Monday, March 31, 2008

Well, as long as you're comfortable.

Snoozing away. Oblivious. Yeah, the purple sheet is a vain attempt to keep the beige sofa clean.

Leah Curly Glass

Sometimes in the search for ways to broaden our art, we run up against the barrier of not having the skill or tools to see our vision out. This is where collaborating with another artist comes in. They can bring their own ideas and methods to the table, expanding your original ideas.

When I moved to Portland, I started attending the PDX Etsy Street Team weekly teatimes where I first met Leah Pellegrini. Leah makes beautiful fused glass mobiles, and some of them had lampwork on them. I had started selling little glass puddle earrings that were created with the stained glass foil method. Leah and I began talking about her creating smaller fused glass circles with lampwork on them and I would make them into wearable pieces. Our collaboration was born. I sort of jokingly call it Leah Curly Glass.

Of course, for collaborations to succeed, they need to mesh working styles, time schedules, and such, and require a bit of communication to make sure what works for one is working for the other. While we are still working out some of the "this works, this doesn't", we are both pretty excited about how it's going. Leah has posted more about it on her blog, The Garden of Leah, too. I think I'm lucky as my partner in my first artistic collaboration is pretty laid back and is letting me explore my idea while creating these necklaces. A couple of the finished items are for sale in Leah's Etsy shop. I'll write more about the process of creating these wearable works of art in the future.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Ready. For. Spring.

It's nearly April and I woke up this morning to it snowing. And yesterday it was alternately freezing, sunny, hailing (twice), cloudy and drizzly. What's up with that? I like living in a place that gets all the seasons, I just don't need to have them all in one day. All the daffodils have bloomed. Hell, many of them have come and gone already. Spring sprang and now it's winter again. Sixty-five and sunny, that's all I'm asking. Spring is just toying with my emotions.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Lana Hoops

A slightly modern take on the classic hoop. The Lana Hoops are created from heavier gauge sterling that's been hammered back and front so it tapers down. The hinged earwire hooks in the back. The ball of the earwire has been left patinaed (from the heat forming) giving it a bit of an antiqued look that contrasts nicely with the shine of the rest of the earring.

These started by my looking at ways to make different types of earwires. They aren't the original thing that came to my head (I haven't made those yet...), but as I sat staring into space - often the way I come up with designs - these are what I drew on the paper in front of me. They are, of course, available in my Etsy shop.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Garden Necklace

Ok, so I think of it as the Peas and Carrots Necklace, but I couldn't bring myself to call it that. It's officially Garden Necklace. I love the warm coral color of the vintage Lucite. I added cool green howlite beads on the chain for a perfect summery mix. The howlite is graduated up the chain for visual interest. Might have to keep it for myself, but for now it's available in my Etsy shop.

More Goofy Dog Pictures


Saturday, March 22, 2008

How to Humiliate Your Pitbull

When I moved to Portland, I decided to get Kana a raincoat because it's colder and wetter here. It also saves me time in having to dry her when we come in. She doesn't really seem to mind it until I put the hood up. I think the picture says it all.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Forget Me Not Ring

I generally like everything I make, but sometimes something just makes me smile. This bow ring has me grinning. I've tried to recall where the inspiration for this cute little ring came from, but I think it was just a flash. Although it took a bit to figure out the Forget Me Not Ring, it was fun making it come together. I really like it and think it's adorable. What's happening to me?... I'm making cute. A perfect little gift for your finger and now available in my Etsy shop. Like I wrote in the description: adora-bow!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Calla Earrings

Sweet little lilies with a deep red garnet, I call them Calla Earrings. The lily leaf is raw brass which enhances the garnets and contasts well with the heat oxidized sterling. They are something sort of different for me: little, cute, more delicate than I usually make. Did I say they were little? I guess because I'm a big person, I tend to make bigger jewelry. I make things I like and feel that little things get lost on me and particularly in my hair. Needless to say, I'm not a delicate person. A little exercise in stepping out of my comfort zone a bit? They are now for sale in my Etsy shop.

In other news, I have begun an artistic collaboration with Leah Pellegrini (a fellow PDX Etsy street team member and Etsy seller) making jewelry of some of her glass pieces. I'm pretty excited about it. I'll be posting pictures as soon as there is something to share. She's written more about it in her blog and has posted a picture of the glass puddles we'll be using.

Etsy Front Page Today

I had the great surprise to find my Initially Necklace on the Etsy front page this afternoon. A double surprise as I wasn't in any treasury lists that I knew of. Fortunately and unfortunately my item was purchase pretty quickly so my time on the front page was limited, but hey, it was great while it lasted.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Yummy New Beads!

I got magnetically sucked into the bead store the other day and found these bright lovelies. I think a gray, rainy day had me attracted to the springy colors. They were so pretty all together that I just had to take a couple of pictures. They are a mix of vintage Lucite and new glass. Can't wait to start creating fun jewelry with these!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

I give. She wins!

After months of trying to keep Kana off the couch, I give up. She has won. She has two points in her favor that were a big part of my relenting: she was allowed to sleep on the (different) sofa in my old house, and because she can't go outside by herself here - like she could at the house - it's the place in the apartment where she can find a sunspot (a vital ingredient in her life).
I was attempting to keep her hairy and often muddy little dog body from dirtying the beige futon cover, but alas alack, I can no longer. Besides, letting her sleep on the sofa often lets me sleep longer in the morning. I guess we both win.

Friday, March 14, 2008


We here at PDX Etsy are all very excited about our BOGO sale this weekend. I'm hoping everyone who isn't buying now is saving up for the sale. Check out the growing list of participants.
My BOGO details are over -------------> there and in my shop announcement.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Circlocity Necklace

Sort of 60's mod, but totally modern. Eight large, heavy gauge, sterling loops are the focus of this great necklace, called Circlocity. I designed it with open linked chain around the back of the neck for comfort and for variability. As you can see from the pictures, this necklace can be worn longer or as a choker (depending on how small your neck is, it can be worn even shorter). The clasp can be attached at any point on the chain, so the length can be adjusted to fit any outfit. Each circle was hand formed, soldered and polished by me. Now available in my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Can You Feel It?

Can you feel the love?
I just hit my 2000th heart for my Etsy shop!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Odyssey Earrings

A large green aventurine dangles in the center of a twisted band of sterling. The ends are riveted together with ball of fine silver. I call them Odyssey and they are for sale in my Etsy shop. I'm going to be offering different beads for these too. I currently have rose quartz, peach aventurine, a dark green stone (that no one has been able to positively ID for me) and a kick-ass lipstick red diamond-shaped Czech glass bead.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Taper Earrings

New earring design! I call them Taper and there are (probably) different versions to come. I love the simple elegance. They go with everything from jeans to that little black dress. Now available in my Etsy shop.

Friday Night Front Page

I got a pleasant surprise Friday night: I signed on to Etsy to find my It Could Have Been Necklace on the front page! It's great exposure for your entire shop, not just the item featured. I was particularly lucky that my item was in the top row because it snuck back on to the front page when items sold from the next list (photo on right). Over the period of time it was on the front page, the item received over 700 views, as well as loads of views for everything else. Thanks Danielle (MissPurl) for, once again, featuring me in one of your awesome lists!

Friday, March 7, 2008

You smell something burning?

Two things you should know about me: I don't smoke and I virtually live in fleece (no, no I'm not proud of this, but I work at home, by myself and it's warm, fuzzy and comfy). Therefore I find it distressing when I'm working and have a brain fart or a spaz and discover - yet again - what happens when very hot metal comes into contact with plastic fabric. It's particularly distressing when I'm wearing my favorite light fleece pullover which now looks like I fell asleep while smoking in bed or something. Not attractive.
Maybe I'll just burn a pattern into it. Yeah, I meant to do that!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Cascade Necklace

I have finally finished my newest necklace, Cascade. The last change I made was to decide against using sterling chain and contrast the metal with a softer, black leather cord. It's now listed for sale in my Etsy shop. I'm very pleased with it (and I'm glad it's done).

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Wednesday Things

• I finished a new pair of earrings! I call them Crescent Curls and they are now listed in my Etsy shop. I love how the curlicue earwires add depth and a design element that contrasts with the strong curve.
• I'm almost done with my new necklace called Cascade. It's been unreasonably long in getting finished.
• It's a wonderfully sunny day today. Kana and I were just sitting outside enjoying the warmth.
• My personal curls are totally out of control and I'm finally going to get them lopped on Friday. (I guess that's really a Friday thing...)
• I took Kana to the vet and we have hopefully discovered the cause of some of her behavior of late. I thought it was purely a behavioral issue, but through discussions, it turns out it may actually be medical. This is good and bad. Good for the understanding, bad because it means Kana may have a type of cancer. Need to get tests to know for sure.
• I've got some ideas and I'm going to start working on a small jewelry series.
• Lunch was really yummy!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Callooh! Callay!

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

Ok, it wasn't a sword, it was a brown paper bag. And it wasn't a wood, it was my kitchen. And really, it was more of a little squeak, definitely not a burble. The Operation Demousification Relocation Program (at least at this writing) has proven to be successful! In all, four mousies were bagged and moved. Holes were foamed, along with other deterring measures, and it seems to be working. I sincerely hope this is my last mousy posting.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Jewelry: Evolution or Intelligent Design?

Jewelry design ideas are a funny thing. Sometimes they develop from sitting with materials and playing with them until they gradually start taking shape. Sometimes they come to me basically fully formed; concept, materials, color, etc. All at once in a flash. It could be from something I've heard or seen or just out of the blue. Most of the time, these ideas still need to be futzed with to make them work both aesthetically and practically. Recently, I've been working on one of those 'out of the blue' ideas and thought I'd (semi)document the process. This is a necklace I'm currently calling Cascade.

Here is the cut sheet sterling. It's been polished a bit. The holes for the jump rings have been measured, marked and drilled. As part of this concept is about movement, I felt that a bit of an arc in the sheet would work well here. In the photo on the right, I've cut a bunch of jumprings and I'm cleaning them up, making sure the edges meet well and they have a good, round circlosity. The jumprings are then placed in the holes and I cut the lengths of chain. The original chain I picked for this necklace didn't work for me, so I went with this great rectangular cable chain. The shape of the links reflects and echoes the larger rectangular piece. My compositional eye tends to like echoing shapes. Below you see the jumprings in place and the chain strung in them. On the right, the whole piece has been fluxed and is ready for me to solder the tiny rings. Behind the piece on the solder block you can see the leeeettle pieces of cut solder.

So, I'm not quite done with Cascade yet. Here at Curly Girl Glass, we reserve the right to change any jewelry piece we are working on right up to the time it is photographed, so there is still time for me to change several design elements! Check back soon to see the finished piece shown off. Same bat time, same bat station.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Curly Girl: 2, Mice: 0

I had begun Operation Demousification - a lifestyle-changing process of keeping the pantry door tightly shut, the dog's food bowl up off the floor and covered, garbage can empty, no source of food anywhere and no hiding spots available - and the starvation tactic was making the mousies really bold. The cheeky little bastards were out at all hours and I was seeing them more than was necessarily comfortable. After I saw undeniable evidence that they had been on my kitchen counter (O!M!G!), I had had it. I didn't really want to kill them - micies are people too, after all - I just didn't want them in my house.

I had narrowed down where it was they were coming and going from and decided to get expanding foam to block the egress. As it turns out, after I got back from the hardware store, little mousy made his presence known in my studio. I heard a noise in the boxes I use to store the various gauges of silver wire and, sure enough, there he was. His fear seemed to paralyze him because he could easily have jumped out, but I managed to get a bag over the box and the mouse, and relocated the little guy about a block away (no, not to someone else's house). Because my camera was within arms reach, I got a picture just before bagging him up. Kinda cute, huh? The box is about 5" across, so you can tell how small he is.

A second relocation opportunity presented itself today when, about an hour after the first, I was in the kitchen putting on shoes to take Kana for a walk and I heard a peculiar noise. Mousy Two had gotten himself into a spot he couldn't get out of. I grabbed a grocery bag and the made a second trip down the street to let this little guy join his friend.

I still plan on plugging up the holes. Where there's one (or two) mousies, there are bound to be others.