Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Just wanted to say THANK YOU, ETSY, for tweeting my anatomical heart and posting it on facebook. Thank you also for featuring me in Etsy finds today along with so many other amazing artists!

I am so appreciative of all of this. Much more than mere words can say. Now I need to get to work on hand sawing out dozens of tiny hearts! Thanks for all the love Etsy and etsians!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Indigo Sky

I fell out of love with you for a little while there, silver. I think I am rekindling the fire now. I love how this ring turned out with the pressed filigree detailing on the sides and the beautiful indigo flash of the labradorite stone.

Indigo Sky Size 9.5

I made the band in a wide cigar band style. I do not have a rolling mill so I just taped a piece of brass  filigree to the metal and hammered the heck out of it to create the impression. It really dresses up the band and I do plan to make more like this.

I hope you love it as much as I do!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Finally Something New

I have been wanting to make this for a very long time. I had the idea so long ago to mount a butterfly in an old broken vintage clock but I was never able to get to making it until now.

                                                         Vintage Clock Butterfly Display

I have always loved old clocks and have collected them for a long time. I never cared whether they worked or not. In fact the more worn the better.  I have always wanted to use a full spread butterfly in some of my work. I thought that I would love to do some wall hangings but did not want to frame them how they are usually framed in a shadow box. One day it just hit me that there is just enough space between the clock face and crystal to mount a butterfly. I've been too terribly busy to make it but this week I was inspired to finally see how this might turn out and I just love it!

I am in the process of making more. Wouldn't a display of two or three of these be just amazing? I hope you love this as much as I do and I would love to hear your thoughts on it :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hush Now and Listen To The Birds

Hush Now And Listen To The Birds

Assembled from much loved antique pieces. The focal piece feature an enameled bird in beautiful colors. Amazingly, I had some Swarovzki crystals that matched the blue enamel of the flowers perfectly. The rest of the necklace is assembled from old glass beaded chain and brass chain. The lobster clasp and the crystals are the only pieces that weren't salvaged from old jewelry. In the shop now.

Wash Me Ashore Ring
Another wash me ashore ring. Size 9. I made this for a customer but the sizing wasn't right so it is now in the shop. 

Traditional "You Are Here" Heart Necklace
A new twist on my "You Are Here" hearts done in a traditional heart sahpe insted of the anatomical heart shape. I think this one is more feminine in nature and love how it turned out. I have been meaning to make this one for quite a while now and am so glad I finally did. In the shop now.

Hope everyone is having a great summer so far! I am longing for the cooler days of fall and winter. Summer is not my season at all although I do love going to the local flea markets. It was sweltering hot here today until we received the mercy of a cooling storm.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Digging Deep

I've been doing a bit of digging. Deep. Soul searching you may call it. I call it excavating. Unearthing who I think I am and what is important in my life. During this process I have been in a bit of a creative hiatus. Looking at the work that I currently do and wondering if it is really a part of who I am anymore. I love the darkness, the lost and forgotten, the decadence of decay. Peeling, cracked paint and rusty nails. Old torn silk and lace. History forgotten. Mysteries of memories buried within a piece of something old and broken. I want to unearth these memories hiding beneath the rust, the worn finish, the darkened sparkle of a an old rhinestone.

I opened a new shop a month ago selling some of these old pieces I have collected for others to find the treasure these types of pieces hide inside  but some things I have collected I can't let go as they are. I feel the need to make them into something. And I will be doing so once I dig myself out of this rut.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

These were tough to photograph!

I finally finished the butterfly wing post earrings and they turned out lovely! They glow and flash when the light hits them the right way. I am really pleased with them!

They were extremely difficult to photograph as are all of my butterfly wings but I hope the photos show how jewel-like these wings become when magnified with the resin.

