Monday, July 7, 2014

Honoring Our Military

As the daughter of a career Naval Captain, granddaughter of a WWII veteran, daughter-in-law of a WWII veteran, and the wife of an Air Force Reserve Colonel, I know the importance of our military and the sacrifices service men's families make, especially when they are deployed overseas.   
Most often the families left behind consist of mothers with young children, no family nearby, no hired help, no time off for good behavior, no Girls' Night Out, not a lot of spending money, and no break.  Imagine working a strenuous job (because we all know Motherhood is THE MOST STRESSFUL JOB EVER) 24/7 without any backup readily available and worrying about their spouse's safety. And do they complain?  No.  My mother would wave as my father sailed off on a big ship for up to a year, turn around, march off with her 3 kids, and go buy a new dress.  I never once heard her complain that she was left to deal with everything on her own....even when the hot water heater exploded in the Utility Room.
I thought of a small way I could honor some of these women, but I need your help.  I'd like to give 10 women a token of our appreciation and support.  All you have to do is submit the name of a friend, daughter, daughter-in-law, sister, neighbor, or niece and she will be entered in this limited Military Spouse Giveaway.  At the end of July 2014 I will randomly select 10 names and will send each of these women one of these necklaces to express our gratitude to her and all that she does in support of the military.

Each etched brass tag is 1.5" and paired with aged rhinestones and a large vintage brass bead.  They secure with a solid brass shepherd's hook onto the front roped ring and measure 20" in length.  I will pick the necklace randomly, so some may have a cross or angel wing or crown and each etched design will differ.  I cannot guarantee a particular combination or design.

Here are the only requirements:

1.  Your nominee must live in the United States but have a spouse CURRENTLY DEPLOYED OVERSEAS.  While I appreciate each person who has had a family member on a deployment, I'd like to encourage those women currently in the "thick of things."

2.  The nominee must have small children.  These are the women who need the most encouragement, right?

3.  I need the full name and address of the person you'd like to thank.  I'd also like your name and address. 

4.  I will include a personal note from you, so please let me know what you'd like the note to read.  If you'd rather it just be anonymous, I can include a note of encouragement without your name.

5. Please DO NOT leave any personal information on In Small Spectacles' Facebook page or in the comment section here.  For the safety of their family, I'd like this to be done blindly. 

All nominee information can be e-mailed to me at InSmallSpectacles@gmail.com or private messaged to me on the In Small Spectacles Facebook Page.  If you haven't liked the Facebook Page, go for it!  It's where I update more regularly.

My hope and prayer is that the recipient will feel loved, encouraged, and supported during what may be the most difficult time of her life.  That she will know people see what a great job she is doing and are proud of her.

PLEASE share this with your friends, too.  If this is successful, I'd like to do this at Christmastime and on a larger scale, so thanks in advance for being a part of this!

Sara

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Vintage Crystals

I started out making jewelry using old chandelier crystals my twin sister and I would play with as children.  I wrote about it in a blog post a while ago and you can find that here.  I still continue to use them in my jewelry inventory and I love to decorate with them throughout my home.  They catch the light in unexpected ways and a shot of sparkle never hurt anyone, did it?  My front door has a floral arrangement with some vintage crystals in it and I like to think that when the sun hits them, a visitor at my door is given an extra special greeting.

Here are some new pieces I've made with some antique crystals I recently brought home with me: 

 







 
Each crystal is hand wrapped with solid brass wire that I've aged and polished and hung from vintage solid brass beads.  The necklaces have more vintage beads and aged rhinestone filigrees.  I love the Old World feeling of the glass and their eclectic vibe.  Still edgy but classic.   
 
They are currently ready to purchase in the Etsy Shop
 
Hope you're having a great Summer so far!
 
Sara

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Jewelry Affaire Summer 2014

I was THRILLED to receive my artist copy of "Jewelry Affaire" magazine.  The Summer 2014 issue is incredible and I'm so thankful to be featured with all of the talented artists.  The issue will be available July 1st. 

http://stampington.com/Jewelry-Affaire-Summer-2014
  
Thanks for stopping by!
 
Sara

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Update

I've been super busy with Spring/Summer show applications, making inventory for these shows, and trying new techniques.  I juried into some really outstanding shows, so I am grateful and excited about that.  To keep updated on my show schedule, please refer to my sidebar tab with links.

I also received my tentative "Jewelry Affaire" layout that will be available July 1st.  It looks great, and I cannot wait to get the final copy in my hands!

Here is this year's video gallery of my most recent work.  Enjoy!




Thanks for stopping by!

