Saturday, September 29, 2012

Mornings Around Here

"Janey, this is just a social visit," I reminded our sweet girl whose nose edged ever closer and closer to O's breakfast...


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Aspirational Blogging: on Authenticity, Artifice and Studio Toots


I feel compelled before I begin writing this to pause and collect my points
because this post won't be popular to some

because it asks something of its intended readers

that we all don't necessarily want to do.

Gentle reader, this post is not a take-down of the pretty girl
nor is it a condemning of the artful photograph.
It will neither celebrate nor denigrate the mathematical equation of realness to beauty divided by grim reality and narcissism.

This post is a challenge to the dark parts of us that cringe at the false cheerful portraits we see and yet continue to click on a blog or website we despise
to the part that sinks when we see someone else's success 
or crows when a mighty egotist fails

This post
is a tough pill to swallow if you were hoping I'd throw in some slightly veiled barbs at women you may not like
or who have hurt you, me or us.

That won't happen in this space today or ever: 
I have too much love in my heart to dabble in immaturity and too big a realization that this heart only has so many beats before I'll be dead,
before this magnificent life will burn out and whip me back into the Mystery.

There will be no elbow-nudging you with my clever cruelty like, "Eh?Eh? See whatididthere, yeah?"


this post is a request that you 




Figuratively speaking.

(In writing 'you' I am also addressing myself, lest this come across as preaching from a mountain top of personal power and awesomeness.)

I have thought about this subject for so long and hard my brain has muscles
and the conclusion I've arrived at is that the power to choose joy or aggravation is within our grasp and merely requires that we demand self-reliance and strength.

It's too easy to choose the evil twin: we look at a beautiful blog and we feel slovenly there in our sweatpants and bedhead, the cellulite clinging to our haunches miraculously missing from the tawny thigh of glimmering self-portraits that celebrate the miracle in everyday living.
I understand: 
that's tough to handle even for the confident
even when the sweatpants are cocktail dresses or business casual
even when our everyday looks pretty passable:

a good day pales in comparison to his there in the Brooklyn Coffee Shop, bokeh from a good lens shot behind his thick perfectly fashionable vintage eyeglasses

or hers vaulting across a dappled meadow with three wild-haired kids and a smile that rivals the sun...

but dear friend,
no one's life looks like they look online.
They're human
just like you and me
and the reason that they blog in the first place runs the gamut of infinite possibility
from the greatest pain to the most overwhelming joy.

They fart in their studios
wake with bad breath
cry ugly
yearn for things unmet
fold laundry
wrestle with demons and lose

There are no rules
and that kinda pokes at our sense of justice, doesn't it?
Can't we all be a part of something honest and without artifice?

Not everyone can be honest.

So here's what I propose for all of us who have ached with a sense of missing some big announcement on How to Live According to Curation -

Use that sense of deflation to pinpoint what you most wish to change.

If all you want to do is find someone company for your misery you can stop reading here: the rest is for those who want to take a juicy bite out of life in all its bitter and sweet.

Your heart aches at the scenery of her country living?
Gas up the car and get out of the city.
You look at her perfect coif and tuck a frazzled end behind your ear like you have since the last subpar haircut you got?
Get online and research salons in your area: search Yelp for reviews and get your hair done.
Take that course
plan that party

The thing that pokes us may be the very thing we feel is missing from our lives: going and doing something about it empowers the observation and gives rise to our own adventures or the investment in a torch or pottery wheel or horse.
Read up on how to maximize your point-and-click to get some great pictures
plant a tiny garden
get out that dusty paint set...

Use the twinge!

An ignored stomach twist can grow into a green-eyed monster quicker than you would imagine
but if your twinges lead you toward the unfulfilled in order for you to fulfill them, what a gift!

What a gift!!

The other option that applies to that feeling we've all gotten that this perfect scene has a snake coiled around the rafters
or that the noble words of self-bravery are a dig at someone else's expense
is to simply stop reading.
Stop going to that website
unless you like to feel uncomfortable.

The careful curation of a life has nothing to do with you, other than that you read it and appreciate it or simply pass on by to find other material.

I find that personally
there was nothing like pushing a human being out of my body and into the world
(with all of birth's pain, glory, blood and strength)
that quelled the desire to read pretty things with little depth.
I currently favor cooking blogs
because they help me feed my family and I love to hear the stories behind a dish.

Sometimes sweet streudel has a surprising origin
and chicken soup contains the power to heal a marriage as well as the common cold.

I love the blogs of friends
of fellow designers
and florists
and motorcycle mechanics
of seekers
and humorists

but I run like Hell when I catch a twee tone emanating from syrupy words;
someone writing about how to have a good marriage must be honest and grounded for me to keep reading and coming back.
I like problem-solvers.

Everyone has their tastes (I am writing on an empty stomach, can you tell?)
mine have grown grittier and simpler as the babe gets big
as I age
as my Bullshit meter gets crazy-accurate and fine-tuned...

