Sunday, May 29, 2011

Friends Bearing Gifts

My last two weeks have been filled to the brim with family gatherings, greeting friends (both near and from afar), and spending time in the virtual classroom.
I am known as "Nana" to my four grand-children and last weekend I stayed with my  two grand-daughters (ages 8 and 5) while my daughter and grand-son flew to New Jersey to attend my eldest grand-son's graduation ceremony.....graduation from Coast Guard boot camp.  He survived which we were all grateful for.  My grand-daughters and I had so much fun while mommy was away making cupcakes for a welcome home party for their big brother.  I was coronated "Best Nana" as a result...Oh, the magic of cupcakes.  When my grand-son appeared at the door in his dress blues, this Nana's heart about burst with pride.  I found myself jumping up and down with excitment before I realized what I was doing.  There's something about a man in a uniform isn't there girls??  His visit home after graduation was brief and he is now stationed in San Juan, Puerto Rico for the next few years protecting our borders. 

A few days after our family celebration, a sweet friend of mine and her husband arrived on the central coast for an overdue reunion.

A lot of you know this familiar face....yep that's my friend, Diane Cook, or "Tex" as Riki Schumacher and I endearingly call her.  We so enjoyed our reunion as it had been a long 1 1/2 years since we last saw eachother at Adorn Me! in Texas. 

Diane came bearing gifts.  She knows what I love....look at those lucious baroque green pearls, OMG, and the hand-dyed silk ribbon, and the rhinestone brooch, and the Parisian token, and the resin-filled charm,  and, and, and.  Love them all....thank you, again, Diane!

(Susan, Stephani, Diane and me)

The visit with Diane and her wonderful husband, Allen, went way too fast.  But we did find time to eat a lot of great food, sample a lot of good wines, shop, share in a lot of laughter, story telling and artful ideas. 
I just had to introduce Diane to my art group buddies. Here we are above in my studio.  Diane was so kind to give us a private "show and tell" of her beautiful jewelry and a preview of new class projects that are on the horizon.  You are all in store for some wonderful new Diane Cook creations.

This weekend I have finally taken the time to go over the on-line "Skinny Mini" Photoshop class hosted by Kim Klassen.  I am learning slowly but surely.  Photoshop is simply amazing. Check out Kim's classes she offers...she is quite generous with her knowledge and comes from a very creative place in her instruction. One of my first projects was the "friends" photo at the top of this blog using various layers and textures to create it with. As a result of getting so inspired with the artistic capabilities of Photoshop, I went out yesterday and purchased a new camera (a gal just has to have the newest Nikon camera, right??) I am so spoiled.  I decided on a Nikon Coolpix P500 digital camera.  So, I have a lot of learning to do.....oh but what fun.....stay tuned. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Okay girlie many of you have been asking about what class Riki Schumacher and I will be teaching in the fall. Ta it is. We have developed a class focused on the creation of bezels.  In this two-day workshop you will learn that materials for making bezels are all around the kitchen, in your tool box, on the ground, in found objects and at the hardware store.  You will use pre-made bezels along with creating bezels using a little torch, solder and brass.  Making the bezels themselves is just the beginning, turning them into a jewelry component will be the icing on the cake.  Basic resin techniques will be taught along with a bevy of ideas in creating texture, layering, color and interest in your resin creations.  On the second day, Riki and I will share with you our design process incorporating basic design principles and elements giving you the tools to start composing your works of art.

Won't you join us here on the Central Coast of California as we play in Riki's studio in Shell Beach.  Space is limited.  Reservations can be made by contacting me by email.....which is just an easy click away here on my blog using the "Contact" button above.

All the details about the workshop can be found on the flyer...just enlarge it and print it out.  There you have it. 

Monday, May 16, 2011


Welcome to my new blog!!!  I am so excited to invite you into my new blog home created for me by Karen designer extraordinaire.  What a joy it was to work with Karen.  After our initial talk, she just took off and I loved the first designs she created.  If any of you are thinking of starting your own blog or would like a facelift like I did and looking for some expert help.....Karen is your gal.  I also purchased her "Building Beautiful Blogs" book and look forward to learning more about the capabilities of Blogger.  What do you think???  Do you like my new look?

Also, wanted to share with you what I have been up to the last few weeks.  I am always wanting to learn more wire-wrapping techniques and picked up this publication by Denise Peck, "Wire Style 2".  It is full of fabulous photos, projects and step-by-step designs by Lorelei Eurto, Cindy Wimmer, Kerry Bogert, Denise Peck, Jane Dickerson, Donna Spadafore, Jodi Bombardier, Lisa Niven Kelly, and Connie Fox.  I picked up my copy at Michael's.

Art Unraveled is just around the corner and I have started to gather supplies for my students' kits.  These little orphans just flew in from Germany today.  I will have to sand down the shoulder plates with my glass grinder to get them ready for my Briar Rose class.  The other tiny Charlottes will be incorporated into jewelry and other projects.

(Encapsulated Beauty)
Orders have been filled for the various boutiques that carry my jewelry.  This sweet little piece is available at Charlotte's in Salt Lake City along with several other creations of mine.

(Butterfly Dreams Necklace)
Riki Schumacher and I have also been putting our thinking caps on developing our fall class which will be offered in Riki's home here on the Central Coast of California....most likely the end of October.  Details will be up within the next few weeks.  Can you guess what the class will be by the teaser photo below?  Keep checking back for the full scoop.

Thank you for dropping by for a chat....I so appreciate you all.  Leave a comment and let me know what you think about my new blog.  Remember, Karen Valentine might just be the perfect person to help you with your blog.  For those of you who have wanted to start a blog and just haven't been brave enough to take the first steps....Karen makes it painless and has the resources available to educate you on all the in's and out's. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Wishing you all a "Happy Mother's Day".  As mothers (and grand-mothers) we have boxes of treasured memories from our children growing up.  In my case, I also have treasures from my grand children.  My grand daughter, Elizabeth, drew this picture for me a few weeks ago and it has become one of my favorite treasures.  I am astonished by her artistic abilities at the tender age of 5. 

We all have our stories that touch our hearts the most about our children......the first steps, first words, accomplishments, defeats, sweet kisses and hugs, the salty tears, the scratched knees, the oh-so-many joys that are sewn to our hearts and the unconditional love we never thought possible to feel toward another human being before our children blessed us with their arrival. 
A few weeks ago, I shared with you the story of Erin, the daughter of a very dear friend.  I wanted to express my sincere appreciation to those of you who purchased items from my Etsy store so that I could, inturn, make a  donation to help Erin in her fight with liver cancer.  My friend wrote the following note in response to the donation....I wanted to share it with you.
"Thank you!!  Every little bit does help! But even more than the dollar amount is the priceless gift of your generous and loving spirit which found a unique avenue of expression.  Your donation, given from your heart, provides the emotional support that continues to help Erin stay strong as she fights to regain her health!  Erin will win this battle!!  And many people will be blessed by her paying forward all the love that she received during her own health crises." 
Thank you to all of you who have visited Erin's website and left messages, said prayers or made donations.  As of last week, Erin's tumor has shrunk 41.8%.  Her doctors are amazed.  
In addition to celebrating Mother's Day with our children and honoring our own mothers, today can be a time to reflect on how we are "mothering" ourselves.  We as mothers, are usually the ones who provide comfort to our children, elderly parents, our friends and partners.  But how often do we take care of our own need to be comforted.  "Though we are grown, we never outgrow the need for someone special to hold us close, stroke our hair, tuck us into bed and reassure us that tomorrow all will be well.  Perhaps we need to reacquaint ourselves consciously with the maternal and deeply comforting dimension of  the Divinity in order to learn how to mother ourselves."  ~Simple Abundance

  Enjoy this beautiful day, embrace your children, kiss your mothers and celebrate your own feminine divineness!