Monday, December 19, 2011

salty love

After an amazing holiday season i'm starting to dream of warm water and thundering waves. I walk by my thick 6mm wetsuit everyday on my way into the studio...and continue on. I know that with hard work and patience  I'll get there. I'm alright with forgoing some of the  frigid atlantic surf sessions where I feel like the michelin man for the few extra hours spent working. I'll still go for a dip in the sea, just to be in it. Try to surf, laugh at the awkwardness. The ocean is healing no matter what the conditions, but nothing can replicate the feeling of warm silky water rushing around me. For now in order to calm those cravings I'll make work that reminds me of those moments... green and glassy.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

a gentle reminder

"i need this reminder. and i figure if i need it, then there are some of you out there that need it too. there’s something about seeing the written word to go with his thoughts that really drive this message home to me. (to be kind to myself) to have patience with myself as i ebb and flow on this creative path. it’s hard work to navigate the way while you are forging the way." ~Meredith Winn


busy busy busy. not much time lately for updating the blog, or surfing, climbing or friends lately...but lot's happening in the studio!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


At last I'm finding more and more time to make jewelry every day, energized and humming along until 11 each night.  The more I work the more it's starting to feel like my job again, rather than something I used to do and the easier it is to say i have to work.  I even opted to work rather than surf the other day...weird.

I'm making a bunch of new work, and keeping it simple for now.  I'm enjoying having the freedom to make what I want rather than the pressure of creating a product line for wholesale. That's how i started...I had just learned to make jewelry, and within a year was I doing wholesale shows with 30 + galleries to keep up with. I think my creativity suffered since I had no time for new work.  I was excited to be getting off to such a good start but found I was making work I didn't really like just to fill gaps in my line.

So for now I'm going back to basics...rivets, simple metalwork etc...building up my crimping fingers :) With that creative freedom has come a creative overload.  There are so many things I want to make, techniques I want to learn. Sometimes I can't focus and make one thing, I'll stop and realize I have three things going at once. One piece giving me an idea for another, starting on that then starting's nice...a little spastic at times but I'm feeling the flow :)

Friday, October 28, 2011



i've realized over the past 5 years of being self-employed that i work best under pressure. i can create all the deadlines i want...but without some sort of outside repercussions it may get pushed aside until the last minute
for random side jobs or do something fun.
so a few months ago i applied for a bunch of craft shows. I had yet to get into the studio for a full day in almost two years and was still shuffling around old work trying to make it look new.

So my catalyst was Craftland, a really fun show/store on Westminster Street in Providence.
I had my deadline... asap... sweet!
Thank you Craftland and Devienna :) another jewelry girl making it happen. check her out

Working in my studio is fun, so it's hard to say '"i have to work'" and push aside the other responsibilities that I've taken on. Mostly Sandywoods Farm stuff. fruit orchard that needed staking, craft show that needs planning, board of directors treasury updates an on and on. so i apologized to the farm every time i stepped outside for a break, feeling guilty but excited because i was actually making work. to sell.

that week was so good. i woke early, went into the studio with my freshly pressed coffee, good music and worked into the night. just making...and it was lovely.

the super elated feeling of creating has come back. i forgot how good that feels.

Monday, September 19, 2011

focus pocus

 inspired and creating.

gently falling into the rhythm of late summer hurricane swell, my little guy starting preschool and endless craft show applications. in the studio almost every day now. making, musing and generally excited about the challenges ahead of me. it's fun, making, selling, even not selling (like the show i did this past weekend) there are ups and downs..a friend say's running a craft business "is like a roller coaster" i like that...though I prefer a slow and steady rise and fall in terms of business.

the potpourri of jobs that got me through the past two years has slowly been taken over by the confidence that time spent in the studio will once again be productive. it has to be.
like dropping into a wave, you have to be be committed. hesitation or uncertainty will result in failure. i did that today and experienced a thorough underwater tumble over many large, but somehow soft rocks. then you just have try it all over again, but only if your energy and determination allow. uncertainty will at least slow you down, resulting in less than optimal performance. but sometimes insecurity creeps in, though i'm not sure if it's mine or that of others, weaving their way into my thoughts.  i don't have time to hesitate.


