Saturday, December 7, 2013

Check out my artist profile!

I'm a member of the California Crafters Club of Etsy- CCCoE and I've been profiled. You can read all about it here:

I actually had to take a picture of my messy workspace - LOL!  They included a picture of my messy garage soldering/fusing/enameling setup but left out the picture of my mess inside the house so let me share that with you ...

My mess during the design process - hmm though not too many bead boxes are visible.  I must have been working with wire this time.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

New holiday earrings!

I just finished up these fun, holiday earrings!
Red and green furnace glass dangles!
Wonderful snowmen for your ears!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Enameling Hoops

I finished up several designs with enameled iron wire hoops and they are all waiting to be displayed at the Fallbrook Art Center Art of the Holiday show on 11/29. I need to make more to sell in my own shops! I think yellow with some yellow aventurine hanging in the hoop would be wonderful and cheery.  Here are some of the designs I finished.

Gorgeous green with BC jade

Lime green with purple micanite and amethyst

Purple with gorgeous charoite!

Turquoise hoop with Pilot Mountain turquoise

 You can see designs I have for sale on my website - and you can see more of the items available at the show on my Art of the Holiday gallery web page.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Bullets and Bling!

Well I'm actually showing bullet shells and bling :)  My hubby does target practice and brought home some bullet shells to see if I could use them for anything.  I decided to use them with some blingy rhinestone chain and gemstone accents.  Enjoy!
40 caliber bullet shell, AA grade moonstone, Swarovski crystals and Czech rhinestone chain, sterling silver earwires, "Love my cat" charm

40 caliber bullet shell, AA grade moonstone, Swarovski crystals and Czech rhinestone chain, br earwires, "Love my dog" charm

9mm luger bullet shell, angelite, Swarovski crystals, Czech rhinestone chain, vintage 1930's rhinestones, brass earwires

Monday, October 14, 2013

More enameling fun - from wire to hoop!

I'm part of the Painting with Fire Ning ring where a lot of torch fired enamel artists share information, pictures, ...  I saw some cool hoops made with steel wire and decided to give that a try.  I was never sure what my style was but my hubby told me - circles!  I tend toward round, circular, oval and I really like organic looking designs.  These steel hoops fit both my love for circular designs and organic looks.  I started out with something like this:

I just wrapped the steel wire around a wine bottle neck - so simple - well not totally because this is 16G wire so it's pretty beefy and a bit stiff.  I had to maneuver it to get the rings as close together as possible and have to make sure the ends tuck in close to all the loops.  Once I get the wire doing what I want I start the enameling process.  I heat the wire, dip in enamel, heat more wire dip, and on and on.  I usually start with clear or white and then add color over that.  This time I used clear, iris and a few dips in transparent raspberry.  Here are the results:

Those look a little better than the original don't you think?  Now to turn them into some fun earrings!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Find my at the Bichon Bash on 10/26!

I'll be selling at the Bichon Fur Kids Fall Bash on Saturday, October 26.  20% of the proceeds from my sales will go to BFK.  I'm working on new dog theme designs just for this event.  Here is a peak at some of them.

"A Bichon stole my heart" with copper, leather, ruby and glass

Crazy lace agate,  glass dog bones and gold fill

Black and pale blue lampwork, glass dog bones and sterling silver

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

If you're in the neighborhood stop on by!

Here are some recent creations - I've having fun with acorns!

Smoky quartz and gold filled acorn earrings
AA teal tourmaline and gold filled earrings
I'll be selling these (and more) at the Senior Classic Women's soccer tournament this weekend in Mira Mesa.  I'll be playing and selling again this year.  Fortunately my wonderful mom will be helping out and we can only hope things cool down!

We'll be at Hourglass Field in Mira Mesa (just south of Miramar College).  You can park in the Miramar College parking lot or in the field parking lot (back near the pool). We'll be there from 8-4 on Saturday and 8-2'ish on Sunday.  Here's a mapquest link if you need it: Hourglass Field. Hope to see some of you there!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Pretties for the September Babies!

I am thinking a little bit ahead this year!  I have some earrings ready for all those born in September and for those who just love blue sapphires and pearls.  Sapphire is the September birthstone.  You can ready some interesting historical and factual information about the sapphire gemstone on the AGTA website.  I will work on some designs without pearls - but I love the contrast of the beautiful, creamy white of pearls with the translucent blue of sapphires!

