Monday, November 29, 2010

If dogs could talk..

they'd be saying something like, "For crying out loud, why are we doing a down stay when there are SQUIRRELS to chase."

I think we have to work on down stay more often.  It was a very cool morning with mist rising off the frozen ground, possibly the reason the pic is a little cloudy.  Or that my phone was in my pocket and fogged up, or that I got handcream on the lens, drat.  My heavy scarf felt so good this morning.

We go there once or twice a week so I'll try again.  I'd love to get them into an ore cart.  Unfortunately, with two it's like herding monkeys.

I'm making more silver blobs.  They are ever so much fun, maybe a little scary when the silver begins to pool and starts to move itself across the kiln brick, shimmering hotly, molten.

At what point in our lives do we begin to learn from others?  To feel the peace and kindness that radiates from a person and consciously decide to take that feeling into ourselves?. To let it breathe through our cells in hope that it will stay and expand into our lives and interactions? To witness the toxic pain and anger of a person and choose to learn how to be softer and kinder and more forgiving in our own mind? It seems that almost every day I see ways to improve and while I certainly continue to feel fear and anger and impatience I feel like I may be heading up a good path.  It's good.

Peace to you and yours.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


I'm thankful for a sunny day, lots of nice projects done, decks swept, dog hair shaken from blankets, turkey carcass in the soup pot right now, smells luscious.

Here are a few of the wheels I've been making, love them.
I thought I'd try some words on one, this one says Love You on one side and Forever on the other.

I forgot I took this photo one morning recently. Our wading pool was lightly frozen over in beautiful patterns.  That's Bode's nose, no wait, it's Dandy's nose.

Peace to you.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I shall go Mad

If this rain doesn't stop.  I feel like the Grinch, "Sinking slowly into madness...."
I'm beginning to think I may have to move to Arizona.  Which is a terrible thought for someone who loves trees and mountains and water but I NEED SUN.

I feel like I'm wading through water. I still managed to get plenty done, washing, dishes, studio work including some fine silver reclamation with my rolling mill, cooked a turkey, amused the boys, worked on a crochet project, paced around, looked out the windows, checked the mail three times, wiped 8 wet feet and two wet bellies more times than I care to remember, looked out the window some more.  I know, bores me too.

I think it's the lack of exercise, our usual is a couple of miles so going without makes me feel sluggish and wired up, all at once. Tomorrow we'll make up for it.

The turkey was good though, with dressing and a nice salad.  Now I can make turkey sandwiches with a little mayo and a lot of mustard.  I even bought the really yellow stuff, which is best on turkey sandwiches.

Reclaiming fine silver is fun.  I keep each tiny piece and then torch those pieces into a big blob.  Then the blob gets fed through the rolling mill, once or twice and then back to the torch and so on until it's a nice piece of sheet.  Once I had a nice chunk of sheet I ran it through the mill again with linen, punched a bunch of discs, drilled a hole in the center and polished them up.  I've got a lot of really beautiful lampwork beads that look great with the silver discs or bead caps.  I'll tumble them up tomorrow and take pics to post.  I dislike pictures under lighting, natural light just seems more true.

I've been contemplating the art of conversation.  Since I've moved away most of my interactions have been on the phone, wonderful but lacking in the essential element of face time.  On this cold rainy day I found myself craving some conversation, some company, some human interaction.  I've been guarding my alone time, building up a base of security in my little treehouse.  Now I'm looking to head out and gather up some company, some friends to cook for and to laugh with.  By spring I hope to have regular company on my deck for sunset watching.  


Thursday, November 25, 2010


That's the word for the day.  We went walking at the Empire Mine this morning. The air is crisp, cold enough to make a fleece, scarf and gloves feel good. There's a really nice scent of woodsmoke in the air but it's not overwhelming.  The sun is out and the brightness feels good on my face as I walk.  The best part of of the walk is the crunch underfoot.  We've had a lot of water in the last few days and now it's lightly frozen. You'd have to get down on your knees to really see the amazing frosty world.  Can you see the pebble being lifted by the frost?

