Saturday, February 28, 2009

So much for trickledown.

"Home from Hollywood: After appearing at the Oscars, "Slumdog Millionaire" child actor Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail is back at his home in Bandra, suburban Mumbai, having dinner with his mother."

Friday, February 27, 2009

Today's Freaky Fish

"Newly discovered fish inspires '60s flashbacks: A previously unknown species of fish found by scuba diver guides off Ambon Island in eastern Indonesia has been named psychedelica. Far out!"

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Soooo, I joined Twitter. There's a part of me that feels like I've gone over to the dark side. I started an account not because I think there's anyone out there that really cares what I had for breakfast, but I'm seeing if it will drive any people to my Etsy shop. I'll give it a go for a bit and see if it results in traffic. It's all about marketing. Now that's the dark side!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sway Earrings - Bevels

Created from the bevel pieces used for making beveled glass windows, these new earrings catch and refract the light. They are foiled and soldered using the stained glass technique. I've hung the 1" squares on the corner for a bit of diagonal dash.

Although they are glass, they aren't too heavy, but have a nice weight. Another addition to my Sway Earring line, these Bevels are available in my Etsy shop.

Monday, February 23, 2009

It's Got To Get Better. Right?

A huge thank you to Charmaine (of High Desert Diva) for so thoughtfully featuring me and Kana in her lovely blog. The warm thoughts and condolences from her and her many readers who saw our story were wonderful and really mean a lot to me. There's a well-appointed spot for you in heaven, Mz. C!

This has been a very tough year. It actually started a bit more than a year ago with the death of my favorite relative in late November of 2007. My father's good friend died in February of last year, followed by my own father* in July, and a dear family friend in November. Not that they are the same (they effect our lives in a different way), but beloved pets also gone are Deb's Charlie, Cindy's Bruiser, my brother's Sandy and now my Kana. These personal tragedies (there were others), along with war, famine, drought, economic turmoil, etc. etc. have left me feeling a certain level of numb.

I guess I knew, but in the last few days with Kana gone, it's become very clear the level of structure she added to my life. My day started with a dog walk, ended with a dog walk and in between I was manuevering my work, errands, etc. around her parktime, pets, feeding and all. I've been at loose ends not only because of her death, but because I sort of don't know what to do with myself (and really don't feel like making jewelry right now). One moment of clarity came when I was out at a store yesterday and realized that no one, anywhere was expecting me home.

*No, I chose not to write about the trips back and forth to Miami, my father's death or the on-going process of dealing with his estate. It was too personal and too painful.

Friday, February 20, 2009

My Heart is Broken

Today, my best friend and constant companion died. A few weeks ago Kana had been diagnosed with Lymphoma. She was doing pretty well and yesterday she was given a new medication. This morning she had a very adverse reaction to it and after several hours of intervention at the vet's, she had a heart attack and died. There is a giant hole in my heart.

Here's our little story: In 2002, shortly after my mother died, I was back in Miami to check on my father. While I was away, I was having some work finished up on my house in Oakland, CA. The workman was storing his tools in my basement, which had only an external door. Near as we could figure - because Kana never did tell us what happened - on Friday morning he was finishing removing his tools and when he wasn't looking, Kana ran into my basement. He locked the door and left. I returned from Miami late Saturday afternoon. While sitting in the house, I heard a noise downstairs and went to investigate. I went out the back door, down the steps and opened the basement door. I shone a flashlight around to see what was in there. Up comes this strange dog - not aggressively, more relieved - and goes right up the back stairs and into my house like she knew where she was going. Now I had a pitbull I didn't know in my house! Shortening this part of the story some: I found her owners who were going to have to give her to the pound. In Oakland, a six year old pitbull would be put right down, so I said I would find her a home. Well, I did. Mine.

I didn't want a dog, I was just trying to do a good deed for this very sweet, smart animal. I tried for a year and a half to find her another home. We put up posters, listed on Craigslist, asked everyone who would listen, I even contacted a no-kill dog sanctuary in Utah, but no luck. She was mine. We were incredibly bonded right from the beginning anyhow. Since I was her third (maybe fourth) family, she had found a forever home.

Kana and I had our ups and downs, but I felt amazingly luck to have such a beautiful, sweet, smart, well behaved, loving dog fall into my lap (sometimes literally - Kana never realized she really wasn't a lap dog). We went hiking, I took her swimming, we went camping and, of course, we played ball. As anyone who has a dog knows, your life revolves around them and mine certainly has. Having Kana changed how I lived my life, what and when I did things. She was my girl and she knew it.

The last few years, Kana's face had gone grey and she had slowed down a lot, but she still wanted to go to the park everyday to play ball. I feel glad that I've been working at home so I could be with her as she got older. Our bond grew very strong in the past couple of years. She literally followed me everywhere. If I got up to get another cup of coffee, so did she. Kana could mostly be found lying right next to my chair as I worked - sometimes rolling on her back for a belly rub. She loved her some belly rubs. I got smiles for calling her nicknames... Everyday: Kane-Kane, Stinky, Barkyface; Superhero: Belly Girl; Hawaiian: Ka-Na-Na; Native American: Poochessa. She put up with me singing her the wonderdog song which I made up, and barked and barked when I sang her mock opera. Kana sat in the front seat next to me and was my co-pilot when we were out in the car. Since I work at home, alone, she was not only my companion, she was often the only reason I left the house some days.

I know Kana had a terminal illness and was going to die fairly soon anyhow, but I wasn't quite ready for her to go yet. She has only been gone a few hours, but I miss her terribly. The house is very quiet without her presence. I keep looking around for her and know I will for weeks to come. Kana was my best girl.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Happy Bloggiversary to Me

Yup, it was a year ago today that I started Curly Girl Chronicles. Don't know what I was expecting, and I'm not even sure what I got, but it's fun to have this venue to promote, pontificate and protest.
ummmmm cake....

