Monday, December 5, 2011

"Viva la Internet!" Etsy Metal Blog Carnival

Our topic for this month is:
"Memories of 2011
Here we are in the last month of the year! Share some of your most memorable experiences and/or things that you learned in 2011. 

TADA #219
Thinking About 2011
Well, to start with I can barely remember what I did yesterday, so it's a little daunting to try to remember a whole year!! Secondly, I can't believe that 2011 is almost over. It just seemed to fly by. When I did Ring A Day last year it seemed like it took much longer!!

But let's see what I can conjure up...
My family has been pretty steady... 3 boys all in college, my husband still owns a music store and is still playing poker, pool, and golf... this part probably covers the last 3 years!

Honestly, and hopefully this doesn't sound too corny... but my strongest memories of 2011 are being a part of online metal groups like Etsy Metal. Taking part in the monthly challenges, writing the monthly blog topics, project runway, work of art, charm swap... not to mention the info and camaraderie, on the forums. It's been so great to be able to be a part of it all and I've learned so much. 

Also taking part in Ring A Week although I have to admit I've been a bit of a slacker and I am waaaaay behind!! 

And lastly, but definitely not least, participating in the Flickr group TADA. Having made some great friends there and staying connected, seeing what people are working on on a somewhat daily basis!! And collaborating on shows and sharing ideas. 

It's amazing how well you can get to know people on the internet!! 
Sometimes I forget that I haven't met you all face-to-face!

See what memories of 2011 other Etsy Metal members have had:
1.NR Jewellery Design
2. 2Roses:
3. Rebecca Bogan:

Monday, November 7, 2011

Holiday Previews EM Blog Carnival

Topic: "Holiday Previews"
The Holidays are fast approaching! Give us a preview of what you are working on for this special time of year. 

Good question! What AM I working on?
I have a hard time gearing my work to holidays. I always feel like I should be making something special, but it never seems to work for me.
Here are a few things I have going right now...

But what am I really working on?

Well, Project Runway is over, so I'm done working on that. Project Accessory has started, but it hasn't really pulled me in. However, I really like Work of Art and the pop art challenge reminded me about where I want to be. I kind of forgot how so much of my art had really been pop. I spent a lot of time in photo booths in my college years and I've always loved the drawing and colors from comics and the duplication of images that are near and dear to my heart... so I'm gearing up to pick up where I left off, but I'm not sure where I'm going yet. I've started digging out my photos and playing with them in PhotoShop and piercing out some shapes in metal.


Not very holiday oriented, but this is where I'm at!!

See what other Etsy Metal members are up to:

1. Michele Grady Designs:
2. Erin Austin:
3. Cynthia Del Giudice:
4. Nodeform:
5. Rebecca Bogan:
6. Panicmama Jewelry:
7. kate jones:
9. Beth Cyr

Monday, October 3, 2011

Food! EM Blog Carnival

Topic: "Let's Talk About Food!"
The weather is cooling, Fall cooking season is 'round the corner. Tell us about some of your eating habits, philosophies, favorite foods and share a seasonal recipe!

Old time family picnic, I'm sure there
was a roast lamb there somewhere!

Food, one of my favorite topics! I'm Greek and growing up, food was a very important part of socialization. My father always had soda in our downstairs refrigerator in case 'company' came and my mother always had cookies in the freezer for those unexpected guests. I think it was a bit of a disgrace to have people come over and not have anything to serve them. And we always had a variety of serving trays to serve drinks and snacks.

We had acquired some homemade ouzo from  Greece from some friends who had just come back from there. I wanted a friend of mine to try it and  put some in a styrofoam cup to take to him across town. By the time I had gotten there the ouzo had eaten through the cup! Before I was born, my grandmother, that lived with us, had a still in the basement to make ouzo. I had asked my mother if she helped make it, but she said, "oh, no! I had to stand at the top of the steps and be the lookout!"

My dad, far left, a cook in the army
My grandparents had a restaurant called Hermes in downtown Youngstown, Ohio, way before I was born. My father worked in it since he was 5 years old. Because of that restaurant, we had acquired all the giant pots and pans and that was how my parents cooked. They always made tons of food. And my father cooked a lot too. I'd remember him in the mornings making sauce for spaghetti with chicken in it or he'd make us kids, 'box cars' (toast with the middle cut out in a square and an egg fried in it). We always said he cooked enough to feed an army, as a matter of fact, he was a cook in the army.

We also had a stove/oven in the basement, because sometime just one kitchen wasn't enough. Most of my mother's friends all had a 2nd kitchen in the basement too. It was especially handy when a wedding was coming up because there were about a million greek cookies to be made: baklava, courobedes, phoenikia, trigona, ...(please pardon the butchering of the spelling.)

I still make some of these foods, not very often, it's a lot of work and most of them are very fattening and I try to avoid wheat, corn, and dairy these days. (Except for ice cream!) Some of my favorites are spanakorizo (spinach and rice), roasted lamb, avgolemeno (chicken soup with lemon), and spanakopita. Spanakopita is made with spinach and feta cheese and eggs stuffed between filo (strudel leaves and lots of butter) I even made the filo myself a couple of times. Lots of work but fun. You have to stretch the dough over a pole to get it really thin. It's incredible tasty!

My mom helping at a church dinner
My mother used to make a simple variation of pita (spanakopita without the spinach.) We used to call it 'pita pizza' and here is my mother's recipe (you have to understand that she didn't measure anything):

Batter: 2 cups water; pinch of salt; 2 tsp yeast (add to the water)
            add flour until it's like a thick pancake batter
            spread it into a large pan with sides (I use like a cookie sheet that has low sides to it-I got them at

           Melt butter and put it on top of the batter, then crumble feta on top.
           Add some salt and pepper
           Actually you can add anything else you like, I've added mushrooms and peppers, but really I prefer
           the original recipe with just the feta

Bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Check out what other Etsy Metal members eat:

1. Inbar Bareket -
2. Victoria Takahashi -
3. Cynthia Del Giudice -
4. kate jones -
5. Twigs and Heather-
6. nova of sweden -
7. Beth Cyr -
8. Nodeform -
9. Rebecca Bogan -
10. Panicmama Jewelry -
11. Evelyn Markasky
12. 2Roses:
13. Jenny Baughman (Gecko J):

Monday, September 19, 2011

Letters of Adornment

Letters of Adornment: An Online Exhibition of Artful Adornments from the Flickr TADA365 Art Jewelry Group

Using the English language to communicate, an international group of jewelry artists share their work each day. They upload pictures in their Flickr group, TADA365, of their inspirations, works in progress, celebrations and also frustrations.  They support each other with comments, challenge each other when one learns a new technique, teach each other with works in progress and inspire each other with their completed pieces. 

Here, within the same parameters of A through Z, they share their work with you.  Each artist has been given one or more letters of the English alphabet. The interpretation of the letter and what it stands for is their individual vision.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Etsy Metal Project Runway Challenge #4

The Project Runway Challenge: 
The designers were asked to design a day to night outfit for Nina Garcia 

For our EtsyMetal Translation: 
Make a piece of jewelry for Nina. There was a scene where she was going through jewelry at Marie Claire. Also she notes that she likes streamlined, modern looks. Whatever you do, don't bore Nina!
Leaf Stick Pin

I made this 5.5" long twisted fold form leaf stick pin. I enameled the back with several layers of whites and clear and the front with several layers of chartreuse, clear, liquid green and liquid black.
It's torch fired.

Friday, August 12, 2011

X Marks the Spot

Well, I just got back from having a facial at BellaDawna! It was the "Epicurien Enzyme Facial, often described as a non-surgical face lift, this stimulating treatment works wonders for all skin types by improving the skin's clarity, elasticity, texture, circulation and firmness. This facial encourages sluggish skin cells to get to work and the body's ability to metabolize healthy new skin cells." (Quoted from the brochure) 

It was quite amazing and relaxing. It included steam, masks, facial massage, creams, lotions, misting, and a neck, arm, and hand massage! Dawn is quite skilled and experienced. The only thing wrong with it is that it ended! 

After I got home I felt like I should weigh myself because my face felt pounds lighter. I had this deep wrinkle about my left eye that is no longer there, even when I'm wearing my glasses. As a matter of fact, I think my vision is better too!!!

If you live in the area, you should check it out! 

My 'X Marks the Spot' earrings and other selected jewelry are available for purchase there.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Etsy Metal is a group I belong to on Etsy. There are many inspirational challenges to be able to take part in with the group. You may have seen some of the blog carnivals on here, where each month there is a topic and various member will reply to the topic in their blog and then we link our blogs together so readers can get a bigger perspective and we all get to learn more about each other. There is also a monthly theme where members create a piece of jewelry based on the guidelines of the theme. 

Then there is the Project Runway challenge that starts when the show begins its series. EtsyMetal plays along with the challenges and invites others to participate as well. The day after the show airs there is a translation of the challenge on the EM blog. Participants have one week to make a piece and must submit it by midnight of the next Thursday, when the show airs.

From Etsy Metal Project Runway challenge. 
And the Challenge is... 
The designers had to use the clothes they slept in the night before plus one of their bedsheets to create a new look. They also had access to dye and trimmings. 

For our EtsyMetal Translation: 
Since this challenge was all about using what you have in an unexpected way, and since most of us don’t sleep in jewelry, the challenge this week is to make something only from material that is sitting on your bench! If you don’t have a bench or access to your studio, then choose another area like your desk. Since the designers got a sheet, we get some sheet metal. You are welcome to use enhancements like stones from your supplies. But the final piece should be made of a majority of your found pieces if possible

The green skirt is my 'sheet' metal, formed in my dapping block to create folds, enameled bitter green. The waist piece is from a domed copper disk that long ago, I had melted out the middle of, then enameled. The top part is from a copper tube that I had tried to squash and collapse in my vise, also enameled. Interestingly enough the way it collapsed made some nice boobs for the top part of the outfit! Scrap 14 gauge wire holds them together and makes the legs. Some netting I had left over from texturing metal in my rolling mill creates the crinoline underskirt. 

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Etsy Metal Blog Carnival - Our Roots

"Our Roots" 
Where we came from. How our families have influenced us. Artists in the family. 

When I think about art in my family, my first thought always goes to my mother, Sophie. She was always doing something artistic ever since I can remember. She made all of my clothes, knitted, crocheted, did needlework, flower arranging, quilting, house decorating, and especially cooking!! She even made her wedding dress and all her bridesmaid dresses. She would water color and do silk painting with me and my friends when she'd come to visit me. The thing that stands out was that she would do all of these things really really well. She never cut corners, she always took the time to do it right. She wasn't an 'artist' she was a 'housewife' starting in the late 1940's. She didn't work outside of the home and the art that she did was simply for art's sake. To make beautiful things.                                                   

My dad is the young fellow in
middle, his father is on the
right. Unfortunately, I couldn't
find the photo of him
and his violin. It's here

My father, Gus, owned a bar, but he had taken 7 years of voice lessons and played several musical instruments. The one he played best was the violin. He sang 'Come Back To Sorrento' in Italian at all of our weddings. He also appreciated art, we knew this because he would hang our paint-by-number pictures in his garage!

My older sister, Penny, went to college to become a teacher. She never fully delved into creating art, but I see it hanging in the back of her brain. Also, many of those paint-by-number paintings in the garage were hers. Her artistic outlet is her eye for making things beautiful. Particularly in decorating her home. 
Her husband, Bill, likes to listen to music!

My brother, Lou, is a retired Bose salesman, but really an artist. As a matter of fact, he was an art major at Kent State, with his focus on enameling. Hmmm, imagine that! Which I had never even consciously thought about for the first 5 years that I was enameling. These are a couple of enamel pieces he did in college. They are wall pieces, about 18" square. He is currently working on creating sculptural pieces for his garden. His wife, Sue, who had also been an art/fashion major at Kent has also delved into many art venues.

Sylvan Music
My husband, Albert, is a guitar builder and singer and is also very much into the art of golf, pool, and poker!

My cousin Linda, paints animals on rocks. That's nice you might think, but it is really way better than nice, she is an amazing artist. Amazing paintings on a humble canvas.
Her brother, Ed, is a woodworker.


My other cousin, Sylvia is a nurse, but really a photographer. She has beautiful photos of flowers and portraits of families, but the ones that totally blow me away are her photos of Italy.


Sylvia's Flickr Photostream
My cousin-in-law, Gioia, does incredible stain glass work and has been in many shows and won many awards.

Gioia's Website

My oldest son, Julian, is a musician and plays guitar and drums. His band is "The Super Pineapples."

My middle son, Lanny, who is an art major at UC Long Beach has done graffitti, murals, tatoos, and painting. 
                               4047274733_194f2f1533_o                nico_owel
Lanny's Flickr Photostream                    
My youngest son, Perry, doesn't really think of himself as an artist, but he also has the ability to draw pretty well!

I'm pretty sure that I haven't remembered every body and every thing; these are the people I know most about.

To find out the roots of other Etsy Metal members, please check out the following blogs:

1. Beth Cyr - 
2. Erin Austin - 
3. Nodeform - 
4. Elizabeth Scott - 
5. Inbar Bareket - 
6. Cynthia Del Giudice - 
7. 2Roses - 
8. Evelyn Markasky - 
9. Twigs and Heather - 
11. Danielle Miller-Gilliam -

Monday, July 11, 2011

Artist's Work That Has Influenced My Own

Etsy Metal Blog Carnival - July 11, 2011

The first thought that comes to my mind is Andy Warhol. What I love most about him is the idea that you should be who you are. And... I love 'pop art.' I love movies-particularly B-movies, and TV, and comic books.
Photo Booth Ring
Photo Booth Strip
Photo Booth Box

Pendant of My Mother
 I was inspired by his work to use photo booth pictures and shinky dinks to create narrative jewelry about myself and my family. 

I was a teenager and in my early 20's when things started getting crazy. Pop art, conceptual art..., what is art? It wasn't just visual art that influenced me, but at that time music was very influential and was just turning from 60's, early 70's anti-war, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Joni Mitchell to Patti Smith, the Ramones, Elvis Costello. Very edgy, rebellious, questioning everything, I guess you could say maybe a little paranoid! 

Heavy Metal Ring
How I feel that this has affected my more current work is that it is rebelling against high end, finely made work. Not that there is anything wrong with that! It just never fit who I was. My style is the opposite of that with fat welded seams and metal where there should be a stone. I like to think of it as working (wo)man's jewelry, meant to be worn every day.

Please check out where other artistic influences lie by going to these other Etsy Metal sites!!

1. Theresa - 
2. Kate Jones - 
3. Fluxplay Jewellery (Maria Whetman) - 
4. 2Roses - 
5. Elizabeth Scott - 
6.Andrea Ring- 
7. Nodeform - 
8. Beth Cyr 
9. Inbar Bareket 
10. Cynthia Del Giudice: 
11. Evelyn Markasky: 
12. AdobeSol - 
13. Quercus Silver

Thursday, June 9, 2011

No Photos Today

So I got a new camera, Canon Rebel T3i, the latest edition of that series -- cool -- one might think... but after 2 days of trying to figure out why I couldn't open raw format pictures, I found out that my operating system on my mac is too old to use the software that came with the camera that would open the raw files.

Aughhh. Why is everything so difficult!!?!

So my option is to spend another hundred for the upgrade and another 150 to have it installed -- unless, of course I feel comfortable doing the upgrade myself... which of course they made me not feel comfortable doing myself...

...or after talking with Canon support, I found out that the Canon T2i will work on my operating system!! So, I opted for taking my camera back and exchanging it for the T2i, which is almost identical to the T3i, except that it's not the latest edition and will work with my operating system. The view finder doesn't rotate out... I can live with that... and I think the recording features are better... that's ok too! It's also $100 cheaper. So I made the switch today... although the T2i wasn't in stock so they had to order it. It will be in on the 15th.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

"Etsy Metal Studio Tour"

"Etsy Metal Studio Tour" Blog Carnival June 6, 2011
This month's blog carnival is a tour through Etsy Metal members' studio. Find a link at the bottom to see studios of other members.

My studio is a mess right now, and I just didn't have it in me to clean it up for these photos! It's on the list, but, right now, now very high up.

This first shot is a picture of a bucket of mini forming hammers and a chasing hammer. To the left is a small anvil on a block of wood where I do a lot of pounding. To the right, is a big vise with a sinusoidal stake sticking out of it. On top of the vise is the remote control to my little portable TV, where often I am accompanied by sit coms like 'My Name is Earl,' 'Friends,' South Park',... or if it's a Saturday afternoon, some very low budget horror movie.

