Monday, November 29, 2010

Its More Fun On The Naughty List...

...but its good to be NICE too!

With only a few shopping weeks left until last minute holiday havoc is upon you, why not get some shopping checked off your gift-giving list with Miss November Studio!

(or just keep shopping for yourself, you've been too good not to!)

I haven't been in the studio very recently and my time is booked up with custom orders I'm fulfilling, but if you have something very specific or you need something you can't find anywhere else, I'm here to help.

Right now my custom projects backlog includes Llara's fabulous "wolf howling at moon" necklace in sterling and copper. This one should be a breeze, I'll try my best capture my process in photos!
For my dear Carrie, a nautical theme pendant of which I have total artistic license with. I love artistic license! Carrie wanted a piece of nautical art by a local artist to remember her time in San Diego, I'm so grateful for her support!
For Elle, a circus wagon with a zebra from the circus menagerie...I started this one a while back so its kinda half in the works, but with no deadline and a steady stream of custom orders coming in, Elle is being wonderfully patient!

I don't usually photograph the custom orders well because I become antsy and excited to show the purchaser. Enjoy these iPhone pictures anyway:

Michelle's Maple Leaf Earrings

Mandie's New Mexico Turquoise Peace Sign Pendant
Stefan's Polished Sterling Band

Blake's Gaspyite Sterling/Copper/Leather Cuff

Stefan's Sterling and Copper Two Finger COCK Ring
Val's Malachite, Sterling and Copper Ring

Happy Customers Val and Sydney showing off their custom jewelry by Miss November Studio:
Val loved her huge malachite ring. She provided the stone and I set it in sterling silver with copper discs as prongs. I think it looks kinda spacey.

Sydney and I had traded work and I made her this pendant. I discovered the fossilized coral stone and set it in sterling silver with copper "sewn" around the face then draped it with brass chain.

I love the challenge of custom work, creating something that "fits" the client's personality and style successfuly is extremely rewarding. For custom orders please contact me via my website, or check out my etsy shop where you can find a gaggle of gifts to check off your Christmas gift-giving list!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Psychotic Reaction to Turning 30

Thanksgiving is over and my Quinceanera Doble was a success, so I'm back to blogging and back to the studio Wednesday where I'll attempt to photograph my process as I create a custom "howling wolf" pendant for a coworker.  Here are a few choice photos from the party! Thanks to my little batpig Parisa for being my Papa-paparazzi!
Red Velvet Cake-Yum!
Erin and I in our Party Dresses (I'm wearing my new Psychotic Reaction Necklace!)
My good friend Erin arrived early decked out in this smashing ensemble, and was pretty much one of the only people who wore "outrageous party attire" as requested on the invite...She also gifted me one of her sculpted bird necklaces which I had been eyeing at her studio not long ago. Erin is a fabulous, multi-talented individual I met a few years ago when she sold her handcrafted jewelry line, Psychotic Reaction, in my (now closed) vintage clothing store. Her craft has since evolved from painted wood monster pendants to three dimensional, hand-sculpted jewelry made with polymer clay and resin. Her aesthetic is kooky, laid back and colorful, which makes sense since she's a surfer, an artist, and at one point the best go-go dancer I ever laid eyes on! Here's a sampling of Erin's handmade goods found at Psychotic Reaction's etsy shop:
Feathered Fran Sculpture Necklace

Astral Necklace in Cerulian

Capra Necklace
She also has a few of her paintings on her etsy shop as well:
"Tar Beach" Velvet Painting with Hand Carved Frame
Even Rob, her husband-to-be, is an artist creating furniture and frames from exotic woods. His woodworking business called Sweedle's Groove is a collaboration of he and Erin's love for tiki culture, with a heavy dose of mid-century modern style. Feast your eyes on few of my favorite hand-crafted pieces from Sweedle's Groove:
Sweedle's Groove Pendant Lamp

