People are hungry for real

Hey there!

I’m still learning my way around blogville and thought I had three blogs with release dates. This one is 5 months old.

Five months old.

I was busy with the Salem Saturday Market and it was a blast! If you’re local, come join us in April when it starts up again. Apparently I was too busy to keep up with custom orders, Saturday Salem Market and life and blogging went to the back burner.

But hey, we’re heading into the holidays and so it all works out perfectly.

Holidays = eating and human connection. Family and friends gather and break bread once or twice a year and we’re getting closer.

This blog post has no jewelry. I’m not here to sell anything, or teach anything πŸ™‚

Here it is, the blog post that I *thought* was already posted. Better late than never, I suppose!

Enjoy!

Have you ever just sat and had eye contact with someone? No conversation, just looking at each other.

Try it for one minute this week. It’s wonderful. Create a connection.

This video keeps popping up on my facebook feed about human connection in a busy city. A man, dressed nicely, sits at a small 4×4 table covered with a black table cloth and just waits with calmly folded hands for someone to come and sit across from him.

A young woman, sitting cross legged, in the same square (I am not 100% sure) and she waits for people to come and sit in front of her.

Long story short…they created this opportunity to be available for human connection.Β  For one minute, you just simply sit and look into the persons eyes.

Intimacy.

Some people can’t handle it. Some people are dying for it. Some people don’t know they’re missing it until someone just stares them in the eye for a minute, gives them that space to …just be…and connect.

It creates an emotion so strong one man just nods at the end. It was like he was saying this life affirming “Ah, yes, yes…that’s the connection.” Another woman has tears rolling down her face. Their faces, to me, say “I’ve been searching for this and didn’t even know it.”

My title “People are hungry for real” isn’t missing a comma. It’s not part of the language we use today ..you know…”like, for reals mom, I’m late because I missed the bus.”

No, not that “for real”

I mean people are hungry for genuine, for something …real.

I met …gosh, I don’t know how many people passed by my booth today at the Saturday Salem Market. Some were eating their sno-cones and carrying their weekly fruits and veggies.

And to each of them I said “Good Morning, good morning!!!” (because I like the fun way it sounds) and it’s just my way of saying “Hi there, thanks for coming.” It’s not a gimmick to get them to come in to my booth. It’s creating human connection. I enjoy it, they enjoy it. It made some people squirm because they thought they were being manipulated into buying something. (but that’s another blog post!)

Another story…

One time I heard a story when I was learning to be a counselor. This man jumped from the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge and killed himself… and when they identified him later, they found a note that read something along the lines of “I’m going to jump off the Bridge. If you find this note, it’s because I walked all the way to the bridge and not one person smiled at me.”

I don’t know if it’s true, but it stuck with me. It made me want to create a wave of connection with people. From my heart. To yours. Then you would create the wave with others…then maybe one day my smile will come back to me through the eyes of a stranger πŸ™‚ You never know!

People. Are. Starving. For. Real. Genuine. Human. Connection.

That’s the problem. Okay, so it’s not the “only” problem…but it’s part of the problem.

Since the problem is they’re starving, then the solution is feeding them.

What do you feed starving people?

Love.

Just the act of saying “Good Morning, good morning” creates a human connection. I have the hardest time talking to people sometimes and it slides away when I think…”maybe this person does too!” and I crawl out of my comfort zone and say “hello” in the most authentic way I can. Fun and zippy. Sounds corny but it works for me.

Because if it’s not fun, then I’m not doing it.

A lady, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, came to my booth simply because I said “Good Morning, Good Morning” and I saw her tattoo. It said ”

there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think”

I asked her about the tattoo and in conversation, it came out that she was a veteran. A big smile crossed my face and I walked towards her and while I’m walking towards her I said “Is it okay if I give you a hug?”

Surprised the hell out of her.

I told her I have a special place in my heart for veterans and thanked her for her service.

She didn’t buy anything, that’s not why I did it. It wasn’t an emotional manipulation. And the next time I see her, I’m going to call her my favorite veteran. Because she is. (shhh I tell them all that!)

She might get dozens of hugs a day or live with 100 people who tell her they love her, appreciate her and sing her songs of adoration.

Or that might be the only human connection, the only hug, the only “good morning, good morning” (as in “hey there, I see you and you matter enough for me to simply say “HI”) she got all day…or all week.

I wish I had some really cool blog worthy love thy neighbor words of wisdom but this is the best I have!

I hope, as we head into the holiday season…that you create a human connection. Invite the new neighbor to Thanksgiving dinner, take a plate to the homeless guy that you know is mentally ill. Take some socks and tampons to a homeless shelter (the two least donated things, I didn’t know!) The kid on the corner who lives in a triplex. Her mom works 3 jobs and you know they don’t have much. Give. Not just gifties, those are nice too…but give a human connection. Small ones, big ones…it doesn’t matter.

Because I truly believe it all comes back to us.

And if giving love isn’t enough…

Then double the dose.

And if you’re the one hungry for connections, then be brave like I am every Saturday at the market, start saying “good morning” or “hey, howyadoin!” (say it really fast, it’s fun!) and just reach out. It’s good practice and you never know whose life you’ll touch.

At the end of the day, we’re all responsible for filling our own cups. And some days we need more than others. Some days it helps to give more than others.

I’m not religious, but this is one of my favorite things to hear and read…

St. Francis of Assisi…

β€œLord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love,
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved, as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”

Hope you have fun traveling and making human connections. I’d love to hear the bravest thing you said and did in being genuine and real.

I hope you have an amazing and wonderful holiday season. I hope you have enough to eat, enough shelter, enough clothes on your back, enough hugs and enough love.

You are enough

Peace

Butterflies!

Years ago my dad died. I really struggled with this for various reasons. Long story short, one day I was sobbing, missing him something fierce and decided I should go to his graveside. I had to GO THERE to talk to him.

I don’t know what I was doing actually…it was just painful and I had to DO something.

Before my dad died …many times, actually, we had these talks about death, dying, God, heaven, afterlife, good vs evil and so many things and over and over I would ask him “Daddy, when you die, how am I going to know you’re okay? How will I get your advice? “How will I”…………… insert every other question I had for him.

The one thing he always said is “after I die, if I can come back and show you …and I’ll try like heck … you’ll simply “know.” When I pushed him farther it was “It will be big, I’ll have to think of how to make it big. Remember, we don’t know what happens when we actually die…. I may not be able to come back and give any signs… ”

Crap.

I don’t simply “know” anything …it’s never “simple” and I complicate the hell out of everything so I didn’t trust him. I thought “typical dad, I asked too many questions and this is his way of shutting me up”

So, driving to the cemetery. I’m sobbing. Not the best way to be driving by the way, but, here I was going 30 mph in a 55 zone because I was…you know…crying.

I wasn’t 38 anymore. I didn’t have 2 kids. I didn’t just get married a few years earlier.

No.

I was 5 again.

Scared of the dark, lost on my way home from school, terrified of this and that and being bullied in school.

My dad was my personal John Wayne. He slayed dragons for me. Maybe too many dragons…when I could have slayed my own. But I digress…

He was my daddy.

Gosh… this is bringing up all the feels.

Anyway…I started hitting butterflies. Butterflies smacking noises left and right all over my windshield.

Whhaaaa the?

Yep, hundreds of butterflies. Tiny orange and dark brown/black ones. They were a few coming in my car, they were in the gadzillions outside.

I pulled over because… well… hallucinations when sobbing HAS been known to happen…right? I mean, who expects gadzillions upon gadzillions of butterflies to be flying around?

Oh wait, they weren’t just fluttering around looking for flowers, they were flying from my left to my right, which explains why they were in my car.

I’m sitting there sobbing, confused about all these damned butterflies and it hits me…

It’s my dad.

Telling me “it’s going to be okay” “I made it” and “Here’s your sign”

And telling me in the biggest freaking way possible.

You can say what you want but at that moment it imprinted on me that it *might* be my dad. It probably wasn’t though. But there’s an innocent naive part of me that thinks and hopes that it was.

But at that emotionally charged snot blowing moment…I truly believed it was my dad and I started laughing.

Laughing in disbelief and amazement.

My pure pain and sorrow turned into pure joy.

I’d love to think my dad rained butterflies down on me to sooth my pain but…

Nah, it was a butterfly migration. I don’t think my dad had anything to do with it.

but still…

Nah….

I don’t know what kind of butterflies they were. They were much smaller than a monarch and while they were pretty, they weren’t as showy as monarchs.

So. Many. Butterflies.

Google “Reche Canyon, California butterfly migration” and you might find more info πŸ™‚

Onwards.

Since then I have loved butterflies even more than I did before.

See, IF it was my dad, then he would KNOW that butterflies were my THING.

I sang to this one monarch butterfly all the time. I didn’t know it wasn’t the SAME butterfly, because I was only about 7 at the time and I lived in my own little fantasy world and I sang to butterflies. It was probably many different monarchs, but to me, it was the same one and he loved me enough to keep coming back to visit and proclaim his love for me. It was a “him” because I named him “Fernando” …no, I have no idea where the name was from lol

What? You never had something like that? It brings a smile to my face, to know I have those memories.

I could be having the worst day, be in a bad funk and if I see a butterfly flying by it just lifts my spirits up. I smile. I don’t care if someone is there or not, I smile. It’s a wonderful thing, this butterfly love πŸ™‚

And, if I’m having a good day…you know, just living life, chatting with a friend or my husband about …whatever…and a butterfly goes fluttering by, I will literally light up with joy and say “BUTTERFLY” … I think it annoys some people, especially when I interrupt them. Can you say #nofilter ??? Yep, that’s me. What you see is what you get.

I didn’t start this blog post to write about my dad and butterflies and “bright shiny things”

I started because I just finished up a months long project that has my heart.

Not too long ago I started etching – last year I think.

I started out etching copper and all it is, you take a resist (permanent marker, sticker, vinyl sticker…anything that will act as a barrier of sorts) and put it on clean copper, stick it in a ferric chloride bath and watch it for awhile…the ferric chloride is a salt, it’s corrosive to metals and slowly eats it away.

etching

Here’s some copper ring blanks I drew some free hand stuff on. I was in a whimsical kind of mood, canya tell? It’s simple black permanent marker.

