Sunday, August 31, 2008

repurposed compact with tintype, rhinestones and skeleton key neckace available in my esty shoppe.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

feelings of impending doom

i can't help shake this bad feeling i have. i am sure it is related to Kirby's seizure and the uncertainity of it all. watching her hobble about. she can barely get off the floor when she lays down as she is quite weak. i was told some of that is due to her medications. still it is very upsetting and makes me feel weepy for her. i feel angry too because we all know that our pets will leave us some day, but yet it still seems so friggin unfair. i've dealt with so much loss that i am sure it contributes to all these feelings. she'll be seeing a vet again next friday to draw levels of phenobarbital and check her blood pressure. she needs to adjust to these new meds and that is important for me to remember - that she's medicated. i still hate it all.

pictures from dillon's last improv show

here's some pictures from dillon's last improv show. he's been doing it for about 3 years and his team consists of his friends, Rami, B-trem, Erica and Kyle. this year they finished in 3 rd place and dillon, rami and erika went on to the all star show. (dillon is in the green shirt). i'm really proud of him. he's quite funny and remarkable under pressure. i could never do this.


dillon has a new girlfriend. Abby broke things off suddenly about a month ago. about that same time though, Dillon got a message on his Facebook page from an old friend, Samantha, who he went to pre-K with. she wanted to know if he remembered her. they use to play together all the time and were really good buddies. she lives in Manasquan, about 10 minutes from here. she lives really close to dillon's nana actually. so anyway, they started hanging out together while i was in Wisconsin and really hit it off again. Sam is super sweet and very comfortable around me and jeff. when i saw her for the first time after so long, she gave me a huge hug. then the other night she came over as she and jeff were going to watch dillon at his improv show and she came up to my studio for awhile; wanting to see the jewerly i make, look at my room, noticing all my handpainted walls, picking up things and really looking at them. it was nice.

Friday, August 29, 2008

kirby's home

well, we really did not like that kirby was not home with us last night and that she had to spend the night at Garden State hospital. of course, it was for her own good, but we still didn't like it. her blood pressure was still high today, so she went home on seizure meds and something for the blood pressure. other than that, we don't have many more answers. could be her age, could be something in her brain, could be her thyroid (which we will get her tested for next week at her follow up appointment). she's a little lethargic, which we were told is a side affect of her phenobarbitol. we've got things in place in case she has another seizure and that's about all we can do, except keep her comfortable and happy. she's getting lots of attention and petting which she loves. she's a sweet old girl.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

women helping women

From the B. and A. Smith collection

my friend Allegra sent a call out for support of this company,, in their hopes to enter into the top 25 contenders for American Express's funding to support companies trying to make a difference in the world. read more about it:

"American Express is currently offering $2.5 million dollars in funding to support innovative ideas that make a difference in the world. They will be selecting 5 'Members Projects' for funding. My company, Lulan Artisans ( has partnered with Architecture for Humanity to expand our weaving centers and we are excited to be number 32 out of 1190 projects! We need to be in the top 25 and we have only 5 days left to do so. If interested, mentioning us on your blog would definitely push us over the top!In many parts of Southeast Asia young women are left with few options in gaining employment. Unfortunately thousands, some as young as 12, are trafficked and lost into the sex trade every year. Lulan Artisans is a social venture that creates an alliance between textile designers and gifted artisans from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and India to produce hand-woven fabrics. We currently support over 650 weavers, spinners, dyers and finishers to produce these high-quality textiles. Lulan is ready to expand, reach our goal of over 6,000 artisans and build innovative weaving centers whose profits will support these artisans but also provide health care and schooling for their children.Architecture for Humanity and its designers will provide innovative off-the-grid weaving that respects tradition but represents anew way forward. Building designs will be shared openly with anyone wanting to replicate them through Creative Commons licensing on the Open Architecture Network. This way innovation is shared and more communities can benefit."I think this is a great project and would appreciate it if you could help put it in the top 25 so that they can get funding for it. If so, please do the following:

1) Click on this link to go to our project
2) Click the Nominate this Project button in the center of the page
3) Follow the directions to either log in as an American Express cardmember, or sign up as a guest member
4) You will be directed back to the project, at which point you should be able to click the Nominate this Project button again
5) Click on the discuss button and tell the jury about how the collaboration between AFH and Lulan will help create huge change.

if you'd like to post this on your blog, just copy and paste and viola! help spread the word.


