Apr 15, 2014

Keep Calm and Wear Kick-Ass Pearls!

My apologies if I offended anyone with the Kick-A** part here,
but ya know,
life's too short not to wear your best pearls!

Or your favorite ones.
Any time,...day or night.
Doesn't matter the season,
Pearls go with anyone, for any reason.
Recently a dear friend of mine had this to say:
"I'm normally not a pearly girl but the way you do them, I am becoming converted!!"
I told her that was my mission in life: 
Pearl Converter.
Once everyone on the planet falls in love with them like I have,
my job on Earth will be complete.
 May the sun always shine when you need it to,
And the wind always be to your back.
May happiness be yours in whatever you do,
and may gorgeous, kick-ass pearls be the adornment you never lack!

Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Pearls, Baby!!



Apr 12, 2014

FOL14 - Week 15

It's Week 15 for the Focus on Life: 2014 weekly photography challenge.
For the month of April our topic is:
Our weekly focus this week:
A Moment of Focus
"Allowing yourself to focus on one moment, one subject.  A crisp, clear moment of focus."
Sally really gave us some great tips over on the Focus on Life Blog this week, and I tried out the 'depth of focus' tips. 
Here's my 'Moment of Focus' this week:
This one was fun. Fun taking the photo(s). Fun editing. Fun learning.
I still don't always have it down right, especially when I'm trying to do this with my jewelry shots - but I do love to try to get the type of shot where something in front is totally in focus and the background is blurred. I think it looks really cool.

Check out what other Moments of Focus the other participants have captured this week!
Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Moments in Focus!

Apr 9, 2014

Melting, Making and Creating

Although the hubby and I have been completely entrenched this year in the company we own and operate together, we have each taken moments to 'play' and create a few things.


Although I prefer to play with pearls, gemstones and beads,

Mike likes melting pewter and making pendants and components for me to mix into my designs.

He researches the makers marks of the pieces he purchases before melting them; photographing them and logging their story; making sure the pieces he's 're-cycling' are lead and nickel free.

There's some pieces he finds that are just too old, too unique or have too much history to melt down.
Those have a special place of honor in his office.

Hand-pouring pewter is the 'old-way' of creating pewter pieces. It's not as precise as other forms of casting pieces can be. It takes practice and lots of patience. 
There's lots of 'do-overs' and 're-melts'.
Getting into the zone and pouring just the right amount of the hot, molten pewter at the exact moment is an art form in itself. 
We won't mention (very loudly) that he didn't start out with any traditional (or modern) melting, finishing supplies or casting items.

Hey, having a beer helps! :-)
Nope. That wouldn't be Mike.
It basically started out like this:
Mike"Hey, I think I'm going to melt some pewter and see what happens. Doesn't that sound fun?"
Me"How ya gonna do that? Do you have the right equipment?"
Mike: "I don't know. I got a torch. That'll work, right?"
Me"Um, I guess so. Are you melting it just to watch it melt or are you going to make it into something?"
Mike: "Yep, probably."
Me: "Oh Lord!  Please don't burn the house down!"
Mike: "I'll be in the garage."
Me: "Please move my car first!" "Seriously,...."
So, after months (probably a good year or so) of playing with his torch and watching it melt and hammering it into funky shapes, having it splatter up onto his clothes and his work glasses (thank God he was wearing some eye protection!!), burning his hands, dripping it onto the carpet beneath the work bench and ruining several antique ladles (and other things), he's finally getting his technique down; working with actual 'tools' (so to speak) and products used for such things as melting, casting and creating pewter pieces.

I'm partial to pieces that are 'old world'  and rustic looking so Mike's style of pouring pewter and the way he gets the pieces to come out is right up my alley and fits nicely with many of the designs and ideas I have tucked away in my brain.

My 'Stash' of components from my hubby!

He often remarks, "Man. You sucked me right into your world! It's addicting!"

Yep! Gotta love it, don't ya?!!

"Skull-e-ten" Key, and 'Lunar" Ankh (Lunar = like the surface of the moon)
Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Melting, Making and Creating!

Apr 5, 2014

FOL14 - Week 14 - Morning Moments

It's week 14 for the Focus on Life 2014 Weekly Photography Challenge and Sally over at The Studio Sublime has given us the theme of "Moments" for the month of April.
This week our prompt is
"Morning Moments".
Sally asked us to photograph what our Morning Moments consist of; whether it be a quiet, coffee drinking moment or a mad dash to get the kids off to school, a 3a.m. feeding for those with little ones or stolen moments waiting for the train or bus to take us to work.
Most of you know that I capture as many 'Morning Sunrise Moments' as possible.
Despite the fact that I LOVE the time where the sun starts to rise and it goes from dark to light and the day officially begins,
my favorite morning moment is actually chatting with my son for a while
 before he leaves for school each day. 
But, since he wouldn't let me
snap his photo (surprise!)
or capture any of these moments on film
(digital camera! LOL!),
I captured this Morning Moment instead,
Yep, pretty much everything is 'outta-focus' until I have this! :-)
Ah, the morning Cup O'Joe!
It's my second favorite morning moment.
Okay, well maybe it's my third, favorite!
Please go check out what
Morning Moments
every one else has captured this week!
Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Morning Moments!

