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…
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 Etsyhere.
I’ve always loved the idea of jewelry pieces with stories or meaning. Some people wear jewelry with prayer boxes, others wear charms with great symbolism, and many choose stones based on their attributed powers or meaning. While many (even most!) of my designs Continue reading Blessings for Prosperity
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.
A few of Butterfly Sundries’ customers recently requested an expansion to my product offerings: larger hair clips. While they loved they ones they had already purchased, they were kind enough to let me know that their preference would be for larger options. As one patron put it, she wanted a barrette which would be big enough to hold her whole ponytail. Of course, with no standard sizing system for hair clips and hair thickness (it’s all perspective), I had to do some market research.
Phoenixes, fire embers, a person’s inner spark or flame; I love the imagery of all of them. I like the idea that fire has the potential to ignite, drive or fuel our passions- but I also know that, sometimes, our inner flames can burn down to embers if we don’t tend to our own needs. With this new Etsy design, I wanted to capture the light of fire through the ages- past, present and future.
The three Swarovski drops on the necklace remind me of the people who have helped to reignite my inner flame when I’ve forgotten my path. It also reminds me of the life-journey; sometimes we burn bright, sometimes we don’t- but always we have the spark of potential.
In my life, I have always striven to be a “light-bearer”… but there are have been times I have forgotten to tend to my inner flame; my fire burned down to embers. To all those persons in my life who have inspired me and been kind enough to help reignite my passions when I have forgotten my own potential- I thank you.
In general, I’m very particular about which custom orders I’m willing to add on to my schedule. After years of making jewelry and accessories, I’ve learned there are qualities that have to exist in the relationship between myself and a potential client before it’s worth the effort. Recently I accepted a custom order and remembered all the reasons I enjoy doing custom work (in the best-case scenarios).
I received an inquiry from a client about a hair clip which is available in Butterfly Sundries’ shop on Etsy; she liked the design, but wanted a larger barrette and a different size copper plate. Reworking a design, which was made to fit a wider plate, to be attractive with smaller (width) and longer dimensions is a challenge.
Because the design was a modification of the existing design, and something I could translate to new designs, I waived my usual artist design fee. But, I still had to pick out the key design features of the original and modify them to be attractive on a smaller scale. I drew up three initial modified designs using the measurement guidelines given to me by my client. Once completed, I sent the sketches to my client so she could tell me which she liked best and give feedback.
When my client responded with her preferences (she liked designs 1 & 2). I combined those two designs and moved them to the copper plate for etching. Using tape to protect the edges and the back of the copper, and my favorite resist to protect the areas I didn’t want etched, I sent a picture to my client for any last minute feedback of changes she might want before etching.
Once etched, the remaining solution on the plate had to be neutralized and the plate needed to be cleaned. After applying a patina to provide an “antiqued” appearance, a wax was applied to protect the surface.
A little shaping, drilling and riveting… Voila! A brand new custom hair clip is done and on its way to a new owner!
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