Monday, May 23, 2011

Lost And Found

When this beautiful jasper first arrived in my mailbox, my intentions were to set it simply and gift it to my mother..I always associate that lovely, cranberry hue with her...but after completing the pendant, I hesitated.  

I am a firm believer that all things created by Mother Nature give off their own, unique energy.  I believe that we are all unconsciously drawn to, and feel the most content when we surround ourselves with things that inherently share the same energy vibrations as we do, as individuals.  Our friends reflect in many ways, qualities we hold within our own personalities, however differently they may seem from us at first glance.  It may sound like a stretch but I also believe that stones have the capability to absorb energy from its surroundings and reflect that energy back..created by Mother Nature and undeniably organic, this makes perfect sense to me.  Whenever possible, I like to try to source and purchase the stones I use in my creations in person.  I sometimes find online shopping extremely difficult and frustrating not to be able to physically touch and feel the stones before I purchase feel their weight, their coolness and the energy they give off.  In this case, although I had purchased the jasper online with my mother in mind, when it arrived, something didn't click.  As the pendant waited to be packed up and shipped off to B.C. where my mom lived, the days went by..and they became weeks.  It constantly seemed to slip my mind and when I finally sat down to pack it up, I realized my mother would be arriving in a few short days for a visit.  So I decided to wait until she got here and give it to her in person.

She liked it very much..loved the design, the colour and the pattern of the jasper.  But something wasn't connecting..the energy the stone carried and my mother's energy just wasn't syncing.  As if to make the point even more obvious, my mom decided to wear the pendant home with her on the flight back to B.C. and she called me from the airport in a panic to tell me that she had lost the pendant.  She was mortified..she had even back tracked out of security and retraced her steps through the airport to see if she could find it.  She said she would've looked longer but she was afraid of missing her flight..would it be strange for me to say that there was a part of me that wasn't surprised to hear that the pendant wouldn't going home with her..?  We found it shortly after my mother's flight departed, with her safely onboard.  It was sitting on the floor behind the passenger seat in the truck..quietly waiting to be found and brought back inside my home.  

My mother's chain is intact.  The clasp is also intact, still hanging off of the chain.  There are no missing components on the pendant..all the solder joints are solid.  Sometimes, there are no explanations..all I know it that this pendant is meant for someone else, someone who feels a connection, an inexplicable draw to this gorgeous specimen of jasper.  Is that person you?  Available now in my shop.

xo Blue Gnome

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Treasure Of Mermaids

I made myself a ring today..

A gorgeous aquamarine that I've been saving for quite some time now, trying to come up with a design that could do this stone justice.  In the end, I decided to set this stunning cab simply, keeping the sterling humble and letting the stone sing, as it deserves.

The colour of the ocean and of the skies, the aquamarine is said to have life-giving properties and legend has its origins in the treasure chest of mermaids.  Like the ocean, it gives and takes away..all a natural part of the circle of life as it is ever changing, never static.

Life lately seems to rush on by and if you're not careful, you might miss the very soul and essence of it.  Take the time, close your eyes and breathe deeply.  If you listen closely, you can almost hear the tides coming and going.  Feel the cool breeze on your skin and the sand under your feet.  Turn your face up to the sky and promise yourself to let your heart lead you forward.  Live with no regrets.

This is aquamarines gift to you and me.  

Hoping you have the time to listen to your heart this weekend.

xo Blue Gnome

Thursday, May 12, 2011

In The Creak Of The Morning

Ah..this only happens but once in a blue moon..I'm wide awake before 7am (without an alarm clock!) and the house is still asleep.  Soft sighs of contentment from the puppy, her feet twitching from chasing squirrels in her sleep..the birds are spreading news of the daily forecast outside.

It's finally warm enough outside to leave the window open a crack during the night and there's a cool breeze on my feet that are sticking out from under this lovely, old quilt.  It's cozy in here, and I'm curled up in the warm hollow my Irishman's left on his side of the bed.

There are good things brewing..I can feel it in every fiber of my being.  My hands are aching to create and be productive today, there are plants to plant and metal to wield..but it's oh-so warm and cozy under here.

Just a few more minutes and I'll get up..just a few more minutes..

xo Blue Gnome

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Buried Treasures..And Other Good Things

Now that the warmer weather's arrived and here to stay, there really is no excuse to put off the backyard renos anymore..and thankfully too since I was getting tired of looking out the back window and seeing the last-summer-started-renovations in a half finished state.  It's really all the fun stuff that's left to do..the gorgeous cedar panelling on the raised beds, the beach pebbles around the perimeter..then finally the trees and plants that will complete my backyard sanctuary that I am determined to enjoy this summer.  
As all you homeowners out there know all too well, the renos and upgrades really never stop..there are always little (or big) things here and there that can use a facelift.  I have to stop once in a while and actually enjoy what I've accomplished so far..stop to smell the roses, quite literally or it's fall again before I know it and time to scurry indoors before the snow falls.  

