Tag Archives: agate jewelry

Setting Up Today

See you in Green Bay this weekend at Shopko Hall across from Lambeau Field: Sat 10-5 and Sunday 10-5

I will get to see Katie and Deb who will be helping me out… Thanks Ladies!!!!

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Rare and Gorgeous Casas Grande Agate.. These stones are a small fortune. I only have one left. Just amazing lavender color…. Hand made sterling chain, so heavy it’s a piece of beauty all by itself.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/225073673/sterling-casas-grade-agate-stone?ref=shop_home_active_6

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Eleanor wearing Casas Grande… It looks so nice on her and she is tiny… a very petite woman size 4.

IMG_2800Jasper Citrine Earrings… Crazy Style… sorry folks already sold… didn’t last five minutes online. I love these! Super fun to make so I will make some similar but not the same with all my little Jasper pairs….

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Grandmothers Keys… Solid Sterling Silver just finished several of each style.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/224867436/sterling-silver-skeleton-keys-hand-made?ref=shop_home_active_9

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Pin Drusy Cobaltocalcite

https://www.etsy.com/listing/216136930/pink-drusy-cobaltocalcite-stone-sterling?ref=shop_home_active_13

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Ocean Jasper, Agate, Turquoise, and Lapis Earrings

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Azurite…

https://www.etsy.com/listing/216137416/azurite-specimen-stone-sterling-silver?ref=shop_home_active_4

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5mm Gem Post Earrings: Pearl, Garnet and London Blue Topaz


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Jasper and Garnet Earrings ~ Less Crazy ~ Still Beautiful

https://www.etsy.com/listing/224043025/sterling-silver-jasper-and-garnet?ref=shop_home_active_14

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Going now to hook up my little trailer and work like a pack mule. See you soon I hope and wish me luck if you can’t make it to the show.

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Lots Going On… Not Sure I Can Even Cover It All…

It’s been a very busy winter so far which is great and always unexpected after Christmas. I have a lot news to share and it’s all over the place on the spectrum of news…. First off my job as a nurse is ending. The doctor I have worked for years is retiring. I am sad to see it end. I will miss him and his other nurse that I job share with. It’s been a great time, a great education and great work. I cannot thank them both enough for their friendship. We have one week left. I could still work as a nurse in the future but for now I will not be taking another position where I currently work. It is a tough thing for me to think about but I can always go back to it if I miss too much. Wish I could keep doing what I am doing now but that is not going to happen.

Ok, lets talk jewelry because I’ve been busy. Below is a necklace I made today. This was a challenge from another friend and metalsmith… to make a piece of jewelry from something you love… something non-jewelry, and incorporate it into the piece. Well, what could I love more than my daughter? This necklace is settings of her teeth and hair… Yeah, a bit creepy but it works and I love it. Her name is stamped on the back of the pendant.

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Got one of my crosses featured on a blog from a 5th Avenue Jeweler! Wow! Thanks! Check out this link. I had no idea who they were until they sent me a quick email letting me know and it’s pretty cool. So, thanks!!!!! This is the link ~ just scroll down past Lennie Kravitz a couple images and you will see my cross: http://karuschains.com/blogs/news/18707751-from-gold-chains-for-men-to-rosary-necklaces-and-everything-in-between-karus-chains-2015-ultimate-guide-to-men-s-neck-jewelry#crosses

Another huge thank you to Halstead Beads. They ordered one of my Sapphire bracelets and are going to have a pic of it in one of their new catalogs and I will be a featured artist. Thanks Halstead!!!! When the catalog comes out I will post some pics.

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This skull I have been working on for about 10 months. It’s solid sterling silver. It’s new addition and I can’t wait to show it off at my next art show…. which is in a couple of weeks. I have always loved skulls and now I can use this one as my leisure as it’s mine and solid sterling silver. I have made a ring and a necklace. Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/222016369/sterling-silver-skull-ring-handmade-wild?ref=shop_home_active_1

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Replace white gold prong on a ring and never removed any of the stones… Go Puk welder Go! I have not had a day yet that I was working in my studio and did not use my welder. It’s been an amazing part of work and repair.

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Made this necklace this week. Gorgeous agate and citrine… completely hand made chain. The stone was so odd… I cannot believe what a pretty piece it made from being such an odd thing… It is really, really pretty and feminine. Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/222897255/sterling-agate-stone-citrine-necklace?ref=shop_home_active_6

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This is a crazy lace agate necklace I recently made as well. The chain style I have never made before. It fits perfectly around the neck. I was not sure it would and I love it. Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/222019043/sterling-silver-necklace-fairburn-hills?ref=shop_home_active_18

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More images… all from this month. Above Ocean Jasper Bracelet that is completely riveted together, no solder. The clasp is laying in the palm of my hand and simply hooks to the loop. Link:https://www.etsy.com/listing/222333313/ocean-jasper-sterling-silver-bracelet?ref=shop_home_active_14

Other pics are of ‘Purple Heart’necklace, a custom order… and a necklace I made that is booth pendant and brooch…

The bridge: I often take pics of that bridge as it is basically in my backyard. It’s a pretty spot during all times of the year. (Maybe not today because it’s 12 below zero.)

The people, well, that is myself and Joan North ~ Hi Joan!!!! We are discussing something in during class at Peninsula School of Art. The catalog is out so take a peek. For my metalsmithing classes it’s best if you can take them consecutively. They should have been listed consecutively and they were not. So if you are just coming on Friday it will be a little tougher to catch up to speed but we will manage. It’s a great place to learn so take any classes there you can.

Couple weeks to Artigras show in Green Bay… March 7 & 8th at Shopko Hall next to Lambeau Field. It will be nice to do a show. It’s a get out of hibernation show… and maybe I will get to see KT 🙂 Still miss ya Kate. I have even more to share but I don’t have confirmed news on it yet..so it has to wait. Roni I hope you have shoveled out your house… East coast is getting the winter we had last year. I feel for ya! It looks awful. I will keep posting new things being made for the show. Check out new pics daily on instagram. #wildprairiesilver


One Week To Go….

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One week to go before it gets too late to be shipping anything for Christmas… (If I don’t make any sense, sorry. I am a little tired. I will rest in a week.) I have been shipping all over the world and it gets a little scary because someone’s gift usually arrives 8 weeks late…. really, that has happened (but only one time and it was far far away.) As soon as we decided to give up on it ~ it arrived. Christmas time is so busy my shop looks like a war zone. I have an extra table set up just for each project and it’s current stage… with lots and lots of notes. I usually make people write me some kinda note with all of their info on it and that somehow gives me a visual of them and what they want.

This ring was one of the Christmas projects. It was a 5mm diamond ring that was a customers great grandmothers. I used the 18k gold from the ring and diamond to create this ring…. I did not have a single piece of scrap left from the original ring…it’s all in here. I melted the gold down, milled it out and cut out the sun shape. The rest of the gold is the stars… Ring band and moon are sterling silver. Sterling band is oxidized. This is probably the prettiest ring I have ever made and it went to a great lady.

DSC_0002 DSC_0012 DSC_0008 18k gold diamond sun moon stars ring

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This is just beginning… no done yet and probably won’t get done in time for Christmas but maybe?

18k gold pendant

This stone is a favorite of mine. It is Vista Jasper. It has really pretty light blue, green and burnt orange colors all watercolored together. Accent stones are trillion cut london blue topaz and tourmaline. 18K Gold and Sterling Silver. With the exception of wedding rings this will probably be most expensive piece in materials I have ever made.

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What the heck is this? A black tourmaline trapped in a crystal… It’s great. I have another similar stone shown in the next picture but it is just not as refined as this stone. You cannot go surfing in this necklace though…it’s a needs a careful owner. Maggie ~ I know you are out there  and No, You Cannot Go Surfing In Your Jewelry.. I will find you at the beach and repair your jewelry for you.

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Another captured crystal necklace. I put an amethyst setting on top of it with the PUK welder… all stones in place. It’s amazing to be doing that from my stand point.

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Kyanite Necklaces… Made for Stocking Stuffers….a great little gift… Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/214949951/kyanite-stone-necklace-sterling-silver?ref=shop_home_active_6

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Last but not least a Rhodocrosite Ring… I did not list this on Etsy yet but will in a bit. It has a hammered adjustable band able to fit size 7-10

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Thank you to everyone for your continued business. I really appreciate it and love it. I will post a Merry Christmas post, but for now, off to bed. Gotta rest up.

If you would like to visit my online shop please visit: https://www.etsy.com/shop/joykruse?ref=listing-shop-header-item-count


Abundance….

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This past weekend I did an art show and there was not very many visitors in attendance…. I was pretty bummed on my way home to have been gone from 5am to 9pm, work hard with little to no reward. I could have been hiking a trail with my kids in the same location instead of manning my art show booth. Well, and then I got to thinking, ‘What a brat!’ I have had a lot of amazingly, surprisingly, unbelievable, successful shows. So, what is this one! that is not!???? They cannot all be stellar. And it was a beautiful day, in a beautiful place… I was with my children and several other really great artists that I actually got to get to know because we all had time on our hands and were free to chat. I got to eat at one of my son and I’s favorite restaurants on the way home, ‘Hot Tamales.’ When I got home I had a stack of orders waiting for me from good customers… So, I put away the loser attitude and chalked up show attendance to a festival in the neighboring town and called it a day. I don’t take a negative attitude too often and I’m not about to start. Then I got to thinking about how blessed I really am ~ great family, lots of great family that would come and get you out of jail no questions asked, great kids, healthy, great hubby, healthy, myself: healthy… I live in a cute, safe, sleepy town and out of my windows and driveway are picture perfect paintings of Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. How much more could have have? (Yet, I was whinning.) I have an abundance of love, joy, work, family, friends, dreams and goals. I am so very fortunate….

Here are some people’s emails that made my week to add to my feelings of abundance and that I am truly blessed to work with amazing people and make their vision become something precious that they hold ~ wear ~ and give as a loving gift.

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Tsunami Love Pendant ~Just opened it and I welled up with emotion and almost cried.
It is stunning and beautiful beyond what I can express at the moment!!!
I can not thank you enough for your talent and patience, Joy.
I will forever…Choose Joy!!
Much Love and peace,
Thom

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Custom matching wedding band ~Thank you for creating my perfect (to match my husband’s) engagement ring!  Not sure he shared the story about not having asked me to marry him.  He just, in a matter of fact sort of way in December ’74 said, “I suppose we should get married.”  We got married April 5, 1975 and exchanged simple gold rings.  A couple of years later he gave me a ruby ring (my birthstone) to go with the wedding ring.  Eventually we swapped out the wedding band for a ruby/diamond studded band and finally added a diamond wrap that goes around the ruby.
But, on 9/8/14 he took me for a walk on our favorite country path at dusk, got down on one knee, presented a cute little white box with a black bow and asked me, “If you had it to do all over again, would you marry me?  I’m asking you to marry me.”  I opened the box to find a smaller version of the fantastic ring we bought him this summer.  With tears in my eyes I said, “yes, yes I would.” I’ve been wearing my “engagement” ring ever since.  And it fits perfect!
Thank you.  I love the ring and I love my husband and all he has been for the last 42 years.  Sue~
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Thank you customers. I could not do what I do without you.
Ring shown at the top of the page is another fantastic customer named Jess from Canada. This will be her husbands wedding ring. I have made a custom spinner ring almost weekly for about two years. (Funny because when I made the first one I said, ‘Boy, I am never making one of those again… What a pain.’) I have made them several different ways: probably 8 different ways and I am sure there are more. This is just one way. I am going to try paste solder next time as I have never used that before and I think this might be a good application to try it on. It is an 18K gold spinner with the rest being sterling silver.

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Here’s the materials I used. Everything is 1mm thick/18G. Curved piece is the gold (also 1mm thick) and it’s stamped with a custom saying on it of customers choice. Do any hammering first. You can’t hammer a spinner later. The hammer blows will distort everything. Large wide strip will be the base band- wider the better. You trim the extra off later. Notice that one skinny strip is much longer and one skinny strip is the same as the wide one.

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Measure the band to the appropriate length for the size you prefer. Make one of the skinny bands the same length and solder the skinny band to the wider band (make sure it’s straight and it doesn’t have to be right on the edge) while they are both flat. Use hard solder for every possible step except the very last solder join.

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Make the band that spins (in this case the gold band) 2.75 sizes larger than what the actual ring size is suppose to be. Make the longer skinny band 2 sizes larger than what the actual ring size is suppose to be. Solder all rings together with hard solder.

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Clean all the rings up. File and grind off one end of the ring where the band is soldered on. Check that you don’t have any excess solder anywhere. That is very important so you don’t get the spinner soldered down to the base band of the main ring on accident.

Make sure spinning ring spins freely, for this the bands need to be perfectly round or they will get hung up somewhere. Check the thinner band for a tight, perfect fit. You are just checking things at this point so don’t force it on. You want to be able to remove the gold band.

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Paint any spinning rings with whiteout (sometimes you have multiple spinners). Cover every surface. This will act as a barrier just in case the spinning band wants to solder itself to the main band (like at solder seems).