They are not tiny post earrings either. They are around 9mm in diameter so they are small enough to wear daily but not too small to be noticed. I only have three pairs of these in the shop so far but will probably be offering these indefinitely in my shop along with other resin items I may work on in the future if I can find enough time!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Butterflies and Resin

I just wanted to take a moment and show what I have been slowly developing over the past few months. These are real blue morpho wings that I have set in handmade ( by me) bezels that are going to hopefully become stud earrings. I originally wanted to do stacker rings but it seemed like so much work to make the ring and then pour the resin only to mess it up at some point. Also I would be using more sterling in a ring as opposed to an earring.

The first picture here shows the bezels with the wings in it without the resin. I have sealed the wing circles so that the wings don't change into a weird color from the resin. Oh and do you  know how hard it is to cut tiny circles out of a butterfly wing? Very tough but I figured out how to do it without ripping them to smithereens.

Here I've poured the resin and it magnifies the color of the butterfly beautifully! I'm using Ice Resin here which is a dream to work with compared to the Envirotex lite which is what I started with.

So since I had to mix up a full ounce of this resin and I barely used any for the earrings  I decided to make up a ring real quick and use a piece of an embossed binding from an antique leather bound book as the focal of the ring.

I love how this looks and hopefully it turns out well because I made this in my size. :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Painting With Fire ( Learning how to torch fire enamel)

I received my Painting With Fire torch enameling kit in the mail yesterday and had so much fun learning the immersion technique to add color to my metals. Here are a few pics of the results. I am still getting the hang of it so most of these are mess-ups in one way or another.

Group shot of some of the beads that the kit came with. I think they are lovely despite the flaws!

I had these bead caps already and they were so tough to get the enamel to adhere. They were an antique brass finish and it took forever to get them to this point.  Maybe it was the fake antique brass finish that made them so hard to enamel.

This is a simple copper disc that I stamped with a bird and then enameled with the transparent enamel that the kit came with. I love the sheen of blue that combines with the deep red of the copper. When you tilt the disc at certain angles it looks iridescent. What a totally unique color surprise! I hope I can do it again. I stamped the bird to see if i could see it well enough through the transparent enamel. It shows up nicely here but is not quite as noticeable in real life. I am very happy with the evenness of the enamel on this one.

And then I made a pair of enameled copper earrings in the robin's egg blue opaque enamel. I love the coloring of these. It is unfortunate that the one on the left had the enamel burned a bit by putting it too far down in the flame. I did this while re-heating the piece trying to get the disc off the mandrel. It is not as noticeable as the pictures shows so I will keep these for myself and start on a new pair for the shop.

Friday, March 4, 2011

It's been one of those days...

but I really mean one of those months. It just been a horrible month for me. I've been sick with a terrible flu and it seems right when I start feeling better some other cold comes along to knock me out again. I've been busy catching up on my orders for etsy and thank goodness for the patience of my customers! Hopefully I have gotten over the worst of it and can re-focus on orders and trying out new techniques.

I bought a torch fire enameling kit and I can't wait to try it out! I have loved the look of enamel for a long time. Many times I put all the supplies into my cart at Rio only to remove them, thinking that I don't need to start on something new when I am so busy with something else but I need to fuel my creativity a little bit and make some new pieces for the shop. I hope the kit comes in today. Maybe tomorrow I will be posting my results. Hopefully all goes well!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Birds. I love them.

Anybody know what kind of bird the 3rd and 4th photo is? I think it is living beneath my back porch. I've only seen them around here occasionally but this winter I see it almost everyday. Such a sweet looking little bird.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Quiet

I am a quiet person. Sometimes that quietness is mistaken for passivity, for submissiveness, but it is more of a live and let live attitude that I have most of the time. Don't you wish more people would live like that?

