"Oh my gosh, can I see that tray please?" The younger kid behind the case, hands me a tray of fossilized alligator skull and I can only imagine that I look like a kid on Christmas morning as he hands it across the table. I start picking pieces out, studying them, placing them on my fingers, holding them up to see them in better light, until finally placing them in my tray, and scooting them around. The older gentleman walks over and starts telling me the story of the bones. Found off the coast in Georgia by a buddy. "These are just the pieces. He had full skulls. He thought I wanted to try and glue all the little pieces back together." We both laugh and shake our heads. He looks at what I have in my tray, "Wait! I know you!" I lift my eyes to meet his and smile. "You're the girl that buys all the weird stuff! The *good stuff. I have some special things to show you!"This man is a well known lapidary artist, he cuts for a number of other wonderful sellers out there and somehow our paths cross even when I'm not shopping directly from him. And every time he sees my tray, "Wait! I know you!" And then usually the seller I'm buying with says, "Yeah, she always buys all our weird stuff!" Maybe most people would take that the wrong way, but those words are like a badge of honor for me, and those men mean it in the most loving way possible. Because they love all the 'weird stuff' probably even more than I do. And I see their vision. Everyone likes to be understood.

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If its fossilized, petrified, pyritized, agatized, or what I like to call "crunchy," I want it. I'm drawn to it. I obsess over it. But then why don't you see it in my work? Well, I hoard it. I hoard it like a crazy person and I just stare at it and pet it and call it a pretty rock and then put it back to bed. This year I have promised myself that I am going to start using these pieces, I need to share them, to put them out into the world, to show people why these stones are FAR more precious than any pieces of turquoise or agate or chrysoprase will ever be. Not that those stones aren't absolutely gorgeous, but these fossils and minerals have a history, deep, amazing texture, and a story unlike anything else. And wearing something unusual is far more exciting, especially when people start asking you about it. 

 

 
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Tuesday Truths


The truth is, for the past month, my heart has been in extreme, ripped from my chest and wrung out, pain. This plant was yours. When you left us, I was so concerned about your plants dying. It's almost all I thought about, besides *how do I tell Oma, again today, that you've passed. How long will I sit in a room with her before she asks me where you are. It never took long. Those first few weeks. They were a living hell. I couldn't listen to music. I ran out of the gym five minutes after getting there because I couldn't hold back my tears. I cried deeply and painfully until I couldn't squeeze another tear out past my swollen eyes, until my face felt like my cheek bones were going to shatter, until I was gagging so hard that I finally just fell asleep from pure exhaustion. Those days were on repeat for months. Losing you has been the greatest tragedy my heart has ever suffered. You were my favorite human being. Your plants are still alive in my house and backyard. I don't know what I'll do if they ever cease to be. I can't even think about it. I miss the hell out of you.

Bis spater.

 

 
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This Glowing Spiced Lentil soup is so rich and creamy. It's amazing for those chilly winter nights when you want an easy, but incredibly satisfying, warm meal. Original recipe found through @ohsheglows www.ohsheglows.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups (280 grams) diced onion (1 medium/large)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 (15-ounce/398 mL) can diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 1 (15-ounce/398 mL) can full-fat coconut milk*
  • 3/4 cup (140 grams) uncooked red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 3 1/2 cups (875 mL) low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, to taste (for a kick of heat!)
  • 1 (5-ounce/140-gram) package baby spinach
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice, or more to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, add the oil, onion, and garlic. Add a pinch of salt, stir, and sauté over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes until the onion softens.
  2. Stir in the turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, and cardamom until combined. Continue cooking for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes (with juices), entire can of coconut milk, red lentils, broth, salt, and plenty of pepper. Add red pepper flakes or cayenne, if desired, to taste. Stir to combine. Increase heat to high and bring to a low boil.
  4. Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium-high, and simmer, uncovered, for about 18 to 22 minutes, until the lentils are fluffy and tender.
  5. Turn off the heat and stir in the spinach until wilted. Add the lime juice to taste. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if desired. Ladle into bowls and serve with toasted bread and lime wedges.

