Saturday, April 30, 2011

Portland Saturday Market 4/30/11

It was a gorgeous day at Portland Saturday Market.  With sun shining, it was warm while in the sun, but too long in the shade and the temperature was noticeably chillier.   However, it didn't stop people from coming down to shop.With over 200 hundred vendors, live entertainment, a view of the water and a park on both sides to relax in, it was a great way to spend the day.


Portland Saturday Market has something for everyone, regardless of age bracket or personal tastes.   Bim Ditson is one of our fellow artisans, whom we met our very first weekend. Bim is an energetic 20 year old who has been making chainmaille for 11 years.  He works with a variety of metals that include stainless steel, silvered enamel copper and even rubber rings. 

Bim in his booth
Bim in his booth

Display of chainmaille
Display of chainmaille

Colorful chainmaille earrings by Bim
Colorful chainmaille earrings by Bim

Chainmaille necklaces
Chainmaille necklaces

Chainmaille earrings by Bim
Chainmaille earrings by Bim

Chainmaille belts, necklaces and bracelets
Chainmaille belts, necklaces and bracelets

Earrings created from colorful chainmaille
Earrings created from colorful chainmaille

Different chainmaille bracelets in different colors.
Different chainmaille bracelets in different colors.


Bim can be found at the market almost every weekend of Portland Saturday Market. While he moves around each weekend, you can't miss him. From his vibrant sign to his carrot orange hair he is easily recognizable. Though, when he has his mohawk going on he is very distinguished looking.






Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Quote Wednesday 4/27/11


Undertake something that is difficult;
It will do you good.

Unless you try to do something
Beyond what you have already mastered,
You will never grow.

-- Ronald E. Osborn

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Crystal Fantasies --- Featured Artisan

Stop in and get to know the talent behind Crystal Fantasies, today's artisan interview.



When and how did you first become interested in crafting?

I have been interested in various types of crafting most of my life. I began sewing doll clothes on a little "toy" Singer hand-cranked sewing machine that my mother bought for me as a child. (I still have it! It's about 55 years old.) I progressed to making my own clothes as a teenager on my mother's "big" Singer. I also learned how to crochet, and after I married I became interested in cross stitch, which I still do occasionally.




How long have you been creating your chosen craft?

About three years ago I began learning how to make jewelry, which was terrific for me since I loved jewelry so much. I have always loved to wear jewelry and was known as the jewelry queen by everyone who knew me. After making pieces to match just about every outfit in my wardrobe, I realized I had no more space in my jewelry armoire. After retiring from public school administration a year ago, I decided to begin selling my jewelry to the public.

Turquoise, Pearl, and Crystal Necklace
Turquoise, Pearl, and Crystal Necklace

 
What are your crafting influences?

I suppose I could say that my work is mostly influenced by my love for color (especially bright colors and pastels) and the concepts of harmony and balance.



What kinds of places have you displayed your craft in your life?

I began selling locally to my friends, then set up an online shop on Etsy. Soon after that I learned about ArtFire and decided to give that a try. Now I have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and several other online venues.

Multicolor Jade Nuggets and Crystal Necklace
Multicolor Jade Nuggets and Crystal Necklace


What else do you do besides create these beautiful pieces?

I am also a musician (organ and piano), so the combination of colors and textures that I use in my pieces reminds me of the blending of beautiful notes to create a lovely melody. In addition to being a church organist, I am also a wife, mother of two grown sons, and grandmother to one grandson, who I love to babysit any chance I get. I taught school for 24 years and was an administrator for 8 years before retiring over a year ago.



What is your favorite piece that you have created so far?

It's really hard to pick out any one piece as my favorite, because I don't create anything that I wouldn't love wearing myself.



What is special about your pieces?

There is one necklace that I think represents my concept of Crystal Fantasies and that is my Rainbow Mystic Rock Crystal Quart z and Antique Gold necklace. There are just so many colors playing in those stones. I fell in love with them when I saw them in a local bead store, and as soon as I put the antique gold beads with them I knew I had a match. The harmony I was talking about.

Rainbow Mystic Rock Crystal Quartz Faceted Nuggets Necklace
Rainbow Mystic Rock Crystal Quartz Faceted Nugget Necklace

 
You can locate Crystal_Fantaies at any of the below links:

Facebook

My blog

Twitter 

My Artfire studio

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Gardening Tools --- Part 2 Intermediate

This is the second part of gardening tools series and it is with the serious gardener in mind that the tools were chosen for this blog. Whether you are a hard core garden hobbyist or gardening as a way of life this list is for advanced gardening. While garden space will play a part in which tools you will need, remember to find the right fit for you as well as the best quality you can afford. There is nothing worse than having to replace a tool in the middle of a gardening project when you aren’t prepared of it.



1.) Shovel ---



A long wooden handled tool that traditionally has a broad scoop like blade, rounded on the edges, that is used for digging and moving dirt. They make them in different heights, so be sure to acquire one that is appropriate for your height, it will save the strain on your back.



You will also see ones with square blades on them, while not really applicable for gardening that I have found. They do make great shovels for snow.



2.) Spade ---

This tool is constructed with a long handled a sturdy blade so that it can withstand being stepped on when digging into the ground, for greater force. It has a sturdier blade and handle than a standard shovel to accommodate the extra torque.

This is another long handled tool that needs to be purchased with the correct length handle to accommodate your height properly.



3.) Hoe ---



Generally a long handled tool with a flat bladed edge. Used to loosen the soil and cut down weeds. It is a great tool for saving the back and getting to the weeds that grow in between the rows in a vegetable garden.



4.) Pruners ---



Is the name for a collection of tools that are used for cutting back branches on small bushes, berry vines, roses and so forth. I have several pairs of varying sizes and styles to accommodate a variety of uses. These are a tool that you will find take trial and error to find the best ones for you.





5.) Dibble ---



A short handled pointed tool for making holes in which to plant bulbs. Have to say I have never used one or even owed one. Then I am generally planting seeds rather than bulbs.



6.) Cultivator ---



A pronged tool used for cultivating the soil. I have found it works great for loosening the soil around weeds. It also works well on removing sections of plant life in an area you want to clear, yet are not interested in salvaging any of the plants.



7.) Fork--



This is a lifting or digging tool that usually has tines instead of a flat blade. This allows you to get in and under plant roots, to aerate the soil. And it is especially helpful to keep from damaging the roots when transplanting.



8.) Spreader ---



Is exactly what it sounds like, it is used to spread fertilizer or seeds. Generally it is used to spread them over a lawn. There are two types that I have used. One is a handheld hand crank, which works for small areas. The other is a push spreader which is more efficient when you have a large area to cover.



9.) Loppers/Lopping Shears ---



Are long handled pruners which are designed for larger branches too think for hand pruners. They also work great on smaller branches, which you cannot reach from the ground with your hand pruners.







For more garden tool information read:

“Garden Tools --- Part 1 Basic” 

“Garden Tools --- Part 3 Advanced.”





“Our love of gardening inspires so many of our creations. Sharing the joy of gardening in addition to our jewelry designs is a pleasure.



Do you have a favorite garden tool?



Edited 5/11/11 to add links.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Portland Saturday Market 4/23/11

Gorgesous days like these make Portland Saturday Market more enticing than normal.   So many people out and about enjoying a rare day.  Twas hard to take pictures as all I wanted to do was play.  But work we did and it was great.   Everyone was really enjoying themselves.

Sunny day in the park
Sunny day in the park

Fountain in the park
Fountain in the park

Portland Saturday Market resting area
Portland Saturday Market resting area

People enjoying lunch at Portland Saturday Market
People enjoying lunch at Portland Saturday Market

Rogue Ales at the market
Rogue Ales at the market

Located by the crosswalk, information booth
Located by the crosswalk, information booth

Traffic on Naito parkway
Traffic on Naito parkway

Random crowd photo
Random crowd photo

Random crowd photo number 2
Random crowd photo number 2

Random crowd photo number 3
Random crowd photo number 3

Random crowd photo number 4
Random crowd photo number 4

Random crowd photo number 5
Random crowd photo number 5

Edited 5/3/11 to fix link.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Quote Wednesday 4/20/11

I never blame failure -
There are too many complicated situations in life -
But I am absolutely Merciless
Toward lack of effort.

- F. Scott Fitzgerald

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Personal Oasis -- Featured Artisan

Our Interview with Personal Oasis



When and how did you first become interested in crafting?

I used to define myself by my work outside the home. I worked too hard and too much and when I started to burn out, a friend at work got me hooked on jewelry. I know it sounds hokey, but I think it saved me from myself!



How long have you been creating your chosen craft?

I've been making jewelry since 2008 - so that makes it almost 3 years.

Mossy Green and Black Necklace
Mossy Green and Black Necklace


What are your crafting influences?

I shop for materials that I like first (semi-precious gemstones and pearls especially, but I'm beginning to appreciate crystals now too) Who doesn't love shopping!!! The best part is that I have no idea what I'll do with them when I get them. The designs for my necklaces, bracelets and earrings just come to me as I am looking around at my stash. It's the complete opposite of who I have to be in the traditional workplace - very liberating.



Does anyone in your family do a similar craft?

I come from a large family. We have folks cross stitch, sew, quilt, scrapbook, wood work, and one of my sisters runs her own cake decoration business... but nobody does anything with wire or beads.

Pearl Bracelet - Freshwater Pearls and Sterling Silver
Pearl Bracelet - Freshwater Pearls and Sterling Silver


What else do you do besides create these beautiful pieces?

I'm the mother to two great kids and wife to a great husband. I also run a technology team for a Fortune 100 company.



What is your favorite piece that you have created so far?

This necklace is probably my favorite. It's hard to pick just one!

Multiple Strand Jasper and Obsidian Necklace
Muliple Strand Japser and Obsidian Necklace


Why did you make that piece?

I was talking with a friend one day and she commented on a sweater I was wearing and how hard it must be to find jewelry to go with it. That night, I was looking at my stash and noticed the kambaba jasper beads. It was the exact green color of that sweater. The basic design for this necklace was born that night. I still wear that necklace. It was so popular when people saw it that I made more for my shop.



What does it take to create pieces like that?

You know what? I don't know. I have taught people I know how to do the basic jewelry techniques that I know. It's so amazing what you can do with basic steps, some creativity and some beads. Each person's creativity takes them to a different place. THAT is what makes crafting special.

Agate Earrings - Blue Lace Agate and Silver
Agate Earrings - Blue Lace Agate and Silver


What is special about your pieces?

I use mostly stones and other natural materials, though they are sometimes dyed, heated etc. The stones are the focal point of my designs. It makes my jewelry earthy with gorgeous colors and subtle tones. Beyond that, I stand behind my work with great customer service and generous return policies.



What makes this kind of craft "good" to you?

Do you remember how Gandalf describes the Hobbits in the LOTR movies? "Hobbits really are amazing creatures. You can learn all there is to know about their ways in a month, and yet after a hundred years they can still surprise you." This craft is a little bit like Hobbits to me.



Links to my personaloasis  studio.   

Monday, April 18, 2011

Hiking Silver Falls State Park -- Ten Waterfalls

We went hiking in Silver State Falls Park this past weekend.  It was a beautiful sunny day, could have been a bit warmer, but if it had been the winter fall would not have been nearly as pretty.   We viewed a total of ten huge waterfalls and numerous small waterfalls, too many to count actually.


It was such a pretty hike and totally rejuvenated and inspired us all.    We saw a deer at the very start of the hike, literally it was right at the head of the trail.   Just yards from the main lodge.   The trail was a mix of paved path ways, wooden bridges, stones, and of course a few spots of mud.   While we were only able to walk behind 3 of the 4 waterfalls with trails behind them, they were all breathtaking views.  The fourth one was closed due to unsafe trail conditions.


Trail Map which can be found at multiple tray locations.  No getting lost on this hike
Trail Map which can be found at multiple tray locations. 
No getting lost on this hike.

Deer in the woods
Deer we saw at the very start of our hike.

Top of the water fall
Top of the water fall

Bottom of the waterfall
Bottom of the waterfall

The trail behind one of the waterfalls.
The trail behind one of the waterfalls.

Well maintained rock trail conditions
Well maintained trail conditions.

Tree logged waterfall
Tree logged waterfall

One of the numerous small waterfalls
One of the numerous small waterfalls.

Waterfall framed by trees
Waterfall framed by trees

Waterfall in the forest
Waterfall in the forest

Showing the trail behind the waterfall
Showing the trail behind the waterfall.


To see more photos of our amazing hike follow these links.

Tammy's Album

Tina's Album

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Garden Delights 4/17/11

To complete our Garden, We must have thyme
Thyme for fun
Thyme for rest
Thyme for ourselves.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Portland Saturday Market 4/16/11


Sometimes we have a chance to break away from our booth and enjoy the view out over the river.
There are so many different things to do and see down at Portland Saturday Market.


Boat on the Water
Boat on the Water

People fishing on the river
People fishing on the river

Boat Dock
Boat Dock

Bridge in Portland, Oregon
Bridge in Portland, Oregon

Birds on the bridge
Birds on the bridge

Skyline in Portland, Oregon
Skyline in Portland, Oregon



Edited 5/3/11 to add more pictures.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Gemstone Designs

At Entwined Vines, we work with a wide array of gemstones.  Simply put we enjoy them, there diversity, draw, energy and so forth.  You will find that I especially like gemstones and will continually blog about them.   However today I just wanted to provide some visual eye candy of the different stones we work with and a few of the designs we have created with them.



Natural Shell Bead Hoop Earrings with Hematite Accents
Natural Shell Bead Hoop Earrings with Magnetic Semi Precious Hematite



Pink Marble with Rhodonite Chips and Pink Shell Chips Necklace
Pink Marble and Rhodonite Gemstone Chips and Pink Shell Chips Necklace



Green Lace Jasper and Amethyst Semi Precious Gemstone Necklace
Green Lace Jasper and Amethyst Semi Precious Gemstone Necklace

Dyed Turquoise Chips with Bronze Swarovski Pearls Bracelet
Dyed Turquoise Chips with Bronze Swarovski Pearls Bracelet



Pearls. Fresh Water and Garnet Semi Precious Gemstone Bracelet
Pearls, Fresh Water and Garnet Semi Precious Gemstone Bracelet


This is just a tiny peek of our work with gemstones.   We will share more in our blogs about the individual stones as the year progress.



Do you have a favorite stone you would like to know more about?