Sweedle's Groove Mirrored Curiosity Shelf

I'm so lucky to have such creative types in my life to fuel me creatively and inspire me to continue improving my own craft! Thanks Erin and Rob!
**Photos courtesy of Psychotic Reaction and Sweedle's Groove.**

Monday, November 22, 2010

Visits with the Babies

My sister came to visit with her kids this weekend and although the skies threatened rain, and even dumped a little on us, we still managed to have a pretty fantastic time. Every time I get to visit with my adorable niece (8 mos.) and my energetic four year old nephew, adventure abounds. During this visit we jumped in puddles, ate gelato, visited a model train store (managed not to break anything...) and jumped in more puddles. OK, so thats what my nephew got out of it, but we did squeeze in a surprisingly rain free visit to the World Famous San Diego Zoo!

My favorite Orangutan, he's massive!

Graydon had a good time jumping in the Zoo puddles and even rode the Skyfari with Uncle Blake.  Savanna squealed with delight at the adorable squirrel monkeys.
Graydon's "mega-puddle" at the San Diego Zoo

I was surprised at Graydon's lack of interest in the animals, the last time we visited the zoo he was very interested indeed...

When we returned home Graydon grabbed my camera and started snapping pictures of stuff in our apartment. Some of his photographs were pretty impressive. Blake and I are even thinking of framing some of them:

My vintage 60's typewriter

Graydon's Self Portrait


Baby Sister

My sister's visit also gave me the opportunity to give her the pendant I custom made for her with turquoise stones purchased in New Mexico on our road trip this summer:

Mandie's Peace Pendant with Turquoise
I'm so lucky to have such adorable babies to love on whenever I get the opportunity. How could I resist these chubby cheeks!

Savanna, my little Snoopy
I can't wait to see them again in December! Happy Thanksgiving Friends!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Its MY Party...

In just a few days I officially become an adult. I leave behind my twenties, a decade of figuring out who I am and what I want to do with my life. I'm still undecided as to what I want to be when I grow up, but I think I'm starting to figure it out. So far what I want is a PARTY. This year for my birthday (my THIRTIETH birthday) I'm having the party I have been talking about since I turned twenty-nine. My Quinceanera Doble! I purchased a thrift-store wedding gown, spray-painted it pink and fully intend on prancing around my apartment playing intoxicated hostess in a tiara.

Blake is pretty decent with photoshop (my invites)
Last time I had a birthday party it was at Smitty's, a truly divey, totally strange karaoke-biker bar in Vista. We had an 80's theme and I dressed as Pat Benatar in tight leather pants and a headband, and Blake donned a curly wig and went as an AC/DC superfan. We drank, sang karaoke and I pranced around as intoxicated-hostess-in-a-headband. Did I mention near the end of the night I completely ripped my pants up one side? No? Well, I did. That's how much fun 80's Karaoke can be.

superhot 80's couple...
The dilemma I'm having for this year is how to keep the party alive without karaoke to keep the throng of Sandra-fans entertained...I know I'll be playing Boy George Radio on Pandora (duh, best station EVER) and the bar will be fully stocked, but should there be games? Really the only party game I am prepared for is Spin the Bottle.

MissNovemberStudio Spin the Bottle Ring

I'm not sure I should let loose that much...I did invite some co-workers.  I guess I'll just have to make sure the food and drinks are plentiful and the conversation is good. See you at the party!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hot Dogs and Hotel Keys

Today I threw on an old Anthropologie dress from last year. Its really more of a tunic on me and very blousy, so its not something I wear often. I lovingly refer to it as the "dog dress" because it has little yorkie, boston terrier and chihuahua heads on it. Its quirky and perfect for layering, which is exactly what I did with it today:

It made me think of a necklace I had started a while back and inspired me to complete it as the accessory for my outfit. Its an old bakelite button with a vintage boston terrier pin affixed to it. I had at one point, early in my silversmithing career, tried to solder on it not knowing the content of the metal. It immediately began melting and I panicked. Not one to abandon a hurt pooch, I patched up the poor pup, named him Barty, and decided he just had a bad day. I should mention his name is borrowed from my friend Hillary's invisible pet frenchie.

