Monday, June 30, 2014


It was a morning of great excitement
on everyone's part: Orion's first day of Preschool.
As I write this he is napping and restless in his bed, tossing and turning
and fighting sleep: so much newness!

Before we got to Preschool he was exclaiming
and wide-eyed and bubbling over with joy about his helmet (for riding bikes there)
and his backpack (a Pixar movie he's not seen)

When I picked him up he melted into my arms and heaved a few short sobs,
asking if he could sleep in the car.
He had the look of a boy who had played and played hard.
Eyes ringed with fatigue
mouth full of new experiences I had not had with him.

It broke my heart
and it made me happy
all at once
like some prophecy foretold by a million moms before me: 
you will give him to the world, little push by little push.

My schedule is all changed now, I feel disoriented by it...
the convenience of a babysitter replaced by lots of schlepping and lots of new faces
and for an introvert these are hillocks.

Just like my wonderstruck intrepid boy I will brave these privileged things,
stronger for the new map I will someday easily trace by memory
the women who will become friends
the emotion of a significant leap

For now I will plant my little flag in the dirt
and explore this time and space with fresh eyes

When we catch this strange rhythm 
this new melody
I just know it's going to feel
like home.


Friday, June 27, 2014

Summer Magic Spells II


Dripping with gemstones
and hotter than Hades

Meet me out back in the shade of the tree
strawberry kisses and tall cold sweet tea

Dappled in sun and in shade and in sound
chirping cicadas and birds singing rounds

Stay with me love until night cools our brow
summer, sweet summer
the luminous 

Two pairs of sweet and hot Summer Magic Spell Earrings
will breeze their way into the 



Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Holy Yes Clutch

This clutch celebrates the Holy Yes.

Not the 'yes' as in "would you like fries with that?" or "Yes, I think I will stock up on leeks, they're so good in soup."

This is not an everyday 'yes' to which I've spent countless hours tooling a valentine -
it's a Holy Yes

 as in
"Yes, I will redefine my worth in ways that feel better to me"
"Yes I will hear this diagnosis and keep breathing"
"Yes I will carry and raise a child"
"Yes I will strike out on my own"
"Yes I will take this lifelong vow and honor it well"
"Yes I will die and live with that knowledge soulfully"

Holy holy holy

You may notice that the 'e' is backwards. That gorgeous letter represents the mid-point of the epic 'yes' journey, the part where one understandably wants so badly to take back the initial resolve
and throw in the towel, go back to 'no' or normal or get-me-the-fuck-out-of-here-anywhere-will-do!!

It's where shit gets real. The 'e' part. It's where a lot of players fold and with good reason - the mid-point of a Holy Yes can feel like Dante's writing your life as you live it.
It can feel like everything is and will always go terribly wrong.
People go back on their word.
Plumbing fails.
Lovers die.
You get so so so so sick.

I don't blame you for turning around at 'e', you will not find that decision puts you in a lonely room:
so many life stories have that turning point.
Maybe someone chose something a little more familiar and safe - that does not make their experience any less valid: it just doesn't make it a complete Holy Yes.
When you turn around at 'e' you are so very human.

But oh dear friend....
oh sweet loved one of mine
if you keep going at 'e' when it hurts so bad you cannot breathe
when the devil's got your big toe
and the water's up around your mouth




something amazing will happen.

It might not happen at the very moment you decide to keep going in that painful place.
It could take daysweeksyears before the reward of that courage comes to fruition:
grace grows at its own pace.
I did not mean for that to rhyme but whatever
because I cannot stop to change a silly word
when I am here to convince you to keep going:
I will keep going, too
in solidarity.

Beautiful, if you keep going
to 's'
the boat rights itself eventually
and you live the in beautiful glow of dedication.

Even if your Holy Yes is rough and tumble
there is a warmth that suffuses a whole being
when you keep going past the valley of the shadow of 'e'.
Someone I love is married and it's a terrible match most of the time
but she stays and though for some people that sounds punitive and unthinkable
to her it is like weight-lifting for her soul:
she is finding strength and love in places she would have never gone
if the road was steady and easy.

My own Holy Yes was deciding to have and raise a babe. My 'e's come from daily things and fears of the overall picture
and when I breathe through them
I swear I can feel my little spirit grow
like the little sprouts that come up between tomato branches

I know you have a Yes so big and beautiful.
I hope you are living it
and if you've not done that yet
I hope you will
and find yourself lifted
into adventure
and rushing blood in your veins
and life sweet life
embracing you with wide arms
everything a chorus

I built this clutch
out of veg-tooled leather
and turquoise pig suede

10 X 2 X 5

of Arizona turquoise water-drop-cabbed
and wrapped expertly in fine and sterling silvers

of hours
and knife cuts
and hand set rivets and stitching

of dyes and light-body acrylic paints
and more love than I could ever
explain or express.

Holy Yes.



Monday, June 23, 2014


I've been doing some custom work of late, mostly larger bags and guitar straps.
It's been so gratifying and though I have to turn down a lot of projects when the list gets too long,
I am blessed with incredibly patient patrons who wait long and well for what they requested.

