Monday, August 31, 2009

I Have Been Holding Out on You Guys....

Let me be frank: lately I have been dealing with a monster. Not the kind of monster you'd think....

the best kind of monster, encapsulated in stone. 
Through the course of our time together I have discovered him to be a fear monster with the face of a trout and the soul of an angel.....

He eats fear. He belongs to someone very specific, and the time has come to set him in silver and let him out into the world to do his very good, necessary work of protecting and digesting.

The stone, by the way, is called Tuxedo Agate and wowee does it make some gorgeous patterns!

Aside from making a monster, I also made some lovely, colorful and soulful pieces for you over the last four days with all my heart in them:

An L.A. Necklace with gorgeous very dendritic mookaite, Crow Springs Turquoise and a whisper light piece of sterling with yellow Brazilian Jade and a Boundary Necklace with little monochrome coral rainbows.

These pieces will be in the Metal Shop a little later this evening!!

Sunday, August 30, 2009


NOTE: Both stones below got snapped up: thank you for your tremendous response via convos - woooo!!

In the past few months I have been lapping up some fabulous slabs when I travel and taking a chance on some online (you kinda never know what you're going to get - camera angles, lighting, etc....) and oh my oh my oh my have these rough slabs become art.

These photos are from Ed's camera of  two stones (there will be a total of four or five) that he so artfully, gracefully and wonderfully cabbed from my sent-in slabs:

These are a tease of what will arrive in my home in the coming week-or-so -

Please tell me:


I think I had a kitten when I saw these pictures.
(hee hee, Heather!)

Ed does something very special with stones; there is an understanding and respect in his work for the material and the person who will someday set it or (like me) covet her collection and open boxes every day for inspiration and excitement.

I hope you drink in the gorgeous magenta of that mookaite (and that dendrite, my goodness!) and the growing green of the laguna agate - may they refill any dry wells you have.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Fling Wide the Doors of Your Heart

This world has long been wishing, hoping and waiting for your
unique beauty to shine out of your bones
and create a stir where a stir is most needed.

With open doors and open heart a house becomes a boat, adrift on an undulating piece of earth...
A person becomes a wealth of possibility cast in a thousand different directions without a single moment of strain or confusion.

What was once friendship becomes sisterhood, a spectacular shelter without boundaries of what can be discussed or how much love can be doled out...
Half becomes whole with a liberating breeze through something once buttressed and walled.

Fling Wide the Doors of your Heart so that the wildness, heartache and unbounded joys of life might know you, might meet you without your normal armor.

Fly with me: the wind is waiting to catch our heels!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Oh Happy Day!!!

All is well with the world: my best friend Terra and her little Doggie Elliot are here and we are 
luxuriating in love, love, love.

I got a chance to finish a few amazing and exciting custom orders and make one little new ring with the most special piece of spiderweb variscite on a wide polished band
in size 7 - fits true to 7, that is.

As for the customs: Ooooooh la laaaa!!

The ring will be in the Metal Shop today and the custom orders will be with their mama soon...

I hope all of your days are filled with health, wealth and wonder.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Inspired to Tears, my Goodness!!!

I went out into the back yard, which I feel so fortunate to have, and I buried my toes in the grass, but I needed to be closer to the earth so I laid down and looked up at the blue of the sky and recalled hours spent in that position as a child, figuring out which gaudy prom dress from my sister's Seventeen Magazine I would wear when I was old enough to go....
making lists, dreaming....
I feel foolish that this was my first time doing this, as a whole summer of grass presented itself to me, but that's what ten years of big city living will do to us grass dreamers.

I went into the studio and finally knew what to do with that mookaite I'd made the bezel for: it looks as though a body is lying in the grass looking up at a sunset sky with the branches of a tree in the corner of the field of vision - so I got a lump in my throat (which I have come to understand is what creates the most soulful work: kind of like songwriting - it comes out best in heightened emotion) and made an end-of-summer dreamer's necklace with a little round of sterling with some late summer sprouts and a little round of gorgeous Natural colored Brazilian Jade for a sun.

Hopefully this will keep a sun dreamer happily warmed through the whole chilly season until the grass can cradle their thoughts again!!

I also finished (it was a day of completing long ago projects, really!) an Australian Gaspeite Ring - the deepest Apple Green one can imagine, with threads of yellow all through.

Australian Gaspeite is different from the stuff found in Canada: the material is rich in beautiful red line matrix and a very chalky texture to the color: this gaspeite is gemmy, clear green of the most lush variety.

On the back is a compass, just because the green reminded me of maps and travel and the goodness of a heart that points a true north.

Both pieces will be available in the Metal Shop this evening and then creations will be quiet for a few days: this last amazing rush was a result of many 'in-progress' pieces finding their purpose: time for many more beginnings and finishing the last of the red hot custom orders!!

