Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Post -Dia de los Muertos / Adeline's pre-Bday 30% OFF Sale!!!!

Yep, you read it right!

I have been dealing with personal stuff for a while - and I unfortunately missed my best and most wonderful excuse for a sale - Halloween!!!!

I only have one sale every year, so a good excuse had to be manufactured - this is it:

The Post Dia de los Muertos / Adeline's pre-Bday 30% OFF Sale!!!!

Two great excuses add up to ONE Great Sale!!!

From 8AM PST Nov.7, 2010 until 8AM PST Nov. 8,
All of the listed tutorials in the store will be 30% OFF!!!!

24 hrs. to get tutorials for great projects and some of the best in-depth instruction to be found in a PDF!

Dia de los Muertos : a time to reflect on what is loved and treasured, yet gone, lost or changed irrevocably - and move forward thinking of the sweet things in life!

Seems to fit, right?

Adeline's B-Day


Adeline is my red-headed wonder of a grandchild. Her b-day is on the way!

I take lots of pictures, give lots of tips, and document the boo-boos too - so you can learn to fix the mistakes that ALL of us make at one time or another.

So come on over and check it out:

Two great excuses add up to ONE Great Sale!!!

From 8AM PST Nov.7, 2010 until 8AM PST Nov. 8,
All of the listed tutorials in the store will be 30% OFF!!!!

24 hrs. to get tutorials for great projects and some of the best in-depth instruction to be found in a PDF!

When the clock chimes 8 on Monday morning here, it is don't be sorry you missed it if you can help it!


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Beautiful work & an Artist in Need

In July, an electrical fire tore through the studio of artist Kimberley Willcox. You can visit her website here.

Susan Lomuto of the Daily Art Muse was kind enough to spread the word about this tragedy. She is also sponsoring a $150 book collection give away to help raise money for Kimberley to re-establish her studio. You can see some of Kimberley's incredibly moving work, get the details (including a heart wrenching post-fire photo ) and find a link to donate here.

All I can say is there but for Grace......

Any amount of donation is appreciated - and you might just get some seriously cool books! Hurry - the giveaway ends tomorrow, Aug. 22 at 11:59 EST - but of course, the wonderful feeling of helping someone in need lasts a whole lot longer. :^D

The details of one person's journey are important to us all.

Care for yourselves so that you can care for others.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Copper Wire Jewelers - Issue 3

If this isn't covered in Awesome sauce, I don't know what is! I made the cover AND got to write an article!!! Check it out - lots of great articles by some really talented folks, not matter what metal you like to work in! And don't forget the pictures!

Lots of details to read about!


Monday, June 7, 2010

I'm tired.......

Apparently, I'm an old crone with outmoded values. I sure as hell feel like my words and values don't seem to matter too much lately. And just as apparently, many people like to close their eyes and stick their fingers in their ears and sing la-la-la-la when they encounter inconvenient truths.

So maybe I can borrow from three very great thinkers, and you can be inspired by them to just freakin' do the right thing when it comes to your work and where it comes from.

Here goes nothing:

"The dwarf sees farther than the giant, when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on."

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

<<<<<<<<Do your research, acknowledge your sources, recognize that those sources may be subconscious, graciously accept the truth from others that somebody else has done it before you got there - if they did. Don't mis-characterize your work as 'New and Improved' - that only works for toilet bowl cleaners and Sham Wow.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<If you take one single piece of another person's creative work without asking or acknowledging, you wound them - you make them live with a loss that they may not recover from. How selfish is that? But it gets worse: you wound yourself, you wound the craft that you love. How completely foolish is that??????

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

Arthur Schopenhauer


I'm tired, I'm disheartened.
I need to care for myself for a change.

Take care of yourselves, too!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

2010 - Standing up for my Values

So it is 2010. Time for introspection, re-evaluation. Time for a re-statement of my personal values.

Time, for once in my life - to say what I give a crap about without being afraid.

All my life, I've felt out of place, struggled to say the thing that will make people like me enough to listen to what I think is important. I'm done with that. Hell or high water, I'm saying it anyway. Because at at 51, it is time to be done with fear, or embrace it as a sign you are going in the right direction.

I'm really afraid I'm too old - that too much time has gone by, that no one will accept that I'm transforming myself from a persnickety, perfectionist, complaining, bitch into a person who simply tells it as she sees it, then acts accordingly.

What good is having worked to be an expert in your field if you can't share the pragmatics of that in a REAL way?

It is time to talk about the things I really believe without sugar coating. It is time to make myself proud.

To that end, here is something I'm proud of: I've always given credit for my personal inspirations in my jewelry making. It doesn't take any skin off my nose or devalue my work if I do. Yes, it goes beyond the legal requirements. It is the ethical and courteous thing to do. But it seems that courtesy and ethical practice are difficult for some people.

This is a dead horse for many people. I really don't care. Whether they are just tired of the subject or are 'protesting too much' like the lady in the play doesn't matter. What matters to me that my work and name are associated with people who do the ethical and courteous thing.

Don't get all bent and tell me we can't give credit because we would have to go back to the beginning of time. BS!!! This doesn't require a separate book of the bible - all it takes is a little painless "I was looking at so-and-so's work and got the idea for this."

That's it. That's all it takes to not be branded a thief and a liar. That's all it takes to move forward cleanly with our art and craft.

But if we fail to mention this, or worse, claim that we have not ever seen rather popular work that ours resembles, then we are at the very least, liars.

So with that in mind,I'm going to ask a question with a few links:

How can someone who made these:

admittedly from this tutorial:

Later claim that she had not seen this piece by the same tutorial writer:

While she writes a tutorial for this:

Unfortunately, she deleted all commentary that included her denial, but there are those who remember, those who actually held a conversation about it - including a digital source- the way back machine.

I really want to know how this is anywhere near ethical or courteous. Really I do. Heck, I even gladly participated in her effort to refine the double sided version of this.
I would not bother with this if she had not denied knowledge of her inspiration at the time she made the piece on a very well known site. All it would have taken is simple acknowledgment. Somebody answer and help me see this in a better light - PLEASE!

So that is my re-evaluation. I'm not sitting back and letting things like this go any more. I'm standing up for details of ethics and courtesy. And I'm going to do it when it happens.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Rose of Sharon Tutorial in my Etsy!

Now in Shaktipaj Designs Etsy shop: Rose of Sharon Pendant Tutorial!
I've been working on a secure, attractive, neat setting for a faceted stone in wire for a long time, and finally got the bugs out with this wire tutorial! This design is incredibly versatile - possibly the most useful and beautiful wire wrapped design I've ever come up with!

The stones here are 8mm faceted cubic zirconias - but it can be adapted to smaller stones -I've done 4mm faceted amethysts and am working on 3mm and 4mm flatback Swarovski crystals.

With a tweak or two, it holds rounded cabochons very securely, and Swarovski rivolis - you betcha!!!!! Here is Rita Garcia's stone cabochon piece:
(the link takes you to her Facebook profile)

You can stop during the technique process in a few places and get an attractive result. It can be plopped into almost any design at will - think of the possibilities it opens up for those of us who work in wire!!!!!!! Here's an example from Bobbi Maw at MyWiredImagination on Etsy:

I'll keep posting pics of new pieces in this technique as folks send me pics and I make them - I hope they inspire you to make beautiful wire creations!

Need more details? Keep watching the blog!

Care for yourselves gently, so that you can care for others


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Gordon Uyehara Interview!


I'm so excited!!!!

Mona Hair is interviewing metal clay artist Gordon Uyehara live on her live show 'The Jewelry Connection' tomorrow Sept. 20.
This man's work is nothing short of phenomenal, and I love the way he ties his personal philosophies in with his art.

If you wish to see more of his work, it is at HonuDream

Here is Mona's link:

Time: 12pm PST 2pm CST or 3pm EST depending on where you are in the USA; if you're in Europe show time is 9pm except in the UK where it is 8pm

If you create a user ID at the LiveVideo site you may real time text to the show and even join us with your own web cam if you so desire! Nothing at all is required to simply join the broadcast room and watch the show!

I hope to see some of you there, I've been drooling over this since she announced it - We'll all find out the details together on this one!

Care for yourselves gently so that you can care for others....


Friday, June 5, 2009

I Got Interviewed!!!!

How cool is that!!!!!! I have never had anyone ask me to be interviewed, so when Angela Neal over at The Jewelry Report asked me, I was just tickled pink, and purple, and then blue, and then back to purple!

She asked me some questions that made me think very hard, but I'm fairly sure my answers make sense for today, LOL. For everything you've ever wanted to know about me,(well, maybe not....) Just head on over HERE.

A little bird told me that she has interviewed another truly outstanding artist, so I would check back with her often. (wink, wink, nod, nod, Say No More..... But she IS in my blogroll favorites)

Hey, more details can't be a bad thing, right?????

Take care of yourselves,

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Finishing Neatly - My #1 TIP!!!

Oooh, I'll bet I got your attention with that one! Since details are what makes a piece (IMHO!!) I'm ALL ABOUT a neat finish on handmade items. I've seen people ask for critiques and complain that their wire jewelry isn't selling. Most of the time when I look at it,the major critique that I could offer is that they need practice in finishing.
Neat and intentional finishes are absolutely imperative! It is a bonus if it only takes seconds. So in the interest of creating those neat finishes in wirework, I'm going to offer my number one tip for creating a neat finish. This is an excerpt taken from my Winter Wreath Earring and Variations Tutorial. I actually love this tutorial, and teach it often - it features a simple earring style with lots of punch. But the real value is in the basic tips and technique, which make it infinitely versatile!

Here we go:
These next few steps are the method I use to get my wrap ends neat, and practically invisible. It virtually eliminates the issue of ends showing OR snagging - meaning that finding a 'no-show' place to tuck them in is a thing of the past!!!!!!!
Using chain nose pliers, flatten the end of the wire as shown. Use just enough force to flatten without too much spreading.
Create a long point on the tail by cutting a small diagonal with your flush cutters - on ONLY one side. Try to make the cut from one end of the flattened area to the other.
TIP: For this process, a short, almost horizontal cut is not useful. That's what leaves those gaps between wraps and beads!
IMPORTANT: If the pointed side is away from to the existing wraps, then the end result is almost like a flush cut, once everything is pressed down. If the point is reversed, or next to the wraps, as shown here - then it creates a more flush, but slightly conical ending that will 'disappear' into bead holes.
Lightly secure or 'tuck' the tail down onto the core wire with the chain nose pliers. Make sure the point is pressed down. Using a light pressure, rotate the pliers a few times around the wrap. I call this the 'Twist 'n Crimp' move. It doesn't take much force - just lightly skim the metal with the pliers as you rotate them. Repeat as necessary. The wrap should still be able to rotate on the core. This process is called 'burnishing'.
Because the tail was flattened, it will lie very close to the core. Because it was cut diagonally, there will not be a noticeable gap between the wrap and the subsequent work.

There you have it!

WinterWreathEarrings12Sometimes it can be difficult to tuck in that final end. Use the help of an extra set of pliers. I like bent chain nose pliers for this, because they hold the work securely, but offer more room to maneuver.
TIP:Try to stay away from your round nose pliers for this job, or any job that requires holding the wire firmly. Using them is the reason that most loops have divots and tool marks.

Hope this has been helpful, or at least enlightening. I know it seems like me being nit-picky to some folks - I hope it isn't the same ones who ask me how I get my work so neat and precise.

Be careful what you wish for, it might be far more detailed than than you thought!

Be gentle with yourselves,

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Thriving in Chaos, and A NEW Tutorial

UPDATE!!!I've been working the bugs out of the ring designs, slowly but surely! I don't release half-done poor quality tutorials that can't be repeated. That isn't worth anybody's time - I want everybody to be as successful as possible!!

"Sensitive dependance upon initial conditions."

This is one of the central premises of what scientists call "Chaos Theory." You may recognize it from a different thought process:

"The flutter of a butterfly's wings over the Sahara can cause a hurricane in Florida."

Either way, one of the things it means for us plain folks is that the smallest action can affect everything that follows, and become something grand!

Lately, I've been turning to my wired beads and remembering what got me started on my tutorial path. Shiva&quot;s Gift focalElven_Mist
Everyone asks me how I make them, and the answer is complex. Too complex for a single tutorial, by far!

So waaaay back in early 2008, I decided to start making tutorials that explained the individual elements in them. Enter the Periwinkle Bead Cap!!!
Periwinkle-Pretties It outlines the basic form of the ends of my beads, is highly decorative AND provides highly functional stability to my pieces. Many of you responded so positively to that tutorial, and I thank you so much!

After that, many people requested tutorials for different projects! As sometimes happens, the best laid plans of mice and tutorial writers oft go astray, and I left behind a 3/4 finished tutorial on the next element of my beaded wire beads.

Well, I've returned to my roots, and have finished it! I call this the Doric Column Bead, as it is the foundation and core stabilizing element for all of the spiraled beads. It also just happens to look like a set of columns in a Greek Temple! Imagine that they would have similarities!


This little hollow form is a powerhouse of versatility, and in the tutorial, I have outlined not only the instructions for the basic bead form, but several variations that should whet your wire appetite. You can see them, and all my tutorials at or visit my photostream on Flickr!

I think perfect balance and stability start with rapt attention to the starting tiny details of any project. Chaos Theory in action!

Till the next time, care for yourselves gently!