Over the last 2 years Chitter has grown and evolved as a jewelry maker and you can sure see it in the items she's been producing lately.
When Chitter first started making jewelry she used mostly bead stringing and simple macrame techniques. Since then she's advanced to the beginning stages of metal smithing.
Chitter has a mixture of items in her shop at the moment. She even has a sale section full of inexpensive items that would make perfect Christmas presents or stocking stuffers ($15.00 and under with FREE shipping).
You can see some of the metal working skills Chitter has learned in the photos above. The pieces are cut out, filed and sanded, textured, a patina is added, and then they are tumbled for a durable finish. She's started using rivets to connect parts of the creations and I really like that look. I also really like the easy to use clasps she puts on the necklaces.
All of the items are available in Chitter's shop.
Chitter graciously donated this necklace for me to giveaway as part of my Thankful November series. It is a copper necklace made with rose quartz, amethyst, and Czech glass.
I hope you'll jump over and visit Chitter's Stamey Creek Creations Etsy Shop. Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win the necklace. *Giveaway ends Saturday November 19, 2016.
Silver rings made from coins seem to hold so much meaning to me. Maybe it's because you need patience and persistence to make them. Or maybe all the places the coin has been and all the things the coin has seen somehow remain in it's composition in a measurable way.
I've wanted to 'gift' someone with a meaningful ring ever since Ed Ammons gifted me with one. My want hasn't turned into action yet.
A few months ago Chitter decided she was going to make one. She used a nickel and The Deer Hunter inserted a small drill bit in the center of the coin to make it easier for her to hold onto as she pecked away at it. She eventually wrapped masking tape around the bit to make it even easier to hold onto. You can see the widening of the band in the photo above-the arrow shows where she hit it with a spoon...and other things.
Chitter's ring didn't turn out as nice as Ed's. She sort of tried to speed the process along with a hammer! I encouraged her to polish it, but she said she liked the worn beat up look. She followed Ed's directions which are very easy to follow. If you'd like to see how he made mine-go here.
As I said at the beginning of this post, I think a handmade ring would make a dandy gift for someone. The gift of a class is also especially nice. You can follow this link to check out all the classes offered by the John C. Campbell Folk School. And I can't leave you without suggesting one more gift or two-Chitter's Stamey Creek Creations Etsy Shop has some amazing creations in it-go here to check them out.
crocheted dishtowels. She's also got:
some of those chunky necklaces that are so popular right now. Look at that clasp-that's what I like. It's pretty but mainly-it's oh so easy to put on! Chitter uses a similar clasp on a lot of her jewelry and I love how easy the clasps are to hook.
She's also been doing some very intricate macrame-beading-metal work. This necklace is a work of art and I especially love the little owl. Reminds me of these little birdie earrings she did-love them too.
Jump over to Chitter's Stamey Creek Creations Etsy Shop and see if any of her items fit the needs of your Christmas present list. Her prices are very reasonable...almost too reasonable when it comes to handmade creations.
While you're there be sure to visit the Blind Pig & the Acorn Etsy shop too. Granny's made some lovely hat and glove sets along with some adorable baby shoes and if you're not finished decorating for Christmas be sure to check out her Christmas items. The Songs of Christmas cds are still available as well as Pap and Paul's Lamp Lighting cd and there's even a couple of my folkart pieces.
I've been making Christmas Angels and I have thoroughly enjoyed myself. I get my need to be creative from Granny. When I was growing up she was always making something-actually she still is! These days she mostly sticks to crotchet but when I was a little girl she dabbled in all sorts of creative crafting.
The top of my kitchen table hasn't been visible for a good 2 weeks now, but I'm not letting that bother me too much. If you craft you have to spread it all out to see what you've got-at least that's what I tell myself.
My Christmas Angels are made from various items. The bodies are from Granny's days of working in the sewing factory. She saved the plastic spools that thread came on. She just knew they'd be useful for something eventually. Granny also saved the silver lids from Pap's snuff jars. He quit dipping several years ago, but over the years I ended up with some of those shiny tin lids that came on his jars. They made the perfect bottom for my Angels-adding both stability and a more finished look.
Like Granny, I collect bits and pieces that catch my eye knowing I'll use them eventually in some project or other. See the bag of green squiggly things in the middle of the photo? It's shredded paper that came in a package a few years ago. As soon as I saw it I thought of Christmas and added it to my craft stash. I've used almost all of the green paper bits and now I'm wishing I'd get another package with some in it!
Our collection of old buttons is always a fun place to look for crafting items. I used a button for one of the Angel's hats. I used bits of string and ribbon I had hanging around on a few of them. And some small Christmas decorations that came off larger Christmas decorations were also used. I was even able to use a few cake decorations I picked up at a yardsale for a quarter.
