Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I think one of my favorite things

is making jewelry for people I know.  I just finished a set today for a girl I knew back in my Navy days.  It was super fun to create wedding rings and to actually know the person it was going to.  I think I've only done it once before and that was awesome too.

I can hear my babies squeaking at each other over the baby monitor, so I have to run inside.  But best wishes to you, Michelle!  I know you read my blog, so this will give you a sneak peak at what is coming in the mail. :-)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

I am so excited!

I've been dying to start using other shapes of stones, but I wasn't feeling like my brain was up to it until lately (double baby brain!).  But I finally gave it a go the other day and this is my second practice stone.  The first turned out okay too, but this one is better.  I think because I took the time to solder it to a band so I could hold it better.  The other one I just tried to hold the setting.  Why would I be that stupid?  I know that the key to making nice jewelry is holding something securely.  So I don't know why I tortured myself with a jiggly loose setting, rather than taking the 2 minutes to create a "handle".  LAZY.   (Even if it is wonky as all get out....look at the slant the setting has to the band.  LOL!  But that wasn't the point, I just needed something to clamp.)  I have a couple of pear shaped cz and I'm going to get some princess and marquis shaped stones and just practice my little heart out.  I think the real test will be to carve the settings myself.  I'm getting much more confident lately, so we'll see.  But I'm pleased as punch with the setting job I did!  Yay!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


Although my first foray into jewelry making in middle school was beaded necklaces (I was very fond of Czech glass beads....I think I still have a necklace stashed away somewhere, I'll get a photo), my true love was earrings.  I can still remember the back of my mom's bedroom door, covered in cool earrings.  She had this wooden rack with tiny holes that you put the ear wires through.  Full, just full, of awesome earrings.  She would buy some of them at the Saturday Market.  Which, if you are from Eugene or Portland, you know is a craft market held outdoors during the warmer months.  The Eugene one is better than the Portland one, which sort of sucks.  Anyhoo.  I think my favorites were the beaded ones, with quills.  (I want a pair and I've been looking on Etsy.)

And I've been a busy little bee myself, in the earring making department, and I've added a few new pieces to my shop.  And I'm keeping the prototypes!

Summer is in full swing here.  It's been hot!  My new cucumbers are doing really well, after I replanted because of that epic hail storm.  We ate the first artichoke from the plants I put in this year!

And of course, baby sweeties:

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I would love a set of these.

(But in yellow gold!)

And one of these.  haha.

And one of these!  Probably the only one of the above that I am likely to get. (At least for 18 years.)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Nature: "I hate you, pitiful human scum"

So, haha, I blogged about how nice my gardening was coming this year, and then that same afternoon, about 2 hours after I hit publish, this happened:

 This was a coreopsis that I had sown from seed.

 The pitiful remnants of my japanese cucumber plants.

 This was a mint plant.

 And my lovely hostas.  Shredded and ragged.  And I now have to live
with them like that for the rest of the season.  Nothing is more unattractive than 
raggedy hostas.

Plant Armageddon aftermath.

:(    :\    :[  :{  :O!!!!!!!

I've never seen a hail storm like it.  Our gardens are totally effed.  Man.  My heart just broke.  You should see our tomato and fava plants.  Just destroyed. My artichokes are shredded like the hostas.  I guess I will just have to wait and see what will survive.  Having a nice garden this year is pretty much out now, unless we want to buy a bunch of expensive starts, which, needless to say, I don't.  My blueberries look okay, and the three fruit trees we put in this spring look like they pulled through.  The apple was the worst, but the fig and plum look okay.

I'm a little down right now, but soldiering on.  


Monday, June 16, 2014

One step, two steps, three steps, four

Man, sometimes I get so frustrated at the pace of my life.  It seems so creeping, crawling slow.  I think I want to live in fast forward.  And then I think, what am I rushing towards?  Death?  I'm really trying to slow down and enjoy the ride, rather than being rushed and goal oriented.  I think I'm too goal oriented and it makes me unhappy sometimes.

