Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Voyage

Sometimes you take a trip that ends up being so very much more than a simple mathematical equation of

two flights + time in between with friends or family = happiness or contentment...

Sometimes taking a flight somewhere creates a balm for your soul and your deepest wishes are all granted, quietly and with grace.

You get knitted together again by love


and a warmth that has nothing to do with temperature.

In the midst of this holiday season, I hope your hearts and minds found deepest rest and rejuvenation at the hands of those you love

And that you return to your daily lives completely cleansed of anything extraneous that does not serve you.

Certainly a few kittens

and their mittens

always make for a smile, too :)

The happiest of holidays to all of you, my ladies and men:

of late and always, you've shown me such kindness and care that it makes me feel like I am wearing the world's warmest, coziest sweater in the chill of the winter.

I love you.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Things I love

This cabochon is finished! I call her "garden of Eden" for all the lush plume-y goodness that looks like fruits and plants and the wonderful sage green/blue translucent chalcedony around it all.

This incredible cab is Apache Plume Agate, verrrrry rare and quite valuable. Sorry, ladies, this one is all mine :)

Laguna Agate in the most va va va voom colors....

A handful of Tagua nut buttons for more scarves, necklaces and a BELT.
I am so so so so hoping I can log enough bed rest to be able to get into the shop for a few hours and finish the belt. It makes me weep with love.

50-year-old strange plastic charms - so odd, so perfect!

The neighborhood cats knocked over a plant on the front porch, effectively slicing off a piece of this plant from its mother ship with the broken shards of plant pot.

I took to the internet in order to save it, and read that succulents are so alive that they'll root anywhere.

She seems to be thriving.

Curious tidbit of note about this plant: it was gifted to me by a lovely woman with whom I did voiceovers several years back: she went on to become a chart-topping pop star.
True story!!

The first painting in the animal/leather series is becoming more than just an idea...

And lastly, I made one of these just for you.

This last Elk scarflette will be in the Leather Shop later today.


A Recounting of What Scares Me

Wednesday Late Afternoon
Falafel to go

Highway home

I wait at my red light, listening to the radio: classical choral Christmas music.

My traffic light goes green
and something is different in the air, though I couldn't pinpoint it then...
a horn sounds and
I proceed to go forward because green means go

and then out of the corner of my left eye I see what the honking was all about a nanosecond before:

an errant Toyota has run the red light with such speed
and it takes a mere fraction of a fraction of a second to realize that I will not escape its path:
it is on me before any more thoughts are born
There are no squealing tires, no stopping

I hear a sound quite like a gunshot
not sure if my eyes are open or closed, I spin and spin like a rollercoaster off its rails and hit something else that sends me forward with more force than my body has ever known.

Throughout all of this there are sounds, so many crashes and bangs and they are all grey as the dawn, and invisible. There is no music. My body has caved down into its barest survival...
there are no booming voices
no wings surrounding me
but this is happening right now and it's raw experience at its most violent

Penny lands in some foreign place, some parallel universe right next to the normal I expected.. uneven wheels rock gently on a new shore...

I open my eyes.
My left ear does not hear anything.
I look down at a scene which was not my car anymore, but a cage of bare wires and hanging plastic bits
glass everywhere
pale pink airbag blinds hang between me and many voices
my seat somehow strangely angled in toward my radio

my sunglasses are under my bottom, missing a lens
shattered glass in my cowboy boots

people screaming at someone unknown off to my far left, "You could have killed her!! What were you doing!!"

I look in my rearview mirror
to see if I am bleeding and my eyes are that of an animal:
terror and shock
blue with black pupils
face like a lace curtain

The airbag lifts as I claw at the door, hearing the pinging of my sensors all gone wrong, fearing something is burning

and some angel woman tells me to please sit still and asks me if I am ok...
I tell her I don't know
breathing too fast I don't know....

"I would like to eat my falafel," I tell her.

I go to look around for it, because it is all I can think of suddenly, my one link to what life was before this

and she tells me not to move my head
calls my husband for me
tells me what happened
that police are on their way
and then firemen
and an ambulance

When it is all over I am driven home by a nice officer
and I call my sister
and tell her that my first thought was fried chickpeas in a bag.

Comforting me, she explains that when she and her husband hit black ice and rolled their Jeep seven times in an early morning winter hell three years back
she had been eating Mentos

and when the car stopped, she got out in shock and began picking up the spilled white candies
one by one
in the snow


whose path would lead her back to before
that moment where something
was lost.

In the last few days I have been blessed to hear stories so like mine
told by women I love

and they all have a common thread of that strange thing you think of first
when you find yourself stranded in that weird place of medical shock:

mix CDs

I wanted to write this here because thinking about doing so made me terrified
and I know I have to face this down:

A scary thing must be folded over and over until it loses power and we realize we are all bound by commonalities of living

never alone in our weakness or our greatness
but stronger for our compassion and knitted together in moments
when we face our fears
head on:

a gentle crash of sorts
that ultimately frees us from
an icy grip of trauma.

Friday, December 17, 2010


On everything in the Leather Shop


in the Metal Shop

Until the evening of the 20th!!

*free priority mail shipping the U.S. of A
and free first class shipping worldwide

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Gently, Carefully

Before I left to go antique shopping yesterday
Before I got Falafel and wound my way down the highway home
Before the horror of my evening

I made a gorgeous gorgeous ring and photographed it.
I am bed-bound and so I thought it would be wise to share it with you and put her in the Metal Shop.

Here she is:

Awaiting her Mistress HERE.

Your convos, comments, emails, texts and phone calls have been received with a grateful and emotional heart.

I am stunned by how much love there really is out there.

My body is tender, bruised and aching and my mind is replaying something I never even want to remember, over and over again.

My biggest wish is to feel safe.

My biggest gratitude at the moment is to Honda for taking the time to engineer a subcompact car that can withstand the battering of an intense accident
with a driver who lives to wonder at feat.

Thank you, Honda, and thank you Penny for giving it all you had when it mattered most.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

So Lucky

My car was t-boned by an older woman going 35-40 miles per hour today.
Witnesses say she didn't even brake....

My car jumped the sidewalk and hit a light pole five feet back from the street and bounced back to close to the road.

I took a few pictures and they are chilling.

I had so many kind and lovely witnesses, I cannot even begin to say how grateful I am

I am not sure yet if my bones and joints are alright, but my body is intact.

The adrenaline is still here.

Tomorrow, the hospital just to get checked out.

I had so many things to share with you today, some beauty, a few orders, etc....

everything can wait, in fact it has to.

I am here, and that is all that matters.



Still cannot find the words...
they're in some tender place I keep closely guarded, reserved for the times when I need to be lifted out of something heavy.

In their combinations they are life-affirming and graceful.

I will let the pictures speak for my clumsy mouth.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Achingly Beautiful

Mexican Fire opal with a TON of rich red and green threaded under the surface of the stone: the camera tried so valiantly to capture it, but alas, it could not! You can see glimpses, though....

The stone of wonder is set in a hammer-formed sterling silver flower which has been given a delicious dose of ebony and features polished bright sterling dew drops....


And oh my goodness warm and smoocheriffic mookaite earrings strung on handmade ear wires... these are life-affirming in their exuberant colorful joy!!

Both the earrings and the necklace will be in the Metal Shop in a little while...
This is the last week that both shops will be open -
I will close everything down the evening of the 20th so that I may travel to the frozen tundra of Minnesota for Christmas.

Perhaps Santa will bring me a Yeti fur coat!!!


Monday, December 13, 2010

Impossible to Explain

This past week, I spent three days with a woman whose presence was

I tear up every so often when I think of our time together, the places we went and the things we saw, the endless conversations we had about things that mattered
and the way my heart felt so safe with her.

I will write more about our trip in a few days when my mind can fully grasp the honor of its purpose and the words to describe it can actually be found.

In the meantime, there are pieces I began with both of us sitting in my studio, informed as I must have been by the nature we tromped into and the holiness of it all.

These pieces will not be listed in the shop: they will be reserve only through the blog: they belong to someone specific and are so dearly tied to my heart that I cannot make them available to the general public just yet.

Convo me if either piece is Yours.


This little sacred bag is 5 inches wide, 2 inches deep and four inches tall. It fits more than you'd ever think in it, but I hope its purpose is holy.

Perhaps it is worn around the neck while you meditate
or through the woods, filled with amulets, oils and incense to be burned.

At the very end of its long natural edge top flap, a tiny milagro sits: 'protect this woman', it reads, and I have prayed that it will indeed.

A single young buck horn tooled leather badge rests above a shell button, majestic and soft all at once. The bag body is made from the softest ivory deerskin
and each connection is riveted for indestructible construction.

One side of rivets is mini, the other small: delicate and strong all at once.

The strap is 25 inches of hand-cut and hand-braided deerskin strands, organically shaped.

Little bits of organic hand-punched lace can be found in unexpected places, adding grace and lilt to the whole piece.

And then there's the scarflace, which doubles as a waist belt for a woman with a 25-27 inch waist: I'd have modeled it, but at 30 inches I didn't want to stretch out the piece nor change its structural integrity.


Natural edges, deer hide, antlers and tagua nut button...

Inlaid pink leather heart, carefully stitched into place with love.

This beauty is wide: 3.5 inches wide around the neck, 5 inches wide at the ends.

A little tiny milagro tag reads "Protect this woman", and the antlers are meant to do just that!

From end to end, this scarflette is 36 inches of beautiful, soft and meaningful prayers and hide.

I cannot wait to see to whom these pieces belong:
it's like Christmas :)


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Bring It


Makes Passes

At Girls

Who wear

Safety Goggles!!

With Love (and birdies!) from San Jose,

Allison & Kelly