Tuesday, May 3, 2011

That's the stuff

Things are blooming!  There seems to be an explosion of color everywhere I look lately, and I love it.  I am definitely an outdoorsy person (hard to be in NYC) and the world breathing new life into nature is something that I find so compelling, even inspiring.  I have been having a serious issue with motivation as of late, so being able to be outside, enjoy the weather and experience my daughter discovering dirt and flowers is something that is breathing new life into me.  Here are some pictures of the things I have seen in the past few days that have given me joy and creative rejuvenation. 

Now let's see how that translates into jewelry....stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I don't know if I have been living under a rock or what, but I am new to the concept of upcycling.  If you don't know what upcycling is, here is the definition according to Wikipedia:

"Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value."

Kind of like recycling, but better.

In Metal Jewelry is totally committed to upcycling and here is a good example of a piece of jewelry that had a former life as something else.  This glass rosette was part of a mirror previously and is now a rockin' pendant that just says summer and sun to me.

Long live upcycling!

Oh, the beach...

Yesterday was almost 80 degrees in NYC and it would have been an amazing day to hit Jones Beach on Long Island...but my husband and I chose to take our daughter there today when it was 63 degrees and so foggy you could not even see the ocean from the parking lot.  Go figure, but we like to do things that are unexpected so it ended up being very us.

Though we had taken her to the beach a couple of times before, this was the first time she was able to walk about independently and really explore what the beach is all about.  It was such a great joy to watch her learn about sand and breathe salty air for the first time.  There are times when I'm so tired I haven't showered for two days and can't remember the last real meal that I ate, but these are the times that I am so grateful for being able to experience the wonder of life and the world through Sofia's eyes.  It makes everything more....just more. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

This ain't your Gramma's quilt

One of my dearest friends is an avid quilter.  She  made me a gorgeous quilt for my 30th birthday, for my wedding and one when my daughter was born.  I remember when she told me that she was going to start quilting and I told her that I liked the idea of a quilt, but didn't like that all the ones I had seen looked like something you found at your gramma's house.  She laughed, told me she understood, but she wasn't going to make quilts like that, and indeed, she has managed to make gorgeous, contemporary (even, dare I say, trendy) quilts.  I am always impressed by her!

Kangaroo Stitches is also making some interesting quilts (among other things), but the best thing they offer is the custom quilt option.  That way you can guarantee that you won't be getting a gramma quilt, either for yourself or for a gift.  Rock on quilters of the world!

Saturday, April 23, 2011


My kid is the joy of my life (next to my husband of course, in case he is reading this :), but there are days when my sweet angel looks a little more like this:

But I want it Now by ArtySandP

Which leaves me feeling like I need to take this:

Navy Cotton Yoga Mat Bag in Springtime Floral by Sleeping Virginia

And find the nearest yoga class I can get to and just breathe....ahhhh....much better.

*Awesome print by Artysandp and beautiful handmade bag by Sleepingvirginia.  Both accentuate my point so well.

Friday, April 22, 2011

We want the funk, gotta get that funk...

I love that song and I LOVE this funky little alien creature robot girl print illustration from ACEO.  There is something about that little face that I just find so endearing and adorable.  I am also partial to green and blue, so this little gal fits the bill for me.  And I also love that you can get this print made into a blank card. Brilliant!

Selling things that I find funky, but wearable in an everyday way is something that I am always striving for in my jewelry style, especially when I am antiquing and looking for vintage items.  I think that's actually why I like antiquing so much, I love the element of finding something funky that may have been totally common in its time, but is more unique now because of the passage of time and fashion trends.

This isn't a vintage find of mine, but it is a handmade find from Funky Felt Flowers.  This great felt cocktail ring is so original and again, love the color scheme.  I never would have thought to make a ring out of felt, but it is so fun and fab!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Puppy love

Before I had my kid, my dog Isa was my one and only baby.  And boy, does she miss those days!  Now, she is desperate for any attention that anyone will give her (poor thing) so when I can do something that will make her happy and use minimal energy on my part, I do.  Okay, I try to.  Or, at least I think about it.

This adorable dog bed from Pet Design is a great way for me to spoil my pup a little bit, and since everything is currently on 20% off sale (with promo code THINKSPRING), it won't break my bank to give my pupster some lux and love. 

See Isa, I still love you!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Spring has sprung!

Spring feels like it has finally sprung here in NYC.  You can FINALLY go outside without a down parka, scarf, mittens, boots, balaclava, thermal underwear, sweater, snow pants...are you getting a theme here?  It was a rough winter here, we literally had a snowstorm every week this winter, so spring feels like it has been loooooong in coming this year.  Here is a picture of our house buried in the worst of the snowstorms.

Oye, just looking at this picture makes me so appreciate the sunshine and 60 degrees we had today. 

