Monday, March 31, 2008

Alternative Metals

Sterling silver is beautiful, one of my favorite metals, actually. But isn't it fun to mix it up a little from time to time? Especially if it is less expensive, but just as jaw dropping?

That is what I decided to do. So I went for something a little different - brass.

These earrings are my Petal Earrings in brass, and I think they are lovely. The ear wires are sterling silver and it gives a nice contrast.

I was going for different with this cuff bracelet as well.

I cut this 6" long cuff from a sheet of shiny brass and hammered the heck out of it. It is about 1 and 1/2" in width and it just gorgeous. Of course, I may be biased. Your call on that one.

Another alternative to sterling silver? Gold-fill. What is gold-filled? It is not the same as plating. A thick sheet of 14 karat gold is permanently bonded to base metal, letting the eye and skin only come into contact with the gold! It is a beautiful yet economical alternative to solid gold.

With that in mind, I decided to design some pieces.
This is by far my best selling ring set, Uno, Dos, Tres. It consists of three gold-filled rings. Two are hammered bands and one features a twisted rope design. Lovely!

For other gold-filled designs, please check out my Etsy shop, A Blond And A Torch.

Have a terrific Monday!


Sunday, March 30, 2008


A special thanks to SweptFromTheSea for including my Galaxy Ring in such a beautiful treasury. Please take a moment to click on the picture and check it out!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Seriously Spring

I just have to bring this Confetti Bracelet to someone's attention!

I think it is absolutely gorgeous. This bracelet was made from no telling how many dyed freshwater potato pearls from an Etsy supply shop, For Your Pretties.

Inside this bracelet is approximately FIFTEEN FEET of 22 gauge sterling silver wire!!!! That is unbelievable!

Each pearl was wrapped with the sterling wire and then attached to the chain inside.

The resulting piece is just so lovely and unique! I cannot, for the life of me, understand why no one has bought this yet.

There are even matching earrings!!!!
Seriously, maybe you can clear this up for me. I think they are so beautiful and will brighten anyone's spring wardrobe! But maybe it is just me and I should wear them myself!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I don't feel dressed until......

I put on some earrings!

I don't know about you, but I just feel naked without them. Naked and ugly! So I am working furiously to try to come up with some more earrings designs, for you AND for me!

Unfortunately, taking care of a husband, a boy, a house, and pets doesn't leave too much time in the studio and current orders take precedence, of course.

But, Viola! I listed these beauties, Eternity Hoop Earrings, and I just love 'em. They are petite, about a US ring size 5 and I hammered them all over. What I really love about these are the ear wires. I am sorry to toot my own horn, but I just love the way they look and I think I will do some more like them. Unless you tell me they stink!

Now, remember, be brutally honest when you tell me how fabulous they are!


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Adding New Things

As promised I have been working hard to come up with some new designs for the shop and I have even more under way.

This is my Eternity Necklace that was made with gold-filled materials. I just love its simplistic beauty. I also have a similar Eternity Necklace in sterling silver.

Below is my Past Present & Future Necklace. It will most likely be added later today with a sterling silver one to follow. (Update: I just listed it!)

I am so excited! I just loved adding new pieces to my shop! Please stop by!

I would really appreciate your thoughts on my new pieces. I am always open to feedback! Just remember to be totally and brutally honest when you tell me how much you love them!

Have a wonderful Tuesday!


Monday, March 24, 2008

A Day Of Recovery

Here in the Nixon household, we are all super tired from the hectic Easter weekend, which you can take a look at in yesterday's post if you like.

We are all crashing from our sugar highs and even the dogs are comatose from all their running and carrying on this weekend.

Lucy is the brown dog and Layla is the white one. They are both loads of fun and completely untrainable! But we love them anyway!

The Easter Bunny made it to our house and I sure hope he made it to yours too.
My son does not eat any type of candy, but has recently become totally enamored with junk food. So the Easter Bunny loaded up Jake's basket with cinnamon rolls, cookies, powdered donuts and sports themed eggs.

The Easter Bunny filled my basket with lots of Reese's peanut butter treats! My personal favorites! He also brought me three potted flowers. I think these are going to look lovely once they are planted in our front yard. It is truly sad that I do not have a green thumb and that they essentially received a death sentence once they were given to me. But hey! My calla lily from last Easter has revived itself, so maybe these will last? I will keep you posted because I am sure you are already on the edge of your seat.

Remember: One sure thing to get you out of an Easter slump is jewelry! No, seriously! So go on and treat yourself here and feel proud that you are supporting handmade.
Be good!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

I hope everyone is having a delightful Easter! I have just come out of my Easter candy coma!

We had a terrific weekend though, so I cannot complain. Saturday we attended the annual community East egg hunt in China, Texas. They were unable to send out fliers this year, so 600 eggs were hunted down by 13 children! My son was the biggest, but he still had a good time.
Afterward, we all went to the church for popcorn and door prizes. My son, Jake, won a quacking duck that he wants to give his new baby cousin.

Later on we headed home and decided to keep on having some fun in the sun. We let our dogs out and ran around the front yard playing Frisbee.

