Friday, October 30, 2009

Learning Not To Fly

I had dreams of flying last night. Well, I was almost flying. I was getting that light in the feet feeling, jumping higher and higher with each step until I was 10 feet in the air, landing softly and jumping again. But I never actually took flight. At first I thought this was a negative dream because I didn't fly, and at least before the fear set in, the flying was incredible!

I have dreamed this dream from time to time throughout my life and before this I have always taken flight on about the third step. I was always terrified when I took flight, feeling completely out of control and would suddenly find myself falling to a startled awakening just before I hit the ground. But this time I just enjoyed the high steps and didn't take off flying. I remained in control!

So I have decided that this is a most positive dream after all. I was reaching greater heights but not being overtaken by it. That is a perfect picture of my life now, as I am venturing into this brand new direction into the wonderful world of art and design!


I finished this piece last night. I know it has a story but it has not told it to me yet. I need to get very quiet and alone so I can hear it. I am very excited about this piece and I can't wait to hear its story! I will be listing it on Etsy later today.

I really wore out my hands and fingers on this one! I hammered all those links with the round end of my hammer to give it that beautiful dented look. My fingers are dented too but they are not so beautiful!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Little Horror, A Little Fantasy

Good morning! Yes, it is still morning here for a little while yet! I managed to wake up before 9 this morning which is kind of amazing since I was up until 2 AM last night watching the best "B" horror film I've seen in ages.

It is called "Hatchet". I was in an Etsy chat room last night and one of our fellow chatters mentioned that she produced a horror film. My ears perked up along with my friends' ears since we are pretty into horror flicks. We found the movie on instant watch on Netflix and watched it together in the chat room, with the producer in the room! That was SUCH FUN!!

I highly recommend this movie for horror buffs. It was very funny. It's billed as a "comic gore fest" and that it was! I have not had an adrenaline rush like that movie gave me in many years. This is not one for the weak stomach!


Today I am making a 'Mermaid's Pearls' necklace for my friend. She bought the pink version and now I'm making one for her in green.

I am using 20 gauge annealed steel wire. I wrap it tightly around a very large allen wrench to get the octagonal shape. Since I do not yet have soldering skills, I had to come up with a way to connect the links without having all the ends exposed. When I use heavier gauge wire I can leave the ends of the links exposed and they don't pull apart. But with the lighter gauge, they can pull apart so I came up with this idea of putting a bead over the joint, kind of in place of solder. The effect is quite nice.

Here's the other necklace she bought, along with it's story.

These Mermaid's Pearls were passed down to me from my grandmother, along with this story...

Once in every Mermaid's life, she must leave her home in the sea and go to the land for a time. It is a great test of her strength and character and all must endure it to pass from childhood to become a fully mature Mermaid. She must avoid being seen by humans, for if she is spotted by a human, she will become their slave. If the human is very kind and releases her, then she can return to the sea. But most often she must use her own wiles to free herself. So she will pluck several scales from her body. As soon as she has them in her hand, they turn into magnificent pearls. In this case she was an albino Mermaid and was as white as snow, and when she plucked the scales they turned into lovely pink pearls! She offers the pearls to the human, and it so enthralls and enchants them so much that they don't even see the Mermaid escape back to the sea.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What A Nice Surprise!!

I woke up (late again) to a very nice surprise in my email. The very beautiful Jewels of Saraswati blog has included my Along Came A Spider necklace in her gift guide for the goth!!

You really must go visit her blog. It's one of those stunningly beautiful places on the web that makes me want to stop all the things I'm supposed to be doing and just sit and read and take in the scenery! She's got wonderful gift guides, a very eclectic mix of items from artisans on Etsy.
Thank you for including me Lauren!!

Today is my play date with the girls. Every Wednesday my violinist and violist friends and I get together to play quartets and trios, just for fun. We don't have a cellist right now so we transcribe the cello parts for the viola to play. Then we have a snack and gossip a bit. It is my one day a week when I get the car and get to go out all by myself!! haha! I love it! So I'm off! Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mumble Mumble Mumble...

