Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Vote to WIN!!

****EarthPath Artisans Winter Wonderland Challenge****

Heart your favorite entry in the Winter Wonderland Challenge and win an EarthPath Artisans PRIZE PACK! You can find the entries HERE!

The item with the most hearts wins! There will be a random drawing from among the voters who voted by hearting for PRIZE PACKS! there will be FOUR prize pack WINNERS!

If you want to take a shortcut and just vote for me, go HERE hehe

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Witchvox Front Page!

I'm on the front page of Witchvox again! The article is Caring for Your Feline Familiar. How exciting!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Fantastic New York Times article about Etsy

The NYT has a fantastic article about Etsy! It covers everything from the philosophy behind not only Etsy, but much of the DIY, handmade movement.

It includes interviews with the founder of Etsy, the most well-known Etsy success story and other driving forces.

Read it here:

New York Times

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Forgive me if I'm pleased with myself

I apologize if this sounds like bragging, but I am totally digging this new ring I made for myself! It's bright, it's bold, it's electric blue! It's wrapped in sterling silver wire and I love it!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Winter Wonderland EartPath Artisans Challenge

One of the Etsy Street Teams I'm a member of, EarthPath Artisans, is having a Winter Wonderland Challenge. It's a contest wherein team members create something conforming to the challenge theme, in this case Winter Wonderland.

We've had some truly amazing entries so far. This is mine.

This magnet celebrates the warmth of the joy of the season in the midst of the icy cold of winter. The ice blue theme is contrasted with the cheery word “joy.” The background on the inside is shiny silver paper covered with deep blue mesh material. A silvery embellishment surrounds the word “joy” on a lead-free pewter bead. White and blue acrylic gems complete the interior. Glittery silver snowflakes are stamped on the inside of the glass top.

The outside is wrapped with a deep blue ribbon to which are glued more white and blue acrylic gems.

The magnet is a round tin with a glass top with a heavy-duty magnet attached to the back.
It is 2” (5.8 cm) across and 1” (2.5) deep.

Got to my Esty shop to see more pictures: Luminosities

You can see my teammates entries in our team shop, too: Winter Wonderland Entries

Sunday, December 09, 2007

New! Rings at Luminosities

I'm making rings now! It's so gratifying to take nothing but some wire and some beads and end up with a ring. I love doing it. Here are a few of the rings I have for sale in my shop, Luminosities

Mystic Moonstone Ring
This unusual wire wrap ring features a large luminous moonstone surrounded by five smaller moonstones.

The softly glowing moonstone is said to cultivate nurturing emotions, helping one both be more loving and feel more loved. Moonstone is associated with the astrological sign of Cancer, also called Moonchild.

The ring is wrapped in sterling silver wire, using a heavier gauge for the shank and a smaller wire to attach the beads.

Red Velvet Garnet Ring

The stones used in this ring are a gorgeous deep red velvet color.

Garnet is a stone of many metaphysical talents. Garnet is said to enhance romantic love and passion. It can also bring positive thoughts, boost energy and enhance self-esteem. Another of garnet’s metaphysical benefits is success in career matters. You really can’t go wrong with this exquisite multi-tasker.

The ring is wrapped in sterling silver wire, using a heavier gauge for the shank and a smaller wire to attach the beads.

Dark Star Ring

This fun and funky wire wrap ring features a star shaped genuine snowflake obsidian bead flanked by a tiny black faceted glass bead.

Snowflake obsidian is said to ground energy and absorb anger, fear and stress.

The ring is wrapped in sterling silver wire, using a heavier gauge for the shank and a smaller wire to attach the beads.

Deep Purple Ring

This bold wire wrap ring features a faceted glass bead in a brilliant purple. The faceted surfaces reflect light for maximum sparkle.

The ring is wrapped in sterling silver wire, using a heavier gauge for the shank and a smaller wire to attach the beads.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Rwanda Update

The efforts of the Intercultural Communication students have raised $4500 toward building a house in Rwanda! They need a total of $5700, so they have $1200 to go! Donations can be sent to:
SBCC/ICC Club - Rwanda Project
Communication Department
721 Cliff Drive
Santa Barbara, CA 93109

Donations are tax deductible. The Tax ID# is 52-1645262

Please make checks payable to:
SBCC/ICC Club - Rwanda Project
Make a difference - donate today!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Arts and Crafts Show to Benefit Rwandan Orphans

Last Saturday I did my very first show. It was held in the parking lot of the college, organized and put on by the Intercultural Communication students. The vendor fees and t-shirt sales went toward building a house for Rwandan orphans, victims of genocide.

It was a really small show with only about 20 vendors, but it was for a great cause.

The whole thing was promoted by the Chair of the Communication Department, my friend Tina.

It was so windy I had to finally give up on my upright displays and lay almost everything flat on the table. Some of my business cards are now floating somewhere on campus. I shared a table with my friend Julie, who brought candy canes which made us very popular with the kiddies!

Because of the wind and because the Gem Faire was in town, I didn't do very well in sales. I did go to the Gem Faire after the show was over and undid any gains I made at the show and then some!

If I thought of the show only in terms of income generated, I'd have to write it off as a loss. (Some vendors didn't sell anything at all, though, so I did better than most!) The thing is, there was so much more to be gained from this event.

They had two drumming bands play, which was awesome! One was a small band called Panzumo who kept us bopping with Africanesque beats.

The other band was a bunch of kids and their instructor from a local drum shop. These kids were fantastic! They played drums, trash cans and trash can lids. They had choreographed movements to match their playing. I was so impressed with these guys! Their name is Boom Chaka. The kid pictured below is about to do a backwards somersault off of that trash can!

Needless to say, they drew quite an audience.

The most impressive thing about this event, though, has to do with the Intercultural Communication students. They worked like demons to put this thing together in a short period of time. Seeing college students come together like this to make a difference in the lives of others much less fortunate than they was a real privilege. They actually had three days of events to raise money to build a home for orphans in Rwanda. It was the students themselves who came up with the ideas for all of this.

The event on Saturday may not have been lucrative for me personally, but it was fun. Between the bands and the joy of watching the students work to help those who need it, it was a much more fulfilling experience for me than just making a profit. I was so moved by their hard work and dedication that I contributed 10% of my sales (not much, but every little bit helps) to their cause.

For more information about the efforts of the Intercultural Communication students' efforts and events, go here:
3 Days of Change

For information on the situation in Rwanda, go here:
Rwanda: How the Genocide Happened

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Fairies Got Me Again

More than two weeks ago, I lost the remote control for my television. Not a tragedy, I know, but damned inconvenient. If I wanted to go from channel 56 down to channel 2, I had to get up, go crouch in front of the t.v. and hold the channel button down until I got where I was going.

After doing that for several days, the button got less cooperative. I started having to push it over and over again, or push it from just the right angle or beg it to work. This resulted in my missing the first few minutes of some of my favorite shows. Forget about going all the way up to channel 78 just to see what was on! By the time I got to the right channel, it would have been too late.

Of course I looked for the remote. I took all the cushions off of the couch – the bottom cushions and the back rest cushions. I stuck my hands in all the cracks and crannies. I looked under the couch. I looked on the floor next to and behind the couch. I looked on the floor next to and behind the t.v. I looked on the bookshelves next to the t.v. I looked through the disarray that is my crafting table. I looked under my crafting table. I took all the cushions off the couch and felt around in cracks and crannies again.

I started to think that maybe I’d had it in my hand when I went to do something in another room. Maybe when I got there, I’d needed two hands and set it down and forgot about it. I looked in the bathroom. I looked in the refrigerator. I looked in the freezer. I looked in all the kitchen cabinets and drawers. I looked in the bedroom. I looked under the bed. I started accusing the cats of making off with it.

Every couple of days, I repeated the search, including the Great Couch Exploration. I looked over, under, behind and next to everything. I picked up every piece of paper, magazine and scrap of fabric. No remote. Finally, crouching in front of the t.v., trying to cajole the channel button into cooperating, I began to consider just buying a new one.

After two weeks of this, I started to think the fairies were messing with me. They’ve done it before. I tried to reason with them. I said, “Come on, guys, can you please give me back my remote? It’s not all that funny anymore.”

Then, the night before last, I sat down on the couch and felt something hard and lumpy beneath me. I knew immediately what it was. Yep, the remote. I searched that couch at least four times that I specifically remember. The only explanation I can come up with is that the fae were having a laugh at my expense.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Cyber Monday Deals!!

In honor of Cyber Monday, reputed to be the biggest online shopping day of the year, I'm offering free shipping on orders over $35 in my shop!! Check it out!

These cute and sparkly earrings are the perfect thing for the holiday season! Made with sterling silver ovals and headpins, they feature three genuine Swarovski crystals.

