Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Found this great blog!!! If you live near Wrightsville Bch NC like me you'll love this!
It Starts With Me

photo by Danielle of ItsStartsWithMe.blogspot.com

Rio's Gone Solar

Hey Folks, If you haven't already heard Rio Grande in NM has gone solar! How cool is that?! I have for a long long time wondered why people don't cover everything with solar panels. Especially parking lots! Who wouldn't want their car under shelter from the sun anyway?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Dash of Voodoo

Ya'll seriously.... you've gotta go read Ricë (rhymes with Lisa) Freeman-Zachary's blog
Notes from the Voodoo Cafe.
Cracks me up!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Belle Armoire Jewelry Winter '11

Run out and get yours while they last!
Yep, you saw right! That's my name on the cover!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Photo Magic

Yes he very well may be a magician, Joshua Curry the photographer for my upcoming book Jewelry Lab. We worked all day Saturday our third and second to last shoot. Whew! I'm just so lucky he was onboard with this!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Earth Teach Me

I just heard a choral anthem by Rupert Lang-
"Earth Teach Me"
It is based on a Ute prayer and was stunning... haunting...
stopped me dead in my tracks working in the studio at 11:00pm.
Find it on iTunes.
Here are the words:

"Earth teach me stillness
as the grasses are stilled with light.

Earth teach me suffering
as old stones suffer with memory.

Earth teach me humility
as blossoms are humble with beginning.

Earth teach me caring
as the mother who secures her young.

Earth teach me courage
as the tree which stands alone.

Earth teach me limitation
as the ant which crawls on the ground.

Earth teach me freedom
as the eagle which soars in the sky.

Earth teach me resignation
as the leaves which die in the fall.

Earth teach me regeneration
as the seed which rises in the spring.

Earth teach me
to forget myself as melted snow forgets its life.

Earth teach me
to remember kindness as dry fields weep in the rain."


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Root lifter

I'm slowly being drained.... little invisible needles extract my life force, drip by drip, through unseen tubes attached to me all over my skin. Each has a label some have students names on them, one says "put code numbers on new images for the book", one says chorus boosters fundraiser Saturday. There are so many I can't read them all. They protrude and catch as I walk, snagging on other people, clothing furniture. I wince, but no one knows. They can't see these things making a hedgehog of me. I feel slow... the tubes drag the ground weighing me down like heavy, molding invisible garden hoses. I procrastinate. I feel like crying. I have so so so many extremely important deadlines! I am over whelmed. I knew this would happen. I sit here typing when I know I should be doing a billion other things, things that people have already called me out on. I am running dry. And I have so little time and it will be done... for a while anyway.... long enough to sleep some, bake something, have a leisurely morning. I tell you this to vent and to preface the glorious feeling I had when I saw this!

I saw it on Artpropelled one of my favorite blogs. I just finished some important stuff and decided to treat myself with some procrastinating there. Her blog is always a visual feast and always quenches my thirst. My breath left me! It is by John Pule! I am now obsessed!

This is what I have been trying to do on enamel!!!These are the patterns I have been doodling! I am so drawn to this! Why?! All summer I googled tapas patterns and Polynesian textile patterns, ancient Mediterranean patterns from Cyprus and such.

replicas of ancient Cyprian ceramic pattern

It's like my dreams have taken form. They're such wonderful drawings!!!
I am madly MADLY in love with John Pule's work!!

I am lifted up by the roots....

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Holy Crap!

What a week! Let me explain. I hit the ground running after Portland, mid terms at CFCC, assignments to grade, stuff due for a magazine, deadlines for my upcoming book. Too much on my plate. Anyway, I made it through everything until yesterday. I had a day long photo shoot for the book with the photographer. He rented a larger space for us to work in. I was up til 2 getting everything ready. We were on board. Then mid morning I get this CRASHING headache. Nothing new I get headaches all the time. I pop some sudafed and Ibuprofen and go on. Then I start getting nauseous. I run home to pick up some stuff and eat but its worse! So I made a fruit smoothie with protein powder thinking that was palatable. By mid afternoon I was bad off. I was shaky, guts roiling, dizzy and about to pass out. How humiliating to have the photographer and his assistant lay me down with ice packs as I shook. I managed to call Robert. I could barely walk! It was horrible. Photo shoot ruined, I was driven home and slept most of the night.I won't go further in to detail but whatever it was is gone now.

So with a crashing headache still, we go to pick up my car downtown. Robert turns on NPR there is an interview going on with this brit with an outrageous accent. He was hilarious, brilliant, riveting! I turned it up.
If you do anything else today, listen to this interview on the Treatment with Russell Brand. If you know me, you know I don't participate in contemporary pop culture. I just don't have time or itnerest. I'd rather make stuff. I don't watch cable TV and haven't for 7 years. So I had never heard of this guy, and had only vaguely heard Katy Perry's name but had no idea what she looked like, or what she did to claim fame. This interview was AMAZING! I think it fits in perfectly with the "shift" that is subtly happening in the world. Trust me, this is a BLAST to listen to. I wish I had it on CD to give to everyone I know. I'd hand out to random people on the street and say, "here listen to this brilliant, ex-heroin addict spew forth about life, existence,enlightenment and falling in love". CS Lewis is quoted, Ram Dass is mentioned... even Jung, geez, I could go on and on....
Put on your seat belt:
The Treatment interview with Russell Brand
I'm running right out and buying this book!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Book Signing

So then after walking for 5-1/2 hours my feet were DONE! I realized I was so close to the Museum of Contemporary Craft so I HAD to take a quick look. Wish my feet could have stood more. They have a great sales gallery with LOTS of gorgeous metal work.

Ah well, it was back on the MAX line train to get to Traci Bunker's book signing!
Her work is great!!! I adore her Print & Stamp Lab book with Quarry and she has a new one coming out very very soon! Traci's journals are an inspiration. Her new book The Art Journal Workshop will be a must have! Even her stamps that she brought to personalize her books were so cool! She just has such creative ideas churning away in that brain of hers!


All right, while I'm on a roll... CARGO! in the Pearl District of downtown Portland,OR. OMG!
I had a little pamphlet and was walking around thinking "oooo, that looks interesting lets go there...." When I see brightly colored things fluttering in the wind from the side of a big building. I decide to investigate and was SOOOOOOOO rewarded.

I wandered SPEECHLESS and dumbfounded. There were imported delights from all over the globe, weird, kooky fodder as far as the eye could see, Mexican Day of the Dead stuff, Chinese goorah, Japanese chotchkies, antiques, silk, Middle Eastern rugs, African beads, quirky tidbits and baubles, and treasures, EVERYWHERE! You could hardly walk for cool mesmerizing stuff. Needless to say I bought my dad one of those head tingler scalp massagers, everyone needs those right? And I got a little paper mache black background globe, again quite a necessity, a cut out banner of a mermaid playing a ukelele from Mexico, some cool Day of the Dead postcards, a BIG black tin of watch part tins (that the airline crushed ;-( wah!)

Feast your eyes! yeah I know! right?!

McMenamin's Boiler Room Bar

Okay, place #2 that I have to rave about (now that my #@%&*! internet is back, however temporary....) is the McMenamin's Boiler Room Bar in Kennedy High School (click here for their gallery images). If you don't know who the McMenamins are then, well.... get to know! Because they have a talent for taking forgotten, dilapidated buildings and working magic on them! The Boiler Room was just that, a boiler room, now it's an over-the-top cool bar that will make your clockwork little heart go click, click, hissssss! One of the coolest artists on the planet, in my book is Tracy Moore and he took me to the Boiler Room. Yes, its all his fault. Actually, I count myself lucky that he lets me shadow around! Back to the Boiler Room. the railings are constructed of old pieces of radiator and sprinkler pipe. Just too fantastic.... I'm not a hop fiend like Robert is so I asked Tracy to recommend a beer. I had the Concordia "Ruby" a raspberry ale that they brew. It was wonderful not too sweet very refreshing. Fantastic place, wonderful night with amazing artists, chatting and sipping. Won't be forgotten....

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Oblation Papers in Portland, OR!

So now that I am home (whew! took long enough! two days?! really?), I have to rave about a couple of places in Portland. Yeah, I know, I could go on and on about Portland in general but first....
Oblation Papers!
I usually go a day early for my workshops because I have to buy things at hardware stores that I can't ship. I have to pad my errand time with factoring in distances, shop hours, and whether or not I have to walk or there's a shuttle. So I had finished my buying gas tanks and such, and thought I'd explore the city a bit before I had to get ready for my next days class. People at the hotel told me to check out the Pearl District so I picked up a pamphlet and trekked out to conquer the MAX line to get into town. After sifting through some misinformation that was fed me, and quizzing people waiting at the station (like a dork), I was on the train into Chinatown and the Pearl district. I picked out a few interesting things on the pamphlet some of which appeared closed now. I decided to search for Oblation Papers since they might have things we could roll through the roll mill in my class the next day. I knew nothing about the shop other than they had paper. WOW! I walked in and BAM they were printing and paper making and it was a paperproduct orgy! Here are some pics:

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

New Work

More new pieces I've ade as proposals for a retreat next year!
I started these on Sunday evening and had them all finished at midnight last night. Record time, considering I taught at CFCC most of the day Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and worked on these at night.

Posey House- has enamel flowers growing out the roof and a little Victorian lady kickin up a shoe inside.

Gris Gris Pouch-Gris gris bags are traditional Voudon charms or talismans for protection or good luck. They're often cloth but thought I'd made some metal ones!

Bottle Cap Beads-Fun! LOVE old soda caps!

Stay tuned to see if they'll be classes soon near you!
Whew, I'm pooped! I'm taking tonight off to flop!
Then its back to the grindstone with my book!

Thursday, September 2, 2010


In this video Ricë Freeman-Zachery talks about her book Living the Creative Life

Saturday, August 28, 2010

No Worse for Wear

Meet Mr. Bali Hai...
my birthday gift from my bro Joe.
Mr. Bali Hai belonged to my grandparents. They got him some wild night visiting my parents in San Diego in the 60's. Those people loved to laugh. I wish I coulda' been there. But that's okay, I have the mug now.
Mr. Bali Hai's roomed with my bro for years now... all through Joe's college party years... He's a little chipped, his paint's peeling off in spots, but man, the parties he's seen! Now he's been bequeathed to me. What an honor.
Some days I feel a little like Mr. Bali Hai, chipped paint an all... but man the fun times! ;-)

So as the summer fades away, and as I put luau kitsch into the attic to wait for next summer... I get a little philosophical and reflect on what makes us need vacation so much. Well I heard a great interview with Terry Gross this week on Fresh Air called Digital Overload, somewhat on this subject. Basically a reporter had done an article on technology and how it affects our brains... the gist? we need vacations... really! Seriously! our brains need time to process all the data we give them. So even if I couldn't take a real vacation (yet again this year), I can take mental ones.
And I do!
I take them any time I can get them.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Hampton VA 2011

Yay! I will be teaching At Art & Soul in Hampton Va next year! FINALLY! Check out these two classes:

Amulet for Peace:

House of Mojo!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hot! Hot! Hot!

um, yeah..... it was 113 and 60% humidity the day I took this picture in Phoenix. (I double checked online because I couldn't believe it!)I lounged by the pool in the shade of an umbrella. Only coming out to dip in the pool!

This was dawn the next morning from my room on the 6th floor.Unfortunately because I was so busy and alternately exhausted that was about all I saw of Phoenix! well except the evil Walmart....
yep, had to.... walked down there to pick up supplies.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Thought for the Day

"I was awfully curious to find out why I didn't go insane." -Abraham Maslow

This made me laugh outloud!
I have been at the computer since 9:30 this morning....
it is now getting dark, 7:30pm.
Typing, copy/pasting, emailing, bank account balancing, proofreading, fixing, tweaking...
I think I shall stop, my body cannot take this anymore!
and people wonder why I have trouble finding time to make things!
And I missed such a gorgeous day. It'll all be worth it soon! very soon!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Marcia MacDonald

Kindness goes a long, long way.

