Foxy G's Den of i-KNIT-quity

03/02/2010

Monday Morning Musings (on Tuesday)

[Editor’s note: Foxy G. was in school all last week and out of the Den.  She’s back – a day late and a dollar short – but none-the-less back!]

Aquamarine – a symbol of beauty, honesty and loyalty

According to http://www.all-that-gifts.com, the aquamarine derived its name from the Latin words meaning sea and water. The aquamarine, along with bloodstone, is the birthstone for Pisces the Fish: Feb. 19 – March 20. The aquamarine is a symbol of beauty, honesty and loyalty.

And you will definitely be beautiful in any of these aquamarine items from the EtsyTwitter and EtsyBloggers teams:

fingerless gloves aquamarine

Fingerless Gloves in Aquamarine Blue Arm Warmers by beautiful bridget

scarf wrap aquamarine

Hand Knit Ladies Self-fringing Sassy Wrap Scarf - Aquamarine by foxygknits

necklace aquamarine

Ice - Aquamarine Light Blue Necklace by SilverSmack

pendant and earrings dichroic fused glass aquamarine

One-of-a-kind Dichroic Fused Glass Pendant and Earrings by mysassyglass

earrings aquamarine

Simply Stunning Gemstone Earrings by SweetwaterGifts

02/11/2010

When Bacchus Cried Tears of Wine

Filed under: Life in General — foxygknits @ 12:09 am
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Amethyst Sterling Earrings

Purple Passion Amethyst and Sterling Earrings by mysticwynd

The story of the amethyst, according  to  http://www.all-that-gifts.com, comes from Greek legends: The god of wine, Bacchus, was insulted one day by a mere mortal. He swore the next mortal that crossed his path, would be attacked by his fierce tigers. Along came a beautiful maiden named Amethyst. Goddess Diana turned Amethyst in a beautiful statue of quartz to save her from the tigers claws. Remorseful Bacchus wept tears of wine over the stone maiden, creating a lively purple stone.

Coffee Cup Cozy Purple

Cable Knit Coffee Cup Cozy in Purple by kimwhitecreations

Purple has long been the color of royalty and nobility. It is a deep, passionate color that evokes emotions. People who desire purple colors are individuals who like to make a personal statement, and express their unique taste. 

Amethyst  scarf hand knit

Royal Amethyst Sassy Wrap Scarf by foxygknits

And you will definitely make your own personal fashion statement in this fabulous, one-of-a-kind teardrop amethyst necklace.

Amethyst Sterling Necklace

Natural Teardrop Amethyst in Woven Sterling by WellspringCreations

11/26/2009

Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

Filed under: Best Thing Since Sliced Bread — foxygknits @ 1:01 am
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Today’s great deal is hair jewelry from firebirdhouse.

Vintage Handpainted Colorful Shooting Stars Bobby Pins

These goldplated bobby pins offer the ideal solution for holding back those stray hairs with holiday flair. They are topped with square, vintage, brass button tops deeply etched with fanciful swirls and colorful, handpainted shooting stars.  The set makes a perfect hostess gift or stocking stuffer.

Vintage Inspired Silverplate Rose Filigree Barette

This Silverplate Rose Filigree Barrette will add vintage flair to a knot, ponytail or the end of a braid!  And wouldn’t it make a great stocking stuffer?  These are but two of the eight items available in the Hair Jewelry Section. At $10 each, along with free First Class shipping to the US and Canada, you can see why they are the best things since sliced bread!

11/18/2009

Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

Filed under: Best Thing Since Sliced Bread — foxygknits @ 1:06 am
Tags: , , ,

Every Wednesday and Friday between now and the holidays, Foxy G’s Den of i-KNIT-quity will be featuring gifts that are great deals – based on creativity, function, labor and cost.  Today’s great deal is a blue and gray unique T shirt yarn, bead and lace necklace from threepeats:

Unique T Shirt Yarn Bead and Lace Necklace Blue and Gray

Instead of vintage chain, Suzanne has used recycled cotton T shirt “yarn” to connect vintage plastic beads, a curl of vintage lace and handmade felted wool beads.  Because the yarn is stretchy, this 25” long, lightweight necklace slips on over your head.

