Friday, February 27, 2009

And I'm on my way!

Well I have packed everything up and am ready for my vacation. Good Bye East Coast! I apologize in advance for the "Wintery Mix" predicted for this weekend. I will not mind missing this one. Since my flight leaves in just a few short hours (yay!) I leave you all with a few photos I took last time I was in Hawaii. Above is a Banyan Tree. These trees are so vast, peaceful, and beautiful. I think I may try for a Banyan tree stained glass window when I return. (if I return?)

Also to my Hoboken Customers. Michelangela is OPEN for business while I am gone. I am lucky enough to have great friends and family who offered to help me out. Thanks guys! The only day we might be closed is Sunday March 8th. But I can keep you all posted.

This is Diamondhead in Waikiki...Alexis lives very close to its beaches and I think she surfs somewhere off its beautiful shores. :)

Hanuma Bay where we went snorkeling! Snorkeling is my favorite underwater activity :) We even saw sea turtles!!!


Thursday, February 26, 2009

To protect your Achilles Heel!

I have a bunch of new projects in the works, (as always...why finish something when you can start something new? hehe.) One of them is to create a few beautiful Mati anklets for a family member. The Greeks love their Mati ;) I'm really excited because I got new lamp work beads and hand painted beads in and they are stunning in all the different colors.

The Mati bead is a Greek symbol of protection. It is more commonly known as the "evil eye." It is meant to protect you from evil spirits, usually associated with jealousy. So thats why my blog title is to "Protect your Achilles Heel" since its a mati ( for protection) anklet. hehe. I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who enjoys my mythology humor. You can read more about the evil eye on my website here.

Here are some of the ideas I came up with for Annie. I know I will be making one for myself too!

Off to Beautiful Hawaii in just one day! Here is a sunset I took last summer at the North Shore.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Aloha Indeed!

I'm counting down the days till I visit my sister in Hawaii. I leave Friday and I haven’t packed yet!!! :) We are hoping to have a small jewelry party there with some of her friends. I think these earrings embody the Aloha spirit! I will definitely post blogs while I'm there. I’m sure I will have a lot to share. We have a trip planned to the big island and I just LOVE Lava beads. The Turquoise earrings are made of chalk turquoise and bone beads, and the other ones are mother of pearl, fresh water peacock pearls, and cute little pink seed beads. The mother of pearl ones will be hard to give away (or sell!) They will look so good with a cute summer sundress!

Here is a picture of beautiful flowers from the last time I visited the ALOHA state!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Armoire is ready for a new home!

The armoire is finished at last. That last coat is time consuming, and potentially lethal (fumes) but is usually well worth it. Just look at all the wonderful detail it helped bring out in the carvings and the feet. I also couldn't get a great shot of them...but the handles have this wonderful natural aged patina to them.
Here are some new goodies to decorate the top. I LOVE busts so we always have some in the store...I also love the new Mercury Glass Frames from J. Devlin Glass Art. ...But my absolute favorite are those antique fabric stamps are new and they are FABULOUS. I will probably dedicate an entire post to them soon. They are just amazing, and each one is different! I didnt order these from a catalog, I bought them from an importer. They are handmade one-of-a-kind pieces of art...and you can use them! I just adore them and already have several decorating my home and studio! :)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Its the end of an Era

Well I have a sad post today. Today my trusty glue gun died. It was very sad. I have had this glue gun FOREVER. I mean it... I did some calculating...and its been 15 YEARS that I've had it. She did my middle school and high school projects....and even came to college with me. (where it hemmed a few pairs of pants to be honest with ya!) Its also been the only one I've ever had...and its one of those tiny little dinky ones...but for some reason I never had the desire to upgrade.

Well now I was forced to purchase a new one. I could have replaced my old one for a hot $2.99 but thought maybe now would be the time to upgrade. I decided on this bad boy for $6.99 at Michaels, which becomes a steal when you bring your 40% off coupon. I must admit, the "precision nozzle" is very nice for tight spaces (like the back of pendants and inside curly seashells.) Let's see if this one lasts 15 years.

Update: Spent yesterday and today putting the stain coat on the Armoire. I'll post more pictures when its dry and I have the hardware back on!!

