Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Veritable Plethora of Labradorite Ridgelines Pendants!

Here are a few photos of some of the Ridgelines Pendants that we've made in the last few years using Labradorite and Spectrolite.  The best ones have incredible luminous colors.

(Graphic Content Warning!  I took these photos for our own reference and record.  So most of them were taken pretty quickly and really aren't very good photos!)

We know that Deb loves the blues, but we thought it would be Fun to show you the golds and greens too!  (I can't find photos of the rosy and purple ones.)



Mountain Lake II

Lightning Strikes Twice

Doorway Into Time

Spring Rain

(This is a Rainbow Moonstone.)

(This is also a Rainbow Moonstone.)

Phoenix Eye
(Another Rainbow Moonstone.)

I guess you can understand why we have a couple of Collectors that call us Mr. and Mrs. Labradorite when they visit us at the Guild Fairs in July and October!

Hope you've enjoyed the trip down Labradorite Memory Lane!

Shipped & Wedding Rings & Still To Come

Now we can post Kathy's new Ridgelines Pendant since we shipped it Tuesday!
This is the Starry Jasper she picked.
The marcasite she wanted accent her new pendant perfectly!

Tuesday we also got to meet Debbie H. for the first time.  We'd exchanged emails about wedding rings and engagement ring designs.  Besides having a great time talking and beginning to get to know each other, it was really helpful to see what type of designs she favours.  (What's not to like about a real horse person!)

I have to invest a couple of flasks this morning, but later today I'll post a number of  pieces we've made using Labadorite, and it's relative Spectrolite.  The range of colors, and their intensity, is amazing.

Until then, here are a few photos of some of our Ridgelines Rings.  (And now I realize that the other Ridgelines rings never got photographed!)


Peridot, Oxidized


Blue Topaz

Our "V-Swoop" Ring

This style, with a stone nestled into the "V"
was made for Kevin J.'s engagement ring.

She said "Yes!"

I don't know why I didn't before now, but I only began photographing some of our custom work in the last year or so.

These matched bands were based on the happy couples' design ideas
and feature stunning bezel set sapphires.

Heidi and David's Wedding Rings were a lot of Fun to make!
Ridgelines Wedding Rings with cast-in-place 14K Yellow Gold Ridgelines Plaques.

Rings are Fun. 

Creating and making the very real and lasting symbols of two people's love and devotion is the best part of being a jeweler.  Maybe that's why Wedding Rings and Engagement Rings might just be our favorite jewelry to make!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"It's A Question Of Lifestyle . . . . . . . " or Love's Labour Found, Part II.

Red Coleus
Sunday Morning, September 12th, 2010

As I was saying, it's a question of lifestyle.  Fall always seems to be an introspective time for us.  It's also when we suddenly feel the Season's changing, or beginning to change.  And for us we know that Winter is coming and that there is so much to do before we are ready!

Like eating as much fresh local organic lettuce as we can!
purchased at the October 2009 Guild Fair.

A couple of decades ago my Mom gave me a large envelope stuffed with some of her favorite recipe clippings.  My Mother was a phenomenal cook and baker.  She could cook anything and everything, and she cooked it superbly.  I guess, in a way, I grew up in her kitchen.  I don't really remember helping her that much.  But I was with her, watching and talking and learning a lot more than I realized at the time.

We looked and never were able to find the rest of her recipes.  I thought they were gone forever . . .  Last Fall I found them!  They were stuffed in the back of the bottom drawer of a filing cabinet we inherited from her.  A different manila folder for each type of recipe: cakes, breads, main courses, salads, and on and on.  So many recipes that I remember!  So many recipes to cook.  Oh my, so many taste to recreate.

Pat caught me!

Slicing organic Market cukes by hand.
My favorite large bowl by David Grant, from 2009.

I was in the grips of a Fall Compulsion!  Last year was the first time I had ever made pickles and they were wonderful and fun and I am hooked!  And we'd actually been buying pickles for a month!!!  So now, armed with Mom's recipes I was determined to re-make her incredible Bread & Butter pickles.

Sliced onions and garlic added.

I pressed a beautiful bowl by Tom Turnbull into service for the overflow!

Packed back into David's bowl, salted and iced and
into the fridge for 3 hours.

In the meantime I sliced more cukes for dill pickles
as the brine heated.

A few hours later Bread & Butter pickles heating through before hot packing.
I never knew that turmeric gave them their wonderful color and flavour!

Pat's partial to dill pickles.  Mom's Bread and Butter Pickles have always been my favorites.  After checking some other recipes I changed her recipe by slightly reducing the sugar content.  (No wonder I loved them!)

I also learned just how much work they are.  What an incredible Labour of Love Mom did year after year after year.  She supplied us with pickles, cookies (oh the cookies!), cakes and pies, some of the greatest healthiest meals of my life were made by her.

7 half-pints and 1 pint of Almost-Mom's Bread & Butter Pickles!

9 half-pints and 3 pints of Almost-Kosher Deli-Style Dill Pickles for Pat!

As I said, it's all a question of lifestyle.  It's pretty simple.  What's important?  How do you want to live?  What do you want your life to be?  Every choice, large and small, determines who we are and how we live our lives.

And I wanted homemade pickles back in our lives again!

Sure, some choices and decisions take a little longer to grow to fruition.  But isn't it worth it all???  So, these views are for Terry . . .

Inky and I had an idea, May 23rd, 2010.

Planted June 14th, 2010.

Nearing the end of the Season, September 2nd, 2010.

Because, you know, my Dear Sister Terry is right.
It's a question of lifestyle . . .

Sunday, September 12, 2010

"It's A Question Of Lifestyle . . . . . . . " or Love's Labour Found, Part I.

I can't remember just how many years ago it was, but I can still very clearly remember that when Pat and I expressed amazement at Terry and Dave's work and barn schedules my Dear Sister patiently explained that, "It's a question of lifestyle . . . "

For years I would hear her voice say, "It's a question of lifestyle . . ." Sometimes I bristled when those words would float, all unbidden, through my mind.

We're A Matched Pair
Balloon Flowers June 29, 2010.

Pat and I woke to a wonderfully cool and drizzly morning.  A chorus of crickets and other buggies were serenading us and suddenly, somehow, we knew deep-down-inside that Fall is coming. Fall is coming and it's Market Day! Despite the wet (like my Father before me, I melt) we headed out ~ telling ourselves that maybe it wasn't raining as hard on the other side of Beaucatcher Mountain. And, well, frankly, I was in the grip of a Fall Compulsion. (Pat really can be so patient with me.)

The North Asheville Tailgate Market, at UNCA, is our favorite. (The trees and the tents and canopies, and our hats, kept most of the drizzle off.) Actually it's the only Market we go to now: though the Wednesday Weaverville Tailgate Market, at Lake Louise, would probably fit into our schedule . . .

The sweet couple at Country Fields Farm came up aces! Our first stop almost satisfied my Fall-driven compulsion. We also came home with some more great spinach pasta made by Pasta Momma; a perfect fresh Garlic Dill Goat Chevre made by Spinning Spider Creamery (incredible on the Spelt loaf from Annie's bakery we picked up Friday ~ ah heck, it's incredible on anything!); delicious Lion's Mane mushrooms from the Mushroom Lady;

some perfect locally grown organic garlic;
(small platter by Hank Goodman,
purchased at the 2009 Guild Artists' Sale)

and these irresistible local organic onions.
(Bowl by Dede Vergot; gift of the artist many years ago.)

It was a good Market run.

We stopped at Ingles on our way home for a couple of necessities, and for a few more essential ingredients to satisfy my "compulsion".  Fall really is coming.

I'm pretty sure that Terry will still tell you that, "It's a question of lifestyle . . ."  It's that simple.  And, so many years later, Pat and I find ourselves repeating her truth to ourselves more often as each Fall passes.

It is a question of lifestyle.

More of today's Fall Adventure, tomorrow, in "It's A Question Of Lifestyle . . . "  or Love's Labour Found, Part II.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Charger says, "I'm Baaaaack!!!" and Finally Some of Our Latest Work

It's feels so good to have the charger back and the camera back in action!  YEAH!!!

First I celebrated by sending Kathy and Tom a photo of her new Starry Jasper Ridgelines pendant with Marcasite accents.  But, sorry, I'm not posting it until they have a chance to see it.

So, as promised, here are some photos of our latest work!  The new lights have helped tremendously, but something still isn't just quit right.  (I know about the focus problems on some of them, but I'm so happy to be able to shoot them that I'm posting them anyway!)  I don't know if anyone can tell, but to me the colors still aren't perfectly right.

A Spectacular Picture Jasper
We make our hidden bails as large as possible, so the pendants can be worn on a favorite chain.  This one looks so great on an omega chain that I have to figure out how to suspend it so I can photograph it on an omega!

Copper in Epidote & Quartz.
  I'm going to keep shooting until I do this incredible stone justice!

(Slightly out of focus) Boulder Opal Ridgelines Pendant.
SOLD September 13th, 2010.
The Boulder Opal moves very freely from the suspension rings, the framing rings are static.  Even though I still need to to the final polish on the edges of the Ridgelines, I couldn't resist photographing this pendant!

A Glowing Carnelian.
SOLD September 13th, 2010.
We both love them all, and we get to work with some truly great stones.  Carnelian and Labadorite might well be two of my personal favorites.  (Subject to change depending on what we're working on or playing with!)

Apache Rhyolite.
Both the Rhyolite and the surrounding circle/ring move freely on this Ridgelines Pendant.

These are just the latest pieces we've finished recently.  We have another seven custom pieces in line and a few more in the design/quote stage.  Custom work is always first off our bench so sometimes there's no telling what else will be finished in what order, but we have bezels made for another dozen stones and the designs are flowing!

I'll try to post some more photos of works in progress as we go.

Isn't it nice to be able to photograph as much as you want whenever you want?!?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day Labors, Howls, & Laurel Was Right!

Even though we could have easily kept working, we did take Saturday evening and Sunday off.  We loafed and relaxed.  Pad finished this pendant up for Jeannie Tracy, at The Jeweler's Workbench in Waynesville.  She delivered it today.

Black Jade, diamond set in a 14K tube setting.

The bezel was handmade for the uncalibrated Black Jade, the original bail and jump rings were constructed; the center jump ring is oxidized.  Jeannie's design for her gallery.

It looks like Laurel was right!  I replaced the lights and suddenly my colors are coming out truer.  Not quite there yet, but it's getting better.  The camera charger is due in tomorrow, so I should be ready to catch up on photographing stones and designs for our custom orders.  Then I'll have a chance to photograph the new work!

Oh.  The howls?  New neighbors have moved in with two Siberian Huskies.  We haven't met the dogs yet but their people seem nice.  Apparently huskies howl sometimes.  And actually they're rather musical.  So far it's kind of nice.

Time to buff three dozen production rings so I can ship them out in the morning!