Archives for October 2016

Mesquite Pods

mesquite pods

Mesquite Pods

Mesquite trees have long been used by native people of the southwest for food, medicine, beverages, glue, hair dye, firewood, construction material, and furniture making.  Mesquite beans are usually harvested after they turn hard and golden. Both the pods and the seeds (which are very tough) are ground into meal. The native people sprinkled the ground meal with a little water to form small, round cakes. Later, slices of dried cake were fried like mush, used to thicken stews, or eaten raw. The meal is also used as flour to make flat bread. Mesquite meal is gluten free.  The pods of mesquite beans are very sweet and the sweetness comes from fructose which doesn’t require insulin to be metabolized. You can chew on a pod to test its sweetness.

My dog loves to eat them.

My driveway is full of them.

So what do mesquite pods have to do with jewelry?

Mesquite Pod Earrings

I have always wanted to capture the essence of the mesquite pod in an earring.  For these earrings I decided to use hammered sterling silver (to emulate the texture of the bark) and tiny semi precious gemstones to mimic the curve of the pod as it hangs on the tree.  I’ve used sunstone here, but also turquoise, spinel, hematite, moonstone, ruby and more.

mesquite pods                                    mesquite pods

 

 

mesquite pods

mesquite pods

mesquite pods

They will be available in my shop on October 30

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creating the desert in glass and metal

Sometimes is lasts in love

But sometimes it hurts instead

…Adele

 

Pregnant

Pregnant – no not me

Our youngest daughter is pregnant.  I never thought about being a Grandmother..  oh my…   but we are quite excited about this new addition coming in 2017.  If you follow me on social media you probably have seen somewhere that I love to knit – and crochet too.  So of course knitting a baby blanket is in my future.

I chose this pattern…

pregnant - picture of baby blanket

And I picked a color called “tartan”.

pregnant

Can you guess?

It’s a boy!

Now I’m waiting for the name….

pregnant

 

Desert Blooms Bead – Mesa Series Necklace

Blooms in the Desert

bloom

bloom

bloom

I love the desert blooms

They are opulent

and sometimes ephemeral….  living for just a few hours

Desert Blooms in glass

bloom

So one of my favorite beads to make is one I call the “Desert Bloom Bead” and it is captured forever in glass

So the Mesa Series Necklaces had to have one with a Desert Bloom bead

bloom

bloom

bloom

bloom

The sterling silver chain is long

and slips over your head

Available in my shop October 30

creating the desert in glass and metal

quote23

Monsoon Sky

Monsoon Sky

The Tucson monsoon season is officially over.  It was certainly dramatic this year and dumped 20% more rain in Tucson than usual.  I guess that means our yard will be scattered with 20% more weeds too… but I’m not complaining.  The rain was awesome!

The skys are beautiful during or just before a monsoon rain.  Sometimes there are lots of orange.  but one night the sky had an unbelievable pink.

monsoon

So I had to make a bead – right?

monsoon sky bead

Some blues, golds, pinks, and a swirl of fine silver wire heavily encased in clear glass.

So it went into one of the “Mesa Series Necklaces”

monsoon sky bead necklace

monsoon

monsoon bead

monsoon

no clasp

long sterling chain fits right over your head

etched sterling silver “Mesa” pendant is blackened and hallmarked

available October 30 in my shop

creating the desert in glass and metal

quote2

Scroll Bead in a Mesa Series Necklace

scroll

Scroll

Can you see the delicate scroll in this lampworked bead?  If you follow me you know that I am inspired by the deserts of the Southwest.  I love the colors, the textures, the flora and the animals.  And I find the rock art and petroglyphs amazing.  Some person, a long time ago, took time to carve and paint images on the rocks.  Rock art is an expression of humanity, symbols of a culture that have persisted for millennia.  Ancient drawings, carvings and paintings on rock provide inspiration for the mind, limited only by the farthest boundaries of our imagination. Rock art is a window on our past and, most of all, a marvelous mystery captured on cliffs and rocks throughout the American Southwest.  The scroll  as it appears on my bead probably doesn’t exist per se on any rocks in the Southwest.  It is my expression of a graceful line.  On the bead it is created with ivory glass that has silver leaf mixed in.  The glass is pulled thin and applied to the base bead not in the flame but in the outer reaches of the heat of the flame.  It takes patience, control – and minimal coffee in the morning.  The result is an earthy brushstroke, a graceful arc, an undulating decoration found in many aspects of life.

Mesa Series Necklace with Scroll Lampworked Bead

scroll

scroll

scroll

scroll

It’s the shortest necklace in series.  The sterling silver pendant is hallmarked with my initials on the back.  Available in my shop October 30.

creating the desert in glass and metal

infidelity is less about sex than it is about intimacy

that magnetic line of connection between two bodies and their secret selves

Intimacy shared with another person is often the first real betrayal to any union, and the first plunge out of one’s depth.

