Sunday, June 28, 2009

Gold in Them Thar Hills

The year was 1949. Settlers streamed across the nation in search of gold, after the discovery at Sutter's Mill on January 24, 1848. Over the next few years, over 200,000 arrived in California. Some struck it rich. Others did not, and struggled to survive.

Many were fooled by Pyrite, or Fool's Gold, with its brassy gold glitter.


Miners with get-rich-quick schemes soon and sadly learned that Fool's Gold was worthless. What they did not realize was that Pyrite is normally found around deposits of Copper and Gold. Had they dug deeper, they may have found what they were seeking.

This bracelet is the cemetery left behind, after 49ers moved on and others settled in.


It has nine brass tombstones surrounded by tombstones of Pyrite. There are pyrite nuggets as well, to tempt and to remind.


They are set off with hematite, vintage Czech glass seed beads, and fire polish crystals. And every Cornerstoregoddess bracelet comes with a bead to protect the wearer from the evil eye.



This is my answer to the second EHAG (Eclectic Halloween Artists’ Group) tombstone challenge this month. I’ve always been fascinated by the cemeteries in ghost towns, and, being a rock freak, the ores that drew the settlers there.

Other EHAG-ers created some intriguing tombstone art. Here’s a peek at some of the other offerings.

This one is from Joyce Stahl, who made a tombstone quilt.


This needle punch tombstone is from Sherry Kristoff, of Sherry’s Heart.


Searching EHAG on both ebay and etsy will bring a diverse and creative assortment of hand-crafted Halloween-themed art. Take a look the next time you're feeling ghoulish!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Something Gorey This Way Comes

One of the EHAG creative challenges this month was to create a piece relating to Edward Gorey. For those who are not familiar with the Prince of the Macabre, Gorey was an American writer and artist with a taste for the bizarre and dark side. He wrote over 100 books. According to Wikipedia: “He was noted for his fondness for ballet (for many years, he religiously attended all performances of the New York City Ballet), fur coats, tennis shoes, and cats, of which he had many. All figure prominently in his work.”

Here are two examples of his illustrations.



My follow EHAG-ers came up with some spectacular works works. From the amazing Chris Klingler, AKA SpOOky CK:

"Peek-A-Boo" ~ Postcard


"Needful Things" ~ Postcard

PhotobucketArtist / Owner: Christopher Klingler / Designs By CK



Melissa Valeriote created an Edward Gorey sculpture.


And Laurie of MonkeyCats Studio painted this:


Monkey-Cats Studio


This one just in from Leah Humberston of Leah's Folk Art:


What’s a poor beader to do? I don’t sculpt or draw or paint. Chris bought me an Edward Gorey necklace, with a cat hanging upside down, and you know how I am with charms. I just have to use them. But I didn’t want to pillage a necklace from my sweetie.

So I painted with beads, instead. I made a bracelet and earrings in an Edward Gorey color scheme, using gemstones in shades of gray and white, with just a splash of red: moonstones, agate, jasper, hematite, onyx, zebra stone…

Shades of Edward Gorey

Shades of Edward Gorey

Edward Gorey earrings

It’s right here.

I think they would have made perfect accessories for a Gorey character.


Don’t you think the one in front needs a bracelet??

Thursday, June 18, 2009

No Parrots Were Harmed in the Making of This Necklace

Another fine walk around Echo Park Lake with Esmeralda, the World’s Most Fearful (and Skunk-Loving) Dog. Being gluten-free, it’s hard to rustle up breadcrumbs for the birds, so we brought some rice cracker crumbs for them, instead.

The last time we tried feeding the Mama Coot and Baby Coot, Baby Coot had a lot of trouble wrangling a rice cracker chip, and usually Mama would snatch it away from him and eat it herself. But Baby Coots grow up, and get smarter.

This time, Baby Coot gobbled up the tidbits. When Mama got one, he’d swim up and eat it right out of her mouth.

coots,Esmeralda,Echo Park Lake

We didn’t see any of the blue herons, but this brown heron was hanging out, looking none too pleased with life.

Echo Park Lake,heron

This parrot, on the other hand, looks very pleased. He’s hanging out not at Echo Park Lake, but in my ebay store (


I’ve been experimenting with combining elements for the “chain” of the necklace, and really like the look and diversity of the elements here. There’s some vintage Czech glass, some artisan lampwork (including the parrot), a touch of millefiore, some cat’s eye… everything but the kitchen sink, and only because I haven’t cut that up and drilled it into beads. Yet.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

All Cats Go to Heaven?

If all cats go to heaven, what’s it like there? Are the streets lined with tuna? Are there fences of doggie noses, just for swatting? Does cat food come with just the gravy part that sticks in the can? Can you catch birds and then let them go (because, face it, birds taste yucky with the feathers still on)? Do lizards re-grow their tails to make them easier to catch over and over again? Do kitty dreadlocks magically untangle themselves?

All that and more, I’m sure. We can ask Phono. She’s up there, stalking yummy crunchy mousies. (She’s pictured here with her sister, Rhino, who is still among us.)


So I made a bracelet with some of the features available for cats when they go to heaven.

kitty heaven

kitty heaven

kitty heaven

“All Cats Go to Heaven,” in my eBay store:

It'll have to do, until Phono gets back to us with some particulars.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Tree Grows in Echo Park?

Jacaranda Trees are phenomena in Southern California. Each spring, generally around June, they explode into masses of purple blossoms, which they then drop on every car in the neighborhood. It’s why I’m thinking of getting a purple car next time.

We have many beautiful trees in our yard, including a fig tree that provides free figs for the entire neighborhood and the squirrels every year, and live Christmas trees we planted when the boys were small that now tower over the hillside. But yes, we have no jacarandas.

That’s why I was so excited when I heard that LADWP was giving away FREE Jacarandas. I immediately sent the info to my husband, who went online to see how we could get our beautiful Jacaranda tree. We had visions of purple brilliance dancing in our heads,

Jacaranda Tree

To get the free tree, he had to take a course online, draw a plan of our yard, and take a test. He did all this and we eagerly awaited the delivery of or botanical wonder. LADWP warned that they could make surprise inspections to see how our tree was faring. No problem, we thought. It’s going to be fabulous.

Yesterday, as we did the final 500 uphill steps on our walk, we saw the free tree truck heading toward us. Was today the day? Had our Jacaranda been delivered? Were purple blossoms within out grasp?

Jacaranda tree

We quickened our steps and raced up the front stairs to see our tree.

Josh w/ Jacaranda tree

Okay. I knew it wasn’t going to be big. But I thought at least it would be more than 50% alive. A study of the leaves did not fill us with confidence.

Josh w/ Jacaranda tree

It did, however, come with a bag of mulch and some fine support poles… which are far bigger than the tree, as you can see. Here’ s my son Josh. He’s also far bigger than the tree.

Josh w/ Jacaranda tree

Hopefully LADWP won’t inspect the tree before we have a chance to get it thriving. I think we may have a challenge ahead of us.

Josh w/ Jacaranda tree

And here’s a butterfly bracelet I made to match the tree… as soon as it grows a few feet and starts to bloom. (The tree, not the bracelet.)

Here today, gone to etsy:



Monday, June 15, 2009

Duck, Duck, Goose… and Heron

Another gray morning. It seems this June gloom will never lift, though we did see some blue sky yesterday afternoon. I was hoping for warmth because the dogs needs baths before I Advantage them, but today, again, seemed a poor choice.

It was, however, a perfect morning for a long walk, and we took Esmeralda for a favorite jaunt, down to Echo Park, around the lake, and back again. After these 5 mile strolls she is much better behaved, and the squirrels and cats get a little bit of a rest when she gets home.

So off we went, with biodegradable poop bags, a camera, cell phone, rice cracker crumbs, and layers of clothing.

Apparently it wasn’t a good morning, because I got flat out rejection from at least the first 10 people to whom I said “Good morning!” Chris, mercifully, didn’t keep count for me.

Esmeralda thought it was a good morning. There were so many birds to see. The Canadian Geese were everywhere, by land…

Canadian geese

By shore…

Candian Geese

And by water…

Canadian geese

Last week’s baby coot was bigger and enjoyed the rice cracker corner that his mother left him. (Aren’t they supposed to be protective of their young??)

There were plenty of ducks and baby ducklings.


Here’s a mother and son reunion, perhaps.

Mother and child reunion

Perhaps the coolest was this heron (posing behind the seagull). Right after this shot, he took off and soared across the lake.


And of course, Our Lady of the Lake needed a bird worshipper, too.

Lady of the Lake

Though the colors are a different palette, I made a bracelet with birds and butterflies for the end of spring. It’s on etsy at




The birds on the bracelet will not take off and fly across the lake. Honest.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Cornerstoregoddess' Best Friend??

We have been walking the dogs pretty regularly at this point, and were going to do are usual 5 miles this morning, but the cable guy is coming to fix the %^&*ing internet connection, so I didn’t want to be away from the house too long. The dogs didn’t actually understand this concept and were starting to prance at the front door.

So we figured we’d do the short walkie, the one we do with Bernie, who can’t go very far with his short legs and high blood pressure and advanced years (13x7=91??) On the short walkie, we just go up the block, around the divider, and back. Then we continue with Esmeralda the Fearful.

Along the way we always on the lookout for the two dogs that neighbor Jim thinks killed Front Porch Mama Kitty.

We were just rounding the divider when two huge German shepherds came bounding along to join us. Esmeralda, of course, went nuts. She starts pulling and twisting and trying to run and trying to attack and trying to do flips through the air. Bernie was mostly annoyed.

He was wondering: Who are these interlopers, anyway?

Chris was wondering: Were these the cat killers?

I was wondering: Can I carry Esmeralda all the way home?


I tried walking quickly, getting Esmeralda back to the house. The dogs, of course, followed, trying to jump on her and play with her and get to know her. Esmeralda was hysterical.

I dragged her the rest of the way home, with Bernie commenting from behind and the strays leaping and following and bounding and frisking.

A car slowed to ask if these were our shepherds; the guy had seen them loose before and thought they were Jim’s cat killers.

Then a woman pulled up to ask if they were ours. She’d seen them and thought they might be the cat killers.

Her nanny was out with Baby Omar, who was starting to freak out. He's never seen a cat killer and wanted to be sure these weren't any of those... whatever those were.

When we got to the house they (of course) followed us up the stairs and started to eat the stray cats’ cat food, which I keep in front. I got Esmeralda inside and put the cat food up higher so they would have to at least stretch their necks to get it.

Then we hauled them to the street. Omar’s mom and nanny (and Omar) were there by then. I got a hold of the tag on the larger shepherd, which was a city tag. Chris got his cell phone to call it in. Omar’s mom took the animal control number and the tag number to call it in. Chris stood there on hold until I was convinced he must have called the cable company, so long was his wait. He was eventually disconnected. He tried again, and took some photos.


Only the male had a collar and tag. The female was collarless and looked like she might have been nursing puppies sometime in the not-too-distant past. Whenever the female would wander off to check something out, the enormous male would whimper and talk until she came back. Then they would do some kissy face together.

It was hard picturing them as cat killers.

Harley and Mama

Eventually I let the big guy go and we told them to go home. They went up to the front porch again, headed to the hill, wandered up the street…

Eleanor and Harley

I went inside and tried to input the tag number into the computer ID system, but the system was “busy” and suggested I try later…. which seemed odd. I tried 6 or 8 more times and got the same message.

I called again, got two long waits followed by a disconnect and finally got through to the automated voice system where I pounded 0 until the voice told me my call was important to them and I would be helped soon. I then learned about spaying and neutering, vaccines, adoption, breeding licenses, and various other things until I was ready to scream.

After an eternity I got a human who, from the tag number, gave me two phone numbers for the owner. She was not allowed to give me the address. I asked if it was Lemoyne Street, and she said no.

Called the first number, which was a disconnect. Called the second number and got a woman named Lacy. I told her my name, that I lived on Lemoyne, and that her dogs were loose. “Oh no,” she said. Sounded like this might be a recurring problem. She was at work but would call her husband to come get them.

She called back a while later to say her husband was on the way. Was I holding them? Uh, no…

The male was huge and where would I put them? With Esmeralda, poised at the window for her imminent death? It turns out that the dogs are mother and son. The son, Harley, who must weigh 100 pounds, was born in September. They had just been fixed last week. (I thought I’d seen a shaved strip on the female’s forearm, like she’d had an IV).

So help is on the way. Or capture. I am wondering if these two are regular escape artists who bust out by day and are back in their pens smiling when mom and dad return at night.

Oh yeah. I made a dog bracelet and earrings… but these dogs bear little resemblance to Harley and Mama.

puppy dog

dogs,puppies,bracelet,charm bracelet

dog earrings

And their home is on etsy.

There’s a dog necklace, too.

pastel pup

pastel pup

Looking for a good home… and a FENCED YARD!