Monday, April 30, 2007

Water etches the canyon walls

and acid etches some of my "Canyon series" beads. I've been meaning to do this for a while, and I'm really pleased with the way it turned out. As cool as they were when shiny, they look so much more like natural stone now. This one has some sunset warm fine silver accents as well, and the patina I applied to them makes them glow just like gold. The silver foil within the beads themselves seems to have a golden twinkle too.

Only a couple of more days now until the show...almost ready.

Remember these guys?

They're the tie dyed beads I took out in the sunlight a few weeks ago to photograph. They finally found a home in a lovely bracelet, along with a fine silver clasp I made. To be honest, I prefer them in the sunlight. Look for them on Sunday. Did I mention that it's only 4 more days until the show? I'm really looking forward to my first time there. My friend Joyce (and 10 or 20 of her closest relatives, I hear) is going to be there too, and it's gonna be fun.

Only Five More Days

Since I'm going to be parting with some of my favorites soon, I've been taking lots of pictures. I've been told that "proper" artists photograph their jewelry on plain black or white backgrounds (so as not to distract from the pieces themselves), but something about this medium just compels me to take them outside! Lay me on a bed of dewy moss and capture my natural beauty! Drape me over a sun baked cactus skeleton, and watch me shine! I'm a natural element, for gosh sake! That's what they tell me, anyway, and I'll probably keep listening. But for now, you'll have to put up with a few photo studio shots.

I had a very productive weekend making all sorts of new pieces with the beads I've been torching and squirreling away. The countdown to the Saratoga Rotary Art Show continues...

and the garden blooms on.

This is a cymbidium orchid, one of the toughest out there (and the only variety I own). I do virtually nothing to it all year, and get these lovely blooms each spring. It's like a whole other world inside that flower!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

What's Blooming Today

I found the following delightful blooms in my garden this morning. These are truly hardy specimens, as they've received virtually no attention whatsoever since my addiction to molten glass began. There are several types of clematis, Scilla peruviana, Lady Banks' Rose, Cecile Bruner climbing rose, Basket of Gold Alyssum, foxglove.

I just love the spring. It's the ultimate expression of hope, faith, and confidence that returns like clockwork each year, whether I'm paying attention or not. I can always count on being amazed by its beauty, whether I spent the fall deadheading and pruning, or perfecting my millionth bead.

More New Jewelry

Well, we're back from a wonderful, relaxing week in Baja, and it's time to get busy! My first show of the spring is the Saratoga Rotary Club Art Show, on Sunday, May 6, at West Valley College in Saratoga. It's coming up soon! I'm looking forward to my first experience with this one day show, as I've heard great things about it from my jeweler friends. Here are some images from work I'll be showing there.

"Lavendicious". This shorter-length necklace features a square focal with two holes, fine silver fused rings, and a collection of beads in various hues of lavender. Fine silver clasp.

Lots of my spring work is floral in nature, to celebrate the season. Brown and blue, cool shades of green and blue, with accents in sterling, freshwater pearls, fine silver, and Swarovski crystals.

This brown and blue one has a very retro feel to me, and for some reason I can't identify, reminds me of surfing apparel.

This green and blue floral bracelet has a longer style of squeezed bead, new this year. Swirls of flower vine undulate across the base bead of coke bottle green, and the flower centers are enhanced by the blue Swarovski crystals.

Finally, here is a bracelet from my "Silver Play" series, which I love to make - when I do these I get in a serious creative trance, coming up with one unique bead after another.

I've used primarily Moretti light ivory, and silver leaf or foil to create varied effects. Occasional touches of clear and copper green make for a very interesting collection of beads. New this year are some pieces with crystal rondelle accent beads, and some larger, more intricate sterling spacers.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Annual Sojourn to Baja

We just returned from a very restful vacation in Baja, where we fished in the Sea of Cortez, hiked, and generally soaked up all that we could of the bountiful sunshine and rugged beauty of this desert paradise.

This logistically intense trip was made a bit more complicated this year since some of us flew, and the rest drove the truck down with the boat, but everything went off smoothly. Our friends brought their black lab Annie, and it was nice to be around canine company again.

The fishing in the Sea of Cortez continues to decline due to the shrimp trawlers and lack of enforcement of the fishing rules, but we were lucky to see plenty of fascinating sea life. Whales, dolphins, rays (mobulae), jellyfish, sea turtles, birds - all were in fair abundance and made for some amazing sights. Have you ever seen rays jumping out of the water like popcorn? It's almost comical.

My favorite part is when the dolphins seek us out as we're motoring somewhere to fish, usually in the early am. They home in on the sound of our boat motor, and seem to come from all directions to frolic in the wake off of the bow. You can't help but smile as you catch their upturned eye through mere inches of water as they move like warm blooded torpedos through the water.

It was warmer this year, since we went a bit later than we normally do, and it was a bit tough to sleep on a couple of nights (could have been the down bags - note to self: get a summer weight sleeping bag!). But all in all we can't complain about the weather, or the seas, which were generally favorable.

Plenty of sunshine, rest, relaxation, good food and good company has prepared us for the busy spring and summer to come. Now it's back to business.

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