Welcome to my blog: My sporadic and/or spontaneous postings of latest jewelry endeavours; sprinkled with family happenings; proud mama moments and things that I simply want to share.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Made it: It's Sunday

Quick Update:

Crossed the border on Friday afternoon.  Easy peasy.  Spent the night in Thunder Bay.  Saturday:  longest driving day.  Not much between Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie; quick stop at Terrace Bay for and actual  restaurant "homemade lunch" (frozen pizza, burger and some poutine) :-(

Beautiful drive; saw a black bear run across the highway.  However, long drive. Hoped for a coffee stop, but none to be found, log stretches of nothing but bush.  So fueled on 2 candy bars (Crunchie and Crispy Crunch) and a 5 hour energy drink; pushed through to the Sault; arrived at about 7pm.

Aunt Barbara and Anthea (Dad's sister and niece) met us at our campsite with Chinese Food.  Nice.

Nearing end of this leg on the journey; the past few wet days and big mosquitoes have motivated to keep going.  Although laundry and showers have been had; things are starting to get a bit ripe here in the Rig.  Moving onto the cottage today; one more longish day of driving.

Wifi has been sporadic and sparse; so updates are same.

Smiling ....

Uncle Gerry in Thunder Bay

Aunt Barbara ann Anthea in Sault Ste. Marie

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Canada or Bust: It's Wednesday

National Park, National Monument blitz has whittled down; kind of ... Currently camp set up across the street from the Pipestone National Monument, home of the Red Stone Pipe.

Yellowstone, Devil's Tower, Mount Rushmore, Badlands all were on the list; and we checked them all.  Today's National Monument is a bonus.  We will check it out tomorrow.

Of all the RV Parks we have stayed at my favourites have been Arco, ID and Badlands, SD.  We have stayed at KOA mostly, as there is a given formula and known amenities; however, aside from the two mentioned have been a bit on the busy side for my liking. Not congestion, just large. more commercial; not as "cute".  Arco and Badlands both are family run with the owners living on site.  This I believe makes the difference; personal touches are everywhere; including quirky signs; grounds are clean and scenic.  They take the time to make you feel a part of their living space.

Tonight we hunker down at a private site in Pipestone; nice, and cute.  Marcus mimics me "Is this your style?"  It is.

A storm is brewing, thunder clouds threaten, crossing my fingers it does not pour.  The bit of rain we had driving the other day found it's way though the air vent on the ceiling.

Tomorrow: Duluth bound.

Marcus found a friend at Devil's Tower

Mount Rushmore

Roadside pic in Badlands

Pipestone RV Campground

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Canada or Bust Day - I don't know ...

Let's see ... I left off entering Idaho, since then we caught a bit of Montana (stayed at West Yellowstone, MT), crossed Wyoming and now, Monday evening, in South Dakota.

Lots of sites, driving and wildlife these past few days.  Elk, Bison and Bears, oh my!

We spent the day in Yellowstone Park, highlights:
- Fountain Paint Pots, Lower Geyser Basin
- Old Faithful Geyser; waited about 50 minutes and true to name .... water shooted up from the earth
- We saw elk and bison relaxing and grazing in the meadows and woods; and a grizzly bear at Lake Yellowstone, trying to cross over into the woods.

We descended Yellowstone National Park; but not before stopping at a point of the Continental Divide.  Always thought this was nifty; and recall seeing this as a kid in the Alberta Rockies. We spent the evening in Cody, WY. Windy night, dinner of chicken apple sausages and broccoli, treated ourselves to some Dairy Queen (our neighbour) and called it a night.

- Cody to Devil's Tower.  Worth the 60 minute detour, enroute to Mount Rushmore.  Very pretty and a bit spooky.  Can totally see why featured in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
- Wanting a shorter drive on Tuesday, we pushed through to the KOA site at Mount Rushmore.  So here we are late arrival, will see Mount Rushmore tomorrow.  [weak wifi = no posting last night, as of this posting it is Tues night and we are in the Badlands]

Have not seen much of John this trip; he emerges from the loft, like the wildlife, I catch glimpses every now and then.  Mind you I am driving, and don't really have eyes in the back of my head.  We did have a great day in Yellowstone; both of us impressed with the Geysers, steam ponds and fountain paint pots at Lower Geyser Basin.

Still perfecting our set up and break down RV camping routine.  Have not left anyone or anything behind yet; Marcus ensures that our lifelines (electricity, water and sewage) are connected and more importantly disconnected.   In Lovell, WY Marcus cleaned the windshield, not an easy task for a young'un on this rig; next I'll have him checking the tire pressure and oil.  I posted a pic of Marcus and the windshield on Instagram and Facebook; so if browsing check out those spots for random pics and posts.

