September 11th 2001

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September 11th 2001

~ I will never-never forget that day. My stomach hurts just thinking about it ~ 13 years later.  I was sitting on my living room floor watching Katie, Matt, Al and Ann on the Today Show. I was playing with my infant son on a blanket.  I don’t think I believed what I was seeing on the screen and neither did the news people themselves.  My husband was at the Denver Airport. Called him up, both of us, shocked. He left out of there in his own vehicle, thank God he had driven there to pick up his co-worker and had not been on a plane himself. My brother was downtown Chicago working for a company called ‘7’ in a huge high-rise building – the islamic offices in his building — nice. Myself or his wife could not get a hold of him. He was actually at The McCormick Center at a trade show for work. They evacuated downtown. He said he had never seen such mass exit and it was perfect and civil and amazing. He said the trains just kept coming and hauling people out. I’m tearing up thinking about it. I am not going to post too many pictures. You can look them up yourself. There is an endless stream of them, all striking, shocking, touching, horrible, unbelievable. I encourage you to do that.

Where were you? I am sure you remember.  If you care to comment and post your story of where you were please do.

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This is a photo of the memorial to the people who took down the plane themselves and sacrificed their own lives. Can you imagine?


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Endless waterfall at the 911 memorial ~ 2996 people lost their lives

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Keith and Corrine’s Wedding

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 Had the pleasure of attending a beautiful rustic wedding this weekend. I have known Corrine about 10 years… She had a wedding that was all Wild Prairie Silver style… What a great day! I made her jewelry for her, her husband Keith and her bridesmaids. She has a beautiful diamond engagement ring and I made a white gold comfort fit band to match it. Also Corrine and Keith had sterling bands made with sayings on them. His stating ‘Better Everyday’ on the outside on the inside: ‘Breathe Relax Love.’ Her ring stating Breathe Relax Love on the outside of the band with three little turquoise finishing the wording… Bridesmaids had turquoise earrings and red dresses.

While meeting with Corinne to drop off her jewelry she said that on the morning of her wedding she was going to go and help ‘set up’ at their house. I said, ‘Are you crazy? I’m not doing anything I’ll go and help. You get pretty and worry about your hair and don’t worry about setting up. Well, there was plenty of help, fantastic family and friends of both Keith and Corinne~ and it was a perfect day.

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These are pics of the setting up when we first got there. I had KT come since she is a marketing graduate and now getting her Events Coordinator certificate as well. I thought she might like to see the set up and help with flowers. Corrine grew her own flower supply… It was great to have fresh cut flowers right at your beck and call….

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Getting there… almost ready…. Corrine has a wonderful circle of family and friends all pitching in to get it done.

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It’s hard to see in this photo but the arbor has a ‘Z’ on the top for their new last name. The couple said their vows here in front of these doors.

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What the heck???? These are friends of the groom… They are just practicing with a branding iron that has the couples’ name and wedding date on it. When the couple was done saying their vows they branded a piece of finished wood to hang in their home. This board was just one practice run….

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I thought this was super cute because the cows came to the wedding too. They were curious ~ What’s all the fuss about?’

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Congrats to you both. A perfect day and met several wonderful people. A day to remember for many for years to come.


Happy Summer….

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Happy Summer Everyone… It’s coming to an end here in Wisconsin and I can’t even say it was hot yet. Photo above is in Wyoming ~ last summers road trip. Doesn’t it look wonderful. It’s almost fake looking and the photo is completely unedited.

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This is a customer’s painting. They have asked me to make a pendant from this drawing. Hee Hee Funtimes!!!!!!!! I will keep you posted on the progress as the design for it is ready to go and has customer approval. It should be really fun to make. Heart falling from the wave is going to be a garnet gemstone. Painting is titled: Tsunami Love

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And this is what you do when you are 13 after football practice…. Do you remember?????? I can barely remember summertime when I was 12 and 13 years old…. no job yet, great friends, old enough to be left to some of your own resources, no worries. My best friends were Amy and Shannon. We had a few summers that the three of us were inseparable. Great times, truly.

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A stormy Labor Day weekend… this is the Bay of Green Bay almost to the tip of Door Co. (which is the top of the thumb of the mitten in Wisconsin.) It’s beautiful year around and I really find myself fortunate to live so close I can enjoy it anytime I want to. This was on a hike in Peninsula State Park.

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My daughter…same hike… she’s looking more and more like me everyday. What a great kid.

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Labor Day Cookout: These pies are made by one of my sister in laws, Aunt Diane. They tasted even better…. really, awesome. I couldn’t bake to save my life. She brings pie at a moments notice. I don’t know how she does it? It would take me the entire weekend to make a pie.

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This is a terrible picture but these are two little gemstones that I had cut for me for a custom order. Thanks to Jewelry Point in New York… they had these to me in a few days. They are 5mm stones: Amethyst and Aquamarine… they are checker board faceted on both sides. I will set these in a setting that just holds them around the middle in 14k gold. They are for a ‘mother’s necklace’ so a few links will separate them and then a 14k gold chain, 16 inches for the rest of the necklace. Julie, the mom, can add more stones in the future if she has more children and from the sounds of it that could be a good possibility.

