Saturday, January 31, 2009

cool website

i wanted to share this website on all kinds of wire wrapping techniques. i was really impressed with the steps and all the different projects. i am in the midst of creating some class proposals on jewelry and a lot of them involve wire wrapping. since i was taught those techniques by Amy Hanna, Nina Bagley and Cindy Forrestor, i'm not exactly comfortable teaching wire wrapping as i don't want any misunderstandings that i am teaching something that was taught to me. you know the controversary surrounding this "sticky" subject and i don't want any backlash on it. so i've been researching online wire wrapping techniques that i can give to my students after i show them the basics, which i do not claim to be my own. this way they have some where to learn if they get confused or forget the steps. anyway, the website is from wittyliving. enjoy, there are some great tips there!

cool tutorial

i've been working with Gail Schmidt of Mind Wide Open. Gail has some online classes and that is how i met her. she is teaching a tutorial on Elements and creating brushes, so i signed up. then i started talking with her about creating a new banner for me. she does lovely work and is very accomodating. we are in the process of finalizing my new banner, so it won't be long soon!Currently on her blog, she's got a great tutorial on making wings. the tutorial was written by Rosanna Pereyra.
So my article in Altered Couture is out. it was a piece done on my altered vintage handbags. An editor of the magazine found me on etsy and suggested i send them in as a submission. i have a few more things i am sending in for submission to that same magazine and Belle Amoire jewelry. my article starts on page 96 in case you don't want to buy the magazine, you can just quickly peek at it!
i've met so many people lately thru OWOH as they stop by my blog and leave comments for mygiveaway. then i go to their blogs and enter their giveaway. i met two girls that i really enjoyed their work and they really enjoyed my work, so i suggested we do swaps with each other, a necklace for a painting and a doll. i was very happy that they were so receiptive to the idea of bartering with each other. i love collecting art that way, as it has much more meaning to me. i've also got some one on one Valentine's swaps going with my friends, Kelly, Leighanna and Kim. i will be mailing their goodies out soon.
Benedetta does primitive folk art, which i just adore and her giveaway for OWOH is a darling picture of a black cat. so i asked her if she could paint something similar for me, but using my kitty, Pebbles, as her muse. it you pop over there, you can see the piece she did for me. (i peeked!) it is sooo cute! i can't wait to get it.
my other new friend is Kim, of Once upon a blue crow. Kim also does primitive art, which obviously i have a fondness for. she does lovely dolls and paintings of sweet girls with darling hairdos and huge eyes. so kim is making me a doll in exchange for a necklace.
i made them necklaces that are similar to the one in my OWOH giveaway, since that is what they liked. i did change them up a bit, so that each piece can still be called, one of a kind. i'll post their necklaces later as i don't know if they want to be surprised or not. so i'll wait til they receive them.

Friday, January 30, 2009

change is a coming

i'm going to tease you here and tell you that my blog will be getting a new look. new banner, new background. i usually do this in the winter - get really tired and bored of things. i usually go on a big clean up purge around the house (done) , reorganize closets (done) - i donate as much as i can to recycle and not send more crap to the landfills. i ended up taking 3 huge garbage bags of linens, towels, blankets, etc. to the SPCA for them to line the cages of the furry friends there. although, i just adore my current blog banner, i was just ready for a change. got to keep it fresh, you know? hopefully it will be done in a few days, so keep your eyes out!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

well, i have my first getaway of the year planned. i'm heading to San Diego to take a class with Suzi Blu. we will be painting one of her precious girls only this girl will be a mermaid. sound like fun? there are still some seats available, so go check it out. i'm combining this visit again with meeting up with my mom, 2 doggies, my sister and my niece. we will play for 2 days, i'll have class for 2 days and then it is back home again. once i get home, i have a few days before Jane and i drive to Virginia for artnsoul. i am only taking one class on thursday and still need to sign up for it. what a slacker i have become! on friday, i am going to be helping Stephanie Lee out in her extended version of "junk metal drawer" (did i get that right? i am always saying that class wrong!) saturday i am keeping open as i might be doing vendor night there (but won't know this officially til March)


i made this doll, isn't she darling? i made her using the tutorial from Susan Tuttle's new book, Exhibition 36, mixed media demonstrations and explorations. the book is full of interesting artists. these dolls are created by Joanna Moss, of Moss Hill Studios, who i finally met in person last Oct. in Connecticut at Art is (their website is under going construction and will be up in March). Joanna does beautiful work and a matter of fact, she is looking to do some teaching local to her area in California. go over to her blog and see if you can give her some feedback on teaching. these dolls are very fun to make and i've done a few to give as gifts already.


Speaking of Art is, i was formally invited to teach there this year. isn't that exciting? i can't tell you what i am teaching, but i am working on 3 different class proposals to submit along with my approval letter. as their website goes up, i will post the information. the retreat is held in Oct. 9, 10 & 11 in Connecticut. i will be in Portland at Artnsoul for a few days before and then when i get back will head over there to teach.


Monday, January 26, 2009

cemetary photos

taken at St. Bernards cemetary in Bridgewater, NJ.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

my friend, Z

I recently got a package of goodies from my friend, Z, (shown here with Nina Bagley) , short for Zhulia (pronounced Julia). I call her Z because when i first met her online my brain decided her name was prounounced Zoo-ya. after repeately introducing her to people and saying her name wrong (even though i knew better, my brain always does want it wants to), i finally asked her if i could just call her "Z". anyway, she sent me a wonderful box of treasures to unwrap and unfold. she made me a wonderful necklace, a truly lovely piece, for its meaning and how i know it came from deep within her heart.

She included a note, which i course, brought tears to my eyes.


Dear kiki (my nickname),

I have loved this picture of Tucker since you first posted it on your blog. I am touched by this picture- it also has snowball effect because then i think of you, your life, your art and the about how my life is richer for knowing you.

I am inspired every day by this picture; so that 's how this piece got started. i wanted to use the picture of tucker because i love it so- and how i labored over it! i don't think its my best- or my most beautiful - or my most ANYTHING! But it is the one that has my heart and soul in it. it is my tribute of your son for you. wear it in good health my friend.

all my best,



now you can see why it made me teary eyed. the thought of someone creating art of my son, really puts a lump in my throat. But Z understands loss and grief because she lost a child herself; a bond that makes us even closer.

she used a lovely worn old leather coin purse to build upon. there is the picture of Tucker that she loves. with all his adversity and challenges, his smile is infectious and heartwarming.


this summer Z and i went to Valley Ridge Art Studio and spent 3 days with Nina Bagley. here we learned how to do a cacoon wrap. Z is the queen of these - hers are always exquisite and cool!


a close up of Tucker's pic


Z also does incredible paper arts. she is a cutting fool! she made my name out of paper and stamps and added it to this metal piece. divine!


and lastly, she made this darling paper doll with the most beautiful skirt and in the my most favorite color too. the doll is on a stick and when you move her, her eyes dart back and forth!


also included was some more cacoon beads for me to use and create a necklace with. we are collaborating on a jewelry piece using her beads and then i go from there with them. that will be fun. i'll post that when the times comes. so thank you my friend, for the nicest, most thoughtful gifts.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

one world one heart giveaway begins!


I participated in this last year and if you go to the main blog site of OWOH, you can find all the bloggers who are participating. last year i won a beautiful ring and wreath and i know there will be even more participants this year!

this year i am giving awayone of my deconstructed, found object necklaces. all you have to do is leave me a comment. PLEASE make sure that if you do not have a blog or you are commenting under anonymous, that you also leave me your name and information - otherwise, i won't know how to get a hold of you and you can't win a prize that way! also, if you like my blog (and of course i hope you do!) you can now click on the "follow me" button on the right side of my blog and this will let you know everytime i update my blog) drawing will be held on Feb. 12th and i will use a random number generator to pick my winner. good luck and don't forget to head over to the main OWOH blog to see who else is playing.

here is my giveaway:

this is me

this picture so visually expresses how i am feeling lately - an observer, a little withdrawn, meloncholy.a twinge of sadness. winter blues? idk, but the panda is adorable.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


It is very important to me that i create every day. I find it very calming and relaxing and it gives me purpose. it helps my grief and channels that sadness into something positive. as i quietly mentioned to someone recently, "i sustained a life altering, horrible and traumatic experience. those feelings have to surface somewhere as i still find it difficult to talk about. my friend, Z, likes to call me "prolific", which according to the dictionary means "turning out many products of the mind ". i like that; that sounds like me. to give you insight into myself, i have to tell you that i work very hard at making beautiful things. i am very picky and often redo things several times. not that i want them to be "perfect" but because i don't like to sell things that are not up to my expectations. i'd like to think that i am creating more of an heirloom quality. i want to create things that will sustain over time, not get toss into the donate pile as their appeal wears off. but sometimes i wonder, "where am i going with this" or "should i be making all these things"?, "will they sell"?, etc. not unusual questions for an artist to pose to themselves i suppose. So i found it interesting to read in the letter to the editor from Jenny Doh in the latest issue of Belle Amoire where she was responding to somone commenting on another artist being "lucky". Jenny felt that luck really wasn't revelant about this artist, because this particular artist had an ongoing commitment to make new things. jenny said "when we are hard at work with focus and discipline as we toil at our craft day in and day out... we are preparing ourselves for the arrival of opportunity... indeed, preparing to embrace luck."
inside i felt good after reading that; almost as if she put my feelings into words and helped me see where i am headed.
Opportunity has been showing itself lately and i am trying really hard to put any self doubts aside and make the most of it. i deserve opportunity as much as the next person.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

i made front page of etsy!

originally uploaded by copabananas.

my friend, Claire, alerted me that my steampunk metal heart pendant with wings was on the front page of etsy and i totally missed it. Claire put the treasury together and we were pleasantly surprised when it made FP. yay - thanks claire!

these are a few more assemblages i finished in the last few days. i wanted to give a shout out to my dad who is recovering from carpal tunnel surgery; hope you are feeling better soon and resting!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


the last few days i've been doing some assemblages rather than work on jewelry. it's kind of fun to get back to some other things. i have another cool one to show you tomorrow. i 've got some juried shows to apply to soon and jewelry is so competitive; so i'm going in as "mixed media using vintage items and found/recycled objects,that are then used in various ways such as assemblages, jewelry and canvas art", instead of just "jewerly". (anyone out there want to reword that for me so i sound super professional?)

Friday, January 9, 2009


JoAnna of Moss Hill Studios is a having a blog giveaway for one of her awesome dolls. go to her blog and leave her a comment and you might win it! i've seen these dolls up close and personal when i was in Connecticut at Art is. (there was one doll she was selling that i was eyeballing, but someone else got it first!) they are so unique and there is something very comforting about them. even if i didn't get that doll, i am the proud owner of one of her necklaces which we traded with each other on vendor night.


Joanna's giveaway is based on wishes, as in "what do you wish for?" that's the second time in two days i've been posed that question, so i've been thinking about it and came up with a few things:

1) i wish for a healthy year for Tucker (and every year after that)

2) i want to start teaching art classes. got to figure out what to teach. got any suggestions?

3) i want to drive the coast of Calfornia from one end to the other (north to south, south to north, doesn't matter !)

4)and finally i want to go back into the mountains near Tucson, Arizona and stay at the Beatty guest ranch and photograph hummingbirds.

those are my wishes!


speaking of wishes, here is a little poem off of a tiny little picture i bought at the flea market recently:


That you may know long, happy days with blue skies and song of birds, and flower strewn fields, and mossy banks with bending willows ~

And peaceful nights with stars and soft moonlight and sweet dreams; with sometimes a thought and sometimes a dream of old, old friends.

isn't that so nice? i just love it. and speaking of flea markets..... it was only 20 degrees here today, but jeff and i decided to brave the flea market and yes, there were vendors there! (not many, but a few). i scored a box of bottles for soldered, embellished bottles, an old shaving kit thing, which i have no interest in the shaving things, but the zippered case it came in -distressed yummy, soft, leather perfect for deconstructing. let's see what else? a box of some sort, some metal flowers from a well worn, patina'd brass candle thingy, (1) tiny baby/doll? golf shoe (sounds weird, but really cute!), some spoons for jewelry, an 8x10 vintage baby photo and a fish made of mother of pearl - kind of interesting; maybe for an assemblage? it's about 7" long (see pic, which does not show how beautiful the mother of pearl is)


well, go figure - after posting about my wish for Tucker to have a healthy year, he woke up with a low grade fever, sneezing and coughing.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

well, besides taking care of a sick bunny (she's doing better now), in my spare time, i've been working on a couple of pieces. For some reason, I've had hearts on the brain (since making those hearts for Abbie in Dec.) and with Valentine's Day coming up, i felt inspired to create something with a heart and here it is. pretty cool, huh? it is being sold as a pendant (find it here) - don't think i'm going to make a necklace for it as i think a simple chain will do it more justice.

and for some reason, i never posted the 2nd piece that i created in Cindy Forrestor's class in California, so here it is. it is also a pendant that i wear on my favorite chain.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

yummy receipe for dinner

don't know what to make for dinner? i just made a long forgotten receipe for stroganoff that my sister gave me years ago. it is quick and easy and YUMMY! here's what you need:
* ground turkey (use hamb if that is what you have on hand), but the turkey makes the dish!
* chopped onion (optional)
* 2 Tablespoons flour
* 1 can cream of chicken soup
* 1 cup plain yogurt (or use sour cream if you insist!)
* 1 package egg noodles
* cx broth
* spices like, garlic, salt, pepper
*optional: parmesan cheese
1) boil noodles
2) cook turkey and onions
3) add flour to turkey when finished cooking
4) mix together yogurt, cr. of cx soup, any spices you like and 1/4 cup cx broth (add more if you think the mixture is too thick for your liking) add to turkey and stir
5) cook on low til mixture is hot. serve over noodles.
6) i serve this with green beans and texas toast

