Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Amidst the Hotel Reviews

On Saturday night I am singing at a wedding in Marin County,
oh so close to the old stomping ground of Petaluma.

Knowing the wedding won't be done until the wee hours of the morning,
I opted to find lodging for the night
as opposed to dragging this exhausted frame home to San Jose
long after bedtime.

Looking online, there were some extra fancy places and some seedy-looking flophouses
and then I found an Inn that looked just right:

there amidst all of the comments
both positive, negative and downright Homeric was this gem:

"The sun rose in the morning and set in the evening. There was Peace and Plenty."

I sighed and smiled, rubbing my warm belly as Baby O kicked and turned.

Has there ever been a wiser, more poetic lodging review?


Monday, November 28, 2011




A piece of a gift came to me today
in the form of an idea that could not be stilled
enough to even murmur,
"Tomorrow, it can wait until tomorrow"
from the warmth of my bed...

everything else got put off today
but this.

A hammer-engraved hand
carefully drawn
tenderly carved with the graver...

It will be a necklace
and in the palm there will be a gift of a gemstone
and I feel opal might be best

to be worn over the heart.

In the leather shop the hummingbird clutch
called out to be antiqued, painted
but it must wait until at least tomorrow
when I feel stronger.

Its centerpiece will be a piece of gorgeous green turquoise
I've been holding onto for years...

And in the midst of these deepening dark days of winter
the uncanny word 'bloom'
beckons from the flip side of the piece.

This was the work of my hands on the last days before leaving for
Minneapolis - sometimes tooling obsesses me
and I can do little else

and then the impulse flips to metal...
I love the contrast and the ability to do both
with all my might.

Allisunny and the box of tissues

Volcano Ring



Sunday, November 27, 2011


Something's coming this way I just know
the way a woman does;
It's leather and metal
Born of my son
of Hawaii
and a patience I normally do not possess.

Sick and in bed
I do not lament these passing hours
because in their wake they leave
bits of dreams
and streams of new technique
to ponder:

I am not bored by the quiet
I am lacking for nothing
but instead languishing in a way
that would normally have me tapping my toes for want of action
nails bitten in the stress of hoping it will be as wonderful as its unrealized form

Carrying a babe
is a fierce gift for any artist
in that gestation imparts patience like never before
and creativity
while able to be fostered and led
is also the independent idea coming through the artist
quite like a child does
in its own time
with its own dna
and destination


Once my baby was a grain of rice
whose food was a yolk sac
clinging to the wall of my most secret body
now he is a soul I can feel
He is
hands and feet that tell me of waking
and sleeping
dreaming of adventures to come

He is
one of the loves of my life
but experienced fully
and in his presence I am brave
for love
impervious to slights
better with my heart
clumsy with my hands


Something's winding this way
on golden heels
and I am waiting
in folds of cotton
covered in sleeping cats
carrying this babe
and the knowledge that all is well


Monday, November 21, 2011


The Big Island is born of volcanic activity
(as are all of the Hawaiian Islands)
so lush and green
with many different kinds of landscapes
and weather patterns - it's like five places rolled into one:

high desert
small town
beach enclave
rolling rural Marin

But to look into the crater of the volcano is to see
the aftermath of furious heat
the precursor to wind-planted seeds and decadent soils...

Though I've been working with the volcanic design for quite some time now
being near the center of an actual eruption site
taught me volumes about texture
and feel....

What was a concept just became a bit more of an exercise in remembering
the smells, sounds and heart of the beloved model.

The scene is beautifully bone-chilling up there...
It reminds me of the aftermath of anger, rage or dervish-like confusion...
Nothing but a red-eyed fierceness
that eventually will soften into understanding
and a welcome place for verdant, lovely life

like a feud between southern families
that heals and ends in marriages and babies.

A Brazilian Garden Quartz is the seed inside the mighty cone
beckoning its mistress to take a closer look inside
so that she may heal herself well and fully
after any eruption.

Size 7.75. Distinctly One of a Kind.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Our Shells


It would be almost unreal to think about what life would be like without our protective shells...
just like the sea turtles of Hawaii
we have a thick armor, dinged by years of deflecting
battered by the passing of time
and life's roller coaster of high and low moments.

In moments of great love and friendship
we may slip our heads out, move about
and in some divine circumstances completely set aside that which
we no longer need, completely trusting
our ability to weather anything without protection:
this, my friends is a rare and special thing,
usually the result of a peak experience
or years of meditation, yoga or seeking.

All it seems to take is one rage-filled driver
or someone in more pain than we feel comfortable with
and we find ourselves again
bearing that ratty shield
in hopes that we won't fall apart behind its strength.

