28.11.12

A Few New Things Just in Time For the Holidays


Arctic December Ring /// Size 7.5

Love is Golden Heart Posts

Design Your Own Sterling Silver Personalized Band

As if the season weren't keeping me busy enough!  I added a few new things!  It must be that just being in the shop so much lately is keeping me inspired!

I can't take full credit for those cute golden heart post earrings.  A customer special ordered the pair, inspired by a different design in my shop.  As you know, I love listening to my customers, they come up with the best ideas sometimes!

I also finally got around to making a prototype of and photographing a personalized band that is wide enough to hold horizontal lettering and much more substantial than its daintier, and best selling cousin...which you can see here if you are curious.  Again inspired by the customer and so very very many emails asking if stamping can be horizontal and not vertical, which it is in my original personalized band.

I think the first band speaks for itself, a labor of love, and inspired by my infatuation with all stones turquoise, and an artsy design. I live for the free time to create those kinds of pieces and love it when they find the perfect home.

The christmas lights are up...wrapped high around the tall cedar trees that line our drive, and dangling from the roof line.  The christmas spirit is here!


25.11.12

Thanksgiving Recap






Leading up to Thanksgiving it was all work around here and no play...the shop has been keeping me crazy busy with a record 63 sales this month so far.  I just looked at the orders and counted 131 single rings...oh wow.

So all week I looked forward to Thanksgiving Day.  Not only is it my favorite holiday, but I had planned not to do any shop business all day...and I didn't.  (Okay, I answered a few emails, but that's it, I promise!)

Playing in the kitchen never feels like work to me, and cooking is something Matt and I really enjoy doing together.  I loved watching my kids prepping and chopping veggies, ripping bread for stuffing, and brushing olive oil on bread for the crostinis.

We cooked and cooked until we were starving, and sat down to play some rumikube and have our first course, while the oven was busy cooking the main dishes.  On Thanksgiving, board games are a must!

On the menu for appetizers we had crostinis, some with salmon, dill and cream cheese, and some with fig jam and blue cheese.  We also made stuffed mushrooms and sweet potato fries.  Yum!

The stuffing, ham, and sweet potatoes came out delicious.  It was just so nice to sit down around our table together in our new house and enjoy the feast.

Then with full bellies we sat around the fire.





Now it is back to work, I expect the next few weeks to be quite a rush....and that Christmas day will be another welcome vacation day for me when it arrives!

Giving thanks this year for holidays, and relaxation.

Cheers, friends!  Stay cozy.





19.11.12

Two New Pieces & A Peek at The Process


in sterling silver and natural turquoise




in sterling silver, natural turquoise, and yellow turquoise



Here are a few new big pieces I have been working on...I love them both very much.  (Click on the links above the photos to find them in my shop.)

I have found that the familiarity of contour, shape, and line...those friends that I made so long ago; sketching, painting, doodling, attending art school, cutting hair, sewing scraps of fabric together...find themselves comfortably working once again, beside me at my bench, as I work as a metalsmith.

Every piece starts as a line drawing.  I see it in three dimensions. I draw a pattern.  I etch its idea into the metal.

I cut, solder, and file away at the work until it is the vision I could have painted on paper..the moment I knew just what I was going to create.

I love the creating.



“Let the beauty we love be what we do. There 

are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the 

ground.”

~Rumi


17.11.12

My very Duchamp Moment in Photography




I have always loved photography, I took it in junior high and college.  The dark room is a magical place, chemical smells and images appearing out of nowhere....I could spend hours in a dark room.  

I'm actually not that great a photographer, but I love taking pictures, and sometimes I get a really great opportunity and grab the shot.

If I could turn our whole house into one giant art studio, I would!  One room would be a darkroom, another a painting studio, my metalsmithing shop still there, and a room for practicing music on the guitar and maybe I'd even get out the flute again...and I would just work my way from room to room as the inspiration took me.  

One minute a painter, the next a photographer...following the muse around the house.

Since that is a pretty wild dream, and I probably won't ever get around to having a darkroom, I have become pretty content with Instagram shots, and photographing my jewelry in our bathroom where the huge skylight provides some nice natural lighting.

A couple of weeks ago, Matt and I were out driving around and I looked over to see this brigade of toilets just sitting there in a parking lot!  I really couldn't contain myself...Matt parked the car for me so I could get out and take some photos.  

Who doesn't love a photo of a bunch of toilets?  They make me laugh.  A lot.

I think Duchamp would be a little happy with the result....especially if I would have had a sharpie on me to add a little graffiti to one.  

Darn, there's always next time.





14.11.12

A Secret Project Revealed & Friendship Can Happen Over the Internet



 
It was killing me not to post about this big project!  But, I had to keep it a secret...because the friend who would be wearing it is my blog sister, and I didn't want to spoil the surprise.

The story of this jewelry starts way back before my Etsy shop, my jewelry studio, and even living in Oregon....it began as a sketch, an idea, a project that I wanted to get to some day...but didn't at the time have any idea how that would happen.

