Saturday, March 31, 2007

This is what happens when I don't pay attention

Zack loves to play with Foamies, these cut outs from foam sheets, and glitter glue. No problem. He's usually quite neat and doesn't make a mess, so this last time, he said he wanted to play and I said go ahead. I was working on something and wasn't paying attention. Then he proudly says, "Look what *I* made!". And this is what happens when I don't monitor Craft Time.....

Think he used enough glue?

Spring is in the air!

Don't you just love it?

Friday, March 30, 2007

Easter Bunnies

Thoughts For the Day

My friend Kat sent me these, and I thought they were GREAT! It's called Tequlia and Salt, and I hope you'll share it with a friend!

1. There are at least two people in this world that you would die for.

2. At least 15 people in this world love you in some way.

3. The only reason anyone would ever hate you is because they want to be just like you.

4. A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don't like you.

5. Every night, SOMEONE thinks about you before they go to sleep.

6. You mean the world to someone.

7. You are special and unique.

8. Someone that you don't even know exists loves you.

9. When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good comes from it.

10. When you think the world has turned its back on you take another look.

11. Always remember the compliments you received. Forget about the rude remarks.

And always remember....when life hands you Lemons, ask for tequila and salt, and call me over! Good friends are like stars........You don't always see them, but you know they are always there.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Eye Candy

I just got accepted to a new show, Art's Alive in Ocean City, MD. I wasn't expecting it because jewelry is ALWAYS the toughest category to jury into, and this particular show had some more stringent guidelines than others, but I got in! It's the first show I've participated in that has cash awards (up to $2000), a Welcome Reception and an Awards Banquet -- it will be quite a change!

To that end, I've been experimenting even more with things, to create some new, eye-catching pieces. BIG thanks to Jennifer Cook and Eni Oken for their tutelage!

Want to see more handcrafted artisan jewelry? Visit

Good Day!

Zack went to the dentist today. He loves the dentist but I'm sure that's in large part to his going to a pediatric dentist rather than a "big people's" dentist. They have different theme rooms, they get to pick a video to watch while their teeth are being cleaned - it's great. Expensive, but great. He had no cavities, yay!

After a play date, Zack and I baked cupcakes (Happy Birthday to me -- there is no WAY I am 38). Zack chose everything -- chocolate cake, white icing, green sugar sprinkles, neon candles. He had a blast but was covered in chocolate.

We decided to take Zack to one of our favorite restaurants, rather than choose a "kid" restaurant. We love General Tanuki's, so off we went. Zack did FABULOUS. They had a cheese quesadilla, which I knew he'd eat, so I ordered that for him, but when it came out, they had used a speciality tortilla, so it was red/pink, and it had chopped chives on it. Rick and I cut a quick glance at each other, but I brushed off the "green", as Zack calls it, and he ate it! I was impressed. He tried ginger ale but hated it -- "too salty" and he doesn't like the bubbles, but that's fine, no need getting addicted to sodas just yet.

Tomorrow Rick is taking off work, so I can sleep in and then go get a pedicure. NICE!

All in all, a very pleasant birthday!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Zack at Kennedy Krieger Institute today

As many of you have read over the years, Zack has some serious food aversions -- he has dealt with Sensory Integration Disorder quite well, but he still has Texture Aversion when it comes to food. So today we had our appointment (finally!) with Kennedy Krieger’s Feeding Clinic today.

VERY long day. We are 70+ miles from Baltimore, so Zack and I headed over a little early to Annapolis to visit our favorite (Barnes and Noble) where he ate a few bites of cheesecake for the very first time. He was fine with it (he does like cream cheese sandwiches, so not too far a leap) until it pissed him off that he couldn't cut it like regular cupcakes. And then that was it. No more cheesecake. He flat out refused it. Sigh.

Rick met us and we drove into Baltimore together. Kennedy Krieger is a specialty hospital for children, dealing with all sorts of behavioral and physical problems. Their lobby made Zack incredibly happy -- full of fun toys and lots of aquariums and a very cool terrarium with brightly colored tropical frogs.

