Karen Bandy Studio

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Touching hearts with gems, gold ... and paint  

Happy Spring!

It's been a great first quarter and I've been busy with a lot of custom work, both painting and jewelry. There were some very interesting special orders and I'd like to share a few with you. These are heartwarming stories about something a lot of us boomers are going to face as we age. These stories also address a new trend, at least one I haven't seen much until now.

Three women have recently visited, looking for for help with jewelry restyles after their spouses had passed. One asked that her wedding ring be sized for her right hand, an idea from her support group. She's wearing the ring now while honoring her dear husband's memory. Another woman I have known for years moved her wedding ring to her right hand, but wanted a memory of her husband on her left ring finger. She didn't want something that looked like a wedding ring. An opal he had given her years ago is now being re-worked from a '60's-style ring into a meaningful and contemporary memory for her left hand.

An enduring reminder: diamond cradled in holley-blue agate

Yet another brought in the wedding set I'd created about 10 years ago featuring a diamond her late husband's grandmother had given him. We moved the wedding band portion of the set to her right hand and decided to put the diamond in a pendant she could wear close to her heart. Together we searched my gemstone inventory and found the perfect new stone to complement the diamond that had so many memories attached. I suggested a design that cradled the diamond with a holley-blue chalcedony from Sweet Home, Oregon. Both stones now reside in a 14-karat yellow gold setting that honors the wearer's spouse and their shared memories. The photo is shown above.

Everyone honors the love of their lives differently, but I am seeing some trends ... moving a ring to the right hand, and making a placeholder in their heart whether on a finger or with a pendant using the original gems or starting fresh. Both are organic, natural expressions from the heart.

Which would you choose ...   
this one? 

But it's all not metal and stones. Here's a fun painting commission story: A long-time client visited looking for ideas. His uncle is very generous and supportive, but buys anything he needs immediately, so is (of course) very hard to buy for. You know the type, I know the type too. I'm married to one. 

Anyway, the uncle adores his dog, a Shiba Inu named Akamai. My new clients love my pet portraits, and a perfect gift idea was born. I was given a lot of creative freedom, but wasn't sure where I wanted to go with this portrait, especially since it was a surprise and I couldn't consult with the actual recipient. So, secretly I painted two portraits, and let the gift-givers make the choice. It was a fun exercise and I think I captured the dog's bright spirit. I've shown both paintings - which one would you choose?

... or this one?

First Friday is tomorrow, April 7th, 2017. I hope you'll visit, share a glass of wine, and see all the new goodies that I purchased in Tucson... gorgeous, lustrous pearls, gems and drusys. You'll love these new items, and maybe be moved to get your own heart-touching design.

I hope to see you tomorrow night 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.