Friday, May 28, 2010

winged creatures

Isn't this fun? Carved by my best buddy Jessica Wiesel the last time she came to visit. It has a nice feel to it and seems pretty secure (they get tested, of course). I think it would make a fantastic bracelet clasp. It will be available in pewter.

Here's another design by Jessica Wiesel. This is my favorite of her's and I can't wait to use it in a piece with poppy colored beads! It will also be available in pewter.

My bird clasp came out nice, I thought. Its cast in shibuichi and the hooks and loops are in the back. It will be available in silver and shibuichi.

Finally, the bird carving from forever ago! I want this in bronze, since gold is too pricey right now. Its a good size, perfect for a pendant or a nice link. I may have to add this to my talisman necklace, it feels magical, somehow. This is the first batch of pieces, the next group is sea life.


This is heaven....I could snuggle and snoodle him forever. He's also the reason everything else is on the backburner. I could talk about happiness and how napping with a dreamy baby is the best restorative, but I think the picture says all that. So, between cuddling sessions, I've been making lots of goodies and have only been lightly distracted. Usually, whenever there is an impending deadline, I find I have a burning desire to make something unrelated, like doll clothes or something for Azalea (like painted kokeshi or nesting dolls). I've been good, I've only thought about the distracting projects, (this time its miniature hairpins for my dolls- imagine them in silver!). Ok, back to work!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


My little sprouts, relaxing together on the couch. Max is a very expressive baby, always smiling, but here he looks rather pensive. Azalea is wearing a poseable snake around her neck, one of her many 'babies'. She is such the little mama.

It occurred to me that our work follows the seasons a little, like planting a garden. In winter, we are dormant, our days slow and sleepy. In early spring we begin sketching and designing, like sprinkling seeds into the earth. Our carvings are the sprouts, that will eventually 'grow' to what we take to 'market'. Thinking of our work this way is sort of satisfying, in a simple, uncomplicated way. This small clasp has evolved a long way from the drawing, which started as a pair of wings. That piece looked rather alot like a mustache, so a few adjustments were made. Its just shy of two inches across and about 3/4 of an inch high, a nice size for a chunky bracelet and hefty enough for a double strand of faceted stones. It will shrink a bit, rendering it a touch dainty, but still strong. I have my fingers crossed that it comes out.

I've long wanted to make a koi pond clasp and I believe this to be the first in (hopefully) a long series of them. I still may add more to this piece, perhaps some leaves floating on the surface or more pebbles. The pond part is about the size of a quarter right now. Wouldn't this be perfect with some smooth kyanite beads, or better yet, a delicate spray of round labradorites.

This beautiful ring, fresh from casting, is a new piece from the master of wax, Bob Burkett. He flew in last week to join in on the frenzied fun that precedes the gigantic Bead and Button Show. His pile of master waxes on the table is high, a heap of tentacles and tails, waiting to be transformed into silver. I have to say, this is my favorite batch of goods, heavy on the sea life. I want all of it! You should see the jointed sea dang cute! I'm working on my own little dime store slider turtle, using for reference the tiny, perfectly intact skeleton my sister Sheila found on her way home from school. That sounds weird, but she's got a sharp eye for finding things she'd know I'd like ( a golden coin comes to mind, with the nude bust of a pin up girl on one side and a shapely rear end on the other- it said 'heads' or 'tails'). She's also good at finding Bob stacks of pictures of things he carve next, from articulated columbine blossoms to various creatures one never sees in silver, like jackaloupes and El Chupacabra. We're still waiting for the goat sucker, but if your into critters of the sea, you'll be happy with his next offerings.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

mothers day

The day was spent relaxing, tending my plants, perusing the stalls at the Downtown Market and encountering smiling strangers wishing me a happy mothers day. All the attention brought me to a somewhat pensive mood, thinking about my own mama and grandmother and how surprising it is to realize that I AM a mother. I know I am, of course, but its so abstract an idea, to have this title shared by countless millions, to have this important job. I have a ritual of documenting some of the days events in my sketchbook, capturing little moments with ink and watercolors, so one day, when my children are grown, they can see exactly how much I loved them.
This page was drawn after the International Doll Show in Orlando. The snippet of text above the drawing of me and Max pertains to the fact that he was the only real baby among all the dolls. The kokeshi design is one I'm planning to paint for Azalea's collection.

Plans for cloth dolls with porcelain faces, painting idea, tree patterns (i love looking up into branches and sketching the lacework) and a sketch of a tiny turtle.

This was drawn on Azalea's first day of school, a day I spent holding back tears and sighing a lot. I'll never forget how she looked, so small and brialliantly clothed against the gray light (one day I'll color in the drawing, but for now it sort of matches how I felt). I sketched the flowers Greg brought home to cheer me up, losing myself in the intricasies.

When I'm pregnant, my belly gets huge. I get folks stopping me in the streets, asking if I'm having a litter, or if I'm ready to pop at that moment. So, the drawing might be an exaggeration, or true to life, it seemed that big to me. The festive critters are designs for some stuffed toys for Max and Azalea, which I will make for Christmas.
The thought of my children grown is a bittersweet one, at once intriguing (who will they be? what will they look like? ) and enormously sad, because I won't be able to hold them to me forever. I think of my mom and how she used to look at us with such an indescribable expression, one I never really understood as a child. Now, I understand completely. I'll try each day to remember the advice that she and so many others have given me, to enjoy this ephemeral sweetness while it lasts.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

lucky gal

My boy wore himself out with the baby jumper. I can't believe how big he is. I need to figure out how to slow the passage of time.

Max loves to jump! He looks so cute, he often gets kissed and cuddled, mid leap. Greg couldn't resist and gave in to his sweetness.

Azalea practiced her first performance for days, going over her 'astronaut' lines so she wouldn't forget. I thought the whole kindergarten show was pretty cute.

Once and awhile I get frustrated with myself, like an odd stone in a paved path. I read an email recently praising up a storm about my perfect life and perfect family and how easy my life must be. I suppose it would seem that way and in truth, my life is pretty close to perfect (if only I had more land for chickens and miniature donkeys....). I am a lucky girl in so many ways, but perfect I am not. For instance, I have a bad habit of expecting everyone to be a busy body because I am. We were told from an early age that 'Idle hands are the Devil's playground', so I am always doing something, even when I watch t.v. my sketchbook is open....just in case. So its really hard for me to go to social gatherings with new people because I'm afraid they'll think I'm rude if I pop open my bag and pull out knitting. Its very frustrating for Greg, who is so patient with my wacky ways. Add to that my irrational annoyance with folks who don't get my ticks and you have the makings of a hermit. Actually, hermit may be the wrong word, what do you call a person that really likes to stay in their studio, joined only by other crafty people? Hmm. Anyway, the 'easy' part nearly made my eyes bug. I realize not everyone would know that I worked 3 jobs at one point and freelanced for years to get this perfect life I'm living. I wonder sometimes at the ease of other peoples lives, but don't envy them. I believe that all the work I've done, all the bad times, the life lessons that have proven deeply unpleasant have contributed to the mostly strange, occasionally good natured and sometimes cranky person I am today.