Monday, January 30, 2012

Sneak Peek ~ Silver Stacking Rings

Life must be lived as play. ~Plat0

I love rings! (maybe as much as I love earrings!) and have long admired artists who make them... rustic and organic, fun and playful, those with gorgeous bezel set stones, simple to elaborate detailed bands...all of them! With my new workbench set up, I've been playing at learning to make some of my own....cutting, filing, hammering, soldering, refining how to use my torch, more hammering, oxidizing, tumble polishing... I've 'disappeared' into my little workshop for hours at a time. Here are some of my first finished skinny sterling stacking rings. I love their patinas and organic shapes ... and am so excited to be making my own!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My New Workbench!

I'm so lucky to have a lovely worktable in our house with gorgeous natural light and big windows for my bead and wire work as well as my photography and computer time. It's perfect, really, but for a couple of years now, as my interest in creating more jewelry pieces from scratch and my quiver of jewelry making tools and metal supplies has grown, all my noisy, flammable, and chemically smelly work has been set up on the end of my husband's worktable in our garage. While it's certainly better than nothing, I'm usually cold and never seem to have exactly what I want with me. Add to that, all my bits are cleaned up at the end of each session, and while I've been fortunate to have this little space, frankly it's been a pain! Projects are all over the place and it really bugs me! Over the Christmas holidays, my darling husband built me my own space in our basement with a workbench at my most comfortable height for creating and lots of light. Here's a little look -- there's a spot for everything-- tools, mandrels, torch, tumbler, stamping tools and so on... and even a little heater to keep me toasty warm! I can leave everything out when I'm in the middle of a project and make all the noise I want!

I actually think he likes my space better than his, now, and fully expect to see him set up at the end of MY bench sometime in the not too distant future!
Happy day!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Handmade Holidays

My Christmas shopping experience this year was the easiest ever! It was my hope to find handmade gifts for as many friends and family members as possible...and now that everyone has received their lovelies, I can't wait to show you all what I found!

ohlittlerabbit creates the most wonderful colorful screenprinted organic cotton teatowels, veggie bags, bedding, aprons and other housewares -- they arrived perfectly wrapped in brown craft paper -- so charming, I wanted them all for myself! I'll be returning for more.

Peace sign studs in sterling silver from Michelle Chang are delicate and just right for my 'peace-sign-loving-niece'-- she's worn them everyday since Christmas!
My writer friend loved this handmade journal made by Cheri Ucci of Paperfetish Designs. The handsewn binding is of very good quality and the cover is treated with gesso, ready for her own artistic work. I love it too!
These gorgeous blue felted mittens were made by a local knitter who was a member at the Kubbyhole -- they are so warm and match my niece's winter jacket like they were made for her!

Delightful in everyway are these whimsical zipper magnets from AmaliaVersaci in cool blues and greens and warm yellows, orange and red. Opening the package was a visual treat, with each set boxed and tied with a Christmas red zipper - so lovely!
Rachel Awes awesome artwork is printed on her beautifully inspiring greeting cards and were perfect for my sister. Each was carefully wrapped in cello and the set was tied with a pretty ribbon!
Everyone loved their unique presents and it was a wonderfully enjoyable Christmas shopping experience! I know where I'll be 'headed' next November!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Christmas Dinner in Who-Ville

When we built our new house, one of my dreams was to have a dining room that would accommodate EVERYONE for Christmas dinner...and this Christmas, it was so! It was our absolute pleasure to host 23 members of our family and friends for my favorite Christmas day ever! A Who-ville theme seemed perfect -- I could just see all the Who's seated at their long tables filled with fun, family, friends and fabulous food! Six different families (all related in some way by at least one member) gathered at our house and of course, everyone needed to know their proper Who name... provides a great tool to help come up with these fun names -- we had Dibble-Moo-Who's and Tickle-Poo-Who's and Giggle-Boo-Who's coming out of the woodwork. I made nametags for everyone and the kids made sure everyone had their own. I also found this great lime green Grinchy tree at HomeSense and couldn't resist. My friend gave me the other funky one (I must admit, I'm a bit of a Who-Ville addict) a couple of years ago.
Red and white, stripes and dots and any wonderfully unique ornament I could find filled the tree, table and house. I even found some great red dishes in the clearance section of the grocery store and picked them up too-- LOVE them!

...and here is the crowd!