Tips:

  • * I tried a version using light canned coconut milk and one using full-fat canned coconut milk, and I greatly prefer the full-fat coconut milk version (shocker, I know). I recommend following suit, but if all you have on hand is light canned coconut milk that’ll work in a pinch—it just won't be as rich and creamy.
 
 

As for the gorgeous bowl, it is handmade by artist and friend @Mthuceramics

Make this soup right now! You won't be sorry. 

 

 

Though I have taken quite the break from blogging, I have not taken one from creating. I may actually be creating more now than ever... in more mediums than ever.  Though you can easily find links to my Facebook and instagram, I'd still love to do a quick recap of projects I've been working on. 

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"Well, they're finally here. A whole lotta dreams are coming to fruition this year and I couldn't be more excited about it. Two years ago I found the bones of a little coyote while turkey hunting in the forest of Northern Arizona. Right then and there I knew the vertebrae *had* to be cast. I molded it when I got home, but other projects got in the way. About a year ago, I prepped and cast them to be made into jewelry hooks, but again, I got distracted. Since then, I have been searching for the perfect wood, but nothing felt right. A few days ago I found this Arizona Ironwood and everything just finally fell into place. I love the way that happens. So, here they are, ancient bronze Arizona Coyote vertebrae mounted on Arizona Ironwood, sanded until silky smooth. Ready for you to hang all of you're most favorite treasures in the place that you love. 100% handmade. 100% a labor of love. -
Two handmade, sandcast ✖️'s left exactly as they were cast for your necklaces and a brass rod for your most cherished earrings. A gorgeous piece of Arizona Ironwood. 2 keyholes in the back for hanging. 100% handmade. 100% a labor of love."

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Created from drawing and image and then bending, shaping, and welding 1/8" hot rolled steel. Another true labor of love, this bobcat piece took somewhere around 12 hours to create. When hung out on a wall in the sun, the shadows it throws are absolutely incredible. 

"This baby is hard to get a good shot of in my wild little jungle, but my ferns seems to love her company, already twisting and tangling themselves all around the frame... beats having to have wood stakes, eh? 
Maybe own day I'll completely fill and finish the box with leaves and succulents and all that goodness, but for now I'll let the real plants do the work! 
Believe it or not, those ferns were about 4" tall when I bought them off of the Lowes "death rack" and now, 2 years later(?), they're huge, bushy, beautiful monsters that take up the whole patio."

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Quite honestly, I've surprised myself with how many ceramics projects I've finished. It's a medium that definitely continues to test me. Things come out wonky, glazes come out ugly, cracks form after firing...you never know what you;re going to get.

I feel like I've finally come to find a small voice in clay, and I'm having so much fun filling each and every one with a special little plant. 

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The jewelry world is business as usual. I'm still drawn to exploring the "X" or "You Are Here" and the "Own your/this breath" lines. There's something about them that I just can't leave behind. I think we all ache for a more present life that we feel we have control over. We all ache for adventure and happiness and realizing that we have a very short amount of time here on this wonderful planet, we want to change those dreams as fast as we can. Life keeps us guessing. It hurts and its magnificent all at the same time. 

"I want to place delicate, tribal petals on your chest and tell you that you have the freedom to come alive. That you have the strength to rise. And the fire to burn. And that deep within your questioning heart, you have the gumption to do it all on your own. +
Obsessed with the way that this baby glows. This chrysoprase just blows my mind with the unbelievable way that it spreads into that glassy, clear quartz. Fringe for you, my feral woman. Time to let yourself out."

"And here I am again. Trying to remind you that you are here. That this, right here, is your one chance.. your 15 minutes, your last and only hurrah. So why are you dwelling? Why have you walked past the opportunities, the love, the smiles? Pick your head up. Lift your lids up. Back away from the expectation. Do not let misfortune own you. Because it will. It's waiting to. It loves your despair... and you don't have any fucking time. Not one single second. To waste. On not living. How lucky you are to be one itty bitty, tiny little speck on the map. One unimportant, brilliant little speck. ✖️"

So there you have it, a quick catch up and peek into 2018. Thank you so much for being here and for supporting this journey. I couldn't do any of it without you. 

