Thursday, March 23, 2017


This year, perhaps more than ever before... we have realized the importance of clearing out,
using things as much as you can (and in new ways)... and of salvaging and fixing things up.
To this end, I thought I would do a series of posts on clearing out and organizing, and living a simpler life.
I hope to do one once a week (Check out previous posts on Thursdays!)


When you have a specific "hoard" of things you need to organize, it can sometimes be overwhelming.
For me, truth be told, I got lucky.

I was able to get this incredible supplies cabinet for about half the original cost on a yard sale page when we lived in New Mexico. Cabinets and storage solutions like this go a long way in helping a person get organized with their stuff.

In addition to the large cabinet, I use several different "systems" of storage for my beading supplies.

1. I use simple plastic compartment boxes. Each kind of bead or finding has it's own little compartment, and I put labels both on the inside lid cover, and on the side facing a person when they are all stacked on a shelf. It makes for easier "hunting" when trying to find a particular stone or some such.

2. I also use plain black trays that I purchased from Rio Grande. I have 10 or so, and
each one of these trays holds all the items for a specific project ... or in the case of one tray...
a whole bunch of vintage beads and pairs of stones that will be made into earrings.
Want to work on a specific project? no problem... it's all in a single tray ready to be worked on.

3. I use jars. I love old jars, and so I've incorporated them into the studio.
Some store itty bitty seed beads, tumbled stones, bones, feathers, ...even lampwork glass beads
that I bought in bulk from an artisan that used to show at the Flea Market in Albuquerque.

So. Think about what you have to organize, and what containers you already have on hand that
 would work to store them in. Labels are your friend.
Don't have the right storage solutions? There are a billion of them out there.
You are sure to find one that is perfect for you things.

See you all tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Back in June 2016, I started a new "series" of posts... if you will... 
 And so on Wednesdays; I've been posting an old photograph to inspire your creativity.
Write a poem!   
 Plot out a short story.
 Have inspiration for a piece of art or composition.... let your artistic soul shine.
--and occasionally I write my own sordid story or poem. 
 (you can click on the photos in this post to make it larger to see).


Sarah was a librarian.
The daughter of a preacher, she was destined to either be a teacher, a nurse, or a librarian.
Unless of course, she married... which Sarah vowed never to do. She just couldn't do it.
She knew she was born to educate... to lead... to be surrounded by famous words of authors long gone. It's not that she disliked children, or the idea of marriage... it's more that she had had enough of the drudgery of taking care of endless hungry mouths and heaps of laundry. She had been to missions in the south of China for over a decade, and she had had enough. Yes, it was noble work....
but so was reading... so was studying... so was instilling in the minds of the young how important it was to always be learning... always be exploring worlds hidden in the depths of deckled edged pages.
And so she furthered her education at a time when women barely went to school past 4th grade.
Yes, she was harassed... Belittled by those with small minds and deep pockets.
And yet she persevered.
Well done, Sarah... well done.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


Time flies by so very fast.
The photos for today's post were ones taken back in 2012... not long before we moved back to PA.
Seems like yesterday in lots of ways. I had gone to the dentist, 
and then was enjoying an incredible bowl of wonton soup at one of our favorite places to eat. 
It was a good day, overall. 

... and ... it's one of the few pictures of me that I like (course, it helps that my daughter took it).
Hope your day is going well... see you all tomorrow.

Monday, March 20, 2017


It's "Maker Monday!".... my weekly post where I feature something the daughter and/or I are working on.... 
and (hopefully) encourage the maker lifestyle.

I am getting to the point where I am almost done going through all the extraneous stuff
 in the studio space, and clearing out things to sell and such. 
Which means, I am narrowing down things to the point where I feel I can work 
on projects that I have been looking forward to working on. 

One of the pieces, is this one.... just completed this weekend.
I was gifted this gorgeous FRENCH reliquary piece (the cross) to work with.
An antique, it is made of bronze and enameling, with stamping on the back.
Being large, it demanded something impressive.
I decided to make it into a full 5 decade rosary piece, suitable for wearing as a doubled necklace,
 or even hanging on the wall. It is a massive 32 inches long. 
I have complimented the cross with vintage cobalt blue glass beads, vintage faceted cat's eye glass beads 
... and lots of brass and bronze beads and findings. The OUR FATHER bead is a gorgeous antique faceted Czech glass bead,
 accented with brass bead caps. All the wire is a tarnish resistant brass, fashioned into an infinite pattern. 
This makes the rosary much stronger, and less likely to break. 
The wiring alone took me over 8hrs to complete.
The centre, is a hand cast bronze piece by a fellow Etsy artist.

This attention to detail, and intentional use of specific materials is what I strive for in all my work.
I hope you like it. 
See you all tomorrow.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

for the weekend

History interwoven
lives spent in fields, golden
wheat reaching for the sun


today we had a great visit from an older gentlemen out to buy some rusty stuff I had lying about.
And in the midst of our conversation, stories erupted from generations gone by, 
local lore about farms, hills, lives well spent...
which reminded me of this photo I took, and inspired today's haiku.

Friday, March 17, 2017


 Hard to believe St. Patrick's day here. It is one of my favorite holidays.
The photo for today's post is one of my mandala prints. 
It started off as a photo I took of some clover in out yard. I love it. 
I hope you all have a great St. Patrick's Day.... wherever you are...
and I will see you all tomorrow.

Thursday, March 16, 2017


This year, perhaps more than ever before... we have realized the importance of clearing out,
using things as much as you can (and in new ways)... and of salvaging and fixing things up.
To this end, I thought I would do a series of posts on clearing out and organizing, and living a simpler life.
I hope to do one once a week (Check out previous posts on Thursdays!)


This week I was able to clear out a bit more of the things in the studio.
My goal, is to get supplies down to the 3 or so things I love to do....
and raise some cash selling the things I am not keeping.
This week, I went through a couple tubs of things...
supplies for making mobiles and such
supplies for making books and journals
I also had a bunch of vintage ceiling lamp glass shades that I thought would be super cool as hanging candle holders...
And some very cute vintage cookie cutters... my thought with those was to make a funky mobile...
But alas, you can't do it all.

Happy "clearing out!"
(do it in small chunks. It's easier that way)
See you all tomorrow.