Saturday, December 24, 2011

wishing you a merry christmas

wishing you happiness this holiday season
~ shared with true gifts ~
family ~ friends
hand-made and home-made treasures

indulgences ~ food and spirit

...and a few of your favorite things

Friday, November 25, 2011

local happenings

The lovely Jessica from and I would be at the Winter Market in Elgin this Saturday, November 26th, from 8:00am - 2:00pm.
It's a local market located in a warehouse between Symphony Way and Kimball on Douglas - come visit and see what we been up to.
Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sometimes I believe the universe knows just what I need.
On a brisk walk, after a heated conversation, this appears in my path. Feeling the love. Thank you.

Monday, October 10, 2011

be gentle

be gentler than you need to, because you never know what battle someone is facing.
I was fortunate enough to have taken a class from Thomas Mann at the Fine Line this August. Personal Found Object Sandwich. Here are a few of the finished samples of the class work. Excellent artist statements. My creation became gratefully more personal than I anticipated. A special thank you to Thomas, for insisting and helping me finish it. It was certainly destined to be another UFO (unfinished object) in my repertoire.
As usual I seemed to not bring the "right" elements. Of course I had cool old photos of my own not so familiar family and others of my daughter. But nothing seemed right. Then I came across these treasured photographs in my stash. Personal items, I've carried close for years; waiting for the right day. Well, it seemed the day arrived. I started sketching.
The story } The photo is of a dear friend of mine, that lost his fight to cancer 21 years ago this September. He never really liked his picture taken, but this crop tells more than his silly smirk might anyway. It might be hard to depict, but he is leaning over petting a goose. These pictures were taken on the same day at a local pond with my first 110 film camera.
"We don't remember days, we remember moments" - Cesare Pavese
So true, there are times I might need to look at a picture to remember his face. But I will never forget his gentleness.
I sometimes have to remind myself to extend the same gentleness to myself and others, especially when circumstances fall short of expectations.
Here's another shot, with the feathers I've collected over the years, seemingly to appear when I need encouragement the most... the tell-tale colors, blue, black and gray. Including the most recent one that appeared on my doorstep right after his Mom came to visit my new place. I'm grateful to have known the gentleness of my guardian angel. I feel good that this moment is captured in a piece of art, in a way it has been created to not only remember, but to let go...
be gentle to one another... xox

Thursday, September 1, 2011

online eye candy ~ vision boards as social media

I've always collected snippets from magazines, xerox pages from books, collected quotes, gathered postcards from artists I admire and put them away in a shoebox, pinned them up on my bulletin board or sometimes even organized them in a plentiflex. I would categorize them in decor, art, places I would like to go, a technique I would like to try… But very rarely would I look at them and when I did, I wish I had more info and remembered where I snagged it from... Now with the internet, I visit a ton of blogs and other websites, bookmark sites and create a reader and still barely get halfway through my list before going on a tagent and forgetting where I started. My short attention span meets the abundant influx of information... and I'm even more disorganized and disappointed when I can't retrieve the information I somewhat recollect.
Then my friend Denise introduced me to Pintrest. Social media meets vision boards. You can collect (pin) all your inspiration in one location, categorize your inspirations and interests on virtual boards, so your friends (or followers) can see them - or keep them private. Not just a picture or clip, but your comments and insight, and most importantly link back to the blog or website the idea came from.

If you don't want to pin, you can just peruse your home page for too see selected users and there thoughts and pins. It's true online eye candy with community behind all the info.
I have started several boards, but one I just had fun with was collecting ideas for my daughter's tea party last weekend.
Although I didn't do everything I wanted to, I was so less frazzled having a place to put AND retrieve my online inspirations. No need to search all over for that recipe, or craft how to. It was all there, with a simple pinning. Brillant!
You do have to have a social media account to start, such as twitter or facebook, but they don't have to be active, unless you want to share to them. You can easily get a twitter account and might not even tweet.
Love it also for sharing work of artists and designers. I started a public board for "art that inspires". I started the board out with an installation by Janet Echelman that has an interesting podcast on CraftCast this week. Let me know if you would like to contribute and I'll send you an invite.

