Sunday, June 24, 2007

About that balance thing...

Greetings! Since my last post I've been here and there, but mostly continuing my quest for that elusive elixir called balance. Here are some highlights.

About a week ago we took a long weekend to visit friends up in a tiny coastal town called Trinidad, near Arcata. The agenda was about fishing for salmon, clamming, crabbing, and generally exercising our (ok, the men's) hunter-gatherer instincts. I had the thrill of reeling in a beautiful Chinook (King) salmon, which at 28 lbs was no easy thing to do. He fought long and hard, and after about 15 minutes he was landed.

Heidi and I skipped the clamming (something about the waist high Humboldt mud made me think it might not make my day), and instead had some very nice beach walks with their dog Annie (yes, same black lab who accompanied us to Baja). The shot above is from Agate Beach, where everyone walks with their eyes glued to the ground looking for tiny nuggets of the beach's namesake rock. Mostly what we found were PWRs, or "Pretty White Rocks", as Heidi has named them. It was a relaxing weekend.

I've also been busy at the torch, in between attempts to resuscitate my garden-in-distress. I had my share of challenges just getting down to melting glass. First I find that someone forgot to clean and dip mandrels after their last torch session, then I'm out of this color or that, and then my @#$ flip-up magnifying glasses broke down the bridge, leaving me with no easy way to see what I was doing. One day I limped through a few hours of beadmaking with my glasses literally superglued and taped together. I ordered some of those press on lenses that adhere with water to the inside of any pair of glasses, and just as I fired up the kiln Saturday, the UPS guy arrived with the lenses. How cool was that? I applied them and started using them before they had dried. After six hours at the torch I had a raging headache due to the blurry vision - the instructions said to let the lenses dry for 12 hours before using. So much for instructions.

I've got one more show scheduled for the summer, a wine tasting and fine arts event on July 7 & 8 at Bargetto winery, and need to replenish my stock of lampwork bead pendants and earrings, which were generally hammered by the Mountain Art Guild show. I'm thrilled that my friend Linda plans to help me there at least one of the two days. Woo hoo!

I'll post pictures of my new beads soon - in the offering will be some organic squeezed earrings in more neutral tones to complement some of my new bracelets, and some groovy hollow sphere earrings as well. I'm rapidly plowing through my stash of silver leaf and foil, and will have to restock really soon - most of my new stuff seems to use tons of it. I'm also thrilled with a new color reaction I've found with ASK 104's silver cinnamon - way cool. Pictures soon...

Have a fabulous start to your week!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Awesome Show!

Just wanted to say a quick "thanks" to everyone who stopped by my booth at the Mountain Art Guild Art and Wine Show over the weekend. It was great to see you, and I really appreciate your business and supportive feedback on my jewelry!

My booth wasn't too far from my friend Joyce's, and we had fun talking throughout the day as things got slow. She wore some glamorous sunglasses on Saturday - isn't this a great shot of her?

More soon - got to get caught up.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Mountain Art Guild Show!

Tomorrow is the Mountain Art Guild's 11th Annual Art and Wine Show at Radonich Ranch in Los Gatos, and I'm ready. It is a delightful event with over 50 talented artists who do incredible pottery, fused glass, jewelry, sculpture, textiles, photography, baskets, gourds, and more. There is food, wine, music, and ambience for two whole days from 10-6 (Sat) and 10-5 (Sun). Last year they even had a belly dancing snake charmer - what further stimulation would one need to get interested in art?

Remember the neutral bead sets I put up here last week? Well, they're finally at home in a couple of fabulous bracelets I've named the "Outback" series. The tans and other beige tones reminded me of the Australian bush. The other beads have found good homes in fine jewelry pieces as well, and coordinating earrings are almost ready to come out of the kiln.

"Outback" series I (SOLD). Heavily silvered lampwork beads, sterling silver accent beads, and handmade fine silver clasp with a butterfly motif and a very light patina. $125.

"Outback" Series II. Heavily silvered lampwork beads, sterling silver accent beads, handmade fine silver clasp with a touch of patina. $130.

And finally, one more new member to the ever-growing Neutral family, a "Serendipity" series bracelet (SOLD) with sleek pillow shaped beads, sterling silver accents, and a handmade fine silver clasp. $125. There is also a coordinating pendant and earrings.

It promises to be another gorgeous weather weekend, but I'm still taking warm clothes to the show. Last year the fog rolled in on Sunday afternoon and lots of us were nearly nominated for the Blue Man Group due to our frozen skin. You just never know about the weather in the Santa Cruz Mountains!

Hope to see you there.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Another Show on the Way

Have had a busy weekend preparing for next weekend's Mountain Art Guild Show - more fancy clasps and some mind blowing lampwork beads are on their way. See pictures below of some new beads. But my question to you is, why should a clasp be merely functional? Why can't it be part of the main event?

My DH was treated to a different kind of show. He spent the better part of the day fishing for halibut on Monterey Bay, but instead what he caught were some incredible moments (and a few videos) among a huge number of whales. It was quite a day for whale watching out there with groups of them all around the boat, putting on quite a show with breaches and all.

Above: new neutral toned squeezed beads lavishly endowed with silver and reactive glass.

I'm having lots of fun with organic shapes and patterns.

What is it with the neutrals lately? I seem really drawn to them.

I made these festive hollow lampwork beads a couple of months ago and am waiting for inspiration...Pillows in neutral tones. Destined to be a fabulous bracelet by the end of the day.


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