Wednesday, August 31, 2011

4.3 cm, 12 weeks!

My Baby,

When this picture was taken you were asleep upside-down:
a few minutes later you woke up and began performing the most beautiful ballet
I've ever seen.

You are 4.3 cm, or roughly the size of a really substantial cabochon.

We drove home from the doctor giddy, your Papa and I.

In Love,

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Great Handoff

Here goes another photo-less post, dedicated to the
inner workings of the brain, heart and soul
I currently house.

I've been nesting quite a bit lately, in between lying on the couch, sleeping
and taking short walks:

there is thick, awful maroon paint in the bathroom - little Mama is peeling that right off, slowly but surely.
Organizing tidbits around the house and selling things I no longer use
Finishing projects, oh blessed day! That feels good...

Something interesting that's been occurring is the inner nesting, the inner-cleansing:

I've thought long and hard about the day that my little one will come to me with a problem: a child who's being mean to them, a difficult playground companion, their instinct that something feels 'off', etc...
How will I respond?

When one thinks of the people in their life, it all boils down to boundaries, love and compatability; even if a relationship is healthy in all three areas,
there is bound to be a moment that Anthony and I refer to as "Handing off your Shit,"
where one person in a less-than-fantastic mood or life-space will
effectively hand a steaming pile to someone they love,
conscious or un.

When the recipient of that terrible gift is left holding the burden,
they cannot help but sink a bit under the weight:
the cranky husband who says something biting to his happy wife
normally leaves her feeling...sore!

While he may find a lightening of his mood as the day progresses, she wonders why there's a pall of sadness over the activities she was looking forward to -

the Great Handoff has taken place
without the words to help either digest what just transpired:
one person has a bit less burden, the other an unexpected load.

I've been working on this concept in my own life for quite a long time
with those I love the most
but the cumbersome first trimester has helped me (thank goodness!)
understand that in ALL areas of my life
I need not hold out my hand when the energy feels off:

Someone may tell you bright things, speak in a chipper and delightful tone
about places and people you love,
ask if they can employ your services
offer to help with something you badly need
but if you can feel energetically like they're about to hand you something they don't want to carry
it is utterly and completely your choice as to how you proceed.

The most important thing is how you feel:
are your hackles raised?
Does your stomach feel like it dropped?
Does an inquiry send you someplace dark and cold?

For me, it has been a blessing to be brought low by fatigue and nausea
because it forces me to see the very basic structure of

to feel the intrinsic energy of people
and places
(So much so that I feel compelled to tell you that I am available for readings! ;) )

and because the pie cart of possibility has been so reduced,
I've been forced to choose what nourishes every time

and to politely decline
what I know is a steaming pile of shit,
even though it's been dressed up in cashmere.

There has been a great relief in knowing that I can restructure my response to life
even as I become an "old dog" - it gives me so much faith in the future
as I move to give a lot of time and energy to another little being -
my learning 'center' is still functioning, still strong.

I want to tell my child to trust their instincts,
to remove themself from what feels bad or ill no matter what words are used
no matter how pretty the candy
and I feel like my sage advice will ring hollow
unless I have the strength to do the very same thing.

I want to be a light of courage and discernment for someone I've not yet met:
I will continue to work at this
with compassion and care.

What are you working on?


Saturday, August 27, 2011




Tomorrow Anthony and I leave for Sacramento, CA where we will spend a few days
wrapped in the love of his family: I cannot wait.

I miss them when we're away, or they're away or both...
so different from my own nuclear family and yet still MINE:

They laugh and chime in when I talk shit during chickenfoot or Skipbo
They tell the stories everyone's come to memorize with a bit of extra added theatricality each time (the lightning that used to strike the tree on the side of the road is now striking the car!!)
They squabble and forgive quickly and efficiently
They knit, crochet, sew, whittle and farm
They LOVE, and how - that seems to be the biggest shared trait amongst both of my families-
the gift of knowing how to love.

As I was working on this marvelous tooled leather raven wing necklace today,
I thought tearfully about the moment tomorrow when
Anthony's delightful Grandma Kelly
will put her palm against my little growing bump -
three generations of love,
all in one room.

The missing piece will be Anthony's Grandpa, who passed last year
in the fall...
But I know if we all concentrate enough, we'll feel him there,
along with both sets of my grandparents
witnessing this new life from somewhere beautiful,
looking younger and healthier than they did when each left us
smiling their tender grandparent-ly smiles - the ones that spoke volumes
of love, loyalty and pride.

Tonight they're in my fondest contemplations, all of the generations that came before
with their struggles and triumphs,
gifts and curses.

This necklace holds these moments of memory,
wrapped in leather
found coral (Anini Beach, Hawaii)
and oxidized sterling silver.

