Thursday, July 30, 2009

Finding my Feet

When around my horses I often say "find your feet." When Cholula first came to me she was a gigantic yearling that didn't really understand how to balance on 3 feet. In order to teach her proper etiquette (as in, the human cannot hold you up as they are picking the dirt and rocks out of your foot) I began telling her to find her feet before I reached down to hold one of hers off of the ground.

A handful of years later, both of my horses still get reminders. When out trail riding, Cho gets ahead of herself and trips. She awkwardly swings her huge body back and forth in attempts to navigate down hills (coordination is hard when you weigh 1500 pounds, ok?). In his excitement, Zeus forgets that the ground changes and the next step may be on gravel, not soft grass.

So I tell them, "find your feet," and I imagine they take a piece of a second to pause, gather themselves, and continue on, better than before.

I am slowly, steadily finding my feet.

Because you see, if I told you jewelry was my passion and my first love I'd be lying. I'm passionate about jewelry, but it does not drive me like other forms of art. Even so, I'm happy to be in a place where I can explore this further. I've never had that kind of time because photography, video, sculpture, installation...they all took precedence.

My craftsmanship improves all of the time.

Every batch of pieces I'm more excited about. I feel like every single piece I make is an improvement. I'm only in my 7th month of doing this after nearly 3 years of not (perhaps that is what I should title the limbo after college...The 3 Years of Not).

I'm finding my little spot in the world of metal and stone. I'm feeling my way through it all, seeing what sticks and what fades.

Find your feet.

Cholula, Spring 2004 (2 years old)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


The TRUNK SHOW date is set: August 30th!

I will be packing up shop, closing etsy for the day, and bringing all of the goods with me.

If there is something you've had your eye on, you have until that date to purchase it [keeping in mind the shop will be closed for my vacation from Aug 14-Aug 23]. I have no idea what will sell at the show and what won't so this is my 'heads up!' to everyone who happens to read my blog.

2 new things (the last of the most recent batch) in the shop at some point today:

Stamped & hammered circle pendant with 3mm garnet

Sigh...this stone...

Ring with a big stamped sterling pebble, a stamped bezel, and GEMMY GEMMY SODALITE. I was not a fan of sodalite until I saw this is gorgeous and translucent and nearly no visible white. Wide band, fits my 6.5 ring finger just lovely.

Monday, July 27, 2009

horse shows

Shortly after Cholula's birthday this year, I informed her that she was a big girl now (7, to be exact) so she needed to start acting like one.

And slowly buy surely, she has.

My scores weren't terrific, nor were my placings. However, I had the best horse under me that I've ever had riding a test. She was forward, responsive, and exactly the kind of horse I like to ride.

More importantly I had a lot of fun and actually laughed when she spooked and spun and was actually quite happy for that because it meant I had energy and forward with her. Ha.

There are some pictures of me floating around out there, but I haven't gotten them yet. For now it will just have to be my sister on The Cho.

I will be listing a few new things today/tomorrow!
I also have a pile of custom orders. It's a little overwhelming but can I really complain? There's a lot of love going around. I could get used to this.

Friday, July 24, 2009

A few more

Here is what I've managed to get in the shop...probably all I will have time for until Sunday.

[Sidenote: everytime I see botswana agate all I hear is A PARK IN BOTSWANA!!!!111 If you do not know what I'm referencing, I send you to youtube:

Gumdrop Earrings

Schooling show tomorrow - hopefully I will have pictures of Cholula being awesome!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

newsies part one - the customs

Custom order!
She has the earrings and the necklace, just needed the bracelet to match :)
Custom order 2!
"Cherry Limeade"
Customer wanted the limeade necklace with a carnelian...yum!

Custom order 3! This is the necklace I had to pry the stone out of, remember? I think Ed did a FABULOUS job of cutting the stone...and I think I am also officially a chrysocolla convert and I want more of it!

The rest is to come over the next few days; I need sleep!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

dear summer fruits

you are my favorite fruits.


sales are happy.
ponies are happy.
weather is unusually cool
my toes are pampered and bright yellow
and all of that

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I had a feeling...

I think I have been a bit too optimistic in what I could accomplish over the next few weeks.

