Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Feeding the Hungry

There is nothing more basic and important than the excitement of holiday meals and special treats. Deep within us all are the memories of pumpkin pies... roasted turkey... perfect whipped potatoes... and special bites that have been handed down by culture, religious tradition and family.

The holidays are here and there are many... many folks and children that are not secure in their ability to eat a nourishing meal each and every day... much less have a wonderful holiday table laden with glorious foods. This year and for many more to come I will be donating a percentage of my sales to help feed the hungry.

The economy is still struggling and many middle class families have slipped into unemployment due to no fault of their own. Food banks are struggling to keep up with the expanded need... 

If you are interested in donating time or money to Feeding America or your local food bank you can follow the links below. Feeding America has links to most local food banks and offers many ways that you can help out. 

Here is the link to Feeding America and the Atlanta Community Food Bank.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fall is just around the corner...

Fall is just around the corner and I am SO wanting to get out and enjoy the cooler weather! I know... lots of people love the summer. They don't mind the heat and the bugs, they like to get suntanned and be outside in the hottest of weather. But... I gotta say that I am a cool weather girl. Let me bundle up and go outside seeing the steam off my breath! I yearn for my outdoor fireplace to be burning each night while I curl up in a chair and enjoy conversation with friends and family... 

We southerners don't really get any truly cold weather, but as the days grow shorter my mind slips away and thinks about the refreshing breeze that is just around the corner... waiting for the leaves to turn and start their gentle decent to the ground, piling up in yards and setting the scene for Halloween and Thanksgiving.

While I anxiously await the cool weather I will continue to work away in the studio... Now instead of envisioning my current creations accessorizing summer fashions, I see them wrapped in shawls and wearing cashmere and wool... More long necklaces with leather and substance...

Friday, July 31, 2009

Happy Summer!

We have enjoyed a beautiful summer (so far) in Atlanta. Spring was cooler than usual and summer has followed it's lead. Unlike the last couple of years, this one has provided lots of rain showers and the garden looks very happy. That is to say except for the weeds who seem to enjoy the abundant rain too!

This year must be a big cicada year... I have seen a few laying around, their little lives all done. It has been to warm to open the windows lately but I am sure that the noise is impressive. It makes me glad to not be driving at dusk in the thick of cicada season... Been there!

In addition to the cicada there are all of those other insects that make me want to stay inside during the hot months. I'm sure there was a master plan involving the need for all of these annoying bugs, but really... some of them must have been a mistake! For now I go out with bug spray and off coils lighting my way.

I hope that the rest of you are having a great summer filled with fireflies, flowers and summer showers!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Catching up and some NEW designs!

Spring has been a busy time for me and while I have a virtual stream of ideas running through my head... I have not been able to actually create as much as I would like. I have several things started and "in process" in addition to working on production pieces and I have continued to study form-folding and manipulation techniques on copper and silver. At this time I am finishing a class on texture and stone setting skills.

I did get off to Franklin N.C. to the wholesale gem show and picked up some fabulous South Sea pearls... which I have had a burning desire to dive into!

Despite the slow economy people are still calling me and my food styling business has been steady.
I manage to keep semi-regular studio hours and overall life has been very good!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Camping adventures in the RAIN!

I would not call it a total WASH OUT, but the weather did not give us many breaks on our weekend away camping! As carefully as I studied the radar and local some point I just make a leap of faith and pack up and hit the road!

Don't get me wrong... I'm no passy pants! A good storm is always an adventure and in the North Georgia mountains a daily shower is to be expected. It's the non-stop drizzle and unending drip that can get me down. I just want the sun to shine enough to take a few good pics.

No doubt there is talent and perseverance involved in making a wet trip a success! Luckily I am married to the guy who is prepared for every weather event known to man... We have figured out that if you can stay warm and dry... even in a driving rain... you can have a good time!

We are very organized and set up with precision, Tent and canopy before the first celebratory cocktail! Rain does not wait... The tent is always sealed against leaks... we have a great lightweight canopy that has served us well for years... we carry extra small tarps to setup over the fire (just in case)... and rope of all sizes... you never know!

Even though our weekend was wetter than expected we had a lot of fun, friends came and visited knowing that it was likely that our time would be huddled around a picnic table... We did get a break and get to go off for a short hike, and I took a few pics.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Luxe design~workshop is now at 1000Markets!

I am now selling my jewelry at 1000Markets! It is a wonderful site with a compassionate and diverse community. Most of the work listed on the site are my metal designs, but I will soon include a collection of my gemstone jewelry.

If you can... stop by and visit. And... while you are there check out some of the other shops and markets. I think that you will like the atmosphere.

Here is the link to my shop:

Have fun!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

My day job...

