What’s In A Name?

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” – William Shakespeare ~ Romeo and Juliet

I have had wonderful and overwhelming comments from bloggers all over the world by participating in the OWOH Event. One comment in particular from Mervi of Finland made me do a double take. This is what she wrote:

nice to meet you via OWOH,
your blogname sounds “very ugly” in Finnish,
never tell it if you visit Finland! (hint), but you’ve
done such a beautiful things!
Lovely gift!


Initially, I was like, “what the heck?” and then my curiosity got the better of me and I had to google the meaning of Lutka in Finnish. Well, here is a link to the urban dictionary definition (my daughter kindly informed me that the urban dictionary is not always right): Lutka in Finnish. Needless to say, I burst out laughing! I told my DH about it, and he also thought it was hilarious. So, I will now clarify the reason I named my blog Lutka And Co. My husband originally comes from Croatia where they call dolls Lutka. I thought it sounded cute, and back when I made dolls(nearly two decades ago), I decided to call my doll making business Lutka And Co. I embellished the logo with cartoonish drawings of two boys and a girl(for my children). Although I currently make jewelry, I kept the name Lutka And Co as a business name. I am now getting back into dolls. I am slowly but surely working on my Izannah Walker Doll, and have a new interest in Blythe dolls. So, Mervi, thank you for enlightening me on the meaning of my blog name in Finnish. I will heed your advice and not bring it up if ever I should find myself travelling through Finland. I hope that the blog name will not disappoint unsuspecting Finnish gentlemen looking for “ladies of a certain persuasion”. They will come to my blog only to find a happily married middle aged mom making jewelry and playing with dolls 🙂 Here are some of my “Lutka’s” that I made in the past:

Oh, I have had some inquiries as to what a cockapoo is. To the left is our temperamental tiny toy poodle Koko, and to her right is Hiro our cockapoo(cocker spaniel/poodle mix) with his favorite rubber chicken toy.

One World One Heart 2011

I am participating in the fifth and final One World One Heart Event.  OWOH is a worldwide event for bloggers only. It gives all those who blog a chance to meet and mingle and form connections with those they may not have otherwise met from all over the world.  For more information and/or to participate, click on the logo below:

First off, thank you for stopping by my blog! Now to introduce myself: My name is Linda, and I live in sunny Southern California. I have a wonderful husband, three wonderful children; two boys and a girl, and two dogs; one, a crazy neurotic tiny toy poodle, and the other, a  bit of a fraidy-cat, cute and goofy cockapoo. My boys are both in College, and my daughter is in HS. I am a stay at home mom, “retired” from engineering.  I love to try just about any creative thing that comes my way. Currently, I make jewelry, mainly from lampwork glass beads that I create myself. I also like to do needlework, sewing, knitting, crocheting, digital graphics/scrapbooking, photography, gardening, baking, sometimes rock polishing, and making dolls. I recently stumbled onto the world of “Blythe”. I also like vintage, retro, modern, the list goes on and on… This year, I decided to live an “artful” life; something that gives me pleasure, and nurtures my soul.  To this end, I have joined challenges, an on-line art class, and sign up for classes within driving distance whenever I can.  I came up with three “door prizes”. If you would like to be put in the drawing for these prizes, please leave me a comment with which(or all)  prizes you are interested in, and also leave me your name and blog address so that I have a way of contacting you(if you should happen to be the winner) as well as visiting your blog. Thanks again for stopping by, and have a look at the following prizes:

Pink Rosette Spring Bracelet & Earrings Set: Bracelet and earrings made of my lampwork beads, light pink quartz rounds,  etched light pink druk beads, green glass leaf beads, and sterling silver components. The bracelet fits wrist size up to 7 3/4″ in diameter. Can you tell I love pink? 🙂

Redlands Orange Set: A pendant necklace made with my orange lampwork beads on an 18″ sterling silver chain and matching earrings with sterling silver ear wires. I live in a town with a history in the Citrus Industry. In fact, Our home is nestled in a small citrus grove. A perfect description of our town would be “old craftsman homes surrounded by orange trees with a backdrop of palm trees and snowcapped mountains in the distance”. Ok, I don’t live in an old craftsman, and the mountains are snowcapped only in the winter, but you get the idea:

Blythe Doll Spring Ensemble:  And finally, for the Blythe Doll enthusiast. As soon as I was aware of the Blythe Doll “phenomenon” I had to get one (two actually).  My DH and daughter just roll their eyes at my renewed interest in dolls. My sons just humor me – probably because they are away at college, and do not have to deal with my sometimes quirky and everchanging “interests” :-).  Anyway, I decided to sew a spring outfit, complete with a hand crocheted cap and genuine swarovski crystal earrings – in white and pink, of course!  And here is Hanako(Hana for short) modelling the ensemble.  Keep in mind, the dress, cap, and earrings are the prize, not the doll:

Again, thank you for stopping by! And remember to check back on February 17th for the announcement of the winners!

Photograph And Image Editing Workshop

I attended a Photograph and Image Editing workshop today at the RAA. Our instructor was Lisa Mozzini-McDill. It turned out to be an informative class since I was never really aware of the optimum conditions for taking photos – I always thought more light the better. And, also learing about image editing techniques – I usually did the Ctrl-L, fix the brightness thing. As an example, I took a painting my sister did of me when I was a teenager. We took photos of our artwork, downloaded it onto our PC’s and went at it. Here are some examples of image enhancements and adjustments(the upper left photo is the original):

And here are a couple of shots of our instructor and fellow students taking photos of artwork:

Bird A Week Challenge: Week 4/52

I had a chance to get on the torch yesterday, so I decided to work out of the “box” and make a bead with a bird on it. I normally like to do florals, so it was fun but challenging. I TA’d in HS for a math teacher who taught bird watching. It was an interesting class to say the least.  I remember going on early morning field trips with binoculars in hand looking for/at birds. I ended up making a focal bead in clear blue with raku and light blue frit, then embellished it with a bird that was meant to be a sandpiper, but ended up looking more like a sandpiper chick?:


For the blog hop list of artists, or if you want to join the challenge:

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Drawing Lab 2011: Week 4 Word Art

This week’s drawing assignment was Word Art. We were to start with the first letter of our name, and stack the rest in whatever fashion with block letters. We were then to fill in the gaps with doodle. So, here it is, 3 x LINDA:

In The Mood For Roses

I love making flowers, especially roses. The weather here has been sooo nice.  The bare root roses are already lining up along the walkways at the nurseries. One day I would love to have an English garden with roses of every color. But, for now, I’ll make do with creating lampwork glass roses:

Outing In Downtown Claremont

I met my friend Lorin in downtown Claremont today. We had a very nice outing going in and out of shops; the weather was great! Here is Lorin hamming it up for the camera – yes, I have a newfound appreciation/obsession for taking photos now:

There were a couple of shops that piqued my interest.  Village Treasures was closed, but they had the prettiest window display. Barbara Cheatley Antiques & Fine Things was just wonderful! The shop is full of cute & whimsical treasures. I just love the stars they had encircling their pendant lamps:

Digital Graphics & Scrapbooking

I have been glued to my laptop this week learning photoshop elements, and pursuing my latest obsession – digital graphics/scrapbooking. Here are some layouts I played around with. I used a photo of my daughter when she was young and dressed up as an angel for Halloween. She found the Halloween layout a bit creepy, so I made a fluffy pink one to please her :-). I used Irene Alexeeva’s kits, she is a very talented designer/artist:

Bird A Week Challenge: Week 3/52

I have always wanted to try Punch Needle Work.  So for this week, I did a brown on green punch needle owl. The instructions say “Tres facile”; which it is, but I found it to be a bit tedious, and as can be seen, my results were less than perfect. I was tempted to tweak it in Photoshop, but decided against it. So, here it is in all it’s glory, my first (and possibly last) punch needle owl:

For the blog hop list of artists, or if you want to join the challenge:

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Drawing Lab 2011: Week 3 Blind Contour Drawing

This year, I have decided to make an effort to live an “artful” life. As I get older, I realize that I want to do things that make me happy – Art!  Not that I’m old mind you.  Well, my children would beg to differ – anyone over 30 is over the hill to them.  Nevertheless, with this being said, I joined Jeannie Dukic’s Drawing Lab 2011. This weeks assignment was blind contour drawing. Here are my “best” efforts.  A self portrait, and a drawing of my toaster (I gave them fancy frames to make them appear nicer :-)):

Valentines Day Jewelry

Here are some Valentines themed jewelry – you can find them in my Etsy Store. I just love the combination of red on pink. The Digital community is sooo generous. You can find this template at MJ-AJ Designs, and the background paper at NeareStore:

January Flowers

The other day, I went to our local hardware store to get a refill on my propane tank in preparation for doing some torch work. On my way out, I took the scenic route through the garden center and had the pleasure of seeing some very nice flowers. It’s not spring yet, but this is Southern California after all, so I whipped out my iPhone and took some pictures. Well, my torch session was inspired by the flowers I saw. For some reason, I managed to burn/scum half the flowers I made, but some survived, and I made them into a bracelet and hair pin set. I listed them in my Etsy Store. I also really liked the Harvest moon and White Moon Kale, so I made some hair pins for my daughter out of felt. Also, I found this very nice template at JoeyLynn Designs: