handmade for me

Long, long ago at a craft fair I was neighbors with Mei-Ling of Twitch and Whiskers. From across the aisle I kept eyeing her thimble necklaces. There were so many thimble and charm combinations to choose from. I easily helped a friend pick one which was just perfect for her, yet I was overwhelmed with the possibilities for myself. Then a few weeks ago I learned two things, Mei-Ling customizes these sweet necklaces and that they were soon to be discontinued. 

Once I was able to help design this necklace I knew just what I wanted. A singer thimble. It had to be a singer, my grandmother sewed on a singer and wore a thimble when mending clothes by hand. Little six year old me never understood how she could even use her fingers with a thimble, never mind actually mend something so well you couldn't tell what needed mending to begin with. For the charm I just knew I need to have scissors. Of course my grandmother used them while sewing and mending but more important was the memory I have of her scissors tied to the arm of her rocking chair. I asked her one day, why tie them there? Why not just leave them on the side table? Knowing her family all too well, she tied them down. Being the thrifty woman she was and an avid reader of the news, she was forever clipping coupons and items of importance. She wasn't about to go chasing down a grandchild to save her scissors from a craft project.

For years I have wanted to make the perfect necklace to remember her by. She is just so important to me and I have so many memories that I have yet to organize my ideas and feelings into just one piece or even a collection of pieces. It is still too overwhelming for me to undertake. So, this sweet thimble means so much more to me than anyone could ever know and I want to thank dear, Mei-Ling for making this piece for me. As I move about working in my studio the necklace jingles a little melody, reminding me of the woman who made my first craft project with me and who saw my talent in drawing, got me some charcoal pencils and signed me up for art classes. This same woman also made me put away my drawings to go outside and play. She knew just what she was doing, giving me inspiration to get back in the house to start drawing again. I am so very grateful. 

thanks for reading this little tribute. make sure you stop by Twitch and Whiskers and get yourself a thimblism necklace of one of Mei-Lings' other awesome designs.
xo, kim

I truly love my customers!

Recently a fellow placed an order for these two pairs of earrings from my supermarket shop.  I dropped him a line to see how he would like them packaged and if he wanted me to type a little note. 

My customer replied asking me to pack them up in one box as they were an anniversary gift for his wife. He said he bought her earrings from me last year and she loved them.

I guess she must, this year he bought her two pairs. 

I truly do love my customers. 
xo, kim


trees along the river seine

Back in August of 2005 two newlyweds took the greatest adventure of their lives. Threes days were spent in each city: London, Paris and Amsterdam. Paris being the favorite. The first full day in Paris we took a river tour of the city from the River Seine. Was it ever heavenly. 

 Seven years later I realize I've broken a promise, we have yet to return to my favorite place on earth. I think we need to start saving our change and set a goal to fly away again the the land of cafes, croissants, art and the best place on earth to roam the streets hand in hand.

happy wednesday!
xo, kim

so darn cute

This little lady makes it ever so difficult to leave for work.
She knows the signs, my lunch is packed, I've collected my belongings and brought them to the door. And just then when you thought that cute face couldn't get cuter. 

She pulls off a face that says, 'mama, please don't go' and my heart melts. Those brown eyes are pleading for attention. So I give her a few more scratches and belly rubs and a treat, tell her I love her and sadly slip off. 

It's nice to be so loved.
happy tuesday!
xo, kim


in my studio : love

Here are some behind the scenes photos of my new color combination called love. Why love you ask? Well, it is a combination I love and the two shades remind me of valentine's day and flowers. But I prefer them year round and not just for a special occasion. Pink and red are best together.

It all started with this photograph taken at Blithewold gardens. For years it has graced my studio wall and until recently I didn't know exactly how it was going to translate to my jewelry. But it was the color combination that finally crept it's way into my bling.

I am not the only one in love with this combination of rusty, ruby red with sprinkles of pink. My newest consignor, Magpie asked for tons of earrings and necklaces in this new hue of mine. Here is a collection I was getting together for them. This is before the ear wires are formed, solder clean up is in full effect here. Sometimes I need to see this massive pile of bling to reassure me that completed work is on the way.

 Here they are finally finished and up for sale in my etsy shop. Love dash of color. 

I love the super shiny backs of these. It is proof of my time spent at my flex shaft polishing these babies up. 

I loved this combination in the dash of color earrings and new it needed a necklace to match. I also knew that I needed to design a fancier clasp for my dot necklaces. I wanted them to be more, well, me. So, I started with making a little eye hook.

 Then I bent the wire around a dowel to mimic the shape of the dot shaped pendant. I didn't complete the circle for this half to make the hook part of the clasp.

On the other half I completed the circle. All of the loose ends were soldered up with the chain in place. No cold connections here!

 And pickled in my super duper eco-friendly vitamin c pickle. There isn't a picture but I cleaned the solder up with my trusty flex shaft and brass brushed it to a shine.

Purty, isn't it?

A mate for my earrings. 
Even after batches upon batches of these being made, I still do love these colors together. 

happy sunday! do you have your studio to do list made up already?
xo, kim

happy valentine's day!

here's a sweet little love story I found on vimeo. 

oh my, I made a treasury!

