Monthly Archives: January 2013

Catching up – 30 Days of Art

WOW! I am so far behind. I was doing really well too. Then of course, it is that time of year and the sickies hit our house. Luckily, it was a short lived one, but it got us all the same. It is amazing to me how just one or two days can throw everything off for weeks. So let’s get caught up shall we?

Day 6:

Day6_Sterlingearrings

Day 7: A pendant made for my daughter Kate.

Day_7_Katependant

Day 8: Sterling textured earrings

Day8___SilverDiscEarrings

Day 9: Copper and Sterling pendant

Day_9_SwirlPendant_2
Day_9_SwirlPendant_back
Day 10: Textured Copper Cuff
Day_10_HammeredCuff

Day 11: Ever have an idea in your head that looks really neat? Then you
make it and it isn’t so neat? Yeah? Well, that is this piece. And then
the picture magnifies all of its super UN-GLORIOUSNESS and makes it even worse. LOL.

Day11

Day 12: Beautiful Happiness, at least those are what they said on the stamps.

Day_12

Day 13: Sterling and Copper

day_13

Day 14: More copper… imagine that.

Day_14

Day 15: Textured Copper and Forged Sterling Silver

Day_15

Day 16: Rainy days. Sterling, copper, acrylic and glass (Front and back)

Day_16cloudyFrontDay_16cloudyBack

Day 17: Copper and Carnelian

Day_17

Day 18: Copper and carnelian

Day_18

Day 19: Shooting Stars

Day_19

Day 20: Ring – Copper and Sterling

Day_20_RingDay_20_RingSide

Okay, so I am still about 4 days behind, but at least I am finally much closer than I was.

See you soon!

Day 5 – 30 Day Art Challenge

I didn’t really make much today. I actually made the pieces last night and then finished them up today.

I wanted to do some fold forming, so I made these fold formed earrings. They are pretty big though, about 2 1/2″ long and 1 1/2″ at the widest part. I used some red alcohol inks on them, but I am not caring for it at all. So I will probably remove the red and then do a heat patina or oxidize them with another method. They are 22 gauge, so they aren’t too heavy, but there is some weight to them.


I also oxidized the cuff I made last night. I still think I would have liked it better if I had oxidized the bracelet before doing the interior lacing. But I must say that I like the warmth of this now much better than before.

Before:

harlequinCuff


After:

harlequinCuffOxidized

Year of Jewelry and 30 days of Art

I have felt like I have really been out of sorts for a long time when it comes to making jewelry. For 2 1/2 years it has been even worse. It started when I found out I was pregnant with Kiari. I thought for sure I would just change the medium I was working with to  make it safe during the pregnancy. However, I was so sick and then on bedrest at 18 weeks and then she was born at 29 weeks, and then the 2 1/2 months in the NICU, and then having a preemie home (so we couldn’t go anywhere and nobody could come over), and then the sleepless nights, and then the move, and then the studio that doesn’t work. Whew, that literally sums up the past 2 1/2 years.

In 2007, I was VERY new to making jewelry. I had had a couple of simple workshops that taught me how to properly use a small butane torch and a wire wrapping workshop. All the rest was learned by trial and error and asking questions online. I learned about a challenge called the Year of Jewelry. Unfortunately, I learned about it after the signups were over. So I started this blog so that I could document my own progress as I continued to learn. It is so fun to go back to my first posts and see what I was working on. Then again…. some of them I cringe at seeing. LOL. I really have come a long way since that time.
This year I am doing the Year of Jewelry Challenge once again. I tried to do it last year and the year before, but it was just too much with the baby and the move and such. But this year I am hoping to be better and use it once again to springboard my creativity and skills.  There is also another challenge that I was invited to participate in called the 30 Day Art Challenge. It started January 2nd and ends January 31st.
I am off to a great start and it has been so nice to be in the studio and working once again. Things I don’t miss…. ragged fingernails, fingers that feel like sandpaper or velcro and dirty fingers. LOL.
This first bracelet I actually made a little while ago. It was made for another challenge on another forum, but I never got it photographed. So it isn’t technically a part of either challenge, but thought I would post it anyway.
flowerCuff

The flowers are made from one of the pancake dies I have from Potter USA. They are riveted together with a leather rivet, and then riveted onto the bracelet with scrapbooking eyelets.

