Are you coming?

This is my first time being invited to the annual Historic Norcorss Art Fest and I am excited to be exhibiting. The list of participating artists is impressive so if you have some time this weekend and feel like stepping a bit off the beaten path, come visit us in historic Norcross. To catch a preview check out their website at

Behind the Curtain...

But How....

So often I have people at shows or even people I meet throughout my day who get confused when I say I make jewelry. Their minds immediately go to beads and strings so I often follow up with the description that I hand fabricate most of my work from precious metals.

A moment goes by and then looking even more confused they follow up with a list of questions until I explain that by fabricating I mean I build jewelry like a contractor would build a house but I use sheet and wire to build my little pieces.

Many people have no earthly idea what it means when I fabricate jewelry and I still have not found a better way to describe it. A picture is worth a thousand words so I thought I would share at least one. In this particular photo I am working on a cluster wrap ring.


Silver Lining...

Silver Lining

Amber skies stretch out across
mountains rich like indigo
Blackness bleeds to grey and light breaks
As dawn slowly lifts the shadows

A path once forgotten as I strayed
looking to follow those from before
Kicking up dust with their swollen shoes
Signs linger cross the earth strung cross the shore

Not as easy to look within and see with eyes
blinded by life's rose colored lenses
To see the truth as bare as a rigid desert
Beyond the walls of brick , beyond chain linked fences

I will not view the world in black and white
as only coal dust in mouth and sweetness of new snow
I will see the reds, the golds, and the silver lining
Adjusting the tip of my soul to capture both ebb and flow.

Shine from within and the light never fades...

Paper and Pen....

So many of you already know that most of the words that I choose for the Create Your Own Story line are snippets taken from my own private collection of poetry. I thought it might be fun to share some of the poems in their entirety...


because there is a light
shining deep within me
brighter than the rays of the sun
more permanent than the essence of time

wretched days have come and gone
i wear the scars like tattoos on my soul
yet the flicker of hope greets me
no matter the darkness inhabiting my mind

and yes, sometimes i let go
dwelling in the shadows of that yesterday
always to awaken with the strength of my knowledge
when the light shines within, it never fades

EtsyMetal Project Runway 6.4

Season Six, Episode 4

Etsymetal has created an interesting challenge to follow the season's Project Runway and mimic the challenges through jewelry.

In episode 4 the designers were challenged to design an outfit for their models. Since we do not have models we took three categories and threw them in a hat. Each person involved in the challenge had three chosen for them which they then had to design a piece including the three components.

The three components chosen for me were upcycle/green, plastic, and ring. This was a challenge for me as I typically do not work with alternative materials. I have plenty of pieces on the bench that have not worked out so I decided to start off by choosing a ring that I had messed up and cutting out the section that was unusable. I then rummaged through my scrap box for pieces of wire to use as the wrap. The tricky part for me was the plastic. I went through my jewelry box and found a bracelet that my sister had made for me many years ago. A slight twinge of guilt as I cut it open, but it was for a good cause! I drilled two holes on each side of the back of the ring and sewed sterling wire with plastic beads a long the front into the ring like a button.

I actually think this piece is quite sleek and wearable. My only disappointment would be that I think I could have moved further away from my comfort zone. The next project is newspaper so hopefully this will drive me to try something really new and different.

Please take a minute to check out the Etsymetal Blog for the portfolio of designs completed in this week's challenge.

In The Moment

Something to Learn....

Earlier this year I realized that frantically moving from one thing to the next was beginning to take create a constant sense of disorientation. I decided to work on balance and thought nobody could teach this better than my three labs....

I must admit that the last few months I have gone a bit astray allowing all the many tasks to take over and fill my days. So as we move into fall I am thankful for the cool air that is beginning to greet me in the mornings and time to get back to the basic fruitfulness of life as it can be when it is not spent all day in the studio.

Every morning I take the pups for a walk on the trails in the Chattahoochee National Park but so often as they leap off the trails and chase the ducks fishing in the water I find my mind is off thinking about all of the many things I need to accomplish that day. Suddenly the walk is over and I realize that I had not spent that time as I intended...... just being.

So with all of the natural abundance and my need for constant inspiration I am looking to spend more time seeing what is in front of me with my own eyes and capturing the amazing elements in nature to inspire me as I move forward this year. As an Oregon girl I know that my natural compass points to the nearest tree and with the Theo's help, I should be able to stay on track this time.

