Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Have you ever photographed a candle?

This is a really yummy red candle shot without flash...

Then with flash...

Funny huh?
I adore candles and with the rainy weather we have been having,
they are being burnt for sure!

On another note...
I have 4 darling little cousins.
In some ways, they are more like nieces, but they are cousins and 
three of them insist that I make them their Christmas presents.
Aren't they cute???

This is an older pic, Nana the Matriarch of the family is center.
After years of my three sons dominating the scene.
Our family had 5 girls in a row...

They are all darling and wonderful girls.
Second from the left is Samantha, Sam as she is called.
Sam is NOT a girlie girl, so creating a piece of jewelry for this
little lass is even more special.

Sam likes Boy stuff, skulls, snakes, skateboards and the like.
So I sketched and hand painted a skull and crossbones for her on a 1x1.5 inch paper.
Adding her initial "S", the piece which was then applied to a bezel using diamond glaze.
As my New Year resolution is to incorporate original art in my pieces, this piece
validated for me that I am on the right track.

I hope she LOVES it!

I do.

Now Emily wants one.

Like I said...Oye Vey...GIRLZZZZ.

Merry Merry to you all!!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Grandma's Treasures

Earlier this past year at the Point Loma Garden Walk Tour and show I met a lovely customer named Wendy.  She mentioned that when her Grandmother passed, her family inherited several pieces of costume jewelry.  I told her that I often took family pieces 
and re-worked them into more modern jewelry.

Three weeks ago at Chateau de Fleurs Wendy came out and brought me several pieces.
We sat and went over them.  I told her which pieces should not be disassembled as they were too valuable or perfect as they were.  
Then what was left that could be made into some really fun pieces.

Here is the result...

Bracelets and necklaces were combined to make the left and right pieces.
The center piece was a bit more tedious.  I disassembled two necklaces
and wire wrapped each section individually.
The dangles were my addition, the peace sign is a hand beaded piece I do.

The heart on the left was also from my treasure trove, but the piece on the right is my fave!
When Wendy showed me those pieces, she really didn't know anything about the black one.
It is a World War Two Airforce Sweetheart piece.  During the wars, lockets and brooches were made with the symbol of whatever branch of the military the soldier was in.  These pieces were given to Moms, wives and girlfriends, thus being called "Sweetheart" pieces.
I ADORE the symbolism of them.
The wings and propeller adorn the front.

When you flip it over, there is a locket on the back side with a Man's picture in it.
The funny part here is that Wendy doesn't know who the man is,
or even knew there was a locket on the back side.
She was going to research it further to see if it was Grandpa or another family member.
Her Grandma worked at the Salvation Army (I believe that is what she said, or
she just loved to shop there).
Grandma LOVED jewelry.
So, whether the man is Grandpa or some other old souls photo, it obviously
meant something to her Grandma.
I paired it with a beautiful etched gold heart locket, also her Grandmas.

Lastly, the large light blue piece is a Vintage Vendome Brooch that was converted to a necklace,
the blue faux turquoise rings were a pair of cuff links and a tie clip.  The Green rhinestone was a lone clip earring.  The red dangle earrings were screw backs that were simply converted to pierced and the bracelet is a rather old Victorian styled slide bracelet.  I was going to take it apart, but it is a very nice gold plated piece that only had a few missing stones, so the stones were replaced and I added a new safety chain. It should be worn as is.

It has been a week filled with completing custom orders for clients.
4 clients down, 3 to go.

Have a happy rainy weekend!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I have been so remiss at blogging the past few weeks.
December 3rd/4th were spent in Fallbrook at Chateau de Fleurs.
One of my favorite shows I do 4 times per year.
It is always a JOYFUL show, full of wonderfully talented ladies, run
by two of the kindest and most giving artists, Christie Repasy and Rita Reade.
The customers are tops and sales always Rock!

Right after that I hurried home to get ready for another show on Saturday the 11th.
I was honored and actually quite nervous to participate in an Artisan Sale
and the DA Art Gallery in the Pomona Arts Colony.
It was my first foray into selling and a REAL Art Gallery.
And I was kind of intimidated at first, but it also
wound up being a lovely show, surrounded by talented artist and
as I knew only the curator, it was fun meeting new friends and customers.

So, this past Sunday became the breather day so we could start 
wrapping our brains around Christmas as our home wasn't decorated 
and not one gift purchased...EEK.

When to my surprise Rita calls me and says in her wonderful Italian accent...
"Chateau de Fleurs is in the new Romantic Country and guess who's picture they used???

How exciting, how honored...and what do I ask her...
"do I look fat?"

What a nerd.

So, after the fourth store I hit yesterday, finally found a copy at Ralphs!

Chateau deserves this.  
Rita and Christie are ethical and go above and beyond for this show. 

For me, I am immeasurably honored to have my booth as one of the
representations for Chateau de Fleurs. 

My friends Lori and Jamie Maritn of Two Wild Roses are the proud artists
behind the two bottom pictures.

What a Joyful way to end the New Year.
To top it off, my other TOP show that I do twice a year
is featured on the previous page...

Sheryl and Diane also go above and beyond
for Glitterfest.

I guess, the summation for this is that hard work and integrity pay off.
All of my fellow artists and the owners of these shows
work so hard to ink out a living making our art.
and it shows.

Thank you Fifi O' Neill for your beautiful Magazine
and thank you
Sunday Hendrickson for your amazing photography.
Sunday's Studio is also featured in this Romantic Country issue.

Go out and Buy it!
I've already read it cover to cover!

Happy Tuesday everyone!
11 days until Christmas...Yikes!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

All you need is LOVE..

I think, or at least hope each of us have had a Family Member or friend that
has inspired us in one way or other...or many.
As a kid, my Uncle Tom was my idol (still is).
He was a young uncle, an artist, musician...
not like everyone else in the family.

He was COOL.

As a kid, I had the great fortune to get to spend significant 
one on one time with him.  He lived quite the bohemian starving 
artist lifestyle, residing in the coolest little vintage home in Pasadena.
A Graduate of Otis Art Institute, he stayed steadfast on his
artistic past.

He'd pick me up in a sometimes barely running was
an old vw bug with a sunroof that was rotted out, so if it rained you either
got wet or used an umbrella while driving.
I am sure he might bemoan these poorer memories, but it was so friggin cool to me.
Being 10 years old,  hanging out with my Artist Uncle who took me all over
Los Angeles, to musuems, galleries, lunch under a high rise building,
Olvera Street, Little Tokyo where I discovered the ORIGINAL Hello Kitty line
when you could only buy it in Little Tokyo and all of the writing was in Japanese...
hanging out at his studio, watching him paint or make music.

Uncle has come a long way from those days, 
he is an accomplished Artist and Musician, 
is Art Director for a Major Record lives in an ULTA cool
Contemporary home in Pasadena.
His Graphic art work has garnished him Grammy nominations, 
his Music has been recognized internationally.
I have been able to attend as an adult several of his
Art Installations and Love them!
His Google list is impressive...
Click his picture if you are curious.

As we don't get to hang out like we did in the "old days"...
(he is going to hate the old days reference) 
I get to see him on Holidays and he
was at my house for Thanksgiving.
We have both made New Year's Resolutions to spend
MORE time together in 2011.

Uncle knows I LOVE music...don't have or watch TV.
Have never seen American Idol, Sex in the City, Dancing with the Idiots, 
Desperate Housewives, or the lot.  Direct TV was shut off several years ago.
The kids and I do have over 30 gigabytes of music on my computer
with a multitude of CD's we have yet to download.

Uncle further solidified his COOLNESS to me by gifting me the entire

Yes, we have been singing the Beatles around here all week.

What is your Favorite Beatles Song?

Thank you Uncle Tom...I LOVE YOU!!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Odd space

There has always been this kind of odd narrow space
between the kitchen window that is over the sink and the 
8 ft slider that goes to the back yard.

