Thursday, February 28, 2008

Letter opener update

Getting closer, but lots of show pics and apps have been slowin' me down!  The photo shows how all the pieces are assembled separately, and then they will be joined together as the last step.  I decided to throw in the labradorite, which is a .40 carat beauty.  It takes hours to get this far, and there's still a good chance something will melt and have to be rebuilt...
Thank goodness February has one extra day this year, huh?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Letter Opener project - new!

It may sound silly, but I'm really proud of myself for keeping up with a blog.  I'm incredibly busy and get a bit pre-occupied now and then, so writing 4 or 5 times a month is pretty stinkin good!
By the way, the pieces I posted for Valentine's Day sold out - my apologies for those who inquired about them.  But the good news is I've got a lot of new pieces in process that should be available soon!
The last post was a hard one; I'll write more about the happier side of Tucson later - the gem show - but for now I have a treat for you!  I've been working on a project that I sketched out in January for a letter opener.  Funny thing, it almost looks like a lady's dagger - yikes!  I wanted to design another table top piece and incorporate filigree somewhere.  There really wasn't a better place for it than in the handle, so I created a fern leaf motif that swirls around inside a stronger, heavier-duty frame.  Ferns grow wild in the woods around here, some of them even stay green all winter long.  They're incredibly beautiful.  After sketching it out a few times, I added in a small oval labradorite stone where the fiddle head forms.  It just needed a little sparkle. :)
So, here's the final handle sketch and the pieces in progress... hope you enjoy, and I'll keep you posted on my progress!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Visit to Tucson

It's been a very busy couple of weeks, and I've just returned from Tucson to the cold bitter weather of Ohio!  The temperature difference was more than 70 degrees - and then add in the wind chill.  WOW!

I originally planned the trip to attend the Tucson Gem & Mineral show and visit my family, but it turns out my dad hadn't been doing very well so the focus switched to seeing them.  He's been struggling with cancer for several years, had half of a lung removed, and we thought he was out of the woods.  Then last year he hurt his ribs, and when they didn't seem to heal up, the doctor did a scan and found lesions on his ribs and some shady spots on his breast muscles.  He went through two heavy duty rounds of chemo and radiation only to lose his voice in early  December to another area being attacked by cancer.  By the end of December this evil disease had wrapped itself around his spine, causing him to lose feeling in his feet and lower legs.  Within a period of less than a month he went from walking a few miles a day to struggling down his short driveway with a walker, stopping at the end to sit on the little fold out stool attached on it's frame.  When I saw him this weekend, he was so thin and tired looking, and  could barely catch his breath.  

This man once considered playing professional baseball and wrestled criminals into jail cells.  It's so sad to watch him disappear into the shadows with no voice.  It's almost like he's already half gone.  Although he hasn't said anything, he wants to go, I think.  He's supposed to contact hospice - hasn't done it.  The last attempt the doctors have for him would sequester him to a radioactive room with no contact with the outside world for six weeks.  He cancelled the appointment.    

I love him, told him so, and gave him a hug so big it nearly crushed his frail body.