Saturday, March 23, 2013

Beavers and Brooch #11

My dog and I were out walking along the Willamette River recently, and we came across a beaver sitting in the middle of the path. Flores was running ahead of me and he ran right up to what I thought at first was a log or a rock. When I realized it was a beaver, I quickly called him back, as he was by then,  doing a nose to nose with the animal...! I'd seen beaver only rarely and always just a quick glimpse in the water. 

(yes, rather lame to take a movie of something not moving, I know...)

We have a ravine with a small stream behind our house and there are some beaver dams down stream a bit but I'd never seen the critters, they are after all nocturnal. 
So what was this beaver doing sitting so still in the path during the middle of the day? After a little bit of reading up on beavers here, I decided that this must have been a 2 year old, leaving the home pond in search of his place in the world. I had read that beaver babies stick around as yearlings and help raise the next litter before striking out on their own. 
 About a week later, the Oregonian reported that a beaver was spotted trying to cross the road one night directly across the Willamette River from where we spotted our beaver. It was late at night and the police showed up and actually walked him to the safety of a nearby creek. I feel pretty sure, that was our beaver...

And coincidentally, a week later, my friend Cynthia sent me a package containing among other things, this very nice little beaver. And, he arrived just as I finished up brooch # 11. Thank you, Cynthia! 

Brooch #11 in the etsymetal brooch-a-month challenge is a lovely round fossil coral. Set in sterling silver, I've added a simple tie tac type clutch on the back.

So that's my beaver story. I've got brooch #12 in the works, also a fossil... so stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Brooch #10 and hellebores

Brooch #10 was not going to befall the same fate as brooches 8 & 9... So I kept it simple. Hard to crack a pearl...

Kind of nice and minimalist...

And I just had to share a bouquet of hellebores from my friend, Debra's garden... Spring at last!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Brooches 8 & 9

In the continuing brooch saga there have been a couple of heartbreaks recently...

Brooch # 8, is a very lovely piece of malachite/chrysocola with a wonderful undulating surface. Paired with a very pretty south sea pearl and fabricated in sterling and 14kt gold...

love that movement!

took the time to pierce the back...

measures just over 2"

This week's brooch, brooch # 9, I've been working on all weekend, about 15 hours worth.
It features a piece of Sonoran dendritic rhyolite with a little amethyst up top and a baroque pearl drop. The metal is sterling, 14kt and 18kt gold.
I designed a little converter that slips onto the pin stem and allows it to be worn as a pendant. 

pretty cool!

So the heartbreak in the story is the fact that both stones developed a crack after they were finished, or at least I only noticed them after they were finished...
I spent a little bit of time wallowing in self pity, took a walk and listened to my husband remind me that 99 out of 100 pieces end up unbroken! Maybe I don't have to go find a job at the local grocery store bagging canned goods.

Well, the first brooch had a very happy ending. I offered it in my etsy shop at a reduced price an it went to a very good customer who will love it and wear it.
I haven't decided what will become of brooch # 9. It could go as a second, the crack is hairline, but I don't want to be offering seconds in my shop on a regular basis, I mean, how would that look? She can't be trusted not to break her own jewelry??

I could use it as some kind of prize for a drawing to get more facebook likes, or what?? What should I do with it? All suggestions would be appreciated, and considered with proper gravity...