Wednesday, December 31, 2014

hApPy NeW yEaR fRoM tHe GiLdEd GyPsIeS!

Out with the old, in with the new. Make an adventure, make a friend, make a work of art. 
Make it count.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

                    Let us live life with grateful hearts.
   Happy Thanksgiving from The Gilded Gypsies!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Be the Light

Each of us has a gift and talents which we can share with others. Smile at the people walking past you. Compliment the checkout person at the grocery store. Joke with the people who are serving you at a restaurant. Make somebody's day. We don't know what private battle each person is fighting. You may be the only bright spot in their day, so make it count!

Each day I climb the stairs to my studio I pray that God will use me as a tool to shine the light to others. It doesn't cost any money. It only requires being your genuine self and authentically sharing your happiness or creativity with one another. Particularly as women we need to support one another and cheer each other on! Don't be afraid of people "stealing" your ideas. Nobody can take your brain and the unlimited potential and stream of creativity you possess. YOU know what you've designed and created. If somebody copies you, consider it flattery and pity the fact that they can't come up with their own original ideas or creations. Be secure in the fact that you are UNIQUE.

Go forth and shine the light for others to see. It's contagious! YOU are one in a million, just like the stars in the sky at night. Shine Baby Shine!

xo Anne

Saturday, October 11, 2014

To laugh often and love much
To win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children
To earn the approbation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others
To give one's self, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a 
    redeemed social condition
To have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exaltation
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.
                                              ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

How do you define success? Take time out of your busy schedule to evaluate what is most important to you.  Spend your time wisely and pay attention to your priorities. Our lives are so busy and hectic that they fly by too easily. We respond to the next fire we have to put  out. We respond and react so much that we sometimes forget to take stock of how we spend our time and energy. 

Carve some time out to take a breath and figure out how you can best define success. Make sure to take time out for yourself! Enjoy the beauty around you.  ~ Anne

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Castle in the Clouds

 There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.

Yes, I have a normal job, my life is not all creativity and smelling the roses.  Annually we survey our employees and spend our energy working toward being a "great place to work".  This year, I am serving as the "Great Place to Work" champion.  It occurred to me as I made my way home the other day that the creatives of the world need a "great place to work".  Having housed my talent and endeavors until now in a small attic room. I am so appreciative of the space I now have to stretch out that I find myself savoring the place as much as the artistic process. This is my encouragement to you to find your space.

A Victorian desk laden with a wrought iron garden piece is my main creating space. The shelf nearby came out of my Mom and Dad's shed where it was destined for certain demolition. I added baskets dry brushed white for art supplies. Old silver-plated pieces house my collaging tools and paint brushes.

Surrounding myself with the beautiful remains of the past inspires me so I have lots and lots of small vintage treasures that I picked up at estate sales.  These tiny obsessions fill wooden shelves and cover every available surface. A tiny metal Tootsie Toys piano sits next to a Victorian pincushion in the shape of a shoe...and there's Mr. Peanut, a retro salt shaker from the 1930s.  Angels and crucifixes, old perfume bottles and rhinestone purses, silver candlesticks and dried all adds to the ambiance in my creative space.

                                                                                A room without a chandelier is a room with no light. I've added paper mache angels to mine and continue to add vintage prisms as I find them.Vintage lighting can be found at estate sales and restored to working condition. If pieces are missing, get creative.    The top hardware on mine is made from a scrolly metal base I picked up somewhere and a vintage clockface! You must have one.  I insist.

A picture that hung in my grandmother's bedroom and then in my mother's keeps them near me while I work.  The dark cabinet of drawers on the right is where I house all of the supplies for our Gilded Gypsies jewelry. The chair is a turn of the century piece which I layered with loads of paint and gook to get a distressed vintage finish. I am one of those people who never researches how to do something, I just start splashing and sawing.  Clearly, I'm lawless......and dangerous. But the point is that if I can figure it out, anyone can. This is shoestring decor as the only pieces I paid any real money for were the desk, the multi drawer cabinet, the wrought iron trellis and the gold tabletop under the window.  Everything else was rescued and refurbished.

