'The little space within the heart is as great as the vast universe. The heavens and the earth are there, and the sun and the moon and the stars. Fire and lightning and winds are there, and all that now is and all that is not.' -The Upanishads.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

spring break ...

My Etsy shop, " maggiezees " has been on hiatus while Dave and I are in North Carolina visiting children and grandchildren.  Dave will be heading back to New Yawk on Sunday. and I'll stay until my son-in-law gets sick of me or I miss my dogs too much.  I'll reopen the shop on Monday and he can take over shipping until I return.

My oldest grandaughter has gorgeous rainbow colored hair and is determined to get me to let her dye my silver locks purple.  Maybe just a streak.  Meanwhile, I'm loving the coming of Spring here - cherry and Bradford pear trees all in bloom, forsythia, daffodils, redbuds.  Everything turning a joyous, hope-filled green.  Tonic after a very cold and snowy Winter.

I wish everyone a Blessed Ostara, Happy Easter, and a wonderful Passover.  I'm personally celebrating every one of them!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015



Were do-overs a common practice in your childhood as they were in mine?  How liberating it was to be able to own your mistake and then claim a second chance to get it right.  And if you had the power to go back in your life and invoke the rule of do-over, how many things would be changed?  I'm thinking "Back to the Future" here. How would the course of your personal history be altered?  For me, it's just as well that's not a possibility; maybe we're here to learn certain lessons and missteps create opportunities for growth that are an important part of that journey.

In art, however, unless the piece has left your possession for good, you can claim the Right of the Do-Over.  I like the way this piece looks in the photo on the left.  The steel wire wrap bothered me though, and the one time I tried to wear it, it clanked and made a racket.  I thought it needed some softness and a little spark of turquoise to wake it up. So I got rid of the wire - even though I really liked the joints - and strung (stringed? strang?) the beads and pendants on waxed linen.  This way they still maintain the ability to move the way I want, but in a more organic way.  I changed the dangle on the far left completely.  I think it's more harmonious now.

 I looked at a lot of shaman's costumes and old amulets on Pinterest, as well as contemporary interpretations (check out Stephanie Brouwers amazing work) and it seemed like my shaman's amulet needed more STUFF hanging off it.  The ends of the linen were begging to be beaded.  I replaced the leather thong with a finger-woven cord of the same waxed linen and grunged it up with a little Guilders Paste.

Actually, it could probably handle lots more stuff.  I think I'll just let it evolve.

Monday, March 2, 2015


I work in a very small space and it had gotten rather disheveled while I jumped from one project to another.  I was having trouble finding things.  There were piles on the floor I was tripping over. Beads everywhere.  Time to clean.  You've gotta have good feng shui to keep the energy flowing and clutter and dust are enemies of that flow.

When a cleaning gets to be needed that desperately, it becomes something like an archaeological dig: There are various strata you have to work your way through to let the work surface see the light of day.  With my short memory and even shorter attention span, there were a lot of things turning up that I had forgotten all about.

When I began to make amulet jewelry, I was in love with Tibetan "beeswax" beads.  I made quite a few pieces using them and I wear several of those pieces regularly.  In organizing my stuff, I came across a box with pieces I had begun and gotten stuck with.  I mean stuck in a design context.  There was a collection of Tibetan beads and they seemed so sad to be relegated to a zip-lock bag in a Valentine candy box.  Like World Music combines rhythms and instruments from cultures all over the planet and fusion cooking combines flavors, this necklace brings together crusty glass beads from the Czech Republic, amber colored horn beads from the U.S., silvery beads from Turkey, coins from the Middle East and those fabulous Tibetan amber "beeswax" beads.  I think they're all happy to be together.