Mar 29, 2014

FOL14 - Week 13 - Eye Level

It's week 13 for the Focus on Life 2014 Weekly Photography Challenge and Sally over at The Studio Sublime has given us the theme of

"Checking Out" for the month of March.
"For the last Saturday of March, we're going to check out what's going on at eye level.
From where you stand, sit, kneel or lay, take a look around at your surroundings and capture what's at eye level."
I was going to snap a photo of my computer screen for the prompt this week because, lately, it's what's at 'eye-level' every single day as I work on analytical data review.
But, I thought that would be rather boring
for you all to see, so,....
I had lunch out on the patio one day
and this is what was at eye level.
Well, it was at eye-level as I leaned back in my chair to enjoy the scene. :-)
And then one night this week, Mike and I walked over to the neighbor's and had cocktails by his negative-edge pool and watched the sunset.
This is what was at eye level
as I sat in one of the comfy chairs.
Of course I had to include a photo
of a sunset (or sunrise), right?
(today's my birthday, so I'm allowed!)

This is really 'eye-level'. You can't tell where the pool ends and the lake begins. I love that!
Please pop over and see what every one else captured at eye level this week.
Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Eye Level Beauty!

Mar 23, 2014

Skulls, Crosses, Peace Signs and Pearls! Oh My!!

I was able to sit and create for a bit this weekend and it was pure BLISS!!
Having fun w/photo edits of my productive and 'knotty' weekend bliss!
Working with the hubby in our business we own and run together on a full time basis has kept me away from creating as much as I'd like this year, but it has given me the chance to step back, slow down and take stock of a few things, jewelry business wise, and that's been really nice.
A while back my friend, Kim, requested one of my leather knotted necklaces with some rather large ringed pearls she knew I had in my possession. 
I finally finished it and shipped it off to her, but of course I spaced out getting a photo.
I know,...seriously. No photo. Not even a snapshot with my phone for goodness sakes!
So, being the sweetheart (and wonderful designer, instructor and fellow GIA Alumni!) that she is, she took some shots for me so I'd have one.
Pearl Necklace - Michelle Buettner, Button Clasp - Green Girl Studios
Photo Credit - Kim Hatzold
Thank you so much my friend! 
On another note, my hubby has been having a ton of fun in the garage melting and pouring pewter for a new line of crosses, skulls and peace signs.
Original Wax Mold - Stephen Elliott, Pewter Skull - Mike Buettner
Here's a couple of pieces that, if I get the chance next weekend, I will be 'Pearlizing'.
Skulls, Crosses and Pearls! Oh, My!
Yep, my word.
'Pearlizing' - Adding pearls to a design so they can be considered 'pearlized'.
(another one of my words!).  
If it's not 'Pearlized'
it's not worth wearin'! 
This is my new slogan. Like it?
Just kidding,...designs don't have to have pearls in them to be worth wearing (gasp!!), but it does make them (IMHO) more appealing.  (Wink, Wink!)
Hand Knotted Freshwater Cultured Pearls, Hand Poured Pewter Coptic Cross
and Handcrafted Sterling Silver Hook Clasp (MiShel Designs)
So now that Spring has sprung, (hopefully it's not still snowing where you are!!) what is it that you're enjoying?
Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Nuggets, Antique Buffalo Nickel Button,
and Hand Poured Pewter Peace Sign. (MiShel Designs)
Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Pearls, Baby!! 
(And Skulls, Crosses and Peace Signs!)

Mar 22, 2014

FOL14 - Expression

It's week 12 for the Focus on Life 2014 Weekly Photography Challenge and Sally over at The Studio Sublime has given us the theme of
"Checking Out" for the month of March.
This week's prompt was:
"Whether is is someone by themselves, interacting with others or (this is always the best) the way they interact with their animals;  the way a person expresses themselves is always so interesting.  This week we are checking out expression.   There are many definitions of expression and it doesn't have to be a capture of the face."
So, I captured two snapshots of Mike.
One of him working in the garage on some pewter skulls for me.
And, one of him helping me with
my apple pie crust.
A very 'serious' expression in both
pics if you ask me.
But, then I thought of these two silly kids.
My son and his girlfriend - what a cute and funny couple!

Yep. They make me smile!
Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Expression Fun!