Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Masterpiece

It is listed among Smithsonian's Life List of 28 places "to visit before you die".

Saturday, January 28, 2012

At the Beach with Gunner

Gunners' footprints at the beach. Three months old.

I spent the day with Gunner today, and we went to the park. This park has a charming little wooden bridge. that spans the playground area to the beach. So an hour at the playground, then over the bridge to the beach. Gunner has a facinating little mind, in that he finds beauty in symmetry, and in what others would call grotesque.

He spent all his energy dragging a craggy, waterlogged piece of driftwood out of the water, through the sand, and up to me. I showed him what barnicles were, and sea worms, and he said "this is cool isn't it"? I quickly agreed with him that yes it was cool.

A little later, he brought me a shell, shining with pink and hints of purple, sand encrusted, but totally beautiful, totally perfect, "this is cool isn't it"? Yes, I agreed with him that it was. I hope his definition of cool never changes.

Mangrove at E.G. Simmons Park - Tampa Bay, FL by philippietri

Muslim Woman at the Mall

Blue robes flowing
Glowing eyes showing
Subjugated, her chains hidden.

Detested from afar
Emancipated and free thinking
Broken chains at my feet.

Ladies Please......

if you insist on wearing a ring on every finger and thumb you have, could you at least buy rings that compliment each other? Lately, I have seen women with such a mish-mash on their hands, it is truly laughable; and I know that is not the reaction they're going for. Besides, it is passe´.  Out of fashion for a while now.

Update: 4/19/11
This excerpt from the editors of Lucky Magazine for Home Shopping Network:
Silver Destinations Hammered Bypass Ring Item: 118-147
There’s something so delicate and feminine—yet super cool—about piling on multiple rings on several fingers. Don’t worry about matching metals—the more uncalculated the approach, the bigger the appeal. Don’t worry if it feels a little haphazard—the ultimate effect will look appealingly unstudied.

I guess my OP is off the mark, and outdated and just plain wrong, NOT. Since they are accepting advertising monies to sell multiple items, I find the above paragraph to be extremly self serving. Appealingly unstudied equals it's attractive because you didn't put any effort into it. NOT.

"Don't worry if it feels a little haphazard?"

 I guess I could be wrong......wait for it......NOT.


Every morning, early, these visitors wake us with their warbling chatter. They are quite loud, and seem to like making a racket. They disappear during the day, foraging, I imagine, and then return in the early evening. They roost in the pine trees out back.

Chanel No. 5

Another year. Down to the dregs. Don't you think things like Chanel No. 5 should automatically replenish themselves? Blink twice and the bottle magically refills?

The first bottle I had, was a present from my Mother on, I think I remember, my Thirteenth Birthday, and I have been a Number 5 since. And, Chanel has always been a word we use interchangably with fashion, so I have followed the House of Chanel since then, as the benchmark for what to wear.

So, what to wear next year? On a cruise, at the beach or in the Tropics?
Briefly, 70's and See Thru.
Chanel "Cruise 2010/11

I found the line delightfully femine.

Interestingly, Chanels' line of jewelry in Mothers' time was primarily, high end costume, and my Mother would have none of it. Costume in the Forties, and Fiftes, (now called Hollywood Regency) was fabulously glitzy, and ultimately feminine. But, if it wasn't real, she wasn't wearing it.  She was the most important influence in my life, then and now, so that really is why I only work with authentic gemstone beads, Sterling or Gold findings.

The Painted Desert

The Painted Desert in Arizona called to my parents, often, and I visited the area many times with them. Then, when we had children, we took them there as well.

We drove the “loop” of Painted Desert, Petrified Forest, and then back through Grand Canyon to get home, with the inevitable cries of “are we there yet?” from the backseat. I don’t really remember the sibling squabbles from the backseat, (and I know there must have been many), because the vistas took my breath away and kept my mind busy. There was an occasional “Knock it off!” from me, directed toward the back, as we waited for the next turn in the road to show us something new. No matter how many times we did the loop, there was always something new.

There are those that do not see beauty in the desert, and only observe the land swathed in dry yellow weed, brown sage and sand. My painterly eyes see citrine colors and yellow jade, reds, the color of pomegranates; the ochres of landscape, imbued with an orange, 4 o’clock, atmospheric haze. Gorgeous.

Home Page vs Blog

Who remembers when you had to have a Home Page in order to be au currant? , with it?, cool? Was it the forerunner to the blog? An ancient ancestor that ultimately became the cut & paste parent of the dreaded, Holiday Newsletter?

Developers then added Guest Book as a feature, where the relatively few other denizens of the WWW could add a name and a comment. Not exactly interactive, but a big advance for the time.

Home Page was replaced by myriad personal websites, (most boring) recording the minutia of everyday lives, recipes, etc., and then the big push, as America realized the commercial opportunity labeled “e-commerce.“
Now comes the blog; an interactive area where an individual can record anything and have complete strangers comment about it. The Web Log, or…. Blog.

I had a Home Page, of course. For about 10 minutes. It was one of those Free Home Page services, offered by companies trolling for website customers, and used by folks who did not know HTML coding, and were not about to buy a program to do it for them, and then pay for all the add-ons the Hosting company charged. After making my Home Page, I remember thinking, “OK, now what?” From there, I went on to my first website; e-commerce, of course.

OMG, who remembers the GUI? If you did not have to Telnet data to your Internet files, you were just about the coolest thing ever! Where are we now? Thirteenth Gen? Even more? It will be interesting to see where it goes from here. Those of you out there who remember “Information needs to be free” are invited to comment.

I have fallen in love with Memory Wire......Look for new work.

Why haven't I ever used this stuff? It's faboluss. Next photo will be Sterling and Garnet bracelet on Memory wire. I have designs in my head for small bracelets, and chunky ones. Oh, my! Off to work.
Surf & Sand Jewelry

I have decided to edit this post to show the bracelets. I am very happy with the way they turned out.

Jewel Tones

As part of our business, we went on road trips every year in our dear departed van, and I saw America in my 30's and 40's from the passenger seat of a Ford Econoline. We always took the roads that ran along the Interstates, meandering through the little dying towns, turning a corner into a Wal-Mart Super Center in the middle of nowhere, and always avoiding the giant macadam, concrete snake of a road that blasted through mountains, and ripped along the creeks, in the straightest line possible.

I mention it now, because I have been remeniscing, musing about the sights, and colors I remember. The colors of emeralds, and there are a lot of them;  new fields, moss, grass, spriggy leaves, palms and pines. Then, as the air runs a bit cooler, and the trees start to turn, those emeralds morph into rubies and citrines.

Lately, all my work has been in jewel tones, over the beachy, ocean colors, I adore. And, lately, I have been pining for the mountains. We have not been there for several years, and last time we were in the Catskills, we left early because I was homesick for the Bay. Fickle, yes!, and blonde.

We stayed at the Breezy Hill Inn and I am constantly returning there in my work, alas, not in the flesh. I think the next piece shall have to be named for the lovely old house on Breezy Hill. A multitude of colored gems, and gold, I think, to set them off.

Surf & Sand Jewelry

Raiding the Toolbox

I've had these incredible Ocean Jasper columns in my toolbox for quite a long time, now. They are riddled with orbs and facinating to work with. Today, I decided to play with my beads, and came up with Ocean Jasper Rondelles, to either side, flanked by Bali Sterling spacers, then two round Ocean Jasper beads, one full of orbs on either side, then the Black Onyx to complete the look. I still have the column mate to it and may make a bracelet to compliment it.

Some designers play in their toolbox to come up with a piece, others  sit down and draw out what they see as a guide to manufacture. I do it both ways and enjoy both immensely. I always buy beads who call out to me, even though I may not have a particular piece in mind for them. They reside in my toolbox until the time is right. 

A note for those who are not familiar with Ocean Jasper:

Ocean Jasper is a rare mineral, mined in only one place in the world, the Mine of Marovato, on the Ambolobozo Peninsula in the the north west corner of Madagascar. Is called Ocean Jasper because the deposits are part of the coastline, and can only be reached by boat, and removed only during low tide.

Heres a great link with exceptional photos.

Ocean Jasper Necklace and Ring Set
                                                                            Private Collection

Time Management

March Birthstone: Aquamarine
                                                                 Private Collection

Time Management

Yes, the dreaded time management post. Ok, I admit it, I am frightfully behind in my Monthly Birthstone work and subsequently my postings of same. I just finished the Kyanite and Pearl necklace, and it is past March 15th. Where are the aquamarines you ask? It's March, you say.  Well, say I, I need to manage my time in a more "timely" manner, or.....

My dad told me once, "If you have a problem, solve it! or walk away from it".
Meaning, (in a weird Pennsylvania Dutch way), that if you can't do anything about the problem itself, make it irrelevant or unimportant, to YOU.

So here's how it works: I decided I was going to make a new piece each month with the Birth Stone of that month, Well, it is not, and has not, been possible so far. Too many other pieces to finish or embellish. So.....I have now proclaimed that the work on the Birth Stone of the month will start in that month.

Marketing wise, it is a bad strategy, for sales of Birth Stone jewelry hits its peak in the weeks before the Month begins. However, the Aquamarine category is nicely staffed, and the artist must be sated before the vendor enters, stage left.

In December We Fall

Made it to the top 10 in competition for the Battle of the Bands contest to play in the Warped Tour  '11.
Our John Hadden on the far Left. Thanks to all who signed up and voted for them.

Not My Cat

This is not my cat.
This cat was a remainder from the time my daughter moved back in with us. This cat likes to put his claws gently in my leg, when I sit next to him, and pull me closer. He likes to get up on the back of the chair, and eat my hair.
He likes to make a dash for the door when I'm not looking, as I open the door to our "no pet" area condo. This is not my cat.

Day Trip

We took our friends on a day trip to Solomons Castle. We did not tell them where we were going, only that it was very artsy, very chic, very funky. Upon entering the trail, surrounded by tangled vegetation, we came upon the sight you behold above. My friend said, "I don't know where we are, but I like it already"!

Matching Anything

                               Stewart Nye Vintage Sterling
                                               Private Collection
Matching anything, makes it look like you bought it at Sears in the 1970's.
And I remember Sears in the 70's.
Matching oak living room furniture, that matched your dining room set, that matched your bedroom furniture, that matched your toilet seat, etc., etc., LOL.

The design world now preaches complimentary, rather than matching, and sometimes goes topsy-turvy and advocates rogue pieces. I don't agree with throwing in a piece that is not grounded in the overall design. In fact, I absolutely hate it.

Conservatively, I use findings that are tied to one another in some way, ie: I'll use different stone configurations on the same type chain for bracelets and the necklace.

I like to incorporate different sizes and shapes of the same stone, and switch them up in the necklace, bracelet and earrings. It's one of my favorite design tricks that I teach at classes.

The Price of Gold

The Price of Gold

I've read reams of explanations as to why the price of gold is so high, and for the most part, the feeling is, that gold will adjust when the economy is better, and the confidence in stocks and bonds goes up.

It might be true, it might not, but it affects me, only because I want to work in the precious metal, and it is out of my market demographics' pocketbook.

I can make all the jewelry I want in Gold, but it will be too expensive for my clientele. Ok, sorry to lump you all in together. Some of you, I know, can buy anything you like, but most are on restricted budgets in this day and age.

So, now is not the time, will there ever be a right time again? Am I relegated to Sterling Silver, and Vermeil? Yes. Is there anything wrong with Sterling and Vermeil? No!

My jewelry has proven itself at shows, fairs, and on the websites. I just have a case of the wants.

/end rant.


Sudden Nostalgia

Overwelming me with its sadness, the sudden nostalgia I had for my other time and place.

It was a very different life, not better,.... today is the best day of my life,
but I suddenly miss the place, the friends, the restaurants, :/).
I think I might like to visit one last time, but, no,..... instead I'll go to the beach.
Because it is can't go home again. This place no longer exists, except in the photo, and in my memories. The beach is here and now, and calling me today.

Happy Birthday, America

View from our window, with reflection in the lagoon. Happy B-day, America!

Lagoon Sunset

Photo by Bobby Bird Butenhoff
Sunset, looking back toward the fountain and my home.
When I lived, and flourished  in the (very rural) country, I was treated to the most spectacular sunrises from my kitchen window.
On top of a hill, there was nothing between me and five mountain ranges, but the fog filled hollows. When the sun came over those ranges, it filled my home with a golden glow, for just an instant, and then began the theatre of color. As Sol began to burn off the white vapor from the valleys where it collected, that same white substance in the heavens would reflect and color the sky.
These days, the colors are the same, but the time and location have given the glow a slightly different aspect. It is still the brightest point of my day. 

Photo with Yellow Ware Collection

A couple of my friends asked about the collection of bowls in the photo I used for my Nostalgia post, so here is a repost from 1997, with a little history.
Yellow ware is a piece of pottery made from a yellow
colored base clay that can fire to a warm butter color
or a spicy mustard.
American potters began making yellow ware, redware and stoneware items, from before the beginning of this country. Occasionally a piece can be found that dates before the Revolution, but most of these are now in museums. The potteries were all up and down the eastern seaboard of the original Colonies, for not only did they have to be near a source of clay, but a source of transportation too, and that meant water in those days; river or sea. As the country grew, potteries sprang up in Ohio and the Midwest where a system of river transport and roads were used to bring Yellow Ware to the population.

Yellow ware potters also made other wares depending on the clay types found in their areas, but no matter the "ware", they were the items needed for everyday use. Food storage came first, of course, in those days preservation was imperative. Then came the plates, cups, bowls, ladles, funnels, skimmers, rolling pins, colanders, etc. The utilitarian objects an ever increasing
population demanded.

Today, as we look at Yellow ware objects, it is easy to conclude that they are a plain item. And it must have seemed that way to the men who made them so long ago. Decorations began appearing on everyday things, like blue slip flowers on stoneware crocks, and Rockingham glaze on redware items. Yellow ware decoration was the most imaginative and intense of the decorations, all hand done. From one band of color around a bowl, to ornate geometric designs covering every inch of a piece, to depiction's of animals and flowers and pithy sayings in polychrome slip. The decorations were sponged, spattered, applied with putty, rags, or brushes, incised or drawn, in every color.

Yellow Ware lost favor slowly and was out of style by the 1930's in this country, as more modern materials and designs and decorations became popular. The advent of Depression Glass; cheaply made, mold decorated and mass marketed spelled the end for utilitarian items made from yellow clay.
The collector, today, can easily find with one or two bands of color in almost any antique store. The quantity of those available is tremendous, since the bowls were
made in the millions from a period from 1850 to 1930. Potteries like Hull, Bennington, Brush McCoy, and Weller, all made Yellow Ware objects.
Collecting Tips:
*Buy an unusual piece when you see it, even if condition
is only fair.
*Buy bowls and custard cups, which are very
plentiful, only in perfect condition.
Decorating Tips
*Display a collection wherever you have space. The
collection itself is a decorating tool. You don't have
to have twenty, 50, or a hundred examples displayed, t
o make a collection, besides, most of us don't have
that kind of room.
*A sponged yellow ware pitcher with flowers, next to a
matching bowl with fruit, is a nice collection for the
kitchen, or you can line some shelves with bowls,
pitchers casseroles, spice jars, and make
a fine display with a small collection as I have
done in the photo.

The Heat in August

 Gunner At The Beach by Leslie Goth

Oh, it's hot. Oppresive, moisture laden heat. This kind of heat has only one enemy; the box outside. The air conditioner. Can it really condition the air? It won't answer, if I ask. It's metal cover mocks me, as the super heated housing sends wave after wave of shimmering heat into the already baking atsmosphere.

The metal monster will cool the air inside my home, and make a body comfortable, but, I dispise living inside a good part of the year. My garden is abandoned, early morning and evening walks are forgone. The only salvation from the heat is the pool, or the beach, and I prefer the ocean.

In August, the sea is luke warm here, like a baby's bath. Breezes, too, are warm as they pour in over the sand, but make the water feel cool, and crisp, as it drips off my self.  The breeze, on water crystals, deprive the sun of its power, and it becomes the Lightgiver, alone.

Late Summer Dolphins

Late afternoon nosh at the Tropics, and we were treated to a pod of dolphins as they passed through, swimming in a glass like sea. Smooth, and with hardly a ripple, the sea cloaked them, until they sounded, and we saw their sprayed exhalations spiking upward.
Posted by Surf & Sand Jewelry