Chicago – a weekend getaway to the windy city

Chicago

Cold and crisp

The sun isn’t shining but the lake is beautiful. Right now we are on an architectural tour.

We are here for a long weekend.

A dose of the big city.

chicago-weekend-getaway

Shopping on Michigan Avenue also known as the Magnificent Mile.

magnificent-mile-chicago

Eating at some fine fine restaurants

Visiting with old friends.

And lucky to have tickets to Hamilton.

Plus a visit to the SOFA show.  No it’s not sofa’s for your living room.

It’s the  Sculpture Objects Functional Art and Design show.

Also a visit to the Art Museum and possibly a walk around Hyde Park where we used to live ages ago.

Really having fun

Vacation and the Guggenheim – Bilboa – the museum building is art itself

Vacation in Basque Country 

and a visit to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao

I just came back from a wonderful vacation aboard the National Geographic Orion.  The trip was titled Cultural and Culinary Adventure in Basque Country….    and it did not disappoint.  We ate and drank our way along the coastline of France, Spain, and Portugal while learning about the culture of the area.  And for me the highlight of the trip was our private morning tour of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.  You cannot take photographs inside of the museum except in the foyer.  So I will just dazzle you with some photos of the outside….

Guggenheim Museum – Bilbao

Bridge over the Nervion River, Bilbao Spain

 

Foyer – entrance – Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain

 

Elevator, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain

vacation

Tulip Sculpture, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain

vacation

me, taking a closeup photo of the tulip sculpture reflection

vacation

Steam Experience at the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain

These are just a few of the photos I took.  You can walk all around the perimeter of the museum and each angle of the building is more beautiful than the last.  And the last photo shows steam being released.  It hangs over the water and creates quite an atmosphere…..  What an experience.

But I am back in Tucson now and the studio is calling

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Cactus Bloom Pendant

A Cactus Bloom is my inspiration

One of the first lampworked beads I made was my rendition of a desert bloom or cactus bloom.  Boy I loved making those beads.

Well, a cactus bloom is still on my mind, but I am approaching this inspiration a little differently now.  

This summer I took a class with Robert Lopez.  If you are not familiar with Robert’s work check him out here.  I love his quirky style and wanted to incorporate the feeling into my work.  I was really smitten with some pendants that he made.  You can see one in the upper right of this collage.inspiration Robert Lopez

 

He collaborated with a metal clay artist for the embossed medallions in the pieces, but what I liked about the pieces was the airy garden feeling, and of course the asymmetry. 

I thought my glass cabochons would set off the idea perfectly.

Most of Robert’s pieces use titanium and Argentium silver.  I decided to stick with sterling silver for my creation.

 

 

So I just finished my first piece.  And I am about 90% happy with it.  Of course I learned a lot and the next one is going to be spectacular.  I would like to have a few in the shop by the end of October.  Anyway, since I use sterling silver I had to solder all of my silver together.  With Argentium silver you can fuse some pieces.  I am very happy with the glass cabochon.  And I am extremely happy with the tube set stones.  The major flaw is a design flaw.  The tube settings are sitting too close to the bezel of the cabochon which made it quite difficult to push the bezel near the tube.  But the glass is in there very securely and will not fall out.  However I would not be happy selling this piece.  The next one will be much improved.  It’s a pendant but I am thinking some brooches too.

cactus bloom

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Desert Canyon -inspiration for my art

 

Deserts are living contradictions: seemingly empty but in fact packed with life, burning hot by day yet freezing cold by night, and arid save for that odd flash flood that tears through the land, gouging out great canyons. And nowhere are these canyons more dramatic—and dangerous—than in Arizona.

Antelope Canyon

Here are some photos taken at Antelope Canyon in Arizona.

desert canyon

desert canyon

desert canyon

desert canyon

 

the desert is inspiration for my art jewelry

When I sit down to make glass beads I usually have an idea now what I need and want to make.  That wasn’t always the case.  But I loved to work in the colors found in the desert.  Here is a necklace I made several years ago.  The focal glass bead is from the “canyon” series.

canyon inspiration

 

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Starbucks

I just read that Starbucks is releasing a new fall coffee drink that might just be better than the Pumpkin  Spiced Latte.  It is the MPL  for short – or Maple Pecan Latte.  It is described as an espresso drink with flavor notes of maple syrup, pecan, and brown butter.  Whoa.  That sounds decadent.  I always look forward to the Pumpkin latte but this new drink sounds like something right up my alley.

starbucks maple pecan latte

 

So that brings me to a question. 

How often do you imbibe at a Starbucks or the equivalent? 

My oldest daughter lives in Seattle, and I think I can safely say she has a coffee drink every day. 

Me – maybe once or twice a month. 

