Friday, January 30, 2009

favorite etsy shops: installment #005

The last day of my Etsy fav week is dedicated to none other than my girl Andrea of Hula70. She is one widely adored mama and very recently she has made some of her stunning images available in her very own shop. About time, I say! I have that red chair beauty you see in my very own home - lucky me. This woman's talents number HIGH I tell you. I admire not only her fantastic eye for a shot but also her sense of style, her verve, her commitment to a life lived well and big and wide open. Combine this with the sheer delight it is to be in a room with Andrea, to call her friend and what more could there be to say?

Except perhaps...Carnival Photobooths...
...or maybe Vintage Brooches shot through the viewfinder?
And while we are at it, might I sneak in one more shop for you to peruse and ogle? Yes indeed, Ward Jenkins, so lovingly betrothed to our Andrea, HELL of a talented animator/illustrator, and soon to be even more famous than he is already, I present you with Calico Elly from the shop Ward-O-Matic:

Just imagine the talent in the fingertips of their two offspring Ava and Ezra. These are damn talented, damn good people, people.


Hope you have enjoyed this week and discovered, or rediscovered, some favorites of your very own. I wish a happy weekend to you all :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

favorite etsy shops: installment #004

Another of my favorite Etsy shops is called Nutraj. If you have followed my blog for even a little while you might guess why I purchased the beautiful piece above. It is titled 'Just chained that beautiful heart' and is part of her Crush series. Perhaps you even remember seeing me wear it. And even if I didn't have a penchant for finding hearts, the quote on the shop's home page would have done it for me:

"Love is the only reality and it is not a mere sentiment. It is the ultimate truth that lies at the heart of creation." - Tagore

But Nutan has long been one of my favorite jewelry designers for so many other reasons as well. She is so prolific and wonderfully varied in the pieces she creates...enough that every woman could find something that suits their style in her shop. I gave my sister these earrings for her birthday last year......the chalcedony and moonstone necklace seen below from the Whispering Colors series would look fantastic with them, yes?

I am currently coveting this rainbow moonstone and pearl piece from her A Thousand Things selection...

Take a while and dig around in the Nutraj shop. You are certain to find a favorite. Perhaps treat yourself to a little Valentine's gift - you MUST deserve it! In addition to having such a great eye for beauty, Nutan is so very helpful. She lengthened the chain for me on my piece with no fuss. And raced those birthday earrings to me when I waited a touch too long to order them. I might add that each of the pieces I have ordered have been more beautiful upon opening the box than her wonderfully shot photos could convey.

Love indeed.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

favorite etsy shops: installment #003

And today's Etsy shop is Kieffer Ceramics. I cannot imagine that my words about Kristen's work could do her process justice. I think it best to quote her instead..."The porcelain vessels presented here are all one-of-a-kind and handmade by (Kristen) alone. No molds are used to create these forms. Every piece is lovingly thrown on the potter's wheel or skillfully built from slabs, individually stamped ((she) designs and makes all the stamps too), slip-trailed and/or decorated, and finally glazed with colors (she) developed...(her) desire is to bring functional elegance and beauty into our fast-paced lives."

Um, yes, exactly. I own two of her tumblers and here is what I can say. I covet them. The feel of them in your hand is something beyond lovely. Velvety, weighty...gorgeous. So beyond what I expected when first ordering them. Morning coffee, red wine and perhaps one day as she suggests a frosty gin and tonic - that is what they are used for in my home. As a vase - yes - but I gain so much joy using them daily. Pennies are currently being tucked away to continue my collection of more tumblers, and yunomis, cups....

Here are some of her unbelievable covered jars.

This example of her bowls highlights some of her animal stamp designs.

Kristen is a delight, so talented and so helpful. Upon finally deciding where to start my collection my email was a bit like this..."Hi Kristen, if I wait until your next firing, can I be kinda choosy? Like, how about THIS shape, with THESE two colors but you choose which stamps for me, but swirly instead of animals, k? And definitely two different patterns?" Yes, I'm a dork. And she was lovely and accommodating about it. Her website is here. Go get yourself an heirloom piece - it is worth Every. Single. Penny.

I promise.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

favorite etsy shops: installment #002

The favorite Etsy shop I'd like to point you to today is olivebrown. Oh my, I can tell you that the fantastic necklace you see here is mine all mine. It is a combination of jasper, crocheted hemp and turquoise, the largest piece of which is one of the best I have ever seen. There is a similar piece with leopardskin jasper right here...just delicious. Tracy has an amazing eye for detail combined with simplicity in her work. This and she also embues all of her handmade pieces with sophisticated style.

Just look at this luxurious, chunky and yummy cowl, designed and handknit by Tracy that also doubles as a hat. Each of her knit pieces hits that perfect balance between simple, cozy and very hip. Easier said than done methinks.

She believes in recycling and repurposing whenever possible. Check out this plastic shopping bag knitted from, well, plastic shopping bags - a fun yet functional piece that fits her design aesthetic perfectly but also speaks to the needs of our environment. Recycle people!

I really love seeing the world through her eyes at her blog simplyolive. Current fashion, photography, style...absolute inspiration.

Monday, January 26, 2009

favorite etsy shops: installment #001

This week I will be sharing some my favorite Etsy finds with you and what better way to start than with my wonderful friend Elena's two shops. How very lovely Lunar Adornments and Manuscripts for the Journey are. Elena has a true dedication to spirit and growth and beauty - it shows in every single item that she creates. The beautiful handcrafted valentine card/booklet you see above is part of a touching series. These are, in Elena's words, "for the poet, the artist, the photographer. The inside is ready to hold your love, your wishes, your images and to become a missive of love to a very worthy recipient!" and I could not agree more.

