Tuesday, May 28, 2013

In The Works

I wanted to share a few things that I have been working on lately and that will be hitting my shop soon!

What I'm most excited about has to be my vintage assemblage jewelry!  I've been selling some of it at my local shows, but will also be adding some to my Etsy shop.

How cool is this??  The fishy is a vintage fishing lure, and I added some Swarovski crystals and an Austrial pressed glass flower.  On the right: these vintage "faux" cameos now have some sweet new frames thanks to these buttons.  The orange cameo's button looks green, but is orange when you hold it to the light!

Left: Necklaces made with vintage buttons at one of my shows.  Right: A mini music collage and my sheet music necklaces at a show.

A few new necklaces that I've been working on!  These are all going to my shows with me, but I'll have very similar ones in my shop too.  My fave is the "How to play Melody on the Uke" one :)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My (kinda) Big Announcement

Announcing stuff on the internet is kind of weird when you think about it.  I mean, in real life you can call a family meeting or send an ominous text  hinting at a coming announcement.  You can build some delicious suspense and make your friends beg to let them in on the secret (I mean, I wouldn't really do that....probably...).  Or you can pay for an ad on the Jumbotron. Or you can walk down the street clanging a town crier bell shouting "hear ye, hear ye!".  That's the one I would do.

On the internet though, everyone can just click and scroll down for the juicy details.

So anyway, my news is as follows:





Ok for reals....

*unfurls fancy banner while angels simultaneously trumpet with great fanfare*

(I'm going back to school) 

I will now take questions from the audience.

What are you going to study?  And where?

Museum studies! At Tufts!


Because I love museums, and I have always wanted to work in one in some capacity.  When I graduated I tried for a long time to break into the museum field with limited success.  After a series of janitorial stints, unpaid internships, volunteering, and even museum security jobs, I put museum work on the back burner and moved on to other things.

Will you still be running Gilded Days?

Yes!  At least that's the plan.  I'm going back part time because that's all I can afford energy, time, and money wise.  I'll be taking one class a semester so in theory I should still be able to devote the bulk of my time to Gilded Days.  I already have shows lined up well into October and I plan to do every one of them.

What about after you graduate? 

Not really sure about this one.  In an ideal world I would have a part time museum job while doing Gilded Days.  I can't see a scenario where I stop creating entirely, so for the foreseeable future I hope to be doing a little bit of everything.

This isn't such a juicy announcement, I was hoping for something like a celebrity sex scandal or being chosen for the next Survivor...what gives?

Sorry!  This is as juicy as it gets in my life. If I ever get caught up in a love triangle with Ryan Gossling and/ or Jeremy Renner you will be the first to know.

That's it!  Thanks for letting me share my news and all your support!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Then and Now: My first craft fair!

Don't you love when things come full circle?

Here's a picture of me selling at a kid's craft fair when I was about seven or so.  What was I selling, you ask?  I actually remember what I made (and you can kind of see them on the right there): fish magnets!

I drew the shape of goldfish on paper, colored them in differently with colored markers, cut them out, laminated them, and glued them to little magnets.  Looks like I might have been selling some necklaces too?

(Greater Boston peeps...points if you recognize the location!)


And 20+ years later! Ok, this is actually last year, and my setup has changed a bit, but you get the idea. 

Pretty cool right?

Did you ever do anything as a kid that foreshadowed  what you ended up doing?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Quickie May Update

SoWa OpenMarket begins next Sunday 5/5!  Gilded Days will be there almost EVERY Sunday this year!  If you’ve never been to SoWa I really urge you to check it out as it’s a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon in Boston.  If you have been before, you should know that this year there are going to be even MORE delicious food trucks, MORE vendors at the farmer’s market, and MORE amazing independent designers and artisans!

Show your local pride and help a good cause: For a limited time I am offering necklaces with original Boston designs to benefit The One Fund Boston.  They are $20 each, and 100% of net profits will go directly to help those most affected by the tragic events at the Boston Marathon this year.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Take a Tiny Tour.... our printer's box!

My mom got me my first printer's box when I was little. I used to love looking through her larger one and playing with all the little treasures she had collected for it. When my collection outgrew it's home, my husband and I got a larger box at an antique store to house both of our tiny acquisitions.

Some of the stuff in there I've had since I was really young and can't even remember the original provenance.  A lot of it is just little knick-knacks (like those ceramic animals that used to come in the tea boxes), or bits of natural history from our frequent beach-combing trips.

