Thursday, January 28, 2010

Gonna Move...

My parents, that is. I have been alluding to this for weeks. My folks bought 5 acres in the Texas Hill Country with another couple. They are planning to build what they have dubbed a "Barnominium", basically a metal building with living quarters. Half of the building will house both couples RVs. This is their retirement plan, and I have mixed feelings about it. The part of Texas that they are moving to is the most beautiful part in my opinion (at least what I have seen, never been to far West Texas). I feel deeply connected to the Hill Country, having grown up camping there, and later taking Frank on his first camping trips to Garner, Pedernales falls, and Krause Springs. Just looking at the pictures above makes my heart ache to be laying in a hammock right there under those trees. However, Frank and I are not moving to the Hill Country, or even to Austin. At least not anytime soon. Did I mention that Frank started college last week? I think I did. We are pretty settled in Fort Worth, and though I hope to move to Austin in the future it looks like we will be separated from my parents for a few years. Believe me, I will be visiting as much as possible. Someone told them that they will have more company than they can imagine. Their property is not on a river, but near three rivers and a beautiful creek in Wimberley. You can bet on me floating and paddling a bunch in the near future!

I have been helping my mom start the massive project of de-cluttering and down sizing their belongings. We have dealt (mostly) with their Christmas decorations, and barely scratched the surface on art supplies. Mom had knee surgery today, all went well, and we'll have to see how mobile she is before we get back to work. I'm home today, but doing whatever I can to avoid working. It is dark and rainy and I just don't want to do paper work or even sit down at my work bench. Not sure why.

When I sat down to write this post I had this song in my head, one of my favorites.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Etsy Front Page

My Stacked Pebble Ring was on Etsy's front page today. I only found out because I have a feature on facebook where etsy automatically updated my profile if I am featured. Have you heard about that? It is called "my etsy".

Monday, January 25, 2010

Turquiose ring and treasures

I finished this ring on Saturday. It was supposed to be one of my Ring a Day rings, but I am so far behind I don't know if it counts. I won't be able to go back and catch up, so I'll have to see if I can just start from here again.

I was at my parent's house most of last week helping mom to sort, organize and pack up art supplies. My mom is an artist who knows how to do all kinds of techniques, and therefore has tools and supplies for all kinds of art. Plus she sold art supplies for 15 years, I think. Can you imagine? We worked on art supplies for 3 days and still have a whole room full of fabrics and more to go through. I have been selectively bringing home some treasures. The copper vase below is an early metal piece that I made. It is a flared piece of copper tubing with a soldered bottom and an etched design. I also scored big time when I found this bag of sterling scraps. I bought that silver in probably 1998 when it was much cheaper. The project didn't work out, and I lost track of the scraps at my parent's house. I will be promptly mailing those in this week!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Etsy Front Page

My Mod Fiber Ring made the front page of Etsy today!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Craft Cult Vault

Someone in Etsy Metal posted a link to the Craft Cult Vault. I searched my etsy username and didn't realize I had been on Etsy's front page on January 1st!

Two Donations Made

I was wondering earlier today how to show people that I have indeed donated their money to Doctors without Borders. I decided to post these two letters that I received after making my donations. So far one half of my sales have totaled $63 in donations. That is not a lot of money, but I figure every little bit helps. Here is a video about what rescue workers are dealing with in Haiti.

Charity can be stylish too

I have to admit I stole that title from a customer today who blogged about the ring they bought. I have extended my donation period to Doctors without Borders. I really wanted to be able to donate more, especially after seeing that there was another 6.1 magnitude earthquake this morning in Haiti. I haven't decided how long to extend the donation, but for now 50% of all sales in my etsy shop will be donated to Doctors without Borders.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Win This Ring/Haiti Donation

The wonderful Cat of Uncorked purchased this ring from my etsy shop last night and is now giving it away on her blog. One half of the sale of this ring is being donated to Doctors without Borders for their Haiti relief work. You can enter to win the ring here.

