Another "Giveaway"??? Are You Insane?

i'm sponsoring another "giveaway" before the year's end...crazy i know!!! it will start Christmas Day & end New Year's Eve...Dec. 25th - Dec. 31st....the contest will close New Year's Eve midnight & a winner announced on NEW YEAR'S DAY.

the one thing i always noticed as i became an adult was that if you are the female of the species, there always seems to be a "double-edge sword" with every "good thing" that comes along.
puberty comes along & wowy-zowy you're finally growing breasts (a good thing) just as you're told that "aunt flo" will be visiting you every month for the rest of your productive YEARS!
christmas which was soooo special as a child (a good thing) is now such a chore...cleaning the house for family & friends, while making a zillion course meal as delicious as any "quick-fire winner of top chef" could do.
this year we'll have a "giveaway" contest to look forward to AFTER Christmas...Yeah!
ENTER as many times as you can for the best chance to win...
MANDATORY ENTRY: Enter all (4) things to count as one mandatory entry (if you have them):
(a) enter your etsy shop
(b) enter your blogsite
(c) enter your website
(d) enter your contact (email) info
**most of these entries will be based on finding things about other participants & in the end promoting each other's shops, blogs & websites.
**in the beginning, use either my info to create your entries OR FOR MORE FUN...use info from shops, blogs, & websites that are only known to you :D
**try to spreadout your entry info to include as many shops, blogs & websites as possible.
  • go to ANY participant's etsy shop (except mine), and report back with the shop name & 2 items you like from the shop
  • go to ANY participants etsy shop (except mine) and add to "your favorites"...report back with the name of shop.
  • go to ANY participant's website (except mine) and request a "link exchange"...report back with the name of shop.
  • go to ANY participant's blog (including mine) and "follow" them...report back with name of shop.
  • go to ANY participant's blog (including mine) and add their blog to your "favorite blog list"..report back with blog site..
  • go twitter and tweet about any aspect of ANY participant's etsy shop, blog or website that you liked...report back with link.
  • IF you write an entry in your own blog about ANY participant's shop (except mine), that would be worth (3) official entries.
  • IF you make a purchase from anyone's shop, you earn (5) official entries.

AGAIN at the start of these "comments" we will be in need of one or two participants to start adding extra entries...here are my mandatory information to start...don't forget that in a pinch or just to add some spice add an ETSY SHOP, A BLOG, or A WEBSITE you like:

GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE!! ...i will be "super-sizing" the prizes as i did before, BUT will hold off laying-out the criteria until i find out what i have left in my studio :D


"Super-sized" Giveaway Winner

FINALLY! THE WAIT IS OVER!... the winner of my very first giveaway is... KayzKreationz !
So Kay, you have 24 hrs. to answer my email announcement....if after that period I don't hear from you, someone else will be drawn for the winner.
Just so you all know, I had a blast doing this giveaway...reading the responses and being excited everyday that there were people finding my blog & shop and taking the time to participate...thank you all so much.
So in celebration of this celebration I'm adding another layer to this giveaway... any participant who didn't win BUT managed to contribute 5 or more entries will be contacted for mailing info so I can send them a "little-thank-you" prize :D
Happy Holidays to all !


The Super Bowl of Giveaways ! Dec.6th to Dec.12th

i've always wanted to sponser a "giveaway", but always procrastinated saying i wanted a theme or reason for it ... well, it finally happened. this winter i've noticed how the cold has penetrated my bones, how my glasses still can't help focus my vision, and my back looks more like a question mark as i work over my studio table.
I wish i could streamline my body... but instead i'm streamlining my Etsy shop, concentrating on my jewelery design... clearing out my studio bins filled with purses, scarves, cards, and art dolls.
So here are the Rules:
  • please make sure to leave separate comment for each entry;
  • In your comment, please include contact info & whether you are a multi-entry participant...so i can reach you & know you're eligible for the "SUPER GIVEAWAY".
  • Winner of this giveaway will be chosen December 13th;
  • Winner has 24 hrs. to answer my email OR new winner will be drawn.
Here's how to enter:
  • MANDATORY ENTRY: please visit my Etsy site, Streetnoodles. Look at all of my items and then return here at my blog and let me know 2 pieces you like.
  • add Streetnoodles as your favorite on Etsy (leave your Etsy user name);
  • Follow Streetnoodles on Twitter
  • Tweet this giveaway (leave your tweet link);
  • Follow my blog
  • Post about this giveaway in your blog (leave link, 2 entries);
  • Purchase from Streetnoodles and let me know (5 entries).
  • Remember to leave your contacts in the comments and leave separate comment for each entry.
***Now the Super-sizing of this giveaway***
The winner of this giveaway will be chosen on Dec. 13th... if they made multiple entries, we will add an additional random item from my studio... so if you won, and in total have 5 entries, you will receive not only the original earrings, but also (4) additional randomly selected items from my studio... which will be selected from handmade scarves, purses, cards, & art dolls.
if you work it right, a large portion of your Christmas list could be filled.
Good Luck !
p.s. for those followers of "made in canarias", if these rules sound a little familiar, it's because i think ave has the best blog for "giveaways"...so organized and well thought out. so i mimicked to a certain extent some of her guidelines...please checkout her blogsite (see my blogroll).


I'm on a New Treasury West !

I normally don't present any of my treasury entries in my blog, BUT i thought i would just mention this one because of the lovely creator of the treasury.
I checked out her blog and was immediately carried away to this violet bellas world...so much creativity & joy in what she's doing. As i've said before i'm fascinated with technology that brings ideas to life...some day i want to have my blog warm & welcoming as this one.
So please visit laura's lovely treasury as well as her blogsite.


