Thursday, June 24, 2010

Room with a View......NOT!

When we moved in to our house five years ago, I used the back bedroom with a view of the majestic oak trees for my office.  I was pregnant so..... eventually I had to give the room up to the wee babe and move  to the garage.  This was before I made metal clay jewelry.  I had been an interior designer for about 15 years but soon after the wee babe arrived I found it impossible to work full time.  And it's difficult to do interior design part-time.... as most houses are not built on three day a week schedules.  I've been slowly easing out of my first profession and into my new profession the last two years.  

My center bookcase is now jewelry supplies instead of tile and fabric samples..... but I still have yet to dump the rest of my design resources (right bookcase).  I want to.... but..... it's a little scary.  It's a slow start beginning a new business. What if I need to go back?  Will I need to go back?  I don't think I want to go back.  Hmmm. I'll ponder this another time.... But, I will keep my painting supplies just in case I realize my dream of being a painter some day (left bookcase)

Looking ahead.... I feel positive.  I love what I'm doing.  I like my work space...even though I share it with the laundry (behind the hemp curtain).... and I have no window...and it's freezing in the winter....and boiling hot in the summer.  But it's a nice space for fall and spring and early summer : )
I think I just need a throw rug and a window.... and some fabric and velcro to cover up my shelves.  Oh, to see out to the back.....over my desk to our newly landscaped side yard and beyond.  This window dream has been on my mind some time now.... like five years!  

Now I'm laughing because as I looked for an interesting quote to end my post on my studio, I came upon this little piece of wisdom.......

 ~ Annie Dillard ~

......I still want my window.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Be Like the Flower....

I've felt so good the last few days since my "sweat".  The weather has been glorious.... sun shining, slight breeze blowing, birds singing.  Life is not perfect but somehow seems so lately.  Though the grass is always greener in someone elses yard because we have NO grass, I'm happy with our large plot of dirt and foxtails.  Looking around, everything seems prettier, happier, sunnier.   And bringing the outside in (from Farmers Market)  is a must.  

Be like the flower, turn your faces to the sun.
- Kahlil Gibran

Monday, June 21, 2010

Zen Earth and Zen Skies

These three necklaces are the first in my Zen series.  Zen Earth is a handmade fine silver metal clay pendant with a round turquoise bead.  Zen skies is a rectangular blue kyanite pendant bead with handmade fine silver accent beads. The Zen Sole Luna is a large piranha agate stone disk accented with a handmade fine silver metal clay bead. They are simple and natural, contemporary yet rustic.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ask And Ye Shall Receive

I've been studying Native American history and spiritual traditions for more than 25 years.  I'm not sure where my fascination began.... maybe it was the family vacation as a kid to the Arizona or learning as a teenager that my great great grandmother was from the Iroquois nation.  Later, I read many stories about white people who learned the ways of the Great Spirit from native elders and I always wondered how those folks got so lucky.  I guess it was their karma.  Well, my time finally came yesterday!

I was invited by my neighbor to attend a sweat lodge here in town.  I wasn't sure what to expect.  I was told to wear natural fiber loose clothing and bring a shawl.  Once I arrived I was thrilled to learn that our lodge had been built and blessed by the Chumash, Hopi, Lakota and Cherokee nations.  Our beautiful and wise lodge leader was a Lakota/Cherokee woman who is the matriarch of her clan.  She learned the "ways" from her grandmother and great grandmother.  In addition, there were 8 other women "guests" (it was a women's only lodge that day) and two fire keepers.  The lodge was about 10' in diameter and maybe 5 feet high with a small opening ("gate") to climb in.... very similar to the lodge in the photo below.  

Once we were all inside, the heated stones (from a large fire just outside the lodge) were rolled in and then gate was closed.  We all sat in a circle in pitch black.  After every "round", the gate was opened to add more heated rocks and to re-hydrate ourselves.  We sweated and prayed for over three hours.

Before the experience, I assumed that I would be exhausted after a sweat, like a hard workout.  I was absolutely drenched from head to toe at the end.... I had no idea that I could sweat so much...  but, it was a "gentle"(not too hot) sweat and I was completely invigorated.  I felt and still feel physically and spiritually renewed.

I asked and I received (even if it took twenty years to happen!) and I feel truly blessed to have been a part of such a healing experience yesterday.  