 focus. focus. focus.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

be the ocean

"The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing time… The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile." - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Saturday, July 30, 2011


in between mornings spent sipping coffee on the porch and climbing into bed with the windows open there is a quiet summer that dances in and out of days. almost overlooked in the rush to take in as much sun and outdoor activity that will fit into the short summer months of new england. soft quiet moments flit in and out, gone almost before they begin. It's a pleasure to tease them out of their hiding places and  grab them tightly.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


when night falls and the wee one is sleeping I recapture the feeling that drew me to making jewelry. silence fills my studio, the stresses of everyday life trickle away and creativity takes over that space. before long the air becomes heavy with the tapping of my hammer and smooth ripping sound of the saw against metal. The sweet pungent smells of flux and pickle comfort me as I solder, heat and re-heat. the ideas and inspiration stored up from days in the ocean and evenings in the garden that i was sure were lost forever gather themselves together and organize into more ideas than i have time for. i used to spend 40+ hours a week in my studio, now i'm lucky if i spend 4.

Finding the balance between work and play, Ryder time and mommy time, cleaning jobs and jewelry is a constant challenge. A wonderful one though because the rewards are so sweet when everything comes together. Coming off of a week where thoughts of getting a 'real job' were becoming a reality, I had a great show in Marion, MA. full of excited customers who loved my work and actually bought a bunch of it.  then i got to spend the last three steamy summer days at the beach, building sand castles and playing in the surf watching my son grow with every tumble under the waves.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

cold water

pure and heavy, like cold water

I recently had the honor of creating an engagement ring for one of my best friends. Over the past few years she has developed a passion for surfing that rivals my own. Her fiance is equally smitten, with her and the sea. Technically this was the most challenging jobs I've faced, and by far the most satisfying.

Before sitting at my bench I would feel anxious and unsure if I would ever finish the ring. It was a process that was completely new to me, and I was finding it very difficult. Though once I picked up my tool and began to meticulously carve the ring from a block of wax, my thoughts would drift to the lovers; images of laughter, surfing, love and their future together would play through my mind like an old silent film. Hours would pass as my fingers learned to work with these new materials.  So many happy thoughts were imbedded into the process. There was a moment at the end when the design just emerged, ta-da! like it had been hiding in there all along and I only needed to uncover it.  I was elated! The design, the love, the story all came together in one magical moment. Seriously, it really was that great.

This project re-invigorated my passion for making jewelry. It reminded me how much I love the challenge, the material, the personal connections.  I like to think that the energy put into something is carried within it,  and passed on to whomever takes ownership of the object.

This design incorporates two waves flowing around the band. Some swells are larger, stronger while others are smaller and gentle. Like love which can be intense and powerful, other times quiet. Good times and bad, always flowing together with the same purpose. They meet in the middle, wrapping up onto to diamond to find the perfect balance.

Using recycled white gold and recycled diamond of impeccable quality I love thinking that this ring will see these lovers through many days of offshore ground swell and small summer wind slop.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


“Summer Solstice is one of the great turning points of the year, when the sun is at its peak and the days abound with the promise of life’s fullness. It is a serenely powerful time in which the beauty of the natural world can infuse our spirit, bring us alive to the present, and perhaps awaken a deeper sense of relatedness to the community of life, to the Earth, and to the cosmos.” – Paul Winter

This wasn't taken today.

Today we went to the beach, played in the surf, and soaked in the sun, spent time with family and went home salty, sandy and tired.

Rather it's a moment two weeks ago that feels like forever. Evenings of long sleeve shirts and dirt in the garden instead of plants. So much changes in such a short amount of time, it's simply a reminder to myself to take more pictures.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


It's late May and the waters off the northeast coast of the Atlantic are starting to warm into the 50's. After a winter of infrequent surf sessions in frigid water it's finally time to test the temps and take off the hood. After checking a few spots my friend Heather and I found some waves that looked promising. We paddled out through the warm foggy mist, chatting about her upcoming wedding, climbing etc. It was late morning, soft rolling waist high swells with no one out. The fog was burning off and the smell...oh the smell. It doesn't happen too often but it's pure, fresh air. Blowing in from across the ocean for hundreds of miles. Sweet and thick,  picking up the life and energy of the water. It excites me, like the smell after it rains or before a thunder storm.

