Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bag envy . . .

Today I'm jonesing for an aluminum and felt bag from Studio 724 on etsy - a shop I discovered by way of Cat Ivins' blog Olive Bites - Polarity.   

Cat's blog is part of my blog reading every morning and has lately been posting some wonderful ideas for selling online and more but once in a while has fabulous giveaways and this is one of those beyond fabulous things.  Honestly, I'm in awe of some folks' creativity and vision and the combination of materials here just inspires me.

These are created with a water jet which is similar to a plasmacutter for cutting metal but (believe it or not) cuts with water, leaving a much cleaner line than a torch and is perfect for aluminum like this where 'delicate' is key.  And to combine it with felt is just perfect.  Serious jonesin'. . . .

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spring turkeys . . .

We looked up from the dining room table this quiet Sunday morning and here they all came, marching up from the field and into the backyard, politely single file, gobbling and carrying on like they had important things to say and do.  Hilarious! 

You should hear them all talking to themselves and scaring the barn cats half to death.  Sort of a fun (and giggly!) way to start Sunday, no?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

North to Alaska . . .

I'm so happy - my lovely copper and sea green Crafting for Courage necklace sold Thursday evening and is on its way to its new home in Alaska.  I'm happy to be able to donate 100% of the sale price to the Save the Children fund for their relief efforts in Japan and thankful that my new blog friends set up and promoted this cause and included me in the challenge.

Friday, March 25, 2011

What the . . . . ?

This post should really be titled 'Wordless Wednesday' because I just don't have words for what we saw when we looked out the window but it's Friday so maybe 'Freaky Friday' is a better name for what we woke up to this morning.  
Egad.  It's the end of March for cryin' out loud!
My little hosta garden : buried but still sleeping, 
thank goodness.
The giant mulberry tree : home to the 
Baltimore Orioles.
(The birds, not the team.  But that would be sweet.)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Crafting for Courage . . .

I am posting a little preview of what I will be listing in my etsy shop with 100% of the proceeds going to Save the Children for their relief work in Japan.  My online friends who are organizing this are doing such wonderful work for this project that I fear I may spend more than I take in, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.  

Please check out their community blog at Crafting for Courage and take some time to visit their shops.
Beautiful work.  I'm in great company.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Spring Prairiegrass Threads . . .

Another lovely piece from my new series "Metalwork from the Edge of the Prairie".  I entitled this Spring Prairiegrass Threads.  Beautiful color, fresh green and grassy.  Such a pretty pattern.

This is a bit of Imperial Jasper about the size of your thumbnail.  Super, super thin and I set it in a low profile bezel in sterling silver with an open back so you can see the lovely grass pattern on both sides.

I'll be posting these lovelies from my new new collection soon and changing my etsy shop to reflect my new direction.  I wanted to get a good collection of work together so it would be more representational of my area of interest and not just quick simple work. I so enjoy the lapidary work and taking a slice of stone from raw slab through polishing and finishing in a lovely setting.

These are my love.  Does it show?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

And . . . more

Oh yes, I am having far too much fun playing with these torch-fired enamels! And learning a lot in the process. I now have an appreciation for the artists who create such beautiful work in enamel as it's not quite as easy or predictable as you might think. Still, it's fun to play with the jars of colored powders and see what works and what doesn't.

Yesterday I made a tiny St. Patrick's Day lilypad - yeah, I know.  What does a lilypad have to do with an Irish celebraton?  Not much, I'll bet but the color is sorta Irish so that's what I'm going with.  Or call it a three leaf clover, stylized.  With a silver flower.  Stylized.

Sweet little dot earrings, hm?  I combined what's called Normal White (I don't get it) with a dot of Lime Green.  These are for days when you think you should wear earrings but you don't want them to stand out much.  Itty bitty and delicate.

This last photo shows you what can happen when you get too cocky.  Reminder to me: don't ever, ever, ever try to move an itty bitty dot of an earring that you suspect might be the tiniest bit hot.  Especially don't lick your finger first or the enamel hot dot might stick to your finger.  Lesson learned.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Enamel - more more more . . .

Less is not more - more is more.

Am I having fun or what?
Yes.  Yes I am.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sunday enamel play . . .

Such a great day!  I carved out a few hours this Sunday afternoon to play with my enamels and see what developed?  My goal is to keep at it until I know what to expect each time - I guess that's called consistency - and I'm slowly figuring out my technique issues as I go.

I took a few old pairs of copper earrings and here's what came from my playtime.

I love the orange dangly pair - what a wonderful color and I so like the way it darkened on the edges.

The sky blue pair turned out lumpy and I've got to figure that one out.  I think I need to leave the fire on it for a little while longer.  Not sure. Hmmm . . . . 

The flower pendant was turquoise with tangerine sprinkles on the edges.  I can see that I had a little bit of contaminant on one of the petals so next time I'll remember to clean a bit longer before I sift the enamel powder onto the piece.  The three silver balls are attached by first drilling holes where you want the decor, enameling and then threading the balled wire through and torch-pinning on the backside.  This one I'll keep for myself because it's got a boo-boo.

Overall, happy.  Happy and successful day.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Playtime . . .

Just for fun last night I fired up the torch and cracked the seals on those jars of enamel I bought, oh . . . two years ago (frowny face here!) and I wondered if I really remembered what I learned in that great weekend class 'way back then.  And surprise!  I did!

Now, I don't pretend that these little swingy earrings are gallery-worthy or even worth selling at all but what a great start.  I laid awake all night just picturing all of the sweet colored things I could do when the day started.

A few quick errands and I'm carving out time today to play, chained to the bench experimenting and maybe creating a handful of new Spring-y bright things.

And as accents for my set stones?  Oh yes.  Yes, yes, I'm ready to head back to the workshop and start with a Spring clean slate - just one more cuppa tea . . .