what do you wear to run some quick errands

outfit-to-run-quick-errands

Do you believe in the 80-20 rule?

Well, it’s true for my clothes – I wear 20% of my clothes 80% of the time.

This outfit is a favorite.  No time for jewelry except for a pair of statement earrings.  This look will work for a short flight to Chicago for the weekend too.  or NYC or Colorado Springs – where ever….

jeans

turtleneck

shoes

bag

earrings

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desert rain long drop statement earrings

desert rain creosote plant

Can you smell the rain?

In the desert I can smell the rain.

It’s fresh.  It’s clean.  It’s invigorating.

But of course it’s not the rain but the creosote bush.

This plant is the reason you can smell the rain in the desert.

Come visit the desert

And if it rains, go outside and take a whiff!

That smell has a name — petrichor.

It is the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil

desert rain drops

Inspired by the smell of rain

Inspired by little drops of rain on plants

 a pair of earrings are born

desert-rain-drop-earrings-statement

The long drop desert rain earrings are in the shop – shop them here

The smaller fish hook style is coming soon.  Join my newsletter group to be the first to know

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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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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

blog post button

 

 

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

Stay connected by joining my e-newsletter group

 

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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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

 

Second Saturday Sale Day – Bracelets

Bracelet Sale

It’s Saturday August 12th and there is a sale happening

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

shop the sale now link button

 

A Bead Journey

Beads – How my passion got started

I have always done something crafty or artsy.  I wanted to go to art school but my parents thought that an art degree wouldn’t be practical.  

My grandmother taught me sewing.  She was a seamstress and worked in a sweatshop mill in upper state New York sewing clothing for a manufacturer until the mill moved south.  I even designed some clothing patterns.  She also taught me knitting.  And being me, I also taught myself to design some knitting patterns – pretty easy ones.  I took a painting class and it didn’t inspire me.  I loved doing needle work in the form of needlepoint and cross stitch.  I was designing cross stitch patterns for a shop in Las Vegas when we lived there.  The owner coaxed me to “name” my business and I chose Desert Bloom. Of course, I instantly designed a pattern in cross stitch for the business.  I showed it to Shirley, the shop owner, and she said “why don’t you add some beads to the design?”  

So I walked into a bead shop….OH MY!

bead journey

Beading can be overwhelming.  What technique did I want to start with?  I chose seed beads for the Desert Bloom cross stitch.  You might not be able to see them in the photo but they are there. And as soon as I finished that project I taught myself how to stitch designs and jewelry with seed beads. 

This is one of the first bracelets I made. (designed the pattern too).  And sold several hundred copies of this pattern online.  I decided that trying to sell the finished product was not feasible.  It takes a long time to complete, and I would never get the price to compensate for the hours of work.

bead journey

I designed more patterns, but I was having a hard time finding button closures.  In the meantime my youngest daughter was in college in Portland, OR and I went up to visit.  I had some time that weekend and decided to attend the Embellishment conference at the Convention Center.  And that is when I saw my first lampworked bead.  Of course I was familiar with Venetian beads.  But the lampwork beads I saw at this convention were tiny works of art.  And I was hooked.  And my journey with glass began in 1997.creating the desert in glass and metal

Spirals

spiralThe spiral is an ancient symbol. It appeared thousands of years ago in southwestern Native American tribal areas on cave walls and on ancient pottery.  I have read that spirals can mean water, or wind.  The spiral also symbolized a way of planting, starting at the center and moving out in circles as they planted. In Navajo this was called ha’oolmaaz
And the spiral can also be representative of man’s journey on earth.

Spirals in my Art Jewelry

Since a lot of my inspiration comes from the southwestern deserts I use the spiral a lot in my bead designs and silver jewelry.  It’s a soothing stroke to create in glass.

spiral,labyrinth ring

 

Man in the Maze

The Man in the Maze is a type of  labyrinth, represented in the basket making and silversmithing of the American Southwest, especially among the Tohono O’Odham nation.  It usually is characterized by seven concentric circles.  There are many stories about the meaning of the Man in the Maze. Interpretations of the image vary from family to family, and the symbolism is a sacred belief. A common interpretation that the human figure represents the O’odham people. The maze signifies the difficult journey toward finding deeper meaning in life. The twists and turns refer to struggles and lessons learned along the way. At the center of the maze is a circle, which stands either for death or for the ultimate realization of identity or eternity.

I participated in a collaboration with bead artist Heidi Kummli several years ago.  I provided lampworked beads and she created a necklace with them.  The theme of the collaboration was wind, earth, fire and water. I provided her with 5 beads –  the bottom of the piece was one of my artifact beads with a spiral in silver.

spiral

creating the desert in glass and metal