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After a 20th birthday celebration with a gluten free, deep dish apple pie, Cap Jr. has packed up his boxes and headed off on the next leg of his young adult adventure. With the Cap in LA working again, I am on my own on the mountain for the first time since early May.

Settling back in to things up here. I sat out on the deck with a cup of tea this afternoon and breathed in the peace and quiet. It felt like the first deep breath I’d taken in ages. The last few months have been anything but peaceful, what with two young adults bouncing home and then out again, an extra cat to juggle, all the travel, shows and the attendant and varied personal dramas that go along with those things. Kind of nice to sit on the deck with my cup of tea and just… let it all go for a minute.

While we’ve definitely still got hot summer days going on, the nights are starting to dip down into the lower temps. An extra sweater does the trick for now, but the season is definitely turning inexorably around towards wood stove evenings. The tips of the oak trees are starting to turn yellow, pines are shedding needles all over my deck, and I expect the Juncos to turn up at the feeders any day now.

We’ve been here a whole year, one full turn of the seasons. I love this place in all its faces, though I admit to a brief and panicked perusal of the local home rental pages when the Cap and I realized that WINTER IS COMING AGAIN. It was alarming to realize that it’s going to be here in a couple of months and we still don’t have an SUV or firewood (the firewood, at any rate, has been ordered). Once we calmed down, the Cap pointed out that it’s ultimately cheaper to buy a few cords of wood than it is to move house! We had a good laugh and are looking forward to being on the mountain for another go at winter.

Also, the charming Gold Rush era town in the foothills that we were looking at is right in the middle of ANNUAL TARANTULA MIGRATION.

That’s a thing.

Really.

That’s a thing that happens in real life.

That’s a thing that happens every year in real life.

It’s not a “this happened in that nightmare one time, and then I woke up and realized that it was an awful dream, oh thank GOD.” kind of thing. No. It’s a real life, happens every year like clockwork thing. You wake up and it’s September, batten down the hatches and listen for the pitter patter of all the tiny legs because NO, LIGHT THEM ON FIRE, here come the tarantulas.

It’s exactly like the Alaskan tundra, except, instead of herds of caribou thundering over the horizon, you get furry herds of eight-legged scary, wrapped in death, hanging out in your driveway.

The executive decision was rapidly made. We’re not going to be moving down to the nightmarish elevation where that happens. Nope. Staying right here on the mountain. I’ll take the snow. Lots of snow, please. Pile that snow right on, ok?

In honor of fall (but not tarantulas), I’ve got some good new stuff up in the shop.

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Autumn colors and all.

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Love this time of year so much.

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It hasn’t gotten quite chilly enough for the Fall ritual of Paleo pumpkin pie with Yunnan tea, but I have laid in the appropriate fixings. Soon. It will happen soon. Till then, I’ll just put on a sweater and thank my lucky stars that the only things migrating around here at the moment are some turkey buzzards.

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Well. Except, perhaps, the cat. The cat spent most of the trip in her carrier, complaining loudly. She kept it up for the entire trip to Portland.

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The cat was more like, “Yo this really sucks. This cage is small. Do I get complimentary peanuts? A soda? Anything? Are we there yet? When are we gonna get there? Guys? Did I mention THIS SUCKS?”

For like, 800 miles.

She isn’t complaining here in this shot because we put the carrier on the picnic table at the Dunsmuir rest stop and she was enjoying the fresh mountain air. We were enjoying the fresh mountain air and lack of complaining.

We risked the Vortex of Awful that is Medford, and got a motel for the night just to give everyone a break from the incessant feline yodeling. Honey didn’t mind the motel. That’s probably because she got to enjoy laptop time and free wi-fi. We did mind the motel, but that’s a story for another time and possibly a one star Yelp review. The bears were thrilled that we took them to their favorite diner chain for dinner.

diner bears

Sadly, the diner was caught in the Medford Vortex of Awful and thus became fodder for another one star Yelp review. The bears said that they didn’t mind the sand in the Captain’s salad one bit (they are, after all, bears) and they think we’re just picky. We’ve decided to skip Medford entirely next time and try our luck in Grant’s Pass instead.

