Tuesday, November 24, 2009

hard to buy for?

I have been told, numerous times, by different people that I am hard to buy gifts for. I have people in my life who I find it difficult to find that perfect gift for as well, and can sympathize. When times are tough, and there may be less cash available to spend on gifts, it is more important than ever to find a gift that will be adored by the recipient. I think I have found a handy little tool that might just ease some gift buying stress out there.

You probably already know about the Amazon Wish List. Well, Amazon has improved upon that. Everything in the world is not available through Amazon (hard to believe, I know), and to remedy this situation, they have created the Universal Wish List button. This creates a button on your browser tool bar that allows you to add any item, from any store on the web to your Amazon Wish List. So, although I don’t have the capability to have a wish list on Pulled Sugar Designs, you could add things from my store to your Amazon list. This also consolidates all of your desires onto one single list, instead of having lists on several different sites. This is so cool. I have added jewelry making equipment, items from favorite Etsy stores, all different things to my own wish list. You can then add a Wish List button to your blog, or send out an email to people looking for gift ideas that includes a link to your wish list.

I prefer it if I am inspired spontaneously to buy a gift for someone. Sometimes inspiration needs a push, and this button may be just the thing.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

what makes YOU happy?


here are a selection of things that have made me happy recently:


this is a crazy little solid perfume I found at Sephora-it’s not only the scent that makes me happy- look at the adorable box it comes in, just too pretty.  I should have snapped a photo of the actual perfume- its like a tiny solid deodorant that rolls up and down.


another thing that makes me happy- Happytape!  This assortment, called oragami, comes in its own diminutive dispenser box. 


The tape is made from japanese washi paper, slightly translucent, and oh so fun!  I use it to package my baubles:


crazy eggs that my friend’s father’s chickens lay (I’m not even sure I got that right)


I didn’t do the greatest job of photographing these eggs so that you can see the differences in them. The front, white egg is an “extra large egg” from Costco, the middle brown egg is another one of Buzzy’s eggs, the last one is the biggest chicken egg I have ever seen.  Here are two close ups:

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The egg is actually all crinkled on top.  I just imagine that chicken trying to force that big old egg out- ouch!

my new work area makes me very happy!

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I haven’t moved everything down yet.  I move something, use it, figure out where to put it, maybe move it again.  The only problem I see is that the wooden potting bench that I am using is not “solid” enough (for lack of a better word) for any real hammering/pounding I may do.  When I punch out circles of metal, for example, I have to put the cutter on the floor because the surface of the table is too “bouncy” (I know there are actual terms for what I am trying to describe, but the vocabulary eludes me).  Anyway, it is very convenient.  Behind me, there is a double basin slop sink, one bay of which is completely stained with etching chemicals.  The other basin is fitted with a stainless steel strainer for my tumbling shot to be drained and rinsed.

The last thing that made me very happy this past week was “Fantasy Thanksgiving”, a holiday I made up so that I could spend time with friends and family who couldn’t possibly all fit around my Thanksgiving table.


Here is my lovely vegetarian  sister-in-law proudly displaying her first ever roast turkey!



IMG_8054 we set up a family portrait area





a family portrait (of family that was around at that moment)




snapped a shot three seconds before that little truck became airborn…




we had a kids activity table, and music and some games.  And FOOD, copious amounts of delicious FOOD, more food than you could imagine.  Throwing a potluck dinner is good fun, I highly recommend it.  I also can’t extole the wonderfullness of making up your own holidays- why should Hallmark get all that fun?  Pick a day, call it what you will, and get as many loved ones together as you can!

So, in honor of Thanksgiving, and what it means, think about what makes you happy, and what and who in you life brings warmth and a smile to your heart, and celebrate those people, places and things!

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

new color options available


I really like being able to go down into my workspace and create all by my lonesome.  I also appreciate that many of my projects are portable, so I can bring them up and work while watching television.  It did drive my husband a little batty that I kept digging through my bead bin while V was on last night.  The rustling of all those little baggies was apparently distracting.  Well, we got through it “whew!”, and I have a total of four color combinations to chose from in the large teardrop earrings I have on sale as the Item of the Week in my store.  I hope to have the smaller version of this earring up this weekend.  Here is a self portrait snapped wearing the Garnet and Rose Quartz combination so you get an idea of their size.


