Monday, June 26, 2017


Happy Monday! ... I hope you all had a great weekend.

Some times life is like walking near a spider web (no... not like Gwen Stefani's song... although it is cool). You skirt the edges so as not to fall into the abyss. You get tangled up in endless "strings"... attachments that may or may not work for you... oh... and you can get eaten.

It's been a rough road since moving back to PA. We are glad we did it, for many reasons... not the least of which is being able to help take care of my mom. But ... the job market is precarious to say the least. We have survived on my income (just what I make selling art and such)... and we've cashed in everything we could as far as savings, insurance and investments. My hubby has worked a couple different jobs... both temporary... and continues to look. But in the meantime he is working hard on creating a dream... that of writing works of fiction. He has completed 2 short stories, and is working on a novel. Of course, that doesn't pay anything... at least not until (hopefully) he is published. So. We are as frugal as we can be with what we have... and are trying to unload as much of the things we don't need as possible until something more stable comes along.

It is not easy "living the dream..." as someone put it. 
But ... in the whole scheme of things... we couldn't be happier. We have a garden, which we love. We have a nice house in a very quiet neighborhood. I have a great pup... and even on days when I am sick... things are ok. Yes, things could be better, but they could most assuredly also be worse. No, we don't (and haven't) tapped into any government assistance type stuff. Why? For us, it just doesn't seem right. Be that right or wrong, it is what it is... and I certainly don't begrudge those who do. You have to do what sits comfortably in your soul. I did go to the local food bank a couple of times last fall... but after getting sick on the food twice, I figured that was a "sign" that I wasn't supposed to go there anymore. And so we buy meat in bigger quantities, and when on sale... so as to make it stretch farther. We cut our own hair most of the time. We don't buy much of anything brand new (except socks and underwear.... because... ew). We make as much as we can from stuff we already have. We consolidate trips so we don't use the car/ gas as much. We have an "Amish Style" lawnmower (ie: hand propelled push type with blades... no fuel required). We even don't buy things like toothpaste.. instead we use baking soda... which also doubles as a household cleaner, clothes stain cleaner, and baking ingredient). In fact, we don't buy cleaning products in general, and use vinegar and lemon juice and such instead. We recycle everything we can, burn the trash that is acceptable to burn, and have a healthy compost pile... which saves on garbage pick-up costs. We are (and have the past couple years) cutting firewood for this winter, to use in our fireplace to save a bit on heating. We are frequent flyers at our library, where we can get great books, magazines and movies on loan. We don't have TV, instead we rent movies from Netflix. We have a phone, but it's a dollar store type phone where you pay as you use.. and it has no "extras" to leech our time and money. At one time, I was on 13 medications for my lupus and such. I weaned myself off most of them, and now only use my inhalers for my COPD/Asthma, and I take a medication for chronic pain/ arthritis. We try to eat as healthy as possible, as a sort of "preventative medicine." Little things like this, often add up. Yes, we still eat out on occasion. Yes, we still spend on "luxury" items like wine, good bread, and such. 

In short, yes we live more simply... frugally... and perhaps in a "backwards" type of way than what
 some would think would be ideal... but so far, it is working for us. 
It probably wouldn't work for everyone.... and that is ok.
There are lots more things we could do... and perhaps that will happen in the future.. who knows.
Carry on... see you all tomorrow.


The photos for today's post is of a "Funnel Web" spider web (and the spider).
We often have several of these in the yard, and I think they are pretty cool. 

Sunday, June 25, 2017

for the weekend

in these trying times
cultivate some compassion
for your fellow man

more grows in gardens
than that which is rooted, safe
deep in the warm grounds

Friday, June 23, 2017


Well, last night was a night of no sleep... which means I lost the majority of today as well.
It is what it is. ... and I am trying to work around it as I am able.

It's been hot... and the studio is a wonderful refuge of cool air and creativity. 
I have so many ideas swirling in my head of projects I want to do... commissions that need to get done... 
fantastic things to try and play with... I just need to get up the energy.
But for today.... I am trying to catch up on some work, and I am having my mom up for dinner
 and helping her get ready for a short trip she is going on this weekend to visit family. 

Because I am excited though... 
I will share some sneak peeks of things I intend to be working with as I get better.
See you all tomorrow.

Thursday, June 22, 2017


It is early, and I haven't had much sleep. But in general, this week has been a bit better. I find that I am able to work for short periods, with frequent stops to rest or nap. It's slow going, but it's on the upswing. 

