Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Picking myself up.

They can't all be good rides: I have to remind myself of this.

Last night wasn't terrible, but it certainly wasn't good, either. I feel as though our progress towards the canter has taken a huge leap backwards. It's discouraging. But, we'll take today off. A break for a big black beastie and a break for the human's thighs. (Truth be told, I rode them to their limit, last night. I wondered if this was the muscle failure my brother has been talking about.) (Just kidding, I don't really think that trying to get my horse to canter is anywhere near the kind of physical training my brother has been doing in the Army.)

I have to remember that this is a process, for both of us. And that although it's frustrating training a baby (ok, she's not a baby anymore, she's 8) I'd probably be bored with a made horse.

But sometimes the want for a horse that just CANTERS overpowers all of that other crap.

But, enough about that. Tonight I'm going to polish the growing pile of earrings (that stopped growing when I ran out of 20g wire for the ear wires...more on the way!) and work on an order for these:

I love these rings so much that they are on my list of things to make for myself. They started the stacking pair thing for me -- now I'm always on the lookout for little stones that are interesting together.

I have 5 pairs of earrings left to start and/or finish after these and my goal is to have all of them done by this weekend. And then...onto the necklaces. Time is running out quickly!

I have also added this ring to the SALE section:

Sunday, September 26, 2010

in which I ramble about earrings a lot.

I have earrings spilling out of every pore. In an attempt to cut down my list of what to make for the open house, I instead ended up adding a few pairs to bunch. Fail.

I've had a really hard time focusing and getting things done, because I'm overwhelmed with the possibilities. There are so many variations on designs I've done, so many new designs I want to try, and then every new design has a million and three new places I could further explore it.

It's a bit of a problem, and I generally end up standing, sitting, standing, sitting, walking over to the notebook, sitting, flipping through designs, standing, sitting, and overall spending a lot of time combating this little ADD affliction I seem to have. Also, throw in some really bad dancing to the really bad music on the radio (must. bring. CDs. to studio.)

But, I seem to have done a fair enough job, as here is the pile of earrings I have ready to take a bath in liver of sulfur (well, some of them anyway) and then happily tumble around with each other and some steel shot:

I really tried very hard to keep only the earrings in frame because you'd be very horrified to see my bench. All of those little pieces of paper everywhere are my various templates that I use and then stick all over the bench. It is ridiculous and I don't know why I do this. The copper was a failed halter tag (I didn't stamp the B properly). Above the copper are stones for a few pieces in progress. And the big black cord is baby torch, aka favorite torch. It's my favorite until I get really frustrated in it's lack of heating capabilities, anyway. Then I remember that I have a larger torch and I should probably just suck it up and turn it on. I'm very lazy. And I am scared of larger torch.

Anyway, I think I have 11 pairs ready for their polish, then will come finishing and stone setting and wire wrapping and such.

I also started working on a pair of earrings with stones, because I seem to be on a metal only kick. The stones of choice are these lovely, BRIGHT BLINDING BLUE apatite cabochons I picked up at the Tucson gem show.

I knew they were going to be tricky. I knew they were brittle. I knew apatite liked to fracture. Dear apatite, move up on the mohs scale, you're brittle and stupid, and if you have to come in such pretty colors you should probably be a little more resilient to the world. I am just sayin.

Anyway, I broke one. Actually, I didn't. I looked at it and it looked like it had a fracture line. I couldn't have possibly caused this because I JUST PICKED IT UP. And I was like "huh I wonder if that's a fracture line" so I tried to snap it with my hands and it broke in 2 pieces, like this:

Stupid apatite.

And if you're thinking "stupid girl, why did you try to snap it in half?" Well, if it was already fractured it would have happened at some point, and better in my hand than in the customer's. I guess I'll grind it up and save it for the day when I do resin pieces again.

Anyway, thankfully I had 2 more. I thought I had more than that, though, and so no more are allowed to break in the making of these earrings. The last one has been reserved for a necklace I'm making someday. Ok? If I break another one I'm hunting down some other 8x10 stones and letting the apatite rest in sweet peace and never buying it again. (but it's so bluuuue...)

My deepest apologies for the picture quality. I left my camera at home today because I forget things a lot and I used my cell phone to take these. Also, my hands really aren't that red.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

She's so cute.

Cholula Mae and I had a fantastic ride today. Have I mentioned I love my horse?

Friday, September 24, 2010

a few notes for you. and me.


