Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Result: Bead Soup Jewellery!

This is what I made with the beadsoup on Friday. I still have quite a lot of soup left, let's see if I manage to make something with that this week.

Facetted Quartz Nugget Necklace

Labradorite, Smoky Quartz and Pearl Pendant

Smoky Quartz and Garnet Pendant (mine!)

Green and Dangly Earrings with Malachite, Serpentine and Peridot

Autumn Red Earrings with Garnet and Carnelian

Friday, October 2, 2009

What to do with bead soup?

If you make jewellery, you probably have a bunch of beads like these. Leftovers from finished projects, salvaged beads from bungled projects, beads you found on the floor... What to do with them? Maybe my jewellery project for today should be making something with these beads? What do you think? Any ideas?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Vacation!

Yay! I'm finally having my vacation, a full two weeks. During this time, the shops will be closed. I'm looking forward to spending time with friends and family and generally having a good time. I will still post updates on Facebook if I get the chance.

Shield Earrings with Black SpinelShield Earrings with Black Spinel

Today I packed up all my tools for the move, as they are going on the first trip on Monday. It makes me feel sad to be away from them for so long, but apart from that I'm looking forward to moving. Anyway, I hope I'll be able to sneak out pliers, wire and a small selection of beads that I can play with until we finally move in late October...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Find my Jewellery on Facebook!

I have finally joined Facebook and started a fan page for my jewellery. I'd be happy if you fan my page! I will probably be updating the fan page more frequently than this blog, mainly with pictures of new jewellery and possibly with specials and offers.

Autumn Gold Earrings The earrings above are the newest addition in my Etsy shop. They are a symphony of the highest grade gemstone beads in lovely warm autumn colours: Citrine, Hessonite garnet and Almadine garnet with gold filled wire.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I'm still here...

I have been neglecting this poor blog the last couple of weeks. My plan was (if you remember) to post once a week, on my creative Fridays. Well, we have had visitors, birthdays and other events that have stood in the way of my posting. What a sad excuse!

So, what have I been up to? I've sold at an annual local craft fair, Mullhyttemarken. This was the fourth year for me, and it went moderately well. I got to see some nice people, and sold some of my newer designs. There's a picture of my booth in my Flickr photostream.

Meanwhile, my cuff links are featured in a blogpost about birthstone jewellery by Yazmin at A Pretty Rock! It's a good read if you'd like to know more about birthstones in jewellery. I also wrote a very brief post about this a while back, which you can read here.

This Friday I finally got back to the work bench, and finished these large hook earrings with labradorite. They are available in my Etsy shop.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Romantic Rose Quartz Earrings


I haven't been blogging much the last weeks, as I've been busy with other things. Last week, for example, I cleaned up my work area and unpacked new tools, including some very nice texturising hammers. This Friday is shorter than usual, since we are going away for the weekend. But I wanted to show you these earrings before I leave - they are a part of my Wedding Collection in my Swedish webshop. If you'd like to buy them, you can either get them there or ask me to list them for you at Etsy.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Writing for the Search Engines

Last week I went to a free lecture called "Writing for the Search Engines", held by a company specialising in search engine optimization. It discussed how to get your web page higher in the Google search results. I thought I'd share the main points, as I found them to be fairly straight forward and good to keep in mind for all of us who sell online.

  • Research your keywords
What words are relevant to what you sell? Which keywords do internet users search for? There are free online tools for this, for example the Google Keyword Analysis tool that you can find at http://adwords.google.com/
  • Try it out
Try different keywords to see what works!

  • Analyze!
Register for Google Analytics to analyse the results.

When you know what your most important keywords are, use them on your web page. In the URL (if possible), in the page title, in the text. If you sell pendants, your page title (the part that’s visible in the title bar of the browser) shouldn’t be "Welcome to my page" – it should, however, contain the word "Pendants"! It’s also a good idea to have the important keywords in internal links – for example "Our handmade pendants" instead of "Our products".

