Friday, July 31, 2009

Monday Shall Live in Peacock Feather Infamy!!!

So, as you know I have been having some back issues which reduce the amount of time I can sit on my little studio seat, but I have been doing rather well: almost all custom orders have been finished, just about six to go.

On Monday I will finally unveil the peacock feather clutch I have been so excited about: here is a little preview, along with a few peacock feather necklaces which will find their home in the Leather Shop as well.

This weekend the Schmilly and I are going to Lake Tahoe to visit his parental units and so I will have very limited access to phone and email.

Ahhhhhhhhhhh..... that sounds so good right now....

Have an amazing few days and I will see you on Monday with some very happy plumage to introduce to your eyes!

Have a Little Faith In Me

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Unexpected Reminders

This evening I was reaching into the little thrown pot where I keep my bobby pins and my fingers fumbled against something with sharp edges and I drew it out to see what it was...
It was my name pin from my six month stint working as a receptionist at The Hillcrest Country Club, an exclusively Jewish country club in Los Angeles and second home to some of the wealthiest and most powerful movers and shakers in said city.
You can just barely make out my name in the above picture....

The Hillcrest was also my own private hell for that half-year.

Before I started working for myself I was a receptionist-by-day-musician-by-night. Before I entered Purgatory at the Hillcrest gates I was the concierge at a fantastic members-only dining establishment call 'The Regency Club'. 
Some of my fondest memories of that city are in the hallowed halls of that place: communal dinners with the mostly French waitstaff and my complete adoration for the Chef...
one night they made me a chocolate souffle and set me up in a private dining room lit by candles to enjoy it toute seule, the lights of Los Angeles twinkling outside the 15th story windows.....oh it was delicious, and like family.

My hours were sporadic and the pay was low, so I had to look for something more stable.
Enter the Hillcrest. I worked 40 hours a week and dreaded every second of it, except for the blessing of spending time with my amazing immediate co-workers.

The higher-ups were in a very strange position of having the members control their employ and so they were rigid, scared and unbearable... it was a very strange perfume indeed that wafted out of those formidable wooden doors!

I met tons of celebrities, handed Sidney Poitier his golf hat that he'd left the day before (swoontastic!) and ate some serious five star cuisine, but we were treated so poorly by certain members that I pretty much left in tears at least one day per week.

Eventually I made some choices and took a few big leaps of faith and found myself at Electronic Arts where I spent three years and would meet my future husband, and the job switch was a complete relief in so very many ways.

I look back on situations like those at The Hillcrest, where I had few choices and lived paycheck-to-paycheck.... where my very soul felt like a python was closing in for the death squeeze and I wonder at the benevolence of the universe and the spectacular change that only a few years can bring.

This world is truly a place of great mystery and grand twists of fate: where we are now is only a nanosecond in time: each minute a new possibility blooms!

A toast - to blessings and the opportunity to count them in every nook and cranny - even the bobby pin jar.

Peacock Tail Southwest Necklace

Last night I set out on a journey to make a necklace I have been envisioning for days now, and I just couldn't seem to figure out how to do it, except to just go ahead and do it!

Being self-taught leaves so many questions unanswered and remembering all the melted metal of the first year of silversmithing makes me feel very cautious when trying new things.

All I want to do this week is set stones together!!! I got it in mind to make an upside down peacock tail and put it on a really good sterling chain to fashion one of those necklaces mothers pass down to daughters.

Here we have Gaspeite and Crow Springs Turquoise, both with really nice reddish matrix...
the combination of blue and green is really very refreshing.

In the Metal Shop later today!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Custom Love

The amethyst has stolen my heart in the craziest way..... oh, stones. They are the best and brightest gifts from the depths of the earth.
I will never stop being awed and desirous.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Back to Basics

This necklace is a return of sorts for me, a return to the simplicity which made me want to start silversmithing in the first place: the Great American Southwest.
I will not bore you with the details, but I am having a heck of a time trying to ride the crests and dips of these creative gifts: the tremendous surges of energy when a new idea comes to me and the deep pits I find myself digging out of when the well runs dry.
I am learning balance in all things, not the least of which involves keeping the big tsunamis of inspiration gated somehow to allow them to stretch out and meet the cavernous dips halfway...
if that makes any sense.
When I was 17 I first saw New Mexico and Arizona by train and I was floored by the beauty I saw there. 
Blown away by the jewelry I saw, too - big sterling granules surrounding the bluest stones and the reddest coral... it was an awakening of several different kinds: geography and creativity.
I could have never anticipated the jewelry, though....
This necklace, comprised of Bruneau Jasper and an almond of Turquoise, is my valentine to the Southwest. To simplicity and starting back at the beginning to find myself where I am now.
In the shop this evening.

On a very light note, my custom list is very nearly complete: after I am caught up I will start taking orders again, making note of it in my shop announcements.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Oh, Elliot!!!

My best friend Terra is in town and she has brought her little Pom-man Elliot. I want to eat hees face!!!

It's really nice to have girl time and catch up on everything an iPhone cannot show you about a person's life.

I will be back to talk shop tomorrow - hope you are all well and happy oysters on the half-shell.

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Change of Pace

I was in deep need of sprouting, and I thought you might be, too, so I went and made some for us.
In the process I think my little spirit might have grown a few buds!
The first piece is a ring in size 7.5. The band is a suuuper thick 10 gauge sterling wire, hammered and shaped with might!
The canvas is an altered square and the embellishment is a little sprout bouquet right next to one of the most beautiful stones I have ever seen: a square of quartz with dendritic inclusions; some sort of rutile.

My second offering is a lovely cherry blossom sprout tree pendant with a nice luxe chain and a really pretty twig toggle clasp.

The colors (created by coral and pink shell) are just soothing and lovely
and the feminine feel of the pendant is so nicely balanced out by the hammered strength of the chain.
Very fancy, very special!

Lastly, a little something delicate and tender:

A miniature sprout tree pendant in citrus shades: lightest lemon, tangerine and blood orange (really two pieces of amber and one citrine!)
It feels really refreshing on and whisper light.

Normally when I write about the piece I list them immediately: I will be listing these beauties tomorrow morning before my knitting class (I love discovering how to knit!)
around 9 AM Cali Time.

I hope you have all had a lovely week, and I look forward to sharing these pieces with you tomorrow!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


update: goal attained thanks to one of my verrrry favorite etsy crushes!

I am one sale away from 500 in the Leather Shop - that's almost 500 things made with my hands!!
Yowsers, I am excited to hit that mark!

That is all, carry on.

Oh, Yay :)

The well is nearly full.
Today was heavenly: woke up in Schmilly's arms and finished up a custom bag-let before going to pilates. Here's where it got really out of the ordinary neat-o:
After pilates the studio owner came in and asked if we wanted to stay for a demonstration of sound healing, as the woman would be coming back to give a workshop on it in August and they wanted to see how it felt in this studio....
oh my word.
My mind was still and my body felt so deeply at peace. She played Tibetan Singing Bowls and had a giant rain stick and all sorts of really neat sound-making devices. It was really special and free, which is amazing.
Came home and had a few free minutes to buy a couple cabs that people are clamoring for and then off to the chiropractor I went.
I now sit on my couch eating Ranier cherries and skimming through a book called "The Whole Mind".
May all your wells likewise be refilled by sweet serendipity!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Children Of Wednesday

Today brought out a custom order (and another in progress) and the completion of a few delicious pieces for the shop to stock up.
The ring I had a hard time parting with: Gorgeous sky blue Arizona turquoise with 14k gold and sterling dots in size 6.5... sigh. It belongs to another, I know.

The I made another Tiger Grrl Necklace because the last one brought a slew of emails: here she is, ladies!!


Lastly there is a little morsel of ocean jasper, a bon bon from the earth in size 6.25:

Salmon and wintergreen - what a gorgeous combination.

Today I attempted a peek in some antique shops near Sebastopol and alas, they were closed.
My wells need a-filling and my new little Penny Fit is willing, so adventures will abound around here soon....

Hope you are all having an amazing day!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pink Champagne Lace Agate

 A purely magical and stunning stone: 8.75 (just so close to being  9)
In the Metal Shop this evening!

Calloused Hands are made of These

Some two hundred + rivets plus thick garment leather that I lined in pigskin and the determination of a true craftswoman and now I have cowboy hands!
Calloused, true and worked. I have a belt bag to finish today, a custom order for a dear girl and then I am on to silver for a tiny bit.
Goodness knows my hands cannot take any more rivets.
Would you like to see what all that riveting was about? It's available in the Leather Shop this afternoon, one of the only ones you'll see in a little while....

The Heirloom Bee and Flower Bag! If flowers were soft gold and red in nature I'd love to know where I could find them, so I made up my own and they are stunners.
Turquoise centers and two busy bees.
On the back are the words, "Know Joy". Make a date and get to know happiness!!

I knew joy while making this stunner and my heart fills every time I look at it: I hope her home will be one with tons of light and love... fingers crossed!

Monday, July 20, 2009


...are too funny!

I really enjoyed all the help with the car-naming.... she is so peppy and delightful.
It's now between Tiger Lily and Penny.
Tang runs a distant third, Halie - ha ha haaaa! Oh, man.

On a slightly more serious note, I ma going to the chiro tonight to get this back mess sorted out. In the meantime, custom orders are running about a half-week behind as sitting is hard to do for long periods of time.
I have significantly reduced the pain level through brisk walking, stretching and easy-does-it yoga
and this too will indeed pass!

That big bag I spoke of will be available in the shop likely tomorrow: I have been working with it in tandem with a few other custom orders for the leather shop so no one gets left out: my custom-customers and my need to create something new both win!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

What will I name Her?

Oh, Hello 2007 Honda Fit Sport Version in IRIDESCENT orange (sorry, had to yell it out!)

For some it is a Mercedes, for others a vintage 1957 Corvair... Me? A Honda Fit, preferably in Orange. Dreams come true, oh yes they do!
(Currently in my heart there is also the melancholy of watching the Golden Egg's taillights fade out of that big garage...
And the gravity of financial obligation (nominal as it is))
Ah, life: the mixed fruit basket of bitter and sweet...

So far it's between Tiger Lily and Copper Slug...

Any suggestions?

Friday, July 17, 2009

I Guess This is Goodbye Soon

Dearest Golden Egg,

You have been my car for six gorgeous years.... can you believe it's been that long since I drove you off the lot, shellshocked at how badly I got 'had' buying you?
I remember your sticker price was 7995 and somehow I ended up paying something like 13000 after all the bells and whistles and warranties and alarms were added. I joked that it was my tuition in the school of life, Car Buying Edition.

Oh, I was so nervous and so new to the biggest, brightest city I'd ever seen... Los Angeles spread out before us in an endless paved paradise and we saw it all (literally, I think).
Through every turn and stoplight you were my companion, along with a bevy of musical guest stars that blasted through your surprisingly good stereo system.

I never once felt ashamed of your economy class, even when I waited in line between a Mercedes and a Bentley to valet park you for one of the many fun parties I found myself attending. 
You were my first car (sorry, Bessie!) and through the last half decade plus I have learned every tic and eccentricity you had, some that made me laugh and some that quite frankly frustrated me.
I hope whoever owns you next has a good sense of humor or they might worry when you do your chirping bit above 5 mph. Or when they try to pump gas and find they have to get it at  just
the right angle or it won't fill.... ah, Golden Egg.
I know you are an inanimate object, but just like teddy bears I've loved and chairs I cannot seem to part with I think you have a soul. 
That soul has kept me safe and dry through nearly 50,000 miles of road and adventure... through breakups and blind dates and engagements alike you have been a constant companion and I will never forget you.

Now it is time for someone else to have you as their first car, for someone else to discover all of the things about you that make me smile. Your golden years are nigh and I don't have the bravery to be stuck halfway between here and Spokane with an exhaust that has come off or a radiator that has overheated.

Most of the driving I plan on doing is long distance. I want to go to L.A. and not feel like I have to rent a car. I want to have the health of my vehicle be a no-brainer, something that I know is good for another 50,000 miles.
And so we must part, but let me send you off with this prayer:

May your hubcaps always match
May you drive the prettiest highways and byways
May you be filled with singing and may your driver always use their bluetooth headset (remember, it's the law!)
May your trunk always be full of surprisingly useful tidbits ("oh I know I put this somewhere!")
as it was when you were mine.
When the sun is setting and the miles are long may your driver pat your steering wheel the way I did and say, "Good Car" with the same warmth as me.

Godspeed, my sweet Echo!

Sale in the Metal Shop!

These three glorious pieces are each on sale, up to 35% off their original prices!

Just my way of making it a little easier to have a bit of luxury on your skin.


