Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Is It Raining With You Necklace

Inspired by my vacation to Oahu...

Of course, inspired by our lovely Portland weather. This cute necklace developed organically starting with the cloud idea and having it sit on my bench for a couple of days. Then there was the "raindrops". And then there were a lot more raindrops. I really like it!

Besides, "vacation to Oahu"? *dreaming*

Monday, December 29, 2008

Make Up Your Mind!

Mother nature seemed a bit confused today. I was headed out to lunch with my friend Guenevere (a fab painter! that's her work on the right and more can be seen here). We were only going about 12 blocks and were deciding, based on weather, if we should walk or drive. At the time we left it was overcast, but not raining - it had poured earlier in the day. We decided to walk. Five feet from the door, it starts to drizzle. In another block, it turned to light hail (yes, freaking hail). A few more blocks and it was storming hail. By the time we got to the restaurant, we were pretty wet. While we were eating it went from clearing up to pouring rain - which at one point was blowing sideways. Once it stopped, we made a break for it. A few blocks from the restaurant, the sky cleared and the sun came blazing out. We both literally stopped where we were and stood soaking it in. This was all in the course of an hour or hour and a half. Ah, crazy Portland!

Friday, December 26, 2008


I try not to complain about customers. Almost all of them are truly wonderful. However (there's always a however...), last week I had a customer that purchased an item around 2pm. I had the item and was prepared to package it and put it in the mail the next day. Around 6pm the same day I get negative feedback from this woman because she insisted I mailed her order - a mere few hours later? - to the wrong address. I hadn't even packaged up her order, let alone printed the shipping label. She never tried to contact me prior to leaving negative feedback to find out what happened. She saw on her Paypal account her address, not the address she wanted the earrings sent to, so she assumed I screwed up (and obviously totally ruined her Christmas). The address was just that listed in her Paypal account. When I contacted her to explain the situation, her reaction was "oh, ok". No "I'm sorry." Nothing. I explained that this unearned negative feedback can affect my business and asked if she would use Etsy's "Kiss and Make-up" feature to amend the feedback. I have heard nothing from her.
It is the only negative feedback I have received in over 2 years on Etsy. I am complaining about this woman here because I can't on Etsy. All I can say is she clearly is a moron and a bitch.
Ahhh, that's better.
/end rant

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Today's Reality Check

Miners carry loads of sulphur out of the crater of the Kawah Ijen Volcano in East Java. They will trek over five miles from the crater to a collection center with loads weighing between 110 and 220 pounds. For the effort, they earn the equivalent of $7 a day.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Divergence Necklace

Another in my line of stepping stone jewelry. I'm loving the asymmetry and the various lengths of rivets that connect the pieces. Gives it a modern, spiderwebby, abstract feel. It took a bit to work through the riveting to make sure it hung correctly. I ended up having to shift around how it is positioned because it was wonky the original direction. Not only don't I think it hurt the design, but I like it better this way. Love those "art accidents" that help. I call this one Divergence Necklace and it's available in my Etsy shop.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snuggy Dog

Kana's gotten better - over the course of this week - at dealing with the snow and cold outside. She seems to get that the coat I put on her before we go out keeps her warm and dry. And she's figured out how to walk on the icy parts: either take little steps or run to the other side. The above picture is how Kana's dealing with the cold outside inside. She's snuggled up against the radiator and she's got her blankie tucked up under her chins. She was snoring away when I took this shot. Spoiled? Naaaaaa.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Exclaim Necklace

Kinda says it all. Or most of it anyway. Angry, happy, excited; all expressed in a little symbol. I'm thinking I like the simplicity of punctuation. Might have to do others. The exclamation point I call Exclaim Necklace and it's available in my Etsy shop. Or should I say Exclaim! Necklace!?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Today's Reality Check

"Desperate days in Zimbabwe: Starving families pick up individual corn kernels spilled on the roadside outside Harare by trucks hauling maize corn imported from South Africa."

Monday, December 15, 2008

Crafty Wonderland/Winter Wonderland

This is the equivalent of an all-out blizzard in Portland. The picture on the left is Sunday morning. It had been snowing for maybe an hour. On the right is Monday morning. The storm has moved on and there's a crystal blue sky. It's pretty cold out right now (for PDX), in the 20s, and the snow is either icy or crunchy. The city has shut down: schools are closed, people are home from work, no one's out. I'm liking it. I like that we get to live with a bit of snow (I threw a snowball at some boys this morning...) for a few days and then it goes away. It's not here for months. It's pretty for a couple of days.

For Kana, the jury is still out on this snow stuff.

Unfortunately, this winter wonderland killed Crafty Wonderland. And for that it's not so pretty.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Today's Words of Wisdom

Donut reality rarely meets donut expectations.

