Monday, July 6, 2015

Present Moment Clutch

Right there, at the center of all things
At the top of this forever-now
 rests a place where wonderment and risk are married

where the infinity of what's possible
thrills and terrifies and spellbinds our animal brains.

Will we thrive?
Will we die?
Will there be stasis?
Never for long.

Sometimes we hesitate to reach out of what feels safe
because we know that being bitten is just as much of a possibility as being caressed.
I think regret might be worse.
Regret is a deathbed for thousands of worthy threads we never followed,
all the bright ribbons that whispered, "this way!"
as we stood rooted in our desire for something constant.
For safety.

All of the risk-takers I know live in technicolor.
They use fear as their seasoning, counting on it as a companion not-always wise but always present.
If everything is a risk
and we get to decide how we dance with that, these folks are 
doing the twist atop a swan float party boat on the river Styx.
Or very quietly finding the groundless center of their lives on a meditation cushion.
All effort is brave and worthy.

Here's what I know:
you cannot get small enough
humble enough
or isolated enough
to avoid that stunning verdant scaly visitor.

All we know for certain is that we're alive and at some point we die.
you either cower in the dark
or reach for the light
or fucking conga-line the shit out of this
present moment.

So? So.

I'll see you on the dance floor, Star.

Fine double milled veg-tanned leather
tooled and painted and stitched
lined in blood red suede
wild war-paint touches of crimson and turquoise chevron spikes
Southwest-inspired turn latch
warm and wild
in the

later today

I just got back from Washington state a few days ago. I spent four days surrounded by friends and love, where one of my best girls sat with her own eternal now,
one that is sharp and beautiful and painful.
In her now she monitors and combats cancerous cells
and also she gardens.
She attends constant doctor's appointments
and builds jewelry from scratch.
She lives on the knife edge
where grief and bravery
and grace and humor

In her now she is bitten. Blooming still.
In her now she is gifted.
Walking through the fire.

We've started a GoFundMe page
for her treatment and healing:




Monday, June 22, 2015

Struggle Season

The studio is vibrant
totally messy
and I don't give the last bit any mind right now:
I can't

In this single moment that keeps its infinite replenishment
I am rich in choices and
determined to keep my eyes on the north star.

The last few months have given me vantage enough to see
that some pieces have to fall away for the health of the whole.
Like having a precious, dust-free studio.
Like getting back to everyone as quickly as I'd like.
Like economizing so much that I forgo important healing modalities like therapy or a physical.
As a positive, the good idea of focusing my work in a singular direction as opposed to the smattering of everything I've been trying to balance.
Holy cats, that's a lot of plates!!

I'm in the process of something special and exciting, narrowing focus and expanding at the same time, like putting all my growth into one arm and having it stretch to Connecticut.
I'm excited.
I'm dreaming and planning and knowing that this is going to take some time, so that dreaming and planning has a pace not unlike a marathon.
No sprinting, not yet.

Mostly I'm feeling the incredible and generously challenging time as the mother of a three year old in a really deep place. It guts me.
It sends me over the moon some days (a happy cow?)
and TO the moon other days, as though I was ka-pow-ed there.
I had a lot of days when O was one and two where I was like, "Whoo!!! I nailed that!!"
but I don't have those right now. 
I am cautious in my celebration because tomorrow
might make me a living embodiment of Murphy's Laws,
 my mouth set in a grim line as someone small rages in the back seat.
Being the adult, being loving and supportive
while also drawing boundaries and taking no mess.

A lot of mothers I talk to say that they felt a profound exhaustion when their kid(s) were
It doesn't negate the beauty, that tired aspect;
it just stretches out the crap moments.
We forget to remember that taking naps are doctor's orders.
That we can tap out and go sit by ourselves.
That we do not always have to be 'fun mom'
or live up to every cultural expectation of what a working mother is:
not every single aspect of a balanced life wins every single day.
Struggle is a season, short in retrospect
but so long in the living.


So yeah, my studio's a hot mess
but I am still in there as often as I can be, collecting notes
from God
and doing everything in my power to see them through
to form


Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Elm Seed and Seed Bead Magic Spells. Brass, sterling, glass.

Amethyst and Bronze Cast Wishbone.

Sterling Silver Three Leaf Clover Necklace

Little Cosmos Bracelet Set

A well-rounded little collection, bound for


Have a beautiful day,

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Tomorrow Afternoon

It started with a few inquiries about whether or not I would be making any bee wing necklaces in the near future...

and I mentioned it just so happened that I would be: I made two and a beetle wing necklace, a first. 

Then my mommy came to visit, and the studio has been LIVED in.
Really lived in, sung in, cried in, celebrated in.
There is a lot afoot at the Circle-K if indeed the Circle-K is the universe.

I am full.
The shop will be, too:
tomorrow afternoon some really lovely things will be there.

Debutant Ring, size 6. Pure Cast Sterling Silver. Heavy and gorgeous.

Wishbone Necklace. Sterling silver Chicken Bone. Mother of Pearl.

Holy Molter Earrings. 24k gold. Sterling silver. Snakeskin. Amber. Sleeping Beauty Turquoise.

A beautiful and loving evening to you, dear Reader.


Monday, June 1, 2015

Tenacity Necklace

The leaf was there in my wiper blades for months. Through rain (didn't drive much during the rainy days, but still used to blade quite a bit to clear the spring pollen), through freeway jaunts up and down the peninsula, past the Golden Gate and all around the city…

A spiky scrub oak leaf. 
Hanging out, hanging on.
I ignored it for a few weeks and figured that eventually a strong gust would take it.
After about a month and a half I was wonder-struck by it and
thought it to be good luck.
At eight weeks I was slapped with the beautiful realization
that I was witnessing grace and tenacity,
taught by a fucking LEAF in my wiper blade.

I took it out and gave it a perfect roll, the perfect rest.

Now for the pink sapphire:
I bought it at an antique store. It was badly broken on its sides (which I fixed with my lapidary equipment) and marred on its top near the apex of the perfectly clear star (which I did not fix on account of that perfect star).
Sapphires are a nine on the Mohs scale, right behind diamonds. 
They are HARD.
Whatever it took to break that sapphire and chip its top curve was strong.
Possibly brutal-
And yet, here it is, singing
a perfectly imperfect song
of remaining

I am going to put this stunning marriage into the metal shop later this week.
I want you to think good and hard about the magic in these parts,
about the power of the whole.

Even if it's just through these stories,
this picture
I want you to take heart.

I want you to fall into their tenacity and be lifted.
By a rock and a leaf.

You can call me batshit crazy, but every time I look at these two
I feel a bit better about this world, this life.
They are small and meek but ridiculously mighty.

The mirror image is going to someone I love who embodies
their power and then some, so there will only be one of these in the shop.

Here's to the beauty of tenacity, to a beautiful day.


Monday, May 25, 2015

Chrysalis Heart Clutch

As the mother of a three year old I am learning doubly firsthand that we are not born 
all there, all blossomed. We arrive at our ripeness in varying stages,
and for each soul a completely unique time.

Some say their 'glory days' were high school,
while someone else might regale you with tales of painful awkward teenage ostracism.

I think the twenties were a time of god-awful fumbling, but I have friends who sigh over white wine
and wish that they would miraculously be plopped back into that oversexed 
discovery zone.

For each embodied soul, a time comes when they hatch out of that ever-thinning 
clock-cloak, dry their wings and take off in a way that they never conceived they could.

I think that my own Monarch heart is a few years off from that cosmic right-time.
It's something to do with early motherhood and the understanding that this utterly dependent (though ever less so) kid is not always going to be small and needy.

Someday I will not be stealing away to studio time like a lover
or missing those wrist rolls already;
grieving the tiny changes that will make my son a man
while wishing I could make more time to take care of my damn self.

If you've already flown I hope you are still alight in that just-right place,
savoring the freedom of those colorful wings every single day

but if you sense, like me, that your bursting-forth is approaching like Christmas morning
then I say from this same place

to take heart, friend!!!!
For all the days that you find yourself wrapped in the sheath of limit
find the wiggle room: list the gifts.
Be grateful and prepare your whole life
for big miracles!

I believe in our constant and hard-won evolution,
that we were born to get bigger and better
and to let love win as often as we can.

