Thursday, April 30, 2015

Oh yeah...

I promised some jewelry porn and then got distracted actually making it and forgot.

I've been wanting to sink my teeth into soldering and stone setting for a long, long time and now I'm so lucky to be involved at the Curious Forge, with easy access to a torch and lots of fun tools, as well as the incomparable talents of Karen Olsen Ramsey.

So, I just launched in, spending some really fun hours practicing and getting a feel for the torch and placing solder just so.

 Here's my first spinner ring, made out of brass and likely not terribly wearable without turning my finger green but it's a good prototype.
 I also started the bezel setting for the amethyst stone.

 Here's more of the bezel setting and the beginning of two sterling silver spinner rings.

 Matching up those edges is going pretty well and it's major fun.

 Here we are, the original, the silver with copper still in progress, the triple gold filled and silver wire on sterling and the amethyst ring almost done.

 This one has been a blast and there will undoubtedly be more, those little fine silver balls are so much fun to stick to that copper.
And the amethyst bezel set ring, looking good with more fine tuning to be done but I'm hooked.

Pushing the envelope like this means I spend a lot of time combining the things I already know with the new things I'm learning.  There will be enameled pieces with bezel set stones, oh bliss.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Food Porn

Tonight I've got Food Porn to show and tomorrow I'll post some jewelry porn.

I've slipped so happily back into my wonderful life and even though I'm stumbling a little, trying to find my equilibrium, I'm lovin' it in a major, huge way.

I'm slowly shedding stress, which I find sort of interesting. One would think that I'd just shake it off and go on but it's easy to stay in stress mode where everything takes on more importance than is strictly necessary. It takes conscious acceptance of grace and thankfulness and peace and those are slippery little buggers, apt to crawl away when you're not looking.

"Stay please,"  I say, and wrap them like the softest of cashmere blankets around my shoulders. If I do it often enough my body relaxes and my brain follows, letting the warmth seep in deeply.

Occasionally I experience something so profound that it can take me days or weeks to process.

Last week I attended "Feasting at the Grinding Stone," a dinner prepared by Sean Sherman, The Sioux Chef from Minneapolis. He specializes in cooking pre-colonization foods of the Native American peoples, no flour, no chicken, beef, or pork and no dairy. It's hard to describe eating a meal composed of ingredients that grow all around us.

This was an incredible experience and not only for the food. Sean Sherman is a Native American and this meal was attended by many members of our local and more distant tribes including the Nisenan from this area. We were welcomed by these peoples in various ways, both in songs and stories. This meal became a blessing and a union, for a short time, of the old and the new. We talked about food and seed culture and the importance of remembering those local food gifts that we rarely think about.

We need this intimate joining with the earth and each other now more than ever. There are lessons to be learned, stories to hear, songs that root us to the dirt and green things that feed, shelter and nuture us.


Monday, April 06, 2015

Life is definitely a box of chocolates.

Counting down the days, next week I'll get my life back and studio time will become number one again.

I'm doing some work but mostly just trying to keep up. I was making these fringy earrings and of course, headed off into something different.  The usual silver and then a pair with gold filled dangles, love them! Here you see silver polished, silver left matte for a more rustic look and the silver and gold filled.

This last week has been really awfully crazy and not in a good way at all. I left my purse sitting in my car in Sacramento a week ago and in less than 10 minutes it was GONE! I've spent the last week fixing the wreckage, trying to put my life back together, one thing at a time.

I'm sure they grabbed the credit cards and tossed the rest, including the prescription sunglasses and the new wallet my daughter gave me for Christmas. Damn!

Don't do it, don't be casual even for a few minutes. And take all your cards out of your wallet and copy them. I had done that a year or so ago so it was easy to remember the AAA card and the others. I change my purses fairly often so it really didn't have much in there, but the replacement is awful and the sense of having no identity or means to get money is really weird.

So, this weekend I braved the insane Easter crowds at the mall and went to Lenscrafters for an exam and new glasses, hideously expensive but worth it.

There are many great things to look forward to, including a special dinner called "Feasting at the Grinding Stone" an indigenous feast cooked by The Sioux Chef, Sean Sherman. I'm so intrigued by this meal, in which I will be joining some great foodie friends.

My lesson this week is that nothing is over til it's over and that anything approached with love can turn into a good thing.  Life is always an adventure and I'm very glad to be able to live it.


Wednesday, April 01, 2015


And loud and proud of what and who I am.

I was asked to temper my words by someone I loved with all my heart and so I did, because I did not want to cause him pain.

I grieved my beloved blog and tried to write privately but it just didn't seem the same. Here I feel like I'm having a conversation and even though I'm not an exhibitionist I found it nearly impossible to write for a very limited (but loyal) audience.

I blew it.  I followed my heart while the alarm bells rang at DefCon One, ignoring those warning bells, wanting so much the fantasy that the reality just escaped me.

You can't make someone love you. What is in their heart is not the same thing that's in yours. You can't make them faithful.  You can't make them honest. You can't make them be the warrior your heart seeks.

And I suffered and suffered and finally experienced enough betrayal that the light broke through and I stepped free.

And now I'm free and will work really hard to rebuild my confidence in myself.

And no doubt I'll screw up again but I'm actually okay with that. I've chosen to live my life with an open heart, in a childlike simplicity of loving and laughing and giving.

And one day there will be a person who deserves that and celebrates it and me.