Thursday, January 21, 2010

flash flood

there was flooding in our neighborhood yesterday & though I sandbagged the door at the shop, water came in and flooded the floor in the studio.

luckily, the floors are refinished concrete. and water only pooled in the low spots (more in the retail area than in the workshop area). it could have been much worse.

we are busy with cleaning up.

I am wondering if anyone has good tips for drying out the now-moist environment, I am very concerned about my tools (precious peddinghaus hammers, my anvils, etc) rusting more than anything else.

tips? please?

Friday, January 15, 2010

WHAT a beautiful day

I am so grateful for this small, perfect little miracle. my heart is full.

Monday, January 11, 2010

vintage. yardsale.

vintage yardsale HERE
{i'm working on adding more.... there sure is a LOT to get through}

Saturday, January 9, 2010

every little thing is gonna be alright

three little birds on my doorstep

and a collection of rings in the shop {photo taken by Ian}


being back in the workshop yesterday after having been out for a while was.... different than I expected. my first project was a giant druzy ring I'd been working on since before the holidays. I'd just made the bezel beforehand, and yesterday attached the backplate. when I went to solder the band onto the setting, I overheated the backplate & melted two holes in the bezel, at places where I'd filed! ummm.... can I get a little mojo? please?

I guess every once in a while something like that is bound to happen... but I haven't had a piece not "go my way" in quite a while. grrrrr.......

and then I completed two lingering custom pieces, without a hitch.

and then I made this lovely BIRD RING,
using the face from an antique brooch that I've had about ten years & always wanted to do something special with.

so, everything turned out beautifully, after all.

Friday, January 8, 2010

cleaning out the cupboards

1930's colorful tea party goodness

you may or may not know that I am passionate about 1930s California pottery.
and tile.
and furniture.
and paintings.
it's just my thing.

Dave & I are purging the cabinets, and I came up with all of these goodies that need new homes. these babies are all on their way OUT. the funny thing is, my kitchen looks unchanged, just a little neater. still loads of color in there!
looks like I really need to have a big ol' yardsale. or something.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

the grapefruit and I

yesterday, my friend and I were marveling at the wonders of the oft misunderstood grapefruit.
in my own opinion, the grapefruit is the most delicate and PERFECT of all citrus.
so sweet on the inside, yet wrapped in a slightly bitter, thick casing.
you have to work (a little bit) to get to the best part.

the (marvelously homegrown) grapefruit I was enjoying had a lot of seeds. I mean, A LOT.
I said to my friend "why does this grapefruit have SO many seeds?"
and she replied:

"it's just trying to survive, out in the wild."

I thought about that all day... the grapefruit and I. trying to survive, out in the wild.

that got me thinking, about seeds.
a beautiful quote from the buddhist monk, thich nhat hahn about seeds:

...consciousness is said to be a field,
a plot of land in which every kind of seed has been planted,
seeds of suffering, happiness, joy, sorrow, fear, anger, and hope.
The quality of our life depends on which of these seeds we water.

today, I choose to water the seeds of peace, of rest, treading lightly.
tomorrow, I will water the seeds of my creativity, of hope, of fulfillment.
my first full day in the studio this year, and I have a TON of work to do!

it is definitely time for me to increse my awareness of which seeds I am watering.

thank you, little grapefruit.

metalsmithing day workshops

these are from one of the most fun day workshops I hosted at the studio in 2009...the workshop was Tube Setting.
it's always important to me that (in addition to learning the skill) everyone has a completed piece to take home.

we started with a flattened nugget of recycled silver scrap,
soldeded a ring to the back, soldered on a tube
(a couple friends added some creative little ebmellishments),
drilled a seat for the stone with a setting bur,
burnished the tube down to set the stone
and VIOLA!
magic with metal.
a silver pendant with a sparkly gem.
anyone can do it, really.

come join me, more workshops are coming in 2010

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

lobster dinner

my wonderful wonderful husband, Dave, caught our dinner from the deep blue sea!

what a treat. the fresh, succulent bounty of the sea (even though we do get sick of them by the end of lobster season, which runs October through March).

Dave gets more sick of them than I do. it's the start of January & he is already over it. I love grilled lobster and could eat it for any meal of the day. lobster breakfast! no kidding... I am SUPER enthusiastic, and not beyond begging for my dinner (please honey, will you just grill up ONE little one for me....? pleeeeeease....?).

last night D cleaned up ten or so lobster, and I cooked up several of them for our supper.

here's my recipe:

two or three lobster tails, cleaned & chopped into 1" chunks
half stick of butter (I like Danish Creamery brand butter if you used the whole stick, nobody would be the wiser...)
one-half of a juicy lemon from the neighbor's tree
one clove of garlic, finely chopped (I left the garlic out last night)
wee drizzle of olive oil
generous splash of white wine (dry chardonnay)
fresh ground salt & pepper to taste
chopped flat italian parsley for garnish, if you wish

half package of angel hair pasta (cooked & drizzled with a tiny bit of olive oil to prevent it from sticking into a giant lump)

melt the butter over medium heat in a large sautee pan, with a drizzle of olive oil (careful not to burn the butter!), season the cut up lobster with salt & pepper (ground coarse).

once the butter is melted, add the juice from the 1/2 lemon, turn the heat to medium-high & add the garlic & lobster. as the lobster starts to cook, add the splash of wine.

constantly stir the lobster & turn it over. just as soon as the meat turns from clear to opaque whitish you are all done! (last night the meat cooking time took about 6 or 7 minutes) it is REALLY important not to overcook the meat, overcooked lobster is rubbery and gross!

spoon over a bowl of pasta, garnish with some freshly chopped parsley, and viola! quick, fresh, perfect dinner. honestly, I could drink that butter sauce.
SO delicious.

Monday, January 4, 2010

i love this boy

I love this boy.
I love him with everything I am.
with all my heart and soul.
with every step.
with every breath.

Ian - my 16-year-old son, beautiful man-child - has had a rough couple months. he had a flu back in October from which he never 100% recovered. school (always easy for him) became difficult. he has been without energy; so opposite his normal, vibrant, outgoing self.
to say I have been concerned is an understatement.

today, we found out he has mono. I can't imagine how things will balance out with him missing even more school.
but the diagnosis explains so much.

we went on a little hike in Eaton Canyon, Pasadena, on New Year's Eve day (that night, he had a 104 fever).
Ian climbed up next to this waterfall.
in my mind and heart, this is exactly how I see him.

I love you, Ian.
feel better.