Welcome to Margica's Notebook!!!

My aim for this blog is to share with the world my inspirations, stories, and thoughts behind my jewelry shop on Etsy, Margica.

Two Hands + One Creative Mind= Margica

Thursday, December 29, 2011

NEW Sparkle Earrings

Hello Everyone!

It has been a while since my last post.... 'tis the holiday season, no?

Anyway, I wanted to share with you the latest earrings that I have created. They are part of the new Sparkle Earrings Collection and are now listed on Etsy! Take a look, and don't hesitate to let me know what you think.

Here are a few of them:

  These are called the Aurora Borealis Sparkle Earrings. Named AB because they reflect the colors of the rainbow. They look lovely in the light. Its almost like having a small chic disco ball in your ear.

     These are the Multi AB Sparkle Earrings. With gold faceted czech crystals, these earrings are light in the ear. These have darker sparkle beads then the earrings listed above this pair, and are not as pearlescent. These bring a pop of color to your ear!

I only listed two of the earrings. But there are more! Check them out at this link: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Margica?section_id=10896602

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

St. Nicholas Day- The Spirit of Christmas Begins

           This year, I am watching in horror how the most magical time of the year is transformed into a circus conducted by money hungry lunatics. Supposedly they are saving the crippled economy???? CHRISTMAS decorated stores in the first week of november?
What happened to after Thanksgiving? In the name of what are you killing our traditions? MONEY? Are you taking any with you when you depart? No, you leave as you came,only with your soul-GOD HAVE MERCY ON YOU!
          As a child growing up, on the eve of the 6th of december, all the children placed their best pair of shoes on the window sill.Of course our shoes needed to be sparkly clean and polished so ST.NICHOLAS would fill them with candy and chocolates, new socks,and school supplies. We all tried that evening to be at our best behavior, as to show ST.NICHOLAS that we were indeed little angels all year long. Before falling asleep, I always said a special prayer asking him to overlook anything that I might have done to upset my parents, promising from the bottom of my heart to be the most obedient child ever on this planet. I don't have to say I always fell asleep with my fingers crossed.
            Tradition was, according to the way we behaved over the year, we would be rewarded on this pre-CHRISTMAS visit by ST.NICHOLAS. A mischievous child, will find in his shoes a wooden stick and nothing else. That meant, until CHRISTMAS he or she needed to really become a little angel, otherwise there will be no gifts under the CHRISTMAS TREE. SANTA DOES NOT COME TO BRING GIFTS TO A BRAT !OH HO HO! Now that was the best month for our parents. There was a real competition to demonstrate how good we did in school, help with the house chores and so on....! Can't describe how we counted the days until CHRISTMAS DAY EVE, when we would fall asleep amid all the wonderful aromas from my mom's kitchen, where the oven was baking the most delicious cookies, sweet traditional Christmas bread and so many more goodies .
            Waking up CHRISTMAS morning, my brother and I would run to the living room to find the most amazing fresh CHRISTMAS TREE EVER. I remember how we closed our eyes, before looking under its branches to see what Santa brought us.
        As an eastern orthodox, these childhooh memories are precious to me. I grew up in hard times from a religious point of view, in which the goverment tried to impose an atheist education. I will forever remember the love that embraced our home at CHRISTMAS.Traditions that unite a family are a good thing, and should be carried on, as the magic time of CHRISTMAS DAY really begins with ST.NICHOLS DAY, 6th of december. Stop the circus and take a second to remember what we do celebrate, your home will be a much happier one.HO,HO,HO.....

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Jim Thorpe, PA--- How I love you!

       Saturday morning---- my daughter's home from college---need I say I'm in heaven?
    Early morning,I made her pancakes with caramelized apples, a raspberry sauce , and maple syrup to start the day, and a glass of cold milk (we just love this combination). We decided to drive and see what's happening in Jim Thorpe, PA, one of our favorite little towns ever! For those of you unfamiliar with this place, I must say, that this little town in Carbon County, PA has been selected by the National Geographic Adventure Magazine as one of the top 50 places to visit and explore in the U.S. Spend a Halloween or Christmas here, and it will be purely magical!!
     Nestled amid the pitoresque hills of the Pocono mountains, on the banks of the Lehigh River, I have heard many who regard this place to be a Little Switzerland of America. I highly recommend that you discover the historic legacy of Mauch Chunk, a.k.a Jim Thorpe, PA. Go! You can bring your children for fun train rides on a historic train from the 1880's, explore the whimsical boutiques and stores, hiking, white-water rafting, biking, and visit the historical mansion of Asa Packer, as well as the historic and haunted jailhouse, infamous for the Molly Maguire hangings...*shiver* very scaaaary! Be it Autumn, Winter, Spring or Summer, you are bound to enjoy yourselves in Jim Thorpe!

Arriving in Jim Thorpe, PA. Muffy is looking at view. See below.

Jim Thorpe, PA.,october misty air brings the magic in...

Here is the main street.

I just thought this store's window was so pretty!

This is the Inn. One of the many accomodations here.

Pumpkin Ice Cream. Yum!

Carriage Horses. They are breathtaking! So handsome!
Read Pumpkin Soup, more on Mauch Chunk a.k.a. Jim Thorpe... and did I mentioned his tomb is up the hill.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Pumpkin Soup

Do you like pumpkin soup?
  Yes, no, may be so. As a child I did travelled a lot with my father, weekends and school breaks were happy and full of adventure, beautiful memories. He taught me how to understand  the dynamics of our development as human beings by looking at a specific natural environment.  If you want to learn about a certain culture, he told me,look and listen to the folkloric traditions.
 After my husband's premature death from cancer, I decided to raise my daughter (she was 14 months old when her dad moved to the rainbow) as my Dad raised me, free,curious about our universe, to be an independent thinker , and most important to love and respect all life. Now, in order to do that ,I had exchanged the pencil skirt with a pair of jeans and my heels with a pair of snickers, and  almost every weekend we are leaving New York City behind and,we travel to learn what we cannot learn from books alone.
   One late october weekend ,while in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania  my old Chrysler New Yorker refused to start and we had to spend the night there. My daughter was about three years old at the time and Jim Thorpe was decorated to her delight, as a true Halloween Town. Since then it did became a tradition for us to be at this time of year in Jim Thorpe.The magic is overwhelming , pumpkin is king, from ice-cream to soup and beyond.
  That particular night, a lady dressed as a witch (what else?)served us the most delicious pumpkin soup,in a small pitoresque cafe.The pumpkin soup as she told me, was an old family recipe that originated from the Lenape ancestors that inhabited the upper Delaware region.  The Lenape clans were a matriarchal society, and had three designations "turtle","wolf" and"turkey". Her maternal great great mother was a"wolf" descendant. She credited her for the pumpkin soup goodness.Two years ago, we found out that the gentle witch moved with her Lenape ancestors. She was the last of her kind, and the velvety pumpkin soup recipe never written down. May be this year, we'll meet somebody who might know the secret, miracles happen all the time, after all it's Halloween time in Jim Thorpe.    

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Reading Dilemma

  A friend of mine invited me for a cup of coffee a few days ago. While in the kitchen, she suddenly asked me, "What do you think, how can I make my son read a book? He is already in the third grade, he doesn't read anything, what should I do?"
    I took a sip from my coffee and asked her if she watched HGTV from time to time-- she has such a beautiful house. She looked at me in dismay and asked me why I was changing the subject. No, I actually did not.
  "Look around you", I said, "you have such a wonderfully spacious and well organized house....five bedrooms, three bathrooms, and so on.  A far cry from my place, which is a cramped L shaped studio apartment. You have a beautiful house, but this home is missing something. I do not see any bookshelves. Where do you keep your books?" Nervous she grabbed my hand and pulled me upstairs to her son's room.
  "You see he has plenty of books. Everything on the school's list, he has them all." she tells me.
"Yes my darling, however, I asked you where do you keep YOUR books? In this big house I've seen only two albums on your coffee table."
 "Oh yes, I found them in a garage sale, they are good conversation pieces and great for decoration. They match the color of my carpet don't you think?" she exclaims.
    "Ok. That's exactly why I asked you if you watch HGTV. These young designers arrange beautiful houses, but none of them look like a real home. Books are non-existant, except for decorative purposes. No one seems to read a book. Today every one listen to their ipods, watches TV, see my point? How in the world do you expect your child to read a book and love it, when YOU never read one?"
    In my studio, one wall is entirely dedicated to a library, where books are overflowing everywhere. My daughter grew up among books that I READ. I never asked her to read, and I never tried to MAKE her read anything. It came naturally to her. A child does exactly what his/her parents are doing. Parents today expect their children to excel in school solely on the education given by the teachers. What they must understand, is that their child's education and healthy habits begin at home. The school is just a continuation of their own example and efforts.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

An Apple a Day.....

    Fall is here to stay and weekends are spend visiting the local farms, enjoying "pick your own" events that are always full of fun and laughter. Imagine, seeing the city folks navigating through the fields, mud and insects playing the farmer role for a few hours, unable to distinguish a Jonagold apple from a honey crisp variety unless they read a label, now that is comedy at it's best.  What is even worse while they look through the branches they text with on hand and flutter the other one yelling: What do you think, is this ripe?
     This year inspite of the stormy august weather, the orchard where we go for the last 15 years for apple picking up on Hudson Valley offered a bounty of fruits, about 12 varieties or so, pumpkins,gourds and delicious fresh apple cider. I love their Mutsu, Honey Crisp, Fuji, Jonagold, Macoun just to name a few. I always leave the orchard with enough apples to last until Christmas time every year. This magnificent fruit is indeed a gift from Heaven. A little package of vitamins and minerals,flavor, fiber and juice that it's hard to beat by any pharmaceutical concoction. Sorry guys! An apple is meant to be eaten peel and seeds in all for full health benefits.
      The apples from this orchard are as Mother Nature intended them to be, free from chemicals and pesticides or other hazardous techniques meant for prolonging shelf life. Growing up, my mother always packed with love an apple for my school lunch, and I did so for my daughter every single day. She graduated high school with perfect attendance and I credit the apple a day  habit for this. Now in college, I made sure that she has her supply of fresh apples, so this year we picked a few bags more. In case that you travel up 9G route, just past Germantown you will find The Fix Bro Farm, or how I call it THE EDEN ON THE HUDSON. We will go again and again and so should you!

How high can you reach for that apple?

Thankfully, there were plenty of apples that weren't so high up.

                                                     Muffy enjoying the apple farm.  
                           For more information about this farm: http://www.fixbrosfruitfarm.com/

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Weekend Travel

      The last weekend of the summer. Saturday morning, my daughter is home for the weekend. Here college is close to the city and we spend whenever possible the weekends together. Muffy, our dog, is on cloud nine when I tell her on Friday afternoons: "Let's go pick up your sweetheart!..." The love that sparkles in her eyes cannot be described in words, except maybe as eternal unconditional love if that makes sense. Our cat Miss Minnie, plays the indifferent selfish Queen of mean role for the untrained eye. All I can say is, she too turns to mush the minute we come home.
    This is the last summer weekend, and we decided to spend the day doing what we like the best-- traveling. I prepared breakfast, pancakes today topped with an Italian plum sauce (they are in season now), with a glass of cold milk to wash them down, and out we go! We are leaving Miss Minnie in charge of home security matters. As usual we made no plans, once in a car we flip a coin as to what bridge we'll exit the city. Today it's the RFK bridge, that means we'll travel up the Hudson valley to the Catskills. The day is crisp, one can feel the Lady Fall trying to settle in, and the skies are dressed with windswept clouds, kind of in an impressionistic style if you asked me.
      Crossing the Tappen Zee Bridge over the Hudson River the sun began to play hide-and-seek as to remind us that summer is really over and done with. To cheer up, no offense we do love the fall as well, we choose Riverdance music as background entertainment. I stopped at the Platekill Rest Station for a cup of Starbucks and the latest festival programs in the area, such as Garlic Festivals, and most importantly the Octoberfest dates. Waiting in line I couldn't help hearing the discussions of the people around me: "Where are we going to?" They were not discussing the trip of the day. No it was about the living standards in our country, and believe me their words expressed more than actual concern, it was FEAR. FEAR of what tomorrow will bring.
      The recent weather that played such a destructive number on our east coast, the deplorable economy, recession, taxes, the nonexistent job growth, just name it. The list went on and on. The Starbuck line included loads of people from four tour buses, bound for a pilgrimage to a religious site up north. I just held my daughter's hand tight and I really felt like screaming: "Ok that's enough. Stop complaining, it is what it is. Take it with a grain of salt, and think about how you can help-- YES HELP. Stop whining and come up with good practical ideas to reconstruct our lives. " Politicians are just people that we elected to represent us, and if they fail to do so, we have the power to say: "Thank you--- you are fired! As simple as American Pie."
   However I did something really naughty, (I have to admit) I played the Devil's Advocate, and I added fuel to the fire. I said loudly, "You know, last night I read a tweet from NYT Science: 'World Briefing/Science Satellite to land, SOMEWHERE'. And you know it is as big as your bus." A little lady with a cute flower on her hat turns to her group, brought her hands up in the air and screamed: The end of the world is coming!!....Pray to the Lord!"
Delicious Pancakes topped with a tangy Italian Plum sauce.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Out on Route 209

  This is a short story for those of you who live in a big city like New York and do not know what to do with their free time in the weekends. Most of the people I know spend a day in front of the TV set, or out of boredom go out shopping. Not me, I need to go out of the city to see new places, to smell the fresh country air, as one of my friends said sarcastically, "I need to smell the manure". Yes, the smell of fresh cut grass and manure is refreshing, helps me unwind reminding me that I am not a robot on an assembly line, but a free human being. This weekend "Julie", our reliable '98 red Volvo station wagon named after the fourth of July when I bought her, took us on a real adventure.
        My daughter woke up Saturday morning at 6 a.m., we packed our swimming suits, took the towels and Muffy, and we decided to have a trip along the Delaware valley. I never like to plan a trip. Once on a road we play a game: make a right here? a left there?....end result we always end up discovering beautiful places and most of all we always have a good time. Lots of laughs and jokes. This time we stumbled upon the Raymonskill and Dingman falls.
     At Raymonskill we climbed a stony trail leading to the enchanting waterfall.

     Needless to say reaching the top  made me feel ten times lighter and my quads trembled and trembled. Two bottles of water later we were both on cloud nine.....now that's a view! On the road again we saw a sign, "Dingmans Falls-next right". Ok that's for us, let's go and investigate! To our surprise this time, we walked through the forest on an extraordinary wooden platform leading us to the Silver Thread waterfall. A spectacular vertically straight drop of water that simply mesmerized us.

                   A short walk from here---WOW! What a sight! Dingmans Falls!

For the most courageous there is another trail that leads to the top of this waterfall.

             Pictures of lichen found on a tree.
All this wonder can be found on Route 209, Delaware Water Gap. We loved every minute of our venture here, and will definitely come back again.

Friday, August 19, 2011

From Dekas with Love

   A few days ago, I received a small bag filled with pebbles from an island in the Aegean Sea. A co-worker of mine, a sweet and bubbly friend spent her vacation with her family in the island of Kimolos. She knew that I made a few pieces of jewelry inspired by the blue waters around the Cyclades islands, and wanted to bring back a small token of love from Greece. Before she left, it is true I joked and told her to bring me  a few stones from the beach. To my amazement she gathered two fistfuls of beach pebbles from Dekas beach and gave me a wonderful token of friendship. I have no words to describe how touched I am by her gift. The pebbles are an amalgam of jaspers, coral, calcarous rocks, and volcanic gravel that I can definitely create really unique pieces of jewelry. Now it is my turn to amaze her. The ordinary beach pebbles will be transformed one by one into something that even Aphrodite will be impressed by.  For now I made these pairs of earrings and of course more are to come.....from Dekas with love.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Another Feature!

Thank you Audrey for the wonderful treasury! All items featured are made by very talented people who are part of the Etsy Team Promoting Creative Friends. Go team!

Margica featured here:

Visit Audrey's shop on etsy www.etsy.com/shop/thechristmascorner

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Beat the Rain and Cook!

    Rainy day in New York, humid, warm. It began this early morning with a powerful close thunder that shook the windows. My daughter woke up and discovered Muffy sleeping nose to nose with me cuddled under my arm. I am a very heavy sleeper. I heard nothing. One can chop logs near my bed and I would have no idea... That shows how deep I sleep. Anyway, totally out of the ordinary was Miss Minnie our cat who was hiding under Muffy's tail (that was the thunder effect)...In other words our little family shared a very cuddly Sunday morning as my daughter joined us too. When I woke up I enjoyed my cup of coffee at my window and planned the day ahead. I always joke and say, "I'm on the porch if someone looks for me". Those of you who live in a house with a real porch and garden are truly blessed. Ah well, no complaints here...Life is beautiful from my open window too, and we can put our flip-flops and run down in the street to dance in the rain...It's true your neighbors might give you a look, are you a nutcase?
   Ok. Enough with the nonsense. I'm going to tell you now how to enjoy a rainy Sunday in the city if you decide to be home bound. Cook something really good for your loved ones, and count your blessings...
Today I taught my daughter how to make Zucchini Summer Patties.
         You take two or three zucchinis, peel and shred them. Sprinkle a little salt and rub the flesh well to take the water out. You should end up with a cup or two of shredded zucchini. For one cup of zucchini you use a beaten egg and three spoons of flour, salt and pepper. Mix well, add some chopped dill and fry the patties. We use a non-stick pan, and just a bit of vegetable oil. Fry three minutes on each side and let them rest on a paper towel to absorb excess oil. 
    Now for the sauce use Greek yogurt, crush a clove or two of garlic, and squeeze half a lemon. Chop fresh mint and add it to the yogurt. Serve the patties hot with a dollop of yogurt on top. And don't forget to eat them our style: on the sofa watching a good comedy! 
   Of course, after that you can indulge with a cup of fresh berries, squeeze a bit of lemon, and sprinkle some sugar. Top it off with fresh whipped cream. Yum! Let it rain!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

USA: Third World Country

   Why do I feel so edgy lately? I just cannot seem to understand the world I live in anymore. Am I losing my sanity? Political games at home and everywhere else, social unrest in the name of I don't know what, natural and man made disasters, everything spins around fast fast fast as a broken compass unable to indicate the north anymore....
  Watching the news I saw one of the top CNN reporters and a medical correspondent bravely standing in a refugee camp in Somalia reporting hardships of the local population----yes, truly it is heartbreaking, poverty, hunger, deep deprivation of the most basic needs for life. However, I cannot stop myself thinking----hey wait a minute, I never saw these guys so involved in their own country. Reporting about the hungry, yes HUNGRY American children....Yup we care more about the so called third world and we cannot see the poverty that spreads at home like wild-fire. I am just an ordinary person, but I can say one thing---clear up your act Big Boys and CARE FIRST OF OUR CHILDREN RIGHT NOW AND HERE AT HOME. OUR CHILDREN ARE THIS COUNTRY'S FUTURE, WHAT ABOUT THEIR HEALTH AND EDUCATION?
     INVEST your efforts of saving the world right here first at home guys! As I see it now, we are very much a third world country in this respect.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Aegean Blue

    It's summer in New York, it's hot, humid, sticky and I love it. For me it's wonderful to sit outside and enjoy a cold drink at one of my favorite places in colorful Astoria, Taverna Cyclades! I said enjoy a cold drink, because to get a table at this wonderful restaurant usually takes an hour or so....no reservations. However, this place has the best grilled seafood in this part of the Atlantic. While waiting you feel transported to a small village somewhere in the Aegean Islands....here you can take your pick. Could be Mikonos, or Paras, or the enchanted Santorini, as you please, feel free to dream.  I have a dilemma however, was the Aegean Sea named after Aegea the Queen of the Amazons? Or could it be after Aegeus, Theseus' father? Not even the Greeks can tell.
     Anyway I had time to explain to my daughter that the Aegean Sea is part of the Mediterranean Sea off southeast Europe between Greece and Turkey. This sea is dotted with thousands of islands, the Cyclades, the Dodecanese, and the Sporades. The Cyclades group have around 2,200 islands of which only 33 are inhabited. By the time my geographic lesson was given, our table was ready and our Greek feast began. Mmmmm.....what a treat!....The grilled fresh seafood is indeed food for the Gods!
   Returning home I couldn't break the magic I felt. I needed to create something that would seal in a tangible manner our Aegean night out. The blue italian silky yarn, the white shell beads, and the gorgeous spiral blue glass beads have been put together to materialize a necklace fit for a queen. I chose these spiral blue glass beads to symbolize the sea waves. After all the Turkish Shores of the Aegean Sea are named EGE DENIZI (means 'waves' in the Turkish language).  With this said, before posting this I made myself a cup of coffee as my mom always made it. My Greek friends call it Greek coffee and my Turkish friends call it Turkish coffee. Nonetheless it is the same coffee as Aegean and EGE DENIZI are one and the same sea. Yep...it is time to post this...have fun and meet you on a beautiful summer evening for a Greek feast at the Taverna Cyclades!


Margica's Crocheted Strand Necklace Featured!

    One of my Crocheted Strand Necklaces has been featured in a treasury list created by Roxanne Brown on Etsy! I wrote a blog post on these necklaces a while back. Learn more about them here: http://margicasnotebook.blogspot.com/2011/04/fiber-chic.html

                             My necklace is listed here ^.

  Visit Roxanne's Etsy shop RoxanneBrownHandbags with this link: http://www.roxannebrownhandbags.etsy.com/

Thanks Roxanne!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Tangerine Twist---Dreaming of Havana

  Oh! Frustration equals creativity's seed! This July, everything came to a standstill situation, financially I mean---awful, no? But hey, our government...is playing "cowboys and aliens". We all know the story. With everything going up, up, and up, and our incomes going down, down, and down, there is only one thing left to do. Tighten up your belt to the last hole and work harder to reinvent the wheel. That is the only way you can move things again. If the Egyptians were able to build the pyramids, I know that I can survive this one too.
   True to my spirit I began to experiment with different materials, textures, as well as colors to make something beautiful, original to please the inner goddesses in all of us. I really need to create something new and special to promote my business to a new level.
  So.... I made myself a cool mojito and I listened to Harry Bellafonte's songs. When I am trying to come up with new ideas I always listen to music, and I mean MUSIC not noise.... Its a way to let my imagination float freely into the realm of creativity. I turned to this pretty and feminine tangerine ribbon, and thought to myself---why not? As I was listening to "Guantanamera" and sipping my mojito, with fresh mint and a slice of lime no beach umbrella, I imagined myself in Old Havana and my little light bulb went....blinngg! And here it is my....bliiinnngg!

Tangerine Twist/ Crocheted Ribbon Necklace with White Shell and Coral Howlite
       Tangerine Twist
Made of ribbon, natural white shell beads, and  dyed coral howlite.

Margica Earrings Featured!

My Moonstone Peacock Chandelier Earrings was just listed in a treasury list on Etsy! Thank you Rachelle Robin (bunnygreenjeans) for the honorable mention!

                     My earrings are listed here ^.

Visit bunnygreenjeans on Etsy!
Go Etsy Team: Devotion to Promotion! Made up of talented people who sell their work on Etsy.
Visit the team's page for more of their listings:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Little Blue Chip

"Look, look under that rock, in the water is something blue, do you see it?" My daughter was pointing into the wave. I reach and here it is, a chip of porcelain with a beautiful cobalt blue glaze. Now this is interesting, and I smirked because I knew that this was special.
"What do you think it is mom?" My daughter asks me.
"Well," flipping the piece in my hands and turning it towards the sun to have a better look at it, "why don't you try to feel it first? This is not a piece of bone china, but it is light as a feather, chalky white on the back, and to me this looks like a fine quality piece of porcelain. It looks very old. Let's see. Who used cobalt blue glaze in the old days? This chip is not made recently obviously. It could be a piece of Dutch china, after all they did colonize this part of the world and brought here plenty of Delft pottery. It also could be English too. They began to use blue cobalt glaze in the 1800s, or it could be Chinese. However, I tend to believe that it was manufactured in Delft. This cobalt blue color is very special. As you can see the chip is flat, and it could be from some sort of a plate, not a vase, or a cup. Anyway, think of it as a tiny token of history. What you have now in your hand, is a true conversation piece, and you and your girlfriends could play Nancy Drew to figure out it's history and origins. Isn't it mindblowing to figure out who were the people that manufactured it, who were the people who used it in their daily lives, and of how it came to end up here in the Atlantic waters, on the New York Gold Coast."
  Some time ago, I listened to the New York City leading hurricane historian Nicholas Coch, a professor of coastal geology at Queens College, discussing about the beach findings at Rockaway beach with a team of students. With that occasion, he realized that the artifacts washed ashore were coming from the only island that had been swallowed by the ocean on the night of August 23, 1893. That night a devastating category 2 hurricane made landfall close to the NYC. The following morning, August 24, Hog Island had dissapeared. Now you have to know that a large sand barrier island began to raise during the Civil War times, and that barrier island was named Hog Island. It seems that the Native Americans used the island to raise pigs, and later people had built inns, hotels, and used the island for sunbathing like a resort area. Now what if that little chip was part of a plate somewhere on Hog Island. Its not impossible, no?
 "As a matter of fact, you and the girls can research further on the history of Hog Island as well as the surrounding area. You can learn from this little blue porcelain chip; more about the history of these shores than I can tell you now. Think about it, very few New Yorkers know about the existance of Hog Island, and many more when asked about it will just shrug their shoulders and say, 'Why should I know? I wasn't born then', and sadly enough not many are interested in learning the history..a chip of what?"

 To make it even more interesting I mounted this little blue chip on a piece of mother of pearl, and secured it with a crocheted silver wire. That's how the little blue porcelain chip became a beautiful piece of jewelry, a true conversation piece that will spark many interesting discussions. It is a piece that long after I will move to the Rainbow, it will help my daughter to teach her children how to keep an open eye and mind for precious treasures like this and spark the imagination.



Sunday, July 17, 2011

What A Beautiful Day!!

What a beautiful July day! Perfect beach day! In the morning I called a dear friend of ours, "Aunty J" as my daughter calls her, to join us for a lazy day under the sun. We like to spend our lazy beach days on the part of Long Island that used to be called the "Gold Coast".  We discovered a more secluded stretch of beach, not too crowded, but where you can relax an unwind yourself away from the frenzy of day to day life. Swimming in the cold sea water is so refreshing, what a total bliss!! I wish I would be able to do this every day.
  Late afternoon the tide receded and we took a long walk along the shore combing it for treasures. You never know what the sea may bring you.

  Today we found a few awesome sea glass pieces, and some very interesting stone pebbles. Coming home I felt inspired to make a new pendant for my daughter as a reminder of the beautiful times that we spent together like today. I call it Sea Angel. Happy and smiling with a twinkle in her eyes, she gave me a hug and a kiss while whispering in my ear, "Mom you are the best! I'll treasure this forever!". Need I say more?
 What a wonderful day!!

