Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I went rock hunting this weekend. I actually took 2 days off (well, almost 2 days, I did come back to the shop on Monday am to sort a few things out), and went out to Port Townsend and the Olympic Peninsula to stroll the fantastic beaches and enjoy the weather and scenery before the Hood Canal Bridge closes for a month and change. As you can imagine, the weather was perfect, sunny & warm, clear & most importantly, rain free (I actually got a sunburn and everything!). I enjoyed every minute of it and cannot wait until the bridge construction is done so I can run away again. Now this trip did include a bit of "work"...since I was hunting for rocks I use on my found object jewelry technically, I was working the entire time, but I really don't see things that way. I have always been a water person, I love to be in, on or around any type of water. The critters that live in, above and around the water are fascinating; water and water related things have dominated my personal & professional life in one way or another my entire existence (yes, I really wanted to have a Mr. Limpet experience!). So, to make sure we all have some water and nature and critters in our lives for the foreseeable future, please think about your impact on this planet we call home...and think about some changes that will make it a better place for future generations. we have been doing just that, and have made some changes to our policies here at echo artworks that will help us do our part to keep things green & leafy. First-we have changed precious metal vendors. Our new vendor sells only reclaimed and recycled metal, nothing that has been mined or harvested. that means no arsenic, or cyanide being leached into groundwater, and less metal in junk yards and scrap piles. Second-we will be changing how beads and loose findings are sorted for purchase. we will be switching from plastic (albeit recycled) bags to glassine envelopes. glassine has a much lower plastic content, and are biodegradable. Third-we will be asking you to do your part. we have ordered some block print totes (made from recycled off cuts and recycled ink), every time you reuse your bags, we will give you a 5 cent refund and also donate 5 cents to the Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy or other non profit organization that protects and educates (suggestions welcome) on a revolving basis. These changes will be progreesing over the next few months. We appreciate your assistance, suggestions and patience. For more ways to make a impact visit http://www.treehugger.com/. Happy Earth Day everyone! PS- as part of my beach combing, I always pick up trash...this weekend, I filled 2 bags. if you want to help, I'll be heading to Hansville tomorrow morning and I love company!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring has sprung!

Spring has sprung in the Pacific Northwest. Today we are celebrating the third day in a row of sun & temperatures in the 60's. I have gardened as much as possible in these three days, and I have enjoyed every minute. However, as I write this post, the clouds are starting to close overhead and if the weather folks are right, it will be back to clouds & rain (maybe even snow?!?!) for the rest of the week. So I am going to be proactive and make flowers this Sunday if Mother Nature has decided to be disagreeable. I'll be in the studio for a metalsmithing workshop from 10 am to 5 pm if anyone cares to join. Yes, I know it is Easter Sunday, but trust me when I tell you I pray a lot at the torch.

Happy Easter everyone!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

What I’ve been doing these past two weeks

I have been a bit busy these last two weeks, but I finally managed to get the new workshops updated on our website. I've added a few new links and pages and I'll be working on getting the calendar updated today & tomorrow. In the mean time, I thought I'd show you a set of bangle bracelets I finished in a metal fusing workshop last week. The bangle is brass with fused fine (pure) silver and copper hearts dangling around your wrist. I was inspired by a Himalayan legend that says that all Himalayan women wear a slender brass bracelet at all times to keep their soul inside their bodies. And, yes, I wear 2 brass bracelets and they never come off! (thought I could use the extra so my soul doesn't get any bright ideas about moonlighting somewhere without me)