Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What's that smell?

Last week was a stinker. Between boiling vinegar for pickling, riding more than once in the pouring rain (fun while it lasts, terrible on the drive home), and over using paste wax in the jewelry studio, it was quite the smelly week. In cooking class, we made our first foray into the world of canning; we kept it simple (and avoided any threat of botulism) by making pickles. I was quite impressed with the results, and the kids were perhaps even more pleased. Success! It's so funny what they like--who would think the smell of simmering vinegar would be appetizing to children?

Quavel shows off the pickles!

Caesar and I had a few great dressage workouts last week but a dousy of a jump session on Wednesday (creeping left leg strikes again). I made some important corrections on Friday, and today I improved on that a bit more to have a much better lesson. Basically, I have to use those legs and ride the jumps, not just assume he'll do the work (yep, still working on that). We'll be schooling at An Otherwise Perfect Farm on Saturday to prepare for a horse trial next week, our first since June! I am trying to get excited, but in all honesty, I am feeling more than a little nervous. Eesh!

Jewelry class is kicking my butt; I love love love it, but the assignments are quite challenging and the work is even more time-consuming than I had imagined. The design element of the course is perhaps my weak point. I have no problem generating ideas, it's the act of honing those ideas into sketches that are feasible. I'm getting better with practice, but I expect this will always be a challenge for me. On the upswing, my skills are improving, and I am learning how to perfect basic techniques. Our first piece had pretty tight parameters: make a pierced (read: sawed) piece out of one piece of sheet metal (no layering, too bad!) that expresses an element of your identity. An identity assignment! Cringe, I always hate those! But it gave me a chance to work on something horsey; here's the final result:

I included a little hound and deer in the lower left hand corner as an homage to Caesar (ahem, Hound Deer); the piece is a bit big for me, but it actually looks decent on. A conversation starter at least!

I am working on lots of tiny cut-outs for a garden themed piece at the moment. I have decided that what I really love is creating tiny vestiges of domesticity. I have a slew of ideas for simple pendants and earrings; time will tell if I have the capacity (well, the time really) to complete a handful of them along with my big assignments. In any case, I am really loving the studio time; I would have never fancied myself a metal smith, but I couldn't be more pleased with this new hobby! Hopefully there will be more photos to come soon :)


  1. I LOVE the saddle pendant -- the hound and deer details are to die for! I bet it looks nice on, too. Perhaps soon time for an etsy store methinks ;)Good luck schooling Saturday -- let me know how it goes and take pictures if you can!

  2. Beautiful work, Shane! Sorry I've been absent from your blog for a while - haven't been reading any blogs lately, and i've missed out on a lot i can see. take care :)