New Lockets in my shop

I just love the look of these locket-like pendants. they actually should be called amulets. you remove the top jumpring and you can fill the piece with whatever you like. it allows for fairly thick 3-D objects to be placed inside... i've thought of charms, crytals, secrets...maybe the name of someone you secretly love ? :D

Shhhhhh! a BLOG SALE...20% off !

I pride myself in having great everyday low pricing...BUT between November 23rd & November 30th, i'll be holding a blog sale on everything at my Etsy & 1000Market stores.

Just mention this blog sales notice during the ordering process...usually in the "message to the seller" area. I'll then credit your Paypal account 20% of the purchase.


I Dodged the Bullet... :D

well i dodged the bullet... my in-laws decided to host thanksgiving this year. i don't have to "fake" making a turkey. come to think of it, i don't even like turkey...i'm a chicken or ham gal, maybe even a medium-rare steak fan.

i will be making a sugar-free apple pie and oatmeal cookies and bringing them to the table, not because i want to, BUT because it's my Thanksgiving survival plan.

i don't know why, but my in-laws all know i'm diabetic, BUT they will never make any consession for that "weakness"... in fact they go out of their way to make it harder for me. i don't take it personally though. over the years i've noticed something strange about them... a true phobia against the OLD & SICKLY. may i define this a little clearer... age is not the factor alone, but it is being old and what they perceive as "needy" in any way... needy for financial help, emotional help, physical help... total oblivious to the human condition that very few escape, including themselves. maybe if they "deny" it hard enough the "aging gods" will bypass them.

so until they realize denial is not a fool-proof plan... they will probably be administrators of a "solent green" factory in a future life :D


Scared again!

I'm scared again...going in for some emergency laser eye treatment this early morning...can't sleep.

My eyes tend to bleed at times, nothing ghoulish, just tiny bleeders that leave what the doctors call "spider webs". If you looked at my eye you would not even see it, but looking outward, I do...in normal people they usually disapate & fade away so the vision isn't effected for long, but for some reason (probably due to my diabetes) my bleeders don't act normally & stay & I'll get more bleeders until my eye is filled with these little "spider webs" that float about like thick algae floating through sea water.

It's time like these that I become scared & disgustingly maudlin...trying to think of what I could do if I lost my vision being an artist most of my life...Monet painted well into his blindness...his figures becoming more abstract BUT those amazing colors could not be restrained.

I know I'm no "Monet", but with technology, maybe I could see a bit longer or at least clearer...I hear that fonts can be enlarged :D

I'll try to sleep now...crossing my fingers & toes...knocking on wood.


Peace & Love Market of 1000Markets is wearing it's heart on their sleeves with a great Benefit Auction...

One of my favorite markets at 1000 Markets.com is again dispalying their hearts on their sleeves by sponsoring a Benefit Auction for "A Place to Bark"...an animal rescue facility located in Tennessee.

Bids are being taken Sunday Nov. 8th thru Saturday Nov. 14th at the Peace & Love Market Forums.

Just make a comment with your bid. If you are a member of 1000Markets that's all you need to do...if you are a newcomer & don't want to join at this time, just make your bid and leave your email address so you can be contacted in case you win.

If you are like me... a generous heart BUT with a hole in my pockets right now, consider making a donation, leaving your contact info :D

Wonderful Christmas theme jewelry has been donated and it will be fun to see how high bids will go... Winner will be announced November 15th ! ...Let's come an support the people who listen to the creatures who have no voices.


Streetnoodles...October entries...

Cat Lovers or Haters...just in case you missed it...

i had seen this site about a year ago and my immediate response was "LOL"...but as i thought about the fact that my cat, grayson (who looks like the gray cat above) likes to eat his own hair...even likes to consume the "dust bunnies" that i breed to my husband's horror...talk about the HUGE synthetic hair ball he would have to endure!

here is the site if you missed it on the explorer front page: kittywigs.com


Gift Wrapping on the Cheap...a few ideas

One of the best ways to use up scraps of treasured gift wrap is to use what i call the "obi method"...imagine a plain unadorned gift box and add two different but compatible (complimentary in colors, similar decorative elements in both) decorative papers. i chose 2 graphic papers, both have a metallic gold that runs thru and the red & purple are from the same color family. my theory is that we all have a sense of style and we tend to pick items that just seem to go together.
once i figured this out, i stopped buying anymore papers...okay, maybe ONE extraordinary one once a year, only on a close-out sale tho :) ...my goal is to use up all my papers...that should take me 5-10 years!!!

the second & third pics, show two ideas for tags that are fun. the one in the middle are from japanese playing cards called "hana". they are beautifully made and already have unique pictures you can leave for the tags...but if you like you can replace the pics with your own...i've even used these cards for creative business cards since the opposite side is pure black. i've made little labels or in one case i actually hand wrote my business info. in white ink. you can usually find them on line or if there is a "japantown" where you live, checkout their gift shops.

the bottom pic, you can use any pics you have...xerox them, glue to card stock and cut into tags...here i used my prized "official beatles fan club cards" from the 60's.

i collect different papers, images, old stamps, graphic designs, beads, charms...i even have collected the plastic faux grass-like foliage that you find in take-out sushi bento boxes (you just never know :)
the above is just a small sampling of what you can do with the collectable scraps you have...on a simple kraft gift box is one of those gold-leaf sheets the chinese like to burn as offerings on special occassions (you can find them in your local "chinatown")...over that is a transparent sheet of paper i got at a stationery store, i like it for it's dreamy quality...i've used a paper punch to make cut outs displaying the different layers...added a portrait of a pretty lady. you can use your rubber stamps on the transparent paper to add more design, convey a message, or just leave it simple like i did.

i get all sorts of things in the mail for free that promotes this & that. lately i've been getting fake credit cards that i think is such an "icon" of our civilization...so i've used it here as the main focal point to a small jewelry gift box...but it could also be used as a gift tag.

i also like getting the "publisher's clearing house" stuff...i like to use the colorful magazine stamps on my tags and as part or all of my gift wrapping.


