My So Charmed Life

WIPs, personal stories, an occasional interview, and links to fabulous finds in the world of craft.

A Few of My Favorite Things #28


Having invented the Blog Post with a Soundtrack, I bring you Favorite Things #28, entitled, Who Says I’m Not Relgious? How much do I love the St. Winehouse candle? Well, almost as much as I love the St. Johnny candle. Both of which may be trumped by the MJK Krishna candle. All of this fabulosity is brought to you courtesy … more

A Few of My Favorite Things #27


This post comes to you with a soundtrack! So hit the play button on the CocoRosie performance above and read on. When I first saw the work of Mia Kunyo — BeWakeful, on Etsy– I honestly thought I’d stumbled on the secret clothing design business of Sierra Cassady, the “Rosie” half of sister-duo CocoRosie. First of all, Mia (who models … more

A Few of My Favorite Things #26


If you’re joining us late, we’re crusing down the home stretch of an ENTIRE MONTH’s worth of blog posts cleverly titled (not) A Few of My Favorite Things. Originally conceived to invite you to consider buying handmade for the holidays, at this point I’m saying: Didn’t get anything good? Then why not GO TREAT YOURSELF to something gorgeously handmade? This … more

A Few of My Favorite Things #25


In the blurring worlds of visual arts and crafts, there can be simultaneous explosions of ideas, subject matter, supplies, and inspirations. Those that truly take hold become trends, and a trend run amok sadly becomes that wearying thing you wish would go away. Think owls, deer, mustaches. Fortunately, the things that don’t take hold simply act as threads linking artisans … more

A Few of My Favorite Things #24


As the perfect piggyback to yesterday’s post, allow me to introduce you to the work of Karen Ruane, who I believe is single-handedly (pun intended) keeping alive many traditions of sewn craft, with a particular focus on embroidery. Pictured above, from Karen’s Etsy shop, Contemporary Stitches, is one of a pair of handmade buttons. What a gorgeous treat for the … more

A Few of My Favorite Things #23


Confession: It’s not all about the angst and edge around here; I absolutely love vintage hankies and many other very delicate collectibles. I can’t explain this, really. I’m old enough to remember when these objects were functionally in use and there is still something about them that I find incredibly evocative. Hankies, and vintage buttons too. They just seem to … more

A Few of My Favorite Things #21 & #22


Just b/c you are out of wall space doesn’t mean you have to stop buying art. There are always… pillows. Above is one of my favorite pillow-makers (pillowists?), In the Seam, who I met at Renegade Brooklyn this past year. I tried to get away from their booth unscathed, but returned for one of the NYC pigeon pillows pictured above. … more

WIP, 12.22


Coolest thing about moving my design practice to my home is that I’ve taken over the entire basement + garage here, and when designfarm hits a lull, I can dash into the jewelry studio and play. So today is a play day! Above are bits and pieces that are being patina’d and observed and considered for upcoming use. I don’t … more

School Projects: Ring & Bowl


So the way the first-year metalsmithing class worked was that complex projects were assigned for completion, and you pretty much worked on your own to figure things out. It was VERY self-directed and extraordinarily challenging. The hollow-form ring pictured above was the second project, and I was more or less clueless for the duration of this one. I was still … more

A Few of My Favorite Things #20


We have a framed piece hanging in our living room from YeeHaw, which bills itself as All Letterpress, All the Time. Their work is so flipping cool, and they’ve expanded their offerings since my last visit to include clothing, cards, and calendars along with their gorgeous art prints. Pictured above is Otis Redding from their Mini Soul Series. I’m going … more

Resin, How I Love AND Hate Thee


One of the things I have wanted to take a break from in the jewelry world is resin. But before I sign off on this troublesome yet intriguing bane-of-my-existence process, I wanted to share a recent piece, pictured above, that was commissioned by a favorite client in Italy. He had seen my series of Blues pins, pictured above, and requested … more

A Few of My Favorite Things #19


I “met” Moxie over on flickr, while looking through the favorite images of some friend of a friend of a friend… and I thought she and her bright pink hair and her darling felted goodies really rocked! Of course she’s also got an Etsy site where, lo and behold, you can buy KITS to learn how to needle-felt tiny cute … more

A Few of My Favorite Things #18


Wishing you the best of luck in resisting the needle-felted charm of VioletPi, Shop of Little Things. The shop is the work of Jennifer Novack, and needle felting never found a more capable, imaginative and delightful hand. And yes, they are even more amazing in real life. Pictured above is Green Retro Bunny, who reminds me a lot of the … more

A Few of My Favorite Things #17


Beads? Me? Nahhhhh. Ok, yahhhhhhhh. And here’s a favorite place to score gorgeous beads of every flavor, from Czech glass to tribal goodness, and even some incredibly rare (and expensive) ancient beads. HappyMango will not disappoint. PS: If you’re joining us late, I’m doing a once-per-day post through the month of December (yes, that’s 30 freaking posts), designed to help … more

A Few of My Favorite Things #16


Even though I really don’t wear it all the time, I’m a scent freak and I go through periods when I’m just deeply into perfume, oils, etc. When I found the site LuckyScent, I went a little crazy… because for just $3-$7 you can sample most of the very high-end, obscure, cult, artisan fragrances that they carry… and they carry … more

A Few of My Favorite Things #15, WE ARE HALFWAY THERE!


Columbus, Ohio: State Fair butter cows, buckeyes, my childhood stompin’ grounds, and… home of Flamestitch, creators of some of the most badass handbags ever. Pictured above, the wonderfully titled: Old Slut on Junk. I’d kill for this bag. My other favorite, Cat Belly, lives only in their sold section, and comes with “ten pink Ultrasuede cat teats (or nipples if … more

A Few of My Favorite Things #14


So, maybe it’s too late to handcraft gifts yourself for the holidays… OR IS IT??? With Julie Jackson’s wonderful, and mostly beginner e-z cross stitch kits, you too can join the handmade revolution. Trust me, I’ve got several of these completed goodies around my Home Sweet Ironic Home… and if I can, you can too. Over at Julie’s shop, Subversive … more

A Few of My Favorite Things #13


There are always a few people on every gift list that are hard to buy for… whether you don’t know them well enough, or they have everything, or, well, you know what I’m sayin’. So… you get them soap. Right? Now I’m not dissin’ that idea. Personally, I LOVE getting nice soap as a gift b/c it is something I … more

A Few of My Favorite Things #12


Although it was the mid-80’s before I got to London for the first time, punk was still happening on the streets and the clothing of designer Tomomi Fukuda–Urban Guerrillas– reminds me so much of that trip… The King’s Road, Body Map, World’s End, and the amazing DIY marketplace, Hyper-Hyper, where kids sat in booths with sewing machines… long before anyone … more

A Few of My Favorite Things #11


So whatcha gonna do with all that great art you’re buying folks for the holidays… present it to them with a roll of masking tape, junior high-school style? NO YOU ARE NOT! I’ve purchased frames from 2 Dogs Woodworking and when I paid their shop a visit again for this post I saw things like the frames pictured above (gothic … more

A Few of My Favorite Things #10


I am not sure if this is a post about a) one of my favorite artists, Andy Warhol, or b) One of my favorite objects (ever), a commissioned work of art by c) another of my favorite artists, John Larriva. Let’s go with b and c. A long while ago I asked John Larriva–who seems to no longer be listing … more

A Few of My Favorite Things #9


I adore the work of Catherine Zacchino, aka Junker Jane, another wonderful Portland artist. Two of her lovely dollies reside in my personal collection of cherished monsters. Pictured above is the charming Monster Dounia, resplendent in her tattered costume. And here is Monster Dilly, another sweetie. Zacchino’s work is widely published in crafts mags and blogs, and it’s no wonder. … more

Heavy Metal: The Results


This is ALMOST finished, still need to protect the patina, but want to let it sit for a week or so before applying a sealer and may also do some work to pull out the dimensionality of the puffed part. There are three of these in the series, this one titled: Why Are You Weeping? This is my first time … more

A Few of My Favorite Things #8


Let’s just file this one under: Trippin’ with Tripper. Ok. When I hit the lottery, I’m gonna buy out Tripper Dungan’s Etsy shop, hang some of his amazing art on my walls, and give the rest to all my cool friends. Yeah, that’s right. Pictured above, Sing it Out. I suppose this work falls under the pop surrealism category, but … more

A Few of My Favorite Things #7


There is no dress, no piece of jewelry, not even a hat that will transform your look like the right (or even wrong!) wig. From my limited, but outrageously fun personal experience, these accoutrements not only transform your appearance; a wig will completely transform YOU. And… as long you’re willing to go for such an extreme make-over, why not go … more

A Few of My Favorite Things #6


I own a piece from i heart fink, and I dearly love it. Pictured above, the Talk Talk Frock, which, if/when I have some extra dough I’ll ask them to make in my size (this one appears to be a 2/4). Frankly, everything in this shop is really cute and supah stylish. Their tagline: Nouveau Flowerchild Chic Garments Handmade by … more

