Thursday, June 18, 2009

Going a bit gray...but otherwise well :)

The flight was not too bad. We were all able to sleep a little bit on the plane, which really is key to decreasing the effects of jet lag. Definitely not cake though...entertaining little ones for hours in a confined space requires having a lot of tricks up one's sleeves ;)

We were picked up in Copenhagen by our good friend and stayed at his house for the night. We had some wonderful, wonderful food and slept as much as possible My husband did the EXACT opposite, though, and payed for it dearly the next day...heeheehee. The next day we headed out right away towards Germany with my husband's mother, who flew in that morning to take the road trip with us. We then spent the night in Berlin and did some sightseeing the next day.

This is a picture of one of the remaining city gates into fact I think it is the last one. There used to be, I believe, 18 of them at one time. I'll have to double check that fact.

This next picture is of the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin. The blocks signify headstones in a graveyard, which are unmarked. It was eerily beautiful....

Next we drove into Poland and stayed one night on the border then drove to the port city of Gdansk. This place is wonderful. All of the gothic and renaissance architecture is beautifully preserved. I am in love with it is always such an exciting experience for me to be in these places that are the backdrops to these stories. When I first came to Europe I took soo many pictures of the cobblestone streets....I know, I know, I'm sure I looked like such a nerd :)

I look irritated....I may have been. My boys were such monkeys today!!!

So here is one of the main reasons we came to this city. Gdansk is known for its amber. After searching high and low, it looks like we have found a connection. There are hundreds of shops that sell beautiful amber jewelry and luckily one of the shop owners shared their contact. Below is a sample of some of the amber I bought.

We will look for some more in some of the smaller seaside towns here in Poland as well as Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

Below are a few more pics of the city....

You can see some of those amber shops along the streets below.

Baltic amber here seems to be what turquoise is to where I am from in the southwest.
Well we head out to Lithuania tomorrow....I'll post again soon!
See you in a few days....

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A bit of business...

This morning I shipped out all of my orders. Yesterday I made a custom turquoise ring to go along with my 'Memories of New Mexico' necklace and while making it I decided to make myself something as well. So I guess this is Happy Birthday to me....:)

This puppy goes well with my growing collection! (don't pay attention to the clash of sequins and turquoise...heeheehee)

Well my Etsy shop has wrapped up and closed for vacation. I decided yesterday that I had better close up a few days earlier because I definitely wanted the remaining two days to be focused on preparing to leave. There really is still so much to do. I have to cut all of my monkeys' hair (that includes Mr. Melnikov :), finish up packing, clean house, water plants, charge batteries, etc..... I'm afraid I may lose some plants while we are gone...but I guess that is to be expected. I hope the casualties will be low though!

I have been trying to make this blog post for an hour now....that's what happens when you have two crazy kids jumping all around you ;)

On a side note I have been really digging these guys lately....LOVE Such Great Heights. You all should see me when I'm working. I dance in my chair A LOT :)

See you in transit....

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


I am going to try something new...I am going to offer 15% off everything I currently have in inventory for Etsy shop owners and 10% off for all other buyers. It would be great to sell a few more pieces before I close the shop on Wednesday for my trip. Plus I would like to clear some inventory because when I get back I will be adding a LOT of new items.

I'm off to put this in my shop announcement!
Hope you all have a great day!!!

***EDIT***I changed the date from Friday to Wednesday of this week to close the shop. I edited the above paragraph to include this.

Monday, June 8, 2009


My shipment of stones decided to show up today. It was about time!! Irritating to have to rely on the schedule of others when you are on a strict timeline.

So I'll be in my workshop for the remainder of the week working on this custom order and also a few other pieces for gifts and myself ;)

Right now it is this time:
...and then off to work!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Fair time

Today was a full day. First of all we started our Saturday like many Saturdays...we made cups of coffee to go and set out to look for yard sales. I am VERY fond of going to yard sales and flea markets. It is a lot of fun finding hidden treasures...especially for such great prices. We have bought 99% of our boys' books from yard sales and they have roughly a thousand joke. I am very picky with what I buy because I have worked hard at de-cluttering our own house!! :) But, there are definitely great things that can be found.

After the 'yard-sale-ing' we came home for lunch and put the kids to bed, did some work around the house and then went to the 'Taste of Louisville' fair.

There were lots o'people around and it was pretty hot, but other than that it was a lot of fun. One of the things I love about the summertime is the abundance of outdoor fairs to visit.

I was also scoping out the area because I think that I would like to try setting up a booth for Labor Day weekend to sell my wares. I've never sold at a craft show or fair...I think I need to start though.

Off now for some tea and then to bed. We're trying to go to sleep earlier each day before our trip so we can try and minimize the impact of jet lag on all of us. Everytime I've gone to Europe I have been a useless lump for the first couple of days. We'll see if it works. I'm crossing fingers and toes!

