Golden Oldies

When designing jewelry one of my goals is to incorporate different textures and shapes into each piece.  Picture a bracelet with every other bead being a round turquoise and then a round gold bead, repeated over and over again.  Dull, huh?

This bracelet is new in my shop now.  I made it just before we left on our trip to China and Korea.  I especially love the vintage gold beads because of the interesting texture they bring to this bracelet. (People argue over a precise definition of vintage, but generally it means the bead is over 30 years old.)   The surface of these golden oldies is organic and wavy.  The smooth turquoise ceramic cubes contrast nicely with the bumpy, gold vintage glass and both of these beads pick up the colors in the focal bead.  I threw in some round yellow jade and some small, turquoise glass spacers for good measure.

Today is Monday and I’m wishing you a happy week!   Our daughter is returning home from her year in Korea, this evening.  She’ll be staying with us for a while, as she gets re-settled, so I know I will be having a happy week!

Autumn Colors

It’s getting dark a little earlier now.   Children (and teachers!) are heading back to school.  Time to pull your autumn wardrobe out of the closet; giving some thought to how you might update your look.  Most of us can’t afford to purchase a whole new wardrobe every fall, but jewelry can be a great way to breathe new life into last year’s outfits.

The Pantone Color Institute is the arbitrator of fashion color.  According to Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “Mindful of consumers’ need for practicality, plus their desire for newness, designers offer many options for women to extend and embellish their wardrobes this fall”.  Jewelry is a perfect way to extend and embellish the outfits you already have hanging in your closet, as well as the new pieces you add.  Below are the colors picked by Pantone for fall.

(from upper left) endive, golden glow, living coral, lipstick red, purple orchid, chocolate truffle, lagoon, woodbine, oyster gray, rose dust

All of the colors of this palette blend beautifully together and whether you follow all the fashion trends or not, this color chart can encourage you to use or add color combinations that you might not have thought of otherwise.

Buri seed, wood and jasper necklace

This casual necklace from my Pura Vida Casuals line, beautifully combines some of the hottest colors for fall.  The fun, wavy shaped Buri seeds are woodbine green on top and black on the bottom.  They are combined with ovals of wood in chocolate truffle with a faint hint of purple orchid.  The purple orchid color is picked up again in the jasper rounds and small glass rounds.  The necklace is finished with a pretty gold floral button clasp.

carved chalk turquoise, faceted agate, freshwater pearls

This piece, from my Gemstone Necklace Collection, is one of my personal favorites.  It is a rich combination of shining chocolate truffle and lagoon finished with an especially lovely sterling silver spiral hook and eye clasp.

lampworked pendant, faceted freshwater pearls, golden rutilated quartz

This subtle beauty must be seen to be appreciated.  The handmade glass pendant incorporates several tones of chocolate truffle with oyster gray and cream.  The quartz has rutiles (needle-like inclusions) in gorgeous golden glow.

So, let the fun begin!  How are you updating your fall wardrobe?  New clothes, jewelry, scarves?  Share your updates in the comments section  below!

Great Wall of China

On our second full day in Beijing we attempted to go see the Great Wall of China.  The operative word here is attempted.  We never could find the bus connection.  After further research, we tried again the next day.  We found the bus alright!  The line for the bus snaked across a freeway overpass, down two flights of stairs and several blocks along a sidewalk!  We waited in line for 50 minutes in 90 degree F. weather with about 90% humidity.  All along the que vendors were hawking cold water, corn on the cob, ice cream and snacks.  A lucrative business, no doubt.  Once we got to the wall, we had to wait in line again to get tickets, this time only for about 20 minutes.

What you quickly realize is that the bus does not exactly stop at the base of the Great Wall.  You still have to climb quite a ways up hill.  Eventually you reach a tram-like affair which pulls you quite a ways further up.  After disembarking, you climb a bit further in the 90 degree weather and, drenched in perspiration, you finally arrive!  For a 50 something lady in poor shape and dubious health, it was an arduous trek, but if you look at the pictures, you’ll see hundreds of people walking much further, all along the wall. I spoke with a lady, at our hostel, who, the day before, had hiked 10 km along the wall, and she was my age too!

