reticulated earrings

Monday, November 10, 2014

A few weeks ago, I went home

Fall color
A few weeks ago I went home.  It’s fall in upstate NY and I don’t like missing it. This year’s pilgrimage was different than my usual fall trips to NYC. This time I met my sister, who lives in Colorado, at LaGuardia, rented a car and off we went to see the turning leaves, eat sharp cheddar cheese, and do some exploring of our old stomping ground. Our plan was to visit our Aunt Marie & Uncle John, both close to 80 years old and as spry as ever, have a couple of dinners with our brother & his husband, and for the two of us to get to know each other again. 
My sister

The rest of the plan involved meandering around southern New England on so-called “blue highways”:  those cute little roads that preexisted the interstate and now run between towns.  They’re dotted with gas stations, cafes, motels, and lots of stop lights.  How charming they are, but let me tell you, it can take HOURS to get anywhere.  Our first destination (a Motel 6--we only go for luxury!) was only 82 miles NE of New York City but it took us about 5 hours to get there.

The next three days were gloriously colorful—the leaves,the rain, the sprinkled donuts!  We played tourist in New Haven and spent some time visiting Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain, or at least their homes.  A few days earlier our family genealogist (and brother) reported that one of our ancestors, a woman named Dilla Rose, was an abolitionist.  So I felt a special kinship with Harriet (two liberal radical feminists in a pod) as we walked away from the house.  
The Harriet Beecher Stowe House

I love the old gravestone verbiage!
We drove on, stopping in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire, ever on the lookout for the next Friendly's and/or Dunkin Donuts. 

 Yes, that’s why I love New England—it’s all there.

Obviously one of the best reasons to be in New England in the fall is, um, FALL.  I try to go back every year and I try to time it just right, but you know, nature has her own plans.  Damn her!  But this time we were completely in sync.
The Connecticut River in it's colorful shawl

Something finally hit home for me. 
Fall lays bare a struggle, but also a world of possibilities. In a brilliant burst of unfettered resistance, the year comes to an end anyway; her failures and successes falling away too, making room for what will come to be.

Out of Balance pendant

This is Vermont!
I found my past in family and familiar places and Aunt Marie’s stories of almost forgotten escapades with cousins I haven’t seen in a million years.  But I also found openings:  ideas for new designs for my work, new adventures with my sister, trips yet to take and memories yet to be made. 
Autumn Colors Necklace

Beautiful stream in Keene, NH
I think next year I will reminisce more, and maybe go see some of those cousins.  
You CAN go home again, as long as you use a covered bridge to get there.

Saturday, June 14, 2014


A few weeks ago, a friend called me about my Inner Strength cuffs.  My friend had a friend who was facing some hard Life stuff and she wanted to establish a tangible connection between the two of them with these cuffs. One for her and one for her friend, a solidarity thing. On good days, the bracelet would be there as a reminder of her inner strength and power; on hard days it would link to the support and energy of her friend. A power line.
Inner Strength Cuffs En Masse

I was touched by this action at the time but frankly it has taken me weeks to realize that I have done similar things in my life. I'm sure we all have. I have definitely used jewelry to connect with other people, to reinforce my own strength when I needed it, or to feel feelings felt long ago, as when someone dear passed a precious piece of jewelry on to me.

A few of my NAME pins

I was the Madeline Albright of my office, and most people had NO idea. I grouped pins, sometimes lots of pins, new ones, vintage ones, gifted, ornate, bizarre, whatever worked in that moment to send covert messages of strength or irony to both the world and myself.  Without even realizing it, I've amassed quite a collection of vintage name pins, pins that carry the names of strong women I have known. If I had a meeting that I was nervous about, I would group several of those pins on my blouse or jacket, and feel empowered by the strength of those women before me. It may seem silly, but, whatever it takes sister!

Society thinks of jewelry as an accessory, an adornment, something “pretty" and frivolous. Sound familiar? It should because thats the way women have been thought of. What about Wonder Woman and those giant wrist cuffs of hers?  Her POWER jewelry!  We tend to forget that metal and stones are energy conductors. I see jewelry as both: your personal power conductor and an adornment to your life. Go ahead, use whatever you can find to embolden yourself, be who you want to be, express yourself. You may only get one life, make the most of it!

Warrior Shield Copper & Sterling necklace
YinYang World Sterling & Copper necklace
Warrior Shield represents this idea of power conductivity. Copper delivers electricity. Power! And let's face it, we all need the protection of a good solid shield from time to time, especially if you're brazen enough to stand up for justice and freedom (speaking of Wonder Woman here, of course).

YinYang World speaks for itself: different sides brought together and held together by the power of a copper thread. Connections bring us together and make us stronger.  That's not a bad message to send to the world.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

OMG!, how many months has it been? Nice to see you, sister!

Geez, I just logged in here to update some calender type things and noticed that I have written nary a word since SEPTEMBER! Unforgivable, what am I thinking?
The Meltdown has been humming along and I have been busy and humming along with it. I have been to several outdoor art shows, one or two indoor shows, a cool class in making multi-use pieces that are cool looking and I have had a nap or two since I last wrote something. 

When I wasn't doing a show, taking a class or napping, this is what I have been up to:
Giggle sterling silver & copper ring

ZigZag Heart Sterling earrings

Chinese Writing Rock Sterling ring

Royston Turquoise Sterling & Copper ring
Avebury with Kynite droplets
Bursting with Excitement Sterling necklace
I'll be busy again in about 15 minutes, when I head back out to the studio. There are several more outdoor shows planned, one or two of them will be out of town and at least one will be indoors.

Looks like I won't be napping for awhile!