Category Archives: craftshows

Burnout & Inspiration

Sapphire Gold Necklace

Sapphire ~ Diamond ~ 14K Gold ~ Iron ~ Stone ~ Sterling & Leather

I was talking to a friend this week, another artist, she is burned out. I feel for her and honestly it’s hard for me to relate. I suffer from burnout for about 3 minutes and then it passes when a thousand light bulbs go off in my head for the zillion ideas I will never life long enough to create. I guess I should consider myself lucky?

Ok, Luck, you sassy little fellow you, bestowing your gifts on only the ‘Lucky’ few, let us consider the alternatives for myself (everyone is different~ I used to be an RN) which are as follows: Get up at zero-dark thirty and commute 30 minutes one way to a hospital leaving your home at 5:45 am, kids getting up on their own eating nothing/eating garbage, kids coming home on their own~doing God knows what while I get home whenever someone decides my day is done, driving 30 minutes home, leaving my house at 5 am because of 3-16 inches of snow or 20 below zero, working in a place that does not even know my name, caring like crazy about what I am doing at work and no one else gives a damn, taking care of people was priceless ~ I truly loved it, taking care of people that want it all ~ want it now ~ want it fast and want it free ~ not so priceless but it has to be done anyway, having a day at work when I cannot get a drink of water/use the bathroom let alone eat something ~ this is common for every nurse I have ever known, getting a raise based upon secret shopper phone calls when I never answer the phone (hmmm?), making less money than every carpenter I know and I can save your life, working until 65 with no benefits into retirement (this always baffled me as other public servant careers-police, firemen, teachers, librarian…funded retirements at 55 years old), exposed to MRSA daily, exposed to ????? disease daily…..

Ok, my burnout is gone for like 5 years after rehashing all of that. If you are suffering from burnout are there reasons why? Are you making things you don’t like? Are you making things for too little money? Do you need a challenge ~ bored and need a new skill to practice? Are you tired and not taking care of yourself? Are you an introvert and you need someone else to be your ‘frontman’?  Do you need to find a way to make more with less or work in a more streamline way? (I am really good at that.) The best thing to do is to make plan: create weekly, monthly, yearly, 5 year, 10 year, lifetime goals and write them down! Pin them up somewhere you can see them during the day. Change your goals as you change. Be very specific with your goals. Number one thing ~ get out of bed and work. Work a 40 hour work week or more at your job as an artist. Log your hours. Time on the computer does not count. It does take work. I work a lot. My motto is, ‘Yes’.

Diamond gold ring

Diamond ~ Gold ~ Rustic Hammered Bands ~ ‘Lucky Seven’ Ring custom order and used customers own gold and diamonds

I have had a ball the last couple of months creating and making custom orders for all kinds of people from every place in the world. The reach the internet has is amazing. The customers have been from all walks of life and they have all had their own story to tell behind each piece of jewelry. I have even spoken with several of them on the phone to get their order correct and it’s a treat for me. A simple phone call is so much easier and fast to decipher than an email. A lot gets lost in an email and most of the time I am ‘seeing’ what they are ‘saying’ incorrectly. If you have a custom order send me an email and then let’s talk.

j jeffery taylor jewelry store fish creek wisconsin

On Thursday last week I drop off work at J Jeffery Taylor Jewelry and Fine Art Gallery in Fish Creek Wisconsin. I was nervous. I have been comfortable with my other gallery and they were comfortable with me. So, it was a new start and a change that I was really anxious about. It is a jewelry gallery and I am humbled. My work being next to other artists I greatly admire is just a dream to me. The place is stunning. You can visit their website at jjeffreytaylor.com. It’s hard for me to wrap my head around making items of jewelry that cost as much as some cars I have owned, but you only live once and I’m not leaving this earth while yawning….

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one of a kind sterling silver earrings

Tee Pee Canyon Agate Earrings Garnets and Rough Sapphires At J Jeffery Taylor

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Leather Sterling Bracelet https://www.etsy.com/listing/287939961/leather-bracelet-sterling-silver?ref=shop_home_active_10

one of a kind agate necklace

Custom Order… the stone was the most beautiful I had ever seen… Aqua Nueva Agate and Amethyst

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This is my daughter and I last year at Art Street in Green Bay. I have my first show of the summer in a couple of weeks and need to make a lot for that show as I don’t have very many one of a kind pieces left right now. If you follow my instagram feed you will see photos of work daily as I am making it, #wildprairiesilver. Sturgeon Bay Fine Art Show is May 28th and May 29th, Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day weekend (not Monday). It is held in Sunset Park in Sturgeon Bay ~ right on the water. The main bridge (highway 57) in Sturgeon Bay is closed on until July 4th…oh, cry, the detour goes right past the show… hmmm….. I think we will be busy.

