Saturday, December 10, 2016

Christmas Spirit

I'll be honest....I don't have much Christmas spirit. It's been a shitty year...I'm not in the mood.  But I decided to stop at Pettiti's Garden Center in Avon on the way home today.  After looking around I found myself smiling.  They have one of the best displays of Christmas trees and decorations. Everything from pink bunnies...purple fairies...sleepy dinosaurs hiding among the trees. There is so much you can't see it all in one visit.

Maybe I have some Christmas Spirit after all. I think I will go back tomorrow to take another look.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Bead and Button Classes

It's that time of year again....the Bead and Button Show catalog will be coming out soon.  Once again I will be teaching with my partner in crime, Cristina Leonard.  Cris was recently featured on Facebook on the Society of North American Goldsmiths page.

Congraulations Cris!!  Such a well deserved honor!!

So once again we will be offering classes at Bead and Button. Here is a sneak peak....

Boho Chic Disc Earrings

Buttercup Earrings In Silver And Bronze

Dangling Bead Earring

PMC Fine Silver Bracelet

Fine Silver Shadow Box Pendant
PMC Fine Silver Earrings With Scratch Foam

Twisted Bronze Bracelets

Over the next couple of weeks I will post about each class, the date, the length of the class and the techniques you will learn.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

It's time to make the donuts....or in my case...the jewelry

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  It's time (for me at least) to focus on making jewelry.  I have been away from it for a while. My day job has required a lot of my time over the last year and I have been trying to spend time with my Mom on Saturday's.  This year has brought some health issues and family issues that have made it an emotional roller coaster. The stress has brought on a kind of mental paralysis. When I'm not going 110 miles an hour I'm either binge-watching TV or endlessly surfing the internet. It's been a means of escape but now I think it's time to get back to it. 

So....this weekend I purged my closest.....I know, I know...nothing to do with making jewelry.  But I filled 5 bags with clothes that have just been hanging around (literally) for years. I look in the closet now and feel good. I actually have room for my clothes to hang properly and not get all smashed and wrinkled. My colors are slowing being winnowed down to black, grey, and white. And I'm OK with that. Goes good with my grey hair. There are a few dashes of color...but not many. My boss teases me about wearing black all the time. It's just easy to wear black.  Here is an interesting article on "8 Reasons Successful People Are Choosing to Wear the Same Thing Every Day". 

But...I digress...back to the jewelry.  I have been spending a few hours here and there cleaning, sorting and purging the studio. Like most students, with each class that I took, I would buy supplies and equipment to continue the technique on my own. Some stuck and others didn't. As my skills advanced I bought better tools.  Well...I now have a couple of storage boxes full of little used equipment and beads to move out. I have a ways to go in this process since I have boxes in the garage full of teaching supplies that need to be sorted and stored. As with my closet, it feels good to purge and frees up space both mentally and physically for new work. 

As I move around the room I am drawn in by various keepsakes and remembrances.  I have a ton of books.  I am a card carrying member of the book whore club....that would be a great name for a book club by the way.  I think it goes back to when I was a kid. My dad used to buy Reader's Digest books. The one I remember the most was 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea.  In fact I think that one might merit a re-read sometime soon.

But I always surround myself with books. They come and go. Some I read and then move them on to their next owner. Others I keep. 

More books....

After coming back from the Color on Metal workshop with Deb Karash, I pulled out a couple of books I've had on the shelf....Pollen and Seeds.  Yes I know...exciting, page-turning books...but the pictures have these great color combinations and bizarre shapes.  Wild Acre should check these out. To round out the series, I still need to get Fruit: Edible, Inedible, Incredible.  I live such an exciting life. 


I seem to be cramming things in every where.  I have rocks sent to me by my sister from Montana and rocks from my brother's beach in Vermillion.  Cats and vases and a Botticelli. 

The Botticelli is Venus and Three Graces Presenting Gifts to a Young Woman. Below is just a small piece of it. I saw this it the Louvre and had to sit in front of it for a while. I think it is one of the most beautiful pieces of art I have ever seen.  It was found in a villa under a coat of whitewash.  

And elephants.  For some reason I have started a small elephant collection.  I also have more than a few silver pendants from India with Ganesh represented on them.

Various bits I've collected. The bottles are old lemonade bottles are from France and hold oil and water for when I work in metal clay. The Eiffel Tower one of those touristy things you buy when you are in Paris. The set of keys hanging off the tower are old keys from France. 

Two of my favorite "Bad Boys" least they thought they were on a long ago summer day at Put-In-Bay.  Doug and Lou were both in the military and I've never felt more safe than being surrounded by these two.

And Sophie has her own basket on the shelf to sleep in.  When she isn't walking all over my beads you can find her in the basket. 

 And what studio would be complete without a baby head with a rhino horn and a scary little girl. I usually look like her just after I get home from work.

A tribute to my friendship with Cris. We found this is Tucson a few years ago while there for the Gem in Mineral Show.

A few old hammers on the wall and a couple of Van Gogh's.  I brought the prints back from Amsterdam after visiting the Van Gogh Museum there. 

I have five or six of Mercury glass ornaments hanging in the studio. I just like the look of them.

My wall of beads.  I hammered 30 plus holes in the wall for all the hooks before I realized I should have just put up a wire grid and only put 4 holes in the wall.

And the studio wouldn't be complete without the hole in the ceiling. One night during a storm, part of a tree came through the roof and studio ceiling.  The roof was repaired right away but we never did get the ceiling repaired. One of the times Cris was here she looked up and grabbed the hand off the desk and stuck it in the hole. It's been there ever since.  I wouldn't think of fixing it goes with the baby head and scary girl so well.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

What I did on my summer vacation....

I haven't taken a class in ages and I have always loved Deb Karash's work. Once she started teaching I never seemed to be able to fit in a class.  Well last January she posted a summer class and I jumped at it. I kept telling people that I was going to adult art camp in the mountains of North Carolina...and that is exactly what it was...and it was great. Of course...Cris came along for the adventure.

We flew into Asheville and stayed overnight on the Biltmore estate...8000 acres with the highlight being a 250 room French chateau. I'd love to be able to stay overnight in this place....I wonder if anyone gets to do that.  I suppose if you are rich enough you can do anything.

I couldn't figure out why I was seeing so many Rolls Royce's on the estate. The were having a Rolls Royce National Meet there. 
The flowers were beautiful and there were lots of gardens. Unfortunately we didn't have the time to see them. 

Vintage Rolls

Love the detail of the internal staircase

V is for Vanderbilt

One of the fountains just outside the house.
Another fountain on the grounds. 
And what house is complete without a lion....or two
It's an amazing place and I want to go back when I have more time to tour the house and see the gardens. I cannot even fathom having the amount of money that the Vanderbilt's had or what it was like to live in this mansion.

So...after a quick look around we headed up to Wild Acres. We went from sunny and warm in Asheville to foggy and rainy.  We also went from total connectivity to no TV and very sporadic internet. I didn't miss the TV but I have to admit that I missed the internet.
It was rainy and foggy a lot but I didn't mind. It made the place very magical and primeval
We were right in the middle of the forest. 

One of the lodges and a view down to the patio
We played hooky one afternoon and drove over to Penland School of Crafts. Such a beautiful place. I would love to take a class here some day. The run 1-week, 2-week and 8-week classes.  I asked Lou what I would have to do to take an 8 week class...his the Lottery. I'm working on it.

We stopped in the Gallery.  My favorite piece was a paper mache rabbit by Margaret Couch Cogswell

And a wonderful exhibit by Wendy Marayuma on The wildLIFE Project

Looking off the porch of the metals studio. 

View off the second floor balcony of the metals studio. 

The textile studio

It was all so lovely


Sam, Debbie, and Kathy

I love this building. 
 Back at Wild Acres...we did have some sunny days and could see the mountains off in the distance.

And butterflies and pretty flowers.

Loved the hand-made railing

You could see the storms coming in across the mountains. Not more than 10 minutes after taking this picture we got rain.

And it didn't just RAAAINED buckets!!

But I kinda liked it.  I'm not one for a hot weather and we have had that here in Cleveland.  The rain was a nice break. kept us in the studio.  One night we worked until close to midnight.  We came out to the fog.

This picture isn't blurry...this was the fog. It was thick and I kept blinking my eyes because it seem only logical that I should be able to clear my vision...but I couldn't.  
One night we went down to the firepit and had a bonfire.

The walk-way coming down from the lodge. 

This was the lodge we stayed in. 

A view out over the mountains.  As it got darker you could occasionally see headlights way off in the distance climbing up the mountain.

I absolutely loved being able to get up in the morning and concentrate on making jewelry all day budgets, no e-mails, no responsibility. Just working at the jeweler's bench all day and sometimes all night long.

I wasn't as prolific as some but I did finish two pieces. I learned new skills and brushed up on some old ones.  The piece on the right really challenged me because of the mistakes I made...but I also learned the most on that one. 
It was a great week with some wonderful women and great teacher.  It's funny how you come together and you don't know each other...but after 5 days together you hate to leave one another.

And what jewelry adventure would be complete without some picture that Cris didn't want me to take...and she will probably hurt me for posting really....she will...LOL