Friday, July 30, 2010

Art Fair or Bust

My stamps arrived yesterday!

I have bags to stuff,
flowers and beer to buy,
laundry to wash,
and a car to pack.

See you Monday!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

the last of the last

The final official count is 60. Last night I spent approximately 2 hours wire-wrapping boxes. I know it's probably complete overkill to have 60 boxes ready to go, but I figured I won't have to do that for awhile this way.

I have various ceramic bowls and glass vases (aka small glass yogurt containers I stole from France. Ok, I stole them from a hotel in said country, but doesn't that sound funnier? I stole yogurt containers from France.) that need to be gathered and flowers to be purchased.

My bags need to be stuffed with tissue paper. I should probably go buy some snacks and a lot of water.

I'm going to do a mock set up this evening, but really it will be an adventure to set up at the fair, as my booth partner is bringing all of the tables and I have no idea what the arrangement will be. Suspense!

Lastly, I keep half-forgetting about my signage. Thankfully the boyfriend has offered to put one together for me so I can get it printed tonight. Other than that, I need to print off things for monies, sales tax, and make a tiny sign for the pile of knotted stacking rings.

I think I may even have time to ride tonight!

Anyway, here are the last 4 to be completed. At least the jewelry part is finished!


Aren't these little vintage glass cabs the best? Bright red deer yes please?

Concord Necklace

I almost nearly stamped "stick tight" on the back of this, because it is a stichtite cabochon. And I can't stop typing out STICK.TIGHT.

This cabochon is not quite so dark but I didn't have much light to work with. It reminds me of concord grapes and sticky grape jelly. It's really something you have to put on. It's like a million times better when it's on. I didn't expect to like it as much as I do. I keep looking at it sideways and imagining it on my finger. Maybe next time.
Chichen Itza earrings
These earrings turned out so perfectly I don't really know what to say, other than they reminded me of driving through rural Mexico after seeing the pyramid and ruins at Chichen Itza.

Monday, July 26, 2010


I have a lot to finish for this art fair.

Over the weekend, I stopped caring after leaving everything in LOS too long (flaky patina is gross) and wire-wrapping mishaps. Burned out. Instead of working on my displays or finishing up my other work or any of the million things on my art fair to-do list, I just did nothing. It seemed the most logical at the time.

I slept it off, brushed myself off, and got back to work. I babied my patina. I took a deep breath before embarking on wire wrapping extravaganza part seventy-two (I didn't actually keep track of how many attempts, but that sounds about right). I set stones and glass and buffed away for satin finishes and highlighted details.

I have 2 evenings to finish the rest of it: more earring cards, more stamps, more labels, stuffing bags with tissue paper, staining displays.

Making sure I have everything a couple or a dozen times.

I am ridiculously excited for this fair. I don't know if 61 pieces is really enough for something like this, but it's what I have.

Here are some of the little things:
aventurine & sterling earrings

pyrite & sterling earrings (not enough beads to make anymore of these, sadly!)

3 tiny necklaces:

(Really tiny.)

Almost done.

Friday, July 23, 2010

minty and blue

It is often a wonder I get anything done at all.

It took me most of the evening last night to do a few simple jewelry tasks: finish a handful of earrings, a couple of rings, saw out some bezel backs.

I made dinner in there, too, but really? 3-ish hours to finish up a few pieces?

Sometimes I can blame something or another (usually television) for distracting me and sucking me in, but I didn't watch anything last night. It was just a night of jewelry that dragged...I think I'm finally getting worn out preparing for the art fair.

But anyway. Here is some stuff.

These make me swoon kind of a lot:

Suzy Blue. My mother is fully to blame for instilling an infatuation for turquoise in me.

Mint Julep

luminous & minty chyrsoprase of the cushion cut variety.

goes excellent with burbon and ice.

Dinner has no pictures, but it was delicious and I recommend it.
2 pieces of bread your choice, I used the only bread in the house which was brownberry (the really dense whole grain/wheat bread)
Peppers of choice
goat cheese
whole grain mustard
zucchini, cut into long, flat strips

Or really, any vegetables of choice. That just happens to be what we had (garden fresh!) so I went with it. I had fresh banana peppers and wanted to know if they were spicy and that's pretty much the entire reason I ate this.

*Marinate the zucchini in a mix of balsamic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh chopped garlic. Sautee or grill til done.
*spread one slice of bread GENEROUSLY with goat cheese (I really like goat cheese.), the other slice with mustard
*pile on veggies
*drizzle on a little left over balsamic marinade

This has about a million variations and truthfully this was the simple version - there's a really good kalamata olive/balsamic tapenade that is awesome when paired with the grilled zucchini. The only thing that would have made this a thousand times better would have been a package of arugula piled on as well.