Happy Spring! Hope to see you at a show this summer!


Madison This Weekend…

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Ocean Japser & Vanadinite Crystal Necklace: http://www.wildprairiesilver.com/store/p352/Ocean_Jasper_Vanadinite_Necklace_One_Of_A_Kind_Handmade_Sterling_Silver_.html

It is already cruising through summer and hard to believe it’s July. We have been busy with life, as everyone is that has kids, 12 and 14 years old. My workshop is busy as well and it seems to keep growing and growing which is a wonderful after effect of working hard. Went to the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee and got some fantastic stones and saw good friends. I am looking forward to this weekend’s show in Madison WI. I have never done an art show of that size, especially in an urban setting of a major city’s downtown streets. I will let you know if it’s worth the hustle and bustle. Sometimes smaller shows that have almost no over-head are better, easier & very enjoyable. Shows are physically demanding, so I try to go to enjoyable events, and not kill myself to be at a show. This show is expensive, fees, hotels, and help… After the dust settles I will give you my opinion on whether or not I will continue to do that large of a venue.

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Had to post a picture of this young man. I made custom cross for him, order from his Mom. He was on his way to study in Spain… Thought the pic was great. I hope he is safe and doing well on his travels. I love his shirt… because I love skulls. He might need a cross to protect him…. Custom Cross: http://www.wildprairiesilver.com/store/p208/Sterling_Hammered_Cross_Necklace_Custom_Tag_Handmade_Wild_Prairie_Silver_Jewelry.html

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This was another Mother’s Twig and Vine Ring I made for Mother’s Day. I made several of these Twig and Vine Rings. They were all so unique. I really fell in love with the process of using different stones, challenging colors & shapes in gems, to create unique, one of a kind Mother’s Rings. Mother’s Ring: http://www.wildprairiesilver.com/store/p181/Twig_and_Leaf_Mother%27s_Ring_Custom_Order.html

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Been having fun with the Raven… The Raven: A symbol of the link between Heaven and Earth…good luck and god’s messengers to the mortal world. They are often used in movies in this way… a raven flying around when things are seemingly coming from above.

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Raven Necklace: http://www.wildprairiesilver.com/store/p337/Raven_Necklace_Sterling_Silver_.html

Raven Ring (different than one shown): http://www.wildprairiesilver.com/store/p355/Raven_Turquoise_Ring_Sterling_Silver_.html

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This is Karen… Hi Karen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope you are well! She was traveling through Wisconsin during one of my art shows in Door Co. She is from Oklahoma and reads my blog. I can honestly say I am so delighted she stopped to say Hi. I really did not think anyone read my blog so a huge Thank YOU!!!!!!!! to her and anyone else interested…. It means the world to me!!!!!! I live my life and run my business from home and could not do it without you. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Karen, I hope we meet again. Maybe class at Peninsula School of Art in September???

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Gorgeous Cobra Jasper… Handmade forged chain… this is sold. Stone was just amazing. Thank Gary Wilson for what you do. Your stones are to be showcased and I hope I am doing that in a way you approve. Truly amazing specimens from Gary Wilson.

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This Crazy Lace Agate is as large as my hand. You could use it as a dessert plate. Maybe I will ~ What a delicious way to eat ~ Hand forged chain, one of a kind: http://www.wildprairiesilver.com/store/p348/Crazylace_Agate_Sterling_Silver_Hand_Forged_Chain.html

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This is a terrible picture… jeez.. I have to retake this pic. The crystal specimen is called Vanadinite ~ Hand made vine chain… One Of A Kind. http://www.wildprairiesilver.com/store/p341/Vanadinite_Necklace.html

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Cranberry Jasper and Lavender Pearls… Hand Forged Chain… Sold….

On a side note: I have a good friend Lissa Flemming. She is an artist like myself from Bayfield Wisconsin… Silverwaves Jewelry. Her Mom is in a coma fighting for her life- 7 hours away from where Lissa lives. Lissa makes a living selling her jewelry at art shows. She will miss her next three largest shows due to being at her Mom’s bedside 24/7. This will be the loss of her income from now thru the Holiday season. If you can please donate to this artist. She’s a beautiful person inside and out and needs some support to keep her home-front going while she’s unable to work and not home. Here is the link to donate: http://dm2.gofund.me/yk84crwI  Love You Lissa.

Hope I am ready for this weekend. I think I am? I am at booth #81, downtown Madison Wisconsin. Saturday 9-6pm and Sunday 10-5pm. I have been told it’s hot and crowded. I will be ready an hour earlier than show start if you are an early bird, trying to beat the heat and the crowd… I have local shows the following two weekends in Neenah – Berstrom Mahler Sunday only July 19th & Art In The Park Appleton July 26th Sunday only.

Happy Summertime xo ~ joy


Art Show Dates and Classes 2015

Happy Spring!
It’s been a whirl wind here in the last month, many changes and its hard to absorb them all. Maybe next winter I can look back and remember what I was doing during April and now May. My jewelry business is growing nicely and that is all good. It has been a progression that was meant to be. I sent jewelry to a new gallery in New Orleans and that is exciting. The Thomas Mann Gallery:  I/O Gallery will now be showcasing my jewelry. That is a happy feeling. I’m ramping up for show season and can’t seem to keep a stock of inventory and that is also good. It’s good to be busy. I can’t believe my first show is in three weeks… I have a lot of work to do. It’s also my favorite show… Sturgeon Bay’s Fine Art Show Memorial Weekend in Sunset Park (Sat and Sun only.)
I redid my website completely after being coerced into it by my friend Tammy Rae. Her daughter helped me endlessly… I was very frustrated because maintaining a website is a full-time job. I wanted to be able to change my pics, change my slideshow, have a shopping cart, not lose my several domains I maintain, and do it easily with it looking nice. My other web designer was great but she can’t change things on a daily basis. I now have control over minute to minute changes. Well, all of that seemed overwhelming to conquer when I already had a website. I was sick of my old website. It needed a facelift, but I did not want to spend any time changing it or waste time making something I liked even less than what I had. So THANK YOU Kristina and Tammy! It looks amazing and was not as painful as I expected and I love it. It has a full shopping cart attached to paypal and square and I can update it whenever I want to very easily. Please visit it and check it out! I would love to hear your feedback. http://www.wildprairiesilver.com

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Beautiful Bloodstone Necklace ~Sold

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Pearl and Dryhead Agate Necklace available Link: http://www.wildprairiesilver.com/store/p324/Dryhead_Agate_Sterling_Silver_Pearl_Necklace.html

Other personal changes… my father in law passed away very unexpectedly a few weeks ago. He was a wonderful man. He was a father that was an example of how to live your life and love people. We will miss him greatly. His grandson spoke at his funeral and describe him as ‘warm’ and that is so right. He let you love him and he loved you back. He was a warm, loving person with a sense of humor. He was non-judgmental and rolled with the punches. I lost a Dad and a friend. His own children lost not only a father but their guide post, the foundation of their lives. We all are grateful to have loved him and we all are grateful for how he passed away… in his sleep, never sick, living and going and being right up to that moment. That is a beautiful to gift to him and a reward for the self-sacrificing life he lived. Love you Gramps.

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Mother’s Twig & Vine Ring ~ This is a custom order with your choice in stones. This was made as a Mother’s Ring with her children’s birthstones. You can have your own ring made in a similar style but they will all be very different. I have made about five of these rings this month and each one is just as unique and beautiful as the next one. Link: http://www.wildprairiesilver.com/store/p181/Twig_and_Leaf_Mother%27s_Ring_Custom_Order.html 

 

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Florida Fossilized Coral and Citrine… Handmade Chain ~ This necklace is one of the boldest necklaces I have ever made, yet there is a softness about it. If you are interested in this necklace you can send me a message or call The Flying Pig Gallery and purchase it directly from them. It is on display and for sale at The Flying Pig Gallery in Algoma WI. 920~487~9902 http://www.theflyingpig.biz

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Labradorite Bullet Ring Link:http://www.wildprairiesilver.com/store/p173/Labradorite_Bullet_Ring_Sterling_Silver_Hand_Made_One_Of_A_Kind_Wild_Prairie_Silver.html

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Azurite Specimen Necklace Handmade Chain Link: http://www.wildprairiesilver.com/store/p325/Azurite_Stone_Hand_Made_Chain_Sterling_Silver_Necklace_.html

Here is the show and class schedule for 2015. I am excited that I did get into the Madison Show and Wausau Art Show. Madison is terrifying me but you have to do new things, right? Why is Madison terrifying? I have a list… It’s huge, it’s a ton of over head in $$$, it’s huge, it has 200,000 people in attendance, it’s one of the top art shows in the nation, it’s huge, it’s windy, it’s huge, I will need help, I have children that are helpful ~ thank God for that, oh did I mention that it’s huge. It is on the streets surrounding Wisconsin’s Capital building so I think I will love it but I won’t know unless I try. IT’S HUGE!!!!!!! Ahhhhhhhhheeeeeeeeeekkkkkkkkkkkkk!

My jewelry classes at Peninsula School Of Art are a little goofed up in the catalog. As I type, I am reminding myself to give them a call. The three days of jewelry making where suppose to be consecutive days. You could pick and choose but not just come on Friday only and think you can make the necklace in the photo in one day. I am a little worried that I will have a class 20 people on Friday that all want to make something awesome to wear for their weekend in Door Co. in one day and that is unrealistic. We will just do what we can with what we have but Friday was only supposed to be available if you picked one of the other days or all three. So if you come Friday only and have never used a torch or a pair of pliers in your entire life we will still have you make something amazing but it won’t be what is in the photo. We will do our best though and as always in class I hold nothing back. We can take class wherever your skill level and imagination allow. All the links to show information and classes are on my website: http://www.wildprairieisilver.com http://www.wildprairiesilver.com/show-dates–classes.html

Late little note… I started posting daily pics in my workshop as they are created on Instagram. If you want to see those pics download the Instragram app (you can go to Instagram on your computer too) and type in the search wild prairie silver. The pics are fun, spontaneous eye-candy, no extra hoopla, very little text. Hopefully see you all soon on a beautiful summer day, in a park at an art show. Take Care & God Bless ~ joy

 

Art Show Schedule and Class Schedule
Sturgeon Bay Fine Art Show May 23rd, 24th Memorial Weekend, Sat & Sun only. Sunset Park Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin Door Co.
Art On The Square ~ Art Off The Square July 11th, 12th Madison Wisconsin, surrounds the Capital building
Bergstrom Mahler Fine Art Show ~ July 19th Sunday Only, 165 N Park St Neenah WI 10-4pm.
Art In The Park ~ Appleton Wisconsin Sunday July 26th
Artstreet ~ Green Bay Wisconsin August 28th, 29th, 30th Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday
Wausau Fine Art Show ~ Wausau Wisconsin Sept 12th, 13th
Towline Art Fair ~ Ephraim Wisconsin at The Fine Line Gallery Door Co. October 10th, 11th
Redbird Christmas Show East DePere High School Nov 28th Doors Open at 9am
 Class
September 14-18th Peninsula School of Art Fish Creek Door County
Sept 14, 15th Business Class Opening Your Etsy Shop: In this class we set up your Etsy store from start to finish. If you already have an Etsy store we make it shine. Class covers social media, SEO and other business aspects of selling your work. Two half day classes, morning
Sept 14, 15th Demo Microscopic TIG welding: Over view of new microscopic TIG welder for jewelry and mixed metal artist.
Sept 16th, 17th, 18th: Three days of making whatever jewelry piece you want from sterling silver…. come one day or come all the days… open to all skill levels.

Setting Up Today

See you in Green Bay this weekend at Shopko Hall across from Lambeau Field: Sat 10-5 and Sunday 10-5

I will get to see Katie and Deb who will be helping me out… Thanks Ladies!!!!

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Rare and Gorgeous Casas Grande Agate.. These stones are a small fortune. I only have one left. Just amazing lavender color…. Hand made sterling chain, so heavy it’s a piece of beauty all by itself.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/225073673/sterling-casas-grade-agate-stone?ref=shop_home_active_6

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Eleanor wearing Casas Grande… It looks so nice on her and she is tiny… a very petite woman size 4.

