If interested in RavenWorks products, please don't forget to visit our website www.ravenworksstudio.com

Also, be sure to add RavenWorks to your MySpace page!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Featured Blogger

In the midst of preparing for my next craft show (next weekend) and trying to ready a new line of products for the holiday season, it's hard to keep up on blogging.

No matter how far behind I may get however, there is one blogger out there who manages to post fantastic articles related to jewelry artists, and who I try to read as often as possible. Please check out The Jewelry Sweet Spot for all of the wonderful jewelry related posts I wish I had the time to write :)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

New Listings

Finally, after quite a long hiatus, I've managed to get some new jewelry listings up on my Etsy site. I'm especially proud of the "Enchantress" pendant.


More will be coming along in the next day or two as well, so be sure to keep checking in.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Another Wedding With RavenWorks

Last month, I was honored to add my creativity to another beautiful wedding.

The groom was an abstract artist, so for the couple's cake, I suggested imitating one of the grooms most popular images- "The Tall Skinny People". In order to make it truly mimic the work, the image was bordered with a brown "frame". The cake itself was a dense lemon cake, with butter cream icing.

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I was very pleased with the outcome, and the bride and groom were thrilled.

The other piece I assisted with was the rings. They wanted nice, simple, silver bands. I was happy to oblige.

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I love weddings, and nothing thrills me more than being able to take part in making someone's already special day, extra special.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Crafting Burn Out

As with all things in life, even the most devoted crafter can experience serious burnout. I never thought it would happen to me, becasue crafts are the way I relax and de-stress after a a long hard day of life. Also, since I'm always juggling different mediums, it's easy to change things up and keep it fresh.

However, these past two weeks, I hit a wall. With the Boston craft shows, and putting my items in a new shop, I found that I felt a lot of pressure to produce, produce, produce. I've never felt that pressure before, and it took away from my creative freedom. So, with the craft shows over, and my items firmly in place at Three Ring Circus, I took a two week breather, to relax a bit and take a step back from crafting.

Now, with the pending glass working class I'll be taking, and a new craft show at the end of September, it's time to get the craft mojo flowing once again. Time to dip into the brain and stir up the creativity and get it moving.

I wonder if other crafters hit this same wall? Does anyone else ever get burnt out on what they love? It makes me feel a little crazy to get overwhelmed by something that makes me so happy. If anyone else has ever gotten burnt out on their passion, please share!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

New Developments

A lot of new things have been brewing at RavenWorks :)

RavenWorks Products In A Retail Shop! RavenWorks is proud to announce that several of our jewelry pieces are being carried by the shop Three Ring Circus in South Portland, Maine. This shop carries a wide variety of local artists, and we couldn't be happier about being included with all of that talent.

RavenWorks' Next Craft Show! RavenWorks will be attending the Cornith Apple Festival in Cornith, Maine on Saturday September 28th. We will be sharing a booth with Sacopee Valley Soaps, producer of handmade, artisan soaps that are to die for! As always, we hope to see a good turn out of familiar faces.

New Products! As always, RavenWorks has been stretching the old creative wings, and exploring new mediums. Thanks to a few classes and some small investments in the near future, RavenWorks will be carrying handmade lampwork beads, and other fantastic handcrafted glass items. Be sure to keep your eyes out in mid-October for them to be introduced.

We are always growing, exploring, and inventing.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

It's Better When It's Handmade

This is a great little list over on Etsy Wiki that I thought should be shared.

Reasons to buy handmade
From EtsyWiki

* You are purchasing higher quality products, made with love and care by the artisan.

* You are purchasing unique items that are not mass-produced. Even if the same product may be made a thousand times each will be unique in some tiny way.

* Buying handmade supports artists, crafters, designers and small business owners instead of large corporations - if you buy handmade you help someone live their dream.

* When you buy handmade art objects you are also getting a piece of the artist’s soul. Those who value handmade are usually eager to know about the artist that made their piece and they value the skill and passion that went into its creation. Handmade pieces have life, unlike items that are mass-produced by machines and basically untouched by human hands during the creation process.

* You are helping to promote local economies and fair trade. Investment in the creative sector brings a huge boost to the economic, cultural and social vitality of communities.
Handmade products are increasingly being made with recycled materials. This is excellent for the environment.