What’s so special about Swarovski crystals? They are the finest quality machine cut and polished crystals in the world! They’re machine cut, so they are perfectly uniform in size and the facets meet perfectly at a single point. They also use special glass compounds, so Swarovski crystals will out-sparkle any lesser quality bead.

These earrings have red, green and white Swarovski crystals as well as leverback earwires for added security. The dangle measures about ½” (1.25cm).

This beautiful necklace is made with genuine rose quartz and tiny peridot beads. It’s 24 inches (60.96cm) long and finished with a gold tone lobster clasp. Very pretty and feminine!

Rose quartz is said to stimulate love and promote peace and happiness. Peridot is said to increase wealth, joy and emotional well-being. Just looking at this necklace will lift your spirits!

Got vampire? This necklace is the perfect thing for the goth in you. Genuine agate fangs surrounded by ruby red glass drops and set off by faceted black beads. Strung on a sterling plated figaro style chain.

The necklace measures 16" (40.6cm) so the beads nestle near the hollow of your neck.

A unique way to celebrate Yule. This charming Yule magnet features a golden sun with a spiral bead in the center, in honor of the annual return of the sun god. It is lined with green paper and the word “Yule” is written inside with gel pen. The outside has green ribbon wrapped around the lid. Gold and green to represent the eternal return of the sun on Winter Solstice! Put it on your refrigerator, in your bedroom, your office, your car or give as a gift for a distinctive stocking stuffer.

The magnet is a round tin with a glass top with a heavy-duty magnet attached to the back.
It is 2” (5.8 cm) across and 1” (2.5) deep.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I'm in a Treasury!

What's a Treasury? It's a collection of items chosen by an Etsyian to fit a theme and/or to display some of that Etsyians favorite items from shops on Etsy. I'm in one this morning! Here's a screen shot of it:

See? There's my little Yule magnet, right in the middle of the top row! Items chosen by SummerseaHerbs

Monday, November 19, 2007

I Was a Listing Fool

I listed a bunch of new stuff over the weekend. Some of it has already sold, but some is still there!

I have a new vampire series necklace, Fangtastic:

Got vampire? This necklace is the perfect thing for the goth in you. Genuine agate fangs surrounded by ruby red glass drops and set off by faceted black beads. Strung on a sterling plated figaro style chain.

I've also got new Yule and Christmas magnets:

A unique way to celebrate Yule. This charming Yule magnet features glittery silver stars with white acrylic gems in the centers and a stamped red pine tree. It is lined with pine tree printed paper and the word “Yule” is displayed with clear backed letter stickers. The outside has green ribbon wrapped around the lid. Put it on your refrigerator, in your bedroom, your office, your car or give as a gift for a distinctive stocking stuffer.

Cute little holiday magnet celebrates Santa Claus. A darling little wooden Santa face and holly with berries sit atop printed holly paper. Stamped silver stars add subtle sparkle. The outside has red ribbon wrapped around the lid.

Put it on your refrigerator, in your office, your car or give as a gift for a distinctive stocking stuffer. Celebrate the innocence and joy that are Santa Claus!

Monday, November 12, 2007

A Real Renaissance Woman

Meet my dear friend, Jessica Black. She's a Renaissance woman in more ways than one! She takes the most amazing photographs and is also an animal advocate, interior designer, pirate, gypsy, vampire and Pagan!

She has a magnificent website, where you'll find photos of exotic animals, pirates, gypsies, elves, vampires, Pagans and her gorgeous home with its self-designed black bottom pool! Truly something for everyone.

Check it out! PrimalX

Sneek peak:

Larry and cougar.

Jessica herself.
Photos by Jessica Black,

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Rhapsody in Blue

I just put this new bracelet up in my shop. I've never made a dangly-type bracelet before - it takes a lot longer than stringing the beads! It was fun, though and I did enjoy making it. Wrapping each headpin was sort of meditative.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Stunning pottery!

This past August, I had to say goodbye to Goblin, my pet cat and familiar. As you might imagine, it was very sad and awful. She'd been with me for 18 years and I felt the loss deeply.

I had a private cremation and kept her ashes. I wanted to put her ashes in something really special, something just for her. I contacted Ant at Ant's Pottery on Etsy. I'd long been an admirer of her work so I asked her if she'd be willing to do a custom order. She was and we talked back and forth about what kind of vessel I wanted for Goblin. I chose the shape and the colors and told her a little about me and my beliefs, such as that I am Pagan and that I am a devotee of the Egyptian cat goddess, Bast. I left the details of the design up to her.

Today I received this gorgeous vessel! It has a little cat as a handle on the top of it and the legs it stands on are two little cat paws in the front and a little cat tail in the back. It also has an ankh, the Egyptian symbol for eternal life, on the top. It's perfect, it's beautiful and I love it.

But that's not all! Apparently, her little girl heard about my loss and was moved to create a commemorative drawing just for me! What a wonderful child, to be so concerned about someone else's pain that she felt moved to try to make it better. I love the drawing and I'm keeping it forever.

Have a look at Goblin's vessel and be sure to check out Ant's Pottery.
Her work is awesome.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Holiday Magnets!

I'm so into this magnet thing right now! Typical fire sign - discover something new and become obsessed until you burn out. Hopefully there won't be any burning out this time. I've tried to learn to pace myself.

I have a refrigerator magnet fetish myself. I just counted and I have 32 magnets on my fridge, some of which can be seen in an earlier post. Magnets are cool because they're a small and inexpensive way to express yourself. Making my own magnets is so much fun. I went to the craft store last night and spent a small fortune on tiny supplies to make more. Here are some seasonal magnets I made the other day. Click on them to see more!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Celtic Goddess Jewelry

Celtic Goddess Jewelry is a shop on Etsy that sells cool Pagan, Celtic and other types of jewelry and art. Her headdresses are spectacular:

Click on image to visit her shop!

She also has a stand alone website, Celtic Goddess Jewelry, where she featured my Quest for Deity article.
She also bought all four of my Elements magnets!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Take the Pledge!

Quality handmade items make perfect gifts. The recipient gets something unique and special, while the giver gets to support an independent artist. And don't even get me started about the benefits of not buying things made in China!

This holiday season, do yourself, your loved ones, independent artists and even your country a huge favor and buy handmade!

Take the pledge. I did!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Descent to Wisdom - Persephone Revisited

It came to pass that Hades, Lord of the Underworld, became aware of his sister Demeter’s daughter Persephone. As he watched the young maiden goddess, he was intrigued by her lightness in being, her youth, beauty and light. He, himself, as Lord of the Dead had no experience or understanding of such things.

He began to watch Persephone. He saw the love she shared with her mother, Demeter. He saw her heart swell at the beauty of flowers and the happiness that beauty and companionship gave her. He saw the innocence that being unaware of pain, sadness and death gave her.

Hades began to long to understand these things for himself. The more he watched Persephone, the greater the longing grew. In time, he came to know that watching Persephone would never give him the deeper understanding of light and joy he sought. He realized he would need more direct contact with Persephone to comprehend her gifts.

At last his longing grew so great that he rose from the Underworld to snatch Persephone from the meadow in which she was gathering blooms alone as a gift for her mother. Persephone was terrified, screaming and fighting him as he dragged her into the Underworld with him. As she had been alone, no one heard her cries; no one saw the maiden kidnapped and taken below.

In time, Demeter became aware of her daughter’s absence and began to search for her. She looked in the meadow; she looked in fields and forests. She asked the other Gods if they knew where Persephone was, but no one had seen; no one knew. Demeter roamed the earth, searching for her beloved daughter, to no avail. She disguised herself and went among mortals, ever seeking word of her missing daughter, but no one could tell her what had become of Persephone.

In the Underworld, Persephone begged and pleaded with Hades to return her to her mother. She was inconsolable at the loss of the companionship, love and joy she had left behind. Hades was shocked at this transformation from the lightness in being he had seen while watching Persephone from afar to this pain and sadness she now displayed. Being Lord of the Underworld, Hades did not have the skills of gentleness and compassion that would have helped him understand Persephone’s suffering. Instead, he tried to force her back to her previous joy. Failing that, he roughly sought to probe her being for the light he’d meant to understand. Hades suffered too, as his frustration grew and his longing for understanding went unsatisfied.

Demeter continued to search for her daughter. Becoming more angry and despairing, she finally caused all the fruits of the earth to stop bearing. Nothing would grow and winter settled everywhere, unrelenting. Being certain someone knew where her daughter was, in her desperation, Demeter used these tools to try to coerce information about Persephone from both gods and mortals. Though the gods tried to help her to end this permanent winter, still no one could tell her where Persephone was. Gods and mortals alike were suffering, but she vowed winter would not abate until Persephone was returned to her.

Hades was not alone in the Underworld. Hecate also dwelt there with him. She alone saw him kidnap Persephone. She alone knew both of Demeter’s searching and perpetual winter and the whereabouts of Persephone. Hecate knew that only she could end the suffering of Persephone, Demeter, Hades and all the other gods and mortals.

