Showing posts with label pa wilds made. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pa wilds made. Show all posts

Sunday, January 14, 2018

connecting through our passion, tools

When young my brother and I spent a lot of our childhood in Dad's woodworking shop on Rose Street. While he was crafting crazy cool pieces from his collection of hand tools (the Roy Underhill way) we played at woodworking.  We did this by planing on scrap lumber.  The sensation of that beautifully restored hand-tool, gliding through our hand picked collection of scraps, felt akin to a knife through cheese.  This action of planing while listening to Creedence Clearwater Revival developed our love of working with our hands, me eventually falling in love with the metal arts while my younger brother Stephan a career as a chef and musician.

a toolbox in his current workshop

a large treasured toolbox from his Father

here is a new addition on the shaving horse which holds smalls, such as this piece of treenware

love this large chisel resting on the shaving horse 

LOOK at those handles and customized hatchet.  The outer tools were my focus and then he placed the spoke shave  between the two.  Perfect.
 The above photos were taken during this past Christmas holiday.  The shop is located now in the basement of his farmhouse where a root cellar, laundry area and some lighted indoor shelves (holding vegetable and decorative plants for the upcoming gardening season} all share space. 

My Dad gifted me this year the beautiful chubby hammer above on the stump bench, a gorgeous French cobbler's hammer positioned on the anvil and a little hammer were both from a few year's back.  Each of them married beautifully to lovely hewn wooden handles.  Look at the brass ferrule on my most recent present back on the stump bench.

Wedges added to hold the heads in place

Do you hear the angels singing, haha.  Sunshine streaming in the studio, on the stump, this bright freezing January afternoon. 

"Brass makes it richer",  states the 'artist' :)

My Dad, his lovely wife Jeanette and her oldest grandchild, William after a delicious meal of Clam Chowder, fresh baked rolls and baked Camembert cheese in phyllo. It was a lovely time with family.

Christmas Day 2017, my Father and I in his kitchen. 
I find myself taking photos of the metal's studio more than making jewelry at times  Creating is the important part, from maker spaces showing where it all takes place, to the tangible work hammered out.  
Where ever your studio is I am sure your heart is permanently placed,  in that glorious space, where your soul sings along with the angels.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

What is on Your Jeweler's Bench Wednesday

Today on the bench or 'in the studio' ;) you will find decorating for the Holidays and also oxidizing a large fibula pin order.
Once a dust collection system is installed along with some other end of year tool purchases I can start  making once again or rather messy making once again.
We fell in love with this tree from Target  and can't wait to decorate with antique and ornaments my daughters have made through the years.  The antique Christmas balls were my Grandmother's and a great string of lights from the 50's (local shop) slipping on aluminum vintage reflectors (my Grandmother's never opened) that are pretty amazing.
More to come!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Five Years + Revisited

Many art friends and their open houses, shows, experimenting and beads later here is a revisit between 2005 and 2010.
1. opera length commission with handmade beads/faces and semi-precious beads 2.  forged and folded copper hearts 3. hand sewn original felt butterfly pin 4. Sterling Silver hammered earrings  5.  Petrified Wood necklace house in Bradford  7.  herb tea 8.  BeadArt doll embroidered and dry felted
Focus has changed but, I feel my design push is still the same with palette and texture.  I miss working with felt and seed beads on art dolls and brooches but, the metal is part of my life.  Perhaps my obsessing about what my focus was is affecting moving forward with more intricate metal work.

What was your break through?

Monday, November 14, 2016

Organizing in the Studio with Wall Control

There is one wall that can have shelves or some type of system for organizing tools and materials.  After researching I did then settle upon a great little system from Wall Control in white.

Order in the studio or a place to put all the rolls of chain, wire, stringing, etc. 
Spools of wire, stringing material or chain is a pain to stack for they are constantly falling as you look through for completing or creating each piece,  It is an amazing way to keep it all up and visible for ease of making anything on the bench or table. Part of the wrapping station is visible on the right including kraft wrapping paper, wooden antique tote w/tags, scissors, stamps/pads, little plastic bags for smalls and business cards can easily be carried to the check out counter.
Accessories from the company work great especially the shelves and shelf dividers seen on the left  separating sheet metal by gauge which is extremely helpful.
I am such an organizing geek.

