Thursday, April 29, 2010

Last Night's Prayers

After the drubbing yesterday gave me I ate a healthy dinner consisting of oven-grilled asparagus and chicken cooked in olive oil, meyer lemons and bell pepper (prepared by the most de-luscious husband ever, thank you Schmilly) and went into the studio to work on some earrings and light necklaces that were in progress.

Every time I lit the torch it felt like a prayer.
Each pass of the heat under the silver a mantra;
a repetition of something that can feel a lot like faith after some time.

Indeed, the stones themselves bolstered my spirit: high domed rhodochrosite...

Incredible and fine slices of Laguna Agate (these earrings are whisper light, even though they measure a whopping 1.5 inches long!)

A beautiful little mint green round of chrysoprase with a sprout leaf cutout on the flip side...

Ultimately this rutilated quartz cabochon (which looks like streams of sunshine!) had a bottom that was too round, and the stone moves around in the bezel, a no no for me.
Sigh. I love it so, with the little 14k gold dot jauntily perched to bring out the gold.

The other three, however will be in the Metal Shop this evening.

The Leather Shop will be getting a fresh influx of goodies over the next few weeks: a bird skull big bag, a winged soul love clutch and koi to boot!!

Your support yesterday meant the world to me:
thank you.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tough Tough Stuff

Today was a hard day, full of tears and surrender and difficult situations that had no happy resolution: sometimes saying no to something means you may get a verbal smackdown.
I feel like I have the bruises to prove it right now.


The sun is shining and I have bubbles, inspired to pick some up by my friend Michele from across the sea:
I have the support and love of my amazing family, husband and friends...

aaaaand a few Fleur de Sel cupcakes from Loves Cupcakes downtown.
Bubble bubble
nibble nibble....

There. Now that feels a bit better.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tonight, tonight, it all began tonight.....

Snapped up already

However there are four more

Opportunities to take home

pieces constructed from pure love

sterling, 14k and exceptional stones

born of a time filled with joy in this new phase of life.
Each piece has its own story
and I will share that tale with you
in the Metal Shop.

Love love love (can you feel it!?!),

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Beautiful Babies

Lagoon Earrings
Deep dark labradorite with excellent cobalt flash - cast silver flowers and pools of blue
In Motion

All The Stars in the Heavens Necklace
Chrysocolla with malachite and tenorite inclusions
surrounded by turquoise rounds
and rustic sterling meant to look very much something well-used and loved
Utterly blissful

Both will be in the Metal Shop sometime early this week before I depart for Redlands and nuptuals! (along with some other glories I'll be previewing here in the coming days!)


Friday, April 23, 2010

Blooming All Over!

In the Studio, a custom order: a wedding clutch. So lovely: so much tooling that my right shoulder has developed a voice and written a petition for a full weekend of rest!

And outside?
Dios Mio!!

Huuuge roses in the front yard and all manner of blooming and butterflies in the back: I hope to capture a few for you with the camera in the coming weeks -


also hummingbirds
stray cats
and wasps!

We are positively surrounded by life here at the City Manse, both human and otherwise
and I've begun writing songs again.

Phil and Jessi's nuptuals are next weekend, which means another visit to the south of the state, lots of music and tonnnnns of love.

It would seem my heart is blooming as well :)


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Delicious Treats for the Lobe and Introducing a Spectacular New Chain!

UPDATE: the turquoise and the little purple posts have been snapped up already and will not make it into the shop!!

Oh, the chain.....

Oh the flourite!!!

Ooooh the lampwork!

Like hard candy!!

Ooooh the phosphosiderite :)

Triangles of sweet...

Ohhhhhh the #8 mine turquoise - oh the scalloping!!!!

Everything in the Metal Shop this afternoon!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Exhausted and Thrilled

It was better in every way than I could ever express.
I saw Terra
Danielle and Brett
Liane and Seamus and Jimmy

I was a part of the magical process of film scoring, watching very familiar faces speak while hearing my own voice beneath theirs....
breathless in my joy.
Full of wonder
and a sense that for a shining moment, all is right with the world.

I still have not come down :)


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Om Ring

I am a budding yoga practitioner: I have been going to classes for the better part of a year, three to four times a week.

It has become a part of my identity and a point of great humility, challenge and surrender in my life.

