merry merry, y'all.

>> Tuesday, December 25, 2012

so almost another month has gone by, and here we are on christmas day. between fighting a terrible cold (seriously, newborns should be exempt from illness) and getting ready for the holidays, the time has just flown away from me. in the early hours of xmas morning though, i am taking a few rare solitary minutes to count my blessings - and there are many despite the challenges we have had in 2012.

in honor of baby jesus's birthday, i am sending out this great cover of one of my favorite holiday songs. mariah, you got nothing on zebrahead - rock on, you orange county boys.

merry merry everyone. here is to a bright and happy 2013. xoxoxo


the long december.

>> Thursday, December 6, 2012

still had a little time to make this lovely stack of twisted rings, yum
srsly, how did it get to be december already?  even though things in the little shop have slowed down considerably since the new baby arrived, time seems to be flying by.  i've been settling into the middle-aged-stay-at-home-housewife routine quite nicely (even though my mom says i need to dust more - pffft) and it seems like my days are filled with cooking, unloading the dishwasher, doing laundry and minding to the demands of the toddler and the newborn.  sort of blissful in a way, but also a little mind-numbing in that the days are starting to blend into one another.  i will admit that it is nice having a little comforting routine though, and the girls have definitely settled me down a bit.  not having to rush is very very nice. 
we have been struggling with a stubborn cold - the baby definitely has a lingering stuffy nose and chest congestion and i fear she has caught another cold on top of the one she had - but it's also given us the opportunity to stay in, watch the snow fall and do some arts and crafts.  the mini and i have been working on her letter to santa and drawings to include on the gifts to family - and i have been slowly but surely accumulating items to stuff their stockings with. 
it's hard to believe that in a short year, i will be back in the office.  eeeek.


the last time.

>> Sunday, November 18, 2012

fine, taylor, you b*tch. and gary, you and your heavenly voice. i surrender. you're killing me with these songs and in my post-partum state i'm in tears.


everything has changed.

>> Saturday, November 17, 2012

story of my life these days! but i can't stop listening to this song - yes, i know it's taylor swift but the combination of her stripped down vocals and the fabulous ed sheeran is just beautiful.


no drugs and the halloween baby.

>> Thursday, November 8, 2012

so here we are, just over a week later and one baby added to our little family.  late in the evening of october 30th, just after a morning appointment with my OB, where she said i was only about 2cms dilated and mcbaby nowhere to be seen, i went into fast and crazy labor at home.  the husband and i quickly put our well rehearsed plan into action - the mini went to grandma and grandpa's, the bags went into the car - but quickly we realized that that was going to be the extent of the control we were going to have over the whole situation.  we didn't even pull the car out of the parking lot before the husband realized that if he drove us to our downtown hospital, we weren't going to make it.  plus, i am sure driving with an almost hysterical wife in the passenger seat was not going to be very pleasant at all.  so he called 911, and i went back into the house where i most likely screamed bloody murder.  once the EMS guys got here, things seemed to move fast and slow at the same time - i got some well placed punches in and called some people some very bad names - and once we got to the closest hospital (thankfully only 3 minutes away via ambulance) mcbaby was here within seconds.  no drugs.  yeah.  NICE.

let me tell you, natural childbirth is INSANE compared to the dreamy epidural i had with the mini.  however, the recovery time was so much quicker, and within 24 hours, we were all home, warm and toasty in our beds.  the mini has had some adjusting to do now that the attention of mom and dad has to be shared, and the fact that mcbaby cannot play tea party at ALL, but we are settling in.  kind of.  mcbaby is a very pensive, zen sort of baby so far, watching and tolerating the affections of the bigger people around her.  except when she's hungry or poopy.  there are going to be lots of adjusting and growing pains - plus we are eating ourselves out of house and home LOL - but i think we're getting a little pattern to our days.  and now we cannot imagine our home without this little one.


still here. still waiting.

>> Saturday, October 27, 2012

yup, i'm still here, still waiting for this baby to make his/her appearance... and it looks like this kid is taking his/her sweet time!  which is okay - just uncomfortable.  i haven't been venturing far from the house, just in case something happens, which has given me some time to work on some of the designs that have ended up in my sketchbook.  i'm loving the geometric linear-ness of the open hoops in the photo above, and think that they might be my new favorites!  a little bit new wave, a little bit minimalist, they are lightweight and really quite stunning, if i do say so myself!


we are in love. with silver.

>> Tuesday, October 23, 2012

yup. i'm still here.  still brainstorming ideas.  here is the latest, hormone-fueled, emotionally charged pair of earrings - the newest addition to my 'we are in love' collection.  check them out HERE!



>> Monday, October 22, 2012

it seems like these days, i've been sitting here waiting. waiting for the baby to come (yup, we're 6 days till my due date - unlike his/her sister, this baby doesn't seem to be in a rush to come on out). waiting for EI to kick in. waiting for jewelry to come out of the tumbler (which is hit or miss these days - for some reason, it isn't working as well as it used to but what do i expect from a 6 year old rock tumbler that runs almost daily).  waiting for the post office to open.  waiting for my pre-holiday shipment of precious metal.  (yippee!!)  waiting for people to text or BBM or email me back. but it's teaching me patience, and giving me the opportunity to get things done around the house.   and discover - and rediscover - good music.  maybe this baby will come out dancing.


ho hey.

>> Tuesday, October 16, 2012

love love love this song. so perfect for the mood i'm in today. xoxo


two twisted.

>> Monday, October 15, 2012

i don't know why i haven't offered my twisted rings as a mini stack yet, but today, i am!  i have to admit that i love the texture of the twisted wire and the two metals together are a minimalist's dream!  check them out here in the shop - i have a size 9 1/2 ready to ship!



>> Friday, October 12, 2012

my spanking new sparkly "moo" cards. aren't they lovely?

in my multiple daily check-ins on twitter, i came across rena tom's blog - where one of her contributors, tara swiger, posted a thought provoking article on "how to make time for marketing". marketing is something that i constantly struggle with, seeing has how having a full time job, juggling motherhood, and running a household tends to take up a good chunk of my time.  however, my little sideline jewelry making venture is something that i would love to expand and grow, and i know that marketing has a lot to do with it.

the thing that struck me most about ms. swiger's article is the fact that she emphasizes that if you don't have enough business, you have to make time for marketing.  which made me think about what i have been doing that has been effective, and that i can make time to do everyday.  also, making myself accountable to someone (other than the mini or the husband or the new baby) can help keep me on track - i know that for me, putting it out there most of the time keeps me goal focused.  while i am not the best marketing person out there, and this is definitely new territory for me, i can't afford to NOT do it, you know?

off to analyze what i do and how i waste my time... it's going to hurt, i'm sure!  but a great holiday season in sales might just be the reward i can reap...


early labour & late pregnancy stress.

>> Sunday, October 7, 2012

as i write this, i am sitting comfortably in one of my dining room chairs, watching Parenthood on demand, listening to the mini talk in her sleep through the monitor.  last week was a totally different story - at this time last saturday, i was uncomfortably ensconced in the triage room of labour and delivery, listening to mcbaby's heartbeat and freaking out a little because it looked like s/he was imminently going to arrive.  over a month early.  to a mother (me) who is not fully prepared.

in the end, my contractions stopped and we headed home and i was able to make it to the end of this week at the office, which was my last!!!!  i cramped and contracted through the week and of course, didn't finish up everything and stressed about it all (still am!). my lovely co-workers also got together and made a beautiful quilt for the baby (see above!) and if the baby had arrived, i would have missed it all.

sitting here in the quiet, i have to admit i am feeling excited, overwhelmed and nervous - but hopefully everything will be okay.  because most of the time, it always is.  right?


into you.

>> Monday, October 1, 2012

ah, ingrid. thank you for making such beautiful songs.


more love.

