Friday, November 27, 2009

Vote For Your Favorites

The Lofted Designs dog tag contest is in full swing! I received so many wonderful entries that I decided to create five categories (FIVE WINNERS!) rather than just one. The polls close on Monday afternoon, 11/30/09, so come on over and vote for your favorite phrases right now.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Enter the Lofted Designs Dog Tag Contest

Help me come up with a phrase for the next line of Lofted Designs dog tags! Here's how it works...

1. Visit my Facebook fan page and click the "Discussions" tab at the top.

2. Leave a comment with your idea for a dog tag by 11:59pm on Tuesday, 11/24/09.

3. You can enter as many ideas as you want. The key is to keep them short and sweet! I can fit about 4 words on a tag (max. 15 letters).

4. On Wednesday, 11/25/09, I will post an online poll with the top 5-10 suggestions and ask all my fans to vote for their favorites.

The creator of the winning phrase will receive a free dog tag and the winning tag will be sold as a new item in my online shop!

Here are all the tags currently available:
Bed Hog
Gimme Treats
I ♥ 2 Cuddle
I ♥ Belly Rubs
I ♥ Cats
I ♥ Heavy Petting
I ♥ My Person
I ♥ Naptime
I ♥ Treats
Mama's Boy/Girl
Daddy's Boy/Girl
Naughty and Nice
Naughty on Purpose
Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg
Cutie Pie
Bite Me
Don't Piss Me Off
Dogs Rule Cats Drool
Tail Wagger

Good luck!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

4th Quarter Earnings

As you may already know, I choose a non-profit organization each quarter to receive a percentage of my sales. This is my way of paying forward the generosity and kindness I've received in support of Lofted Designs. I probably wouldn't be making jewelry at all if not for the help, confidence and support of many wonderful people. So, in turn, each quarter I donate a portion of my proceeds to a local non-profit organization.

Choosing my 4th quarter recipient was easy because I have an entire team of craftspeople behind me. More than 40 members of the Etsy Maine Team have decided to donate 15% of their sales between November 13th and 19th to Preble Street, an organization based in Portland, Maine, striving to turn hunger and homelessness into opportunity and hope. Preble Street's mission is to provide accessible barrier-free services to empower people experiencing problems with homelessness, housing, hunger and poverty, and to advocate for solutions to these problems.

In addition to all of these really talented Etsy sellers donating 15%, I will base my donation upon all Lofted Designs sales from October through the end of the year. Happy shopping!

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Couple of Good Eggs

Recently, I decided I was fed up with using smelly chemicals in the Lofted Designs studio. The studio is an inspirational, calming place for me and not a place for rotten egg smell. The main culprit was Liver of Sulfur, a chemical used in metalworking to create a patina – it's what I used to create a brown or black finish on silver and to turn stamped letters black.

I cannot even describe the intensity of the smell. It's an all-windows-open, burning your nostrils, make-you-feel-kinda-sick smell. So, when I heard there was a way to achieve similar patina effects using an all-natural, chemical-free technique, I decided to give it a try.

I started by boiling some eggs. I only needed a couple of eggs for this oxidation technique, but I went ahead and made some lunch while I was at it.

While the eggs were cooking, I took all of the pieces I wanted to oxidize and tied them onto a piece of string. This way they wouldn't touch one another and I could suspend them over the plastic container that would hold the eggs.

Once the eggs were ready to go, I mashed two of them in a glass bowl to release all the good sulfury stuff from the yolks.

Then, I placed the smashed eggs at the bottom of the plastic container being careful not to touch the silver with the egg. The container was sealed and the waiting began. The longer you leave the eggs in with the silver, the darker the patina. I checked on my pieces every 1/2 hour or so, and ultimately left them in for a few hours.

The results were terrific! The pieces came out just as dark as they would have with smelly Liver of Sulfur and I love knowing that I'm using an all-natural method. Sure it takes a little longer, but in the end I think it's worth it.

Custom birthstone necklaces and other oxidized pieces are available in my shop.