Monday, March 11, 2013

Surprise . . .

Yeah, this was supposed to be 37 degrees and light rain mixed with snow.  Blizzard warning west of here 100 miles or so and this is what we got.  

8"-10" of heavy white stuff and 45mph winds.
Blizzard stuff.

We were so dumbfounded that we didn't even put our cars into the garage.  That's right, the garage is completely empty of cars and our cars are somewhere in the drifts.  There's my poor ol' TransAm in a bowl of a drift in front of an empty garage.

Plans for the day?  Dig a path to the hot tub.  'Cause we're gonna need it.

And it's predicted to be in the 70's by Friday.
 Suuuure it is . . .

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Art & Soup Omaha . . .

Indoor show pics are so difficult, especially in a hotel setting where there is so much 'busy-ness' going on with no separation between artists.  That would be the only down side of this fun fundraiser in Omaha, though!

For the last four years, I have participated in the Visiting Nurse's Association fundraising event, Art & Soup in Omaha where artists are centered in the room with participating restaurants serving their most incredible soups all along the four walls.  Beautiful and creative restaurant displays and absolutely delicious soups - impossible to sample them all.  This year my display and work won the Award in Excellence and I'm so proud to be this year's winner.

So just a few pictures here showing my antique wood box display pieces and the little place card holders for my jewelry cards.  It is eyecatching and draws dissimilar work together so it flows.

A big thank you to my friend Jan who, along with her husband, helped me get unloaded.  I was in the final recovery days from the season's latest flu and I reeeeaaalllllly shouldn't have gone but this show is easy and fun and the artist donation goes to such a good cause, I had to.

From the 'Don't Ask Me' category - yep, a kneeling Jesus next to my booth

Thursday, February 14, 2013

I'm out of words today . . .

 Honest.  Do you ever just run out of words?

I'm busy getting ready for a show in Omaha next weekend and I'm cranking out the juicy stuff and loving every minute of it.  Reminds me that what I really love is cutting and polishing my own stones and hand-fabrication - metalwork - fire - hammers.

So here you go.  A little bit of lavender color chalcedony cut from a band of blue agate, translucent and glorious.  Set in sterling silver and accented with a little drop bead of sunset color carnelian.  For my money, nothing is more satisfying than taking a little bit of pretty stone and making it prettier.

The end.

Oh, for sale.

Monday, February 11, 2013

She said YES . . .

I am so happy for my darling niece Sarah and her boyfriend-turned-fiance.  Last Friday when the first few snowflakes began to fall before the Blizzard of the Century on the East Coast, my niece's boyfriend, Kevin had a big weekend planned in Boston.  Yep, that Boston where all driving on city streets was prohibited for two days.  No public transportation.  Airport closed.

Allow me to cut to the chase - since the chocolate dessert bar also was closed due to the weather, he took his Scrabble game and Sarah and headed to the Emerald Bar in the Revere Hotel, made his 7 letter play and got down on one knee with ring ready and all.  What a doll!

Don't ask me how but USA Today ran a feature and there they were, story and all, front page.

Is this guy a keeper or what?

Montana Agate . . .

Ahem.  Now that I've gotten over my 'pique.ed.ness' from the last post, I'm ready to move on.  You must be so grateful.

Back to the bench!

Instead of doing a wholesale clean up of the whole mess that taunts greets me every day, I decided to simply work myself through it.  Sure, my little space to work gets smaller and smaller but as I turn out lovely work like this, space increases day by day.
I'm in love with Montana Agate, have I told you?

I cut and polished some for a friend last year and this slivver was part of an edge that didn't have much promise as a primo piece but see?  A little lovin' and it turned out great.

Certainly on the milky side, the inclusions and explosions tend to the rusty color and accenting it with copper rings just seemed right.

Sports a pierced and cut out back for no other reason than I love it that way.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Not a happy girl . . .

For no other reason that I am hugely annoyed, I post this picture of a chain I bought at what I thought was a 'too good to be true' price for sterling silver.