I was starting to feel anxious about not being in the studio working when I realized...THIS IS IT. Everything I work, struggle and stress for is happening right now, in this very moment. Duh, you may be thinking. The thing is I am perpetually broke, never feeling secure enough to comfortably allow myself these 'irresponsible' moments. Since I'm self employed I am always on. Work surrounds me every waking moment. There is always something I 'should' (see, that word again) be doing. Once I let this thought percolate for a bit I took a deep sweet breath...looked up at the pale yellow light beginning to peek through the clouds and felt the energy of the glassy green ocean flow through me and let go. Then let in the feeling of being truly thankful for this moment and all the wonderful elements that surround me.

Disclaimer: This happens every time I go surfing after a few weeks or months out of the water. I just forget. It's scary to think how easy it is to forget how healing and absolutely essential our passions are.

These last two images are from Wolfgang Bloch. simple. powerful. beautiful.


Wolfgang Bloch

sim·pli·fy  (smpl-f) To reduce to fundamental parts

This week I'm starting to feel it. Like crossing the last item off my to do list that stretched out for months or years.


This word has been my mantra for that past year or so. Everything I've been doing has been in pursuit of this. To live in today rather than always waiting; for something to happen, to finish this or that, acquire a certain goal, making more money, nice weather.  It's becoming more natural rather than a conscious effort, which is nice since that is simple in itself.

I've begun to eliminate the extraneous elements that somehow, over time, creep into our lives to feel necessary. All of the material wants, rather than the needs. All of the obligatory "I should" rather than "I'm going to'" The people that create negative energy that are kept around out of obligation, guilt etc. The more I practice this the easier it becomes. Like eating sugar, the less you have it the less you crave.

By reducing and simplifying my desires I'm finding I reduce my expenses. This in turn allows more free time to create and enjoy, fully immerse myself in the mundane tasks that make up everyday. Today I moved 1450 pounds of manure with my neighbors instead of working on an order for a pair of purple wildflower earrings, and it didn't stress me out. Progress.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sandywoods Gallery

The gallery in my community has just opened it's doors. After a lot of hard work by many of my neighbors we have a beautiful gallery steps from my the story Tiverton Patch

Sunday, May 22, 2011

another day at the office

I just arrived home from a long but positive day at another craft show. StArt on the Street in Worcester, MA. There was a great crowd, all generally happy and interested in supporting handmade. Even if a show is slow sales wise good energy can make up for that.

I ended up in a very entertaining location across from the metal workers. There were about four young strong men heating metal in a forge and hammering(with really big sledgehammers) all day. It was mesmerizing to watch. Also cool was seeing them use many of the same techniques as I do on my jewelry but on such a large scale.

When I was just a wee one my father figure had a large forge and would spend hours repetitively heating, hammering and shaping iron. I'm not exactly sure what he was making now that I think about it.  hmmm... Well anyway, my brother and I would crawl under the forge after everything had cooled off in search of 'clinker' the shiny silver looking lumps of incombustible leftovers from them coal. I'm not exactly sure what we did with those either.
He passed that anvil he used for metalworking down to me. That's where so much of the great texture in my jewelry comes from.

It's also my son's favorite seat while I work.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Still Voting

My community, Sandywoods Farm has been nominated to win a free fruit orchard. The 20 communities with the most votes will win. So we've been voting everyday and will continue for a long long time since the contest runs from May 1-August 30.

Right now we're somewhere around 16th place, so we have a chance.

We will use the orchard for educational youth programming within Sandywoods and the surrounding towns. Whatever we don't eat will be sold with the profits going back into the garden. Then we hope to donate to local food pantries. The possibilities are endless with such an amazing resource. Every vote counts so please vote.

We were featured on the local news last week.

check out for more info on this great project

Friday, May 13, 2011

Calm Day

I'm rather obsessed with the wind. First of all it's my favorite form of weather. Second I've found it's been determining my work schedule

It's spring time, so yes, very windy season. I also seem to live in a very windy location, hence the wind turbine soon to power my studio, house and neighborhood. I've been waiting for a calm day to plant the hundreds of kale and lettuce seedlings I've been nurturing since April.

Today, the day I'd set aside to work all day in my studio turns out to be beautiful sunny and calm. So of course I must go up to the community garden and get the little guys in the ground.
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