TOO HOT TO HANDLE!!!! I Survived Metalsmithing Class Without Third Degree Burns!

So, yesterday was an AMAZINGLY WONDERFUL DAY!  I was able to spend some quality time with my adorable parents, HOORAY! Strangely enough, a substantial amount of this bonding time was spent shopping for toilet fixtures for their upcoming bathroom remodel! FUNNY! LOL!  I also got to go to my first METALSMITHING CLASS!!!!!  If you've read this blog before, you know how ridiculously excited I have been at the prospect of attending this class!  The experience did not disappoint-it was so great!  And, I am happy to report that I didn't hurt myself in ANY WAY, although I did knock a few things over and accidentally sit on the space heater at one point!:)  Because of this total inherent lack of grace, the huge torch that I had to use scared the junk out of me.  Not to worry, my instructor, who herself had been scalded by hot implements in the past, had good accident prevention tips that were extremely helpful!  Look at this ridiculous picture of me! I don't even have the goggles on right-the strap is in my eye!!!

So, here are the projects I worked on, and a few of the tools that I managed to use without harming myself.  In my VERY FIRST class I completed some amazing copper earrings, with handmade ear wires no less.  Check out some of the pictures I took while I was there...  The long curly cue earrings are made of hammered copper strips!  I learned something SO AMAZING about copper-when it is heated up by a torch, it gets a rainbow-like fire patina on it!  It's absolutely gorgeous!  You can see a little of that sheen in this picture of them, especially on the inside of the curls.  My instructor also helped me learn about a bunch of cool new tools and techniques, all of which I would love to share with you, if I could remember their names, or if I had any remote idea how to spell them if I did!  I can't wait to learn some more!  I'm really excited to make my way through the class and get to the part where I can make a ring.  My mom is already putting in orders for rings that she wants me to make for her!!! :)  Isn't that hilarious!  She a RING NUT just like me. :) Also, I started, but have yet to finish, this amazing copper link bracelet that is made from soldered copper rings.  The design is so cool!  I can't wait to finish it tomorrow!  Oh yeah, didn't I mention...I'm going back ALREADY!!!!  YIPPEE!  Not that I'm excited or anything... :)

Now it's time for you to meet my wonderful teacher, Amanda Coburn.  She is a wonderful, full-time jewelry designer, and she offers metalsmithing classes as well.  She is a really good teacher, laid back, experienced, knowledgeable, and overall JUST PLAIN NICE!  She is also a co-owner of a new store in Bangor, Maine Jewelry and Art.  In fact, her business was just featured in the Bangor Daily News.  It's a great write-up, and you can see some of Amanda's jewelry featured in the article.  I highly recommend this teacher, so if you want to learn metalsmithing one-on-one, call Amanda!  Also be sure to check out her jewelry in her ArtFire shop.  She is oh, so talented! :)

I'm very happy to say that my mom is definitely a fan of my jewelry.  Yesterday, she came over the house, check book in hand, and went on a shopping spree in my Etsy shop.  I would have given her anything she wanted, but she insisted on supporting my business!  So cute! :) She really likes matching sets of jewelry, so she bought two sets that are in colors she wears a lot, and another necklace.  With her 3 purchase and another purchase this morning, I've hit OVER 40 sales now!!!  It's amazing.  I hope I can keep up the momentum and reach 100 this year.  It seems more and more like a reachable goal.  What's really funny is that she is the first person I actually know who has bought any of my jewelry!  That's kind of cool, right?  Here is a picture of my ridiculously cute parents, after mom's little Sweet Sincerity shopping spree!  While they were over I managed to get a confession out of them that they had indeed (as I suspected) "stuffed the ballot box" on the Internet poll I conducted concerning which of my past hair colors the majority of my readers preferred.  My dad voted 4 times IN ONE SITTING to throw the vote in favor of BLOND!!!!  Do I know my parents or what!? LOL :)

In almost completely unrelated news, last night, I was trying to tell some Etsy sellers about my ridiculously awesome handmade work desk in my workshop.  I told them all about the pullout section that houses my laptop, all the storage, the deep drawers, the large desktop workspace, and even the pencil sharpener that is attached to it!  I just couldn't adequately describe it's awesomeness, but apparently some people found this dizzying half-description intriguing, and they asked if I had any pictures of my work desk they could see!  I couldn't believe that I hadn't talked about it on my blog yet, so I quickly just took a picture and posted it on my facebook page!!!  Then I resolved to write about my WORK DESK LOVE in an upcoming post.  When we first got the desk, I am ashamed to admit I was not that excited about it.  Let's just say that I really didn't think it was the most beautiful piece of furniture I've ever seen, and it took up a lot of space in my small workshop.  That's because I am the kind of impractical person who values aesthetics more than functionality, and would still wear stiletto sandals in the middle of the winter to show off my pedicure, if my husband would let me.  Apparently, he thinks I'm cuter with all 10 of my toes, completely un-frostbitten...go figure. :)  Anyway, as the months rolled by, and I got my desk set up the way that I wanted it, I fell ABSOLUTELY IN LOVE with it!  It's just SO FUNCTIONAL, and now an integral part of Sweet Sincerity Jewelry!

And in other news, here is a collection of some more ridiculously cute pictures of my niece that I have been collecting over the past weeks!!!!  My whole family is absolutely in love with her. Doesn't she make the most adorably ridiculous faces you've every seen?  OK, I am definitely A LOT biased... :)  For you who are not as enamored with all things baby as I am, feel free to skip to the next paragraph and try not to roll your eyes too much or scoff too loudly at my baby obsession!   :)

Finally,  I leave you with a few AMAZING Etsy Treasuries that I have had the privilege to be a part of!  I have to say there are some people out there with AMAZING taste, and I'm not just saying that because they chose to include some of MY ITEMS!  I feel honored to be chosen along side some of MY PERSONAL FAVORITE Etsy sellers.

All of these collections are ABSOLUTELY STUNNING!!!!