Monday, September 30, 2013


Postscript: MIND BLOWN. Thank you, dearest dearests.

Days like the few that just flew by are such a lovely reminder of how blessed we are
that kindred spirits come into our home
laugh with us
dine with us
share stories and celebrate our child...

I keep getting knocked on my can by waves of gratitude.
Thank you, Everything.

Today I am opening up Twelve Custom Spots in the Metal Shop

for pieces that will be shipped to their intended beloveds by the holidays.

This year's custom work could not be described any other way than transformative.
I am still working through a few amazing designs for the Leather Shop's last wave of custom orders, and as my hands are a little carpal-sensitive it's slow going.

That's ok. My people have patience and good souls.

Goodness abounds.

The best of nights to you, dear friends!


Friday, September 27, 2013

Turquoise Magic Spells and Continuation of the Failure Series

Friends, I am running on coffee.

Sleep has been fitful as the Muse is visiting and HOW.
I eat color, forgetting to feed my mouth.
This week it is turquoise that nourishes the most
and as the earrings came out of their polishing places
they got decked out in blue.

Kingman, all.

and juicy sweet Chrysoprase on this lovely flower.
Green and blue all over.

The unrest of assimilating a new soul into our house also plays into the tired
of my limbs.
Slow, slow slow it goes: Lil' Joe lives in the Mudroom for now, content to watch the girls through the glass doors, content with trips out to smell the house with doors safely shut.
He's so easygoing, Janey seems to be as well but Leela?
She is a fucking TIGER.
I love it: I love the cat she's becoming. 
And yet I hope she will ease up enough to let this little tigger be a happy member of the brood.

The studio has been extra respite-y this week, smelling so good and 
yielding such beautiful fruits.

I played with balance even more than before as the Failure Series continues: so much fun, so many smiles and sighs as these earrings came to be.

they're all in the

as I type

and as I type the babe sleeps
and Jane has wedged herself on my lap,
her head on my right arm, bobbing with each word that comes loose from my fingers.

Time has been a dangerous driver this week, come and gone at alarming rates
of whoosh and zoom...what?
Where did it go?
Where's the fire?!!

Things still burned themselves into my heart and mind, though.
That's good. 
It was not like driving for miles and realizing that you cannot recall a single road sign or
there was attention paid

There were stories written.

And how are you, friends?
How have you fared this week?

What magic did you unearth?

I hope you find time today to do something lovely for yourself
or rest

if that exists somewhere....


Monday, September 23, 2013


To the little girl who was going door-to-door trying to find a home for this kitten
next to the 280 entrance in downtown San Jose...

Honey, your kitten found a home.

After you left him on the sidewalk
he spent the night outside, his last unsheltered night on earth.
I'd like to think he found a warm place, but I cannot say for sure where he slept
or what if anything he ate when he woke.

My story with him begins at 10:00 AM Sunday morning
watching him stand attentively next to two lanes of fast-moving cars
with little fear, wedged between the freeway entrance
and drivers paying no attention:
no one stopped, no one even slowed down or changed lanes.

There was not a second's hesitation in my heart: he was going to die.
I pulled up a few dozen feet away so as not to scare him because I thought surely he would bolt in the opposite direction
but when I crouched down and rubbed my fingers together he ran straight into my arms
and I held on to him for dear life
until he was shut safely in my car.

Little girl, my heart was racing. We have a full house: a baby, two cats and two adults
but my next sensible and reasonable thought was erased by a deep and perfect purr
and one paw on my cheek.

Whatever you did to help him be so sweet, thank you. 
This kitten is the one-in-a-million kind of tender and strong. He's smart and bold and friendly.
I can tell by how fearless he is with people that you took good care of his heart.
He slept in my lap while I drove to Freedom, California for a meeting: once we started moving he just settled in.

Ditto for the ride home. Did he tuck his paw over your wrist when he slept in your arms? 

Sweet one, I don't know anything more than that he's a boy and he's ours. I need to get him tested for things that would either have him be our backyard cat or join Janey and Leela indoors.

Heaven knows you will likely never read this blog or know that there was an answer to your heart's wish that someone take care of what your parents couldn't
but if there was some sort of flare I could send up
or a message written in smoke above the valley here I would write it,
I would light it.

It would say
"He's Home. His name is Lil' Joe and we love him already. Thank you for bringing him into our lives".


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Failure Series

By all definitions natural, the elements I've used in this series did not come to fruition.
The seeds did not yield a tree, the saplings did not grow to maturity.

Cracked Open and Shining Jacaranda Seed Earrings with Repurposed Vintage Coral

The flowers withered before they had a chance to show their full beauty, crisped by the unusual May triple digit temperatures.

I found them all on the wind, in the wood-chipped business flower planter that would never suffer a jacaranda tree
in the underbrush of forests
in the backyard college campus I haunt with the babe

These failures.
These dead things thin and frail
somewhere between bone and dust

Samara with Star and Chrysoprase Necklace

See how they shine!
A new purpose for each 
hundreds of years of beauty started today
lasting beyond the season into jewelry boxes of grandchildren
and treasured moments

This is failure, friends.

Isn't it beautiful?

Jacaranda Laurel Necklace in Brass and Sterling Silver

In it is there not a seed of something brand new and fresh?
More than just a lesson in humility and loss?

Here is my wish for you:
that this series serve quite seriously the purpose of reminding you
that nothing is ever guaranteed its end
and the most seriously discarded dream

Seed Pod Post Magic Spell Earrings

ripped to shreds even,
crushed to bits

can know resurrection just as surely as these
beautiful ghosts.

In the Metal Shop 

later tonight.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Here's what I know for sure today:

As of last night when I had a little while to tally votes in the American Made Contest, Design Category
I was eighth. EIGHTH.
Out of some over 300 entries.

Here's the good news: holy shit I am surrounded by the best friends, readers and supporters a woman could ever ask for. This alone has given me so much joy it feels like a second sun.

Eighth was impossible a few weeks ago. Eighth didn't know my people!!!!!!

If 8th is what I am destined to be then so be it, but dammit I can smell 6th from here. 6th means placing and getting a lot of exposure.

Here's the rub: I need a shot in the arm, like several thousand votes in a matter of 24 hours five times over for the last five days. Right now I am averaging 700 votes a day which means there is a lot of love out there.

I believe this can be done.

Before this contest I was more than okay with staying small, low to the ground. Being seen is scarier. Word of mouth was great, me being mouthy was not happening. 
In the past three weeks I've been SO mouthy, I've been requesting support and I've been campaigning for something beyond just this contest:
I've been breaking out of my box
and it feels good.
grounded and high, like climbing a big old oak.

The first few days were hard, I found myself feeling uncomfortable drumming up support.
In this safe community space we have shared joys and sorrows alike with equal measure and of all the places to be nervous this isn't it.

As the support grew so did my courage. I've begun to see that the fear of exposure does not belong here in the picture of Sunny Rising. Something is burning off the surface of the relationship I've had to designing and offering. I am lighter for it, happier without it.

If that ends up being the gift of the contest for me then I would be grateful beyond words
but I also want to go down kicking.

Six times a day from any and all email addresses you want to use
for the next five days.


Saturday, September 14, 2013


And the winner is....


I did not count my own comments or doubled ones as I scrolled down.
I am SO excited to send these your way -



a lady.

Thank you to everyone who entered, what a fun time this was!


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Let's Do this!

From today's Facebook note for my friends:

My dearest DEAREST friends. Not only did we get to 4000, we got to over 4200 as of this morning. You are blowing my mind. You are contributing to some serious underdog-running-with-the-wolves magic. There are ten days left for voting, and I am still about ten spots behind the least of the leaders in my category. I believe in my business and I believe in the power of my community. For these last ten days I am going to reward YOU for your care and time. There will be giveaways, there will be reciprocity. But mostly there is gratitude no matter the outcome: let's go be great together. And hey: what do you think about trying for 5,000 today? Think we can?!!?? It's outrageous just like a good goal should be. I LOVE you. xoxoxoxo

A little over a week ago I wrote to you requesting some serious ooomph. It has come. I am in the running, just some ten paces behind the biggest leaders in my category.

This is redundant for so many of you who I know by name and face who are voting their six votes every day: to you I say thanks in abundance.

To those who have not voted yet - it is so easy and takes way less time than reading this did. Choose an email address. Choose a password. Vote six times a day. Boom.

My goal today is to exceed 5,000 votes. If every blog follower (all 320 of you) votes six votes even just for today we'll do that and then some.

I am crossing my fingers that you join the energetic and fun race! There are ten days left for general voting. There will be giveaways

so 'like' away and get in the running.

and thank you from the bottom of my heart.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Mushroom Corset Belt: Here's to Rot

Let's raise our glasses tonight
to something unusual, something we normally avoid thinking about at all costs.

Let's toast our tea, herbal or Long Island to rot.
To decay.

I say we drink to the mistakes,
to the failures both minuscule and grand:
the business that went belly up
the career that never was
the one that got away
the one that broke our hearts
the friend that totally violated the code
the dream deferred
the love cut short
the achy places we try not to touch
for fear that they will reawaken and it will never be right.
All the things for which we lament, "It will never be the same"

Let's honor them properly, my dears.

If we can move past the shock and hurt of life's little (or not so little) decompositions
and into the grieving
and through that hard spot to the point at which we gain perspective
we can get to the gifts

gifts that are so much like the brightest coral toadstool living because something fell
and crumbled.

