Perusing the World ....

with just a little spare time on my hands at the end of another long long day i went a -searching for the kinds of things that wet my whistle, make me want to stand on my hands and do back flips and STOP and make it all myself!! but how can one? i have to give in to the fact that there are countless numbers of AMAZING minds out there-- each one creating-- each one just as astounding as the next-- a universe of people capable of producing tremendous beauty-- moving, intelligent and  incredibly innovative ...

here are just a few things that have blown my mind for the moment:

the top and bottom pieces are located under the category "lace" and the other are embroidered pieces--all from the design house of karen nicol-- go to her site and view the fantastic variety of textile work -- truly inspiring!


stoic little tree...

 christmas came and is already over--- in a flash-- i spent it with my beautiful boys. my three sons and sweetest husband. i love having everyone in the house together. my older boys are grown up --one has his own apartment and the other stays with his dad for the first half of his christmas break from college-- so getting them to stay the night isn't easy-- but i think they still enjoy waking up in the morning and opening their stockings on the bed together, and then eating a great big breakfast - my youngest son gets antsy and squirmy-- he can hardly stand the tortuous waiting...  finally!! when everyone is finished eating-- we make our way to the living room and so the ritual begins... and then.. poof.. all done! the weeks of preparation and work are already a thing of the past... and now on to the new year. i think i may be in shock. BUT i'm thankful for the warmth of family and the wishes of beautiful friends, the time fleeting, precarious and precious...so to commemorate this passing of christmas once again, and the bit of sadness i feel that it can't last just a little longer,  i honor the holiday with a photo of one of our little trees that stands stoically in the window..


The Circle

 i was invited by the lovely roxana of illuminatedperfume.etsy.com  to participate in a Blog-o-Rama ADVENTure, where a series of posts for each day of the advent have added by individuals on their blogs --the theme is scent and the holidays. i must admit, that i've been terribly nervous about writing on a topic that i am not very knowledgeable about--and in the face of some very eloquent, elegant and beautifully written posts i would hate to disappoint-- but i've had some time to dwell on the subject -- to let the thoughts waft my way(  forgive me--io just had to...) over the days leading up to my day to post-- the day before the winter solstice-- a "sun-standing"-- the shortest day of winter and the longest night in the year of 2009...

over the days of letting thoughts drift in and out regarding scent-- i found myself falling back in time, in memory-- in and out of the past. down the wormholes that defy time and space--a journey. my relationship to scent, and i'm guessing this may be true for many of us, is through strong relationship with events--positive --or negative...

when i smell lilacs, i can't help but travel back instantly to a vision firmly planted in my brain of the house i grew up in, and the lilac bush that grew outside our back door. each spring, that incredible fragrance would sweep me off my feet. i remember lingering near the bushes,  pushing my nose into the soft pale violet colored clusters, feeling the coolness of the tiny petals on my face, sharing space with bumblebees who loved the aroma just as much or more than me-- it was for me the essence, the sign, the epitome of spring. we would cut some of the branches loaded with the blossoms and bring them into the house. they filled me with a feeling of happiness, contentment, their beauty and fragrance raised my spirits-- however ephemeral those moments were-- i am forever tied to those lovely and compelling flowers and their enthralling and uplifting scent.  the thing that amazes me most--is that the smell is etched in my brain and i can call it to the front at anytime....

i have a similar memory and feeling when i recall winter moments as a child --spending hours outside in the snow, building forts and making secret dwellings, often content to be alone-- my favorite place to hide and spend time was under a group of low growing evergreens. the bottom branches were just high enough for me to sit under  --but low and full enough --like a canopy -- to create the perfect hide-away.. i made snow pies covered with juniper berries. i pretended i was an inuit. i  was surrounded by the smells of snow, and refreshing scent of evergreen-- bright and energizing--full of promise -- a smell i remember as embracing-- just as the evergreen trees covered and protected me.. i feel a strong sense of tenderness and love for the trees-- so naturally, during the winter months and holiday season i feel my kinship with the trees, their stoic grace, and vibrant aroma bring me back to myself-- as a little girl-- my time of innocence and hours of play and imagination... i'm sure the hours i spent alone in my own little world as a child fueled my ability to work and create in my studio -- to find contentment in my solitude..

 long ago --when i had time to read-- i embarked on reading marcel proust's, remembrance of things past. i never finished the two volumes-- but i was impressed by a certain chapter, "combray" -- i went in search of the passage that had stayed with me for all of these years and found it this morning-- it's as beautiful as i remembered it:

".. but when from a long distant past nothing subsists, after the people are dead, after the things are broken and scattered, still, alone, more fragile, but with more vitality, more unsubstantial, more persistent, more faithful, the smell and taste of things remain poised a long time, like souls, ready to remind us, waiting and hoping for their moment, amid the ruins of all the rest: and bear unfaltering, in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence, the vast structure of recollection."

and now i leave you with a list of favorite year round smells:
sea water, sea air, sea salt, sea creatures, the sweet smell of horses, horse manure, horse stalls, hay, oats, the smell of tack rooms, leather, leather polish, the cobbler's shop, of metal, of clay, of fire.. the smell of garlic, onions, bread baking, cookies baking, sauce cooking, soup simmering, the tangy and refreshing scents of tangerine, orange, lemon, lime, of pineapple, mango, apple, sweet strawberries, honey, cinnamon, clove, pepper, cardomom, chai, toast toasting, vegetables roasting, the smell of rain, rain on hot pavement, of lightning, of thunder, of tar in the heat of summer and of hot water that erupts when you pop the tar bubbles, the smell of ozone,  of grass, of fields, of magnolias,  lilacs, and honeysuckle in the spring, of roses and lavender in the summer, of lakes, rivers, streams, rocks, leaves, worms, frogs, of evergreens,  snow, wet wool, dry wool, of hair, of my cats, of my children's heads, of feet, of hands, of necks, underarms, breath, heat, sweat, the smell of love..

many thanks to you roxana and best wishes for a year full of energy, excitement, creativity, seeking, finding, learning, and fulfillment to you and all!

here is one of roxana's new chocolate fragrances - "deep dark and mysterious"-- find it in roxana's etsy shop illuminatedperfume


december loves...

above are a few items i love made by a just few of my favorite etsy people and shops --- it seems to me that i should have made this a collage of at least a hundred things-- as i had to leave so many things out--but i'm hoping to feature a few more items over the next week--gulp--if i can find the time between working in the studio, finishing up orders and getting them shipped out--cleaning my house, trying to decorate, finishing shopping for christmas presents, wrapping them,  shipping them out and hiding the rest from my little guy who still miraculously believes in the jolly old man with the big white beard and reindeer.... ahem... i don't have the heart to break the news to him..
and well, i did have to include a few items from my vintage shop... as i think they would make great gifts for the holidays too!

1.IlluminatedPerfume -  sierra botanical natural perfume
2. Slinkymalinkicat - 1853 morris butterfly print
3.Masaoms - amethyst earrings
4. LaTouchables - the african queen in plum
5.Huismus - sterling silver pearl coral earrings
6. LittleHuismus - crocheted baby booties
7. Masaoms - christmas star necklace
8. 5gardenias - vintage christmas cardboard house decoration
9. funkeyfinds - vintage folk holiday ornaments
10. opendoorstudio - vintage wintery snowman
11. spinthread - pom pom neck hugger
12. SewnNatural - matryoshka dolls set
13.5gardenias - czech romantic ruby red cut glass deco necklace
14. 5gardenias - victorian mercury glass and tinsel ornament
15. quenchmetalworks - 3 button ring
16. hometoroost


holiday vintage from 5gardenias

coming up for air--wishing there were at least 48 hours in a day--or that i could clone myself. is this a universal wish? well in any case while i'd love to have one of those wonderful blogs that brings new talent and inspired work to drool over to my home page each day-- i find that i have all i can do to get an occasional post in now and again--especially this time of year as the holidays call for upping inventory in my etsy shops and making jewelry work for shows that i'm participating in. i managed to put together a collage of some of 5gardenias holiday vintage finds that are recently listed in the shop.

stop by and have a poke around if you're a vintage lover.. i will be adding more holiday themed treats during the course of the week.

1. twin vintage ornaments 
2. petite point peeptoes
3. little parrot child's cup
4. 1950s cardboard putz village house
5. 1950s mercury glass & mirror village set
6. deep peacock blue victorian beaded bag
7. little duke porcelain and cloissonne brooch
8. engraved silver plate serving platter


ghost of vintage platter past...

i've been nose to the literal grindstone this week gearing up in the studio trying to make new jewelry for a few holiday shows i'm participating in-- i can never seem to make enough-- and keeping up with the daily routines (laundry, house cleaning, blechh) gets harder and harder at this time of year. i adore the holidays--but they don't come without a price. i vow every year to keep gift giving and decorating simple-- or to make every gift--but somehow i wind up running like a mad woman and scrambling to find just the right things..

i've been also trying to photograph and stock all of the wonderful vintage items i've collected for the holidays-- i will have some putz houses coming soon, wonderful antique tinsel and mercury glass victorian ornaments, another fantastic art pottery gnome planter, some czech faceted glass deco necklaces... just a matter of getting it all listed!!

in the meantime-- as i was doing a shoot the other day-- i decided to play a little and came up with some somewhat ghostly images of a wonderful silver plate platter that will be listed in 5gardenias this weekend. still thinking of miss havisham and her dusty, cobwebby lace and silver filled table ... now i just need that tinsel...


iris-- l'actrice, renaissance woman and chanteuse

i am a huge fan of our beloved iris of brownbunnybyiris on etsy. iris is not only a fantastic designer, but she's an accomplished painter, actress and as it turns out - fabulous vocalist as well.  -- when i hear her sing i hear the city in all of the expressive and softly sultry nuances of iris's lovely vocals...  

here is "hello berlin" iris's recording with her husband karl, along with a video of iris' neighborhood in berlin -- iris is playing base --i will be the first in line when the c.d. comes out!!

...  O.K. iris... what else have you got in that bag of tricks of yours??!!

thank you iris and karl for giving me permission to post this wonderful video and recording! XOXO

be sure to click on the video to hear iris and karl's recording-- it's now located at the bottom of the blog page--scroll down to the end to find it--!


hand made jewelry and vintage sampler

i decided to combine items from both my jewelry shop kathiroussel.etsy.com and my vintage shop 5gardenias.etsy.com with a preview of pieces handmade and collected right on time for holiday gift giving!

from my jewelry shop you will find:  hand made necklaces, rings and a bracelet or two ( coming soon) --all made with sterling silver, fine silver, & copper-- and all are treated with patinas and finishes such as keum boo ( fused gold leaf), enamel, oxidation and depletion gilding-- details such as stitched coral seed beads and fresh water pearls are often added.  many are one of a kind but there are also items that can be made to order--but hurry --made to orders need to be ordered by no later than december 10th to be ready for shipping and available for gift giving. the last date for shipping out will be december 19

my vintage shop is being stocked on an ongoing basis with lots of great holiday finds:  antique ornaments, silverplate, crochet lace, kitsch, glasses, mugs-- plates, platters, bowls, stocking stuffers -- and two favorites --a cowboy survival holiday kit ( great stocking stuffer) and a tea party in a basket holiday kit..  please go and poke around


look what the mailman brought...

if i could buy everything i love on etsy-- i would have to buy a barn to store it all in. so i try very hard to restrain myself. now and again though, i find myself compelled to secure something that just calls out to me. this brings me to "ramone" and lori koop, who has an etsy shop, LoriKoop.etsy.com where she sells her one of a kind "wabi sabi" ceramics on etsy. i met lori by way of the treasuries on etsy and included a few of her pieces in my collections. having been a potter at one time, i appreciate the art of ceramics and the fact that lori's pieces are entirely built by hand ( the old zen master's way). the sweet tactile nuances -- uneven rims, bumpy surfaces and organic personality shine through and give each piece its unique personality, and reveal so much about their lovely and vibrant maker.  another thing that's really endearing about lori and her work is that she names her pots. i fell in love with "ramone" and decided it was time to adopt another family member. i almost fell for diane--but it seems she has made her way somewhere else in the world.

 ramone arrived nestled in his comfortable bubble and peanuts. he came with a sweet offering of dried seed pods. it was love at first sight. ramone is charming, handsome and down to earth -- a great conversationalist, but on the quiet side. ramone is deceptively complex-- like most of us-- he is full of contrasts. he has a wonderfully grainy light dove grey exterior-- -- you can feel the earthy grog when you handle the bowl. ( beard stubble?)--- inside is a beautiful smooth glossy pale blue green celadon glaze- the deep clear waters of ramone's soul. he has incised dots and dashes on his rim both inside and out accented with rich iron oxide rubbed in for contrast.-- the secret code to ramone's heart?

i'm happy to have ramone come and live with us, he fits in beautifully with my other treasured family of pots. i am smitten. ramone is home.

here are a few samples of some of lori's pieces from her shop... i'm really loving the bird house--named lucy---ohhhhhh!


Thanks Scoutie Girl!!!

i'm so slow in catching up with things sometimes and i meant to post this wonderful shout out from Scoutie Girl  blog editor Tara Gentile  as soon as i received her email... but on the run for two days leaves me with a slightly belated post and link-- but no less  happy for the lovely boost-- Many thanks Tara!! please go and poke around Scoutie Girl-- it's got a little bit of everything-- lots and lots of wonderful etsy artists featured, interesting interviews, and links to one great shop after another --a great blog to loose oneself in!


Sequel to the Fable of the Wooden Clogs

The Enchanted Garden of the Black Monkey

i'm finally in the halloween spirit-- i loved fairy tales as a little girl-- Grimm's and Han Christian Anderson were loaded with so many amazing stories.. so i made these collections in honor of those wonderful books and tales!


Fable of the Wooden Clogs

here are all 16 frames from the etsy treasury-- in the spirit of halloween... and the fun of storytelling. be sure to go to the treasury while it's up and add to the telling of the tale...

new jewelry from my etsy shop kathiroussel.etsy.com

some new pieces for my etsy shop. nature based--- leaves, pods and flowers--always favorites of mine. simple, organic, modern and urban--

top: fives leaves necklace , made of fold formed whitened sterling silver leaves and torch fired enameled flower, and hangs on a 7 strand fine black steel neck wire with a bayonet clasp in 22kt. gold.

bottom left: line drawing open orb necklace, made of forged whitened sterling silver w/ fresh water pearl on oxidized sterling chain, with hand made toggle clasp.

middle: dangle leaf earrings, made of fold formed and whitened sterling silver, hanging on contrasting oxidized sterling chain.

right: pine cone & pod necklace, made of hand forged & enameled copper, oxidized fold form leaf, and a hand cut agate pine cone by talented stone cutter gary wilson.  all hang on oxidized sterling chain with a hand made toggle clasp.


nest ...... all 16 frames

i can't resist posting all 16 frames of this etsy treasury--  and it makes my record of 3 posts in one day. i can go for days or even weeks without making an entry and then wha baam--- 3 in one day. i love everything here-- and could easily bring each and every item home with me!


more vintage

i've been feeling nostalgic for old silver and lace-- it's the miss havisham in me--but i've learned since growing up to lower my expectations....

that's why i can enjoy pieces left tarnished and silver plate that is worn away is spots.  i've always been a sucker for aging, cracking, peeling, blemished and well used objects-- the mystery of history. the funny thing is that i used that phrase "mystery in the history" in one of my item descriptions in my vintage shop listing yesterday morning. then last night i watched a brief few minutes of t.v. ( boy is t.v. boring these days!), and there was a used car salesman saying "there's NO mystery in the history..." !!! i can swear to you that i've never heard that silly commercial. so i have to ask what are the odds of that phrase being repeated in the same day and with total opposite emphasis??....  and by a used car salesman no less!! hah!! - is this some kind of cosmic parallel?--- or my lost twin brother?  or perhaps a glimpse of myself in a past or future life as a used car salesman??  love that!!

above is a sterling silver tea strainer-- with a lovely patina of tarnish, and a silver plate chatelaine coin purse with some fine surface wear and a wonderful softly faded violet interior... these items are both for sale in my vintage shop, 5gardenias


better late than never

a collage featuring one of my favorite jewelry artists-- iris eichenberg with some pieces from  her blossom series, some fun new vintage finds from my vintage shop 5gardenias, and a vibrant series of owl rings by idlehands from etsy.. oh and a wonderful, colorful necklace from dutch artist  ursula woerner from op vorraad.

eichenburg's work speaks of unseen systems at work -- natural internal mechanisms-- animal and human--mysterious and ambiguous at times --always leaving the viewer with a need to know more... organic and visceral. visually stunning- made in all of my favorite media, ceramic,  (porcelain) silver, and a variety of textiles.

my latest vintage finds at 5gardenias have an old world, mrs havasham kind of feel-- great expectations and cobwebs... i've suddenly fallen in love with tarnished sterling and silver plate, old sewing notions, and crocheted lace... visit my shop for more...

and a treat from etsy shop idlehands-- just in time for halloween these owl rings are cast from colorful resin. visit idlehand's super fun shop for more   dark humored and spirited items --  stitched heart pendants, blood garnet rings and skeleton pendants..

and last but not least --another talented jewelry artist featured on a favorite jewelry blog op voraadd , ursula woerner has made a colorfully modern necklace titled loop- in- loop. check out the blog for many more wonderful jewelry artists!

happy autumn!


saturday morning with... thePhotoZoo

i found darla's work  through a treasury on etsy. i fell in love instantly with her dreamy, grainy visions--poetic and rich in visual content. you can find a wonderful array of her photos in her etsy shop thePhotoZoo.

when you browse in darla's shop and open her photos individually -- you will find along with the description, an inspired quote which adds to the beauty of each piece and reveals some of the inspiration behind darla's work. you will also find part 4 -- the image that completes this stunning butterfly series -- along with it's beautiful quote...


saturday's featured artists on...sunday

for today-- some modern jewelry. a wonderful blog- op voorraad features a variety of dutch artists selling their  contemporary designs...  i'm a huge fan of the color-- and the rough or un-fussed with finishes & organic qualities of these pieces-- giving them an amazingly fresh and modern appeal .

top row 1. patrizia thomazo/ lelies earrings  2. jorge manilla/ histories of a big city
bottom row 3. agnes larsson/ hibernate  4. sara mesritz/ kickin' it


global etsy project embrace team

 i just got word today from kristin, of loveartworks on etsy --and team captain of global etsy project embrace--that teamepe is official as of this morning!!!!  for those of you who are wondering... etsy project embrace is an etsy support group brought together by kim, aka slinkymalinkicat  and amy of thepeachtree in order to support fellow etsy artist and friend laura, of creativelytangled who has been undergoing chemotherapy to treat ovarian cancer. laura has been mapping her progress on her blog staytuned09--  a wonderfully inspiring journal of her experiences. laura has provided the light and laughter for all of us with her amazing courage, love and humor... and we are all thrilled for laura as her doctor has reported that her cancer has gone into remission!!!!
now teamepe has grown with over 60 members devoted to offering support and awareness for others who are going through the experience of having cancer. many of the artists are donating to the American Cancer Society with proceeds from their etsy shops-- others are lending moral support and helping in whatever way they are able. i'm excited to be part of this wonderful group!


corn husk dolls

i found these corn husk dolls last spring tossed in a pile-- as though they no longer were of any interest... i swooped them up without thinking twice! i'm a total sucker for oddities and quirky things.. these are just so sweet .. made with loving details:  braids made from the corn silk, aprons, hats and sashes, curly hair, and my two favorites are the little boy dressed in blue knickers and hat-- and the rabbit wearing the long dress with the pink ruffle collar...


september vintage saturated in color

  just a few new things from 5gardenias vintage -- lots of color and funky finds... i'm loving the 70s chunky amber rocks glasses which remind me of gin rummy games in the kitchen, whiskey sours,  and maraschino cherries-- an electric blue sapphire butterfly wing grecian cameo pendant that vibrates with color ( 40s-50s), a fabulous marigold and white marbled enameled bowl perfect for a fall fruit fallout, a 1950s mink fur hat with netting for oh so chic glancing across dimly lit crowded cafe rooms, and a pair of intensely cobalt, cobalt blue tea cups with rococo- like handles, which make tea taste very special... oh...and a sweet waddling pair of duck salt & pepper shakers from 1950s japan --they like each other very much ... cute....


