Pretty Pairs

Holiday Preparations

I’ve been working hard to have a full jewelry shop by Thanksgiving and I’m also working toward the goal of creating enough beaded treasures to offer at the Winter Fine Arts and Crafts Show the first two weekends in December.

Earrings

Earrings make a good holiday gift, it seems to me.  What do you think? One size fits all and they are usually in most people’s comfort zone price-wise.  I’m still curious to get feedback from readers regarding their favorite type of jewelry gifts for the holidays.  Let me know your favorite colors as well.

 

Ceramic earrings with radiant green heart designs
Handmade Green Ceramic Heart Earrings with Sterling Silver Ear Wires

 

I bought these little green ceramic dangles when I was in La Conner last week,  Aren’t they cute!  I knew they’d make sassy little earrings!

 

Green swirl disc earrings
Green Glass Earrings with Circular Patterns and Gold Crystals

 

Staying with the theme of sassy and green….how do you like these?  Believe it or not, I got those two types of green beads at separate occasions, but when I saw them together, I knew it was a marriage made in heaven.  I love how the circular patterns echo each other.  Both the upper and the lower beads are very unusual–which is, of course, why I chose them!

 

Classic silver gray earrings with sterling silver ear wires
Silver Gray Shell Pearl, Mother of Pearl and Sterling Silver Earrings

 

These have been in the shop for about two weeks now.  What I like about this pair is how versatile they are.  They’ll go with everything and can be dressy or casual, depending on what you wear them with.  The silver sheen on the shell pearls is just gorgeous, too.  OK, do you want to see one last pair?

 

Black and Beige Lampwork Earrings with Hematite
Lampwork Earrings with Hematite, Crystals and Sterling Silver

 

I just made this pair last night.  The lampwork glass is by Jenelle Aubade of  Radiant Mind on Etsy.  These beads are so gorgeous, with tracings of onyx black glass over a sand colored slightly speckled surface.  I love these beads so much that I have them in three sizes, so be prepared to see more of them!  I paired them with hematite to make casual, chic earrings.

I hope you enjoy your weekend and don’t let errands eat up all your time.  Find some space for fun.  We’re going to an October Fest at a friend’s house.  Bottoms up!

 

Teal We Meet Again

A few weeks ago I bought a strand of glittering bronze crystal roundels.  Although they are dark in color, these babies really sparkle.  I was anxious to use them in a necklace.  Usually my design process starts with a cool focal bead and I create a necklace or bracelet that will show the focal off to the best advantage.  This necklace, however, started with those crystals.  I quickly decided to pair them with bronzed espresso-colored cubes and dark sage-green one-cut seed beads. It took me three tries before I discovered the right pendant to go with the necklace.  First I tried wire-wrapping a dichroic glass bead.  I wasn’t happy with the quality of my wire-wrapping, plus the bead looked lame in the necklace.  Then I tried a gold Venetian glass bead.  Nope.  Lastly, the one you see below:  teal with slightly raised bronze cross-hatching.  Perfect.

Bronze crystal necklace with teal colored lampwork pendantBronzed crystal necklace with teal lampwork pendantThat’s all for today–Teal we meet again!

Monday Meanderings: Snow Geese

{Monday Meanderings: Musings & Observations From Beyond the Bead Studio}

Art’s Alive Festival

On Saturday, my friend, Rose  and I headed about 125 miles north to the small waterfront  town of La Conner, WA to visit their 26th annual Art’s Alive Festival.    In past years, this festival has drawn about 2000 visitors to view art in about 17 different galleries in and near La Conner. Many of the galleries feature  regional artists demonstrating wood carving, watercolor painting, weaving or silk painting.  Rose and I got a lot of our Christmas shopping done–knowing our gifts will be delightfully unique and will support independent artists, not huge corporations.

storefront in La Conner, WA

Serendipity and Snow Geese!

Rose was driving and I had drifted off to sleep, (I am so not a morning person!).  We were about 20 minutes outside of La Conner, when suddenly Rose said, “Oh, look!”.  And there to the left of us was a huge field teaming with hundreds and hundreds of snow geese.  We joined other cars that had pulled off to the side of the road.  Serious birders and photographers had out their single lens reflex cameras with giant lenses attached.  I was just thrilled to have my new compact camera in my purse.  Some women told us the birds had just arrived about 15 minutes ago. It was an amazing sight.  The field, which turned out to be part of the Skagit Wildlife Area, was a sea of white.

A field of Snow Geese at the Skagit Wildlife Area Nov. 6, 2010

White snow geese near La Conner, WA

Back home, I did some research and learned that from November through March each year, thousands of Snow Geese come to western Washington to fatten themselves before the long Spring migration to northern Canada. The Skagit Valley (which includes La Conner) is a major wintering place for the snow geese.  The estuaries and moist farmlands provide the nutrition the birds need to survive the bitter arctic temperatures where they breed, and it is here where they find their mates.

Four flying snow geese near La Conner, WA

Quick Facts:

Here are some quick facts about snow geese (from Nature Photography):

  • Weight: Males – 6 lbs Females – 5.5  lbs
  • Average speed:  50 mph
  • Migration distance: 3,000 miles
  • Wing span: 35 inches
  • Diet:  shoots, roots, grass, bulbs, insects, berries, grains, aquatic plants and invertebrates
"Honk, honk!"



News Bits

Off To The Art Fair

Tomorrow I’m heading to La Connner, WA  with my friend, Rose, to check out their holiday Art Fair.  I’m not a participant in this fair, but you can be sure I’ve packed my new camera, in case I see any inspiring booth designs.  I’ve got my focus on my up-coming shows the first two weekends in Dec.  I’ll also be doing some Christmas shopping.  I firmly believe that unique artisan-made gifts are the most fun to give and receive!

New Job

Today I received word that I’ll be supervising student teachers for the University of Washington!  This will just be part-time work, so I’ll still have plenty of time to devote to my jewelry.  I’m truly excited to be able to mentor the next generation of teachers.  I feel very passionate about education, educational reform and the rights of impoverished students to have a stellar education.  I guess 4 months was about as long as  I could keep my fingers out of the pot!

New Jewelry

I just added this pretty bracelet to my shop today.  Its chock-a-block full of beady goodness: lampwork glass, faceted gemstones, Swarovski crystals, freshwater pearls and sterling silver.  Despite that long list, its light, feminine and lovely!  Don’t forget that everything in my shop that is $25 and above is now 15% off.  Just use the coupon code:  Grateful.

Bracelet of lampwork, amethyst, Swarovski crystal and sterling silver
Lampwork glass, faceted amethyst and blue lace agate, Swarovski crystal, sterling silver, freshwater pearls

15 Things I Am Thankful For

15% Off Coupon

I have so much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving and to celebrate I’m offering a 15% off coupon at:  Linda Landig Jewelry.  The coupon is in effect from today through Thanksgiving Day (11/25/10).  It is valid on all jewelry that is $25 and up.  Simply enter the coupon code grateful at check out and the cost will be adjusted to reflect the 15% off.

This is a perfect opportunity to get a head start on holiday shopping, knowing that you are offering your friends and family a gift that is as unique as they are.  Your gift will not look like something that came out of a big box store.  It will send a message that says, “You are special and you deserve a gift that is special too.”

 lampworked glass pendant with garnets, carnelain, Swarovski crystals

15 Things I Am Grateful For

  1. My family and friends. Their love, support, laughter and sharing are the center of my universe.  If you are reading this post and fall into this category:  thank you for you!
  2. A special sub-category of the above:  My new (and first) grandchild, Riley Landig – 6 months old.
  3. Another special sub-category:  My re-discovery of my childhood best friend, Lee Anne.  inseparable as young girls, we lost track of each  other as adults.  We reconnected through Facebook this year, discovered that we are both addicted to beads and that we still have a lot in common. 
  4. Retirement.  This is a new for me this year.  I’m lovin’ it!  No more waking up at the crack of dawn!
  5. Everyone who has shown an interest in my jewelry – those of you reading this blog, fans on Facebook, the wonderful people who visit LindaLandigJewelry
  6. A special group of artists that originally got to know one another through the website host, Art Span, and now connect daily through Facebook.  This group has given me a deeper appreciation of many art forms and has helped me have confidence in my own artistic voice.
  7. My much-loved dog, Chochi.
  8. Living near Puget Sound:  the water is always just moments away, as are breathtaking views of Mount Ranier.  There are lovely, deep evergreen woods, for walking in, that fill my soul with tranquility.
  9. My beads.  Having the time, space and urge to create.  The joyous  fulfillment this brings me. 
  10. Our trip to China and Korea this past August.
  11. My health.   I’m grateful for my mobility, for the strength I have and that I can do most of what I want to in my life.  When you have some chronic illnesses, as I do, you don’t take these simple pleasures for granted. 
  12. Adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care and safety.  We tend to take these things for granted, but many people, even in our own country, lack some or all of these things.
  13. The slow realization that I have something to offer as an artisan.  When I was a child, my mother painted and sculpted and my brother drew constantly.  My brother went on to do illustrations for several large newspapers and magazines.  He has illustrated children’s  books and has had paintings in galleries.   I always thought that the artistic “genes” lay in my mother and brother.  This discovery of my own artistic expression has been a revelation to me.  It is  hard to express the deep effect this has had on me. 
  14. Flowers.  I’m blessed with a husband who loves to garden (I don’t garden).  He has filled our yard with flowers in all the colors of the universe.  I love to walk through the garden and to gather armfuls of floral goodness to fill our home with beauty.
  15. Shared laughter.  I love plays on words, puns, dry wit.

What are some of the things you are grateful  for?

 

Monday Meanderings: Yummy Korea

{Monday  Meanderings:  Musings & Observations From Beyond the Bead Studio} 

Today I’m sharing a few more pictures from our Korean Cooking class, as well as describing some of the other gastronomical delights that await visitors to Korea.   

Korean Cooking Class

I went out to a so-called Chinese Buffet with my father today.  I say so-called because they served sushi, which is Japanese and they served two kinds of kimchi which is definitely Korean.  I love kimchi.  It’s practically calorie-free and it packs a wallop in the taste department, so I piled it on my plate today.  It’s expensive when you buy it in jars in the supermarket here, but it isn’t difficult to make.  Here’s my husband, my daughter and her boyfriend working together to make this delicious side dish.

Korean Cooking class
Preparing Kimchi
Finishing up making the Kimchi
All 4 of us smiling in anticipation of eating our kimchi

 Small Plates and Main Dishes

When you eat a meal in Korea, you can expect a main dish and then a large assortment of small dishes, which always includes 2 or more types of  kimchi.  There might also be sauted greens, bean sprouts, lotus root and small dried fishes. The variety of small dishes can be astounding.

Korean cooking includes many small dishes

Bulgogi and other Main Dishes

Bulgogi is marinated meat that is grilled, usually right at the table. You then wrap the cooked meat, some grilled garlic and maybe some green onions in a lettuce leaf  and eat it out of hand.  It is considered the national dish of Korea.  Before our trip to Korea, I thought it only came in two forms:  beef and pork.  I was so wrong!  We ate not only beef and pork bulgogi, but also chicken and even duck bulgogi.  It was always delicious!

preparing bulgogi at our table in Korea
A built-in fan at the table removes the smoke as your bulgogi is grilling.

My husband’s favorite Korean dish is Japchae.  This dish is consists of pasta that is made from sweet potato starch, which is topped with thinly sliced vegetables and a little meat.  You can easily find the special pasta in any asian food store in the states, but I haven’t been too successful in recreating the dish in my kitchen.

Japchae
Japchae

 

So, now I’d like to raise a glass in honor of the yummy cuisine of Korea!

Hot and tired in Korea -- need a beer break!