Sunday, July 14, 2013

I haven't written in way too long. Many things have happened the year, most not happy ones. My cat of 14 years, Chaplin, passed away. He was a ragamuffin who joined my household in 1997 and brought joy with his funny face, quiet demeanor and love of belly rubs. That was in December 2011.

In February 2012, a new kitty joined us. Jacksie, named in honor of Jackson Pollock because she looks like she ran through his studio and he decided to paint her, was a joy to have around. However, our older cat, Furby, didn't quite take to her as I'd like. Even though she really loved him and tried to get his attention all the time.
Furby was and always had been, a mama's boy. He was my cat. Make no bones about it. He spent most of his time, playing and cuddling with me. Met me at the door when I came home, jumped into my arms often and loved laying me butting his head into me for kisses and scratches. After an all too brief 12 years, barely, He passed in April of this year. I starter to write this then, but I just couldn't bring myself to write. He was such a close part of my life that his loss hit me very hard. Both Furby and Chaplin were my heart and soul, respectively.

Jacksie is now my soul, cute, adorable, fun and getting more affectionate daily. She was very upset when Furby passed away. She stopped eating as much, lost weight and was a bit droopy around the house. Eventually she got past it but did not revive to the kitty she was before. It wonky recently that she's become the rambunctious, playful feline she was when we first met. For that, I can only credit the newest member of our household.

Gizmo came home with me a couple of weeks ago. He's a 14 week old kitting that has stolen my heart. Cuddly, affectionate, gorgeous and mischievous, he has brought both Jacksie and myself to life again. So now I have my heart and my soul back again. Life is good.

Monday, September 10, 2012

What I Did This Summer

It's been a slow, but steady summer for me. I've been working on cleaning up the code on my website, doing a lot of sketching, and learning about making jewelry through trial and error. I've had a number of custom orders, but spent the majority of my time reading forums, tutorials and learning, learning, learning by making a number of mistakes. Most of what I worked on hit the trash can. But here are a few of my favorite things from this summer.

I call these Copper Domed Petal Earrings and I had a blast making these though they took awhile. Yes, I could have bought the blanks pre-made but this is me working full fabrication, forged from start to finish. With a number of discs thrown into the recycle pile. (sigh) Still, now that I know what I did wrong, I’m ready to make some more of these... in different sizes? maybe even mixing copper and silver? Stamped? Patina’d? Suggestions?




I wanted something turquoise to wear and these Swarovski crystal columns have been sitting in my stash for way too long. Feeling lonely. Unwanted. Unloved. Poor Swaros. This is really stunning and looks so much better in person than in the photo. his necklace looks so much better than I can photograph. I used beautiful, puffed rectangle and oval rectangle beads of dyed, stabilized turquoise, in a vibrant blue very close to the color of real Sleeping Beauty Turquoise, but at a much lower price. The beads together with stunning Swarovski Crystal AB columns, rounds and Indicolite bicones connect to a sterling silver chain with lobster claw clasp and create a simple, yet elegant necklace for an evening out.



By far my favorite, and hardest project, it took me several days to finish this one. I have no idea what the stone is as it came in a lot of mixed cabs. It's a beautiful blue, with white spaces and tan colored veins. I wanted to do something to complement it's petite pear shape so after forming the bezel, I made a leaf out of Argentium wire. I then soldered the bezel to the inside of the leaf and used sterling silver half round from my stock to create the shank. I did need some advice how to properly solder the shank to the leaf so asked my resources over at Orchid. One reason it took so long. But it came out great and now I’m working on a series of rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces to complement this one.



So for me, it's been an interesting summer. Slow, but a lot of fun. I'm still working on the website, cleaning up code, changing over to my new logo, fixing it up and trying to make it better. But the time I spend learning and writing code for the pages, takes up the time I'd rather be in the studio, making mistakes and also making some beautiful jewelry.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Good Intentions...

Well, they say the road to hell is paved with them. I guess I'm just as guilty of procrastinating as anyone else. But 5 months? Really, I'm a bad girl. :) I haven't been making much jewelry and I haven't been spending much time writing here either. What I have been doing is living life. Taking trips with friends and spending time with those I care about. Things are changing around me and I've never been much of a writer to begin with. I keep saying I'll try to write something, anything, at least once a week, but then life happens and I forget. It's just not that important to me that I put pen to paper and tell strangers about the trivialities of my days. Perhaps if I had more knowledge to share. But I'm still accumulating it myself.

Jacksie (5 mo) February 2012
Okay, What have I been doing since December of last year? I went to Disney in January, got a gorgeous new kitten in February, helped a friend through the death of her husband of 32 years, went to Naples, FL in March, went on a 2 week trans-Atlantic Cruise to Europe in April (I saw Paris in springtime and it was beautiful!!!), went back to Disney for the Flower & Garden Show in May and here we are. I've had acupuncture, which miraculously cured the excruciating pain of sciatica which had me unable to walk for the better part of 3 months. And I say miraculously because I thought nothing would help but this did and the pain is still gone. Lost a very close friend who said some hurtful things to me and never called back, found that I still have friends who love me and the hits just keep on coming. I'm working on joining up with one of my best friends, Shelley, from Tortoise Treasures, and if things work out well, sometime over the summer I will move up to the Delray/Boynton/Lantana area and move my studio as well. You'll be able to find me at a real brick & mortar location as I'll be MikiCat Designs at Tortoise Treasures Emporium. Fancy, aint it? LOL

Funny, just today I told a dear friend of mine on Facebook, one who has a heart condition and has others telling her all the time not to do the things she loves to do because of the danger, that "Your life is only as good as you choose to live it. Immerse yourself in those choices and never look back." I guess it's what 58+ years of living on this earth is trying to teach me. It's possible I may finally have an inkling of what that really means after all these years.