But two miles on my knees would have been difficult so I only stopped a couple times to take pictures.  The boys waited patiently.  We met another Cardigan Corgi on our walk, good old Walter who is 11 and still acts just as friendly and goofy as young Bode, if a little slower.

There is still plenty of color left though the leaves are falling fast now with the frost.

I've got my pies done, pumpkin and buttermilk, along with real cranberry sauce.  I think I'll break out the pomegranite syrup for the buttermilk pie, yum.

The best thing about a holiday is that friends seems to reach out more to connect.  We reflect on the blessings of our life and want to say thanks to those we love.

 There are so many degrees of thankfulness.  I'm thankful for my dogs and their constant attention in my life and for their joy in each day and their ability to warm my feet at night.  I'm thankful for my family and our deep history of laughter and tears and for the promise of our future together and the knowledge that eventually some will go ahead of us into the unknown.  I'm thankful for my friends and their cheery greetings and wise words and hugs in time of joy and trouble. I'm thankful for friends yet unknown and how joyful it is to be allowed to share our past lives in search of common ground.  I'm thankful for the beauty my eyes see everyday and for the ability to appreciate that beauty.  I'm thankful for the skill of my hands and the health of my body.  And I'm thankful that someone is making turkey and dressing.  Tomorrow I'll be thankful for all the above and cold turkey sandwiches with mayo and mustard.

Let the feasting begin!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Rain, Snow, Sleet, Hail, Rain, Snow...

Oh goodie, winter in northern California is here.  I knew it had to hit sometime but the fantasy was nice. Luckily I'm a little lower in elevation so less snow here, though we did get enough for the boys to romp through.

I love the fall colors and this is my favorite tree so far, the sycamore.  I think the sycamore thinks it has to put on the whole fall leaf display.  Each tree has multiple colors with many of the leaves different colors.  No two sycamores seem to have the same colors either, they are spectacular.
But with the good comes the bad.  I've noticed after this last storm that many big limbs have broken off, so they must be rather fragile.

Thanksgiving week.  I hope so much that my family here can be together though it's not looking good. It's my first big holiday alone and I'm finding it terribly difficult.  The turkey is defrosting, later I'll brine it per Alton Brown's instructions.  Pumpkin pie made with real sugar pumpkin and cranberry sauce from real cranberries, orange and some walnuts for crunch, yum!  I've got a bag of walnuts to crack and shell.  I suppose I should have done that before I vacuumed, oh well.

Peace to you and to yours, a rare and fragile thing.

Edited - Those aren't sycamores, they are called Liquid Amber trees, whatever that is, they are always spectacularly.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

New Gallery!

I'm so happy to have my jewelry here:

Artists Studio in the Foothills

It's a community of artists, some have their studio here, some just display here.  They have a new gift shop which now displays my jewelry.

I'd love to have a studio here but I'm a little bit noisy, hammering is not exactly what painters and sculptors want to hear all day.  Actually I prefer my home studio as I tend to wander in and out all day, but being around these amazing artists is so inspiring.

Like Kathryn Wronski, who paints fabulous portraits of dog, pigs, cows and landscapes.
Painting-Coufos Cow

Isn't this the coolest picture you've ever seen?

And Sculptor Amanda Paoletti  and a bunch of other really talented artists.

So now I've got to head back into the studio and keep the inventory up, woot!

May your day be great!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New earrings!

Good morning!

 I just wanted to tell you that I sent off a new batch of earrings to Julia at the Blue Heron Gallery in Winona and Jodie at Jewels on the River in Wabasha.

Let me know if you need something special for the holidays.  I'm shipping stuff out now.  I'll be in Boulder for a few days in December for my baby's graduation but otherwise I'm at your service.

Enjoy the day!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Learn, Make, Teach...

I love what I do.

I never much liked college, sitting in classrooms learning theory and fact drove me up the wall.  I prefer working with my hands, learning by doing, making mistakes, trying new techniques and seeing improvement from day to day.

