Monday, May 30, 2011

memorial day

This is my Grandfather, real official name, so the Navy christened him Andrew Jackson. He served aboard the re-built U.S.S Maine in WWI in 1918.

He was just another in the long line of family who served in the military for this country, starting with his great-great+ grandfather who served as a teamster in the war of 1812 and continues on to this day.

My family has proudly served in the military, here at home, with both my mother and mother in law working in factories during WWII. We have dealt with the horror of family and friends being captured and M.I.A, we have lost relatives in the Civil War and are dealing the the after effects of Agent Orange.

My father lost his hearing during WWII yet never spoke of his time there.

So I stand in awe of all those brave soldiers who stand in the gap...
To my friend Eva, who's son just deployed to Afghanistan a few days ago, I stand with her in pride and courage.

And to all the other mothers of soldiers out there, be brave.

We salute you, one and all.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Fly away home

Home...that place where you can scratch wherever itches
where you eat ice cream out of the container
Where you know how bad the bath tub needs to be scrubbed but take a bath anyway
The place where you keep your L.P's (google it, kiddies)

Home is where you sit unashamedly in your housecoat even thought it is well past time for Oprah.
The place you can puke in comfort
The place you eat over the sink and drink from containers

Home, the place to hide from the neighbors candy bar selling kids
where miss-matched socks with plaids and stripes do not matter
where you make all your baking mistakes.

Where headaches and constipation come to find comfort
where you secretly listen to Herman's Hermits CDs while dancing around the kitchen
and where cheap hair dye meets vintage towels

Home is the place you can go to find that thing you lost while looking for that other thing you need

where butter tubs become dishes
and where you hide that last good deal you know you didn't need and can't afford
Home is where your dogs live and cats visit

Home is where hangovers come to die
bad haircuts are resolved and new eyeliner techniques are practiced,
where your best friend lives even if he is covered in fur or lives in a cage.

Home is more than a building or an address, its a place to be you.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Etsy math

So, while I am sitting here trying to promote (shill) my lovely pieces of jewelry on the unsuspecting public I am doing some minor calculations in my head.

I average 3 new pieces a day...
removing the custom orders (.000262251% of total amount)
removing the ooopsies, refilling my stock of freebees and gifts,
taking time off for garage sales, flea market runs and general dinking around...I can safely say I can post 30 pieces a month, easily.
My shop has 171 items
Emerald Dragonfly has over 100 items
Antique mall as about 75 pieces
over 100 are just lost in between...

My views including twitter bots equal about 7 a day per items on average...(yeah, that sucks) Intense promoting raises the average to about 20.

Renewing, editing and rephotographing about 15 per month.

Average sales last month equal 1.

Suffice to say, I am drowning in the stuff!

And while I am typing this I am looking at the Opalite bracelet I just made and thinking to myself...

What the hell am I doing?????

Thursday, May 26, 2011

time to give thanks

Yeah, I know the picture has nothing to do with giving thanks...I got over it, so can you.

Thank you Meijers for having 400 count sheet sets on sale for half off...they are now just super expensive instead of stupid crazy expensive.

Thank you to whoever invented Poo-Pourri...(google it)

Thanks to all those fine hardworking individuals who mow my yard, the work you did today, while I was gone, far exceeds my expectations...I am especially impressed with the doughnut you did in the middle of my lawn, leaving deep tracks for the rain to fill...

And a big shout out to all you farmers who drive their manure spreaders down national highways...can we co-ordinate schedules so I can always be behind you, that'll be great.

Thanks again, people at were no help whatsoever. I wonder if you actually understand the basic meaning of 'customer service'?

And while we are on the subject of thanks, how about a big hand for the crew of my local McDonalds...amazing how every order is completely jacked up...its almost like performance are all artist, every one.

And last but not least, a huge thank you to my letter carrier, your dedication to your job in increasingly difficult situations deserves recognition...thru rain and snow and sleet and hail you always bring me my bills, letters and if we could just work on closing my mail box, especially during rainstorms, my life would be complete.

Thanks all rock.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

a moment of zen...

A beautiful moment of calm and tranquility...
cuz a rant is about to be unloaded.

I think we have all seen the news report about the woman who was talking on her cell phone in the 'quiet car' on the amtrack. That got me thinking...

1. I can't believe we need to have a quiet car...what ever happened to common courtesy???
2. Cell phones are becoming more like pacifiers and less like the tools they were designed to be. We have all felt that moment of panic when we realized we walked out without the me, it'll be ok...breath, relax and get on with your life.
3. (this happened yesterday) DO NOT CALL WHILE YOU ARE SITTING ON THE TOILET! There is no way you can justify having a chit chat while you are sitting in a public bathroom...and if you are next to my stall, and I hear you yammer on and on about how tired your feet are and why you will be late for dinner, you can bet I am going to flush excessively, ask for some toilet paper or make loud and un-ladylike sounds of distress.
4. If you are so dang important that you cant even get in the car without being on the phone, you need an assistant, an agent or a parole officer.
5. Nothing at Walmart is 'call worthy'...nothing. Do not block the isle with your cart loaded with beer and pampers and call your BFF to chat about the weather.
6. I do not carry my phone with me...its in my purse, on the table, rooms away. If you call my cell and I don't answer, get over it, leave a message or call my home phone. I use my phone to communicate, not as an anchor to the planet.
7. I gotta pay for my texting, if you send me prayers to win the lottery, pictures of naked cowboys, or cartoons I am gonna pound on your head like a Chinese gong.
8. If I do call you, and leave a message, listen to the freakin' message, don't call me and ask me what I wanted...really. grr
and finally:
and open comment to the Michigan State Trooper I saw tooling down US12 at about 90mph...HANG UP THE DAMN PHONE AND DRIVE

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Thinking in Black and White

I don't know if its the artist brain or my upbringing or even my neivity but I never see people as a color or race...ever. My parents, neither progressive or necessarly modern taught us kids that what mattered was the person you were. Color, status or background didn't enter into it.

And I went to a 'intergrated' (the politically correct term for the 60') school, so to me, we were all just poor kids. We all were from the basic economic background so we all were the same to me...

So imagine my shock on the playground (again...1966ish) and listening to the chants around the merry-go-round...'all the whiteys get off and push'...and then 'all the blackies get off and push' was a game that everyone involved adgenda. But for me (and I remember it like it was yesterday) it was the very first time I realized there was a diference. I stood under the tree trying to make the information fit into the available space, then I rejected it outright.

I am afraid I have offended more people because I don't see the outward shell. Once, while teachng 'youth group' a beautiful girl was complaining about being hassled and treated differently and when I asked why she looked at me like I had 2 heads and said 'uh...cuz I'm black' and I blerted out...'you are?!!'...(forgive me Serria, where ever you are).

Its not because I am ignoring the challenges. Trust me, I'm not...I jsut see the shining, gleaming soul that is each person.

When I get my exchange students I don't realize they may be a different color and how the experience may be compromised in my little backwater school...and yet, learning the diferences makes us understand more, dosen't it?

I don't want to be the kind of person who looks at the outward and decide how to react...maybe that makes me one big damn hippy, but I'm ok with that.

I hope this didn't offend anyone but if you are black, yellow, gay, straight, big, little or in between...I just don't care.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ghosts of presents past

This necklace looks like it is very old, Victorian even...forget the fact that it is made from various pieces of vintage looks antique to me.

And while I have been knee deep in vintage jewelry thanks to a stop at a garage sale that was being run by a lady who pretty much was 'over it', I have been thinking about the history of these things.

Looking at these unfortunate necklaces who have been hiding in the bottom of jewelry boxes(and for a lot of them I understand why) and wondering if they were Christmas presents from kids or loving (but color blind) husbands. Were they bought on purpose??? I really want to talk to the lady that bought the fluorescent orange 3 strand beaded necklace...perfect for deer hunting season...was there a dress to go with that???

And the 80's pins...I guess we needed some hefty jewelry to go with those padded shoulders. While we are talking about the 80's, was it necessary to put chains on everything? When the neighbor kids popped in to look at the treasure, they held up a typical earring from the brat-pack days and said 'what is THIS???' When I explained it was an earring, they looked at me like I was from Mars.

We all have gifts that were given to us from misguided people in our lives...people who thought we really, really needed a chain saw (yes, I did receive a chain saw for Christmas one year)or the bread machine, or juicer, or hot dog cooker...and we accept them with grace, I hope.

I know some of my jewelry will be given to unsuspecting people who will open the package and look at the thing and think...what the hell is this????
and I hope they accept it with grace, then stuff it in the bottom of the jewelry box for the next generation of crafters and artisans to buy at a garage sale to make into some other fabulous item.

And I hope I am around to see it.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Yes, completely and utterly ashamed. I just went down and tossed a load of towels in the wash and was mentally whining about doing housework.

And then I remembered 'WASH DAY' when I was a kid...and dragging out the wringer and the tubs and the 94 boxes of serious chemicals along with the hose to run out into the driveway. And the sorting and pre-soaking and stain treating...then the actual washing then the wringing and finally the HANGING OF THE LAUNDRY. Rain or shine, sun or snow...and the next day...ugh


Levi's so stiff you had to literally 'break' them...frozen laundry smelling of the great outdoors and the occasional bee getting caught in the sheets.

And while I am on the subject...dishwashers, microwave and Rumba's! Think about this, we live in a world with robotic vacuums. Sure, I don't have one, with all the dog and cat hair I would need a robotic hay baler, but still...

Microwave cake mixes, popcorn and breakfast stove actually needs to be dusted!

And I have the nerve to whine about housework...

Sorry Mom...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

going to my 'happy place'

Some days I basically live there. Images of places I have been where life as I knew it seems so far away and bad things couldn't get me...

Hawaiian happy place.

I also have Paris happy place, London happy place and assorted other lands of AHHHHHHsss.

Usually the image is on my screen saver but I am thinking of mounting it on my that when I drive by the gas station where I filled up the day before and notice they have changed the price of gas to be 26 cents lower..I can go to my happy place.

Or past to the cover of my checkbook, so that when I go to the bank to cash a check I can imagine soft breezes scented with plumeria...while the cashier is telling me that I can't cash the endorsed check without my husbands ID... I can however, deposit it and then withdraw it out of our joint account.

Or even laminated to a key chain so that when I get the HAZELNUT (ACK!) flavoring in my ice coffee instead of sugar free vanilla, I can drift away on the mental surf in my head.

It's not that I am generally a petulant(no matter what everyone says) person. I just have no ability to tolerate fools, bureaucrats or people in polyester uniforms.

Or Politicians, News Anchors, radio talk show hosts, any business in Jackson Michigan, automated phone calls, computer viruses, neighbors and Physicians Associates who think they are demi-gods...

Urg...just thinking about this is irritating...where is my Happy Place?!!!?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

elegant trash

Contradiction in terms...not for me. Its the world I live in.
Its the delicate balance of this and that making the other. I love the other.

And it doesn't just involve my jewelry, its more of a life style choice. A way of life, so to speak. Maintaining a quality of style on a budget of nothing.

Of knowing where all the resale shops are
and charity shops
and clearance racks
and day-old shops
and scratch and dent places
and flea markets
and when each town has their city wide garage sale days

Its recovering your furniture because its solid and old and built much better than the new stuff.

Its deciding which trend to follow and which can be ignored.
Its living with need vs want and being happy.
Learning to adjust at a moments notice and understanding that nothing is more valuable than peace of mind.

And most importantly, making it all work.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Avenging angels

My original logo...not sure why I would have an avenging angel as an icon for a found object jewelry shop. It just felt right.

I wish I had an avenging angel in my life, someone like Judge Judy who apparently can look at you and know if you are telling the truth...she scares the be-jebus out of me. Or Nancy Grace, who also makes me hide behind the couch...yeah, I wanna party with them!

Yup, big grouchy women with an agenda...those are my kind of ladies.

Oh sure, you probably get your food with 'extra sauce'(if you know what I mean)and body guards are probably not tax deductible, but dangit...when someone says they will call Judge Judy back, I'm betting they call her right back.

And when Judge Judy walks into a store, I'm betting nobody rolls their eyes and hides behind the racks (well, then again...).

And Nancy Grace, with her steely eyes and helmet hair can probably line jump with out fear or removal from the park.

