Friday, December 18, 2009

Winter Morning at Stillwaters

I wish that my photography skills could capture this sunrise. I tried to alter it to show the colors, but did not succeed in duplicating it. These cold winter days make for great studio time. The outside warm sunshine is not beckoning me to play.
These are a couple of things that I have finished lately. The heart brooch above is copper and brass stitched together with copper wire. It is at Heart and Hands in Franklin.
This is a necklace that I made from one of the polymer clay pendants that Steph gave me. I think it looks like stone.
This colorful bracelet can be found at Cliques in Columbia.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Downtown Artisans

In these weak economic times, there have sadly been a lot of empty storefronts in our town. Recently, a friend of mine called with an interesting proposition. He found someone who would rent to us just the windows of an empty store for a very reasonable price and he thought that it would be a great idea for several of us local artists could display our work there. It would not be a shop that was open to the public, but a sort of museum or gallery under glass for all to see as they passed by. We are including our contact information so that hopefully a bit of business will come our way.The ringleader of this gathering of artists is Mark Dillon. Mark makes beautiful, handmade wood furniture. Some of his work is historic reproductions and some is of his own design. Mark teaches carpentry and woodworking at our local high school. He has also included projects made by his students and hopes to encourage more young people to learn the craft through apprenticeship.
There is also Michelle Moraczewski who is the principle architect of MPA Studio, an architectural firm. She is also a wonderful artist who does landscapes, architectural renderings, and portraits in pastels and oils. You can see some of her work on the back wall.

Joining us also is Rick Pipkin, aka Ripkin, who does dog portraits with lots of personality, and also other subjects as well. You can see his painting of a person standing on the back left side of the photo above, and also a work in progress on an easel. Last Saturday, he was actually painting live in the window.
Blown up photos of my jewelry are hanging from tree branches like a mobile in both windows, with pieces of jewelry lying on some of Mark's benches.

The unifying theme of the windows is the process of creating art. We have all included displays with some of the tools of our trade scattered about the window.

Here are some of mine, with photos from my studio and the materials that I use to create.
Our goal is to constantly have this display evolve and create interest. Through all of this we hope to increase an awareness of the arts, and especially of local artisans. Our downtown area is so beautiful and quaint that it has been the location of at least two movies, (Daltry Calhoun and the most recent Hannah Montana movie.) It is sad to see it so empty. Who knows...maybe arts can revive our beautiful town.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Watch This

I picked up several vintage watch cases when I went to the flea market last month. This is what they became. The one with the face is encased in UTEE and the Eiffel Tower one is just open beneath the glass with tiny pearls rolling around inside. These will be for sale at Cliques.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


I was recently inspired by an article in Belle Armoire Jewelry magazine to create this little house necklace. I chose a Paper Whimsy face to look back out at the world from inside the little house and the word "secret" from an old child's reader.

After finishing that, I spied this little spoon on my work table and having the faces close at hand, was inspired to make this pendant. It would also be possible for me to do custom pieces for people with their ancestors or children and make them look vintage as these photos do.
The necklace above was the first thing that Steph gave to me as we waited for her luggage at the baggage claim at the Nashville airport. It is a cowgirl in resin with ribbons and lace. It always is a conversation starter when I wear it.When we got home, she opened her box of goodies that she brought and out came this gorgeous necklace that I had seen on her blog, but had no idea that it was intended for me. I love the colors and that I can wear it with just about anything.

She and I are planning a necklace round robin for the new year with a couple of other artists. I can't wait to see the results!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Go Green

These are my newest creations. The green I am referring to is not only the color, but the fact that other than the stones, this jewelry was made from recycled materials. The copper sheet is leftover roofing copper given to me by a friend who does construction and the wire is stripped electrical wire leftover from wiring a house that we built. Take the basic raw materials and transform them. I love to make a sketch and watch that concept become reality.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Little Whimsy

I had a blast making these necklaces for Studio Thursday this month. The crowd there is mostly animal lovers so I chose these collages that I made for a swap a couple of years ago to use for the pendants. The sale was a great success! I feel blessed to get to sell my jewelry despite the slow economy. Thanks always to Shawn for including me in her fun and unique sale. The next Studio Thursday will be in February.

The next necklace is made from beads that Steph showed me how to make when she was visiting. They are polymer clay faux turquoise and cane beads. It looks like chunky, substantial stone beads, but it is very light and comfortable.All of my spare time lately is spent in the studio creating new work to take to Cliques and Heart and Hands. More to come...

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Photo Credit: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Tuesday I had an interesting phone call. I person named Joey wanted a copper and turquoise bracelet to wear to an awards ceremony. I was surprised to learn that it was Joey Feek, the female half of Joey and Rory. Needless to say, I set aside my house cleaning and went straight to my studio. I had a delicious piece of turquoise that needed just the right person to wear it. I made this bracelet and earrings specifically with her in mind.

