Thursday, December 15, 2011

At Last

It is now officially ten days until Christmas arrives.  Each year, the day after Thanksgiving, I begin to plan holiday decorations.  I bring out my collection of tiny Christmas trees to place on the mantel, and nestle among them my collection of vintage, flocked deer.   The glass bead garlands come out, to be draped in windows and from chandeliers.  Balsam and evergreen candles will fill the fireplace, and we will plan our family trip to the Christmas tree farm down the road, to pick out the very best tree. 

This year is...different.   With the exception of the Christmas tree (which I only grudgingly decorated), one would be hard-pressed to feel the essence of the holidays in my home.  So what's changed?  The only thing I can think of is that my son is now in his first year of full-time school - first grade.   He is gone from 8:15 in the morning until 4:00 p.m. in the early evening.  It was a time I was excitedly anticipating at the end of the summer.   I'll be able to do whatever I want, whenever I want to!   I can have coffee with friends, actually shop for a pair of shoes, go to the grocery store without the incessant "Are we done yeeeeet???", and even get a massage!  

And yes, I've done a few of those things, true, but mostly I just feel the weight of the silence in this big old house.   I find myself with so much free time that I should be able to be "Super Mom" - you know the kind:  laundry always done, amazing dinners cooked every night, not a speck of dust anywhere, and still has time to make home-made gifts for family and friends, gets Christmas cards out on time, etc.   Does that person even exist?

Instead, I find myself rattling around without much purpose or desire.  Laundry?  Meh.  It'll get done eventually.   Dinner?  How about Subway, because I can't seem to think of a thing to make.  Exercise?  I won't even get started on that one. 

I'm a jewelry designer and metalsmith, but my muse has been on vacation for several months now.  Winter is coming on and without my creative spark I'm beginning to feel the tiny tendrils of fear and depression reaching out for me.  Perhaps I'm at that point in my life where I'm thinking, "okay, what next"?    I want to feel energized, joyful, passionate, creative.   Instead I simply feel...empty.  I believe it will pass, but being in the grip of it is a bit lonely and terrifying. 

I've no idea if anyone will read this, because I've been SO lax at making new posts, but if there is anyone else out there who goes through something similar, I would love to hear about it.  I thank you from my heart for listening, and wish you a very happy holiday season.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


So today I awoke early, around 5:30 a.m.   Sleepily, I found my way downstairs to the coffee maker and started a cup.  While the coffee was brewing I scooped out food for our three cats and two dogs, thought of what food I'd send with my son in his lunch carrier today, briefly ran through my to-do list for the day, added another item to the grocery list, and trudged back upstairs, coffee in-hand, to check my e-mail.  Routine.  My ordinary, everyday routine that sometimes makes me feel like a hamster in a wheel, that sometimes makes me quietly wonder..."is this it?"  "Is this all there is?   Are there no surprises left, no magic, no wonder?"

And then I checked my e-mail.  I found this video which completely transformed my day, my thoughts, my heart.   It's a ten minute video that moved me so much, I really needed to share it.   Please take just ten minutes out of your busy day.  I promise you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The coming of Autumn

Yes, it is absolutely my favorite time of the year.  The transition from hot, humid summer air to cool, crisp breezes, pumpkin patches and apple-picking, falling leaves in riotous hues...ahhhh...autumn.   One grey, misty morning I decided to head to the pumpkin patch, which is only a mile down the road from my house.  Being a weekday and early in the morning, there was not a single soul in the patch.  I had it all to myself.  So peaceful, that pumpkin patch, so lovely.  I walked along the rows of grey hubbards, red-orange Cinderellas, warty gourds and the traditional orange pumpkins, and breathed in the change of seasons.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

An interesting world

While I was browsing the interwebs one morning, I came across a very intriguing website: Atlas Obscura.  Basically it seems to document any- and everything about our planet which could be considered beautiful, mysterious, horrific and artistic.  You can check out an amazing salt mine in Poland, complete with chandeliers; a beach in Brooklyn covered in tumbled sea glass and pottery; an entire city of pigeon houses - many larger than human abodes; a blood-red waterfall, and the horrifying and heart-breaking Great Pacific Garbage Patch

So if you have some spare time and curiosity, I highly recommend this amazingly well-documented website.  Let me know what interesting things you find!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Making art with the sun

Many of you may have heard of a type of print called a "cyanotype" or "sunprint".   Basically it is specially treated paper which, when a resist (image, object, etc.) is placed on it and it's exposed to UV light, a ghostly image will be left behind.   That's really the quick and dirty explanation - I'm sure there's more science-y stuff in there, but that's not how I roll. 

Anyhoo, I happened across this great website that sells pretty much anything you can imagine with regard to sun printing.   I purchased a silk sunprint scarf and, using vintage skeleton keys and escutcheons, made a really pretty and interesting scarf. 

During the process:

And after (please excuse photos, they were taken with my phone after two cups of coffee!):

If you can tell in the "before" shots, the fabric is sort of green and slightly stiff.   After the exposure and the rinsing, the fabric turns an amazing blue with variations from robin's egg to cobalt.  This is a really fun project and would make an amazing gift for someone!   You can visit Blueprints on Fabric for more inspiration and a list of products.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Renewed Effort and a Tree Bed!

Yes, I know it's been AGES since I've posted, but since I'm pretty sure I only have about four readers, I didn't think it was a big deal.  However, since my little boy is in FIRST GRADE now, I have all day in which to discipline myself and post on a regular basis.  We'll see how that goes.  No one hold their breath. 

Today I'm posting about this amazing bed.   See, I have this secret dream (well, not-so-secret anymore) that I'm really a fairy princess living in the human world.  If that were true, then this would be the bed for me!

This amazing piece of art is completely hand-made!   Check out these fine folks' website HERE.

Friday, June 24, 2011


I apologize for my absence.   Seems that, for me, writing in a blog is much like writing in a journal - I know I'd like to do it, but somehow it always ends up at the bottom of my to-do list.   With a 6 year old son at my side during these summer days, the time slips away like mercury.  

However, I do have a fun post today!   We took a little 3 day vacation to a local amusement park here in Pennsylvania, called Knoebel's.   Nestled among tree-covered hills, filled with vintage, shiny rides and great food (yes, great food!), we truly enjoyed ourselves.   Here's evidence: