Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Holidays!

I've been extremely busy.  Which is good.  But I think it is causing me to go bald.  So I suppose me and the Shop Monkey will be a matched pair.  I recently made this platinum version of the sunken treasure ring (haha, I always think of this as my wedding ring), using an old cut stone that a customer provided.  I really like the way it turned out.  And you have no idea how heavy this thing is.  WANT!

I thought I might share some scenes from this holiday season!  When I was growing up my family didn't celebrate holidays, so this was really my first time decorating etc.  I really enjoyed it, and I think it will just become more fun as things become traditions.  (I actually have a little notebook that I'm writing it all down in,  that way I can remember what to do next year.  Starting from scratch is a bit hard!)

Not specifically a holiday photo, but her face is so awesome that I had to share it.  Even if it is a bit blurry.  Hehe!

I had these little tiles made by a really cool ceramics artist on Etsy.  Her shop is called Art-Craft-Home, and Stephanie, the owner/artist, was so helpful and awesome.  The tiles are so nice and unique.  You can't see it from here, but the chanukiah and dreidel are raised up from the back ground.  I can't wait to display them next year!

Every year (two years running!) I make a big batch of Gl√łg.  Which is basically just a very strong mulled wine.  Here is my recipe.  But don't use all of the port or brandy, and if you use all of the sugar, use two bottles of wine.  If you make it the way it is written (use as much port and brandy as you like, I don't really think you can overdo it, haha), keep it in a jug and cut it with regular red wine.  It's like a mulled wine concentrate this way!   (And I know, I spelled Hanukkah wrong!  In my traditions book.  Haha.  Maybe I had had too much gloooooog?)  

Aquavit night!  Every Thursday night during the winter, we have a fire and Popcorn Dinner®.  Dark beer and a little bit of Aquavit!  And then we watch shows on the computer.  It's funny how having children makes the most prosaic things fun.  I really look forward to aquavit night.  (Poor Dieter.  The pugs are still sort of exiled into the outer darkness....except for all of the dropped baby food they scavenge, beggars.)

LOOT! And my sweet, sweet husband bought be this antique drexel sideboard for our anniversary.

And I made this triangle bunting out of scrap fabric I had.  I really like the way it turned out.  It also doubles as birthday bunting!  The little felt ball bunting was another Etsy purchase.  I wish I had just bought a big bag of the felt balls and made my own instead.  You win some, you lose some.

And fun LED lights!  I love twinkle lights.  I know it is usually associated with Christmas, but how would I know that?  Not ever really having celebrated either Hanukkah or Christmas?  That's what I tell myself anyway.  (Ha!  I also have twinkle lights around my front door. )

And sweet, adorable sweetie babies.  They've started giving kisses.  It's probably the best thing I've ever experienced.

Happy Holidays!  And a Merry New Year!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Congrats S and J!

How much do we all love that nail polish?  I know I do.  And that's a girl after my own heart.  I could totally drink a beer right now, I just spent 30 minutes waiting in line at the post office.  Nothing makes me want to step in front of a train more than people who package their things up at the counter.  OMG. Do that at home!  So inconsiderate.

And, my sweet little devil squids turned one yesterday!

Happy birthday, my little sweeties!

Friday, December 13, 2013

My sister is closer to 40 than to 30. HAHAHA. (wait, I'm only two years behind!)

Sometimes the things I like the most are the pieces that I throw together from scrap metal that I have lying around.  No planning, just working with existing pieces and some strict limitations.  I sometimes feel that constraints and limitations help me get to where I would like to be, rather than leaving me frustrated by too much freedom.

I haven't done a whole lot of fabrication in a while, most of my stuff now is lost wax casting.  But I used to do all fabrication, and I had some 12 gauge 18kt yellow wire gathering dust.  It was in the form of two fat jump rings and a bit that was left straight.  I really like what I came up with, it was super hard to let them go.  I might have to make myself a pair.  They just seemed so wearable.  I would wear them every day!  (I hope they get as much love as I would have given them in their new home.  If you have doubts about that, send them back to me posthaste.  You know who you are.)

I sort of felt my way along as I was making them.  Went oval with the rings, instead of round.  I hammered and flattened the straight pieces.  Then I added a file finish, then florentine, and then a super heavy matte.  I soldered the ear wires directly to the earring, I wanted them to just slip on and stay on without a lot of movement (plus, I didn't have tiny jump rings or the wire to make them!  I love it when design decisions are made easy for me, haha).

And of course, I didn't take a photo before I shipped them out.  I was a little rushed for time.  Which seems to be my new state of being.  But my sister took some lovely photos of them and sent them along.

Isn't she lovely?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Something new

So I have been struggling to find the time to add new things to my shop.  I have a piece that I am working on, it isn't assembled yet and I'm still trying to decide on the stone, but here is a quick shot of it with the setting just sitting on top with a 4mm cz:

The setting is palladium and the bands are 18kt yellow.  I'm thinking of making a matching wedding band in a wide width with the same rumpled wrinkle texture.  Yes, no, maybe so?

And unrelated to jewelry....

This morning while I was sewing napkins and listening to NPR (the double babies were double napping, hallelujah) I heard an interview with the founder of The Life You Can Save.  I give to various charities each month and it is always a struggle for me to find a suitable organization to give to.  Sometimes I'm just so disgusted with humanity in general that I want to give up.  When I feel this way I give to environmental charities.  But most of the time I don't hate everyone, and especially after having my own children it has really made me more empathetic to the suffering of children (and their mothers).  I can't imagine anything more horrible than having children and not being able to care for them because of poverty or some other reason.  I can't imagine not being able to feel joy about one's children because you can't feed them or keep them safe.  Horrible.  Horrible horrible horrible.  The website that I heard about this morning helped me find a charity to give to for October, November, and December.  I chose to combine those funds and give to one charity, the Fistula Foundation.  It is an organization that helps women to get surgeries to repair damage resulting from pregnancy and labor.  It would be such a terrible thing to have a baby (if you're lucky and the baby lives) and then deal with incontinence for the rest of your life.  To me it seems like the most basic of requirements for happiness: the ability to use the toilet when you choose to.  It's not a glamorous cause, there are no fluffy pandas.  But when I think about a new mother trying to take care of her baby and also dealing with her own trouble, perhaps being shunned by other people because of her medical problem, it breaks my heart.  Breaks it right in half.  So I think that next year I will devote half of my charity dollars to this same charity and the other half to Population Services International.  I encourage you all to check out The Life You Can Save website, it's pretty awesome.