Sunday, January 31, 2010

Blog Carnival- Ring a Day

My favorite ring from the ring a day project is the ring that has yet to be made.
It is the ring of possibility. The one that exists in the moment of creation- 
I love this ring because it is ever changing- it holds many forms and ideas, and is executed
in a multitude of techniques and designs by talented artists in a variety of studios.

The ring that has yet to be made is one of possibility and promise: it can make you laugh, can hold a beautiful stone, a rock, a piece of plastic, or simply an idea. 

There is no overlying concept inherent in the ring of possibility, but it is a concept in itself.

It can be utilitarian, can spice up your life, can make you slices, it dices, it makes a great gift. it is a giant question mark, an exclamation point, asterisk, and comma.  There are an infinite amount of them, and there are none at all. 

The ring that has yet to be made hugs the future- it is in the hands of those who risk to create it.
it is beautiful, because it is possible. And I can't wait to get to my studio to see it today!

here are a few of my rings (posted on my Flickr photostream) from the past week... I encourage you to go and see the incredible variety and possibilities that are being created every day by this inspiring group of artists- 
here's the link to the official ring a day group - ring a day flickr group (constantly developing)

this is a blog carnival post- that means that several other artists are taking up this same subject (favorite ring) and blogging about their response- it's a great way to be introduced to the ring a day project and the artists who are participating- 
below you will find a list of the other etsymetals artist blogs in today's blog carnival

Thank you to Nina Dinoff for creating this project and to all of the other artists in this group who inspire me every day!
ciao- Maureen BZ
(aka "Cosmo's Moon" and "Mbzap")

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Flame off!

I know, this isn't metals, but I have a friend, Bronwen Heilman who  does wonderful work in Glass.(lampworked beads mostly)..and in case you are interested ... and in Tucson at the time, I thought I'd share this info with you.... (Bronwen will be at this event, competing in the wearables division)
Sonoran Glass Flame Off! 2010
Saturday, February 6th, 2010.
6151 S. Tucson Blvd.
Doors open at 3pm.      Event starts at 4pm.
$15 entry fee per person      $150 for VIP Box Seats for 4
The Flame Off! is:
45 Glass Artists competing against the clock to create the wildest, most innovative glass art creations in the following 3 categories:
Wearable    Marbles    Vessels/Goblets

The Flame Off!, a highlight of the Gem and Show, draws hundreds of people for a night of spectacular entertainment, providing the ultimate opportunity to get together to celebrate everything that is fun and exciting about glass! This year's event will feature 3 sessions of competition, Thunder Canyon Brewery microbrews, food vendors, and fire arts performance by Elemental Artistry.

Schedule of events:
Session I: 4pm - 6pm
Fire Arts Performance by Elemental Artistry
Session II: 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Fire Arts Performance by Elemental Artistry
Session III TEAM INVITATIONAL: 9pm - 12am

who the heck is Cosmo's Moon?

well- it's me-
Maureen BZ. I called my jewelry line "Cosmo's Moon" for a number of reasons...
1- my son's name is Cosmo
2- my hubby works in astronomy
3- it's a line from the movie "Moonstruck" (a good flick- not my fave or anything, but funny and accessible)
oh, and the most important reason....
because it was a hell of alot easier to remember than "Brusa Zappellini Designs"

what kind of work do I do?
handmade, bold, rustic, colorful and edgy metalsmithed jewelry and pewter vessels

in reference to:

- Twitter / @cosmos_moon (view on Google Sidewiki)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Project Runway - etsy metals challenge

I'm a member of the Etsymetals team- it is a group of talented metalsmiths who have outstanding work in metal (mostly jewelry) on the popular Handmade (and vintage and suppies) Craft commerce site, "Etsy" (pronounced like "Betsy" without the B) 

 One of the aspects of the team is group challenges- a way of stirring the creative pot a little and relating to each other in a visual manner- Being highly creative people, most of us are big fans of Project Runway(PR)- (if you don't know what PR is, click the link...and welcome to

Each week on PR the designers are given a challenge, and they work to create a piece that is runway ready- usually in very little time, with very little money. Etsy metals team members have taken it on as a challenge- and each week we are invited to create a piece that represents the subject matter/challenge on the "real" show. And the results are usually pretty interesting!

Well, this week I decided to give it a shot- My kid is back in school, I am full time in my studio, and to top it off, I had a big supply of this week's featured material- Burlap.

Well- I must much as I love the smell of burlap, and the color....that texture was not working for me this time! I made a huge mess in my kitchen , working until midnight one night just trying to get the material to work for me...then scrapped the entire night's work, only to start over agin the next day....and scrap the work's a pic of the mess I created while trying to dye my material with greens from my garden.....

The next day, I worked with it again- folding, wrapping, stitching...all to nogood end..My burlap was really funky- it was the screen that I put up on my studio porch last summer to help shade me from the AZ sun. I think that's where I went so wrong...the material was so stressed already that all I had to do was look at it and it would crackle and puff all over my clothes!(of course I didn't notice I was covered in burlap fibers until I went to pick Cosmo up at school.....)
this is (sadly) the most successful thing I did with the burlap...
I guess I'm not really cut out to work in fabric
(TGFM- thank God for Metal)

oh well- I would be kicked off the runway from this week's challenge...but luckily we don't have Heidi giving us the "you're out!" as Tim would say- the next time I take on a PR etsymetals challenge I will "make it work"

 :D  ciao _ maureen

click here to see more successful results of the burlap week from my talented teammates from Etsymetal (it's a link to the Etsymetals blog)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ring a day 2010

This week I started participating in the Ring a Day group that was started by my friend and Etsy Metals team mate Nina Dinoff. I was initally hesitant to take on a challenge like this one- I thought- OH MY...a ring a day EVERY day for a whole YEAR?? pretty daunting challenge, I thought initially...... however....

I pondered the reason behind my hesitation- thinking about a Year- what a Year's a measure of time- that's all. and we have ways of measuring time in smaller increments too....A month, a week, a day, an hour, a minute, a second, a moment.....

It's not that we don't have time- it's that we get overwhelmed by the apparent size of the task (365 rings)  and we think about the size of a year (365 days) and we all roll our brains around this and think...... well, that's just too much! you mean every day- we make something- and it will take how long??
 hmmm.... let's see the equation would go something like this...
365D+365R=1Y x life = time /work + play = OMG

AH, wait- there's the problem- we can use our measurements of time and amount in a different scale- break it down into bite sized chunks- and have a better view of the possibilities. so instead of "OMG a ring a day every day for a whole year!!" you can say "Today I'm going to make a ring. I know how much time I have to play today, so for __________ amount of time I will make a ring that reflects what I am doing- or what I feel like. I will give myself permission to listen to my muse and play today.

 so.... 1D+1R=life+play=possibilities

And tomorrow is another day, when I can make a choice to play or not. No penalties. No grades. No judgements. Only possibilities. And what could be better than that?

ps- here are a couple of my rings from the project

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Today I'm going to venture out of my comfort level and address the urgent need for aid in Haiti.

Please forgive me- I don't normally send out appeals- and I don't want to offend anyone by pushing a cause- but this is so Urgent that I feel compelled to send this information.

This photo was taken from this link:

Last night I spent some time watching the news coverage of the horrific situation in Haiti-and then spent most of the night waking up from "earthquake" dreams. Thankfully, for me it was a dream, and I woke to my somewhat messy but safe home, and today I am able to have a cup of tea and breakfast while I work on my computer.

Then I think of the thousands of people lying broken in the streets of Port au Prince and I am crushed by the sense of helplessness I see in their eyes-

one thing that is needed as I'm sure you know by now is money to help the disaster relief-
Here is an easy way to help right now-

Every little bit helps. If you text HAITI to 90999, a $10 donation to the Red Cross will be charged to your cell phone. This is totally legitimate. I checked it out with the Red Cross and my cell service before I did it. It's quick it's easy and it's affordable.

thank you- Maureen

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sabino Canyon - Tree Wrap

This is an example of a tree that has endured one or more rainstorms in Sabino Canyon, Tucson AZ.
When it rains in the Catalina mountains the majority of the water on the south side runs off into these canyons- and with the water comes all the debris that it picks up on the higher land.
A few years ago ('06)Sabino Canyon was bettered by a serious flood- it took more than 2 years to restore the trails and bridges- believe it or not, one of the leading causes of death in the desert during monsoon season (summer) is by drowning- the water whips down the low lying washes like a wall of water- similar to a tidal wave, and potentially just as deadly.
Every year someone gets caught by surprise- and more often than not they don't survive to tell the tale- Tucson even has a "stupid moterist law" that states that anyone who drives around a barricade and gets caught in high water is obligated to pay for their rescue.
That's another installment of Life in the desert!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Vacation in Tucson

yes, I've been spending the past few weeks with my family, on vacation..
I'm eager to get back to my studio and get some of my new work started.
I have LOTS of new ideas! (hooray- my synapses are working!)
I have no new work to show you, but I thought it would be fun to
post a couple of pics of the beautiful parks I went to during my winter break...

Sabino Canyon
Jan 3, 2009
on the east side of Tucson
in the Catalina Mountain range

Me and Cosmo at Catalina State Park
Dec 25 2009
on the North side of Tucson (just outside city limits)
we love both of these parks, lots of great friendly trails (I do "nature walks" not hikes..I'm a wimp)

Have a great week everyone-
ciao for now- Maureen


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