Favorite Things
Victorian Silver-plate
Victorian Shoe Pincushions
Religious Relics, Rosaries, and Crucifixes
Vintage Photographs and Tintypes
Antique Gold Leaf Frames
Tootsie Toys Dollhouse Furniture
Vintage Clocks
Small Vintage Books
Vintage French Postcards

Music is a must have in a creative space. Some of my favorites:
Overwhelmed ~ Big Daddy Weave
Sunrise ~ Norah Jones
Across the River ~ Bruce Hornsby
The Way I Am ~ Caroline Pennell
If I Didn't Know Any Better ~ Mindy Smith
Whom Shall I Fear ~ Chris Tomlin
Paperweight ~ Schuyler Fisk & Joshua Radin
Perfectly Lonely ~ John Mayer 

~ Marie ~
There are no rules of architecture for a 
                              castle in the clouds. ~G.K. Chesterton

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Adonais....Lost Angel of a Ruined Paradise, words to inspire

I am enamored with Percy Bysshe Shelley and the romantic poets of the early 1800s. Particularly, the poem Adonais which Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote to eulogize John Keats who died of tuberculosis in Rome at the age of 25. The Keats-Shelley House is located next to the Spanish Steps and is a romantic look back at work of these remarkable men.  Housed in the Museum are letters from notables of the day including Oscar Wilde who claimed "the most sacred spot in all of Rome is the grave of John Keats". It's not a typically Italian place to visit, but authentic and worth a stop!

I want to share a couple of excerpts from this beautiful work,

   And one with trembling hands clasps his cold head,
   and fans him with her moonlight wings and cries,
   "Our love, our hope, our sorrow, is not dead,
   See on the silken fringe of his faint eyes,
   Like dew upon a sleeping flower, there lies
   A tear some Dream has loosened from his brain."
   Lost angel of a ruined Paradise!
   She knew not 'twas her own; as with no stain
   She faded, like a cloud which had outwept its rain.

The imagery contained in a "procession" of those who loved John Keats and bemoaned his passing is one of my favorite parts....the personification of our emotions and thoughts is poetry at its finest.


And others came...Desires and Adoration,
Winged Persuasions and veiled Destinies,
Splendours, and Glooms and glimmering Incarnations of hopes and fears,
and twilight Phantasies,
and Sorrow with her family of Sighs.
and Pleasure, blind with tears, led by the gleam
Of her own dying smile instead of eyes,
Came in slow pomp - the moving pomp might seem like pageantry of mist on an autumnal stream

All he had loved, and moulded into thought,    
From shape,and hue,and odour, and sweet sound,
Lamented Adonais, Morning sought
Her eastern watchtower, and her hair unbound,
Wet with tears which should adorn the ground,
Dimmed the aereal eyes that kindle day;
Afar the melancholy thunder moaned,
Pale Ocean in unquiet slumber lay,
And the wild Winds flew round,
sobbing in their dismay.  
The romantic poets, Shelley, Keats and Lord Byron were all gone in a moment, none having lived even into their 40s.  Tragic figures, but great minds who bared their souls and left us some of the most lovely verse ever written.

 I used one of Lord Byron's poems, "She Walks In Beauty" in my last collage. This is my encouragement to any who might read this post to read up on these 3 men and allow their thoughts to inspire you to create. Words paint a picture...........paint yours.    ~Marie~


Saturday, July 26, 2014


I try to think about the ways I can reach out to other people, even strangers. Compliment the clerk at WalMart or the grocery store. Wave to little children. Smile at old people. Say something humorous to cheer people up while you're standing in line. We never know what kind of battle another person might be fighting in their life. So be that person who shines the light of love to others!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Hope Springs Eternal

Maya Angelou said "You may encounter many defeats but you must not be defeated."

I saw this posted on Facebook and it really spoke to me. Maya Angelou lived life on her own terms, even in the face of abuse and neglect. She has served as an excellent role model for so many of us. She always maintained her dignity and poise and power. It reflected from her face and the way she carried herself.

How do you handle defeat or disappointment? It's easy to feel sorry for ourselves when things don't work out the way we'd hoped. It's easy to think "why me?!" We get tired of people telling us "that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger" or "trials build strength and character." I've got quite enough character thank you very much!

Gratitude and faith are the two things that inspire me to rise above failures or disappointments. As Marie says, "God never blinks, he is always constant and faithful."  It makes it a lot more palatable to go through unpleasant challenges when you know it's for a purpose or part of the plan...that you're supposed to learn some kind of important lesson. Being thankful for what you have is another thing that helps to offset hard times. 

It doesn't matter if the glass is half empty or half full. Be grateful that you have a glass and that there's something in it! At a friends memorial service recently I found a tiny little dandelion puff which I gave to his widow. Even in the darkest of days there is always hope for the future. As my Mom likes to say "The only thing that never changes is change." That means that even when you're suffering, it will not stay the same. It will pass or lessen with time.

So my friends, if you're going through a difficult time right now, focus on your faith and your friends. Ask for support if you need it. Take care of yourself and your needs. Carve out a moment to say a prayer or put on some yummy lotion or get a cold drink or sit in the sun for 5 minutes. Life is short, as we all know, so find moments of happiness and contentment, even if there are storms all around you. Remember, God never blinks. xo Anne

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Dear Marion, always full of life!

Dear Marion is my mother who is always full of life and energy! She is passionate and fights for causes she believes in. 

She is the source of my belief in myself that I can try any art project and be successful. As children she taught us how to do everything from ceramics, batik, candle making, tie dye, enamel on copper, knitting, embroidery, sewing and anything else you can think of. My brother Michael became a talented potter as a result (in addition to his stellar Chemistry Career). I have been out pursuing and trying any and all of the above mentioned endeavors, as a result of her inspiration. Marion made jewelry in college and I still wear some of the gorgeous silver bracelets she made today. Her love of creating jewelry and other beautiful things has inspired me and has now resulted in The Gilded Gypsies. 

She and my wonderful father Gerhard have inspired my love of travel as well (hence the Gypsies part). They took us to wonderful places around the world and even had us live in Germany while we were growing up. They inspired us to explore and try new things which has resulted in some very meaningful and memorable experiences and memories! 

And the story certainly would not be complete without including my wonderful Nannie, Ellen Marie Keane Healy who helped make my Mom and me who we are today! 

         Here are a few photos, as photographs are worth a thousand words! 

                               Happy Mother's Day Mom! xoxo

Saturday, May 10, 2014


My mother is still an inspiration to me.  Despite her battle with Alzheimer's, I still see her in there. I am convinced that she fights to keep what remains of her memory and ability to recognize those she loves. She still calls me "Sugar" and tells me to get some rest. I have a spiky "do" and she told me 3 times on my last visit to the nursing home that I needed to comb my hair. It makes me laugh. Moms are moms no matter how old they are, how old you are or what may have affected their abilities to mother.

Mother, the ribbons of your love are woven around my heart. ~Author Unknown

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

We've Got Freebie Art Images!

Along with the fun of making jewelry, we (some of us anyway) love vintage pictures...... taking pictures and then using them in jewelry and collage.  If you check out our "freebie"section, we are starting to offer pictures that you are welcome to download and use in your own art endeavors.  We would ask that you not use them for any other purpose without first asking (it's only polite).  

Framed Collage using angel images, old photos, and a watch face.

A journal using images of a French postcard, a scanned watch face, old stamps and a photo of Geraldine Ferrare in her heyday.

Here's a necklace I made using a picture of my sassy little Mom at age 3.


Get creative! Get creative! Get creative! Get creative! Get creative! Get creative!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

We're Movin'on Up

Just a boring but necessary post.....The Gilded Gypsies will be moving from Etsy to a new website. We will continue to add new jewels to our portfolio for your drooling pleasure. Certainly if you feel compelled to adorn your person with one of our creations, we can be reached through facebook or by email ( I will continue to create (the fun part) while Anne, aka the head gypsy, works on our new space (with great wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth).    Marie

Sunday, March 30, 2014

I drifted away for a moment.

Neglecting the artistic, is neglecting the self.

In creating, life's pressures and demands drift away.

Art is the only way to run away without leaving home. ~Twyla Tharp

What art offers is space — a certain breathing room for the spirit. ~John Updike

Trapped by reality, freed by imagination. ~Nicolas Manetta

Marie, drifting away...............

Monday, February 3, 2014

Love Day is coming up.

I love my husband of 31 years.  Tim is a homebody, settled, humorous, and philosophical. I'm flying by the seat of my pants most of the time, active, and extremely extroverted (I know, it's shocking). Tim taught a Sunday School lesson a couple of years ago and mentioned that we are a complimentary pair (of stooges, no he didn't really say that).   What he said was, "Marie's like a bunch of balloons that need to be tethered to the ground which is my job, but every now and then, she lifts my feet off the ground." How could I help but blossom under that kind of tutelage? One of my favorite quotes is from Emily Bronte. "Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same".  We've grown together, he and I. Here he is, my Funny Little Valentine.

My parents celebrated their 59th anniversary at my house on Christmas Eve. My Mom lives in a nursing home.  My Dad lives across the street from her in the independent living villas.  He walks over and visits her almost every day, taking a pocketful of chocolates because she'll enjoy them and it's what he can do.  Sometimes she forgets that they are married. My father's loyalty and clear devotion is what that "for better or worse" part means and I learn from it.

I posted the following to Facebook in 2012:

My mother lives in a nursing home and has advanced Alzheimer's. Last week when I arrived for a visit, the aid brought my mother from the activity room (where they were watching a Fred Astaire movie and eating little cups of popcorn). I waved and smiled as she approached. When the aide asked her if she knew who I was she said, "Oh yes, that's my happy child". My Dad arrived a bit later and my mother's neighbor across the hall pointed at him and asked my Mom who the fellow was. Her response.... "He's my Dearest One." 

Tell someone you love them.  It matters.