doug and mike starn

 i 've been watching and loving the work of the starn twins since 1980's when i first encountered them at the museum school in boston.  they continue to amaze me with their dual vision. the brothers are twins -- and they work collaboratively. single-mindedly producing photographs that push the bounderies in terms of scale and technique. part science, part documentation, part art, part mystic invocation-- they have an evocative and entrancing style. i recently discovered ( and i'm coming to this several years after the fact -- but who cares!) a fairly monumental, architectural piece that was being built by rock climbers and then photographed by the starns--aptly named "big bambu". constructed and photographed in their beacon warehouse..  an amazing labor and testament to determination... the starns are noted for their mosaic photographs-- pieces taped together....  when you looked at the final big bambu photo, you can see that this is an amazing collage.
"Big BambĂșis consistent with the idea of a self-healing organism; within this “fabric” of bamboo pole network, the artists expect that some poles will stress and fail, but that the structure (the bamboo poles are fibrous and flexible unlike wooden boards that crack and break apart) will maintain some integrity. The tower represents the concepts of self-organization, adaptation and the interconnectedness of all things."


kensington ice and coal co.

oh --and i nearly forgot-- the rusty framed but very lovable thermometer that's about to be listed at 5gardenias.


new vintage

new in the sense that these will be freshly listed in 5gardenias vintage over the next few days...

1. bag piper linen towel
2.  owl takes on plants and what knots ceramic planter
3. silver plate cutlery set   to be listed soon
4. pretty porcelain teacup daintly little set-- sweet gift for valentines day...
5. the royal "we" serving tray metal printed serving tray-- get served by the king and queen!
6. lily--  oh lily hand blown art glass lily flower
7.  garnets for the girl  victorian paste glass garnet pin
8. the ladies' lady victorian silk lingerie bag with lace trim and satin drawstring


butterfly effect

 oh! i just found out that i'm in the running for Poppytalk's favorite handmade jewelers poll. well that's a nice surprise! i see many familiar names on that list --all wonderful jewelry artists-- so of course it will be tough for anyone voting! if you would care to vote for me click on the poppies image below and look for my name in the jewelry part 1 list.  p.s  many thanks to the person or persons who nominated me-- i don't know who you are, but i appreciate your support!

"there is always some madness in love. but there is also always some reason in madness. "

i had to do it-- i made a traditional heart- for valentine's day (or anytime really).. a sterling heart shaped shadow box features a golden butterfly-- a symbol of the soul --liberty, luck-- and love of course! the bail and toggle clasp are a mix of sterling and 14kt gold--all parts are handmade with the exception of the sterling chain.  available in my etsy shop.


irena graewe

i'm a closet interior design freak and think if things had gone a bit differently i could easily have found myself as happy as a pig in proverbial shit creating spaces with color and objects-- like giant stage settings-- and that's what designer irena graewe does-- she creates amazing mood with color, texture, objects-- all fitting together in the most visually stimulating and exciting ways.... here are a few of her interiors to drench you in color and warmth on a cold winter's day..


etsy front page

it's always fun to land a front page on etsy. this one hit while i was sleeping-- first time i wasn't up until 2 am this week-- and that's when it ran.  never the less-- i always enjoy when  a collection gets chosen-- and i love when sellers get a good boost from the exposure. 


collection series #1

so.. i'm bringing out my collections and photographing them. i love collecting --and viewing other people's collections. i mentioned i would start a collections series, so i guess this is the official start. i decided to begin with one of my favorites.  a victorian shell art box, a fishtank, covered with chromolithographs of the sea floor on the sides, and swimming fish inset behind glass on a mercury glass mirror. the top and bottom border of the tank is encrusted with shells of all shapes and sizes. this is by far the most completely whimsical and delightful piece of my small and very cherished collection.

these shell art boxes were often given as valentine gifts by sailors. i don't know if this tank falls into that category but it's definitely from the turn of the century. sadly some of the outer lithographs have crumbled away, but the fish remain in good condition. the interior of  the box is lined with a creamy antique green paper. this is where i keep my vintage shell art jewelry collection. a variety of detailed and delicate brooches and one pair of earrings-- all so very sweet.  i used to find them at flea markets back in the days when i scoured the new england flea markets nearly every weekend.


saturday loves...

many of the inspired designs here are found via yatzer,
the stunning paper lighting pieces are made by paula arntzen ,  the embroidered bird and black cut work neck piece are courtesy of karen nicol interiors, the amazing wood furniture designs belong to joseph walsh . the colorful floral ceramic stack was made by becky risdel, the ceramic cup lighting belongs to laura pregger, the crazy grand globe of incandescent bulbs by tim fishlock, and the wire led chandelier is designed by mouna andraos. the belgian house with perforated sun screens is designed by dmVa. wire wall sculpture by mari andrews, and jewelry incorporating photgraphy is made by bettina speckner.


