Happy Dia de Los Muertos! New Work and Day of the Dead Jewelry GiveAway

Happy Dia de Los Muertos, Halloween, & All Souls Everyone!!! I’m hosting a jewelry Giveaway for a pair of Day of the Dead painted charm and sterling silver earrings below.

Happy Dia de Los Muertos, Halloween, & All Souls Everyone!!!  I’m hosting a giveaway for a pair of Day of the Dead painted charm and sterling silver earrings below.

But first, check out this cool Gulian vine bead from the Philippines. Huge, wood, dyed and lacquered. I am trying to find out what kind of plant it comes from… anyone know?

I think it may also have grown in Kamala’s garden, thus the Buddha pendant… more on that soon.

And surprise! Day of the Dead jewelry !! Haha 😉

I’ve moved from the fall color palette to blingy with color and crystals.  And am finally inspired to start experimenting with embellishment; something new for me; like the finish on the little Buddha charm above, or Vintaj metal treatments to these cool silver metal charms.  I am still a sterling silver/gold vermeil purist- but for now, these Day of the Dead charms are too fun to pass playing with.  Festive Music.

It’s Marina of fancidevices, er her designs and tutorials, that are inspiring me to take more risk.  There is a spontaneity to that grrrl’s jewelry designs that puts me in awe- even though our materials and styles are nothing alike, and I don’t alter finishes or rework materials much (too hooked on bling!). But the originality of her compositions draws me in- as if each piece has been on a long journey and we just happened to be in the right time and place to find it, whether in a museum, or digging it from the dirt: each piece fascinates that way.  But I’ll crush on Marina’s work, and her tribal, victorian, assemblage world later as I get into her tutorials.  For now- it’s her creative output that’s got me hooked (addicted!) to her blog. That and her crazy fun, dark, LOL humor.  Check her out- and (she’s having a sale now).  Her packaging is a world unto itself- nautical maps…Hindi advertisment papers, DNA like octogons cut from children’s books…wow.

And you KNOW of my long time Artists Crush on Charlene of Black Mud Studios:  Her stonewear sugar skulls this year are the BEST, and I won’t stop working with them any time soon. Holidays or not.  Inspired by Fall Migration  colors of Monarch butterfly.

And a gold/vermeil wire-wrapped chain version-More colors to come.

Loving these Biwa pearls. Never too precious for Tibetan laughing skulls 😉





















JEWElERLY GIVEAWAY:  In honor of Day of the Dead celebrations today and tomorrow- I’m hosting a giveaway of these earrings (actually, a very similar second pair, but my camera just died, and I MUST get back to booking gigs, so this pic will have to do… ; )  You can read about them here-

To win them- leave a message on this blog post saying what you think of the Day of the Dead holidays. (All opinions welcome- but NOTE: kids visit too- so nothing rude).  Also- be sure to put your e-mail (soo many of you don’t have links back to your blogs, email, or contact info- even on your avatars.  Make sure I can reach you!)  Open to everyone- international customers welcome.

Oh wait, almost forgot- a piece of jasper that inspired a dream that inspired a poem.  A cartographer working in a very small, dark room…

“When one could wander, listless, but instead closes one’s eyes to hear the heart,
One awakens in the Cartographer’s Dream, seeing what to map next.”

“She studied the mauve plain.
Fissures and fractures
leading to the ravine- all yet to be mapped, and
fumaroles and holes so deep they would draw down all
of her ink just to color their reflections in indigo…”

from The Cartographer’s Dream,  TL

This and more inspirations from poems, book bits, quotes are getting posted along with jewelry pieces in my shop Three Muses on etsy.

Dia de los Muertos: Gallery, Alter, New Jewelry

This year’s El Dia de los Muertos day and alter is about change.  There is a lot going on and we’re moving very soon.  So, it is particularly timely, purging old pics and momentos; embracing but moving on.  My goal is to simplify in the year to come, literally and figuratively; I want to toss 1/2 of all I own.  For those of you close by, we’re having a garage sale this Saturday. 😉

The alter is very simple this year too.

New jewelry inspired by the colors, smells (copal!), and tastes of the day will be posted in my Etsy shop: Physalia Designs.  I had a trunk sale here last week- so am adding inventory now.  Check back for Fall & holiday sales.

New pieces feature Gaea’s special Dia de los Muertos pendants, Anne Choi 2-sided sugar skull charms, sterling and brass with Czech crystals.

Andrew Thornton original bronze  skull charms in a tasty matte gold finish, with crystals.

These are all from one of my favorite year-round Mexican folk art gallerias for all things  and Dia de Los Muertos.  Alamo Fiesta in San Antonio, Texas~

Small Wonder


“The real voyage of discovery consists

not in seeing new landscapes, but in having

new eyes.”    

Marcel Proust

I’m going to try to do this type of post every Monday;
something small, something to inspire.  Mondays, when I need it most 😉

Potential Monday prompts:


Inspire me Monday

Monday Militia

Andrew Thornton’s Monday Word of the Week


ColorSwirl: Fall Poem

Today the wind has a message for him-

the one with measured steps
between leaf lined streets
consumed and moving,        outside                himself

walking straight lines on squares,        deep
in the wonder of

-or the why of it.


cascade                  like rain

around  him,

a colorswirl.   All the Fall             he’s

ever known

in one leaf.


Rain Poem

Standing in the street today
drinking you down
mouth open to the sky
to corral the tiniest of gifts,
each one tasting of
cold front
Ions abandoned mid-air
somewhere far
over a lightning sea
now falling on me
past parted lips,
into one celestial

All this after counting leaves
(only red) on the left side of
the street, near trees whose secret purple
berries lie dangerously ripe
against the gray sky, with all
the childhood that escaped once-
now spinning wildly inside- into an almost scream
running uphill, eyes closed
I meet the rain that has finally
come to bathe us

Inspiring Fall Treasures- Andrew Thornton

My favorite blog now is “The writing and art of Andrew Thornton”- who as writer, jewelry designer, visual artist, and chef- is always flanked by at least two Muses!

The blog I enjoy most now is “The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton”; wonderful writer, jewelry designer extraordinaire, photographer, artist, chef…   He has a knack for making the mundane- etherial, and the scary- provocative.   Can’t decide which I like more; his nature walks (where he  photographs the most beautiful flowers & plants), his daily musings, or his cool 1-of-a-kind jewelry designs.  He is one of those artists who busts at the seams with endless talent and who seems constantly flanked by at least 2 Muses at any given moment.  One of the best writers/artists to blog the “inspiration is everywhere” phenomena on a daily basis.

I ordered a few treasures from his shop last month & had a blast opening the package!

He is sponsoring a Thursday Giveaway this week; ultra cool Hallow’s Eve inspired charms by Melissa J. Lee.  Check it out!!

October Celebrations

October is my favorite month; it’s my birthday month; it yields the most colorful change of seasons; it’s Halloween; it’s my purging time of year, and it’s the month I prepare my Dia de los Muertos alter.  To me, October is the most potent season of the year because it’s a time of renewal, which for me, makes it more of a New Year’s than any other month of the year.

Because I won’t be home much of Oct. or Nov with my performing schedule, I feel like I have to race to enjoy all of the things October represents; I started purging last month; I’m making more jewelry that feels like Fall, and Dia de los Muertos, and I’ll be setting up my alter earlier and enjoying it later ;).

Not only is Dia de los Muertos the traditional time of year to honor our ancestors (no matter our ancestry)- family and loved ones passed from this life- for me, it is also a time to celebrate everything we’ve gained and lost in the year.

I first started honoring the Days (Nov. 1 is a day for children, Nov. 2nd for adults) this way when I was in college in Austin.  A friend’s altar was her creative corner of the house with handmade offerings, bright traditional sugar skulls, calaveras figurines, pictures of relatives & friends who’d passed, and bouquets of marigolds.  But she also had lots of personal mementos from the year that marked anything she had lost, was grieving, or just trying to work out.  Big stuff and little stuff. She told me something that really stayed with me; during this time of year, in addition to the spirits that normally guide you through the year, you now have those whom you’ve known and loved from the past who are suddenly  close when the ‘veil between the worlds’ is extra thin.  This of course ties in Pagan beliefs of Halloween, and All Souls Day.  My friend said that because they will come close to give you guidance, counsel, and company-  you must generously prepare the treasured food and drink they love, and have pretty things for them to admire (like things you make).

Here are a couple of things I hope they will like. 😉  The hand painted ceramic pendant is from Gaea. I used pink opals and green howlite to bring out the pendant’s colors, a bronze charm from ashes to beauty and seed beads.  I’ll be posting more creations inspired by Gaea’s Day of the Dead collection very  soon.

And a very Fall cherry quartz necklace with copper.