Thursday, February 24, 2011

Blow Up Your TV...i dare you!

and now my rant on why and how we do not have TV.

Most of my friends, family and clients think we are freaks because we do not have cable TV. It is always so amusing to watch people's expressions when they ask if i have seen the latest reality show or news flash and i reply "No,we don't have TV."

WHAT? How do you live without TV? What do you mean you don't have TV? What do you do?

Even though i explain- well- yes we have a TV.. just not cable so we cannot actually watch anything on TV except dvds. We do get netflix movies that arrive in the mail. We go to the library and borrow movies... and books to read. I still get that look as if i had just said, "Klaatu, the Mother-ship has just landed. Take me to your leader. Would you like some plutonium?"

In fact we still own a TV that is about 9 years old. No flat screen, not a take up the whole wall high def yada yada TV. Its old and our dvd player just died over the weekend. So we are forced to watch our movies on my iBook. Do we care? Not really. But it seems to really upset the people i tell. Not sure why- it's not like they are forced to sit here and watch it!

We have not had cable for about 6 years now. It was odd how it happened. It was not intentional. Around the time of Hurricane Katrina, those evil GWB years i was addicted to CNN, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, The Daily Show, Steven Cobert, David Letterman... well you get the idea. Non-stop news in various forms which pretty much kept me on edge with a deep smoldering anger at what was happening in the country and planet.... and the perpetual stress of what will George Bush and his cronies do next?

That summer my husband and i had the opportunity to stay with the Monks of New Skete. If you don't know who they are they are famous for their books on training dogs. Known for their German Shepherds, they are a renegade bunch of ex-Roman Catholics who turned Orthodox. Smart monks with a sense of humor. They are located in a very quite wooded area in upstate New York where the only sound are birds chirping, crickets, matins, vespers and dogs barking. No television. No cellphone reception. Nothing but.......quiet and lots of German Shepherds.

Three glorious days of quiet. No news. Amazing... and i did not miss it. The silence combined with the puppy breath was the best thing i had ever experienced in such a long time! I was addicted. It was the closest thing to heaven. I cried when we had to leave. If only we could live there. (Well we could - it's just that we are not Orthodox Catholic. Instead we now visit the Monks at least once a year for our Divine canine therapy.)

On the drive back we were forced to stop at one of those mega-gas-stations with a McDonalds, and every other crappy fast food restaurant imaginable all in one location. To get to the bathrooms one had to navigate through the huddled masses standing in line for their Big Macs and super-sized fries. Every corner had a huge TV blaring FOX NEWS. I guess Mobil Oil has to support their patrons somehow. Hearing the sound of FOX blasting through the aroma of donuts combined with french fries was unbearable.

Arriving home in Salem, the noise of cars with heavy based boom boxes driving by seemed extra loud. In fact everything was magnified. It was as someone had turned the volume up. The thought of turning on the TV was repulsive to both of us. And so that was the beginning of the end of our TV cable. It was cancelled shortly afterwards.

Because of that decision we read more, lost weight, went to the library once a week for BBC classics, listened to more music and most of all- i was calmer. I no longer needed to know the latest antic of GWB or if the world was going in implode that day. It did not matter. So liberating.

The down side to this is now i cannot stand to hear a TV. If i go into someone's home and it is on, the sound floods my head. Unbearable. I make dog clients turn it off before i treat their dog. I refuse to eat at any restaurants that have multiple TVs blasting. I quit my health club after they added a nonstop TV to the women's locker room, not to mention every machine there had a TV monitor on as well. (Do you really need that thing on ALL the time?) Can we no longer eat, exercise or get a manicure without television looming the in background all the time. Are we really that terrified of the silence or the thoughts that may occur if we are not distracted by mindless noise?

Can we declare a Turn Off Your TV Day? There is a day to stop smoking. Should there be a 12 step program for TV addicts? Come on .. i dare you... turn it off. See if you can. You will live- i promise!

Ironically one of my favorite John Prine songs (even before my ban on TV occurred) is Spanish Pipedream in which the chorus sings, "Blow up your TV"

So sing along with John Prine - it will amuse you while your TV is turned off!

Can't see the image? click here to see the youtube
"Blow up your TV, throw away your paper
Go to the country, build you a home
Plant a little garden, eat a lot of peaches
Try an' find Jesus on your own"
-John Prine

A Date with Captain Jack Sparrow

Part of the fun of being part of the Etsy STAT TEAM aka Self Taught Artists is that we are required to make a treasury featuring our team members' art and products once a week. Our work is not allowed to be included. This treasury was especially fun since the theme was pirates.
Grab a margarita and take a look me hearties....

'A Date With Captain Jack Sparrow' by PlanetCalamari

It is still bitterly cold here in New England. One can only dream of being on a secluded sunny island with Captain Jack Sparrow and a stock pile of margaritas...... arrrrrrrgh... yo ho yo ho!

Steampunk MAGICAL Clutc...

Beaded Red Jasper Crab ...

Skull Pirate Soap

Pirate Princess Jolly R...

original art skull ver...

Earrings Marquise Facet...

Chocolate Fudge Grassho...

Rockstar - Pure Mineral...


Vintage Pirate Ship Clo...

Dog Toy Bone - Puppy Sk...

Flying Spaghetti Monste...

Treasury tool is sponsored by A/B image testing.

Visit the Planet Calamari Etsy shop for more art and treasuries.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wire Wrapped Salem Sea Glass Choker

One of my favorite pass times is to search for sea glass and old pieces of china on the historical Derby Wharf in Salem MA. When the tide is out and the timing is just right one can find treasures from the past. Salem was once a seaport for Chinese trade. It was common practice to throw broken china and glassware overboard. These pieces are still making their way to the shore waiting to be made into art.

I created this one of a kind piece starting with a piece of light pink sea glass. This triangular glass was then wire-wrapped with silver plated wire. I added two sets of swirls for a figure eight effect. (Please see the symbolism of swirls below.)

A semi-precious polished amethyst flat round bead was wired on the top of the glass. Pink and purple have always been a favorite color combination of mine. The soft pink glass is sets of the violet stone in a very simple yet elegant way. Spring is on its way!

Also known as purple crystalline quartz this amethyst is the birthstone for Pisces. It is said to help insomnia, ward of the effects of alcohol and bring a sense of calmness. It is said that Leonardo Da Vinci wrote that amethyst has the ability to dissipate evil thoughts and quicken one's intelligence.

In Celtic traditions the swirl is a tribute to the rising sun and to Gaia Mother Earth. In other traditions the swirl it represents cycles of time birth, growth, death and then rebirth. Ancient Britain it symbolizes the feminine aspect of life. The spiral belongs to all and not exclusively to one religion or culture.

Wire Wrapped Sea glass Pendant 1.5 inches long and approximately 1 inch wide.
It hangs from a stainless steel silver round wire neck choker that is approximately about 16 inches. The clasp on the choker is a silver ball with hook. You may unscrew the ball of the choker to add another pendant or wear alone.

Ready to ship. I use priority mail with insurance since this is a rare one of a kind piece.

Made with love and magic in my Planet Calamari Studio located in Salem MA. See more art to wear at the Planet Calamari Etsy shop

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Monday, February 21, 2011

In Need of a Spring Make Over

I have been fantasizing all winter about getting a complete makeover. One like those surprise attacks on What Not To Wear. (Considering that i have not had cable for about 6 years, i am not even sure that show is even still on TV or that people even remember it.) It was one of my favorite Friday evening shows. Yes there are days i miss having TV, but not enough to sign back up with evil Comcast.

How luxurious would it be to have a team of experts work round the clock on completely changing hair, clothing and make-up on a much needed recipient? (Most days, i work with dogs who like to lick my face, so make up is worn on the rare occasion, not to mention i live in jeans. They do not seem to pick up dog or cat hair. )

Now that i am treating women one day a week at the Acupuncture Center of Salem it would be nice to dress appropriately. No need for designer threads. However new ones would be a treat. And to be instantaneously transformed into a new woman. Oh to have a decent haircut. A fabulous hair color. Is that possible? I have yet to get a decent haircut here in puritan Massachusetts. Inevitably i end up running home with a bad cut, a color that never took and rushing to the bathroom to chop on it myself, cursing the money and time spent listening to bad music and a hairdresser with a huge ego.

This weekend under the duress of frigid weather and feeling old, the urge to run off and be transformed into Gwen Stefani loomed. Platinum white hair. Red lipstick. Attitude, confidence and cute shoes. I have no idea what she even sings. But i want whatever she is drinking please.

So instead of attempting to bleach this wild medusa head of multicolored hair, i decided to give the Planet Calamari Etsy shop a makeover. (Plus it was an assignment from one of the Etsy teams i just joined.) Cheaper than transforming myself and probably much safer in the long run. I am sure my husband is thankful i did not try to dye my hair with bleach or crazy colors (again).

Fortunately it was a long weekend with the Presidents Day holiday. After a traumatic trip to one of my least favorite places, Home Depot (close tie with going to the dentist), my husband, now the official Planet Calamari photographer and i picked out a few ceramic and marble tiles for the photo shoots. Two days later most of the jewelry has been re-shot with the help of the cats.

A new shop banner was made....over and over. Changes in product descriptions, tags, and all those tiny details that add up were made. Yes there was wine involved. Did i mention it is a holiday weekend? Even acupuncturists are allowed to take off once and awhile!

It is 7:00 PM on a freezing Monday. I am sitting in a pair of ratty holey jeans. So holey that i should not be allowed out to even walk the dog in them. No makeup on. Hair is still wild, big and several shades of eggplant, brown, burgundy, with a few renegade white ones.

However.... the Planet Calamari Art Galleria Etsy shop now has a new look! Maybe Gwen Stefani will buy a few things for her old friends Stevie Nicks and Cyndi Lauper.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Earth Goddess Earrings

There are days i just want to wear a long flowing dress and roam through a field of flowers or green lush forest barefoot.

I created these earrings with recycled beads from jewelry i found at my favorite thrift shop. Up-cycled semi-precious tigers eye are were placed at the very top of the earrings. (Below are the qualities of tigers eye) The donut ceramic beads are earth toned browns and greens. They have a very Zen like quality about them. They are paired with contrasting green hued ceramic beads with clear glass beads.

Silver plated ear wires combined with the gold toned wire on the earrings combines both yin and yang aspects and gives an old world look.

Tigers eye is used for psychic protection. It helps to elease anxiety, fear, and obsessiveness and to make emotions more logical. It is frequently listed as a good stone for business and achieving clarity. Tiger eye also symbolizes willpower, confidence, and assurance. It is said to clear visual disturbances and provide protection during travel.

These are simple earrings yet make a statement. Wear these Crunchy Granola Boho Chic earrings with your favorite pair of jeans or Earth Goddess flowing dress. Everyday is Earth Day on Planet Calamari. Makes a lovely Mother's Day or special occasion gift for her.

Ready to ship. If you have any questions please convo me.

Made with love and magic in my Planet Calamari Studio located in Salem MA. See more art to wear at the Planet Calamari Etsy shop
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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Addicted to wire wrapping...

I have several bags of sea glass and sea ceramic i have found on Derby Wharf in Salem when the tide was out. Until recently i had only used the pieces in mixed media work and masks. This past weekend i finally figured out how to wire wrap... and it is addicting. These pendants are waiting for silver chains to hang from and then will be put on the Planet Calamari Etsy shop.

Until then perhaps i should search for a 12 step program for wrap-a-holics.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

One Way Ticket to Costa Rica Please

It is been an especially long and snowy winter here in New England. We have been hit with snow every week, usually on Wednesdays for some reason. I am sure it is some cosmic joke. Hump day... Wednesday named for the fierce Norse God, Odin aka Woden. And i know that trouble maker Mercury has some part in the whole Wednesday thing. Nobody ever said thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster it's Wednesday.

A state of emergency should be called in New England. The entire North East is suffering from Cabin Fever, most pathetically pale, deficient in Vitamin D and nobody has seen the sun in weeks. Folks from around here have the tendency to be cranky and somewhat shall i say it.... rude all year round. I would say the Rude Level is about a Code Red these days. After living in Sunny San Diego for over 20 years it was a culture shock to experience the difference in human behavior. Maybe sunlight plays a role in acting nice.

Yes- there is even a book dedicated to why people in New England are ruder than anywhere else in the country! It has something to do with what part of England they fled to America from. Somehow the Puritans were the nastiest of the bunch and landed in MA. The uptight witch burning Puritan DNA seems to have continued down through the generations here. So when people around here complain about how rude the French are, i roll my eyes... one must come to Commonwealth of MA to experience true abruptness and the true essence of passive aggression. And for the record- not everyone here in MA is bad mannered. There are some very nice people mostly from somewhere else And the French are a lovely people. I would like to be French when i grow up. May i have another glass of Pastis please?

Lately i have had the urge to run off to Costa Rica or Brazil. Soak in sun, rain forest colors and hang out with tropical birds. However since i have not been able to make most of my acupuncture house calls due to the snow each week,i may soon be standing in a soup line instead. So instead i am making jewelry, working on some new mixed media sculptures and the Planet Calamari etsy site. If it ever warms up i may be able to actually paint the sculptures. Maybe June?

These earrings were inspired by the colors of South America, created with recycled vintage brass beads from Guatamala, Mexican heart milagros and semi-precious Fluorite and Hematite beads. Milagro means miracle in Spanish.

Fluorite is said to absorb and neutralize negative vibrations. It makes one more receptive to the vibrations of other stones. It is a meditation stone to help energize the body and raise the power of concentration. The fluorite beads used in these earrings have a dark purple hue with a hint of sea green.

Hematite is said to keep inward peace. Many believe it to aid balance, reason, and clarity. t may enhance memory and intellect, strengthen circulatory systems and blood and kidney disorders.

Put on some Gypsy King music and dance while wearing these one of a kind earrings. Makes a lovely Valentines Day gift or declaration of love!

Made with love and magic in the Planet Calamari Art Studio located in Snarky Salem MA.

See more jewelry and art at

See sun-filled work by artists from all over on this Snowed In ... Send Sun STAT Etsy Treasury
click here

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Happy Chinese Year of the Rabbit

The Year of the Metal Rabbit

The Lunar New Year always falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice. We begin the Year of the White Metal Rabbit on February 3, 2011 and it ends on January 22, 2012.

"According to Chinese tradition, the Rabbit brings a year in which you can catch your breath and calm your nerves. This is a year for negotiation. Forcing issues will cause failure. Go with the flow. To gain the greatest benefits from this time, focus on home, family, security, diplomacy. Time to create a safe, peaceful lifestyle, so you will be able to calmly deal with any problem that may arise."

How do you say Happy New Year in Chinese? Greet everyone you meet with "Gung Hay Fat Choy" which means "Wishing You Prosperity and Wealth".

Red for Good Fortune

During the Chinese New Year the color red is important. People wear red clothes, write poems on red paper, and give children "good fortune money" in red envelopes.

The symbolism behind the red color is fire, and fire burns off bad luck. Fireworks are set off to scare the evil spirits away from the new year.

Wishing you a very prosperous and happy year of the Rabbit from Planet Calimari

Or.. year of the Wabbit! Enjoy the Bugs Bunny Clip