iron work + greenery

Here's one little photo I tool while leaving my beloved Olga's. 



The perfect combination of my two favorite loves, iron work and nature.  


I think this one goes to the printer.
xo, kim



january photo a day : days 24-31

I am a little late to the photo of the day game, so this is my first recap. All photos are taken/altered with instagram. I'm finding this challenge proposed by fat mum slim to be quite inspiring. My eyes are wide open ready to take in more of my daily life, looking for a different angle in which to capture the theme of the day. I set out with the topic in mind, trying not to go for the obvious keeping this fun challenge fresh.  


day 24 : guilty pleasure... packing peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies in my lunch.
                
day 25 : something I made... new series of forget-me-not necklaces.  

day 26 : colour... red + aqua, my new favorite color combination.
day 27 : lunch.. I stopped by Olga's for some coffee + a delightful seeded bagel.
day 28 : light... light shining through a textured window, creating shadows and depth to patterns.
day 29 : inside your fridge... my new avocado colored butter dish. it makes me feel all grown up.
day 30 : nature... I decided to capture nature indoors, mementos taken from walks, pieces of nature I just can't leave behind.

day 31 : me, again. this one I did on two parts. Me at home..

day 31 : me, again... me out and about, as most folks see me around town.

Won't you please join us? It's great fun. Maybe it is the little kid in me who misses homework assignments. I suppose it is about time I confess.. I am a nerd at heart.
xo, kim

January Photo A Day # 30 : Nature

As an avid user of Intagram I had been wondering what the tag #janphotoaday was all about as I scrolled through my feed. Then the lovely Linda of à la mode stuff explained the photo a day challenge she was partaking in. Chantelle of Fat Mum Slim has come up with an inspirational list of themes for us followers to capture each day. Thus far, today's theme was my favorite. Nature.

These are sweet little pine cones from Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain. They sit with my other dried winter weeds collection right outside the coat closet.


Being winter and all there isn't much thriving outdoors.


So I decided to take some photos of nature which has been brought indoors. 


Most of these photos are of natural objects collected by my neighbors. 


They decorate the windowsills for which I am grateful. 


But I have my own collection in my studio and home.


I keep objects I want to fabricate in metal. 


Or pieces that I want to have cast. 


Above are eucalyptus pods that I've had cast into silver. They've been around for a few years, waiting to be enameled and made into jewelry. 

Today's theme was so inspiring that I couldn't take just one photo. Once I started thinking of how to overcome the dilemma of capturing nature in it's weakest season I realized that I've surrounded myself with pieces I've collected on walks. It seems I am not alone by the looks of our back porch.

 In the future I am planing on sharing a weekly wrap up of my photos of the day here on my blog. Why don't you partake in the fun? Get your inspiration here

happy monday!
xo, kim



object fetish fridays : Marketa Lisa

This morning I am missing drawing class. Looking at these pieces by Marketa Lisa reminds me of nature drawing and the envy I have for those who can effortlessly do line drawings.

I am in awe of Marketa's ability to use silver wire, pliers and a torch as delicately as one would use pencil and paper. Her work seems effortless.

Marketa captures gesture in her work with subtle bends in wire. It is all so simply elegant.



aren't these pieces perfect for spring?


happy friday!
xo, kim


blithewold gardens through a lens

This may not be an adventure far away in distance. It is far away in time. The summer of 2008 seems like more than years ago. It was back when the Swedes were here to visit. When I still lived in Tiverton. And it was me, before craft. Enjoy this little adventure through Blithewold gardens. I am so happy I came across this little collection of photos and can't wait to have them printed so I can hang them in my studio.



butterfly bush


clematis after it flowers
I hope one day to create these swirly little fellows in silver. One day soon.


cone flower


black eyed susan

unknown
I hope that one day my adventures in color lead me to a shade of lavender or lilac that I love. Maybe by summer..


queen anne's lace
These too, have long been in my sketchbook of ideas. Maybe a hairpin and matching ring would do?
queen anne's lace

poppy pods

bell flower

lotus

thistle

thistle

pathway through the garden

A Monet-esque pond

out to sea
I need a Blithewold adventure soon. This place is a place of peace for me. The bamboo forest is so refreshing and peaceful, but every inch of the grounds are amazing to me.

happy tuesday!
xo, kim






monday's muse : Ingjerd Hanevold

Here is another inspiring piece from hnoss depended. This one is by Ingjerd Hanevold. 



