Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 9...

working my way into Natarjasana

...Is a day full of grace and organization.
This morning's class was challenging to say the least, but I had several moments that felt so great that I stopped wishing it was over:

I felt my feet (!!): 

I felt each foot as if it were a root spreading over the earth and grounding my whole body.
In contrast, when I first started yoga nearly a year ago, I remember thinking, "I cannot actually feel like my feet are anything more than tiny odd!"

Well, today they were pillars!

I also received my handsome machinist's toolbox in the mail and proceeded to organize my cabochons by color and type: (there are three more drawers 
than what you see here):

Some of the stones you see are a part of my collection, which I will pass down to children of my own someday; some of the stones are for work.

All of them are loved and handled with the utmost care and respect: I feel so lucky to be their stewards!

I am off to relax and enjoy my evening: Schmilly starts his dream job at Activision Monday morning, so we must celebrate while we can:

he'll be gone from here for roughly ten-twelve hours per day until we move!!!

I am sending you all huge hugs and a slice of my homemade pineapple upside-down cake (oh, it is so good!) complete with organic maraschino cherries!!!

Sunny One-y

Friday, February 26, 2010

Blending Eras Tiger Lily Clutch

I often lament that I was born at the wrong time; I feel myself to be part art deco architect, part 70s hobbyist, right down to my love of those puce and burnt orange interiors.

The only way I can honor those places I've not been in those times I've not lived in is to make things that speak their names without uttering a word.

This clutch is both seventies chic and art deco construction with a little bit of rock and roll thrown in via the 60 or so rivets that adorn the piece.

These rivets hold in the gorgeously soft and feminine cotton fabric that lines the clutch: it is not glued to the whole piece: it has a sense of hang to it that makes it even more plush and inviting.

The closure is a tiny silvertone buckle, a perfect complement to the asymmetrical front flap and the elegance of the amber-colored monochrome flowers.

The back is a freeform hand-drawn golden arch, the colors achieved by mixing resists and antiques: what you see is a single process done with meticulous care and lots of wiping to make sure the leather doesn't somehow absorb the color even through the resist: it can be tricky!

The ebony is a result of the layering of matte dye in coal black and water-based acrylic for a bit of shine and lift.

The tooling itself is deep and incredibly dimensional:running a hand over this piece the cuts and bevels become hills and valleys.

A labor of love uniting eras, creating a moment of peace in my time traveling heart.

In the Leather Shop today.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Viva La Resistance!!!

Oh, yes.... it is Viva-ing quite nicely, thank you!

It began in yoga class last night, day 6.... the creeping tantrum of the Inner Child, asking questions that were rich with whine:

"Why do I HAVETA do this???"

"Is this punishment?"

"My back hurts, I gotta pee, are we THERE yet?????"

I came out of class to a few problems via email.
I woke up this morning and tested out my new contacts only to find one eye woefully under-prescription.

I pouted.


These things are all really not important in the whole grand scheme of life:

but what is?

That the resistance is finally on the table:
 that I get to digest and compassionately encounter the very parts of my psyche that wish not to push past anything that doesn't 
feel good, that seek out any possible road around discomfort.

Quite frankly, I am looking forward to the challenge - even though I have a heart full of love 
and a mind bent on making things beautiful
I am strong, resilient and completely prepared to kick ass when the need arises:

right now it just happens to be my own.

I will overcome my own walls: I will go take class tonight.

Day 7.
Through the fear go I - no shortcuts!!!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

This is a Photo....

Of a very happy girl: 
all that weight, all that fear of being seen has been cut off by a pixie with a lovely heart and a tattoo that says, "Serendipity" on her arm.

There are things I haven't told you in the last few days, things I've been worried to say out loud lest I fail in my aim:

I am doing a thirty day yoga challenge, for myself by myself under no one else's scrutiny.
One 1.5 hour class per day at Moldanado's Renew in Petaluma....
Today is day 5.
Days 1-3 felt kind of impossible because I have a fear of beginning things.

I was deeply afraid to start silversmithing
loving a good man
any year of school I ever went through, despite having great friends and nothing scary in my path....

So here I am, uncovered and striving towards something meaningful, and it inspired the desire to go much shorter than I anticipated....

All of those downward facing dogs and warrior 2s have given me this courage I forgot I had to wear something pretty from inside my closet
and cut off the curtain from behind which I viewed the world.

I am nervous and happy and giddy in a way that implies too much chocolate, but I know it's coming from something far deeper than
or even scissors....

There will be resistance
days where I wish for nothing other than to avoid the very mat where these miracles are happening
And I will ride them out as best I can.

Wish me luck!!!!


Monday, February 22, 2010


The Suns

The Moons

The Stars

Pure Joy III

Pure, nearly edible joy.
Each piece a labor of love, with a breeze of Petaluma spring infused into the metal.
The sun is out and the weather is warming!