AAA freshwater pearls, AA natural sapphires and long sterling drop earrings

AAA freshwater pearls, AA natural sapphires and sterling silver earrings

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Good and not-so-good food places on our Hawaii trip

We had a blast visiting Oahu and the Big Island on our recent Hawaii trip.  I wanted to give a quick run down of the places we LOVED for food and those that were not so loved.  On Oahu - we LOVED Lulu's in Waikiki for breakfast. We went there on our last day after having a VERY disappointing breakfast buffet at Jimmy Buffett's @ the Beachcomber the day before.  Lulu's was right next door to our hotel so it was a much more pleasant walk in the humid morning sun than the somewhat lengthy walk to Jimmy Buffett's.  If you have a BIG appetite then you might be better off going to the buffet - just be ready for very generic food and the WORST pineapple we had on the islands.  I expect to get GREAT pineapple while in Hawaii and always have before.  The pineapple at Jimmy Buffett's was somewhat sour and not too tasty.  The servers at Lulu's are much more friendly as well - but you don't get a lot of service at a buffet.  I have to say the fellow making omelets at Jimmy Buffett's was talkative and interesting - but I just wasn't wanting a hot omelette after working up a sweat walking to the restaurant - LOL!

We had great luck finding excellent places to eat in Hilo.  We were pretty tired when we finally got to the B&B and they had a restaurant delivery service available so we gave it a try.  We ordered from New Star Restaurant and were pretty disappointed with what we got.  I assume they have a brick and mortar restaurant as well and we'll pass it on by if we ever see it at some point in the future.  On the other hand we went driving around one night just looking for some place to eat and decided to give Osaka's a try.  It is right on 11 as you head towards the bay.  It doesn't look like much on the outside (or the inside for that matter) - but it is family owned and run, the servers are incredibly polite and we thoroughly enjoyed the food!  I finally got some excellent teriyaki chicken!  I absolutely LOVED the teriyaki steak kabobs that Duke's used to have on their menu.  They no longer serve them and so I've been looking for good teriyaki in the islands ever since - LOL!  The miso soup was hot and quite tasty, I loved the vinegar cabbage salad (I cannot remember what it is called) and my teriyaki chicken serving was huge (2x what I expected for the chicken) so Tony had yummy teriyaki chicken for breakfast the next day - LOL! 

We also went looking for a farmer's market (other than the one in downtown Hilo).  The gal who prepared breakfast at the B&B told us about one but we didn't quite understand the directions she gave us.  Since they didn't get their coffee delivered over the weekend and I needed a coffee fix we stopped at the Starbuck's in Hilo.
And we had a GREAT view of Mauna Kea and the observatories from the parking lot!
And when I asked one of the Baristas about another farmer's market in the area she said her "Auntie" was just walking in and she would know.  Sure enough - she did!  She gave us directions to the Maku'u Farmer's Market so we headed down the road to find it.  We did indeed find it (you can't miss it on 130) and had another wonderful food find.  Mister D's BBQ!  I had the teriyaki meatballs, Tony had the chicken and both were delicious!  Here's Mister D and his sign in case you're in the vicinity...

During "Flossie" (which was just a bit of rain and wind and nothing worth writing about) we were eating lunch at a wonderful restaurant right along the highway and bay called Cafe Pesto.  I had the Oriental al Pesto
pizza and it was absolutely TDF!  The garlic was so sweet (and from the island!). Tony had the Linguine al Pesto which was also quite good.

Those are the standouts in my memory right now - and it's time to hit the sack so I can be awake for my cousin Adelyn's Surf Cup soccergame tomorrow morning!

But wait!  I can't forget Ken's Pancake House!  After our very tiring hike out to see the lava flowing we asked our guides where we could eat at 9:30PM at night.  They said if we wanted to try some local food go to Ken's or Verna's.  Ken's was first on the road so we dragged sore bodies in and plopped down.  Our server was fun - his recommendation of the spaghetti was spot on (no it would not compare to Tony's Italian mom's spaghetti, but it was pretty good for restaurant spaghetti).  I wanted pasta badly and this hit the spot - even Tony would have ordered it if we went to Ken's again.  The little dinner salad had some nice lettuces other than iceberg, they had REAL Italian dressing (none of that local garbage that tastes awful) and the garlic bread was decent (but it did need more garlic - LOL!).  I honestly can't recall what Tony had - I was too tired for it to register - but we both left the restaurant with satisfied mouths and stomachs!


Monday, July 29, 2013

Molten Lava on the Big Island!

