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In the Heat of Summer…

It’s getting hot (and strangely muggy) in this part of Washington…. So, just as I do every time summer comes around, I’m having serious cravings for white or iced wine. One of my favorite white wines comes from a winery with a tasting room up in Leavenworth, so my goal for the summer is to- at some point- take a day off for a road trip to buy a bottle of wine and bring it back for a wonderful candlelit dinner and some quiet time with my sketchbook….

But, meanwhile, I’ve got thoughts of white wine preoccupying my brain and it’s oh so distracting!

Sorting through a recent bead order, I discovered two Swarovski crystals which were immediately claimed for this new design…

These Tendrils of the Vine Link Earrings feature Swarovski crystals on Argentium silver wire. A perfect pairing for your next wine tasting! ;)
These Tendrils of the Vine Link Earrings feature Swarovski crystals on Argentium silver wire. A perfect pairing for your next wine tasting! 😉

 

They made me fall into a daydream of beautiful summer afternoons with a nice white (maybe an iced) wine! Since I only had enough crystals in this color for a single pair of earrings I had to make them count, so I paired them with one of my personal favorite designs from the Tendrils (of the Vine) Collection. With the Argentium Silver wire leaf swirls, handmade silver head pins and bright crystal colors- I’m having a wine craving just looking at them! These are being saved for next week’s delivery to Ellensburg Canyon Winery/Cox Canyon Vineyards, but you can find the Siam version on Etsy here.

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Gifts of Inspiration from the Vine

With the warmer days and increased sunshine of spring, I’m starting to think of the beautiful vineyards of Washington. I recently had the opportunity to see some of the new growth of 2014 out at White Heron Cellars and I have to tell you, I’m already getting ideas! I think the texture of the vines will translate really well to some upcoming etched designs! I’ve also gotten some inspiration from the vineyards for some new original jewelry display options for some of my winery consignment locations!

 

But meanwhile…. think this beautiful cat might be able (and willing) to share some of the wine it’s guarding?

 

This beautiful cat caught my eye and agreed to be photographed at White Heron Cellars!
This beautiful cat caught my eye and agreed to be photographed at White Heron Cellars!

 

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Port of Inspiration

When it comes to wineries, I’m happy to mix business with pleasure. A recent stop at Ellensburg Canyon Winery/Cox Canyon Vineyards to drop off their first installment of consignment inventory gave me the opportunity to taste some absolutely wonderful wines. While all the wines had distinct character, I was still a little hesitant when Continue reading Port of Inspiration

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An Inspiring Wine Date

On a recent wine tasting date with my sweetheart, I had the opportunity to enjoy some (absolutely magnificent) wines at Terra Blanca Winery. While I generally worry it’s in poor taste to pull out my pocket sketchbook at the winery while tasting, I freely admit I was fighting the impulse. Their wines are AMAZING! As soon as we got out the car, after tasting, I pulled out my sketchbook and started putting my visual representations of their HEAVENLY wines on paper for future jewelry designs.

 

Now, I’d be hard-pressed to choose my favorite wine (I need to go for several more tastings before I have any kind of firm opinion on the matter) from their collection, but I can tell you… I now have two pages in my pocket sketchbook of designs inspired by (just) their wines (necklaces, bracelets and earrings). They even have a chardonnay I really wanted to take home with me (shocking, as I have always favored the reds).

 

One of the things I love about Terra Blanca’s wines is the complexity of the layers and flavors. Each sip is an experience in and of itself. I feel like I’m sitting down and having an intimate conversation with the wine, getting to know a soon-to-be best friend.  Truly, they have mastered the art form that is the creation of wine…. And theirs is very worthy of every tribute.

 

Here is a picture of the first design, now part of the Tendrils of the Vine Collection, inspired by one of their red wines….

These "Tangled Vine" earrings, a new addition to Butterfly Sundries' original Tendrils of the Vine Collection, was inspired by a Terra Blanca wine!
These “Tangled Vine” earrings, a new addition to Butterfly Sundries’ original Tendrils of the Vine Collection, was inspired by a Terra Blanca wine!

 

Find this and many more designs inspired by Washington wines on Etsy!

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Swarovski Grapes on the Silver Vine

When I see amethyst Swarovski briolettes, I think of the vibrant colors of some of my favorite wine grape varietals... maybe that's why this pendant makes me want to drink wine?
When I see amethyst Swarovski briolettes, I think of the vibrant colors of some of my favorite wine grape varietals… maybe that’s why this pendant makes me want to drink wine?

 

I love the way these Swarovski crystals catch the light; it’s almost as though they have some inner flame desperate to burst forth and share beauty with world. Just the tiniest movement can make it seem as though they come alive and the colors remind me of the beauty of some of my favorite wine grape varietals on the vine.

 

Between the holidays, the wedding of a dear friend, New Years’ Eve party invitations and Valentine’s Day plans, my mind has been preoccupied with the idea of celebratory jewelry.  And, as the marking of milestones seems to be culturally celebrated with a toast (wedding toast, toast in the new year, wine and chocolate Valentine’s Day events), this new design, part of my Tendrils of the Vine Collection, is the manifestation of my personal celebration for endings, beginnings, milestones & holidays.

 
And, for Butterfly Sundries, it also marks a new milestone: this is my first Swarovski design, now available on Etsy here! I’ll toast to that!

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Tendrils of the Vine: Blending the Love for Wine with Creative Expression

I love good wine (in moderation, of course).  Given my personal preference for only drinking wine in good company, most of my wine experiences are linked to really wonderful memories. Wine tasting with friends in Walla Walla, Washington was a great day for companionship- and we each found wines so delicious we still talk about them five years later. My sweetheart and I have spent several Valentine’s Day celebrations over the years enjoying the Red Wine & Chocolate events in the Yakima Valley and Lake Chelan areas- a tradition I still cherish and enjoy. And, one year we even made it out to Canada for a wonderful wine tasting event which introduced me to my favorite white wines.

It’s completely normal for me, when tasting a good wine, to immediately start contemplating the perfect pairing: salmon, chicken, steak, pasta…. or sometimes I’ll get an idea for a brand new recipe and flavor combination inspired by a specific wine- including a spicy chicken with honey glaze recipe which has become a household favorite. On special occasions, though, I’ll taste a wine so perfectly made (to my taste) that the first thought in my mind is, “This wine deserves a tribute, a celebration of its perfect form.” It was from that idea the first design in my Tendrils of the Vine Collection was born.

Thoughts of that particularly complex red wine from a winery near me inspired this bracelet design:

This Tendrils Copper Bracelet, inspired by a red wine from Washington state, is available on Etsy!
This Tendrils Copper Bracelet, inspired by a red wine from Washington state, is available on Etsy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These earrings remind me of some of my favorite reds from the Chelan Valley:

One of my most popular designs in the Tendrils of the Vine Collection, these beautiful earrings remind me of a wine from the Chelan Valley.
One of my most popular designs in the Tendrils of the Vine Collection, these beautiful earrings remind me of a wine from the Chelan Valley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But when I think of a bold Washington red, or some of my favorite wines from the Yakima Valley, this is the design I want to make:

Inspired by some of the smoothest and boldest red wines of the Yakima Valley, this original Butterfly Sundries design features a handmade copper link bracelet with leaves and spirals. It's also available in brass and silver!
Inspired by some of the smoothest and boldest red wines of the Yakima Valley, this original Butterfly Sundries design features a handmade copper link bracelet with leaves and spirals. It’s also available in brass and silver!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If I contemplate my favorite Canadian whites, my designs find light, delicate yet complex forms in yellow brass….

This design was inspired by a windy day at a vineyard, but the vibrant brass tones always make me crave my favorite Canadian white wines.
This design was inspired by a windy day at a vineyard, but the vibrant brass tones always make me crave my favorite Canadian white wines.