Sunday, May 30, 2010

Just what I'm looking for...

It seems that whenever I get interested in something, it starts turning up in articles that I read or headlines that I come across. A couple of months ago, I began looking in to working with sterling silver again, mostly because it is inexpensive compared to gold, and also thinking that I may want to start selling it in a friend's boutique. So I started thinking about using reticulation as a texture on some of the silver. Low and behold, in that month's issue of Jewelry Artist there were two articles on the subject. I started playing around with it and have gotten some fun results that I will have to photograph and show here.

My latest interest stems from my diamond grading class through GIA. I'm wanting to use different gems in my designs, and thought that getting a hold of some rough diamonds might be the ticket. Yet again, Jewelry Artist Magazine has an article in this month's issue just about that! I was delighted to read that I can get decent amounts of rough in various sizes for just a little bit of money. Now mind you, they won't be perfect octahedrons, and they won't be crystal clear, but I think that perfect stones wouldn't fit my designs anyway. Part of what will make them more interesting is that they aren't ideal, but beautiful in their own right.

Something else that I've been meaning to put together is a stage to photograph my jewelry. In last month's issue of Photography Journal there was an article on how to light and shoot jewelry. Perfect, right? Now I just need to make a setup for all of the jewelry that I am about to finish.

So now I'm off to the drawing board to make these ideas a reality. Below is a pendant that I just completed for one of my clients.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Photo Friday

Starting today, I am going to start posting photographs every Friday, otherwise I will never edit them, and no one will ever see what I think is worthy of photographing. And since I've been told by many people that I take excellent shots, I might as well let the world see them.

Wildflower on Mt. Sentinel

Sunset from Mt. Sentinel

Sunset over the Clark Fork River

Pictures of the Pacific while I was recently in L.A.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Climbing out

Hello again...I'm still here, just wondering what to say...

I've just returned from a weekend in Los Angeles with Eve, Justin's sister. It was a great break from my usual routine, and although I was a tad bit apprehensive about spending the entire weekend with someone I had met only for a few days at Christmastime, in the comfort of familiarity, I was at ease almost instantly. If only that connection existed in more of my relationships. I had no agendas while I was away, aside from just enjoying myself. I didn't want to or plan to go out to any hot spots. All I wanted was to hang out, in a new city, with a new friend, and relax. And that I did. After a late arrival on Friday evening, I was welcomed with wine, cheese, and olives, all three of which are some of my favorite indulgences. Saturday brought us to a very windy beach, where I walked in seaweed, got my toes tickled by the cool Pacific Ocean waters, lost my sunglasses, and devoured fried seafood.

Great days like this make me forget that just a few weeks ago I was in a rut so deep that I didn't know if I would ever be able to climb out. Around that time, I was just fresh out of a retreat, and then reality set back in. I'm the type of person who needs to be around people, but at that time, they were sucking me dry, wilting my happiness with every conversation. I was so was starting to be nice out, with a lot of sunshine so why was I suddenly so sad? I suppose that it doesn't help that I have only been able to run once since May 2nd due to a knee injury, or perhaps it is one of my favorite friends that is frustrating me lately. Or maybe it's just me. Last year I read a great book that made me realize that I am the only one responsible for everything being the way it is in my life. Perhaps it is time to revisit that lesson.

I was asked recently if I was out of my rut. Without hesitation, I said yes, and that sadly, is not the full truth. While it is not as intense as it was, it still lingers, cropping up and reminding me that it is still there. I don't want to be a burden to my friends, so it is easier to say that I am "okay" or "fine". With most people I can convince them that such things are true, however, there are a few that see right through me. There are days where I am so happy that I forget the darkness of the previous day, or the torment of the restless nights that seem to be occurring more frequently. I still can find sunshine on a cloudy day, just not everyday. I'm not as optimistic as I used to be, which may in fact be a good thing, for I can not turn water into wine anymore than I can control the weather around me.

It seems that when I am on a creative streak that my level of happiness improves. It just so happens that I am starting several new one of a kind pieces this week, and am developing a line of sterling silver jewelry to be installed in one of my friend's boutiques here in Missoula. With luck, I will be back to my old self in no time!

Monday, May 10, 2010


Spring is a time of rebirth, allergies, and yes, Spring cleaning. As the trees are putting out more leaves every day, the flowers are also starting to bloom after a long rest here in Montana. I find myself still looking forward to even warmer days, and mornings where I can lazily sip my coffee in the backyard. Perhaps I should slow down and enjoy the crisp morning air, that is, if I can stop sneezing long enough to stay out in it!

Ah...choo! I've been battling allergies pretty badly since December. I'm not really sure what I'm allergic to, but whatever it is, it seems to be worse in the morning and afternoon. On my run tonight, nothing in the air bothered me, and I'm still not sneezing. Although, it could be that I remembered to take an allergy pill this morning.

As for Spring cleaning, I have yet to really start. I try to keep up on the dust bunnies but the basement still needs work, as do other areas. I don't just think that cleaning is "cleaning". In the last couple of weeks I have tried to alleviate the drama in my life, and if I can't change/manage it, I've tried to either ignore it or realize that it really doesn't matter. Still, I think that this Spring has been a cleansing one, preparing me for what lies ahead in my life.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Almost made it

Today, I almost completed my goal of actually running all of my training miles for the week. This is something that I have yet to accomplish, and I am just completing my eighth week of marathon training. Early on, it was running on a treadmill that kept me from getting my distances in due to boredom. Also, for the first two weeks of training I was suffering from a pretty rough chest cold. After that it was lung endurance and me just quitting when I got tired and sore. Being away from home for the retreat also stopped me from running normally. So when I got home last weekend, I was going to get the entire long run for that week in. And I did. I was sore and tired and slow the last three miles, but I did it!

What happened today is actually making me mad. I had a dull ache in my right knee around two miles. Around 5.5 miles, it turned into a sharp pain, and every forward movement of my right leg hurt like hell. Landing hurt even worse. I decided that as I passed my apartment, I would stop and ice it and see if it got any better before I finished the last 5.5 miles to complete the prescribed 13. Alas, that was not to happen. Justin did some searching for what my injury might be and it looks like my knee is just inflamed from overuse. Perhaps running the six mile run on Friday instead of Thursday is to blame. Whatever it is, I will be icing and taking it easy for a few days.

It just goes to show that nothing is a certainty. Just because I had a great six mile run on Friday, doesn't mean that I will run well the next time. I am very glad that I put aside my stubborn side and listened to my body. Had I run even a mile further, I can't imagine how much pain I would be in, as already, I feel worse than I did when I first stopped running today.

I still have a love/hate relationship with running. I hate that I'm hurting, but I love the way I feel during and after a run (except today, or course).