Friday, October 31, 2008

Tropical Schooling

What I have discovered over the past ten days in Kauai:

1. Love does grow every day, but in different areas and ways - there is no linear path. I think love growing surely must look like the roots of a tree or a nerve ending.

2. When we were on the way back from our kayaking trip I 'bonked' (thanks, Julie)- a state where you've exercised away all your energy and are kinda crashing - Anthony instructed me to be a good passenger while he rowed: every leaf we passed in the water was a temptation for me to eat, all my strength had escaped me. He took up my slack and even hauled in the kayak from the river so that I could go eat with my shaking hands and noodle legs. He loves me. Carrying extra weight is a form of love in this case.

4. When you go snorkling and you put on your masks, you are going to look like simple turtles. You will also drool. Should you look at each other like this it is more than OK to laugh until you have to remove your mouthpiece AND unsteam your goggles. The fact that you still want to kiss with your masks on is a serious testament to love in all her mysteries.

5. It feels really, really neat to say "Husband" when referring to the one you love.

6. After all those times I have joked (at most every single restaurant we've ever gone to) that I'd have the filet mignon and lobster tail when my Schmilly told me to 'get whatever you want' I FINALLY read a menu on which it was an option. Anthony ate the beef (would you believe I don't eat beef - ironic?) and I ate the lobster tail. Delish!!! Even joke-y dreams can come true!

7. Dragon fruit tastes like mild kiwi, longans taste like sweet mushrooms and rambutans taste like rambutans.

8. If you go somewhere and the culture is different than what you experience every day, be CURIOUS about it: seek out knowledge, taste the Saimin, smile at people you pass, learn the history of the land - you will be richer for being an excellent tourist.

9. Kauai will steal a piece of your heart and give it back to you tenfold with the understanding that you must return in order to retrieve it. While you are away surely it will be tended to with the utmost care and tremendous aloha spirit.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Man the gates, there's an invasion of cute in our hideaway!!!!!

Opening and Rewrapping and reopening...

Today was an unphotographable day: Anthony and I went kayaking for five miles up the river in our front yard ( literally ) and we couldn't trust that our coveted Nikon D60 would survive the water we dump on ourselves with our un-suave rowing 'techniques'.
Suffice it to say it was beautiful.
I keep re-living the moments of breeze and shade just as I have been unwrapping and re-wrapping my beautiful gems: each reexamination provides some other detail I had almost forgotten: so THIS is what happens when something is unphotographable - you capture it differently.
Tonight I bought gifts for the women in my life from a store that supported local artisans: I finally found pieces that captured what Kauai has been to me so that I could pass some of it on to them in meaningful ways they'd understand. I ache to put up pictures of what I got them, but it'll have to wait until after they are received.
After a second dinner at The Blossoming Lotus, an out-of-this-world vegetarian and mostly Live restaurant I am sleepy from the daily exertions and excited to see Akua tomorrow night when we snorkel on Anini Beach.
Here is a close-up of his dear, dear face. No animal outside of the ones who have graced mine or my parents' homes has ever meant quite what this old gentleman means to me. I cannot explain it: I will just let the mystery of these strong feelings live on.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Treasures from Hawaii

Kauai itself is a treasure, so the fact that I found amazing things that I can TAKE with me is just unreal.
To feel embraced and healed by a place is so spectacular, and now I will knit the fabric ( literally ) and gems I was blessed to find into my jewelry and leathercraft. The coral I found will remain unphotographed: I will be making glorious little necklaces out of it and I want it to be a surprise until then.
First up: Gloriously thick cotton fabric which will line the little pouches I will be making when I get home.

A gemmy and deep piece of Chrysocolla, the nicest I have ever seen. These stones were all very pricey, which means the pieces they go into will be luxe deluxe. I cannot wait!!!

Cuprite in the most unreal shade of crimson, with bits of Chrysocolla in it:


Fossilized Coral:

And... a little something for me that I found in a store called "Antiques and Assorted Junque" where the cheekiest southern dame and I had amazing conversations over my purchases ( and my self-wedding ring whose opal she coveted ) - this is black coral, made in the fifties before it was illegal to use - a little whale with an inlaid eye which I strung on my grandma's shuffleboard championship necklace until I can put it on something delicious once I get home.

The most amazing thing in my whole collection of beauty is that I get to spread the spirit of 'aloha' to my dearest friends and beloved customers: this is true happiness, when an amazing experience spreads in circles, ever-widening and pure.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sky Waii

As my sadness abates and our sightseeing covers more miles, I wanted to share the Kauai skies with you - they are amazing.
So are you - have I ever said 'thank you' for coming by and becoming a part of my life?
Well, consider the words spoken :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Akua and the Inevitable Sadness

It turns out my darling feline friend's name is Akua, and he was born during the hurricane of 1992 that devastated Kauai, along with two other kittens, one of whom still lives with the Nurock family here.
Last night the beach looked like this:

And Akua ( aka Beach Kitteh ) looked like this:

Around and around he went, nudging my back with his cheek, drooling and kneading the sand by my toes over and over again as the sky got pink and the clouds got fat, when finally he climbed on to my lap and we sat, two beings on the beach appreciating each other.
I cried.
I woke up this morning and cried some more: I am having post-wedding letdown.
If Anthony was well and we were tearing around doing exciting things all day until we fell exhausted into sleep each night perhaps this could be avoided. We would then go home, work our asses off releasing the album and Anthony would resume the job search, and I would throw my all into my little shops, etc....... Here in the quiet of Anini Beach there is no where else to focus attention but on the inner workings of your soul and self.
So I am working. I am grieving the wonder and excitement of our amazing wedding and the wondrous people who came to celebrate with us. I am crying for the memories and the speed with which those moments were transformed into mental movies, golden and glowing.
I have my compassionate and lovely husband to guide me through the days and for one last evening I have Akua:

There are crabs and shells to observe and collect ( very different meanings for Akua and me ) and a few goodbyes to make before I head in for one last night at our beach cottage.

Akua Boy, I feel so lucky to have shared sunsets with you on our short beach walks, to have been the one on whose shorts your happy drool puddled and your sharp paws kneaded. It is likely that when all is said and done you will be my finest memory of Kauai outside of living so happily with Anthony in the cottage your humans built. Now that I know your name means 'Spirit' I will not fret that I won't see your face again: you will be summoned by my thoughts and we will have an unseen eternity to walk Anini Beach side by side at sunset.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Wilder Kauai

Today we explored, mainly from the car or lookout points: Anthony is still really having a hard time: the throat stuff has turned into a cough that is keeping him up at night. I am taking Echinacea and Goldenseal tincture like it's going out of business!!!
We still found and saw some amazing things: trust me when I say I was not always sitting like this:

I did a whole lot of standing and walking as well :) I have realized that in forgetting my actual physical journal I have been encouraging myself to blog just so I could make sure I documented everything. I wish I could record the mockingbird outside my window or the hilarity of the beach crabs and their sideways turf wars.
Last night we were hunting for delicate branches of found coral on the beach ( white and lovely, to be used in the metal shop as little necklaces ) with beach kitteh, and the air was just so balmy, and the light was so delicate that I had that powerful realization we so often have as humans: this moment is golden. I will remember that beach scene my whole life.
Here are some more pictures of the wilder side of Kauai:

On a tangent: I purchased a delightful parcel of opals today: I cannot wait to pair them with silver and make them available: they are amazing!!!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

From my Girlfriend Danielle's Camera

A Little Cock

To brighten your day :)

In Kauai the beasts are everywhere: the island is actually overrun with them and they crow through the night and day, unaware of the way their barnyard cousins behave.
I think they're beautiful.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Beach Kitteh

With Anthony being laid up today I had plenty of time to get introspective and blog, and I couldn't let the day pass without sharing my new friend with you:
I present - Beach Kitteh.
He is warm and kind and I feel privileged not only to share his beach, but also to bask in his companionable purr as he drools and oozes a rather unwell goo from his nose. He is old and has obviously been in a doozy of an accident, with his feet turning in very different directions and his face that's a little smushed complete with a giant fur-less scar over one eye... he is amazing and I am in love with him, ailments and all.

As I draw and write and read he sits at my back, kneading the sand with his paws.
If Jones was darker and much older and more consistent in his amorous moods, he would be much like my dear Beach Kitteh.

Our Beach Cottage

Today Anthony is sick with a flu-like thing: sore throat, aches and fever. I took us to e health food store and made sure to get Echinacea and Goldenseal tincture ( with honey- yum!! ) and all sorts of good-for-you goodies to make him feel better.

I personally say better to get sick now than any other time: I can sit by the ocean for hours and need nothing more.
He seemed confused as to how I could have this whole island at my disposal and yet my whole joy remains sitting still under the watchful eye of the Pacific and I explained it as a very full resting, something I rarely do at home.

