Art

Signorelli – Mix: Beautiful Handcrafted Italian Jewelry

by Lindy
Janine Signorelli | Signorelli - Mix Jewelry

Janine Signorelli | Signorelli – Mix Jewelry

Allow me to introduce you to Signorelli – Mix handcrafted Italian sterling silver jewelry.  Jewelry designer, Janine Signorelli, is a family friend who  lives in Los Angeles and travels to her ancestral homeland of Italy each year for inspiration, sourcing and collaboration with top jewelry makers. Janine has recently launched her Signorelli – Mix Etsy store and is populating it with all her beautiful earrings, necklaces and rings. Go take a peek at her shop and see what you think.

I find the way she makes each piece fascinating. I wish I could watch it firsthand; especially if it involves going to Italy. I’ve enjoyed wearing several items of her jewelry this past week and have received many compliments. I’ll share more photos on social soon – #signorellimix.

From Janine: All Signorelli – Mix earrings with stones have all been cast and set in Italy. Each pair has the official Italian stamp for Sterling Silver. The jewelry is exclusively designed by me in my Santa Monica, California studio.

I spend my summers in Italy, and have had the guidance of a top jeweler. My stones are made in my home studio fired away with a personal high fire kiln. Each stone is made one at a time, shaped, carved, dried, fired, glazed, then glassed on the 3rd round with an occasional 4th firing.
*Note: specific processes for each item of jewelry may vary and details for each will be outlined in her Etsy store.

Signorelli - Mix Earrings Etsy.com/shop/signorellimix

Signorelli – Mix Venetian Date Earrings
Etsy.com/shop/signorellimix

Signorelli-Mix Handcrafted Italian Sterling Silver Necklace

Signorelli – Mix Handcrafted Italian Sterling Silver Necklace
Etsy.com/shop/signorellimix

Signorelli-Mix Venetian Date Earrings

Signorelli – Mix Venetian Date Earrings
Etsy.com/shop/signorellimix

Signorelli-Mix Dureta Calla Lilly Earrings

Signorelli – Mix Dureta Calla Lilly Earrings
Etsy.com/shop/signorellimix

Signorelli – Mix Handcrafted Sterling Silver Daisy Ring
Etsy.com/shop/signorellimix

Janine has always been a creative and talented individual. In the next few paragraphs, she describes her personal journey from professional Italian chef to beautiful jewelry designer.

“I am a professionally trained chef who has always had an eye on small, colorful bites. I knew I would move back to my homeland (Italy) since I was 3yrs. After 1 year of college studying theatre arts, I took what was planned as a semester off. That semester turned into what I call having the opportunity to grow up again. Since I was still a teen upon departure, a young woman upon return. I earned my culinary degree from a 2 year program in Umbria, then continued on apprenticing in top restaurants including Pappagallo in Bologna & Gualtiero Marchese in Milan. My eye was always drawn to the tiny bites, appetizers, colorful desserts, especially shiny chocolates dressed in edible gold & silver leaf.”

“Before all that, my favorite art class was ceramics. My specialty was carving out shapes then filling these with recycled glass. Over the years I occasionally fired my glass works for special gifts. I’ve created a few tiles and the tile is what gave me that spark of genius. Tiny shiny objects, my love for color especially in glass, I created my 1st piece of jewelry, a ring with a miniature tile. Traveling for Christmas in Egypt with my best girlfriends (I was living In Italy then) I  purchased a silver bangle ring in Hurghada, a scuba divers dreamland off the Red Sea in Egypt. I took that original ring to a friend, a jeweler, and asked that he add a small bezel atop the bangle which holds my first tiny tile. The ring is now available recreated using the lost wax technique with the bezel holding an array of my tiny colorful tiles. I extended the use of the ring idea into a pendant, again with the help of a very well known Italian jeweler friend. I designed the pendant adding a simple round and an oval creating a tear-dropped design. The pendant is available as a first generation where the stones, my stones I call them, are simply set with epoxy. My 2nd generation pendant with exclude the epoxy, the stones will be set using prongs.”

“I moved on from the culinary arts to the art of jewelry creation. My jewelry continues to be entirely designed by me, now also carved or dripped with wax by me before sending off for casting in silver. I spend my summers in Italy, I have had the opportunity of the guidance of a top jeweler and currently creating my pieces in Santa Monica, my hometown.  My stones are made in my home studio fired away with my personal high fire kiln. Each stone is made one at a time, shaped, carved, dried, fired, glazed, then glassed. 3 firings total, before being set in a silver setting. Many steps to the end game. I find the artwork meditating, not more or less than my cooking, I just love creating tiny things that last.”