Everywhere there’s bare naked metal, the ferric chloride will eat away. Leaving me with a raised etching.

etched and sawed shapes

Here’s some etching samples. When I make stuff, I wasn’t thinking of “hey, these look like a great idea for blog posts later” … I’m usually snapping it and posting them to facebook because I love sharing this process!

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Here’s the butterfly I etched. I pierced (piercing is A.) creating a divot in an area, then B.) using a drill press or my flex shaft, drilling a tiny hole so I can get a tiny saw blade through the hole and C.) using my handy dandy jewelers saw, and some strong optivisors, sawed out dozens of tiny areas to show off the butterflies markings)

After sawing out all the tiny holes (this took hours) I carefully sawed out the butterfly shape. By hand. With the jewelers saw.

This was too thin after etching to use alone so I sweat soldered the copper butterfly to a larger and much thicker sterling silver piece I had rolled through my rolling mill. It had an elegant feminine pattern to it that I liked. I thought it would be the perfect background for the copper butterfly.

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I traced the copper butterfly and cut the shape out with a jewelers saw.

Again, I didn’t take these photos for a blog post πŸ™‚

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all sweat soldered! WHEW!

I had to clean it up quite a bit…so much work went into this.

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I belong to a few groups on Facebook and not too long before this I posted a pic of a tiny guitar I had hand sawed out and placed a tiny 2 mm cabochon on and I was quite proud of it. However, someone in the group kindly said “I hate it when someone takes a beautiful piece and just drills a hole through it, I would have loved to have seen you NOT drill a hole and put a bail on it.”

Boom.

I’m a little lot oversensitive and I take things way too personally. (Four agreements “Never take anything personally” is a miracle worker for me!!) but I also “heard” what she was saying once my little butthurt ego moved out of the way.

“Don’t settle for less”

“Don’t cop out”

“Take the high road”

So with the butterfly, I knew I had to make a @#^%!%$! bail.

Now, working with silver …sometimes you get this ugly crap called “Fire stain” and it’s a pain in the rear because you have to buff it out.

I use a micro torch and will continue to do so until we own our own house. Using a microtorch lends itself to a lot of firestain. It’s this greyish looking stain that happens when the copper content in the sterling silver rises to the top andΒ  a creeping “stain” kinda sorta comes along and …ugh. Google it. It’s fun stuff. I probably don’t have all my facts straight but pffft whatever, I’m self taught. Tim McCreight has some fabulous info on sterling silver ‘smithing.

You can use Firescoff to avoid fire stain …it’s pricey and works well but it’s not 100%, especially when using a microtorch. Microtorch doesn’t heat up like the other torches. It’s pretty much a bushy flame and bushy flame=faster oxidization which is where the fire stain comes from. I think.

With any info I give you here, it’s mostly my experiences. Trust but verify. Find out for yourself πŸ™‚

butterfly chain 2

I’m glad I put on my big girl panties and created a bail. It looks polished and “finished” and it looks “artisan” as well.

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Here’s the back. I left it organic.

butterfly antenna butterfly chain 2 butterfly chain 1 butterfly antenna 2

These photos show how I took some 14 g sterling wire, and after tumbling for a few days along with the handmade chain (more hours!) to get all the ends super smooth (I hate snagged sweaters from jewelry, don’t you?!!!) and I created “antenna” for the chain to attach to.

You can also see where I oxidized it and hand rubbed all the excess off, exposing the wonderful nooks and crannies of the etching.

I also took a punch and punched some areas that needed…punching. Tiny spots, just for delicate added design elements. Sometimes it’s hard to stop with the “design elements”

Sounds so pretentious huh? “Design Elements” … just hand me a 16″ long cigarette holder and let me sashay into my studio wearing an evening gown, right?

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Here’s the finished chain.

Here you can see how the oxidizing solution settled into the crevices and created a rainbow effect.

Happy accident! I’ll take it!

You can barely see here, the delicate feminine design of the rolling mill imprinting on the sterling silver back plate.

Butterflydone final butterfly pic

Photographing jewelry is not one of my “things” … Here’s a photo on a piece of my favorite driftwood from the Oregon coast … inside on a cloudy day.

The photo on the right, simply outside under the porch overhang on my brick patio wall. I love natural backgrounds. Same camera, same settings. Just outside, is all.

The butterfly took months. I had to really think out the layers, the steps and parts of the process. The antenna took some doing, I just couldn’t seem to “muse” it for weeks.

There’s hours of actual hands on work put into this piece. I’m not keeping it because it doesn’t feel like it’s “mine”… but I’m hoping whoever gets it realizes that it is full of good energy, hand made and hopefully a family heirloom!!

You can buy the butterfly in my Etsy shop here >> Artisan butterfly necklace on Etsy

So, when you think of butterflies… smile. I’m not the only one that butterflies make happy. I’m not the only child who sang to butterflies. I’m not the only one who misses her daddy and “sees him” when she sees butterflies.

Don’t forget to encourage children to have magical moments. And, don’t be so uptight that you can’t have a few magical moments yourself. You’re never too old to have them or to create them.

Want to enjoy butterflies? Plant some milk weed πŸ™‚ and if you are ever near Elkton in Oregon… you HAVE to see this (especially if you love butterflies!) Elkton Butterfly Pavilion

Til next time…

Peace

Fall, Winter annnndddd here come the holidays!!

Hey there ho there! Happy October!

I’ve been super busy with custom “I am enough” rings as well as the Salem Saturday Market. Somewhere in there, I threw out my back. And, somewhere else, I got to see my awesome grandson, daughter and son-in-law.

Now that my back is better and my family is back home…it’s time to focus on the last few weeks of the Salem Saturday Market and upcoming Christmas gifts!!

If you sell on Etsy, there’s a slowdown that drives us crazy the first few years it happens. People don’t generally buy much in the summer or after the holidays. They’re traveling in May-Sept or for whatever reason, just don’t seem to buy. My views on Etsy (there’s a behind the scenes panel that Etsy sellers see, called “Stats” and I can see my “views” are still up but, no sales. That’s okay because …it’s okay. And, after the holidays, people are just “done done done” shopping and not in the mood to shop anymore. After all, Christmas is over!

Fall here in Oregon is amazing. It happens FAST though. I’m snapping up scarves for my neck. Having super short hair makes my neck cold and I love scarves! Totally warm merino wool and cashmere, yummy! I love fall. I love winter.

With that being said, people have been asking me about “finishes, antiqued look vs naked shiny look” and stones.

So, go get your coffee, hit the loo, let the dog out… heck, make some popcorn ..I’ll wait.

Done? M’kay, let’s get started.

First off, when you’re orderingΒ  a custom ring I have a TON of questions.

Like

“What kind of ring style?”

How wide

What metal choice?

Do you want stamping? If so, where? On the inside of the ring? Outside of the ring? On the spinner or the ring next to your finger? (if you’re ordering a spinner ring that is!)

And which alphabet font or design font? (design fonts are tiny hearts, butterflies, stars, flowers… almost anything) I have over a dozen letter fonts now and I’m loving the variety!

Then the tough part that seems to confuse people.

The finish…and the color.

The finish comes down to two choices… “Shiny like a mirror” or “matte” where it’s….not shiny but still cool looking.

If you google “shiny vs matte” jewelry, you can come up with waaay more photos than I have here.

The color refers to “Antiqued” or “naked”

Do you want it colored/darker or do you want me to not do anything to it, and leave it naked? Nah, I’m not a pervy sort of person but when I think about NOT putting something on the metal, I hate the word “plain” because it denotes “ugly, simple and …plain” and that’s not the wording I want for my jewelry. No.

Here’s shiny vs matte marrymenewmainpic

Shiny “marry me” ring.

Matte guitar pick…Β  IMG_1240

See the difference? One is like a mirror, very reflective and the other has, well, it’s not reflective.

Now, I’ll show you the “naked” and “antiqued. These are easier to see

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On the left is “antiqued” or “oxidized” and this really shows off all the highlights and crevices really well. It’s wonderful for any textures and is especially cool when there’s mixed metals. It adds weight and dimension as well. It gives it a classic, earthy vibe.

On the right is, shiny and naked. You can see reflections in the sterling silver and it’s really nice as well.

So there you have it.

Now, onto the stones. πŸ™‚

Are you needing a bathroom break, because um…there are lots of pics coming up and I want you to be comfortable.

Oh, give the dog a bone, because…we’re dog lovers here, right? πŸ˜‰

Stones.

All of my cabochons come from Gem Resources or Rio Grande or Otto Frei or my fellow Etsy sellers or Fire Mountain gems or …gosh…I can’t think of who else. But those are my “go-to’s”

For the purpose of this post, however… I’m going to refer to my 2mm and 3mm cabochons.

A cabochon (or “cab”) is a domed ANYTHING. It can be natural stone, a gemstone, resin with a bug in it, etc etc etc. It just has to have a flat back so it sits inside a bezel cup.

A bezel cup is the tiny “cup” that holds the cab. Like this, see? These are “serrated” bezel cups. I get these at RioGrande dot com. <shout out to their fabulous customer service!!!>

If you can solder on a bezel cup somewhere, then you can set a cabochon in the bezel cup!

IMG_1894(example of shiny and naked stacker ring)

Now the stones. All of these are either 2mm or 3 mm. They’re cute aren’t they?

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From left to right on black background there’s Carnelian, Orange CZ, Sunstone, white moonstone, peach moonstone, citrine,Β  light opal, lab created pink opal.

Row 2, labradorite, pearl, blue sky turquoise, ant hill garnet, ruby, pink cz, pink sapphire, red spinel, amethyst. I’m going off the labels in my containers. Like a dummy, I just grouped the colors together when I received the orders into the containers. So, that being said, the pink color group *might* be mixed, just sayin.

Row 3, Iolite (pronounced “Eye-O-light” …the first letter is an “I” ..not an “L” (aren’t you glad I’m OCD with this stuff?) light blue swiss topaz, pink sapphire, dark blue zircon (again I just lumped all the gemstones from the package into my organizer so the names might be wonky) green peridot (it’s green, trust me), yellow cz, clear cz, onyx.

Row 4, these are the 2mm… amethyst, orissa garnet, cz, pink topaz and blue topaz.

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I may or may not have these in the proper order. That’s what happens when you photograph on one day and then a few days later, blog about it.

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Instead of labeling and keeping each batch of cabochons in tiny hard to open plastic baggies that are impossible to organize, I found these and this works for me. I have no idea where the little towers are actually from, I got these at a fellow Etsy sellers yard sale. As soon as I saw this, it instantly made sense for my collection of cabs. I’m extremely visual and have “bright shiny things” so this is perfect and I really feel lucky to have found it! Thank you Heidi M!

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I was putzing around in the studio a few days ago and got burned out on making stackers so I made up a few swirly adjustable rings with some thicker gauge sterling silver. The ring on the left is sunstone and the ring on the right is peach moonstone. Perfect for halloweenie, don’tcha think? (this is shiny/naked metal by the way!)

I’ll put the individual photos of each stone next.

You might want to refill that coffee πŸ˜‰

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Amethyst and Red ant hill garnet

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Pink Cubic Zirconia and pink topaz

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Blue topaz/sapphire? and… I’ll have to get back to you on that pink stone. See kids? Learn from me, organize your stones as you get them in!!

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MoonstoneΒ  and blue topaz or aquamarine (well this is embarrassing)

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Pearl and sunstone

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Dark citrine and IOLITE

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Blue sky turquoise and blue sapphire

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Labradorite and ruby

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Pink is possibly pink ziconia (okay okay, lesson learned!) and Peridot

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Carnelian and

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Peach moonstone and light citrine

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Opal and lab created pink opal.

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Amethyst and purple cz

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Onyx and Black star diopside

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clear cz or quartz

I inherited this huge pile of baby photos that have a big question mark on the back of them. My mom, dad, aunties and uncles all contributed to the baby photo “mystery” pile…for this list of stones though, I have nobody to blame but myself.

It doesn’t help that they shipped all the CZ, spinels, topaz and sapphire in one tiny envelope. It didn’t help that I didn’t think to organize all these gemstones better the day I opened the packages… so, forgive the human-ness πŸ™‚

I believe when you know better, you do better. I also believe in doing your best, and like Don Miguel Ruiz points out, “our best changes from day to day” and honestly, today I don’t feel like making it perfect.

I hope this makes it easier for you to pick out the “naked or oxidized” color and the finishes “matte or shiny” easier. I know it’s overwhelming to order one of my rings but it’s so worth it in the end, right? πŸ™‚

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Matte and naked, tiny 3 mm garnet in a fine silver bezel cup.

VP Boyle

another example of matte and oxidized/antiqued

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Shiny and naked wiiiiidddeee band cow spots spinner ring with naked/shiny sterling spinner rings.

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shiny/naked

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What a sterling silver ring looks like with antiquing on the outside and a matte finish on the inside. I take a fine polishing cloth and hand rub the antiquing solution until I get that luscious brushed/matte finish. This is matte and super antiqued sterling silver.

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This is copper, heavily antiqued and just the words “I love you” rubbed naked. It gives a great contrast of colors, don’t you think?

So, the look is all up to you. My jewelry is highly flexible and custom/personalized are the words of the day when it comes to a custom order.

By the way, when you antique a ring, the color won’t stay forever. Over time, just like a bright red shirt, time and washing will fade the colors. It will still look cool but it won’t be exactly what you got the day you got your jewelry.

Oh yeah, when I antique using stuff called “Liver of sulpher” I can get rainbow effects!

janetatfufu

Happy accidents, everywhere! πŸ˜€

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Here’s a better view!

Okay, that’s it for now. I’m not going to promise to keep up on my blog posts. I’m a Gemini with bright shiny things who isn’t disciplined so …there ya go.

It’s hard to come up with blog post ideas, I make jewelry so I’d like to share that process, then there’s ordering my jewelry and I’d like to make that process easier for you to understand, then there’s being a farmers/art show vendor and all the fun that goes with THAT! Then there’s …gosh…all the other yummy stuff life has to offer.

So, if there’s something that you would like me to post about, put it in the comments. I’ll do my best πŸ™‚

I’m heading into the studio to replenish my stock for the Saturday Salem Market and get ready to stock up for some Christmas shows. I’ll be at the Charbonneau Art Festival on October 11, I’ll try to post pics of that when I get a chance. I’m waitlisted for the Salem Holiday market and I’ll be in the Dallas (Oregon) school district annual holiday bazaar in December. Other holiday shows I’m still thinking about.

One last thought…

buy local handmade

No, I’m not talking about buying any of my stuff…just go load up some kids and your mom and head out to your local holiday craft and art shows. People have been working hard all year long to make something …some of it’s pretty awesome and one of a kind. I wish I could photograph and show you all the fantastic art and aprons and giftie ideas for yourself or others from the Salem Saturday Market. I don’t get a chance to just walk around and check out the other vendors but what I DO see… I sometimes buy it, because it’s cool and I know I’m supporting a local artist.

Enjoy the fall, it’s going to be a beautiful one!!

Peace!

Salem Saturday Market movie night! And, peaches! And …bright shiny things!!!!!

It’s been a long day and I’m in a rambling sort of writer mode.

Go get some coffee, a cookie and put your feet up. It’s gonna take a minute hour to wade through this post.

Some of you think I only write on this blog to sell my stuff and while that is partly true, I also do it as a “give back” or “pay it forward” thing.

I believe strongly in helping people and keeping good energy going. I believe if you smile at someone, let someone in line ahead of you or simply let a car go ahead of you and not act like you’re the only one on the road…that it contributes to the good of the world. We can all do it in small ways. It matters. It all adds up.

That being said, I also write this blog to show other, newer than me metalsmiths how I use my tools. Why? Because others have done it for me. And, it’s fun. I don’t ever work…I have fun. I play. Even when I do the dishes…it’s a mindset. I haven’t found a way to do that with the dentist though…pffft.

Bright shiny things, you still with me?

Sorry I wandered off! I also do this blog to show how I do vendor set up. I have been making and selling jewelry for about 4 years now.

I come from humble as heck beginnings. I “made do” with what I had in the way of tools and materials.

I got flack for not just maxing out my credit cards and getting a business loan and “doing it right” from the beginning. 4 years later, I think I have some experience for those of us that are building our small businesses piecemeal. One tool at a time, one class at a time, one ring at a time!

I also have some experience from making many many mistakes! Thanks to people on youtube (Soham Harrison, Nancy L.T. Hamilton, Melissa Muir and others) and many others that aren’t on youtube on the web that share info…I’ve learned a lot. I encourage you to check them out as well.

So, back to “giving back”

I’m really lucky to be part of the 3rd largest market in Oregon.

The markets, for those of you that are local…or maybe you’re going to visit during May-October when the market is happening are on Mondays, Wednesdays and the big one is on Saturdays.

Not “just” a farmers market. Not “just” a craft market.

It’s artisans.

Let me say that again.

Artisans!!!

There are wood artisans, painter artisans, glass artisans, ceramic artisans, coffee (SCORE!!) artisans, oil artisans and food artisans.

Salem Saturday Market juries everyone. So it’s good stuff. I’m really fortunate to be with these people.

The bakers, artisans of all things flour and not flour (they have gluten free and sugar free and other “free” baked goods as well.

Example…

For 3.00 I snagged up THIS epicurean edible. (the cinnamon roll, not the berries!)

roll with berries

Manna…from….heaven.

Baked with some wonderful gooey goodness but not too much. And they didn’t skimp on raisins either. Just sweet enough but not *too* sweet.

And the vendors? Mrs. Clugston’s. Based in Brownsville, Oregon.

They’re so nice. All the vendors are nice. But these ladies…they’re really sweet.

I just enjoy shopping at their spot!

I got the berries (see the pale ones? they’re like honey raspberries…this city slicker does not KNOW what kind of berries they are but they’re delightful!) I found those little pretties at Whiskey Hill Berry Garden.

You can find fresh produce (you HAVE got to try the fruits and vegetables from the Willamette Valley area) and fresh flowers. There’s something about the dirt, the air, the water and the gifts that the farmers in the area have that really make the best produce in the world.

But that’s not all.

Nope.

There’s a full list of vendors and what they make here Salem Saturday Market

There’s something for everyone!!

Make a day of it. If it’s hot, come early and remember that when the temperatures climb, your dogs paws burn.

Dogs paws burn at 130 degrees. One day a few weeks ago, my vendor neighbor Nancy, from Oregon Grown Emu, went around with a laser temperature gun and showed people as they walked by with their dogs how hot the asphalt was. The highest I saw that day was 153. I put my hand on the black asphalt and could NOT hold it there. I felt bad for the dogs walking by later in the day.

She said that small dogs are lower and closer to the asphalt and the heat is like walking on a barbeque.

She showed me how the dogs were pulling their owners into the shade to cool off their feet. And, how they were picking up their feet and doing this little “dance” to get away from the burn. Seriously… hot. 😦

Your dogs can’t talk, so when it’s hot leave them at home or come early. Some vendors have water for your dogs. We love dogs at the market. They’re so much fun to see!! And the fun part about being a vendor is, if I’m not with a customer then I get to people watch and I really enjoy that! And, being an animal lover, I DO love watching the dogs parade by as well!

Keep an eye on the Saturday Salem Market website because they’re having a movie night!

August 22, 2015 from 6 pm to 10:30.

The movie starts at 8:45.

The movie will be Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Some food vendors will stay past the regular closing time (or early if it’s hot) and the market will be rearranged so that the space for movie night can be created. Some vendors will remain. You’ll have to see!

Can you imagine? Movies in the Salem Market place? How cool is that??? Movies and popcorn under the stars. Sounds like fun, right?

Family fun! Date night fun! Inexpensive fun! And you don’t have to hide your candy/popcorn/drinks when you come in (not that I know annnnyyything about that!)

I’m sure that the SSM (Saturday Salem Market) will have more info as movie night gets closer!

Here’s another link to “Block Party Salem” on facebook. Check it out! Block Party Salem

Back to the “give back” thing I’ve been talking about. (I know, I know…it takes me foreverrrr to get to the point!)

I really want people to know that our area is fun and if you’re new then you may not know about the SSM or things like the Bounty Market (in Dallas, Oregon) or many of the really cool events our area has to offer.

That’s what this blog post is about. I wanted to get the word out.

I heard that even locals don’t know about the Saturday Market and that’s really a shame because it’s such a cool thing to go to.

Tourists! Get your gifts here! You know you want a special memento of your visit, right?

