Monday, December 31, 2012

Akemashite omedetou.

A quiet moment before the awakening of a new year.  
2012 has been a whirlwind of events, both the fastest year of my life and also the slowest.  
I've cried tears of sadness and I've cried tears of more joy than I've ever felt before.  
I've lost friendships near and far and I've made new friends in the most unexpected places and under surprising circumstances.  
I've been terrified, hurt and disappointed..but I've also experienced more freedom, confidence  and happiness than any other year I can recall.  

This year has been a time of change, personal growth and achievement.  
And looking back at it all there isn't a thing I would change if I could live it all over again.

As I sit here in the cosy light of the still-lit Christmas tree, I wiggle my toes deeper into Sachi's warm, abundant fur.  Her rhythmic breathing is soothing, the whistling of her big olive nose, such a comforting sound for me.  
Leo, who will be turning a year old in just one day and 38 minutes is sleeping soundly upstairs despite the occasional hooting and burst of laughter next door as the clock gets closer to midnight.  

It's a welcome quietness here tonight.  

I've never spent New Years Eve by myself before, alone with all my thoughts and I wonder why I haven't done this before.  
A million thoughts and memories threaten to choke my flow of thought, every single one wanting and deserving to be written down lest I forget about them someday
as it happens to us all eventually.  
But time is too short for all of it..and I'd like to try to spare you, dear reader, the agonizing pain of mentally watching someone else's family videos.  
So I'll try to keep this short.  

This year has been one of the most difficult years of my life.  
For everyone who's been with me though my highs and lows
seen me at my best and worst
I love you to pieces
and my deepest gratitude.  
The measure of friendship, I believe, isn't who's been around through the good times..but rather who never leaves your side through the bad and ugly.  
And oh, there was a lot of bad and ugly this past year!  

For those of you who seemed to slip through my fingers like the finest of sand when the going got tough..I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being a part of my life thus far and blessing me with your acquaintance.  I hope you understand my need to let you go.  You've left footprints on my heart and I wish you nothing but happiness in the years to come.

So with 4 minutes to go here, on EST, I wish you all a wonderful new year.  

Stay safe, be happy, love without fear.  

To another year of perfect mistakes, unlimited limits and beautiful experiences!

This is your year.

Akemashite omedetou!

xo Blue Gnome

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Love Of All Things Furred And Feathered.


It doesn't seem that long ago that my grandparents lived in a beautiful log house with cathedral ceilings.  Their master bedroom was a huge loft that overlooked the living space below and their bedroom window faced the hilly mountain side that was their backyard
heavily treed with huge evergreens, the ground thick with fallen needles and tall grasses.  

It was the perfect place for quail..enough ground cover to hide and nest in and
sheltered up above by the majestic branches of the ponderosa pines.  
During my grandparents time there, it had become a sort of breeding ground and sanctuary for these adorable birds - every morning my grandma would open the sliding door from the family room and scatter a handful of seeds out on to the grass
within seconds, the tall grass would rustle and sway.  

The adults always came impeccably dressed for breakfast
wearing their jackets of black, fawn and light grey, 
their plume like tiny facinators on their perfect little heads.  

My grandma would always count the number of young and report to my little brother, who for a time when he was little, would be at my grandma's side during her many bird watching walks.  

It was during my time living in the Okanagan that I first became aware of these wee birds.  
In the spring time the mountains are teeming with them, always in a big hurry, the females bustling about up ahead while the males follow behind, herding what seems like a bazillion itty bitty chicks from straying from the group.  
Driving up the mountainous road to my parents house could sometimes be a treacherous affair - quail crossings are not uncommon and they dart out of nowhere, zigzagging hurriedly across the pavement while the unfortunate male would frantically being up the rear, 
their young like a bagful of marbles, 
spilling out onto the hilly roads 
where cars were whizzing by.  

Driving white knuckled, eyes darting back and forth watching carefully for tattletale signs of movement in the tall grass roadside, I'd been told numerous times that swerving for an animal crossing was one of the most common causes of vehicle accidents.  Personally however, I'd rather land in a ditch any day over running over a family of quail...
being singlehandedly responsible for the massacre of an entire family would be something I would never get over.  

My father I'm sure would disagree - especially since I'm usually driving his vehicle.

It's been years since my grandparents lived there..
my brother no longer seems interested in pursuing a life of bird watching
and my grandma passed away a few short years ago.

But in the springtime the hillsides are still abundant with quail and you still have to watch the roads for family crossings.

Sterling

A whimsical little necklace inspired by the beautiful Okanagan and my grandma's love of all things furred and feathered. 

Available in the New Year.

 xo Blue Gnome




Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A little cleansing of the palate.


