Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Unauthoritative Review

Yeah,so I haven't posted in a long time and no I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. Life is just way to hectic and blogging is a luxury! I have turned to tea having found Teavana to help soothe my tired soul. Just got a new shipment today and tried a new chai. Its one of their new blends for 2011 and its called Taj Masala Chai Black Tea. My review of it for what is worth is about all I will have to say. Then off to make another cup and finish some jewelry. Wish I could share a cup with you!

Originally submitted at Teavana

Very Good! Thumbs up!

By Tinyart from Joliet,IL on 11/17/2010

4out of 5

Tea Body: Medium

Tea Flavor: Spicy

Pros: Aromatic, High Quality, Fresh

Best Uses: Anytime

Describe Yourself: Health Nut, High-End Shopper, Health Conscious

I am very picky about Chai tea and like mine with a pepper kick to it. When I saw there wasn't even any pepper in this one, I was hestitant about ordering it.
Just made my first cup and have to say I am very happy with it. The ginger and cinnamon come through strong and give it a really nice flavor. Now if it just had some pepper in it I would give it a5 stars! Hey..maybe I will just throw in my own peppercorns!

(legalese)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Special Bonds, Special Pieces


One of my all time favorite images to use in pieces of jewelry is the one above. It was was done by a early 1900's postcard artist named Terzi. I think its the fact that it really depicts the wonderful bond, unlike any other that we can have with our pets, that makes this image tug at my heart.

I almost lost one of my Italian Greyhounds about a month ago. Still not sure what happened but the most likely cause of his sudden extreme illness was ingesting something toxic. Haven't a clue as to what that could have been. When he was at his worst, I tried to talk myself into rationalizing that "well, we have to say goodbye to them all someday" to cope with it. But it wasn't until I let it hit full in the face that I could embrace the specialness of that bond.
All the thoughts and memories of the past 12 years of what my special friend had shared with me, and gotten me through began flooding my mind as well as my tear ducts.
Thankfully he pulled through and seems to be totally back to normal.

I think that is why I have enjoyed so much doing the a couple of pieces in the last month that weren't pieces of jewelry but what I call desk art. Miniature pieces measuring just under 3" that can be propped up on a tiny easel.
The first one was an order that a very special lady named Joan in New York ordered for her niece. Joan is in her 80's and not been feeling well for awhile now. Rather than let it get her down she regularly orders pieces for friends and relatives, by sneaking photos of their pups to me. We then work up a piece together to surprise them with. This last piece was to be a piece of "desk art" of the families new labradoodle pup named Murphy. Joan finds embracing the joy of owning a dog and sharing a special piece with the person makes her feel better. I think that is so sweet and really shows what a special person she is.



The next piece a customer ordered for a friend who had recently lost their pug. She wanted a little charm to have by the ashes of her beloved Saidie. I suggested a piece of "desk art" Kendra really liked the idea and below is the result.

I really enjoy making these little depictions of love and being a very minuscule part of that special bond of these wonderful pets and people. I hope I will have more to do in the future as it really makes my day to send one of these pieces out in the mail!

I hope that you embrace the specialness of having a pet in your life,whatever the type or species, and all that they give to us each day.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Just Chillin...its Summertime!


Well I have to admit that I kind of disappeared a bit before the official start of summer here, but you have to understand what its like in these Midwestern states.
Just outside Chicago in the burbs, we wait and wait for the good weather to hit. So the minute it even seems remotely like summer, I'm off! Off duty, off kilter, off track ...I am just plan off!
Been playing a bit of hooky, but honestly, I really don't subscribe to the notion that "summertime, and the living is easy" theory.
Seems like things shoot into high gear with just so much to do!
What does get easier is dressing! I think what I like best is the fact that I can finally go out of the house with tank top,shorts and flip flops. Just throw on a flowing long summer dress and sandals and be off! There is something liberating about it.
I think the vintage postcard of the frogs above says it best.

I have to admit I do enjoy the extra yard work, and watching my garden evolve from year to year. Its still has a way to go but it is a work of labor and love. I love playing with the palettes re gives us and moving or adding plants to get just the right contrast in color or texture.
Today I finished a pin that features a feline gardener who is looking for a new garden to tend.
Its in my etsy shop but here's a sneak peek of it.









If you would like to read about what shes looking for in her new job just go here. She is also attending a party of a very ambitious blogger named Rory who runs the show over at Tools are for Women Too Blog. In her clever way to support fellow etsy sellers she is hosting a party. To crash the party and find out what its all about, simply go here!

Well thats it for today! Time to fire up the grill, sip on a cold beer while cooking dinner. Then perhaps after cleaning up a few more weeds will be pulled before jumping into the pool for a final cool off for the night! Need to savor as much as I can, because it will be gone all too fast! Hope your summer is as enjoyable as mine has been so far!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Sometimes being human just isn't enough

It's great being human, isn't it? I mean when you can remove yourself from the mess humans have made here on planet earth.
I love that fact that we have the ability to rationalize,spiritualize,be logical,methodical,be proactive or complacent and many other abilities to deal with life on a daily basis.
But for me, sometimes it just isn't enough being human. I really need the aid of my dogs, parrots, the big rabbit outside who keeps trying to build nests in my backyard,and the serenade of the songbirds who always manage to sing on key.