 I really have nothing else  to say right now other than if you like burlap (I don't) here is a wonderful site with all sorts of colors of burlap already dyed for you! I especially like the pink (not really) but if you do well there it is all ready for you to use in all of your home decor ;)


Monday, January 31, 2011

Things move fast sometimes. 14 years in what seem like the blink of an eye. I was semi-blind to that movement of time. In all those years I could not fathom what your end would look like and now it has passed and I will have no more memories of you other than placing your small body inside the coldness of the earth. We will bury you next to the bush out back and hope that in the spring when new roots take shoot they will entwine with you and your lovely bones and take their nourishment from you. I will look at that bush with it's tall willows stretched upward to the sky and know that you are reaching upwards too and that you live on somewhere beyond my comprehension. You will be missed little dog, my little Radar.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Holey moley

I've been quite busy! I am grateful and thankful for the busy-ness though. I am not complaining at all! Besides filling all of my orders I have been busy making treasuries. I decided to join a treasury curating team on Etsy and I have been learning the process of treasury making. I was never one to make treasuries. I would make one here or there just because. So just thinking about a theme and then a title and then who to feature is sometimes a little daunting.  Luckily I have so many wonderful shops on the team to choose from! And the members of the team are wonderful people. I have felt so comfortable there since I was accepted into the group. I really would love to make a treasury that makes it to the front page of etsy but so far that hasn't happened yet. I just want to take a few moments and show you a few of the wonderful treasuries of the members of Project Treasury.

They are all really fabulous treasuries! It is hard to keep up with them but I want to show you my latest:

WOW! That's a lot of purple but I love it! If you have the time come on in to the treasuries and let me know what you think. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

You Are Here

Just a little shameless promotion! The Etsy Marketing Team submitted my anatomical heart necklace to be featured in a Valentine's day  Gift Guide on Kaboodle.com and it was selected for the feature! I had no idea this was going on and I am thrilled to be chosen for it! I am sitting here in tears, lol :) Here is a screen shot of the article:


Share it if you'd like. I would so appreciate it!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Soap gone wrong and handcasting metals

Ahh I was going to post about the wonderful batch of soap I made last night and show pictures of it's soapy goodness but it seems that I have lost the soap making touch. I couldn't say it was an outright disaster but I already know there are lye pockets and I will have to re-batch it. Sigh. So instead of soap I've decided  to talk about something else.

I have been wanting to try my hand at casting metals. I never really wanted to take the plunge and shell out over $100 bucks for the equipment to do so though. Also if you've ever seen the wax seal pendants that are very popular right now I have been wanting to try making some similar items but wanted to put my own spin on them and not just purchase some ready-made ones. Everybody has those anyways. So I've possibly figured out how to start making some after experimenting with this little hand cast bird shown above. Really the possibilities are endless here and I am thinking of casting many other things to incorporate into my jewelry.

 This little bird on the left was hand cast in metal by a home made mold I made from the original on the right. It is a lovely vintage gold toned clip on earring. The clip has long been broken off but I just love birds so I've had it for quite a while. I decided to use it for my little experiment in casting and I think it turned out great! This is just cast with soft solder. Some of the details were lost in the casting but I love how old and worn it looks and it is definitely something I will incorporate into my pieces. Now my mind is racing on what to cast next!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Dumps

This white marble hexagon tile was scavenged by me in my teen years from a place simply called "The Dumps". I lived quite close to this area and it  was  in the city where houses and developments had sprung up around it but for some reason this area was untouched by that. It was a sanctuary at times for me and other times it was a place of uncovering old secrets left behind. I have many memories of my Mother and I unearthing old bottles thrown away by a lifetime past. What they probably would have never guessed when they tossed that trash out was that I would hunt these treasures like gold. Every time I would pull an old bottle or rusty piece of metal from the earth I just couldn't help but think of who had put it there. I just couldn't wait to get it home and clean it up. I think the days spent uncovering these things instilled in me a love of old, forgotten things. Things that would have no use in an ordinary persons world I hoard like a dragon.

I made this necklace from that tile I pulled from the earth so long ago. My original intention was to sell it in my Etsy shop but I think I will keep it for myself. I actually started to tell this story in my listing then thought twice. I think I will re-create this with new materials in honor of my days spent under the hot sun of summer with my Mother discovering the secrets that the earth hides.