This holiday season was wee Leo's first Christmas!  And although he seemed far more interested in the lint balls under the couch and sprinkling of needles on the floor around our tree, it was one of the best Christmas mornings.

After the last few days of over indulging in decadent holiday treats, I thought it fitting to introduce a couple of simple, small offerings to the shop today.  A cleansing of the palate, so to speak..with no bells or whistles needed, these natural beauties stand out all on their own.




Two classic, natural turquoise solitaires from the Kingman mine in Arizona.  Set simply in sterling, handcrafted in my little studio.  Available in the shop.

Happy Holidays everyone! 

xo Blue Gnome 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Perfectly Flawed

In elementary school, I had a classmate with a small scar on his upper lip - he was born with a cleft lip and the scar was a result of the surgery to correct it.  Children of that age lack certain social etiquette..and I remember asking him quite bluntly on the school bus one day what it was.  
His response was that his great grandfather was a knight and got that mark while slaying the most ferocious dragon in the world.  It had skipped a generation but Kenny was the lucky one who too was chosen to someday fight dragons..for he was born with his great grandfather's special mark.

I went home that day and looked all over my body for any special marks..hoping that I too was destined for greatness like dragon slaying and such.  And thinking back as an adult, what a fantastic story to tell your 5 year old..too young to understand the medical logistics of a cleft lip but old enough to feel shame and self conscious if other children made fun.  His parents must've known that other children would ask about it and decided to give him a story that allowed him to talk about the scar without any shame in being different.  It gave Kenny a sort of celebrity status in our classroom, although we all felt too old to believe in fairytales, here was Kenny with physical proof..and who didn't want to be a hero and slay dragons?

I believe that we're all perfectly flawed, in our own unique way.  
It's what makes us human and an individual, perfect imperfections.  For every scar, whether physical or emotional there is a tale to be told, battle scars that hold within them our experiences and the wisdom we've collected from them.
It's what makes each and every one of us so wonderfully different.  
Falling down is a part of life..getting up and carrying on is what living is all about.


Sterling, Agate

Created by mother nature, an impeccably flawed agate showcased in a simple sterling setting.  

Gloriously unique and perfectly flawed.  

Available later today in the shop.

xo Blue Gnome



Saturday, December 8, 2012

Last Weekend SALE

It's the last couple of days of the SALE!  

Sterling and  Baltic Amber

 Sterling, Amethyst and Lapis

Sterling, Aventurine and Baltic Amber

There will be some new items filtering into the shop later today..make sure you take advantage of the holiday discount!

xo Blue Gnome

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Sale Notice



Leo's turning 11 months old tomorrow and to celebrate, I'm having a SALE!

 Sterling and Turquoise

Sterling, Lapis and Coral

For a limited time, simply enter LEO11 at check out for your 11% discount on all items currently in my shop.  

To start your holidays shopping, come visit me HERE.

Happy Shopping!

xo Blue Gnome

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wind Chimes






As sun rose in the early dawn
And skies were lit with gold,
I saw the clouds go passing by
And watched my dreams unfold,
For as the morning breeze did blow
It softly spoke to me,
The wind chime played the sweetest song
A graceful melody.

I rested in the leafy shade
Whilst there I thought of you,
I closed my eyes and there I wished
That you were with me too,
And as the noontime breeze did blow
Across the summer sky,
The wind chime played the sweetest song
That through the air did fly.

As shadows started falling
On the dark deserted ground,
I heard a gentle ringing then
So beautiful the sound,
For as the evening breeze did blow
And glowing sun did set,
The wind chime played the sweetest song
I never shall forget.

I watched the fading afterglow
That slowly slipped away,
Beneath the dark horizon far
To close another day,
And as the twilight breeze did blow
And stars did shine above,
The wind chime playrd the sweetest song
The sweetest song of love. 
By Andrew Blakemore

                                                    

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Full Moon




Sterling, Moonstone


Slowly, silently, now the moon 
Walks the night in her silver shoon; 
This way, and that, she peers, and sees 
Silver fruit upon silver trees; 
One by one the casements catch 
Her beams beneath the silvery thatch; 
Couched in his kennel, like a log, 
With paws of silver sleeps the dog; 
From their shadowy coat the white breasts peep 
Of doves in a silver-feathered sleep; 
A harvest mouse goes scampering by, 
With silver claws, and silver eye; 
And moveless fish in the water gleam, 
By silver reeds in a silver stream.

- Walter de la Mare 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Lions and Tigers and Bears..Oh My

Emily Carr - Totem Mother Kitawancool 1928

Okay..so maybe not the lions and tigers but definitely bears.  

And the odd hare here and there.  

