Friday, April 27, 2012

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Everyday life

As much as I love my job, I also have a life outside of my work.  It consists mostly of reading, pug watching, quilting, working out, cooking, and being with the Shop Monkey as much as possible.


Miso soup, to go.


The everlasting zig-zag quilt.

So those are some of the things that fill some of my time....when I'm not working like madwoman to get things out (close to) on time.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Raw Circle returns!

I had been debating whether or not to continue making Raw Circle rings, one of my first designs when I had just started out.  I made so many of them in the my first couple of years of business that I was a little tired of them.  And the way I was making them was wearing me out.  But I think I've perfected an easier way!  Can't wait to add it to my shop!

(Pretty decent picture, if you can ignore my fingerprint on the band!
If it is isn't pug hair photobombing my pictures, it's dust or my fingerprints.)

Not much else new going on here in the shop.  Wedding season seems to have started in earnest and I'm busy....especially as the house hunt also continues (and continues to disappoint!).  But I have hopes that we will find (and actually manage to purchase) a house soon.  And then it will just be moving house, and moving the studio (which I am dreading....I have so many tools and bits and bobs that moving the studio is a pain the ass of the first order!).

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

French Honeymoon earrings

(Me trying to feel French.  Check out all of that sun damage!  I must have got it from all of 
my topless sunbathing on the mediterranean, right?....)

When we were wandering through the charming Paris streets this last January, we stepped into this dusty little antique shop near the river.  The shop keeper was an ancient woman, exactly what you might picture as the keeper of a tiny antique shop in Paris.

In a jewelry case there was an adorable pair of red coral drop earrings with 18kt yellow ear hooks, so classic and sweet.  I'm not really a big jewelry wearer (oh, the irony), but under the influence of the Parisian sunshine (and feeling like an ugly American duckling....longing to be a French swan) I felt the urge to make them my own!

Then I saw the price tag.  I think it was something like 700 euros (!!!! OMFG!).  So that was the end of that.  But I was determined to have something of the same shape.  And so I made these first thing when I got home.

These are a little hefty, but I don't really mind since I like big earrings.  But I will also be making a smaller, more light-weight version for my shop as well.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Well, it only took me 3 years

Yes!  I have finally broken free from the tyranny of the round stone.  Took me forever, but I've finally done it.

I love the way it turned out!  So much that I had to send my sister a text before I even finished polishing it:

And now I just have to get my first cushion cut ring's in the works.

(Yes, I have done oval stones before, but never as an item for my shop!  I plan on adding this tomorrow.)

Friday, April 6, 2012

House hunting and other horrors

 I have been busy.  Busy at work and busy at life.  We are house hunting.  I (mistakenly, it turns out) thought that house hunting would be fun!  Oh the naïveté!  I was wrong.  It's terrible.  It's terrible terrible terrible.

In order to get oneself to spend an enormous amount of money and go into massive debt (which I abhor!), one has to LOVE the house.  But in order to survive the multiple disappointments that competing for houses puts you through (the wringer, my god!  I just want to sit wide-eyed on my couch with a cup of strong tea and a science fiction book after a day of viewing houses), you have to not give a sh*t about the house.  It's a catch 22.  Love the house in order to get yourself to buy it, but simultaneously don't care about the house at all because your heart will be broken if it doesn't work out.   

(This is me, trying to survive the last little part of the Oregon gray (who am I kidding, it will rain until the end of June) by wearing bright Parisian lipstick.  I bought it on my honeymoon, at one of those ubiquitous pharmacies.  It only helps a bit.  You have to either be oblivious to the weather to make it through the winter/spring here unbruised, or made of sturdier stuff than me.  And I was born and raised here!)


So the house hunt is turning out to be hard.  We found this fabulous house that had 1.5acres, it was a 1910 farmhouse in good shape, close to town.  And we made an offer, and the seller came back to us and said he didn't realize he couldn't sell it for what is was listed for,  he could only sell it for much more.  WTF.  And then, he takes it off the market entirely, with the intent of selling off part of the land (the horror!) and keeping the cute little farmhouse as a rental property.  Why would you list it in the first place?  And the worst part is, we found the house right off the bat, it was perfect and the land it came on was so interesting.  There was a stream!  And that ruined us (me, really) for other houses for at least a month or more.

(Jealous of this giant blue sapphire I made for someone last December.  So bright!)

I really just want to find a house and be done with it.  It doesn't have to be the house of my dreams, it just has to be bright inside, older, with a reasonably sized yard.  Is that too much to ask?  Maybe I'm being unreasonable?