Apr 30, 2014

Earrings in the Hopper

I was able to create for a couple of hours this past weekend, despite all the functions and things we had going on, and boy was it nice!

I actually played with wire and wrapped a few gemstones for earrings. 

I even made a few earring wires.

Haven't done that in a while!

Hopefully this coming weekend I'll get these finished, photographed and listed over in my Etsy shop

 It's rather bare at the moment so new items are needed! 

I've been inspired by so many different things lately. 

Here's some of my inspiration for these earrings:

Sea Caves, Taiwan

Glory Hole, Ozark National Forest

Nature is so beautiful, isn't she?

Stalactites Via Pinterest

What is it that inspires you?

Until Next Time,

Peace, Love and Natural Beauty!


Apr 26, 2014

FOL14- Week 17 - Evening Moments

Continuing with April's theme of 'Moments', Sally, over at The Studio Sublime, gave us this prompt for week 17 of the Focus on Life: 2014 weekly photography challenge:
Evening Moments
"There is a moment when the day begins to quietly slip away from the earth and the calm of evening floods over the land.  Colors deepen, stars peek through pin holes in a twilight sky.  We begin to exhale and slowly let the world of the day slide from our shoulders."
Dusk, next to dawn,
is my favorite time of day.

Especially in the desert.
For my birthday last month, my sister took me to the Desert Botanical Gardens to see the Chihuly Exhibit
His glass sculptures are out of this world!
It was so cool to see how the sculptures mimicked the desert vegetation.

We went an hour or so before sunset and enjoyed all the beautiful flowers blooming on the various cactus.
Then, as the sun settled down and the day turned into evening, we were able to see "Chihuly After Dark".
It was a breathtaking 
Evening Moment in the desert.
This one was my favorite. The way the sunlight glistened off the tips of the glass as day turned into night
made for a very special moment indeed!
Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Life's Evening Moments!

Apr 24, 2014

I'm a Mini-Hoard-A-Holic??

I believe that a bit of a confession is in order.
I'm sort of a 'mini-hoard-a-holic' when it comes to art-beads and artisan crafted components.  
I guess that's not a full-hearted confession, but that's because the reality of the matter is just starting to sink in and I don't consider the number I have to be astronomical or anything like that.

 In other words, I don't profess to have tons of art-beads and artisan components begging to be put away or sorted through. 

Heck, I wouldn't even consider my entire bead stash to be that large since it fits quite nicely into the top half of an armoire that sits in my bedroom (aka - studio). 

See, I told you it wasn't that bad. It's pretty 'average' if you ask me.
Or even on the 'small' side considering I've been collecting beads and creating for over two decades now!
My hubs refers to me as the 'pack master', so everything is very well 'placed' inside those containers.
Granted, this is only the beads and cords portion of my supplies.
 My tools, fabrics, leather, etc., are strategically placed in drawers, sewing boxes and other places.

 I mean, despite my complete pearl obsession, I don't even have a super-huge stash of pearls.
Only 11 of those bead bins are full of pearls.
 (surprise, surprise!). 

So no, I don't have the 'I have too many beads and not enough storage room' problem (although that might be a rather fun problem to have!). 
But I used to hoard pearls like crazy! 
I used to open my little bins of pearls and just look at them, (and touch them!!) not wanting to use them in designs because then I wouldn't have them anymore.

It's a sickness I tell you,...a true sickness!
Slowly, over the years, I've been 'letting them go' and putting more pearls into my designs. 

Almost all of my designs have pearls in them these days actually.
Anyway, I do however, tend to hoard the art-beads and artisan crafted components that I purchase.
Not on purpose mind you.  I buy them because they catch my eye and they're just too cool to pass up. 
But then I get them and I either don't know how to do them 'justice' in an equally cool design or I don't want to let their gorgeousness out of my sight!
(I told you - it's a sickness!)
This week I purchased one of Ema Kilroy's super new copper clasps.
This one, to be exact.

Isn't it lovely?  As fair warning though, I did send Ema a message on her facebook page that I'd try not to 'hoard' it like I did all my other art-components, but that I couldn't make any promises.
Here's a few of the artisan pieces I have hoarded collected over the past few years.

See, that's not a huge stash of stuff, right?

 But, I bet you that some of the artists whose beads and components appear in this photo would look at these and say, "Yep Shel,  I haven't made those beads/components for couple of years or more. You really have hoarded those, haven't you!?!"
So, what's a little hoarder to do?  Any suggestions? Do you hoard anything? 
And I don't mean is your house so jam-packed with 'stuff' that you have to clear a 'fire-path',...I'm just asking, do you sometimes 'keep' certain things because you like them and don't want know how to part with them?  
I mean, I guess I could use these super cool components in jewelry for myself and justify keeping them that way, but shoot, I don't even make it that far. 

Sometimes the beads/components/pendants are just so lovely all by themselves that they don't seem to go with anything I try to create.
Do you ever have that problem?  Is it even a problem or just a sweet little luxury?
I guess that's a topic for another post, eh?! 

I'd love to hear what sweet little obsessions you like to 'hoard'.
Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and
Little Bits of Hoarded Goodness!

Apr 19, 2014

FOL14 - Week 16

To continue with the month of April's prompt of "Moments", Sally, over at the Studio Sublime, has given us the photo prompt of "A Moment Best Captured in Black and White" for week 16 of the Focus on Life 2014 weekly photography challenge.
Sally said: "Sometimes, when there is no distraction of color, the image is no longer just a photo but a clean, honest, deeper look at life."
So true!
Left Photo -Violin Case Handle  /  Right Photo - Violin
I have a very special violin that is approximately 100 years old.

Possibly a bit older.
It was my Uncle's and he gave it to my Dad.
It's one of those things that although lovely in color, I find it most beautiful in Black and White.
Possibly because it's a
'Moment of History'?
Hop on over to the other participant's blogs and see what 'moment' they captured in black and white this week!
Until Next Time,
Peace, Love and Antique Moments!

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!