Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Next Dog-Day Summer Give Away before my shop gets busy for the holidays...guess as many times as you want, one post per guess pleasey

See video and get the clues, answer and win the prize. My butane is being tracked, there are no classes in Alexandria until the end of September and I'm going nuts, so in my nutty state I offer you this to win! :-)

Nay is zee vinner of zeee spinner! Thank you guys for playing along, and those of you who watched for fun, thank you too! :-)
Here's what was up my sleeve:

i took this years ago with my old old manual camera and even did the old school photograph developing myself.

Monday, August 30, 2010

FridaEarrings Give-Away for You :-)/Cindyh. is theeeee winner!

Hello friends, this is an easy to win give-away for an item from my shop on Etsy, AutumnLeavesJewelry...watch the vid and win the earrings. Thank you for participating and good luck! :-) (many more older vids on my site you can peruse which have not been loaded to YouTube...check them out if you have a moment!)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Joy joy JOY

While reading 'The Year of the Flood' by Margaret Atwood, he came home after a long commute from work and walked into the quiet room to hand me a bouquet of flowers. (I loved him more than ever.) These flowers were purchased from an old man sitting outside a subway station in D.C. Wrapped in 'The  Onion' freebie newspaper. Why flowers? For no reason but to spread joy.

...i still picture him with his eyebrows raised and arm stretched out to me...
i wanted to keep them in the wrapped newspaper but they were thirsty...

Sometimes there is so much joy

Wednesday was fruitful in the studio
these are covered in flux ready for the heat and solder, what joyous music they make!

3 levels of solder always on hand for various stages of heat

always give your metal pieces a neutralizing scrub and bath in baking soda after they are removed from the heated pickle solution

safety for the eyes and lungs

some spinner rings went out and I also started and finished this piece Wednesday

Just a  few minutes ago I saw Scrappy marking this old piece of mosaic table Johnny's grandma made

Iced coffee in the afternoon really makes me zoom

yesterday the little girl who lives next door was privy to a bouquet of flowers from my butterfly bush. This bush was sorely in need of pruning. The little girl likes to put things in my mailbox, little drawings and notes. Her mother told me she enjoys the butterflies out back, so much so they went to the library to get a book about butterflies.
The bouquet of purple flowers I handed her were in some old venti sized plastic recyclable coffee cups, as I handed them to her  I suggested if she puts this bouquet out on her deck, she might see her very own butterflies.


I hope you are having this feeling!

...i'm spreading mine to you...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

New Piece

I started and finished this lovely piece yesterday...I kept it away from the liver of sulfur as it lent itself to a very high silver shine. The beauty of the turquoise cabochon really stand out on its own.

Will be listing this in my Etsy shop soon...

Box of Sky Turquoise and Silver Ring
Etsy Listing for Box of Sky Turquoise and Silver Ring

There were some custom pieces to make, and as always I like to add color  if I'm making a spinner and some  other silver goodies. I also love to push myself and make more of an item in varying sizes so they will be available in the shop. (more Tomboy Spinners to be added soon)

I thought it would be cool to show you my process throughout the day in the life of a smither...hold on...pics not ready, still drinking coffee :-)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Train, a fantastic band to Smith to...

their latest...

(saw them at the sold out Wolftrap show last night) Thank you Train for rocking this town! (thank you hubby for the amazing tix!)

still one of my favorite Train songs, they are all so lovely...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Hello, just some fun bits & pieces from my world over here.
1st, it's cloudy and cool out, this after a string of 90-something days, is welcome!
2nd, my butterfly bushes (both in the back and front of the house) are hosting many many butterflies. It's been such a joy to watch them flit around.
3rd, I really believe live music can sooth your weary soul. We were fortunate to get last minute tix for the band, Train, last night. We were in row 3, yes 3rd row from stage. This was new to us. We felt a bit spoiled, but soon that passed and we enjoyed the show. If you've never seen Train, or heard of them check them out. Their lead singer Pat Monahan is incredibly talented and giving soul. He thanked everyone who was sitting out in the grass, and in the rain awaiting the sold out show. He did this verbally and he also took from the stage and ran around the perimeter of Wolf Trap stopping to see fans. He pulled kids up and they were flanked with Trainette t-shirts and got them to sing and be goofy. (Like I said he's a giving man...) He acknowledged the military families who are without loved ones and did not get political. Such a rare treat! It was all about the music, coming together and enjoying every note!

LuxeCoop enjoyed another sale that we are so happy and proud of. This piece was shipped to Canada yesterday :-)

It was nice to see some sized spinner rings sell, and I did go ahead and take a custom-size spinner ring order. A dear friend said the Fern Necklace spoke to her and that flew out of the shop.

Yesterday evening i saw a buck in our neighborhood (rare), and later while waiting for hubby to come back to the car from his quick eye exam I took some moments before the rain hit and stared up at the leaves, they were fern-like. The sky was so pretty.

Here's to a wonderful day for everyone! :-)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fern Leaf Necklace

Fern leaves remind me of shades in a window carrying the sun and shadow in at the beginning or end of the day. (you know when your blind slats are slightly open and the shadows come in and dance along your wall?) Oh those calming walks out of the burbs and into the woods where the green  leaves take over and quiet the mind...Sometimes I don't have access to such a place, so I ink it into my art journal and create an ink garden (I do this often). When I was a girl I used to seek out the woods and creek near our home (we moved a lot) and within that secret area there were so many abundant surprises to find.

Here's a free-form stylized Fern in Silver  Necklace with a gorgeous little Turquoise Cabochon set into the middle to represent sky. The necklace is 21" in length and holds pretty Yellow Jasper beads (guess what? Fall is on its way!)

...and this artist is ready to play with Autumn colors!

We had intense rain falls in our area the other day. This boy, Bart, was out alllll night. The next day (yesterday) I snapped this photo in the morning when he crawled home. He slept here most of the day.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Shop Updates :-)

I can hear and feel fall in the air! (Okay maybe it's just a rainy dark day thing) The temps are in the 70s today. We had lots of heavy rains causing a bit of havoc in the DC Metro Area. The cicadas are making their noises too! I've got windows open airing out the house.  The AC is off. It has me yearning to knit and felt items.

How about you? What reminds you of the lure of Fall/Autumn?

(oh man do I realize it's going to get HOT in this area again, today I celebrate Fall) :)

I'll be listing felted items I've made in our Mother/Daughter shop soon.

here's her back side :-)

Am bringing these Pretties back to AutumnLeavesJewelry shop as well....

here they are!!!
Etsy Listing for SSK K2TOG Earrrings

I am SO excited about bringing back yarn, softer pieces and the knit and purl earrings back!

also a reminder that all of our current items on LuxeCoop are 50% discounted!

Monday, August 16, 2010

How To Make Sterling Silver Ear Wire Tutorial

Hi guys, this is not a fast snappy vid, this is a hands on showing lots of detail about how to make a simple sweet pair of ear wires.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Childhood Meets Metal

I was raised spending Sundays attending the Episcopal church. In fact, my family roots (on my Native American side) go way back in time through this church. (My brother and I were raised by my father) Dad introduced me to this book a few years back, it's a riveting tale of a man on a mission...and he succeeded. If you are curious about the time when reservations were changing and would like to read about an amazing feat of a man who wanted to make a better place for his family and loved ones, then you might like this book. Keep an open mind about what you know and might not know about the plight of the integration of Native Americans.  This is just one story...and it's a bitter sweet one.

There are photos of my grandmother's grandparents, and her cousin (whom the book is about). The book was borrowed and I did return it to Dad, it's time for me to order one to keep.

My grandmothers cousin was raised by their grandparents, he is shown standing on the left

Many of the pieces I smith are from sweet memories of my grandmother. She was "salt of the earth" and so loved by everyone in the family. (I miss you Grandma) She was definitely my constant mother figure. She wore lots of chunky thick silver cuffs and necklaces. (I'll try to find some photos of her to post)She took great care of my cousins and she never let us leave the house without being fed.

This lead me to think about making this piece. (I had something else in mind when I started and then I changed my mind) and as I worked with it my past in all its pieces and flashes came back and it felt right to make this for my shop.
Religion and politics are 2 subjects that can turn into a frenzy of opinions of fire and ice like no other.
I keep my religious beliefs private and am a very open-minded person.

With this mingling of the past, the reservations of the Dakota/Lakota Nations, and this part of my past  (and all its mysteries I still yearn to unreel) I offer this

it's got a surprise on the inside

She's 22 1'2 " long in all. Her chain is 20 1/2 "
(this does not include the heart charm that trails down the back of the clasp)

She's adorned with Red Jasper and Blue Turquoise.

These are my Cactus Bloom Earrings

Lots of etching and more pieces to come. I've enjoyed 2 nights of swimming (water aerobics) and despite the icky air its been a fun, colorful, productive week.

We all have fascinating pasts. It's a blessing to be able to integrate some of mine into art.

Non Sequitur:
 Jodi's brownies, we're expecting more t-storms- or maybe banana bread?

Hope everyone is safe and dry!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

a beautiful gift of endless proportion

thank you Nay


Studio Day

Not in Alexandria, so I'm doing it all from home...

already hot in my studio...have the fan on, streaming good tunes, been drilling, dapping and now filing...the pickle solution is heating and I am blessed to have the whole day to work with these hands and create some art.

Later I'll be at the pool (even in this stinky air!)

Hope everyone is staying cool and having a productive and relaxing day!

This was from the other day, my Hibuscus...they are holding their own in this bad air! :-)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Calling All Angels

It has been a long day, but this spirit remains free...and this song is a perfect way to sum up most of what I want to say...
Tomorrow i'll be in the studio, making pieces and preparing them for my shop on Etsy.

Am looking into other venues aside from Etsy :-)

Etch~ Revisit

I shared a lovely, super productive day with my fellow smithing friend Jodi yesterday. The temps were soaring and we spent our time equally divided with work, food, and more food! (Jodi has a newly installed vent system in her studio, so we were breathing easier...I love her studio)

On our minds:
Using a different method than PNP paper. It was wonderful to free draw onto our pieces using Deco pens. The rest of the process is the same. (and I can't stress enough the safety of doing this in a very ventilated environment, using gloves and neutralizing your pieces with a bath of baking soda and water!)

Keep your liquid moving- carefully

Sketching your designs ahead is a great idea

...and Jodi's turned out fantastic too, I'll be working with these today...there's something so amazingly rewarding about turning your ink doodles into pretty base pieces of metal. We discussed the endless options for using etching as a layer for building pieces of metal  work.

Later....lunch! Jodi had a proper sandwich, I opted for her amazing brownies, her recipe can be found on her blog (The Magpie's Treasure) here
...warning, these brownies will wake you up and cause you to do some sort of exercise later in the day (water aerobics for this girl)

Here's my piece, and LOOKIE at that zucchini! (and those tomatoes!) Fresh from her garden...

Before I left Jodi treated me to a bag of fresh tomatoes and fresh basil from her garden, and last night we had a wonderful meal (i even cooked and boy was hubby surprised and happy)

tee hee the Mini and the Tomato

Picking basil

Finally, I had to play with Benjamin Linus from Lost, the bobble head, omg he looked just like him, it was fun to knock him around

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Tomboy Spinners Galore

Lil Edit~
Just took down both old azaleas out front, and weeded. I giggled every time I saw a cicada carcass because they are sure making a lot of noise here. Those ee cummings words kept springing to mind -'...the bud of the bud...'- as I dead headed some old flowers and I kept a grin because I was thinking of my friend Caroline who lives in the prairie and writes and drives. Going to try to get a decent pic of our Hibiscus plant because I *think* all 3 colored flowers/plants are in bloom...

Yesterday I was busy hammering and hammering and sanding and filing and sizing and (possibly driving my neighbors nuts).
I'm revisiting my first love in jewelry smithing, making kinetic pieces, specifically spinner rings.

These are my Tomboys. They are light, and have the most awesome beaded band that spins and spins. Those  of you smithers who work with the beaded wire understand how finicky it can be. I seem to have become one with this wire (wax on wax off)

It's Saturday morning, the breeze is amazing out back on the deck.  Cicadas are buzzing and the cats are lazing. Hubby made us coffee and life is wonderful.

I'll list these in the shop a little later today. I need to eat a late breakfast and get to work on my front garden. These will be ready to ship, I need to check all the sizes first.

Thanks for visiting my blog, and I hope you find a Tomboy Spinner just for you!

Happy Saturday!!!

Sizes Available in my shop:

Size 10

Size 9 3/4

Size 9 1/4

Size 6 1/2

Size 5 1/2

Size 6

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Another Pair of Plain Jane Earrings

Hello beautiful people~

the first pair sold, I have one last pair with this sweet and unusual pattern (rolled onto the silver) left
I've got more in the works, ready to finish, with a varied pattern...

Grateful these have found a home, sweet home! :-)
(more variations of this theme to come...I love you Grandma)

Ladies I need garden advice! I would like to rip out just about everything I've planted out front and have an even ground cover/ivy on both sides of my front. (this is how the front looked when we bought the house, well...almost) I'm curious about what can be moved to the back.
I'd love to save and move the butterfly bush and some bulbs that have been planted, just wondering if anyone knows when is the best time they can be moved.
Then I plan to have easy to care for container plants out front which will add a pop of color.
Note: The front of our house is always full sun, and this girl is not nearly as attentive as she could be with her plantings.
...and, I admit I have planted so many things without thinking so much of height and color balance, etc.
The back of our house has a nice wide deck with afternoon sun and lots of shady spots. Easier for me to handle caring for.
Does this make sense?

I hope everyone is happy and well.
This cup is for you

I've been up nights reading this biography, which is both freaking me out a bit and making me want to read more.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

August Bracelet (in poem)

Earth Laughs in Flowers
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

These words are so gorgeous they were added to this really sweet bracelet. The bracelet is sterling silver (all of it) All of the links are made by me. The links are so well made they do not flip this pretty bracelet.
She has a toggle clasp, also made by me, which is soooo comfy.
(it even jingles a bit to make a pretty noise!)

if you would like to see the other side, here she is
as always my Makers Mark is added along with .925

Yesterday I had a smith play date with my friend Jodi, and finished this piece. At some point I looked over at the comfy box I keep for my cats in my studio, with the blanket I knitted so long ago, and there she waas Long Tongue Scrappy!

we miss Puddles all the time. He's with us, I know he is...

Monday, August 2, 2010

August Baby

I'm not an August Baby, I was born in the fall. Lots of birthdays in August in my hubby's family. Peridot is the birthstone for August born babes.

Here's a swinging (yes they move!) set of Green Peridot August-Baby Swing Earrings

They swing
August born babes these are for you
what if you just like green and Peridot makes you all warm and fuzzy?
These are set in sterling silver. My makers mark is on the back of each as is .925.
AA Grade Peridot, these are 6mm round.