Meet Oliver...

This is Oliver. He has been a part of our family for close to nine years now. He has a cool, calm personality but he is also tough enough to put our Rottweiler in his place. He often will sit on a table and bat the dog on the head as he walks by. Just because. He has always been an in-door cat but is quite the escape artist. Since we have a dog, we are constantly going out the back door and Oliver always darts out behind us. Normally he enjoys rolling around on the pavement or smelling the air. This past Friday night, he darted out and disappeared out of my sight (it was dark). I went back inside with every intention of luring him back with treats but I got distracted and forgot about him (I'm a terrible fur mom sometimes). The next morning I realized what had happened and went out looking for him. No luck. I went about my day (worried) hoping that he would return. I went out again in the evening and finally found him in some shrubs between our garage and the fence. I carried him inside and tried to tend to him but he only seemed interested in loving on me and our dog! After snuggles (and lots of purring!) he finally ate and drank some water. He was overheated and traumatized but he is back to his old self again. I am so thankful he survived his first night-long out-door adventure! This family wouldn't be the same without him!

Happy Accidents

This project was a learning experience. When I first realized that the solder had spread over the copper background (I used too much), I was pretty discouraged and almost called it quits. I'm glad I decided to continue working on it! Even though this piece is full of mistakes, I kinda love it! I'm not sure what happened in the upper left area but I think it's pretty cool looking and it adds a little interest in my opinion. The coloring of this piece reminds me of a robin which is very fitting. 

Progress

Challenge yourself. I learned to do that in college! Well, I was sort of forced to do that. I remember always being surprised at what I could accomplish by being pushed to go above and beyond what I thought I could do. Now I push myself. That is probably one of the greatest take-aways from my college experience.

2015 was a huge year for Karisma by Kara! I took a HUGE step forward by adding soldering to my skill settings. I'm still learning but I am already able to do so much more than I could before. It has been so much fun discovering all the possibilities with soldering, but now I'm ready for more! The next step is perfecting my use of the jeweler's saw and soldering bezels (stone setting). I hope you will continue on this exciting creative adventure with me! 

My very first soldering project! 

Here is a flash-back to my post about learning to solder...

Friday, April 03, 2015

Yesterday I learned a new skill which I have been wanting to learn for quite some time now-SOLDERING! It is not nearly as hard as I thought it would be! My husband even took an interest and learned right along with me. Well, he actually kind of took over so I am practicing more today on my own. We had a blast though. It was fun working together although I learned that I don't like to share! :) I barely slept last night because I had too many ideas swarming in my head. Here are some fun "Behind the Scenes" photos from yesterday evening.

My husband had too much fun melting down my silver scrap!

This is one of my very first designs from years ago improved by soldering the seams!

Can't wait to see what's next!

Kara


After learning the basics, I worked on several difficult practice projects.  I challenged myself early on. I learned to do that in college! Well, I was sort of forced to do that. I remember always being surprised at what I could accomplish by being pushed to go above and beyond what I thought I could do. Now I push myself. That is probably one of the greatest take-aways from my college experience.

Below is one of my first practice projects. It took forever but it was incredibly rewarding in the end!

Thanks for reading!

Kara

A New Mind-Set & A Fresh Coat Of Paint

Work Hard, Play Hard.

I'm beginning this new year with a  new mind-set and a fresh coat of paint on my walls!

Long hours are just part of running your own small business. It's easy for me to get consumed with work and forget to enjoy life. However, my main New Year's resolution is to start out each day with the mind-set that I am going to work and then the evening is free for me to enjoy. So far this mind-set has been helpful and has actually helped me stay focused and  accomplish my daily goals during my work day. Having the evenings free to relax and do things that I enjoy will no doubt give me more energy and creative inspiration to take with me into the next day. 

My studio is full of things I love from other makers. The raccoon painting is something my mom painted years ago and was always hanging in our home. The small blue fabric artwork is from Shellie Mitchell. The Karisma by Kara sign is from Olive + Grey. The adorable sea-foam plant hanger in the corner is from Fox Pottery. The hawk print is from Amber Alexander. The needle-felted jackalope is from Once Again Sam

On the same topic of newness and fresh starts, this past weekend  I painted my studio white! White Dove to be exact. What a great way to start the year! I absolutely LOVE it! It is so refreshing to walk into in the mornings.  Later this month I am having a photographer come to my studio to take professional photos of my creative space and of me working in it. Until then, here are a few photos of my freshly painted studio:

One of my favorite areas in my studio. The little sea-foam green jar is from Illyria Pottery. I love her work!

My dad loved listening to his dad's old records. I grew up listening to Hank Williams and Ernest Tubb. This corner is a tribute to my dad and a sweet reminder of my childhood. Just turning the metal knobs on this stereo takes me back!

I love vintage finds and Malia's Mark always has some great ones! I found this awesome wire basket (along with three others like it) from her. The wooden bud vase is from LeBrun Designs and the hat was my grandpa's.

My kitten, Mulder. I've always loved the pure whiteness of his fur.

This is my packing corner. The wooden arrow piece is from Olive + Grey. They also made my signs for me. 

Decorating Therapy

Good Morning! I hope you all have been enjoying the holidays with family and friends. I can't tell you how good this holiday break has been for me  both physically and mentally!  My house was a complete wreck from the last few months of chaos. It was so refreshing to finally have the time to relax and fiddle around the house. I did a lot of cleaning and organizing which was great and it took a load off of my mind. It is hard for me to relax when everything around me is in disarray. I also enjoyed spending time moving things around and giving my bathroom a face-lift. Before this weekend there was no decoration at all in my bathroom which is sad since we have been in this house for close to 5 years! It was time! The bathroom is still  in need of a new sink faucet  and flooring  but it looks so much better than before. Those other things will come later. 

My sister-in-law gave me the cream colored shelf for Christmas. She knows me so well! I was so excited to find such a perfect spot for it. I have in it a rusty candle jar lid from Mercy Verity Candles that is perfect for storing bobby-pins. I also have in it another small container to store loose earrings, etc.  I already had the old wooden crate. I put nails along the top and the left side so that I can hang necklaces from it.

I am so excited to finally have found the perfect spot for this wire basket that I purchased from Malia's Mark. I have a couple of these in my work room as well and one in my kitchen for catching mail. I painted the frame above the basket using  Confederate Grey chalk paint. I love this color! I have a few more things that I now plan to paint this color. 

This lovely bird was a very special gift from my husband this Christmas! I absolutely love it! It pairs nicely with my miniature Illyria Pottery pieces in the background. 

I just snipped this greenery off of our bush. The book is actually working to balance my shelves.

I love nature! This is an actual bird's nest from our yard that had fallen from a tree. The bird figurine is from our wedding centerpieces. 

The little candle with a dome cover is from World Market. I couldn't resist. Once the candle is burnt out I plan to put cotton balls in it. 

Best Wishes &  Happy New Year!

Kara