Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Studio Transformation!

Well, FINALLY!  My studio got some LOVE this last week or so.  Of course, the project took on a life of it's own, and was a bit more time consuming than I first thought - but I don't even care anymore!  I am loving how it turned out.  There are still a few things to do, but there always will be...

So, the first photo is the "Before".  I had already started to take some things out of the room before I took photos, so this isn't even the messiest :).

And, now, the AFTER!

So much more storage!  So much more light!  So much more inpiring!  My favorite part is probably my white concrete floor.  I had hideous beige carpet that just didn't seem appropriate for a studio, so since I didn't have a budget for a new floor, I just threw some white paint on the concrete that was under the carpet.  Not perfect, but great for the interim.  Plus, white floors are so cool.

Here are a few more photos...



Friday, May 15, 2009


Well, I finished my first painting of my orange series.  I love it. The other one I'm working on isn't working out as well, so I'm glad I like this one. So bright and cheery! I'm not sure where to put it though! In our living area, this is really the only spot to put a painting, but it needs a BIG painting and looks a little naked with the white birds.  And, I really don't feel like putting more holes in the wall. Since my husband is probably the only person who reads this darn blog (and is out of town, so hasn't seen my painting yet), I will just ask him which he likes better...before or after, honey? 

Monday, May 11, 2009

The best pizza dough!

So, besides jewelry, my next love is definitely food.  Eating it mostly, but making it is awfully fun too.  I spent about 5 weeks in Italy when I was in my early 20's and developed a true love for pizza.  And I mean pizza neapolitan style, not like delivered from a teenager.  Light, chewy crust.  Yum.  Anyway, I have a pretty darn good recipe to get that authentic crust.  I'll tell you right now that cake flour is the secret ingredient.


1 teaspoon active dry yeast

1 1/4 cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees F)

1 cup cake flour (not self rising)

2 1/2 to 3 cups all purpose flour (you can sub a cup or so of whole wheat if you don't want all the processed stuff)

2 teaspoons salt

Olive oil for the bowl


Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let stand for 1 minute, until the yeast dissolves.

In a large bowl, or in your Kitchen Aid, combine the cake flour, 2 1/2 cups of the all purpose flour, and the salt. Add the yeast mixture and stir until a soft dough forms and knead for about 10 minutes.

Lightly coat another large bowl with oil. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to oil the top. Cover and place in a warm, draft free place and let rise about 1 1/2 hours.

Flatten the dough with your fist. Cut the dough into 2 to 4 pieces and shape the pieces into balls. You can go ahead and make your pizzas now, if you are impatient like me or you can let the dough rise another time for 60-90 minutes. 

Thirty minutes before baking the pizzas, place a baking stone  on a rack in the lowest level of the oven. Turn on the oven to the maximum temperature, 500 to 550 degrees F.

Shape and bake pizzas in desired fashion.  

So good!  We make pizza about once a week, but lately I've been making Carta De Musica - which is basically a salad on top of a pizza crust.  Now, I'm no food stylist, but isn't this pretty??!!  All vegies from my garden.  Use 1/2 the dough recipe above to make one of these guys.  First, add some fresh rosemary, a little olive oil, and crushed red pepper to the dough and bake it for about 12 minutes on 500 (or until golden brown), then top it with this yummy salad:

1 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel

1 cups baby arugula

1 cups baby spinach leaves

1 cups mixed baby greens

4 baby carrots, trimmed, peeled, thinly sliced lengthwise

4 Easter Egg radishes or breakfast radishes, trimmed, thinly sliced

1/2 cups stemmed edible flowers (such as pansies, violas, calendula, or marigolds)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Oxidizing silver

Well, for most jewelers oxidizing is probably something they've been doing forever.  For me, I just started.  And, yes, another obsession.  I can't get away from it!  I love it!  I especially love mixing it with gold.  Oh, so pretty.  I'm still in the experimentation phase.  I've been using liver of sulfur, which is pretty gross, but I've been doing a ton of production work for couple boutiques in town and have been making a TON of jewelry, so the more environmentally friendly version of oxidizing with a hard boiled egg just isn't happening.

But, anyway, I've learned a bit about how to get the really black, black color (just add a touch more liver of sulphur and leave it in your hot water until you get the right color).  To get that steel grey color, I use a bit less and then I take it out when the silver actually looks like an oil slick -  you know that rainbow-y kind of look.  It's scary!  But, if you polish it up with a silver polish cloth, you get that nice steel grey color.  Don't forget to check out my Etsy Shop for more examples!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Spring Painting Inspiration!

I've been taking this painting class for the last couple years.  You are probably thinking, "class?... for a couple years? ...maybe painting isn't your thing..."  But, it's not like that!  It's really like studio time where I get to paint in a REAL artist's studio with lots of fun people, unlimited paint and supplies and ask questions...lots of questions.  Anyway, I haven't been going since this fall and am finally back!
I had been a bit obsessed (there's that word again - I think you will see it a lot) with wintery scenes, birds, dark trees, etc...so my house is filled with paintings like this. 

But, now it's SPRING and I want bright, fun, happy colors!  So, I have a color palette that is in my head and I'm hoping to do some fun things with it.   
LOTS of orange and white with some grey and a watery blue accents.  I still don't think I can get away from trees and birds quite yet, but I'm definitely ready for some happier trees and color.  So, of course my teacher, Mark, tells me that orange is the most expensive color to make - so he was literally about to have a heart attack when I told him how much I wanted - I wanted A LOT.  He-he.  He'll be OK.  

Here's a bit about Mark.  

Maybe I'll talk about jewelry soon :)...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Starting a blog today!

Well, here it goes.  I'm starting a blog.  Normally, I'm not the type to be so out there, but I feel like I should keep up with the times and promote my jewelry designs and hopefully talk about some interesting things that are on my mind.  Lately, I've been a little bit vegetable garden obsessed.  I've never had a vegetable garden before and this year I decided to go all out and learn all I could about organic, urban gardening.  I have to say it's fascinating and there truly is no better feeling than picking fresh vegies from your very own garden.  I'll post some photos soon. but, first, let me get used to this blog thing.

The other thing I'm obsessing over lately is my studio.  First of all, it's a disaster, but lastly it's totally uninspiring.  When we moved in to this house, we pulled carpet, painted, redid floors, redid stairs, railings...you get the idea.  My studio was the last room and it got NO LOVE.  I'm looking for studio inspirations right now and can hardly wait to get going.

More soon, just wanted to get that first post out there.  Phew, done.  Can cross that off my list.