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:

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Little Egg

Always fascinated with nests and eggs, I finally got this piece finished.  I am lucky enough to be surrounded by immense, grand old trees, which house several birds come spring.  I've been seeing them flitting about with bits of straw in their beaks, preparing nests for the young ones. 

There really is something so gratifying, so magical in watching nature shake off her austere winter clothing, adorning herself in blossoms, catkins and greening leaves.  So, in honor of our awakening landscape, I think I'll follow suit.   I'll put away my grey shirts and yoga pants and wear a brightly colored blouse, and may just tuck a flower in my hair.  Happy Spring, everyone!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

New Sparklies!

I thought a little sparkling eye candy would be appropriate to welcome spring!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Crocuses, snowdrops and sun, Oh My!

When I see the snowdrops and crocuses bravely breaking through the semi-frozen ground, I smile, heave a deep sigh and rest in the comfort of knowing the long winter is soon to be over.  Very soon, indeed.   I heard the mourning doves cooing yesterday morning, which is another harbinger of spring.  Hmm....think I'll dig out those seed catalogs today! 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Yesterday I was moping about, freezing in the cold wind outside and longing for spring so hard, I could feel it in my bones.  This is the hardest time of year for me...when winter seems to grip just a little bit tighter before letting go of the earth, and my creativity has all but slowed to a frozen trickle.  Walking back to the house after seeing my son off on the school bus, I happened to look down and what did I see, but a brave little clump of snow drops!  I lingered a bit, grinning wildly, feeling some of the frost in my spirit thaw, knowing that spring is indeed on its way. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Curiouser and curiouser...

I love to infuse my home with unusual objects: bits of nature displayed under cloches, antique candle holders in the shape of animals, unique mineral specimens, black and white photographs of faraway places.   Things with a sense of history and curiosity pique my imagination and creativity, gently guiding me to see this amazing world of ours in different ways.  I happened upon a great website which sells objects like I've described and just had to share it with you - check it out!

Sunday, February 20, 2011


One of my favorite things to do is to combine vintage and antique elements with more contemporary bits and pieces.  For me, the synergy of old and new creates a piece that feels fresh, but with the added character of history.   The end result is in sync with my philosophy of "one-of-a-kind", since I never re-create a piece.   To that end, I often attend auctions and estate sales, where some amazing vintage and antique pieces may be found. 

Yesterday morning, bright and early, coffee in hand, I drove to a local auction where trays and trays of vintage jewels were up for bid.  If you've never been to an auction, you must try one!  The atmosphere is exciting and sometimes, just sometimes, you can get the most amazing deals. 

 I wanted to share a bit of sparkly eye-candy of some of my wins.  Take a close look, because you will definitely see some of these baubles in future designs! 

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Typically, I'm a sunshine sort of gal.  You summer types know what I'm talking about...the scent of fresh-cut grass, plucking ripe tomatoes from my garden, watching dandelion clocks float on the warm breezes, and walks to the snowball stand with my son.  However, living in Pennsylvania one must come to terms that there will be, in fact, a nice, long winter.   Luckily, I get the opportunity to see this season from a different viewpoint.  My son does not see an endless driveway that must be shoveled.  He does not worry about mopping up wet footprints on the wood floors.  He does not wistfully page through seed catalogs, hoping winter speeds on by.  He does not roll his eyes at the steel-grey skies and think, "Where's the sun already?!?"     He sees the potential for icy forts, flying down the snow-packed hill on his sled, pelting mom and dad with snowballs, drawing pictures in the snow with a stick.  He sees the magic that I, somehow, have forgotten. 

So today I shall not worry about footprints on the floor, nor shoveling us out.   I will not gaze longingly at my seed catalogs, nor will I curse the twelve inches of snow blanketing the land.  I will work on building up our fort (we must keep out the ice minions, you know), and stockpiling a massive collection of snowballs.  I will make snow angels with my boy and look at that grey sky and smile.  I will remind myself that seeing the magic is like riding a bike - you never really forget if you take the time to notice.

Monday, January 17, 2011

And yet another vessel...

This little guy was created using bronze metal clay.  I just love that forgiving, so many possibilities!  After stamping the design into the flat sheet of clay, I formed the tube shape, fitted it to the bottom piece, and allowed it to dry.  Once dry, I drilled holes on the sides and fired it in my kiln.  Out came a gorgeous, golden-bronze vessel, all ready to receive any manner of treasured bits and pieces.  I had in my bead stash these lovely, multi-colored sapphires, which I rosary wrapped to support the vessel.

Monday, January 3, 2011


I wanted to share a photo of another piece that will be listed on etsy soon.  Remember that I have a fascination with pockets, boxes, vessels, nests and pods, and so this little one came springing forth from my imagination at 2:00 a.m.  Yeah, 2:00 a.m.   It happens.   I sculpted it from fine silver clay and after much sanding, refining and firing in my kiln, I was left with this adorable little organically-shaped podling.  A perfect place to tuck away a poem, prayer, hope, wish, or even a fresh-picked violet.    I hope she finds a good home!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

And so the new year begins...

So who begins the new year with the same resolutions each time (I'm raising my hand): lose weight, exercise more, eat better, manage money better, etc., blah blah blah...?  This year, I've decided to begin a little differently.  Instead of mercilessly prodding myself toward the same goals (which I seem to utterly fail at after a month or two and then feel disappointed), I've decided to look at my progress from the previous year and build on that.  Progress, not perfection.   I'd like to be a better friend, have more patience (with myself and others), sell more of my work, and love who I am, even if that changes moment by moment.  I will remind myself that I hold the seeds for a fresh start.

I'd love to hear your goals for the coming year!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Recent work

This is the first in a series of hinged boxes I'm working on.  I've always loved the notion of nests, pods, boxes and such...places to secret beloved items, words and wishes.  This lovely will be listed on my etsy site soon.