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Crystals and Gemstones?

quartz crystals and flowers

I’m thinking of adding a small selection of crystals and gemstones to the shop. My creative energy has been going to my garden lately, so my studio has been rather quiet.  With that said, this could be a fun addition while my muse rests and regroups. Let me know if there are special stones or shapes you’d like to see!

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Social Distancing & Creativity

We’re adjusting to this whole social distancing thing, and I hope the same is true for you and yours! May this update find you healthy, safe, and sane 🙂

When this shift began, I told myself that I’d just hunker down with my beads and my seeds, and do my best to create and grow my way through this whole experience. While that’s still the ideal, it seems that my muse (and my focus!) are currently MIA.

At first, I was angry with myself about this. I should be “using this time productively” and “finishing all those projects”! Now I’m just breathing through those expectations, and letting them go. Seeds are planted, and I’ve got creative projects on the table. More importantly, everyone that I love is still upright, and adapting.

My creative work is happening slowly, and I’ve decided to just go easy on myself, and accept that. I hope you’re all cutting yourselves a bit of slack right now too… you don’t HAVE to start a new project, or knock out all of those chores. Just breathe. Love your people, stay human, stay home, and be well.

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New Digs

We’ve finally moved over to the new place, and I like it a lot. We’re still settling in — despite the fact that it’s been over a month now — and I suspect that I’ll be unpacking boxes for months to come. Even so, it feels like a tremendous improvement.

The new place is far more rural; our neighbors have horses, and we frequently see deer in our yard. Everyone tells me that the deer will lose their charm quickly, but for now, I’m still quite enamored with them. I have a bigger studio than I’ve ever had in my life, and it has a perfect view onto my HUGE garden. Well, future garden … there’s a lot of work to be done, but we are thrilled to tackle it. The only thing missing from this near perfect picture is a dog, and we hope to remedy that soon. I am amazingly content, and I wake up feeling grateful every day.

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Growing up, I never imagined myself settling down in suburbia, but through a series of choices (some good, some bad) this is where I am today. Honestly, I’m not thrilled about it — those who know me well know that I’ve been ready to chew my leg off. I long for some place wilder and greener — some place where I can have huge gardens, a dog, and open spaces.

We are working toward that goal, but it’ll probably be a while before all of the needed elements come together. This spring I decided that the healthiest way to cope with my frustration is to make a greater effort to “bloom where I’m planted”. The other phrase that kept floating through my head was that I need to just “grow some grace” and trust that my goals will come to fruition when the time is right. It occurred to me that one of the best ways to achieve this would be to plant a patio garden as both a symbolic and tangible representation of those goals.

Thus far, my garden isn’t terribly impressive. It is beautiful and green, and it’s been very satisfying to see my little seedlings grow — but it’s a tiny space, and heavily shaded at that. I’m rooting for my tomatoes and peppers (no pun intended) but it’s looking kind of iffy as to whether or not their fruit will ripen before the rains set in. The upshot of growing this little garden is that it brought me outside more, and caused me to notice the wildlife that surrounds me, even in suburbia. My complex is a haven for birds including a HUGE flock of ravens, as well as sparrows, robins, finches, jays, woodpeckers, a flicker, a peregrine falcon (although the crows tend to run him off quickly) and an osprey nest. I’m pretty sure that’s the mama in the above photo — at least, it’s the largest of the family. She likes to roost in the tree above my balcony in the mornings, so I get to enjoy her while I tend my garden. I found the feather to the left* after one of the fledglings’ first test flights, which was my pleasure to watch.

There were four of them out there that day, soaring and singing overhead. Maybe I’m anthropomorphizing here, but their songs sounded positively joyful — even celebratory! Coincidentally, this was the same day that my daughter moved into her own place; I’m choosing to take this as an auspicious sign. Whether it’s a good omen or not, it has made me so happy to see this raptor family nest and grow outside my window. I can’t explain it, except to say that it does my heart good to see that even here in suburbia — land of mini malls and plastic people — there are still a few things that are free and wild.

* And before anyone lectures me about the feather, yes I am aware that these are protected/illegal here in the US. I did not keep it, but I did grab a photo in order to study the markings and (hopefully) better recreate them in my own work. For some reason, these barred/raptor feathers have always been hard for me to capture realistically, so it’s nice to have a real life reference to work from.

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Secret Garden

image via

One of my favorite daydreams is about the gardens that I will plant when we finally move to a place with a bit of land. I’ll plant a huge herb garden and of course a veggie garden, sunflowers galore, a dahlia bed, and probably a nice cutting garden … but I also long for secret gardens. Little pathways through the woods, with random art (and a treehouse!) and secret, quiet spaces where one could read a book, take a nap, or share a bottle of wine with someone special.

This image is a perfect example of the random, earthy type of space that I hope to create. Ideally, someday soon-ish.

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Inspired Garden

shoe rack garden via

Summer is officially here (though our Seattle rain is still trying to debate the issue) and my mind has turned to gardening. It’s one of my favorite pass times, but since I moved to a condo I haven’t really been able to plant much. My patio is tiny, and my HOA has pages upon pages of rules.

This year I’ve decided not to let that stop me. I planted a container garden, which is coming along okay considering that my gardening skills are rusty and my patio does not get much sun. I’ve been gathering ideas for small space/urban gardening that will allow me to grow vertically, and maximize what little sunlight we get on our patio.

gutter garden via

I haven’t planted too much — in part because of space limitations, and in part because I’ve never really done small/container gardens (I tend to think BIG, and my past gardens reflected that 😉 so I do have quite a bit to learn. Still, we have a nice variety of herbs, and I’m hoping that our balcony garden will keep us in fresh greens, chives, tomatoes and peppers.

In addition to my little patio garden, I have taken to sprinkling wildflower seedlings around the building complex. Technically, I’m not supposed to do this. When I suggested it at a board meeting, one person worried about water use, and another complained that it “wouldn’t be fair” for me to have a garden when nobody else could. I want to be respectful of my neighbors but honestly, that seems unreasonable. It is incredibly satisfying and soothing to me to watch things grow, and a few flowers around our unkempt grounds can only improve the place.


For the person who was worried about water consumption, I hear you! That’s why I’m only planting native wildflowers that are shade tolerant and drought hardy. Between my careful plant selection, and our frequent rains, watering should not be an issue. If they die, they die — but I am at least going to try. To my neighbor who complained that it is not fair, I can only respond that life is not fair… my unit has more dirt around it, yours has more light and better views. I sincerely hope that you will enjoy the new growth around our complex, and I encourage you to join in and plant something wonderful too!