You see, I am not one of those beautiful yoga students whose Warrior Two looks like a battle ready Arjuna... you will not gasp at the grace in my Dancer's Pose. I am built with something other than physical postures in mind and yet I go back, time and time again, falling out and going into asanas the way some people read books.

It is a passion for me and I cannot imagine life without it.

I know that there is a whole tribe of women out there who feel like I do about yoga, and it is for them that I begin this series of "om" pieces.

This ring, besides featuring the sanskrit symbol (meticulously hand sawed) for the sound of all creation also boasts the most exquisite agua nueva cabochon: it is incredibly rare to find this agate with jet black bands surrounded by such delicious colors: sunlight yellow and series of lavender bands just before the moss at the edges.

The ring was constructed with an asymmetrical band, wider on one side than the other, implying that the beginning and the end of something are not that far away from each other at all.

The sterling has been finished with an oxidation and subsequent brushing, giving it a semi-matte shine and lifting the symbol off of the silver page.

Size 6.25: in the Metal Shop now !

Friday, April 16, 2010

Thanks, Mommy :)

I forgot how good blonde feels and you reminded me: what would I do without you?
Your Allisunny

Feels Like Home

Who cares that the dining room is full of boxes?
Not me:
everything else is real and home
and here.
Off to get some blonde in my hair!

Love you all, happy Friday :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Yes, I know it's not a word, but something so big has changed in me.

It's not as though I am beginning as a wife, as a silversmith, leathercrafter or singer....
it's that I am re-beginning.

Things have a zest to them. I am looking forward to every breath, to every taste that life has to offer me right now.

In that spirit I started two pieces yesterday in the midst of such hullabaloo - such joy and flowering was in my heart that it nearly hurt.

I poured that sweetness into two pieces:

A simple, elegant carnelian druzy with a sprout tree on the back: I'll let that surprise you in the listing ;)

It is so juicy, let me tell you.... what a drusy. What a wonder a simple setting can be - there are stones I feel so strongly about that I tend to set them sparely.
This is one of them.
Sweetly orange-red, like a blood orange.

Can you feel how I feel about this piece by simply looking at the pictures?
It is a piece of this experience I've been having lately:

When it's on the hand, it is the scene of a road cutting through a deep, dusky purple land to the pink horizon and the swath of luminous sky.

It is a reminder of this sentiment: we are on quite a journey as wee human beings, and that must be enough.
We tend to wish so much for our destination, but if we do haven't we missed the beautiful scenery along the way? Every goal is worthy, but so is every step taken to reach it.

Sometimes that journey must be all the beauty we need:
we are never static, even if we sit in bed all day eating peanut butter and watching Hulu:
there are things afoot-


and so onward, towards the most beautiful horizon
always remembering to look around and appreciate the step you're on:
it contains all the beauty of right now.

The ring is a huuuuge and insanely gorgeous piece of mookaite I found as a slab and had cut into this design by very talented hands.

The bezel is handmade: a triplicate of curved metal 'petals', like a tulip in the way they unfold and hug around the stone.
The canvas is a series of organic dips and the back of the ring a rustic oxidized delicacy,
both sides ever so gently hammered for hints of texture around every corner.
Size 8.5
Chock full of wonderment and intention.

Both will be in the Metal Shop (oh, that feels so good to say, to be back!!)
this evening.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


So Monday I am traveling to do a voiceover for a movie.

I cannot say which movie just yet (but it's a really big 'un)
Or that my vocals will end up in it when it's all said and done:
this is Hollywood, after all, and I've done enough national commercials to know things can change on a dime...


I get to go to Los Angeles and hang out with my best friends
Get paid handsomely to sing for a bit
and then go home to San Jose.

If I am a lucky duck and things go the best way possible I will get to go and see the movie, squeezing Anthony's hand when my voice comes humming in.

And I'll tell you everything.

Cross your fingers for me, friends!!!


Monday, April 12, 2010

In the Details

You'll find my loving touch.
The plant stand in the picture is from the 1800s, a gift from my Mom: she gave me the thumbs up to shabby chic it and so I did -
four coats of yellow paint (top only) and some strategic edge and corner sanding later....

This room is coming together with such grace: all of the accessories I've found have been red:
just like my cabinets for tools and findings
just like my beloved quirky cherry red rivet press

Plants abound

James Taylor plays on my turntable.

Tomorrow is the day Fedex predicts my silver table will arrive (happy squeak!!) and then on the 14th you better bet I'll be taking copious pictures of the finished space, because it is magificent and I am
More than ever before the space in which I place my tools and materials
feels really holy.

I've picked out four stones for a group of rings and necklaces:
I am going to go in there now and do a bit of tooling,
see how the hammer sounds as it falls in this new place.

I wish you could all come over: I would make you coffee and we'd talk for so long that eventually you'd be asked to stay for dinner!!

Homemade red beans and rice are on the menu tonight with fresh pork sausage and a big green salad :)

Love to you,

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Recipe for Marmalade and Substitutions for Sucanat Lemon Syrup!!

Meyer Lemon Marmalade
makes about 6 half-pint jars

1 cup zested or thinly sliced Meyer lemon peel
1 cup water
1/2 cup strained fresh Meyer lemon juice
1 cup water
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 cups supremed and finely chopped lemon segments plus enough reserved juice to equal 3 cups (16 to 20 Meyer lemons, depending on size)
5 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 (3-ounce) pouch of liquid pectin

In a small bowl, combine the peel and 1 cup water. Let soak for 10 minutes. drain the peel and discard the water.

In an 8-quart pan, combine the peel with the lemon juice, 1 cup water and baking soda. Over medium-high heat, bring to a full boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the fruit. Cover and simmer 10 minutes more.

Remove the cover and stir in the sugar and butter. Heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Stir in the entire contents of the pectin pouch. Return the mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and skim off any foam.

To prevent floating fruit, allow the marmalade to cool 5 minutes before filling jars. Gently stir the marmalade to distribute the fruit and ladle the marmalade into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe the jar rims and threads with a clean, damp cloth. Cover with hot lids and apply screw rings. Process half-pint jars in a 200 degree F water bath for 10 minutes, pint jars for 15 minutes.

Here is what I changed:

I made two cups of the supremed and chopped lemons, total for juice and lemon: the juice did cover them.

I used only four cups of organic sugar, 1/4 of which was organic sucanat, so that means one cup sucanat.

I used 1.75 oz. pouch of dry pectin, so a little more than half the suggested amount.

When I make more this week I am going to make more candied peel: it suggests one cup, this time I will go with 1.5 - I cannot begin to describe how delicious and tangy those little strips are.

So good luck and goodness knows you'll thoroughly enjoy the outcome: it is a tremendous amount of work to supreme the lemons: rest assured it's all worth it-

you'll likely get closer to seven jars full as it's less jam-y than the un-fussed-with recipe.

just put on some Keb'Mo and
dance barefoot around your fragrant kitchen!!

Sending you tremendous love,

Friday, April 9, 2010

Spinning Sunshine into Gold

We are all thoroughly enjoying the view from both the back kitchen window

And the front door.
It is a city but it feels like something a bit more remote - you still need to keep everything locked up tight at night, most certainly.

The treasure of the yard? A Meyer lemon tree that has (or had) something around 70 lemons on it (as of yesterday the number decreased by about 30)

Those lemons + 3 hours of time spent to supreme and juice and chop peels + the most bouyant spirit I've felt in some time =

Liquid Gold:

Meyer Lemon Sucanat Sugar syrup:
100% organic
perfect on pancakes and ice cream
wicked on cottage cheese for a lunch-sert today.

Sunny's Note: Sucanat is a non-refined cane sugar that keeps its molasses content, giving it an earthier flavor and an intense sweetness.
Measured against the pucker of the Meyer lemon it creates the perfect balance.
When Anthony tried his first little spoonful last night he said, "It is so many nostalgic tastes rolled into one..." his eyes happily moved to the right and up to the ceiling just like his beloved father when he tastes things :) It's like they're trying to follow where the taste is going!

A few of these vials of sunshine will be in the mail in the coming days, finding their way to others who have previously blessed me with their incredible canned deeeeelectables.

Tonight? I am making candied peels from the rest of the leavings I created yesterday.

The other forty lemons.....

The tooling table is ready.... waiting to receive my new silver workbench in the mail on the 13th:
I get to have two workstations!!!!

Today I went to drop off my application to join the Naglee Park Open Studios event, where artists in this small neighborhood open their workspaces their curious neighbors to sell and chat about their craft:

I spent 1.5 hours talking over coffee with the loveliest woman, an unexpected visit full of laughter and stories.

I haven't been invited into anyone's home for coffee in a little over one year.

Life is good, my dearest friends :)