Archive for the ‘Studio Work’ Category


Suki's Birthday Morning

Blueberry Picking
Well I think winter is here to stay in the northland.  We finally had some snowfall Halloween weekend and it promptly blew away after two straight days of wind with 55mph gusts (did I mention how miserable that kind of wind is!?)  Anyway, we had a beautiful fall, full of sunshine and color, albeit too short for my liking. There have been so many things to squeeze in and prepare for winter’s coming so it has been quite busy around here.

I’ll recap some of the highlights:

We celebrated Suki’s 2nd birthday on September 6th and her first year in our home shortly thereafter. We woke her up from her morning slumber with too many presents; I think she was a bit overwhelmed.  It was a day of gifts including treats, bones, toys and her favorite squeaky balls.

We enjoyed a visit from Wayne’s mom Kathy and her friend Soni for two weeks in September.  They came to help celebrate the wedding of my brother in-law Randy to his new wife and with this the Jenski family promptly grew in number with the addition of five new nieces and nephews into the Jenski family.

I tucked my bees in for winter which involved a series of steps including regular feedings of sugar water, insulating their homes and relocating adjacent the house.  I’ll post some photos and details later.

We enjoyed lots of foraging and learned to identify quite a few plants and fungus this fall.  A trip to Girdwood for Fungus Fair 2011 gave us a proper introduction to the world of fungus and we even sauteed up our first loot of mushrooms, a variety called “angel wings”.  I learned to dye material with fungus while Wayne learned to propagate oyster mushrooms; he took home a spore filled bag and I took home two hand dyed scarves and a new-found hobby of natural dyeing.  We picked high bush cranberries, wild blueberries and raspberries from our backyard and made up some yummy jams while I proceeded to collect other goodies for various tinctures and dye projects. I also learned about and made some yummy fermented foods which are so very very good for you. More on these adventures to come!

We also celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary with a trip south to Valdez.  Lots of hiking, sightseeing, glaciers, wildlife and time together.  I’ll post pictures of that trip soon too.

Last month we had over 75 people in our house as part of the Palmer Art Council’s underground tour in which Wayne’s plants took center stage.  He also completed a series of botanical illustrations of recently discovered carnivorous plants for a book that was just recently published and is working on three more for another upcoming book.  Our local paper, the Frontiersman is schedule to come over for an interview with him tomorrow morning and he continues giving lectures to classrooms.  So as you can see, he is quite busy with his plant hobby.

I’ve religiously attended belly dancing and yoga class for over a month now and am really starting to improve on the dance front which is really exciting.  And for the record I haven’t cut my hair since JUNE! Working towards a few things on my 30×30 list….


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The Party!

Melusina Table

The Snowfall Soiree event was a success last nite!  It was quite the production getting everything together but overall the whole thing went smoothly and I had a good response to my first designs.  We set up two tables, one for Melusina (top photos) and one for Sara Danielle Designs (bottom photos) and everyone really enjoyed seeing the jewelry, trying it on and taking some pieces home.  It really made me excited to do some more shows and get in production and design mode!  And a big thanks to Sara for getting all her lovely jewelry sent all the way from Boston; I think you’ve definitely made a few Alaskan fans!

Sara Danielle Designs

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Melusina Branding

Here’s a sneak peek at the branding I came up with for my business, Melusina.  The top two images are my business card, front and back.   I went with an unconventional size and the front reads:  “She’ll don her wings and serpents tail and take to sea and sky.  Illuminated by moonlight, tirelessly she continues on.  In search of secret things, sacred things.  She is Melusina.”  The bottom image is for a sticker that will be used in my packaging.  I just sent them off to the printer so am crossing my fingers they come back looking beautiful!  For those of you that are wondering what all this Melusina business is about, you can read about the inspiration for the name here.

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Snowfall Soiree

It’s been a few weeks since my last blog but wanted to quickly sit down and make a few quick posts.  I have been super busy not only with my new job but also with my class on Saturday (sewing a fur hat!) on top of getting ready for the event posted above.  I decided that I really wanted to get my stuff out there, try to sell something, and just get a feel for how people react to my designs so I invented a jewelry party!  In a few short weeks I’ll be hosting the Saturday event to debut my designs alongside my very talented friend and jewelry designer out of Boston, Sara Danielle Designs.  Everyone LOVES her stuff so she kindly agreed to send some pieces northbound.  It has been a little intense trying to wrap everything up for the big day (designing, fabricating, pricing, gathering show props, creating invites, and deciding up marketing/branding ideas, etc.) but setting a deadline really does help push things along.  I created the above flyer as the invite for the event; my designs are photographed with the mossy background and showcase my more delicate, earthy designs.  I am hoping in the next couple months to be able to take a little break from these pieces and direct my energies to the development of my bolder, avant-garde pieces.

