We just got back from our first family camping trip. Before we had the Beauties, we went on some nice backpacking trips with just a map, a compass and our backpacks. It's been too long since we have spent time in nature like that. We live in a beautifully wooded area in Washington, but we were stilling missing that back to nature experience. So we dusted off the old gear, packed the truck and headed for Mt Rainer. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was hoping for wildflowers...

wildflowers in progress
wildflowers in progress

There were plenty of wildflowers in so many colors, and they were stunning! When we got home, I was inspired to pick up these charms that I had drawn and etched last spring and play around with some color.

The charms are etched on jeweler's brass and dirtied by the torch after soldering. They still need to be cleaned up, sanded, and polished.

The gemstones are Hessonite Garnet (the red/brown beads), Citrine (golden yellow), Labradorite (the grey-blue beads) and a tumbled Emerald.

wildflower earrings in progress
wildflower earrings in progress

Earrings in progress.

wildflower ring in progress
wildflower ring in progress

And a ring.

wildflower ring in progress modeled
wildflower ring in progress modeled

I am very happy with how the ring is coming along. I had planned to wrap the flower all the way around the finger. As I was hammering it into shape, I stopped here, and I really like it. I love when this sort of thing happens, when the piece tells you what it wants to be.

After these pieces are done, I think I'll work on a cuff bracelet. I'll post pictures of the finished pieces, along with photos of the gorgeous subalpine meadows of Mt. Rainer.

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