"The Cream Puff"

"The Cream Puff"
"The Cream Puff" was shown by request @ Liberty Art Gallery, Long Beach Ca. April '12

Sunday, January 13, 2013

So Long & Thanks for the Memories.....& Solar Flare Blog Hop

So bare with me as I take you on a twisty turny ride and explain how it's all connected.  Sam Spiegel @ Ultimate Supplies (http://www.facebook.com/ultimatesuppliespage) hosted this "Solar Flare Blog hop" a while back. The challenge was to create something inspired by this incredible photo of an amazing sunset. Most likely taken during one of those solar bursts our Sun has been making a name for itself with lately. You can almost see the energy in the photo it's so intense.
     I LOVE COLOR! So this sunset, WOW! How could I not be inspired. I totally dove in head first with my project,right.

"Bright colors in the west, giant butterflies dancing while the night crept like a cripple towards the east."                                                                                  
                                                                 - Robert Bolano
"Soon it got dusk, a grapy dusk, a purple dusk over tangerine groves and long melon fields; the sun the color of pressed grapes, slashed with burgundy red, the fields the color of love and Spanish mysteries."    -Jack Kerouac, "On The Road"

    Now, I am not known for doing things simple. This project was no different than any other........

   One of my new things is trying to embed my work with intention. To ensure that what I send out into the world is beautiful and positive. I've acquired an alphabet stamp set, and I'm using bits of poetry in my copper work. Off I go to look for sunset poetry. I found a few that spoke to me. The Jack Kerouac line above from "On The Road" was one of my favorites from the novel. I've never heard a color more passionately described than that. It just makes me salivate. The lines below, by Anne Akhmatova, move my soul. 

"The air is heady, like wine,
And the rosy body of the pines
Is naked in the sunset hour.
And the sunset itself on such waves of ether
That I just can't comprehend
Whether it is the end of the day, the end of the world,
Or the mystery of mysteries in me again.” 
 Anna Akhmatova 

Yet none of these phrases were the perfect fit............ 
   On another front, I have been toying with, for a little while now, the idea of a hammered copper necklace in the shape of a sun.  So that's where I started with this. I shaped a corona out of 8 gauge copper wire and began hammering. As I worked it became clear that my piece was going to spread out far too wide to be a necklace, so plan B........I turned it into a tiara, because every girl needs one, right ; )  . I titled it "CROWN OF CREATION",  after one of my favorite Jefferson Airplane songs  (listen here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOrb0G0tw08 ) and in that moment I knew exactly what quote to use. So for my purposes, this sunset has become a sunrise. I've had this one inspirational quote stored in the back of my mind for many, many years waiting for the perfect home. 

     Not only am I making a crown for the first time, I picked up a 44 carat Madeira Citrine gemstone to represent the sun. I've never set a gemstone before. I diligently work away at this thing for well over a month leading up to the hop and as I go the project grows and developes a life of it's own. It's coming along , but I'm really pushing it to make my deadline, and then the universe starts throwing hurdles at me........in bed with the flue.....key board dies......working double shifts......."Frankenstorm" wipes out your dial up internet connection for a week......etc. I think that the universe is testing me on times like these. To see what I'm made of. Most of the time I'm tough and muddle through the rough spots. But this once, it really knocked me for a loop. The final blow was the news of my aunts passing, early on the morning of the Solar Flare blog hop reveal. sigh....
    So I would like to make a very public apology to Sam Spiegel of Ultimate Supplies for being a terrible party guest. Fashionably late is one thing, bit I missed the party completely : (  and for that I am very sorry.
    After that things just sort of took off. You know how the holidays are.  I did 3 shows this season, in addition to the fact that my real world job is at a holiday pie and feast restaurant. This is the busiest time of year all around. And the longer it took to get my piece finished and get it posted.........well, it became a bit of an embarrassment. (slinking away and hiding in shame..... its'now been almost 6 months since my last post.)

