Room for change...

I've spent a lot of time lately thinking about change. There is so much going on in the United States right now that I think we all need to take some time and think about ourselves with some reflection. I have spent the last ten years of my life with some solid views and beliefs but lately I have begun questioning some of them. It's difficult when you are faced with questioning some of your steadfast beliefs but I think it's important to keep the doorways in your mind open to new possibilities. I was listening to some music the other day and realized how I have been wrong about some of the things I one held as truths in my life. It was humbling to allow myself to question my own beliefs and I realized that it's important to think about our own inner compass from time to time and allow it to change direction.

I think a lot about the person I want to be. I find that often times people become who they are without a definite goal but allow life's circumstances to determine their course. I have always wanted to be the person who chose my own path. I've always wanted to stay on a definite course. I think it's easier to become who you want to be and to ultimately realize where you want to be if you know who and where that is. Today I realized that this needs to be fluid. Who and where can change over the years of your life. With the recent events in the United States it has made me realize that it is important to me to smile a little brighter, be a little more forgiving, and realize a stronger sense of compassion. After all, though we are individuals.... we can create enormous amounts of warmth one person at a time. So though I live in a large city where life is often rushed, I plan to take things a bit slower and see the humanity in those around me.

The Way to My heart...

Some of you may already know that I adopted three black labs this year; Kai, Maya, and Theo. They have brought me so much joy and have taught me how to laugh at life. I am forever grateful to have them as part of my family and an integral part of my life. I found Erika's shop, Blomma, a few months ago and fell in love with her Labrador greeting cards. She has a way of capturing the essence of a Labrador's playfulness and bringing it to life.

Today a special package arrived in the mail. Inside was a lovely thank you note from Erika and a beautiful Christmas ornament her father hand carved. I am so touched at the thoughtfulness of her gift. This piece will adorn my Christmas tree for many years to come. Thank you Erika and thank your father from one lab lover to another. Tomorrow I will walk the dogs extra long in your honor.

Erika owns an Etsy shop called Blomma. You can view an assortment of contemporary paper goods by clicking on her name.

Her father who hand carved the Christmas ornament can be found at Ctawoodart

One Piece At a Time.....

I recently decided that yes, I would like to begin working with retailers on a larger scale to expand the locations where my work will be available. This was such a difficult decision for me to make and I went back and forth trying to decide what I really wanted to do. Then I thought; is it possible to have my cake and eat it too? Yes, I think it might.

See, the difficult part of this decision stems from my love to explore new design possibilities. I enjoy the process of discovering a new look or theme to work off of. I have been concerned that moving into a wholesale venue would limit my ability to work on new designs and would inhibit my creative spirit. I've spent a lot of time dwelling over the solution. Recently it came to me through a discussion with a fellow metalsmith. Why can't I offer a collection for wholesale and continue to fabricate one of a kind and limited edition work? Well, I can think of no reason. So, I have decided to embark on this new journey with an open mind and heart.

I have chosen the Reflections Collection as the first to complete. I am working on expanding the line to include many pieces and I'm excited about all of the great new ideas I have. I plan to introduce the collection to a venue in 2010. This gives me plenty of time to complete the collection and work out all design components and fabrication issues.

Wish Me Luck!

Our Deepest Fear...

The biggest secret that no one ever tells is that we are all afraid. We fear so many things but ultimately it is failure that keeps us paralyzed and unable to do the things that must be done to accomplish our goals and fulfill our dreams. This is something I discovered awhile ago and knowing this has changed my life. So many times I hear people say that they would love to do x... when I ask them why they don't they usually respond with a myriad of excuses. I know the real reason, fear. But, the truth about fear is that it will eat you alive with no regret. Fear is something inside you that plays with your mind and creates chaos but is merely an illusion. It remains real only by the oxygen you breathe into it. Ultimately it is you who decide how far you will go and it is reaching out beyond the shadows and the inner critic that will allow you to accomplish your goals. Have you ever noticed that when you talk to others about your dreams many will tell you to be realistic... well, that is their fear. You must give yourself permission to succeed and take responsibility for the dream. It is so often what you tell yourself that ultimately comes to fruition so be bold.... and just do it!

This is my favorite poem written by Marianne Williamson. It hangs near my bench so I too remember my deepest fear...

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

A Little Bit Kinder...

The last couple of years have been some of the most incredible and some of the toughest. I feel thankful that I have been able to work full time as a metalsmith and at the same time constantly confused and full of self doubt. I keep waiting to be one of those people who doesn't care what others think, but still I do. I find myself constantly judging my work by what others will think. Is it artistic enough..... is it unusual, is it new, is it unique and different.... and as thankful as I am that I have had so many wonderful people support me and my work I still question myself as an artist... ( for lack of a better word). Yet today while I was working in the studio the better side of me rose up. Really, I'm so over worrying about the scholastic side of my work. I love my work and I love what I do. Isn't that enough? In the end it is ultimately those who collect my work who will judge it's merits and there voice should be the loudest and most dear to me. So though I know this is not the last time I will doubt myself or my work, I vow to try harder to be kinder to myself.

One Vote

I'm only one but I am one. I can't do everything but I can do something and what I can do I ought to do and that by the grace of God I will do.

- Brett Blair, Sermon Illustrations, 1999

Never Really Lost....

Have you been introduced to Facebook? About six months ago I began hearing about Facebook everywhere. It seemed there was a vibe in the air... you must be on Facebook! Well, I thought, I better check it out. I signed up for an account and for the life of me had no idea what to do with it. I just didn't get it. Now I consider myself to be fairly savvy when it comes to using the web but I just didn't understand what Facebook was meant to do or why it had so much hype. Well yesterday I decided to check it out again to see what it was I missed and low and behold.... Facebook is an amazing concept. Upon logging in I found that some of my friends and acquaintances had found me and marked me as a friend. When I accepted Facebook was able to connect their contacts with me and suddenly I was finding and talking to people I hadn't seen or heard from in years. People I thought were lost ... in this giant world... but now I know.. with the web, no one is really ever lost. Try it. You will become addicted and reunite with old friends. It's a good thing.

A Little Bit of Joy

This beautiful piece arrived in the mail a couple of days ago. I purchased this lovely sculpture from Heather Knight of Element Clay Studio. Her work is amazingly detailed and scrumptiously different. You can see more of her work at or visit her in her studio in Asheville, North Carolina.