This isn't the same piece in my book, but that isn't what is important to me. It's the theme, the artist's ability to capture nature. She allows nature to take over her pieces. Flowers are re-created in new materials. Her work is never gaudy or overdone. Just simply beautiful as the flowers are found to be in nature.  


happy monday!
 xo, kim

lovely and local : morris & essex

I don't think I shared with you all of the handmade goodness I got for christmas yet. A good part of my loot came from Morris & Essex. I first discovered them while vending at Picnic Portland this past summer. I fell in love with all of her pieces making it hard to pick just one item. In the end I settled for some screenprinted undies {shown below} and kept a business card so I knew where to return to make my holiday wish list. 

This moth & butterfly shirt has become a fast favorite. It is so comfortable, rusty orange and adorned with insects. 
 
These little birds are so sweet. Ones I would love to feed breadcrumbs to in the city. Now if only the weather were more suitable for the shirt...
I have yet to acquire this shirt {hint: x-small please!}. I love how Morris & Essex re-visits a theme. She obviously loves nature but doesn't bore us with the same images. She changes the silhouette, adds or detracts detail and never inundates us with the same palette. 

If you are looking for some cards to send to loved ones Morris & Essex has a website full of handprinted paper goodness. 


happy thursday!
xo, kim








ring a week #2

One night this week I came home to a vase full of orange tulips, already trimmed and in water. {I am quite the lucky lady, I know!} After admiring them for days I came to see them differently on Saturday evening. 

I looked at them as pieces. They weren't just a bunch of tulips, there were individual tulips made of stems, petals and leaves. Then I saw one special little leaf as jewelry.

 I have long admired tulip leaves and re-created them in a few jewelry pieces of mine. 

Their texture is smooth, like silver. But that isn't my favorite part. I love how the end of the leaf cups around the stem and maintains that curve once it is cut away. Then the leaf slowly looses that bend only to find it again at it's point. 



I am loving this photo diary of my ring a week. It is most inspiring. This one I know will find it's way to my bench. Some forming hammers will come out to play and my anvil will make some noise. 
happy sunday!
xo, kim

lovely and local : modern printed matter

I love when I discover that handmade goodies I love are made locally. While I knew Modern Printed Matter was a store in Warren I just hadn't put together that the cards people loved so much in the Craftland show came from the same place. 

I happily clicked through many items in Modern Printed Matter's etsy shop and included one of her cards in my recent treasury

Anna has a great aesthetic, simple yet bold. Her images are clean and perfectly represented in a single vibrant color attracting just enough attention. 

I can't decide what I like more her vintage prints or the nature themed ones. They are both so well done. Let me just drop a little hint here, your lover would totally appreciate some personalized note cards. I promise you!



happy thursday!
xo, kim






monday's muse

Now that the crazy craft season is over I plan on taking time to do other things aside from making jewelry. Though, I suppose this project is somewhat jewelry related. I am always collecting dried flowers and when I am not collecting them I am kicking myself for not carrying nippers with me. I don't always get to it but the idea is that I will collect these decomposed flowers and have them cast into silver. Or, I will re-create the flower in silver myself. So, to get myself to this step I really should get to organizing my collection. When I saw this post on design sponge, I knew it was just the thing for me to do. 
But the first step should really be to get myself the Winter Weed Finder. Then I can aptly name my pieces once they find themselves re-created in silver. 

happy monday!
xo, kim






studio sundays

I never could have imagined how busy the holiday season could be for the crafty. It is quite amazing to see the number of people who come out to buy handmade for the holidays. I would like to thank these shoppers and lovers of handmade for allowing the crafty to be crafty. As a fellow buyer, I always wonder what goes on in other artisan's studios so I decided to try and capture some photos of what goes on in mine. 
I am always inspired by nature. It's color and patterns always amaze me. 

I take bits and pieces of what I surround myself with to make my jewelry. 

I may take color from one form and apply it to another, but it always comes down to an influence from nature.

Not everything about jewelry making is pretty or elegant. These trivets are certainly no exception.

But they do the job. 

Although it may not be elegant, playing with fire is quite fun. Rewarding even!

These are poppies but the inspiration for color came from the photo above of black eyed susans. And one day soon, I will take a break from making and photograph these fun earrings to put for sale in my shop, well shops. {psst...click on the photo to see these sweet earrings in my shop. I finally got to list them!}



happy making, kim






welcome autumn!

On Halloween Callie and I took a walk through Riverside Cemetery. 
There are many houses that border the cemetery. Some have lovely courtyards like the one above.

My favorite leaves are the crimson ones.

Especially against the jewel blue sky. 

There are some great stone bridges in this cemetery. Really, it was a quaint little walk. It's a hilly area and the stones are clustered together instead of being in long straight lines. There are lots of trees and plants and that is what I love most.

I thought these easter lilies were interesting. Though, they are the poppies from last week.

I thought this was going to be a spooky crypt of sorts, it turned out to be a work shed. What a disappointment for a Halloween jaunt.

This came out just as I saw it to be in my mind. The vines with a few leaves still holding on is pure perfection. 

Tulip tree leaves are my favorite. They may not be crimson but it is their shape that I am in love with. I am ever so happy to see these trees bloom in the spring.

I took a few to the studio with me so I could enjoy them longer. I love the mustard yellow against my turquoise desk.

.............................................................

 ... another adventure...

Callie and I enjoyed a short jaunt through the boulevard last week. 

We had some fun crunching through the leaves as we walked to the park.

This short, stout little tree was my favorite that day.

As we returned back home I noticed these beauties are still around. Like me, they don't want to yield to the cold.

...........................................................................

 ...and one final adventure...

We girls have been having some snuggle time in the morning. 

The sun shines in bright and warms up the cool apartment. We never want to end the cuddle and leave the warmest of rooms.

But when we get out for the day, we make it an adventure...

..she sniffs, I click and process.

She pulls on her leash and I pull back promising that this is really the last picture I will take...

...until another color catches my eye...

...or an unsuspecting rose, still in bloom...

...or a flower I am ashamed is unknown to me.

It seems there is always something that makes me stop to take a closer look... 

...and there is always another scent to catch Callie's nose... 

...but we girls always make way to the studio to get to work....

...sooner or later.

And on our way in, we stop for one last picture.





enjoy autumn before the snowflakes fall!
xo, kim



i {heart} enamels: more new work and inspiration

I left the studio on Friday feeling accomplished. All of my new pieces were finished for Craftland, plus I had new work to display under my tent. It seems I get along with this new work schedule. One full day in the office and the rest of the time in my studio. I am happier and more productive. Life is bliss!

All I have seen lately are the walls of my studio and that is where I have found inspiration. 



Lichen green is subtle and pretty. The background of the photo above is so soothing and I wanted to recreate that feeling in these earrings.



Specks of color can be fun too. The white of the petals can be seen in most of my recent enamels. I have been using it as a canvas instead of plain silver. It creates a sense of depth and texture. I am smitten with color.


I have been studying the warm colors in this photograph. How the orange compliments the yellow in the wings of the butterfly, making it more vibrant.



Playing with color is fun. Enamels are my adult box of crayons. I can use the color straight from the packet or play around with layers of color or introduce a few specks of a contrasting color. 

For now, I will keep having fun with my color explorations. It seems you like them too! I can't keep some of the colors or styles around for long but I won't ever complain about people loving my work!

Follow

i {heart} enamels: new work and inspiration

Lately, I have been spending my time in front of a 1450 degree fahrenheit kiln sifting and firing enamels. My canvas has been fine silver circles dapped into cups, some with ear wires attached and some with holes, waiting for ear wires once they are finished. My inspiration has been photographs of nature.

For some time now, I have been studying this picture trying to decide how I will capture these colors in enamel. I love the subtle color variations. When you think the petal has finally gone to white you see the palest of blues or the faintest yellow.
{Please excuse the poor quality, this is a photograph taken of a magazine.}


Here are the first few layers of color. It seemed too subtle with white and transparent lilac with areas of light chartreuse. Out came the opaque purple so I could add a dash.

I do love the result but I feel that the inspiration was lost. This is a whole lot of color and lacking in the subtle changes that I had admired. But this is a constructive criticism on my ability to become too enthusiastic with sifting color. I will accept these and try something new next time. That is what I love about this design, they are made to be experiments in color, no two the same. 

.....Onto the next photo of inspiration.....

How I love lady beetles! Isn't the quote sweet too? Oh, I am getting side tracked. What I am really looking at are the colors and how they contrast each other. I tried to capture the lovely orange red which jumps off the green leaf.


