Thursday, December 1, 2011

Jewelry Gift Certificates on PK Studios Etsy Shop

now has what you have all been waiting for......

Do you need a quick gift for someone but are not sure what to choose? A great treat for your mother, daughter, wife, sister, co-worker, or loved one...You can't go wrong with a gift certificate!

I have posted different gift amounts...

$50$75, $100, and $150

but if you would like a specific amount, please contact me and I will customize a card for you.

I can send you or the gift recipient the actual PAPER gift certificate which includes free USPS First Class shipping or I can email an ELECTRONIC gift certificate if you wish to go paperless or need a last minute gift.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Our Green Black Friday

I had to share some images of our lovely day after Turkey Day....

Don't get me wrong, Thanksgiving Day was fabulous too but I don't think you are interested in seeing photos of our 5 hour drive and then pigging out at my brother and sister-in-laws house where we devoured two turkeys (one roasted and one smoked)!

My hubby, six year old and I drove from Paradise (yes, this is a REAL town in Northern California) north to Sterling City to help Grandma and Grandpa pick out at Christmas tree then we took off in search of a fishing hole.  We ended up four wheeling down a steep canyon on a dirt road (with NO name) pitted with puddles from the previous day's rain which always gives me a headache for fear of being stuck in the middle of NOWHERE.  But we made it down to the bottom, crossed a bridge and hiked to a secluded spot  on the Feather River.  The air was chilly but the sun came out and the weather turned glorious.  The boys fished for trout and I fished for heart shaped rocks.   Unfortunately no fish were to be had but I hit the jackpot... I found five little lovely valentines (though I can't take credit for the tiny black one which my son found)!

Half way through our afternoon as I watched my son totter over the tippy rocks along the river following his adventurous father to find better fishing spots, PRAYING that he didn't fall in, I had him give me his fluffy coat in case my fear came to pass.  Sure enough, about two minutes before we were to pack up, he lost his balance and fell..... TOTALLY drenched from head to toe in freezing cold water.  I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry.  I decided to laugh.  I'm not sure whether I'm psychic or paranoid but I thanked GOODNESS for the warm dry coat ... and my little guys courage.  He just smiled and shivered.  Sorry .... I don't have a photo of that one : )

"Live simply that others may simply live."
~ Elizabeth Ann Seton ~

Monday, November 28, 2011

CYBER MONDAY Holiday Jewelry Sale on Etsy

I must admit that I am NOT crazy about the saying "Black Friday" or "Cyber Monday".... they don't sound very festive or full of holiday cheer.  But since I decided to put on a little holiday sale I figured I should also reach out to those who use those types of terms to find great deals.  SO, I am putting on my first ...

November 28 thru December 4

Selected items are ...
That is a really great deal since I am also adding ...
 and ...

if you go to the top of my Etsy Shop and click the Facebook "Like" button, which will update you on all my latest jewelry listing and news, I will give you an extra 5% off your purchase (sale and non-sale items) ... but you must contact me through Etsy so I can give you the coupon code to use at checkout.

To reach my shop, you can click on "Etsy Sale!!!" above, or click on my jewelry photos on the right side of my blog.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Unique Handmade Fine Silver Jewelry for Great Holiday Gifts!

I've been busy using some of my newly acquired (and a few I haven't played with in awhile!) vintage bronze jewelry dies from Afghanistan to create new unique wearable pieces in pure silver metal clay..... still handmade by me in my little Ojai studio and fired in my mini kiln. And I decided to play a bit more with braiding Irish linen for cords in different colors.  It was a little tricky securing the braided cord ends in an attractive way.  I tried several different ways which failed my aesthetically critical eye and was about to give up (for the day, that is) when VOILA!, the Universe came to my rescue and a solution finally came through my thick skull.  I'm excited about the results... and I especially LOVE the braided red linen!

 All items available, or soon to be, in my Etsy online shop.

Floral Blossom Necklace


"A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; but a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist."
~ Louis Nizer

Monday, October 17, 2011

Viking and Celtic Wedding Mandala

I have not ordered a hat yet because I decided to spend the money on silk long underwear for my trip to Denmark!  Out of the blue, my "oldest" friend who I've known since we were seven (that's 38 years!!) and who is basically like a sister to me, fell in love this summer and is getting married just after Christmas in Copenhagen.  I've been busy getting air and hotel reservations as well as making a special wedding gift for her. I was honored when she asked me if I would create a mandala representing her and her betrothed.  As he is of Viking descent and she of Celtic descent, I drew from the knotted and triskele designs of those ancient cultures.  I played around sketching the initials of their last name and finally figured a way to weave the two letters into a mandala love knot.  Once she approved the preliminary pencil sketch, I elaborated on the idea and you can see the progress below.  Each step was created using tracing paper over the previous sketch, all with a drafting pencil.  I photographed each step with my iphone and turned them sepia on iphoto (for the blog).  The final sketch was scanned and cleaned up on Adobe Photoshop, zooming in close and using a white "brush" to clean the negative space and a black "brush" to fill in any holes in the line work and smooth everything out.  The original design is about 3 1/2 inches in diameter.

My friend is going to use this mandala on their wedding invitation and thank you cards.  I can't wait to share the printed version with you.... it will be a surprise for all of us to see how she and the printer decide to use the mandala!

"Love conquers all; let us too yield to love."
Congratulations Shelley and Claus!!!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Mad Floppy Hatter

I thought I was impervious to the ploys of advertisers.  Alas, I have been greatly influenced by a beautiful photograph which possibly plays to my dreams of youth.  I am much happier now than I was at 16 so realistically, I suppose it's not the years of my youth but the skin and hair of my youth I yearn for which  I obviously did not appreciate then since I baked in the sun with no remorse.   I wish I had paid more attention to sunscreen.  Nevertheless, I have been brainwashed by a company selling shoes. But, it's not the shoes I desire, it's the hat in the advertisement which they do not even sell!  I have Googled high and low to bring you the Cole Haan ad but it's NOwhere to be had.  Nevermind the fact that no one in my town ever wears winter hats, the problem I have now is to decide which color I want. So, I bring you these lovely chapeaus to ponder.....  Ivory, camel, white, brown, khaki, red, black, taupe ..... hmmmm......

"Grab your coat, and get your hat, 
Leave your worry on the doorstep.
Just direct your feet,
To the sunny side of the street"
~ Dorothy Fields ~

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Workstatte Wonders

My class in metalsmithing three weeks ago at Precious Metal Arts in Santa Monica was really fantastic.  They have a great facility and the teachers, Peter and Nancy, are lovely.  Just getting a taste of basic metalsmithing (sawing/cutting sheet metal, soldering, polishing, hammering)  has me motivated to learn more.  And luckily there are more classes!

I am also inspired by the metalsmith artistry of early twentieth century artist Josef Hoffman from the Weiner Workstatte in Vienna.  I just had to share some images with you all.  The Weiner Worskstatte was born in 1913 out of the Arts and Crafts movement in England of the late 19th century by artists who were rebelling against the machines that displaced artisans during Industrial Revolution. The artistans wanted to show that a machine cannot produce the same beauty and quality in an item as a person can.  And they definitely proved their point!  

There is an interesting article about the Workstatte in the New York Times, called Rage Against the Machine with Artisans and Beauty.   
And, a book I've been dying to purchase, Weiner Workstatte Jewelry.

"Industry has operated against the artisan in favor of the idler, and also in favor of capital and against labor. Any mechanical invention whatsoever has been more harmful to humanity than a century of war."
Remy de Gourmont ~

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Playing with Aura 22 Gold

The price of gold is at an all time high ... $1,855. today!  But, with the invention of Aura 22, I can still play with gold and not have heart palpitations if I make a little mistake!  My cousin commissioned me to create a necklace for her thirteen year old daughter, who saw the crystal druzy and fell in love but wanted my PK touch with it.  I finally found a moment to get my act together and finish it.  I made a few pieces, along with the custom order, so I could practice my guilding.  I made the extra tear drops in case the custom one didn't come out right... luckily they all came through with flying colors. 

The process is fairly easy. You make your fine silver metal clay piece, fire it like normal, then without touching it or polishing it, you paint several thin layers (I did four layers) of the liquid 22k gold clay paste.  The liquid gold has a small percentage of silver clay mixed in so it will fuse with the metal clay piece.  So, after applying the gold, it goes back in the kiln at only 850 degrees for 15 minutes (or you can fire it with a torch).  The first time I used it, I had a difficult time as the clay didn't want to stick to the silver after firing....  it flaked off while I burnished/polished it.  I read that it sticks better if you take it out of the kiln while still warm (but NOT hot) so I tried that approach. Seems to have worked!  Though from the first try, I learned not to polish with a polishing pad with any grit or it will rub the gold off. Best to use a burnisher.  I haven't tried the tumbler yet.

