Some of my Creations

Thursday, December 30, 2010

It's been nearly a year....

...since I wrote a blog post. This seems to be a recurring theme in my blogging life. I don't mean to neglect it so bad, I DO have plenty to share, but finding the time I guess is the real issue. And wondering if my five followers actually care anyway! ;)

In a nutshell, this year has been extremely busy for me. I went to 6 weeks of geology field camp this summer, which deserves a blogpost of its own, and then went to Hawaii for a volcano seismology class for 2 weeks, which also needs a post of its own. I got back to an illness in the family and had to take the semester off from school to care for my daughter while my mom was busy. I've enjoyed the break, I was honestly starting to feel a BIT burned out on school after my insane spring semester and summer...but I'm ready to go back now. 6 classes left! Can't wait to be done and get a job somewhere.

I've rolled out a new like of geeky handstamped science related jewelry this fall, and am really enjoying creating it! People seem to like it, I've had quite a few sales in my etsy shop of my new stuff. Yaay, I may have found myself a niche in this over saturated world of jewelry where so many people are just making things very similar to everyone else! I hope I can keep it up when I go back to school in a couple of weeks. You can check it out here:

I'm going to try to be better about regular blogging and tweeting, but no promises!

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I'm very excited by the volcanic activity in Iceland, like all volcanophiles I know! Most excited for my classmate in Volcanoes class who is there now, setting up instrumentation to monitor any lightning being produced in the ash column! The beautiful, effusive fissure eruption of the last couple of weeks has been replaced by a more explosive eruption under the glacier. The explosivity is likely a result of the interaction of lava and ice/water. Huge lahars have been generated that have washed out to the ocean. All volcano nuts wish for large eruptions, and the hope is that maybe Katla volcano next door will also erupt. Sorry for the people in Europe who are stranded and can't fly, but this is what volcanoes do. We must adapt to the changing environment. If anything, we can now see how vulnerable a thing perfectly taken for granted by everyone - uniterrupted air travel - can be completely shut down by a *small* act of nature. This is a TINY eruption, imagine if there was a much bigger one? I love seeing volcanoes in the news, it makes me feel more validated as a future-volcanologist: I've had to defend my choice of studying volcanoes so often to people that don't think it's important!

PS. Proper pronunciation: AYA-feeyatla-yokutl

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Earthquakes and such

Well, my blog has been sadly neglected for a long time, I have been so busy at school. School is such a challenge for me, although I enjoy it. It's hard because my life is split...I'm here at school for 5 days of the week, home for the weekends with my boyfriend and daughter. There is no creative outlet for me here at school, which is insanely frustrating for me, since I really just want to make jewelry all day! But, if I were to bring my jewelry making supplies down here, I would get no school work done at all, ever!! So, I have to live frustrated until I'm home on the weekend, and then try to balance time with my daughter and boyfriend with time creating new things. I have three notebooks full of designs and ideas for jewelry, it will be YEARS before I get a chance to even attempt half of them! That's good though, in case I run into a creative dry spell in the future, at least I will have something to fall back on in those notebooks!

So, I've been getting into some metal stamping designs, and so far I'm really enjoying the results! Check out my pics of the new designs, and let me know what you think! I have TONS of ideas for stampings too, so stay tuned to my shop, I will have some for sale in there eventually!

Earthquakes. Ok, so there there seems to have been a lot of them in the news lately, and there is a lot of speculation out there about what is considered "normal" for any one year. Religious people are claiming it's the end of the world, non-religious people are scared, scratching their heads, wondering what is going on. I refer you to the NEIC (National Earthquake Information Center) website here to put your minds at ease:
Here, you can veiw the worlds catalog of daily earthquakes, an extensive amount of information, and view recent seismic activity and even archives of old earthquakes. If you look at the data for any day, any year, you will find many earthquakes. The earth is incredibly dynamic, and none of the earthquakes that have occurred recently are outside of scientific expectation, either in size or location. Haiti exists on a transform plate boundary and has had massive earthquakes because of this in the distant past. Chile exists in an active subduction zone, characterized by massive "mega-thrust" earthquake events and extensive volcanism. Tibet is part of the Himalayan orogeny, where the Indo-Australian plate is colliding with Asia, pushing up the Himalaya in the process - the region is prone to giant thrust faulting as a result of these collisional forces. Baja is part of the San Andreas fault system, another active transform plate boundary where earthquakes are common, and expected. The ONLY thing different about this years earthquakes is the fact that they are being so widely reported. So PLEASE put your mind at ease about the current seismic activity of the planet!!! Unless you live in a seismically active area (and you should know if you do!), you don't have to worry about your area suddenly becoming active.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Rant: Global Climate Change

