Wednesday, September 29, 2010

We interrupt this regularly scheduled workweek....

For a trip to Petaluma:
my heart is weary and I need to be surrounded by the hills I love
to process all this change....

Be back to work and life on the weekend!


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

In Process....

There is peace.

Stones that will be finished this Wednesday when I can get on the polishing wheels in Los Altos...
I'll share more when they are indeed done: such wonderful moss and banding and minerals...

Stones I am setting this week, besides finishing up the last of this month's custom orders...
Prehnite earrings

Madagascar dendritic agate in the most incredible pattern: an empty horseshoe with dendrites coming out of the top, which makes me think of creativity coming from emptiness

There is also a tiny dendrite agate
and a LUSCIOUS cut of Cherry Pink Laguna agate.
It is edible looking!

Rich and rare Agua Nueva for a lovely double strand necklace
and a wonderful piece of rare and colorful shattuckite with threads of blue, green and red intersecting all through its pear shaped length....

Koi, finished bits and bobs, lots of pieces preparing to be finished by next week!

And also: milk chocolate chip cookies: the Schmill comes home tonight
and he shall be SPOILED!!!!!

Love to you all,

Monday, September 27, 2010


A few pieces are on sale in the Metal Shop right now!

This Week in Leather

Morning robins in the backyard made me realize that a "Robins in Love" bag would be the perfect addition to the Leather Shop this coming month, what with winter coming and Robins being the sign of spring I always looked for growing up in Pittsburgh...

But then I realized it would be so so so so special if I inset a piece of robin's egg blue turquoise (Royston turquoise, beloved among collectors!) in a NEST.

The soft leather portion of the bag will be black and the back is going to say 'nurture'.

I am ridiculously excited about this special bag!!!

And a bird skull clutch!!!

Aaaaaand a Latigo Love cuff inset with a piece of perfect autumn Condor Agate and a generous amount of decorative cuts.
This one is going to be a doozy!!!

I am off to continue working, just had to share!!!


Sunday, September 26, 2010

As Girly As it Gets

This weekend my dear girlfriend Hannah came to stay with me in San Jose, a much needed ladies' weekend in her suitcase.

It was magical, blissful and all manner of lovely.

We went to a massive Flea Market that happens every weekend, come rain or come shine in San Jose: it was mostly produce and tschotskes and there was NO haggling, and for a girl who spent four years in NYC, that was a heartache.

I gave in.

I am not proud: I didn't even walk away for dramatic effect!!!


Don Juanski was not there today, unfortunately.

Jones was all charm, no filler

And we painted our toes, remarking on how good it felt to give oneself a proper pedicure on a stoop
instead of breathing the fumes at a nail shop.

We laughed,
we cried**,
we ate scones
Hannah tooled her first leather scrap
we watched Freaky Friday and cringed at Hollywood scripts
There was some cabbing
some lox on toast
and braised greens
and I became obsessed with Priday Plume Agates.

The End.

**it was better than Cats!!!!
(the musical, not the beloved fur children.)


Friday, September 24, 2010

On Stones and Lapidary

Yesterday I went to Ed's house and talked about rocks for hours, dug through piles of them, purchased cabochons he'd made recently and took home some slabs to make my own cabs with.

We talked about the prices we've been seeing lately, me with metal and he with lapidary: the undercutting, the quality of craftsmanship and the sheer colossal number of sellers these days... we wondered how folks are making a living, how the community is doing... it was a great day, a thought provoking day, a day after which I pondered my own collection of stones: their origin, their 'feel'.

As I drove home I made the decision not to go to Tucson this year because it was between Tucson and making an album, and, well.... the album won. Matteo and I are making an album of duets, and we are PSYCHED*.

The other part of the decision is this: so much is mass produced right now, so many arts that are done by hand are fading, and I want to be a part of the new guard of the old school. There is only so much money to spend and though I could blow through a ton in Arizona I think it's wise to spend it learning instead.

I also want to keep lapping my own stones and also supporting the work of those whose lapidary skill I count on in my designs:

I want to learn ancient techniques
and bring them into my modern designs with gusto!

While looking into engraving as an option for my metalwork, I was supported by a dear Jeweler friend of mine in Florida, and he sent me lots of material, but a lot of it was machine based:
I despaired a little, because after my investment in lapidary equipment I couldn't forsee having thousands to spend on one handpiece, let alone the classes to learn its uses.

Enter fate, or Jillian, who pointed me out to this FABULOUS woman who is having this troupe of toolsmiths and craftspeople come teach hammered engraving in California!!!!

I am thrilled at the similarity between my medium and this newness: tooling on leather with hammers and various metal bits will likely inform my hand with this transition to learning a similar yet different skill in metal.

I want to stretch.
I want to grow.

There is a great pull to innovate in a responsible way, using stones whose origin I know, whose energy I understand has been harnessed and focused into a meaningful piece....

I strive to offer incredible pieces full of soul and my own wonder at being lucky enough to make them...

I wish to be a valuable contributor to a community that has some rifts: to speak with compassion to my fellow creators, to lift and be of service.

I think it is critical that my art heal and 'work' for the woman or man who carries it, or wears it, be it leather or metal, stone or suede.

I want to keep older traditions alive in my generation as I learn them and pass them on to the next as I can teach them...

Just thinking through the keyboard tonight, wishing I could clone myself and do ten thousand million things, have babies and make pesto and buy a huge rock saw and learn to oil paint and do yoga everyday and travel the country taking classes on geology and visit faraway friends at each stop and

Sigh :)


*Deeply, deeply excited, for those of you who do not live with teenagers or in California ;)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Banana Slug Magnet Hunt

We should all go after our dreams with such singularity of focus.

Bravo, Jones...

now if only this didn't happen thirty times in one day as though each grab was the very first hunt ever, things around here would be a lot less 'clackity'.

God Bless this boy.


My Schmeel....

My Schmeel...

You have been gone for one night out of seven and already I am wearing your sweatshirts and trying to 

find your cologne in them.

I guess this means I am madly in love with you, nearly two years into this wedded-ness.

The bed is too big,
The dinner table too bare...
No one made me laugh last night, or pulled me onto their lap for a kiss.

Travel safe to Arkansas, hug everyone in the family for me twice and serve them ice cream with strawberry rose jam from our kitchen.

Your Wife

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A necklace for when you lose your path

Inside of this Exotica Jasper, porcelain finished and perfectly shaped, is a bird in a cupped palm
with a light song visibly pouring from its mellifluous beak....

It is paired with an aqua blue stone feather and a sterling note that reads, "All is well"

Because it is.

Sometimes, when we're in duress or simply entrenched in the myriad aspects of life that are painful we lose that precious knowledge, lose the faith that we rest in God's palm
forget that we have wings
have no memory of flight.

When you are lost in the woods

when you cannot find the breadcrumb you left behind to guide you

Remember your wings and take flight:

the new perspective of weightless height will show you the way.

All is well.
All is well.
All is well.

In the Metal Shop tonight along with the last of the gaspeite I have currently set in a lovely necklace....


Custom Orders for October

A note:

I will be making three listings for custom orders in the Metal Shop


One for the Leather Shop

On October 7th.

Time TBA!!


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Heart

SOLD - Thanks so much for the wonderful response on Etsy.


I opened my heart wide as the Arizona sky (under which this rare and special turquoise formed)

And out flew two bluebirds of happiness
and two of their breast feathers floated to the earth

And I cried, as I do when something comes from that place so pure and so loved..
that place feels eternal, stronger than death, stronger than defeat
or trials...

and when I create from it all is well.
All is well.

This piece is beyond.
Beyond, and then far beyond that.
Painted painstakingly, taking it down to nearly twenty-hair brushes to make the fine lines you see on the pair of beloved bluebirds
This took the better part of yesterday and quite a bit of today.
It is an heirloom.
The turquoise is supreme.

It was made with love.

It was made for a rock star, up to 4 inches wide at its widest point.
The colors sing.
I'll stop now: please don't think me boastful, my pride goes up to the Creator who made me a vessel for this piece of love.

No snap has been placed on this piece as of yet: it can fit up to a 7.5 inch wrist:
if you belong to this cuff,
please CONVO me.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Latigo Love

Several Months ago, I bought a full hide of Latigo Leather with no real purpose other than I was madly in love with its supple (oil tanned) feel and incredible, luminous red wine hue.

I'd been ruminating lately on just what needed to become of this masterpiece, so I tried EVERYTHING I could think of to see where this hide belonged in my creative life.

I baked bread and poured cream over strawberries with rose sugar and we talked about the weather, pleasantries and histories...

I was thrilled to find that Latigo was a guitar picker, but once we started playing I realized, sadly, that he was no Matt Coleman....

So we read up on Perfume on the porch swing until we got Sunday Afternoon sleepy

It was while in slumber, watched over by my nap-guard Jones, that I finally realized what Latigo was destined for:

This, oh THIS.

UPDATE: A Wonderful Lady Snapped this Badgirl Up!!! Thanks for the convos and interest!!

A wide swirling asymmetrical cuff with tooled leather overlay, hand stitched and painted to perfection with rustic tones perfect for fall.

Roses, wildflowers...

My favorite Lichen Turquoise

Brand mark intact...

Metal Snap - the cuff fits a 7 inch wrist!!

pierced sterling silver peeking out from behind the stitches...

A magical piece of my heart for the leather shop.

The End.

Happy Sunday, my dear faraway friends!!


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Two for Custom Orders, One for you!!

Custom Love for a Cosmic General Princess in the Land Down Under!!


The 'Soul' ring - taking internal granules of silver one step farther: a piece of glowing amber inside of a gorgeous completely natural (we'll have a discussion about 'natural' drusy agates sometime this week) agate drusy with an open center.

Oh, my soul, indeed. Size 6.5 in the Metal Shop this evening.

Custom Seahorse Leather Love!! Swooon!

Off to list and rest and snuggle the Schmill,

Happy Weekend, Ladies and Dave!