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A little peek at a crown I made last month for my friend Jenn’s bachelorette celebration.   I had been wanting to make a crown for a while now and the perfect occasion for one came up so I went for it!  I used leather scrap along with various ribbons, gold beads, and metallic ink for embellishments. To give it more structure I used plastic cut from the plethora of gallon water jugs Wayne uses to water his plants each week giving me extra kudos for reusing materials.  I just stocked up on some more leather scraps in lots of fun colors and hope to go into production over the winter with the intent to sell.  Once you put one of these on you can’t help but feel magical and happy!  The quote on Jenn’s is Rumi and reads:

“The power of love came into me and I became fierce like a lion then tender like the evening star.”

Also I am happy to announce that after my last week of creative frustration and inactivity I slowly eased into the following week without pressure to perform and spent one whole day painting rocks and driftwood just for the fun of it.  (I love being an artist!)  I have to say it worked, because my creativity has been unleashed and I’ve had trouble drifting to sleep with all the ideas popping into my head!


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Winged Seed Falling by WoodPigeon

This past week has been a little hard for me.  I struggled to get into my creative groove and come up with ideas in the studio much less work through them.  It really seemed that nothing was working out.  That frustration paired with low self-esteem about my work made for a pretty miserable time.  Anyway, now that Sunday is here and the new week is approaching I wanted to share a meditation entitled Incubation from my book, “Journey Through Womanhood: Meditations from Our Collective Soul“, which is a go-to source for inspiration and spirituality in my life.  Hopefully in this coming week I can embrace the fine art of “incubation” and trust my creative process with all its ebbs and flows.

Sometimes the land is fallow; it does not bring forth. I will not lose faith. I know that seeds take time to germinate and grow- that simply because I cannot see them growing in the silence of the earth does not mean they are not there.  They are not dead. Everything takes its own time. I cannot push a pear to grow any faster than nature allows it to, nor can I rush the circumstances of my life. They are alive too, part of an ever-growing universe.  Like a pear, they will come forth in their own time.  Incubation is as important as any other stage of growth.  Without it, things grow halfway, lopsided.  I am not looking for a shallow life, one without depth, a life where I move from surface to surface and then wonder why things feel meaningless. I can wait for what is real.

I can balance at the edge of time.

Above original painting by WoodPigeon available for purchase here.

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"Temple" by ForestFloor Prints

It’s hard to believe that while summer isn’t officially over for another couple of weeks it appears that way outside.  Autumn has been creeping in up north with chilly mornings, yellowing leaves, and a crispness in the air that reminds us of the temporal nature of things. While I am true lover of warm and sunny summer days I have come to appreciate the fall season, taking a fondness to layering chunky knitted sweaters and woolen tights, pulling out my gorgeous wool cape from Irish Imports, putting on my favorite riding boots, wrapping scarves around my neck, filling up on hearty soups and homemade bread, and enjoying the cool fresh air.  

It’s hard to believe that is has been exactly one month since my last blog!  I guess time and life just got away from me. (Who knew how much time and energy a blog would take!)  In the last month it seems so much has happened that I have yet to fill everyone in on.  As you know, my mom came for a visit so I have numerous pictures to post of all our Alaskan adventures.  Also, I took a full-time but temporary job at the Alaska State Fair, just down the road from my house, at an amazing boutique in Anchorage by the name of Cosette.  It was fun, (and nice to bring home a paycheck too! Can you believe that I have been “unemployed” for six months now!) although extremely exhausting, sometimes working 10 hours shifts in the cold, on my feet until 11 pm at night. It was a good experience though and I met some really great people.  Today is my second day back at home, getting into my regular sleep-in-cozy-sweatpant-studio-days and I gotta say, it feels good.  I have so much pent-up creative energy that needs to get out so I am busy working away in the studio on my jewelry.  I am really trying to focus on production and design in the coming weeks in hopes of participating in a show or two this coming holiday season.  We’ll see what happens. 

Above photograph by Forest Floor is available for purchase here.

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