Monday, December 31, 2018

Pottery at the Gallery !!!!

Sis with 2 kitty banks representing her 2 guys at home.
 Holidays are all about family and friends having good times together, right? 
So a girls evening out to eat and chat and paint pottery? AMAZING!
I've been trying to make it out to Five Monkeys to paint since Dina started it.  But getting everyone's schedule to mesh is a nightmare.

Finally we got it done on just before Christmas and we had a blast !

First a lovely meal at Drake Diner  and then off to Five Monkeys.  We all picked a piece we wanted to paint and got right to it.

If you are in a time crush, you can actually reserve your time and the pieces you want to paint on the website, and Dina ( or her fantastic helpers) will have it all set out for you when you come.  (Customer service people! )

She's got a good strong range of colors and you can use as many or as few as you want, different paint brushes and even stamps and stencils to make your project truly special and your own.

Friend Paula with a fantastic owl mug!

My Baby with a subtle painting scheme for her snake

My Niece showing off her awesome painting on a plain mug! 

My kitty bank reflects me.  I'm outside the lines but I have happy swirls!
It takes about a week for Dina to glaze and then fire your pieces.  it's worth the wait! 

Here are our masterpieces all done!

We all had a great time and can't wait to do it again!!!!

Saturday, December 8, 2018

A funny thing happened on the way to my last show....

Dolphins like old watches too!

If I was a bad blogger a month ago,  I think, a month later and no blogs, I must be a irredeemable one now.   So I'm not gonna go there.

I will try to blog on more regular basis again, but it's now my winter recharge months, so I probably won't as often anyway, and most of them will probably not be about jewelry.  Or only somewhat about jewelry.

I have soooo much going on right now.. we are in the process of buying a house ( YES! !!  YES!! PUMP FIST! WE FOUND A FANTASTIC HOUSE!!!! ) its 2 weeks away from Christmas and after I write this blog I am going to the studio to wrap presents and see where that's at, I'm trying to pack from time to time, and my brain is always scheming, scheming, scheming about the new house, how to furnish it, the fact we need to get a few things done before we move in, then we will start working on this house, what happens to this house after we move, etc etc etc etc.

Another words, my brain won't shut up most of the time, and it's 3 times worse right now. 

Anyway, I was quite please to be involved with taking over Lefty's Live Music Nov 25th as one of the Monkey artists from Five Monkeys Inc gallery.  Jerry and I woke up that morning with a flat tire.

Since Jerry had to work... yes, I was gonna do a show without him, and didn't that turn out great??

Anyway, we had to get the tire fixed asap, we went to Tires P*** first, and they refused to do it, because we used a fix a flat to get it working well enough to get somewhere!!

Being the Sunday after Thanksgiving, it took some doing to find a open place that would do the work.. Jerry's Sis picked him up from the car place so he wouldn't be late to work, and 2 tires, $300 bucks and 4 hours later, it's 1pm and Dina said don't worry about it.

So I missed the show, really depressing for me.

If anyone went to the show especially to see my stuff, I humbly apologize and I am sure you found something amazing to buy anyway, cause my gallery peers are so talented a bunch!

If you didn't go, and you didn't have a flat tire, then SHAME ON YOU!   Just kidding! I'm sure you know you have 24/7 access to the great gallery stuff on the website, and it's even better if you walk in the door and check it out in person.

So, That's all I got right now.  If I manage to go another month without a blog, have a fantastic and brilliant Christmas!

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Bad Blogger....

yeah, I know, I've not been posting.

The truth is we are house hunting, and searching listings, going to showings, planning the money, it's been taking up just about all of my time the last few weeks. 

I'll try to get back on the straight and narrow this week!!!   I have several pieces about 1/2 done, hopefully in time for my show this coming Sunday.... More on that in a few days.  Promise!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Eating better...

 My hubby is Diabetic.  I've got health problems all over the place.  We both turned 50 this year, and we decided it's time to take better care of ourselves. 

We have tried actually from time to time, then loose interest or get frustrated, or don't have time to do the cooking. 

The last time we really tried, it didn't seem like there were as many options - but in 2018, there are lots of options.  Options that don't feel like your sacrificing taste. 
 case in point... Banza noodles.  They are made from Chickpeas, and they replicate the texture of regular noodles, and they don't have any funny aftertaste or weird smell.  They taste just fine... maybe not as good, but the difference is pretty small.  Jerry can't really tell any difference. 

Check out the back stats.... and that's for a large serving,   Jerry typically eats about 1/3 of this size, so he's getting about 15 net carbs.  If everything that is tossed in with the noodles is net carb zero... that means he's getting a delicious filling meal and its only 15-20 carbs a serving!! that's amazing!
here's something else I'm playing around with... coconut flour ( and almond flour)

I've made brownies ( needs some tweaks but shows promise) , and pizza crusts ( with the almond flour)

the pizza crusts are a big big hit. 

Again, if we pick a good sauce without added sugar, and he's only putting meat and cheese and maybe a veggie.. pizza changes from one of the worst foods he can eat to a safe choice. 

Last night I made Meatball stroganoff.  It was pretty tasty, even the kid liked it.  ( that is a high praise! )

I have a whole bunch of recipes in the "keto" way on Pinterest ( Pinterest has been extremely helpful finding good recipes! )

Granted it takes more time, but I feel guilty I haven't pushed for better eating for him.   I adore him and I want him around for many years to come, annoying me and delighting me by turns.

Granted, until he was ready to try again, all the pushing I could do won't do much.

But we are all on the same page now!

He's worth extra work.  He's always been worth it, but daily life and frustrations and money worries and my own crap.... it all gets in the way.  Sometimes it's hard to keep track of what's really important in life.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

My Birthday Quilt

 So I celebrated my 50th birthday this month... and I've got to share one of the best birthday prezzies I've ever gotten.... My sister Gretchie, who is marvelously talented, made me a quilt.  I was soooo surprised!  I had made a passing comment on a pin of hers on Pinterest about a quilt I really liked... and this was only a couple of weeks before my birthday.

That Woman spend almost every minute of 4 days making this.

It's soooo colorful and fantastic and it makes me smile and feel joy every time I look at it.

 Jerry is showing off the back side...

 It's Kya approved.
 Looks great with my giraffe pillow!
this is what it looks like while I'm under it, staring at the light through it.  it's my own personal cathedral!

Thank you Gretchie!!!   She really is a fantastic artist! you can see some of her creations on her Etsy!

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

DON'T FORGET HERetics Bazaar this Saturday!

 Some of these pics are a repeat, but I just wanted to show you stuff I've made recently that I'll have with me this Saturday at It's held at UAW Local 450 - 4589 NW 6th Dr, Des Moines, IA 50313.  It supports women's health by donating proceeds to Planned Parenthood.

we will also be collecting for a local woman's shelter
 -- they are looking for non perishable foods, baby items, toiletries, hygiene products or 
gently used clothing to help out those in need.

Don't forget, I'm having a special deal --  if you show me what you are donating and buy jewelry, I will give you 10% off.  No minimum.. just show me and save and donate to a good cause!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Show this Saturday for a an important cause!!

 Flute parts, read to go, and more earrings than you can shake a stick at... all of the earrings have vintage parts.. starting left to right, clock, clock, watch, sewing machine and watch !
I'm very pleased to be doing HERetics Bazaar this coming Saturday -- 11-5pm

It's held at UAW Local 450 - 4589 NW 6th Dr, Des Moines, IA 50313.  It supports women's health by donating proceeds to Planned Parenthood.

In this time we need to stand together to protect things that are important to us, like health care for women without judgment, shame or high cost. 

It amazes me how messed up stuff is right now, because the "one" issue folks have with planned parenthood is the least thing they do.

I can remember being a collage kid 30 years ago, going to planned parenthood for birth control and general check up on my lady parts.... I went back then because it was the only place I could afford, and frankly the staff was all women... and as a shy, inexperience young woman, I didn't want to strip down for a guy doctor. 

I'm glad I had access to clinics I could afford.. even after I became sexually active and in the first few years of marriage, I still went to PP  for the cost.  My hubby and I got to plan when we were ready for a family, which is the whole freaking point.

Raising a daughter, I've had many frank discussions on sex and female health with her, and while we now go to a regular family doctor for both our needs, I have real INSURANCE, and she gets' to share it til she hits 26.

But not everyone can! 

  We have to protect access to birth control (which btw is the # 1 way to prevent abortions ) and clinics that can service women's health screenings for cancer and other nasties.

So I support Planned Parenthood. 

If you do too, this is a fun way to help -- we will also be collecting for a local woman's shelter -- they are looking for non perishable foods, baby items, toiletries, hygiene products or gently used clothing to help out those in need.

And I have a deal for you -- if you show me what you are donating and buy jewelry, I will give you 10% off,

so come out on Saturday, enjoy art and crafts, food, baked good and good will for all.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

chainmail pics

OK I made these a couple of months ago, I'm just catching up on my photo files.  I really like this pattern though... it's the same in both bracelets, but looks so different because I used different sized beads. 