>> Tuesday, September 25, 2012

i don't know if it's because i'm in the home stretch at work (less than 2 weeks left to go then VACATION and maternity leave - whoot whoot!) or if it's because i'm anticipating the drastic reduction in torch time that i am going to have for the next few months (boo hoo!) but i've been working on some new designs.  including these really lovely modern hoops - with rose gold hearts - my newest addition to the "we are in love" collection!  kind of romantic, don't you think?  yeah, me too - almost sickly sweet romantic.  oh well.  hormones will do that to you.



>> Saturday, September 22, 2012


we are in love.

>> Wednesday, September 19, 2012

i test drove this new earring design today... rose gold filled heart hoops!  totally romantic and totally sweet - and wonderfully lightweight to wear!  so, they passed the test and are now listed in the shop!  14K gold filled and sterling versions to follow - don't be afraid to fall for these!



>> Wednesday, September 12, 2012

i am not a huge fan of the "concept album" - yes, i know there have been some very epic ones in the vaults of musical history but i'm not entirely sold on them.  (sorry, honey, "the wall" still kind of eludes me)  however, the mini and i have been watching music videos sometimes and she tends to like the ones that have a story to them - including the latest ones from marianas trench that were released in the wake of their "ever after" concept album.  and i have to say, i quite like them too.  probably because of the storybook quality to the videos, and josh ramsay's beeseeching lost-boy hero expressions, the mini makes up stories to go along with the song. 

hmmm.  whatever works, right?  so we leave you with the exploding mercedes-benz and lyrical stylings of the boys on "fallout".


monopoly. wtf.

>> Sunday, September 9, 2012

so we got the canadian version of monopoly.  and i have to admit, i am not impressed.  while it is very, very cool to see canadian locations rather than the US or British locales, this new fangled debit machine and huge land pricesmake it a little difficult to relate to.  first off, the debit machine that came with our game broke after about 3 minutes and is now probably residing in a landfill somewhere.  and now that we don't have the machine, we can't really play the game.  i've been wracking my brain trying to figure out a way to pay the game with play money instead, but in the meantime, we've been using it as a counting teaching tool for the mini.  needless to say, i miss the vintage UK version that my parents own.

but in tribute to all things canadian, i'm posting this treasury - probably the most viewed treasury i've made in a long time.  guess no one can resist us canucks.  *wink*.

Canadian Penny Ring in Coppe...

Toronto Canada HORIZONTAL Su...

Maple Draple - Canadian Mapl...

Laptop Bag - ROYAL CANADIAN ...

Canadian Moose Pillow

Canada Roots Map 11x14 Custo...

Candle Holder, Driftwood Can...

Canadian Army Parka, Extreme...

the old canadian post (fine ...

Custom Personalized Canadian...

Baby. Coat. 5 Colors. Toddle...

Small Wood Bowl, Baribocraft...

Vintage 1989 Patons O Canada...

Set of Nine Polar Whiskey Ro...

New Canadian reversible flag...

Vtg SOREL Canadian Leather &...

Treasury tool supported by the dog house


holiday time warp.

>> Thursday, August 30, 2012

i've realized that holiday time moves differently than regular time.  i've been off since saturday and the days are just flying by.  we had plans to go to the movies, to the zoo, to the pool... and we barely did anything because we have had lovely full days.  sigh.  i love vacation.  i just wish it would last longer.


keep breathing.

>> Thursday, August 23, 2012

lately everything feels like it's going by in a rush. like there is never enough time for everything. every morning passes in a blur, every workday rushes by (and nothing seems to get crossed off my to-do list) then it's a rush through rush hour to pick up the mini and home to make supper and bathtime and maybe make a pair of earrings ... then before i know it, it's time to start it all over again. sometimes my blackberry is going off and i don't even hear it because i can't process everything at once. then i remind myself that all i can do is keep breathing. (i tell you though, i am envious of ms. ingrid michaelson... maybe if i could write beautiful songs like this one i'd be a lot less stressed?)


knit. purl.

>> Sunday, August 19, 2012

i do not know how to knit.  however, i am the owner of a lovely set of knitting needles, which all reside in a lovely madbird needle wallet, as well as two huge books on "how to knit".  i am determined that during this maternity leave, instead of getting into trouble, i will figure out how to do it - the only crafting resolution that i am going to make for the year ahead.  there is something very cozy about the idea of knitting up a long scarf in super chunky ivory wool that appeals to me... and i am determined to overcome the knitter's block that has afflicted me for so long. 


wedding rings.

>> Friday, August 17, 2012

some people are way cooler than i ever could hope to me.  this super cool chick stacey and her husband - who first got married in costa rica - commissioned this set of rings for their vow renewal.  they are going to have a lovely ceremony on their ontario farm, and my rings get to be a part of it!  oh, love!


if the shoe fits...

>> Thursday, August 16, 2012

between episodes of 'nurse jackie' and bouts of insomnia (of course last night the mini went to bed early and, as luck would have it, i couldn't sleep) i actually cleaned out the communal coat closet in the entryway of our house.  i admittedly am a shoe person - more often than not, i come home with a pair of shoes for my girl - but this morning i worked on weeding out the shoes that i no longer wear.  yes, i probably should have been sleeping or making something creative, but it felt good to purge.  and there is now more space in the closet for more shoes.  oh, i mean, our winter coats.



>> Saturday, August 4, 2012

things have been a little quiet on the metalsmith front and admittedly, instead of using the time i cannot sleep to hammer out new designs (plus we seem to be in some sort of haphazard reorganization of the house which has limited my soldering space) i have gotten addicted (yes, pun intended) to season 3 of "nurse jackie" - even though i am relegated to watching it using headphones on the laptop because it is too profane to watch with the mini and the husband refuses because it's too close to work stress.  nice.  anyways, i don't know why i love her - she is a lying, cheating, foul-mouthed health care professional, but yes, i love her.  and peter facinelli is quite pretty.  now onto episode 4.



>> Wednesday, August 1, 2012

i have been having a hard time motivating myself to take photographs since the mini broke my fancy digital camera, but i charged up the battery on my old olympus and took some lovely pictures of my newest design - "ribbon" earrings! 

inspired by a client request, these are sleek, lightweight and modern - and i have a sterling, 14K gold filled and rose gold filled version, in three sizes.  love love love these!  and of course, so perfect for breast cancer awareness month in October...


kiss me.

>> Monday, July 30, 2012

you're breaking my heart, ed!


custom rings.

>> Wednesday, July 25, 2012

i love it when customers think of wonderful new ways to combine my stacking rings!  this lovely set is going out today!  (excuse the pinky-purple nail polish.  the mini and i have matching manicures.)


swallowed in the sea.

>> Sunday, July 22, 2012


oh love.

>> Wednesday, July 18, 2012

i gotta admit, i haven't been too thrilled with green day's latest offerings (i am a girl from the 'dookie' age - although i have been known to dance to some of their recent punchy anthems) but the other day, i was listening to a sneak peek of their new single, 'oh love'. and i think i am in love. thanks billie joe and the boys for writing such a great song.


hip to be square.

>> Sunday, July 15, 2012

so i think i've mastered the round hoop, and i've been experimenting a little with other angles (ahem, pun intended) i am quite happy with these thoroughly modern, slightly asymmetrical, sparse sterling hoops.  fashioned out of lightweight sterling, i think these just might be my new favorites.  watch for them in the shop...


50 shades of all f*-d up.

