Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Rules of parenting: Tips on feeding children

Children are such angels, aren't they?  Yeah, mine are, too.  And they eat everything I make for them!  How do I do it?  By following these no-fail tips on what to feed your sweet angel:

1)  Basically if it has parsley or any other tiny green, black, brown or red specks in it you might as well throw it in the garbage.  Because no one is going to eat it.

2)  Any kind of soup or sauce had better match the color of your toddler's shirt.  Trust me on this.

3)  If it's got any kind of string, leaf or seed in it, it will end up on the floor.   So if you think they are eating it, take a look under your child's chair.  As my great-grandfather used to say, "Now you see it, now you don't."  Oh, you'll see it.

4)  Chicken nuggets are a food group unto themselves.  So are peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  And pizza.  If your kid doesn't like any of these then you'd better take him/her to the doctor because there is something very wrong.*

5)  Even a 'little bit of cheese' is too much.  A 'little bit of...'  well anything is also too much.  The exceptions are butter, salt and sugar.  Kids love these spices so don't be afraid to use them.  They're on the food pyramid somewhere.

6)  Bread and butter is a great dinnertime option.  Mommy needs to feel like you ate something today, sweetheart.

7) Macaroni and cheese is best when it's the boxed kind.  Don't bother to make it from scratch, you will end up crying alone in your room. 

8)  Don't make anything from scratch.  Only use pre-made, frozen, boxed or canned foods.  In fact it's best if you just have to add water and microwave the damn thing so you can feel like you've cooked something.  Kids love preservatives and it will make them live longer.**

9)  Kids love to go to Grandma and Grandpa's for mealtime.  So feel free to indulge them that one request.  The grandparents love this and will probably feed your kid something healthy like an ice cream sundae.  Win-win!

10)  When all else fails put the kids to bed and drink a few glasses of wine.  That's mommy's best medicine.  Oh, you thought it was hugs?

*I am not a doctor but I like to google things on the internet so I can pretend I am.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The importance of good craftsmanship

That is a really boring title.  But hopefully what I have to say is not boring.

My mom came to visit last week and was wearing a cute necklace by a mass manufacturer.  "Oh this?  I've had it forever, I just never wore it before."

By the end of the 2 hour visit, the glass heart in the center had fallen out.  I offered to fix it for her (what good is it to be a jeweler if you can't fix your mama's jewelry?) but she said, "Oh this wasn't expensive, don't worry about fixing it if you don't have time."

 Garden marker by MonkeysAlwaysLook

WHAT?!  No matter how little something costs, you should be able to expect to wear it a few times without it coming apart.  But it started me thinking about hand crafted work vs. mass manufactured work.

Once I started my own business selling jewelry made with my own hands, I started to seek out a higher quality of merchandise for myself and my family.  Whether it was a coffee table or a new rug, I found that instead of going for cheap and not caring if something broke I felt much better buying handmade, hand crafted, heirloom quality items.  I know it's a tough economy, and things are tight over here in Metaliciousland, but I'm finding that I don't have to replace things when I go for high quality from the beginning.  It costs more right now, but when I still have it in 5 years it is actually saving me money because I don't have to replace it each year, or every 2 years. 

Our coffee table from a large manufacturer lasted 6 months before the leg started to wobble so badly we needed a new table ASAP.  So I paid 2x the amount of that coffee table for a hand crafted, USA made, beautiful solid wood coffee table. AND we were able to work directly with the artist to get the size we needed.  He was super nice, delivered it in person and it made me feel good to support another artist's business.  A year and a half later and it's still beautiful and solid even though my 2 boys and 2 cats give it a daily workout.  It still holds up my feet at the end of the day, no wobbles.  I have no doubt it will last for years.
This is in our entryway from RecycledBrooklyn.

So reason #1 to buy handmade, high quality items?  It saves you money.

Reason #2 to buy handmade, high quality items?  You're supporting a real, live person.  And his/her family.  Who will in turn support their local people, and their families.  And so on... 

And reason #3 for buying handmade, high quality items?  Customization.  You can have whatever your heart desires if you just ask.  You get real person, who gets back to you in real time, who takes pride in and loves what they do and it will show in how your item is made, how they communicate with you and the longevity and quality of the piece.

So before you go to your big-box retailer please consider buying handmade first.  It's good for all of us!

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Every year, for 10 years, this date still makes me catch my breath.  I worked about 20 blocks from the Twin Towers, and lived close enough to where I worked that I could walk there in 5 minutes.  That morning I stood in the middle of Varick Street staring South taking pictures of the first burning tower, as the 2nd plane hit.  Our boss told us to come inside where it was safe, we had no idea what it all meant, or what it would come to mean.  The panic, the bewilderment, the terror, the heartache all unfolded as the whole world watched those beautiful icons and the almost 3,000 people trapped inside crumble before our eyes.  My city, my country, the whole world had changed in the blink of one sunny September morning.  The heartache is still palpable, the people are still gone, the war is still going.

I've never written down what happened that day, it's not necessary, I'm alive and that is more than enough.  I still cringe whenever I hear a low flying plane, but was a horrific day for everyone, whether you were here in the city or not.  Everyone remembers where they were, wherever they were, when the towers were hit.  My heart goes out to people who lost loved ones in the attack, almost 3,000 brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandfathers, grandmothers died that day.  That grief will never ease.

We all lost something that day, and I, for one remain shaken.  I can't forget that day, and I can't forget the sacrifices of all the people who fought that day and are fighting still to this day.  I am forever thankful to everyone who has given their life, and continues to put their life on the line for me, for my country, for my children's future.  And amid the devastation I have learned that resilience is the single best thing about being human.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Writer's Block

If I could make my blog in metal, I would.  It's not that I don't like to write.  Or that I don't have anything to say.  But writing isn't my best medium of expression.  I will sit and stare at the blank screen and it's as blank as my mind.  But put me in front of a bench and I'll make you an entire encyclopedia in metal.

Photography also makes my blog more interesting.  But then I have to photograph stuff and upload it and edit it and then upload it to my blog... are you bored yet?  Yeah, that makes two of us (hi mom!).  If you really want to see what I'm up to more regularly make sure you 'like' Metalicious on Facebook by clicking HERE.

I think it's been a little harder because I've been out of my studio for almost 2 weeks.  That's like putting a muzzle on me.  I was able to do some work today, but it was sllllloooooowwwww because I wasn't able to bring all my tools with me.  My flex shaft in particular, it's like my right arm.

So I have 3 more weeks of working without my flex.  Oh and having my boys around all. the. time. kinda gets in the way of any work time, too.  But honestly I'm treasuring having them around, it's summer, we're chillaxin' and swimmin' and travelin' and it's a blast.  I'm so happy to have this time with them and my mom (who has been kind enough to allow me to take over her dining room and turn it into my temporary studio).  I feel like the luckiest gal, sans flex shaft.

Talk to me in 3 weeks.  We'll see how hunky-dory I'm feeling after 24-7-nonstop-mommy-all-the-time-barely-makin-jooray.  I'm sure my own mother will hate me by then.

Well, that's all my

Monday, June 27, 2011

What rhymes with bathroom?

I am a terrible person.  As I write this I'm eating only the red and purple Spree candies out of the tube. I pity the person who eats yellow after orange after green after orange in the hopes of finding just one red or purple one.  I don't play that way.  I pick the ones I want and I eat them, the rest go in the garbage if I can't pawn them off on my husband or son.

