Thursday, December 9, 2021

Pottery Time!

You know how I'm trying to catch up my photo files? Well these are from May!  For my Sister's birthday I treated her to a pottery painting session at Five Monkeys 
She did a great rainbow gnome box, which is uses for buttons.  I made a "doctor whoooo" trinket plate which fits right in as a soup dish for my dr who bathroom.

and this cute and tiny kitty that sits on my work desk.

 If you are looking for a great holiday gift idea, give someone you love and yourself a pottery session at Five Monkeys!  It's a great experience and you get automatic souvenirs ! 

Saturday, December 4, 2021

it's time to play....

So I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!! 
I'm still catching up from my photo files, and this blog the theme is some of the great vintage materials I have to play with.  On top is a fantastic watch face in my stash.  I still haven't made anything with it, and it's currently safely stored away for that moment I decide it's time.  
I love this! it's a broken owl pendant, and it's in one of the project trays I have in the studio.  I keep changing my mind what to do with it.  Once the ideas stop morphing, i'll make something with this.  The body will probably eventually have a whole watch movement-  I just haven't quite decided how it will gel. 

I've actually made several earrings / pieces from this bag of goodies  It's actually mostly pairs of stuff, so when I want to make something different in the earring department I dip into this for inspiration! 

This is a huge ( it's like 3 inches long! ) rhinestone earring, probably 50-60's.  I just adore it, but I just can't decide what to do with it, so It's gotten tucked back into the vintage collection for now.  Part of the problem is I love it so much, I'm not sure I wanna give it up!!! 

See the owl is in this pic as well.  This is a pile of stuff most of which ended up in my project boxes, and some of it actually got made into jewelry ( and some of it is sold as well)
Part of my process is to lay stuff out, and just kindof play with it like it's a puzzle I'm trying to put together.  Cause, well I am putting puzzles together.  

large pile of vintage jewelry.  This is unsorted... the bulk of it I'll try to resell cause it's just not stuff I want to play with, some get's stored into the stash and some are in my project boxes.  Most of this pile got sorted at least into sell/ play/ hoard.  

Lots of sparklies!!  Isn't it yummy?? This is all part of a large rhinestone lot I bought about a year ago.  I actually took this picture to show some beady buds of mine my score.  

About 75% of the items in this pic got made into actual pieces of jewelry which are already sold.   A few pieces are still "in development" 

I hope you enjoyed this brief tour of stuff to play with! 


Thursday, November 18, 2021

New Stuff at The Picker Knows!

So sells are going pretty well at Pickers -            so I took more pieces over.  

First I took my big statement piece, cause it attracts attention and why not have it out instead of storage at my house?? 

And then I took over all new fun Christmas jewelry I've made in the past week.

I made some of my traditional Christmas tree and snowmen earrings, and then using vintage stuff, much of it recycled from broken jewelry I made several fun earrings.  I love the little Christmas tree ones.. they are vintage crystals from a rosary probably from the 1950's. 

These snowflakes are woven ! 
The Christmas tree necklaces were off this funky necklace chain, the snowman on blue are singleton earrings reused as a pendant, and the wreath necklace? 
Pretty isn't' it? 
This was a fab broach that the pin-back was broken ! so I cut off the other side as well, and filed and sanded it down so it wouldn't be poky or catch your shirt, and then strung it using vintage gold beads, and hex beads and older bugel beads ( the long red ones)

I think it turned out really cute, and if you don't rush down and buy it, someone else will! 

See ya -- as always I'm in the life preserver row towards the end!

Sunday, November 14, 2021

I take it back, picking healthcare is crazy!


I wrote a couple of days ago how it felt good to make choices for my family. I take it back. Maybe there are 2 many choices offered... no that's not it. The problem is there are soooo many variables!!! most of the plans have you pay 10-25% of the various costs... but figuring out those costs is the crazy part! How the heck do I know what the doctor charges me, after whatever health plan applies their rules and such. I am down to 3 possible plans, and I'm not sure which is the best deal, because it hinges on how much is passed on to me the customer and that's such a total unknown! Or i can just keep the current plan, which of course charges alittle more per month than it did before and added a co-pay and raised co-pays on drugs.. but at least I know what to expect and there is no learning curve for next year. But i'm hunted by the knowledge that it will probably cost alittle more than maybe this other plan... but how can I know for sure because of the variables I don't know!! Add in that Jesscera will turn 26 during then year, and will have to get her own healthcare going forward. So should i pick what will be the better deal once she would drop off? should we just get her own coverage starting at the start of the year, instead of keeping her til she ages out? ARRRRGHGHGH Is it really any surprise that everyone hates health insurance, even though we can't live without it? Why is national healthcare so wrong? It would make everything so much easier! On a much easier note, here is another picture from my files. This is one of my "wedding" pieces. Features a vintage pocket watch regular. Now I'm sure the person who bought it did so just for enjoyment, but I always think i'll make a offical wedding line featuring vintage bits and simple elegant lines. This is an easy choice!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Tis the season for Healthcare....