List Monday or I list there for I am

  1. If you have not figured out (by now) how to decorate your tree :)
  2. How did J.R.R. Tolkien come up with the character's names for his books?
  3. I know I want to see how Harry Connick Jr. spends the night in a tiny house
  4. A tasty recipe for overnight oatmeal from Inspired by Charm
  5. Lovely wee worlds to wear around your neck
  6. My meal making is filled with gluten free and vegan dishes for my youngest.  Here are some great recipes.
  7. How many recipes can you create from one head of cauliflower, cauliflower rice
  8. Where do you find large beautiful scarves? Adventures in scarf wearing :)
  9. What is the most popular crayon color, I bet you know
  10. and....who knew! Entanglement: The Secret Lives of Hair  just out this month!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

An amazing symbol yet oh so simple


Studio Progress from November 2014 'til now

Every day I roll out of bed, brew a LARGE strong cup of coffee and finally walk into the new addition, where my studio lives, and I smile.  It is taking me a while to let this beautiful space soak in and tell my brain it is mine. 
I know I keep saying it, I LOVE this beautiful bright space! 
The below slideshow shows a progression from screen porch to working space.  There are a few more jobs to be completed such as bringing the oak display case from storage, constructing a porch for the front entrance (I have a front entrance, hoot, hoot!!!!) and finishing off the closet.

The white walls using Simply White from Benjamin Moore was chosen for it's neutral tones which are camera friendly.  This will allow for great photo possibilities and not as much editing. We also tried to find lights offering a more natural output.  They are not too warm and will do for now..  

What have you added to your studio that is key to lessen your work load and getting you actually back making?

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Mornings in the Studio

Mornings in the studio are filled with hope for what the day will bring and glorious light from the breaking day.  Coffee from a rich dark blend, freshly ground with added cream and honey helps motivate also.  Mornings are the best.
"If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first."   ~ Mark Twain

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Until next year

This past Summer was a bugs busy season.  As always the porch gives us a place to land and come back to center with a book or quick chat with a friend.
This year's annual combos in pots were salmon geraniums, sweet purple Allysum, Profusion White Zinnias and sprigs of  Purple Wondering Jew starts from last year.  Potted herbs are a necessary part of the porch experience too.  Five different varieties of Lavender were divided up among each pot of annuals also with Prostrate Rosemary, Thyme, Pot Marjoram, Berggarten Sage, Pineapple Sage and Lemon Verbena in separate pots.

Having a morning coffee behind the curtain :)

Rabbit Foot Fern

Setting up during Arts Fest in June at Elk Country Visitor Center
There were a few shows this year that I found myself at with my artisan jewelry business.  Pennsylvania Wilds Arts Fest, LH JAMS Jazz & art Festival and The PA Wilds Art Invitational at Lynn Hall were wonderful local shows and all The Wilds Cooperative of PA related.

She is such a Spider Monkey
Until next year!

Friday, November 04, 2016

November goals

What are your goals for November?  I have goals I try to keep, goals I have my dh help with, lol,  and goals that, if they are achieved, are totally liberating.

  • Post here on the blog each and everyday. (almost made it....)
  • Develop new designs in keeping with my voice.
  • Finish the studio with picking up oak display case from storage, build a porch on the street entrance and a get the closet door in. 
  • Organize house for oldest daughter and grand daughters during December's visit.
  • Put summer porch cushions, blankets, pillows, etc. away in the small camper.
  • Get the crazy dog to the vet for her check-up.
  • Deliver inventory to trading posts.
  • Make a kick butt Thanksgiving Dinner
  • Start baking bread during the week once again.
  • Make vegan cheese from the raw cashews purchased last month.
  • Set-up dust collection system for bench.
  • Locate a console style drop leaf table for the studio
  • More product photos 
Share some of your to-dos!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Getting Through Hot Summer Days with Infused Waters

