Monday, June 1, 2015

These are a few of my favorite things...

This month's Etsy Metal blog carnival is to show who we are with images of a few of our favorite things.

To see my Etsy Metal teammates' blog posts, follow the links below.

One of my favorite movies, and naturally, I love the song "My Favorite Things"! So, moving on with some photos of some of my favorite things....

Monday, April 6, 2015

Etsy Metal Blog Carnival: Other Creative Interests

This month's Etsy Metal Blog Carnival topic is about other artistic or creative interests beyond metalsmithing.

I have a degree in studio art and started as a painter. When I began metalsmithing, painting fell by the wayside, although it is still definitely an interest. I hope to pick it up again one of these days when I have more time. Meanwhile, I've been pursuing more practical creative interests--one that feeds and one that improves our house! 

At the beginning of the year I decided I wanted to learn to make bread, and I do consider that and cooking a creative endeavor. I love to cook (and eat!) and wanted to try baking. Of course I decided to start with a more difficult recipe for a rosemary and walnut boule. I threw out the first batch of yeast because I wasn't sure it was activating. Then I remembered I had a thermometer that could accurately gauge the temperature of the milk I was putting the yeast in. That helped and the bread came out wonderfully! I should have used two pans since the loaves grew together to look like one big butt.

My next baking effort was flaky, buttery dinner rolls that were baked in a muffin tin. I didn't quite get them all to be equal size, but they were so, so good and were scarfed down at dinner time.

My other creative interest at home is interior design. We are getting ready to renovate our second bathroom, add built-in shelving to the family room, and partially redecorate the master bedroom. We redid our master bath fairly recently (I did the design and a contractor did the installation), and changed it from 50's pink to modern beachy spa. We took out the bathtub and put a large shower in its place, and removed a second entrance (it was a jack & jill). I designed the vanity and had it custom built. I am excited for our next projects!

Read what my Etsy Metal teammates have to say on this subject:

Friday, February 27, 2015

Etsy Metal Blog Carnival: "My Jewelry Box"

This month's Etsy Metal Blog Carnival topic is to show what you have in your own personal jewelry box along with the stories behind your pieces or what your jewelry means to you.

First, I have to say that I have way too many things to write about! I've collected jewelry for a long time and so many pieces have meaning. I have always purchased jewelry while traveling, usually by a local artist, as a souvenir and to remember by travels. But since I can't write about everything, I will focus on three generations of rings.

The oldest is first....we think this gold and moonstone ring dates from around 1880, and belonged to my great-grandmother, my mother's maternal grandmother. My grandmother gave the ring to my mom when she was in high school because she know how much my mom liked it. My mom told me she wore it alot and often twirled the stones during class because she liked how they caught the light. My mom, named Mary, never knew her grandmother (also named Mary), because she died before my grandmother was married. We think perhaps the ring was a gift to great grandma Mary from her husband. On a side note, apparently she was a great cook, a talent carried down to my grandmother and mom.

The white gold, diamond, and opal ring was my grandmother's (mom's mom--named Anna, called Ann). The story is that the diamond in this ring was part of an engagement ring my grandma's brother planned to give to the woman he wanted to marry. Sadly, he died at age 26, just after serving in World War I. He had suffered lung damage from being gassed. My grandma had the diamond reset into this ring. She wore it often, but then gave it to my mom because she loved it.

The floral opal ring was a Christmas gift given to my mom by her parents when she was 13. Opal is her birthstone, and she told me it was her favorite Christmas gift and that she wore it all the time. She told me that when she opened the ring box, her excitement and delight were readily apparent, because she heard her mom say "Mary loves nice things." I have to say that the photo does not show the lovely flashes of multiple colors in the stones; they are much brighter than what you see here! 

My mom gave me all three rings at different points in time. She knows I like nice things too, and I love things that have been handed down, that have some history behind them. The opal floral ring fit me perfectly from the get-go, but I had to have the diamond/opal ring sized down and have a sizer band on the moonstone ring. I also enjoy wearing them often, and like to look down at my finger and think about the women who wore them before me, and how much love there is between us. They are truly special objects to me; they are so much more than just rings--they are history, stories, love, and family.

See what my Etsy Metal teammates had to say about this subject:
Laney Clark - silentgoddess
Danielle Miller -
2Roses -
Rebecca Bogan
Fenton Design: