Friday, December 30, 2011


In the Leather Shop:

40% off of everything until midnight on the 31st:

in a few days, it will all disappear

and a new line will take its place

by the end of January:

a much needed new beginning

for my oldest most beloved craft.

Use coupon code


at checkout for discount!


Thursday, December 29, 2011


UPDATE: It is NOT FIP. This is wonderful news. The problem is that we still don't know why he is full of fluid: ultrasound scheduled for Monday morning should help us determine
if there is organ failure or a tumor or a rupture.
In the meantime, your kind words and encouragement have meant the world to all of us:
thank you.

Is found in work
in the light aqua walls of my studio
and the sound of a good riveting hammer.

Solace is found in the hearty kick of my sweet Baby O
and in his very presence.

Last night when Anthony came back from the vets with Jones they said the
fluid they drained was yellow, which is in keeping with FIP, a very fast-moving fatal

There is so much fluid that his organs are all pressed up into his ribs, but they cannot drain until they know it doesn't contain much needed proteins - to drain at will could mean seizures and certain death.

Today when we got the blood results there was no indication of the Corona Virus, which is the precursor to FIP. His liver function was abnormal
and we are still waiting on the results of the fluid testing:

we should hear tomorrow.

In the purgatory of waiting for the results,
I smith.

I hammer.
I hope and despair.

None of what it could be is good or indicates long life, but there are things that would be more treatable than others.

Last night Schmilly and I laid in bed and prayed and grieved together but when we tried to sleep
it would not come
so we got the last of the chocolate cake
and pulled up Tiny Furniture on Netflix,
losing ourselves in the misadventures of a young twenty-something for a few hours.

We are very much a united front of mutual support in the face of loss...isn't it amazing how the toughest parts of life show you the grace and beauty of your relationships?

I forgot how grief makes every breath hurt,
how different it is than simply being mad or saddened...
last night I remarked to Anthony that under any other circumstances staying up late and eating cake with him in our pjs would have felt so decadent and fun
but there was a nightmarish cast in our reasons for keeping such late hours.

it's strange and awful:

Jones's eyes are still sparkling, his demeanor (though subdued and mostly restful) still so much his own... and yet we will have to say goodbye much sooner than we all thought
unless something miraculous occurs

I am holding out for little miracles
while I work

in the solace

of my little blue room.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Maidenhair and pearl cascade necklace

Hangs like a waterfall.

Chrysoprase cascade necklace
rich in tiny and carefully wrought details

Those little sparkles are gold: gold in quartz, to be exact.

The bezel has been given a fine and delicate texture on top
and the green of the chrysoprase beads hangs over the heart chakra:
a healing piece.

We all need healing
most of all.

These are the fruits of my labor these last few days.

On a personal note, I ask for your good thoughts for our beloved boy Jones. Longtime readers know him as our rascal cat, a brilliant trickster with stained-glass-blue eyes:

these last few weeks we've watched his abdomen get bigger and bigger, trying to figure out if it's a matter of loving food too much, as he has quite an appetite of late...
he stopped chasing Janey and started sleeping closer to our heads...
little changes that add up.
Today we took him in and they deduced that he has a lot of excess fluid.
The bloodwork and fluid test results should come in tomorrow and we'll know what we're dealing with and how to proceed in a way that honors his
fierce and funny spirit.

Oh, life...


Sunday, December 25, 2011

We are small,

but we are mighty this Christmas!

There are only three adult souls celebrating together
and it is in our home that they rest.

Schmilly and I have never been without our parents at Christmas
or around Christmas - this is a landmark year.
Blue thoughts here and there, but we processed a lot of them before the most important days of the season:
that feels like a blessing.

Anthony's sister has joined us from Sacramento
and we are enjoying her company so much.

The fur family has had their share of pets
and romps in the paper mounds
before they (the paper, not the cats!) made their way to the recycle bin.

I've mostly hung around the kitchen, making a big pot of cannelini beans
and a double chocolate cake
in the style of my Aunt Sandra, something I know will bring a smile to our faces
as we finish our chicken and dumpling dinner:

who can resist cake?

My Aunt Sandra's chocolate cake, by the way, is the best I've ever tasted.
I know mine will not compare
but with every bite it will remind me of my cousin sisters and
our wonderful times around the table together at every age:
that feels good!

New traditions require a bit of bravery
a pinch of moxy
and a lot of tender loving care:

we've got love to spare -
the moxy needs a bit of work on my part,
but the bones are there.

When we were setting up our tree last nigh we realized we had no angel,
but Anthony had this massive hand-painted shark ornament:

in a year of new twists and turns, we thought it
appropriate to buck tradition a bit
and so - behold!
A shark angel, come to tell us the glad tidings
that Christmas is here
and change is a gift to unwrap in itself!

Happy holidays, you blessed beans:
have a safe and merry season!

Allisunny, Anthony, Jones and Janey

Friday, December 23, 2011

SALE in the Metal Shop

Everything in the


20% off

for the next three days only, an end of the year sale
that will end itself on the evening of the 26th.

Please use coupon code YEAREND11
at checkout to take advantage of this offer.

Thank you for the wonderful
year you've blessed me with,
my readers and friends!


It's Beginning to Look A lot Like...


Our little noble fir is all a-twinkle and we are hanging ornaments
and planning the Christmas dinner menu for three (or four, to be precise).

I think getting this little tree has made all the difference in the world to us - we were both feeling so blue until the living room smelled green and fresh,
until the lights were twinkling.

Somehow the house got cozier and our hearts grew three sizes.

Now we're actually excited for the day to come!
We'll Skype with our families and
welcome new traditions
all in the comfort of our little bungalow.



No Christmas would be complete
without this

Santa of Minneapolis,
the very first unfortunate creature we rescued from the second hand store
whose Christmas offerings thrill and delight our funny bones every Thanksgiving:

I don't even know when it began...was it four years ago already?
My sister and I went in to look at clothes and found this incredible wealth
of second-hand Christmas ephemera
mostly beat to hell
and funnier than a good slapstick routine!

The original santa (with his cat penis hat and rapidly deteriorating beard)
has his own vocal inflections and always asks if you've been a very good girl or boy
when engaging a person in conversation.
He's very witty and prone to dispensing advice, even though he is the first to admit he has no mouth.
We think his misshapen little trunk to be filled with beans or rice
because it does not bounce like a bowl full of jelly when he laughs: the paint is too thick.

He cannot be held upright without assistance,
even though his creator gave him one single flat....foot(?) on which to stand.

I am particularly partial to his nose
and his humility.

Our favorite from this year's trip was a styrafoam santa head with the face of John C. Reilly
and a beard of sparse, uneven and billowy polyester fibers.

His foam brain was exposed by the ragged cut of the plastic skin, leading us to believe that at one point he had been whole.
They were asking 1.99 for him, I believe, and we held our bellies in mirthful
disbelief that someone might invest in his ravaged charm.

Sinister and merry, this

creature was too big (and too far gone) to make the cut,
so we opted to take home a wee drunken sunburned surprised santa
whom I will introduce you to tomorrow

Along with haunted woodland santa
and a few other unfortunate souls we had to leave
at Ark.

Do you have any poor unfortunate souls that celebrate the holidays with you, loved to bursting
or uneven on their little gastropods?

Do share!!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Symbolic Piece for Solstice


On this the shortest day of the year
We celebrate the going inward that winter brings
And surely some among us mourn the summer as long gone,
the year as a time of grief or joy.

We wipe our collective brow that we are here to see this sun, this moon
and meditate on the coming year and our wishes for it
for us
and our loved ones.

As for me, a lover of warmth and long days,
this time of year is hard. I find myself flowing in and out of what feels like despair
and countering the emotions with pep talks
and long walks around the neighborhood to process.

Today I baked my mother's bread for two new mamas
and will spend the afternoon delivering them, seeing the new boys that have come to earth this
late autumn

Today I put the finishing touches on this clutch, a symbol of Holy inward thought
as much as it is a blithe homage to flight and sky.

Every detail finely wrought and carefully finished
every moment making it full of attention and love.

Mookaite in Lavender with dendrites
Luna Moth wings for flight
Moon Mandala for meditation
Scalloped edges for sweetness
Hand stitched for gentleness
Made for the one who claims it

May your solstice be full of meaning


Saturday, December 17, 2011


When I was singing at the wedding a few weeks back up in Mill Valley,
I had the pleasure of rooming with a student of Transpersonal Psychology.

We were supposed to stay with the blushing bride, but she felt so comfy at her Pa's house that she left the whole gorgeous suite to us in Napa: what a gift!!

That night the two of us girls sat up late talking with increased
animation and wonder:
there was so much in common, so much to say!!!
Could anything be more wonderful than those instant understanding connections?
I chalk it up to being of the same tribe.

The one thing among many that stuck out in my memory of the evening was the discussion we had about perception - that it must be ok to let people perceive you
just as they decide to without trying to influence them into more positivity than they naturally feel.

That's a tough thing to process:
the grace of allowing others to have their own sense of you,
to write you as either hero or villain in the movie of their life should it serve them...

no pleading your case
not needing to be right or accepted
(or even liked) no matter how 'good' you know yourself to be

no matter the outcome
content to let life happen around you without the need to be understood...

Can you imagine the freshness of doing the best you can in every way without wondering
how it's taken?

The crisp cleanliness of a day well-lived in which neither detraction nor praise affected your
opinion that it was good to be breathing?

I think that may be one of the cornerstones of a solid, powerful and purposeful life,
especially in this day and age where everyone has the freedom to voice their opinion
publicly and without name:
perception is key here on these interwebs we've woven.

I am collecting these tidbits of wisdom I glean from good conversation
not just for myself,
but to give to a young boy when he begins to form a relationship with the greater world:

I want to give him a sense of allowing the world its own stage
so that he can focus on bigger things than being liked or seen as he sees himself:

I want to help him find keys to purpose and plenty.




Friday, December 16, 2011

The Love of Color and Cake

I have it, this love of color. Always have, always will.
At the tender age of nine I discovered cross-stitching, and when my mother would take me to the fabric store I would moon over the tiny skeins of stitching thread,
wanting to take home a rainbow of them .

Barely content with the indulgent amount she would let me buy,
I would shut myself in my bedroom with my bounty and arrange them by colors:
monochrome fade
perfect pairings

Now that I work with water-based acrylic paints, it's so much easier and infinitely more satisfying to make that rainbow from a few simple bottles of paint


Today I played around with increasing the water content of my paints and discovered
a richness of tone that seems counterintuitive:
more water, more richness?

Who knew!!!

I am working on the clutch from a few weeks back, which has been
claimed by a lovely lass here in California:

I cannot wait to see how it looks lined and bejeweled!

Also on the agenda is the search for perfect
Christmas deserts:

this year it will be just Anthony and I hosting his sister, Beth.

I know we'll make sugar cookies
and I think I might need to bake some homemade whoopie pies
as it feels quite like tradition


there needs to be a cake in there somewhere,
and this cookbook will likely hold the key

but I have to ask your opinion on this gorgeous matter:

Hot Milk (love that name!)

Head scratchers have never been so delicious!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tropical Paradise


I love when a piece perfectly captures a feeling I've been aiming for - it can be a difficult thing to accomplish as it requires the cooperation of all materials, time and inspiration.

Hawaii is not a place that leaves my blood easily - it has been (both times) a struggle
to not spend hours remembering the feel of the places and people
instead of living in the present.

When I was working on this necklace I thought mainly of driving on desolate, verdant and overgrown Old Mamalahoa Highway, first by accident and then on purpose just to explore
the sounds and sights of the dim forest.

Even in low light there was a generosity of colors and form, a panorama of
beautiful things to sink into.

We were reluctant to drive back to Pahoa after that day's journey!

This necklace fits as would a 16.5 inch necklace and the pendant of Australian variscite, wing and Arizona turquoise
hangs five whole glorious inches to rest right above your heart.

I really want to see this piece go to someone who reads here
as it feels so personal:

to reserve it in the

Metal Shop.

I hope to send a bit of The Big Island to you, wherever you call home.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kamehameha Butterfly

Hawaii is still light on my mind...

whenever I think of The Big Island I catch my shoulders creeping away from my ears,
my breath deepening.

Even from far away I feel the land there giving me gifts.

I tooled a Kamehameha butterfly wing
and plan on pairing it with a stunning piece of variscite
in a necklace that will be sure to turn heads.

I cannot wait to finish
and at the same time, I totally can:
time spent thinking of those balmy days
is a gorgeous thing
and not to be rushed.


Monday, December 12, 2011

The Return of the Scarflette!!!!

Oh Scarflette, dear Elkskin Scarflette, how I've missed you so!

Upon whose golden lacy hide a tiny bean sprout grows

A veggie ivory button in the richest amber red

"Lady"s up the roughness of the rugged Elken edge.

Please pardon the terrible rhyme above
I've just been so excited to bring back a favorite from last winter!

Against the throat and chest, nothing could compare to the toasty warmth of golden veggie-tanned Elk hide.

This particular scarflette celebrates growth with the three stages of a golden bean.
It fits as would a 20 inch necklace with a long edge reaching down the chest some distance.

You can find her


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Just Around Midnight

It started sometime in the middle of the night:
a nagging sadness that felt like a scoop of vitality taken out of the center of my chest
a crankiness that made me want to pull the covers over my head and skip
the next twenty four hours of life, stay in bed and aim for distraction.

From waking
to shower
Farmer's Market to
here she is: the blue day in all her glory.

Isn't it kind of amazing how frequently these grey soul days come after great accomplishment?

We nearly stripped the entire bathroom of its awful maroon paint yesterday
in preparation for a warm deerskin color we'll apply in a week or so
and Friday night I had my first Ladies' Night in years, the first time since Los Angeles
that I've known enough local lady friends to sit around a comfy living room
and talk about everything under the sun...

and then under a full moon the mantle of dim descends
like a mini-hibernation for the soul
starkly beautiful and beneficial all the same as those peaks we know.

Just as I've made a mental picture of Munson, my grouchy inner critic,
I think I know what my Lady of Infinite Sorrows looks like:
she is lovely in drapes of grey fabric
carrying a wilted bouquet
in walking meditation
bearing the weight of the world's woes in an oversized wicker basket.

Her face is lined with compassion, her hair silver as snow.

I never realized before writing her description how much she means to me,
this part of the whole that brings pause and rest
to bustling days.

I never knew I felt tender towards that kind of quiet...

I think I will bake a pear cake today
work on finishing the pieces that need finishing
and take a long walk in the dim evening light
with my husband
and my babe.

I might even introduce the Gray Lady to a little Tom Jones on vinyl
and perhaps she will find it as delightful as I find her silent company...

I hope that when your patron saint of sadness
sends an invitation this season or any other
you allow yourself to let them in
and know the gifts they have to give:
they are many
and meaningful.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Fruits of Winter

I am sitting here growing by the minute, appreciating ripeness
in a way that feels so revolutionary to my heart and head.

There is a kindred feeling toward things that blossom, nature that bears fruit.
Today, for the first time Orion actually woke me at 7:11 (the equivalent time to place where we bought the final pregnancy test --- delightful!)
with some fabulous moves
and I felt (for the first time) actual limbs when I placed my palm over my womb.

If I could have seen under the dark covers, surely this dance would have translated to my sight-


Three days ago my very favorite yoga teacher came over for tea
and catch-up, bringing with her the first of the Meyer lemons from her tree.

I proceeded to make edible sunshine with those gorgeous perfumed fruits:

Meyer Lemon Curd

Organic butter and eggs from Petaluma,
lemons from an angel.

You can find the recipe

and enjoy it just as we have.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ear Gems


Beach Feather earrings with operculum shells and chrysoprase


Perfect Carnelian Earrings with Operculum Shells

Hawaiian Peacock Fern Earrings in Sterling

Microfaceted smoky quartz with operculum shells

Long and Dangly
Short and Elegant

Thinking of listing these tomorrow
but will happily take reserves
if the feeling moves you:

and it shall be!!