I guess I'm a frustrated Earth and Environmental scientist. It really bothers me that issues that are global in scope and affect all of us have become completely politicized, to the point where people who have nothing to do with science and have never read a scientific paper in their lives are using their clout to influence millions of people over an issue as important and vital as global climate change. "Global Warming" is a term most scientists shun...but it's bandied about in the media as if the only result of human triggered climate change is going to be getting warmer. Overall, yes, that will result, but some places will get wetter and have more extremes of temperature (colder, wetter winters, drier, hotter summers), some will get warmer and drier and overall it will have an extremely negative affect on the earth system as a whole. People who see this as a black and white issue where the scientific community is divided over whether or not human triggered climate change exists have it all wrong. Most climate scientists agree that change is occuring, what is argued about is what the projected effects are going to be and how long it will take to reach a point of no return. What happens to the people of India when the Himalayan glaciers that supply so many of them with their drinking water melt completely and can't be replenished because mountain temperatures aren't cool enough to form glaciers? What happens to island nations like the Maldives and countries like Bangladesh whose lands are disappearing as sea levels rise? FACT: Warmer oceans=more evaporation=larger this going to be tolerable for the people of the gulf states in the US who have already dealt with many hurricane spawned tragedies? Ignoring these problems with pat answers like "This is the normal cycle of climate on the earth" or "We can't do anything about it anyway" allows for an intolerable "do nothing" attitude to pervade...and flies in the face of hard, rigorously peer reviewed scientific data. It comes directly from IGNORING scientists! When did the general population decide to presume to think they knew better than the people who study this for a living? What is it about this issue that makes people stick their heads in the sand and CHOOSE to ignore it? Is it because the prospect of change, of having to make sacrifices and alterations to one's lifestye is so unacceptable, they want to be reassured that it's ok to conduct business as usual? Well it's not. Each and every one of us owns a piece of this pie, whether we like it or not. Education, sacrifice, innovation, scientific study, technological advances and people like you caring about this are going to be the things that turns this around, to the benefit of all. My study of global change hydrology this semester has shown me that ignoring this problem won't make it go away and will change the earth in ways that few of us will find tolerable. I hope you will join me in doing your part, no matter how small, to bring balance back to our precious earth system. ~End Rant~

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My School Project

As an (OLD) undergrad student here at New Mexico Tech, I am lucky enough to be involved with a very interesting science project. This school is actually renowned for the research opportunities available, and it truly doesn't disappoint if you are at all interested in doing some work while studying. Although I am passionate about volcanoes, I also like seismology and faults a great deal too. Maybe because my family lived in LA for many years, and I was in countless earthquakes growing up (including the North Ridge Quake of '94), I don't know! But I am fascinated by the mechanics of the moving, dynamic earth, it never ceases to amaze me!

There are many types of faults and they all are formed in different tectonic regimes. The ones I am working on are in Southern California, one in the Salton trough, the other in the Whipple mountains. They are both low-angle normal faults, which in the world of geology are the most contentious type of fault. Some scientists don't believe they actually form and slip at low angles (<30 degrees), because that orientation defies accepted rock mechanic theory. Our group is working to answer some basic questions about how they form and slip at this mis-oriented angle. My part of the project is to conduct a particle size analysis of the fault rocks at different depths from the slip surface. I spend many hours looking down a microscope, taking pictures of "thin sections" of rocks and then manipulating the images. When I plot grain size vs. # of grains on a log scale, the pattern in the graph will help to constrain the conditions of formation of the rocks. It's challenging work, but exciting too cause no one else has ever done this in-depth of a study on low-angle normal fault rocks. Plus, I get to work with two geniuses of structural geologists and 2 genius metamorphic petrologists as well!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

MSOE Team!!!

I've been so busy with school, it's hard to believe how long it's been since I posted on here! Things are challenging but good, I'm taking a Volcanoes class to keep me happy, and its working!

