Monday, December 24, 2012

Cracked out...

...on BABY TOES!

Got to nibble them,

And see la bella mammina,

Peace and Merry Christmas to you.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry, merry...

Today I breathe a huge sigh of relief.

The tree is up.
Most of the present are bought, even though some wrapping still has to be done.
The big boxes are sent off to Texas.
My Man is here, safe over the passes which are now treacherous and snow bound.
My custom work is done and delivered.
AND, she is here!

My granddaughter, Georgia Belle has made her appearance and is safe in her Mom's arms.  She's already wrapped her Daddy, her Grandpa and her Uncle around her little finger.

I'm counting the days until I get to hold her, for now I get daily pictures.

A joyful heart doesn't even begin to describe the feeling of this baby, this daughter of my daughter.

Love pours out of us, once we let it go and stop damming it up.  I'm so in love, with breathing, and the scent of the steady rain, woodsmoke, baby fingers, fresh green Christmas trees, his hand on my body, the cold noses of the dogs and their eyes watching, family, children, good friends far and near, banging on metal, planning a meal for all, hot coffee and cold beer, and this incredible baby.

Today I wish you Peace, in your heart, which is where all good things start.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Big Sky Country

"I wanna meet you in the big sky country
Just wanna prove, mama, love can last, yeah.
Like hallelujah in the big sky country,
Just like forever and ever is why,
Be getting over in the big sky country, 
Big kissing time, kissing time goodbye,"

Big Sky Country by Chris Whitley

The big expanse,
surrounded and embraced by
tall snowy mountains,
holds me
with the clouds
and the sweet
mooing of cows 
late at night.
Stars shooting,
cold air,
we wait
for more
and not knowing,
we hold our breath,
exhale in 
There, see!


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Chest Deep

Pretty little Corgi in the snow,
hunting for the perfect Christmas tree,
so says Mom,
what he's looking for,
doesn't smell like a

We go here,
we go there,
wet feet,
this one Mom?

Nope she says,
standing under,
shaking the
snow off many,
she's very snowy

Ach, she cries,
no anointing that one,
it's going home
with us.



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The forest in the trees -

(Click on the photo to make it bigger.)

Our abundant rains have brought back GREEN in a big way.  I like to keep an eye out for the moss on the trees and rocks.  It gets less and less vivid as the summer progresses and then bursts out at the first good rain.  The little tendrils unfurl and reach out  to catch more moisture.  The trees put on their holiday finery, green velvet skirts of living moss.


Thursday, December 06, 2012

Water Baby

Last weekend was very wet here, major flooding wet.  Our backyard (otherwise known as the Empire Mine state park) was a lot of fun and a little challenging, at least for those of us who don't like getting their feet wet.

Bode just tries to keep his tail dry, easier to wag that way.


Monday, December 03, 2012


My friend Susan wants to be on my R&D team.  She's a dream come true for a designer.  She comes into my studio and says how about this and what about that and then she walks out and the fun starts.  She's also an incredible artist so my ears perk up when she starts talking.

Just about the time I'm almost burned out, whacking out a dozen of something just because I need them,  now I can't keep the ideas from dancing around and I'm itching to get back to work.

These came from one of her visits and I think they will go in all sorts of fun ways.

The tendrils will get crazier and maybe some small hammered flowers will appear soon.

So, even though it's after 6pm I'm going back to work, or play, as the case may be.  That's when the studio is most wonderful anyway, quiet and private, just my kind of place.


Sunday, December 02, 2012

Special Exhibit

Starting on (Cornish Christmas) Friday, December 7th and continuing through December I will have a special exhibit at Avanguardia Winery Tasting room in Grass Valley, 209 West Main Street.

Here's their link: Avanguardia Wines

They make a great wine called Cristallo that is blended with the varietal Rkatsiteli which is just a great white, crisp and steely, one of my favorites.

I'm so excited that these nice people are interested in displaying my jewelry.


Friday, November 30, 2012

One year, one week...

Soft light
warm leather
incredible art
funky furniture
mountain laurels
dogs at my feet
hallelujah kitchen
wooden floors
treasure box

I never thought I'd own a house I love so much.  I come home and slip into my skin here, like a selkie to her ocean. The trees embrace me, the mountain so dense and thick has my back, the people here get me like no other, the swirl of ideas and projects and things undiscovered light up my eyes.

When I go to him I drink in the sky, worship the far mountains, take the sunsets into my soul, and of course, renew my heart in his arms and it's good.  He sustains me there, so far from my wellspring, chains me gladly for a time, until the yearning comes again and I fly back over the mountain, racing for home.

I've got the best of both worlds, two places to renew, him and home, being away from either makes the return sweet and satisfying and joyful.

The countdown to my first Grandchild is on, only days now until Miss Cilantro makes her debut into our arms.  She's already in our hearts, like her Mama and Daddy.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Through the Garden Gate

down the path
leaves thick and
under your feet.
of pine
and ivy
and the
Breathe in the
of the
Put your hand
on the old
the latch.

see me,
the coffee
is hot and smells of

we will.
we can't not.
this day,

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fixer Upper

Imagine the possbilities!

Cute and cozy fixer-upper, bring your tools, bring your bulldozer (did I say that?).

This darling house on a nice lot with great views has some wood and some metal siding.

Plenty of room for your garden too.

Actually, I love looking at this little place on our walks in the high desert.  The textures are fabulous and it has this attitude of enduring.

Who lived there?  What happened with their lives?  What's the story behind it?  Seems lately I can't see anything without wanting to know the story or I start to make up a story of my own.

Meanwhile, back in my cozy mountain cabin the rain has started too.  Except here the trees draw in a large breathe and exhale GREEN.  It smells green and the colors have brightened and sharpened.  Even the moss is unfurling on the tree trunks, it's glorious.

My man will be here today and we will be off to his large family Thanksgiving celebration and then back here for my small family celebration.  I'm so happy to have him and his family and my family.


Thursday, November 15, 2012


Last week I was walking down my quaint little downtown street, window shopping and juggling my cup of hot coffee and my gallery keys, thinking about random stuff.

Boom! Total instant love!  Can you believe how gorgeous this baby is?  The big window, the sexy fenders, the color.

I stopped to snap a picture and then went on into the gallery to turn on lights, unlock doors and fire up the computer.  As I was dragging out the Open sign a man walked across the street from the little diner and hopped in.

Here's the wonderful thing, he drove this beautiful thing into town to meet his buddies for breakfast, which makes it ever so much cooler.  All around I see these fine old trucks still working, still moving people and construction supplies and whatnot.  I've got to love all of them and the people who love them and keep them going.

I would imagine that this man isn't going to trade his wife of 40 years in on a newer, sleeker model.  She may have a few lumps and bumps, some skin with lines and she may start up a bit slowly in the morning.  Her chassis has broadened out with the loads she's carried and her springs are creaky.  He smiles with the memories of her laughing and carrying his children and how her bright blue eyes sparkle just for him.

Peace to you and yours from me and mine.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Reasons to love California...

Of course, there are many but this is a particularly fine example.

Today is November 7th.  I picked these gorgeous, fragrant roses today.  It was 70 degrees today but I thought I'd best save them before it snows tomorrow night.


Bode on Halloween

With some digital enhancement Bad Boy Bode dressed up for Halloween.

This is one of the silliest boys I've ever met.  He's often a handful, nothing unusual for a mature, intact male but he tries really hard.


Monday, November 05, 2012


Holy cow, I can still shoot.

I took a break from this league but remained on the sub list.

Tonight I filled in on a very nice team and definitely held up my end.

180 is a perfect score for the front half.

170 is really good on the back, considering that at 15 yards we were shooting in a kneeling position and at 25 yards we shot both strong and weak hand using a barricade.

I'm very happy but the best part was seeing all my great friends.

Peaceful dreams and 180's to you.

First Fall

I'm winding down on the first year in my cottage.

My own home,
my oasis,
my shelter,
my blissful place,
old but new,

What an incredible year it has been, from stringing up the first Christmas lights to watching the leaves fall off the maple tree.

