Imitation Crab

Introducing the first necklace I have made!! It only took me, oh...about 5 attempts to solder and a few hours, but I did it! I tell you what, solder is quickly becoming not a very good friend. Oh, well, I will get it soon enough!

I call this little cute one "Imitation Crab" because I set out making it not even thinking of crab and after I had it all put together I saw nothing BUT a crab with those little googly eyes staring up at me. Funny how that happens sometimes. But I'm rather pleased with it and almost like it better thinking of it as a little crab.

I hope you've had a lovely beginning to your week! I'm still enjoying 4 (read it and weep) days off due to the salon being remodeled. And I love it! Actually, I believe this will be my new permanent schedule. I am going to part time to focus more on art and jewelry. Something I've never been able to afford (monetarily or emotionally), and am taking this opportunity to listen to my soul scraping at my insides and go for it! Those of you who know me know how much I've been struggling with this and also how hard this has been for me. So, I want to thank all of you for your out-pourings of encouragement, love, and patience as I have been arriving at this place. That being said, I've had so much peace in the past few days while Jason is attending a conference.

And I feel so blessed.

Oh, and I NEED to tell you of my favorite new thing!

It is WELL worth the $28. Your house will smell ah-mah-zing! I can't stop spraying it. I didn't know anything could smell like this. I'm in serious nesting mode and this is only one of a few things I purchased to make my nest a little more cozy. More to show you later.

But until then, I'm afraid I'm in the kind of mood that if I don't stop myself know, I will never shut up! So, adieu for now, lovlies.




Spring Has Sprung!

Shhh! Don't tell anyone, but spring is here and the cherry blossoms told me it's supposed to be 60 degrees tomorrow!



There is a deliciously sweet smell wafting through my house right now as a HUGE batch of granola is cooling in my kitchen. Growing up, my mom used to make big batches of granola and we'd snack on it for weeks. Her favorite way is to eat it like cereal but as I've developed my own recipe to how I like it, my favorite way to eat it is with a dollop of greek yogurt and some cold poached pears. The lovely thing about this granola is that you can add and subtract the ingredients based on what you like in yours. Any combination of nuts, seeds, and fruits can be combined to make every batch a little different. You can even add some peanut butter to the "glue" if you're in a peanutbuttery mood.

Not only is this really easy to make, but it can be really healthy too! Unfortunately, this is about the least amount of sugar you can have per batch, you need the honey and brown sugar to make the glue and combine it all together. If you don't care for it clumpy, you can add less or even leave out the brown sugar entirely.
You will need:

For the "glue":
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup honey
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 TB. cinnamon
1 TB. water

For the "goodies":
One 18oz. container old fashioned rolled oats (about 5 1/2 cups)
2 - 3 cups mixed nuts (I like a combo of almonds and walnuts)
2 cups shredded coconut
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 flax seeds
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 generous cup seeds (I like sesame and pumpkin, heavier on the pumpkin seeds)

2-3 cups dried fruit (I really like dried tart cherries, currents, cranberries and maybe a little golden raisins)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine all the ingredients for the "glue" in a small saucepan over med-low heat and stir until combined and the honey is melted.

On a large baking sheet, combine all the ingredients for the "goodies" except for the fruit. Toss to combine (I find that your hands are the best mixers at this point).

Drizzle the sauce over oat mixture and toss to combine, being careful not to burn your fingers if using them to mix with!

Bake 15-20 minutes, or until the top is just starting to get browned and you can start to smell the nuts, tossing once or twice during that time. Be careful to not over-brown and DO NOT toss once it comes out of the oven! Let it cool completely in the pan before breaking it up. This will help it to clump better. Once cool, break it up in handfuls and toss with the dried fruit. Store in a large glass jar on the counter for a few weeks, or you can freeze it in batches.

Yummy! Enjoy!



The Olympics (mountains, of course)

Well friends, I have just spent the weekend with my dear friend in New York, walking miles and miles in the bitter cold winter that is the East Coast. But we were not cold - we had warm hearts, hours of endless conversation, delicious food, and the bright winter sun to keep us toasty. And now back on Pacific, I gaze at our mountains of earth and green trees after being surrounded by the Atlantic's mountains of steel beams and brown stones. My absolute favorite view in this city is driving up the Aurora viaduct on a sunny morning and seeing the snow capped mountains of the Olympics ablaze in the low morning sun. It's amazing I haven't had any fender-benders, as that scene demands all my attention.

So, here is ring number two! I call it the Olympics ring - after those jagged peaks of that gorgeous mountain range. I was actually surprised how easily this came together given that it was the first of it's kind I've ever attempted. However, I have not figured out how to size the rings very well yet. I thought this would be the perfect for my middle finger and alas, it's even too big for my thumb! But, I will get there, now that I know that pounding out a size "7" will in turn become more like an "8"! But I'm already planning out my next, and I'm rather excited to get it complete and show it to you! Until then...




Victory, sweet victory

As I laid in bed waking up this morning, I was determined to not let my failures yesterday stop me so soon. So I threw on a sweatshirt and slippers and not even stopping for any morning tea went down to my studio and conquered that solder! Ahhh...it was so nice to see that solder flow. Of course, this ring is by no means perfect or really well done. I dropped the stone when fitting the bezel and broke it in half. Then proceeded to krazy glue it together (and to my self for a while as well!), I don't have the right polishing agents, so it's not quite as pretty as I would like it to be, I realized some solder didn't actually take and the tip isn't soldered correctly, and this was my very first attempt at doing a bezel (the part that wraps around the stone). But all in all, I'm very pleased and happy with the outcome! I will wear it proudly and puff up my chest, even though anyone who really knows anything about working with jewelry would most likely scoff at my elementary attempts. But I won't care, I'll flaunt it around and get a tan line around it.

Look for more to come hopefully soon!!!



*Disclaimer: I know this may look like some other pieces that you've seen out there that are created by others. I in no way mean to copy or "steal" anyone's designs. I merely am trying to teach myself how to make things and am inspired by so many other artists. I truly am looking for my own voice with my art and I feel by exploring many other styles and concepts I will eventually find my own. So I sincerely hope and pray I have made no enemies by taking a wonderful idea and attempting it myself.


As the saying goes, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade, right? Well, today when life gave me the wrong kind of solder that wasn't working on my long awaited jewelry project, I made chocolate chip cookies. That's what I love about cooking and baking - I know exactly what to do and most likely I have all the tools and ingredients already here. And if I don't, there are a million places I could find them within minutes from my front door. I don't have to order anything online that takes weeks to arrive. Thus, the great difference between cooking and silversmithing. Anyways, the dough is setting in the fridge, so I can't yet attest to their wonderfulness, but let's just say that both Harley and I are licking up any crumbs of dough that has splattered around the kitchen. In the raw, the dough is so good! I'm sure the cookies will be jut as divine.

Onto another note: You'll have to forgive me for being absent for (eek-gads!) months! I didn't really intend to take such a break, but here it is February and my last post was about using up Thanksgiving Day left-overs. I haven't been terribly busy per se - I mean, beyond the normal state of steady chaos that my life runs at - I just have been floundering at life. I have this terrible habit of finally being comfortable at one place in my life and then having a mini-crisis of sorts where I feel like I'm not doing what I should and quickly I'm planning my next greatest endeavor in life. My soul begins to scratch at my insides and won't let me rest until I'm well underway in investigating what it wants and doing some serious soul searching.

So, what does that next thing look like for me? Well, I don't really know yet. I know it involves dedicating more time to art and hopefully jewelry. (For christmas, Jason set my studio up and just today I was attempting to make my first piece. However, there are a lot of tools and supplies needed for one simple item, and it's very frustrating to do anything without them all. So, needless to say, I wish I had something to show you, but it would all look like scraps and random bits of things. Hopefully I will have something to share soon though!) Anyways...oh, yes - art and jewelry. I never have allowed myself scheduled time to pursue art the way I have always wanted to, and I think that is what my insides are telling me this time. And perhaps (hopefully!) this next step also involves some major veggies and chickens...but more to come on that later! So I hope to be doing some postings of a little different sort coming up soon and I hope that you'll enjoy them as much as I will!

Until next time,