Archives for August 2015

Monsoon Season in Tucson



A monsoon is caused by warm air creating surface low pressure zones that in turn draw moist air from the oceans.

So you wonder how can Arizona have a monsoon season?

In the summer Arizona winds shift to a southeasterly wind bringing moisture from the Gulfs of Mexico and California. The wind shift and increase in moisture combine with the surface low pressure from the desert heat to produce storms usually a heavy rainfall in the late afternoon or evening. Before the rain there is usually increased wind.  And most of the time the monsoon cools the temperature down.

I like the monsoon season in Tucson which is said to last from June 15th to September 15th.  The rains help my garden and the cooling temps are nice.  But the colors in the skies are awesome and provide lots of inspiration for beads and jewelry.


Jewelry Inspired by the Monsoon colors

monsoon bracelet

Here is a crocheted bracelet inspired by our monsoon weather.  The beads were strung on a charcoal gray thread and crocheted over a sterling silver wire which gives this bangle structure.  Finished with sterling silver bead caps and 2 lampworked beads.  The beads are approximately 3/4″ of clear glass with flashes of pink and orange in the raised dots.  Lots of gorgeous chatoyency in those dots.  It fits an average wrist.

creating the desert in glass and metal





What’s on my bench?

on my bench


On my bench now…

I have been busy at the bench this week making earrings.  I am negotiating with a new gallery so I am making some new styles to present to them.  This batch is metal with gemstones.  I am particularly fond of the black druzy, but I also love the carnelian and copper, but then the plain textured silver and copper is nice for every day.  I have 3 more pair on the bench to finish up today.

The Process

I think that earrings are perceived as being easy to make.  Here is my process

  • decide on a shape
  • hand saw the shape
  • file
  • drill holes and clean up the holes – I like to use a larger drill bit to make the hole smooth and free from burrs
  • make jump rings to fit the hole
  • cut lengths of chain
  • solder bezel cups to the shaped metal if using stones
  • texture the metal without stones
  • refine and polish
  • set the stones
  • make the ear wires
  • assemble
  • patina

I like to work on several pair at a time so while one pair is in the pickle I can be working on another.  Sawing the shape in metal can be tedious.  I am considering the purchase of a hydraulic press.  Here in Tucson we have Kevin Potter who makes awesome tools.  I can even get a press in very cool colors plus save on shipping.  Of course shapes would be limited to the dies offered, but I believe I can special order something too.  Before i get serious though I have to do a little reorganizing of the studio which is a topic for later…

Have a great week…  and thanks for stopping by.

creating the desert in glass and metal

High School Reunion – #50

Why did I go to my 50th High School Reunion?

First of all I can’t believe that it’s been 50 years since high school.  It sounds like a long time, but I really don’t feel so different.  I seem to remember those days like they were yesterday.

My family moved from my hometown of Amsterdam, NY just before my senior year.  I have always liked adventure so I really didn’t see this move as a negative thing.  And it was sorta cool to be the “new” girl in a new school.  I made several friends in my new school, had a good year, and went on to college as planned.  For at that age isn’t our whole life ahead of us?  I didn’t look backwards.

I never even said goodbye to a lot of people back in Amsterdam; just the closest of friends.  So for me I went back to Amsterdam for closure; to see where I lived



Mechanic St

67 Mechanic Street – lived here until for grade school



34 Stella Lane, lived here until we moved in 1964

34 Stella Lane, lived here until we moved in 1964


and to see those people who over all the years I still feel very connected to.



I drove around the area, and yes it has changed.  I saw the old high school…  which is now the junior high.



Some friends never left Amsterdam… they see each other every day


I saw the houses where I used to live.  I saw the field that was turned into an ice rink every winter where I went ice skating  ….  Most of the old hangouts were gone.  Stores closed.  New ones built father out of town.  Crime is a problem.  The town is not the town that it was in 1965.

I learned that our class was the largest class to graduate in Amsterdam – 537 students.  So of course I did not know everybody.  And over the years many classmates left the area and spread out all over the country.  This was a milestone anniversary for our class so I was hoping many would make the effort to come back for it.  Not everyone did, but I was not disappointed.  Saw many classmates and even made some new acquaintances.  And was distressed to see the photos of the 86 who had passed away.

So why do you go to a reunion?

  • You have good feelings and want to reminisce
  • You want to see if all those predictions about people came true.
  • You are not who you were in high school
  • You want to remember who you were in high school
  • You want to go back to the roots that made you who you are today
  • And most of all because you can