Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Another Charm Exchange

I just finished the charms for another altered art charm exchange. This time, the theme was vintage with a touch of whimsy. Here's a sampling: I started by cutting out photos from ads from a 1952 National Geographic magazine. I then cut pieces of vinyl tubing, rolled up the photos, and put them in the tubes. I glittered the ends of the tube (using a tiny paint brush for precision) and when the glue dried, applied a protective clear coating just on the glitter. I then ran a wire through the tube, put Swarovski crystals on either end, and looped them up. I added a lucite butterfly to the bottom of each charm.

This charm group has really been good for me. I've always admired the altered art/something from nothing stuff, but never tried it. I know of some who call this trash, and I agree it's not for everyone, but isn't that what art is all about -- branching out, trying something new, and taking a chance.

Happy Halloween!

What a fun day!

This year, Zack wanted to dress as a race car driver. He looked absolutely adorable!

We started the festivities by meeting at Zack's school (Christ Church) at 11am for a parade to a little park. While waiting to line up, Zack let me take a picture with his friend Isaac.

We had all the 4's, all the 3's, and the 2's, so it was a very cute little parade down the sidewalks of Easton. We walked to this little park, where all the kids sat on the benches in a circle, and the teachers and kids sang songs for the parents. See the lady on the left, with the black and white spotted pants? That is one of Zack's teachers, Mrs. Baron, who was dressed in a fabulous costume she made -- Jessie from Toy Story 2, complete with yarn pig tails, as you can see in the last photo.

There is nothing quite as cute as little kids in costume. They were having so much fun, and it was a great way to start the day.

For the evening trick or treating, we lit up some glow stick necklaces, met up with a neighbor, and walked the block. Zack was running all excited (and this is BEFORE he ate sugar), yelling, "This is the best Halloween EVER!".

And really, it was.

Soaping Windows at Halloween

This comes courtesy of --

I heard that the big kids soaped the windows on Halloween & all we had was a box of Tide & I couldn't reach the windows anyway, so I poured a big pile of it on the neighbor's doorstep & I never figured out how my mom knew it was me until we had kids.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Story of a Wedding

Rick and I just got back from celebrating our seventh anniversary. Each year we spend the weekend at Prospect Hill -- Rick proposed to me in the moonlight there, and we spent our honeymoon there, and it's just a very special place to us. We got married in Charlottesville, VA, which is about 15 minutes away, so after a leisurely breakfast in the cabin, we went into town to walk around and shop and just spend time together, then came back in time for the five-course dinner each night.

This year, it rained when we arrived, and rained hard all day, which was actually perfect, because there's nothing quite like the sound of rain on a tin roof, a roaring fire in the hearth, and a soak in the hot tub. The next day was amazing weather, and we got to enjoy driving through the mountains and seeing the color change of the leaves.

We also did a drive-by hugging, stopping unannounced at my friend Jen's house and surprising her for a few minutes. (That was fun!)

I went through our photo album, and if you'll indulge me, I thought I'd share a few pictures with you!

Before my jewelry business and my son, I was an avid gardener, so the flowers had to be extra-special. I love old-fashioned flowers, so had hydrangeas, snow berries, and roses (with some other lovely things) and had the stems wrapped in one of my grandmother's lace handkerchiefs.

I had killer shoes (seriously -- by the end of the night, those babies had to come OFF) -- picked out by Rick. My something blue? Blue nail polish on the toes.

The wedding was at 4pm, so we started the photos at noon. I didn't like the idea of a bunch of formal photos taking up time between the ceremony and the reception, so the family gathered at the Farmington Country Club (the reception site) to visit and get all the requisite photos taken care of. That meant that Rick and I saw each other before the ceremony -- an idea I wasn't keen on at first, but our photographer convinced us, and I'm glad he did! He made it very special for us, clearing out a room for us to meet, without anyone else there. I have no idea where the photographer was, but he got a really wonderful bunch of photos. So here is where we see each other for the first time that day:
I went to the University of Virginia, and we were fortunate enough to get married at the chapel on Grounds. We were lucky, seriously -- there's a lottery for wedding dates, since it's so popular a location, but things just have a way of working out. I was glad they did a phone lottery that year, because previous years, you had to literally camp out overnight to get a space in line to sign up for a date!

After the ceremony, we left for the reception in style. Our florist also had an old Rolls Royce Phantom -- an amazing car.

The reception was so much fun! We had a sit-down dinner (no rubber chicken here -- the food at Farmington is terrific!). I made the favors (the be-ribboned boxes held tulip bulbs) and the menus, as well as the programs for the wedding. I thought for a while that I'd like to be a wedding planner, but the jewelry business sort of took on a life of its own and I never looked back!

I hope you enjoyed the little tour through our wedding -- it's been an amazing journey that just gets better with time.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

OK, I have to share this

Zack just came in to me, hugged me, and said, "You are a good mom to me" in such a sweet voice.

He then said he wanted a brother to stay with him "all day and all night". Since a baby brother is impossible, I asked if it would be ok to wait for his older brothers (Rick's, ages 22 and 23, who Zack adores) when they come home next month, and he said that would be OK.

All of that was really sweet. But I feel so bad when he asks for another brother or sister. Makes my heart hurt for my adorable little guy.

Another Thought for the Day

I won't be able to blog over the weekend, and am busier than a bee, so I'll post another Thought for the Day:

Monday, October 22, 2007

Asian Charm Exchange

I just finished packing up my charms for Amber's Asian Charm Exchange. We could make it out of anything, but it had to include a fortune. This was the first time I have tried to "art up" something that wasn't meant to be "arted up" and I'm not sure what I think of them, but here you are. I love altered art, and joined the charm exchange group to expand my horizons, and hopefully over time, my skill.

I started with Scrabble tiles, painted them, drilled holes in them, glued paper on them, glued torn scraps from one of my old Korean dictionaries on them, glittered them up, and you get this:

The back looks like this:

The packaging took a while to put together, too! I cut tags out of art paper and textured cardstock, set eyelets in the top, tied the charm to the tag with art yarn, and wrote the "ingredients" of the charm on the front.

The back looks like this:

On the inside, I stamped my contact info, and then attached the fortune.

I found some funny fortunes online to use, like:

"You can always find happiness at work on Friday."

"He who does not open mouth does not gather feet."

Somehow I don't think Confucious came up with those!

At any rate, they're done, boxed, and ready to ship. They are TOTALLY outside my normal comfort zone, which really was the entire point.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Death of a Pumpkin


We lost our big orange pumpkin today. It was very sad. And very gross.

Note to self: Do not carve a pumpkin when it's still flippin' 85 degrees outside.

Check out these cool bags!

I found Burst of Happiness on Etsy the other day and just had to share! I love fun bags and she has them in spades! Here are a couple of my favorites:

You can visit her at, or visit her Etsy store by clicking here.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Some jewelry eye candy for you

Below are some pieces I've made recently -- if you're interested in anything, please email me, and be sure to visit for more artisan jewelry!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Cooperative Artisan Blog

I write articles for a cooperative artisan blog called Collective Creatives, and today my article on "Color" came out. If you're interested, click here.

Each month, each of the artists in the co-op write on a different subject. We'll all cover the same topics, but you'll get different points of view from different TYPES of artists, and will get some good insight into how we think.

I hope you'll take a look!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Holiday Product Reviews

I just opened the Holiday Store on my web site -- two Halloween things and one Christmas thing that already sold, but more will be added soon. I have some pretty and unique things coming up!
I thought I'd spend today's entry showing you some of the cool Christmas presents I've found:

From Spoonsisters, a Tree in a Box:

If you have limited space, or your office desk needs a holiday boost, I'd suggest this cute idea. The Tree in a Box comes with an 80-page, full-color book which includes ten Christmas carols, a tasty recipe for eggnog, directions for folding five origami ornaments (candy cane, Santa’s hat, cross, bow, and star) and instructions. Also: 24 foil boughs, 25 glittery foil ornaments, one spool of silver thread, one gold foil star tree topper, 20 sheets of 6 x 6 origami paper in four vibrant patterns, and the box it comes in, which doubles as a tree stand. Everything’s cut out and ready-to-go; all you have to do is set it up and make merry!


From Pylones, this cute edible garden:
Sprout seeds in an easy-to-grow miniature garden in just three days! Four reusable felt pads, seed packets and water are all it takes to grow edible clover, cress, lettuce and mustard. Refills available, too!

refills, $8

***** From Bibelot, this fun dinner game:

Add a little fun to your next family meal with Dinner Games & Activities. The colorful tin box holds 51 cards that describe fun and easy games to play while you eat.


If anyone would like to share their cool gift sites, please post below!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A Trip to the Pumpkin Patch

I charged up the battery on the camera and finally got the photos of our trip to the pumpkin patch downloaded! This particular pumpkin patch is SO much fun -- they have a huge old combine that the kids can go up into, and a slide that comes off of it, a swing, a tricycle maze, goats, a corn table -- more things than that but you get the idea. Zack and I spent an hour there yesterday, playing on all the things, and then picking out our pumpkins -- a big orange one, a medium white one, and a bunch of small ones. Tonight we carved the orange one, and tomorrow I'll tackle the white one (photos to come soon).