"Man does not weave this web of life.  
He is merely a strand of it.  
Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself."
~ Chief Seattle



Thursday, June 17, 2010

Birds of Different Feathers

My sister loves birds and has two beautiful parrots.  I love birds too but have no desire to have one as a companion.  Maybe this is because her last bird attacked me and bit my neck, an experience that was terrifying!  Her new feathered friends have no interest in befriending me...  I suppose it's because I now put out a fear vibe.  But, they are very sweet with her and incredibly intelligent.  Instead of working out my bird issues, I am choosing to continue my relationship with the avian culture by honoring them though the creation of jewelry, feather collecting and watching them feed in our yard.  I do think I have a connection with bird spirits as I always find a fabulous feather on my hikes, when I "ask".

My Falcon Totem Necklace on Etsy...

Hawk feathers I've found which I keep on my dresser....

The turkey feather in our front entry... a gift from my in-laws.

My four year olds feather collection...

"A wise falcon hides his talons."
~ old Danish proverb

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Our Little Blue Bellied Buddy

Hey, little guy, what are you doing in there?

Can we pick you up?

Thank you for showing us your blue belly!

Okay, we'll put you down now.

Bye bye little guy.  Have a beautiful day!

* Sceloporus occidentalis, also known as a "swift" or "western fence lizard" and is part of the Iguania family.

"I am the lizard king.  I can do anything."
~ Jim Morrison

Monday, June 14, 2010

Maui Magic

I've been fantasizing about going to a tropical destination this summer but alas, I am believe I'm Ojai bound.  I can't complain BUT there is nothing like the beautiful trade winds blowing through your hair while watching the sunset on the western shores of Maui....or the north shore of Hanalei.  I am patient though.  I can wait.  I know I will return. 

My first visit to Hawaii was on the way home to California from our two years in Anchorage when I was 6 years old.  I still remember it....the smells of plumeria, the exciting fire dancing at the luau, the warm humid mornings savouring pineapple and gagging over papaya (my sister said they tasted like bandaides!) Second trip was my highschool graduation gift..... whooping it up in Lahaina and Waikiki with my fake ID.  Third trip was during college years to Maui with my parents as I recovered from surgery.  And then the patient wait....almost 20 years later... with my own family kids and all to Hanalei. Heaven on earth is was and is and so worth the wait.  

I've had a few more quick trips since but am itching to get back to Maui.  My aunt Cheri lived there for years (she hosted me and my friend on my graduation trip) and is still inspired by the landscape to paint it's beauty.   She now has a shop on Etsy too! (If I could only get my mom and grandma on Etsy too we would have a monopoly!)

Cheri's Art on Etsy..... check it out!

Since I'm not getting to Maui anytime soon, I'll keep playing my Hawaiian music (I would share a tune if I could figure out how to do it!) and enjoying my auntie's art.  Keep on painting Cheri!

And, I still need to find that straw hat....

The Seven Principles of Huna (ancient secret knowledge)

IKE -The world is what you think it is
KALA -There are no limits, everything is possible
MAKIA -Energy flows where attention goes
MANAWA -Now is the moment of power
ALOHA -To love is to be happy with
MANA -All power comes from within
PONO -Effectiveness is the measure of truth

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Pom Pom Blossoms

I just listed my little pom pom earrings today on Etsy.  They are made from from an antique Afghani bronze jewelry die and then I embellished them with tiny little dots and lines.  I didn't realize what they were until after several weeks after I made them.  They reminded me of something. Then, I went into our mini orchard and saw my pomegranate trees chock a block full of blossoms and BONK! It hit little earrings are pomegranate babies!  Since the earrings looks like blossoms and Afghanistan is famous for pomegranates (pregnant women drink it for healthy babies ...great source of anti-oxidants) and the dies are from there, the little motifs must be one and the same.  

Twenty years ago, I fell in love with pomegranates after painting many of them in a college art class.  I still hang one of my favorites in our kitchen.  But I never truly enjoyed the incredible flavor (besides sucking on a few seeds as a kid) until I tried fresh squeezed ice-cold pomegranate juice at the Khan Club restaurant in Peshawar.  There is nothing like fresh squeezed Heaven.  When we purchased our home in Ojai with two mature pomegranate trees, I went straight out and purchased a special juicer.  Ahhhh.... a little slice of heaven once more!   

Pom Pom Earrings on Etsy....

Oil on canvas...circa 1990

Our very own pom babies...photographed this morning.

Sucking... painting... juicing... molding... polishing... wearing.  The funny little pom pom fruits just keep coming back into my life. I think it's a good sign especially since they are a symbol of prosperity and abundance, fertility and marriage, rebirth and eternal life!

“Let us get up early to the vineyards; 

let us see if the vine flourish, 

whether the tender grape appear, 

and the pomegranates bud forth: 

there will I give thee my loves.”

~ Song of Solomon 7:12
 King James Bible ~

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Divine Davina

About one year ago, I sold my very first necklace.  It was given as a thank you gift to my friend Davina for her many devoted hours as a leader of one of our local philanthropies.  Davina was a beautiful woman.... strong, intelligent, generous, compassionate, friendly, positive and absolutely gorgeous.   When Davina walked into a room, all heads turned.  She radiated sunshine with her smile and demeanor.  She made everyone around her feel loved.  Only a few weeks after she was honored for her hard work and dedication, she joined the angels above.  But, her loving spirit and the memories she gave us will always live on. She was and is divine.

Here is the necklace I have named after her, like the one she was gifted.....

This fine silver pendant is made from precious metal clay molded from an antique Afghani jewelry mold with a brilliant blue wire wrapped labradorite briolette and hangs on a natural Greek leather cord. 

Labradorite is the "symbol of opened Third Eye. This stone stimulates imagination. It can help develop enthusiasm and thus, new ideas. Labradorite assists one to see more clearly in meditation. Labradorite is a power stone, allowing you to see through illusions and determine the actual form of your dreams and goals. It is excellent for strengthening intuitions."

The Davina Necklace is now available on my Etsy shop.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Manifest Your Dreams and Desires..... with Amazonite!

I have another love.  Amazonite.  It's similar to turquoise but more translucent and a bit brighter, really similar to an opaque emerald. I made a necklace a few years ago for my dear friend Shelley when she turned forty.....long hand knotted necklace of faceted carnelian beads with a gorgeous amazonite pendant.  Since then, I haven't seen many amazonite pieces that caught my eye until this last bead show in Santa Barbara.  They had sweet little smooth briolettes... perfect drops for my Afghani pendants.  I just finished a necklace and before I could list it on Etsy, my friend Jenny snatched it up today, her first PK Studios purchase.   Thanks Jenny!  I'll just have to make another.  

Here is a little peek at her purchase.

"Amazonite is a stone of harmony, both within the self and among people. It is a truth-teller and a peacemaker, assisting one in communicating one´s true thought  and feelings without over-emotionalism. This is the first step towards both inner and outer peace. The second step is activated by Amazonite´s awakening of compassion through stimulation of the heart chakra. Once one has expressed one´s truth, it is necessary to assume the other person’s point of view in order to achieve harmony, and Amazonite facilitates this. A similar process operates within oneself, as the competing factions of one´s personality with their separate motivations and desires come to awareness through self-examination. Sleeping with Amazonite  can bring these inner components into focus through the symbolism of dreams. Meditation with amazonite makes everything more conscious, so one can listen to and integrate all aspects of the self. Because it is a stone of truth, one can thrust the visions, dreams and institutions that surface while working with Amazonite.
Amazonite can also empower us in a manifesting our dreams and desires. It is a magnifier of our intentions, and because it works through the throat chakra, these intentions must be spoken aloud. Holding an Amazonite while forcefully affirming aloud what one wishes to create can powerfully enhance one´s ability to bring it into being. The power of the spoken word is a great mystical thing-remember that Genesis affirms that the Universe was brought into being by the word of God. Amazonite teaches us to speak the truth and to make what we speak come true.
For throat chakra activation and enhancement of communication, Amazonite works well in combination with Aquamarine, Ajoite, Larimar, Aqua aura Quartz, Chrysocolla and Turquoise. For deepening insight into truth, adding Moldavite, Phenacite and/or Nuummite inner journeys to alternate realities, as well as the  information and insights acquired there."
From: "The Book of Stones", Robert Simmons and Naisha Ahsian

Thursday, June 3, 2010

June Birthstone - Pearl

You've seen this necklace before.  The first one was for my mother, the second was for my son's school fundraising auction and now this one....which is for sale on Etsy!  This fine silver pendant is made with metal clay but this time I've used a real wired wrapped Tahitian pearl drop at the bottom.  The pearl is not perfect but it is lovely.  After I listed the necklace I realized that the birthstone for the month of June is the pearl!

The pearl has symbolized many things thoughout history..... sacred power, water, creation, woman, goddesses, the moon, birth and rebirth.  The pearl is also a symbol of a bodhisattva named Ksitigarbha who is "especially revered in Japanese Buddhism by pregnant women and young children as the protector of all weak and suffering humanity".  

The pearl in my necklace is similar in color to the pearl earring in Vermeer's painting....

The Pearl is also a fabulous book by John Steinbeck....

"I must go seek some dew-drops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear."

~  William Shakespeare ~