30 September 2009

out of the woods and into the city

Sorry I have been absent from blogging, I have missed it so very much but life took over as it often can. Callie and I have left the woods and moved to the city. Well, as big as a city can get in my tiny state! This is something I have always wanted to do. As far as Callie, the berner, goes, well I wasn't sure if she felt the same way I did until the first night in the apartment came along. This night was also the first night she went for a walk on a leash in quite some time, normally this woodsy gal was let outside to explore on her own. It has become evident that she too is smitten with the city after just a few evening and morning outings. So far, the tail has not gone down, not an inch. This means complete happiness in the world of Callie. 

This morning I decided the time has come to document some of our adventures. I was inspired by the colors of fall.

Callie is also fond of the leaves, even more so than I am. I miss her being a fifteen pound puppy and tunneling through the leaves with such excitement as she popped up somewhere else to look up at me, do a little dance and jump back in for more.

My lady fancies herself a mountain goat. She is most excited when invited up on a wall or bench and her new favorite....a fountain, located in the center of the park. She always walks gracefully along the edge with the tail wagging full speed.

We explored much of the park this morning and I think my girl knew we were on our way home. Seems she decided this bush would make for some good camouflage in the hopes that I would leave her in the park for a longer adventure. Who am I kidding? As much as she likes to explore, she loves to be by my side even more.

I like to take the long way home. The street which runs parallel to mine has some lovely houses with gorgeous gardens. Still green and in bloom. 

Oh, how I love Zinnias! Unless I planted these in the woods we lived in I would never find them on a jaunt around the old neighborhood. The city is full of surprises.....

...like these lovely steps. Leading the way through a well gardened front yard and onward to a cozy home.

Me and my mountain girl will be happy here.

22 September 2009

another open market, another giveaway

I guess I am addicted. After my first giveaway at an open market I decided it was so much fun that I had to have another one. The best part about the giveaway is when I receive a reply to my email telling the lucky person that they won. 

"NO WAY!! I'm so excited! Thank you." says Betty, aka #12.

So, last time it seemed that my giveaway was lost on my display so I went out and bought some picture frames to try and draw more attention to this fun game. And it worked more than double the amount of people signed up!

Presenting the earrings which were up for grabs....
Small leaf earrings with dancing pearls.

I thought this was really a cute little set up. Who wouldn't want to play?

I just had to share another picture of the earrings, with some more detail. They are oh so elegant! And I love the movement of the pearl.

When Betty opens her package from the post she will discover this pretty package all tied up with a bow.

Speaking of giveaways, you still have time to click on over to Kind Over Matter to enter my giveaway there. There are two things to choose from Go and play!

21 September 2009

couture under a tent in a parking lot....a true story

So long ago, back in the steaming hot days of August I strolled into a tent at an open market in Boston and found couture. Once I entered Collier Couture's tent it didn't seem like I was in a parking lot any longer. I was now in a boutique surrounded by the loveliest of dresses and elegantly attired dress forms. It occurred to me that I was about to be attending a wedding and was in need of a dress and I was about to find myself a handmade one at that. 

This is the first dress to catch my eye as this dress form was just outside Deena's tent. And the cut is so irresistible. So, I had to peak inside.

I just love that this is more than the typical black and white dress. The pink highlights in the flowers adds so much life without taking away from the classic form and colors of this dress. A touch of fun! 

Between the pockets and the color I am completely smitten with this dress. I think it screams fun night out with the ladies.

Again, a seemingly classic dress. Spaghetti straps, high waist, but wait, in animal print and still maintaining class. Deena is quite a talented gal. She can really pull off mixing the classical cut with daring fabrics. 

Here is the dress that I nearly left with, Deena was cheering me on to buy it. It is her favorite and I can see why, it is so pretty. The bow seems to wrap up all of the fabric into a lovely little package for one to wear. For me, this dress defines my comfort zone. It is a style that I am automatically drawn to which is why I didn't choose this one. In the boutique of Collier Couture I found unusual cuts, ones that I wouldn't find in stores and really, sometimes a girl needs to step out of her comfort zone and be daring. Even if it is just daring for her. 

So, I opted for a silver dress with pockets. I guess I am just deeply in love with silver, I work with it all day and decided that it was what I wanted to wear above all else to my dear friend's wedding. And for the fidgeter in me, the pockets are perfect. What is a jeweler supposed to do with her hands when she can't bring along a torch or at the very lest some pliers? Place them in pockets. And aren't they such a lovely detail? (And Deena, I am sorry the dress is wrinkled. The photo was taken after the event and I had been sitting in a car for some time.)

Can you tell that I love this dress? And I was lucky enough to come across the shoes in Quincy Market the week earlier after a jaunt to my favorite Wagamama. For a girl without a plan I think the whole outfit came together. Now I just need another event to wear this too. It is so comfortable and adorable. So, any up for throwing a party? Or maybe I will just wear it one day and make my own celebration.