Spring also bring flowers and butterflies into my life again, which to quote Martha Stewart, is a good thing.  Butterflies have a special significance for me, as they represent not only good weather, but transformation and new life.  

This gorgeous painted lady butterfly print from Emele Photography fills me with happiness and awe.  These butterflies are so beautiful and I love that Emily was able to capture their amazing body art so well.

Along the same lines, but totally different (does that make sense?) is this sweet butterfly mobile by Bits of Strings N Things.  I love this color combo and the cute crocheted butterflies.  I know my daughter would love to have these little critters hanging from her ceiling.

Spring, keep on coming!!!  And stay for awhile, alright?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Meet me at the intersection of profession and passion

I am a speech language pathologist by profession.  For those of you who don't know what that is, don't feel bad, no one ever know what I do!  I am a therapist for adults and children who have had some kind of disruption in their speech and language due to developmental issues, disorder or some kind of neurological event. 

I do most of my work with children, and many of those children are diagnosed on the autistic spectrum.  April being Autism Awareness Month, this stuffed bear from Mused Sonata that promotes autism awareness is not only cute, but is for a great cause.

And since it is only available in the month of April, you should definitely go and check it out!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Hey there cupcake!

 My daughter just turned one a few weeks ago, and as anyone with a baby knows, you have a great big party for...yourself!  Because your child really doesn't understand yet that all the hoopla is over her.  Thankfully, she had a great time and so did we!  But one thing I did not have a great time with was cupcakes...

 We invited 50 people to a Korean restaurant for her party, because in the Korean tradition, the first birthday (called a Dol) is a biggie.  Back in the day, when infant mortality was high, if your kid made it to one, there was a good chance that they would continue on in the great tradition of being alive, so they whooped it up...bigtime!

Since we were having everything catered by the restaurant, I thought it would be nice to make cupcakes for her party instead of buying a sheet cake.  You know, being a first time mom and kind of creative, I really wanted to do something personal for her first birthday.  And I thought cupcakes would be manageable, more than a cake.  Boy, was I wrong....really, really, really, really wrong.

I spent 8 hours the day before her birthday party making and decorating 100 cupcakes.  Oye vay - was I exhausted.  I had a grand ole time decorating the first ten cupcakes, but then realizing that I still had 90 cupcakes to go was a little daunting.  Here are a couple of pictures of some of the finished cupcakes.

But it was worth it, and I do love cupcakes of all kinds!  Here is an adorable cupcake baby set from Sweet Baby Sprinkles. 

It includes:
 - 2 baby girl hats
- 2 baby girl receiving blankets
- 2 baby girl washcloths
- 2 baby girl ribbon hair clips
- 2 snack bowls with matching lids
- 1 basket perfect for storing any baby essentials such as diapers, wipes, baby wash, washcloths, etc.

And the best thing - free shipping!!  Gotta love those cupcakes!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Milk glass hens...what??

I think I've mentioned before that my husband was the original antiquer in our home, and in the years before he met me, he collected quite a few things that seem kind of random to me.  Like milk glass hens. 

Don't get me wrong, I think some of them are actually pretty cute.  I just think it's kind of random that he has 6 of them in our basement!  Anyways, I am in the process of shooting them, pricing them, and researching their provenance (which I may never be able to figure out).  Here are some pics of the ones we have that will go up on Etsy soon. 

Kitschy but fun, what do you think?

Monday, April 4, 2011

What happens when...

life gets in the way of your dream?  This is something that I feel like I'm struggling with lately.  I've had so much on my plate that I have little left to create and put time in to grow my craft and business.  To be honest, at the end of the night, I'd rather sleep than do anything else!  Does anyone else struggle with this and how have you pushed through it? I'd love some advice from y'all out there.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Dear Sofia!

It is my funny, sweet, smart, amazing, joyfilled, beautiful baby girl's first birthday today and I can't believe it.  She seems to have gotten bigger overnight.  Her legs seem longer, her torso stretched, her face more like a toddler, less like a baby.  It kind of makes me want to cry.  Thank you to Sofia for the most amazing year of my life!!

And thanks to all you for reading and following!  Enjoy 10% off all jewelry at Sofia's Treasure Chest for the month of April with the promo code: SOFIABDAY (all caps) to help us celebrate.

I love you, Sofia!!!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Where does the time go?

Sitting here at my computer, I am just blown away that my daughter is turning one tomorrow.  Where does the time go?  I can remember bringing her home and holding her tiny body in my arms, putting clothes on her for the first time, first time on the subway, first time she slept more than two hours, first bath...I really could go on and on and on.  How can the first year already be over?

Though there really is no comparison, I do feel similarly about Sofia's Treasure Chest.  It has already been up and going on Etsy for eight months and it feel like just yesterday that I was setting up the site, taking pictures (bad ones at first) and getting my jewelry made.  I had so much oomph back then, working on jewelry nearly every night.  I'm sure I'll get back to that soon....