The first photo show the teardrop metal clay pendant without any oxidation. The whiter area is the silver without the gold overlay. The following photo shows the same teardrops as earring WITH oxidation.... a completely different look.  The last photo is a fine silver metal clay pendant with Aura 22 gold painted only on the granulation and floral detail, then oxidized.

 This symbolizes the purity of the spiritual aspect of "All That Is". It is symbolic of spiritual development in the realm of complete understanding, allowing one to both attain and maintain communion with the source of all being. It emits an energy to prompt one to allow beauty to come forth from the inner being as one travels through the world of experiences. It assists one to activate, to mobilize and to actualize the intrinsic potential of the self. The energy of gold can assist one in the elimination of ego conflicts and feelings of futility. It balances the heart chakra and amplifies thought forms. Gold has been used to open the third-eye and is an excellent mineral for purification of the physical body. 

~ Chinese Proverb ~

Monday, July 18, 2011

Beads and Legos of Summer

Yes, I have been a bit distracted from my jewelry passion lately.

I have been very determined to help my fiver year old son learn to be a stronger swimmer so we've been in the pool practically every day this summer.  He loves the water and is definitely part fish like his father but he has had a great fear of THE DEEP END! Several attempts to motivate him into the DEEP END ended up in tears. Hmmmm. I decided to bribe him.... The other day, I told him that when he was ready and could swim from the deep end to the shallow end (long length of the pool) I would buy him a new Lego set.   I know, I know... I shouldn't have but I just KNEW he could do it! He looked at me and said "You mean for FREE??... No allowance?"  I said "Yes!".  He ran straight to the deep end, jumped in and swam all the way to the shallow end ...NO TEARS!  Thank you Lego...mission accomplished!

Despite my hours in the pool, I have managed to squeeze in a little creative time for myself and managed to design and assemble a few pieces that have been sitting in my studio for a few months.  I made the silver pieces months ago but as you can see, I'm finally playing with the beads I went crazy buying at the bead shows and having so much fun! Here is a sneak preview before they hit Etsy....

"You are all separate beads strung together on that one thread, God."
~ Sri Sathya Sai Baba ~

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Chirp Chirp

Everyone is asleep except me....
and it's quiet....
except for the chirping.  
After almost a week of hot weather, today it was warm and a perfectly comfortable 80 degrees.  
the doors are open (screens closed!)...
the night is pleasantly cool (but not cold!) and they're out...
the crickets. 
 Such a summer vacation sound.
I must remember to plant night blooming jasmine to go with my summer crickets.
I think the combination might make for some lovely dreaming and wishing upon stars.

When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you

If your heart is in your dream
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do

Fate is kind
She brings to those who love
The sweet fulfillment of
Their secret longing

Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through
When you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true

written by Leigh Harline and Ned Washington

Monday, June 20, 2011

More Ojai Beauty

So, Saturday night, my hub and I had our date night just around the corner at Suzanne's.  During our scrumptious dinner (as always) we started chatting with two lovely ladies seated next to us.  One of them was contemplating becoming an Ojaian and wanted to know what we thought of the area.  They must have thought we worked for the chamber of commerce as we started gushing and raving about our beloved little town.... and we continued to talk their ear off for the better part of an hour!  Thankfully they were all ears.  I hope we didn't over-do it. We just couldn't help it.  As I have shared here, I told them that after six years, even in such a small place, I'm still discovering new places. I then remembered that I still had yet to post the photos of my return trip to the Ojai Foundation in upper Ojai.  I was there a few weeks ago for the first time with my son's kindergarten class for a short field trip up the hill and I thank Ireshya for the soulful tour! I couldn't wait to share my discovery so I returned with my dad and sister recently to enjoy again the incredible beauty and views (and take some pics).  Here is a sneak peak at some of it's hidden gems...

matilija poppy

little hand carved wooden monk

eight hundred year old california live oak

sitting Buddha

This is only the tip of the iceberg of the many wonders at Ojai Foundation.  There are hand painted rocks from long gone visitors scattered around in little corners here and there, beautiful murals and sculpture, groovy hand built kivas, a stone and earth labyrinth, many wandering walking paths and really amazing views.  This last visit the skies were overcast so I wasn't able to capture the vistas on film but I'll be back to share with you!

Still sketching new jewelry ideas, re-vamping my bookkeeping and compiling my new website ideas ...I'll keep you posted soon!

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a gift and not giving it."
~ William Arthur Ward ~