Monday, December 28, 2009

Mid-Holiday ramblings.

I hope everyone is having a


holiday season.

It's Monday, and I'm starting to think that the job of a teacher is looking mighty nice right now. If teaching was my job, I wouldn't have to think about work for a whole 'nother week.

I suppose that even more appealing is the job title 'self-employed art kid'. "Artist" still sounds pretentious. Hmm. Maybe someday? Maybe please?

My custom orders are winding down. Two will be finished this evening. The rest can take a little longer. Exhale.

Rex comes to visit on Wednesday and aside from all of the STUFF I have to finish before then, I can't wait! A quiet New Years Eve is sounding more and more appealing....I think going on lockdown in the apartment with a bottle or 2 of champagne is probably the way to go this year. I hope it snows buckets (it's not supposed to snow at all).

So, with the holidays and the boyfriend visit and such, I'm going on a bit of a jewelry "holiday." I have plenty of designs in the works, I just need a small break to recharge. the end of January, I head south to the Sonoran Desert! The visit's main purpose is to visit my mom, but I've strategically planned it around the Tucson Gem Show...anyone else going?? Tips, tricks? I'm making a list of "must have" stones, which so far only has:

-raw diamonds (cubic, please!)

There are so many wonderful stone cutters on the internet that have a plethora of GREAT cabs, so the rest of my list is going to take a little more effort. I want to pick up things I haven't seen a lot of online/at the lapidary in town, and of course always be on the lookout for lovely patterns in any kind of stone.

I go through different phases with my stone buying. Right now I've got a thing for Owyhee. I've always got a thing for chalcedony, and I'd especially like to get my hands on some holly blue agate. Agua Nueva too. And I'd like to buy some "bulk" cabs to have on hand for made to order items...sigh. It's a good thing I'm not bringing my credit card.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Some custom work

I was holding out on this one until it was received, and I just got word that he loves it so it's safe to post pictures!

This was a custom order requested by some friends for another friend. They fell in love with the stone, I sent them some sketches, and the winner ended up being the very last one I had done. I realized I hadn't drawn anything with the stone set horizontally and it's shape could lend very well to a design like that. So, I hashed something out as an after thought and it ended up being their favorite!

And next we have the Sisu Bracelet. It is such a treat when I get to create a piece for a fellow artist (or in this case, his mom). Other than the few guidelines (bracelet + stamping) I was able to just create...lovely!

sterling with garnet & a wee 3mm citrine

I looove it! I love making bracelets...they are by far my favorite item to create. I'm going to try and make more for the shop. Also, I'm completely enamored with my TINY TINY letter stamps. How did I live so long without them?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Is this a jewelry blog or what?

I've been chipping away at this necklace for sometime. Actually, it sat on my bench waiting to be polished for about 3 weeks. I had other orders to tend to!

This one will not be in the shop, as it was made with a special lady in mind (my mother) and it will be whisked down to Arizona as her birthday present. I wasn't sure if she'd like it or prefer something else, but like it she does!

Meet my desert necklace...or..."Arivaca" necklace, as the case may be.

Complete with hand-cut succulent on the back of the pendant and a slightly domed hand-stamped "concho."
Picture jasper blows my mind. The fact that there can be desert scenes found in stone is fascinating and beautiful and I can't get enough. When I found this one I fell even more in love - not only were the colors muted, almost faded like an old photograph, but the corners were softly rounded just like an old photograph!
I'm still digging away at the list of custom orders, but at list the bottom of the list is in sight! Stay tuned for a bracelet I just finished...rarely do I feel so proud when I finish something, but I was smitten with this piece.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The story of Sera'...

Being the crazy horse person that I am, I belong to various horse communities and forums online. Because, you know, going to the barn every day sometimes just isn't quite enough..

In one of these communities a girl about my age (we'll call her J) began posting the story of Sera', a beautiful white mare who was completely blind, slow to trust, and left to neglect. J saw past the mud and dreadlocks and blindness and took Sera' home.

I followed their story, touched to my very core. It was a fairytale to be sure. Slowly, with time and love and care, Sera' came out of her shell. The bond they had was something every little girl (and adult girl, for that matter) dreams to have with their horse. Sera' came to life in the care of J. She learned to trust, to see, to gallop.

Sadly, J lost Sera' very suddenly in 2008. The mare was galloping in her paddock, miscalculated the boundaries, and ran into the side of the barn, breaking her neck. Even now I tear up writing this, and I've only met her through pictures and words. Losing an animal is never easy, but when there is a relationship this strong you lose a piece of yourself.

When I began making jewelry, J asked if there was a way I could memorialize Sera' in a necklace. I came up with a few designs, but I wasn't completely happy with any of them. I finally made the horseshoe necklaces - which really only came about because J planted the worm in my brain several months ago! I still couldn't think of a proper way to include a halo to memorialize Sera', so I stamped her name on a separate piece of silver, cut it into an oval or a 'halo', and placed her name above the rest, as she is surely watching down on J and her equine crew as I write this.

So there you have the brief story of Sera', and how the horseshoe necklaces came about. I'm sending J's off to her today!!

(And thank you to J for letting me write about her and use some of her photos!)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Oh, so THIS is why...

etsy shop owners list dates for Christmas shipping and making.



I may be the busiest I've been in my little world of metal and stone. I've never had so many custom orders at once and it's making me go a little like this: o_O

The shop has also picked itself up and little things are slowly but surely finding new homes. Sadly, I cannot replenish the inventory for a few more weeks.

Stay tuned for some custom order photos & the one piece I've managed to finish for etsy!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Oh Cholula, you're breakin' my heart...

I'll be chugging away at custom orders the rest of this week and possibly into next. I'm hoping that after next Sunday I'll be able to carry on with my massive 'NEXT' list. I'm slightly OCD about list making and I clump items together in groups of 7-10 depending on size. These lists change at least a couple of times a week, depending on how badly I want to use a new stone or if a new design strikes me.

Can we take a vote on 36 hour days, please?

Cholula says yes. And asks that someone would please brush her face since I'm apparently incapable.

Speaking of my 'lazy lump,' we had a WONDERFUL lesson tonight in which we canted for most of it. Or...worked on cantering for most of it. Peanuts to some, HUGE for us! Last week was the first time I've really cantered in several years and the first time on her (aside from a few strides here and there).

I'm going to feel it tomorrow (I feel it already) but it was just the push we needed. If my former digital video buff self can figure out how to transfer video onto a PC, you may even be able to watch it someday!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Still breathing.

So, 2 Thanksgiving dinners and 2.5 rounds of leftovers later, I've made it to the other side. Sadly the other side involves terrible Christmas music playing over and over and over for the next 24 days. It's not that I completely hate Christmas music, but I do hate that they try playing it around the clock BEFORE Thanksgiving (one holiday at a time, please!) and I hate that it's all that's played all of the time and certain people insist on having it on all of the time I don't even feel ready for it after a year has passed.

But I'm not bitter, I promise.

I wish I had new things to show you, but my holiday was spent in Texas and I haven't made new things in awhile.

The rest of this week and likely all of next week will be spent tackling the pile of custom orders I have. Must stop buying stones as they are too much of a distraction! All I want to do is play with them and make new things!
I do have one project on my board that's 99% done, so when it hits that 100% mark I'll post pictures.

Oh, and just in case you think I hate Christmas, people who hate Christmas do not spend time doing this: