Thursday, July 31, 2008

Tiger Lily Belt Part Deux

The two sides have become one :)

In other news, I napped today, which I rarely if ever do. This week has been teary and weird for me, and resting in midday with Jones in the curl between my knees and stomach ( I am a side sleeper, proudly ) refilled so many empty wells. Sometimes rest is the greatest healer we can know.
Anthony and I have planned our little ten day trip to Hawaii and are renting the most dreamy cottages, one steps from Anini Beach and the other right near the River ( both on Kauai ). We are so excited and so lucky to have this getaway at the end of October. My mind is on the dreaminess of hot outdoor showers and a kayak to call our very own for five days. Pinch us!!

And this is why I can never do anything elegant after I antique leather: ( my fingertips are so very brown, though you cannot really tell! )

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Under a Watchful Eye

Janey was not the least bit bothered by the quake once it was over.
Jones was incredibly distrustful of the floor and kept making eyes at the bed like it was the source of evil.
I have been nervous and uncomfy ever since it happened.
I had a panic attack. I think it's time for some re-examination of the stark and profoundly moving idea that we are beloved grains of sand. I am an East Coast girl and I do not want to go via some pancaked building in an event that makes your heart beat like an overcharged drum machine -- I used to call my mom and say, "Wee! We had an earthquake just now -- how refreshing!" but today having heard the water sloshing in my toilets while I stood alone in my hallway without the benefit of company to make me laugh or to cling to, holding out an arm on each wall to steady myself I can safely say I've had enough.
The solace for my nerves has been my tools.
I am and have been working on a custom order that is such a lovely idea and so much fun to work on.

As I write Jones is looking at me like this:

Sleeping with one eye open. I love him so. Love my family so. Feel strangely frightened now that the "in a split second" everyone who faces tragedy has described is not so far away and that truly living for this moment is all we can do. I for one am going to eat Citron Tilapia and then go out and see the world.
Sorry so grim, I am just (literally ) shaken :)

Shakey Shakey

Woah-- That was a big one -- 5.8 in Chino Hills, which is about twenty miles southeast of us. I feel all wobbly knee-d and wish to relocate immediately :)
To somewhere still. And Floodless. And Tornado-less. And Hurricane-less....hmmmm... where is that?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Glorious Profusion

I love bulk orders, because it's a fully formed group of colors and textures that create a little force field around themselves. They belong together, and I know this as I am creating the final pieces. It a joyful sadness to part with them, as they become constants for a little while and then they find their true homes out in the world and I bid them bon voyage.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Serenity Boulder Opal

Last fall I fell wildly in love with boulder opals and snatched up a bunch of preforms ( which you polish yourself ) and some lovely little one from Thailand ( Australian, though! ) ( and of course some from Australia ). Now is the time to set them, and as I do, the purpose of each one becomes apparent: its personality creates a vibe strong enough for me to make out what the words should be. It's a lovely feeling to know them so well.
This little gemmy blue beauty is the serenity opal, and around around it on the backing are the words "Serenity * Peace * Stillness*"

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Take Flight

In the Sunny Rising Metal Shop : ( )

The Marriage of Leather and Sterling

FInally: I thought they'd given up on each other and I on them. Foolish me, believing so little in true love :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008


New to Sunny Rising in the Etsy shop.

Found It

It started with my bags, tooling phrases on the part that gets held against the wearer's human form: hand, side, hip, rib..... a blessing, words of comfort - private if wished to be, but also easily shared by a quick turn of the arm:
"Grow Love"
"May the Bluebird of Happiness Sing in Your Heart"
"May Joy Bloom in Your Heart"

I figured; I do this all the time in traffic and in public: as I pass the cars going in the opposite direction I open my heart and wish them well wherever they are going- ( Note to self: learn to do the same thing to people who cut you off.)- why wouldn't I make my feelings concrete and tangible? Hence the tooling.

