Saturday, May 28, 2011

Repurposing Jewelry - inspired by Pearl

I make jewelry and am always searching for unique beads and components to incorporate into my work.  One of my recent forays to an estate sale led me not too far from home. The owner, Pearl (a young 101 years of age), was selling off the contents of her house so she could transition to a convalescent home. Pearl's house was filled with absolute treasures, especially vintage clothing and jewelry. I felt so lucky to come away with handfuls of really great chain, and was immediately inspired to create new designs with them.

 This blue quartz necklace is the first piece I made. I wrapped each quartz oval bead in 14k gold fill wire and linked them all together. I then cut two gold oval links from one of Pearl's chains, and added some little ice blue apatite stones to one of the links. The apatite serve to cover the spring clasp which attaches the necklace together in the front, rather than in the back as is typically done. More of Pearl's vintage gold chain completed the necklace.

I found out after speaking with the estate sale coordinator, that Pearl is a lifelong crafter, artist, and all around busy bee.  Her interest in learning new things, and acquiring new skills and ways to express herself must have to do with the fact that she's lived such a long life. Inspiring isn't it?  I aspire to follow in her active shoes.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Today I had my 100th sale on Etsy! And I have some facebook fans to thank for that.  To show my appreciation I'm offering a 15% discount on EVERYTHING in my shop, through the end of May.  Use coupon code FACEBOOKFANSMAY2011 at checkout. 

Not a fan?  You can be...  :-)  Like me at Leaf and Tendril and then head over to my Etsy shop through my fan page, or from here.  Happy shopping!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Global Genes Project - 7,000 Bracelets for Hope

 Today I shipped out my donation to the Global Genes Project.  I sent this denim sodalite bracelet, which will join the many others that artists and crafters have been donating since last year.  The GGP goal is to gather 7,000 blue bracelets by December 2011, to give to families of children with rare diseases.

According to the GGP website: "Rare Disease affects over 250 million people worldwide, and the largest percentage are children. There are over 7,000 rare diseases that have been identified all with very unique needs, but many with little to no support. In order to really help this community they need to be viewed as one, one community of millions, impacted by disease. Rare disease is not so rare, and the community is much more likely to garner the support, attention, and resources it needs if it is viewed as one."

If you're interested in participating in this project, get more information on the 7,000 Bracelets For Hope page.  We can each make a difference, no matter how small.  :-) 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Adele - My New Musical Crush

I know I'm a bit slow at times, so most of you probably have known of Adele for awhile, but I just came across this British songstress and I absolutely love her!  There is something so soulful about her voice; depending on the song she's singing her tone is haunting and beautiful, delicate and powerful at the same time. Take a listen and let me know what you think...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Jewelry Party at Allied Arts Guild

 Last Saturday was Clare's 12th birthday, and she spent it at beautiful Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park, CA with 21 of her closest friends.  I volunteer at the Guild (whose mission it is to raise funds for Stanford Children's Hospital) and so was one of a small group of volunteers who helped Clare have a terrific day at her Nancy Drew themed party.  I led the jewelry making activity, ably assisted by Sara and Julie.  The girls stood elbow to elbow making design after design, it was great fun to watch.  Who knew how many varied and beautiful designs could come out of the glass and stone beads they were working with?  I wish I'd thought to take pictures of their jewelery, but it was soon whisked away by a 'thief' and the girls had to use their detective skills to track clues around the garden grounds in order to solve the mystery of the missing jewels. 

Once back inside the Sunset Room, where the activities took place, the girls had peppermint tea and cupcakes.  What fun!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Artist Feature: Curviosity Designs

I'd like to introduce you to Nan Miner of Curviosity Designs.  
Nan and I spent a very wet day a few weeks ago at the Taste of Yountville art and wine festival in Napa Valley.  (See the post below for all the soggy details).  Nan is a creative apparel designer and talented seamstress, working out of her home studio in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Nan draws on her background in Theatre Arts to design everything from beautiful one-of-a-kind bridal garments to detailed Halloween costumes.  She currently has a new line of petticoats that you have to check out, they're form fitting at the waist, not bulky, and flare out below the knee - perfect for twirling around! Nan in fact procured a custom order from the handmade leather boot seller in the booth next to us at Yountville. The petticoats are available in a variety of eye-catching colors, and custom made to your measurements - because as Nan says "One size fits Nobody".

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Rained out in Yountville, CA

Yesterday I participated in the annual Taste of Yountville festival in beautiful Napa Valley.  No, the day didn't look like this photo (courtesy Mars Lasar), not in the least.  It rained the entire 8 hours that it took me to drive there, set up my spot, sell my jewelry (or try to) and pack up and drive home.  Thankfully I was sharing my 10x10 tent with Nan of Curviosity Designs and we had a blast.  I'll tell you more about Nan later this week in my Artist Feature.
Foot traffic was slow and I give people credit for coming out at all.  Most passersby said 'hi', some looked at us like 'why on earth are you still here?', but we kept laughing and carried on.  It was nice to meet some of my fellow San Francisco Etsy Team members at the fair, and to run into some members who I met at last year's fair.  By 3:00pm though we had really had enough of the freezing cold and non-stop rain.  My shoes and socks were soaked through and I was worried the canopy tent was going to blow away, as two of my earring displays had done.  We packed up and headed home.
The way most of us crafters and artists go into these situations is to have high hopes and low expectations. So miserable weather and poor sales aside, it was a great day, spent with talented people sharing their passion for handmade.  I'll be back next year!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cross Stitch Cards

Today I received some adorable business cards from my friend Gail, the "Chief Stitcher" at Cross Stitch Cards. I'll be singing her praises and handing them out to one and all! I know first-hand the quality work that goes into Gail's handmade greeting cards as I bought a beautiful card from her last year, to give to my mom for Mother's Day.  Gail has a new shop at ArtFire, please take a look at her wonderful handiwork.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Welcome to my window on the creative world.

I'm a lover of all things handmade and have a deep appreciation and respect for all crafters and artisans.  My aim here is to highlight artists of all kinds who have passion in their work.

My creative outlet is making jewelry and I'm a bit of a magpie; attracted to bright, colorful, and shiny objects.  My style is as varied as the fun and funky beads I come across at estate sales and second hand stores.
I also find much creativity in being a wife to a great husband, and mom to two wonderful teenage boys.  Yes, they really are wonderful.

Take a look around and let me know what you think.
XO Christina