Saturday, July 14

My Newest Love

A necklace I created using a glass called Terra.

A Tour of My Studio

Okay, my studio is more like a spot in the basement, but it does have windows! My wonderful husband was a huge help in getting my workstation set up. He reinforced my wooden stool that I had picked up on the side of the road while I cleaned a metal table that was in our house when we bought it almost 8 years ago. This thing sat useless in a corner and we'd been meaning to get rid of it. 8 years later a purpose reveals itself; who would have thought?

After that I searched online how to clamp the torch and tank of gas to the table, and off we went to Home Depot to get supplies. We devised our own design out of a piece of 16 gauge sheet metal, two c-clamps and two pipe clamps. He bent the sheet metal, drilled holes to feed the pipe clamps through and then tightened it down to the table with the c-clamps. Moments later I fired it up and nothing exploded. I was giddy with joy that it worked - and that I didn't need to dial 911.

Many hours of bliss have been spent on that wooden stool that was destined for a landfill. I happened to take a walk around our block on garbage night and right on cue was a stool when I needed it just days before my torch was scheduled to arrive. Serendipity rocks!

The photos below are of the studio I visit when I want to work on a dual-fuel torch.

Friday, July 13

Necklace and Earrings

Here are some pics of two completed jewelry pieces that I made. The earrings remind me of the little tributaries I love to explore in my kayak. I bent the wire to mimic the flow of water.

Saturday, July 7

Etsy Bloggers: Project Orange

I've just joined a group of fellow Etsy bloggers and this week we're posting about the color orange.

I really love orange and I especially like it with pale blue.
They're naturals together:
- Sunrise in a cool milky blue sky
- Goldfish rising in a pond reflecting the world above
- The Etsy website - orange logo, blue text!

Torched All Morning

Stayed tuned! I torched all morning and made a bunch of focals. Some will definitely make it the shop if I don't decide to keep them! They're in the kiln at the studio so I'll pick them up tomorrow or Monday. Watch for pictures!

Experience the Magic of Etsy!

My shop is part of an online community called Etsy. Its slogan is Your Place to Buy and Sell All Things Hand Made.

Inspired by fellow Etsian, Deb at Fearless Fibers Yarn, I wanted to let you know that you really never have to go shopping at a mall again to get some mass produced item that was manufactured by the thousands.

You can buy jewelry, clothing, housewares and more straight from the artists who make them and often for the same price as you'd buy something that had a lot less thought and craftsmanship go into it. There is something for every budget made by someone's own two hands. It's like an everyday art festival without the sunburn and tired feet. Let the browsing begin!

You're going to love this!

Friday, July 6

I won!

A polymer clay artist who makes jewelry and switch plates was having a contest on her blog for passersby to let her know what they thought her next design should be. The winner gets a switch plate with that design, and she chose my idea! Check out her beautiful work and the whole story here!

Got drab walls? Dress them up with a visit to her Mosaico Decor shop. At left is her Sparkly Red and Gold Abstract switch plate. It is available here on her Etsy shop.

Thursday, July 5

Make a Necklace!

There's a new product in my shop: Leather cords with unique glass bead-and-loop closures. Now you can easily have have any bead made into a necklace. Visit my shop to learn more.

Monday, July 2


It was a gorgeous day yesterday so my husband loaded the mountain bikes on the car and we took off. Let me just say right now I am not very good - especially at the beginning of the season, and I have the bruises to prove it. By the end of summer, I'm brave enough to try gullies and power through super-steep inclines. Yesterday I'd have my foot ready to push the top pedal on the inclines after coming off a really steep downhill, but without enough speed going in (and the brake on as my husband pointed out), the bike becomes completely motionless and then I just fall over. (insert cartoon tree-falling sound here.) It was the most fun I'd had in weeks!

Lunch was strapped on the back of my bike, but after a quarter mile the rack took a 90 degree turn. Good for accessing food on the fly I suppose, but not for navigating spots so narrow your handlebars barely make it through! We took the rack off and left it by a tree to retrieve on the way back.

The ride through the forest is peaceful despite the bone-jarring roots, full of deciduous trees and areas of just pine. We are ambling through a fairly easy-to-navigate section when I hear scratching sounds over to my left. I look up to see three baby raccoons climbing to safety. We stop to watch. They are on the back sides of the trees hiding but after a few moments they peek there masked faces around. They are cute beyond belief and making soft purring/gurgling sounds. If memory serves, I'm pretty sure it's a similar sound to those good Gremlins make. The pictures are kind of blurry 'cause my heart is pumping from riding, and I can't get still enough to hold the camera steady!

After a few spills and walking our bikes over (and crouching under!) obstacles too much for us to handle - okay, me - we had lunch on a sloped precipice of gravely rock overlooking a gorge that looks as lush as any jungle you may see on the Travel Channel. Turkey Vultures soared below looking for something rotten as we enjoyed apples, granola bars and pudding.

We made our way back, watched the sweet raccoons again and grabbed the seat rack. My husband was hoping we had the universal tool with us that you can fix your bike with and I was like, "We do!" I knew we had it all along, but it didn't occur to me that it had what we needed to tighten the rack. He put it back on and it was fine the entire way back. I recently found hand warmers in the glove compartment of our car. I said, "You know we're going be stranded somewhere and have a hard time of it or worse because we don't know what we have with us." The hypothetical evening news: "Two mountain bikers carry their rides back for miles forgetting they had the tool with them that would fix them..."