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The Trusty Foredom Flex Shaft

Today’s topic for our Blog-o-Sphere Think Tank is “What is your Favorite Tool?” The subject was not limited to the tools we use in our respective studios.  There were many that came to my mind.

To qualify as one of my favorite tools, the tool must be practical and functional.  My dad taught me the importance of good tools.  So my narrowed down list ranges from my Chi flat iron (in purple of course!), to my NC Black Hammers, to the pooper scooper (yes, I know eeeiiiiwwww, but when you have doggies, it’s a necessity!!!), to my Husqvarna Viking sewing machine….yet, I kept coming back to my trusty Foredom Flex Shaft!

It’s hard believe that I acquired this tool in October of 2009! I was so overjoyed with it then that it became one of the topics for another blog post about tools. As much as I truly do enjoy the zen of hand finishing my metalwork, I find I go to my Foredom almost every time I work at my bench.  Why?  Well it has a multitude of attachments that make metalsmithing even more fun for me.  It’s a great time saver since I feel I need to make the most out of the time I work in the studio.  Here’s a list of a few of the things it does that makes my life easier when metalworking:

  •  Drilling holes is a breeze
  •  It can perform quick sweep, with the right attachment, to rid the metal of a scratch that could take 10 – 15 minutes or more of hand sanding
  • Adding a bit of texture to the metal with one of those 3M ‘spiders’ (radial sanding discs)
  • Smoothing out a bump in my soldered bezel wire
  • Removing a spot of solder that would take a while with hand sanding
  • Giving an polished edge to a finished piece with additional smoothness and shine

I truly love tools that make my life easier and this is definitely one of those.  It goes to the head of the class and I have found using it invaluable in my studio.

Now lets see what my fellow blog-o-sphere think tankers shared on this fun topic! Please visit their blogs and enjoy the read.  🙂

Andes Cruz:
Shannon I’m On A Roll Koochin:
Barbara Donovan:
Robyn Hawk:
Beth Cyr:
Natsuko Hanks
WATTO (Mary)
Wendy Kelly
Stephanie Clark

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person

December’s topic for the Blog-o-Sphere think tank is, what I do just for the sake of doing it.

Listen to music.  I love how music can alter my mood, feed the creative juices and bring relaxation or energy!

My mom wanted me to learn how to play the piano when I was a child.  I took lessons.  I never practiced enough to be good, but one thing I took away from it was an appreciation for classical music and I love, love, love piano.  One of my favorite piano artists is David Benoit.  What a master.

Jazz is probably the genre I listen to the most now.  Artists like Brian Culbertson, David Sandborn, Richard Elliot….well, I could go on with quite the list.  Let’s just say my iTunes library has a great variety of my favorites.

Listening to music is something I do everyday, just for the sake of doing it.

Now lets see what the rest of my fellow bloggers have shared!

Andes Cruz:
Stephanie Clark: 

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.

Corn on the Cob

This month’s topic for the Blog-o-sphere Think Tank is “What is your Favorite summer food / meal?”  Well, growing up in northern Illinois, the land of corn in my mind (along with some other midwestern states), I have to say corn on the cob is one of my favorite summer foods.

My parents had a garden and it produced many tasty treats.  There was nothing better than fresh picked sweet corn, straight from their garden.  Sweet, tender, juicy.  I loved it.  Oh yes, and please do not hold the butter….the more the better with sweet corn!

I don’t have it that often any more, but given the opportunity, I will snag one with my summer meals.

Fresh Tomatoes!

A close second is tomatoes from that same garden.  They were extra flavorful; not like the hot house varieties the stores sell.  At one point, my folks would put sugar on them.  Then they switched to salt and occasionally pepper.  I’m afraid I didn’t stick with any of those condiments  and I just find having them plain is the best treat of all.

Please check out my other blog-o-sphere compadres and see what their favorites are too!

Andes Cruz:
Brad Severtson:
Barbara Donovan:
Shannon Koochin:
stephanie clark:
Laura FLavin :

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.

This month’s topic from the Blog-o-Sphere Think Tank is: “What is your favourite past time activity?”

As you can see from the photo at the top of this post, one of my many favorite past time activities is playing with our basset hounds. This was at the end of a ‘photo shoot’; taken about 3 years ago.  You see, when you are at their level, anything is fair game!  They had had enough of the picture taking session and it turned into some wrestling on the floor.  The bassets won!

There is something about spending time with the dogs.  Ours have great personalities.  They know my emotions and during those times when I may feel a little down, at least one of them will come and rest their head on my foot or leg.  Living with a pack of hounds has all sorts of great moments.

It goes without saying, but another one of my favorite past time activities is spending time with Dan.  I know, awwww.  But it’s true.  He’s my best friend and soul mate.

Lately, I’ve been able to resume a regular swimming schedule and that is also at the top of my list.  The morning zen after a swim is one of the best ways I know of to start my day right.

Working with my hands feels like a past time activity, even though making my jewelry is not …it is one of my passions and I love that it affords me an opportunity to do something that feels so relaxing.

My fellow think tank members are sharing their thoughts on this topic too.  Please stop by and find out what some of their favorite past time activities are.

Andes Cruz

Mary Spencer (WATTO)

Stephanie Clark

Shaun Young

Beth Cyr

Shannon Koochin

Brad Severtson

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.

This month’s Blog-O-Sphere Think Tank question is: ” favourite quote(s)?”  (and why? if you want to share..)

I definitely have one….actually I have several, so here is my short list aka my Top Five.

1. “Well behaved women seldom make history” ~~ Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

I stumbled across this quote a few years ago.  It struck a chord deep in my soul.  I could and probably should write a book about finding oneself and coming into your own.  Let’s leave it at, the Genie has left her bottle and she ain’t ever going back in there.  So when I found this quote, I thought, YES!  Well  behaved women seldom make history.  Joan of Arc, Kate Hepburn, and others come to mind.  If you are going to leave your mark on this world, I’m not so sure being a well-behaved woman/person is going to achieve that.  So it has become one of my signature tag lines for my email and something I live by.

2. “I am not afraid…I was born to do this.” ~~ Joan of Arc

The determination that echos in this quote from Joan of Arc helps reinforce the understanding I have that fear is the worst thing any of us can feel as we approach a daunting task, make a decision, or anything else for that matter.  Do not give fear the power to hold you back.  Know that each of us is born to do something special.  Joan of Arc inspires me with her courage, strength and faith.

3. “Destiny is made known silently” ~~ Agnes De Mille

Thanks to the Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach, I was introduced to this quote early this year.  When I am experiencing self-doubts, I find this quote lifts my spirits and my understanding that my destiny is right there, right in front of me, no matter how quiet it may seem at the time.  I believe in letting my work speak about who I am as an artist, a person.  Yes, I believe destiny is made know silently.  Meditate on that one.

4. “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” ~~ Albert Einstein

Mr Einstein was a genius; still is in my book.  This quote just makes me smile and feel child like.  Exhilarated, filled with anticipation.  How true is it that we are only limited by our imagination? I agree that our imagination gives us a preview of life’s coming attractions!  It’s one of my alternative email signature tags.

5. “Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person” ~~ Kathleen Krucoff  🙂

Yes, it’s my quote and what I like to use at the end of my blog posts.  I like how positive this sounds and I want to encourage others to Aspire, yes, Aspire to be more as an artist….and also as a person.  Strive to achieve what you aspire to be.  I hope you find it encouraging.

These are my top 5 favorite quotes.  What are some of yours?

Please see what my fellow blog-o-sphere think tank compadres have shared as their favorite quotes:

Andes Cruz:
Brad Severtson:
Wendy Kelly:
Mary Spencer:
Stephanie Clark:
Barbara Donovan:
Laura Flavin:
Beth Cyr:
Thomasin Durgin:
Shaun Young:
Kathryn Cole:
Natsuko Hanks:

Andrea Bell:

And yes, I leave you with: Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.  🙂  I truly mean it.

From the Blog-o-sphere Think Tank, the question posed to the group is: What is your favourite movie (or book!) – and why? Mine in Avatar, hands down.

I have a lot of favorite movies, but Avatar resonates with me.  I have seen it more times in the theater than any other movie and I cannot tell you how many times I have played it since we got our first copy of it on DVD.  When I’m working in my studio, I always have music or the tv on, and many run in the background as I work.  Avatar is one of those I go to when I need inspiration.

Why do I like this movie so much? The geek in me loves how the characters were brought to life through CG.  I found Pandora to be  such a beautiful place. The colors, the wildlife, the plants, the Navi.  Say what you like about the story line, I loved it.  It has inspired some of my jewelry designs.

I’ve always enjoyed science fiction.  Showing possibilities. It fuels my imagination. Our creativity is only limited by our imagination, so this movie spoke to me on many levels.  As it started, Jake describing his injury that left him in a wheelchair, yet he had dreams of flying.  When he first synchs with his avatar, the sheer joy he experienced because he could walk again, run again…that was joyful.  Jake’s first flight with his banshee…his dream of flying becoming a reality.  The purity of his spirit as the wood sprites were surrounding him & landing on him, giving Neytiri a sign that Jake was something special.  His courage as he becomes one of the People and fights for them.  It just inspires me.

So many powerful emotions. The bond that develops and grows between Jake and Neytiri.  The loss of Hometree.  The perceived betrayal.  The ultimate redemption.  It all works for me.

I’m looking forward to seeing what my fellow blog-o-sphere contributors share.  Please take a moment to check out their responses to this question:

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.

Kathleen Krucoff

Artist and Metalsmith

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