I believe in the beauty of our chrysalis hearts, beating wildly against the 
white bones of the rib cage

and I know that in all the ways they grow and change that they are thrumming
and alive with pulse and grace
forever and ever

The Chrysalis Heart clutch will be in the 


Made entirely of veg-tanned tooling leather (double milled for the body)
and dyed by me!
Lined with dark grey pig suede.
Inlaid with two mirrored slices of mookaite wrapped in fine and sterling silvers.
riveted, stitched and snapped securely.
Two hand rests for a more secure carry.
Painted with high-flow acrylic in bold sweet colors.

Made with tender love and prayer in California.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Warm Weather Beauty for You


Sweet Heart of Summer Cuff. Indian Ricegrass. Pepper Flower. Cool purple-flash Moonstone.
Thick and light, just like late-afternoon heat.


Libra Earrings. Polished Quartz. Brass. Conch shell tulip. Baltic Amber. Sleeping Beauty Turquoise. Peridot.

Reverse Entropy Earrings. Pinned Carnelian slice, long and lean. Labradorite. Wait till you see its 'other'...

Hanging Garden Earrings, Faceted Quartz Edition. Carved Mother of Pearl layered flowers. Sterling chain drape

Hanging Garden Earrings. Carved Mother of Pearl. Polished Quartz. Sterling silver.

All of these beautiful things will be in the 

tomorrow around noon

Just a note about future grouped offerings, like earrings and such: there may be very little for a while beyond a few custom slots
and a few gorgeous leather bags. Some necklaces that have been half-made and wanting more.

I'll absolutely keep you posted here when things come to fruition, but mostly the next few months will be the tying up of loose ends, designs that I've long wanted to complete,
pieces people have been deeply patient about.

And then a much-deserved break. 

Have a gorgeous day!


Monday, May 4, 2015

Without Getting Away

"Hi, little Artist.
Hi, often-depleted maker and worker bee.
Dinner chef.

Know-er of Right Things.
Rarely in compliance with The Refill.

Tell me: how do you constantly give such loving, empowering advice to your friends and leave yourself in the lurch?"

That's what my Big Artist asked me yesterday when I decided to stay home from a trip up Niles Canyon with my boys.
I reasoned that I could get more studio hours in if I was solitary, that I might even sneak out to the hammock and sun-bake for fifteen minutes.
I reasoned.
My heart, on the other hand, was aching.
These are memories I cannot re-get later in life when the boy is more boy than babe.
I cannot re-see my handsome mate in the antique passenger car,
I cannot feel the ghost of my Uncle Walter with each train whistle
I cannot be five again
if I am by my self
at home

I write this over my morning coffee, refreshed and inspired.
I write this with the smell of oil smoke on yesterday's laundry pile
and a flutter in my heart when I think of my husband.
I write this knowing that anytime you take on an adventure there is a handshake with Life. 
We are train people, we should be on trains often.

A glorious unexpected gift: hexa web mixed-grade star sapphires in blues, purples and greys
at an unassuming antique store.
They are so astounding in the palm of my hand.

So to you, reading this:

where is your rut?
Is it so comfortable that you don't even know that you're halfway down your well-worn path again?
Can you lose your sensibility for an afternoon or a night?

I write to you from the other side of my usual coin
with a happy assurance that you refill more wells
than you ever could
if you stayed home:

what do you get
without getting away?


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

First Bloom and a Trinity

The roses are in first bloom right now
and this evening I had the presence of mind to take my best camera out
and capture some of the vibrant life
right in our back yard.

We blew bubbles and went 'fishing', which consisted of sitting in a tall dirt planter
with tomato stakes hanging over the edge, talking about what kind of fish were 'dowm' there.

Everywhere I looked, Beauty.
Every breath, blessed and weary:
by the end of the day I tend to envision a finish line
and I am determined to cross it.

To be gentle with myself for the less than stellar moments
and smile at the amazing and weird ways my son puts the English language to work.
He is vastly creative
and very serious,
except when he's not
and then it's all silliness and running.

I want to run more with him.
I will add that to my awesomely long list of things to do:
'run more with Orion'
because heaven knows
that list is my Spirit Animal.

In practically french-kissing my studio every time I walked in this week I made some
of the most sumptuous and potent earrings.
Just three pairs, but I like trinities and harmonies in thirds,
so it's just right.

They'll be