Monday, May 16, 2016

Star Herder

The expression on this pup is so intelligent and happy, I just love it.


The dog came on the end of a spoon, maybe meant as a souvenir or as an award for a champion at a sheep-dog trial. I gave her a more fitting tail—one that wags a bit—of vintage aluminum and antique coral beads. I couldn’t bring myself to drill holes in those ears, so I backed her with two stars hand cut from a vintage tin container from Hong Kong that held ming kung cake…and, later, cereal, apparently.

Buy my stuff here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

towers in a locket

This lovely gold-filled locket came from an antique store in Aurora, Oregon...such a nice locket. I cleaned it, then wanted to fill it. I thought of the embossed stocknagel* I got from a store in Latvia. So I cut two ovals from two stocknagel--one of Kotnov Tower in Tábor, Czech Repubic, and one of the Mariatrost Basilica in Austria--to fit the locket's two sides. I shaped them to give them a slight dome, backed them with two cut-to-fit pieces of thin brass and put them behind the metal picture frames. The chain is composed of an antique gold-filled watch chain and a gold-filled necklace chain section. I found a cool antique spring clasp to close the necklace. See part of the process in the pics below.

*Stocknagel are small plaques made of brass or sheet metal that would be attached to a walking stick with a few small nails. Collected as souvenirs, the custom began as a European alpine tradition in which the medallions covering the walking stick served as documentation and commemoration of a hiker's travels.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

allotment of aluminum

On the epic road trip of the summer of 2014, up the PCH to Canada, across the Cascades, and down through Montana, we stopped at some great antique stores, and my eye was drawn to aluminum containers—a pill box, bobby pin safe, glasses case. The embossed letters, figures, and flowers looked amazing, and I loved the color of the metal. Today I cut up the beat-up glasses case, and I filed, and filed, and filed (Note: Must obtain better files) till my fingers went numb, and then I had a pretty piece.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


A question on Quora asks, "What does Germany do right?" Apparently, a lot. One example is the high quality of German products and the excellent service provided by the makers of those products. Case in point: A watch purchased in Germany in 1937 is taken back to the shop for repair around 1980, and they fix it "under warranty."

Businesses that hold reputability and reliability in such high regard are called Mittelstand, "small and medium-sized enterprises in German-speaking countries," many of which "focus on innovative and high-value manufactured products." 

We here at Millennium General Assembly (and by "we" I mean "I") recognize aspects of my own business plan (and by "business plan" I mean "general policies") in these tenets. I use mostly old, antique and vintage, parts to make my stuff, but I strive to make it as lasting and strong as possible, and I offer free adjustments and repairs for the life of the jewelry.

And now I want to go buy German appliances.

My stuff, you can buy here.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

NaPoWriMo time

I just found out it's National Poem Writing Month! That's long for NaPoWriMo, which I'd never heard about, though I know about NaNoWriMo, the month of writing a novel, which happens in November (which, I realize, is the date of my last blog entry, around the time I also wasn't writing a novel), which I've participated in several times, unsuccessfully, though I do have a T-shirt commemorating one year. I thought, Well, this is far superior! Here, I have 30 days to attempt 30 poems, and even if I only manage to write one poem, I'll at least have the satisfaction of having finished one thing instead of nothing. Since today is April 16, I've clearly not succeeded at half the poems so far, but I took the prompt for the day from this year's day 16, "write a ten-line poem in which each line is a lie," and wrote a poem. Here you go:

This Poem Doesn't Know How to Tell a Lie

Of course it's Tuesday.
except when it's Tuesday—
then, it's any other day of the week.
This Tuesday, like any another Tuesday,
will be followed by a succession of Tuesdays, 
succeeded only by chance with a Wednesday.
And Wednesday's child is full of woe,
not bones and blood and guts and good intentions, 
rather, empty of all that is not woe. 
Woe, and also, contradictions.
She was up to her eyeballs in those.
Woe was also a cockatiel she knew
who belied his name by acting chipper.
Child of woe met bird of cheer and thought, 
Just once, can this be a bird who won't bite?
Of course Woe did.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Love Token Necklaces

If you're searching for a nice gift, I'll be listing quite a few love token necklace in my Etsy shop in November. From the early 1800s to the early 1900s, tokens made from coins were given to loved ones by suitors, friends and family. One side (sometimes both sides) of the coin were smoothed down and engraved with initials, names, phrases and/or scenes. The Seated Liberty dime from the 1850s–1880s was frequently used, but tokens are known on all U.S. denominations, as well as on many world coin denominations. 

Here's an older picture of some of the tokens my collection, a few of which have already sold. If you're interested in a particular token or necklace in one of the pics, please shoot me an email.

Soon to be listed love token necklaces.

Love tokens available for swapping out.

Thursday, April 18, 2013


I tried to make perfect hardboiled eggs today. I craved them deviled.

I failed to make perfect hardboiled eggs.

In fact, they were the most imperfectly boiled eggs I've ever accomplished.

After their ice bath, I peeled them and, for want of a better phrase, gave them a "squeeze feel." They felt gooshy, not hard, medium boiled at best. So I put them in a glass bowl with no cover and nuked them another minute or so.

While I was waiting for the microwave's ping, I pushed the shells down the disposal and turned it on. It seemed unbalanced and knocky, and I wondered if it were possible for an unbalanced disposal to fly off the pipes, which prompted me to imagine in great detail what would occur should that happen.

I pictured metal bits flying through the cabinet doors under the sink, with shards ripping into my knees and shins, which led me bleakly to pressure cookers and shrapnel and all the images and aftermath of the bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

As I was thinking these things, I took the eggs out of the microwave and dumped them on a paper towel--and one of them exploded, hurling the yolk into my stomach. I shrieked, and then started laughing hysterically. Hysterically.

I looked for an exploding egg image online that would do the
incident justice. I couldn't find one, so I drew this. And now I
see that I somehow managed to give it balls.