Papa and Ozzie conferring each day on their experiences.  I hope you have been reading their blog:   http://onshamansrock.blogspot.com

A few words on managing this rig:
- If an exit, point of interest, scenic view etc ... has been missed, it has been missed. No going back.
- "Hey, pullover a sec", words I do not hear.  Good thing there is a loo on board.
- Adhere to speed control signs, ie 35mph for curve can be done at 37 or 38, but a few more mph I'm sure you would be banking it on 2 wheels, just sayin'.
- Prius, Minis and Fiats pardon my sneer if you pull up and park in front of me, leaving me barely a gap to pull out.  I know you don't know better, I didn't, but now I have crossed over. 

Today I channel surfed the radio and figured when in Rome ... settled upon a Country Station.  I do not mind country but do not know country.  My untrained ear thought all male vocal songs were Scott McCreadie and female, Carrie Underwood  (ok, not that untrained -  I do have some George, Willie and Reba in my music folder).  

I'll leave you with two songs (links to vids) that entertained me:

(chew tabaca, chew tabaca, chew tabaca, spit ...)

Lower Geyser Basin

Watching Old Faithful erupt
Father's Day at Old Faithful 
Yellowstone Park

Friday, June 14, 2013

Canada or Bust Day 3

Buh-bye Nevada, Hello Idaho!  Another big driving day; push to make it to the next state.  "... Sage brush-y fields for-ever ... " in Northern Nevada; I like sage; however after today, I think in moderation, strawberry sounds good ...

Today's Highlights:
- coffee made in my Chemex (visualize Breaking Bad)
- leaving Nevada
- discovering and exploring Craters of the Moon, lava fields bubbled up; appeared out of nowhere
- Peaceful rig, save for the on the move mode of rattles and hums.  Papa, John, Marcus and Ozzie all well-behaved.

Oh, ya' and Trucker Mom, still smiling ... (honk, honk!)

Coffee time 
See ya' Nevada

Lava Fields, Craters of the Moon

Our view from Arco, Idaho, KOA

Hill of Numbers
 (story is that highschool graduating class paints last 2 digits of graduating year)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Canada or Bust Day 2

The Open Road is where it's at.  Whew, driving the RV from Fremont to Orinda and out shaved years off my life.  What a difference a day makes.  Day two; although day one felt never-ending; an end of the build up, and the start of the journey.  

Now sitting here in Winnemucca, NV, 8:30p.m., a full day of driving experience logged, I am ready to take on Day 3.  Somewhere on the east side of Truckee, I had worked up to 75 mph; battled the windy open terrain; good thing we had the extra 100lbs of Ozzie on board, kept from blowing off the road.  My nerves and upper arms got a workout.  By the end of the day I was passing fuel tankers, just short of giving them horn arm pumps.

Time to change hats from Trucker Mom to RV Coordinator and Cook.  Settled into Winnemucca, NV, about 3 hours east of Truckee (drive felt like 6).  Ozzie walked, then a dinner of caesar salad and hamburgers.  All good.

I do have a good team aboard the rig:  My Dad, Jim: an excellent Co-pilot, lane changer and backer upper advisor.  Marcus: a solid Mechanical Engineer, has figured out every switch, pump, hose and how they all work; also a very good Rv Coordinator; packed all the cupboards and can find anything in a snap. John: at the ready to jump in when called upon; mostly today Navigation consultant.  Ozzie is quite attentive; keeping me in his sights, however I think that was more out of fear of being left somewhere.  By 4pm he left my side, and took a snooze. 

So in the words of recently passed Stompin' Tom, we are: "Goin down the Hiway smiling"

I hope to pepper this blog with journey updates; however my Dad will be blogging more consistently.  Check out his blog at:  http://onshamansrock.blogspot.com

The Rig Crew

4pm Snooze

Winnemucca View

Monday, May 6, 2013

Zibbet Shop

I have a few things kicking about the studio. I thought I would post as I tinker. If local, lmk if you want to pop in.

See items at: http://www.zibbet.com/goodtogojewelry

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Bead Soup Reveal

My partner Carolyn (http://www.carolynchenault.wordpress.com) and I are in the first reveal group for Bead Soup.
 See earlier post (http://goodtogojewelry.blogspot.com/2013/02/bead-soup-2013_11.html) on how this Bead Soup thang works.

To browse through other 1st Reveal Bead soups visit:  http://lorianderson-beadsoupblogparty.blogspot.com/2013/03/7th-bead-soup-blog-party-first-reveal.html

Although the challenge only requires you to use the focal and clasp from the gifted soup; I made it my challenge to use all the components and beads Carolyn sent to me. I did not add anything from my stash, except the stringing component.

I love the personal touches in my soup:  the M glass charm, the 13 (for bead soup 2013) head pin,  the handcrafted glass headpins, focal and clasp.