Our beautiful sky at the beach.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

High Five

    I arrived from work today, parked my car, took out my groceries, and wrestled to find my keys to open the front door to the apartment building. As I was talking aloud to myself, and yes using my tush to actually push myself in, I heard, "Hey!" a shy voice sounding from the mailbox area, "It's a hot day, no?". Oops! I was caught in the act talking to myself by one of my neighbors.
   "Oh hi! Yeah that's summer in NYC. Hot and sticky."
   "You know..." Her voice continues, "I just mailed you an invitation, did you get it?"
    "An invitation?" For a moment I froze in thought. My lettuce escaped from one of my bags, and here come the tomatoes rolling down the lobby floor. What a mess.
    "No, no I didn't. Not yet." I picked up the bruised vegetables, carefully put them back in my grocery bag, and I entered the mailbox area.  "What invitation did you send me?"
     The voice suddenly had a head too. A pretty freckled face with two vivid hazel eyes.
    "To my wedding, of course!"
    "To your wedding? Congratulations! When is the happy event?" I asked. Well, you have no idea how light I suddenly felt. A wedding? No kidding. That's good news!
     I met this girl a few times before in the elevator, she moved into the building last year, and we exchanged the usual morning and evening greetings. In December the first snow arrived, and I helped her to shovel her car out of the largest heap of snow you can imagine. Later that day she knocked at my door, and brought a beautiful assortment of herbal teas, with a cute 'thank you' note. My daughter was back from college for the weekend, and we invited her to join us for dinner. That's how we got to know her better.
    She moved here from Cleveland, OH and works as a dental assistant in the city. As a young girl, she was eager to meet new people and make new friends. I invited her to also join us the following day to go shopping at the best place in Forest Hills: Austin Street. We shopped at Eddie Bauer, Banana Republic, and the girls had their hair cut at one of the hair salons. In other words we had a great day!
    Just before Valentine's Day she knocked at the door again, and asked for my advice. She had a new date and wanted to look special and beautiful.
   "As a present for the occasion, a good luck piece, here is a necklace that I made. Hope it will bring you joy, and don't forget, invite me to your wedding." I finished with a joke. We both laughed, and as I gave it to her she gazed in awe and appeared touched by the gesture.

   Well, as you can see she will get married and it so happens that it will be with the very date she had that Valentine's Day. I made just one other, and named it Valentine. I told my daughter the news, and she just smiled and said, "High five mom!"


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Fontana di Trevi

   With all the "bad news" that the media is bombarding us, I just felt the need to cut it off. I wanted to watch an old movie, yes, romantic, a bit goofy just to lift my spirits and enjoy a lazy July afternoon. To let go of all the bad energy. Looking through my old tapes, yes, I still have my old VCR, I came across "Three Coins in The Fountain"-- Oh ho ho ho! What a story!! I bet very few people know the secret of Fontana di Trevi.
    Hundreds of tourists every day throw a coin, make a wish, but have no clue whatsoever as to why they do it. I was one of them long ago. Finding myself in Rome, spending time around the fountain, I followed all the others and made my wish, closed my eyes, and threw a coin over my head. Bocelli's voice filled the August air, the sun was high above, puffy cotton clouds reflected in the blue water, and pigeons were cooing. What a beautiful day. My wish came true and a year later about the same time I was in the same place once again, making my wish, and hoping from deep in my heart that it will become the reality one more time. Needless to say, somehow, somewhere, somebody heard me. And yes, my wish became a reality a few months later.
     Years passed one after the other. One Sunday morning, attending the mass with my daughter we heard our priest telling us the story of the Samaritan woman. Legend goes, that as a young and beautiful girl she married a wealthy general who died soon after. She remarried quite a few times and became a very wealthy, and influential woman. At some point in her life she became a Christian, left her palace, and traveled along the African-Mediterranean coast helping the poor, and gave away her money. Arriving in Rome, during the persecution of the Christians, as she continued her charities she was arrested by the Romans when she was in her eighties. Her punishment was cruel, and was skinned alive, with her skin thrown into the Tiber River, and body into a well. Years later a fountain was built on the site of the well, now known as the Fontana di Trevi.
      I know I remained so impressed, not only by the story, but by the understanding of why my wishes came true. The Samaritan woman continues to this day to fulfill the deepest needs from our hearts, of which we cast as a wish in return for a coin at the Fontana di Trevi. By giving a coin you replenish her wealth, so that she may in turn help others by granting the wishes to those who cast them at the fountain.
     Watching the movie "Three Coins in a Fountain", I felt compelled to create a necklace in aquatic colors, pearls, and silver.


Feel free to let me know what you think!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Mother's Prayer