As you can see,even though they have presence, they don’t pull on my lobes (which are quite soft and susceptible to “large earring drag”).

I guess that is all for now.  I will also be posting pics of my workbench soon, before it becomes completely submerged in metal and stone!

Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

leaves, and onions and shells, oh my

I have to say that the best thing I have done for myself lately is to set up my workshop in the utility room.  Our laundry/utility room is on the lower level of our townhome, is a good size and was being under utilized.  It took a lot of fortitude and trips up and down the stairs, but it has been completely worth the effort . I am not entirely finished.  I made a commitment to myself that I would not rush this process, so I have been bringing things down from my upstairs work area (desk) bit by bit.  I will work on something, bring down the tools/supplies necessary and then decide as I am working where to store it, where on my bench does this tool make sense.  If you are trying to organize any workspace such as this, I can’t recommend this method enough.  I realize it is probably not  feasible for everyone, but if you have the opportunity to do it this way, try it!

So, what are the fruits of these labors, you ask?  I needed more earrings for my site, and I love this bulbous tear shape, and I love to wire wrap, and I am really working on my soldering skills:


they are going up on Pulled Sugar Designs today.  They will start as the item of the week, but then will move into regular stock items, along with additional color combinations and a smaller size as well.  These are pretty large, at least 3 1/2 inches long, but are SO featherweight, really comfy, and swingy and fun.  They will be on sale while they are the item of the week.

I also created this ring:


please ignore my heinous knuckles in this picture- I snapped it quickly before work.  The band is quite wide- 1/4 of an inch.  The leaf is hand forged and pierced from etched copper.  I’ve been wearing it all day today, and am quite pleased with the comfort of this ring.  I did realize why I do not like to make rings.  Earring and necklaces, once you put them on, you don’t really look at them all day long.  A ring however (and to a lesser degree a bracelet)  you can stare at ALL DAY LONG.  It is on your hand, it catches your eye, you wash your hands, etc.  If there is a tiny imperfection, I will stare at that minor scratch/dent/(in this case tiny spot of solder on the bottom of the leaf) and will not be able to concentrate on anything else about the piece.  And so although I try to make all my pieces of jewelry as perfect as possible, a ring to me is the most unforgiving accessory there is.

I also worked on these fun chandelier earrings:


They are near impossible to photograph so that they look as pretty as they are.  They are dyed shell, in little shapes, accented with sparkly faceted glass and sterling wire.  There will be at least one additional color choice with these guys.  They are dangly, but not too long- approximately 2 inches form the ear wire.

Okay, two posts in as many days, kind of scary, I now.

Thanks for checking me out-


Monday, November 9, 2009

new, new, new

Well, with the brainstorming assistance of Janis and Abbi, I have selected a NEW name for my business. I wanted the new name to reflect on my foodie past, and just sound neat-o, so I am pleased to introduce Pulled Sugar Designs.

For the month of November, both sites will feature identical merchandise. After November, Little Epiphany will feature only my Christian inspired designs, and Pulled Sugar Designs will be everything else.

Abbi has offered to rework the Dahlia logo she designed for Little Epiphany to match my new esthetic (so generous, and I am so grateful). That is probably the last non-jewelry production related item to take care of for now. I am however, toying with the idea of splitting my blog in two- having a Pulled Sugar blog, it would cover jewelry and my business, and then keeping Little Epiphany, but focusing on life and everything else over there.

Speaking of jewelry, here is a mixed media piece I donated to the Women Who Care kickoff event held recently in PA. It is copper, etched brass, Idolite nuggets and Shrinky-Dink plastic pieces.


I riveted one of the poly shrink pieces to the etched brass. It was very difficult due to the brittle nature of the poly shrink once it has been baked, but after a couple of failed (broken) attempts, I got it!

Here is another completed piece I have donated to the ECCOTA Gala. African turquoise, serpentine and copper. It is a weighty piece, but very comfortable. I wore it to work during the week (I often do this to make sure a piece is comfortable and or sturdy) and it really perked up an otherwise plain outfit of slacks and jewel-neck black sweater. I think I will offer a similar piece on my website for sale soon.

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I really enjoyed creating the different copper “cap” elements for the African turquoise beads.

I will be loading up some new items for sale this weekend, and will be offering a special coupon code for black Friday, so get ready to shop from the comfort of your home!