Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Commissions: The Good

Doing work on commission is fun, but I always get really nervous. Most of the time it's a gift I'm asked to work on, so I worry about what the person who asked me to make something with think, and then I also worry about what the person receiving the gift will think. But, I have to remember that I'm my own worst critic, as I'm sure many of you out there are.

A guy I work with asked me to make a necklace for his wife for her birthday. I know his wife a little, but I needed some serious help to figure out what to make. She's not particularly religious, but loves religious symbolism. Perfect! I'm not Catholic, but I have a thing for Catholic imagery, and as a result have a number of photographs of churches, prayer candles, and the Madonna in my stash. I started with this photograph, taken in a tiny church in Venice:

Venice, Italy

Then I started agonizing over what the backside of the necklace should look like. I finally decided to use a blue silk fabric that related to the blue of the Virgin Mary's robe, with a little bit of lace and a butterfly cut-out. According to my Dictionary of Symbols (picked up who-knows-where, but it sure comes in handy), butterflies are "an emblem of the soul and of unconscious attraction towards the light."


Hoping to not find out that she hates the color blue (this necklace is fairly blue-tastic), I boxed it up and took it to work.



Thankfully, she loved it and put it on right away. That's what I love about creating a custom jewelry piece for someone.

Check out my other necklaces at thepigandpepper.etsy.com!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Beautiful Blooms


Why is it that so many of us don't take the time to treat ourselves to something small? I'm in Trader Joe's enough to be on a first name basis with half of their lovely staff, and I always gaze with longing at the floral displays. So my goal is to treat myself to some blooms when they catch my eye. 


There's really nothing quite as cheerful as bright yellow sunflowers on the kitchen table, is there?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Playing Catch-Up

I've been bad. I haven't posted in quite awhile.

Here's what you missed:

Etsy Samples
1. Samples from the CCCOE Team arrived - YAY! It was like Christmas in my mailbox.

Silver Lining - Sold!

2. I had two photos in a local exhibition and am so thrilled to say that one of them sold and the other was accepted into the Orange County Fair!

Sketchbook Project - Study

3. I signed up to participate in The Sketchbook Project and have been a lean, mean, creating machine ever since.


4. My family was faced with the difficult decision to let go of our cat, Mawi. We lost a little light in the world, and I've been finding it quite difficult to come to terms with.

5. I've been re-discovering my love for yoga.

LA Arboretum

6. I finally discovered what the LA Arboretum is all about. If you don't know yet, go. Now.

San Francisco

7. My husband and I are about to leave on a much-needed 3 day trip to San Francisco. I can't get the thought of all that yummy food and artwork out of my head.

I'll try to be better from now on...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Taking Some Time

Plant Assortment
Hanging Baskets
Tomatos, Rosemary, Oregano, Geraniums


The gallery I work in has an annual juried exhibtion with a local art league every spring. Beverly, one of the lovely artists who participates, came in this week bearing gifts of sweet pea and poppy bouquets and offers of succulents from her garden to anyone who was interested. Off I motored to her house after work, and returned home with a trunk laden full of goodies. James and I spent Wednesday in the small patio area we call a garden with our plants, both new and old. (Well, he spent the time in the garden planting, I swept and lit candles. I'm hopeless when it comes to gardening.) At the end of the day, we pulled our chairs from the dining nook outside to enjoy a glass of wine and a can of beer among the candles and potted goodness. (That's me in the last photo, wearing my latest favorite long cardi from Urban Outfitters. I really shouldn't have, but I couldn't resist...)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Farmer's Market Love

We went to the local Famer's Market today in the hopes of finding heirloom tomatos, strawberries and sweet pea sproutlings. No heirloom tomatos or sweet peas, but we found beautiful strawberries and settled on a small basil plant to replace our dead one.


Sweet Basil

You can't imagine how amazing these smell...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Getting Personal

I have a hard time knowing what to write about myself. I always worry that there's a fine line between informative and TMI and I'm on the wrong side of it. Plus my childhood shyness tends to rear its ugly head whenever I try to write anything remotely resembling a bio or artist statement.


Anyway, here's a start! Thanks, Carly (of Lovely and Amazing) for the idea!

The ABC's of Me

A-Age: 27
B-Bed Size: Full
C-Chore you hate: Cleaning the toilet
D-Dog's Name: I don't have a dog, I have two cats that live with my parents called Mawi and Cal
E-Essential start to your day: Coffee with hazelnut creamer and a kiss from my husband
F-Favorite colors: Blues, greens, very deep pinks
G-Gold, Silver or Platinum: Whatever. I just like things silver in color.
H-Height: 5'5"
I-Instruments you play: I used to play the guitar when I was in high school. I'm learning to play the handbells now. And I sing in my church choir.
J-Jewelry you wear everyday: My wedding rings on my left ring finger, 4 silver twig rings on my left pointer, a thick silver band from the Camden Market in London on my right pointer, a silver and amethyst heart ring my husband gave me for my 21st birthday and a thin silver band on my right ring finger.
K-Kids: Not right now.
L-Living arrangements: I live in one-bedroom apartment with my husband
M-Mom's name: Joyce
N-Nicknames: Jenn Jenn, etc.
O-Overnight Hospital Stay: Only when I was born.
P-Pet Peeves: Nasty people. Cell phones going off in movies. People who don't use their turn signals.
Q-Quote: "Life is what happens when you're busy making plans." I have no idea who said that.
R-Right or Left Handed: Right
S-Siblings: None
T-Time you wake up: Between 6:45 and 8:00 unless it's my day off.
U-Underwear: I'm a fan.
V-Vegetable you dislike: Beets, Brussels sprouts
W-Ways you run late: I just don't think about what time I have to leave to get there in time. I'm pretty good at that.
X-X-Rays: Just my teeth
Y-Yummy food you make: I make lots of yummy food. Lasagna, spagetti bolognaise, German potato salad, chicken parmesan, paprika/garlic potatos, lemon and thyme salmon.....lots.
Z-Zoo Favorite: I just love zoos.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Up and Running!

I'm so excited to tell you that The Pig and Pepper is finally up and running! Opening a second Etsy shop has been something I'd been thinking about for a long time, and this just seemed like the right time to do it. I'm still operating my first store, Sweetpea Studios, but I decided to move my soldered pieces to the new shop and add some new goodies.

Vintage Leaves Fabric Necklace

Tiny Treasure Flowers Reversible Necklace

I hope you'll check both shops out!

Monday, March 15, 2010


It's not hard to take good photographs when you've got a gorgeous model!
Thanks so much, Carly, for all your help!

Carly, by the way, makes lovely jewelry! 
Check out her Etsy shop, or visit her blog.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Just a little something I'm working on...

I'm so excited to show you the real deal!
Stay tuned for new developments...