Thursday, December 31, 2009

What Will You Write?

"We will open the book.
Its pages are blank.
We are going to put words on them ourselves.
The book is called Opportunity
and its first chapter is New Year's Day.”

- Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Don't Judge a Book by it's Cover

These are items I use for show displays and sometimes to hold a piece I am working on on.

They are clean and functional mow...but they weren't always that way.
I found them at a secondhand store and they were covered with lace, ribbons and pearls...very Victorian...which might have been fine if that was the style of jewelry I made. But it's not.

I liked the shape and the price was right so I decided to get them and try and make them work. They have great sturdy wood bases.

I removed all of the fabric and trim and was left was a really cool, smooth form. Then I covered them myself with some stretchy fabric and hot glue.
Voila' display busts.

Don't let the first impression turn you off...try and think what you might be able to remove or even add to make the item work for you!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My Crafty Abode - Necessity

Ok, so most of us know, when you buy a home you inherit the good and the bad.
Our good and bad is the white tile floor covering the entire upstairs.
Evidently, the sub-floor wasn't flat which causes the tiles to crack constantly.
I have replace many but they keep cracking.
Ah, the importance of a good foundation.
There was a large section that I had torn up so I decided to do something a bit more interesting than just replacing the white tiles.
I made a tile "area rug" with some decorative tiles I purchased at a national home improvement store.
I loved how it came out and they must be stronger than the white ones because they haven't cracked!
The lesson:
Sometimes something bad can actually inspire a very creative solution!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Supplies - Faux Flowers

I have written before about being somewhat of a hoarder when it comes to art and craft supplies.

So there is no difference with faux flowers and natural materials.
I see things I like and I stock up.

Nowadays there is such a huge selection of beautiful, life-like natural, twigs, leaves, etc...

I am like a kid in a candy store.

I like to find unusual uses for them...sometimes I take the flowers apart and use the petals on their own...layered, they can look like fish scales for a whimsical mermaid sculpture...or can be a great base for photographing small items like jewelry.

If you buy off season they can be very affordable too.

I try and go in with an open mind...not looking for anything too specific and just see what I find. It's like a surprise!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Edible Deception

One of our all time favorite restaurants is in the North End of Boston...
and believe it or not it is not Italian!

It is a raw and living foods restaurant called Grezzo owned by Alissa Cohen, Raw Foods Chef and Teacher.

Anyway, above is a shining example of the artful looks like a beautiful piece of grilled salmon...but I don't like fish and I loved this.

What do you think it is?

Give up?

It is papaya...and it's not grilled, in fact it isn't cooked at all!
It was is everything there.

They have a "taster menu"...which lets you try many to get with a friend and share!
Visit their website and read about their mission and see the weekly menus.

Be sure to check out the desserts!
My mouth is watering...

Saturday, December 26, 2009


An interesting use of a readily available material.

How clever to turn colorful spools of thread into home decor!

Merry Christmas!

My glamorous mother...

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas..For Now

So, I had to use some pictures from last Christmas...
because we are waiting to celebrate Christmas, this year,
until my husband comes home for good in January!
While we wish you and yours a wonderful holiday now...
ours will officially be January 29, 2009.
Happy and all!
She looks like she has had a little too much eggnog!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

From Small Hands

We love to make our teacher gifts. These are from last year.

My dad is a singer, so we gave copies of his holiday CD to everyone with handmade CD case covers. Above are all of the different covers my son (Logan) made.

We have a small, intimate school, so we make gifts for all of the teachers...not just his.

He came up with the ideas, specific to each teacher and I helped him with some of the shapes. We used scraps of colorful paper left over from other projects.

He layered the simple shapes to create one-of-a-kind collages that we popped into the cases.

I thought they were so sweet and ultra personal.

I also like that he sees the value in creating something with his hands and mind.

A good life lesson, I think.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Artful Creature

So this image is beautiful enough on it's own...