Well, my husband and son played Frisbee and I mostly read a book!

I think that my dog, Layla, had the best time of all!

I did my best to stay out of the sun, being blond and all I burn easily!

My friends have teased me that yellow bucket hats are the new black. Let them tease. If I get some sun I will freckle and peel! No one thinks that is attractive.

You may even notice that I am wearing my Petal earrings. I love them! They even work for Easter egg hunts and I wore them today with my new Easter dress. I highly recommend them, by the way. Of course, some may say I am biased!

Today we had a non-traditional feast of Hebrew National hot dogs, deviled eggs, and cupcakes at my parents' house. Laugh if you would like, but it was fabulous!
Now back to my hot dog induced coma!


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Time To Refuel

I am a simple girl and it doesn't take much to make me happy. It seems I am forever buying butane to refuel my torch. Well, everyone else must need it too because the most I have ever been able to get at one time was four cans.

Well, I went to Walmart yesterday and found some cans of th 2.75 oz and I am so happy! (Please do not send me hate mail for going to Walmart. It is not like I can make my own butane after all!) I usually can only find the 1.48 oz so this was great. Of course, this was at a Walmart a little further from the one I usually go to, but I will go back there for fuel from now on!

Lowe's didn't have ANY a couple of weeks ago when I went. I mean NO butane, just propane. Apparently everyone gets wiped out of butane around here. Who knew it was such a hot commodity?

I apologize for this if it bores you!

Happy egg hunting!


Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Good Friday!

Ever since I was a little girl I would always get a new dress for Easter. It was usually something frilly and pink with a big white hat with a ribbon on it.

Now that I am older I still follow that tradition with a few amendments, no hats or frills for example. Last year it was a navy blue and white polka dotted dress and this year it is the one above.

I just love this dress! It is actually quite chaste because it hangs well below my knees and is not revealing at all. Hanging there on the closet door it looks much more skimpy than it actually is.

I just wish the picture could relay the thick feel of the fabric. It is just wonderful!

Happy Good Friday, everyone! I hope you all have a great Easter!


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Something New

And I love it! After making the Petal Earrings yesterday, I decided to make a matching necklace! I have also, of course, made a set for moi. I just love how simple and elegant it is!

Photographing it was IMPOSSIBLE because of how shiny it is, but I did my best. I always hate it when people say their photographs don't do their product justice, but it is true here. Seriously.

Have a great Thursday!


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Just Like Stars On The Water.....

I made these two pairs of earrings today because I am trying to carry more than just rings in my shop.

The above pair is named "Stars On The Water" and they are made from solid 24 gauge sterling silver. I have hammered them to a beautiful multi-faced finish that photo does not give justice to. I made the ear wires from 22 gauge sterling silver.

The earrings below are my Petal earrings. They are also made from the same 24 gauge sterling silver and I have hammered them to a multi-faceted finish. The ear wires were also formed from 22 gauge sterling.

I really love the simplicity of these earrings and I hope you do too!

Have a great Wednesday,


Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I hope everyone has a happy and safe St. Patrick's Day! Back in my wilder days I used to go out and celebrate it, but now I just stay in and pinch my husband. He woke me up this morning and said "Happy Valentine's Day!" I guess he had his saints mixed up.

Well, I would include a piece of jewelry from my A Blond And A Torch Shop, but of course I don't have any green on the metal! That would just be wrong. So above is a piece from my other shop, Jen Nixon Designs.

I hope you all remembered to wear some green today. Maybe you should go ahead and find something for next St. Patrick's Day so you will be prepared. Here is a great St. Patrick's Day charm bracelet from Ben Can Dance.

Have a great Day!


Friday, March 14, 2008

The Dark Side Of The Moon

It started with an idea while I was talking to friends. The next thing I knew I was looking at the coolest ring, pictured above perched on the soldering stand. Even as I looked at it all covered in fire scale, I knew I was going to love it.

Everyone who knows me knows I have been really into these stacking rings, but there was a time before that that I wore the occasional over sized ring. I knew I was looking at my newest.

Of course, the one above was already promised to my friend so I had to make another one. That is when I knew I really liked it because I rarely squeeze one in for myself like that.

I just love it and when my husband came home last night he said he loved it! So of course I have listed it in my shop as The Dark Side Of The Moon.

I will also be listing a new necklace today and I am so excited! Stay tuned!


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mixed Feelings About Alchemy

I don't think I hold the popular opinion here because all I have ever heard is "bring back Alchemy!" Well, I say "take it back!"

For those of you who aren't familiar with the term, Etsy has a big message board they call Alchemy where anyone can post whatever they would like made for them at whatever price they find ideal. Yeah, right.

Those of you who are quick on your feet may have already guessed what has happened. People are making requests for items and wanting them at very unreasonable prices, while sellers desperate for a sale rush to accommodate them. Sad really. Most Etsians already undervalue their time and talent and now there is an acceptable forum for them to do it even more.

There are also inane requests, such as dirty pictures of your mom, an eternal soul, and I am sure you can imagine. Is this what we want Etsy to look like? Yes, it may be worth a chuckle, but c'mon. Etsy needs some respectability so that buyers will want to come and check it out.

