31 May 2011

further designing adventures

In between a bit of deck sanding ... I ended up sort of wimping out - I'm just not as acclimated to the heat as Dave is ... and weekend chores, I got some work done in the studio.  I think I'm finished with the Angel Wing pendant. 

I decided to nix the gemstones and beads, but still wanted to do multiple strands of something.  Hillary suggested multiple chains like I used in the Repetition Sapphires necklace.  I agreed and felt like some of it needed to be silver but still liked the look and idea of the linen - I don't know, angels and raw linen just seem to go together.  I decided to go in that direction with a twist - literally.  Here are the components I decided to use ...

I've got two different sizes of sterling links and two different sizes of linen cord.  I did kind of a random threading of the linen through the links so it is more securely integrated.  I added a 9" double strand of the smaller link chain with the same linen treatment at the base of the 36" larger link chain.  I waxed a lighter weight linen to wrap and secure the three chains together.  I used the same waxed linen to secure the linen cord at the clasp.  I'm really liking the mix.  See what you think ......

I'm going to continue working with this component and think it will be an excellent addition to the KVK Luxe collection.  But for now, the finished piece which I'm planning to list on Etsy in the next day or so ....

I've also been continuing to work on the Talisman Elements series and have finally decided on a big big component.  I've been trying to come up with a blessing that would be sort of all encompassing, that would work on any of the necklaces and, by jove, I think I've finally got it ... Love, Infinite Grace, Abundance.  Written on silk with a mustard seed tucked inside, the intention is to, "have faith and know that you are always surrounded by love, infinite grace and abundance."  I can use the initials LIGA as well.  This came to me yesterday.  I've googled the word combination and the initials and haven't found any conflicting sources or weird associations.  So, I've already put my new blessing into action.  Here's four new necklaces from the Medallions collection awaiting the final touch ...

The ribbon is vintage French silk that Nina gave me years ago.  I've dyed it a dark mossy brown; the blessing is written with a sharpie, the mustard seed is tucked inside, then the ribbon blessing is wrapped around the chain and secured with a wrap of waxed copper silk thread.   I do love waxing the threads, probably because the block of beeswax I use is an antique - it belonged to my grandfather from his days as a shoe repairman.  One of the things I love about this ribbon is one side dyes lighter than the other, so even though it's hidden within, the blessing shows up nicely.  The finished wraps ...

I'll be listing these on Etsy as well along with individual medallions and Talilsman Elements.  The idea is that as we grow and evolve, as our needs and inspirations change, our Talismans can change with us.  Also, I'll be making more of the little pinch bowls to use as a home for the Elements.  

Hmmmmm, looks like I've got a lot to do.  And of course a girl needs a cool beverage to refresh her on these screaming hot days.  My new favorite concoction for the summer - Hibiscus Ginger tea with mint and lime - oh my ....... so very yummy.  I started with two kinds of herbal tea - there's my favorite color combination again - ruby and ochre.

Add a few drops of stevia to sweeten it up.  Smush some fresh mint and squeeze some lime in the bottom of a glass, add gobs of ice et voila, a sugar and caffeine free glass of summer dee-light.

Well, like I was saying - this girl's got lots to do ...
So for now - LIGA ... love, infinite grace and abundance - kvk

28 May 2011

no cigar but lots of potential

I've got a bunch of new additions to the Talisman Elements series, but first I thought it'd be fun to share the evolution of a one-off design ...

It started here - a fragment of an angel wing shell from St Augustine.  I made an impression of it in polymer clay and then used a big piece of my sterling silver metal clay to make the pendant.  I tried to make it fairly thin to test the strength of the sterling - I'm happy to report, it's very strong.  I love that the pendant hangs kind of off kilter.  Plus it's very ... well all I can think of is that it's very wabi-sabi.

So I've got the pendant, next I started gathering potential elements.  I've got gemstone nuggets - rutilated quartz, then the amber and citrine from Andrew, a few ochre trade beads, my stash of Basha beads, unbleached linen to make into cord, hand cut and dyed silk ribbon, silk thread, oh and some big honkin bronze pearls.

I worked on the layout and how many strands of linen cord and tried different stones with different hole sizes - I wasn't in the mood to drill any stones or pearls - and pondered closures and lengths and ended up here ... 
close, but no cigar ...