As always, all the doctors were late (by 45 minutes) but once they got started, they kept a good pace. We met with five different specialists, who observed Zack in various setting, interviewed us extensively, physically examined Zack -- all the while, Zack is being terrific, thank God. A speech therapist and occupational therapist met with him as well.

They decided that he is appropriate for and qualifies for the Outpatient Program. This is an intensive program, 6-8 weeks long, where he has all his meals at the hospital (Monday-Friday), and gets additional OT, speech therapy to help his lower jaw muscles, etc. This means arriving in Baltimore around 8am or so, and not leaving until after 4pm. I must be with him at all times, although there will be times when I'll be behind the observation window, and times when I can drop him in the supervised play area to get a bite to eat and maybe cry in the corner.

The good news is, they feel they can fix it. They also feel there is nothing physically wrong (as in gastro-intestinally). He's very stubborn, and they said he won't be easy to break, but they feel they can do it.

The bad news is, it could be six months before they have a spot for him. And that means he could miss the beginning of this new day school we have him signed up for. I hate him missing "normal" things. He missed a lot of preschool his first year in because of speech therapy twice a week. But I do know this is what has to be done for him to have a normal, healthy life.

I'm just exhausted, both mentally and physically. I am glad that he's going to get help, and glad that I now know it wasn't me that did something wrong as a mother. Everything they asked us, ("did you try this? Did you try that?") we'd tried, over and over.

This will likely mean a hiatus on the jewelry business because I don't know how well I will be able to keep up during that time. I suppose once we get our routine down, I can take chain maille or bead crochet or something like that in with me to work on in fits and starts. And I will be home by 6pm, so can potentially get work done then. Right now that doesn't really matter, I'm just talking out loud -- the more things I have to plan sometimes the better I cope. If I focus too much on "oh my god they are going to hold a spoon in front of his face for an hour while he screams", then I panic. So I don't mean that to sound like I'm an ungrateful and selfish mother.

In the meantime, we just keep doing what we're doing. If there is some miracle between now and intake time, I'd be praising the stars. But that's highly doubtful.

The other thing that makes me sad is how few people can afford this, if they don't have insurance. Our copay today was 37.00, but they are billing insurance $475. I shudder to think what the inpatient is going to be. And compared to many of the children who go to KKI, Zack has so little "wrong" with him, and at least he has a cure. Some of those poor kids, they go for years, with no cure, just coping.

Sorry this is so long. I'm just a bundle of nerves and exhaustion right now.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Soccer Player

Games are finally over for Zack's first foray into team sports. I had him signed up for Indoor Soccer, and he loved BEFORE the game, when they each have a ball and are running all over the place. But when he's playing, he can't quit seem to understand that it's ok not to have the ball the whole time. If he isn't able to get to it, or it passes him, or if someone else has it, he feels like he did something wrong. But at this age it really is like herding cats or nailing jello to a tree, so I'm proud that he got what he did out of it.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Product Review -- Demeter Fragrances

I was first introduced to Demeter by my friend Katie -- she always knew about these really cool and unique things. Demeter makes fragrances like no one else; fragrances that evoke memories. Some of them are just plain odd (like "Earthworm") and then there are some that are just mmmm aaaah (like "Laundromat").

Take a look, and be sure to read the Fragrance History -- they're great stories! My favorite story is the one called "Mildew".

I ordered Meyer Lemon, Between the Sheets, and Salt Air, and they're sending Mojito for free. Yay! Happy Birthday to me!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

My studio space

I don't think I've ever posted what my work space looks like, so now that the remodeling of my office is done, I thought I'd share.

I work in two areas -- my office, which houses my computer/shipping/photography area, and the kitchen table, where I make everything.

Shall we start the tour?

This is my office. We ripped out the carpet, installed laminate wood floors, painted the walls periwinkle, and got new office furniture (my Christmas present). The bookcase houses some of my favorite things, like a big vase of vintage buttons and wooden spools, an amazing china tea cup, handpainted plates, things like that. Then I have boxes of supplies that don't fit in the beading cabinet -- all my mixed media stuff, rubber stamps, decorative papers, etc.

