Friday, June 14, 2013

Blooms on our Horse Chestnut Tree!!

 Four springs ago, we planted a baby horse chestnut sapling. I'd seen photographs of mature trees in full bloom and was smitten - visions of a huge profusely blooming beauty filled my imagination! Fast forward to spring number two when the local deer families ate the poor thing to a nub.  I know deer have to eat but I could have cried.  I thought for sure it was done. Thankfully it leafed out and survived. That winter in our efforts to protect the tree and foil the deer, we wrapped it in layers of heavy netting.  Spring number three arrived with hopeful new growth and several tiny flower buds tangled in the netting - ugh. Then the deer ate them again, along with the netting.  Plan C involved staking around the entire tree (sounds big but the tree is still only 7 feet tall) and wrapping the netting around the staking - I would not be defeated! In spring number 4, finally the deer had to find their buffet somewhere else.  And, there was lots of green growth but not one single flower bud. Oy. Now, if you know me or read this blog, you know I waited 15 years for my wisteria to bloom. I'm patient. And I'd like to tell you that I had a complex and detailed plan for last winter to coax some blooms from this little tree and keep the deer from devouring it...but the truth is, we were away for most of the winter and did absolutely nothing to protect the tree before we left. And here it is - go figure.  It's grown about 2 feet, has 8 gorgeous pink and yellow blooms and is covered in happy little ants and bees! It's beautiful!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

I've Been Running the Roads this Week...

...spending time with my husband and friends but I did land in the studio long enough to finish some pretty sterling stamped leaf earrings and fabricate a few other pieces. I gave these lightweight lovelies a patina bath and a good polish to highlight the leaves.  The earwires are square sterling wire soldered to the back of the discs.
 My other project was a couple of pairs of bezel studs. I'm obsessed with making bezel settings and all the forms in which they can be designed. Making the stud earrings seemed a bit uncertain for me - I was concerned that simply soldering the post to the baseplate wouldn't be strong or durable enough for long term wear.  Hubs has a fair amount of metalworking experience in other fields and I expressed my worries to him -- over a glass of wine the other night! :).  He suggested I drill the baseplate, insert the post and then heat to draw the solder into the bezel...genius! It was the
perfect solution! These cuties are made with vintage light turquoise glass and fun peacock feather patterned paper under glass - and I'm confident the posts are secure!! What do you think?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Yesterday at my bench...

Sterling silver discs with leaf stamped design...
these and other creations will be finished and in the shop later this week! :)

Thank You, Teacher!

1. Red and White Soft Cotton Napkins by toocutecustomcrafts
2.  Colorful Boot Desk Accessory by BeauMiracle
3. Best Teacher Art Print by hairbrainedschemes
 4. Apple Necklace by CausticThreads
5. Coin Pouch by SmiLeaGainCreations
6. Red Apple Ring by CreaShines
(Click on the collage to see ALL Sweet16Team items tagged with 'teacher'.)