July 29, 2010


Exploration is the act of searching or traveling a terrain (including space) for the purpose of discovery of resources or information.

I have joined the ABS Blog Carnival and this months theme is EXPLORATION. Which I love! For me a trip to the bank is and exploration. These photos were taken right outside their front door! Exploration and discovery can happen around every corner.

Pulling these little bead bundles together has helped me explore colors and shapes and has helped me think of some new design ideas.

Working in clay makes every day an exploration. It seems to have a life of it's own and never fails to surprise and excite me. I've been exploring new shapes in the clay and new glaze combinations which I can't wait to pull out of the kiln later in the week!

Let Them Eat...

I recently received a preview copy of "Kids' Cakes from the Whimsical Bakehouse: And Other Treats for Colorful Celebrations" by Kaye and Liv Hansen. Actually it was quite a while ago that I received this copy to review and life has not been a cake walk, pun intended (see posts on fallen tree and dead car). So I did get to look through and marvel at the beautifully decorated, sweetly designed cakes (a bed cake for a slumber party! Too cute!), but I haven't had a moment to actually try any of the recipes. Magnolia instantly wanted to make a "Make-up" cake with tiny lipsticks and other dress-up accoutrements. Calder wanted to make, and eat, the treasure chest cake (great use of gold chocolate coins!). And we all wondered how you could actually eat the woodland log cake with the little whimsical fairies and flowers (I guess if I was feeling sadistic that day I could!?) There were lots of detailed written instructions which was great, especially for a pastry challenged person like myself, but being a visual person, some step by step instruction photos wouldn't have hurt either (what does it look like to draw on candy?). Magnolias fifth birthday is just around the corner, a fact she has been sharing with every person we encounter (did the kind checker lady behind the register at Target or the other dozen complete strangers really care yesterday? They all did a great job pretending to!) So I may have to bust out the measuring cups (and actually measure) to make a cake that is hopefully too beautiful to eat, but so delicious that we will anyway!

July 28, 2010

Dewy Morning

It was a bit of a dewy morning. The sprinklers probably helped too. It's amazing what nature can do and it is amazing when you catch her in the act of something amazing....

Have you caught nature in the act of something amazing?

July 27, 2010

Holy Moly! How did that happen?!

I just noticed! The little etsy shop that could is nearing 300 sales! WOW! Thanks to every one who has participated in the "FIRE SALE"! Thank you nanascraftycrafts! She was the 300th order!

The 300th sale will get this lavender pendant sent with their order! Actually all the etsy orders have had little thank you gifts thrown in! Thank you! 

July 26, 2010

Etsy Treasury! Check It Out!

How cool is this! Etsy seller "soap" included my listing in her treasury! Pretty cool!

Did I Blink?

Lot's of beads have gone/are going to lots of good/new homes! I am pleased! What I'm not so pleased about is the way this month is just speeding by! Not that I don't want to get into fall a bit quicker, but this month has just gone by way too fast.

Here is a recap of the madness around here:

We've been to 3 birthday parties.
Celebrated one of our own.
Got a newer car. YES!
Had a tree destroy our carport (and thankfully nothing more precious!)
Went to a really awesome library (more on that later!)
Saw movies (LOVED Despicable Me!!!)
Played at parks.
Stepped in dog poo (twice!)
Made new friends.
Had some reallllly yummy grilled corn. (salt, pepper and a touch of butter) YUM!
Visited with some really great friends.
Made lots and lots of beads (more on that later too!)
And a TON of jewelry!

What does the summer have going for you?

July 23, 2010

The Fire Sale Is On!

Here are a few of the newly listed items that are on sale in the etsy shop! And one that sold! I loved that one!

And the one that sold! I just love blues and greens!

The Etsy Shop


The sale continues today! I'll be adding a plethora of new SALE ceramic bead and pendant bundles to the etsy shop today! The FIRE SALE continues this afternoon!

July 21, 2010

A Long Time To Make.

If you are anything like me you see something, fall in love and then HAVE to have it! I think that is particularly true of jewelry artists. I have been collecting beautiful pieces and treasures over the years and sometimes they just have to sit a while before I know how to use them. Sometimes that precious bit or bauble comes with an idea but evaporates from my mind when I get it into the studio! That was the case with the the beautiful silver ring I used in this bracelet. It was destined to be a necklace component! Or not. Clearly not, because now it is a bracelet component! Several years ago I purchased the beautiful swirled ring from Lynn Davis' etsy shop. My how time flies!