Monday, October 15, 2007

Some Fun Pumpkin Pictures

Today Zack and I went to the pumpkin patch, and the battery in my camera died (thankfully AFTER photos were taken) so I don't have them yet to show you, so I'll leave you with these cool photos I found on the web:

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Jewelry Eye Candy

I took a lot of photos today of jewelry that I'd made over the past month and have added a lot to the web site -- here are some pieces that aren't up yet. If you see something you have to have, please send me an email.

And be sure to visit for tons of handcrafted jewelry!

A Gorgeous Studio

Take a look at this amazing studio! It belongs to my friend Allegra, who has a way with design, as you can tell! I just kept looking and looking at it -- truly wonderful!

Thursday, October 11, 2007


If you have ever worked in an office (as I did years ago) that had those oh-so-clever inspirational/motivational posters tacked up all over the place, you'll love They have a fun selection of parodies of these posters, as well as t-shirts and the like.

Here's the fun challenge -- buy one of those parody posters and stick it up over the one at your office and see how long it takes for someone to notice.

I dare you.

Janet Evanovich rocks the house

I just love Janet Evanovich. Her Stephanie Plum novels make me laugh out loud, which would be fine, except that I do most of my reading after 11pm, in bed, next to a sleeping husband.

I read a LOT. And sometimes after I read a book I want to do something for the author, because their book moved me so much/made me laugh/made me stop and take notice in some way. So I'll send a present, which from me means jewelry.

I've sent jewelry to a number of authors, and have gotten emails from them, but this is the first time I got a hand-written note from someone. I got this lovely note from Janet Evanovich today, thanking me for a pair of carnelian/citrine/gold earrings I made for her (with her gorgeous red hair in mind). It just made my day!

If you're not familiar with Janet's work, go to and check out her stuff. Particularly, take note that she'll have a fun store online before the holidays -- I'm eyeing a "Rangeman" hat,

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I've Been Seen at Art Bead Scene!

You can read my interview by clicking here.

Art Bead Scene is an interactive blog with the goal of uniting bead artists of all materials and the jewelry designers who use art beads in their work. They have a daily blog with several contributors posting about the latest events and ideas in the bead world.

I'm honored!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

More from the Phillipines Prison

I've blogged about the Phillipine prison that teaches its inmates dance routines -- something that has made me giggle when watching but really, that's got to be pretty good at keeping them exercised. And from watching this latest video, they look pretty darned happy, too, so I'm wondering, do you think people are committing crimes to get in?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Book Review -- "Drums of Autumn"

(If you haven't noticed the cool new thing on the right side --- you can now see what book I am reading RIGHT NOW! Neat, huh?)

With a week in bed, I've had a bit of time to read (less than you'd think, though -- you get really sick and it's all you can do to stare at the ever-lovin' ceiling). I finished another of "The Outlander" series by Diana Gabaldon, this one "Drums of Autumn".

I don't want to spoil the book for anyone because I really REALLY hope you will read them and love them as much as I do. But I will say that I was prepared not to love this one as much as the first two, but again, I was amazed and swept away. The first two books were faster paced, but these later books really settle in and tell a good story. I learned quite a bit about pre-Revolutionary War America, and kept falling deeper in love with Jamie and Claire.

I started "The Fiery Cross", which is the next-to-the-last book in the series, and I have no idea what I'm going to do when I'm done with them all. I know it sounds silly, but after investing thousands of pages and many hours into this series, I can't quite imagine being DONE with them.
OK, fine. Call me crazy. But I'm loving these books.

photos from the Neptune Festival

I'm finally digging out of the mess of boxes from the Neptune Festival -- I still feel really bad that Rick had to take that tent down and all the stuff in it by himself, with Zack, at 5:30 in the morning, but he swears it was fine, and that they enjoyed the sun rise, and I know if they'd waited til that evening to break down when the other 300 were, too, it would have been miserable.

Anyway! As you know, I always am experimenting with my tent set up, and this time, we experimented with adding color. I'm really pleased with how it turned out, although I swear things always look better in person.

And then there was the view -- this is from the first day, when the storms were leaving. We were so lucky to get nice weather, and the rain never hit us at all.

Zack and the camera -- the Rain Main Collection

Remember in the movie "Rain Main", when Dustin Hoffman is sitting in the doctor's waiting room and is snapping random photos of people's feet and the walls and what not? Well, I gave Zack one of my cameras and let him go off and do his thing, and when I downloaded them, this is what I got:

I'm actually really pleased with his composition! I love the "Fishies in Bag Against Purple Couch" and "My Foot: A Self-Portrait". I can't help but look at these pictures and smile.

You can see his photos in more detail by clicking here.