Monday, August 30, 2010

strawberry popsicles and The Book..

wow. i must really want a popsicle because this post has nothing to with
strawberry popsicles at all.

{:::going to the freezer:::}

mmm... that's good.
you know what else is good?
spending all day in the studio...
and getting stuff done!

new necklaces and rings freshly posted in The Shop.

2 new rings:


so... we have A Book to talk about, huh?
i'm so excited!
 ok, so we wandered into the bookstore last week,
really to shop for a gift, but who actually sticks to that when you're shopping?
anyway, i get about ten feet inside, round the front counter,
and the young girl is setting This Book on a display.
i don't even think the book had left her hands before i was picking it up.
i don't even remember what she looked like,
and i'm usually good with details.
i was mesmerized.
mesmerized by the front cover, people...
i hadn't even seen the inside yet!

so i am standing there flipping page after page
and my heart is racing
and my creative juices are running all over the floor and making me look crazy
and my heart is pounding 
and i'm speechless.
i didn't move from that spot until i had gone cover to cover
and when i did it was to find The Red Cat and shake him
until he would listen to me about my treasure
and he tried, but, c'mon, he's a dude and dudes don't get excited
in bookstores. 
so i bought it, and i have no idea how much it cost, and still don't, 
i just had to have it.

so, i have always had A Thing for mandalas
ever since i was a little phoenix making patterns with the condensation of my glass
on the smooth wood of the coffee table.
{maybe that's why i don't use coasters? sorry mom}
i love the rhythm they suggest.
the constant movement to the same place.
the endless patterns that seem simple but become
fractals when you break them down.
i love that all these pieces and components can be looked at as
thousands of parts becoming one whole.
one love.

rocks and stones and crystals are Another Thing for me.
jewelry was a natural art form for me to get into
once my pockets were too stuffed with rocks and i needed another way to carry them.
and once i started learning about rocks and crystals
and how they form and grow
 i realized that they are all mandalas and fractals too.
so much of our world breaks down to these Two Things.
the patterns we find in nature
are the same patterns we find in science.
and religion.
and love and art.


my Other Thing is sea life. 
no, no.. not like Orka and Flipper sea life.
i'm talkin about the little guys way down there... where you have to be special to go.
where you have to really want to be there
to be there.
the squids, and ammonites, 
the coral fish and star fish.
the octopus.
there is something about them that really gets me excited


and i've been using this inspiration in facets of my jewelry design.
i use accending bumps like the suckers on the octopus arms.
i set jewels like coral reef flowers.
i like oxidation to suggest depth.


well This Book has tied These Things that i love together for me in such a magnificent way.
the fact that there was someone else out there,
over one hundred years ago,
that loved the Same Things that i do
is just natures beauty at her best.
the fact that someone else decided to break down sea life
into it's center and find that they, too, are made of mandalas and fractals,
it's like it is the universe's way of saying,
'hey, thanks for paying attention"

so, i present to you, some pictures from The Book.
to me, every one looks like it wants to be a magnificent piece of jewelry...





 i can not wait to get started turning some of these into jewelry!
my mind is working overtime and my
creative juices are running down my chin.

i'll post some sneak peeks as they progress.
i hope you look for inspiration
 in everyday things.
let the art found in nature
guide you when nothing else does.
let your heart lead you to love when
your mind tells you to run.


...
sj*
...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

etsy treasuries...

ETSY has this wonderful user sumbmission called
The Treasury
where users can put together a page of their favorite things
usually with a theme involved,
and display it on ETSY for all to see.

I have been included in TWO this week.
such an honor!

here they are for your viewing pleasure
(you can click the link or the photo):


hope you like them!

...
sj*
...


EDIT  (6pm):   make that THREE treasuries. just got an email that i made into another one! you can view it here:  http://www.etsy.com/treasury/4c797fee10756d91d109274c/the-secret-of-the-hidden-garden


what a day.
xo

Thursday, August 26, 2010

round here...

I can feel the last of summer sweeping up and closing down shop.
the wind is brisker, and the birds a little more hurried.
the leaves are proving their strength in numbers
but will soon give way to the
circle of life
and death.
this has been a year of 
beginnings and endings.
starts and stops.
first breaths and final bows.
but everything is cyclical in it's own right,
even our most predictable selves.
and with nature as our role model, it's hard not to see it
in everything we do.




i live in such a beautiful neighborhood... rich with history and
lush with beauty,
cool old barns and a big green swamp.
alive with frogs, and birds
and the 2 blue herons that love my pond
in the early morning before the dogs go out.

there are always people doing things.
biking,
mowing,
sunning,
planting,
riding.




and back home is not too shabby either.
the frogs are making their final pleas at the summer sun
and the mosquitoes are finding it harder to last into the evening.
i even smelled a fire warming a neighbors home.
it's still green in my yard, 
and the flowers are full and lush
but i know it won't be long now.



