Saturday, July 31, 2010

Green Trees

Back in May our church had an art show with a Genesis theme.  I submitted two necklaces displayed in a shadow box.  One represented the Tree of life, with copper wire and green crystal leaves.  The other represented the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, with silver wire and black, white, and gray crystal leaves.  I would love to show you pictures but they are still on display at church.

Anyway, a bride from church saw my work and contacted me asking if I could make tree necklaces for her bridesmaids.  She also asked me to make matching earrings.  Of course, I was happy to take on this big job.  And now, after weeks of ordering supplies and wrapping wire for hours at a time, they are finished!

Each tree is slightly different (just like real trees):

And here they all are together:

I love how they look with the light shining through:

And here are some shots of the earrings:

It was a big project but I'm happy with how everything turned out. I hope the bride will share pictures with me! A tree themed wedding sounds heavenly!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Some Pretties

I have been hunched over my worktable almost nonstop all week working on my big wedding order.  I have two more necklaces to go and three more pairs of earrings.  Yesterday I took a nice break to hang out with my friend Emily at her house.  She made carrot cake cookies while I worked on a necklace (so I guess it wasn't much of a break) and nibbled on her culinary creations.  It was a good day.

I haven't taken pictures of the jewelry I'm making for this wedding, but I thought you might like to see some of the things I made earlier this summer.

I made five pairs of these earrings for a wedding.  
Those blue stones were amazing and reflected light and colors like crazy!

I made this branch necklace with the birthstones of siblings and their spouses.
I love that the parents treat their in-laws as their own children
 (just like my own do)!
Here's a close up.  
All the birthstones happened to be blue.

Here's another birthstone style. 
 I commissioned the hammered leaf from my friend Lorraine
who is a wonderful artist.  I have since purchased my own hammer and
bench block so I can create these leaves on my own, too.

The deadline for the jewelry I've been working on this week is Saturday.  So after that I'll show you pictures of those. But here's a hint: green trees!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Oregon Coast Aquarium

Sunday was supposed to be a super hot day.  We woke up already sweaty and just couldn't bear the thought of another day indoors avoiding the scorching sun.  We Oregonians are delicate flowers, you know.  But Geary had a great idea: we should visit the aquarium!  So we packed up some snacks, refilled the diaper bag, and grabbed our sweatshirts.  We blasted the air conditioning all the way to the coast.

Once we were there the camera pretty much stayed in its pouch because we were kind of busy directing our three excited boys.  Plus Geary and I were holding hands like lovesick high schoolers.  (Why are aquariums so romantic? I think it must be the lighting.) But I did get some cool shots of the sea nettles.  I am fascinated by any kind of jelly fish.  They are just so mysterious and peaceful and artsy to me.

(I will forever love the combo of orange and blue.)

We also had a great time in the shark tunnel.  Noah is fascinated by sharks and it was pretty exciting to see them swimming stealthily above, beside, and beneath us!  We bought a packet of shark teeth to use as party favors at Noah's next birthday party.

On the way out of the exhibits we noticed a sign for a children's play area.  It was the perfect spot to let the older boys play while I nursed Miles.  Geary entertained himself by taking pictures of the kids.  118, to be exact.  Don't worry, I'll only show you a few.

Toby was funny.  He tried to copy Noah's every move.
Gang signs, or something.

They even re-enacted the story of Jonah.
 I think Tobin was playing a helpful Ninevite.
And then they started swimming away from the whale.

Which led to a spontaneous moment of wrestling.
I especially love that Toby is wearing a bandage on his knee.

Surfing on the dolphins was also fun. 
 I wish you could have seen their hula dancing moves.

But this might be my favorite picture of all.

After the aquarium we drove into downtown Newport and ate dinner at Mo's.  They have the very best clam chowder.  And then, with full tummies and happy hearts, we headed back home where the temperature had dropped to the low 70s.  It was a lovely, fun, family day.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010

Geary's Wedding Ring (Part Two)

With only five days left until the wedding, I was in near panic mode about finding a ring for Geary.   Nine years ago people still used telephone books.  Geary was with me at my apartment when I picked  up the Portland Area Business Directory and flipped through the yellow pages for the Jewelers listings.  Right after the "Jewelry-Retail" section I noticed a short section labeled "Jewelry-Wholesale."  The very first listing under that title was a small rectangular advertisement that said, "Large selection of gold and silver fine jewelry.  Open to the public."  I had nothing to lose so I dialed the number.