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mobish Ring

Not quite a mobius strip, it's mobe-ish. A wide sterling band with a twist. This ring is actually a prototype and will serve as a model for a slightly more developed design. The one-of-a-kind Mobish Ring is currently available in my Etsy shop.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A New Hero of Mine

Chameli Waiba lives in Makwanpur, a village in rural Nepal. She was a child bride at 15 and didn't learn to read until she was 21. Waiba discovered the power words could have to change her life, as well as the lives of others in her rural community. Waiba works for social causes, environmental conservation, road construction, child development and microfinance.

I heard her essay on "This I believe" on NPR

The Magic Of Letters
by Chameli Waiba
Go here to listen to or read her essay.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Simple Spinner

I finally did it. I wanted to make a spinner ring and here is my first go at it. Back to a very simple, almost stark, design. It has a very Scandinavian quality to me with plain band and the squared spinner. Sometime I think things just don't need anymore.

Basic, simple, strong, modern. The band is .25" wide and of heavier gauge so it has a really nice feel. The Simple Spinner Ring (catchy name huh?) is available in my Etsy shop.

Today's Reality Check

"The drought in China isn't getting any better: A fisheye-lens view shows what remains of Hubei Lake in Zhengzhou, Henan Province. Four provinces - Henan, Anhui, Shandong and Shanxi - have declared the highest-level drought emergency."

Thursday, February 12, 2009

(Used) To-Do List

I've been thinking lately about things that I really enjoy and, for one reason or many, haven't done in a long time. Here's a list of a dozen that came to mind. It's by no means complete and in no particular order. I'm not sure the purpose of posting this other than it might inspire me to actually get back to some of these.
1. Camping. A group outing is best - cuts down on how many times I have to cook... Love sitting by a fire and chatting or singing late into the night.
2. Hot Springs. Nothing like a soak in really hot water in the great outdoors (combined with camping and I'm in heaven!). A hot tub is only an ok substitute.
3. Live Music. Jazz, pop, blues, classical - I'm game for most of it. Used to see live music several times a month.
4. Ballet. Or other types of live dance. Certain types of circuses fall into this category also.
5. Theatre.
6. Hiking. A challenging (or not so challenging) hike to a beautiful vista - or a hot springs - makes me feel alive. Long walks on the beach also clear my head.
7. Long Bike Rides. I can't run from here to the corner, but I can ride my bike for miles. I complain about hills, but the thrill of getting to the top - and of course speeding down the other side - is wonderful.
8. Picnics.
9. Going to Museums.
10. Gardening. Self explanatory: I currently live in an apartment. I have lots of house plants, but they are a poor substitute.
11. Travel. I've done quite a bit of traveling and love seeing new places, meeting people from different cultures, etc. I'm jonzing for an adventure.
12. Bake Bread. I used to bake bread weekly. I love the way bread dough is alive, it breathes and grows. I had a sourdough culture in my refrigerator for years. I really have no excuse for this one since I'm home all the time.

p.s. Happy Birthday Abe!

Monday, February 9, 2009


An interrobang is a non-standard punctuation mark that combines a question mark and an exclamation point. It expresses wonder or incredulity (You did what?!). This is the latest in the series of punctuation mark necklaces that I've recently created. One of the things that I particularly like about this is that it's fully representational and almost abstract at the same time. It's bold and modern and not everyone will recognize what exactly it is. The Interrobang Necklace is currently available in my Etsy shop.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Tonight I got take-out. I got one meal. The guy gave me 4 cookies.
Maybe he could see I need all the fortune I can get.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Sidewalk Score!

I live in a neighborhood where, on occasion, people will leave out a box in the easement in front of their house. This box, a "free box," will have stuff they don't want anymore but don't want to landfill, so they hope someone will take it home. Generally, it's junk or books or clothes. Sometimes there's cool stuff - I guess almost everything is cool to someone - and I'll often check out a box as I walk by with the dog. I've been known to pick up a book or two or a plant pot or such. Yesterday, I peered into a free box sitting out and found this. Score! A vintage Leonard silverplate candle holder. It's actually in pretty good shape, just very tarnished. The last picture shows an attempt at cleaning part of it. This is going to take a while - and some elbow grease, but I think it will clean up well. Groovy, huh?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

More Chiaroscuro

I so like the contrast of the oxidized vs. non-oxidized sterling together in one piece, that I've created some simple yet striking earrings that feature this. Pictured here are the bigger hoops - still only about .75" - of the two sizes of these that I've made. I'm also liking the pairing of the basic, plain hoop with an earwire that's just a little out of the ordinary. The hammered wrap still allows the hoop to swing, but it's something different than the usual wire. This line is called Chiaroscuro (Italian for the play of light and dark). These are called Chiaroscuro Hoop Earrings - Bigger. Find them in my Etsy shop. A slightly smaller version is also there.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sweetheart Mint Necklace

Going through my stuff looking for something, I found this heart link chain that I must have bought for last Valentine's Day and did nothing with. I pulled it out and paired it with these tiny Czech glass beads. The beads were used for an earring design that I don't sell anymore, so I had a few different color pinks, some red and a delicious iridescent green. The beads are clustered at the center and then sprinkled up the rest of the chain. It's a little different for me - a beaded chain - and it's also longer than I usually make at just over 24". The finishing touch was the decision to oxidize it which really makes the little spots of color pop. I think it would be perfect for that little black or red Valentine's dress. I call it Sweetheart Mint Necklace and it's currently available in my Etsy with free shipping (in the US only).