Sunday, June 28, 2009

Who Knew?!?

Certainly not me! My goodness, I had no idea there was such a market on etsy for vintage ribbons and laces! I've had 12 sales since opening last Wednesday! It's almost enough to make me go into the business of trolling antique and estate sales....notice I said ALMOST. Listing all these little items for sale is a real time eater. , Wash, iron, stage for photographing and then trying to jog my memory or look up the names, history and materials in all these things takes lots of time and they are small ticket items for the most part. Soooo...I think I will just be happy the things already in my stash are now going to a good home and not tempt fate by adding to the craziness trying to become a dealer in antique laces and ribbons, lol!

So, how did I come by all these little treasures, you ask? A looooong time ago I made little leather shoes and clothing for antique porcelain and reproduction dolls. Not only was I always looking for beautiful vintage clothing and laces and fabrics and beautiful kid leathers...but then my mother helped a friend liquidate a bridal salon and she bestowed me with even more laces and ribbons and fabrics, oh my! When I got busy with a young family, into the boxes and closets they went to be held in waiting for time to go back....but I never did and finally decided I never will. That's my story and I'm sticking to it and it's surprisingly good fun to send them off to a good home! Have you seen what people are doing with this stuff these days on etsy?!? Some remarkable creative minds out there!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

All We Need Is Love...

I'm guessing like alot of us creative types, that I'm not the only one out there with loads of leftovers from projects--odds and ends saved thinking I just can't throw away that piece of lace or ribbon, this bead or bauble, because I know I'll find a use for it one of these days....
Alas, all the cupboards are full to overflowing with little treasures I've tucked away over the years, and I finally came to the realization that I'm not going back to some of those places again--there's no time and I've found something else I love to do more. So this week is the beginning of a big destashing and cleansing--to free me from those 'somedays' that weigh heavy on my mind.

I've decided not to hoard my treasures any longer, it's time they got the love and attention they deserve by going on to another home where they can become something beautiful and treasured. All they need is a little love--and being hid away in a drawer to be admired once in a blue moon isn't cutting it.

I opened a new etsy storefront this evening---All We Need Is Love--for my vintage and destash. Starting tomorrow I'll be putting lots and lots of little treasures there for someone to hopefully fall in love with, and take home.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Swim Little Fishy...

Swim if you can! I just finished a custom order for one of Judy's adorable clownfish. These are the cutest little fish that bring to mind Nemo..or coral reefs for those of you more grown-up than I am, lol! His little delicate fins and tail didn't make him so suitable for a bracelet, which is the first way I tried to use this bead. When Judy saw what I'd done, she recommended I change it to a necklace, which she sold at the scuba show and this is a second version on an oxidized chain with spinel beads strung along the chain for a delicate and delightful little charmer. (okay the tail looks clipped, but that's my photography--it's hiding a bit in the 'coral'--he really has a perfect little tailfin, lol!)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

How Does Your Garden Grow..

We spent the day working in our backyard at my house today...and I'm flat out tired. To begin with many of the plants and trees needed a little trimming and shaping...
The grapes look like they are doing just fine on their own. We have one Thompson seedless vine and one concord grape vine. Last summer we had lots of concord grapes, but something happened to the Thompsons before they matured, so with so many on the vines this year we are holding out hopes for a bumper crop.
As you can see, our cat is curiously sitting on the fence overlooking this next little project. I've really never had a vegetable garden---didn't really want to 'mess up' the landscaping. This year I read about "square foot gardening' and decided we just had to give it a try.

I found a little corner of the back yard behind the lambs ear and society garlic where I could hide my little experiment. This is a very clever style of veggie garden that only uses a 4X4 foot space. They claim it uses less space, less water, less plants--20% of the space and 5 times the yield of a standard vegetable garden, so I couldn't resist trying it out. I especially like the no weeding part and small space it uses. Besides, in California, where we are rationing water, it's water efficiency was also a big I'll let you know how my garden grows with updates this summer!