i'm sad, our Golden Retriever, Kirby, had a seizure today. she's at the vet right now to find out what's going on. she's older, 12, so i am sure that plays into it.
update: kirby is staying overnight for some bloodwork and a chest xray. apparently in a dog her age, a stroke or brain tumor would not be uncommon. she was very upset about being left there. jeff and dillon said it was really hard to leave her. man i hate this stuff. so hard.
another update: her chest xray was good, no masses or anything weird. her blood pressure was high, but that could be due to stress; so they were going to check it later. she's going to be put on phenobarbital to control future seizures. they were still waiting on her blood tests. since we opted not to do a cat scan, we won't know for sure if she has a brain tumor, but there's a high chance she might. if she did it would mean biospies, chemo/radiation/surgery and we don't want to put her through that. we will just have to deal with things as they come. we get to take her home tomorrow. poor Pepper, our westie, has been beside herself. Kirby is mommy to her and she's always attached to Kirby's side.

├ęchange entre les amis (exchange between friends)

here are the necklaces that i made for my buds Kim and Maija. i was inspired by Diana Frey's necklace in the last Belle Amoire Jewelry magazine.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

finished pieces from Beadfest

here is the bracelet and a pair of earrings i made from Tracy Stanley's class
this is what i made in Cheryl Strait's metalsmithing class

and finally, here is my complete piece from C.R. Radding's charm necklace class

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Good Morning

Well i've been up early tending to Tuck, doing some watering outside, catching up on emails. speaking of emails, i got an etsy convo this morning from this woman who has been asking me to make something for her. after agreeing on a price (which she was getting too good of a price for the steps i have to go through to create this item), i told her i would either set up a specialized listing for her or i could send her a paypal invoice. so she convo'd me this morning, saying, "sorry, she wouldn't be paying first" and that she hoped i understood. umm no, i don't. things are prepaid on etsy, that's how it goes. that is what my 100% feedback is for; to read my feedback and see that i can be counted on to send out the merchandise, etc. i've dealt with too many people who "change" their mind, or find something to dislike about an item (and mind you "the item" was their vision of what they wanted...), etc. i told her my time was too valuable not to be paid up front.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

last day of Bead fest

me and new bud, Tabitha. we met first day of classes and she graciously offered for me to stay in her room so that i wasn't driving 1.5 hours each way for 2 days. thanks Tabitha! we had a great time together and laughed a lot. laughing is always good!

my last day of class with C.R. Radding. the class was all about wire wrapping beads. i just loved this class! such a sweet lady, laid back, casual, unassuming, extremely talented and an awesome teacher. she just taught and taught and taught. she was even sorry we ran out of time as she had more to teach us! please ignore my horrible outfit - i was in my PJ's! the classes were so FREEZING and i had only brought skirts, so i finally had enough and went and changed into my PJ's to warm up. it helped for a little while and then Tabitha saved the day by getting me the blanket out of her car.


here is the piece i started in today's wire wrapping class


i'm home now watching the closing ceremonies. had a nice ride home after getting stuck behind a horrible accident; 3 firetrucks, 5 ambulances, 6 mangled cars. after getting past that, my ride was a breeze as i gambled on taking another way home to avoid the sunday traffic jam of bennies going home from the beach. i hit no traffic and was home in no time. NICE! jeff had a nice dinner waiting for me and we went and ate out in the camper for some peace and quiet (no dogs, no caregivers, etc.) now i am going to put my feet up as one of my ankles is swollen (started last night) and i'm not sure why it is swollen. (sitting all day in classes? i know i didn't do anything to it....) have a good night!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

bead fest cont'd - day 2

okay, i don't want to make fun, but i just had to take a picture of this mullet dread 'do. totally hideous.

relaxing by the fountain outside, enjoying the beautiful weather and trying to warm up my bones, because this frickin hotel (classrooms) are absolutely FREEZING! i'm sorry, but not every woman is going through menopause.......


here's my work in progress from today's class with Cheryl Strait. (Cheryl by the way will be on the cover of sept. Belle Amoire Jewelry - congrats to her!) we cut copper sheeting and cold connected them. cutting out the "frame" was so much easier than i thought. however, i seem to not know how to cut a straight line as i drew a perfect square using my metal block and those don't look like perfect lines there! i must say the lighting was HORRIBLE. i could hardly see what i was doing (excuses, excuses). now i see why people bring those OTT lights. but i enjoyed it and Cherly is a cutie. her son, Dylan, was there to help her, which was cute. he was helping me put my blade in the right direction since i could hardly see the teeth. (hey, i am turning 44 next month, so that might explain why i can't see very well anymore!) I get to see Chery again in Oct. where she is teaching and i am attending and vending at Art Is in Cromwell, Connecticut. one more class tomorrow - picked it up after my roomie show me the demo piece - looks like more fun!

bead fest cont'd

just some pictures from the bead show vendor area. talk about crazy and over whelming. people every where, crowded and serious beaders looking for their wares - don't get in their way! i found it really overstimulating, the lights were so bright and the "old lady perfume smell" just about did me in. then i made the mistake of eating there - bad move. i thought i was going to throw up later in the day it was so bad! i didn't have a class yesterday, so after shopping i came up to the room and relaxed, took a nap and then had Cheryl Strait come by for a cocktail before meeting Tabitha for dinner. after dinner it was meet the teachers to see what they are teaching. after seeing another class project, i signed up for a 3 rd class tomorrow. off to my other class now!