Ach, another late start! I did not arise until almost 11 o'clock. I can't wait for the time change this coming weekend! I have done a few productive things since I got up. I made the bed, put away all the laundry, and the dishes (3 days' worth!) are soaking in the sink at last! I don't remember the last time I actually made something. I believe it was about a week ago.

I did have a concert weekend, which means long rehearsal on Saturday, and long day on Sunday with warmup and concert. I play violin in the Waukegan Symphony Orchestra. It was a very fun and exciting concert! We played Mendelssohn's Hebrides Overture, Saint Saens' Cello Concerto, an Improvisation for Orchestra, and Beethoven's 5th Symphony. It went quite well and the audience gave us a standing ovation! It was quite the workout and we were all quite worn out when we finished.

I want to, well, I need to keep the house at a higher level of clean, so I am (re)-employing the FlyLady techniques. She is wonderful! She gives you little "routines" to run everyday. They don't take that much time and when you keep up with that little 15 minutes a day, (with the occasional hour of cleaning) the house stays much cleaner overall. It's perfect for me, as I seem to have a very short attention span for cleaning anymore! And to think, I used to clean house for people. I used to love doing it! I guess it appealed to the perfectionist in me. But the short-attention-span-me is crowding out the perfectionist-me of late and I can't say that I mind it at all. Life is more peaceful now, even if it is a bit messier!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

My Question Today For You

I like my idea for Question Of The Day, but I don't like the little box I have for it. So I'm getting rid of that and I'm just going to post my question here right into the blog. :D It's much prettier here, even if I do say so myself.
So--Today's question:
What is your best, most successful technique for forming a new habit? Do you have a computer gadget that helps? Maybe you use pencil and paper? Anything that worked? I am really struggling with some old ruts and need to dig some new, more positive ones. I would love to hear your ideas!!
Please use the comment button and share your thoughts!!

My Favorite Treasury So Far!

I am so honored to be included in this VERY cool treasury!!! I really love bats. They are so fascinating. They are so beautiful and so ugly all at once!! And get a load of that photograph in the bottom row-middle!!! That's the real thing!!!! Looks like Dracula all bundled up for the night!!
Check out this treasury! Leave comments, click on all these wonderful artists and give some hearts!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Beauty In Asymmetry

I almost hesitate to start writing. How can I say anything worthy of this kind of beauty? My daughter collects shells, among other things. She is 22 and is passionate about this amazing creation we live in. She showed me her newest additions to her shells this morning and this one in particular grabbed my attention!
To see pictures of it is wonderful. But to actually hold this shell in your hands is absolutely transcendent! Well it was for me this morning. :D I just had to borrow it for the day and take pictures so I could share it with you all!
It is large - ten inches from top to bottom, and has about a 7 inch "wingspan". It is asymmetrical, and so perfectly balanced all at the same time. I am seeking out ideas and inspiration to make asymmetrical designs in my jewelry and what better inspiration could there be than the greatest artworks of all!!
I'm just going to "absorb" all that I can from this wonderful piece of assymetry. I hope you enjoy the pictures!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Breaking The Rules

Here's my latest project. I call these "Arctic Steam". I am breaking the rules. Convention says that a pair of earrings should be two identical pieces. I said N0, I am not going to make two identical pieces this time.
I know this is not new to a lot of you artists out there, but remember I am very new at this and it is new to me! I have always been one to "play by the rules". I try to be a "good girl". I don't like to ruffle feathers, or upset the apple cart. That doesn't mean I don't do it, but I don't LIKE to do it! I like to feel safe. I like to feel secure and solid. I like to know that everything is where it ought to be. When I know the rules and I stay within those boundaries, I feel safe and secure and I am happy.
I am discovering - to my great joy and amazement - that I don't need to feel safe in my creative life! This is the one place where I can go CRAZY and enjoy the consequences!
Of course a lot of the rules have been in our head so long we don't realize they are there until we begin to deconstruct our thought process to see what is really going on in there. Often times these bogus rules are in the mix of a creative block that we are stumbling over. The Creative in us wants to make something brand new and totally "out there", but the Rule Follower says, "You can't do that!" We have to carefully sift through those arguments and deconstruct them piece by piece to find the brilliant ideas that are hiding behind the rules.