July 20, 2010

SALE! SALE! FIRE SALE! Baby needs a new pair of shoes!

Among other things so we are burnin' down the house! It's a fire sale! The ol' etsy shop is nearly over flowing with deals on ceramic pendants and beads! Get em while their hot!

July 19, 2010

She Said Yes!

He secretly learns how to ride a horse. She loves the ocean. His proposal was as romantic as it gets! On horse back, by the ocean, he proposed. His romantic proposal was the inspiration for a necklace my friend Lynn will be giving her sister as an engagement gift. Pearls and sea shells for the ocean, a heart with their initials on a heart represents their love, and a special horse shoe!

July 17, 2010


It was lucky that our renovation project VW van was parked where it was. It was lucky it didn't fall an inch this way or an inch that way. It was lucky that no one was hurt. It was lucky in so many ways that I can't even think of right now. At 5:30 AM we were awoken to a crunching cracking thud! I knew instantly, even from a deep sleep what it was and where. Our poor old VW van was parked just in the right spot to catch a huge arm of our gigantic California live oak. The sun wasn't even up yet but in the dim light at that hour I could see the damage. The van caught the limb only inches from our new bead buggy and our other old reliable car. Inches from our phone and power lines. Our poor carport was not so lucky. There may be a bit of roof damage but nothing compared to what could have happened. We've loved our giant tree. Parked outside our kitchen, we've watched raccoon families amble up its trunk. Squirrels chase and chatter at each other, round and round, up and down. Birds peeked in at us while we ate and chatted. Hearing the acorns drop on our roof from lofty heights when the wind blows in the fall is a ritual noise I look forward to. But now it is all gone. The whole injured tree endangered our little house as the Hagrid-ish tree man told us. We consoled ourselves at a local nursery trying to pick out a new tree, even as they were working to remove the giant in our front yard. Maybe a mango tree. Maybe a fig. Something that doesn't get too big or decide to "self prune" on our house. Now after two days of chain saw noise and heat wave temps, it is in pieces all over the yard, ready to be useful and beautiful in other ways. So much healthy mulch for the rest of our yard. Beautiful logs to stay and become part of the landscape. Lucky.

July 16, 2010

Oh! Really Can't Wait For Fall!

Not that I don't enjoy the mind melting temps offered up by the season (can you hear the sarcasm?) or the struggle to keep the kids occupied while I get work done, but I seriously can not wait for fall. Not only for the change in temps or the back-to-school shopping trip but for the fall issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry! Check out the preview page on their website! Goody! Bring on the fall!

July 14, 2010


Magnolia asks me for a sister. At least once a week. Sometimes she asks for a twin and instead of going into the harsh reality of that not being a possibility, I grant her, her wish in fantasy. "A twin! How exciting that would be! What would her name be?" And in a perfect world, where I would not be considered a "geriatric mom", money grew under our feet, and I had the patience of a saint, a little sister (or brother) would be a wonderful gift (Calder is pushing for a brother, by the way). Three is the magic number you know. It is hard to explain to a four year old that sisters are not always the ones you are born into the same family with. I know this from experience. Sometimes a sister is a most precious gift of a person who you are not related by blood. She is the one who you can call on with a choke in your voice and tears in your eyes, about the sister you were not allowed to know. Who consoles you when your children have run amok and you are positive that you have scarred them for life.  Who appreciates you and makes you want to shower her with gifts and laughter. I only hope that Magnolia finds "sisters" in life, like I have found mine.

July 12, 2010

She Breaks My Heart.

Every time. But in the best way. Not broken from sadness but, because it is so full of love that it shattered into a million pieces. Bursting from all the love. She proclaims at least 3 times a day "Mama. I don't want you to die. I love you so much and I would miss you!" She is only reflecting her world around her. At four she is full to overflowing with questions about life. Of course these questions only unlock new questions. I love her for it. Keeps me on my toes....

July 9, 2010


Check out Andrew Thorntons blog! He is auctioning a beautiful necklace for a great cause...


Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!


Who am I?