If these words sound harsh it must just be that I am tired and ragged at the edges
but they are filled with so much love, I hope you can feel that.

I want you to see that there are ways to approach this genre of writing and reading that help you hone your energetic instincts and honor your time and interests:
blogs are awesome and often chock full of useful tidbits and community
in ways that uplift and inspire.

Don't waste any time being upset about how another person is managing their work and expression:
go out into this big bold world and experience 
it fully -

who knows what your shared experiences will gift another in frustration
or appreciation.

With Love,



Friday, September 21, 2012

Outrageous Cocktail Dames

These ladies are so beautiful, their personalities so effervescent and unique that I am tempted to name them:
if I did that I'd have a bear of a time parting, and they are meant to have a place out there in the world
with a woman of equal sparkle and sass.

Let me introduce the three dames for three digits!

This Graveyard Point Plume Agate was cabbed by me.
True story: I never did like this type of rock much when I'd see a full slab of it in others' collections. It seemed like everyone had a slab or two of Graveyard Point that they were more than happy to part with.

On that trip to take the enameling class that changed my life
we stopped at that weird and dilapidated rock shop on the 101 (literally you can lay tire pulling off to get there!)
and for the first time I was intrigued by the stuff, by the Graveyard Point
so I bought a slab and I cabbed this stone myself.

High polish
deep sunny plumes
and a drusy pocket with a white plume poking through the surface...

I am hooked. This rock is magic and it has singlehandedly changed the tune I hum about its brethren.

Can you blame me?
Surrounded by luminous spheres of sterling this big beautiful sunny hussy
is a size 10.


Horse Canyon agate from the Tehachapi Pass in California's Central Valley.
Heaven help my heart.
This is the gentle sister of the bunch.

Size 6.5

Touched by an angel...
 this is one of the most dramatic stones I've ever had the pleasure of setting.


Lastly, the piece de resistance, the baddest bitch of the bunch:
Priday Plume and Moss agate in a bouquet formation.
You are seeing correctly - those 'flowers' are pink and peach.
Pink and peach buried under the earth for millions of years.

I love rocks. I love how nerdy and sexy and undeniable they are, how much each one has a power that you have to hold to feel it, though they do sing a mighty siren song from afar.
This particular one is a prime example of why Priday is synonymous with beauty in the lapidary world


I cabbed this one, too.

The setting is full of piercing and sweetly placed spheres
in a pattern that looks like nerves and water all at once.

This one is a hair under size 8.

All three are available for reserve

and what does not get nabbed from the blog
will be available this coming week, along with the unclaimed babyproof rings.

Have a beautiful weekend my dear readers!


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Baby Proof Rings

I had a reader inquire some weeks ago about smaller rings - did I ever make any?
I wrote to her letting her know that as I have been taking care of a small baby, I too needed smaller rings!

It's just simply not practical to have a gorgeous big cocktail ring on while changing diapers and looking after a human bobblehead.

So here is a batch of beauties in a more delicate size -
allow me to introduce you!

Chrysoprase with 14k gold accent in size 5.75

Mookaite in gorgeous pink, purple and cream with textured bezel, size 6.75


Imperial jasper with amber agate top, size 9


Tricolor Natural Fluorite in size 5

Even if you're not tending to a tender babe,
it's nice to have some simplicity of finger adornment every now and then.

In a few days I'll have some big beauties to show you, too!

After that all will be quiet whilst I entertain a beloved long leggy dame
and meet a longtime girlfriend from the other side of the country.

The month of October may be just reserved for custom orders.

I am thinking of offering two big bag custom orders,
a clutch
two 'open' reserves for the leather shop
two enamel painted memory necklaces 
and a few 'open' reserves in the metal shop.
I get ahead of myself.

For now, if you wish to inquire after baby proof series,

write to me


Sweet Little Sale


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Finishing Project Day 4

Loving his little shadow on the porch wall
I took the camera out this evening
to capture the ears
and eyelashes of my babe

Midway through a series of photos
I went to kiss his cheek

and instead he grabbed my face in both his outrageously chubby hands
squeezing like I was the last lemon on earth
I got a sip of chilly nose
and prayed that my hair stay on my head
as he pulled mighty and tight
gurgling with joy at his catch

There are not enough words for this feeling.

He shines through the bleak
of the season's change, of its sadness, its slanting light
and saves my soul
like a tiny

reminding me of a Christmas Carol about a torch that lilts,
"Ah, ah... beautiful is the mother ah ah, beautiful is the child"

The Rarities

King Cobra Jasper Cabochons
in shades of rare earth:
lipstick brick
light sage green
clear quartz pockets
rich browns
bands of cream...

Because this material is so damn hard to find I feel
so privileged to be here
showing you three cabochons that will go in

later today.

Working this jasper over the wheels feels almost oily in the smoothness of the stone.
I close my eyes and pretend I am on the continent of India, a place I've longed to travel for a while now...
Like any brecciated jasper, it is hard to get a uniformity of polish due to the combination of materials all within one stone, but I am so pleased with how domed and smooth they are!

Secondly we have the beautiful black agate with plume material I showed you upon my return from Minneapolis:
boy is this stuff fragile and amazing!
Pieces of the slab just melted into my hands as I trimmed the shapes out:
in the end, the shape of the cabochon was dictated by the strength and weaknesses of the rock itself.
There are all sorts of pits and pockets and unhealed fractures that go only halfway through the rock, 
meaning they're safe to set - bezel would be best. 

This big guy has a deep drusy pocket that runs along the left side: see it?

The last of the offerings is a pristine Lucky Strike agate I've been keeping close to me for some time now:
the coloration is rare as rare can be - look on google for the agates and you'll see - mostly water lines, reds blacks and yellows in a Lucky - this has coral, pink greens and yellows in tan agate.
I feel its person is out there in the world, waiting to wrap it in a sterling embrace!
It has a really neat matte white inclusion that brings drama and a sense of wonder to the stone:

you never know what you will find in a thunderegg!!

The baby wakes from his morning nap:
see you over at

later today!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Finishing Project, Day 3 (technically, but day two for moi)

Before Orion was born
the woman who lived next door was the mother of our cat-sitter.
She had been sick for some time
and passed when our son was three months old
The last day of the estate sale
I made fresh bread and joined all the neighbors who had
gathered to lift our friends
with food and wine
 lawn chairs
late evening company
Moving vans came 'round
and the footprint of that two story house
whirled into motion
foreign and exciting
after living next to silence for over two years
Nectarine gallette brought over on Anthony's hand-me-down plate
a grand tour
offers for the oldest girl to babysit
plate returned by a nervous and sweetly serious boy
in flannel pj pants
who wanted to know what it was
("a rustic pie," I said, suddenly feeling too grown-up)
and told me it tasted good
This morning I heard the mama
slightly off key and beautiful like a bird
the kids bellow each others' names
through the halls and out of doorways
we hear arguments, laughter
and the click of dog nails on the back porch
After so much aged silence
and shuttered blinds
suddenly a family has bloomed 
 there is the smell of dinner cooking through open windows
calls for help with groceries
toilet lids smacking shut and showers hissing steam
teenagers with purple hair and long limbs
intelligent conversations in the back yard on weekend nights till late
lights on at two a.m.
above us
from the second floor
like moonbeams
long wished for

Monday, September 17, 2012

Finishing Project, Day 1.

The sound of a letter followed seamlessly by "ahh"
repeated musically 
in a rosebud mouth

is babble to some
or annoyance to the heartless few

but to me it is an incantation
that puts butterflies in my stomach
and lights these tired eyes

Who among us isn't bewitched by the sound of a soul
discovering their body?

If any hands should raise

I suspect they are neither mother
my heart's kindred.

to read more about Candace's 
Finishing Project,


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Goldfish Necklaces, for Moving Forward.

I am a creature of the past, it's true.
Are you?

I mull, I turn I process 
and eventually

something comes that propels me back to the ever-present moment in which we live

despite rich memories and myths
there is nothing else but the now

it has always been so.

As Orion and I journey into a more confident and balanced phase of mothering
I wondered what creature I could
craft that would represent

and the first mental image was the fins and tails
and gills and shimmer
of goldfish.

Things that -ethereal as they are- represent a perfect natural machine.

Out of the stagnant
and loaded past

into this moment with clarity and grace.

Ah, grace...

the one thing that we could never get too much of.

These pieces are made with the intention and prayer
of motion
and a release of anything heavy.

Enamel graphite and watercolor on copper
layer after layer of color
and wish
strung on sterling silver oxidized chain
with little bubbles as anchors.



Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Secret blog and Facebook page sale in the Leather Shop:
  30% off of everything you see!!
Enter coupon code SUNNYAUTUMN12 at checkout for spectacular savings!


Monday, September 10, 2012

Mange Bien!!

(Distinguished graying french waiter):

Eh Bien, bonjour Monsieur Etoile!!! 
Will you be having the peas and rice this fine morning?
Very well!

The temperature of the room, just as you prefer, Monsieur!

To the breaking of your fast, a votre sante!

why yes, it does taste of the spring morning in Caen!!!
My mother lives -- of course, Monsieur. You remember, how kind!
I will tell her your asked after her petit chien, Olivier.

Interesting, Monsieur...I have heard that a slight nomming of one's own finger does accent the taste of the peas....
I should try it, too?
Well, if you insist....I.....well zut alors!!!!
Even more delicieuse!!

It is not so frequent that a diner here asks me to eat with him, you must understand:
I am so honored and your company is so 

Mon Dieu!! Look at the time! You will be late for your appointment for storytime
a la bibliotheque!!

Please allow this to be on the house -
Monsieur, we insist. so kind as to leave the napkin undigested, Monsieur Etoile...
Oui. It tastes of la Mer et le soleil. Oui.
Brilliant as always, magnifique!!!

Merci Beaucoup pour tout!!!

Au revoirs!!!