Friday, July 30, 2010

kyanite: a love story

i remember when i first saw the gorgeous blue stone. i was 18 and working at the bead store in durango, co. ("working" being a loose term because i not only adored my job, but i rarely got paid. in fact, come payday i usually owed them money to cover all the beads i had hoarded during the weeks. luckily, i had another real job.) the owners of the store had just come back from their annual trip to tucson for the gem and mineral show and all of the employees were hovering around, drooling, waiting to see what treasure would be revealed next. i remember blurting out something like "wait a minute, what is that BLUE one?" upon seeing the most incredible beads i had ever seen. they were a serious, deep, blue that truly cannot be described. you could say ultramarine blue. you could say a sort of cornflower blue. you could try to describe it as a kind of sparkly denim blue. but none of those words would come close to describing the actual, incredible silver-blue that is kyanite.

the beads were perfect in every way. (the photo above doesn't even compare.) they were about 12 mm long. they were barrel-shaped and faceted. they were the most perfect color imaginable. they were WAAAAAYYY out of my meager price range. but i simply had to have them. the lovely owners allowed me to put them in "the box", where items were held until poor employees could afford them. i worked extra shifts. i stayed late. i came in early. i didn't take home any other beads. but, after about two weeks the owners questioned whether or not i could make it a reality.

i was devastated. i didn't know what to do; i only knew that i had to have those dang beads! and, just in the knick of time, my fellow hippy employee and beading mentor, janet, saved the day. i still do not know if she really wanted the kyanite or was only trying to help me out, but she offered to split the strand with me. she would pay half and get half of the beads. and so it began. i made a brilliant bracelet with those beads, with some thai silver accent beads, and i never took it off until the day i lost it. and, just like the gorgeous faceted aquamarine barrel beads that accompany the kyanite discs in my "niagara in a barrel" earrings pictured below, i have never again seen a strand of beads quite like them.

so, long story short (too late!) when i started bezel-setting stones, i immediately started looking for kyanite cabochons, only to discover that, like so may things that matter, good ones were very hard to find. i simply couldn't find any decent sized, good kyanite cabochons. sometimes they were much too small. sometimes they were too flashy or they had clearly been treated or stabilized. i have been on a mission for a while now to find kyanite cabs that were worthy of the feelings i have harbored for the stone for so many years. here are a couple of pieces that i have made with specimens i have found of the beloved stone in the past.

and, you guessed it... finally, i have found some incredible, natural, gorgeous silvery blue kyanite cabochons! please do not ask me to reveal my secret source because i won't. but i am delighted beyond compare. here are my first two kyanite projects with these incredible new stones:

kyanite is not only an intensely beautiful stone, but a metaphysically powerful one as well. because one of its many properties is to bring a state of tranquility, i put this lovely quote from thomas kempis on the back of these pieces. it also stimulates communication, dispels anger and frustration, facilitates clarity, and much more. it is truly an incredible stone.

of course, like all great stones, the pictures do not do it any kind of justice. you will just have to take my word for it...

Monday, July 26, 2010

this week...

so glenn is gone this whole week. he is at a conference in breckenridge and we miss him terribly. so the girls and i are doing what we can to keep ourselves occupied and entertained.

yesterday we went to our spot at the river

someone built a pool. we'll go back later this week with our suits!

today they went to a sitter's house and i had a bit of time to work. i finished some projects.

i made another flapper bracelet,

with a beautiful bluish druzy, prehnite with epidote, and moonstone.

courage, strength, and beauty

and this custom piece for laurie

and another custom piece, a family necklace, for a local buyer

tonight we went out to eat. tomorrow hazel and i have a date; i am really looking forward to it. we will do all of our favorite things this week and try not to miss him too badly.

1000th sale!!!

well, today's the big day! i had my 1000th sale this morning. (thank you so very much, dearest kim!) it has caused me to reflect, once again, on just how very lucky i am to be doing what i am doing. words cannot express it. thank you thank you thank 20 gazillion times to all of you who help me to live my passion and be home with my children. i truly could never repay you, but i love that there is a piece of my work in your life, just as you help to make my life so wonderful!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

my super-inspired week in the new shop!

i have been so inspired by my brand new shop and have been really enjoying my time out there this week. here is what i made for you:

these first two pieces are a part of my "collector's edition". it is not called that because i have become terribly arrogant in my absence and have decided that folks are lining up to collect my work, it is called that because it is a tribute to all of you collectors out there. the ones who go to the beach with a pail and become elated at all of the treasures, the ones like me.

"by the seashore"
with moonstone, freshwater pearl (from that pearl farm i told you about), chalcedony and labrodorite

"collect moments one by one" is from a feist song (that conor oberst covered) the rest of the verse is "i guess that's how the future's done..."

the chain is entirely handmade by trevor and myself!

i am head-over-heels in love with this one. (i am wearing it right now.)

"one by one"
with chalcedony, freshwater pearl (yes, from the farm), and moonstone

chalcedony, moonstone, amazonite, and prehnite grace the chain with their presence.

the "prepared to see" ring
pictorial prehnite

isn't it fabulous? according to terry at lostsierra, it is extremely rare.

the "at the center" ring
with a fantastic high dome cut of andean opal
(i am also wearing this right now...)

a "labradorite bloom" necklace

the "before the storm" ring
with royal purple aztec agate

this stone is simply fascinating, and the colors!

the "tell him your plans" ring
(ya know, "if you want to make god laugh...)
with crazy lace agate

i will be listing these pieces in the shop tomorrow sometime! (unless i decide to keep two certain pieces. if you feel you cannot live without one of them, please let me know; maybe it will ease the pain of parting...)

and... i am happy to announce that i will be taking custom orders once again! however, because i absolutely love making custom pieces for my dear customers, but want to make sure that i still have time to create all of the pieces that are tumbling around my head, i will have a new system, borrowed from a clever fellow etsy jewelry artist. on the first of each month (but a bit early this time), i will list five "tailor-made jewelry reservations" in my shop, with the above listing image. the cost will be $50. that will be a down-payment for your piece. we will discuss via convo (or skype! , if you skype, won't that be fun?) what type of piece you want, your stone of choice, etc. and i will tell you a final price. the turnaround time for custom pieces will be 4-6 weeks. once the piece is completed, i will list it, reserved for you, and the price will reflect the balance owed. what do you think? please give me your feedback as, obviously, it's new.

and lastly, check out the twinkies!
they might as well be the same cat.