Friday, February 24, 2012

Jewelry? What's that?

Jewelry?  What's that?  I've been a bit swamped since, well a long time.  But, it's all for good.  But, I wanted to give those who know me as a jewelry artist a peak at my other business - PerFurred Pet Care.

I've been a pet sitter for about 8 years.  I originally started doing this 8 years ago after I had breast cancer the first time (with a dose of Graves Disease on the side).  A Marketing Manager and Events Coordinator by trade, I just wasn't ready to go back into 60 hour work weeks, so I thought this would be a good thing to get me back in shape.  (Graves kicked my ass!).  I was contracting for pet sitting company and, when word got out that I was pet sitting, I started growing my own client base.  I always thought I'd go back to the corporate world and that this was just temporary, but I was having fun and I somehow didn't miss corporate life.  Besides, pet sitting gave me time to do things I love - like curating, animal rescue, and making jewelry. 

In January of last year, I was diagnosed with breast cancer AGAIN.  Really?  I honestly this only happened to menopausal women over 50.  Nope.  When they found 2 areas of cancer, I made the decision  - no more slicing and dicing, bit by bit.  It was time to get these cancer producing protrusions out of there.  Last year was all about bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction where my amazing doctor at UCLA took my stomach fat and created new, living tissue, breasts.  I had 5 surgeries last year and I'm not quite done yet.  But, I'm cancer free and I feel great.

  Cancer changes your life and your attitude towards life.  The challenge of cancer give you strength - strength that you didn't know you had.  I decided "no more corporate life" unless it was my OWN corporation.  So, I started a REAL pet sitting company - PreFurred Pet Care LLC.  That little "C" there at the end stands for CORPORATION!  I have 2 of the very BEST pet sitters in my business who have now joined me as partners.  We're as busy as heck and having a blast!  It's been a LOT of work, but it's wonderful to be back doing marketing and using my business management experience.  I can't wait to see the business grow.  Yes, I have a business plan, a 5 year plan, and LOTS of great ideas I want to implement.  I'm surrounded by amazing supportive clients and 2 business partners who couldn't be better.  My husband has been 100% behind me with each decision I've made.  I really feel like the luckiest person alive.

So, jewelry-making may not be quite my focus for a bit.  But, believe me, I will continue creating.  It's my sanity and I won't lose that.  I'll find my balance between all of my loves soon enough and you'll see more stuff soon.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Jade Scott Pinwheel Challenge

 Lorelei Eurtro is an amazing jewelry designer, a fantastic blogger and an inspiration. She teamed up with one of my favorite component designers - Jade Scott - for a really fun challenge.  Jade offered 7 of her new, enamel pinwheels for the challenge and I got picked to participate!  My Pinwheel is the little white one on the right.  

The other bloggers chosen will have their posts up on 2/15 - go visit them!
Charlie Jacka-
Lisa Cone- - YOU ARE HERE
Lorelei Eurto-

There are 2 more bloggers who participated on their own:
Rebecca of SongBeads
Lindy's Designs 

As I posted a few weeks ago, I had lots of inspiration to choose from but, when it came right down to creating my piece, the massive and glorious windmills of the Coachella Valley led the way.  I ALWAYS take pictures of the windmills as we drive by.  The photos are always taken from the car at 65+ MPH, usually with my iPhone.  But you can't take a bad pic of these other-worldly creatures.  And, really, they're just giant pinwheels, right?

Our last trip out to the desert was magical. We stayed in Joshua Tree and I woke up every morning to amazing desert colors, clear blue sky, pale white clouds,  and a Mars-like landscape with veins of quartz running through the stone.  Jack rabbits, Scrub Jays, and lizards scurried about and fresh Bobcat tracks were next to the cabin every morning. That vision stayed with me and became this necklace. 

The lampwork and enamel focal is from one of my very favorite bead makers - Shed Beads
The rabbit charm is from Jess Imports
Glass Beads from Yuki Designs
Antique Chain and Vintaj findings.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Pinwheels Everywhere!

It's funny when you've got and object in mind that you begin to notice them everywhere!  Since I've been thinking about pinwheels (as opposed to actually DOING anything with the Jade Scott Pinwheel that sits in my studio) I've been seeing them all over the place.

There was an adorable garden pinwheel I saw today (that I didn't photograph - while driving - at 45 miles an hour).  A few hours later I was reading Carmi's Art/Life World blog post from the recent CHA show (Craft Hobby Association).  In a picture she took of the Basic Grey display was this lovely.

Then these popped up on Pinterest.

I walking dangerously close to having TOO much inspiration which will only render me lifeless.  But, it sure is fun to notice just how many pinwheels there are around me that I never noticed before!

I may just crawl into a corner and eat these.....

Friday, February 3, 2012

New Blog Challenge!

I threw my name in the Random Generator over at Lorelei's Blog to participate in the Jade Scott Pinwheel Challenge and I got PICKED!  There will be 7 of us participating.  I am very excited (and a bit terrified) but I've got some good ideas percolating in my brain.

My first associations with pinwheels were of spinning garden flowers, childhood toys and plastic tubes filled with colorful candy.  I think I would have gone in that direction if I had gotten a colorful pinwheel.

However, last weekend,we spent time in Joshua Tree and my entire inspiration changed.   Luckily, when I opened my package yesterday I found I had gotten the WHITE pinwheel.  White?  Lucky?  Yeah, that's not what I would have normally said.

So, I'll share some of my inspiration photos.  I haven't started working on the piece yet and I may end up in a completely different direction, but at least you'll have seen some nice photos along the way.

First, we don't go anywhere without the Pugs.  This was their first trip in the new CRV.  I'm glad I got leather seats!

 On the Road to Joshua Tree

Our Surroundings at the cabin (Photos by The Enlightened Hedonist)

So, it will be interesting to see where one little white pinwheel and a lot of beautiful photos take me.  The reveal date is February 15th.  In the mean time, I'm going to try and find some daylight time to get some pictures of some of the STUNNING art beads I got at the Pasadena Bead and Design show.