I have revived the facebook fan page! I'm planning on doing some special offers exclusively through the fan page in the very near future, and move most of my jewelry updates from my personal facebook page to the fan page. Previews of new jewelry will also land there first. Click over to the right to become a fan! Providing it finally works, anyway. Facebook blogger thing and I had a lot of words yesterday.

Status of new work: Due to rains of tropical storm proportions, I've been unable to take photos of anything else. Hopefully this afternoon will cooperate with me!

What I'm working on now: EARRINGS!! The fall open house is VERY quickly approaching, and with a 10-day trip to Texas the week before I have very limited time to get things made! Earrings are always my best seller - what girl can't justify another pair? (I come home with at least 1 new pair every open house. It's a sickness).

I have approximately 14 more pairs to make, but since a lot of them are my "regular" designs it should be smooth sailing. I desperately hope it is, anyway. 14 of anything is a huge number to me.

And then I need to move onto the necklaces. !!

And, as much as I would love to make more rings right now, I'm holding off until after the open house.

BUT. There may be a bracelet in the works. A CUFF, PEOPLE. I've been holding off on making cuffs because I'm worried that it's too much for even my "big" torch. I'm taking a slightly simpler/smaller approach than my most favorite collage cuffs, and hopefully it'll go awesomely and I can be more relaxed about trying a collage cuff.

I actually don't know why I think that this will be easier to heat up because it's a super thick piece of metal.
But it'll be fine. I will make it work.

I want a bigger big torch.

What I am listening to right now: Tool - Aenima. The whole album. I think if you made me choose my favorite, I might choose this one. It'd be really, really hard though.

I'm cleansing my poor ears today. I've been making myself miserable in the studio with the radio. I can't figure out how to change it from the top 4o station and if I have to hear Katy Perry's voice one more time I'm going to curl up into fetal position and cry. Or Mike Posner? "Cooler than me" ?? If there was ever a song that made me violent, this would be the one. "if I could write you a song and make you fall in love..." Honey, if this is an example of your song writing skills, no one is going to fall in love with you. Ever. Just pleast stop writing music.

I feel better already.
Off to be productive!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I love this ring. I love this stone.
Love, love, lots of love.

I want to keep it...but it's a bit too big. I don't think I'm ready to put it up in the shop quite yet, though.


Why are you too big for me?

And this one. MORE LOVE. I love the things I'm making, it's true. This one is way too big for me, which is good, because I might try and keep it too.


Do you see this ring shank? It's like a fancy little pedestal.

Seeing the woods bloom and the fields growing lush and green from horseback. Noticing oddly shaped coccoons in the tree tops and spreading dandelion seeds like wildfire with steady hoof beats.

10 things I like right now.

1. dark chocolate with sea salt
2. fall evening light
3. dark roast coffee with half and half and a bit of raw sugar
4. to-do lists
5. mustard (the color)
6. leather
7. cho's super soft nose
8. improving designs
9. the tiny necklace that i am wearing and would like to keep but will list in my shop anyway
10. this song:

Monday, September 20, 2010

Self portraits in earrings

I've taken a lot of pictures of my ears in the past year and 1/2.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Hello, Friday.

I find it really interesting how different my work patterns are, month to month. If I'm overwhelmed in any area of my life, I tend to back off of everything. I'm riding less. Hammering less. Being overall less productive in everything I do.

It's not all bad, though. Sunday was an unusually warm and sunny patch thrown into our grey and wet fall weather, so I took advantage. Zeus got his last bath of the season, as well as the less pleasant task of sheath cleaning.

Yeah, I said it.
Yeah, it needs to be done. Gloves are your friend. As is a sense of humor.

Afterwards, I generously fly sprayed him and grabbed my book out of my car. He grazed next to me (not like the porky thing needs more grass) while I read, and occasionally looked up to move his lead rope away from his hooves.

And my last 2 rides on Cholula? Absolutely fantastic. Really. We go through phases where we'll hit a rough spot that is unbelievably frustrating, and then all of a sudden there is a break through and I have the best rides in the history of time. Or in the history of riding her. Whichever.

Our major break through has been on the shoulder in. She gets it! I get it! My hip is...not quite there yet but it's working on it! At least I hope it is. And leg yield. We've actually had a solid, correct leg yield! I understand that these terms are probably flying around most everyone's ears in another language, but just trust me in that these are huge for Cho and I. Every ride in the past 2 weeks? I have cantered. Most of those rides I've gone for it in both directions, but if I'm not feeling that punchy or sassy we just work on the left lead because it is her easy lead and I like feeling accomplished.

