Sunday, November 14, 2010

Events This Week in San Diego -November 2010

Help Raise Money for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse at ChildHelp's 24th Annual Holiday Fantasia.

A shopping Boutique will be held at the PARK HYATT, 7100 Four Seasons Point in Carlsbad. It's open to the Public.

Shop for your Holiday Gifts and raise money for this wonderful organization.

with over 50 artists attending - it's a great opportunity to shop for unique and meaningful holiday gifts.

Talmadge Art Show

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How to wrap a lariat necklace - Black Garnet Dazzler

The Lariat Necklace - The Dazzler Lariat isn't as long as the Galaxy Lariat in the previous post, however, there are still many ways this lariat can be worn. These are just a few ideas. If you have any additional ideas please post them here.

You can simply tie it any place you like and let the pendants fall where they please you most.

Or you can just lasso the black garnet though the hoop.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

How to wrap a lariat - Blue Druzy Necklace- Azurite - Gold Leaft

Blue Druzy Necklace - Azurite Lariat - Gold Dipped Leaf Lariat - Galaxy Lariat
Extra long lariat made from 14k gold filled flat cable chain can be worn as many ways as your imagination wonders. So far, I've found four great looks. All are posted below.

Yes, the sparkling Azurite pendant is really that blue. Bright electric blue with natural sparkle. It's amazing. I just can't stop staring at.

The leaf is an extra long natural (real) leaf with a 24k gold heavy overlay.

The leaf and azurite are attached with 14k gold filled wire and a sparkling gold tundra sapphire.

The two interlocking links are handcrafted from 14k gold fill.

The chain measures 37 1/2 inches (approx 95 cm)
The Azurite is 27 x 19mm
The leaf is 87 mm long
Total length is 43.5 " long (approx 111 cm)

Two Ways to Wear as a medium length necklace:

Top Photo: Wrap twice around neck. Slightly uneven so that the links and azurite rest higher than the leaf. Thread leaf though links.

Bottom Photo: Fold chain in half. Slightly uneven again so that the azurite and links rest higher than the leaf. Hold folded part of the chain near the hollow of your neck and wrap the rest of the necklace around your neck so that both ends meet at the hollow of your neck. Thread lariat though the folded part of the chain.

Two ways to wear this necklace very long:

Left Photo: Simply tie the chain where you want it to meet on your neck.

Right Photo: Thread the leaf though the links. Pull leaf (gently) until it rests where you like it.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Making a wire coil quickly using a wire as the mandrel.

Making a wire coil quickly using a wire as the mandrel.... ON THE CHEAP.

If you are like me you have probably been making your coils by hand - wrapping one wire around another. After a day, your hands become stiff and tired. I would like to keep using my hands for a long time, so I started to look for new methods.

The first thing I came across was the coiling gizmo deluxe. It's $200 and quite large. I then browsed the other coiling gizmo products, but they didn't do what I needed them to do. I wanted a wire to be the mandrel - the "rod" another wire is wrapped around. In these kits you use an actual rod/mandrel to wrap the wire around. (hang in there with me)

All this research and price tags got me thinking about ways to make a coil using a plain old drill. I am sure I am not the first person to make this discovery but there isn't a lot of information out there on how to do this.

For this particular project I used 12" of 24 gauge wire and 10" of 26 gauge wire.
The 26 gauge wire will be used to wrap around the 24 gauge wire. (All half hard - dead soft gets too squirly)

Next grab a regular old drill - I had one in my garage. Place it on a hard surface.

Open the chuck a little bit - enough to insert your wires.
Insert the larger/thicker gauge wire (24g) about two inches into the dead center. Close the chuck a little bit. Then put the smaller/finer gauge wire (26g) in one of the 3 prongs. I usually choose the one furthest from where I am sitting. Close the chuck as much as you can.

Next, I manually wrap the finer wire around the thicker mandrel wire a few times to get the coil started. Wrap toward yourself.

Next, start the power on the drill very slowly. I find holding my fingers as shown in the pictures stabilizes the wire the best. (no, I do not have glamours nails, sorry) You want the wire to wrap as closely as possible - a straight up and down position works best. You will need to practice to get the feel.

If you screw it up. Just unwrap it manually and re-wrap it as best as you can.

Here is what a finished coil looks like.

I prefer my coils to have tails on each end.

Interested in what I use my coils for?

Here are some samples of how I use them. First here is THE MINI in Saffron, hoop earrings with a briolette in the middle.
Necklaces with coiled pendants - this version has chalcedony in the middle.
Another version of a coiled pendant.

If you have any question, I welcome them here.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

New Logos & Banners

I am so excited to show off my new banner (Look Up) and logo designs! I worked with a former colleague and friend, Sami Wallingford, to come up with the design concept. We used to work together in the publishing industry - I was sales, she was graphic design. I think it's wonderful to work with former co-workers who have branched out on our own.

Let me know what you think of the new look!

Monday, August 30, 2010

My Jeweled Totem Earrings were featured on the Front Page of Etsy

On Sunday morning I realized that I had the most traffic - EVER- to my Etsy shop.
Thank you ChristiaLP for the awesome exposure.
She spent time looking for artists with nice products and great photography AND had never been on the front page of Etsy.
Consider me tickled pink.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Laura Hunter Jewelry in Google Shopping

My earrings - Top Row Far Right
My latest reading topic is about SEO - Search Engine Optimization. It took me a long - long - long time to start connecting the dots about how all of this works. (And I still have many dots to go) What I really want to do is make jewelry - however - if no one sees it, no one buys it - and then I get featured on TLC's Buried Alive. Shudder.