Chantal, GPS...and the "Panel"

the above shoe art is from a young artist (marina dempster) who probably wasn't even born when the fresno feminist art experiment came about, but i think she may have benefitted by it's subsequent movement.
after my participation in the gallery 25 show (an off-shoot of the feminist experiment..35 yrs later), i was able to get in contact with another founding member & friend, chantal gadd trauner, a very talented painter. we arranged to meet at my house to catch up with our lives (hers in georgia & mine here in california) as well as to take a short trip to the college, CSUFresno, where it all began to listen to a few speakers from the first wave of the feminist art program, that judy chicago brought to life.
i had long since had quit driving due to health issues and she volunteered to drive. admitting that she wasn't the best of drivers & horrible with directions...so of course her son provided her with a rental with GPS...and of course with a female voice with a british accent :) ...which we quickly infuriated with our own instilled creative directions at times.
we only heard 2 speakers; suzanne lacy, more of a conceptual artist w/ great talent in organizing & documenting large communities of people...she was a bit dry in her presentation. the other speaker, faith wilding, was so natural & charming in the lecture hall and disarmed us with her sense of humor towards that era that we had come to see a glimpse of.
after lunch, chantal & i went to a rather disappointing panel discussion consisting of quite a few of the original 1st wave (fresno-cal arts) group and a couple of additions i wondered about....one a neophyte organizer who was tripping over her tail between her legs, basking in all the "glorious women" around her; and a well deserved woman from the 2nd wave of feminist art group who i questioned only because there was a long under-appreciated professor who continued the feminist art program for 20+ years after judy chicago & rita yokoi left it, who was sitting in the audience.
after a short while, both chantal & i realized that this so-called panel discussion was just a "self-love fest" of the original group...even the questions were from the panelist themselves...only allowing questions from the audience when the group realized the "disconnect" between them & the audience. the speaker only holding general short commentary on questions that reflected a contrary opinion or an acknowledgement to others beyond the original group, who played a huge part to carrying on the energy of the feminist art movement and also helped to pull off the multi-venue & events around campus & the community that they were invited to.
as you can tell i'm a little mad...years ago when camille paglia came onto the scene & questioned the feminist norms, questioned the liberal media, hell just questiioned everything...i for one applauded her. i remember watching a panel of some heavy hitters in the feminist movement at that time...betty friedan & gloria steinem to name a couple...and a young enthusiastic woman in a non-confrontational way brought up the writings of paglia and asked a question about what they felt about it. all of the panelist down-graded paglia, spewed their own aged propoganda...it was if, they all "drank the same kool-aid". i was appalled that they, some of the most influencial women of our times could not see or make room for another opinion other than their own...their own ideas that had narrowed with age, with comfort, with a whole life & lucrative careers based on their stale idioms.
though not on the same international level...these panelist were suffering the same narrowing of opinions & thoughts. i guess it is true, that the glory of the revolutionist is that they will enviably become irrelevent AND that the new revolutionist to follow will need to remember their history BUT NEVER be afraid to question & disguard.


where have all the thongs gone???

i recently had to bite the bullet and buy some underwear..."panties" if you will for the sexially tintilated. as i log on to "target online" and looked under "old lady undies" (luckily they don't call it that), i started to think about all those sexually provocative matching bras & panties i use to love to get from "victoria's secret"...they always made me feel sexy...hugging me in the right places...lifting me up and out where no asian woman had been before.

when i was a single woman living in the bay area, i prided myself for having 30 pairs of sex panties (of those 30, 15 had matching bras). it wasn't because i had a "thing" for collecting them, BUT that i hated to do laundry...so instead of going to the laundromat weekly i just did a massive wash every 30 days.

so when was it that "victoria's secret" was replaced by "lady jockey" at target? or maybe a more important question is "where did all the thongs go?"...a few were lost under car seats, movie theatres, restaurants, and hiking trails...(got those pantie lover's a cheap thrill)...BUT where did the others go??? a mystery i'm quite sure...maybe i can make up a game similar to "where's waldo?" :)


why are we afraid of "i love you"?

facebook is an amazing & baffling place for me. remember bruce, the first boy i ever danced with in high school, who in an early entry i describe a 40+ year old "seed" of kindness (see "my first" high school dance entry). he is going thru a personal challenge and has gathered round his friends & family to ease some of those potholes on his journey.

bruce hadn't heard from me for a long while...what can i say, social networking is hard for me...i know it's necessary for my business, but i'm horrible about keeping up with it...adding friends, keeping my "wall" updated.

we recently got to talking again, going over mutual old friends & aquaintences, talking about everyday silly stuff...and in the middle of it he said he loved me...i thought how nice & didn't think much about it till the next time we spoke...he was concerned that he might have scared me off with that innocent declaration of friendship.

when you're young & in the dating scene...those three little words can be like bullets or roses depending on the situation...BUT i had to think to myself, at our age and what we all have been thru in our lives, the battles & triumphs we all have had, the knowledge of the hard road ahead, those 3 little words have more significance...

a life well-lived will always have regrets, but if we're lucky we'll make time to acknowledge them and to make amends... for bruce to share his "love" briefly with that ackward girl at a high school dance some 40+ years ago to a woman who only really knows him thru that wonderful chance encounter...that innocent declaration of "i love you" is his 40+ year "chip".

i love you too bruce :) ...for the boy i still see in my memory and the man you've become.


Gallery 25...a 35 year journey

When I look back on my life, I remember my mom telling me never to boost about anything. It is an old Asian belief, maybe even a generational belief that if you brag or boost about something you risk the “powers-that-be” to become jealous and send bolts of lightning to rain on your parade.

