Wednesday, September 30, 2009

When Exuberance Meets Exhaustion,

There's a bit of Excitement in the air!

That's how I'm feeling this morning. I'm a little low on sleep hours (grumble), but I'll make up for that...I'm just waiting for a hot cuppa joe, then will be packing my favorite tools from the home studio, all my metals and heading to Old Town Alexandria for a smithing class.

Jodi, who has visited my studio before, will be driving from a little further out, and we'll depart for said class in the Mini. This is our first carpool date. (by far not her first time taking smithing classes, or us seeing each other) WOOT I'm excitited. I hope she realizes I'm a morning person...I hope she is too. Maybe I can convert her?

We'll be able to zoom past the very congested rows of cars by using the HOV lane (High Occupancy Vehicle) and grab good spots in the stuido. (and this way we can afford to split the parking fee for the day! doublewoot) Otherwise, we all set our internal, external clocks, blackberries what-have-you to every 2 hours to run out in the busy street to move our cars for the meter cops. Nyah, not so much fun while in the middle of a good solder flow. (or a nice string of thoughts about how one will fix that awful solder knot)

I found that making a living/working as an artist can be very isolating (I bet some of you can relate), and while the internet is a lovely quick fix for connecting up with other people (did I just say that? Did I just sound like someone from the 70's looking into the future of a sci fi story?), there's nothing like hanging out with a real human being who shares your passion.

I don't have any pretty pictures to share today...I wish I did. Oh hold on, this is a lil graphic I put together about 4 years ago to let hubby know how serious I was about adopting 2 (instead of 1) kitty...tee hee hee

Sunday, September 27, 2009

New Item~ Autumns Elements in Red Drop Earrings

These are similar to my Autumns Elements Drop Earrings (made with sterling silver and Labradorite) These are sterling silver made with deep rich red orbs of Jasper stone.

~a faded pair of jeans
~and a white tshirt

The long sterling silver lines gently curve into the the red orbs. The earwires are made by me as well. Both earrings have .925 stamped on the inside top.

!Oh My Vacuum

sucks so efficiantly...

And it's the beginning of a new week and time to clean house, so to speak.

I'm torn between having a truckload of energy for smithing and risking losing that energy on this house.

I have received 1 lovely Weekend Deal Etsy order and I am over the moon for it. Just as my last ones were fulfilled, this will have my heart and soul put into it, every detail tended to. (I love this part of the business, getting a baby ready for the world and to its new home!)...and as I say, it's not about the numbers of items I sell, it's about making the piece and sending it's a beautiful cycle! :-)

Mary Karr, an amazing American writer, commented back to me on Facebook. I was so excited to hear from her. I look forward to new work from her!!!

As I glance over at my tools I start to get a giddy surge which fills me and propells me.

I wonder if its possible to vacuum, sit and work on a piece in my studio, vacuum more, and temper that distaste of house chores? is it possible? It must be!!!

Last night I cooked a yummy fall meal for us, and later today will make time for pumpkin bread! MMMMMm oh those spices!!!

I don't have any fun pictures to photo taking has not been as snappy (get it?) *groan* I know...

oooOOOOoo wait, I found this, I knitted these 2 years ago and hope to find time to make more pressies for family and friends this year!!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Spinner Ring Whirl Wind Morning

Hello! I have been working since around 8 and produced 4 new spinners...they are stock items for my shop. I received an order from my Etsy shop for 1 Petite Spinner, and thought I'd make it a fun morning by making more than just the 1. I enjoy every step of the process. It's a wonderful feeling to start with the sheet of metal and turn it into a kinetic piece. I'm not sure which I enjoy most

~getting that perfect connection for the ring
~watching the solder flow, only over the line, and keeping it so it does not flow over into 'everywhere zone'
~Getting the spinner ring (the part that you twirl) just the right size for each ring
~Flaring the outer shank so the 2 become 1 and the ring moves and moves.

Currently they are sitting on my work table after a bath of liver of sulfur and ready for some filing and tumbling.