* You as the buyer vote with your purchase. This offers immediate feedback to the artisan and allows them to gauge which items to further develop. This feedback loop is vital to the handmade entrepreneur.

* Handmade items appeal to trend setters, not trend followers.

* Handmade items can push boundaries - they aren't in thrall to the dictates of the mass market.

* Handmade items can often be custom-made, fit, and colored, to the buyer's specifics or wishes making it even more unique and, often, practical.

All great reasons to buy handmade. That's why I love being a part of Etsy- even when you're shopping, you're contributing to a great community and supporting someone's dream. So keep these points in mind when shopping for gifts. Buy something unique, fun and thoughtful, and make an artist's day :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Two Craft Shows Down!

On July 22nd, and then again on August 5th, I sold my crafts at the South End Open Market in Boston. These were my very first craft fair experiences, and I'm very happy to report that both went very well.

The most valuable part for me, was actually getting out there and seeing people examine my jewelry up close and personal, and listening to their comments. It was definitely great to hear all of the positive feedback, and it gave me a great, objective pool from which to draw on for future projects.

So thank you to all of those who visited me and my fellow crafters in Boston. Thank you for teaching me so much about myself and my art. Thank you for supporting the arts in general. I'm hoping to hear from some of the people I met, and sold to, again, and I just can't wait.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

First Fair

On Sunday, July 22nd, I will be selling at my very first craft fair with my good friend BearCat. Thanks to the generous folks at Etsy, we have a space at the Boston Open Air Market, which is an amazing opportunity for a first time show.

I'm a little nervous, but it sounds like we'll have a lot of support from other Etsy crafters who will be there. I've been working hard on creating new pieces to bring with me, including some debut chainmaille jewelry, which looks fabulous!

If you're in the Boston area, please feel free to come and visit. We'll be opening around 8 am. Pray for a sunny day for us :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Wedding Cake

In addition to making jewelry, body products, and other fun crafties, making food is one of my favorite pastimes. Combining my love of food and my love of crafts, I've been dabbling in cake making, more and more.

This week, I made my very first wedding cake, and the first cake I've ever been paid for. I'm very proud. It was a very complicated order, with NO time to spare.

The couple wanted a groom's cake shaped like a crate of explosives, to represent the groom who is an explosives expert in the military. They sent me a single photo, and I tried to control my growing anxiety.

The cake itself was German chocolate with a Bavarian chocolate filling. After hours of working with fondant, a ruler, and a razor blade, I managed to make it look just like the picture. I couldn't have been prouder. Here are the results:

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Couldn't be prouder :)

The actual wedding cake was another story. Measuring 14" in diameter, 3" in height for the bottom layer, 12" in diameter, 3" in height for the second layer. The bottom layer was chocolate, with Bavarian chocolate filling, and the top layer was chocolate hazelnut with a raspberry cream filling. The bride wanted a deep peach fondant, with two stars on each layer, and three stars shooting off the top. I didn't have a photo, only a rough sketch and a few emails to work with.

In the end, it came out to be exactly what she described:

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Viola! It's a wedding cake. While I'm happy with the result, I'm glad it's over. After two days of straight cake work, I'm ready for a rest :)

Monday, May 28, 2007

The Raven Cane: The Conclusion

Reducing the raven cane was a nightmare. Once I began applying pressure, the stupid thing wouldn't budge. After much careful pushing and slapping however, it began to move.

As with any cane, as I watched the end become distorted and immediately got nervous. After the massive amount time and materials I invested into this project, I was dying inside to see if the image would be distorted.

Finally, once it was reduced to a reasonable size, I sliced into it. Success! An astounding raven image was embedded in the clay. After experimenting with the slices, I found I could make the image appear in a few different ways. I couldn't have been more satisfied with the results.

Here are the finished slices before baking, buffing and polishing:

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Happy Birthday To Me!

Today is my birthday. In the past few years, this has been an event little remarked on, and one I've never made a big deal of. However, I do take this time to look back on another year, evaluate life, and all of that happy, deep stuff.

I'm very satisfied with this past year of my life as far as my crafts are concerned. I've blossomed, learned new skills, and experimented with my creativity. I've grown more in the past year, perhaps more than in any other year in recent memory.

In that vein, I also received some of the best gifts ever this year. Yesterday, my parents came up to visit, and my mom took me to the jewelry supply store and let me pick out several items that I needed and couldn't afford. In the meantime, my dad spent the day building me my very own jewelers bench. Here it is:

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I know it's not beautiful, but to me, it's spectacular. The fact that my dad made it for me, and that both of parents actually acknowledge, and respect my creative endeavors, means the world to me.

Happy Birthday ME! Here's to another year packed full of creative goodness.....

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Raven Cane: Part One

Recently, with the help of some online tutorials, I've been teaching myself to make picture canes out of polymer clay. Happy with my first forays, this week I decided to attempt to make a cane strait from my own brain.

The obvious choice was to make a raven. As intimate as I am with the raven, I thought it would be no problem to piece one together fairly easily. Boy was I wrong.

After spending an entire night focused on just the bird shape, I let it rest. Last night, I began packing my image, and after using 6 packages of clay, I was out, my hands were red, and I was frustrated. The cane was already huge and not even half packed, as shown here:

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Today, I took the day off of work to get a few things done. After making a trip to the craft store to pick up more clay, I sat down and spent another 2 hours completing the packing of this cane:

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Though it's not completely round, I'm satisfied with it. Now, to let it rest overnight. Tomorrow will begin the reduction process. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that three days worth of work doesn't turn out to be a mess.

To be continued.....

Friday, April 20, 2007

I'm In a Treasury!

Thanks to the generosity of a wonderful Etsy artist, one of my pieces has made it into a treasury on Etsy.

Be sure to see my beautiful Sunshine Dragon in the "Polyclay Colorful" Teasury while it lasts:

Thank you so much Polyclarific!

Monday, April 9, 2007

New Endeavor

Several years back I bought one of my favorite pieces of jewelry at a craft fair. It's a large, Asian stamp, sandwiched between two pieces of glass, and then soldered around the edges and hung from a black leather cord. A fairly simple piece, it occasioned comment every time I wore it.

Since becoming involved in the Etsy community, I've noticed that these style of pendants, often called "collage" pendants, are immensely popular right now. After seeing all of the fun and unique twists on this style of pendant, I decided to make it my next craft to master.

I have now gathered together the necessary tools, books and advice, and keep waiting for the right moment to plunge in. However, I find myself oddly hesitant. The glass cutting, the molten solder, makes me suddenly shy and nervous. I out it off, day after day, my fun new craft toys sitting on my floor in plastic bags.

I've never been so apprehensive about embarking on a new craft before. Is it fear of failure where so many others are succeeding so well? Is is a simple fear of burning my house down with dripping solder? Perhaps.

This coming weekend however, I'm vowing to take glass, solder, and the various other elements, and make it come together. You'll see. I'll make this craft submit to my yet. Hahahahaha.

Wish me luck. Watch for fire notices in the local paper.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Fresh Ideas Contest

All right, as Spring begins to finally blossom, so does the urge for new ideas. Since my brain is a little frazzled right now, I need fresh, fun brains to give me new and exciting ideas.

With that in mind, here is the contest:

Please look at my photos at my Etsy shop www.ravenworks.etsy.com Look around at the items, and think of great new creations I could make with my skills. Think I should expand my dragon line in some way? Perhaps you have an idea for a new scent combo for my body products? Maybe there's images you'd really like to see in my new, forth coming line of collage pendants? Bring it on!

The person with the best suggestion will win a wonderful goodie bag from RavenWorks, as well as see their idea put into motion. You can enter as many great ideas as you like. Contest deadline is April 15th.

So come on, inspire me!

Friday, March 30, 2007

The Joy of Etsy

Be forewarned: Etsy is a site I will mention often. This fabulous site has given me a world of opportunities I never would have had otherwise, both business and personal. But I digress.

For those of you who are not familiar with Etsy.com, it's a beautiful site devoted to the buying and selling of handmade craft items. The items range from pottery, to clothes, to jewelry, and much more. For more details, please read my recent article on Etsy at http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/175663/etsycom_the_ultimate_site_for_handmade.html

Not only is Etsy a cheap way to sell your products to a targeted market, but it's also a great place to get inspiration and advice from other crafters. Their chat feature has become my latest addiction, filled with humorous and supportive crafters sharing life, crafts and all the rest.

Thank you Esty, you are loved :)