Thursday, March 17, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

Catastrophe So Immense

I can't. Wrap. My brain. Around. It.
If you haven't yet seen these before-and-after shots,
this may clarify the enormity of the devastation.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Today's Reality Check: We've Only Come So Far

Words on the face of a protester commemorating International Women's Day in Mexico City read: "For being a woman, I am hit, I am raped, I am killed."

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Beautiful Glass in my Home

These are a couple of the glass pieces I have in my home. These photos do not do them justice. Both pictures were taken on winter-in-Portland less-than-sunshiny days.
The top photo is a lovely housewarming-gift mobile from Leah Pellegrini (her Etsy shop is here). I have it hanging from the archway between the living and dining rooms where is catches light from both sets of windows (and no one is in danger of bumping into it).
The lower picture is a fun stained glass banner made by Megan Klepp of Ta-Dah (her Etsy shop is here). While in a perfect world I'd have the perfect in-a-window spot for it, I don't. It currently resides on a wall in my sunroom (I got it specifically for the sunroom). Because it is fairly opaque glass, the wonderful colors aren't lost without the light coming through.
I'm so happy that I know both these delightful ladies and can see these beautiful works of art everyday!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Spring's On The Way

 A sure sign of spring at my house is planning for the garden. Last year was the first year that Karen and Chip - the world's greatest neighbors - and I planted this plot. It's my side yard and a fairly big area for people who don't really know a whole lot about gardening. We planted lots (post about it here) by guess and by golly, and we did OK, but not great. This was partly because of our never-ending cold and wet spring last year and partly because we didn't properly amend the soil before planting. Some things didn't grow, some grew weird and others did just fine through no fault of our own. We learned a lot. This year, we're using the whole plot, are planting less crops but more of what we liked, and have figured better placement for things (Karen's a great one for planning out everything). AND, last Saturday - when I was playing hooky from the opening day of the Saturday Market - we had 4 yards of a compost and sand (the soil is very clay-y) mix dumped in the driveway and the three of us spent four hours wheelbarrowing it from the drive and digging it into the soil. I'm still tired! We are very excited to get started. In the next couple of weeks we will begin plotting it out and planting the earlier crops. 
The twiggy things in the back corner are raspberry canes that are already starting to bud out. Since last year, I've also built and installed the two rainbarrels and put in the composter. Almost looks like a real garden!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Prong Setting

Being a self-taught metalsmith means that a lot of what I do is trial and error. Unfortunately mostly error! When I do try something new, I often make silly mistakes that a teacher would (hopefully) warn me against. My latest "learning experience" was one of those little mistakes: I tried a prong setting with a tiny little 3mm (did I mention it was small?) cubic zirconia. I eventually succeeded, but the dents in the wall from throwing tools illustrates why you should learn this technique with something a bit larger. The frustration level got pretty high while trying to solder the prong wires in a tiny space, hold the bitty CZ while trying to place it, and set the prongs on the little stone (did I mention it was small?). When will I ever learn to think these things through just a bit before I start off on these adventures?

That said, this cute, little (did I mention it was small?) Sweet Heart Necklace is now available in my Etsy shop.