This is just a very short summary, but I hope these tips can be of some help to you in your online business!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Rings

Handmade Sterling Silver Cocktail Ring with Freshwater Pearl
Handmade Sterling Silver Ring with Mother of Pearl ButtonsLast Friday I was so busy messing up a design that I forgot to write a blog post. Well, here's a belated post! Apart from the design that didn't want too behave like I wanted it to, I made a couple of rings that will soon both be available in my Etsy shop. One romantic nest ring, this time with a gorgeously white and lustrous pearl, and one with stacked re purposed vintage mother-of-pearl buttons. As a kid, I always loved sorting through the buttons in my grandmother's sewing cupboard, and this ring reminds me of those times.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Sterling Cuff Links and Sapphire Post Earrings

Not much to tell today, so I'll just show you the jewellery I made today: A pair of sterling and sapphire cuff links and a pair of sapphire post earrings.

These are my first cuff links, and I have a lot of ideas how to make them the next time. The bars have space for stamping initials or a date on them, which I think could be interesting for a groom.

The earrings are very similar to the ones I made last week, and they really are tiny, only 20 mm from top to bottom. These sapphires are cornflower blue and really adorable, and I think they look very good with the bright silver.

Monday, May 18, 2009

New Sapphire and Diamond Swirl Earrings

Just wanted to post a picture of these earrings that I finished this weekend. Unfortunately, these are not for sale, but I'll make another pair and list them at Etsy. Any suggestions what stones to use?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Hardware Store Necklaces

I have been making pendants using slightly rusty, vintage keys today. I'm calling them Hardware Store Necklaces and they are a part of my Hardware Store Jewellery line. Not sure what else will be featured there yet, but I figure I'll use at least some vintage components in each piece.

Key pendant with handmade copper toggle clasp, sodalite beads, gun metal coloured base metal ball chain

Key pendant with hammered copper rectangle and sodalite bead, gun metal coloured base metal ball chain

Key pendant on sterling silver ring, sodalite and sterling silver bead cluster, gun metal coloured base metal ball chain

I'm also reshooting a lot of my jewellery for a more uniform look. Being a transator, I found the dictionary a suitable background.

Friday, May 8, 2009

What's up?

Things have been rather quiet in my webshop and in my Etsy shop. I have been creating jewellery regularly, but not listing much. There are a couple of reasons for this: I have been thinking about quitting Etsy and focusing my energies on my own webshop. For several reasons. Mainly because I want to attract local customers in Sweden, and the whole currency thing on Etsy is not ideal for this. But then I had some problems with extended characters (åäö) not showing properly in my webshop, which made listing there a bit of a hassle. I still have not found the solution to this, and I really am loath to reinstall just to get this fixed, especially since Hannah put in a lot of work to make customizations for me.

I think I have decided not to quit Etsy, especially since launching my tutorial and selling quite a few of them there. But I have been thinking a lot lately on what sort of jewellery to list on Etsy and what sort of jewellery to list in my own webshop, and I think I'm slowly coming to some sort of conclusion. And after that, I need to create more pieces to list :-)

On the picture above is a pair of diamond and spinel ear posts. They are actually rather small, but the close up makes them look bigger. They will probably be my next tutorial project.

I wish you a wonderful weekend!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Birthstone Jewellery

I have been searching for beads to use in birthstone themed jewellery. These are the birthstones I have decided to use:

January - Garnet
February - Amethyst
March - Aquamarine
April - Clear quartz
May - Emerald
June - Pearl
July - Ruby
August - Peridot
September - Sapphire
October - Tourmaline
November - Citrine
December - Turquoise

Some of them are rather pricey, and I haven’t found perfect matches for all months yet, but hopefully I’ll get there soon. There are also any number of alternatives for each month – who knew!

This weekend I’m attending a very interesting Translating conference that I go to every year. It’s always nice meeting colleagues and talking shop, as it’s not something I get the chance to do regularly. On top of that, I also hope to get the chance to show off my jewellery, of course!

