Saturday, February 1, 2020

Tucson Day 1

We arrived in Tucson this afternoon.  Fortunately my mom is still doing well enough (she's in her 80's) to go with me and help me shop for beautiful gems!  We got out luggage and rental car and headed to the JGM Show.  It actually starts tomorrow but Toyo (Feng's Trading) lets me do some shopping while he's setting things up.  Of course he's continually tempting me with beauties that he's pulling out of boxes!  Here are some beautiful, double drilled pearls he has (and a peak at those maroon granulated pearls I'm getting).
double drilled pearls        

I like these because they are a beautiful maroon color and look like they are granulated on top.  Very different!

And a shot of what I have in my basket so far :)  I'll be going back tomorrow to see what else needs to go home with me.  Aren't those amethyst leaves gorgeous?!!

After doing a bit of shopping with Toyo we headed north and east to find our condo.  We dumped our luggage, freshened up a bit and then went to the Blue Willow for dinner.  They have delicious food and a vegan vegetable stir fry which is quite tasty.  We both finished off the meal with desert - chocolate crepe with strawberries for my mom and a vegan coffee cake for me.  Quite delicious, but, unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures!

Sunday, January 19, 2020

cserpentDesigns Newsletter 01/2020

cserpentDesigns newsletter
cserpentDesigns Newsletter

Enjoy!                                                            January 2020                                           

Happy New Year!
2020 has begun, my annual Tucson visit is looming and I'm actually getting a newsletter out to start the year!
I'm slowly working my way back to playing soccer.  I made it through half a training session this weekend and I'll see how long I can play in a small field game with an over 55 group next weekend.  I'm in the throes of closing the books for 2019 so I'll be ready to add my inventory from Tucson into my database.  I had fun playing with some new enameling techniques so you'll be seeing more designs with my enamel work in them this year.   All my new designs premiere on Facebook since I really like the one-on-one interaction you get with people in the various jewelry groups.  If you want to be the first to see my designs be sure to like cserpentDesigns on Facebook and turn on the notifications.  I update my blog somewhat regularly and I do blog about my new designs there as well.  One big accomplishment last year was to get my own website for my jewelry designs.  is open and ready for business.  
Since it's January I have to have some garnet designs in my shop.  I'm working on a few more designs with garnet so check back often to see what's new.
Ringed Garnet Wisps Earrings - handmade, artisan lampwork, sterling silver red white twisted ring srajd cserpentDesigns january birthstone
Red Tipped Spikes Earrings - handmade hollow artisan lampwork sterling silver red teal sonoran jasper garnet gemstone srajd cserpentDesigns january birthstone

If you are on my Facebook page and want to shop just click the Shop Now button.
If you're local and are interested in a home jewelry show anytime this year please contact me so we can arrange it. Hostess discounts are available and a hostess gift is always part of the show!
Field of Lavendar and Blue Earrings - handmade artisan lampwork sterling silver kyanite gemstone sapphire light blue lavender dangle srajd cserpentDesigns
You know I love purple, but I also think kyanite is a gorgeous gemstone.  For this pair I combined the two for a beautiful design.  Available in my studio.

Turquoise and Gold Kumi Necklace - gold turquoise Kazuri ceramic artisan srajd cserpentDesigns

I am doing more Kumihimo weaving with beads, cord and fiber and am adding in larger beads for some designs.  I love turquoise and gold and had fun weaving this beautiful and long necklace. Available in my studio.
Flower Garden Slider Bracelet - handmade artisan lampwork turquoise blue purple green lime swarovski crystals sterling silver srajd cserpentDesigns
I'm designing a new style of bracelet. This is adjustable with a sliding bead so it is easy to put on, adjust and take off. This pretty is available in my studio.
Lime and Purple Earrings - handmade artisan copper lime green purple enamel lampwork glass lavendar Swarovski crystals copper srajd cserpentDesigns
These earrings use a pair of my enamel drops.  This enameling technique is called crackle enamel.  I layer on multiple colors of glass and a crackle enamel. The crackle enamel causes the upper layers of glass to open up so you can see the lower layers of glass.  I combined the drops with artisan lampwork, Swarovski crystals, Czech glass and copper.  This is available in my studio.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Weaving away!

I love turquoise and gold and that's the combination I went with for this Kumihimo weave necklace.  I wanted to incorporate some beads into this design and these Kazuri ceramic beads were perfect.  They have a base of turquoise with gold accents.  It takes a bit more work to include beads during the weave but adds such a nice little umph! to the design.  Here's a quick summary of what's involved in the process:
  • Cut all the cords
  • Thread the beads onto the cords.  Normally you thread on the beads for the entire necklace but since I was adding beads I only added the beads for the necklace section before the bead
  • Set them up on the marudai (the wood weaving apparatus)
  • Start weaving!
Here are some shots as I worked.

As you can see I had to add a bit more weight (my tools) to keep the weaving balanced :)

And here is an upclose shot of the necklace in its beginning.

And many hours later the beads are incorporated into the design and weaving continues.

At this point I have to add in the rest of the beads to complete the necklace.  So off I go to string them on and finish the weaving.  I'll be back when I'm done.

The weaving is done and now I just have to add the clasp.  I love this color combo!

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Goodbye to our love moose!