First Hecate went to Persephone. As she comforted the beautiful young goddess, she explained to her that Hades meant no harm, but only wanted to understand the lighter side of existence. She told Persephone that if she could give to Hades the understanding he sought, this would heal his confusion and longing and he would likely allow her to return to the world above and her mother.

Persephone’s time in the Underworld had given her awareness of pain, suffering and death which had led to her developing a great degree of compassion, so she went to Hades willingly. Now that she understood his intentions, she went in the hope of sharing her light with him and thus being returned to her mother. Hades received the gifts Persephone gave him happily and vowed to return her to Demeter in short order. He soon found, though, that when Persephone was not actually with him, his understanding began to fade. The longer she was outside of his presence, the more joy he lost.

Hecate had watched from afar and new Hades would not now willingly relinquish Persephone as he’d said. How could he, when those things he sought to understand faded when Persephone was no longer present? Hecate saw that the suffering of all would continue and knew she had to take further action herself to remedy the situation.

Demeter had continued her search for Persephone, to no avail. Finally, Hecate went to Demeter and told her what had happened and where Persephone was. Aghast, Demeter went to her brother and demanded the immediate release of her daughter. Hades refused, trying to explain that he needed Persephone with him so that he could know both life and death and the fullness of all things. Demeter was enraged and countered that there was no life without Persephone by her side. They argued back and forth, but neither would relent.

Demeter finally went to the other gods and insisted they force Hades to return her daughter. The gods were so relieved that an end to perpetual winter was in sight that they did indeed force Hades to capitulate. When Hades went to tell Persephone she was to return to the world above, she was filled with a joy so bright it lit up the Underworld. Yet by that light she could see Hades’ sadness at her leaving. Persephone had known innocence, joy and sunlight above and sadness, pain and suffering below. Experiencing both had developed in her a depth of compassion unequaled in any other god and so left her torn and unwilling for either her mother or Hades to suffer.

Hades could see Persephone was conflicted. He devised a plan by which neither he nor Demeter, nor Persephone herself, would experience undue pain. Explaining his plan, Persephone readily agreed. As she left to return to the world above and be reunited with her mother, she accepted three pomegranate seeds from Hades and ate them.

Demeter was so delirious with joy at being reunited with her daughter, that she caused all the plants of the earth to flower and bear fruit. Mother and daughter clung to each other in happiness, until a thought occurred to Demeter. She asked Persephone if she had eaten anything during her time in the Underworld. When Persephone replied, with pretended innocence, that she had, Demeter’s fury returned. She knew this meant Persephone would have to return to the Underworld. Hades had tricked her!

As fruits began to wither on the vine once again and flowers began to fade, Zeus himself proposed a compromise. Persephone would spend two-thirds of every year with her mother, and one third below with Hades. Demeter agreed, feeling she had gotten the best of the bargain. Hades and Persephone, whose plan this had been all along, also agreed and so it was settled. Persephone was to spend the part of the year called Winter, during which her mother once again made the earth barren, below with Hades. In Spring, when her mother allowed the flowering of the earth, she would return above to live with Demeter until the following winter.

Hecate had watched all of this from the shadows and approved. The arrangement allowed Demeter to demonstrate her power every year and remind both gods and mortals that she was not to be taken lightly. Hades was granted the ability to know both pain and joy which improved his ability to rule over the Underworld. To Persephone was given the greatest gifts of all. She alone had known both the light and darkness, joy and pain, of the world above and the world below. These experiences had given her that most precious and hard won blessing – wisdom. And so Persephone the Wise became Queen of the Underworld and rules beside Hades every Winter.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

EarthPath Artisans Autumn Design Challenge

On Etsy, I belong to a Street Team called "EAST" - EarthPath Artisans Street Team. We're having an autmn-themed design challenge, to be judged by Etsy Labs.

I've just completed the necklace I'm entering! This is an entirely new style for me. The chain is sterling silver, as is the toggle clasp. The stones are carnelian and smoky quartz, autumn colors!

The winning entry will be featured on the team blog,
Etsy EarthPath Artisans
and possibly on the Esty magazine site, The Storque

Here's my entry:

Saturday, September 22, 2007

What's on your fridge?

I saw this on someone else's blog, wish I could remember whose, and it looked like fun. So here it is, my fridge! I blacked out anything with a local address or phone number, but otherwise it appears exactly as it is.

