Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Much Needed Break

To Sonoma for a Morning with my Other Family:
Liane, Seamus, Sharyn, Zach, Josh, Jocelyn, Megan and Hannah -
I'll let Seamus's picture speak for everyone:

The morning was a chocolate beard on a smiling face :)

Back at home the flowers are blossoming in the loveliest way, and even though they said this week would be dominated by rain, it has been quite dry and so lovely....

Ah, Sonoma County....

I am so smitten with this lovely piece of the earth and I have been enjoying it with my whole heart and all the senses.

What a miraculous, touching and challenging time.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Oh, Yes :)

These Beautiful Babies will be on my feet in 2-3 business days!!!

I am officially done with any kind of tooling or smithing: all that is left to do is the mailing!
Shops close around bedtime tonight
it's time to pack!!!

All of your comments, emails and convos have truly brought home that concept that no matter where I move, I am surrounded by a tribe of women (and Dave!) who make my life so wonderful:
thank you over and over and over again for your 


P.S. While I am packing and such, I will be doing little posts on the photographic merits of the North Bay, and after we move, the wonders of San Jose.

This is good, this is very good.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Last Pieces of This Rich Time in Petaluma

Bodega Bay Sunset ring in 7 - this one is full to the brim of meaning and heart: the labradorite teardrop with wonderful cobalt fire is a drop of ocean water, forever with you, forever liquid even when the ocean cannot be near, even when the well is dry.

The raised seagull and sun scene is a postcard from happy memories, the ring a symbol of how we truly take our experiences with us.

Bodega Bay is in my heart.

In my hands

and in my power to channel for those who have not been there. Its energy is here in the Metal from my prayers and thoughts while I made it.

This dooooozy of a necklace is a collector's slice of variscite, both gemmy forest green and the perfect aqua of water, almost the green of leaves as they bud.

The stars are out, the crickets are thrumming their song - it is finally spring, finally summer, finally whatever we wish it to be.

Both pieces will be in the Metal Shop tomorrow morning!!!

Today was a rare trinity of posts - I figure I might as well Casey Jones my way around this lovely place until my boxes are packed and my torch blown out for a few weeks! :)


Awwwww, the Love!

Completely full heart looking at these photos:

 this bag was such joy from beginning to end, each rivet finding its mate with ease
Each color easily finding its complement
just like the idea behind this bag's creation.


I love them!

I may have one final surprise to list tomorrow morning, not sure which shop it will land in, but it will be a dish.

Love you all so,

I am blown away!!!!

My song!!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010




A happy hello to you today courtesy of the fur babies :)


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Random Bits

Today I re-imagined a necklace I've felt forever was begging for a makeover: the mookaite was calling desperately for a colorful sibling:

Enter the perfect strand of Arizona turquoise, blue as the sky. Re-imagined in the Metal Shop with a silent sale:

four or five pieces have been marked down without any indication in the shop.
Shhhh ;)

These two have taken up the bulk of my day: they made me feel as if I had such pleasant company through every phase of tooling and color!

A small reminder, Friday is the last day to purchase anything from either shop for two weeks!
After Friday the studio closes and my packing begins in earnest.

On a total side note, I am so in love with Rupaul's Drag Race: I got filled up when Jessica Wild left on this week's episode.
 Are there many things in life as insanely fierce as a good drag queen?


Monday, March 22, 2010

The Last Pair

UPDATE: The bag has been claimed: thank you to everyone who wrote to me about it!
I will still, of course, put up pictures of its finished form :)

The last pair of the 'birds in love' big bag series made their way onto a large swath of raw peach leather today: not the last forever (of course not!!), 
but the last until at least May/June....

April will be dedicated to the move and to a few custom orders left from before I announced that I was done doing them for a while.... yes, that's how busy things have been around the studio!!

Here are the Cockatiels in Love, inspired by my girlfriend Natalie's adorable grey, yellow and pink Cockatiel, Sugar:

The back of the bag reads "Devotion" in Olde English script.

Cockatiels do not necessarily mate for life, but the beauty of winged creatures choosing to stay near each other when they could simply fly away is so beautiful:

choosing to love from a place of complete freedom is what devotion means to me.

I am freaking out about the color I chose for the soft portion of the body:

Warm ocean blue. 