>> Sunday, July 8, 2012

selena gomez being corrupted
i firmly put the blame of my recent reading of the scandalous "50 shades of grey" on the propaganda that surrounds it's publication.  (and the fact that everyone i know is either reading it or already has finished it - i betcha A is going to come back pregnant from her honeymoon)  i know that i probably should be re-reading 'game of thrones' and try to enjoy it more, but i'm not.  i am definitely not a lemming when it comes to my literary choices, but i do like to stay current on the things that make the news - and threaten to short out e-readers on a global scale.  i have to admit, it is addictive, and probably health-endangering - in the way that very fattening, dulce de leche haagen daaz ice cream is for you (crap, now i want ice cream) - but not the most thought-provoking of storylines. (plus it was my birthday this week so i deserve something perhaps a little mindless and a little bit fun.)  maybe it's the mental health professional in me, but i keep seeing the glaring character flaws in both christian grey and anastasia steele, and think that maybe instead of having so much s-e-x, they should perhaps add some more heavy-duty psychotherapy into their schedule.

but that's just me.  back to the book.  and maybe some haagen daaz. 


watching you watch him.

>> Friday, July 6, 2012

one of those sad unrequited love songs disguised as an upbeat, catchy ditty. reminds me of secretly yearning after the cute cool boy at school... the one that never would ever notice me. ah love!


you don't know me. oh that ben folds.

>> Thursday, June 28, 2012

a little more upbeat that i am used to liking my ben folds, but this is one of the poppiest duets in my playlist. it totally helps that regina spektor backs him up, and that, of course, his lyrics are seriously twisted and all screwed up, in true ben folds' romantic disaster style. kind of like my own life. yay.


have bagel. will eat.

>> Sunday, June 24, 2012

as some of you know, the mini and i usually make a weekly trip to the local bagel store for fresh bakery goodness.  however, she is now spoiled like me and won't touch day-old bagels, which means either i have to make room in our jam packed freezer for the ones that are still fresh, or take the others to the office (where they get eaten but still, i am a little tired of feeding the co-workers.)  however, we now have turned the leftover bagels into something we both will eat - BAGEL CHIPS!  so simple yet so awesome, i am posting the recipe here so that i don't lose it.  because i will.

the mini's bagel chips - the image does not do them justice but before i could take any sort of artsy shot, we had eaten most of them

day old bagels, sliced as thin as you can into "bagel rounds" (see picture above) or any other thin pieces
olive oil or olive oil/butter flavored cooking spray
sea salt/flavored salt
pepper to taste (optional)
seasonings to taste (we have a slightly spicy dry rub mix that we love)

preheat your oven to 375 degrees
lightly oil a non-stick baking sheet or piece of foil if you don't have a non-stick baking sheet
spray/baste your bagel pieces with your oil or butter or spray
lay on baking sheet and sprinkle with seasonings
put in oven and bake till crispy - make sure you keep an eye on things so your chips won't burn (the mini hates them burned)

if you can resist, let cool.

perfect for dipping and putting cheese on.  (yum.  brie - L - pick some up)



>> Wednesday, June 20, 2012

of course i've had this artisan's group pinterest board link flagged in my inbox, thinking i'd have time to post it.  finally here it is - the collection compiled by the organizer of the kaley cuoco gift bag (thank you, shawna!!!) of the items that were give to kaley!  there are some very lovely items included here and i love it that i was a part of it! 


time runs away.

between the craziness at the office, the early emergence of summer, and the husband's (hopefully) imminent job change, time seems to be running away from us.  i squeeze in whatever time i can at my little metalsmithing table, but it always feels like there never is enough time to do everything.  i do have the relative luxury of trying to take holiday days before my maternity leave, so i am hoping to have some long weekends during the lovely months of july and august for hanging out with the mini and trying some new designs.  and of course, working on soaking up the sun (with 30 SPF, of course).


the ultimate in handmade...