Friday, April 17, 2009

New Necklaces

Sterling silver, Hill Tribe charm and blue sapphires.

Sterling silver, smoky quartz and a Hill Tribe butterfly charm.

Sterling silver, prehnite, peridot and flourite.

These are my latest necklaces, fairly simple but very wearable models with hammered silver and gemstone clusters. What do you think?

Back from Berlin

We arrived home early Wednesday morning after two wonderful weeks in Berlin. Lots of playground time for the kids, ice cream, sun, outdoors time. Friends, family. So totally relaxing! But two weeks away means a lot to catch up on. And with the spring sun shining in on my small jewellery area, I notice I really need to clean up a bit. Well, another day... You can see more of my holiday pictures here.

Friday, April 3, 2009

I published my first tutorial!

So it's official: I published my first tutorial. It's available at jewelrylessons.com and in my destash shop at Etsy. It's an intermediate tutorial and I've kept the price in the low range, so that no one should feel they have to pass because of the price. On top of that, I'm offering blog readers a small discount on the tutorial in my Etsy shop until April 14th - mention "Easter discount" in message to seller at checkout, and I'll send a refund for 55 cents off the tutorial price!

Meanwhile, I'm on holiday in Berlin, enjoying the spring sun. It's wonderful, especially considering it was snowing when we left home on Sunday. We're visiting with relatives and friends and generally having a good time.

Ali and Sheridan, this does not mean I'm not interested in your comments! I still am :-)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Mixed Metals Experiments

Last wednesday, I had no special plan for what to do in my silversmithing course, so I decided to experiment a bit with what was at hand. I got a bunch of rusty vintage keys a while back that I wanted to do something with, jewellery wise, and I decided to solder a ring and a clasp to a chain connected to one of the keys. It turned out, however, that the chain was not sterling silver, but plated, so I had to change my plans a bit, and the result was what you can see in the picture above. The key, fastened to a hammered copper rectangle, on an oxidised plated chain with a handmade sterling clasp. Because of the chain, I'm keeping this for me, but I'm definitely going to make more vintage key jewellery!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Woven Hoop Earrings for Tutorial

I'm writing a tutorial, and today I shot all the photos needed (well, at least I hope I shot all the photos needed, or I will have to make another pair of these earrings next week). It also gave me a chance to tweak the written instructions a bit.

Unfortunately, my laptop at home is not very fast, and I will have to put off editing the photos until next week at the office.

It's been an interesting experience. I actually started planning this tutorial sometime in January, but haven't had the chance to take decent pictures until now, since I'm mostly in the office those hours when the light is best.

I would love it for someone to proof read and test drive this tutorial for me before I publish it. Feel free to volunteer by leaving a comment! I will pick out one or possibly two and send them the tutorial when it is finished.

Have a nice weekend!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Destashing - for Real This Time!

I have finally, finally started destashing on Etsy. I've been thinking about it for a long time, but now, with more time for this sort of thing, it's actually happening! Here's a sneak peak!



Thursday, March 12, 2009

Creative Fridays

I have decided to try something new for my jewellery (ad)venture - Creative Fridays. That means I have decided to only do creative things on Fridays (mostly jewellery related) instead of going to the office. It feels liberating! Today is my first Creative Friday, and I already have a long list of creative tasks that I want to go through. The first is posting this to let you know about it :-)

Up until now, I always found it difficult to know how to split my time in a good way between the translations that are my bread and butter work and the jewellery that gives nutritioun to my soul. As a result, I never really had time for jewellery, except late at night when everyone else was asleep, and when I really should have been as well. And I found it difficult to concentrate on my day job, because of the ideas swimming in my mind. This way, I hope to have more creative time, and more focus when I'm at work.

The pendant above is a result of my Wednesday evening silversmithing class. A lovely, pink 5 mm facetted amethyst is bezel set on a hammered sterling silver pendant.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My favourite Etsy bead supplies shop is for sale...