I just thought that I would post a blog about my "official" job... For the past 18 years I have been a freelance food stylist in the Atlanta area. I love what I do and often find that people are curious about the details of such an unusual vocation.

I had never heard the term "food stylist" until I happened to meet a food stylist at a wedding many years ago... I was immediately curious and excited! It was not until years later (after my son was born) that I had the opportunity to begin working with her and learning more about the field.

People ask me how did I get started? It was just luck! The seed was planted at that wedding years before and I stayed in touch with that stylist. It just happened that she needed an assistant at a time when I could jump in.

Things were so different then... Camera's that shot film... It took 90 seconds each time a Polaroid was taken to access the shot! That seemed like eternity when you had food drying up on the set! There was no healing brush on a computer to remove pins or toothpicks that were used as support in a shot... If you did not hide them... it was big trouble! In addition to digital cameras and Photoshop the food itself has changed so much!

Today we have what seems like an unlimited supply of beautiful produce. It is really annoying when a client wants peaches and there are none available... anywhere in the world! We are so spoiled...

My style today is looser and more about appetite appeal than it was back in the 90's when clients were looking for a more controlled "perfect" image. Digital photography allows us to get a shot while the food is still really fresh and not worry as much about the little pins and such that can be removed with the press of a button.

I feel like a very fortunate person to have landed such an unusual and fun job. When I talk to young people I tell them to think outside the box and not just focus on jobs that are the most common. There are lots of great jobs out there that we don't even know exist! Explore!

I am including a few images that I styled a couple of years ago. These are images from a really fun job that focused on bread. The Photographer is Carlos Garcia of Garcia Studios Inc.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Simple Things...

Last spring I went camping in North Georgia with family and friends and stayed at Cooper's creek campground. I woke in the morning to the clear and LOUD call of the whippoorwill and spent my days observing the simple things that I often overlook in my daily life. I was particularly drawn to the carpet of new flora that was so beautiful and lush!
In looking back through some of these older photos I am amused by how I have been unknowingly incorporating them into my work. Flower stems, leaves, pods... I guess they have imprinted my mind with their sweet and simple images.
The weather is warming here in Georgia and I am getting anxious for a new camping adventure!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Learning to enamel with Linda Darty's new book!

I just read "The Art of Enameling" by Linda Darty and it was GREAT! I have been wanting to explore some enameling in my metal designs and heard about her book. I was told that the book's photo gallery was reason enough to purchase it.... So true, beautiful work, incredible photos and close attention to the details as she explains different techniques and processes.

As a beginner I like to explore many different techniques and let my knowledge of a given subject guide me in future efforts. Linda explains the different processes in a easy to understand fashion and completely covered my initial interest.... torch firing, small kilns and incorporating precious metal clay with enamels, as well as plant a seed to move onto more complex projects.

So far I have just experimented with small kiln projects. Learning how thick to apply enamel to provide an even coat and figuring out how to get the powder to adhere to surfaces. I ordered a sample box of enamels from Thompson Enamels and I must admit that I am as fascinated as I am overwhelmed by all of the different color choices! My attempts are still in an infantile stage, but I am having a great time experimenting.

If you are familiar with enameling and would like to offer suggestions on technique or materials... Please feel free to add your knowledge. I would enjoy learning more about what products you use to adhere the enamel powder as well as tricks that you have learned.

I dedicated a full day to reading the book initially and have gone back several times to study a process more fully. I can tell that this book will get a great deal of use over time and would recommend it to anyone who loves enamel work and would like to learn more about it.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Free little knot ring!

I have been trying to think of a way to say thanks to those people who purchase more than one item at a time...? It happens on a regular basis and recently I figured out what to offer. My little knot ring is the perfect little token. Its handmade by me, symbolizes something sweet and it is more about my effort than the cost of the materials.
So here it is...
Visit my shop at

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I am on fire now!

After months of working with a small hand torch I came to the point were it was time to go for the big flame and get an oxy/propane torch! I had requested it for Christmas and was researching torch setups when I saw a friend at a gallery show I was in. After checking out my new work he asked about what type of torch I was using. I told him my setup and he mentioned that he had a torch setup that had been his dads, that I could have...
It arrived with the handle and various tips, plus the regulators for the tanks. It is a beautiful set. I would guess it to be from the fifty's. It has a lovely patina. It still took a bit of time to get the hose, tanks and odds and ends together, but finally it is up and running!
I do feel special working with this setup. Not sure how his dad used the torch, but now it is making jewelry, firing enamels and soldering silver and copper! I have always been attracted to used tools... the stories they must have... the ways that they have been abused, and cared for... I can tell that this torch was cared for by its former owner and now by me too!