It's just not quite there.  Don't get me wrong, there are elements I like, but overall, it's just not done.
For instance, I do like the closure, I like it off center and the loose ends with the linen wraps - it reminds me of Zoe Keating's hair!  BTW, been listening to her CD's non-stop - so so so very excellent.

And I like the trade bead and rutilated quartz nugget together on the linen cord ...

But the jumbo citrine nugget doesn't hang quite right and overpowers the pendant and the rest of the piece.  I do like the little stack of copper and silver spacers.

I'm also not sure about the linen cord.  I've been thinking about grouping linen cord into something for days ... just not sure this is the best application.  So, this piece is still very much a work in progress.  I'm going to take it all apart and start over.  I'll keep you posted with my progress.

But I also wanted to show you my latest additions to the Talisman Elements series.  The overall concept is finally starting to come together.  I got all inspired to do some carving in polymer clay, which lead to the idea for the Medallions.  I've got a chalice, a crown, a compass, a portal and a spiral.  I also made a couple of unicorn-looking horns.  Then there's the reproduction of the little eastern European vintage cross I bought from Cool Vintage on Etsy - really love everything in that shop! 

Also, I've really hesitated about the use of text, but decided to dig out the rubber stamp sheets I had made way back in my ArtFest days of early 2003.  So some of the medallions have ready made messages stamped into the back and some have individually stamped words.  

I am pretty excited about all my new Medallions.  
Oh, there was one more piece from my sterling silver firing - Eros ... another stamp from my long-ago rubber stamp making days. Pretty sure  he's destined for another one-off piece, but that remains to be seen.

So that's where I am right now.  I'm probably not going to get anything else done in my studio this holiday weekend.  Dave and I have this idea we're going to re-stain the deck, which means taking everything off the deck - like those bloody huge, fully soaked flower pots of mine and all the other not so heavy stuff, a bit of sanding and then painting.  WOO HOO - Boy howdy do we know how to party!

I guess that's it for now.  I hope everyone has a wonderful, fun and ever so safe holiday weekend.

blessings - kvk

26 May 2011

once upon a time .........

Ready for your afternoon chuckle?
I found a bit of treasure while at my brother's house last week ... thought I'd share.  It's pretty amazing what can happen in 3 years.  Case in point:

KVK @ 13 - scary, very very scary ... scary glasses, scary hair, my vaccination still a large scar.  Dave commented when he first saw this picture, "well at least you grew into your nose."  Thanks dear.

and 3 years later ... KVK @ 16.  My big brother and me - January 1972.  Clowning around and being enormously silly.
Funny what 3 years, new glasses and a couple bottles of Sun-In will do for a girl!

Okay, that's it for reminiscing.
I've been a busy girl today - fired sterling pmc is in the tumbler, new fine silver pmc Talisman Medallions are in the kiln, fast-fire bronze versions in the works.  
More show and tell in the next day or so.

blessings - kvk

heaven awaits ... on two fronts

Okay, so I've got lots of other things to share and so much to do and and and ....
But I just had to post this - found over at Varietist Muse, my first time there and really love his blog and will go back for more visits - but the point of all this is Zoe Keating - "avant cello" extraordinaire, plus she's just amazing to watch.

Getting ready to download whatever I can ... heaven awaits.

I'll be back with updates and my new and very exciting sterling silver pmc pieces - going in the kiln after this and I can't wait - they're very thin components and I'm dying to see how strong the sterling metal clay really is.
Wow I love finding new music and new artists and experimenting with new jewelry ideas - cost of silver be damned!
and and and ... can you tell I'm excited?

off to download new tunes.
with much gratitude and many blessings - kvk

p.s.  here's an interview - lush

17 May 2011

out of time

I do like the idea of that ... out of time.  So many connotations - this time I'm just going for the straightforward one ... I just ran out of time.  I was hoping to get a few things up on Etsy before heading over to Nashville for a couple of days.  Alas, not to be.  But here's a tiny preview of things to come ...

I might sell some of the components just by themselves so they can be added to other necklaces and I'll probably put together a couple of finished pieces.  I did get the sapphire bar necklace listed ... remember it from the other day's post?