flowerCuff2

This next piece is my first entry into the Year of Jewelry Challenge and Day One of the 30 days of art challenge.

piercedformedcuff1

This cuff is 20 gauge sheet and has been formed with the anti-clastic bracelet formers for my hydraulic press. The entire face has been slightly textured with a planishing hammer. Of course it has also been pierced. And what a chore that was. I think I went through no less than 8 blades on this one. Mostly because the bracelet was long and it was awkward working with that and the deep throat saw frame, that and I am pretty rusty with my saw.

piercedformedcuff

 

For my Day Two of the 30 days of Art Challenge I did a little sketch with watercolor and regular pencil.

day_1

I didn’t think about this piece being a zentangle, but I guess that is kind of what it turned out to be. But it was fun, especially where this isn’t a medium I really ever use. I am really hoping to get some other art skills developed so that I can decorate the walls of our new home when we move.

For Day 3 of the 30 Days of Art I did another cuff.

Day_3_Criss_CrossCuff

Made with 20 gauge sheet and 18 gauge wire. The cuff is about 2″ wide and has been formed with the anti-clastic bracelet formers with the hydraulic press. A slight hammering texture adorns the edges.

And for Day 4 (today) yet another cuff.

harlequinCuff

Once again, 20 gauge sheet, 22 gauge wire is used for the outer stitching and 24 gauge is used for the middle stitching. Once again, formed with the anti-clastic formers, but this one I altered further by taking it to a stake to bring out the edges just a little bit more.

It no longer looks like this though. One of the things I wish I had done was to oxidize the bracelet before doing the stitching. So I oxidized it afterward and polished up the inner stitching. It looks great, but not as great as it would have been if I had all the interior stitching completely bright. I will post a picture of it later.


Speaking of Hydraulic Presses:

Kevin Potter has come out with a new one. It is MUCH smaller than his previous models. It is only about 45 pounds and I am very excited about that. The best part of this press??? It fits into the large Flat Rate Shipping box for the USPS making shipping under $20. AMAZING! How does he do that? Well, the press comes apart completely. Instead of being one solid piece for the frame, it comes in parts that you just simply bolt together. It is really simple to do too. Check it out for yourself.

I made this video demonstrating how to assemble the press. The video takes you from me opening the box all the way though the finished and assembled press. Another great feature of this press? It is several hundred dollars cheaper than the other models.

 

It’s a New Year

Happy New Year everyone. I hope you all had a great holiday season. I am ready for the holidays to be done and on to life with all of its upcoming changes. One year ago, I was preparing to move in two months time. This year, I am preparing to move, but I don’t know when. I just know it is going to happen. I am still a bit apprehensive about moving to Utah, but I am getting more excited about it. I like the prospect that this past Christmas is the last one we will spend alone. I am looking forward to having my family over for Sunday Dinner, or better yet, at my mom and dads place. My mom is the best cook ever! House hunting is also difficult when you live 750 miles away. It doesn’t help that there really isn’t much on the market there that fits our needs and desires. But as I have said before, We have always been put where we need to be when we need to be, and I am sure it will happen once again.


Kelsi’s Birthday

If you are new to my blog, you may have wondered about the name, Kelsi’s Closet Jewelbox. Kelsi is my second daughter. Her birthday was 2 days ago, December 30th. She would be turning 8 years old this year. However, 8 years ago today, January 1st, she passed away in my hands.
all4girls
This picture was taken at Thanksgiving. It was the first time I have had all four girls together at the same time. Kate is holding up 6 fingers because that is how old she is. LOL. Silly kid.
Every year I have made a special piece of jewelry for myself. However, this year I have not made much jewelry and I didn’t make one for her birthday. But I did have something special made. A long-time online friend of mine started making lamp work beads a while back… and she does some beautiful work. I asked her if she would make an angel for me. They were all so pretty that I have ended up having her make 4 of them. Each one of my girls will be getting one of these pretty little beads. I had her make little teddy bears as they go along with the teddy bear that is on Kelsi’s headstone.
glassAngels
Sally Sutherland of Soul Silver is the artist behind these little beauties. I am very excited to get them.  Aren’t they beautiful? Just the quiet reverence that portrayed with their sweet little faces…. Please be sure to visit her Etsy Store for more beautiful eye candy.
Another thing that happens every year for Kelsi’s birthday is that my mom will make a luminary out of a milk jug and decorate it up beautifully. She does this because it keeps the wind from blowing the candle out. It is really neat too because more than once, she will put it out on Kelsi’s headstone on the 30th and the candle will still be going when she goes to pick it up on the 1st, each of the days Kelsi was alive. This year my mother made a white bow and flower for it. You see, at the age of 8, we believe that children have reached the age of accountability, when they are able to know right from wrong when making choices. It is when they reach this age that they are able to be baptized in our religion. The baptismal dressing is all white. We won’t be having a baptism this year, and that actually makes me really sad.

