Wearable Art

IMG_5344As some of you know, when I’m not busy doing the “real job” thing, writing for this blog or taking photos of the beautiful state of Iowa, I do arts and crafts.

I’ve been designing and creating jewelry for more than five years now, and have come up with a series of pieces I call Story Medallions. Each one is unique, unusual, handcrafted and created from a combination of found items, curated elements, whims and whimsy and mixed media, and held together by a wing and a prayer (they are tougher than they look)

I have created a gallery of my Story Medallions, which can be accessed here.  There is also a link  from the header on the Wiseacre Way landing page. The gallery contains almost every medallion I have ever made.  Many have been purchased or gifted, several are available for purchase. Thanks for taking a look.

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Old Barns


Old barns weave magic,
Stop time. To hear their stories,
Be still and listen.

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Tune in, Turn On, Then What?




I come from a Walter Cronkite, Boston Globe, Sunday New York Times, New Yorker family. My parents were educators. Current events were daily discussions. There was a world map on the wall by the kitchen table so my sibs and I would learn not only what was happening in the world, but where it was happening. Politics, current events and the Red Socks reigned supreme.

I carried that focus into adulthood. I paid attention and stayed current, and I married a man who not only pays attention, he remembers it all, something I’ve never been able to do terribly well.

But over the years, as the 6 o’clock news and print media morphed into cable TV, the Internet and the twenty-four hour news cycle, the work of being aware and informed has become increasingly complex and challenging.

Call it information overload, call it what you will, my ability and even willingness to absorb the daily barrage of news, or what passes for news these days, has diminished significantly. And it’s not because I care any less about what’s happening in the world. On the contrary.

There are two reasons I find it so difficult to manage. One is that there are so many talking heads, I simply don’t know whom to believe. The other is that I become easily overwhelmed by the amount of suffering delivered into my living room every day thanks to TV and the Internet.

The immediacy, the intimacy of witnessing man’s (or nature’s) inhumanity to man from any place on the globe in such a relentless, up close and personal way is emotionally exhausting, because I can’t do a damn thing about 99.9 percent of it. I can only continue to watch it with growing dismay and sadness, or turn it off. It’s all too much.

I can’t be the only one thus afflicted. I worry that our children are so bombarded with images and second-hand experiences through the media, many of them horrifying, that they will be less and less concerned about separating reality from fiction, and will become either overwhelmed by or desensitized to the suffering they see around them. Either way Timothy Leary’s famous sixties catch phrase about the psychedelic drug experience, “Turn on, tune in, drop out,” has a new meaning for me today.

Will the result of this information barrage be a more united, compassionate world, or one where the pain and suffering of our neighbors is reduced to a spectator sport? It feels like something’s gotta give, and I can’t help wondering if the marvelous human brain will be (or is) by necessity evolving in a way that will help us better process and manage our brave new electronic existence. I sure hope it is.


Photo by Amanda Royce-Hale

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© Original haiku and photo by Amanda Royce-Hale

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Measuring Time


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If There Must Be Fire


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