So for now, I guess 4 paragraphs is enough to cover the last 5 months... at least sketchily. Perhaps I'll write more later about the wonderful Celebrity Eclipse cruise (it was AWESOME), our weekend in London (cold, rainy but great) and getting to see Mickey Dolenz of the Monkees at Epcot (too cool)! Then again, perhaps I'll be too busy living life to write about it.

Later, friends.

Michele

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Inspiration the best way!

It's a new year, and once again I am making a new resolution. It's been awhile since I wrote and from my last post you can imagine why. This year, let's see if I can actually do something more constructive, if only for myself. So, as I've said before, I'm going to try to post a few times a month instead of a few times a year. :) Let's begin with Inspiration. Always a good starting place for artists and dreamers.

As most designers, I sometimes lose my focus and become uninspired. Then the urge hits me and I feel the need to start creating something. Anything. Lately I've gone back to crochet. I've always loved yarn and for quite some time my fingers have been itching to hold a hook again. So, jewelry, crochet, whatever it is we do, we need inspiration. Especially when it comes to color. There are so many out there to choose from, blues, green, reds, well, a regular rainbow. But sometimes, just sometimes, I get lost among all the choices.

Enter Design Seeds. With a keen eye and and a stroke of genius, Jessica has created not only a source of inspiration but one of renewed passion. Taking photos from everywhere she pulls trendy and focused color palettes that are sure to get your creative juices flowing. Take a closeup of a shell and a wonderful palette emerges reminiscent of the sea. A bowl of cereal evokes
elegant hues of yellow, gray, brown and mauve. A lollipop shows how red, blue, lilac and yellow can actually work with each other and vegetables are good for more than just the health of your body but your soul with the warm, vibrant tones of the earth.

Whether you make jewelry, crochet, knit, sew, paint, or sculpt, do mosaics, ceramics, interior design or even garden, here is a source of imagination that should well stimulate your thoughts, awaken your creativity and, at the least, spark a little light into your artistry.

Happy New Year and keep creating!

Monday, June 20, 2011

All Things End

I know this is supposed to be a blog by someone who makes jewelry but I also have a personal life and it has interfered with my intentions the past few weeks. This past weekend was not a very happy Father's Day for me. You see, early Sunday morning, my Dad, Leon H. Maurer, passed away.

When I saw him last, he seemed happy and on his way to a full recovery from the bypass surgery. I guess it wasn't meant to be but at almost 87, he had a pretty good run. He was always talking about creating a family business and he loved the fact that I followed him in being the artistic one in the family. A veteran of WWII, in his own words, Dad was a Philosopher, Scientist, Artist, Writer, Engineer, Inventor, Animator, Producer, Director, Musician, Consciousness researcher, Generalist, (Jack of all trades, master of one, having fun). The last was definitely most true. He did know how to have fun.

He invented the Musicane, propounded the theory of Cosmogenisis, and, together with his brother, Normal Maurer (comic book artist, film director, son-in-law of Moe Howard of the Three Stooges), co-invented Artiscope, a “full animation-by-automation” system (per Leon’s resume, “Realistic character animation without artists – world’s first practical “real-time motion capture” system”). They also worked together on developing Cinemagic which my uncle used in the 1959 production of "The Angry Red Planet." Dad was a very talented person and quite handsome, if I do say so myself.

A New York City resident and Central Park character for years, he moved to Florida about 6 years ago. Though we were never really very close, I learned a lot from my Dad and I'm glad I had the chance to know him a little better and spend time with him these last years. I am going to miss him, in my own way.

Funny, as much as we seem we're prepared to lose an elderly parent, even one we didn't know very well, it's still strikes deep and it's hard to say goodbye. I'm having a bit of a hard time with it but am very, very grateful to have two brothers, whom I love very much, to share this loss with. We loved him. Each in our own way. And he loved us. Of that I'm very sure. So wherever you are, Pops, RIP!

Friday, May 27, 2011

It's a Big, Small World

I know I promised to write at least once a week but with my Dad in the hospital, he's gotten worse, I just haven't given much thought to it. Today, however, I'm home and can't visit Dad because I have a killer cough and they won't let me into ICU. He just had a stent put in and tomorrow goes in for triple bypass surgery so we take no chances with even the slightest possibility of his catching something from me. While I'm sitting here, twiddling my thumbs and toes and coughing, I thought I'd tell you about a few things.

New friends can be found in the strangest places. While standing in line at the grocery store, waiting for your coffee at Starbucks, getting your nails done or bringing in some shirts to the Cleaners. Well, there I am, sitting in the Surgical/ICU waiting room earlier this week, with one of my best friends, Deb, waiting for Pops to come back from a "procedure" so I can brush his hair and get it into a comfortable pony tail. Yup, my old man's a hippie from way back when and his hair is past his shoulders. LOL But that's another story.

Anyway, while sitting around, naturally we start talking to each other and to the other people in the waiting room. It turns out that one of the women sitting there is a fellow beader and jewelry maker. But wait, she also lives in the condo complex right next to my development! Talk about your small world. What's more, she has an Etsy shop, ElegantNFunky, and is a member of the Florida Etsy Street Team. So how come I have to go to a hospital waiting room to meet someone I should have met awhile ago? Well, it really is a big, small world, and we make it larger by not reaching out when we get the chance.

I've been making jewelry for 3 years now, been a member of FEST for almost as long and should have known that some of my fellow FEST members may just live nearby. So, I urge you to go check out who's really in your local guild, whether you make jewelry, sew clothes, crochet, knit, craft, paint or sculpt, really look around at the members and see who just might be your neighbor.

As I said, friends can be found in the strangest places, but only if you really look.

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