Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Perfect Weather, Perfect Conditions for Creativity!!!

The weather in San Diego this week seemed close to perfect! It was warm and sunny with a cool breeze. Sitting in my studio, breeze blowing through and Josh Groban on the stereo, just made it the perfect conditions for creativity to flow!!! Some weeks it seems I don't have enough hours in the day to create the pieces in my head, and others I sit with a blank stare, thinking, "Will I ever have another original or creative thought??!!" This was one of those great weeks! I have a few new pieces I would like you to see before I post them on my website. I would also like to share a little of my thought process as these pieces evolved!

This first piece is made from copper wire and features individually handwrapped and hammered “S” shapes connected with copper chain links. The side pieces are long, curved pieces that hug your neck and prevent the necklace from rolling. I actually set out to design a long pair of copper earrings. After I had made a few pieces, at different lengths, I held each up to my ear...I wasn't impressed!! Then I laid them up against my neck...I liked that!!! So I made a few more and connected them with chain links. I had one long one and tried it on the side going toward the clasp. Of course it looked stupid as a flat "S" shape...but curving it seemed the natural thing to do. The necklace is finished with one of my signature copper “swan” clasps. The selling price for this beautiful copper necklace is $129.

The second piece is also a necklace. This one features small barrel shaped lepidolyte jasper spaced with sterling silver “balls”. The centerpiece is a small, sweet hexagon of lepidolyte jasper. This centerpiece is not an expensive bead. I picked it for the center because the color is beautiful and the shape interesting...that's what it is all about for me...visually pleasing. I wanted the necklace to have movement and I wanted to feature this pretty little center bead. So I hung it from sterling silver chain. But I felt it needed a little “frame” to “finish the picture”, so I fabricated a “V” shaped piece from sterling silver wire to capture and emphasize the centerpiece. When I have an idea that I want to add something like this "V", I don't usually know exactly what shape I want, I just know I want something. This is when I get out my copper wire and just start bending it into different shapes. Copper wire is a fraction of the cost of sterling, so I almost always experiment with the copper. What usually happens is that the shape just starts to evolve. I am not even sure I am in control at all!!! The necklace is finished with sterling silver chain at the sides and back and features one of my signature sterling silver “angled swan” clasps. The length is 16 ½”. This pretty purple number is priced at $139 and is one-of-a-kind!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Dog Blog

I know that they say when you have a blog attached to your website that you should talk about subjects related to what you do, why you have a website to begin with. But I want to talk about dogs...mine specifically. I have had the privilege of having 3 "bff" dogs in my far. I got my first dog when I turned 19 and moved into my own apartment. Her name was "Smirnoff" (named after my favorite liquor at the time...and, yes, the drinking age was 19 in Arizona then...really!). She was a black dachshund/
chihuahua mix who just so happened to choose me...much like jewelry-making (as I discussed in my first blog). She was a stray that a friend of mine had rescued. He had asked me if I wanted her, sight unseen. When he told me the breed, I was picturing another breed, and wasn't really interested. He was going to give her to another friend who had other dachshunds and who loved the breed. On the way to deliver her to his other friend, he dropped by to show her to was love at first sight!!! She was the cutest, wiggliest, funniest thing I had ever seen...but alas, she was spoken for! At work that day, all I could think about was her beautiful brown eyes and the way her tail wagged furiously when we first met...I was so depressed!!! After work my friend stopped by again...he still had the dog! It seemed, when he introduced her to his other friend...she lay down like a lump, tail still and limp. Well, even in the canine world, body language never it seems, she wanted me as much as I wanted her! And we had 16 wonderful years together!

Cindy-Sue came into my life as Smirnoff was getting ready to leave it. They never really got opposites. Cindy was a pure-bred, miniature beagle...with papers!!! Her real name was something like "Lady Leucinda Wellington Bla Bla, the Third"...whatever!! Her previous owners were old friends of my family who had never had children, but always had dogs. The husband had passed away, the wife was fairly frail, and her health was deteriorating. I knew how much their dogs had always meant to them, so I said I would take "Cindy" (which was her everyday name) when the wife died. When Cindy came to live with me, she was a neurotic basket case, addicted to sugar (she would kill you for a "grammy bear"...her drug of choice)! She was also used to "home cooked" meals...literally! A friend told me I should just get rid of her because she was too neurotic!!! I was horrified!!! I was given a menu of her favorite meals, snacks, etc. I immediately threw the list away!! She was going to eat dry dogfood like Smirnoff and she went cold turkey off the grammy bears. She began to calm down and become a very sweet little girl. She actually developed her own little game with the dry dogfood. She would pick a single piece from her bowl, fling it across the room and then chase it, hunt it down, stand over it and bark and then eat it...I prefer to look at it as cute and quirky...not neurotic!!

When I lost Cindy to cancer, I decided I couldn't bare losing another dog...I just wasn't going to have any more!! That lasted about 10 days. There was a big hole in my life that nothing could fill. So my boyfriend and I went to the Humane Society to find a dog to rescue! We thought we wanted a cocker spaniel, but there was this odd little white dog, on death row, that we were both drawn to. When we got close she jumped up, against the cage, wagging her tail, to greet us. That's when we saw them...big pendulous, hanging breasts and belly...we backed up, both saying "woah!!" at the same time. One of the employees there told us she had been on the street for a while and had obviously just had a litter of pups. We looked at each other as if to say "god, what if she stays like that!" We left, but couldn't stop thinking about her sweet little face. We went back the next day and looked at her again. A volunteer from another rescue group overheard us and assured us that she would look "normal" again in no time. But what was this funny looking little dog. She looked like a furry white pig with, what I called "Marilyn Monroe hips". Yet she had a sweet puppy dog face. We were told she was a Corgi/Lab mix. Never heard of a Corgi?! We took that sweet doggy home that day, and sure enough she soon regained her girlish figure! We named her Reesie after my boyfriend's favorite candy...Reeses Cups. It took some getting used to for all of us but she soon became our "bff". She jumps up on my lap and sits like she's a tiny little lap dog...she weighs about 40 lbs!! When she is happy, she boyfriend says she looks like a dolphin!!! Reesie and my boyfriend "pretend fight" together. She snarls ferociously, bares her teeth like a rabid wolf, all the time wagging her tail. Suddenly my boyfriend will say to her, "give me a kiss" and she stops growling and covers him with kisses. When we took that odd little white dog home from the Humane Society that day, we thought we were rescuing her. The reality is...she rescued us!!!