Wednesday, January 30, 2013


This morning, 
a little pick-me-up.
A fresh perspective.

Yesterday was a hard day.
Today will be better : )

Friday, January 25, 2013

Warrior #2

warrior ring #2 in a series of 12

~Crazy Lace Agate~
size 7.5


"Some of the greatest battles will be fought within the silent chambers of your own soul."

~Ezra Taft Benson



As this collection grows,
and my ideas cement themselves in silver and stone,
I feel grounded.
I feel strong.

I want the wearer of this piece to feel the same way.

Our battles are not so different,
our struggles come from a similar thread.
The distance from head to heart 
is sometimes incalculable.
and we struggle
between that distance.

Words unsaid.
futile thoughts for a strong woman.

So this piece is a stance,
a proud defense,
for all those lurking doubts.

A piece to defend you
from your own distances,
and the distances you find between others.
A piercing arrow into the *dark* 

Keep your head up,  brave warrior.
Your battle is mine, too.
We can fight this together.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Warrior Ring

Sterling silver.
Crazy Lace Agate...
At a Point.
On the Defense.

A hiding arrow...


some days
 it's nice to have an arrow in your quiver.

In the shop tonight.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I have officially fallen down the *new year's resolution* rabbit hole.

How is one to pick what ONE thing they want to change about their year,
how on earth could you just pick one thing?

what does BALANCE mean to you?

Friday, January 11, 2013

on procrastination and stone-in soldering

I think every artist
has that project...
the one that just sits.
lingers over you.
It breeds contention.

and in this case, gathers dust.

This is a post about procrastination.
and starting the new year right.
Mopping up my messes, so to say...

Usually, there's good reason why I stall.
I pump the brakes on projects a little out of my comfort zone,
or where the outcome is a little iffy.  
I don't like iffy.

This ring was just such a project.
I admit I've had it for over a year.

I have known what's gotta be done.
I have the skills to do it too.
Seldom used, dusty...
but I've done it before.

The ring is too big.

Jewelers will jump for joy if the ring is too small,
simple fix, not usually a big deal.
Metal is stretchable (to a point)
and is easier to move up a size.

But Smaller.  ah crap.
Smaller means fire, 
means cutting out a little chunk of metal,
and soldering the thing back together.

and today,
that's just what I did.

Not without consulting my school notes,
or biting my nails.
It's been a bit since the repair class.
and the sizing exercise.

my chart of hopefully correct math,
every size has a corresponding chunk
that gets chopped out. 

My chopping.
2.54 mm.
down one size.
Amazing how tiny the size of my removed piece, 
and how drastic it changes the ring.

Here's the ring on my soldering block.
I decided to solder it with the stone in place.
A sweet little sapphire, both heat and acid tolerant corundum.
(Here's a great article on corundum from Ganoskin.
ALWAYS DO YOUR RESEARCH when taking heat to stones...
Make sure you know what you're about to torch!)

and don't forget the handy chill gel!

I squished this funny gel stuff all around the stone to protect it from the heat.
Front and back.
packed on thick.

Here's a shot of the ring after soldering,
(not a great pic) but you'll see the gel hasn't all burnt up.
It is still protecting the little sapphire.
I have heard of other products that do the same thing as Chill-gel,
a heat-sink really is all you're looking for...
I know a professional who uses damp sandbox sand, and swears by it.
I like the chill gel 'cuz it's squishy and you can pack as much on as you need.

it'll shatter into a ka-jillion pieces.

Be patient.
let it cool on the block.
and if the stone is tolerant to pickle acid,
toss 'er on in.

I use a mild citric acid bath. not sparex.
mostly because it's a much kinder acid,
to the earth and to me.
More on that here.

Finish your seam nicely, 
check your size,
and VOILA!

a year of waiting, of dust collection
 hand-wringing and worry.
All wrapped up in a 2 hour afternoon.

Procrastination.  Staring me right in the face.

with yesterday." -Don Marquis 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

*for the record*

no shit.
that was my December.


  a mess of metal.  a set of callused and sore thumbs....
the sting dead from pride and excitement 
of a booming studio business.

I'd say R & S went through a fierce growth spurt.
a great first year.
a December I will never forget.


It's been 2 weeks since my departure from my studio.  Seeing my business through the busiest time of the season and then promptly peace-ing out to the holiday goodness and a home away from home was about the smartest thing I've done all year..... with family and friends to visit, my hometown to re-acquaint myself with, and a whole slough of babies to introduce myself to.  I have kept myself busy enough to feel needed, and relaxed enough to still call it a vacation.  I have gained fresh air and fresh many things.

The last month of 2012 was an ass-kicker, to my surprise and chagrin.  Business boomed, and I made...and made...and made....I made late at night, and early in the morning.  I made even if I bled.  I made even when my eyes were crossed.  Rag and Stone hit high-gear.  or overdrive.  or something like that.  


Now, Here's something I'll share.
and only because I should admit it here in text.
a small window.
into myself.

In the heat of the battle, I always find a way to bite off more than I can chew.


I don't know if it's a screwey sort of survivalists tactic, like adding more to my mountainous responsibilities will make me LESS insane, like another pile of work might add some perspective at the last minute.  I promise things.  I say yes.  I say no problem.  I say yes again.  I plan dinners to entertain when I should just chill.  I throw on extras in every direction....and then I throw a party on top of it all.  I push and pull and extend to the point where I can't do it anymore.  And so, I usually end up in a pile of my own tears.... a whimpering emotional rollercoaster, where even the sappiest and stupidest of country droll on the radio sends me into a teary-eyed spin. Every meal is my last, every dirty sock a war zone, a washing machine on the fritz a complete and utter ending of the world.  My mole hills turn into Mount Vesuvius.  My so-called-problems exponentially grow until I drown in them...whether or not they are ACTUAL REAL LIVE PROBLEMS or not.

I turn into a self-inflicted and over-saturated pile of goo. 

That being said. 

my little word for 2013.



I owe an inexplicable amount of thanks
to my Jesse.

Bless his heart,  he is always there to feed me, give me coffee, and tell me I am doing a good job.
even if I am not.
even if the goo is extra messy that day. and the mop is nowhere to be found.

This guy.  He deserves a solid round of applause.
and maybe a new mop.
because for sure, the old one is completely worn out and probably nowhere to be found....
now that I have taken my vocational blur to another state...
he probably hid it in hopes it wouldn't be needed for a little bit longer.

or at least till next christmas.

xoxo  Erin

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Home for the holidays....

In Colorado for the Holidays....
and I've acquired a new shadow....
meet Arley.

The meat-head lab.

Arley says "Happy New Year everyone!"

and "Throw the ball!"