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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A long overdue blog post


Merry Christmas! Happy Chanuka! and of course…

Happy New Year!

We did eventually get a Christmas tree so the boys don’t still have to stand there.

Right now our Etsy shop is missing a lot of things. We are enjoying a short vacation and will get back to work again soon refilling our shop. I’ve got lots of new ideas too to work on…

Monday, August 16, 2010

New pretty long stem Czech glass flower earrings in the shop


I came up with this design a while ago and then ran out of the lovely Czech pressed glass beads. So I reordered a bunch and took new pictures and they are aqualongstemear2

now available in our shop.


All the lovely bright colors make me happy and really brighten up the tone in our Etsy shop.


They have become one of my personal favorite everyday earrings.


They are made with 18 gauge sterling silver wire which makes them a little thicker than the typical earwire so they may not work well for everyone.


You can find them all in the Glass Earrings/ Pendants section of our Etsy shop:

Sunday, August 08, 2010

New beads!


A couple of days ago my favorite crazy bead salesman and friend Peter came through and set up my own personal bead show in my driveway for a few hours. Peter travels to Asia half the year and buys beads in Hong Kong and other places and then travels in the US the other half of the year selling his special handpicked goodies. I always spend more than I intend to and get filled with good stories from his wild traveling experiences.


These are some yummy gemmy British Columbian nephrite jade beads that I couldn’t resist. I’m a sucker for green stones.

Oh I have so much work to do now that I spent all that money on new beads!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mid Valley Adoptive Families Picnic Potluck


I somehow started channeling my Mother’s volunteerism genes and became the organizer of this years summer Mid Valley Adoptive Families picnic this past Sunday. It was actually pretty easy and didn’t require much to do on my part other than securing the reservation for the nifty barn structure at the park and bringing stuff. It would have been nice if I had read the fine print about needing to get a key for the gate that lets you park your cars right next to it. Instead we had to carry all our coolers and stuff up a hot hill.


My crazy eyes Max spent a lot of time with his fellow Spiderman enthusiast Lauren.


Bringing a big box of Legos was a stroke of  genius if I say so myself.


Trying to get a group of kids to all stand still and look in the same direction is pretty much impossible.

It went really well and a good time was had by all.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The lazy flower garden


When we first bought our place about 16 years ago I had grand ambitions and lots more free time.And I knew nothing about gardening. I took mostly free or cheap plants from friends and neighbors.And now years later when I am too lazy and busy to put any effort into it these hardy perennials keep coming back without any help from me.

Little did I know how disgustingly stinky daisies are.


I love these daylillies! I seriously never water them or do anything but weed a little early in the spring.


I can’t remember what these are called . Some sort of hardy bluebell?


The reseeding foxgloves that always surprise me every couple of years by reappearing just when I thought I wouldn’t see them again.


I can’t remember what this lovely purple stuff is but as long it requires nothing from me I’m happy to have it.


These I could do without. The Canadian Thistle. Ouch!


Thisi s my non lazy super hero husband putting in our new vinyl floor.What a difference!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Philomath Frolic and Rodeo-one week later

Well it was over a week ago that I too the kids to the Philomath Frolic and Rodeo but I finally got the time to post this. As a Brooklyn girl the rodeo fascinates me. It’s so different from where I grew up to see guys wearing cowboy hats because they are actual cowboys and not gay men. Of course they could be gay. Not that there’s anything

wrong with that. maxpony

The boys took their mandatory pony rides.ponyriderolarcoaster2

They had been begging me to do the carnival rides. The first ride they chose was the roller coaster. I was kind of surprised that Max really wanted to do it because he’s not much of a ride daredevil.  He looked like he was pooping in his pants the whole time. When he got off he said in his serious voice-“That was kind of scary.” He then declined to go on any other rides for the rest of the night.


Henry won this giant blue bear that made him very happy. We also ran into his best friend Emmit

bear  rodeoclown

And then there was the actual rodeo. This is the rodeo clown wearing a silly fat suit and doing a whole dance schtick. While somewhat amusing at times I couldn’t help but feel bad for the overweight folks in the audience. But the kids told me he wasn’t making fun of fat people he “just wanted to dance in a fat suit to be goofy.” OK then.


Real cowboys roping a cow. Yee haw!


The mandatory shaved ices.


Aleaha and Max really getting into their ices.


