Archive | March 2011

Sihaya Designs Marches for the Animals


As some of you know, I recently became a member of BEST– the Baltimore Etsy Street Team. One of the events that our team is participating in the area is the Maryland SPCA’s March For The Animals. This effort was spearheaded by the lovely Brooke of FuzzyMug.

Animal rescue and adoption is a cause close to my heart. Every kitty I have ever had has been a rescue kitty, whether they came off the street or from a shelter. The MD SPCA actually works very closely with BARCS (from which we got our Nox kitty) in giving the animals the best possible care while they await adoption.

You can help me reach my fundraising goal by donating at the Sihaya Designs page – http://www.marchfortheanimals.kintera.org/sihayadesigns. Also check out the BEST pack page – over $1,000 has been raised so far!

(As a bonus – forward me your receipt email, and I will be sure to make shipping free on your next order to Sihaya Designs!)

Customer Appreciation Photos, Pt 3

This lovely lady is wearing earrings from my new Effervescence line… if you missed out, fear not– there will be plenty in the next update!


This lovely lady is wearing a custom necklace in her school’s colors – there is a hidden acorn along the back, as well!

This lovely fellow bellydancer is wearing my Captive Sky earrings to match her blue nails!


And this lovely lady is wearing a custom cherries necklace. Perhaps not the best product shot of the ones she sent me, but certainly my favorite!

Customer Appreciation Photos, Part 2

Here is a lovely lady wearing The Medievalist earrings…


And another lovely lady wearing a Faerie Wing pendant…


And another lovely lady wearing Valentine Blooms earrings…


And another lovely lady wearing the Boudicca necklace…


…more to come. Have you sent me your photo for a chance to win a Sihaya Designs gift certificate?

Customer Appreciation Photos, pt 1

Here are a few of the customer appreciation photos I’ve gotten in the last year, some of which are from the Customer Appreciation gift certificate drawing! Have you entered yet?

This lovely lady wore a custom bracelet at her wedding! It was made to match a necklace she already had.


You can see gorgeous close-ups of the bracelet here and here!

This lovely lady is wearing the Aquamarina necklace with one of my earring wardrobes:


This lovely lady is wearing one of my The Timekeeper’s Daughter: The Scribe resin pendants.


…and this lovely lady is wearing a pair of Pressed Faerie Wing earrings!

…more to come!

Q&A

So, in the last 24 hours, I’ve been asked a bunch of questions about my life as a jewelry artist & the path that led me here. Sounds like a work blog post to me!

What do you love most about making jewelry?

The challenge, I think. Fun, casual stuff is a good stress-reliever. I love the satisfaction of a five minute pair of earrings. But the more involved stuff– techniques that requires sculpting, firing, mixing, hammering… all of that is stuff I had no idea I’d be doing two years ago. And so every time I finish something difficult, or I use a new skill, I have a deeply satisfying moment of “I made that,” which is addictive, and just pushes me to go further. To learn more. And as a double-Virgo who would gladly be an eternal student if only I had the $$$, having an infinite number of new things to learn and try is totally exciting.

How did you first begin to make jewelry?

My aunt took me into Beadazzled (one of our local bead shops) when I was about 12 years old. I remember being totally enchanted by the lampwork beads, and the goldstone beads. So glittery! So shiny! She showed me the basic things about stringing. Like all 12 year olds, I was madly obsessed for a summer, then forgot all about it. I never did buy any beaded jewelry from that point on, though, because after examining the craftsmanship, I always concluded that I could make my own, if only I were less lazy.

After college, I went through a rough breakup. I needed something to keep my hands and mind occupied. I started buying beads at JoAnn’s and Etsy. When stringing proved insufficient to create the ideas in my head, I bought my first spool of craft wire. No joke, I used garden snips as my wirecutters.

Then my roommate told me about this shop called Terra Firma a mile away, where I found all the tools I needed. Not too long after that, I found myself working there. Being surrounded by such creative people and having such an amazing resource pushed me into new mediums (resin, PMC, metal etching) and totally rocked my world– in a good way!

Do you have a studio?

I do have a small home studio that I work from. It’s got a big, wide desk, a bookshelf where I keep my books and small altar, a big inspiration board for fresh images and color palettes. Shelves have boxes full of resins, ribbons, patina supplies, soldering supplies, mandrels. On working nights, it looks pretty much like this:

Did you go to school to learn how to make jewelry?

I did not go to school for jewlerymaking. I DID go to an arts school, but for vocal music! So I’ve always been surrounded by art, even if this is a relatively new medium for me. Most of what I’ve learned has been either self-taught through doodling around or learned from books and tutorials I’ve purchased. I’ve only just begun soldering, though, and that is something I would very much like to take a class on. Now that I’m a member of the Baltimore Etsy Street Team (BEST), I have lots of team-members who have strong backgrounds in traditional metalsmithing, so I have no doubt I’ll get the best guidance a girl could have as I continue my artistic journey!

New Update at Sihaya Designs and Customer Appreciation Drawing!


Thing numero uno: there’s a new update! I’m trying new things with resin, lots of wirework, new earring wardrobes, and the ever-popular labradorite pendants! www.sihayadesigns.com!

Thing numero dos: I want to say THANK YOU to all of my wonderful customers. I’m having a new drawing to express my appreciation.

To enter, send a picture of yourself wearing a Sihaya Designs Jewelry piece to christina@sihayadesigns.com with “Customer Appreciation Drawing” in the subject line. Note: Some images may be published on my blog!

On March 25th, I will choose one entry using a random number generator. Numbers will be assigned based on the order received. The winner will receive a $20 gift certificate to my shop!

Muah!
Christina

The rising cost of silver and my shipping policy.

Hello all! I’m writing today about a necessary but unpleasant aspect of the jewelery biz.

When I opened Sihaya Designs three years ago, sterling silver was somewhere around $13 per ounce. During my brief time in Albuquerque, since I was so close to one of the US’s largest silver suppliers, I could even get it as low as $11 per oz. My prices were so reasonable because rather than sail on that deal, I passed the savings directly on to you, my customers.

Sadly, for the last two years, sterling silver (all metals, really), have been steadily on the rise. I work for a metals retailer part-time, so I get all of my metal at wholesale prices / at cost. The cheapest price I can get on sterling silver, per ounce, is $43. Ouch! These prices may continue to rise for the foreseeable future.

As I do a lot of my work in sterling silver, I am now faced with having to raise some of my prices to reflect this. The older work in my shop will remain as-is, as this price change will only effect new stock.

As always, I strive to create affordable artisan jewelry for all to enjoy, and am saddened at this necessary evil.

As a trade-off, I am changing my shipping prices– lowering them, in-fact. All shipping is now $4 per item ($.20 per extra item). Nothing will change in regards to my shipping presentation: all items will still arrive gift-boxed, in a bubble mailer with delivery confirmation on all domestic orders. Domestically, all orders $150 and over will receive complimentary shipping insurance. You may always inquire about expedited shipping or shipping insurance on all other orders.

Thank you so much for your understanding. If you see an item you absolutely must have but cannot afford at the moment, I do offer holds on items for short periods of time, as well as “layaway” style payment for higher ticket items. We can work something out!

Warmly,
Christina
Sihaya Designs Jewelry