Sunday, May 23, 2010

Last Thursday I packed my car for a 10 day trip. I headed south to Little Rock and attended the Artweek kick off party on the Junction Bridge. I had never been to a party on a bridge but let me tell you it was beautiful! The weather was perfect and there was also a nice breeze on the Arkansas River. I have an "artistic photos" to share...
On Friday I headed south to Leesville, Louisiana, where my friend Leila hosted a Trunk Show at her new boutique. Leila and I became friends while pursuing our Bachelor Degrees at the University of Arkansas. She has since moved back to her hometown to open her boutique clothing store, Threads, and to pursue her own Interior Design business.
Threads is absolutely beautiful inside with a wonderful selection of affordable womens clothing. The show was a success and the women are big fans of Bella Vita Jewelry and were also excited to meet me.
On Saturday Leila, her husband Jon and I all drove to New Orleans for business and pleasure. I had an appointment with Green Serene to look at some of my jewelry. While I browsed this eco-friendly clothing store, Jamie, the owner browsed my jewelry and selected what she liked.
We wrapped up our business transaction and I was on my way to explore this gem of a city (this was my first time to visit). We went and checked into our hotel and then started walking, we stopped in the Napoleon House for dinner, then headed to Bourbon St. for a Hurricane. While sitting at the bar I got a text message from my friends Kacey and Brad (friends from Fayetteville). They recently moved back down to the gulf and were in the city for the evening. It was fun to run into friends, especially friends that used to live in New Orleans, they showed some me of their favorite places and then dropped me at my hotel. 
Sunday started out stormy! well actually it started out partly sunny and then I took a shower and walked out and wondered "who turned the lights out?" Then turned on the tv to the weather channel and there was a "tornado warning" for New Orleans... this was a little scary, the wind was blowing the rain between all the tall buildings and we were on the sixth floor of our hotel. I was nervous to say the least. The storm finally blew over so we started slowly walking to Muriel's where we had reservations for their Jazz Brunch. We walked down to Jackson Square, saw the river, hit Cafe du Monde, browsed the French Market and then had the most flavorful food I have EVER put in my mouth! I had such a hard time deciding what I wanted to eat because everything on the menu sounded delicious, especially since I hadn't eaten yet that day. I settled on the shrimp and grits with an Abita BBQ sauce (that tasted like it was full of butter)... it was a wonderful choice, all except the heads on the shrimp... (hadn't experienced that yet!). After brunch we slowly made our way back to the hotel, walking the streets window shopping. I can't wait to go back for another visit where I can spend more time admiring the architecture and all the shops. 
Leila and I on Bourbon St., with our "togo" Hurricane.

Jackson Square, I was really proud of this picture until I realized I cut the top of the Cathedral off!

Pretty street shot...
Beautiful building details.
Monday morning I woke up and headed back to Little Rock for Artweek. I taught classes at Argenta Bead Company and worked a couple of exciting earring parties there too! I was also the featured artist at Starving Artists Cafe, Benihana & The Riverfront Steakhouse at lunch time. And participated in the 3rd Friday Art Walk and the Strawberry Festival in downtown North Little Rock. It was an extremely busy week but I managed to get in some quality time with my old boss Ellie, my friends from the bead store, Nicole, Jennifer, Milena & Emily, some of my favorite customers and jewelry designers, Christy and Shannon. I also need to give a shout out to my wonderful friend Ashley, thanks for the couch!!! and of course the "Little Rock" gang! I miss each and everyone of you!
I made it home yesterday afternoon and am so glad to be here, for a few days at least... next on the list is First Thursday Fayetteville, Live on the Plaza in Oklahoma City on June 10th & a small showing at the Wild Hare Beadery in Norman!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Vintage Redux

I got a new box of old stuff the other day. It is full of broken jewelry, junk jewelry, broken chains, brooches that are missing stones, etc... I found a pair of old shoe/dress clips in it. They were both in pretty bad shape missing stones and very dirty but, I realized there were just enough stones to fill one of the clips. So, I thought it would be fun to share the steps of a "Vintage Redux" project with you all.
First, I pop out all of the old stones...

Second, I get some warm water, mild soap and a toothbrush and clean the metal and the loose stones really good. (I let everything dry really good before gluing). Notice how after cleaning, the two pieces are two different colors of metal. One is a bright white metal and one has a gun metal coating on it.

Third, I start to layout a pattern for the stones...

and re-glue them in the bezel. A lot of the vintage goods I come across are 30+ years old and the glue is deteriorating, so I like to re-glue for my customers.
Last, a beautiful piece of recycled/up-cycled jewelry!