Another great discovery about Collier Couture is the website. I will give you a little sample before you click on the link. There is the most classy and yet adorable clothes hanger juxtaposed on the name of the company and it sways ever so slightly. But that is just the beginning. After the home page you discover the dresses which Deena has designed and crafted. And she reminds us "everyday is a fashion show and the world is your runway." So no special occasion necessary, just take a peak at the lovely dresses and make your own event to wear it to. If you are looking for something timeless and unique you will not be disappointed. 

19 September 2009

adornments for the wedding of two dear friends

After so many years together my two former college room mates decided to finally get married. Really, I have been waiting for this day for some time. I have seen them grow into an amazing couple and the engagement has just made them even more amazing. 

When they started to get into the planning stages I received a call from the soon to be groom, asking me if I will make some jewelry to adorn the ladies of the wedding. I was so excited to take part in their celebration by doing something that I love for two people I adore so you know I essentially yelled yes into the phone.

A few months go by and they come over for a cookout. We talk about the wedding, see fabric swatches of the dresses and discuss flowers. So, out come the beads and away we go trying to match and compliment the dresses and bouquets. We are settled on carnelian, just yummy for this autumn wedding and all of the ladies get a vine necklace with these luscious stones. Then I am asked if I can make the maid of honor a pair of earrings. Again, I am most excited. I love making earrings. But I am not pleased with the maid of honor wearing just any pair of earrings. I let the couple know that I need to think about a design. It needs to be special. 

I decided that I wanted to try and capture part of the design that is embroidered on her fern colored dress so I request some pictures. I am delighted to open this email. Making earrings with a leaf design. Can it get any better?

I grabbed a sketch book and a pencil and tried some different designs, trying to capture the flow and grace of the embroidery while making it my own.

So, I came up with all of these designs and emailed the sketches to the soon to be bride. We agree, the two below are the best. And doesn't the carnelian look like a drop of color that an autumn leaf may turn? 

Out come the pliers for some bending and shaping. I try so hard to make the drawings to scale so I always have a form to rely on.

Now the fun begins. Setting up to solder, which means FIRE.

Now it is time for the second leaf to take shape.

Soldering is underway and the second earring is started. I try so hard to keep them identical but I am reminded that nature isn't always perfect in shape and size. I accept the imperfections that I am sure only I notice and realize that had I found this discrepancy in nature, I would embrace it.

Where would I be without a flex shaft? I clean up the rough edges and messy solder with my sanding discs. They are dreamy to work with, but I still need to improve my soldering skills. 

Another dreamy device, radial wheels. The firescale is getting whisked away. Don't you just love seeing the silver color we love oh so much start shining through?

After tumbling over night I assemble these two lovely pair of earrings. I am quite pleased. I have never worked on a piece using only thin wire (20 gauge) and this is the first time I have ever wrapped beads. Really, how is it that I have a bachelor's degree in metals and never wrapped a single bead? I had to buy a book to learn! 

I made them five necklaces for the five ladies and I just couldn't remember who had what for colors, some varied from creamy white to luscious oranges. The necklaces have already been boxed up, tied tight with a green ribbon and handed over to the lovely couple. So, I made one pair with a darker orange stone and one with a creamier stone and I will leave it up to the soon to be wed to decide which pair will best match their maiden's necklace. 

You may be wondering why I would make two pairs of earrings just to be certain they will match a necklace? I decided that it didn't seem fair that my gift to this lovely couple was jewelry for everyone in their wedding but themselves. So, I made the extra pair for the bride. A little keepsake. A detail of her special day which otherwise may have been forgotten. A reminder that she chose lovely dresses with beautiful embroidery for her ladies. Maybe these earrings are taken out of their box to celebrate anniversaries? Other special occasions? I am lucky to be a part of these celebrations also! What about the groom to be you ask? Well, he just gets and extra tight hug in the receiving line because I know he wants his new bride to have the beautiful things in life and is content enough just to be able to share all that is beautiful with her. Forever.

18 September 2009

Craftland's Grand Opening hoo-ha

Perpetual Craftland is finally having their grand opening. I know I won't miss it. Especially with the alluring details: party pinatas, cheese logs, Narragansett Beer, glitter....  Oh, I forgot to share with you, the pinatas have prizes! Maybe I didn't really want to share, I want to win!

Here are the details so you don't miss out on the hoo-ha.....
Date: 18.september.2009
Time: 5pm - 9pm
Where: 235 Westminster Street
Providence, RI

Hope to see you there!

16 September 2009

please visit kind over matter tomorrow. you will be happy you did...

Tomorrow is just a few short hours away, which means that you are oh so close to seeing my feature on the lovely blog, kind over matter.