    Now along comes Lori Anderson in this story. It's right about the same time that she starts this "Memories and Thanks Blog Hop" to honor her friend Marianna. Of course it seems only fitting that I should make a tribute to my aunt, and that's how we end up here. 
     Now knowing my aunt, and her life, my quote ...."I shall be a dawn, made of all the air I ever breathed".... took on new layers of meaning as I worked on it. 
   She was my favorite aunt (which probably isn't really fair to say of my other aunts. It was a matter of proximately). She lived near by, so we saw a lot of her, and she had some impact on my upbringing. Shirley was the wife of my father's twin brother. We would spend a lot of birthdays and holidays together. Everybody had a birthday in the summer. I remember great big family gatherings with everybody's cousin , uncle, ex and new spouse. We were the ultimate nuclear family before anybody ever heard the term. Pool parties in their back yard with 6 foot subs, or BBQ'd hot dogs and giant sheet cakes with 20 names on them. Endless refreshments, and presents for everybody. That was a lot of people to celebrate and it was a lot of fun. I envy that. I don't have that with my own siblings. We are at all corners of the continent and rarely get the luxury of birthday parties and such together. We do try to take our vacation together every summer at grandma's cabin at the lake.Otherwise we'd go long periods of time without seeing each other. The up side.....there is always a some place great to vacation. All four of my parents, 6 siblings and spouses, and 11 grand children and a dog when all present. My family, we're all evolved like that, and I blame Bill and Shirley  : ) . They were the hippie influence in my life as a kid. Not the love beads and incense kind of hippies, but just laid back and go with the flow kinda people. Happy fun loving people. The kind of hippie I'd like to think I am now. Able to just take whatever throws at you with grace and style, and have fun while doing it. Genuine, you get what you see, kind of people. Generous and loving people. Willing to give life all you've got, but not let it take you for all you're worth. That's the legacy that she left me with. 
     A little bit about her battle. She had cancer that she found vehemently for almost 10 years, that occasionally went into remission. She took that time to do the things she wanted to do with her life. She took several world cruises and saw and did everything that she possibly could to squeeze every last drop of joy out of life. The thing that angers me most, is that she died of lung cancer, having never smoked in her life. This was a woman who lived well and took care of herself. sigh. There are no guarantees. All you can do is Live. Freely. Deeply. Passionately. Make a mark. Make a difference. Where you are. Do the best you can with what you've got, and hope that your lucky enough to be satisfied with your legacy when you come to the end of the road. She had a boisterous laugh and a generous spirit. She was a vibrant and genuine woman who lived her life to the fullest. She was lucky enough to be at peace in the end. She will be missed. This gives even more meaning to the quote I used. I'd like to dedicate this sunrise, and every sunrise to her. As a reminder to live life to the last drop and give all that you've got, cause life gives back , ounce for ounce, every bit it's lived well. Cheers to you Aunt Shirley. May your spirit birth new stars.

August 2, 1942 - October 27, 2012 

"Life is not a journey to the grave                           
with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside,
totally worn out and proclaiming.
"Wow, what a ride!" -

-Author unknown (sometimes attributed to motorcycle racer Bill McKenna)

So after the very long twisty turny story without further ado I should probably show you some jewelry. That's why you're here right. 


The quote "I SHALL BE A DAWN MADE OF ALL THE AIR I EVER BREATHED" is stamped on the band.

 A 44 carat Madiera Citrine has been prong set in the center, and the corona is completely wire wrapped encrusted with gems stones. The top layer is Tanzanite. Then Amethyst. Star shaped purple cultured pearls. Ganets, and garnet colored pearls. Butterflies carved out of Agate. Dragon's Vein Agates, Sunstones and Carnelians. Orange Chalcedony and bronze seed Pearls. Orange Pearls, Goldfish carved in Carnelian and Padparadascha Sapphires.   Orange cream Quatrz. Honey Jade, lemon quartz, Buttered Rum Chalcedony and Citrine. and about 42 gallons of heart and soul. 
 It can also be worn backwards like a Spanish Mantilla with the curl in the middle of the forehead. 
 I have included a gazillion picture from every angle of lighting trying to convey the depth of rich color, and am barely doing it justice. 

I'm still not completely happy with it. I'll be tinkering for a while until it's perfect. This is definitely a labor of love.

Thank you to both to our host Lori Anderson and a belated thank you to Sam Spiegel of Ultimate Supplies.

 For anyone who missed the Solar Flare blog hop , here is the list of participants. You can still go back and see what else this beautiful sunset inspired. 

