Help Me Celebrate!

Great accomplishment today, everyone!  Tarnished & True has reached 1000 sales!!  I am jumping up and down over here....and want to celebrate by saying thank you to all of my followers.

Enjoy free shipping on anything in my shop with coupon code:  Big1000.

Thank you for all of your continued support of my work, I am so happy with this success!  And....there are some big things coming in the form of a new look for Tarnished & True on the web.  Stay tuned....!


Big Project Reveal and Process: Ancient Valkyrie Necklace

Ancient Valkyrie Statement Necklace in Natural Turquoise and Sterling Silver

This big beautiful piece of turquoise was in my collection for over a year...just waiting for inspiration to hit.

This project began as a few stones, a design idea, and just silver sheet and wire.  It inspired a lot of silver details; a pierced cut out design at the back, a complex handmade foxtail chain, silver granule accents, and a hand forged fringe.  By the time I finished the piece, I was almost a little sad to be through with it....making it was such a fulfilling process!

I have another beautiful piece of turquoise stone, one that I have been holding onto for myself...I think I'm ready to work on that now, and very inspired to start another handmade chain.

The important thing is to keep producing. All artists have that quality. You have to be tenacious. 
~Mary Frank


Official Love Day

I wish everyday was a day where we were officially supposed to show our love for the special people in our lives. Matt gave me the prettiest bouquet-full of so many different flowers!  MyGirl gave me a very impressive painting that I know she spent a lot of time on.  MyBoy didn't even know it was Valentine's day...but he enjoyed getting treats from me.  I made Matt a card with some pretty cheeky poetry in it.  Here is a sample:

"you listen to my girly soundtrack,
even though you'd rather hear 'baby got back'...

sometimes I can't believe how different we are,
I like sci-fi and you like the football stars...

you look down on me, but only because you're tall
you would never mean to make me feel small...

sometimes, even though you hate it,
you eat the veggies because I made it..."

Well, you get the idea.  We made the obligatory fondue, drank a great bottle of South African wine, and sat in front of a roaring fire.  I still feel loved...little V-day love hangover going on here.

I hope every one out there feels loved.

Love Is All You Need
Love Is All You Need
Love Is All You Need
Love Is All You Need
Love Is All You Need
Love Is All You Need
Love Is All You Need

-The Beatles


Kombucha, Baby!

It has been a while since I've brewed my own Kombucha.  The tricky thing about brewing the stuff is in getting the Kombucha baby (called a Scoby or symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast), which you need to start the brew.  In the past I have been given a start by a friend, or knew someone who knew someone...that is how these things usually go.

This time around, I found a great little shop on Etsy, Wells of Health.  Fast shipping, a perfect little baby Kombucha, and easy instructions got my brew going in just a few days after I decided to make Kombucha.

A few weeks later, and my brew is looking great and tasting perfect.

Benefits of drinking Kombucha are controversial, but it is full of probiotics from the yeast and bacteria, and also antioxidants from the tea used to make the brew.

I think in moderation, it is a delicious treat, and fun to grow in the kitchen.

Welcome back to my life, Kombucha!


The Juice Fasting Experience

I made it through eight days of juice fasting recently.  I was aiming for ten, but MyBoy got the best of me during our outing in which he was rewarded for his amazing grades.  We putt putt golfed together and then went out to lunch.

My breaking point was somewhere between his sweet face wanting to share lunch with me, and my favorite dish at McMennamin's; their West African Peanut Soup.  Eating is awesome.

Juicing has been a part of my life for many years.  I go through phases of juicing every day for months and then a dry spell, but I always come back to it because I love fresh juice!

During my fast, I experienced a beautiful clear sense of body and mind.  There were more days where I was extremely productive, and a few where I was dragging.  Every day I was challenged with the temptation to break the fast, and I enjoyed enforcing my will to keep with it.

To stay focussed, I photographed many of my juice concoctions because the ingredients are so beautiful, but I also found that when I engaged in the act of photographing the food, it helped my mind and body to appreciate the sustenance it was getting....almost like giving thanks.

I also mixed my recipes up a lot to keep my body interested.  I generally had success juicing almost everything, even bell peppers!  I especially enjoyed juice with papaya and pineapple added to some veggies.  Juicing beets is my favorite.  Most of my juice recipes are at least half vegetable (or green juices).

One day ended up to be a particularly bad juice recipe day. I tried using collard greens and they are oh way too bitter (kale and spinach are much better)!  Later on the same day, I made a juice with too much lemon and too much ginger.  I think that was on one of my tired days....plus two very bitter faces!  Another challenge for me was cooking meals for the kids that I couldn't eat...almost too tempting!

It has been a few weeks now since being off my juice fast.  I have found myself not wanting dairy or meat and have changed my eating habits to accomodate.  I crave juice still every morning, sometimes a make a smoothie, but every morning since the fast I have started my day with raw fruits and veggies.

Fasting can be an incredible exercise in re-evaluating habits.  I noticed how much better I felt drinking most likely three times as much water as I normally do in a day.  I also kicked coffee during my fast (wow, do I appreciate that cuppa now!).

Which brings me to gratitude.

Fasting brings that emotion to the front of everything.  When your body is hungry, it is also that much more grateful for any sustenance it is given.  It feels good to have taken a step back, appreciated the abundant availability of food which I experience every day for myself and my family, and to have made a conscious choice to go without for a while.


How I Made A Big Complicated Necklace & Good Business


Meet my Aedre necklace!  I played all day yesterday finishing this big piece.  What made this one so much fun was all of the designing, and detail that went into the process.  Each link, every aspect was a design choice, and every bit was done by hand (except for the tiny accent chain that hangs from the clasp...making a chain that small would make me crazy, I'm sure).

In this design, I played with texture, asymmetry, and of course the sculptural element of the pendent.  You can see in some of the process photos how I made the links, and how I cut the flower from sheet silver.  The feel of the handmade chain is so organic, I love the irregularity of it, and how chunky and heavy it is.  I added a textured and oversized "S" clasp, and a braided round link to give the chain even more artsy charm.

My confidence in the shop is growing by leaps and bounds.  Part of this is because of some good business lately.  I mentioned the huge wholesale order in my last post, which I finished and got great feedback about!

Happy customers make me overwhelmingly courageous when it comes to designing new work.  After that sale, I made a ring in turquoise using a design that had been mulling around in my head for some time.

It was this ring:

The same day I finished this ring, I listed it up on the shop, and went to bed.  The next morning...it had sold!  Thrilling!

All of this success just makes me want to make more jewelry...and meanwhile, we have ripped out all of the walls in half of the first story of our house!

Busy life as usual, but a good busy.

Until next time....who knows what will happen between now and then. *wink*