Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What Is Your Birthstone?

Hello fellow FEST members. It is me Melissa again, and that must mean it is Wednesday. Last week I shared the beautiful Kunzite with you all. Did you check it out? Please do if you didn't. This week I am asking the question, do you know your birthstone? If you do, do you know the meaning of your birthstone? For example I am a Peridot, and it means Dignity. Years ago, when I was ahem much younger, Peridot was not found in good quality and I thought it was oh so ugly. Now that I make my own jewelry, and have found that there is some of the finest most beautiful qualities of Peridot, I wear it with great pride and dignity, LOL! The ring pictured is one I have in my store. I would love to own it for myself, but since the setting is rhodium plated it can not be resized, and I wear a five, this is a seven. So of course I am hoping someone who will love it, will buy it. Watch the video below to learn your birthstone and meaning, then be sure to comment and share with all of us. Happy Wednesday, have an awesome day! It is kind of rainy and icky today.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Greetings From On Board The SS Tesla: 03/27/11

Hello Team FESTers!

This is Capt. Maricruz speaking and I have been very busy getting ready for the Steampunk Circus! If you want to see me in person come and attend the show. Here is the info:

It's going to be at the Pompano Citi Centre so any of you FESTers that are in the area, come and say hello to a fellow team member. I will be bringing a special guest of honor with me as well. You can also check out the other artists there and maybe say hello as well.

Back to business as usual, I currently have an item up for sale in which 100% of the proceeds will go the American Red Cross to help with the relief efforts in Japan ( I would like for fellow Team FESTers to let me know if they have any charity items to help Japan as well so that I can make a Team FEST treasury with those items as well.

I shall depart for now while I make more pieces for the show and relax in my cabin with my octopus companion Inari and my dogs and cats as I continue crocheting my Tardis Scarf. Speaking of which here is a video for all of you that crochet brought to by the good folks from Thread Banger:

Godspeed and xoxo,

Capt. Maricruz

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Kunzite From The Spodumene Family

Kunzite is a violet to pink gemstone, first found in 1902, by gemologist G.F. Kunz. Kunzite is a 6 1/2 on the Mohs hardness scale, but is very brittle in its internal structure. Extreme care should be taken when setting, and wearing this gemstone. It is a pleochroic gemstone, which means it can exhibit different colors at different angles. Violet, pink, paler shades of violet, clear, and even red can be exhibited. There is a very new find of Kunzite called Patroke Kunzite that comes from Afghanistan. It is the loveliest hottest pink color I have ever seen. I do not own any, as it is very, very expensive. The Kunzite pictured is set in sterling silver, and measures 12mmx10mm, and is oval. Set in a fancy filigree design ring, size 6 1/2. It is a lovely soft lilac color. This was a beautiful Kunzite, the only one I owned. It has since been sold to one lucky buyer, from my Etsy store.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Greetings From The SS Tesla: Upcoming Shows & Events: South Florida

Hello Team FESTers!

This is Capt Maricruz and I do apologize for reporting in a day late, but there is a good reason. I have been currently looking for upcoming shows that fellow Team FESTers may be interested in attending/or vending at. So without further ado, here they are:

DR. SEUSS Live art group show by Art Nouveau Events Mar. 23rd from 8:00 pm to Thursday 2:00 am

The submissions for this event are currently closed but you can contact the lovely Teresa Korber if you are interested in doing future events. It's seriously worth it and a great way to get your name out there and $25 for a vendor spot, how can you refuse that?! Do be prompt, it's a first come, first serve basis to sign up. 

The Steampunk Circus Presented by WeMerge Magazine Apr. 2nd, Pompano Citi Centre, Pompano Beach Florida, 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm

(This is a traveling art show, there are more dates, check out the link). I am not sure if they are still taking vendor submissions, but there is a possibility that they are. This is perfect for all of the Etsy Artists out there that paint, sculpt, photograph and do mixed media art in general. 

The vendor/artist submission is here:

 The Downtown Open Market, Apr. 3rd, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm

This show will be held once a month every Sunday. This one is perfect for fellow Team FESTers who are located in the Boca, Pompano, Deerfield, Ft. Lauderdale and even further south of the state to attend. There may be some vendor openings for the first show but I think they're looking for vendors for the next show.

Here is the Vendor Application:

That is all for now Team FESTers and before I sign out to contiune my repairs on the Tesla, I would like to take a moment to place an announcement. I am currently selling a very special limited edition piece from my newest jewelry line called Octo-Couture on my little shop. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross to help with the relief efforts in Japan. Plus there will be free shipping.

Here is the link:
I know there are fellow Team FESTers out there that have some items for Japan so be sure to check them out.

Thanks and Godspeed!

Capt. Maricruz


Saturday, March 19, 2011

March Challenge Entries!

I present to you the March Team Challenge entries! OK...I'm on my second cup of coffee and I've received invaluable advice from our lovely Gail of Seaphemera on how to install the poll widget. So, without further ado, the voting is now officially open. NOTE: You may vote for MORE THAN 1 ENTRY!!!! Since my learning curve was rather steep for the first Monthly Challenge, I have decided to feature the winning entry on my blog! The exposure will be monumental since I have millions of followers (actually closer to 14 at last count but the other 999,986 have no idea what they're missing!) Take your time to enjoy all the beautiful, creative entries from our fabulously talented Team Members :D Good luck one and all!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Drawing A Ring Design

I have never tried drawing out my designs before I make them. I just picture what I like in my head, and then look for the proper supplies. This is so very neat, and I could see how you could lay out some beautiful designs before you make it. Do you draw out your jewelry pieces?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Captain Maricruz's How-To and Tips For Working With Vintage and New Watch Pieces

Hello Fellow Team FESTers!

This will be a short post this week as I am will be catching up on a few things on board the Tesla. As such I am going to post a simple how-to for those of you are interested in working with vintage watch pieces and watch parts.

A few things to remember and to consider:

  • Certain watch pieces are going to be antique and vintage. As with any and all crafting items, please treat them with love and care.
  • If they are slightly grimy or dirty and are a bit on the cleanliness side of things, use a specialty watch cleaner that will be gentle on the pieces so that it doesn't break.
  • Make sure that the pieces that you will not use for your project are stored away safely in a proper container so that you won't lose them or break apart.
Now that is all said and done, when working with watch pieces, remember to have some tweezers handy so that you pick up the pieces and know where you would like to place them. The trick is you have to know what you will use some of your pieces for. Are the pieces going to be used for a necklace, a bracelet, earrings, a ring, or any other crafting use? 

The best thing to do is to map out what project you are going to do concerning these pieces. Chances are you may not enough for what you have planned, that's why there is always a plan B...or maybe C, D, or E.

Once you have figured out what you are going to do with your watch pieces, go ahead and add your own flair  and aesthetic to them! That's part of the fun of working with watch pieces isn't it?

I shall sign off my computer and dock my Tesla for the night. I will sign off and leave a tutorial video for my fellow FESTers!

Goodnight and Godspeed!
Captain Maricruz

Polymer Clay Tutorial Colored Pencil and Artist Palette Set Tutorial brought to you by Kriquit:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Interview with SEAOATS

Meet Malina of Seaoats:

Who are you, where do you live, and what do you create?
Hi, my name is Malina Lake and Seaoats is my shop. I construct and design eco-friendly bags and pouches. I live in Sarasota, Florida on Siesta Key. I moved down here last year with my husband and one and a half year old daughter from Brooklyn, New York. Before New York it was San Francisco. This is where my husband and I met and lived for ten years before we made the leap over to the East Coast. We moved to Florida to be closer to the beach and family. There are many things that we love and miss about living in the big Cities but right now there's nothing better than living by the beach with our little daughter.

-Where does your inspiration come from?