saturday morning...with Michel Maule

good morning! i can't believe that saturday has rolled around so quickly ...wasn't i just here a minute ago? well it's as if i never left because here i am again with a cup of joe in front of the computer and my blog page open-- and this beautiful autumn morning light is keeping me company..

i discovered portland oregon artist  michele maule's work just recently when i was doing a search for "water" on etsy. there among the variety of objects and images my eyes caught sight of a rich inky sepia brown landscape and a hulking form in the distance-- a water tower. i was struck by the deep stark beauty and mood of the piece and it's painterly use of materials...  so off i went to michele's etsy shop to find more.

once there i was amazed by the range of work -- figures, interiors, still lives, objects-- each with a story to tell of the artist's intimate relationship to her world. one of my favorite interiors, is "tied to you" an image of a sturdy old fashioned windsor style chair and a modern office chair tied to one another with a fine red string.  this image speaks so simply and beautifully of the relationship of two --a portrait of a couple.

here's a sampling of some of michel's prints, collages and paintings-- if you go to her etsy shop, and i hope you do, keep in mind that her paintings are out for the day at a show and will be returned in the next day or so..


summer strawberries and sweet surprise peas!

i have never loved a garden plant as much as the strawberries that i planted in a huge deep container on my city deck in the beginning of this summer. we don't have much room for a vegetable garden.. i would have a huge one if i could.. but we do manage to squeeze in a few goodies on our deck each summer season. usually some herbs; basil, parsley, sage, rosemary --but not thyme-- coriander, chives, catnip, tomatoes, clematis, and this time around strawberries. i was so surprised and delighted by the continuous growth and abundance of strawberries that kept on coming--so sweet-- and wonderfully hardy. what a generous plant--and it asked for so little in return.

as i was picking a few ripe strawberries the other morning and tending to some weeding, to my surprise --nestled and hiding in among the berries were a little enclave of sweet peas growing happily  and anonymously in the secret recesses of the strawberry leaves... so now i know what i'm adding to next year's deck garden--  sweet peas!

so here is a little homage and thanks to my sweet little garden goodies.. thanks berries, thanks peas...            thanks summer...


saturday mornings...Good Golly Miss Holly

i've decided it's time to start featuring some of my favorite artists -- many will be from etsy of course, because i have grown so fond of so many over time--it's the most logical place to begin..it's just difficult to choose--as there are so many many talented and creative souls. it's a deep deep well to dip into.

saturdays are going to be my target feature day-- i can't think of a better way to start my saturday mornings--  a cup of coffee near at hand-- the sound of cartoons trickling in from the other room... the autumn air and light coming in the window, the city sounds of bottles clanking in shopping carts and trucks motoring by.... and my favorite's list in front of me...

the first feature for this september saturday morning  is the wonderful watercolor work of etsy artist gollybard-- aka holly. it was love at first sight when i saw her images at least a year ago. i adore her ability to distill the qualities of nature into a concise message of beauty and poetry--with a distinct "quirky" style ( holly's own words she describes her work with) -- filled with light, color and incredible sensitivity. the images have an immediate warming and emotional impact on me. i feel connected instantly to the things i love about nature. i find i am continually delighted every time i return to see her latest work. thanks holly-- for giving the world such beautiful gifts!


berries for birds

i make lots and lots of treasuries on etsy, and for those of you who do too, you will know when i say that there are some that you just love -when a certain bit of magic comes together-- and then poof-- it disappears, after such a short while up. so i thought well.. i'll keep this one around for a bit and post it on the old bloggo--


collective unconscious

i have been neglecting my blog-- making new work for my jewelry shop and gathering new finds for my vintage shop have been taking most of my time. with the onset of autumn and kids back to school, i feel the surge coming.. the energy is building as the chill starts to set in and the sun sets earlier each day. i am moving into a faster pace again. each moment of everyday is filled with doing...

finally-- i have something to post-- this is a wonderful victorian piece from the turn of the century which serves as both a brooch and a pocket mirror--and is currently available in my vintage shop.  the lithographic image has been decoupaged to a metal base and fitted with a mirror on the back along with a "c" style pin back clasp.  a  pretty young lady gazes out at the viewer with a steady knowing look. she wears a regency style empire dress. her curled locks are tied with a flowing scarf which wraps around her neck. she's framed with gold scrollwork .

i have always been a fan of objects or designs that are multi functional.  this fair little lady gazes out at you from one side, and when you turn her over, you gaze back --at yourself! there is something about this dual purpose brooch/mirror that is both wonderfully useful and mildly entertaining.

the brooch/mirror inspired a series of photos that seemed to hint at a deeper meaning-- so i enjoyed the time putting this collage together... i kept thinking of the word "unconscious" and then titled the collage "collective unconscious".


time for new work

 i'm now officially back to the grindstone with new work on my table, waiting to be completed and listed in my etsy shop. i won't list things until i have a good handful so as to get some momentum going. wish i wasn't so slow--but some of the pieces are fairly complex to make as they incorporate a number of phases and techniques, not to mention hand made chain...

here is a sea flower pendant similar to a few i've had in my shop previously--this time a chartreuse enameled hand cut flower sits in it's darkened dome chamber that echoes its shape. hand wrought chain with delicate long links are oxidized black.

i'm also experimenting with some new stack rings and rings. keeping them simple so that i can take orders for rings is a goal... hand wrought and with some added elements with fused gold give these a great modern but organic feel ... by the way, the prop in this photo is a wonderful cast porcelain branch that alyssa from BROOKLYNrehab made--

i'm hoping to have new work listed in my shop by the beginning of september--- until then---nose to the grindstone!!


home early

home unexpectedly early from a short lived beach vacation-- so now i'm playing catch up and hooky at home. a little time to photograph and list and make a collage of some new/ old items available in my vintage shop 5gardenias. i happen to love the cartoon faced dutch girl and boy salt and pepper couple from the 1930s and the 1970s slip cast buddha-like frog settled in with some vintage tea cups--


how to tie a cravat... or (k)not...... or perhaps how to aim like a sharp shooter with a cravat on....

my dearest henry has posed for me. i made him wear a spiffy green and white striped shirt and model a vintage silk cravat for my 5gardenias vintage shop. if i could, i'd have him model everything--even my jewelry--he is very patient and so much fun--- he stood by while i learned how to tie a cravat.. or at least tried to...


claiming my blog!!

i am claiming my blog-- a big moment!!??? ha --well i was told to post this mysterious code to "claim my blog" --

there--- i did it!

now that was exciting--- or was it?


hearts for laura slocum

there are many of us who have faced and are yet to face large challenges in our lives. it seems that these obstacles come when we least expect them or want them. some obstacles require great courage and much support from family and friends. some of you may know laura slocum-- i have only known her through the treasuries on etsy. i have used some of her sweet light filled water colors in a few of my treasuries- she also creates vibrantly colorful jewelry in her other etsy shop creativelytangled

from what i know of her, she is loved by many, has a wonderful kind spirit, a great sense of humor, she is energetic and creative--she has a beautiful family and many many friends!

laura as it turns out was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer. it had been in her family. needless to say she is now faced with many hurdles and challenges. chemo, and surgery to name a few... many of us are familiar with cancer and have either had to deal with it ourselves or to help a friend or family member through their ordeal.

laura has many friends on etsy--some she has known since she started her shop and some who she will just now be discovering... kim, aka slinkymalinkicat, along with amy from peachtree are two friends who wanted to do something in support of laura. they have launched projectetsyembrace. this is a group effort that includes any and all who wish to participate. the focus is to raise awareness and money to donate to the american cancer society on laura's behalf. you can donate proceeds from one or more items from your shop -- you can choose a % to donate or a full amount-- it's up to you. most important-- please send your loving thoughts for healing and recovery to laura-- we can all do at least that much!

here is a message that laura wrote regarding her experience:

I believe that you must play the hand you’re dealt. Six weeks ago, I was diagnosed with stage 3 Ovarian Cancer. My mom died from the same. I am a huge believer in eating right, exercising, and getting regular checkups. I’ve done all those things, yet, I have cancer. WOW. That’s a life-changing situation, for sure. I just turned 46 …. (a very very young 46!) Strangely, I feel blessed. Most everyday of these 6 weeks, I’ve had a smile on my face. I’m going to play the hand I’ve been dealt in the best and most positive way I know how. I’m so fortunate my boys are older, they drive, they can do laundry and help around the house. There will always be some people in this world who have it better and some who have it worse. That’s just life.

I’ve been an Etsy addict since around this time last year, when I started doing treasuries. My sister Jenn, of jennreese7 and my niece Kelly, of SweetnessJewelry, are also crazy about Etsy. The one thing I’ve learned in the past year is that Etsy has made it a point to have their competing sellers be friends through promoting each other in the treasuries. That sounds kind of funny, but, on the quest to have the “coveted” FP, we create treasuries, we comment on other treasuries, we “convo” people all over the world to congratulate them on their successes, and we make friends. Aren’t we supposed to be competing for sales?? Well, maybe some things are just more important than sales. From the moment I had a diagnosis, while still in the hospital, my Etsy friends were first on the scene – building treasuries just for me, wishing me well, offering advice, sending gifts, and a few have gone so far as to donate proceeds to the American Cancer Society in my
honor!! Just to remind you………these are people ....I’VE NEVER MET! They have completely gone out of their way to be a friend or try to put a smile on my face. I now even talk to some of them on the phone! Now, I’m not talking 2 or 3 friends, I’m talking like 30 or 40! Some people just have checked my profile and offer words of encouragement! The first day that we learned about my chemo and all the ‘ins and outs’, the ‘goods and bads’, etc., my husband went online to search for support groups. He said to me that night, “I will never do that again, I was so depressed that I had to get off the computer” I said, in reply, “I don’t need support groups, I all need are my friends on Etsy”! They lift me up on a daily basis.

It is Sunday. Tomorrow morning, I will leave my house at 7:30 am for my first round of chemo. I will have an IV drip for about 6 hours and be home around 5:00 pm. I will do that again on Tuesday, then again on Wednesday. then again on the following Monday. I look forward to 8 months of that chemo schedule, followed by another year of some form of maintenance chemo.

There are 4 things I know for sure:
1. I am a Christian and I believe God has a plan for me.
2. I believe in myself to do the very best I can do and try to help others in the process by getting my story out there.
3. I have the most wonderful and supportive husband, family and friends.
4. Logging onto Etsy everyday and hearing from my friends will keep this smile on my face, not matter what I am going through.

If you would like to be a part of etsyprojectembrace you can donate the profits or percentage of profits from one or more listings to the American Cancer Society. Add the tag 'etsyprojectembrace' to the listing (or listings) and mention the project and reason for it in your listing description/s.

If you have any questions, or any ideas as to how you could help further then please feel free to convo kim at slinkymalinkicat, or Amy at ThePeachTree.


little rooster

this little rooster figurine sold just hours after i listed him in my shop-- i can't help but get a little attached to things sometimes and he sure does look cute in the little red wagon. so i thought i would post a picture of him to remember him by... the wagon, the chair and the egg are staying with me! ( part of my prop collection)


couple of cukes and a couple

well this just tickled me to no end when i placed the cucumber salt and pepper shakers next to this pretty pair on the mantle for my photo shoot of vintage pieces recently listed in my etsy shop. i have to find ways to amuse myself-- juxtaposing unlikely objects is one of my favorite ways to give myself a chuckle...

both the cukes and the cute couple ( planter) can be found in my vintage shop 5gardenias.etsy.com


summer vintage

here are a few new summer vintage items from 5gardenias my etsy vintage shop. lots of sea and sun inspired collectibles-- i'm always in love with summer finds-- they have a touch of salty ocean air, farm stands, warm summer breezes, flip flops, sleeveless tops, melting ice cubes, and books marked with corners folded in...