My work is so deliberate and my hours of doing so are so holy and well-refilling.
I have the task ahead of me and I know the path so well, my beloved leathercraft.

The butter-pull of the knife.
The vibration of the hammer: I know how it will sound on every inch of my 
marble slab.
The wash of color 
the life it gives me
that sustains me

In six months it will be eight years since SunnyRising became an Etsy shop.
It's been run on love and faith and sometimes on fumes.
Everything runs on fumes lately unless it's done before noon,
but that's just motherhood very naturally taking center stage.

I've been thinking ahead to when Orion is in school, realizing how much more
I'll be giving to my work, dreaming about what a bigger studio will look like,
drafting sketches of where things will go.
It's intoxicating, honestly giddy-making stuff!

He starts preschool in a week - the unfathomable steps into grown-up O are happening.
It's terrifying.
It's liberating.

Until those times are upon us I steal time
during naps
and after bedtime
and when the babysitter is here
to craft mine and other people's wishes
into something physical and lasting
that they can pass on to whomever they choose

Orion is nearly potty trained.
Anthony is nearly at content lock for the game he ships in November.
I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and it is amber-glorious.

On the days when it's good and maybe even especially on the days when it's uphill
I pause and feel the blood coursing through my strong capable body
and I rest in mystery
oblivious to the why of our earthly presence
but grateful for these days
of furtive craftsmanship
and drought sunsets

of chin-kisses
and emotional bursts

they will none of them come again


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Soul of Everything Necklace.

In the soul of everything whole and strong is something small and frail and broken that healed. Do not regret your mistakes or your falls. You will look back and see that they served.


A monument to growth, a mixed-metal toast to the glory and discomfort of 
trying and failing and continuing despite.

Life always offers us an eventual vantage point from which to look down at the meandering
path we trod and find it worthy. 

tomorrow finds this fortifying necklace and a handful of Sweet Littles in the


Medium Lake Tahoe Ferns

Crisped and dried and picked in the cold January afternoon on a nature walk
with my little Holy Trinity

Just so perfectly imprinted.

Pretty Little Feathers

Dainty and Strong

Pretty Little Wee Lake Tahoe Fern Tips

California Live Oak Leaves

Picked off the chilly autumn ground by my son
and gathered into our cloth bag we have handy for such things

I will have everything in the Metal Shop by late morning


Monday, June 9, 2014

White-Flaggin' It.

I've been so humbled of late, so brought ground-level by the energetic output of mothering
and trying to run SunnyRising like a well-oiled machine.

Being a loving partner to my Schmilly.
Being a daughter, friend and contributing member of society.
Putting on makeup. And a bra.
Maintaining my level of fitness.
Making hot dinners.
Using less/no plastic.
Those God-forsaken leaf miner bugs!!!!!
Going outside without oatmeal handprints on my butt.
Teaching my child manners.
Drawing clear and fair boundaries.
Letting my child teach me wonder, one of the first things to get dulled with this much tired.

My list of expectations for myself is crazy high
and I'm working on shaving it down
to China Town.

Custom orders (when taken) take longer.
Dinner might not be anything more than a miraculous eggie bowl (recipes later, maybe)
or a request that takeout be brought home.
Motherhood trumps lots of stuff
but self-care MUST be found.
I think I must have put it in THAT drawer,
in that 'safe' place where all the lost things meander.

I don't think there's anything wrong with being like, "Hey, I'm treading water over here!!"
in a world where it's mostly frowned upon.
"Have another coffee, dig deeper" - (I see it all the time in gym culture -)
just find more to give!"
Those are no longer solutions.
Those are cruelties.
I know the line.
Lord Lou I have crossed it so many times since I became a mother:
it feels so mountain-lake refreshing to be like
"Fuck it, I am s u n k."

As a profound lover of this earthly life
I don't worship this time, these moments any less for its (their) utter exhaustion -
I love it differently. 
I honor its seasonal nature
and trust that beyond this place is another season,
neither better nor worse that will sustain and deplete me.
Some are more glamorous than others.
Some are less physical.

I know when those moments of resistance come, when I want to label something 'amazing' or 'bad'
and that simply takes more than I've got right now
 I skip the dramatics and just B R E A T H E.
It's all here before us, why not breathe through it?
We're these watchers and we cling and reject and cling and reject
the things we observe, the little we think we have control over...

I call this beautiful time of depletion recognition "White -Flaggin' It"
and I think it's okay as frequently as it needs to be admitted
to say it out loud -
to ask a friend to come sit with you for tea and be real
because you're no less lovable in this place than when your soul-pantries are full to the brim.
Soul-pantries? Soul-pantries.

I hope you take the time as often as you need it
to gently sit where your history has planted you 
and hold up that bright flag as a gesture of grace and surrender
and wait for that Hand
to come and cradle you close,
a safe place to breathe and rest
your beautiful

You are no less for waving the white flag
in a go-go world