Grant’s Pass has bears too.

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The downtown is just lousy with ‘em. Bears on every corner. It might be a sign. “Come here to Bear Friendly Grants Pass and the food won’t suck and you’ll have a photo op on every corner!”

And then… Portland. Which is a Vortex of Awesome. We had a really good time in Portland doing not much of anything at all. There was a trip to Powell’s Books, but then, there always is. You can’t go to Portland and not visit Powell’s. The bears were gratified that we made it in time for storytelling.

storytime!

The cat settled in beautifully. She was thrilled to be in Portland, obviously.

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There was epic coffee. Because, did I mention, Portland? Portland has spoiled me for coffee forever. I may not be able to survive on the swill they serve in California or really, anywhere that is Not Portland.

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And then it was a leisurely drive down the coast of Oregon to Eureka. August tends to be foggy and cold in Eureka. We didn’t do much there either except hang with my dad, take epic naps, and go out for a hot tub one afternoon. There was talk of the beach, but then naps wound up being the more popular option.
The best part about Eureka – aside from my dad and being home for a minute – was finding gluten free chocolate mud pie – also dairy, egg and nut free. I might have eaten the entire thing, sans the few slices I (grudgingly) shared.

gluten free pie

This pie was not from Portland. They didn’t sell this pie in Portland, which is baffling. I’m sure this is an oversight that Portland will rectify before my next visit. They do, however, have a website for this pie. If you are eating gluten free, you really should take a look.

Then, alas, it was back to reality, back to life, and back to the mountain. I’m in crazy catch-up mode, trying to finish stock for the Cameron Park faire this weekend, putting finishing touches on the market stall setup and getting All The Things done before we leave on Friday. It can’t all be naps and hot tubs, after all.

I’m doing this show solo. Someone at the Faire is going to want to swap a pair of earrings for booth sitting while I run to the privy or go get food. I just have to find that person and beg them to help me. The Cap will be hanging with Cap Jr. for one last weekend, before taking him down south and dropping him back with his mum next week. Looks like my nest is about to be empty again, just in time for stacking the firewood delivery, and chopping kindling and eventual snow shoveling.

Well played, young adults. Well played.

On a shop note! Earring club signups are GO! There’s the Faerie Tale option, the Travel and Tea option, and a dual option for those who want to go for broke. I’m so excited about this new direction for the club and offering multiple themes/designs plus tea is going to be oh so much fun!

And on that note… we will be on vacation through Labor Day weekend! The shops are both still open for orders, but all shipping will be delayed until when we return the following week. Heading up to Portland and then a lazy drive back down the west coast!

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I’m about to head out to Portland but I am so excited, I just can’t keep a lid on this until Labor Day!

It’s that time again, and Honey&Ollie’s AUTUMN Earring Of The Month Club will open for signups on September 1st!

We’re doing something a little bit different this round. I’ve decided to take the club in a new direction and I am very excited about it! Starting with the Autumn Club round, you get TWO options for your club membership. Whichever one you pick, you’re guaranteed to get something that will utterly delight you!

Autumn Earring Club Theme #1 – Tales From The Teahouse

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Inspired by a short fantasy story I wrote many years ago about a teahouse. Sitting at the crossroads in the middle of a marketplace, built around a magic spring and guarded by a dragon, there is an ancient teahouse. Weary travelers from distant lands congregate here and share their stories over steaming pots of tea.

Each month’s selection will be an artful interpretation of a place where one might like to travel. It is entirely the Artist’s discretion as to whether or not those destinations are of this world or from this time – the Universe is a big place, after all. Who knows where, or when, a traveler might have hailed from originally!

Each club selection will include new and wonderful gemstones or possibly handmade art beads and textiles – the elements for this global and culturally themed club are going to be a surprise each month! You can definitely expect some very funky and bohemian designs with lots of color, as I create my artful interpretation of a new exotic locale each month! You will also receive a delicious tea sample to sip, while you imagine yourself at the Teahouse or perhaps on even more distant shores…

I have tried to be a little bit seasonal with this club. I will be offering this theme for the next 12 months (that’s 4 club rounds of 3 months each), so I can match the colors, material and place inspiration to the appropriate season as much as possible. Thus, as we are going into fall and winter, we will focus on lands that might be snowy or reflect the coming season.

October: The ancient kingdom of Rus… land of the Firebird and the Czars.

November: The Himalayas… sacred mountains, with eternal snows.

December: Iceland… surrounded by the sea and crowned by the Northern Lights, stark contrast of fire and ice.

Autumn Earring Club Theme #2 The Faerie Ring

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This option was inspired by my love of fairy tales and myth. As ever, you will receive one pair of earrings each month. Each selection will include new and wonderful gemstones that we haven’t used before, or possibly handmade art beads and textiles. Expect whimsy and enchantment, as I create my artful interpretation of a beloved faerie tale each month! This club will span the globe, and you will receive a delicious fine tea sample to sip as you immerse yourself in your Fairy Tale.

I have tried to be a little bit seasonal with this club. I am going to be offering this theme for 12 months (that’s 4 club rounds of 3 months each), so I can match colors, material and designs to the appropriate story and season as much as possible. Thus, as we are going into fall and then winter, we will focus on tales that come from snowy climes…

October: The Firebird… a Russian fairy tale about a bird of flame who becomes a beautiful girl…

November: Snow White… hair as black as a raven’s wing, skin as white as snow, ruby lips like drops of blood in the snow…

December: The Snow Queen… Scandinavian tale of valiant Gerda and her companion the Wise Bear, on a quest to save her true love from the Snow Queen.

Whichever option you choose

it is an amazing bargain at just $99 for three months! The choice is yours. Pick your preference on our Etsy site, there is a separate listing for each club option. If you really want to splurge or can’t decide, why not go for double the earrings and sign up for one of each?

Signups start on September 1st, for the Autumn Club. Club runs October, November, and December. Each month, around the 15th, you’ll get a pair of surprise earrings in the mail. It’s a lot of fun and people love the club so much that they sign up over and over! As always, club designs are exclusive to the club for the three months of the round they came from. You will not find them in our online stores or at any of our shows until the three months are over.

Hope you are as excited about these options as I am!

This week in Honey&Ollie, we’re all about the glass. Yesterday’s ancient Roman glass update has given way to another time-worn glass. Just, not as ancient!

I’m talking sea glass.

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That wonderful stuff that the Cap and I periodically find along the coast of Northern and Central California on our road trips… I love making it into jewelry! Today’s Etsy update had all the sea glass! In fact, it has its own section in our shop now!

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I love this amazing art focal necklace (bronze sea urchin from Thea Elements) with sea glass, amazonite, pearls and Czech glass. I imagine that Aphrodite might’ve worn something like it when she stepped off that seashell.

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Tiny green chunks of worn sea glass, with amethysts and bronze wraps…

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Beautiful cobalt, a rhapsody in blue! These are accented with natural sapphires and blue lace agate rondelles. Love the mix of high end with basic stone!

And last but not least, a whole slew of our larger blue green glass dangle earrings These are accented with peridot and wrapped in sterling.

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I love sea glass so much. Love the interaction of the natural world with this man-made substance. Cap and I are driving up to Portland next week, and I think we’ll take the long, slow way home, with plenty of stops at the beach for glass hunting!

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Can’t wait.

It is all about the glass this week, here at Honey&Ollie. Glass, art beads and artisan elements!

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Across the Rubicon: reminiscent of ancient silk roads – Celtic patterned bronze, sari silk, ancient Roman glass, art glass and Chinese turquoise.

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Starry Skies Over Palatine Hill: ancient Roman glass, Scorched Earth ceramic components and vintage sari silk

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Through Painted Deserts: bronze, Sleeping Beauty turquoise and poppy jasper

Roman and art glass up today… sea glass tomorrow!

Happy Birthday!

20 years ago today, something awesome happened and my life got exponentially better by far.

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While it’s hard to believe that it’s actually been two decades, I have loved every minute of every day.

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Happy birthday baby girl. I love you. <3

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