Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Almost Summer Vacation Time

Well for the first time in many years we took the holiday weekend off.  This past weekend is the unofficial start to summer here in Rochester, NY.  We went to Letchworth State park and enjoyed the fabulous balloon festival. It was wonderful to see so many families enjoying the warm weather and the event. Spent the day enjoying the beauty of the park by hiking and watching the balloons.

 I wanted to try and show the beauty of the balloons.  Here they are being inflated with air to prepare them for standing upright.  the next step is filling with hot air and then launching them.  yes those are real people in the pic to show scale.

This is the first one being launched.  
The amazing part to all this is it is really a quiet process. 

Here is is high above us ...higher than the tree tops.... on its way to the gorge and it's wonderful flight.   The orange in pic to the right shows the propane flame which heats the air in the balloon.

End of the day pic at Middle falls in Letchworth State park. What a fantastic day off spent with my guy, Herb.

My stores: Jewelry shop
                 Cabochons and Supplies

Facebook:  PW Facebook

As for what is coming up on this blog.....future topic include more of my team members, garden updates, & why Etsy is losing hand made and vintage sellers.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Retired Quilt - Artists on my Team

Cindy Strader of The Retired Quilt is the featured artist this month. I met her online about 3 years ago.  About once a month we will feature an artist in my "TEAM".  I have been selling my work online and have a great TEAM of people whom I consider my second family. Here you will learn about the artist and their work.

Cindy's response when asked why she started her business & the products she sells.  She was contemplating retirement from my “real” job and knew that she needed a plan after retirement.  She had been sewing for more than 40 years and it was what She loved to do.  Cindy had had so many requests over the years to make/create things for others that her husband suggested that she start her own business doing it - it really started as a hobby and has grown into something wonderful.

The most popular request that she get is to create T-shirt/Memory quilts for people. As for what is the most fun to make, the same item. Because she makes so many t-shirt quilts, they really have become one of her favorite things to do - each one is different and unique.  No two are the same - the creativity part and seeing the final product is what makes it fun.

As for what to say to someone starting out in the quilting world, what advise would you have.  Her Grannie taught her how to sew when she was just in high school - the best advice she could give is “listen to your Grannie” - but if it is too late for that - then listen to your heart.

Absolutely she accepts custom orders.  All of her t-shirt quilts are custom orders.  She has also accepted many quilt custom orders.  The turn around time is really dependent on the item requested.  T-shirt quilt are just 2 weeks currently.  But around graduation time and Christmas time you want to be sure to get your order in early - Cindy becomes really busy with them at those times of year.

Want to know where to buy her wonderful creations?    Cindy has an Etsy shop, a web site, a Facebook page, & sells in a local Galleria.  She has tried the craft fair/ art events and does not feel they were successful for her.  She gets a lot of referrals from past customers also.

   Contact info for Cindy
   The Retired Quilt

My stores: Jewelry shop
                 Cabochons and Supplies

Facebook:  PW Facebook
Twitter:  Panda Wear Gems  

Friday, May 15, 2015

Flowers from Highland Park Rochester, NY

We have a new feature on the blog.  About once a month we will feature an artist in my "TEAM".  I have been selling my work online and have a great TEAM of people whom I consider my second family. Here you will learn about the artist and their work.  Another team member will be posted next week.  

This s a photo from my Highland park visit last week.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

New Direction for Panda Wear - Stone DIY

New direction and focus for Panda Wear...what is this about you ask?
I am a lapidary which means I hand cut my own stones.  Having enjoyed cutting gemstone for many years, there is a surplus of stones I am unable to use right away. Also, there is a surplus of rough stone - which is the rocks before they are cut into cabochons.  The rocks started to accumulate (pile up) around my home.    To make space,  I decided to start selling the extras.