The man who answered had a thick accent but I couldn't tell from where.  I asked if he had any men's wedding bands and he answered, "Yes, many."  When I asked how much they cost he said, "We sell by weight so you will need to choose a ring and then I can tell you the price."  I had set aside $160, the price of the ring I thought I would be getting from the store in the mall.  I asked the man on the phone if he had rings under $150 and he laughed and said, "Oh, yes.  Come see!"  So I wrote down the address on a scrap of paper and Geary and I headed into downtown Portland.

Half an hour later we had already driven up and down the run down street several times.  We could not find the address and the man on the phone said we needed to be there before 6pm.  It was nearing 5:30 and my pulse was running high with stress.  "It's not here!  It's like the street just skips this address number," I complained.  Geary drove slower and that's when I saw it.  A tiny sign on the side of a building.  The address number and a thin arrow pointing down an alley.

"Should we go in?" Geary asked.  I could tell he was feeling cautious.  I didn't know what else to do so I gulped and said, "Let's see where it takes us."

We locked the car and headed down the alley.  Another sign pointed up a rickety staircase that led to a metal door on the side of the building.  We entered the building and found ourselves in a dingy hallway with nothing but the door leading back outside and a set of elevator doors.  We looked at one another with wide eyes and pressed the button for the elevator.

Inside the elevator there was only one button. Geary pressed it and the doors closed.  We slowly ascended but had no idea how many floors up we were going.  It wasn't a long elevator ride and when the doors opened we were in another hallway, although this one had slightly better lighting.  We also noticed two large security cameras aimed right at us.  Like the hallway below, this hallway only had one other door.  And what a door it was!

It was large and steel with enormous hinges.  There were at least 10 padlocks running down its right side.  And it had one of those sliding door peepholes, like in the Emerald City Gate in the Wizard of Oz movie.  To the right of the door was a nondescript doorbell.  Geary's eyebrows were raised.  My heart was racing.  Should we get back in the elevator and escape to our car?  For all we knew if we passed through that thick steel door we might wake up in Thailand with no kidneys!

But I was desperate.  We needed a ring!  Nervously, I leaned forward and rang the doorbell.  The sliding door of the peephole opened and was replaced by a set of large eyes.  "Yes?" said another heavily accented voice.  I stammered, "Uh, hi.  I, uh, called?  About the ring?  The men's, um, wedding? Ring?"   They eyes disappeared and the peephole door closed again.

Click, click, click, each padlock was unlocked.  Finally, the door opened.  The large eyes reappeared as a dark haired man stuck his head around the door.  "Yes, you want the white gold wedding band?  Six millimeters, yes?"  I nodded and he opened the door further.

I grasped for Geary's hand and together we stepped over the steel thresh hold.  We could not have been more surprised by where we found ourselves.  It was a beautiful showroom with amazing architecture.  Satin drapes framed each of the arched windows.  Glass showcases on marble bases were filled with black velvet forms draped with diamonds, pearls, and precious gemstones.  Gorgeous antique chairs and couches were set up in various nooks around the room.  In the background I could see a clean white workshop with shiny tools hanging on the wall and several scales on the counter height work table.

Behind the showcase directly in front of us there was another set of scales.  The dark haired man had a friendly smile full of white teeth.  "Come, come, the wedding bands are here."  He guided us straight ahead and then went behind the showcase where he pulled out a black tray full of plain, white gold, rounded 6mm bands.  I said, "Size seven, please."

The man then pulled out a caliper and measured one of the rings to prove it's width.  After that he dropped the ring on the scale behind him and then said, "This one is sixty dollars."  I am pretty sure my jaw almost fell off of my face.  But I recovered quickly and handed the man three twenty dollar bills.  He place the ring into a tiny zip-lock plastic bag and dropped it in my hand.  "Thank you very much, now we are closed."