luminary

It is strange to think that it has already been 8 years. There are some things that I remember so vividly. I remember going down to the NICU at about 1:30 in the morning to see my sweet little baby. All the nurses were wearing 2005 crowns. And some of the little isolets were decorated up with tinsel and Christmas ornaments.
I have been really thinking about a lot of things lately. This weekend I have been helping a friend of mine move. She is going through a heartbreaking divorce and has had to sell her beautiful home and is facing a totally different life than she had imagined. Through it all she had kept her faith in the Lord and is a genuinely beautiful person. It is sad to watch everything that she is going through. I have seen others go through similar and they have allowed the sad situation taint them with a spot of ugly, if you will. They become cynical and angry. And while it is normal for people to go through that as part of a grieving phase, some allow for that part to stay. Then they get angry and start to ask why God has done this to them or allowed it to happen.
When Kelsi passed away, I went through all the various phases of grieving. I got angry, I was sad, I was confused and broken. But I honestly never really felt angry at God and asked Why Me? Because really, why  not me? It has to happen to someone, if that makes any sense. To tell you honestly, it is okay that it happened to me. It took a little while, but I can easily see that the most loving and merciful thing that God did for me in this situation, is to allow my precious little baby to leave this life. Had she lived, her quality of life, and ours too really, would have been VERY different than what it is now. It would not have been fun at all. We knew she was in for a long line of surgeries, possible and likely blindness, possible Cerebral Palsy and a long list of other things including lung issues from being born so early. So while I would have taken that life and loved her all the same, life is so much better for all of us by her not having to deal with any of it.
Also, I am fortunate that it happened to me as I am one of those people that can take something like this and have it make me stronger and hopefully a better person. If not better, perhaps more mindful. I was also very fortunate that Kelsi was not my first child. I had Riley, 4 years old at the time, who still needed me to be a mom. I didn’t have time to withdraw and allow the situation to suck the life out of me. It was also interesting that at the same time I was dealing with her death and making all the funeral arrangements that the company I worked for at the time was HORRIBLE about the whole thing. I can assure you that at the time, I was sitting there going “Why me?!?!?!” But within 2 weeks I knew that that too was a HUGE blessing as I was able to get a better job, with a better company with a huge pay rase and MUCH better benefits. From that experience alone, I have become much more mindful that even though some things REALLY REALLY SUCK, a lot of times it is just a blessing in the works.
We have been dealing with a couple of really difficult things for the last year in our family. It still hasn’t improved and sometimes gets worse. I am still waiting for the time when we can sit and look back to see why those things happened and which blessings they have led us to. And even though we are in the throws of “suckyness,” I can already see several very obvious blessings.
I am really sad about this next move as I was really hoping that Washington was going to be my home. But I am so grateful that I got to live here and experience this at all. I have made some wonderful friends, including the special friend that I have been helping move this week. She has opened my eyes to MANY things and helped me to look at things in a different light. I have met some other people that have taught me some other things and I look forward to taking those lessons and putting them into action in our new home, with our new neighbors and new friendships that are to be developed.

Growth

I want to thank every one of you for subscribing to my blog and helping it to grow as much as it has. I was looking at my site stats the other day and was simply blown away. Last December I had 18,000 hits (which was AMAZING in and of itself) but this December I had nearly 86,000 hits. OH MY GOODNESS!!! I am currently averaging over 1,000 views per day. I have nearly 700 people that subscribe to my YouTube channel and nearly 700 here on my blog. While I feel that I am still a small fry, I am truly humbled that you feel that it is worth your time to have my blog be a part of your life. So Thank You!
I hope that 2013 is a great year for all of us. Thank you for letting me be a part of your 2013.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!