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December 13th shop update!

leather raven necklace with iridescent gemstones

New work just added ~

I’ve just posted a small shop update, which includes a small collection of necklaces, leather pendants, and hair accessories!

While I’d hoped to have more to share tonight, it just wasn’t in the cards. As is typical for the Pacific Northwest this time of year, it has been dark and gloomy and dumping rain all week. Not ideal weather for photography (in fact, I’ll likely go back and re-photograph many of these pieces the next time that the weather is favorable). Perhaps I’ll trickle in a few more pieces over the weekend if time and light allows.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy the pieces that I’ve shared tonight! Also, just a friendly reminder that my holiday ordering dates are coming up quickly. If you’re in the US, there’s still time to order for the holidays, though I’d urge you not to procrastinate too much!

Cali Love Fire Benefit Tattoo & Holiday Gift Bazaar on Sunday 12/16 ~

Last but not least, I mentioned in my last post that my November giveaway winner is choosing to donate her prize to the Cali Love Fire Benefit Tattoo & Holiday Gift Bazaar this Sunday 12/16 at Eye of the Tiger Tattoo in San Francisco. The proceeds from this event will go to benefit the families who are working to rebuild their lives after the #Campfire in Paradise, CA last month. Two of my friends’ families lost their home in that fire, so this event is near and dear to my heart. With that said, I am choosing to match Angel’s donation of my Sacred Heart sugar skull mask, by adding a second “Abuelita” sugar skull mask. If you’re in the Bay Area this weekend, please consider attending and supporting this special cause!

leather sugar skull masks

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December Giveaway and new work soon.

leather christmas ornaments

A small celebration of kindness ~

For December’s Giveaway, I’m offering a $50 gift certificate good for any ready made item at my website or my Etsy shop.  To enter,  simply share a comment about a random act of kindness that lifted your spirits! Did someone surprise you with a free coffee, or did you have a chance to pay it forward for someone else? Tell me your tales of kindness and goodwill, and I’ll choose a winner at random on Friday, December 21st at 6 pm PST.

As is often the case this time of year, I’m noticing a lot of sad, angry people out there! Maybe they’re stretched too thin with year end goals and holiday commitments, or they’re stressed out by all of the pressure to shop and consume. Perhaps these folks are grieving over loved ones who are no longer here to take part in holiday traditions, or maybe they’re worried about the state of the world. Whatever the cause, winter just seems to dredge that stuff up for a lot of us. The weight of it can be heavy enough to make the best of us act poorly. With that said, I’d like to offer a little bit of light this holiday season – just a small celebration of kindness to remind us of what’s really important.

Shop update on 12/13 ~

I’ll be adding a small shop update on the evening of Thursday, December 13th. It will include a few unique jewelry pieces and hair accessories. I was shooting to have it ready today, but honestly? My creative work has been happening very slowly of late. While I really wish that I could be more prolific, for the sake of my health and wellbeing, I just need to honor that pace. Hopefully this weekend will give me time to finish up a few special pieces and get some better photos! Thanks so much for your patience, and for understanding.

Cali Love Fire Benefit Tattoo & Holiday Gift Bazaar ~

And in keeping with the theme of kindness, the woman who won last month’s giveaway will be donating her prize to help raise money for the people of Paradise CA, who lost their homes in last month’s #Campfire. The mask below will be available at the Cali Love Fire Benefit Tattoo & Holiday Gift Bazaar at Eye of the Tiger Tattoo in SF, CA on Sunday 12/16. If you’re in the Bay Area, this will be an excellent opportunity to do some holiday shopping AND do some good for others! I’ll post another reminder as the event date draws closer.

leather sugar skull mask
Sacred Heart Mask

 

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Winter Solstice 2016 – Hibernation

leather-ornaments-peacock2

Happy Solstice, and many thanks to all who’ve supported my craft!

If you’ve purchased something from me, liked or shared my work, or offered feedback or encouragement along the way, YOU have helped to support my creative process and I’m deeply grateful. It occurred to me the other day that some of you have been cheering me on and collecting my work for anywhere from 5 to 30 years! I am honored and humbled by this – may your kindness come back to you tenfold.

Winter is officially here, and this quiet time seems ideal for rest and restoration. I’ve been feeling rather burnt out for some time now, and it feels like a good time to slow down and reflect on what I’d like to do differently in the year ahead. With that said, my Christmas gift to myself will be to put my Etsy shop in vacation mode as of December 31st.

I’ve not yet decided how long that vacation will last, I’m simply going to hibernate until I feel ready to share new work again. It could be a few weeks, it could be longer. We’ll see how that goes. My personal website will remain open, but I do intend to retire quite a few items at the start of 2017. So if you’ve had your eye on one of my pieces or if you only wish to purchase via Etsy, now’s a good time to do so.

Thanks again for your support and encouragement. May you be surrounded with love and comfort this holiday season.