I’ve mentioned on several occasions, my association with Gallery 25, the extension of Judy Chicago’s Feminist Art Experiment (celebrating it’s 40th anniversary) and the hard-earned co-operative gallery space that Joyce Aiken made real for so many (now celebrating it’s 35th anniversary).

There was a core group of 21 women who made up the gallery, in a time when you couldn’t find any acknowledgement of women artists except minor additions that stated that they were married to a famous male artist, had a liaison with a famous male artist, or were suspected of being gay.

The original group felt that to even the playing field, a space had to be created to allow for the female perspective to be studied, created, and seen as valid…not only to the public, BUT to the artist, herself. When your views & talents are placed on a secondary shelf labeled “hobby” rather than “profession”, your hardest challenge will be to change that mindset.

I was lucky enough to be part of the original founding members…went to the artist’s exhibition which was a combination of young emerging artists, along with a few samplings from the founding members. I was pleasantly surprised to notice a social dynamic that very few see, maybe because it takes so long to see the progression.

I noticed as the young emerging artists stood in front of their work, they talked about their inspiration, their manipulations of different mediums, and how they felt about each piece….then the exhibition director brought out feminist points or images that she saw that the artists didn’t even imagine. I had to smile a little since I use to do the same thing with my own art pieces way back then…trying to find a feminist tie after the fact.

I then noticed that all the founding members there had a strong sense of personal perspective (classic feminist ideal) …also a feeling of freedom that I think only age gives you. When I had little talks with each of my former colleagues, I was so proud of where all of us landed. I did notice though that there were some strong “radical feminist” views of a few of them, because they could still see how much more has to be done…BUT all I could see, were those wonderful young women artists, who were never berated by their male professors or peers, who never felt any limitations where they could exhibit, who never hesitated fleshing out their ideas with old & new techniques & JUST MADE ART….dare I say, I’m so proud to be part of the Gallery 25 past & future.


Steel Magnolia ... final #2

Steel Magnolia...final #1

Steel Magnolia, Bruce S., and a Crush Reborn (egad! @ my age)

a while back i wrote about Bruce S....he was the first boy i "officially" danced with at my very first high school dance.

the entry was about the kindness he showed to an ackward young girl he barely knew. i also tried to describe the "sexy bad boy" auora he had...i don't think i could ever adequately describe it, BUT weeks ago i got caught up again with this CMT program called "Can You Duet" (very strange for a "rock & blues" kind-of-gal).

this season was so amazing, with over-flowing talents...BUT one of the duos competeing, Steel Magnolia, was my favorite. not only were they the best coupling, BUT Josh Scott Jones was the exact physical likeness and the same degree of "bad-boy hotness" of Bruce S., the boy from so long ago who i will always have a crush on.

Steel Magnolia won the competition... and i'm now reminded of the crush i had for a sweet young boy years ago and struggling with a crush of a young man who's as old as a son i never had.


The Exquisite Corpse Game...Blitz version .01

Our esteem "utterly unique" market has been playing (2) "exquisite corpse" games at the same time...(knock, knock) anyone remember...way back when :D

Now finally, one finished corpse has emerge so far... i was hoping to could hold off writing about it till both came "across the finishing line", but my old bones are creeking as i speak, and i don't think i can wait any longer :D

So just a little "pre-historic" recap...in the beginning (when the earth was still cooling)... the first & definitely more true to the early 1900 originators concept of the game had started: (see the origins of the game)
i'm looking forward to seeing that corpse...soon :D
In the meanwhile, one of the teams lost their adminstrator, so as not to lose momentum, elena, our fearless leader asked for volunteers to take over...and just like then, my hand rose to the ocassion without hesitation...sort of "mindlessly", chucking it up "for the team".

Judging that all this game needed was "speed"...& drawing from my chess playing days, i made a few changes...and called it the "blitz version".

In chess, it is a mental game of strategy...having to think many moves ahead...anticipating defense & offense and knowing exactly how to combat them...hell, they have endless volumes of books dedicated to the beginning, middle & end games...with the clock documenting the length of the decisions made....in the game of "blitz", not only do you have to see the whole board & react decisively, but you have "X" # of minutes to make your moves...and when you run out of time, you lose.

i've seen grand masters break down to tears in a game with non-ranking "blitzers"...the way you perceive things is turned upside-down....much like this version of the "exquisite corpse"...forcing the artist to make quick, more subconscious or instinctual decisions.
I think that some of us felt threatened so much that we were like "deers caught in headlights"...not able to rely on our academic or studio training & normal inspirations to guide us & make us feel "safe". I think all of us felt challenged and felt that we were using a different side of our brains. And all of us succeeded in our task in the end.

The end product...the "exquisite corpse" is JUST THAT... a collaborative exercise that ties us together, seeing parts of our psyche we feel a little squimish about showing, but also feeling safe, because WE did it... not just ONE person focused as the "author".

CONCLUSION: I warned everyone in the beginning, that this version would guarantee instinctual spontanity...and it would NOT be "pretty"...and if "pretty" was what they wanted, they should get over themselves.

I was wrong...i think it is "pretty"...if you compare our corpse of those of the early 1900's originators, you'll find a shockingly similar vision. The Andre Breton group who played this game may have thought themselves to be the intellectally "elite"...yet in doing so they proved how much we are all the "same"...a universal truth??... jung would be proud :D http://www.exquisitecorpse.com/definition/About.html

PARTICIPANTS: maskwoman, PegGradyArt, elenamary, artakimbo, streetnoodles
WINNER OF THE CORPSE:Congratulations to---> David at Artakimbo
All members of the Utterly Unique Market, of the greater 1000Markets.com

Barack Obama as Superhero?