Here is a few more pictures of projects from the tea party.
A fairie willow wand.
placements with pizazz from an antique plastic doilie and spray paint...
the little one painting the coasters and hanging flowers, make the day turn into an event..
or like this cupcake topiary, which could very likely make to another fun blog - CraftFail. But it was fun.

Try it out, follow me and as they say, happy pinning!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Northwoods Art Tour, WI

A annual event  ~  July 29th, 30th, 31st ~ The Northwoods Art Tour.
I'm so proud to be invited, once again, to show my work at
Debra Ketchum Jircik's
Circle of Life Studio
So if you are in the Northwoods this weekend, please stop by :
just 4 miles from Eagle River, travel south 3 miles on Hwy 45 to Evergreen Road. Left on Meta Lake Road, first right on Gaffney to 3720. 
Some of the northwoods' finest artists and artist owned galleries are allowing visitors a inside look of how their work is created. 
Besides taking in the works of artists ~ Carolyn Miller, Judi Maloney, Brad Davis, Debra and myself ~  take time to get lost in the gardens, walk the stone labyrinth or relax by the lake. Circle of Life Studio is truly a place to sit back relax, explore and take it all in.
I'll be there in person on Friday, talking about my art and practicing a bit of my craft. And my pieces will be in the gallery all weekend.
Here is a sneak preview of one of my newer creations that will be in the collection.

There are several galleries open, so make a day of it.  Here is the link to all the galleries open. The Northwoods Art Tour features on-site artist demonstrations, original local art for sale, and access to many home studios that are rarely open to the public.

If you are not available this weekend, you can always plan to visit the Galleries and enjoy the Northwoods this Fall. The Art Tour will be going on October 7th, 8th and 9th, also.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

sweet tears

Off they go, ribbon and tagged with their story... waiting on sixteen charms in return...

Again, I was part of a charm swap with the EMC Team. So proud to be part of this talented group of artists. This charm was even more personal then the swaps ~ wise eyes and words.
The latest charm called "Perspective ~ Tears or Ice Cream" is inspired by my five year old muse.
~ the scenario: a fall day, a craft project with the little one, making paper hearts ~ after an emotionally revealing, unraveled week...
me {in my head} :  strange how the paper hearts when folded are tears
little one {clutching her folded heart in her hand} "look Momma… it's an ice cream cone" as she pretends to take a lick.
So blessed to be reminded that it is truly all perspective. It's up to you to turn the teardrop into sweet ice cream.
Here's a bit about the process: Like in the previous swaps, I created the original and then made a mold of it. While each tear was in the mold, I created a tiny heart, each a little different, and tucked it snugly into the back
Then let them dry to a leather hard state and carve any access around each tear (cone ;) ~ I love the way bronze clay carves. Unfortunately I didn't make the mold before pouring the resin in the bezel of the original, so I had to carve out each one of the tear bezels individually. But it gave me the opportunity to carve a bit of a rough groove under the bezel. The thought was to fill the tear drop with Standard PMC Silver. Since they have similar shrinkage, I have had success with combining standard PMC and the bronze clay in the past, but I was not as lucky this time. After the test firing and tumble, only 1 out of the 3 trial pieces grasped the silver in the bezel.
So off to plan B ~ a familiar pattern in my work. All the bezels were carved out and fired with my standard bronzeclay schedule. Tumbled and prepared for the resin.
Since they were so little and the backside was not flat, I placed the charms on scotch tape in a butchers tray. This helped keep them put and level. I first painted a bit of light blue in the bezel, then, if you look closely, you'll see I added a bit of extra sentimentality.
A little chip of a shell from the robin's egg from the nest that was just outside my window at my parent's house this Spring.
Here is a pic of the nest, that I'll be making into cards for my etsy shop soon:
For me the eggshell represents life, a new beginning after tears and a promise of good things to come. 
May all your tears turn to sweetness. And your heart remain full.
~ many blessings. xox ~

Friday, July 8, 2011

when I was young…

~ i could get lost chasing butterflies
~ swim all day
~ draw. smile. create.
~ find a sentimental meaning in the smallest bit of nature
~ laughed at the silliest little joke
~ spun around until I was dizzy
~ loved the water. embraced the sun. played in the rain.
~ was amazed how my Mom could tell something was wrong
~ believed my Dad when he encouraged I could do anything
~ cried when I was angry or teased or sometimes just because
~ was never very punctual, but if I said I'd be there, I would
~ loved time with family and friends
~ cherished time alone
~ appreciated music, admired my family and friends with that talent
~ could dance and not care who was watching
~ was always ready to plan an adventure
Now at 40, I'm realizing I never really outgrew any of it… it's Me.

Thank you to everyone that has made my day, year and life so very special.

Monday, May 23, 2011

creative outing and filter frenzy

Artist dates are the best. Especially with like a like-minded meander. Our final destination, the NaDa Farm for vintage/artistic eye candy. After we got lost at Cracker Jax for over an hour, taking in all the inspiration and goodness, there. What a wonderful way to spend a Friday night.

But when reviewing my photos from the adventure, I wanted my pictures to reflect a bit more vintage flair. As an artist and designer – I love my mac, but I don't have an iphone. I'm old school when it comes to phone technology.  I'll blame it on commitment issues ;) but I love the photo filters and instant "art" created by the simplest iphone app. My pouting subsided when my friend, the lovely, talented Denise of ladybirddee shared a great link ~ an action set to help achieve the look of the iphone filter easily. Here are some results using one of my favorite pictures from the day.
The original photo. Then I remembered Susan's Difused Light Technique Visual Poetry class ~ a great online class you should take with a ton of tutorials.

Earlybird, my favorite from this an action set  Then the fun desktop gadget Poladroid (complete with fingerprints)

Then a few more from the same action set. Quite fun. It's not instantaneous, but I believe I have curtailed my need for an iphone. Well at least for now.
sunshine ~ flowers ~ happiness to you.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Another challenge – yet a bit late, more the less, accepted and taken. The Etsy Metal Clay Team challenge was to set a stone in a piece after firing, with a visual inspiration. I have several cabochons and rocks waiting for a setting, an idea, that is worthy of their beauty. Worthy = beautiful....  why do I see those together?
The stone in this setting is a raw Padparadscha I bought a few years ago at the Bead and Button Show set in fine silver prongs. Similar designs have been in my mind and repertoire since the very beginning of my explorations of PMC, back in 2002, starting with one of my first original pieces
named: Energy
and then a bit different Crimson Energy listed here on etsy.

but since I prefer to create out of happiness, I’ve been a bit starved for inspiration... So this piece was almost never created or solidified. As the due date came closer, I came to realize, I would not have finished anything for this challenge, although, as usual, I started several ideas. All laying unfinished, not worthy on my workshop table.
But then this idea came clear Tuesday morning, after a poor nights sleep, combined with the reading of the heartbreaking stories of the people of Japan, after the Tsunami devastated their country last Friday. While watching the video of the churning water destroying a  port in California, the effects this earthquake, hundreds of miles away. I thought of the repercussions of disasters in nature, and the repercussions of the actions in life.
You can’t stop the momentum - you just have to persevere with the flow. I have had a lot of tragedy not happen to me, as much as around me. Which sometimes makes me feel guilty for my fears, anger, unhappiness and sadness. But  I have to remember “we all suffer, unequally” and just because your heart break is less severe - yes, you must put it in perspective, but you also must honor it and know your feelings are valid, because no one can know what you are going through. Thank you to everyone that has been there to listen and understand. And to those with stones thrown in your still waters, I hope it creates ripples that surge positive energy to push you forward.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Every since my daughter starting walking,
I'm almost positive she danced. Always on her toes ~ wearing her favorite dresses with
the appropriate
~ s p i n a b i l i t y.