If anyone is interested in a Petite Spinner I have 3 made and ready to ship. They are a super reasonable price set at 40$. AND I am offering free shipping until Monday. Double yay!

Other than that, the weather is turning to Autumn, and I'm loving it!!!

What are you up to today?

(i took this pic earlier to show you how I love to be on the floor, feet up on a higher level. Hubby always says he married me for my ankles, it's given me a complex, I'm so hard on myself it's nice to be stuck up about my own ankles. Not really, stuck up...that's not how I roll...)

Friday, September 25, 2009

AutumnLeavesJewelry Weekend Deals for Etsy

Free World Wide Shipping this weekend from

This tradition was started by MaryMary of Etsy and if you (as a seller) are looking for the promo area in the forums for her monthly thread please convo me! :-)

I'm offering free world wide shipping, USPS, on all of my items until Monday morning :)

I'm learning to take pics of myself wearing brooches, and the one thing I learned very fast is a Tripod can be my best tool...this was not taken with one, I'm showing a pretty good example of a pretty bad photo of myself wearing the Acorn brooch. See the arm outstretched? It stretches the fabric, askews the brooch, does all sorts of things. Later today...tripod pics...and for me, less face, no glasses and an overall view of what it looks like on, without all the neck junk (not much I can do about the neck junk, aging happens!) :)

This is me with a big secret...which is not true, I'm an open book and carry my heart on my sleeve and will care and keep on caring until I exhaust myself.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Acorn Brooch(es) for my Etsy Shop

Back side, the back is just as important as all other angles, imo...Artists I hope you are signing your works! :-)

Just in time for daughter has been gathering acorns and leaves and placing them around striking red candles we have. I love the simple act of her finding beauty in the fallen acorns, the variations of colors and sizes. She saw a squirrel stuff more than one in his mouth and run off, and noted they were green.

Leave it to nature to inspire, and someone close to us to carry that inspiration in near enough to move an artist to create.

This is the first of many. Some will have leaves attached, others will be conjoined, just like in nature. I'm already imagining that fat squirrel with a full cheek and part of the acorn sticking out.

Hope you like this. It was fun to make!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


(lobby view of The Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, VA. I would love to say this is where the studio is located, but we are in an annex building a few blocks away)

My 3rd year of Metal Smith classes start today. Like a kid in a candy shop all the pretty things go round and round in my imagination - things like the following:

ginormous anvils
electric rolling machines
Patterns on metals
Rows of huge torches
Stumps, yes tree stumps, several of them
every kind of hammer you could love
Dapping thingies
this thingie and that thingie and more thingies

The hardest part is climbing out of my warm bed and into the world of maneuvering the best traffic flow to drive. Alexandria is not that far away, it would be a fun fast drive if it weren't for all the other vehicles :P

I'll drive pass the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery (all those brave souls), and over to my left, across the Potomac our various memorial buildings- Washington Monument, etc...

...and downtown Alexandria is rich with history and it is so inspiring!

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Pendants Listed and Hello Monday :-)

These 3 are listed here in my shop:
Yellow Hue
Blue Hue
Red Hue

Yesterday I was super busy with creating new items and chores. Today I'll be fulfilling several Etsy orders that came in over the weekend, I feel so incredibly grateful for each of these!

I'm planning to stick to my 2 days off this week (Tuesdays and Fridays) Soon I will set up a shipping schedule time-frame as well. Habits take a while to form. I'm learning to go with the days off. Someone recently mentioned to me how important it is for women's health ~to take time for themselves~ and this advice came at a crucial time. (Prairie Hugs and grasshoppers too.)

I hope everyone is super inspired and healthy!

Oh gosh, my daughter is bringing me hot coffee I feel so blessed!!!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

More Pendants....

At a Glance

Almost ready to list in my Etsy shop. I am inspired by color, nature, the curves on the human body, old advertising and this jumped out at me while making these pendants. It's an old J & P Coats U.S.A. Cotton spool 'For hand and Machine' I love the outside, the inside, the colors, the texture, the thoughtful design along the edge of the box, the sweet ruler included for the seamstress.

I have secured an Etsy shop under the name AutumnLeavesVintage, and I'm still on the fence about listing and selling because it is so hard to part with these pretty pieces from the past.

Anyway, I'm in the middle of vacuuming and mopping. The windows are open, Hubby did an array of chores and went off to play golf and I'm dividing up my time between my chores and finishing these pieces for you.

It's a gorgeous Sunday here near the Nations Capital. Go Redskins!!!

I am counting the hours DOWN to the first in the new season of HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm.

These pretty pendants will be ready later today and will be super affordable :-)

Hope everyone is having a wonderful day! (stay inspired!)

Friday, September 18, 2009

I Fear No Fate-

For you are my Fate- My Sweet
-ee cummings

This is inscribed onto a part of the necklace. The flowing silver lines, briefly interrupted by pretty little orbs of red jasper and more silver as it falls down to the pendant takes the eyes back around again. Green turquoise is nestled into a fine and sterling silver bezel. Red and Yellow golds remind me of what it must have been like to take a chance, to travel away from home, and stumble upon spices and golds and other exotic things.

I have been meaning to make this piece, as I said in earlier blog posts...extending some of the lines from ee cummings poem, I carry your heart.

This piece was a joy to make because I was able to play with lines and flow and balance and color. It also is an external expression of my travels this past month as I flew, home, to Oregon and back, home, to Northern Virginia. And I remember all the while to continually balance my emotions and take deep breaths and giggle a lot.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

New Listings in my Etsy Shop

2 items, just Listed :-)

Autumns Leaf Brooch etsy Shop Listing

Grandma's Brooch

I found this stone a while back and fell hard for it. It reminds me a tad of my 6's, 7's and 9's Pendant (if you care to peruse my sold pages you will find it). It also has that old timey look and color of the dishes my grandmother would have used back in the 40s or 50s.

I love and miss my grandma with every breath.

This is a pretty green stone set into sterling silver with 14k Yellow, 18k Yellow and 14k Rose golds. The pin back mechanism is also sterling silver, my mark is on the back. (see second photo for back shot)

it's a very dark, cloudy, drizzly day here, I feel so grateful to have fulfilled a couple of recent Etsy orders. I was also able to finally get a photo of this spinner ring, which just went out the door for a certion special someone :-)

(this is a triple spinner ring made in rose and yellow golds with sterlin silver...)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009



AutumnLeavesBrooch and Green Turquoise Pendant -


There will be new pieces added to this space, available in my Etsy shop...

other shiny things

I'm torn between using a pin mechanism (all sterling silver) for the backs of my brooches- half pre-fab manufactured half made by moi, or all made by moi. I love the look of all of them.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Come read with me?

oh gosh oh gosh the books arrived. I did not lick them, but have opened and smelled each of them. Mmmmmm visions of libraries, and work benches, coffee tables from rich ladies homes with a hint of the occasional cinnamon bun and hot coffee emanates from their pages.

I won't bore you with ALL the titles.
How could I pass up the most garish cover on a book of gold? This red cover with its bits of black (strewn here and there) reminds me of a very scary bullfight I saw as a child in Barcelona, Spain. (Oh okay, it reminds me mostly of the garish towel I had as a souvenir from that trip) I did see the bullfights, but I remember the towel more dearly.
Chapter 3 title is-
From the Fall of Rome to the Renaissance
Chapter 4 just fell out, eh who cares because the pages do have numbers. And I think it’s charming there are less than ¼ inch worth of pages from chapter 3 to chapter 4, with the ugly cover and all what did I expect? (btw the uglier the cover the more interestiing)
I did purchase Dave Eggers new book, it's going to be hard to's about a man from the Katrina disaster. I read everything that man writes (for the public) it would be interesting to dive into his personal journals, if he keeps them, don’t you think?
Ooooo a fat coffee table sized book on ironwork and Sculpture from the art deco period is full of pictures, and more pictures, with some text, have I mentioned it has pictures yet? (This artist will be adding some art deco era design to her pieces soon.)
My big build up (I'm hoping to have created) is an invite to come read with me. We'll have hot cocoa, marshmallows and free refills. Feet up on the big coffee table, shoes off, no stinky socks please, and we'll pass the books around and discuss the babble. Maybe roll a sentence off our tongues because it's so outstanding, weird or moving.

Just because...
'Good Enough'

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Flower Girl Necklaces for Fall Wedding in Canada

These were made as eco-friendly as possible. I used the old egg and baggie trick for the oxidation and I do believe they turned out fine.

The wedding is coming up soon, and the bride decided ribbons on the girls necklaces would be a sweet way to set a clasp. So, chocolate brown and eggplant ribbons, along with pretty pretty names and a few of my own touches, voila, the necklaces are complete :)

I kept the ribbons a wee long in case they would like to resize (cut back) the length. The chains are 16" so clasps can be added later if the girls wish. (pssst one of these is for an 8 month old) I was GIDDY to do these!

Hope you like. :-)

I planted these succulent flowers in a large container a couple of years ago, each fall it blooms. I have no idea what they are except they do not require too much care, which, with my semi-green thumb is a plus. The other day there were scads of bees on the flowers, it was an awesome sight to behold! (as you can see my butterfly bush from below the deck needs trimming back)

Friday, September 11, 2009

'Overcome' by the group Live~ September 11, 2001 Tribute Video

I refuse to put up a graphic video, this one says it (all in my opinion). The group Live didn't write this for 9/11, but somebody put their poignant song to this video.

The words are so intense. The absence of people for the EMTs to save is incredibly sad.

Group: Live
Album name: V
Song Title: Overcome

Even now
The world is bleedin'
But feelin' just fine
All numb in our castle
Where we're always free to choose
Never free enough to find
I wish somethin' would break
'Cos we're runnin' out of time

And I am overcome (yeah)
I am overcome
Holy water in my lungs
I am overcome

These women in the street pullin' out their hair
My master's in the yard
Givin' light to the unaware
This plastic little place
Is just a step amongst the stairs

And I am overcome (yeah)
I am overcome (baby)
Holy water in my lungs (yeah)
I am overcome

So drive me out
Out to that open field
Turn the ignition off
And spin around
Your help is here
But I'm parked in this open space
Blockin' the gates of love

And I am overcome (yeah)
I am overcome (baby)
Holy water in my lungs (yeah)
I am overcome (yeah, yeah)

I am overcome (oh Lord)
I am overcome (baby)
Holy water in my lungs (holy water, holy water)
I am overcome

Beautiful drowning
This beautiful drowning
This holy water
This holy water is in my lungs

And I am overcome
I am overcome (yeah, yeah)
I...I...I am overcome
I am overcome

Thursday, September 10, 2009

New Ring a dingding ding a ding

I often talk to my pieces at their photo shoot. (this was made right before my vaca in Oregon, I posted some pics with other pendants and needed to get her alone for her Etsy shop debut) Do you talk to your pieces (i bet you do)
Green Eggs and Ham Ring in Turquoise and Sterling Silver

"Work it girl, that's right turn it Left"

"Lay back and juuuuuust be, stay still for me? Hold your breath! You can do it! Perfect!" Okay, you can relax...


(yeah I'm back on East Coast time and enjoying a diet coke...)

Wedding Pieces...

First, I had a Seinfeld moment earlier, this was dessert after lunch (my dad stopped by) if you watch Seinfeld you'll get the reference. It's almost a sin to slice through a Godiva chocolate :-/

In the past I've done rings and now I'm blessed with other pieces of significant meaning.

~Flower girl items~
(you might recall the golf ball markers which went to the best men)This next set of items are for the same wedding, a Fall wedding.
Hope to have photos up to show you the flower girl pieces later today.
---Or Tomorrow---

My Man's Man Wavy ring also sold yesterday. It's good to be back in touch with customers.