1,999 and Counting....

I am anxiously waiting to see my sale counter on my Etsy Shop hit 2,000 sales. This is a big deal to me and a personal milestone.

In honor of this event, the 2,000th sale will receive a free poetry bangle as a gesture of thanks!

In addition, I will be holding a secret sale only available to those who read my blog and know about it starting the hour after the 2,000th sale!

Details will be coming soon!!!!! Give you a hint!!!! Right now, it is a secret!

My First Piece of Metalsmithed Jewelry

This is the first post of mine in a new series I have joined aligned with the Etsymetal blog carnival. For additional posts regarding this topic and EM, please see the links below.

My First Piece of Metalsmithed Jewelry....

Let me first start off by telling you that no, I do not have a photograph of my first piece. I am not a sentimental person when it comes to my work and I long ago scrapped all of my first pieces as looking at them just did not feel good.

I originally signed up for a metalsmithing class at a local art center because I was working full time at Kaiser Permanente as a medical underwriter and going to school full time at night for a degree in Risk Management. I felt overwhelmed with work and realized that if I didn't have something of my own that I enjoyed I was going to burn out. I signed up for a set of ten metalsmithing classes and continued to take classes once a week as I finished the last two years of my degree.

The first project in the class was a basic Egyptian Spiral Bracelet. This is a fairly easy concept but we soldered closed all of the spirals. I quickly realized that I was not going to be one of those innately talented metalsmiths who just automatically picked things up and ran with them. I actually enjoy sharing this portion of the story as many people I talk with are surprised and I think it brings them a little inspiration.

I was a TERRIBLE metalsmith for a long time. Nothing came easily to me. When I picked up a saw, my lines were crooked, when I made spirals, they were uneven, when I soldered, I had lumps. I was probably one of the least talented people in the class and it was embarrassingly hard for me to continue. However, I realized one thing early on. Some people can pick up a guitar, take a few lessons, and begin. Some must learn step by step, note by note, string by string, how to play the guitar. In the end, the result will be the same, two people playing guitar. This is something I hung on to as I learned to metalsmith. There were many people in the class who just seemed to have the natural ability to pick up any tool and use it well. I had to spend grueling hours to hone and practice my skills until I achieved success.

If I were to go back and make an Egyptian Spiral Bracelet today I am sure that I would find success. However, one of the things I have realized about my abilities as a metalsmith and in general is to focus on what you are good at. If you have weaknesses in a particular craft look for ways to move around them or practice them until you achieve perfection. There are still a few areas in metalsmithing that I fall short in (no, I'm not going to tell what.) but..... I have learned other techniques to support the fact that I have weaknesses and I have chosen to move in directions that maximize my strengths and not my weaknesses.

So if you are thinking about learning to metalsmith and you are overwhelmed by how terribly difficult it looks..... stop looking at the mountain at begin focusing on the single next step. One step at a time is all it takes..... and sometimes...... the ability to not give up makes all the difference.

For others blog posts about first metalsmithed pieces, please follow the links below for additional inspiration:

1. Sara Westermark
2. Nina Gibson
3. Danielle Miller-Gilliam
4. Beth Cyr
5. duckduckGoose
6. Caitlyn Davey
7. Laura Crawford
8. Tamra Gentry
9. andes cruz -
10. Cynthia Del Giudice:
11. libby Rosas
12. Nina Dinoff
13. Clare Stoker
14. kerin rose
15.Quercus SIlver

Fall Festival Circuit Begins....

Finally, Fall is here and nobody could be happier than I! This weekend begins my Fall festival circuit and I have been busy getting ready. I always get nervous before the shows trying to figure out how much to stock and of course, what to stock.

I am anxious to roll out the new designs and get feedback. This is my favorite way to sell my work as I actually get to see and talk to the end user. This offers me so much valuable information but also really lets me connect with those who purchase my work.

Also, got a call yesterday from the local Sandy Spring's, Northside Neighbor, which is going to feature some of the local artists at the show. How exciting! I was asked to snap a few photos showing myself hard at work so this is one of five I sent over.

If you are in the Atlanta area come spend the day at Piedmont Park for the Atlanta Art Festival.