Did I mention that it is a giveaway? Of my jewelry? Indeed, it is. I can't spoil all of the fun and let you in on exactly what is being given away. Guess you will have to wait for tomorrow....


14 September 2009

Shipping destination: Australia Item: One Vintage Button Cocktail Ring

Whenever I travel to dreamy places I have a hard time coming home. Everything here is, well, bland. There is no grand "bonjour" to greet you every time you open a door and enter a new space. Nor are there lovely wrought iron balconies perfectly decorated with luscious blooms. Needless to say, I was glum as I entered customs on the border back into the states. And the glumness ensued until I went to pick up my little lady. She is almost five, has rust colored eyebrows, a white snout and a big black nose. And does she ever sing and dance when she greets you after five days apart. After snuggling with my furry darling I woke up to good news. My vintage button cocktail ring had been purchased and will be finding a permanent home in Australia. For some time now I have been meaning to write a post about this ring. I took some pictures of myself working away on this one of a kind creation. Since I am missing the ring (unique pieces are always hard to part with) it seems a good time to finally get to business and start showing some pictures.

Here are all of the raw materials. I didn't start taking the pictures at the very start of the project but you can get the general idea. I have the ring shank which I hammered over a rounded square mandrel and soldered posts onto. These posts will serve as rivets to hold everything together. But that is rushing, we will get there!

As you can see, I skipped some of the steps. I had this design drawn out with a sharpie and used it as a guide for my drilling and piercing. It is hard to see here but there is a lot of sanding that needs to be done.

Out come the 3M radial discs. I use these to smooth the silver after drilling and sawing. Generally I sand down to a very fine grit and then decide how I want the finish to look. If I want a scratchy texture I go back with one of the coarser grits and make the texture even and purposeful. 

I am most smitten with my tools. Here are all of my different grits of sandpaper on mandrels which makes cleaning rings dreamy.

See what I mean?

Sigh..... my hammers! The one on the left I found at an antique store in Maine. 

I made this tool for riveting way back in the day at college. I am addicted to buying and making tools. Even they can be fun and a work of art.

Yes, you can see a smile. I am using tools and making noise! The best way to make jewelry as far as I am concerned.

Making certain that the rivets are holding everything together nice and tight. And, that they are smooth and add to the design. 

Viola! The final product. 
The button acts as a background to a landscape of wildflowers dancing around in the wind. I decided that a scratchy finish suited this theme the best, showing movement and reflecting color and light. 

This ring is on a long journey, I hope it is exciting and lands in a great home where it will be worn with care.

08 September 2009

Away in Quebec

Well, my readers, I am away in Quebec and loving every second. There will be so many posts and photos once I return. It is just lovely here!

04 September 2009

sneak peak into my newspaper interview

 I am most excited as today is my debut in a local newspaper. A week ago today I had a reporter and photographer invade my little studio. They snapped photos, asked questions, peeked around, asked more questions, had me explain techniques while smiling for the camera, asked more questions, and then out came the digital camera. It was video time. 

Since I am currently waiting for my car to get an oil change I can't report any more about the interview because I have yet to see the article. All I know is there are lots of color shots and a woman who wanted me to buy the pictures from her gave me a call to tell me I have great hair.
Let me know what you think!

01 September 2009

if the sales aren't rolling in, why not give some earrings away?

Just a few short days ago at the Boston Open Market I decided that not enough people were leaving with my jewelry. So, it was time to give something away. My jewelry was begging to find a permanent home where it would be worn and not stored in anti-tarnish bags inside wine boxes. Adornment is the goal of jewelry, so how could I resist?

Up went the sign.....

Some lovely people signed up and hoped for the best. I numbered the entries, copied just the numbers down on some paper...

....folded them all up tight so I couldn't peak, and placed them in a lovely handmade chalice...

....and now, time to pick the number....

..........drumroll please.........

I promptly emailed the woman who was the seventh person to sign up.
And I discovered that the soon to be owner's name is Ellen, so no more mysterious #7.

Here is what she had to say in her reply to me:
"Wow, that's amazing; I never win anything! Thank you."
If memory serves, I believe she said this when she signed her email address into my book. So, I am happy to break her spell of losing!

I would like to thank Ellen for playing. I really enjoy packing up my pieces and sending them off to good homes.

Now you are wondering, what did she win? Well, here they are....

Poppy earrings in sterling silver and green aventurine. I am quite fond of this design and the green aventurine is just lovely. So many hues are captured in this stone from deep sea green, to turquoise and some teal. So Stunning.

There is only one pair left. I am fresh out of the beads and not sure when I will get to ordering more to make these again. The last pair are available on etsy, so if you hurry on over you can get the last pair of poppy earrings with this stone. Just click on the image above to be directed to my shop. And because I am still in the give-a-way spirit I will ship them for free if you mention this blog in the message to seller at checkout.

thanks for reading!