The colors, the shape, the detail...dramatic with no help from me.

We were on our way back from Canada and happened to stop at a State Park restroom...and there it was. What a treat. A natural work of art.

Something that could definitely be inspiration for other creative, fabric patterns, just never know where a muse will appear!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Two for One

We love to make smoothies!

Thick creamy ones...light fruity ones..."green" ones...we love them all.
They are super easy to make and I find it is an excellent way to get more veggies and greens in my kids...with less fight.

One thing I like to do is make a little extra and freeze some. It's nice to have a frozen treat for later!

The smoothie above is made with frozen bananas and tahini. It is thick and sweet. I stir in some vegan chocolate chips just before freezing for some added texture.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Get "Active"

"Growth comes from activity,
not from intellectual understanding."

- Maria Montessori

Saturday, December 19, 2009


I made this piece recently as a gift for someone very special to me...

My inspiration was a simple crumpled piece of paper.
(which had personal meaning)

I hand crafted it in fine silver and it is one-of-a-kind.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Tis the Seaon

When we can, we love to give handmade gifts to my son's teachers...who also happen to be my co-workers.

This year we decided to make edible gifts.

I really enjoy sharing our healthy treats...people NEVER know they have no wheat, eggs, dairy, peanuts, or refined sugars. They always think they are splurging and don't believe that our goodies are really healthy.

These were apple spice, pan bars...from a mix we use regularly. Really easy and soooo good!

Then my son, Logan went to work on the one-of-a-kind, handmade tags. He used materials and scraps we had saved from other projects.

At a national art and craft store, we found these sweet, little, ceramic loaf pans that said "Peace" for $1 each...they were perfect and we were able to bake right in them. They will also be able to be reused and won't contribute to more holiday waste!

We slipped the cooled loaf pans into plastic bags we found in the cake decorating isle and tied them with curling ribbon.

We have already had requests for the recipe and for refills!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sharing Materials

These are jewelry making supply kits I offered for a while.

I called them "Treasure Chests".

They were filled an assortment of coordinated vintage beads and findings in two with a larger selection of materials suited for necklaces and bracelets and one with a smaller amount of materials, perfect for earrings.

They were really fun to make up...all while thinking about what someone might do with them...hoping they would be inspired. I also hoped that they would combine my items with some of their existing materials.

I really enjoyed being able to share some of my surplus supplies.

I think I may have some kits left...who knows, they may end up on Etsy someday soon!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I Didn't Know it was Possible!

I have NEVER liked bell peppers!

I don't like the way they taste or smell.
In fact, it is sort of a standard statement from me when ordering in a restaurant ..."no onions or peppers, please"...just automatically.

So you can imagine my utter surprise when I fell completely in love with a recipe that has peppers as one of it's main ingredients!


I actually like it so much I took a break halfway through writing this blog post to go whip up a batch...can you say compulsive? It was worth it...and it was only my second time making it so I guess it was important to confirm that I did indeed love it and that it wasn't some initial fluke.

I can definitely say...I love it.

I stumbled upon the recipe online, a few nights ago. It intrigued me because I haven't been able to eat dairy products for almost a year due to newly discovered, mild food allergies.

It is called "Cheezy Hemp Nacho Sauce" and you would NEVER, EVER know that it has no dairy and is actually a raw-vegan recipe.

We dipped chips in it, poured it over rice and my son had it with different meals. He actually packed it in his lunch himself!

Click the link below to see a short video on how easy it is to make this and to get the recipe...

The wonderful creator of this recipe is Kristen Suzanne, a Raw vegan chef, author and teacher. You can visit her website for more information.
Check out her books too...amazing, live, healthy, positive ideas!

And please let me know what you think about this...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Creative Kid's Space

Buckets of colored pencils and markers...

What could be better than that?!

This is my son's color caddy...inspiring...accessible...colorful!

I like that he can always find his tools on his own as I think that it opens up the path to spontaneous creating.

It is functional and it's fun to look at...and I made it for him.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sharing Information

I am not a food expert...

I didn't go to school to study nutrition
I am not a scientist
and I am not a doctor

I am your sister, mother, neighbor, friend, co-worker, girlfriend, wife...
No different.

So the information I share is from my experiences. It is not intended to be used as medical fact. What works for me, might be lethal for you.

What I have done on my journey is gather information that interested me and then followed my own path. I have experimented and studied, asked questions and consulted my own doctors. I am happy to share some of my findings, thoughts, feelings and tips...

Please take what you need and leave the rest...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sometimes More is More


Artwork from El Paseo Drive in Palm Desert, California.

Striking, I the repeated shape of the sculptures and the muted, desert colors.

I am also fond of the texture...almost like they are hand sculpted in clay. Makes you want to touch them.

This always catches my eye and I thought I would share it.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Raw-ish Brownies

A new treat we made to share with wheat, no eggs, no dairy, no peanuts.
Got a big "thumbs up"!

I think this is a great recipe to start out with...tastes amazing and begins introducing you to the wonderful world of "raw foods". I can't remember which book some of this came out I apologize that I can't give an accurate reference.

* 2 cups pecans (or any nuts you like)
* 2 cups dates pitted and soaked in water for 5-10 min.
* 2/3 cup raw cacao powder (available at Whole Foods or health foods stores)
* 2 tsp vanilla extract
* pinch of sea salt

Blend dates in a food processor or high speed blender till a paste.
Separately grind nuts in a blender or chopper. Mix all ingredients in a bowl with your hands and press in a glass pan. Refrigerate for at least 10 minutes to set up.
When set, cut into squares, remove from pan and place on a platter, top with the frosting below and drizzle with the chocolate syrup below.

The chocolate syrup turns into a shell when refrigerated! yum

“Pamela’s Products” Vanilla Frosting Mix (available at natural food stores or Whole Foods)
I use Earth Balance in place of the butter to eliminate the dairy.
Just follow the package directions.

Chocolate Sauce:
½ cup Raw Cacao Powder (available at Whole Foods or health foods stores)
¼ cup Coconut Oil
¼ cup Agave syrup
mix by hand in a small bowl till smooth
* great on any dessert!

* Note: I did non create these individual recipes but I did combine them to make these yummy treats.

Friday, December 11, 2009

We are Almost Done!

As some of you might know, my husband has been in Afghanistan for almost a year.

We have been lucky enough to see him with several visits and just came back from our last before he is home for good.

We shared an amazing European vacation including a cruise. We traveled for two weeks...Switzerland, Barcelona, Tunisia, Malta, Sicily, Rome, Genoa and Marseilles...

What a treat.

Now the countdown begins till Steve comes home for good.
We made our last calendar...and have already checked off almost two weeks!

Oh...and Happy Chanukkah!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

For the Love of Veggies...

Believe it or not, this picture excites me.

Yea, I know it sounds weird...fruit and veggies...exciting?

I have always had an odd relationship with food...which I am sure I will write more about in the future...But, I never really had the same excitement as most people over food...unless it was something unhealthy and in big desserts or cheese.

Over the last 7 years my relationship with food has changed and evolved into something that seems more closely aligned with my true self. This journey is something I feel I want to start sharing here in hopes of helping or inspiring others to listen to their bodies and to find their right life path.

For me and my family it has been small steps, simple changes and lots of fun and learning.

stay tuned...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Live for Now

“Truly creative people care a little about what they have done,
and a lot about what they are doing.
Their driving focus is the life force that surges in them now.”

— Alan Cohen

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Protect Yourself...

“A new idea is delicate.
It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn;
it can be stabbed to death by a quip
and worried to death by a frown on the right man’s brow.”

— Charles Brower

Friday, November 27, 2009

My Crafty Abode - Art at the Fabric Store

Fabric is wonderful!

