Monday, March 30, 2009

Shaker Doll Necklace Class

Necklace by Diana Frey

This last weekend was my Secret Shaker Doll Necklace Class and what fun it was. Seventeen wonderful women joined me for the day as we practiced basic wire wrapping, soldering, metalsmithing and assemblage techniques.

Diana Salvucci-Smith
Here Diana is trying out the motorized bead reamer. .....a must have for jewelry artists. (Love those glasses, Diana!) With a bead reamer, you can always be sure that your wire gauge of choice will fit through your selected stone or bead. Just be sure that you keep an eye on what you are doing and don't get distracted (like I did once) and drill a hole through your finger instead of the stone...ouch!

And here is beautiful Starlet looking on as my assistant, Shelley, does a demo on fancy soldering techniques. Thank you, Shelley, you were such a fantastic help to me!!!!

Necklace by Cindy Farris
Cindy has attended several of my classes and it is always a joy to see what she creates. She is one talented artist. I love how she incorporated bits of silk ribbon and the sweet tree branch with birds. Good job Cindy!
After several months of communicating through emails, I finally had the pleasure of meeting a new blog buddy, Charlene Gray, from Texas (shown above on the left with her traveling companion, Susan, center). Some of my students asked if they could come over to my house and see my studio. So on Sunday Charlene , Susan, Tina and Brenda joined me in my studio. When Charlene, Susan and I realized that we had all worn stripes, jeans and black shoes that day, we just had to take a fun photo of the three of us in the front of my studio. I love this shot!
"Thank you" to everyone who came to play with me on Saturday. Thank you for sharing your creative energy and talents. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I, too, learn from all of you. Thank you for enriching my day!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Little did Dede Warren know that the Marie Antoinette themed round robin art journal collaborative she hosted would inspire the people at Stampington & Company to create a special publication devoted to The Queen of France. Marie will soon be available at your local bookstore or on-line through Stampington.

by Christine Saqui

This publication is truly a "visual feast" as so appropriately described by the Editor-in-Chief and Director of Publishing Jenny Doh.

by Kim Andert

You will find beautiful art dolls, journals, cards, shoes, collage and jewelry projects galore. Donna O'brien, Beth Quinn, Diane Cook, Deryn Mentock, Amy Hanna, and Collen Moody are just a few of the featured artists........and oh yes, I, too, have a piece featured.

I am so proud to be a part of such a lovely publication. Thank you Dede for being such an inspiration.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spring Cleaning

During the last several days, I have been going through my studio and discovering all sorts of things that I no longer use or will use. All those projects I thought I was going to complete and new art techniques practiced. But alas!! My artistic journey continues to wind here and there and some of these things just sit on a shelf, gathering dust, calling out to be used. The spring cleaning bug has gotten me. I have piles to donate to charity, give away to friends, toss, and sell. For those of you interested in brass stencils, vintage beaded collars, paints, rubber stamps, and will now find them listed in my Esty shop. I will list more as I have the time to do so.

In the meantime, are you enjoying the birthing of Spring??? I live in California and the days have been absolutely gorgeous. The trees are ripe with their new leaves ready to burst forth, our garden is the meeting place of so many beautiful birds and my cymbidium orchids are in bloom already. I LOVE this time of year.

I thought you might enjoy this poem by Mary Oliver:
The Sun
Have you ever seen anything
in your life
more wonderful
than the way the sun,
every evening,
relaxed and easy,
floats toward the horizon
and into the clouds or the hills,
or the rumpled sea,
and is gone--
and how it slides again
out of the blackness,
every morning,
on the other side of the world,
like a red flower
streaming upward on its heavenly oils,
say, on a morning in early summer,
at its perfect imperial distance--
and have you ever felt for anything
such wild love --
do you think there is anywhere, in any language,
a word billowing enough
for the pleasure
that fills you,
as the sun
reaches out,
as it warms you
as you stand there, empty-handed--
or have you too
turned from this world--
or have you too
gone crazy
for power
for things?

I'm ready to let go of a lot of "things." is such a freeing, cleansing feeling.
I will also be letting go of not only physical things but also emotional "things" that just want to hang around like excess baggage gathering dust, no longer serving their initial purpose. Each piece of emotional baggage that I determine to no longer serve me in a positive way, that serves as a block to my growth, or hinders my potential to be the happiest I can be.....will be blessed and let go. Taking such an inventory of oneself can be the ultimate in Spring Cleaning and the birthing of your truer self!
Happy Spring Cleaning!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Fall Already??

Yes, fall is here already for clothing designers who must have their lines completed and ready to go for the shows during March and April. I had such a delightful day yesterday with my friend and clothing designer, Robin Kaplan. Robin is working on her fall collection and after seeing her color pallette and designs, it's up to me now, as her stylist, to create a collection of jewelry to compliment Robin's spectacular clothes. Her neutral colors of grey/graphite and soft warm yellow appeal to me as I love mixing metals and using the soft muted tones in stones. I'll share photos from our photo shoot which will take place after all the national shows sometime in April.

Ta Ta

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Just Breathe

For the last three days, I have been doing bookkeeping for my of my least favorite things to do (except ironing of course). Numbers and I have never gotten along and I put off both chores (ironing and bookkeeping) for as long as I can. I needed to take a break and breathe .... So, here I am posting and sharing a few photos and thoughts. This is my desk with envelopes over spilling with receipts for all of those treasures I just couldn't do without last year......whew!!! did I really spend that much.....oh dear!!! Oh, but I had fun, fun, fun. So, I have had to relearn Excel, rack my brain (the left side that is) if I have "left" anything out, set up files, and everything else involved....reminiscent of my administrative assistant days. My Goddess mug....see it there with that voluptuous woman and crown......has been keeping me company filled with my favorite warm beverage whether it be my Emergen-C, herbal tea or favorite coffee. The caption on the mug reads "Goddess....a woman whose great charm or beauty arouses adoration"....that's me....ya right! But hey it's something to aspire to.

"Be still and let the beauty come...each day is a succulent new beginning" ~ SARK
"Live your succulent wild life!" Choosing succulence is a deliberate act of personal revolution. It means waking up! Embracing your true self, studying your patterns and letting out your most alive self. We all have one." ~ SARK

Even though my desk has been piled high with paperwork, I have taken the time to go to aqua-aerobics and enjoy the rain that has blessed us this week. California is in a drought state and any moisture we can get is wonderful. I have a small succulent collection and look at this beauty...OMG! The shapes of its petals with hot pink tips and the reflecting pools of water droplets is simply stunning.... don't you think.

"Napping prepares the mind for fresh thoughts." "Let your dreams lead the way." ~SARK

I am ready to join my kitty, Misha (or Mish Mash as we call him) for a nap since my body wanted to wake up at 5:30 a.m. today and I am a bit tired. I have always thought that napping was a waste of time and especially when I could be getting something accomplished....after all isn't that how the success of one's day is measured? I am finally, after so many years, finding that we are not the things we do. I am enough. I have enough. I do enough. I have inner prosperity without being judged by how much I accomplish in each day. A parting wish for you:

"May you unfold willingly.

May you be truly nourished.

May peace be in your every step.

May gratitude fill you.

May you reach others with your radiant heart."




Sunday, March 1, 2009

Jewelry Zine

Some of you may have noticed the "Jewelry Zine" photo in the Press section of my blog as of late. This zine was born from a dream of both Catherine Witherell and Deryn Mentock. I was honored to be invited to join in on the collaboration and have an article on the use of antique German porcelain dolls in jewelry design "White Gold of Thuringia."

This zine is a "must have" for any mixed media art library. Forty-two amazing artists from all over the world participated in this publication sharing their passion with inspirational articles, designing with vintage found objects, PMC, jewelry design techniques, business tips and resources and extra goodies thrown in for good measure. Over 100 pages just full of eye candy.

Some of the featured artists are: Crystal Neubauer, Kelly Snelling, Linda and Opie O'Brien, Cindy Forrester, Diane Cook, Jen Crossley, Lisa Call, Ruth Rae, and Stephanie Lee to just name a few.

Your copy is waiting for you... contact Catherine number of copies available.

I'd like to thank both Catherine and Deryn for inviting me to be part of their publication.....such a pleasure.