Love how just playing with sizes you can so completely change the look on chainmail!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Monday, October 15, 2018


These necklaces are based on a very old concept, medieval or older. 

In a great house or castle, the Lady in charge was once called a Chatelaine.  She often wore a belt with little bits attached to it, pretty much showing who was in charge... things like keys to the store rooms, little pouches of this or that, money, knife, household objects like scissors.  Eventually the belt /chains with attachments got the same name.. Chatelaine.

Think of a female batman with the bat belt!

Through the centuries down to probably 1900's the concept continued and somewhere fizzled out. 

Before it breathe it's last gasp, it was very popular in Victorian times, more as accessories than actual practical day to day applications.  They made them as long pendant type necklaces with small scissors, smelling salt containers, sewing kits and such.

This is my interpretation of a Chatelaine. 

The ball is a locket and opens, so you could put messages or something nickle sized in it.  I added a vintage Key and a coin charm.

I could have added more, but I  thought it looked pretty balanced with just those items. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

getting ready for my LAST FARMER'S MARKET OF THE YEAR!

 I'm getting ready for the last Farmer's Market I'm doing this year.. sniff sniff!

I admit the weather is looking ify right now, but even if it's less than prefect, we always have a good time at Farmer's Market.  Food, shopping, good vendor friends... it's all good!

I've got a bunch of new stuff ready to go... and I'll be across the street from Hy-vee on 4th ST south, just like I've been allll year.

I've even give you a hint! I'm in the coupons this week! wooo !

do you know how to get coupons for farmer's Market?

It's easy... text 46986 and type in the message line “Market"

every week during Farmer Market they will text you up to 6 vendor deals for that Saturday.  SWEET!

Sunday, September 30, 2018

We all need some Magic in our Lives....

It's been a really tough week.  To approximately 51 percent of the population, I don't need to explain this.

So we can all use fairy  magic, kindness and good heart right now.

This fairy necklace has a vintage pocket watch enameled face and a clock gear that I added just a touch of patina. ( fairy dust?)

The heart is salvaged from vintage jewelry, probably not super old ( 80's?)  but added a nice touch.  The chain is actual clock chain.  I ran across some unused chain from a retired clock repair guy.

So here is my good wishes to all that's really had to struggle to deal this week.  I feel you. 

Whatever good vibes my wand can grant, I give to you.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Bats in the house

I wish I only referred to my awesome bracelet and earrings, but alas, we get bats sometimes.  Since we got the roof repaired 3 weeks ago, it's only been 2, so maybe we finally got the access closed up again.  Occasionally one comes in through the fireplace.  The hazards of living in a 1920's house in a well treed neighborhood. 

Bat's are actually great creatures, I just don't really like them flapping around inside my house.  But these guys, as jewelry? Cat's Pajamas!

Before the roof got fixed - yep 3 of them.  (total that day was 6)

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Soul Music

Made with a vintage saxophone key,  opal, vintage brass, and chain.

I like how it looks like the sax key and the angel are  being "lifted" by the double winged serpents .  That's how good soul music played on a sax should be... lifting you up.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

If only you could bottle time........ and Planned Parenthood Booksale!

I know I've made these before, but each one is soooo different! This one has both vintage clock and watch parts in it, and I added a clock face charm.

But unfortunately  I can only bottle it metaphorically.   (word for the day anyone?? )   I never seem to have enough time to get done what I have to do and what I want to do.

Now that I'm feeling better, this weekend I want to make fantastic jewelry and sort through my personal books and get them donated Monday to Planned Parenthood for the Fall booksale October 18-22th.

Now I'm not going to argue over abortion in my blog, other than to say it's a very tiny part of the overall health services offered by planned Parenthood.

If a person has strong objections to abortion they should be the front line supporters of Planned Parenthood -- because they prevent more unplanned pregnancies year in and year out by providing birth control at low cost in a positive environment.  They help prevent the spread of diseases.  They help catch cancer in women, often at earlier stages leading to better medical outcomes.

In so many areas, Planned Parenthood is the ONLY venue woman have for health services.

They are under attack and in Iowa one of the ways they fight back is BOOKS!

The Booksale has been going on for over 40 years, because I remember going with my Mom every year when I was a kid.  (and now as an Adult I try to get her there as well!)

It's Huge!!!! the take over the whole 4-H Building at the Iowa State Fairgrounds and it's filled to the rafters with books, DVD's, records and magazines.  If you love books, it's magical!

So I'm gonna help out by donating a bunch of books, and then I'll help out by buying a bunch at the sale.

OH, I am donating some beady books as well :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2018


Today my baby is 22.  So we did girl's night at home.... Chicken wings, pasta and brownies and watched Last Holiday.

The meaning of life is...... Butter.

Happy Birthday my Babygirl!

Monday, September 10, 2018

What's on my table this week

 It's late, and I'm running behind like I usually am.  but I really am trying to get my blog back to 3 times a week, so here is a quickie.  The top picture is stuff I've pulled to work on a few weeks ago, and I'm slowing picking stuff out to actually use... and the below pic is what's actually on my desk right now... flute parts.  This flute I couldn't date, but I'm guessing is 1950-60's due to wear and what the case looked like.  It's not as old as some of the flutes we have had but I would guess it's in the worse shape, part of the body was actually kind-of.. well, bent.  just slightly, but I can't imagine that helped the sound quality.  This is one of the What Cheer buys from August!

One interesting part of the flute is most of the keys were in sets' of 3.  So I'm getting a bunch of earrings out of this flute ( the first flute we got every key was slightly different sized... again part of why I think it's newer.. if the keys are more uniform then it's probably cheaper to produce them)

Jerry has kindly cut the keys off, and now I'm doing some extra filing and sanding for smooth corners and I'm cleaning them up and polishing them.

I'll definitely have new flute earrings for Farmer's Market on the 24th!

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Space Evy

Foot release lever from sewing machine, 1950-60's broach and butterfly.  I wanted to create the picture of a butterfly landing on a flower in a field of them.....

One of my Sisters is in the process of buying a house.  Naturally I helped her look for one...  which in hindsight was a mistake, because now I keep looking at a new house for ME and that's not going to happen.

My other Sister is hard at work renovating her house and creating a new bedroom and craft room for herself.  I get pictures almost daily of the progress. 

It makes me salivate, the idea of getting some work done on my house, assuming I just can't get another house.

When Jerry and I moved here, we were like this is our forever house.  We were never ever gonna move. 

Now Jerry just has one word when the subject comes up: stairs.  As in this house has too many.  As much as I hate to admit it, I'm starting to have mobility issues or at least pain, and stairs are not my friend.  At some point hauling stuff up and down 3 flights of stairs isn't going to work anymore.

When we bought this house, my jewelry empire fit into a couple of drawers and a couple of shoe boxes.  I had no dedicated space for making stuff.  The first couple of years of my obsession it fit into a rolling set of plastic drawers that fit in the closet.  I would just roll it out when I wanted to work on stuff.

At some point, I had so much stuff I took up the spare bedroom, which is the smallest room in the house.

When my stuff threatened to overflow that space, we got a contractor in and remade the attic space as my studio. 

I really love my house, and I love my studio.... but Jerry, darn his hide, is right.  At some point going up and down all those stairs isn't going to be practical. 

So I've been facing the idea that this isn't my forever house, and I've found a couple of houses on the market right now that would be just about perfect for my family and my business.

Timing isn't right right now.

And I find all of this kind-of depressing.

And I look around my house and think how the space isn't working as well... how I really want a fully functional kitchen.  How I can't stand how cluttered the first floor has gotten.

The worse part of depression is how it just sort of freezes you in place.. how it sucks your ability to move to make decision or get anything done.

So  the first thing I need to do, regardless if this is our forever house now or we move sometime in the future, is to make our space right now better. 

I hate housework, but it's time to put my big girl panties one and just get it done.

So get it cleaned up, get the little things that are bugging me fixed (the things I can get done via a handyman for just a few bucks.  The kitchen is 2 big a fix.. but the hole in my studio? that's doable )

We need to get rid of the graveyard of dead mechanicals, formally known as my living room.  I want my living room back.  We have a bunch of empty sewing machine tables right now.. we have room and use for maybe 4? and have like 10. 

The cats have completely destroyed the love-seat.  Maybe I can find something used that won't pretzel-ize my budget?

Little baby steps.  That's all I can do.  But maybe if I get enough steps in I'll actually get somewhere.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Earrings - just earrings

 I've been ranting / whining a bunch lately, so here is a blog just about my jewelry-- earrings.

I love making earrings, and while I probably love making them with watch parts more than anything else, it's good to stretch and make earrings out of other types of parts.

Above are cogs from a adding machine... the hole in the middle is raised like a tire hub.  I carefully put crystals in the whole and then crystals all around the hole and I love how they turned out.  They kind of make me think of the 1950's cluster earrings !   but these are made from gears!!