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

amy and carol

here is a picture of 2 of my best customers, Amy and Carol. i'm always bugging them to send me photos of them wearing my jewelry or of my art around their house. so carol sent this cute picture the other day of her wearing her new soldered charm that she recently ordered.
update: carol and amy took some pictures for me of things i've created and how they have them displayed around the house, i made a collage to make it easier to look at.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Memory Monday

Today's topic was "a childhood memory of snow". A favorite memory of mine from childhood and snow was when we were in Spring Hill, Kansas visiting my father's parents and i think it was Christmas time. I remember waking up in the morning and seeing this snow all over the ground. up until then i don't think we'd seen much snow. and i'm not really sure how old i was. maybe, 6 or 7 ish? but anyway, we looked out in the backyard and "Santa" (our dad) had written our names in the snow. we thought that was so awesome! then of course, we wanted to go out and play in it, but i don't think we really had the right stuff to wear, so my dad took plastic baggies and wrapped them around our feet to make little booties. it was so fun. somewhere i have a pic of my dad wrapping our feet, so i'm going to try and find it and then if i can get my scanner to work, i'll post it!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

altars and Memory Mondays

i was blog hopping the other day and ended up reading around Cathleen's blog, Urban Rosary and her topic was about altars. she showed some great pictures of altars belonging to her Aunt Vicky and another family friend. So as i was looking at, i realized, that i had an altar of my own of religious statues, but really hadn't realize i was building an altar. I was not raised Catholic and do not know alot about these statues, and like Cathleen, i find them mysterious, interesting and beautiful all at the same time, so i started collecting them as i came across them at flea markets. my interest in them isn't necessarily religious, but more spiritual in nature.

in an way though, even if you aren't using these type of religious statues, i think also, the little "vinettes" that we create are types of altars. Altars of comfort i'd like to think. they are usually pretty little things that bring us joy. we like to photograph them and share them on our blogs. so what kind of altars have you created?

Well it's about time! i'm finally getting back to Memory Monday's - boy that was a long hiatus, wasn't it? i 'm not sure if we will be doing it every Monday, but more likely one random Monday every month (so i don't run out of topics!). feel free to add this little widget to your blog if you'd like to particpate in Memory Monday's. what it was - was i would post a topic and TRY to find a picture to relate to it (not required though, as some of you don't have access to your old pictures, scanners, or whatever!) then i would share my memory and so would you! all you need to do after reading my memory is to leave a comment so that anyone participating can go read your memory. some of my friends without blogs were leaving their memories in the comment section and that is fine too! i hope you'll play along - winter is dull, boring and blah and this would be a fun way to connect as we hibernate! it is also really fun reading the different stories about our childhood memories. so look for a post tomorrow on the topic of "a childhood memory related to snow"

Pay it forward 2009

This is going around on several blogs, so i decided to sign up for the PIF (pay it forward) that Kathryn of KVCreativeDesigns is having.
here's how it works. 3 people signed up for Kathryn's PIF, me being one of them, and we shall at some point during the year, receive a handmade gift from Kathryn. Now in turn, i 'm posting my PIF here for 3 people that would like a handmade gift from me. However, to play along, you have to be willing to do the same, find 3 people that you will make 3 gifts for. So basically, it's a sharing of talents and giving - that's what we Artist do best. If YOU would like ME to send you something homemade and are willing to make three gifts for three others, be one of the first three to let me know! (leave a comment to this post)PLEASE, only sign up if you are positive that you will be able to follow through!
update: thanks, i have my (3) players:
1)karen of Recycled Rita
2) kim of artdogslife
3) danielle of collective elements

Friday, January 2, 2009

remember this piece?

My friend, Abbie, commissioned 2 necklaces using a picture of her great grandparents. She gave them as Christmas gifts to her mother and grandmother. She sent me a picture of the two of them wearing their gifts - it is so cool to see others wearing my work.


now coincidentally, Abbie was the winner of my wreath contest with the closet guess of me using 150 ornaments to create my vintage wreath. (i used 151). i told Abbie that i was glad she won because it made making her prize really easy!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

swapping necklaces

here's the necklace that my friend, Maija made for me in the necklace swap we did together with our other friend, Kim. Maija used a piece of costume jewelry and then added a pewter wrapped tile that she covered in mica and then added some finishing nails . isn't it cool? it is very festive and looked so pretty when i wore it with a red top. she also put a little bird dangly by the clasp cuz she knows i adore birds. thanks again, Maija, i know you how hard you worked on this for me.

here is the necklace that my friend, Amy, made for me. another beautiful necklace. We decided to do a swap and then we would give them to each other when were in California for Cindy Forrestor's class. Unfortunately for Amy, she wasn't able to attend last minute, so we did our exchange later when i got back home. we both did soldered necklaces. she did a bird for me, but used a piece of beveld glass with dimension. i really like how she used 3 different chains on my necklace - it really funks it up. thanks amy!

slide show!