Friday, August 22, 2008

spoon pendant

i got this finished a few days ago. i love working with spoons. they make me happy. these are the pictures for my -etsy listing - SOLD!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Philadelphia Bead Fest, 2008

this morning i got up nice and early to drive an hour and a half to Philadelphia to take a class with Tracy Stanley, called "Simply Charming Bracelet" - where we learned to create our own personalized charm bracelet by stamping messages on metal and turning them into charms. We made our own chain and finished it off with beads and assorted charms. (although i am still working on mine). Tracy is from the Seattle area and has been teaching for years. she's a great teacher and i really enjoyed this class; she's funny too. i added it at the last moment and i am glad i did. i'll show my piece later when i've had a chance to complete it. my bracelet was themed around family. i also met a really nice girl in class, my seatmate, Tabitha, from Conneticut. We are going to share a room tomorrow night so that i don't have to drive home late. saturday i take a jewelry class with Cheryl Strait called Found Object Jewelry 101.

i decided to purchase some tools from Tracy and she gave us a brief introduction to various types of hammers and their uses. she's selling a really cool line of texturing hammers made in Vietnam that she sells on her website. they are a little pricey, but well worth the price. i just loved them and the effects the give. the chasing hammer is to die for. check them out at :

Frietz Texturizing hammers -
Finally a well crafted hammer. beautiful and functional as well.
These little beauties are so exciting. Each hammer is work of art. They measure 9” tall, so they are portable.The handles are made of Padouk wood, a member of the rosewood family.They handles are small and so smooth. The heads are made of steel and each head is different.
i also bought a couple of other tools, my favorite being a little basket/strainer to put your small items in and then just lower the basket into a blackening agent. very cool!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

took tucker out to the reservoir today

tucker has a 2 week break before school starts in sept. so we decided we are going to take him on some outings instead of being cooped up in the house. today was the perfect day to take him to the reservoir since it was a beautiful sunny 72 degrees. just lovely. we all had a nice time (even Gracie got to go). dillon stayed home as he was still sleeping (teenagers)

new computer workstation

my previous area to check and answer emails, update my etsy shoppe, print orders, etc. was on the floor next to my bed. i had put a stool there, my laptop on top and had a cushion that i'd sit on. needless to say, i wasn't too interested in sitting on the floor for too long. so the other day when i was getting this enourmous idea of switching my bedroom to my studio and moving my studio into my bedroom - i started to feel overwhelmed by the prospect. so much stuff to move, so much crap sitting around. it motivated me to do some cleaning, re organzing, getting rid of stuff (i've also decided to have a garage sale - GASP! something i swore i'd never do again). so i was able to create this new workstation. i just love it. it is spacious and roomy. so much better than what i was working with before. there's even a kitty corner (bottom picture) for Lily who likes to hang out in whatever room i'm in at the time. see her lounging in her basket?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

manikin makeover

i wasn't too keen on how my manikin, Coco, turned out when i worked on it before. something about just wasn't working for me. so i've been fiddling with her a bit. i think it's because her bottom half is askwed, so i added a vintage slip that i cut out of another skirt and then put some tulle over it. i also dry brushed the torso with white and then taupe and then a glaze to soften it a bit. a bit of vintage lace trim is wrapped around her waist. she's much more glam now.

Monday, August 18, 2008

early signs of fall

the acorns are starting to fall - my driveway is full of them. as fall starts to get closer they will start dropping with force. we like to joke that the squirrels are up in the trees winging them at us. the weather hasn't been the usual August scorcher with humidity and such. it has been mild and beautiful. the mornings in particular are really nice. i took these spider web shots yesterday early in the am with the dew still on them.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

flea market frenzy

I created this necklace today by using pieces that i got at the flea market this weekend. it was fun to see what i could come up. the focal point of the Madonna is quite chunky and measures
2 3/4" in diameter. i was calling it my "flavor flav" piece after that dude who wears those ridicoulously enourmous clocks around his neck. he was in that really stupid reality tv show with Brigette Nielsen for awhile (oh, you didn't see it? it was so excellent!)

slide show!