Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Goodbye Jupiter (2000 - 2017)

Recent photo of Jupiter, sleeping in the bathroom, one of his favorite hunts.
 We lost one of the best kitties ever this weekend, Jupiter, Jumpin' Jupiter, Old Man, My Good Guy, Jup-ie, Jup, and my bigboy... all the names I called him.

He was pretty mellow as a cat, at least in contrast to the other nut jobs we have right now.  When healthy, Jupiter weighted 18 or more pounds, and he wasn't fat.. he just was a big, well proportioned cat.   He had the longer head/nose like a Egyptian statue, I always loved that.  he adored being held, he loved tummy rubs, and basically being pet everywhere and anywhere.  When he was about 3 years old, we had a bat in the house.. he jumped up and caught it-- then dropped it.  I think he was as surprised as we where he jumped up 7 feet to catch the damn thing.  He was smart too.. the only cat in the household that could open some of the doors.  (thank goodness!!! )   He had the best meow I have ever heard, and he had a large variety of them.  He would talk to you.  His purr could shake the floorboards. 

I could go on and on, but it still makes me cry to think about him too much.  I just try to keep in mind he had a good, long life, 17-1/2 years is a pretty good run.  He was doing OK until just the last couple of months, he really seemed to slow down but didn't seem to be in any pain or anything.  He just didn't move as much, and when he did he moved slower.   Since he was 17 years old, we just though age was finally catching up to him.   (his sister Jezzibel is much slower than she used to be as well)

Friday he started to act like he didn't feel well, and he had sores in his mouth.  He refused to eat - by Saturday afternoon he refused to drink water.  Sunday we took him into the vet, and they said it was probably renal failure.. and there really wasn't much they could do at his age and stage of condition.

So we made the decision to put him to sleep.  It's always one of the hardest things you have to do in this life, make a decision about one of your best buddies... but it comes down to quality of life and length of life... and dignity.

Rest in peace my big boy.
Taken 4ish years ago, the rare photo showing all 4 cats in the house, starting from the left: Jupiter, Kass, Jezzibel.  On top is Kya.

Jezzibel with her brother Jupiter.  Probably 10 years ago.

Friday, November 10, 2017

3 Necklaces

 OK, I'm trying to catch up on all the photos I've taken during the season as I make things, so this post I'm showing you 3 necklaces I made just in the last month...
 Now Jerry gets little grumpy at me when I make stuff that isn't in my main lines, but sometimes I just need to make something that talks to me.  I was digging out a few jasper beads to make dangles on a bracelet... and ran across this silver leaf jasper teardrop stone pendant... and I just had to make something!!! Seriously!! I haven't touched my semi-precious stone collection in ages, and this poor, beautiful teardrop cried out to me!!!!

so I found a few more stone beads in various types of jasper, and came up with this fantastic necklace with brass dragonfly. 
 Yet another dragonfly, but this is attached artfully to a flute key.  This is available at Five Monkeys Inc Gallery  and I have one pair left of matching flute earrings.

I adore this one, and it's super light !  It's part of a vintage drawer decoration, I bought it some time ago at a flea market in a mix box of door and drawers brass bits.  The patina is fantastic, but it's so thin and light that I put some resin on the backside to make it sturdier.  I added a vintage clock gear and a lovely drop crystal.  The piece is just fantastically detailed.  This is available at Five Monkeys Inc Gallery

Sunday, November 5, 2017

This is my 1000th blog post

I wish I could spin some pithy interesting story for my 1000th blog but honestly it kind of snuck up on me and I really don't have any interesting ruminations to share on this mile-stone.  So instead I'll share this picture of a piece that's already sold, even though I only made it in September.

I love the extra face in this one.  I designed it for the fairy and the watch face and gears, but when I laid it all out there was this empty spot.  I thought about putting another gear or face in but it didn't look good to me.  I finally added the copper Art Nouveau  lady and it popped!!

So wish me happy 1000th blog post.  This weekend I'm sorting several lbs of brass findings/stampings.  (my pretttties! my prettties! )   I'm just not into making anything today.. but I've sketched out a few ideas while I"m playing around my piles of brass bits.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

I'm featured artist at the Gallery!!!!!

 I'm so happy to get my jewelry set up in the place of pride at Five Monkeys, Inc Gallery here in town!  I'm to be featured artist both November and December, so not only is my display huge right now, I'll be in close touch with Dina, our wonderful Gallery Mistress and keep it stocked at all times. 

But here is the 2 main views of the display - window side -

and in the store side :

and here are some close ups:

Under the Sea!

 King of the World!

On the top shelf is our lovely 1940's radio with great necklaces !

Window side you have chainmaile and rings and more necklaces and such...

I think the display turned out great.... you need to see it in person, as well as all the other great art Five Monkey has, all of it by Iowa Artists, many of them local to the Des Moines Area.

and you can check out the vintage record store as well all at one great location at 4211 Chamberlain Ave in Des Moines, across the street from the shops at Roosevelt.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Decisions, decisions decisions ...

I'm so very please to once again be the featured artist at Five Monkeys, Inc  art gallery again!  I  feel very honored. 

I'm trying to pull inventory,  figure out the displays, and get everything indexed before I need to set up Weds Night.   So I'll keep this short.... but look for a blog Weds night or Thurs with lots of pics of the display! 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Jerry's favorite earrings.....

 Jerry loves this earrings, because they incorporate parts you would have seen everyday of your life, if not actually used the item, at least for folks born before the the mid-nineties.   Kids my daughter's age ( 21) and younger, not so much.  Can you guess what the clear columns in these earrings are from?
Scroll down ---

They are the receiver buttons on a old phone... you know the clear plastic bits that you rested the phone on that cut off the phone dial. 

Kewl huh??

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

I'm BACCCCCK! with a Sax......

 I'm BACK!! OK had my last show for the year last weekend, and it was a tad cold, and rainy, but hey !  Overall this year we really lucked out on the weather.  Only 2 weekends that the weather was well, crappy... Don't get my started on 2008, the year of many canceled shows!!!!! argh!

OK! so, now I'm in my winter zone.... I get to experiment more, I can slow down and come up with some really fantastic, artsy pieces, I actually get to read once in a while without feeling guilty, and maybe my house will be slightly cleaner than it is in the summer.  ( and maybe not)

I'm also gearing up to be the feature artist in November at Five Monkey's, Inc gallery here in town!   woot!   So this weekend I'll be spending time going through my stash and deciding what will be in the gallery.. I have several pieces there now of course, but my display will double, possibly triple in size, at least through the end of this year.  Not only will I have my Mechanical Romance line, but I'll have chainmaile as well, and a few select holiday pieces.

I've been kicking around making a few holiday pins featuring gears actually... anyone have any interest??

OK I have to tell you this funny funny story .... Jerry tells me he's bought me a present.  Well I love love love prezzies!!!  So I begged and whine to find out what it was... well he bought a saxophone to take apart and make jewelry out of it. 

WOW!!! we have taken apart broken flutes but a sax?  how much?  He's like only $5.

and he shows me...

I adore the MOP buttons!

It's got problems, that's visible that it's in rough shape, but still we try to recycle in a responsible manner... and not rip apart stuff that's you know, valuable or usable condition.   So I ask him do you think it's OK to rip this up???

so he shows me this:

WOW!  this seriously is the best possible prezzie.. I love a sax! it's my favorite instrument.  The wonderful soulful sound they make... they can be the most incredibly happy noise -- or sad with just that lilt of hope threaded in, something to keep a small flame burning in your heart on a dark day. 

And I can make jewelry with one without any guilt!!! Woot!!!

Thanks Honey!

He tells me he was just killing time waiting for his appointment and saw a thrift store we haven't been in before.  So He pokes in and sees this older looking case and asked the counter guy if anything is in it. 

The guy proceeded to tell him the thing is a bad luck piece.. he sold it but it got returned because it would cost too much to fix.  At this point, he said it would take $5.00 for it cause he was taking it in for scrap and probably wouldn't get more than that for it.

Jerry takes one look, and says, sure!!

So that's how I got the sax... if Jerry hadn't caught it that afternoon it would have gone for scrap. 

Now I just need to get Jerry to take it apart!!

I already have a couple of ideas lurking in the brain box...   This is gonna be the best winter ever!!!


Monday, October 2, 2017

Taking a break

Hey guys, I'm taking the week off from blogging.. I'll be back next Monday . 

Friday, September 29, 2017

I can't finish American Dreams............

Sometimes I feel like making simpler pieces like this one.    The brass stamping is so pretty all by itself, I just added a couple of holes for crystals and and curved the flat piece and woot!  Pretty pretty bracelet.

Sometimes my jewelry is more about how I feel, and sometimes it's about how it makes me feel to make it.  Something like this just feels good to make... and I know the gal that bought it loved it.  I love when someone buys a piece and has to wear it out of the booth they are so excited!

And the times when it's about how I feel, that I need to express what's inside me.. they of course take longer.  I've been struggling with just such a piece.  I'm calling it "American Dreams" .
 This First picture shows the first layout I had.  The round bit is a vintage MOP buckle, the drop crystal and the earring are both vintage.  The flag pin is vintage as well.  Do you remember when veteran groups would hand out those little tin flag badges at parades? that's what the flag is.  (do they still do that? I don't remember getting these anytime recently.. only as a kid )  The coke tag is actually from a 90's coke tin, made to look like a turn of a century coke tin.
 This picture you can see it's getting more complicated.  the round bit in the square is the top of a pocket watch ( proper term is crown)   The damaged type writer key says " back space" which sort of expresses my American dreams right now... I kind of wish we had a back space button to go back to Nov. 7th.  But I'll save that discussion for my therapist.
This is the current rough layout, but I'm still not happy with it.   I've added in the back a vintage Gage plate,  to express all the pressure we are under, watch parts because it feels like time is running out, a key for hope, the liberty bell ( broken bit from a key chain)  as another symbol of America, the compass because we are trying to find our way, a cross for spiritualism, a part of a ruler ( from a typewriter) because we are not measuring up right now... a spoon and the arrow for personal reasons.  The "r" on the top is a beer bottle lid.  I've since removed that.

 I want to try to express both the current crap we are all in, but yet express hope from the future.  In some stories of Pandora, hope is a butterfly... maybe it needs that.  I just don't have the right mix yet to say what I'm trying to say.... that America will survive this and someday will actually be better.  I guess I'm having a hard time believing it myself, so that makes it hard for me to hold on to the optimism I want to have.

It's gonna be a long long long 4 years...........  I think I'll go play with chainmail now.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Let the sun Shine in......

OK today is pretty dank and dark and hard rain, so I though this picture would brighten things up.  This sun started out life as maybe a keyring? It was broken in a mix of a jewelry lot I bought.  The face was just such a happy one though, I wanted to rehabilitate it.  I filed and sanded the broken off bits and decided to add some color.  I added wings cause well happy sunshine always makes my heart fly!

This one is already sold, I'm trying to clean out my picture files.

So on the cranky, rainy day enjoy some sun!