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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.

We have said goodbye to spacious Nuthouse Estates and moved into even more spacious Green Acres. It’s a great little duplex and we kind of love everything about it. Needless to say, it’s been kind of a busy month.

I’m still living in boxes, mostly, but I’ve got the living room unpacked. I am happy to have my friendly art and my books around me.

Also, high speed internet has been hooked up, which does not suck one little bit. Oh Netflix, I am so happy to have you again. Look at all the series I’ve missed!

Green Acres has a fireplace!

We can’t seem to escape that 60’s era wood paneling! Fortunately it’s just one short wall.

 

 

 

Back to the sofa and my ice packs… if I don’t emerge from this pile of boxes in a few weeks, send Mounties! Lots and lots of Mounties!

Kearney Park Renaissance Faire has come and gone. This was a nice site and it looked like the actors and battle re-enactors were really having a good time. The weather was quite pleasant, though it was foggy enough at night that our canvas was soaked through each morning.

We saw some familiar faces – Mr. James Fraser and Mrs. Claire Beauchamp of the Outlander saga were strolling about the village green at one point. I always enjoy the cosplay that is out at these small faires, but at every event there is one that is just a standout. These guys did a fantastic job, just fantastic.

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Gate was low and our sales were disappointing, but we got some vendor leads on a few other festivals to try out next year. Time spent with family who live in the area was nice and the Captain came up for the weekend, which was also fantastic.

And then… it was Monday.

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This picture pretty much sums up the Monday I had.

See, I drive a 2007 Honda with one of those neato programmable car keys, the ones with the clicky buttons that unlock your door from across the parking lot. Well my fancy clicky car keys decided they were tired of mountain living and didn’t want to return to spacious Nuthouse Estates. They stowed away in the van and went to Los Angeles with Captain Sexypants this morning (at 2am), instead. This went undiscovered until Burbank, and precipitated a panicked text at around 6am, which precipitated a panicked phone call.

Locksmiths might have happened. Tow trucks became involved.

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This is Tony.  He’s Italian and really friendly and he saved me. Call Tony if you ever break down in Fresno. 10/10, highly recommend!

The upshot of Monday is that the Fresno Honda dealership charges $350 for one new programmable key.

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Because, fuck you, that’s why.

Thanks for that, Honda. I mean, thanks so much for having my key blank in town and for going to get it and for making my car drivable again. I’m super grateful. But really, $350? Is it made of gold? Are there tiny hobbits inside the fob? Is it run on elfin magic? Pixie dust? What is up with that?

Oh and the wifi at the Honda dealership? Totally broken. Because, fuck you, that’s why.

All of this is obviously why God invented wine.

Can All Hallows have come and gone? Yep. We had a fantastic time! I always love this fun local festival. The costumes, the kids, the music…

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These parents were good sports and obviously understood that they are living props for their charming and adorable baby. Who is here, obviously WINNING at Halloween. If this picture is any indication, he is also winning at parents and at life. Be happy, little family. You are awesome.

 

There’s just something about this magical little fall festival.

 

I love to see all the familiar faces, love the kids and the air of excitement that pervades the fairgrounds all weekend. It is just so unique out of all the events that I do. We had a deluge of rain and thunder on Saturday, but folks were in very good spirits. The local coffee roaster who had set up on our row was happy to meet the needs of the wet and shivering crowd, as did The Kitchen Witch with her amazing and magical teas.

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I am here to tell you that it is not possible to get too much of the Wicked Tinkers, they just get better and better. And yes, before you ask, that is a Tinker on the table. I’d make a joke about not looking up, but, well someone probably already made it.

So that was the end of October. It is hard to believe that it is November already. Where did the year go? Weren’t we just growing tomatoes and blueberries? I just sent out the first of the Autumn Earring club offerings.

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Teahouse theme was “Russia”, and they got a gorgeous array of richly hued natural sapphires.

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Fairy Tales theme was “The Firebird” and they got rubies, tanzanite, moonstone, carnelian and yellow garnets.

Autumn is my favorite time of year on the mountain. The oak, aspen and dogwoods are turning, their yellows and reds splashed against the evergreen sugar pine and cedar trees. Much to the delight of the cats, our daily average temperatures have dropped enough that we are using the wood stove every day. Team Woodstove is committed to outdoing last season’s synchronized napping record, and if the pre-season effort is anything to go by, I think they just might do it. I am also delighted by the woodstove and might have contributed to the synchronized napping effort once or twice…