And the dogwoods, the dogwoods, sweet Goddess, the exquisite dogwoods.

I shook heavy wet snow off the branches,
feeling like a little girl dancing in the snow showers.

I marveled at the huge white blossoms,
stars of velvet outside my windows.

I tenderly watered all through the hot summer,
soaking their feet,
creating a little wetland oasis.

I sat on my rocker on the front porch,
sheltered by green,
breathing the lacy softness
into my body,

And now, the beginning of the long rest,
storing energy,
making dreams for the
winter's memory.

promises of
to come,
colorful fantasies,
hints of

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Junkyard dogs

Dandy and Bode are always with me.

Whenever I look up I can see at least one of them.

The other is probably tucked under my feet.

Their fur is woven into crochet projects.

They are the first to greet me in the morning.

Mostly to remind me it's breakfast time.

We've traveled thousands of miles together.

Bode sleeps under my bed.

They are my cooking companions, chief floor lickers.

Companions, comforters, consolers, cheerleaders, cuties.

Our high desert retreat features the delightful Red.

His old girl, faithful and friendly.

We spent a lot of time outside together.

Best friends.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Up and Over

What?  Winter?  What's winter?

And so I found myself happily enjoying a fine week at my favorite high desert retreat, cooking, walking the boys on crispy cool mornings, washing and waxing the fleet, hammering some new designs in the woodsy scented shop and generally enjoying the days and loving the star filled nights.

We bought superb pie pumpkins and roasted them for a pumpkin pie.  It was the perfect fall week.

Sunday night we were disappointed to find the stars obscured by clouds which blocked our meteor shower viewing.  I needed to head back over the mountain on Monday morning and woke early to the scent of fresh rain with the newsman showing us the snow covered Donner Pass.

Chain control, shit.

Delaying a couple of days was not possible, had to go anyway.

I have gotten lazy about having a snow kit in my FJ, which was a given in Minnesota by mid October if you're smart.  I had no boots, no gloves, no warm coat, no hat and no chains.  However, unless it's really bad the FJ doesn't have to be chained and is such a tank it barely notices bad weather.

I've spent my life driving in terrible conditions, deep cold, wet snow, driving rain, blowing and drifting snow, you name it I've probably driven though it.  But heading over the pass isn't something I'd do on a whim, mainly because of all the drivers who don't have my experience and thus have no fear, those are the dangerous ones and often you can't avoid them.

Here's the day...

 Cruising south on 395, stunning clouds all around, snow dusting the mountains.

Heading up 80 from Reno, not so bad.

 Getting more serious but still pretty easy.

Hmmmm, waiting in line to get through chain control.  Big truck, big truck, big truck, Mini Cooper, big truck, big truck.

 Discovering that being stopped can give you the most magnificent view ever.  Here it got sort of rough, deep  wet snow, not safe to take pics.

And heading down from the summit, piece of cake.

It was warm enough to be mostly wet with the excitement of one or two poor folk who ended up over the side or in a bank.  I was planning to stop at the highest rest stop to let the boys play in the snow, but a car had spun out and blocked the exit.  I wonder why he thought he could drive through snow that was deeper than his undercarriage?

Make sure you click on the pics to see them BIG.

I had a great time until I got into Colfax and my phone started blaring a severe weather warning, TORNADO!  WTF?

Truth, we had a whole evening of tornado sightings and a small touch down in Yuba City  I got home and spent the evening fairly close to an interior closet, just in case.

Glad to be home.

Friday, October 12, 2012


She's beautiful, artistically talented, fun to hang out with and really good with a .357.

This is what happens when two artists decide to take a break from the studio, from torching, hammering, bending wire and polishing fine metals.

We do lunch and then hang out at the Range.

A couple of years back I was hoping for some great friendships, things have turned out well and are getting better all the time.

Of course, she likes to jump out of airplanes, that I think I will skip.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Little Red Hen

I hauled the big ladder out of the garage and stuffed it in the FJ.

Went up to Nevada City to my old neighborhood and precariously perched myself on the ladder to pick about a half bucket of yellow plums.  Sigh...last year there wasn't anyone living there and I managed to pick three buckets full just from the branches that hung over the street.  This year the house occupant used them, which is good, at least they didn't go to waste.

Then I went to the farm (Starbright Acres Farm) and cruised through their vege stand where I found masses of beautiful basil, green peppers, heirloom tomatoes and some gorgeous eggplant.

This afternoon I roasted two pie pumpkins, boiled the plums to release the juice and made three big batches of pesto.  My kitchen smells heavenly.

I put a couple of big spoonfuls into a baggie and freeze them, they don't retain their color very well but are wonderful tossed into pasta or soups.

The plums are juiced and ready to boil up into jelly tomorrow.  The kitchen is clean and I'm beat.

In between I spent some time in my studio preparing a last minute custom order.

Busy days, productive days, looking forward to the weekend Open Studio Tour again and then a nice week in the high desert with my man.  I'm going to see how much work I can get done there, during the day anyway.

Peaceful dreams.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Biting off a big chunk -

And trying not to choke.

The curtains from the fancy store that starts with a P cost way too much for our budget.  I said I could make them and we spent less than 40 dollars on fabric.

While in Austin my goal was to finish those curtains and after hours and hours of seaming and ruffling I actually did finish, whew!

Here they are, each panel has 15 layers of ruffles in simple white muslin, they look like a crazy dress or a wedding cake maybe.

The room is pale, pale lavender, the sleigh crib is dark wood and their new flooring is dark and rich too.  These will be the only floofy thing in the decor, my baby tends to keep things minimalist.

Love them but will NEVER, NEVER do another set, ha!  I could have made a whole quilt top in the same amount of time.

Hmmmm, maybe I should do one of those next?

For now I'm in cleaning mode for the Open Studios Tour these next two weekends and then I'm madly working to keep up with the Holiday frenzy.  All of December I will be a featured artist at Avanguardia Tasting room in downtown Grass Valley.  On December 8th there will be a Jewelers Trunk show at ASIF.  AND, it looks like I may be able to get my pretty stuff into a gallery in Truckee, which thrills me completely.

Tonight is the Habitat for Humanity Art Auction at the Miner's Foundry in Nevada City, hope to see you there.

Today my Man will be here for a long weekend of fun and frolic, YES!


Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Baby Toes

Pretty toes, mine are sort of tortured, hers are prettier. 

I'm loving this feet idea, where they have taken us and the places still to explore.

Talking to my man last night was gratifying, as we dreamed of the places we want to go together.  I love traveling with this man.  For years and years I've taken on the role of tour director, overseeing every detail, planning and worrying and often forgetting the point of it all was to have fun.  Now everything is different, his strength carries us, his careful manner leaves me trusting that all is well,  his curiosity and sense of humor is always turned on, together we accomplish the work and share the fun.  Our only goal is to be together.
Life is so interesting right now.  I'm deeply happy each day, grounded but giddy, satisfied but yearning for more. 

I'm going to be a Grandmother in December.  This event thrills me but makes me apprehensive too, knowing my baby is heading into a life event.  She's going to be so good as a Mother.   Right now the distance between us seems huge.  I want so much to watch her grow and change on a daily basis.

But for now I've been sewing curtains and cooking some extra stuff to fill up her freezer.

And I place my hands on her belly and send the little one greetings and good thoughts until the day comes when she's in our arms.

Hearts break so they can open wider to hold more love. 

Mine is still spilling over.

Monday, October 01, 2012

The County Line

Big ol' margaritas,  beer, ribs, slow cooked peppered turkey, sausage, brisket, potato salad, cole slaw, beans and homemade bread with honey butter.  Then top it off with bread pudding, pecan pie and blackberry cobbler.  (Take most of it home for lunch the next day.)

Have a blast with my little family, laugh, tease and take a bunch of silly pictures.

Life is good.  Tomorrow night I head home to my enchanted cottage, the furry boys and my cute housemate.  On Friday a joyful reunion with my man.

And this weekend and the next I will be in my studio at ASIF (Artists Studios in the Foothills) for the Open Studios Tour.