The happiest evening to you all, my dearest distant friends.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Boundary Necklace

It doesn't take much: a look that you know held rancor mixed with words that say, "Everything is fine"... An out of control insult from a neighbor.... saying 'yes' for the seventy fifth time when what you really needed to say was, "I have too much on my plate: thank you, but no."
...It's the unwarranted unkindness around you that you let slide because it would make waves to ask questions.

Every day we let our boundaries slip and slide to accommodate, to keep an uneasy peace that we don't really know what to do with when all we want is to speak the truth.

Why don't we make today the first day where the nasty comment at work is met with a meeting request and a genuine question from the heart, "Has something happened that I don't know about? I feel like things are 'off' between us.." - let's create a space around our lives by replying 
with compassion for not only ourselves but to those we feel wronged by, those with whom the air is not clear.

Let's stay home and give ourselves the chance to read a good book, journal or meditate instead of rushing out to a meeting again.

It is in this spirit that I made the Boundary necklace: two gentle sprouts wrapped loosely around a 14k gold dot, the center of your heart. We can protect ourselves with compassion: armor never works.
Two generous rondelles of gorgeous sky-blue turquoise add peaceful blue at the clasp.

Let this piece gently remind you of your own power and how quiet it can be when you own it. In the Metal Shop this evening.

Monday, August 24, 2009

It's Hip to be both Square and Rectangular

I was finally filing my nails for the first time in months instead of cutting them short - I just needed a moment of girlyness for my hands: can I get an amen from my silversmithing sisters? 

It is just too hard to keep the nails looking like they used to before I spent all day accidentally filing them down into ski slopes with sandpaper....
Anyway, my favorite nail shape is square and always will be for my hands. Of course even the simplest of actions like filing my nails got me thinking about cabochons and I felt compelled to set a few symmetrical beauties. We get our inspiration from everywhere, don't we?!!
I made a new tiger grrr necklace, might be the last one for a good while until I can find some good new options for stones.

And I made one of those pieces that made me cry: a necklace that pays homage to desert evenings. The stone is spectacular: agua nueva with moss - it looks like evening over the tail end of Joshua Tree National park where the rocks have long ago fallen away and the Cholla cactus sing their siren songs on the roadside.
Can you hear the deep deep silence calling?

Stones like this come to be every so often: emotionally evocative and really powerful...
Waiting above the evening scene are the stars, ready to shimmer above.

All set on a sturdy chain about 21 inches in length.
If you get to Joshua Tree before I do, please kiss it for me.
Just avoid the Cholla Cactus, please!!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

End of Summer Sprouts

Arriving home in Petaluma (sans iPod - someone broke into Penny and made it their own in Eugene, Oregon... I hope they like a mix of Beyonce, George Strait and The Indigo Girls!) I noticed the summer had taken a turn into its final, gorgeous stage: Indian Summer: hot days and cool nights with an undertone of chill no matter what the temperature is.

I love Indian summer, and I also respect it as the unpredictable stage of nature grieving summer with one last push of cricket thrum and hot breezes through the knee-high blonde grass.

I joined our Great Mother and created my own in silver:

Beautiful rough-hewn Poppy Jasper  surrounded by sprouts and resting under a larger-than-normal sun. I made one in size 6.5 and one in 9.5.

I also made a necklace for a dear friend with whom I was discussing boundaries. I knew I was going to make her a talisman, but the newly made sprouts lying around made me realize that boundaries don't need to be drawn with hard things, with spikes and thorns:
they can be made with our softest, most compassionate parts.

The center of the necklace is a 14k gold dot, and the 'boundaries' are two sprouts: nothing airtight, nothing harsh, just lovely nature gathering to protect and inform decisions.

I am certain that I'll be making a few for the shop this coming week.

I am so grateful to be here after such a long drive home. This morning Anthony went to Best Buy to get some 'games' (the excuse) and brought home a new iPod for me.
The original was purchased for me by my parents and my sister and her husband for Christmas - it was such a great gift. Its loss and my feelings of responsibility for that theft made for a lot of tears yesterday.

I am so grateful that whoever has it now left my keyboard and all of my precious musical props.
And I am still obviously getting used to having automatic locks after six years of manual everything.

Either way, everything is just as it should be.
I am so grateful to have been able to post some pictures of Washington and Oregon here: such beautiful places that I long to return to.

Friday, August 21, 2009

And Just As Quickly As It Began....'s over.

There is only one more song to play.
I look over at my brother as the guitar chords start to form a solid structure,
The vaulted venue over our heads filling up with sound.

This heart goes heavy and the tears spring up behind my eyes
Salty as the sea
Filling something empty
knowing the reality of our impending goodbye and the months of missing ahead
But instead of letting them run down my cheeks
I pull them into my heart

Open my mouth

and sing

and he sings

And the moment becomes 

Red Curtain

White Keys

Blue me.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Thank you, Cheney

For the Love and the Cookies, Michelle - (seriously the bestest cookies I have had in very much forever!!) yoga, kindred spirits and fresh veggies tomorrow!!

For the lovely setting sun and the chance to play for you.

For giving me an excuse to be with my 'brother' for a few days.

For raising your hands during "Jellyman Kelly"!!

