Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Architect


When I was a little girl and people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I'd say without fail, "An artchitect".

My love of constructing came from endless hours with a huge box of legos, mostly mismatched and thus perfect for building fantastical structures.


I still love the idea of designing houses: these days I do it with stones and sterling and copper.

I must say, though:

we are all architects.


Every day is a blueprint for what will come after, and though we cannot anticipate or control what life will bring our way via miseries and miracles, we certainly can establish the way we respond.

We can make rooms in our hearts for grieving, for respite and for renewal, always.

We can build a bridge to the things we want most:


Our very words and thoughts, bricks that can protect
and encompass.

This series of pieces is inspired by the architecture of our living and a filled with prayer for strong beams and good insulation;

may the place you live be warm and inviting, inside and out.

Two rings feature stones cabbed by me, stones of great power and supreme beauty.


Necklaces that toy with being lighter than air

Or as substantial and inspired as Falling Water.

In the Metal Shop this Tuesday late morning:

Please feel free to contact me HERE
with any questions

or to reserve a piece.

With love,

Friday, February 25, 2011

All things in their Time

I had mentioned earlier this week that I would have a few pieces ready for the shop at the end of the week: this is getting pushed back to Monday for good reason:

I've had a bit of a flare-up with my neck and back injuries
intersecting with that incredible mother of mine here for her visit:

she's the first person to tell me why I need to take it easy on myself,
when to take a break and how to be gentle.

I am listening.

I took her up to Petaluma yesterday and got her the promised mocha she's been waiting for since last August when Viva Cocolat was closed as we passed through the town center...

I recall a rending of garments, a gnashing of teeth and a few expletives when we found the chocolate paradise shuttered...

In our time up north we window shopped, bought wonderful consignment duds, teacups for northerly friends


We ate at Central Market before we braved the deluge on our return home....

Today it was restorative yoga, me soldering a touch while she read, and good food, a given when she's around... my mother IS Italian, after all.

I am off to make an apple and pear galette for dessert
and something one-pot, warm and nourishing for dinner while she naps.

You'll be happy to know that I am taking my time and being kind to my body in its season of challenge: this is a lesson I will be learning slowly and with as much grace as I can muster.... healing is not a linear thing.

I so want it to be an arrow on a graph, each day stronger than the last, each week a picture in progress; the reality is far more like a sawtooth mountain range at dusk.

there is enough time to go around, enough rest and relaxation to spare.
Repeat, repeat...

With love,

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Contest Update

blowing kisses all around the world

Dearest Dearests,

I lost by two votes: we fought the good fight!!!

I am super excited for the girl who won: Nashville is a gem :)

Onwards to yoga with the woman who gave me life!!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pieces of Life

This handsome man is my husband, waiting with me this morning to hear the results of the contest on the radio:
I still know nothing.

Perhaps this is a sign in any direction, but my hands are too full with the business of life to concentrate on it too much:

my newfound wisdom is brought to you by a good massage ;) This morning was another story!

A trip to the post office to turn in a mysterious orange mail slip and mail out tea to a dear friend was met with my very own teas and honey from the frozen North....

And my heart overflows.
I drink and think of an adored digital penpal I've never met, hoping someday we sip together!!

The succulent cuttings are doing quite well, it's hard not to thrive in Northern California if you're a sentient being... this I've learned the easy way.

My mother arrives tonight from Minneapolis and I cannot wait to share the vitality of the region and return her to my father a renewed woman, full of good mochas and
rested from napping in my big comfy studio chair whilst I paint leather
and solder metal.

There will be new work in the shops toward the end of this week: I am working on some pieces that make my heart soar: I am really looking forward to sharing them with you.

The studio gained a new piece of art this weekend: my grandmother painted this portrait of my father when he was in college, or was he in the air force at the time?

I'll have to ask about the time period. It makes me weepy.
I love my father (Poppy) in a way that mixes 2 parts adoration with 2 parts veneration and commendation.

He is a gentleman, a scholar, a stellar provider and a white knight.

The framing was done by a very talented woman named Sarah whom I am proud to call my cousin, though not by blood. She works with all her might at Four Starr Frame Shoppe in Stonington, Connecticut
and the way she embraced this picture in wood and glass takes my breath away.

If you live in the area and want your art and memories to sing, please do contact them, and tell them Sunny sent you!

When Sarah, (my sister and Sarah were the same age) and Polly (Sarah's little sister: we were paired perfectly) were young they lived in a cantankerous massive Victorian in Shadyside, Pgh.

We would spend all of our time playing games like Black Widow, making our food talk out of our mouths (fighting its own consumption), thinking about the next time Aunt Sandra would make chocolate cake, or the next time our father (their Uncle Stanley) would make blackened chicken on the grill, fixing up their carriage house, watching Prince writhe around onstage via MTV (back when they played videos), walking to Papermart for their stellar sticker collections....

Basically, we had an incredible childhood together. That we all grew up to love each other fiercely is such a gem to me, my cousins and my sister and I are bonded in a way
that fills me with gratitude.

Above is Polly's painting, one of her binocular series that hangs in my studio: now I have both women on my walls in a way (Sarah also does the MOST amazing photography work, one of her pieces is on its way to me soon, I will share it with you!!!)

Polly's maritime oil painting is a wonder.
You can see more of her work

I am off to squeeze my boy and go into the studio to putter.

Puttering is good for the soul.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Dear Mother Nature

Thank you for Pea Shoots.

Thank you for everything really, but pea shoots are so super-fantastic that I bought four fat bunches today, understanding that they only stay fresh for a few days and I can only eat 1/2 bunch per meal and that's QUITE a dish....

I am storing them in dishes full of water in the fridge, making sure it's not so cold that they get icy, but cold enough so that they are shapely and crisp...

I made a simple dressing using a Meyer Lemon from the backyard, pairing it with olive oil, sea salt and a dash of maple syrup to cut the acid.

If I had been less desperate I would have taken the time to mince some shallots and mix them into the dressing, but I couldn't wait.

It was divine.

Spring is chugging into Northern California, despite the snow in the hills and the endless rain...

if you can get your hands on pea shoots wherever you are
(San Mateo Farmer's Market and SF Ferry Building Farmer's Market up here)
by all means, devour them ceaselessly.

Sprouting tendrils,

Friday, February 18, 2011

Put you in a Song Contest

Allright, my dearests....

Here is the thing:

I was one of five singer-songwriters chosen to have my song in the running to send me to Nashville to see the final dress rehearsal for Keith Urban's Get Closer tour:

this would be such a dream for me.... if I won I'd have to find a girlfriend who loves her some Urban to go with me as Anthony will likely have to work, but that's the cart before the dang horse;

first I need to win!!!!

Please go here and

Tell your friends: send me to Nashville, y'all!!! :)


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Time Flies

Tuesday morning after a night of Maker's Mark and practice (i.e; laugh and make easy music)
I spent some time with Phil and Jessi's four legged crew and
went on my merry way to Long Beach to learn the art of the rolling mill
and ingot melting with my

We drank coffee and talked and worked and
I left with a full heart and a grateful mind, a few new techniques in my pocket,
and a wonderful, capable rolling mill.

I am so looking forward to putting special textures on my metal!!

If you live anywhere in the Long Beach (or if you will travel for classes) area I sincerely recommend
giving a call and signing up for one
or stopping by to shop: she has lovely baubles in the shop!

Of the three solid days of revelry and so-full-of-love-it-makes-my-heart-tender-and-teary moments, I captured very few:

I think I was too immersed in the preciousness of these incredible friends
to document as much as I would have liked to:

I couldn't spare a whole lot of moments to step outside of the scene and grab my camera, though it's usually the very thing that I turn to when I come home after the pangs hit:

this time I will just have to reach back into my memory
and recall

the incredible gig we had
the brothers I've found in these men
and how deeply I adore their wives, pets and children....

I love the space one can find in life to step outside of the safety of the mental box; when you are surrounded by love it feels like you could do anything you decided to do.

The Central Valley was verdant and dramatic of sky today on the drive back

I am husky-voiced and missing my upper register from singing too loudly along with Coleslaw (from the dance floor and at the mic for the final song, Applesauce Tran's 'The Family Song') into the late hours...

All of us tipsy and limber-hipped from doing the Love Slide (step step side the side, round and round dip it down, separate and bring it back, now let me see you do the love sliiiiide....)
laughing and Matt pulls me up to sing this song about loving your family...

in the verse:

"Brother Brother you're my mirror, I see me in you;
with examples and with guidance we can see it through..."

it took everything I had in me to not burst into tears...

my sense memory of that special instant is so strong:
the warm maroon walls of The Vault, covered in pictures and art, the liquid swish of my dress, the warm glass lamps hanging,
singing with my hand on Matt's shoulder, his bird's egg blue t-shirt...
laughing with Irene
Phil cutting a rug
the high amp of those gathered around to listen, everyone smiling and lifting lightly off their toes to the beat...

I tell myself it would be different if we all lived in the same town, or even if we still lived in Los Angeles, that we'd be too busy to see each other more, that it wouldn't be as precious...

but it would.
It always is with best friends.

I know soon there'll be babies and new chapters and stories to tell;
we've been friends for so long now and I cannot imagine any other people I'd rather have my little ones call "Uncle and Aunt" than my

I am eagerly awaiting the return of my Schmill from work
and the kiss that will ensue.

Home was a beacon today, a balm.

With love,

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Radio Contest


It's time to come clean: I am a country music junkie.

