Thursday, July 28, 2011


i know you are probably starting to think that i will never post photos of new jewelry that i have made ever again. you think i am too busy camping and going to see music to make jewelry. that's not true! in fact, i will be out in the shop all day tomorrow and also sunday. although, i may be spending that time fiddling around with all my new casting equipment! yippee! patty and i drove all the way to albuquerque and back yesterday to buy it. i am so excited. i have almost everything i need to start casting.

patty is the greatest.

here she is with bill, the man i bought everything from. he was so nice and told me to call him or skype him anytime i have questions about any of this stuff. he is also a lapidary artist and had samples of turquoise from all of the american mines. patty was in heaven. she bought some cabs from him as well. i think i will be making a ring with one of them tomorrow.

so, from bill i purchased practically everything i need to start doing all of my own casting, which is something i have wanted to do ever since i took my silversmithing course in high school (during which i cast a solid sterling silver dancing bear that was about 2" high. i carried it around in my pocket forever.) i got TONS of wax, i got casting flasks, flask bases, a vacuum pump and a bell jar, an investment table, a wax injector, a digital wax pen with various tips, wax carving hand tools, a casting torch as well as a small smith torch, draw plates and a bunch of other stuff, some of which i cannot identify at this point. i have so much to learn. the only two things i still need are a small air compressor and a small burnout kiln (which patty thinks she has already found on craigslist). and, i will most likely need to figure out a way to enlarge my shop, as there is no room for all of this wonderful stuff in there.

however, the very coolest thing that i got is this. a casting machine made in 1916! it is so freakin' cool.
i know it will be a process, but i am so excited to get started with it. i can't wait to learn this new technique. the possibilities are endless...

and, since we were in albuquerque already, we also decided to take a little field trip to rio grande, where i order much of my silver and supplies from. it was fun. they even have a closeout section, where you can buy lots of tools and equipment ridiculously cheap. it was fun to place my order there and have them hand it to me rather than order by phone and pay for shipping.

Monday, July 25, 2011

telluride and deer tick

as a sort of last hurrah for the summer (glenn goes back to work on monday), we took the camper up to telluride and camped for five days. we got a spot in the town park campground, right in town, so we could walk everywhere. we had so much fun! and i did the farmer's market on friday which was lovely as always.

of course we rode the gondola, at sunset no less.

and of course daisy came along. we brought just the top half of her cage and moved her around the campsite the whole time, so she continually had fresh dandelions and grass and clover to graze. she was in heaven.

even glenn is entirely smitten with her. he says she is the coolest pet we've ever had.

we colored and played games in the camper.
(see the new curtains? joel dewberry)

my dear friend erik was camped in town park as well. friday night we even had a little impromptu party at our site. lots of friends, old and new were there. we had beer, we played music and there was even a bit of vending because some folks from the campground wanted to check out my jewelry. unfortunately i didn't get any photos of what came to be called "lil' loafer fest 2011" because i was too busy hocking my wares, like a peddler with her trench coat open.

lily was quite the hit in the campground. everyone wanted to check her out.
(note the nearly finished buffing job, the new jack, and the new paint on the wheels and the tongue, not to mention the freshly applied logo.)

my sweeties

and then there was deer tick. hazel made me a tattoo.

it was fabulous. john mccauley is an absolute badass. there were a lot of folks from dolores there and it was so much fun.

here's a video i took. i am starting to like this whole youtube thing.

and, VERY exciting news. glenn and i closed yesterday on a renovation loan for our house. we have lived here for almost ten years and we have outgrown it. (we live in a sweet little two bedroom, one bath home built in 1914.) we will be adding on a master bed/bathroom with a spiral staircase that leads to an office just for me. plus, all new siding on the outside, all new windows in the whole house, and possibly a new front porch. it will be amazing! we are SO excited!

and, in other exciting news, the oh-so-amazingly-fabulous patty has done it again. she found some guy in albuquerque who is selling his antique casting equipment and we are heading down there tomorrow to pick it up! i can't wait to try it out!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

blind pilot part 2

so glenn and i had a fabulous date this week. the ever-fabulous patty had the girls over for a sleepover and glenn and i headed to telluride for an overnight.

monday night we went and saw blind pilot (again). this show was spectacular! the sheridan opera house is such an amazing little venue. it is very old and tiny and wonderful. it is a perfect place to see blind pilot; we saw them year two years ago as well.

we car camped that night and woke up here.


we went for a great hike.

but we didn't quite get an early enough start (i sort of like to lounge in the morning when i am camping, drink my coffee, hang out, ya know? glenn is the go-getter and kept encouraging me to get a move on, but oh, well) and the afternoon showers go the best of us.

the wildflowers were fabulous,
a cacophony of color.

even the pinecones were purple.

the reddish peak in the front here, cross mountain, is the one we were supposed to summit.

i am going to leave you with my very first youtube video ever, of blind pilot doing an acoustic version of three rounds and a sound. it was pure magic. and, just as i asked him to when i spoke to him in santa fe, israel dedicated it to my friends doug and casie who were at the show.

we are now heading back up to telluride again. (we've been there a lot this summer.) i am doing the farmer's market on friday and we are staying through the weekend because the deer tick show is monday night! i cannot wait. they will also be playing at the opera house. and, we are bringing lily, who is looking so great. you will hardly recognize her when next you see her.

Monday, July 18, 2011

santa fe

oh, what a wonderful time i had.

this was my little camp. after deciding not to bring lily, (yes, she is definitely called lily) i packed the tent. however, when i arrived and went to set it up, i realized i had neglected to bring the poles. however, i must have anticipated that i might do something like that because i put the futon mattress in the back of the car, which makes a terrifically comfy bed. i spent a lot of time here, lounging around reading this book. (have you read it? amazing!) i also chose a campground with a pool, which was totally luxurious.

i went for several lovely bike rides. one on thursday night, all through the streets of santa fe, and a couple of great trail rides as well.

i drank some very delicious beer.
(have i mentioned that i am an IPA kind of girl?)

and, of course, saw some really great music. mountain man opened for blind pilot. you may remember them from when they opened for the decemberists in february. they truly are amazing, just beautiful vocals.

there was a really intense fire happening.

israel was checking it out while he tuned his guitar.

i LOVE blind pilot and will be seeing them again tonight, in telluride, with glenn.

remember last time i saw them in telluride? they are such sweet people and i had the opportunity to talk with them again. israel said he keeps the pick i made for him in his guitar case.

also, because he knows how much i miss everybody, glenn always send me lots of pictures of the girls to my phone while i am away. i thought i would share them with you:

i was recently talking with an acquaintance about my solo trips. she was saying how there must be something wrong with her because she could never take a trip by herself. she said that she had grown up very close with her family and was always with somebody. she got married very young and was pretty much never alone. i explained to her that i wasn't ever particularly close with my family, that i often felt like an outsider and i have always appreciated being by myself. i told her there was nothing wrong or right with either of us. just different strokes for different folks. i know i keep saying it, but words cannot express how much these trips mean to me, what they do for me. it is truly remarkable.

also, hazel lost her first tooth!

and daisy has completely settled into our little family. although we are still working on the litter box training, she is often allowed to hop around the house to her little heart's delight. recently, once she has finished exploring, she hops right up onto the couch with us and just stretches out and relaxes. all of hazel's little bunny books say that a rabbit who is laying like this is completely content and comfortable. that makes me so happy! she is just the sweetest little thing.

Monday, July 11, 2011

echo basin

we camped here this weekend. at the top of echo basin road, at the base of hesperus mountain. so beautiful! by all reasoning, the camper should not have made it up that high. but we were meeting our dear friends dan, rachel, col and rose up there so we persevered and now we know that louellen (lily?) is a total badass.

our dutch oven meal for this trip was an amazing italian dish with sausage, noodles, zucchini, onion, lots of cheese, sauce and wild mountain chives. with a side of garlic bread thank you very much.

we love the camper! when the girls climbed down from their nest, they snuggled me for a bit.

this was the view out the window.

hazel took this picture.

june took this one.

this australian shepherd (which hazel named "hearts") was our companion all weekend. she had one solitary sheep that she was responsible for. we thought she had been abandoned and she seemed starving, so we spoiled her a bit, only to discover that she was playing us all along.

daisy came along.

and molly! we haven't had room for her to come with us lately, but now with the camper, she gets to come. she can't go too far anymore, but she loves to be up there with us.

oh how i love where i live!

i've been working hard on the camper. she is starting to look so great. here i am buffing off the old paint and giving the aluminum a nice brushed finish, just like my silver. i am using an attachment for my drill that is just like what i use to buff my silver.

and here i am riveting a "patch" on, to cover up a particularly ugly spot.

i am getting very excited for my little trip this week. i leave for santa fe on thursday. i was planning to bring lily (okay, yes, i think it's lily.) and was really looking forward to it. however, i have spent so much money buying her and getting her road ready that now i can barely afford to go at all! i realized today that my little car uses about TWICE as much gas when it is pulling the camper than it does when it is not. pretty crazy. so, i think that i am just going to take my car and a tent. oh, well. next time. it will still be fabulous and i can't wait. i am bringing my mountain bike and also plan to do some hiking, as well as check out the galleries, which i really haven't been able to do during my last two visits.

i have to say i have been kind of enjoying taking a break from etsy and even from my studio. it has been so wonderful to be able to camp so often, and to work in the garden (we had our first salad tonight made strictly from the garden) and to swim in the river and to ride our bikes. summer has just been flying by so fast and i am determined to spend what's left of it outside and with my kids. so i apologize for the lack of new stuff, but it will come, i promise.