LBD

LBD

Everyone has that perfect LBD – little black dress.  

I just got a new one and I’m looking forward to wearing it.

But I think you also need a LBBN – little black bead necklace

This necklace is the last one I made in the Mesa Series

LBD

LBD

LBDLBD

long blackened sterling chain fits over your head

great layering piece

available in the shop on October 30th

creating the desert in glass and metal

quote7

The Mesa Series

Mesa Series

Mesa Series

I etched some sterling silver with a hand drawn design inspired by the mesas of Arizona.  I then cut the silver into various shaped pendants sometimes put together with brass rivets.  Each one is hallmarked.  I added a lampworked bead and created some necklaces.  The Mesa Series

A mesa is an area of high land with a flat top and two or more steep, cliff like sides.

Mesa

These pendants will be in my shop on October 30th

creating the desert in glass and metal

Losing Weight

Losing Weight – have you tried it?

Losing weight is really really hard.  Yes, as you age the pounds keep adding on and its harder and harder to get them off.  I feel like I have gained and lost 10 pounds over and over again.  I’m not sure why this time is different.  But back in February  I decided that I really had to address my health.  And that meant eating better and losing a few pounds.  Yes, the jeans were really tight.

Now there are a lot of diets out there  – and I have tried more than a few.  But this time I knew I was not going to go on a diet.  I was going to pay attention to what I ate and really get serious about the exercise.

The first thing I did was finally open up the Lose-It app on my phone.  And I programmed in my goals and set out to eat the calories they suggested.  I decided that I would eat whatever I wanted just stick to the daily calorie count.  I was hungry for the first two weeks and then things settled into a routine.  I was always a snacker, but now if I had to snack it was a piece of fruit.  I have a wicked sweet tooth and I did not give up sweets altogether, just small small portions.  It’s always the first bite that tastes the best – right?  And I did not give up the occasional glass of red wine, That’s good for you – right?

I also became really serious at the gym.  I started walking on the treadmill 4 days a week and slowly increased speed and incline.  I cannot believe that I am going to say this, but I actually look forward to working out now.  I even added swimming.  I sorta knew how to swim, but then in June when my life took a drastic turn, I decided I needed to conquer my fears.  I took a few swimming lessons and soon enough I was swimming for 30 minutes without the fear.

Recently I have added Pilates.  Since February 2016 I have lost 30 pounds.  The pace was perfect – averaging a pound a week.  But I am 68 (at least til October 10th)  and I will certainly benefit from some toning.  And the Pilates appeals to me more than the machines at the gym.

So now I’m in maintenance mode….  The lose it app helps you with that too….

Sunday Mornings

Sunday is the day I allow myself to splurge a little.  I found this recipe from the Pioneer Woman for lemon pancakes.

Losing weight

yum

losing weight

But I ate only one!

Off to the studio – art is the one thing that lets me run away from home

creating the desert in glass and metal

quote14

I thought ours was healthy, but he turned it into a cliche

Traveling – our trip to Great Britain

Traveling

We have made it a point to enjoy traveling in our retirement.

And we like tours especially with Tauck and Lindblad

They think of EVERYTHING and take you places you would never go on your own

So this 3 week journey of Great Britain was planned over a year ago….

We started in Scotland

traveling - Great Britain

tasted a little Scotch

traveling - Great Britain

sipped on an Edinburg mist at St Giles cafe

traveling - Great Britain

visited Holyrood House just before the Queen’s annual visit

traveling - Great Britain

we even had delightful weather

traveling - Great Britain

The Lake District was spectacular ;  below is a photo taken at Hadrian’s wall

traveling - Great Britain

stopped for a private lunch at a private estate and toured their gardens

traveling - Great Britain

Visited an estate with an awesome topiary garden

traveling - Great Britain

Wales….  the language is interesting…  the weather not so much

traveling - Great Britain

a visit to Blenheim castle – relatives of Winston Churchill – and saw his grave

sat in the awesome gardens

traveling - Great Britain

Stonehenge…  what is the real story?

traveling - Great Britain

Windsor Castle

traveling - Great Britain

and London…. staying at the Savoy – what a treat

traveling - Great Britain

the art deco – so inspiring

traveling - Great Britain

traveling - Great Britain

traveling - Great Britain

traveling - Great Britain

traveling - Great Britain

traveling - Great Britain

The trip was everything I had hoped it would be.

Tauck did not disappoint

creating the desert in glass and metal

When you have champagne at home why go looking for beer?….  Micky Donovan