Goodnight :)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Things that I want...

I thought I would share a few beautiful pieces from the 'favorites' section of my etsy shop. For those of you who do not know the process of 'hearting' someone on etsy, it basically is a mechanism for people to show their appreciation for an item that is publicly displayed for everyone to see. I have a growing list of favorites because like I have mentioned before, etsy has incredibly talented artisans.

Here is one dress that I love by innerevolution. I love the simplicity of her designs, yet they are very form flattering and sensual. I have to have this dress! Sometime soon I hope :)

Another favorite of mine is this pair of house slippers. I love to wear slippers at home and it would be nice if they were this stylish to boot! I would wear them out as well if I could!

I need to run off and have some evening tea with my parents right now...they are leaving in the morning to return to New Mexico.

They will be soo missed!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009


I had the most wonderful surprise yesterday...I started following a very cool blog recently because I loved the items she featured. I LOVE blogs on design! Well, she decided to include me in the 'shopping and treats' section of her site! That is such a HUGE compliment....I was on cloud nine the whole evening. Thank you so much Ennui!

I took a screenshot of her blog so it is hard to see my name fourth one down, but it's there :) Swing by her site when you have is lovely!

In other news, I have not yet mentioned here that I will be going on a huge trip in 9 days. My husband is Estonian and we will be visiting his family and friends there. For all of you who do not know where Estonia is, it is here:

My husband was born and raised in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. We met in college and now we are probably the first in history to have created Mexican-American/Estonian children! hahaha...probably not, but I'm sure there are not very many in the world!!

So we will be flying into Denmark first and stay with one of my husband's very good friends and his family (All of my husband's family is there). After that we will drive (thanks for the borrowed car Indrek and Signe!!) into Germany, through Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and then end up in Estonia. The drive should take just over a week and then we will be in Estonia for a week and a half. From Estonia we will fly back into Denmark and spend four days with our friends again to look around there more, as well as visit southern Sweden. Overall we will be gone for just under four weeks.

Here is our route:

One of the reasons we wanted to make the drive through these countries was not only because we wanted to visit (we love, LOVE to travel), but also to buy amber in the baltic countries (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia). They have the most AMAZING amber there. They come in the traditional amber color as well as a lighter yellow and also green.

So I will be buying stones while out there and I will introduce it into my shop when we get back at the beginning of next month. I will also be snapping a gazillion pictures for our personal albums as well as to sell. My shop will be closed during this duration, but I will be posting in my blog throughout my travels.

Here is an OLD picture of my husband and I in the old town of Tallinn, Estonia. This was six years ago...pre-children.

You'll hear this many times....I love Estonia. I am sooo excited to go back :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Pictures are a bit dark....but here they are. I made the blue/green Brazilian agate necklace for my mom and the Red River jasper is for my sister. They chose their own settings and then I made them matching earrings.

I thought I'd include a couple more pictures. I work on my laptop in two areas. One is downstairs in my workshop and the other is in our dining room. I tend to be in our dining area more because it is nice to have a change of scenery.

I am tucked away in the corner there....

Usually these windows are wide open and I can get the smells of the outdoors along with views of my plants and flowers. Coupling this with a cup of tea or coffee and playing, makes me a happy camper.
Goodnight ;)

p.s. Congratulations Bryce and Diana!


Here are a few pics of the necklaces that I am making for my mom and sister. I thought I would share some images of the pieces, mid-process. Below is a pic of the bezel wall, which is made of fine silver and holds the stone in place. Underneath is the 'baseplate' of sterling silver. I first soldered the bezel together and then I soldered the bezel to the baseplate.

I am very meticulous with each fabrication stage. I have learned what works best for me in creating a finished piece of high quality.

The baseplate underneath will be cut away until it is flush with the bezel wall and then I will solder the bails (the piece that connects to the necklace) to the whole piece. There are a lot of other things in between that I do, such as filing, and lastly everything is buffed.

One day I will make some videos of my process and post. I am always curious to see how other silversmiths perhaps some of you are as well ;)

For now I am off to have some afternoon coffee (this is my favorite blend of coffee in the world - the Adobe Morning Blend to be specific) and then I will finish the necklaces and post pics of them when I am done.


Monday, June 1, 2009


Music, artwork, twilight, good conversation, nature, vino, good food, a steaming cup of coffee or tea, rain in the summertime.....

The list is endless and hard to express. It lives inside of me and jumps out at any given time and it is absolutely amazing how overwhelming the feeling can be. It is really what I live for (these moments of beauty).

This is a song that I continuously play while working because it has such a strong effect on me. I can not tell you how much I love this song....

There may be a 15 second commercial at the beginning of the video.
I'll post more in the future :)