Friday, March 27, 2009

The 3 Ninjas

I have 3 boys and when they were little, on the weekends we would go to the video store to get a movie to watch. They could never agree. When one would finally find one he liked the other one would say "I don't want to see that one" and on and on. I think the only movie that they ever whole heartedly agreed on was "The 3 Ninjas" and the various sequels. My kids are now 17, 19, and 26. But when I saw wishwithme's etsy shop featuring these ever so cute little ninjas, it took me back to those fun, crazy times in the video store with my little boys! 

What movies do your kids like?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Where's Lucy?

So, I have these 2 cattle dogs, Lucy and Sparky. They are some of the funniest dogs I've seen.We had this round dog bed that I got at Costco. They eventually chewed a hole in it and everyday I'd come home and find stuffing all over the living room. It was sort of a winter wonderland. But the funny part was when Lucy would burrow inside of the bed and then poke her head out of the hole. Or when she was completely inside of the bed and she'd hear someone outside and would run to see  who it was, but was still inside the bed. The whole thing would just go tumbling around the living room. The following is a very blurry picture, but the only one I have of her in the bed. Can you find her? Eventually, I got tired of the winter wonderland and sewed the hole up.

Lucy not blurry.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Taking Pictures Slump

So after feeling totally uncreative about picture taking and unable to take a picture of anything that was even close to like-able and about to give up cause I will never be able to think of anything ever again...I posted a thread on etsy and got lots of good advice and support where I realized that I was holding on so tightly to have to take a good picture that my knuckles were white. So I was able to relax and just play with it and not feel like I had to produce anything. I was given this perfect rainy day, with the perfect kind of light coming in my window. I thought about how to hang my earrings. I got a piece of copper and drilled some holes in it, then balanced it on two empty toilet paper rolls (technical equipment), and fired away. I was much happier with these pictures and I guess maybe I won't give up after all.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Well, since Pisces is now on the cusp and on its way out, and since I am a Pisces, and my oldest son is a Pisces and my mother was a Pisces and my sister-in-law is a Pisces and my grandfather was a Pisces, I feel inclined to show some of my favorite Etsy fishies.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Narrative Jewelry

I make narrative jewelry from my old family photos. This pendant is made from an old photo of my mother. I remember when I was around 7 or 8 years old she would get all dressed up to go downtown. She would take the bus and when she came back she would usually bring me some kind of treat, like Nik-L-Nips (the juice in a wax bottle) or little candy ice cream cones. I copied the picture on to Shrinky Dinks and colored the faces, then attached then to an enameled piece of copper. On the copper links I stamped a shorter version of this story.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Sophie Chengelis Faras

Today is my mother's birthday and she would have been 87, but she passed away last August 10, 2008, in Youngstown, Ohio. I was fortunate enough to have been there with her, along with my brother and sister, aunts, uncles, cousins...
     While I was growing up my mother probably did every craft imaginable. (I believe that rubbed off on me a bit!) She also did them really well. Perfectly almost. And that was how her life ended also. Everything happened so perfectly. 
     When I got to Youngstown, it was pouring rain, but on the way to the hospital, there was a huge rainbow. My mother was pretty unresponsive and the doctor had given her a couple of days to live. We took her to Hospice House (a fantastic place, I might add). They took such good care of her and treated her so respectfully, she started to revive. Well, being the spunky stubborn old Greek lady that she was, she actually lasted 2 more weeks. We found that she hadn't lost her sense of humor and sarcastic wit. She even yelled at us for having BBQ Wings and not offering her any. That didn't happen again. She had pizza and beer the next night!
     We had great conversations where she said the most perfect things in letting us know how she felt about us and how we felt about her. 
     At the end she was not really conscious. We all just sat around her bed. She was dying, but it didn't seem sad; it was just being very present in that moment, watching her move on, working hard to get there. She was moaning and gurgling with each breath. Then I noticed she wasn't gurgling anymore. And she was breathing really slowly. Then the nurse walked in and said that this was it, (I don't know how she knew to come in at that exact moment) it was happening and she started rubbing my mother's feet. Everyone gathered around her bed. And her breathing just kept getting slower and slower and slower until it just stopped. It was so peaceful. She made it look so easy and gentle. And then it was all over. And then it was sad. It was a very beautiful death. It was all perfect. It didn't really seem perfect while it was happening, but looking back everything happened just the way it should have and I feel so lucky to have been able to have been a part of it all.To have gotten that time to be with her and talk and laugh and joke and be frustrated and sad and happy and be with my family. I can't imagine it any other way.
     After her funeral there was another rainbow.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I Hate Daylight Savings Time

I hate daylight savings time. I hate losing an hour of my day. I hate thinking I'm going to bed at one, but really it's 2. I hate getting up at 9 but it's really 10. I hate not having enough hours in the day to do everything that I want to do and now I have one less hour.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Some of My Favorite Etsy Fiber Arts

I've been enjoying searching through etsy and finding my favorites. Here are a few items in the fiber art category. The first one, New Beginnings, is done by a friend of mine here in Santa Cruz and has just listed her 1st item on etsy. It's not the 1st item she's ever made... she is quite prolific and actually a potter. Go to her shop and find out more about her journey from clay to fiber. I'm hoping we'll see some of her pots on her site too!

New Beginnings - Sacred Shawltar by Meg Brown at

I love the color and the loose weave of this bag. And the photo makes me feel like I'm on vacation!  
Small Fabric Bag by

And well this little lamb is just too cute to pass up! I grew up in Ohio, and this picture reminds me of the cold winters there, but the beautiful colors in the felted birds nest make the stark winter come to life.

I'll Never Be Bored Again

I think that one of the things I love most about metalsmithing and enameling are the limitless amounts of things that you can experiment with. Things never get dull or boring. The hardest part is luring myself into my studio area. I can think of a hundred things that I should do first... clean the kitchen (or actually any room in my house for that matter!), pay some bills, have something to eat, read the mail... Part of it is the fear of having to think or create something and what will it be? However, once in there if I can just get started on one thing, any one thing, it will lead me to another and another and another. It's like being a mad scientist and I can't stop. And then it's 2:00 in the morning and my eyes are burning. It's very satisfying!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Monday, March 2, 2009

These are a new pair of earrings that I have finished and taken pictures of and put on my computer and listed on etsy and put on this blog............ Actually, I had finished them a couple of weeks ago. It seems like the only thing I have been doing in the last 2 weeks is be on this computer! I think that we have become one, my computer and me!
I hope to work on some new stuff tomorrow...something without a keyboard!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

It can only get better

I'd like to start making my own etsy treasury- type of blog where I can create themes from what I like on etsy. It may have to start out a little rough until I get the hang of this, but I think that it might be fun.
I guess my first theme will have to be folded metal. One of my favorites. It always amazes me how you can take a hard cold seemingly unbendable piece of metal and act like it's paper. Pretty much anything you can do with paper, you can actually do with metal. The look works especially well with copper. It already has a warm earthy color, the bending and folding only makes it look more organic. As you will see in the following pieces:

Silver and Brass Rose Ring 
by MetalRiot

F-Series Copper Ram's Horn Earrings
by AgJewelryDesign

Folded Enamel Brooch
by Ggallery

fold formed copper disc necklace
by nemesisjewelry

Well, my first treasury will have to only have 4 pieces in it because it is 2:30am and I'm a little tired!!