But the inside of our hearts and souls?

Compassion, clarity, love.

These two sea turtle necklaces I have engraved, formed and hammer-aged
are the metal embodiment of our desire to self-protect
and the beauty we fear being damaged inside of ourselves.

Perhaps on days that feel dangerous the shell side sees the outside world
while the gorgeous gem of you presses against the warm skin near your heart
On days where you feel comfortable opening to life more fully
your opal-self or your dendritic tree-self kisses the sky and causes the sharp intake of breath
from those you meet,
offering a connection
a conversation.

A portion of the profits from the sale of these necklaces will go
to aid in their ongoing efforts to protect these magnificent creatures.

If either of these necklaces speak to you, please do send me a
to reserve one.

With love,

Friday, November 18, 2011

25% off Everything in the Leather Shop

Hello, dear friends!

I wanted to let you know that I will be starting a new design series in the Leather Shop
for 2012,
which means clearing out what's there:

everything will be 25% off in the

with coupon code NOV2011 used at checkout.

I will do reserves for up to two weeks - please convo
me if you need a hold!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Schmilly and I waxed marvelous over dinner this evening
discussing the differences between our two
Hawaiian vacations thus far as a couple.

During the first trip to Kauai, Anthony had just lost his job
and we were a newly married pair
lost in a vanilla-chocolate swirl of 'for worse' and tremendous support
from friends and loved ones.

During this trip, we are post-three-year-anniversary
and pre-baby.
Anthony has just been a part of the production of
a very popular video game that is doing well for itself.

The contrasts are stark
both situations rich with beauty and potential for growth,
both very important times in the lifespan of lovers...

but the ways in which we know each other
have grown many
and the tenderness that knowledge has engendered
is deep and wide

We've navigated life together these last 6 years
from dating
falling madly and quickly
moving in
hitching our wagons
and creating new life.

I thanked him a lot on this trip
and I told him that if we were single
and had gone on this trip as strangers in a group that traveled together
dined and hotel-ed together

perhaps as friends of friends
or coworkers

I would want him to ask me out;
I've found him witty, tender, chivalrous and handsome

And I would have carried a flame for him
Had a crush on him
Wanted to feel the weight of his hand on mine...

That's a nice feeling,

realizing how much you like the one you love

How you would choose them again and again

If life would be kind enough

To just introduce you.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

An Unexpected Blessing

Last night we went out for Thai food - delicious fresh Thai food...
we held hands
we ate well
and I of the small bladder
went back as the check came to use their facilities.

It was a strange setup:
four restrooms, two for women, two for men
but I simply saw one door marked women and proceeded to wait

when out of nowhere, a male patron
approached me and brusquely told me that there was another restroom
and I should use it.

Where did he come from? How long had he been watching my wait?

I closed the door behind me, face aflame
and felt a rolling wave of hormonal grief wash over me:
I had looked like an idiot
as I have so very many times over the course of the last month or so
since the 'fog' seems to have descended.

Women with children laughingly told me that said day would come,
that I would find myself forgetting things,
misplacing things
and not really having the same sharpness that I usually do -
well, I get it now
and honestly
for a woman who struggles so actively with perfectionism,
I think last night was the doorway to a bit more freedom.

I looked in the ladies' room mirror at the restaurant
and saw my shame
right there in red and water:

yes, I looked like an idiot
to someone without empathy or warmth
but why am I so scared to death of the world?
Why is the first assumption one that renders me unsafe, unloved?

Is it really so bad to make mistakes? To mess up or miss details?
I've worn so many hats running my business
and caring for our home
that I've had to write pretty much everything down since about week 19
just to make sure I am aware of things, reminded of events to come.

I am exhausted from trying to keep up the ruse that I have my shit together at all times
and here in paradise of all places,
I hit a huge stop sign
and had to surrender.

I cannot say that I feel settled on this matter,
that I felt the mantle lift and the wonder of it all come in
I can say that having such a strong aching response to
such a simple gesture of help (harsh though it seemed to my tired self at the time)
has really opened my eyes
to the issues underlying the wish to be just right in all ways:

it's not possible, especially not right now
and perhaps beyond pregnancy
and motherhood
not ever -

perhaps it never was
and through its myth we perfectionists all
plan on getting the highest score
on the test of life

Blissful invisibility?
A Painless existence?
God's approval?

I hope in distancing myself from the crush of that pressure
to find an answer or two
and a lot of peace.

What do you do in the face of self-criticism or perfection?
I am eager for your insights.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

An Attempt

In this post I am going to make a clumsy attempt to describe something
that defies description-
a magical moment in my life (in our lives)
that was a gift from our friends in Waimea
a sick baby
and the rigors of getting a family of four into a harbor, a boat
and then back home -
we cannot thank you enough, dearest Jenni and Miro -

To be clear, this was not a cakewalk as far as miracles go:
I spent the better part of the journey with my head over the side of the boat,
giving the Pacific my breakfast
and when that was all gone,
foam and saliva.

Having just seen what I'd seen, experienced what I'd experienced I did not mourn my food or my dignity:
I simply laid my hands and head on the 'My Jenni' and watched the flying fish
leaping and traveling
in a state of such utter surrender
that I could practically feel the warmth of God's palm.


From the beginning:

We traveled by boat from Kona southbound
until we saw them in the surf:
a pod of about 50 dolphins
with babies in tow
northbound in their travels.

Miro put the boat in neutral
and we donned masks and fins,
slipping off the back of the craft into the warm water
some 40-80 feet deep.

My heart was on fire
my breathing was ragged and a fear of deep water that has plagued me since childhood was ripe;
I all but missed the sight of the dolphins swimming close to us,
save for a few
that moved to my right.

We moved on, more streamlined in our process;
less fear this time
perfectly placed ahead of the pod

I saw them, so close -
underneath us, to each side:
they scanned me with their sonars
and seemed curious and close
and many.

With my head above water to find the boat
I saw them leaping and splashing in the waves
and a return to the mask
found them still coming:
still passing, still magic.

I swam sideways to watch them
and I thanked them silently with all my might for the visit
so few get to have in the wild.

Back on the boat, the above nausea took over.
I think almost more than the waves
it was the intensity of the experience
that laid me low...

for the rest of this day I've been
in utter surrender,
quietly watching the scenery pass.
Letting tears come at times,
I lean in as Hawaii pulls them from me
soft and slow like a river.


Saturday, November 12, 2011


I know vacation is meant for seeing beautiful things
and exploring a new vista
somehow I always leave a bit of my heart
not just in the verdant valleys
and blue waters
of this island chain
with small beasts who claims it
just as surely.


Friday, November 11, 2011

A Winner and a Big Thank You

You bless my life every day with your beautiful faraway friendships
and the warm understanding that we are a tribe
that understands each other; that thrives on beauty and love and growing.

I don't think I could ever drive home how frequently I feel the wonder of this
how much I give thanks for this paper cup phone we've got going on that spans continents
and cultures....
we are neighbors all the same.

I've gotten advice from you here,
visited you on your own digital spaces and smiled and cried with your triumphs and
I've been sustained by your support and
lifted by your encouragement

I will not try and fumble my pale words any more, suffice it to say
that you rock my fucking world.

As for the contest, we do have a winner -
hit it, random number generator!!!


me with your info, dear woman
and thank you ALL
for entering this giveaway -

I loved reading all of your wintry words -
they made me even more excited about the coming chill
and the gifts of going inward.

With Love,

P.S. - published at 11:11 AM PST to avoid confusion!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Oh Farm

Good Morning

To your Lovely Self,

To the Ladies

And this three-legged man, Dasher: true to form, he has Dashed off with my heart -
I am so smitten it hurts.

Everywhere around us, beautiful beasts
and natural wonders.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Goat-y Reminder

The goat was kinda having none of it,
but I was trying to remind him to enter the necklace giveaway
by Thursday, 11:59 PM.

Perhaps you will be more amenable to my sage advice?


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Home Away From Home

There has been nothing more beautiful than these moments
with our dear friends...

Today we walked in the finest mist
saw two rainbows
and rose before dawn

Our breath is deeper
Our hearts calm
Our baby dancing his way north to the greenery
of Honokaa...

Heaven on earth.

Love from this place,

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Contest for this New Season

Because you have been so wonderful
Because the winter offers such beauty in the filigree branches of the bare tree
For the love of the new season
And the wonder of the chill

I have made a tree to be won...

All you need to do to be its adorned is to leave me a comment: tell me what you love
about winter, even if it's just simply the act of coming in from the cold!

I will draw a winner on 11/11/11 at 11:11 AM
from the warm shores of Hawaii!!

Little contests like this are simply my way of saying
'thank you'
for reading and being a part of my life in a very big way.

Here's to this winter being a gift
in spite (or perhaps because?!?) of its temperate hardships
a balm in its silent surrender.

I wish you

Now play (snow)ball!!!


Friday, November 4, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Last Few

Ah, the beauty of winter...
Bare trees and beautiful sunsets

Unexpected joys
renewal, invisible.

And a fallen flower in labradorite.

I will be listing these beauties in the

in just a little while
amidst the bee wings
and remnants of summer.