Inspired is how I would describe her jewelry. I am particularly drawn to to this Heart Mala and can imagine the weight of it wrapped around my wrist.

And, oh, how I would like to spill myself onto the pages of any of the intricately handcrafted and handbound journals found in her Manuscripts for the Journey shop...

More of her personal loveliness can be followed at her blog, Lunar Musings. So multi-talented, so kind, so beautiful and so worthy of attention, my friend Elena.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

hibernate: four you...

This image is the cover of my fourth annual Winter music mix for this season. I did have a small number printed as gifts but this year, for the very first time, anyone and everyone can enjoy. Should you wish, just click the play arrow in that little widget below and listen away to the mix in it's entirety. Please enjoy and feel free to let everyone in the ethers know what you like and if you discover any new favorites...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

at last.

at last.

"Change has come to America."
- Barack Obama

Monday, January 19, 2009



"I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Friday, January 16, 2009

holy crap, just when i thought i couldn't love the town i live in any more than i already do, this shows up in my inbox...

January 16, 2009

Dear Parents,

I received a number of parent phone calls in recent days surrounding Tam’s plan for viewing the Inauguration on Tuesday. With that, I hope to clarify any questions with this e-mail. All students and staff will have access to view the inauguration next Tuesday. Students will report to their first period class to have attendance taken, and then be directed to various viewing locations on campus. We are consolidating viewing locations to prevent overwhelming our internet capacity. Our goal is to ensure all students and staff have the opportunity to participate in this historic event.

PickleBoy's High School
Mill Valley, California

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

everywhere but especially.

The moon had been luscious and so very full the night before. It was said that the tide would be extremely low. The air was tingly and unseasonably warm. It was a Saturday. All of these things conspired so I packed up and headed over the hill…

But let’s go back a few days further to set my state of mind while I headed to the beach. I was speaking to Elena the other day when we touched on the ‘love is everywhere’ project. She smilingly asked me if I was making these images or was I really finding all of these heart shapes? I reassured her that although I do usually post-process by tweaking levels and saturation to make these hearts pop a bit more, they do indeed present themselves to me all of the time. She then said something like “well, that’s got to mean something.” Although possibly said lightly, it stuck with me and swirled in with the other thoughts that have been brewing in my head lately.

…as I drove that quick twenty minutes over the mountain to the beach, I sang out loud with the windows down and the sunroof open and soaked in all of the beauty. Felt so alive. So present. It was indescribably beautiful.


I pulled into the little spot right at the sand and was stunned to see a big long swath of dark smooth beach that stretched out further than I had ever seen. I hurriedly set down my things, spread out a blanket, grabbed the camera and headed straight to the distant shore break.

low tide

I imagined as I walked at which point in my steps, on a different day, I might be under the waves. Visualized diving under, my hair floating out behind me in the current as I kept going. The wet packed sand was unusually flat and surprisingly empty of treasures. Maybe a small pebble or broken shell here and there. I did notice the outline of one rock right at the edge of the foamy sea. I thought to myself “a heart rock” and silently chided myself…”silly girl - no way”. And then, there it was.


I do believe I squealed out loud when I got to it. I looked around with what I imagine was a dumbstruck smile. I could barely believe it and I was standing right there.


I slowly headed back to the blanket, knowing what awaited me.

the sun

I had brought my Sun Magazine with me and the theme of the January issue is, in fact, love. From a myriad of angles. I had already read through it - even given away two copies by then - and knew the words that were held inside. Things like…

“Love demands this: a balletic, impossible leap over the river of your worst fears. The only alternative is to stay on the riverbank by yourself…I leapt” – Alison Luterman

“So a relationship is a great gift, not because it makes us happy – it often doesn’t – but because any intimate relationship, if we view it as practice, is the clearest mirror we can find.” – Charlotte Joko Beck

But one of the things I read that resonated with me most deeply was in this month’s interview (online here)…

“Falling in love is not a rational process. All I know is that something deep in me knew that being with Thanissara was important. I believed that together we could do wonderful things and continue to grow spiritually. Still, grasping at the “other”, however beloved, will bring suffering. Ultimate fulfillment is found by recognizing the empty and transient nature of all things, whether you are alone or with others.” – Kittisaro

Big words. Words that struck me profoundly. Freed me in a sense. Helped me to realize that, yes indeed, love is everywhere but the most important place for it to reside is within. If you cannot love yourself, the core of your being, then the love that flows out of you is too easily tinged with need. Too expectant of something in return. I have heard and read words like these many times before but I finally do feel them to my bones. My journey thus far, this issue of The Sun, the most recent heart rock and so much more have helped me to clarify what all of these hearts I stumble upon have been trying to tell me.


Thursday, January 08, 2009

from tree...

DSC_3500c bins...

DSC_3583c bottle...

DSC_3848c plate...


...DAMN, do I ever love my job.

i love my job!

Monday, January 05, 2009

january 2009 and it's not too late...

january 2009 cupcake Now that all your gifts are unwrapped and put away don't you deserve just one more treat for yourself? This is the January image for my 2009 wall calendar and you can still get one right here...please do spread the word!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

lime heart.

even fading fruit is in on the act of reminding us.