Archive | May, 2012

Rosemary Zamecnik with Garden Gate Designs

30 May

Last year Tammy and I took submissions for our featured artisan blog sections. This year we are prowling through Artfire and giving a glimpse of what we see. Hope you enjoy and if you are an artisan that we showcase, if you would like us to make changes or delete a post about your studio please let us know.

Today as I was going through our  different guilds on Artfire I stumbled into a fellow member that is having a lot of fun while working. She has stunning pieces and I had to share so pull up a chair with your favorite beverage, pop open this link and take a look around.

“ I am a self taught jewelry artist with a love of vibrant colors and nature.  Gemstones are my passion and unusual ways to present them in a jewelry format.  I am a retired Grandmother of three wonderful Grandchildren.”

I think my favorite piece right now is her Agate bracelet as the colors are amazing and yet the design is classic.

And for a striking piece for the coming summer I have to pick…

Take a look around and then let us know your favorite pieces!


The junk drawer

25 May

So I (Tina) moved from one house to another at the beginning of May and on move day Tammy (with permission) went and snooped in my kitchen. When she was going through the kitchen drawers she started to laugh and I wondered why. She found it very funny that one of the first things that I moved and unpacked from my move was what is commonly called “the junk drawer” and stated that she try’s to avoid having one for at least the first 6 months at a new place. I wondered about that because the junk drawer is where most of the common tools I use land in this spot. I have a space for “proper” tool storage and what not but really my junk drawer is used almost daily and I can not imagine NOT having such an easy spot to goto for all those handy things. That got both of us thinking as to what is actually in such a drawer. For me I have a ton of stuff from tape (minimum of three kinds), hammer, tape measure, candles, gloves, cup hooks, lighters, and screw driver to the more unusual like I have had powdered shrimp brine for about 2 years and instructions on how to mummify a chicken (we used to home school and did this while studying ancient egypt).



So what do I feel MUST be in this crazy catch-all of a drawer and why?

1) Tape: A) masking tape as this is a gentle all-purpose kind of tape. If you need to mark something fast grab making. If you need to attach a pad of gauze in a hurry grab masking. B) Duct Tape, the stout all-purpose. We have probably all heard how wonderful this stuff is and well it is all true. You want to make a prom dress grab duct tape. Want something bound for practically life, grab duct tape. Need to patch a tarp, grab duct tape. C) Plumbing tape, if you see a drip or the start of a plumbing problem, grab plumbers tape and then call for some help. I am not skilled at fixing plumbing issues but I know that if I can slow down the damage it will cost me less in time and money in repairs and damages. This goes in the same line as D) electrical tape. If you see a spark of exposed wire, tape it up, unplug if possible and get help by someone who knows what they are doing.


2) Gloves I keep 1 pair of medical, 1 pair of garden, and 1 pair of leather work style. None of these are my favorite pairs but they are nice to have on hand. If I had to only keep 1 pair though it would be the work style as you never know when you may need there for something heavy or messy and they can double in a pitch for garden gloves when a friend brings flowers that you want to trim before putting ain a vase but don’t want to get poked by a thorn like from a rose.


3) Basic tools: A) screwdriver I have one of those that has many tips so I can pretty much always do a quick repair or replace of batteries without having to scrounge up the right size or style tip. B) pliers seem almost sill to have so handy yet you never know when you need a pair just to open the cap of some tube of goo. C) Hammer, how many times do we use a hammer? and while on the hammer theme add in all the basic hanging supplies; I like brads as they are small and easy to use, a small level (who wants really lopsided pictures), maybe some cup style hooks and remember to have a few clips or carabiners (I used one today to have my new bird feeder outside). and ANY other tool you find yourself using often. D) Tape measure need we say more?



4) I also include odd ball things like a lighter for the grill, birthday candles as you can use these for more than just birthdays, outlet covers and child safety gear, a short indoor extension cord (I like mine handy for when we have “Hot Pot” for dinner, simple glue (this can be supper glue, gorilla glue, elmers, rubber cement), and anything else that you will use often enough to want to keep handy for those fast grabs. In the summer I have plant ties, in the winter I have an ice scraper (Why keep these in the car where the doors are frozen shut?), and the list can be endless for each households needs.


Please take a minute and look at your fabulous stash and share what you could not imagine storing any other place than that perfect “junk” drawer.

Sunstone is brilliant and diverse

24 May

This is the first in a mini series on semi precious gemstones that we at Entwined Vines Jewelry use over and over again yet may have a hard time keeping in stock or getting our hands on. With summer approaching and the colors coming in from the fashion arenas of the world we are fortunate to find that some of our favorite colors are represented in the coming fashion forcast and is becoming more available in the stones we have available. Sunstone is one of our fastest moving stones regaurdless of what we make. At the point of my typing this blog, we are currently out but I am including pictures from two of the pieces that we made the week of May 5th and sold before mother’s day weekend.

Sunstone: is a plagioclase feldspar crystal that is formed in molten lava and then discharged onto the surface of the earth by a volcano, which when viewed from certain directions exhibits a brilliant spangled appearance; this has led to its use as a gemstone. It has been found in Southern Norway, and in some United States localities though the finding of sunstone in Oregon has moved this gemstone from rare to common with Oregon (United States) having the largest supply fount to date. It is the official gemstone of Oregon (United States) with the Thunder egg being the state rock.

The optical effect appears to be due to reflections from inclusions of red copper, hematite or pyrite. The main colors varies from golden to orange to red-brown, and can be transparent or translucent.

The ancient natives of Oregon (United States) once used sunstone for barter. In addition, the Vikings considered the gemstone to be a talisman for navigation, and sunstones have been found in Viking burial mounds. Sunstone is believed to strengthen the life force, bring luck, instill optimism and increase strength and vitality. Many say it assists contemplative processes and bolsters the energy level. It may lend extra physical energy in times of stress or ill health.

“Believed to be a piece of the sun, sunstone was prized by ancient magicians, who used it to attract the strength of the sun and it’s associated power and wealth. It is commonly associated with the Phoenix that appeared at the first sunrise.”



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The Top of Crazyness for May, 2012

23 May

On artfire Entwined Vines Jewelry belong to several guilds. We do this as professional artisans. We LOVE the opportunities and most of the guild members and especially the guild challenges to keep up working and thinking as not only artisans but business owners. The guild that we are show casing today is called the Crazy Train Guild and every month there is a calendar of members that are featured (along with little brother and sister pages). This group of members is so amazing that we are running a showcase blog just for them. Check them all out and let them know how awesome they all are!


5/1/2012 – 5/2/2012   BAYSIDE PHOTOGRAPHY

5/3/2012 – 5/4/2012    CRAFTED JOY

This studio went on vaccation but really is worth looking over their pieces after the 23rd

5/5/2012 – 5/6/2012   GIESE DESEIGNS

5/7/2012 – 5/8/2012  CREATIVE BY DEFAULT

5/9/2012 -5/12/2012  JUST A TISH

5/11/2012 – 5/12/2012 MAST R PIECES

5/13/2012 – 5/14/2012 PRAIRIE SOY

5/15/2012 -5/16/2012 STAINED GLASS WV

5/17/2012 – 5/18/2012 THE HOBBY ROOM

5/19/2012 – 5/20/2012 124 GEMSTONES

5/21/2012 – 5/22/2012 1 BEAD AT A TIME

5/23/2012 – 5/24/2012 3 DDOODLES

5/25/2012 – 5/26/2012 ACADIENNE

5/27/2012 – 5/28/2012 AMELIA ORIGINALS

5/29/2012 – 5/30/2012 AMY CRAWLEY

5/31/2012 – 6/1/2012 ANGELQUE CREATIONS

Quote of the day and Diamonds

22 May

“I have never hated a man enough to give his diamonds back.” ~Zsa Zsa Gabor

Zsa Zsa has been known for her amazing taste in jewelry, catch lines with hungarian accent, and many husbands (nine to be exact if you count the one husband that the marriage ended in annulment) and although her passing was in 1995 we still look back at her impeccable taste in jewelry. The above quote has always made me smile and several of our pieces here at Entwined Vines Jewelry have kept the spirit of Zsa Zsa with her glitz and glam into the modern age. Although we have no diamonds today (rolling through my brain as a song of “we have no bananas today” don’t ask why) we still love and are drawn to that classy sparkle as can be seen in the following pieces (to see more click on the link above to our artfire studio).

Viking Knit tutorial pt 4: How to finish your weave

21 May

Now that you have gotten your weave close to the length you want and have finished off the last of the wire you have been working with, you get to run your weave through your draw plate to help set the pattern and harden the wire. Take your draw plate and start threading your weave through the largest hole  with the “pettels” pointed from the more rounded side through to the flat rough side.  Take a good hold on that bundle of pettels and at a steady pace pull through the first hole. Once you have this done, you will continue pulling your strand of weaving through each hole two times each.  You can try different ways of doing the pull whether you pull strait or give a gradual twist or add weights at the bottom and then give a twist or put a leather cord through so you can tighten the weave till it is snug to achieve differing patterns in your weave for your final piece. This is art and is ment to be played with. Once your piece has a stunning pattern  you are done pulling through the draw plate (most of the time you will NOT use all the holes as the weave would end to tight or there would be no space to thread a core wire to actually making something with). Once your weave is just right, take your snips and trim off the bundle of pettel  wires and tuck the ends so you have a smooth stunning piece to create with.