Friday, January 30, 2009

Etsy Artist Features

I believe I have made it known that I love bright tropical things. I even went as far as to paint a mural in my bedroom growing up where all of the walls were covered in palm trees, beaches, waterfalls, animals, and flowers. Luckily, I had a 15 foot wall on one side for a full sized palm tree! But, for some reason, I also love wolves. I've always been partial to dogs but something about a wolf has me drawn in. I went searching through Etsy one day for wolves to see what I could come up with and I found two amazing artists.

Valerie of Greendogs has wonderful notecards. Her profile has an important message:

My hope is that these wolf dog images will help to dispel some of the negative myths, & promote something positive for these amazing animals. For some of us it is the only glimpse we will ever get, of the treasured, disappearing, wolf.

Wolf dogs are in a misunderstood limbo between wild animal & household pet, not fitting in anywhere & difficult to adopt out. Many of them are put to sleep as soon as they turn up at local animal shelters, as well as many dogs that have very little or no wolf in them at all, are put down simply because they have a similar likeness, or look “wolfey”.

There is also stunning photography on her blog! I strongly encourage you to check it out!

Another artist I found is Kathleen of Ladyhawk1. She loves to paint animals. It shows in the beauty of her art. My favorite item in her shop is, of course, a double matted print of a wolf.

I also love that she made mini works of art by converting her prints into scrabble tile pendants.
You can visit her blog here for more wonderful art!

All I can say is I just love these items and keep up the great work!

Treasury Feature

Another one of my Circuit Pendants was featured in a treasury! You can check it out here. I will be featuring some cool finds from Etsy soon but I really need to stop procrastinating and finish my lab that is due today!

I listed this pendant last night.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Blog Special

This is my first blog special! It goes like this:

Receive free shipping on your purchase fom now until 1/31/09!

All you have to do is follow my blog and make a comment on the Etsy thread to keep it alive!

Send me a convo before shipping so I can set up a custom listing without a shipping charge. As always, you will also be getting a free pair of earrings!

Here's my newest item!

Circuit Boards!

I received a whole bunch of old (I mean uber dusty!) circuit boards from my dad. There was one that was just so cool because it had blue dots all over! Such a nice change from the usual all-green boards. Check it out!

There are also some really neat components mixed in. Some are way too big to make jewelry out of but look neat for photographing!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Treasury Time

If you weren't aware of my favorite color, you are now! It's not much of a theme but I love bright color. Check it out here.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I have a confession

I'm addicted to lol cats. LOL

funny pictures of cats with captions

Hehe anyway, I listed another circuit board pendant!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I've been tagged!

Fellow Blogger and Etsian Gabriel Girl tagged me through one of my comments. Here is what I'm supposed to do:

Here are the rules -
- Link to the person who tagged you
- Post the rules in your blog
- Write seven random things about yourself
- Tag seven people at the end of your post and link to them
- Let each person know they were tagged

So, you want to know seven random things? Take this!

1. My parents force fed me vegetables as a child so that I would grow up and enjoy them. It worked for the most part. For some reason, I still can’t find a way to like brussels sprouts, spinach, or beets.

2. When I was about 7 years old, one of my aunts gave me a box of seed beads because she was having problems using them. Being that young, I was more mesmerized by the color then what they could actually be used for. It wasn’t until after her death when I was 9 that I started using them and discovering the awesomness of beadweaving. Trust me, though, I don’t think you really want to see what I came up with!

3. As a result of said beadweaving, beads and supplies and all sorts of things began building nests and armies in my carpet. It’s no surprise that I’ve stepped on at least 5 needles as a kid. One of my friends suffered the wrath of one of my needles. Her mother had to come over to comfort her and take the needle out. From that day on, my parents always referred to her (even in her presence) as Needlefoot.

4. In the past 3 years I have lived in 4 different places. I guess it’s not as surprising when I say that I’m an undergraduate student. I lived at home, transferred to the dorms, back home, then to an off-campus house, and then into an apartment. I’m hoping to stay at the apartment for at least another year and a half. I’m not looking forward to moving heaps of stuff (kind way of putting it) again!

5. Last time I checked, I was 5’9.” I like being tall but I hate looking for clothes that are long enough and skinny enough. ¾ sleeves rest on the inside of my elbows and if I’m lucky, a t-shirt will just come to my jeans. I must say that it is nice that “long” things are in style now so they fit great!

6. I’m a very messy person and I procrastinate (like right now, I should be working on the presentation I have to give tomorrow). But, I absolutely love it when I get into “cleaning mode” and everything gets clean, organized, and spotless. It’s like that right now. I give it another week before I mess it up again!

7. I have a soft spot for sour gummy worms.

Newest Item today! It’s another computer circuitry pendant but this one has a bit more yellow in it than the others!

Here goes the tagging!
In My Head Studios
Krazy Fashion BeadsForever Sarah Libbey’s Jewelry
Shine Your Hiney Soap

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My First Car Accident

As the title suggests, I was in my first car accident Wednesday. It was nothing major. The guy behind me hit a patch of ice (he hit it faster than I did) and he rear-ended me. It made the weirdest noise, like something was being ripped off my car. He left a bit of a dent in my trunk. Here's the sucky part; if I owned the car, I wouldn't care and just say don't worry about it. However, it's a lease so I have to get it fixed. Oh well. They guy who hit me (who happens to live in the same apartment complex as me and is pretty much the same major as me) was very nice and took the blame for the incident.

Now I have to go get it fixed. Hopefully it won't take more than a few hours. If it takes more than a day I'll need a rental to get to class BUT I'm only 20 so I don't know how well that will go over.

On a side note, I listed a new pendant! It's a bit different that what I've been making lately but I love things in rainbows!

Friday, January 16, 2009

RIT Pep Band

Aside from my jewelry business and college work, I am the secretary of the RIT Pepband. It started my freshman year when a friend proposed the idea of a band. It formed a week later. It wasn't much to begin with, but three years later, with better organization and more members, the band is on fire! We now have 50-60 active members, compared to the average of 12 when it first started.

Now we have a full drum line, sousaphones (jumbo tubas), a sound system, sousaphone covers, trombone slide covers, and mellophones. A member of the RIT community made a video of the band that is narrated by our conductor. It's a really great video! Our conductor has a confident and motivational personality and excellent speaking skills, which are evident in the video. Check it out!

On a side note, there are no new listings today, but I'll feature an item that has long since been buried. It is another resin pendant with a twist. I used a technique called repousse to shape metal foil and filled it with colored resin. There is a clear coat on top so it is really glossy.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I just joined Twitter. I will probably forget to update but it's worth a shot, right? You can find me as amandapreske because beadworkbyamanda is ONE character too long :(

Here's the newest pendant in the resin circuit pendant line. Happy Tuesday!

Friday, January 09, 2009

More Than Just Jewelry

I always refer back to high school, but I suppose that's because the art teachers were the best and so welcoming. They embraced and encouraged creativity, even though they knew I was going into science. One of my art teachers was there for only two years, but I had her for both. She was, compared to me, on the very left end of the creativity scale if you know what I mean. She had us doing things that no art teacher had ever tried.
I recall a unit where she had us drawing on plexiglass sheets with marker and making monoprints with them. It was messy, barely controllable, and almost drove me nuts. But then again, my favorite medium is colored pencil, which for me allows a great deal of control. The monoprint exercise ended up being a point for me where I could experiment more freely without worrying about the final outcome. Although, I must admit that it was fun!

One of the classes I had her for was AP studio art. For that class, the AP exam was "due" in May like the other AP exams but required a large portfolio. We had to come up with a topic or theme or idea and work with it to create 12 pieces. We also had to submit 12 additional pieces not related to that topic, and send in 5 actual works for a technical skill assessment. Let's just say that I was very busy that year. My topic was marching band. Sounds lame, but it was tricky. The high school I went to, West Genesee, was a powerhouse for marching band. The school had won the last 31 out of 35 state championships, including a winning streak 16 years in the making. In my junior year, the streak was broken and it was horrible. I didn't mind losing, but the whole spirit was ruined and the people who hated the bandies found another reason to scorn us. Anywho, my art was an attempt to capture that feeling, and the change required to bring the band back.