All kinds of fabric.

I especially like this piece of fabric.

It was from a bolt I found several years ago at the fabric store and I thought the painted design was so pretty I had to buy it. It spoke to me. I didn't know what I was going to do with it but I got it anyway.

It is sheer and the design is big so that limited a bit what I could make with it. I thought about adding it to a duvet cover but that didn't feel right.

So I decided to hang it from a decorative curtain rod like a piece of art. It is in our bedroom and I think the colorful design really stands out against our cream walls. It also looks a little like I could have painted it.

I attached a strip of black and while plaid ribbon across the top for stability and then sewed sheer red ribbon pieces, embellished with a variety of vintage buttons.

Tied to the rod it became a unique, affordable piece of art.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Creativity takes courage.

- Henri Matisse

(When I was younger, in an art class...the teacher compared my painting style to Matisse.)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Find Yourself...

“The creative is the place where no one else has ever been.
You have to leave the city of your comfort
and go into the wilderness of your intuition.
What you’ll discover will be wonderful.
What you’ll discover is yourself.”

— Alan Alda

Saturday, November 21, 2009

You Have Control

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning,
but anyone can start today
and make a new ending.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Helpful Jewelry Tool - In your Sewing Box

When you need to measure while you work...

I found it helps to attach a section of a dressmakers tape to the front edge of your work table.

I just used decorative upholstery tacks to pin it up. Now when I need to measure the length of a jewelry piece I am working on, I can just hold it up to that.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Get Stimulated...

“When we engage in what we are naturally suited to do,
our work takes on the quality of play
and it is play that stimulates creativity.”

– Linda Naiman

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Crafty Abode - Captain's Chair

I have never been a big wood fan...

Always more drawn to metals and stone.

But as I grow older I have come to appreciate the natural beauty of wood and the art of carving.
This section is from a set of beautiful antique captain's chairs that my parents gave us.
The carving is so thick and textural...almost makes me want to take up carving myself!

I love the placement of the they look natural facing both directions.
The scrolls are fluid and romantic.

Plus they have such personal meaning...being a gift from my parents.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Believe it - You NEED a Tripod

Sometimes I can be a little lazy.

...and it is at those times I think I can take a sharp picture, up close, by holding my breath and willing myself not to move the camera.

Truth is...I can't.

It is next to impossible to not move even a little bit when you snap a picture. Normally it doesn't matter for everyday pictures but for pictures where you are on your macro setting or need detail up close it is always wise to use a tripod AND set your camera timer.

Anyway, just a tip for better pictures...speaking from experience.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Creativity is...

taking risks,
breaking rules,
making mistakes,
having fun.

- Mary Lou Cook

Sunday, November 15, 2009


So I guess it's time to put away my beach bag.

It's been hanging on my laundry room door and I have been resistant to store it.

Seeing that it is November and I live in New England, I think it is safe to say there are no more beach days left this year.

I snapped this photo because I thought the angles of the bag looked cool and I liked the tones of white and gray. An everyday item but it looked artistic to me.

So long...until next year!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Small but Meaningful

We love to pick up small art pieces while traveling.

Not expensive or big...but small art made by locals.
This was a little pin made from driftwood that we purchased from an artist on a special trip to Aruba.

When I got home I framed it with the artist's tag intact...I just thought the tiny handwritten tag was so cute!

The shadow box gave it importance on our wall.

Friday, November 13, 2009

How do you See Things?

Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns
in order to look at things in a different way.

- Edward De Bono

Maybe getting up real close or backing very far away might help you see things in a new light...opening your mind to new creative influence. A texture, a color, a silhouette, changes as you change your vantage point.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Unexpected Pattern Ideas

While waiting for my car to be serviced I noticed how cool the patterns were on new tires.

This is just a reminder to keep you mind and eyes open for unexpected inspiration...even if people look at you like you are crazy for taking pictures of unusual items!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

We Could Learn Something from Cats

"Unlike us, cats never outgrow their delight in cat capacities,
nor do they settle finally for limitations.
Cats, I think, live out their lives fulfilling their expectations."