There is something so carefree and dizzy about just spinning. This photo from Halloween inspired the words and journal spread below.
When all else fails, just twirl ~ I really could benefit in taking my own advice.

I started this creation at the Collage Sisthars meeting, last weekend. We were playing around using the techniques of Teesha Moore - here's a great list of some of her videos here. It was such a strange, but welcomed luxury to concentrate on one spread for a good 3 hours. I love artistic journaling, I've found it therapeutic in working out the crazy ideas and junk in my head. Lately my entries would not be made for general population consumption. The words on the pages might not be always positive, but they are raw and genuine feelings that help digest the trials in my life lately. Sabrina, author Spilling Open and Erin Kenepp really encouraged this type of therapy.

Back to my muze - she always wants to create, paint and do something "special". So when I was finishing (for now) the page, she wanted to paint like Momma. The honesty in her seemingly random comments always surprise me. "oh, I get it Mommy, you cut all this out and draw over it to make it your own style" -- too true and funny.
I hope you are enjoying making your life and your work in your own style - because, that is really special ~ and don't forget to twirl. xox

Monday, January 31, 2011

One World One Heart 2011

{ update: give away entry now closed }
looking forward to announcing a winner this Friday! 

I'm participating in Lisa’s One World One Heart blog event. If you haven’t heard of if yet, you can read all about it on A Whimsical Bohemian blog.
Have I mentioned how I love the blog-o-sphere? Great to get lost in and find like-minded artists. I'm so looking forward to participating in the One World One Heart event for bloggers. Each participating blogger puts something up on their blog to give away. Bloggers leave comments on each others blogs for their chance to win art, jewelry, fun items from their fellow bloggers.

So, fellow bloggers, please post a comment (any comment will do, but if you need direction, give me your word of intent for 2011) and you'll be entered in my giveaway. I'll draw the winner on February 17th. I'll make a "one-little word" charm bracelet just for you! Here are a few examples of the charm that could be custom-made for you!
It starts Jan 30th until Midnight Feb. 17th! You’ll see all the participating bloggers on Lisa’s blog. I was inspired by Tejae join in the fun, with her lovely puffed heart with polymer clay treasure inside.

I'm dedicated to creating and making art part of my everyday life. Either creating or teaching jewelry with precious metal clay and traditional metalsmithing techniques, creative/therapeutic journalling, mixed media art or playing in the art-studio with my fairy-like daughter ~ my muze.

Whoo, hoo. As I say, challenges and creating art - so much cheaper than therapy. Join the fun.

Friday, January 21, 2011

one little word

A few years ago I read about the one little word on Ali Edwards' site and many others have started this same tradition, you can see some of the words for 2011 here. My word last year - diligent. Here are the thoughts behind that choice. Although the 2010 started with promise and diligent behavior, without getting too personal, let's just say the last six months have been less than stellar. So I'm looking forward to the new year with optimism and heart. My word for 2011:
} all is calm, all is bright - in my personal matters
} execute some bright ideas - instead of just letting them rattle around in my head
} that I stay bright-eyed and a little less bushy-tailed in the new year - a constant challenge
} over all a bright future - ready for the making

The very first charm - create - was to celebrate a 21 day challenge I did in 2008 with Rhonna Farrer reminding me that creating everyday is what makes me whole. I also made charms for the last two years: sway & diligent. This year seemed a bit different, I feel different, so I decided to make it not just with words, but a symbol - bright. Handcrafted silver swirl with rays of light, then mixed media for the center, encapsulated in resin.

Courage is letting go of the familiar to make a better future.
At times you must walk away from the familiar to fight for a brighter tomorrow.

I won't settle for less than the brighter future and making my life brightest possible in 2011. What about you? What is your word of intention for 2011?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

sending wishes of a bright new year

Welcoming 2011 with open arms and optimistic heart.