No matter how often I enter weird and nerve-jangling contests
and swear, "I'll never do that again!"
I cannot seem to stop ...


There is a songwriting contest at my local station here in San Jose,
and I entered it.

I got through phase one: two Keith Urban tickets (YAAAAHOOOOOO!)
are mine....

the second phase involves singing live on air
and a possible trip to Nashville (to listen, not to sing ;)).

I'll let you know more when I get back, because I am going to be enlisting your help to give me wings!!!

Love and Twangy Vocals,

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Janey and the Dryer

Janey is afraid of loud noises, big things and machine movement; she shies away from anything that has one those frightful components, but for some reason she has a giant crush on the one thing in the house that features all three combined phobia factors:

Our ancient, heaving and locomotive behemoth dryer.

You cannot see it in this moment, but Janey is moving about 10-20 mm each direction with the beat of the machine


sounds like a steam engine on that final uphill push into the Rockies...

a quick version of "I think I can I think I can"....

And yet she flips and rubs her cheek along its edges and generally looks like she's taken a hit of something green and good.

Jones does NOT approve.

He is very busy being very very extremely jealous.

Mmmmm hmmm.

I feel ashamed somehow, too.

Signing off with your breaking news from the laundry room in San Jose,

Thursday, February 10, 2011


NOTE: Dear Sir ring will be revealed this evening!!!
Sorry for the delay, Dr. comes first ;)


Tomorrow at 2:00 Pm Pacific Time, I will be putting this gorgeous Queensland Agate orphan in the shop:
orphan rings can be made in whatever size you deem appropriate: what you see here is merely the top of the ring, shankless (there's a joke somewhere in that word..) with the stone gently set into the bezel.

This one is tropical, warm and features a fully engraved copper ginkgo leaf sitting asymmetrically on the side of this summery stone.

I figure we can all use a bit more summer, am I right?

(My mother (living in Minneapolis) is probably raising her eyebrow and thinking how I am not really having a winter, so who needs summer in San Jose!! I'd like to remind her that the earth moves here. Cold Weather for the WIN!)

I'd also like to apologize for the lag in convo response time: preparing for the show next Wednesday (we're talking 75% new material for a band separated by 500 miles) is a bit all-consuming.

I like practicing.
My neighbors must be grateful I am not a beginning violin student!

They get to hear Randy Travis cover songs
and some Simon and Garfunkel

Tomorrow around 2 I will also be revealing a Dear Sir Opal ring in a larger size. This opal is EPIC.


It's small, but oh heavens the fire. In any light: I would imagine it will catch aflame in the sun, so fiery it is in the shade... opals are good for the heart.

I am rambling. I wish you'd all come over and sit around my dining room table and play Chicken Foot with me.

I talk MAD SMACK, so be forewarned.
I sassed my husband's grandma a few weeks ago when we played together: to be fair, she pulled out a sass-action-lawsuit (copyright, y'all: this catchphrase started here!! ;) ) in my court of law, too.

I love her.

And you

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Engraved With Love


Labradorite with rosy copper, hammer engraved with a joyous hand
and a light heart!

This baby has a beautiful, bouyant medium polish
and resembles a paisley in a gorgeous way!!


And oooh, a simple cowgirl frill necklace: engraved sterling silver and a sweet little trillion cut piece of Australian Chrysoprase.

Both delicious dishes will be in the Metal Shop tomorrow evening!

A note for next week: both shops will be closing Sunday morning and re-opening on Friday, as I will be down in Redlands performing at The Loft.



Fresh off the King

Collector's Lucky Strike
(aptly named, as it's going into my collection!)

Drusy Pocket Plume Agate

I mean, come on!!! Nothing is more glamorous than a rock, people.

One of the final cabs that came from that small slab of mystery plume, rare and special.

Garden of Eden, here and now.


Monday, February 7, 2011

P.S. I Nom You

Yogurt is Go

Texture like a custard cream

Honey like Whoooo HA!

Too good not to write a haiku :)


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sunday is For Falling in Love...

...With HIM
(I met him again today for the first time and I CANNOT wait to see him again!)

...With my Mandoline, slicing perfect page-thick potatoes for tonight's gratin

... With thin-sliced artichokes marinating in lemon juice, good olive oil, ground coarse salt and fresh pepper...

...Using a lemon from our tree out back!!! Our yard is a bounty of culinary delights: Meyer Lemon, rosemary bushes a mile high, sage, figs in the summer....

I love leek.

Sunday is also for infusing lavender

into raw honey.

My hope was that this wonderful day would yield a batch of excellent yogurt, but there appears to be a learning curve there!

I am trying to whittle my food waste down as much as possible: every yogurt container I throw away (recycled bin, even) hurts my heart.
It matters to me.

I hope your Sunday was a day of adoration and rest.