Sunday, May 30, 2010


Hi all,
Just popping in to say that well, I got something done.

I've had a lot of panic stricken last minute stuff lately because I've been so busy. Well I have known that I had a show in June at Brownstone North starting in June but have not had much time to work on it.

I am happy to say it is finished.

So if you are in the battle creek area, and want a good cup of coffee, stop at Brownstone North Coffee Shop and check out my show okay? :D Brownstone North 269-962-0006. 1504 Capitol N.E. Suite 120

Saturday, May 29, 2010

how excited am I?

VERY! why do you ask? Because an experiment I began the other night with a metal base choker from Susan Lenart Kazmer's new line of components,  Industrial Chic, is now this.

It had been a very long time since I just sat down and played around with my jewelry without a real purpose in mind and I couldn't be happier with this talisman piece. Every little component in it was either something I'd been holding onto forever waiting for the right project (the antique key that came from a tin of buttons from my great grandmother's house specifically,) was thrifted, came from something broken (a clothespin spring!) was a component from a prototype that didn't quite work, and of course there are some of my poppies in there. Also included is a small bit of my handspun yarn and a gorgeous golden silk cocoon coming out of one of my hand formed copper cones.

This piece just gave me so much freedom to play! I've been going through cycles lately ranging from stuck and don't wanna work on my small production lines to working like mad on them, neither of which has been a very healthy working state (as in fingers nearly bleeding because I try to do too much.) While I love my work, I needed that spontaneity back and once again Susan came to my rescue. I absolutely adore her work and the way she presents it.  When I first saw her book, Making Connections, it was a major reason I was able to get back into metalworking without having all the equipment I'd left back at school. She is just such an inspiration.  My students must get so tired of me talking about how fabulous this book is... of course I think nearly all of them end up buying it if they don't own it already because they fall in love too.

I actually didn't know that Susan was coming out with this line of components (you can get em' exclusively at Michael's) until I read it on the Objects and Elements blog the other day. It is such a unique line and offers so much, even to someone who would rather do the metalsmithing for themselves like me. The little lockets and frames are especially cool with their clever mechanics and tiny catches, and I think we've already established I'm a fan of the chokers. More of these pieces are coming for sure.... I think they will be just the thing to showcase some funky yarn and fiber components.

Stay tuned for some sneaky peeks of my coffee shop exhibit that goes up next week. :D

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

i'm doing it... again

Every time my studio gets too messy to work in I think it must be the way that I have it layed out. Not that I don't put things away properly or that I am just so busy and working on so many things that it all gets put off until the point of overwhelming. Because I know it is a combination of things, I know that my studio will continue to evolve as I get further and further into working. My mom recently relocated her studio from my old bedroom in their house to this fabulous space my dad created for her in the basement. It is seriously cool and while it has a bit let wall space for putting all of her great storage, it makes up for it in the fact that it is just so damn cool. Anyhow, because there was less space, she didn't have the need for this craft table that I think is going to be the perfect new home for my carder.

This is the little corner so far. It still needs lots of work and reorganizing BUT, I think once it is done it will be a much better working environment for me than the catchall folding table that was smack int he way of everything that I had been using temporarily. I had to take everything off in a hurry because said table is one that I require for shows. Speaking of shows here are the photos from over the weekend.

I am so thrilled about my displays. I know I talked about em' before but I just really feel like I've got it now. I feel this every year when I change my display setup but I really mean it this time, for realsies. They are adaptable for both fiber shows and my art fairs AND they fit WAY WAY WAY better into my car without having to worry about breaking glass in my cases that were given to me. I really feel like my jewelry needs to be out to be touched and the cases made them seem untouchable for some reason. I am such a tactile person and it definitely comes through in my jewelry with all of the textures and contrast in materials.

I can't wait to get back to work in the studio once I get things in order down there. I am getting organized here, REALLY organized. At least on the fiber end of things I am. I read somewhere that you really aren't supposed to have a clean workbench. I would have to agree, whenever I clean up I can't find anything. When I'm losing entire hammers that I was just holding it can be a bit problematic to getting any work done. :D

Well back to work for me, I wanna be able to get back in there by the weekend... I'm hoping it is nice so that I can set up my entire outdoor booth and snap some photos for a few last minute show entries. So much to do.... it is definitely going to be a busy summer.

Monday, May 17, 2010

slowly coming back...

I had one VERY busy weekend!

The annual Spring into the Arts art walk was this past Friday evening. I was a featured artist at the temporary gallery and gift shop for the Art Center of Battle Creek. There is some crummy road construction going on directly in front of the art center so we are very lucky to have this bright, large, high traffic retail location for the summer. SOOOO many people came through which is always wonderful to see, especially when I begin to wonder if this down gives a hoot about the arts. People were very supportive and receptive and so interested in all the demos. I of course was riveting, it's what I do. I brought several pieces that were ready to be assembled so that I could just hammer away and managed to finish 10 of my poppy pendants. It was a very nice time and going for a beer and some appetizers with the hubs afterward to our good ol' local brewery (arcadia) didn't hurt matters.

Anyhow, I had to make it an early night because I had to drive to Greenville the next day for my first show of the season. The Michigan Fiber Fiesta is in its first year so I wasn't sure what to expect. The venue was great, I had a nice time, AND I made a little money so that is always helpful. I took some pictures of my humble little booth with my brand new displays. (shutters scored from the neighbors garbage!) Unfortunately I haven't uploaded the photos but I will post them soon. I can post the picture that one of the people working the show took.
Not a very large picture but you can ate least see how my new box displays look. My dad was VERY helpful and put them together for me the weekend before. My wonderful husband also helped me in my last minute scramble to get everything together and painted some of my displays for me. :D

After the show I got to spend some time with my good friend Kendra before she moved the next day from the town that the show was in. It is always so nice to have a place to stay (especially a free one,) after the long day of a show.

Sunday Joe and I decided to make the haul over to Benton Harbor to check out a brewery we'd been talking about trying for a while. The Livery was a really fun place, despite the fact that it seemed we were the only people who weren't locals (everyone knew each other by name,) we really felt like comfortable and had a wonderful time sampling some beers and some of the hard ciders while watching the hockey game and eating some delicious brewery grub. :D It is always so fun to check out a new brewery and I definitely needed it after the last few months of stress. I finally got to some laundry today, it is a wonder everyone hasn't had a fit as I haven't really done any in weeks...

Joe and I also stopped at one of our favorite wineries on the way in Coloma. Karma Vista has some of the most excellent wines. Unfortunately and fortunately they don't distribute. I say that because I truly feel the quality of their wine is at the level it is because they take such care in only creating it for themselves to sell, but boy it would be nice to be able to drive 5 minutes to the store to pick up a bottle of their fabulous Watusi Red rather than the near hour and a half. All in all a good weekend, now I'm just back to work AND on jury duty the next two weeks. BUMMER!

Off to finish that laundry now, don't want the natives getting restless because they don't have clean skivvies.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

very small changes

Hey all! Just wanted to say that there are a few very small changes in the graphic department over here. I revised my banner so that is has my new logo on it!! I think I may still need to tweak the background color but I can only handle so much of the "graphic art" before I am frustrated to the point of ruining things. I also changed my avatar on my etsy page to my beautiful little flower logo Starr did for me!

I am oh so thrilled about all of it. :D

Also, I announced in my shop but wanted to give everyone a heads up over here. If you haven't noticed already, I haven't been listing any new items. This is due to the fact that A. I've been too busy and B. I have my first show rapidly approaching (next weekend!) I promise new items will be coming soon but in the mean time I will be photographing all new work before the show and posting on my flickr and some sneak peeks here. If you are in the west michigan area you will be able to shop my goods in person if you can make it to the Michigan Fiber Fiesta in Greenville, MI. It is at Klackle Orchards and you can find all the information here on their website.

All righty... now I must go get some carding done. Maybe there will be pictures later...

I'm gonna go hang out with this guy!