Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Nancy and the LOVE!

My new friend Nancy asked me to set this bone from New Zealand for her this summer, and up until lately, I hadn't even had time to look at it. It is very sentimental to her, a gift from her son, so when it's bail snapped, she was devastated.....

It's funny how jewelry will do that to you. Make you sad, or glad, or bring you to tears....I love this about metal-work, and always have. I think it's the reason I really love it, why it clicks so much more for me than pen and paper, or paint and canvas....... It makes my heart sing to give someone a little bit of keepsake, a little bit of their story in form of stone and silver. Such a gratifying part of making something....and giving something.

The worst is over with my last few shifts at work, and I feel a huge rock being lifted from my shoulders....and Colorado is only a short week away. Fresh breath of air, here I come! (and I apologize for being such a wet blanket the past few posts, Life is good and when the creative juice runs's just time for a bit of change....and okay, it ain't all that bad. I love my life.)

Also, I am turning 27 on the 5th. and If you know me at all, I LOVE BIRTHDAYS. and not just mine. I love ALL birthdays. Any reason to celebrate life in general....just makes me giddy. I think all birthdays are a HUGE deal, and regardless of the sentiment of some people, ALL birthdays should be CELEBRATED!!! Wine, Food, and a good 'ol S A L E.

Since celebration is in order.....
I have decided to cheer on the big 2-7 with 20% off all of my stuff in my ETSY store right now. So if you have been waiting for a great time to spring on some keepsake for your soul, here's a great excuse!

Thru the 5th of September.

Much love, Erin.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Taking off for just 24 hours always does me the most amazing world of good.

Playing outside.

Cooking outside!

Everything in our breakfast burritos were from the garden, minus the eggs. How awesome!

My Men, so handsome.

The past few months have been really crazy, and really hard. Montana's summer is so short, and it is bittersweet that the nights start cooling off and the evening light is starting to change. But its nice, even at the end of August, to be reminded when we can get away, that I really am a very lucky person. I have a fabulous man in my life, and sometimes I think that's the only reason I am not entirely crazy. The summer has kicked my ass. I am tired. Sore. Burnt. My house and my studio is a disaster. My job drives me to the edge of my patience. I miss my family. I wish summer wasn't so short.

But also I have to remember, buck up buckaroo! I am moving in the right direction. Quitting my job is going to be hard, but so liberating..... I feel like my job is what a friend the other day referred to "herding cats", and that is how I feel in a nutshell. I have worked at the brewery for 3 years now, and I am absolutely fried. My attitude sucks. I am to the end of my "nice-rope" and I am afraid what that means exactly. I am not an angry person, but lately, that's not the case. Pissy i think is a good way of describing me lately. ick. not good. And aside from my piss-iness, I am also scared shitless about being unemployed. But I need to remember that being scared only leads to being brave. And really, I have been calling my leave a "sabbatical" because, every once in awhile, Artists need day jobs. It's not that I don't believe in Jewelry paying for my life, but it sure is nice to have a backup plan.

And as far as the summer kicking my butt, I think it has also given me some hope and motivation...that this Jewelry, my passion, my medium, really has potential to be a life-style, a fullfilling JOB. There is nothing I want more than to sit in my studio and work. And I am willing to make some sacrifices to make that happen. Doing shows this summer, and the markets, and picking up a few wholesale folks along the way, has been very empowering.

Empowering enough to quit my day job.

Uhhhh, so no what?
this is what I've got so far....

1. Go home.

2. See Family and love it.

3. Drive home, to Montana. and Jesse. and Tex. and my house, that could use some love.

4. Go to the STUDIO....AND MAKE STUFF. and don't come out until Christmas.

follow-thru is a bitch. ain't it.

Friday, August 26, 2011

empty pots

Summer's End. I killed all my Annual plants in pots on my front porch. Neglect.

The only ones that might make it are the geraniums.


Better luck next summer.

I feel a little bit like these pots. These crispy little plants I pulled out of these pots this morning. They are defeated. Sad. Hot. Burnt out.

