Thursday, December 31, 2015


With 2015 fast coming to a close this evening, I find myself with a few luxurious moments completely alone.  Taking a break from preparations for a night of festivities ahead, this rare quiet time has given me a moment to reflect on the year that's passed..and as my mind races with flash-card images of the last 364 days, one theme is a steady constant throughout it all..

It's been a whirlwind year of toddler milestones, overseas adventures and countless days at Five Maples.  Through all the small details of the when and where's of everyday living, I'm incredibly fortunate to be able to say that I have been blessed to have fallen asleep every night in the arms of the man I adore, kissed my son's sweaty forehead as I tucked him in for the night and been lulled to sleep by the comforting snoring of my furry soulmate.  
Our house is not overly large or spacious but there's never a lack of space for more love..every single nook and cranny is filled with the love we all share here.  
The friends and family gatherings we've hosted throughout the years, 
the tears and laughter these walls have witnessed.  
This is what makes my world go around. 

As I ring in the new year later tonight, I'll be thinking of my family and friends in B.C.  

I'll also be thinking of all of you..and wishing each and every single one of you a peaceful closure to 2015 with no regrets.  

May 2016 be your best year yet.  

May you live the life you love..and love the life you live.

Thank you for such an incredible year!  
xo Tina

Blue Gnome

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Human Spirit

When I started creating and selling one-of-a-kind jewelry, it was a love of creating and silversmithing that merged with a tentative business venture..a journey into the unknown world of marketing myself.  Terrifying to say the least..these little creations were painstakingly made, one piece at a time, born of heart and soul and brought to life in my tiny home studio where I would work away, sometimes only 15 minutes at a time..a refuge from the day to day insanity of work..then a little later on, the complete chaos of being a new mother trying desperately to meet the demands of an infant while clinging on to what small piece of self identity I had left.  
The act of listing one of my pieces for sale was one of anxiety, it was nerve wrecking to put something so personally a part of me on public display to be judged and critiqued while waiting for acceptance, waiting for someone to fall in love with one of my own enough to want to give them a loving home.  My first sale was a moment I will never forget.  
Affirmation that people might actually like what I've created!  
I was elated to receive positive feedback and I haven't looked back since.  

Although the business aspect of Blue Gnome is going as well as I had hoped given my full time job chasing and wrangling a toddler most days, what I hadn't expected was the human side of creating jewelry. As much as the success of the business has kept me going, the people I've "met" through my little creations have had a much stronger affect on the longevity of it.   The connections I've made with people from all over the world, the stories I've been privileged to and trusted with..the personal battles people have won or are still fighting, their losses and triumphs.  
This is a part of creating jewelry from the heart that I hadn't expected..or was fully prepared for.  Creating a very special set of "twin rings" for a client overseas who had just lost her twin girls at birth..or a client telling me that her purchase from my store was her very first purchase with her own money after leaving an incredibly difficult marriage of 32 years..a triumph of independence.  
I've been asked to create matching pendants of dragonfly wings for a man and his aging furry companion so that they will stay connect during their time apart and reunite in the afterlife.  
I've created totems to protect, celebrate and remember loved ones.  

My work has become so much more than hammering, forming and casting metal.  
My work has become an ongoing project of human experiences, our life stories of love and loss, hope and despair.  
These are what I hope my creations speak to you of.  
Inspired by my own life and those amazing stories so dear to your heart that you've chosen to share with me, my hope is that my small offerings of sterling strikes a chord with you beyond what you first see.

In these times of incredible hardships and cruelty all over the evening news often times,  I am blessed to be sheltered from all that by the brilliant light of the human spirit through all of you.  
Your stories lift and inspire me, you give me hope that lightness will always prevail.

“Hope is the thing with feathers 
That perches in the soul 
And sings the tune without the words 
And never stops at all.” 
~ Emily Dickinson

xo Blue Gnome

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Dream Traveller Totems

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


A creature of wind and water, the dragonfly represents change, resilience and strength in many cultures. Due also to their tragically short life span, they serve as a reminder to live our lives to the fullest, adapting to situations and living lightly on our feet. Their images can often be found embossed onto the garments of samurai warriors, symbolizing agility and good fortune. An ambassador between our world and the afterlife, they are said to carry the souls of our ancestors on their backs - a dream traveller.  
To  see one is often a good omen.

This dragonfly totem has been made entirely of sterling, handcrafted from start to finish.  A riveted construction makes this a moveable piece as the second wing can swing outwards, an ever changing  totem.  Tumbled for hours for strength, a dark patina has then been hand applied to add depth and to make the details pop. A beautiful art piece - and a reminder to live lightly on your feet.

