Monday, January 31, 2011

Coming Attractions

A trio
trinity, if you want to get holy about it - and yes,

these pieces of earth are holy to me!

Set simply, they sing a song celestial and grounding, all at once.

Exotica Jasper, some would call it, or porcelain jasper.
This looks like a journey into peace, a nebula..

size 6.5, a piece of the heavens.

Mama Lucky Strike....

elegant, completely powerful...

this stone feels like a thunderbolt from the sky in your hand. Energetic, full of power and promise. I cannot say enough about it.

Size 9.

And finally, a perfect little letter-writing partner, the Dear Sir ring in Priday Plume.
I gave this one a lovely rustic texture around the outside of the bezel by sprinkling sterling powder (collected from sawing) into the solder for a slightly bubbly, gritty texture.

It's perfect.
I am going to be looking into the possibilities in sterling dust in the coming weeks:
an odd addition, perhaps, but it's alluring to the touch and its textural gifts divine.

This little ring is a size 5.5 for the small fingered among us.

Not sure when these beauties will find their way into the Metal Shop, likely tomorrow evening!!!

The contest closes on Wednesday evening for a Thursday drawing!!

Sip on, my dear friends!!!


Friday, January 28, 2011

Jadeite Contest!!!

How do you take your tea?

Well, I'll go first: today, my tea is actually coffee because I have a lot to do and little time to do it...
with the exception of green, I take my tea and coffee with milk or cream

no sugar

(I like to think I'm just sweet enough, thank you!)

Tell me how you take your tea or coffee in the comment section to enter this contest:

heck, it may inform me and my readers about a taste sensation we're missing!!

Drawn at random, your winnings will be this D handle Jadeite mug, made by Fire King back when glass had class.

People sweat over Jadeite, and I never understood until I got my first cup up in Eureka with Ms. Kelly.
I am hooked!!!

I can't wait to hear about what you sip!!


Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Wing to Fly

Over the last month, I've experienced limitations in ways I didn't expect:

Starting over again in yoga, spending whole classes in child's pose, quietly crying for my inert yearning to stand down fear in warrior two, quiet and full of breath.

Warrior two had to wait.
As did walking fast
turning my head quickly
working at either bench for more than two hours
and dancing to country music in my studio...

I had to cultivate (and continue to do so because it is amazing!) the quiet, less active parts of my daily life.

As I gradually re-introduce the spirited movement I've come to love so much in my thirties,
I've found everything to be bouyant, lively and full of gratitude

and ultimately I find that in the middle of everything vigorous, there is now an avocado seed of stillness.

A pause in the richness of going and doing...
a moment or four of sitting in my overstuffed studio chair with a mug of something warm
hearing nothing but the sounds of the city swinging wide around my house
mind full of clear blue nothing.

In the limitations of my situation, I was given something valuable to life me above the stress I had created for far too long:

a wing

A golden Hawk Wing.

Strung on a chain of 'A's, as in:


I made one for you,
hoping that in the wearing of something so feathered, you might get the mile-high perspective you need to make room for stillness and wholeness in your life.

Asymmetrical, elegant and from my hands and heart.
In the Leather Shop this evening.


Lucky Baby

NOTE: Found a flaw, will list after I fix it!!! :)

From rough purchased in October, rough that thrilled and amazed my very bones
comes a cabochon that I am making available for purchase.

Not to be set in my own jewelry, though, if that happened it would be ok, too:

My hope is that another smith bites and puts it into their work, a marriage of souls in which I get to play a new part...

Whenever I set a stone from a lapidary artist I admire, I feel like they are there, too:
they travel in the tidy gift wrapping to a new home,
live on someone's clavicle or pointer finger...

I am so excited to have that feeling!

Lucky Strike is hard to work: there are little pits and pockets that open up as you grind and polish, much like mookaite.

You don't want to grind too far past them because you might lose the coral and chocolate mosses, so a few tiny marks are visible in this stone and one healed fracture from way back in the day:

back in the 1000 BC days, that is!!!