It’s fun and lively πŸ™‚

Oh! Speaking of lively… you DO know there’s live music at the Saturday Market, right? There’s a different band every week or so that plays near the food court πŸ™‚

Then,Β  I’ve seen random cello players, small groups of singers/guitar players, violin players and others too. It’s fun to watch. There’s just so much to see!! Have I sold you on it yet? It only goes until Oct 31rst. And the produce does not last that long. Get it while you can!

Salem has a place you can go to check out events here Travel Salem event calendar

I hope you go and I hope you have fun.

I would love to see you but I’ll be staying home resting my back.

Wait, why?

Because I threw my back out, that’s why.

Am I the only one who throws their back out picking up a 3 lb dog bed? Yep. I was using my food saver to put up 20 lbs of peaches (ummm…organic rich juicy ripe Oregon peaches are to die for!) in the freezer.

Disclaimer…side trip here…

my brain

Okay, a tiny bit about me and my dreams…you might want to go let the dog out, make a pot of coffee or throw a load in the laundry… I’m feeling a tad guilty about not blogging more often so this will be a long…er… post. πŸ™‚

See, ever since BEFORE we moved to Oregon from So Cal, I have had dreams of raising grass fed organic eggy chickens, canning my own fruits and veggies, milking goats and some sort of rustic metal smithing school/retreat once a month kind of thing.

Hey, I’m a Gemini, we dream big m’kay?

Not that I would be “the” teacher but one of them, for simple classes. I wanted to create a place for people to come together and share ideas, share food and have a sense of community. Sounds cool…right?

Because of where things are with our lives, the chickens/goats/garden and canning isn’t on the radar (YET) so I got my little “homesteading fix” by freezing peaches.

(Don’t laugh, I don’t know a single thing about canning so shush!)

I was thrilled. As in school girl giggling when I carted off a heavy box of Elberta peaches. The sign on the box said “great for freezing” and “that”Β  light went on.

If you know me, you know what that means. It means “I MUST do this and I MUST do this now.” That lightbulb gets me into more trouble…

Because Captain Picard says THIS

great idea 1

I seriously went to the fruit/veggies stand for a “few things.”

I swear.

Then I saw the box. A very large box of gorgeous peachy goodness.

Marked “Elberta peaches, perfect for freezing.”

Did I think of the room I had (or didn’t have) in my freezer? Nope.

Did I think of how hot it would be to boil TWENTY friggin POUNDS of peaches? Nope. (we don’t have a central air conditioner…you normally don’t NEED one here in Oregon but we’re having a major heat wave)

I was just on some quest because of the lightbulb in my head.

Martha Stewart, are you listening? All of your magazines, tv shows and what not… pffft

I’m laughing. Why? Because instead of being some elegant “oooh look at me, I’m just like MarthafreakingStewart and gliding through my kitchen while my hair stays perfect freezing peaches perfectly after parboiling them to parboiled-going-to-freeze- perfection….

Nah.

It looked like an “I love Lucy” episode.

A total Pinterest fail.

I had peaches flying everywhere. I had no idea parboiling peaches left this fuzzy gunk on top of the water in the pot. Then the skin wouldn’t peel right, so I had skin everywhere. I still don’t know how I got skin on my elbows! They’re slippery. And getting the pits out…ouch.

Then I panicked because I needed a BIGGER pot to put in after I boiled them and and and…

And of course, Mr. Bobinda kept yelling from the living room things like…

“Honey, do you need any help in there?” (giggles “Nope, I got this”)

“Linda, are you okay?” (snortgigglegasp “Why would you think I WASN’T ok?”)

“WHAT is so funny?” (“because I’m over my head and I can’t <giggle snort> channel my INNER MARTHA STEWART!!!”)

THAT statement made him come into the kitchen, look around at the peachy carnage…and rub his forehead. And then turn around and leave.

Which only made me laugh harder.

and the ever present (in my house anyway)

“Why are you talking to yourself again?” (“For the last time, I talk to myself because it’s how I ‘process’ things. It’s how I get from point A to point B. It’s how I try to make sense of things in Linda land, that’s why!”)Β  <giggle snort>

His retort?

“Maybe you should listen to yourself….or write things down”

And from the kitchen I mock him silently “maybe you should…blah blah blah.”

And I don’t dare tell HIM what else I’m thinking, because it…it just alarms him.

(I was thinking how we needed another freezer so I could make MORE peaches and tomatoes and and and oooh a side of beef… )

So I keep it to myself. And work feverishly cackling away as I do so.

peaches 2

Maybe I was laughing because THIS is a LOT of freaking peaches to me. WHAT was I thinking? Oh wait, I wasn’t!Β 

I had to wash 20 lbs of peaches, then cut tiny “x” in the bottom, then boil them for 20 seconds, peel them and well… it was messy. And I didn’t really think 20 lbs was all that much, when I bought it.

The box looked small when I got it at the farmers stand.

But, when I got it home, it turned into a phenomenon I call “the Costco effect”

“But, Linda…what IS this mysterious “Costco effect” you speaketh of?”

Glad you asked!!!

It’s the thing I go through when I shop at Costco. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one.

Are you grinning yet? You do the same thing, don’t you? Yep! I knew it!

A great example is this huge box of crackers, it’s “small” at Costco and it’s a great price, so in the ginormous cart they go.

Then, somehow…on the way home, they magically grow in size and somehow don’t fit in my cabinets. Our house is a 1950’s rental in a farming community. The kitchen is wonderfully huge but the cabinets are dinky. All of a sudden it’s this huge box of crackers. But it didn’t SEEM that big when we were at Costco. pffft

And I do this. Every. Single. Time. Whether it’s a box of crackers, or a couch or a parrot. (I have interesting shopping impulses lol)

Lightbulb is code for “seemed like a good idea at the time” sometimes eh?

And every time, I am shocked!

This is a TWELVE quart pot. It’s massive. To me, anyhow.

peaches1

But who can resist the pull of “putting up” peaches to make on freezing cold Oregon night? Not just COLD but FREEZING COLD winter nights? The whole grounding process of making food from scratch. The whole house filling up with that delectable pie/cobbler bubbling over the crust SMELL.

Because winter is coming.

Thanks, Dad. For giving me the survivalist mentality that I will somehow STARVE and FREEZE to death if I don’t have canned beans and 10,000 blankets when winter comes. Because Costco is great for people like me, when winter is coming.

pffftt

resized_winter-is-coming-meme-generator-winter-is-coming-buy-double-pack-of-nutella-at-costco-7ab81d

It’s soooo going to be worth it!!

Yep, while the rest of the world is shopping for those ugly anemic looking peaches that will never ripen and have no taste…BoBinda will be happily opening her freezer and smiling (okay, I’ll be laughing as well) and pulling out a bag of frozen peaches for pie, cobblers or some oatmeal/quinoa/apple/peach thing for breakfast.

And I’ll have some cool memories to boot.

The first batch I accidentally forgot I was supposed to SLICE them, then freeze them whole, for the food saver bag. (that thing is way too much fun) I mushed em all together, thinking I was making more freezer jam. (yeah yeah, I know… but can you really EVER have TOO many peaches?)

Freezer jam was several weeks ago. I had no idea what I was doing. The article said “jars and peaches”…the rest is a blur. I really might want to sign up for some classes huh?

Anyway, back to the present moment… Mushed up peaches and umm…no containers to freeze them in. None.

Laughter ensues.

Talking to myself and chiding myself “Linda, you have no containers to freeze this pile of smushed up…what in the heck are you going to do now Ms. WannaBeMarthaFreakingStewart?” (yes, I really do talk to myself like that) “and you think you’re going to raise chickens? You’ll probably kill them all. No goats for you!” On and on.

The romantic gliding crazy I love Lucy episode through the kitchen stopped. I turned my music down so I could think.

This makes Mr. Bobinda kinda nervous, when it gets quiet. Sometimes I do it just to mess with him πŸ˜‰

The only thing that came to mind was the muffin pan.

THANK GOD!!! Because there is only so much room in my freezer. The refrigerator comes with the rental house we’re in. Beggars can’t be choosers.

My night was a Martha Stewart meets McGyver meets I love Lucy.

What a mess.

What fun.

peaches 3

^^^ THIS is a total McGyver move. Impromptu “shelf” legs made from coffee cups and a large cutting board.

The article I read said “freeze peaches solid so the food saver will seal air out properly, otherwise the juice will gunk up the blah blah blah” (who reads things all the way through anyway?) So all I knew is they all had to be FROZEN. How hard could that be?

snickersnort

Half way through the FIRST bag of food saver my 5.00 food saver yard sale treasure finally burned up. It stopped sealing.

And I’m looking at 19 lbs of peaches…

Which meant a sort of panic ensued.

get to the chopper

I needed to go to the store RIGHT NOW.

Which meant pulling the dog bed into a room to cordon the dogs off away from the rest of the house.

And that’s when I hurt my back.

THREE POUNDS of dog bed. That’s all. There’s no “I hurt my back pulling a 78 year old man from a burning car” story…

I bent over wrong. That’s all. Nothing dramatic.

Using a cane, I made it through the rest of the day. I found another food saver (a better one yay) and finished my wanna be homesteading chore.

Moving around when I could not bend forward, made the rest of the day interesting. I didn’t even bother with music. When the going gets tough… the tough get going. And whining all the way!

peaches4All done!!

Freezer jam, frozen peaches and blueberries. All ready for a freezing cold winter. I’m ready for my winter baking!! YAY!!

Baking makes me happy. Being in the kitchen makes me happy. Hammering jewelry makes me happy. Being in Oregon makes me happy. Buying cinnamon rolls from amazing bakers makes me happy. Writing a silly long winded blog makes me happy.

Life is too short to not have fun or eat stupid food or not have fabulous mistake laden adventures.

Go to the market, live a little.

GO BE HAPPY!

Buy some peaches and be a little rebel for once.

I hope you guys have fun at the market tomorrow!

Peace!

Art in the Park, Dallas Oregon

boothshotartintheparkdallasoregon

Art in the Park was last Sunday. What a hoot!

There’s something special fun exciting tiring cool about getting up at 4 a.m. and making sure you get to a venue by check in time. The check in, load in and load out…could not have been ANY easier. It was so organized that they had cheerful people pointing the way my space was and repeating where the vendors parked!

I’m glad I packed coffee because it was a crazy busy day and I needed it!

The setting was Dallas City Park. Dallas, Oregon. Great little park. Green grass and TREES!! What more could a girl ask for? πŸ™‚

Art in the Park in Dallas is hosted by the Dallas Art Association and it’s at the end of a 3 days long festival called “Summerfest.” I don’t know enough about it to write about it but google is your friend here πŸ™‚

It had rained on Saturday and there was a parade in town, so the kids were all excited about “getting to parade in the rain” and gushing when I said “great job” ~ I had no idea what they did or if they were in the parade or not but hey, a “great job” for showing up and parading in the rain, right?!! There are some photos online in the local paper showing the kids in the rain. Oregon kids are priceless and too cute!

The weather was great, nice and cool in the morning. The venue was shady and clean and just…le sigh… peaceful. I really enjoyed it. It seemed well organized and the people could not be any friendlier and helpful. I don’t know if you know how hard it is to put on an event like this but it’s a lot of work!

artintheparkwalkingtomyspace

After unloading my stuff in space 45 and parking my little car, I walked this lovely little park road back to my spot. Breathing in 6:30 a.m. Oregon air is exhilarating and calming at the same time.

artinthepark5

I snapped a few shots around me as I walked up to my spot. This is all from my camera phone.

artinthepark4Cute playground, lots of green grass and TREES!

art in the park 1

Lots of trees and plenty of places for kids to run around! TREES!!!

artintheparksetupnaked

See that canopy at half mast on the far right?

That’s me. I’m setting up alone today. I thought worried wondered agonized about it all night prior. It went much easier than I thought it would be. I just relaxed and enjoyed it. I decided after the rain the day (at the Saturday Salem Market) before to leave sidewalls off and pull everything in to the center of my canopy. I wanted people to have a place to look at my stuff without being rained on. It worked out great, because when it poured…people were dry. Very good tips I learned from all the Saturday Salem Market vendor neighbors!!

boothshotartintheparkdallasoregon

All set up. I love the color purple! As you can tell, I’m not a degree holder in the art of flowy fabric so I don’t know quite what to do with the purple sheer fabric and it shows.

I’m okay with it though, because later… little boys with sticky ice cream fingers and dogs with lifted legs would visit. I’m glad my decorating skills were lacking because there were people who weren’t paying attention to their dogs and a little leg lifting happened. My sheers were spared. Thank God for poor aim or I would have had to use gloves to touch my weight bags. Those pvc pipe weights that are long and skinny and hang from the top of the canopy are looking miiiigggghhhtttty good right now!

ukelele display1

My little orange ukelele I turned into a guitar pick necklace display.

Oh wait, you didn’t know about my guitar pick necklaces? Here, let me show you a couple. A lotvegan guitar picks 1 Guitar picks

What they looked like before all the stamping and antiquing πŸ™‚

i pick you

copper guitar picks 5 copper guitar picks 4 copper guitar picks 3

copper guitar picks 2 copper guitar picks 1

I had a lot of fun making these. I just wanted a few for the Saturday Salem Market and ended up just pressing out one die after another. I tend to get a tiny bit lot ocd and keep going. There is sometimes never a “stop” button.

I should make another blog on how I used the hydraulic press to make these die and how I used the rolling mill to make the designs and how I stamped to create the look some of them have. I turn into a little kid in the studio…it’s way too much fun.

The ukelele just made sense to me for a guitar pick display piece. It’s this outrageously bright orange. I had it under my bench for a few days til I figured out how it was going to work in the display and I would take it out to play it. Fun stuff!!

More of my display…

tiny guitar display 1

Tiny guitars and guitar pick necklaces

pick display 1 Okay, I might have made a lot more picks than I thought I did..just a tiny bit!

This is the “To the moon and back” display. I had to add some other necklaces in the same price range. Those are tiny chalkboards that I formed to the tall display pieces.

necklace4 necklace3

earring display1

Earring cards all match!! I found them online. Each earring card is on a small board that has a magnet on it. Easy on and off for the display. I love magnets! I created a way to transport them where I don’t have to remove them every time and is stable. Life is good!

I was ready way ahead of time. It seems like time just flew by. It was such a calm setting and everyone seemed so zen. Except for some kids that were jacked up on sugar and post parading in the rain!

artinthepark3

This was my vendor neighbor. Gorgeous flowers and plants. Flowers and plants do very well here. I watched them set up and I’m telling ya, all of a sudden MY back didn’t hurt as bad…that’s a lot of work!

artinthepark2

Peaches!!! I got so busy that I forgot peaches. Any and all produce in this wonderful Willamette Valley is amazing. I’ve never been to an Art Show that had food vendors but those peaches sure looked and smelled like works of art. I’m so bummed that I forgot them.

I was lucky to be near the bathrooms, you all know how much I love coffee!! Perfect placement. How did they know?

Since I didn’t have help, I couldn’t just wander off and enjoy everyone’s booth like I normally would so when things were quiet, I snapped some pics of my vendor neighbors and chatted with my next door neighbor, Judy. She made jewelry too and showed me some pretty nifty shade stuff that she uses instead of sidewalls. Her husband cracked me up with some of the stuff he said.

Good vendor neighbors are like gold. Working alone and asking Judy to watch my booth while I ran to the ‘loo was priceless. Thank you Judy!!

I recognized some of the vendors from the Saturday Salem Market. They’re all just really neat people. They are just so laid back and kind.

Lots more people came though than I thought would. The crowds were diverse so I got to chat with lots of different people.

I even sold my favorite turquoise Serenity Prayer ring. IMG_8868 IMG_8867 IMG_8866 IMG_8865

A new friend and Salem Etsy Team member came with her chair so she could hang out with me…and brought some of her lip balm (my new addiction because I snagged six of them!) You should check her out. Her name on Etsy is “Bee Simple 2” and her lip balms are amazing. I left mine in my car and on a 100 degree day I need some lip balm. I went to use it and it wasn’t liquid! Anyway, it was super soft but there was no mess. It really helped my lips. The heat just dries me out. My favorite is the cinnamon orange. Check it out. Amazing stuff that won’t break the bank. I don’t push products unless I love them.Β  πŸ™‚

One last thing.

The rain.

Vendor friends and jewelry makers that do the market in Portland warned me “You’ll get wet in places you didn’t know could get wet” …and they were right.

Mr. Bobinda had to work on Sunday. When he got off work, he came down to help me tear down my booth. The rain started and we were laughing our butts off trying to balance everything til we could finally get the canopy down and put it in the car. While taking the canopy down, a wall of water came off the side and just nailed me in the face. This is why I don’t wear hearing aids outside…crap like this happens all the time. I’m glad I left my phone in the car or it would have died.

We just kept laughing and working as fast as we could. It was fun and a tad bit romantic at the same time. You can’t make this stuff up and I’ll always treasure the memories of tearing down my first “Art in the Park” canopy. I’ve been rejected from a few of them so it will always be something I cherish.

Can’t wait to see what the rest of summer holds, it’s been awesome so far!!

Peace!

I

Following your dreams

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Yesterday I had a good show in Salem at the Sacred Space psychic and vendor fair. It was pretty cool to be around so many various people and listen to their belief systems when it came to spirituality. I’m blown away at how kind and selfless people were. From the vendors to the people that came out to visit.

Oregon is just…too cool for words.

So, a few words on how we got here.

We packed everything up in the back of a TWO door (no, not a FOUR door, but a TWO door) Rav 4 and a small Toyota Tacoma pickup truck that we absolutely could NOT live without, shipped up my studio contents in about 30-40 medium and large USPS shipping boxes and 2 drugged dogs and drove 1,000 miles.

Let me tell you, going through HIS stuffage and MY stuffage…then going through OUR stuffage and measuring what space we had and making those hard decisions of what’s really important in life (pictures, laptops, his baseball gloves, little clay stuff the kids made when they were in school etc) vs what’s not important, mixers, blenders, furniture, clothes and shoes) was HARD.

I had no idea until we went though that ugly stage of our moving…that while we weren’t eligible for an episode of “Hoarder’s,” we had a bit of the same mentality.

He would look at MY stuff and say “ummm, are you SURE you can leave that behind? We can get another one up there” and I would snort and retort and make my case on why I should keep it and take up precious space and haul it with us.

Then,Β  days later, realize he was right and put it in the “I love it but it’s not going with me” pile.Β  I was more snide in my wording “Umm…that’s a piece of crap, we’re not taking it.” (it got a bit feral at the end because we were just so SICK of going through STUFF that owned us)

Of course, this took months and it was painful. At the end of the day we both learned a powerful lesson… we are owned by the crap we own.

Repeat after me “We are owned by the stuff we own”

Now I get it. I used to feel sorry for minimalists! Minimalists are pretty smart after all!!!

Their houses might seem empty to the rest of us, but their lives make …more…sense.

And, I bet they don’t have those discussions of “what stuff are we taking vs what stuff are we leaving behind.”

And then there was this…

We had no house to rent, no hotels to stay in and no month to month storage planned.

We stayed with my inlaws while I furiously house hunted for rentals.

Our dogs were boarded (his dad had just had open heart surgery) and our stuff got tucked away in their garage for storage.

My canopy, my display stuff, furniture, shoes, clothes, lamps, dog toys, knick knacks, picture frames ALL were sold and left behind… ALL that stuff has been replaced.

All of it with nicer stuff.

And now we have less stuff.

That bridge in the picture ^^ up there?

It represents the bridge of dreams.

We had to leave one shore to reach another.

That bridge represents so much amazing growth on both our parts to get where we have gotten today.

We didn’t know about employment, housing, medical care…we had none of that set up before we left.

We took our strength, belief in each other, our love for each other and a few crazy sleepless nights and just kept acting as if we were going to cross the bridge successfully (whatever the hell THAT looks like) and we knew we were going to be okay. We were scared and thrilled at the same time.

The sense of relief we felt knowing we were moving was palpable in our home and in our lives.

People were aghast as it came up in one defensive conversation after another ~

“What do you <insert judgey you’re absolutely batshit crazy look here> mean you’re moving without a moving van/pod/moving company and selling all your stuff/buying new stuff up there?”

or

“you’re moving to where it rains all the time, you’re going to get that Seasonal Affective Disorder and next thing you know we’ll read about your suicide” (no longer on my facebook friends list…this person went into the same pile of stuff we left behind πŸ˜‰ )

or

“He doesn’t have a job lined up? Do you know how hard it is for middle age men to find work, in OREGON of all places” to “you don’t have a house lined up? or an apartment?”

or

“You’re never going to make it selling jewelry in Oregon, they only wear birkenstocks and hoodies, nobody wears spinner rings”

YES, people said those things!!

I heard it all. From the oh so sincere “I know what’s best for you dearie” peeps, to the people who were secretly jealous and astounded that we had the balls and ovaries to pull it off.

How do I know they were jealous? They apologized for being snide and said they were wrong and that they were jealous and it came out as snide and judgey. All the way to people who just…couldn’t believe it. We had some amazingly supportive “you can do this and we’ll help you!” peeps too.

So, we’re here.

Fast forward… He’s got a job. I’ve got my work.

We’ve got a house. It’s not much but it’s all this little town had left that would take dogs. (seriously … if you try to rent with dogs, it’s challenging!)

We’ve got kickass neighbors (seriously, they’re the bestest neighbors we have ever had) the air clean, the water is much more drinkable, there are no sales taxes, it’s small business friendlier, <insert more stuff here that’s great about being here>

I feel better mentally, physically and spiritually than ever. Our marriage has grown stronger. I miss my kids and I miss my grandson and a few really cool friends.

I miss none of my stuff. I don’t even remember what stuff we left behind or that we fought about (we laugh about it now hahahaha)

Sometimes you have to plan out what you want in life. When I wanted a good man, I had to write it out “everything I want in a man and everything I don’t want in a man.” Then I had to look at who I was attracted to and finally it all fell into place.

Sometimes you just gotta decide what the hell it is that you want, take a deep breath, look at the bridge you gotta cross, get rid of the “stuff” that holds you back and GO.

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What an amazing trip.

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See? The road holds up πŸ™‚ There are others on the bridge too. We’re all just following our dreams. Some of us have no idea what we want but it’s there…that FEELING of “something that’s special…all mine…” that just grabs you by the heart strings and you have to follow it just like you have to breathe.

Just so you know, I drove back and forth over that damned bridge to get a photo that had NO other cars πŸ˜› I’m that dreamy and I wanted it that bad!

We trusted that it would all turn out okay.

It was kinda sorta like jumping out of a burning building that we knew was on fire (leaving So Cal in general) and we just allowed ourselves the space to let things get ugly while we made the transition.

Because we trusted that it would all unfold beautifully.

So, trust the process. Trust yourself. Don’t listen to the naysayers. Get rid of the dead weight, save your money and go live your dream. It’s waiting for you.

I don’t know what you have to do to get “there” …maybe you don’t either. Draw pictures, make lists, think and meditate about what YOU want in YOUR life.

Are you happy where you’re at? If not, then move. You’re not a tree.

I think it’s absolutely insane to stay where you’re not happy. And to stay with someone that doesn’t make you happy, at a job that might pay well but your soul is sucked dry every day or in a community that you feel alone in.

Find your passion, find your place and find your peeps. <<< put this on a mirror!

I subscribe to this “notes from the Universe” and one day a note came to my inbox that said “When you reach, Linda, I reach.”

Reach. You’re worth the work. Dreams are amazing.

Not all of us get that chance that Rick and I took… we are well aware of that. We saw it and took it. We reached. The Universe did the rest. But we worked our butts off and sacrificed a lot to get here.

Reach. Do something today towards your dream.

A tiny step will do.

There were days where I could only look at a pair of socks and cry and wonder “what @#%!$# pile do these go in?” when we were packing to move. And I realized something, sobbing over socks that day. Throwing stuff in the give away/throw away pile has so much power. And that’s all that got done that day. Ice cream out of the carton and socks.

“If you reach, I’ll reach.” That’s what the Universe said. I had a tiny spark of faith, Rick had a tiny spark of faith and here we are.

I know it sounds hokey to some of you that we did what we did to land where we landed but to us it’s been anything BUT.

Life is short. What are you going to do today about your dreams?

Are you going to go to bed one more night and toss and turn because you’re not being true to yourself?

Today is that fork in the road. Everything you do is up to you. Feel the fear, walk through the uglies and reach.

Peace ❀

Saturday Salem Market

We moved from Southern California to Dallas, Oregon over a year ago and we absolutely love it here.

Trees, clean air, the laid back lifestyle, the coffee (me), craft beer (him)

It’s springtime and…

Can I just tell you about the produce in Oregon?

Specifically… the strawberries?

You know that supermarket strawberry that is SUPPOSED to be red all the way through? And IF it is red…and tastes crappy, then it’s “treated” or…some weirdness?

Let me describe an Oregon strawberry… from a farmer…at a farmers market.

They LOOK rich, from the leafy green stem to the little pointy butt. They are RED all the way through. You don’t need to add sugar to them when you make a strawberry shortcake. You don’t even need the whipped cream or the cake. Okay, maybe the whipped cream! πŸ˜‰

They smell like…REAL strawberries. They tickle your nose hairs with the tangy tartness that is the bomb diggity!

And the taste? They’re just delicious. And so many sizes, so many levels of sweetness and red. Those green baskets that line the tables at the markets…ohmyyyyy (nod to GeorgeTakei there)

Delectable, wonderfulicious, amazeballs, scrumptchy umpchty (haha my spell check is having a fit!)

The dirt here in the Willamette Valley has been blessed by the berry gods, the fruit gods and the veggie gods. It’s so rich and so fertile that it just… sigh.

Makes for some really good healthy yummy food.

Okay… enough of the amazing heavenly strawberries. I can go on about their blueberries too….just substitute “blueberry” for “strawberry” and you have it.

On to the Saturday Salem Market.

You know my blog posts are long, right? Ahem…okay. Go get your coffee, let the dog out, give the dog a bone and I’ll be right here.

Better? Okay…

Saturday Salem Market is the best. It’s not the usual Farmers Market that I’m used to. I don’t know what the rest of the world is like, but this one has a vibrancy and an energy that is laid back (they love for people to bring their dogs!) and WELL planned out and so nicely organized.

Being who I am and all, I thought it would be cool to get in but thought it would be hard or too costly or they’re snobs (some places have made me cynical) or you don’t make any money if you sell jewelry at a Farmers Market or blah blah freaking BLAH and fill in all the other “or” (excuses anyone?) that my pretty little head could conjure up.

It’s footwork and well worth it. I actually made a much bigger deal out of it and had useless anxiety about it.

Seriously.

I applied, did the footwork and went to a jury. The jury was the most nerve wracking part. I don’t know why but it was.

Again, I simply did what they asked me to do, got my stuffage together and took it there. My husband went with me and was amazingly supportive. He deserves husband of the year, every day.

Walked into the jury room and met the jury and the first thing out of their mouth was “We want to welcome you, we are all vendors and have been in your shoes.”

My heart soared. 8 or 9 women… just so cool.

So I spent the next 20-30 minutes passing out spinner rings, stacker rings, my tree of life agate art and cuffs to a group of really cool ladies that were full of questions. “You made all this yourself? How did you make it? What got you into this? WHAT is this?” (tree of life agate art and spinner rings…some people ask me that lol)

I was so nervous that my voice went up a zillion octaves. But they were so warm and friendly…it made it so much easier πŸ™‚

They asked me if I had any questions so I asked THEM what THEY made..and they told me. They make pretty cool stuffage!!!

and just like that, my time was up…

Then we packed up my stuffage and drove home. Then I waited…and waited (it was a Thursday night that I got juried) and finally the following week I started getting the emails and the “send your fees here” and the

YOU’RE IN announcement.

I jumped for joy, did the shimmy shimmy shake (oh come on, you do it when nobody is looking…right? RIGHT??!) I screamed, jumped again and was thrilled.

I’m still thrilled.

Found all my stuffage, display and COFFEE stuff and showed up at 7 a.m. to set up. After set up we just waited. Then the people came.

All day long.

They have roving musicians. They play for 20-30 minutes in an area, then move to another area. Some of them sang but I couldn’t make out a single lyric! (I forgot my hearing aids at home lol) and a couple of guys played the cello. It was fun, it was pleasant and relaxed.

People walked their dogs, pushed them in strollers, let them sniff each other, fed them treats. If you like to people watch…it’s fun!

I’ve even found a vendor that makes aprons!! Soooo happy about that (it’s the little things!) They’re going to add pockets that are purple to match my decor.

The vendor on one side makes and sells jelly. She was amazingly sweet and funny and full of little tips to make vendorville a whiz. The vendor on my right sold flowers. Big bushy planters full of colorful flowers! Both gals were super busy!

I can go on and on with the vendors there. I got to meet Ben, who is on the board of directors. He was a few booths down. Very cool guy! He was very warm and welcoming! His booth was full of amazing art.

The Saturday Salem Market seems really well organized and they seem like they care about their vendors and their people that come through. I know for something like that to be so well organized and thought out that there’s a lot of hard work going on behind the scenes. Bravo! The nice things I heard from the customers about the market made me feel very proud to be a part of it πŸ™‚

I didn’t get to see the whole market…I was pretty busy. Either in the booth or running to the loo. They have handwashing stations at the loo! You pump the water with your foot, fun! So grateful for the loo when you’re a coffee lover like me lol

They sell everything there. It’s fun, the people are great, the vendors are fabulous and it’s the perfect place for me at this point and time in the Universe.

Here’s a few snaps of my display… ring table display1

My amazing friends Randy and Kristie made the ring display blocks ROCK!

They’re masters at wood stuff. I can’t thank you two enough!! And thanks for stopping by, I loved seeing both of you!!

ring display 2

Fabric on sale at a yard sale. Provides the perfect “POP” of color on the spice rack riser in a mostly black display. I want to keep it simple. Each size ring has its own wood block “island” and is clearly marked. Tiny chalkboard signs everywhere with item names and pricing. Thank God for Pinterest and the cool chicks in my Salem Etsy Team for answering allllllll of my questions!

ring display 1

earrings display 3

I found this rotating earring stand at a horse farm yard sale of all places! They had a small gift shop in the back. Wonderful people! I love Oregon. Cute tiny horses too. Where else can you take a country road to a yard sale at a horse farm? HERE! The earring cards have tiny neo magnets on the back so they just pull off and snap back on when my customers want to look at earrings. I love magnets. I turn 5 when magnets are around…they’re just too much fun!

cuff display 1Cuffs in display. Note my little Buddha statue on the very top! πŸ™‚

Small polished black river rocks and pearl glass made for great display filler. Another “find”

agate art display 1Agate art display… sorry for the lighting! Another “find” πŸ™‚

moon and back display

Chalkboard sign attached to a tower attached to the “love you to the moon and back sign. Perfect for my hand stamped “I love you to the moon and back”Β  necklaces!

whole booth shot1Finally, the whole shebang

It looks lopsided with only one banner on the left table. I’ll be adding another banner. I’ll be adding or subtracting for months, I’m sure! We Gemini’s are never quite happy. Always fiddling with this and that. I don’t think I can NOT fiddle.

And, who KNEW that the canopy has little loops at the top of each corner to tie a banner onto. Thank you Gingifer for being such a cool vendor neighbor! You gave me some life saving vendorville nuggets and didn’t make fun of me because it was like…so obvious what they were for lol

I had fun. WE had fun. “We” you say?

I can’t leave out Alex.

She really helped me out.

I could not have done this without her.

Alex… I truly believe that you are a special little gem. Thank You!

So go, get out and go see the market. Even if you’re not in Salem…go see and meet your local farmers. Buy local. Screw Squallmart and the big box mass produced stores…buy from your local artists, your farmers, your food artists (I consider the baked goods gifts from heaven!), your wood, glass, metal and painting artisans…Get off your butt and grab a friend…head outside. Grab a coffee and talk about life. Go have FUN!

Tiny side note…

I’ve heard from some people that my display is getting copied or that my art is getting copied or whatever <insert here> is getting copied. I caught one girl snapping a pic of a necklace on my display. I blatantly asked her “are you going to copy my work?” (nicely..I asked nicely!) She said she wasn’t but… you never know.

I believe in karma. You know when you copy someone’s work or whatever that it’s wrong. I think if you steal, you will be stolen from. If you cheat…then you will be cheated out of something.

If you copy my work (or anyone’s work, really) that you’re not just stealing but you’re cheating yourself out of the reward of creativity, connection to the Universe (I know..sounds weird but think about it) and other goodies when you do your OWN work…

I think if you need money that bad, then go for it. Maybe you have babies to feed, maybe chemo is expensive or maybe this is food on your table…a roof over your head. Maybe you’re just a thief and run through life taking from others…whatever…

No, I’m not giving you PERMISSION to be an asshat and STEAL my ideas or my hard work… but I can’t stop you. Just know that you and I both know it’s wrong and that karma WILL bite you in the end. I wish you the best, I really do. But seriously…not nice to steal. Just sayin.

Believe in yourself. Go make YOUR OWN stuff. Even ugly stuff. It turns into pretty stuff eventually.Β Β Β  I make ugly stuff all the time, I copied x,y,z to learn how to do it…then found my own BoBinda spin to put on it. You CAN DO THE SAME THING! Then, it’s not stealing πŸ™‚ I know, brilliant huh? You’re welcome πŸ™‚ Seriously…don’t steal. Bad bad karma. Rant over. For now.

I am totally random today. I’m still tired and sore from yesterday so forgive my allllll over the map chatter.

Thank you Salem Saturday Market, all the peeps behind the scenes, my fellow vendors, cool customers that both looked and purchased. Thank you roving music peeps and those of you that brought your dogs…I had a magical first day in vendorville.

I leave you with this… a random sign that has my favorite substance in the world

coffee sign

Or maybe she’s a Gemini with a busy bright shiny things kind of mind who loves coffee and loud music…and life.

Peace!

Mini jewelry press and Latest spinner rings

If you’re a metalsmith, then you probably have heard of Kevin Potter. He owns Potter USA. Potter USA is one of the places I get my toys tools from. My first toy tool was a bench shear. Imagine a paper cutter…now give it 3 years worth of steroids. there ya go πŸ™‚ You have a great imagination! I first met Kevin in a Facebook group for metalsmiths. He’s a laid back guy who has quite the touch for making tools. He’s also a goldsmith so he understands tools that metalsmiths use. My second purchase was…ummm…I forget. Something like a die, then a spinner ring squisher and then…tada, a mini press. WHY a mini press? Because. Life is short, my hands hurt when I saw for too long and umm…well, just because πŸ˜€ Cutting ring blanks out with a jewelers saw is fine. If you’re only doing one or two. If you get into production work or have several orders slam you at once…then it’s nice to have a tada! A die that you insert into the mini press and POOF, you have an instant (almost) ring blank!wavy ring blank6 ‘Scuse my sideways pic πŸ™‚ First, I use my mini press from Potter USA to kick out a blank wavy ring blanks 3formed so I can solder the edges together…Β  fresh out of pickle (a mild acid that gets nasty firescale off) wavy ring blanks 4Hammered out on my ring mandrel wavy ring blanks 5Filed, polished and paired up with a partner. wavy ring blanks with spinnersThey’ve tumbled for hours, antiqued with black max or liver of sulpher and the “partners” (spinners) have a tiny bezel cup soldered on, ready for a 2 or 3mm cabochon πŸ™‚ Now the finished products, I’ll be selling these at the local markets πŸ™‚

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Sterling silver spinner and base ring. Wood grain pattern. Onyx cabochon

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Copper cow spots spinner ring with sterling silver spinner and amethyst or onyx 3mm cab

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Patterned sterling silver spinner ring with lab crated ruby 3mm

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Patterned sterling silver spinner ring with sunstone

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Sterling silver patterned spinner ring with lab created 3mm blue topaz

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Brass, copper and sterling wire. Twisted. Onyx cabochon 3 mm

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simple sterling band with 3 mm Peridot

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Sterling silver pattern spinner ring with lab created ruby 3 mm

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sterling silver band with lab created ruby

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Twisted sterling silver band with amethyst

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Sterling and sunstone

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Sterling and rainbow moonstone

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Tiny serrated bezel cups are too cute!

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Amethyst and sterling silver band

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Man made opal and sterling silver ring, hammered

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Onyx and sterling

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Sterling and faux ruby

I was a little flummoxed when I received my mini press Seriously. I’m a little slow to the party when it comes to springs and fittings and nuts and bolts. I sent poor Kevin a few photos that I’m sure made him scratch his head. I’m not stupid, I swear…but I could NOT figure out how I did THIS! potter press awkwardWhat was I thinking? potter press photoThe 8 ton jack from harbor freight … le sigh Eventually… less than a few days later, I had it bolted to my work bench (THAT took 3 trips to the hardware store to get the right length bolts ) It’s easy to operate. No, really. Life is easier since I got this toy tool. I was even able to shorten things a bit and make this IMG_0719 I think I have all the toys tools I’ll need. Bahahahaha just kidding!! Snickersnort If you do decide to get a Potter USA press, keep in mind that the mini is limited in the size die you can use. He carries two wavy ring blanks that Joni Kisro designed by the way! The smaller ring blank fits in the mini just fine, the wider ring blank goes in sideways and will need extensive clean up afterwards because of the way the metal gets cut. It will still cut, but just not as cleanly as the smaller ring blank. I wish I had known this when I got the press. I would have gone with the medium or large press. But this size suits my needs for now so I’m extremely happy! However, if you can afford it, buy bigger…only rich people buy twice πŸ˜‰

You can find Potter USA toys tools here http://www.potterusa.com/index.php

There, you’ll see what a PotterUSA press is supposed to look like and how they work.

If you want more info on jewelry presses, my sweet friend Melissa Muir has some awesome videos on them on her page over at youtube here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9pJbgpmS6I

coffee

Now if you’ll excuse me…I have some kicka** coffee calling my name…and I have to go work play work with metal!

Peace!

Slacker and stacker

Happy Sunday!

I’ve been a super slacker when it comes to the blog. Seriously, how hard is it to write a few things and post a photo or two? Okay, it’s hard. lol But not THAT hard that weeks go by, right? πŸ™‚

My sincerest apologies!

Some news…

I’ve signed up for a large local Farmers Market. It’s taken some, a lot, a whole lot of courage to do this because …well, there’s not enough room in this blog box to go into detail but suffice it to say it has everything to do with the whole “I am enough” vs. “I am not enough” part of my brain.

So, I asked a young lady if she wanted to help me out on Saturdays and as soon as she said “YES” (it actually made her day! lol) I clicked on the “sign up for market” in the “my market manager” page online. I know I can’t do it alone so I asked for help.

My fingers were shaking. This is a huge step for me.

I’ll have a jury appt in a few weeks. A jury is something where people look at your stuff for sale and deem it fitting for their venue. I guess my photos I sent were not enough.

I’ll keep my fingers crossed and, at the same time “act as if” I’m already in.

A giant leap of faith to do this.

To have faith that maybe there’s room for me, maybe my stuffage is cool and unique enough to get into the Farmer’s Market.

A little bit of feeling like Sally Fields lol (for those of you that are young look her up on google or youtube…Β  “They like me, they really like me” speech)

Getting ready for the possibility of being a vendor in a Farmer’s Market sort of skyrocketed me into “omg, do I have enough product?” mode.

A mode I’ve been in before. With shows and other Farmers Markets.

Being in the local SET show at the Ike box in Salem, Oregon (SET stands for Salem Etsy Team…they’re AWESOME! If you’re on Etsy, get on a local team!) showed me (pun inteeeennnnndddded!) that I have to have more inventory to match the people that will walk by. So if it’s 10K people…we’ll need more stuff to sell…right? I have no idea how much product you’re supposed to have for 10K people but pfffttt whatever.

“Show product panic disorder”Β  It’s on Web M.D. ….I checked πŸ˜‰

So I made more spinner rings using (gawd, this should will be ANOTHER blog post!!! I have new toys tools …(my new Potter USA jewelry press)Β  and with tiny cabochons (2 and 3 mm!) and some different wire, made some rings. I like matte and oxidized because it gives it an aged Victorian look that I think is pretty.

I snapped these photos and shared them on Facebook.

People went crazy. Like, batshit crazy.

spinner stackers with stones 3

Peridot, Onyx, Sunstone, lab created Ruby, Rainbow Moonstone, Iolite (pronounced “eye-O-light”), carnelian, lab created topaz and opals

spinner stackers with stones

Bright shiny colors, the 3 mm cabochons are just too cute!

spinners stackers with stones2 One person after another said “WANT”

And my facebook messenger exploded. They even <gasp!!> said things PUBLICLY like “OMG I HAVE TO HAVE ONE” and “are those for sale? like, right now for sale?” and “WOW!!!”

And I got alllllllllllllllll twisty inside.

As you can see, there’s less than 15/20 rings. I just went to town practicing with some 3mm cute as button cabochons and in spite of my shyness, posted a few pics anyway.

I still feel quite like I’m in kindergarten with my work and, so… when people responded with “Make me some in my kids birthstone colors” I got all twisty inside.

A bit “Really?”

“You really want ME to MAKE you something and you want to PAY me for making you something?”

Because, in my mind, sometimes I see my work as 5 years old.

Yes, really.

I hate getting all personal with how I feel about my work in this blog. But if I’m going to make “I am enough” jewelry and be a sprouting jewelry designer/metalsmith…then I gotta get naked sometime. I don’t mean naked in the sense that I am in my birthday suit, but naked in the sense that you see who I am as a person.

Life is too short to not be real.

Because people…we’re all like this on some level. It’s just that not many people talk about it! Which makes the twisty feelings worse.

Shame loves darkness. Seriously…if you don’t want to bathe in shame, get out of the water that is darkness.

Here’s a towel…dry that shit off.

Free therapy or whatever. You’re welcome. Pass it on πŸ™‚

So I ignore the twisty feeling inside (it has a loud voice that says “You know Bobinda, they’re just being nice and saying your work is cute because they feel sorry for you. Nobody has the heart to tell you to just STOP because you’re not going anywhere in life as a metalsmith” blah blah freakingblah (YES, it says that)

It doesn’t stop there either…it goes on and on.

And I have to fight it.

Some days, more than others.

See, at some point I have to believe in myself and even if I feel 5, take a hard look at my work and ask myself “am I at the top of my game? Am I really making things that are a good product, with excellent customer service?”

And that means asking myself “well, what IS my game?”

And if my game is kindergarten…then I need to just UP my game. I don’t need to entertain my negative thoughts and call my work “stupid” and “lame.”

I just say “well, my solder joins are crap and I need to improve.” And, “my stone setting sucks, so I need to improve.”

Just the facts. Address the crappy joins or the poor finishing or the improper stone setting…NOT me as a person. Not allowed!! <shakes finger> “no no no!”

No need for the baseball bat to beat myself up with. One of these days I’m gonna put that sucker through a wood chipper!

And in metalsmith-ville, I look at lots of photos, I read lots of magazines, blogs, books and facebook groups posts. I watch a few whale load of videos and soak up everything I can. There’s so many variables with metal so comparing MY work to YOUR work is like apples to oranges sometimes. But I try to keep up with where my work is SUPPOSED to be for the money I ask for.

So… I went on another ring making binge. This time to not only stave off the fear of not having enough low/mid price point stuff on hand to sell at Farmers Markets but to sell online. Life is funny like that!

People love the stacker rings.

Wow man…totally cool. Yeah, I totally just said that with my inner Janis Joplin voice haha

So I ordered more tiny 2 and 3 mm cabochons, adding genuine opals and turquoise to the mix.

My little piles of “preciousssss”

Here are some lab created opals that are pink…they’re sooo pretty!

tiny cabs

 

tinycabs2

I get my pretties from Gem Resources, Rio Grande and some pretty amazing Etsy peeps.

 

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3 mm Peridot set in fine silver bezel cup in pattern wire

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7 mm rare Madiera deep Citrine

 

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Tiny 2 mm lab created blue topaz

 

 

The Citrine, blue topaz and Peridot ring were the immediate <shocking> results of the posting the photos of the stacker rings.

Literally minutes after I posted the pics I got a custom order.

ME!

Wow, I’m blessed beyond measure πŸ™‚

So, if you have a blog…keep going. Share what you make, even if you think it looks stupid. One of the “experiments” I’m doing while writing this blog, is I’m seeing the progress I’m making. Not leaps and bounds overnight, but baby steps.

If you make pretties, whether it’s with a torch or a pair of pliers, keep going.

We all start in kindergarten and some move on to Master’s degrees and some kinda drop out in high school.

I want to get my Master’s degree in this gig.

And, I’mΒ  not JUST talking about setting diamonds in gold, that’s probably never going to be ME personally… I just don’t see myself headed in that direction. I’m more of an organic earthy type of artisan. Not a lot of money in it like diamonds and gold but…I’m okay with it. It’s who I am as a person and it’s who I am as an artist. I’d LOVE the money that the gold/diamond people make but… it is what it is.

I’m talking about wanting to get my Master’s in the sense that I want to keep going in my education, my drive, my work.

I want to get my Master’s degree in the spirituality in the game we call life – by being a really good person and doing good things.

Raise the bar for yourself somewhere in your life. Whether it’s playing with metal or blogging.

Up your game. If you don’t like where you’re at, move. You’re not a tree.

Don’t listen to the voices in your head that say you can’t. Get on a fast horse and outride those suckers. They’re not your friends and they’re dead weight.

“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t…you’re right” ~ Will Rogers.

I want to thank those of you with metalsmithing blogs, artsy fartsy blogs, funny blogs, sad blogs and educational blogs. You have shared yourselves with the rest of us and I think that’s awesome! Thank You!

And if you want one of your very own LindaBoBinda’s stacker rings you can go here to my Etsy shop πŸ™‚ https://www.etsy.com/listing/233517299/stacker-ring-with-your-choice-of-stone?ref=shop_home_active_1

Slacker status averted, whew!

 

Peace!

 

 

 

 

New display!

Hi everyone!

When I first began blogging, I thought I’d blog every Sunday but show season is underway, which means lots of prep work.

This is our 2nd spring here in Central Oregon and there are considerations to being a vendor that I didn’t have to contend with in California… mostly rain and distance to shows.

I got in with an amazing local group through Etsy. The Salem Etsy Team. They are amazing. They’re really active on Facebook and are the kindest, sweetest, most helpful and smartest group of gals I have ever met. Seriously. They’re also fun.

There’s an old saying “Choose a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” and they make it a job to love.

So, my first show is in 2 weeks. I’ll be showing at the Ike Box in Salem (great coffee if you’re interested in coming down to see us!) It’s an old mortuary turned coffeehouse. The atmosphere is cool….there’s this huge room in the middle of the building with cozy tables scattered. Again, the coffee…divine!!

Anyway, we’ll be at the Ike box in 2 weeks on May 2nd. Can’t wait.

So, to get ready, I’ve had to order a table. I wanted to keep my display small. I mostly have spinner rings …small and compact works for me.

Several months ago I found a display case that is perfect for my needs and I painted it, replaced the knobs and made it mine.

I have a fitted tablecloth, which is perfect for me as well. No more balancing act with the table cloth! Yay <kicks heels in the air>

My riser is a plastic spice rack that I covered with material. I want all wood risers eventually but this will do for now. I picked it up at a yard sale for 1.00. It expands and is lightweight. If you’ve ever done shows…these matter!

There was a display store going out of sale so I picked up some display pieces there a few weekends ago.

I found some “I love you to the moon and back” signs and put those at the top of the display pieces. Then attached tiny chalkboard signs to the top of those.

I wanted to add height. The table is adjustable in height. I have had a back surgery and have a little arthritis in my hips. Bending over is the last thing I want to do when I’m setting up a display. This is a win/win in that department. I think when people are at a farmers market or a show….bending over gets old. If I’m bent over and the pain strikes…I’m less apt to stop and look if I’m a customer… I’ll be looking for a place to sit!

I have tiny lights I nabbed off Amazon awhile back. They’re magnets and clip on. I love magnets!

Speaking of magnets. I glued some strong magnets onto the back of my banner and drilled some screws into my table carefully spacing the screws evenly apart so the banner will a.) hang straight and b.) the magnet and screw will grab and hold. These are neodymium magnets. Super strong. Snaps on and stays on. I couldn’t find a way to keep the banner on without a string/rope/bungee cord/tape or those stupid clamps.

I’m VERY happy with the magnets! I wonder if anyone will find themselves stuck to my table? πŸ˜€ lol

My canopy arrives today. I’m off to find a waterproofing spray. I found it on e-canopy online. Comes with sidewalls and weight bags. Last time I had an EZ up and filled the bags up with sand…40-50 lbs each and my back was hurting. I wish I could find weights that are 10-15 lbs each. I would rather have many little weights… than one giant one. It’s all good though! It’s coming together pretty nicely!

Here’s my display

Display with banner

Displays are sort of like having a living room…we’re constantly changing the furniture around. I liken it to “nesting” ~ and I’m always moving my living room around. I don’t know if it’s because I’m never happy with the configuration or if I’m bored with my couch.

diplay14

display2

display13

display7

display2

I wanted/needed a display that will fit into the back of my tiny 1997 Rav4 with the seat folded down. I know if I fold the seat down I can get a canopy in there as well as a bunch of other stuff. I needed to have it compact, easy to set up and high for my customers.

As a vendor, we want customers to come by and look over our wares and buy our jewelry and art. After we moved and I was so sick for months, it gave me the opportunity to be a customer at shows and slow down and take it in from another perspective. It was hard for me to bend over so I found myself avoiding the lower tables…or, if they had wonderful items, being a little grumpy because I couldn’t “reach them” by bending over. (I had abdominal pain) I passed many tables because of this and I couldn’t help but wonder…as vendors, how much do we think of the customer?

I know recently I went to a rock and mineral show (new addiction folks!) and I hadn’t eaten and could feel myself flagging into low sugar zombie land. I was EVER so grateful for the candy dish someone had so thoughtfully laid out.

It’s the little things folks…the simplest things that can make or break a show.

I can deal with the sales not being 100%, I can deal with the customers that say “oh, I can make THAT” (or the “don’t you think your prices are too high?”) and I can deal with long stretches on my feet.

What I don’t like doing is having pain because I didn’t think things through.

We spend hours making our pretties. We spend hours snapping photos to sell our wares online. Why not spend hours planning a booth, making it simple for ourselves (and others!)

Vending is hard work but it’s so much fun and rewarding!

Have fun vending!

Peace!