Beads & Crafty People (http://www.abcraftypeople.com/). My purchase was a couple of inexpensive magnesite and howlite stones for some practice with bezels. This one is magnesite, and larger at about 1.5" in diameter. The back is partially covered with silver sheet. Typically the hole in a pendant-sized stone like this is utilized vertically, but I was forced to find another solution when I made a mistake and one part of the bezel ended up looking less perfect than I like. That section is now hidden on the bottom, so that is why the hole is oriented horizontally now. I like the solution, but sometimes it flips and shows the back, so the next one I make will ensure the front is always visible. The clasp is magnetic.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Check out our Gallery!

I wanted to make sure that everyone knew we had a gallery on our site that includes pictures of all of our pieces from the beginning of this exciting venture. The pieces shown in our gallery are not for sale but most were at some point in time. I've added 2 more items to the gallery: a Silver on Leather bracelet that I made as a special request from my youngest son and a turquoise pendant that was my first attempt at true metalsmithing. I promised you this one in an earlier blog and it turned out quite nice but since I don't think it's "perfect", it won't make it to the "for sale" pages just yet. I will make another one that will hopefully get sold to one lucky customer.




More New Pieces

I have created some new pieces and wanted to let you know so you could check them out on our website. I know it seems like it's been forever since some new stuff got posted here on our blog but I've had some kiln issues to work through.

My kiln decided to roll over on me one day when it was loaded full of new pieces and just continuee to heat up, completely ignoring the set program, so all of my pieces melted into silver puddles. It was devastating, to say the least. That has never happened to me before and after much technical analysis and part replacement, I ended up sending it off to Rio Grande to have them fix it. After a couple more weeks, I finally got it back and it's been running beautifully. Fingers crossed nothing like that ever happens again.

But, while I was waiting for my kiln to return home, I continued to work on jewelry and had a good amount of new pieces to fire. Unfortunately, I'm pressed for time so I'm going to list them here and you can visit our site to see more pictures and get all the details about each piece.

In the order shown, they are:

Oh, and I almost forgot, I've got another handful of new pieces that haven't been completely finished yet so will post them as soon as they are. Stay tuned!






Saturday, March 07, 2009

A few new pieces

There are a few new pieces on the website and since many of our customers follow our blog for updates, I decided to get them posted. And here they are.

The first image is Amber Pebbles. This can be worn many ways. The entire string is about 48" long and has a sterling silver lobster clasp. You can wear it as one long necklace, doubled around your neck, or wrapped like a bracelet, as shown in the first image.

The 2nd and 3rd images are Silver and Copper Discs. The image with the heart is showing what the back of each earring looks like. The stone is a 4mm aquamarine cabochon. 











The next image we have is of Crescent Hoops. These are fine silver crescent rolls, textured with a nice patina, rolling around on sterling hoops. I'm wearing a pair of these right now! The last image we have is of Silver Discs Citrine. They are about 1" in diameter and boast a 4mm citrine cab. 











I guess you could say I've been into earrings lately but am getting ready to switch gears. I've been sketching out a turquoise pendant (the stone is rather large) and will most likely do traditional metalsmithing here - no fine silver clay on this one - rather, Argentium silver.

I'm also working on some new designs for rings. Look for those in the coming months as well. So, that's all for now. Until we meet again....

Thursday, January 01, 2009

The New Year

As I write this Lisa is revamping our website. We hope it will give a fresh look to our jewelry, and symbolize a renewed commitment to what we do at Alone Star. New designs are on the drawing board and the work tables! The year 2008 was very busy for us with other engrossing projects for which Lisa and I gave our time for others in our family. We are excited about our new beginning for this year, and to close out 2008, I am posting some pictures from our last show of the year at Mary Queen Catholic Church in Friendswood. This, of course, is an annual show that we love attending because of the atmosphere and the returning customers we always look forward to seeing. We made new friends at the show this year, so hats off to them, and we will look for you, and our growing circle of customers, next year! Thanks also to Hurrican Ike, which provided fencing used in making our tables and earring displays this year. We are moving to an open booth from now on--a necessity because of a smaller space that turned out to be a blessing in disguise for us.