Sunday, August 29, 2010


the smooth polished surface of a stone tossed in the sand and sea before washing to shore
the glassy surface of a mirror
the rough exterior of a rusted tool left too long in the garden
the softness of a down pillow
the silken skin of a baby's face
the fuzzy flyaway of little boys hair

Texture is in everything that we see and feel. We don't  have to touch to experience it, although I admit having to put  hands in  pockets in museums and art exhibits to quell the urge.
Jewelry is made to touch as well as look at. I like for my pieces to be a pleasant tactile experience but texture may also be achieved visually through layering..
A piece of antique cabinet hardware is paired with a chandelier crystal and hung on a velvet cord.
A smooth stone is wrapped in crisp copper wire.
A silky raku pottery disk is threaded on ribbon with ragged edges.
This post is one in a series called Blog Carnival. Follow the links to see what other members of the sateam on etsy have to say about using texture in their work.
Northern Girl

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Art of Collecting

Collecting is getting a bad reputation these days.
We are being advised to declutter our homes, live simply, and to get rid of our possessions.  Magazine articles and television programs encourage us to organize our lives and  eliminate chaos.
I enjoy keeping collections and the fond memories that go with them. Our home holds champagne glasses full of glass and shells from my favorite beaches.
I am not advocating senseless accumulation of "stuff".   
I don't appreciate products manufactured specifically for collecting and episodes of Hoarders make me shudder, but the admiration of specific items and the desire to accumulate them is a natural thing.
I remember, as a child picking up beautiful shells on the beach and arranging dolls that my father  brought me from his international travels in the US Navy.
I have friends and FamiLee members that collect beer steins, milk glass, nutcrackers, baseball cards, bobble head dolls, and NY Yankee's memorabilia.
Collections can also be found objects such as sea glass, bird nests, or heart shaped rocks.
They can even be non tangible things.   Experience collecting has become popular as baby boomers retire and  fill out their "Bucket Lists".
Whatever the interest you share a desire that is as old as mankind itself.
Personal collections of books, art work and fossil specimens have formed the basis of museums and libraries all over the globe.
The challenge of collecting is more than half the enjoyment.  It has become easier in recent years.    The introduction of the internet, search engines and sites such as ebay and etsy  has given us the ability to search for items around the world.  One of my favorite ways to search remains The Hunt. Donning comfortable clothes and  sunscreen and carrying lots of collapsible bags we make an itinerary of garage sales, salvage and antique shops or second hand stores and spend the day searching.  I picture myself an intrepid explorer, whose success or failure is determined only by the will to keep looking.
I have found some wonderful supplies to help in The Hunt.
This sea shell collecting bag is hand crafted by PurpleToedGypsy on etsy using an ancient Viking weaving technique called Naalbinding.

This shadow box frame hand made by ShadowBoxShop on etsy illustrates how beautifully collections can be displayed.

This elegant hand crafted leather photo  album by Crearting on etsy would be a fabulous place to keep all of your special memories.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Summertime and the Living is Easy

Summertime and the Living is easy............
Billie Holiday's sultry voice singing these words is the musical background for my August.  Upstate New York is enjoying hot lazy days and nights cool enough to sleep with the windows open.  Saratoga is right up the road and it is advertised as the Summer Place to be because of it's Thouroughbred racing season. 
Ruby Throated Hummingbirds are buzzing in the trumpet vine, green frogs are croaking from the lilypads in the Koi pond and brightly colored monarch butterflies are flirting with pink coneflowers.
We are feasting on fresh sweet corn, sun ripened tomatoes, and crispy coll cukumbers.
We spend our days outdoors in the sun and our evenings on the deck with FamiLee members and friends.
These are some of my favorite days of the year.  We coast, enjoying the glorious end of Summer before busily getting ready for fall.

Salvaged Style Dragonfly necklace inspired by August's atmosphere.
The aged patina of these brass pieces hold all the warmth of the Summer sun.  The antique drawer pull represents the summer sun, and the filigree the vines of the garden, the dragonfly gives it life.

Dragonfly Earrings.  Dragonflies are such colorful garden visitors. I just had to try and replicate them.