Whereas normal human beings like me will gladly stand outside in the pouring rain in front of the Outback so I can eventually be seated for a overcooked steak with runny mashed potatoes.

Who am I kidding, no I wouldn' inner avenging angel would get in the car and eat fast food and be happy. So maybe that's the point, we all have our inner avenging angels who come out when its important to us. Like when defending our kids or pets or other assorted relatives, or when we are overcharged at the gas station.

So, while Judge Judy may be wildly famous for being a bitch, we all have to settle for a tiny slice of bitchdom. Use it wisely.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

more stuff from stuff

My mom was right, I never follow the rules or go with the flow. I never go to the craft store and buy the proper stuff to make nice, proper and easily understood pieces.

Nope, I go to hardware stores, antique malls and resale shops and buy bags of unwanted things and make new and interesting things.

Case in point, these scatter pins, made from gaming pieces, washers and other assorted cast offs.

It makes me happy to give another shot at something being something else. Maybe I am hoping someone will do the same for me...look at my resume and think...hmmm, lets give her a try!

But I think that just ain't gonna happen. Being able to see past what is in front of you to the potential must be a specific gift. How bakers can look at a bag of flour and see a cake, tubes of paint become a painting, and bolts of cloth can become a beautiful quilt.

I can't sew, don't like to cook and painting isn't my best thing...but I can look at a old, jacked up tin can and see beauty!

And while my 'gift' ain't exactly paying any bills, it is making me happy. So, in spite of what my head is saying, my heart keeps telling me to carry on.

So look for more interesting things made from other interesting things in the future. Reality has never been a concern for me.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

the soul of a writer

I wish I had the drive to be a writer. I wish I had that all consuming need to put down on paper (or on screen) the thoughts in my head. I know people like that, and I envy them...

Like, just today I had a long heartfelt discussion on the nature of 'itching' and why it always manifests itself just beyond where you can reach...and why does it make that feeling instead of a tickle, or a burn or a muscle spasm...and the hubs said...

'You need to write this down'

And all I could think of was WHY??? I am sure there is a study out there, no doubt funded by tax payers dollars, with an entire breakdown of why your shoulder itches.

I know people who spend hours a day writing. I can barely squeeze out a grocery list. And it isn't because I don't have ideas...I got a lot! Mostly involving middle aged woman musing about their pasts and wondering what could have been...but who the hell wants to read depressing crap like that???

I can't even commit to writing this blog on a daily (weekly???) basis. But thats mostly due to being unsufferably boring and no ability to put a positive spin on my lifestyle.

Y'all don't really want to read about how I cut my finger and can't function do you???

I may vent about how my new booth at the antique mall is directly behind the Amish guy selling pies and tastless cookies...and how he reeks to high heaven of cow shit and body order...

Naw, who wants to hear about that.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dramatic crap...

Lookit me trying to make my assemblage of found objects all dramatic. Truth be told, it is a bunch of stuff that would otherwise be in a land fill photographed on a black notebook I was given in Asia...junk on junk.

I'd like to think it is artistically arranged junk on junk...but still it is what it is.

And lately, no one seems as concerned or interested in my style of junk on junk...they seem to be more interested in food, rent and the price of gas. How on earth can I compete with that????

I understand, I do.

Impulse buys are so much more fun when you don't have to wait for the post, dink around with Pay Pal or squint at my poorly photographed attempts at art. I get it.

And, I haven't been buying either. I can't remember the last time I went on a junk-run. I'm a bit surprised I haven't gotten a get well card from the local Goodwill.
Its scary out there and who knows when it will 'normal' out,
if it will 'normal' out, or if even this IS 'normal'.

Its kind of hard to go imagine paying for unnecessary stuff when it takes over $100 to fill the tank...(yeah, I had to buy that big-gas truck, didn't I) and a trip to the local grocery should include a side trip to an anger management class.

So, I grit my teeth and carry on, hoping someday that my thousands (seriously) of resumes will hit the right desk and I can get back to enjoying making stuff for the fun of making stuff.

In the mean time...the words of wisdom from my Grandpa come to mind:
make it do
wear it out
use it up or
go without

Monday, May 9, 2011

angels among us

Yes, I believe in angels...maybe not the type I tend to draw or the ethereal beings pictured in Victorian paintings...but everyday angels who walk among us carbon based life forms and make the world a better place.

Reggie, my personal tech angel...

Tiffany, BFF angel to the stars...

Eva and Connie, my uber mom-type angels who stay rooted no mater what...

Old school friends, who knew me when I was a dork in platform shoes...

All my FB friends who encourage me when I want to throw in the towel.

Angels, one and all.

You keep me focused on what is important:

Caffeine is required for inertia to take place
Spelling is optional
The Dali llama has a quote to fit every occasion
Nothing has every really changed, and everything is different
Time and distance means nothing
Perception is half the battle
Chocolate, the Marx Brothers and Guacamole can cure what ails you
And most importantly, we are all one big soppy family...
(I am that wacky aunt that everybody avoids)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Thoughts on Mom...

Mothers day is Sunday and if you get to Walmart, I am sure they have some 75% off Easter candy and some lavender bubble bath you can score. Don't forget a gift bag!

Mothers day is not a holiday I celebrate much...(with the no kids and all) but I did have a mother and while we didn't have the most traditional relationship, she does deserve a shout out.

My MOM...
that's her in her office at the State Hospital...
and don't let the surroundings fool you, she had a sock with a bar of soap in it in her drawer and a straight jacket behind the door. The State Police would tell people they were going to take them to 'visit Aunt Helen' if they didn't calm down. She wasn't in the mood for foolishness, ever...

I would bring her lunch sometimes and spent many visits locked in her office while her and her 'boys'(those loyal state troopers) would interview new patients...*shudder*

So needless to say, she wasn't gonna take any teenage whiny crap from the like of her kids.

We managed a perfect work around by her working afternoons...We would leave for school and by the time we got home she was would be weeks and weeks of communicating with notes left on the table.

It worked for us.

I think that's why I don't understand or accept any traditional 'mothering' from Mother-in-law was the traditional pearls and pump housewife and stay at home mom. She baked cookies, kept house and generally gave her life up to the raising of her kids...and she tried so hard to 'do' for her kids spouses. I just didn't have the ability to accept it. I couldn't even bring myself to call her concept of a mom just didn't fit Emma.

Both women were brought up in similar circumstances. Both lived through depressions and world wars. Both did what they thought was their best.

So here's to both women, who sacrificed for their family...either with giving up a life outside the home or by knocking a few heads together on a nightly basis. Cheers!

Monday, May 2, 2011

My wish for you.

I have lots of wishes for my friends...lots and lots; and many go unsaid. Many more go un-wished, and that is sad. We can all wish for the stars, maybe we wont get them but we will at least enjoy the view.

Here are some of my unspoken random wishes...

I wish we could all be the people we wanted to be when we were 6...sure, there would be a glut of ballerinas and cowboys, but also a lot of fireman, policeman and ice cream truck drivers.

I wish people would respect each other. You don't have to like each other, hell you don't even have to tolerate each other, but respect would go a long way towards world peace. And you can respect from a distance...a loooong distance. (and No, I'm not really talking about my neighbors...much)

I wish I looked like the person in my head...

I wish my dogs were more people like and people more dog like. That way, everyone would wake up in a good mood, wiggle their butts more and be grateful for whatever lands in their bowl. They would also be more loyal, loving and spend more time at home on the couch.

I wish I had a wife...a 50's pearls and pump kinda gal who worried about waxy buildup in corners, dusting furniture and grocery shopping...(and if my hubs has this same wish...sorry 'bout yer luck).

I wish chocolate and caffeine were on par with green leafy vegetables and exercises...

I wish they never ever invented cigarettes, meth, and funnel cakes.

I wish we could find away to reduce gas prices. Either that or a convenient mass transport system that will haul me to where ever I want to go, when I want to go there for little or no money.

I wish people could see the beauty in junk...especially MY junk. (and not THAT junk, there is no beauty there, believe me!)

I wish for everybody to find success in life in whatever form that takes. For some of us, its an office with a name on the door, for others, just a shady spot at the next car show.

But most of all, I wish us all love...peace, and good cheer.