Friday, June 18, 2010

Where Bloggers Create II ... Finally here!!

I have been waiting for this day with pure excitement! Thank you my dear friend Karen for CREATING...period! Thanks also for this fabulous party that spans the globe and brings all of us creative junkies into a tighter circle. Who knows? Maybe there's 6 Degrees of Separation in this group. I look forward to our conversations over the next few days and months and to many friendships created at this annual party. No need to dress up to visit in fact, pj's and slippers is the dress code.

We will definitely not all fit in my studio! This is my mother's breakfast nook in Scottsdale, Arizona and we haven't even eaten at this table in 7 months. That is when my dog and I moved into my dear mother's home and took over her house with my jewelry, etc. A few months later, I took over her formal dining table with my sewing project and that leaves us eating on the couch or clearing space for 2 at the table. (I love you Mom). Why is a happily married woman living with her mother? Side story: After our quick stint living and working in Oregon last year my husband was sent to the Middle East to work where he has been for the last 10 months.Our friend has been staying at our house doing renovations so when we moved back to Arizona this was the best possible solution. I cannot wait to move back into our home at the end of the month and to spread out in my studio!! Sorry to have you wait, come on in!

First, I must thank my friend and mentor Marilyn from Ariels Glamourie for teaching me a lot of what I know about jewelry making. It began one night when a few friends got together to celebrate a birthday and there sat Marilyn with this stunningly gorgeous necklace decorating her neck and that is when I lit up like a firefly and I have been buzzing about ever since! I made a deal with her that I would train her and she would teach me (visit my other blog to see what my left brain does during the

I have a lot of passions but this one is different. Put some semi precious stones (I will take precious ones too!) and wire in my hands and even I am amazed. If you want to see giddy then watch me redesign a vintage piece or something someone holds precious but isn't wearing because it isn't their style...yet.

My pendants are my project of choice when I am going on a trip-I will usually string up a few ideas then take these on plane trips. People are so gracious and complimentary. When I am done with a piece I show it to my mom and within 30 seconds she comes up with an appropriate name-like Esmeralda- the pendant above. (also my nickname as a child)

Thank you so much for visiting my little creative corner. Maybe at next years party I will be able to show off a brand new studio!!! I will be coming to your studio next!


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Auntie Janice

One of the many reasons why I love designing jewelry is because I can mix old with new and make a truly unique and meaningful piece that will actually be worn instead of hidden away in a drawer. See last week's post on the Memory Chain I made for myself with my grandfather's bracelet. The concept for the Auntie Janice necklace above was born the weekend I went to California to say goodbye to my Gramps before he passed. My aunt Janice showed me the antique etched pin/pendant passed down from her grandmother as well as a graduated pearl necklace that my Gramps had given my Nana and had gifted to my aunt after Nana passed. Both were not being worn and she asked if I could do something with them. Then she says she wants to give me 1/2 the pearl strand so we both have tokens of Nana. Seriously, it has been an emotional few weeks! So, I took the very dainty clasp from the pearl necklace and wired it to her pin and wired it around the aquamarine, pearl, and crystal necklace I made. We both have a thing for aquamarine. I sent it off with a note telling her never to wait for a special occasion to wear it because life passes quickly and we should wear the good stuff anytime!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Gramps and the Memory Chain

I just finished this new piece and I knew before I was done that it was going to be my new favorite. My 'Gramps', Clinton T. Chase, died a few weeks ago at the most incredible age of  98 1/2!! As I said in his eulogy, this is a new era for us (the grandchildren) as he was the last remaining grandparent. We are in our 4th and 5th decade of life many with their own children but there is something truly remarkable, different, and so special about grandparents. This man was an anomaly and lead quite a memorable life. In 1931 he sat in on a seminar by Albert Einstein. He was an aerospace engineer and worked on Amelia Earhart's plane, yes, that one. But he was always quick to add that he only worked on the wingtips! He joined the Merchant Marines and sailed all over the South Pacific. He was happiest at sea although he wasn't able to go on a luxury cruise until he was 93 due to the care taking of "his bride" for several years until she passed. We went on an Alaskan cruise to celebrate his 95th birthday (a few years early), then he went on two cruises by himself each year thereafter. Two years ago we did a family cruise to Mexico that makes me smile and cry. The last cruise he wanted to take was to Europe to see all of the brilliant cathedrals and to find out how they were made. It would have been spectacular indeed and I would have loved the look on his face as he studied and photographed each cathedral. Some day we will make his wish a reality.
In the meantime, I will wear this necklace which I have named the Memory Chain. This was his copper bracelet that I added ribbon and cord to as well as a decorative copper toggle. The stones are ivory magnesite with veins of brown. I added the copper lobster clasps so that I could attach them either to the extender chain and have them hang down my back or attach to the toggle in the front for added charm. I have been putting this on first then finding an outfit to go with it. For me, this is how I wear my heart on my sleeve (or neck) and how I will be working on my grief-by wearing my Memory Chain in honor of Gramps. xoxo