starts and restarts

I’ve always been one for starting new things and restarting old things. I’m a total INFP – love beginnings; endings … not so much. So. My work life. Rich, rewarding and extremely busy. I’ve loved the amazing design opportunities I’ve had over the last couple of years but, as these things go, it comes at a cost. My White Tree Fund and Silver Leaves work has suffered the most. There’s just no energy left in my body or mind at the end of a frenetic day to give to these things, even though I love them so much. I also haven’t been all that focused on my family. Or my jewellery designs. After many disappointments this year, for a while all I could think of was endings. Maybe I should end the White Tree Fund and walk away from all the wonderful work we’ve done and could do? Maybe I should walk away from my labour of love, Silver Leaves (a marvelous journal, you should read it!)? Perhaps my jewellery tinkering should stop? Or maybe I should just walk away from my job?

Clearly, I’m not a person who believes in “too much.” My cup is never half-empty OR half-full. It always overfloweth. Of course I can’t leave my job right now. The boy is headed to university in a few short years. We’ve been blessed with the most amazing opportunities for TWTF and Silver Leaves, that I cannot turn my back on them now. And designing jewellery is my “fun time,” so that’s not going anywhere. But I can start shifting priorities – moving my little world back to where it needs to be.

Now, it’s time for starts. And restarts. On the jewellery side, I’m back to designing my Atman Collection with gorgeous stones and beautiful colours. We have new and REALLY exciting directions for The White Tree Fund and Silver Leaves coming up in 2012. I’ve started to renew my focus on writing and in the Department of Starts … A new publishing venture (more news on that soon). A new (very small) business doing freelance design work. The first step is to renew this blog, give it a bit of a makeover.

Can I commit to regular blog posts? After 7 years of trying … um … nope. But I’ll try to be around more often. You can always catch up with me on Facebook. 🙂 Now – a question – provide me with some inspirations for the Atman Collection. Do you feel like any particular stones or colours are calling out to you lately?


who exactly am i?

What a loaded question!! I think the “who” and “what” of me, myself, changes almost daily. Today, for instance, I’m a tired, definitely-40, civil servant with too many deadlines and too little time. But that’s just until 5.00pm when I’ll be a tired but happy-to-even-have-a-job-let-alone-a-great-job mum who will go running home (yes, almost literally) to her lovely boy and crazy familials.

And her jewellery. For a couple of hours after mum-ness is no longer needed (the recipient of said mum-ness being washed, fed and entertained), I can slip into the comfortable, exciting, tingly garb of jewellery designer and plan, sketch, and play with wire, gemstones, crystal, glass and a host of other fun stuff. I don’t have a proper studio yet but I should really take some pics of my crazy workspace so you can see how front-and-centre all my tools and equipment are. My working ‘studio’ is slowly taking over my entire space. Fine with me, but well … for those of you whose mothers live with you, and for those of you who remember your mother’s house … you know that mothers have their own ideas about what’s cool and what is definitely not cool. Hiding big tools in boxes under or behind the couch – ok, relatively cool. Having nowhere to hide everything else so it’s all sitting on or around the dining table – most certainly NOT cool. I keep promising her that I’ll be rich one day if she just lets me leave it there for another week. Wonder how long that will last?? 🙂

Hah, I’m rambling. My apologies. The point of today’s post is to share my Etsy bio with you. I got a couple of notes about putting up some kind of bio and I thought of doing a special one but bios are such a lot of work. I do have one that I’ve used for my Tolkien-related life – I’ll put it up shortly but this one seems to really sum up the “me” of now so here ’tis …

I’m a natural denizen of the sweet, cool, magical hours between sunset and sunrise. A moon-and-star gazer. A very eclectic child of the universe. I’m still exploring myself and falling in love with the world around me. I have wanted to be (in no particular order) an astronaut, a princess, a scientific genius, a shaman, an Elf-friend (or an Elf if at all possible!), a teacher, a writer, a dancer, an ascetic, president, TALLER, a fairy godmother … and a good many other things. I have succeeded fabulously in being an eternal dreamer. I don’t have a lot of answers, but boy have I got questions. I was almost a grown-up until a few years ago when my son was born. How lucky was I to have such a marvel in my life! I get to be a child again, this time without the fears and insecurities. I get to marvel at each new day, each new experience. I can laugh and be as silly as I want to be while savouring and understanding the wisdom and grace that 40 years on this planet has gifted me with. Every day we wake up and tell each other “We can be anything we want to be.”

I believe in living out the things I want my son to be. I can’t just talk strength and dreams and goals to him; I have to live those things. I can’t point to respect and empathy and say “Be that.” I have to BE that so that it’s a live, real experience. I’m not perfect and I fail a lot, but I keep picking myself up, dusting myself off, and trying again.

Now, what am I doing here on Etsy? I’m living a dream.

I’m a mostly self-taught jewellery designer. I’ve been to some workshops but I like to learn on my own so that’s the path I’ve taken. I am planning to do a jewellery design certificate at a wonderful local college here in Toronto very soon. As a single parent, it will take some saving up to get there, but it’s definitely in the cards. At this point, I work full-time in web/graphic design and development and I make my jewellery in those treasured hours of solitude each night. Sometimes the design is fuelled by ideas I have and sketches I make: sometimes the stones, textures and colours have their own song to sing and I give my hands and mind to them.

I’ve always loved rocks and minerals, shiny bits and glittery baubles. I’ve always played with beads and for years I incorporated them into my clothes, adding beaded designs (like a panther on my black jean jacket!) or fringe or a subtle sparkle here and there. I’m also a lover and unofficial student of architecture and design, and maybe a little engineering too. I love to delve into the structures and lines of things, the principles that hold it up or keep it together. I’m often looking at things to see the ways in which space has delineated an object or how an object impacts the space around or within it, or seems to amplify emptiness (a complete paradox, almost unmentionable except that I once saw a glass sculpture that flowed to make the emptiness within it larger and emptier – sounds silly but that was the experience). I find so much to love about different cultural and historical styles in art, music, textile, architecture and jewellery. One of my favourite things is to mesh them a bit – create something a little unexpected.

A few years ago, a co-worker showed me how to make a simple linked bracelet. I was so excited by it that we ended up making 3 bracelets, a necklace and matching earrings that day! Quite by accident, I scratched the surface of jewellery making and found a passion that encompasses many of my other loves and obsessions. I can play with colour, texture, structure, metaphysics, man’s creations, and nature’s wonder and end up with an object of beautiful adornment at the end. For me, each piece I work on is a symphony with melodies of the rational everyday natural world around us and harmonies of the mystical spirit of the “Force” that runs through everything.

So … what am I doing here at Etsy? I’m sharing the world with you. Making it beautiful with you. Celebrating it and celebrating you. Walk with me a little and let’s enjoy our journey …

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