Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Chrysoprase Calm and a Maybe

I know I spoke of this week being a time of leather,
and perhaps it will be, but
perhaps it will not...

The whim of nature seems to have shifted,
and at my prenantal this morning I was told I have very high blood pressure
combined with protein in the pee,
the combination is an indicator of pre-eclampsia, something
that will mean I will be induced quickly
if blood work/continued blood pressure readings confirm suspicions.

I feel a great deal of calm about this development after wrestling with it this morning;
yes, the natural birth I so wanted might be a thing of the past, but I can still most certainly 
experience the birth of this boy with grace and wonder:
I know quite a few mamas who found goodness in the not-as-I-had-hoped birth experience
and every single one said that the resulting babe was worth every moment

and they would do it all again to meet him or her....

THAT brings me such peace.

So today I worked slowly and methodically, as I am not yet on bed rest
and I finished this flower I'd been mooning over for the better part of a few weeks:
a light chrysoprase at its center,
the ring itself a size 7. 

What is it about metal, sometimes even more than leather that calms me?
Leather gets to the heart of me in a different way.
I have to say, metals and the process of sculpting, cleaning and polishing them makes for some serious delight, some zoned-in Zen.

Since tomorrow might be my last day to work, I decided today to also finish up the canvas for an orphan ring.
This chrysoprase was cabbed by me a few weeks ago from a beautiful slab I found
at a rock show: it's so translucent, so apple green and has these lovely dendrites and the streaks of what looks white are actually tiny drusy pockets not yet unearthed: spectacular!


I paired it with a simple setting, sterling bubbling all around like fine caviar
in layer upon layer...

It's seriously decadent.
This ring can be made in any size, but it would look best on a middle or ring finger.

The shank will be made tomorrow if it gets snapped up
and all of my last pieces would be shipped in the latter part of the day.

Want to be the mama of this orphan?

Convo me

Thursday's morning prenatal appointment could lead to 
everything going quiet around here for a time:

this is perfect training for the actual care of our boy:
things will require more flexibility, more open-endedness
once he arrives!!

I will do everything in my power to keep you posted!

With so much love,
Allison and Baby O

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Oh Those Moments...

In updating my software for the iPhone I uploaded all of my pictures
for safekeeping on my laptop and external hard drive.

Inevitably there were oh so many of our creamsicle Jones

and I laughed and cried the way you do when you unexpectedly come across pictures
of that ex that broke your heart and rocked your world...

you know, the beautiful one
that got away.

Even though there was a sadness in my perusal
there was also a rich celebration
of a life well-lived

full of humor, passion and so much love.

Wasn't he just the most beautiful boy?

We are so lucky to have been his people.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Resplendent Quetzal


In South America there is a bird of mythic beauty and nobility, with long tail feathers
and a strange, stout head.

It is both adorable and almost eerie in its build, so unlike
North American birds.

Legend says that if a quetzal is taken into captivity, the bird ends its own life

and so it has become an international symbol of liberty
in its home countries.

I hammer engraved one on a sturdy sterling plaque
and strung the picture
on fluorite by hand

a gorgeous rainbow
to accompany this symbolic creature
and all its beauty.

The piece fits as would a 16 inch necklace.

To inquire or reserve,
please write to me


Thursday, February 23, 2012


Fern and chrysoprase drops

Fresh beauty will be in the shop momentarily:

Jacaranda and sterling cameos

These last few days I have been learning the humility of limitations,
namely the physical kind.

I am big with baby
rich with lovely and adorable visitors
and completely sapped by the last few weeks of gestation...

naps are a non-optional requirement daily
and for someone used to hosting
and doing
with great gusto, this new phase of things (read: utter exhaustion)
is just such newness.

Single Fern Frond Necklace with Chyrysoprase

The mothers among you must be smiling with kind knowingness:
just wait until he comes into this world, right?
Surely this time will look positively Herculian!!

And still the urge to create beautiful pieces
I hope to burn this gift out in the coming weeks
so there are no distractions when Orion arrives Earthside...

next week almost promises leather pieces:
last moon mandalas for the lobe and chest
a clutch
a belt...



Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Ferns and Wings and Peridot and Beach Pottery...


Hammer formed fern fronds
riveted with sterling and 14k gold wires

The feel of Hawaii in the whole piece...


Peridot and cicada wing earrings, riveted with a single sterling punctuation mark
at the bottom of the wings...

Single Copper fern frond with sterling silver rivets

All of these pieces will be in the

Thursday late morning (sorry for the delay, you know... pregnancy and all!)

Have a beautiful day,
Sunny and Baby O

Monday, February 20, 2012

You Should Have This, Too....

You will be so glad I showed you where to find this miraculous recipe...

of brown butter

apple pie -



For Bravery





I am practically giddy to see who will take this gorgeous beast as their heart's companion...

He can be found


Sunday, February 19, 2012


Today I promised myself that I would make all manner of things
like blood orange curd
and bread for guests tomorrow
and finish a few necklaces

instead I sit here reminiscing...
it's nice.

I am running around the high school track at 11 years old listening to my walkman, in it a tape of Rick Astley singing "It would take a strong strong man to ever let you go"
rewinding over and over again to hear the drum machine beginning so my endorphins could
send my feet flying faster...

I have vivid memories of my very very bad/delicious high school boyfriend
arriving in Ohio to take me on a weekend of apology spoiling at the end of my freshman year of college
It was totally chaste and awesome; he picked me up in his big old yellow VW bus with the Charlie Brown stripes
we swam in a reservoir
ate roadside strawberries until our stomaches were aching
went to diners...

it was late May in Ohio with the lingering amber-fresh evenings
and I remember thinking after he dropped me off and puttered back to Pennsylvania
that we all wish someone would show up at our door and say, "I was such a fool - you were great and I am sorry"
and here it was, the ultimate non-verbal speech
done as only he could have...

Soon after this I am walking home from the N train while living in Queens,
the cold air of early spring or late fall
the exhilaration of somehow surviving the adventure of it all for another month
and bold in my gorgeous youth...
the men on their milk crates with their canes and mustaches
talking into evening

The lights from the ground on every night flight
I took alone
as I traversed the country for love or family or work
all of these years

so much space in between the places people live so far below...

Here in my body
another waits for his own memories to be made
though he will experience his life so differently.

It's the crest of a hill I am reaching for here in these last weeks of gestation,
the understanding that I will grow old
and live vicariously through a generation whose upswing I will experience firsthand...

I hope I am the 'cool' mom.
I hope I make him happy
and I pray that life treats him with such goodness that he too spends his Sunday afternoons
remembering moments of loveliness that led up to this one
like reflections
climbing facets in the light...

Friday, February 17, 2012

One Last Batch

I will be working through the weekend
as next week will be rich with time spent adoring friends from abroad;

I cannot even believe that this is the last batch of pieces
I will work on before I close up shop for a while:

I am looking at three pairs of earrings
four necklaces and two rings,
the theme being flowers and ferns.

There may be a few more pieces in the coming weeks, but I am
not counting on anything - I know Orion could arrive anytime after today
safely and sweetly, and I intend to go be his mama with all my might when that moment comes!

One of the most exciting pieces on my plate is the hammer engraved lion you see above with that gorgeous Australian Print Stone:
there is a kindness and nobility in the eyes of that sterling beast that took me
by surprise when he was finished...
he is for protection
but I think he's for wisdom as well.

Hammer engraving him was tremendous labor
and I cannot wait to see the finished piece, it's so close to my heart!

I just woke from my afternoon nap
and I am feeling the pull of the studio's lamplight
and wonders...

off to brew a cup of tea
and smooth some edges for a few hours!

With love,

Thursday, February 16, 2012

36 weeks tomorrow

I want to say that time has flown, but it has not really flown...
it's been more of a meandering car ride in an old jalopy.

I can remember the test, hastily purchased from 7-11
that yielded a plus sign after two previous negatives
and it feels like that was a million years ago.

I've lived in a state of gift for these nearly nine months,
in spite of tragedy and triumph...
during every tear and with every step this child has grown big and strong within me,
an everyday miracle
mixed in with making popovers
and running my little beautiful business.

Cells specialized as I drank red rooibos tea
and the tiniest flutters accompanied me to yoga and Korean lunches...

We are so close to meeting him
and I cherish these hours and days because never again will it just be me and him
navigating this awesome earth in the same body...

the million tiny surrenders begin soon!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

All the Love in the World Bag

Big and bold and girly and strong...

representing an energy center and a way of living
that I hold dear....

full of the literal


and powerful things that make loving the most important
job one can undertake.

A reserve may be pending on this piece already, but if it does not take, I will
list in the

this evening or tomorrow morning,
whichever the babe will allow.

With All my heart,

Monday, February 13, 2012

Everybody's Working for the Weekend

And now I have that song stuck in my head: thanks, self!!

The post title was meant to be a lesson in contrast: most people work a
set schedule, jobbing all week and then hanging out on the weekend doing the other things they love, exercising, visiting, etc... I operate in an open schedule that sometimes results in heavy work on 'off-peak' times like the weekend, like the wee small hours of the morning (though not so much with this babe-manufacturing)

when the inspiration hits hot and heavy for design, I simply hold on to my hat and navigate a suddenly desperate scene: I am hungry for time,
no amount will satisfy.

Days fly, nights are simply nourishment for the power I need to finish a task...

I burn with it.

These last few days in particular have been so
feverish that I rose up a dry husk this morning, hand stitched a few pieces
and then went back to bed for a few hours
to counter the depletion.

It may sound stark or imbalanced, but on the contrary it is what makes a maker feel alive, these times of richness.

The lucky part of these designs I conceived of late is their meditative aspect:
the gorgeous monotony of hand-stitching,
the measured hammering of a mandala...

there is peace in the work, balance and joy in the design, a symmetry I normally eschew
in favor of natural chaos.

May I ask a word of advice from the mamas among you?

That drive you got right before the arrival of the new life
to clean out drawers
and make the house spotless
to organize all things
and feather the nest to perfection:

did you succeed? Or was it just a stressor you let go of
in order to keep yourself sane?
Is there a happy medium?

All advice appreciated!


Friday, February 10, 2012

What's Good and Fresh

There is something about knowing I have a finite amount of time to be making actively and regularly that has lit a divine fire under my birthing hips...

I enter the studio as though I have a fever
but instead of more cowbell, the only thing that will heal me is WORK.



I have said since I've become pregnant that love has been the biggest thing on my mind,
that thoughts and actions have become suffused with a tenderness
that almost hurts
it is so strong...

As I get closer to meeting the One who lies at the center of this peace
I find this powerful force has moved from my trunk to my limbs.

My heart and center feel rich in different ways ; full, I guess would be the right word
but my hands and feet feel hot with restless ardor...

I have nearly completed a fern and mandala clutch...
Am in the middle phase of a chakra/anatomical heart big bag made of the best blood red leather
hide you could ever imagine (look at the rugged spots, the shallow cuts near the anatomical heart mandala above - I was so greedy to include those in the bag - they are so real and rich!)


and as spring approaches, I have a dogwood and mandala half-belt in the works.

My educated guess is that all of these pieces will see completion next week,
starting with the clutch that is mostly finished.

If you have any questions about anything you see, please feel free to

me - I will be accepting reserves.

The manner in which I have been working this month will likely serve me well once
the babe is in arms:
consistent daily flow, slow and steady.