This picture shows a wide variety of parts... the first pair is from a clarinet, then the moon and crystals are from a sewing machine, the bottom pair with the ruler? that's actually from a type writer and  top part is loose washers from jeans? I think it was jeans. 

The last part on the far bottom is adding machine cogs and drop crystals.

the back pair is my famous time in a bottle... with watch parts.

Monday, September 3, 2018

This Post is a Whine-Rant. (whimper) you have been warned!

Vintage Adding Machine parts as Earrings.  
Let me start out by saying I'm just fine now, thanks.

Then let me whine.. I have Asthma and I hate it and it sucks.

Or rather, it doesn't suck... it doesn't blow either.  Asthma is when your lungs decide to not work right and they don't grab oxygen and pump it to your other body parts. 

I've been diagnosed with Asthma now for over 10 years, and honestly I've had breathing issues off and all my entire life.

For the most part, it's doable.  It means I need to be aware of my environment at all times, because my asthma can be triggered by smoking, hair spray, flowers, perfumes, cleaning products and a wide variety of things. 

Seriously, I've been triggered by someones hair conditioner 7 hours after they had their shower.

So if you are standing by me and taking to me, and I start to shy away and put distance between us, it's probably cause something you are wearing is making me twitchy in a bad, "oh dear I can't breathe" kind of way.

Please don't take it personal, I know my lungs are defective.  Now you do too!  Isn't shinny new knowledge fun?!?!?

So for the most part, if I can stay away from the triggers I don't need to even use my inhaler.

But like all chronic diseases occasionally you have a bad day.   A day where you wake up and there is a 25 lb SOMETHING already pressing on your chest, and it's hard and hurts to take a full breath, and it's tight, and scary I know one of these days I'll end up in the hospital.  Soooo looking forward to it.

You use your rescue inhaler, and you try not to move for awhile and try to figure out if something is triggering it or if it's a bad lung day and your just going to struggle the whole of it.

Saturday was a bad lung day.

I've had quite a few bad lung days this summer.... The humidity doesn't help.  Humidity hasn't ever been my favorite thing but the last few years It's becoming hard to deal with.

I seem to struggle more when it rains ... change of pressure maybe?  Or it kicks up all the plant stuff?

Not sure.

I had to miss a Farmer's Market this past weekend, which really sucks.  I hate the idea they think I'm not reliable. 

In the last 20 years of doing my jewelry business... I've only missed 4-5 shows due to illness.  Most of them have been in the last 6 years as my asthma gets worse.

Yet another reason to limit the number of shows I do.   I look back at the 25+ shows I use to do years ago and I'm amazed at that person.  Where has she gone?   I wore her out I did!

I think my current schedule of 10-12 shows is probably all I can get away with anymore.  Add in Jerry's work schedule and it's a miracle we are getting that many in this year.

OK I'm done, I've spilled my spleen, I feel better.  Maybe.  I'm going to finish some pieces for the gallery today, so that definitely makes me feel better.  Happy Labor Day!  So glad it's not Labored Breathing Day!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

I had such a great evening tonight!!

 I got to play tag along kid sister ( I'm 49) to my sister Gretchie ( ageless) and her friends!  I got to invite one of my buddies as well, and we ate out and then watch Mamma Mia II which was so much fun.

I'm gonna be listening to ABBA tomorrow at work for sure!!

It's just a fun fun happy kind of movie, just like the first one. 

Some things just make you feel lighter inside, like ABBA music, good food and friends and SISTERS!

And to tie this into jewelry making, some pieces just make me feel happy.  This recent necklace is one.  It has an Egyptian theme, and just a touch of the steampunk. 

Just the balance of the piece makes me feel joy. 

If it doesn't sell in the next few shows, I might just have to take it home and keep it.  Some pieces are just like that.

I kind of hope all my jewelry brings people joy and happiness.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Cuffs for Farmer's Market !

 Just in time for Saturday's Market, I whipped up a whole big batch of new cuff bracelets!!   Here
's a few of my favorites.
 This cuff the tag is from a off brand Victrola record player... from 1915!!
 A Singer Sewing Machine medallion from a 1920's machine, with wings!
 I love this lion face! it's a brass drawer plate for the pull.  Gorgeous!
This just makes me laugh! I got the tag loose off a big buy of stuff  from a local shop, and this was in it.  Check out it's a Des Moines Business!!  And a fish on it! how kewl is that??

Come see these new cuffs and more in person at the Market, 7-12 Saturday 8/25/18!