What do we have...subversive stickers and magnets. An image of my dream house I PhotoShopped myself into. Not to scale, though, otherwise I'd just be a little black blob. Images of the two most beautiful people ever, Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. I love that pic of Johnny because it captures the essence of who he seems to be... head rag, multiple necklaces, glass of wine, tattoos, enjoying the sun. I love the pic of Angelina because she's gorgeous, but also because she says she thinks she's funny looking. Gawd, if she thinks she's funny looking, what hope is there for any of we ordinary women to be happy with our looks??

Then there is the Kandinsky magnet. He's probably my favorite artist. Also on view, a bunch of coupons I'll probably never use and an appointment card from my chiropractor.

And my little magnet poem, "Calmly I drink potent magic, the sound of my desire as real as the sacred aroma of love."

It's funny how much you can tell about me from the front of my fridge! I don't cook, I'm politically liberal, I have cats, I love wolves and I have a bad back. hahaha

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

TAG! You're it!

I've been tagged by KreativeMindz! That means I'm meant to tell you six random things about myself and then tag six other bloggers.

Random thing #1 - I love old school punk rock. Social Distortion, The Clash, Fear, etc.
Random thing #2 - For years and years and years, I wore only black. Then, for some reason about two years ago I suddenly started wearing color.
Random thing #3 - For about five years, I was heavily involved with a wildlife sanctuary. I got to give a tiger a bath, bottle-feed wolf cubs and take a lion for a walk on a leash.
Random thing #4 - I live in a haunted house. It's 120-something years old and it's on the haunted house tour of our town.
Random thing #5 - I have a B.A. in Literature and Mythology.
Random thing #6 - I have four tattoos.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

New pieces

I've finally gotten my work space organized! Well. Mostly. I bought a big banquet table, the kind with folding legs, six feet long. My art and jewelry supplies are on, under and next to it, where I can find them all. That leaves me with more than enough space to create new pieces, so here they are:

Elizabeth Bathory, who is known as The Blood Countess, may have more to do with Bram Stoker’s Dracula than Vlad the Impaler. Notes about her were found in Stoker’s papers, so he’d certainly heard of her!

In 1610 Hungary, local authorities began investigating the disappearance of local girls. Transylvanian Countess Elizabeth Bathory was subsequently imprisoned, walled into a tiny room with only a small slot to pass through food. In 1614 she was found dead in her cell. She’d been charged with murdering hundreds of young women, believing their blood would keep her young and beautiful.

This necklace features a pendant of the creepy Countess Bathory, made by Handmade Horrors. The Countess is flanked by two black onyx replicas of her own black heart, accented by two black faceted teardrops.

Contrary to popular belief, vampire bats have a maximum size of 18 oz. (50 g). The one on this necklace, though, is much cuter than actual vampire bats!

This necklace is a little over 16” (40.6 cm) long, so the little bat charm will nestle happily in the hollow of your neck. He promises not to drink too much. The ruby red glass daggers that surround him are reminiscent of drops of blood. Faceted black glass beads and genuine moonstone complete the eerie ensemble.

Heart of Darkness Earrings

For the black-hearted punk, goth or pirate among us. These special earrings are made with black onyx hearts, topped with faceted black glass beads. There is a silver tone pewter bead beneath the heart as well. The earrings feature leverback earwires for added security. They measure a little over an inch, (2.5 cm) including the earwire.

These new pieces are all for sale at Luminosities.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Goblin the Cat, 1989 - 2007

Goblin the Cat, my pet, friend and familiar, crossed the Rainbow Bridge to the Summerlands Monday, August 20th at 6:00 p.m. Goblin spent her last day in this life doing all the things she loved. She was cuddled, petted and talked to by her human companion for hours on end. She was even allowed to sit on the kitchen counter and look out the kitchen window, a previous no-no.

Goblin had Irritable Bowel Disease as well as cancer, which had prevented her from enjoying her favorite foods for quite some time. Over the course of her last 24 hours, she indulged in turkey, tuna, cheese and Haagen Daz Vanilla Swiss Almond (her favorite ice cream).

Goblin was born in Rhode Island, but moved to California with her person years ago. She spent most of her life in Southern California, but also did a brief stint in Northern California. She was a lovely tabby, with the most beautiful green eyes.

At the vet’s office, Goblin’s person created sacred space around her, holding her and talking to her as she purred herself off to sleep. Her person kept a little bit of Goblin’s hair which will be kept on her altar next to the All-Mother of cats, Bast.