I've been working on a number of projects here, furiously working away these days.  An urgent gnawing at my creative bone the last few weeks and thankfully I've been finding the time here and there to keep up with myself.  The housework has gone a little neglected but I figure, at the end of the day, a happy Tina makes everyone's life a little easier to handle.  I can just see my friend T's head nodding enthusiastically at that..after many, many years of working and traveling together, he, of all people will readily agree that keeping me rested and well fed is the foundation to a compatible friendship.  

( ..if you're reading this post..I miss you!)  

Life lately has been throwing some curve balls in the form of some nice, juicy sour lemons his way.  Too fast and frequent to keep up with trying to make them into lemonade..hopefully a reprise soon.  
I will no doubt be receiving a scathing message in the next little while for mentioning him here.  In fact I'm counting on it..hopefully it'll fuel his drive to deal with all the obstacles as of late xo.

So as I was saying..

I've been busy lately.  
Maybe I should rephrase that to say that I've been busier than usual lately because my days of not being busy I think, are long over.  Some days have been so insane from morning till night that I've looked at myself in the mirror at the end of the day, flyaway hair..my face void of any makeup, and wanted to give myself a great big hug for being so damn fantastic.  But rather then risk getting caught standing there hugging myself, I leaned in close to the mirror until the tip of my nose was barely touching the glass 
and whispered,
"you're awesome".  

Because sometimes you need to hear it out loud.  

It makes it more real that way.

And the trick is, you have to believe yourself 100%.

Maybe that's why I've been creating totems lately, because when time is so precious in a busy life, it somehow makes creating something meaningful in that time more important.  
That's not to say that non-totem items are less meaningful..I create them because they have meaning to me and when you read the stories behind my work and feel a connection and draw to them, it's an incredible feeling for me to pack that item up and send it off to you.  
But these totems are a little different.  
You're not reacting to my stories or experiences..they call out to you because they've found in you, 
in your own experiences 
a home to call their own.  

The belief that an object, when infused with the right energy and created with faith can heal and protect oneself from harm and negativity, is really quite magical when you think about it.

Sterling & Coral 


Sterling & Boulder Opal

Magical.

Just one word that holds within it so much power, mystery and infinite wisdom.

A totem is as magical as you believe it to be.

More totems will be available in my shop this week.

Happy Monday everyone, it's a beautiful November day here!

xo Blue Gnome






Friday, November 16, 2012

Come Dance With The West Wind


Sterling & Natural Baltic Amber Pendant


I am the eagle, I live in high country
In rocky cathedrals that reach to the sky
I am the hawk and there's blood on my feathers
But time is still turning they soon will be dry
And all of those who see me, all who believe in me
Share in the freedom I feel when I fly

Come dance with the west wind and touch on the mountain tops
Sail over the canyons and up to the stars
And reach for the heavens and hope for the future
And all that we can be and not what we are.
- John Denver and Mike Taylor

Available on Monday in my little shop.

Have a glorious weekend everyone!

xo Blue Gnome

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Unconditional Love


It's a beautiful night tonight. 
 Hovering just above zero, the night is still and dark..and as the street lights try to cast ominous shadows as we walk down the deserted sidewalk
I am not afraid.  
And why would I be?  I have by my side, my constant companion, my side kick and my biggest fan.  Weighing in at just over 120lbs, my fuzzy soulmate comes with her own luxurious fur coat, white boots and a kick ass attitude. 
 It's a rare occasion these days that the two of us girls can enjoy a leisurely stroll and she sighs happily as we walk along the empty streets, both of our breaths visible in the frosty night air.

Not even a year ago, it was me and Sachi..Sachi and me.  
Somehow being totally attuned to my growing belly and increasing discomfort, this time last year we were waddling along on these very streets, Sachi walking slowly to accommodate my "condition", stopping every now and then to shoot me an impatient glance, sighing in resignation.





My fur baby is turning 6 in 4 days.

This past year has been the most challenging for Sachi. 
 In January we welcomed Leo, 11 days early he caught us all by surprise.  These past 10 months have been a challenge for all of us.  From waking up every hour for feedings to waiting patiently for me to figure out how to bend over to pick up her poop with a newborn strapped to me in a carrier..Sachi has been with me each and every day.  
She's watched as the attention that was once showered upon her got diverted, she's waited patiently while her water bowl sometimes went empty and her dinner late as I fluttered around the kitchen catering to a 18 lb tyrant screaming for his dinner.  
Her grooming schedule has gotten interrupted, her nails have gone for weeks without a proper trim..she waits patiently and silently until the wee monster has gone off to bed..then she brings me her most prized possession, her purple bear
for comfort.
As I settle wearily onto the couch for the first time in 12 hours, she nudges me gently and lays by my feet.  Licking my socks, she leans against my legs and tucks her nose under my feet, sighing happily.  