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mary Harding Jewelry Bead Blog gave me the LOVE BLOG'S AWARD

I had a nice surprise waiting for me in my mailbox box this morning. Mary from Mary Harding Jewelry Bead Blog gave me the Love Blog's Award. I'm pretty new to blog land and I thought this was very sweet of her. You must check out her page, her creations are so inspiring. Her sweet ceramic heart pendants are adorable.

So thank you Mary! You have made working this weekend a little bit better :)

Now I get to pass the award on - which is very exciting too.

I'm told the award should go
" to people-like anyone of my bloggy
friends out there-who take the time to
leave a comment, or a word of encouragement.
Or the one I love the most, a compliment on
something that I created and shared with my
friends. You all make me feel so special. "

And you guys do make me feel pretty special :) Thank you for all of your thoughtful and encouraging words! You are all so sweet.

There are some rules that go along
with this award:
1. The winner may put the logo on their blog.
2. Put a link to the person who sent you the award.
3. Nominate 5 blogs.
4. Put links to their blogs.
5. Leave a message for your nominees.

Here is my list:

Andrea at Everyday Beauty
Tammy's Treasure Chest
Carolina Gonzalez
of the Digital Rose and Gypsy Deluxe
Dawn at The Feathered Nest
Marcie at The Rustic Victorian

Yay! It feels wonderful to pass this along and let all these people know I appreciate what they do. Please visit them all, they are all different, all beautiful.

Friday, February 20, 2009

New Transformations

Everyone loves this armoire. Its a great size and has such a sense of charm. It was in beautiful condition when we got it in, just needed a little tune up. It's currently going through the Michelangela finishing process :) and it already looks great. I just finished a second coat and I cant wait to put on the top coat. Its a stain coat that brings out all the wonderful brushstorkes, highlights, carvings and curves of the piece.

These pieces are great because even though they are old they are so versatile. People walk into my store and ask for "Entertainment Centers" all the time. Obviously there weren't many around before TVs took over the world. The armoire is a great compromise. The furniture has character, adds to the uniqueness of your home, and hides the ugly tv in the bedroom or living room. :)

Happy Friday! I'm going to the Metropolitan Opera tonight. We will be seeing Verdi's Il Travatore :) I'll tell you about it tomorrow!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Seashells and Copper

Here is a new set I made today. Its very earthtone and the leather cord kind of adds to the natural look of the piece. The shell is from Long Beach Island :) ...though I'm not sure what kind of shell it is. The rest of the beads are jasper and copper coils I made and flattened a bit.

The shape of the pendant reminds me of a bull! Could this be a minotaur piece? ;)

Time-worn Interiors - 100th Post Giveaway!

Theresa over at Time-worn Interiors is having a giveaway! Its her 100th post and if you have time to poke around you will just adore her blog :) It is a place filled with the perfectly imperfect things we love :) Can you imagine anything more perfect than a small ironstone pitcher with a stain and a crack? Beautiful! Also her December 30th post has some beautiful images of her own home! So many wonderful and special items. Congratulations and Good Luck to Theresa!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Winter, Winter Go Away!

I don't know about you but I am tired, tired of this Winter nonsense! When I heard it was going to snow today it just put me over the edge. I decided to use all my jewelry making powers to evoke the Godesses of Spring. Demeter, Demeter where are you? When will Persephone return? If you have no idea what I am talking about, here is a quick lesson in Greek Mythology.

Demeter was the Goddess of the Harvest and agriculture. She was the patron of farmers, and the goddess of everything green; trees, grass, gardens, and crops alike. She had given man the gift of wheat and showed them how to sow their fields.

Demeter had a daughter named Persephone who was kidnapped by Hades, the God of the underworld. While Demeter roamed the earth searching for her daughter she became so depressed that she let nothing grow for six months and man was introduced to Winter. When her daughter returned Demeter rejoiced and the earth began to grow again. This is why Demeter is also the Goddess of the Seasons.

Anyway, I found these great glass beads at the craft store today and decided I must have them. They reminded me of seaglass, summer, margaritas,...and everything else wonderful that comes with sunshine! So I began digging through my rather extensive seashell collection and started creating.

