Monday, October 17, 2016


Hi there, I'm here.

Hovering in this digital space for the first time in over six months I have more questions than content.

Should I write the blunt and honest truth about the time away from this space that I once filled with so much art and thought?
Do I share the details of my life in the way I once felt was natural, so intimate and open?
Does anyone even frequent this little old rusty page?

Lord knows I haven't been here much.

I had a rough descent and a hard-won rise starting in January.
None of it felt safe to talk about the way I'd become accustomed to talking, so I found myself silent at first from fear and the stigma of mental health issues, and then from life shifts and renovations and ultimately a big move.
My fingers feel creaky upon the keys.
I don't have new work to share as I've been gone from my mediums for nearly three months.
My head is full of so many details that I cannot seem to think of what used to feel like the 'right' thing to say.

I spent the last calendar year getting well from debilitating anxiety. The kind that shuts your life down, narrowing your list of safe experiences until there are very few and even those feel scary
or dangerous.
Every bump in the night created terror.
Every headache was a death knell.
The final straw were heart attack symptoms, so real and physical that I could no longer muscle through.

I committed to getting well and with the help of a gifted therapist, pure grit and a supportive family I retrieved the pearls from the deep darkness and surfaced.

In the midst of all that healing and excavating we as a family have found ourselves (as if by some miracle) in Washington state,
specifically in the basement apartment of beloved friends
while we sort out the buying and selling of houses
between here and California.

It feels tender in my heart to even type the word 'California'. It's knitted in my cells. 
I wanted to get away from it in the worst way, the overcrowding and sharpness
but it still calls from the south,
still reminds me of my vibrant middle-youth
and assures me I can visit anytime I want.

I will not be going home to it again after 13 years of doing so. Beside family and motherhood I've never been so dedicated as I was to a place, to an idea.
California. There's a reason so many songs are written 
about its cities and people: it's amazing.
And difficult.

I was nervous about this move and felt unsure of whether I was strong enough to endure the chaos of change so freshly 
on my feet from adrenal overwhelm.
We've gone through real estate hijinks and massive unanswered question marks
and though I've tried to take Rilke's advice and love those unknowns I have mostly just 
barely liked them
or kicked them under the table.

We are so lucky to know the tribe we already have here and daily living is a testament to receiving and breathing 'thank you' in a million moments. I am learning how hard it is for me to receive without
having much to give in return beyond friendship and cooking.
It's so humbling to be handed daily gifts.
It's beautiful and hard and cracks my heart open, so that's what I concentrate on:
what pours out when the fissure breaks.

There are opportunities to work here and there, but mostly with O out of preschool I am full-time mothering. He's miraculous.
I love belonging to him as he grows into a full-fledged boy.
Our move also means that he gets SO much more Daddy. Both in time and in the form of a rested man for whom weekends are now a pleasure instead of a forced period of rest.

This move was very much a soul choice, a chance to slow down and make room and draw nearer to each other. It's very beautiful to be living those choices.

I love watching our life here unfold, challenging as it can be to ride the real estate roller coaster
of shifting dates and funding fall-outs.
Seattle is so full of great food and introverted people and blessed blessed rain
and without a school to get O to or work to attend to we can tromp about
like semi-lost vagabonds and explore the weird and wonderful
emerald landscape and EAT all of the things.

Then some days in the late afternoon he draws and I paint a long-awaited project and we get a taste of our past rhythms
in this fresh new place.

I look around in the morning and everything is odd and beautiful,
the nature of traveling a distance underwater and then surfacing.

I take a deep breath
begin again


Monday, March 7, 2016

Chasing the Sunset

Once on a plane ride home to San Jose we passed low over the Sunol Hills
at sunset. The earth was carpeted in this very same soft velvet moss green and my heart was heavy with yearning. 
All I had was city, all I wanted was what I was seeing.

I don't think we'd even considered this part of the Bay Area or the prospect of a move yet.
Tonight Orion and I got in the car and chased the sunset to my Happy Place.
As I watched the last light bleed hibiscus pink into a large dark grey weather system
I pictured going back in time and whispering into my sad younger ear
"Someday you'll belong to this earth. Just you wait."

Would I have even believed? And yet here we are, in love.
There are so many lessons in faith happening right now in our lives.

In the makeshift studio custom orders and bluebirds are diligently coming to life
and in the actual studio we've got a slight setback but a renovation end date sometime next week.

I really look forward to showing you around once it's ready.
In the meanwhile this view ain't half bad.


Friday, February 19, 2016

I Can Breathe Here

Slowly but even more surely I have been unkinking the fears that stop me from living.
Avoidance of wild spaces.
All the 'what ifs' that too much city life and too much media

Simply taking a hike on my own feels like an act of defiance.
It also feels like actually touching life again, like being a child.
I watched winged things playing in the breeze,
heard a choir of birdsong in live oak.
There was no one to share it with
but I thought of my tall tromping Kelly and knew she'd appreciate
how low the turkey vulture flew over the trail.
That wonderful rustling sound!

I thought of O and how in gathering my courage,
 a less fearful mama would change his view of the world
for the better.
That it's okay, it's all okay.

Construction began this morning on my studio.
What was previously an uninsulated garage with no ceiling will be a gorgeous space
for me to expand SunnyRising,
complete with can lights and a Vent A Fume exhaust system.
A new four foot window.
Warm blue walls.

In about three weeks I'll give you a tour!


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Welcome Gifts

Grand Welcome Necklace. Labradorite. Seed Beads. Mallow. Oak. Crane Fly.

Welcome Necklace. Oak.

The Places I Love Necklace. Oak. Maidenhair. Dew.

Home Fires Earrings. Oregon Sunstone. Fine and Sterling silvers.

Come, Spring Magic Spells. Seed Beads. Creeping Charlie. Jacaranda. Rice Grass.

Welcome Earrings, Friendship Bracelet Edition.

Odd Woman In Earring Trinity

5:00 PM Pacific time


Tuesday, February 9, 2016


My beloved kidlet was sick on and off for too many of the 
days this last month.

He's well again. Knock wood! Preschool, man. Preschool Petri Dish.

Everything that I quoted as far as time goes with orders?

Taking a lot longer than expected.

That's what happens when you sit at the bedside with cool compresses
and lose sleep most nights.

That's what happens when the work is more about healing than creating.

My sister came this weekend and set all kinds of orbits spinning right.

Thank goodness for family and love and tribe. For patient recipients of art.
We are grateful.


Thursday, January 21, 2016

What's Been Going On

Remember that project I was going to devote an hour per day completing?
It's darn near complete.
Nothing in my life thus far (besides gestation and motherhood, so let's just say artistically) has ever shown me the power of 
consistent hard work  and dedication so clearly in action as this,
as She.
Nearly forty hours in this piece.

I held my breath riveting in that huge and beautiful Brazilian Faceted Quartz.
Tacking was also one of those Hail Mary Pass experiences, following little bits of instinct
towards symmetry. I have never made a leather canvas before.
There are a thousand "I have never"s in this piece.

She is integral to the next phase of things, to the evolution of Sunny Rising.
In just a little while there'll be a place that houses everything: blog, shop, teaching dates, etc.

I made something for the Leather Shop in all the tumult of
studio shuttering. We opted for permitted work for studio renovation
and so the process won't be done for a few more months,
which is hard and good.
Impossible and stretchy.

This beautiful wristlet that practically springs from rich American turquoise nestled in fine and sterling silvers will be available today in the 


I hope your day is wonderful and that life is being kind.