Goblin is survived by her feline buddies, Grainne and Ophelia, and her person, Nicole. Nicole is very, very sad and misses her terribly. A memorial service will be held at their home once Nicole is feeling up to it.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

A Cautionary Tale

Every year, for two weeks in summer and two weeks in fall, I house/pet sit for a friend of mine. She has three lovely kitties, Little Bear, Jasper and Autumn. This story is about Autumn.

Autumn has arthritis. Her vet prescribed Metacam, which has been used with success on dogs but is iffy with cats. The vet gives it to her own cat, though, so it seemed okay. While taking it, Autumn was like a new cat! She was more active and seemed happier.

I was kitty sitting a week ago when I noticed Autumn was drinking a lot of water. Cats have a low thirst drive, so this is very unusual. None of the cats was eating their canned food, but for Autumn to refuse canned food is unheard of. I called my friends and told them I thought something was wrong. They had me do the litmus test - offer Autumn tuna. She wasn't interested, so we knew for sure something was wrong. I made an appointment to take her to the vet the next day.

I don't know what I was expecting, I thought maybe diabetes, but I was shocked when the vet came back and told me Autumn was experiencing kidney failure. The vet said her values were really, really high. She said my friends would have to choose between extraordinary measures and "letting her go." I told her my friends would never just let her go without a fight and went outside to call them. I couldn't believe it. I was thinking, "What, let her go? Right now??"

Skip forward about an hour and I'm on my way to an animal emergency hospital. Up to this point, I hadn't cried, partly because there were kids in the vet's waiting room and I didn't want to upset them, but I was beyond freaked out. The receptionist at the emergency hospital asked me what Autumn was there for and when I needed to say "kidney failure" I couldn't get it out. I still couldn't believe it. Yesterday she was maybe a little under the weather and today she's at death's door?? That's the thing with predators, once they start acting sick, they're on the verge of dying. Autumn didn't act sick at all, just super thirsty (which I knew was not good) and not hungry.

I was at the hospital for quite a while. They took Autumn in and ran a bunch of tests. There were phone calls back and forth between me and my friends, who were on the other side of the country. It kinda sucked to be me that day, but I really would have hated to be them. To be so far away when one of your fur babies is so very sick has to be horrible.

Finally, the people at the hospital told me they were going to keep Autumn and try to get her values down by hydrating her. They weren't able to tell me much more, just that they had to wait to see if she would produce urine on her own. It was hard to leave her there, but she needed round the clock professional care.

Both vets had repeatedly talked about toxins. Did Autumn get into anti-freeze, did she eat any poisonous plants, was there any other toxin she might have gotten into? No, no, no. I mentally went over everything in the house and couldn't come up with anything toxic or even anything that hadn't been there for ages already. Neither vet could say what caused the problem. They said it might be just her age (she's 12), it might be that she ingested something toxic or it might be the Metacam. There was just no way to know for sure.

Being an information age Google freak, the first thing I did when I got back to the house was Google Metacam use in cats. Guess what? Apparently there is very little difference between a safe, effective dose of Metacam for cats and a toxic amount. This is what is known as a "narrow margin of safety." According to one report, of 320 cats on Metacam, there were 105 cases of
kidney failure. (Source) Metacam is not recommended for long-term use in cats and Autumn had been on it for six months.

Fast forward a few days to my birthday. Autumn is still in the hospital, but she's been able to produce urine and her values have come down significantly. My friends are coming home today. I get a call saying they'd gotten Autumn's values down as far as they could and that she can go home! I want to surprise my friends, so I go to pick her up. Turns out they already know, but they were happy I was there to get her as they'd just gotten home from the airport.

I spoke to the vet and she gave me instructions for several medications Autumn needed to take, including needing to by subcutaneously hydrated daily. I asked her again what she thought had caused the problem. She repeated that there was no way to know for sure, but said, "The most suspicious thing is the Metacam. We only prescribe that for a week, maybe ten days. She won't be taking that anymore."

I had a very happy reunion with Autumn and took her home for more happy reunion joy. She isn't fine, but she didn't die and she will likely be with us for a while yet. I wanted to share this story to let other cat people know that they should use caution with Metacam. Again, there is no way to know for sure if that is what caused Autumn's kidneys to fail, but my friends were not aware of the risks. I'd hate for anyone else to have to find out the hard way.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Etsy Street Teams!

Etsy has things called Street Teams, which are groups of Etsy sellers who band together for support and promotion. Street Teams do things like organize shows or events, represent Etsy at festivals, band together to share advertising costs, raise money for charity, etc.

