Sunday, December 29, 2013

Magic Mushroom Clutch

This is what slow and diligent work looks like;
a deep intentional cut here,
a fully tooled fungi there...
my right wrist has told me very clearly it's tired of being cumulatively overused
so I began cumulatively underusing it this summer
in the hopes it would stave off more stress.

So a dream becomes a patiently crafted reality much later than my rabbit mind wants it to be
but greater things than that are running the show.
Working this way is transformative.
I have hurried so much in my life
and now to be forced to wait on things beyond my control
well, ask me on any specific day and you'll get a very specific answer.

sometimes it is very spiritual.
Sometimes there are a lot of profane words in my response.
The sum of all the chatter is that I am lucky to create
and I am lucky to wait.

In waiting I researched mushrooms and birch
and fell that much more in love with what I was capturing in leather.

In waiting I smithed which is far less tough on the wrist
and got to flesh out some ideas long held.

In waiting I sang and played with my boy
and flirted with his daddy
I painted portraits
and shooed away cats.

Sometimes I think waiting is where the magic is for the soul.

Here she is, a catalogue of my many months since the clutch was dreamed up,
colorful and resplendent with fungi and bark.

Lined with a warm and oaky green
and stitched with saffron.

Each moment in the making a lucky one,
a blessed one.

In the Leather Shop now.


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Christmas Recipe for you

Readers and Friends, what a year it has been-
likely the most honest and rewarding of my adult life, having never roped a wild young toddler
and tempered his natural charm with a few necessary manners
and smothered him with kisses.

I cannot call him tame, I would never want to. He is wilding me.

Yes, he has begun requesting kisses. We melt into puddles daily
at his small feet.

On this fine warm California Christmas day I want to share with you 
one of the most festive recipes I have under my belt, care of my very excellent mother.
Once you've baked it you'll see, this is a rich gift indeed.

There is a lot to celebrate today, a lot to wish for.
We received some clarifying words on a situation that's broken our hearts,
words that give so much hope in the greater picture of things.
Relative blessings... isn't everything a relative blessing?

Everything lately has reminded me to use the good dishes,
spray the expensive perfume.
Hoard nothing: life is to be spent with a luxurious hand
in good clean hard work that brings satisfaction
in generosity of heart
and a well-rested soul

I overworked madly this month, honoring requests and falling behind.
I may have let a few folks down
by saying 'yes' when my mouth was too tired to form words
and then admitting my overreach.

I've nearly forgotten how to tend to myself.
I am working hard to remember.
How does that happen, exactly?

I've never been more excited for a new year than I am for this one
100% because of Orion and Schmilly (and those delicious bad cats),
in the delight I take loving this small and powerful family unit.

In the waning days of this year I wish you unfinished projects neatly tied
hearts mended
and souls set on fire with passion
for whatever pleases them.

From the warmest part of my heart I wish you peace
and a bar set high
for your well-being and abundance.

You are worth all of it and then some,
you magnificent creature.

Merry Christmas from all of us here to all of you.

Sunny, Schmilly and O


Makes 1 large loaf or 3 small loaves
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 + 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening (I use butter)
3/4 cup of orange juice
1 egg, well beaten
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
Heat oven to 350
l.  Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda into medium bowl; cut in shortening (or butter) until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Beat juice, egg, and zest lightly in small bowl; add to dry ingredients, tossing with fork until mixture is evenly moistened.  Fold in cranberries.
2  Turn batter into lightly greased 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan, or divide evenly among three 5 11/16 x 3 1/4 x 2 inch disposable foil loaf pans.  (I found pans that were not disposable.  I don't know how easy they are to locate)  Bake until golden brown and wooden pick inserted in center of cake is withdrawn clean, about 1 hour for large loaf, about 45 minutes for small loaves.  Cool pans on wire rack 10 minutes; turn out bread.  Continue cooling to room temperature. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

For Better Or Worse Embodied in Brass and Sterling

We have been through richer or poorer.
We have been together in sickness and in health
and surely we are here everyday, showing up in all our better and worse moments
and with as much bravery as can be daily mustered

Ah, those words 'For Better or For Worse', encompassing all of it:
for grumpy or for joyful
for quiet of wordy
for comic or tragic
through scorched earth or lushest monsoon
through the moments I most wish I had my own apartment so you didn't see
my worst mood or my shy thighs
my sometime lack of confidence
or misplaced bravado

But then you see me bare
caught in your handsome blue headlights
ashamed of my weakness
and you smile that crooked love-smile
and I remember 
I understand
that I was wise as the moon when I chose you 
that when you come to me 
likewise untethered
in your own ways (always so authentic)
I find you adorable
and wish you nowhere else but here
with me and my prying eyes
that cherish you whole

You who show me open arms
when I pick a fight before one of us leaves for a long trip
you who calmly say, "It's ok to miss me" and
 I come up against the tears behind the bluster.
You keep me honest when I forget myself.
I don't like missing people.
I don't like losing.
I'd rather fisticuffs than longing.