IMG_2800Jasper Citrine Earrings… Crazy Style… sorry folks already sold… didn’t last five minutes online. I love these! Super fun to make so I will make some similar but not the same with all my little Jasper pairs….

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Grandmothers Keys… Solid Sterling Silver just finished several of each style.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/224867436/sterling-silver-skeleton-keys-hand-made?ref=shop_home_active_9

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Pin Drusy Cobaltocalcite

https://www.etsy.com/listing/216136930/pink-drusy-cobaltocalcite-stone-sterling?ref=shop_home_active_13

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Ocean Jasper, Agate, Turquoise, and Lapis Earrings

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Azurite…

https://www.etsy.com/listing/216137416/azurite-specimen-stone-sterling-silver?ref=shop_home_active_4

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5mm Gem Post Earrings: Pearl, Garnet and London Blue Topaz


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Jasper and Garnet Earrings ~ Less Crazy ~ Still Beautiful

https://www.etsy.com/listing/224043025/sterling-silver-jasper-and-garnet?ref=shop_home_active_14

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Going now to hook up my little trailer and work like a pack mule. See you soon I hope and wish me luck if you can’t make it to the show.


Making Jump Rings….

Making jump rings…. Why???? Number of reason ~ you just need one. It’s pretty lame to wait for the mail for just one jump ring. Next reason… You make an awesome focal pendant and you add an $10 cord or machine made chain? Ugh! I can’t even stand the thought of it. It happens, but sometimes you just need that handmade look to finish it off just right.

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Cut about 3 feet of whatever gauge you want to use. If you want flat jump rings run a piece of wire through a rolling mill or use rectangular or square wire that you can purchase.

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If you have flat/square wire: coil it like this or it will turn on its side and get all wonky… especially square wire, it turns on its side easily.

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Round wire: does not matter just hold with your fingers.

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Cut the coils off the mandrel. You can use almost anything round for a mandrel ~ like a pencil. I use Pepe brand jump ringer and there are several brands out there to choose from. These coils are 14g and 16g sterling silver.

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This is a saw blade. It fits in a safety housing. I hate the thing because it’s dangerous, it’s expensive to replace, it has to be loaded correctly or it breaks. I’ve had students smoke several of them up in one day at $12 a piece. If you use it properly it’s fine. I’ve had the same three blades for a few years. That being said I don’t use this. Don’t use it… There’s an easier, cheaper way.

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You need need this thing. It holds the coil perfectly. It keeps the cut perfect. What’s it called? I don’t know… I’ll call it a Gizmo…

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Anneal you coils before you cut them… That makes for nice pliable rings without tension in them. It’s much easier now, than when you have a hundred separate rings. Pickle them as well.

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Use this… Cut off wheels available at Home Depot. Put a coil in the Gizmo. Oil oil oil 🙂 or the blade will break and so would the dangerous metal blade. You’ll know if you forget this step… Smoke and breaking blades. I use mineral oil available at your grocery store in the laxative section..(nice, huh?)

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Tighten Gizmo lid… Firm not too loose and not squashing the coil. Cut coil with fast flexshaft motor speed and slow steady hand speed.

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Open up Gizmo: All nice and perfect… Wash with dawn dish soap and hot water rubbing in your hands.

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Now, go make some awesome chain…..

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See you you all soon at Artigras in Green Bay Wisconsin. It’s the first weekend in March and gets us all out of hibernation. Winter has been good to us this year though…. I hope my friend Roni in New Jersey is ok and not snowed in. Being snowed in isn’t all bad though….. Once in awhile. Hope you’re ok Roni!!!!

New Instagram pics, fun app…. #wildprairiesilver


Last Show, Custom Work and Artist Meeting

It has been a flurry around here and can’t believe I haven’t posted in such a long time… seems like yesterday I was warming myself in the sun and now it’s snowing out. I still am little gun-shy from last winter. I can still feel it’s scorn. I have PTSD from last winter and I don’t think I am alone in saying that. It was bad. Actually, the worst winter ever recorded in several different ways. My friend Maggie calls it ‘The White Death’ and I am beginning to think the same.

My last show will be Nov 29th in Depere Wisconsin at the East Depere High School ~Holly RedBird Craft Faire. It is the Saturday after Black Friday from 9-3pm. Come early, there is a line to get in and it’s swamped with people the entire time. It is a craft show and there is a lot of Christmas items and homemade goodies… yes, homemade candy, yum… I made this little rack card just for the event. It is a picture of the front and back side and covers all my custom initials, crosses and angels wings that I have made and sold for many years. The initials~ I tried to stop making one year and got a lot complaints so I made more based on the complaining ~ sorry about that!

I have never had a marketing thing like this before and I hope it helps bring it all together? We will see? I made it on Vista Print in about 10 minutes if you are an artist and wondering? Picture is of two cards lying side by side, front and back.

Custom Keepsake Jewelry by Wild Prairie Silver Jewelry Co.

Custom Keepsake Jewelry by Wild Prairie Silver Jewelry Co.

I have been very busy with custom work and that is a good thing. I know a lot of artists that do not do custom work. I feel bad for them as they are really missing an opportunity to connect with a lifelong customer. They are also missing a huge part of a niche income and it is often a great challenge to make things you did not think up, but someone else did. I really enjoy it. It is a large part of my business. This year has not slowed down for me from Christmas time last year. I usually have a lull from Jan-March. I had to make adjustments in work load, scheduling and priorities. I have a helper consistently one day a week and sometimes two days. (I could use her everyday but I can’t afford it, shucks.) Also on the subject of custom ordered work… I am an artist but I also consider myself a jeweler. A jeweler makes things for other people and provides a service. I provide a service and I want a relationship that is lifelong with my customer. An artist can do whatever they want. They don’t have to provide a service. They can make what they want to please themselves. They can sell it, or not and for whatever price they want, or not…. It is two very different things. Blending them together makes a career a little more obtainable. Not all artist want this because it forces them work outside of their art. If you can make it as just an artist and earn a full-time living (a living where you can afford health insurance, a car, braces, new roof on your house) God Bless you and I love you and I wish I could do that. I don’t know many that can.s I really enjoy serving people and making them happy by providing a service doing what I love. That is not for everyone, however. It must be the nurse in me…pleasing people is part of my nature. (I wonder if my husband thinks that??? – Ha!)

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These are 18k white and yellow gold rings I made for a couple’s wedding… Wedding is this coming weekend. I am wishing them the best. They have been together 22 years…. The rings are a surprise as they were not going to get rings but one of them had these made in secret. The interior of the ring is stamped with a custom saying. These rings are made from 2mm thick white gold. I think they could tow a car. I could not have made them without a ring bending vise as the white gold is so tough to bend. You can hit it with a hammer (a big hammer) and nothing happens, super strong.

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Labradorite Cuff… Custom order from Australia.. This is something I would have never made without the customer asking me to make it, so, thanks customer, it was a great project with a beautiful turn out.

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This is a tool that a friend gave me to try this year. It is a foredom hammer hand piece. It connects to your flex shaft. The tip of the tool hammers up and down like a mini jack hammer. It has saved my hands and wrists from fatigue as it sets stones without me using any force. I did not think I would like it and I love it. There are two brands of these hammer hand pieces, foredom and bedacco (spelling?)… the bedacco hammer is a lot more expensive but you can adjust the strength of the hammer, so it might be a better option? Like I said, mine was a gift and I really love it and it is a foredom brand available at any jewelry tool seller.

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Made this today… Jasper Stone and Rose Cut Garnet. link:https://www.etsy.com/listing/210985526/sterling-silver-jasper-garnet-necklace?ref=shop_home_active_1

Also working on a Captured Glass Bead Necklace…. another custom piece.

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Beads will be captured within the links of the chain so they can spin freely… Don’t try this with just any glass bead. These are borosilicate glass which is pyrex glass. They will take the heat ~ and a lot of it, but don’t point your flame directly on the glass, and allow them to cool slowly. Soft glass will break immediately near the flame. All my boro glass comes from http://www.glassbytammyrae.etsy.com

Sideways Sterling Cross

Sideways Cross another custom order from a very good customer. I have made these tiny and huge. This is tastefully a medium size and I like it best. Link to sideways cross: https://www.etsy.com/listing/210551211/sterling-silver-sideways-cross-necklace?ref=shop_home_active_5

See you in Depere… the last Saturday of November for last show…. And wish me luck as I head to Chicago next week for my welder. I am going for one day and leaving at 4am and probably returning at midnight (4 hour drive.) My husband will be holding down the fort with the kids. I will share as much of that experience as I can with you. I can’t wait to see it join sterling, gold, stainless steel next to plastic and or paper and weld a prong on, right next to a stone… I don’t think I believe it. I have to see it.