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Such a long long time to be gone…

“You need music, I don’t know why. It’s probably one of those Joseph Campbell questions, why we need ritual. We need magic and bliss, and power and myth, and celebration and religion in our lives and music is a good way to encapsulate a lot of it.”

~ Jerry Garcia

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Happy Solstice and Pollinator Week!

pollinator-weekThese little bee and butterfly themed pieces were created to welcome summer, and to celebrate Pollinator Week (which is this week!). Unfortunately, I was under the weather for a few days and could not finish them in time. Still, the intention is there and they’ll be finished up ASAP :)

I realize that it’s hard to “see” or imagine the finished piece(s) while they’re still in progress. Truthfully, I usually have no idea what the finished work will look like until it’s complete! But at very least, I can tell you that these are intended as jewelry components. The little butterflies and at least one of the bees will become pendants or necklaces, while the wings will be used in some of my earring designs. I’m leaning toward a bracelet for the bee on the blue background, though that may change by the time I complete them all. Oh, and there are some bee wings and a luna moth that didn’t make it into the photo.

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We stand with Orlando

An old friend posted this to Facebook the other day. Her words are such an apt (and eloquent) summary for my own feelings; I wanted to save them, and to share them in hopes that others might be moved as well:

This is for all of the people from all walks of life that stand in unity with the people that died in Orlando and say “We are All Orlando.” In a greater sense it is true. We all could be killed at a bar or a dance club (Orlando). We could be killed at a work holiday party (San Bernardino), at a school (Sandy Hook), a concert (Paris) a college campus (Virginia Tech) or a restaurant (Paris, also McDonalds USA). We could be killed for having a sense of humor (Charlie Hebdo, Paris). Everyone’s life mattered. Everyone was important. Thank you for knowing that.

At this time we mourn for those that died in Orlando.

Please do something to foster harmony in remembrance. Volunteer at local center, help your neighbor, sign a petition, give someone you love a hug, and know that you are lucky to be here. Live more. Love more. Be better. Everyone.

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2015 Holiday Curmudgeon Sale

At the risk of sounding curmudgeonly, I’m extremely annoyed by holiday marketing this year. That is not to say that I’m anti Christmas (or against any of the winter holiday traditions) – it’s just the marketing that sickens me. I’ve been getting “Black Friday” emails since before Halloween, which seriously freaks me out! Personally, that doesn’t inspire me to shop; it just stresses me out.

As a retailer, this is doubly challenging. The various selling platforms and marketing blogs that I subscribe to are just as urgent in letting me know that I’m supposed to be sharing my story! And making! and slashing prices! And holding giveaways! And tweeting and gramming and facebookering and worrrying about blackfriday, smallbizsaturday, cybermonday or selloutsunday …and OMG, now I just want to hide under the covers until the New Year.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this, and the bottom line is – I really don’t want to do all that stuff. I don’t want to participate in the hypermarketing, super commercial, over the top holiday blitz that is designed to promote consumption; it stresses people out, shifts the focus away from peace and goodwill, and really just benefits the big box stores. Because seriously? Independent artists don’t have the profit margin to give you HALF OFF OF EVERYTHING IN YOUR FACE the way that giant retailers do. More importantly, I hate the way it makes me feel and I don’t want to do that to my customers or myself; I respect us too much for that.

Instead, I will offer the following specials for the remainder of 2015. These offers are good for the rest of the year, so please relax, focus on the ones you love, and shop when you’re ready:

* All US domestic orders of $40+ are eligible for free first class shipping.
On my website, you’ll automatically see the free shipping option when your cart reaches $40
On Etsy, you’ll need to enter the coupon code “shippingfree” at checkout

* All orders of $75+ are eligible for a 10% discount. 
To receive this discount, use the coupon code “happyholidays” at checkout. That coupon code is the same for my website as it is for Etsy. Please note that this offer applies to ready made items only, not custom work.

(pro tip: on Etsy, you can only choose one of these offers; on my website, you’ll be able to combine the two offers to receive 10% off AND free domestic shipping!)

* In the interest of generating more peace and goodwill, I’ll add a little something extra to at least one order, every week through the end of the year. The recipient will be chosen at random, and so will the gift. You don’t need to fill out any forms or share things on social media – it’s just a little bonus giveaway for my customers, because I really do love and appreciate you all <3

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Wednesday Inspiration – Raffle for Cecil

Amanda Edwards Mosaics' Raffle for Cecil
Amanda Edwards Mosaics’ Raffle for Cecil

I’m sharing the information about this raffle in part because I love this artist’s work, and partially because I admire her spirit. When she learned about the recent killing of a lion named Cecil, Amanda Edwards decided to raffle off a piece of her art and to donate the proceeds to the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit of Oxford University. This organization studies lions in hopes of aiding in their conservation.

It struck me as such a loving and hopeful response to a terrible situation, and it reminded me of the many ways that art can heal. I donated for a chance to win, and I’d like to encourage you to do the same: just click on this link and donate to get a ticket(s). Doing so offers the opportunity to win a beautiful work of art, and the ability to participate in a very kind response to a tragic situation.