A Few of My Favorite Things #5


Although my taste tends toward the baroque, occasionally something very simple and elegant grabs ahold of me and won’t let go. I pay a lot of visits to Sarah Robinson’s shop: La Chica de los Anillos, which Yahoo’s Babelfish site translates from Spanish to The Girl of the Ring. I’m struck by the quietude of these pieces, and yet my … more

WIP: Practicing Basic Threading Technique


Took a break from the tin moth factory today to work on my bead stringing. Decided it was time to make these miniscule crimps and tips look all professional-like, so I watched a YouTube tutorial and got to work. The video really helped, altho these findings are so tiny you’ll see the camera-person struggling to keep them in focus! I … more

A Few of My Favorite Things #4


I’ve posted links to this shop before, but I just can’t stay away from Junkprints, whose shop tagline is “Clothing, Accessories, Art and General Dopeness.” To that, I’d say, yup. The hand-printed cuffs, pictured above, would look so adorable with a sleeveless top, or peeking out from under a suit jacket, don’t you think? The pair listed is man-sized, at … more

A Few of My Favorite Things #3


I had the pleasure of seeing Andrew Zangerle’s work in real life at Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn this year and when I got home I found his shop–The Maple Ridge–on Etsy. Pictured above, The Music Couple, hand-sculpted and hand-painted and just 2.5 inches tall. Not only are these little guys so darkly adorable and amazingly crafted, the text descriptions … more

Mad Day of Making


Taking a break from an intense day in the studio to survey my progress and share it with you. This is Lawrence Moth, one of about 5 that are in various stages of completion. He’s a brooch with a slightly shorter wingspan than the necklace version. This is heavy duty old tin, tough to cut! This is a new brooch, … more

A Few of My Favorite Things, #2


What is NOT to love? Football legend, and all around super great guy, Rosey Grier gets major props for being the first big man to publicly attest to the fabulousness that is stitch-craft. This collectible how-to book, Needlepoint for Men, published in 1973, is available from vintage store Retro Vertigo. If you buy it, don’t tell me b/c I will … more

A Few of My Favorite Things, #1


Three Little Kittens, by clothmoth on Etsy. This is the first in a series of once-per-day posts through the entire month of December in order to share with you some of the things that I love, and to assist you in tracking down some of the best of the best of the handcrafted (and maybe vintage) marketplace. Clothmoth’s shop is … more



Unbelievably, I never knew that there was a bead crack den warehouse located in an unassuming light industrial area just a few miles from my house. A metal door at the end of an empty parking lot is simply marked “Marvin Schwab.” Marvin, it turns out, is a real guy, with a whole lotta beads. Hence the name of his … more



Born in Ontario, Canada in 1934, the Dionne quintuplets were the first set of quints known to survive their infancy. Four months after their birth, their parents were deemed unfit and the five girls were made wards of the King and moved into a specially built compound where they lived for 9 years. At that point, the government began to … more

More WIP & the Fear Factor


These are unfinished works in progress (WIP). Piece pictured above is a necklace and has been on the design boards in my studio for months. Yesterday, I figured out how I wanted the various elements to come together. These elements are so special, a handblown large glass bead, a rusted CrackerJack prize. Another aspect to working with these highly precious … more

In Miniature


I have loved miniatures since I was a child. BFF, Amy, will likely remember our mutual love of collecting all things lilliputian, and to this day I am still drawn to dollhouse furnishings and other teenies. I made this tiny book charm yesterday, it is only about 1.25 inches tall. Reclaimed tin and newspaper; the hope is that the wearer … more

BaNgLE sTacK 1.0


Been seeing these stacks of fun here and there and decided to try my hand. My version has a tribal carnival vibe, all colors and tatters. Some of the goodies included are lovely glass beads, sari fiber from India, brass African bead, vintage glass dice, a pretty piece of driftwood, a bone skull and a pair of gorgeous handcrafted clay … more

Lost & Found


I love found objects and lately have been seeing a lot of images of little curated collections by artists who share my passion for hunting and gathering. This is my first of hopefully many such entries, a small composition of items picked up from the ground whilst out and about. The entire collection above was scored in the parking lot … more

Cloud #23


Made this yesterday with tin printing plates scored during a press check. This is my favorite tin piece thusfar and will be a series, no doubt. I’ve been working with this shape in metal class too, puffing the clouds on the hydraulic. Pics to come! The polka dot bead was etched and is suspended on wire so that it spins. … more

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