Thursday, June 24, 2010

Personal Amber Challenge

I love raw amber, although I seldom buy it because I am not educated enough to tell the real stuff from the plastic rip-offs that are so prevalent. However I do have a couple of nice amber pieces that my sister has brought me from South Africa when she's come to visit in the past. The first was this beautiful necklace of different colored amber, brass beads, and a bone bead and clasp.

Challenge # 1 The necklace is too small for me. So I need to add some other beads to it, but they need to be really special beads that won't detract from the richness of the piece. And I think I'd like to remove the bone bead and clasp. Although they are beautiful, and lend themselves very well to the necklace, I get a bad vibe from bone beads. Anyone have any ideas they'd like to share?
My sister also brought me these HUGE amber block beads. She originally brought me 5 of them. Having a very dear friend who collected amber, I asked her if she would like to have a couple of them. This was before I found out that they are worth over $150 each! However, like I said, she is one of my dearest friends and I'm happy she has them and would NEVER want them returned. I know that they are very appreciated and loved where they are.
So here is challenge #2 to myself - What do I do with these amber blocks? I thought about using the smallest to make a pendent with antique brass and amber fringe dangling below. Perhaps I can add it to the necklace, above.  But what do I do with the other 2?
I love making jewelry, but I seldom wear it. Three necklaces with huge, chunky beads would be too much. I have considered trading the other two beads for something really wonderful. But what? More beads? Maybe. Any ideas?

Monday, June 21, 2010


WOW! I hang my head in shame at my puny give-away when I see what Denise Yezbak Moore is doing. Check it out here. If you like beads, you MUST head over to her blog NOW and see what she is giving away. OMG!

Alphabet Blog Walk

What a Brilliant Idea! Carla at Paper Clippings of a Wandering Artist  turned me on to a blog called One Sydney Road where they are hosting an Alphabet Blog Walk. You sign up for a letter and then take a picture representing that letter and post it on your blog on a specific day. Then everyone downloads the bloglists and hops from one blog to the next checking out everyone's photos. I chose the letter F because I'm heading up to the forest today for Summer Solstice.
So hop over to One Sydney Road and claim a letter!
Also, check out the Fabulous Portal Pics at Kit and Kaboodle.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


There is a quote I love that goes:
"There are things we see and things we don't see, and in between there are the doors".
I've always had a fascination for doors; these icons of transition.
Here are a few of my favorites.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

We Grow Too Soon Old, And Too Late Smart

My grandmother used to have a tape dispenser sitting on her kitchen shelf - bright orange and tole painted in the classic Pennsylvania Dutch style (wish I had that now). On the side of it, in ornate lettering, it said "We Grow Too Soon Old, And Too Late Smart". true.
This morning my Sweety and I decided to tame the Bewilderness (backyard). So armed with a whip and a chair and a few sticks of TNT (mower, weed-eater and loppers) we set out on the offensive. I geared up the strimmer while he grunted and shouted and showed his muscles to some huge pieces of wood left when we had a tree taken out last winter. I watched, quite impressed, as he took a splitting maul and gave it go. After two swings, which ended with a dull "thunk" sound, his eyes were popping and I could hear his brain reverberating off his skull.
I, meanwhile, made pretty good headway with the weed-eater and the loppers.  By the time I was finished (actually I was finished - the yard, alas, had a long way to go), I was shaking and weak.
Sweety, meanwhile, had fired up the lawn mower and mowed down the scrawniest of the 3' tall weeds that comprise the (ahem)  "lawn".
We paused for a break and, looking at each other decided our best plan of action was a "Free Firewood - You Haul" sign and a couple of strong kids in need of spending money.
So here I sit, showered, hydrated, and much wiser, dreaming up designs to create at my bead table. Sweety is pouring himself a tall, cool something and the Bewilderness is roaring it's triumph.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

June Giveaway

Greetings All,
As many of you know, I sell my beadwork online and I have highs and lows and I'm always looking for a way to improve my art and my sales.
Recently, a dear friend in Connecticut sent me "The Handmade Marketplace" by Kari Chapin (also illustrated by Emily Martin of the Black Apple!). I have gleaned wonderful tips and tricks from this book and wanted to share it, so I hustled down and bought another copy to give away on this blog. Just leave a comment on any of the posts for the month of June. At the beginning of July, I'll do a random draw and send the book to the lucky winner.
The subtitle for this most helpful book is "How to sell your crafts locally, globally and online". I have already made some changes and implemented some new ideas and I'm happy with the results.

Kari will be appearing at Land Gallery in Portland, Oregon on June 18th. Hope all of you locals can stop by. For more info, click here.

Speaking of Global - I have made more friends, in more parts of the world, than I can count since I started this blog. I'm especially glad of all of my English blogger friends since I love England and wish I lived there. Reading their blogs gives me a sense of belonging to that wonderful world on the other side of the planet.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Inspiration From The Forest

People have asked me why the name of my business is "Emerald Window"? In short, it's because I love the forest and I get much of my inspiration from it,even if it doesn't show in a particular piece. The forest rejuvenates me. I look at everything as if I was looking at it from some magical woods (through an Emerald Window!). I like to fantasize that I live in a hollow tree that magically expands to house proportions as I walk through the rustic door. I should have been a sylph.
Here are some pictures that capture a little of the magic I feel when I am deep in the green.

These pictures were taken at Silver Falls near Silverton, Oregon. This week-end my sweety and I are planning a picnic and picture-takng trip up to Belknap Hotsprings, where I worked, oh so long ago.
I feel some creativity coming on.