Friday, June 15, 2012

80s Lyric Challenge!

My love of all things 80s has never been a secret, and the names I've given to a certain series of earrings I've made prove that love almost embarrassingly well. Let's play "Guess the Musical Influence"! What band's song titles are these three pairs of earrings named after, and what are the titles? Lyrics below each photo (no Googling!):

"You can dance together, all night if you've got the time."

"Moving on the floor now, babe, you're a bird of paradise."

"Only came outside to watch the night fall with the rain."

Anyone got it? Please, please tell me now in the comments ;) This one was a pretty easy challenge though, especially since two of those songs are very well-known. Shall I do a second, more challenging round? Look out!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Vive libre, muere bien.

On the road between Valparaíso and Viña del Mar, Chile

So, this doesn't exactly have to do with jewelry, but since the freedom and independence to do as I please is a big part of why I choose to run my own business, and this new venture I'm hoping to embark on has to do with that as well, I consider the two related.

To everyone who's innocuously asked me in recent years, "So, what are you going to do with that Spanish degree? Teach?" I apologize for blowing you off with a skeptical, "Ha, no way." I wish I could give a clear reason for that automatic reaction, but I'm not even clear about it myself. When I was a kid, my answer to, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" was for awhile, "The coolest bestest teacher ever!" (well, among movie star and secret agent, that is.) Why did that change? Why have I found myself taking part-time or temporary jobs in education, but never making the connection that, "Hey, maybe this isn't the nightmare that you seem to have convinced yourself it could be"? I enjoy teaching. I really do. But I'm realizing that I don't think the teaching itself has been the problem after all.

When I started DSC, I was a 20 year old community college student who'd never officially declared a major, but had enough random coursework to be halfway to about ten of them. I was working a part-time, dead-end job and hating every minute of it. In a nutshell, I had no clue what I wanted. But I did know very fiercely what I did NOT want: to be spending the rest of my life working for someone else (yes, "The Man," if you will), being miserable for 40 hours a week, and scheduling the rest of my time around what was convenient for them instead of looking out for myself. Let me channel that previous version of myself for a second to say, "@#$@# that!"

I did finally find a bit of direction several years later and ended up studying Spanish at a four year university - a subject I'd excelled in in high school and had originally planned to study upon graduation, but had then panicked and backed out of. And then those studies unexpectedly took me to the other side of the globe. To Chile, to be exact. I spent my final semester frolicking lost through a foreign terrain, deciphering an accent that most non-Chilean native Spanish speakers can barely understand themselves, and finding my way through a city so outside my comfort zone that it may as well have been Mars to me.

And I loved every minute of it.

I feel like I'm starting to ramble, but I guess my point is that it turns out teaching isn't what I'm afraid of. What I'm afraid of is the mundane. I'm terrified of falling into a comfortable routine, getting settled and trapped in a career I'm only ambivalent about, and then ultimately never leaving it for bigger and better things.

So what's the point of all this? Basically, the point is that ever since I returned home from those five months abroad, so many of the things I've been doing have almost unknowingly been with the goal of getting back out there again for more of those kinds of experiences. Maybe I'm nuts, but there's something about the freedom of NOT having a steady paycheck coming in, the freedom to just pick up and take off whenever I want, that I can't see myself ever giving up. Due to circumstances, my current job will be ending at the end of the summer, and honestly, instead of panicking about what I'll do next, I'm very much looking forward to my upcoming freedom and the mystery of which path I'll find myself on next.

There is a catch to this blog entry ;) The reason I was inspired to pour all this out was because, like fate, I received an email this week about an opportunity to win a scholarship for a Teaching English as a Foreign Language program in South America. I signed up immediately. Teach AND travel? Really? Don't have to tell me twice. So I whipped up an essay (which is basically a more polished version of my rambling here), and now I'm turning to you guys. I'll make this happen regardless of whether I get this particular scholarship or not, but I thought I'd put it out there to see what kinds of good vibes I may get from it:

If you follow that link, you'll find the short essay I wrote for this scholarship competition. If you're so inclined, please just hit "like" next to my name, as the judging is partially based on how popular each entry is. That's it.

If not, that's okay too though. If you've made it this far, I appreciate your just having read through this long ramble and hope that it's made at least some sense, and maybe even rung true. I know a lot of people who read this are fellow free spirits, and I feel pretty confident that I'm in good company with you all.

Vive libre and all that :)

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Jangle Chainmaille Earrings

I probably shouldn't admit this, but it's been months since I've worn a pair of earrings. I know, I know. Who designs pairs upon pairs of lovely earrings for other people, and then fully admits she doesn't have the time to actually put them on in the morning herself?