It's only one foot wide, if that.
For years, I have tried hanging various things in that spot and they
always look wrong.

Inspiration hit the other day and Voila...
I am is the Family.

I sketched out a design and painted 4 coats of 
chalkboard paint.
Chalkboard paint is WONDERFUL!

Created the lettering and trim in white paint.
Wait about 48 hours before you write on chalkboard paint.

Then I baked chocolate chip cookies for the Fam.
Perfect for a COLD the house smells divine 
when baking.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Pennies from Heaven...

The Family and I had a nice Thanksgiving 4 day weekend.
We worked on Home projects. Honey pruned the front yard. We did chores, 
hung out, played scrabble, rode bikes and watched a bunch of movies.

No Black Friday shopping for us.
Don't like the crowds and money is super tight for us this year.
In trying to teach my daughter the REAL value of life, material things, 
giving back to the community, etc...and 
to better understand the value of the dollar, 
we decided to empty the change jar and roll coins.

It is good practice for kids to count change and make change, 
so we made it a learning experience in that regard as well.

Even the Pennies were counted.
We lined them up like little battalions.

Last week I was singing a very old Christmas song and a line in
it mentions a "ha' penny".  My kids querried, what is a "ha' penny"?

Well, back when a penny really bought you something, they had ha'pennies.
A smaller denomination than a penny, a HALF penny.
Can you believe that?
My kids were stunned.

How sweet and simple the days of being able to buy things for a penny,
or a ha' penny for that matter.
I am old enough to remember Penny Candy as a kid.

I wanted her to see how much it really takes to make one dollar and how
easily we spend those dollars.  The visualization is so important.

I joked with my Honey about what would our National deficit look like
lined up in pennies?  I bet we could cover our country, ocean to ocean.

Emily learned what a wheat penny is and we collected 10 out of the pennies
we counted, as well as a pair of Canadian pennies.
She is now starting a collection of wheat pennies.

It was a lot of fun and a nice learning experience for her.
Pretty appropriate for the end of a Thanksgiving weekend.
It is the little things that brought together make us one.
It is the Little things, like Pennies that 
we should be Thankful for too.

A penny is still a significant amount if money in many parts of the world.
We should all count our pennies as we count the multitude of things we are thankful for.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My Next show!

This is my Favorite show to do besides Glitterfest!
Come visit all of the talented ladies and stop by to nab some ROCKING deals on 
my current line of jewelry, belts and buckles.

Just in time for Christmas gift giving.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and hope to see you next week!


Friday, November 12, 2010

Mother's Pride

Emily and I set out to spend the day today with our friend Julie.
Julie had never been to Treasures and Junk, or to Mollys Souper or the Antique
stores in Upland.

I needed some supplies for my upcoming shows and was in need of some antiquing.
List in hand (so I would stay focused), we set out.

First stop was T&J.
Being a dealer there twice, I know the owners/managers and many dealers very well.
They are like family.  Emily gets to help behind the counter and Alyssa is so good to her...they all are.
Today Bart, one of the dealers there complimented how well behaved and mature Emily is.
I thanked him. 
You know how it is as a parent, one worries how your children behave. 
Emily gets dragged to so many shows and places with me.
It is gratifying when you can breath that sigh of relief that your child is
acting how you have raised them to.

When we went to lunch, Emily insisted on paying.
She had been holding onto her B-day money and wanted to treat Julie and I.
She was so cute and proud.
We had to force her to let us pay the tip.

It was a wonderful day spent building my friendship with Julie,
enjoying my daughter.
To top it off, I was searching for a VERY
specific list of vintage supplies for my new projects.
With the utmost graciousness, I was gifted a pair of matching silver spoons by Bart at T&J
 and the Kind lady who owns Molly's Souper, gave me two metal flower frogs.
Neither would let me pay them.

What a Lovely way to spend a Thursday!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Peace in the Garden

During the hectic and HOT past months, our Garden has been seriously neglected.
On Sunday, my Honey and I spent most of the day winterizing and cleaning up.
We still have several days worth of work, but we did make a dent in it.

This is a beautiful Rose Climber called Don Juan.
Red Velvet roses.
Promise to take shots next time there are blooms.
Smells heavenly too!

About13 years ago when my sons were younger,
we lived in a condominium complex.  I was cool aid Mom.
At any given time there were about a dozen kids at my house.
Home made rice crispy treats and kool aid was always on hand.
One Mother's day, I bought a bag of quick crete, disposable food containers from Blakes
and filled little bowls with beads, baubles, stones seashells and stuff.
Each kid in the neighborhood made a stepping stone memento for their Mom.
It was so much fun. My life has always been surrounded with children.
I still have the ones my sons made.
Their hands are all now larger than those stepping stones.
Need to make one with Emily and my grandson Ben.
My Mom's Garden will continue to flourish as grandchildren are added to our lives.
The Momma bunny with her 4 buntings was purchased
for me as a gift from my late hubby.
It's me and my 4 babies.

At Last weekends Show, I spotted this huge iron garden chair.
Being a sucker for Metal, I had to have it!
Thinking to myself, hey, this looks like a throne.

I am after all,
"Queen of the Castle"
Need to get a cushion for it.

On Mother's Day 2009, I sold at the Rose Bowl.
The really pretty Our Lady of Guadalupe was purchased
for me by my son Christian.
It is concrete and I was scared to have it hung,
but my Honey assures me it is safe.
Been wanting to paint her to look very old world.
What d'ya think?

A Corner in my Gazebo.

This Variegated  trumpet flower is creeping up the gazebo.
Isn't she pretty?

Each time my Honey prunes the roses, he makes me a bouquet.
These are the last of the roses from these bushes.

 I have about 25 rose bushes between my front and back yards...

I LOVE flowers!!!

It is so nice to share life with a man who appreciates the outdoors, 
loves to spend time in the Garden as much as I do.

Poor Emily was ill all day Sunday and slept most of the day, 
so it was really just Honey, myself and my 4 legged furry shadows who rarely leave my side.

Sophie and Dusty are two
of my 4 dogs...they follow me everywhere.
I Love them too!

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Hospitality and friendships

Thursday and Friday, we were honored to host two of my very best friends for those nights.
The gals were staying with me as we did the
show in Redlands on Friday/Saturday.

It had recently been Tricia's Big Ole 20th B-day

So, I cooked a fansy schmancy dinner for them and baked Tricia a chocolate cake.
Rita was brilliant at suggesting we wrap Tricia's present in the
cake mix box.  
Not your regular cake mix box...Trader Joes cake and frosting mix boxes are ART.

Love you Girls!

Fun to capture the blowing of candles!

These two darling young ladies are Chloe and Maddie.
They are Lori Martin's grand daughters.
I gave them cupcake hair flowers and had to get a picture of them.
I LOVE little kids!
It was at Lori's Victorian Home that we did the show this past weekend.
Her and her daughters did a wonderful job organizing this show,
Cooking delicious food
and opening their beautiful Victorian Home to us.

I was bad to not take more photos, so click the links
above in this post and you can see more pics
from my better organized counterparts.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Friends and a Show!!!

This weekend will be spent with Friends.
We will be peddling our wares in Redlands at the
"Tell me about the Good Old Days" Show.
Presented by "Two Wild Roses" Lori & Jamie Martin.
Hosted in front of Lori's beautiful Victorian Home
in Historic Redlands.

(Cute Flier too, I designed it for them)

I Love these women.

So excited to have Rita and Tricia stay at my home too!
I am ALWAYS staying and Rita and Dean's,
so now it is my turn to be a hostess.

What to cook...I Love to cook for friends.
Hoping of course the show rocks and sales are made,
but the time communing with this group of women
that I adore, is a treat as well.

Much Love!
Come visit us if you can!!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Like a Quilt

Life is like a quilt, a mosaic. 
Small bits pieced together to create a cohesive design.
Pieces that by themselves are incomplete or lack the luster to stand on their own.
The people we meet, places we go, experiences we have
make who we are...a unique and wonderful design.

Even bad things are part of our design.  The near death experience, accident, 
illness, loss of a loved one...
Had they not occurred, perhaps life wouldn't be as sweet...we wouldn't
have had patience with the crazy person driving by...smiled instead of scoffed at the cranky shop clerk, or  appreciate that the cup is always half full.

I am particularly partial to mosaics and complex designs.
I find them rich, full of life should be, rich and full 
of experience and variety.

Today, I will share some of my favorite pieced together items...

I recently acquired this patchwork coat at Country Roads in Orange.
I almost squealed with delight when I paid eyed upon it.  
It fits like a glove, is all vintage quilting and are you ready for this???
It was only $35.
Gonna wear it to some of my shows...

The above quilt is fun 60's/70's fabric.  
I bought it unfinished at another FAVE Antique store I go to,
Treasures and Junk in Ontario.
I finished it with some batting, new retro fabric and blanket Binding.

As a Muralist, most of my murals have always been with just paint.
This is part of a mural in my daughter Emily's room.
It was an experiment...a happy one at that.
I combined painted elements with fun scrapbook paper that I cut into
animal/leaf shapes and decoupaged on the wall.
Very fun effect, but not looking forward to trying to remove it from the walls one day.

When the LOVELY Plumber punched a hole in the wall behind
my stove while installing a gas line, he looked at me and said...
"Oh, by the way, I punched a hole in the wall...but
I don't do drywall repair."
Irritated to say the least, but decided to create a mosaic for above the stove
which spread across my entire kitchen back splash.
The Fireplace is also a fun mosaic...will show that another day.

Loving rich textiles, I amassed a collection but have been gradually whittling
it down to only my faves.
The above is one of three 7ft by 7ft. panels I have just sewn of
rich Damasks, flocked silk, embroidered silk, velvet and tafetta.
The panels are to be part of my canopy at shows...only now I am not wanting to use it for
that purpose and the valance below was also created for show use, but faded horribly after only
one use outdoors...
Might be used in my house somewhere...Rob likes it too, so that helps.

The valance above is comprised all of antique fabrics, the center being
part of a Victorian dress.
Also for use on my canopy, but not so sure now.

The belt buckles I create are very much like a mosaic.
Carefully pieced together to create a fluid design.
I am honored that several of them are published in this month's Altered Couture...

The above car is one I found on a blog called Gypsy Purple.
LOVED this car.

Maybe, I'll paint one instead though!

Be inspired today!!!


Inspired Tuesday

I promised yesterday to find more dress form mannequins that I have done.
Here are a few more of my pieces including the very First one I created...

I went through a period where I did a TON of mosaic work.
This was the first mannequin I altered.
She is done with Vitreous glass as the flesh, black tile and white marbles for the dress.
Her ruffled trim at the base of her skirt is an old rose plate
and then I chopped up some Bone china flower pots for the trim
at the top of her dress.  She also has a pair of parakeets on her as well.

This lass looks like a Vegas Show girl or Moulin Rouge.
Two types of mirror are carefully glued to form the bodice,
then A LOT of vintage jewels to created the bust line and trim the bottom edge
of her bodice all the way around the back.
Yes, Vintage Jewelry was harmed in the production of this piece!
The wings are not attached, they are separate props.

Yes, this was our Christmas tree last year.
This tall Form has a vintage hoop skirt on her with which I 
hung all of the ornaments that my children, Mother and Nana
Made over the years.

 The tall black one on the right is actually the same form as the above Christmas Tree.
The tiny white one in this photo what altered into a lamp.
She was a cutie and sold many years ago.

This uber cool pink and aqua bust I made for my friend
Beth who an Editor for Stampington and has become a dear friend.

This Photo is not my work.  I snagged it off of an ebay Auction.
Part of a photo shoot for some pretty famous designers.
LOVE it!
Thought I'd share it as it is so cool to me!

Happy Tuesday Everyone!
Enjoy your day and 
to create today!