Thursday, July 31, 2008

more wedding pics

Courtesy of my mother, here are a few more wedding photos. This is Brad & Lisa just after having been pronounced husband and wife.

And here they are cutting the cake.

My handsome little brother (that's me in the background).

And my other handsome brother in the dark shirt. I wanted to show the pew bow, one of 8 I made that decorated the sanctuary.

That's all, folks.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

back in the saddle

I am back from Iowa, which was gorgeously green because of all the rain. I assume you may have heard of the extreme flooding this summer on the Missouri river. Well, one upside of all that precipitation is that the countryside was absolutely exuberantly verdant.

My brother's wedding was lovely, simple, personal, and very touching and sweet. This is the second time around for both him and his bride, so we're all a little older and wiser in the marriage department. I'm collecting photos from various family members to post here but in the meantime, here's a link to their wedding photographer's blog which features a few photos of Brad & Lisa and the tiny historical church where they were married.

I have been working away on my necklace for the state fair. It is nearly finished, only one strand to go out of six. I ended up creating my own clasp because I couldn't find one I thought was suitable. I made this one in the mold of a limpet shell with a sterling silver hook fired into the underside for the fastener. It really turned out quite well. I'm also pleased to say I've found a great source for the fuel I use in my little flowerpot kiln. I get twice as much fuel for half the price, and it's local so I don't have to pay shipping.

Since I'm finishing my necklace sooner than I had anticipated I'm considering making another entry into the fair, perhaps a PMC bracelet. We'll see.

Hope you're all having a fabulous week.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

one last post before leaving

Tomorrow morning we leave for Des Moines to attend my brother Brad's wedding. He and his fiancee, Lisa, asked me to make their wedding guest book, and I finished it last night. I may add beads and/or lovers' knots to the ribbons, but otherwise it's finished. The cover is my own painted and stamped paper, covered with sheer purple chiffon and the edges are finished with the same ribbon I used to bind in the pages. The scripture verse is printed on paper and stitched to a padded rectangle covered with hand-dyed (by me) silk habotai. I used little purple paper fasteners to ornament the rectangle. Inside are two signatures of five hand-torn pages each, folded in half to make twenty pages. It's really a simple pamphlet binding but looks nice.

Here is a new pendant I'm rather proud of. It's 1.5" square and is backed with a similar silver square. The squares are set together with balls of silver in each corner, smooshed together like a sandwich. I should have taken a photo of it from the side so you can see what I mean. The stone is a pale blue cz, and the whole thing was patinated in liver of sulphur. The texture was achieved using a rubber stamp in a paisley pattern, one of my favorites.

And here is the long-awaited silver shell pendant for my "mermaid's treasure" necklace I plan to enter into the Kansas state fair. I ended up firing it on my little flowerpot kiln instead of using my friend's electric one and it worked out just fine. I did fire it three times because the pendant is rather substantial--I used nearly 50 grams of silver in it. It has a nice heft and will sit well in the necklace, I think.

I will be out of the loop until we get back from Iowa, I will take photos of the trip, and I hope you all have a great weekend.

Monday, July 21, 2008

busy weekend with no photos

This past weekend, and really the week itself, has been so busy. My younger sister and her two youngest children arrived from Washington state for a visit. We hadn't seen them since Christmas so it's great to catch up. Her visit has the added purpose of attending our brother's wedding, too.

I worked at the VAAM Gallery on Saturday, a very welcome day for me. I take whatever I happen to be working on and use the day as studio time. This time it was jewelry, which is nice and portable. I have been known to haul my sewing and embellishing machines into the Gallery, plus assorted fabrics and fibers, which is a lot of hefting around but still fun, and generates interest in Gallery visitors.

My brother and his fiancee have asked me to make their wedding guestbook so I got busy on that this weekend, painting and stamping a large sheet of paper for the cover and basically getting the cover pretty much finished up. Hopefully I'll get the inside cover glued in tonight, then I can start on the pages. The wedding colors are pastel blues and purples, so the book is in the same colors. I promise to photograph the end results. The wedding is this coming Saturday, so on Friday we will all be driving to Des Moines, Iowa for the festivities, traveling by way of Kansas City to pick up my youngest brother, and stopping in Clarinda, Iowa, where my father grew up so he can show us around.

One other thing I accomplished this weekend was to make the mold for my silver seashell pendant. I got some molding compound and worked it up, impressed the shell, and presto! Worked just like it was supposed to. Now if I can only get up the courage to put the precious metal clay into the mold. It's a fair sized shell for a pendant, over 2" long and over an inch wide, plus it's 3D so it requires a lot of silver which translates into a bit of a $$ outlay, so I really don't want to screw it up. As an aside I found, or rather my husband did, a local source for the gelled alcohol fuel I use to fire my precious metal clay pieces. It is less expensive locally, plus I don't have to pay to have that heavy stuff shipped. It's all good.

Hope you're having a good Monday.

Monday, July 14, 2008

state fair bound

I have the opportunity to enter a piece of jewelry in the newly-created "jewelry" category in the sculpture division. Actually, a gentleman I work with who is a wonderful bronze sculptor when he's not being our sales manager told me about this and encouraged me to make an entry. I've decided to create a necklace around the theme "mermaid's treasure". It will involve sea glass, large freshwater pearls, seashell-shaped glass beads, and a handmade silver pendant made with PMC and my own mold made from a real seashell similar to the ones above. I'm excited about this! The most challenging part will be getting the seashell pendant made as it will require me doing things I've not had any experience with, and firing the pendant in a friend's kiln. I'm hoping for the best and will, of course, photograph the results.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

an award

Last week while I was sick and feeling sorry for myself I received a lovely award from Viv. I'm flattered and gratified that she thinks so highly of my blog. The rules specify that I'm to post the award and link back to the awarder, which I have done, and to nominate 7 more blogs to receive the award. So here goes:
These bloggers are very inspiring to me. I know they're also very busy ladies so if this award doesn't get passed along I entirely understand.
I am completely finished being sick, hopefully for a long time to come. I am rarely as flat out ill as I was and all I have to say is thank heaven for antibiotics. I really appreciate all the sympathy and good wishes while I was sick and also your kind words about our poor kitty Fuzzy. We miss his little gray self. All the rest of our cats are orange.
Hope you all have a fantastic Wednesday.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

remember me?

Sorry I've been AWOL. What with being sick and the holiday weekend including company (my two brothers and two nephews) things got kinda busy.

Here is the darling piece Kate made me for the garden swap. I love it! The photo is sub par so maybe you can't see, but the green fabric on top has been cut to reveal the collage underneath. It is so cool! Thanks again, Kate.

Now for some new jewelry. The above earrings are totally handmade, including the hand formed earwire. The gemstone is peridot. I made several pairs of these in different gemstones.

This necklace includes irregular chunks of wood and silver coated ceramic beads as the off-center focal. Kinda cool for summer.

Another summery necklace, this one of red coral chunks and bali silver.

And finally this chunky triple strand bracelet, aka what to do with little leftover bits from other projects. Pink and purple, yessirree!
On a sad note, our cat Fuzzy died yesterday. He was only two years old but from a very inbred litter and was genetically not strong. Nonetheless, he was a friendly and affectionate cat and we will miss him very much.
I hope you are all well in blogland.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

poor me

This lovely clipart is from

I have strep throat. I cannot believe it. Haven't had it in at least 15 years. I'm on antibiotics and off work at least for today. You may commence sympathy now.