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F*ck “should.”

No really. Fuck it. Have you seen Elizabeth Gilbert’s amazing Facebook post today, about feeling the “wrong” emotion? If you haven’t, take a minute and go read it. I’ll wait.

This is one of the most powerful, truthful, naked things I have ever read and I spent a large chunk of it thinking, “Oh yes, me too. Yes. ”

My friends, listen: I want you to learn how to feel what you are feeling — not what you think you are SUPPOSED to feel, but what you ACTUALLY feel.

And I want you to guide your own life based on that, and only that.

Phew. Read that again. Go on. I’ll wait.

For the last couple of years I’ve been stuck on this idea. I am supposed to be “aging gracefully.”

And what’s more? That I’m supposed to LIKE IT.

I decided to “age gracefully” a few years ago. (Actually I think I was just feeling too lazy to go to the salon to get my roots done, and I constructed an elaborate scheme to make it okay. -ed)  Filling Pinterest boards with youthful looking, active ladies doing yoga, sporting sleek grey hair and skinny jeans, I decided to let mine grow out. I kept telling myself I was really happy with it. That yoga isn’t so bad. Truthfully?

My new grey hair was not sleek.  I can’t wear skinny jeans.

hate yoga.

The internet says that my 40’s are this powerful and amazing time of self knowledge, where all has been revealed. That’s the industry standard of aging, now. Your 40’s are supposedly the new 20’s (or some such bunk).  Well that’s not how my 40’s are feeling.

I am feeling the wrong emotion, y’all.

Definitely this decade has a leg up on my 20’s. I do feel a lot more at home in this skin overall. I’m more confident, that’s true. But I still feel like I’m just doing my best to figure it all out. Only now – in addition to staring into the unknown – my knees hurt, I can’t eat dairy and y’all, I am having a hard time embracing my saggy chin.

I recently read something that said how after 40, the training wheels come off. Boy howdy do they ever.

Shit gets real.

What’s real is? Time is marching. There is no time to waste on the wrong emotion, other people’s ideas, or  any “shoulds” that you bought into.  Fuck other people’s arbitrary rules about how we age. Fuck the elaborate facade of crunchy, natural womanhood. Or carefully polished, made up womanhood, for that matter. You do you.  I’m out, y’all. I missed my brightly colored hair, I missed lipstick, and I’ve really missed getting my eyebrows waxed. I’ll try being youthfully grey and all-natural in another ten or so, okay? I’ll try yoga again then too.

What’s real is, this is what we get.

SO MAKE THE MOST OF IT.

I have Elizabeth Gilbert to thank (or blame) for this, btw.  I read her post this morning and decided to go all in with what I really wanted.

I’m so glad I did. Welcome back, baby. The insides match the outsides once more. I’m so happy!

Finally. I’m feeling the right emotion.

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Oh yes! I’m back! The insides match the outsides, once again. Thanks to Lora at Studio C in Monrovia, CA

Btw, we packed up the cats, the yarn, the art studio and the books, and trundled back down to the land of swimming pools and movie stars a few weeks ago. Because, Reasons. Which means, that…

Honey&Ollie Designs is currently only available online, but we will be back out at a few select Faires and at least one Celtic music festival in 2017.

If you need an awesome labor or postpartum doula and you’re located in Southern California? You’re in luck! Call me! The San Gabriel Valley Doula!

Orlando.

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My heart broke into pieces this weekend. 49 pieces. The hateful events that took place in Orlando, the murder of so many people, people who were murdered because they were in a gay club on Pride weekend…

I am so sorry.

I wrote this on Facebook earlier but I figured I would put it in every forum that I have a voice, because it matters that the words be said over and over. In case I haven’t said this enough? To my friends who are gay or lesbian, who are transgendered, bisexual, who are intersex, asexual or who identify as queer in any way.

I love you.

I celebrate and support you .

Moving forward I promise that I will do better about speaking in support of you, in places where words will actually do some good.

I will make your community and your rights a priority, when it comes to my political choices. I promise to be more careful in ensuring the people I vote for are people who will actually support your community with their actions as well as their words.

I promise to do the same thing, with actions and not just words.

I will speak loudly when it comes to issues that affect your community, your rights, and your well-being.

