Wednesday, May 28, 2014

My Baby Turned 11

Deborah turned 11 this week.  Pretty hard to believe...

I still think of her like this...

and this...

(That's me)

and this.

(That's her daddy & my husband, Jake.)

There are several things I miss about baby Deborah- she was cuddly, with the most amazing chuckle, and less inclined to talk back...  
But there are some wonderfully cool things about watching her grow up and turn into a young woman- talking with her and hearing her opinions, watching her make smart choices and learn from her mistakes.

I love you, my precious Deborah!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Farmer's Market Begins!

The Farmer's Market season has begun up here in Fairbanks!
We've had a wonderful early and warm spring and I am so looking forward to seeing familiar faces after the long cold winter.

We start tomorrow and will be going until August.  We take our jewelry most Wednesdays and Saturdays- in fact, we rarely miss.

See you there!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Bloom Necklace

One of my favorite pieces from my last semester of metal-smithing is this necklace- partly because I am so pleased with how it turned out, but also because it took me four semesters of metal-smithing to complete the project.  I've come so far in my ability to envision a piece of jewelry and then bring it into being. It is  fun to look back at the small steps it took to complete the entire piece.

 My "Bloom" Necklace

I hammered the fold-formed copper piece during my first semester and soldered it to the nickel back at the beginning of my second semester.  Towards the end of that semester I cut out the flowers and soldered them onto the pendant base, but I didn't know what I wanted to do with it next.  It didn't feel complete and I didn't really have a direction or idea.  So I chose to let it simmer rather than push it.

A year later I took my third semester of metal-smithing and one of the first things I did was use letters to punch in the word bloom.  Finally, towards the end of this last (and fourth) semester I added the rivet, the crystals, the leather, the liver-of-sulfur and the chain.

And I am keeping this one.  It has been kind of cool to stretch out the process and see how my abilities slowly increased and allowed me to fully develop an idea.

The "Bloom" Pendant up-close

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Bead Soup Blog Party

Hello!  Welcome to my little space on the inter-webs.  I'm so excited to be part of Lori's soup party again! Honestly, she throws the best parties ever.

I was partnered with the bold and delightful RaMona Woolson of Jersey Girls Beadwork.  Here's the soup she sent me.

RaMona's Bead Soup

Such a lovely mix of blues and turquoises! Pretty humorous since I sent similar colors...

My Soup For RaMona

I knew pretty quick what I wanted to do with that cute whirlpool handmade focal bead.  I had seen a bracelet using a long handmade glass bead, and I wanted to try something similar.  I also have just recently made my first purchase of sari silk and I wanted to work that in, too.

Whirlpool Bracelet

I love the sound this bracelet makes when you wear it.  Ramona's swirly charms and the spin of the focal bead and the clinking of the glass beads make me smile.

I fell in love with the mosaic shell beads and wanted to work with them next.  I had an idea, but it didn't quite work at first...  It wasn't until I pulled out this large handmade glass bead from my stash that I knew what I was doing. And again, I pulled from my new stash of sari silk!

Caribbean shores bracelet

I find I'm mostly using large lobster clasps with my pieces right now because more of my customers prefer the ability to change the length of their bracelets and necklaces.  I'm using a lot of extension chains to make them longer and varying the size of the lobster clasps.  Which means I've got a lot of lovely clasps stashed away and I'm not using them.  

And the sweet leaf clasp RaMona sent me was leaving me in a bit of a confusion.  What was I going to do with it?  Then Lori sent her bead soup tips e-mail and I jumped on the challenge of creating earrings with a clasp.  Thank you, Lori!

Bloom Where You Are Planted Earrings

I pulled out my green wire and combined it with my stash of Lucite flowers & leaves to create these little cuties.  And now I want to pull out some of my tucked away and unused clasps and make lots of asymmetrical wire-wrapped earrings.

Finally, those sodalite leaves were telling me they wanted to be long dangly earrings.

Leaf Wrap Earrings

I liked working with the wire so much on the clasp earrings that I did some wrapping here, too.  It was fun to combine the different colors of silver.

I still haven't done anything with the cute birdie, the large shell beads or the blue pearls, but I have some ideas kicking around in my brain that haven't quite gelled yet.  I'm looking forward to working with them this summer.

Thank you, Ramona for sharing your stash and playing beads with me!
Thank you, Lori for your work putting this party together!

Go ahead and visit some of the other lovely bead artists participating in the Bead Soup Blog Party!
Soup's on!

Enamel Pendants

A few of the things I've been working on this semester in the metals shop.

My first Tree Branch pendant.

I cast the branch in bronze, then cut the flowers out of a sheet of copper.  I shaped the flowers and then enameled them in a kiln.  Finally I attached them to the branch. 

My second Tree Branch pendant

I'm happier with the enameling, but still like the first one best. 

Bead Soup!

Good Morning, fellow Bead Soupers!

I hate to admit this, but I am currently experiencing technical difficulties (partially contributed to by finals week) and my post isn't up yet.  I have completed my pieces and my photos are mostly finished.  I expect to have my post up today.

Please enjoy the rest of Lori's fabulous soup!
And if you think of it, come back later today or tomorrow. =)