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In a world where everyone who ever crossed the threshold of a craft store now sells handcrafted jewelry on a web site, one humble metalsmith's feeble attempt at getting some attention....

Saturday, October 1, 2011

My Deep Dark Secret

I've lived with a deep dark secret for years.  Now, it's time to let go, to let others like me know that it's okay.  There's no reason to hide, no cause for shame.

I'm a stone fondler. 

I love pretty stones.  I love to look at them, dream about them, fondle them.  They feel so cool and smooth in my hand.  I can't help myself.

Here's a picture of my favorites.  Favorites so far, anyway.  Somewhere out there is a neglected slab of stone, a beauty waiting to be discovered, collecting dust in a pile in the corner of some lapidary studio.  Don't worry, my sweet, some day that lapidary will find you and transform you in to the luscious stone that you dream of becoming.

The juicy hunk of white with pretty green orbs is a designer cut of Ocean Jasper.  It was created by Denise at Elemental Designs.  Denise has some seriously drool-worthy stones, including a 78 carat Koroit Boulder Opal that is right at the top of my "things I'm buying when my ship comes in" list.

 The trillion shaped beauty at top center is one of many amazing Tahoma Agates from Jack at Jack Jellies Stones.  Jack has quite the eye for finding beautiful patterns and landscapes in Tahoma Agate, as well as other types of agate, and many of them have found their way in to my jewelry and my "don't worry, honey, some day you too will be jewelry" collections.

The three other stunners are from my dear friend Barney at Lapidarious.  Barney has hot hot hot stones, and these are three of the hottest.  The brown and black swirly stone is Indonesian Petrified Palm Wood.  The red, white, and gray lovely is Leopard Skin Jasper.  Yes, it really is that red, just incredible.  The big slab of melting color beauty on the right is Misty Mountain Jasper.  It huge, too, almost 70mm long!! 

Don't look for these stones in jewelry in my shop any time soon.  Soon like "ever".  They are MINE MINE MINE!!!!  If you're nice, though, I might let you pet them.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Things We Do For Love

The lives of the relatives of jewelery makers can be so very difficult, forever getting stuck with gifts of jewelery.

Poor things, how they suffer.

My husband asked me to make something for his niece for a recent birthday.  I made a charm of amazonite surrounded by a swirl of waves and paired it up with a dolphin charm.

It turned out to be the perfect gift for a 12 year old girl.

My dad carried this star sapphire around for 50 years, figuring that some day he would have someone put it in a piece of jewelry for my mom.  Never in all those years did he think that the "someone" would end up being his own daughter.

Mom wears this pendant every day.

As many of you know, we recent lost our dalmatian, Lucy.  I made this pendant for my husband to honor his sweet baby.  It's sterling silver and 18K gold with five dalmatian stones that are custom-cut in a paw print shape.  

The sterling paw is the shape of Lucy's actual paw print.

Most of the time we make things for our customers and for our shops.

Sometimes, we make things for love.

Special thanks to Tom at Harnessed Earth for the beautifully cut dalmatian cabs.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lucy - The Sweetest Little Girl Ever

That's what her father called her.  I called her many things - Ms Furthing, Furface, and Fussy Furpants when appropriate.  Mostly we called her the sweetest little girl ever, a big lump of black and white who loved to snuggle and always slept up against one of us.

Lucy came in to my husband's life when she was a tiny bundle of spots.  Our vet had rescued her from a breeder who wanted to euthanize her because she was deaf.  She was the life of the party in puppy class, always the center of attention, teasing all the other puppies so that they would chase her.  She ruled over her yard from on top of the hot tub cover.  She was big and bold, racing the hillsides of the woods near our home, splashing and digging in every puddle and stream, playing with the biggest tree branch that she could find - the queen of the street and of her daddy's heart.

I joined them when Lucy was 8.  We spent many wonderful years together, hiking the trails, playing with her fur friends in the neighborhood, cuddling in bed each night with her either snuggled between us or draped over me.  I tried to un-spoil her, but she had her daddy wrapped around her little paw and there wasn't much that I could do to change either of them.   

Besides, how could I say "no" to that face?

I could tell you a million stories about Lucy and all the fun things she did, how she made us laugh, how she loved us and protected us, how she once ate the siding off of the house.

Lucy turned 15 a couple of months ago.  She was feeling her age, moving slower, not able to play with her puppy friends any more.  She tried her best, though, still trying to splash through puddles, still trying to chase her friends around, still a big snuggly lump of spots curled up against me every night.


Lucy left us two weeks ago.  I had wanted to write about her before, but between work and taking care of her, there just wasn't time.  Anyway, I wanted you to meet Lucy.  She was the sweetest little girl ever.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Harbor Porpoises - Score One for Mother Nature

How cool is this?  After being driven out during World War II and staying away for more than 60 years, Harbor Porpoises have returned to the San Francisco Bay and are now hanging out along the southern coast of Marin County.

Here's a great shot by William Keener, who has been studying them, of a harbor porpoise near the Golden Gate Bridge:

Seems that those pesky mines and submarine nets that the US put in the waters around San Francisco during the Second World War made it tough for these cute little critters to wander in to the Bay for snacks.  Word got out - you know how porpoises like to gossip - that the neighborhood had gone downhill, and once a place gets a bad rep no one wants to come around.

We humans cleaned up our act a bit, and it's paying off.  There are a lot of fish and crab here now, and the porpoises have decided to give us another chance.  Welcome back kids, stick around this time!

Read more in this article from the Marin IJ about our return guests that includes additional pictures by Bill Keener:   Marin IJ Porpoise Article

One lucky person sighted a porpoise from the the Golden Gate Bridge.