Saturday, June 11, 2011

New blog at WordPress

I've moved my blog to - http://artzjewelry.wordpress.com/

Please follow me there.  Im sorry for my lack of response to your comments here.   I was not able to, or could not figure out how to respond to comments.    

I will now be able to do that at WordPress!!!!!   Yay!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

This week's featured artisan - Tali's Creations


This weeks Featured Artisan is Tali - Tali's Creations! Beautiful creations by a beautiful lady! You can find Tali's Creations at:




Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Artfire- The best online marketplace

This is a picture of my Artfire studio, http://zoraida.artfire.com/  where I sell my handmade jewelry.  Don't you think it's attractive?
I think Artfire is the best online marketplace out there.  I’ve tried several others and dropped every one.  They were learning experiences at best which did help me to appreciate Artfire more. Here are some reasons why I think Artfire is great: 

  • Artfire studios are beautiful.  The banners are large and you can upload your own image in sizes big enough to really pop.  This can be personalized to be very attractive and distinctive.  I’ve had shops on two very well known online marketplaces, and some lesser known sites, all of which I no longer use.  The overall appearance of the shops on the best known of these marketplaces is extremely dull to me. There is a consistent monotony throughout the shops that makes it difficult to distinguish one from the other. They all seem to have a bland appearance that detracts from the artistry of the sellers. I also found them somewhat difficult to navigate and disliked the tiny, barely visible, almost hidden, shop name in tiny print.

  • Artfire shops are as beautiful and attractive as you want to make them. Each shop is distinctive and unique. As an artist, the look of my studio is extremely important to me. I want to be able to distinguish the different pages easily and for everyone to see the name of the studio they’re visiting.   
  • Artfire has no insertion fees. You can list an endless number of items in your shop at no additional costs.  There is no time limit on your item listings so you don’t have to relist your items.   
  • Artfire is extremely easy to use.  I am not especially accomplished at the computer.  Building websites is not something I can do.  I want to spend as little time designing my shop as I can so that I can create my jewelry instead.  The help guides, the customer service, the forums and the guilds are wonderful.  All of the technical aspects of selling are done for you.  My daughter has opened a studio on Artfire as well- http://tatsushop.artfire.com  She has many sites and is very good at designing them but prefers Artfire! . 
  • The ability to include up to ten, large images for each item is an additional plus. You can be very creative with your photos instead of limiting them to four or five of your “best” images.      
  • Artfire is very inexpensive to maintain with a very low monthly fee.  I was lucky enough to get in during the big promotion and pay only $5.95 per month.  That is incredible!
  •  I love it that I can inset widgets that link to my various interests right on my shop pages as well as links to my facebook , twitter, and this blog.   You can  maintain a blog on your shop to update and add photos, links, whatever. There is also a gallery for you to dress up with photos of items you’ve sold on Artfire or elsewhere. 
  • There is wonderful community feeling on Artfire with many guilds, forums and, one of my favorite things to do - create collections to showcase the work of other artisans. 
  • The Artfire Kiosk on my facebook business page http://www.facebook.com/artzjewlery  is a wonderful tool.  Fans can like, view interact and shop right from facebook.  That is awesome!
I can probably list another dozen things I love about Artfire but I think you should check it out yourself.  Once you do, I’m pretty sure you’ll want to set up shop there.  http://www.artfire.com/users/zoraida/sell-crafts  There's  good reason why Artfire in Number One.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Featured Artist - Sam Bros

I attended the Asian American Festival at Hempstead, NY and it was a cultural feast.  I posted some photos on my facebook page http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000915436697#!/media/set/?set=a.209992405707939.52964.100000915436697  for all to enjoy.

One of the vendors at the fair was Shinrin Art (Sam Bros) who has an online shop on Artifre - http://tatsushop.artfire.com/

Sam is an American Manga artist and an awesome photographer.  She has published two manga (Japanese graphic novels) thus far and is working on her third.  These manga are of her own character, Ronin Yoshino and she has done extensive research on Japanese culture and history to create an authentic feeling.   The story is a fantasy,  full of mythical beings, great adventures and is quite intriguing.   Her work is amazing!

Sam begins her illustrations by creating a pencil drawing in fine line. She then inks it in, scans it, and finally colors it on her computer.   The result is fantastic.  She has a keen eye for detail her compostions are beautiful.  

Sam is also a photographer.  She is most interested in nature, wildlife,  cultural events, and some current events as well. 

Visit her shop at http://tatsushop.artfire.com/  where you can connect to her various websites, blogs and more. 
Here are samples of her art: 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How to make copper leaf earrings

Copper Leaf Earrings
Copper Leaf Earrings
These simple earrings were my first attempt at working with copper sheet (36 gauge).  I didn't think they were good enough to display but I do like the way they turned out, so here they are.

