Monday, February 1, 2016

02.01.16 Leap Year

Well, he's one of those who knows that life is just a leap of faith
Spread your arms and hold your breath and always trust your cape.

- Guy Clark

Thinking about 2016 being a leap year made this refrain from the Guy Clark song "The Cape" start playing in my head.  This isn't the first time I've started a post with his lyrics - and it probably won't be the last, because he is one of my very favorite songwriters.

...and now I am going to leap into my second year as a blogger and a jewelry was one year ago this past weekend that I took my first class - and what a year it was!  Can't believe I'm a month into year two!

Since it's February, I'm going to focus on amethyst, this month's birthstone.  There are no February babies in my immediate family, but it's still one of my favorite stones.  The use of amethyst in jewelry dates back to ancient times - it has been found in both Egyptian and Greek artifacts.  It has great color and was once considered to be a "precious" stone, however, when large qualities were found to exist, it was downgraded.  The demotion to "semi-precious" makes it very affordable by comparison to many other colored gems.

It seems appropriate that the first piece of jewelry up for sale in my Etsy store (another "leap" this year) is an amethyst.  It's a large stone, and but I was able to purchase it at a good price - probably because it does have some visible inclusions.  However, it has great color, and seemed perfect for a statement piece.

After putting the heart on the back of my Fordite pendant, I decided that every piece of my jewelry would have a "story" cutout on the back.  I thought about this one for quite a while, and decided that I would call it the "Violet Crown"...a name used to describe the City of Austin since the late 1800s.  Also, because purple has often been used as the color of royalty, it would make a great gift for someone who should be treated like a queen!

I decided from the beginning that I was going to sell this pendant - I can't keep them all, as much as I'd like to - and I'm hoping it will find its way to a happy home some time this month.

I have another pair of emerald cut stones that belonged to my mom - from a pair of her earrings - that I do plan to keep.  I'm playing around with ideas for them right now.  One of the most important take aways from my fabrication classes and time working in the open studio (with an instructor always available) is that I can't just go to the bench and let the stones "speak to me".

Some people can do that - but I am (and have always been) a planner.  I want to make the most out of my studio time (which is expensive), and the best way to do that is to go in with both a design and work plan sketched out in my notebook.  I have a Pinterest board - Inspiration to Fabrication - where I've pinned both ideas and finished pieces.  If you scroll through I suspect you'll see the seeds of some of my work.  I also have a board devoted to amethysts, for those of you who ARE looking for February birthday inspiration.  

Whatever your take on this leap year - make the most of your extra day this month!

Until next time.

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