Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems. ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Pismo Beach and the Workshop

The photos above are literally,"postcards from the edge". When I made these reservations it didn't look like the hotel was THIS close to the ocean. IT WAS! . The evening that we walked into this second story room and I walked out on to the balcony, I about had a heart attack. But, after 3 days of sun and storm, I actually got use to it. I was hanging off the balcony taking pictures and sitting out there watching the sunset. I have reached another level in my acceptance of this monstrous, body of water.
This is the Best Western Shelter Cove Lodge in Pismo Beach. I would give it 5 stars for the view alone.

I don't even know where to begin. We had so much fun and we learned so many new skills and techniques. Our fearless leaders are both wonderful jewelry designers who really knew how to teach us the basic skills of PMC(precious metal clay), etching 101 and cold connections( wiring, riveting and attaching one piece to another. Now I know the difference between round-nose and a needle-nose pliers; what Ferric Cloride is; and what you do with a ball pien hammer. I feel like a well informed beginner and I'm inspired to learn more.
The workshop was all day Saturday and Sunday. We worked on making charms Saturday and etching metal on Sunday. Riki and Diana served us a wonderful lunch that fortified us for the intense work that ensued. We really worked hard and each day brought us a huge sense of accomplishment. As you can see, I didn't take many photos of the class because I was too busy working on

The small silver charms are made with PMC clay and fired in a small kiln. The brass plating went through an etching process that is amazing to watch and can be cut up to use in all kinds of jewelry pieces. I will be making a couple of necklaces and a charm bracelet with these pieces, adding some of my own found objects and old jewelry to create a one of a kind work of art that will be worn with all the memories of this weekend and a wonderful workshop that made friendships between 2 women and a whole new group of creative jewelry makers.
Our thanks to Riki Schumacher(www.RikiJewelry.blogspot.com) and Diana Frey(www.dianafrey.blogspot.com). You two are AWESOME..., and if you want to see what true artists Riki and Diana are take a look..., they both have featured articles in the new issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry magazine. Check it out!

More photos of our trip tomorrow....
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Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday-Cambria and Morro Beach

This town is so charming that we decided to go back and visit ,again, soon. It's just one beautiful store after the other and each one has its own "something special". Birds of a Feather is an eclectic antiques store where Julie Whitmore (the friend who was entertaining relatives) shows some of her beautiful Faience pottery. We talked to the proprietor,Bonnie, and I left Julie my card and a note. I bought some cotton ribbon with sea shells on it..., yes, one yard of ribbon. Could have gotten all carried away in there but this was the first store and the first day . Didn't want to overdue my spending. LOL.
Then we walked into The Garden Shed...

I think this was my very favorite store, and they had a resident cat that greeted you and followed you around the store. Again, I was prudent with my spending. I bought a package of Moulin Rouge Sunflower seeds...,beautiful deep red sunflowers to plant in my garden..., a reminder of this trip. I wanted the TRUCK( in the picture) but they wouldn't sell it to me. How rude! It would have looked wonderful in my driveway garden area. Don't you think? Can't you just see me TOWING this charming old truck behind us all the way back to my sister's house and then towing it behind my Toyota Rav 4 up to the mountains to my house? I would have tried..., if the price was right. Yes, I would have.
We went into a lot of shops and a huge Antique "co-op" mall . This is where I finally found my piece de resistance ( that means; thing that you can't live without or walk away from..., a rather loose translation.) I finally found a bluebird plate, actually a soup bowl , that is antique ironstone with blue birds flying on it and has blue transferware framed pictures on it. I will show you the plate next week. I want to do some research on it first. (Yes, Julie, just like over your stove and there's ANOTHER ONE in the back left corner of the store~Antiques On Main~ too. I couldn't afford both.)
We ate lunch at Linn's Restaurant down the alley, in the back. We sat outside, enjoyed the warm weather, then headed on down the coast.

This is Morro Strand State Beach. This beach is a coastal frontage park. Fishing, windsurfing, jogging, and kite flying are popular.
The beach is a three mile stretch south of Cayucos where the highway runs right along the beach. We stopped at Torro Creek Rd. where there was off highway parking.
This is Sis, in her own little heaven. I swear she must have been a mermaid in a former life. She was IN HER ELEMENT. You will notice that I took all the photos UP BEACH, with a clear view of the waves. I will never let them sneak up on me. They do that you know.
This was a beautiful beach with lots of shells, driftwood and rocks to sift through. Folks were walking or jogging up and down the beach.., some of them with their dogs. Oh, we did missed our dogs! Carl, Cutter, Lucky, Lily and Fozzy Bear would have loved this beach. It was lovely! You can see Morro Rock in the distance behind Sis sitting on the beach and in the photo on the bottom right.

Tomorrow post: We arrive in Pismo Beach....
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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hello There!

Well, Hi there!
Sis and I drove back from our mini vacation on Tuesday and I returned home yesterday afternoon. I had all good intentions of doing a post when I got home but I collapsed in a heap and curled up with my husband and dogs for the rest of the day.
I spent this morning transferring almost 350 photos to my computer. Got a little carried away with the beauty of this area. It's one of the most gorgeous photo opportunities there ever was.
This little California Ground Squirrel greeted us in Cambria last Thursday, posed for my camera (I think the city pays these little guys to entertain the tourist) and pointed his tail in the direction of our hotel on Moonstone Beach Dr.

Starting at the bottom left of the photo above. This was our first view of the ocean as we drove over from highway 101, west, on highway 46 from Paso Robles. That big old ROCK is called Morro Rock in the town of Morro Bay. There are a lot of "big, old rocks" in this area. They crop right up out of the hills and valleys like huge monoliths or sentinels, guarding the small towns that line the historic El Camino Real, the royal road, and the 21 missions built by the Spanish monarchy.
When we reached highway 1 ( the Pacific Coast Highway) we turned and drove north toward the little town of Cambria.I had not been here in many years. The town has grown bigger but it has maintained it's wonderful artist colony ambiance. It's just charming!!
We were not able to connect with my artist friend, Julie, who had company visiting from out of town ,so we will have to try again some time.  We took a nap, cleaned up and went out for a late dinner, in town.
The photos below show the wonderful charm of this town. Our cell phones didn't work here, but the food was great and the weather was the best of the whole trip. We had dinner, fashionable late, at Robin's and I would recommend it to anyone. The food was to die for. We walked around until after dark and felt very safe. It is that kind of town.
Back at the hotel on Moonstone Beach (I just love that name.)..., we ate some candy, watched about 15 minutes of TV and fell asleep.., like rocks.

I will try to post this trip one town at a time. It's hard to pick the photos..., I have so many. This will be a challenge.
Tomorrow we will go SHOPPING on Cambria's Main St. before we drive to Pismo Beach.
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