I feel I was more successful in capturing my inspiration on these poppy earrings. My favorite part about these is that the color properly reflects their name. It isn't always the case for me because I get taken away by the world of color, but sometimes it is nice to be able to paint your own landscape isn't it?

Soon enough, I will have a few more pairs made and they will find a place at Craftland. But only for a little while until they find themselves a caring home.


Follow

outdoor specimens

When I come and go from our cozy bungalow apartment I stop to reflect on these specimens...
I admire the textures of each, noting the differences and appreciating the complexity of each structure. I get caught in the splendid awe of nature. 

I often wonder who collected them. The little lady downstairs? her parents? or a friend who thought they would be appreciated here? No matter, I am happy to have them to reflect on daily. A little reminder of just how precious nature is.
Follow

not your average cigar box

This weekend I had some great company under my tent at the open market so I wasn't up to wandering, just chatting with my cousin who I haven't seen in far too long. Lucky for me I still have some pictures left from my previous venture to SoWa. During my adventures I came across a shop which had the most attractive cigar boxes I have yet to see. Not to mention other recycled boxes and paperweights all decorated with the loveliest of papers and some unique findings.

I gleefully opened this box with the fork handle and smiled. It is adorable. Makes me want to re-write all of my recipes so I can store them in here. What a lovely home this would be for some vegan goodies.

I have really been missing Paris lately. This month made it four years since my first and only trip there. The images of handwriting and postage remind me of all the postcards that I sent while I was there. And the addition of keyhole finding is lovely, reminding me of all the memories of Paris I have locked away. Sigh, what a lovely time in a beautiful place.

Who would think that a cigar box could be inspirational? "Be Fun" is a great motto for life. And maybe, just maybe, the key will lead us to a door with an abundance of fun to be had behind it. Well, that is what I want to believe.

I can't decide which is more appealing, "Fly Fly" or the butterflies. I suppose they are equal, they are free, free to fly to new adventures.

Really, I have never wanted paperweights so much before in my life. I always wondered the purpose. When I saw these, I didn't care, I fell in love. What is the Eiffel Tower, New York City, the butterfly or the flower? It doesn't matter, one of these needs to find a home on my desk. I want to daydream of far away places and of the beauty in nature while I am supposed to be working. Wait! I believe I discovered their purpose after all -inspiration.

This one may just be my favorite. Beautifully sketched botanical drawings, slight hues of deep orange and chartreuse and a butterfly in the deepest of reds. I am in love.

Please take a look at the artist's website. Read about her, browse around, shop, daydream and enjoy.

another anniversary sale

Last night and into early this morning I was dancing for joy over an etsy sale. I checked my email before going to bed and discovered that I sold a necklace. When I read my entire email there was a message which planted a smile on my already happy face.

"Beautiful design. This is for our silver wedding anniversary later this year. We are both UMD grads, too: she -a math major- and I -a biology major- met in an art history class."

There are so many things to be excited about. An etsy sale, being a part of another anniversary celebration, being on the same etsy team (MSIA) as my buyer and sharing the same status of UMD alumnus. And isn't is adorable that they met in art history class under the many beautiful canvasses of art? I think it is so romantic. The good old art history room in Group Six is always dimly lit, has comfy chairs and plenty of romantic art for the viewing. The perfect place for a budding romance.

For their silver anniversary Mark will be giving his wife, Wendy this beauty of mine.
This seems like the perfect choice for an anniversary celebration. The aquamarine has a silvery look to it. The composition also flows well with marriage. There are lots of twists and turns in the piece, just like marriage, but the strength of the metal and stones hold everything together, just as patience and understanding keep a marriage strong.

Needless to say I think Mark has great taste and I would like to introduce you to his work which I have been complimenting him on through our team forums. He has an amazing knack for creating patinas on his brass and copper forms which he painstakingly shapes into natural designs using punches, hammers and mallets. This is the loud aggressive sort of work I also enjoy making. Out of noise and what seems to be chaos, art is created and it has a fun, calming quality to it.

These are my absolute favorites. The mix of the blue patina on beautifully shaped butterflies makes me wish I had a garden to give them a home to.


I appreciate the complexity of this piece. Adding texture while forming and bending copper is no easy task. The verdigris on Margeurite accentuates her shape and makes her even more beautiful.

Flitter is another wonderful collection. Wonderful detail and color, perfect for your garden.

I guess nature art studio and I have a lot on common. We both love nature, art, and the many shades of blues and greens that metal acquires over time, or with a little help from a knowing metalsmith.
Follow

Favorite of the Weekend!

