Thursday, May 31, 2012


Terrariums have always intrigued me.  There is just something about a tiny garden world enclosed and protected in a glass container.  It is so wonderful to imagine being shrunk down to size and walking around in there with the being in a jungle.  I have been gathering my ideas for building my own small garden world and here are some I thought I would share.  When I have a chance I will share the one I decide to build.

The New Terrarium by Tovah Martin, this is on my wishlist.
A glass cloche from "Terrarium Craft: Create 50 Magical, Miniature Worlds," (Timber Press, 2011) by Amy Bryant Aiello and Kate Bryant found via Associated Press.
Little Hanging Possum Terrarium by Botany Factory
Mason Jar Terrarium by DoodleBirdie on Etsy.  I love that this has sand and shells added in.
Terrarium made from a glass shade found via Jenna 
How about this adorable Adopt a Tree Necklace from GardenofSypria on Etsy.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bathtub fun...

Doesn't every parent have a photo of their kids in the bathtub?!  I love this photo of the girls in the tub together.  They will probably hate me in about 10 years for putting this out in the interwebs, but I just couldn't resist.

A and Pip

Friday, May 25, 2012

Studio Tour

My jewelry studio continues to be a work in progress, but it sure has come a long way from what it looked like when we moved in.  Take a look...


Outside of Studio.

Inside of Studio.

AND AFTER............

Entrance to Studio

View of my workbench display case and work table.

Work table and some of my jewelry books.  Below the shelf hangs a vintage butcher store paper roll that I recently found at a yard sale.   It is perfect for pulling out on to the table for sketching out ideas.

View of the back of the studio, rolling mill, anvil, and vise.  The big white storage cabinet is from Ikea and holds tons of random non-metal supplies.  (I keep metal hidden in a safe.)

Workbench and sink area.  I made the curtains from fabric I found on sale at Ikea for $3.00/meter.  They hide other various supplies and equipment.

Soldering area with DIY vent system.

Enamel area, casting area and kilns.

Sink with bucket system - since we don't have running water yet.  This has been such a good system I may not ever install running water.  We just drilled a hole in a plastic bucket and added a spicket.  The sink has a regular drain and drains into another bucket which we empty when full.  This system conserves a lot of water.

All of my hand tools.  Shelves from Ikea, and photos of some of my ancestors.  The top photo is my aunt who was a hat maker and the bottom shows my great grandfather who was an italian stone cutter and owned a construction company. I keep these photos near my workbench because I am inspired by their creativity and dedication.

My messy workbench.  (Tic tac cases are great for beads!)

Idea board.

One of my favorite quotes for the studio!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Found objects...Visible Mail Box

I was given this "Visible Mail Box" by K's parents when his dad was cleaning out the family home (an 1830 Greek Revival style home in the Finger Lakes area of NY, which by the way will be for sale sometime soon.  It is complete with hand blown rose glass windows).  The house was filled to the brim with treasures.  I got to choose quite a few to bring home and this interesting mail box was one of them.  I think it would have been mounted on a post or the side of a building and the postman put the mail in the opening on top.  The mail was then removed from the bottom by the receiver.   I have a feeling it might see new life as a terrarium in the near future.  Isn't it interesting?  Has anyone ever seen one of these before? 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Peonies and such...

Today I picked these beautiful magenta peonies from my garden.  After the nice warm weather we have been having, so many things are starting to bloom.  These were the first three and I couldn't help but pick them.  

We are working in the gardens every spare moment we get these days and plan to plant our veggies this weekend.  We are also removing one of our large flower beds and relocating all of the perennials which has been a tremendous amount of work.  K separated and planted over 40 hostas last weekend.  Here is a peek at what else has been blooming:

Copper iris (the first one opening today).   I got these from my mom and dad's house.  My dad was ripping them out, much to my mom's dismay.  I plan to sneak some back into her garden sometime when he's not looking.

Fuschia creeping phlox.  These have been blooming for a while now.

Primrose from my wonderful neighbor.

Lily of the Valley blooming for the first time this year.  These were rescued from a gardener friend's cast offs.
Lovely little golden colored Pansies.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Our bathroom has a chalk board near the "john".  I guess the previous owners thought it was a good place to sit and come up with ideas.  Our daughter thinks it is a good place for her artwork and we all think it is a good place to leave surprise messages to each other.  What do you think?  Would you want a chalkboard in your bathroom?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Making it work...

As many of you know, I have not held a full-time job since 2007 when I was pregnant with my first daughter.  This was by choice of course.  The job I had at the time was very lucrative and interesting, but I just didn't want to work full time once I had children.  Fast forward to 2012 and another daughter later, and I think it would be fair to say I am going slightly crazy as a "stay at home" mom.  The kicker is I am also a work at home mom.  Circle and Sprout takes up a tremendous amount of time, and that is all well and good, it means we are profitable.  What is not always good is trying to split working time with time that I am supposed to be attending to and being a mom to my girls.  I read a good article today from the Biz Ladies on Design Sponge.  In it Meg writes about the importance of "making it work" instead of finding "balance".  She explains that it is sometimes okay to put the business first and that it is also okay at times to put yourself before your kids too.  Making it work financially is hard as well.  Today I was offered a full time job that by the time I pay for gas and daycare, I would actually lose money by working.  Crazy, I know.  It just made me think of how truly lucky I am to be able to stay at home with my girls even if it makes me a little nuts too.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Yes, I have been absent from Facebook and Pinterest and this blog for a while now.  There is a reason.  I am just plain tired.  Tired of housework, tired of babies/kids crying, tired of laundry, tired of not being able to work on art or jewelry orders even though we have lots of them.  I am also tired of the massive quantities of visual stimulation and images/ideas/info on the internet.  I just needed a break from all of it.  I needed to unplug myself from it all in hopes to feel a little more human.  I am not sure it has worked.  I think I will "go dark" for awhile longer and see if it helps me feel a little more sane.  After all, when I didn't check my 3 email accounts for 2 days I had over 158 real emails that needed attending to.  That is just plain crazy!!!
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