It will now extend into metals and stones, beginning with this first necklace:
"All Love Surround You"
It was previously shiny and bare and desperately missing something needed: it feels so complete now.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Omigod, I saw pictures of this stone and thought it would make the most amazing jewelry. I have finally found my concept: bezel-set stones with phrases wrapped around the silver outer edge of the piece.
For instance: these are wild horse magnesite stones ( one is going to my dear friend The Plume, and should she be reading this the surprise is surely done for ) and one Turquoise stone that I am in love with. For the first wild horse magnesite that I will be setting, the words "Run Free on Sure Feet" will circle the stone.
I am positively over-caffeinated with delight and expectation that when my 1/16 inch steel alphabet stamps arrive I will get to work madly with a very holy passion.
My list of custom orders with the leather goodies overfloweth, so I must stop writing and tool like the wiiiiind!!!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Learning to Photograph Metal and Stone

I retook the pictures for the Turquoise necklace in my Metal Shop ( ) this morning -- I discovered that the most gorgeous prop in the world is the crown from the victorian bed my parents gave Anthony and I --

you see, my parents have long slept separately as my father tosses and turns and hits and kicks and snores like a banshee in his sleep, so when we had the big house they had one bedroom with two beds.

Now that there is a small house they gave one bed to us, and sice we live where the earth moves I decided the crown might be best on our mantle, as it is sharp and spiny and should we quake at night I'd hate to have my ears pierced three times instead of twice.
Behold the power of hundred and 40 year-old wood!! It's like a before and after for our dear Lichen Necklace :)


Saturday, July 19, 2008


Phase Two, Peacock Feather Bag

Would you believe I spent twelve hours on this bag yesterday and will likely do the same today?
Well, I cannot tell a lie: when the pieces are all cut out and everything is being tooled I get swept up in a storm of creativity and joy I can only describe as inescapable: it takes me over. It's no wonder I often find that first day of frenzy to be the day I have off from everything else in my life: Friday.
Add those hours to the hours spend cutting and stitching and you have a rather epic journey for a bag. And the high amount of hours ( plus the massive amount of leather used: 20 inches by 20 inches, my goodness!!!! ) will yield a higher price tag, which always breaks my heart as I want everyone to be able to afford the things I make.
This bag is lined in the loveliest pigskin -- aqua on top and then a gorgeous floral on the inside: the joining with the outside of the bag makes for a puckered look where they all come together that I LOVE. Kind of like frills, but secret as only the carrier of the bag will ever see them. Hundreds of rivets hold everything together and the lining and distressed Italian leather bottom have been hand-stitched using triple ply waxed thread, the thread that holds up for lifetimes.
This bag will have an endless lifespan if cared for well, which means: oiled once a year and kept out of prolonged sunshine ( not obsessively, just as you would a good camera ) and kept out of rain: rain is the enemy of leather tooling.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Huge Peacock Feather Bag

In Progress.... I am tryyyyyying to pace myself with this one: the bottom is hand-stitched distressed brown leather, 20 ( TWENTY!!! ) inches across and ten inches high. The whole bag will likely be twenty-five inches high with handles: it is insane. You will be able to move in. It shall be riveted. There will not be blood. There will copious amounts of joy!

I am so excited I cannot contain myself.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

So In Love

.....I have discovered that taking silver balls and combining them with hammered indentation with my dapping set makes a sentence out of silver -- a thought that peters out with the last tiny circle...
I cannot believe I made this necklace today, after days of frustrated soldering that ended in abject failure -- I went on website after website to ( Ganoskin is amazing! ) to decipher the problem, and it's just simply cleaning everything and pickling and not getting lazy.
From my very first necklace, made in a six week class that frustrated me to no end, I have been in love with silver balls, in love with the idea of attaching them to metal. Here is that necklace:

And here is my latest creation, a bohemoth piece of complex turquoise rich in matrix and depth of color:

I feel like I worked hard today: lemonade and good book later this evening hard. For now it's off to the pilates studio to see my dear friends and, if you can call it that :)


Is a Dweam wivin a dweammm....

In three short months I will be married. Though I will still be called Allison Sattinger ( too many things going on to change my legal name ) in my heart I will be a Schmill.
OK, back to the studio, muuuuchhhhhh work to be done!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Moola Moola Sisters

Once upon a time in suburban Pittsburgh, two little girls with spacious summers ahead of them stripped down to their underoos and jumped from twin bed to twin bed in the taller one's brothers' room and declared themselves the Moola Moola Sisters, superheroes capable of fighting any evil, but mainly just jumping from bed to bed endlessly until boredom or dinner, whichever came first.
In ensuing years they developed a language of their own involving zebus and strange cow noises, discovered baby birds that didn't make it and found their way through teenage heartbreak with the taller one being sent in to buy cigarettes in hopes that she would believeably be found them seeing each other far too seldom and then, after a vicious breakup that sent the shorter one back home from NYC to live with her parents, the tall Moola Moola invited the other to live with her; "come back to NYC: we'll do this together", she said.
And so they did. Adventures ensued. As did more heartbreak, and they weathered it all as sisters do.
Five years passed and the girls, who have now officially entered woman-territory, meet up again in L.A. before the marriage of the shorter one and still, after twenty-three years of knowing each other and growing their lives into maturity, they once again became the mugging, hammy Sisters of their youth.
Here is the evidence:

Friday, July 11, 2008

Let the sunshine In!!

I am off to the recording studio for a day of tracking, but I leave you with these sunshine blossoms, as a bouquet for your day :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


I know when I see that word my heart pitter-pats -- I am having a sale in my shop this week, starting now and going until Monday, July 14th.

15% off all items!!




And in the shop:

Order Fulfillment

I love these days, where several orders are given their paint and lacquer all within a few hours of each other.
It is a blossom frenzy in my studio, not to say anything of the purple blossom necklace which will be in the shop shortly.
This is a bountiful day :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Limelight Stealer

Sitting for Jones today is our unlikely model, Jane -- afternoons are normally her sleep time, and here she is, being a lover in the midst of a photo shoot. As if she could tell I was writing about her she just looked over and gave one of her signature 'bird' chirps. She's a triller, and I love her desperately.

Thank goodness for Mr. Valdez

Juan, that is!!!!

Getting my little torch has meant that I have been staying up nights soldering things, sometimes successfully, sometimes with an almost Benny Hill-esque comedy routine without the zany bazooka music-- there I am trying to roll little balls of solder and balls of sterling onto something and watching with a mixture of sadness and resigned patience -- kinda like this:

as they roll off in a combination of singles or pairs that boggles the mind and would, on TV, spark the laugh track.

Eventually, I either give up ( only to stubbornly try again later ), melt the silver and create a firescale mess of epic proportions or, most seldomly used of all: apply logic to the situation.
You see, I was the child playing piano at five who would sit down and place my fingers upon the keys, lacking formal knowledge, and expect that the chords would emerge perfect and dulcet as Brahms. It took five years of lessons and practicing dilligently to get to Brahms. Perhaps I should expect the same for my work with the torch: practice, practice, practice :)

In the meantime I am having a ball, and the recession, which has meant a lot of quiet in my leather shop WHICH would on any other occasion drive me batty, means that I get to solder and bend and hammer and read books long into the night.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Wishing On A Star

Oh, how many times I have tipped my head to the darkening sky looking for that one first pinprick of light so that my girlish wishes would come true...and oddly, how many times they absolutely did.

In honor of all the stars that made me the willfully wishful thinker I am today, I present my ode in sterling.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sunny Rising Metal is Born! -- woohoo!!
I can finally indulge my love of hammering and soldering, but honestly, if I stop tooling for too long I get homesick for leather.
They shall live in harmony, though, as I have discovered as of late it is hard to create using both of them together.
Which is maybe a good thing for now, but I shall push the envelope over and over again until one of them gives in and agrees to the marriage of my favorite materials.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Life is like a bowl of yogurt and granola

Sweet and delicious, just like my Schmilly and our little Jane -- ( who also answers to Yane, Janiac, and PumpkinFace, among others )
I pinch myself every day that I get to love them ( and Jones, who was surely nearby, jealously glaring at Jane for being the recipient of adoration ).
Le grand sigh!! :)

Fire Opal

From Mexico to my hand, so the story goes for this fire opal. I got my Little Torch working last night, and after a prodigious display of my fear of explosions and fire, I feel like it's one of the most important tools I have ever been gifted to work with.