Gloria Allen
Blog Link:http://innovativedreamsjewelry.blogspot.com

 Shawn Marie Mills
Blog Link: http://shawnmariedesignsatbentwire.blogspot.com/

Karin King
Blog Link: http://maverickbeads.blogspot.com/

Alicia Marinache 
Blog Link: http://www.allprettythings.ca

Pam "The Crazier Sister Blog:http://crazycreativecorner.blogspot.com/?m=1 

Kelly Hosford Patterson
Blog Link:http:

Delia Marsellos-Traister
Blog Link: www.phoenixmagyk.com

Dana Lang
Blog Link: http://tumblestonehandmakery.blogspot.ca

Mischelle Fanucchi

Jessica Murray
Blog Link: http://whimsicalweavings.blogspot.com/

Cynthia Abner
Blog Link: http://createdtreasures.blogspot.com/

Charlie Jacka
Blog: http://clay-space.com/blog

Shannon Hicks
Blog Link:http://uptwnsh-fallingintothesky.blogspot.com/

 Zoe Marcin
Blog Link: http://beadsteaandsweets.blogspot.com/

Rebecca Sirevaag
Blog Link: http://godsartistinresidence.blogspot.com/ 

Miranda C. Ackerley
Blog Link: http://mirandack.com

Paula Winchester Hisel
 Blog Link: http://simplybeadiful.weebly.com/simply-stated.html

Lynn Jobber/Lo/The Creative Klutz
Blog Link: http://thecreativeklutz.blogspot.co.uk/

Alenka Obid
Blog Link: http://pepita-handmade.blogspot.com/

and here is the list of participants for the Memories and Thanks Blog Hop 

Hostess, Lori Anderson       Pretty Things
 Adlinah Kamsir                   Dream Struck Designs
 Aimee Biondolillo               Aimee's Jewelry Treasures
 Alicia Marinache                 All the Pretty Things 
 Andra Marasteanu               Handmade by Indra Marasteanu 
 Andrea Trank                      Heaven Lane Creations
 April Grinaway                   Brooklyn Bead Goddess
Barb Solem                         Vivi Magoo Presents
Becky Pancake                    Becky Pancake Bead Designs
Beth Emery                         Stories by Indigo Heart
Bonnie Coursolle                Jasper's Gems
Cassi Paslick                       Beads: Rolling Downhill
Catherine King                    Catherine's Musings
Cece Cormier                      The Beading Yogini
Chandra Leitz                     Juniper Goods

Charlie Jacka                       Clay Space
Christina Hickman              Vintage Treasures Jewelry

Christine Stonefield            Sweet Girl Design
Chrizette Bayman               Bead Soup Mix
Cindy Wilson                      It's My Sea of Dreams
Crystal Thain                      Here Bead Dragons
Cyndi Lavin                        Beading Arts
Debbie Rasmussen             A little of this, a little of that
Denielle Hagerman             Some Beads... and other things I like
Diana Gonzalez                  Arte y Poemas
Diane Hawkey                    diane hawkey
Dita Basu                            ankarshilpa
Donetta Farrington             Simply Gorgeous
Dyanne Everett-Cantrell     Deeliteful Jewelry Creations
Emma Todd                        A Polymer Penchant
Erin Kenny                         beadiful therapy
Erin Prais-Hintz                  Treasures Found
Gina Hockett                      Freestyle Elements
Gloria Allen                        Innovative Dreams Jewelry
Heather Marston                 CSW Designs
Inge von Roos                    Inge's Blog

Jacqueline Marchant          Fiddledeedee Jewelry
Jami Shipp                         Celebrating Life!
Jean Yates                          Snap Out of it Jean, There's Beading to Do!
Jennifer Reno                     Musings of a Crafty Jenny
Jenny Robledo                   Peppa's Dream
Jennifer VanBenschoten    Jewelry, Art and Life
Jessica Klaaren                  Cellar Door Jewelry
Jessica Murray                   Whimsical Monkey
Joan Williams                     lilruby jewelry
Jo-Ann Woolverton            It's a Beadiful Creation
Joanne Browne                   josjewels1
Jodie Marshall                    Jodie Marshall Lampwork Beads Wearable Art
Johanna Rhodes                 Fire Phoenix Creations
John Rasmussen                 Rasumussen Gems and Jewelry LLC
JuLee Wolfe                       The Polymer Penguin
Julie Bean                           Blue Pig Blog
Karen Mitchell                   Over the Moon Designs
Karin King                         The Sparklie Things Blog
Karin Slaton                       Backstory Beads
Kat Douglas                       Washoe Kat's
Kay Bolton                        Toodles and Binks
Kelly Hosford Patterson     The Traveling SideShow
Kim Ballor                          Vitamin C ... A Daily Does of Creativity
Kim Dworak                       CianciBlue
Kim Houston                       The Pink Martini
Kym Hunter                         Kym Hunter Designs
Laren Dee Barton                Laren Dee Designs
Lea Avroch                          LA Jewelry Designs
Leanne Loftus                      First Impression Design
Lena Adams (Mari's daughter) --Lena's Beady Blog
Liddy McLaughlin               Liddy McLaughlin Art
Linda Florian                       Lily's of the Valley Jewelry & Creative Creations
Linda Inhelder                     Must-Haves Jewelry
Lisa Hamilton                      Simply Irresistable Jewelry
Lisa Suver                            Fancee That
Lori Bowring Michaud        Artfully Ornamental
Lori Poppe                           Adventures in Creativity with Lorillijean
LouAnn Elwell                    Southpass Beads
Mandi Effron                       Craft-o-licious
Marcia DeCoster                 MadDesigns
Marcia Dunne                     The Alternative Foundry
Marie Covert                      Creating Interest
Marjorie Savill Linthwaite     bennubirdrising
Marlene Cupo                        Amazing Designs by Marlene
Martha Aleo                           Ornamento
Marti Conrad                          Marti's Buttons -n- Beads
Mary Ellen Parker                  BeeTree by m.e.
Mary Govaars                        MLH Jewelry Designs
Mary Lindell                          Mary Lindell Artisan Jewelry
Maureen Connolly                 Mrs Beadsley's Workshop
Maybeline Tay                       The Jewelry Larder
Melissa Elgin                         The Addicted Beader
Melissa Mesara                      one-eared pig beads
Menka Gupta                         Menka's Jewelry
Michaela Pabeschitz              la mar de bonita
Mischelle Fanucchi               Micheladas Musings
Mona Rae Baroody               Who Does She Bead She Is?
Nan Emmett                          Spirit Rattles -- Spirited Earth
Nancy Pedersen                    Something Heartfelt by Nancy
Natalie Davidson                  NorthShore Days
Nikki Douglas                      Bead It and Weep
Pam Farren                           re-maker
Pam, the Crazier Sister        The Crazy Creative Corner

