Thursday, March 24, 2011

So this is Spring. I think.

Weather has been strange all over. I'm  in the Poconos, where it was 70 lovely degrees just 5 days ago. Yesterday, we got a foot of new snow, and we've had our 2nd (YES, 2ND!) snow day this week, with a 2 hour delay for schools this morning due to the extra snow that fell overnight! I know winter just loves to have his last hurrah, but....really.

I'm cozy and warm inside, recovering from arthroscopic surgery for my knee. It's been a week, and I am just amazed at how fast and painless the whole procedure was for me. I'm told I'm lucky, and I surely do feel that way. I mean - surgery- and no pain! I didn't even bother with the pain killers, there wasn't any to kill! Maybe now I'll enjoy hiking this summer with my family, and be able to do snappy roundhouse kicks (I never could before, but I can dream, right?)  In between rousing rounds of physical therapy, let me show off some of the pieces that will be coming to Etsy on FRIDAY (that's tomorrow)!

I'm so proud to include this Silver Vine Necklace in this latest Etsy release! I haven't put one of these up on Etsy in quite some time. This is a very special piece, an original design featuring a silver vine centerpiece with leaves, suspended from a wavy vine necklace. It looks like it was found in a silver forest.

Treasure in the Desert was built around this baby geode of natural black quartz crystals. The silver pendant  makes me think of wind, dunes, and shifting sands, with far clouds in the distance .It was was textured with a hand-cut dye made especially for this piece.

Below are Textures Earrings. 'Textures' is something I hope to see a lot more of. I plan to make a series based on these earrings, exploring different textured backgrounds set in interesting shapes.

That's all for now. Waiting for the melt, the sun, and the healing.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring Classes are Almost Ready!

Spring may not be quite ready to settle in yet, but spring classes at the Garden of Beadin are getting all set for a new season. My metals classes are nearly ready to go (schedule to follow), so here's a sneak peek:
Pebble Earrings

Pebble Earrings are a great way to learn to solder, even if you have never tried it before. It's perfect to begin a new spring with a new beginning solder class for anyone who wants to learn silver soldering for jewelry. This project is an easy way to learn, and you can make as many pebble rings as you can during class. Put them together into earrings, or try a bracelet. You can even attach some chain and a clasp for a fabulous necklace or choker!

Do you love wire? Are you looking for something new to try? Viking knit is a woven chain style that has been found in archaeological digs. Viking knit is a fantastic way to make truly time-honored hand crafted chain that is perfect for any level of skill. It's easy and fun, and a very portable project,. I take mine to the beach! So come on out in April and learn how to create viking knit chains of any length.
Viking Knit Bracelet

Rose Pendant
Just in time for Mother's Day, a brand new project to honor spring! This Rose Pendant looks complicated, but I created it as a simple solder project. It's a very easy and forgiving project, perfect for beginner and intermediate solder students. And it looks just beautiful!  This will be easiest for those who have done a bit of metal working before, but if you're a motivated beginner, don' let that stop you! Don't miss this one, you will want to tell everybody you made it your self!

Spinning Bead Ring
Another brand new project, for brand new metal workers, is the Spinning Bead Ring. With the bead of your choice, a bit of wire, and a torch, you can turn almost any bead into a sensational ring. You may be able to finish more than one during class, so make one for your self, and make one as a gift. You'll be surprised at how fun and easy it is to create these rings. Warning - be careful, this has been known to be addictive!

Forged Leaf Pendant
 Back by popular demand, the Forged Leaf Pendant is coming back in June. Yes, I know the picture shows earrings. If you have time for two, by all means make a pair! But just one becomes a lovely and artistic pendant, which hangs from a jump ring. Just imagine how luscious it will look in your bead work! In this beginner-friendly class, you can use your choice of silver, copper, or brass. Learn to anneal metal with a torch, cut and file it to shape, and forge it for strength and dimension. Learn finishing and patina techniques, and leave class with your own little hand-forged sculpture.

Finally, for beaders who would like to make their own links for securely adding jewelry components, the Wrapped Loop Bracelet is just what you may be looking for. If you are tired of flimsy loop links that fall apart when you least expect it, this is for you. Learn to create a secure and attractive wrapped loop from any wire while building a lovely bracelet with the beads of your choice in this beginner-friendly class. This one is camera shy right now, I'll have a photo for you soon. 

And if you are near Stroudsburg, PA, stop in at Garden of Beadin and see these samples for yourself! They will be there by the beginning of April, all ready to welcome in a new spring for aspiring metal workers!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cathedral of the Forest

In the cathedral
Of the forest it stood
Awaiting the spring.

Sometimes I see winter in this little piece, sometimes spring, and sometimes fall.
But today, I stand in the forest, awaiting spring. I can feel it, I can smell it.
The geese have returned, the crocuses are barely pushing out of the earth.
The forest seems to hold it's breath. Together, we wait.

The forest at my back door.
For me, the forest is the only cathedral.
It is in the forest that I seek spiritual communion.
It was in the forest that I took my wedding vows.
Several years later, we moved to the forest, where I am happy.

I am thinking about making a series of these pieces. Quiet pierced trees on a variety of backgrounds. Or maybe exploring the forest as a cathedral. As soon as the mucky ground dries, I'll take a walk out back, in the forest. Let's see what develops.