Fresh Baked Designs

Adventures in jewelry making

Fall Musings… October 19, 2013

Filed under: Archives — Fresh Baked Designs @ 10:32 am

This is a bit of a detour from my usual jewelry making blog posts.

But there is a really cool bit that’s definitely jewelry related at the end,

so please stick around.

We just returned from a 10 day vacation (yes, we’re retired)

to Chicago and rural Wisconsin.

Yes, actually, taking a iconic Fall Color tour that retired people do by rental car.

 It was a blend of big city excitement with great architecture, museums,

ethnic food and lovely, lively small towns, gorgeous farm country,

and eye popping fall colors.

And lots of beer and cheese! Ever heard of Reuben soup??

Found it a delightfully warming treat on a rainy Saturday

at Cedarburg’s Oktoberfest.

A rustic blend of cheese, sauerkraut, and cubed corned beef…

just like the sandwich!

 There was also a wonderful art studio tour of about 25 artists

in all media going on in that area of Wisconsin.

Great time all around!


crane reflection

Visited the International Crane Foundation near Baraboo,

who does amazing work world wide to save this endangered bird.

This whooping crane is still the most rare of the species.

covered bridge

Last of the original covered bridges in Wisconsin.

Ran into three bridal parties waiting to take pictures at this lovely setting.

A bit of a laugh as we watched two gussied up groups

running across the parking lot trying to reach the bridge first.

Devil's Lake hike

And took a three mile hike up over the bluff above Devil’s Lake.

So if you’re still with me…here’s the cool jewelry part.

Just before we left on this trip, our brand new, 30 years-in-the-making,

downtown central library opened.

We’ve been watching it go up now for a while

and it was on our hit list of things to do locally, when we returned.

It’s absolutely fantastic!!

I love libraries.


In fact, whenever we’re in a big city somewhere,

we love to go peek into the downtown library.

Did this in Chicago too.

 They had this cool state of the art digital learning center with classes and demos.

We caught one in progress for the new 3-D printer, by MakerBot.

You could make your own spork to take home. How cool is that!

 I was excited to see that our new library also has a similar center

that’s not quite up to full speed yet. But the young lady running the lab

was happy to talk to us about the printer and materials.

She was making a green plastic model of a nut and bolt at the moment…

so fascinating to watch it in action.

The material is a filament on large spools in lots of bright colors and also clear.

 Right now, the 3-D model is made from programming,

but there are plans to purchase an additional piece

that allows one to use a real object to program the printer,

ei. one of the ear pieces broke on your eyeglasses.

The printer could create a new one.

She had some small things already made on the table

and told us we could take one…guess what I choose?

A stretchy green plastic bracelet!

The surface has this pretty iridescence and undulating pattern.

Could be ushering in a whole new era of jewelry design and construction.

3-D bracelet 1

3-D bracelet 2

Any new innovations caught your eye lately?  Maybe just new to you?

Something you’re curious about or want to add to your jewelry making materials

or skills?

 I’d love to know what you’re up to.


11 Responses to “Fall Musings…”

  1. Susan F. Says:

    Your trip sounds like it was fantastic! I really need do an autumn foliage trip because it’s been years since I’ve seen a proper seasonal change.

    The 3-D printer sounds interesting. I can’t imagine a library around here ever having one! There are so many possibilities in 3-D printing; some are amazing and a few are even scary so, I am both excited and wary.

  2. Alice Says:

    sounds like you had a wonderful trip! I love Chicago and would love to go back some day as i know we missed seeing a lot of things there. I have seen these new 3D printers on TV and really almost couldn’t believe my eyes! I would love to see one in person.

    • It was a great trip, Alice! I love exploring the big cities with all they have to offer, but also “noodling around” the less populated, rural areas and savor a bit of small town life. Hope you get back to Chicago soon!

  3. Love this blog! The picture of the crane was amazing. Like the bracelet, maybe done with recycled materials in future huh? The leaves are all red and yellow in the canyon on the way to my house, only bad thing is, we have been in a drought for 2 years now and the creek is almost dry. Keep up the traveling I almost feel like I was there!

    • Thanks so much, Debbie! This is my favorite time of year with the fall foliage, even some in my backyard with the liquid amber trees we planted 15 years ago. It also makes up for the two months I spend sweeping up the leaves and seed pods that land on our patio and in our pool! Hope you get some better rainfall this year to start healing the land.

  4. Love your pics!! I was born/raised in central Illinois and the museum in my little town of Atlanta is on the historical registry – the only library like it – it’s octagon shaped! It’s one of my favorite places in the world and I have fond memories of reading books there! That’s one wild bracelet – how cool to see a 3D printer in progress,…and to think that you could ‘print’ out jewelry – wowsers!! 🙂

    • I meant to say the “Library” (there is a museum though inside of it – downstairs!) in my hometown of Atlanta, IL. 🙂

      • Hi, Shel! If you were raised in Illinois then you already know how gorgeous it is in the fall. I just couldn’t get over all the huge amounts of green manicured lawns. You must miss this time of year. The desert southwest has it’s own beauty and treasures, but I know I would pining for some lush oranges, reds, greens, and golds right now.

  5. CraftyHope Says:

    Sounds like a fun, inspiring trip.
    Aren’t 3D printers cool? My hubby built one about a year ago. We don’t use it very often, but are glad that we have one. Fortunately, the hubs is a computer programmer so modeling the pieces he wants to make isn’t a big issue for him. There’s a site called MakerSpace or something like that’s a community where other people have shared their plans for items they’ve made. Other people can download them (for free) and then fire up the 3D printer. I only know this from what the hubs has told me, but I think that’s pretty great.
    Anyway, just thought I share a little info for you if you are interested in the printers. 🙂

    • Hello, Hope! Thanks for sharing this info on the printers. I find this new technology fascinating in a broad sense, because that’s the level of my understanding!
      Nothing too detailed for me tech wise. Who knows…in 5 years, everyone may have one of these printers in their home as a matter of course.

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