Priya Krish                           Hellopalz  
Rebecca Anderson               Song Beads
Rebecca Sirevaag                 Becca's Place
Robin Kae Reed                   Artistry HCBD
Rochelle Brisson                  a creative chelle
Sabine Dittrich                     perlendschungel
Sandi Volpe                          Sandi Volpe
Sandra McGriff                    Creative Chaos
Sarah Goode                         Pookledo
Sarah Singer                         String a Song of Sixpence
Serena Trent                         All Things Made Jewelry
Shai Williams                       Shaiha's Ramblings
Sharon Palac                        Sharon's Jewelry Garden
Sharyl McMillian-Nelson    Sharyl's Jewelry & Reflections
Sheila Davis                         Stone Designs
Shelley Graham Turner        Fabric of My Life
Sherri Stokey                       Knot Just Macrame
Sherry Baun                         Unicorns Jewels
Skylar Bre'z                         Brising Beads
Stephanie Haussler              Pixybug Designs
Tania Spivey                        Moobie Grace Designs
Terri G.                                Blooming Ideas
Terry Carter                         Tapping Flamingo
Terry Matuszyk                    Pink Chapeau Vintage Jewelry
Toltec Jewels                       Jewel School Friends
Tracy Kruse                         Goldkisses Art
Tracy Martin                        Nutkitten's Jewelry
Zia Parks                              Anzi~Panzi's Work Shoppe
Zoe Marcin                          Beads, Tea and Sweets

Thanks for looking and have a gloriously creative day!


  1. What a great tiara for an awesome aunt. You did a wonderful tribute to her. Thank you


  2. I've never seen anything quite like your tiara. A real stunner. Your Aunt sounds like a wonderful role model. Thanx for sharing your story.

  3. The Crown of Creation is stunning! Your aunt sounds like she was a lovely woman - thanks for sharing her story!

  4. This is certainly the most unusual piece I have seen so far in the Memories and Thanks Blog hop... It really is amazing. A beautiful tribute for your aunt.

  5. Fabulous piece, but it is hard to read your story with such a a difficult font. Keep writing and making beautiful pieces.

  6. I think you've done your aunt proud!

  7. Stunning! Rich with meaning and memories. Thanks for sharing your Aunt with us .
    Terri G.

  8. A beautiful and extraordinary piece in tribute for your aunt. She seemed to was a wonderful person, full of the fun of life. Thank you for sharing your story with us!

  9. Your crown is gorgeous! I'm sure your aunt would be honored! Your font is difficult to read. Thank you for sharing your memories!

  10. Wow! What a gorgeous piece of work! I think that it is dynamic and vibrant and full of joy - just like your dear aunt. I am sorry for your loss, but I think that you captured her spirit in such a dazzling work of art. Something to cherish. Thanks for sharing your story and creation. Enjoy the day. Erin

  11. Beautiful work and thank you for sharing your story with us.
    Peace and Love.

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