I am a jewelry designer with a love of all things beautiful. I am drawn to modern handcrafted lovelies. You will see them all as I discover them here on my blog. Enjoy!

psst.. and visit my shop to see these inspirations turned into jewelry.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Before and After

~Click on the picture to enlarge it~

I had intended on posting some before and after pictures of my "studio" aka "far left corner of my living room". I haven't done it yet because it always seemed so messy and I thought people would think that it looks just the same as it did before. So, today I actually cleaned my work area. Now I'm not as embarrassed to show you where all the brilliance comes about. Once I started taking the pictures I just kept going, so I put together this 360 view of my living room/dining room/studio. I hope you enjoy it. I finally found the picture of the before:BeforeAfter

I bought that cabinet with the glass doors at Ikea and I think it has changed my life. I really do still love IKEA. The orange wool dividers are also from Ikea. I have some artwork that I purchased from Etsy that still needs to find a home. Oh my, the work is never done.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Handbook to Handmade Vol III

I participated in this book that is being created called "Handbook to Handmade". Each artist gets 2 pages in the book with their designs featured. I can't wait to get the book, even if all I use it for is to say "hey, I'm published!". But what's even more exciting is that my necklace was used as one of the photos on the cover of the book. Ha ha there I am. See me? "My heart belongs to...". I am not totally sure what I will do with the book but I'm sure there's a good use out there for it. So thanks to Timothy Adam for doing this book and choosing me for the cover!

You may purchase your own book here for only $28.

oh, and check out TimothyAdamDesigns shop. He has some awesome stuff in there that I have coveted for a long time. I think this would be an awesome Valentine's present for my husband.


I mentioned in my last post that we went to MOCA on Sunday to see the Murakami exhibit. It was so cool. That guy has a crazy sense of humor.

I am impressed with how he allows his mind
to wander and come up with it all. We watched an animated short about growing watermelons that was really funny.

There is something that is so happy about his art and something a tiny bit twisted also.

The Postcard Exchange

I check the mail excitedly every single day hoping, just hoping that there is a gift, or a letter, or an enormous check that I wasn't expecting. But, no, it's usually just 5 different credit card offers and 3 different "URGENT!!!! your subscription is set to expire in 6 months...act now so you don't lose your membership privileges" (those ones particularly drive me nuts!). I recently went online and registered my name and address to take me off of junk mail lists. Well, now I'm getting barely anything in the mail. I miss my "Act now for a credit card with $600 limit and 32% interest rate" offers. Ok, not really...but I have found a way to combat my lonely mail blues.
Postcrossing! (Thank you SheasyTime for posting about this on your blog - which, by the way, is a hilarious blog! Go read it, Sheila is so funny). Postcrossing is a website where you register to get an address of someone on the other side of the world from you. You send them a postcard. Once they get the postcard they register it and then you are next in line to receive a postcard from someone else. I can't wait. I just wrote my first postcard tonight. And what luck, I bought a pack of postcards at the Murikami show at MOCA today. It's a sign! And if you are concerned about the impact on the environment from mailing postcards, Postcrossing does support environmental groups by planting trees.

oh and if anyone is interested here are the websites where you can register to rid yourself of junk mail. It really, really works. (Thanks to Martha...Stewart, that is....for these links):
1. Catalog Choice - let's you selected catalogs that you do want to receive and opt out of ones you don't
2. DMA Choice - DMA stands for Direct Marketing Association, a trade group for companies and nonprofits that send advertising mail. You can have them remove your household from their list for $1 for 3 years. Worth it!
3. Opt Out Prescreen - This will remove you from the major credit bureaus' mailing lists for pre-approved credit card and insurance offers.
4. These guys are the big guns - GreenDimes - you $15 and they do all this for you and plant trees with your $15. I didn't do this one so I can't really attest to it's effectiveness personally, but my sister did it and she said it worked.

some other "Martha" tips for banishing junk mail are:
1. opt out whenever you join a club, register for a conference, or fill out a form of any sort
2. Donate anonymously (I like that one!)
3. Beware of warranty cards. Usually a warranty is active without filling out one of those cards.

