Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cleaning house!

So today, I woke up...and looked out at my office and felt frustration.  I have work-out-the-wazoo to do...but just couldn't face my office.  So i just got done doing a thorough cleaning.  sometimes you just have to take time to put your workplace in order...even creative spaces fall into that rule of thumb. so i just got done with that.  even organized paperwork.  feeling pretty good now.

and only 'pretty' good, because i had to re-stock on lots of materials today....which means having to spend lots of $$$.  but that's the cost of business sometimes.

So now i guess i'm ready to go to work, to make some $ to pay all the bills that will be arriving with all the new materials next week!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

travel/customization update

Hi all....Depending on how much time you spend looking around on this site, or this little companion blog, you may have caught wind of the fact that my husband and I will be headed off to England at the end of May.  We will be there until the end of Nov.  During the time that I am away, my parents will be shipping out orders as they come in.  So my job right now to is to fill not only the normal incoming orders, but to also build up 6 months of stock for my parents to ship while we're away.

In light of the fact that it's the busy season---filling lots of custom order for Spring weddings, plus all the stock i'm needing to make for when we're away...well, I'm getting pretty busy around here.

As such, I am needing to curb the amount of custom work.  I am just fine continuing to do no problem on that kind of customization.  But, STARTING MARCH 1st, I'm going to have to say "NO" to any crown requests that are much different than anything you currently see for sale on my site.  I just don't have the time needed to really dedicate myself to brand new-custom-crown designs.  I'm still willing to modify designs currently on the site..but can only do so to certain extents.  I apologize in advance for any disappointment or inconvenience this may cause...but your understanding of the situation is very, very much appreciated.  as always, call or email with questions!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Fun new Material?!

Have you ever paid much attention to the sign boards/trophy plaques that sign/trophy engravers use?  Well i have any have always found myself quite envious of that beautiful 2-tone look you can get.

And while I can get gold coated silver to achieve that awesome 2-toned look when you engrave, it is ridiculously expensive.

The majority of these 2-tone trophy materials are plastic...but there are coated metals out there.

So, after calling, and calling.....and calling.  I finally found a trophy engraving supply place that was willing to mail me some metal samples.  and turns out I can purchase the metals in sheets large enough for crowns (just need to have them cut down into strips like I have all my other metals cut). 

So here are some test pix of these samples.  What you are seeing are various colors of lacquered aluminum.  I can also get lacquered brass.  I was most interested in the "metal" coated aluminum, copper coated.  But I also got a "color"....white.

Pretty good "metal" finishes, huh??!  I was very pleasantly surprised!

Close-ups of the "copper"

Shiny Gold, Matte Gold

white and shiny "silver".  The shiny silver differs from just plain solid aluminum (like what I normally use) in that you get a much more uniform grain to the metal...and it's more reflective/shinier as well.  

The white coated aluminum was actually really difficult to engrave.  I have to use a cutter first, and then i go back over it with a 90 degree bit to kind of emboss/shine up the aluminum, so you don't see rough cuts.  The diamond tip bits I use on everything else just can't get through the plastic uniformly (see that really messed section on the white??!).  But doing an initial pass with a cutter, and then putting on the diamond bit works really well. a little extra work, but it's worth it for that pretty of a result.

So..I think I'm going to have to order in several sheets of this material in a variety of colors and start making crowns out of it!!!  so be on the look out for some really awesome 2-tone metal crowns! (no, I haven't set a price, yet.)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Travel reminder

Just a reminder that I am going out of town this Wednesday and will return late on Saturday. Any orders received after today probably won't ship until next Monday. I'm very sorry if this causes any inconvenience!! I will still be in email contact, and you may still call me during this time, and place orders and all that jazz. I just won't be shipping/making anything during my time away.

and on a fun, personal note. I just ordered Greek language lessons from Rosetta Stone to brush up on my Greek! More and more of you are requesting Greek engravings, and I'd really like to be able to fully understand all the language rules for the Greek language since I'm doing so much writing in it. And being Syrian/Lebanese, I didn't go to Greek school as a there are times where I literally have no idea what I'm engraving on some of your crowns! I figured it was about time I learned!

and i guess I should confess that my upcoming travel is a fun personal trip too...Man, I indulge my whims way too much :)  But I'm going out to CA to visit some very, very good friends (this couple is responsible for introducing me to my Josh!).  And they welcomed a sweet little baby boy into their family last summer, and I have yet to meet him!  So I'm going out to visit the Allen family!

And when I get back home to Indy, It'll be crunch time to start getting ready for England.  I'll have about 12 or so weeks to get 6 months worth of crown stock finished up, along with filling all the normal order.  But it will be so worth it. I'll essentially have a 6 month vacation for the time we're in England, and I certainly can't complain about that!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

a couple of links...

several months ago, when I was still taking the time to also maintain the news update over on my glass website, I posted a link to this awesome house site. I'm posting a link to the house site on this blog because, well, I want to!  I just love some of the houses that are on the front page of the site today.  I visit this site often, and daydream of future modern of these days.....

and one more link for you.  Since I brought up my Clo Glassworks business above... I sell my signature "Melting Heart" pendant to a local gift shop.  And the local newspaper, Indystar, recently went around to local gift shop to select items for their gift-giving guide for the upcoming Valentine's Day holiday.  and apparently, my little Melting Heart necklaces caught her eye, and are included in the suggestion list....and a picture of one of my hearts is on the home page of the newspaper's website.  Look down below the main article...that row of thumbnail pix.....the third picture is a heart...that's mine!  click on it, and you'll be shown a little photo gallery of gift ideas.

What I find a little funny is that I haven't had a chance to make hearts, let alone take more stock to this gift shop, in MONTHS!  The Crown business has become the equivalent of about 2 full-time jobs.  Just not enough time in the day to also getting to make glass beads and pendants!  And I'd rather be busy than bored, so no complaints out of me....but I do find it ironic that my little hearts get noticed locally right at the time that I have 0 time to make more!

Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Milos Crowns!

The Milos-silver crowns are in demand right now---I just got done making 3 sets, and thought it might be fun to show those crowns in progress. 

I've already got the crowns constructed and coated with "liquid silver"

I airbrush on the silver finish and allow it to dry. 

 Then, I spray on a sealant, to prevent tarnish

Once the sealant dries, I just need to attach connecting ribbons onto each set, photograph each set and email them to their rightful owners and ship them off...One set is staying in the US, one set is going to Canada (and they're getting married in Cyrpus!), and the 3rd set is going to the UK.

And it seems like, along with the Milos crowns...all metal crowns are in demand at the moment, so here's the mess that I call my silver-smithing table at the moment.  I have about 5 different crown sets in progress on that table.  Plus that whole pile on the floor!  Looks like I'll need to clean/organize the weekend, huh?
And my garage is still cold, so yes, that's a space heater.  I've been listening to a lot of Stevie Wonder while working, the crowns have a nice jazzy aura!

ok, back to work!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Upcoming travel

Hi Everyone...Just wanted to let you know that I will be out of town starting Wednesday Feb 17 until late in the day Saturday Feb 20. Since I will be out of town, nothing will be shipped during that time, so please plan accordingly!!

I will be back to work on Monday Feb 22...and it will be business as usual until Josh and I leave for England at the end of May (more details to follow about that 6 month trip).