When every wave says "Heal' what else would you seek? Ideas for belts and jewelry are flooding into my mind at record speeds, and we bought great pencils and paper to capture them on - I don't feel like these things would have come without profound rest. I was creatively exhausted and scared when we left Los Angeles and now I am reawakening.

You needn't see any more than these pictures to understand why: our cottage and its surroundings are a miracle. The mosquitos, on the other hand.....well, let's just say they are keeping me grounded and realistic, otherwise we might just pack our bags and live here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Operculums and Dreaminess

The operculums are coming home with me to be cabs set in sterling in my zodiac series I'll start.
These pictures are memories captured, but there are so many more after only two days:
my favorite? The black cat who sat on my lap throughout my main course and dessert at Postcards. I felt so lucky :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Early Love Song

And I Me Wed, Too

My left hand shines with a thousand suns: the ring on it is stunning and opulent, a strong indicator of the shining love I share with the man I love. Opals set in gold and 2 carats of gleam and fire on top.

My right hand is now complete, too - it's the hand that is less delicate and flowery, more fiery and bold - the two parts of self combined as easily as the clasping of left and right. Together, we are one.
As I journey into this marriage this weekend I never want to forget to bring my whole self into loving Anthony - and that means that I must stay whole. Full of life and chalk full of experiences to bring to the table we share.
That is why I made myself two rings for my right hand, to remind myself always to be whole first that I may be a better love not only for that tall drink of blonde water, but that I may also love myself for better or for worse: all the flaws and foibles, all the curves and shaded parts.

With my right hand I thee pledge to be kind and gentle with you, self.
To be loving and accepting without being indulgent of things I know I can improve upon.
To continue to see the wonders and mysteries of life side by side with my magnificent Schmilly, two whole people who are deeply in love with the other.

I am always hoping that my pieces might bring joy into the lives of those who own them, but I have been hesitant to make myself things up until the turquoise ring last week, so I spoiled myself as a lover would by setting an insanely large and valuable boulder opal in a sea of stars and constellations using a lovely deco-style sterling strip as the ring band.
Because I am worth this kind of kindness.
Because I me wed, too.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Big Hearted Woman

Shreve of The Daily Coyote posted a picture of Charlie ( her coyote ) wearing a collar I made for him on today's 'daily'. I made it not long after I had discovered her blog, having been undone by the huge heart so powerfully evident in her words and pictures - to have taken in a coyote pup who had no other means of survival and to have raised him with no expectations and such strength of spirit.... I had to do something, and normally when I have to do something, it means I need to make something. I asked permission to make a collar for Charlie and she kindly agreed.
I urge you to go to her site ( start at the beginning for maximum amazingness ), I double urge you to pre-order her book on Amazon and I triplyquadruple challenge you to open your heart, spirit or home in such a way as she has.
It's quite a gift she's given us all. - sorry no link, I am HTML newb material.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Custom Love

And a little something for the leather shop!

Thank you

This week has unreal - I feel like I have relearned the gift of human kindness. From emails that shed a compassionate light on challenge, to rings that will become my 'Crest' I am blessed.
From generous trades for honeymoon threads to propeller leaves, I am undone in the best way.
What did I do to deserve you, my friends? What sky did you fall out of to lift a soul up so?
Thank you from the bottom of the heart you just made bigger.
I made things last night, one for me and one for you :)
This piece of turquoise has been waiting for me: I claimed it as my own when I bought it, and I knew I desperately wanted a pinkie ring, so happy marriage to meeee!

The balling is almost like little barnacles that cling to the side of the ring and even go slightly underneath the bezel cup: I plan on making tens of tiny silver balls like caviar for the next large ring that I will list in the shop.
The other ring is for you:

It's opal with scalloped bezel and 18k gold balls on the side, delicate and feminine.

I also made a gorgeous lichen turquoise necklace for a very important woman in my life, but I boxed it up with a card from Singing Tree ( )

If you love Love, you cannot help but be charmed deeply by her shop: Olia is the owner: tell her I sent you, as I feel it is my duty to spread the word about cards with pop-up bunnies holding hearts. I'd be lying if I said things like that didn't truly make the world a better place.

Lastly, Jane and Jones wanted to say 'hi' :) And they, too thank you for your sweetness in making their human-lady so very happy and hopeful.