Monday, October 27, 2014

Autumn Magic Spells

Labradorite Magic Spells, Autumn Drying Edition



Odd Woman In Earring Trio, Southwest Edition. Vintage Coral. Turquoise.

Kingman Turquoise Spiderweb Autumn Magic Spells. Carved Coral Rose. Hammer engraved web.

In the Metal Shop Tomorrow.

Available for reserve tonight.


Friday, October 24, 2014

Heart of Summer Corset Belt

When I was younger I would feel the passing of summer.
It would hit me hard in the chest,
the anticipation of a midwest winter.
The absence of leaves on the trees.
No sunlight dappling through green things,
filtering onto the pages of a book.
No picnics.

There was a moment somewhere in July
where we lived in the very center of summer's heart.
It was golden and hot and so sweet.
It was abundant and safe and ripe.
Anything was possible.
I would run the high school track just to feel the night air on my skin,
just to feel so suburban-kid-free.

There were still a few fireflies. The grass was still green
and thunderstorms rolled in with little warning
and a thick black sky.

And then in a moment nature tipped toward autumn
and the cicadas sang their harsh song
and my own stomach sank
with thoughts of school, with the foreverness of youth.
I didn't know yet what it was to be older,
I didn't know California
or the western United States.
I just knew I'd been kicked out of paradise,
same as last year.
And the year before.

The Heart of Summer had fallen off the vine,
too ripe to hold on.
The grass went brown.
The drying season drained the sap out of everything.

I wish I could show little Allison this belt.
I wish I could tell her that someday she would be a magician.
That she would take a medium
and a prayer
and with a lot of work
and SO much love
re-animate that very thing that hurt so much to lose.

This is for the woman whose own heart breaks in August
and rises like Persephone in March
when the crocus pops through the snow
with a stubborn vitality.

From Little Allison and Big Sunny both.

(Fits a 29 + inch waist.)


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Goodness he's fun.

My son just ran in to have his stuffed frog's teeth brushed and ran back out again,
tucking back into his little Dr. Lion-influenced medical story.

We've spent the last four days traveling with this little man and what a good sport he's been,
what a good dinner companion,
what good listening.

I kinda held my breath a few times because we've had some absolutely difficult tantrums
here at home usually around the moment I have to get to the post office
and always when it's just me.

The lighter I am, the lighter he is.
The more our family re-knits after the separation of game-cycle-crunch
the more he breathes easy.
I can see it.
I am celebrating it quietly and daily.

We've reached the age where concepts are graspable things,
and it's shocking to me that I find so much more comfort here than I did when he was an early toddler.
I always though that'd be my jam,
but instead I felt like I was floundering (well, I did just spend the day at the Aquarium!!)
and easily overwhelmed.

We have conversations now.
Yes, they're mostly nonsense and based on wants but we HAVE them.
And I love them.

He knows how to be cute now,
he knows that you get more bees with honey.
He also knows that even if I don't always like what he does that I ALWAYS love him.
That mama don't take no mess: there are ways to behave and ways not to behave.
That there are consequences (privileges lost)
and boundaries
and that he is safe and tenderly cared for.

He knows how deeply loved he is
because we tell him more than we think we do.
I worship the way he says, "I love you, too, Mommy"
with such simplicity.

He knows all about cars and trains and mechanical things
and he points them out with wonder
and says things that leave us crying with laughter,
things that I need to start writing down.
Like yesterday.

I need more pictures,
more videos,
more time.
I will never ever have enough time with him, ever.

I have never had the opportunity to watch someone emerge from infancy
like a polaroid
from a fluttering kick
to a cheeky toddler
singing in the backseat at the top of his happy lungs.

I feel like we've reached some sort of plateau here,
and though I never rest easy in the phases (they pass so fast)
I see this strength of spirit and self-sufficiency
that tells me worlds about the man he will become

I guess all of this is to say that I like my son very much.
Loving him is a given, of course.
Of course I love him.
But liking him? 
At this historically tough age where he's bound to be both Jekyll and Hyde in one day?
That feels like the most fun surprise of all.
I really like him.
I'm taking to this age
like (wait for it)

a fish to water.

(I'll be here all week, folks.)


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Maple Seed Rings - For a Fresh Start.

It is the morning of a new day,
even if it is midnight and you are dog tired.
Even if everything failed
there is room for a sunrise,
room for a miracle.

A fresh start isn't just for January 1st
or rock bottom:
you can afford the grace anytime you wish for it to come.
You are deserving.
You deserve to begin.
You were loved into being.
With a love that big do you really want to stay so small?

You wore some path in the grass, didn't you?
You've traveled over it so many times that the green gave way to dirt
and there seems to be no other option when you find yourself 

but all it takes is a visual shift a few degrees one way or another
a minutely different choice,
a tiny spark of betterment

a decision to seek

the world blooms fresh and unfamiliar
scary and sharp
senses fluttering
heart quick

Here in the evening light
a new sun rises
a few thousand miles from where the old one sets…
a fresh start
a new page
a blossoming moment:

Maple Seed Rings:
Turquoise size 6
Chalcedony size 8
Turquoise size 9

in the 



Friday, October 10, 2014

Protector Bag #1: Circe and her Hawk

I have been (for as long as I can remember) a very fearful person.
I have flinched and suffered under the myriad things that fear whispered would happen
if I dared to live.
To live well.
To speak my art
and my mind
and be seen

When I was a singer-songwriter I fought that well-meaning beast so hard.
I played out all the time and never once did I become comfortable with the process,
always the gurgling stomach before a show.
Always the Munson in the back of the venue.