Well, that changed on Friday. I was starting to miss how pulled together and polished I felt when I had a killer pair of earrings on, so I specifically designed these to wear to the last First Friday event of the year in Haddonfield.

Amazing. I know you've all heard it from me before about how lightweight the aluminum is, but it's funny how you start to forget it for yourself after going a long time without wearing them. But I've been reminded. I nearly went to bed with them still on that night because I forgot that they were even there. Except, that is, for the very faint, very pleasant jingling sound that the chain makes when you shake your head :)

Hence, the name: Jangle Earrings. You can now find them in my shop, and I plan on adding more color choices very soon (and please feel free to mention in the comments what colors you'd like to see go up next!)

Monday, June 13, 2011

"I'm -- too sexy for my cat. Too sexy for my cat."

This post will be short and to the point:

Disclaimer. I am very much an animal lover. Animals are some of my best little buddies.

However. That said.

The following are occasions when I have to try really hard to like our furry friends:

  • When they eat my vegetables from the garden. (Okay, they're hungry too. Fair enough.)

  • When they wake me up at 5am meowing to play. (Okay, some of us are early risers. I can respect that.)

  • When they leave surprise "presents" on the floor for me to find. (Well, it's the thought that counts, right?)

  • When they chew up my favorite pair of shoes. (Okay fine, I'll take the hint, eight year old sneakers are probably ready to be replaced.)

However. There is one thing that I will not tolerate, no matter how mournful those eyes are when told to "git."

I will not tolerate fame-hungry diva cats and chickens photo-bombing their way into my jewelry photo shoots. I don't care how fuzzy and adorable they are, no special treatment from me. If they want to be models, they can write to Ford or Elite like everyone else.

(Now watch they do just that, and end up being the next Fancy Feast cats or Whiskas lovebird. I guess that'll show me not to appreciate true talent!)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Moment of Recognition for the Original Bird on a Stick

The "Little Birds" craze has been going on for years in the handcraft scene, and I believe we've all forgotten to give credit where credit is due. Nowadays we're seeing "Tiny Finches" on:
  • pillows
  • charm bracelets
  • baby onesies
  • messenger bags
  • oversized cowl scarves
  • chai tea cozies

but there was one special bird that came before them all, and I was humbly reminded of this during a recent road trip.

Where would the handcraft scene have been without:

Virginia: The Original Bird on a Stick

Without that bird, we would have had nothing but decoupaged octopi on coasters and hand-stitched squirrels on pom-pom hats.

Monday, January 31, 2011

An Obvious Lesson That Bears Reminding

So, deciding to have a go at the current "items on top of book pages" photography trend, I selected an attractive-looking volume of Edgar Allan Poe from the shelf, fetched my jewelry, toiled over setting up the perfect shots, and then proceeded to click away.

Somehow a very obvious fact slipped my mind:

Books have words. Yeah, no joke. And people can read words. And Edgar Allan Poe's words aren't always exactly conducive to a happy jewelry shopping mood.

So I now have about 20 otherwise lovely shots that, when looked at upside-down, contain the bold typewritten words "sufferings," "anxiety," and "putrid." Not exactly what I want people thinking about and associating with my jewelry!

Time to get the camera out again. What book should I use this time? Beowulf? Cujo?

Got any stories to share about obvious lessons you've had to learn the hard way?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Deepshade Creations is back with a vengeance! And with a coupon code!

I have returned! After a five month long stay down in Chile (with side trips to Argentina, Peru, and Easter Island), I'm back and so is Deepshade Creations. Joy, right? I still had a limited stock up for sale while I was gone, and that's still there, but I know you're excited to finally see and get your hands on some excellent new tasty chainmaille treats again. Well, never fear. Just you wait til the New Year.

Hey, that rhymes. That deserves to be formatted like the cute little song it is.

Well, never fear!
Just you wait til the New Year!
So much excitement in the air
Brand new chainmaille for you to wear
Just like a prayer
Your voice can take me there

Oh wait.

But yeah. Watch out during the first week of the New Year for things special and new. And I might hint that if you check back here on the 1st, you might find a special gift in the form of a coupon code for the Etsy shop. Just sayin'. And until then, I'm saying straight out that if you go to the main site,, you'll be able to take 25% off your entire purchase right now until December 31st. Well, isn't that something!

So, to summarize:

  • I'm back from South America and Deepshade Creations is back from its hiatus.