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This cross is my most popular item. It’s strong, simple and understated. It looks great on men, women and children. The chain is new and improved, super heavy. I am glad I found it because it looks so nice with it. I cut the chain to your specified length and add a large, easy to use, swivel lobster claw clasp. I never purchase chains already made. I always make them to the customers desired length. https://www.etsy.com/listing/174470340/sterling-hammered-cross-pendant-handmade?ref=shop_home_active_24

Extra Event: November 25th 530-730PM ~ I will be doing a presentation in Green Bay at NWTC Artisan Center about artists selling their wares…. A gallery owner will also be there for group discussion. I will be focusing on online sales and art shows.

~Mosaic Arts, has partnered with the NWTC Artisan and Business Center along with the ARTgarge in a series of monthly meetings for artist of all levels and disciplines. Artisan Exchanges features an educational presentation each month and provides an opportunity to network with other creative people. Our November 25th meeting topic is ‘Sell Your Work’ ~ Nov 25th 530-730 informal panel discussion. NWTC Art Center: http://www.nwtc.edu/academics/ProgTeamSites/ArtsAtNWTC/Pages/AbouttheArtisanCenter.aspx~

~ Be Well & Stay warm ~ Hope To See You Soon


Stars Aligning…

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I think the stars are aligning for me to finally get this TIG welder. It has taken since spring… I will be traveling to Chicago mid-November to spend a day with Richard Sep learning how to use it. I’m excited to say the least and I have a pile of experimental stuff here to take with me. It’s like buying car for my business so it’s a big investment. I will keep you posted on this adventure. It is really going to be amazing to see metal being joined near and around precious stones with the stones in place…and no heat… The heat is so powerful, intense and localized you can hold the metal with your fingertips while you work ~ I kinda can’t believe it.

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On a business note ~ Thank You ETSY!!!!!!!!!!!!! ETSY came out with a card reader. Why do I care? Why is it any different than using Square? or any other card reader? Well, it’s the same transaction fee (ETSY does not charge their 3% sales fee when you sell in person but a credit card transaction fee is charged of 2.75%, just like everyone else) and every time I sell something in person it is listed in my sold part of my shop and the person can leave feedback, see their receipt, and new shoppers can look up my sold items and see all the things I have sold at art shows that did not before get to be viewed on ETSY. It’s great. I can truly have my ‘Shop’ open to the public face to face and to the internet consumer. Another plus…. all the transactions automatically load into the accounting software that links to ETSY. This software is called OUTRIGHT.com. I highly recommend it. All of your fees, sales, shipping automatically loads and is perfectly kept track off via ETSY or Paypal. In the past when I sold face to face at an art show I had to enter all of that manually into OUTRIGHT.com when I got home. Well, not anymore…tons of tedious data entry done in real time with each transaction. Thank You again ETSY. This has greatly improve the way I work with just a simple thing.

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I have to make a sterling butterfly… I’ve been working on it for a few weeks. I am still not happy with what I have. I am trying to blend these three pics into one interesting bug, hmmmm….. I will keep trying.

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I made this Ocean Jasper about a week ago. Since I made this necklace I have been working on about a dozen or so custom orders. They always all come in at the same time which is Murphy’s Law. I am sure after Christmas I will be sitting here with nothing to do but shovel snow and stoke the fire so I will make hay while the sun is shining.

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Look of strange bewilderment which is what my husband looks like every single time he gets his picture taken. He hates his picture being taken. He usually has his finger in the up position.

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My husband would die if he knew I was putting these pics in here. Well, why am I doing it then? Cuz he’s the best! I have to give him some credit where credit is due. He is cutting a door in this concrete tank that is on our land to make fort for our kids. When your kids ‘fort’ takes a saw like this one in the photo and the use of a backhoe you really have to wonder what will happen next???? Never a dull moment. (My daughter took these pics. Thanks kiddo.)


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