In the Metal Shop this evening.


Friday, August 26, 2011

A Lovely Visit

Today I had the pleasure of two visitors: my friend Amanda
and her baby Luke, both of whom I met on
the flight back from Minneapolis in early July.

We ate lunch on the living room floor,
Jones was a delightful presence - curious about the wee man, understandably scared of intimacy, a hovering, galloping tease.

There were a few books read, a lot of questions answered
and another woman's welcome understanding of where I stand:
so awfully seasick and yet very grateful to be so - what a combination!

Luke is a wiggly, squirming bold and charming little snippet of a boy-
so strange to think that when I first met him
I already unwittingly had a tiny little bundle of cells
splitting like mad!

"Are you sure you don't want to be moved to another section?", his Grandma asked me, thinking that he might be a less-than-gracious seatmate
but I just smiled and said, "Someday I hope to have one of my own: I am thrilled to stay right where I am."

So glad I meant it, so happy to know them!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Opal Feather


From a sea-bird, a gift from my dear friend Laurie Brown...

Ah, but the opal is one I cabbed myself from a preform: there is a rawness to it
that I cannot resist: there is a rich crag in the side where I decided not to keep going into the stone:
you can cut and polish an opal until you wear off its fire:
no way was I going to do that with one as rich and high-domed as this -
a bit of nature in the polish, I love that.

A few precious drops of Arizona turquoise and voila, a complete statement of
love and freedom.


In the works: a stunning Montana Agate Hammer-Engraved Wing.

Ooof, I get lost in that stone....

Both pieces (though one is still being made!) are available for reserve

with a simple


Monday, August 22, 2011

Oh Winged Things....

Feather by feather I built my day, hearty in a way the last few weeks have not been:
I had the fortitude to work
the stomach to sit still
without needing to lie down momentarily...

I began working on the long-promised 'seagulls in love' bag.

In looking at it again I discovered
something far greater: they are hovering over an egg, their future:
it made me tear up a bit
as most things do these days.

My heart is cracked open by life
right now,
bleeding compassion
pumping prayer

It is working on these winged things that makes me feel that I can get through
the solid, bricklike emotions
and the moments of crush.

Yesterday Anthony helped me make the stock for homemade chicken soup:
I cannot even look at raw chicken,
could not even imagine handling onions...
today I chopped the celery
and carrots
and put them together with the good start he provided
remembering as I worked how

he sat me down at the kitchen table with gingerale
and forbid me to try and do anything -
I know he misses his capable, passionate wife
and yet he is so tender and loving with the pale wraith-like quiet thing that has
become a substitute

I promise him daily that my vigor will return!

I promise myself daily that this, too is beautiful!

at almost three months, I look like I have had one too many burritos
and I am planning our early November trip to Hawaii
as a way to say, "See? Good things are coming!"


Saturday, August 20, 2011


Nata de Coco, that is!!

Anthony had the pleasure of going to an Asian grocery store on Friday
with his team, and he remembered my guilty, terrible pleasure:

gelatin coconut cubes in sugar water.

When we lived in Los Angeles, my favorite mom & pop grocery store
(Marina Farms, for those who live there - it's near Lincoln and Jefferson)
stocked these chewy little gems
and I remember distinctly a few months where they had none-
I think I may have been the reason they restocked,
if just to stop me from asking when they might be in again
each time I went in for onions or pomegranates.

Today has been a tough day on the stomach, and so I filled a cheerful glass
full of ice
and spooned a few cubes of the opaque delicacy, waiting five minutes or so for
a supreme drop in their temperature,
an extra firmness in their bite...

They were delicious and refreshing
and just as weird as I remember them to be...

More than anything, I love that Anthony saw the big jar and thought to bring them home to me - he's sweeter than coconut gelatin in syrup.

What's your weird food love?


Friday, August 19, 2011

The Last of the Lucky Strike on Hand


And when I say "On Hand", I mean it quite literally!

I finished a ring, long in coming, elegant in its simplicity
and bold in its stone choice:
this is Lucky Strike Agate at its finest and most rare,
a gem of Oregon.

With its million-year-old-healed-fracture beauty and frond-like moss,
this stone looks like a scene from the bottom of a deep lake, the light filtered through
tall waving grass, the colors otherwordly:

sage green
deep red

Befitting a queenly size 10.5 finger,
this ring can be reserved with a simple

to me in the Metal Shop.

If there are no reserves pending, I will list it tomorrow.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Seeds of Flight

When I think of the fondest dreams I've ever had, they are always reveries of flight.
Above my childhood neighborhood I soar (even still!)
higher than the trees
atop the rooves of sleepy Pennsylvania
on my way to something better

Sometimes I wonder if the beauty, grandeur and ache of those very dreams
propelled me to big places like New York City
and Los Angeles...

were they perhaps the seeds of my flight?
Did the dreaming give courage to the waking girl?

I suppose I will never really know for sure
the way none of us can
about anything, really,

but I have a hunch that in those lucid, rapid-eye moments of wonder
there were kernels planted

Right in the heart of me.

Some seeds and wings of your very own,
in the METAL SHOP later today.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Re-Learning Our Gifts

Most of my posts lately seem destined to be without pictures:

I have few new external vistas to show you:
my yard, this lovely neighborhood in the city
my post office, farmer's marketing and gentle yoga classes...

But INSIDE....

ohhhh, inside....

there are miracles occurring every day, beautiful things unseen.

To state the obvious, yes: part of the miracle is this baby, now the size of a medium green olive or kumquat


the other piece of the marvel is happening somewhere I cannot pinpoint
between my heart, soul and spirit...

it is a reforming of self at its roots:
a cosmic rebirth I cannot even begin to flesh out in writing
but whose light-bones I will try to describe.

I cannot do very much right now, there is little soldering being performed,
minimal tooling:
I feel victorious if I eat well and hold things - that's enough.

I've always been restless on vacations and during times when I've been instructed to 'take it easy', feeling a guilty pull towards perfection and work

but here in this stillness

I am remembering who I am
and the shocker is that it is not what I do!

What I do is the vehicle that puts the love I feel out into the world palpably,
but re-discovering the woman behind the creative action
has been really nice:
a re-introduction to self, to others.

Being that I'm horizontal a lot, I've been allowing myself to do things previously unthinkable:

Watch seasons 1-4 of Mad Men (currently episode 6, season 3)
not obsessing about getting my money's worth with my unlimited yoga package
(i.e. going 3-4 times/week)
giving up the ghost when it comes to whole grains/lean meats/dark veggies:
right now it's fruit, crackers and Babybel Cheese rounds
stop worrying about finances
give over to the desire to sleep whenever it strikes me, and it certainly does that alot...

there have been books consumed,
water sipped
letters written and read
real gingerale and ice
sweet, long conversations between Anthony and I where we laugh more than ever before
about things we previously frowned over
long sighs that feel so good
sweet misguided attempts to dress up that end in comfies again
phone calls
evening walks with the handsomest man I know
the sound of crickets and peepers in the dark...

In all of this there is a rediscovery of life at its most basic and beautiful:
I am falling in love with everything
letting the right ones in
and cherishing this time of newness and rest.

I wish you a rediscovery or two in the coming days!


Friday, August 12, 2011


These rich and beautiful apples appeared this summer, the first time the tree has borne fruit
since we moved in.

They are, as they ripen, being eaten and pecked by the birds and squirrels with whom we share our outdoor space, and though I dream of an apple gallette made with fruit from this
tree, I concede their need to be nourished is greater than mine:

I have a plethora of farmer's markets from which to choose:
their choices are not so generous!

Meyer lemon minis are sprouting and getting fat...

Figs, the favorite amongst our backyard breathren, two or three weeks away from

alas, I will never know their sweetness - they belong to the jay who nests
in our trinity of palm trees stretching too far into the sky:
they make Anthony nervous (the trees, not the jays) -
they make me happy.

It is fruitful inside the house as well:
the studio time today yielded this bag which I had nearly finished before I left for
Minneapolis: it just needed color and a tidy stitch or two.

Speaking of tidy, there is something delicious and sexy about its compact design:
a bit bigger than the size of a cd
2 inches thick
perfectly symmetrical

capable of holding the perfect amount of things for
a farmer's market outing
boardwalk jaunts
ice-cream runs
truck pulls
county fairs
state fairs
national museums...

This belt bag bears one of my favorite flowers:
the poppy.

Poppy is what my sister and I called our father (and still do!) growing up:
I cannot look at the flower without thinking of the man I so love
and look up to

which means a lot of fond wishes go right into the leather while I work,
delicately painting
thoughtfully stitching
musing on family and blessings...

Look for it in the Leather Shop
in the next little while!

Sending peaceful, gentle thoughts to you on this

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Few Things

1. I think I was the only vacationer in beautiful Walker, Minnesota this weekend who spent time (and was rewarded for said time spent (thanks, Seeester!)) searching for deceased dragonflies.

2. Leech Lake does indeed have leeches - mud leeches!

3. My family is my heart and soul: here in Minnesota and in California, too.
I feel held in both places, and it is so good.

4. I had a wonderful, poignant moment in the glow of my parent's home one evening this week:
a realization that this is one of the last independent, do-as-I-damn-well-please-come-and-go-at-leisure trips I'll likely take for some 18-odd years.