I am so grateful for the studio space. There have been times when I had work spaces in the home, and times when I had them other places... and for me... it works out so much better to have them in the house where I can stop in for a moment or two to work on something. It is not a perfect space, and there are many things I would like to do to make it more comfortable and functional... but it is just wonderful to have it. 
Last night I had a spurt of energy, and made up a few gemstone charms for the Etsy shop. I love making these... and it makes me happy that I can provide awesome stone bead charms to folks who would not have use for a whole strand.

And of course, I am extremely grateful for ZeeZe. He has been my constant buddy since arriving here on April 28th. He naps when I nap... he eats when I eat. He follows me to the studio and reminds me when I need to take a break. He is just the sweetest. .. and I adore him. 

See you all tomorrow. 

((chrysoprace coin bead, Chinese writing stone, orange banded agate, howlite and hematite stack, riverstone stack, black moonstone, silver leaf agate stack, Angelite oval, Chiastolite, orange sponge coral stack, red dagger branch coral, golden coral stack, and golden rutilated quartz))

Wednesday, June 21, 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).


Lucia and Linea did everything together.
They dressed alike, they wore their hair the same way...
they even laughed at the same jokes in the same quirky, gafaw... kind of howl.

So it was no wonder that they decided to pursue similar dreams... that of synchronized swimming.
Soon enough, they were off to Canada where the new sport of "Rhythmic Swimming" was being touted as the newest rage in sports and swimming clubs. Excelling (as always), they were chosen in 1933 to be part of the "Kay Curtis Modern Mermaids" for the world exhibit in Chicago. They were famous!
But then the war came... and thoughts turned to more somber things.
By the end of the war, their swimming days were mostly over. However, they became well known and sought after consults
 for many of the popular "Esther Williams" movies in Hollywood.
Moving in together in North Hollywood, they hosted wonderful parties... elaborate affairs that often made the celebrity rags.

In their "golden years" they settled in South Beach, Florida... and continued teaching the art of swim choreography. They became known as the Gay Mermaids! often sponsoring Queer and LGTB productions with stunning costumes and fantastical feats in water tanks.
It was a glorious life... and they did it swimmingly...

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


So... today I am getting a very late start on my usual tasks... as I had my mom up most all the afternoon and early evening. It's all good. Time is what it is... and heaven knows things change in the blink of an eye and who knows where we'll all be or what we'll be doing. 

Yesterday I showed you several pair of earrings I had made with VINTAJ brand charms and aged brass wire and findings... and gemstones, of course. Today I have 3 more pair to show you. These also consist of aged brass wire and findings, and gemstones... but the charms are artisan made SPECIALTY pieces. These are hand cast bronze pieces made from the lost wax cast method. The initial molds are made from antique French rosary pieces that haven't been in production for decades. 
Because these are so wonderful, I have teamed them with more expensive gemstones.
This first set, with the Sacred heart cross pieces, features stunning aqua blue Amazonite.
The second set with the Mary with Flowers medals, feature Raw Pink Tourmaline chunks with champagne toned Swarovski crystals. 
And the 3rd set with the tiny Miraculous Medals feature antique chains and gorgeous gem quality faceted Amethyst briolettes.

I am really happy to be able to work a bit again, and hope my stamina continues to improve so that I can work on more. 
See you all tomorrow...

Monday, June 19, 2017


Today I felt considerably better... even though I only got 3hrs of sleep last night (and a short nap this afternoon). I also had the pleasure of having a friend visit my studio space, and allow me to work on a couple necklaces for her. It's exciting to be able to work a bit again, even if it's only in hour-long bits.

Over the course of the weekend, I was able to make some earrings... and I love how they turned out. 
For these, I used VINTAJ brand elements (the leaves and fern charms), and combined them with gemstones and wire wrapping with aged brass metal wire. I hope to get them listed in the Etsy shop in the next few days.

  Green Kyanite, Swarovski crystal rondelle spacers, green Swarovski bicones and aged brass findings. 
These measure approx 2 1/2 inches in length from the top of the ear wire.

Gorgeous Pietersite gemstone rounds, combined with aged brass textural beads and black Swarovski bicones. 
These measure just over 2 1/2 inches in length from the top of the ear wire.

Stunning Moss Agate beads and textural aged brass bicones. 
These measure approx 3 1/4 inches in length from the top of the ear wire.

See you all tomorrow.