We all have fears; I'm no different, and one of my fears has been shooting a video. I've thought about it, have been prodded by others to do it, and finally, today, did it. Yay me! And as Eleanor Roosevelt so aptly said, "Do one thing every day that scares you." Well today, one of my big, scary fears was conquered. Take a look below and let me know what you think!
Time to celebrate summer!
When I was in elementary school, I remember my teacher talking about the "shortest day of the year" and the "longest day of the year", and frankly, I couldn't understand - I mean, all days have 24 hours in them, right? How can one day be longer or shorter than another?
I guess I took her too literally, in that she meant daylight. Ok, so NOW I finally get it.
Today is the first day of summer - in Maine, that means trips to the beach, lobster rolls on a picnic table, hikes up Bradbury Mountain, and finally (!) being able to walk Kylie without wearing a puffy coat. Oh, and craft shows. Spreading love and creation. What are YOUR plans for summer? Comment below.
It's only natural that my business promotes remembering the special women in your life who are moms, whether it's your wife, daughter, mother-in-law or your own mom. I mean, I make handcrafted jewelry, right? It's a no-brainer. However, it's still a tough day for me, and I imagine a tough day for everyone else who has lost their mom. I just want to take a minute to tell you a little bit about my mom.
She loved a practical joke, whether she was the instigator or the victim. Case in point - I grew up in Rhode Island, where there was a military base. My sister and her husband, a Navy man, invited some of his Navy buddies over to my parent's house for a cookout and tennis. While we were waiting for them to arrive, my mom got it in her head that she would get all dressed up in an evening gown and answer the door. So she's got this gown (leftover from my older sister's wedding) over her tennis clothes, and she can't even zip the thing up, fumbling to put the pearl drops in her ears. No sooner does she have the thing on, they arrive. Shorts and tee shirts, you know, normal clothes for a cookout. She answers the door, and the look on their faces. Mortified. Thinking they had under dressed. Backing away saying they were going to change clothes and be right back. She starts laughing, hikes up her dress and shows them her tennis shorts underneath. Nice way to meet new people.
Of course she could take it too. My parents were competitive Scrabble players. I mean competitive. I didn't win a game for YEARS. They would set up the card table right in the middle of the living room, and it was the Saturday night massacre for me. One time, though, I got even. While my mom was in the kitchen getting the snacks ready, my day and boyfriend (later my husband) decided to help me even the score. We arranged for my boyfriend to draw an "A" to decide who goes first, and then he had his letters already in his hand when it came time to reach into the bag to draw the first seven tiles. I still remember the word. Filphot. And my boyfriend played it up. He took his time, moved the tiles around on the tile holder in front of him, scratched his head. My mother was not a patient Scrabble player and the delay was driving her crazy. Finally he drops all seven tiles down, starts to add it up, take 50 extra points for playing all 7, etc. My mom's mouth dropped open. And stayed open. If only we could've all kept a straight face.....
And lastly, the song that reminds me most of my mom. She said to me once, "I really like that new song, Beating Me with a Stick?" What she actually meant was Killing my Softly by Roberta Flack. Never hear it without thinking of my mamacita.
In the comments below, tell me a story about your mom. How was Mother's Day for you?
When I was a little girl, before 1st grade I heard about May Day and May baskets. I was SO excited that day certain I'd receive a May basket. I must have shared my wish with my mom because while I was playing Barbies in the living room, the doorbell rang. My mom wasn't around so I answered it. No one was there. But on the step was a cut glass crystal creamer with wildflowers in it. Years later it occured to me that I had seen this creamer before, in the kitchen cupboard up high where fancy things were kept from little fingers. Anyway, I ran to find my mom and she was in the back yard hanging the wash on the clothesline. I can only imagine her, finding flowers in the field and then running around to the back of the house after she rang the bell. I always think of that day more decades ago than I care to admit when my mom made my wish come true on a very special May Day. I love and miss you Mom.
Birthstones are gemstones representing the month you were born. The origin of gemstones as stones of protection is biblical in nature, and until 1912, there were disagreements as to which stone represented which month.
Then, Sears, (yes, THAT Sears!) published a list and it seems that settled the argument. There haven’t been many changes since then.
Diamonds are known for their strength, being scratch resistant and on the upper end of the Mohs scale for hardness. Their natural color is clear, and other colors are created by the presence of impurities. Diamonds are most common in engagement rings, although this hasn’t always been the case. In the 1940’s DeBeers, a diamond manufacturer, created the tag line, “a diamond is forever” and the idea of a diamond as an engagement ring was born.
Alternative birthstone: Clear quartz, white topaz, white sapphire.
The New England Made Show has come and gone in a blink of an eye. 2 months of preparation, eleven (yes 11!) new lines, and tons of preparation are over. We're exhausted, exhilarated, and excited! Thanks to the newest members of our MARTINI Jewels family!
A Silver Lining, Boothbay Harbor, Maine
Acadia Image Arts, Bar Harbor, Maine
Blue Moon Artisans, Clinton, CT
Blue Sky Trading, Ludlow, VT
Coast & Country, Rockport, MA
Desjardins Jewelers, Beverly, MA
Dog Days of Pine Point, Scarborough, ME
Hole in the Wall Studioworks, Raymond, ME
North Country Wind Bells, Round Pond, ME
Pen Bay Medical Center, Belfast, ME
Village Boutique, Wells, ME
The Wharf Shop, Sag Harbor, NY
Whimsical ME, Saco ME
As always, we thank our longstanding customers for their continued support:
Eastport Breakwater Gallery, Eastport, ME
Nancy's Gifts, Rangeley, ME
Penelope's in Maine, Ellsworth, ME
Rockywold Deephaven Camps, Holderness, NH
Southport General Store, Southport, ME
Stonehome Jewelers, Ogunquit, ME
It was a whirlwind three days. As a small business, and I mean really small business, we so appreciate all of the support and affirmation. It is our goal to meet and exceed all expectations. Now enough of this happy talk - I've got to get back to the bench!!
My husband travels 42 weeks out of the year. 42 weeks! I may see him one or two weekends a month, not usually any more than that, unless he's on vacation. This week, he had two trips back to back, one in Key Largo and one in Miami, and he had enough miles in his account to get me a free airline ticket to join him. I honestly can't remember the last time I took a week off and it was much needed - my soul is refreshed and I'm ready to take on the world!
It's been a great week!
Imagine - waking up and going to the gym on my time. I have actually managed to hit my FitBit goal three days in a row!
Going to breakfast when I wanted to
Laying on the beach and burning my lily white skin.
Dining at my leisure.
And getting to see my husband every night.
But that's not all - I have been revamping my website, getting new products online, listening to podcasts, photo shopping pictures, doing all the nuts and bolts of having a business that's not always possible when I'm in my studio. Would love to have you take a look. If you find a typo within the next two weeks, I'll send you a gift certificate for $50. That's right, 50 smackers. If two people find the same typo, first person to comment gets the reward. Thanks and happy hunting!
View of the pool from our hotel room in Miami.
Patiently waiting by the pool for his meetings to end.
View from the hotel restaurant in Key Largo.
First time I crossed the 10K mark! Go me!
Neither one of us are particularly tall, and the mattress on this bed came up to my hip. No lie. Getting into bed was not my most graceful moment.
Okay, this blog has nothing to do with jewelry. Not even an iota. So if you're checking out this post thinking I have some revelation about jewelry, move on. Mainly, this post is to show you, dear reader, why I should not be allowed past Yarmouth. Because after that, everything in Maine is just out of reach. But I digress.
It all started with me going "up to camp", located in the very rural area of Bowerbank, Maine. Mostly known for a lot of American flags and access to Sebec Lake. As I was only going for the weekend, I spontaneously invited my daughter, Michaela, to come with me. She accepted in a heartbeat. If only she knew......
It starts to get complicated. This past Saturday was Michaela's dad's birthday. He passed away a few years ago, and she asked if we could make a side trip to visit his grave in Lincoln. Maine, of course. Sure, no problem. So if you're looking at a clock, picture camp being where 10 o'clock would be, about 3 hours away, and the cemetery at 12:00 o'clock, also about three hours away. We leave from Portland, make the trip to Lincoln without a hitch. Visit for a bit, reminisce, do a little emotional eating consisting of McDonald's fries and chocolate shakes, and then get ready to move on. So now we're trying to get from 12:00 to 10:00 with no idea how to get there, and hopefully not having to backtrack too terribly far. I Google Maps the location of the camp. BIG MISTAKE.
Google Maps lulls you into a false sense of security. I mean, they have satellite, right? And they're a humongous company, they have all this high tech stuff to make sure you get where you're supposed to be, right? WRONG. You've heard that story about how you can put a frog in a pan of warm water, and just by heating it slowly, it never realizes it's being cooked and doesn't jump out? As this story progresses, imagine me as the frog, and the water is heating up.
We go south a bit then west, makes sense. We're talking about her dad, Nana, his family, etc. Trip is nice, weather is beautiful. Google is directing us this way and that, not a worry in a world. Then she (Google) tells us to take a right on some road. We go right past, not even seeing it. She tells us to make a U turn. Okay, head onto this random road. It's dirt, not pavement. Okay, not a big deal. There's a pickup truck coming towards us. Okay, so there's traffic. Good. On we go.
So, it's pretty much a two lane dirt road, pretty dry. We're going along and we take a sharp turn past this little camp and start heading up some hillier areas. See that there's a lot of bare areas. Ok, I'm thinking. We're on a logging road. Again, not terribly concerning. I mean, there are logging roads up north that are used as regular roads. And if you've seen logging equipment, there are those tractor trailers that have to get in there to load the trees, and skidders, and trucks to haul in the skidders. Hey, this girl lived in Lincoln for 10 years, she knows a logging road when she sees one. If those big vehicles are coming in and out, then I can too, right? Google wouldn't steer me wrong, would she? YES, SHE WOULD!
