Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday Offerings

It's been a good few days of regrouping here..the house is cozy, there's a pot of tomato sauce bubbling away on the stove and I'm just finishing up the last of the laundry.

Yesterday was quite the day of dog-duties.  After a nice trek through the nature trails by my house, the puppy and her beau found a lovely puddle of manure smelling muck to roll in..mmm..manure muck.  The pups were immediately put on leash and they pranced home quite proud of themselves for their little achievement.  Nothing says 'top dog' like the lovely smearing of brown goo all over your fur and the stench of all things smelly that the warm weather brings this time of year.  So home we went, and into the bath she went.  There were a few laps around the dining room and coffee tables before she finally gave up and dragged her paws up the stairs and into the bathroom.  You know you've truly lost that final thread of sanity when you find yourself sitting on the bottom step of your staircase dressed in your 'dog bathing clothes' which for me consists of an old pair of faded red shorts, paint-stained Benetton tank top from high school and a bleach stained bandana on your head yelling at your dog who's on the other side of the house, 'you can run but you can't hide Sachi! I've got alllll day to wait for you, you smelly girl!'  Really though, Sachi is so good..aside from her hobby of barking at handicapped children (yes, handicapped children..I'm truly not making this up..), she's really quite sweet and well behaved.

So anyway, after all of that craziness during the day, my evening was spent finishing up some pieces of jewelry I had been procrastinating on finishing.

Available later today in my shop!

Happy Family Day to those of you here, and Happy President's Day to those of you south of the border!

xo Blue Gnome

Sterling, Dendritic Opal

Twin Ring - A Series of Contradictions II
Sterling, Rosewood, Natural Turquoise

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Rise of the Fireflies

Fireflies..have you been fortunate enough to see them?
My first and only time was during a installation job in Georgia, Atlanta.  Small, glowing orbs of light dancing around on someone's front yard..I was mesmerized..then my good friend and coworker told me that when he was a kid, he and his brother used to catch them and squish them..and paint the glowy stuff on their arms and faces as warpaint.  Nice.  Boys are so weird.

I grew up watching movies from Studio Ghibli, an animation house in Japan.  Among their popular animated films like Totoro and Spirited Away, they produced a powerful, heart wrenching movie called 'Firefly Grave'.  It's about a young boy who takes his little sister into the forest to escape the war.  Although they succeed in escaping the bombings of the city, without rations they struggle to survive.  One of my all time favorite movies..but not one I can watch often.  I know my Japanese grandmother couldn't watch it..she survived the war as a child and the movie hit too close to home.  The little girl in the movie also has the same name as my grandma..Setsuko.  The title of the film comes from the fireflies the boy catches for his sister.  He traps them in a glass jar, and she keeps this by her bed at night since there are no lights.

I saw this ocean jasper and I immediately thought of this movie.  And that night in Georgia when the night air was warm and muggy.  It reminds me of what it might be like to walk through a field of fireflies in the darkness of the night and see them all float up into the night sky.  Soft, glowing orbs of light, dancing all around me.

Available later today in my shop.

xo Blue Gnome

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wednesday Blahs

Ugh.  It's one of those days when your day..damn..your whole life just seems blah.  Like looking through a dirty window or being on the wrong side of a foggy one, when you want to take a towel and a huge bottle of industrial windex and wipe everything sparkling clean.  Maybe it's the grayness of the day..all the crisp white snowbanks are black from the fumes of the passing cars and the milder weather has made even the happiest of snowmen slope sadly on people's yards.  I'm trying to snap myself out of this..but then again, I think to myself, why?  Why can't I be in a poopy mood once in awhile, when all I want to do is put on my granny undies, flannel pj's and curl up in my quilt.  Okay, maybe that was too much information.  I don't actually own a pair of granny undies..I mean, how silly..all of mine are super sexy.  Yeah...whatever.

I've just finished ranting and raving to my poor, patient coworker..we'll call her L..and like the supportive trooper she is, she nodded and agreed at all the right place, and scowled and make faces when my rants called for it too.  She was having a 'blah' day yesterday you see..maybe, like last month's flu, this is also catching.  Maybe I should just blame her for my blue day today..yes, that's an excellent idea!  That'll teach her for being such a good friend today.

In honor of my melancholy day today, here are a list of some of my favorite things..can't you just hear Julie Andrews singing 'Doe a deer, a female deer..Ray, a drop of golden sun..'?  On second thought, I'm just going to think about my favorite things and not actually write them down.  That way they're the way, that's one of my favorite things.  Keeping secrets..

Here's to you having a better day than me..and to having small secrets to smile about when you need one on days like this.

xo Blue Gnome

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Newbies To The Shop

I'm digging this rabbit design lately..maybe it's because this is my year..

