Metals Week in Idyllwild – 2014

A parachute that covers the amphitheater at Idyllwild Arts.
A parachute that covers the amphitheater at Idyllwild Arts.

 

The week was so much fun that it was like going to a circus that had monkeys that entertained you.  Not really, there were no monkeys, only squirrels and a rattlesnake, but it was a really fun week that I had up in Idyllwild during Metals Week.

The sign on the door of the class that I took.
The sign on the door of the class that I took.

I loved taking the Steel For Jewelers from April Wood and I learned a lot.  I learned that working with steel is not at all like working with silver.  I broke at least a million of 4/0 saw blades, I stopped counting at one million.  The steel that we were working with were sheets of 20g and 22g and several different gauges of steel wire.  April taught us how to weld and solder the steel.  I tried welding and I liked it, but I wasn’t good at it, I was better at soldering, which is what I spent most of my time doing in class.  When welding, there were lots of sparks and sputters and the light that was emitted was so bright, we had to wear goggles like the ones below.

My goggles...ugly, but effective.
My goggles…ugly, but effective.

There is a picture somewhere of everyone in the class wearing their goggles, a picture that I hope never surfaces on the internet.  Here is a picture of the work from our class that was presented on the last day.

Five days of the work from our class.
Five days of the work from our class.

As you can see, there are a lot of different things that can be done with steel, it can be spray painted, enameled, folded, bent, scored and accidentally or purposely rusted.  Here is a picture of April:

April showing us how easy it is to saw through two layers of steel...remember one million saw blades for me.
April showing us how easy it is to saw through two layers of steel…remember one million saw blades for me.

Here is April’s set-up for enameling steel with a torch:

Third hand holding a trivet with a piece of steel sprinkled with enamel.  Yeah, it's pretty ingenious.
Third hand holding a trivet with a piece of steel sprinkled with enamel. Yeah, it’s pretty ingenious.

Here is a picture of my earrings that I sawed out of steel.  Each pattern is glued onto a double layer of steel.

My earring pattern glued to steel.
My earring pattern glued to steel.

My earrings after they are cut out:

I broke at least one million saw blades sawing these out.
I broke at least one million saw blades sawing these out.

Here is my table mate Donna (for the second year in a row!)

The best table mate ever.
The best table mate ever.

Driving away from campus on the last day to head back home.

Driving away from campus and realizing what a beautiful place I had been taking class at for the last five days.
Driving away from campus and realizing what a beautiful place I had been taking class at for the last five days.

Still working on steel earrings after I am home:

Steel earring with gold solder.
Steel earring with gold solder.

I will post another of picture of them again when I finish them.

 

 

 

 

A Trip to Oklahoma…

This book was in our cabin
This book was in our cabin

I took a whirlwind trip back to Oklahoma last week to help my parents celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary.  My poor mom wasn’t feeling well and didn’t go to the friends and family dinner that my father had planned for the event and it was sad to see my dad sitting alone at the head of the table without my mother.  We had a wonderful dinner at the Cherokee Yacht Club at Grand Lake, but it would have been way more fun if mom had been feeling well enough to come.

The weather was wonderful while I was there…not hot and muggy and there were no tornadoes rolling through.

The view from my parents' deck.
The view from my parents’ deck at The Coves.

There were lots of deer and baby deer roaming around while I was there.  This one wasn’t camera shy.

Find the deer
Find the deer

My dad told us about an all white baby deer that lives nearby that was rejected by his mother because he was born looking different from the other deer.  The deer lives among cows because accepted him as one of their own.  He is SO cute.  My brother was kind enough to stop and let me take a picture of him.

The white deer among his tribe
The white deer among his tribe

He let me get a little closer, I think he knows he is really cute and not a reject.

Yeah, I know I'm cute.
Yeah, I know I’m cute.

 

 

 

A Sense of Yuma 2014

A Photo on the Side of a Building in Yuma by Chip Thomas
A Photo on the Side of a Building in Yuma by Chip Thomas

This above photo is done by Chip Thomas, my favorite speaker this year at the Yuma Symposium.  He called his presentation “Life with the Navajo Through Images, Words and Wheat Paste” and when I saw his images on the first night during the introductions of the presenters, I knew that I had to go see him speak.  I certainly wasn’t disappointed when I heard him speak and listened to his story and saw his photos that he used to make his art.

A photo of Chip Thomas
A photo of Chip Thomas

The other artist that I truly enjoyed was Kat Cole, a metalsmith art that uses liquid enamel with steel in her work, who called her presentation “From Industry to Art: the Possibilities of Liquid Enameling.”  Her enthusiasm for working with steel made me even more excited about the class that I am taking this summer in Idyllwild taught by April Wood.

Here is a picture of a necklace of Kat Cole’s:

Kat Cole Enameled Necklace
Kat Cole Enameled Necklace

Wow, she never mentioned this in her talk…How Kat Cole Went from Hooters Girl to President of Cinnabon by Age 32.

Last year, my first year to go to the Yuma Symposium, I did not honor the custom of trading pins with the other attendees.  This year I did.

Here is a picture of my pins:

My Pins...Enamel Hearts Tied With Ribbons

I traded my pins for these:

The pins for which I traded mine.
The pins for which I traded mine.

Starting at top left are the artists (going clockwise): unknown trader (triangle), Ann Rosier (turquoise flower), Connie Hall (organic brass with pearl), Deb Jemmott (swirl with flush-set stone), Donna Struthers (cute house), Jeanie Pratt-the queen of wire mesh bugs (copper mesh pin)…please check out her website, Jamie (cool hexagon), Diane Wiemer -the queen of piercing (awesome scorpian), Wendy Franklin (the arrow), Patty (the dancing person), Karen (stamped metal clay “Yuma” pin).

 

 

Photos From the Street

Really?
Really?

There is nothing I can add to this photo other than I was bored and he was there (it’s a good thing I don’t run other areas of my life like that.)  This photo was taken in Pt. Loma at the corner of Rosecrans and Midway.  I was on my way home from my metalsmithing class.

Who would be so careless as to lose this?
Who would be so careless as to lose this?

There is nothing else that I can say about this photo either really.  The sign says “Lost Camel Painting…Reward” in case you can’t read it.  This photo was taken on Del Dios Highway while I was at a stop light.  I had been wanting an opportunity to take the photo of this sign before it was taken down and, finally, I had to stop at the red light and I got the photo.

I have photos of jewelry and unfinished posts to share soon.

 

 

 

 

 

Who knew…Arrows are a big thing right now.

A collection of arrows
A collection of arrows

My friend Wendy is making little arrow pins to take to trade later on this week during the pin swap at the Yuma Art Symposium.  She brought her arrows to class and someone said, “Yeah, arrows are big right now.”  Wendy’s arrows are really cute so I hope I get to trade a pin with her. I will show you her pin after I get back from the symposium.

I went to Laguna Beach this weekend to visit my parents, who have a time-share there and are using their week. Laguna Beach is one of my favorite places to shop and I look forward to doing it every year when I visit my parents. While we were shopping, I kept running across arrows in stores.

cute little arrows
cute little arrows
a "tie"dy display of arrows
a “tie”dy display of arrows
a mirror is much more interesting with arrows
a mirror is much more interesting with arrows

All of the above arrows were in the Aero store in Laguna beach, but I saw arrows in other stores too.

This is one of the stop signs in Laguna that shows either a “hand” to say stop and stay on the curb or a white stick figure to say, OK, you can walk now.  It made me laugh because it is missing a finger.

light missing a finger
light missing a finger

My mom and I ate lunch at Hennessey’s Tavern, but I did not have the soup du jour.

Soup of the day!
Soup of the day!

And God must be so proud of his/her disciple in Laguna Beach…

God loves you!
for the love of God…who can resist wet cement?

Here is a new earring design:

Half flower hoops...in sterling silver
Half flower hoops…in sterling silver

I gave a pair of these to my friend Teri for her 50th birthday because there are five petals and an zero in the middle. I was really liking the design until I started watching the Olympic coverage on NBC. Now those earrings remind me a little bit too much of a peacock.

I better get out to my studio and finish my pins to take to Yuma.  I have a LOT of work to do before this Thursday, the day of the pin swap.  I will leave you with another picture of a sunset, I think I need an intervention.

so many colors in the sky
so many colors in the sky

And a picture from my hike yesterday…

A dying oak tree
A dying oak tree

 

 

New beginnings and a lump in my throat…

The proposal
The proposal-December 18, 2013

Two people in love.  Here is a picture of my daughter and her boyfriend.  He is proposing marriage to her and the night before, he asked my husband for her hand in marriage.  He set up his camera to video tape the proposal and this is a still from the video.

Size 12's
Size 12’s

My son’s new apartment was available for him to move into on January 1, 2014, so I will no longer be seeing his shoes laying around.  These shoes are his skateboarding shoes that he wore out on one side and fixed with gold duct tape.  I will miss them, kind of…I will definitely miss him.

Earrings from hell that I will never sell.
Earrings from hell that I will never sell.

Everything that could go wrong while making a pair of earrings went wrong when I was making these.  When I keum boo’d them, a flaw in the soldering appeared and could not be fixed, so I consulted my metalsmith teacher, Deb, and we decided that what had originally been a full ring, like these below:

New sterling silver earrings
New sterling silver earrings

would now have to be a half ring, so I cut off the top of the ring and soldered tiny jump rings on each side.  Then I left them for a while, so I could figure out what to do with them next.  A few months later, I started to play play with them again and I decided to patina them in LOS and I left the earrings in the mixture for two weeks.  When I retrieved them, they were crusty, ugly and flaky.  I had no luck with cleaning them up on my own and they went home with metalsmith Deb for a couple of weeks.  When she gave them back to me, they were all cleaned up, but the gold was a little less bright than I had wanted, but in some ways, I kind of liked that the gold was more subtle.  But back in a box they went until I could decide.  A half year later, I was going through old projects and found the earrings again and a couple of pieces of turquoise were laying nearby and the gold in the turquoise caught my eye, I had really never noticed the gold flecks before, and decided to figure out a way to attach the stones to the round sterling silver. I had already attached some chain to them so it was easy to see how the stones could be attached, and even though I am getting more proficient with setting stones with prongs, things still went wrong.  OK…I melted some of the prongs, but I kept going and these are the end result.  They are definitely not flawless, so they will remain with me and when I wear them I will love them and hate them at the same time.

 

 

 

 

December, you are whirling past so fast…

 

Self Portrait
Self Portrait

This has been a really busy month and I’ve been dancing as fast as I can, but I can barely catch up with what needs to be done.  I have had visitors that brought exciting news that will be fun to share when I can.  There have been holiday parties and there are still more to come…there is a party Christmas Eve, then Christmas Day, then my husband’s birthday on the 27th, then a Monday Night Football Sunday Night Football …party on Monday night and it is for watching the Holiday Bowl, then New Year’s Eve, all before this month is over.  Whew!

We have been having the most amazing sunsets this month.  Here are some photos to show you what I am talking about…

Sunset
Sunset
Early December Sunset
Early December Sunset
Another dang sunset
Another dang sunset
Indescribable purples in the sunset
Indescribable purples in the sunset
And...another sunset!
And…another sunset!
And another...
And another…
Moonlight Beach, December 17, 2013
Moonlight Beach, December 17, 2013

OK…one more…

Amazing sunset
Amazing sunset

On Thursday, I met some friends on Cedros Ave. to do some Christmas shopping and noshing and this is what we saw in Del Mar on the way to Cedros:

The lagoon in Del Mar on the other side of the race track.  I always knew there was a pot of gold in Del Mar.
The lagoon in Del Mar on the other side of the race track. I always knew there was a pot of gold in Del Mar.

It was way more beautiful and bright than it appears in the picture.

Happy Holidays!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

A box of treasures...handmade napkin rings.
A box of treasures…handmade napkin rings. (click on photo to enlarge)

One of my most favorite people in my metalsmithing class, Wendy, is having 12 guests for Thanksgiving dinner and she decided to make napkin ring for each of her guests.  When it became apparent to some of us in class that she was not going to have 12 napkin rings made by Thanksgiving, we decided to pitch in and each make one for her and this is the result of our efforts.  She had a nature theme going with leaves and vines so we stuck with that and made a version of our own to match hers.  I think she ended up with 17 or 18 napkin rings which is good because I am sure she will have more than 12 dinner guests because she is always welcoming others into her house, especially friends of her two sons.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day, which happens to be my favorite holiday and my favorite meal.  We are celebrating with friends.  Enjoy!

 

Stripper Ridge

Stripper Ridge
Stripper Ridge

My hiking buddy, Karen,  and I have named this section of our walk Stripper Ridge because this is at the top of our climb, of 1500 feet, and this is where we stop and take off our coats, mittens, hats, shirts, etc. because we have expended so much energy to get to this point that we are all warmed up and ready to continue on our way for the rest of the hike, which is fairly flat after this.  This is where we stop and take our first drinks of water too while surveying the valley that overlooks Escondido to the left and our neighborhood to the right.  In this picture you can only see our neighborhood, not Escondido.  On clear days, we can see all the way to the ocean and we can identify islands that tell us that we really are looking at the ocean.

We walk on until we come to one of our favorite trees, the Tree Tunnel we call it.

IMG_0136
The Tree Tunnel
The tree tunnel in a different season
The tree tunnel in a different season

 

It doesn’t look that exciting from this photo, but it is still one of our favorite landmarks.

Then we come across our spiritual tree.

The spiritual tree
The spiritual tree

Then we start our descent back down the trail.

IMG_0531

I didn’t do great at my sale, but it was a live and learn experience.  It was entirely the wrong venue for me.  My jewelry was more expensive than what the crowd was looking for, which was inexpensive Christmas ornaments.  No one wanted one of my favorite necklaces.

A favorite, simple necklace
A favorite, simple necklace

After working so hard to get so many pieces of jewelry done for the show, I longed for a manicure, which would have been completely destroyed within hours of getting the manicure since my fingernails are some of my most used and important tools.  I just wanted someone to massage each finger gently and put moisture back into my fingernails.  Ahhh…