Relaxing at home with Dad.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Successful photos of new Kanji jewelry

We often get requests for specific words in Japanese Kanji and other languages to be made into our stamped jewelry. This is Nick’s end of our jewelry line. He makes the dies and perfects the tumbling techniques. I get the fun part of photographing the jewelry. I used to hate it back in the olden days before digital cameras. I’d waste hours and hours of my life and tons of money on film, wait to get it printed and then be horribly disappointed and start all over again and repeat the process. My simple Sony Cyber-shot 5.1 megapixels changed all that. And the miracle of Photoshop.


These pictures were taken outdoors on a cloudy overcast day. I found a Japanese kanji book of ours and an art history book and had some fun.


Light - Japanese Kanji and Chinese Character and for Light Sterling Silver Pendant


Light - Japanese Kanji and Chinese Character for Light Sterling Silver Stamped Earrings



In the same photo shoot I played around with some rough obsidian we bought at the Tuscon Gem Show many many years ago and this new Snow Flake Obsidian Ball Pendant.These didn’t come out quite as crisp and photoshop helped with the contrast quite a bit. The silver Kanji jewelry above didn’t really need much photoshopping at all other than cropping.

Friday, July 09, 2010

My boys



Henry and Max and our new  to us mini van modeling the cute summer clothes that Grandma Fran sent.

Monday, June 21, 2010

New Amethyst Earrings and New Sterling Silver Pins



Today I took these pictures and added these Tiny Amethyst Sterling Silver Wirewrapped Bead Earrings.


I also these two new Sterling Silver shawl pins.

Circle With A Twist Sterling Silver Shawl Pin or Brooch


Double Crossed Loops Sterling Silver Shawl Pin or Brooch


I also decided to add a photo of my small chubby man hand (a “Sienfeld” reference to those who know what I mean by “man hand”) holding the pin to get more of a sense of scale with these sweet little pins. These two pins used a little less silver wire than the others and take a little less time to make so they are a little less expensive than the first 5 ones I put in our shop.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

New Sterling Silver Shawl Pins

Celtic Infinity Loops Sterling Silver Shawl Pin or Brooch
Well I finally took the plunge and invested in 12 gauge sterling silver so I could start making my shawl pins in sterling silver along with super awesome aluminum. It's dramatically more expensive than aluminum. The 9 gauge aluminum costs about $.15 a foot and 12 gauge sterling silver costs about $7 a foot. That doesn't leave a lot of room for mistakes.Hence the significantly higher price for them.The silver is also a lot harder and more difficult to bend and hammer.

Looping Celtic Crossed Knots Sterling Silver Shawl Pin or Brooch
So I've started out by making the most popular aluminum shawl pin designs.

Celtic Heart and Swirls Sterling Silver Shawl Pin or Brooch
They've been tricky to photograph too.I think it's because they are shinier than the aluminum.

Celtic Budding Spiral Sterling Silver Shawl Pin or Brooch

Fleur De Lis Sterling Silver Shawl Pin or Brooch

Celtic Knot Infinite Swirl Cross Sterling Silver Shawl Pin or Brooch
This is one of my most difficult and complex designs and uses a little more wire than the others.Although not uncomfortably heavy, it is amazing the weight difference between aluminum and sterling silver. The silver has a different look and feel than the aluminum that I hope will appeal to some knitters looking for something a little special. But I really appreciate and love my aluminum.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

First Grade trip to the Portland Zoo

Last Friday I chaperoned Henry's First Grade class trip to the zoo. It was a crazy 2 hour bus ride. Luckily we had lots and lots of parents who came on the trip to help.About a half hour before we arrived Henry started to feel sick and it started raining.I was not in the best of moods. But once we got off the bus he felt better. Must have been car sickness.And miraculously the rain stopped after a little while.We spent the day with his 3 best friends and another set of parents.

We all brought our own lunch and found a great spot inside the lion viewing area. And then suddenly from cross the field this large and lovely lioness spotted us and came trotting intensely over to the window like she was ready to eat us for lunch.

It was pretty exciting and terrifying. I'm so glad that glass was strong.
This polar bear was hilarious. He was really enjoying himself and showing off for us while the one in the background was having some sort of OCD weird caged animal moment. He kept walking backwards about 3 steps and then forwards 3 steps like he was doing the cha cha cha. The picture below the video of the bears is of Max and his super awesome preschool teacher Sara Melahnik.(I couldn't figure out how to move the picture below on blogger. Anyway...) It was the next to last day of preschool for him. We'll really miss her and I can't believe my baby will be starting kindergarten in the Fall.