Tuesday, February 25, 2014

In Memoriam of Annie Menasco

Annie Menasco
There is a hole in my heart this week,  only time and good memories can fill it.
At 90 years young my Grandma was reunited with my Grandpa, all her brothers and sisters and all the generations before her.  The secondary problems constantly popping up during her recovery from surgery last summer have proven to be too much for her now frail body. The world is a slightly dimmer place today as she returns to her place amongst the stars.

a glimpse of Grandmas life via Etsy treasury
Grandma was born in Arkansas but the dust bowl and the depression made it impossible for the family farm to support the family any longer and they picked up, like so many others of the time and moved west looking for work, landing in the small mining town of Chloride just outside of Kingman Arizona in the Mojave Desert. There she met and married my Grandpa who also happened to be there looking for work. She thought he was handsome, and as she tells it so did all the other girls, she said she thought she never had a chance. Turns out she was the only one who ever stood a chance.

Grandpa went off to war and Grandma held down the home front. When he returned they began expanding the family, paying the Doctor for deliveries with chicken dinners.  {seriously! I think we need to bring back the bartering system!}

When they finally moved to California, Grandpa paid for the house they lived in for the rest of their lives with his new convertible and $8000.  {again! I say we need to bring back the bartering system!}

My Grandmother loved her garden, growing several flowers that will always remind me of her, roses, camellias, 4 o'clocks and hibiscus on occasion too. Her favorite color was red and many of the flowers in her garden bore that gorgeous hue.

Grandpa became the Commander of the VFW and she the first lady of the Auxiliary. I have many fond memories of Memorial day Poppy sales (so that we never forget our fallen and do right by our veterans)

Grandma spent her retirement taking care of me, most of my cousins and crocheting countless doilies, afghans, and lap warmers. Each of my children owns one of her pieces and uses them well.

Always quick witted she had a wonderfully fiery spirit and an equally fierce love of her family. Both as passionate as her favorite reds descry. I can only hope I am remembered with as much love and and happy memories as she.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

February's Birthstone - Amethyst

This Amethyst Geode Lives in My Window

I enjoyed creating the January birthstone treasury enough I thought I might make it a monthly thing. It gives me a color theme for at least one treasury a month, I get to showcase a couple of my own pieces here, and since I like using color themes that works out well for me.  Bonus, it gives me a guaranteed topic for one post a month! I'd say it was cheating but if I look back over my posts I have several months missing one weeks posting and blogs LOVE consistency so it's actually making me a better blogger.

Instead of just making the treasury and calling it good, or showcasing it here with a few of my own pieces I thought it might be more interesting if I added a little something. Which helps me as I don't have jewelry for each of the birthstones - I really should remedy that! A couple years back I stumbled onto the poems for each month, first published by Tiffany's in 1870 from an unknown author. Each month has a poem corresponding to the months birthstone, if a month also has other accepted stones, I'll include that info too. At this time though unless I find it particularly interesting I'm only including the US version of the birthstone - getting on with February....


The February-born shall find
Sincerity and peace of mind,
Freedom from passion and from care,
If they an amethyst will wear.

The most recognized stone for February is Amethyst, however throughout the 15th - 20th centuries Hyacinth (Yellow Zircon) and Pearls were also accepted birthstones.

February' Amethyst Treasury

Amethyst Beaded Chain
Rose Quartz, Pink and Purple Amethyst  Chandeliers

I also have a pair of Crazy Horse Agate earrings that have the coolest coloring to them, a rusty purple that somewhat resembles marble with its fine veining and mottled coloring that I paired up with crystals and amethyst. And an Egyptian Style woven copper necklace with Amethyst chips as accents.

Thanks for stopping by!

We'll see ya next time!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Valentine Hearts and Bead Soup

Playing with ideas and fire in the studio this morning.

