January 31, 2014

heart jewelry 2014

woodgrain heart on natural leather
It's that time of year... Hearts! I have a selection of heart necklaces and earrings in my Etsy shop, in several different styles, for you to browse. This post features a couple of newer necklaces that have been added. Both are my hand-textured woodgrain style, one is even more unique in that it has been hammered on top of the woodgrain texture so it sparkles in the light, and oxidized to bring out the texture. These two hang sideways from leather cords (available in a selection of neutral colors). Click images to see the listing details.

If you are looking for an elegant, simple crystal adornment to wear on that special Valentine's Date, take a look at the Romance section of my shop.

oxidized woodgrain/hammered texture heart pendant necklace

woodgrain/hammered texture heart pendant necklace in different light

woodgrain bright silver heart pendant necklace

a necklace from the Romance collection (other colors available)

heart earrings with Swarovski crystal dangles (other colors available)

treasuries on etsy: two adventures

I recently put together two treasuries on Etsy, both with an outdoor adventure theme (quite by accident!). Check out these collections of great items from Etsy sellers!

An Artful Adventure:

A Northern Adventure:

A Northern Adventure, treasury by Jennifer Kistler on Etsy

January 10, 2014

treasury on etsy: earthy love

Earthy Love, my latest treasury on Etsy. I enjoy putting together treasuries (a curated collection of items available on Etsy), but haven't made any in a long time. Check it out!

Earthy Love a treasury by Jennifer Kistler on Etsy.com

January 6, 2014

route 66 & local turquoise

Kingman Turquoise
During the kids' Fall Break last October, we had originally planned to visit the Grand Canyon. Due to the government shut-down affecting national parks, we had a change of plans. My parents took the boys and I on a short road trip to see some of Route 66. Since we live in that part of the country now, it sounded interesting. We headed up from Prescott, and our first stop was Ash Fork. We continued on I-40 to Seligman, and took Route 66 from there.

We stopped the first day in Kingman. Suddenly I realized I hadn't thought ahead of time to find out if there were any stores selling the local Kingman Turquoise. (how could I have missed that?!) I had just gotten a smart phone for an early birthday present, so I put it to use with the motel's free wi-fi. We ended up at the showroom of Colbaugh Processing, which makes cabochons and beads from the local Turquoise. I was awed by the variety of material that comes from the local mine, and had a hard time picking just a few strands to bring home. (my favorites were "New Boulder" which has vibrant turquoise color with lots of earthy brown matrix, and "High Blue" which is very intense blue with some brown matrix, both shown in first photo, above left.) Their Kingman Turquoise is stabilized only (as all Turquoise needs to be for durability), not dyed. I decided right then that once I use up all the Turquoise I have, I will probably only buy directly from them. (a return trip is expected, whenever I have more funds to seriously stock up!)

a wall of Arizona Turquoise! (Colbaugh Processing)

Their gravel parking lot is littered with scraps from the processing, and they gladly hand out bags to kids of customers to gather some up. My boys love rocks and had a great time doing that while I shopped. After that, we drove farther out and went by Mineral Park mine which is where the Kingman Turquoise comes from, and visited the little old mining town of Chloride.

rock hunting for Turquoise scraps in the parking lot

The next day, we left Kingman on Route 66 to Oatman, a little old mining town with burros that roam freely. Then it was out toward the Colorado River and onto I-40 again for a bit. We stopped to see the London Bridge at Lake Havasu City. Then we drove through some very drab land, and then some stereotypical Arizona desert with lots of Saguaro cactus, to get to Wickenburg where we spent the second night. The next day we went to a small plane and car show at their airport, where the boys got to sit in one of the flight training planes from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (which happens to be right next to our neighborhood). We also visited the western museums, lots of cowboy stuff there. Then we headed back home through Yarnell (and saw the damage from the fire earlier this year), and up through the area where the Doce Fire started below Granite Mountain on our way into Prescott.

It is fascinating to see more of the region where we live now. In addition to enjoying the historical sights, I was also continually amazed by how many mountains there are in Arizona. Lots of flat valley land between, but so many hills and mountains (in this part, anyway). It was a beautiful time to tour Arizona, everything was about as green as it would be because it was not long after monsoon season (except the grasses had already turned golden again).

Watch for new jewelry pieces featuring the Turquoise I bought in Kingman! (those pieces will be clearly described as such.)

old cars in Ash Fork

Route 66 outside Seligman

Route 66 between Kingman and Oatman

Route 66 almost to Oatman

burros roaming the main street of Oatman

January 2, 2014

welcome 2014!

lights on tree outside mall
Welcome 2014! Time to catch up on the blog! So many half-finished posts, both online and in my head.

We have now been in Prescott, Arizona for a year. We are still discovering new things around the area. The week of Christmas, we took a drive one morning to see where a road went, and ended up on an unpaved road on top an almost 7000 foot mountain just outside town. To my delight, it still had snow from previous weeks, and was wooded with tall pines (AKA real trees) and a stand of aspen. I want to remember to go back and see the aspen next fall.

tall pines and snow

What's in store for me in 2014? Hopefully a great year of fun projects, happy times, and lots of new jewelry in my Etsy shop! For Christmas, my husband built me a custom desk to fit around some storage cubbies and plastic drawers that is strictly for creating my metal clay jewelry pieces. (I lost my dedicated table when we moved, it didn't fit in our current dining room studio.) I'm looking forward to using it as soon as I get an easy-to-clean glass top for it.

I'm taking Ali Edward's One Little Word workshop again, and this year my word is Forward. After (mostly) recovering from several very stressful years and a big move, I feel it's time (and I'm ready) to move forward. I am so glad I did this online class last year, and would recommend it to anyone who is thinking about it.

I plan to continue doing digital 12x12 scrapbook layouts, but I'm also very interested in documenting 2014 in a Project Life type album (perhaps one page per week, rather than the common two-page spread each week). I did a smaller version of this with our First Year in Arizona book (will share more photos of that soon). While I have no interest in going back to traditional paper 12x12 layouts, I found there's something satisfying and therapeutic about capturing the random things of life, and slipping photos, journal cards, and assorted memorabilia into pockets.

I have some other projects sitting on the back burner as well, perhaps this is the year I get back into some things I haven't done for a while.

Happy New Year! I wish you all the best. What's in store for you in 2014?

my boys, on our New Year's Day hike in the rocks near Willow Lake