vintage beads, new earrings and one happy customer

earrings
©manon

I recently purchased some vintage beads and they’re so cute. It’s been fun to incorporate them into some of my designs. I held my breath when I ordered them because I wasn’t quite sure what was going to arrive but they came to me like new. So far I’ve put them in some of the earrings.

Sterling earrings with words.....Find. Your. Happy. Place.
@manon

These are my latest sterling earrings. I think that these are my favorite but I’ve said that about every pair….lol. I’ve added the words….Find. Your. Happy. Place. I think this rings true to many people. We look around for things and people to make us happy when in reality happiness is a feeling that is within us. I like these words in the piece to bring a gentle reminder.

Mae and her jewelry
©manon

This photo was sent to me recently. My friend, Mae, is one of my biggest supporters. I love that she loves jewelry and mine at that. If she lived closer I would put a hammer in her hand and have her forge away with me. :)

You can find my jewelry at my Etsy or you can email me at manon@sistersofthesun.com

fill your heart with art

~manon

Earrings are everywhere this week

everything is coming up earrings
©manon

This week I’ve been busy making new styles of earrings. I’ve been having a ton of fun with my new saw so I put it to work sawing silver pieces for the earrings.

sterling earrings with copper accent
©manon

These were fun to make. I love adding a little copper accent to some of my pieces. It’s such a warm, pretty metal. It gives these earrings a little pop!!

making ear wires
©manon

After countless times being frustrated having to match up ear wires after they are tumbled….I got smart…lol. I now take my jump rings and put each pair together before they hit the tumbler.

Arizona sunset in July
©manon

Last night Rob and I went to Talking Stick Casino and Resort. We’d heard about the restaurant on the top floor but had never been to it. WOW!! 360 degree views of the city and wonderful food!! I took this pic as the sun was setting. I’m still amazed every single day of the beauty that surrounds us. I’m so very grateful!!

Fill your heart with art

`manon

vision board tutorial

I was asked recently by Cinda to do a vision board for our project ROAR. She gathered pieces that resonated with her for part of her vision as did I. We wanted to come together and share on a vision board what we want to attract for ROAR and our goals. I am sharing the process of putting together this board that is a little untraditional as I added a little bit of a painting to it.

canvas for vision board
©manon

First thing you’ll need is your canvas. You can use a wood piece, paper of some kind, poster board, bulletin board, canvas or whatever you can find. For this vision board I used a large canvas I had.

painted canvas
©manon

I painted my canvas to give it a background color because I knew I wasn’t going to be filling every space.

finding your vision
©manon

Gather anything that speaks to you about your vision. We gathered words from magazines and I photocopied a few of my paintings for ROAR. You can use pictures, words, sketches and on and on.

adhesives
©manon

Choose your adhesive. Some people use rubber cement, glue sticks or spray adhesives. I prefer a gel matte medium or white glue that I use an old paint brush with.

gluing backside of media
©manon

I like to put a coat of glue on the backside of thinner magazine pieces. The reason is that when you glue down the front to the canvas you don’t see the print from the back showing through. This is an optional step but since I was turning this into somewhat of a painting I didn’t want the noise from the other side to show.

focal point
©manon

I chose to put photos of Cinda and I in our board. This is a joint project and vision and I felt that our board needed to reflect this. I had to laugh when I took this pic because we look like to witches in it…lol.

layout
©manon

I like to lay some of the pieces down to see what I’ve got before I glue them down. Work with your layout a bit. Maybe you’d like some of your vision words to have a prominent place on your canvas. Use your intuition to do what feels right.

put together
©manon

Sorry for the blurry pic but by the time I realized it there was no going back to get another….yikes. Anyway…. I just wanted to show how the piece looked when everything was glued down. You could leave it as is now or add your own touches such as glitter, beads or anything that you have that you think would add to your board. I decided I would continue to paint around mine.

vision board for ROAR
©manon

This is the finished vision board. I might tweak it a bit but I’m happy with it. I hope Cinda is too!!!

vision boards
©manon

I also wanted to show a board I did years ago. It’s fun to look back at it and see what has happened since.

Vision boards are fun to do and it certainly helps in attracting the things you want in your life. Try one!! You’ll be amazed!!!

fill your heart with art and vision boards

~manon

Santa Fe Getaway

Pretty faces
©manon

This past weekend Rob treated me to a Santa Fe weekend for my birthday. We decided to drive and see all the beautiful scenery on the way to our destination. Since it’s a tad cooler up there it was also awesome to get out of our heat for a few days. It was an amazing trip that included white water rafting on the Rio Grande. Here a few photos of our getaway.

View from Santa Fe ski basin
©manon

This pic is high up at the Sante Fe ski basin. The views are absolutely stunning.

Sculpture on Canyon Rd., Santa Fe
©manon

Santa Fe is an amazing artist’s community. Venture down Canyon Rd. and you can see the most incredible art galleries in the country. Understandably…. you can’t take pictures in the galleries so I got what I could outside.

Canyon Rd.
©manon

Canyon Rd.
©manon

Canyon Rd.
©manon

church in Santa Fe
©manon

Church in Santa Fe
©manon

There are great restaurants, shops and old churches to see.

Hotel St. Francis
©manon

Our hotel lobby was so romantic at night. It made our days of sightseeing a cozy place to land.

Santa Fe is definitely a place to go if you haven’t been. We thoroughly enjoyed it and plan on a Winter trip there. :)

Fill your heart with beautiful art

~manon

Busy in the studio

sterling pendant with my artwork
©manon

I’ve been working hard in my studio making a variety of new things. I’ve also been taking some excerpts of my paintings and adding them into some of my pendants. This necklace has a painting of mine and is reversible as you will see in the next photo. Two for the price of one….:). I’ve also oxidized the chain and clasp to give it an edgy look.

sterling pendant with silver accent
©manon

silver necklace with my artwork
©manon

It looks great on. I’ve made a few of these pieces using other paintings. It’s fun to see my artwork combined with my jewelry.

sterling silver ring with resin
©manon

I really enjoy making rings. I’m purposely not making them in my small size so I don’t end up keeping them all…lol. These are the two latest.

sterling silver ring with resin
©manon

sterling silver pendants with copper accents
©manon

Bangles are now in the mix. There was a ton of hammering to these two….so much so that I thought my tennis elbow was coming back.

sterling silver pendant with glass bead
©manon

I have yet to decide on leather cord or silver chain for this sterling pendant. It has a nice size to it plus it’s a heavy gauge silver. I think it might look great sitting on the chest.

You can find these items at my Etsy shop. Come by and take a look.

I’ll post new pieces, paintings and tutorials soon. Hope to see you then!!

fill your heart with art

~manon

a little of this and that

journal page
©manon

Yesterday I decided to get back into my painting journal. I took a little painting break after painting 32 paintings for Cinda and our project ROAR. (Btw…. check out Cinda’s ROAR site when you have a minute). I gave myself the challenge of doing this painting in under an hour and there you have it. It’s funny that every time I get back to painting it takes a bit to get myself comfortable again.

sterling earrings
©manon

I’ve been working most days in my jewelry studio. These are my latest sterling silver earrings. I love to solder so anything that I can put together with the torch makes me happy. You can find these in my Etsy shop. These are my man’s favorite pair that I’ve made. It’s a good thing when a guy thinks the jewelry you make is nice.

Arizona sunset
©manon

Our temps have been hot in the desert but the nights are still lovely enough for us to walk. The sunsets never disappoint. This was taken two nights ago on our walk.

Thanks for stopping by!!

fill you heart with art

~manon

Easy resin tutorial

resin tutorial

Years ago I covered many of my mosaics in resin to give them more of a modern look and lately I’ve been playing around with it in my jewelry. There are some great books and tutorials out there and I just wanted to give you an easy *how to* if you’re curious about using resin.

bezels
©manon

I made my own silver bezels for this project but I would suggest starting with cheap ones that you can buy online or at any craft store. Once I finished my bezels I laid an old garbage bag on my surface and adhered my bezels to packing tape…..sticky side up. Try not to get your dirty little fingers on the tape because anything that’s on there will ultimately transfer to your resin.

Next….a few safety tips….. wear disposable plastic gloves. Depending of the brand of resin that you use you may need a respirator or dusk mask if the fumes are particularly strong. Make sure you’re in a well ventilated space. I wouldn’t suggest doing this anywhere you’ll be consuming food.

resin + hardener
©manon

There are many resins out there. Research on which one is the best for your needs but make sure that you find one that it is non-yellowing because you don’t want to have a piece get yellow down the line.

The resin comes in 2 parts. The resin and the hardener. It’s important that they are not cold when you start working with them so you can put them in a hot bath of water for a few minutes to warm them up.

mixing
©manon

Mixing…… I buy the little pre-measured medicine cups to mix my resin. You will mix them in the exact amounts starting with the resin and then adding the hardener. Once you pour the resin let it sit for a second to make sure it’s the amount you want and then add the hardener. You are now ready to mix with a wooden stick. NOTE….. mix it very slowly for at least two minutes. The more vigorous the mixing the more air bubbles you are going to have. After the mixing is done you can either add color or keep it clear and let it sit under a heat lamp or light for 5 minutes to help draw out the air bubbles.

colored resin
©manon

I added color to my resin and there are a variety of ways to do this. You can add a couple of drops of oil paint or acrylic paint. I’m told that pastels can be ground up and mixed in. Some people use a tiny amount of mica powders. Perhaps you want to leave your resin clear and carefully put something in it like pieces of glass or beads. The fun thing about this is that you can experiment.

Now you’re ready to pour. Do so carefully so you can see where the resin is going. Pour until you’re happy. Have toothpicks or a needle to get any air bubbles that are present. You have about 30 minutes to work with this. The resin will set up pretty quickly so leaving the room for an hour and coming back to it isn’t going to work out for you. Once you’re happy with what you’ve got you can cover your work with anything that will keep the dust out while it cures. I use a container that is meant to store things in and I put it over the pieces. The dry time depends on your product but I let it sit 24 hours before I take it out. Also…. the overall cure time is about 3 days.

resin in the bezels
©manon

These are what my pieces looked liked at first. Cute but I wasn’t done. I didn’t pour too much initially into my bezels because I wanted to add some snippets of my artwork to my pendants. I made sure my condensed copies of artwork were sealed with a gel medium and then I adhered them to the resin on the bezel. I then poured a clear batch of resin and let them sit for another 24 hours.

adding my artwork
©manon

These are my finished pieces ready to string on silver chain. I think they turned out great.

Resin has so many possibilities. Give it a whirl!! If you want to push it more you can look up some books on this topic that will inspire you!!

fill your heart with art

~manon

my hand collection

my hands
©manon

I love to see the collections that people have. I’m not much of a collector….except for my art supplies and shoes…lol….but I do have a variety of hands. The two larger hands in this photo were found at an antique store years ago. They use these to make plastic gloves and once they get a crack in them they are discarded. At the time I purchased them the price was right.

my hands
©manon

I adore these two hands. The larger one was a lovely gift to me from my love and I’m not even sure where I found the smaller one.

my hands
©manon

These are the functional hands in my studio. They hold business cards and notes.

my teapot
©manon

This is a lovely teapot hand that sits in the office. I will never use it as a functioning item. It was made by an artist named Jack Earl.

sterling silver pendants with resin

I made some pendants and rings with resin last week. The circle piece from this pic is already headed to a new home. I put it on a very long silver chain and it looks awesome.

You can find more of my work at Etsy.

fill your heart with art

~manon

making organic jewelry pickle

making jewelry pickle
©manon

For the last two years I’ve been making organic jewelry pickle to clean the fire scale off of my jewelry after it’s been annealed or soldered. I searched the internet for a non-toxic alternative to the pickles that are commonly sold and I found this easy recipe. It’s a combination of 1 cup white vinegar with 1 tablespoon iodized salt… you can increase the amounts like I usually do.

warming jewelry pickle
©manon

This pickle works best when it is heated so I keep mine on a coffee warmer. Make sure you turn it off when you are done or it will end up cooking your pickle after a couple of days. When the pickle turns a light blue it’s time to make a new batch. This stuff is fantastic and is completely non-toxic.

my cork board
©manon

Here are some of my jewelry pieces on my cork board. The pretty pink brings a smile to my face every time I walk into my studio.

You can find my jewelry on Etsy.

Fill your heart with art

~manon

playing with resin in my pieces

IMG_1403
©manon

These past couple of weeks I’ve been playing with resin in my jewelry. I used to work with resin years ago on my completed mosaics so this isn’t really new to me except the size is much smaller. I have to concentrate not to over pour …lol. I’ve been pleased with the way these rings have turned out. I think that the dark silver really compliments them well.

IMG_1400
©manon

IMG_1396
©manon

IMG_1366
©manon

This ring has already gone to a new home. The red is really pretty on it.

IMG_1367
©manon

The best way to try anything new is to obviously experiment before you throw any of this stuff into finished pieces. I tend to get ahead of myself sometimes….yikes….but I played with the resin first to try and avoid any disasters. Btw….they sometimes happen anyway…lol.

You can find my new pieces at Etsy

See you soon!!

Fill your heart with art

~manon