I will do my best to get more involved in actively supporting the LGBT community where I live and elsewhere.

I will respect your safe spaces and I will protect them when I can.

I won’t just rely on words via social media, I won’t make the mistake of simply spouting my opinion on Facebook or Twitter anymore. Because that might as well be silence.

Thoughts and prayers are not even remotely enough.

I am so very sorry.

I support you. I love you.

Your lives are precious.

You matter.

Wear It.

What women over 30 should wear.

“Women in today’s world are hit from all sides. Do this. Wear that. Don’t do this. Don’t do that. Speak softly. Smile. Agree, agree, agree. Assimilate. Shut up. Stay down. 

The last thing we need is other women telling us what we should and shouldn’t do. Stand up, ladies, and stand together. Don’t be like Kallie Provencher. (Especially don’t be like her.) Wear what you want, do what you want, and support one another! And like all of these fabulous ladies, don’t give a fuck.”

So here’s the deal. I found a system that works for me, right? You know why it works for me? Because it’s what I choose.

Wear whatever you want. If that’s a sparkly Hello Kitty shirt, wear it.

If you’re into selecting clothes based on a carefully curated “system” of color family and design line and you want to wear it?  Wear it.

If it’s not in your color palette and you want to wear it? Wear it.

If it’s a bikini, if it’s got sequins, if it’s above the knee and you want to wear it? WEAR IT.

Do not let anyone tell you what you can’t do because they have internalized an ageist, sexist bias and they happen to have an outlet that allows them to spew that b.s. into the public consciousness.

Wear what makes you feel supported, awesome and yourself.

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I totally made a thing today.

All stash or slush bowl. Pure inspiration. All mine*.

A triple strand of dreamy aquamarine, pink-hued freshwater pearls, rose quartz rounds, amazonite and Austrian crystals for a touch of bling. Accents of moonstone and labradorite, with one mauve stick pearl to balance the sterling floral toggle closure. And maybe a touch more bling.

This necklace is happy like a box of puffy white kittens. It is cotton ball fluffy clouds skidding across a sunrise pink sky, morning sunlight sparkling off of cool water, and it feels like sinking back into a downy morning dream.

Put this on and feel your heart chakra expand.

This necklace says, “Have a cookie.”

*By which I mean, it’s totally awesome and I kind of love it and I’m keeping it because I’m allowed to do that sometimes.

Yum.

Well. I’m home.

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Has it been over a year since I wrote a blog here? Holy cow, it has. What happened???

So much has happened.

I think for purposes of this blog, it’s safe to say that primarily a crippling depression happened. That seems to happen every few years. By now I’ve learned that it always goes away, one day the sun comes out again, but it can be hard while I’m in the middle of it. I’ve been doing a lot of emotional and energetic healing. 

I decided to take a year off of the Faire and festival circuit. My last show was Thanksgiving weekend. I came home from that, unloaded the boxes into my garage, cried, and shut the door on my studio for 6 months. Literally. I sat at the bench and worked on a piece of jewelry for the first time since before Thanksgiving, yesterday.

It felt good.

I’m clearing out a backlog of repairs and overdue club packages – sorry about that. It happened. I have no excuses. I’m working on getting it all cleaned up.

I have no excuses but did I mention the crippling depression, anxiety, and a complete shut-down of pretty much everything that makes my life feel happy and worth living? It’s been going on since before we moved down off the mountain, but the last 6 months have been particularly bad. Like walking through fog and quicksand. We decided that this whole Northern California experiment was going tits up in a bad way. I can’t live 300 miles away from my partner ⅔ of the time and he has to work where the movies are.  Captain Sexypants and I had a come to Jesus chat and it was unanimously decided that we will be relocating back down to Los Angeles this summer. I’m so relieved I can’t even tell you. That was the first lifting I’ve felt in months.

It’s hard to blog when you have brain fog and feel shrouded in sadness. I could really only focus on one thing at a time and I couldn’t maintain here and build my doula business at the same time. Did I mention, I became a birth and postpartum doula earlier this year? I did! I love it. But it has been taking up what little available brain space I’ve got, that’s for sure.

