Adorned in the Desert

A couple of weekends ago I jaunted off to my happy place; the Desert. But this time focusing on the high desert;  Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree and Pioneer Town.  If you didn't know, I once lived in these parts - La Quinta and Palm Desert - from 2006 - 2013 (before it was trendy).  But as it goes for most people, you don't always remember to explore were you live while you're there.  So this trip to the desert was spent playing tourist with my desert friends and my fiancé.  And we had such a blast!

Our first stop was Pappy and Harriets where I had, probably, the most meat filled chili ever!  Seriously, there was more meat than beans...it was good, though!  After lunch we poked around Pioneer Town and Yucca Valley looking at cool vintage shops and taking "cliche" Instagram shots.  

I packed my jewelry for this trip, trying to get in the habit of wearing my work more often.  I brought mostly earrings, which to me are the best accessory to wear when traveling.  The small ImPerfect Circle dangles are my everyday and I accidentally left them at home, but I had back-ups!  I never travel with out earrings - they immediately add a little "something" to even the most casual outfit.  

Pictured are the Flawed Teardrops, ImBlance Beams and the Rough Around the Edges Hoops.  I have not added these styles to the shop yet  - working on it - you can inquire here in the meantime! 

I Made My First Ti Leaf Lei

I made my first ti leaf lei during my visit home to Maui for my 40th birthday!  Having lived in Hawai’i, I know how to make your basic flower lei. But, I’ve never learned how to make a ti leaf lei.  They take some practice to in order to “get it down” and I’ve thought them to be intimidating.  My father “the Jack of all trades and master of all ”  of course knows how to make tea leaf leis.  So I begged for a lesson and I think I kind-of got it down.

 

Tea Leaves after I wilted them with a warm iron.  This allows the leaves to be twisted without breaking.  I was told when doing lots of leis, you can put freshly cut ti leaves in the freezer to wilt them.

Ti leaves after I stripped them from their stalks.

To start the lei, I began with twisting the first leaf.  Then anchoring it wound my toe to continue the process.  This is a traditional method of lei making.  However, you can anchor your lei on just about anything.

tea leaf lei making

I blend in another ti leaf, once I reached the end of the first leaf.  At this point, I can, if desired, add a flower to the lei.

What gives the Ti Leaf Lei its look is the ends of the leaves are left exposed.

I added leaves until the lei was long enough to fit over my head.

Once I reached my desired length, I tied off the ends and removed the bottom of the lei from my toe and connected the ends.

 


I love making leis.  The process and the finished product are equally beautiful! Ti leaf leis can be made as simple or as intricate as you like.  There are other techniques that I want to learn, but what I made here is the basic version.  My father also taught me how to add flowers for pops of color –  I need to practice that a bit more.

I’m back on the mainland now and I am making it my intention to continue lei making.  I feel it could be a fun and therapeutic way to slow things down.  It’s therapeutic and evokes a stillness…which brings up a lot of good ideas!

I hope this inspired you!  Thanks for reading!

cv

Holiday Backyard Boutique Jivita Jewelry

Holiday Backyard Boutique

Come join us for our Holiday Backyard Boutique this December 2nd from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. hosted by Jivita Jewelry!  This pop-up features some of Long Beach finest artisans, makers and curators – you’re not going to want to miss out!

Holiday Backyard Boutique Jivita Jewelry

Click on the names below to check out the vendor’s Instagram!

CALIFORNIA DRIFTERS

DUENDE

GOPI SHAH CERAMICS

JIVITA

JURATE BROWN

RABBITLORE

SAMANTHA CERAMICS

TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT

VERVE 

WILDERESS

Bring friends and family and enjoy light drinks and snacks and some treats for your body and soul by:

Kids craft table by Averyboo Arts,  

Readings and mini Reiki sessions by Heart + Crown Reiki

Mini Mani’s by Sheila M.

Brow art consults by Project Beauty

and Tunes by DJ Psychic Pollution!

Looking forward to seeing you!
cv
Fish Skeleton at Salton Sea

Exploring Salton Sea Beach

The Salton Sea – a saline lake that rest in the basin of the mountains of the Imperial and Coachella Valley.

When approaching the shores of the Salton Sea, your senses are immediately engaged.  Your nose is greeted by the noticeable stench of decay.  Your ears begin to notice the peculiar sound the sands makes under your feet as your curiosity leads you.  And your eyes take in the vastness off the waters and the contrasting mountains surrounding them.  Your brain; overwhelmed and intrigued by it all, continues to process what (on God’s earth) it just took in.

 

MoneyPenny Dog and Welcome Salton Sea sign

 

 

MoneyPenny Dog at the Salton Sea

 

 

Fish Bones Skeleton at Salton Sea

 

 

Fish Skeleton at Salton Sea

 

 

Abandon House at Salton Sea

 

 

Dog (MoneyPenny) on a vacant road Near Salton Sea

 

 

Little pieces of hollow fish skeleton, in the softest hues, make up its sands.  The Salton Sea – disheveled, with abandoned aspirations peppered throughout.  If you’re lucky…and don’t mind the smell…this corky town of curiosity will leave you temporarily moved; quiet, slightly confused and inspired.