Above is a Unakite boulder in the quarry where I have collected some rough in NY state.  The travel mug in this pic is about 10" tall to show perspective. The boulders are over 3 feet tall.  The blue rocks on the left side are mostly calcite.
Steps to make a cabochon
  1. select a rock
  2. cut a slab form the rock
  3. decide  the shape of the cabochon & draw it
  4. trim the slice around the lines
  5.  dop the trimmed piece
  6. start cutting the cab
  7. polish the cab
Michigan Kona dolomite slab.  This is a piece of the selected rock cut into a slice.

Texas graveyard point agate slab.  This is a slab or a slice from the rock. the slice is the second step to making the rock into cabochons.    Imagine the rock as a home made loaf of bread cut into slices.  They can be cut whatever thickness I desire. Clear or transparent rough works best cut thick to show the beauty in the stone when finished. 

In my work, I have bought nice quality supplies for many years. Having bought the high quality beads and cabochons for years I believe I have an idea what other designers are looking for.  Your referrals of friends whom are jewelry designers or jewelry store owners are always appreciated.   Most of my cabochon sales are to other jewelry designers right now.   A few are sales to collectors. Yes, I still sell my OOAK jewelry.  It is just that my focus is on the gemstones right now

On the right, a piece of the Unakite I collected as a finished cabochon.  I went through all of the 7 steps above with this rock.

Below is a Montana Moss Agate cabochon ready to be set into a piece of jewelry. This is a transparent stone and the light is reflected best when the back of the piece is left open.

My cabochons are free form which meas they are not round, or oval like most of the ones I see for sale.  This makes them unique and OOAK.
OOAK means One of a Kind. Cabochons are also called cabs.

Please feel free to ask any questions about the process of stone cutting or making cabochons that you have.   I have taught wire wrapping and jewelry making for years.  I also taught my boyfriend to cut cabs. He is a natural and is a better cutter than I am.

My stores: Jewelry shop
                 Cabochons and Supplies

Facebook:  PW Facebook
Twitter:  Panda Wear Gems  

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

First Harvest of 2015

Welcome to the beauty of my gardens.  a few pic \s of what I saw this weekend..Please enjoy and share with your friends.

 Happy to say I am enjoying the first harvest of the veggie garden for this year. Having a home grown salad with my garden lettuce.  Harris seed grows fantastic and quickly in my garden.
Looking down on the snow peas at right with lettuce on both sides of the row.  Before long, the  snow peas will be 4 feet tall and ready for harvest.  I guess about a 3-4 weeks to wait.

The photo on the left shows the leaf lettuce  on the one side of the trellis from above.  Red and green leaf lettuce are being grown this year.   I should have my first head of lettuce in about a month.  Salads are on the table at my house most nights on the year.  They are especially welcome early like this and when the first tomatoes are picked. 

This is a close of of the snow peas on the right and was taken at ground level.  They were hard to see in the above photos. 

On the left here is the mesclun I harvested for my dinner tonight in the ground.  Below you can see how much there is of the harvest stacked on my kitchen counter top.  

For anyone who has not see this blog before I am an avid gardener and lapidary.  Most of my inspiration comes from nature as can be seen in my work.  Whether it is the arch of a branch, the stem of a bush or the pattern of a flower... I picture designs I make with wire and gemstones.  As a lapidary, when I am cutting a stone my design can take shape based on what I see in the natural stone.  With some pieces, I need to find a stone the right color and shape for my design.

My weeping cherry tree in the front yard.  Did not want to miss showing off some of my flowers.  Lucky to get a good shot this year.  My helper behind the camera is Herb. He does more then help me plant veggies when I am unable to kneel.  He has been a rock through this injury and recovery for me.  I could not be here now without him. He is a keeper.

Every garden has hidden gems.  I found this yesterday and was surprised.  Never had the trunk bloomed before.  May your week be filled with sunshine and nature's beauty.

My stores: Jewelry shop
                 Cabochons and Supplies

Facebook:  PW Facebook
Twitter:  Panda Wear Gems