Friday, August 27, 2010

keep calm & carry on

New on my etsy listings is this necklace, featuring a hand stamped pendant, smooth rutilated quartz with lovely metallic striations, two beautiful sparkling geodes and quite a bit of cable link silver chain- 32 inches. This one hangs to my belly button. :-)

I stamped Winston Churchill's famous quote on what has to be called a "slab" of silver, as it is 14 gauge- quite substantial. It is textured with various hammers and as I always do, add patina and a good rubbing to soften it up and let it shine, all at the same time. The geodes I purchased at a rock show a while ago. The open slice is agate with crystals, the reddish orange one is carnelian with crystals. They just bling bling in the sunlight!

For those who look at that smooth stone on the left and say, "what the heck is rutilated quartz?" Well....

Rutilated quartz is a form of the mineral, quartz, that has attractive, needle-like inclusions of rutile. It is often cut and polished to use in jewelry and is prized as a metaphysical stone. Rutilated quartz is mined in many countries, including the United States, Australia, Norway and Brazil.

Close up of that lovely geode. I just love agates!

Friday, August 20, 2010

in beauty may i walk

The beautiful Navajo Beauty Walk poem is the inspiration for my latest creation. The main premise of the poem I've stamped on lightweight brass disc, with added texture and lovely patina.

I do so love Ellen Dooley's incredible lampwork glass beads. These worked perfectly for the natural earth elements theme of this piece. Isn't this cool green just lovely, and the brown speckles make it all the more beautiful.

A first for me-- and I am totally in love-- Saki's bronze metal toggle. And of course, another gorgeous speckled lampwork bead from Ellen Dooley.

River rocks are so soothing. This one is super smooth to the touch.

In beauty may I walk... see it for sale on

Every year in Richmond, the area below downtown called Shockoe Bottom becomes a way-station for migrating Purple Martin birds on their way to South America. Every year Michael and I manage to miss them for one reason or another. This year we made a point to see this spectacular spectacle, and with my parents visiting we had added incentive since my dad is a professional wildlife photographer.

Richmond train station, Shockoe Bottom at dusk.

The Martin's are quick and difficult to catch on camera. This is one of my favorite shots my dad took, right before several thousand birds spiraled into formation and dove into the trees next to where we were all standing. Every night at least 15,000 birds take their nightly snooze in the trees at the Farmer's Market at Shockoe Bottom. It was an awe inspiring experience and we are heading down there again this evening to take it all in, all over again.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Boy Mango

Yes, I am blogging about my cat. Here he is in his favorite spot (other than tucked under my arm) on my side of the bed waiting for the sun to come back out. He is a sweet and sour boy, my Mango. You never know what you're going to get but when he's sweet, he is very, very sweet.
The Mango Kitty Condo.
Since I have no jewelry to show, owing to life in general and getting ready to host relatives from Germany in particular, I can at least show my latest most fabulous find. Every Saturday morning until the first weekend in October there is an antiques market on Monument Avenue in a parking lot. It is within easy walking distance from our apartment and my new favorite haunt. Here is a swatch of 12 and a half yards of vintage 1960's lightweight home dec fabric I scored for twenty bucks. My husband was kind enough to haul it home for me, still on the huge rolled bolt. But I carried our old dog Lucy, who wilted in the heat and pooped out early. Hmmm.. who got the better deal? Anyway, isn't this fabric the greatest? There are more colorful combinations, this is just a piece. I foresee zippered bags, wrapped bags, shoulder bags-- bags, bags, bags! :)
One last shot of my fat little pink-bellied boy. All 23 pounds of him. :)