>> Saturday, June 9, 2012

i have to admit, part of why i haven't been as great at keeping up with the blog lately is because... yup, i'm pregnant!  obviously my productivity went down as i went through 1st trimester morning sickness (well, it was more like all day sickness) and just came to terms with the next steps in our lives!  we seem to have passed all of the tests okay (at the lovely age of 38, this pregnancy is termed a "geriatric pregnancy" so you can understand why i'm a little nervous) so, at just over 19 weeks, i am putting the news out there into the blogosphere.  meet mcbaby!!! (as L and i have named him/her - it looks like it's a her, but the tech wasn't sure so we're still trying to be gender neutral)

i am a little nervous, i'm not the spring chicken i used to be, and of course finances always come into play, but i am trying to enjoy the honeymoon period of this pregnancy while still juggling everything else - the day job, the jewelry making, and the running of the household.  we are all very excited about the next chapter in our lives - especially the mini, who already seems to love this new little one.  well, until he/she starts stealing toys and whacking people on the head. 

now if i could just budget a little better, i'd be good. 


inital bangle.

>> Wednesday, May 30, 2012

as the last hours of my time off slips through my fingers, i'm posting these pictures of my latest design.  my vacation hasn't just been about making oddly placed tan lines or planting my vegetable garden (of course, there was a lot of that) but i also worked on my item to send to kaley cuoco.  after a few hours of browsing google images of the actress and her style, i finally decided to keep things simple and am going to send her this lovely sterling silver bangle with her first initial stamped in oxidized brushed brass.  the flash of pink is courtesy of a niobium jump ring, making this just a little more girly, without the frills.  i will also be offering these in my shop because i love them!  honestly, this would make the perfect bridesmaid gift or birthday present, don't you think?


more spinning.

>> Friday, May 25, 2012

well, not in the handspun yarn/prick your finger on the spindle sort of way, but in relation to my spinnerette collection, and, as my friend Anne-Marie would say - "jewelry for anxious people"!  inspired by a custom request, i am now thrilled to show off these lovely sterling silver hammered hoops, accented by a rosy copper "spinnerette".  a beautiful mix of metals, this is another discreet way to fidget during meetings or appointments!  just lovely, and perfect for summer!  (and of course, available with a sterling or 14K gold filled "spinner" as well!)


raw stones & silver.

>> Thursday, May 24, 2012

lately i've been fascinated with raw, uncut stones and trying to set them in rustic claw settings, like a cocktail ring redux. i've pretty much given up - at least for now - on learning how to sink set, rub set, or properly seat cabochons, but the concept of a unstructured claw setting didn't seem so far out of reach.  i had some lovely rough, uncut turquoise lying around, so i based my ring design on one of those.  i used some scrap sterling that i had saved up and constructed a simple ring shank, but in the end, the setting was way too large for the stone i had chosen.  digging around in my inventory, i did find a center drilled hunk (seriously, there is no other word for this stone) of amethyst in deepest purples, and it fit.  while i am not too thrilled about the fact that the ring isn't what i initially envisioned, i am pretty pleased with the overall outcome.  the ring has also held up to the mini's rough and tumble testing - surprisingly - so i think i might try my hand at setting the smaller turquoise after all.



finally. vacation.

>> Monday, May 21, 2012

i was just telling julie today that i never know that i need a vacation until i am forced to take one.  because my wonderful parents take care of the mini, most of the time my vacation is dictated by when they decide to set off to some jet-set location.  this time, they headed off to england, france and italy, but, even better than that, i get to stay home with my girl for a blissful almost-two-weeks.  while the first day was a little rocky as we adjusted to being home together again, we have already settled into a lovely, summertime routine of walk, park, garden, wading pool, nap and play.  we have snuck some cleaning and reorganizing in, (maybe it's my nesting instinct, maybe it's the fact that this kid has more toys than anyone else i know and it's slowly taking over the house) but for the most part, it's been easy and relaxing.  plus we are both rockin' some sunkissed cheeks.

it also gives me some time to work on idea on what to gift the lovely kaley cuoco, star of "the big bang theory".  i have to admit, i am not a fan of the show, but kaley has a really cool, laid back style that i admire, and now through the Artisans Group, i have the opportunity to send her something that's representative of my jewelry making style.  now to just figure out in the next few days what to send her... nothing like gifting a hot, young starlet to make me feel like a frumpy old momma.


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