Athena Magazine

Fashion, lifestyle, passions

Ya gotta love a gal with an accordian June 14, 2009

pezDiscover the amazing music of Milwaukee-based Pezzettino, singer-songwriter, Margaret Stutt.  Trained in classical piano at the local convent and self-taught on her father’s accordion, she began writing her own material in 2008.  That year she self-released her debut album, “Because I Have No Control …” and launched herself into the touring circuit.  Just six months later, Pezzettino released her sophomore album, “Lion.” Listen to Pezzettino’s music here.

 

Indie Jewelry Designs: Oceano Seaglass January 27, 2009

Submitted by Marjorie Cunningham – Designer of Marjorie’s Cracked Plate Jewelry and Manager of the Reclaimed to Fame Market.

Oceano Seaglass Jewelry

Oceano Seaglass Jewelry

Today’s featured merchant interview is with Christine Gable Epstein of Oceano Seaglass Jewelry.   Christine’s jewelry is available at www.oceanoseaglass.1000markets.com.

Genuine sea glass started out as broken bottles and glass and is naturally recycled by the movement of the sea and sand.  It has a natural frosted beauty of its own.  Christine, who lives in Puerto Rico, uses those beautiful sea gems to create lovely one-of-a-kind, handcrafted jewelry.

I asked Christine how she found inspiration for her jewelry.

“When my sisters and I were little, our grandmother used to make clothes for our dolls.  Together we would comb through fabric scraps, lace, rick-rack and odd buttons, out of which would come marvelous little dresses.  The magic of “from nothing into something” really made an impression on me, and instilled a life-long lust for art supplies!  Is there a better day than when your supply order comes?  That little carton, so full of possibilities!  Here in Puerto Rico, I get to hunt and gather seaglass.   I love every part of the process: the excitement of finding a perfect piece, washing the salt and sand away, laying it in the sun to dry, sorting the shapes, and matching the colors.    This handling of the seaglass IS the design process for me, when each found piece presents its gemlike qualities and I develop ideas about the type of finished piece it will become.

I live 500 yards from the ocean, and every free minute is spent there—in the water, watching my daughter surf, beach combing and walking our dogs. I also tend a little organic veggie patch with tomatoes, squash, herbs, and sugar cane. And since I’m not a native speaker, I’m always working to improve my Spanish-language skills.”

When you stop by her shop, you’ll see what a fabulous photographer she is, which makes her shop all the more attractive. Christine shares some photography advice for other merchants.

“Photographing seaglass is a bit of a puzzle.   Capturing that magical translucence, but not washing out the delicate coloration and subtle texture is very important.  Having been a stylist in New York, I really love shooting the photos, almost as much as making the jewelry!  My advice to anyone who sells online is to take loads and loads of photos so you are assured of a few great shots—that’s what the pros do.  A fabulous picture is really the most powerful selling tool we all have.”

Being a part of the Reclaimed to Fame Market, Christine is a strong believer in recycling, as are her neighbors in Puerto Rico.

“We live off the beaten path in a small fishing village. In our neighborhood, nothing goes to waste.  If you prop up anything marginally useful next to your garbage can at 6am, it will always be gone by 9am.  Very little gets ‘trashed’.

A lot of things in our daily life get reused for other purposes.  All of our newspaper is shredded for mulch or laid down thickly as a weed blocker in the garden.  Any plastic container not used for collecting my beach-finds is cut to make protective collars for vegetable seedlings.  I really admire the recycling I see all around us here.  It’s borne from a spirit of resourcefulness and inventive reuse.”

All artists have a creative process and here is Christine’s.

“It seems natural that I would wind up designing and making jewelry.  I’ve always been interested in fashion, and my art school training serves me well in terms of working with color and design.  Coming from a family of seamstresses also means that I have a love of anything tactile and a yen to do something useful with my hands.  These things all contribute to the way that I think about and handle my materials.

Part of my process is built around awareness for the safeguarding of the environment.  Oceano jewelry is handmade from recycled material because I want to unite my need to create with my views and beliefs.  While I’m creating jewelry, I also keep in mind the notion that I am making tiny pieces of kinetic sculpture that interact with and respond to the wearer.

Adornment has been around since the beginning of human existence and it’s a reflection of the customs and societies in which it is worn.  Choosing to wear something artisan-made and ecologically responsible helps you look good and feel good. And don’t we all need a dash of sparkle now and again?”

Stop by Oceano Seaglass to see what Christine has available there. And also check out her blog at http://www.oceanoseaglass.blogspot.com.

 

Best Picture: Burn After Reading January 14, 2009

burn_Now that Oscar season is upon us, I have to cast my vote for Best Picture. Basically, the Coen Brothers are just about the only people who could drag me into a movie theater. But when you throw in Frances McDormand and a movie shot in my neighborhood, that just takes the cake. For weeks we endured lousy parking while Brad and George and John cavorted in Brooklyn. Even that suffering didn’t dim my ardor. The brilliant Burn After Reading has won my nomination, although I doubt it’s even a contender. Each actor is just tremendous. I caught it on a hotel room movie system, and it’s opening in the Czech Republic next week. So if you happen to be in Prague ….  Get the facts on Burn After Reading here.

P.S. I stood next to Frances last fall at a Riverside Park stoplight while she ran in place, and I didn’t even bug her—mighty big of me since I think that she’s just about the best actor ever and also a friend of a friend. Of course, my walking buddy couldn’t resist blurting, “Hey, that’s Frances McDormand!” Argh!

 

Too Cool January 7, 2009

CoolHunter BlogIt’s been around for a bit, but lest anyone forget, CoolHunter is one fab culture blog. As CoolHunter sees it, cool is a state of mind and that gives license to explore everything from music to fashion to design to books and more … so much more … like 20 categories of cool more. CoolHunter does all the traipsing about so you don’t have to, because we all know that it can be hard work to stay cool. Get cool here.

 

Why Allee Willis is my hero January 2, 2009

When I grow up, I want to be just like Allee. Here’s why:

(FYI, Allee has written  Earth, Wind and Fire’s September song and many other great tunes.)

 

Happy Indie Holiday December 19, 2008

typewriter1Finally, a cause you can get behind. I am in this group on FB and want to share beyond Facebook borders. This letter came from Rob, from the FB Independent Booksellers Group.

Dear Member:

This holiday, I am asking that you help Indies across the country by contributing just $10.00 to our cause benefactor, The American Booksellers Association (ABA). ABA provides educational resources to Indies that allow us the opportunity to serve you better. ABA is the founder of Indiebound, the movement that is making waves across across the nation and beyond by uniting and igniting the passion for buying local. If each of us would give just $10.00, imagine what could be done.

Your $10.00 could make a huge difference to so many indie shops. Please make your tax-deductable donation today.

I hope that eaach of you have a Happy, Peaceful and Indie Holiday.

Peace

Rob

 

This weekend: NYC’s Indie/Small Press Fair December 5, 2008

title1Get your  literary on at the 21st Annual Indie and Small Press Book Fair at the New York Center for Independent Publishing in NYC this weekend. You’ll find more than 100 indie publishers from all over the world, selling books you can’t get at the big box bookstores. This is the literary event of the season for the independently-minded bookish set, and in the true spirit of Athena, it’s all free. Learn more here and get directions here.