Women’s March on Charlotte: hope returns

Over 10,000 amazing, passionate, committed, determined human beings (and dogs – can’t forget the fabulous dogs!) came together yesterday for the Women’s March on Charlotte, one of the many sister marches to the Women’s March in Washington, DC, that were held all over the world.

Waiting for the train to take us to First Ward Park, where the march began, we were surrounded by other people headed to the march, many of us with signs, and the phenomenal energy of the march began in the parking lot of the train station. The determination was palpable and the air seemed to be vibrating with purpose. Our train car was packed, and we chanted several times as we made the 30 minute trip to our destination, everybody in that very crowded train car, all colors and shapes and ages and genders and personal reasons for being there, and we were all just yelling it out, together: FIRED UP! READY TO GO!

In the photo below you can see how the tops of the skyscrapers in the background are obscured by fog. This is what it looked like in Charlotte as masses of people were still pouring in. When we finally began to march – didn’t happen till 10:30 instead of 10, and I’m guessing that might have a bit to do with the fact that they weren’t expecting more than 2,000 or so people and instead got at least more than five times that many -but when we did finally start moving, that fog began lifting, and the sun came out. How’s that for a powerful metaphor? I know I’ll take it. I’m ready to take it.

For me, at least, the fog of despair and dread is lifting, and I can feel the brilliant, powerful heat of unified determination waiting. Hard work ahead, my friends – it’s time to pick up that phone and make those calls to your senators and representatives, to the White House, to whomever needs calling to be reminded that you vote and you are watching. It’s time to volunteer locally on a grassroots level. It’s time to stop mourning and it’s time to take action. It’s time.

Real life, after all

Born of broken people
She inevitably arrived broken too.
No visible signs of damage, but
that really only made things worse, not better.

A white chenille bedspread,
blood stains on the pale pink
roses turned to shadow rust,
faded like the memories of the day
it happened, the stains and scars and rips and tears
nearly blending in now, so many years gone by,
just another part of the pattern.

Understanding remains elusive,
always just out of her grasp, it seems.

She thought it would arrive when her own children did,
that she would suddenly get it, suddenly know,
but of course it didn’t happen that way – this is
real life, after all.


I wrote this many years ago, and have published it online a couple of times since then. I feel absolutely naked every time I do it, but I also hear from people who feel it, and that makes me feel like it’s worth the nakediditty anxiety. Well, almost.

Bright blessings,

List: Six Kinds of Garnets

There are six different kinds or species of January’s birthstone, the garnet, each stunningly lovely in its own right. Here’s a list of all six, along with a bit of info about each and pictures of them in their rough forms.

(1) almandine – most common form of garnet; deep red to reddish orange, purple red to red purple, usually dark, transparent; found in metamorphic rock, like mica schists; also called “carbuncle”; ground up and used as an abrasive; sometimes confused with pyrope, but most almandine is much more opaque; found in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Australia, Switzerland, East Africa, and the US

(2) pyrope – the only garnet species that’s always red, and the red can be so dark it looks black or purple; can be confused with almandine, but has fewer flaws and inclusions; found in Bohemia, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Scotland, Tanzania, Kenya, Canada, and the US

(3) grossular – light to dark green, light to dark yellow to reddish brown, occasionally translucent to opaque pink, rarely colorless; some examples of grossular garnets are Hessonite or cinnamon stone; also tsavorite, a rare green grossular garnet found in India; grossular garnets are also found in Tanzania, Sibera, Sri Lanka, Brazil, and the US

(4) uvarovite – emerald green; the rarest of the garnet species, and seldom found in crystals large enough to be faceted, because the mineral that causes the lovely green color also stunts crystal growth, so it’s usually seen as drusy in jewelry; found in Canada, Spain, Finland, Norway, South Africa, and Russia


(5) spessartine – bright orange, orange-red, yellow to red; also known as spessartite; named for the area of Bavaria, Germany, where it was discovered in the 1990s; second rarest garnet; also found in Brazil, Madagascar, Australia, Myanmar, India, Afghanistan, Israel, Tanzania, the US and Bulgaria

(6) andradite – most commonly golden to brown; much less commonly found in a green form known as demantoid, an orange-yellow form known as topazolite, and a black opaque form known as melanite; found in Norway, Brazil, Italy, Russia, Ukraine, and the US

Auld Lang Syne Sale – Up to 50% Off

Happy 2017! To help celebrate the new year and usher it in properly, we’re clearing out space to make room for new listings in our etsy shops by having a 50% off sale on over 150 selected items in both Gypsum Moon Vintage and Gypsum Moon Rocks, and a 30% off everything sale (why yes, I said everything!) in Gypsum Moon Style, for one full week, beginning today.

We’ll be adding items to the sales daily, so check back often. If you see something in one of the shops that isn’t on sale, and you’d like it added to the sale, drop us a note or leave a comment here, and we’ll see what we can do to make that happen for you.

As always, we combine shipping charges, and we do our best to charge you our cost for shipping. Always feel free to send us your zip code or country ahead of time to be sure you’re getting the best price on shipping at checkout, or to ask us after the sale if you’re due a shipping overage refund. More money to spend on stuff, yay!

Little Christmas Tree in the Cemetery

They got married in 1953, when she was a sweet 16, and he was a brash 20. She had loved Christmas her whole life, and when it came to decorating for it, she had a dream in her mind to do it up grand, there in their first little house together. He thought that it was all a bit silly, what with them just starting out and all, but he indulged her anyway, because he loved her, and even though times were terribly tight, they had a little tree that first year, with a few small ornaments that she made by hand, and a bright red bow that she lovingly tied to the top of the little tree.


Their first son was born the following year, and their Christmas tree was bigger. A second son arrived two years after that, and Christmas that year was spent in a new, bigger house, with a big Christmas tree embellished with all kinds of ornaments and tinsel, and Christmassy knick-knacks here and there as well, quite a few of them store-bought.

By the time their third and last son made his appearance in their lives, four years later, Christmas in their home was quite a grand affair, and with every year that followed, it got a little bigger and noisier and brighter and better. Whatever differences they may have had in their family, at Christmas time those differences were set aside for Mom, because she so loved Christmas. Interestingly enough, by the time the New Year rolled around, quite often those differences seemed smaller and far less important.

Their middle son died in 1999, and Christmas dimmed near to dark that year. It never did regain its full lustre and brightness, and ten years after her boy went, she died too. Christmas that year was hard, and sad, and made mostly bearable by the brilliant thought of her only daughter-in-law: Let’s take a tree to Mom, she said to the menfolk, ignoring the initial looks of confusion and impatience and pain on their faces, and after a few days of discussion, the decision was made: Mom would not miss her Christmas tree.


Seven years have passed now. Dad loves visiting her, especially at Christmas, loves thinking of her enjoying the tree and watching the grandkids frolic around it, and feels in his heart that he’ll see her again soon, before next Christmas for sure.

More Fungus Amungus

We have so many different varieties of fungi in our woods that it boggles my brain, and they’re all beautiful. It’s on my list to get serious about learning to identify them, and harvesting and eating the non-poisonous ones.



Do you see the little black ant on the lower right part of the mushroom up there? He was completely unfazed by the huge clumsy creature lying on the ground taking pictures. He was on a mission.







Ever since I spontaneously named a previous blog post “A Fungus Amungus,” the phrase has been rolling around in the back of my mind. I remembered it from early childhood, but no details with it. Interwebs to the rescue: I traced it as far back as 1958, when Terry Noland released a song by that name. It was covered by another band in 1962. Click here to listen to Terry Noland’s 1958 version of the song – if you dare.


Bright blessings,
CJ & Kay

Snapshot, 1956: Play Ball

These are my parents in 1956, engaged to be married, both poly sci majors at Doane College in Crete, Nebraska, taking a break from studies.

My mom was 5’10”, and my dad was 6’2″. He played high school and college football, and she played softball from the time she could pick up a bat until 1958, when I was born. I inherited her gorilla arms and his chin dimple, but sadly not their athletic abilities nor their height.


We’ve been going through lots of old family photos, both sides of our family, many of which neither of us has ever seen before – so do stay tuned.

Bright blessings, CJ

Kitschy Psychedelic Owl? Yes, Please, With a Side Whiff of Cedar

How amazingly amazing is this raw cedar woodburned and painted wall hanging? I will tell you: it is AMAZING. Umm-AAAA-zing.


I tried to get a really good closeup of the owl, but the reflections were crazy. Trust me – the owl is amazing, too.

It’s Kay’s most recent woodburned piece. She made it from a big raw cedar plank that she sanded on one side until she could see what she wanted to do – the owl was looking right out at her. So she got out her woodburning tools, and her paints, and she went to work – just disappeared for a few hours. The finished piece she finally emerged with is almost two feet tall, weighs three full pounds, and it smells SOOOOOOO good, because, cedar. It’s going to make any room it hangs in smell lovely.

Kay’s been woodburning off and on since she was a teen, starting in the mid 1970s, and her fabulous style has remained pretty much the same over the years. You can easily see who two of the biggest influences on her as a young artist were – her art has a very cool Peter Max psychedelic vibe combined with lots of Georgia O’Keeffe-style lusciously sexy lady flowers.


You can see more of her woodburned art pieces by clicking here, and don’t forget she loves to do custom work.

Bright blessings, CJ & Kay

Aunt Ruth, Sculptured Grape, and Some True Love

Last week, I had a conversation that started off pretty much just like most other routine conversations with etsy customers who are shopping around. This lady was asking about two separate listings we had for pieces of Sculptured Grape, an iconic mid century modern pattern produced by Metlox Pottery beginning in the mid 1930s, when they created the Poppytrail dinnerware line.

6 days ago 2:50pm EST Message: Hi, interested in purchasing the set of 5 small plates, and also the pepper shaker, but not the saucer that is with it. Could you discount the shaker/saucer and combine shipping fees? Thank you, Mary Ruth 

6 days ago 3:16pm EST Message: Hi, Mary Ruth – sure! What’s your zip? I’ll pull the pieces, weigh them for shipping for your zip (we charge you our cost only), and give you a total price. Did you see the oval serving bowl we have listed in this same pattern? 

When Mary Ruth answered, the conversation went instantly from being routine to being a bombshell reminder for us: how truly loving and amazing we as human beings can be to each other, and how truly lucky Kay and I are to be in a business where we get to see stories like this one.

6 days ago 3:38pm EST Message: Thank you. My zip is 3xxxx. Yes, I did see that other piece, but it’s not in my budget at this time. I am purchasing this set for my aunt who lost this china due to a fire. It was her wedding china and will be given to her, a complete set, at her 50th wedding anniversary. Can’t wait to see the look on her face! I’ve been collecting the pieces for 6 years now and I’m down to just needing a couple more. While all four of my mother’s sisters are wonderful, this aunt is extra special – she chose my name when I was born, and my middle name is her first name. My mom, her little sister, died when I was 14, and my aunt more than stepped up to the plate! She taught me to cook, and to can, and to sew – she’s taught me so much over the years. She even gave me my grandmother, her mother’s, engagement ring, over her own two daughters. I really wanted to do something special for her 50th anniversary – she’s going to be so surprised! Thanks again, Mary Ruth

I combined the listings for the set of plates and the shaker and adjusted the price, and Mary Ruth made the purchase. Later that evening, as Kay and I were packing up that box, we took great delight in including not only the saucer (hey, everybody needs extra saucers, yes?) but that oval serving bowl as well. Those pieces are gifts to Mary Ruth’s aunt from us: two people whose lives were made immeasurably richer by the simple sharing of Mary Ruth’s story.

And that, my friends, is why we’re sharing it with you. Be kind to each other, now more than ever, and remember that love always, always trumps hate.

Bright blessings, CJ & Kay


Jadeite In the Wild

I finally found my very first piece of jadeite in the wild, and it’s a beauty – a covered candy dish in the Old Cafe pattern from Anchor Hocking, part of their Fire-King Jadeite brand that they produced from the 1940s to the mid 1970s.jadeite-candy-3Okay, technically, Kay spotted it first, but hey, that counts, right?

I really regret that we didn’t get pics right away, because it was so covered in layers and layers of caked on grease coated with caked on grime that it resembled a sickly brown plastic version of itself. It was gross – not only merely gross, but really most sincerely gross. I can’t help but wonder how many people passed it by with only the briefest of glances. The thrift shop where we found it, normally pretty darn savvy about what’s collectible and what’s not, had put it in their huge, jumbled, totally fun to rummage in back room, where things are usually inexpensive. I had to try really hard to not pee on myself act super casual when the nice lady at the register was pricing the things in our cart. The fact that it was so filthy that you couldn’t even take the lid off – seriously, it looked like a piece of dirty cheap plastic crap – really worked in our favor, because I could tell she didn’t even want to touch it, and she didn’t pick it up – so she didn’t feel the glorious weight of the glass.

Got it home, washed it up, and behold, the glory of the green opaque milk glass so lovely that someone at the Jeannette Glass Company in the 1930s was inspired to name it after the gemstone jade, or more specifically, the green form of jade, jadeite. Several companies besides Anchor Hocking and Jeannette have made their own versions of jadeite, including McKee, Fenton, and New Martinsville.


The Old Cafe covered candy dish is fairly easy to find in clear glass, and a few other pretty colors, but a jadeite one is pretty darn rare- particularly one in such good condition, like this one.

More marvelous jadeite? Well, sure – here you go.

A set of four cereal or chili bowls which are also Fire-King Jadeite, available at As Time Goes By Vintage on etsy:


A mixing bowl for a Sunbeam mixer, made by Jeannette or McKee in the 1960s, which you can find at Mid Modern Malone on etsy:


A pair of adorable Fenton jadeite bunny eggcups or toothpick holders, made in the early 1990s – I spotted these in Trouve La Joie on etsy:


And, because, dresses: I cannot resist the dresses! I leave you with this swoonable 1960s bit of jadeite green chiffon loveliness from Dollybird Vintage on etsy …


We love hearing from you! Questions, comments, ideas – leave ’em below, you know the drill!

Bright blessings,
CJ & Kay