Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Necessary, Not Evil

There is a job that may become available to me. It is five minutes away from home.
It is with a company that is sought after in a building full of natural light with people my girlfriend describes as 'wonderful'.
It pays beautifully.

Anthony has not found work, nor is there any guarantee for a timetable we could both hope for. Health insurance runs out tomorrow and lord knows it's been months since I have thought seriously of buying anything other than things for my business.

December was the best month I have ever had by 250% - wow!!!!! I think that was a gift from the heavens so that I wouldn't see taking structured employment as a failure or a loss. Fresh off of my stunning success I see 9-5 as a tool to use right now: to get us feeling stable as a couple: it's not even dramatic enough to call it a sacrifice.

It is a pleasure to know I can help provide our roots in this little family.
I see it as a blessing.

This will mean some changes for my lovely buyers: custom orders will take a month instead of 2 weeks unless they're small items, and the shops will not be quite as full as one finds them now.
I will still gig :) I will take more silversmithing classes to learn techniques I've not yet known about. I know it seems odd to speak about this as though it has happened, but whether it's this company or another, it WILL be a goal of mine to provide consistency for our home.

I will re-enter the workforce with joy, a karma yoga for my life and a reflection of my gratitude for my amazing husband and our little cat-children.

New Stone

rhodochrosite - a gorgeous, fragile stone - the Incas believed that it was the blood of their former foes turned to stone - how amazing! This particular piece of the lovely gem was purchased in Kauai, which makes it extra special. It is an extremely rare cut, with an orb at the center. 
It will be in the Metal Shop later today!

These chilly evenings are made for Snuggling

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hello, Little Friends!

I discovered upon my return to Los Angeles that my shop was empty of koi necklaces - GASP!
Today I introduce two new friends with very special new chain. I missed my studio so very, very much. What a rush to return. Now I am off to work on a few custom orders and silversmith!
Pinch me :)

Sunday, December 28, 2008


My collection.
Months and months of thinking and dreaming and researching.
Over one hundred stones were purchased -
while girlfriends bought amazing shoes and Vera Wang dresses to recover from their broken hearts I purchased little bits of the earth
hoping they would literally ground me.
Now that I finally feel like I am ready to send more of them out into the world
I dream of what word or image to stamp into the pieces of jewelry they'll adorn.
Mother nature made these jewels for us and
Lapidary artists patiently pulled out their colors and shined them up nice.
I have hoarded them until I knew I could properly honor their shapes and heavenly hues.
This is the year of their marriage with metal
When they will meet the person to whom they belong.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Greetings

Dearest Friends,

Greetings from this sleepy Sunny on Christmas Eve from my parent's adorable house in Pennsylvania - it's been a lovely few days of catching up with dearest girlfriends and staring at my parents and sister trying to memorize their faces for yet another season.

I've also allowed myself to fall apart lightly: these last few months have been nothing short of intense with Anthony's sudden job loss and the increase in my own business. We have proven ourselves to be an even more formidable pair of lovers than I could have ever anticipated, but in trying to be as rock-like as possible I have found a thread or two have come loose returning to the safe haven of my parents' house.
All these evidences of my childhood around me (the safest and most idyllic time I have ever known) have touched a chord inside that aches for how brave it is to simply be an adult. Sometimes that alone gets you weepy.

Schmilly is in Arkansas which is where I was to be this year on the rotation of family holidays, but I couldn't bear to be without my intensely close nuclear family, so all the Schmills lovingly and gently understood and let me go where I needed to be.

I am doubly lucky.
Doubly in love with my double families.

I miss my Anthony, our rituals and how accustomed I have gotten to his nearness - accustomed is not the right word: I love having him near- it's more passionate than 'accustomed'. I'll let you know when I find the right term.

In the meantime, tomorrow is Christmas. I am more excited to give than receive.

I am reading The Daily Coyote by the luminous Shreve Stockton and my goodness, this book is shining, lovely, honest and great. Please do yourself a favor and invest in the evidence that growth is all around us and amazing to discover.
I adore you all and send you absolute hugs and hopes that your holiday season opens your heart and holds you tight in its warmth.
Tons of heart,

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Something Rare

One of my favorite places for cabochons carries some very rare stones. This stone in particular I had never even heard of before:
Eclipse Stone.
Apparently it is a form of rutile, crystal in various shades of yellow that has a host rock of hematite, a metallic grey or black stone often used in Native American jewelry. 
I couldn't stop staring at it: completely lovely and compelling. I bought three and held one to my throat without even thinking : pressed the stone into the hollow between my collarbones and felt.... better somehow. I don't know if I quite understand the meaning of crystals and how they heal the body, but I know a whole lot of people do.
Stones move me by sight, but this was the first stone ( not the one in the necklace ) that I felt compelled to touch to a specific part of my body.
What a wonderful mystery!!
I made a valentine to the moon with one of the stones: you can find it HERE.
You can also see it right here :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My Giant Heart

You have all made my heart grow three sizes this Christmas.
I believe in things I had started to get hazy on, good things - prayerful things.

My customers have shown me more grace and more heart than anyone has  a right to ask for.

My Husband has shown me more tenderness than I ever knew I could hold.

I am sitting here not knowing how to handle all this love in this small frame: it feels like a dam overflowing, being the recipient of so many emails and kind words.

I was just thinking before December that I should close up the silver shop because supplies are so expensive and the demand is so low, but if anything this last week has taught me that what I love needs to be made real as often as possible.

I have angels all around me echoing my deepest joys and a strong sense that everything is evolving.

I adore you all so much. Thank you for your orders, for your kindness and mostly for just being here with me on this page.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Well, at least someone here is resting!

I have never been so busy!! Making custom orders and trying to keep the shops stocked: it's the most delicious feeling. 
More koi will be in the shop tomorrow morning :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Brass Love

I love brass and I am including some of my favorite stampings in the metal shop as part of a line of simple things. 


Wonders of the Sea and Sky

The shop will be getting quite a refill in the next few days: I always love to take the picture of what happens before the hole-punching and stringing of chain....the simple structure of these creatures makes me very happy.
Tonight I get to meet the hubby of one of my favorite human beings from across the sea, and I feel so lucky!! 
For now it's work work work in the studio...I think I might actually have a full-time job possibility for after the new year, which I can't quite decide how to feel about -
on one hand it feels like a tall drink of water: stability, security.
on the other it feels like a little defeat of the artistic ideal I have been so blessed to live for almost two years....
I have a lot of thinking to do, and some oranges to throw!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A little Birdie Told Me

There were birds taking over my leather shop!!!

Three More Days!

The handmade video portrait of me goes up Friday, not sure of the exact time of day, but there will be excitement in my heart from 6AM to bedtime, I am sure.
To clarify what this is: It's a five minute video that takes footage shot over the course of two days when Tara ( Weirdwolf on Etsy ) came over and peeked into my life!

You know that weird feeling you get when you hear yourself recorded and listen to your own voice speaking? I know I'll be feeling that!!

I also know this is something I can show my children. If you get a chance go HERE and see some of the the other videos: Tara is incredibly gifted and has a way of editing that gets into my heart.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Special Indeed

This opal is special. It is wild and unpolished and even still its fire is really powerful in its rainbow reach.
It pulls at something in my heart in a way only certain stones can: I feel very lucky it found me and I am very excited for its proper owner to find it in return.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


What a wonderful show. I got the chance to meet more amazing women and the men who love them last night. There is a certain gentleness to the women who frequent my table and even still I find myself bone-achingly shy.
I made these things in front of my arms displayed in a lovely rectangle of real estate. All those hours: all that love - and there I am, shy as a daisy.
Questions make me blush.
Inquiries make me stutter.
My kingdom for a piano at those moments: no matter how desperately shy I am before a musical show I sit my bum on my piano bench and feel the rush of sure-ness.

I did well last night: I made several koi that I didn't list on Etsy and it's a good thing: they flew away, along with some other koi that had been in the Etsy shop and a few silver pieces. The theme was definitely in favor of the fishee!!

The event itself brought out the most interesting, fashion forward people and reminded me in equal measure of my love/hate relationship with this amazing city called Los Angeles.

Some of the hippest, most bad-ass looking folk had these gentle hearts that made me feel so safe and open, and yet there was an equal number of hungry-eyed beautiful ones with disdain on the tip of their tongues: angels and troubled souls abounded each time I looked up.

I am taking today to rest as I have the energy only to post a blog and check to make sure everything's humming on the sitelets. I am considering closing the metal shop after January to keep costs down and keep my focus on the leather: I am burning the candle at all kinds of ends and some things are suffering.

Must get to figuring.

Friday, December 5, 2008


I got a convo from Ed, who runs Etsy lapidary shop called  Stones In Motion  speaking of the stones I use and our common love of opals.  We are on the same page. I am obsessed with stones, from ocean jasper to turquoise, Australian opal to Alabama Paint stone. Lately all kinds of jaspers have been  catching my eye.
The biggest draw? King Cobra Jasper. I cannot seem to find a cabochon that hasn't been snatched up immediately, but I was lucky enough to find a slab on eBay a day after I got my first convo from Ed.
I wrote to him asking if he would be interested in working with me on this rough slab and we found the perfect agreement. When these cabs come out you are going to freak out - the cabs this stone creates are magical. 

Mama Peacock Feather Eye and Her Brood

I am working overtime to get everything ready for Create:Fixate. I keep reading more about it online: it is really an amazing cultural event that takes place 4 times per year: I will be one of only 7 jewelry designers present: that's amazing.

I am working to beef up my stock ( no pun intended as I work with leather ha ha ) and in the process have had no time for fun and lovely things like blogging. I'll be posting a few things and both of my shops will be closed Saturday after 2PM until Sunday at Noon - I cannot stress enough that if you love a certain stone, nab it up now. If it's leather, just write it down and I'll find the inactive listing and make it for you!! I think this event is bigger than I even thought!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Now Is The Time

Dearest readers,

I am doing a show on Saturday called Create: Fixate. I get the sense that it's pretty amazing - you can go see what it's all about HERE.

I feel there are one of a kind things that may sell: if you have your eye on something between now and Friday may be the time to snatch it up.

I don't want to jinx myself by seeming as if things will fly off my table, but I also want to give very fair warning just in case: a body can never reproduce a unique stone - the leather stuff is more fluid in its ability to be redone, but the jewelry is more difficult and some times impossible.

Also, the Etsy Handmade Life Portrait of me? December 12th :) I am seriously beyond excited over this and how AMAZING that it almost coincides with the day in which my album, 'Steady Heart' will be in my hands at last!!!

Monday, December 1, 2008


First of all, let me just preface this post with the mention of my adoration for you all. The comments ( even if there's no time to respond to everything ) make me feel like there's this amazing sisterhood out there: I feel a deep understanding between us.

Second of all, not only is Jillian a silversmith of the highest caliber, she also makes grape jelly from her own grapes. I was lucky enough to receive a parcel of it and it is HAUNTING. 
We had a grape vine in our back yard when we were children ( my sister and I ) and not only does the taste bring back vibrant memories of that wondrous and healthy time, it also makes me wonder if perhaps there is anything this woman CAN'T do. It is splendid. Times twenty. 

Third of all, I have been taking a lot of yoga lately and my very favorite part of the classes are the "OM"s. As a singer I love to find the note the instructor is singing and join them on that very lovely and deep sound. It makes something really wild happen on the top of my skull!
The first 'om' opens the class and releases me from my own self-imposed stress to practice poses and dedicate myself to my body's well-being.
The second 'om' closes the class and locks in my peace like a zip lock baggie 'locks in freshness'.
Here is my silver dedication to that wondrous word.

Royal Blues

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Old Becomes New

There is something that most people don't know to expect when we've known each other for some time as we do, readers... I am sensitive and emotional and intuitive as any woman is, but I am lacking in sentimentalism. I don't keep Christmas cards or knick-knacks that aren't useful. 
I am not a pack rat, nor do I support having drawers full of things I do not often take out. Every three months or so I pack up the clothing I don't wear and give them to Goodwill - even if I still love it I am not wearing it, so out it goes ( with a couple of lovely exceptions ). 
When Anthony moved in with me he had boxes and boxes of toys and doo-dads he certainly doesn't play with and I think he found me rather ruthless in my desire to keep our new home streamlined ( we have very little storage ).  We have made peace about it all - he understands the reason I cannot cling to things: we cannot take any of them with us when we ultimately depart.
I have a way of giving all things personalities: teddy bears, pieces of favorite jewelry, coffee mugs, etc, and that road ( if travelled down too often or over-indulged ) can lead me to a place of desperation and tears because I love this particular life and this earth so much that I fear the thought of leaving. Especially the thought of leaving alone and empty-handed.
Giving things away or cleaning house is a mini-death every time and keeps me focused on simplicity and freedom from grasping - a spiritual exercise of sorts. A reminder ( and God knows I do love reminders ). 
The sadness in my heart at the departure of that Broadway Playbill or my favorite keychain from my teenage years is soon replaced by an expansive rush of air and.... freedom. A deeper breath.
My first piece of jewelry was adorable and a lovable fail: I took a six week class every Saturday morning for two hours this time last year. I did all the filing and drilling and polishing and my instructor did all the soldering. There were 9 other students and we spent most of our time vying for his attention in a small line around his soldering bench.
The idea of the piece was to cover it completely in silver balls and opal, but much like sitting down at a piano as a beginner and trying to play Mozart, the result was thin and disappointing.
I realized as I watched him solder how far I had to go and how much I'd have to get over my fear of fire (deep, deep fear) and all things heat-related. 
In the spirit of the strong desert wind that I often invite in to sweep out my life, I am using my prong-bending tool to take out those opals and put them into something new and vibrant.
It will mean the monument to my first silver experience will be but a photo-memory. It will mean that as I pry the metal off of the stone a few tears may fall in remembrance of the strong desire that wrapped them into existence. My heart will do its very familiar constriction as it dances with the sudden, practiced realization that this is a dress-rehearsal for a bigger letting-go.
Ten fingers will revolt as they do with every dress I put in the bag for someone else...
every old dish I ate off of as a child that gets put into a box for someone new...
Each book already read that needs to experience the world through new eyes...
My brain will scream, "Nooo!!! Cling tight to the firm reality of this piece!!"
My greater self will unbend the metal and unbind my freedom from my possessions once again, as patient and kind as a mother to a child who falls and gets caught in the grief of gravity's unexpected force.
Guiding lights will lead me to the idea yet to be born: a new setting for the opals, a new peace with setting suns and aging parents.
In rushes the deeper breath: out of the green woods comes my freedom once again.

Ring Ring

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Melting Continues

Oh, how I adore watching the edges of silver curl into themselves.... it's positively romantic!!
This necklace above can be found in the Metal Shop!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Scarab Cuff on Sale

Something Magical This Way Comes

Yesterday I was vocal in my life: vocal about my inner-most thoughts and fears and joys. It inspired what will become a clutch whose back will say the words 'Beauty is Inside' and whose innards will be lined with the most fantastic 70s fabric from Kauai.
I am positively emotional about it all.
There is never anything to lose by speaking your heart.
You will always grow.
Sometimes I forget that and hold the more confusing feelings inside, hoping that by ignoring them they will dissipate - au Contraire!!! They return doubly confused and slightly angry that they've been put in a dark place when all they ever wanted was air and clarity.
Does that ever happen to you?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Heart Warming

Last night I took the next step on the journey of melting that I began the other day: it is amazing. I made something last night that surely belongs to a very specific woman. It exudes a fire that cannot even be imagined: a person must see it in the stone to believe it!
I am excited to see who its rightful owner is, as it is incredibly powerful. Oh the mysteries of life!!!
You can find it by clicking THIS.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Imminent Orange Throwing Contest Alert!!!!!!!

Ladies, get your throwing arms a-ready!!! Here's what is going down: in celebration of the camaraderie and lovely sensitivity shown in the comment section for THIS post ( link embedded on 'this' ) I am devising a contest.

I will give ample notice, but in the coming weeks I will be announcing a day in which we all literally throw an orange ( photo documentation will be lovingly accepted ) and write down the reasons why we feel that this symbolic gesture can mean a change in our overall treatment of life and renew our sense of possibility. 

That new burst of written joy can then be copied into the comment section the specified post and from those comments one will be chosen at random to win the following: a gift certificate for $50.00 dollars to Sunny Rising Leather or Sunny Rising Metal and $30.00 ( of my moolah ) donated to the charity of your choice so that someone else can share in the glory of your new found faith in your ability to find mirth and possibility in absurd symbolic-y things like orange-tossing!

The idea of doing this makes me absolutely dewy with happiness.

You all amaze me: that I get to have you come by and share your wisdom and challenges here on this little blog is just tear-inducing and smiley all at once.

Like a cotton commercial.

Love to you all this evening (digital hug) and stay tuned, please.

Some wedding kisses for you!

A Busy Day Yesterday

These pieces were made with so much joy yesterday: I have never made layered rings, and I made the opal piece using metal I melted: I couldn't believe what was happening when I put two and two together: melting metal feels amazing and I cannot wait to make more pieces using it!
These will all be in the Metal Shop this afternoon.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Two new dear friends

Oh, I am smitten as a kitten over these two new koi. There was something about the way the leather took on the colors that just made me overcome with joy!