Here are some examples of what I have done, including a few related to the band topic.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Blog Giveaway (not quite)

I'm just looking for some input. If I were to do a blog giveaway, what would you like to be able to win? A gift certificate? A pendant? Something new? A bestseller? Something that took more time to create?

On another note, I've been listing like crazy and though I'd point these out because I think they are cool! (not to toot my own horn :)) I tinted the resin with glitter and made them into sweet earrings!

Chemistry Post

This has nothing to do with jewelry. I came across a "blog readability" test thing and was wondering what classifies a blog as being undergrad, post grad, and so on. So I was mentioned in the previous post, I wrote a paper about polymer-clay nanocomposites and eutectic mixtures of fatty acids. I just finished it yesterday and had to come up with a title for it. I read it to my boyfriend (the title, not the paper) and got the effect where all you can hear is crickets in the background. It was a bit amusing just because I know he had a very minimal background in science and most of the words were just jibberish (although I must admit myself that before researching the topics I knew almost nothing too). So anyway, this is my experiment to see if trying to explain in "plain" english the paper I wrote will increase my "blog readability" status. So here goes...

Polymer-clay nanocomposites (not the kind of polymer clay I'm used to working with :P) are a relatively new class of materials that involve a clay (duh) and a polymer. The clay is dispersed in the polymer on a nanometer scale. That is, the clay is very, very small and the polymer still retains its transparent properties. The point of this you ask? Well, combining the two materials in this way (via in situ and emulsion polymerization processes) (aka mixing w/ two mixing bowls or mixing by throwing everything in one bowl) creates a material that has properties of both of the initial components and is stronger. These special materials are used in cars, batteries, construction, you name it. That wasn't too bad was it?

Now for the eutectic mixture. In english, that means that the components of the mixture, when at the correct ratio, all melt at the same time (some very interesting chemistry there since the melting points of the individual components are higher than what the mixture's melting temperature is). So basically, these materials have a high latent heat of fusion, which means that they have the ability to hold onto heat and release it without changing temperature by much. This occurs when the substance melts and resolidifies. (aka phase change material, PCM). Why would we want that? That's exactly the kind of chemistry involved in solar heating applications where the eutectic mixture can store energy and then release it when a building drops below a certain temperature. I found a cool picture that sort of gives an idea of what happens:

I won't go into any more detail than that, but I learned a lot about how chemical processes can be linked to engineering applications. I did initially want to be a chemical engineer in high school, but I didn't exactly know what it meant. I have a better idea now, but I'm only 26 weeks (not consecutive) away from graduating so I'm not switching now!'s the results of the "test:"

blog readability test

Interesting. Well, comments anyone? Are there any scientists out there? I'm wondering if my synopsis makes any sense, or is at all interesting.
To me, it was interesting in the researching stages but as I started writing more and more of my paper it kind of got annoying (but that might have been due to the crazy amount of references I used and trying to organize them all).

Happy Belated New Year by the way!

Next Surge of Circuitboard Pendants

I finally had a little bit of time between the crazy holidays and writing my paper about polymer-clay nanocomposites and Eutectic Mixtures for use as Phase Change Materials to make some new items! Haha that was an interesting paper. Anyway, my super secret sources of old computer parts have equipped me with way more than I can currently handle, but it gives me options. My dad brough home (oops now you know...) a really cool board that has blue spots all over it. I can't wait to use it because it has some interest other than just green lines! The new pendants I have are in cool bezels and contain parts from computers and calculators.

Although my other explorations don't involve computer parts, I still think they are neat! I have dug into my extensive stash of sprinkles and have begun making the sprinkle pendants. I've been meaning to for a very long time now. I have dolphins, palm trees, stars, hearts, turtles, cars, cows, sticks, lips, bears, dinosaurs, and all sorts of other creatures and shapes. Yay!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Beaders Showcase

I just joined the Beaders Showcase over the holiday break and it is awesome!

Find more photos like this on Beaders Showcase