The world is full of natural beauty. I’m blessed to be living on a small farm in the rural Midwest, USA. We’re situated in a little valley surround by trees and meadows. And, every year I add to my flower and vegetable gardens. It’s an everchanging palette of texture and color. The plants themselves are beauties to behold but add in the bees, bugs, and critters they attract and you can’t help but say, “What a Wonderful World”!
Here are some photos from around our home and gardens and the pieces they’ve inspired me to create.
I am a rock fanatic! From natural semi-precious gemstones to rocks found along a path or creek I am in awe of each and every beautiful characteristic they exude. If you were to visit my home, in addition to the many gemstones I have for creative purposes you’ll also find rocks of all sizes and shapes here and there throughout my home and yard. Imagine the vibes they create!
While thinking of different ways to display their beauty, I came up with the idea for these gemstone sun catcher chimes. Each one is created by hand and has a primitive style.
Add a splash of earthy color to your window with a unique sun catcher. The natural rough cut stones are dazzling while the crystal prism adds a splatter of rainbow colors on a sunny day and the small brass bell will softly chime when it catches a little breeze. Cool, unusual and delightful piece to stimulate the heart, mind, body, and soul!
I am happy to share a new ecommerce online market place with you.
GoImagine.com recently launched their new website. GoImagine is an online marketplace for “Handmade in America” artists, artisans and crafters to sell their unique creations. Individual shops offering handmade in America jewelry, gifts, and decor.
Shoppers looking to buy unique, handmade items made in the USA will be delighted with the assortment of shops and items available.
Go to their website to learn more about their story and vision.
So, if you are looking for that perfect something special, unique, one of a kind, unusual, eclectic, handmade in America jewelry, gift, decor be sure to check out the shops on GoImagine.com and, of course, I’m always appreciative of your visits to my shops, as well.
If you have any questions about my shops, my items, or custom orders, please feel free to message me. You can contact me through the messaging options in each of my online shops.
Well, I haven’t unearthed the secret chemistry to convert base metals into gold…….
I am totally enjoying my newest endeavor……….
“Electroforming is a metal forming process that forms parts through electrodeposition on a model, known in the industry as a mandrel. … The mandrel is most often separated intact or dissolved away after forming, but occasionally (as in the case in decorative electroforming) left in place.” As so defined by Wikipedia
Don’t know how I stumbled across this cool process but glad I did. The internet is an amazing source of creative catalysts. While searching for something not even remotely associated with electroforming, or so I thought, a YouTube video caught my eye. Then one thing led to another and before I knew it I had purchased all of these gadgets and chemicals and protective gear and what nots……because I just HAD to give it a try.
Now mind you as I’ve grown older I’ve become much wiser (ha, ha, let’s say I have). And, had I known then what I know now I would have been a much more attentive student back in the day. Researching electroforming and finding all of the technical terms and formulations can be quite intimidating. Especially for someone like me who was always present but often bored during her high school years doing just enough to get by. Imagine if I had really applied myself. Oh, well, it’s never too late to improve, enhance, and grow in ways you might never have imagined.
Electroforming………..it’s complicated, it can be dangerous, it’s messy, it’s time consuming, it’s marvelously interesting and challenging and frustrating and enjoyable!
So, here are my first few pieces. Are they perfect? Hmmm, well, that’s a matter of opinion. I think they turned out awesome! I still have much to learn and a lot of hands on trial and error but each piece that comes to fruition is an amazing piece of self satisfaction and joyful accomplishment (pat self on back). Plus, they are so very cool!
What’s up next? Some falling leaves for autumn and whimsical deep sea creatures.
Huge Thank You for all of the YouTube videos on electroforming by Jason Welsh. I’ve learned SO MUCH from his videos. His style totally resonates with me. And, I did purchase his formulas for graphite paint and electroforming solution which has worked wonderfully for me. Still have much to learn but getting better bit by bit. Trial and error and then those AH HA! moments! That’s how I tango!
Well, that about sums up what I’ve been about for the past couple of months…….well, that along with creating new jewelry pieces, gardening, foraging, learning herbs, delving into homemade lotions and tinctures, and everyday needs and necessities.
