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    NEWS

    That Crazy, Joyful Time of Year

    Three years ago today, I was gearing up for a busy holiday sales season..... and I was also very pregnant with my first son. 

    And here I am, once again very busy and very pregnant! 

    Yup, I'm getting ready to welcome another baby, though hopefully he'll wait until his January due date to arrive. 

    Little Elf

    With my son Gabriel on Christmas Eve 2016. He was 10 days old! 

    I often talk about how much I love my job, to the point where I have to be reminded to step away from my bench and PUT THE PLIERS DOWN! Thank God for my wonderful, hilarious and lovable son, who reminds me daily that there are far more important things in life than making jewelry. I'm so grateful that I decided to become a mother -- something I never thought I wanted to do! 

    I'm pregnant now with another boy, and while I'm not looking forward to those sleepless nights and the utter lack of free time, I'm so excited to have another child to love as much as I love my son, Gabriel. 

    I'll be hard at work this holiday season, filling oodles of online orders and slinging my wares at art markets in New Orleans and beyond. Then (hopefully!) I'll have a few short weeks to catch my breath before giving birth. Fingers crossed.... 

    Apparently Christmas time babies are becoming a holiday tradition in my house! What holiday traditions do you celebrate? 

    New Designs On Their Way!

    Brass Stampings

    A common problem for most artists (most creative people in general I'm sure!!) is that we have more ideas in our head than we ever have time to execute. 

    For years now, I've been playing around with the idea of creating a line of "message" jewelry. With the current political climate, now more than ever I think it's important to be loud and proud about not just the things we enjoy, but the ideals we care about deeply

    With that in mind, I finally began working on a line of message jewelry.

    I wanted the line to contain messages that motivate, that bring peace and that make you smile

    Hammered dics

    To make these pieces, first, I sketched out each design: experimenting with fonts and playing with layouts. Then I worked with a graphic designer to turn my chicken scratch into something legible. With the help of my ridiculously gifted friend Amber, we etched out the final designs onto sheets of brass. Once the design was etched, I used a disc cutter to cut out each piece. From there, the piece gets cleaned, blackened (to make the design pop) and lightly polished.

    Brass sheets

    I'll be making these new designs available for purchase on my website soon. To find out when they will be released, join our email list (link in the footer of this page) 

    And keep checking the website for more of these sassy, smart ass, fearless message jewelry -- because my brain isn't slowing down anytime soon! 

    Babe Zaharias - A Badass Woman You Need to Know!

    We believe that jewelry should empower and make the wearer feel strong and beautiful. So we're pausing today to celebrate a Queens Metal inspiration -a strong, beautiful female who kicked ass and did things her way.

    Babe Zaharias golf shot

    Have you ever heard of Babe Didrikson Zaharias? At a time when female athletes were considered an oddity, Babe excelled at baseball, golf, tennis, track, baseball, and numerous other sports. She won two gold medals in track and field, was inducted in to the World Golf Hall of Fame, and pitched in major league baseball games. 

    Born in 1911, Babe's life as an athlete first began as a high school basketball player in Beaumont, Texas. Her skills were so impressive that, while still in high school, she was recruited to play on a local amateur team and eventually became an All-American player. 

    Babe Zaharias Track and Field

    She then began to focus on track and field. At the National Women's AAU Track Meet in 1931, she won first place in eight events and was second in a ninth. At the 1932 Olympics games, Babe competed in three events - the maximum amount of events women were allowed to compete in at the time - winning two gold medals and a silver, and breaking four world records. 

    Eventually Babe turned her sights to golf, the sport that would define the rest of her life. In the 1930's and 40's, she dominated the sport, winning 31 tournaments including three US Women's Opens. She was a founding member of the Ladies Professional Golf Association and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

    In addition to these numerous and impressive achievements, Babe also excelled in baseball, where she pitched several times in major league baseball games and still to this day holds the world record for farthest baseball throw by a woman. She also was a notable swimmer, diver, bowler and volleyball athlete. 

    Babe's personal life was dominated by athletics. She married professional wrestler George Zaharias, who she met while playing golf. Though they reportedly sought to adopt, they were denied and never had children. Babe also had a long term, purported romantic relationship with the golfer Betty Dodd, who lived with Babe and her husband for the last six years of Babe's life. Babe died of cancer in 1956 at the age of 45. 

     

    Studio Sneak Peek: Hammers, Pliers & Dust

    Bench Triptych

     

    The Queens Metal studio is tucked away in a quiet New Orleans neighborhood, just two blocks from the Mississippi River. 

    As I work, I can hear giant ships blowing their horns as they pass by. If I open the door to my studio, I am hit by a wave of heat in the summer and the smell of sweet jasmine in the spring. 

    In short, my studio is a tiny bit of paradise. It's also the place where I design and make everything in the Queens Metal collection.

    Soldering Station

    My workbench serves double duty as a soldering station and the place where i do all of my sawing, filing and forming.  

    Sawed Pendant

    A bench pin extends from the top of my desk and allows for more freedom of movement while polishing and sawing. The slit in the center of the bench pin allows me to saw out intricately detailed shapes. 

    Soldering station 

    Another shot of my soldering station.... I've got a bunch of rings ready to be soldered and turned into Friendship Necklaces. That jar of green Ecto Cooler looking stuff in the background is actually flux -- the solution that enables solder to flow between joints. 

    Ball Peen Hammer

    The hammer I use the most... my trusty ball peen hammer! This hammer has two faces, a domed side and a flat side. I use mine for flaring out the side of my popular Perfect Hoops among lots of other things. 

    Messy Desk

    Oh and by the way, this is what my workbench typically looks like.... dusty. cluttered, and disorganized :) 

    xoxo Krista 

    How I Spent My Summer Vacation

    Krista at Park Avenue Fest

    Guys, I hate to say it, but summer is over. Of course, in New Orleans the weather forecast still shows nothing but 90 degree days ahead, but still, something in the air has shifted. 

    A few years ago when I had my son, I made a decision that I wanted his summers to be filled with memories of long days spent swimming, eating towering ice cream cones with sprinkles, and sleeping with the windows open. In New Orleans, the oppressive summer heat makes going outside a pretty unpleasant experience. Most locals spend the days inside, with the AC blasting. So for the past few summers, my son and i have spent July and August in Upstate New York at my parents house.Digging in the Dirt

    My son digging in the dirt in my mother's garden

    I consider myself exceptionally lucky that the nature of my work allows me to decamp to another state for extended stretches of time. I bring a small selection of tools with me and create a modified jewelry workshop in a spare room of my parents house. I set up shop at a few weekend art fairs nearby. But mostly, I try to use the time to plan the year ahead for my business (and for my family!) 

    As we prepare to fly home to New Orleans and go back to our regular chaotic schedule, I'm pausing for a moment here to appreciate the past weeks. My son spent precious hours with his grandparents and I got to spend my mornings answering emails while my feet dangled in the swimming pool. 

    Garden View

    The backyard garden is a truly magical oasis! 

    Soon, the holiday shopping season will kick into full swing and I'll be working 12 hour days, exhausted and wondering why I chose self-employment over the stability of a 9-5 job. But for now, Im just grateful for this summer respite and the memories that came with it.

    Do you have a summer happy place? Comment below to share your memories favorite summer memories.