I was able to work all these into a natural, beachy necklace.  I am looking forward to wearing it; now that it has been revealed!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Tucson 2013

5 days went by in a blink.  Landed in Tucson at 2pm and was at the Best Bead Show by 4:30.  Thursday I spent the day at the G&LW Gem Show (Gem Mall and Holidome).  Hundreds and hundreds of vendors; I wandered the rows and took it all in. My fave purchases were: czech beads; although not hard to find, this one vendor had so many unique colours, shapes and sizes in one place; antler beads and pendants; and some vintage finds from Sandy Schor.   

Part 2 of my trip was the 3 Ring Circus Workshop, taught [very well] by Richard Salley and Jessica Papke.  Rich in technique we spent 3 days making 5 rings.  A great immersion into metal smithing; now can continue to develop and incorporate soldering, enameling, bezeling, (and more) into my pieces.

Barb Solem (with daughter Erin) did a wonderful job at organizing the retreat/workshop and were gracious hostesses; ensuring that all was taken care from lunches to shuttles to social gatherings.  I enjoyed meeting and interacting with so many creative, talented folks.

Still have to unpack all my goodies, and keen to put in place my newfound techniques!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Bead Soup Package to Me!

Lots of catching up from being away in Tucson for 5 days.  BTW, great trip, workshop, shopping and most of all great connections with many creative, talented folks.

My bead soup package was awaiting me; laundry can wait, I was keen to open, photograph and share: beachy blues and greens, pearls, silver, handcrafted headpins and beads, lots to love, lots to play with.  Thanks Carolyn!

Our reveal date is March 30; and we will post our finished products to our blogs.  

Monday, February 11, 2013

Bead Soup 2013

I am participating in Lori Anderson's bead soup party (see left sidebar). There are hundreds of participants and Lori (I'm sure painstakingly) has paired us up. We prepare a bead soup for our assigned partner; send it; partner receives and makes something using the stash. Once made, we reveal our finished piece on our assigned reveal date. The beads included in the soup are up to the sender; however it must contain a focal and a somewhat unique clasp.

My partner is Carloyn (http://www.carolynchenault.wordpress.com). We are in the first reveal group; so I had to hop to getting my soup to her. I am in Tucson for the gem shows; so prepared and mailed before I left.

I prepared a little soup that is my latest go source of comfort. I am warmed by the brown/blue/greens, turquoise, soft deerskin leather. The iron focal is a latest fave, as are making clasps: I gave Carolyn a choice of two bronze clasps. Also included are some handmade bronze jumprings. I am keen to see how Carolyn uses some of my favourite things.  Given she received and opened, I can now share with you:

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Turquoise Collage

Was featured in the Interweave Download last week:


3 Ring Circus

My bags are packed (well almost).  I have been looking forward to attending this huge jewelry event for some time.  As a visitor, student, and buyer I am looking forward to soaking it all in.

Many of you know I am a technique nerd.  I am keen to add a few more techniques to my fodder.  That being ring making and enameling.  While in Tucson I will participate in a 3 day workshop taught by Richard Salley and Jessica Papke.

Tucson Bound!
Richard Salley & Jessica Papke Workshop Rings
25lbs of tools to pack

Friday, January 11, 2013

Right Angle Weave Class

Beginner Bracelet Class: Learn Right Angle Weave technique

Make a pretty Swarovski crystal bracelet using flat right angle weave.  Right angle weave is a versatile, beading technique that can be used to make many variations of earrings, bracelets and necklaces.  Once you learn the basic technique you can continue to explore by using different size beads, shapes, patterns, colors to achieve unique results.   No experience necessary.  

Date: Tues. Jan. 29, 2013
Time: 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Level: Beginner

Limited class size.  If interested, please contact me directly.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Happy 2013

I am not one to make New Year's Resolutions. Over the years, I never really took pause to reflect on the end and start of the calendar year. One day and year blended into next.  

This year I took pause.

I reflected on the year and made some attainable goals.  Not resolutions; as noted by my Dad as being wishes; I will regard my "not resolutions" as wishes that I can make come true.

So 9 days into the new year I have accomplished some of these already:

- Post to blog (doing now)
- Go to one of the big bead/gem shows: Tuscon Bead and Gem Shows (booked!)
- Continue to explore/push jewelry techniques (see above: three day workshop booked)
- Yoga (one class attended)
- Explore teaching/sharing jewelry making (see below)

Over the past couple of years I have taught small groups, either by way of a donated auction party or by request.  Now with my workspace in place, I am offering a series of technique-based jewelry classes.  The first one will introduce the novice to Right Angle Weave.

Stay tuned for class details.

Oh, and those wishes; I'll continue to share as I accomplish.  Wouldn't want to be held to resolutions, let alone documented ones! :)