I'm a member of two street teams, EAST and EFA. EAST is Earth Path Artisans Street Team. We're a group of Pagan, or Pagan-friendly Etsy sellers. You can find our shops on Etsy by searching tags for "east." Our information is here:

Shop Earth Path Artisans to support your local (or non-local) Pagans!

EFA is Etsy for Animals. We support animal charities by donating a percentage of our proceeds or all proceeds from the sale of specific items in our shops. You can find our shops on Etsy by searching tags for "efa." Our information is here:
We also have a myspace page, here:
Etsy for Animals on Myspace
Our website is here:
Etsy for Animals

Shop Etsy for Animals to help our critter friends!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Birthdays are for indulgence

Yesterday was my birthday! To celebrate, I did something I've only done once or twice in my entire life - I had a mani, a pedi and a facial! It was wonderful. The facial was the best part, so relaxing, so soothing. Now my fingers and toes are all purdy. I'd never had a mani before and only once before had a facial, but I've had maybe four pedis altogether. The fact that these little indulgences are so rare made the whole experience special and decadent. Special and decadent - that's what b-days are for, yes?

After that, I had pancakes for lunch. Another special and decadent treat! But the best part was when I had dinner with friends. We had take-out from El Pollo Loco, where I'd never eaten before. As far as fast food goes, this place rocks! The food was really good and much healthier than the majority of other fast food restaurants. The company was the best part, though. The highlight was having "Happy Birthday" sung to me, in its entirety, by a two year old! What a cutie.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Vacations are always too short

The vacation is over and I am back at the DDJ (Dreaded Day Job). I did get a lot done, though. I made some new pieces and put them up in my Etsy shop, Luminosities
Here's one of the new pieces, pirate earrings: Yo ho, yo ho, bay-bee!

I also replaced some photos of pieces that were already up with better shots, like this one:

I joined Flickr, too: Nicole's Photos

My house is closer to being livable as well. You don't have to step over anything until you get to the living room. Flooring is visible in all rooms. The living room still looks like a bomb went off, but hey, a girl can only do so much in a week. I worked my ass of all week. I had to come back to my job to get some freakin' rest!

Next time I go on vacation, I hope it's a trip here: Heaven
If you take the photo tour, you'll see why this is my idea of heaven. Maybe I'll make a website asking for PayPal donations to fund the trip. The Save Nicole Fund. It could work.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Long Time, No Post

It's been a looooong time since I've posted! A lot has changed. For one thing, I'm no longer selling from my own website, but I now have an Etsy shop! It's so exciting! What's Etsy? Etsy is an online marketplace, a venue, for buying and selling handmade stuff! Everything on Etsy, with the sole exception of supplies, is handmade.

Check out my shop: Luminosities

In other news, I'm now a member of SRAJD, Self-Representing Artists Jewelry Designer.
I'm member 0869! What is SRAJD? SRAJD is an acronym for Self-Representing Artist Jewelry Designer. Members sell jewelry that they designed and created themselves. When you buy a piece from an SRAJD member, you are buying directly from and supporting the artist. What could be cooler than that?

I am also officially on vacation! Vacation from that dreaded entity known as the day job, that is. I'll still be working on my jewelry business and one or two other projects, still in secrecy mode.

And my house. Did I mention my house? Gawd, what a disaster! There is stuff everywhere. Books, magazines and papers of all description piled high on every available surface, including the floor. Laundry piled sky high. Jewelry and collage supplies strewn from one end to the other. I am not an organized person. I spent years and years trying to be, but I finally realized that the struggle to be what I am not caused a lot more angst than being disorganized ever did. Besides, organization is for people who are too lazy to look for stuff!

Seriously, though, I have currently reached heights (depths?) of disarray heretofore unrealized. Somewhere in all this mess is a missing credit card! I'm afraid I'm going to find it in the catbox. My cats all have so many extra toes, I would not be surprised if they've been ordering kitty stuff online while I'm out.

Speaking of ordering stuff, I recently placed a big jewelry supply order that I am anxiously awaiting. Oh, and I finally bought a scanner! I did a lot of research into what scanners are best for scanning jewelry and based my purchase on that. I've also ordered new business cards and return address labels. Needless to say, I spend a lot of time peering down the street looking for the mail carrier.
I did already get one order, though. I ordered a fudge sampler from The Country Baker

I got milk chocolate, rocky road, kahlua and peanut butter fudge. It's awesome stuff! So now, while I wait for my other stuff, I can console myself with sugary goodness.