So it's November and time to pick healthcare for the next year. For folks that have healthcare through work, it's the annual headache... but I actually sort of enjoy it, at least since Jerry got a federal job. Being a federal employee means something like 30 different plans to pick from! Yes, I'm bragging! It doesn't mean coverage is necessary cheaper per month, but I bet the actual coverage offered is better, and we save with lower copays and drug costs. We jumped on a government plan last year and we saved so much money compaired to what my company offered, it makes me feel sick. (bad word choice??) Considering the extra expensives medically wise this year, we have spent less money than the year before. This is with hospital stays, biospies and extra medial care this year. The cost difference in Jerry's medications alone is staggering. Jerry is a insulin dependant diabetic. Even with my insurance, each perscription refill varied $1800 to $4000, depending if deductable was covered for the year or not. On Jerry's plan, his insulin is $90 co-pay. That is the highest level of drug co-pay on this plan. I doubt I'll be changing plans, but I'm carefully looking over each plan to make sure we still have the best fit. I guess i enjoy it because I feel like I have more control over medial costs that I have ever had before. And I like feeling like choices I make for my family have a real difference on our daily lives. If your healthcare offerings through work suck, be sure to check out the healthcare exchanges as well, you never know you might find something that fits your family better than the work plan. Some companies even give you a kicker if you don't use company healthcare!

Sunday, November 7, 2021

It's beginning to look like Christmas at the Picker Knows!

Hey Guys!! Just a quick one, to let you know that I'm starting to get some Christmas jewelry out at The Picker Knows in my case #215!  I am planning on getting more Christmas jewelry out next weekend, so if you are in the area of 1208 Grand in West Des Moines, be sure to stop in.  I just got the cutest beads to make tree earrings... I'll be sure to sneak a peak on those soon.


Thursday, November 4, 2021

More picture catch ups -- and my plans for The Picker knows!

I don't really have a theme for this blog post.. other than cleaning out my picture file.  All of these pieces sold already as well.. so I"ll just let the pics speak for themselves.  Speaking of selling, I sold a larger necklace at The Picker knows last weekend, which is makes me feel so good, I can't even tell you.  In fact it got me so jazzed I'm gonna work on Christmas jewelry this weekend, cause at least if you make stuff, that starts now!! 

I'll start seeding in some Christmas stuff this weekend, and add to it as I get new new pieces done.  For Christmas jewelry I try to make them quick and easy, so I can afford to sell at a more affordable price point.  Since I don't normally due shows after the first week of October I don't get to indulge myself , and I adore making Christmas sparkies! 


Sunday, October 31, 2021

Bead Weaving is BACK Baby!

Well Show season is pretty much done for me, so like always at this time of the year, I start reflecting on what's next artistically.  

I also clean out my photo files -- and since this year I've been absolutely rotten on posting to my blog, I have a bunch of pics to catch up on.

I actually started my jewelry journey by seed bead weaving over 25 years ago, on a loom.  Then on to off loom techniques like brick stitch and peyote.

A couple of years later, I started to string, then I started to do metal working... etc.  Now my main line is recycled materials. 

During all the years I worked on weaving, and on occasion since, I've bought seed beads in multitudes of shapes and sizes.  

Nothing beats seeds beads for adding pops of color.  I miss weaving, and I seriously have 1400 + different seed beads just begging to be played with in the studio.


Sometime in 2013 (? ) a new wave of seed beads came out, or rather 2-hole shaped glass beads made to be used with seed beads.  

Sometime in late 2019 I had to buy a few to play with - even if I've not really done anything with weaving in over 10 years.  

I know that seems a long time to "discover" something that's been out for years, but at this point I rarely bought beads, as I only use them here and there with my Mechanical Romance line.  Once in a while I would string up some bracelets or earrings just for fun, but like seed beads, I have THOUSANDS of them in the studio.  Buying beads, when I rarely use them, is wasteful.  

 I'd stopped buying bead magazines, and when i ordered supplies it was mostly findings.  It's hard for me to resist buying beads, so I made it a point not to hit regional shows or bead stores much.  When I did, I would buy some, enjoy looking at them, maybe pop out a quick pair of earrings and then store them away. 