Since I took up silversmithing I quit my previous hobby of making "found object" jewelry. I haven't had much time in the studio recently so I pulled out the letterpress trays and began pairing up trinkets I have been collecting over the years. Within a few hours I had four new necklaces, all made from my found objects collection. I hope to have these up on my etsy soon for Holiday shoppers. 

Pappalecco and the Barter System

One of my favorite things about living in Hillcrest in San Diego is the proximity to great restaurants. I have lived here almost two years and I still haven't tried them all. One of my top five places to take hungry friends is Pappalecco, a little Italian coffee and gelato joint owned and operated by two extremely friendly Francescos.
 My Delicious Caprese Salad

Lets run down the top five reasons why I love this coffee shop:

  1. Proximity to my apartment. Pappalecco is practically my neighbor. I jump out of bed, get ready for my day and head there for lunch or a quick coffee. Done, and done.
  2. is privately owned by two wonderful Italian men who greet you with an enthusiastic "Ciao!" as you enter, there are several silenced flat screens playing various different Italian cinema, arts, travel, and often (and my favorite) Roman Holiday with the lovely Audrey Hepburn.  Today's music selection is crooner themed, and not so loud you can't have a decent conversation. You can sit and play piano (please no chopsticks) or have an intimate snuggle on the loveseat. 
  3. The Francesco's know the regular's names and drinks and they love to chat. Francesco Bucci will invite you to discover Italy with his family travel company Pappalecco Travel. Each time I walk in I'm greeted with "Ciao Sandrina!" and Franceschino ("ino" added because he's the younger Francesco) will ask if I want my usual double shot on ice. Yes, yes I do!
  4. FOOD! The menu is small, a good thing for the indecisive, and everything I've tried so far has been delicious. My current favorite is the Caprese Salad (I'm eating it now!) The pizza and panini are fantastic too. 
  5. I love meeting people here. The food and drinks are affordable and the accessible outlets and free wifi make it a great place to work and play. With a packed, unaffectionate corporate coffee place right down the street offering prepackaged panini that cost pretty much the same, I'll keep bringing friends and associates to eat, chat, work and play at Pappalecco, a few of them have even come back on their own.
My friend Sydney and I were working on a barter project recently and I took her to Pappalecco to go over our projects. We sat at the last table available during a busy lunch hour while we used the free wifi to go over the website she was designing for me as well as the custom jewelry I would be paying for her talents with. We ate lunch, drank coffee, made notes and chatted with the Francesco's. It was such a good time she almost forgot about her meter. I chuckled to myself as I realized this has happened almost every time I have taken someone here for lunch, yikes!

I suppose this is a good time to mention the launch of my website! So far it's been my little secret. Sydney captured exactly what I wished to accomplish with the design. My site needed to be an interactive portfolio with tons of pictures to show potential clients my aesthetic and capabilities as an artist doing custom work., now live, is every bit of fabulous I was hoping for. In return for her talents I created two custom necklaces for Sydney. She gave me complete artistic freedom (love it!) and I attempted to capture her personality and style in jewelry. Sydney is classic and lovely, feminine and silly. She told me she wears the same few pieces and really wanted something bold that still worked with her aesthetic. Fortunately, the Gem Faire was in town and I found some great stones to incorporate in the designs.

Here is what I created for Sydney. The first is a druzy set in sterling silver and the second is a fossilized coral stone set in sterling silver with copper wire "sewn" around it and brass chain draping the pendant.
Druzy and Sterling Silver

Fossilized Coral and Sterling Silver, Copper and Brass
Right after our trade was complete Sydney moved to Germany to have some adventures with her family. She can still be reached via her website if you're in need of a website and don't mind working with her through email.  Pappalecco Hillcrest is located at 3650 5th Ave and in Little Italy at 1602 State St. They just celebrated one year in Hillcrest and recently began serving Italian wines. Godetevi!