I'm doing this on the fly as I'm s'posed to be packing.  It's hard though ... Dave's got a David Byrne dvd rocking downstairs and I keep running down to find out what song that is and dancing around and golly, it's just hard to focus on what your s'posed to be doing when you've got David Byrne for background music.  I do love this one - this must have been filmed about the same time as the Union Chapel film - same musician lineup - so so good.....

Okay, back to work and off to Music City on the morrow.
blessings - kvk

p.s.  if there's any of the components you're interested in just by they ownselves, let me know and I'll put them aside

lucky girl

Funny thing ... I love doing things for other people, being the sleuth, creating and mailing off little surprises for friends and loved ones.  It just never occurs to me that anyone would do that for me.  So I let out a bit of a squeal when I checked my mail yesterday.  For parked right there in my mailbox was a little surprise package from Andrew.  I dashed inside and headed straight for the scissors to slice open my unexpected goody.  An even bigger squeal came when I emptied out the contents - carefully labeled ziploc bags with beautiful gemstone nuggets.  Oh my, they are so very lovely ...........

There's two kinds of amber, smooth and really rough and crystal quartz, jumbo faceted and hammered nuggets, jumbo citrine, amazing green garnet and top-drilled sunstone - just check out the copper shiller of that front piece of sunstone and how translucent the amber is.

Needless to say, I'm thrilled.  I've got my new cache of treasure sitting front and center on my worktable, visions of new creations beginning to form in my little head.  Delicious!
Thank you Andrew!  You are a gem.

with deep gratitude and many blessings - kvk

16 May 2011

biscuits and sourdough

Well, I'm caught up with my to-do list.  This is not to say I have nothing to do - lord mercy, far from that.  But the main thing that's on my plate and that I've been dying to get back to work on, is the expansion of my Talismans.

But here lies my conundrum and challenge ...
This body of work, Talismans for Fellow Travellers (TFFT), is going to be transformative for me and my business.  It must be developed over time, mindfully, from a heightened awareness, details evolving not thrown together.  Thing is, this is not how I've ever worked.  I'm kind of a design on the fly girl - which is one of the reasons I love metal clay so much ... it allows me to conceive a design and create it while still firmly in the grips of what could be a fleeting inspiration.  Sometimes ideas flow so fast I can't get them down in my sketchbook.  More often than not, I go straight to my worktable and let the ideas flow straight from my imagination through my hands and into the metal clay.

Where I am right now reminds me of something from an Abraham session I attended years ago, something to the effect of, when you've got ideas forming or a project in development, stay with it and follow it to it's full potential, don't release it to the world until it's really ready to go - like baking biscuits ... as excited as you may be to dive into those warm, crusty little delights and slather them with butter and honey, don't take them out of the oven until they're really done or you will be seriously disappointed, "you'll cook your biscuits into a squat."  You know I love visuals and this is a great one.

The biscuit analogy has gotten me to slow down my TFFT plans.  I'm thinking this project is more like the process of making good sourdough bread - it takes time for the starter to develop followed by the careful blending of all the ingredients/elements as they come together into a delicious, richly flavored final product ... and whatever you do, don't take it out of the oven until it's fully done.

For the last few days I've been going to Colette Baron-Reid's website and 'pulling' a card from her on-line oracle deck ... they're really good!  This is what I got this morning ...

So whether it's biscuits or sourdough, it seems best to take a lot of deep breaths, slow down and proceed with clear intention, fully engaged and awake, not planning every detail so I remain open for the arrival of the miracles that are sure to come.

I found out about Colette through a bit of synchronicity that's leading to more and more little bits.  I'm reading her new book, The Map, which has me so enthralled I can barely get to sleep at night.  I'm thinking I may have to stop reading it before bed 'cause I just get so excited about the coming chapters.  I have a very strong feeling that her work is going to be hugely influential in developing my Talismans and so I just ordered both sets of oracle cards and another book about the power of oracles called Messages From Spirit.

Basically, I'm just following my gaze and my intuition and enjoying the ride.
And regarding enjoying the ride ... I'm heading over to Nashville on Wednesday for a couple of days to help my brother do some space clearing.  More time to ponder and let my 'TFFT starter' develop.

