November 30, 2009

Hidden Gems in Griffin...And Hiddenite

Griffin was fun - of course - how could it not be? The Next Chapter is a great used bookstore run by wonderful ladies with amazing customers who have spectacular taste. You must go next time you're in Griffin... of course, it won't look quite like this unless you go next time I'm there (which might be in March, but I'll keep you posted)

I swung by the Cowee Ruby Mine drivin through Franklin on my way back up on Saturday and found a few, not very nice, Sapphires and pretty much nothing else in my one sifted bucket so I decided to high tail it back to Hiddenite and try my luck there again.

Got there a little after 3pm (they close at 5pm this time of year) and it was already getting just about too dark to see what you were looking at. I got a native bucket and found a few nice pieces. Nothing like in the bucket on the way up though. So after running through that, I ran down to the creek and started looking around. Obviously, it pays to be there early cause it was pretty much picked through. I found a couple here and there and mostly quartz and then ventured across the rocks to the other side and just as I was getting ready to turn around and head back (it was getting pretty dark by then) I looked at the bank and saw some pretty colors poking out of the sand. Pay dirt! as they say. Started moving the leaves away and brushing stones from the dirt. Wound up finding a fairly good couple of handfuls of nice stones in about 10 minutes and then headed back just before closing time.

Wound up finding a really nice Garnet, larger than any of the three I found on the previous rummage on the way up but just as clear and dark. Some nice Rutile, another small ok Sapphire, some Blue Aventurine, some smaller Moonstones, amazingly clear pieces of Smoky and Rose Quartz, some more Moss Agate, Bloodstone, and Red Banded Jasper. Plus a few nice stones I have no idea what they are.

I wound up with a lot of pretty "just rocks" as well as a lot of actual gemstones in my two day, 4 or so hours of sluicing and creeking. See:

That's a 3/4 length bath towel covered in gems... well, the bottom left is a bunch of not so great quartz, quartzite and such like that - up to the blue in the middle, which is where the Aventurine is...

This is a closer look at the more valuable stones:

Flourite in the foreground with Amazonite just behind and Moonstone and Sapphires to the left of that and Garnets above the Moonstone and the little Tourmalines next to the Garnets...

There wasn't a lot of sun today so those two pictures don't really show off the stones that well. Phil took some close ups of the stones he liked yesterday when there was sun though. He thought this was the best Rutile, but I might have better ones:

One of our many lingering lady bugs joined in for this picture... then crawled over to the stones I was cleaning and sorting on the towel. Gives a good scale for the Rose Quartz, don'tcha think:

[We have a lady bug infestation every year, twice a year - Spring and Fall - and we still have a few left from the recent outdoor explosion that wound up inside our windows.]

That's not the really clear one I found on Saturday either. That one is smaller and shaped almost like an arrowhead. I've never found Rose Quartz so clear. It's almost like glass. In fact, Phil asked me if I was sure the large, clear Smoky I found wasn't glass.

Those are Phil's manly fingers, not my tiny girly ones like with the Rutile:

It's a good size Smoky and the picture doesn't really show how clear it is since the light is refracting off of all the surface fractures.

So yep. I'll probably be heading back down in early Spring to do it all over again. Should be a great time and hopefully I'll come back with Rubies and Emeralds next time! Going to have a longer stay at the Emerald Hollow Mines on the way down too. Bright and early creeking and sluicing!

I have so many stones now, I guess I'd better break out my tumbler and find someone to teach me how to cut the ones that would be better faceted or cabochoned. One more thing I have to add to my to do list...

Speaking of which, I have a whole table of jewelry that needs getting made... oh, and I gotta get dinner started first.

Rock on til the next installment!

November 26, 2009

Fun in the Dirt!

Oh, Hiddenite was FUN! Digging around in the dirt looking for pretty rocks, what could be better than that? I'm definitely going back next year when I swing back down!