 In the past few years I've actually concentrated on destashing my beads, cause it's crazy even for bead-hording me to have so much "stuff" without actually using them!

So anyway, for Christmas in 2019 I bought a few Ginkos', Tila's, crescents, Super-duo's, etc to experiment with.

There are over 100 different types of these specialty beads now, btw.  Check out this link to see some pictures of the different beads available.

I adore playing with these beads!! and I have an excuse to play around with seeds again.    All the pics in the posts are pieces I've made in the last 10 or so months.  It's truly a joy to get back to where I started, but with a new twist.

 I have to hold myself back and not go too nuts on buying them, since there are seriously thousands of different 2-hole shaped beads out there, between the type, colors and finishes.  This is still a business after all.  For items I sell, I'm sticking to quick to make.  And these beads are expensive.  But I'm having sooo much fun with them, and it's such a pleasure and life is too short not to do what makes you happy.

I have had such a good year with sales this year, you can bet I'll be buying more beads to play with in the near future.  And you will see the end results in my booth!


Thursday, October 28, 2021

The Picker Knows ! See me in Life-saver row case 215!

All of these are currently at Pickers!


So Last week I rented a case at a local antique mall, The Picker Knows .  I"m going to use 1/2 of the case to sell jewelry during the winter months when I'm show-less, and the rest to sell antiques and odds bits.  At least that's the plan.

I've been signed up on a couple of different store's waiting list, and one became open and I had a very narrow window to get it set up (read less than 24 hrs).  
it's a start.... 

Life is beyond busy and complicated right now, so I had about 2 hours to pull stuff together just to get it started... I've got more stuff rounded up and I'm taking it in tomorrow.  
Ready to go for the next adventure to Pickers! 

I am hoping that every couple of weeks - if not weekly! I'll visit my little store in a store and keep working on improving the display and rotating items for sale.

I'm making it a goal to keep you all posted in blog-land and Facebook.  Even if you are not looking for jewelry, jewelry jars or the "odd bits" I'll present,  you should stop by Pickers and have a look-see.  Its a very well run mall, and Jerry and I always find interesting stuff there.  

If you want to stop by and see my jewelry... I"m really easy to find! 

Turn left as you enter the building, look up, and you will see an orange Life preserver hanging from the ceiling.  That's my row ! Turn right at that orangy circle and I'm the 2nd to the last case to the right.  My case # is 215.
The big orange donut to guide your way! 

Actually this Friday would be a fine time to check it out... they are having their Annual Lamplight event 7-10pm 

they turn off the main lights, and you get to shop via lamps! How kewl is that! Some of the vendors come out in costume and candy is handed out to the kids.  Extra discounts can be had at some booths/ cases.  Jerry and I work til 6 so I doubt I will do much more than maybe a fun hat, but still.... I'm looking forward to it!   


Wednesday, July 28, 2021

time to paint

experimenting with alcohol inks on tiles.
We try to have family night once a week, currently it's usually Wednesday.  Sometimes it's gaming, or puzzles or just watching TV.  Sometimes we get creative as a family.  We've tried pottery, which is great, and playing around other crafty bits, but the family favorite is acrylics.  I blame my sister.  In a good way! 
a dragon hanging out on a rock -by me

We like it enough that we now have a small stash of paint, sketch books, artsy brushes and canvases stockpiled, so when ever the mood strikes we can just lay down a tarp and go to town.

this is my sisters, she's way good!

Jerry's, not sure if it's a spaceship, or.......


this is Jesscera's, it's part of a story she's writing 

Another of girls, also story related.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

So I hurt my back......

I don't know what I did, but I did something.  I've had back issues before, but never like this.  There are times when I can hardly walk across the room without my back seizing and spasming.  It feels like everything can trigger my back - sitting, walking, just breathing sometimes. It's "soft tissue injury" per the Doc which makes it sound like it shouldn't be anything right?  Wrong.  I am now on a couple of drugs and on a weight limit -and no driving.  

This has been going on for almost 2 weeks now, and today, finally, I think i see light at the end of the tunnel.  I think it's getting better-- it's hard to tell really.  But today I've actually ventured into the studio and made a few pieces.  Not sure what that will do to my back, but boy, it's food for the soul! 

Anyway, here are some newer pieces I'm pretty pleased with.  

This piece is using recycled jewelry bits, vintage watch parts and vintage crystals.  The mirror made me think of a little walled off pond, so the dragonfly is hovering over flowers growing in the water. At least that is what I saw when`I made it.

I love playing with vintage pocket watch parts! I love using partial plates as my background.  In this case, I added crystals --- 
and this time I added an eyeball and salvaged the matching chain from broken jewelry!