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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Rose Jade





I'm on a roll, or should I say, a donut!

As with any of the pieces I post on my blog, if you're interested in purchasing please send me a message.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Sonora Sunrise


When I saw this stone (along with a couple of her sisters) I just knew I had to have her. When I saw how much Sonora Sunrise costs, I decided it was WAY out of my league. The blue part is called "Chrysocolla" and the red is called "Cuprite". The black is actually iron. I've even heard of there being flecks of real gold in in some varieties. What is rare is the combination of the three. I got two very high quality Sonora Sunrise stones from a cab cutter that I found in a lapidary group on Facebook. She offered me the stones at a price I could (sort of) afford, and I just couldn't pass it up.

When I received the stones they were much more beautiful in person. The problem though was that they were a bit softer than what I'm used to working with. I knew I wouldn't be able to use the methods I usually use, I would have to have a light touch. The first attempt went no where. In fact, it was such a mess I posted a photo on Instagram.

I tried again today. I think I did it. It was a little more difficult and more challenging, but the process went a little quicker. I usually hammer around the stone, I usually tumble finish every piece. I wasn't able to do that. I had to harden the wire by meticulously polishing the wire, and it was soft because I annealed the heck out of it to get it to shape around the stone. I like how it turned out though. But I really think it's the stone that's the star here, and that's important with a stone like this. I hope you like it.

A Labradorite to Remember...

I am SO in love with this piece. It sold before it was even finished, and as an artist that is such a huge compliment.

I am going to share some pictures.





Back


I hope that it enjoys its new home in Canada...

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Fool's Gold UPDATED

I have really been plugging away at the whole jewelry thing!  I have the Wire Wrappin' Fever and there is NO cure!

I also bought a TON of new stones!  Sonora Sunrise, Labradorite, Dendritic Jasper, Rhyolite, and I'm so excited to get to work.

I have a new piece, a Fool's Gold (Pyrite) Donut wrapped in copper, and I just love it. I must confess, I've been wearing it everyday even though it's for sale.  59.00 plus shipping...



If you're interested shoot me an email. I have made some minor adjustments since taking these pictures. Notice the end caps? Those are probably my favorite part of the piece. You see, my husband's uncle passed away recently. He was an avid trapper and had tons of copper tags in which he would use to label the animal pelts. I happen to have inherited quite a few of these tags and I just love working with them. The caps are pieces of copper tag that I rolled up, and then soldered the wire spiral across the tube. I thought they were way too cool to hide in the back, so I brought them up to the front.






























Here are some UPDATED pictures (of the new configuration):




My next piece (currently in progress) is a high quality Labradorite!  It's very, very nice.
There's much more to come, so stay tuned.

Also, if you don't already, follow me on Instagram!  My handle is "LeahHoffmanJewelry".

Monday, March 2, 2015

A Quick Start, and a Slow Finish

Last week I finished what turned out to be one of my most favorite creations to date. I tend to hold on to stones for a long time. I finally got around to wrapping up an intarsia obsidian/labradorite I bought a couple of years ago. I thought that some new jewelry might pique the interest of some customers and they might just want to take a look at some of the older jewelry I still have for sale. My strategy worked. In the past week I've sold 4 items, which for me is pretty exciting.

The wrap started off quickly, I mean, the Wire Gods must have been on my side that day because I finished that puppy in less than two days. I have two kids, my studio is downstairs, it takes me a while because I have a lot of interruptions. After the pendant was complete it was time for me to fabricate some kind of chain, or cord to suspend it on. That didn't go as smoothly.

pendant


So, I had this awesome idea to VIKING KNIT some fine leather cord. 
It took forever, but I knew it was going to be the perfect cord. 

Viking Knit with the Tool I Made
But, pulling it through the draw plate I couldn't get the weave to pull tight enough, and ultimately BROKE the leather, right down the middle. It wasn't even long enough to salvage a bracelet from.

I ended up making a hanger with some really thick wire, and some end caps, and fitting it to a raw copper chain, which worked out rather well.

And, it sold before it was even finished. I love that kind of pressure.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Big Sale!



This past weekend I went to Green Goods for the Home and picked up the last of my jewelry. I didn't have much left, and didn't really have a reason to keep it there. The stuff that hadn't sold had been sitting for the past couple of years and I thought it was a good time to give them back their shelf space. If I make enough new stuff I would love to bring it back. We had a great relationship and I'm open to working with them again.


So, I have a few pieces that I'm selling at a really deep discount.  