Funny where we find hope...in the freedom to laugh...
(sorry for the commercial...i guess we also have to pay for it)


A Great Sister Act...

Recently I had read a quick blurb about two sisters, both artists, using a material I had dismissed for years as a rudimentary crafting element…polymer clay. I had watched as involved artists before them played with creating elaborate dye canes or learned to combine multi-colors in controlled patterns and not once muddy the colors…then you come across these two sisters who thought of something new, yet so simple…creating wearable sculptures by manipulating polymer clay, adding semi-precious gems and gilt with gold paint. Sounds so simple BUT amazingly hard…whenever you cross the line from craft to art.

Claudia & Catalina Pieschacon are Colombian born sisters…both trained designers and artists in their own right, with a love of art, design, fashion, colors & textures.

Claudia is trained & educated in Interior Design, as well as being an accomplished painter & sculptor.

Catalina got her degree in Textile Design and worked for a time at Ralph Lauren as a home furnishing designer.

Together they have created an exquisite, one-of-a-kind jewelry line. See all of what they create at:

I was able to do a short interview with them and they were as gracious & generous as they are talented…I didn’t want to even take a chance of misquoting them so here is the interview in it’s entirety:

(1) this first part I would like to leave open to you…tell me only what you think you feel comfortable indulging…personal stats like age, married or single, children, familial support.
Claudia: I am 44 years old, the second of three sisters.I am married with two children, a 16 year old girl and an 8 year old boy. I live in Parkland,Florida which is also where our studio is located. I feel that now that my children are older I can really pursue my dream and continue doing whatever I left in stand by for them. I won’t say it's easy, but if you are organized and determined to pursue your dreams you can manage both family and business without any conflict, and as it is my case, if you have a supportive husband (partner) things can go even better. Even my 16 year old sometimes helps Cleo & Cat with some final touches in the pieces.

Catalina: I am 31 years old, the youngest of the three. I lived in New York for 10 years and moved to Florida in the summer of 2006 to start the business with Claudia. I moved back to NY a little less than a year ago. I currently live with my boyfriend. I love being back in this city. It helps feed all my creative energy.

(2) I know that in my life, sibling relationships have been a test in patience, sharing, & different degrees of “loving” depending on our stage of life.
Claudia: For us it has been a fun project since the beginning. We have incredibly similar taste and our business goals point to the same direction. If there is any conflict, we talk about it, and solve it fast so that it does not interfere with our creative process.
Catalina: I think that is exactly what is great about working with your sister. If we have something to say to each other, we say it upfront. You can't be that brutally honest in the corporate world.

Opening a business, though artistic in nature, must have been difficult in the best of families.
Who thought of the concept of the business?
Claudia: We always wanted to join our talents, and we were always thinking of ways to do it. It was me who one day, after being in Paris and seeing a woman wearing a beautiful, big ring, started to create some pieces with the Polymer Clay I had home for my children's school projects, and some beads I got at a local crafts store. Ideas just started to flow and in one day I created more than ten statement rings. I wore one to the mall and kept the others in my bag. People started asking about my ring and that same day I sold almost all of them. I immediately called my sister, we talked about a million ideas, developed some of them, and after seeing the reaction from friends and family we knew that we found what we were looking to do together.
Catalina: For years we had talked about fusing our creative energy into a business. We had many ideas, but when Claudia showed me a ring she had made, I knew this was it. For weeks, we would work late nights making our first collection. It was exciting for us from the very beginning. We have always had a good relationship, so we weren't worried about any sibling rivalry or anything.

With the two pf you in two different cities…how do you breakdown the duties?...who does what?...do you meet or conference daily or weekly to get the business side handled?...and do you resort to sibling roles to get things done?
Claudia: At the beginning, when Catalina lived in Florida, we used to do our manufacturing together most of the time. Now that Catalina lives in New York she is in in charge of most the company's managment, shows, and comes to Florida once a month to do some production herself. We speak daily, and we assign each other who is doing what for the day or the week. There is not really a sibling role, we have to be very business oriented and kind of put aside our family ties, but I have to say that at least for me is it is so much fun to work with my sister, we laugh a lot, our tastes are very similar, and we go toward the same direction business wise.
Catalina: Yes, what is great is that we are constantly communicating. I eventually will also have some studio space up here where I can create as well. For now, I fly down to Florida practically every month to work on production and starting new collections. I plan to be down there before next market. It's wonderful working with my sister, it's just fun and easy. We both have the same vision.

(3) I realize that both of you are involved with the design work…was it a wonderful play of events that lead you to decide to use the same medium to create a seamless connection amongst the collection?
Claudia: Yes, I would say it was almost like a magical play of events. I had the idea to use this wonderful medium, and Catalina instantly connected to the idea bringing to it all her creative background and inspiration.
Catalina: We love how versatile this material is. In the beginning we developed some of our pieces into gold and silver, but the buyers at the first trade show we did, didn't even pay attention to them. They were intrigued by the material.

(4) I do see some difference only in style…some seem more organic & curvy, while some pieces are playing with sculptural proportions & the tension they create…is this a natural divide or the difference between your two styles?
Claudia: Catalina is more "detail oriented" than me. She loves to create more intricate pieces, more organic, and sometimes dramatic. My pieces are more simple, but sculptural, I always let my creative spirit guide my hands through the whole process.
Catalina: Yes, even though we each have our own unique style, there is a cohesiveness within our styles. Sometimes we forget who made what piece. We feed off the other persons idea and add our own special twist to it. This is what keeps it constantly new. There is never a lack of ideas.