I had an especially terrible soldering day yesterday, everything I touched seemed to blow up, catch on fire or break.  So I finally gave it a rest..and finished these beauties today, with fresh hands!  I'm pretty happy with the way they turned out, still trying to get used to working with smaller stones.  Such finicky little things, my fingers instantly feel too big and clumsy trying to get them to just behave!

Available in my shop tonight!

xo Blue Gnome

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

More Blooms

Well, the temperatures have plummeted here in the city.  But I have to admit, the great thing about winters in the east coast are the frigid but BEAUTIFUL sunny days!  Yes, it might be horrendously cold out, with wind chills sending the thermometers down to an unthinkable -35 degrees but as long as you're inside somewhere warm, it really is quite uplifting to be able to enjoy the warm sunshine coming in from the window.  My parents live in the gorgeous Okanagan Valley in Beautiful British Columbia.  There the summers are perfect and the winters mild.  But the price you pay for the mild temperatures are the months of overcast can drive a person simply mad and lead you to experience seasonal depression even if you're not the depression-kind-of-person.  Whoever that 'kind' of person might be.

The cold weather has been the perfect excuse to stay indoors and not deal with the mess that's slowly starting to resurface as the clean, white blanket of snow has begun melting in the yard.  My backyard looks like a small graveyard of buried and forgotten bones, thanks to my wonderfully fuzzy room mate.  As the weather gets warmer and the snow really begins to melt away, the time for utter panic ensues.  All of a sudden her treasures are exposed and my 120lbs dog spends her days reburying all her goods.  Because we're all after her bones..bones that have now had months to ferment in the ground..the grosser, the better.  Some are even green.  Oh goodie.  Not wanting to deal with any of that until it becomes absolutely necessary, I've been hard at work indoors designing and creating the happier thoughts of spring like bright green buds peek-a-booing out of the ground, the first tulips we're so happy to see.

I've decided to name this ring 'First Bloom'.  I love makes me smile thinking that perhaps spring isn't that far off.  Available in my shop later today.

xo Blue Gnome

Thursday, February 3, 2011

New Bloom After The Snow

Yesterday was a snow day.  There had been a storm watch in the area for a few days now and yesterday was the day when everything was supposed to happen.  I have to admit, I was kind of looking forward to a crazy snow pantry was stocked, candles, tea, movies and well..a lovely bottle of No.10 gin.  What could be more civilized than an ice cold gin martini (very dry of course, with a twist..) while curled up on the couch, my very big fuzzy canine companion by my feet, watching the storm from the comforts of my cosy little home?  But alas, the snow came but was nothing extraordinary.  We, who live in the Great White North have seen better from Mother Nature.  What ended up here was simply an inconvenience, terrible drivers at their best, fishtailing about town, people trying to pull U-turns in the middle of traffic, wedged between two snowbanks that are 8 feet high.  Ah..that martini's sounding better and better.

After a very long dog walk through the winter wonderland-like side streets in my neighborhood, my 120lb fuzzy roommate toweled and fed, I spent a luxurious afternoon in my studio sawing, hammering and creating.

From the safety of my home, created from me to you.

xo Blue Gnome

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Hare and The Moon

  I've always grown up looking for the rabbit in the moon.  I remember being confused as to why none of my other friends knew about the hare..instead, they always referred to the "man" on the moon, which just confused me even more.

My mother is Japanese and I grew up hearing stories from my big hardcover book of Japanese Folk Tales, supplied by my grandmother in Japan, who no doubt, didn't want me to forget about my Japanese roots living in Canada.

My all time favorite folk tale was "Kaguya Hime", the story of a bamboo princess who is found by a poor farmer in a bamboo grove.  As the baby grows up, she becomes the most beautiful young lady in all the land.  However, as more moons pass, she becomes increasingly sad and withdrawn.  Finally, one night on the night of the full moon, she tell her adoptive parents that she's in fact a princess of the moon, and her time has come for her to return.  As she speaks, the clouds part in the bright night sky and a beautiful procession of maidens glide down to earth on moon beams.  The chariot awaits.  As the princess bids farewell, she give her parents the gift of a long life and all the wealth they could ever hope for.  I remember imagining how beautiful that sight must've been..and recall wrapping my mother's colourful silk scarves all around me and dancing about the house,  pretending I was the moon princess.  So as you can see, my fascination with the moon started a long time ago.

As such, and with 2011 being the Year of the Rabbit, I've designed and created a ring close to my heart. An ethereal moonstone set in sterling, hand sawn, oxidized and satin finished for somewhat of an industrial look.  So we say good bye to the Year of the Tiger..and welcome a year of artistic creativity, imagination and ambition!

xo Blue Gnome