Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Julie's coming!

My uber-talented artist friend Julie Feingold is coming today for a visit ... we're planning some serious girl time down at the beach and a discussion about marketing her fabulous Lost Heroes Art Quilt, which I've been privileged to see transcend itself from the seed of an idea in Julie's head to a fleshed out tribute to the courageous men and women who have lost their lives in the war. More about that in a subsequent post.
Julie is an incredibly talented artist and art quilter and aside from being a close friend, I can't get enough of her work. I own two of her paintings, the second of which is a commissioned oil she painted in the style of Henri Rousseau set in the Florida Everglades. My two cats, Bailey and Taj, peek through the blades of grass at a gigantic alligator cruising by.

Stop by and see some of Julie's fantastic work in her new Etsy shop: http://beautifulbeasts.etsy.com/ ...

Friday, March 27, 2009

What's on my workbench ...

Today it's a fresh batch of drop earrings and lots and lots of seashell charms in shield, heart and flower shapes. They're in the tumbler now and will soon be ready for assembly.

My anklets containing these charms sell well in seaside resort areas, and I've been combining them with onyx, amethyst, aventurine, carnelian, rhodochrosite, jade and several other stones in rondelle, coin and round shapes. I finish them with sterling silver components including spacer beads and either lobster claw clasps or fish-shaped clasps.

I just received in the mail my first jar of Patina Gel from CoolTools and can't wait to try it. No more smelly pellets that lose their potency in the jar! I'll let you know how it works.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Nature Quiz: Gators!

We've got two major species of alligators around these parts, and residents make it a point to familiarize themselves with the characteristics of each and gain a thorough knowledge and understanding of the differences between the two. One routinely kills and eats animals and can be equally deadly to humans. Once those fearful jaws latch onto a human ankle, the alligator will drag a person back to its watery lair, roll and tear into its flesh. The other can be quite docile and friendly and maybe even cooperate by posing for passing photographers.
Can you tell which species is which? It pays to do some research ... your life could depend on it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My best sunset photo ever!

While going through the photos archived on my laptop, I was thrilled to discover the pictures I took on our trip to Hawaii, Bora Bora, Moorea and Tahiti last year.

We stayed at a hotel just outside of Papeete, Tahiti, and we had one of those wild and crazy over-the-water bungalows that sits on stilts and is accessible only from a boardwalk from the mainland. Behind the bungalow we had a covered porch which faced the glorious sunsets. Peering down over the railing, you could see giant spiny urchins clinging to the rocks around the pilings. This is the best sunset photo I've ever taken ... and note the interesting cloud formations. In the center is what appears to be a mushroom cloud, and to the far right a cloud appears to be a frog with its tongue flicking out. That's the outline of Moorea to the far right.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Planning for show season ...

So ... now I'm immersed in decision-making about how best to approach my first-ever show season as a jewelry designer. I've got four shows booked this summer and fall, two of which will be held outdoors ... and that means I need a tent, displays, banners, and all sorts of other equipment and supplies.

It would run completely counter to my artistic instincts to do this in an organized way, so instead of beginning with the tent (too many choices ... still mulling over the options), I've started with a nice big vinyl banner for the front of my canopy (which does not, as of this writing, yet exist).

My thanks to Erzsebet Etl at http://flashwithclass.etsy.com/ for helping me to design the banner and to Paul Wilson at http://wilsongraphics.etsy.com/ who is in the process of printing this for me on vinyl with grommets. He's also printing 16x20 enlargements of my work to hang inside my tent (which does not, as of this writing, yet exist).

Monday, March 9, 2009

Dipping my toes into enamels (so to speak) ...

I just finished a delightful two-day Enameling on Silver workshop at BIG Arts on Sanibel Island with Mary Ann Devos, Director of Education for PMC Connection. I've never had anything other than an absolute blast in Mary Ann's classes, some of which I've taken at her home studio.
These are the two enameled pendants I made in class. The orchid has a hidden bail behind the upper part of the blossom. I've got a bunch of enamels and enameling equipment on order and I can't wait to get started on more!

I finished the orchid by constructing a necklace using peach aventurine faceted rondelles, microfaceted green amethyst rondelles, aquamarine quartz and sterling silver tube beads with a sterling toggle clasp.