Friday, December 5, 2008


been busy.........
but I made this........
I call it Java Necklace. It's handmade oval chain links of heat-oxidized sterling.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Quote of the Day

We can only be said to be alive
in those moments when our hearts
are conscious of our treasures.
Thornton Wilder

Monday, November 24, 2008

Pursuit Chain Necklace

Maybe with the economic "downturn"*, I've been going back to basics. Here's a simple, elegant design, but a bit heavier/chunkier. Sterling rings linked by 3 lengths of rolo chain. It's long, 32", so it slips right over the head and doesn't have a clasp. It can be worn several ways: just as it is; over one shoulder; looped several times around the wrist for a fab bracelet; and (in the photo) I've tied it up on itself with a bit of ribbon. Called the Pursuit Necklace, it's available in my Etsy shop.

*eu⋅phe⋅mism  [yoo-fuh-miz-uhm]
the substitution of a mild, indirect, or vague expression for one thought to be offensive, harsh, or blunt.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Transfix Quill Ring

A new Transfix ring. This one is pretty simple, but I like the way the upper arch mimics the shape of the lower curl. This one is made of a heavier gauge (10g) than the others have been.

The motif sits about .5" above the band, so it's suitable for everyday wear. It somehow reminded me of feathers or a birds tail, so I call it Transfix Quill. It's a size 6.75 and is available in my Etsy shop.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Smack Me If I Complain Again

"Every day, Furah carries an enormous bundle of firewood and her 18-month-old daughter 10 miles on the road linking Rupango to Sake, Congo. She must cross rebel-controlled territory to reach government-held Sake in order to sell the wood."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

River Band

I feel like I'm leaning towards simpler, more straight forward designs lately. Not that this is a big departure for me, but almost everything I've worked on recently seems basic in style. Here's another one. A very simple ring, a basic band. Hammered for a lovely texture that sparkles a bit and catches the light. It's wider than the average ring, about 1/4", and of a thicker stock, so it's got a really nice weight. I've named it River Band and it's available in my Etsy shop.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Saleless and Fancyfree*

Woo Hoo! Made it! Ten whole days with no sales. Hell, I've only even had one convo in that time. Now that's invisibility.

Back to our regularly scheduled new bracelet picture:

*I lied. I'm not fancyfree. I'm tied up in knots and I don't think I can make it the three weeks until my first holiday event for another sale.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Le Derriere du Chien

She loves to lay like this. With her arthritic hips, you'd think it would
be uncomfortable. The way she was laying on her tail, it looked like she was trying to be modest or something. And her old lady footies.
That's my girl.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hey Look At Me - I'm Invisible!

Well, I did it! I made it a whole week without a sale. Nope, not one. I'm hoping to make it to 10 full days. That would be a record!

I've been absolutely ignored to death this week. Honestly, I don't think there is one thing that jars my applesauce quite as much as being ignored (I'm guessing in the hopes that I will go away). And LOTS of things jar my applesauce. Friends. Acquaintances. Non-friends. Professional people I'm attempting to do business with. The aforementioned non-customers. All of them making me feel invisible (and, yes, I used to live in California, so I know: no one can make me feel anything).

Whatever. I'll go crawl back under my rock now.

R.I.P. Sandy dog

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunrise Bouquet Necklace

Another vintage find. The focus of this simple necklace is a vintage Japanese pressed glass cabochon. The 3D flowers are in a lovely warm coral color (what attracted me to them in the first place). Bezel set on sterling and oxidized for an antique finish, it's simple and sweet and eye catching. The Sunrise Bouquet necklace is available in my Etsy shop.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Nan Porcelain Necklace

I bought a bunch of these vintage porcelain ovals a while ago and have just started working with them. I have several different designs. This one has a sweet floral motif. Bezel set in sterling with an antique finish, I think it has the feeling of an heirloom. The 6mm moonstone rounds that adorn the chain contrast really nicely with the dark oxidation. I call it Nan Porcelain and it's available in my Etsy shop. Look for more of these ovals to be coming out soon in various designs - although I'm sort of partial to the simpler design that focuses on the porcelain.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Maybe if you hum a few bars...

Years ago I took yoga regularly. Generally once or twice a week for several years. I wasn't great at it, but I knew what I was supposed to do whether I could actually do the pose or not. The style of yoga I did is called Iyengar, named after B. K. S. Iyengar (read more about him here).