A rich cobalt fire in this labradorite necklace makes it irresistible to the eye and the finger pads.

A pair of prehnite leaf earrings, luminous and citrus-bright - the camera was unable to capture the lemon-limey depth of their color!

The greenest, lushest druzy from Tucson, sprinkled with ebony inclusions: the ring band is a small sprout bouquet with two small 14k gold dots: lovely!!!! The ring fits a 6.75 finger.

The apple of my eye: a stunning American turquoise with wonderful reddish-brown matrix wrapped in a sunset scene, complete with seagulls and, clouds and that big ball of fire herself.
The band is cloud-shaped and fits a size 8.25-8.5 finger!

All of these will be in the Metal Shop today -

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I know the weekends are for resting, but....

I made a Turquoise sunset ring (complete with cloud shaped band in 8.25!)
and a pair of prehnite leaf earrings -

I couldn't help it.
This is what happens when your job is also your ultimate joy - the line becomes fine
and is often crossed....

I am trying to make rules for myself, like no convos on weekends, and no working on weekends and all manner of wise and well-saving guidedposts, but I love
 the feel 


I love the sound of

Metal against Mandrels
my Radio
The Avett Brothers
My rivet press
My own breath
Birds bathing above me in the eaves

I love the sight of

Solder making a run for it
Leather knife cuts becoming 3 dimensional
Antique on my hands and sponge
The venerable Ikea kitchen island that serves as my table 
(soon I will have two - one for each discipline)
many convos full of friendship
and questions

I don't know any better conundrum to have, quite frankly!

I am off to try and relax with a good book, but my stones are still calling with all their might (did I mention that I got a large Machinist's Toolbox with felt lined drawers (8 of them - drawers that is!!) to store all of my cabochons in?? Yeeeehaw!!!!)

Resistance is futile!


Friday, February 19, 2010

These Belong to Someone....

I was going to set them in a ring with a specific size when it dawned on me: they belong to someone and I can feel that....

convo me if they belong on your finger.
That is all :)

Come Away With Me

To the Green Green Hills between Petaluma and Point Reyes...
we'll make new friends
with four legs...

Eat delicious goodies at The Bovine Bakery....
I recommend the Chocolate Cherry Almond Cookie!

We'll get some good cheese at the Cowgirl Creamery, where they give samples with great generosity: if it were wine, we'd get drunk.

I for one will try not to get too sentimental about these undulating green expanses but when the date of departure gets near I can promise tears and plenty of them.
I have never been so enamored with a place before...

Let's drive and stop by a wide cow pasture: we'll find many Red Wing Blackbirds willing to give us a free recital - they make beautiful music!!

There'll be Oak Trees for shade....

...And a locally grown, baked and harvested lunch to come home to: Meyer Lemon Rosemary bread from Della Fattoria, local organic apples, Cowgirl cheese, Bovine cookies, garden rosemary, Sonoma County wine....

And enough love to wrap you tight for the rest of your days.

So come on over: 
we'll find bliss in this sacred place 
north of the Golden Gate.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ba GAWK!!!!!

It is not often you get to tool a Ba GAWK(!) onto a leather cuff for someone
special, but every once in a blue moon.....

Thanks for the custom order, Annette: I am in love with your pet chicken!

P.S. - After growing my hair Lady Godiva long, I am getting a cut. With all the other change in my life it feels somehow fitting.
I am thinking long shag, with the longest layer falling five or so inches above my current length.

I am nervous
and excited!!!

Back to work now, but wanted to check in and say
hello in the language of my portrait subject.

**(Ba GAWK!!)**

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

Under The Wing of a Hawk

Shrewd of eye, sharp of ear, the Hawk is a magnificent hunter and protective mother. In time she will teach her offspring the ways to capture prey and survive in the wild.

I was raised by a woman who is quite like a hawk: smart, instinctive and completely invested in my survival, giving me all the knowledge I could ever need to thrive in this world.

There are still days even now when I need her like a small child, though I rarely allow myself the emotional luxury of dwelling in that place of deep lack - you see, she taught me that a strong spirit is one of the most important cultivated possessions a person could ever have.

So I sit quietly with my tears, my grief, my anger or injustice and I work to find that place inside that is beyond all pain, beyond all perceived slights.
It is the source of endless strength that we all have in our bravery.
It is accessible whenever we need it most.
It is never farther away than a prayer
a surrender.

In making this wing cuff, my mother was constantly on my mind; the parent she was and is, the gifts of maternal wisdom I am certain to receive should I have a child of my own...

We are all under some Greater wing, be it that of a mother, a Mother, a father or a Father. 

Strong as our arms are, supple as our musculature can be it's a nice reminder to have our delicate wrist under the wing of a bird,

wrapped in Falconiforme wisdom
protected by sharp vision
the luminous instinct to survive.