Between the heat, humidity and climb, I felt victorious to have just arrived at the start of this section of the wall.  I didn’t go much further, but once again, I was moved to tears at the sight of the wall stretching out before me, humbled that I could actually be standing there.  There’s always something inside me that says, “Who am I to be having these amazing adventures?”  I’ll never take it for granted.  I am so grateful.

(all photos by Hans J. Landig, copyright 8/10)

Forbidden

I just returned from an amazing week in China and a week in Korea, visiting my daughter and her boyfriend who are teaching English there.  I’d like to share some photos with you over the next few weeks.

Entrance to the Forbidden City

Our first stop was at the Forbidden City.  According to China Highlights,  ” The Forbidden City, situated in the very heart of Beijing, was home to 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The construction of the grand palace started in the fourth year of Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty (1406), and ended in 1420. In ancient times, the emperor claimed to be the son of Heaven, and therefore Heaven’s supreme power was bestowed upon him. The emperors’ residence on earth was built as a replica of the Purple Palace where God was thought to live in Heaven. Such a divine place was certainly forbidden to ordinary people and that is why the Forbidden City is so named.”

It’s hard to comprehend the sheer size of the place.  It goes for several miles and consists of over 90 buildings, not all of which are open to the public.  When I stepped into the first plaza, surrounded by palace buildings on all sides, tears came to my eyes.  As a child I always dreamed of traveling.  When those dreams come true, it is with a profound sense of wonderment and awe.

Roofs point upwards, toward heaven.

Rooflines

Everywhere we went in Beijing was packed with crowds.  The mass of humanity and the humidity were a little overwhelming, but eventually we found a covered pavilion, near the garden of the Forbidden City,  where I paused to sit on a bench in the shade and do some people watching.

Bronze Basin

Fire, in the Forbidden City, was always a problem (due to lightning strikes or arson), so there are many huge brass basins, used to collect rain water for use in case of fire.

(all photos by Hans J. Landig, copyright 8/10)

Next up:  The Great Wall of China!

2010 Summer Fine Arts and Crafts Show

I had a great time at the 2010 Fine Arts and Crafts Show last weekend.  It was fun talking with the shoppers and I truly appreciated all my friends and family members who visited the show!  Especially enriching for me were the conversations I had with my fellow artists in the show.

My new booth set-up.

Rosalind Phillips of Photo Elegance generously shared her helpful insights on marketing for a show of this type.  She has traveled around the world photographing animals in their natural environments.  A friend of mine bought one of Rosalind’s  framed photographs.  The photo, of a scarlet flicker in a tree, now hangs in my friend’s front entryway.  Robert Harju, Cowlitz Indian Tribal Carver, had the booth directly opposite of mine.  It was a pleasure to view his incredible carved feathers and masks all weekend.  If I had just won the lottery, I would have walked home with one of those masks in a heartbeat!

My booth at the 2010 Fine Arts and Craft Show

There were a couple of young artists at the show whose work impressed me, also.  Morgan Bajardi, Fabric Artist, had the booth next to Robert’s.  She mostly brought screen printed shirts with her to the show, but she had created a portfolio book that told a whole different story of a young woman with immense talent in designing woven fabrics.  Keep an eye on this one:  she could go far!  Also working in fabrics, but as different as night and day, was Christine Malek.  Christine has a creative impulse over-flowing with whimsy.  She designs stuffed animals and amazingly fanciful hats.  All weekend long I was wishing that my baby grandson was old enough to enjoy one of her creations.

There is another Fine Arts and Crafts Show in November.   I’m hoping that I can jury into that one too.   I’m amazed at the amount of talent in the Olympia area.  It was very energizing to have been a part of this group for the weekend.

Linda at the Fine Arts and Crafts Show