Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Piece of My Heart

I just completed my favorite-ever-so-far project for my lovely friend, Karen.  It is a beautiful tribute to the dogs in her life, and I couldn't be happier with how sweet it turned out.  It is too long for my little photography set-up, so I had to take photos with it all bunched together.  Hopefully, these photos will give a sense of the grandeur of this necklace.  This is a mix of silver, brass, and copper, with beautiful Ocean Jasper beads.  The main center piece reads: "While each dog that passes from my life takes a piece of my heart, each new dog gives me a piece of theirs."

The back reads:  "Dogs are not my whole life, they make my life whole."  There are 17 little doggie tags throughout this necklace, one for each of the dogs she has ever had.  Karen even adopted #17 midway through the project, so of course, now I am scheming how to add #18 and so on in the future . . .

Karen approached me a couple of months ago with the idea for this necklace.  She couldn't sleep until she had drawn it out and turned it over to me to work on.  I know that feeling - sometimes that's how creativity works . . . it's like a living thing that needs to be cared for.  This necklace took a certain kind of energy and momentum to build.  I searched out just the right beads to be earthy and tie the three metals together.  Karen knew exactly what she wanted in her head and she drew it out perfectly but it took me a little while and a few "meetings of the minds" for me to really catch her vision for this necklace and how exactly to construct it.  Boy, am I glad I did!

This close-up shot of the pendant shows my favorite kind of attachment.  It is a hammered and riveted wire bail that I learned from Susan Lenart Kazmer's class during the Tucson Gem Show back in 2009.  Karen even agreed to let me take a photo of her wearing her new necklace.  This is headless Karen, standing in my studio:

Happy Graduation to Brittany!

 This is my cute niece, Brittany.  She is kind and brave and funny.  She just graduated from High School and is headed off to college in the fall.  She has a special place in my heart.  Brittany is a year less a week older than my daughter, Zoe.  They have "grown up" together, and I miss living close.  So glad to know her and be a part of her cheering squad.  Way to go Brittany!

 Here is a necklace to help Brittany celebrate:

Love you!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Missionary Dog Tags

My awesome nephew, Jaron, is currently serving an LDS mission in Angola!  He wrote home recently asking if Aunt Chan would make him dog tags to represent his mission.  I drew it all out to make sure everything would fit and nearly had to close my eyes while I stamped - just in case I messed it up (silver is so expensive these days).  The first tag has his name, the dates of his service, and the two missions he has served in (originally called to Mozambique, but serving in Angola which was recently made into its own official mission).  The second tag has a scripture that is encouraging and has special meaning to him:  "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; and then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes"  (Doctrine & Covenants 121:7-8).  I am so impressed with these courageous young men who give up 2 very critical years of their lives to serve the Lord, Jesus Christ, and people all over the world.  My nephew spends his time teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and helping in a local orphanage.  His older brother, Tyler, is also serving a mission in Peru.  They are being transformed into amazing young men and I really respect their willingness to give and serve.  Way to go, Jaron and Tyler!  You are such good examples to me!

Flower Inspiration

My all time favorite jewelry clients are a group of 3rd grade teachers at our last elementary school, Temecula Luiseno.  They have kept me so busy this past year with jewelry projects!  It's been really fun and I am so grateful!  They asked me to make a simple and beautiful gift to give to their room mothers - you know - something that would fit all personality types and styles.  So I put together this sterling silver flower necklace.  The flower charms are made by my friend, Amy, at Hip Chick Beads, and her charms show up now and then in my jewelry designs.  She has some of the cutest beads and charms and has been a source of great inspiration to me for years.  She even spent the good part of an evening on the phone helping me figure out a soldering issue I had years ago.  In fact, her glass flower beads pictured below, are the original inspiration that got me interested in lampworking in the first place!

Silver Goodness for Carleen

Here are some silver charms for Carleen.
A family necklace:

A wedding necklace for her daughter:

And a new baby charm to add to a gift that she has already given: