Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cosmic This, Cosmic That

I photographed my "Cosmic Disc" yesterday and then contemplated the hanging abalone and flat pearl. Hmmm. Maybe the disk would be better with a single round turquoise bead in the middle instead. Or, maybe I like it better without any beads. So, I cut them off! Now, I think I regret my choice. Why not just make more disks and sell them in different ways (as I said in high school... "Duh!"). At least it's an easy fix, unlike a mistaken stroke of the brush on an oil painting. Maybe that's why I'm not painting these days....too much pressure! Though every time I stroll though a painting exhibit a lump forms in my throat then I burst into tears. Maybe I'll paint in the meadow when I'm old and gray.

Monday, February 22, 2010

PMC Eternal Spirol Ready for Etsy!

I finally had some time today, after spending 9 days straight playing Star Wars with my son on Winter Break, to get back to the "bench". I spent all morning assembling various pieces together for my new collection as well as some fun new earrings to add to the Gandhara Collection on Etsy. See above for a sneak peak! This is the pendant I made from the linoleum cut I made in college with a faceted carnelian bead, a homemade pmc fine silver beads and braided hemp cord.

Logo News

I'm so excited about my new logo design! My friend and fellow artist, Tegan Hope, has just helped me redesign my logo and she did a great job helping me actualize my vision. Tegan is talented in so many areas ... painting, jewelry design, graphic art, letterpress. Thank you Tegan for supporting my dreams and keeping me company with "clay dates"!

While Tegan was working on my website logo, I thought I would play with a precious metal clay logo. I've been wearing it everyday and getting lots of ooohs and aaaahs.... I better make another for Etsy!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Have You Filled A Bucket Today?

My 4 year old came home from pre-school the other day and said to me, "Mommy, you always fill my bucket!" (He sure knows how to fill MY bucket!) His teacher had read a book called
"Have You Filled A Bucket Today: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids" by Carol McCloud and David Messing. I love the concept. He now talks about "the bucket" all the time... and how important it is to fill others buckets instead of emptying them.

When we decided to create our own Valentine cards, he made the following picture and story (which he dictated to me) for his big sister who is far away at college. I had to share this "bucket filling" story.


Thursday, February 11, 2010


I live in the small idyllic valley of Ojai (pop. 8,000) in one of the northern most parts of Southern California located about an hour north of Los Angeles, a half hour south of Santa Barbara and about 20 minutes inland from the beach. Because of it's natural beauty and location, Ojai was "cast" as the utopian village of Shangri-La in the movie Lost Horizon, based on James Hilton's 1933 novel inspired by the mythical kingdom of Shambhala.

According to many Tibetan Buddhists, Shambhala (a sanskrit word meaning "a place of peace") is the spiritual center of the world. When I am creating my designs and jewelry here in Ojai, I truly feel at peace and full of joy. I feel so blessed to have found my Shambhala!

"there is a natural source of radiance and brilliance in the world, which is the innate wakefulness of human beings. this is the basis, in myth and inspiration, of the Kingdom of Shambhala, an enlightened society of fearlessness, dignity and compassion." Furthermore, "Shambhala vision applies to people of any faith, not just people who believe in Buddhism... the Shambhala vision does not distinguish a Buddhist from a Catholic, a Protestant, a Jew, a Moslem, a Hindu. That's why we call it the Shambhala Kingdom. A Kindgom should have lots of spiritual disciplines in it."

source of quote: Angelfire

Monday, February 8, 2010

My Friend and Neighbor Marty Fujita

Marty, thank you for enriching our lives with your positive energy and amazing smile....and by showing us all how to be a better human being on our planet Earth. May your spirit continue to guide us.... We will miss you.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Orient & Flume, Labradorite & Avatar

our object d'arts

my new labradorite from ECrater

The sun finally came out just before the sun set this evening after two days of rain. The light on our beautiful arrangement on our mantle inspired me to share their beauty. All are gifts from my husbands family in Northern California. I don't even know if they realize how lovely the objects look together as a group. The glass pieces are all from Orient and Flume in Chico. The colors remind me of the gorgeous dreamy aqua blues in my favorite gemstone, labradorite. I just LOVE labradorite! After I fed my son dinner tonight, I went online to look find a beautiful one to post an ended up buying the one above...I couldn't resist! Now I need to learn how to do a bezel set and design a piece of jewelry to show it off!

I cannot deny that these colors remind me of the fabulous Na'vi in Avatar too! I couldn't resist adding this photo......

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I just had to share this amazing photograph that my dad took on our excursion to Lotusland two years ago in April. We had been touring the estate for a couple of hours when we entered the lovely Japanese gardens.... so tranquil and serene. We went along the path, turned a corner and gasped as we beheld this truly awe inspiring site! We were giddy with joy at the beauty and thankful that some thoughtful person had placed this camellia in the hands of the Dhyana Mudra Buddha's hands. Thank goodness someone had a camera! This image is now my "Desktop" background. It helps me to remember to breathe ..... and sit up straight!

Wouldn't it be fun to see what images other art and nature lovers use for their desktops or screensavers?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What's my line?

a PK original hand formed pendant

Now that my jewelry die collection is up an running, I'm thinking about my own personal designs.... I have shown a couple on this site but I haven't put any up on Etsy yet. And do I put them in their own line? A new collection? I am thinking...... something to do with Ojai? But, some are made with stamps or stamp matrixs from my drawings and etchings and others (see above) are formed completely by hand. Maybe two new collections? Hmmmm.


The jewelry line which I make from the vintage brass dies is called The Gandhara Collection. Here is a little background about Gandhara....

While I was living in Pakistan years ago, my family and I traveled to many historic places in the Northwest. One of these sites is the ancient ruins of Taxila, an UNESCO World Heritage Site and another, Peshawar, is an ancient city on the Afghan Border near the Khyber Pass. Both of these cities were once part of the ancient kingdom of Gandhara which began in the 5th century BCE and now there is new evidence of inhabitants as far back as 30,000 years ago! This kingdom spanned an area from the Eastern land of Kashmir to the Kabul valley in the West. Both were once important Hindu and Buddhist centers of learning and later integrated western ideas as well when Alexander the Great conquered the area. The Gandharan artists, influenced by Mahayana Buddhism and Hellenistic culture, initiated the development of Buddhist art and sculpture. The giant Bamiyan Buddhas were part of this heritage. They also designed gorgeous jewelry! The spiritual, cultural and artistic history of this ancient civilization, as well as the people who now inhabit these lands, has been on my mind ever since.

beautiful ancient masonry in Taxila

Taxila today

Peshawar marketplace

our hotel on the left - The Khan Club

Recently, while trying to think of a name for my jewelry collection made with the 20th century jewelry dies that I purchased in Islamabad (also in the Gandharan region), I was inspired by my travels to Peshawar and Taxila. Thus, the collection name was born. I was thrilled when Ms. Elena Neva, art historian and expert on Central Asian jewelry, confirmed that these dies did in fact originate northern Pakistan and Afghanistan...which is in the same geographical area as the ancient Gandharan civilization!