Thursday, February 26, 2009


I think my muse is on vacation in the tropics somewhere, or maybe she prefers Alaska. I have so many themes to work with, and lots of them Celtic which is a favorite of mine, but my creative drive has sort of fizzled. Inversely, my drive to exercise, eat well and get in shape so I feel better has ... well, showed up after a three-year hiatus. Is there a connection? Like, testosterone up and whatever the "creative" hormone is down?

Don't know. So I'm going to brainstorm ideas at you to get me jump started.

1) Play. Get out beads, wire, rings, pretty rocks, and see what happens. Sometimes just staring at the sparklies gets me moving.
2) Go to the bead store. I usually see something I like and it gives me ideas. Except I have piles of stuff from past strokes of inspiration that isn't inspiring me anymore. *sigh*
3) Journal. If you're an artist who gets blocked sometimes, or you wish you were an artist, I highly recommend The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. Or if you're not sure where you are in the stream of your life. It was/is a life-changing book for me. She recommends journaling every day as a way to clear the every day crap that's blocking your creative urges. I haven't been.
4) Sketch. This one's actually almost laughable because my drawing skills are almost nil (one of those things I comfort myself with believing I could be better if I'd spend time on it). Maybe that's not the way to go. Maybe I should paint with watercolors or even finger paints.
5) Walk alone, preferably in the woods. Nature speaks if you're quiet enough to listen.
6) Look at pretty pictures. I look at pictures of others' work that is similar to mine every day, and it often inspires me. But sometimes looking at amazing photography or paintings I like has the same effect, and it inspires me in a different way. Since I have a "Springtime in the Glen" theme to work with for Fantasy Artists of Etsy Exhibition, and Emerald Isle for Wire Artisans guild, I may peruse some knotwork and Celtic art.
7) Follow a tutorial. Whatever it is usually doesn't come out the same as the original in the instructions. I guess that qualifies as inspiration? Maybe I'll play with a new chainmaille weave.

What do you do when the muse goes south?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Doors of Opportunity

"That is why we will provide the support necessary for you to complete college and meet a new goal: by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.[...]

These education policies will open the doors of opportunity for our children. But it is up to us to ensure they walk through them. In the end, there is no program or policy that can substitute for a mother or father who will attend those parent/teacher conferences, or help with homework after dinner, or turn off the TV, put away the video games, and read to their child. I speak to you not just as a President, but as a father when I say that responsibility for our children’s education must begin at home."

President Obama in an address to a joint session of Congress tonight.

While there was a lot he said that meant a lot to me, on this one all I can say is, amen.

On a related note, my 16-year-old son Brandon is in the process of filling out paperwork to apply for Tennessee Governor's Academy for Mathematics and Science. It means he'd live in Knoxville (1.5 hours away) for the better part of the year (rough on me!), but it also means he'd have some amazing educational opportunities in the field he's interested in, engineering, and an educational environment that encourages experimentation and exploration... which is more than can be said for pretty much any public school system I've known. It'll be amazingly competitive - 24 students for the entire state. My feelings are mixed but he is extremely excited about this opportunity and I can only hope he makes the cut. But the first thing I thought when I discovered that this amazing school even exists was, kudos Governor Bredesen! I only wish the opportunity was available to more students. Whether Bran makes it or not I consider it a huge honor that he was offered the chance to apply.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Some Thoughts for Today

Outside my window... it's cold but the sun is shining.  I love the way cats bask in the sunlight.

I am thinking... that the animals need to be fed, but I just spent 2 hours grocery shopping and my feet are saying 'enough.'

I am thankful for... being able to afford to buy healthy food for my family this shopping trip.  Why is junk food cheaper than eating well?

From the kitchen... I'll be making pasta primavera with shrimp tonight.

I am wearing... a comfy peach-colored shirt and jeans. 

I am creating... likely some wire-wrapped cabochons if I get some time tonight, and finishing a few other projects I have undone.

I am going... to see Riverdance Sunday.  Excited!

I am reading... The Time Machine by H.G. Wells.  First time.

I am hoping... that the choice I've made today, to start eating better and exercise, sticks with me this time.  I think I am finally motivated.

I am hearing... the pitter patter of feet belonging to critters anxious to be fed.  Otherwise it's quiet.  I love quiet.

Around the house... I still haven't finished taking the Christmas tree down =/  It must fall before March!

One of my favorite things... is a cup of coffee and my journal in the morning.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Take pictures.  Go for a lot of walks.  Reconnect with my spiritual side.  Plan Brandon's birthday.  Make things that my spirit wants to make.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

Apparently taken from The Simple Woman, although I can't seem to find the link that has this specific meme on it.  I found this on someone else's blog.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Craft Envy [EBT Carnival]

The Carnival theme for Etsy Bloggers is: What item from another seller's shop do you secretly wish you had thought of first?

Well... it's not that I secretly wish I'd thought of this stuff. It's more like, I wish I had time to dabble in similar crafts. Mostly. So here's a feature of some of my favorite insanely talented people on Etsy whose crafts I wish I could play with. Except the first. The first qualifies absolutely and completely for the actual question here, since I do some similar stuff.

When I saw Karla's shop at Thyme2Dream,
I confess I swooned. I'm a Renaissance and fantasy fangirl and if I was wandering around a Renaissance Faire and found a booth with her stuff in it I'd spend half the day there. It was really tough for me to choose a picture of ONE thing I love in her shop. Then I discovered her brilliant circlet-making husband at PernCirclets. They are definitely on my top 5 list of Etsy heroes. What I envy the most here is that when you see one of her listings, you know instantly who made it. I think I will never have that trademark style.

The rest of these are simply masters of crafts I wish I could do. I waded through most of my 99 pages of favorites (!!!! at least I got to weed out the dead ones) to find them for you.

I am so horrible at sewing that my son insists on sewing on his own buttons. Still, I'm pretty sure it's something I could learn, given time. And a sewing machine. Which I asked for for Christmas several years ago and did not get. So I am still thread-challenged.

If I COULD sew, I would sew costumes. Mostly Renaissance costumes. It would be a long, long time before I could sew anything as gorgeous as the stuff in Spooky Kitten Couture's shop, though. If you've got a touch of Rengeek go look. Another favorite costumier is Damsel In This Dress, partly because the name is just brilliant. :)

I'd never heard of needle tatting until I discovered TotusMel's shop (and blog!) and she's the undisputed queen of tatting in my mind, although I have found a few other shops recently that do more with beads and I LOVE it. This is definitely on my to-learn list, and I definitely want to make Victorian-looking stuff with lots of beads.

There are some leather mask-makers on the 'net. I don't think I'd get very gung-ho into leatherworking, although the stuff IKOW Designs is doing with leather and maille is stunning, so I'd probably play with something like that (I want to try some leather bracers with scalemaile overlay). I wouldn't mind being able to make amazing things like these Knights Templar bracers, at Mojo Leather, either.

One thing I have wanted for a very long time is a good camera(long enough that the camera I once wanted was 35 mm. but is now a digital SLR) , the knowledge to use it well, and opportunities to walk into nature and capture its mysteries. So naturally, Nature's Art is my hero. Their nature photos are breathtaking.

I'm sort of a hippie at heart, so I've always loved macrame (except those ugly plant hanger thingies, which seems to be what most people think of when you say macrame). I still have a gallon ziploc full of hemp, and I can do a basic sinnet (plan to try it in wire one of these days!). Macrame has come a long way since the 70s, though, as evidenced by Glass Dancer's absolutely gorgeous "micro" macrame. Anything tiny and intricate catches my fancy. I'd love to learn to do this one of these days.