(Not sure what the age is on this rock, but I like to think that before man even discovered Oregon, some stressor cracked the thunderegg a bit and it kept on forming around it)

I think this is my favorite part of the 31 X 31 mm stone (at its widest points):
the measured opal-y marks that are so HARD to hold on to: they require such a delicate hand
and I found myself wanting to soothe them through the grinding process so that they'd stay.

They did.

And they will amaze and astound you with their pristine Easter Egg colors.

Yes, I am supremely nerdy and wordy when it comes to rocks: can you blame me???

Baby Lucky Strike, in the Metal Shop shortly!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Be Brave

Say it.
Do it.
Be it:

Don't wait for the safe moment; it's never coming.
The future will not afford you an opportunity to be more secure, more calm and grounded:
now is the jumping point!

Take your soul for a flight over your fears and live the pieces of life you are avoiding...

That place in your heart that quakes at the thought of breaking out and doing new things?

It secretly wants to stop winning over your sense of adventure.
Somewhere inside of its fluttering heart, your fear wishes desperately to be proven wrong, that death isn't waiting in a car up the street
that the woods offer more than dark and deep dangers...

that a friendship can endure your human-ness and grow stronger for it

that your heart and soul are ten times more powerful than you ever imagined:

I promise they are.

Your strength is bolstered by your more delicate side,
your femininity cradled by your masculinity..

Just take a baby step:

dust off your knees
try again
fail again

wonder at the richness and supreme beauty of this world we live in, and seek out more and more of those things that feed your better parts.

Your fear thinks it might be time to go on that diet it's been thinking about since last summer...

The Brave Clutch will be in the Leather Shop later this afternoon

Real Arizona turquoise set in fine and sterling silvers
stitched by hand into a finely tooled 12X5 clutch

hawk wings
old timey swing clasp
purple suede lining, pinked for a bit of sweetness
riveted for a bit of badass

Made with more love than you can even imagine.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Engraved with Love & Clutch Sneak Peek

Freehand Florals

In Copper

Sterling and Australian Boulder Opal
(the stone was cabbed by me, how wonderful to be its lapidary mother!!)

The round I engraved on was sold to me as sterling silver some 3 years ago when I began my leather shop... it turns out not to be sterling, but it still solders like sterling and
engraves like copper....
pickles like sterling and takes limited oxidation in liver of sulphur....


In the Metal Shop later today

And now for something completely different:

A clutch!! This one features my signature wings and a gorgeous turquoise cabochon set in sterling and stitched into tooling leather, lined in green suede, or maybe purple; I haven't decided quite yet...

That is all for today: off to relax and rest up!


Monday, January 24, 2011

Cherished Weekend

Oh, my stars.

Between the good-hearted ham-ery of Phil

The gentleness and quiet confidence of the Schmill

The cheekiness of this man-child Ian

(oh, the band names he came up with for us....
things like:

Squirrel Dusk
Profound Frost
Moist Intuition
Verdant Rustle

Combinations of refrigerator magnets we had on hand)

The adorable silliness and timeless elegance of Irene

(dear, if you notice your vintage suitcases are missing through the open window one night..... he heee!!)

And the love I have for this man who has been a brother to me for years now...

My cup runneth over.

I pine for the last few days, to relive what it felt like to have a house alive with the business and bustle of six souls,
everyone laughing and discussing and obviously adoring each other...

Lots of tea and wine and food

These are the best friends.
Folks who know how to tend to a heart like a good gardener, how to leave a woman sad for no other reason than their absence.

Here's to more trips like this one in the future, and to our big show coming up in February!!

Thanks for being our guests, family!!!


Friday, January 21, 2011

Stones to Ponder & Contest

Remember waaaaay back in the day when I said I was going to cab this MOTHER of a Lucky Strike agate and I showed you this piece as a finished slice?

I am setting her this week.


In a ring.

She is huge and gorgeous and you'll never see the likes of her again, that's how remarkable she is.


Has the markings of the mother, but a gentler, more subdued soul. A few tiny pits.
Fireless opal water line marks.

Matrix. A tiny fracture, healed.

This piece will be my first ever offering as a cabochon, to be purchased by a woman or man who works with metals.

My first lapidary offering: this won't happen all that often, but every once in a while I will offer these things :)

Next week.

Moss agate so sweet, it'll make you kiss the sky.

I mean, COME ON!!!!! This is a smaller cab, still trying to figure out what to set it in.
I did not cab this one, but I am obsessed with it.

And lastly, uuuuuber collectible Texas Plume. It is so valuable, so insanely perfect...
I picked this one up on my way to Arcata last weekend, and I am pondering whether to set it or not....

Or maybe it should go in the collection....


Things to ponder.

One more thing, my sweets:

I saw the reaction both in comment and convo to my Jadeite Fire King teacup, and so I will be having a contest in a few days, offering you one of your very own.

I scoured the interwebs to find you one of good quality and girth.

I am thinking of having you send in photos of your best tea-sipping outfit, or your BEST raised pinky, snooty-Brit style... perhaps I will share mine, too, and we can all take one sip at the same time.... of course, the contest won't be judged by the photo, merely as a random comment draw, but I like the idea of taking tea with all of you, across the globe.

And perhaps we can all say *AHHHHHH* in that silly whisper tone afterwards.

In unison.

Have a bountiful and happy weekend!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Orphan, etc!

Yesterday a beautiful cowgirl asked if I would ever show pictures of the finished pieces of orphan rings:

even though this ring is not finished and the pickle pot will eat off this oxide anon, I went ahead to show exactly what it looks like finished:

isn't it something else?
Ah!!! I am in love!!

Heading to the Metal Shop after this to list her.

And this beautiful bee buckle is buzzing into the Leather Shop as well!!!

Thank you for writing to me, ladies!! :)

One last thing: this stunning, stunning turquoise ring. The quality of the mineral is quite amazing, but there is an issue with the piece:

most turquoise is 'backed' with some sort of hardened resin paste to strengthen it enough to be cabbed: before I did lapidary I didn't understand, but I do now: turquoise is a rather fragile stone, prone to chipping and breaking when ground and polished.

Most turquoise, for this reason, is stabilized before it is worked.
This particular piece of turquoise was backed, and as I set it, the backing began to crumble.
Thank goodness, the turquoise did not. It's solid as a rock, stabilized and supreme.

The stone is tucked in tight as a tick, but the bezel has a few small dents, nearly imperceptible to the scanning eye, but for me, it's perfect or it's not sold.

This ring will be offered at a very discounted price: it would normally be in the low 200s with a stone like this, a silver weight like it has... (oh, silver.... why have you doubled in price???)
but I will be offering it to the first convo for far less.

It is a size 7.75, and it is a show stopper.

Asymmetrical band, careful silverwork....
rhodochrosite baby on board....


A small note regarding the next few days: I have friends coming in from out of town:
Matt, Irene and Ian
and Phil the Bass Machine

we will make music and food, preparing for the gig of wonder in Redlands mid-February.

Want to know more about the location and details?
click HERE

I'll respond to any emergency convos and try my best to stay on top of everything, but chances are I'll be back to you on Monday!!!


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Newest Orphan Ring

Deeply engraved copper, dendritic agate, sterling.

Made in any size you wish!

Listing in the Metal Shop

tomorrow evening (Thursday) at 4:00 PM Pacific Time


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New Koi and the Perfect Cup of Tea

A rare spotted koi with the biggest hunk of real gorgeous turquoise...


And a sweet, sweet Lucy Koi in Meyer lemon yellow

so lovely and warm....

and speaking of warm, here is a play-by-play of the perfect cup of tea.

First, go thrift store shopping with a gal-in-the-know and find the most special teacup you can:
this is jadeite, the elusive and wonderful antique glass.

Couldn't you stare at that color all day? Just too dreamy!!

Add local honey and whole milk

Stir until it looks like liquid kindness

and sip, making that silly "Ah!" whisper sound after every swallow.

The koi will be in the Leather Shop this afternoon,

the tea is in ma belleh.