Friday, December 31, 2010

admission

Ok, after bitching about the graffiti I have an admission to make: I too am a terrible scofflaw.
It used to be that you could take photos (without flash) in most of the churches and museums here in Florence- but with the advance of digital cameras (where everyone can get reasonable images even with a $100 camera) many places have outlawed cameras, even without flash.
The theory among us common folk is that the museums and churches closed to photography once they saw their gift shop sales diminishing and realized that tourists wouldn't buy books if they were able to take somewhat reasonable pictures themselves. So, instead of "no flash" symbols there are now "no Camera" symbols.
but sometimes you just can't help but take a risk.........
:-) M
(Breakin the Law, Breakin the Law!)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Florence: choked with grafitti

My husband is from Florence and we have spent a lot of time here- living full time from 97-2000 and since then we return about once a year. We live in the central historic part of Florence- near Brunaleschi's  Santo Spirito and around the corner from Piazza del Carmine. It's a real florentine neighborhood- a bit off the big tourist track, and filled with colorful characters and dramas.

Around 2006 when I came for a visit I noticed something- the city was starting to be touched with graffiti- I took this image then because it was so unusual to see spray painted graffiti in the historic center...
How was I to know, it was the shape of things to come?

Since then, we've returned a few times, and each visit I see more and more tagging and disrespect for this city's cultural masterpieces. Two summers ago when we were here the big news was that they found some exchange student (not American, thankfully) who was spray painting the Duomo. Having been caught, he was sent back to his home country's justice system- I'm hoping he got his due.

Here are some images from Easter 2009- 

on the doorway of Santo Spirito

down a side street (OK, I admit, I actually kind of like this one...)
coca cola assasina

and this year, I'm noticing even more graffiti- (these images were taken tonight on via Maggio- a main street on the Pitti palace "Oltrarno" side of town-where a celebrated Medici mistress resided )

in fact, the streets that were being painted over 2 years ago have now stopped re-painting- it looks as though they've given up hope- I can only hope that the money that had been spent on re-painting is now being spent on youth programs that can help channel this creative/destructive energy into meaningful skills- I doubt it, but, I hope, nevertheless...

whoa! clip clop clip clop......
*getting down off my high horse*

Sorry, I just get so bothered by the inaction here- this city is so important culturally, but life here isn't all "Room with a View". I think this issue needs a bit of attention, or the world risks losing a real Italian Gem.
- from Florence-
M

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Surreal Christmas

We went out to eat with some friends last night here in Florence-they are Another multi-national couple- he is Florentine (and a long time friend of Guido- since preschool) and she is Brazilian. So, for something different- we made plans to eat a a new Brazilian restaurant just on the outskirts of the city....
thankfully, our car was bigger than this cutie that is parked on the street across from our apartment

Well, driving in Italy can be hairy- thankfully Roberto was quite cautious- but we ended up getting hopelessly lost- to the point where we had to ask directions (thankfully the man we asked ended up having us follow him- which was really sweet) and we arrived at the center where the restaurant was located, found a tiny parking space that we barely squeezed into- and we headed up to the place.

OK- here's where I start sounding like a crabby old fogey.

The restaurant was an exercise in the absurd- a house band at full volume, playing like their life depended on it- a woman shaking and shimmying at the band (you know, like the drunk girls do at a whitesnake concert) Television monitors broadcasting some Brazilian music show (unrelated to the band) and - here's the topper- an Italian Kid Rock impersonator bartender, playing the COWBELL like it was going out of style. (MORE COWBELL!)

yeah. um.....ok- we ended up staying there because we knew that was our only chance at finding a place open on Christmas night...and I have to say, the food was not bad- the beer definitely was essential...and I picked up a few skanky dance moves.

But let me tell you- if you happen to be in Florence, and someone offers to take you to a Brazilian restaurant outside of the city- bring your earplugs, a taste for fried bananas -not bad- and a sense of the absurd.

as for me? I'll be at my local trattoria enjoying my pasta and vino

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas night Campanilismo

video 
it's Christmas eve and the bells are ringing
their tones echoing off the wet cobblestone pavement
accompanied by the roar of the
river Arno- it's banks 
swollen from months of heavy rains.

Campanilismo
is the love of neighborhood church bell.
For traditional Italians
it trumps the ringing of the cell phone.
It
is the sound of Home
and warms the soul
like
fresh cooked pasta
paired with a nice Chianti
(hold the Fava beans, please)

Merry Christmas 
from Florence
M

Friday, December 24, 2010

Cosmo





was named after this guy- Cosimo di Medici. this piece is located in the Piazza Signoria of Florence Italy. I've always loved this sculpture- the patina on it is fantastic! Plus- look at how gorgeous the horse is- I'm such a sucker for equine beauty

Thursday, December 23, 2010

luggage

oh yeah, after 33 hours in transit....it turns out that they lost Cosmo's suitcase.
So now he's re-wearing the same outfit that I hand wash nightly- that, and this goofy Italian sweatsuit that I bought him in our neighborhood children's clothing shop. I think he looks like an Italian gymnast- pretty cute! We are hoping to find his suitcase today, when we go wade through the "ocean of suitcases" we've been told is at the Florence airport. until then...Cosmo's working on his floor routine

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Finalmente

Well, we made it to Florence- after a grueling 33 hours of travel! It usually takes at most 20 hours to get here from Tucson- but yesterday- or was it the day before?- we flew into Frankfurt right when they were getting hit with another snow/freezing rain storm.
Needless to say, the airport was in chaos- it had already shut down a few days before from another epic storm, and they were still scrambling to get passengers on planes since that shutdown...
In fact, we met one family of 4 that had flown in from San Francisco 3 days previous- and they were scheduled to return to Frankfurt in 2 days (after what should have been 5 days in Florence). It's a trip they will always remember- and hopefully they are able to have some good memories too.
Porta San Niccolo' from the banks of the Arno. December 2006

So- We are here now, in our funky Apartment in Florence- it's in a bit of chaos from now being lived in, so we've got some work to do- but I'm sure it'll be in better condition in a few weeks...Our tenant was a bit of a pack rat, so there's lots of stuff to sift through.
I've also discovered that my USB plug is on the fritz so I can't download any images today. I'm going to buy a new one hopefully tomorrow- and then I'll post some of the images I took on our walk tonight.
(Florence is all decorated with Christmas lights, and it is raining, so there are lots of beautiful reflections framed by Renaissance architecture)
OK- I'm off to go eat pasta-
arrivederci- Maureen

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ciao!

Santo Spirito, Florence Italy 
Please note: I will be closing my etsy shop from Dec 16 to Jan 12 for winter vacation. I've lined up our house sitter / dog sitter and I'm packing my bags- heading for "the old country" to spend some time with my Italian friends and family- bringing Cosmo to visit some of the museums and sights in the Florence area while I'm there, plus visiting jewelry studios where I used to study and work...
(I will be blogging about places we go during our visit here on my blog- hope to give you a unique view of Florentine life and holidays )
I look forward to re-opening with some new designs and innovations for my jewelry line in January!
(I'm pretty excited about this new thing- will be working on it's organization during the break as well)
Wishing you safe and Joyous Holidays-
ciao= Maureen

Friday, November 26, 2010

Floral confection

Why I love this piece:
I consider this piece to be pivotal in connecting my craftsmanship and solid jewelry skills with my more eccentric painting and sculpture fine arts background.
This is the work that I have been creating for over 25 years.
This piece represents the culmination of a design journey starting with cardboard and Styrofoam  sculptural paintings that I made during my art school years- to my current jewelry lines and aesthetic. (integrating both my whimsical one of a kind work with my production line and paintings)
Anyways,
that's a bunch of words that just mean I think this is a really cool piece.
I just listed it in my shop tonight- you can find it at:
http://www.etsy.com/listing/63043586/floral-confection-sculptural-art-brooch

ciao!- M

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Just as Promised...

the Tucson mountains, from the foothills of the Catalinas- Tucson AZ 2010

ahhhhhh! I'm just home from a lovely thanksgiving dinner I had with friends-
yes, I ate too much- it was great to be with friends who I think of as family and just share
a wonderful meal. I'm hoping next year that my whole family can be together- but this year Guido had his turkey dinner at the telescope with the scope director (whose wife brought up a Thanksgiving feast!)and a bunch of Italian astro geeks. We missed having him here, but are glad that he got a bit of holiday time while up stargazing and telescope tweaking.

Anyhow.....
as I promised on twitter last night, I'm announcing here my coupon code to be used for a 15% discount
this Black Friday through Cyber Monday ( from 9:00pm Nov 25- Nov 29 11:00 pm mountain time)
in my etsy shop "Cosmo's Moon"-

here it is: holidays2010
how it works:
during checkout you will have a section asking for a coupon code- just type this in and etsy will recalculate your order total to reflect the discount. This is a new feature on Etsy- and I am thankful that I can now finally set up a promotion this way! (I imagine you like it too!)

So- have fun this weekend- if you are coveting something from my shop make sure you send a link to my blog to your friends/family- I'm sure they'd love to know about this special offer as well

ciao for now- Maureen

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanks

for being a friend- for the times you stopped what you were doing in order to help-
for knowing when to listen- for your sense of humor- for letting me have a bite of your cookie-
for knowing not to call before 9am- for the push I needed- for opening new worlds- for accepting my imperfections- for teaching me how to cook a turkey.....
for all this and more- I thank you, husband, son,  friend, sister, nieces, aunties, mom, dad
Have a wonderful thanksgiving
gobble gobble!
M

Thursday, November 11, 2010

OK, I love my dog

video 
here's my sweet
little Pit mix rescue dog, Daisy- 
she's healthier and much more vocal than
6 months ago when she came into our lives, sick with Valley Fever , covered with Ticks
and with a cut on her pink eyelid that was making her miserable.
Now
She's on her Meds, recovered from Tick fever fighting Valley fever
 gained  weight and is eating willingly,
sleeping in luxury (yes, on my bed) and sports a pink argyle sweater in
the mornings when the desert air is a tad chilly.
I
couldn't imagine life without her
I
am grateful.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Fall 2010 Open Studio Tour

I am having open studio this weekend- if you have been contemplating a piece in my shop you may want to act on it before Saturday...many pieces find new homes during Open Studios....don't want you to miss out!

( By the way, if you are looking for my listing in the TPAC website- it can be tricky..
my listing in the artist's list is under "M"- they alphabetized it according to the artist's first name for some reason....not sure exactly why.......)

I hope to see you there!
ciao- Maureen



a map to my workshop is HERE on Google maps,
My studio will be open from 11am-5pm 
both Saturday Nov 13 and Sunday Nov 14th. 

Special Offer!:
mention this blog post and get 10% off any item during Open Studio Weekend 
(online and in person)
(discount will be shown as a refund on paypal if you are purchasing on line. Mention this Blog post while ordering to receive your discount)

thanks- ciao- M

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

first last and in between

An image from yesterday and today-
the gigantic copper bangle (lower left) is the first piece of jewelry I made in Art school (1985) and a recent ring of the day is just to the right of the bangle...with various rings of the day in the background and reflections of my and my son's paintings in the glass.

My display case is full of ring of the day rings- unfortunately I'm losing steam on the project lately- mostly because I am currently a single mother- with my husband in Italy , taking care of his mother.

I've decided to make a ring when I have the time- and not sweat it if I can't get to it- I have one more ring to go to make it to 150, and I think I'll be stopping there.

Much respect for those few fabulous metalsmiths who have found a time warp and have been able to keep their ring a day practice going- rain or shine!
ciao for now- M

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

pretty and deadly


pretty and deadly
Originally uploaded by cosmosmoonjewelry
It's finally cooling off here in Tucson- enough to be able to take a little hike in the desert. We went to Catalina State Park last Saturday morning with Daisy to walk the Romero Canyon loop (a relatively easy scenic desert trail). Thankfully, I had my eyes open and I spotted this beautiful creature just crossing the trail. I knew that we have snakes that look like coral snakes (but aren't) here in southern AZ they are pretty common, called Kingsnakes...BUT what I didn't know was that we also have coral snakes here (apparently someone forgot to tell them that our coral is long gone)

I took this picture so that I could identify the snake when we got home and to my surprise I find that it is a Western Coral snake (venomous and potentially deadly). So glad my son and my dog kept their distance (I did too- used a zoom on this image)

Here's the little rhyme that is taught to identify these two critters apart:
"Red touches yellow, could kill a fellow"
"Red touches black is a friend to Jack"

I'll remember it now! :-)
Happy trails to you!-MBZ

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Affordable alternatives

Yes, silver is becoming more and more expensive-
I'm watching the market price go up on a daily basis- it's almost to the point that I won't be able to replenish my stock of silver supplies without raising my prices on my silver stock! YIKES!

Anyways- I totally appreciate the being on a budget thing-
that's why I've just added a less expensive alternative to
some of my gear pendants- They are in Yellow bronze and are on "sliding clasp"
adjustable cord.

gear heart pendant in yellow bronze  with sliding adjustable cord $35(pictured here)

I will also have one of these tree huggers on a sliding cord listed soon-
just have to finish them up and take some pics- they are the same as this listing, but with a sliding cord (also $35) I can list one of these for you if you are interested- just let me know

oh yeah- I don't have the compass pieces in bronze just yet- will have them in stock most likely in December/January. Hopefully in December...early. That's what I'm shooting for- Bang!
:-)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ring a day- Il Maestro

Titled "Il Maestro" extravagant gestures and impeccable taste for drama envelop
this phantom's being.

Made from Pewter, a broken skull bead and a bit of enamel paint- this is the ring for today..... (the ring shank is his bowed legs- fits size 8 (american)
"tis the season!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

All Souls Procession

Every year in Tucson we all are waiting with baited breath for Halloween- It is the time that Tucsonans  look to for many reasons-

One, yes, is that Halloween is fun, and there is candy and costumes and parties. BUT That's the way it is all over the US- so it's not particular to Tucson....

Another reason is that Halloween (late October) is the time when our temperatures finally drop to reasonable levels. It is when we are able to go outside for longer than 10 minutes without risking heat stroke. (and for that we all are thankful). I for one am looking forward to spending more time in the garden.

The big thing that many Tucsonans look forward to isn't candy or coolness- It is the chance to honor their departed loved ones during Dia de los Muertos and the All Souls Procession. Dia de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday that is a beautiful (slightly macabre) way to honor your ancestors.

We celebrate DDLM in Tucson with our own flair- many people hold remembrance dinners, shrines are created and tended, and one glorious night, Tucsonans gather at the All Souls Procession- draped in their skeletal finery. The procession is now in it's 21st year- starting out as a small group of friends, it is now a major event- with thousands of participants and even more spectators. The procession is for everyone young, old, live  or dead. It's path meanders through Tucson's downtown area- ending at a vast open space- where Flam Chen's fire performance and the burning of the giant urn (in which participants have placed remembrance prayers for their loved ones) truly amazes even the most cynical arthags.

I'm looking forward to the procession- preparing myself to deal with crowds (being 5'1" makes it a bit difficult to be in a throng of people) And prepping my wardrobe to take part in Tucson's way of honoring our dearly departed.

Sugar Skull jewelry

In the spirit of the season, I have created a limited edition line of sugar skull pendants and earrings.
They are made with embossed and painted aluminum- the earrings have sterling findings. Now available in my etsy shop and in person at Bohemia gallery, Tucson.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Nonna

Nonna means "grandmother" in Italian- This is a post about my Mother in Law who lives in a hillside village outside of Florence Italy.She is now 88 years old, and still living by herself (by her choice)

We have seen a decline in her mental state over the past few years, with a noteable decline within the last 6 months. So much so that Guido (my husband) had purchased a ticket to go to Italy in early November - with the plan to convince her that she needed to accept help in her living situation.
 This is a picture I took of Cosmo and his Nonna (grandmother) in December 2006.

Well, last Monday the world spun just a bit too fast and she took a bad step and broke her leg. Luckily, she was out walking in her village and she was brought to the hospital by ambulance. (we have been fearing a fall in her house- knowing that she wouldn't be "found" for a long time) She was operated on successfully on Wednesday, and is possibly getting out of the hospital today. 

The problem is- her mental state.She is quite confused about where she is- thinks that she is at home- and what is happening- she claims that I have been visiting her- While we know that some of this is due to the medication we have also begun accepting that she is experiencing some form of dementia.
It has become clear that we cannot bring her home again, for her own health and safety.

Guido is currently with her in Italy- he cashed in his vacation time and is staying for a month (if not more) his mission is to find her a safe and reliable living situation. We don't know what her reaction will be to not returning to her home, but because of it's layout it may not be possible for her to be there. SO- we have no choice but to put her in a nursing home in Italy- 

It's tearing us apart- we really wanted to bring her here -to the US- to be near us so we could oversee her care- BUT-----she isn't a US citizen, speaks very little English, and wouldn't have medical insurance. I guess sometimes circumstances make our choices for us, but this is a bitter pill to swallow.

I am hoping by writing this here that one of my brilliant readers could have information about how we could bring her here..I know it's a longshot, but we are just distraught about having to leave her somewhere without our supervision. Moving back to Italy is a very last resort possibility- it would mean that we both would lose our jobs (and I would lose my business that I have been intensely creating over the past few years) and our son would be uprooted from his school (though some time learning Italian would do him good)

thanks for reading this- If you have any suggestions I would like to hear them- until she is in a good situation we will be a divided family. I can handle it- but for our son, it stinks. I guess I should feel thankful that I at least know that My husband isn't at war- and that I don't have to worry about his safety on top of it all.

thanks once again- 
ciao ciao- Maureen

Thursday, October 7, 2010

venturing into print ads..

The Holidays are coming soon and my new line of jewelry is becoming available in my shop- I've got a handle on my website building...and I'm ready to go and sell some really cool pieces!
So- I've decided to take out a couple of ads in a few appropriate magazines- this is what I'm thinking about putting in the Tucson local hip glossy mag Zocalo....

 
 

the other ad is in the SNAG (Society of North American Goldsmiths) showcase in the slick American Style magazine ...which is a different imageto suit their clientele. (it's a more formal ad, with a single beautiful piece as the image) I haven't seen the proofs yet, but I think it should look really good.

anyhow- my next ad that I need to work on is an online ad- I'd appreciate suggestions for sites to advertise on- I've done FB ads already but wasn't impressed by the response- where else?
thanks for your input- 
ciao for now- Maureen 

.........and when I have more time I'm going to write about our saga with an aging parent who lives 6000 miles away....To be continued....


Thursday, September 30, 2010

what is this RAD pack anyways??

I thought you'd never ask!
You probably know by now that I am one of a group of artists participating in the "Ring a Day" project.
in this practice of doing a ring a day there is a community of metalsmiths who have committed to making a ring every day this year...and with that you could guess that every once in a while we hit the creativity wall.

it happens like this- you wake up, have your coffee/tea/smoothie, walk into your studio, look around and kind of feel....un-inspired. AAACK! what to do what to do? well, here's where the RAD (ring a day) packs come in...ta daaa! rad pack to the rescue!

LOL, ok, maybe I've had too much coffee this morning...
To explain- the RAD pack is a bag of "mystery items", all wrapped up individually in kraft paper- in these little paper pods are objects donated to the artist from another artist- Items that the donor has perhaps had lying around their studio for a while, or things that they would like to see you respond to.
the rules are simple- NO PEEKING! (which includes fondling , shaking or x-raying the items)
the packet you pick for the day is yours to do with what you will....but it is meant as a source of inspiration. yes, you can smash it, burn it, set it, make fun of it, cover it in plastic, make an image with it...on and on...here's the thing- you are to use it as an inspiration for that day's ring.
basically, it lights a fire under your creative ass.
I've done a few RAD pack rings- yesterday I picked our a beautiful rectangular faceted smokey quartz-
which I immediately groaned and thought..."oh , I really don't want to make a formal setting today"
and then, I thought....Wait a second! I don't have to do anything formal- I just have to do what I want- make it my own- enjoy the hunt, the experience of creation....
as Old Blue Eyes said, "Do>Be>Do>Be>Do"
so...this is what I made....the Smokey Quartz is the rectangular stone- everything else were odds and ends from my studio. I loved the subdued rich color of the quartz, and paired it with a gorgeous little zig zag seashell I picked off the Beach a few years ago on the island of Elba. The jaunty attitude of the stone paired with the pearl, shell, and twisted silver is reminiscent of the fishing boats in the island-

I hope this explains the "RAD packs" - you can find other examples of Ring a day creations at the official ring a day Flickr photostream here: http://www.flickr.com/groups/rad2010/
I'm off to my studio now, to follow the muse
may the flux be with you- ciao- Maureen

Monday, September 27, 2010

sept 27 lil country gal wedding ring3

I love these old fashioned clothespins- they HAVE to be wooden- can't stand the plastic ones...

this piece is another of my free formed rings that I make for the ring a day project. The rings I am making for this project don't necessarily have to be wearable- they don't have to make much sense- they don't have to be anything! And that is what I find so intriguing...

when I go to my studio I have a bunch of things I want to complete for the day- on that list is a ring...can be anything it wants to be- made of anything that calls to me...and can be as fast or slow and detailed as it is.
a zen ring- it IS because I follow the creation- never really knowing if it is gone over the edge, never really sure where it will lead. The creation is in the moment, and it is sheer freedom.

Ring a day a journey that allows me to take risks, and one that has opened a spring of creativity! I know I can't have a winner every time, and giving myself the permission to fail is one of the best gifts an artist can give to themselves.
Keep it real, baby!
:=)

Friday, September 24, 2010

New website!

Handcrafted Confections
Cosmo's moon jewelry.com is still active, but I have decided to have my main website be at http://mbzmetals.com instead.
After struggling with loading  (on the phone with my website midwife tech support for 1 1/2 hours last night) it magically decided to crown this morning  and it is now a newborn website on our vast internet cosmos.
(see, clever huh, beginning and ending with the word Cosmo....) :-)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

confection Sept 20 # 120

Here's a ring that's not a ring- it is, in fact a piece that I did in order to have a good photo representation of my work...and that's the complicated part...

Which work? the production steampunk granola goth work that I sell on Etsy? the whimsical found object stuff I show in galleries? the painted work? the formal jewelry? and let's not forget the pewter...

the story of my career- I am in many places at once- and sometimes it's hard to really pinpoint a category. Even back when I was a "painter" I was a "sculptor" as well- often building up forms in Styrofoam wood and cardboard as I painted..kind of like Frank Stella- but not as gigantic.

Anyhow- I see in this piece a correlation to many different angles of my work- some whimsy, a little goth, a touch of sculpture and painting as well. The piece is a brooch(horizontal and vertical) that can also be worn horizontally as a pendant. It's for an Ad in a magazine, so I'm going to bring it to a pro photographer for a glamor shot... No Hallmark filter please! LOL

It's as if my work has finally started to settle into a groove..and I'm excited to see where this integrated path leads!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

the TAG project

Last year when I went to Haystack I met a remarkable artist named Wendy Maruyama.
She is "an artist and educator from San Diego, California and have been making furniture/art since 1970. My work is often inspired by extended residencies and visits to various countries such as France, England, Japan, Korea and China."
me (disheveled) and Wendy one late night in the Haystack metals studio (her husband Bill is just over my shoulder)

Wendy was the instructor for the wood studio while I was a student in the metals studio. Our paths crossed through her husband, Bill, who -as a non-artist- decided to participate in the metals class while Wendy was teaching in the wood studio. Bill's workbench was directly behind mine, so I was there when Wendy would come visit the space- (And her personality just lit up the room).

I didn't know much about her work until I saw her presentation a few nights in to the session. Now, I've been to hundreds of visiting artists lectures over the years, but never one that moved me so deeply.
Her furniture is beautifully crafted, and also filled with wit and humor- sometimes with embedded videos and imagery.
(you should check out her work online at http://wendymaruyama.com/home.html )

The piece that moved me to tears was her current project , the Tag project (executive order 9066) .
where she has been working on "making all 120,000 tags, for all the Japanese Americans who were sent to all the camps." Wendy states "I feel that the sheer numbers and the scale of these tags will convey to all who view this that the internment was a massive project that was to affect an entire culture of people and their future generations."

Even as a whitebread caucasian girl the the horrors of WW2 has it's fingers in my family history. My husband's father was imprisoned at Mathausen (Austria) at the end of the war- he was only in the camp for 5 months, but left deathly ill, with his health never to recover. On the other side of the world my Brother in law's family was a Japanese American family living in the Columbia river gorge in Oregon. The son (father of my brother in law) was in active service in the US army (in Italy) and the family was forced to leave their family farm to live in a "camp" in California.

I know that somewhere in the bunch of tags are the names of my niece's grandparents and great grandparents. People who did nothing against our country, in fact, were producing fresh delicious healthy fruit. They worked an honest living but were punished for their ethnicity.
(I see this prejudice is echoed today in the way my home state of Arizona, as we expel our migrant (usually Mexican) farm workers...just saying...)

This weekend I am going to spend a few hours brewing coffee and dipping paper tags into the brew in order to age them to appear historic. I imagine a bottle of wine will be uncorked. I'm hoping a few of my friends will come to help. And Wendy, I can't wait to see the result of this tremendous project...

xoxo- M

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Alternative Wedding


florette w blu1
Originally uploaded by cosmosmoonjewelry
So, this is my ring for today- it's a new use for an older (flower) design that I carved out of wax about 12 years ago (and had it cast)- A classic design, certainly inspired by Italian artistry, it's really a good example of some of the work that I was doing around the summer of 1999 , while I was living in the center of Florence Italy.

The flower form is beautiful and voluminous, but sometimes hard to get a good image, because of the multiple surfaces. I think I got a pretty decent image this time...

I'm starting to create some jewelry for alternative weddings and indie brides and this is one of the engagement rings. I also make these as post earrings- perfect as a bridesmald gift with a variety of stone choices and metals to choose from.

available online at my etsy shop http://cosmosmoon.etsy.com

Friday, September 10, 2010

Social Media and the arts

 Interviews and podcasts....
Whaley studios is a jewelry and metalsmithing school in San Diego Ca. For a little over a year they have been broadcasting interviews and discussions with metalsmiths, jewelers and leaders in the world of crafts and metalsmithing services.


Yesterday I did my 3rd interview- with Greg Masters, the media guru of Whaley Studios. The subject was social media- and how important it is as a tool for metalsmiths and craftspeople. The sound quality of the podcast is iffy at first, but it improves as the discussion goes along, at around 20 minutes in...
you can download and listen to the archived podcast at:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/whaleystudios/2010/09/09/metalsmith-benchtalk-with-maureen-bz-brusa-zappellini

You can also search the podcast archive for interviews with metalsmithing notables such as
Michael David Sturlin, Charles Lewton Brain, Harriete Estel Berman, Wendy Rosen (of the Rosen group's Niche magazine and shows), Andy Cooperman, S.N.A.G.'s Executive Director Dana Singer...
etc etc...
(I like to upload these podcasts to my ipod and listen to them while I work at my bench)
enjoy the show!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

abalone component combined

Today's ring was a product of salvaged components that I had made at least 5 years ago, combined with seed bead inlays and another component ring with abalone and jet inlays.
it's been really interesting to me to use these "pre-made" components (they were all made by me, but never used in jewelry before) I feel like I am resurrecting these little possibilities, giving them new life as rings.
The process is really fast because I'm mostly just re-arranging the pieces and composing them as new. It feels like I am making collage, and that is a really satisfying thing :-)
you like?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

one of a kind Brooch

Arcing Abstract brooch

This is one of my series of one of a kind pieces that I started making this year, called "Bundled Treasures"....

They are inspired by the little treasures that I always pick up when I take walks out in the desert, the mountains, the city or the seashore. I am constantly taking in every visual detail, and finding little treasures of shapes and colors, just scatted about the world, waiting to be found.

The Bundled Treasures series is my was of incorporating these found objects into my artwork. I've really enjoyed making these pieces,  the playfulness  of the design reflects a whimsical and poetic aesthetic.

Just listed! click here for more info

Monday, August 23, 2010

Elise and sharkey's day

I cracked one of my teeth last week, went to the dentist this morning. It's been filled, and now I'm hoping it's not just a temporary fix.

so I had to have a dental theme today for my "ring a day" ring.....

After the dentist I was in my studio listening to All songs Considered....and they started playing William Burrows and Laurie Anderson's collaboration of "Sharkey's day"

Now, I hadn't heard that song since High school- when my music geek friend Elise introduced me to Laurie Anderson's Music.
"it's Sharkey's day...it's Sharkey's day today..."

I had these shark teeth hanging around from the last gem show...and a spool of old cloisonne wire. they seemed perfect materials for a ring.

So, you see...in a roundabout kind of cosmic way it is Sharkey's day today. So why not commemorate it with a ring? :-)
**Dedicated to Elise MacDonald**

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Web site newly Launched!

One of my projects right now is to create a website for myself and my jewelry that is independent of Etsy. Don't get me wrong- I love Etsy, I simply want to have a gallery page, where I'm not only selling my work but also showcasing my designs.

I'm approaching this as if it was a piece of art- keeping my pages pretty fluid,
adjusting and honing the site as an evolving entity. Translation: This new site is a work in progress-
I'll be adding to it as time goes on- and when I publish new pages I'll be posting it here.
Here's the new site: Http://cosmosmoonjewelry.com right now it's very visual- many images, not much info, which is how I like my sites:-)
Let me know what you think!
thanks- Ciao- Maureen

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Nancy Lee's ring

So... back a few months ago I posted on my Facebook status that I would do a bunch of my "ring a day" ringsInspired by my friends- I asked those interested to post their ring size- and I would try to make a ring using the things I thought I knew bout them as inspiration.

and then, School Vacation happened. LOL, not that there was anything wrong with that... But, it did mean that I would be taking time off from my studio to hang out with my kid and hubby. So I did.
NOW, I am re-entering the studio, brushing off the list of names, and peppering my ring a day stream of conciousness with a few "inspired by you" rings.

Ring #1 in the series is inspired by Nancy Lee. I only know her over the internet, and what I know is that she is a metalsmith, has a great smile and sense of humor, and recently opened a studio space in Indiana called "Flame Art Studio". I've been hanging on to this flame lego piece all summer long- when I saw it I knew it was perfect for her ring!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Aug 16 rad **Sproing!

I said what I meant and I meant what I said.....
here's the new beginning of school, and my new start of making a ring a day. I'm enjoying making these adjustable rings- they have a nice freedom about them and they are super comfortable too.

The torch fired piece is one I made quite a few years ago- it's been on my workbench , begging for a leading role. today is it's big break!
Bravo, enamel!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

revving back up- ring a day

well, school's almost back here...Cosmo starts 3rd grade on Monday.
Which means that I will be returning to my full time studio practice!
and with that...Ring a Day (once more into the brink of madness!)

I figured I'd give a warning- and mark a starting point once more.
I am committed to further my explorations, and hoping that my long absence
won't be looked upon poorly. I simply had to make a choice
to go on hiatus during the summer, so I
could spend more time with my growing-like-a-weed kid!

so, to all of you who told me your ring size...back in the spring when I posted
"Ring a day, for you"...be on alert! I'm going to tackle that list first!
:-)you have been warned!
ciao- M

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Summer Pomegranate


Summer Pomegranate
Originally uploaded by cosmosmoonjewelry
every summer my clothesline gets invaded by a huge Pomegranate bush. we have hundreds of pomegranates at the end of summer.
Does anyone know a good trick for juicing these things? we usually just end up with a big mess:-P

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Handmade Benefits

What are the benefits of buying handmade designs from the artist vs. assembled or mass produced jewelry?
Original designs...Craftsmanship straight from the artist... a knowledge that your piece was produced by a person, not a machine...the possibility that your piece's value will increase as a piece of art (and it possibly could end up being requested for a retrospective Museum show some day)
Plus** beautiful handmade craft proves that "They REALLY DO make things like they used to!"**

Cosmo's Moon Jewelry is my online outlet for handmade, original, eclectic and edgy jewelry designs. Now stocked with pages of colorful original handmade jewelry and accessories
Just sayin' :-)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Locavore ring

We maintain a home garden on our 1/4 acre lot in midtown Tucson. (although I'll admit it looks pretty shaggy right now due to the heat and the monsoon season's storms...) This current garden is now 3 years old and we have got it to be tuned to producing some sort of food crop year round.

That's right- year round!We are still doing fine tuning- figuring out what crops to grow when and what we need to add to this sandy desert soil. (thanks to the winter rains the peaches were AMAZING this year)

There is always tons of gardening to do- mostly weeding and mending irrigation lines- but we all enjoy the work- and feel that it is important to note how much work it takes to produce a single tomato. that knowledge humbles us- makes us feel our solidarity with the land and those who make their living off the land.

We are moderate locavores- meaning we make a conscious effort to  choose locally grown foods when possible. Locally grown food is fresher, and it uses less fossil fuels to get from the earth to the market.
Plus, if you shop at the local farmer's markets you get to know the people who are growing your food (raising the chicken/beef). Some of the ranchers are quite handsome too...;-)




Friday, July 23, 2010

new blogger templates

Just so you know, if you come to this blog and see it looking different...I'm just playing with the new Blog templates and backgrounds. Re-arranging the furniture and trying out new upholstery...
I'll be interested to hear comments- I think it's fun to try on new "blog clothes"- and I don't even have to worry about if it makes my blog look totally dorky! :-)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

hello, hello..?can I complain again?

Yet another phone book landed on my doorstep.
HOW MANY of them do we need??? I'm starting to think that there is a phone book/recycled paper industry connection..I keep recycling them, they get printed on their own recycled paper. Kind of like the snake eating it's tail. I guess the good behind this logic is that eventually we'll be getting phone books so saturated by ink that they are completely black....

Monday, July 19, 2010

Text Rings- Story

What's so important about Stories?
There is a powerful connection with our past and the possibilities of the future in stories. They comfort people, teach, enlighten, and inform our world.
This ring is an ode to stories of all kinds- His story, Her story, Our story. Celebrate your imaginative storied self. Read, listen and learn. Storytelling is an art-it is the stuff of inspiration.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

seriously spammers...

