Monday, May 31, 2010

Viva La Fiesta AND Happy Memorial Day

I was so busy getting ready and so busy during, that I never snapped one photo of our lovely guests or decorations.  But, what a wonderful day we had yesterday with new friends, old friends and business associates ..... more than 150 people and almost half were kids!  We usually roast weenies and have a keg but this year we busted out and planned a full on Fiesta with a taco bar, cactus man pinata (thank you Lucinda), homemade lemonade & margaritas....and mariachi trio.  And to top it off, the weather was amazing.... a balmy 85 degrees!  Today, I decided I had to take a few pics ...colorful momentos of our lovely afternoon........ 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mermaid Madness

In keeping with my recent posts and my desire for summer to arrive, I created an Etsy Treasury today called Mermaids and Seafoam.  I realize the title is not too original but I've found the need to be quite literal to get attention among 600 or more other Treasuries.  Though these Treasuries are not meant to be promotional tools for individual sellers, one is allowed to use one item from one's own shop.  So, my theme began with my abalone and labradorite necklace called La Sirena (The Mermaid).  Check out a few of my choices based mainly on quality and color and of course, my theme.


"I’ve got gadgets and gizmos aplenty, 
I have whoozits and whatzis galore, 
You want thingamabobs? I’ve got twenty, 
But who cares? No big deal, 
I want more."

~ Ariel, The Little Mermaid ~

Monday, May 17, 2010

Le Chapeau de Soleil

I just have to get this point across.... Straw hats are on my mind!  And sundresses. And summer.  And warmth. And garden parties. And hibachis.  And pools. And sandcastles at the beach. The lizard in me is having withdraws. 

Isn't it all so lovely and romantic? 

Ants in My Hats & Summer Pants

What's going on?  I really thought summer was almost here until today... cold and rainy after a gorgeous weekend.  So, I must ease my goose bumps with some images I've been gathering from some of my favorite blogs that make me feel like I'm on vacation.... in a warm, sunny place.  I love natural woven fibers and nothing calls my name like a wide brimmed straw hat.  

                                                 My Castle in Spain

Lime in the Coconut...a cool find

I found a divine one this last week in Sonoma.  It was mine until I checked the price.  I just couldn't bring myself to shell out $250. for a hat I will wear while gardening and romping with my little guy.  Surely it would end in disaster...... you know, the dogs mouth or the mud or the compost heap or caught in the rope swing.   I guess I'll have to resort back to my well worn frayed edged back up.

But, I am inspired now to think about some new earring designs for summer.... large fun ones I can wear with the fabulous straw hat I will one day find.  Hmmm.... That gives me another idea.  I may need to borrow my step-daughters for the photo shoot.  They can be my earring models wearing my new straw hat!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Metal Clay Paisley

Paisley is a town in central Scotland but is also a motif that originated in India, or possibly Persia.  There are many different theories about what the "twisted teardrop" represents.  Some scholars think the shape is just a stylized floral pattern and others believe the paisley represents the mango fruit.  Some say it represents the cypress tree which is a symbol of life in Zoroastrianism.  Whatever the case, it is a popular motif throughout the world and has been for many centuries.

I'm not sure when I first saw a paisley but I think my mother made me a blouse in 70's, when I was in fourth grade, made of a gauzy cotton printed with paisleys.  Then sometime in college (25 years ago!), I began vintage store shopping...hunting and gathering.  I bought two old threadworn paisley shawl pieces that I coveted and still own.  I never made them into anything, afraid they would disintegrate.    

Now, I have a durable antique paisley in the form of a bronze jewelry die.  I just listed the first one I made on Etsy.  

Other lovely paisleys.....

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Watch Your Thoughts.....

I always knew that I wanted to be a mother.
For years I said I will raise a child someday. 
My husband and I tried ...and tried ...and tried...
to have a child.
Now I am a mother.
I will be a mother for the rest of my life.
I am blessed.
Thank you for choosing us Ben.

"Watch your thoughts,
for they become your words.
Watch your words,
for they become actions.
Watch your actions,
for they become habits.
Watch your habits,
for they become your character.
Watch your character,
for it becomes your destiny."