Thursday, July 16, 2009


I just wrote about leather being the winner of this week's attention, and here I am listing silver things. Well, here's the thing:
I am slow. Methodical. When I make something silver it normally takes a few days. I have girlfriends who make spectacular creations in a day: I am more of a tortoise, making bezels one day, then taking the next step the next day: on certain projects.
Some others I tear through like a bucket of good fried chicken. Mmmmm...
Being that my shop inventory keeps getting a bit low, I decided to spend the late morning/afternoon finishing up some pieces already in creation to make sure you silver lovers have more choices and some fresh pieces.
May I introduce the new lovelies!!

A stunning caramel drusy cabochon... it seriously makes me feel like I've just had desert
every time I look upon its gorgeous high sparkle and rich color.
I especially love the dot of orange!

Size 7.5 and in the Metal Shop this evening.

Pietersite - it looks like a mountain getting rain in the desert... so peaceful and quiet, a picture of renewal.
Size 6 in the Metal Shop this evening.

A round slug of real raw copper, heavy and small... this little necklace shines like the sun!

Two simple sprout necklaces that say such lovely things: the big one says "Gentle" and the small one says 'we'. The sprouts on the small one look like a mother and child or two loved ones of any kind. They look like a we.

All of these pieces will be available in the Metal Shop this evening!

The Pendulum Has Swung

I cannot breathe in enough of the scent of leather
nor can I seem to tool enough....
The pendulum which had swung to silver for so many weeks has swung to leather
one field lays fallow while another is seeded and harvested -
that's the way to keep the earth full of nutrients
and the mind blossoming with ideas and activity.

A big heirloom bag with red and gold blossoms and bees and gorgeous maroon garment leather will be listed this weekend, as will a stunning peacock feather clutch.
Mama Mia!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Shades of Grey Giant Drusy Ring

This week has been a great teacher... I have learned just a bit more of what it is to live between absolutes: to dwell peacefully in the grey areas of life.
It's the space between immovable opinions, when you realize that the other side has a right to its feelings...
The place where you begin to find a bit more levity and relax from the tight muscles of 

In the spirit of the places in between the extremes, I made this ring which features a gigantic stunning blue/grey agate drusy with diamond sparkles inside.

The woman who owns it has discovered the gentle breath of the middle place where 
true peace and diplomacy can be found.

Size 7.5. and in the Metal Shop this evening.


These last few days I have been dealing with a pain most of us can relate to: sciatica. Perhaps it was from an overzealous workout schedule before my lower back got strong enough to endure some of the more powerful vinyasas in very difficult yoga classes, combined with the jogging, etc....

or perhaps it is mental: according to "You can Heal Your Life" by Louise Hay (indulge me, I love this text) Sciatica is caused by 'fear of the future, fear of money'.... Money isn't an issue for me currently, but the future has felt a little more like a murky unknown....

Going back to the past, I cannot CANNOT thank you ladies enough for contributing your voices to my aging question blog post - and Dave, too!! I feel so much more at peace. For every comment here I received a convo on Etsy and some of the wisdom MUST be shared. I'll be posting some of the thoughts here with the permission of their writers.
But again, thank you for being here with me.

So I repeat my mantras and begin my walking (walking actually resets your sacrum, which is really good for sciatica) and I will have to take it a bit easier sitting at the bench to tool or to smith... sometimes our bodies slow us down for a reason.

On a bright note, I am four sales away from 500 in the Leather Shop, and that makes me beam like a small Sunny One. I think I may have to throw myself a little party when the blessed number is made real - I am also making a bee and flower heirloom bag for the shop to be listed sometime this weekend - that makes me really really happy!
And really busy - I better make myself useful around here!!!

I'll be posting some silver goodies today in the Metal shop after introducing them to you here!

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Good Way

To spend a vulnerable, soft day is to make something beautiful, and so I did.

I finished a long-promised custom order whose setting was waiting for this new symmetrical phase I am going through - there was no other way!!

A huuuuuuuge morrisonite cabochon, a very valuable and sought after material - I didn't understand all the fuss until I had a piece in front of me: it is magic.
I made a turquoise ring for my best girlfriend who reads this blog only one every blue moon, so hopefully she checks in after it ships tomorrow!

Lastly, here is one for you: a little tiny tree inside of a piece of boulder opal with a gentle stem - like a ginko leaf.
On the ring band is the word, "Life", a little tree of life in size 7 with sprouts.

This little gem will be in the Metal Shop this evening.