Friday, September 28, 2012

Into the West: It's all about the Rocks!!

In the Garden of Infinite Wisdom  
Botanical Garden: Haily, ID

This summer I was fortunate to experienced my first road trip in decades.  Andy and I left Anacortes for Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, and Montana on a day when thunder and lightening seemed to follow us everywhere.  We were on an adventure traveling through some familiar territory and to some places we've never been!
Stormy skies in Northeast Oregon

This trip was very social in many ways. We stopped to visit family and friends in Sun Valley, Salt Lake City, Boulder, Colorado, West Yellowstone, Wise River, Montana.  We camped, hiked, stayed in a hostel, and dipped in a hot spring pool.  We had two rock chips in our windsheild in two days, our car turned 100,000 miles, and entrusted our cats, garden and house to our teenage son.  Yet, in this post, I want to highlight one of my favorite topics:  Rocks!!!  Sun, wind, water erroded, exposed, crumbling, prominent, still forming, smooth, sharp, dull, brilliant, gigantic and tiny!

A tenacious tree growing through lava flows at Crators of the Moon Idaho

I know we drove past places where they find opals, sapphires, and quartz crystals.  Maybe some other time I'll go on a gemstone tour of the west!  For now I'll have to be happy with the pictures of amazing formations and geothermal wonders we encountered.
Snake River Canyon at Twin Falls  (you can see kayaks in the bottom left)

Heading East from Salt Lake City, UT
Near the Flat Irons, Boulder, Colorado

Wyoming Colors

Surprising to me was the variety and scope of the geology of Wyoming.  We saw only a slice of Utah and didn't get into the heart of the Rockies in Colorado.  So much saved for another year!

Wyoming Approaching Teton National Park

Vedauwoo Rocks in Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest, Wyoming

More Vedauwoo, Wyoming
I have always loved observing geologic wonders; holding, finding, touching rocks large and small, shiny or dull, heavy or light.  I love to see how they landed thrown from a volcanic blast, were shaped and eroded by wind, water, or flowing glaciers, or see where they tumbled to into some canyon or became polished by waves on my favorite beach.  This trip was a feast for my latent rockhound self.
Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone Park, Montana

In Montana, experiencing a very different kind of rock
I like to think inspiration for my craft comes through the exposure on trips and adventures like this.  I feel renewed and invigorated looking back through the images and recalling the new sight, textures, smells, and sounds.  Let's fill that experience library with wonderful new memories!

Friday, April 6, 2012

New Beadwork and Enameled Jewelry

As life settles in to a new routine, I have found time to create new jewelry: beaded, enameled, and strung. I am especially excited about this peyote stitched bezel around a Labradorite Cabachon with some serious blue highlights. Next I'll bead the bail and decide how to hang it.  Beaded rope or chain?

With so many projects in progress, a few that have been on the back burner recently called loudly for completion.  Quite a few are still in various stages of becoming but the momentum is building and the satisfaction of finishing is pulling me forward.  Here are some that I like a lot!

Enameled Pendant Choker

     Enameled Earrings with Blue Niobium Earwires
Scrafito Technique Enamel Pendant Necklace

 Earrings with Sterling Silver Spiral

Outside the window I'm finally seeing the signs of spring with something other than a gray background!  Huge cumulous clouds with billowing white tops and ominous looking undersides are hiding Mount Baker.  The Red Flowering Currant is So in the pink this year! Appreciated doubly, as I had one bush die last year. Across the street the neighbor has yellow Forsythia and the last Cherry blossoms are giving way to maroon leaves.  The blue sky is doing my soul good today!!

Happy Spring!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Traditional Rowing Boat Blog Post

In my new job at Emerald Marine Carpentry one of my tasks is to keep the blog humming along. Below is a link to my first post.

After wanting to work at the family business for many years, the time arrived!  Part-time work in Anacortes allows me time to keep up with my jewelry business, exercise, gardening, and projects around the house.  The short bicycle commute is a nice addition.

My office skills come in handy, in addition to marketing and promotion as well.  The learning curve involves retail wood sales, pricing, shipping and receiving and general inventory.   Part of the fun is learning customers and their boats names, adjusting to general shop routine, and training on how to help maintain tools and equipment.  I tend to be most happy with a variety of hands-on tasks so the good balance between shop work and office work is perfect.

There is, of course, a large well equipped shop with lots of tools, bronze casting equipment, a forge waiting to be set up, metal bandsaw, almost everything except for the perfect jewelers torch and the precision rolling mill I dream of!  There is always great music playing on the stereo and a general good feeling.

I have been listing new items on Etsy slowly.  Making a few new items and taking a lot of pictures.  I have so much still to learn and explore with my kiln and as my new routine takes hold, more space and time are opening up.

Emerald Marine Blog Island Star post

Photo by Phil Eley