On the wall opposite my desk is my photography set up. Since taking this picture, I now have lots of artist postcards on the wall -- these lovely cards from my favorite bead artists. The to-the-floor table drape hides all kinds of stuff, including major dust bunnies. Dust elephants, more likely.

Opposite the large bookshelf is this smaller bookshelf, full of bead catalogs. The calendar/bulletin board/folder rack was a gift two Christmas's ago, but it was black. Colin painted it white for me, and voila, it's a perfect match. The white bucket is full of yarn. The postal scale and shredder live there, and as you can see, Zack-Man likes looking at the bead catalogs, too. It also seems that the trash can is ALWAYS full. I swear -- it just never seems to stay empty.

On to the kitchen! This is the cleanest you'll ever see the table, I promise you. I pull out beads for one project, but then they spark an idea, and I pull out more, and that just keeps going exponentially.

I love being able to look outside while working, and have the doors open for breeze. The cute little cups on the table the aqua ones, are these fun pots from a wonderful artist I see at several shows ( and silver scraps go in one and other scraps go in the other. They have sea horses on them, and I love having colorful, whimsical things all over the place.

And finally, my stash! This is another gift from my husband, this terrific hutch made by -- and since the photo was taken, those bottom drawers got filled, too! It's scary how many beads I have, yet still need to buy more on a weekly basis. When I'm sitting at the kitchen table, this is right behind me, so super-convenient. And to the right of the cabinet is my craft closet, which has a gazillion things, from my wire-work tools to Zacks PlayDoh. And there's yet another closet that is the Shipping Closet -- full of boxes, bubble wrap, tissue paper, and various props for my craft shows.

I hope you enjoyed your tour! If you'd like to see the finished product of my work, visit, and you'll see the handcrafted jewelry I make virtually every day.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

You are beautiful, just the way you are.

If you find yourself flipping through magazines and wishing you looked like the models, remember this video.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Today is brought to you by the letter "M"

Well, yesterday, actually. Yesterday was Adventure Day, and we stayed fairly close to home and went to Annapolis to the mall (thus, the letter "M"). We have a routine (mom and son are both very structure-driven):

1) Enter through Nordstorm. Admire all the shoes. (Zack is particularly fond of the ones with "sparklies" on them). Me, I liked this pair - but alas, after foot surgery, I live only in Danskos or Birkenstocks.

2) Currency lesson -- throw pennies, nickles, and dimes into the fountain. Not only are we learning our coinage, but we do a countdown, too.

3) Play Place -- this mall has an indoor playground (convenientally next to Starbucks) so Zack can run around. Here's some photos from last November (my camera that I always carry had a dead battery, of course, so these will have to do -- and they're personal favorites).....

4) I may manage to peek into a few shops, but next true destination is the "run around place" -- the ampitheater where they have special events, or barring that, a big open space that kids just love to play tag in. Yesterday, a rather disgruntled looking Easter Bunny was there, but Zack ignored him and played with some kids that were there until he got too hot and decided he wanted to "look at stuff".

5) Next stop, Pottery Barn Kids. They have an employee there that is just fabulous -- when kids come in, she shows them all the toys they have on demo, and sits right down and plays with them. We bought a planets mobile that is amazing. I don't have a photo of that and it's not on their site, darn it. But it's cool as heck.

6) A few more peeks into shops, and we've reached those major money makers (don't we wish we'd thought of these?) -- those rides that cost .50 and basically just shake you back and forth for 30 seconds. We rode them all.

7) We can never pass a bookstore, so stopped at Borders. Zack went ape over a Hot Wheels Field Guide. So I bought it. Yeah, I know, hush.

8) Lunch! This time, Red Robin, and he ate toasted cheese, for the 2nd time in two weeks, a huge accomplishment. Got a free balloon on the way out, and it's time to reverse the trip and head out.

9) Stop for a quick chocolate at Lindt (Zack, not me) where he charmed the socks off the two ladies working there.

10) Throw more coins in the fountain.

11) Head home.

Tada! Adventure day!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Another charm swap

I participated in another charm swap and just finished them up today. The project was "Found Objects" and I used vintage buttons.

Before I made jewelry, I was a sales rep for an IT firm, selling "business solutions" as the phrase goes. Selling intangibles can make you a lot of money, but when I left a small, family-based company for a larger, multi-national one, well, let's just say I got burned out but fast. And then 9/11 happened. Combined with the tech crash and all those dot-coms that went belly up, I found myself laid off and disillusioned.

I'd always wanted my own company, something fun and creative, but never found the time when I had a "real" job that had lots of hours of commuting and travel. So even though it didn't feel like it at the time, getting laid off was the best thing that ever happened to me, because it forced me to start the company I'd been thinking of.

All that led to my starting a handmade greeting card line. I used vintage buttons, sewn onto all kinds of amazing papers and fabrics. I worked my tail off, got into some stores, and subsequently collected a TON of vintage beads. Well, maybe not a ton. But at least 15 pounds, at last check.

I don't make cards any more, at least not to sell, but I still can't give up those buttons. I've been planning on using them in my jewelry, but never have had the time to sit down and play, so this swap really gave me some ideas to work with!

To view my jewelry, visit

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Zack's Curls

Oh I miss them. They're sllllloooooowly growing back from the major accident at the Hair Cuttery a couple of months ago. As I was searching for a new photo to put on my desktop wallpaper, I found this one, from May last year.....

Oh. It makes my heart ache.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

New Jewelry

Still working hard at the jewelry -- it's an every day thing (if I'm lucky). I've been working on some more time-intensive pieces -- going to test market those at Intergem in April. Here's some of what I've done, and I uploaded a ton of stuff at my web site,

This one is called "Chili Pepper Rose Garden" and it is my current favorite. I was working on it at the local coffee shop and a guy wanted to buy it for his girlfriend, but I wasn't done making it yet. I learned the technique from Stephanie Sersich, who is utterly amazing -- her site is

This one is called Ne Plus Ultra, and there really is nothing like it. The photo stinks, so not sure if this will make it to the web site or not. It's LONG, and made with cultured pearls, Bali silver, and these amazing 10mm vintage Vitrail Light Swarovski crystals -- tons of them. So it won't be cheap, but it WILL be amazing.

This one is really neat and is called "Copper Roof". The lampwork glass utilizes a very cool press that reminds me of Victorian ceiling tiles, and the copper ceramic is gorgeous. There are matching earrings, too.

I learned this technique from Jen Cook of . There are lots and lots of gemstones wired to a sterling silver core -- onyx, moonstone, mother of pearl, crystal quartz, and labradorite. The lampwork bead is made by Encircle Designs. It's called "Creme de la Creme".

And another fun and whimsical bracelet a la Stephanie Sersich -- the colors are a riot and it's just impossible to have a bad day while wearing this. It's called "Imagination".

Like what you see? There's more artisan jewelry at

The New Foyer

Finally, photos of the new foyer! The front door needed replacing due to water damage (the people who built this house didn't do it well, so water got in pretty easily when it rained), we had a new ceramic tile floor installed, and new carpet up the stairs. We also got our new art hung! The whole area is just so much brighter.
Next on the remodeling list -- ceiling fans for my office and three bedrooms, and tile floor for the kitchen/mud room/bathroom. Not sure when that will occur, but after that, we stop for a while.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

There's Bears Out There, You Know

As Zack and I were driving into a park today to go play, he looked at the wooded area and then looked at me and solemnly said, "Be sure to watch out for the bears".

I assured him I'd be careful. In the middle of Annapolis, MD, you can never tell!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Mini-Adventure Day

Today the weather was WONDERFUL, so Zack and I headed out to the playground. Our development has a small playground with three really cool slides that Zack wears himself out on. After that, he decided our adventure wasn't done, so we went to The Clay Bakers to paint. He painted a monster truck piggy bank with all the determination and attention that a true artist gives their masterpiece -- he was adorable! After that, he decided he wanted to go to the "Potato Smile Store" (aka Bob Evans) for lunch, and there he made me so happy by asking for and actually EATING toasted cheese sandwiches. Those of you who have known me for a while know that's a BIG DEAL, as Zack has serious food issues. Speaking of those, we go to Johns Hopkins/Kennedy Kreiger on the 27th for the food clinic.... not looking forward to that but if it helps him, it must be done.