The kind of ocean you may just wade into with your clothes still on, just to feel the warm water for the first time, or for the first time in years.

This week is dedicated to this lovely bag and a few choice pieces in the silver shop....
and maybe a clutch.

And then it's on to discovery and refilling the creative well: isn't it ironic that this huuuge burst of inspiration happened in the middle of boxes and chaos?

I like to think I feel most creative when everything is in its place, neat and tidy, steamed and folded, but no:

the Muse unpacks her valise in the middle of dust bunnies and dances (I like to think she taps along with the song "Tea for Two") to the sound of packing tape -
what an interesting visitor!


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Secret Weekend

We spent the weekend in Los Angeles getting our taxes done and visiting with a small handful of loved ones:

Lord and Lina
Danielle and Brett
Liane, Jimmy and Seamus
Phil and Jessi the gorgeous Lady Tiger
and Katherine, for whom this visit was a complete surprise:

my dear Katherine who married us and is moving to the Midwest and her incredible destiny...

the above picture is of us:

or, perhaps the ghosts of us,
 as we will likely never stand in that spot again together, so close to where we first met nervously nearly four years ago....
it's fitting that the camera's manual setting was mistakenly on,
fitting that it took a vague impression of us and not quite the whole of who we are, who we've become.

It's like we're already gone, like we both know quite well that where we belong (in each others' hearts and minds) has nothing to do with physical place and time.

A secret picture from a secret weekend.

I hope your own weekend was likewise full of mystery, love and gratitude.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Little Vulnerable

This is how I feel today: kind of not quite ready for the world...
the exceptional town I live in currently is a place I would remain in a perfect world.
It's so lovely, so old and venerable
and the earth
like a blanket
and I love that, I really really do.

And now I have a daily companion: my neighbor's dog, Seven. He is this massive, shy dog with ice blue eyes and a gentle-ness whose grace I cannot articulate. 

He sits outside of my door while I silversmith, but he is scared of louder noises and takes to the grass when I start tooling leather.

The wisteria are blooming, as are all of the beautiful plants I fell in love with when we moved here. When we came to Petaluma I felt that they were waving such a welcoming 'hello!' and now it feels distinctly like a bittersweet goodbye.

Los Angeles was hard to leave because of my dearest girl and boyfriends, but Petaluma is hard to leave because of the earth. I feel like someone planted me here with benevolent intentions
and now I am getting repotted somewhere else...

I know San Jose will be amazing -
I will find a yoga studio straightaway (today is day 28, by the way!)
and a park to seek solace in.
I will look forward to our upcoming trip to see Phil and Jessi get married in early May,
to Jillian coming in mid-May to create with me
Matt and Irene getting married in July 
my sister coming in September 
and a myriad of other things to pull me through....

I am just sad, that's all.
It's not a bad thing, just a process of unwinding your grasp from something you think you need to be happy.

I did it with Los Angeles: I unwound and found genuine happiness here - I know without a doubt that my strong soul can do it again.

But how do you say goodbye to those eyes?


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Winged Soul Love Clutch

In between this glorious, deeply tooled leather wingspan is a white quartz cabochon of considerable size, representing the soul in love.
Flying through even the heaviest of moments with relative ease, this is a soul in good company.

On the back, a soaring heart; an excellent traveling companion if there ever was one.

Deep cuts, muscles tired from beveling.... over fifty rivets firmly holding the lining.

And ohhhhh the lining: edges hand-frayed which is becoming a signature for my clutches, the lining is a truly vintage fabric featuring swirls of exuberant colors and Hawaii's energy coursing through its cotton veins.

Nearly 13 inches long, 5 inches tall and 2 inches wide: this will hold everything you need for a night out or a lunch with the ladies.

Warning: you will receive complements and they will be many.

In the Leather Shop later today.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

To Be Loved Like That

The other night Anthony and I were talking in bed, me with my head on his chest, his arms around my back...
I remembered thinking, "You have to let a love like this IN..." and so I opened my heart and felt the full weight of what it is to love him fully in one moment:
it was so beautiful and big that it was painful.

Sometimes love so huge makes you want an impossible guarantee:

I want God to give me a contract stating without any stipulations that Anthony and I will live long lives together and when we're 101 on a warm summer night we'll pass away in our sleep simultaneously.