Many years ago when I was a budding jewelry artist I did craft shows. The other jewelry people I met were often, not always, but often antisocial and unfriendly. They frequently exhibited paranoid behavior and would clam up if they knew I made jewelry, afraid that I was stealing their designs. The craft shows could be grueling, hot, dusty, tiring... I think my back is ruined from my craft show days. A little community feeling was nice, rare but lovely when it occurred. One night at an indoor local show a women walked into my booth. She commended me on my work. She was kind and open and sweet. She told me she was a metalsmith and had a local studio and invited me to come by. I was shocked and amazed. I thought I knew all the local metals people. She was the friendliest metalsmith I'd met to up to then! I went to her studio. I was bowled over. On the wall was a huge poster of a work I had flagged in a Tim McCreight book. I pointed and said "That's... that's.." and we both simultaneously said "Shaken Not Stirred". "Yeah that's mine" she replied. I felt like I was dreaming. Here was someone I'd never met but I'd admired their work in books, who was right here in my little two bit town, AND she was hospitable, generous, with skills FAR superior to mine and reaching out the hand of friendship to ME?!
Her name was Marcia MacDonald. She spent that afternoon showing me things encouraging me offering advice. She went on to do the same on a number of occasions.
She lived here briefly and then went on to bigger and better things on the West Coast. Today I find that Marcia has passed away. She succumbed to a long battle with cancer. I must chime in with the hundreds of voices this week lauding Marcia as a wonderful person and accomplished metalsmith. Though we were never close, she was always kind and I am better for having known her. She showed me what being a woman contemporary metalsmith could be like. That a craftswoman one could glow with confidence, and generosity and not give into pettiness and fear. She and I talked at length about starting a metals club here because I was starved for other folks who had my same passion for metalworking and art jewelry. She felt that we should be a giving, sharing community of craftspeople, that is was healthy to prosper together. Those of us who knew her will miss her bright light. The metalsmithing community will miss her wonderful work. I feel blessed that her path crossed mine.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

John's Flock!

My buddy John W. Golden's artwork is in Garnet Hill catalog!
check out his blog here.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Hi folks! sorry I'm scarce these days...busy, friends in town, trunk show, book negotiations.... exciting times! But I was browsing Klimt02 go check it out if you haven't. Its an amazing international resource for art jewelers.
Absolutely mind blowing!
Check this out! I am in love with this work:

Hanna Hedman
Stockholm, Sweden

Necklace: Enough tears to cry for two series 2008

Silver, oxidized silver, copper, synthetic fibers and paint
5 x 18 x 63 cm
Photograph by Sanna Lindberg

Monday, July 12, 2010


I drive my route and contemplate... why is it that I spend my summers engrossed in tropical dreamland and my winters in found-object/steampunkland? Well, I figure it's partly because of those dang Gemini twins I was born under! I also live in this semi tropical environment, so I'm surrounded by spanish moss, palmettos, live oaks.... I was so excited when my plumeria recently bloomed!

Last night one of my best friends/grad school roomie and fellow metalsmith, Adrienne Grafton came to visit. She's on a break from her teaching circuit and is languishing with her husband as I write, on Wrightsville Beach, soaking up the sun. She and I, and fellow alumni Nick Mowers have a trunk show this weekend, Saturday 4-6pm at Woods Gallery on Bald Head Island. I will bring my letter stamps some copper and will let people make their own little charms for $5. Fun!

So in playing tour guide I begin to see my environment from different eyes. Adrienne is a beach person at heart, currently living in Pennsylvania, so right now she's in hog heaven! I on the other hand get bogged down here with my daily grind. Wilmington's home, so its not always amazing to me. Adrienne has been a new lens. I am thankful. She's a Gemini too, BTW....

Check out her blog! gorgeous jewelry!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Go West!

Robert and I want to head into the sunset in one of these!!!
They're designed and made by artist Lynn Sedar of Ranch Willow Wagon Co. in Wyoming.