This next shot is my laboratory of enameling. I got 3 sets of spice racks from Costco and put my enamels in them. It makes me feel like a scientist. I have 2 annealing pans. The one on the left is for annealing and soldering and the one on the right has a tripod set in it that I use for enameling. I line my pliers up on the drawer. The bottom right is my Smith mini torch.
 This is where I do most of my forming, chasing, stamping, dapping. There is a small pitch bowl with red pitch to the left, letter stamps and dapping tools behind it. On the shelf are files and chasing tools. To the right a small vise and lots of miscellaneous pieces that I'm working on.

 To the left of this shot is some little Bonny Doon press I found at the used tool store. I haven't used it yet, but is was kinda cool, so I had to buy it. Behind is a Cavallin rolling mill that I use for fold forming and texturing. And behind that from right to left is my polisher, drill press, combo grinder/belt sander (hidden behind the mill) and a drum sander that my husband got me for Christmas a couple of years ago. I haven't figured out what I can use it for yet, so I just set things on it for now.
Another bucket of hammer and some small drawers filled with copper pieces.

After writing this and looking at these pictures, I am inspired to clean up. If I could change anything... it would be me trying to stay more organized. When it gets like this it's hard to stay focused.

 Click the links to see how other people work!!
1. Rebecca Bogan -
2. Shirlee Grund -
3. Beth Cyr
4. Elizabeth Scott
5. Cynthia Del Giudice
6. Michele Grady
7. Erin Austin -
8. Nodeform -
9. Evelyn Markasky --
10. Kathryn Cole -
11. 2Roses -
12. Lauren Anabela Beaudoin/Creative Dexterity - 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


TADA #135/365 5/17/11 by markasky

I'm finding that right now, I'm not so much needing inspiration or making new things (although that really is ongoing) but more so that I need some sort of organization. 
 Last year, I had gone to a workshop on how to sell your art with Jason Horejs, the owner  of Xanadu gallery, in Scottsdale, AZ.
One of the many, many things that he talked about was portfolios. And you know, I know what a portfolio is, but you know, I don't have one. And I started thinking... why don't I have one?!
 So I am spending some time going through my pictures and creating a portfolio. I'm just doing a few a day and I'm also hoping that it will organize what I have in my mind. I can see what I make and finally start creating some of those collections!!
I have done several workshops with Jason. The 'selling your art' one was in person, here in CA and it was fantastic. He is very professional and every minute of those 3 hours was packed full of very useful info. He also, regularly, does free or very low cost webinars and if you happen to miss them, he has them on his website so you can listen to them whenever you want.  His book 'Starving to Successful' is basically his 'How to sell your art' workshop. Very easy to read and lots of useful info.
Here's a link to his website and specifically to his free broadcasts. Xanadu Gallery

TADA #135/365 5/17/11, a photo by markasky on Flickr.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sketch Books

Etsy Metal Blog Carnival

I love to sketch, I probably have 10-15 sketchbooks of every size. 
For me it is a way of thinking out loud.

Sketch books have 3 directions for me to go in.

One is I like to draw and that becomes the experience in itself. It's also I way I can think. I will, lots of times, use stream of consciousness writing trying to figure out where I'm at with my work or in my life... I've always liked letters and the lettering, lots of the time, will be part of the page.

             tada 28d
Another direction for me is that I sketch to get ideas to work in metal. That is the hardest for me because my brain has a hard time going from 2D to 3D. My 2D sketches usually don't look very good in 3D. Sketches help if I'm trying to figure out something technical. In metal, I work better if I can hold it in my hand and see what it can do. I'm not good at visualizing with my eyes. When I was a little girl, my mother used to make most of my clothes and we would go to the fabric store to look for patterns and fabric. I always had a hard time because I couldn't visualize how the pattern would look made out of a certain fabric until it was actually made. Fortunately, my mother could. I think I work more kinesthetically. I like to hold it in my hand and feel what needs to happen, to sense the balance in a piece.

The 3rd direction is when I've made something in metal and I want to remember how I do it, so I will sketch the piece in different stages of being made and write notes about the process.

To see how other Etsymetal members use the sketchbook check out the following blogs:

1. Rebecca Bogan - 
2. Shirlee Grund - 
3. 2Roses - 
4. Beth Cyr - 
5.kate jones 
6. Erin Austin 
7. Nodeform 
8. Michele Grady 
9. Elizabeth Scott 
10. Su Trindle 
11. Evelyn Markasky 
12. ArtigianoJewelBox: