Sunday, April 29, 2012

Name It

There has been a struggle of late with a heaviness
that has settled in my chest like a deep snow that intends to stay long past its welcome.

I have spent a few early morning nursing hours looking up "chest ache" and "pain in chest" on the internet, unearthing many astounding and fatal diagnoses,
fodder for my imagination already run wild.

Truly, though I know what ails me
and now that I've contracted it there is not nor will there ever be a cure:


I have a raging case of acute motherhood.

Its symptoms are as follows:

a deep love that aches the heart
and settles into every bone, vein and cell
the animal fear of anything ever harming my Beloved
moon eyes
a sleeve made of ventricles
the nose of a bloodhound
hearing the sound of infant cries on the wind
in the dishwasher
under the cover of sleep
restless nights
sleepless days
(unless your car almost backs into my passenger side while you text and then may God help your soul, amen)
unabashed breast-baring
half-finished tasks
yoga pants


As soon as I was able to name the anxiety
that has been so thick
it released its grip enough for me to dig in to a delicious domestic Sunday
with my men.

I believe that as a Mother I will continue to name what hurts as a greeting of sorts
knowing that everything begs to be understood -

all any inversion of happiness ever wants is to be useful

and so

perhaps just saying, "I see you,"
is the beginning of a meaningful dialogue
with the things we most want to ignore.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Work of Others: Laurie Brown

I feel so blessed and lucky to have in my acquaintance a number of vastly talented ladies and gentlemen:
a veritable community of good-hearted artists.

I had heard of Laurie Brown and seen her soulful, unique and untouchable work with casting via Flickr
and Etsy
but I fell in love with her heart when she cast the claw of a dear girlfriend's recently departed four-legged companion.

Laurie's work is deeply connected to the living and the dead
particularly those of the sea and sky
and I would go so far as to say she is a faithful steward of both, especially winged creatures.

She came down to see Orion last week
and when she departed there was a piece of her left behind;
a ring whose beauty arrests me every time I glance at my hand.

Just when I think all of its secrets are revealed, the light catches another lacy delicate detail and my breath catches in delight!

My favorite part of the weeknight evening comes after Anthony's arrival:
we eat together, sharing our daily doings
and then I take my second shower, (as night can be its own day!)
easing into something soft and comfortable.

In those moments of lamplit freshness I slip this stunning ring on my finger
and meditate:
it feels like a link to something divine, something beautiful and true.

Snippets of her observations and pieces are


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Abundance Series


Labradorite Hammer Formed Droplet Necklace

This series is about having enough
even more than enough...

whatever you currently lament the absence of is
out there waiting for you to match it, joy for joy.

There is something so ripe about these designs
swelled by hammer strokes to a fullness like the curve of a woman


Hammer Formed Arizona Turquoise Flower Ring in size 6

Bursting with good news
and glowing with health

Like the most nourishing substance a body can imagine.

Apache Agate Ring in size 7.25

Featuring stones I dearly love, like this self-cabbed rare apache agate that I finished on the wheels some time ago, coveting its golden translucent scene, rich with bands of red and saffron...

Inquiries welcome


Today and every day may you have everything you need
to feel warm
content and loved.


Thursday, April 19, 2012


Yesterday was Holocaust Remembrance Day.
I know this now not because my own Jewish father reminded me,
but because I saw a picture on a friend's Facebook Feed,
one that I cannot get out of my head.

I won't describe it in detail, save that it is a picture of a man and his child just before losing their lives
and the outpouring of love and soul in their embrace crushed my entire body for the rest of the day and evening.

I looked at the picture and choked back vomit: at any other time in life it would have been hard to see and it would have served its purpose: this happened - never forget-
but now everything has changed.

My son!

I quickly picked my boy up from his slumber and held him close to a broken heart leaking its love
having just witnessed the antiquated ultimate grief and injustice of history
which would repeat itself in the ensuing years
country after country
race after religion...

Upon waking I find that it is still nightmarishly fresh in my mind.

When I dreamt of conceiving a child I did not know it would blow my chest wide open
with a love and compassion never previously thought possible:
if I had only imagined a tenth of this bigness I would have been too scared to try.

When mamas said, "No one can prepare you for the love you will feel" I never understood why their eyes held a mixture of pain and happiness
I think I am beginning to see.

For now I am frozen by it,
a little more scared than I'd like to be
compounded by a terrible night sleep (feeding once an hour, this growing boy!)
and I am wondering how to navigate the groundless next moment (always)
with a heart so big and raw.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


The kindest soul we know with four legs
has definitely seen her share of change and challenge these last six months

and even though she gets jealous and defiantly lap-bound
there is a peace that I feel when I am with her
and a gentle insistent grace that she brings to our family
day and night.

Oh our Janey, we love you so!


Monday, April 16, 2012

Growing Boy...

I have started a blog for the Grandmas:

a photo (or more) a day of Orion
in the hope that they feel closer to him as he grows -

I invite you all to come along for the ride!



Sunday, April 15, 2012

Fresh Off the Wheels

Deep Dark Red Plume Agate with Druzy Canyon

Meant to be set by an adventurous smith, this lovely cab will be for sale

later today!

Priday Plume floral extravaganza!

