Thursday, February 2, 2012

Has the Love Bug Bitten You Yet?

I'll admit that I haven't been the biggest fan of Valentine's day in it's traditional form. It tends to put undue pressure on all of us to either be in a perfect relationship or to reassess our singlehood, if single. I think, instead, we should celebrate love in any form we prefer.

If you're single, celebrate it by treating yourself to a class or buying something you've been wanting for a while. Celebrate yourself and take the time to appreciate all that you do. If you're in a relationship, take the time to tell your signifigant other why they mean so much to you. Maybe even write it in a letter. It's so easy to fall into a Valentine's rut, but if you really focus on celebrating love, this holiday can be beautiful.

If you do want to give a Valentine's gift to a signifigant other or even to yourself, you might enjoy one of the Valentine's-themed pieces of jewelry I've created. They are all under $50 each, ready to ship and can be gift wrapped upon request. Check them out at my Etsy shop.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

2012 Jewelry Clubs in Time for the Holidays!

I'm pleased to announce that Quite Clever Jewelry will be offering jewelry club gifts just in time for the holiday season. Currently, I have listings for rings, but be on the lookout for earring and assorted jewelry clubs coming soon. Each club will allow recipients to receive jewelry throughout 2012 at a discounted price. These packages are great gifts for jewelry-lovers!

How it works:

The recipient fills out a questionaire that will reflect her favorite stones, colors, metal patinas and design asthetic.

I will then design each piece of jewelry based on the criteria within the questionaire.

Check out my etsy store at to see the details of each of each jewelry club.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Another Installment of What I Do When I'm Not Making Jewelry

At the beginning of the summer, I decided it would be a good idea to finish some of the long-overdue home projects that I had been planning for my house ever since I moved in five years ago. Menards offered zero-interest financing for those who applied for a store credit card so I figured now was my chance.

I wanted to put in a privacy fence and a patio so I spent quite a bit of time sketching out plans and measuring the backyard. I also made a couple trips to Menards, pricing out materials and scouring the flyers to spot any upcoming sales. Luckily, I was able to get some great deals and I had all of my supplies delivered to my house, which is really the only way to do it.

All of my supplies after they were delivered.

We immediately started on the fence and it was a doozy of a project. Digging post holes, mixing cement making sure the posts are level . . . it's enough to drive anyone insane. That said, we finished the project and it looks beautiful. My dad and boyfriend did the majority of the post-hole digging and cement pouring. I mixed my fair share though and did a lot of drilling, hammering and cutting pickets to size. We still haven't made the fence gates yet but the fence itself looks gorgeous! I'm so happy with it.

My boyfriend working on the fence.

After we finished the fence, the only supplies left in our supply area were the four tons of patio pavers and about ten bags of sand. After the grueling work on the fence, we didn't get started right away on the patio. We needed a break. After a while though, I felt like digging out the dirt and getting ready for the patio.
The patio area staked out and after digging down one level.

I staked the patio area and dug the entire space out in one day, I didn't realize there had been a heat advisory issued. Luckily, the next day was signifigantly cooler. I had to dig the entire area out again to get down to the six inch depth I needed for the rock and sand. After digging, I laid weed fabric and back filled the hole with gravel. I raked out the gravel until it was flat and then rolled a lead pipe over the gravel to compact it down. Finally, I filled one end of the hole with sand and used a board to level or screet the sand over 3/4 inch electrical conduit.

Luckily, I had help for the rest of the process. My dad and I carefully laid in the pavers one by one. We started at one end and then moved across the patio. By the third row, my dad had discovered a method for laying in the pavers evenly which made the process move a lot faster. That said, it was still back-breaking work and both of us ended up carrying about 4 tons of pavers that day from one end of the yard to the other. Yikes!

The completed patio, still in need of landscaping, but beautiful nonetheless.
When we finally laid in the last paver, my mom helped out by sweeping some paver-locking sand into the spaces between each paver. The sand really finished off the look of the patio and I was floored by how well it turned out. It still needs quite a bit of landscaping around it, but the patio itself is great! I plan to spend many mornings doing yoga on it and many afternoons and evenings grilling out on it. It was tough, but so worth it.

Close-up you can see the circle pattern I created on my patio.
Now, I'm hopefully done for a while with my home diy projects. I need to turn my focus largely back to jewelry as I have many shows coming up and I am working on finishing my new line. It's a good thing I like projects, because I tend to have about five in the works at any given time. It keeps life interesting though and I'm excited to work on creating things, whether they are for my business or for my home.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

What I Do When I'm Not Making Jewelry

Despite always loving a creative project, I have never been the best cook. I think it is because I find it difficult to stick to a recipe. Once I saw panda bread though, I knew I had to make it at some point. Well, I finally took some time this Saturday to make this fun bread and it actually turned out amazingly well! I must admit that I'm a little shocked, but very pleased. I even flubbed the recipe a bit. I subsituted honey for sugar and almond milk for cow's milk. Even with the substitutions though, the bread both looked and tasted great. Check out the results below.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

If you are upset about the economy, think about this . . .

Most of us look at our government and shake our heads at their inabilty to accomplish anything, but could we be just as much to blame for our economic situation?

When we go to buy groceries, clothing, or luxuries, how often do we look for the "Made in America" stamp? If you shop at Walmart, whose items are overwhelmingly made in China, only 6 cents of every dollar you spend stays in the local economy. Conversely, shopping at local stores, or buying American-made goods, keeps ten times that amount in the local economy. That's 60 cents for every dollar spent going back into your local economy.

Buy Locally-Made Gifts on Etsy.
As we shop at big box stores and buy foreign goods, money is drained from our economy. With less money in our economy, local businesses don't have the consumer spending or capital to encourage them to hire more workers. As less people are working, less money in the form of taxes goes into our local and federal government.

Yes, our government has proven to be a mess at the moment, but we can take some action into our own hands. If you can, please at least look for American made goods every time you shop. If you can't find any brands of a certain product that are made in America, try to at least find one made in a country that also promotes good working conditions. The next time you have to buy a gift, you could even search through the local artists on Etsy. You can also shop at your local farmer's market to get fresh and local groceries.

Shopping locally is one proactive action you can take to directly help the U.S. economy. As an American artisan, I know that I would not be able to earn a living without my customers. As I try to purchase only American made goods as well, I hope that the money I make can continue to help the local economy. If we all shop in this way, perhaps we can all pull ourselves out of the economic mess long before our political leaders are able to.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Work in Progress

 Lately, I've been able to spend some quality time in the studio and I am loving some of the pieces I'm creating for my Fall/Winter line. I thought I would share a sneak peek at one of the pieces that is currently a work-in-progress. It will eventually be a necklace. Let me know what you think.