Found some other really cool stuff on Etsy, I really am a total junkie, and not just because I'm a part of it.  Check out this onesie from Shop to Adopt!  Seriously, how cute is that?  But almost even better than the rocking guitar suit is the rocking picture of that adorable baby.  That alone kind of makes me want to buy this for my daughter.

These resin flower rings are all the rage, but this one from Forever Andrea really speaks to me.  The color is so deep, just a great red.  I like the detail and the size, a really fun piece.

And these Mermaid Green Shell Eco earrings from Jaydemia are not only beautiful, but the shell beads are handmade, super cool and impressive.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Old stuff and new stuff

There are a lot of things that I couldn't have imagined liking if you asked me about them ten years ago.  Among the top picks: staying in on a Saturday night, cooking dinner almost every night, eating popcorn for dinner, and going antiquing. 

To be frank, I always thought that antiquing was just looking at someone else's old crap.  Considering that I don't even like library books because of their musty library smell, being in an antique shop seemed like the last place in the world I would want to be.  But while on vacation in New England, my husband (who loves antiquing to look for cameras and watches) convinced me to go with him to a couple of shops.  And lo and behold, I realized that they have some really amazing and unique jewelry finds and I was quickly hooked.  It was like they were finally speaking my language.  Last week, I amazed myself by saying to my husband "I'm jonesing for a good antiquing trip."  Life never quite manages to be what you thought it might.  I like that.

So that is how I got to love old stuff, but new stuff is always fun to find.  And I love love love these adorable crocheted hats by Crafty Crochet 4 Kids.   It's like wearing your own little muppet on top of your head.

And the best thing is that you custom order them, size and color, so that you can get just what you want. 

Love the old stuff, love the new stuff.  It's all good stuff.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The challenge of staying creative

I have to admit that my creativity seems to go in fits and starts.  Sometimes I get an idea and I'm at my crafting table (a.k.a. dining room table) into the wee hours of the night.  And other times, like last night, I feel totally tapped of any ideas.  I took out some great silver coin freshwater pearls and just basically stared at them, willing them to make themselves into something interesting.  They did not comply.

The more hectic that life gets, the harder it seems to get my creative juices flowing.  I have this theory of how my brain works.  I call it resource allocation.  When the rest of my life is on cruise control and nothing special is going on, I have all these resources to commit to being creative.  But when there is a lot to juggle, just getting through the days is a challenge, and I have only enough resources at the end of each day to sit on the couch and write this blog post. 

Thankfully, other people don't seem to have that issue and finding things that I really like actually helps to get my brain bubbling.  Or at least simmering.

This black leather cuff from Felicity Style is so great because it looks kind of tough and edgy, but then has the detail of those sweet flowers that make it feminine.  I like the combo of masculine and feminine in one piece.

 I think that getting a massage also helps with my creativity.  Not really, but I'll make any excuse to get a massage.

For the kid in us all

Though I love to shop for things for myself, I find that most of the time now I'm cruising around online looking for things to buy my daughter.  I have heard anecdotally that you spend a lot more money on stuff having a girl than a boy.  I have no idea is this is true, all I know is that with the amount of adorable things for little girls out there, I'm in trouble!

Here is a great example, how cute are these little amigurumi animals from Teslas90?  I had no idea what amigurumi means, so I emailed Sarah, the owner and creator of these cuddly buddies and here is what she told me.  "Amigurumi is Japanese for small crochet stuffed animals It literally comes from a combination of the Japanese words ami, meaning crocheted or knitted, and nuigurumi, meaning stuffed doll."  Cool, huh?  The things you learn while shopping.

 Though I'm patiently waiting for Sofia's hair to really grow in and make these hairpins usable, I still like window shopping and making note of things I like for the future.  This trio of frolicking in the forest hairpins from Moncherie43 is really quaint and girly.  I'm not super girly, so I get to live vicariously through my daughter now.  Poor girl!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Keeping the love alive

Some days life seems like an incredible balancing act being a new mom, starting a new business and being a wife.  And I must admit that the role of wife is probably the thing that falls by the wayside the most.  Thankfully, I have a husband who is understanding, supportive and just all around wonderful (most of the time :)  And it's nice to know that I can easily find some things that can help create a lovely atmosphere and mood for a nice relaxing evening in.

This lovely Tiffany blue damask bird painting by 202 Designs creates an altogether peaceful and sweet feeling that can only help to set the stage for a date night at home.  It is 8x10 and I am actually kind of amazed that you can get cool, original artwork for under $25!

This sexy and chic handmade chiffon top from Sish will definitely add a little sauciness to the evening.  I love the satin flower detail on the high neck.  It has a flowy and sexy feel that I'm really diggin'.