                          ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Friday, May 7, 2010

True Blue Beat'n Heart

Cynthia at BeatnHeart has become my blogging buddy.  She's a musician and antiques dealer who makes beautiful beaded jewelry from vintage finds and writes amazing autobiographical stories that will someday be on the New York Times bestseller list ... I'm sure.  We are both Virgos, we both drive Volvos and we both live in Southern California.  I can't remember if she found me or I found her BUT I feel there is a great connection.  Cynthia has been so supportive and even honored me with a Beautiful Blogger Award.  Someday we will meet.  But, for now... we blog.

To celebrate her first 50 follower, she's having a groovy giveaway.... Check it out!!!


Thanks Cynthia!!! : )

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Afghanistans Glorious Past

When most people think of Afghanistan, images of poverty, war, drought, dust, and destruction come to mind. But that wasn't always the case.  Kabul was once a vibrant thriving city ....not that long ago...and today, there are still many beautiful verdant valleys throughout the country. Recently, thousands of ancient antiquities that were hidden for many years from invaders and pillagers have come back out into the open.  My parents were fortunate to have been able to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York last fall to see these amazing artifacts.  Here are a few of the items that were on display....

I saw Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea and Stones Into Schools, on Tuesday night at the Arlington Theater in Santa Barbara.  He spoke of the tens of thousands of children including girls throughout Afghanistan, with the help of the Central Asia Institute and other NGO's, that are now attending schools which was not even an option 10 years ago.  These young girls, who finally have the opportunity to go to school, are learning to read AND teaching their mothers to read.  Now, women are being empowered.... and are forming groups to empower each other.  I believe positive change is inevitable.

I pray that Afghanistan, with so many strong and courageous people, will regain her past glory during my lifetime.

"Educate a boy, and your educate and individual. Educate a girl, and you educate a community"

~ An African proverb told by Greg Mortenson ~

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Springtime Showers

Showers without rain?  Yes, today in Ojai...
my friends and I showered a lovely fertile friend with love as she is full and round with a new life growing in her womb. It was an idyllic gorgeous springtime day...... so beautiful that I carted everything out of the house to the picnic table under the old oak tree in the back yard.... white linen tablecloths and napkins, my Grandmother's floral wedding china and silver, wine glasses, fresh cut roses from my parents garden....  and the vintage silver tea service my mother brought back from Pakistan.  We were truly ladies today... eating our three salad lunch then sipping earl grey tea with milk & devouring my famous chocolate (with chocoloate chips) bundt cake.  The garden fairies were surely watching over us today, pleased that we were so full of joy at the abundance all around us.....I could just feel it.  

Guess Who's Swingin'?

I can't believe it.....  my little guy is swingin' on his own!  Twenty minutes ago I was about to push and suddenly I didn't need to!  He is soooo excited.  Me...I'm a thrilled for him and a little sad too.  He's just growing up too darn fast....  a reminder to be in the moment, be present, be thankful......... to live in gratitude.

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."

~ John F. Kennedy~

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Alphabet Mandala - Origin

Each individual square is about 3" x 3".  The designs are drawn freehand with white and brown India ink on card stock.  Eventually, I plan on using these designs on notecards.  But soon, I hope to transpose all of these drawings into molds for my metal clay jewelry.  See previous post for the first silver pendant in the Alphabet Mandala series....the letter V.  

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Alphabet Mandala - Letter V

I've been drawing mandalas for at least 15 years.  About seven years ago as I was sketching ideas for greeting cards, I had an idea. I was playing with letters and suddenly started drawing mandalas with letters.  I ended up creating the entire alphabet with individual mandalas. Since the greeting cards never materialized, except for a few friends and family, I've never shared them.  When I realized I could use them in my jewelry design, I was very excited.  I redrew a simplified version of a few letters and sent them off to the rubber stamp fabricators to try it out.  I thought I would use the rubber stamps, but now I realize I like the rubber stamp matrix better.... which poses a problem as most of the letters I sent are backwards on the matrix! Now, I'm going to have to send my drawings back to the fabricator in reverse before I can continue. But, as you will see, I was able to use the letter V to begin my experimentation.  

the letter V....

maybe V is the first letter of your first name...or the first letter of you last name.  Maybe V is for Valentine, Victory, Veterinarian or Violin!  Or, maybe this is just a pretty design ....who would know it was made out of secret little V's unless you told them....