Friday, December 7, 2012

Enjoying some rare Winter Sun here!

We've had rain for the last week, the Sun has finally decided to come out today! But at home it's freezing because of the renovation going on. I've learned to ignore the constant drilling and hammering noises in the background :)

Here is the view I see outside my studio/study/storage (for now). Stay warm my friend!

 Yes, we're packrats! Haha!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Long time my friend ...

We finally bought a home!

We sold our home of 10 years with some hiccups, but eventually things worked out. Finding another one at the crazy real estate market in the Silicon Valley is nonetheless a challenge! We got into a few bidding wars, won and back out on one of them, then found the home that fits our needs best!

It's smaller but a ranch style (no more stairs exercises for me), much older too (built in late 1940s), and with a rustic yard (with fruit trees and lots and lots of spices). Sellers are a retired couple moving to the East Coast to live near their children and grandchildren. They've lived there for 40 years and ain't ready to let their well-loved, well-kept home go yet ... The husband is actually a well-known artist! Inspiration is in the air ;-)

My next huge project is renovating to make it our own. Overwhelming but shopping is the best part! I'll have a dedicated studio, what's not to love!?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Crazy days ahead

About four weeks ago my family decided to sell our existing home and to buy a new one. After weeks of packing and cleaning, with a garage full of boxes and a pretty empty staged house, our house is finally ready for the open house this weekend.

I've foreseen a even crazier days ahead of us. The housing market in our area is a seller's market. Although we can get a good price for our house, we expect to get into bidding wars on our next one.

My tools are all neatly packed or hidden from sight, my bench is now stored inside the garage. My jewelry adventure is on hold until I find the perfect place for my family. The place we don't know where yet.

Please wish us luck!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A beautiful day to meet with an accomplished Metal Clay Artist

Finally we've some gorgeous typical California weather - 80s and bluish sky with some nice breeze.

Last Sunday was one of them and I got to meet Lynn Cobb! Lynn is an accomplished and published Metal Clay Artist in the Bay Area. She is also named a finalist in the prestigious Saul Bell Design Award competition for 2011 in the Metal Clay category! Imagine how exciting it was to meet her in person and the chance to adore her amazing Metal Clay art pieces!

Here is a picture of Lynn and I taken in front of her booth at the Saratoga Rotary Annual Art Show. On the left is the silly me holding a copy of the Metal Clay Jewelry magazine (which Lynn kindly autographed for me) just like a little fan :D

Lynn has the sweetest voice and the friendly smile! She looked so adorable in the Hawaiian shirt. Maybe one day we can clay together!

You can check out Lynn's Metal Clay art pieces here.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Tried something new!

Well, I've been bad and unproductive lately, Santa probably won't bring me any gifts this year if I don't speed things up! So, I tried something new -- tube setting!

I have been working on a pendant design calling for a tube setting faceted gemstone. In order not to ruin the design, I convinced myself to practice first. So here is the outcome:

It's a 4mm Amethyst CZ tube setting ring. Drilling a seat for the stone was challenging but it worked out fine after ONLY three tries :) The main struggle was how to set the stone at the right level. The stone actually tried to escape when I used my bezel roller on it. I also managed to scratch a blue spinel ... LOL! I replaced the stone with a CZ then so it'll hurt less if I fail. Luckily there's a prong pusher at school, so I used it to finish the setting. I'm quite happy with my first try! So if you've a project challenging you to try something new, don't put if off any longer. If I can do it, so can you!

There are also a couple of things on my bench. The garden pendant and the tree branch ring are both created by lost wax casting. More about them later!

Hope everyone has a lovely Easter weekend!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

What's on my bench now?

After a busy Holiday season, I was expecting a slow down. But to my surprise, I've been pretty busy! No complaint at all, I'm counting my blessing everyday :)

Just a quick update on what I'm working on. I love how my Herkimer Diamond prong set earrings turned out, so I decided to give other rough gemstones a try. Here is a pair of green garnet earrings:

I want to make rings with rough gemstones as well! Just need to find the right setting for them. Simple prong settings might not be sturdy enough for rings since rings are prone to wear and tear, push and pull.

Also want to share a new discovery with you:

Isn't it gorgeous!!!? This is rutilated quartz with Amethyst. I googled online and find out it belongs to the Super Seven family, also called Melody stone. I'm totally in love with it! A simple pendant might best showcase it :)