Thursday, July 12, 2007

Rock Love

In my day job, I sell jewelry....fine a department store. This is just an extension of my love of rocks. Most of the time little girls pick flowers, write notes and put trinkets in their pockets. Not me. I picked the most beautiful rocks I could find and saved them. My poor mother. Doing laundry for five children must have been bad enough without all those muddy, crumbling rocks. led to a lifetime of rock love.

Yesterday, a lady came to my counter wearing the most striking pendant. She said her husband had made it. They spend their winters in Arizona where he's been taking classes for silversmithing. The rock was a gorgeous red and black and gray concoction. She said it was really dinosaur droppings. I found the name for this type of rock is coprolite. I found one beautiful piece of it on Ebay . Just search for coprolite. This guy from Utah has a wonderful slab for sale. Isn't that amazing that something so ugly can become something so beautiful? I need to look for a silversmith class locally.....another path.

A few years ago, my dh surprised me with boxes and boxes of rocks, tumbling paraphernalia and such he bought from a lady having a tag sale. She told him this was leftover from a rock shop in northern Illinois. The shop closed when her aunt and uncle became too ill to keep it open. She had no interest in the business so was selling it off.
Over the last few years, I have spent many a happy hour sorting through the rocks, trying to identify them. I have even sold a few slabs of beauties on Ebay. Mostly, though, they sit in my garage....taking up room....waiting for me.

Shortly after my dh bought the rock shop (that's how I refer to it), I learned about wire wrapping. So, off we went to Louisiana to learn how to do it. Check out Preston Reuther's site Thanks, Preston. Since I love the look of sterling silver, almost everything I wire-wrap is done in sterling. I've given a lot of my work away, but several I've kept for myself. Here's one that I wear a lot. I think there are two different types of agates in this wrap. There are two black beads - hematite. And, there's a bronzy-looking glass bead. Let me know what you think.

We're planning a short trip to the Wisconsin Dells soon. I hope to find some things there to wrap. Well, maybe we'll do some restauranting, to sample local cuisine. I'll let you know what I find.

Today's thought.....The optimist says, "My cup runneth over, what a blessing." The pessimist says, "My cup runneth over, what a mess." Bless your mess!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

A Tribute To My Mom

I guess it's about time to create myself on the internet since I've done it many times in real life. With this first post, I will let you know that I CRAFT. So here goes. In this, my first post, I'd like to share a purse I made using the crazy quilting technique.

Although I've seen many sites that show fabulous samples of this kind of work, I was most TOTALLY inspired by a quilt project done for the Arrington Cancer Center in Lubbock, Texas. It's my understanding that it hangs on a wall in the center. See it here These inspirational ladies have gone on to create what they call "Art Bras". Check out this organization, A Way to Women's Wellness, at

My first attempt was not as professional as theirs, but very much in keeping with their focus. My mother died of breast cancer in 1963 when she was 32 years old. I call my purse "A Tribute To My Mom".

The central photo of this bag is her at about age four. It incorporates various fabrics including a Betty Boop fabric. I've used some antique buttons, several embroidery techniques, and an assortment of beading. It's fully lined.

Betty Boop and the quilted heart in this photo are pockets. I didn't put pockets on the inside, but now wish I had. I've added inside pockets on several I have made since this one and everyone is very happy with them.

I carry the purse everywhere and have had loads of compliments on it. To this point, I've only given purses to my family. Since I've been asked so many times if I sell them, I'm in the process of setting up an Etsy shop. Watch for a link to it in the near future.

Since I can't res
ist adding something sunny, I'll leave you with an Irish blessing

Wishing you always...
Walls for the wind,
A roof for the rain
And tea beside the fire.
Laughter to cheer you,
Those you love near you,
And all that your heart may desire