Early night tonight -- I hope to finish this HILARIOUS book I have loved reading and highly recommend -- "Handling Sin" by Michael Malone. This book is a must read. It's the misadventures of a very unlikely group of who head off to New Orleans to rescue the hero's father, who has checked himself out of the hospital and sent his straight-laced son a list of "things to do and things to bring" on his way to New Orleans. There are twists that you just don't see coming and the term "laughed my ass off" applies.
Really, you have to read this book!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

New Art for the Walls

Rick got this art for me for my birthday (early) thinking it would work in my office, but we decided it was much better suited for our foyer. We just got the floors redone in ceramic tile, a new front door and side lights with leaded glass, and new carpet up the stairs. And I have a huge Korean script ink drawing I had done ages ago on one wall, and Korean art over the door, so I think it will fit well with the Asian motif.

Each square is a separate painting, so it's going to be fun getting it hung right, but Colin just came home for a week, and he's the one we turn to when we want things done with precision! I'll take a photo when the hall's all done.
The painting is done by Chris Donovan, and you can see more of his work by clicking here -- they have prints and the canvas paintings on the site.

Eye Candy -- Jewelry!

I have been on a roll. I just got notification that I was accepted into the prestigious Westport Craft Show in CT, so that gave me a boost! They did an entirely new jury process this year, so there was no guarantee I'd get in just because I did it last year -- in fact, I'd not expected to get in this time. But yay yippee!

So I got a lot done -- here are some things you may see on the web site or Ebay soon. If you can't wait, send me an email!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Adventure Day -- Baltimore Aquarium

Yesterday was Adventure Day for me and Zack, so we headed to the Baltimore Aquarium. He's been there a few times, but he's still of the age where he zips through it rather fast. This time, when I went to pay for the tickets, they asked if we were there for the dolphin show. Dolphin show? We didn't know there was one! Zack starts dancing his "YAY" happy dance and we got tickets.

One of the reasons we chose the aquarium was because Zack had been watching a video about dolphins and sharks and whales, so this was really lucky. It's hard not to love dolphins, and the show was great.

After our whirlwind tour of the rest of the exhibits (including the sharks) we went to the ESPN Zone for lunch. Holy cow. I am not a sports fan but this has to be their mecca. With a zillion TV screens, Zack hardly knew which way to look. After lunch, we went next door to Barnes and Noble -- we can never pass that place without going in. Zack ended up with yet another book on planets. I have to find a cool planetarium show for him to see.
All in all a very busy but fun day!

Monday, March 05, 2007


OK, I haven't added a heck of a lot to the web site lately because I have a two huge shows next month, and I've been sick, so I'm BEHIND on everything. Thank goodness it's just me that gets sick and not Zack.

Anyway, I take photos of all the stuff I make, and then I have these huge files on my computer with all of the pretties in them, and when I have time, I add to the site or Ebay or whatever. It's been a while, so I thought I'd share some with you. Email me if you want anything or have questions, or visit for even more artisan jewelry. And if I accidentally repeated something from a previous post, I'm blaming my headache! :-)

"Beach Blanket"

Isn't this fun? It's made of handpainted ceramic and crystal


"Aquamarine Collar"

This is so much more amazing in person. It's a necklace made with HUGE deep blue/green aquamarines -- they're each about 1" in size, and that's not cheap, but isn't it lovely? I also love the Bali silver neck curves. It's unique and I hope it won't last in my inventory for long.



Isn't this lucious? The lampwork beads are made by Cassie Donlen, and they're nice and substatial, to go with that terrific Bali silver toggle.


"Calm Blue Seas"

These are soooo pretty. The blues and greens are just gorgeous, like sea glass. The lampwork beads are made by Dan Husko, and I matched them up with matte peridot Swarovski crystals and pale blue chalcedony. Hear the waves?