Made with love and a touch of late summer magic from my Five Maples.

xo Blue Gnome

**  Both piece are now reserved for two special souls..thank you ladies! xx **

Friday, August 14, 2015

Grove of Dreams

It's a grey rainy day here today..a much needed break from the dry, sunny days lately, it's almost as if I can hear the garden sigh a sigh of relief as they soak up all this cool goodness falling from the skies. 
I thought it might be too overcast to properly capture the stunning vibrance of this green turquoise but surprisingly, with no warm overtones in today's early morning light, I think the photo turned out beautifully.

I've been saving this gorgeous turquoise for a special piece - one of my all time favorite examples of the incredible creations mother earth offers us, time and time again.  It reminds me of a grove of birch trees I found my self wandering through years ago while I was looking for an over exuberant Sachi who had taken off after a squirrel (ah..I don't miss those early puppy years!).
 I was was like being on the perfect film set for a Midsummer Night's Dream.  A magical moment when you're certain you've just crossed that very thin veil between reality and dreams. 

This necklace will be available on Monday morning..make the most of your late summer weekend everyone! 

xo Blue Gnome

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Turquoise Love

There's a Summer Turquoise SALE going on at the shop right now!

Hop over to to see what else is included..this Diversity ring and many more!

Have a lovely Tuesday all you beautiful people! xo 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Where The Heart Is

Hard to believe it's been three months since my last post - is it just my imagination or does getting older go hand in hand with time going speeding by, leaving you in its dust?

A ton of new events and occurrences since the end of March - despite the unseasonably cool weather today, summer has finally come to bless us with her presence and it's been GLORIOUS!  It's simply jungle-icious in our backyard and the rest of the city is looking lush and every bit the emerald city it does every summer.  My toes have been painted fire-engine red since the warmer weather hit, a little bit of sass to go along with every outfit I own.  
Flip flops have replaced woolen socks and Blundstone boots and despite the ever pressing need for a real pedicure, I've been flaunting my bare feet everywhere I go.  
Wriggling your toes in the sunshine is one of those rarely mentioned thrills of life, a pleasure similar to cracking open a new book and smelling the smell of words yet to be read, storied yet to get lost in.  Speaking of which, I'm in search of something new to read..does anyone have any suggestions?  Something I can curl up with on the porch and get lost in..I'm due for a really great read.

My return back into the studio after being gone for almost a month went as smoothy as one always hopes after a long time away.  Sometimes it's a slow and painful process, training your hands to hold those old, familiar tools again and it takes a day or two of fumbling round the shop, looking for this and that before really getting back into the flow of things. This time however it was a delightful surprise to see my hands picking up the pace again with no really struggle or difficulty, hearing the humming of the machines and feeling the warmth of the bench light on the side of my face.  
It's great to be home..home is truly where the heart is.

Thank you to everyone who contacted me during my break for your patience and heartfelt messages! Without all of you, I wouldn't be able to keep doing what I love,
creating small offerings with my own hands, offerings that I hope you'll love and pass down to your loved ones someday.

I am truly blessed.  
And on this first day of a brand new decade ahead of me, I am so excited to keep walking this journey with you.

xo Blue Gnome  

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

It feels like I've been hitting speed bump after speed bump lately, just when I think the road ahead is smooth and even ground, yet another bump - like those ones on the city streets that have no markings or warning, its not until your front tires launch off the pavement..then, wait for it..the jarring landing where you cringe, trying to figure out what the rattling noise is you've just left behind.
My emotions have been a bundle of exposed nerves, twitching and reacting to everything and anything that's been thrown my way.  Despite the desperate attempts to build some kind of emotional shelter from the barrage of everyday wear and tear, it feels as if my days are a constant uphill trek, scrambling all day to catch up..only to fail, exhausted and defeated from the effort, surrendering to the days end and falling into bed for a night of restless sleep.  

My only solace has been my shop, still in desperate need of a thorough cleaning, this clutter that would usually drive me insane has given me some sort of odd comfort, a cushion from the reality of life.  
Some days are like this I suppose.  
Like trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole.