Come and see me and get your order started for custom pieces for the Holidays.

I will also be teaching classes, resins, basic metalworking, Viking Knit and others.

Life is good.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Downtown Austin

Me and my son after his set, which was taped for the Good Music Club.
A Happy Mom

Monday, September 24, 2012

Packing again

And here's the dilemma,

Vintage Tony Lama

Or new Dingo

Of course, there is also the black Vintage TL to consider.

I'd like to do some stomping around in the muck with the Dingos so they have a bit of street cred, or would you call that corral cred?  But they are sooooo comfortable it's hard to leave them.

We shall see.

I'm thrilled to be heading back to Texas to see my kids and to continue my determined efforts to suck up as much tequila, beer and fire roasted animal parts as possible.

However, that means leaving part of my heart behind (this time).  I can't wait to take him with me, he's a worthy partner in the tequila and animal parts contest.

Here we are on the Northern Coast, always happy, always laughing, always in the midst of mischief.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

As far as the eye can see...

Thousands of grape vines, loaded with dense clusters of purple grapes.  This is Lake County, close to Clear Lake.  It's exquisitely beautiful country filled with kind and beautiful people, a huge loving family gathered to celebrate a wedding.
Life is good, everything I could wish for.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Train Station

Which is sort of what my house has become, a place to swing in, unpack bags, wash laundry, pack bags and go again.

Two shots of the high desert sky at sunset.

Off again today for an adventure with my man, rendezvous to drop off my truck, meet his family (!) and then back again for a get together with a best friend.

AND then, home for a day and off to Texas next week.  Where I will play tourist for a couple of days while I wait for my loved ones to either return from trips to NY or finish big work projects.

THEN, home with three days to prepare for the Open Studios Tour, after which it will be the middle of October, what?


Friday, September 14, 2012

Home and away...

11 days, that's how many days I'm actually home this month.

I'm grateful every day to have my sweet house mate here but more so this month, she takes such great care of the boys and the house while I'm gone.

In between I'm working furiously in the studio.  Here's a little taste of what's happening there.
This earring does have a mate but it wasn't finished yet.  Fine silver with freshwater pearls.

The coast, the high desert, the interior and then to Texas.  Whew!  Busy but fun.

I'm happy to say I'm in a relationship with a great guy who satisfies my soul in so many ways. If he gives his permission I will post photos of us.  Until then you have to use your imagination to see our smiling faces.

I'm a lucky women, his woman.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Breaking up is hard to do...

A close member of my family is experiencing the breakdown and end of a four year relationship.  It's so hard to sit and watch this kind of thing happen and yet it reminds me of the post on grief that I wrote on August 24th, 2010.

What's important here is that he has a chance to grieve and is able to do it with the people he loves.  I'm grieving too, it's a painful loss of a relationship that I cherished.  But now I see how it's so much better to wade into his grief and give him permission to be sad.

I'm so proud that he's approaching this whole process with grace and maturity, not burning bridges, not allowing his anger to take over and even now he's starting to look ahead, if only one day at a time.

I'm so incredibly gratified that he's come to me to talk things out.  I feel like it's been a long two year journey of losing that connection and that we've come full circle back to each other in an adult and enlightened way.

His grief has reminded me of the journey I've taken, of how far I've come and how wide is the horizon before me.

Perhaps the greatest gift is his knowing that he must first take care of himself before he can take care of another.

This is possibly the most valuable lesson I've learned in the last couple of years.  Once I learned to love me and to take the time to really discover who and what I am then the people and experiences that I really need and want have made themselves evident. That honesty with myself has been hard and I know that what's ahead will be hard too but the feeling of wholeness is there.

Honesty with myself, honesty with others, asking for what I want, knowing that satisfaction only comes from being truly what I am.

And now he sees just a little what I'm talking about and knows that it's important for him too.

I'm a very lucky woman.


Saturday, September 08, 2012


It was a great trip, full of fabulous experiences and first time wonders.

When I look at my feet in the sand, washed by the ocean, I'm happy and a little wistful that the week is over.

But there are more adventures to come, my heart is content.