31 May 2012

welcome spring!

Seeing as there is one day left in May I decided to post a mix of white spring blooms on the blog so I can show off my birthday flower, lily of the valley.

By the way, I had a great birthday. I am ever so grateful for all of the sweet wishes I received throughout the day. Birthdays can be wonderful when a girl receives nothing but compliments, well wishes and love.

happy spring!
xo, kim

29 May 2012

indie designs + handmade: what i wore

The other day I had fun with shades of grey and repeating shapes. 
But don't I do this most days? It seems to be my uniform as of late.
 I adore this poketo shirt, every time I wear it I find a new image in that tree. It reminds me of the sort of 'find ten items out of place in this picture' games you'd find on the back of cereal boxes as a kid. My new leaf hair pin by the littlest bean is my new favorite accessory for this shirt. [Actually, it is my new favorite for just about every shirt.] The color is perfect and it mimics the leaves found in this fun tree. 

As I've had these Elliot Bird Studs by Figs + Ginger for over a year these have always been my earrings of choice to wear with this shirt. Grey birds are just the perfect accent!

I'm sure your aren't surprised to learn that I wore a pair of vans [as well as a shifted skirt] with the items above. I adore my flocked vans. I will wear them until threadbare and sole-less. 

happy tuesday!
xo, kim

28 May 2012

makin' it [old school edition]

Back in my days at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth we were set to the task of learning stone setting. Not buying a pre-made setting and putting a stone in it stone setting, but fabricating settings to set the stone in sort of stone setting. 
 We were encouraged to do some practice pieces just to get the hang of making these settings. 

 But I had just come back from Blithewold Gardens with a leaf similar to the one above. I was in love with its simplicity, irregular edges and subtle movement. I ordered some silver and went to a local stone cutter to get an oval peridot to capture the color of the leaf. After some sawing, hammering, forming and soldering I managed to manipulate a sheet of silver into a leaf and set the peridot. Not well, but well enough that it is still in place eleven years later. 

Here's my gingko hair pin. I recently shined it up a little and decided to make a point of wearing it. 

After I took this picture I realized how much fun I had making this piece, all of the tools I used, a new way of adding color... and concluded that I needed to make more. More to sell, more to make into brooches, hair pins and bracelets...a series.

It won't be soon but these are on my long list of things to make. I look forward to sharing a new series with you. Hopefully sooner than later.

happy monday! xo, kim

ps: this is a post meant to connect with my customers and readers. it is not a DIY post. please read this post if you think otherwise. 

24 May 2012

Our visit to The Steel Yard

Last Friday, I went to The Steel Yard open house. It's been a while since I visited. This time I was able to see demos, one of my favorites being the blacksmithing demo as it was the first time I've seen a blacksmith in action. I so want to take a class now. 

It was a nice surprise to see Amie Plante giving some jewelry making demonstrations. [I have been lucky enough to have her guidance through some metal projects.] I had a great time browsing her sample pieces. I love her chased pieces which she enameled after. They are simply gorgeous, especially for samples. 

There was a yard sale there too and this was my favorite item.

But I also loved the furnace for blacksmithing. Especially after I saw the demo.

The Steel Yard has made leaps and bounds from its meager beginnings. Even the pathways are well designed. I recall the early days where windows were optional.

This reminds me of the Ikea project where folks lived in the Metro station in Paris. Do you think you could fit in here and live amongst an iron forge?

I do love their icon.

This is another detail of the outdoor blacksmithing furnace.

I just love seeing The Steel Yard's trash barrels and bike racks around town. They are always well designed and I love knowing they are handmade.

Best pooper scooper sign I've ever seen.

This picture makes me miss shared studio spaces. It may seem silly but it is a warm reminder of my college days. We had icons like JFK asking us 'ask not what your studio can do for you, but what you can do for your studio' and Sly telling us to wear safety glasses. How, I miss those days.

happy thursday!
xo, kim  

23 May 2012

welcome spring!

