Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wow... can't believe i haven't posted since August!

A lot has happened since my last post....sorry it has taken so long! We are doing MAJOR renovations to our house which we started in June. We have added an addition to the back of house which right now, 3 months into the project, is only a shell but when complete it will house our kitchen, dining room, pool table and living room (complete with a new fireplace!). So needless to say, right now my house as well as my life is about as unorganized as they could possibly get!

This is a photo of the back of the house before we started any work.

Since the above photo was taken we have jackhammered up concrete floors and dug 4 ft deep trenches from the front of the house all the way through to the back and across the entire back yard to replace plumbing pipes and to lay new ones. this whole process took seven 10 hr days and a total of 6 people. The photo below is of my friend, and one of the BEST neighbors I could ever have, helping to dig the trench in one of the bedrooms in my house. This room as well as the bathroom (second and third photos down) still look like this...

Another friend digging in the bathroom...

So now after all the work we have done (as well as the contractors) we have this:

So with our house getting larger, the livable space within the walls seams to be getting smaller and smaller as more work gets done since we are constantly shifting furniture and other items from room to room so work can be done. I will update with more photos as more gets accomplished but right now I need to get back to making jewelry before the space inside gets any smaller and I can no longer work in there! I do have a show coming up in a few weeks!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Construction and BMAC...

With all that has been going on at my house with the construction and trying to work around it all I did manage to get enough things together for the Buyers Market of American Craft Show at the Philadelphia Convention Center this past weekend. I had to use half of my outdoor booth mixed with my indoor booth because I couldn't get to some of my stuff but it still looked great and I received many compliments on it anyway (pic below). The BMAC show is wholesale to the trade only. There was some really great artwork from all over the US and Canada there again as usual. I even got myself a new necklace from artist Beth Taylor. (we traded which I LOVE to do!) Check out her site. The necklace isn't on the site but you can see some of her other cool things! I also met another jewelry artist Erica Stankwytch Bailey who makes some really awesome jewelry as well. It was really good to see some friends (Olga Ganoudis , Regina Ewer...check out thier sites too) I don't get to see that often and to make some new ones as well (and selling my jewelry while I was there didn't hurt either!) All in all I made out pretty well.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Construction has started...

So after 16 years of living and working in the same house and slowly growing out of the space we have decided it's finally time to add on. By doing so we are turning our kitchen into a "great room" which will house not only our kitchen but also a dining area, a pool table and our living room furniture. The good thing about all this is that my jewelry studio will then be moved from it's current location to the old living room area taking it from a 9x10 space to a 14x20 space. Although this is going to be one of the last rooms finished and could take a few months to get to, it will be well worth the wait. Below are some pictures of my current studio so you can see why I'm really excited about the project. Although my current studio looks like a mess it is quite organized. It has to be in order for me work and to find anything! I will keep you posted on the progress of the new studio space!

Monday, June 8, 2009

New work...Petals & Twigs

Since I'm finally trying to update my website I figured I should update my blog as well.....Besides enameling, I also made a bunch of new pieces with all my yummy beads and stones I bought back in March. Here's a few of the many pieces I made. Check out my website in the next few days to see more!

Smoky Topaz Twig Necklace

Amethyst Petal & Twig Necklace

Carnelian Petal Earrings

Bird update....

The babies are all grown! And all four of them actually flew out of the nest a few days ago and are now living in my back yard. They are still learning to fly but should be pros very soon!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Birds in my flower pot...

OK... I just had to share this with you.... I was given a hanging basket of flowers for Easter which I hung on my front porch. About a week later a Robin made a nest in the center of the basket and a not long after that there were 4 eggs! Not only does this make it extremely hard to water the plant but we now have to be careful not to scare the bird when we walk out our front door! And since this bird is ALWAYS sitting in basket of flowers the flowers don't get watered all that's a pic of the bird sitting in the flower basket...(notice the drooping flowers...they haven't been watered in a few days due to the bird)

Well today while the bird was gone I jumped at the chance to water the flowers before they die and no longer keep the bird's nest hidden and to my surprise there was a baby bird in the nest! Here's a pic of the fuzzy little thing...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Enamel jewelry sampling....

As I stated in an earlier post I've been working with enamels. Well I now have some brand new enameled jewelry and I thought I'd share a sampling of it with you....I'm really LOVING the color I can add to my work and the enamel is a lot easier to work with than I had thought!

Turquoise enameled double chain necklace

Enameled triple circle necklace

Enameled "Leaves" necklace

I don"t have a ton of these items to sell as of yet but I am sure little by little they will be working their way into my booth over the next few months!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I know...

I really do have to post more often on my blog! I've been so busy that the time just gets away from me and before I know it, it's been over a month since my last posting! So to catch you up to speed here are some things that have happened in my life....

Sunday, March 29th, I had to rush my significant other of almost 13 yrs, Tim, to the emergency room twice in the same day...He had severe stomach pains that they thought they took care of the first time around at 4am but the pain came back later that day. It ended up being kidney stones, which 3 weeks later he had now he's good as new!