It's just good to be back!

Later I'm making lunch for my dad who is going to be in a local golf tourney nearby.
Here's what we had...albacore tuna on yummy wheat bread with fresh cut strawberries and some Italian soda...mmmmmm

---EDIT---Got a photo of my dad as he exited his vehicle...isn't the Mini so cute?

Finally, I woke at 8 and felt like it wasn't Oregon time...though it's still a wee bit tiring.

---EDIT---------- I'm on Northern Virginia time WOOT! And the diet coke is lovely!
Here's a pic my daughter, Angelica, snapped and sent me from her iPhone, it's our backyard butterfly bush. The bush next to it (not sure what it's called) is COVERED in bees, it's a beefest.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Nancy Sinatra singing Bang Bang

Doesn't get much better than Quentin Tarantino ~ and oh the music he has brought back...

(also love the last few seconds of this video when Nancy does her move)

More Studio Classes

Classes start next week. I look forward to expanding my brain (trust me I have lots of room for expansion...)

My plane flew in last night and I was so happy to touch down at Dulles. Of course, near the end of my stay in Oregon I actually was on Pacific time. So....this morning was a tad sleepy for me. I had an appointment and even started a new knitting project this morning.

It's quite rainy and overcast here, perfect weather for journaling and knitting, cozying up with family and making some new metal pieces.

I have been reading a smith book I found at Powell's Book store in Portland, Oregon. It's always a good thing to go over the little things we do daily (sort of a quiet refresher course for the brain before I fall asleep)

Next week when classes start back up I will definitely take my skills to the next level for myself and hope to pass some pretty nice items along to you for sale.

I hope everyone is healthy and happy.

This is me and my friend Karin, from wayyyyyyyyyyy back (who moved to Portland- and moved from here) she is a gem. No matter how much time we spend apart, when we are back together we are sisters.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Note From This Noiseless Patient Spider

Family at the Oregon Coast (My cousin Marita and her two girls Dorothy and Daphne and myself)

My vacation is winding's been a fruitful fun ride. I flew out here on my own and have fumbled my way around so many amazing places.

I've seen family, friends and dealt with old ghosts. Ghosts in the forms of memories represented by houses and names of towns. The Oregon coast is as beautiful as ever. It's always seemed like a mystical place. A place to reflect the movements and decisions of the day and the hours ahead. It seems impossible a thing to imagine that the waves could sound different than any other in the world but I swear they do.

(On a lighter note I've gained about 5-10 lbs.)

There has been a stock supply of belly laughs, followed by more laughter. The kind that shakes you do the ground rolling in a fit where your whole body is echoing with laughter.

Memories are strange sensations. I have missed my brother, but not been sad, I realized near a playground in Salem, Oregon that I still carry him in me and always will.

Familiar expressions, vocal tones that seem to go back as far as one can hope to recall feel so lovely and warm. They feel like coming home. I realized home is in me, it will never be an external destination. It may seem like a little trite, this epiphany of mine~ coming from a woman who spent most of her growing years always traveling, always moving~ feeling her way to the next destination.

Poetry grounds me and this one often comes to mind:

Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Leaves of Grass. 1900.

208. A Noiseless Patient Spider

A NOISELESS, patient spider,
I mark’d, where, on a little promontory, it stood, isolated;
Mark’d how, to explore the vacant, vast surrounding,
It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself;
Ever unreeling them—ever tirelessly speeding them. 5

And you, O my Soul, where you stand,
Surrounded, surrounded, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing,—seeking the spheres, to connect them;
Till the bridge you will need, be form’d—till the ductile anchor hold;
Till the gossamer thread you fling, catch somewhere, O my Soul. 10

Me, at Powells Books, largest independent run bookstore in the country, and oh did I have a hoot. Bought and had 6 books sent home. Art Deco history, smithing books and the new Dave Eggers novel.

Jessica, my dear friend