My hope is that I will be able to more gracefully balance the two loves of my life – birth and art – going forward. I won’t be taking on much by way of shows on the traveling circuit for the remainder of 2016 OR in 2017. I’ll keep you posted, there are a couple of shows I might try to do but it’s hard to travel when you’re on call for babies! I’ll be keeping the online shop open though, whether we’re on the road or not. New stuff soon, I hope! 

I missed blogging here. I missed making jewelry. I miss making art.

I missed being myself, here, and I missed having a space where I could write freely without keeping it topical and focused on one thing all the time. Not that I ever LOST this space, I just couldn’t bring myself to use it for a while. 

Feeling a little better, now.

I have a lot to catch everyone up on, and not all of it is sad. Dust off the page, take the sheets off the couch, because I’m home.

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1. In addition to your wallet and cell phone, you can generally easily find extra safety pins, zip ties, a #1 spring clamp and an “emergency” pair of pliers in your purse.

2. You own a dolly with all terrain tires.

3. Your car boot has a 2A:10BC fire extinguisher (recently serviced and tagged), at least 6 burlap wrapped Pepsi liter bottles full of rocks or cat sand, duct tape, a spool of heavy twine, extra burlap and a package of extra tent stakes in it at all times.

4. You can fix anything, and I do mean anything, with twine, a zip tie or a spring clamp. At least, long enough to hold up until Sunday at 5pm. If there isn’t a strong and gusty wind.

5. You know that just about anything can be used as a table riser, in a pinch.

6. You have at least two bins of extra lengths of muslin, assorted cotton print bedspreads and remnant bits of “pretty” fabric to drape over and hide a multitude of sins. Like, that piece of “anything” you just used as a table riser because it was a pinch.

6. Heavy twine = “Elizabethan Duct Tape.”

7. You’ve spent at least $100 this season on those heavy canvas painter’s tarps from Lowe’s. So versatile…

8. You have two different costume collections.  A set of costumes that you have to wear for those Faires that have strict costuming guidelines. These are probably earth-toned, involve steel boning, and about 35 lbs of fabric.  Then there are the costumes that you’re actually happy to wear, when you are doing the Faires that let you get away with anything you want. Yay purple! Turquoise! Wings! Glitter!

Because you are a pretty, pretty princess.

9. Fairies are real. You see them at work every day!

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10. Yes, you did spend $250 on an in period belt to hold your Square and cell phone, and after an hour spent arguing with your accountant about it, you can still see no good reason why the IRS won’t let you deduct it. It’s for work.

11. Costume pieces – machine washable vs. artisan made hand dyed silk? The conflict is real.

12. But, why won’t the IRS let me deduct a pair of $700 custom made 7 button faire boots? They’re for work!

13. You can tuck, knot and roll any configuration of any costume and  use a port-a-potty without incident after drinking mead all day. You can’t make change without a calculator after all that mead, but you can pee without incident.

14. Your “emergency first aid kit” includes a jar of dill pickles.

15. You are always really happy when you see that one guy who brings the crepes and gyro booth down from Portland. He makes the good coffee. All day. On site. You can live on his gyros for 2 days without a problem, unlike the teriyaki chicken two booths down.

16. If you never eat another $5 stick full of teriyaki chicken again…

17. You have a bin devoted to “seasonal” plastic flower garlands and ribbon arrangements so that your booth decor matches spring fertility festivals OR harvest festivals.

18. You see nothing at all unusual about bowing to the Queen as she swans by, waving at some fairies, and then calling out, “Hey Captain America! Nice boots!” within the same 5 minute span.

19. Beagle in a pirate suit? Bearded dragon with tiny resin wings? Kitty in a fairy costume? You’ve seen it all. In fact, their owners routinely bring them by to say hello.

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20. This seems pretty normal. Yeah? What about it? Minotaur.
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21. Yes, The Doctor did drop by your booth that one time at that one faire… hello, sweetie!
Meeting the Doctor

Got more? I’d love to hear ’em!

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The saga continues.

Some of you may remember that we’ve been having some ongoing issues with keeping our cat Bug in the house when it’s summer and the sliding glass doors are open.

When we moved in to Spacious Green Acres, we made sure that we had a screen door that latched very securely, so that the cat could not get out or slide it open.

The saga continues

I’m happy to report that the door totally works. The cat can not, in fact, slide the door open.

Yep.

That went well.

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