If you'd like to be notified of my shop updates, please join my email list under "connect," here on my website. No junk, just quick little letters including photos, a date, and a time. You can also follow me on instagram, Facebook, or flickr

 

 

There's no pretty way to put this, these earrings are for you to brush your shoulders off when someone or something is trying to shit on your parade. Because you're a force. Because you don't let the negativity and the ugly get you down. Because you can look your haters in the eyes and give 'em a good, solid wink. Because you're BA-AF. You are here, now go on and get on with ya bad self!

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 In the shop tonight, 6PM PST. www.ashleyweber.etsy.com

 

 

That's the moment my heart skips a beat. My eyes move away. My throat aches with an indescribable pain. It cracks the way I've seen the desert crack 100 times before. The land splits, dry from having not seen rain for an amount of time that feels impossible. I try to swallow but my throat is so tight that I have to clear it even though there's nothing there. I swallow hard. There's an echo in my ears. I hate that echo. Nothing good has ever followed that reverberation. I go silent. I pick at my cuticles. I'm stuck in my head and my finger tips are raw. I am lost, I am staring, I am blank, I am silent. Completely separated from myself. I question every piece of it. I wonder about every wrong turn. Every unkind word. Every moment that it turns out, never deserved a second thought. Fear and distress pulls regret from my marrow. It extracts the hows and whys and... forces change. It shows up with a gift basket perfectly wrapped, full of reminders.

I untie the ribbon and pull back the cellophane. I lift humility from the basket. Reminder: you are but a speck in this vast existence. You are beautiful, but you are no more nor no less beautiful than those that stand next to you. You are talented, but you know nothing in comparison to a master. You are just as unique as each and every person to your left and each and every person to your right. I stumble as if I've been shoved by all seven billion of the others all at once. I catch myself. I reach back in. 

My hand comes back full. I'm holding time. The hands of the clock swirling. I can hardly take one deep inhale before all the pieces turn to ash and fall to my feet. Reminder: you can lose it all in the matter of moments. Tiny pieces strung together in a sequence that rides like a roller coaster. Every ebb every flow... some so low I wonder if I'll have enough momentum to make it back to level ground, some so high I wonder if even the heaviest of stones could pull me from my new place in the sky.  

I see a glint of something golden at the bottom of the basket and so I go back for more.  I dive in, my hand feeling around frantically, but the basket is empty. An underhanded gift of reality. Reminder: the world owes you nothing. This trip we are given is a magical, scary, utterly imperfect gift. Work with that you have. Build from the ground up. Remember your roots, but never neglect the strength in your wings. Love the moments. Love the people. And if you cannot love them? Show them decency. Instead of reaching for what's easy, reach for what is meaningful. Reach for what is deep within your own accumulation of atoms. Reach for what hurts you. Reach for the hearts of others.  Reach for meaningful relationships. Reach for the place that you will make the greatest impact. Say you're sorry when you are wrong. Hug each and every special creation around you. The synchronism of breaths can mend any deep fracture of your heart no matter if that breath is of human or fur.

I tell myself, "How lucky you are to be but a tiny spot on the map in the midst of all this stardust." 

I can't help but wonder, "what impression will I leave on the small number of others I cross paths with?" I wonder if it is a lasting one. I wonder if it is deep. I wonder if my memory would curve lines across faces... if it would make them laugh. If it would be relieving. I wonder if there is time to change. I wonder if there is time to grow. I wonder if there is time to plant love deeply in those I have made feel less than. I know there is no guarantee, and so I start now

To those I have hurt: I am sorry. I am so deeply sorry. You are enough. May we realize that we are both human. May you have the patience to let me find myself to my knees. Please forgive me. 