For these little tag-playing cuties who reminded me of how very good it feels to grow up in a safe, small town and run free and innocent.

I cannot take credit for most of these photos: they were taken by the beautiful and delightful Irene.

What I didn't get in a picture were the thousands and thousands of gnats that filled with air so thick that it looked like a blizzard: thank you for making me appreciate gnat-free Petaluma even more.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Something to Ponder

Sitting inside my car Penny during our maiden solitary multi-day voyage I was reminded of so many big, big truths I so often forget when I am at home. I am writing them here not to be preachy, far from that: I am writing them to remember them when I am home again, safe and snug in my expected, nearly controlled reality.

1. Go somewhere. Spend a few extra bucks and make it luxurious if you want, but even the Super 8 has free soap: travel somewhere you've never been.
You'll find your worries lessened, your mind a bit more quiet and a stunning joy bubbling up from reserves deep inside you.

2. Every moment spent in traffic, in lines and waiting in offices or DMVs is still time: enjoy it. Stop worrying about the terrible wallpaper or the smell of tar: look at the amazing trees around you, appreciate the friendly nurse or helpful patron and be glad.
This time is no less precious than the time you spend doing things you dearly love.
Cherish it as best you can and notice the good.

3. There is no 'destination'. Even famous people feel an ache in their craw when they reach their desired goal of stardom: every runner feels a sense of preparation for the race after this one: you will never 'arrive' in one place, in one mindset, on one moment that will never shift or change.... embrace the journey to the best of your ability.

4. Be around wilderness as much as possible. Look at the impossibly beautiful bounty of Mother Nature's art that was buried far underground and be glad you get to touch that miracle as often as you'd like. 

5. Challenge the boundaries of your box, of your comfort zone as much as you can. When the outside world starts to feel a little scary and the warmth of the hearth becomes a little too hypnotic, take a day trip. Take an evening drive and chase the sunset.

Drive to work a different way - just shake it up in your day-to-day when you get lulled by the pull of the Stay-at-Home Sirens.

6. Breathe. For the love of everything, breathe!!!

7. Create a space in your soul to harvest the biggest light you can build without tangible materials.....
The world is waiting to know the peace you have to give.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Two Girleees.

Cabs I cannot stop coveting!!!

My journals both made by the magnificent Lmoss
In my favorite chocolate shop (with a dark chocolate decaf Mocha. Umigosh.)

His Royal Ridiculousness.

There is a marked difference in life before the iPhone and life after. I haven't quite yet decided if that's good or distracting, but it sure is fun, and the camera is pretty durn good!

Plus I know I'll never get lost again, which will come in handy as I make my way up to Spokane.
I will definitely be visiting rock shops: I really appreciate suggestions (Thanks Halie - I'll surely go!)!

I'll be staying in Eugene, OR one night up and one night on the way back at this FABULOUS Inn!
My husband treated me to luxury and I didn't say 'no' -
Would you?

I leave you with Jones playing Patty Cake with Anthony because he's too darn cute not to share.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Woops a Daisy!!

Well, I don't know how I got it in my head that I could drive 15 hours in one day, but I did.
I can't really DO that, so this means that my four day trip to Spokane has become 6, two extra travel days for silly me!

I will make it worth my while by visiting rock shops and hopefully staying in a B&B if one can be found in Bend, OR.

So excited to get to Spokane and meet one amazing massage guress and see my Matt E O and his lovely Irene.

Oh, and make good music :)

The blog will be quiet, likely, unless I bring my camera! The shops will remain open with the understanding that what gets bought between Monday after 8:00 AM and the Saturday the 22nd will ship out on the 24th, a.k.a the following Monday.

Toodle OOOooo!

Friday, August 14, 2009


Earrings??? Really?
I know it seems that they are most often the ignored jewelry accessory in my shop: enough is enough - equality for all shiny things is now a priority.

I applied for a really exciting fair in San Francisco in December: that means that there will be a big push to fill up the shop, I mean like to the BRIM because if I get in to this show I want to have a wealth of Sunny-ness, and so I begin!!

These earrings are very simple, made with a light and lovely gauge of sterling so you can feel that they are weightless in your overtaxed ears. There's also something interesting about one of the pairs:

Namely the Peruvian Pink Opal pair. That is one sought after color of stone, especially lovely when you pair it with little 14k gold dots underneath, but a small flaw is to your benefit - a small chip in the upper left hand corner: they will be marked down by 30% of what they would be without it, so take advantage of the flaw in the stone! You can hardly see it without a macro shoot with a Nikon.

The other pair is carnelian and the luminous nature of this stone always moves me and makes me think of water even though they are quite fiery.
Both pairs will be in the Metal Shop this evening.

I am very busily tooling a custom leather order but I felt compelled to say 'hi' and tell you that today one of the ladies in the Post Office greeted me like an old friend and showed me pictures of her new grandbaby: I think I am finally finding a groove here in
the 'Luma!

Have a stunning weekend my very dear friends!!