And there's nothing I can do about it. Tamara's shop BestBeads was the second Etsy shop I ever made a purchase from, and I've been returning there ever since. And now it's for sale! I'm really happy for Tamara, since the reason for the sale is that her jewellery business is going so well. But I'm really going to miss buying my beads from her. I know, I know, someone else will take over the shop, but as you learn quickly on Etsy, it's often the person behind the business that's the real reason you come back.

You can read the announcement here: http://www.mcfarlanddesigns.com/2009/02/big-news.html

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Grand Opening of My New Online Shop!

I think it's finally safe for me to announce the opening of my new web shop! I've been working on it for quite some time, with the excellent help of Hannah Salomon of Kutuu Jewellery! I still have a lot of stock that needs adding, and I'm sure there are things that still can be improved. But I'm opening anyway! (If you find something that you think needs improving, please let me know! I will reward valuable tips!)

Also, I'm offering my first 10 online customers a 20% discount! Use the coupon code "20Welcome10" (without the citation marks) to claim your discount. This offer is valid through April 15th 2009, and only once per customer.

You will find the shop here.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Copper Nest Ring with Pearl and Evening Class Musings

This ring is part of my recent work. Nest rings are so gratifying to make, they look really good and you can vary them in many ways. Copper was an unexpected success, I love the way the oxidised copper looks after I polish it to bring out the highlights.

I'm off to my silversmithing class again tonight. It's a very loose setup, since all the other "pupils" have been doing this for different lengths of time and they all have different goals. I'm not sure what my goals are. Practice soldering so that I can keep on soldering after the semester's over. Learning basic cab setting. Maybe the Swedish evening class (studiecirkel) is not the format for what I need - I think I need more technique and knowledge, instead I have a three hour period every week to freely do what I like. That's not a bad thing at all, but it may not be the thing I need to develop the skills I want. Oh well, I'll bring my new cabs tonight and see if I can get some help with learning how to set them. I somewhat regret buying them so small - 5 and 6 mm.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tagged by Katja

I was tagged by Katja on Flickr to tell 16 facts about myself. Apparently, I was also supposed to tag another unknown number of persons, but the tagging spread like wild, and before I knew it, everyone in my list was already tagged by someone else.

Anyway, here goes:

1) I'm a freelance translator. The picture is my security card from when I worked (briefly) as a translator with IBM in Kista, Sweden, about 7 years ago.

2) I speak Swedish, English and German fluently.

3) I'm a vegetarian, most of the time. I sometimes cheat and eat fish, but it's not something I'm proud of.

4) I love books. I love reading books. I love owning books. I love buying books. I love borrowing books from the library. Only, I prefer them in the original, if possible. And no, I don't translate books.

5) I'd really like to learn more languages. I took an evening class in Dutch about 8 years ago, but they don't have those where I live now, and my day doesn't have that many hours.

6) I love cooking and baking, but find I'm not very good at doing it together with the children. I'm not a very neat person, but I want things done my way when I'm in the kitchen.

7) I would like to learn more about Indian and Thai cooking. I love the spicyness!

8) I'd like to travel more, but I'm limited by economy and environmental bad conscience. I hope that our family will someday be able to take several months off and travel the world.

9) I like sunny, warm weather, but like to enjoy it while sitting in the shade.

10) I haven't had short hair since childhood.

11) I'm a very lazy, comfort loving person.

12) I used to work for WeightWatchers (for over 2 years)

13) I was politically active in my mid-teens. Strangely enough, it ended around the time when I became old enough to vote - not that I think that's the reason.

14) I don't like calling people up on the phone, I prefer e-mail and text messages. I don't mind people calling me up, though.

15) I wish we would move to Berlin (where my hb's from). He's more hesitant than I am, but we are planning a temporary move there end of the year. I'm already looking for flats on the Internet.

16) I don't remember when I last wrote down so many things about myself.

(Originally, as you can see here, I added two 5) by mistake, but I removed one here. That does not mean I don't love my children, just so you know!)