Archive for August, 2011

I’ve been working on two projects – my encouragement cards and my soldered pendants.

Here are some paper flowers that I am making for the encouragement cards. They are so fun to make! I use a brad to attach the pieces.

paper flowers

And my soldered pendants…I’ve been working on mini collages to sandwich between the glass pieces…

this is my favorite so far (front and back)…

known luminosity

and this is another one I’m working on. I haven’t cut out the background paper yet – I like to plan it out first for placement.

kooky & meticulous

years go by
So…tomorrow is my daughter’s last day at her daycare. Next week she’ll be starting kindergarten. She’s been at this daycare since she was three months old (I’m not proud of this; I mention it merely for perspective). It’s a big deal for me. Three days a week, every week, for the past five years I’ve been dropping her off and picking her up. I’ve known every classroom and all the teachers. All of her friends and some of their parents who happen to be on the same schedule as me. We’ve been to their birthday parties. Not only have I seen Lily grow up here – I remember Ellen, one of her best friends, in the baby room with Lily, and thinking that they were the two cutest babies in the room. I think this might be a bigger deal to me than it is to Lily. She will eventually forget the daycare, while I will never drive by without remembering this time in my life. The struggles. The tears. The guilt. The gratitude. The thankfulness.

Dropping her off, and picking her up. Sometimes racked with guilt, especially the first couple years. Happy when she ran off with her friends. Concerned when it seemed like she was uncomfortable or unhappy. Sometimes with tears in my eyes – happy tears because I was thankful she was happy there and had friends; or sad tears because I felt guilty and I wished I could stay home with her. Sometimes totally stressed out, because I left work a little late, and I had to be there by 6pm when they close, and I didn’t want to be late or to have Lily be the last kid there.

It is the end of one season, and the beginning of another.


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Tori has a new album coming in September, Night of Hunters.

night of hunters

It is a “21st century song cycle inspired by classical music themes spanning over 400 years”, according to the press release. In her own words: “I have used the structure of a classical song cycle to tell an ongoing, modern story. The protagonist is a woman who finds herself in the dying embers of a relationship. In the course of one night she goes through an initiation of sorts that leads her to reinvent herself allowing the listener to follow her on a journey to explore complex musical and emotional subject matter.”

She has been recording with Apollon Musagete, a Polish string quartet (who apparently will be touring with her as well). It all sounds quite intriguing. Can’t wait to hear it!

I have tickets to her show at the Academy of Music in December (my poor husband gets dragged to yet another Tori concert!)

In the meantime I’m listening to The Beekeeper, which is my summer Tori album. Some of my favorite songs – Parasol, The Power of Orange Knickers, Jamaica Inn, Barons of Suburbia, Sleeps with Butterflies, Ribbons Undone, The Beekeeper, Goodbye Pisces, and Marys of the Sea.

Thanks for stopping by!


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Last Friday was my Bezel Boot Camp class, taught by wonderful artist & teacher Kim St. Jean. I loved it! It was great and so much fun. We learned how to create a bezel to fit around an object and solder it onto a sterling silver sheet, at which point we could add texture, stampings, and other decorative elements. None of which I have ever done before.

I soldered with a torch! I sawed with a jeweler’s saw! And changed the blade! I used a Dremel! I used a drill press!

I found it a bit intimidating at first – I’ve never so much as touched even a Dremel before. I had to push myself a little to be assertive and just do it. And it was so worth it.

Here is what I made:

my first bezel

back of my bezel

For my very first piece I think it is good. But certainly I can do better as I gain experience.

First I trimmed the bezel wire and soldered the ends together. Then I soldered the bezel wire to the sterling silver sheet. At this point it was time to texture, shape, and embellishment the metal as desired. This was the hardest part because I didn’t really know what to do; I didn’t have a finished product in mind. After some hesitation I told myself to just play with it and try things – if it doesn’t turn out it’s only practice anyway.

So I did some texturing, stamped the letters (it says “be cast into the sea”. It’s kind of backwards because I ran out of room!), cut the side into a wavy pattern, trimmed the corners, and added patina with liver of sulfur.

The last step was to set the stone. Et voila!

Ms St. Jean was a great teacher. She shared so many of her own tips and techniques, and also had time to show us how she makes jump rings, how she adds prongs to set an additional stone, and how she makes her chain. Very cool!

Now I just need to get a torch, some letter stamps, a jeweler’s saw….