Spring has flown by, flowers have bloomed and wilted as quickly as they came. Since I have been so tardy with my welcome spring posts I thought I would arrange all future posts by color. This way none of our favorite spring blooms get lost in the shuffle.
For no special reason, I am starting with pink...

Pink dogwoods are always a favorite.

They are simple, cheery and just as amazing alone or huddled together on a branch.

These sweet blossoms (someone help me here on the name) are the perfect start to spring. And I love how it looks like pink snow when these trees shed their flowers. 

And the most vibrant of spring pinks are always bleeding hearts.

But these azaleas are quite bright as well. 

Anemone clematis are one of my favorite spring vines. These are the palest of pink and well accented with yellow stamen. I do wish these stayed around longer. 

This yard is always full of lovely color combinations. Everything compliments these blue tiled steps. 

Rainy day walks can make for nice pictures. 

Something must be brewing in our neighborhood. I've been seeing pink spots on the curbs. I suspect there is road work in our future. 

I'm smitten with my pink English Daisies on the fire escape. I check on them everyday to look for new buds. They are so innocent looking.

This iris is certainly more peach than pink but it is a lovely site, especially with its orange accents.

There are so many spring blooms which are so simple yet so stunning.

After being starved for color all winter, any and all blooms are welcome.

With this pink spring photo collection all together I've realized the contrast between the bright and sunny photos...

...and the rainy day photos. I just can't choose a favorite. Well, I can choose a favorite weather to take my strolls in but seeing raindrops collecting on petals is a pretty site on film. 

Which do you prefer? Raindrop photos? Sunny ones? Walks in the sun? Puddle jumping? Or walks right after the rain? 

One of my favorite color combinations are pink, orange and yellow. It's daring but so lovely.

Dahlias are another favorite. I've always wanted these in my garden. Maybe next year...

happy wednesday!
xo, kim

22 May 2012

thrifted + handmade: what i wore

I've been doing a lot of thrift shopping lately. It is the perfect, cheap retail therapy. I am sure you know by now if I am not thrifting I am generally buying something handmade.

This past Monday I had one new-to-me skirt and a brand new Xenotees shirt I couldn't wait to pair together. The skirt is from Savers. It is a Gap skirt I wanted when it first hit their shops. At the time I was practical and bought the corduroy version I could wear to my office job but I always regretting not having the jean version, until now. The t-shirt is an addition to my saw blade collection by Xenotees. I'm a girl who loves power tools. And, yes, I wore my checkered Vans. They are just too perfect for summer weather.

It's a little difficult to tell in the montage above but I wore these earrings by me. They seemed to add just the right burst of color to my getup. And I needed a little more handmade in my Monday attire.

happy, happy tuesday!
xo, kim

21 May 2012

makin' it

Here's what I've been making this past week...

 ..forget-me-not necklaces.
I first start with cleaning the castings then I solder a jump ring onto the back of the flower for a bail. I've left out some of the boring parts like cleaning solder from every last piece. You can thank me!

 There are lots of tools and many steps needed to make these seemingly simple necklaces.

 For the clasp I start by making a small loop at the end of silver wire.

 I then use some flat pliers to get my first bend in.

Since the clasps are so tiny I need to alternate pliers to get my bends in. 

 My clasps are designed to mimic the shape of the petals in the forget-me-not flower. It's little details like that I love putting into my work.

 Next I hammer the round wire, just a little, to add some strength to the clasps. 

 The clasps on these get soldered after the flower has been cleaned [of solder and fire scale], textured, oxidized and tumbled. This is because the flowers are so perfectly tiny and won't fit over the clasps. 

Here is the clasp-cleaning lineup. Once I clean the solder from the clasps I oxidize the chains to match the oxidized flowers. The ones that remain silver get brass brushed for a little shine.

Here are the lovely results after my days of production. I am smitten with the oxidized one and wear it almost daily. I don't often have the luxury of making jewelry for myself but I made an exception for this necklace and even made myself earrings to match. 

happy monday!
what have you been making?

xo, kim

ps: this is a post meant to connect with my customers and readers. it is not a DIY post. please read this post if you think otherwise.

thanks for reading!