There is also a private Alchemy that sellers can opt in and out of. At first glance I thought this was okay, but now I am not so sure. This feature allows buyers to send private conversations to the seller to request something and then the seller can reject or accept it. Wait, didn't we already do this before in private convos?

Yes, but now it is fancier. And may not be as a private either. I am waiting to find out all the facts, but there may be a glitch in the system. A good friend of mine put in a request to a seller yesterday and just got a conversation from a DIFFERENT seller today saying that she would love to assist her with what she wants. WHAT??? We are waiting to find out what is going on here.

So, as for me, I think I will opt out of this. I have always accepted custom orders and I will continue to do so through private communication with the buyer. I do not want to put my customers at risk of spam intrusion.

/end rant

Have a great Thursday!


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I am working on it......

People are always asking me when
am I going to add some necklaces to
my shop. Yes, by people I mean my

Anyway, I have finally finished this
one above, and by finished I mean I have yet to clean it or polish it
yet or it would be in my shop!

This delicate little necklace is actually very pretty, as you shall see when she is finished.

A gold-fill circle is suspended from 16"
of gold-fill chain. I have hand made the clasp, the circle, and all the jump rings, which are soldered for added durability.

I also plan to create this necklace in sterling and I would love to hear your opinions. Just remember to be brutally honest when you tell me how much you adore it!

Have a fabulous Wednesday!


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Pajamas and a Hammer

Yes, those are my old, ratty sheep pajamas you see there. Yes, it is almost 11 am central time. Don't judge me, I am sick. I have a sinus infection that won't take the day off. And I have orders to fill.

Don't worry, the orders get disinfected before they are sent out!

Right now I am working on the "Hold Me Tight" ring set. It is a little more difficult than it usually is since I don't feel well. That means I am taking it a little slower. I am also tempted to make me a set as well.

It is difficult making all this jewelry I love and not being able to keep it for myself!

This set is going to a lovely return customer of mine, so that makes me feel better!

Have a healthy Tuesday!


Thursday, March 6, 2008

I love custom orders!

The only thing I love more than wholesale orders, is custom orders. Isn't it great to list something you KNOW is going to sell? It really takes out the guesswork doesn't it?

Of course, there is always the anxiety of whether or not the customer will like it.

Well today that was a sterling silver cuff bracelet for one of my good friends! Yay! And she says she loves it!

Maybe tomorrow I can create something new?

Have a happy Wednesday!


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

New Stuff--Come Check It Out!

I am very excited because I have added some new pieces to my my shop, A Blond And A Torch!

I just love this set, Eternal Love. As soon as I have some extra time (yeah, right) I am going to make myself one!

Now, my husband thinks these are really cool. They are my Trifecta Earrings and I think they are really unique.

Now, I am torn between two loves.One is for the Eternal Love ring set, and the other for this set. This is Always & Forever and I just adore it as well.

Maybe you can help me choose?

Have a terrific Tuesday!


Monday, March 3, 2008

Rainy Monday

It is just one of those days. Nothing seems to be going right. I have already set off the smoke alarm twice making jewelry! This makes me want to lay in bed all day and stare at the ceiling.

It is raining outside so I cannot take any decent pictures. *stomps foot* And I have to stay home because I am waiting on the satellite guy to get here.

But, on a brighter note, my plants are all getting watered without me lifting a finger. The birds are still chirping away and my dogs are running around the yard loving the feel of the rain.

And I pulled the battery out of my smoke alarm for a while. See? All better :)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

A Few New Designs For Spring...

Happy Sunday, everyone!

I got up early this morning and snapped a few pictures of three of my latest designs that will soon be added to my shop.

These are my small Beaded Eternity Hoops. I just love their simplicity. They go with EVERYTHING, from the office to a night out. How great is that?

These are my large Beaded Eternity Hoops earrings. Just like the small hoops, but BIGGER!

This is my new favorite ring set! This one already has a home, but when I have some time I am making me a set too! I am calling it my Eternal Love ring set. All three rings were made from solid sterling silver and can be ordered in any size.

Maybe I can take some better photos later. I took these at 7 AM and the light wasn't all that great. But I think you can get the idea from these! I am really excited and I cannot wait to add them to my Etsy shop.

Have a great day!


Saturday, March 1, 2008

You've Been Warned

James Patterson is always good for a light read. His books are a great escape when you don't want to think about anything or have to think too hard. Most are very enjoyable as well, and, since he is using coauthors, he is spitting them out one after the other.

I recently read "7th Heaven" and "Quickie". I really liked "Quickie" and I would recommend you read it if you are a Patterson fan.

Last night I finished "You've Been Warned" simply because it is the ONLY Patterson book I have never read. Well, I have mixed feelings about it. It is definitely different than most of his other books, but it was interesting and it does make you want to find out what it really going on.

And if you are a Patterson fan you already know that most of the pages in the book are blank and each chapter is only a couple of pages long. Easy, easy read. Go on and read it, but don't say I didn't warn you.

Have a beautiful Saturday!