  We are having a summer storm, thunder, lightening, and lots of water pouring down in a heavy rampage as if even the sky responds with anger at the news coming from my TV set. I do not feel very well, as a matter of fact, I found myself traveling back in time, more often that I would like. I see myself playing with my daughter when she was about two years old, having her in my arms I can even smell her sweet young skin, and I remember telling myself what a miracle that she is in my life. I was dealing at the time with the aftermath following my husband's death from cancer, trying to reinvent myself in order to be able to take care of her as a responsible parent. Yes, she is the apple of my eyes, the most important person in my life.
  I remember an image that I saw long ago in a documentary on PBS. This image remained with me since then. A snow monkey mother carried her dead baby for days as she followed her clan still fiercely protecting it, not ready to let go... What a powerful  message. Caylee Marie two years old was killed, by accident or by human hand; her smile and big eyes immortalized in pictures haunt the news every day. A woman who was supposed to be a mother failed miserably to protect her young life. I am not going to tell you more. You all know her name, you all know everything about the trial. What I am writing now is for me to let go of the pain that I feel thinking of the innocent soul, betrayed by the woman who was supposed to love and cherish her, and in the same time betrayed by our society. Yes, I feel pity for this woman who will never know the joy of real motherhood; of seeing her daughter grow up, blooming into a beautiful young lady as I have seen mine who is now eighteen years old. 
  All I can do is pray. Pray to God that he takes care of Caylee, and cradle her close to his heart. Sleep in peace Caylee and forgive us all. As I am writing this, the rain has stopped and the sky is clear. On the horizon I can see it. A huge arc, a beautiful rainbow comes as a sign from the heavens as an answer to my prayer.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

"Kaatskill" pearls

  The last pearl has been attached to my new piece, and a swarovski hook clasp finished my new necklace, nice, I like it. It is Sunday morning and our apartment is filled of with a suave bouquet of french lavender and chocolate mint leaves that we found yesterday while traveling in the Catskills. After one rainy, oppressive foggy week, it was a blessing to see the sun break the clouds and smile upon us. Summer officially began this week, and it marked the five-hundred year anniversary since Captain Hudson's historic trip up the river. What really happened to him and his crew? It is a mystery to this day. Yes, we know there was a mutiny aboard, and Captain Hendrick (Henry) Hudson was never to be heard of again. However, I like Washington Irwing's story about Rip Van Winkle (1819), and I make believe that it is true. Every time we travel in the Catskill area and hear thunderous noises, I tell my daughter, "Hear that, they are playing nine pins again". According to the story the ghosts of Capt. Hudson and his crew keep drinking  rum from the kegs and play nine pins (like modern-day bowling). With each trip into the Catskills, (or Kaatskills as the Dutch settlers in the 17th century called the region) we wonder about the history of these old crumbling mountains that once were at the bottom of the sea, millions of years ago.
 Yesterday we roamed around the Slide mountain, which is considered to be the tallest being 4,180 feet (1,274m) above sea level in Ulster county. I found that the mix of basalt, feldspar, and granites deposits from an ancient Delta, and glaciers all make a fascinating mix of mother nature's treasures. What I found to be the most mesmerizing are the quartzite stones ranging from bright white, banded orange-tan, to a deep dark red and grey. They form a true symphony of colors.  The most beautiful of all are the slates of blue sandstone, a reminder of the wave-beaten sandy Delta shores. Well, last night after we returned from our trip, I began to work as I wanted to seal the impressions of the day with a new jewelry piece. The earthy tones of the Indian agates I felt to be the most appropriate as the basis of my theme. I added small mother of pearl rings as a symbol of eternity, as well as bright green freshwater pearls and nacre sprinkled with hematite beads and bright grass-green crystals.This sweet overwhelming chocolate mint and french lavender bouquet give me wings, transporting me to another magical place. Oh yes! I am ready to go, and please no GPS needed. This is a BIG NO NO! Adventure awaits!


                  Our pooch Muffy who travels with us all over.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Ode to Miss Minnie!!

    Oh, oh, oh this is funny. I just can't wait to share this event with you. I decided to work with a few beads of green turquoise some nights ago. I made myself a fresh cup of coffee, and comfortably sitting on the floor in a my yoga position (which I find to be very relaxing), I let my fingers play with my stones trying to decide the most appropriate design. Next to me our pooch Muffy, busy munching on a homemade carrot treat and lifting her eyebrows in contempt from time to time. Well my creative impulse seemed to be stuck at the moment, inspite my urge to produce something. Frustrated I opened boxes after boxes of supplies looking for that something to compliment my green turquoise. Miss Minnie, our indescribable magnificent feline companion, (she is a mix of norwegian and siberian forest cat with something of unknown origin) was watching me toil with my beads from underneath the dining room table.
 Her golden green eyes sparkled with interest. "Ok!" I said, "why don't you help me here? You choose what beads I should use for this." I reached for my cup of coffee. Miss Minnie stretched and fluffed her bushy tail, moved her "bloomers" as if to tell Muffy "Watch me in action", and gently began inspecting my boxes of beads one after the other. She pushed out a small bag of white beads, next one of black beads, and finally some grassy green ones.  As she finalized her action, she stood silent as a sphinx locking her eyes into mine as if to say, "These are your beads, this is your challenge, take it or leave it."
  Well, I guess I accepted her "challenge" and here it is, my new feline-approved necklace and earring set. Beautiful, feminine, and lets say different. Thank you Minnie!!!


                 Our Miss Minnie