I have an amusing story about my parents and Starbucks.  Way way way back in 1990 my parents had a financial advisor who wanted them to invest in a company that was going public.  They lived in Northern Virginia at the time so he invited them to go to a Starbucks in Washington DC with him.  My Mother gleefully told me that she thought he was going crazy.  Her exact words…  who in hell would pay $3.00 for a cup of coffee.  So I guess I don’t need to say out loud that they didn’t invest. 

My Art Jewelry – something new

“Alabaster” Lampworked Beads – in a new necklace

art jewelry

There is an alabaster box
Carved, and beautiful
but fragile
just like my heart.
I trusted.
I felt certain.
But now live with broken promises
But like the box
I will endure

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Earrings and A Few Changes

My Blog and My Newsletter

So if you subscribe to follow my blog I want to let you know that I have changed the way the blogs are delivered to you.  You will get one blog update a week.  I might update the blog more frequently, but this way you will not be inundated with emails from me.  

I also plan to send my newsletter out once a week.  My goal is to have it delivered to you every Sunday morning.  the newsletters will focus more on a history of beads and jewelry while my blogs will give you more behind the scenes of me making beads and jewelry as well as showcasing my work in progress and finished pieces.    The blog and the newsletter should compliment each other.

Please let me know what you think.

If you want to sign up for anything here are the links

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I also send a newsletter which might be more your style….

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So What’s on my Bench Now?

earring
I have challenged myself to make a pair of earrings a day for the month of October.  (Most of them are going to a local shop, but some will hit the website and my new store…)

Earrings always seem to challenge me the most.  I have to make 2 of them…   do they really have to match?  Well, we will see.  Since I will be traveling a bit in October I thought I would get a little head start….  So here is a sneak peak at a pair of earrings I just finished.

 

Speaking of new store…  have you visited?  I would love to hear your thoughts on my fall line…  Harmony

Thanks again everyone for all of your support…

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Yucca Leaf – inspiration for the fall 2017 collection

yucca leaf

Yuccas have long sword-shaped leaves with pointed tips. The leaves are often about 1 to 3 feet in length. Numerous yucca leaves grow in a rosette formation from a thick base.  

 I tell you this because I used the yucca leaf as the inspiration for many pieces in the Fall 2017 Harmony Collection.  I am showing you a photo of a yucca necklace with a handmade glass cabochon.  

yucca leaf necklace

This yucca necklace is a series of links in sterling silver cold connected together to form a collar necklace.  It is lightweight, and very easy to wear.  This yucca necklace has a lampworked cabochon from the Desert Bloom series.

The necklace can be found here

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Road Trip

Road trip

new listings in the shop are delayed

We are on a road trip to Santa Fe.

Check back on Wednesday, August 30

Desert Willow – inspiration for my art jewelry

desert willow

I think this photo is a Desert willow tree.  For a long time I thought this tree was an ironwood tree.  But I spent some time on google today and have decided it’s a Desert Willow.  Anyway….  these trees have been blooming around Tucson now for quite awhile.  The bloom looks tropical and exotic – almost like an orchid.  So what does this have to do with my art jewelry??  Well, there is a necklace in my shop in this Saturday’s sale that was influenced by this bloom.

Desert willow bloom as inspiration for a necklace

The stone is a faceted pink sapphire.  

 

 

Here’s the direct link – click on shop the sale now

shop the sale now link button

 

The Tucson Desert is Always Interesting – it’s my desert inspiration

There is always something blooming in the desert around Tucson.  On our walks around our neighborhood I saw a bush like tree with yellow pom pom blooms.  Come to find out it is a Whitehorn acacia tree.  It really is beautiful.

blooming desert

 

And just across the street from us we have been watching a bird build her nest.  I forget though is it the female or the male that builds the nest? Anyway it has been fascinating to watch although I don’t think she chose a very good spot.  It did survive the heavy rain last night.

blooming desert

Speaking of rain the monsoons have been awesome this year.  And I am pleased that even though we have had some heavy rains the wash on our property has not overflowed.  That always makes a mess when it does that.

Out in the Studio

I have been in the studio pretty much every day last week.  I decided to add some gold to a collection of sterling silver pendants that I’m working on.  Here’s a video that I shot of the process that I used. 

 

Can’t wait to open my new shop this September.  I have been working on pieces that really bring me joy.

creating the desert in glass and metalIf you just found my blog I invite you to follow me – you will learn about my processes, my inspiration, and a little about me.  (I post about twice a week).  My tribe of kindred spirits are a group of remarkable people.  It’s fun to be of the journey of life with people who inspire me to be a better person.  

Remember I love to hear from you 

 

 

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I also send a newsletter which might be more your style….

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