February is one of my favorite months because, Valentines Day...need I say more? And when I think of Valentines Day, I think of hearts, which are my specialty.
The other day I was browsing through my drawers of cabochons and beads. I organize them by type of stone--turquoise in one drawer, amber in another, pearls in yet another. And I noticed that even though I had the same stone in each drawer, each stone was uniquely different, yet distinctly part of the same family.
Then I was visiting at Kress Emporium in Asheville, where I have a booth, I noticed I had several Red Creek Jasper pieces and each stone is one-of-a-kind.
I know, I know. Back in June, I committed to creating out of my storehouse of cabochons and beads, and resist the gem shows (see the results of my labors here and here). I'm here to tell you I have fallen off the wagon! A gem show was just 10 minutes from my house, and I swear to you my car drove me there without me even realizing it (that's my story and I'm sticking to it).
Next thing I knew, I had a bag full of beads, cabs, and findings. And as I was looking at the spoils, I noticed that there seemed to be a theme of what makes my heart go pitter-pat: Busy-ness.
...about custom jewelry? It's one of my favorite things to do. Ever.
There is nothing quite as thrilling as having someone find their perfect gemstone (in my studio or out on their own) and working with them to create a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry that fits them to perfection. The process of designing a piece with another person is the ultimate collaboration of minds, and it never ceases to amaze me how it all comes together in just the right way every time.
(... IS NOTHING MORE THAN A SUMMER'S WAVE GOODBYE
My assistant, Kristen, told me in August that autumn had begun. Her neighbor's weeping willow tree had already turned yellow and dropped all of its leaves. I had trouble with the idea that the weeping willow knew (well before the weather turned chilly) that it was time to buckle in for winter. But here we are.
This past May, I made my annual pilgrimage to the William Holland School of Lapidary Arts in the mountains of Georgia. I usually go once a year to learn a new skill, but I realized this year that I didn't go in 2017, so that makes it not as annual as I may have wished.
The last time I went, I learned chain maille. This time I took it up a notch and learned to weave with wire.
In May, I shared my secret, that I have a collection to end all collections of unfinished stones just waiting to be called into service as a piece of beautiful jewelry. And I committed to you that I would make something beautiful out of at least a few of the many.
Last month, I shared the first bunch with you, and I've kept my promise and have finished the last of them.
Remember these? Last month I vowed/committed to you that I would stop my gem-shopping habit and work with some of the stones that I had.
Since I've been back from Australia, I've been just doing my best to replace all the custom jewelry pieces that sold while I was gone. The orders were coming in so fast and furious (thank goodness for my assistant who was filling all the orders in my absence) that I was thinking I should go away more often.
I’ve had a bucket list for ages. I think I started it before people were even calling it a bucket list. It includes things like learning new dances and drive cross-country. And in March, I got to cross one of the biggies off the list: 21 days in Australia and New Zealand.
How was it, you ask? How much time do you have? In short, the trip was AMAZING, AWESOME, FUN, EDUCATIONAL, RELAXING, EXCITING! Oh, and I found the most amazing opal…and it’s all mine!