12.08.2016









Pictured are two different lengths of some necklaces I've made recently. The one I'm wearing is what I call collar length and the bottom either 'princess' or 'matinee'...actually princess by industry standards, but on the stand appears to be more of a matinee length.

Personally, I like shortest on me best. Layering the 'rope/lariat' length with the collar and lacy chokers is a great look as well. I like keeping things simple. One smallish pendant on a piece of leather or chain. Although, I have seen some really heavy looking layers that look stunning. Its all about proportion, what you've paired it with and what clothes you're wearing.
Style is such a personal thing..really, if you like it and it makes you feel happy when you have it on, then you need to wear it without apology  😀 don't you agree?

              

Close up of the top necklace.




Enjoy your week everyone..it's going to be a great one. 


11.01.2016

I can't believe its already November. The months whip by.. In Canada this is the time of year when its beginning to get seriously cold. Frigid cold. Frost on the windshield and red nose chilly.. and you'd better buckle in because it just gets worse, and will last for the next 6 months. No, I don't really miss that.

But there's something about November. The clean bite in the air and the new starkness of bared branches that lays the country before you in a new way. Everyone begins to sort of hunker in for the winter..theres a cosy intimacy in these colder months. Not to mention all those apples you don't really know what do with. [my mothers Apple pandowdy. yum] and, of course, the sweet anticipation of the approaching Christmas season..that, I do miss here in this Muslim country of Qatar.


Doha, Qatar city center

Bedoins and their camels are a common sight in the desert surrounding Doha, Qatar 


It's still hot here. This morning, it's 5 am and the temperature outside is 80°F with humidity at 77% so, to this Canadian girl, any thought of Christmas in a few short weeks seems almost irrational. 

This will be the first time in the 6 years my husband and I have been married that we haven't travelled and been away for Christmas day. Last year it was France and the year before Italy..and although it was just as romantic and lovely as that seems..we are both craving a 'normal to us' sort of Christmas this year. A real turkey. Our own tree. It may be a challenge to find our comfort Christmas here in the Middle East.. I'll let you know how that goes! 😎


  

Apple Pandowdy









  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • Pinch of salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
  • 3 tablespoons ice water
  • 4 1/2 pounds tart, firm baking apples, such as Granny Smith or Northern Spy
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, (1 lemon)
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon mace
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Directions on Martha Stewart's site



Enjoy your week everyone! 




10.19.2016

My sister Ann



..was born four years before me.
Growing up I remember her as a curly haired girl with freckles [she hated them] and skinny legs made to appear even thinner by a pair of black tights that she wore almost daily. She loved to play 'House' and could develop a story as beautifully as any well paid Hollywood director might. To her disappointment I never lasted very long in those drawn out dramatic tales. [I guess there was only so much direction I would take from someone wearing curtain sheers around her waist.]

The summer following high school graduation, my sister and I shared our First Apartment. The freedom was exhilarating. That very tiny one bedroom apartment was the most beautiful place we'd ever seen. Two sisters living the single life together is probably a recipe for disaster...but in spite of the volatile eruptions that shook our little apartment once in a while, we lived to tell the tales. [My lips are sealed]

We were married in the same year! and our first babies, both girls.. were born within days of each other!



All of our lives we've traded clothes, secrets, meaningful looks, recipes  ~and when we are feeling especially warm and full of good will~ compliments. We've also traded the evil eye and insults. We're sisters, after all.

Now here we are, with grown children and growing grand-children. How'd that happen. The men we grew up with alongside our children are no longer part of our lives. We live in two different countries,  and we sometimes forget to catch each other up on the daily happenings in our worlds.

Yet there is an unbreakable, unbeatable bond with sisters and their joined memories. Conjoined memories..

and no amount of time or space between us will change that.



My sister with her best ever fluffy buns ~Vancouver Island Farmers Market 2014



 first published 10.19.2010
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1.28.2016

Untitled #99



I had fun putting this collection together :-) This one is featuring 3 of my bracelets. Polyvore can be very relaxing as well as a great marketing tool. 

1.15.2016

'Just REd' ~flame-worked bracelet




Admittedly I've been lacking in creative mojo lately. I seem to have lost my step for a bit. I'm sure my muse is close by..she always is. Meanwhile..a simple strand of flame worked glass beads in luscious lick-able [you know you want to] RED. Like tiny syrup-y maraschino cherries. The sterling silver clasp is crafted in Israel..and is lovely lovely. I will be getting more of these. They're magnetic..simple fold over so you don't need to be a contortionist or look for someone to help you with it on. It's just very neat and easy, not to mention pretty.  Love it.

This style looks great layered..here with silver bangles or black leather..a watch maybe. It looks great alone as well, personally I prefer layered and hardly ever wear just one bracelet.

I kind of like these small unassuming strands..may be some more in the works. You can find this one here

Untitled #60


Paige Denim blue jeans
530 QAR - mytheresa.com


MICHAEL Michael Kors man bag
1495 QAR - net-a-porter.com


NOVICA amethyst pendant
195 QAR - novica.com


Dsquared2 rhinestone earrings
1030 QAR - dsquared2.com


Chan Luu fringed shawl
290 QAR - net-a-porter.com


Cole Haan Nene OT Shootie
395 QAR - 6pm.com

12.09.2015

for Goddesses only


This is apparently my favorite palette right now..gray blue/green. It must be since they keep showing up in my work. Sea inspired? Winter? Maybe. It's a lovely neutral and goes with a surprising number of colors.. Reds, oranges as well as pinks..and of course earthy greens and taupes.
The clasp was fabricated from a sheet of sterling silver to give recognition to the Goddesses of this world. I created it using a small peridot as the head [arms clasped overhead] as well as one of my own ground flame worked cabochons at the belly. Airy curves and golden flower accents. 
Each glass bead has been created in the flame of my torch..organic raised petals and leaves..some glitzed up beads using a bit of dichroic glass. One slate-y piece of Canadian Labradorite. Accompanied with a chunky length of sterling links just for some layered jangle. 