To those who have found a lighthouse within me: I have found that in you also. Thank you from the bottom of my soul, thank you for holding me there. Thank you for guiding me and for letting me guide you. Thank you for holding tightly to my hand when I need rescuing, even when the tides could so easily pull us both under. You are a beacon and a refuge and that is no small task. 

And so I ask. How can I show up better tomorrow? 

How can I give more and take less?

How can I leave this earthly place with knowing that I gave kindness at every turn?

How can I remove my anger, my frustrations, my shortcomings and leave them like muddy boots at the front door of this glorious adventure? 

And so this Monday, I ask: How will you? Remember that we falter, but we can all rise from even the deepest of darkness. Kindness is something that we can all afford to give. 

 

 

The first time my flex shaft broke, I panicked. I ran to my local supplier, bought new parts, and then sat at my bench clueless. I called my grandfather. He was who I always called to help me make/fix/understand pretty much anything wood working wise or mechanical. I went to his house that day and he showed me how to do the repair step by step. We had coffee and cake afterwards because that's what you did at 3 o'clock at their house. Today I sat down at my bench, a day before the second anniversary of my grandfather passing, and my flex shaft broke. Same failure as before, except this time, I knew exactly how to repair it. How to take it apart bit by bit, replace the pieces and how to put it back together again. A major repair? No, maybe not, but definitely something I wouldn't have known without him there to show it to me. My heart has been so heavy these past few weeks... thinking about him, missing him, wishing to have him back, and I no doubt cried throughout the entire repair because of the timing, but damn if I'm not grateful to have had a man like that in my life. A teacher like that. A love like his. 

 

 

I can't even begin to explain the feeling I had when getting the first shirt tied up and ready to ship. To see all of the hemming and hawing and the hours in front of a computer screen come to fruition. To finally put 5+ years of, "I really want to..." to sleep and to see it all tied up with one small piece of red and white twine. There it was. That little shirt... the beginning of something so much larger. I am so grateful. I am so proud. I am so excited to put these on the men and women who continue to follow their dreams every single day no matter who tells them they're being silly. 

 

 

For those of you who follow me on social media, you may remember me going on and on and on about how I had pulled the trigger on something that I've been wanting to do for a long time now...

Well, INTRODUCING: FOR THE MAKER! New gear to celebrate the handcrafting community! To kick it off, "METALSMITH" tshirts and tanks for all my badass smithies out there! To drop Monday, May 29th!  

Also, more gear to follow very shortly, so please stay tuned! Yay!

Shirts will be in the shop at 9AM - ARIZONA! www.ashleyweber.etsy.com

+ The first batch of shirts will be sold in a "update" setting and are ready to ship. Further sales will have more size options and will be sold as MADE TO ORDER and will go on sale later in the week for 2 days only with 3-4 week turn around time and shipping. +

Details for Monday's Update: 

T-shirts are Next Level and are available in S-XL

Tanks are Bella brand and are available in S-L

 

 

I've been trying to turn my leaves. To redirect myself to the light that helps me to grow. To cover my ears and eyes from the negative things and people that seem like bad tenacious weeds in the face of a positive life. 

I've been needing something more. (I feel like that's something that I've been talking about for years). I've been taking baby steps towards changes when I should have been taking leaps. I've been afraid. There are moments of incredible joy and moments where I want to throw in the towel. Owning your own business is a hard thing to do, no one can deny that... staying motivated, taking care of yourself, getting the work done well, feeling creative, moving sore thumbs, doing paperwork, doing TAXES... add in negative people? I seriously can't deal with it. 

So I've turned to pottery, to sculpture, to welding, to meditation. 

Outlets. 

And I really can't say this enough: They have all been magical medicine. Art is magical medicine. Putting yourself in a creative box and not letting anyone else in (for as long as you may need it) is magical medicine. Not asking the opinion of others is magical medicine. Taking care of yourself is freaking magical medicine. 

 Pieces of a sculpture project. 

Pieces of a sculpture project. 

I've been getting lost in a handful of projects. A sculptural series. Huge, HUGE 14 foot steel dress forms for a public art project for a festival, ceramic planters, metal workshops, working the gallery myself and a few ladies have started, working on larger, more intricate metalsmithing projects... I've needed it. I've needed to change my focus.

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And at the end of the day, I leave feeling fulfilled, dirty, sweaty, strong... empowered. 

I've found a passion for new mediums and new ideas. I know I have deep holes to fill. I know the loss of the past few years has broken me into tiny bits that take time and love to repair. And I hope others take the time to care for themselves the way that they need it. The way that will fill their empty spaces or the spaces that others have ripped away from them. And I also know that at the end of the day, we all need to stop taking ourselves too seriously. And stop living by the internet.  Life's too short to not laugh every single day. So get after it. 

 

 

I told myself last night that I would sleep in "until forever." At 6 am a dog bounced on my head and I was already fighting my brain, which apparently wanted to file this faceted gemstone box I've been working on for the past few days.
I had the pleasure of being Kevin O'Dwyers studio assistant this year in his hollowware workshop. It's a one week intensive where students can basically create whatever their little hearts desire. They can fabricate containers, raise bowls, work on hidden hinges, create lockets, fold form handles, make jewelry, you name it... and they have Kevin there to go through the process, troubleshoot and bring their projects to fruition. It's a wonderful environment (if you can stand hearing 4 people hammer for 5 days straight from 9-5 every. single. day... ahem, ladies and bob 😉 ) to learn something new, to push yourself past what you know, and to be really really frustrated.. (because that's why Kevin's there!) Remember that silver box I created last year? Same guy, same class. 
The class is the perfect place to go out on a ledge and really focus on making something that you can learn from and that you normally wouldn't spend the time doing. Although, you're definitely going to see more of these from me; I have at least 2 other gem stone shapes to conquer. 
A little sap for @silver_river_studios : I'm really grateful to have met you and been able to study with you.. It's wonderful to work with someone who is still laughing at the end of the week after being verbally abused (by me) for 8 hours each day. You've been a huge part of my growth as a metalsmith, a patient teacher, and a great friend. Hopefully I'll catch you in Montana, Slavedriver. One more time for good measure: #kevinodwyertheslavedriver

 

 

So, what's the story, morning glory? Well, it goes a little like this: 

"Back in the ’50s, a very lucky rockhound unearthed a cache of petrified wood in the Hell’s Canyon gorge. An area that hugs northeastern Oregon and western Idaho. Not long afterward, the Brownlee dam was constructed, flooding the entire area.  Meanwhile, the rockhound, not knowing what to do with all that petrified wood, buried it near his house.  There it sat, for decades, until it was dug up by his family, who sold what they had in an estate sale."

After being inspected by an expert, the wood was identified as being sequoia. The best of this wood is riddled with vugs of agate, which they believe was created due to dry rot in the tree. See those wonderful holes in these pieces? 

The holes in this wood are, "fortified with bands, just like tiny thundereggs, and they are lined with translucent material.  Some appears to be milky or clear agate, and some is common opal, while others show sparkly quartz, including tiny crystals.  This extraordinary pet wood also has a striking zigzagging herringbone pattern of annual growth rings, clearly showing how the passing of the seasons affected the once-living tree.  Each ring representing a year."

The best part? They haven't found any more of this, so once it's gone, its gone! 

Please tell me you're as in love as I am? 

Have a wonderful weekend! 

 

 

This morning I made myself a delicious and warm breakfast. I took out my best dishes, my favorite mug, a delicate and beautiful handmade tumbler... I poured myself a rich, dark cup of coffee, and kept my phone in my bag on the coatrack. I ate slowly, mindfully, peacefully, putting my fork down between each bite, paying attention to each mouthful. I thought about friendships and about my grandparents. About the placemat at my spot on the table and how many different things it had been used for since I was a child. I thought about my life now, how much of it has changed, how the loss over the past couple years has left me empty and how I have tried to fill the space. I admired my plants and more so the fact that Austin has graciously allowed our house to turn into a jungle without really any complaints, simply because he knows how happy it makes me. I watched Frank and Indy greet one another at the back door, one coming in, one going out, and marveled at how wonderfully and gently they love on each other. One so large and one so small. I wondered how I'd ever get over losing them. I cried a little. I smiled. I am so deeply happy that I am here. That I get this one tiny moment of life. That I have a family who loves me. That eggs can taste so damn good. That at any moment I have the opportunity to stop, look around, and cherish all of the marvelous, tiny, and beautiful things that are happening all around me.