Actually, I bought two dozen.

 At first I noticed that they had a different shine and texture to them than sterling silver and when one began to turn a tarnish-y color far too soon to be right, I did this.

I snipped off one end and hit it with the torch.  Sterling silver would ball up, well, silver.  This one barely melted and balled up brass.

Bad karma, seller.  Baaaaaaad karma.

My own karmic conscience prevents me from naming her/him.
I'm too nice because this is really crappy business.
What is wrong with people?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Bubbling Blue Agate . . .

Yep, delish.

This was a little bit of leftover agate from a previous cut - typical of my lapidary, there are all kinds and sizes of leftovers.  Piles, actually.  Baggies full.

(I think the crossword puzzle word for leftover is ort so I call these gems Orts.  I'm a word freak.)

The little thing had no flash and barely color and I came just this close to cleaning the bench and tossing it but, long story longer, Ed was in the workspace we share in the garage shop and it was warm and I was in the mood to share and play nicely so I picked up an Ort and started polishing.

Oh baby, what a sweet piece it turned out to be!

Simply set and accented with twisted and vined sterling bails, a dyed Soocho Jade bead that picks up tiny flashes of burned red.  The necklace is a go-to piece for that blue jean and white tee outfit.

Buy me here.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Slowly learning that lesson . . .

Oh yes.  When last we visited I had taken an awful, absolutely horrible group shot of a collection of pieces going to a local gallery for sale there.  I take these pictures for reference only so that when something sells, I have that visual reminder.  My lesson?  Take better pictures.  One sold that I had not reeaaalllly planned on letting go of right yet.  My bad.

This time before it heads to Omaha - I present the Jasper I cut and polished Monday evening.  Set in sterling with a copper bail and copper ball chain.  The true name of the stone escapes me so I named the pendant "Unusual Attitude".

About me - I fly.  I judge competition aerobatics.  Unusual attitudes is typically anything 45 degrees bank angle, 25 degrees pitch up or 10 degrees pitch down.  As you can see in this stone, the ground is slightly banked, not quite to those degrees, but no matter.  The green earth is tilted and the purple skies are easing into sundown, a low bank of clouds on the horizon.  It's a gorgeous weighty stone and it will soon be for sale at the Dundee Gallery in Omaha.

Love it.

Off to Omaha.

Friday, January 25, 2013

I should take a lesson . . .

I need to work smarter.

Here is the one and only and obviously the best picture I have of a piece I finished last week and decided at the last minute to take to a one evening trunk show at a local gallery.  

A gorgeous slice of Rocky Butte Jasper that I cut and polished and a stone I thought had a beautiful plains scene in it - grassy foreground, low Western Nebraska sandy buttes and a brooding spring sky.  I set it simply in sterling silver and accented it with a copper set loop and two copper rings, and finally pierced the Big Dipper on the back.  No picture of that because what happened was a surprise to me although my friends will tell you that it was no surprise to them.

It sold.
First buyer in the door made a bee line.
And hardly an inexpensive piece.

Lesson #1 - take better pictures of everything
Lesson #2 - I should be working on lapidary and more impressive pieces

I know.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

How how how . . .

Persistence paid off for a lovely lady in South Wales who searched thru my flickr pictures until she found just the right bracelet.  I made a number of these linked Orbit Bangles five years ago when sterling silver was cheap(er) and I could make a whole armful of them for shows and galleries but I moved on after that armful and went in another direction.

Lo and behold, this darling woman emails me that she wants one special made for her Silver Anniversary!  Who am I to say no?  No, I never say no and this one is shipped off today.  I'm just glad I still had the materials to work with.

I am still a bit confused that she took time to go through all of my (MY!!!) flicker photos until she found what she wanted.  I mean, with all of the metalsmiths out there and all of the incredibly talented folks posting on flickr, ME!  Maybe it's the New Year but I'm still shaking my head that she found ME.

Enough.  To the post office.