Hand in hand, flying on our way to the Great Adventure above.

I really wish that contract existed somewhere.

I would like similar contracts drawn up for my parents, my sister and her husband and all of my friends... love is a brave endeavor and truly (I believe this with all my soul) the purpose of life itself.

To Love.

That moment with my Beloved Husband inspired the design for an extra-long clutch:

In between the two gorgeous wings will be a white quartz cabochon, set in sterling and stitched into the leather with care.

The back - a soaring heart!

And ooohhhhhhh the lining: you may recall this pattern from a Hawaii blog post where I picked up the fabric from a fabulous vintage shop on our honeymoon...

This design felt like the right time to finally use it, considering how much it makes me think of the man I was with when I purchased it:

my Anthony, my Schmilly....

On April 9th we will celebrate the fourth anniversary of our first date and I am thrilled and honored to say that I love him more than I could ever have imagined- and that I am still IN love with him in a schoolgirl-like way, complete with butterflies in my belly.

his incredible presence has been the most marvelous surprise of my life.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Up Up Up!!!

Sprout forth from the earth, little sterling shoot!!

You were born of the richdeeptawnybrown earth of an incredible tigereye... lush in its shocking chatoyance, generous in its monochrome rainbow from toffee to dark chestnut...

It is so luminous that perhaps it caught a bit of sun inside its sizable heart and never let go.

And you, my sweet sprout, will be worn by a vivacious, elegant woman with a patch of dirt in her backyard and creative seedlings in her heart.


Freshly planted in the Metal Shop this evening.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pearls in Fire Canyon

Oh, my dear.... it is time to dive.

You can think of it any way you'd like: pretend it's like snorkeling, like jumping from that rock ledge into the waterfall... anything you can use to make it easier will make it easier in the long run....

The truth of the matter is that you're being required to grow into a bigger version of yourself, the self you always knew you could be:

more compassionate
rich in patience

But here's the thing, Lovely Woman: it requires you dive into Fire Canyon to retrieve the pearls of wisdom and knowledge.

Oh, my sweet Girl it's going to burn, it's going to hurt and there are going to be days where you are convinced that your only option is to give up as though it were your profession


you won't. 

You will walk through those moments with as much grace as you will allow as your guide and a sense of adventure for your future and your path

for you see,

as much as it will burn and cause you to grit your teeth over the pain, it will bring joys bigger and wider than any you have ever experienced.

The cruelty you suffer at the hands of others
The slings and arrows of fortune, outrageous or otherwise
The moments of pouring sweat on a determine brow
These are the moments that will give you a heart big enough to forgive your detractors, a soul wide enough to weather any storm and a constitution strong enough to climb anything you've set your goals upon....

So descend the crystal spires and reach down beyond all the pain and frustration
and you'll find in your hand

two pearls:

and you'll find in your heart there will be a third:
wild, sweet courage.

Pearls in Fire Canyon Necklace in the Metal Shop tomorrow morning, inspired by the deepest, most crystalline druzy I've ever seen and all of my most amazing friends in the midst of big big big

I promise it's worth it.

Friday, March 12, 2010


I went out to get coffee this morning with a dear friend whose husband is leaving her and her two boys.
In spite of the sadness of the situation, she looked beautiful: grounded and dewy despite -or- maybe even because of the grieving.
I am so proud of her, so at a loss for words and so I listened with my whole heart.

I came home and suddenly the boxes, the fear of upheaval and the unknown all felt like dear friends to whom I should acquaint myself often and openly:

we never known when we might be the ones to climb.
this is not ominous:
this is
for us.

Rich with dips and curves that don't show on any maps we may purchase...

Epic and yet completely pedestrian in its normalcy...

Remember today: everyone with whom you are interacting has a mountain that they are in the process of climbing: none of us are exempt...

so hug a little tighter
forgive a little more readily
and laugh at all the silly things that you can find embedded in your day
flex your feet
stretch your arms over your head

and climb.

The Climb ring is set around an incredible cabochon of pyrite and quartz, the natural curve and rough edges of the pyrite evident and proudly emulating a larger mountain.

Size 8.25 and in the Metal Shop tonight.