April 27, 2011

butterflies as art and accessories

I just love butterflies, and can't wait to start seeing more of them in my yard again this summer! We don't get a huge variety of them here in Oregon, so I have to enjoy the others through art and photos (and once in a while at an exhibit like the Oregon Zoo has had in past summers, or Wings of Wonder). I have stumbled on quite a few lovely butterfly items by artists on Etsy lately, so I decided to create a treasury of some favorites. Some great gift ideas there, too! Go check it out!

April 26, 2011

last chance for Japan tsunami relief

oregon coast ocean wave nature photograph lincoln city beach
Just a quick reminder that only through the end of April, my wave, hammered swirls, and selected other jewelry has a portion of the sale going toward Japan tsunami relief. Get them now, and help out a worthy cause!

Click on the images below to go to all the qualifying pieces.

The wave designs are great for anyone who loves the ocean, and would be a nice accent to your summer fashions! The hammered swirls are a fun necklace design, and each features a unique stone accent. (note they all include a chain, some are shown before adding it.)

ocean wave handmade artisan jewelry recycled silver beach summer nautical necklace

April 19, 2011

January (oops, I mean April) at the beach

Even though the trees have blossomed, my maples are budding out, and my tulips are blooming, it doesn't feel much like spring yet. It has been so wet and cold, we keep thinking it's still winter here in the Pacific Northwest. I have to check the calendar sometimes to be sure I know what month we're in!

When we went to the beach last Sunday, it was very cold and windy. But just being near the ocean feels good. As I mentioned before, we had fun looking at rocks. And the boys had fun playing with the waves (being forever reminded not to turn their back on the ocean). Note the heavy coats and boots. No mistaking this beach for Hawaii! I realized I didn't share all the photos I meant to in my previous post, so here are the rest, just for fun.


April 18, 2011

rocks, and more rocks

Last weekend was filled with rocks. And you may have guessed by now that I think rocks, well, ROCK. We went to a Rock and Gem Show Saturday. We saw rock slices that look like pictures, rocks that glow under special lights, demonstrations of sphere polishing and stone cutting (faceting), just plain gorgeous rock specimens... I think my favorite this year were chunks of malachite and azurite together with a sparkly crystal formation on the surface. And of course there are usually a few vendors selling stone beads. The top photo shows my finds. Truth be told, I shouldn't have been buying anything, but... Well, you know how it goes!  So I came home with (front to back): Grossularite Garnet, Serpentine, Rhyolite (Rainforest Jasper), Lava Rock, Snowflake Obsidian (technically "lava" also), Tourmalinated Quartz (barely visible back there), and Labradorite. All the greens will go wonderfully with my various leaf designs. I was happy to pick out some Tourmalinated Quartz to make a snowflake necklace to sell, similar to one I made for myself last year (only I bought two strands so I won't have to use the glass spacers). I also got three geode slices that were particularly interesting. I think I will hang them below leaf theme pendants, or maybe something else. Eventually they will find their way to my Etsy shop on special necklaces. Check out their amazing feathery variations of color, and tiny sparkling crystals (druzy) lining the inner surface.

Sunday we played hooky from church (something we rarely do), and headed out to the coastal town of Lincoln City. It felt good to get out of town together and see something different! It was cold and windy, but didn't rain. One beach had a lot of smooth rocks, which kept the boys busy checking them all out. Even seemingly ordinary rocks can be very interesting!

April 7, 2011

inspiration for my art and jewelry

Inspiration... That was the theme of a recent challenge hosted by a member of the Christian Artists Street Team (CAST) on Etsy. Immediately a favorite quote came to mind, and I decided to make a jewelry piece to enter. I made a dog tag style pendant, used my wave image, and carved in my favorite quote.

"Nature is the art of God" 
- Dante Alighieri 

I love that quote because it sums up the inspiration for my art. Whether it be painting, sculpting, photography, or jewelry designs, I find no better inspiration than the amazing, beautiful wonder of nature. Large scenic views, or the intricate designs of leaves, and horses (of course!), I am drawn to it over and over. Nothing compares to God's awesome creation, but I hope to capture a little bit of it so it can be enjoyed, in our homes, or wherever we go!

I like the idea of this pendant, and now I'm considering doing a series of them, with my other designs (like a flower, leaf, snowflake, etc.)

You can vote for your favorite on Sue Anderson's blog, be sure to scroll down past the prizes to the "Here Are Our Amazing Entries" heading! There are quite a few, all different types of items, representing inspiration to the artist/crafter.

So, what inspires you?