There's a lot done with seed beads that's too busy for me, but I love peyote cuffs. I had long admired Sand Fibers' work, and then I featured Time2Cre8's Obama cuff on my blog. She offered a trade, and I am now its proud owner, and made a friend in the process (Mary Lou is a gem!). I'm venturing into this arena a little, with 3 cuffs under my belt so far (they take a LONG time), which I'm sure I will blog about soon. Mary Ann has been helpful getting me off the ground here. She's great! The cuff at left is hers. Go look at the wondrous creations in her shop, or check out her blog or the amazing Etsy BeadWeavers' blog.

My hubby offered me another crafting class this year as my Christmas present, and if I'd done it, I'd have chosen lampworking. But I thought, I know how to do some metalsmithing from last year's class, and don't have the tools to do it - I don't need another class and no tools. So I asked for tools. I still would dearly love to work with glass though, I've thought it was a magical process since I saw glassblowers working at a living museum in Ohio. But I still spend lots of time perusing the lampworking on Etsy, and there are a lot of brilliant people (I'm partial to these lined large-hole beads) but partly because of the luminous, intricate quality of her work and partly because the photography done here is AMAZING, Elysium beads is still my favorite. I'm planning on purchasing one of these mini works of art in the near future to put on a viking chain.

When I first opened my Etsy shop, I intended to do some calligraphy and illuminated manuscripts, as well. I hadn't counted on getting COMPLETELY obsessed with chainmaille and wire, so I haven't spent much time on this, but it's still on my to do list. I can do some calligraphy fairly competently, but what I really want to learn is the gorgeous illumination. Basically, what Bygone Arts is doing. You can get any text you want illuminated for an incredibly reasonable price.

I know, it's a lot of stuff. I doubt that I'll ever be the master of any of these crafts that the people I've featured are. And that's cool.. I want to dabble, use some of these things to complement the crafts I'm already doing. I'm a compulsive learner and creator. I could probably find a lot more crafts I'd like to learn some day but these are at the top of the list :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Another Public Service Message

On an average of once every eight seconds, a dog or cat is put down in a shelter each year. Four million of them, slaughtered because there are no homes for them, every year.

So I want to ask you, is every one of your animals spayed or neutered? If not, when that female is in heat down the road, he will go there, and he will add to the unwanted animals problem. When she is in heat she will find a way to act on it (she's made that way). Even if homes are found for the puppies or kittens produced, it will be a home that another homeless dog or cat could have occupied.

Yes, it's time for another public service message. This is one I'm passionate about, having been a vet tech for 12 years. I have a friend who took in a pregnant stray cat (which is wonderful). They failed to have either mom or the kittens neutered. The mother cat just had another litter, almost certainly inbred, and I'm certain it's not because they can't afford to have it done. I have another friend who thinks it's unfair to let his dog live its life without sex, so they want to breed him for no other reason than that. I love my friends, but this frustrates me.

I know my friends love their animals and a lot of the problem is emotional. He's been a great dog and I want to make more of him so I have something left of him, because dogs and cats live such short lives. Well, that might be a good argument if we were talking about cloning, or if the mating you're planning didn't produce three, five, eight, thirteen puppies that need homes and not just the one you want.

If you're still undecided, if you still insist that your dog or cat should have babies, or keep those reproductive organs because YOU have issues with your own private parts or sex life (this burns me up!) I want to ask something of you. Volunteer at your local shelter for a week or a month. That way you're giving something to the homeless pet community that you're adding to, and you'll see the problem up close and personal. You owe that wonderful creature you live with at least that much. And you just might change your mind.

Tuesday, February 24 is Spay Day. Go to the Humane Society's Website for more good reasons you should spay and neuter your dog or cat (it might prevent cancer, especially in some breeds), and to find out about low cost options for having the procedure done.

And if you're thinking about getting an animal, please consider a shelter pet, or if you're looking for a purebred, do an internet search for breed rescue organizations.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wire Artisans on the Radio!

Come listen! Click the graphic to go to the Blockhead website. Drop by early and register to chat. Should be a lot of fun!