Red Plume Agate with Druzy pockets galore

Coyamito Agate in the sweetest, softest pastel corals and sherbets

Being on the wheels today felt transformative:
I started the day so strangely sad
and clenched but as the rocks you see went from
their rough slabs to the gorgeous finished pieces you see
I melted and softened.

Anthony is very supportive on the weekends:
it's the time when I get to do the things I know are not safe around the baby (like cabbing and soldering) behind a closed door.

He sends me off with a kiss
telling me to go have fun
just as I did yesterday when he went to the Gun Show (I of course told him the gun show was right here at home while flexing my biceps, but still!):

it's the partner's gift of a few hours away.

While he went up north I drove to the farmer's market with the babe in tow and ate wonderful wood-fired-oven pizza.

I am doing my very best to get back out into the world with him because if I don't then the house becomes a place I find myself not wanting to leave at all, so we have tiny adventures.

The days have been so lovely
but evenings are a challenge-
Orion is going through a very gassy phase (it doesn't seem to be true colic as he can be calmed for periods of time) and whimpers and shrieks and suffers.

We hold him close and lie him flat on the bed, rubbing his belly in a clockwise fashion and try different tactics to calm him.

By midnight be sleeps deeply, waking two or three times a night to feed without tears or pain

and in the morning he offers a radiant smile that makes the previous night just simply feel like an exercise in tenderness
that we passed.

This Tuesday is my 6-week postpartum appointment and I am crossing my fingers that I get the go-ahead to start exercising again in earnest:
oh, to sweat!!!!


Friday, April 13, 2012


wild carrot and chrysoprase 

These beautiful earrings are asymmetrical in their hang
rich in texture
and sumptuous in a finish so satiny they're almost opalescent.

Mendocino fern and vintage coral 

When the strand of oxidized and brushed sterling brushes against the warm copper
they whisper softly, 'shhhhhhhh',
a sound my lips have made all week every evening over a fussy baby

jacaranda and amethyst 

tucking his little bean body up onto my chest, his face on my neck
and it calms him, this ocean lullaby.

unidentified Hawaiian plant and Lucas Valley fern simple teardrop

I like to think that when you wear them the voice of gentle waves will calm a wild day
and soothe an unquiet heart.

nasturtium, Lucas Valley fern and pearl 

I also like to think of you looking fierce as hell while walking down the street
turning heads with your bad self.

Which pair belongs to you?

Reserve them

Sending you love on blustery winds from California,
A & O

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

In Progress...

A series, joyous and buoyant

featuring two plants on every earring;
flora from my adventures near and far

from back yard to Big Island and back

I am calling them double happiness -

they will be paired with a pop of color and some length...
I am excited to share the bunch in a few days!

Dinner is in the slow cooker
(point me to your best slow-cooking recipes or cookbook, will you? I think this piece of kitchenware will be my very favorite companion in the coming months!)

Orion and I are off to visit a good book under
lamplight on this rainy day...


Monday, April 9, 2012


Some days go like this:


 cobble together a respectable 5.5 hours of sleep for the night
eat breakfast with your bestest friend in the world
run to the post office
drop that bestest friend off at the airport
sneak in a wee nap
get ready on time for your doctor's appointment
get the diagnosis you expected: yes, you have thrush in your milk ducts
confirm that yes, Orion is the source
get peed on by the very same baby at his appointment when he is disrobed for the weigh-in (nearly 12 pounds!!!)
watch helplessly as the cherub then soaks his onesie
urine traveling in a liquid arch that reaches the floor
Go into the diaper bag to retrieve the change of clothes your hubby packed for situations such as this only to discover that it is a legless onesie to fit a new born.
Work gently and firmly to fit your big boy's delicious chub rolls into the outgrown garment
Think about a second career in charcuterie, specializing in hand-stuffed sausage...
Note to yourself that the one-shoulder look he is bubbling out of is so Flashdance!
Carry said baby to the pharmacy to get prescriptions with a huge swaddling cloth tied around the front carrier to keep his legs warm
forgo the peeing you need to do in order to justgethomenow(!!)
Breastfeed again in the car as he's in the middle of a fierce growth spurt
Arrive home feeling more accomplished than you ever thought possible
Change a diaper
Drink some tea
Sigh in frazzled contentment.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

If You Live in the Minneapolis Area...

You should really go

And ask to see Julie Rose:

my sister is an extraordinary hairstylist and she gave me a perfect summer cut that made me feel
like putting on a dress and a bit of mascara for the first time since Baby O
blessed us with his presence:



Thursday, April 5, 2012

Update Part Deux

Copper Fern Teardrops with Sterling ear wires

Heart Mandala Necklace with Oxidized Sterling

Large Redwood Mandala Earrings with Sterling ear wires

Copper Rose Petal Teardrops with Sterling ear wires

Hawk Wing Tooled Leather Earrings with Sterling ear wires

Hawk Wing Tooled Leather Earrings with Sterling ear wires
Version II

In the







Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Toast...

My mother always toasts at the beginning of a meal where loved ones are gathered,

"To Good Friends and to God's Goodness"

Today I had three visitors that made me think of that very phrase
because they remind me of how good 
God is

and how lucky I am to have made friends like these
in a new place that felt so far from home for so long.

Amen, my ladies: amen.