Don't forget, half of all my sales will be donated through tomorrow. Visit my esty shop, all items are included.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Busy times ahead

Yes, I have fallen behind on the Ring A Day challenge, and I'm not sure if I will catch up. Normally winter is really, really slow around here, but not so this year. My husband Frank is starting college(!) on Tuesday. This is a big deal for him, for us, and I am so proud of him and excited for him. We have been gearing up for this busy time and getting him all prepared for school. Also, I will be away from home, for the most part, for the next two weeks or more. I mentioned last week that my parents will be moving, and more details are still to come. Mom and dad live in the home that I grew up in, and which we moved into in 1987. As you can imagine they have amassed quite a collection of things that now need to be sorted, donated and sold. Mom has a wonderfully large sewing studio filled with art supplies and fabrics. All you local crafters stay tuned because we will be having a sale soon! I'll post pictures this week of her studio and the progress we make.

I should have been working on jewelry yesterday to both catch up and get ahead. I just couldn't resist dragging my crew to the Trinity trail because the weather was absolutely perfect. We may not have weather like that again for months. It was that kind of perfect weather where the sun warms your face and a slight breeze cools you at the same time. My favorite kind of day!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Donating to Doctors Without Borders

I have been searching for something that I can do to contribute to the Haitian Relief effort. I have decided to donate 50% of all sales through Tuesday to Doctors Without Borders. Your jewelry purchase will help to treat critically wounded Haitian citizens.

If you want to help but don't need jewelry here is a list of charitable organizations and NGO's that you can donate to. Here are some resources for other crafters who are doing similar fundraisers.

Pebble Pendant and Possible Stamp

I finally finished this pendant. I had it almost done a couple of months ago and broke something. At that time I had to set it aside because I was so busy with getting ready for my December shows. Well, it is done now and I'm pretty happy with it. It was a custom order, intended for a large chain. I like the results and plan to adapt it to my usual chain size. Stay tuned for more triplet pendants.
I'm also working on ideas for a new makers mark stamp. Currently I use a stamp with my initials that I designed. I really want to have my last name on my work so that someone would know who made the piece. Here is my current stamp, it is also too large to put on many items.

Here are some ideas. What do you think about the font? Should I stick with the one that I already used before? I designed that one, and do like it. I found a website where you can design your own font that you upload into their website and then download onto your computer. I might try that too. It would be pretty cool to have your own handwriting as a font!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ring a day #11 & #12

Here are my rings for days 11 and 12. The top one is a brass marquise that I made with my hydraulic press a while back. I really love that shape. It is soldered to a slice of square tubing that moves around the square band.

The second ring is made with 1/4" dapped discs, connected like a chain. Basically my Segmented Saucer earrings made into a ring.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fiber jewelry

I made these fiber pieces for my shows in Austin last month and have finally gotten decent photos of them. Some of these are going to the gift shop at the Southwest School of Art and Craft in San Antonio. I'm excited to have work there again, and that is also the location of the Fiesta Art Fair that I will be participating in for the second year in a row. What doesn't go to the gift shop will be listed in my etsy shop soon, so stay tuned.

Monday, January 11, 2010


I started this dress on my birthday in November. I have been so busy with shows and Christmas that yesterday was my first chance to finish it. This is Simplicity 2584 designed by Cynthia Rowley. I love it, it is comfortable and cute. I made it with navy blue linen that is a really nice quality, purchased at Joann's with a coupon. I added turquoise piping for contrast around the yoke. I will definitely remake this pattern, and there are several different versions to chose from. I have to admit that my mom did some of the finishing for me. I'm not good at hemming, so she did that and the zipper. I don't mind taking advantage of her help and instruction as she will be moving away in the near future (more on that later).

Playing around

These are my weekend rings for Ring a Day, numbers 9 and 10. I don't feel guilty for doing something silly for the weekend!

Friday, January 8, 2010

All Caught Up!

I did some serious work today! Despite freezing my buns off, I finished and photographed all three of these rings for the Ring a Day project. I'm really happy with all of them too.
I think today was the day of green rings.

They are, from top to bottom:

Saucer ring with Peridot. 1" diameter, big and fun.

Reindeer moss set under a clear quartz cabochon.

Three Jade (?) beads tube riveted onto a sterling band.

Mom's Shawl

I finally got a picture of mom wearing her shawl. I made it with Noro Kureyon Sock yarn and the All Shawl pattern. I love both! I could have made the entire long version with one skein, but was afraid I would run out of yarn so I left out a couple of rows. I have heard some people complain about working with Noro, but it is one of my favorite yarns. The color changes are really beautiful. The yarn is a silk wool blend, but to me looks and feels like linen. It is not the softest stuff, but the colors make up for that to me.
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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Crazy days...

In the midst of the craziness of yesterday (see post below) I was able to step away from the stress and have my mom make a dress form for me (and around me!). You can probably tell that I wasn't thrilled to have the picture above taken, but it is pretty funny and now I'm glad mom took it. I felt for a couple of hours like Frida Kahlo and I can't imagine being stuck in something like that for very long. It was quite uncomfortable, but in the end will be very helpful in sewing for myself. My vanity forces me to mention that I am actually not (quite) that lumpy. There was a tshirt under there causing some funny bumpy areas, I swear.

Do freezing temps make for more beautiful sunsets?

Today was no less crazy, although no stress was involved. We got to hang out with one of my best friends and her family. We only see each other about 2 or 3 times a year, and I was so glad that today was the day. Christi is a friend from college who I have kept in close contact with throughout the years. She and her husband live in Colorado and have three beautiful kiddos.

It is so cold here! Christi even said this would be cold for Colorado, so take that all you non Texans making fun of me right now. Here Frank and I are sipping lattes by the heater. I realized recently that there really aren't that many pictures of me, and even fewer of us together. Frank got me a flexible tripod for Christmas, so now I can take more pictures of both of us! I love it, and think it will be great for hiking, camping and travel too, plus I can take better low light pictures without my flash.

The point of showing how busy I am is to say that I have gotten sidetracked from the Ring a Day project. I have lots of ideas to fufill and am no less motivated. I will be catching up tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Scam Alert!

I woke up this morning to five calls and some texts from people who got a scam email from me. I sincerely apologize if you received this too. Someone has hacked into my email account and also changed my password to lock me out. They also were able to delete my facebook account. I can't contact my mailing list to let them all know it is a scam. I am NOT in Barcelona and not asking for your money!
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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Ring a day #5

Two of my goals for the Ring a Day project are to experiment, and to use up things that I have lying around my studio. I have lots of unfinished projects, pieces of jewelry that need to be fixed, or scraps of metal that would normally get recycled. This ring accomplishes both of those goals. I have had these beads in a drawer for months, wanting to somehow incorporate them into a design. I finally did that, experimenting with how to connect them. Also, the bezel of this ring was sitting in my scrap bowl and needed to be fixed. I'm really happy with the outcome, I think this ring is a lot of fun. There are still design and technical issues to be resolved if I want to use beads like these again, but they do open up a ton of new possibilities.

My Ladies

These two ladies are two of my oldest and bestest friends. Gretchen, on the left lives in Maryland now and was in town for Christmas. Susan lives nearby with her cute family, but unfortunately we don't see each other too often. I was lucky enough to see these ladies three times within about a week and a half over Christmas. That is what the holidays are really all about, aren't they?!

I became friends with Gretchen in 1990 and we have upheld a long standing Christmas tradition. Frank and I go over to the Schermerhorn house on Christmas evening to spend time with the whole gang and exchange gifts. I am so, so happy that this tradition has endured.

In the picture of us above you can see Gretchen wearing the scarf that I made her.

Gretchen got me this wonderful bag from a talented Baltimore lady whose business is called Pistol Stitched. I first saw these bags at Fiesta two years ago and fell in love. I'm thrilled to have one of my own. I love that the handles are handmade as well as the bags!

Susan made these delicious chocolate truffles for us. Aren't they pretty?!

Sarah Schermerhorn, the mama to these two is the maker of my wonderful quilt! Aren't I lucky to have such wonderful friends?