Monday, May 30, 2011


Are not going well. I am in a bit of a creative rut. And it's the worst kind of creative rut. I have a hundred ideas, and no lack of materials, but everything I have made since Thursday has ended up being crap.

I had to scrap 2 beautiful pmc imprints of a clover from our front garden. Don't ask...suffice it to say I managed to ruin them both in the home stretch of a finished piece. I'm just....blah at the bench. And it's spilling over into everything else.

I better just hang it up for a bit and regroup. Tomorrow is another day....

Friday, May 27, 2011

Shaking the dust off...

WooooWeee!  I don't think I've gone this long without blogging in a loooong time!

What a week!  May is crazy busy with the girls and all of their activities.  School ending, weekend trips to a hotel with an indoor water park, ceremonies for this... ceremonies for that....

I just returned home from an enjoyable evening spent with some lovely ladies.

It was nice to kick back with a (big) glass of wine and just visit.

Did I tell you guys about the Catholic/Christian store I'm going to be consigning my work at?
It's called Faithful Treasures, and it's in Colleyville (the next town over from ours).  It's run buy a really nice woman named Norma.

I love her vision.  Every Catholic store I have ever been to has that Saints on cards and candles, medals, etc, etc..  Just sort of a stuffy feel.

Her store is very modern Catholic Christian.
Yes people!  Catholics are Christians!
I never realized that there were whole groups of Christians who don't consider Catholics to be proper Christians until I moved to the south.

I'll never forget the first time I went into a Christian store and asked if they had anything for First Holy Communions.  The lady gasped and said "This is a Christian store!!"

I half expected her to hold out a crucifix to me while backing away slowly.

But I digress...

Norma is a great supporter of local artisans and has several who consign at her shop.

So, I'm excited to have started a Christian themed line.  

I managed to get some work done this week, but I feel like it is just a scratch on the surface and I have so much more exploring to do.  I could really get carried away on this project.

So, this is what I accomplished:

Norma seemed to like my leather and silk book marks.  I was so glad, because I just love making them....

Now all we need is someone else to love them!

It's been a long week.

Good night all....

Friday, May 20, 2011

Coming full circle....

The latest (and biggest!) in my Concha series.  This time in copper with silver as a highlight....

Coming Full Circle

A bit of a cliche I admit, considering it is a bracelet (circle!).  But, given that I've been working on this all week I've had plenty of time to think.  And what did I think of?

Pretty much what I think of every time I'm called to make conchas.  There is always a part of me that is surprised to find myself making jewelry with a distinct southwestern flair.  

As a youth, I was so familiar with this type of jewelry that it was just a given.  I wanted to see what other kinds of jewelry were out there, and for many years only collected "fine" jewelry.  

But here I am.  Making jewelry that is southwestern chic....I have this theory that many of us have the chance to come full circle.  There are those things that touch you along the way in your life, that you develop a great love for.  And then for what ever reason, you put it on the back burner and move on to other things.  But inevitably it seems we always come back to things that were true loves.  I'm grateful every time I get the opportunity to reaquaint myself with a past love.

This bracelet is rich with weight.  Two bezel set cabs of turquoise, each flanked by hand stamped conchas.  Little pops of silver on each piece as a highlight.  Sterling silver wire holds the components to the leather.  

And the leather!  Hand cut, hand dyed, and with a closure I came up with that I am calling the "corset closure".  I really wanted to do something other than snaps.  So, this cuff laces up the back, and has a sliding knot that can be loosened to make the cuff fit over the hand and then can be tightened back up.  

And....That's all I have this week.  I did get some PMC components made that I'm really excited about.  May is always super busy with the girls and their activities.  I spent a couple of days this week running the girls here and there, getting them both eye doctor appointments and new glasses.   Tomorrow we are going to stay at this big hotel in town that has an indoor water park.  Our Brownie troop is going as an award for their hard work selling cookies.  And the Mom's get to go too.  They let you get extra passes to the water park so Hubby is going to bring the little one to play too.  The girls are so excited!  They will not stop talking about going.  Me, I'm not as excited.  The girls are getting more and more independent, and we (the parents) don't really need to follow them around to make sure they're ok all the time.  But they are still too young to be unsupervised.  At least it is a cool group of Moms.  But I'm really not looking forward to the lack of sleep.  11 giggling  9 year old girls?  There's no telling what time they'll go to sleep!  :)  (I'm getting so old....)

