Saturday, April 30, 2011

Gem Show Season has Started

This weekend Paul and I are demonstrating at the West Seattle Gem and Mineral show. He is demonstrating gem trees and I am fusing fine silver. I was able to get a couple of pieces completed and a special order for a customer at the show who wanted a pair of earrings. Check out this link to the West Seattle Herald. There was a reporter there taking a few photos and talking to a few people. He did get a snapshot of one of my gem trees in the display case.  If you are in the area or want to get out in the beautiful weather tomorrow the show is at the Alki Masonic Lodge from 10-5pm. It's a small show, a few vendors, display cases, gold panning, silent auction, door prizes, demonstrators and a deli if you get hungry. Here is a photo I snapped with my phone of Paul and Tammy a friend of ours who is one of the vendors there Crystal Rich. You can see some of their items behind them such as spheres and mineral specimens. I've bought several mineral specimens from them in the past to use as gem tree bases.

Here is a photo of my gem trees in the display case.

We have several more shows we will be doing this Summer in July including the WA Agate Society show in Tenino on the 23rd and 24th of July and the Regional Gem Show in Chehalis which is the 29th-31st of July. We also do a couple of shows in the Fall in Castle Rock and one at the fairgrounds in Puyallup. I'll provide more info on those shows when we get a little closer to the dates.

If you are interested in taking a gem tree class vs. just watching us, I have two scheduled this Summer at Shipwreck Beads The first one which is already up on their web site is June 11th from 2-5 pm and then second one is July 2nd from 1-4 pm. You can register on-line at Shipwreck Beads or call them directly.

Since it's such a beautiful weekend, finally, here in WA state, go out and have a great time tomorrow in the sunshine.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

One Step Forward, One Step Back

We've had a frustrating couple of weeks while we wait and wait some more for our office furniture to be finished. We hired a cabinet maker to custom build cabinets and a Murphy bed for our office/spare bedroom. Everything has been cleared out of the room since early March, the carpet was ripped out, walls refinished and painted and a small window seat build by our handyman. Now we wait. It was looking promising when they showed up today to install but of course things just couldn't go smoothly. The wardrobe cabinet was built too large so it and the Murphy bed couldn't be installed in fact the wardrobe had to be taken back to be rebuilt. Now I ask what else can happen. As it is, this remodel of the office is taking longer than the complete gutting and remodel of our kitchen last Summer.

While we have been living with office stuff and boxes all over the house I just had to clean and organize my studio to have one tranquil place in the house. I should really clean and organize it once a month but just can't seem to get myself to do it. I went in there today to get away from the cabinets being brought into the office and it was so clean and organized I didn't know where to start or what to do. I guess I'm going to have to get it messed up again to get creative. Here is a few pictures of the clean studio.

As you can tell it isn't a very large room so I have to make the best of all the space in there. I still need to organize the open bookshelf cabinet a bit more but I just kind of wore myself out and had to stop.

This is a sneak peak of what how the office is coming along.

This side of the rooms cabinets are finished except for the shelves, hardware and other small details. I love how the leaded glass turned out.

This is the wardrobe cabinet that they had to remove and are rebuilding. It is small but a guest really won't need that much room to hang things up. It's not like they are going to stay long or at least that's what we hope.

 Here is the Murphy bed as they were unloading it out of the truck and dismantling it so it would fit into the room.

Poor Murphy bed in pieces and it is still in this condition tonight....just waiting to be put back together again.

and now a fun little collection to share.....

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Diversion from the Norm

This past weekend was supposed to be our Spring Barrel Tasting over in Eastern WA but hubby had a Gem & Mineral Federation meeting on Saturday over there and the family just couldn't work out all the details for this year for sure.

We did have a good time visiting with my step-brother and attending the local gem and mineral show over there. Driving over the passes was interesting as they were still getting snow. There are some pictures at the end of this post that I took as we were driving through.

One of the items on my wish list to look for at a show this year was a dapping block and other metal working tools....well there was an Oregon business vending at the show and they had just the right things, so I spent money. Well my business spent money but I have been playing a bit today with some copper sheet metal, cutting it into disks, pounding them, doming them, putting words on pieces, punching holes and you name it just causing all kinds of noise. So much noise that I made the house alarm go off this morning....LOL, note to self, turn alarm off before pounding on metal. The business is FeelingStone Gifts. It was a mother-daughter team and they do some wonderful wire work. I highly recommend checking out their website.

Funny thing about attending some of these shows is that you never know who you will see or what you will see. The same woman (Jackie) of FeelingStone Gifts, that I bought my tools from just happened to have purchased one of my gem tree tutorials a couple of months how do you like that. She and her daughter made several trees that were for sale as well as on display in a case. It was really nice to be able to see what someone else was able to do with one of my tutorials who did not attend a class. She had purchased the Pine Tree tutorial. I think she did a great job both her and her daughter.

Before I even when into the show, I stopped in to the meeting with my husband and a woman from the West Seattle Gem Club asked if both hubby and I would demonstrate at their upcoming show. Yes, I think it was a very productive weekend even if we didn't get to go to a ton of wineries and drink lots of wine.

