Monday, December 10, 2012

First Open Studio Day

Yesterday I officially hosted my very first collective Open Studio sale! As much as we needed a good day-long rain, I was a little peeved at the sky for choosing yesterday to be that day. Nevertheless, a good handful of determined, wonderful folks came all the way up our mountain to pay a visit and browse some hand-made goods. Yummy cheese and crackers, along with Immortal Mountain chocolates were consumed, fresh Hibiscus-Ginger spritzers were imbibed (recipe follows), conversations flowed, and artwork was purchased. All in all, a success considering these artists and customers had a week's notice.

Now, everyone get your holiday gifts made and wrapped and then get ready for the next sale! (late January-early February)

Hibiscus-Ginger Spritzers

2 Tbsp organic ginger puree (from the jar)
2 Tbsp dried hibiscus petals (or 4 tea bags, from natural food store)
4 Tbsp organic agave nectar
1.5 cups water

Simmer these ingredients on low, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Strain, let cool, then mix into 2 liters of cold sparkling mineral water. Garnish with a fancy paper umbrella if you so desire and serve to excited guests.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Thanksgiving in the South

My favorite pics from Thanksgiving in Savannah. Better late than never, no?

My Dad and his shadow, Rip (the whippet)

A surprisingly decent spontaneous photo of Isadora and me.

OK, I apologize for the blurry pic (and sorry, Mom) but I had to put this one in. My mom as she uncovered the (in?)famous cucumber-dill-sourcream-gelatin-aspic-mold-relish. In the shape of a fish.

Food! Lots of delicious brown casserole foods in all their glory! We literally (and gladly) ate leftovers in some form or other for the next three days. Best part of Thanksgiving. My Dad petitioned for my Mom's turkey pot pie to be a new tradition. And yes, those are three types of stuffing in the foreground.

Family photo courtesy of Uncle Rick. Thanks!
Dad, me, Mom, Isadora, Rip

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Monday, December 3, 2012

Open Studio Day!

After much (much much) deliberation and emailing, I finally decided to host a last-minute Open Studio Holiday Sale! It's my first-ever installment of a new idea: regular Open Studio days here at my home. I have plenty of room in our studio-above-the-garage to set up a shop environment for customer-friends to come by and browse, and maybe even buy something. I was planning on my first opening being in late January or early February, and at the last minute (almost too late, perhaps?) the thought crossed my mind that I should host one before the holidays. Why oh why didn't I think of this sooner? Many more people could have participated. But even so, a handful of good friends and family members were able to round up some artwork to send me for this coming weekend. Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart. And I can't wait to see everyone else's work come together after the new year!

How's about this electrifying invitation??? Too crazy? Definitely.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Double Take

I finished two necklaces (numbers twenty-five and twenty-six) yesterday, so I decided to post them both together.

First is Spur Necklace. I thought it kind of resembled those cross-section illustrations of geological formations in our old earth science textbooks from elementary school. What do you all think of the double chain idea??? And after I put the finished product together with the idea of geology, and after my loving, willing husband photographed this, he pointed out that there's a geological formation right behind me in the photo. How perfect.

And above is Elytra Necklace. It's inspired by the open wings of a beetle about to take flight. I thought the ballerina colors of pale pink and black were fitting for that.

See Spur Necklace on my Etsy page or
my online gallery.
See Elytra Necklace on my Etsy page or
my online gallery.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Savannah During the Storm

Some snippets of my recent trip to Savannah...
 The sun rising over electricity.

 Blintzes. Nuf said.

 A bookshelf in my parents' living room.

On a shopping trip with my mom to the beauty supply store. Not my usual kind of outing, but Mom loves the stuff in there. I can't blame her. I would want an extra long tie, too.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

On The Crest

I know, my work pace is slowing down a bit. I'm trying to keep blogging, though, even if it's not a post about a completed work. This necklace, my twenty-fourth piece thus far, coordinates with Flux Cuff. See more about Flux Necklace in Aqua in my Etsy shop or my online gallery.

Photo courtesy of the best husband ever, Drew.
(And I was freezing in this short-sleeved top, by the way.)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Dress Up

Ah, weddings... This one in particular reunited three friends (and former band members) who haven't been in the same room in almost fifteen years.

Drew, Jonnie (groom), and Seth

The ceremony took place in a historic schoolhouse, and the reception was a few steps over at the nearby vintage dance hall. I loved how personal the ceremony was (Do you promise to be Cheryl's best friend forever, barrista for life...) and they tied the whole historic schoolhouse theme together with the place settings:

Pom-pons, 1950s 7" records, and confetti made from old book pages.

And after everything was over I realized I wasn't in any of the pictures, so I made Drew take this one as proof that I was indeed there.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Stormy Weather

It would seem as though I made this cuff just in time for the approaching Perfect Storm. Our home on the mountainside is right in the path of three upcoming storms (two winter weather storms-- i.e. snow-- coming from the west, and one 85 mph hurricane coming from the southeast). To make it even more Perfect, the hurricane will hit land at high tide today, at the full moon. It seems as though our earth is following a very precise recipe, for what I'm not exactly sure. But it is definitely stirring up some things: oceans, winds, snow, rain, panic, emotions... And I'm down in coastal Georgia right now, away from my home, husband, animals. Right where many past hurricanes have promised to flood our streets and break our windows, yet never have. In my lifetime, anyway, we've always been spared the destruction. And yet the most assured prediction of hurricane damage I've ever heard is about to happen in the mountains of Virginia (and NY, NJ, DE, PA, and WV). Hm. I knew I was heading toward Snow Days when we moved to Virginia, but I could have sworn I was leaving the Hurricane Days behind.

This was the design for the first beaded cuff I ever made. Ever. And here is its most recent incarnation. You can see more images on my website.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Over the past few years, I've been cultivating a list of inspiring women. Besides the obvious choices of women who are actually in my life (Mom! Isadora! Ann! Dot! Denise! Amy! Pam!), here are a few women (in no particular order) I don't necessarily know personally (maybe someday???). These amazing people are a wealth of knowledge, they've been there / done that, they seem magnetic in a way, and I love learning from them. I can't wait to keep adding to this list! Let me know in a comment if there is a particularly inspiring woman in your life.

Naomi Wolf. I loved her book The Beauty Myth and I can't wait to read her newest book. Listen to a great interview about it here. And I want her to be our next president.
Lara Owen. Empowering women to love their flow. Here's a great interview with Michelle McInnis.
Tieraona Low Dog. Midwife, herbalist, medical doctor. Down-to-earth scientific adviser to Dr. Andrew Weil. Drew and I had the pleasure of meeting her at a book signing last month at the Natural Products Expo East.
Jenny Hart. Working fibers artist and entrepreneur. Her embroidered portraits are nothing short of mind-blowing.
Geneen Roth. Author, encouraging women to always live in the present moment. I highly recommend Women, Food, and God. Oprah loves her, and so do I.
Rosemary Gladstar. Herbalist superstar specializing in women's health. Her recipes are fabulous, straight-forward, and accessible. Herbal Healing for Women and Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's Guide are two great books to start with.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Another Luna Study

Number Twenty-Two:

A coordinating necklace (because some people like that) for the Luna Cuff. I originally made this piece a few years back for my mom, but here it is with my recent material of choice, a delicate matte chain.

See Luna Necklace in gray on Etsy and my online gallery.

photo taken by my helpful husband Drew, with wild pokeberries in the background

Friday, October 19, 2012

Thrice a Luna Moth


Remember this one? Luna Cuff, in Blue. I just finished beading this cuff for a customer-- the same customer, in fact, who had bought it the first time. It somehow managed to run away from her, so she re-ordered it, with two sets of magnetic clasps, in the hopes that this time around it will stay in her life!

Reminisce about the first two I made this summer here. See all the varieties on my website gallery. This makes piece number twenty-one, if you're still counting with me.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Autumn, in Beads

Another necklace trial-- I've probably made this necklace a dozen times, but this was the first version with a chain instead of beaded strands. I think since it's a larger pendant than the Small Stacks necklace, it might look better on a slightly longer chain (maybe 18" instead of 16"). Next time. Or I guess I can go back and add onto this chain. No! Not now! Can't! I'm on a roll, sistah!