To create them, I cut a section of copper sheet and drew some leaves on it with a regular pen.

I then cut out the leaves with my brand new shears and filed and sanded around the edges to eliminate the sharp edges.

I should have used some kind of glove, but I didn't have any and was anxious to get started.

I punched holes at the top of each leaf with a small hole punching thing I've had for years and used to make holes in coins.

Next, I decided which side of the leaves would be the front, slightly folded them in that direction then reopened them to create a crease down the center.

From the back of the leaves I worked a pencil point to rub between the veins in the leaves to make them puff out and create some texture.

Finally, I twisted the leaves a little at various points to make them look more realistic.

I attached a 20 gauge copper wire about 2" long with a small loop through the hole in the leaf.

I added a bead for weight and color (the leaf is very light weight which gives them nice movement).

The wire was then shaped to form the earwire, hammered a little, and the ends rounded with a file.


So here they are. I hope someone else likes them too.

Carnelian, Copper, Spirals and Links



Lately I find myself making simple links, jump rings, spirals and clasps whenever I feel a lack of inspiration. I find it an interesting and relaxing past time while I sit out my "funk".

Step pliers are an awesome invention, so are bail making pliers. I really like tools!

So as a result of this activity, I have made a collection of different sized little components to play with. Like tiny puzzle pieces, I shift them around to form patterns and add beads until the light blub
in my head turns on.

I've repeated this process often in earlier pieces and I'm usually happy with the results. They may not be examples of great wirework, but I do like the overall designs.

This is how I came to design this necklace.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Creative Addiction Disorder?

  
I got up in this morning with an overwhelming need to create something.  I rumage through my stash of beads, wire and leftover projects till the tiny spark of an idea lights up.  Sketching furiously and laying out pieces of my stash, I rearrange them continuously until – I’ve got it.  I know what I’m going to make!
Hours go by without my noticing them.  My stomach growls, I forgot to eat.  I tell myself I’ll eat as soon as I finish this one part.  I complete another section, then another.  Can’t seem to stop at this point, I’m almost done!
Another hour goes by.  I’m beginning to slow down or perhaps I’m running out of energy. I must at least go to the bathroom.  Relunctantly, I go to the bathroom taking my work in progress with me to stare at and visualize the final product.  I get back to work quickly, fixing and changing little things it here and there. 
Finally, it’s finished!   Now I have to photograph it, edit it, list it and post it.  
I think I’ll eat something, and I should do some laundry, clean the house and feed the pets. I realized that I didn’t have a single thought about anything else this whole time. 
Do I have a problem?

Lapiz, Copper and Brass necklace

I just recently finished this piece and was very reluctant to post it.  I'm selfish that way.

http://www.making-jewelry-now.com/lapiz-copper-link-necklace.html

Kiwi Jasper & Copper Necklace

This is my Kiwi Jasper necklace.                               
http://www.making-jewelry-now.com/kiwi-jasper-copper-necklace.html

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Red & Green Jade Collar



A collar of red and green jade with handmade copper link

I submitted this photo to one of my very favorite jewelry networks  - Making Jewelry Now  http://www.making-jewelry-now.com/red-green-jade-collar.html#comments

Saturday, April 23, 2011

About me

Hello, I'm Zoraida and this is my first blog post here although I do have a blog on my Artfire studio – http://zoraida.artfire.com .  I’m excited to start posting and hope that eventually, I’ll be good at it.    
I am an artist at heart- I love to draw, especially in color pencil and I sometimes work in pastels, creating illustrations of natural things like, birds and flowers.  I also enjoy craft of all kinds.  Crochet, calligraphy, painting bird houses - anything made with by my own hands. 
As a person in love with the natural world , I also embrace natural health.  I have a BS in natural health with an herbal studies specialization.  While I don’t work in that field, it is an everyday part of my life.
Creating jewelry is a passion of mine.  I love working with wire especially combined with semi-precious gemstones.  Copper has become my metal of choice not only because of its’ affordability, but I’ve come  appreciate all of the colors and the malleability of this metal.
 Copper is wonderful to bend and twist into all sorts of designs.  It can be bright and shiny, antiqued to look like an heirloom piece or imbued with a color patina.  All of these look fabulous in jewelry and sculpture.  
I have to admit that at one time I looked down on copper in jewelry and would not have considered it worthy in terms of good jewelry. Copper is still considered fashion jewelry by many and although there is nothing wrong with that, I do think it deserves a higher ranking.  It is the first metal to have been mined and there are many examples of ancient jewelry and other artifacts in copper still around today.  Many of which have been decorated with fine gems.