Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Wanted to take this time to Thank all of you who have gave me encouragement and have been with me through this journey of learning to make jewelry, blogging and all the other things that have gone along with it.  For me the last two years have been thinking about all I have lost and the changes my life has gone through.  It has been a rough road indeed.
Thanks to all of you I am seeing there is much more to my life.  Things are changing but it doesn't have to be bad.  I am slowly learning to move forward instead of staying stuck where I had been.  Jewelry making has been a great outlet and your encouragement has meant a great deal to me.  I may not know you in person but that does not mean our relationship is any less important.  Thank you all.  May your Thanksgiving festivities be full of love and laughter.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Things you learn.

The craft show was very fun and the sales weren't bad either.  I want to thank St. John's Church of Dover, Indiana.  They were very friendly and made the experience so pleasant.  I have never been at a craft show where they bring you a lunch menu and if you would like to order they deliver it to you.  Wonderful group around us and great customers.

We were inside but it was beautiful weather.  Sunny and very warm for this time of the year in Indiana.  It made it hard to think of snow and Christmas.  So the holiday items I had worked on did not sell very well.  I have not been doing the craft shows for very long but I have learned that you never really know what will be selling that day.  With Halloween over I almost did not to take my spider creations but at the last minute I chose to grab them.  I am so glad I did.  I sold several different spider creations but it was a conversation with a nice lady that taught me something I wanted to share with you.

The lady pointed at one of the spiders and said, "oh look a Christmas spider."  She told me she wasn't sure how the story went but that spiders are really the reason we put tinsel on Christmas trees.  That made me very curious so when I got home I did a search and here is what I found.

The Christmas Spiders

Once upon a time a long time ago.   A mother was busy cleaning her home for the most wonderful day of the year.  The day they decorated for the celebration of the Christ child.  Not a speck of dust was left.  Even the spider webs were wiped out of their cozy corners sending the spiders fleeing for the attic.

T’was Christmas Eve at last!  The tree was decorated and waiting for the Christ child to visit and bless the home.  The poor spiders in the attic were frantic because they would not be present for the Christ child’s visit.  The oldest spider suggested they creep back down and peek through a crack.  Suddenly the door opened a wee bit and the spiders scurried into the room.  Their eyes weren’t accustomed to the brightness of the room so they crept closer to the tree for a better look.  It was so beautiful they began to climb over and around every branch of the tree until they had seen every pretty thing the mother had so carefully hung.

But every where the spiders had crawled left a web.  The Christ child entered to bless the home.  He looked at the tree and smiled.  He loved the little spiders for they were God’s creatures too.  He thought of the mother who had so carefully cleaned and decorated the tree for her children and He knew she would not be happy, so He touched the tree and the webs all turned to sparkling silver and gold!

Ever since we have hung tinsel on our Christmas trees, and according to the legend it is considered good luck to include a spider among the decorations on the tree.

(This is a folk legend from Germany and Ukraine)

 Sometimes it is chance and brief meetings of strangers that can bring a blessing into your life.  I do not know this woman's name but I want to thank her for sharing this with me.  It has brought me smile and I will not look at a Christmas tree or tinsel in the same way again.  I am sure it will not make some of you like spiders any better but it is a reminder that God loves all creatures.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ringing in the Holidays

Preparing for two more up coming craft shows.  I am very excited about these.  They are a great way to grow.  I am also very blessed that I have a husband who supports me on my endeavors.  His first way of support is to buy me books to expand my knowledge on what ever I am taking on.  He also understands you need tools to work with.  I never start with top of the line tools or materials.  You need to learn and develop your craft and as you mature so can your tools and materials.  I learned that with my dog grooming business.  You can by the most expensive scissors but unless you understand how to properly use them then they are worthless.

The newest challenge I wanted to take on was rings.  I developed an adjustable ring.  This has it's advantages.  It is much easier for someone to order and be sure they are able to wear it.  The flaw with this design is the wires used to make the rings will become brittle and break after repeated bending.  The adjustable rings I started with were the spiders created for Halloween.
If the rings are adjusted to size and remain in that position they will will last a very long time but I wanted a design that was not only more sturdy but more pleasant to look at.

There are many wonderful pages, teachers and books one can turn to when learning this craft.  I chose the book "wirework" an illustrated guide to the art of wire wrapping by Dale "Cougar" Armstrong.  This book gave several variations and included a dvd.  Amazon prove to be a good place to find a mandrel for sizing the rings.

I was so excited once I got all the pieces and parts.  My first attempt was a five wire design.  I felt like I was wearing mittens and trying to type.  It was a crazy juggling act.  Trying to hold the wires and wrap and fold.  Not a pretty sight.  RETREAT!!! Back up and regroup. haha  After studying the book again I chose another design.  This one went much better and I learned the benefits of the ring mandrel.  I used the cheaper crafting wire like you buy at Walmart to learn the procedures.  When I felt I had a grasp on the steps I used silver plated wire and glass beads and swarovski beads and a few seed beads.  I let my wire whimsy go where it wanted and here is what I came up with.

After a few days of practice I did go back and attempt the five wire version again.  Here is what I came up with.
I am excited with these results.  I have much to learn and I am looking forward to experimenting more with the new found creations.
This Saturday and Sunday (November 5th & 6th) I will be at a craft show in Dover, Indiana and I am looking forward to the feed back on these rings.
Challenge yourself to learn new things about your craft.  This helps us to grow not only in our craft and creativity but also as a person.