A much more inspiring stewing than the annoying blogger stew from the last few days.

ta ta for now......
blessings - kvk

p.s.  not being able to let well enough alone, I went back to Colette's site and pulled another card - okay, I'll behave now ...

is it ironic

... that I stew and stew about putting the followers gadget on this blog and when I finally decide to give it a try and do a post about it and stew some more and add a bunch of things to my book and movie lists - it's the day when blogger tanks and all that work vanishes?  curious

So, I've put the followers gadget back on and will have to wait until I've got some time to remember the assorted wonderful things I thought I'd added to my lists.

c'est la vie.
rainy day blessings - kvk

p.s. the sun's out and I'm trying to fix blogger label weirdness ... deep breaths
but getting lots done today - sorting and clearing big piles of accumulated whatever ... very satisfying.

p.p.s. okay, blogger is still buggered - colossally annoying

p.p.p.s. trying plan F to get posts back in order

15 May 2011


reposting this to get the dern things back in order.......

So I've been debating about doing this for months.  What's my motivation, do people pay attention to this sort of thing, do "I" pay attention to this sort of thing, is it about my ego or, I don't know, just what is it?  So I put the "followers" gadget on my sidebar.  There aren't that many official followers, fair number of readers, just a few following.  But bottom line, I really do like the idea that I've got followers!  And I really really appreciate the readers and love comments.  I mean really, why else would I do this?

I'm thinking this little shift is tied into two of the books I'm reading right now, actually re-reading ... Do the Work and War of Art.  One of the sections is about being a "pro" at what you do.  So I've been making my living with making jewelry for a good while, but I'm seeing places where I'm kind of lazy or not fully engaged.  It's all tied into that "following my gaze" thing and seeing where it lands.  I'm starting to see a lot of things more honestly and really making an effort to get fully congruent.  The process involves lots of deep breaths 'cause basically, it's a real challenge getting my extremely introverted self to step up and out and go for it.

And another thing about congruence or the lack thereof  ... there's that sneaking dairy thing I mentioned yesterday.  What's that about?  Why the sneaky nonsense?  Why do I feel like I have to sneak anything?  Ah, and then there's my other little secret ... I'm a fast food junky.  When I get off the green juice wagon I head straight for Taco Bell and a grilled stuft chicken burrito.

So, in the interest of staying honest and getting congruent and stepping out of my comfort zone and being more of a pro, I'm going to plug in that little gadget and see how I like the looks of it.  And after having to throw out a ton of slimy greens yesterday, I'm getting back on the green juice, no dairy wagon.

We'll see how long it lasts this time.
I mean really ... If not now, when?

green blessings - kvk

14 May 2011

crazy day

well, this is a rerun due to blogger being buggered, but if you missed it the first time, here you go, if you've read it ... sorry.  Still trying to figure out how to get things back to the right order.

It was a long hot night ... we were determined not to turn on the A/C.  Not so bad with windows open and fans going, but big storms blew in and windows got shut.  Add in allergy annoyances - I've been sneaking too much dairy and took several antihistamines yesterday (they're the 4hour variety).  May and June, I might take one a day.  Yesterday I took three - never a good thing.  So between the heat and the nasty hangover from OTC drugs, I woke up feeling like I'd been clubbed.

I was determined to turn the icky feeling around.  Nice cup of tea, morning meditation, nice shower, little bit of on-line surfing.  Found this site, Mythical Ireland and now I'm feeling the need to make some metalclay stones with Celtic inspired glyphs and carvings.

And I'm absolutely dying to get back to working on my Talismans and Reliquaries, but I've got to finish updating my wholesale catalog.

So in the middle of working on catalog updates which is mostly a comprehensive re-evaluation of all my pricing due to skyrocketing silver prices which is math and more math then plugging all the new prices into the catalog and doing a bit more updating and trying to get dinner started in there somewhere and getting flustered with stuff boiling over on the stove and cleaning up and then working on the catalog some more and more stuff boiling over and cleaning up again then spilling scalding hot chicken stock on my wrist and then getting really flustered.

Like I said sheesh.  So I've blown off what I was making for dinner and am getting ready to order takeout and heading to the store to pick up something for my burned wrist.  I'm looking forward to sitting down with a cold one, eating a meal I didn't have to cook and watching a mindless and immensely entertaining movie.  Probably Hoot or Away We Go.

Okay, bye.
blessings - kvk

p.s.  lavender oil for my wrist and the A/C on with fresh filters ... I'm doing better now
nite nite

10 May 2011

rabbit totem

This morning, heading back down the driveway from the mailbox, I look over to my neighbors driveway and sitting very calmly next to the bushes was the biggest 'wild' rabbit I've ever seen.  I put wild in quotes as it seemed more like someone's giant Easter bunny on the loose.  This bunny was way bigger than Zoe Kitty and Zoe's a big girl.  Big wild bunny was chillin' in the drive, not budging an inch.  So I figured I'd see how close I could get ... pretty darn close.  Within 6 or 8 feet.  Then it just sauntered off into the bushes, didn't madly dash away.  Kind of strange actually.   I've been thinking about that bunny all day.

And then a few minutes ago I got to wondering about animal totems and rabbits in that context and found this site and really like the message ... 

"Rabbit: The rabbit totem is an instrument of magic and good luck. Her gifts are spontaneity, alacrity and agility. Likewise, her path guides us to go forward with positive anticipation, for rabbit brings success to all endeavors. Rabbit is also a symbol of reproduction and abundance. The lesson is to create joy and faithfulness within our friendships. Finally, rabbit teaches us to overcome our fears as we take a conscious leap into new territory."
 ... well abundance, yes; reproduction, no  - I'm well past that.
I've always loved rabbits ... had them as pets when I was little little.  Actually that's another whole story, but basically I love watching them in the yard and come to think of it, this is the second rabbit encounter this week.  Wow, even more interesting.  A couple of days ago, a small one was grazing under our blueberry bushes.  A big crow kept dive bombing the little guy - never seen that.  Then a second crow joined in and chased the little rabbit off, following him into the heavy bushes at the yard's edge.  Definitely never saw that.

So I'll just be sitting here pondering all the rabbit medicine in my life.  Curious indeed.

ttfn + blessings - kvk


Well, the pearl necklace was an enormous success and I quote, "I'm never taking these off ... well except to take a shower."  I'm happy and my sister's happy. 
Need to do more of this sort of thing - lots more.

blessings - kvk

07 May 2011

Jackie O's pearls + new jewels

I'm always on the lookout or listening for bits and pieces and clues for ideas and inspiration.  Include in that keeping my radar tuned for potential nice things I can do for someone else.  Nice things, little things, things that are easy and joyful for me, but could have great meaning for another.  Making jewelry is a small thing for me.  It's what I do, it's what I thrive on.  In the last couple of weeks, in between working on wholesale orders, I've had the opportunity to do some custom pieces.  A rare thing for me as I am usually quite hesitant to take on special requests.  All I can say is, I must be loosening up in my middle age.

The most recent one just went out in the mail.  It wasn't a special order, but one of my radar picks.  A recent conversation with my older sister gleaned the tidbit that she is obsessed with Jackie O's three strand pearl necklace.  Of course I remember seeing the necklace and there's been lots of 'first lady pearls' in the news thanks to Michelle O's stunning assortment of contemporary interpretations, bringing the pearl necklace to a whole new audience ... I especially love the Tom Binns pieces.  But my sister said the Jackie O version.  And I thought, "hey, I can do that!  The gem show's coming up and I'll do a bit of research and see what I pull off."

So yesterday I headed to Franklin for the gem show with my miniscule shopping list, perused and shopped for a couple of hours, found the exact pearls I was hoping for and headed home.  I had already made the 'bling' piece for the three strand closure.  Jackie's was emerald and gold, mine is pmc, white topaz and sapphires - close, sort of.  Since I got home early, I set to work right away and, well, see what you think.  Here's the clasp ...

And the full necklace.  The shortest strand is 17", graduating to 19" ...

There's something enormously satisfying about knotting perfectly graduated strands of pearls.  This is in the mail today ... I'm hoping a nice little surprise for my sister.  Unless she reads this, which I'm thinking is not likely, I don't know, we'll see.

Then there was the Talisman style necklace for a friend ...

I don't normally do text in pieces - there's just so much out there, it's hard to do anything different.  But a friend had asked if I might be able to do something with her word choices plus a couple other elements and I figured I'd give it a shot.  The other unusual thing here - the text nuggets are sterling silver pmc.  Yep!  My first batch of mixed and fired pmc3 mixed with pmc Pro.  My letter stamps were kind of big so I wanted to use the sterling for the additional shrinkage.  There will be more sterling silver goodies to come - hopefully later this month.