Along with the odd pieces I collect to use for crafting, I also find myself using old tools. I have a pair of Granny's scissors that I know she had when I still lived at home and my glue gun is well over the 15 year mark. Another tool I love to use is the little ruler in the photo. Its so handy because its small and its so very lovely because the initials tell me it was Miss Cindy's father's ruler. Curtis Mease. It just has a good feel to it-maybe that's because its old and of good quality. Or maybe its because I think he would smile to know his ruler was being used in happiness to create beauty.
To check out the Christmas Angels I made go here to visit the Christmas Section of the Blind Pig and The Acorn Etsy Shop. And for a chance to win your very own Christmas Angel made by me-leave a comment on this post. *Giveaway ends Sunday November 22.
Can you believe it was March when I last updated you on the Blind Pig & the Acorn Etsy Shop? Sadly it's been almost that long since I added anything new to it. Seems like after Pap's fall my life decided to go by at warp speed.
There's still plenty of Granny's crocheted items to be had in the store. As well as some tunes from the Blind Pig Gang and The Pressley Girls.
And there's also a few of my folkart pieces left.
Chitter on the other hand, has been adding things to her own Etsy shop: Stamey Creek Creations. Love these earrings!
I also LOVE this key necklace Chitter made.
And did you know paper beads could look this good? I didn't even know about paper beads until Chitter started making them.
And look at these beauties! Chitter's technique level has increased by leaps and bounds over the last 6 months and you can really see it in her creativity and in her workmanship.
Hope you've enjoyed this Etsy Shop Update - and maybe it won't be so long before I share another one!
I finally managed to get a few of my folkart pieces in the Blind Pig & the Acorn Etsy shop you can see them here: Folkart. I love the little saying in this one: If the Daisies Only Told. Sort of like wondering what the trees would tell you if they could talk.
Two of the pieces are made with hat pins (the lamb and the owl).
We went to a yardsale in Black Mountain NC a few years ago-it was a good one. When I go yardsaleing I stop at a few and think I'm probably wasting my time today...then at the very next one I hit the jackpot!
The jackpot at that yardsale was a retired trucker who was selling all his hat pins. He said he'd collected them for years. He had multiples of most pins, which was a good thing since the girls and I were ready to fight over our favorites.
Granny's been busy too. I added several new items in Granny's Crochet section. See the circular crocheted item? It's a treasure necklace. I just love them. Granny used to make them for the girls. They would wear the when they played outside and stuff all sorts of things down inside the small pocket. I suppose you could stuff grown up things like money in the pocket too-but the necklace always makes me think of kids.
Creating something gives me a very satisfying feeling, and when I can create with things I found or purchased for nearly nothing it makes me feel even better!
p.s. Don't forget to leave me a comment or email me at email@example.com if the music player interfered with your visit to the Blind Pig and the Acorn. Also the small ad at the bottom of the player-isn't for me-it's embedded in the code for the player. if you see an ad you don't like you can click on the X in the top right-hand corner of the ad and report it as inappropriate.
Granny's been on a purse making kick since Christmas. We're all walking around with one on our shoulder...well all except the men folk. I just added one to the Blind Pig & the Acorn Etsy shop you can see it here: Granny's Purse.
For all of you who've asked about Chitter's heart shaped earrings-she's working on making some more to put in the shop. Until then-check out what she has available in her shop right now.
Anytime I visit a searchable site like Etsy I always search for one of my favorite words: Appalachia. You never know what'll come up in the search results but sometimes things catch my eye like these-just click on the link to go see:
- It's Pronounced App - uh - latch - uh
- Music from Appalachia (Hey it's Paul and Pap! I love it when I find myself in a search for Appalachia.)
- Appalachian Bow Tie Quilt (so old timey looking!)
- Handmade Fretless Banjo (like to see what the girls could do with this)
- Crocheted Headband (Sweet - it's me again!)
- Little Birdie, little birdie Come sing to me your song (cause who doesn't love a little birdie?)
- I'm going where the cold wind blows. In the pines. Where the sun don't ever shine (cause sometimes that's where I want to go)
A few weeks ago I told you I had re-opened the Blind Pig & The Acorn Etsy Shop and explained a few reasons why I re-opened the shop (go here if you missed that post). One thing I failed to mention was the role Chitter played in my re-opening the shop.
Chitter's jewelry making skills have been growing by leaps and bounds over the last year or so. If you've been reading the Blind Pig for a long time you may remember the spoon rings Chitter made a few years ago. Since then she's been picking up skills and techniques to add to her arsenal. She's even opened her own Etsy shop: Stamey Creek Creations in an effort to put her creations out there for the world to see-and hopefully buy.
Today I'd like to share a short interview I did with Chitter about her jewelry and her new Etsy shop.
How did you become interested in making jewelry?
About 10 years ago, my cousin showed me how to make little dainty bracelets made from embroidery floss. I decided I wanted make them on my own and add my own style to them. Once I started making the bracelets, I realized if I could do that-I could do something much more advanced.
