Thursday, December 24, 2009

Simple Gifts

Sometimes, the very best gifts are the ones you least expect. My favorite gifts are those that allow me to slow down and savor my life and those I love. As our dear girl grows and matures, I am presented with daily gifts from this little fiery biscuit in the form of songs (carols as of late...she sings the 12 Days of Christmas perfectly from the Fifth Day down), grown up words (she used "actually" this morning referring to the ice on the river and had us both in stitches), and handmade artworks.

I'll cherish this handmade card always. I'm sure her teacher helped her with the writing of her name, but this is priceless and innocent and marks a stage in my girl's growth into a little person. Can you tell I am a proud mama? Another gift comes in the form of time to spend as a family during my husband's vacation. I get the gift to observe father and daughter being silly, discussing football, and cuddling while sharing a good book. Can you tell that I am a proud mama and wife?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Quench household to yours!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

7 Days

I just arrived safely from the busiest week ever. I've chronicled parts in photos...

A holiday open house last Saturday. 50+ folks and kids joined us to kick off the season with nibbles, punch and a glass or two of wine. Everything went smoothly except the deviled eggs (the very same eggs that consumed much of my Friday morning....note to self: fresh eggs do not peel well) were never put out. I'm done with deviled eggs.

Beautified the abode inside and out with bows cut from our garden and surrounding woods.

Snow! The first significant snowfall arrived. Both the dog and AnnaB enjoyed a snowball toss and catch game. I did not enjoy shoveling.

She stole my gloves. We are seriously underprepared for this winter. The girl needs:
bibbed snowpants
warm parka
smart wool socks
earmuffs (this is her request)

A trip to LL Bean this coming week!

Winterworks at the Hope Spinnery in Hope, Maine. Thanks to Bill for hosting this event!! This was my last show for the year. A great collection of vendors in a most beautiful venue.

Caps from Dory at Worthy Goods. I know someone getting one for X-mas :)

Quilted coasters and multi-purpose cloths from Kirsten at Anabelfuzz. I know someone who will be getting an Anabelfuzz smock, too!

Lovely bonnets from Anabelfuzz as well!

And to top of my week with a sweet note, the most incredible chocolate from Black Dinah Chocolatiers. Pure heaven. My sister and I shared (believe me, it was difficult not to run away and savor this all by myself) milk chocolate "bark" with peanuts, ground coffee beans, and a light sprinkling of sea salt. I think I have found the world's most perfect food!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Winterworks 2009

I will be participating in Winterworks 2009, an Maine Artisan Holiday Sale and Fundraiser at the Hope Spinnery in Hope, Maine. The opening reception and sale is this Friday, December 11th from 6:30-9pm. The sale continues Saturday, December 12th from 10am-5pm. Also vending at the sale are my friends Dory from Worthy Goods and Kirsten from Anabelfuzz.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas is more time. If that can't be arranged, perhaps you could see fit to slow my time down. You see, it was just summer and, then one morning, I woke to autumn in full swing. Autumn flew by and now it is December. The days are hurtling by like a locomotive and I'm helpless but to stand and be blown by the breeze. Thank you, Santa.

Sincerely, Jen

Friday, November 27, 2009

Free Shipping!!!!

I'm offering free shipping through Monday, November 30th! Yay for the holiday shopping season. Avoid the lines, headaches, and traffic and shop online!

Friday, November 13, 2009

15% to Preble Street

From November 13th to November 19th participating Etsy Maine Team shops are donating 15% of their sales to Preble Street an organization in Portland, Maine which provides accessible, barrier-free services to empower people experiencing problems with homelessness, housing, hunger, and poverty. To see all the shops participating, please check out our team blog here.

As an extra incentive, if you purchase during this time, you will be automatically entered in a drawing to win the earrings pictured above. Shop for the holidays, get a chance to win a pair of lovely hoops, and help those in need in the process! A win/win for all!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Shop for a Cause

From November 13th to November 19th, I will be donating 15% of my sales to Preble Street, an organization in Maine which provides accessible barrier-free services to empower people experiencing problems with homelessness, housing, hunger, and poverty; and advocates for solutions to these problems.

Over 40 Maine Team members are also participating in this fundraiser. A complete list of shops will be posted on our team blog in the coming days. Please consider purchasing during this time if you have had your eye on any Maine Team items.

In other news, I have new work, but have been slow to add to my shop. However, here's a couple items...the last I need to re-photograph before listing.

earrings...yet to list

Monday, October 26, 2009

Etsy Front Page

My treasury entitled, floating, was featured on the Etsy home page this evening! I am pleased :)

Monday, October 19, 2009


W.I.P = Works in Progress. And there are many, far too many, works in progress cluttering up the Quench's bench. Maybe 'cluttering' is the wrong word. Let's rephrase: there are many works in progress loitering....nah, still not correct. However, I experienced a creative explosion this past ideas, mock ups, revisiting old designs, mapping out new ones. So, the bench looks a bit like a mad scientist's laboratory.