I'm visiting the big island for the second time and, finally, Pele kept the lava flowing so I could see it!  It was quite exciting!  Tony and I looked at various alternatives and decided that a boat tour would probably not be a good idea since we both get seasick and the videos I saw on the web showed a LOT of bobbing around.  Instead I found a group, Kalapana Cultural Tours,  that does escorted tours over the lava bed to the areas where lava is flowing.  The publicly accessible viewing area is nowhere near where the lava is currently flowing so the only way to legally see the lava is with a guided tour.  All the folks who run the Kalapana Cultural Tours live or lived in Kalapana.  Our guides were brothers, Paul and Primo.  We hiked over raw lava fields (no groomed trails here!) - climbing up lumps of lava, jumping over large and small cracks, slipping/sliding on rough a'a lava, ...  Quite an adventure!  Paul and Primo would tell us about the various plants now growing in some parts of the flow, they described the various neighborhood areas that we crossed (houses burned and the original land is now under 90+ feet of lava).  At the start of tour they have pictures of their land before the lava came - a gorgeous black sand beach with groves of coconut trees, and how it looks now - 90' cliff and just a few plants starting the cycle of rebirth.  Here are a few of the pictures we took.  I'll upload more as I can to my flickr pictures Hawaii set.
Lava flow on 7/28/2013

Tony (yes it was a hot, sweaty hike!) in front of the lava flow

Beautiful blue water along highway 137 on Hawai'i (and a handsome hubby too!)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July America!

I started out the day watching our local Mira Mesa 4th of July parade and it looks like a new "youngster" is going to try out for our city council position.  I think his name was Chris Cates.  I saw his banner and wondered is Chris a guy or gal?  Then he was walking along the parade route, shaking hands and handing out info pamphlets and introducing himself.  Anyway - it's always fun to see our parade - we're up close and personal with all the paraders and each year some new groups participate.  There were some cool model A cars in this years parade and the Marines had some REALLY cool vehicles.  I have no idea what they were - but they looked interesting.  And I ran into the office manager for one of the companies I consult for. She is a fun person at work and she's really a blast during a parade.  She goes every year so now I have someone else to hang out with when my mom's not in town.  She suggested an alternate viewing spot for the fireworks tonight so we'll try that out and see how it works.  Have a fun time at your local 4th of July events or just enjoy your Thursday if you live somewhere other than the USA. 

And, just to keep you in the spirit - here are some 4th of July theme designs I've made!

Red, white and blue sparkle

Happy Red-White-and-Blue Birthday!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Starting July with a BANG!

I'm starting July off right!  I made myself take pictures of some of my new designs last night so I can get them listed.  So, drum roll please ...... here are some new earring designs!
Handmade earrings, handmade, multi-color lampwork, hand forged sterling silver hoops
Multi-color Splash Earrings

Handmade earrings, yellow aventurine, hammered sterling silver
Lemon Drop Earrings
And now, back to the camera!  You can find links to all my online designs at

Friday, April 19, 2013

Larimar and Pearls - a beautiful combination!

I LOVE larimar and, as any readers of my blog know, I always visit my favorite larimar sellers in Tucson - Cynthia and Jens.  Here is a set I made recently using larimar from Cynthia and Jens and freshwater button pearl drops.  I have another idea for this style of design combining wirewrap and stringing.  I'll have to give that a try to see if I like the way the beads hang better.  Enjoy!

Larimar, freshwater pearls and sterling silver earrings

Larimar, freshwater pearls and sterling silver necklace

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Tucson - Day 6 - Pearls!!!

Today we hit two retail oriented shows - Tucson Bead Show and To Bead True Blue.  I did check out the Craftoptics magnifying glasses and they are quite cool. Buying them will have to wait though - since my budget is expended in beads and gems right now ...  I found some beautiful ceramic beads and drops - didn't take a single picture - aagghh!  And I'm too tired to dig out the company name right now.  All I did at this show was get information about wholesale pricing and examine their products.

After a quick lunch and a Starbucks stop we headed to Lucky Gems to paw through their pearls in Holidome before the hoards descend on opening day tomorrow.  I found some beautiful pearls and had fun letting Susan (here she is with her hands covering her face - her boss didn't want pictures taken of the employees - but saying no just encourages me to disobey - oops!)

The boss did let her take a picture of me with the sea of pearls in the background.

Susan also helped me out last year so it was fun to meet and talk with the same person 2 years in a row.  Here are some of the pretties I bought ...