Sorry, no pictures right now; since I'm using someone else's computer and my phone isn't that sophisticated... I didn't find any emeralds but, I did find a sapphire; a dark purple one. Also found some garnets, a black tourmaline, tiny green tourmaline, amazonite, tree agate, green moss agate, red banded jasper, rose quartz, smoky quartz, amethyst, orange calcite, bloodstone, peach moonstone, flourite, blue aventurine, green aventurine, red aventurine, some really great 'just river rocks' and some other stuff I don't know what it is yet, and probably some I just forgot to tell ya.

I sifted through one bucket (where I found the sapphire) and then tooled around the creek a bit. Well, moved big flat rocks into the creek to retrieve a lot of them actually. Found the garnets and moonstone in the creek. Well, the moonstone IN the creek, the garnets next to the creek actually. If I'd had more time, I would have stayed there all day looking through dirt and water!

Even still, in just a couple hours I found a pretty good haul. Which is to say, I have a fairly heavy bag of rocks to take home and clean up and look at and wrap up into pretty jewelry for all ya'll. Looking forward to it in a big way!

Also really looking forward to the reason I came down to GA this week: tomorrow's Jewelry Party at The Next Chapter Bookstore in Griffin, GA (see last entry and the link on the where I'm at in the side bar for details and map). Going to be a beautiful warm, sunny day and a good day for one of a kind bargains in Griffin! Maybe we'll see you there?

So that's going until 7pm and after a good night's sleep, I'm off to Franklin the next morning to sift through dirt once again. Looking for sapphires, rubies, and emeralds ostly. Maybe this time I'll find rubies and emeralds in the dirt? More sapphires would be cool too.

I'll have pictures next week. Probably look like a pile of rocks, but I'll try to get some good close ups of the best finds.

So, hope to see you tomorrow, or in the next week at another event or somewhere on the road... or maybe I'll run into you while looking for pretty rocks?

Hope everyone had a lot to be thankful today!

November 23, 2009

The Next Chapter

Well, I met some lovely people in Pearl River yesterday, and danced and laughed a lot, but sold only two rings... right at the end. That's how these things go sometimes. You just never know who's going to show up and how they'll react to your art...

So, now, I'm getting ready to drive down to Hiddenite tomorrow and hunt for Emeralds and then push through south of Atlanta to visit my good friend Carol and get geared up for my big Black Friday instore sale at The Next Chapter Bookstore in Griffin, GA. I made these just for the store to display while they're waiting for me to get there with more jewelry:

and I still have the jewelry I posted in last weeks entry as well. So that will be coming down with me too. BTW, I love that Labradorite's blue fire, don't you?! Plus, that really elaborate swirly ring is adjustable just like the swirly from last week and swirly with a bead above. AND, I'm bringing wire, tools and gems just so I can sit around and make rings on the spot at the party Friday; because you asked for it! Custom rings anyone?

So we're expecting to see everyone reading this in the Atlanta area to come down/over/around to downtown Griffin and get some real bargains. Because that's what you'll get. Real, one of a kind, bargains! Did I mention the jewelry's all going to be 20% OFF my online store prices? Well, it is. Just above wholesale so you'll be getting a real Black Friday deal when you come by. Because I know, if you're close enough to get there, you will.

Especially since the books are on sale too. It's the 3rd year Anniversary for The Next Chapter this month so Friday's event is a little bit of an Anniversary Party extension. That means food and drink to keep you alert while you're shopping. Well, we all know you'll be hanging around for a while with all the jewelry and great books and wonderful company and everything being such a bargain... and we wouldn't want you to get low blood sugar while you're there. What with the post Thanksgiving fast and all...

Happy Thanksgiving and see you Friday afternoon/evening in Griffin!

November 20, 2009

Music and This Weekend's Market Sitting

Ok, tonight's the night. First time since April you'll get the chance to see THEChildren perform. Yep, if you missed them at the Delancey, tonight's your chance to catch em. Phil's playing the hammered dulcimer and djembe drum; John A's going to be in this line up; and Michael (Weiner), while not really a singer, is always entertaining. Oh, and the venue is a little different too. It's in a clothing store!

Yep. So, if you're anywhere near NYC tonight around 7pm, swing by Label on Lafayette between Spring and Prince. Enjoy the spectacle and the accessories.