None of threepeats’ T Shirt Necklaces is more expensive than $24, which is what many stores charge for machine-made necklaces that are void of personality and look just like everyone else’s!  When you purchase one of threepeats’ designs, you are getting a unique, handmade piece fashioned from recycled materials.  Add in her effort, labor and love, and you’ll soon see why this is the best thing since sliced bread!

10/29/2009

Art from the ♥

This article first ran on 5/07/09. It is well worth rerunning at the end of Breast Cancer Awareness Month as a reminder that breast cancer is pervasive and needs to be eradicated.  It is also a testament to the human spirit.  Meet Willie Zuniga, an awe-inspiring woman who deals with the trials and tribulations of her own illness by helping to raise the spirits of other cancer patients.

mgd_avatar3I first began making jewelry during a long illness, and what began as a means of keeping busy soon became a passion. I returned to work briefly, but in 2003 my recurring illness forced me to leave my job permanently.  This was one of the most difficult times of my life…I couldn’t imagine how I would remain a productive, useful person without working, let alone learn to live with the results of the surgeries and treatments that were required.

During this time, I came across AccessoriesSusan.com, a website that featured Victorian-style jewelry components. There I found a whole new world – one filled with photographs of Susan’s creations, design ideas and lesson plans, all using the most beautiful products imaginable. (Lesson plans and photos can now be found at vintagejewelrysupplies.com, her beautiful new site.)

VintageVintage Garnet Czech Glass Pendant and Earring Set from Angels in the Parlour

VintageVintage Garnet Czech Glass Pendant and Earring Set from Angels in the Parlour

I immersed myself whole-heartedly into learning to design with these  beautiful filigrees and jewels.  Although I was still very sick, this process shifted the focus away from my seemingly hopeless health problems and onto the timeless beauty found in this avenue of design.

During my day-long hospital treatments, I would often bring along a piece of jewelry on which to work. This sparked an interest from some of the other patients, and “Angels in the Parlour“ was born. Armed with extra supplies and tools, I began to share what I knew, and soon we had a small group of budding designers … all very sick, but each changing what might have been a terribly dismal time.

Purple Passionberry Victorian Style Amethyst Antiqued Brass Necklace Set

Purple Passionberry Victorian Style Amethyst Antiqued Brass Necklace Set

As a result, I have formed many wonderful friendships, and most cherished of these is that with Susan Street, the owner of AccessoriesSusan.com. Susan continues to give freely of her time, experience and resources, and truly makes the Angels project possible by maintaining a high standard of quality and variety in her products. Even a beginner can make something extraordinary!

I offer an heirloom-quality selection of vintage-style jewelry, reminiscent of the Victorian and Renaissance eras, in Morning Glory Designs.  Each piece is hand-crafted with exceptional care, in the hope that it will be cherished for generations. 

Forest Lights - Vintage Inspired Antiqued Brass and Olivine Glass Bracelet Forest Lights

Forest Lights - Vintage Inspired Antiqued Brass and Olivine Glass Bracelet Forest Lights

I hope you’ll take a moment to look through our Angels in the Parlour category. One hundred percent of your purchases from this section will be used to buy supplies for our project, and whenever possible, we’ll feature items made by the patients themselves as well.  Although my hospital visits are just once every three weeks at this time, I additionally hold informal jewelry-making “classes” in my home, and no patient is ever asked to pay any dues or fees.

Butterfly Blush Bracelet from Angels in the Parlour

Butterfly Blush Bracelet from Angels in the Parlour

I find the greatest joy in the company of these courageous ladies; they are truly amazing women!  Amidst their shared joys and sorrows, they create and dream and laugh…all while fighting the greatest battle of their lives.  My eternal thanks to these “angels,” for it is through them that I have found a happier and more productive, useful life than I ever dreamed could be possible.  I didn’t consciously plan it…it just took on a life of its own!  My only explanation is that God is behind it, and I will always be grateful that I am allowed to be a a part of it.