I also think I destroyed a big ring after spending several hours on it. We will see. I am still going to throw it in the tumbler and hope really hard that the stone sets nicely and all ends well. Usually when I hope such things I'm in denial.

If it doesn't I guess I will just...take it apart and try again. That makes me so sad. I have such little time to do this to begin with, and while I know I need to make mistakes in order to learn it is terribly frustrating.

I have THREE custom orders I'm finishing up for 3 very patient ladies.
I have FOUR really cool and unique stones heading to my door.
I have FIFTEEN (or so) pieces to finish before this trunk show (way, way too optimistic, as only 5 of these are started!)

But the most exciting thing of all is that I used my big torch for the first time tonight! It is like a magic fairy of fire. [the guy at the welding place commented on how narrow my torch tip was and that it wouldn't produce a very hot flame. Hot enough, sir!] I am also only MINORLY afraid of it. It's a healthy fear.

Tomorrow after a light ride on The Cho I will resume the jewelry catch up. 2 rings, 2.5 pairs of earrings, 2 necklaces to finish...2 pairs of earrings to start and finish before Sunday. I think I can probably handle that...

Oh, and this is now in the shop:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Of Life.

The topic of what I want to be when I grow up makes me physically ill.

In college, despite being on the road towards my BA in studio art, I adamantly said "I do not want to be an artist." Meaning: "I do not want to rely on my art for my income."

I didn't want to sell out.

I didn't want to make things that other people wanted me to make. I wanted to make what I wanted to make, the end. If people liked that enough to buy - fantastic! If they didn't, well, I was pretty vocal about the fact that I made my art for me.

I thought I would go to film school (maybe I still will?). I could picture myself spending long days on set or in an editing studio working on someone else's project while mine came to be in the background. They would pay my bills, I would be free to make my art.

Then I joined the real world, however reluctantly (kicking, screaming, and fighting the whole way there). I realized how much money it takes to support just me and the ponies.

It's a lot more than I would have thought.

And that freaked me out. How could any job pay for that AND pay back the mass debts I'd be taking on? MFAs are mighty expensive. Film school can take up to 4 years instead of the standard 2. 4 years. 99% of the time you pay for your own thesis film. Approximate cost? Well, $20k is pretty average.

So you can see perhaps why I had to rethink and rework some stuff. Or maybe my dreams just weren't strong enough.

I had a plan, but when it fell apart I just stood there with a blank stare on my face. For months.

Grad school, grad school. What do I want to be? I want play for work or work that allows for plenty of play.

I bought a book yesterday that I am hoping will divulge rich secrets about the business side of art to me. How can I do this as my job and still be whole? Do I want this to be my job?

The book buying brought all of this on. Only recently have I started changing my mind...maybe I can be a working artist.

I'm not going to lie, I really want my job to be whatever I feel like that day. If I feel like sleeping in and eating ice cream for breakfast and then going out and taking pictures during the day that can be my job. If I feel like swimming and going on lazy trail rides with my horses and drinking red wine that can be my job. (Remember what I said about kicking and screaming...)

I don't want to wait until I'm 40 to be happy with where my life and career are. I want that NOW because life is short and I've had enough soul-sucking jobs, thank you.

What I'm trying to get to is this:

1. I'm working out if I can make metal and photography my job(s). By can I mean it pays my bills and I am happy -no - elated (is that asking too much? I don't think so...) doing it full time. I would also be very happy to continue on with barn work in addition to this because the barn and horses have such a calming effect.

2. OR should I go to grad school for my MFA.
2a. And if I do that, I have to pick what I want my MFA in. And why do I want my MFA? Do I need my MFA? Is it going to benefit me in some way other than opening up doors to possibly teaching?

Monday, July 13, 2009


2 new items...will measure the other necklace tomorrow and get that up.

Pink Pillow Pendant (yeah! alliteration!)

Spring Ring (yeah! rhyming!)

Now please excuse me while I go dose up on my allergy meds (when they wear off it's not a pretty sight).

Back to it

(Not a picture of Texas. Another of Nola I haven't posted yet. Too hot in Texas to take pictures.)

Too hot in Texas to do anything!