I started picking up supplies at yardsales, walmart, and where ever I saw them. Then I started adding embellishments to the embroidery floss or using two colors of threads at once instead of one. I also used youtube to learn some new knotting techniques like how to make a candy-stripe pattern.
Didn't you learn a lot at the John C. Campbell Folk School's Little Middle Program?
Yes, I was much older then and understood a lot more about how it all worked. I learned how to do basic wire wrapping to make earrings and how to make jewelry from sheet metal such as copper and brass. I also learned the value of using recycled materials.
How did you learn more intricate types of weaving for your bracelets?
A member of my clogging team taught me a basic knot of macrame and let me borrow a book she had. I learned a lot from that book-I gave it back and got a copy for myself to keep. Then I moved on to using macrame thread for most of my projects.
Did other people help you?
Yes. Every festival I went to I asked questions and the artists were always willing to give me tips and advice. Recently a work study student at the folk school, Cara, has taken me under her wing and has shown me the art of bead weaving. Along the way different people helped point out the types of hand tools I needed-that made a tremendous difference.
So how does all the different techniques you've learned over the last 10 years work together?
I use all the techniques, for example sometimes I do something as simple as bead stringing-making a necklace or bracelet in that manner other times I combine the techniques like using macrame and beading together. The thought process is similar for all the techniques. Something always has a beginning and something always has an end-yes what's in the middle matters but you've got to get the start and the end to complete a project.
What is the most rewarding part of creating your jewelry?
Putting my own creative twist on something. I love to make up my own pattern or my own technique on the fly and have it work out in the end-that gives me an awesome feeling.
You recently started crocheting-do you like it as much as jewelry making?
Almost as much-because like jewelry making-once you know the basic technique you can make anything you want. But I've got a lot to learn in the crochet world-lucky I've got Granny to help me.
What are some of the items you have in your shop?
Earrings, bracelets, and necklaces.
Are you going to put some crochet items in it?
Yes I will eventually.
What do you think about being an Appalachian Artist? What does that mean to you?
It means that I'm keeping the tradition of being creative alive-and I like that. I like keeping the tradition of making stuff by hand alive. For me personally I have to have some way to express my creativeness or I would be a lunatic.
I hope you enjoyed my interview with Chitter. Her excitement for her creations inspired me to think about re-opening my own Etsy shop.
Jump over to Chitter's Etsy Store Stamey Creek Creations and look around-I know Chitter would appreciate it. And be on the lookout more interviews with Appalachian Artists right here on the Blind Pig.
I have some exciting news to share with you today. I have reopened the Blind Pig & the Acorn Etsy shop! I used the Etsy Shop when I first started the Blind Pig & the Acorn but somewhere along the way I stopped keeping it stocked.
A few reasons I opened the store again:
- Chatter and Chitter are creators on steroids! They have learned to crochet and are whipping up scarves like you've never seen. They're getting better with each one they make.
- Chitter has been making earrings and necklaces for almost a year and I think they're absolutely Etsy worthy.
- Granny continues to produce more crocheted items than any of us can use.
- I figured out how to sell the downloads of our songs! For several years people have been begging us to just sell what we have instead of waiting on the cd we never seem to have time to make. So now we are!
- Chatter and Chitter are in college. In college. 2 at the same time. I'm sure if you paid for college for yourself, for your child, or for multiple children at the same time-you know how hard it is on your pocket book.
- When I first started this blog I wanted to profile artists/crafts-people from the area and help promote their offerings. I was so busy building my readership that I never got around to profiling hardly anyone-but it's never to late to start right? I believe re-opening the Etsy shop will keep me focused on that goal.
You now have the opportunity to shop in the store-purchasing items made by Granny, Chatter, Chitter, and me along with music made by us all. The shop is convientely divided into Music, Crochet, and Jewelry.
You'll also have the opportunity to read about things we're making or things other folks are making in a new series called Art Craft Etsy.
I hope you'll help me spread the word about the store-tell your friends and family-and if you have an online presence like a blog or facebook page-give the Blind Pig & the Acorn Etsy Store a shout out on it.
Want to check out the store? Go here. You can also click on the link in the right sidebar or any of the photos in the Etsy widget.
In honor of the Blind Pig & The Acorn Etsy Store opening I'm giving away a pair of Granny's rainbow colored fingerless crotchet gloves. The girls love these gloves-because they keep their hands warm while still allowing them to use their smartphones. To be entered in the giveaway-all you have to do is visit my new store, then come back here and leave a comment telling me what item you liked best. *Giveaway ends Wednesday November 26.
p.s. I'm trying out a new music player. It's on the right side of the page-near the very top-right under the Blind Pig & the Acorn Banner and just above my About photo. To start the player click on the first triangle shaped button on the top of the player. (see photo below) If the video player in this post is still playing-you'll need to stop it before you turn the player on. Please let me know if the player works for you-or if it interferes with your visit in any way!