This Friday is Valentine's Day, where hearts and flowers run amok. I've always tried to present the hubs with some hand made goodness from my heart and he usually brings me a rose bush. Summers have been brutal the last few years and have managed to kill most of my roses, it's heart breaking, so the hubs has taken to bringing me chocolate ones. It's sweet, more ways than one lol The last couple of years I've made for him tea stained coffee filter roses and turtles from a recipe I found on Pinterest that simply uses pecan halves and a Rolo, ingenious! He loves them!

This year Pinterest saw fit to send me an e-mail loaded with heart shaped goodies. Usually reserved for cookies and macaroons, this was just a little different. I flipped through a few of the boards recommended to me and found these awesome treasures. I can't click through to know who to attribute them to (feel free to reverse search them if you'd like to know) but I LOVE the idea behind them  - COOKIE CUTTERS! That's right! I have several sizes of heart cookie cutters and I will be breaking them out on Friday for a hearts run amok breakfast for the family.

Is this idea not simply awesome? We gotta eat anyway :) Why not make the ordinary extra special?! French Toast, Fried Potatoes, and eggs, I need to get some strawberries, but I also have apples on hand.  I could even cookie cutter ham with this idea

Bead Soup sign ups were this last weekend. I stayed up late to catch the midnight hour and be one of the first. I've been playing with ingredient ideas, even bought some beads thinking I might share some.......hahahahahaha MINE! Oh maybe I can share, I dunno yet.

On the Desk: I am actually working on those UFO's I didn't get around to before Christmas, go me! One is a sweet little heart necklace/choker a la Thea of Gossiping Goddess. I've had to stop and make more jump rings three times now lol But very worth it. Linky to the tutorial is in her name.....  

I should get going.... things to do things to do, always o_O

Thanks for stoppin' by!
We'll see you next time!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Unicorns and Pixie Dust

I subscribe to Notes from the Universe. I like starting my day with an uplifting note. Some days the notes really resonate with me, some days they just make me smile. Always positive I usually save them for last while reading my mail, to be sure I finish up on a good note.

Today I kind of jumped ahead, midway through reading my mail I opened my Note. It said:

When you consistently take the high road, Dana, do the right thing, and see the good in all, the ensuing onslaught of serendipities and coincidences that turn out in your great favor will likely qualify you for your own reality TV show.

    The Universe
"Unicorns and Pixie Dust with your charmed host, Dana 

I like serendipitous happenings, I like taking the high road (don’t always manage it, but I do like it) but most importantly, I like Unicorns and Pixie Dust! This note started my day off wonderfully! How could you not smile at that!

Speaking of fanciful flights of imagination - hows that for a segue? - I promised last week you’d get to see my first completed piece from my 25 sketches.

The sketch, originates from some old text ornamentation. You know those cool signature lines, paragraph breaks, etc I had wanted to see if I could translate one into wire. Sat down and worked out the pathways, decided it was doable and then moved on to some other inspiration or urgent matter that needed attending to. You all know how that works, this idea sparks that idea, sparks another, omg why is…..? What the heck happened to …….? You can fill in the blanks :)

Showing Alex how nice his cross had turned out, sparked a little burst of creativity. I just happened to have another choker I wasn’t so fond of and wanted to try a variation of the bale I had used for his cross. But what to use for a pendant? Oooh  I could so do a dragon! Off to take a peek around Pinterest for some inspiration. Found some really well done dragons, gorgeous wire work but not quite sparking anything for me. So I hit Google and find the Game of Thrones, I don’t watch but thought maybe some inspiration from there…..Celtic vibes brewing….. Celtic Dragon! I like that idea, hey I have a sketch that could work as a knot. Oh wait, not a dragon, the eye of a dragon, an all seeing talisman!

So I pulled the sketch out, and an eye, then a second eye. Worked up a second sketch and the results are what you see here.  Sketch number one of 25. This is going to be a good year, one filled with Pixie Dust and Unicorns, I can feel it!

Thanks for stoppin by!
We’ll see ya next time!