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Spring cleaning

A while ago I posted that I was making changes to the AnneMade Jewelry website.  Some of these were cosmetic with a new font and navigational links, and others were with the content like removing my classes page because right now I’m trying to focus on being a good mom.  (Sorry, ladies!  That was a tough decision.)

I also decided to move all my online jewelry listings to my Etsy shop.  That way I can take advantage of having four or five pictures of a piece so hopefully it’s more clear as far as the scale of each piece and what it looks like from different angles.  I have tried to get web developers to give me that capability within one window on my site, but the bottom line is that Etsy is a good system so I’m going to let them show off my jewelry.  Registration is necessary to purchase a piece, but it’s quick and easy and Etsy is chock full of artisan-made items, everything from aprons to wheel-thrown mugs.

I will still update the Design Archive pages so you can see what I’ve been making and perhaps get ideas for a piece for me to make just for you, like this ring I just made for a gal named Jill.

My jewelry tutorials and jewelry kits are still for sale on the AnneMade Jewelry website, and I’ve been working on some new techniques!

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New Tutorial

Steve and I just visited the Outer Banks, and for a couple days it poured down rain. So I was on the sofa with my laptop, doing a little web surfing and, more notably, writing the Spinning Wheel Pendant Tutorial.  Riveting is fun, especially tube-riveting (because I find it easier than wire-riveting). It may seem like a long list of tools and supplies, but many of them are basic jeweler’s tools or items you can find at a hardware store, and you can buy the kit ($20 including the tutorial) if you want to skip the drill, saw, and file steps. It’s a great way to dress up a basic stamped name necklace for a new level of cool Mom Jewelry. I have other *riveting* tutorial projects up my sleeve, including one with PMC and another that covers wire rivets, so stay tuned!

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Quick trip

Steve and I took a quick trip to Delaware this week. I got to visit with Connie at Sparkles Bead Shop a little this morning, which was so precious. Olivia’s sweet little face was even posted on the bulletin board!

I really do miss teaching classes at the shop, and I miss the students and hearing what’s new in their lives and seeing what they make with the techniques they learned in class. Not to mention it got me out of the house.

I work from home and when Steve travels for work I get really starved for conversation. Fortunately my friend Lauren has been helping me out lately, which in turn makes me a lot more productive. (The Laptop Lid Closing plan didn’t stick.) If Lauren is at the computer listing items on Etsy, then I’m relegated to the workbench to work on my fall collection.

Feel free to drop me a line and let me know what you’d like to see, jewelry or tutorials. I appreciate the human contact!

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Beaded Branches

I have been offering a tutorial on how to make a Beaded Branches Pin. It included brief bonus instructions on how to transfer those skills to make a necklace. Now I have posted the full Beaded Branches Necklace tutorial complete with step-by-step instructions and lots of pictures. This is a great technique for weddings, whether you’re just going as a guest or you’re making “something new” for the bride to wear on her big day.

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New products, lower prices!

As previously mentioned, I’ve had a Puffy Heart Addendum in the works, as well as one for the Princess Pillow tutorial, which show you how to make gradient patterns for these pendants.

They are newly listed with my other jewelry tutorials and kits, many of whom have LOWER PRICES! I just switched download servers which saves me money and I’m passing the savings on to my customers. This also uses one shopping cart for both tangible and downloadable goods, so you no longer have to check out twice if you want to order say, the Viking Weave tutorial and the tools that go with it.

AND until I have a chance to do the coding to apply the usual $3 shipping charge to tangibles and not to downloads, I’m offering free shipping on all items on the AnneMade Jewelry website. Go nuts!

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Rainbow heart

The baby is napping well and Mother’s Day is out of the way, so I’m trying to get to some things I’ve had on the back burner like writing new tutorials. Here’s a sneak peek at a new twist that a customer asked me to figure out — a rainbow Puffy Heart. I’m also working on a color-gradient addendum for this and the Princess Pillow tutorials.

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Tutorials update

I always get a kick out of trying a new technique, and this one lends itself well to a kit so I am *hoping* to be able to offer it in early 2009. I call it the Sparkle Link Bracelet, and the sparkles come from both Swarovski crystal rings and twisted sterling silver rings that catch the light beautifully. (If only we had a sunny day to make it really sparkle on camera!) This bracelet was completed with Tabac-colored Swarovski rings, and I also have a Light Volcano set with springy pastels waiting on my bench.

In other news, I’ve closed my Etsy shop temporarily to give myself a break for baby-wrangling. In the meantime I activated the download links for all of my tutorials on my main website’s Kits & Tutorials Page. (Normally I’m not allowed to cross-list items on Etsy that I sell elsewhere, but with my Etsy store closed the tutorials are currently available in only one location.)

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Drawplate + Mandrel

If you want to try Viking Weave (Viking Knit) and have trouble finding the specialty tools, I have just listed them on my Kits Page. They have always been included in the kit, but now you can buy just the wooden tools if you have the tutorial and want to gather the sterling silver parts (wire, cones, & clasp) on your own.
A behind-the-scenes little tidbit… In an effort to outsource some of the hats I wear with AnneMade Jewelry, the mandrels and drawplates are now being crafted by my sawdust-lovin’ brother, Tom. He’s anal an engineering type, which means the holes are plentiful, spaced precisely, and drilled with a countersink bit which acts like a funnel when you pull the weave through each hole. In his defense I asked him to stop short of finishing these like cabinetry since they are utilitarian and not meant for display. I think it was a little painful for him to *just* sand them because he even beveled the edges. Thanks, bro!