Using the Smith Little Torch to Solder Jewelry

November 2, 2011 1 comment

Earlier this year, I started working with a small butane pencil torch, soldering small prong style settings and wire.  It opened up a whole new world of jewelry design, and I was instantly hooked!   After about five months of getting comfortable with soldering and a few classes at Dougherty Arts Center and Creative Side, I decided to upgrade to the Smith Little Torch, using acetylene and oxygen gas.  I asked around for several weeks, and this torch came up over and over again!  The torch itself is only about $200, but once you buy the tanks and gas, it quickly goes up to just under $500.  But well worth it!  This little guy can do detailed work, but also gets VERY hot, making it capable of all kinds of projects.  I’m getting a better feel for using it now, and if you are curious about this torch, don’t hesitate to comment!

The Lavender Druzy Necklace is one of my earlier soldered pieces,  created with the pencil butane torch.

Lavender Druzy Necklace

And now I have the right tool to solder more complicated bezel settings with the Smith Little Torch (Apatite, Picasso Jasper, and Plum Druzy Necklaces below).

Apatite Necklace in Sterling Silver

Picasso Jasper Necklace

Plum Druzy Agate Necklace

Austin Jewelry Show Case at Gallery Black Lagoon!

July 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Start this coming Saturday (July 16th) off with complimentary Dripping Springs Vodka Cocktails & Cupcakes from Lick it Bite it or Both at Gallery Black Lagoon‘s 4th Jewelry by Artists Exhibition! It’s FREE TO ATTEND – and what’s a better way to spruce up your summer look than with some new BLING!?

New designs by JGuildDesigns, Lisa Linbrugger, Claire Sommers Buck, Kari Stringer, Lindsay Hendricks, Pake Wandering Mind, Jasmine Turne

Gallery Black Lagoon (43rd and Guadalupe), Austin TX



RSVP here!

DSLR Camera for the etsy seller (as a newbe)

July 3, 2011 Leave a comment

So after asking lots of people I knew and tons of etsy sellers with fantastic photos, I settled on a used Canon 20D DSLR camera for about $300 on Amazon.  And I couldn’t be happier!  I also purchased a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 separately because it achieved that great fuzzy background, and I was told it was also more likely to create those “bokeh” sun spots.   I’m far from an expert at this point, but it’s been fun to experiment with backdrops and different light for my model photos.  Check out some of the results and let me know what you think!

Loving Labradorite!

December 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Recently I’ve started using Labradorite in my jewelry, and I’ve fallen madly in love! The shimmering greens and blues are like no other stone, and it has a naturally luxe quality.  It is a mineral whose charm is not fully noticed and may be overlooked if not viewed from the proper position. It might be seen generally as a dull, dark looking mineral, until the colorful shiller is observed glowing on the surface. Labradorite can produce a colorful play of light across cleavage planes and in sliced sections called labradorescence. The usually intense colors range from the typical blues and violets through greens, yellows and oranges. Some rare specimens display all these colors simultaneously.

The color display is from lamellar intergrowths inside the crystal. These intergrowths result from compatible chemistries at high temperatures becoming incompatible at lower temperatures and thus a separating and layering of these two phases. The resulting color effect is caused by a ray of light entering a layer and being refracted back and forth by deeper layers. This refracted ray is slowed by the extra travel through the layers and mixes with other rays to produce a light ray coming out that has a different wavelength than when it went in.

See these and others at!

Taylor Moseley jewelry “Holiday Sale”

December 9, 2010 Leave a comment

Taylor Moseley jewelry “Holiday Sale”

Taylor Moseley is having a sale! Get your gorgeous gemstone pieces at amazing prices before this sale is over!!

Holiday Special! Two items each week will be 20% off!

November 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Holiday Special! Two items each week will be 20% off at http://JGuildDesigns at  Stop by every Monday morning to see what the new sale items are and get them before they are gone!

This week, the Rose Jasper and Brass Locket Necklace as well as the Lapis Shield with Sapphires and Mystic Quartz Gems are both 20% off! Regularly $68.

A great supplies shop on Etsy- Pointy Paws!

November 18, 2010 2 comments

Recently, someone recommended Nita at PointyPaws to me, and I quickly learned that she creates some wonderful supplies for jewelry makers!  She has given me lots of pointers on soldering and using tumblers, and her ring blanks are well made and extremely reasonable.  To top it off, 100% of the revenue from her sales goes to rescue and shelter discarded, stray and broken animals! Check out her shop at

Attn All Esty shops – check out this amazing graphic designer!

November 4, 2010 Leave a comment

A few months ago, I came across a shop whose owner told me that Winchestor Lambourne designed their esty banner.  It was a beautiful banner, full of light and color, so I knew that I needed to reach out to this person!  Right now he is designing a main banner as well as a holiday themed one for me, and I can’t wait to see how they turn out! 

Banners can add a lot to one’s shop by immediately giving the shopper an idea about the style and type of items one is selling. It can create visual interest that will make the shopper want to see more.  I can think of plenty of occasions that I took the time to look through a shop’s entire inventory because my interested was immediately piqued by their professional and interesting banner.

Recently, Winchester wrote a great article for Etsy’s Storque on marketing as it relates to banners, business cards, etc.  It’s a must read for any etsy seller!

From the article…

“However, good design does not simply “exist.” It also “does,” and it is most effective when communicating objectives close to our hearts. In my little sphere as a graphic artist, good design teaches that we are not here simply to make a living, but to bring back locality and handmade value in a world of increasing abstraction. ”

I highly recommend checking out Winchester’s shop on etsy:

JGuildDesigns Blog Feature and Givaway!

October 23, 2010 Leave a comment

JGuildDesigns has been featured in the Belle De Couture Blog!  See the interview and enter to win the Olive Jade necklace giveaway!

A little about Jen at Belle De Couture

I was born a fashionista, & I adore anything vintage. I started my blog so I could share my passion and inspire others to break out of their shells. My friends have always said, “How do you wear that?” Truth is, fashion sense is hiding in everyone, just screaming to be let out. Experiment with your style, and have fun with it. Eventually you will pin point your own sense of style, or perhaps you’ll find out you’re a lot like myself, an overwhelming mix of different styles that come out depending on the mood you’re in. My fave outlet: VINTAGE SHOPPING. It’s like the ultimate treasure hunt! You never know what you’re going to find! Vintage clothing inspires me, & the pieces I find help me influence others to try out trends and pieces that they’d otherwise never dream of trying on. I always say, it might not look so fab on the hanger, but try it on and give it a shot. 9 times out of 10 I can assure you that you will be surprised with what you see in the mirror in front of you: Chic, Edgy, Sexy, Hott, Modern, Hip, whatever you’re looking for, it’s in you, so let it out!

Gemstones with a mix of silver and gold

September 28, 2010 Leave a comment

Today I came across ErinJaneDesigns etsy shop and instantly fell in love with her designs! Her work is simple and elegant, yet her pieces have some weight to them (I’m a sucker for a sparkling chunky ring!).  She also mixes gold and silver which is unconventional and contemporary.  Check her work out at