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!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Woodland Love Mystery

When I was making this necklace ( and I mused a little on it in the description ) I imagined finding it at the base of a giant tree whose leaves were just finishing their autumn in a pile of crisp yellows and downright crunchy browns... I wondered what it would feel like to just simply... find it and the feelings that flooded me were powerful:
It made me feel a sense of adventure flooding through my imagination. Isn't it interesting what can happen if we take ourselves out of our reality and into childhood creativity again?
I let myself play. I think I will sleep better tonight for it :)

New Necklaces in the Silver Shop!

Yay for simple bezel set gemstones! Ocean Jasper, Fossilized Coral and Turquoise Gemmmmms.
The pendulum swung to silver yesterday :)
Available Here.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Throwing Oranges

I went to lunch with my dearest Katherine today and we were discussing stuck-ness and I was describing how we kind of wear a path in the grass and find ourselves exasperated with our present circumstances. I then said that what we need to do to get off our well-worn path of frustration is to "Throw an orange", and I guess I meant we'd follow the orange we...just...threw (?) It makes total sense in my mind and it made total sense to Katherine.
Perhaps it meant that we distract ourselves with something bright and different and watch where it lands, somewhere completely foreign and exotic compared to our constant.

I think it's time for me to throw an orange. My shops are silent as the grave save for custom orders in progress. There is so much talk of fear in our country. There is fear in my home given that the one income ( for now, mine ) is sporadic at best, and I am tired of worrying.

I am simply going to do what I am doing in my studio for the love of it and pursue day-time work, likely part-time. If doing what you love becomes fearful then the love is leeched out of it daily: I refuse to sacrifice my koi and leaves and flowers and stones and silver to the leeches of fear.
I have one lead that would be amazing: I hope it goes through.
This will mean less posting and less creating, which makes my heart feel slightly heavy, but it also means the mortgage will not be a worry and it will give Anthony the freedom to not have to grab whatever is offered to him if the fit isn't right.
I must remember in this that I have not failed to 'be an artist' if I spend a few months giving my time to something else ( in this ideal case, helping one of my dearest girlfriends start her own amazing business as her assistant ) - I am simply doing what I need to do for my family.
Rolling up my shirtsleeves, focusing my mind on throwing an orange in the widest arc my muscles can make.

Spring and Fall as One

Saturday, November 15, 2008


My wintery companion, my night sky love since I was small. Here is my gratitude in silver.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Alas, Ben Folds, I will not see you tonight. I got sick. I avoided all the icky sickness traps in the last few months: better now than right before my wedding. Or yesterday or the days before.

This is one of the necklaces I painted on camera for Tara ( aka Weirdwolf on Etsy: )

We had an amazing time. That is one inspiring, gentle and completely focused woman. I came away from the experience so affected by someone doing good in the world: her portraits show such a love of craft and a sensitivity to beauty all around. She's the girl who finds the cool things in every city, the offbeat things that you stumble upon that make a town memorable...
I am rich for having spent these last few days in her presence.

Now back to bed.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Happy News

For the next two days Tara from Etsy will be spending time with me in my studio: I will be a "Handmade Portrait". If you have not seen any of the portraits, they are HERE.
They are magical and unique and I am beyond honored to be a part of it all.

I don't know when it will be put up on The Storque, but rest assured I'll let you know when that day comes.

In the meantime this little blog may or may not be peppered with daily doings until Sunday.
Friday: Ben Folds (!!!!!!)
Saturday: Playing and friending in Redlands

I hope everything in your day is magical :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Butterfly Frenzy!!!!

The leather shop is being overtaken by a benevolent swarm of watercolor butterflies wreaking joy and organizing the chaos wherever they go! 
They come in every shape and c o l o r !!! 
They have filled my heart with  gladness usually reserved for cupcakes or Pilates...
Please pardon the outburst and go visit them here.

Monday, November 10, 2008


My second album, Steady Heart, is done being mastered. Four songs are up on my Myspace here.
To say that I am excited is a complete understatement. (!!!!!)
I am undone.
Then redone.
This odd picture, by the way, is an outtake from the photoshoot: it will all make complete sense when you see what the cover is :)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Lichen Turquoise Ring


Bruneau Jasper as The Desert

Desert Evening Necklace: it will be in the Metal Shop later today. It fills me with emotion and a strong sense of expansion: something in the stone has a very strong call to freedom.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Love Journal

Naptime for Jones and Jane

Today I found out we will NOT be moving to Seattle. Anthony is still looking hard for a job, but we are going to try to stay local: I danced a little inside when he first told me ( I would miss my friends more than I could even utter! ), but I was heartbroken for him: he doesn't take his joblessness lightly and this is kind of like a tumble down the mountain of hope for him.

Of course we're scared for the future as the gaming companies of Los Angeles are laying off workers at an alarming rate, but even if we both have to temp in order to keep our house we'll do it. I can tool and smith at night and work by day if need be.

We'll know more in the coming weeks, and certainly November and December will be dedicated to the Etsy shops and shows.

Today (!)

In the Leather Shop today: seeing my dearest koi, leaves and blossoms after so much time away makes my heart feel lighter. I could have posted one or two each day as they were made, but I so love a good 'Ooomph!' of multiple gifts.

I just uploaded the most recent Mac Operating System, so now I can do things like embolden words and italicize them and even this:

I Love You!!!

Holey moley that's exciting. I am wishing you all the most outrageously beautiful day you've had in longer than you can remember.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

All Smiles

There is something brewing in my life that involves a very special project. It also involves the good folks at Etsy. It will take place next week and I certainly don't know how long it will take for me to share it with you, but hopefully before the end of the year.
I am super jazzed.
Don't let my lack of exclamation marks fool you - inside I am doing this (asg43Q@$#U&ISFGNYULGBSD$!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
On the outside, I am all smiles :)

The insane amount of smiling could also have to do with the fact that I am back to doing Pilates: I have spent my first few days as a client at J.A.M ( where I used to work! ) and I feel so good to have my muscles stretched and my endurance tested. One can only lounge on the beach for so long.... oh who am I kidding - I could have stayed on that beach forever and a day.
Oh -speaking of beach - here's an interesting comparison - indulge me:

Cousins, perhaps?