Have a fabulous weekend all!  

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Work in progress Wednesday....

I only made it about half way through this project yesterday!  I hope to have it finished today...

The next in my Concha series....a bracelet!  Copper concha's, bezel set turquoise......on leather!  

I hope it looks as good as it does in my head when it's finished!

Have a fabulous day all! 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Getting Botanical...

Our front garden is abuzz with new growth.  The flowers are  blooming, the butterflies are coming to visit, and all the greenery has me inspired.

I love pinnate leaves, the feathery appearance immediately attracts me!

I have imprinted some lavender leaves from our garden into some pmc3...  I have them refined and ready to put in the kiln.  

This is my first time trying something organic as a pattern.  And, I am in love.  Once these have been properly sintered, they will for all intents and purposes be preserved forever.  

Isn't that amazing?  Each leaf, each pinnae, like a human fingerprint...while all similar not ever completely the same...

I've already been out nosing around the garden this morning searching for more inspiration.

I did have plans to go to the gym this morning, but those plans have been thwarted by a sick little one.  

I've given her Tylenol and tucked her into bed and she is now sleeping soundly...poor baby.

Have a great day all!  I can't wait to continue my botanical experiments!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Playing with Hipstamatic...

and trying out my stump to see if my metal stamping is any better while using it.

It's pretty cool the way the wood absorbs the vibrations, almost no skipping!

I'll have to get used to it....

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Pity Party...

I just threw a good old fashioned fit, and I am now ready to move on with my day. I've spent the past hour sulking because I had just finished getting myself and the girls ready to start our busy day.

It was going to start with a super awesome work out with my fave instructor. Followed by going to check out the catholic store I told you all about, followed bya trip to Dallas to buy pearls for the religious line.

Bah! I left my keys in hubby's car last night, and he'd already left for work. Bah!

I was so mad! I immediately got upset that all my plans were spoiled. And then my own words came back to haunt me. What I tell the girls when they seemingly over react to some slight. "it's not the end of the world! There are a lot worse things that can happen...". Bah! I say, Bah!

But I'm over it now. There are plenty of things to do here at home. And selling my Poppy piece certainly put a smile on my face....:)

Have a good day all. And remember there are a lot worse things that can happen...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Things to come...

So, yesterday I happened to run into an acquaintance who I know through Adriana's preschool, and my church.

We exchanged pleasantries, and then she asks me if I had my jewelry on consignment anywhere. I was a little startled, because it was an unexpected question. No I told her, wondering why she was asking. I quickly found out she had recently opened a Catholic gift shop and boutique and she knew my stuff, and she didn't have anything like that in her store, and would I be interested in consigning there.

I thought sure. Why not? So I'm going to go check out her store. (I heard it was "beautiful") kinda get a feel for the store, and I am going to design a religious line of jewelry. I might offer a display of earrings because we all know how I like to make earrings.
But I don't know anything for certain yet. Except that I already have a slew of ideas. I've always loved religious jewelry. And now I have the best excuse in the world to make it.

So, when the urge strikes to hit the bench that's what I'll be working on. I've got other ideas brewing as well for the shop, so I'm going to try to do both. And the leather. It's calling me right now. I better go....

All in a week's work...

 Amethyst Druzy and Sterling Silver Adjustable Ring

 The Green Fairy Flies Again- Copper, Sterling and Prehnite
 Harbinger- Copper, Fine Silver, Sterling Silver

Poppies- Guadalupe Jasper, Fine and Sterling Silver

Did you guys notice my new prop for taking earring photos?  I had a potter make it for me, and it's perfect!  I love it, and the color.  I think the earrings photograph very well against it!  And now my customer's can see the earrings and how they hang.

I had a lot of fun with copper this week, and very basic Repousse work.  The Grape Ice ring was just for pure fun, but Poppies.... Ah.... Poppies is my masterpiece.   I cast the poppies out of fine silver made from antique stampings.  I'd been wanting to figure out some poppies to go with this stone forever, and finally found just the right ones!  I am very pleased with how it turned out.  Everything went just perfectly with this piece, and that isn't always the case!

All these pieces are listed in my Etsy shop
And...they are eligible for my ongoing sale.  
Coupon code Spring20 will get you 20% off your order! 

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!  And aren't you glad Blogger is finally fixed?  I am...I was having blog withdrawals!  :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tonight I want to say...

Thank You. Thank you for reading my blog, and a special thanks to those who take a moment to comment. I'm not very good at responding to comments, but I read them all and they have an impression on me. Thank you!

And now I'm going to go tool some leather because I think it makes me sleep better. Relaxes me. Good night all...

Monday, May 9, 2011

I just wanted to say...

That soldering copper on silver is ok....but soldering silver on copper is giving me fits.

That is all ;)

Friday, May 6, 2011

The key fob obsession continues....

 This is the Savannah pattern I told you about earlier...

And this... is a Tudor Rose!  I think this is my best tooling so far....  I took a pic before I antique it because I know the colors will change some, and with my limited experience,  I can't quite predict how it will turn out.  I love how it looks now...

Desert Bloom

The only thing I managed to finish this week......
Turquoise and Sterling Silver, now listed in my shop!

Blue Savannah...

The video is a bit distracting I must admit...but the song itself is one of my very favorites.

I have long loved Erasure, and this particular song has special meaning for me.

18 years ago, while "racing 'cross the desert, at a (nearly) 100 miles an hour...." this song played on repeat as I drove across an Arizona desert. 

Except in that case I was racing to a new home in Texas, and away from the only home I had ever known.

Filled with anticipation, and wanting to live and experience something new, I was excited and scared all at the same time to begin a new life...

But nostalgia always creeps in and brings with it home sickness....even so shortly after just leaving Nevada I was home sick as I raced across that desert, and Blue Savannah imprinted onto my heart and soul and will forever for me be a tribute to my feelings for my home.

I have been particularly homesick since hearing of my cousin Anna's passing.  And Blue Savannah has been on repeat in my brain for the past 4 days.

I even made a leather pattern that I named Savannah...

"my home is where the heart is" and today my heart is in Elko.....

I wish I were there where all my family has gathered to say goodbye to Anna.
I am with you all in heart and mind today.....

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Getting to know.....Leather

Just finished this morning, and they are all ready to fly to the fabulous women in my life who just happen to also be Mothers.  

Working with leather has been a bit of a sanity break for me.  

I have not sat down to work at my bench in over a week.  The full 2 weeks before that I was having bad dreams about metal working.  

I don't know why for certain.  I think it had a bit to do with trying to sort out where I was headed in working with silver.  The rapidly rising cost of silver really threw me for a loop.  
I can't lie.  

I don't even know what led me to working with leather.  All I know is late one night I was lying in bed surfing around the net and somehow landed on a leather site that sold beginners leather kits.  

I thought, why not?  

I've told you guys before that I'm a craft jumper right?  :)

I never used to think so, but I'm pretty sure I must have some form of ADD.  Things pique my interest, and I dive in.  The bad thing, is once I have them figured out, I tend to lose interest.

I'm not giving up metal.  I do love it.  And I have more invested in it than I have ever invested in any craft.  

But I also don't want to limit my creative flow.  I want the freedom to follow wherever that creative path wants to go.  

We received some bad news yesterday.  My cousin Anna passed away at the age of 28.  She had health problems all her life, but she was the sweetest, kindest, most gentle person I've ever known.  She lived her life knowing that she would never have the things other women have.  A husband, children, a home of her own....yet she seemed content and touched all of us right to the core of our hearts.  I will miss her greatly.  

My heart hurts, and hurts even more that I can't be in Nevada with my family.  I'll miss you Anna....

Monday, May 2, 2011

What I've been up to...

I'm not even stopping to take a proper photo!  I took this one with my iPhone, and it's not the best, but does give you an idea of what I've been playing with.

Dear Leather, 

I think I love you...
You are so much fun to carve, and stamp, to dye, and paint, and stain....

You are easy to work with, but not so easy that you don't challenge me.

I hope to get to know you better!  :)

Tooling leather, the carving and stamping feels so familiar.  So much like stamping metal, but yet so different at the same time.  

The results come much more quickly (at least in a project the size of a Key Fob), and I am finding leather working immensely satisfying.

Look out everyone who knows me!  Chances are gifts coming your way will be in the form of leather key fobs.  

I bought a pack of 25 pre cut key fobs and I am just getting warmed up.  

With the help of my husband, I even re-arranged my whole studio to add a leather table.  Woo Hoo!  

Have a great week everyone!  I'm going to try to force myself away from the leather table and get to the bench to play with some metal and stones this week.  Maybe tomorrow ;)