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Put the last band on the ring and make sure it’s a tight fit. This is where the extra width comes in…Leave a lip of silver hanging out from the wide band. This way you are not trying to get it perfect on a band that is cut to perfect size. You have some space to fit the last band on to the ring and space for solder to flow.

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Soldering this last step is messy because the whiteout is burning off the spinner. Focus your flame on the extra lip of the ring that is hanging over so your solder flows outward not in towards the spinner band. Use a hot flame: get in and get out.

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Make sure the spinner spins…. yippee!!!!!! Spinning freely!!! Saw off the extra lip/edge.

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Saw, Grind, File & Polish

And sent to customer in Canada today 🙂 Happy Wedding Jess….     Link to ring: https://www.etsy.com/listing/205657496/18k-gold-sterling-silver-spinning-band?ref=shop_home_active_1

Moving on…

I have be ramping up for a show in Door Co. Oct 11 &12th. It is the Townline Fine Art Show at the Fineline Gallery in Ephraim WI. It’s busy. I can’t wait! I get to see Lissa Flemming from Silverwaves Jewelry in Bayfield Wisconsin and Tammy Rae, Tammy Rae Glass ~ we are all staying together so I am sure it will be all laughs all the time!!!!!!!! Again hope for good weather. We could freeze in Wisconsin in mid-October.

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Labradorite, sterling and 18K gold necklace

Link: https://www.etsy.com/listing/205487582/labradorite-stone-sterling-silver-18k?ref=shop_home_active_10

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Barite and Pearl…

https://www.etsy.com/listing/205488630/barite-pearl-sterling-silver-one-of-a?ref=shop_home_active_9

I hope you enjoyed the making of a spinner, and see you in Door County October 11 &12… It’s the busiest weekend of the year up there so if you are driving just for the day, leave early, start at the top of the peninsula and then make your way back. If you start at the bottom of the peninsula with your tourist travels you never get to the top… too much to see, too many festivals, too much traffic. No one is headed the opposite way… clear sailing… Go to the end and then turn around and enjoy meandering your way home.


ETSY Shop Class & Metalsmithing Class Great Success

IMG_2893Great week at Peninsula School of Art in Fish Creek Door Co. Two day class, ‘Lauching Your Etsy Shop,’ was a great success. It had in my mind a potential to bomb… I had to rely on technology hooking up to screens and wifi working for every student and students bringing their own computers/ipads: all different with all different programs on them for photos.

Hooray! It was fine. Everyone opened a shop. Everyone edited pics. Everyone made a banner. Everyone worked their way through the site and created listings, shop policy, shipping criteria, etc… It was fun to see every student get a way to sell their work. We all had different artistic backgrounds as well: painter, vintage collector, and jewelry.

Murphy’s Law…. second day of class: ETSY changes the format to about half of the sellers shop pages. ETSY had announced they were going to make some changes months ago and gradually launch the changes…. Ha!!!!!!! Tricks on me 🙂 Half of us had pages that looked very different from the other half…. essentially it was fine. Same content just different look and different icons. I just chucked at the irony that it took place mid-class. This class will be offered again next year. It will be two days from 9-1pm. Not sure on the dates yet. The time (9-1) was perfect because you can only stare at a computer so long.

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Wednesday Thursday Friday: Metalsmithing Class at the same school 

Peninsula School of Art Fish Creek Wisconsin Door County

What a great great great great time 🙂 I now feel have three new good friends. Thank you Joan, Kate and Terri. This is why I teach…. wonderful human connect with these three women. All of us coming from different backgrounds and all of us completely in tune to what we are there to learn: new ways to create with metal. It was one of the best classes I have ever taught. Super energy!

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Kate’s piece without the stone in it…. Hey teacher don’t eat in the studio 🙂 Yes, those are my grapes….

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Ocean Jasper… The back plate of this sterling silver was put through a rolling mill with dried corn husks ~ thanks Joan for bringing them and telling us how great it looks.

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This is Terri… She was in my class last year and was really ready to advance beyond where she felt she was stuck. She wanted to make a birch tree like piece… Well, she did and it was fantastic!

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Her necklace without the stone… it swings on the branch 😀 Love it Love it Love it. I would buy this from her if she would let me.

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This is a terrible photo but it shows Joans piece…. I wish the pic was better because it was stunning. The rough agate matched these pearls… The pearl components in the chain are double sided so the same cupped square is on the reverse side with a pearl in it. We made these component from scratch and yes, even the pearls have a little tiny post in them. There are five different tiny little soldering jobs to do in one component of that single pearl chain link. (You are awesome Joan and you did it!) When her chain moves around the pearls in the chain are never flipped the wrong way. It’s beautiful all the time. Oh, and Joan hand made every single jump ring in that chain, soldered them all, and hammered them all. By  Friday she was ready to not make any more chains but she knows now that she can…   🙂

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Pic off the the far left was just a piece that was just started in the last bit of class time…. we did not want to leave it out.

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A lot of students want to visit my studio. Well, I hate to tell you it’s just not that impressive. This is it. It’s like galley kitchen… narrow with countertop/benches on each side. I have another room with my larger equipment in it in the concrete walled part of our basement (rolling mill, hydraulic press, buffing motor, large anvil ~ this space is even less impressive, downright ugly.) This basement room has windows and it’s where I spend most of my time. But it’s not anything fancy and it’s not what I would call a ‘studio.’ It’s just the space that I have… I try to make it as inspiring as I can with goofy signs… etc…. I would love an inspiring studio separate from my house. I have often joked about this with my husband and tossed the idea around about building some kind of ‘workshop.’ After last winter I cannot image doing that. I cannot imagine heating and shoveling another building. It’s just not realistic in my head…  I would love to have the space to have another person work or students work or clients stop in… but I just don’t think it’s worth the winter time work with maintaining another building. If I had elves it would be doable….

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I have two torching station setups ~ with three torches connected to two propane/oxygen setups. One of them on the bench on the far left will be replaced with my new welder when I finally get it. I have plans to travel to Chicago to a jeweler who is going to spend a day teaching me how to use one. I plan to do that as soon as I can… I haven’t got a date yet. I wish it was today… I’m ready. If you are ready to purchase a torch, my setup is my favorite and I think I have used a lot of different torches and gas sources. I use the Little Smith Torch and the Smith Versa Torch. I have them setup on propane/oxygen tanks with a flashback arrestors and Y-Adaptors. The Little Smith Torch is tiny and very precise especially for gold work. The Versa Torch is my 90% of the time torch but mostly because my jewelry is so big…. That torch melts things fast… heavy ring shank… takes seconds to solder. When I use the schools’ Acetylene without oxygen torches I feel like it takes all day to solder something large, even with the largest tip on the torch. However, it’s just what I am use to. I know a lot of jewelers and they use either or, and seem to love whatever they are use to. It comes down to ‘heat’ … have you got it?? Is your flame hot enough? At home Terri is using a ‘CopperHead Torch’ with propane only. She stated in class there are several things she just cannot do because there is not enough fire power. Same with several hand held torches (butane or propane)… They are cheap and handy but often not versatile enough to do any job.

Terri is taking the picture so she’s not in the photo… Kate, Joan and myself 🙂 at Peninsula School of Art in the Metals Studio working/playing the day away….

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Next show is this Saturday Sept 27th at The Settlements Shops in Fish Creek Door County Wisconsin. It is 10-5 Saturday only… It’s small (only 20 artists) but nice and the Door Peninsula is starting to turn gorgeous with Fall colors.

Huge show after that is October 11th & 12th also in Door County. I will be at the Fine Line Gallery in Ephraim. The show is called ‘Townline Art Fair’ and has been running for almost 50 years. It’s a beautiful show. The Peninsula has several festivals that weekend. It is the busiest weekend of the year for tourism there…. Pumpkin Patch Festival draws 70,000 visitors if it’s good weather. Last year I sold out several items I always have in stock and it’s was raining. I won’t be able to believe the crowd it if it’s good weather…. New post soon with upcoming work. Have a great weekend!


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!


Custom Piece

Just finished this custom piece for a great lady far far away from me… She lives in sunny California and this pendant will be on it’s way to her tomorrow. The stones were the customers own stones.

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I will be heading to Bead and Button Jewelry Expo in Milwaukee Wisconsin at the end of this week. I was planning on a long weekend at the show but the stars might not align for me and a one day trip might be all I can escape for. My Grandmother is not doing well this week and it is day by day. My Grandmother is 90 years old and has Alzheimer’s. She lives with my Mother. Both wonderful woman, strong, stubborn, loyal and hard working  but my Grandmother’s good days have turned to just good moments (not even whole days) and every week I can see her fading more and more….

Hopefully the next time I post it is from Milwaukee but we will see what this week brings. …. Just wanted to leave you with one of my favorite sayings. It is so true.

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