Monday, March 31, 2008

Spring really is trying to peek out from under winter's blanket - finally!  There are fattening buds on the quince bushes, crocuses (croci?) smile cheerily, and the iris' are sprouting quickly.  I've had little time to enjoy it all the way I'd like because of a recent bout of flu, but thankfully spring has just begun. :)  

Lots of custom jobs, project research, and new designs (in time for the starting show season) have kept me busy while waiting for warmer weather.  I picked up some absolutely beautiful and rare stones at the Tucson gem show that I'm starting to use in my new designs.  I've been looking forward to trying out some new styles and techniques, too.  I'll post more as I get the photos in.  

Here's a copper shovel with an apple wood handle to help bring in springtime.  I had so much fun making it; I kept thinking of some tiny little garden gnome using it to plant his vegetables!  I even took a specialized hammer to make miniscule tool marks on the shovel blade so that it looks real.  Crazy, but fun!


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I'll have some spring, please

March came in like a lion and is still roaring... so where's my lamb?!?  I'm really ready for spring.  If I see one more snowflake I think I'll lose my mind!  

So here's a pretty picture of green, at least the way I remember it! :)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Letter opener update - all together!

It's getting there little by little (in between all the other projects on my bench right now).  I've gotten all the pieces assembled, each little curly cue in its place, every silver granule where it needs to be, and only a small bit of skin was sacrificed on my rotary!

Today I started the rough and then medium filing/sanding on the blade and handle.  All the rough spots have been taken off, alternating direction to make the deeper sanding grooves show better so that I don't miss any. My fingers are horribly sore, but I really wanted to make some progress on this project!  

It's starting to look beautiful, just like I saw it in my head, and soon I'll work the patina and finishing polish, and then finally set the stone.  There are so many designs I want to move on to - my ideas hit me faster than my hands can create them.  And I want to get as much done right now as I possibly can.  With so many shows this coming season I really need to plan ahead to have enough pieces in my high, low, and mid range pricing so that I don't run short.  I should still be able to work in between the shows, but I'm going to guess that I'll be pretty tired!

Until next time,

~Jeni Buckingham

Friday, March 7, 2008


I love it when life bursts in on you (in a good way!) and draws you into some one else's life.  One of my joys in doing custom work is getting the story behind the piece.  It helps me to connect with my client, it gives my intuition and creativity a boost, and there's somehow extra soul in the piece when I'm finished.  Sometimes it's just the everyday "I need a necklace because I have nothing to go with my favorite earrings", or "I've always wanted something in turquoise!".  Every once in a while I hear a gem of a story that really touches my heart like the one last weekend.  

I got a call from a newer collector who breathlessly rushed into a story about her partner in a weight loss program.  They work out several times a week, go to weekly meetings, and even talk on the phone for encouragement and accountability.  Her partner has struggled with diabetes, several different other medical conditions that make weight loss more difficult, and was just recently diagnosed with one more very serious condition in which her pancreas is shutting down.  Her doctor immediately put her on yet another medication (she's only in her early 40's!) to help slow down the process, but it has horrible side effects - one is weight gain.  Imagine being nearly triple your ideal body weight, working your butt off for months to lose it, eating only 1,000 calories a day, and then finding out that your body is fighting so hard against you that you're actually gaining weight. 

Does she complain?  No.  Instead, she still works out with my client, encourages everyone in the group to keep their heads in the game, and never says a negative thing about it.  This month the group is going to honor the top "loser" by giving a gift, and my client wanted to do the same for her partner for her amazing character and winning attitude.  She won't be the top loser, in fact she's already gained back every pound she lost during the program, but she's not giving up! 

I'm finishing up the necklace that is to be the gift; it's a sterling and 18k gold star pendant on a sterling chain.  I feel so privileged to be able to work on this project and haven't stopped thinking of the strength of this woman the entire time I was cutting and filing.  She's an inspiration to everyone.