He didn't have to say anything else.  Geary and I both thanked him repeatedly as he ushered us toward the large steel door.  We exited the beautiful showroom and entered the elevator as the multiple padlocks were still clicking.  On our way down to the first floor, I gasped.  "Oh, no!  You didn't even try it on!  What if it doesn't fit?"

Geary simply laughed and took the ring from me.  He opened the zip-lock bag and turned it upside into my hand.  I slid the ring onto the third finger of Geary's left hand.  It was a perfect fit.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Geary's Wedding Ring (Part One)

I mentioned earlier that I'm styling hair for a wedding this month.  The bride and her mother were over at my house for a practice session last week.  While we were chatting the bride mentioned that one of the most pressing items on her to-do list was purchasing her groom's wedding band.   She was feeling a bit stressed about it because the wedding is only a few weeks away and she needed to find an affordable ring very quickly.   I remembered being in the same position exactly nine years ago.

Geary told me he wanted a plain, rounded, white gold band.  We went to Fred Meyer Jewelers and he tried on several different men's rings before deciding that 6mm would be the perfect band width.  I asked the jeweler to write his price for the ring on the back of a business card and then hit the mall to see if I could find a better deal.  At each jewelry store I asked an employee to write their price on a business card.  If their price was higher than another jeweler's I would show the business card with the lower price to see if they would offer to beat their competition. The last shop I tried offered me an incredible price--I didn't have to show them any of my other jeweler's business cards at all! 

There was just one catch.  The ring I wanted wasn't in stock but they had several on order and they would be in the next week.  That worked for me!  The wedding was four weeks away so I crossed "Geary's Ring" off of my list and dove into the next project.  

A week passed and I had not heard from the jewelry store.  I called them and learned that the shipment was late but that I shouldn't worry--it would arrive next week.  Of course I worried but not too much.  I still had three weeks until the big day.

When another week passed and the ring had still not arrived, I was worried.  Instead of calling, I went into the store and waved around my "special order" carbon copied slip.  Thankfully, I had not paid for the ring yet because they did not seem to feel the same sort of urgency that I did about this ring.  "Don't worry, these shipments are coming on boats from Europe!  Of course they will be late.  Your ring will be here in time for your wedding."  I was wary but left the store praying that what they said would be true.

Five days before our wedding day, I still didn't have the ring and the jewelry store wasn't returning my phone calls. When I called I would be placed on hold and then be "forgotten."  I ventured into the store again, trying hard not to cry.  The jeweler said, "There is nothing that can be done.  How about this: you purchase the platinum ring--see it looks just like the white gold.  And then when your ring does arrive, you can bring it in and we will refund your money."   I knew then that my ring would never arrive.  And that it probably had never been ordered in the first place.  While the jeweler went to back room to find alternate rings I tore my special order slip in half and then in half again and left it on the counter.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rub a Dub Dub

Three boys in a tub!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Update, Update

The days are flying by so quickly this summer!  We're all doing well.  We've still been working on our backyard quite a bit,  and taking little day trips here and there to visit old friends.  My plate is a little full this month but full of good things including a few small jewelry orders, a HUGE wedding order, doing hair for a different wedding, and a big graphic design project.  Along with all that I heard from a friend that a local shop may be interested in selling my jewelry in their store--so exciting and unexpected!

I'm encouraging Geary to post about a funny story that happened to him recently.  And I'll be back to soon to blog the story of  how we bought Geary's wedding ring--it's a good one!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Linhart Family Garden

Noah and Geary have been hard at work installing a little vegetable garden for our family.  Today we planted some onion seeds and made some garden markers.

We've planted tomatoes, potatoes, onions, carrots,
 lettuce, watermelon and cantaloupe.

Noah is our official garden caretaker.  
I'm excited for him and I know we're all going to learn a lot.

In other news, we got our clothesline put up 
and I was able to use it for the first time today!  

I'm not sure why but something about seeing all those garments hanging on the line just makes me feel at home.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Hurts So Good

Mom!  I halfway climbed up the apple tree and it felt really uncomfortable but I kind of liked it!

~Noah, age 7