See Botanical Necklace in Rust officially on Etsy or my website gallery.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Emerald Eighteen

I liked the way the Small Stacks necklace with chain turned out so well that I did one in emerald colors. I also threw in some green fresh water pearls, because why not? Plus, I gave the indigo version to someone as a gift. See more about Small Stacks necklace in emerald on my website.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sixteen, going on Seventeen

Whew! Here it is, the cuff from my previous post. Officially number seventeen. I don't remember the last time I pushed myself to start and finish a beaded project in one afternoon (slash evening). Have I ever? Maybe, I must have blocked it out if so. But I was so determined to have this cuff in my possession, I just willed it to happen. That's an interesting thought: that if I really want something badly enough, I just need to sit down with enough back-to-back episodes of something on Netflix and lose myself until I have what I wanted. Is it worth pushing myself like that? Am I pushing other things out of my life by doing this? I'm not sure, but right now it makes me really happy. Not just happy, but fulfilled. It gives me balance with my job-life. I realize all this work is going towards a greater goal, and perhaps one day in the future I'll look back at this time in my life with misty eyes and think, 'Those were the days. My husband working on his artwork in the next room, the cats cuddled next to me, me beading away as the light changes outside.' So I guess right now I don't really want to think too hard about if this is good for my psyche, my social life, or hey, my eyes for that matter. Right now this is my peace.

Old                                New
You can see the new version of Equinox Cuff in red on Etsy or my online gallery.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Flying Out The Door

I just finished another cuff last night that I was so excited to recreate. It was the very first custom piece I ever did for anyone, about ten years ago. It's really simple, and I love it: a rectangular cuff, with a red glossy background and a vertical row of four different colored circles running down the middle, in the center of each sits a large matte bead. I literally put the finishing touches on the cuff this morning, and wore it to my meditation group. It would seem as though I was in reality making this very bracelet for Amy, friend and leader of said group. She has been considering purchasing one of my bracelets, and today, of all days, she was wearing a long scarf-- red with a vertical row of circles running down its center. There must be something in the air... She bought it from me then and there! To match her outfit, of course. Thanks, Amy! Needless to say, I didn't get to document this, sixteenth, cuff. But I will recreate it, once again, for my at-home inventory. And to replace this slightly embarrassing, older version with my current craftsmanship standards (really, the new one looks way better).

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Crazy Carnival Colors

So I went a little crazy with these colors. After making two cool, toned-down pieces in a row, I guess my brain decided all by itself to create a color wheel explosion. Caution: This cuff may cause the wearer to assume a superhero identity.

You can view earlier, more sane versions of Flux Cuff on my website gallery. If you would like to continue to burn your retinas, see Flux Cuff in Carnival in my Etsy shop.

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Successful Trial

I've made this necklace a couple of times in the past, in different colorways. This time, I decided to try something new. Instead of suspending the pendant with multiple strands of wire strung with beads, as I've always done for my necklaces, I used a minimalist, delicate chain. I think it works! This cuts way down on my work time, because stringing the beads (while keeping count so both sides would be even!), crimping the ends, hiding these ends with metal cone findings, and putting on clasps took longer than making the actual pendant! This new method opens up so many possibilities. I love love love all the different kinds, weights, and patterns of chain out there, and it will allow me to spend more time creating new pendant ideas. And I can experiment with making much longer pendant necklaces than with the strung beads (which are so much more delicate). Yes!

(photo by my lovely husband Drew)
You can view Small Stacks Necklace on my Etsy site.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Age of Aquarius

Bracelet number fourteen is an ode to that thirst-quenching, life-giving, flowing, freezing, steamy, simple and mysterious molecular compound we call water. Moons in varying shades of blue and violet float in and out of the frame, linked by a river of deep indigo glass beads.

Visit my Etsy page and website gallery for a full description and more views of Aquarius Cuff in Indigo.