Here is some more interesting information about Signorelli – Mix jewelry.

“Deruta Calla Lilly” earrings are named after a small town in Umbria “the Green Heart of Italy” where Janine lived for 12 years. Deruta is famous for its ceramics and the shape of the earring resembles the flower.

“Venetian Date” earrings are named after the fruit and because Venice, Italy is world renowned for the colorful art of glass creations.

There are several more jewelry selections to choose from when you visit the Signorelli – Mix shop on Etsy, and each piece has a unique name and story. I invite you to take a gander at it – www.etsy.com/shop/signorellimix.

Let me know what you think! If you like her jewelry, please ‘follow’ her shop on Etsy, share it with friends on social and buy something pretty for yourself or someone special. Most items cost about $50 on up.


Homemade Typewriter Poetry Valentines Cards

by Lindy

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I hope your heart is filled with love on this special day for romance. Here are some homemade Valentine’s Day cards that I made for a pen pal swap through Seattle paper magnate, Lyndsey at The Stationery Place.

This is my second year participating; it is a rewarding to receive thoughtful, homemade valentines from new pen pals from across the globe. I like to make the homemade valentines using my red Olivetti Lettera typewriter (named Beulah Hildegard Francis) to create my typewriter poetry cards.

This year’s poetry includes:

Love is a game. Love is war. Love is patient. Love is kind.

Love is a many splendored thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. All you need is love.

Love is a verb. Take action.

Homemade Valentines by Lindy | "Love is a game. Love is war. Love is patient. Love is kind."

Typewriter Poetry Homemade Valentines by Lindy | “Love is a game. Love is war. Love is patient. Love is kind.”

Typewriter Poetry Homemade Valentines by Lindy | "Love is a many splendored thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. All you need is love."

Typewriter Poetry Homemade Valentines by Lindy | “Love is a many splendored thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. All you need is love.”

Homemade Valentines by Lindy | "Love is a verb. Take action."

Typewriter Poetry Homemade Valentines by Lindy | “Love is a verb. Take action.”

Here are the homemade valentines I’ve received from my pen pals so far, from gals in Iowa, California, Washington, England and Australia.

Homemade Valentine Card Swap | The Stationery Place

Homemade Valentine Card Swap | The Stationery Place

Homemade Valentine Card Swap | The Stationery Place

Homemade Valentine Card Swap | The Stationery Place

Homemade Valentine Card Swap | The Stationery Place

Homemade Valentine Card Swap | The Stationery Place

Homemade Valentine Card Swap | The Stationery Place

Homemade Valentine Card Swap | The Stationery Place

Homemade Valentine Card Swap | The Stationery Place

Homemade Valentine Card Swap | The Stationery Place

Homemade Valentine Card Swap | The Stationery Place

Speaking of handcrafted, I also received some beautiful Signorelli-Mix “Venetian Date” Italian sterling silver earrings in the mail this week! The designer, Janine, is a family friend who has her heart in Italy as well as Los Angeles and creates beautiful jewelry out of silver and colorful Italian glass. Please take a moment to check out her unique selections on Etsy. I will be writing and showing more photos of her beautiful jewelry later this week.

Signorelli-Mix Venetian Dates Earrings | For Sale on Etsy

Signorelli-Mix Venetian Dates Earrings | For Sale on Etsy

Finally, here are the homemade valentines I made for my eight year old’s classroom using my fun typewriter poetry. I believe they were the best valentines in class and received a standing ovation (in my overactive imagination). Poems included were:

Love is a verb. Take action. (3rd graders need lessons in English, so this is an educational poem.)
Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet and so are you. (An oldie but a goodie.)
You are just my type. (See the fun play on words?)
Friends are like family, but better. (Profound, huh?)

Typewriter Poetry Homemade Valentines by Lindy | 3rd Grade Edition

Typewriter Poetry Homemade Valentines by Lindy | 3rd Grade Edition


Tattify Typewriter Tattoo Review

by Lindy
Tattify Typewriter Tattoo - Amazon.com

Tattify Typewriter Tattoo – Amazon.com

I learned about Tattify temporary tattoos when shopping on my favorite website, Amazon.com, searching for vintage typewriters. Up popped up a suggested product for a vintage Royal typewriter tattoo. A few clicks and it was purchased – two for $5 – what a steal!

The tattoos arrived quickly (thanks to Amazon Prime) and I was impressed with the packaging and product presentation. I love Tattify’s overall concept and designs. They are fun, unique and creative.

When I first put on my typewriter tattoo, an easy and quick process, I was giddy. It was a little big for my thin forearm, but it was a nice change from the empty canvas.

Tattify Typewriter Tattoo

Tattify Typewriter Tattoo

Sadly, in less than 24 hours, with no bathing or sun exposure, the tattoo looked faded and blob-like. I’m not pleased by it. I guess that is what a real tattoo would look like after a few decades of aging. I think I will use a Sharpie pen and make my own tattoo next time. Or (gasp) go for the real thing (not likely).

Tattify Typewriter Tattoo Day 2

Tattify Typewriter Tattoo Day 2

Here is my Norwegian cousin Heidi’s word art tattoo that I absolutely love and wouldn’t mind sporting on my forearm. It translates to (from my best translating attempts): tough, funny, strong-willed, joyful, brave, I’m good enough, honest, creative, comfortable, dutiful, conscientious. I feel these words speak to me and describe me as well.

Heidi's Norwegian Word Art Tattoo

Heidi’s Norwegian Word Art Tattoo


Norwegian Vacation Part 1

by Lindy

Orange County, California to Norway
March 30 – April 13, 2013
Part 1 of the Epic Adventure

We had the most excellent two week trip in Norway! I’m compelled to recap our adventures before my memory completely fades, but I will break down our journey into a few different posts out of consideration for short attention spans. Although traveling with kids is not necessarily the most relaxing or fun, we feel it’s very important for our kids to experience the fun traveling and exposure to other cultures to broaden their knowledge of the world. I also wanted them to spend time with our Norwegian family and learn more about our ancestry (as much as what’s possible with a seven, five and two year old.)

This first post will cover the craziness that ensued just to arrive in Norway, the main highlights of our first two days as tourists in Oslo and I’ll finish the post with a thoughtful interpretation of a missing stage of life from the famous Vigeland Sculpture Park as told to me by our  Air BnB apartment host, Christian Krogh.

Throughout our trip, I took travel notes on my smart phone on a simple notepad app. It was the easiest and most accessible tool and as it’s an Android phone, it was easy to speak into the microphone to record my notes. The fun began at 4:30 a.m. Saturday morning, March 30th. We had an 8:30 flight on American Airlines, so we woke up 4:30 am. Everything went smoothly and we were confident of our travel mojo on the runway waiting to take off, until the pilot got on the intercom to tell us that the plane had a broken part and we needed to go back to the terminal to inspect it. After inspection, they said they needed to shuttle a crew of mechanics from Los Angeles to fix the broken part, so everyone needed to get off the plane, get their luggage from baggage claim and go to ticketing for new flights. !!WTF?!! Didn’t they realize our luggage was practically 6 feet tall since there was five of us traveling?! And only two of us were capable of carrying it (oh, actually one because it was too heavy for me.)

Photo Credit: Lindy Neubauer

Luggage Cart: (1) 50 lb. suitcase, (1) 40 lb. duffle bag, (2) big backpacks and (1) bag of car seats.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

7:00 am – Excited Traveler

7:30 am – Happy Traveler

Photo Credit: Lindy Neubauer

9:30 am – Angry Traveler

Photo Credit: Lindy Neubauer

9:45 am – Weary Travelers

But, we forged on and did as we were told. Round 2 with luggage, ticketing and security (not so easy)- we had new flights. We got to our gate and discovered our flight was delayed 30 minutes. No problem, we thought, we had time. The agent at the gate told us that the delay would make us miss our connecting flight, however, so we needed to be booked on yet another flight and there wasn’t showing anything available for us in the system. She recommended we go home and come back the next day to take the first flight out or that we could fly to London and stay the night there and fly to Oslo the following day. I would have chosen option #2 before choosing to go home and come back the next day. As a last resort she offered us the solution of taking a shuttle to Los Angeles airport, taking a red eye flight to London that evening and then flying to Oslo direct. We all agreed it was the best option, so we took it, however, we had to get our luggage out of baggage claim again, but by this point we were experts.

The rest of the flight details were a breeze once we got out of Orange County airport; they gave us excellent customer service throughout with food vouchers and bulkhead seating which were golden. I was so glad we weren’t pinched in the regular seats; the passengers were all trying to sleep and get comfortable in extremely cramped seats. I enjoyed watching Silverlining Playbook before drifting of into a nice slumber.

Some mishaps that occurred which kept us on our toes included our two year old son ‘doing his duty’ in his diaper right before landing and it went up and out of the back of his pants. Luckily, we had a change of clothes and did a quick presto-chango in the bathroom. Next, at airport security for our connecting flight in London Heathrow, he somehow gagged on his lollipop and started throwing up on himself just as we were taking off our shoes and laying everything out to go through x-ray. It was messy and smelly and distracting. Since we weren’t entirely focused at this point, we neglected to take out our iPads and other items from our bags to be scanned. Therefore we were flagged for closer scrutiny and Jonathan was frisked for good measure. But we pressed on and were rewarded with the most awesome indoor playground for kids where they could burn off energy while waiting for our connecting flight to Oslo. Our five year old peed her pants, because stopping playing to go to the bathroom is just a drag. Again, we were fortunate to have packed a spare pair of pants for such occasions – I’m a pro.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

London Heathrow Airport Hitchhiker

The final leg of the trip was a blur of shuttling, screening, waiting and various forms of transportation. We arrived in Oslo Gardermoen airport at 12:30 am Monday morning (eight hours ahead of California time) so we’d been on the go for over 34 hours at that point and still needed to retrieve our mound of luggage, go through customs, take the express train to Oslo Central Station and take a taxi to our rental apartment. We were all frazzled and extremely fatigued, but we made it happen. It wasn’t fun or easy, but we did it (with a lot of stares from onlookers.) We finally laid our heads on our pillows at 2:30 am (36 hours from start to finish) and although the kids were excellent travelers keeping their spirits and resilience up throughout, my daughters were in tears at that point saying that they didn’t like Norway and they wanted to go home.

I questioned our rationale for taking this big of a trip and assessed whether or not it was too ambitious of us. But we were certainly not going to go home at that point. After a solid night’s rest, everything looked sunny and bright again and we were ready to explore Oslo. We downloaded the Visit Oslo (tourist sites), NSB (trains) and Ruter Billett (bus) apps as well as Google Maps and our portable WiFi to navigate Oslo with relative ease. We also brought our Anker portable external battery chargers to help recharge everything on the go as needed.

Highlights from Monday in Oslo included: me slipping on a sheet of ice while walking to find a neighborhood restaurant that was recommended, eating pizza and a falafel at a “Friends” store when we discovered the restaurant and everything else was closed for the Easter holiday. Interestingly, the man at the counter asked me, “Do you want little or small falafel?” I said small and lo and behold, the ‘small’ was quite huge; I should have clarified before ordering.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Friends Store in Kvaernbyen Oslo
Everywhere we go, we take over the place.

Our tourist highlights that day was viewing the Palace and the changing of the guard and walking around the beautiful Aker Brygge harbor area and the kids played on an outdoor playground.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Oslo Royal Palace

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Changing of the Guard Oslo

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Rower water sculpture Aker Brygge Oslo

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Aker Brygge Oslo

We dined at a cozy restaurant called Rorbua that had a rustic and nautical decor. The menu had seafood and traditional Norwegian food and everything was delicious. We had a valuable economics lesson after that meal; it ended up costing us $200 USD! But still I’m happy we ate there instead of the alternatives of Big Horn Steakhouse or TGIF’s. I could justify and embrace spending that much on this fantastic dinner because we were still recovering from airplane food as well as an exteme case of travel fatigue.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Rorbua Restaurant Aker Brygge Oslo

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Steak at Rorbua

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Salmon at Rorbua

On Tuesday one of the highlights was Vigeland Sculpture Park where the kids played on the snowy playground, observed all the beautiful, naked sculptures and sledded down the icy steps near the phallic monolith in the center of the park.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Southern Californian girl at home in the snow.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Everywhere we travel, there must be a playground. Vigeland Park Oslo.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Universal playground fave. Vigeland Park Oslo.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Peek a boo. Vigeland Park Oslo.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Making friends in Norway.
Vigeland Park Oslo

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Vigeland Sculpture Park Oslo

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Here’s how we feel about traveling with kids.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Nordic Mama. Vigeland Park Oslo

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Girl huddle. Vigeland Park Oslo.

A rare photo of the the couple taken by their daughter.

A rare photo of the the couple taken by their daughter.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Traveling Troll at Vigeland Park Olso.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Sledding at Vigeland Park Olso.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Real life family sculpture. Vigeland Park Oslo.

We then went to the open air Folk Museum to see how Norwegians lived from the 1700s to present day.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Folk Museum Oslo

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Folk Museum Oslo

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Traveling Troll at the Folk Museum Oslo

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Folk Museum Oslo

Then we walked around the beautiful Opera House and took in the breathtaking views.

The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet House
Photo Credit: VisitOslo.com | Karianne Lund

Photo Credit: Lindy Neubauer

Statue of Norwegian Opera Legend, Kirsten Flagstad

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Opera House Oslo

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Annika at Opera House Oslo

Photo Credit: Jonathan Neubauer

Norwegian ingenuity and determination. Opera House Oslo.

We ended the day at an outdoor cafe called Skansen and enjoyed a glass of wine, apple cake and ice cream near Akershus Fortress.

Akershus Fortress Photo Credit: VisitOslo.com | Nancy Bundt

Apple Cake and Ice Cream at Skansen Cafe Oslo

Our host at our apartment rental, Christian, wrote in his ‘Guide to Oslo’ notes that there is a theme of life throughout Vigeland Sculpture Park but that there was one mysteriously missing. He challenges his guests to discover what that is, but if they can’t, to email him for his theory. We attempted to find the missing stage of life, but ultimately had to resort to emailing Christian. Here is his detailed explanation of Gustav Vigeland, the sculptor, and the missing stage of life.

“Gustav Vigeland was undoubtly a great artist but not a very sympathetic person. He was very focused on leaving a memorable location about himself and his art. He never got married but had a lot of female relationships. Why do so many girls like the bad guys? He did not treat the women nice. In fact it is stated that he was confronted on several occasion for beating them up. The theme of the park is “Life”. The park is supposed to show all shades of life. The “Monolitt” is supposed to symbolize the male genitals. As you so in the park you have newborn babies and old people. However, a pregnant woman is missing. Why when the theme is suppose to be all shades of life? We don’t know for sure but what we think is that G. Vigeland did not think that a pregnant woman was a pretty picture to portrait. 

G.Vigeland had a younger brother that also was an artist. Gustav made sure that nobody credited his younger brother’s work. During the war the younger brother got the nazi occupation authorities to give him a small chapel to decorate. He did a great work in this chapel. When you enter the chapel there is a big box right over the entrance door to the chapel. Vigeland was asked why he had placed this big box over the entrance door. Anyone entering the chapel had to bow their head to get in to the chapel. The younger version of Vigeland said that “I put it there because when I die I will use it as my coffin. If my older brother drops by to see what I have made, I want to make sure that he has to bow his head.” – Christian Krogh

WOW! Talk about a fascinating art history lesson!

Next, “Norwegian Vacation Part Two” will cover our five days in Larvik, my maternal great grandfather and great grandmother’s hometown, where we spent quality time with family.


I Haiku. Do You?

by Lindy

This Valentine’s Day season, I signed up to be a part of a Homemade Valentine’s Day Card Swap through The Stationery Place. This was yet another one of my social media stellar stumbles.

Last night, I discovered my inspiration and concept for my homemade beauties and created these four individual poems and cards.

Homemade Valentine Card Swap

Typewriter Poetry, written by moi

Love is in the air,
Cupid doesn’t care,
He will spear you,
So BEWARE!

L – Laughter
O – Over
V – Vain
E – Ego

To rhyme is not a crime,
If you are a poet, you should show it.
As well as share it with friends.

My haiku is the best though. There was a lot of consonant counting going on to develop this one:

Valentine’s Card Swap.
Love and Friendship are in Bloom.
Once Strangers, Now Friends.

Yes, I know the poems are corny; that’s what makes them so great. Plus, there is something odd about writing a romantic love poem to a female stranger. My pen pals included two separate women from West Virginia, one from Alabama and one from Australia. I hope they appreciate my attempt at poetry, comedy and paper crafting!

Valentine's Day Homemade Card Swap - Haiku

I haiku. Do you?


Why Can’t I Mark My Golf Ball With a Daisy?!

by Lindy

While at the Aliso Viejo Country Club for my husband’s company Christmas party this December, I stumbled upon these dandy Golf Rules Posters tacked to a bulletin board. I really found the drawings and scenarios amusing, but I am equally relieved to have been taught that I actually can’t mark my ball with a daisy. What a dunce, Nancy!

I have no sympathy for Ron in the second scenario, however. Nobody likes a poor sport – even if he does use polite vernacular such as, “Gee Whiz?!**” (Is that a questioning exclamation with an expletive at the end for good measure?)

When I decide to join a country club, it gives me tremendous peace of mind to know there are creative citizens out there that deeply care about teaching me golf etiquette with such brilliant posters.

Poor Nancy

Poor Clueless Nancy!

Gee Whiz!

Gee Whiz Ron!

Speaking of dunces, look at these clowns monopolizing the photo booth at said party! Gee whiz!

Can someone please publish some 'Photo Booth Etiquette' posters?

Rule #1 of Photo Booths: Masquerade's are Creepy.

Rule #1 of Photo Booths: Masquerade’s are Creepy.


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