Thursday, August 22, 2013


It's been a very strange month. The ups and downs have been a little surreal. The ups have been wonderful and the downs have been frustrating to devastating and they're happening back to back paired up like a wicked roller coaster ride. The wonderful overshadowed by the bad and then the bad eased by the good. This is life as it always has been but amplified from one extreme to another.

A Nicer Example: I'm allergic to insect bites, we had quite a bit of rain recently and the mosquitos are thick. My horse found a weak spot in the fence and opened it up like a gate, so has been free grazing the neighbors pasture (thankfully we have permission to graze him there) but I've been reworking the fence and getting eaten alive by mosquitos. We also just finally replaced the dead lawn mower and while I was mowing I discovered a hill of fire ants by being attacked by them. All the work done in the front of my mouth by my previous dentist has now fallen out and I have been reluctant to trust another dentist (the last several have been not so pleasant experiences) as a result I broke a tooth - in the front of my mouth and my lip keeps getting sucked in and bit. All this leaving me with a slightly puffy face, a broken tooth and since my birthday is coming, a drivers license needing to be renewed NOW. sigh But it was my son's birthday and we went together to get our licenses renewed, the Revenue office was empty NO LINES, we had a blast, and the new pic wasn't even remotely ogre-esque looking!

At roughly the same time Erin over at Treasures Found and of Tesori Trovati had an inspirational give-a-way that was part of her birthday and reflections of the celebration of life that was a dear friend of her family's.

She asked:

If you are a Child of God and you can do anything, what is that anything that you would want to do?

and I answered: Once upon a time I taught fourth grade art through the arts council. I taught all three of my children and all of their friends. My daughters dream is to open a store where she can also share her love of art with the local children. If I could do anything it would be to help her realize her dream, to share her passion with the kids.

And I won! Paige has agreed to work with me on this project which we promised Erin we would reveal on September 20th. I'm really looking forward to having a little playtime with Paige. We've thrown out a couple ideas already and now we're just waiting for the bead to arrive. I gave Erin our favorite colors and told her to surprise us in her choices, all her beads are gorgeous so I have complete faith this one will be as well. Paige is taking another ceramics class this year and I just may have to break out the polymer myself or resin, I haven't played with resin in ages.

Whatever we decide on, I do hope you'll join us on the 20th to see just what we've come up with! And hopefully in the meantime my life will have settled down to a less tumultuous and turbulent ride. ~~~

Thanks so much for stopping by!
We'll see you next time!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

In Which We Machine Wash a Favorite Leather Jacket

My son normally keeps his bedroom door closed. He doesn't want to accidentally close a cat or dog in the room and come back to a puddle. Smart thinking I say. Unfortunately on the extremely rare occasion of having left the door open someone with four legs and a tail left a puddle for him, on his bed, with the door wide open and access to the proper place for that unhampered. Needless to say he was a very unhappy camper. To make matters worse his favorite leather jacket was on the bed.

We spot cleaned the jacket, stripped the bed and sprayed a peroxide and baking soda mix on the mattress. By morning the bed was fine and freshly washed sheets were in place. The jacket on the other hand stunk to high heaven and was discolored too. The discoloration I'm thinking was cleaning residue.

Sad and still a bit angry he started calling dry cleaners looking for someone to clean his jacket. No leather cleaners in the state, the dry cleaners would have to ship it out of state and he would be charged a minimum of $50 regardless of whether or not the jacket came back clean. They told him the jacket was garbage, just toss it.

You all know I've spent a fair amount of time on Pinterest. In my Pinterest travels I came across one of my new favorite blogs One Good Thing by Jillee. She has compiled a wondrous amount of useful info in her blog and I remembered a very recent post about cleaning leather. I instructed Alex to get on my computer and head to her blog to search for that post. Her post said she cleaned her leather purse using Castile Soap. Lucky us I just happened to have a bottle of Castile Soap on the shelf.

Over to the washing machine we went castile soap in one hand, stinky jacket in the other. Following Jillee's directions we washed the jacket while I gathered towels for a second load. After a brief drying on gentle with some fluffy towels we hung the jacket up to finish drying.

Alex thought he caught a slight whiff of the nasties so I directed him to hang his jacket out in the fresh air for a little while. Something about line drying makes everything smell so good I figured it couldn't hurt. The skies started clouding up so Alex brought it back inside and …… no smell, not even a hint of the nasties.

The favorite leather jacket is clean, smells good and is still soft and supple. Alex waited until it was absolutely dry and gave it a nice wipe down with some leather conditioner to be on the safe side, but that jacket looks and smells just like new!

Thanks to a slight Pinterest obsession and a newly beloved Blog, we saved the favorite jacket that everyone else had deemed garbage! Thank you Jillee!

And thank you for stopping by!
We'll see you next time!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

I Reject Your Label and Add my Own?

I, like many of my fellow artisans, am on Linked In.
While you are on your profile they have this little pop up that asks you to recommend your connections.
Does so and so know this?
Does so and so know about that?
Most of the time I ignore those little boxes as they like to ask questions of me in regards to folks I've "just met". I don't know them well enough to know their backgrounds as yet. Most are fellow jewelers, some are in antiques and still others are in other avenues of home spun goodness whether it's in the business of publishing about it or of selling it.

I have recently been getting a flush of recommendations for sculpture and textile design. While I can do both, it's not what I do. So, I have been hitting the little x.
But then I got to thinking about it. I CAN sculpt and I CAN screen print, knit, crochet and sew, I HAVE done all of the above. In fact if you really want to, you could say the copper roses I made for my son were small sculptures, I did form them from a piece of copper sheet that I cut from that roll standing in the corner over there. Maybe I was hasty in my x-ing out those recommendations.

Maybe I have been too hasty in placing myself in a small box with a label of jewelry maker. My lips and fingers have said time and time again, Artist first. They refuse to be placed in a small box with a label and yet there I am x-ing out a recommendation that doesn't fit with that label I seem to have placed upon myself!

If I am to be an artist first should I not embrace all that I CAN do rather than ignore it in favor of what I CURRENTLY do? For that matter why couldn't I sculpt a focal and screen print some ribbon to make a truly unique piece of jewelry. Fully embracing the OTHER things and welcoming them into what I currently do…..
I enjoy combining techniques and styles, always have, it's just what I DO!
huh Imagine that……

Thanks for stoppin' by! If you'd like to leave me a comment, I'd love to know what other things you can do to enhance what you do but might not have thought of. We'll see ya next time!

read label gif found here:
rolls of labels found here: