Thursday, November 21, 2013

"To the Moon and Back" Necklace

My friend, Jana, wanted me to make her a special necklace to remind her of her grandchildren.  We got together and collaborated and here's what we got . . . quite possibly the cutest necklace I've ever made!  This is a giant (2" x 2") hammered sterling silver heart with her grandchildren's names stamped around the edges.  Their birthstone crystals dangle from the middle.  The sweet moon says "I love you to the moon and back," and the circle charm says "NONNIE."

Custom Jewelry for Christmas!

Here's a look at some of the jewelry I completed this week as part of the show at the school.  First is a necklace for a new dad.  The chain is heavily oxidized and the edges of the name stick are hammered.


Next, a hammered brass heart with "my love" stamped in French.  This heart has a riveted bail and a soft leather cord hand-wrapped in silver wire.  I've used a precious faceted natural ruby and a beautiful pearl to symbolize love and purity.

A hammered circle pendant with a coin pearl.

A mother's necklace accented with a pearl.

"Strength" and "shine" necklaces with copper.

A hammered mother's necklace with a coin pearl.  
These are so fun to make, I love it every time.

Here is another one:

A "shine" pendant with a brass star.  
The leather cord is finished with silver accents.

Another circle pendant, this time for a grandmother.

Here's a bracelet for Kelly.  I made one for her mom a while back.  This shows the names of her kids on the circles, and her husband's and her initials on the square.

On the back are their birth dates and wedding date.

An initial necklace with a pearl.

This is a "family" necklace for Jessica.  It includes her three children and their birth dates, a stick representing her marriage, and a precious pearl.

I love this "shine" pendant and had to snap a photo of all three metals together: copper, silver, and brass.  Each star is hand cut and seems to have it's own personality and movement.  In my mind, the stars are jumping with great enthusiasm!

Here's a great necklace for Susie.  It has the initials of her children and their birth dates wrapped around the edges.  SO cute!

A lovely gift for Tim's wife.  
This is a bracelet with their three kids' names.

Birth dates on back:

And a fun necklace that includes their wedding date.

Handcrafted Jewelry Samples

I was recently invited to do another mini-show at our Elementary School in Temecula.  These are some of my favorite people, and I wanted to display some beautiful samples to give them an idea of what I can make.  Here are a few of the pieces I made for the show:

A gemstone quote bracelet with a pierced heart.

A copper cuff with a silver and bronze hand-cut sun with one of my favorite Roald Dahl Quotes:

"If you have GOOD thoughts
they will SHINE out of your
face like SUNBEAMS and
you will always look BEAUTIFUL"

A lovely silver and bronze heart pendant on a soft leather cord.

Below is a cast silver initial charm with a double strand of London Blue Topaz and white pearl accents:

Here is a sweet mother's pendant with a ruby and pearl.  The ruby stands for love and the pearl symbolizes purity.

Next is a hammered brass heart pendant with a ruby and a soft pink pearl.  The leather cord is hand-wrapped with silver wire.

Another hammered brass heart, but this one has a riveted bail and a larger ruby and champagne pearl.  "Mon ami" means my friend.

Here is a medium silver quote pendant for my favorite science buff.
Accented with swarovski crystal and seed pearls.

This is my own mother's necklace with my three kids' names, including middle names.

A gemstone cluster necklace on soft deerskin leather with silver accents.

Below is my newest everyday necklace.  The front of the charm says "brave," the back says "goddess."  I've wired it into a beautiful silver and mixed gemstone necklace.  This necklace is the perfect reminder of two dear friends, as the charm is from Dianna when I moved away, and the technique is similar to what Tawny would do.  I think of both of them every time I wear it.  It is so versatile!  Just about everything I wear matches it somehow . . .

Friday, November 8, 2013

Come Take a Tour of My Studio . . .

I love to visit art studios.  It is so fascinating for me to see how artists use their space.  Inspiration, their equipment, the whole vibe of their studio space really captures my attention.  I have been spending a lot of time organizing and cleaning my studio so that it is more functional for me to use.  I plan on spending a lot of time here over the next long while.  I am blessed to have an amazing space to use for my studio.  It is considered the office or spare bedroom (although there are no closets) of our rental home.  It is located down the hall just off of the family room on the first floor.


Here's a close-up of the door . . . I just had to hang the hippie sign for you to see.  My dear friends, Tawny and Diana gave it to me when we were all neighbors in Utah.  Back then, I was crazy into tie-dye and I guess they just couldn't resist the hippie sign.  I was also one of those really lucky people to have not just one, but TWO rooms of my own.  I had a fabulous studio (with a sink!) in the basement as well as a spare bedroom on the first floor.  Both rooms were constantly in use for some sort of project or another and the nice thing was that they both had solid (not see-through) doors that you could close when you didn't want to deal with the creative mess.  You can take a little tour of my old studio here.  Here's a close-up of the hippie sign:

Let's just do this methodically . . . I'll start from the wall on the left just as you walk into the room.  This is my "beading station."  I keep all of my beads and findings organized here.  Now that I'm seeing the photo in blog form, I am realizing that I have more cleaning to do!  See that teapot on the top shelf?  A dear friend gave me that hoping that I could do something creative with it.  Wouldn't it be fun to have a necklace made out of copper from an old teapot?  I'm thinking that one through in my head.  If you look to the right of the picture you can see a black tool with a long skinny black handle.  That is my bench blade.  I use it to cut large pieces of sheet metal that I can't cut with my jeweler's saw.  It could cut off your finger!

Next up is my torch table.  We just got this unpacked and hooked up this week!  I am so excited to fire it up . . . I've missed my torch-work.  My torch is mounted right in the middle of the front edge of the table.  Underneath the table is my glass cabinet.  I store all of my glass rods here.  The torch is hooked up to the oxygen and propane tanks in the corner.  That large propane tank is leftover from our old landscaping business.  My husband used to hook it up to a heater for his employees to use while they were laying stone-work in cold weather.  Now, it is mine, and I have never had to re-fill it, it is so big!  The skinny tank is oxygen and it makes the flame nice and hot.  I use more oxygen than propane and will probably have to have it re-filled soon.  Just ignore those moving boxes along the wall . . . one of these days I will see what's inside of them and figure out if it really was useful enough to pack and move with us from house to house.

Here is a shot of my work table.  I just hung that inspiration board on the back wall.  I have good natural light coming in from the window in this spot.  

Here is a close-up of my work table.  It is very clean and organized right now.

Below are my metal alphabet stamps.  I keep them close because they are heavy!  And I use them all the time.

Just to the right of my inspiration board is this lovely contraption.  It is an old dresser that I keep some supplies in.  I have raised it up on stilts to make it a better height because I'm tall.  One day I will take it outside and refinish it, but for now it is just as useful in its ugly old state as it will be in its refinished beautiful state.  I do all of my jewelry gift-wrapping here and that's why my ribbon is in this area.  I attached two curtain rod holders to the wall and strung up all of the ribbon onto a wooden dowel to make it easy to access.  I love the bright pop of color in the room!  The small blue paintings were made by two of my kids in my friend, LeeAnn's summer art class.

This is my soldering station.  You can see a few torches, my pickle pot, a fire brick and a tripod on the table top.  My tumbler is on the lower shelf, and my photography set-up (more about that later) is on the floor.

Not to be forgotten is my cheering section.  My frog obsession started when I was a very young girl.  You will find frogs hidden all over my house.  For several years every birthday or Christmas present had to do with a frog.  Or if a friend was traveling somewhere they always brought me a frog present.  I still have a whole box of frogs from moving 11 years ago that I haven't opened.  You never know when a frog will be useful . . .