I mean, really!  stop trying to post links to your chinese soft porn on my blog.
it's so not sanctioned, neither here nor there
Hit the road, Jack!
get lost applesauce! PPPPtttllllpppp!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Tucson's summer playground

When temperatures reach the 100*' s here in Tucson you can bet that many Tucsonans go find their "hide-y holes" to hunker down and wait out the heat...most often a cool house with the lights off, or the comfort of an air conditioned store, museum or theater...oh, yeah, and there's also the bars...
But when you feel the call of the wild, and have the need to breathe fresh air- you head for the mountains!
This image was taken at Windy Point, along the Catalina Highway- the road to Mt Lemmon-
Mt lemmon is Tucson's playground away from the heat of the summer- we drive up for a cool weekend nature walk  in the summer and fall-  Winter is when you can actually do a little sledding (and bring a cooler full of snow down from the mountain...)

Right now, -late June- we are in the beginning of what is called "monsoon season"- it's one of my favorite times here in the southwest deserts- yes, it's terribly hot- and the cicadas are driving us all crazy with their incessant hisssssss...

In a few weeks we will be treated to some invigorating (and dangerous) storms that appear in the late afternoon. We all start searching the sky for dark clouds...sniff the winds for that Sonoran creosote perfume...and we rejoice as the skies crack open and pour down their sweet sweet rainwater.

Until then, we'll be in our hide-y holes...waiting for the storms

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

talk about

Today's "talk about" blog for the "Handmade Division" team -Do you consider yourself only a XXX artist, or do you work in multi media application, and/or draw techniques from other fields to use in the on you're working in? 

Funny you should ask that-  I do consider myself to be primarily a metalsmith, I am certainly most comfortable working in metal, Have the most formal training in metal...However, I recognize that I am transforming into a multi media artist. And I think that my internet involvement has something to do with this transformation.
I'm now back to my roots as a Photographer on Flickr- dabbling with Video on youtube, playing with mud in a Pottery class making things in Leather to appeal to my equestrian roots, and getting my urban edge on with graffiti/spraypaint and industrial rubber flooring.... 
I play with whatever my muse tells me- I follow my bliss and allow myself to make things that are just ridiculous nonsense that fulfills my  experimental urges.
So Now I guess you could call me a tinkerer

Please be sure to stop by the other blogging participants. I know I can’t wait to go see what they’ve got stashed away…..
Andes Cruz: http://andescruz.wordpress.com/
Thomasin Durgin: http://metalriot.blogspot.com/
Jewelry by Natsuko: http://jewelrybynatsuko.blogspot.com/
Lisa Hopkins Design: http://lisahopkinsdesign.blogspot.com/
Abhaya Fibers http://abhayafibers.blogspot.com/
ArtJewel Designs http://www.artjeweldesigns.blogspot.com/
Susan Moloney http://susarto.blogspot.com/
Tamra Gentry http://jewelrydesignchronicles.wordpress.com/
Bill Martin http://purifiedart.blogspot.com/
HandMade Division Blog http://handmadedivision.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

About those pics of trash in our desert

It's 103* outside today in Tucson- almost impossible to go outside to check the mail
I stay inside on days like these- I drink lots of water, protect my skin with sunscreen and
eat fresh fruits to keep me hydrated.

You can bet that right now, somewhere in the desert
to the south of Tucson a mom, dad, son or daughter
is risking their lives trying to get to a better future for themselves.
Some won't make it.

YES, There are filthy, littered "rest stops". These are the last stations of shade and rest for the
poor people who have made the ill-informed decision to risk their lives by trekking through our scorching deserts trying to find a better way of life and help support their families


The areas are routinely cleaned by humanitarian aid workers like
the good people of Humane Borders http://www.humaneborders.org/
and Derechos Humanos http://www.derechoshumanosaz.net/
as well as other organized groups of concerned citizens

unfortunately sometimes the humanitarian workers also find corpses...of people who have been lied to-
Migrants that have been taken advantage of by their "coyote" (guides) and have been led to their deaths in the Sonoran desert.

This immigration issue is a terrible problem in many facets and there needs to be a wholehearted
compassionate and legal solution to the problem that Many people (both American and Mexican)
 are living and dying for.

Many won't even be found until their bodies have decomposed into
skeletons. It's the horror that is lived every day here in southern Arizona
- and we desperately need better policies that will
help prevent these tragedies while protecting the lives and properties of the good people who live in the border areas.

The SB1070 bill doesn't address the real issue -which is that of the desperation of poor people who have little other hope in their lives than to find a crappy job serving us privilaged Americans-
In my opinion, SB1070  only enforces a policy in a way that has been described as unconstitutional by
it's critics, and held up as a battleground solution by it's cheerleaders.

Without deep discussions, humane legislation, organization and planning we can only expect that the
cycle of illegal immigration, death and deportation will continue it's ugly circle.

ok- rant over.
peace- MBZ

ganoksin

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