Last summer was the summer of all the grunt work..shifting gravel, cutting and hand bombing retaining wall stones, laying down the sandstone..not fun in the summer heat and especially without central air or somewhere to rest those weary bones and have a nice, refreshing drink after a long, hard days work. 
This year, I'm hoping to have everything done by this end of this mother's coming to stay with me for a little while and I plan on putting her green thumb(s) to work!

As I was cleaning out the wood off-cuts and clutter from under the unfinished deck on sunday, I came across the mother load of Sachi's hard work way far in the back corner against the house...her buried treasures!  Is it weird that I find this somewhat endearing..?  I was actually kind of touched to find a blue, corduroy bat-shaped squeaky toy I had made for her years ago buried amongst her most treasured treat bones (awww...sniffle!).  There were two other smaller, shallow graves full of all sorts of goodies..the final inventory: 1 squeaky toy, 4 various bone treats, 1 smoked pigs ear, 1 dried salmon skin treat (ugh!) and 1 half eaten hide bone.  I brought them out in a bucket and laid them out on the ground in front of her.  After smelling each and every one of the items, Sachi spent the rest of the afternoon reburying them in new locations in the raised beds.  An afternoon well spent..she was exhausted!

On the jewelry front, I've been revisiting some Art Deco inspired designs I've had in my sketchbook for a while now and my parcel of amethyst arrived just in time.  This particular pendant features a large, aubergine oblong cabochon..a sleeping beauty until the light hits it's glossy, smooth surface..then this stone sings!  Casting a regal aura of dark violet, this pendant is weighty and stunning, made entirely of sterling.  

Roaring 20's pendant - sterling, amethyst

Also added to my shop are a beautiful pair of my Seal Lullaby earrings, this time in copper.  The green aventurine and warm copper compliment each other quite nicely and they swing to and fro with a wonderful weight.  The findings are handcrafted of oxidized sterling silver.

Seal Lullaby earrings in copper, aventurine and sterling.

And finally, another Giving Tree ring made of sterling and rosewood.  I've decided to leave the saw marks on the surface of the rosewood for texture and contrast against the smooth, coolness of the sterling setting.  A favorite design of mine..made of recycled rosewood and sterling silver, oxidized to give the ring a wonderful organic feel.  The wood has been finished simply with a natural wood oil to bring out the lovely red and ochre ripples within.  This ring is a size US 7.75.

The Giving Tree ring - rosewood, sterling.

All of these item are currently available in the shop.

xo Blue Gnome

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Celebrating All Mothers

A happy, sunny Mother's Day to all the amazing mothers in my life!  

...And especially to mine xoxo

xo Blue Gnome

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Big, Bold And Beautiful

I finally finished this..just in time for the weekend!  The latest Spring Bloom necklace also features a gorgeous tear-drop prehnite..juicy green, translucent and absolutely delicious.  I'm really quite infatuated with prehnites lately, the dewy droplets of beautiful translucency with that delicate touch of really can't go wrong.  Made entirely of sterling..available tomorrow in the shop.

xo Blue Gnome

Monday, May 2, 2011

Silver Lining

It's a gloomy one today.  My car is sick and in the shop getting mended so I'm stranded here.

But inside it's actually quite nice.

Sachi and I found this on our walk yesterday.  I thought it was a chocolate Easter egg that had been hidden too well and left behind.  The photos don't do it justice..the turquoise is deep, vibrant and simply stunning.  Amazing what nature creates..I'm going to try and match this in enamel, I think.

A few lavender pillows made of scraps of vintage fabric!  This kind of weather makes me want to quilt..speaking of quilts, a friend of mine has started her own line of adorable children's quilts.  Check them out here.

Happy monday everyone!

xo Blue Gnome

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Sterling, Green Aventurine, Amethyst, Copper

Embossed Sterling, Amethyst

Embossed Copper, Sterling

Embossed Copper, Sterling

Sterling, Freeform Turquoise

Sterling, Prehnite

Sterling, Freeform Turquoise

Embossed Sterling, Prehnite

Embossed Sterling, Prehnite

Available in my shop.

xo Blue Gnome

The Story Of Kyoko And Sachi.

I started off my day this morning with a big, frothy latte..I'm a faithful tea drinker but once in a while I enjoy a nice hot cuppa joe.  After working in the service industry for years a long, long time ago, I'm happy to say that I've perfected the art of making that perfect cappuccino, latte or espresso.  But put me in charge of making a pot of regular coffee and it all goes to sh*t.  I was gently relieved of my duties of making the studio coffee years ago when I continuously made everyone's morning a bitter hell.  Since then, like my singing in the shower, I've given up and refuse to touch a conventional coffee maker.  If you want black coffee in my house, you can simply add hot water to your espresso.  There, done.

Another week has flown by, amazing that we're heading into May already, it seems like just the other day the local markets were filled with Valentine's chocolates piled high in their front windows.  The years, as of late have been passing by faster than ever and I hear there's some scientific explanation behind it all as well as the unacceptable explanation that time just passes more quickly as we get older.  I'm not a fan of that particular belief and therefore will disregard it..if you ignore it, it should go away.

My mother is flying to the east coast and will be staying with me in a few days!  It's been 5 months since we last saw each other and I'm really looking forward to her company.
She's been studying aroma therapy massage and Thai massage for a number of years now and the one who benefits the most from all of her experience aside from her paying clients is Sachi.  It's quite something to watch a 120lbs beast keel over onto her side and fall into a state of utter bliss as she receives a deep tissue massage with lavender essential oil.  She gets the pads of her feet worked on too..the pressure points between her big, furry toes pressed and kneaded, the knots and kinks in her shoulders and hind quarters worked mom gets a kick out of applying her skills on an animal..feeling her tendons and seeing where they connect to what.  She'll apply light pressure on a particular spot above Sachi's knee and watch delighted as it makes Sachi's toes wiggle.  After a couple of days of this, Sachi will seek out my mother in the evenings, looking for her nightly massage appointment.   It's pretty rough being a dog these days..chasing squirrels, barking at the mailman, tossing and chasing that squeaky toy around the house.  Out of all of us I definitely think she deserves the massages the most and my mother is quite happy to comply.  They make quite a pair..and they're the two most important females in my life.

When they first met years ago, things didn't go quite as smoothly.  I flew home to visit my folks in beautiful British Columbia about two weeks after Sachi came to live with me and we were still working on that small issue of house training.  I'm not sure what I was thinking bringing a not-house-trained puppy into my parents gorgeous home with the spotless, dark hardwood floors..but she proceeded to squat and take a poop by their entrance hall on their lovely area rug within seconds of being let out of her travel crate.  I ran through the kitchen and slid down the hallway in my socked feet just in time to catch the organic matter in my hand before it touched the rug.  She was 9 weeks old.  Quite the father was not impressed.  Over the course of our visit, she became oddly attached to my father who wanted very little to do with her and she followed him around the house.  When he was in the basement doing his yoga stretches one day, she followed him down there, then squatted and peed beside his head on the carpet as he was practicing his downward dog.  Awesome.  There was a lot of yelling and talk about tearing up the entire downstairs carpeting and disinfecting the house at the time, I don't think he did either but I might be hearing more about it during the next phone call if he reads this.

A year later, my mother came to visit me and Sachi was mostly full grown and had no memory of meeting her as a pup.  Akitas are well known for being protective of their 'pack' and turf but this was excessive.  She barked at my mother all day long during her entire visit, following her around upstairs, downstairs, outside, inside..barking.  When my mother went into the washroom, she sat outside the door not barking but smelling and loudly snorting under the closed door.  When she came out..barking.  It wasn't an aggressive barking, some of you may be shaking your heads right now but anyone who's owned a dog learns to tell the difference between their dogs barks.  Keep in mind that this is the only voice they have and not all barking it aggressive.  Dogs will bark when they're excited, happy, seeking attention or this case, it was Sachi learning about cause and affect and testing it out.   When she barked, my other understandably tensed up, got up and left the room.  It became a game for Sachi..she'd have brief periods of rest while she happily chewed on her toys and when she got bored, she'd get up, go find my mom and start barking.  A tense visit to say the least..they disliked each other and when my mother went to bed at night, she told me later that she would pile her suitcases in front of the door so she wouldn't wake up in the middle of the night with Sachi staring at her in the dark and start barking.

They've worked out their difference since then and my mother will say once in a while over the phone in 'Japan-glish' (that means mixing Japanese and English in a sentence..) "..I miss Sachi, yo."
Last year Sachi was so excited about seeing her again, when she stood on her hind legs to kiss my mother they almost both fell of the deck.  She's not a graceful girl..but when you're as awesome as she is, who needs graceful?

xo Blue Gnome

Although adorable, Sachi was an oddly unaffectionate little puppy until she was almost 6 months old..

At her massage appoinment..

It's rough being a dog..

A dog and her girl.