There’s so much joy to be found in the journey of discovery and the sense of accomplishment with personal development and growth. Find Your Passion, Grow Your Wings, Get in Your Groove……… and, Wishing you a Beautiful Journey along the way!
Fall, Autumn……my most favorite time of year. The days get shorter, the sky takes on a different shade of blue, the leaves start falling; to me, things just seem to slow down a bit.
We’re in full harvest mode here at the farm. Picking corn and cutting beans.
Here in the Midwest the days are still long and hot. But, soon, the nights will take on a chill, the leaves will turn brilliant shades of colors, comfort foods will start simmering on the stove, sweaters, jackets and boots will come out of storage.
Are you ready for the changing season, too? Here are a few pieces I’ve created to spice up your fall wardrobe. The beautiful fall, autumn season will soon be upon us!
Been a while since I posted here but I’m still around! I’ve been in major creative mode these past few months! Just squeezing in the other necessary little things in life like cooking, cleaning, socializing in between. It’s what happens when you love what you do and you do what you love!
Lately, here’s what I’ve been up to.
Always on the hunt for cool, unique pieces to incorporate into my jewelry and gift designs…..
In touch with my creative hippie heart and gypsy soul…
Unique Big and Bold Statement Necklaces….
Long layered beaded necklaces…..
Spun a web or two to create some cool dream catchers….
Wrapped a few (okay, a lot of) beads….
And a little (okay, a lot of) hand polishing……
Tried out a new thing or two….
Packaging and shipping to some of my favorite customers throughout the USA….
Cleaned up my act……errrrrr straightened and reorganized my studio…..
A family function or two with this crazy, loveable bunch……
Somewhat redesigned my tea cup bundles (and made a few more)…..
Working on improving my social media skills with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter Posts…….
I love love love making these etched copper sun catchers. Each one has a story of some kind.
Here’s the story behind the “Life Is A Journey And The People We Meet Along The Way” sun catcher prisms I created.
You know those times when you meet someone for the first time and you later wonder if it was a one time chance meeting or maybe the meeting of your soulmate or a lasting true friendship.
I created this copper sun catcher after just one of those chance meetings during a weekend road trip Greg and I took to Galena, Illinois.
You haven’t been there? You should change that to haven’t been there “yet” and but it on your bucket list of places to visit. It is a quaint little river town in Northern Illinois with much to see and do. Historical. Cool, old buildings. Beautiful landscape and an awesome drive, especially in the fall. We’ve been to Galena a couple of times and always find something new to discover.
My photos don’t do the town justice! Just go there and see it for yourself.
So, here’s the story behind the creation of this sun catcher. On our last visit to Galena we stayed at the historic Desoto House Hotel. Lovely stay and I highly recommend. Our package deal offered a few cool amenities including tickets to the Galena Historical Society and a Galena Trolley Tour. (And, yes, I highly recommend both.)
We decided on the early morning trolley tour. We rose early, had breakfast at a local restaurant and took a stroll down the streets of Galena basking in the serenity of still quiet streets as the stores were not yet opened and the town not yet bustling with tourist activity.
As we strolled we absorbed the beauty of the morning, browsing in windows of quaint little shops and antique stores, and taking in the sights around us. We came upon one of the long stairways of Galena and I jokingly challenged Greg to a race up the steps.
There was a woman sitting on a bench who heard me make the challenge. She commented on the steps and started giving us a little history behind them. As we chatted with her the topic of the trolley popped up. She, too, had a ticket to ride. So, she joined us as we continued our stroll to the trolley station.
There she introduced herself to us as Katherine Walker, Executive Director of Tourism for Jo Daviess County. She also introduced us to a couple she had made previous arrangements to meet for the trolley tour; Phoebe Smith, from the United Kingdom, Editor for Wanderlust Magazine and, John, her photographer.
These two travel all over the WORLD experiencing and reporting on beautiful places to visit. Talk about an awesome career. They were in the United States traveling down the Mississippi River stopping to explore the river towns along the way. Very cool to have met them and have had the opportunity to chat with them. The article was set to be published sometime in the fall of 2017, if I recall correctly. I’m going to look into that. I’d love to see their article.