And then I got to make a special order version of one of my favorite new pieces.  This one is for the woman who cuts my hair, I guess that would be hair stylist, but the stylie part only lasts until I wash it.  I'm not known for fancy hairstyles or fancy product usage.  Anyway, she's buying this for a birthday present to herself.  

And lastly, this wasn't a special order, but it's a piece you may recognize.  I made this component a while back - channel set tunduru sapphires in a bar of pmc.  I originally planned to attach it to leather, then changed my mind, then decided to list the component on Etsy, it got several 'hearts' but didn't sell.  Then one day my eye caught a zip-loc bag full of bits of chain - a tiny rolo link that I've had for years.  I've always loved this chain and seeing it in a pile I finally figured out what to do with that little sapphire bar.  I'll be re-listing the finished piece on Etsy first of the week. 

Silver prices have been all over the place in the last couple of weeks and took a nose-dive in the last few days.  Normally I price things based on replacement costs, but because I've had this chain for a while and there's a lot of it in this piece, I'm going to price it at the old chain price.  Yeah, I'm softening up. 

And new jewels! 
Like I was saying, I didn't really need much of anything, but I'm always on the lookout for new and intriguing jewels.  Lately I've been obsessed with hammered gemstone nuggets - really rough, chiseled looking facets.  They're pretty hard to find, but they are out there.  Some on Etsy, a few on some gemstone sites.  I saw very little of this sort of thing yesterday, but did find a few strands to play around with.

I love the warmth of this quartz.  So much of it looked plastic and glaring and garish.  This strand was perfect.

I had to get two strands of this green amethyst - looks like green ice don't you think?

A bit of a splurge, but this gemstone is so so so hard to resist ... this not quite so chiseled moss aquamarine.  A bit more refined, but still rough enough for my plans.

And this was my big splurge, golden rutilated quartz ... $50 for a really short strand, 5 bucks a nugget - oof!  Thing is, I saw it first thing in the morning and kept thinking about it the whole time I was there, so I knew I better succumb or regret it later.  It's just so raw and I know it's going to look amazing with some big chunky something to be designed sometime soon.

All in all, a good trip and a good couple of days and, come to think of it, a good couple of weeks.  
I can't wait to see where these new jewels inspire me to go next.  That's the whole point, discovery and exploration and innovation and the delicious unknown.

Blessings - kvk

02 May 2011

pondering a couple of "r" words

The first "r" word that's had a hold of me is resistance.  I've been considering it in the context of fear ... what am I afraid of, what do I resist, what makes my breath catch, what makes me want to curl into a small wretched ball?  I'm trying to see the big things and, with just as much determination, looking for the small ones.  I've bought two books by Steven Pressfield about resistance and doing the work it takes to push through that insidious barrier.  Insidious feels like a very strong word, but at this point in my journey, it feels like the right word.  I'm feeling a delicious resolve ... another good "r" word.  You know me and my visuals ... the one that comes to mind right now is, I've been slogging through thick mud for an eternity, I've just had a bit of a rest and am re-engaging with renewed vigor, anticipation and enthusiasm.  The mud seems to be thinning and I'm making progress, moving forward, excitement building.

The other big "r" word I just came across this morning and haven't had time to explore - reconciliation.  Turns out there's an astrological thing happening right now that I read about here, "Towards Reconciliation: Taurus New Moon."  What hit me straight away, for me right now at this moment in time, it's not about reconciliation with another person, but with a part of myself.  I want to re-read this blog post and do some more pondering.   

What I'm also noticing right this very moment, I've got a slew of things to do today and I'm watching the clock as I write this and thinking, "girl, you better get busy doing what you're s'posed to be doing!"  Thing is, this felt important.  So I'm just going with it.

Must say, I do like starting my day with good words to ponder.  Kind of puts a theme to the day, a bit more purpose added to my intentions.

Do you have words that drive or motivate you?
Do you have recurring themes in your lives?
Are there words that feel enormously important, but are like mercury, almost impossible to hold onto?
What's popping up on your radar? 
What feels absolutely necessary - right now?

blessings - kvk 

p.s.  the digital edition of Pressfield's new book, Do the Work is FREE on Amazon  - how cool is that?