I've been really trying to get new designs produced, but with about 18hrs of so or work time a week, it is hard to.  I have two pairs of earrings I need to photograph and add, but I can't seem to get it done.  (Maybe because I wear them too much?  haha.  I also have a necklace with a lovely pink rose cut sapphire that is languishing away in my safe.)

These are two new designs that I've had molded and will cast in the next couple of weeks. I'm thinking palladium for the square/cushion, and 18kt yellow for the round.  I think I'm going to get a highly included but colorless diamond for the round and see what I think of that.  Once it has been cast I can carve a band to fit the curves.

New around the house:

 Well, these aren't new.  But they are really looking great this year.  I wish hostas didn't die back in the fall.  If they were evergreen I would have them everywhere around the place.

So my little flower garden is actually coming along pretty good.  It isn't as full as I would like, but I think that will take several years.  So I'm working on enjoying it as it is.  After all, when it is all full and "finished" where will I be then?  I do think that the joy of projects is in the doing, I just need to not want to do it fast(er).

Finally! We painted the door! I had been wanting to paint it forever.  I love the way the red looks.  Still need to work on the landscaping, but the red was really such a huge improvement.  The door is old. Probably original to the house (1930ish), and it looked pretty beat.

I have more "content", but I think I will save it for another post, lest my few readers be overwhelmed with photos of gardening and home improvement projects.  I finished a lovely (!!!) oval diamond ring that I want to share as well, so maybe later this week.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The sun is shining (finally)

yet, I'm in a slight funk.  I never seem to have enough time to do anything.  And, even worse, I can't seem to concentrate on anything long enough to get it done.  Not at work, obviously, because I HAVE to finish things at work.  I mean in my other life.  My life that needs gardening and quilt making and home decorating and baking and cooking.  And as much as those, it needs drawing and painting.  I haven't drawn or painted since before the babies.  Maybe I need to give up coffee.  It seems to scatter me.  I know I need to give up the internet.  It drains me.  What is the use of reading about lovely things on Apartment Therapy, when my own house needs my attention?  What good does it do me to spend my free time on Jezebel, when I would be happier writing a letter or drawing a picture instead of wasting my time away reading bits and pieces of useless news?  Ugh.  I hate the internet. (And yes, I see the irony of this.)

On a lighter and more cheerful note!  My flower garden in flourishing!  And the veggie garden is getting on like a house on fire:

It's even fuller now!  Look at that strawberry barrel in the middle!  The Shop Monkey worked so hard on it.  Drilling those holes in that thick wood was terribly irritating.

We had the craziest heat-snap (new word?), and I took advantage of the 90 degree weather to let my sweeties run around without clothes.  Is there anything cuter than a baby running around in a diaper?  Maybe two babies?  Two babies dripping with homemade yogurt and fruit popsicles?

I'm making a real effort to grow houseplants.  See my success below:

Alas, I'm not trying as hard as the babies are trying to climb onto the table.

No, I didn't pose him there (but he does make a nice tchotchke).  I was reading to his sister when I looked over and saw him climbing up.

What is this sketch?  It is me and the Shop Monkey playing darts in the basement after the babies go to bed.  We're drinking champagne because it's a Wednesday.  

And yes, I did win!! Haha!

I love this sweetie.

I bought this sofa at auction and I plan on recovering it in a deep blue velvet?  Green?  Turquoise?  Help!  Does it need tufting?

I repainted my side table.  It was kelly green.

And my little sweetie sweetie. <3 nbsp="">

Monday, April 14, 2014

5 stone ring

I've finally photographed my new 5 stone ring.  I was waiting for the weather to cooperate, and it really has for the last week.  So sunny!  It is gorgeous.  My poor little flower garden is struggling, but I won't depress you with my tales of gardening woe.  The vegetable garden is doing great though!  You should see my garbanzo bean plants. So excited for hummus from fresh beans.

So, this new ring has a tapering shank, that has an angled concave surface.  I really like it.  I wish I had a photo from the side so you could see the band.  The stones also taper in size towards the sides, does that make sense?  For some reason I can't think of another way to say it.  Haha.  MORE COFFEE.

On the baby front, my little sweeties aren't quite talking, but they're so close.  Addy "answers" questions with the cutest sounds.  Right now they are chasing each other back and forth around the kitchen/dining/hallway loop.  They sort of go back and forth peek-a-booing around the corners.  I hope they are best friends, but I suppose you can't force it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Busy busy


I've been a bit busy, but I'm now getting back into the swing of things.  My schedule is changing a bit, I've decided that I would rather work 3 longer days, rather than two short days and two long days.  I hope that helps me to be more efficient.  Changing the schedule gives me a whole day with my sweeties, which I kind of like! (Yesterday was the first day, and they took a 3 hour nap, so check back with me in a few weeks, haha.)  It gives me a little taste of what being a SAHM would be like.

Spring is springing here, so I've been working like crazy in the garden(s).  We have a large raised bed vegetable garden, and this year I decided to create a flower garden as well.  We had this big gravel area with a fire pit that we just didn't use and it was terrible trying to weed in the gravel.  So I removed all of the gravel and tilled it and amended the soil.  I've been starting flowers (I hope I'm successful!) and planting some seed.



Now.  We just never used the gravel firepit, it just took up a prime location.

I have these lovely clumps of peonies.  They gorgeous.  I will be separating them this fall, but for now I'm just looking forward to blossoms.  There are rose bushes as well, which we (over) pruned this winter.  But I think that most will be better for it.  I'm planning on a little table or bench on the little gravel spot to the left.  Wish me luck!  I'll post pictures if I ever get it to look all crazy country garden.  It might take a few years.  I think that is the hardest part about this for me.  The hardest and probably the most beneficial.  I am a planner by nature, but I'm also someone who likes instant gratification.  Being forced to let go of my own agenda and proceed according to a different timeline has been very informative.  I'm trying to relax into, and let go of being in control.  Since I can't FORCE the flowers to grow, all I could do is make myself go crazy.

Growing list:

Indian Prince Calendula
Korean hyssop
Shasta crazy daisy
English red tip daisy (habanera)
New York Aster
Blue and white balloon flower (fingers crossed)
Blue fescue
german chamomile
Two types of poppies (not sure if those will come up...)
chabaud carnation
red lighthouse salvia

and for instant gratification, cosmos and zinnias (annuals).  There is also a hosta in one corner and a hydrangea that I will probably have to move. 

And I have a spot along the driveway that I'm going to plant a shade wildflower mix.  I hope that works out too.  I'll plant it now, and then seed it again in the fall.

And I've planted a wormwood bush!  And A little square of elven thyme.  And I'm planning on getting some dahlia bulbs.  But I won't be planting those until late April. And then I'm going to plant anenome bulbs in the fall.  I love windflowers.

Well, I hope you skipped past all of that gardening business, if it bores you. :-)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

So much for posting weekly, ha ha

I just can't seem to manage it.  I think, with me, blogging takes copious amounts of free time in order to allow my brain the freedom to come up with things to post about.  When I'm busy or preoccupied I tend to clench up and nothing but what needs doing gets free.  I'm also a compulsive perfectionist, so if something isn't 1000% finished I hesitate to share.  But!  I'm going to take a leap and just put it out there.

Ive decided to change my business name!  For real this time!  

I've been holding off on telling anyone about it until it was complete.  But really, I don't know when that will be.  I've been working away at it, a bit here a bit there, but it's still pretty bare.  I haven't really had a chance to add things for sale yet.  But I'm going to make that a priority this weekend.  (When I'm not busy rototilling my new flower garden!!! OMG!  So excited! About everything!)

And finally finished that new ring I posted about earlier.  It's pictured below.  Guess which one it is? And I have new earrings and a new 5 stone ring too, but no pictures of those just yet.

Not the best of photos.  But it is gloomy like an Alaskan winter morning here these days.  I find that when it is overcast outside I can't get dynamic photos.  They just look a bit dead to me.  Maybe I need to blast the exposure?

Hmm, still nothing.  And it's really unfortunate, since I have to ship those to rings on the far right today, so I won't get another chance to photograph a group.

And my tiny sweeties are still tiny and still sweet.

She's soooo sleepy here.  Right after I took this photo I took a video of her nodding off.  Adorable.

 Fresh new haircut!  And seaweed snack.