Thanks for stopping by!


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dushore days.

in the middle of nowhere.
Sometimes the middle of nowhere is a delightful place to be. This past weekend we went up to my dad & stepmom’s house in Dushore PA, about 3 hours north of here. The second weekend of August is when the founder’s day celebration is held, complete with a keg-rolling contest and an outhouse race. And let me just say how entertaining kegs and outhouses can be.

But first, I have some exciting news….my Polyshrink jewelry was chosen for an article in an upcoming issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry!! I’m extremely pleased and happy. I put in a lot of work and time on those pieces. And now they will have their chance to shine.

Anyway, back to Dushore. Picture lots of big hills, covered in either fields of corn, fields of wildflowers, or woods. Dirt roads. Some paved roads. Farms. Deer, chipmunks, rabbits, a wild turkey. One traffic light in the entire county.

My dad and stepmom’s house is really cute – there’s a huge backyard, and a creek runs along the property. My dad built a small deck overlooking the creek, and you can walk down to the creek and splash around if you like. There’s a fire pit – who doesn’t love sitting around the fire at night? With a glass of wine, of course. Or a mojito if you’re my sister and brother-in-law.

It’s very peaceful and beautiful. The kind of place where you have no choice but to relax and enjoy the scenery.

Here are some pictures:

Gwen and Lily checking out the creek.
let's explore

Marc and the girls at the creek.
down at the creek

Lily and Gwen running around the backyard.
get that ball!

Lily and my dad on the tractor.
poppop & lily

Gwen petting a goat from the pet parade (there was also someone with a piglet – so cute! and a woodchuck!)
a little goat

Gwen participating in the kid’s outhouse race.
go gwen!

Lily participating in the kid’s outhouse race. I was surprised she did it – I think seeing Gwen do it and the prize of candy upon completion were motivating factors.
go lily!

The next three pictures are a few of the outhouses that participated in the grown-up outhouse races. Each team had to run with the outhouse up the street, around the monument, and back down the street to the finish line. Some of the outhouses were quite imaginative. This one is the Philly Phlushers.
philly phlushers

This one was the Poohsuit of Happiness.

And here we have the Dushore Poolice. All of the potty jokes got to be a bit much for me, but it was cute.
dushore poolice

On our way up on Friday we decided to stop at Knoebel’s for a few hours. I’m so glad we had a chance to go there – it’s such a great place and I really love it. I don’t go on any rides, of course, but I still enjoy it.

Here are a few pictures of the more adventurous members of the family…

Lily on the Italian trapeze.
italian trapeze

Marc and Lily on the whirly thing.
whirling around

And Marc and Lily on the kiddie coaster.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the pictures!


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Here’s what I’ve been working on lately – a fascinating glimpse into my studio!

my worktable

I’ve done a late of rearranging and reorganizing in my studio over the past few months, with the result that I’m now actually able to use my work table as….a work table! gasp! There was always so much junk on top – it was that sort of place in the house where I would just put stuff. But not anymore!

So the little piles of circles to the right are going to be paper flowers for my encouragment cards. And the stuff in the middle is going to be a mini collage I’m creating to make into a soldered pendant. I’m going to do three pendants to start with, and this is the first. I chose three phrases to work with – “she was a star of known luminosity”, “be cast into the sea”, and “kooky and meticulous” – and then I chose three photos of vintage women and a variety of decorative papers to go along with them.

I don’t have anything to share for my Photoshop Friday. The previous Friday we went to Dutch Wonderland – it was so hot, by the time we left I was not feeling well, and when we got home all I could manage to do was sit in front of the tv and watch the new episode of Project Runway. This past Friday I did some stuff with the spot healing tool and patching, but I don’t have anything interesting to show for it!

I do however have some photos from Dutch Wonderland to share…

Lily, Gwen, Marc, and Ed on the roller coaster. They went on five times! Ed and Gwen are in front of Marc and Lily.
up and up

Marc and Lily about to go down the hill.
here we go!

Marc and Lily out for a drive.
beep beep!

Gwen and Lily on the whip.
whip it!

my little birdie
I have managed to do a little bit of drawing….it was really fun! Here is my picture. It’s very simple, but I like it.

sing little bird

I sketched it in pencil first, and then outlined it with a Sakura Pigma Micron pen. And finally, I colored it in with Prismacolor colored pencils.

thanks for stopping by!


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