Having a printer's box is fun because you're always on the look-out for little treasures with which to fill it!  I'm thinking that soon we are going to need to get another box because this one is getting pretty full.  Whenever I see printer's boxes at antique shops I'm always struck by all the interesting shapes and sizes.  How cool would it be to have several grouped on a wall together??  For now though, this is ours:

This bookshelf is badly in need of a dusting!  It displays some of my favorite pieces of collected art from local artists, as well as some of my creamers.  I try to keep a lot of stuff on it to deter the cats from jumping up there.  They've just gotten better at walking over everything.
Tiny toby jugs!  I'm not sure why we started collecting these, I guess we just thought they were funny and kind of cute.  Most of them come from Occupied Japan and are painted on porcelain.

On the left: a silver spoon from my grandmother she had since she was a girl in the Netherlands.  Below that we have Gnorman, a porcelain gnome from a Salt & Ginger on Etsy.  Next to him is a little brass cat and 4 porcelain swans.  The little cottage comes from The Little Red Door on Etsy.  I've had that little dog forever and can't remember where he first came from.  The little jug next to him was in a dollar bin at a thrift store.  I think the Dutch shoe was a souvenir from the Netherlands.  On the right (and not to scale), is a little collection of shells and sea glass from our beach hunts.  The grandfather clock is actually a pencil sharpener that I've had for as long as I can remember.

Do you have a printer's box?  Or if you have lots of tiny collections, how do you display them?  Any cool ideas?   Leave a comment letting me know if you do!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Boston Photo Diary

I want to keep it simple today; I had a post lined up that I'm going to postpone til next week. Instead  I just want to share some pictures of Boston I've taken over the years that show what a special city it is.  At the end of this post are some links for ways to help Boston.

The Boston Public Gardens in springtime.  It only costs $3.00 to take a ride on the swan boats.

 Boston Public Gardens in bloom.
The famous Citgo sign overlooking the Charles River.
The USS Constitution.

Saint Francis of Assissi in the North End
The Pine Street Inn in the South End provides services, shelter, and food for the homeless in Boston

Beautiful Fenway Park

Paul Revere in the North End
The Zakim Bridge going into the city

George Washington in the Public Gardens
In Boston Minutemen and patriots roam about without anyone batting an eye.
The sun sets over Boston as seen from Southie.

Ways to help Boston:

The One Fund, set up by Mayor Menino and Gov. Patrick
The Patriots will match $100,00 in donations
Comprehensive list of ways to help via

Monday, April 8, 2013

9 Songs Currently on my Playlist (and One downloadable freebie)

You know what's almost as much fun as peeking into someone's closet and scoping their wardrobe?

 Scrolling through their iPod and finding some juicy new tunes :)
 So here are a few songs that I have had on repeat lately. 

1.  "San Francisco" - The Mowgli's

2.  "Home Is Not Places"- The Apache Relay

3.  "Champion"- The Chevin

4. "Welcome Home" - Radical Face

5.  "Safe and Sound"- Capital Cities

6.  "Night Call"- Kavinsky

7.  "Radioactive"- Imagine Dragons

8.  "Sail"- Awolnation

9.  "Comes and Goes"- Greg Laswell

Fair is fair; I shared mine, now you share yours!  Tell me in the comments what you have been listening to lately!  

And just because, I have a free download for you!  It's my favorite quote about music :)
I'm not a pro at converting files and hosting and all that computery stuff, so I hope it is a good enough resolution and easy to grab.

Just right click and Save the image below to your computer! Print it out, use it as a card, in your projects, whatever! All I ask is that you do not sell it or use for profit. Enjoy! 

Or click here to download from my Google docs

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Our (Simple) Veggie Easter

Easter has never been a "big" holiday in my family; growing up we celebrated with candy and the occasional egg hunt, but just as often had a traditional Seder for Passover. For my husband on the other hand, Easter was and continues to be an important family holiday.

Since we didn't have any other plans this year, I decided to take the day and cook up a vegan Easter meal for my husband and sister-in-law.  I've never really cooked a whole holiday meal before, so I kept it pretty simple and made things I've made before or looked easy enough on Pinterest.  Good ol' Pinterest.

yum yum!  The menu: smashed red potatoes, roasted brussels sprouts with apples, eggplant and tempeh pot pies, biscuits, and lemon pound cake.
You know those recipes on blogs where the blogger thoughtfully (and beautifully) lays out all the ingredients in a big photo spread before they start?  I always wanted to do that so....BAM.  There you go:
Making the lemon pound cake: Almost entirely vegan (the jelly beans I used for decoration contain beeswax).  I almost always use bottled lemon juice when recipes call for lemon, but this time I squeezed real lemons like a real adult!
There's this great store nearby that sells all sorts of hard-to-find and random kitchen wares.  I really wanted to make this lamb cake that I found online, and convinced that the store would have a lamb cake tin, waited til Saturday to go over and pick one up.  Well, they didn't have lamb tins.  They had hearts or stars.  So I grabbed a star tin and decided it would be a star Easter cake.  I had already bought decorations in anticipation of decorating a lamb, so I just improvised and used those on the star cake.