Question of the Day!

Hi all!! I am finally getting back to my blog!!
So here's my question of the day:
Where were you when it all began? The Internet that is!
I found these vintage promotional videos for Q-Link, which later became AOL. Talk about a blast from the past! This ad is from 1986, one year before my daughter was born. How far we have come in just 22 years!!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

New Habits - Breakfast Anyone?

I've heard that it takes 16 repeats before something becomes a new habit. I've also heard 21. I don't know what number it really is. All I know is it is a difficult process!! I usually have a very long list of "goals" that I would like to accomplish. Trouble is, I get burned out reading the list before I ever start attacking the actual goals.
So this week I decided to put just one single goal in front of my face. Just one. This week I am going to try to eat breakfast each day. I have not eaten breakfast in many many years. I don't like the feel of food in my mouth in the morning. I just want my warm coffee. I don't start eating until afternoon. Then I am up late at night and having my third meal of the day at midnight! This has got to change. So I am beginning with step one and ONLY step one. I have a huge list of new habits I'd love to own but I have to stick to one at a time.
So my question of the day is this:
If you had to pick just one habit to forge, which one would it be?
Please join in a discussion in the Cbox to the right!! This thing is lots of fun!! I can't wait to hear from you!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Trying Something New

Good morning! Well I am thrilled that several people made use of my Chatter Box yesterday and left their thoughts on breaking through creative slumps!! Thank you all SO much for sharing!! I think it helped me get through my slump because last night I started making earrings in a whole new style from anything I've done before!! I hope it was as beneficial to you all as it was for me!
I will be thinking of a new Question of the Day on Monday. Have a great weekend everyone!!

Here's my new creation:

Friday, October 16, 2009


This just came down out of the sky! It's only October! Kind of early for this ice stuff!

I Got A New Toy!

Hi everyone! I just put a new toy on my blog - a chatter box! Now you can leave your thoughts here and we can have discussions. I'm going to try to have a Question Of The Day each day. Wish me luck - I'm not the best at keeping things going everyday. But I am trying to form some new habits and I think this will help! So please feel free to join in! I look forward very much to hearing from you all!!
The box is on the right, right over there>>>. Just click and start typing!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ghost Chains!

Snatched straight out of the Great Beyond, these ghost chains can serve you well. Wear them as a reminder of what the famous ghost, Jacob Marley said to Ebenezer on that terribly and necessarily frightful night: "I wear the chain I forged in life! I made it link by link and yard by yard!"
Or you can just have some good old Halloween fun with them!

Hand cut and hammered steel links and clasp. 39 inches of clanging chain, with three separate loops, each with its own flat-style skeleton key. The two small keys measure 1-1/4 inch long, the bit key is 2 inches long.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Three Rings

There was no record of their births...nor of their deaths. In fact the only reference ever found to their existence at all was in the journal kept by the Matron of the Children's Home, along with the picture...and the rings. Each child wore their ring tightly on their wrist. They never removed them. Somehow everyone knew not to try to remove them.

The three children arrived on the doorstop of the orphanage on a very dark night in late November, 1878. A search was conducted to locate their parents, but it turned up nothing. So the Children's Home took them in as their charges.

The children spoke a strange language that no one understood, but they seemed to understand the English spoken to them, even though they never spoke English themselves. They worked hard and did what they were told. They never played with the other children, but they stood by and always watched with great interest. They were not disliked by anyone, and over the two years that they lived there, many came to feel deep affection for them.

