Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My Wish for All
Kathryn Ruffin
Facets by

Monday, December 29, 2008

My Workshop

Its always great to buy handmade, even in this economy. For many crafters/artisans they have a love/hate relationship with their workspace. I thought I would post some pics of my workshop in it's cleaned up state. Since these pics were taken I have gotten a new, real, metalsmith bench which I am so proud! I will post picture of it when I have cleaned it up

A side view of my worktop and beloved tools.

The soldering station where I play with fire. I use a Smith Little
torch with an oxygen/propane mixture

My polishing station where everything comes up bright and shiny. Also pictured is my drill press make holes in anything. Lastly is my minature rolling mill to flatten, texturize and roll out wire. This is a work in progress as I am still making friend with this tool.

There you have it, where I spend a great portion of my free time and money. Oh, and on the other side of the room is the other things I have to use occasionally, the washer and dryer!
I will post pics of my favorite hand tools in a future post, stay tuned as I showcase them.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Exercise 101, Day 5

Well I've been to the fitness center five days. On Friday I learned all the machines to do the lower body workout. All of these are machine based and boy have I lost a lot of strength in this area! I walked on the treadmill for 35 minutes(including cooldown) at a speed of 2.7 miles per hour. Just my luck there were two young women in their late 20's visiting the gym. They proceeded to start on the elliptical machine for about 25 minutes, then one machine down from me they started running on the treadmill, and I do mean running at about 5-6 miles per hour!!

In my middle-aged mind I could see myself giving her a quick opps push off the machine, but what the heck, I was once young, in shape and thought myself invincible too!! Felt great and went home satisfied.

In the picture above are some copper pieces that have been in my studio since I took an etching class this summer. I could never figure out what to do with them until now. Decided they would make great pendants. So now is the before and after pics of some of the pendants that will be in my shop shortly.
This completed pendant will be on sale in my Etsy shop soon, so check it out.

Friday, December 26, 2008

After Christmas Sale in My Etsy Shop

30% Off Holiday Sale!!!

It's the day after Christmas and I'm having a holiday sale in my Etsy shop. Selected sterling silver and copper jewelry is 30% off. Come in and check it out.
Sterling Wirework Necklace
Was $35.00, now $26.00

Peridot & Sterling Oxidized Pendant

Was $45.00, now $31.00

Sterling Chainmaile Pendant
Was 42.00, now 29.00

Black Onyx Sterling Pendant
Was 36.00, now 25.00

Exercise 101

During the holiday break Ken surprised me by paying for the start up cost of a new fitness center close to our home, and I do mean close!

A Planet Fitness center opened approximately 2.5 blocks from our complex. I can go to our entrance and see the building. My exercise habits have been on a steady decline for several years, probably about five. I've also developed a lower back and neck problem where I'm losing space in between the vertebrae in both locations. This summer I walked as much as my back would allow.

In an effort to heal my body in a nonevasive way I have been going to a chiropractor for about three weeks for adjustments and massages. My assistant principal praised his methods and I decided to give it a try. So far the pain in my lower back has lessened and I can sit for extended periods without getting up like an 85 year old (I'm 56). My first massage was heavenly and I'm scheduled for another one this coming Friday.

It is my high hopes that with regular exercise to increase my flexibility, increase my cardio and the chiropractic, my general health will improve. I will keep posting on my progress and any ups and downs.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

MIA for So Very Long!

It's been so very long since I updated my blog. Like many I have a difficult time dividing my time and getting things in order. If you're new to my blog, my name is Kathryn Ruffin. I'm an educator and crafter/artisan who lives in the south eastern Michigan city of Farmington Hills, just outside of Detroit. I live with my partner, Ken and my tabby cat, Megabyte, both of whom I care about deeply. I currently teach 6th grade English/Language Arts, social studies and reading in the Pontiac, MI school district. Being an educator has been paying the bills for 29 years.

As I sit here, I am looking out my window at the snow dump of two days ago. As a long time midwesterner I am used to a lot of snow, but folks here have gotten spoiled in the past 5 or 6 years of light snow gifts.
It is my intention to share so much with my readers over the coming weeks as I get this blogging thing together. Right now my little digits are in training to post regularly.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Summer Bling!!

Freshwater Pearl Necklace with Large Swarovski Drop Pendant

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Citrus Delight!!

Orange Vintage Glass set in Sterling Silver

Orange Vintage Glass, Sterling, Hessonite and Green Garnets

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Spring Time and Turquoise

Turquoise and Sterling Necklace

Turquoise and Sterling Cross

Its's finally spring and time for the coats to be put away, work in the yard and get some that fresh air. Opened collared shirts, tee shirts and dresses to show off your faboulous jewelry. Here
are some that would look great!

Turquoise, Pearl, Coral and Black Onyx Sterling Ring

Monday, April 28, 2008

My Love with Lucite!

Vintage lucite cabochons set in sterling silver bezels

Sunday, April 20, 2008

More Vintage Glass & Sterling Silver

Orange Vintage Glass & Sterling

White Vintage Glass & Hinge Sterling Bracelet

Sunday, March 30, 2008

My New/Old Finds!!!

I've finally had time to concentrate on my crafting because of my Easter break. Recently I've discovered two fabolous new/old materials to incorporate into my jewelry making: lucite from the 1960's and molded pressed glass from Japan during the 1930's and 1940's. I fell in love with the vibrant colors and the detailed patterns. I've purchased a bit of both and am experimenting on ways to showcase them.

Here is a sterling ring and pendant set with the lucite cabochons.

Next is a pendant with molded 1940's glass.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Cleaning Copper

Cleaning Copper Jewelry

With the price of sterling silver at $19.74 many designers and buyer are discovering other metals for their jewelry. Pieces made of copper, brass and bronze are now being seen in marketplaces. The marrying of metals is evident in designs. As an aspiring metalsmith I personally like combination of sterling with copper/and/or brass. I offer these two nontoxic solutions for cleaning your copper jewelry to bring back that bright penny shine!