Friday, January 25, 2008

These are a few of my favorite Owl things

You probably already figured it out, but I have a sweet spot in my heart for Owls. There is just so much character in those huge eyes and stoic faces. How can you not love them and attach a personality to them. I love to see different people's interpretation of the famed owl. Here are a few owl things that I've found lately that I really like:
This one is called "Owl Love" by Petit Collage. It's a Gocco print on maple veneer. $40This super cute print is by Brownington Forest (a Los Angeles local!) It's called "Miss Owl". 10% of all sales are donated to a different charity each month. This month is Free Arts for Abused children. Visit her blog for more info: Brownington Forest
Hilarious!!! I mean...seriously cracks me up! This is called "Masked Owl" by Yellow Monday from Sydney. I just can't explain how much I love, love, love this! I look at it and I giggle. Ok, no owl collection could be complete without something from boygirlparty. I love this starry eyed owl. She is so sweet and dreamy. This is Susie's trademark owl used on a yellow grid memo pad.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Valentine's is coming

Well, I was hoping to get a few more pieces in my shop for Valentine's day over the weekend, but a power outage snafued that plan. Apparently having a computer running, a kiln and then turning on the microwave is more than my 81 year old apartment can handle. I guess I don't blame it. I had to use the microwave. I needed a cup of tea and I needed it fast. Well, we are finally up and running and I will vow to only boil tea on the stove top now. Alright, so here's my unveiling. Two pieces - "JE T'AIME" and "TI AMO". For clarification "Je T'aime" is French for I Love you and "Ti Amo" is Italian for I love you. There will be a few more pieces coming your way.

I had another beautiful walk today. It rained this afternoon (woohoo). You know I'm in Los Angeles when we cheer for rain. Here are a few pictures that I took while walking home from the mechanic shop. (There's another story - why I was at the mechanics).

Basically the motor to the power locks died. No big deal, right? Well, turns out that the lock to the gas tank was locked closed when the motor died. Luckily I was close to home when I tried to fill up the gas tank and realized that I couldn't open the cover. I'm fortunate because I went down to visit my dad and his wife and got stuck in 2 1/2 hours of traffic. That could have been bad if I ran out of gas out there. Here's a picture from our gorgeous walk along the beach.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Val and Viv

As promised, here is a picture of the Christmas gift I got from Dave. It is a print of "Val and Viv" from artist Heather Scholl. Heather has a shop on Etsy also, but I have the pleasure of being friends with her also. I think this is such an amazing painting. It seems like there is so much story to be told in this one rectangular shape. The look in her eyes and the grip of her hand says so much.....but what? hmmm. That's what I love about it. I actually have a few favorites of Heather's so I'm glad that I'm not the one who had to make the decision. You can also see to the left of "Val and Viv" another print of Heather's. It's called "Pez Girl". She gave that to me last year for my birthday. And so, my collection is growing. Nice!

I couldn't resist posting this little picture of my 2 girls. Roxy is the one that you can barely see because she is black as night. Betty is the goofy golden one. I can't believe I was able to get them to stay there that long.

Well, while we're at it, I might as well post this adorable picture of James in his guitar shirt. We went to his music class today and he got to strum the guitar. I believe this was the highlight of his day. He's been talking about the "ki-ta" (guitar) all day long.

Have a lovely weekend everyone. I will be posting some new Valentine-inspired jewelry on Sunday. Sorry I didn't get to it today.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Head in the Clouds - Series 2

As I mentioned earlier this week, I have been really enjoying some nice walks around our neighborhood lately. I live in a very urban area of Los Angeles. One block west and one block north of me are major congested streets and intersections. Which is why I love these pictures even more. There is so much nature beauty around us and it allows me to escape the noise at any moment. The first picture is of a Saucer Magnolia tree that has forever looked like it does not have the will to live. But every year it comes back with beautiful blossoms. This year we have only a couple so far, but I believe, I believe....

The next picture is of one of our neighbors duplex. I feel like I'm in another country with this picture. You can't hear the horns honking and the leaf blowers blowing. It seems so serene.

A little bit of love...

I came home to such a wonderful surprise this afternoon. There was package outside my door. I was racking my brain to try to remember if I had ordered anything...dog flea treatment, diapers... you know, all of the exciting stuff.
But to my pleasure it was chocolates. Look at these beauties! They are from my sister and brother-in-law and were for my birthday. To make the deal even sweeter there were 2lbs of coffee beans also. I was wondering why she called me to ask if I had a coffee grinder and if I could tell her a good brand to buy. I said, "ours is great. It was 10 bucks and has lasted us years and years." I should have been on to her.