 

 

A little something my brother-in-law shared with me. 

Something for everyone to chew on. 

Something completely worth watching through to the very end. 

Happy 2017.

Get inspired. Find your true joy. 

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You start dying slowly
if you do not travel,
if you do not read,
If you do not listen to the sounds of life,
If you do not appreciate yourself.

You start dying slowly
When you kill your self-esteem;
When you do not let others help you.

You start dying slowly
If you become a slave of your habits,
Walking everyday on the same paths…
If you do not change your routine,
If you do not wear different colours
Or you do not speak to those you don’t know.

You start dying slowly
If you avoid to feel passion
And their turbulent emotions;
Those which make your eyes glisten
And your heart beat fast.

You start dying slowly
If you do not change your life
when you are not satisfied with your job, 
or with your love,

If you do not risk what is safe for the uncertain,
If you do not go after a dream,
If you do not allow yourself,

At least once in your lifetime,
To run away from sensible advice…

~ Pablo Neruda

 

 

fail·ure

ˈfālyər/

noun

  1. 1

    lack of success.

    "an economic policy that is doomed to failure"

    synonyms:lack of success, nonfulfillmentdefeatcollapse, foundering More

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There are two different routes you can take when you fail. 

Your first option is to scream out every profanity in the book, curl up in a ball, and tell yourself that you're terrible... that you're not good enough, to question everything you've done, to cry about the time you've wasted and then throw in the towel. That is true failure. On your part. Because giving up when you fail at something is simply tragic. Allowing your failures to defeat you is one of the worst things that you can possibly do for yourself. You've just paved yourself a road down a very very sad existence, my friend. 

Your second option is to accept your failure. To look at what you've done and instead of making excuses for yourself, you say, "Well, here's why I failed...."

"Here's what I could change to make this work." 

"Maybe this didn't work as a _____________, but it could still work as a _________."

And move the hell on. 

If you look at every single failure as a reason you aren't good enough, as a reason to give up, as an ending to what you've begun, you will never ever grow. You will never succeed, You will never find the magic that is failing. 

If you allow yourself to fail, if you turn to failure with open arms and say "What? What is the lesson here?" "What can I do better?" "What can this mess become?" "Where did I fuck up?" (Cause you curse, because you just totally screwed up and your irritated, lets face it, we all do it).

....well, you'll burn. If you're truly passionate about what you're doing. If you want it with every inch of your stardust, if you want to get better... you will ignite. You will. You'll get your saw out and hack off what doesn't work, you'll break off the broken pieces, and you'll build yourself a new place to begin. Because you are amazing, and you know it. Because you believe in yourself. Because you can acknowledge that you are human and imperfect and life. goes. on. 

And you'll shine the way we all know you can. The way you know you can. 

Stop crying about your weaknesses and turn them into your strengths. Turn your failure into your power. Stop wishing. I truly hate "wishers." STOP WISHING. Wishing gets you nowhere. Work. Work for it!

I am where I am today because I failed. I failed so terribly. And though it's still a conversation that sends pings of pain through me to this day.... it still makes my eyes swell and my throat hurt...Still, ten years later.... I can't help but to smile. To be so damn grateful. Shit, I am proud of myself.. I won't lie. I'm not proud of that failure, but I am proud of how I handled it. How I turned it all around. I'm thankful for the drive that it gave me. I'm thankful for the strength it continues to give me. It taught me more than a single success ever could. That couldn't be more true. 

(You know you are allowed to be proud of yourself, right? You can still be humble, while being proud of what you've accomplished). 