 

cv

 

A Peek Inside My Jewelry Studio | Studio Tour

It is not often that I give a peek inside my jewelry studio.  I sometimes share the occasional *studio shot* on my Instagram, but mostly progress shots and inspiration live there.

My studio is my sacred space.  It is where I experiment and make my ideas 3 demential. Where I work long days prepping for a show and sometimes it is where I go to sit when feeling *uninspired*.  I love to collect and store things.  My studio has also become a space where I mount my findings from my daily walks and travels.  And where I catalogue artifacts for later use or observation…

My workbench

I do not own a tradition jewelers work bench.  My studio is set up in my garage and the garage has a built in workbench reaching either end.  Its sturdy and gives me a somewhat flat surface to work on.  Being that my garage does not get much light, I painted almost every surface white – to brighten it up bit!  Underneath my work bench, I have some cabinets and drawers from Ikea.  They are great! I use them to store my tools and keep them within arms reach when I’m working.

A peek inside my jewelry studio bless the theory

 

a peek inside my jewelry studio jewelry bench

 

All the *interesting* things!

I must confess; I am a hoarder of things – but only of *interesting* things.  Give me the weird, the oddly textured and the old – especially the old – and I will store it in my studio.  Twigs from my walks, dead bees and butterflies from my backyard and old tools from retired goldsmiths’.  I also looooooove drawers and cabinets!  I found the antique watch makers cabinet (in photo below) at  Magnolia and Willow in Long Beach.  It’s one of my favorite cabinets currently in my studio.  Mostly because it has the original watch bits in tiny glass tubes stored in the drawers.  My other cool cabinets (not pictured) include a vintage locker that I acquired from a past studio mate.  And my recent acquisition, a vintage metal law document cabinet.

Inspiration wall a peek inside my jewelry studio

 

Jewelers Work Bench a peek inside my jewelry studio

 

studio vignette a peek inside my jewelry studio

 

Jewelers tools Ring Shank Gauge and Sheet and Wire Gauge a peek inside my jewelry studio

 

My soldering station

I remember my first jewelry studio very well.  And it was very basic; a few hammers and pliers, a jewelers saw and flex shaft.  And a few other tools.  I also remember having no fire!  I was so intimidated with the idea of bringing a gas tank and torch into my studio at that time.

Now, I’ve had an equipped soldering station for many yeas now.  I don’t see how I lived without one back then!  We all start somewhere, right?

Currently, I’m using Acetylene / Air with the Smith torch.  Even now, my studio remains pretty simple.  My soldering has the necessities.  There are various soldering blocks, tweezers and tongs and props.  I have the same striker and soldering pick from my college years.  And I keep two quenching bowls, of different sizes, near by.

Jewelers Torch and Soldering Station a peek inside my jewelry studio

 

Jewelers soldering station a peek inside my jewelry studio

 

soldering station a peek inside my jewelry studio

 

Wall Textures in a peek inside my jewelry studio

 

Textures in Old Drywall a peek inside my jewelry studio

 

My Inspiration Board and Library

This part of my jewelry studio inspires me daily.  I keep my cork-board here for my studio tool wish list, drawings, exhibition postcards and quotes.  Below the cork-board is where I store all of my jewelry books and jewelry magazines like Metalsmith.   And true to form, I have a few vignettes of interesting randomness displayed on top of my book case.  There’s also a few bust forms here.  I sometimes use them for displaying necklaces and such.

Jewelers Inspiration and Vision Board a peek inside my jewelry studio

 

Studio vignette a peek inside my jewelry studio

 

Inspiration Board a peek inside my jewelry studio

This was just a surface peek into my jewelry studio.  There are so many nooks and crannies that one cannot share in a single post.  I hope to write future post like this soon!

 

Thanks for reading and I hope this inspires you!

cv

 

 

 

Jewelry Books I’m Currently Reading

I thought it be a great Idea to share, with you, some of the jewelry books I’m currently reading!  As an artist, I am always looking for inspiration and a deeper depth in my craft. I continue to grow my skills and knowledge, in jewelry making and metalsmithin by attending workshops, getting advice from my jewelry community and through trial and error! I’ve also gained quite a bit from jewelry books. I have every jewelry book from my college years (along with my tools – never giving those away)!  The great thing about books on jewelry making is, you can alway reference back to them.  You can write notes in them, dog-ear them, flag them with post-it’s – what every you choose (granted you own them)!

