Monday, December 29, 2014

Drawing to a close...

This year is rapidly slipping away.

I love this time of year, the calendar is used up and shabby, the pages dog eared and scribbled upon.

The Holidays are almost done, just the last hoopla of New Years to see and then it's time to curl up and winter in, wrapped in fuzzy blankets, steaming tea at hand, slumbering critters, frost tapping on the windows.

The trees are stark and their bark is gratefully dark from our steady rains, leaves mashed in heaps at their feet, colors have fled, they rest.

Barely concealed are the promises of spring, the dogwood blossoms are tiny green pods, sheltering the abundant promise to come.

Here, in this relatively temperate climate the camellias are splashing their delicate colors on the hedges and the rhododendrons are busy building their lavish displays. It seems so strange to see these signs and to know that they will be safe even through a snow or two, bitter cold not usually present here.

And yet, I shiver in my ski jacket, scarf wrapped around my neck, gloves tucked into my purse and pockets, cold feet well socked and slippered. The insanely heavy sheepskin will come out soon, to wrap me in it's blissful softness and memories.

I've been locked in high gear for weeks and weeks, driving myself to do more, make more, be more. All with relative success, even burdened with a shading of grief at the loss of my companion, tears coursing down my face at strange times, yearning.

I continue to create, to laugh with joyful abandon at the antics of my furry friends. I finish it all and drive 3000 miles in 13 days to the smiles and hugs and heartfelt bliss of my family.

The miles of road, the endless mountains, the sky, all remind me how fragile we are, how little it matters, that only today, only the light in their eyes and the warmth of loving really matters. It's enough. I am enough.

The road to home, sheltering me now, here I expand my light to fill the dark corners, peaceful and safe, loving it all.

Peace to you and yours this winter's night.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Southwestern Roaming

Another one of my wandering drives across the Southwest to my babies in Texas.

 Visiting my dear Aunt in the Phoenix area, marveling at the Superstition mountains.

 And the cool cactus growing in her backyard. These little spots that looks so soft are definitely not!

Citrus growing happily, glowing in the rain.

Then I motored a back way to El Paso, through Pima, Arizona which was so surprising. I knew what Pima cotton was but not that it's an American grown product, how cool is that?

Now happily surrounded by family, children and my grandbaby, I'm a happy woman.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Moon to Moon

You kissed me beneath the harvest moon. Your breath pressed close to me, brushing my face with your beard, crushing me to you, nothing between us but desire.

Sated from a feast and hours of loving and preparing to feast yet again from our private table.

Never enough, sweet sleepless nights blending one into the other, a sacred joining like no other, consecrated in water, sunshine, dark nights, moon and stars, fire and molten metal, burning brightly, never dimming.

Tonight the great winter moon shines above me and I mourn you, torn apart by love, forever yearning, moon after moon, standing there apart but together, a sacred joining.

Always shining for you,

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Zippedy Do Dah..

Things have been so much fun lately, well, maybe except for coming back from Texas sick (again), what's with that anyway?

It's baby germs, jeez, they should parachute the little darlings into enemy lines and before you know it the whole country would be coughing and puking and unable to even get out of bed.  So, maybe that's not a great idea but the little cherubs have germ warfare down to a science.

I don't mind that much, it's probably good for my immune system and the cuddles and kisses are not to be missed.

I came home to the last glorious gasp of color from my flowering dogwoods. They're popular around here, many cars have stopped, many people with cameras have spent some time capturing that gorgeous color.

My adventurous friend and I attended another of our favorite events, a Polly's Paladar dinner. I was a little anxious considering the state of my stomach but found the rich flavors warmed me from the inside out, gently and without pain. I could eat like this all the time.

I haven't taken a jewelry techniques class in at least five years, maybe six. I teach here and there but have been missing that chance to immerse myself in new things and to push myself into techniques that I have tried but not mastered.