Then on the night of November 29, 1880, they did not come down to dinner. The Matron went up to their room to fetch them but they were not there. Over the next weeks and months, many searches were conducted, but the children were never seen again.

They had arrived with only the clothes on their backs, and the rings on their wrists. The only thing they left behind were the three rings and a great mystery.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Meet My Birdies

This is my little Diamond Dove, M'Lady. She is the original M'Lady, after which my handmade bust is named. She is very sweet and gentle. She has a very quiet "coo" and she lives peaceably with my spice finch, Coriander, and my red-eared waxbill, Rouget. She is a bit awkward about flying and prefers to find a comfy spot and stay there. She's a lot like me that way.

Coriander, the spice finch, is quite the opposite, as you can see in the pictures. She hardly ever sits still!

Rouget is the red-eared waxbill. He's pretty active too. He sings the tiniest warbling song everyday just at dusk.

M'Lady lays tiny eggs from time to time. I take them away from her because if I let her, she will sit on them in the little nest forever, and never move again! They are not fertile of course, but she doesn't know that. So I collect them. They are so tiny!

I love to make art bottles. I collected several eggs from M'Lady and put together this little jar. I put Spanish moss in the bottom, several dove eggs, and several feathers from all my birds. I took a rubber stamp of a bird and painted it with acrylic black paint and printed one bird on each side of the glass. Then I glued a print of music of J. S. Bach onto the lid and around the bottom edge. I finished it off with a bit of jute string tied in a bow and some vintage artificial red berries. Unfortunately, Ike, my goofy Cocker Spaniel, got hold of this bottle and ate the berries off! He left most of the paper in place, though it is a bit gnarled.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Key to the Letter Box

This key belonged to Miss Mary Stanson. She was a spinster, as far as anyone knew. She lived a small life, in a small New England town in the early 1800's. She rented a room in the boarding house on Main Street. She worked in the town's library, filing cards, checking books, keeping them in order on the shelves. She made her weekly trip to the General Store to buy her food and supplies. She rarely spoke a word to anyone, aside from the absolute essentials of making her purchases...usually just a soft "thank you".

Miss Stanson lived well into her 90's. When she died, it fell to the minister's wife, Addy, to go through her belongings, since there was no family that anyone knew of.

Addy began in the closet. She found a locked box, about the size of a sewing basket but much heavier. She searched the little room for the box's key. It was neatly wrapped inside a blue silk handkerchief, tucked away in a tiny drawer in a plain wooden jewelry box on the dresser.

Addy felt a tingle in her fingers as she touched the key. She was so startled that she pulled her hand back and dropped the key. When she picked it up again she felt nothing. She laughed at herself for being so silly and thought with relief, that she had imagined the tingling.

She opened the box. It was filled to the brim with what appeared to be letters. They were packed so tightly that she could hardly pull out the first one. Once she got a few out, then the rest of them started to flutter loose and she could see that they were several layers deep in the box. There must be thousands of them, she thought to herself.

She picked up one of the envelopes and started to open it. It looked very strange somehow, but she wasn't sure why. She pulled out the contents and could scarcely believe her eyes. It appeared to be a painting, but not like any painting she had ever seen in her life. It was a picture of Miss Stanson. There was no doubt about that. But it looked as clear and colorful as if she were standing right in front of Addy at that very moment! It shined as if it was wet, and yet it was paper! She dropped the picture out of sheer fright. It landed face down on the bed. She saw something written on the back and dared to pick it up again to read - "Miss Mary Stanson - Seattle, Washington - July 10, 2004".

necklace available here:

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Unveiling M'Lady

I worked on M'Lady all week. I reshaped her a bit, making her a little less "defined". I found that with her original shape, the necklaces were just lost in between twin peaks. So I leveled her off so that they are easily seen. I did paint her, even though I will be covering her up for most of the pictures.
Well, here she is, first, with no cover, then all dolled up!