Sierra Sunrise Bracelet from Angels in the Parlour

Sierra Sunrise Bracelet from Angels in the Parlour

10/15/2009

Art from the ♥

Artist: Manju Dhat
Onyx V Black Crystal and Glass Ring

Onyx V Black Crystal and Glass Ring

Manju Dhat has worked with many non-profits, including UN Volunteers, explorASIAN and her lifetime project, the Dhata Foundation. In her own words…

My family-run, grass-roots Foundation currently caters to the impoverished people of Punjab, India.  We fund cataract/lens replacement surgeries at no cost to those who cannot afford the procedure. Bear in mind that the realities in developing nations are not the same as those in westernized countries. People go blind for many reasons, including lack of food and clean water, as well as environmental conditions.  Many of these sight-impaired people become reliant on their family members to help them where those members could be bringing in that $1 a day to contribute to daily necessities such as food.  By enabling “vision” with these surgeries, these people become independent and functional contributors to their homestead and to the society in which they live. It’s a domino effect really. According to the latest assessment by the World Health Organization:

“…age related cataract is responsible for 48% of world blindness, which represents about 18 million people.”

Silver Brushoff II Pendant

Silver Brushoff II Pendant

Imagine, it costs only $37 to give someone back his or her eyesight.  I don’t know what I would do if I could not see – if I were unable to express myself through the love of painting and the act of creating – if I were not able to see the true beauty in the world. So, “vision” is an obvious mission in life for me and my major motivation for contributing to Dhata Foundation.

Flower Power Cuff Links

Flower Power Cuff Links

I am a graphic/web designer by day and an Etsian/painter by night. I have been a designer for nine years and an artist all my life. My favorite materials with which to paint are oils, canvas, door skin and sometimes walls! In my collective at Kaur Funktion, we sell handmade glass pendants, cufflinks, unusual beads, art prints, and art cards. (Kaur means princess and/or lioness in Punjabi.)  Each artist has his or her individual specialty and unique talents, and yet we are all bound by the common belief that art can indeed save lives.

Seriously of Ishq Series by KreativeKaur

Seriously of Ishq Series by KreativeKaur

Eventually, the offerings from this website will allow me to pursue my humanitarian goals and further my social intentions through my own artistic and business practice. Art can be labeled on many levels, but I think it is the act of creating that drives me to invest my time in something that contributes to the beauty and inspiration that the world has to offer. By creating a business of artistic practices with other like-minded individuals, I hope to nurture and pursue these humanitarian interests.

Editor’s note: Manj’s lifelong endeavor: “Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Mahatma Gandhi. Is there ANY question in your mind that she will achieve this and much, much more LONG before the sunset of her life?

Manj is giving away one of her wonderful prints to one lucky winner.  To enter, all you need to do is go to KaurFunktion, and post your favorite item in the comments below.

This giveaway will begin October 14, 2009 and end at 11:59 pm EST on October 20, 2009.  Random.org will be used to pick the winner, and he or she will have 72 hours to get respond.

This giveaway is open worldwide! Good luck!

Follow on twitter    Facebook biz page    Blog

10/12/2009

Monday Morning Musings: A Most Interesting Character

Londi Mathieu – Jewelry Designer, Mushroom Hunter, Philanthropist

Londi

Londi

In a word, Londi is an experience.  You can feel her presence long before she arrives.  And when she does finally arrive, you are immediately caught up in her charm, energy, passion and creativity.  There are absolutely not enough hours in the day for this jewelry designer-artist-philanthropist.

First – a little background in her own words: I was lucky to be born in to a family full of talented artists and grew up with both a jewelry shop and potter shop in my home.  The feeling of melting or manipulating metal, touching stones or having my hands dirty with clay has always stuck with me!

You are a 3rd generation jeweler.  Who else designs and makes jewelry in your family?  My father is a master goldsmith; his mother was a jeweler and her father as well. I started making jewelry at a very young age.  When I was little, my mother bought my brother and me little pocket knives and bars of Ivory soap for us to carve.  By the time I was 16, I was soldering, sizing and wax carving, to which I took a real liking. I grew up in the US but live in France now. I return every summer and work closely with my father and Mark Webb who has designed one of the world’s most beautiful diamond cuts. http://www.libertystardiamond.com/  I’m very honored and pleased to sell this diamond!

Precious Primrose Necklace

Precious Primrose Necklace

Please explain wax carving. Carving wax can be a very intricate process that involves many different wax types, tools, files, dental tools, knives and a flex shaft. The wax model is used to create the finished metal product through the lost wax casting process.

WaxCarving

From where do you get your inspiration?  I am really just a kid at heart, inspired by tradition, nature, lighting, flowers, anything from a rock to a grain of sand – a piece of gold to a piece of glitter! (You will see what I mean at Christmas!)  I love to cook and bake (don’t like the calories), and it is reflected in the work I do as well as my titles. I like my jewelry looking like “eye candy” and my Christmas ornaments looking and smelling edible – with sweet touches of cinnamon, punchy peppermint twist and delicate forms of nature!

Teddy Loves Cranberry Wreath

Teddy Loves Cranberry Wreath

What  prompted you to open a second shop?  I’m opening CranberryDreams because my bulbs have been a success here in France for the past ten years with a faithful cliental! I am actually know around here for my Christmas and glow-in-the-dark bulbs, but ventured into jewelry because of my love for it! When I opened LondiCreations, it was with all intentions of being ready for Christmas this year. Cranberry Dreams will feature Christmas items, but during the off season will feature home deco and children’s deco.

Holly Berry Baubles

Holly Berry Bauble

Your children’s sand bulbs are quite unique.  How did they come about?  About ten years ago, I was feeling a strong need to get back in touch with jewelry fabricating; however I was lacking the tools and space to start such an adventure. With the holidays approaching, I decided to experiment with making bulbs, but still wanted something that would fulfill my desire to touch and look at metal. I started working with glitter, but still needed to feel something more natural; this is where sand came in! I developed a mix and a technique and got busy creating!  After years of trial and error, I ventured into the world of craft shows, where I was successfully received!  I also have a shop on Craftiz, an online venue like etsy that features high quality, handmade goods.

Soon to be added to Cranberry Dreams

Soon to be added to Cranberry Dreams

Loving color as I do, I started playing around with children’s cartoon characters and took the bulbs to another level with glow-in-the dark paint.

Soon to be added to Cranberry Dreams

Soon to be added to Cranberry Dreams

Soon to be added to Cranberry Dreams

Soon to be added to Cranberry Dreams

 Making these bulbs is a very time consuming and intricate process, often requiring 20 hours each. That is why I prefer to do them now by special order.

Baby Photo Christmas Bauble - First Christmas

Baby Photo Christmas Bauble - First Christmas

My best selling bulb is the personalized “My 1st Christmas” with baby’s name and date!

By Special Order

By Special Order

By Special Order

By Special Order

In addition to jewelry design, you also do volunteer work with children and adults with disabilities and homeless children and adults.  I love volunteering my time! I work with an organization call VSArt, an international nonprofit organization founded 35 years ago by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith to create a society where people with disabilities learn through, participate in and enjoy the arts.  This is a hands-on effort where we supply the materials and help them children and adults with floral composition, jewelry making, painting and music! Out of everything I do, this is the most satisfying!

VSArt

You have some very interesting hobbies, yes?  I have many hobbies – my favorite being mushroom hunting! My most favorite mushroom to find is the Morel. I also love going much higher in the French Alps to find chanterelles and cep mushrooms! When it is mushroom season, you often won’t find me at home.  I am always out looking for a new patch to discover! In the evenings, I’m busy preparing four-star meals!

MorelMushrooms

Morel Mushrooms

My other hobbies include photography, hiking, refinishing furniture and painting.  And when I have time, I’m on twitter where you can find me “FLYING BY” (my next hobby!), blowing you kisses and wondering “How was your day?!”

flying

Need a nap?  I do! But before you go, Londi is giving away three of her fabulous handmade ornaments to one lucky winner.  To enter, all you need to do is go to CranberryDreams, and post your favorite item in the comments below.

Giveaway

To gain additional entries:

1)      Tweet about this giveaway, using the hashtag #londi. Post in a separate comment, and get one additional entry each time you do this, up to ONCE a day.

2)      Become a friend of Londi Mathieu on facebook, and post in separate comment below.  If you are already a friend, post in a separate comment below as well.  One additional entry.

3)      Follow LondiCreations on twitter, and post in a separate comment below.  If you are already following, post in a separate comment as well. One additional entry.

4)      Blog about this giveaway with a link, and comment below with the URL.  Three additional entries.

The more times you enter, the better your chances of winning!

This giveaway will begin October 12, 2009 and end at 11:59 pm EST on October 21, 2009.  Random.org will be used to pick the winner, and he or she will have 72 hours to get respond.

This giveaway is open worldwide! Good luck!

10/08/2009

Art from the ♥

Artist: Cheryl Nall

Until November 2005, I lived a fast-paced stressful life.  It was then that I was diagnosed with epilepsy.   While trying to get my epilepsy under control, I ended up losing my job with the Department of Motor Vehicles.   As I started to gain control of my epilepsy and my seizures decreased, I felt a strong need to make things.  I’ll be honest; I was the child who failed art.  Back then I couldn’t create anything, nor did I want to!  But now, I began envisioning things that I wanted to create.  It seemed that the more things I created, the better I got.  And the better I got, the stronger the need to create became. I started playing with different crafts and techniques to see what my potential. I went through many different crafts and eventually started beading and making jewelry. 

Pink Awareness Anklet Dee Dee

Pink Awareness Anklet Dee Dee

For the past three to four years, I have been giving most of my pieces to family and friends as gifts.  Almost everyone that saw my jewelry urged me to try to sell my creations. It took a while for me to get use to the idea that I could make something worth selling.

Eventually, I had the motivation to open my shop, but the shop needed a name. I wanted the name to be something to which I could connect. Earlier this year, I learned that March 26th is “Purple Day.”  Wearing purple on that day supports Epilepsy Awareness. Purple has always been my favorite color, so I decided that the name of my shop would include “purple.”  Now, I had one word, but I still couldn’t figure out the name. Then one day out of the blue, I remembered a gift I received in junior high from my best friend, Dee Dee. She had given me a purple cow with a poem attached:

“I never saw a purple cow;

I never hope to see one.

But I can tell you anyhow:

I’d rather see than be one.”

I had completely forgotten about that purple cow!  I began surfing the web looking for a purple cow and found a book titled “Purple Cow” that was based upon this popular poem. The book offers tips to succeed in business by being the purple cow among all the regular cows. The purple cow represents something extraordinary.

Purple Awareness Ribbon Bracelet Donna

Purple Awareness Ribbon Bracelet Donna

CherylsPurpleCow features awareness jewelry and hematite jewelry, as well as items that are completely metal free. In addition to epilepsy awareness, my husband and I support cancer awareness. Both of our mothers survived cancer early in life and were taken by it much later, within six months of each other. 

Hematite Bracelet Green and Purple

Hematite Bracelet Green and Purple

I support Family TIES of Nevada with my art.  Family TIES of Nevada is a statewide nonprofit organization directed by people with disabilities and their family members. My donations are earmarked specifically for families that are dealing with epilepsy. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and I will be donating 10% of the sales of any pink item to Family Ties of Nevada to help families affected by breast cancer.

Pink Earrings

Pink Earrings

I speak publicly to help support epilepsy awareness. Before each engagement, I have a practice run through with my speaking coach who is in Virginia. We use the web cam so that she can watch my facial expressions and body language.

Non-Metal Delicate Seed Bead Bracelet

Non-Metal Delicate Seed Bead Bracelet

I have also volunteered time to help provide transportation for people with epilepsy.  As I was unable to drive for two years, I know first-hand how much of a burden that can be. Epilepsy is a condition that affects each person differently. The effect depends on the area of the brain involved in seizures. I have right temporal lobe epilepsy and it affects my memory. Thanks to technology, I have a Palm to jot notes and to keep track of my contacts and appointments. I also have a cell phone that I carry with me so that if I get lost, run into problems or have a seizure, I can call my husband.  Living life fully with the daily challenges of disability and chronic health concerns takes courage and endurance.

My best friend Dee Dee was never ordinary, and neither was I. We are both still purple cows. I never realized how wonderful it was to be different. When I located Dee Dee her through the Internet, I found out that she has Lupus. The Awareness Ribbon for both Epilepsy and Lupus is purple. Strange coincidence?  I’ll let you decide… 

Awareness Ribbon Bracelet Jana

Awareness Ribbon Bracelet Jana

Cheryl’s blog

Cheryl’s facebook biz page

10/05/2009

Monday Morning Musings: A Most Interesting Character

Meet Megan Lewis – Firespinner and Juggler

Megan has been juggling and firespinning for about two years now.  She joined the Purple Mermaid Circus Society as a “fresher” at the University of Birmingham. The Society is made up of students and residents of Birmingham, UK who have an interest in learning, practicing and performing circus skills.