It is absolutely unique, and will be worn by women looking for substantial, artist styled, statement jewelry. Named 'Dryad'


 

3.23.2015

How to Price your work..

 

Simple confidence can change perception of both audience and artist. ~Jill Badonsky



This post is aimed at fellow jewelry makers but would be of interest to all makers. I begin with the Badonsky quote to point out [that after doing exhaustive! homework..] pricing comes down to a level of confidence. 

Do you believe in yourself?

I think it may be the very nature of artisans everywhere to be a psychotic mix of humility and arrogance. I’m joking~sort of..but most definitely all of us find pricing our work challenging. We either give our work away or pull back and price too high.

This guide is outlined on the jewelrymaking.com site..but there are many out there if you search. 
Carefully tally up the cost of your material and supplies, a percentage of overhead + time. [Set yourself an hourly wage that sounds fair to you..your locations minimum wage will give you some insight. I’m not saying use this figure, unless that makes you comfortable. You probably began this for many reasons..one of them may have been to supplement or become your income. Keep in mind any classes and workshops taken to arrive at your level of expertise! and then there is the value of your own unique vision.] Back to the formula..multiply that figure x 2 and you’ve arrived at a wholesale number. That’s the amount that you can live with should you sell to a gallery or wholesale your work to shops. [A gallery consignment typically takes anywhere from 40 to 50%] For keystone or retail amount it is this number multiplied by 2.5 -3

If you’re just starting out and your skill level is beginner, you need to adjust your prices accordingly...BUT, don’t undervalue what you do because you are a beginner. 
As you develop not only does the quality of your work improve but your style begins to settle in and become uniquely your own..all this will serve to raise the value of your art, but you will have to start yourself off with room to go up. 
Like Goldilocks, we’re looking for ‘Just right’..not too high [we’ll price ourselves right out of the market] and not too low [the work will be viewed as ‘cheap’] It’s a dance that you alone will need to study out.
page2image15480

“An artist is not paid for his labor butforhisvision.” ~JamesWhistler



My little workroom several years ago..my paintings and drawings and
ripped out photos surround my work area.


Personally, I’ve always thought if you’re going to err then it’s better to price your art too high than too low. I would rather have my work stay with me waiting for the right person to fall in love, than to ‘sell out’ and put a price on it that I’m not happy with just to have a sale. 

Thats not to say I’ve not given many pieces away..charities and friends and family have all been gifted my work now and then. 

Karma feels good and my Muses are happy when I am.





In the end, this is your journey and you alone are the Captain of your ship..that’s the joy all makers have. Keep working at this, you will find the spot you’re comfortable with in this moment of time. 



2.01.2015

and we have a winner!!

Earring give away winner is Val McLaren..yay!! Thank you for playing along everyone and watch for more of these in the coming months.

1.29.2015

A glimpse of Doha, Qatar


Just a few of our favorite images from our time here in Qatar..

Our neighborhood in Doha

"Closed'

Desert outside of the city of Doha, Qatar

Sunrise in the Desert

Fishing Dhow


One of the many Perfumeries in Doha..beautiful bottles and oils

Waiting for the Souq to open

City center Doha, Qatar

City center Doha, Qatar

Ally at the Souq

Merchant at the Souq

the Pearl, Doha

Turkish lamp lighting

1.26.2015

You can't get blood from a stone..

..but apparently you can get paper. It's called TerraSkin and it handles a little like Yupo paper but with more capacity for absorption. Of course, if there's paper out there that was once stone I need it. I ordered some from Amazon [what can't you find on Amazon, by the way] Im assuming there isn't any here in Qatar, but that's a lame assumption and founded on laziness. Its just so much easier to hit that one-click shopping link over there on Amazon.

I had so much fun playing on Yupo paper today. For those who might be wondering, Yupo is not  paper at all, but a plastic material. Many watercolorists find it fun to experiment on a medium that repels the water rather than absorbing it as traditional watercolor paper that is 100% rag will. 
With thick applications of watercolor paint .. only very small amounts of water and using only the primaries..cobalt blue, vermillion and ~I think it was hansa yellow..a cool yellow, I did a super quick, instinctive..'you're a flower' sort of painting. Lots of fun! and definitely something to keep trying to improve upon. This is 9x12" but what fun this would be a large sheet.



Back to glass tomorrow! since I promised someone I would work in blues this week.

While I really really really!..really. do not enjoy custom work, and [shudder]don't do it..I've found I can handle it in the smallest of requests like that..Give me a color and let me do with it what I will.  That's fun. :-) :-)


We'll see what comes of it..enjoy your day today everyone!


1.24.2015

Its a Give away!!




Give away!! 

Handcrafted earrings, designed with my torched glass beads in a flowing leaf style in pinkish purples. Set on sterling silver hooks.


Your name will go into a draw and a winner will be announced here on Feb 1st..just in time for you to gift someone on Valentines day ~♡~ [maybe yourself?]



Thank you those who send their feedback and encouragement and show their love of the arts..it never fails to boost my spirits! 




                                                  Enjoy your week everyone!!