Several years ago, I made amulet/ talisman pendants that were outrageously over worked and priced. I handmade the chains and all the findings from 18k gold, set stones in 22k gold handmade pendant settings, hung glass, pearl, and stone beads from 18k gold jump rings and created little oval nickel silver pillows. Then I attached it all together. Very medicine man meets Paris Hilton. Not surprisingly, the pieces didn't sell. However, I am still flirting with this whole amulet idea, so I have downsized my original designs to a mini amulet. I am working on a series of 6 to debut in early November.

Then, I have earring designs scattered about. I get lost in the repetitive motion of sawing these earrings out of 18 gauge sterling sheet. Besides this design, I have 4 more in various states of finish. The earrings should be listed next week in my Etsy shop.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

More New Work

I am enjoying a lull between orders and holiday shows. Time to relax, bake, play in the fall garden, carve pumpkins, and loll about. The ring above along with several other pieces are now home at the Center for Maine Craft in West Gardiner, Maine. Just off both Interstate 95 and 295, the gallery showcases stellar crafts from around our grand state. I am honored (and rather giddy, I must say) to be included in this shop!

Below are 2 more pairs of earrings in my Etsy shop. Maybe this down time will allow more blogging on my part! Stay tuned :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

New Work

Week 2 of the Maine Team challenge. List 5 items each week until the challenge is over and be entered to win a gift package full of Maine Team goodies! I should have paced the listing apart this week, but I had no time/energy/patience to photograph until today! Regardless, week 2 is complete and my shop is looking good for the upcoming shopping season.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Before, During, and After

Ah. The Common Ground Country Fair was excellent! Three days of greeting, chatting, and selling (and eating glorious organic food, LOTS of food!), two mornings for set-up and break down, weather of all sorts (including blustery winds, drizzle, and a frosty start on Saturday) has whooped me into a PJs week. I'll get dressed to run to the market and to Annabelle's pre-school, but lounging at home requires cozy pajamas.

Here's some pic of my Common Ground adventure.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sweet Tooth

After a furious and jovial morning of apple picking last week, I made a big batch of applesauce and this pie. My best pie ever, if I do say so myself. We celebrated our 5th anniversary the same day, so the air vents in the dough reflect our union. The pie is now gone... next time I'll save you a piece, maybe :)

Besides creating in the kitchen, I worked away in the studio for the weekend preparing inventory for the Common Ground Country Fair which begins Friday morning. I wish I knew when to stop making items. It never seems like I'll have enough inventory... not that I will sell out, but I want my booth to look FULL! By tomorrow morning, I should have all pieces completed, priced and packed. Then, onto to some last minute booth changes (adding a drape at the back of the tent, adding more hanging panels for the "walls" of the tent, painting a checkout stand).

Here's rings from the Candy Collection. The top photo are the rings waiting for their vintage buttons. I have a few more almost complete. I adore making rings and most likely have far too many for this show. What doesn't sell will go into my Etsy shop!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Reveal or.... What Not To Do When Making Bezels

The finished product. I fumbled, stumbled, and fouled during the fabrication of this piece. On a scale from 1-100, I'm giving this a 64. When making the bezels, I stretched a few so they were a bit too large and a few were a bit too tall for their buttons. The result: poorly fitting bezels with too much metal to move onto the button. These are all things I know... I could have remade and file these down, but I was racing towards the finish line. Silly, silly woman.

I considered leaving the whole piece in brushed silver. However, the bright silver bezels (read: bumpy, uneven, warped) distracted from the symphony of the buttons. To match the, lets say, "rustic" look, I gave the necklace a nice antiqued patina. Whatcha think?

I think using thin gauge fine silver bezel wire creates a rustic, handcrafted look. When using 26 gauge sterling silver, the bezels retain their clean cylindrical shape. I just may use sterling bezel wire on another neckpiece like this to compare the two looks.

I lost one cluster of 18k loops while setting the buttons. I really didn't notice until I found the cluster in my drawer. I'll save that cluster for the next piece.

My willing model! However, she had on a fushia top, so we pull it off just for a moment to take the photograph.

Perhaps I'm too critical of this piece...we all do that, right? If we didn't, we would never grow as people and artists. Creating this piece was a great lesson, but also got the old creative juices following. I have more ideas, 2 similiar pieces in production, and thousands of buttons waiting for a good home.

One last thing.... this neckpiece needs a name. Any suggestion?