Sara

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Soldered Bottles

There is a restaurant here in Cincinnati called Scotti's and the food is fabulous.  It's a very small, dark cozy place, looks just like something from "The Godfather."  They are famous for these old wine bottles that have YEARS of candle wax that has dripped from the candles stuck in the mouths of the bottles.  It got me thinking about what I could do to some old glass bottles I've had for a couple of years that would be similar to these bottles at Scotti's.  Here's the result:


Each bottle is filled with crushed iridescent shells and sparkly terra-cotta or black sand.



INCREDIBLE chandelier crystals, some vintage Swarovski!



Embellished with old lace, etched brass tags...


...aged rhinestones, vintage brass crosses....


...old keys, crucifixes, hymns...


...Scripture, sheet music, French text...TONS!


These will be at the Cherokee Triangle Art Fair at the end of April.  Hope to see you there!

Enjoy your day,

Sara

Monday, February 10, 2014

Woof!

Some fun 2" solid brass vintage dog tags embellished with filigree and old rhinestone.  Necklace are made from solid brass vintage beads, aged rhinestone, and mercury glass beads end capped with filigree.







Have a great week!

Sara

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Jewelry Storage Idea

Those who know me well know I have a lot of jewelry.  I have almost every piece of jewelry I have ever bought, inherited, been gifted, and made.  Translation:  my collection is HUGE.  I used to sort it, seal the pieces in air tight bags, and then put them in an old dresser I refinished.  My problem was that I wasn't able to see everything that I had, so only the pieces I wore more regularly made the cut when deciding what to wear.

A few years ago an idea came to me to display/store the pieces the same way people store/ their tools:  on pegboard mounted on a wall.  Pegboard is typically mounted on studs so that the hooks have the empty space in between the studs and behind the holes to go into.  You can't just hag a piece of pegboard on a wall and have it work.

Or can you....?

You can if you frame it on the back so that it floats at least an inch away from the wall.  I moved my closet space and had to make another jewelry pegboard, so I thought I'd share the process.

You'll need:
  • Peg board
  • 1" x 2" pieces of wood
  • Peg Board Hooks
  • Drywall screws with anchors (2")
  • Drywall screws 2"
  • Wood screws .75" - 1"
  • Drill, drill bits, and hammer
Measure the space where you want to hang your peg board display.  It can be an entire wall or just a portion.  Pick out your pegboard and get about 2, 1" x 2" long pieces of wood.  I had the hardware store cut everything for me in the dimensions I need. 



 Because the pieces of wood are going to frame the back of the peg board, use the same vertical dimensions, but subtract 4" from each horizontal measurement.  The back will look like this:.  


Put the boards on the floor in the formation it will be behind the peg board.  Place the pegboard on top with the front facing up.  Match up the wood frame with the edges of the peg board.  Screw the peg board into the wood pieces using the .75" wood screws.  





Along each corner and a couple times on each side, pre drill holes all the way through on each edge.  Have someone hold the framed pegboard on the wall exactly where you want it, and mark through these pre drilled holes on the wall.  Remove the pegboard and drill and insert the 2" drywall anchors in those marked spots.

Have someone hold the peg board and match up the holes with the holes in the wall.  Drill the 2" dry wall screws into the anchors on the wall.  It should stay up, so your friend doesn't have to continue holding the board up.  Along the edges, drill in the 2" drywall screws into the wall.  Now your pegboard is mounted sturdily onto the wall and ready to be used!  You can paint it the same color as the wall to make it look more built in.  


If you are unsure about what kind of hooks to buy, Home Depot has pegboard kits that are more cost effective and you'll have everything you need for your project.  The cups can be used to store earrings and there are pegboard baskets that really work well for cuffs.  


I use my pegboard for mostly necklaces and chain bracelets as I was able to repurpose an over-the-door shoe organizer for bangles.  






Hope this is helpful for you!

Sara


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Stamped Solder

I have been experimenting with stamping solder once it's liquefied and playing with the different patterns and textures that magically appear.  A nod to etching in that the metal gets a big punch of interest, but much different in that the patterns, no matter what stamp I use, have a much more freeform appearance to them.  Often times I will etch some brass with several different patterns to get a collage look, but I'm finding the stamped solder has an organic feel to it.  Also, I want to incorporate more silver tones in my pieces to satisfy those customers who lean in that metal tone direction.

To give you an idea of where I'm going, here are two familiar designs I already have in my inventory, the demi cuff and the wrap bracelet, but I'm using the stamped solder as the focal:

 






I will use nickel as the foundation so that it looks more finished underneath, but if someone has an allergy to nickel I can easily substitute solid copper or solid brass instead. Check back in the Etsy Shop soon to see these and other stamped soldered pieces.

As always, thank you for your interest!

Sara