Anyway, we all boarded the trolley and enjoyed a great tour. Being early in the morning there weren’t many other passengers. A fabulous time to ride and be able to get great views from both sides of the trolley car.
After the tour, Katherine asked if we had dinner plans and invited us to join her. We were happy to accept. We made plans to meet later that evening at Fritz and Frites, a lovely European style restaurant.
During dinner we chatted about Galena and Jo Daviess County and how there was so much more to see in the surrounding areas. We also learned that Katherine was originally from Belleville, Illinois, my home town as well. Small world, right?
To me the evening was almost surreal as Katherine’s pleasant personality and easy conversation made us feel as if we had known her forever as she told us her stories about Galena and bits of her life. The night went by too quickly but it was certainly a night to remember.
Together, the three of us walked back to the hotel, said our goodbyes at the hotel lobby, and from there Katherine whet her way and we on ours.
Feeling a bit melancholy with our evening now at an end, I, as I am sometimes known to do, started spinning a story to Greg. Was Katherine real or perhaps a Galena ghost there to tout her beautiful city and to guide tourists? Was she a hotel ghost or did she walk the streets and climb the stairways? How was it she was sitting on that bench this morning and just happened to hear my comment about the stairs? And, she just happened to be going to the trolley, too? She was so easy to talk with, no uncomfortable pauses in the conversation at dinner with someone who was a complete strange. And, she was from Belleville? You know there is a ghost story linked with this hotel, do you think Katherine may be the ghost…..
Yes, that stay in Galena was pure magic. Of course traveling with my most awesome husband is always magical but this last trip to Galena was made even more mystical and intriguing by the kindness and interesting personality of a mere stranger who happened to cross our path that day.
Katherine had such an impact on me that I wanted to send her a thank you for hosting such a marvelous evening for us during our Galena stay. It was quite memorable.
And, that’s how I came to create these “Life Is A Journey and The People We Meet Along the Way” sun catchers. Because you never know who you might meet and how they may inspire you along your journey.
In conclusion, yes Katherine Walker is real. I searched on the internet to find an address so I could send her a thank you c/o the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Jo Daviess County. Truthfully, though, I was kind of hoping that I wouldn’t be able to find any information on her. That way my ghost theory could become my next best seller, or should I say my first best seller. And, then again I never know when my creative catalyst might just become a reality because of that one person I met along my way.
But, in all seriousness, I’m glad she is real because she is quite a lovely woman, a stranger who made an effort to become an acquaintance and share a moment in time with two very grateful people.
Life is a journey and the people we meet along the way. Always wander and wonder!
You can find some of the most unique items to create with on Etsy. So many cool shops offering unique bits of this or that to inspire your creative spirit. Or, if you’re not so creative minded at the time, plenty of shops offering beautiful and unique handmade items. If you haven’t tried Etsy.com, I highly recommend you check it out. Lots of vintage items, too.
As was the case with these small Tibetan Brass Bells I found on Etsy, at thisattic.etsy.com They were linked together on a strand of chain. I’ve had them in my stash for a while. I wanted to recreate them into prisms but wasn’t sure exactly how I wanted to go about this. They finally evolved into these lovely prism chimes. The bells have such a nice melody. I only have four of these. One each with red, blue, green, or gold crystal embellishments.
From a sheet of copper I cut the shape, file/sand, apply the design, then put it through an etching process. Clean it up, put it through a patina process, then give it either a spray of lacquer or coat of wax to help it maintain the patina finish. A few rustic wraps of copper wire, a colorful bead or two, and a large leaded crystal prism ball and it’s ready to hang. The back side has a black ink stamping and has a slight patina.
Hang it in a sunny spot and watch your room come alive with colorful rainbow prisms. A wonderful way to remind someone they are being thought of and loved.
So whimsical and fun. I have a number of different sayings and quotes available and a few listed at JudysTreehouse.etsy.com.
These make great gifts. Best friend, housewarming new neighbor, motivation, inspiration…….to name a few.
Custom orders are very much welcomed and appreciated. Turn around time is approximately one week from the time payment is received. Contact me here through e-mail or directly from my Etsy shop for details.