So if you are in the Seattle area April 30th - May 1st, you may want to check out the West Seattle's Gem and Mineral show at the Alki Masonic Temple, 4736 40th Ave. SW., (W Seattle), WA. The hours are 10-5 both days. We will be demonstrating gem tree design. I will also be signing copies of my book for sale as well as finished gem trees and gem tree supplies.

Today I'll leave you with some of these photos of Snoqualime Pass from our weekend trip. They aren't the best photos as I was inside of a moving car taking them at the time.

Yes, those are skiers.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Playing with Charms

The other day I got a bee in my bonnet and finished several groups of ArtCharms for swaps that I had been putting of them I had just signed up for...LOL will I ever learn. NO, NO, NO

So these are my charms.
Adopt-an-Ancestor swap 
Wood swap
Under the Sea swap
Jeweled Wings swap

Now if I can just NOT sign up for any more for awhile I can get caught up on all the other stuff I should be doing.

Since we are talking about charms, I have a play date tomorrow with a fellow ArtCharm member. We are going to be soldering glass charms. Oh, how fun is this going to be. I am definitely going to take my camera and take lots of photos. It should be a riot.

If you happen to be reading this and are interested in ArtCharms as an alternative art form or as jewelry and want to learn or participate in swaps, then I highly recommend this Yahoo group.  The originators of the group are Christine Hansen and Peggy Krzyzewski authors of the book Making Mixed Media Art Charms and Jewelry. Great book by the way.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

A Little Messy

Today I decided to take a class vs. teach a class, so it was soapstone carving. I've been wanting to try for quite a while but didn't know where to start. A friend has been carving little wizard figures out of soapstone and he agreed to teach so this was my opportunity. As you can see from the pictures we started with a triangle shaped piece of stone and did a little sketching with a pencil on the stone and then just started carving and filing. After about 3 hours it still isn't finished but I'll finish it up here at home. It is supposed to look like a wizard but I'm not sure if mine does....maybe a gnome or an old fashioned Santa...? I'll post a picture when I'm finished.

If you follow my posts here on my blog then you may remember me talking about an upcoming jewelry party where I was going to donate 30% of the proceeds to a local charity. Well the show was last Wednesday and it was a success. We raised over $200 for the Westgate Orthopedic Guild to benefit Mary Bridge Children's Hospital. I'm so pleased that I'll be able to present them with a check at their May meeting.

If you are interested in hosting a jewelry party with some of the proceeds donated to charity, please contact me at djames50 at gmail (dot) com.

One of the other things I had been working on the finally came to a close was these Victorian folding fans. Here is a picture of the complete table setting with them as the centerpiece with the flowers. The whole table looked wonderful and my friend Glenda did a great job organizing everything...oh and the Bunco and lunch were good also.

Here is a close up.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend. We had the kids over for dinner today so after carving stone and cooking, I'm tuckered out and ready for an early night.

Have a great one.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Giving Back

I titled this post giving back as I'm getting ready for a jewelry show for a Guild I belong to and will be donating 30% of the proceeds a local non-profit organization that supports Mary Bridge Children's Hospital. I've been hard at work getting some new items made, making jewelry bags, designing new labels and just sorting through all the jewelry I have available. I'm excited about this show as it does give back to the community and helps pay my bills which are all good things especially if you ask my hubby. I might even be able to buy a few more beads or heaven forbid some silver....I think the price of silver is another story especially when the price of silver closed at $37.72..Yuk.

I would show you a picture of my craft room but shudder to think of what you might think. Oh my, it is such a mess right now, sewing stuff, jewelry stuff, paper crafts and various other items crowd the table in there. Yea I know, it's that way all the time. I thought I was the messiest crafter around until my Art Charm group I belong to had a Where you "Work" contest. We all posted pictures of our crafting space...and guess what, I'm not the messiest. My husband couldn't believe it until I showed him some photos. It was fun seeing everyones work area and how some of them organize all their stuff. Lots of great ideas for containing things. One of them is a hanging shoe organizer that you put on the back of a door. All those little pockets can hold all types of goodies.

With the mess in the craft room we continue to live with the mess in the living room until our office is finished. We are now waiting on the cabinet maker to install the custom cabinets and the Murphy bed. It was supposed to be completed today but they were running behind and the cabinets aren't finished yet. I just want to get all the mess cleaned up before we have to pack it up again to refinish the hardwood floors in the living room. Will we ever be finished?

I think with everything going on I'm just tired, oh and to top it off I'm teaching a class tomorrow at Shipwreck Beads in Lacey, WA. So, if you are in the area, come join us. Here is the link to the class info. I'll be teaching my Standard Gem Tree design.

I'll try to remember to take photos of the class and jewelry party to share with you later in the week but until then I'll leave you with this photo I took of some art charms for a swap I'm participating in called Adopt-an-Ancestor. I made these using Tim Holtz Fragments which are thick pieces of plastic that I just glued the image to the back and then sealed. These photos are of my husbands family and are from the 1920-40's.


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