I have been trying to decide on what color to paint the walls and I decided turquoise it the way to go. My red couch will look delicious against it. Don't we agree?

welcome winter!

did winter ever come to this little state.
this is a little jaunt into the woods after we got just a bit of snow.

before the blizzard.

 but after the first decent snow fall. 

this little patch of woods in the city was the perfect place to visit after a dusting of snow.

 i didn't need my winter weed guide to know that these are queen anne's lace.

i love how mystical the background looks in this picture, like emerald city.

now these weeds i need to look into. i have been collecting them for some time without knowing it's name.

there was a little patch of weeds before the path.

then we came upon a stream.

 flowing to here.

miss callie was quite interested in the stream.

so was i.

the wall had some great patterns.

with a splash of graffiti. 

remember those stairs in the beginning? well, we climbed them and came upon a great view.

and so the blizzard started.

the ivy is getting covered.

the street too.

and the blizzard left and we surrendered and stayed in.

callie dives in loving the fresh snow.

she just can't get enough.

we ventured to the studio after our day inside to see it covered in snow.

and the roof tops were just as pretty as i expected.

i have been waiting for this view.

and finally, the city from my mother in law's. ever so pretty.

happy wednesday! keep toasty warm.
xo, kim

so this is christmas...

...and did we have fun. I spent it with the near and the dear ones. Watching my five nephews and one niece open their presents is always the highlight of my holiday.
This year opening my present was quite fun too. These two owls were made with love by my nephew Patrick and they go down as my favorite present this year. 

happy holidays, there are still celebrations to be had. 
xo, kim


oh, montmartre, je vous adore tellement

I am quite certain I can say Montmartre is my favorite place on earth. It was the first adventure I took in Paris. My first and best omelette, my first night in my favorite city, oh, and I can't forget, my first taste of pomme frites. 

Here is the Basilica of the Sacré Coeur looking a little ghoulish at night. It is a lovely site to come upon after an elevator ride up the hill. 

I wish I could recall the site of these photos but I just can't. All I do remember is that I fell in love. 

One day, I hope to have a flat in one of these buildings all nestled together. 

I left with some lovely bohemian prints and bought a slew of them for one euro each. They make me smile every day.

Such pretty window boxes. So many restaurants were decorated this way.

And, just maybe my flat will have a little iron railing like those gracing the above windows. 

And of course, the stairs of the Rue Foyatier, cheaper than the elevator. I felt pretty silly to find these after buying an elevator ticket. Silly tourist mistake!

This is certainly my favorite place on earth.
now I'm off to daydream, kim

makin' whoopie on Halloween eve

Another Saturday brought another late night baking. I am going to see my niece and nephews tomorrow and I didn't want to go empty handed so I scrolled through some Martha Stewart recipes and decided on whoopie pies. Really, bringing a baked good was just an excuse for me to have a bowl to lick.

Why whoopie pies? Because they seemed to require the least amount of artistic baking. 
{This coming from an artist.}

Colored sugar made them festive enough for me. 

I think the little monsters will be surprised, all six of them! And my father will be happy with the results, we share the same sweet tooth.

Of course, Callie girl helped. She loved the frosting!

happy halloween!
be spooked, kim

welcome autumn!

The other day brought grey, dreary weather. It seemed to be the perfect day to take Callie for a romp in the cemetery. There is a wonderful stone stairway at the North Main Street entrance I wanted to get photos of while she was sniffing about.

This photo isn't as grim as my introduction made it sound, is it?

The corners of the stairs hold a great collection of acorns.

I miss my days in the florist. These flowers remind me that we are in the height of mum season. My least favorite flower aside from carnations to work with.

Though, these mums are prettier than the ones I had to use in cornucopias and pumpkin arrangements. They are more daisy-like than the stock we got into Stop and Shop.

They were fun to come across.

I love how the colors in the stone were brought out with the apps on my iPhone. Everything becomes more vibrant.

It adds some great texture to the photos.

I took to noticing that there were some interesting images on the head stones.

There are lots of raised plots here with weeds growing from the nooks and crannies. Very Tim Burton looking.

I am surprised at the number of hands used in the imagery. It must hold lots of importance for the time period.

I adore this flower pattern which was repeated. There was some lovely lichen growing over the stone too.

This is my favorite carving in the cemetery thus far.... 


...lots and lots of poppies...

...and seed pods of poppies.

Maybe the stairway looks spookier in this photo.

And not too much in this one. But the setting seemed perfect for the grey day.

And, of course, I love the gates.

But before we went to work {we being Callie and I}. We walked through the complex to get the mail. And to take pictures of the sculptures in the parking lot. Isn't this a great pattern?

Since I moved to the city I see less clover around. I have missed it and am happy to know it isn't far.

And back at work to a lovely collection of dahlias from a fellow metalsmith friend who came to my studio party.

Aren't they great specimens from her garden?

And for the Callie fans out there, here is her photo of the week. She is now allowed on the couch, invitation only. We will see how long this lasts. I do love the cuddle time.

enjoy october before it ends!
xo, kim

Montréal loves me!

I am not sure how I forgot to tell this story, but now is better than never. After Picnic Portland, I decided to extend our road trip and we continued on to Canada. The car was still loaded with all of my jewels and tent setup which I thought would just be extraneous stuff. 
While navigating Mile End I spied a fantastic boutique and fell in love. After trying on a handmade skirt by nude I found my way to the register. Once I was there I summoned the courage to inquire about consignment. Just as I asked the owner came into the store and agreed to meet with me the next day. They were all so nice and my hopes were up high as they were so excited at the prospect of having a new jewelry artist in the shop. 

I arrived at General 54 early the next day with all of my loot. After eating a bagel from St Viateur I fidgeted a bit and waited for the store to open. Once a few customers trickled in I followed with a box of my jewels in tow. While I waited for the owner I did more browsing. This time getting handmade panties and a headband with the cutest flower.

Meeting time finally came. It was an amazing adventure with all of the shop ladies having wide dazzling eyes as they pawed over my work. In the end, we decided on a wholesale order. They bought a whole lot of earrings. Tons and tons of earrings. I have never felt so good about my work before. Mixing business with pleasure was pure perfection. 

Here I am posing in front of General 54 before I left my beloved Montréal.

Montréal really does love me and I love Montréal. 

{ps: the shirt I am wearing is handmade, I bought it last year while visiting Québec.}