During that same time I started blogging...and I met Chandra, of A Stylish Little Lady.  I can't remember how I stumbled across her blog?  But we were fast friends!  Actually thinking about it, I can hardly believe we have known of each other for so long...maybe two years!?!

Following Chandra's blog, I began to know her style, fell in love with her dog, drooled over some very good food posts, and eventually found her planning her wedding...

All the while, she was here at my blog cheering me on when I designed a new piece, or set up shop, even putting some of my jewelry on her christmas list last year.

So when Chandra came to me to design her bridal jewelry, I was thrilled.  I was excited, nervous, inspired...but I knew immediately just what I wanted to make for her.

It just felt right.



Over only a few emails and photographed sketches, we discussed the necklace design and birthstones...and then Chandra gave me free reign with the project.

I didn't send her another picture.

I just went to work.

I have always believed that metal and stones hold a person's energy.  When I create jewelry in my shop, I always make sure to create with good intentions, and positive energy.  With this project, even when the process could have become frustrating, or I was working on a particularly tricky part (soldering tiny jump rings, or filing and sanding contour to the branches...), everything went smoothly.  

The necklace turned out exactly how I had envisioned it!  It is hard not to think that way back when I originally designed it, that somehow it was for Chandra even then...

Matt made an especially big box for the jewelry to fit in, and I mailed it off.  I can tell you, I was holding my breath for that package to arrive, and to hear what kind of review my work would receive on the other end!

It is one thing to work on a commissioned piece for someone, but knowing I was designing something for the most important day of my friend's life...her wedding...added an extra bit of intensity.  

Having a lot of experience with commissioned work in all different art mediums (murals, prints, illustration...once I was even hired to paint a logo on a sailboat), I know things can get tricky....but there was not one hitch when it came to this project.  

While her jewelry was in transit, Chandra emailed me...she forgot that she needed some silver post earrings as well to wear on her big day.  Just our luck, as a surprise, I had added a pair of silver posts to her package!  

She loved everything.  

And I loved making everything.  




The wedding is in a few short days, and I will be sending beautiful thoughts that way...


8.11.12

Artist Feature//The Ninetynine Draft

Currently in *love* with this project between two friends, a poet and an illustrator.  They have set out to complete ninetynine works between them which they post on instagram and on their blog.  Or you can follow their tweets for updates as well.

I love watching each piece take shape as they post their process...and this one is my favorite!


I ordered a 5x7 print off of their website.  How cool is that?


A few other of my favorites:




I wish this art was a giant mural on my wall...I love it that much. :)  I will just have to keep buying prints.

7.11.12

New Pretties & The Beauty of a Handmade Nation



1.  Turquoise Droplet Ring in Sterling Silver
2.  Candy Ring in Sterling Silver and Pink Opal
3.  Candy Ring in Sterling Silver and Lapis Lazuli
4.  Sterling Silver Post Earrings: Triad
5.  Turquoise Droplet Earrings in Sterling Silver 

I have been so absorbed in jewelry making lately, kicking out new designs to start off the holiday season.  It has begun!  Already people are coming to my shop for christmas gifts...this is going to be a busy few months!

This year, I am planning to do a fair amount of my own christmas shopping from handmade shops on Etsy as well as from the usual local shops in town.  As my shop continues to get bigger and bigger, I see how the concept of a handmade nation is catching on.  New faces are turning to Etsy every day, trusting their purchase with the little shop, rather than turning to the old familiar massive chain department stores.

It is a beautiful thing to be able to make a living as an artist.


Do you shop handmade?

3.11.12

Oh Pumpkin Seeds, How Delicious You Are & A Recipe








Still have some leftover seeds from pumpkin carving and need a great recipe?  I tried a new tactic this year, agave nectar making its first appearance in our anual pumpkin seed roasting routine.

::YUM::

First things first, we enjoyed a little trip to a local veggie stand for our pumpkins, locally sourced is always better, and in this case more fun!  They had a mini corn maze, cider, and candy for the kids...not to mention some gorgeous pumpkins!  We picked out some big guys for carving jack-o-lanterns and some little guys for just plain lanterns (used for ambiance at our halloween party).

After the carving came the roasting, and this year those seeds came out perfect!

Recipe:

Pumpkin seeds (I also roasted some giant spaghetti squash seeds as well which were equally yum)
Olive oil
Agave Nectar
Tamari

So easy to make.  Just clean all the pumpkin guts from the seeds, and lay them out in a pan about 2 to 3 seeds thick.  Pour olive oil generously coating the seeds, and then add the tamari and agave nectar to taste (about equal amounts of each for a perfect salty sweet flavor).

Bake on low, 250 degrees until seeds are beautifully browned and somewhat crispy.  They will continue to be sticky and messy even when fully cooked.

Healthy, festive, and super easy!  I have been putting them in the kid's school lunches for a healthy autumn treat.

::Enjoy::