(5) there also seems to be breaks in “exuberance”, for example the bracelet/cuff section….it seemed exciting from the inside>>>out…the kind of feeling when one gets a renewal of inspiration…is this my imagination?
Claudia: Our inspiration is in a constant renewal, sometimes just seeing an interesting tree, leaf, or even a drop of water, brings a lot of new ideas that we, in one way or another, transfer to our creations.
Catalina: Yes, I would say everything around us always gets linked back into ideas for jewelry. Anything from walking down the street to a movie we've seen.

(6) here’s a technical question…since your work is relatively large & sculptural, do you need an under carriage to handle the stress of the piece especially for the rings & bracelets?
Claudia: We do not use any support under our pieces. Only for the new line of adjustable rings we use an adjustable silver band.
Catalina: That is what is so great about polymer clay. It lends itself to making bold statement pieces. We are however careful to not make any areas where there can be breaking points.

(7) most artists are not good business people…(I know it’s a horrible generality), if this is true of you both…what have you done to handle it? Your website is gorgeous… did you style it yourself or did you hire out?...do you handle your own PR? Do you hire reps for your collection?
Claudia: We started managing our own business but right now we hired a small business consultant company. We have someone do all our PR. Our website was done by an excellent group of creative people in Florida who immediately interpreted our ideas for the website.
We do our own shows and representation.
Catalina: I think that my experience of having worked in Production at Ann Taylor and then designing and doing product development at Ralph Lauren, definitely taught me many things about business, on how organization and being detail oriented is a must. Also, we have a vision that we don't want to steer away from or settle for anything less. We always think everything out very thoroughly to be sure its best for our business. Now that the business is growing, we have great consultants who are helping us with this.

(8) what you create is definitely “wearable art”….has being in a “business” taken away from your artistic roots? Or maybe put in a more realistic way…at the end of the day, are your creative decisions influenced more by art or business?
Claudia: It has to be mix of both. If I let just my artistic side take over the creation then the piece would not be wearable, and more fit for a museum, just to look at. We have to think of comfort, marketability, and production whenever we create a piece.
Catalina: For me, being in this business has not taken anything away from my artistic roots. I feel them growing more and more with Cleo & Cat. It is like our baby. The creative wheels are always churning. We definitely have to be sure that our pieces stay within "wearable art", so that people can actually wear it and feel comfortable. This goes hand in hand with the creative process.

(9) here is a “soapbox” for you…..is there anything else we didn’t cover that you would like to talk about…it doesn’t even have to be art or business related…anything that is bugging you now?
Claudia: I have to say that time is something that I need more of.
Catalina: I agree with Claudia.


The Wonderful World of Wearable Art

this is a very mild taste of this fantastical world... but i wasn't able to transport the pics i wanted to so i'll introduce you to them thru links galore here and in my "favorite blogs list".

First is the link to Montana World of Wearable Art...it's based in New Zealand and they have a dedicated group who produces a wonderful "WOW" gala every year.

There is a wonderful blog dedicated to promoting & educating people to the art that exists in this form of art: http://wearableartblog.com/

Now this venue isn't strictly wearable art BUT there are some represented... but all that is presented is like jewels in a treasure chest...enjoy! http://www.mobilia-gallery.com/

All these venues are prized and promoted by a new venue market called "Wearable Art Market" ...(WAM) at the 1000 Markets...please come visit us.


Once upon a time i was 20...a short story of regret & karma

it's hard to believe that i was once 20...but's true. in an earlier entry i mentioned i was asked to remember an era & a young man. it got me wondering about the aftermath of that era. right at that time, i was presented with 2 young men, both with the same name, both young & handsome, both saying they cared for me...and without much thought i chose the man who was closer to my age, who seemed"perfect" on paper as well as in my eyes.

after making the choice, the war tore us apart...but in hindsight, if it weren't for the war, it would have been something else...i think karma was involved, god, if you will....i needed to learn a lesson...i needed to learn that you can't make someone love you if they don't.

this version of a bonnie raitt song is from melissa polinar & passion...i chose it because it is more intimate & she sort of looks like i did at 20 :)


Remembering...harder than you may think

I love this modern world we live in even though I’m not as high tech as I wish I was. A few days ago I was asked to remember someone in an email. “hi there”…had I gone to “so & so” high school and did I know “so & so” (let’s call him Tim)?

A slight shiver ran through my body…”of course I knew Tim…yes we went to “so & so” high school together”… then I paused and REALLY remembered Tim as my first high school boyfriend, who I treated very badly at the “end”.

I think we all think we were nice people in high school…BUT how can that be!!? We’re all self-absorbed, we thought the world revolved around our schedules, and we expected everyone to be able to read our minds & know exactly what we meant, NOT what we said or did !

The most memorable things I remember about Tim: he was the first boy I ever French kissed, in fact he taught me how to :D …he was handsome & well built …and our makeout sessions under the bleachers during our lunch breaks were well worth the hunger pains later. He’s the only man who has ever played with my ear and neck that made me feel the “earth move”

Though we never made love, I always wondered “what if we had…would our lives have been different?”….then I remember what I was like back then. It took me a long while to grow out of my awkward stage…I didn’t show promise until my junior year. But along with that “change”, came a very immature attitude about the “power” I now possessed…I would flirt and instead of being laughed at, I got flirts back…with this power, do I use it for good or evil?

I tried to be good, but instead I was blind to my growing lack of compassion to other people…Tim being one of them. Tim was a freshman & I was a senior and I knew that we were going to breakup when I went off to college…it didn’t even dawn on me what he could be feeling.

When years later I got his email…I just blurted-out , how bad I had felt over the years of how I treated him even when he offered the sweet innocent love he had. I told him of all the bad things that had happened to me when I left, thinking he might feel better knowing he had “dodged the bullet” with me. But instead he was gracious & kind and said we’ll have to meet some day, just to talk and catch up.