-Irving Townsend

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Crafty Abode - A Little Friend

Sometimes the smallest details can make us smile the most.

Take this little guy. Not something you would want on every cabinet...but with a single one on a lone cabinet it is just the right fit. A special accent...and one that makes me smile.

The other point to make is often artisan accessories like this can be cost prohibitive so only having to buy one or two isn't so painful!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Looking Back

I find it so interesting to look back at old work.

For me, usually, once I make something it is gone...removed from me.
Kind of like birth.

So it is fun to look back once in a while and see what I have done.

These necklaces represent where I was when I added my jewelry collection to my business years ago.

There is a definite style and feel to them. I see limitations when I look at them. It was new to me then...materials were new, techniques were new, packaging, display, finishes were new.

I was a different person then and it shows in my designs.
I like keeping pictures of previous work because it's very easy for me to forget where I was and how far I have come.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

My Crafty Abode - Big Shoes to Fill

A very special gift...

This was a project my son and I did for my husband one Father's Day many years ago.

I used the sole of one of his shoes to make the black impression and then did Logan's (then) little foot to print on top...once the black was dry.

I loved how it shows the difference in size at the time.

I wrote around the images...
"Daddy, I have big shoes to fill..."

Matted and framed, it is a treasure.
It makes me happy everytime I see it hanging on the wall outside of our home office/studio.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


My creative space is always in flux.

When I took this picture I had just cleaned and organized it and had incorporated my PMC (Metal Clay) you can see from the mug warmers and playing cards.

I find that every so often, I need to overhaul my surroundings. Clean, rework, edit.

My work table is actually a little different right now and moved up against a wall. A lot of the same components but more refined in how they are arranged.

Just because you have something set up a certain way now doesn't mean you have to keep it that way. Try to add new containers, trays, and even regular household items like a lazy the one above under the round tray.

I keep a small space in a storage area to hold on to items I really find useful. That way if I decided to switch them out I can work them back in at a later date. It doesn't feel so final that way. I have a hard time getting rid of things.

(but that is a topic for a whole other blog post!)

Friday, November 6, 2009


“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.”

— Joseph Chilton Pierce

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Unusual Materials

I love metal chain...

especially when it's used in unexpected ways.
This metal fringe is a perfect, interesting, light accent to the outside of this building.
The three tiers fully express the design in a bold but delicate way.
It's fun. This could be created from ball chain, metal links...even metallic ribbon could offer a similar look. (indoors, of course)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Healthy Treats

yes...they can be healthy!


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

From Idea to Item

I was cleaning up my studio recently and found all of these...

They were in separate places and I thought it would be interesting to show the progression together.

I wish I knew where my original sketches are...that would have been cool to see with this.

Now that I thing of it, I actually think they may be in a very early post on here.

Found it...

Anyway, this design for a client went like this....

* I did a series of quick, ink sketches inspired by my client wanting a giraffe logo.

* Then I passed my sketches on to my friend who is a designer that was going to create a website and "brand" for this client.

* She played with my sketches and sent a logo idea back to me.

* Then I created this card stock template from that design.

* I used the template to make a couple of charms in Metal Clay to show my client.

* Once it was approved, I sculpted the charm in clay to give to my pewter casting guy.

* He used my mold to create a cast and made multiple charms in lead-free pewter.

* Then I had the charms gold and silver plated.

* Once done I added the split rings and the charms were attached to either a key ring or stick pin.

* They were packaged with a custom designed display card and slipped into a protective sleeve.

So, there you have it...from start to finish!

Monday, November 2, 2009


"The child must know that he is a miracle,

that since the beginning of the world there hasn't been,

and until the end of the world there will not be,

another child like him."

- Pablo Casals

(Spanish cellist and conductor,1876-1973)