My So Charmed Life

So Charmed

2008? Bring it on!

12.19.07

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If you read this blog, then you know how proud I am of the non-Martha Stewart, totally punk rock crafts that take place at our house from time to time. Pictured above, the latest entry in this sparkling collection of images: Mom & Molly’s fantastical gingerbread house (please note the mini-marshmallow chimney… that was MY idea).

I didn’t want to go the elementary school evening Gingerbread Village event… oh no I didn’t. Look, my day starts at 6:30 a.m., and by 7pm the last place I want to be is in the school cafeteria, sweltering through a hot flash and participating in a vaguely religious–or at the very least goyishe–ritual (I’m sorry. The Bloom household may have had latkes at this time of year. We may have played dreidel. Ok, once or twice or several dozen times we even may have had our stockings stuffed by the fat guy in the red suit. We NEVER, and I mean NEVER had gingerbread houses) that Molly promises is going to be a total blast.

I traded her: Finish your homework AND practice violin AND eat your dinner including vegetables, and we’ll go. Suffice to say, you’ve never seen a 10-year old so… inspired… by homework, violin and vegetables.
So, by 7:30pm–a half hour late–we were on our way down the cold dark hill to the elementary school and I’m feeling sorry about the deal… who cares about homework, violin and vegetables anyway? Inside the warmly lit school, it was, well, warm. Too warm (instant hot flash). And there was madness… total gingerbread house insanity. Kids and parents were crammed tightly at the long tables, scrambling and bickering over the best supplies, slathering great globs of icing over cardboard boxes of every possible size and shape, using more globs of icing to glue on candy, fruit loops, pretzels, and other crap. I was NOT impressed. Not even a little. But we shed our jackets, squeezed ourselves into a table, grabbed a yellow styrafoam tray and started slathering.

It was only moments before my competitive spirit kicked in. Molly and I were going to make the BESTEST damn gingerbread house a couple of secular humanist atheist Jews (poor kid. And yes, she knows what that means) EVER made. So I started chasing down the PTA moms who were handing out the supplies, scoring a much-coveted can of chocolate icing. I will even admit to talking a couple of slightly terrified kids (the look on my face!) out of handfuls of precious GREEN fruit loops with which to complete our landscaping. I became thoroughly ruthless and scruples-free; it was not pretty.
Results pictured above.

And by the way, when the village was assembled up on the cafeteria stage… dozens and dozens of buildings, some of which were extremely… umm… “imaginative,” there was indeed one church complete with steeple, cross, etc.. ok, whatever. I didn’t see anything you’d recognize as a synagogue, let alone a mosque… but there were some very cool factories, devalued townhouse developments, forts with moats and major-league weaponry made out of licorice whips, towering crazy wacky fabulous constructions that could have easily doubled as Whoville. Really, it was one of the most gorgeous messes I’ve ever seen.
Bah humbug. It was loads of fun.

Wishing all of you a seriously Happy Hols, and thanking you for your love, support and friendship in 2007.

2008? BRING IT ON!

Please Shop Handmade for the Holidays!

11.09.07

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This show, at the refurbished Mill Centre in B’more, hon, is gonna rock. Come out and see most of the So Charmed collection live and in person, and the work of loads of other artists and craftspersons.

Yes, I am making hats now… I “needed” another crafty thing to do, you know? These will be on hand at the above-mentioned show, although I can’t say for sure if I’m ready to part with them just yet! More of these darling burlesque ‘fascinators’ are on the way.

Pictured above is Tickle, which features an amazing deep velvety red and fuscia curly feathery attachment and darling striped ribbon that looks like vintage ticking. Blow is Strut, which features a miniature peacock, genuine feathers and all, plus brilliant purple tulle that poofs out the back. Both have an elastic strap so you can get that perfect sexy tilt without losing your hat. Wearing these, I can’t guarantee you won’t lose your shirt… wink wink nudge nudge. Ooooolalalalalala!

Anyway, whether you come to the show or  not, please consider shopping hand made for the holidays… Chanukah, Christmas, Festivas for the Restofus… whatever your pleasure, it will be that much brighter for supporting DIY!
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Welcome to Jodi’s World of Imperfect Food

09.17.07

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I think there are plenty enough blogs out there showing off the glorious creations of all the would-be Marthas in the DIY crafts/cooking world, don’t you? I know that you do! And for that reason, my friends, I welcome you to my world of poorly prepared, often neglected, but lovingly presented (note the wedding china, did I rock that settlement or what?!) inedibles.