Wire Artisans Guild

Gothic Queen Two-Tone Silver Lace Cuff by xinxinemin
Available at Wire Artisans Guild's Etsy Shop

I can't even begin to say how excited I am to have been accepted into the Wire Artisans Guild on Etsy.  Jumping up and down excited.  The breathtaking cuff (crocheted wire... ever tried that?  It's hellishly difficult to work with) above is just one tiny example of the amazing talent encompassed in this team.  Seriously... go look at the Flickr group.  Almost everything is just jaw-dropping.

I've been chewing nails all month because I ogle that Flickr stream on a regular basis, and I want to be like them when I grow up.  They were only taking 10 of 40 applicants (although it ended up being 13).  I dunno how I managed to squeak in when I look at the others' work (list is on the team Etsy shop, also worth a look) but I am humbled, honored, and SO excited.  Thanks guys!

Oh!  Also on a wire note, I'm thinking I'm going to sign up for Creative Wire Jewelry's Year of Jewelry whenever their next quarterly signup date is.  They have a theme every week to inspire your creations and I just love browsing the blog.  Check it out.  There will be more here when I get around to my first theme creation, for both the Guild and YOJ.

Time to build up the finger calluses some more.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Congrats OWOH Winners

These are the two custom bracelets I made for the winners of the One World, One Heart giveaway. 

The black one is headed to Dee Dee Quigley in Hazelton, PA, and the pink and purple one is on its way to Lynda Taylor in Australia.  Congrats to both of you!! :)

I won stuff too!
From Greenish Lady in Ireland I won one of these pretty decoupage bowls/vases:

and from the Dark Artists' Guild (The Studio at Crow Haven Farm) I won this nifty little dude:

Thanks so much, both to those who gave away so many awesome things (I actually managed to visit all 911 blogs!! and found some really cool people in the process), as well as those who came and entered my giveaway.  I had a great time finding new people, and the International aspect of it was really awesome -- I'm thrilled to be sending one of my prizes to an international winner, and to have won something from overseas, too. 

If you really wanted one of those bracelets, you can still have one, of course, just drop by You've Got Maille and let me know what colors you want, I'd be thrilled to make one for you.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Sooooo, yep, I turned 38 today. Every time I sit on the couch, within 5 minutes there are at least 2 cats on me. So guess who I'm feeling like?

Am I middle aged yet?

I got a GIGANTIC ice cream cake that said "Happy Birvalenversary Dee" (we got engaged on Valentine's Day so it's an anniversary of sorts) from my sweet hubby. "Why didn't you get a smaller cake," I asked as I cut it into pieces and put the leftovers in approximately a half dozen containers to go in the freezer. "I didn't think they could fit 'Happy Birvalenversary' on a smaller one." He was right about that. It ran over the icing border of even the monstrous sheet cake. Apparently you do not hyphenate icing. I will never eat my way through all of it so if you're in my neck of the woods drop by for cake. Call first.

Anyway, just wanted to drop in and let y'all know I'll be back to blogging full speed tomorrow after a busy weekend, barring unforseen circumstances. Like turning 38 and 1 day. Or being smothered by a pile of cats.

Since it's mostly down the "hill" from here, if you've been pondering buying something from me I'm offering 20% off anything in You've Got Maille or Second Renaissance for anyone that says Happy Birvalenversary in the comments to seller at purchase time, for the rest of the week. Blog exclusive. Don't you feel special?

Friday, February 13, 2009

February's EtsyBlogger: DonnaPool

Darnit, I'm late again.  Sorry bout that.  Geez is it the 13th already.. wait... Friday..  ack.

Anyway, two thumbs up for February's EtsyBlogger, DonnaPool.  The goodies in her shop include some really funny buttons (I love the one above!) and some important buttons (including one no CPSIA button), some gorgeous photography including photos of vintage cameras, a lot of nifty vintage photography and buttons, keychains, ACEOs, some baby snugglies, and more.  It's terribly eclectic and you really must go browse.

And her blog is just terribly cool for anyone who crafts, or has kids.  Check it out!

[In case you're looking for Friday Inspiration, I'm putting it off a day because I'm way late on the featured EtsyBlogger.  Come back tomorrow!  Too many things to write about, too little time...]


My Etsy Valentine: Hearts, Chocolates and Flowers #11
A daily feature till Valentine's Day

Stepping Stones Chainmaille Bracelet & Earrings by Maille Mystique

It's crunch time, Buster.  You're thinking OH CRAP I FORGOT!  And you run to Wal-Mart and shop the "fancy" stuff they keep in the jewelry case, not hanging on the wall.

STOP!!!!  Put that down.  That stuff is crap, I'm telling you.  It'll break,  or the gold finish will wear off.  Far better for you to buy her something drop-dead GORGEOUS that she'll wear with everything from jeans to little black dress.  Something totally unique.  Something all the girls will oooh and ahhh over.  I'm thinking sterling.  I'm thinking Maille Mystique.

There are only a couple of queens of chainmaille in my mind and Deb is one of them (the other one invented the weave).  I mean, look at that stuff.  It's perfect in every way.   It absolutely glows, but it's not so gaudy as to overwhelm the lady wearing it.  What woman would that not look gorgeous on?  You want gold?  Go look at Deb's shop, she's got it.  And I swear, when your pretty lady wears that to the party, NO ONE else is going to be wearing anything like it, which you can't say about that Wal-Mart crap!

So here's what you're going to do.  You're going to tell your lady you ordered her something amazing but it's not here yet, and you're going to go buy something that IS amazing.  And Valentine's Day is tomorrow, so you have time to make that true!  And... make sure you take her out to dinner.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

How to Add Your Etsy Mini to your Facebook Page [EBT & BF Carnival]


Hey imagine that, both Etsy Bloggers Team and Blogfire Guild are asking me to do a How-To for my carnival. Two birds, one stone, but no one dies!

I'm stealing the info from Handmadeology. If you haven't looked over there, you should, there's tons of great info. You can go watch the video but I'm gonna tell you how to do this, and you don't have to keep up with a video.

1) Go to this link for the application

2) Tell it you want to add the application to your Facebook page (obviously, you must have one). No really, you want to add it. It's okay, allow it to access Facebook. Really. Go.

3) Type in your shop name, and "6" for the items to display. Go for the max. Got no shop? Add your Etsy faves.

4) At the top, go to Settings/Application Settings. Choose your Etsy app and click Edit Settings.

5) Click "Profile", then next to Box "add."

6) Go back to your home page. Click on your "Boxes" tab. Click on the little pencil in the Etsy box top right corner. Tell it to add Etsy app to your Wall.

That's it! If you have more than one shop, you can only add one of them.

If you're on FB give me a shout :)

Deanna Lack's Facebook profile

Enjoyin' the Sunshine

This is Dink.  He's a yorkie-sheltie mix, slightly neurotic, but he sure does love his yard on a nice sunny day (a third only to dinner time and getting to lie on the bed).  The pictures came out somewhat disappointing. but he's still cute.  His radar picked up my attempts to photograph him, apparently.


My Etsy Valentine: Hearts, Chocolates and Flowers #10
A daily feature till Valentine's Day

Love Wooky by Tsuki

Nothing says I'm crazy about you like a Love Wookiee (sorry I'm a geek, had to correct the spelling, but then again maybe Lucas would come after the artist for copyright infringement... ANYWAY...).  So ya.  Get your honey a hand felted Love Wookiee.  Even better if you do a good Chewbacca impression!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Last Day for One World One Heart!

Unless you spend the whole day I doubt you'll get through all of the 911 bloggers giving away goodies, but you can make a nice dent!  At least go to THIS POST on my blog and enter mine, if you haven't, to win colorful stretchy chainmaille bracelets like the one above, your choice of colors!  I'm already over 200 entrants so I will probably give away 2 bracelets!  :)

Then go to the One World, One Heart website and check out some of the other fabulous giveaways.  You have 911 chances to win and the most entrants I've seen on one item was 360 or so, so you have an excellent chance to win something!


My Etsy Valentine: Hearts, Chocolates and Flowers #9
A daily feature till Valentine's Day

Medieval Studded Heart Ring by 3 Rexes Jewelry

We're getting down to crunch time here.  If you haven't ordered something for your valentine, it'd better be good.  So now we're getting to the good stuff.  The crap honey I forgot but look how awesome this is stuff.

There's not much in 3 Rexes' shop that my hubby could buy for me that I wouldn't absolutely adore.  Tons of it is Valentine-perfect, too, go look.  I think I'll probably be asking for tools for the next gazillion holidays, though, and making my own stuff.  So I might have to buy my own 3 Rexes ;)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My Etsy Valentine

My Etsy Valentine:  Hearts, Chocolates and Flowers #8
A daily feature until Valentine's Day

Beautiful Glass Rose by RDG Designs

I haven't got time to blog much today, I've had what is going on a vicious 2-day migraine that is making sitting at my desk to work a real chore.  I will relate that my valentine brought home a huge box of truffles for an early Valentine present and rubbed my neck to ease the headache, because he's awesome.  Although he's obviously not reading my blog ;)  So I feel safe telling YOU I bought him handmade dark chocolate raspberry amour cordials from Carnival at Etsy.  Boy it was tough choosing, though.  Browsing "chocolate" under the Plants & Edibles section with PMS and no chocolate in the house is akin to torture, and I think I deserve kudos!  I have chocolate now, though, so all is good.  Except for the head feeling like it's going to explode part.

I didn't want to go to bed without leaving you your Valentine suggestion for the day, though.  I haven't done anything in the way of flowers yet.  The beauty of roses fades, but not this one.  This one, like your love, will last forever (or at least until you have toddlers).  I give you permission to use that line, too.  This isn't the only rose in RDG's garden, either, they have pendants and vases you could put some real ones in.  You'd better hurry up, though.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Did you ever take that Kiersey temperament sorter?  I found this nifty Typealyzer via a new blog I think is really cool, In the Meantime.

The Typealyzer takes your blog's URL and gives it a personality according to Kiersey's test.  If you haven't done the test, or haven't in a while, go take it.  Then see if your blog's personality matches yours.

As for me, I am a Healer (Idealist), or INFP.  According to Kiersey, "Healers
present a calm and serene face to the world, and can seem shy, even
distant around others. But inside they're anything but serene, having a
capacity for personal caring rarely found in the other types. Healers
care deeply about the inner life of a few special persons, or about a
favorite cause in the world at large. And their great passion is to
heal the conflicts that trouble individuals, or that divide groups, and
thus to bring wholeness, or health, to themselves, their loved ones,
and their community."

My blog, on the other hand, according to Typealyzer, is ESFP, a Performer (Artisan), which means it's much more outgoing than I am personally.  "The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to
pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft
fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present
moment and don´t like to plan ahead - they are always in risk of
exhausting themselves.

The enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a
concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely
initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in
management positions."

I suppose that makes sense.  I try to make it visually appealing, and if blogging every day is "risk of exhausting itself," well, I'm almost there lately :)  And my blog and I share the latter half of the four sorting factors.

What's yours?


My Etsy Valentine: Hearts, Chocolates and Flowers #7
A daily feature till Valentine's Day

Zombie Valentine's Day Card by Buster McGee

We've done chocolates, jewelry, I guess we're missing flowers.  But we definitely needed a Valentine's Day card.  And this is the BEST Valentine's Day card I've EVER EVER seen.  It's certainly not the only cool card in this shop, though!  Go check it out.  Pick up a "Zombie Children Need Love Too" Valentine for all the loves in your life.  Hates too... one says "I hate your guts but your brains ain't bad." 

Hey Valentine's Day doesn't have to be mushy, and you can tell Hallmark's sappy poetry to kiss your butt!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

It's Jell-o Week But I Want Chocolate

So I didn't post yesterday. So you missed out on the Valentine Item of the day. So you get two today. And a poem because it's Sunday. Maybe even a love poem. But that's it, because I'm grouchy. Oh, and your Valentine's items will contain chocolate because it's that kind of day. If my husband is reading this, take that as a hint.

By the way, Etsy searches that look delectably yummy but turn out to be inedible are really annoying. My soap, and random knicknacks, should not taunt me that way. Just sayin'.

My Etsy Valentine: Hearts, Chocolates and Flowers #5
A daily feature till Valentine's Day

Chocolate Rum Balls by Cake Ball Factory

I'll just quote from the description. "Rum balls are a truffle-like confections, being sweet, dense balls flavored with chocolate and rum and are roughly the size of a golf ball."
I haven't even tasted them and I give them two thumbs up.

My Etsy Valentine: Hearts, Chocolates and Flowers #6
A daily feature till Valentine's Day

Chocolate Hearts Box by Moi Chocolates

K. Your love gives you chocolates, you eat them, and are faced with a heart-shaped box of crinkle paper cups. Sadness. Not in this case. You eat the chocolates, then the box! This is win.

Okay, poetry. Please bear in mind that I am an all-over-the-page poet, but Blogger eats my format. Curse you, Blogger, I will eat a truffle for you.

I left my sanity at your doorstep
swaddled in the love I used to have for it
with a note
asking you to take good care of my baby.
There's that element of surprise
a wash of wonder that twists my gut
when I marvel at trust reborn.
and yes
this is a love poem in all its naked graphic glory
laid bare
because not all of the feelings are sweet and tender --
they crash through me like a modern symphony
seeking to do something new
because sweetness and tenderness
were overdone by the
Classical fools who came before
singing the same songs
over and over.
No, this song is different.
I've been listening, telling myself "madness,"
and it is, but
I suddenly found myself swept up in the
mad cacophony, given over to it without
I give you my body
to play
to coax out if it this passion
that lifts the feet of heart, soul and mind
from the ground with it,
swaddles it
in a once-dear rational thought
and drops it at a peaceful-looking residence
so achingly far away.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday Inspiration: Playing With Color

Whatever your visual art, color matters, and sometimes even in other forms of art (dance for example).  Today I propose an experiment to play with your color palette and create something different.

You need:  a favorite painting or photograph, a photo editing program, and a palette of colors in whatever medium you create in.

First, go hunting.  Search the Internet for great paintings, or a photograph that inspires you.  It should have vibrant colors, or if you prefer, a more subdued palette, and it should be something that inspires you.  For me, I adore Monet, and Impressionists are generally perfect for this exercise.. but I think I want to go with a Chinese watercolor this time. 

Once you have your painting (you'll need a computer image of it), open it in your graphics program (Paint works fine).  Then open a new image and draw yourself a square or rectangle.  Go to your painting and use your eye dropper tool to select a color.  Then go to your new image and flood fill your square.  Do this several times until you have a palette of five or so colors (it will depend on how many you can use in your chosen medium) that you like.

Now, to the drawing board (or bead board, or jewelry bench, or polymer clay, or whatever).  Take your palette of colors and just play.  See what is born.

I'd love to see what you create.  My results for last week's inspiration will be posted this weekend.


My Etsy Valentine:  Hearts, Chocolates and Flowers  #4
A daily feature till Valentine's Day

Be My Squidheart by Serene Onion

Seriously, now, what girl wouldn't say "awwwww!!"  I mean, it's Valentine cthulhu!  Fear him and love him!  Her.  Whatever.  Not sure how squid gender works.  Anyway, as his creator says, "There's no better medium for expressing your LURVE than a delectable non-slimy squidlet. It's true."