I'm very excited because I have been accepted into the Mad Scientists of Etsy team! Everyone in the team is like me, a creative science person! This is the first team I have been accepted into, I requested entrance into one of the jewelry teams but wasn't even turned down, just flat IGNORED. I'm very happy with my new team, it is a cool, creative, fun bunch of scientific people who make wonderful, varied crafts that they sell on Etsy as well. I am planning to make a treasury soon with items from people on the team, should be fun! Check out the team blog if you are interested!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


It's a cold snowy day here in Socorro. I woke up to about 3 inches and a 2 hour delay for school...always nice! Snowy days like this make me want to stay inside all day and be cozy. Maybe make some jewelry, drink something hot and tasty, take a nap with my cat. Well, none of those things happened...had to go out in it and make my way to Statistics class this afternoon...I lead a sort of double life. I live in Socorro during the week and attend school, and then I'm home in Santa Fe with my family for the weekend. I don't have any of my jewelry making stuff down here in Socorro for the simple fact that I would never get anything else done if I did! No reading, homeworke assignments, writing of papers or work would get done! As it is I spend waaay too much time on Etsy everyday...I think I'm addicted to craftcult's Heartomatic too! Hmmm, the snow is making me want to create something with white pearls and crystals....I'll have to work on that this weekend maybe!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

New Earrings!

It's really awesome when a piece comes together perfectly, from concept to creation! That is how it was with my two new pairs of earrings I have listed in my Etsy shop! I got two fabulous pink mystic quartz gemstones from another Etsy seller, and knew I wanted to do something special with them. I waited til I had the perfect mix of pinks to go with those stones, which ended up being small pink sapphires and cubes of faceted rose quartz! Done up in 14 kt gold filled wire, these earrings were fun to create and I think they turned out very nice! The second pair happened today as a burst of inspiration came over me...I was looking at the faceted citrine beads and wanted to do something a little different with them...then I spotted my strand of flawless peridots that I have been saving for something special...and voila! citrine vine earrings were born! Hope you like them!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Last summer, I took a grad level volcano geophysics class in Ecuador! It was the most fantastic volcanic experience I've ever had. We installed seismic and infrasound instruments on the flanks of Tungurahua volcano while it was exploding, rumbling and roaring overhead! We spent a week traveling in Ecuador to other active volcanoes, some of which we climbed (Guagua Pichincha, Reventador, part of Cotopaxi), while our instruments worked for us collecting data on Tungurahua. Then we collected and analyzed the data, some of which has now been presented at the annual AGU meeting. We even got to see a volcanic lahar (mudflow the consistency of wet concrete) while on the mountain, which is a very rare event to witness! Ecuador is a fantastically beautiful country, lush, green and a volcanologists heaven! The town of Banos where we stayed for two weeks is a hotsprings resort town, with TONS of things for the outdoor enthusiast to enjoy: biking, horseback riding, waterfall rapelling, canyoning, four-wheeling, hiking and volcano watching. The town is at the foot of Tungurahua, which is a potentially deadly threat to the surrounding communities. For this reason it is highly instrumented and monitored by the Ecuadorian Instituto Geophysico in Quito and there is a special observatory in a nearby valley with round-the-clock scientific observation. This is an amazing place, if you like volcanoes at all, try to take a vacation in this town, it is wonderful!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Finally, I have decided to start a blog, to share my thoughts and inspiration with those of you out there who also make jewelry, or who just love jewelry as much as I do. Also, an occasional story about a volcano, since I am studying geology full-time and hope to someday be a working volcanologist. Believe me, it's ALL connected... geology, jewelry, minerals, volcanoes, magmatic processes, gem deposits and precious metals!! Without magmatic processes, we would have no large gemstone and precious metal deposits from which to create jewels, since a majority of gems grow as magma and/or magmatic fluids cool slowly inside the earth. (Well, there wouldn't be life on earth either, but that is another topic for another day!)

Wire wrapping is my passion although I do make other kinds of jewelry as well...I enjoy pearl knotting, stringing, working with chain, metal work, making glass beads etc. I recently received a cabbing station from a dear friend for my birthday, so I will someday be adding my own handmade cabs to my line of jewelry. I also recently joined the New Mexico Faceters Guild and have begun to learn how to facet my own gemstones! This is an amazing thing for me as it has been a life-long dream of mine to be able to cut my own gemstones! Extra special that my geologic and rockhounding activities have helped me to amass a large collection of gem quality rough material that has just been waiting for me to do something with!

This blog is intended for me to share some of my jewelry making experience, techniques, inspiration, ideas and challenges with you. Welcome!