I don’t know if we will ever have that “catch-up talk”, but it reminded me of a conversation my husband & I had before we got married…we asked each other the same question…if we had met when we were younger, would we have married back then? The resounding answer from both of us was NO WAY IN HELL! …we both knew we were too selfish, we wanted to travel, do some “vital work”, meet a lot of people and party while our bodies could take the damage : )

So I guess i will always have to feel a little nostalgic about Tim, will always feel guilty for my cruelty, yet grateful for where we both landed.
p.s. Thank you Tim for all those good memories and play the song below that always reminds me of you.

Lately...have been asked to remember...


Watchmen, a Dream, & Looney Tunes

It all started on Tuesday, March 10th…very innocently, sudden…what I would like to call a “golden moment”.

Both my husband & I had nothing in particular planned, so we made a date to see a matinee movie…”the watchmen”.

Though the movie was not going to win an oscar, I thought it very successful in staging a “graphic novel” of a by-gone era…cutting thru historic touchstones…combining a lustful crime-drama with pure sci-fi.

A memorable character for me was “silk spectra”…a raven hair beauty in the most remarkable spandex costume & “kick-ass” high-heel boots. At the end of the movie I was so energized & transported…I had become “silk spectra”…and as I started walking down the long ramp to the theatre doors, to my poor husband’s dismay, he says I started to RUN down the rampage in wild abandon.

There is no video (thank god!) …but in my defense, I have been feeling rather “rakish” ever since joining a particular market which shall remain nameless at 1000markets.com…you know who you are. The rest of the week I laid in bed with a pulled back muscle. In between the spasms of pain, I tried to think that it could have been worse…there might have been headlines in the town paper of a rather rotund asian woman mowing down 5 children on her way out of the movie theatre.

To continue my week of heartache…on March 15th, I found out I didn’t win the HGTV Dream House!!!!!

And as the week couldn’t get any better, I prepared for the ultimate humiliation…a colonoscopy (not sure how to spell it). The preparation was more painful than the procedure itself because they put you asleep BUT I had the pleasure of waking for just a few seconds when I saw my doctor…(a young, handsome, diminutive man) trying to move me about on the table to get the scope thru a difficult turn…as I was put back into “la-la-land”, all I could do was dream a “looney tune” type dream where the operation room instruments & nurses start to sing a silly song as the diminutive doctor in an oversized lab coat is using fantastical conveyor belt system to move my body in all sorts of twists and turns while he is taking polaroids of my “woohoo”.

"tha-tha-that's all folks !"


OMG DEB...i'm a belated Eva Cassidy fan

A Tribute to "Silk Road Jewelry"

"nepalese nilo fur chank"...handmade in kathmandu, nepal by nilofur (a female tibetian artisan)

"asia meets africa #14...moroccan Tuareg silver pendant

When browsing the many great shops at the new "peace & Love" market, http://www.1000markets.com/groups/peacelove ...i found "silk road jewelry"...WOW...OMG!! was my initial impression...i think i started to salivate. http://www.1000markets.com/users/silkroadjewelry

about a year ago i bought this rather expensive "coffee table art book " called the "world of necklaces"..it showed museum jewelry pieces depicting the craftsmanship from africa, asia, europe, far east & the islands...the jewelry from this shop are so similar, the components of the jewelry probably made by ancestors of the artisans whose work is shown in my book...it's amazing.

Silk Road Jewelry gathers hand-crafted pendants from Tibet, Nepal, Morocco, Afghanistan and other Asian and African countries to incorporate in unique one-of-a-kind necklaces. Purchases support Tibetan refugees living in Nepal as well as women and families struggling to make a better life throughout Africa, the Middle East, and southeastern Asia.
Be sure to visit


Tia Bailey..."1000 Beautiful Things"

tia is a very talented artisan at the new venue "1000 markets". her specialty is photography BUT her collages & small trinkets will also leave you wanting more.

i was privileged to receive one of her collages...there is so much more passion & detail that a picture could not capture from her canvas.

visit tia as well as the other talented artisans of "1000 markets".


Another page from my Inspiration Book...Terhi Tolvanen

terhi tolvanen is a finnish designer...i'm not sure if the artist is male or female...but by her work i'm guessing she is female...i base this purely on intuition & the choices she makes in materials...common and at times kitschy items used in elegant interpretations of jewelry design.

as you can see with her nail polish bottom rings, there is a wit & whimsey about her work.

then you see these "deconstructed turquoise" stones made into exquisite earrings...

or real wood branch part with amethyst pieces purposely bolted down into place :)

please visit her site... i know you will enjoy yourself.

"tuscan sun" revisited...

with the impending 2nd eye procedure, i thought it best to get a few more entries in my "insect series" at etsy...

beetles & lady bugs in particular are good omens in many cultures, but to tell you the truth i was inspired by a movie i saw on cable...i think it was called "under the tuscan sun"...it made the point that relationships of any kind take time & patience & when you find a peace from within & stop searching...a funny thing happens, what you sought comes to you in abundance.

may we all have lady bugs in our lives :)



the laser procedure on my eye was so painful...it felt like a person poking your eye, leaving their finger there & telling me to look to the right...look to the left...look down...look up...and each time hearing an electrical sound like one of those electric insect zapper-lights....ughhhhh!

the good news is that i can still see....but it's taking me a few days for the blurriness to fade.
the bad news...is that i have to go back in 2 weeks to continue the treatment...apparently the damage was so big that they have to try to correct it in stages.

but thank god...my vision is still with me...i'll try to put in a few up-beat entries before i have to go back for treatment in 2 weeks.


i'm a little scared...correction, A LOT SCARED

yesterday, i went to a new eye doctor...i thought it was only going to be an introduction and a quick review of my glaucoma (pressure in my eyes) , but apparently it is more serious than that.

in 1976, i was diagnosised with diabetes & a resulting glaucoma being a direct link to it. for years i knew my sight was at risk, but that it would be a long slow process in the lose. the doctor who i was seeing (for years) always checked my eye pressure. it was high but tolerable and he never indicated anything serious, until he passed me off to his colleague who is a specialist & than immediately stated i had severe damage and some laser surgery is necessary to control the bleeding.

tomorrow i'll be going in... if all goes well, my vision in the left eye will improve, if not...well i'll still have my right eye...thank god they come in twos...the scary part is that she says the right eye is also showing signs of damage & i'll have to have laser procedure on it as well in the future.

as my defensive mechanism steps in ...denial of anything bad happening is in high gear... BUT BOY AM I SCARED.