I can't wait for the cooler part of summer, September.

I am traveling home to see my family. A much needed trip. I need my mama. She is my rock. My source of center. She always has a great treat in the fridge, iced tea in the afternoon, and lots of love to give. She's the kind of woman that would give you her shirt off her back if you needed it, if you were to ask for it. She is awesome. And, quite frankly, I miss the shit out of her. It's been too long since I went home last, and I am so excited to take the month of September to see everyone.

I also put in my notice at work.

which is daunting.

I have a good job. I like it. or I did.

Service jobs can do that to you. Burn you out.

It's not the people I work with, or the work I do really.

I honestly think its just time to step away for awhile.....and breathe.

Take care of myself. My crispy, wilty, little self.

I need some the form of family and travel.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Three Sisters

I had made a grande plan a few weeks ago, a great big and pretty ambitious plan, that I would finish a series of rings called THE THREE SISTERS.
They would be beautiful together, three pieces of Jasper, all with different personalities, but similar styles and color, they had to be sisters......But as I know, having a younger sister myself, that sisters DO NOT like to be the same! Each ring would have their own special personality, a little cut out underneath with their names according to their temperments and styles. They would all be individuals, and beautifully complimentary.

Then summer happened, farmer's markets piled up (and cleaned me out) and then I was panicked....not enough inventory to make a real impression.....and mostly not enough time to finish my sisters! I was so bummed...not bringing these stones to Bigfork together to me meant I was really unprepared, and they would never get to be together in a show. I had it in my romantic little head that they were, without eachother, just another set of rings.

I got a few great pieces of jasper from my stone man, Merlin. I have written about him before, and really he is the best......When I saw these stones, I needed them in rings....all of them.....and they really could be sisters....the funny thing is that they are all Jasper, in similar shades.

From left to right, Willow Creek Jasper, Cripple Creek Jasper, and Rocky Butte Jasper.

They would be GRACE, HARMONY, and GLORY.

Three sisters.

Or thats what I wanted.

So I started in on these projects, three big cabochon rings, a few days before my big show in Bigfork. And if any of you have done big shows, the last thing you want to be doing the day before one is starting a ring from scratch.....I was burnt out, and ready to have this show over before it even started. I tried, I hustled, and in the end, only GRACE and GLORY ended up in the show. HARMONY is still sitting on my desk, lonely and upset.

Sooooo, Bigfork went really well. I wasn't as unprepared as I had felt the night before, scrambling to finish these rings, putting the last finishing touches late into the night....I look back on it now and realize how ambitious this really was, and how crazy I was being, how borderline obsessive, thinking I was letting myself down by not finishing all three. But that's a Virgo for you folks, nothing is ever good enough. It was very important to me to have these rings all together, all sisters under the same house, all co-inciding peacefully. Little did I know, that is rarely how sisters work.

Needless to say, I came home with GLORY, who found herself in my ETSY shop today, GRACE found herself a home with a lovely woman I met in Bigfork, and HARMONY is still pretty pissed she isn't quite finished yet.

I swear I will finish her soon.

Three sisters.
Harmony, Grace, and Glory. Too bad they never got along together quite as I had planned.

The only one who was gracious enough to pose for pictures is Glory.....

To all the sisters out there, who are struggling to be individuals, who are trying their best to be patient, to be strong, to be kind, to be helpful and understanding....

who want nothing but the best for their siblings, and want mostly........ just to get along!

Monday, August 15, 2011

playing catch-up

Summertime in Montana is very short......almost makes me crazy how short our summer really is. June rains, July gets crazy busy, and August flies by. I can't even believe that this summer is nearly gone.....So I have been playing very hard, trying to cram in as much as possible before it starts snowing (and that sounds like an exaggeration, but we have had snow in August before, so I am hoping I can get through the month without seeing that blasted white stuff)

My girlfriends and I took the dogs to link lake the other day, four people and three dogs in the top-down 4-runner (gotta love that truck!) we almost got airlifted out by the amount of MOSQUITOS up there.....we got to the lake and could barely take it, those damn things chased us out of that alpine lake so fast it was almost funny. almost.