I have had the luck and the pluck to do so much traveling by myself
(so rarely does my Schmilly find himself without a game ship date that prevents his napsackery, but Lordy Lou, how I love the coming home to him!)
over the last five plus years: trips to gem shows, gigs in distant cities
just-because-I-missed-you visits,
classes with friends,
and the odd overnight up in Petaluma...

as with every important transition, I shed a few tears at the realization that I get to grow into this new role,
that of a caretaker and mama
and grew sentimental
because I saw different iterations of myself at 25, 28, 32 waving goodbye
from her coach seat,
one carry-on bag neatly tucked beneath her pedicured toes,
the wide world hers to pluck.

I've been so fortunate to travel, to meet new friends along the way
and discover
gems and adventures around unexpected corners
highways and curves to hug and navigate

To illustrate this shift in focus, I will use Allende's beloved House of the Spirits as an example -
As a sweeping epic, each generation gets their time in the literary spotlight and passes
the important storyline to the next,
a fictional lineage, documented.

When I was in my twenties I would actually cry
as the story shifted in years and personal focus,
so in love was I with the lives I had just imagined so fully
(I re-read this book every once in a while, a good habit)
even a few years ago I wished for nothing more than
to linger on the happy times of just one generation, a partial story

but a few months back I had the opportunity to see the film version of the book
and I found myself eager to see what the changing scenery and generations would
bring to the screen:

it was a strange and lovely way to sense a big shift,
through a work of art I've long held dear
whose meaning grows and shifts with age and understanding...

I feel prepared
and even somewhat elated to help usher a new soul's tale
onto this earth,
into my family history.

I feel like a grown woman.

I know this is rambling, and I don't even know if it makes sense... all of this to say that I am at once saying a trembly-chinned 'goodbye' to a wonderful era
and a vibrant "Hello, Nurse!" to such an important new gift...

5. I am craving orange juice and spaghetti, but not at the same time!

6. This post was brought to you by the hormones Estrogen, Progesterone and hCG.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Shops Opening

Hello, All!
Thank you for the beautiful well-wishes:
I have been reading and cherishing them all
with great gratitude.
The Leather and Metal Shops
are open again
and shipping will commence Friday upon my return
so shop on :)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Wherein the Bean(s) is Spilled

I sit here in my parent's house, Minneapolis, MN
Tapping away at this older keyboard in hopes of eloquently sharing news of an impending life change: I know that it won't come out with the grace and charm I wish, simply because
I am waist deep in the kind of nausea that makes you pray
for well-being
and clarity
but mainly leaves you feeling as though you're stuck in molasses
and a bit of danger!
Two days after I made the fertility totem ring I took my third and final
pregnancy test
after the first two came back negative
(I purchased them from Whole Foods - who does that???)
I knew something was different with me, but I couldn't put my finger on it:
I didn't feel sick
but I found myself caring less and less about petty shit
standing in my kitchen feeling
grow down out of the soles of my feet into Mother Nature's bloodstream.
"Whoa!", I'd exclaimed,
like Bill or Ted on a whole new Excellent Adventure...
I chatted up the checkout folks at the grocery store without blushing
found compassion bubbling up
and the impossibility of having enemies
moreso than ever before
because no rancor could touch this love I felt.
I figured it was the Tibetan Heart Yoga finally kicking in after nearly a year
the fruits of meditation
something clear, generous and warm had given me a gift
and it would seem a pregnancy test,
hastily purchased at the corner 7-11 (we keep our preg test purchases classy, you can see!) by my husband that Thursday morning
would shed all the light I needed to see.
It's a baby!
With a heartbeat that
left Anthony and I breathless and moved to tears last week when it
pulsed its stong sound across the confines of my womb to a waiting device...
I suffer for carrying:
the first trimester is tough going in some ways,
but I feel like I've joined some sort of unofficial club
whose members number the trillions
throughout history:
I am touching a beautiful commonality
with some of my best girlfriends
and total strangers.
I know I should wait until I am at 13 weeks,
but here at 8 I am so overwhelmed with physical challenge
that my work schedule (upon return)
will need tinkering
and you'll need to understand my limited capabilities.
Should anything happen and this tiny soul decide this is not the right fit
as can happen,
I also want my tribe here:
I will not suffer in silence a loss so astute
though I feel a great sense of admiration and love for women and men
who chose that as their path:
it is very brave.
So far I've tried:
Sea Bands (liking them!)
Ginger candies and chews
peppermint tea
tiny meals
crackers by the bed
music everywhere
hard sour candies (helpful!)
and meditation...
So far, I am aware that some miracles just simply defy
the normal approach.
I pray alot,
I love with a tearful passion
and I turn my head to God daily in grateful acknowledgement.
I ask, I offer
and for as long as I am allowed by heaven and earth,
I grow this life
in awe.
Love you,