Thursday, February 23, 2017

Tucson 2017 - Turquoise (Royston)

A trip to the Tucson show would not be complete without sharing some turquoise finds. One of my favorite gemstones, turquoise is found around the world and has a range of color and patterning that boggles the mind. A good amount of high quality turquoise is found in the American Southwest: Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado.

One of the turquoises I love to buy is Royston / Ribbon turquoise, so named because it can look like "ribbons" of turquoise are winding through the host rock, forming interesting patterns. This turquoise comes from Nevada, and is often used in Native American jewelry designs.

My finds from this year:


Not a lot. And I don't have much on hand already, so my stash is on the small side. But when I shop the millions of gems on display in Tucson, one of my challenges is to find what I consider the absolute very *best* options. Some years, there's a lot available of what I deem "the best". And some years...there isn't. Natural gems are not an ever-renewing resource, so I pick and choose from whatever's available at any given moment. I'm quite satisfied with these beauties though; each one has splendid patterning and contrast.

And I did manage to find a few earring pairs:


Just a few. But all stellar. :)

And then these:


I've written about these gems before, here, and here, if you'd like to see more examples of this gorgeous gem. :)

Monday, December 26, 2016

Seduced by the Impractical

Post-holiday, I was online shoe shopping. A semi-regular occurrence in Blue Piranha-land, but not for fun and whimsical heels (which is the most regular shoe shopping). Just looking for some simple ballet flats. I'd gone through eight pages of options, when I realized that the only thing I'd "favorited" was these:


And there I was again...seduced by the impractical. Suede. A bold blue that isn't one of my "regular" colors, so it would be hard to match with a fair portion of my closet. But...that blue...how to resist?? 

(for the record, I *have* resisted. So far....)

But this made me realize just how often I am waylaid and distracted by the sheer gorgeousness of impractical things. Though I suppose that one woman's practical is another woman's in love...

Beautiful suedes, sparkling chandelier earrings, fantastical high heels, significant cuff bracelets, a delicately embroidered coat. Colors like lilac and cornflower blue - even though my wardrobe sports a lot more red, teal, and green. If the devil really is in the details, then I sold my soul a long, long time ago. 

I suppose that's what drew me to making jewelry with fabulous gems, bold, bright, and large rainbow hues that some people tell me, "Oh, I couldn't wear that!" "Oh no, I could never carry that off!. Without even trying something on. It's funny (and a little sad) how people will put themselves in a box, if you let them. A box that only they have constructed. 

What's that saying?? 


(you'll notice that this is also deliciously cornflower blue)

Maybe it's time for more women to open that box and start climbing out...try on some rainbow feathers for a while. Feel the long earrings tickle your neck. Smile when you see the bold red pumps on your feet instead of the basic black. Let yourself be seduced by a big, bold statement ring (or necklace). You might just find that the impractical...becomes your practical...

You'll be the better for it. I promise. :) 

Vividly,
Jill 


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Hello, April...

...such a tumultuous, topsy-turvy month. I'm gearing up for the first of five (I think, maybe it's six) events in three months, things are alternately blooming and hiding because our weather has been so unseasonably warm and then briskly chilly, and my - excuse me, our sixteenth wedding anniversary was last Friday.


From one of my morning walks last week. Georgia at its most colorful...from late March through early May. :)

As usual, life is in a bit of an uproar.

We did manage to get away this year, and celebrate the anniversary in Highlands, NC, just over two hours from Roswell. One of our favorite mountain towns here in the Southeast; it reminds me the most of Prescott, AZ. Downtown charm, good food, friendly folks. And of course, all that gorgeous mountain scenery. Of which we didn't really get to see. Because we didn't hike the falls, climb the gorges, take the photos...because it was DAMN COLD. Like 39 degrees, with 25 mph gusts. Brett is always hot and was quite happy in this weather. I, on the other hand, run very cold and was FREEZING for most of the weekend.

We made the most of it though, doing some teriffically yummy dining  and drinking, and buying some small treasures for the home. A pair of candle holders, a photo of a mountain vista to frame and hang, a small Raku vessel to complement one we already have...bits and pieces of art and decor are finding their way home to Roswell:



I got a little carried away with the closeness of the camera, but this is our newest ceramic piece from Harry Hearne, an NC potter whom I first met (and purchased from) at the Tennessee Craft festival in September of 2014. Purchased from Smitten



A small indulgence for my bath time. These are so ridiculously fantastic smelling. Especially that prosecco bellini...



A cool weathered-looking pot for Brett's ever-expanding collection of plants. From C K Swan




These will be so much fun with tealights inside. :)  From The Summer House

And now it's studio time, all the time, until next Friday when I head to Melbourne, FL for the Melbourne Art Festival. I'm currently mid-process with....well, a LOT of things. As is usually the case right before a festival. It seems like no matter how much I work on designs, there's still that week-before-the-show-I-just-don't-have-enough-finished craziness...I'll be working on finishing designs straight through next Thursday. And then..look out Florida! I'm coming back! :)