It's true.  I suppose he's not for everyone, but I know I would cherish him.  He could live on my computer monitor.  Want to be my valentine?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Audiobooks for You

Free Audiobooks Online at

I Stumble.  Have you discovered this yet?  It's a plugin for your browser.  You tell it what you like and it finds you related websites that other stumblers have recommended.  You can then thumbs-up it (or down), which allows StumbleUpon to further refine your stumbling tastes.  So, I thought I'd share my interesting, useful, cool stumbles from time to time.   One caveat:  you'll lose hours and hours clicking that stumble button.  So you get two links today in case you dont' have this one:  StumbleUpon   (If you DO have StumbleUpon, and you like my blog, I'd appreciate a thumbs up... you should do the same for all your favorite blogs).

The link this time around is, where you can get all kinds of free educational stuff including university courses, foreign language lessons.  I like to listen to something while I'm working on jewelry, though, and while I haven't tried audiobooks I thought it might be a cool way to go.  You can find all sorts of good stuff (mostly classics) in both MP3 and iTunes format on the free audiobooks site here.  Requires a download.  I think I may listen to some Edgar Allen Poe I haven't read in a while.


My Etsy Valentine:  Hearts, Chocolates and Flowers  #3
A daily feature till Valentine's Day

Jamaican Rosewood Handmade Artisan Soap from A Good Witch Too

Witchy was tempting me on Twitter all day yesterday with this dreamy-sounding soap and a few others, so I went to her shop and darn near all of them sounded irresistible.  Resistance was futile and I ended up buying a Choose Your Own 3-pack, but I will be back for the Jamaican Rosewood!  (If you've been reading a while you know I'm a handmade soap addict).  I think you and your Valentine should share a bar.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Color Me

Celtic Coloring Pages from The Celtic Touch

I spent several hours with my friend's kids yesterday, ages mature 11, precocious almost 4 and shy 1 1/2.  Sometimes I do long for nieces, nephews and (someday) grandkids.  We colored. Mostly Hello Kitty.

Weirdly, when I came home I was inspired to color by myself.  It's something I still find incredibly relaxing and meditative, especially when you color something really complex.  I have a Celtic Mandala coloring book, but you can go to the website above and print yourself some coloring pages that will work just as well.  Dover Books has some fantastic coloring books, some of them on "stained glass" paper.  Hang it on the refrigerator when you're done :)


My Etsy Valentine:  Hearts, Chocolates and Flowers  #2
A daily feature till Valentine's Day

Knotty But Nice Choker by Far Frum Plain Jane

If you like chokers, go visit this shop.  There's micro-macrame, beadwork, and a mix of both, and it seemed like I liked each thing I saw a little more than the last, but I could probably favorite almost everything!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


"Patriot" and "Aware" available at You've Got Maille

Chris (check out her blog! Pointless Ponderings From a Cluttered Mind) won my chainmaille stretchy bracelet from my Bella Casa giveaway a few days ago.  She wanted something patriotic since her husband is in the armed services, so I am making her a "Patriot" bracelet and sending it along. 

Her son also has autism, and she was thinking about buying another one in the ribbon colors for autism awareness.  That got me thinking... wonder if I can make it look like a puzzle?   I'll be playing with this idea in the next few days :)

Got a cause you'd like to wear?  I'll be happy to work with you to make something perfect, either stretchy or any other design.  We can add charms (trust me, there is a charm for EVERY cause), or represent it another way.  I'm also branching out into a bit of bead weaving, and it occurs to me that this would look amazing as a bead-woven bracelet.  If you've got an idea, definitely inquire and I'll tell you what I can do and what I can't.

Thanks for the inspiration, Chris, and congrats on winning!  (See the next post for your chance to win!)


My Etsy Valentine:  Hearts, Chocolates and Flowers  #1
A daily feature till Valentine's Day

Candy Fluff Goat's Milk Soap From Bella Grace Designs

It looks good enough to eat but it's "a delicious concoction of sweet strawberry sunday on a lazy afternooon with hints of creme and fluffy marshmallows."  Okay it SOUNDS good enough to eat, but it's soap :)