"strange dolls"...an amazing art doll website

i've had this website under my "favorites" for years...i keep on going back to check what other images she comes up with...they are all "dark & moody"...a little "goth" or other worldly, BUT i'm always fascinated by them.
you know how you look at things and for some reason something just clicks. you're not influence by trends or styles & what's "cool" this week...i think it "clicks" when you finally meet up with a visual artist who knows how to tell a story...doesn't matter the genre, but just tells a good story.
this artist is an excellent storyteller !!!


my favorite website for "jewelry inspiration"

velvet da vinci gallery is named after an old "perry mason" tv episode. located in the business district of 'russian hill', san francisco.
it opened in 1991. it's a gallery of contemporary art jewelry & metalworks. it represents artists from US, Europe, Latin America & Japan.
it's always so inspiring to see different views of art jewelry...checkout their website & enjoy their archives of all their past & present shows.


i had a death dream last night...

it seemed to be a pleasant dream...a high school reunion...people milling about that looked familiar but yet i just couldn't place them...than out of the blue i saw him, frank corona. he was of european spanish decent, handsome & likeable features, always with a smile. i rushed to him, amazed that he still looked so young. i tried to find my husband to introduce him, but he wasn't there. frank then introduced me to his grown son who i swear looked older than him.

i remember when frank and i were in high school he had befriended my brother who was in the varsity "B" team (that's for the boys too short & slight for the "VARSITY 'A' TEAM") with him. frank would drop in unannounced sometimes...and me being the shy akward child would run into my bedroom & hide from him. later in our junior year i started to breakout of my shell once i talked my mom into contacts and my chubby body started to charge into a more "girly" one.

i guess because frank had been a regular visitor to our house & now hung around both me & my brother, he figured it would be okay to walk me home from a football game...we stopped for a soda at the "foster's freeze" and then walked slowly (in the dark) back home...his hand at the small of my back...first time i ever got flip-flops in my tummy and my knees buckled...we didn't kiss, but he held my hand.

when i got home, my mom questioned me where i had been...it was still early and i wondered why she seemed upset.
later on frank told me that my mom had come over to his house & talked to his parents and said it was best for frank not to see me anymore except at school, as friends.

my brother asked me what i did...because mom was pissed and told him not to invite frank over again. omg!...talk about not knowing what to think...but on that day i found out how much of a racist my parents were...i was so ashamed.

frank & i did as our parents wished and stayed away from each other...but it must have seemed strange to him as it did for me, but i would sneak around on dates with non-japanese boys all the time after that perfect evening with him...indirect rebellion i guess. in our senior year,

i was dating secretly a fresnman boy who i knew i would gladly leave behind for college...frank was in a serious steady relationship with a beautiful mexican girl that his parents liked very much. by a funny coincidence, we had both stopped in at the "foster's freeze" for a snack...and danced about the subject of "what if.." we continued to see each other after that football game long ago?
....at the end of this dance we realized our different paths were okay...but as he left to see his girlfriend, and turned back to wave good-bye...i answered the question posed under my breathe...i would be that loving yet scared girlfriend, pregnant with his child, knowing he would be gone in less than 72 hrs. to a war, he felt honor-bound to fight in.

(back to my dream)...frank & i made some small talk...his older-looking son seemed distracted & didn't turn to face me much & i never did see my husband nearby which seemed odd at a reunion....when i woke up, i was super groggy and remembered the dream...
i remembered that frank died in 1969 in one of the first conflicts when nixon oked the expansion of the war into cambodia. i believe he was in charge of the machine gun in a helicoper that was shot down.

his beautiful girlfriend, crying, holding her newborn in church... i never found out if it was a "boy" or "girl"...i never made it to the funeral...never been able to forget frank and only accepted his death when i saw his name on the "wall"....30 years later.

OMG! another Etsy Favorite

barbara has a lovely shop at etsy called, "a luscious thing"... and it is just that and more. you can immediately see her love of vintage components & antique beads combined with her fondness for all things botanical. her creations caught me as what a "lady" of the turn of the century might entertain herself doing...and combining that with the modern edge of of her love to deconstruct & reconstruct using her well developed skills in drilling, riveting, wraping, buffing & patina-ing.
please checkout her shop at etsy... "a luscious thing".


1KM Favorites Series...JoJo Bell

joanne harrill is the owner/ creator of "JoJo Bell"...when i was browsing thru the "wearable art market" and stumbled upon her shop...i stopped in my tracks & almost cried...what wonderful craftsmanship & vision...i know 'envy' is a sin..just call me a sinner. i love her wire wrapped jewelry...it's light & airy and lyrical. i have seen quite a few wire wrapped rings, and they all look the same to me...BUT joanne takes the time & skill to make embellishments on the band of the rings as well as a complex & layered dome of her jewelry. BUT look also at her more clean & simple pieces...just a continuation of the line & fluidity of her work...all of which is exquisite. checkout her site: http://www.1000markets.com/users/jojobell