Here a shot of the jewelry books that I am currently reading:

Jewelry books for jewelry making

List of Jewelry Books

  1. Stoned by Aja Rad
  2. 21st Century Jewelry
  3. 500 Earrings
  4. The Complete Jewelry Making Course
  5. The Jewelry of South East Asia
  6. The Art of Jewelry Making
  7. Art Jewelry Today

Most jewelers by DNA are book hoarders. Um..Hello….I am one of those jewelers! Lately, however, in attempts to simplify my home and studio; I’ve been renting books from my local library. This give me the instant gratification of “purchasing” a new jewelry book, even if its temporary!  And, if I discover that I cannot live without that book, I will then purchase it to add to my studio library!

Which of these jewelry books did I decide to add to my library? None yet! But I am thinking about the 500 Earrings book.  The 500 series is just a great collection to have in your jewelry studio!  I have 2 books from that series and I cannot tell you how often I reference back to them!

Thanks for reading + I hope this inspires you!

cv

Jewelry in the Morning Light | My last day on Maui

Capturing the Morning Light

It was a quiet morning in my dads house and I was one of the first to rise.  I purposely rose earlier than usual – this was my last day on Maui. I needed to take everything in one last time.  Quietly making my way around the house, I noticed how gorgeous the space looked in the morning light.  Closing my eyes, I tried to capture the sounds of island life and inhale that sweet air.

One of the many things I love about my fathers house are the various siting vignettes peppered throughout.  My favorite – a setting of 2 vintage club chairs reupholstered in worn’in leather and an antique ship door, fashioned into a table.  This is were I sat every morning to sip my coffee and enjoy the morning light.

On this morning, I nestled myself into one of the vintage club chairs.  The most beautiful defused light came through a near window, highlighting textures of the antique wooden table next to me. I sat there quietly, enjoying the moment.  Remembering, this would be my last Maui morning light for the year – I tiptoed to my bedroom to gather my camera and jewelry.

 

 

 

bless the theory earrings in morning light

 

 

bless the theory cracked pendant in morning light

 

 

 

Ramen + Art with Jungwha Kim

Have you met Jungwha Kim?

Life has this funny way of putting you in front of the people that you should know.  I met Jungwha Kim a few years ago, in 2014.  We were volunteering our time to re-paint the metals studio at Long Beach City College.  Jungwha is originally from Korea.  She moved to the states to study gemology at GIA, 8 years ago.  After completing her studies at GIA, she moved to long beach to study Metalsmithing and Jewelry.

Jungwha is one of my favorite people.  We share a strong love for metal arts, music, cultural rituals and food! Jungwha being Korean and my love for Korean food (a love that started in childhood) put the cherry on top of an already perfect connection.

Jungwha's work inspires me and begs to be touched.  Her curiosity leads to the most interesting combination of form, texture and use of color.  She's been experimenting in her studio so I grabbed a few shots before we sat down for lunch!

 

I love getting to peek inside the studios of my creative friends and hope to share more in the future!  Check out more about Jungwha Kim's work here.

finding inspiration in maui

Finding Inspiration on Maui | Olowalu Sugar Mill Ruin

I just returned from visiting my father on beautiful Maui.  I’ve traveled to Hawai’i many times and with every visit, Hawai’i becomes more special to me … it’s one of my favorite ways of finding inspiration.  In the 9o’s, I was fortunate to call Maui home.  And even then, as a self indulgent teen, wanna-be tough girl, I was able to momentarily appreciate Hawaii and  its beauty, history and otherworldliness.

Wondering through Nature

This trip home was quite special. It was filled with a LOT of family time and thanks to my fearless father (whom was born and raised in Hawaii) my time was also spent with lots of exploring. Wondering through nature and stretching my eyes are favorite pass-times of mine – and as an artist, very necessary tasks.

The Sugar Mill Ruin

My dad took us to one of his new discoveries. The beachside Olowalu Sugar Mill Ruin – one of the first sugar mills on the island – dating back to 1864.  And when I say “beachside” I mean beach side – you can even spot a tiny seashell wedged inside of a crack in the foundation! *insert gasp*

 

 

Flour Resist + Paint Removal | Flour Paste Tutorial Part 4

Removing the flour resist and paint from your fabric!

Unclamp your thoroughly  dried fabric from the table.  Fill a large bucket with warm water and slowly submerge your fabric.   DO NOT do this step in a sink, the flour resist WILL clog your drain and pipes. You’ve been warned!  

Soak the fabric in warm water to remove all flour – 15 to 20 minutes should soften the resist enough to peal off.  Wash in a mild detergent with cool water.  Dry after all of the flour is removed.  

*Remove wrinkles using an iron or steamer. 


washing fabric after flour resist

fabric example after flour resist is removed

 

ENJOY!!!

Your new fabric is done! Now get creative with it!

Fun was to use your decorative fabric
  • pillows cases
  • napkins
  • throws
  • scarves

I used my cracked fabric in a past art show.

cracked fabric using flour paste resist

 

Thanks for checking out this Flour Paste Resist Tutorial! I hope you had fun!

> > > Part Three : Cracking the Flour and Adding Paint

> > Part Two: Preparing and Applying the Flour Paste Resist

> Part One:  Fabric Preparation