Thursday, December 3, 2015

Fall Fall, Winter Winter

I've been a little bit seduced away from my blog by Instagram.  I'll admit it.  It's so easy.

Pretty little custom ring for a lovely lady in Vermont.

More tomatoes than I knew what to do with.  (I made sauce.)

More cushions.  Cushions cushions cushions.  Next I think I will tackle
emerald cuts.

Bikes!  They're getting so big.

I kept these.  

Birthday gift as a favor for my sister in law.

Is there anything more fun than a tire swing?  

Happy Halloween!  It dumped buckets that night, so we didn't get many
trick or treaters.  But we never do, really.  I think the houses in my
neighborhood are a little too far apart.

Platinum is becoming my new favorite.

Pumpkin picking this year.  Zinnias are the best.

Newest, oldest cushion design.  I had this ring cast a few years ago
and then never finished it for some reason.  I love it now.

Chubby little cushion cut engagement ring.  So cute.

New 10 stone scatter ring.  I have an eternity ring that is totally stones
all the way around, but I have the worst cold right now and can't even 
contemplate all that stone setting.  :-(

So excited for Hanukkah this year.  The twins are finally old enough to participate.
Of course, all of our birthdays always fall right in or around the holiday, so it is a busy couple of weeks. Daniel Tiger themed party for the sweeties.  I have a fondant cake topper of Daniel and Margaret coming from Etsy, and the Shop Monkey got two little red zip up hoodies and Trolley patches.  So excited for them!

Wonderful little project for a lovely couple in Florida.  I love the
matching rings with the little details that make them different.

Dual tone custom ring with a lovely yellow tinged cushion and a sharply oval
diamond ring.  (Not the same order.  Although who wouldn't a giant stack
of gold and diamonds?)

Well, I am most likely not going to post again before the new year.  So Happy New Year!  I really hope 2016 is better than 2015.  It's been a good year for me personally, but the world certainly seems like it is going to hell in a hand basket, doesn't it?  I have to keep reminding myself that the world probably perpetually feels like it is turning into a soup sandwich, and that I would much prefer to be living in this time than during the bubonic plague (WWI, WWII, the Cultural Revolution, Stalinist Russia, etc etc etc), even if there are such things as ISIS and Donald Trump.  (Even if the news does makes me feel like I would prefer to live in an Anthony Trollope novel or climb inside Debussy's Suite Bergamasque.)

I'm so much better at posting on Instagram.  So if you would prefer to see pictures of shiny things more often than bi-annually feel free to find me there @j.yaffa. :-)

Monday, June 8, 2015

Spring started out with a bang!

 I've been a bit like that chicken.  The one that had an unfortunate encounter with an ax?  But things have calmed down a little bit in the last month, which is good since I have a quilt to finish for a new baby that is expected next month!  Yay!  Tiny sweeties are the best.  (Just to be clear, I'm not expecting the baby.  It will be a new niece or nephew. Lol!)

I feel like I've been pretty lucky with my projects recently.  They've mostly been a little bit different from my normal work.  I'm really loving the wide band engagement rings that I've had the pleasure of making lately.  My personal taste certainly swings towards the nuclear bunker side of things, rather than towards the gossamer spider lace side of things.  Maybe because the really delicate things are actually harder to make?  Maybe they're not, but I certainly don't know how to do filigree or engraving.  Perhaps I should take a class?

I'm really getting into the cushion cut stones.  They're harder to work with than round but I'm enjoying the challenge.  I have a wide band engagement ring with a square shaped (rather than rectangular) cushion cut diamond in the works.  Super excited for that to be finished.

Summer has certainly started here.  It's been crazy hot the last couple of days.  We took the twins to a splash pad this weekend.  Super fun.  Can't wait to try out some others around town.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Congrats M and S!!!

A palladium and diamond knot ring I designed for my younger brother.  He proposed at Disneyland! (Have I mentioned how much I love Disneyland?  Oh, Disneyland.)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

I NEED to upgrade to larger diamond!  No! Yes! No! Yes! YES! NO! YES YES! NO! NO!

Sometimes it is hard to have lovely pieces of jewelry passing through and out of one's life all the time.  Makes being satisfied with my boring old jewelry difficult.  It's probably a good thing I'm (ironically) not really a jewelry person.

Recent conversation I had:

Barber: Hello.  Um, what can I do for you?
Me: I would like a haircut.
Barber: We don't do styling...
Me: I want a short, dude haircut.
Barber: Okay....we don't blow dry....
Me: Neither do I.
Barber: Okay. No crying in the chair....
Me: Trust me, I've shaved my own head with clippers.  I'll be fine.

So I'm now sporting a pretty sweet pixie cut.  And I don't even have to brush it.  Best 20 bucks I've ever spent.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Custom, custom orders

Spring is getting away from me.  I want to be out on a nice run in the sunshine, but I'm here blogging instead.  So this will be a short little visit (not like last time.  I'm still loving my hair by the way, but I'm thinking I need to go even shorter.  Really short!).

Just finished this lovely dual tone cushion cut ring.  And, man, and I'm glad that it is finished.  Some projects just make me nervous when I'm working on them, even when everything goes smoothly.  This was one of those times.  I don't know why.  I just felt like I was going to screw it all up.  I need to stop drinking so much coffee.  And this diamond was so lovely in person, hard to capture in a photo.  It is just a scintillating cup of crushed ice.  So much sparkle.  I hope she loves it.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

oh, spring....

....when the young man's fancy turns to love.  

And the frantic (and inexperienced) gardener contemplates when she will have the time to plant all of the things she dreams of planting.   (Look at my little coral bells!  They bloomed this year!  And I'm going to have SO MANY DAISIES!)

And now I'm going to veer off the jewelry track EVEN MORE and talk (at length) about my hair.  So if that doesn't interest you, please see yourself out.

I wouldn't normally post selfies since it just seems like a weird thing to do (weirder and weirder as I get older?  I don't know.  I just feel way more self-conscious now about posting "pretty" pictures of myself than when I was in my 20's  I know what I think of people who have tons of artful, flattering photos of themselves on their social media accounts.  And it's nothing good.).  But I got a new haircut!  And I'm really digging the mad-scientist effect.  I think I'm moving closer to being at peace with having curly hair. Growing up, as anyone with curly hair can probably understand, I HATED HAVING CURLY HAIR.  I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATED IT.  It always felt messy, it never felt styled.  It always felt unkempt.  So I cut it extremely short in the 2nd grade, and I kept it short for last 28 years or so.  I would occasionally have longer hair, but I would always end up HATING IT, and I would cut it off.  Then I somehow got it into my head that I NEEDED to have long hair.  That is was a shame that I'd never had long hair in my life.  That if I got my hair long, it would suddenly stop being my hair and be the tousled waves of someone who says they have curly hair when really their hair has a slight wave (yes, I want to punch those people in the mouth.  YOUR HAIR IS NOT CURLY! I want to shout, while shaking them till their teeth clack together.  YOUR HAIR IS NOT CURLY!  IT WON'T FORM DREDS IF YOU DON'T COMB IT FOR A DAY!) That long hair would be the answers to all of my problems.  That long hair would make me glamorous and teach me how to be stylish, and finally when I had long hair I would know how to dress myself and I would suddenly be chic. Obviously, I was deluding myself. And effing Instagram wasn't helping.  I cannot imagine how terrible Instagram would have been for me if it had been around when I was tween/teen.  My 35 year old, fairly grounded psyche can barely handle the onslaught of FOMO (fear of missing out) and evil, evil soul sucking comparison now.  I would have shriveled into a wisp of envy or turned into a soulless self-promotion robot doing duck lips and posing (artfully) with a mixed drink/ice cream cone/latte.

Please witness below how my long hair adventure turned out (but to be fair, I can't really blame my hair for that plaid shirt, haha):

Just a couple examples of the many pictures I've sent to my sister in the last few months.  Moaning and whinging about my hair and how much I hated it.  I'm sure it was awesome to be the recipient of so much hair angst.