  • When you call my name, it's like a little prayer.

  • New jewelry coming to next week along with a coupon code. Check back for it.

  • 25% off sale going on as we speak at! Use coupon code "2011" until December 31st!

And just because I'm still excited about Chile, a picture of where I was living for four months: a city called Valparaiso:

Beautiful, no??

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Colors and names and LOST, oh my!

This is a short post, people. Quick and to the point. I have a couple questions for you about a new item that's getting ready to make its debut in my shop.

This is the Lace Bracelet:

Pretty, no? It's an intricate little design, and I love the way the pattern looks once it's complete. I had planned on putting this out at a recent craft show to see how it did, but it mysteriously ended up going home with my mom instead, haha.

So my questions:

1) Do you like the pink, or are there other colors you would prefer to see it in first? Cool summer shades like blue or green? Fancy girly colors like purple or magenta? Bright yellow or orange? Red? Would you love to see it in a neutral like black or silver? Is there another color you had in mind that I didn't mention? Pistachio-chartreuse perhaps? (dare you to say that one three times fast.)

2) Do you like the solid one-color design or would you be interested to see it in a mix of shades? Any color combination in particular?

3) Would you be on the edge of your seat if I told you I'd created a necklace version of it, or would you feel underwhelmed and be all, "Don't bother me, LOST is on"?

4) Now I'm saving the most fun question for last. Can you come up with a better name for it than the Lace Bracelet? It's been my working name pretty much since I first created it, but I think it deserves better! I dub thee... what?

Thanks in advance for your answers, you guys!

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Ice cream tastes best when served as revenge.

Vanilla with Fresh Lime

It's only the first week of May, and already we're being broiled here in New Jersey. Normally this isn't such a bad thing. I'll take a scorching steering wheel any day over having size 7 ice blocks for feet. You never have to worry about digging your car out after a thunderstorm, and even if you did, it's not like you would have to bundle up. Summer is the best.


For me, the beginning of summer weather no longer signals cold glasses of lime mojitos and handpicked baskets of local strawberries. No. Now that I live in a massive apartment complex filled with kids, it means something entirely different.

It marks the beginning of the Blue Bunny ice cream truck's six month reign of terror.

I wonder.. does the music of the approaching ice cream truck inspire nostalgia for other people? Fond memories of sharing delicious frozen treats with neighborhood friends after a long game of freeze tag on a summer afternoon? Does it? Because I tell you, that's crap. I was a country kid, sheltered from the knowledge of such things as strangers circling the neighborhood for hours in their big white trucks, luring children over with ice cream bars and songs. I knew no such thing. You know what I had? A 100-pack box of freezepops in my very own freezer, ready for me whenever I wanted without my having to chase after a stranger's van and give every adult in the neighborhood a migraine with my frenzied yelling and shrieking for overpriced treats.

That's what the Blue Bunny truck is to me. Not nostalgia, but a headache. When I hear the sound of "The Entertainer" approaching from afar, I feel no twinge of wistfulness in my heart for childhood days gone by. Rather, I feel pure terror at the prospect of it parking directly in front of my apartment for twenty minutes, forcing me to listen to hordes of screeching banshee children and the same droning song that summons them over and over and over and over and over and over and over.

You know that crotchety old lady who spends her days glaring out from between her window shades and bitching about those rotten kids getting too close to her car? Well, imagine her young and beautiful yet similar-tempered granddaughter, and there you have me. But today, I decided to take a break from hurling freezepops at the unsuspecting little goblins' heads, and instead chose to stick it to the Blue Bunny truck a different way. By slashing its tires? No. Not this time.

I decided to make my own ice cream. It won't make the truck go away, but it will soothe the headache splendidly.

1- Turn the kitchen radio up really loud to drown out the evil circus music coming from outside.

2- Pour a cup of half and half, a cup of heavy whipping cream, and a half cup of sugar into a freezer-safe mixing bowl. Mix it really, really well with a whisk.

3- Add pretty much anything your little heart desires to flavor it. I used vanilla, fresh lime juice, and lime zest for one batch, and rosewater and fresh shredded mint leaves for the other. No measurements. Just start with a little and keep adding until it suits your tastebuds.

4- After you've mixed it until it's started to look thick, bubbly, and puffy, place it in the freezer. Take it out at 15 minute intervals to re-whisk it so that the frozen pieces at the edges get mixed back in with the rest and it freezes evenly.

5- Once it's solid, take it outside and enjoy it on the front step in front of all those kids who already finished their popsicles.

Fresh Mint and Rosewater