Oh well, here are 5 tomato plants hiding behind the grape arbor, not part of my square foot garden. We have 6 plants here with 3 varieties---I'm soooo hoping I have oodles of tomatoes later this summer---nothing is more delicious than a tomato fresh off the vine with a little salt and eaten like an apple.
Yep, I'm going for my own little garden of Eden this summer...I'll let you know how it goes!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Hot Tip....or not....

If you drop by often you may have noticed that I'm partial to ocean themes and seashells. I obviously love the lampwork seashells I have in my treasure trove, but have you noticed I use alot of very pretty sealife castings as well?
If you've noticed my handcast leadfree pewter pieces and admired them--here's the hot tip--the artist is Jeff Mitchell, and his company is Drummercove. For the longest time I've been calling him Jeff Drummer...duh...but really the last name is Mitchell. His studio is in Wellfleet, on Cape Cod, and he obviously has access to some wonderful sealife specimens. (did you notice the little seahorse in my Moonlight Bay post--his too!)

Typically I prefer sterling silver and other precious metals, but these are such lovely quality, with a wonderful variety of sizes that they are well worth making an exception for. Here's just a small sample of what he has available. Check out his website for a wonderful -- Jeff hand casts all his pieces using the exact shape of shells and sea life in his collection with wonderful detail. He also sells finished earrings, as well as components.

Here's a back view of the pieces to show you just how authentic and nicely finished the back sides of his pieces are, as well as the fronts. I especially love his sand dollars--the backs are too beautiful to never see! So the next time you're looking for something special that speaks to the sea, check him out. Oh, and another nice finishing touch is that he signs his pieces on the back with his initials--makes a nice statement about his committment to detail and hand casting.
I'm not affiliated with him in any way---just a very happy customer who thought I'd share with my friends!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Moonlight Bay

I don't know about where you live, but around here when the moon rises some evenings it is so bright and beautiful that it looks like you could reach right out and touch it. Nothing is nicer than to grab a blanket, run down to the beach, watch the sunset and then sit and visit all snuggled up until the moon rises high in the sky and reflects on the waves as they wash into shore--the sounds, the smell and the beautiful glow of the moon make a lovely romantic evening. I've tried to capture that feeling in this pendant necklace on a lovely hand-dyed silk ribbon.
A large golden yellow mother of pearl disc combines with a beautiful lampwork shell by Judy Carlson, an ametrine nugget and hand-cast leadfree pewter seahorse by Jeff Drummer. Hung on a ring and strung on a lovely hand dyed silk ribbon with adjustable slide. $62.00

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Turtles and Tidepools

Well, I just don't seem to be ready to give up on the ocean themed designs quite yet. There is a little twist to this one though--rather than featuring the lampwork seashells, I've used the wonderful hand-cast and signed, leadfree pewter shells of Jeff Drummer for the focal point of this bracelet. There are still some wonderful artisan lampwork ss lentils by Tiffany McCoy (that remind me of sea turtles--hence the name of this bracelet)
Complimenting charms of turquoise discs, freshwater coin pearls, resin and czech beads are attached to the sterling links for a delightfully wearable bracelet.
Turtles and Tidepools--some of my favorite things--$110.00

Monday, June 1, 2009

If April Showers bring May flowers...what does June bring???

Well, the iris are definitely all spent now, as well as the daffodils, calla lilies, and camellias, so early May's flowers are followed by...

...June swoon. The marine layer leaves us with cool overcast mornings and hot sunny afternoons. All my beautiful spring flowers have been spent and wilted in the hot sun already, and taken me down the path of summertime in the high dessert.

I love my pretty spring flowers with their riot of color, but I'm equally happy with the color I get as summer follows. My personal landscaper (daughter- Emily)helped me find lots of drought resistant and eco friendly plantings that give me color all summer---lavendar, statis, a few society garlic and phormium,.

Low water, low maintance and they make me feel like I have my own little park in the back yard--earthy and comfortable--like summer itself!
P.S. Laurie Smith is have a little jewelry competition over on her site--vote for your favorite lampwork bracelet design--go take a peek and vote! Better yet, starting Friday she will be taking entries for her lampwork necklace competition--enter something you love that you have made and join the fun!!