Thursday, February 12, 2015

Back on (Am)Track

First of all, a bit of catching up: After I put up my last post, the Gruffalo and I became very occupied with downsizing. From our own experience and from listening to friends in our age group, it appears that we spent the first half of our lives acquiring stuff and are now engaged in the process of getting rid of most of it.

After nine years in a large, isolated house in an urban/wildland interface (yes, that really is a thing) we moved into a two-bedroom house in a gated community in central Orange County. It is actually very nice having a home and a yard that we can deal with ourselves. I was raised in the city that gives Orange County its name, so it feels like coming home.

One downside of our downsizing experience is that getting my studio set up was a low priority. There were so many other things to deal with, including unexpected plumbing issues in the new house, that my tools and supplies were the last thing to be unpacked.

Once the studio was in workable condition, however, I started on a new jewelry project at once. I started stringing this necklace at home and finished it while riding the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner to Los Angeles Union Station earlier this week. I took the train to meet my sister KK and my friend EmmyK at FIDM for their Academy Award nominated costume exhibit. My first love was sewing, and this exhibit (and the Grammy exhibit later in the year) are total catnip for me. If you have a chance to visit this exhibit, prepare yourself to swoon over the costumes from Into the Woods. The level of artistry is amazing...I know who I will be rooting for on Oscar night.

I call this necklace & earring set Back on (Am)Track...

Materials for this are seed beads and labradorite beads (longest strand), glass pearls and labradorite shards (center strand), lapis lazuli round beads (shortest strand), silk stringing thread in sizes 0 (light blue), 3 (grey) & 6 (navy blue) and a purchased clasp.

Here is a close up of the lower portion of the longest & center strands:

Here are the matching earrings,using teardrop shaped labradorite drops, seed beads and lapis round beads:

And here is a close-up of the clasp, which I have had in my stash for years. I chose it because the ring has been wired with glass pearls, which tie in with the center strand:

The longest strand measures 36", which makes it a good necklace to wear with a high collar or a very deep v-neck.

While I have not been active in jewelry-making for a while, I have been taking watercolor painting classes...but that is a topic for another entry.