Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Coming Along

The closer I get to finishing the book on Gem Tree Sculputures the more excited I become. I have finished my initial edits received back from my editor and now I have to insert all the pictures. Okay, first I have to take the pictures, then my husband edits them to black and white, then I can insert them. It seems like I still have a lot of work to do, but my deadline of next Monday still seems do-able. I may change my mind after this weekend.

Hopefully I have caught your interest with all the talk of my book. I am sorry about the web site, but I will include anyone on my notification e-mail list that's interested in when the book is published and I will also provide a link or instructions as to where you can purchase the book. Currently I am putting a few items out on ETSY for sale and I plan on checking to see if I can offer the book for sale there. I'll let you know.

Since I plan on making an instructional DVD on the standard gem tree design and I don't have a video camera....does anyone have a favorite video camera that they use? There are so many, I'm just not sure which one would be best for this application.

Thanks, Dana


Friday, September 19, 2008

Web Site Lost ... :-(

For all of you looking for my web site and are just receiving an error message, we lost our server from the host this week. We are looking for a new host and will get it back up and running but because all the data was stored and backed up on that server, we will be starting from scratch. More work for me, but you will get to see a new and improved web site.

Until then, please feel free to contact me at for any jewelry or gem tree requests or you can visit my Etsy site for a list of items for sale. As I am adding items daily to this site until my web site is back up and running, please check it often. I'll keep you updated on how it is going.

I do have a gem and mineral show in Castle Rock, WA this weekend (9/20-9/21), so if you are reading this and live in the area, please drop by and see me. We will be at the Fairgrounds.

Thanks, Dana


Monday, September 15, 2008

The Imposed Deadline

Just thought I would throw out a few tidbits to get everyone interested in the book. Currently, it has 8 tree designs along with creating a tree to eliminate stress. I've had my edit groups make all the trees using the instructions and it is being finalized by my editor. Later this week will be my final run through to make sure I have all my photos and illustrations in the correct order and complete any final edits as suggested by the edit group on the instructions. My deadline to the publisher is September 29th. We shall see if I can make it.

Here is a list of the tree styles that will be included in the book.

  • Standard Gem Tree (includes a mini version)
  • Alternating Leaf Tree
  • 2 Leaf Tree
  • Early Variant Tree
  • Down Under Tree
  • Pine Tree
  • Bonsai Tree
  • Jewelry Tree
I'm excited to see how all of it will turn out in book form. If you would like your e-mail to be added to the notification list for when the book is published, please leave me a comment with your e-mail (I won't post it) and will get you added. Thanks for keeping me going and asking me questions about the trees because if it wasn't for all the questions, I probably wouldn't have thought of writing the book. Cheers, Dana


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Thanks for the Comments

I have received several comments on my competition trees. Thanks so much for all your feedback and wonderful comments. Competition next year will be tough so I'll have to start developing my palm tree soon.

For those that have asked, the book should be published in November if all goes as planned. Currently, I'm reformatting it into steps to make it easier to follow. I also plan to do a DVD companion that you can purchase separately on how to make the standard gem tree. Stay turned for more news.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Well we made it back from the Regional competition in Ontario, Oregon. Boy was it hot. Going from 60 degrees to 90 degrees was a bit much and drained us completely of energy by early afternoon. I set up my display case on Thursday and the judging was on Friday. I had the unfortunate luck of not having any lights in my display during judging. Thankfully, they did not count that against me....not something I had control over. I was dinged on a couple of other items but that is fixable. The trees however were a big success and everyone including the judges thought they were great. Here is a picture of my display case showing the trees and the blue ribbon earned.
The pine tree in the back row seemed to be the favorite from most everyone I talked to with the bonsai tree front right was next.

I was able to promote my upcoming book as several people came up to me and wanted to know how to make them.

I have a couple of additional questions out to one of my judges for clarification of labeling for my competition next year. Next year it has to be perfect to take the Sweepstakes award at the National level.

Of these trees, I will be holding onto the Smoky Quartz (top left), Malachite Pine tree (top middle) and the bonsai which is a Pearl tree on Carnelian (bottom right). One of the new trees I will add to this collection for next years competition is a palm tree made with Labradorite stones. The palm tree is a completly different style as the limbs wire is braided vs. twisted and the trunk wire is woven on a support core of copper tubing. I have a year to make it so I'll have to get started on a prototype. I'll post a picture out here when it is finished.

If you have any comments, I would love to hear from you. As I have mentioned before, some of my previous posts for 2007 in this blog do have instructions for building a gem tree.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Gem Tree Winners

Gemtree Giveaway is now Closed and we have Winners!!!!

The winner of the finished gem tree is Paul and the winner of the gem tree kit is Capall. If you could e-mail me your mailing address information, I will get you your items. Thanks for all your participation and I will be doing this again in the future, so keep an eye out for more giveaways. I will leave this open for 1 week and if no contact is made I will give the item to another participant.

Thanks, Dana


Friday, May 16, 2008

Gem Tree BOOK Update

I wanted to provide a quick update to those that follow my tree making adventures. I have found a book publisher and have contracted with them for self publishing. It appears I still have a lot of work to do, but I’m hopeful that by Christmas my book will be published and available for gift giving. Any instructions that you find here on my blog or any of my other blogs or web site will be included in the book with additional diagrams, pictures and hopefully easier to read instructions. Additional instructions for new designs and shapes have been added as well as ideas on how to use the trees in your home and everyday life.

Don’t forget to leave a comment on my blog for the Gem Tree Giveaway. We have just a little over a week before I announce a winner - Deadline is May 26th.


Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Gem Tree Giveaway


I always have people interested in my trees, "How do you make them", "My mother would love one of those", "Do you teach classes", etc. Here is your chance to win either a completed tree like the one pictured or a Gem Tree Kit. The kit will contain everything to make the tree including written instructions and all the gems you will need.

"What do I need to do to win one of these prizes"? you ask, Post a comment letting me and the readers know why you would want one of these trees. What draws you to them? For each comment you will get one entry. Comments will be moderated, so no SPAM (selling of any products), or profanity. When posting a comment you will need to let me know how to get a hold of you or you can send me a separate e-mail to let me know your online name so that I can associate you to it. The drawing will be on Memorial Day. I'm sure you are now asking, "Why Memorial Day and not Mother's Day", well I have no good reason, but it is my giveaway and I can pick whatever day I want.

If you would like to check out other pictures of completed gem trees or purchase a kit or completed tree, please see my links and click on Dana's Jewelry Design to visit my web site. You can also contact me by visiting my site and clicking on the Contact Me link.

I'm currently in the process of making trees for competition in June, so if you are the winner of the finished tree you may get an e-mail from me with tree options such as the type of stone and base rock since I make several and choose the best to use for competition. Sorry, if you are not winner, you are welcome to purchase a completed tree or tree kit from my web site or request a special order tree. I welcome all your comments and look forward to reading them. - dana


Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Gem Tree Class - Part 2

The "Class" as I fondly call it, didn’t turn out as overwhelming as I thought it would be. There was another large community event that same day that took some of the kids that would have joined in, plus it was the first 70 degree plus day of the year, so who wanted to be stuck inside. All in all we had 26 participants with two of them adults. I had four helpers that floated around the tables helping out when the kids or adults ran into problems along with a few parents that helped out.

The girls were very well behaved, paid attention and hopefully learned enough to create a tree on their own.

The hardest part was gluing all the trees to the rocks at the end of the class and making sure they were secured with rubber bands. Since there were so many, it took longer than expected but we still finished within our 4 hour estimate. If these had been adults we would have had them glue their own tree, but the glue is messy and can be toxic, so I did most all of them.

I’m sure that I will be offering this to other Girl Scout troops or Boy Scouts for that matter, but we will be limiting class size to 20 total participants to make it a little bit more manageable. Since this was a non profit group we only charged for our costs of material. For any other group, we would have also charged for our time.

My last post mentioned my Stress Reduction Tree Class and how it turned out, so I have scheduled another one. This time I will be teaching the standard gem tree design in 3 lunch sessions. Since these are work associates, and I’m hoping to make one of my competition trees during this time, I am only charging for the materials.

I also have found a work associate who will do freelance editing for my book. I may actually get this finished prior to some of my demonstrations this Summer.


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Gem Tree Class

I'll start this blog with the intention of finishing it next week with pictures.

I was contacted by a Girl Scout group about teaching gem trees in one of their sessions. What I didn't realize was the extent to which the group would want to learn. At last count we are up to 42 girls of ages from 5-11. What have I gotten myself into?

I was able to contact a couple of previous students that will be helping me out with questions during the class as well as my husband. Instead of letting the girls pick their gems and rocks, I have made packets to make it a little less chaotic. I really can not imagine how the class will turn out (it is on Saturday), but I plan on taking lots of pictures of the girls making the trees and of some of the finished trees. I'll post them here next week.

Since my written instructions are geared towards adults, I'm not sure how to provide them with something written to take home. Maybe I'll take some pictures of the beginning stages of making a tree and add that to the instructions. Sometimes kids can look at a picture and just figure it out, but this will be one for the book. Literally, I will be adding this to the BOOK, pictures and all. If adults know that making these little trees can be made by a 5 year old then they can do it to.

Since we are talking about classes, I taught a Stress Reduction Tree Class during a lunch break here at work. I taught one of my new tree designs that I haven't had anyone make yet. So far, feedback is good, but the length of the class was too short and the written instructions are still being reviewed by the participants. The one thing that did come out of this was learning how the students would take the "Stress Reduction" part of the class and apply it to everyday work life. Since we didn't get to finish the trees, the part of adding the gemstones to the branches was only covered briefly. I have noticed that during the day they will pick up their tree twist a few more wires and add a couple of stones and then go back to what they were doing. When asked about this, they told me that by adding a few stones here and there they were able to focus their attention on something different and get out of a mentally stressful situation even if just for a few minutes. So I guess the theme of "Stress Reduction" works even though I didn't realize how it would when I developed the class.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Making Gem Trees the BOOK

Just to let everyone know, I've started writing a book on how to make gemstone trees. I've been gathering all my current designs and creating a few more along with taking pictures and drawing diagrams. I would say I'm about half way in the writing process and would like to have finished and available this Summer. My husband and I will be self publishing the book and are looking at some publishers that support that option. I don't plan on taking any of my instructions off my blogs or web site at this time, but please be aware these are copyrighted and can not be shared for profit. If there are any gem and mineral clubs, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts or any other youth club interested in obtaining instructions for their hands on/craft sessions, I would be happy to send out the .pdf version.

If anyone has any suggestions that they would like to see in a book or in a blog on how to make these wonderful little trees, please let me know. I would also like to know of any issues you are having in following the current instructions and how I might make them better.

Thanks, Dana