For several reasons, I stopped taking yoga classes in 2002. I never had much of an at-home practice and anything I did do soon fell away. I was, however, still in touch with my yoga teacher, Sabine Kühner over the years. When she learned I was moving to Portland, she told me that if I was ever interested in taking yoga again that I should look up her friend and fellow Iyengar teacher, Anne. After more than a year in Portland and spending most of my time sitting on my butt either at the computer or at my workbench, I decided it would be a good thing for my body to look into starting yoga again. Turns out Anne teaches at a studio (Yoga Shala) very close to my home. What luck! My first class, I introduced myself to Anne and told her I used to study with Sabine. She asked if I moved up about a year ago; Sabine had told her about me!

Taking yoga after all this time is like hearing a song I used to know. I still know the melody, but I don't remember all the words. Last night Anne said, "Do you know yaddayaddasana?" I said "maybe if you hum a few bars". Fortunately the other students though this was funny and not out of line. I really don't remember the names of most of the asanas, but my body seems to remember doing them. I still can't do them very well, but me and my body are happy to be getting back in touch with each other. I'm hoping we will be friends again soon.

Little glass Yoga Ladies by artist Leah Pellegrini and available in her Etsy shop.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Autumnal Flora Necklace

I found these great brass filigree flowers and had to have me a few. The center is a forest-green chrysoprase rondelle. The weight of the stone was causing the flower to hang downward even if I had a device (wire or such) running up the back. It's little technical problems like this that occupy the other side of my brain. I love working through solutions that are both practical and aesthetically pleasing. Riveting the flower to a copper leaf-shape let the piece sit correctly and retained the floral image. I call it Autumnal Flora (clever, I know!) and it's available in my Etsy shop.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Kana Chair Stop

This is what I see if I look over the right side of my computer chair most times of the day. Kana and her I-insist-you-rub-me belly lay directly next to the chair wheels. If I move the wrong way, I run her over and get a yelp and an accusatory look. She kicks me or the desk with her feeties to get my attention. Either that, or upsidedown barks. In her defense, she's not as chunky as this picture makes her look (the camera adds 10 pounds you know).

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Just a shout out to the Etsy fora for letting me know just who I am, where I stand and putting me in my place. I guess I needed that.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Three Cs

I've discovered that the bane of my dietary well-being comes down to three Cs: chips, chocolate and cheese. I am admitting publicly (well sort of, for the 3 people who may read this) that I've officially lost my ability to control their intake. I've always held that chocolate and chips - but not necessarily chocolate chips - were two of the four major food groups (the other two, of course, being coffee/caffeine and good bread with butter). Sadly, I now think I'm wrong.
My name is Judi and I am an addict.

Monday, October 13, 2008

An Apple (or Eight) A Day

My local nursery has an annual apple festival. Tastings, music, kid's stuff, it's pretty big. It goes on for a couple of weekends and loads of people come out for it. I stopped by yesterday and picked up some different lovelies (although they were out of Winesaps *sob*). I bought some Galas to make an apple crisp with, which I made yesterday afternoon. I would show off that tasty treat with a photo, but it, um, is all gone already... But rest assured, it was yummy! I also bought a couple of different types of local honey - the jars in the photo. One is called Neighborhood and has a distinctly minty taste which should be quite scrumptious in tea. I have enough apples to make another crisp and I will. Maybe this time I'll get a few pictures before eating it all up. Maybe.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

New Design: Miller

A new design!
I love the industrial feel and thought it looks like something that would be in a factory. I call them the Miller Necklace and the Miller Earrings. The balance between the chain and the metalwork is really achieved here. The brushed-back oxidation is another key for me, giving the pieces a wonderful pewter-y finish. The necklace can be worn several different ways: the hook in the back, the hook in the front, shorter with a link dangling... I'm very happy with the way the picture of the necklace came out too. Both pieces are available in my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Persie Necklace

Another of the new necklaces and part of the Persie series. A pendant of three links in descending sizes hang from a ball chain. I like how versatile these links are. They can be sized up or down, so they can work for earrings, necklace, bracelet, or... (well, no, the possibilities aren't endless). The Persie Necklace is, of course, available in my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

New Necklaces

I've recently listed several new necklaces. I'd made these over the summer and was tabling with them. Since they didn't sell, I've listed them in my Etsy shop.

On the upper right is Rose Candy. Iridescent-pink, Czech pressed glass make up this asymmetrical necklace.

To the left is Autumn Leaf Necklace a heat-patinaed copper leaf-shape.

And, finally, Sunburst Necklace. A fluted vintage Lucite bead is the center of the sterling silver sun shape.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Delftish Necklace

I recently found these vintage porcelain oval cabacon in a bead store. Aren't they groovy? I have several different designs. Here's the first thing I made with them. It reminds me of the Delft blue china and I tried to compliment it with an antique finish on the silver. I call it Delftish and it's already found a new home.