The topic for today is: bathroom renovation.  We live in a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment in New York City.  That's right, I said ONE BATHROOM.  And guess what?  It doesn't have a tub.  Surprise!  The guy who lived here before us was in a wheelchair and had the tub removed, the sink lowered (with no storage underneath) and a neat wooden seat installed into a gigantic, 2-headed, roll-in shower.  Now I could think of about a hundred swingers who would love that kind of shower.  But I live with a 6 yr old and a 1 1/2 year old and the only swinging they do is from the monkey bars at the playground.  Did I just use dirty euphemisms regarding my children?  As I already said in my opening paragraph, I'm a terrible person.  But that's not the point.  My point is WE DON'T HAVE A TUB and what kind of parent deprives their child of that fairytale childhood event:  bath time!?  *pops purple Spree into mouth*  You betcha.

Up until now we've had the largest of the small kiddie tubs to bathe our older child in.  The first 3 years that was perfect, but now my 6 yr old's legs and head hang over the sides if he tries to 'float,' god bless him.  And we're using one of those tiny baby tubs for Chubbles (have I mentioned the size of his haunches) and the situation is at maximum capacity.

So it's time to renovate and put in a tub.  I have had to find alternate places to live for me and the little boys for the entire month of July.  I could bore you with the details of life at my mother's house in New Jersey, or I could lie and tell you we're spending the entire month in a beachfront hut in Tahiti.  You decide what you want to hear and go with it.

I'm heading out tomorrow after Asher's last day of Kindergarten (which I'm completely sublimating else I start welling up with mommy tears and apron string nonsense).  *sigh*  And I'm going to try to make it work, running my shop from an alternate location (and hopefully poolside).  Hope you like Hawaiian Punch with your Modern Rock studs, baby.

I'll be back in the Big Apple in August, hopefully with a lovely 6ft soaking tub to come home to.  Happy Summer, people!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I am love

Lately I have been SO into heartsSterling hearts, pink gold hearts, tiny yellow gold hearts.  I think it has to do with the fact that my baby is already a year and a half old.  Not a baby anymore but a toddler.  I love my kids so much and my husband and I realize how lucky I am that they are in my life.

A few years ago I lost 2 babies at the end of my first trimester.  And it put me into such a depresson.  I carved this necklace as a way to heal from the miscarriages and I now smile whenever I wear it.

So now that I have 2 kids, and having gone through so much to have them I am thankful.  Just plain thankful.  And full of love for them.  So I went to work at my bench carving some hearts.  The first one started out like this just really simple and modern and soft:

It's also available with a customized hand stamped message like this one:

But then I wanted something smaller so I started carving again, here are some of the pictures of the process:

It's hard to keep it even, and can you see how tiny it is?  It kept flying out of my fingers as I carved it, but I finally finished it up and made this sweet 10k pink gold bracelet with it:

But then I wanted something in the middle.  I had one large and one small.  I needed a medium.  I know, I know, I'm never satisfied!!!  But it was all worth it because I made this personalized hand stamped necklace for all the moms out there.  I'll list it in my shop soon, I promise!

Until the next time, remember to love one another!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Casey Kaufman rocks Metalicious Jewelry

Sweet, sweet Casey Kaufman creator of the cool fashion blog Strawberry Freckleface is wearing Metalicious jewelry!  And she totally rocks it. 

Here are the 3 pieces she's wearing:

Thanks Casey, you make my jewelry shine!

Monday, May 16, 2011

New Jewelry Ideas!

Some of you may recognize this ring from my Etsy shop.  It's a modern sterling silver band that I inlaid with rough yellow diamonds.  Teeny, tiny diamonds.  The most gorgeous colors of gold and brown, they are nearly edible.  But enough about my eating disorder.

I got a request from a customer to make this ring with black diamonds which required some time and research.  I finally found a stone cutter who sells conflict free diamonds from India.  And look at what I found!!

White ones that range from creamy white to dark silver...

Black cubes that are the size of ground pepper, if pepper were extremely rare and expensive...

and of course more yellow rough diamonds...

Stay tuned for the new pieces, I'm going to take the next few weeks to focus on carving models that will fit these tiny stones.  Let me know what you think, do you like them?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


It's Mother's Day!  In honor of all the wonderful moms out there, I'm having a HUGE sale!!  Everything in my Etsy shop has been marked down 20%.

While supplies last, all items will be shipped with FREE gift packaging!  
Nothing is more perfect than giving Mom jewelry for Mother's Day.  Metalicious jewelry will make your Mom feel loved!

Get there quick, the sale ends May 11th!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

When I don't make jewelry

One of the people I most admire is Anne-Marie Faiola, the owner of Brambleberry, Otion and a self-proclaimed Soap Queen.  She has loads of ideas and energy which are infectious.  I got infected by a recent post on her blog about making whipped shea butter hand creme and it looked so yummy I wanted to make some immediately!!  So this post is inspired by Anne-Marie, who totally rocks!

It looked super easy so I invited my 6 yr old to help me out, it was lots of fun!  And it's cute to see him use it every night, too.

I ordered all the ingredients from Brambleberry:

14 oz Shea Butter
5 oz Coconut Oil (76 degree melt Coconut Oil)
6 ml your choice of fragrance oil
Electric Mixer
4 ounce jars

Asher and I picked out the 'buttercream and snickerdoodle,' 'jasmine' and 'sweet grass' fragrances and we made 2 batches mixing them in different ways.  We came up with the names 'Jazzy Coco' and 'Damp Grass.'  Makes me laugh!

So once I ordered, I couldn't wait to get it all!  I know, I have no patience.  Until finally I got the shipment...

and we quickly unpacked it....

In addition to Asher, he brought his friend Hima, the stuffed cat who wants to help.

And then we got started, basically you just mix everything together just like baking.  Easy!  The shea butter looked delicious.



and finally it's finished!

Wow!!  And the final product all ready to give as gifts.

Thanks Anne-Marie for such a great project to do together with my little guy!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What about Love?

I had the dumb luck to run into an old friend of mine on the street a few weekends ago.  Pat is an incredible spirit, always looking on the bright side of things and a joy to be around.  We worked together at a jewelry company years ago and were both so happy to see one another and catch up on each other's lives.  So there was lots of hugging and jumping up and down when I saw Pat.

As it turns out, he's getting married!  And he asked me to make their wedding bands, right there on the street.  Sweet!  He's been together with his partner for 25 years and they are making a documentary about their journey together and what has led them to finally get married after all this time. 

I love being a small part of people's journey and creating a set of wedding bands is one of my favorite things to do as a jeweler.  I feel lucky whenever I get to work with a couple taking such a big step together, it's amazing to make such an important and symbolic piece of jewelry.  

Once we set up the appointment, Pat told me that his camera guy was going to film our meeting.  yikes.  I am not a fan of seeing myself on film (not that it happens often. okay never.) it just kinda freaks me out.  But I was determined not to let that get in the way of helping two people find the perfect rings for their union.  It's not about me anyway, it's about them.  And they are adorable.

Here I am, all dolled up for the meeting...

I'm wearing a silk dress (with pockets!), my faux diamond studs and my pyramid necklace.  Oh and MAKEUP.  And I wore a ponytail since I couldn't figure out what to do with my hair, which looks like this on a GOOD day...
And I used hair-straightening shampoo but it's just as frizzy.  Just let me be angry about it.

Well the meeting went just fine, we laughed, we reminisced and we talked about their wedding.  They are having a beautiful ceremony in a redwood grove in California, surrounded by friends and loved ones.  I suggested my bark texture rings in bronze.  And their faces lit up, in that way they do when you know something fits just right.  