I'm halfway through a class at The Curious Forge, taught by Karen Olsen Ramsey, who is truly a master at what she does. Her teaching is a reflection of her spirit, delightful, kind, positive, calm and encouraging in such a way that all of us are gaining in confidence no matter our skill level.

I'm waking in the middle of the night dreaming of the things I can do with these extra skills in my toolbox, it's heavenly.

My sense of history and reflection comes on strong in this season. I think of my family, friends and lovers and find easy joy in thinking of how they've carved lines in my life and silvered my hair. They say that at 20 you have the face you were born with but at 50 you have the face you deserve. I cherish my laugh lines and those silvery strands as outward symbols of a joyful and loving life.

I am blessed.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Summer Recap

The summer of 2014 is over...

The star gazing couch is tucked away. This magical place on the deck has continued to delight me and those that visit me. There were so many touching and wonderful meetings there, drinks, laughter, peace, blissful star watching, can't wait until next May when we start again.

 Traveling and fun galore. Texas in May was a delightful mix of exploring, including a visit to the Carlsbad caverns and lots of baby time.

Since then they've moved into their own house, no more apartment, yay!

And then at the end of June our lives were rocked when my Dad had a stroke and we wondered if he'd ever be able to come home? He became even more my hero when he showed his warrior grit, climbing to his feet by sheer force of will, not once giving up or despairing but regaining his mobility faster than we ever thought possible.

When I look at him I see the warrior unbroken and unbowed, rising to his feet, shaking off his foes, slaying the ravening wolves of illness and age.  I know where my own warrior's heart comes from and what it's capable of. We choose dignity, we choose our own path, we shelter those around us and gain energy and joy from their love. I'm so lucky to have this man in my life.

Six weeks later we gathered to celebrate his 88th birthday and feted him in fine style, great food, tears of gratitude and happiness, tears of laughter when he started telling stories and others followed. It was a Grand celebration made even more special because my Son was here.

Grant at Scott's Flat Lake.

In early August my daughter and her guy got engaged in one of the most beautiful places in our lives, the cabin in Northern Wisconsin where we had so many great adventures.

The entire summer was magical, fine food and adventures with a fine companion. Polly's Paladar dinners and the Farm to Table dinner in Nevada City.

Scott's Flat Lake, Lake Tahoe, Fuller Lake and of course the Yuba river, not enough time but each one magical, cold water, warm hearts.

The magical Mini who named himself Hank moved from my Dad's house to mine and we quickly went off on an adventure to San Diego.

Then the Open Studio Tour and soon off to Texas for some baby time.

Some blessed rain has fallen, bringing soft sweet smells mingled with the wood fires already burning. I'm happily raking leaves and nestling into my blankets at night.

Finishing this entry from west Texas, delighting in time spent with my family.  Fall is in full swing and life is good.

Farewell summer, may the next one be every bit as magical.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Busy Bee...

Oh yeah, remind me not to schedule a trip right after the Open Studio Tour.

Didn't make it, got sick, felt horrible, rescheduled the much anticipated Texas trip.

I cried and then realized that I needed some time to rest. So I rested, or I performed my version of resting which mostly means doing all the stuff that I couldn't do in the last few weeks.

The little background buzz of stress is gone.

The rains have started (hopefully they will continue strong) and the deck cushions are stored and the furniture is well covered.  Both vehicles, the FJ beast and the sweet Mini are both washed and waxed and scrubbed and they nestle nicely in the garage underneath the boats stored high in the rafters.

I started cooking soups and stews and made my first apple pie.

I got to a Ray LaMontagne concert and was totally mesmerized by his sexy sweet voice and his unusual and appealing musical arrangements.

Life is incredibly good and I'll be chasing my Georgia Belle next week.


Monday, October 13, 2014

Warmly successful...

The two big weekends of the Open Studio Tour are done and in my rear view mirror.

Quite often people ask me how I could possibly open my home to strangers and feel comfortable.

Sometimes before the tour I have a few misgivings but once it's begun and all those lovely people start to come smiling through my front door it's all good.

They say that strangers are just friends that you haven't met yet.  I would say from experience that it's so true.

These two weekends were filled with warm hearts, friendly smiles, child like delight and new friends in the making.  And a charming grateful feeling came from all, that I invited them into my home.

So the feelings of exhaustion and stress are more than balanced with all those wonderful feelings and I'm left tired but so happy and recharged to continue to create.

Thank you for coming to see me. Thank you for allowing me to share my personal space. Thank you for slipping so carefully and sweetly into my life for a brief moment. Thank you for lighting up my heart with so much love and kindness. Please stay in touch.

Don't be a stranger, ya hear now?


Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Open Studios 2014

It's that time again!

Second weekend coming up. I'm slashing and burning through older inventory.  I'll be concentrating more on fine silver and enamel works.

Come see me!


Friday, September 19, 2014

Catch up...

I hope I live to see a free Scotland, but not this time, drat. The young folk voted for it, the old against, which is reasonable but sad.

The King fire (as well as 8 or 10 others) continues to rage in California. This one has the potential to reach Tahoe. On my way to San Diego this week I saw convoys of fire trucks heading to help, blessings of thanks and safety go with them as they battle the beast.

I made a quick and hard trip to San Diego for a brief respite, driving allows me to reboot my brain Being immersed in vast quantities of people reminds me I live in a magical place and now I'm ready to jump into my studio for a few weeks. The Open Studios Tour is the first two weekends in October, gotta be ready.

I have a new vehicle, my Dad's older Mini. Driving to San Diego was a good bonding experience, it's a sweet car and we had lots of fun. He says his name is Hank. I took him to see the ocean and some sights in downtown.

Hank wanted to try to fly off the deck of the USS Midway. We had to be content to check out the Captain's deck.

And now, feeling so blessed to be home in my mountain foothill nest, it's time to tend to the boys and catch up a little.


Friday, August 29, 2014

My son

My boy was here for almost a week. We wallowed in family, parties and simple meals, just being together in quiet ways and always listening to music.

I told him, now that he's mostly a grown-up, that his job is to make sure his Mom knows and listens to current music, not just things I first heard in the 70's.

He does a great job of that, often overloading my brain with this new band and "listen to this one Mom".  I love it.

We celebrated my Dad's 88th in fine style, 14 of us on my deck, eating, laughing, telling stories.

And now back to regular programming, dogs, metal, work, household, ack!


Monday, August 11, 2014

Farm to Table

It doesn't get a whole lot better than this! Nevada City, terrazzo lights, gigantic harvest moon, fine food and wonderful company.

This photo I begged from my friend Sheila Cameron, artist extraordinare.


Thursday, August 07, 2014

Mercurial creature...

It mystifies me the things that shake me up and leaves me wondering just what contributes to those dramatic changes in mood.

I don't know if my body moves with the tides anymore, surgery over a decade ago removed the offending organ and its telltale process.  Sometimes still I feel that twinge down deep in my belly and I know that those little ovaries are still trying to create life, even though that sweet seed has no place to go.

I have built a life of serenity, supported by competence, kindness, flashes of brilliance and lots of sturdy soul.

And yet I am woman, through and through, intuitive, nurturing, yielding, demanding and those wants, needs, desires very often overrule my brain and come bursting out in creative but not entirely coherent ways.

Picture me, mouth open, eyes wide, watching the charging rhino of profanity and tears. I'm so astonished, where the hell did that come from?

Often I'll blow a gasket and then it's done, just needed to get that nasty out of there, thank you very much and may I help you brush the ashes of your clothes off, sorry about the singed beard.