Sometimes we as individuals just do things that are 'naturally' good, infused waters are one of those super special/simple things.  We don't think about each and every mineral or vitamin and how it burns fat, decreases cholesterol, detoxifies, makes us youthful or gives us energy.  We just love that this beautiful beverage is simple to make, flavorful and thirst quenching.
Orange Mint, sliced fresh Ginger, Thyme and a black tea bag over ice
Mason Jars in the 24 ounce size are my favorite style glass to use.  They are the perfect size, a pint and a half, to get the full cold infused beverage experience.  Not too big, not too wimpy just large enough for a full flavored infusion.
Blueberry tea, Lavender, Sage, Thyme and organic sugar
Another great addition to your creation is a stainless steel drinking straw, the wide ones.  These are 8.5" long but, you can get them up to 12".  The trick is to get the wide style to then use in extra thick shakes and smoothies. You know you want one everyday of your life!
Peppermint and Red Rose Tea w/brown sugar, reminding me of my Grandmother
Yes, I do mix it up on the sweetener but, rarely use processed white, love brown sugar and occasionally will squirt a couple drops of Stevia in.
Blueberry, Bronze Fennel and Spearmint w/Agave
Celestial Seasoning teas are truly good quality teas, very flavorful and crazy easy to find in your local grocery store. Lemon, Blueberry and Peach are a good base for any additions you will be inclined to add along with a caffeinated tea such as Assam, Green or Ceylon.  I love Oolong and need to find a source.  
Organic Strawberries and Spring Water
These infused waters can be very light.  Sliced fruit or vegetables ie. a luscious strawberry, tart lemon, perfect peach, mellow watermelon, savory celery or refreshing cucumber make wonderful additions.
Here is a savory infusion including organic Celery, Pot Marjoram, shaved Ginger and Thyme w/no sweetener
Don't over think it.  Take a glass, 1/2  fill it with ice, pour spring water over top, poke some fruit/herbs/tea bags or a bit of everything  in your infusion adding sugar perhaps. You can make them ahead but, I drink while and during the steeping process adding more ice or water as needed.

What possible combos are intriguing to you?  Plum and Thyme, Sage and Apple or Peach and Rosemary sound like refreshing pairings.

filmstrip captures of PA Wilds Conservation Shop at -Kinzua Bridge State Park-

Friday, July 22, 2016

Off to the PA Wilds with Stephanie Distler Artisan Jewelry

The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania Juried Artisan, Stephanie Distler, creating fresh off the bench #PAWildsMade jewelry.

A close-up of a copper cuff  "Not all those who wander are LOST" and the PA Wilds branding

Sharing a recent post I wrote for The Pennsylvania Wilds are Calling blog of the jewelry line created for them by SDAJ

PA Wilds branded jewelry, made by hand, includes bracelets, riveted rings, pendants, charms, bottle openers and key rings. The items are created from pure copper, sterling silver, stainless steel and food grade aluminum that is hand cut by the artisan from metal sheeting. Some of the steps used in making her line of branded PA Wilds licensed products include first cutting out desired shapes and sizes, grinding and filing edges, hammer forging texture, choosing the metal stamps relevant to the piece (such as a word string or design), work hardening in a tumbler to add strength and then finally sealing in the finish with a museum quality wax product that will last for years.
Stephanie is a self taught jewelry artisan living in Elk County. Using nature for inspiration, she designs and creates artisan jewelry together with hand tools and larger shop equipment. Collecting metalsmithing tools, learning new techniques and then implementing them in her designs is a passion that is the touchstone of daily life: “I am a crazy tool fanatic whether in the studio or preparing dinner for my family a good tool is the key to enjoying the simplest of tasks. When you have a passion for what you do it spills out around you, it’s contagious joy.”

I definitely need to take some new studio portraits, lol

Stephanie Distler Artisan Jewelry  is available at Elk County Council on the Arts, Laughing Owl Press, The newly built PA Wilds Conservation Shop - at Kinzua Bridge State Park (opening beginning of September 2016) along with her working studio and from online shop,

creating 'me' in the Wilds branding

Prices range from $7.00 to $50.00.
“If you love the great outdoors, Stephanie’s PA Wilds collection will blow you away! I live in the suburbs, and my pieces from Stephanie are a way to keep the outdoors close at hand. Her work is awesome!”  -Debra 
“Thank you so much for the PA Wilds elk charm! It is a small piece of home now that I am away. Last year I moved away from the great Keystone state to Iowa and boy do I miss those deep dark woods of Elk County. I used to camp a lot in Benezette. Thanks again for this awesome item!”  -Wally
Just a simply beautiful ring! The rustic design fits so well with the bark like texture….and it does look like bark! This one will rarely leave my finger! -djarus

Locate  #PAWildsMade made by hand through The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania from juried artisans at

captures from Summer


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