Remember how I said my big Sunday goal was to get those pieces listed? Well, clearly that did not happen. From now on I'm just going to keep my mouth shut until I have descriptions written, since that's what so frequently holds me back. I will say this: I wrote them all out AND have all of the photos taken. But that's all I'm sayin until it's done.

Next up: 1 all-metal ring, 1 rawhide ring, 1 kind of weird ring (the words, they elude me), 1 elegant ring. All pretty large. In surface area, not ring size. Although some will probably be larger ring sizes since I'm constantly made to feel like a fat finger hater since people are under the mistaken impression that I only make small sizes. One of my fingers is a 9 too, guys.

Oh, and necklaces? Um, maybe next week. I really want to make cuff bracelets again, but I really need a bracelet mandrel. And I would really like both an oval and a round one, but I suppose first thing is first.

And just to make this post more random: Cholula as a wee thing. Wasn't she so ugly she was cute? God, I just think she's one of the ugliest little horses ever in this photo. Sorry, Cho. You grew out of it pretty well.

Photo taken by Susan DeBoer

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Quickly, quickly.

My goal for tomorrow is to list all of the misfit pieces that haven't made it to the shop yet...mostly out of pure laziness.

Well, maybe not lazy. Working 3 jobs, the stress of impending unemployment (among other things), leave me struggling for words. Descriptions are really the hardest part of all of this for me. These pieces deserve more than just
"sterling, stone, 18" chain, handmade clasp."

You know?

But I get stuck, frequently. I want to do them justice, but I also want to stay true to myself. I don't want to sound contrived.

I'm heading over to the studio to run my fingers through my stones and figure out what's next. I've been in this rather odd spot where I don't really have a running list of things to make. I don't think I've ever come across this problem before. Last weekend I sat down, sketched a few things, and made them. Now I'm back to that point.

Here are the week's rings:

3 moons

Bohemian (I believe this one is spoken for):

These were made a little differently than usual, in that I took things that I sketch frequently, (and often absent-mindedly) and figured out how I would make those sketches into something tangible. I didn't sit down with a stone or with the idea in mind that what I was drawing would be a ring. I think it opened up more possibilities...there are more things I'd like to explore in this little paper to metal experiment.

I think the 3 moons ring kind of looks like a fat little bird.

Off I go!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Can you believe he's 25?

On Saturday morning, I was going around to all of the fields and feeding the horses that live outside. This involves a lot of rubber tubs, stacked in an order I can remember, so each horse gets their correct grain and supplements.

After Zeus finished his breakfast, he ambled over to the other side of the field where I was checking their water, looking at me hopefully.

I'm fairly sure he thought I was opening the gate to the other side of the field. However, he made a noise that can only be described as a grunt. I decided the next best thing to running to the other side was running around where he was, so I sent him off. He flipped his head, ears perked, and ran to the other side, where he stood waiting for me to do it again.

He was playing. And it was cute.

Since I was technically working, a full-blown session of fun could not carry out, but I made sure to return later with my camera.

He is handsome AND fat.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

let them grow...

Once upon a time I sent you here:


Some day after that, I was listening to the song and on a whim looked up the lyrics.

And I will tell you that the timing was one of those things. You know. I was open to really listen at this moment. In this mess of change and uncertainty and trying to figure things out all over again, I clung to every word and phrase.

And this is kind of how it's always been with me and music. I can listen to a song a hundred times, and when 101 comes around something clicks that didn't before.

So, over the next few days, while I was chewing it all over and feeling very light because of my new found life inspiration, I thought this needed to be made into a more tangible form.

Sometimes things just need to be touched.

As a sidenote, I used to feel like this a lot. Invincible. Like I could take on the world and do anything. I'm not going to go into the cliches of my sense of wonder and hopefulness and big dreams moving aside to making way for adulthood and growing up, because I refuse to go there.

I like to know that I can still feel this way. And that everything is temporary, like this feeling of being stuck and stagnant. The man hasn't gotten me down yet.

Besides, I say "goddamnit" among other things way too much to be an upstanding member of society.

I just wanted to give you a little background to where this necklace came from.

sterling, aquamarine, labradorite, rutilated quartz, cotton

tie strings to cloudsmake your own lake - let it flow
throw seeds to sprout
make your own break - let them grow
go do, you'll know how to
just let yourself, give into flood tide

Anyway, this is where I am with my work right now. I have piles upon piles of paper, folded into quadrants, covered in scribbled words and sketched metal. I'm hoping to make more in this series. This one will be in the shop soon -- I just need to hold onto it for a few days!