I sat there seething, torn between wanting to leave and wanting to let the angry verbiage flow. I could feel the adrenaline pumping and my heart was racing. Surely they can all see it's snake oil being peddled?

I am a skeptic. Through and through. When someone want's to sell me something and it has a sales pitch to go with it, my fight or flight reflexes kick in. As a nine or ten year old, I would question if the toy they were trying to sell me on T.V. was as exceptional as I was being told or if it was all smoke and mirrors. Smoke and mirrors would have usually been more fun.

So, half way through our monthly Made In Ojai member Co-op meeting, in the middle of our heated debate about space sizes and the epic, monolithic stature of my new and apparently hated display (it is a tale for another day....) we were asked to listen to a sales pitch. What was being sold? Nothing that I hadn't seen before, but it was being sold in a whole new way. We've all been into the new age shops and seen various crystals touted to protect us and our fragile chakras. The person addressing our group had clearly done this before. What was she selling? "Millions uf specially developed micro crystals, invisible to zee naked eye!" She proclaimed with her beautiful european accent. Where were these millions of micro crystals? "In zee middle of zee high quality resin!" She said enthusiastically as she passed around samples of pretty, diamond shaped pendants. Looking more like large glass tiles, tinted with different colors than the metaphysical device she was describing, I thought "Oh! Pretty!" As they passed around the circle, going hand to hand it was explained to us that a scientist (apparently with many an ailment) developed these to help protect us from EMF's (electromagnetic fields) which make us to unbalanced and cause illness. To prove their effectiveness she asked for volunteers. A woman stood from our group. Mind you we had been sitting at our meeting for about forty-five minutes, the volunteer was asked to stand on one foot, hold her arms out at her sides and resist when when her arm was pushed on. Standing on her left leg, the woman pushed on her right arm and over she went, unable to keep from falling. Over and over again. Now, she asked if she could place one of the pendants on the volunteer and asked her to wait a few minutes while she explained more about them. This is where the smoke and mirrors comes in. The time passed and she asked again, "Stand on one foot with your arms out." This time she pushed on her arm and the volunteer remained solid as a rock, unwavering. WOW! Fantastic!

And this is where I have a problem. She didn't push on the same arm as before. She pressed down on the opposite arm, the one that had the leg firmly planted on the ground. Also, having been standing for 5 minutes her body was allowed to adjust from the sitting to standing position. What does this have to do with emf's? Are you kidding me? "How much?" someone asked. "Thirty-six dollars. That is the wholesale price for you today. They regularly sell for..." are you ready for this..."Sixty dollars." And she said it with a strait face! I asked "Did you say sixteen? 1-6 dollars?" Nope. $60.

She was performing the same demonstration on another member of our group and I was about to comment on what I had noticed, when another of our group got up and wanted to purchase one. At our last meeting, this same member revealed to us that they were fighting cancer. I couldn't say anything. Who am I to destroy that hope? Who am I to say that this thing wouldn't protect them from electromagnetic fields? Maybe they just thought they were pretty?

Who am I?

I hope it does work.

July 8, 2010

Can't wait!~

This is one of the bracelets I wanted to make for the Lavender Festival. It didn't get finished in time, so it is now at The Made In Ojai store. Better late than never! I will be loading the kiln this AM and have a few new items that will make it feel like Christmas when I open the kiln tomorrow! A few ideas came to me from working with silver art clay. Can't wait!

July 4, 2010

Ojai Lavender Festival (I love my small town!)

In spite of my car obsessing mindset, I had a great day with Madeline and Yvonne at the Ojai Lavender Festival. We get along so well! I've known Yvonne since 1989 and in 1991 she officiated our wedding! We've got history together and it is good! It was a good day to be a skull bead in our booth. They seemed to walk out all on their own! Having a friend to hang out with made it such a great day. It was such an exhausting day but we had fun. So many people stopped by our booth just to say hello. I just love that about our small town, every day is filled with warm hellos and greetings. You can't walk through town and not see a familiar and friendly face. I know we'll be back next year!

July 3, 2010

Happy Independence Day!

We did it! We have a new bead wagon in the family! We found a 2005 Toyota Sienna van and It feels so good to drive down the road and feel pretty certain that you'll make it to where you are going! The kids love her too and are excited about taking trips.

A happy 4th to all!