I am not sure that I have a favorite animal, but if I had to choose I believe it would have to be a dog. If only because they are the easiest to "take with you" on daily errands,outings and vacations,etc. so that indeed they truly can become a big part of our life.
I recently heard a dog trainer criticizing a client on TV for being to human with her dogs. She was treating them as her children and had a complete wardrobe for them,etc. I understand the gist of what she was saying and agree that dogs need to be trained "as dogs". However, I think it is almost a part of our human nature to give them human qualities..go figure.
And let's face it, humanizing our dogs is big business today. Clothing, jewelry,furniture, you name it, you can buy it for them! So why is this? Quite puzzling really.

It really is nothing new. When I look at vintage and antique artwork it is full of little animals of all sorts being portrayed in human clothing, and carrying on all sorts of human activities.
Bonzo is a good example of that. I am always running across Bonzo postcards and they without fail make me smile. I would love to pretend to be an expert on the history of them and the artist behind Bonzo,George Studdy, but to be honest I am not. So if you would like to learn more about the two of them I will leave that to the real experts. A great website to learn more is Studdy-ing with Bonzo.
In case you have never seen Bonzo, here is an example of a postcard with him. Something about that chubby little belly makes me want to poke at him and hear him giggle just like the Pillsbury doughboy.



Just as Mr Studdy found inspiration in the human side of animals,so I must carry the same gene. As do so many others. I want to give props to a talented artist, Maggie who creates beautiful things out of her love of animals. Check out Maggies Angels when you have the time. It was her tweet on twitter that got suddenly jarred my brain into a blog post. She posted a link to this video which is an absolute blast! Its from Hungary which proves that not only is this great love timeless, but universal. If this doesn't make you smile..well then you just aren't human!



Sunday, March 28, 2010

Honey, have you ever seen a man knit socks?

Apparently the words in the title of this blog were once uttered by the seventh president of Israel, Ezer Weizman in 1994. This was said in a phone conversation to a woman soldier who had successfully appealed the Israeli Air force to open its pilot course to women.
Not about to get into any insightful discussion about politics, genders or anything deep,for that matter. My capacity for "deep thoughts" at the moment falls somewhere in between Jack Handy's and Sponge Bob.


However I do feel impelled to share a rebuttal of sorts with a picture I found recently that I find both endearing and humorous at the same time. It dates in the 1940's and I have no history for it. But as they say, a picture can be worth more than a thousand words.





I have to admit I admire anyone who can knit or crochet. There is something so Zen,useful and creative about it. Maybe someday I shall take it up. But for right now I can only find inspiration in those who can and do.

I did create my own little shout out to those knitters who like me, get a bit manic in their need to create and to have supplies to do so. With me,its beads,more beads and all the thousands of little goodies that go into creating jewelry. Never seem to have enough, although I seriously have a stash large enough to keep me creating for the next 5 years.
The knitting mania necklace was created with that in mind, and was itself inspired by a 1900's advertisement for a yarn company.





The necklace should you be interested can be found here in my etsy shop.

One final inspirational bit on knitting is to me, phenomenal. I found it thanks to PetaPixel.com, a fantastic photography blog. Be sure and check it out. They featured a great commercial developed for a natural gas company. It really is fantastic,and to take the liberty to finish up on the question asked in the blogs title..."Yes real men do knit..awesomely!" If you care to watch the "how they did it" video, check it out here after watching the piece below.



Thursday, February 18, 2010

Will the real Miss Sunshine please stand up?

I received an email today that maybe you've seen. It has many different female celebrity's shown both with and without makeup. If you haven't seen it email me and I'll send it your way. It's quite surprising!


It ends in saying, that you should feel great seeing these woman as they really are, and actually I have to say that I closed the email saying to myself smugly "Well, I ain't so bad after all."
But as the day went on I thought about it again. Whats the point in trying to look good if these women look so bad in "real" life?? I mean whats the point?? Who are we really kidding?? Twisted thinking, I know.
But it does make you think about how much we are affected by what is perceived as "real" in the life around us and whats not.
Maybe its always been a little bit that way.
Take a look at some of these vintage pictures from the 1920's, and you tell me...are these woman really all that they are presented to be?
Example #1:





Quite seriously could this woman really be so happy? I am quite sure those little bow lips are painted on because she just couldn't bring herself to smile. And she is probably wearing the little elf hoodie to hide a really bad hair day.
She just seems to glow with innocence. Who knows though really?? Maybe behind those clasped hands she hides some sort of deadly weapon. I for one just can't trust her.

Example #2:



This woman seems to be just oozing with self confidence. Impeccably groomed.
Maybe she just appears this way as she is actually sat down on the hat before placing it on her head and this is just her way of dealing with the pain of it all. And to think those in her time probably aspired to be just like her.


I do have to admit though that I do need some visual aid some days to get through them. The lack of sun here this winter has had a worse than usual effect on my spirits. Its amazing how when we get a sunny day, my spirits just shoot through the roof. Now that's visual aid for you!Seeing everything in a nice sun shining light. But for those days when the clouds gloom overhead I created the "Miss Susie Sunshine" pin using a vintage image from the 1930's. Pin it on when you feel anything but sunshiny and pretend. Just maybe you'll have a better day.



Thursday, January 21, 2010

Was that a Lucid Dream or what?

My whole day has been sort of a blur. Surreal. I have no clue what I accomplished. Sort of like a swirl of emotions and thoughts. Hazy. Much to melodramatic, but with quiet undertones.

I figured it would be best to try and pull myself out from the rubble of my mind. Maybe some music might help me be more productive and focused.
Turned to my friend Pandora radio and selected my station. Nothing to loud today,needed something quieter. Music started. Ryan Adams was first. A song called "Stop". Whoa,not sure that helped. Love the song but I find myself sinking a bit more into the melodramatic laced with despair.

Couple of other songs came along that I think got me on the right track. Don't remember what. Then all of a sudden I get hit with this sound that was like a swirling ocean and waves. Waves of beautiful sound. I know I am scaring you now.
But stay with me...it all turns out o.k.

Get up from my jewelry making and go back to the computer to check out what it is I am hearing. Hilary Stagg is the artist and the song is "Pleasant Dreams".
I start to research him and find out that he loved to scuba dive, plays an incredible electric harp, and had an untimely death. Can't find out how he died though. Cut off. Gone. So of course my melodrama intensifies.

The next hour is a little bit blurry but I find myself reading about lucid dreaming. I hate to sound stupid in case this is a well known deal but I had no clue.
How people try to pull themselves into their dreams at night and make them go the way the want them to go.
All these techniques to achieve it.
Geez, its hard enough for me to remember the proper brew time for white,green or black tea let alone learn how to dream. How on earth could I possibly learn how to be a lucid dreamer?
Besides I always thought the best part of hitting the pillow was "lights out". This is all so confusing.
Thank goodness that I came across the following video. The wonderful insanity woke me up!! Its called Lucid Dreaming in a Holographic World.



video


Not sure my reality will let me delve into my dreams right now, but at the same time my dreams will never leave my reality.( Am I sounding like the video?)
And you know what? I think that once in awhile my dreaming pays off a little.
Like the necklace below that was created out one of those moments. Its called
"Dream a Little Dream with me."


I hope you enjoy it. Oh! And do me a favor and look up Hilary Stagg. His music may do wonders for you on those dreamy sort of days. And to quote Steve Tyler...Dream on baby ..dream on!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Turn up the fire and stay put, you broody hen

We are not even officially a month into winter. So why then does it already feel like eternity?
I really do like many things about winter:
Roaring fires going all the time in the fireplace, pots of soup on the stove, warm cozy sweaters, frosted trees.
I have come to the conclusion though, I may be one of those persons who suffers mentally from lack of sun. We have had so much grey dreariness already, that its amazing that I can still function. But then again.....
I get somewhat agoraphobic at times. Rationalizing yet another reason of why I just can't go here, or there, and just need to stay in.

Is that so bad though? I mean look at the money I save in gas and at the stores.
As far as social gatherings, I just choose them carefully.
And I think that is wise. Why waste your time with people who may just annoy you.
For example, just take a look at this picture below:





Would you really want to be sitting around this table for a good time? The dude in the white tights kicking the greyhound looks to be a real gem. Not to mention he is about to crush the dog under his chair when he comes down with the back legs of it.

And the guy across from him handing the food to the young woman. ****shiver up the spine**** His posture and gaze say it all. The Talking Heads said it best .. "Psycho Killer Qu'est que c'est."

OK, so maybe I am reading into it a bit, but does this look like a warm friendly group? No, it doesn't. There doesn't seem to be one person at this table that would make it worth my time to leave the house. So I rest my case. Sometimes it just better to stay in.

Even chickens know that. I actually don't know much about chickens, but I have a wonderful customer named Tara who raises them. And houses them in the most artistic beautiful housing known to chickendom.

She makes little videos of them, and the one that caught my attention is of her chicken Peaches (who is a salmon favorelle..I have no clue what that means but thanks for sharing Tara) Anyway, I know she can relate to what I feel sometimes. She just doesn't want to get up and go anywhere. Who knew chickens could be so personable.





Which leads me to thinking of a necklace I make that I call "Are you crawling back into your shell or bursting out anew and ready to go" necklace. Yep, that's what I really call it. Check it out below. But just so you know there is no confusion on my part right now. I'm crawling back in,baby. Hibernation,here I come.



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