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Thanks for the great summer Wisconsin. We are heading into my favorite time of year… Fall. Sweaters ~ blue jeans ~ boots ~ warm sunsets ~ cool nights ~ enjoying the harvest ~  leaves changing ~ calm before the storm ~ winter can’t be as bad as last year, not possible, right?

(I will take a picture of the above trees when they are in full fall color, gorgeous… )


Artstreet Location….

ArtStreet… I will be in the same spot as last year… #143. I love it when they do that because I am easy to find. I am on the corner of Adams and Cherry right at the Art Raffle Tent. See ArtStreet Event link: http://www.mosaicartsinc.org/artstreet/index.php

Artstreet Artist Map 2014

I am cross eyed already from making, making, making but it will all be worth it after the weekend is over (unless it rains like crazy…) I am looking forward to seeing good friends, neighbors, other artists. Katie is helping me pull everything together today and we will probably call it an early day as if you make things in a rush it just does not work out.

Classes at Peninsula School of Art are a go! So I will be teaching “How To Launch An Etsy Shop” and “Telling A Story In Stone’ which is a traditional metalsmithing class. They are both the week of Sept 15th Monday-Friday. If you can go — go! Taking a workshop is always inspiring. Let me know if you need class info or check with PeninsulaSchoolofArt.org.

Earlier this week my family and I traveled to my Dads home in Florida where his wife Terry still lives. (My Dad passed away this spring.) She is moving soon and we went to help her pack and just visit before she moves. It was good to see her and my Dad’s Chocolate Lab, Hank… He eats everything he shouldn’t — like, shoes, toilet paper, boxes, belts, phones… He is only one year old so he is then energizer bunny and weighs 100 lbs. His tail is his smile and could almost knock you down-great to see them both. During our time there we went to Blue Springs State Park in Deland Florida. We had been there before and you can swim/snorkle in a natural spring that flows out into the ocean. It is a manatee refuge. It is like snorkeling in an aquarium. We were told that we would not see any manatees because it’s the wrong time of year. The last time we went we swam with a family of manatees and it was surreal to swim with adults and their babies in the wild.

Well…. my daughter and I were just snorkeling along and a huge shadow cruised beneath us! It was a single manatee and he/she was just gorgeous and huge… about the size of a cow. We slowly swam with he or she for several minutes and even carassed him – he feels like a prickly leather couch–like a wild boar with course hair, tough exterior… Great experience again to be completely in the wild and have a chance encounter with an endangered species – or protected species, not sure which. I chuckled at all the little kids getting on the airplane with their Micky Mouse hats from Disney World… I bet they did not have the amazing time we had — for almost free.

Below picture is 10 feet deep water: half fresh water and half salt… crystal clear to the bottom.

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People in floats, swimming and snorkeling the spring down to the mouth. My son sat on the bottom and saw a 6 foot Gar fish swim over him.

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We also visited the tallest light house in Florida built in late 1800’s. Great history behind this light house still in use, on the end of the strip in Daytona Beach Florida which is called Ponce Inlet. 1.5 million bricks, 8 feet thick walls at the bottom, 208 steps that men carried up gallons of kerosene by hand daily… has with stood a few hurricanes… The light in the lighthouse is now computerized and has an electric light but it use to be a kerosene lamp with a wick (imagine the wick-huge???) with a zillion magnifying lens surrounding it make the light bigger and brighter… That lamp is shown in the second photo. It was huge, made from brass and massive amounts of one inch or more  thick pieces of glass — I’m a museum junky — neat stuff. (I am such a geek, sorry about that.) Three men and their families maned the light house 24/7 for years on end. It took constant maintenance and care.

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This is the lens/lamp — it’s about 2 stories tall.

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Could not walk far enough out into the ocean to get a picture of the entire lighthouse – ocean is behind me and in front of me too  :-)

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New necklaces just finished today…. Both with hand made chains…both agates,  my favorites… The last necklace with amethysts as accents.

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If you are interested in either one of these necklace please send me an email at joykruse@yahoo.com

I won’t have time to post them online before the show starts tomorrow at 4pm. I hope to see you there and hope it doesn’t rain a lot this weekend. Heck of a way to make a living in the rain, outside, with beautiful hand made things… amen to all artists out there doing outdoor shows. It’s an adventure every time. See you soon. Maybe tomorrow? and wish me luck.

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ArtStreet Preview….

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Agate and Pearl Sterling Silver Necklace

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Ocean Jasper Handmade Teardrop Chain. I can’t tell you how good this necklace feels on… it’s smooth and weighty and beautiful.

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Crazy Lace Agate and Garnet Gemstones….

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Been working hard at my bench for ArtStreet. I have more pieces that these but won’t get the pics up before the show. Please visit: http://www.joykruse.etsy.com to see individual listings.

I’ve also had some family things going on that have needed my attention in far away places so it’s been a whirl wind of a month. ArtStreet always marks the last week of summer and that is hard to believe. I don’t want to believe it. I guess if I lived in an ‘endless summer’ I would tire of it….


Summer Pics, New Things, ArtStreet… soon….

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This is an old old old post office building near my home. It is on my neighbors property and it’s an interesting place… Once in a while in go here to take pictures. This time my daughter went with her metal detector. We didn’t find much as far as metal goes but it was fun and the it’s the thought that counts! It was an adventure.

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Our big find… Some old square nails and I do love to use these in my work so it was a successful hunt.

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Rhodocrosite Toggle Necklace… This pink stone is a favorite of mine along with Agua Nueva and Laguna Agate. It’s getting really hard to find nice stones though. Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/199563146/rhodocrosite-sterling-silver-necklace?

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Took a short trip to Waupaca Wisconsin and stayed on Spencer Lake at The Dragonfly Cottage. Here is the link to the cottage if you want to visit and stay… it was amazing: http://www.vrbo.com/396062

The water is obviously crystal clear and we learned to Kayak which I had never done and I thought I would not like it and I love it!!!!!!!!!!!! On the flip side we learned to mountain bike a beginner trail… I thought I would love it… I hated every minute of it and thought I was going to die smashing my head open on a rock. So, you never know until you try I guess. If you are a mountain biker my hat is off to you…wow, hard. Try out Hartman Creek State Park trails. They made them for mountain bikers and I am diffidently not cut out for the sport.

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This is about the average size fish we caught. Hee Hee… not such great fishing.

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Beautiful simple necklace made today… Roni if you are out there this would be a good one for you :-)

Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/199571069/tee-pee-canyon-agate-sterling-silver?ref=listing-shop-header-2

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Old Paddle Boat tour on the ‘Chain of Lakes’ in Waupaca….

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My Grandmother… she came for a day to the cottage and went on a boat ride. I thought she was a goner this spring so it’s nice to see her enjoy summer time with some strength. She will be 91 in a month. She spent the entire day on a pontoon, amazing.

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Our church was featured in this magazine which is pretty neat! I was shocked to see it as I read! I looked at the pictures and could not believe my eyes. What a surprise. Our church makes ‘Booyah’ which is similar to chicken soup and it’s a popular northern Wisconsin tradition.

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Winter is coming….start stacking. Before winter arrives though is ArtStreet in downtown Green Bay Wisconsin. It starts on Friday night Aug 22nd. When I know where my booth will be I will post it next week. They did not have an artist map for me yet. See you there I hope!


Big Thank You…Game Changer!

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I have been waiting to post this for a while because I wanted it to be closer to the time that I went to take the class but….. class is canceled.

What am I talking about? Earlier this year I repair a sterling silver antique brooch. It was pave set with pearls and a very beautiful, old, piece of jewelry. The woman did not have a lot of money for the repair and I made the brooch into a necklace. I was sad about this because it should have/could have been restored to it’s original state. So, I started reading about the new Micro TIG Welders that have recently advanced to have precision settings to repair things like this antique brooch… with all the stones intact. In the past theses tiny welders did not preform well with sterling silver and large laser welders are $15,000 and up… usually $25,000, ouch! Not realistic for a jewelry shop but these new smaller welders are $3500-$7000 – expensive but more realistic. You can repair prongs right over the stone, even an opal or emerald. You fabricate with the stone in place… this is just unbelievable (for me.)

I got to thinking about this antique pearl brooch…what a beauty and what a shame…. I want to be able to fix things like this. I want other people to be able use this technology  as well in their art as you can weld almost any dissimilar metals together… costume jewelry, aluminium, brass, pewter, steel, stainless steel…. whatever… There is such localized heat you can hold the objects in your fingertips while you do it. One jeweler I spoke with was welding near paper and welding jump rings together around plastic!

Sooooo…. I wrote up a grant proposal to my local Art group: ArtBeet. ArtBeet is for the development of Kewaunee County Artists. They have helped all kinds of artists in my county with all kinds of things, like travel to a class, etc…. Next I saw a class offered by SNAG (Society of North American Goldsmiths) for these welders. I thought, ‘Well if I can get some help…maybe????’

ARTBEET THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!! Artbeet approved my grant proposal. They are amazing. It’s going to cover about 1/3 of my costs and I just can not believe it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In my proposal I have to share with others how to use the machine. Peninsula School of Art is on board for that for next summer already.

I was not going to purchase a machine until I took the class offered by SNAG. The class is canceled. There are two machines: Orion and PUK4. They are both for jewelers and both neck and neck in price. Without the class I have a decision to make.

Hmmm…..

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I have spoken with both companies and jewelers who own one or the other…. I still have no solid ground to stand on to make a choice but I am not going to wait much longer…..

Thank you ArtBeet. I wouldn’t have been brave enough to tackle this without your faith and support. I can’t wait to get started! If you would like a professional view of this technology at work please visit this website: http://www.hermansilver.com


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