Well, I read tidbits from all over. I read on the Esty Forums, Blogs, web sites... any advice that was easy to follow. I slowly began making tweaks to help my odds of being searchable. One of the biggest and best tweaks I've started making is changing the titles of my jewelry. For example, I like to give names to my jewelry like Hot Hoops, Breathless and Glitz because that they way them make me feel. After I began connecting the dots better, I found out this is not how to name items when selling them on-line. I found out one has to name their items how one searches for them.

My task of renaming titles more descriptively is a major work in progress on my LauraHunterJewelry Etsy site. However, last week I began to notice one particular search term show up in my Google Analytics that was bringing good traffic - good meaning lots of views, low bounces, stayed on my site 2 minutes plus and went a few pages deep. "Hey, this looks interesting!" I thought, and followed the white rabbit down the rabbit hole.

That meaning, I did the search myself and this is what I found.... my Hot Hoop Earrings .... oops ... my Gold and Silver Hoop Earring with Chalcedony - Two Toned Gold and Silver with Aqua Chalcedony - Hot Hoops in Aqua on page one of Google Shopping! Yeah, success! I then found four more earrings within the first eight pages. I was so excited that I took a picture. Go ahead and say it, "DORK!"

My plan is to keep hacking away at this because I heard that the minute you look the other way you can loose your position. So onward I go.

An Update on my Handmadespark impulse: Since August, 13 the site has seen 16 visitors with 31 page views. Ick. Referrals to Etsy: 0 -

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Gold Dipped Feather Earrings - Wire Coiling

Gold Dipped Feather Earrings
Yes they are real feathers! The feathers go though an electroplating process where a thick layer of 24k gold adheres to a coating of brass over the feather resulting in a real feather with Gold Overlay. I think these feathers are H-O-T!
I decided my own jewelry collection was becoming sparse -since I sell what I make- and made a pair just for myself. It must have been great advertising because I received orders for TWO more pairs of earrings. I have one pair of feathers remaining. I am wondering if they will ever make it to my Etsy shop?

If you would like to nab the last pair contact me though Etsy click here to contact me.

In addition to earrings I am also using the Gold Overlay Feathers in a few necklaces. These feathers are not matched pairs and are longer than the ones I am using for the earrings. Please take a peek on my Facebook Fan Page. Let me know what you think of the feathers.

About the wire coiling. I have been twirling these babies by hand for awhile now. I thought there must be a better way - without spending a fortune. I figured it out. The results are impeccable with a little practice. Stay tuned for a tutorial on making a coil, using another wire as the mandrel.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Talmadge Art Show - May 2010

I had some terrific neighbors at the Talmadge Art Show this weekend. All jewelry designers! Yes, that was an exclamation point.

What I find interesting is how we all can use the same materials and turn out jewelry/art that is completely different.

Behind me was Miriam Jewels. Miriam crochets 28 gauge sterling silver or 14k gold filled wire. I have seen crocheted jewelry before but NOTHING like this. Just beautiful. She said it's a Peruvian technique. The thinnest gauge wire I use in my work is 26. It's amazing what one can create with wire. Check her out:

My neighbor to the right Silver on my Mind, had jewelry that is much bolder than mine and they set stones. Both of us have a thing for blue chalcedony right now and both of us had it in our display, however both of our uses were completely different. Bold vs. Delicate
Check Sheila out:

My other neighbor was probably the most dramatically different and uses materials least like my materials. Old Typwriter keys and vintage findings. Really cool stuff.
Check Gina out:

Have fun.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Progression of new materials

Here is the progression from the simple Smoky Quartz and Pink Topaz earrings in the picture below.
I've decided to make more hoops. I just love hoop earrings! These are formed into an organic diamond shape using my WigJig Centuar. I then hammer the sterling silver with a mallet to harden it. Next I hammer it with a chasing hammer to flatten the silver in just the right spot. What I get are some lovely organic shaped hoops.

I added some AAA smoky quartz, Mystic Pink Topaz Birolettes and some AAA micro faceted onion cut Peridot.

What's even better --- the gems can easily be taken off and on for versatility. Two earrings in one.

I've hammered out four sterling silver and three 14k gold filled hoops for this weekend. I hope to have all the gems attached.

Oh this weekend!

Talmadge Art Show! Sunday, May 2
I will be there!

There will be 52 artists showing this year. It's centrally located in Hillcrest.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sea Gems

I will be making a limited quantity of sliced shell and gem jewelry. My sister in law found these lovely shells in a shop while on vacation and brought them home to me thinking I could make them into jewelry. She was right. Here's my first one.
This shell is named Thias. I wrapped the Thias shell with 14k gold filled wire and attached 3 georgous citrine heart shaped briolettes to each shell. The glimmer of blue are tiny facetted rondells of Topaz.

This will be listed on Etsy today for $74

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Desk Chaos

A sign that I am busy - more than one project going at once. One idea leads to another. Those earrings are just a start. Perfect, smooth smokey quartz drops, faceted beautiful green tourmaline, and gorgeous micro faceted pink topaz! I am thinking about adding removable hoops to this design. Gotta toy with that.
Check out that Citrine over to the right in the bag. OMG! It's perfect and a gorgeous yellow orange. I have to do something special with those.
Above the earrings are onion cut peridot. I am thinking pink and green. Why not? Have fun - it's jewelry.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Almost Done

All I need to do is add the clasp to this bracelet. Polished smooth Ruby, Labradorite, Amethyst, and Tundra Sapphire, compliment a sterling silver chain and hand forged sterling silver clasp. The three large links are the beginning part of the clasp. I still need to add the hook.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Finally Unblocked

After one year of neglecting my blog - I have decided to give this a try once again. I had a huge case of artistic block. Finally inspiration hit a few months ago and I have been busy once again. Here is a picture of some of my new materials. Some of my favorites include London Blue Topaz, Swiss Blue Topaz and Aqua Chalcedony. Thank you to all of my friends who supported me though my difficult time.