Revisiting an old obsession

Yes i admit it. I was obsessed with making soap at one point in my life. A few years ago, before Etsy and my current jewelry making, I was a soapmaker.  I used to dream of cold process soap recipes in my sleep. As my house was overrun with stacks of soap and my family members were then overrun with stacks of soap I ended up slowing down the making of the soap and then stopping altogether when I didn't have an outlet for all these bars.

Well now I haven't been able to get this off of my mind. I will go and look at soap making supplies and then convince myself that I don't need to get into that again. Then I will busy myself with something else and a few days later my mind wanders back to the idea of making soap again. I know that once this happens I HAVE to make some soap or the idea will never go away. So I will probably make a batch here soon to quell my desire for a bit. I might look into stocking up on some supplies and making some test batches and who knows? Maybe there will be some handmade soap popping up in my shop one of these days.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thank you...

marymary for featuring my anatomical heart  as the main photo on the February merchandising post in the Etsy Storque blog! It is appreciated so much more than mere words can express!

Sunday, January 9, 2011


I've come to the conclusion that I'm just going to have to work through the pain. A little at a time and lots of ibuprofen. I just spent a small fortune on pain meds, ace bandages, ices packs and epsom salts. I hope they help and I still hope nothing is broken in there. In the meantime enjoy this video for this song that I love.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Unfortunate injury

Ahh I've suffered an unfortunate injury at the hands of one mean, cold, snow covered hill. Yes, I think I may have broken my left thumb, or at the very least sprained it, while sled riding with the children today. The first thing I thought when I did it was "How am I going to work with a broken hand?" I really do think it is just sprained though so after I drop some ibuprofen down my gullet and rest it for a bit with some ice I will be seeing how it handles holding the torch.

Friday, January 7, 2011


I just love  labradorite and  the way the stone has a hidden quality to it. It has a gray base coloring but at just the right angle you get a gorgeous flash of color.  This particular cab has a lovely blue flash to it. I'm in love! Pictures never do labradorite any justice in my eyes. I'm going to have a hard time letting this one go. I've been carrying it around with me wondering what it will become. Most likely it will become a part of my HAUNTED family of jewelry.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Made of Star Stuff

A while ago I was scrolling through blogs and came across this video of a remix of Carl Sagan and other scientists speaking about the Cosmos and the universe. It was set to music and auto-tuned and made a lot of great points but one that stuck with me was that we are made of the same stuff that stars are made out of. Here is the exact quote:

"The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of star stuff." ~Carl Sagan

I thought that was a comforting and beautiful thought and this simple ring was inspired by it.

Made of Star Stuff Ring

                                           The ring is a size 8 and it will be in the Etsy Shop soon.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Sterling Sweetheart Stackers!

I love how these turned out! Perfect for the upcoming Valentine's Day. Tiny brass hearts hand stamped and customizable with whichever letters your choose ( I recommend you and your sweethearts initials) and included in the set is a small dot of sterling that has been stamped with a plus sign.  A+W = TLA! It's like doodling you and your sweethearts initials in your notebook but much better!

Sweetheart stacking rings
Sweetheart Stacking Ring Set

In the Shop now!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Wash Me Ashore

       I want to believe 
     That I have a sea in me
          Ebbing and flowing beneath my skin
        And in that sea 
       A tiny shell
      And In that shell a pearl

      It's turn
         To shine   

oxidized sterling and glowing pearl
In the shop later today.        


I think it is time you get to know me, the artist behind HouseThatCrowBuilt.etsy.com. I hope this fresh start on blogging will enable you to see inside who I am as a person and an artist. All are welcome here. Please feel free to leave a comment, good or bad, lovely or ugly!

There will be a few new items in the shop tomorrow. Lovely sterling wide banded rings I have been working on. A new addition to the Hide and Seek keyhole rings and the debut of the Wash Me Ashore ring featuring a luminescent coin pearl.  I hope you will love them as much as I loved creating them!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Have you seen this necklace?

It was beautiful and I sent it to someone that says it cracked in transit. If you see this necklace around that person's neck (or her mother's) could you give it a good once over for me? Then you'll see what I am talking about.