And sometimes lifting that lid just reveals the seething mass of sad confusion that's been drowning me. I run to my girlfriends, seeking similar minds to help me interpret the sanskrit. It's not by chance that we resemble chickens, scratching the overlayer, digging around with our beaks until our sharp eyes detect THAT and leap to tear it up, with help from the other girls. It's a brutal process, overlaid with multi experiential input that is often wise and witty but can sometimes be overly negative.

"Don't let him hurt you, it's not worth it." "You choose, not him." "He's a player, stay away."

I listen, I take it all in and do what I do best, hold each piece of wisdom up to my shining truth and sit down to work, bending and shaping with heat and persistence, hoping and knowing that something beautiful will come from the sharp edged pieces.  Often I bleed but willingly, joyful in the knowing that nothing really fine is easily crafted.

For the first time I've got someone who will weather the storm, not discounting but being open to that which needs to be seen and heard and felt.

It's ok that I don't get my way. That I have to learn to grow in another direction, at least having gained the wisdom to know that the new path may be the best yet.  And that the best thing is truly to live in the now, this moment.

Peace to you and yours,
know that I come from a place of great abundance and infinite love.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Four years!


Living is great!

Today is four years since my divorce was final. I'd been here in Grass Valley for just three days, exhausted, worn out yet excited to start a new life. I'm so glad I took that step into the huge unknown. It's not been easy but it is rewarding in so many ways.

I think the first two or even three years I was just wandering around in a fog. Slowly things have condensed and expanded, some things I can refine down to diamond bright, at the same time opening my heart to the big universe to join the flow of the unknown.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

I wonder...

...too, where the hell have I been?

This time of year is glorious for me. My gloomy late winter mood lifts and then expands wildly into the sky like fireworks.

I feel like a butterfly bursting from a cocoon,
I am the roses so big and fragrant way out on the ends of the thorny vines begging for their fragrance to be inhaled,
I am the plum tree limbs weighted down with sweet tart green globes of goodness,

I am the giant handfuls of basil that trail their scent as I walk through the farmers market,
I am the sun shining brilliantly on the water of the lake,
I am the incredible music that lifts me into bliss,

I am the birds splashing wildly in the fountain,

but not just frenetic energy,

I am the soft evening air that flows through my open window,
I am the cool water on my feet,
I am floating in the middle of the lake, listening,

I am absorbed in designing beautiful things in my head, while lounging on my deck couch,
I am looking at my Dad and Mom and so thankful to be able to do so,
I am sweetly held in the arms of a lover,
I am continuously thankful for the space I occupy, that place that belongs to me, to share with others, to surround my heart in peace and love and open my mental arms wide to the taking in and the spreading out.

And I am the mundane and the painful, trying to slow down to let my bruised and torn muscles heal, grieving the loss of a friend, missing my far away family, making plans to see them soon, cooking and arranging and happily playing in my studio.

It's all good, maybe a lot of work too, but worth it, always.


Friday, July 04, 2014

Fair winds and following seas...

Our arts community lost someone very dear to us today.

Fred Hodgson went on ahead much too early.

This wonderful, complicated man, clever, wickedly witty, loving, insightful, kind...he always had a smile and a ready laugh. He was generous with his talents and kept us on track when we wandered.

His partner of 30 years, Brad Carter, is left to grieve him, they were such a great couple.  They accomplished so many beautiful things and gave generously of their time to support local charities.

I'm gonna miss him and think of him and remember how short life can be.

I'll see you again my friend...but not yet.


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Fringe Earrings

I took a bunch of parts to the Gallery the other day.  These fringe earrings are so pretty and hard to keep in stock.

Cut up a bunch of little sterling sticks, pound the hell out of them. Make a bunch of nice round circles, fuse and hammer them.

Curl the ends so they attach to the circles.  But wait, it's not that easy.  Then you have to tweak each one so the little fringey things hang just right.

And then you file each end so it's nice and rounded. Add some ear wires.

Then you polish them in the tumbler and put them back up on the website for sale,


Here's the two different versions -