During my twenties I would have dreams where I was living or a visitor in a house surrounded by big cats. None of the doorways or windows were secure
and for some reason there would always be a reason to cross a courtyard
where lions and tigers languished,
watching me, winding around my legs as I walked.
I would wake up in a cold sweat.

Into my thirties the dreams became more benevolent,
with more freedom in my dream-heart to move amongst the beasts
and less fear while I walked.

Just last year I dared to touch them.

Eventually after more than a decade of this kind of progression
it became clear to my waking mind:
these magnificent dangerous cats were protecting me.
They were my guardians.

It would not be shocking then to learn that in my daily life
fear became a more passive participant:
I still feel the cold fingers ever single day
but I am less inclined to confuse them with instinct.
Chalk it up to the magic of getting older and more clear about my purpose.
Clarity of purpose makes for a less timid soul, I think.

This Big Cat journey was so profound that I am now inked with a tiger. 
My protector.

While I was dreaming of my appointment with Camille
I was also dreaming of a bag. Deerskin.
Goddess profile portrait.
Protector on the flip side.

When I was in Minneapolis it was all I could think about.
I sketched and schemed and pre-built all the bits.
All excitement, no fear.


Circe's face is that of my dear friend Michelle, a beauty in both body and soul.
I was so honored to tool that magnificent profile

and make her into the Sorceress. 

Goddess of Magic.

There is something in the colors, the stone deerskin, the ruby suede…
something that mirrors the human body, skin and blood.

On the back is Circe's Hawk - Circe actually means 'hawk', the feminine version.
In essence, Circe's Hawk is simply Circe, wild and all-sensing.
The strongest parts.

In the same vein my dream tigers are simply the part of me that is fierce and vital and
so not to be fucked with.

Though we may find our saving graces in the totems and talismans and symbols,
really isn't it all just the strength of spirit we're holding out for and on to?

I believe the animal soul we are most drawn to -
its energy and strength -
has a twin in our own physiognomy somewhere,

that we truly embody the hero we seek
if we commit to living our best and most honest life

Circe and her Hawk will be in

later today

May your own symbolic protector be with you when you need it most,
in whatever form it takes.


Saturday, October 4, 2014


It's hot in here.
Nothing is beginning, technically
and very little is finished.

These times are my very most unmotivated times
and just like the gym, the most important times to step into the studio.

I wanted to make sure that this part gets its own song, too: this unsexy time in the studio
where it's sweats and bad/good country music
bare feet and the stunningly strong desire to flee.

At the end of days like today 
if I knuckle down and do what my task list said to do (because days like today totally require a task list - the muse is off banging someone else)
the satisfaction is incredible.
The reward is the work itself,
that those middle parts were done
and done well.

Because what happens after the grumbling stops is wonderful:
it's dedication.
Totally not motivation,
it's discipline.

Sometimes I give myself a carrot to get started,
maybe a piece of chocolate if I saw out 'x' or 'y'
or just the pleasure of singing along to the radio
keeping me present and accounted for

and then

I fall in love with the unsexy
and we slow dance
and we laugh at our old jokes
because we've known each other for a really long time
and because the company is really fine

The night after I overcome
my love of shiny and finished things
and get to work
I always sleep really well.

I kept my head in my work,
in the most sacred and mundane parts of it.
I didn't look to be dazzled or inspired.

I hammered.
I sawed.
I smiled.
I put in work.

Good solid life-affirming work.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014


This weekend I traveled.
I drove up to Petaluma with one of my most treasured sister-friends
to meet up with another beloved
and navigate a delicious mixture of business and pleasure.

Every conversation provided this gorgeous clarity
 a ton of belly laughs
a few swiftly falling tears
and a sense of destiny.

That sounds lofty, destiny.
It was.

I fell back into my life here yesterday afternoon
after a Pacific Ocean sunrise
and breakfast at Della Fattoria,
after getting stuck in frightful traffic over the Bay Bridge
and procuring belt blanks at Tandy Leather

I landed back into the arms of Schmilly.
I took in the warm-hued hardwood floors and the hot dry of the South Bay.
Orion was pleased to see me, but he was impatient to know what had become of 
Auntie Kelly, with whom he is enamored.

I wandered the clean studio
humming and buzzing with the thousand new ideas in my head and heart
knowing so well this pathway they travel
to my hands and then out into the world

Anthony had kept track of our beloved orb weaver while we were gone
and he pointed her out to me, tucked under a dried tomato leaf, waiting for the night.

There is something about my life these last few years that makes me feel very much kin
to the weavers: the intense creativity, the waiting (oh my god the waiting), the instinct
and randomness and hunger.

It's travels like this that nourish me 
and refill something so deeply depleted.
The timing is always just so,
just wondrous in its perfection.

My friends are magicians.

Now if you'll excuse me:
my belly is full.
There is a large web to weave
and new pathways
to pave in silk