Now I get to spend as much time as I want in my workshop, learning new things, making new things and occasionally teaching.  I think it's a logical progression to move into teaching, especially when you really love something.  Teaching is fun.

I needed some new PMC pieces to use as examples for my Intro to PMC class.
The earrings are almost three inches long, backed with textured copper.

It continues to be beautiful fall weather here. The days are sunny and bright and perfect for long walks.  The nights are cool and starry and perfect for sitting in front of a flickering fire.

Life is good.

Friday, November 12, 2010

It's a new day!

I don't stay down for long.  Today is beautiful, cool and crisp, sunny sky, happy dogs, happy me.  It's true that when one door closes another opens.  It also helps being unbearable optimistic.  I think hanging out with a bunch of really nice women helped last night too.  It's good to remember I'm not marooned on my own island but rather I'm in charge of my little row boat and there are a lot of us bumping along together.  I'm finding that lately I've got such great wells of peace that it's easier than ever to let the bad things go quickly and get back to the life I love.

This song by Michael Buble is bouncing around in my head.

Birds flying high
You know how I feel
Sun in the sky
You know how I feel
Reeds driftin' on by
You know how I feel
It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
For me
And I'm feeling good

Fish in the sea
You know how I feel
River running free
You know how I feel
Blossom in the tree
You know how I feel
It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
For me
And I'm feeling good

Look at these beautiful leaves, fall is still here, sorry to those in Minnesota getting their first snow,.

I get to teach a class and then stop home and have pizza with my family, two things to look forward to, hugs all around.

Peace to you.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Telling Me Lies

The song for the day, written by Linda Thompson and sung with an aching poignancy by Linda Ronstadt.

They say a woman's a fool for weeping
A fool to break her own heart
But I can't hold the secret I'm keeping
I'm breaking apart

Can't seem to mind my own business
Whatever I try turns out wrong
I seem like my own false witness
And I can't go on

I cover my ears I close my eyes
Still hear your voice and it's telling me lies
Telling me lies

You told me you needed my company
And I believed in your flattering ways
Told me you needed me forever
Nearly gave you the rest of my days

Should've seen you for what you are
Should never have come back for more
Should've locked up all my silver
Brought the key back to your door

I cover my ears I close my eyes
Still hear your voice and it's telling me lies
Telling me lies

You don't know what a chance is
Until you have to seize one
You don't know what a man is
Until you have to please one
Don't put your life in the hands of a man
With a face for every season
Don't waste your time in the arms of a man
Who's no stranger to treason

I cover my ears I close my eyes
Still hear your voice and it's telling me lies
Telling me lies

I cover my ears I close my eyes
Still hear your voice and it's telling me lies
I cover my ears I close my eyes
Still hear your voice and it's telling me lies

Tonight I'm mourning the death of a long friendship, one I've cherished through many dark times.  However, lies of omission are still lies and the hurt is deep and painful.

I am a good friend, a loving daughter and sister.  I have been priviledged to bring two fine people into this world and have steered them into adulthood. I deserve to be treated with honesty and caring.  I will not settle for almost good enough or allow anyone to make me feel less than the vibrant, beautiful woman I am.

Tomorrow will be a new day.  A good day, filled with love from my two boys, my family and my friends. I'll make beautiful things that people will cherish for many years.  I'll share my art with those who are needing guidance.  It will be a good day, I know it.


I feel pretty, oh so pretty!

Amazing what a nice haircut and brow wax will do for a girl.  For maybe 24 hours I'll have wonderful smooth hair with gentle wavy curls that dance around. Then I'll wash it and SHAZAM! back to my usual.  Which has been characterized by me as full blown dandlelion and by my kids as Mad Madam Mim (remember her from the Sword in the Stone?).  Oh the joys of curly hair.  Though I do have to say it's much better here than in ultra-humid Minnesota, this dry air is a bit hard on your skin but keeps the frizzies away.