I have SO MANY SEASHELLS and I love them all...big, small, and broken. Anytime I am at the beach you can find me pouring over the sand looking for little treasures of the sea. Many of these seashells were collected in Long Beach Island, NJ. I spent all my summers as a kid there and still go back every year.

These pendants came out great...I actually found these shells on Sanibel Island Florida...over 10 years ago! (Just to give you an idea of what kind of packrat I am) But here they are...I knew all along they had a greater purpose in life. Im thinking about just hanging these on sterling silver chains since they showcase the shells so perfectly. I want them to be the star of the show!

I'm visiting my sister in Hawaii in just nine days! I'm planning on bringing lots of jewelry with me so we can have a little cocktail jewelry party. I can just picture Alexis in these while sipping Mai Tais at Duke's Canoe Club!

These were fun to make. The sand dollars were very delicate but by gluing two of them back to back they are pretty substantial. The green glass beads remind me of seaglass too.

Here are a few more pendants I made today. Again, can you tell I'm over Winter? These came out great and I cant wait to play around with the rest of the necklace. These pieces have a little bit of everything. The one with the dried starfish has even been dipped in a little LBI sand!

Think warm thoughts!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Kiss

Inspired by my new Stained Glass Jewelry beads I decided to take part in my first Art Bead Scene's monthly challenge. This month's challenge is meant to be inspired by Gustav Klimt's The Kiss. I was an Art History major in college so a challenge like this sounds fantastic!

I have two giant, beautiful Klimt painting prints hanging in my home. They are bright beautiful images of garden flowers. So I have a perfect place to sit and get inspired. I will be posting my ideas soon! Wish me luck!

If you would like to enter yourself, go to the Art Bead Scene Blog here.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Stained Glass Jewelry

I've been playing around with making stained glass jewelry lately... and I must admit that I love it. When I saw this glass I bought it for the purpose of making stained glass window in mind :) I made several pendant shapes and some simple triangles for earrings... nothing too heavy of course.

After soldering the pieces I used a copper patina on them. I think the copper looks great with the colors in the glass. I also soldered on some copper coils to the earrings.

Then I added some red swarovski crystals and some gold filled findings.

Here is a picture of the necklace pendant I did as well. Again with the swarovski crystals... I do admit they a great punch of sparkle and thats why I'm loving them so much right now.

And the set! The necklace back has been finished off with leather to protect clothing/skin from any wire ends and solder bumps. I use 100% lead free solder. . . but still it doesnt feel great next to the skin ;) I will get better pictures and up and get these on my website later tonight. :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Out with the Old...In with the New

Just sold this great Secretary we had in the shop.. . on the same day I got this new piece delivered. (Well its not new, but it is to me!) Its a beautiful Chaise Lounge in perfect condition. I just LOVE it. I only wish I had it before Valentine's Day for the window! But I think it will still make a great "Welcome/Where are you? Spring" display. :)

I have it right in the middle of the store. It looks perfect with these old vintage bags and some dried flowers. I think its screaming "Take me Home!"

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Love is the greatest refreshment in life.
--Pablo Picasso

Happy Valentine's Day! Hope you spend the day with someone you love :) I leave you with pictures from my Valentine's Day window. Does anyone recognize that necklace on the "Cupid" Dress Form?

Have a good weekend! I'm off to New Jersey Wine country! (who knew?)

Friday, February 13, 2009

A touch of old, A touch of new

I picked up these vintage pins several months ago...and I finally feel the urge to create something with them. Maybe something for Valentine's Day? I know its tomorrow and I have made several pieces for it already... but there's always room for more! Plus some lucky guy who waits till the last minute can pick this up on Saturday! ;)

I especially the love the red rose ones...I'm starting with those. I decided that the dark red looked amazing with peacock freshwater pearls... add just a touch of red Swarovski crystals...

As you can see I left the pin off center, almost like a brooch, (which it was).

So there you have it the perfect necklace for you or a sweet special friend on Valentine's Day... or any day of the year! If you're looking for it on my website you can find it here. Its under my Aphrodite Collection - the Goddess of Love of course! I've also included the popular myth of Aphrodite and Adonis. Do you know why Roses are Red on Valentine's Day? If not you better find out before tomorrow :) Note: In person those crystals really sparkle!
Have a great Friday everyone!