Good looking boys, Tank, Tex and Lamar (from left to right)

also went rock climbing this week with friends from work. I haven't been climbing in probably 10+ years.....a very fun (and humbling) experience....being up on rock is such a rush, and sooooo hard. My fingers are pretty sore, and my lats (i think those are the muscles that run over your shoulder blades and right behind your armpits? ) are sooore! Kinda nice remembering that it feels good to be physically challenged, something I have always enjoyed, and forget every once in awhile.....
It's easy to forget when you're sitting at a jeweler's bench for a lot of the summer....pumping out what should have been a year's stache worth of work. I have learned a lot about shows this summer, and a lot about what it is really going to take to make this a living. I need time. I need a show a month. I need creative space, and creative love. I need to quit my day job.

Annie on the rock face, much better than me...I am watching in the blue. Maybe I will go more, and get better.....she makes that look so easy!

Huckleberries and thimbleberries are out this week, and I intend on getting my year's supply, there's nothing better than huckleberry pancakes in the middle of bench and all those stones that need setting can wait!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bigfork arts Festival....success!

Bigfork this weekend was such a blast, Rag and Stone was a hit!

This is Christina, who makes the most gorgeous 8-fabric skirts....she was very fun to be next to for the weekend....I got lucky with some good neighbors....I also sat next to Ron Adamson, he's a sculptor and wood carver from Libby, MT. I didn't get a picture of him, but also good company for the weekend.....It's definitely the neighbors, the other vendors around you, that can make your weekend REALLY fun, or a drag. I definitely got lucky, good people. Good time.

My booth was a hit, everyone loves the trunks, it is an eye-catcher for folks, they comment on the trunks, and then realize there's pretty jewels ON the trunks.....I loved it, the feedback was so positive....I heard a lot of words like "refreshing" and "different" and "original", so those are always great things to hear. And lots of folks liked that my booth wasn't "overwhelming" with jewels, (I actually didn't have much to bring with me, so the sparse jewels work, people like the breathing room i think) so all in all a great first bigfork show.

so now it's back to the studio....I have lots of gaps to fill for the last stretch of farmer's markets.....and thank you everyone for your support this show....what a cool experience, a good one, and one I would like to do again next August.

Jesse took off for the Bob Marshall Wilderness today, lucky dog is paddling the gear boat for a volunteer crew through the woods this week....I would have loved to go, but that damn day job gets in the way! So I think I will gear up for a home-fluffing week, It's nice to have the house to myself, where I can rip down things, put things up, and paint! Bedroom is next.

Side note, GREAT lady starting a Jewelry blog, called JMWH Jewelry, who asked to feature my work from Etsy on that blog....So check it out!! Great idea....the blog is all about jewelry art and artists through Etsy......I have a feeling she is going to uncover a lot of great talent........Thank you so much Jennifer, how awesome!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Bigfork this weekend. Oh man. Big show.

Hoping I have all my "t"s crossed, my "i"s dotted....but I don't feel that way.....

I feel scattered. Everywhere. All over. Like a lightning storm.

no rain, just show.

I came home to presents. And that made me feel better....

A white tent, and pvc pipe. Another fold-ey table.....and a late-night errand.....

I love that man....he saves my ass all the time, and I barely lately have time to see it.

Everything runs together, all burry and smeared. I almost missed work today....

Time to slow down........soon I hope.

Thank you Jesse....You are my world.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

today's goodies

This baby is going with me to the farmer's market today, and if I come home with it, I will post it in my Etsy store tonight.

Also made another glass necklace, this one says T H R I V E. on the back. One of those words that just won't leave me alone lately. And this baby will join my turqouise ring in Etsy-land tonight too.

Off to the Farmer's Market......hope the weather holds....I could use some carrots....ours in the garden are coming a little slowly this season, and I hope I can get my hands on a ruby bar my friend janelle makes ( she runs this rad little gluten-free bakery out of her bead store in whitefish, soooo cute, and her stuff is deelish!)