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NOLA

Got back from NOLA (New Orleans Louisiana) late yesterday. The conference I was attending, SGC International, annually brings together professors and students of printmaking from all over the world. I heard that 1500 people were present. It’s been about 15 years since I attended the conference, and my has it grown. I attended panels, went to openings, and made major contacts for the UIMA. The most amazing aspect was that I saw several people from Philadelphia–people I had lost contact with. And it was so wonderful to see them.

I did have a chance to wear my jewelry designer hat when I visited The Bead Shop on Magazine Street. Really great store–lots of unusual beads.

NOLA

I made a bracelet in honor of my trip. I love these opaque vintage style Czech beads. You can find it in my Etsy shop.

NOLA

It was St. Patty’s day weekend and apparently NOLA is one of the best places to celebrate. NOLA

NOLA

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Women and jewelry.

Yesterday we attended the 3rd birthday party of our grand (?) niece (our nephew’s daughter).  Her grandmother Karen is an amazing cook.  She made the most incredible chicken vegetable soup.  She also made chili, which I heard was excellent.  And there was cake too.  The presents ranged from the cutest clothes I’ve ever seen, to Disney Princesses paraphernalia (even sheets for her bed), and Play-Doh (never did lke the stuff), Candyland (loved) and Cooties.  We baby boomers like to give the kids presents we played with as kids–even though the kids think they’re lame.

For the first time I brought my jewelry to a family gathering.  This is my husband’s side of the family.  Mine are all on the East Coast.  Karen saw a bracelet in my Etsy shop that she liked and so after checking it out with her daughter, I decided to show them my wares.   After the festivities, when the kids were busy with bubbles (it was a gorgeous warm day), games, etc., I got my stuff and spread it out on a card table.  The ladies could not have been more supportive!  It made me feel good.  Just chatting with them about jewelry, I realized that favorite jewelry carries with it stories about who, what, when, where, (and sometimes why).  These stories are important aspects of the context that gets shared from generation to generation.

We give our nieces charm bracelets and a charm for it every year.  I hope that one day they think of these bracelets as talismans of their childhood lives.

One related note:  Last week I received the best comment from an Etsy customer. She wrote:  “I purchased this item from you and received it a couple of days ago . . . just wanted to tell you that it is exquisite . . . absolutely gorgeous and  totally exceeded expectations. Thank you!”

Have a great week.  I am off to New Orleans!

Tax day.

Tax day. We are meeting with our accountant Monday. At least I got in a nice weekend in Chicago and will be in New Orleans in a few weeks for a conference. Please comment with any “must sees” or “must eat there” recommendations!

Knotting

It seems like knotting is the new thing. However it’s (k)not as easy as it looks! Natural threads and leather stretch and sometimes fray. I know some jewelry makers use nylon and I will look into this. This month I’ve been working with hand-dyed linen thread that I wax and silk threads. I saw this wonderful hand-dyed linen thread at a paper and book arts store in Santa Monica and ordered several gorgeous colors. I enjoy working with it and it’s so different from wireworking and regular stringing.

Here are just a few bracelets from the past few weeks. Wow, it’s a beautiful day today. Must leave now to make it to the USPS…

Learning new techniques

When I first started making jewelry almost three years ago I made very simple multi-colored beaded earrings on sterling silver hoops like this

 

Then came web research and looking carefully at hand crafted jewelry in shops and at fairs. I taught myself some new basic techniques also with the help of my good friend Caroline who has been making sterling silver jewelry for quite a while now. She keeps talking about getting a web site and Etsy shop up but that’s very hard to do with a husband and a young child and a full time job as a therapist.

I cut up old monoprints and watercolors to make the cards.

Last weekend I took a two hour workshop on pearl knotting. Hmm. New techniques.

I’ve been in an experimental mode for the last year or so.  

Now I’m trying to creatively combine some of these techniques. It’s a dreary day today so the wonderful brass patina on this pendant–cut, punched, hammered, riveted, filed, tumbled by moi–doesn’t truly translate. The play of blues between the blue goldstone and the shiny hematite with steel blue seed beads and tiny raw brass beads is not evident  in this photo. This stuff may not be apparent to many even in person except for those that respond and notice color dialogues not only in sunsets but in the smallest brooch.
 
Personally, I get a lot of statisfaction when I see great interplays of color and texture. I’m grateful for that.
 

New techniques February 2012

 
 
 
 

I’m nursing a cold at home today as the snow flies. Just about 4″ I think, adding to the 6″ pile already on the ground. Seems like just yesterday we were basking in 50F temps. Well we really were just a  few weeks ago. I’ve also been just kind of staring at my beading area periodically moving beads around. As you can see the beads are all about spring and summer–gorgeous Peruvian opals, rose quartz, fossil jasper. Apparently I am not truly inspired. My real studio where I’m often inspired is across the yard in another building and it’s cold in there. Takes at least an hour for it to warm up after the heat is turned on. Not today. Maybe tomorrow.

I have listed a few goodies in my Etsy shop. A pair of truly lovely earrings that kind of remind me of a winter day at a special price. Maybe someone will be inspired to get them as a gift for themselves. You know who you are–you all deserve to give yourself a little gift.

I just had the best soup. Do you ever heat up leftover veggie soup and then decide to mash it all up? This soup had beets, carrots, celery, onion, and legumes. It was a wonderful chunky soup. Now it’s a yummy orangey pulverized slop.

Say it aint so. Such a wonderfully pleasant winter (meaning no intense cold/no snow) until it snowed 6″ with 50 mph winds. And then my friend told me that his hairdresser told him that his climatologist clients told him that we will have winter to May. Jeez. I wish I had some climatologist friends. I am seeing my hairdresser soon so maybe she’ll know something.

I finally got a Lortone tumbler. Just now polishing up my first batch of tarnished silver. Excited! I also got this AMAZING porcelain hand this week. Love it.

 

 

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