Method 1
Mix equal parts salt & lemon juice

Drop in jewelry for 1-2 minutes

Rinse and dry thoroughly ( I use a hair dryer)

Vinegar can be substituted for the lemon juice.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Spring Trends 2008

Spring Trends for 2008!!

Hopefully you are thinking ahead to spring to update your wardrobes. Are you wondering what special pieces will be essential to your look? Read on for the jewelry trends for this spring. In coming blog entries I will write about upcoming color trends.

Spring Jewelry Trends for 2008
by Kristie Leong M.D., Feb 5, 2008

Warm weather will be here soon and so will the latest springtime fashions. Here are some of the hottest jewelry trends for spring 2008.

Spring will soon arrive and along with it comes a host of new fashion trends and ideas. One area where spring 2008 will really sparkle is jewelry. Jewelry trends will run the gamut from classic designs to the sculpted and bold. Here are some of the best spring jewelry trends for 2008:

Gemstone Jewelry
Gemstone jewelry will take on fashion importance for the spring of 2008. Popular gemstones run the full gamut with an emphasis on blue shades of stones such as aquamarine and blue sapphires. Although blue will rule, gemstones in all colors will reign supreme when incorporated into necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Amethyst, peridot, and opal will be popular gemstones and will coordinate beautifully with springtime clothing fashions. Semiprecious stones such as lapis lazuli and moonstones will also be seen on a variety of jewelry designs.

The Hoop Earring
Hoops make an important fashion statement for the trendy ear this spring with hoop sizes running the full range from huge, oversized single hoops to the popular interlocking triple hoop earring. Look for hoops decorated with gemstones in popular shades of blue and green such as aquamarine and peridot for an ultra trendy spring look.

The Classic Pendant
Jewelry takes on a more traditional look for spring 2008 with the reappearance of the classic heart motif worn as a simple pendant. Although this look will be in strong demand around Valentine's Day, expect to see its popularity continue throughout the spring and summer. You'll also see a variety of pendants worn on simple cords and chains with motifs that reflect the person style of the person wearing them including a favorite stone or symbol that has a special meaning. The classic pendant is an ultra simple look that works well with spring's more detailed, flamboyant clothing.
Cocktail Rings
Cocktail rings worn singularly are in multiples are still a hot item for spring. Cocktail rings are a flashy and attractive way to show off well manicured hands. The range of ring styles to choose from is dazzling. Try cocktail rings set with semiprecious stones such as turquoise, lapis, or jade to coordinate perfectly with the colorful fashions of spring. Wear one bold cocktail ring or several smaller ones to make a fashion forward spring statement that's sure to be in vogue.

This year's spring jewelry trends will add a touch of sparkle to the ears, necks, and wrists of fashion conscious women everywhere. Why not treat yourself to these. (

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Swarovski Belt Buckles

Swarovski and gold-toned belt buckles to get your glitz and glamour on $25.00.
Approximately 2.5 inches in diameter.
I have two leather belts which will fit these buckles. I will include them free to the first two people who purchase one. Email me for info at:

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Rings for your fingers and bells. . . . . . . .

Turquoise, Onyx, Freshwater Pearl, Coral on a Handcrafted Sterling Silver Dangle Ring. $35.00

Red Jasper and Sterling Fabricated Ring.$32.00

Oval Rainbow Moonstone and Sterling Ring. $29.00

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Razzle, Dazzle with Rhinestones

Genuine Swarovski rhinestones handset by myself in brass setting and hung on a brass chain with matching earrings with goldfilled earwires.

Closeup of Center Portion.

Swarovski Earrings with Goldfilled Earwires.

Currently here in Michigan we have a lot of snow and temps in the single digits. Here are some rhinestone pieces to heat up the day.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Copper Love!!

Copper and Sterling Earrings with Handcrafted Beadcaps

Copper Double Rhino Snorting Drano Unisex Bracelet $30.00

Working with copper rates high on my list along with sterling silver. Copper has been used in jewelry for thousands of years. Whether bright and shiny like a new penny or oxidized or patinated, they both have a warmth about them. The benefits of wearing copper abound in our society. For me marrying copper with sterling show the best of the two metals.

It's now four, yes, four degrees in my part of Michigan and I'm trying to motivate myself to do some crafting instead of vegetating on the couch with my cat and a cup of hot chocolate!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Go the Winter Blues......

London Blue Topaz Sterling Set with Bezel Set Stones, OOAK $60.00

Denim Blue Lapis Sterling Pendant on 18 inch Steling Snake Chain

Blue Chalcedony and Sterling Pendant on a Blue MOP Shell Necklace, Sale Price $25.00

Closeup of Pendant

Got the winter blue? Surely these will chase them away!

The color of the sky and the ocean, blue is one of the most popular colors. It causes the opposite reaction as red. Peaceful, tranquil blue causes the body to produce calming chemicals, so it is often used in bedrooms. Blue can also be cold and depressing. Fashion consultants recommend wearing blue to job interviews because it symbolizes loyalty. People are more productive in blue rooms. Studies show weightlifters are able to handle heavier weights in blue gyms. (

For more 0f my jewelry visit:

Monday, February 4, 2008

Project Runway

Don't you just love Project Runway?

Sterling Envelope Pendant with Brushed Finish $33.00

Sterling Envelope Pendant with Brushed Finish and Faceted Amethyst Bead $34.00

If so, you can probably remember Uli wearing a necklaces very much like these. Very delicate, simple, classy and fabricated by me!

Check out my stores for more like these:

hit counters gallery
Download a free hit counter here.