And finally, sometimes it's good to just lay it all out there (men are not so great at subtlety) with a great card like this from Red Letter Paper Co.  It's also cool that this card is printed on recycled paper from a carbon-offset, wind-powered facility, and comes with a 100% recycled envelope, and is also mailed to you in a 100% recycled envelope.  Green, simple, and to the point - you can't go wrong.

I'm off to set some candles, get dressed and keep the love alive!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Golden Age

When I was in my formative fashion accessory years, silver was all the rage.  I don't think I owned a single piece of jewelry that wasn't silver, so its nice that there are so many great gold tone pieces out there right now that I can explore.

This is a piece from my shop that I found while antiquing in New England.  I was so excited when I found it because it has such a unique shape and it is so well made.  And I totally dig that gold mesh and Art Deco look.

And this gorgeous calla lily necklace from RMSmith09 also caught my eye.  First off, I love Calla lilies, so I was automatically going to like this one, but the detail in the flower is so beautiful and I like the pearl accent.

For something a little edgier, I like this skeleton key necklace from A Bead in Time Jewelry.  Tiffany's may have started the key trend, but this one has a little bit of rock and roll in it and I like it!

Every time I cruise around on Etsy, I find so many things that are interesting and unique and it really makes me wish that I was born a trust fund kid.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Around my house, I'm all about cupcakes nowadays as I'm getting ready for my daughter's first birthday party.  So, you could say, I have cupcakes and sprinkles on the brain.  These things help me get my sweet fix without gaining another five pounds (which I really have gained "testing" different cupcake and frosting recipes)!

How sweet is this cupcake party set from TLC cards?  It comes with eight cards and envelopes, eight cake toppers and eight treat bags, all hand made. 

And here is a clever way to celebrate your love of sugar with this great falling sprinkles necklace by 2 Little Kisses.  I love that it is made with real sprinkles!

This adorable little girl's hugs and kisses dress from Ashryla is a different kind of sweet, but sweet nonetheless.  I love the bright pattern, and brown and pink is one of my favorite color combos.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

All things nocturnal

This entry should really be about my daughter, since she has taken to being nocturnal for the past 3 weeks, but instead is about fabulous handmade items that come alive at night.

I like the whole owl trend right now (they are among my faves at the Bear Mountain Zoo), and here are great items that feature some cuties.

I love this wonderful shop called Square Paisley Design, and they have a bunch of REALLY cute owl items.  This adorable barn owl necklace is one of my faves.  So cute!

Ok, I grew up watching the "How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?" commercial, and have always thought that owl was a cutie.  The owl that is featured on this unique owl and nature bib necklace by Fabricate By Anna so reminds me of that wise Tootsie pop eating owl.

And I can't let the owls get all the hype, how cute is this fat bat stained glass decoration by Ogden ArtHaus?  His whimsical, chubby little body is such a great design and I l-o-v-e his one little snaggle tooth. 

Cross your fingers that my daughter's nocturnal ways subside soon - it's not quite as adorable on her as it is for the owls and bats!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Feathers and Flowers and Bling - Oh My!

Headbands are so hot right now, and it's really fun to find interesting ones at cool handmade shops on Etsy.  BTW, if it sounds like I have drunk the Etsy Koolaide it's because I totally have! I really love Etsy, not only because they make it so easy to run a shop and share your goods, but because they really try to foster a sense of community among so many different kinds of artisans.  I find it to be a really encouraging environment.  How many websites can you say that about?

I like the whole headband thing because it reminds me of being a little girl, when life was carefree and fashion was my favorite blue snowflake sweater dress.  But these headbands are fun, sophisticated, and elegant.

This amazing feather and bling headband comes from Isle of Owlie (Fancy Feather Headband). 

I like this sweet felt flower headband from Zantastic Store because it's fun for women of all ages (Hip Hop Hairbow).

This headband from Blue Birdies Nest is such a great color and I love the fabric rosettes on it (Mauve Flower Headband).

Yay headbands!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What inspires you?

Art is about inspiration and I'm always looking for things and people that inspire me.  One of my biggest sources of inspiration is my daughter, Sofia, who my Etsy shop is named for.  But not always in the way that you might think.  Here is an example. 

I bought Sofia this kind of AWESOME dress from Baby Gap and I just love everything about the way it looks, especially on her (I am a little biased).  I was watching her wander around the house and I was just struck with the desire to make something that captured the feeling of that dress for me.  Here is a picture of her in that dress...

  And here is a picture of the bracelet I put together with that image in my mind.

Of course, it's not exactly the same, but there was something about the feeling and flow that just translated for me.  This bracelet is black onyx woven together with very fine silver metal wire into little clusters that are roundish and pokey and shiny and cool. 

So where so you find your inspiration?