If you're interested, please head to my Facebook Fan Page for Leah Hoffman Jewelry, or send me a message at Leah Hoffman Jewelry

 I will honor these prices until the end of the month.


I am currently NOT taking any orders for custom designs. 

Here are some items for sale:










49.00, mixed metal

65.00, sterling with adventurine nugget

65.00





Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas

Hello, I just thought I'd check in and share my newest piece. It sold pretty quickly. It's a blue agate slice, wrapped with reclaimed copper. I'm particularly pleased with the matching clasp.

I feel bad, I was planning to do a little repair work for Christmas  but every time I'd sit down to do it I'd get distracted and make something new.  I guess that's a good problem to have. Merry Christmas everyone, and a Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Believing in the Weaving

I love this necklace and it's going to be very hard to part with.
Lots of work and attention to detail went into this one, And pictures simply do not do justice.

It seems like I'm not getting to the bench as often as I'd like, with a five month old baby and a rambunctious little boy who keeps me on my toes.






Rhodochrosite and Reclaimed Copper Wire pendant on Raw Copper chain. This pendant has a Czech glass bead accent.
Hand woven wire work and forged copper clasps. Tumbled finished for 16 hours for ultimate strength, durability and smoothness.
2" x 2", 17.5" long from end to end
Comes in gift ready box with anti-tarnish paper and Eurotool polishing square.
"Pink Rhodochrosite is a strong stone to aid emotional healing. It encourages you to feel love for yourself... and its energy will assist you in meditation, to reach a state of joy and sublime happiness.
It's energy may stimulate your inner child... and bring a deep childlike happiness and joy into your life. It aids you to bring deep forgotten memories to the surface for healing.
Copper is reclaimed from construction projects, stripped, cleaned, and remade into this intricate wire jewelry. Copper is antimicrobial and is touted for it's healing properties. It may cause harmless discoloration of the skin when worn by certain individuals. This is temporary and usually only happens when the wearer has been sweating. I do not accept returns based on this. Copper also is prone to tarnish, but is easily restored to it's original condition with a few rubs of the polishing square which comes free with purchase. Additional squares can be purchased for 1.50.
89.00 postage paid

If you're interested in purchasing this necklace please email me at leahhoffmanjewelry@gmail.com

I accept PayPal, Dwolla

Now, moving on... and speaking of that beautiful little five month old baby, I have entered her in a contest for "Cutest BABY!"  If you have a moment please follow the link to the Cutest Baby Contest and vote for Miss Isla Faye.  She is as sweet as she looks. Thank you.
Click on her picture to vote:

Vote for Me, I love life!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Get into the Groove

It's been awhile, huh? I've been busy with my new baby daughter, Isla Faye, along with navigating the new school experience with my Kindergartener. It's hard to make time to create, and I apologize that I have been so non-existent here.  I created another person, so I feel I get a pass.
Finally, the muse called, but not without a small re-adjustment period.

I made my first Tree of Life. I was not pleased with the result. This is an established design, mostly done in the same style, and there is actually a process that works really well. There are a hundred different tutorials on how to make this piece. I'm stubborn though and was determined to figure it out on my own. I wanted to make something with a nice, thick trunk. I wanted mine to be different. I failed in my attempt. Ugh. But, I *might* have sold it. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and if it makes someone happy and they love it, I can't complain too much. I'll call it practice.


The next piece turned out a lot better. I have a beautiful Lapis donut sitting on my bench for a while. I started working on it yesterday, and from start to finish everything flowed really well. 

I love this piece. I haven't completed the endcaps and clasp yet, but I'm hoping I can get those parts done this weekend. (It's Friday.)

Hopefully it won't take me five months to make my next piece. Even with a baby in the house it's important for me to take time to work on my own endeavors. She's still sleeping through the night, but she's also awake a lot during the day. I went without nursing for FOUR HOURS yesterday because my face was buried in the wire. I'm sure as she gets older things will improve. They're only babies for a short time. I intend to enjoy her as much as possible while I can.


UPDATE:  The piece is sold, I made the endcaps and the clasp, and it's all ready to go. I wish I could make and sell a piece of jewelry every day. Man... that would be the life, wouldn't it?







Monday, July 7, 2014

Introducing Isla Faye

Isla Faye Hoffman
Born June 16, 2014 at 12:28 PM7 lbs 4 oz, 20.25" long

One Week Old

I haven't been doing much jewelry making, I've been busy with other stuff.


Daddy Loves his Daughter
Beaming with LOVE!
One Day Old
Born wide eyed and alert
Isla Faye was born on Monday, June 16th, one day after Father's Day and one day before my husband's birthday. I don't know what could possibly top this present.

It was about 11:30 PM on Sunday night, June 15th that I was having trouble falling asleep.  I was having a flare of heartburn, I was tossing and turning, and I couldn't get comfortable.  For the past couple of weeks I had been having a lot of false labor contractions, some of which were coming at regular intervals. I was constantly on edge, thinking that I was starting labor. I even had gone to the hospital a few days previous because I was having regular contractions that were increasingly stronger. So, when the real thing started I thought it was anything but the real thing.  I kept feeling like I had to go to the bathroom, but nothing was happening.  At about 5:00 AM it finally dawned on me that I could be going into labor.  I got up, got online, and that's when I got my first light contraction followed a few minutes later by another, and then a few minutes later by another. I woke up my husband and called the midwife.
  At 7:00 AM we got to the hospital where it was confirmed that I was in the throes of labor.  The contractions were gaining strength and were coming quickly.  We were admitted into a room where I labored for about five hours before I was dilated and ready to push. But, Isla had different plans. She was reluctant to make her entrance. She hadn't descended into the birth canal, and her heart rate was rapidly falling.  The midwife and nursing staff had me turn over into different positions to try to arouse a response from her, but nothing seemed to be working.  They told me that they were going to call in a doctor for a cesarean if I couldn't move the baby down. The last thing I wanted was to be cut open.
  With the first contraction after that the midwife told me to push as hard as I could to try to move her down.  And, with the second contraction I pushed again and she crowned, but she also had her first BM inside of me, which is called meconium. It is very dangerous for a baby to have their first BM this way. The neonatal intensive care nurses were standing by with gloves on, ready to whisk her away. They told me they might have to take her before I could hold her.  The doctor was also standing by.  With the third contraction I pushed with all of my might, and she made her entrance into the world, pink, wiggly, and crying.  The NICU staffed stepped back, and the midwife placed the baby on my chest where she settled down nicely. And, in spite of the meconium and the low heart rate her one minute apgar score was a 9. Incredible.
  Isla was wide eyed and alert shortly after being born. She actually stayed awake for quite a while, taking it all in.  The nurse said she had never seen such a gorgeous baby.  And, I believe her.


My Children

So far Isla has been a really good baby.  She's exclusively breastfed and gaining weight. Since her second day home she has slept through the night (I'm writing this as she is three weeks old) and I have to wake her to nurse. She nurses and goes right back to sleep without a problem. She cries a lot during the day right now, but at least she doesn't cry at night.












Thursday, June 12, 2014

Waiting for Her Arrival...

As I write this blog I sit through uncomfortable contractions, coming every 3-5 minutes. I was sent home from the hospital last night, I'm not making much progress in my labor, even though my contractions are nice and regular. I'm going to wait things out. (Yeow!!!) I finished a new piece a few days ago, and I thought I'd share.

This piece started off as inspiration from some incredible wire weaving I saw on one of the wire wrapping groups I belong to on Facebook. I showed my husband, and kiddingly (that's not a word) told him that I didn't make the piece.  He said "I can tell, it's slightly better than what you can do."  I agreed. I certainly recognize talent when it exceeds my own. And, that was motivation!

I ended up using the weave for the bail, which is what I usually end up doing. Originally I wanted to wrap it around a stone, but instead I poked the tail wires through a piece of thick gauge wire that I had chased down flat and drilled some holes into several weeks ago. I admit, I had no idea what I was doing, or where that decision was going to take me, but one thing led to another and it started to take a very interesting shape.  I had a very elaborate bail, but I couldn't figure out how make it work with a stone.
And, sitting on the bench, taunting me were some earrings that a customer had requested I'd make to match a necklace that she said she was interested in buying. That never came to fruition, but the dangles from the earrings seemed to be the perfect solution.

The lesson here is not to throw away those old, unfinished or unsold pieces or even pieces of pieces that were experiments gone wrong. Scraps can turn into to something really special, and it's just another way you can recycle.






On a side note, I have a really HARD TIME placing pictures on this blog.
If anyone knows of a better way than dragging them across the page and resizing them just so in hopes that they'll fit together PLEASE let me know in comments. Is there a Blogger editor?

Hopefully by this time tomorrow I'll be holding my beautiful baby girl.