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Memorial Weekend Escape – Old Lyme and Mystic

A weekend day trip out of New York City can be hectic, but when you are less ambitious and just play by ear, it can be relaxing. The only planning is to rent a car and set a limit of how far you want to go. Getting together with like minded couple of people is key. So our group of four decided to take a day trip to the town of Old Lyme and Mystic in Connecticut on the Memorial weekend Saturday.


Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme is a lovely small museum that is the home of American Impressionism. In the 1890s, a women named Florence Griswold decided to operate a boarding house and it just happened that one of her visitors was Henry Ward Ranger, a New York artist in search of establishing an art colony like what he discovered in Europe. What followed was his friends and fellow artists like Childe Hassam, Willard Metcalf…etc. Many of the paintings were inspired by the house, its garden and the Lieutenance River that runs pass the property. Today, the museum has a new building with a rotating exhibition and a gift shop. We happen to catch the current exhibition of “…isms: Unlocking Art’s Mysteries” and enjoyed it quite a bit.

After the museum, we drove in to S & P Oyster Company for some lunch. We ordered  lobster tacos and lobster rolls to help celebrate the local annual Lobster Fest. The lobsters were nice but the highlight is to sit by the water and watch the Mystic river and the old drawbridge. After lunch, we walked around the main street a bit and dropped in some of the vintage shops and souvenir shops. For us, this quick escape outside of Manhattan was perfect!

Food For Spring!

Got some fresh seasonal vegetables for dinner tonight. Sweet peas, snow peas, sugar snap peas, fresh lemon…I decided to make chicken picatta and a spring pea salad for dinner. Light and refreshing. Simple to make too!

Chicken Piccata

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis


  • 2 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, butterflied and then cut in half
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup brined capers, rinsed
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped


Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons olive oil. When butter and oil start to sizzle, add chicken and cook for 3 minutes. When chicken is browned, flip and cook other side for 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate.

Into the pan add the lemon juice, stock and capers. Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavor. Check for seasoning. Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove chicken to platter. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter to sauce and whisk vigorously. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.

Spring Peas With Dried Cranberries and Walnuts

Recipe courtesy Food Network Magazine

  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cups shelled fresh English peas or thawed frozen peas (about 10 ounces)
  • 1 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 1/4 pound snow peas, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons walnut oil


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Fill a large bowl with ice water. If using fresh English peas, add to the boiling water and cook until tender, about 1 minute. Add the snap peas and cook until bright green, about 2 minutes, then add the snow peas and cook 30 seconds. Drain the peas and plunge into the ice water to cool.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the walnuts, dates and cayenne and cook until the nuts are slightly toasted, about 1 more minute.

Drain the peas, shaking off the excess water, then add to the skillet (if using frozen peas, add them here). Add 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until heated through, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the walnut oil and toss. Add more salt to taste.

Kings and Queens, Pyrites and Dimonds

Here are some fun weekend creations as I continue to work with Pyrite (aka Fool’s Gold) and Herkimer Diamonds.

This simple curved gold tube with rough pyrite nuggets are modern and minimal. Perfect for daily wear.

This is called the Kings and Queens earrings. They are similar, different, complementary. What do you think?



Herkimer Diamonds

Why do we attracted to sparkly things? I am not sure. But I admit I like them…sparkly gems, sparkling wines, Champagne…as long as it’s not overly tacky.  So recently I’ve discovered a recession friendly sparkling material for jewelry: Herkimer Diamonds.

Originally discovered near Herkimer County, New York and the Mohawk River Valley, Herkimer Diamonds are unique quartz crystals with double terminations. These quartz crystals are typically not cut like other gem stones, but rather left with their natural facets. They are also known to balance and cleanse energy between the mind and body.

Over the long weekend, I created a few fun pieces using Herkimer Diamonds and hand forged gold filled wires.



A Tiny Bit of Personalization

I like impressive statement jewelry as well as small, minimal jewelry. Today I decided to work on the minimal and dainty side. I just got a set of letter stamp and I am definitely having fun with it.

Here are the pieces from the casting process. I love the white silvery color of sterling silver right out of casting.

After cleaning up the spure and sanding it multiple times, here’s a cute pendant.

Tiny silver pendant works really well with this sculptural modern black top from Helmut Lang.

Already, I am making variations of earrings and other shapes. More letter stamp pieces to come!

A little bit of personalization goes a long way!


Merry Christmas 2011

Merry Christmas everyone!

I am upstate, preparing for the evening’s feast. The theme is Italian and the recipe is mostly from Mario Balali’s Feast of Seven Fishes.

  • Antipasta: Bruschetta
  • Pasta: Parpedelle Bolognese
  • Secondi:
    • Jumbo Shrimp Marsala House-wife Style (Gamberoni Casalinga Siciliana)
    • Broccoli Sautéed in Wine and Garlic
  • Dolci: Struffoli

More pictures to follow…

December Blues…

It’s December 22nd, getting really close to Christmas!

I made some jewelry and put them in the shop. I particularly like anything blue this season. So here are some December creations inter-mingled with other beautiful paintings and photographs from Etsy.

(Clockwise from top left: 1. “Silver Art Nouveau Leaf Earrings” by NohoLife 2. “After Midnight indigo watercolor flower giclee fine art print” by karenfaulknerart 3. “Gold Link and Blue Sapphire Crystal Earrings” by NohoLife 4. “the blues, mood indigo number 2 photograph” by leapinggazelle 5. “Royal Blue Crystals and Gold Necklace” by NohoLife 6. “Glimmer midnight blue chandelier Photograph” by ellemoss 7. “Blueberry Bonbons Silver Necklace” by Noholife 8. “Snowflake Photograph” by AmeliaKayPhotography 9. “Silver One Quarter Inch Above Average Necklace” by Noholife)

For those last minute shoppers, do not despair, NohoLife is offering e-Gift Card now. Gift Cards are available in $25, $50, $75 and $100. The receiver has a whole year to use it! So relax and enjoy the year!

Of course, I did more than those and checked off more tasks on my Evernote list.

And lastly, I love working with music, the genre depends on my mood. Last night I was into Jazz and here’s one of my favorite. Have a good one!


November Creations

It’s so great to squeeze in some time from my day job to execute some of my ideas. Here are some creations for November. I was inspired by the brush strokes from the Zen masters and made these cut out lines on these small pieces of silver sheets. Other inspirations were some little silver tags and lotus petals. It was so enjoyable to just polish the metals into these different textures.

The lotus petal earrings move around and makes little tinkling sounds. So fun!

May Creations

Cheers to the 3-day Memorial Day weekend! I was able to relax and made some jewelry. The objective was to use some of the supplies I have already and create something summery. So here are a sample of a little pile of fun necklaces I made with some keshi pearls, salmon colored corals, turquoise beads, gold rutilated quartz and bright orange carnelians.

Happy May and on to June!