26 March 2013


So of course, being all inspired with Fabio totally rockin' my rings in his Lord & Taylor video ... I had to make a couple more to share.  I'm seriously loving these.  And what with sterling metal clay being so much stronger than the fine silver version, I'm pretty sure I'll be making more rings.  They've been on my to-do list since the s/s version first came out ... just took some nudging to get to it.

I'm starting off with these two.  A wide band - pretty close to the same width as Fabio's.  
This one's about 3/8" wide ...

And a narrow band - this one's about 1/4".  They're both size 7.5.

And they look great stacked together ...

And they're both now listed in my Etsy shop.  In case you're wondering ... I'd be keeping these for my ownself if I hadn't made them just a wee bit too big.  Gots to make more, some to keep, some to share - might work on that tomorrow.

Fell off the vegan wagon yesterday and got takeout pizza - pepperoni and pineapple.  Figured if we're going to fall off, might as well go for the gusto.  Off to heat up the other half!

l i g a - kvk

21 March 2013

horn tooting

Okay, so I'm going to cave and do some horn tooting ... just 'cause it's so bloody cool!

A while back I got to be FB friends with Project Runway Season 10 designer and runner up, Fabio Costa.  We had a bit of an online chat, admiring each others work, liking each others 'pages' (mine and Fabio's) and talking about processes and materials.  And that was it ... after all, he's a busy young man.  Then in January, he emailed me and asked if I made my cube beads ring size.  Well, I hadn't, but for him I certainly could and would. Figuring size was the funny part ... me, "what size ring do you wear?"  Fabio, "don't know, but a regular key ring fits just right."  So I set out looking around the house for a "regular" key ring.  This is where my intuition kicked in.  I found one that felt like the right size and went with that.

Then I started to cost it out and got to thinking.  Here's a guy that made it all the way through Project Runway and came in second (he really should have won!) with such a gentle nature and beautiful spirit, never smarmy or mean, always holding to his alternative aesthetic ... a real inspiration.  I decided the ring would be a gift and my way of thanking him for the inspiration.

So I had sterling metal clay on hand and I still have the old ceramic ring sizers from original PMC days.  I figured the key ring for a size 12, made up the ring and then fired it ... only thing, carbon got between the ring and the sizer and the ring didn't shrink enough ... phooey.  So I made another one.  This time I made a little stainless steel mesh cage for the ring ... success!

Since I had both rings, I figured, what the heck, I'll send them both.  I strung the bigger one onto some linen cord with a couple of pebbles, figuring he could give it away or wear it or something.  Turns out, he's wearing them together and they look amazing.  I know this by watching this cool little film from Lord & Taylor.  Check it out ...

Pretty exciting for this little peep.  Of course, I'm thinking I need to make more!  I'm just so excited, I'm all tingly and about to bust.  Now it's time to take deep breaths and channel this great energy into my work.

And, on a related note, it would be lovely if you would consider backing Fabio's Kickstarter campaign.  He and his partner are doing some really interesting work and it's such a good feeling to support creative and truly innovative designers.

So that's it for horn tooting right now.
BTW - thanks for the lovely welcome back comments!  Feelin' the love and flyin' high!

l i g a - kvk

p.s.  love my horoscope for today ... how perfect is this?
"Your career is about to take a turn for the better, Sagittarius. New professional possibilities may come your way today. Be receptive to any invitations or offers. Your advancement may not come in the most traditional way, so you need to pay close attention. Don't overlook something that seems beyond your capabilities. Your reach should always exceed your grasp. Stretch!"

20 March 2013

it's official ...

... spring is here!  And I've spent this gorgeous first day of spring inside, photographing jewelry and listing it on Etsy.  Ah well, needed to be done.  I'm happy to say - during my internet break, I made 4 pairs of hoops - from tiny to bold.  I'm quite pleased!  

This mid-size pair are my favorites ...

But I really do love all of them.  This is the smallest pair ...

Larger ...

and larger still ...

And then I've listed two of the pieces I made for the fashion photo shoot.  Here's a couple more shots of the finished pieces.

Not sure what's next for me in the coming days ... getting outside is definitely on the agenda.

Hope you're having a lovely first day of spring in your part of the world.  
l i g a - kvk

10 March 2013

spring break

Okay kids ...
I'm working on aligning my ducks and getting ready to shut down my internet for a bit.  I had thought I would do this last week and was kind of bumming it hadn't happened.  When I saw the new moon is tomorrow, I realized my timing for doing this right now is perfect.   

And I had thought to do a follow-up post to my last couple, but I'm just not feeling it.  It's just feeling like it's time to stop.

Before I shut down, there are a couple of folks who've left comments that I hadn't responded to.
    Secret Squirrel - thanks for following along and the well wishes
    Mansuetude - your perspective is always so appreciated and deeply valued
    Lynne - you are my north star and I am eternally grateful for our friendship

Not sure how long my grand experiment will last, but I'm going to hold out for as long as I can.  Like I was saying before, I'm fairly addicted to this thing, so wish me luck. 

love and light filled blessings ....
l i g a - kvk

06 March 2013

inching towards effortless

Still tweaking and moving forwards with the new work. 

There was a call for work from a local organization, Handmade In America.  Submissions were due by yesterday at 5 and there was much dashing about on my part to get my 3 pieces finished, photographed and my application written up.  I figured it was a good opportunity for some exposure.  It's for a fashion shoot called Rustic Urban, so how could I not submit work?

I submitted three pieces - two new ones and one you might recognize.  I wanted to combine the eco-dyed silk from the other day into the new pieces.  I started with this bit of silk, dyed with red onion skins and black walnut ...

The colors were perfect to re-do this necklace from the other day.  This one was stiff and looked almost tortured into existence ...

Here's the final product with the new silk and a slightly different configuration.  Amazing what a bit of tweaking will do ...

Then I'd gotten this amazing lavender from soaking about 24 hours with black beans.  It's really different from the light grey of the other batch which had just soaked overnight. 

I combined this beautiful lavender silk with some super yummy amethyst crystal chunks and peacock freshwater pearls.  Who knew that black beans could produce such a gorgeous color?

The last piece I submitted is one of my all time faves ... the Lapis Mood Goddess Necklace.  I still love the look of the metal clay elements in this piece - straight from the kiln then plunked into a really strong liver of sulfur solution.  Can't wait to see how its 'personal patina' will develop.

I still have this wonderfully vibrant orange and olive green silk to work with  - dyed with yellow onion skins and black walnuts.

Plus I've got a nice selection of new components made up to keep me inspired ...

I'm toying with the idea of going off-line for a bit ... being pretty much addicted to this computer, it promises to be something of an experiment. 
If I do, everything will go into 'vacation mode'.  We'll see ...............

l i g a - kvk

05 March 2013

a compelling conversation

A few days ago, FB friend Christi, posted a link to this TED talk by Amanda Palmer.

Watching this talk, I was transfixed and energized.  Before this, I'd never heard of Amanda Palmer.  I did a wee bit of research and found that this little 14 minute talk is generating a lot of conversation ... and of course, that's the whole point of TED talks.  I'm still trying to get my head around Neil Gaiman's wife couch surfing and I'm not thinking I'll be running out to buy all (any?) of her music, but the conversation she's generating is important.  Much of the discussion is about Amanda's insanely successful Kickstarter Campaign.  As with any good conversation, there's opposing views ... this borderline snarky article in the New Yorker - at least that's my take on it - and then this article from yesterday's Huffington Post, which I love.

As an artist, maker and business person, I'm always on the prowl for innovative ways to connect with my buying public.  For a long time, I've had an idea that there's a different way to do that ... a new, paradigm shifting model.  I'm not sure this is it, but it feels like an important part of the equation.

I encourage you to watch Amanda's TED talk and the Huff Post slide show.  What do you think?  How can this idea translate into other mediums?  Is this a viable model? 

... inquiring minds want to know.