My biggest fan..and I often wonder what I've done to deserve such unconditional love. 

For all of us who have been fortunate enough to have been chosen by a dog to be their life companion. 

We are the lucky ones.  

For all they do for us, let us make sure that we're deserving of their loyalty and love.



Do you have a furry family member who's seen you through your best and worst?  
I'd love to hear about them..have you given them a hug today?

xo Blue Gnome




Saturday, November 10, 2012

11th Month, 11th Day, 11th Hour


http://dashorst.deviantart.com/

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

- John McCrae

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hope Is The Thing With Feathers




 Sterling, Botswana Agate


Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

Emily Dickinson








Friday, November 2, 2012

And the winner is..


A big THANK YOU for all the blog and email entries for the fall giveaway!  
Some amazing comments and all such kind words about my work.  I'm absolutely touched..without you, I wouldn't be able to continue doing what I love to do and your feedback means everything.

So without further delay..


..and I've decided that I'd draw another as a runner up!  
This creation will be a surprise..


Congratulations ladies!  
I'd love to hear from you via email regarding your ring sizes and mailing addresses!  Please contact me directly..

With Halloween past I guess the next big event on our calendars will be..Christmas??  

Unbelievable.

There will be new items filtering into the shop in the next few days and a holiday shopping sale planned!  Looking forward to seeing you soon!

xo Blue Gnome



Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Giveaway Postponed..Momentarily




We've been without power for the last couple of days here, courtesy of Hurricane Sandy.  
I know the winner of the lovely sunshine ring was to be announced today..you'll have to forgive me, it will be in the next day or two! 

 Please bear with me..and for any of you in the east coast as well, I hope you and your loved ones are safe, warm and well.  

xo Blue Gnome

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dragonfly

 Sterling & turquoise

Sterling

Inspired by a visitor at Five Maples last weekend, it startled me with it's bravery.  
Circling around us out in the fields..and finally coming to a rest on my little finger, warming itself in the warm 
October sunshine.

Japanese folklore tells of the dragonfly as the ambassador between 
our world and and the afterworld, 
admired and respected for it's agility 
and seeming love of life 
despite such a tragically brief lifespan.  

The dragonfly represent change, adaptation and good luck.


Dragonfly

And when the roses are half buds half flowers
And loveliest the king of flies has come
It was a fleeting visit, all too brief
In three short minutes, he had been and gone.

He rested there upon an apple leaf
A gorgeous opal crown set on his head
Although the garden is a lovely place
Was it worthy of so fine a guest.

- By Danny Kirwan & C.G. Adams

xo Blue Gnome

-------------------------------------------------------------

Have you entered your name for the Blue Gnome fall giveaway?

Details here.



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fall Sale Underway..

A quick notice that there's a sale in my Etsy shop starting at 1pm today!

I'm suddenly feeling the need to purge before starting my fall nesting here..I haven't decided when the sale will end quite yet so please take advantage of the discount while it lasts.  I've just added a couple of beautiful new items too..your quick link is here.

Sterling and Carnelian

Sterling and Amethyst

xo Blue Gnome

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fall Giveaway

As promised..a fall giveaway!  
I've been obsessed with all things warm and sunny as of late - maybe it's the sudden turn of weather..perhaps it's been life lately that's made me rediscover my priorities.  

A dear friend recently wrote to me, 
" Autumn brings forth warm thoughts. Brings forth an honesty in us all as I guess we too wayn at this juncture of life to the necessary and bare bones of our souls. I love autumn. Perfect time of year to observe and feel rooted to all life." 

As life comes to a slowing halt, when the blooms of summer shed their seeds and prepare for another season of slumber, we too prepare to nest - our pantries stocked with summers abundance, when afternoon BBQ's turn into cozy evening gatherings by the fire with our friends and family.

The fall giveaway will be all of these things captured in a simple, amber solitaire.


  
So drop me a line.  

I'd love to hear about what or who it is in your world that keeps you grounded, who's honesty and advice keeps you focused on your life's priorities?

This giveaway is open to all of my followers - if you'd like to participate, follow the Blue Gnome and  come along for the journey.  

I'd love to hear from you.

Submission will be welcome until October 28th, the winner announced here on Hallow's Eve!

And again, thanks for reading..and participating.  
Your support means more than you can imagine.

xo Blue Gnome


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Trees Of Fire


 What a glorious weekend it was!  

The abundance of rain this past season has ensured that the colours this fall have been at their best, the drive up to Five Maples was breathtaking..and the scenery there, stunning.

So the four of us spend the day walking in awe through natures splendor..








So much to be thankful for..

xo Blue Gnome