Tuesday, January 31, 2012

1 Month of Makery

Sitting here enjoying a Braxton-Hicks contraction in my kitchen,
I fully realized that this is my last month of un-rationed makery before the babe
sees the sun...

I was pawing through my beach detritus looking for stones I could use for a long-promised set of bridesmaid pieces and it turned into nesting: sorting,
paring down, a wee bit of fretting...

What will I make?

Here's what's on the benches in various phases of beginning-ness:

a few final flower rings in copper and sterling,
a very few engraved wing pieces
one last big bag with an anatomical heart and symbolic chakra theme
Self-cabbed chrysoprase with fern frond necklace
mandala clutch
a few mandala half-belts
Knowing that I cannot take a maternity leave in the way most women do (I cannot possibly go three months without digging into something creative and delicious, I just can't, even if I have to sneak 20 minutes every few days...)
there may be the odd piece here and there between March and June,
but mostly I suspect there will be a lot of savoring family
and staring at the One who has given me such joy
throughout this miraculous time we've spent attached.

I am nervous
pulsing with life

My sister's visit was a wonderful thing, full of laughter so fierce it reminded me to do more kegels
and sharing so honest and familiar that I could practically feel my heart knitting itself delicately back to wholeness as we spoke...

What a gift she is to me!


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Trio of Duos

In the


My sister is coming into town tomorrow and so I am off to prepare the house
to her specifications (none, but I love to fuss)
and count the seconds until I squeeze her.

There will be shopping
perhaps a high-fashion photo shoot
and more love than I can even prepare myself for!

Until next week,

Early Morning Story

It's been nearly two weeks now of this heart-pain that wells up in grocery store aisles,
during breakfasts and upon walking around every corner of our home...

two weeks of wondering if I can speak his name without tears (nope)
or tell the story without having to pause for composure (not yet)...

12 days of intimate monologues spoken at God where I shake my fist and apologize and profess gratitude at what gifts we have and then cook and bake furiously to nourish our family
back to smiling...

I work,
I shake my fist
I talk to girlfriends and boyfriends
I walk
My hands turn into bear paws around 8:00 PM
My husband organizes our list of items needed for baby adorably
We talk about a five year plan
I try to return emails and nap instead...

I've been awake since 4:30, Orion having decided that modern dance training was best done on a schedule that shows he's dedicated to his art, New York-style....
he's up in my ribcage and it's amazing the amount of sensation it creates
but I will say this is the first time he's woken me up from deep slumber
practically belting, "Gottaaaaa Daaaaaaance!!!" like a Broadway star...
I love him.
I cradle him now, wrapping my arms around the beach ball bonanza that is my stomach,
belly button out and proud.

I shouldn't be writing this tired, but I am because it helps.
It is company.
The sky is still dark and I cannot call my Mom without waking up my Schmill
and perhaps I will erase this all tomorrow after I catch the three hours more slumber I require to be rested....but for right now I see this medium as a
childhood-paper-cup-telephone of sorts to the women
I adore around the world
many of whom have have been woken up by errant baby limbs at 4:30 AM
or have lost a soul they loved...
my tribe.

I wanted to share a moment of levity with you,
a laugh that surely saved our sanity in the midst of chin-wobbling grief.

We went last night to pick up the ashes of our Jones
from the Emergency Clinic where he passed away like a whisp inside the warmth
of Anthony's arms
of course the tears, goodness the tears
and a hold-on hug in the car
and a too-tight grip on the little cedar box in my lap as we drove

and then I ask Anthony,
"Wasn't the company that made Jones fit in this box called Babbling Brook Something?"
And Anthony says,
"Yes, that or Mossy Meadow or Peaceful Pine Grove..."
and we chuckled a bit
because who the fuck comes up with these horrible misnomers?

and then I wondered aloud why they weren't more forthcoming in their business name
about the macabre nature of their business

and Anthony says, "Maybe because 'Crazy Eddie's Pet Incineration and Carpet Cleaning' doesn't have the same sort of ring to it that the others do..."
and we belly laughed
like you can only do with swollen eyes
and a broken heart.

It was the first indication we've had that there is a way out of this
dim place, that this world is ridiculous enough to be funny
even when you hold one of the loves of your life on your lap
in a box he himself would have knocked off the kitchen table to wake your ass
up at 5:00 A.M simply because he wanted a headbutt and a chin scratch.

Life is bananas.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I Carry You in My Heart


Yes, you are gone.
Perhaps you moved to Paris with the job that we both agreed you could not pass up
or maybe you've crossed a river mythic and entered a land of mystery where we will someday
run to each other
as though not a day has passed...

Certain as the sun will rise I ache your absence
and receive you in dreams
that make waking feel like a task...

Yes, you are gone

But I carry you in my heart.

The ghost of you
The life of you
The wonder of our time together
in all its beauty, mundane and special...

I could either announce my love for you to the world
or keep it secret and silent in my heart
like a special stone
tucked in my pocket
on whose surface I run my finger over and over
until there is a groove
like 1,00 years of wild wind over the hills of Marin...

For some reason it appeals to me more,
that gentle confidence of loving you
like a confession only I can hear

A prayer
That things eternal now rest in His palm
as safe and loved as when they touched mine.


This bag is a lightweight one,
with a very long (42 inch) strap for cross-body carrying.
It is meant for someone who understands.

Inquiries welcome


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Work of My Heart


I know that all of the pieces I've been tucking under my palms over the last few weeks
have been coming from a place of healing

And I know this because I feel bolstered by them, fed by them.
They are surely the work of my hands, but the impetus has come from the heart.

In this collection there will be a celebration of our little boy's namesake
constellation and that celestial body's role in my childhood

But there is also a reverence for ghosts and longing in these pieces...

In Hawaii the wall of maidenhair ferns outside of a lava tube arrested my attention for far longer than the main attraction itself: I was so amazed by their tenacity, clinging to a sheer-looking rock face,
the young tender green ferns living side by side with the white
ghosts of plants previously thriving
empty of chlorophyll
and simply beautiful in their starkness...


We live with our dead, too, just not in the same way.
These pieces that feature the white ghost ferns
are an homage to those we've loved
both living and gone.

There will be two half-belts
one raw-edged golden deerskin bag with mandalas on both sides
three or four pairs of earrings
and a necklace.

I hope to show them to you finished on Thursday

If you feel that any of these pieces resonate with you,
please convo me
to receive the details of their cost, measurement and feel.

I wish you all a calm, gorgeous day here on earth.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Swooping in to Make Things Sweet

My sister-friend Terra flew in to see us this weekend before embarking
on her whirlwind tour of Europe,
and she brought her little Elliott Osito.

Together they've filled our house with much-needed laughter, joy

and near-painful cuteness.

We are so lucky to have a friend (two, if you count the pom love!)
like this who hops a jet just to spend some time.

I hope your weekend is treating you gently
in all ways.

I have new work to share with you this coming week,
mandalas and constellation
work in leather and suede.

With love,

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Forced Harvest

On Monday night there was a hard freeze here in the Bay Area.
Weather service announcements spoke of bundling up your succulents,
taking in fruit from the trees...

the thought of losing the bulk of our Meyer lemons, small as they still are
was a tough one and so we had a forced harvest;
somewhere around ten pounds of lemons from two trees.

I have plans to make Meyer Lemon sorbet
and can a few containers of curd for the coming months, for friends...

but today I made THIS cake as a surprise dessert for Schmilly
and I snuck a bite.... it has the most exquisite texture and taste of any sweet I've ever

I've been trying to include delicious things in our everyday since Saturday night
because we are just so sad
with our swollen eyelids and ragged voices.

I've not returned a lot of communication
and I am not answering my phone very much; I spend a lot of my time in the kitchen
or in the studio tooling mandalas
to bring a bit of meditation into this tough process...

Please know how much I (we, actually) appreciate every word and gesture.

I have a companion throughout it all, though, and she makes my days bearable.
She is so vigilant, so kind and so very maternal, all things I need so much more than ever...

when I nap she sleeps against the babe under the covers,
impervious to his movements

and when I crumble
she comes close and curls into the space between
my massive belly and an arm,
looking into me and blinking slowly.

She runs around the house calling out to her missing alpha
and yet with each passing hour she seems to embrace her new role with gusto...
(trying on the crown, as a good friend said very recently)

we are a home in transition
bumbling and tripping our way through grief and sadness
mixed with the anticipation of a new life...

I stand in awe of the dichotomy.


Sunday, January 15, 2012


My heart is so broken that my fingers can barely type the words:

our sweet Jones is at peace
and we begin our unique journey of mourning and celebrating
his beautiful, hilarious and willful life.

He was the only animal I've ever known
who solely belonged to us as we belonged to him.

When visitors came, be they family or friends he was always cordial (with the exception of peeing in one visitor's suitcase, good Lord I was so mortified)
but it was Anthony and I who were given the fullness of his heart and his magnificence.

When the house was empty of guests and the last car had pulled away
he would give us tons of headbutts and cuddle in close
as if to say, "Finally, I get you both to myself again."

Like so many gorgeous young things with huge charisma and passion
in massive supply,
he burned hard and fast
too briefly
for us to show him
the years of love we have to give.

When I think of our grief I feel very sorry for myself, for Anthony...
but when I think of his soul
I feel like the space around my heart is miles wide
and blue as his eyes...
as the sky.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

In It

This morning I awoke to the drumming of tiny arms
and legs in my body

at 8:42

The thermostat read 58 degrees , quickly remedied
and as I puttered about quietly I heard the
healthy hum and whir of the furnace
making cozy

Coffee woke the man I love
Cat food can opening brought in the furry one I spoil
and I chuckled to myself
as he whirled and mewed at my feet,
full of spark and life.

We all assembled in the kitchen
over steel-cut oatmeal with cranberries and walnuts

Janey got her dose of love

Jones got his pill, his shot and as many pets as he would suffer
after such abuse

And our son rolled happily all through it,
stoking the ever-growing wish to meet him
and see that sweet face:

we're so excited hold him!

This weekend it is my wish for you
that your cup steameth
and overfloweth
with goodness
and abundance:

we send our regards out into the world
with love.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

How We Are

I've wanted to write here every day and
share the joy or the concern therein
but I've been learning that I can't;

instead I've worked like a madwoman, escaping into ever widening circles and patterns on leather and metal.

It's roller coaster enough here in my heart, I am certainly not going to
get you all excited and then crash you over and over again.

This is all to say that we are full of highs and lows, and instead of growing frustrated with them, I am trying with all my grit (and I am gritty as all hell)
to have patience.

Yesterday we took a calculated risk considering the state of Jones's heart
and went to the vet for a fluid tap to see if we could get him more comfortable.

1.5 liters of fluid were drained; I know, I know it seems impossible...
he was a champ all through the process, outwardly calm and patient with everyone involved
and the level of comfort that he is experiencing now is amazing as compared to before the visit:

he greeted me at the door today when I came home from a walk.
I picked him up as I've always done and he laid his head on my shoulder as if he were normal
except there was no purring
and he has that haunted look of one not well
but I celebrated anyway
in my heart;
balloons, chocolate cake, one more moment of normalcy with my little man.

Heavens, don't let me cling!!

Janey has been such a good girl through all of this,
a dedicated darling nearly always perched on my lap.

She spends the day with me in my studio, enjoying the big comfy chair
as Jones gets the couch all to himself, a coup!

Something of significance that this time of weighty decisions
has gifted us with:

I have been unsure of the difference between instinct and fear in my heart of late;
the masquerade ball is in full effect, and just when I've convinced myself that something is so definitely instinct
it rips off its mask and shouts, "Aha!! Fear wins again!"
in an upper-crust British accent, drunk with glee!

Oh, dear....

so when it came to the decision to tap the fluids, I deferred to my husband who was passionately for it: I would rather we had regret than resentment,
wondering what could have been if we had only tried...

Partnership is amazing that way; when you falter, there is someone else there to help
things balance out and vice versa.

So that is where we are, this is the state of things...
constantly in flux
given to random bouts of joy and fitful tears,
considering the lightness and weight of the daily
with as much grace as our prayers afford.

We are well, we are tougher than we knew (both two and four-legged)
and perhaps that
is the miracle we've hoped for all along.

With Love,

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Brush Strokes

Note:Oh, dear! These went so much faster than I could have ever anticipated:
I will work on a few more pairs of earrings and a necklace or two for Monday's
thank you so much for catching the feeling that these babies are giving, and be sure to stop by on Monday if you missed the reserves!













Expect the ensuing necklaces
and earrings
to be in the Leather Shop

Is there a pair of earrings that speaks to you?
A necklace that demands you wear it?

Please do


I will mark them each as they are reserved.

With love,

Friday, January 6, 2012

Being of Service

I have become a devoted servant over the last few days
holding up a dish of water under a thirsty chin

faithfully injecting helpful medicines

sitting by the low bed that is home

waiting for the signs that we would normally never wish for...

And in between I work
and do the laundry
and nest a bit.

I've found that mostly what I want to create are patterns
or pieces using plant materials
new metals
like red brass

And then I hold them all in my hands and see that the results
of the instincts are measured and peaceful:

I like when pieces have a feel to them.

I like when the intention of a piece is to be of service, a small heartfelt caretaker of the part of us that craves beauty and needs to drink deep.

Yesterday I bought a painting from a dear friend and I could tell the moment I looked at it that it was going to heal and unify bits of life that so need it:
with every piece she sends out, a sigh of relief for the receiver, a gift consistent in its giving from day one to generations next...

Today my friend Laurie Brown is heading down from San Francisco to say hello to all of us,
and I cannot wait.

I sincerely hope that all is well in your world, dear reader;
is the sun shining where you are today?