i endure in order to equalize
transcending opportunity
i seal the fate on the store of death.
with the cosmic tone of presence
i am guided by the power of the heart.




i like change though.
i often force it if necessary...
rearrange the furniture.
buy a new dress.
or a new car.
which i did.
i put this one in the garage....


and bought this one..

it rides nice and is much roomier for The Band and The Dogs.
and The Red Cat too.

we had a much needed "nice day" before our long week with The Band.
we had breakfast at this amazing new place outside of town.
very rich and savory breakfast,
you have to go with a big appetite.


french toast with strawberrys and cream for me,

french toast with caramelized bananas and thick cut bacon for him,

and beautiful fresh cut flowers,

then grabbed the dogs and went to my favorite hiking spot in the Gunks,
Peterskill.
it starts in a meadow with pussywillows and wildflowers
and then down a steep rock face
 with an amazing swimming hole
at the end.


the dogs love to swim there and if the water was deeper we would have too.
it was shocking to see how low the water level was.
there are usually rushing waterfalls to swim under.


after our hike we wandered thru town
in and out of the cool shops and many bookstores.

and the BEST part of the day was this amazing book i found.

i find inspiration in all sorts of places
and sometimes ideas linger around until they find the right way to be created.
well, i had the mother load of inspiration in this bookstore.
i have been really intrigued by Mandalas for as long as i can remember
and i have always had an affinity for octopus, and jellyfish, and ammonites.
i use them in my jewelry designs all the time.
but this book i found was the rug in The Big Lebowski of my design work;
it just tied it all together.

this post is long enough, so you will just have to wait until later to hear all about it.
i'm very excited, and if you like my jewelry,
you should be too!
yeehaw!
...
sj*
...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

this is so lovely and wonderful that i needed to share it on a lovely and wonderful sunday. enjoy.





...
sj*
...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

by the waterside i will lay my head...

what a wonderful weekend we had!
on Friday The Red Cat and I went into to city and saw a great show!

Oh Yeah!! 
Levon and his huge band started off the night and had all sorts of folks sit in
thru their set.  Donald Fagen even made an appearance
and of course Wilie came out and did a number with them.


 it's nice to see such legends still rockin it.
sometimes when we are on tour i wonder how i make it at this age
and then i think of these guys, twice my age, working twice as hard.
it's inspirational.
sometimes you just gotta grow a pair and show up.
the rest works itself out.



Our Band was asked to play a private birthday party in Newport, RI on saturday
and even though only 4 of us could make it,
they were thrilled to have us.

and i didn't hurt that it was in a gorgeous mansion right on the beach
with a huge clambake and lobster dinner.



that's the front yard at sunset

and below is the side of the house and the front yard

as you can see, it was breathtaking!
we played three short sets and then stayed and partied it up.

 on the drive home the next day
The Red Cat and i spied a side of the road flea market and had to stop.
we both love old treasures and digging thru boxes to see what you might find.
he usually heads for the records first
and i head for the tools!
camera in hand of course....



i did find a bunch of old hammers that i know i can turn into
texture stamping tools.
well, i have read that i can.
with an old file, some elbow grease, and a design pattern
i can turn a big old $2 hammer into
a custom made design tool that is one of a kind.
so i bought 5 hammers with different size heads to have have some variety.
and i found 2 old riveting hammers.
and i love to rivet.
in fact, this next batch coming out of the studio is going to be rivet pieces.
i haven't made them in a while and i think it's time.

i also found some great old wooden boxes.
my studio is made up of old wooden crates and boxes and drawers
for storage instead of plastic bins.
the more plastic i removed from my studio, the better i felt in there.
it's cheap and easy to go to Target and buy a stack of plastic drawers on wheels
but it just feels...
well, cheap and easy.
it's uninspiring and the hippie in me hates that it's environmental poison,  so for the last year
i have been redecorating my studio to fit my style.
and now the hudson valley has plenty of antique stores that love to see me walk in.






i love being surrounded by all that wood..
it feels alive
and it speaks to you when you walk on it.
it smells of war stories and cupboard hideaways
and whispers secrets and magic.

the older i get the more into nostalgia i am.
the more it feels like traditions are slipping away
the more i want to start some.
i find myself regressing back to a life that i lived but don't remember...
one where i might have been a cabinet maker
or speakeasy piano player.
where i could have roamed the plains living the life of a loner
satisfied with the dirt under my nails
and homemade trap that caught my dinner.

the older i get the more blessed i feel
that i really lived up my 20's.
i traveled so extensively that i could draw a map blindfolded of any state
and it's major and minor
roads and must-see's.
i had romantic notions of starting a road side attraction.
bits of this, and bites of that.
getting a few friends to come with me and starting our own little town.
it thrilled the hippie in me and scared the shit out of my mother
so it worked on all levels.
{ sorry mom }
i still dream of doing that....
maybe i will.


I never know where these roads mights take me
but as long as I'm movin,
ain't nothin' gonna break-a my stride..


...
sj*
...
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