Above (and below, because one picture isn’t enough) please find photos of what happened to my “toasted” bagel breakfast on Saturday morning while I “popped downstairs” for just “wee little” shopping on Etsy. OOPs! And, doesn’t macro RULE?! You can almost smell the blackened charcoal-toasted sesame seeds.

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Have you heard enough about my 5oth birthday yet? I didn’t think so. So, last week, my buds Brad & Amy surprised me at my office with a birthday cake! Amy had suggested stopping by Whole Foods to pick up something organic and pretty and fancy (and expensive), but Brad told her about my absolute favorite of all cakes, the chain-grocery-store-bakery white cake with white icing + endless gobs of pink swirly frosting, roses, etc. Complete with a candle per decade and nevermind that the whole affair got a bit lopsided and smooshed on the subway on the way up here… it was DELISH!

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And, doesn’t macro RULE?! If you look closely below, just north and east of the flattened rose, you can see little droplets of cake-sweat! Mmmmm, mmm, mm.

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Happy Birthday Shopping Spree

09.03.07

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Well, the countdown is upon me, just 4 days left until the big 5-0. No, not that 70’s cop show set in Hawaii!! MY 50th BIRTHDAY! And what better way to celebrate than a shopping spree at the fabulous market for all things hand-made, Etsy.com. Links to the shops included.

Pictured above: What better way to celebrate the aging process than with a Louise Black handcrafted Victorian corset that has a window–to not your soul–but to your spinal column, ribcage and pelvic bones. Completely glorious. I fell in love with this and many other items from this shop.
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On the lighter side (sort of), here are two of a set of three pieces of art from TinyRat. Divine, left, wears sparkly-thread dangly earrings. And Jacko looks perfectly demented in this revival of that wonderful craft from yesteryear, yarn embroidery on plastic. The third in my set is John Lydon. Brilliant!! Visit this shop to find all of your fave pop culture icons, treated to the same… uh, treatment. BTW, TinyRat is a guy! Even cooler!

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I have wanted one of those cute little tea-cup doggies, like all the beautiful people carry around in diamond-encrusted backpacks, but I have two cats so I was thrilled to find Salsa Verde from the Flaming Chiuauas of the Apocalypse series, pictured above and lovingly handmade by Laura at ChatNoirStudios. Salsa is so adorably scary that the kittens (and everyone else) are keeping their distance. She’s actually a very friendly girl, and I think everyone will grow to love her as I do. This visionary doll is crafted on a wire-frame with hand-sewn patches of fabric. She has beautiful crooked eyes, long lovely lashes, and a darling beaded collar. I think she is WAY more beautiful than any of those dogs Paris shleps around, don’t you?

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I don’t buy a lot of jewelry (duh!) but every once in awhile, I find something I can not resist. This gorgeous necklace, made by Andrea at Amuck, is crafted from an upcycled “Men Working” street sign (do you LOVE it or what??), so the orange parts are reflective. This is a heavy, substantial piece, ingeniously designed and beautifully made. I will wear it to proclaim my true nature to the world.
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My early September birthday always brings with it those first feelings of fall; the warm sunlight casting longer shadows and the crisp air that is finally a release from DC’s humid summery condition. Molly and I always start knitting at this time of year and I am currently making some really groovy knitted headbands to wear as my uber-curly hair grows long again. Etsy has some amazing fiber-artists, and this is a skein of handspun yarn called Psychobilly from Etsy shop inHope. The picture says it all!

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Last but not least, this recon Ramones t-shirt from industrialGrrl. I’m reading an amazing book titled Heebie-Jeebies at CBGB’s: The Secret History of Jewish Punk by Steven Lee Beeber. To be perfectly honest, this book–a very fun read–is unlocking for me some of the puzzles of my charmed life. I’ll write an entire post about it another time, so stay tuned. RIP Hilly Crystal. And, love ya Joey.

A VERY Subversive Collaboration

08.31.07

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If you don’t know about Subversive Cross Stitch by now, you don’t know JACK! Make that JACKSON, as in Julie Jackson, one of the top-rockin’ original divas of the DIY crafts movement, a published writer, and a lovely, snarky girlie who lives down in Texas. Julie and I met (in the virtual sense) years ago when our business ventures were young. She and her busy fingers created a (deliciously nasty) cross stitch sampler for my just-born studio, and I made her a sumptuious piece of serious bling in the form of a custom charm bracelet. We vowed to collaborate one day… and that day is today! Thus, I am proudly announcing the debut of the Subversive Cross Stitch and So Charmed limited edition line, which starts with three of Julie’s wonderful samplers encased in glittered resin Victorian inspired (and BIGGIE-SIZED) frames. Available as pins, with vintage buttons and tulle bows, or necklaces, with loooong black satin ribbon to hang coquettishly down your back. Choose from: Bite Me, Bitch, or I Heart Girls. And, stay tuned for a very special Holiday piece to hit the site in October. Available exclusively at So Charmed.

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Pieces are being modeled by the lovely Sarah E, from designfarm.

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Moll’s New Career in HOMELAND SECURITY

08.29.07

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Molly is officially a Patrol! Following her Mother’s (and several other family member’s) footsteps in childhood law enforcement, Molly will be watching over the cafeteria to make sure kids behave before school starts.

Back in my day, you know, a hundred thousand years ago, we patrols were outside the school–come sleet, rain, snow or hail, functioning as midget crossing guards in our neon orange belts and carrying long wooden-handled flagpoles to help herd kids safely across the street. We left our elementary school, marching along in tightly formed units (each with a pint-sized Captain, which was a VERY big deal and required promotion through the ranks. YES, of course I made Captain!), dispersing to the all of the street corners within about a mile radius of the building. Because back in those prehistoric times, EVERYONE walked to school! On the very coldest snowiest days (and there were quite a few, this being Columbus, Ohio) we’d get served hot chocolate when we came inside in the morning, and got to class deliciously late. How cool was that? Mighty cool, I tell you, mighty cool.

Congrats to Molly for making the force!

Cuteness Overload

08.29.07

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Molly and Iggy Pop.

An Award-Winning Summer

08.23.07

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I can’t believe school starts next Monday and thus another summer comes to a close. Ours began at the Jersey Shore, continued through splendid weeks at camp (ribbons won, above!) and ended at the Ohio State Fair (see previous post) and Cape Cod visiting family. In one week Molly enters 5th grade and in two weeks I enter my 5th decade. At the risk of sounding cliche, time flies when you’re having fun. And, trust me, I’m having plenty of that!
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My little brother, Mike Bloom.

How Do You Fair?

08.23.07

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The Ohio State Fair is a sacred holy place for me. I grew up in Columbus and worked at the Fair starting at age 14, in the James Cox Fine Arts building. Days were spent counting attendees on a clicker and trying (unsuccessfully) to keep the sticky fingers of fairgoing kids off the art. During our lunch break we’d walk through the Poultry & Rabbit building across the street, looking for fallen tailfeathers from exotic birds (yes, there are some mighty exotic chickens) with which to make jewelry or tie in our hair. Working at the Fair, I met and fell in love with one of the most influential people in my life, a young surrealist painter who took me to see an Andy Warhol movie at the drive in, taught me about anarchy and challenged everything I thought I knew about art. Fair nights were spent laughing on the midway, eating deepfried mini donuts, and screaming all the way down the Giant Slide which was conveniently located just behind our building. There’s more, so much more to tell.

Thirty-five years later I find I must return to the Fair and have been three times in the past 5 years. My viewpoint has changed, and despite my sophisticated ironic attitude, there is a part of me that loves this place. For real. And although it’s possible I’ve seen (and photographed) it all, walking through the giant gates (pictured above), I am still filled with heart-pounding excitement at the thrills we will find within.

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Charlie the Clown greets us as we enter this year’s Fair.

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We did not eat the Beef Sundae. We did eat deep fried pickles, free Mentos handouts, free ice cream and loads of candy.

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Molly stands at the gates of heaven.

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Inside we are not disappointed, although later we are to have a candy disaster (read on, my friend).
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Best of show in Youth Arts & Crafts. By Tiffanny (with two n’s).

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I am not sure why the judges didn’t pick this as Best in Show. This piece gets my personal award for Best in Show, so there.

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I had to seriously talk myself out of stealing this award-winning cake. It was just sitting there. I wanted it soooo bad.

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Molly always makes me go on rides that seem fairly innocent, but are somehow terrifying all the same. This one gave me a stomach ache, a mid-level anxiety attack, and a pending sense of imminent doom. It was fun though! I got Molly back by making her go on the Rock & Roll ride (which used to be called the Himalaya). Another seemingly innocent ride during which we screamed bloody murder and gave up our atheism for about 90 seconds. At least the ride designers (who HAS that fantastic job and where do I apply?) had the good sense to picture The Godfather among the graphic representations of great musicians (below).

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This is my favorite of this year’s photos. It somehow depicts the glory and terror that is the Midway.

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The sheep building is a very fragrant place. Sheep are terribly cute, but incredibly stinky. Second only to goats.

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A person could spend an entire day looking at the bunnies. Who knew there were so many adorable, strange, wonderful varieties. Some were for sale; as pets and also as food. Most of the bunny exhibitors are young girls who are happy to talk with you and tell you the bun’s names, personalities, breeds and anything else you want to know. We spent the beginning and the end of our day at the fair visiting the bunnies. Unfortunately, due to being so utterly distracted by the largest bunny I’ve ever seen (“Tiny,” pictured below, weighing in at 15 pounds), we left our 6 pound bag of bulk candy in Poultry & Rabbits as we suddenly realized time had escaped us and we’d be late for our friends picking us up.

There’s always next year.

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My Manic Creative Episode

08.01.07

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Lots happening at the So Charmed World HQ, I barely know where to start! I’m coming down the homestretch of one of my famously prolific creative high spells, and that’s a good thing b/c if said manic episode doesn’t end soon I am going to implode like some kind of burnt-out asteroid. I love these times, really I do, and I’m grateful as heck to find myself with a problem such as “too much creative energy.” But it is exhausting and tends to make me stumble around all dreamy-like.

I have loads of images to share (Oscar Wilde, above, from the Libertines series which also includes John Wilmot (did you see the film with Johnny Depp? I loved it!… and Aphra Behn), but really, what I think I’d like to chat about (rather than the work, which I hope will be somewhat self explanatory) is process(es) and maybe a little about bidness.

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In the realm of technique and materials, I’ve been exploring the wonderful — and disgustingly toxic — world of resin. This liquid glass, measured, mixed up, poured, and kept dust-free for 24 hrs, allows me to create provocative photographic and text-based charms and this, my dears, has truly placed the power of story-telling-with-jewelry into my hot little hands. The most fun part, imho, is concepting as well as hunting down imagery. I have been combing my favorite antique stores for scanable ephemera and (illegally no doubt) yanking stuff off the Internet. I’m trying to be all public domain about it, so please don’t rat me out. The part I hate about resin though is the chemistry… it’s smelly, sticky, and gives me a headache. It’s messy and can go hugely wrong in an instant. Many (too many!) sterling charms ruined! But when it’s good… it’s soooo good! And although much of this work is in sterling, it’s really quite affordable and I’m able to make multiples with more ease than usual. Pictured above is Under the Boardwalk from Pirates Collection at So Charmed, available in Redhead or Brunette. :).
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I’ve also been exploring creative collaborations with other artists and this has been terribly exciting and fun. The first such effort I’ll share with you is with my friend Brad of New Beat from Brain. Brad’s pop surrealist collages are gorgeously way out there; you can purchase wall-sized versions from his site. And if you’re in the mood for wearing art ’round your neck, we’ve collaborated on a handful of OOAK necklaces featuring miniaturized versions of the collages sealed forever into groovy vintage bottle caps.

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Pictured above, He Came for Me, available only at my new Etsy shop at the moment (search for socharmed in user names). Several other top-secret and very thrilling collaborations are in progress, so stay tuned.

As you all know, earlier this year I did a batch of very pretty charm bracelets in 100% sterling silver. They are gorgeous and some have found homes, but they are trés expensive due to the soaring cost of sterling. In an effort to get back down to earth with jewelry-making, I’ve moved away from sterling and am back to a playful MO with loads of other things, from plastics to fabrics to vintage metals, anything I can get my hands on that will keep my supplies and subsequent retail pricing reasonable. The brooch below — Crank it Up — was constructed of killer flourescent pink ribbon, black tulle with silver glitter, and a volume knob I bought in a guitar shop in the East Village. The prototype is on its way to a fab shop in Philly called Omoielle, but I can make more so please order away.

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And, jewelry isn’t just for being pretty… it’s useful too. I personally have a deadly penicillin allergy and have always wished for a prettier medic-alert than the u.g.l.y. stuff that’s out there. Sooooo, introducing my Conditions collection–customized medic tags that are so cute you’ll wish you had… um… a condition. And not to worry, if you don’t, you can make one up. See these in the Poets collection, because you know, we poets all have some god-awful condition or another.

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In other news… one-inch So Charmed buttons are on their way (my new “business cards”) and I’ll post photos when they get here, as well as include them in your pkgs from now on! Dontcha love swag?
Last but not least, if you’re not a member of my email list, please consider signing up soon. I’ll be sending out my Fall E-Charm Newsletter in September (when I’ll be ahem, turning 50!!!!) and it WILL have a coupon for your shopping pleasure.

Sorry to rant on… I TOLD you, I’ve been a busy bee!!!

xoxo and let me know whatcha think of the new stuff, k???

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