Tag Archives: luxury

Rose Quartz Swirly Mega-Heart

Okay, I probably wouldn’t label this piece that way for the shelf, but it really is the best way to describe it.

As I mentioned earlier, this piece ended up being a little larger than I had envisioned.  In the end, it did mean that I decided not to add the original piece that was the whole reason for building this.  It would have made the whole thing about 6 inches long and while I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing, I do think it would be a little intimidating for most people out there.  It would turn it into a piece that was worn perhaps only rarely which would make me sad.

As is,  this piece is light and feminine while still a little funky.  It’s something I definitely could wear every day.  And that’s how it should be….hiding your jewelry away in your jewelry chest or in that dish on your dresser is just hiding your light under a bushel.  Much better to let it shine.  Shine baby, Shine!.

I’m late, I’m late…

NO, not that way!!  OMG.  Perish the thought.

I meant to post this yesterday but I got so caught up in the building of it that I barely remembered to take pictures of the process, let alone edit and post them.  I think perhaps it is a good sign though, that maybe I’ve got my groove on again.

So.  It all started with an oopsie.  Several years ago I was practicing soldering large bezels onto sheet.  It can be a little tricksy. (Yes, I know that’s spelled wrong….blame Gollum.)  You have thin little bezel strip made of fine silver, which is extremely melty, and you’re trying to solder it onto a big hunk of sterling silver that takes forever to heat up enough for the solder to flow.  Long story short, I was so excited to get the bezel on the sheet properly I gleefully popped the stone in and set it.  Without.  Adding.  A bail. (Hangs head in shame.)

The reason this is a problem is that in order to solder anything else onto the piece, I really should remove the stone.  If I heat the piece with the stone in it, it will scorch.  It will kill it.  So this piece has been all by itself in a lonely little box on my desk since I built it feeling sad that it’s basically useless as-is.

So I needed a piece that I could add this to by simply drilling a hole and threading a jump-ring through it.  I couldn’t just do that and then sell it as-is…perish the thought!

You all know I’m into swirly things right now.  I generally don’t go for heart-designs, perhaps because I’m too jaded and cynical, but I had a weak moment and thought “I should do something with a heart design”.  I then checked for other symptoms of an aneurysm or perhaps possession, and finding this was a stand-alone symptom, I decided I was probably just having a weak moment and was feeling kind of heartish.  I suppose stranger things have happened.

So there’s the rough design.  I seldom do perfect sketches of what I want as I’d rather get to the building.  It’s sort of the shape I’m after and we’ll see how it morphs as we go along.

I pulled this photo in nice and close so you can see how the wire is bent to the design.  It’s not unusual for designs to change a little at this point as working with 3-dimensional wire is a little different than just tossing down a 2-dimensional drawing.  It’s springy, when you cross pieces there’s depth and joining issues.  It sometimes just looks very different than what you thought it would.  Scale is different too.  We perceive drawings differently with regard to scale than we do 3-dimensional objects.  At least I do.  I’ve placed a quarter in the picture so you can get a better idea of the size.

The round bezel at the top is for another Rose Quartz.  As you can see, the design has again morphed to include a center-swirl on the bottom.  It’s all nicely soldered into place, with little silver balls in the centers of the swirls for some added depth and interest.  The problem now is this.  It’s much bigger than I thought it was going to be and I can’t decide if I still want to put the original Oopsie that was the impetus for all this onto the bottom at all now.

Sigh.  I think I’m gonna do a Scarlett and just “Think about it tomorrah”.

So Ends Soap-Week

Almond Oatcake Bars

It looks like it should be eaten, doesn’t it?  It smells like it should be eaten too.  This Almond Oatcake soap is my absolute favorite scent ever.  I had a bar of soap given to me about 20 years ago that smelled like this and I never forgot it.  After years of searching and experimenting, I finally have what I remember.  Sweet and warm, enriched with Colloidal Oatmeal for dry, itchy skin and Shea Butter for its skin-loving properties, this bar is a must-have for our dry winter months.

I simply couldn’t develop a soap line without Lavender in it.  Lavender is like the Goddess of soap scents.  While we may tinker around experimenting with other fragrances, Lavender is always there.  Reliable and constant, the earthiness of Lavender can calm and soothe away the stress of my most crazy day.  I’ve added Sweet Orange for a bright counter-note to the Lavender’s depth and love how this scent can lift my mood and make me feel like it’s a brand-new day.

Lavender Sunrise Bars

So ends Soap Week here at Just Make a Mess.  My house could not smell more heavenly and my hands are as soft as they can get after playing with all of those emollient-rich oils all week.  Other things are calling me, other messes are waiting to be made.  What shall it be next?  Earrings….Bath Bombs….Tub Truffles…..that unfinished painting in my studio?   Decisions decisions…….

Dare to be Decadent

We ended up having to go out of town today, which meant that I didn’t get the last batches of soap I made cut or photographed.  Soap Week here at Just Make a Mess has been a total blast, even though it ground my jewelery-building to a halt.  Had to be done though.  Soap HAS to cure.

Curing soap does a couple of things.  It ensures that all of the lye in the soap has been completely saponified; that is, rendered harmless and non-caustic by converting fat to soap.  Properly cured soap is much milder than fresh soap, as well.  No one wants sandpaper-skin.  Lastly, curing allows some of the water used in the soapmaking process to evaporate, making the bar harder and longer-lasting.

Once it’s ready for sale, though, it’s going to need a name.  And packaging.  Branding is integral in marketing and I wanted something unique that really represented how flat-out DECADENT these products are.  If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll already know I’m on a Swirly kick these days.  Swirls make me happy.  They’re pretty and whimsical but also, for me, they represent “Flow”.  Flow as in a melody line.  As in life.  As in art.  As in the creative process in general.  Getting things to flow is really what most of us strive for.  We’re looking to eliminate bumps, have things roll smoothly along, and sometimes to make things just a little prettier.

© Jan Mac 2010

I’m also into symmetry.  Black Swan Bodyworks is symmetrical.  BSB.  Swans are elegant and posh.  Black swans are unique;  unique makes me happy too.  If we were all the same life would be so incredibly boring.  This swan’s swirly and it flows.  It’s black and white; basic and sophisticated.  It’s all good.

Now…..Truth or Dare?  When it comes to your bath-time, do you reeeeally want to smell like an Irish countryside or a deodorant?  Do you reeeally want to grab just whatever’s handy, whatever your children or dear hubby have left behind, soaking in a puddle of water until it’s all gooey and pulls off the soapdish like hot mozzarella cheese?  Or do you want something chock-full of yumminess?  Something that makes you slightly delirious because you’re inhaling the scent so deeply?  Something just for YOU.  Something so Decadently Good you stash it away so the kiddies don’t *gasp!* use it to wash the dog?!?  Now tell the truth…..I Dare Ya.

Starry Starry Night

A starry night is going to smell different to everyone.  Now I know some of you, those of you who are all about details, are sitting there saying “A starry night, per se, doesn’t have a smell”.  Relax.  Open up.  Let a little romance into your life.

To some, the phrase Starry Night will make them think of walking along a deserted beach, their hand enfolded in the warm grip of a loved one.  To others, it will smell of burning leaves, autumn air, and moist compost.  Yet others will feel fresh snow going chunk-whump-chuck-wup beneath booted feet as a snowflake settles on their tongue.

For me, Starry Night means all of those things.  But underneath any of those first impressions, the feeling swirling beneath those seasonal top-notes is evoked by THIS scent.   It’s crispity, it’s crunchity, silky and smooth all at once.  It’s fresh yet warm, subtle yet present.

I know.  It looks like a cake.  More specifically, it looks like my Mom’s Lemon Loaf Cake with Cream Cheese Icing.  Do not eat this…it will traumatize you to the point where you’ll be too frightened to try Lemon Loaf Cake ever again.  And that would be a wholesale tragedy.

It also looks pretty basic.  No sprinkly bits.  No colour.  Nothing outrageous at all.  But trust me.  There is nothing, and I do mean nothing, basic about this bar.

This bar is enriched with both Shea Butter and Meadowfoam Oil.  Shea, or Karite Butter is a nut-butter that absorbs quickly into the skin without feeling greasy.  It’s positively the most luxurious butter I’ve ever found.  My skin loves this stuff.  Remember I talked about superfatting soap?  Shea butter is unique in that it’s a fat that simply cannot be completely converted into soap by the saponification (soaping) process, leaving it present to do good things for your skin.  Meadowfoam oil is an extremely stable oil that has skin-soothing and softening properties that does more for making me feel moisturized fresh out of the shower than any other oil.

You’ll be able to bathe under this Starry Starry Night soon.  Who knows?  It might even lead to a little romance.