And it brought me here. To metal. To something that I love with all of my heart. To something that challenges me. To something that has taught me extreme patience. To something that excites me from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to bed. It wasn't easy, but damn, it was so worth it. 

Failure. Failure changed my life. And I could't be happier about it. 

 

 

This little baby was a ring two days ago. I put so much time in. When I went to set the turquoise on the band, I don't know, was I drunk? It was a disaster. It couldn't be saved, it couldn't be sold, frustrated with the waste of time and energy, I tossed it into my "all the messed up shit" bowl on my bench and had a beer. The bezel and the sand dollar were so much work alone, now they were wasted. I'd have to cut it all apart and start over. 

The next day I looked at it, still pretty much pouting that all of my beautiful work would have to be torn apart. ::Record scratch:: Or not... Cue like some great motivating song and picture me at my bench, hair blowing in the wind like I just jumped on a motorcycle and was about to go crash a wedding to win back the love of my life.. yeah, welcome to my world... 

I sawed the band off and it was like any great action movie when a huge explosion happens and the hero just, in the coolest fashion, turns his back and walks away. You know what I'm talking about. 

And then I drilled straight through that bastard, dropped a chain through it and tossed it around my neck and I was Michael freaking Phelps. Winning my 4th gold medal. Gon' brush your shoulders off. 

And then I smiled the happiest and surly the most dumb looking smile ever. Because I loved it. It was simple, and it was saved, and it made me happy. And then instead of a self pity beer, I had a damn-i'm-a-gangsta beer. 

And life. went. on. 

 

Failure looks good on you, darling. Fist bump. 

 

 
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There are tiny broken pieces in all of us. Some of us suffer so deeply from the parts of our past, from the losses, from the realizations, from life growing and changing and shifting around us... from losing something or someone that we once loved. Someone who made us feel understood and cared for turning their backs on us. Small things remind us daily of the places we hurt and sometimes we leave those pieces behind to become dark shadows inside our bones. We carry them on our shoulders day in and day out. They become so heavy and our hearts are so lonely that sometimes hopelessness knocks on our soul-doors. We question our entire being. When my grandfather died I lost pieces of myself. Pieces that were warm, pieces that were soft, pieces that were giving. I questioned abandoning my craft. I wondered if the hole and the empty would fill. I wondered what my purpose was... I still do. My mantra became, "you can grow from the pain." I repeated it to myself daily, not always believing my own promise, but making sure that I at least tried to convince myself that there was some sort of recovery in my future. I've left this note under each and every stone here, from me to my wearer. "You can grow from this." Succulents grow from the dark silver band that hold the beautiful color that is your existence... and at the tips they lighten, they sparkle, they shine. A metaphor, if you will. 

I cried all day yesterday while finishing these pieces- I'm crying now as I type these words... because the truth is, I still have 100 tiny shards that ache every single day. I don't expect them to never exist, I don't expect life to ever get easier, I just know that if I can create something... If I can say something that has any positive effect on another hurting body.. then I'm doing something right. Something worth it. You are not alone. You can grow from this.

I promise.

 

 

And just when you think there's nothing left, a new piece of you blooms. You come alive in a place that had started to turn dark. You pull from ash and memory and you build something from every branch. Something too good to hide away. A gift for the part of yourself that you wore too thin. 
A letter saying, "I'm sorry."

 

 

Where did March go? I know I haven't been an A+ at updating my blog, but I really don't have any excuses... I just haven't done it... 

But here's what I have done and what I've been working on! I'm hoping to have these in the shop this week with a whole slew of other great items! It's succulent season baby! And ombré, a whole mother-lovin' ton of ombré!

Did I mention some GOLD happened? 14K solid gold succulents! Soon to be paired with rose cut diamonds! Mmmhmmm... feel free to drool. 

And here's a little bit of what happened earlier this month. Hoping to get some more match boxes and tubes out very soon! And some vertebrae will be back in the shop in the next update as well.

Feel free to check out my flicker for more photos. You can find the link under "connect" at the top of my page.

Have a wonderful week! 

A