After we go by these harvested areas, we're on a more narrower road. And it seems like everything is a dog leg. Go 1/2 mile, take a hard left. Go 1.4 miles, take a hard right. We're going over handmade wooden bridges. Still, I'm not terribly alarmed, I mean we have one of those bridges heading into camp. But the grass is getting thicker on the center part of the road. And the bushes are getting closer. A lot closer. They're scratching the sides of the car.
Still, trying not to freak out. We're going about 10 miles an hour now, sometimes there's deep ruts filled with water that we have to go through. Sometimes I have to avoid big gullies. And big rocks. At one point, I stopped and asked Michaela to move a rock because I wasn't sure the bottom of the car was going to clear it. And then we see the sign.
BRIDGE NOT SAFE FOR TRUCK
Shoot. I'm thinking. (If you know me, you know that "shoot" is not really part of my vocabulary, but I'm trying to keep it G rated), but there's no bridge in sight. Which is good, because there is absolutely NO PLACE TO TURN AROUND. Onward. Sometimes, we'd be going down a hill and it stopped being a road, and turned into granite ledge. No lie, I am internally FREAKING OUT. Maybe a little externally too. Then we see the bridge.
It's a wooden platform . It's at the top of a slight incline. No sides, but it has timbers on either side, about 6 inches high. I'm looking at the bridge, trying to calculate if my car is narrow enough to get over it. Or will my tires go over the side. And it's about 6 feet down to the gully. I look at Michaela. "Ready?" She nods, and I GUN IT, figuring if it's going to collapse I want to be on the other side. Success. We stop and take a minute to take a few deep breaths.
Still we are traveling these crazy roads. And Google is saying "take a left on Back Neighborhood Road" "Take a right on Dow Road" Then it becomes quite evident. WE ARE NOT ON ROADS!!! WE ARE ON ATV TRAILS!!! Google decided to take us up and over a mountain as opposed to directing us on paved roads.
When we finally pop out of this trail, I asked Michaela to take a picture. You can't even see the trail. There are signs with arrows, and signs showing pictures of trail riders pointing to the direction we just came from. No person in their right mind would go in there with a vehicle.
Which leads me to talk about my car. It's a Mercedes GLK 350. 2011. Bought it at an auction.They actually stopped making them. Picture a little wagon type. But it has all wheel drive and I have to say, if I were driving a Mini Cooper, or a Buick, or a Camry, or many many other types of cars, my car would have had to have been towed out. This car, had my back. Especially when Google Maps didn't. My poor little city car, (and this city girl) may never be quite the same.
So a big THANK YOU to Mercedes Benz for making a car that can take you places you shouldn't even think about going. AND a big raspberry to GOOGLE MAPS. THANKS FOR NOTHING.
#MercedesMudding #LoveMyMercedes #MercedesSavedMyLife #GoogleMapsSUCKS #YouCan'tGetThereFromHere #AnATVTrailIsNotARoad #WhatWereYouThinkingGoogleMaps #OnlyInAMercedes
So, for many of you that know me and my business, I disappear shortly after Christmas, and reappear in the Spring. No, I'm not hibernating! The month of January is to recuperate from the busy winter show season. I don't spend a lot of time in the studio, but I have my design journal always handy. I draw and mull and design. February, I turn to the studio, and start to create. Some designs are Meh - while others are Oh My God! This is the start of creating my wholesale line that I take to New England Made, the wholesale show that's practically in my backyard.
Without a doubt, this show was one of my best ever, and I'd like to give a personal THANK YOU! to all those shops that have elected to carry me in their store for the very first time. If you find yourself in their neck of the woods, stop in and say hi. These nice people are committed to carrying hand crafted, artisan-made products, and I couldn't be more thankful.
Something Purple - Amesbury, MA
Freeport Durham KOA - Durham, ME
As an artisan with a full time day job, every minute of my day is scheduled. Wake up, get up, seize the day. Work, work some more, walk the dog, yoga, computer, bed. Repeat.
Except...for the last two days. Wind and rain storm blew through Portland two days ago leaving many without power. I'm one of the fortunate households, I have power. It's my studio, though. Cold. Dark. Powerless. Leaving me powerless.
Being without power has forced me to stop and assess the rest of the season. If it's the first week of the month, it must be Bangor, Maine. Next week....I have no idea, better check my calendar. All I know is that I have a show every weekend for the next 6 weeks. On top of a regular job. Note to self...get some vitamin C. And I'm feeling stressed. How to make more inventory if I can't turn on the lights? What if I don't have the perfect items for my customers? What if? What if?
Nothing I can do...this is Mother Nature forcing me to rest up, Sometimes it takes something major to make us take care of ourselves. Let's all remember to do just that....rest, relax, be present. Stop worrying about the future, and let's just enjoy the moments. No matter how small.