Another wonderful start to my day was that I was blogged about. woohoo!! It's this really cool blog where she features some of her favorite items. My necklace was mentioned as a great engagement gift (and I do agree). The blog is called Pampering Beki. Check it out. This is the necklace that she featured. "My Heart Belongs to..." I will be updating my shop tomorrow with some great Valentine's gift ideas. Some special pieces for our French speaking and Spanish speaking dears.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Fresh Produce

I had the best day today. This morning I got to sit and drink my coffee and look through cookbooks for at least 20 while my son played with his trains and race cars in the window. The street was covered with fog but the light was shining through. I'm not sure that I can convey the joy that this simple experience brings. It was the calmness of everything going on around me. On top of it all there was the anticipation of beautiful day at the Santa Monica Farmer's Market. We have the best farmer's market in the United States. I limit it to the states because I don't want to exaggerate. Italy has the best farmer's markets in the world. Ok, so ours is second only to Italy. Not a bad place to be. I look forward to it every week. This week I got some new things. That little lemon there is not what you are used to. It is a sweet Persian Lemon. So SWEET! It is sweeter than an orange. But, it's a lemon. It's the strangest thing. Not one bit of tart or acidity. Sweet, super sweet... I can't wait to eat it. The second new thing I got was a pomelo. That's the really large grapefruit-like fruit. Again, it is so sweet. It's pink inside and has a flavor a little like a grapefruit, but it's not bitter. It's sweet. So, my theme today is sweet, I guess. The swiss chard and carrots are beautiful also. I bought so much stuff today. I can't wait to eat it all. While we were shopping James ate 1 orange, 1 apple, 1 carrot, 2 pieces of broccoli, and 1 piece of persimmon. He thinks the farmer's market is a buffet. I guess it's better for him than a chinese food buffet.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Head in the Clouds - Series 1

I call this "Taking a breath".

I finally got my iPod fixed, so I have been taking some very nice walks around my neighborhood lately listening to none other than Imogen Heap. I really love winter in Los Angeles. It's about the only time all year that we get rain and the trees and flowers just perk right up. On my walk this morning I met a "daytime moth". I doubt this is the technical name, but it works. She took a dive right at me a couple times and then I realized how beautiful she was. Typical little lady saying "look at me!". It was amazing! This little moth just sat there for a few minutes and let me get so close and take some wonderful pictures. I particularly like these because I am very fond of "The Mighty Sycamore", as Dave calls it. I'm sure there will be many more images of "The Mighty Sycamore". It helps that I live on Sycamore Ave and the street is completely lined with sycamores.

Monday, January 14, 2008

My Etsy Finds

I am so excited about the new prints I recently acquired from a wonderful Etsy seller Studio Mela (aka DazeyChic). Not only is Shelli super talented, she also shares a birthday with me. So, happy birthday to us!

I love the sweet and simple design of these prints. I framed and matted them and am still trying to figure out a great arrangement for all of our artwork. We are continually adding pieces and for a while I was just hanging them up where ever there was a space to hang it. But now we have too much great stuff to showcase that I can't keep doing it that way. So, all of the artwork and photographs have come off the wall to allow me to rethink our layout. I've been making trips to the framing store about every other day trying to figure out mats and frames and so on... I will be posting some other great artwork in the next few days. I was so fortunate to receive a really beautiful piece for Christmas from Dave. Ok, so check back as I unveil my sources for great art.

Some more stuff to come this week:
*A preview of my new photography series "Head in the Clouds". Anyone curious about winter in Los Angeles.
*My newest art pieces and some of my favorite artists
*A before and after picture of my "studio".

Friday, January 11, 2008

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Front Page on Etsy

Thank you so much to Organic Beginings for featuring me in her treasury. Here is the beautiful treasury that made it to the front page on Etsy. Mine is the turquoise umbrella pendant at the bottom. It is actually in 2 treasuries at the moment (Etsy-speak).

Here is a beautiful scarf by Organic Beginings that, when purchased, proceeds will be donated to Dawn's Sons Fund. This was knitted out of bamboo wool. That's so cool!