Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Signs of Spring

I just wanted to share these images of lambs taken at the Fischer farm in West Tisbury. Those of us with children really wished to see the little lambs when they arrived. Some of the lambs were as young as 2 days old! They were terribly cute as you can see from these pictures. They have a bunch of these little guys with more appearing each week. Simply adorable!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Hanging Vase

The hanging vase project is finally finished! This project started with a thrift shop goblet. I'm fairly pleased with the results but am filled with ideas on different methods. I wish I had better photographs, but these will have to do for now. I think once I have several completed I'll photograph them all together. At the rate I make these it should be a bit warmer outside.

This vase could be filled with all kinds of things. A few cut flowers from the garden, seashells, colorful small objects, even dried flowers would look nice in this vase. How about a bit of sand with a votive candle for a bit of romance?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Family Pets & String Dolls

I'm really not sure what anyone else thinks about these Koonin Pets from Kamibashi, but I think they're wonderful. They're a mix of my 2 favorite things: visual texture and animals. "Those are creepy", my husband said looking at my monitor from over my shoulder, but I think they're adorable. They're so expressive!

Just as wonderful and wacky are the handmade String Doll Gang, also from Kamibashi. With names like "Super Piggy" and "Safety Boy", someone clearly has a sense of humor. It's too difficult to pick a favorite, but each one is supposed to help you in some way. Crazy Eyes helps you find things, Lover Boy attracts passion, inspires loyalty, and serves up the love, and Super Piggy might just save the world yet. They're only 2.5" tall, but they seem to be a whole new breed of super hero.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Getting Closer

Not yet ready but getting close, I couldn't wait to share a peek of how these magnets will look with the gorgeous beveled glass. These magnets are going to be solid and the magnetic material strong. No one wants a cheap magnet that keeps slipping down the refrigerator! I plan to have several customizable designs available by mid-April.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

In the Works

In production and available soon are these beautiful beveled glass magnets. These are only concepts. Photographs of the actual magnets will be available in the next few days.

I plan to have the magnets available at Annie Howes Keepsakes in the next couple of weeks. Each square magnet measures 2" x 2" and is created with beveled glass. Each will be offered as a variation on an existing theme, with new themes being added continuously. There will also be 1.5" x 1.5" round magnets available for the Alphabet themes. I'm very excited about introducing these magnets. Who doesn't keep a magnet on their refrigerator? Why not make one entirely yours with your own image and your own text?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

What's Next

The next project I hope to have completed by next weekend is a hanging vase or votive holder made with stemmed glassware. A little photo documentation goes a long way when describing any of these projects and I've helpfully included those below.

First, I've removed the stem of the glass. Then I rasped the raw edge of the break until it's fairly smooth and even. It's nice to have a Dremel tool on hand to really smooth it out and remove any remaining glass burs.

I then wrapped the lip of the glass with copper foil tape and applied the solder.

Next, at the base of the glass, I wrapped the portion I plan to solder with copper foil tape. I then applied the solder and added a small silver jump ring.

This piece is now begging for completion, but sadly I'm still waiting on materials. In the meantime, I have a second piece of stemware I can bring to this point, and a third piece of glass whose intended purpose still puzzles me, but was such a great find and is such an interesting shape I simply couldn't pass on it. More on this project as materials arrive.

What's New

It's been a surprisingly productive weekend around here with the addition of the Native American Wedding Prayer pendant. The product is now available online at www.anniehowes.com.

I completed the first piece today and I think it turned out beautifully. I've added a pewter feather charm to this particular piece along with a bit of turquoise stone and the final product is pictured above. It couldn't be more perfect. The photo with artificial lighting hardly does it justice. Two more photos below.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Native American Wedding Prayer

I'm really excited about this new design (#014 - not yet available) using this fabulous image from Oregon collector, Thomas Robinson. If you haven't been to his site, http://www.historicphotoarchive.com, you must know he has some of the most beautiful historical imagery, particularly of the northwest United States.

The couple photographed are Francis Schlall (Paiute) and Princess Elizabeth Badroads (Umatilla), married in 1929 at the age of 19 in Burns, Harney County, Oregon. I love that this photograph has documentation. There is such a mood about this couple with the soft lighting and the rich detail of their wedding attire. The way Princess Elizabeth Badroads is looking down at her lap just makes me want to know the whole love story.

The back of the piece has one of many Native American Wedding Prayers. This text area will be customizable so any version of the Wedding Prayer (or any other text) can be substituted.

I'd love to hear your comments on this piece.

Sunday, March 4, 2007


New projects are always in the works around here and next up is a bookmark. These work best with the smaller pieces (charms) that measure 1"x1.5" inches. Other shapes and sizes will be available in the future. No two will ever be exactly alike. Some will have beads, others will have charms or other small embellishments. I think what might work nicely is to offer the bookmark as an option for all of the smaller pieces. Currently, the website only has the smaller sizes available with the letter charms.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

New Addition to the Store

My goal for the weekend has been fulfilled with the completion of the "Favorite Pets" collage. This particular keepsake was conceptualized for the person who absolutely adores their pet, whether or not the pet is living.

The first design (done in brown) features our pet Boonie Dog, Biscuit, who we lost to congestive heart failure in December 2006. I searched online endlessly for some "thing", some pretty, tasteful object that could soften the cold, brass appearance of her urn but found nothing. This pendant is at least something I could create to place with her where she is on the shelf in our living room. I can't wait to finish making it and string a pretty ribbon through it.

Meet Bob

Bob is my Third Hand, or if you want to be technical about it, my Third and Fourth hands. Handy at holding small objects, such as the sterling silver rings on charms that tend to get extremely hot, Bob keeps my fingers from becoming a part of what I solder. He's also a bit steadier than I am and can hold things for much longer periods of time without complaining that I've dripped solder on him.