Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Bold and the Beautiful

I was pretty productive this past weekend. Partly because it was too cold to go anywhere. Partly because I woke up from a dream about making a ring!! Well, I made the ring of my dreams and a few other pieces to go along with it. I'm calling the trio Bold and Beautiful because that is what they are. All the pieces are made of sterling silver and are guaranteed to make a statement of their own.

The ring I made is a size 8, has a domed shape and is slightly hammered on the surface to reflect a lot of light.

The pendant is made of a two inch disk of sterling silver with a shiny satin finish. It has a bail that is 3/8 inches wide, making it perfect for placing on almost any chain or strand of beads.
Finally, make a bold statement on your wrist with a bold cuff bracelet. It also has a shiny, satin finish and a slightly domed shape. A little charm from my Graphic Collection gives a little extra appeal.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Making My Own Hang Tags

Just a quick post today for those who have ever been puzzled with hang tags for jewelry or other small items.

I have tried everything from the fold-over sticky tags (aka shark tags), the cheepies from the office supply store (you know, the ones with that loooong flimsy string), ones that had been done by the local printer (only to have the ink run off) and business cards which look way too big on jewelry.

Well, last year before a show, I decided to pull my look together in a more professional manner and in a way that would be lasting. I created my own logo that is just my name spelled out in a simple, hot pink font. Now I use that branding on everything and it reminds me of how much I love the simple things. It is also a great reflection on my art, which will remain simply beautiful.

Anyway... the hang tags. Rather than going the same route, I decided to make my own. I designed a one inch square tag in Microsoft Publisher that had my logo and a matching border. Next, I printed several per page on the color printer and cut out each row of tags. Then comes the genius part. I covered each row of tags with clear packing tape on the front and the back. This keeps the ink from bleeding and makes the tag extra durable.

After that, I cut out each tag by hand and punched a small hole in the corner. Using silver elastic thread, I made a tie to loop on the piece of jewelry. Whew!! A little work, but basically free and well worth the effort!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mama Needs Earwires Now!!

What do you do when you are in the middle of making something only to find out that you are missing an important component? That's what happened to me the other day when I got fired up about making some earrings for Valentine's Day. However, after I finished making the charms, I realized that I did not have any manufactured earwires on hand!!

Since I have a big problem with patience and didn't want to wait for the next supply order, I decided to make my own earwires. I usually don't do that because I like to put all of my effort in the earring's focal point. In this case it was the heart-shaped charms that I made for my Graphic Collection.

So in a few steps I had what I wanted. 1) loop one end of a 20 gauge wire, 2) wrap the wire around a round mandrel, 3) smooth the edges of the wire, 4) tap the wire again on mandrel to form, 5) bend tip of unlooped end to fasten and 6) enjoy the perfect hoop earwires. And they look great on the new Graphic Heart Earrings!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Facebooking and Loving It!!

Hello everyone, how's it going?? If you have a minute, I'd like to tell you about something that's been going on in my little corner of the world.

As some of you know, I'm on Facebook now and LOVE it. I've connected with so many old friends that I haven't seen in years... some even go back to grade school!! It's great seeing everyone all grown up and having the chance to catch up on life.

I've even had the chance to reunite with several of my Phi Sigma Sigma sorority sisters from Hofstra University (1989-1991). Reestablishing these relationships is utterly precious to me because I've been upset about the way I left them back in the day.

To make a long story short... I ran out of money for school, had to drop out and left without saying goodbye. I wasn't able to keep paying dues so I basically quit the sorority. I really regret that and was soooo happy when I finally got the chance to apologize, even if it was 17 years later.

Anyway, I'm in the process of appealing my membership status so that I can be put back on the rolls. In the meantime, as I anxiously await the decision, I created the Greek Mama Bracelet to add to my Mama Collection. Working on it helped me remember that sisterhood is very, very precious!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Everyday is Show and Tell

After my last post about my messy studio, I felt that a change was needed. Just seeing the photos of my space and knowing that they were in cyberspace for all to see gave me the motivation that I've needed for so long. Changes have been taking place in the studio and I promise to report back when I'm finished.

I will tell you now that I put a display case in my studio. I've been wanting to do this for years, but have never found the right case for the right price. Yesterday, my mom and I went to IKEA and looked around. Right in the middle of the third floor, was the KLINGSBO glass-door cabinet. It was cute, perfectly sized and affordable at $129.

I picked it up (along with a hot-pink task chair) and headed for home. My husband assembled it the next night as we watched Terminator 2. Then, I loaded it with my favorite jewelry items. I think it makes the perfect addition to my space and creates more of a professional studio-store atmosphere. Now I just need to get the kids to stop leaving toys in there!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Mama's Messy Studio

Welcome to the very messy studio of Mama Mayborne Designs. Actually, I am posting this blog, complete with very honest photos, to show you all the current state of my work space. I have no idea how it got this bad... but it's bad!

Just so you know, I'm not quite a neat-freak but I am pretty close. But when it comes to my studio, I like a little bit of disorder because it makes me think that I've been soooo busy making money (yeah right!!) that I have no time to clean.

But things have gotten so bad that I cannot find the sales tax forms (that might be a subliminal act to avoid that dreaded task) or my barely-been-used-lately cash box.

Now I am asking for this blog's millions of followers (yeah right again!!) to hold me accountable for getting my workspace back into a productive, orderly state. And give me a few weeks (at least) to post the results!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Let's Here It for the Girls!

As you may know by now, I have a passion for making jewelry that women can feel special wearing. But about four years ago, I acted on several customer requests for something for little girls. I came up with the Little Mama Bracelet, which is the smaller version of the Grand Mama Bracelet.

The Little Mama gives little girls the chance to start their jewelry collection off with quality and style. It features her name in sterling silver letter beads, Swarovski crystals in choice of colors, sterling silver spacer beads and a tiny sterling toggle clasp for a secure closure. The best part of the bracelet is that it is further customized with a sterling silver charm.

After making nearly 50 Little Mama Bracelets, I am very pleased to announce that they are now available in my etsy shop for custom order. Also posted in my shop is one infant/toddler bracelet from my Princess Charming collection. This bracelet has five heart charms and four Swarovski crystals and is specially priced at only $10.
Both bracelets are perfect for the little princesses in your life. They make great gifts for new births, baptisms and birthdays. Thanks for checking them out!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Have a "Graphic" New Year

Happy New Year everyone!! I hope that 2009 brings each one of you success, health and happiness! If you are one of those resolution people, I hope you make progress before your list becomes a bookmark.

What I really want to do this year is MOVE inventory and properly roll out my new jewelry collection. I call this line "Graphic" because all of the pieces contain at least one element with a texture that quite frankly reminds me of graph paper.

"Graphic" has been in the works for over a year now. I've been playing around with textures and decided on this one because I love the way it looks with simple shapes. I think it makes the finished piece look powerfully elegant and boldly simplistic. (make sense???)

After I had the texture process down, I began designing and fabricating pieces right after Christmas 2007. Next came testing "Graphic" at shows last spring and summer. Customers seemed to like the unique texture that lends very well to mixing and matching.

I am very pleased with this collection and can't wait to add more pieces. Keep an eye on my Etsy store and Facebook page to see the items that get added on a continual basis.