Oh, and make sure you swing up to Pearl River on Sunday for a day of shopping! Well, at least try to swing by the Beth Am Temple Holiday Boutique and say hi. Doors open at 10am and shut at 4pm. Plenty of time to get some shopping in and grab some baked goods from the kids. I have some new jewelry... whanna see some?

New styles, some new techniques, all new designs. Like? The swirly ring is adjustable... and the stones are Labradorite and Citrine... If you like and can't make it to Pearl River on Sunday, then you better get in touch before then. Don't think I'll be bringing these back home...

Right. Gotta start getting ready for the musical interlude for the evening. So, hope to see you NY people at either or - maybe both? Who knows? Not me... Swirly!

November 17, 2009

Making New Jewelry for Indiemade

Allentown has been bery bery good to me...

From Scratch got off to a good 1st year start and it went so well, it looks like they're planning a second event in Spring. I'm looking forward to it already! Of course, if it weren't for the people who saw me at Indiemade last year and recommended me to the organizers, I wouldn't be there at all. So, THANKS Indiemade!

Speaking of which, I'm in the process of making some new jewelry that will be debuting there. At the December 5th Indiemade Craft Market that is. Here's a little sneak peak:

The beads are all early 1950's and Japanese in origin. All Lampwork beads by nature. Throwing in some gemstones too. See em? Yep. There they are. Haven't finalized the designs yet, but will be working on that today when I'm done with this... and once I do the dishes.

Oh, and it looks like I won't be able to do anymore Squish Markets til next year. Can't do this month after all and next month the date is earlier and conflicts with my first day up at the Tight Knit market up in Troy... oh well. I'll definitely do some more next year, but probably the next one will be in February cause I think I'll be at Tight Knit on the January date too. I'll keep you posted.

I will be at the Beth Am Temple in Pearl River NY this Sunday though and Phil has a show with the Children on Friday in The City - at Label. It's a store. I'll write more about that tomorrow when I know what time they plan to launch into song.

Speaking of which, PLEASE, click on the link for Phil's project and pledge all you can... let everyone you know know... and help him get his new CD made. All it takes is a contribution of $25 to be able to contribute your voice to his music... literally.


Oh ya. Phil's watercolor painting based necklaces are selling like hotcakes and he painted two more last night that I'm going to try finish up in necklace form to take with me this weekend... though, if I don't get them finished in time for that, I'll have them with me in Griffin, GA for sure... going to do a party trunk show at The Next Chapter Bookstore on N. Hill Street on Black Friday... look for those pictures later in the week or Monday before I drive South. More on that later too.

Toodles til the next update... toodley toodleee toodle

November 12, 2009

Small Works & Trexlertown: Do You Know What These Have in Common?

Well, one opens on and one is held on Saturday, November 14th. Oh, and I'll be represented at both places...

I just dropped off five brand new just made for this show necklaces with miniature original watercolor paintings by Phil attached to them for the Small Works Show at Zuzu's Cafe in Beacon, NY. Wanna see them? Ok:

This came out a little too light on the painting. It's got a lovely orange sunrise color behind the trees. This painting is my favorite of the five and this picture does not show how amazing the painting is! The necklace is made with Brass that I handformed and linked with Baltic Amber, Citrine, Emerald, and Tourmaline gemstone chips. You can get it at the show for a mere $130.

This picture came out the best of all five. It really shows the color and detail of the necklace. Handformed Copper wire connected by handmade links of Brass with these gorgeous little laser cut Brass colored Copper beads at the center of each swirly chain section is what this is made of. Yours for only $125.

Squiggle. Pinks and blues and Brass and what is it? Even Phil doesn't know. The handformed chain is Yellow Brass, Rose Quartz and Blue Lace Agate though. The perfect piece for every pastel and pink lover. A unique look for only $105.

Cross, telphone pole? Phil won't say. We called it Pale T. This picture doesn't show the beautiful pale pinks and blues and greens washed across the painting though. It's really lovely. So I took some lovely Brass and linked the wire with White Topaz that's been dyed a pale blue. You should see this when the light hits it just right. It's stunning! Only at the Small Works Show. Just $95.

The colors came out pretty nice in this picture, though it's a little lighter than in person. Purples and burgundy, greens and blues. The necklace has all the same shades in Tourmaline handlinked with Brass wire. Get this at Zuzu's for $110.

Now that you've seen what I contributed; here's your official invitation to the show:

I won't be at the opening though because, I'll be in the Trexlertown Grange selling a bunch of other jewelry at the From Scratch Handmade Artists Market. There's going to be live music and baked goods there too! First one ever. And, your donation of canned food (for an entry discount) will be going to the Second Harvest Food Bank too. Have fun and get some charity on. That'll be over in the Trexlertown Grange. That's in Pennsylvania. Where all the hipster cool people will be in Trexlertown, PA this Saturday, natch.

Of course, that's a bit of a walk if you want to go to both, but at least you can go to Zuzu's another day for the five necklaces above - until they're sold or the show's over, whichever comes first...

November 6, 2009

Yay! No More Baseball!

Ok. So, I went to a lot of games as a child - Anaheim A's mostly - and played of course. It was required. My sister was almost blinded playing softball, but that has nothing to do with it. I've just always found the game boring and, well, really boring. Now, Hurling. There's an exciting sport!

Apple pie is ok, but I like Blackberry, Raspberry and Boysenberry, oh, and Olallieberry, pie way better. You can mix a little bit of apple in with the berries and it's good pie. But no sugar. Honey and maple syrup if you have to. Really ripe (NOT East Coast grown) Blackberries can go without the sweetener. Yummmy! Used to get excellent Real Key Lime pie with Tequila Raspberry sauce when I was in Blacksburg... too bad that restaurant didn't last... that was amazing!

Ya. So, anyway; now that the world series is no longer on Fox at primetime, I can watch some of my shows again! Yay!

Sad, noh?

Ok. I don't just sit around watching TV all day! I sit around watching movies too. AND making jewelry while I watch the vidiot box. It's kind of like listening to the radio while I work. Since my current working conditions are so confined, my largest and most convenient workspot is the coffee table so, I usually watch a little whatever for background and entertainment while I create. If that's weird, well... I am a little. weehhhheeeeeeee.

I did make some new rings today - while watching a marathon of the David Tenant Dr. Who - with Martha. Missed most of those, so caught up a little. And made these rings in the process:

All Gold Fill, mostly 14KGF but two of the rings have some 18 gauge that's only 12KGF. Lessee, the front row left is a super twisty with 4 strands of wire and three 4 mm stones (Garnet, Hessonite Garnet and Citrine); middle front is a 6mm lab grown Alexandrite; right front is an 8mm Natural Black Spinel; middle row left is a Labradorite (and the color just did not come out in the shot, it's soooo blue!); middle right is a lab grown Blue Zircon; in the back is a lab grown Ruby. All on the small size side (between 4 & 6.5) round the finger, and all but the Ruby one pretty substantial round the stone. Yah. If I don't sell them tomorrow, I'll take some better pictures...

Even this one of the Labradorite isn't as good as it should be, but at least it shows the color better:

Only cropped the size on this. Didn't tweek it at all. But it's a little blurry so you can't see the facets too well. It really does show that blue. Only a 5 1/2 though... no, really. I didn't play with the color at all in that picture!

OK. So, that's the new stuff. Would have had more but I spent all of the first four days of the week making tiny little pendants for Swag for the Indiemade Craft Market in a month. Gotta get them mailed out on Monday...

Right, so if you like the rings and live close enough to drive to Beacon NY tomorrow (that's November 7th if you aren't sure what day I wrote this), and want to try some of them new rings on and maybe buy one or two; I'll be at the Elant at Fishkill Holiday Craft Fair from 10am to 4pm. That's at 22 Robert Kasin Way which is just North of the Beacon exit off I-84
up 9D, or just North of the I-84 on 9D. Hopefully there will be adequate signage, but there's a map right here and linked to the "Where I'll Be" in the sidebar too.

So, that's what's on my mind, just got made, and where I'll be this weekend. Hopefully you've enjoyed it and I'll see you one of these weekends soon.