Black lip shell, pearl, sterling silver.
Nephrite jade, serpentine, pearls, silver.
You know what the problem with winter is? (apart from the whole "it's so cold I can't tell if my nose is still attached to my face" type thing, I mean).

The problem is layers. One wears a jumper and a jacket and a coat and a scarf and whatever else... and by the time you walk out the door that great necklace you put on is hidden and nobody can see it.

The solution is thusly:

See? A large necklace, one that won't get lost amongst layers. Not so large that it can't be worn at other times of the year, but large enough to be seen when bulky jumpers get in the way. That heart is 5 centimetres across each way, 2 inches! Nice, yeah? It's cappuccino jasper, and though admittedly I don't know if cappuccino jasper is recognised as a jasper variety, it sure looks good.

I've made a variety of these, I'm going to upload photos now that I'm back blogging - moving is a pain in the pattootie, truly (I've never used that word before, but it's safer than the words I really want to use). I've still not finished setting myself up properly - I've more space, but less storage, if that makes any sense.

So that necklace? $90 including shipping in the USA. A bargain when you consider it's a one off, don't you think?

Did you choose a Christmas present for yourself yet? Maybe it's time to start looking...
When bead meets floor...

$44.44 plus shipping.

I need to be more careful.
Each day I see more and more things available for sale on etsy (jewellery section) which are evidently manufactured, and not designed and made by hand.

Not only is it disheartening for those of us trying to sell things we've designed and made ourselves, it dilutes the value of the site.

It's one thing to incorporate a mass-made pendant into a necklace you've designed; it's quite another to claim you've made a pendant which is obviously mass-made in Indonesia. I recognise a pendant that's been made in Indonesia, don't claim you made it in your smoke-free home in Pennsylvania. Yes, the pendant you're trying to paw off as hand-made probably IS hand-made, by somebody who gets 2 US cents an hour, who makes hundreds of them per day, who had no input into the design. Somebody who is not you.

Ditto for the manufactured diamond rings available.

There's a special quality to an item that has been made with love and care, that is limited edition or one of a kind, there's a special charm to these items. Don't contaminate that with mass-produced, repetitive, mechanical stuff.

On a lighter note, after years of making jewellery, I finally have some of my things in a store - a high end jewellery store on Walnut Street in Philadelphia. Woot!

And on a not-so-light note, we have to move. The owner of the house needs the space, and we've been asked to leave. My husband's been living here for 10 years, and I had hoped we'd stay here a bit longer - not 14 months ago I moved from Sydney, I thought I was set for a while, I thought I'd paid my "moving" dues! Alas, it's not to be.
This is my newest fish hook; I was having difficulties getting it crispy shiny, so I decided to go the other way, and I gotta say... I love it! It looks like it's been put through the ringer and come through the other end with a wealth of knowledge.

Sometimes it takes me longer than anticipated to finish something, and then I do finish it and the satisfaction is amazing!
I believe I first mentioned the Maori fish hooks here; I love Hei Matau, and I've made several through the years... now I've made some more, one of which I've listed in the shop.

I'll be listing more soon - I have four carved hooks finished, and 5 or 6 made from sheet metal about to be finalized. Exciting!
I love looking through etsy, looking at what's available for sale and how it's been photographed. You learn a lot just looking at the photos, from what works and doesn't to personal preferences.

One of my personal preferences is to not include faces; I want to look at the jewellery, not at the face. I like it when necklaces are photographed on a neck because it gives you a great way of gauging size and length... but don't show your face, and specially (most specially!) don't show your face if you're frowning!!
I've spent the last twelve months comparing life in Philadelphia to life in Sydney; it seems I keep finding things that are different, even after all this time.

For example: did you know that the solder wire here is thicker than in Sydney? You'd think it wouldn't matter, but it actually does - after soldering with the same solder for five years, suddenly the wire is thicker and takes longer to melt... weird.

I'm blaming that difference on the difficulty I had with this pendant *nod*.

I like it anyway.

When I went to New Zealand in 2003 I spent some time window shopping at the local bead shop and I have a very clear memory of the wall full of shell stuff - beads and leaves and all sorts of bits and pieces. T'was wonderful, and I can't help but go back to that moment every time I see the shell carvings available for jewellery making.