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.


Friday, December 18, 2015


20% off of everything in the



Use coupon code  BANGYEAREND  at checkout.
Free shipping in the Metal Shop ends Sunday.

On Monday everything disappears and the New Year begins
with a shift.


Monday, December 14, 2015

Dear Maker Series: On Creative Drought

As this holiday season winds down I head into my ninth year of SunnyRising: almost a decade of 
running this train!! I'd like to think I've gained some knowledge in this long relationship. I'd like to share processes and thoughts here.

This post is about creative blocks. 

As I write this I am in the latter midst of a creative drought, fittingly in California.
Though I could go back into the sketchbook and bring out maybe hundreds of ideas that previously 
thrilled me, nothing fresh is coming through.

I am working slowly but surely on a very long term project, one whose unrealized existence may have been the thing stopping the flow of new ideas. More about that in a minute.

Creative drought could start with anything. 
A butterfly flapping its wings in Minnesota.
A criticism.
I mean really though, it could be twenty thousand things that gum up the works. As sensing people there's a good chance that we're...sensitive! News from around the world of late would be enough cause to put down the brush/hammer/torch and weep, let alone stress from our own lives.

Whatever the cause of this slowing, it's such a normal and integral part of a maker's's why we change course mid-stream, it's what makes us re-evaluate and tweak our businesses and artistic work.
Perhaps it's a tap on the shoulder reminding us to please take a break.

Do you take enough breaks? Me either. We should work on that. Ha ha.

Once we're in that dry spell it just...well, it just fucks with you. Let's just let real be real.
Confidence becomes despair and sometimes we spin our wheels so fast that we're just more mired down than before we did anything to fix our situation.
I'm not sure doubling down on work is the key, though it might be.
I'm not sure taking off for Fiji to find ourself is the solution, though wow it sounds really nice (and it might be).
It's completely different for each person
I do think that the drought has an inevitable end just as I really do think droughts are inevitable.
If it's a natural wave pattern complete with crest and trough then isn't it a lot less scary?
It's daunting!

Heck, I still haven't pinpointed what's constipated my creativity but I do know
that with almost a decade of in-the-black business ownership under my belt it is STILL utterly unsettling. Terrifying, actually. I like to think of my art life as a very healthy organism, that I keep all the parts oiled and dry but in the midst of raising a beloved little boy and running a household sometimes things get a little rusty.

Pair the oxidation with less than robust sales in the last few months and I'm really sitting at that crossroad of "what needs to change?" with a sharp discomfort. Like many of you, my income is not really optional, it's necessary. That definitely puts pressure on the decisions. There's only so much wiggle room.


I'm doing what has always been the thing that needs to be done when two roads diverge in that old yellow wood:

I am leaping wildly over the hill in the middle, not sure of what's on the other side.

For the longest time I had this intense vision of a piece of art, like for your wall.
Not made of metal (though employing it in places) but tooled leather both flat and formed.
It represented the apex of what my hands can do with the mediums I love.
It woke me up in the morning, it kept me up late.

(It still does.)

But every day I take an hour and I work on it (I pinkie swore with myself that I would). I work on small pieces that go into My Shops
and things long-promised to patient friends and then I do what I promised I'd do.

My drought-cause thought is that this wall art idea was so game-changing and persistent that it clogged the pipe.
It held off the rain clouds.

Am I still nervous in the midst of what could be a game-changer? Ohmygod yes. Am I paralyzed? Heavens no. That's a waste of time. 

It's tough to look at our less-than-ideal creative situations as a scientist would when we're emotionally and financially invested in them but I think there is a very big gift in doing so,
in lists and figures and plans and action strategies.

The alternative is falling apart and digging in our heels. That might be fun for a while, melodrama can be very satisfying but ultimately that's such a silly way to spend the days when we've got these gifted and useful hands. Let's not wring them, let's use them to build the foundation for future work.

What started for me as "Fine!! I'll do it!!" has become a guide of sorts: 'Chrysalis Heart' will be the centerpiece of a new website where all of the things that previously got scattered over the interwebs will have one central point. I think I'll write more.
I think I'll look into other selling options, be they art shows or stockists.

If creative longevity teaches you anything it's that there is nothing static
about the path we're on.
Sometimes craft splits off into other aspects of creative work,
sometimes we throw in the towel to get relief,
sometimes we innovate and survive in our chosen field.
None of these paths are any less valid than the next or the previous.

I'm making lists
and checking them twice,
trying to figure out what is nice about my business
and what needs to go suck on a lump of coal.

I am getting loving advice from my best advisors.

I am delighting in the holiday successes of my brothers and sisters in making because it's gorgeous to see someone fly.

I am baking and snuggling and talking endlessly about superhero stuff with my favorite guys.

I trust that the world is wide and infinitely filled with possibilities.
I trust that what made me has guided me to make.
I trust that if I see this process as an adventure it will be so.
Even the droughty bits.

With great wishes for your own crests and troughs,

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Year's Last Offering

Lasso the Stars Earrings, Turquoise Edition. 

Lasso the Stars Earrings, Turquoise Edition #2. 

Lasso the Stars Earrings, Quartz Edition. 

Wishbone Necklace. Grossular Green Garnet, Cabbed Here. Sterling Silver Wishbone.

Over the next two or three days I'll be placing 
the last of this year's work in the Metal Shop.

I wanted to take this time to tell you how much it means to me,
(going into my ninth year of SunnyRising)
your support of not just my small business but all small business.
You have an infinity of choices and I am honored every time something 
gets lovingly packaged and sent your way.

Thank you




Tuesday, November 17, 2015

"Relief" Shop Update Preview, Part II

Early Night Sky. Coral. Sterling silver. Enamel and watercolor on copper.

2 pair of tiny sterling silver bee wings.

Lapis Lazuli and Chrysoprase Fir Tree Earrings. Enamel and watercolor on copper.

Those Singular Kyanite Earrings from yesterday? On.

Carnelian Fir Tree Earrings. Enamel and Watercolor on Copper.

Blood Moon Earrings in Turquoise and Coral

Singular Magic Fir Tree Earring (just one, as the title implies). Carnelian. Coral. Enamel and Watercolor on Copper. Sterling chain.

The Blood Moon Seed Bead Earrings, On.

Cecil the Lion, Tribute Necklace. Prehnite. Brass. Sterling. Feathers for his journey.
The sun always at his back. 

A portion of his proceeds will be donated to a wildlife conservation effort,
just like the engraved bull elephant.

All of these treasures will find their way into the 

tomorrow at 5 pm Pacific time.

That's Wednesday November 18th at 5 pm.

With all of the love,