Wednesday, August 25, 2010


What do you think of Bob's new fish? I love it. I called dibs on the first batch. He's making a whole mess o' fishes that are small and cute! I am too slow and have nothing to present today, but will soon. We have been learning to set small stones for casting (like the eyes in the fish) and its a lot of fun. Of course I 'm thinking how cool it would be to make tiny crowns that favor plant forms, studded with jewels and tinkling with shimmery droplets, but we'll have to see if I can carve what I'm imagining! I can never start simply, I always want to make the most challenging things as first projects.
The past week I spent cleaning and organizing my space, attempting to get it ready for the next round of frenzied, creative bliss. Contrary to popular belief, creativity needs encouragement, and the right atmoshere is the best way to get started. I'm not a neat freak, but I like to have my tools ready at hand, my space clear and my materials free from dust. So, it takes some noodling before I'm good to go. Generally, I like to have little stations, or traveling studios to move around the house with me (right now my upstairs studio is like an oven, so I work at the kitchen table). Anyway, we're working hard on new pieces, gathered in the dining room, having a great time.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

texture tools!

The wait is over! We have four designs to sell at Bead Fest. These are the same tools we made a year or so ago and stopped producing due to lack of time. Greg already has so much to do: filling orders, all the business stuff, website, designing, casting and doing trade shows. So we are so pleased that these are hand cast in Ohio! We were adamant that our work be made in the U.S. from quality materials, by folks receiving a fair wage. So much of what people buy today is made somewhere else, which doesn't really help our economy. Anyway, these tools will be available this weekend for 15 dollars each. I'll make up some samples to display the designs, but if you have my book Enchanted Adornments, the tools are used on many of the pieces.
We will be donating 3 dollars from the sale of each tool to Bob Burkett's daughter, Lisa. She has just been diagnosed with breast cancer and we want to help alleviate the huge financial burden this illness creates. Other products will be available with proceeds going to this cause. Bob will be there too, (with loads of pretty turtles and swirly octopi!) to help raise money. So, if you are going to be in the area, stop by and say hello to Greg and Bob and take a look at some of our new goods.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


View from the cone-shaped pebble house at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, OH. I felt so peaceful in this garden, watching gold koi fish glide through lotus leaves. One day, I'd like to build a magical garden like this one.

Our friends Tony and Mark sculpted and cast this huge pitcher plant for the conservatory. The pieces in the Savage Garden collection include a glowing sundew, giant saracenia pitcher plants and a venus fly trap, all much larger than life.

Throughout the garden one can find many glass pieces from Dale Chihuly, an artist known for his chandeliers that put me in mind of great big pepper bundles. The floating glass orbs in the waterfall pond were such beautiful bright points amongst all the greenery.

While is Cincinnatti, we went to Parky's Farm, a quaint little spot perfect for kids. My girl had a good time riding a pony and chasing goats around a pen. I admired the miniature donkey and pot bellied pigs, wondering if my neighbors would mind if I started my own farm.

School will be starting in a few days, which means more time for me to work! I've made it my goal to finish my doll within the next two weeks. I've slacked off a lot lately, running around town, hanging out with my buddies, hosting doll craft parties and making miniature food with Azalea. Our dolls have quite a feast to choose from! Our tiny pizza's look super tasty. On another note, Bob Burkett just rolled into town, so you know new pieces are around the corner! Lately, I've been thinking about lace and how it would look translated in metal. Many of the women in my family have made lace, either by tatting or crochet, so I have lots of samples to examine. It might be interesting, to galvanize something so delicate and fragile. I'm imagining a roundish shape, floral with lots of negative space, a piece that would look awesome on a leather cuff. That's the other thing on my list to finish in the next couple weeks, wish me luck.

Lexington, KY

Tiny dangle earrings for my friend Eva, perfect since she has a baby that likes to grab jewelry. These are made with 14K gold findings, rainbow sapphires and faceted crystal.

Lexington favors horses in a major way, erecting beautiful statues of them all over town. We loved the variety of techniques used to decorate them, especially this decoupaged crazy quilt.

This one is an homage to Van Goghs 'Starry Night', executed in mosaic. It was so beautifully done.

This beauty was our favorite, one we spotted while driving. Azalea made it our quest to find The Magic Wishing Horse. It took awhile (and many blisters later) but we found her!

Our friends live in this amazing house! Its filled with gorgeous details, like carved railings and decoratively etched doorknobs, each fitted with intricate keyholes. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that fairies lived in the garden and brownies in the floorboards! We really enjoyed our visit to Lexington, especially since we get along so great with our friends that live there. Luxuriant chocolate tastings and True Blood-we are so alike. I can't wait to visit again.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Max dressed up and ready to charm!

Greg and I trying to look cool and comfortable, despite the heat.

Our little family posing in front of the National Archives. Look how beat those kids are, worn out after trekking through the Smithsonian Natural History Musuem and the National Gallery of Art.

My panda girl, happy to see her favorite animal.

My fave, the red panda.

Anyone want to guess this mystery flower? I wouldn't mind planting these next to the mailbox.
Three days in D.C. is not enough time to really enjoy even a small portion of what the city has to offer. We meandered through, between wedding activities, soaking up bits and pieces, longing to explore everything. I love the abundance and variety of food, art and architecture. Although Asheville is artsy, its far from being a big city. Sometimes I long for big museums and the feeling that it would take weeks to see everything. You can see all of Asheville in a matter of days. I love it here, but its easy to miss city life. Anyway, I'm bursting with ideas from having our creative batteries recharged. I'm thinking of making silver cuff bracelets, maybe butterflies or a swirly octopus. Exotic creatures are on my mind and I'm ready to sketch away.