Also, I'm not a vegetarian, I just often cook that way because I'm lazy.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The rest of the new work

I am cruising through my to-do list of jewelry to make before the art fair, and with the arrival of some new beads that I just had to use I've even added a couple of pairs of earrings to the mix.
It certainly helps that I'm sticking to simple pieces. I may actually be able to fill a table! Gasp!

Really, though, I've been keeping it simple because I'm trying to hit every price range, but especially the lower ends of things. This is a smaller art fair with a goal of bringing art to the community, and what good does it do to bring a bunch of art no one can afford?
I think it has been good for me to work this way, too. Making multiples, keeping things simple. Staying fresh. I'll definitely be ready to get back to working with more stones and one of a kind pieces after the fair though!
Onto the photos:

Steer Skull necklace (have I mentioned that I love this stamp?)

Suzy earrings: I changed up the ear wires a little and they are still unique - those are the only beads of their kind I had.

I have been dreaming about this texture for awhile. I think I want the copper a little rosier, but overall I'm happy with them. They involved a lot of hammering and I do like pounding the hell out of metal.

I think I need a new name for these now that I'm using different beads, but remember the rainy earrings I made with peridot? Well, I made 2 more of those, too. I wanted to have a little bit of variety, though, and I think I like the coral even better.

Last but not least, a delicate and simple bracelet with rose quartz and pyrite. I love when I'm able to use my scrap towards a greater good (like new jewelry), and I had these 2 lengths of chain hanging out that weren't long enough to do much of anything with. I think this bracelet works quite well!

I have 9 more pieces to throw in the polisher tonight, including a ring! I've been going through ring withdrawal. They are really my favorite.

There will also be 3 super delicate/petite wire wrapped necklaces, some wonderfully modern earrings with clean lines, and a few other bits and pieces.

Monday, July 19, 2010

a little new.

I finished up the batch that I polished on Friday, wire wrapping beads and whatnot. It's late so I leave you with one of the necklaces...I'll post the rest tomorrow!

Do other people love their states as much as Minnesotans love Minnesota?
Minnesotans really love Minnesota. Seriously. Even with humidity that rivals the south in the summer and winters that plummet below zero for days at a time and mosquitoes that wage war with you in your own garage (there was a little one that bit me TWICE on the neck within about 20 minutes and tried a 3rd time when I put an end to its little stupid life) .

You get the point. We really like our state.

Friday, July 16, 2010

bullet form.

The Mathewsons, circa 1970-something
My mom is in the red tank top!
-My apartment and I are on speaking terms again, as the air conditioning, for the time being, is working.

-You know how when you have a tumbler you have to clean the steel shot every few rounds?

I forgot.
For like a year.

Needless to say, all of the pieces I polished yesterday have to be re-polished. I don't think the dingy/dull look is particularly flattering for anything.

-I have another custom order twiggy ring I've been working on, which I'm fairly sure I have to remake. For the 3rd time.

-Art fair progress: ahead of schedule!
Right now I'm looking at having:
20+ rings
29+ earrings
15 necklaces
2 bracelets

Not too shabby!
Still need to figure out how I'm displaying all of those earrings!

-Tomorrow (early...very early) I leave to go north. Every year, we have a huge family reunion at my aunt and uncle's cabin. I haven't been able to make it for several years due to work, unreliable cars, etc. But this year, my sister and I are going! There are going to be 60+ people this year...note photo above of my aunts and uncles. There are a lot of us.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Again? Really?

That is how I feel about my apartment right about now.

The air conditioning in my apartment is broken...again. It didn't work when they first turned it on in the spring and we had a few days that hit the 90s. That was painful.

And now, today, when the heat index hit 105, it broke again. This is especially unfortunate because while it is cooler out now (humid, but cooler), my apartment is mostly underground. And therefore gets almost no air flow with the windows open.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Why it is important to take photos of ALL of your work...

Taking pictures of jewelry is not one of my favorite things to do. Really, I wish that after I finished a piece it would appear by magic in my etsy shop - pristine, crisp photographs and descriptions complete.

Despite this being a not favorite activity, I do a fairly good job at documenting everything. But fairly good is not good enough, and I've lapsed a few times.

Like in the case of the scribble earrings. I've made three pairs of these and didn't learn my lesson once.

First time: Made using scraps of silver and such right before a trunk show. Ran out of time to photograph. Sold at trunk show. Friend (Andrea) saw them at trunk show post selling, so she ordered a pair.

Second pair: Made from memory of the first pair. Since I had no intention of making them again, my memory was probably not very good. But...since there would never be a side by side comparison, no big deal, right? Just get the basic concept down.

Gave them to her without photographing. Again, I was done, right?

Then the scribble earring receiver lost one of them. So Andrea orderd another pair.

Third pair: Made from memory of second pair. Memory is especially poor at this point as it's been a few months, and again, I only remembered things like: fused copper and silver rings of various sizes. I knew one was hammered. I didn't know how many rings, or even how many copper vs. silver.

On the left you have the 3rd pair. On the right you have the lone remainder of the 2nd pair. I'd be interested to see the 1st pair just to see how much they've changed.

Making these is kind of like a game of telephone, but with my really bad memory.

Andrea photographed the earrings side by side for me...thankfully she is an awesome customer and ended up liking the 3rd pair better anyway!

still here!

I meant to post an entry last Wednesday about how I was leaving for a mini vacation and due to this the blog would be quiet for a spell.

But I forgot, and then it was already Saturday and my holiday was nearly over so it seemed kind of pointless.
So, there you have it. I was in Texas from Wednesday-Sunday, visiting the boyfriend.

Yes, the boyfriend lives in Texas. And yes, it is a very long story.
This is us, 7-ish years ago:

Highlights of my trip included:
lots of sleep
lots of being incredibly lazy
(I really like cupcakes.)

Time went way too fast this trip (well, it always does, really). I'm having a harder time returning to my "normal" life here because I'd just rather be there. I'm doing an excellent job pouting.

But, he'll be here in August. And I'll be there in October. And so on, and so forth. And hopefully not for very much longer! We've been doing this for 3 1/2's about time to live in the same state.

I'm steadily chipping away at my list of jewelry, despite the pouting. I have an art fair to prepare for and only 2 1/2 more weeks! I can't believe how much I have to get done...staining display items, building something for my earrings, getting material for a table cover, figuring out what to do for change, buying receipts and a calculator, gathering packaging supplies...

It's a little overwhelming, but hopefully it will all come together!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Cholula goes puppy.

This is the 2nd dog tag I've made - the first featured a dog bone, largely because the customer gave me the option and every paw print I drew looked ridiculous.

Well, the lovely Kate (who won the give away!) wanted a tag for her puppy, Cairo. And they (being her and her fiance) wanted a paw print. Once I figured out the main shape it was a breeze - and I think the tag turned out really cute!

I don't know that I'll be adding them to the shop permanently, but I'm definitely up for taking on any similar custom orders!

Monday, July 5, 2010


100 sales!!!
Celebratory orange font!!
It is crazy to me to think that I've made 100 pieces of jewelry that other people (and horses) are now wearing...and that's just from etsy alone. I've probably sold double that between open houses/barn orders/trunk shows.

Friday, July 2, 2010

These old bones.

I have written and rewritten this post several times. The words are getting stuck in my throat or I end up writing a novel. Either way it doesn't particularly work.

I'm not really sure how to convey the melancholy that's washed over me this week to a group of readers that largely don't understand - not because you can't, but because it would take the knowledge of pieces of my life I haven't really delved into on my blog dedicated to jewelry.

I will tell you this.

I was 17 and stubborn when I acquired Zeus. I decided that even though I could barely control him he needed to be mine. He was a wary, apprehensive horse with a penchant for being difficult to catch in a field and running off with whomever was on his back. He had deep scars and deeper fears. I saw a broken horse that needed fixing, and thought for sure that I would be the only one capable. He would be mine and I would be his and no one could touch the understanding between us.

It was the stuff of movies and books and fairytales and I took it as a sign that he just happened
to be large and bay and gaited...all things that ended up on my horse buying criteria list somewhere along the way.

I came close to selling him a couple of times in the first few years, but something kept pressing me to forge ahead. I did. And with time, he came around. With time I could get on his back without him immediately trying to run away. With time we were going out on the trails, his forte. He lit up under saddle - he wanted to go, he wanted to ride, and he wanted to explore.

Over the past few years, though it still seemed he had the drive, his body began to feel more stiff. His ribcage wouldn't bend around my leg. He became more difficult to control and evaded my attempts more and more. With age came creaky bones and arthritis.

On Tuesday it came to a head, and although he seems just as mobile as always galloping around the pasture, he told me loud and clear that he was done riding.

I'm heartsick over it. I love that horse more than anything and I feel like there's this huge disconnect if I can't even get on him and casually walk around for 5 minutes.

I've been preparing myself for this for the last 4 years, but it doesn't make the final decision any easier. I thought we'd always be able to go out for a ride around the fields. After the 8 1/2 years I have had him, I feel as though our journey has come to a very significant end. I always thought the day he stopped enjoying rides would be the day he died.

It'll take some time, but I'm sure I'll adapt to our new phase. He's stupidly happy in retirement (or the semi-retirement he's had til now) - eating away and hanging out in a big field. Galloping around when he feels like it. Being spoiled. I suppose at age 25 he's entitled to such things.