Tim :)

I've also been taking an enameling class. I didn't think I would enjoy it as much as I thought but It's really fun and an easy way to add color to my work without adding too much of an additional expense. I'm working on some new pieces of jewelry for my upcoming shows that incorporate enamels. If you are in the area you should definitely come check them out!

This week I have been working on some enameled pieces, shipping out wholesale orders, making invitations for a home show/jewelry party I will be doing in May and getting ready for my next session of jewelry making classes that I teach on an ongoing basis. Sounds like I'm a pretty busy person!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Photos from classes and workshops....

I have fallen behind with my postings.....I have been teaching classes & workshops that I have been photographing on a regular basis because my students have made some really wonderful things. The only problem is that I haven't posted any of the pictures like I had promised them I would do! So to all of you that I have photographed I apologize and finally here are some pictures from my last couple of classes and workshops!

Yesterday I taught the "Memories of Summer" workshop. In this 1 day workshop students learn how to wire wrap beach glass, sea shells and/or river rocks from their summer vacations to make a pendant, a pair of earrings and ring.

Everyone hard at work

Bernadette modeling her finished sea glass earrings and pendant

They are also making some really cool things in my "Beginner/Intermediate Jewelry Making Class". This is a 7 week class which I teach silversmithing skills which include sawing, filing, finishing, stone setting and soldering with a torch.

Students working on their individual projects

Donna's finished necklace

Danielle's (Donna"s daughter) earrings and 2 pendants

Renee modeling her new earrings

Mindy's bracelet

Mindy wearing her new earrings

Colleen's necklace

Joanne soldering a flower onto her bracelet

Joanne modeling her new bracelet

a close up of Joanne's bracelet

And last but not least, 2 weeks ago I taught a "Corrugated Metal" workshop where students learned how to corrugate metal, oxidize it and then turn it into wearable art! They made both a pendant and pair of earrings to match.

A smaller and more intimate group

Allison modeling her new earrings

Well I think that about covers it all for now...Hopefully later today I will get to the Phila Flower Show. I heard that the show this year it is one of the nicest shows in a while. Not sure what the theme is this time around but if I do get to go later I will definitely post some pictures. I promise! :)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


I went to a gem show over the weekend and bought some great new faceted stones and beads! They remind me of candy the way they are all laying out on my bench right now. I can't wait to start making something with them....maybe later today!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I'm tired....

What a grueling week it's been! I haven't posted in a while because I've been getting ready for a show. I just got back from the BMAC show (Buyers Market of American Craft) at the Philadelphia Convention Center in Phila., PA. It's a wholesale show that happens twice a year where buyers from all over the US and Canada come to shop for their galleries, gift shops, boutiques, etc. The show runs my life for 5 days straight every February and August. This time around it went from Wednesday (which is set up day) thru Monday. It may look beautiful to all those who come through the show, but trust me, It's a LOT of work dragging all my stuff around, setting up shop, being there all day (and into the night) only to then breaking it all down and take it home again....The one thing I do love about the show (besides the making money part) is that I get so inspired by talking with other artists and seeing what they are doing. We trade ideas, info, contacts, etc. It's a great place to network with others who do what I do for a living.

I did introduce my new "twig" collection at the show. It's so new that I haven't even posted it on my website yet! I started designing and creating this line exactly 1 week before the BMAC show so I didn't have time to make everything I came up with. The samples I did have time to create and bring to the show seemed to go over pretty well and I took orders for those pieces so you will see them popping up in a few stores soon. Below is one of the pieces in this line.

There will definitely be more items to come in the "twig" and in the "rose" collections this year so keep your eyes peeled!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

It's been a while...

It's been a while since my last post and a lot has happened. Christmas and New Years have both come and gone and now I am finding myself redecorating my house. We just bought a new kitchen and bedroom set after about 25 years of using craptacular Ikea furniture. Now mind you, I love Ikea just as much as the next person and they have some very cool things in that store but none of it is built to last. I'm surprised what I had lasted as long as it did! Duct tape does wonders! So needless to say it was time for some new stuff. Today I am off to buy paint to repaint a bedroom that hasn't been painted in 15 years...although it doesn't look bad it's definitely time. Here's the bedroom with the new furniture and comforter set but before the new paint.

Since taking these pictures there are now new lamps, curtains and a new curtain rod. Still need to paint and hang the artwork and new ceiling fan.

The other big thing I have coming up is the BMAC (Buyers Market of American Craft) in February. It 's a big wholesale show (trade only) that I do twice a year at the Philadelphia Convention Center. Since my booth was just redone for the last show I really don't have too much to worry about for that. I just have to figure out what jewelry I will be taking this time and to make sure my samples are ready and priced correctly for wholesale. As soon as the bedroom is finished I will need to get my but in gear and focus only on that so I will be ready when the time comes.

The other thing that I stumbled across via a Google search was my jewelry classes being mentioned on a jewelry and beading website. Not sure how they found me but it was nice of them to mention my classes. You can see it here. So now off to Lowe's to get my paint!
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