From Lucky Gems it was off to GJX with time to visit only one vendor.  Since I wanted to make sure I got some of the remaining sterling silver stock from Ezel Findings I went there first.  I finally got to meet Sun Young in person!  Yay!  Did I take a picture?  No ...  Booo!!!  I was glad she still has some of her old sterling silver stock.  Because of cost they are switching to plated brass ... wah!

Well since I'm falling asleep as I write this that must mean it's time to hit the sack.  Good night all and tomorrow I join the Holidome madness ....

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tucson - day 5

I forgot to share this creature with you

Recycled metal creature at TEP
We saw him on day 3 and he's at the Kino Gem and Mineral Show (aka TEP).  He has some friends that are for sale as well. 

Today we stopped by the GIGM Grant Inn show on the way to the Arizona/Sonora Desert Museum.  I was quite disappointed at the show.  Triveni, which used to sell nice sterling, now only sells cheap stuff.  Needless to say they are off my list of vendors to see.  The rest of the stuff was a lot of import $1-$3 beads, African creations and beads and, of course, already made jewelry.  Nothing that I got excited about.

After that we headed to the Desert Museum.  This is always a fun place to visit since it is a hiking museum.  The wonderful Sonoran desert is the museum - with some manmade exhibits to help you learn more about the area around you.  The ocotillo, some barrel cactus and some salvias are starting to bloom so we saw splashes of color here and there.  Most of the critters were napping so we mostly got to see their backs as they were curled up to sleep.  Here are some of the critters ...

An ocelot trying to get comfortable for his nap ...

I think he wants to know what the heck I'm looking at ...  The prarie dogs are always fun to watch!
Kathy and Susan with the Sonoran desert behind them

We had lunch at the restaurant inside the museum and it was quite good.  And this one dessert was easily shared by all 3 of us.  Doesn't it look delish?

Last stop in the museum was the hummingbird aviary with many nesting hummers ...

As we headed out we stopped to get a picture with one of the big, old saguaros along the way ...
Kathy and Susan looking very small in front of a very tall and very old saguaro cactus

Tucson - Day 4

We had to start out day 4 with a stop at Starbuck's for the 2 Starbuck's addicts in the car (Mom and college roomie Kathy).  Then we headed back to The Rock Show (or more commonly knows as RV Park) so Kathy could check out the polished slices to see if she just had to have some for coasters ... and she did.  This time I did remember to take pictures of Bob and Pharoah of Really Old Rocks.  Wow - I remembered the picture and to include a link to his web page!  I'm getting back into the proper swing of things ... 
FYI - Pharoah is the pretty, brown guy standing on his back legs ...
Next we hit the Barn at The Rock Show to check out one of the vendors that was closed on Sunday.  I was soooo glad we did.  They had some gorgeous, American, semi-precious gemstones.  Gorgeous jaspers and agates - some I'd seen before, some I haven't.  Here is just a taste of what I found ...

Willow Creek Jasper from Idaho

Gorgeous sage amethyst from Nevada and more jaspers (I'm too tired to go open the bag to dig out the name)
I got quite a few other stones there - but the pictures didn't come out too well.  Of course I forgot to take a picture of Leanne and you'll have to wait until I get home for me to update this post with the name and web link...

Next it was back to TEP (aka the Kino Gem and Mineral show) and another of my favorite gemstone suppliers - Royal Quality Gems - owned by Chun and Jennifer Ho.  They always have wonderful, quality gemstones at very reasonable prices.  I had a good time shopping there.  The pictures only show the gems that actually photographed well since I didn't want to remove them from their protective sleeves.

Chun and Jennifer - the very gracious owners who only carry quality gemstones in their stock

Gorgeous turquoise and oh-so-hard-to-find river stone!

More turquoise, onyx and lovely rhodocrosite
From here we next headed back to G&LW Gem Mall to replace some cultured sea glass (aka manmade sea glass) at Znet that Kathy accidently dropped and to go in search of faceted, skinny, but not too long onyx drops. Here is some of the manmade sea glass I purchased yesterday and today at Znet - I love it!

It took quite a bit of searching to find the onyx drops (very Goldilocks in feel - this drops too small, this drops too big ... oh,, yay, this drop is just right!) and in the process of looking I found other beads that I just had to have ...
Onyx drops, grey (aka phantom) quartz, ruby hearts (oh so pretty!), jasper earring pairs, green oyster (first time I've seen it and it's cool! - green sprinkly inside mother of pearl)
And that, my friends, was that.  We headed back to the condo, Kathy, my kitchen beautician, colored my hair to turn some of that blondie-grey into just blondie ... And now it's time to hit the sack.  More on our adventures tomorrow!
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