I don't like the feeling of being laid bare,
warts and all 
I prefer to sparkle around you, to be my absolute best self
but since that's not always a possibility
it's such a fine feeling
to know that you 
see the bedrock of me:
a good
loving woman
who tries her best
too hard sometimes,
too much
and burns out
again and again
like it's a new continent
"how could this be?"

Thank you for showing me that the betterment lies just beyond
the wall of seeming defeat that hard moments erect.
Thank you for carefully drawing a map of my heart
and remembering that rocky terrain
gives way to the most verdant valleys
if you can just climb with enough faith
and diligence.

Thank you
forever and ever
'till death do us part


Verdant ferns
and burned out grass
are the embodiment
of these polar opposite places
we find to love in each other.

In the Metal Shop tonight
along with the sweet small hydrangea posts

I wish you all the most blessed solstice
and the ability to love all the colors
of yourself and your people
and with grace.

Love and then some,

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Unbroken Circle Ring

The tiniest hydrangea bloom marries two sides of an unbroken jacaranda band...

completes and links,
heals and unites.

These are the fruits of my geographic placement,
the finest botanicals that San Jose offers up to be pressed
and made into semiprecious magic.

This is a dainty ring whose diminutive size am not accustomed to making
but oh how good it felt to scale down,
to bend close to the fire and lose my brain in the details.

Said brain is a whirlwind of late
There is nothing like soulful work to break the chatter
into navigable bits.

In this most delicate of designs a size 7.25 finger will fit.

Heading over to the Metal Shop to tuck it in soon!


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Nearing Solstice

Ice Queen Magic Spell Earrings with Fabricated Fallen Oak Leaf, Moonstone Tear and Copper Branch

Solstice draws near...

 I am growing still as the days are shorter.
I am working with all my might
and loving my daily time with Orion.

We've had this weird respite from the more challenging toddler moments...this calm sweetness has descended upon his most squinty devil-in-the-eye moment and I am so happy to watch him think through things.

The efforts of my hands have never felt more special to me than they are now,
more like they've been placed divinely in my head
and crafted with grace.

This is the first year I've embraced winter in earnest,
both in work and in day-to-day choices:
snuggles in blankets reading book after book to my son
whose favorite word is 'again!' once 'the end' has been declared.

My parents came this last week and it was really special to have them here
during a time of so much wonder and some serious heartache:
nothing soothes your soul like a Mommy.

Schmilly and I went to his holiday Christmas party at a fantastic restaurant in San Francisco
and I was struck again and again by how wonderful he is
and touched to hear his coworkers tell me how proud he is of me,
how much he loves Orion.

Simple Bare Branch Sculptural Copper Earrings with Sterling Ear Wires

I have a few lovely things for the Metal Shop
that I will be tending to later tonight,
tucking them in to see where they'll fly

and friends, I am SO utterly pleased to tell you I am mere days away from finishing this mushroom clutch...I feel like I've been painting and tooling it for months
and it's everything I hoped.

How are your holidays preparations going?
Long over?
Just beginning?

We're going to have the quietest little Christmas this year and celebrate after the fact
with Oma and Opa.

Squeeze yourself for me, won't you?


Friday, December 13, 2013

Branches and an Advent Giveaway

This too is beautiful, this bare time.


In the absence of leaves the branches bend dancing in the wind
and I am transfixed as never before, watching them through the eyes of my son
who only sees wonder.

These beautiful sculptural copper and sterling silver earrings 
honor the winter

with gorgeous shape and texture 
with a tiny feather
free to fly
with you.

Another sweet little pair of earrings will wind their way into the 

tonight with the branches

a tiny bee wing and its perfect mate, a wee petal.

dainty and elegant.

I am so thrilled to share with you that I am part of Vibeke's wonderful yearly December advent 
giveaway series over


the earrings I am giving away over there are the lush-est of them all.
I hope you win them!

Have a lovely weekend, dear reader
and know that I send my wintry best from California.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Grounded Flight

Here is what I know with certainty:

The best soul flight is that undertaken when one has roots. 

The best soaring magical travel happens when you've done the hard work of knowing, of learning.
After the digging and planting of the right seeds
the heights reached there on the ground can be the best boost

right up into the sky.

When your wings grow tired and you yearn for rest
that same planted seed 
that now is a tall tree
can be a home to you,
a beacon of bright blooms
and shaded branches.

Want freedom? Want bliss?
Dive your depths, warm to your frostiest peaks
and fear none of it.

Grounded Flight Bracelet in Brass and Sterling Silver.

Fits a size 6-6.25 inch wrist.

In the