Megan Juggling in Handcuffs

Megan Juggling in Handcuffs

 (Do I have your attention?)  Why don’t I let her tell you all about it in her own words…

Exactly WHAT is firespinning?  Firespinning is pretty much exactly what it sounds like – spinning fire! You use either poi (two wicks on the end of a length of chain held in each hand) or a staff with a wick on either end. The wick is soaked in paraffin and set on fire. You then spin your staff or poi to create fantastic visual displays. 

One of our members also makes fire frisbees. They’re basically just juggling hoops with a wick suspended in the centre. They’re not quite as dangerous as they sound and are a lot of fun once you get the hang of catching them!  

spinning3

Firespinning

Do you wear a costume when firespinning?  We’re not usually in costume; firespinning ruins clothes far too easily for that! Some people have nicknames that they put on their circus shirts or hoodies, but that’s really just a society thing. They’re often related to any committee positions a person holds – the person in charge of the equipment is known as the “Ball Holder,” the treasurer is “Embezzler.”  When I was the Society president, I was referred to as “Ring Leader.”

O.K., now that you have survived firespinning, how about we look at something a little less dangerous. I have always wanted to learn how to juggle, and I didn’t know of anywhere in my home town where I could learn. Prior to going to the uni, I did some research to learn what societies were available.  As soon as I saw that there was a circus society, I knew that I had to join!

I personally can juggle only three balls or clubs at the moment, but we have members who can successfully juggle up to six or seven.

Megan Juggling with Another Member of the Circus Society

Megan Juggling with Another Member of the Circus Society

 

I am pretty certain that you don’t juggle and firespin in your house, so where DO you practice?  We have weekly meetings at university where we can practice whatever circus skill we wish, maybe learn something new and have a drink in the bar afterwards. We take safety very seriously though – no firespinning whilst under the influence!

Firespinning

Firespinning

And once you are done practicing… The society gets hired regularly to spin and juggle for university events; we are usually the half time show at the American Football matches!  We also do a lot of “goodwill gigs” for fundraising and charity events. I was the president last year which included organizing Ballring, our annual circus convention that we hold at the university. This included games, workshops and both amateur and professional shows. We’ve also had a team on the UK quiz show, “Eggheads.” We didn’t win anything, but it was so much fun.

Eggheads

Eggheads

Your other hobby is customizing “My Little Ponies.”  Please explain. “My Little Ponies” are children’s toys that were first popular in the 1980s. They’ve enjoyed a recent revival though, with Hasbro redesigning and re-launching the brand. I really enjoy customizing them when I have the time and usually take commissions for particular designs.  This includes changing their hair, painting them and sculpting additional parts such as wings or tails.  

Candy Girl

Candy Girl

Have you always been creative?  I have always loved creating things. When I was a child, we were allowed to draw on the walls of our playroom and encouraged to do things like play with clay and paints. By the time I was in high school, I drew almost non-stop. I ended up doing a one-year art course at college, followed by a year of a Jewelry and Silversmithing degree. When I felt that I could no longer continue in such a structured environment where everything I made had to have some kind of meaning, I switched to an Ancient History major and started making jewelry for my own pleasure. When it became apparent that other people like what I was creating, I decided to open Eirel and turn my hobby into a business.

White Mermaid's Pearl Necklace

White Mermaid's Pearl Necklace

Once I graduate I’m planning on looking for a career in book publishing. I’m a compulsive reader and find the industry a fascinating one! Of course, I’ll keep the jewelry going. Who knows, one day I may manage to give up my day job!

Megan’s Blog

Megan on Twitter

Megan’s Facebook biz page

09/28/2009

Monday Morning Musings: A Most Interesting Character

Meet Sandy “Pants” – Purveyor of Pearls and Poker Player

What role does poker play in your life?  How are poker skills “relevant in so many aspects of life?”

Poker is a hobby that I enjoy a lot. I would actually like for it to be more than a hobby, but that’s not where I’m at just yet. But the dream is still alive.  This may sound strange, but when I enter a casino and sit at a table, nothing else is going on in my world except what is going on with those other eight players. It’s relaxing in a sense, but on the other hand, it’s not an escape. If there are a lot of heavy issues weighing on my shoulders, my play will be affected by it. I do like the social aspect of poker, but I also play better when I’m quiet and focused.  The way I present myself depends on the vibe of the table.

There are two major aspects of poker that take a lifetime to master.  One is the math involved, and the other is people reading skills. I understand enough of the math to know when I’m making a call that is worth my money or betting the right amount to outplay my opponent. I love reading the other players, though. They give off so much information from the way they talk or body language to the way they perceive me.  There is a lot to learn from people watching. A really good way to study people is to step outside yourself and try and understand the motives as to why they make certain decisions. A great book (non-poker) I read on this is How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer.

Sunset Bohemian Medallion Necklace

Sunset Bohemian Medallion Necklace

How did you get started playing poker? 

I grew up just north of Atlantic City, NJ, so casinos have always been a part of my life. When I lived in New York City, I would take the bus to Atlantic City to play. I later moved to Florida where I began playing in the card rooms, at the dog and pony tracks and at the Indian casinos. My ultimate destination was either Las Vegas or Los Angeles.  Because I could still work as a designer, enjoy the beach and nice weather and play poker in L.A., that is where I ended up!

Green Apple Jade Earrings

Green Apple Jade Earrings

I assume that you are good at it.  Was it just practice, practice, practice that made you so good?

Practice, practice, practice is necessary to learn and become good at anything in life, and it is beyond true in poker. I’ve read a dozen poker books, study the players on television and in casinos, but nothing compares to actually sitting at a table and playing (or playing thousands of hands online).  You can study a foundation of skills, but there is nothing like logging hours at a table and seeing various hands and situations play out. You really do not know what you would do in a situation until you are actually faced with it.

Double Chain Pearl Silver Bracelet

Double Chain Pearl Silver Bracelet

Is there a correlation between poker and designing jewelry?  If so, what is it?

Well, I don’t think poker and jewelry design have anything directly in common, but I will say that understanding people and how they make decisions has come into play when considering marketing ideas, brand development, target customers and what turns a window shopper into a paying customer.  I also want to understand how my customer perceives my jewelry line, the pricing structure and me, as a person (through social networking and blogging). It has helped bring a connection through my understanding of my customers. The mathematics of poker helps into any form of business when deciding if, for example, an ad campaign is worth the money based on the sales or visitors you receive from it.  Comparing the statistics and analyzing the value works the same.

Cranberry Blue Drop Silver Earrings

Cranberry Blue Drop Silver Earrings

How do you juggle your two passions?

While I was working as a full time apparel designer for a company, I would go to the casino after work or on the weekends. (I’m a single woman with just a couple of cats who understand why I come home so late). I frequented Las Vegas and played in many tournaments and cash games. When I was laid off from my last design job in February 2009, I thought of many ideas of what I’d do to make money while unemployed. I considered playing poker full time, but after trying it out, realized that there was too much pressure on my game for things like food money. I could not afford to lose and didn’t have the bankroll needed to play comfortably. So, I stuck with what I know best – designing – and built my own jewelry line. For now, I have put poker on the back burner, but I still read, play small stakes online and follow the poker community through podcasts, twitter and blogs.

Pink Pearl Silver Tassel Tie Necklace

Pink Pearl Silver Tassel Tie Necklace

Anything else you would like to add?

I blog about my poker games at http://poker-kat.blogspot.com, but not nearly as often as about my jewelry at Dig Under Rocks.

I played in the World Series of Poker Ladies Event in 2007 and did decently for my first major tournament – placing 200 out of about 1,270 players. I was happy with my play, but you can’t change the luck factor that still will show up in poker, regardless of skill.  You can just reduce the odds against you by playing a lot and causing your opponents to make mistakes (and not making any yourself). If you can do that, in the end you will come out ahead.

Sandy Pants @ 2007WorldSeriesof PokerLadiesEvent

Sandy at 2007 World Series of Poker Ladies Event

Dig Under Rocks on etsy;   Website: Dig Under Rocks;  Design blog;  Follow on twitter

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