l i g a - kvk

04 March 2013

gettin' skinny postscript

A couple more notes regarding gizmos .......
  •  my blender is ancient ... it was old when Dave's grandparents gave it to us over 30 years ago; the blades are dull as mud.  Hoping to invest in a VitaMix this year ... fingers are crossed for a tax refund.
  • I have a food processor that I hate.  It was the best budget model I could afford way back when, but it's poorly designed and way too small.  A new one is on my wishlist as well.
  • lately I've been making raw crackers with our dehydrator.  We are blessed to have a 9 tray Excalibur from our long ago days of having big veggie gardens.  It's been sitting on the shelf for years.  Inspired by the amazing raw food at Present Moment Cafe in St Augustine, I hauled it out.  I found some recipes on line and I've been making crackers with raw nuts, flax seeds, a red onion, tomato and have just started adding carrot pulp.  
  • My enormously satisfying lunch is a jar of juice, a couple of my crackers with regular old hummus and an orange - then I'm pretty much stuffed.  
  • the recipe books I've been using the most:  Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Diet is chock full of yummy goodness - cornmeal/walnut pancakes - seriously yummy.  Another food documentary we loved (you should see all the food documentaries in our Netflix and Amazon queue's!) was Forks Over Knives.  The recipes in the original companion book are quite good (local library's copy) - especially Rip's sweet potato lasagna.  I had checked out the full on cook book from the library, but didn't get very far with it before I had to take it back ... looks very promising, though.  I'm going to order them both.
 Here's to getting healthy and feeling great!  Yay us!

l i g a - kvk

03 March 2013

the skinny on gettin' skinny

Lots of peeps are asking HOW ... how did I lose all that weight?  So I figured I'd post what transpired and then I can link to it from here on out ...

First off, I wasn't trying to lose weight, so I'm not really sure when it all started.  It must have been around when I bought our new fancy schmancy juicer and the tailgate markets started ... May?  I don't know.

Anyway, we got inspired by watching the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead ... it was quite the wake-up call.  I'd been juicing on and off for a while, but this got me really motivated to be more regular and take it a bit further.  Easy to do with the bounty of tailgate markets in our area.  Hard not to be inspired by so much good food.

I would hit the Thursday and Saturday markets and load up on greens, then everything else from WholeFoods.  My juicer is a slow juicer, so I make a lot of juice at once - usually 6 pint size canning jars filled to the top ... that's at about 3 days worth of juice.  It takes about an hour - prep, juicing, cleanup.  Because I wasn't trying to do anything specific, I didn't worry about too much of anything in particular - just what looked and tasted good and what I was drawn to.

My "kitchen sink" juice usually consists of whole bunches of chard, 2 or 3 kinds of kale, a couple of red beets with greens, 2 cucumbers, half a big bunch of celery, a big knot of ginger, one granny smith apple and one pear and a lot of carrots.

Then there's my smoothies.  One cup almond milk, one banana, a heaping tablespoon of HealthForce Nutrionals Vitamineral Green (most of the time, Amazon's the cheapest place to buy it), a heaping teaspoon of maca powder, 1/3 cup frozen blueberries and 1 tablespoon of chia seeds.

Most days I'd start with a smoothie and a small handful of toasted almonds.  Lunch is juice and some more almonds, maybe some more fruit.  If I need a snack - almonds.  Some days, I'd drink two jars of juice, some just one.

For most of the summer, dinner was a plate of  Organic Girl Super Greens, topped with a 1/2 a chicken breast sauteed in olive oil with seasoning salt, chopped up broccoli stalks, cucumber, maybe edamame, toasted sunflower seeds, juice sweetened cranberries, tomato if in season and my own balsamic/olive oil vinaigrette and Caesar croutons.

Sometimes a glass of red wine, most days not.  Dessert was and still is a couple of bites of Chocolove 70% dark chocolate.

I think a big help was my apple cider vinegar (ACV) concoction - 1/3 cup unfiltered ACV, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda to cut the acidity, a few drops of stevia and then fill up with water to a quart.  I'd drink one or more of those a day.  It's also really good for allergies and clearing seasonal glop.

Me being me, there were my side trips for fast food evilness ... politically incorrect ChikFilA's or my favorite $2 lunch - a McDouble and large iced tea.  There'd be pizza and beer nights - pepperoni and pineapple with pints of porter, breakfast out every Saturday and maybe BBQ for lunch and those wicked good deep fried maple pecan scones from Greenlife/WholeFoods on Sundays with scrambled eggs.

Like I said, I wasn't trying to lose weight.  But come September, it cooled down and I put on some jeans and they were huge ... wow, how'd that happen?  I got on our not accurate scales and it looked like I'd lost 18 pounds ... wow, when did that happen?

After that, I got to trying a bit ... now, I want to make sure I keep it off.  As of today, I've lost 23 pounds.  At my heaviest, which was in Port Townsend, I was close to 150 pounds.  For the last 4 years I've been about 137.  Right now, I'm hovering around 114 or 115.  BTW - I'm 5'2" ... eyes of blue!

And for a grand experiment and because we've never tried it, we've been doing mostly vegan since early January.  There's still the occasional side trips to 12 Bones for BBQ and lately back to breakfast out on Saturdays which includes eggs.  Still, we do very little beer or wine, not much wheat and, if I have coffee - 1/2 and 1/2. 

So that's it ... my skinny on gettin' skinny.  If it helps anyone, I'll be a happy camper.  If you've got any questions, give me a holler.  Bottom line, it's all about getting healthy and feeling better.

l i g a - kvk

p.s ...
  • my juicer is an Omega J8006 masticating juicer - right at $300 ... but the best juicer is the one you'll use.  There's a ton of good info online and on YouTube about choosing a juicer.
  • all those people who say it's close to impossible to lose weight after menopause are dead wrong
  • I didn't really do any exercising at first.  Somewhere along the way, I got inspired to stretch a bit and end with a headstand.  Amazing that I could just hold the headstand for as long as I wanted.  It started getting my core muscles interested in doing a bit more.  Then I got going pretty regularly with a series of yoga stretches, which led to stomach and isometrics, which led to 3# weights and some upper body work.  
  • for straight yoga, I really like this Jivamukti DVD; for a nice combination of yoga and core strength work I like the Gaiam DVD, Fit Body Yoga 
  • for plain old inspiration, I'll end with a favorite that, if you've been following my blog, you've seen before ... My Friend Maia ... pure joy

02 March 2013

skinnie me + silk

Okay, so I was having a pretty good hair day and was getting ready to change back into my 'house/studio clothes' (aka skaggy housewife outfit) and the sun was shining into my workroom, so I figured I'd get out the tripod and snap one of the new me ... the 23 pounds lighter than the last time you saw me me.

et voila`

I'm thinking the last time I weighed this little (114 I'm proud to say) was in my early 20's.  This is the me that's been hiding in a fat suit for decades ... I'm really glad she's back.

And now on to the equally important stuff ... dyeing!  Alright, the silk's still wet and therefore the colors are darker, but I couldn't resist snapping one before I run them through a wash (get rid of the onion smell) and dry.  The one on the right is an incredibly brilliant orange from yellow onion skins; the left one is an equally lush magenta from red onion skins.  The darker olive is from a walnut in the dye bath.  

The walnut only bath wasn't strong enough and the silk was a boring beige and not much change in the linen.  I poured the concentrated liquid from the onion/walnut bath into the bigger pot and now have it simmering for a while longer.  Fingers are crossed.

Lots of projects in the works, so back to it for me .......
l i g a - kvk

01 March 2013


Kind of a mixed bag of results this afternoon ...
Really liking the look of the dyed seersucker silk ripped into slender ribbons.  These were dyed in the water with soaking black beans.  And I love this 'donut' component ... only made these five ... will definitely make more.  Still not sure what I'm going to do for a closure.

This piece feels effortless ...

This one not so much ...

Again, I love the components.  But the silk I'm using for the wrap is too stiff, making the whole piece very stiff.  Since I'm so in love with the other silk, I made a blitz trip down to the fabric store ... our house is really conveniently located ... fine fabrics a mile and a half one way, AC Moore and Hancocks a mile the other way - very handy.  I came straight home, chucked the silk into the wash and then tore off some to dye.

I've got three dye pots going.  One with just walnuts.  That one has silk and a small test piece of the Ukrainian linen.  Another one has two small bundles - one rolled up with yellow onion skins, the other with red onion skins - both wrapped with bailing wire.  I dropped one walnut in for just a bit - didn't want any white showing.  The third pot is a mason jar where I'm soaking black beans with silk at the bottom.    

So all those pots are simmering and soaking while I'm working out the logistical details of this piece.  I like all the elements - the silver links, pearls and crystals, the color palette - just not the assembly.   

Back to it for this little peep.
stay tuned .......
l i g a - kvk

p.s. Dave doesn't much care for the smell of simmering walnuts ... a bit too earthy for him ... I rather like it

the path to effortless

working on new designs ...
When I get a concept in my head, my initial efforts pretty much always look tortured.  Materials will be wasted, designs will be assembled, taken apart, reworked ... at some point a shift will happen, the conundrum sorted out, the log jam broken and the components will flow into my hoped for vision ... work that maybe, initially looks haphazard yet on further inspection reveals a rhythm and flow ... effortless.

l i g a - kvk