Thursday, March 29, 2012

Magnolia trees in bloom. Natures pink umbrella.

I look forward to the burst of thousands of magnolia blooms every year.


The sky over our yard looks likes cotton candy and so does the pond from the water reflecting the blooms.

Magnolia blossoms reflected in the pond water.

We have two of these lovely trees.  Both look to be about 40 maybe, 50 feet tall.   Their blooms differ in shades of pink. One is more pale than the other.

Magnolia branches over pond.

 One of them is near the pond and some lower branches extend out over it. We used to prune them but in the last couple of years have let them be.  Originally, this was to have low branches obstructing the view and flight path of the blue heron who thinks our fish are there for his dining pleasure.

It's magical and it's brief.  I always hope rain doesn't come too soon because it causes the petals to fall off.

Chair over looking fish pond.

 It started raining the morning after I took these for two days and when the sun returned strong winds came along with it.

I'm glad I didn't wait to take their photo in the golden hour of the setting sun which cast a soft warm glow.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The road crew. How not to spend a Friday night.

Last Friday, March,16th I was sitting at the computer when I heard loud, odd noises.  Our house sounded like it was rumbling.  As I walked to the window the floor was vibrating.

Low and behold a road crew was ripping up parts of the street in front of our home at 8:30 on a Friday night.

The time was selected since there is supposedly less traffic at that hour where one lane could be closed off.
Great for the motorists; not so great if your home inside your house.

 This huge light illuminated the work area and our windows. It had a cloth covering like a photo tent that cut down glare for drivers and also lit the work area.

Between the construction next door, and now this I think my ears are in need of hearing aids. This project is expected to take a year since it will be done in sections at a time.  Their will be a three month time off during the summer months.

These workers must wear some pretty darn good boots to stand on all that hot asphalt.

This machine was noisy.  I wonder how the operators hearing is.

 I need tires with treads like these when it snows.

Who dreams up this equipment's design?

See how exciting things can be at the beach? It's Friday night and you're outside taking photos of backhoes and hot asphalt!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Beach Cell Phone Covers - Shorely Chic

Fun beach and nautical cell phone covers are the newest in the line up by Liz Joy of Shorely Chic.

Flamingos! Also available in beach stripes.  Personalized options are available.

Liz is also working on some stationery designs.  How sweet is the face on this baby elephant?

I am loving the prototype she had posted of these flamingo's on her blog a while back. 

I am so getting them when they make their debut. I get requests to include a gift message all the time and I think these will be fun to use with my ice cream spoons.

You can purchase the cell phone covers here  To find out when Liz's stationery will be available visit her blog at Shorely Chic.

The fine required print: This is not a paid endorsement or advertisement nor was post at the request of Shorely Chic. Photos and graphics by Shorely Chic.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Blue Sail Studios fine silver jewelry by the sea collection.

Introducing Blue Sail Studios by the sea jewelry collection handmade organic rustic styling in fine silver. From ocean waves to starfish my new collection is underway.  Early stages at the moment but, it's moving forward which is the important part right?

I had a few different names in mind for jewelry line. I didn't want to pigeon hole myself if I decided to add different products all together in the future. Blue Sail Studios was in the top three but,  not my favorite. It was the name that came out on top of the opinion poll of trusted friends.

Simple starfish pendant.  Currently this has a piece of blue ribbon.

The difference between "fine" silver and "sterling" silver is that fine silver is 99.9% pure silver. Sterling is  92.5% silver with the remaining 7.5% being composed of other metals. They may look the same, but fine silver is more "pure" and is, therefore, more costly and often considered more desirable than sterling silver.

Individually crafted by hand means even similar looking pieces are not exactly alike. 

Urchin pendant with CZ on 2mm black leather cord.

Unlike mass produced pieces these take time to craft. For example on the pendants below the bezels for the stones are hand formed. I think it's time for a big magnifier for those fine details.

I made the larger, heavier urchin pendant for my Mother.
Hope she will like it.

After refining, firing, scrubbing clean and tumbled for hours the piece receives a patina if desired.The part I like the least is the removing the patina solution to show the highlights.  It is so tedious.

I was given this small piece of pottery. 
It looks like Delft. I am not sure.what it is.
 I am pretty proud of this one.

Pottery and glass requires being fired in the kiln to test it first.  No sense in setting in the silver to have it shatter or in some cases completely change color or both.  I wanted to use some sea glass and the test firing completely changed the color of the glass.  A light aqua turned an icky yellow brown.  Blue turned rust. Pretty pale gray veins in aqua pottery just went poof, gone!  There went the designs I had planned.

Old world cross earrings with a light rust patina
like they were pulled from a ship's treasure.

Small scallop shells the wears the scars of the sea
hidden back bale.

Some of my pieces are fired twice.  I wasn't sure if the shell pendant would have a jump ring or hidden bale. I prefer the hidden bale even though it is more work.

Ocean waves pendant with hidden rope style handmade bale.
Black leather 2mm cord.

I craft with more of an organic, rustic look overall. I think it lends character and gives each piece it's own hand crafted just for you styling.

Seahorse pendant with background waves and
hidden bale.  Currently this is on a 18" 1.8 mm Rollo style chain.
I think it looks okay but a slightly finer chain may
be a better choice.

Art Nouveau style shell pendant.
I thought I would make something for myself.
 I do not know what I was thinking it is pretty hefty. 

There you have it. Should I keep making more?
What do you like or don't like?

Your thoughts and comments are appreciated.

P.S. I am looking for a graphic artist to design the logo I have in mind.