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

 

new tag

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

new tag

 

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…

new tag

 

 

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

new tag

Giving Back – Art Jewelry for the Humane Society

I love creating my beads and art jewelry.  I’m really not sure what my day would be like if I couldn’t do something creative.  So to give back to the community I have several organizations that I support.  Today I want to talk about the Humane Society of Southern Arizona.

Art Jewelry for the Humane Society

My husband and I started to volunteer for the Humane Society here in Tucson last year.  We have taken several classes on dog handling and dog walking, so every Saturday morning we get up early to help walk the dogs.  It’s a no kill shelter so the animals stay until they find their forever homes.  And it’s really nice to see what a great job this shelter does both taking care of the animals while they are there as well as finding the right home for the dogs and cats.  I am proud to be a part of this organization.

So I was happy to see that they will be having a big fund raiser on April 22nd called “Putting on the Dog”.  Music, food, auctions  – a fun event to support the Humane Society.  So I thought I would donate a special piece of art jewelry to support the cause.

art jewelry - giving back

This pendant necklace just got dropped off.  I made the bead based on a book I have by Claudia Trimbur Pagel.  She shows how to make several beads and one of them is a “dog bead”.

It felt good to make and even better to give to the Humane Society.  I hope it finds a forever home on April 22nd.

creating the desert in glass and metal

REST IN PEACE

Homer

Homer

2003 – 2017

I miss you

Totally Handmade

handmade

Totally Handmade – what does that mean?

  • sketch the necklace – about a half hour
  • make the lampworked beads – about 2 hours
  • anneal the lampworked beads – 24 hours
  • clean the lampworked beads – 10 min
  • create a template for the silver links – 30 min
  • use template to saw the silver links – 1 hour
  • refine the silver links, and polish – 1.5 hours
  • fabricate the jumprings – 30 min
  • wire the beads – 1 hour
  • fabricate the clasp – 20 min
  • solder the clasp – 10 min
  • clean all of the silver components – 15 min
  • patina the silver components – 15 min
  • wire wrap semi-precious stones to one link – 15 min
  • connect the necklace  15 min
  • photograph the piece 30 min

It’s a lot of work; but I LOVE doing it.

Louise

Handmade Chain with Beads

handmade chain

I am putting together a new collection.

It will use my glass beads, but also more metal in the designs.

– sterling silver and copper and bronze, and a little gold.  

So I am making prototypes now which helps me visualize the pieces and see where adjustments need to happen.  This necklace has stations of glass beads between lengths of chain.  

The jump rings are twisted wire and soldered.  (lots of work)

I really like the look, but and also going to bezel set a bead in silver for the station instead of the wrapping.  

So much fun….

creating the desert in glass and metal

Mesa Necklace with Hollow Bead

Mesa Necklace with hollow bead

This necklace has a sterling silver pendant etched with a hand drawn image inspired by the mesas of Arizona.  I added an amber hollow bead.

The necklace is long without a clasp – great for layering on a fall sweater

The necklace measures 28 inches

The silver pendant and bead add another  3 inches

The pendant measures 3/4 inch by 2 inches

The lampworked bead measures 14mm by 20mm

mesa hollow

mesa hollow

mesa hollow

mesa hollow

mesa hollow

It’s in my Etsy shop now

creating the desert in glass and metal

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

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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

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