Gino, last month, when he could still run, hanging with his Ellie and his Platypus
We found out our dog Gino had cancer about 2 months ago.  We had a tumor on his foot removed because it just kept getting bigger and the biopsy showed it was cancer.  Over the last few days he had a hard time breathing and, after an xray, we found that a tumor was growing on his trachea, slowly cutting off his air supply.  Today his breathing got a lot worse and it sounded like he also had fluid in his lungs so we said goodbye and he crossed the rainbow bridge.  I'm sure he's playing, running, squeaking his favorite soccer ball toy and hanging out with Kirby who he knew for about a month before Kirby crossed the rainbow bridge.   My hubby always called him a love moose since he was so full of love - and a moose was just something big!
Gino on his last night, resting after a hard day since he went to the vet and we found out about the tumor on his trachea. 
We got Gino from Baja Animal Sanctuary in 2009.  He had been at the rescue for 3 months and I was amazed nobody adopted him during that time.  He was the sweetest, most loving dog I have ever met!  He loved EVERYONE he met.  He would get sad if any stranger he met didn't want to pet him and say hi.  He was incredibly well trained from day one as well.  Someone lost a wonderful dog - but fortunately we got to have him in our life for 10 years.  He was a skinny little thing when we got him. And he had so many colors in his coat!  During his years with us he muscled up and, as he got older, his coat turned silver and had a beautiful sheen.

Our skinny Gino on his first day with us.And here he is hanging in his basket.  Look at those eyes and that cute face!

1 month before we got Gino our dog Oscar passed.  1 month after we got Gino our dog Kirby passed.  Fortunately, in the month that Gino knew Kirby he learned some important things from him.  One was how to ride in a car.   When we got Gino I took him and Kirby to the pet store so Gino could pick out his own toy.  He chose a soccer squeaky ball.  Then, at Christmas, our mom bought him his Ellie.  He absolutely loved his Ellie.  If you asked him to go find his Ellie he would search the house until he found it and then bring it to you.  We never let his bro Max play with it since Max would have torn poor Ellie to shreds.  Ellie is quite threadbare now but I would dutiful sew up Ellie's holes.  One time I put some extra stuffing into Ellie as I sewed up the holes.  I gave him back to Gino, he grabbed a hold of Ellie and immediately dropped him and looked at me.  I had overstuffed Ellie and he did NOT feel the same.  So I opened up one of the repaired holes, took the extra stuffing out, sewed Ellie back up, gave him to Gino and Gino gladly ran off squeaking his Ellie (and hoping I would chase him :) ). And I can't forget that over time he chewed off both of Ellie's ears.  I have no idea why since he left all other body parts intact.  I did add in a new ear with a different kind of fabric and that ear was never chewed off.  He really liked the soft fabric that Ellie was made with.  Sometimes he would just nibble on it like you would a corn cob.  He didn't chew anything off, just nibbled.

Gino, his soccer ball and our stately old man Kirby. Gino with his Ellie - his first Christmas present.

Our mom also gave Gino his own blanket.  He loved that blankie too.  He knew it was his and he would carry it around some times.  Often he would take it off the bed, drag it downstairs and lay with it or play with it.  It was VERY soft.  :)  His "Grandmas" loved him too.

Here he is with his blankie on the bed.  When Tony was out of town Gino sleeps in his spot and uses his pillow. 
Another thing Gino did for many years was to pile all his toys, and maybe a blanket, sometimes one of the living room pillows and possibly one of our shoes, into a pile in the living room (and sometimes outside) when we would leave the house for a while.  We guess that he just wasn't sure if we were coming back and the pile gave him security.  He finally stopped doing it for the last few years which was kind of a bummer since it was always cute to come home and see what he piled up.

Gino and his toy pile.
I had 2 foot surgeries, one in 2017 and one in 2018.  For 3 weeks after both I was essentially in bed since I had to elevate for 90% of the day.  Gino was my constant companion (except when walks, food or visitors intervened).  Max would come up and check on me, but Gino hung with me on the bed.  Of course he was quite happy to share my almonds and dried apricots with me when I needed a snack.  :)
Gino snoozing next to me as I recovered from foot surgery #1 Gino says "I would REALLY like to share those almonds and dried apricots with you" during foot surgery #2 recuperation 

Gino needed some love as I ate dinner during foot surgery #1 recuperation Gino posing with me when I first started walking after foot surgery #2.

I have so many wonderful memories of him.  I'll leave some of them here in hopes that you'll get an idea what a wonderful, loving dog he was.  I miss him terribly and always will.

   I KNOW you want to do something fun with me ...           Gino enjoying his car ride.  Initially we kept him leashed to 
    you are in my power ...                                                        make sure he wouldn't jump out.  He LOVED smelling the wind

         Can we go for a walk NOW????                                                Let's go vote!

         Gino looking cute out in the yard.                               Gino hanging with another blankie - made by my Grandma
                                                                                               for our dog Koko, way back in the 1970's.  Grandma made
                                                                                               doggie blankets that would last.

I KNOW you want to chase me and my Ellie!        Gino snoozing in his favorite spot - the corner of the couch.  If 
                                                                                 someone was sitting there he would just sit in front of them and
                                                                                 stare, hoping they would get the hint and move - LOL!

           Gino getting ready to root on the USA                Gino and Max playing while I made jewelry
               for the Women's World Cup final

    Gino snoozing in HIS corner of the couch                                 Doggies sleeping all in a row - Becka, Gino and Max
                                                                                                         Becka was my moms Westie.  She came to stay with us
                                                                                                         when my mom had to go out of town. 
                    A regular theme for Gino - LET'S PLAY!         Gino waiting, somewhat patiently, to go on a walk.

                       Just hanging on the stairs ...                                                                   I KNOW you want to go outside and
                                                                                                                                            throw my ball!

                       I'm waiting - let's go do something fun!                     Gino hanging with his Ellie pillow.

                               The trio, again, wondering "watcha doing?"               You are in my power .... you want to do 
                                                                                                                            something fun with me ...

                Yes I'm cute ... and?                                                  It's PLAY TIME!  Chase me!

Gino is watching closely as I repair Ellie.  He would always make sure I did it right too LOL!
                                            Gino, doggie extraordinaire, we miss you so much.  :(
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