I made a short trip to aquidneck island on Friday for an eye appointment and the trip wasn't enough for me. Newport is normally an escape, a place of respite, a lovely island home to friends I enjoy visiting, filled with beautiful sites and the smell of the ocean all around you.
I utilized my favorite new tool on etsy "shop local" to get my fill of Newport, finishing what I started on Friday. This time I viewed familiar sights of my small state through another artist's eyes, leisurely, just the way I enjoy taking in Newport.


As a child, a ride into Newport meant seeing fascinating windmills causing me to stare out the car window, just waiting to catch a glimpse of the massive blades in motion. Year after year, I sadly watched them fall apart. This photograph has re-captured my memories with the glare of the sun causing me to squint my eyes as I struggle to take in the awe of the simple machine which seemed to carry out complex duties under it's shell.


I love the antiquated look of this photo, an old, fuzzy memory of Newport. The colors are vivid but some details are blurred over time.


The artist describes the technique she uses to evoke the feeling of a memory through her photographs: "This photograph was taken using the TtV method which employs shooting your digital camera through the lens of a fixed focus camera, like a Kodak Duaflex. The result is a square picture with a signature black border."


SchuGirl carefully captures images through different techniques, causing a variety of emotions to surface while keeping the subject similar.
picture perfect Newport, made vivid, a memory brought to life.

another picture perfect Newport, clouded with fond memories.
We can choose to keep our memories fresh or hazy, either way they are lovely.


I just love these flower shots, details of our port coming to life in the Spring, likely to be overlooked by tourists but to a resident it is vital to see new life spring forth.
There are winters so dreadfully long, when you finally see spring it seems like a dream. SchuGirl captures this burst of life with the gleam of the season's bright sun shining on her subjects. The close cropping of the flowers remind us of the first blooms we discover. We all have an urge to get up close and take in the smell of a poppy or blow really hard on the puff balls emerging from the grass.

There is fun to be had in Newport even if the ocean is cold and the sky is overcast.
Take a ride on some swings, enjoy being carefree. Feel the sun on your shoulders, kick your feet in the sand and glide through the air, she makes these swings look so inviting. This angle makes me feel like a kid, running up to swings that seem so large, like something I can fly on.

Or rest your head on the grass and gaze up, daydreaming into the dreamy blue sky. Watching the pussy willows yield to the breeze, let your mind wander and enjoy.

If you are like me and can't get enough of Newport trot over to shugirl's etsy site and take in the scenery. Did I mention, she has more to offer than Newport? I am just smitten!
Follow

Favorite of the Weekend!

As a lover of nature I found myself immediately drawn to Hightower Botanicals' etsy shop. Not only is her jewelry beautifully detailed but it is photographed in the earthen mulch, the very place that her subjects sprout from.

The detail captured in the casting of an oregano leaf is stunning, as is the gold she cast it in.


A perfect example of art and the inspiration behind it's creation.


As someone who loves writing descriptions of my work I appreciate another artist with the same passion.
"Rememberance, friendship and love all have been associated with rosemary. So what better to make into a ring? Two interwoven Rosemary leaves form this elegant ring."
Might I add, these would make for perfect wedding bands.


Isn't this the very place that one would expect to come upon a maple seed?

And here begins further exploration of the maple seed. From it's perfect recognizable self to...
...a surprising composition in a ring.
With this, we realize that nature is a never ending subject. It causes one to contemplate, wonder and inspire awe.

This is just an introduction, browse Hightower Botanial's shop and read her profile to find out where her name came from. And take the time to read the descriptions of each piece. You will discover more than beautiful jewelry, behind it there is an amazing artist who truly loves her subject.
http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6124496
Follow

Breakfast in Bristol, RI

I happily woke up to some sun this past Saturday so Callie and I set out for breakfast in Bristol. 






After breakfast we walked through a smidgen of town to get to the bike path. And I had to capture some inspirational iron work.

On the sunny path the views were beautiful, even the birds thought so.

On the way back from the path I found more inspiration in color, composition and lovely iron work.

After being in the foreign sun for so long I plopped in the shade on a lovely park bench. From there I looked through my camera lens and took in nature while I snuggled with Callie took a much deserved rest and drank lots of water.
After this Saturday, I can't wait to see more sunshine so I can go outdoors and enjoy it with my girl.