Thursday, March 28, 2013

Do what you love...

After 9 years of being out of graduate school at RISD I am finally starting to realize it is so important to "Do what you love to do".  When you're an artist, it's really easy to get caught up in trying to make a living and thus forgetting what you love to create or why you do it in the first place.  So I put this little "poster" (it is actually from the front of a notebook by Green Room) on the wall right next to my workbench.  It cheers me up and reminds me why I am out there in the first place.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Lost and found friend...

I have a lost friend from high school that I often think about and wonder how she is doing.

With everyone on facebook these days it seems like you can keep in touch with people worlds away and also friends who are just down the block.  It's nice to "catch up" even if only on the interwebs.

But... this one friend seems to have vanished!  I pride myself in my internet research capabilities (K says I am an expert, and I wish this was a paying position).   I couldn't find a trace of this friend.  No pictures, no info, nada!  This all seemed so strange to me because in high school she had lots of friends (that I am still in touch with) although she was quiet.

Well, today I had a breakthrough.  I found her name, her married name and then her husband's facebook page.  No doubt about it.  It was her.  He had photos with her in them.  I was determined to send him a message and tell him I was her high school friend and I missed her and often wondered how she is doing.  (LIGHTBULB)..... Then I realized maybe she didn't want to be found?!  So I didn't send the message.  What would you do?

(Btw, if we went to high school together you might be wondering about her too, and ps- I am not a was with the best intentions that I wanted to get in touch with this friend again.)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Getting organized...

I have been trying to get my studio organized for the best functionality since we built it, but it hasn't seemed just right until recently.  I took out the old ikea storage cabinet and installed some modular shelving from Lowes and I also expanded and turned my work table to allow the space to be more open.  I am really happy with how the space feels now.  What do you think?

I went a little crazy with my new label maker too.

This is what the space looked like before.

Friday, March 22, 2013


I have great news!!! Some of my jewelry is now available at Bittersweet in Brockport, NY.  If you haven't been there it is a wonderful little shop with all kinds of interesting, home decor, clothing, gifts, etc.  I feel honored that Darlene (the owner) liked my work.  She will be carrying some of my one of a kind jewelry made with vintage buttons and parts cast from sterling silver spoons.  Happy Weekend!

Necklace cast from vintage sterling silver spoon.

Leaf Necklace cast from vintage sterling silver spoon.

Vintage brass rose button set in sterling silver.

Vintage button necklace.

Vintage button earrings.

Vintage button earrings.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Removing Hard Water Deposits from Hair...

I have crazy, frizzy, unruly hair.  I used to think it was just my hair after having kids and that is just the way it would be.  Well, one day I found a free water test kit at Lori's Natural Foods so I took it home and took a water sample from our kitchen sink and sent it in to the address on the prepaid postage envelope.  A few weeks later, I got a phone call from the county water authority "water testers" saying I have extremely hard water at my home.  Lime, calcium, rust, etc etc which cause build up on faucets and fixtures and in appliances.  Yuck, right!?  I was reading that these mineral deposits can build up on hair follicles as well causing hair to be dull and unruly.  Well, I usually use vinegar to clean the deposits off of my shower head and faucets so I thought maybe I could use it on my hair as well.  Sure enough, I looked online and found a recipe for a water/vinegar mixture that can be put onto hair and then rinsed and it will supposedly remove the deposits.  I decided to experiment with my own recipe so this is what  I used:

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup distilled* water
1 squirt of blue Dawn dishsoap (I thought -  hey, they use it on baby ducks after an oil spill, it can't hurt my head, right?) Put it all in a squirt bottle and shake to mix.

I wet my head with hot water and then squirted on the mixture.  I left it on while showering and then rinsed it with warm water, and let me tell you...I can't even believe how much smoother and softer my hair is!!!!  It was like a hair miracle!

If you know me or are my FB friend you know that I almost NEVER wear my hair down because of the frizz factor, but now I just might!


While at RISD I took a rendering class which I loved.  I love to draw and it was actually relaxing for me to spend 6-12 hours on a jewelry rendering.  I also worked in the costume jewelry industry where most of my job consisted of creating renderings.  Hand rendering is a sort of lost art that has been taken over by computer programs.  To me, jewelry rendered by hand is so much more interesting.

Some of my renderings from RISD days:

More amazing renderings can be see here.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Studio Chairs...

I have been looking for some extra studio chairs now for some time.  I want something durable that looks good too.  It also needs to be adjustable.  I have a really hard time finding useful stuff for the studio that also looks cool.  Why are chairs so expensive?  Have you found any cool chairs that don't look like the typical "office" chair?

These are the choices so far:
This is just a simple *cheap* office chair...pretty boring.

Cute chair from Ikea...not sure how durable it will be in the long run.

This chair from Bevco is the one I want (I already have one of these) but it is a bit pricey at $140 each and the seat isn't very easy to adjust.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sweaters and Carpal Tunnel...

Back in November my older daughter asked me to knit her a sweater.  I decided to make both girls similar ones to wear for their great grandmother's 90th birthday party (with dresses that my mom made).  One night I knitted for 10 hours straight (until about 3 am) in order to finish them in time.  I think they came out great, but since then I have been having problems with my hand and some wrist pain too.  After a nerve study and an MRI the doctors say it isn't carpal tunnel syndrome.  I still need to go back to for the results of the MRI, but at least no surgery for now... and no knitting either.

The girls with their sweater and dresses on, with "Aunt Margaret" (my cousin...who is Lara Spencer's Doppleganger by the way.)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Long see...

So, yes, it has been a long time since I posted anything on this little blog o' mine.  A lot has been happening... let me explain a bit.

First of all, although I consider myself an artist and jeweler first and foremost, for the last year I was working as a dental lab technician in an orthodontic lab.  It was a really great job.  I got to use many of the same skills I use as a jeweler.  I made retainers, study models, as well and many other types of dental appliances.  It was really fun and I felt like I was doing something great by helping dentists help patients, plus I was really good at it.  Well, about a month ago I learned that the company was being mis-managed and as bad luck would have it now the lab has been completely shut down.  It was a very successful business, but one bad apple spoiled the bunch and the business just couldn't recover.

Study of the fun things I got to make at the dental lab.

Skip to present day... I am left with 2 kids in daycare and no job.  At least no job that gives me a steady paycheck on a weekly basis.  I could find another lab job, but not close to home and a long commute is out of the question since K already has an 1 1/2 drive each way!  Ugh!  Needless to say I have been spending a lot of time in the studio. For the first time since graduate school at RISD, I have actually had time be in the studio uninterrupted.  I think every art school student takes for granted the community aspect of art school.  It is something we all surely realize one we are sitting in our studio, alone, remarking to ourselves just how quiet it is.  So, I am trying to get myself back in art school -  creative problem solving - design machine - mode.  All without pressuring myself to make $dinero$.  Let me tell you friends, it is pretty darn hard!  But I'm not giving up.

Some of the things on my workbench.

With all that said, I am planning some great things for the future.  I am doing a whole bunch of new work.  There will be one-of-a-kind jewelry, production jewelry, painting, commissions, and repairs.  I will also be teaching at a local college this summer and I plan to teach some classes out of my studio as well (something I have been wanting to do since undergrad.)  I also plan to post more on this here blog.  So stay tuned and thanks for hangin' around.

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