My new "beachy" surroundings inspired me to open this Etsy shop. My husband is a photographer and with his help, we have transformed his photos into screenprints for my bags. I have always been very eco-conscious (living in San Francisco will do that to you) and knew that I wanted to work with mostly repurposed materials. I find great pleasure in scouring through Thrift Shops and transforming hideous articles of clothing into new and useful little clutches.

- describe your creative process and how do you get out of your creative ruts?
My creative process is kind of all over the place. Since my daughter is top priority, much of my work gets done in the evenings after she's asleep. Sometimes this can be a challenge because on certain days I find myself pretty exhausted once the evening rolls around. On the other hand, I usually get a second wind and can work into the wee hours of the night. I usually separate each task into days. One day, I'll cut fabric, the next day iron, the third day print followed by sewing etc. I find this to have a more rhythmic flow to the whole process. And then there are days when I feel like making something completely unrelated to my shop. This actually works as a nice break and helps to keep things fresh and get me out of my creative ruts.

-Is there on online "tool" that you like to use?
I am a big fan of:

-What is your life outside of Etsy?
What life outside of Etsy? Haha, I am only halfway joking with that response! When I am not eating, breathing, and sleeping Etsy I am a full time mom which doesn't leave room for much of anything else.

-Could you recommend a fun activity near your Fl home that other members might enjoy?
Well, I am fairly new to Florida and I'm sure everyone already knows this, but Siesta Key beaches are BEAUTIFUL! I have traveled to many beaches all over the world and not much compares to the soft snowy white sandy beaches here on the Gulf. It is breathtaking.

-What are some other sites to find out more about you and your art?
I am on
and occasionally

-Where would you like to be in ten years?
In ten years I would like to be surrounded by the people that I love and crafting with my beautiful preteen daughter!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My First FEST Post

Hello Team FEST, this is Melissa. This is my first post on the team FEST blog. I thought I would say hello, and tell a little about myself. I live in Gilchrist County, but moved from upstate NY six years ago. I started collecting gemstones as a hobby about eight years ago. After I collected so many I decided I better learn how to make some jewelry. While I enjoy making traditional types of jewelry, I am beginning to learn beading, wire wrapping and other forms of jewelry making. I actually have three blogs, and one I moderate for my son. We homeschool, and I am a part time nurse, so my days are quite busy. I will be posting on Wednesdays, and I will try to pick topics that will be interesting to everyone, not just jewelry makers. I know one topic that is a thorn in my side, is getting good photos of my jewelry. If you have a hard time too, this video will hopefully be helpful to us all. If you have any tips or tricks that work for you, please share with all of us. Happy Wednesday to all!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Pep Talk From Captain Maricruz

Greetings from on board the SS Tesla!

Hello my fellow FESTers! I am writing this post in regards to give all of you some words of encouragement. I understand that doing craft/art shows is pretty tough and it's not easy, but my best words of advice would be to hang in there.

I understand that times are tough and these times are certainly hard for artists, but don't fret! The more you appear in the Art/Craft show circuit, the more people will know your work. There will be shows that you do well and there will be ones that you won't do so well.

If you really love making crafts and this is what you're passionate about, hang in there. Things have an interesting way of working themselves out. If this is what you're not passionate about, then find something that makes you happy.

I have seen my shares of ups and downs and I'm sure all of you have as well. Just hang in there, everything will be okay. Don't worry if you haven't sold anything on Etsy or at the shows, things have a way of working themselves out.

Well that's it for me this evening. I need to get back to fixing the propeller the damn Red Baron shoot off in the last fire fight.

Keep fighting the good fight!

Captain Maricruz

An interesting resin tutorial for all of you resin artists out there brought to you by Rosa Murillo:

Saturday, March 5, 2011

March Team Challenge has officially opened! Our themes are: Aquamarine and Spring! Entries are due by March 18th at midnight! Please choose one of the themes and enter only one item. Happy crafting!!

Here is the link:

The February Challenge Winner

Birds on a Wire by KJ Grigoriadis has won our challenge with this stupendous pillow!

 Congratulations KJ Grigoriadis -  wins a choice of a blog interview or an etsy mini posted for the month!