I don't know about you but I can get so s.t.u.c.k in the shock and hurt that it feels like quicksand
and I just replay the initial loss, telling the story on repeat.
Getting to the grief, to the healing and wellness takes quite a bit of bravery:
I've been practicing for decades now.
Haven't we all?
It doesn't matter how good we are at it, or in what time we come to understanding.
We show up.
We put in work.

Let's root our compassion in what we lost like so many little fungi growing up to the light from their dark damp place. 
We can be bright for the darkness of others.
We can be of service because we stood in the gaping maw of our own fear and
found it comfortable enough to explore
if even for just a few minutes hours days or years.

The key is in the knowledge that life is cycles
and if a body can watch and participate in all of the brilliant and crushing places
the soul housed therein can grow bigger with each passing moon.

With these things in mind and prayers for their realization in my fingers
I crafted a half-belt, a corset belt
finished with two cast brass rings,
resplendent in fungi and birch bark
lined in gold (like shiny gold!) pigskin
and colored with acrylic, dye and antique
meticulously and with great big heart.

The edges are organically scalloped, the metals mixed: brass and nickel rivets both intermarry
with the rings and the hand-stitched royal blue edge work.

This belt will fit a waist 29 or more inches around.

May it serve always as a reminder that the magic is in the murk oftentimes:
we have to uncover it with our courageous and diligent hearts.

HERE is where it rests for now.

With Love,

Home Again

I sit on my big comfy floral chair in the living room listening to the sounds of the familiar all around me
and I wonder if Minnesota was just a really really good dream.

Having gone for two whole weeks was the best and most nourishing decision I could have made.
Orion got to know my parents and my sister really well and his comfort level was high
but we both missed Schmilly so much and the feeling was mutual.

Seeing him at the airport waiting for us with his handsome face all lit up was Christmas.

I have that weird feeling that maybe you get too after a big travel where you feel like every decision is being pulled through molasses: getting in the car to grab a latte this morning took more brainpower than usual. I always wonder at this phenomenon!

I also wonder why on earth I live so far away from these magnificent kin...leaving and braving a four hour flight with an eighteen-month-old wonder felt more courageous than most things I've done in quite a while: gone are the days of NBA national-anthem singing and solo relocations to huge cities I don't know from Adam. Now I feel accomplished if I hold in my tears while holding my I celebrate the fine art of holding my shit together when my father says tenderly, "You're doing a wonderful job with Bubby" when we say goodbye.... So. Hard. To. Do.

My stage fright is now tied to the wee man holding my hand through the maze of travelers. By the way, he said 'hi' to nearly everyone and coaxed a lot of smiles and reciprocal greetings. I felt honored to be his chaperone.

Sometimes when he puts his 'hi' out there and it goes unmet I feel disappointed for him, but it's excellent preparation for the world at large. Not everyone is friendly and certainly not everyone is safe.
At one point he got up to stretch his legs and the very kind elderly woman who sat in front of us became the crush of the minute.

He stood and stared at her with a shy sweetness and she did the dearest thing: she patted his dimpled hands and cherished his attention. My heart was full and darn those onions all over the plane!!
Darn that sawdust in the air!

I'll be announcing the winner of the earring contest Friday morning
and I want to thank the beauties who entered so very much.

I also want to thank everyone who continues their daily voting for the American Made contest: I am pretty sure there are just a few more days left for the general category votes and though I am well-voted I am still so far behind the leaders.

Still, let's try, friends!!!


six times a day 

for the underdog who loves you.


Thursday, September 5, 2013


Dear Friends!
Remember in my Giveaway post I mentioned Martha Stewart's American Made Contest and how I was a nominee in the Audience Choice segment for Design?
Well my community has stepped way the heck up and what started as a 'well....should I even enter?' has become a wave that sees me more excited and bold with each new day.
As of this very second I have over 1500 votes!! The voting rules stipulate that you can vote every day up to six times in a 24 hour period for an artist in any category, and that number means that friends and patrons and family have cared enough to take sixty seconds out of their busy days to register and click 'vote' on my
six times daily!
My vote totals so far have put me in the running for my category but there are several awesome designers that are way out in front.
Waaaaaay out in front.
They cannot even see us waving from here
Whaddaya say, should we give this the go of the century?
Will you rally behind SunnyRising and take a tiny voting break every day to join in the fun and contribute to the betterment of a worthwhile business?
Will you blog about the contest?
Will you check out some of the other fabulous and talented designers in the other categories too as I've been?
Will you wonder at their unique and special products?
Will you post the link to the SunnyRising American Made profile on Twitter or Facebook?
Will you help propel SunnyRising's votes to the moon?
Well heck, I'm out of breath
Let's do this thing, Beauties.