Sparkles and Angels' Blog


The art and craft of enameling on fine silver

Marine Fantasy

Marine Fantasy necklace

Enameling is an ancient art which dates back to the third or fourth millennium B.C.E. and is still flourishing today.

Sparkles and Angels’ modern enamel on fine silver pieces are one-of-a-kind and handmade using a painstaking process.

First, I texture and dome a disc −or another shape – of fine silver, i.e. 99.9% silver. Why fine silver? Because it allows the already vibrant enamel colors to stand out even more. My preparations also include washing the enamel powders several times. I then apply up two layers of enamel to the back, and three or more layers of enamel to the front. The piece is fired in my electric kiln after each and every coat. I add precious 23K gold leaf or enamel threads in order to create a unique design.

Beryl Seas

Beryl Seas earrings

The result is wearable artwork that glows like precious jewels.

Deep Ocean

Deep Ocean

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Durham Art Walk Spring Market, April 9-10, 2011

The Durham Arts Council (DAC) invites you to come celebrate art in the streets at the Durham Art Walk Spring Market this April 9-10.

Spring Durham Art Walk

One of the most important features of this Spring Market is me! 🙂 I’m going to be in the lobby of the Crowe Bldg on the American Tobacco Campus, along with 7 other vendors.

That’s right, I will be one of the vendors there, and I’m looking forward to meeting you. Come say hi and look at all the new jewelry I’ll have there. It’s so new that I don’t have any pictures to show you yet. There will be at least one Sparkles and Angels door prize, and some other goodies too!

You will find live musical performances, great food, and art and fine crafts by over 200 artists.

Saturday April 9, 2011, 10 AM-5 PM

Sunday April 10, 2011, 1-5 PM

www.durhamartwalk.com 919-560-ARTS

This spring the Art Walk features Durham’s own Scene of the Crime Rovers Marching Band making music in the streets. Little Jimmy and the Glendales present Drumming for a Rain Dance and encouraging audience participation on Foster Street at Hunt.  Mallarme Chamber Players will perform at Hayti Heritage Center and the W.G. Pearson Harp Ensemble will be performing at DAC. Durham Arts Place will be celebrating its 15th anniversary with a special exhibition. SeeSaw Studio will be engaging visitors in an interactive art happening at DAC. DURTY-Durham Art Collective will be surprising downtown visitors with their own brand of artmaking. The Brightleaf District will be turned into a giant runway, becoming the Art Walk Fashion District with roving clothing models.  Durham Parks and Recreation will present Durham Art Walk Rocks in a new location at Durham Centre next door to DAC and there will be food trucks galore along Morgan Street.


Coupons – just in time for Thanksgiving!

Hello all my lovely blog readers,

Are you ready to do some holiday shopping? I am excited to announce that I can do coupons now!!!

From now until Monday 11/29 at midnight, you can use the coupon code BLOG15THANKYOU to get 15% off your Sparkles and Angels online purchase. It’s my way to say thanks and Happy Thanksgiving to you. I have much to be grateful for.

I have many cute earrings that are not in my store yet, they are perfect as little holiday gifts and stocking stuffers. I will be adding them throughout the next few days, so keep checking!

Love,

Sophie


New Sparkles and Angels jewelry!

I have been spending a lot of time creating new jewelry, instead of blogging, as you might have deduced from the lack of activity on this blog 🙂  So now I am showing off some of my new designs! These are on my Etsy Web site, and will be at the Greensboro Pre-Holiday Market on Saturday November 20, unless they sell out first. Enjoy the pictures!

Mudra earrings

Ad Infinitum sterling silver earrings

Argentina earrings

Brushstroke earrings

Butterscotch Delight I earrings

Pearlescent Amber necklace

Good Doggie earrings

Healing Hands III earrings


The wonderful people I meet…

Part of the joy of selling jewelry is the wonderful people I meet.

A sweet woman from Denmark told me that she will always treasure the necklace she just received:

Sarah H., who bought a pair of earrings for her mother, sent me a photo of her mother opening her Christmas present:

Bob M. emailed me and said his wife cried when she saw her Christmas present:

Julie M. mentioned that her whole earrings collection is from me!

Feedback like these make my day, my week, my year. They make up for the numerous times I had to restring a necklace to get it just right (I believe 7 times for one necklace was my record), they make up for staying up until 3am to finish earrings in time for a holiday present, and they make up for the 3 days I spent assembling shelves so I could organize my beads so I could actually find them! (OK, I’m not the most handy person in the world.)

In addition to all of my wonderful customers, I am blessed with many friends I met through the Etsy forums, in bead stores, in bead shows, and in a variety of other locations I frequent in the course of my work. Thank you all of you for your help, your support, and your friendship!

I am grateful for everyone’s presence in my life.


Choices

I am learning that I have choices in my life.

I used to wallow in self-pity whenever something “bad” happens.  I would be angry with God, with my Higher Self, with my guides and angels, for the way my life was.

I won’t claim to have turned around completely.

What I can say is that I am slowly getting used to the idea of asking myself: How else can I look at this? The above 3 pictures are of the same tree, and yet they are different from each other, it all depends which point of view you choose.

What is the opportunity in this situation? What can I learn from this? What is the next step I can take, that could change the circumstances I am in? Do I want to look at this glass as half empty, or half full, or full? (It is partially filled with water, and the rest is filled with air, so it’s not empty at all, right?)

I can think of my breast cancer as a horrible and expensive illness that I did not deserve, or I can think of it as a blessing whose repercussions  I am still experiencing.  I am healthy again now, but what I was taught will stay with me forever: learning to see life on Earth as a privilege rather than as a punishment, learning to find gratitude and have faith and trust, even in the darkest moments, and learning that I am strong!

The "Choices" necklace

I created the above “Choices” necklace to illustrate the fact that I have choices. There is an abundance of shades, shapes, colors, and materials in this piece of jewelry, because we don’t have to limit ourselves to one color, one shape, one idea, or one outcome.


Spring is here in North Carolina

Spring comes early and is beautiful in North Carolina. True, we’ve had a few 88ºF days, and everyone is sneezing because of the pine pollen, and everything outside is covered with that yellow stuff. Regardless, the robins have come back, the early daffodils are already done, tulips have started, the cherry trees have been just gorgeous.

Here are some pictures I took recently myself, around my house and at the Arboretum at NC State — I love that place!

Obviously this last picture is not a nature photo. It is, however, linked with spring. Notice that cute little watering can? This is a customizable necklace, and the watering can could be replaced with a bird (spring theme again) or one of four other charms. Look at my Etsy listing for details.

Have a good week, I hope you are enjoying flowers and good weather too, wherever you are.


Gratitude

I originally published this post on byhand.me, but decided to re-post it here because it means a lot to me:

Gratitude is the magnet of the universe. Life becomes much easier and more joyful when you get in the habit of finding something to be grateful for in every situation.

I learned a big lesson in gratitude through my experience with breast cancer. The chemotherapy made me very sick, and the treatments for those side effects had side effects of their own. For almost a year, I had severe anemia, which made me very tired. There were times I had to lie down to floss my teeth, because I did not have the energy to stand. There were several months of intense continuous hip pains. My face swelled to practically twice its normal size… and that was just some of the “highlights. ”

As dark as the circumstances were, I discovered that I was surrounded by love and support. Whenever I think of all those beautiful people who supported me in so many ways, my heart opens, and I feel better.

No matter how “bad” a situation is, you can find something to be grateful for. Perhaps it’s a hug from a friend, or a beautiful dandelion flower in your lawn, or the deep blue starry sky. Remember: it’s only when it’s darkest that you can see the stars.