I met her and Rory yesterday and they are very friendly, down to earth people. She seemed to be delighted with her piece. It was just the dramatic accent that she was looking for to go with her buckskin dress that she was wearing to the CMA Award Ceremony. The top picture was snagged from the website. If you zoom in, you can kind of see the bracelet.

Check out their songs on their website. I know a couple of new songs that will be going on my Ipod now. Living near Nashville is always interesting. You never know who you will meet.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Finally Face to Face

After two years of corresponding by email and trading jewelry by mail, I finally got to meet my friend Steph (aka Vladthebat) face to face. On the Thursday before last I picked her up in Nashville at the airport and with sadness dropped her off this past Friday morning. We spent a week of creating in the studio and exploring Middle Tennessee. The weather was on its best behavior, as we had a whole week of sunshine and warm temperatures.
She brought goodies along with her... a wealth of interesting raw materials for creating, two really cool necklaces (I'll post the necklace pictures next time), and enough Belgian chocolate that should have last me for months. The supply of chocolate is now dwindled to a handful of pieces. I shared a little, but it should be declared a controlled substance. I can't stop eating it. One morning she even made Belgian waffles for us.
In the studio, it was so interesting to see someone take the same materials that I have been looking at for months and take them in a totally different direction. I had a bowl of flat stones that I picked up while kayaking and and she picked one up and immediately started carving a design in it. So then we both started carving stones. That night I got the idea that we should etch some of the copper to match the stones so the next day we spent several hours experimenting with etching. Here is a bracelet in which I combined Steph's stone and my copper etching.
And another piece where I stamped a face and etched it. I have to experiment more with my etching solution recipe to keep from getting it too strong.
Throughout the week my creativity got a much needed boost that hopefully will last a while. I needed it to get ready for Studio Thursday coming up this week. It will actually be 3 days this month for the holiday sale. Check it out at Silo Studio's website.

Our lives are so much richer now that we have a new friend and I am planning a visit to Belgium in the not too distant future.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Supply Run

On Friday I spent a very enjoyable afternoon at the Nashville flea market finding some new inspiration for my jewelry.
My favorite bead supplier was a great source for natural stone beads and turquoise cabochons,
At other vendors I found some interesting silver plated spoons and watch cases.
Now it is time to put my nose to the grindstone. The Silo Studios Studio Thursday is just a week and a half away and a new place has started carrying my jewelry. Heart and Hands is a shop in Franklin, Tennessee that carries only Tennessee made crafts. I just sent a load of jewelry there and now it's time to make more for next week's show.
Here is a little sample of what I sent to Franklin.

Also, I entered my eyeball bezel necklace (in the last post) in a contest on the Objects and Elements website. The winner gets a package of goodies from their store. The voting starts on Monday is you would like to help me out with a vote.
Thanks to all!

Monday, October 12, 2009

What Else Can I Put In A Bezel?

I was looking around my stash of random junk in my studio and wondering what else would fit in a bezel. I had a jar of sand worn seashell pieces that I picked up several years ago in St. Augustine, Florida that were waiting for their home in a piece of jewelry. They were an easy fit, along with a quote by my friend Shawn. "She dreamed of warm winds and salty skin." It seemed like a perfect match.
What other unusual object could I find.....hmmmmmmm....what about that glass taxidermy deer eyeball that had been staring at me for a couple of years? Let's see if that would work. With a little bit of grinding on the back, I managed to get it to fit into a bezel too. A little creepy...I know.

Next, something less creepy...some little brass birds on copper with lapis lazuli and brass beads.
Now, it's off to my studio for more fun! I love my job!

Friday, September 18, 2009

More Bezels

I'm still having fun with the bezels. Now I just have to be on the lookout for some more cool stones.
These two necklaces are available at this time at Cliques Salon in Columbia. When they're gone...they're gone. I maybe be able to make something similar, but most of my pieces are
one of a kind. Paint jasper and yellow jade
Tiger eye, porcelain, shell, and glass

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Kritters: Current and Ancient

Animals never cease to amaze me. It is good that I live out in the country, because they are all around own and the wild variety. The picture above is wild turkeys and Canada geese sharing a meal together beside our house.
This little guy has made my hanging planter a home and captures insects from his perch. He looks like a little metal sculpture that has developed a beautiful patina.Even the dogs like to join in on the chores. Every time I start the mower, Milo comes running. He thinks that it is his job to keep me company while I mow. Maggie thinks that it is her job to get in the way and chase grasshoppers.
This is Bella's favorite sleeping position. I don't know how many photos I have of her in this position. I can't resist snapping a picture.
I've always loved fossils ever since I was a small child. The playground of our elementary school was full of fossils and I'm sure I worried my mother by coming home with pockets full of them. I've had a pair of these ammonite fossils for a few months and had experimented with various ways to showcase them and I finally settled on a bezel setting. I will sell one and keep one for myself.

The starfish on this necklace is a pewter button from a dress that I bought at the thrift shop and threw away the dress and kept the buttons. A reminder of my favorite place...the beach.