So I took a day off.  
Despite the mountain of work I had to do in the shop and household duties that needed attending to, we packed a simple lunch and my fuzzy girl and I drove for an hour or so, destination unknown.  Where we ended up was a quiet beach, deserted for the off-season, the tide still frozen along the shoreline in frothy spills.  
It was a cloudy, windy day.  I wasn't properly dressed to be walking in the freezing damp wind and as the cold bit though my woolen mittens and threatened to nibble at my toes, I screamed at the sky and into the wind as loud as I possibly could.  Startled, Sachi stopped dead in her tracks and stared..then slowly, her tail started wagging and when I opened my mouth to scream once more, she took off suddenly down the sandy beach and thundered back to me, eyes bright with excitement and let out a spine chilling howl that seemed to go on 

And this is how we spent our afternoon that day.  
Screaming and howling, laughing and barking, watching the gulls soaring in the wind.  
Both of us with a few more grays than when we first met 9 years ago but still inseparable and crazy.  And it wasn't until later when we returned to the car shivering, maybe later than that still, not until I was driving home that I realized how long it had been since I last shut off my brain 
and truly listened to my soul.  

I'd like to say that the sun eventually came out that afternoon to cast away all the gloom but that never happened.  Oddly however, the drive back into the city that day under the overcast skies was a beautiful one.  My car smelled of wet dog, I had sand in my hair and Sachi snored the whole way home.  
It was one of those perfect moments I wish I could hold onto forever.

xo Blue Gnome

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


A design inspired by this quote:

"Family, like branches on a tree..we all grow in different directions but our roots remain the same." 
- Anonymous.

Like the three beautiful turquoise found here, we all share in the same foundation that is our world. Whether on a smaller scale like within our families or in the broader sense of "humankind"
this serves as a gentle reminder that diversity is is what makes us all so very special and unique.  We are all shaped and moulded through our different environments and experiences,  our complexions and sizes may vary but we all share in the fundamental fact that we are all created by the same creator.

Featured here on this sterling saddle band are three stunning natural turquoise cabs - all created by mother earth and cut by the same hand by a talented lapidary artist in Arizona.

This Diversity ring will available tomorrow in the shop.

xo Blue Gnome

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A bit of this and that.

It's been awhile..

The hardest part of getting into writing a blog is always the first I'm simply going to offer a photo journal of what I've been up to since my last break the ice.

It's going to be a balmy 9 degrees today here and the sunshine is already warming up the frozen earth, the icicles drip, drip, dripping on our cedar deck outside.

It's going to be a gorgeous day..can't wait to get started! 

xo Blue Gnome

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Thank you.

It's been a whirlwind of a holiday season..and although just 8 days into the new year, 2015 promises to be full of new beginnings, travel and amazing challenges!  

First and most importantly, I'd like to extend to all of you my very sincere thank you for all the likes and shares on social media, comments and support over the last year!   
Your amazing feedback, encouragement and trust in what I create truly makes this the best "job" ever. Every piece created is handcrafted from start to finish and as they are introduced here, I feel as if a small piece of my heart and soul is up for critique and comment..a common feeling I think for those of us who make a living offering creations from the heart. Intimidating and downright terrifying at first, you've all made this process easier each time, sending me such gracious feedback, liking and sharing. 

My goal for this new year is to continue to create, 
to continue to be inspired by all that's beautiful in this world..
knowing that you're all along for the ride! 
My heartfelt gratitude for loving my work as much as I love creating them and for continuing to support handmade. 

Without you, there would be no artisans like us.

Love and blessings from my family to yours,

xo Tina 
Blue Gnome Emporium

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

All the good in this world

We almost saw the new year together, two of us sick with a cold, the wee bean getting over a flu and the fuzzy girl, just content that all her people-folk were with her, despite the coughing, sneezing and nose-blowing that periodically disrupted the otherwise peaceful evening indoors.  
We had grand plans of spending the night away, celebrating with friends with promises of expensive bubbly and a gorgeous feast but in the end we were all exhausted from the holiday visitings, social obligations and wanted to focus on a speedy recovery back to the land of the healthy.  Being away would've also meant sending our canine family member to a friends home as our would-be-hosts are lovers of the feline variety and interspecies peace and quiet would've been a challenge.  

Our disappointment about missing the party turned into quite a lovely night of monster trucking over furniture (a gift from Santa!) watching Wallace and Gromit shows and impromptu dance parties in our pajamas.  Fast asleep by the time our neighbors were yelling "Happy New Year!" with cheers and whooping, we were dreaming of clear nasal passageways and a night without a hacking cough.  
And while the rest of the city might've been waking up on the first day of 2015 slightly groggy and thirsting for a tall glass of water, we were up and on our way to Five Maples early on new year's day for a day of wood stove warmth, leftover Xmas treats with hot tea and following animal tracks around our property.

I hope your holidays were filled with good eats, great friends and amazing conversation.  
A time to truly reflect on and appreciate all the good in this world - a time to pry yourself away from and let go of the bad.  When every gesture should begin with love, today and everyday for the next year.

Happy 2015 to all of you - it's going to be an amazing year for you!  

xo Tina
Blue Gnome