A bit more about the couple.  Directly from them:  "Pat and Stephen are getting married in every state that currently allows same-sex marriage: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, and New Hampshire. They are also getting married in California, where the legal status of same-sex marriage is still unresolved. Their final wedding will be in Washington, DC on their 25th anniversary. "

I'm so honored to be contributing in a small way, to make such meaningful rings for people who truly define love and commitment.  Pat and Stephen, you are an inspiration. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Collaboration Nation

One of the things I like to do to give myself a jump-start in creativity is to work with another artist.  It can get kinda lonely all by myself in my studio doing the same thing over and over again.  So I look to my friends and other artists to get some artistic inspiration.

Last year I was very fortunate to meet an amazing, talented, smart, creative, successful and hilarious new friend:  Lorrie Veasey.  She's down-to-earth and so generous with both her time and her work, PLUS her gigantic studio is 2 blocks from my apartment/workshop.  And she has two adorable kids around the same age as my oldest so they get together and nerd-it-up big time.  Then we get to drink wine and laugh lots and lots.  She's a really goooood friend.  Anyway, she's a ceramicist by trade and a snarky commentator-on-life at heart.  And I'm so lucky to have met her.

Lorrie has been listening to me complain often about my photography.  And in her usual, uber-generous fashion, she offered for me to come by her studio and use her photo set-up.  Oh, and some of her work as props for my jewelry.  It was loads of fun, nice to be out of my own space and great to see her work up close and personal.

Here's a shot of my ring on one of her ring holders:

And here is her ring holder in it's entirety:
And it's already sold, but I know she'd make you another one if you asked her very nicely.

I love Lorrie and I love all of her work, it's really hard to pick a favorite.  Honestly, I don't have to because her pottery is so affordable!  And they make perfect gifts (as my friends and family already know).

I just gave this one to my husband for Valentine's Day:

And at one of the craft fairs she sells her work at, I bought this handmade collage:

This one made me get all choked up, because she made it for me.  *blush*  WHO DOES THAT?!

Lorrie does.  I'm so lucky that she picked me to be her friend.  Thanks for being my inspiration Lorrie!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


And I'm drowning in ideas.  Promotions, advertising, honing in on my target market, new designs, new customers...

Sometimes I feel like I've got so much on my plate (that I put there) that I'll never finish anything.  ACK!  And that's when I sit down, eat some chocolate, and take it one thing at a time.  I find that organizing things on my desk helps me organize my thoughts and gives me the feeling that I have some control over my self-imposed-chaos.

I take time to go through my orders, order castings and gemstones as needed, then hang them on a magnetic board on the wall behind my desk.  Done.

Then I go through my expense receipts, bills, and assorted crap that has somehow landed on my desk (thank you, sweet husband).  Then I do the old FTP.  File. Toss. Pile.  If I've dealt with it: File.  If I haven't looked at it/don't need it: Toss.  If I don't know what to do with it yet: Pile.  I like to work in piles and I admit it's one slippery slope toward being on Hoarders for me.

I apologize to whomever that pile belongs to, but thought the cat butt sticking out was hilarious.  Schaudenfraude at it's best.

So that said, I am going to continue my FTPing in the hopes that it will give me some energy to continue to plow through the piles and get on with my work.  That said, I just posted a fantastic new ring in my Etsy shop.  Whew.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Jewelry Tool Junkie

I am completely and unapologetically addicted to making jewelry.  And eating chocolate, but that's not what this post is about.  I had a decent year of jewelry sales last year so I figured I would put the money back into Metalicious AND BUY SOME JEWELRY TOOLS.  Plus some of my vendors were having major sales so how can a girl resist a jewelry tool sale??? 

I know it sounds like an excuse but my flex shaft motor was dying.  For reals.  And I'm always looking for ways to improve my production time.  So here's what I bought:

-1 magnetic pin tumbler

-1 new pickle pot

-2 flex shafts

-2 sets of wax sheets

-1 set of inverted cone burs

And the question my sweet husband keeps asking me:  WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO PUT ALL OF THIS STUFF???

Just between us, I'm working on getting more sales this year so that I can invest in a real studio space.  *winks*  Think I can do it?