Since I've had the twins, I've been STRUGGLING to get my sense of style back (not that it was ever very highly developed), struggling to even just look like myself.  And the long hair (which I've never had in my life) was not helping.  I didn't know what to do with it, and I didn't look like myself with it.  And as always, I HATED IT.  I hated managing it.  I hated the amount of conditioner I needed to use. The time it would take to even get it to the point where I COULD PULL IT BACK.  That was my measure of success....did it look presentable when I managed to pull it back?  Such a low bar.  So I finally woke up and shouted "WHY ARE YOU TORTURING YOURSELF?!?!?!?!?!?!?"  Just give it up.  Some people are not meant to have long hair, and the hair growing out of your head is not meant to be long.  LOVE THE ONE YOU'RE WITH.  FOR CHRIST'S SAKE.  LOVE THE ONE YOU'RE WITH.  

And so I made an appointment with an awesome lady at The Parlour in St. John's who specializes in curly hair and had it cut off. And I like it.
(Why, yes, I did retouch the hyper-pigmentation on my forehead, thanks for asking.)

The red lipstick is to prevent me from feeling like a soccer mom with a bob.  It helps.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

I didn't realize

that I was in the business of selling sterling silver and cubic zirconium rings made in India.  A kindly ebay user from Hungary alerted me to this, she had recognized my photo when shopping on Ebay:

Lol!  They must have screen grabbed it from the banner I used to use on my blog.  Just makes me super irritated.  But there isn't much I can do.  I scrolled through their ebay shop and they had a bunch of rings I recognized from Etsy.  Assholes.  I don't care if you copy things, it's not like the ring above was a super unique painting or anything, but to be so lazy that you just take the photos too?  On the off chance that someone will buy it and save you the trouble of making your own to photograph, I guess?  I don't know.  I love the internet, but at the same time I HATE IT WITH A BURNING PASSION.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Another year

I'm trying to figure out how to calculate how many years I've been in business.  I opened in February of 2009.  So does that make it 5 years?  Or 6?  5 full years? But technically 6?  Am I just mathematically challenged?  Has it been too long since elementary school?  You know what is really sad?  I've been in business for 5 years (at least) and I've had business cards once.  As in, I had some made when I first opened, and I haven't had any since.  Years.  Years.

Anyhoo.  It's another year, and now that my babies are a little bit older, I'm ready to move out my holding pattern and make some changes. On the list:

1) Learn how to do 3D modeling.  I would love to be able to design components on the computer.  Things that I can't make by carving in wax.  And that means a new computer.  I bought a refurbished one in 2009 and it is finally time to retire it. (I updated the software to Yosemite and I now regret it with all of my heart.)

2) Get a bead blaster.  I've wanted one forever.  Not sure why I've been dragging my feet.

3) Start selling in actual brick and mortar shops.  Not quite sure what direction I'm heading with this one, but I think that is where I want to be.

4) Get business cards and other paper frippery to upgrade my packaging.  I would love to get custom jewelry boxes, but I'm not sure where to go for those.  I'm also in need of a new logo to go with J.Yaffa.  I had one for singleB that I really liked, but I don't think it meshes with the new business name.  What to do?  What to do?

5) Take a specialty stone setting class.  I really want to brush up on setting square and emerald cut stones.

6) Earrings, necklaces, bracelets/bangles.  I'm too ring heavy.

7)  OMG.  Finish my new website.  I've been "working" on it for a year.


1) Start drawing and illustrating again.  Get a wacom tablet to use with the new computer in Adobe Illustrator.  (Create my own line of stationery?)

2) Do a self-portrait, or a portrait of my husband/son/daughter every month.

3) Start running again.  Work up to 5 miles.

4) Yoga.  Arm balances.

5) Read/write every day.  I've got the reading part of that goal down cold.  Haha.

6) Love these baby sweeties with my whole heart and soul.  DONE!