I really had no idea what to do for decorating the cake.  I ended up just sticking some jelly beans on and tracing the star shape in gel. 
The cake came out pretty well!  I forgot to account for the fact that in a double sided lamb tin it would have been half as much batter baking, so mine took a lot longer to get the center cooked.  The edges were in turn a little crispy, but it was fine.  The whole apartment smelled like lemon while it baked, it was glorious!

Cheese and crackers!  Daiya makes delicious, spreadable cheeses.  Bottom left: the eggplant and tempeh pot pies.  Bottom right: a pretty platter we got for our wedding but never used.  It got some action as the potato plate today!
Those mini pot pies are delicious, and pretty easy to make.  My mom made them for Thanksgiving one year and I had been waiting for a good excuse to make them (though they are pretty simple I think they could be a good meal any day!).

I wanted to take a picture of us all dressed up, but the universe conspired against me to get a good shot.  Rest assured, we looked fabulous.

Here's the recipes I used for our meal:
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Apples on Pinterest
Lemon Pound Cake
Smashed Red Potatoes (I used Earth Balance for the butter, and almond milk for the milk)
Eggplant and Tempeh Pot Pies - "The Vegan Table" by Collen Patrick-Goudreau

Do you celebrate any spring holidays?  What are some of your favorite meals and traditions?  Leave me a comment and share yours!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Changes to Comments

Hi!  I just wanted to post a really quick little note.  

I'm updating the platform my blog uses for comments; I think it's going to make commenting and responding to comments a lot simpler and more streamlined.  Right now it's installing and all old comments are in the process of being re-imported.  For the moment it looks like all the comments are gone, but I want to assure you they should be back to showing up shortly!  You should be able to leave new comments no problem in the mean time.  Thank you! 

Behind the Scenes

I'll admit it: I'm a nosy person. When I see these pictures in home magazines of meticulous living rooms and bathrooms I am dying of curiosity about what they REALLY look like (you know, because people actually live there). I love getting to look behind the scenes of my favorite movies and TV shows and see what the actresses and actors are eating for lunch or reading in their trailers.  And don't get me wrong, I love looking on Pinterest at beautiful, clean art studios and work spaces for inspiration.  But I can't help but wonder what those spaces looked like before they were cleaned up and organized for a photo shoot.

We all know that creative work is usually far from a tidy process!  I don't think there is anything wrong with pictures of gleaming white work rooms and nary a paint splatter , but I'm also a fan of reality; sometimes it feels good to know that not everyone is operating in a Pinterest-esque world!

So anyway, I wanted to share a couple of pictures with you of my desks, as well as some works in progress and what is usually going on in my "studio" (read: tiny unfinished room on stilts on the side of our apartment).  I didn't provide an "overview" shot because the angles are a little weird and it's hard to get everything in there.  Basically just imagine boxes and boxes of sheet music plus an old CPU doubling as a shelf.

Necklaces in different states of construction, baggies of cut sheet music, and misc. tools.  I know exactly where everything is though!
These guys just need their clasps and then they will be done!  I ran out of the clasps I like for this style, so the necklaces will hang out on my desk til my new supplies come in.  Then I'll photograph them, box them up, and list them on Etsy!

Baby loves photo days because it usually means I've cleared off an area on the sunny spot of the desk.  I try to keep my workspace free from cat hair, but it's pretty hard to say no to that face.

I try to only photograph about once a week since it is so time consuming.  Sometimes though if the light is particularly good on a random day I'll grab a few more shots.  My set-ups are pretty simple for the most part.  I try to keep a few different background papers and props on hand to make them interesting.

As soon as I cut sheet music, I label a baggie with the name and date of the song it comes from. I Keep the pieces together with their baggie until the jewelry is finished and I write the information on the gift box.  I re-use baggies from my supplies to minimize waste! 

Top: Some cheery plants.  Plants love it in here because there is so much sunlight!  Unfortunately plant-munching cats love it for the same reason (note the little tail sticking up from behind my frame).  Bottom: I seal the sheet music pieces with sealant before glazing them under glass.  During this step I keep the pieces near/on their baggies so they stay with their information.

Left: I designed these inserts to fit my necklace boxes.  I write the name and date of the music from which each necklace comes.  The clear lids are great because it makes keeping track of inventory really easy.  Right: The (gorgeous)  tissue paper that I use to wrap up outgoing packages.  Each box gets tied up with a gold or blue satin ribbon's really pretty!

Well, that's about it I think!  I am happy to share more pictures if anyone has any specific requests. 

What do you think about messy/ neat work areas?  What's yours like, and how do you think your environment influences you?  Leave me a comment with your thoughts!