Except be lazy in the air conditioning. Which, really, is just fine with me. I got to sleep in 4 days in a row and had no responsibilities. Considering I don't get days off otherwise (no weekends for me...3 jobs kind of eats away at your free time) this was a welcome treat.

I am back and have a strict timeline to follow...we'll see if I can get everything done. My goal is to have the next batch finished by the end of the week so I can begin the next one - I have a trunk show coming up in August!

I really enjoy doing these little shows at others' houses. They bring wonderful guests and great food and I get to meet the people buying my jewelry. It is fabulous.

We haven't pinned down a date yet, but as soon as I know I will post. I close my shop and take everything with to these shows...last time I sold over half of my inventory, so grab what you can before I close shop!

The weather is nice today so hopefully I can get photos of the new items to list over the next few days - keep an eye out. Other than that I'm busy fabricating and carving waxes and riding my pony to prepare for the show in less than 2 weeks. Busy, but the good kind of busy. It keeps me from buying too many stones.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Up and Away

Well, due to the rain it doesn't look like I'll be getting photos of the new stuff until my return. It's just as well, I suppose, since I can't ship anything while I'm gone anyway.

I will distract you with some flowers.

Back on Sunday!

Monday, July 6, 2009

New batch

After realizing I'd be completely useless unless I took a nap this afternoon, I passed out for 2 hours.

Which made me more or less useless the rest of the evening anyway, since the plan was to set stones and take pictures for listing. When you don't get started until 7pm on stone setting, the light isn't exactly ideal for picture-taking at 8.

Napping is dangerous business.

I do have these things to show you:
The earrings you see there will not be making their debut for awhile, as the stupid middle pebble on the right earring failed to solder again (I'd been having issues with it). Up at the top is a prehnite ring with a very very wide textured band, the bottom left is a pink opal pendant, and next to that is this copper leaf medallion that I haven't been able to get out of my head for a couple of months. The construction ended up being a bit experimental but I'm really happy with how it turned out.

Not pictured are the other 2 pairs of earrings that involve my green cube beads (I think we've determined they are serpentine) and an unfinished custom order bracelet that has been one of the most time-consuming things I've ever made. It's going to be gorgeous when it's done, but oi.

Also not picture are the 2 nose rings that I made for myself since the one that resides in my nose always has somehow (???) disappeared. I've retrieved one of the nose rings but I didn't have the patience to dig through the rest of the shot for the other one.

Pink Pillow:

And these are my feet on the firework-burned driveway.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A bit of Sunday

Oh my.

I am slacking in blog-land.

I have 8 lovely pieces of jewelry tumblin' away. My flex shaft and I are still in the awkward stages of getting to know each other. I need to figure that sucker out, as I know it is the key to the finishing power I so desire. So far I have figured out how to scratch up the metal really nicely, next step is how to get said scratches out. I bought those little 3m rubber dealies only to realize I don't have the correct attachment for basically they do me no good.

It's interesting, how much I do with files and sand paper. And despite how much time that takes I can't seem to let them go and embrace the technology. The reason I really felt the push to get this is all of the tiny spaces and crevices my tried and true files and sand paper cannot reach.

Today was warm but not humid (!) and I had a lightning quick lesson on Cholula. Sometimes I think those are better than 45 minute lessons, because there is no time to over-analyze and think and dwell on what I'm doing wrong, there is only time to ride like hell. I felt like it was some of my best riding and it's so rewarding when I get to do cool things with my pony. I'm a little proud of myself and thrilled with her. This is why I bought that giganto yearling. It's taken 7 years, but she is what I always knew she'd be. Her shoulder-fore is moving right along, she was pliable and we were collected and then out to a medium and then into a canter, easy as pie. After we had a nice little walk around the fields (first time by ourselves) and some trailer loading practice time.

She is love, that pony.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Ten Things I Like Right Now.

1. red wine
2. gourmet chocolates from NYC
3. this pair of earrings that were supposed to make it to the shop but only got as far as my ears...
4. sweet, relaxing trail rides
5. my very prairie wallet
6. my red-orange sandals
7. diet coke in a can
8. oh so bohemian skirts
9. the smell of fly spray
10. pedicures

and one more for good measure...
11. honeyhoney - "little toy gun"