ringing in the new year

o.k. so i'm a bit corny using a title like that -- but sometimes i can't help myself-- i just have to...

i just finished two new rings for my etsy shop--  golden papillon ring and golden sun ring... one of them features a golden butterfly, and  the other a sun. each float above a starry milky way. i guess i'm paying more attention to the planets and stars these days, as my son just finished his project on jupiter a few weeks ago, i realized how i often forget to look up in the sky-- with my head always looking down at a table full of work. so it gives me a great feeling of joy to express some love for and to devote some attention to the distant beauty above.



i'm fascinated by collections-- of all kinds. people bring home amazing things, and cherish old and new with equal pleasure, redo rooms to feature objects,  put up shelves to show them to the world. what meaning do they hold for each of us and why? i believe that objects carry time and experience --bits of history vibrating at their core. we pick them up or view them from across the room and feel them call-- each of us hears a different story, and responds in a unique way.  i'll go to a thrift shop and pick up this object and that one-- but ignore others. sometimes i find i can't let go of something -- it comes home with me, it lives with me. i visit with it and carefully observe its markings, signs of age and use-- a lost bit of paint here, a small crack there-- a lifetime of experience held in my hand.. or often centuries of life- even more mind blowing.. and not only do i feel connected to these objects, i feel that they connect me to another space and time, to people long gone, who lived and touched each of these objects, just as i do--probably had them on a shelf of their own, or in a pocket, or drawer-- i can almost make my way there..
i'm hoping to feature some of my collections over the next few months as i have quite a few, some carefully tended to, some ignored, some sought after, some happened upon, some extremely old, some relatively new-- all of them strangely a reflection of my personality ( yikes ) and of my many moods. i would also like to feature other people's collections, so if you have any that you would like me to post, please drop me a line-- i think it would be great fun to see what everyone has tucked away...


winter snow

it's been a totally cold somewhat snowy and extremely grey week here in buffalo. i think there is a statistic written somewhere that this region has about 65 sunny days out of the year... i might have made that amount up-- but it sure feels like that's an accurate count-- i know i'm close.

 today seemed to epitomize the worst of buffalo weather -- with a frigid dampness and snow turning from white to grey brown from traffic on the streets.. i had so much trouble forcing myself out of my warm toasty bed this morning-- the air in our house was cold and unfriendly. i spent the first part of the day filling out forms and paying bills-- yuck. the second part of the day i made my way out on icy streets to my studio. there wasn't enough time left in the day to actually finish anything. just a work table with half finished pieces. anyhow-- i think the post holiday buffalo grey days winter blues have already set in. if it's going to be winter then i want it to snow and fill the sky and block out all the city distractions, and muffle all of the city noise-- the soft quiet that snow brings-- a kind of cleansing and purity that blankets the world for awhile-- so lovely and soothing.  this installation by artist simone decker, makes me feel the way a winter snowfall makes me feel.  these are three images are of her installation called filtre. the work has an almost overwhelming but incredibly beautiful stillness -- much like a white out-- when flakes fill the sky and obliterate the view of almost all other things....


henry's happy new year

o.k so i'm just a few days late with this--but it's not easy getting a kid up on the roof! happy 2010 to all! i hope every one finds creativity, excitement, happiness, inspiration, love and fulfillment in their year to come.


2010 is here..

it's here-- a turning of a decade. it seemed such a short time ago that we were emerging from the end of century and now here we are in the early stages of a new century. we've bridged the ending and beginning of two centuries-- there seems something poignant about that.. something exciting..

i've taken a brief break from my studio to enjoy the holidays and try to get caught up with a few things around my home-- and just to decompress a bit. i'm enjoying staying tucked inside and wrapped in my robe or cozy sweater and pjs until late in the morning-- it's such a treat-- almost seems decadent!

in the meantime i've been photographing some new pieces for my jewelry shop --just a few things ready for the new year.  i'll reopen my etsy jewelry shop in several days. i still have much to do when i get back to work in my studio-- i have a lot of ideas, just not sure which direction they will take me at this point. that's the best part--

here are some forged sterling silver bangles in a set of five with hammered disks, cups and citrine stone interspersed around the bands. light and comfortable to wear. i will offer the bangles in varying sizes to accommodate.

a sweet and simple sterling silver ring with three cups, the center one has fused 23 kt gold leaf. this will be available for made to order in individual ring sizes.