Wordie on DDD

Wordle: DebrasDivineDesigns Blessings

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Summer JET Team Challenge on ETSY

Our Jewelry on ETSY team is having a Fantastic fun filled summer challenge contest of pretty little sparklies to adorn women's ankles!

That's right...Anklets!!! There is copper, sterling silver, pearls, garnets, turquoise and semi-precious gemstones in abundance to literally knock your socks off and make you want to adorn one of these gorgeous beauties around your leg. What better way to show off that $30 pedicure you just got!

Just look at one of the many wonderful entries in this contest of artisans
We have tonnes of prizes and a gift certificate to give away, just for your vote!

This is one of several beauties that the JETs are giving away.

Is blue topaz your thing? Would you like to win this beauty by nikhajewelry?

Blue Topaz Quartz and Pearl Necklace in Sterling Silver Wire...
by nikhajewelry
$27.00 USD

Check out the JET team blog and see how easy it is to win!

Good luck & Happy Voting!


Monday, May 30, 2011


One day I came across this photo on Etsy that showed a picture of puppy feet. I think it sold $35 for a 8x10 print. It was really cute and I thought to myself "what a great idea". Then I sat back and thought about how many of us "artists" get our creative inspiration from our pets.

A new scientific study shows that petting your dog or cat can have a great calming effect on your mood. Scientists were able to conclude that the hormone oxytocin is released, triggering feelings of happiness, stress and depression relief, as well as an increased feeling of trust. The chemical also plays an important role in social memory and helps facilitate pair bonding, which is crucial for humans.

I am fortunate to have a wonderful English Cream Golden Retriever named Lyric. She is just over 2 years old and my very first dog. I am also blessed with two siamese brother and sister cats who let me stay in their house and sleep in their bed, Lily and Milo (Mr. Milo).

I create my jewelry pieces all over the place, not just in my studio. I sometimes sit outside on my patio or at the kitchen table, or maybe on the floor while watching my favorite show or even at the beach down at the cottage, but always, I have one or all of my pets at my side, watching everything I am doing. What they don't know, is that I am also watching them as I am so inspired by their nature.

For example,
Here Lily sat outside on this log staring at me as I was working away at a ring I was making and she kept meowing, as siamese sometimes do when they want to tell you a story. I couldn't figure out what she wanted, and she kept staring at my beads and then I realized, she wanted me to make her a necklace. I whipped one up in about 20 minutes and she meowed and nattered away at me, and as soon as I was done and put it on her, she shut up and posed perfectly for this photo and let me carry on with my ring! Inspiration!

Another example is my own Lyric's puppy feet
I mean, the long swirly feathers she has made me think to make this pendant.

Like her white swirling feathers of fur against the dark pads of her feet inspired me with the pendants cool turquoise stone to the warm metal of copper and the swirling swooshes of metal across the stone. Inspiration!

I was getting really bored with the look of some of my photo editing and thought I needed to find some more fun in the pictures other than just all plain white backgrounds. I looked outside at Lyric laying on the cool patio beside a log we use to hold open the gate on windy days. It hit me, and this was the result.

Here is my assistant
More....you got it...Inspiration!

Here is some more

A Reminder to Chill out, go jump in the lake or just kick back and play my guitar. It's not all about Jewelry making you know!!!!

All This inspiring people makes me exhausted!!!!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Rainbow Patina with your Torch

I have had alot of people messaging me after I posted this copper bracelet on my ETSY site, http://www.etsy.com/shop/DebrasDivineDesigns

Here is the Bracelet.

I used my Bernzomatic portable self igniting propane torch.  I love this torch and found it at Home Depot for $40.  It takes a butane can to fill the torch at the bottom, like a lighter (see photo below) The refill can costs $5.  I have used my torch quite a bit and have only had to refill it twice.  The can still feels full!

With this bracelet, I decided as always to torch it to bring out the natural red patina color that comes out of the copper.  This also removes impurities and cleans up your copper really nice.   This time I took it a bit further and actually let the bracelet cool for about 5 minutes and then went back it and started to torch it more, to see if I could bring out some rainbow patinas.   This was the result!

Depending on your piece of copper, some fire with more color than others.  I found that by lightly sanding my copper piece or using a diamond file on it and then cleaning it with a baking soda wash and then NOT touching it's surface with my bare hands, that the colors are more brilliant.   Some will bring out more silver tin coloring, some will be red or blueish.    It depends I think on how "raw" your copper is.   Go here for everything you ever wanted to know about copper  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper

I find there are a few steps to doing this.   This is of course, what works for me.  You may find your own techniques that work for you.  I thought I would share them, since so many people were asking.  

  • Torch, portable or otherwise with a low flame
  • Firebricks to place your objects on (call around BBQ and Fireplace Retailers)  I paid $2 a brick and bought 2
  •  Ice water bath or cool water, drop of vinegar in it.
  • Copper Tongues (I don't have any yet, so I use an old heat resistant plastic tongue)
  • Fire Extinguiser!
  • Safety Glasses

    Begin Your Torching:

    Step 1. Light your torch and slowly work the flame around the outside and inside of the item you are torching as not to "shock" the item.  After about 30 seconds, quickly work the flame around the item until you start to see it darken.  Let it cool on your brick for about 3-5 minutes

    Step 2. Once cooler light your torch and slowly angle your torch and hit the surfaces you want to see get patina colors.  Keep in mind that once you hit it with your torch and you see the rainbow flashes appear, when you lift your torch, your piece is still mega hot and will continue to color.  Sometimes you loose the flash color that you thought you had and sometimes it grows deeper in color.  The beauty of copper is that you can just keep hitting it with the torch until you are happy

    Step 3:  If you notice your piece turning silver or becoming fire-scaled, dip back into the "pickle" (cold water with a drop of white vinegar).  This will cool your piece instantly and then plop it back onto your firebrick and while wet, go ahead and touch torch to achieve your rainbow patina.  You can't make a mistake.  Copper is so forgiving and you can just re-torch if you don't like the colors.  The best part is...NO CHEMICALS are used and you can boast that to your clients!!!! Fun huh!!!  

    Here are some of the results from the video above.  

    Friday, March 11, 2011

    Umm...where is Spring?

    So yeah...this is what I woke up to today!

    and more of this

    and pan over here to this  

    oh...yes...and then this...look at the branches leaning on the fence..they are normally about 5 feet higher than the fence.

    I wanna know...which way to the beach!

    Thursday, February 17, 2011

    New Props for Taking Photos

    It came across my mind the other day that we all have some pretty unique props to use around our homes for taking some fabulous photos of our jewelry.   For fun I thought I might try a few, well, let's say, new approaches that perhaps nobody as tried before! 

    First I made this fun little bracelet, and someone in my house was asking to model it when I started photographing it...so I thought...what the heck.  Maybe this will be a new approach to my photos since I have used her fur as a background to some of my pieces!

    Well, then the fun kicked in.  Thank goodness she is a fun and willing participant.

    These pretty Quartz Rhondelles we just got from Elizabeth (Foret) yesterday, so I didn't make anything with them yet, they are just so pretty!   Don't they make a nice bracelet for Lyric?

    And a Nice Crown Too!

    Oh...I don't think Lily thinks they make a good crown!   She is looking like a gremlin here rather than the Queen B she usually is!!!!
    Well, I am sure you have many of your own little props around your house.  Maybe you too could blog about it.  Maybe this will entice our sales fairy to visit and get a glimpse of our models!  

      This is something I may not post on my ETSY site, but for fun, share with my JET team and Butterfly Team!

    So..this is the end of my blog!

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    Do You Catch the Butterflies Yourself?

    I Love what I do!   Making jewelry is a passion, one of many that I have.  I love to watch people try on pieces at the shows and say "This is soooo different...I love it" or "How Unique"!   These words are music to an artisan's ears!  My butterfly necklaces are my best seller and definately what people have come to know me and Debra's Divine Designs as.  The one big question I get asked often is "Do you catch the butterflies yourself?"   My Answer is "No, many of these species aren't even natural to Canada and are only found in locations such as Peru or Indonesia.  Plus, I do NOT believe in LIVE catching butterflies.  I only believe in purchasing species through a legitimate governed source.   So....you will never see me skipping through a field of daisies with a butterfly net chasing butterflies!  

    ALL butterflies that I use are farmed and not wild caught so that the natural populations of the butterflies are not being depleted by poachers.  Through
    my art, this provides an opportunity for me to promote stewardship and conservation of each Butterfly and to educate people about the risks that many are facing.  

    There are alot of Butterfly Hunters out there who Poach Butterflies.  Be sure if you use Butterflies in your art, that you get your specimens from a legitimate source.   My source is Thorne's Insect Shoppe ltd.,  http://www.thornesinsects.com/aboutus.html  who are one of the largest dried but retailers in North America and have been in business for over 25 years.    All of the butterfly wings are bred on farms all over the world.   Whole communities actually raise and care for these beautiful winged friends of the earth.   The specimens are used for education, inspiration, collectibles and art and are exported all over the world.    Not all of the butterflies bred on these farms are sold as specimens many are released into the wild to mate and maintain healthy species populations. 

    99% of the Wings I use are from imperfect or damaged specimens I have purchased that collectors can’t utilize due to a broken wing or antennae or leg.   I can still use the broken wing for mosaic pieces and the other wings for my full pieces

    Monarchs are a Species at Risk and are specially protected by the Canadian Ministry of Natural Resources under the Endangered Species Act (2007).   Because of this, no Monarchs are used in any of art pieces.  By simply planting milkweed in your gardens, you can help dramatically increase the Monarch population once again”.

    My hope is that the wearer of my pieces will learn more about their new butterfly friend, and want to share their environment, where it comes from and how others can help to conserve it’s land and preserve the butterfly’s heritage.  People everywhere will stop you and ask you about your piece, so it will be so empowering and fun for you to be able to share your winged friend’s hope for future generations to enjoy.

    For more information on this or any other information on your Butterfly, Please Email me at debrasdivinedesigns@rogers.com