I dipped my foot into the housing market and looked at two houses today, both built about the same time (1979/1980) but absolutely nothing at all alike beyond that.  I won't say much about the second house except, teeny rooms, cheaply built, no storage, no garage, fabulous view.  But the first house is sublime, well built, fabulous wood, great beams, quirky design, loved it.  Of course, I need to look at quite a few houses to get a feel for the different areas.  I might end up coming back to the first house, you never know.

Oh but gee, I can see myself living there.  Sigh....I just have to be careful because I've been known to choose with haste and repent with leisure, ok with carpet, bad with a house. Just so you know though, it's even more of a treehouse than I have now, every room has windows that reveal lovely trees, and the master bedroom has an inside balcony that overlooks a little forest.  It just needs a chaise, a soft wooly blanket and a cup of coffee for a nice afternoon rest.

Tonight I've been invited to go play Bunco(?), which sounds very fun and social so I'm ready for that.  Tomorrow is my metal clay class at Beads Galore in Grass Valley, another very exciting day or two as I love watching the light bulbs go on for people when they first play with this amazing material.

Talk soon!


Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Fall at Empire Mine

This is such a beautiful place. (Little Wolf Creek)

A couple of weeks ago this little creek was just a trickle.  It's running nicely now and as the rainy season comes in it will be higher still.  It's very cool and damp here and the forest is heavy and sort of scary.  They have mountain lion warning signs so it's an interesting place to be, knowing something large and furry with unblinking yellow eyes may be watching.  Every now and then the dogs will stop and stare off into the woods and if you look close you'll see their noses flare as they suck in the scent.  What are they smelling?

I've been out of sorts lately, transitioning weather and life slowing me down a little. So this week I stacked up a bunch of fun things to do as a sort of perk-me-up.  Today I got a tour of my new health club and found the shooting range, what a strange combination to think of taking a Tai Chi class and then signing up for Basic Marksmanship. We'll have to talk about shooting and firearms in more detail later. Tomorrow I'm getting a haircut at a new salon I found in Nevada City, good thing as I'm a bit shaggy.  Thursday I'm looking at a couple of houses for sale, that's going to be fun.

Look at this huge nose, he's wanting me to do something and it's not sit on the chair and write.
Sweet Bode, maybe he just wants to head to bed, so we will and we'll snuggle and listen to the driving rain and acorns bouncing on the front deck.

Peaceful night to you.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Water Wandering

We spent the day water wandering at the Yuba River again.  It's an exquisitely beautiful place and the day was beautiful too.

Most of the walk is on a four foot wide ledge hugging the side of the canyon.  It all gives me the willies but the boys just dog laugh at me and keep trotting along.  What do they know?  They're down low and wouldn't fall over if they stumbled.  Later in the wet season this river will be a bit different, safety warnings are posted all over.

This view of the river is much more to my liking and easier to get a drink too.  We like to climb all over the big rocks.  You would be amazed at how agile Corgis are, they jump up, down and over some pretty big rocks, and wiggle through small spaces.

The rock is smooth and polished and in places looks like piles of whipped cream.

We ended up wading in the water again. Along the way there were fig trees with large ripe figs.  The water was cold, cold, cold but felt so good.  Bode loved it and both dogs did a little swimming, mostly following me out.

Then we went home and took a nap.

The pile of pumpkins is getting a little smaller which means lots of pies later this winter.  Yum!

Peace to you.

75 and Sunny

Well, November evidently was offended by being referred to as bleak.  The last couple of days have been clear and sunny with fine breezes and masses of colorful leaves everywhere you look.  I know it's not going to last but it's been glorious to sit outside in the sun and soak it up.

Isn't it Frederick the Mouse who gathered colors and warmth so he could tell tales of them in the deepest winter?

Here's my first November sunset.

Taken with my Droid.

I've been forging metal lately, love these beads by Jenelle Aubade.  I've got a few more brewing with lampwork by Gayle Hood, all exquisite works of art.