Monday, March 19, 2018

Rays of Sunshine

12mm diameter - Mosaic gold, filati in sterling silver
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I'm currently in Tucson, and loving being back in the sunshine! In addition to the literal rays, I'm also getting to live and play with two other "rays of sunshine" in my life, my friends Theresa and Mike. My life would not be the same without at least one week to two week visit to my Tucson home each year. From the company, to the food, to the wine, to the crazy plants, I eagerly anticipate these visits. 

Friday, March 16, 2018

The Three Musketeers

40mm by 25mm - Mosaic gold, titanium electroplated quartz points in sterling silver
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You've all met my friend Blythe numerous times, who I have been living in Egypt with when I've been here over the past year. However, we do have a third person in our little gaggle (if three people can be called a gaggle), Katie. The three of us have been through thick and thin together: from nights of too much gin⏤Katie, really, slow down!⏤to dive trips, to a Lebanon girls' weekend, to literally being on a phone call with me when my life exploded via text.

So thank you Katie, for joining our wee band of crazies.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Twilight Indigo

16mm by 16mm - Mosaic gold, smalti in sterling silver
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The colour of this one reminds me of the magical movement in between the dusk of evening and the blackness of the middle of the night. I've always loved the colour of that time of day, and of course, having grown up in Canada, that time is very prolonged in the summer months. There's just that hint of light, almost like the sky is holding on to a promise like a lover holding onto last kiss goodbye.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


16mm by 12mm - Mosaic gold, smalti in sterling silver
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Well, I can't be deep and philosophical all the time. These simply look like candy, and I almost wish they were edible. 

Monday, March 12, 2018

Flashes of Brilliance

14mm diameter- Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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Whoever "they" are, they always say creativity is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. Honestly, I have found this adage to be true. After a big production push like this last couple months, where I'm working without fail everyday, I end up with loads of great ideas. You put in the perspiration, and the inspiration eventually shows up. (If you need a push towards the perspiration part, I recommend "The War of Art" by Steven Pressfield.)

I think personal growth work is also like that. You slog through the metaphoric muck. You process things day after day, usually feeling like shit about yourself the entire time⏤that's okay, keep going⏤you feel like this crap is never going to end, but you keep working on yourself. But then, usually without warning, a flash of brilliance happens. And the walls of the muck trench become only 2 inches high, not 2 miles, and you can exit that abyss without distress at all. 

I am, today, waiting on a flash of brilliance. 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Digging Deep

65mm by 20mm - Mosaic gold, filati, turquoise in sterling silver
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At the risk of stating the obvious, I work pretty hard and intentionally at self awareness and self growth. And it probably doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out from this blog when I'm actively going through something. So it's no shocker that I recently suffered a very unexpected relationship loss, that while far too long in coming, was acutely painful nonetheless. I do most of my growth work and self discovery through relationships, usually of a romantic nature. Once again, I find myself digging deep to uncover the lessons, integrate them into my psyche, and then unwaveringly hold fast to them to keep me from walking down the same street and falling into the same hole. 

I am reminded, at these times, of a quote by Marianne Williamson: "It takes endure the sharp pains of self discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives".

Self discovery is painful. 

And hard.

And worth it. 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Not Knowing

12 mm diameter - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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I often don't know where I'll be, or what I'll be doing in the way most people tend to do. While no one can truly say they know where they will be in six months or a year in one sense, I tend to know less than most. I truly have zero idea of where I'll be in October, nor what I'll be doing. Getting used to not knowing has actually been one of the hardest things about being nomadic. I'm constantly trying to build my life and career up, but doing so is very different when one isn't tied to a locale, as the results aren't always the tangible sort we tend to use as benchmarks in our culture. 

The not knowing used to really bother me. And it still does, often. However my sister, not so long ago, asked me to imagine how I'd feel if I knew exactly where I would be for every day of the next 2 years. That didn't feel so good to me either. Evidently, I'm getting more used to not knowing. 

Maybe someday I'll fully embrace it, as I'd like. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Tranquil Sea

18mm by 13mm - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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I was lucky, when I last went diving, that the sea was relatively calm. I used to get motion sick at the first turn of the car wheels, and so a calm sea is pretty important to me if I need to spend any time on a boat. Luckily, I do not have it as bad any more, nor as bad as some people, who feed the fish everytime they step food on a boat (Dad, I'm looking at you). But there is nothing like seeing the world from the water, and so I'm sure there will be many boats in my future. 

I'm on a boat!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Pink Cloud Stack

45mm by 15mm - Mosaic gold, smalti in sterling silver
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On the Red Sea dive trip I was talking about last week, I was thrilled to not only witness incredible beauty in the sea below, but also in the heavens about. One evening, the sky was so astounding I could have wept, and in particular, the vertical pink cloud the sunset coughed up was phenomenal.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Con Aperol o Campari?

28mm by 7mm - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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I believe I have written about spritz before, an Italian drink made from prosecco, soda water, and an aperitivo of choice, most commonly Aperol, a bitter, bright orange concoction. However, the spritz can be made with Campari, an even more bitter, bright red aperitivo. I am firmly in the Aperol camp, though I hear there is a third choice available pretty much only in Venice, called Select. Regardless of what you have the bartender make your spritz with, it's very important to serve it up with a couple ciccheti, or small bar nibbles.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Coming Together

50mm diameter - Mosaic gold, Venetian glass cabochon in sterling silver
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I am often aware of how much what I do for a living is a metaphor for life. I take small pieces, shape them how I want, and put them together. Sometimes I'll be working away, then pull back and see how it looks as a whole, and realize that one piece needs to be pulled out and replaced with something else. Sometimes the pieces just don't fit at all, no matter how hard I try and I have to rip it all out, put the whole mess aside and take a break until the next day. Sometimes it all comes together so beautifully it's like the mosaic is singing. 

Life is like that. You put the various components of your lives together. Sometimes it all works so well it's like magic. Sometimes you want to chuck the whole lot. Make no mistake, we might not always get to pick the pieces we are given, but we can chose what to do with these pieces, be it use them as is, shape them into something that fits for us, or toss them out. In the end, it all comes together in a crazy, stunning, glorious thing called a life. 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Double IPA

14mm by 10mm - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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There are loads of things I love about Egypt. It is exceptionally cheap, particularly produce, taxi rides, and pharmeceutical drugs. You can get everything delivered. Grocery shopping is like training to become a princess. One thing that does pose a bit of a challenge is alcohol acquisition; within Egypt, you can only purchase Egyptian branded alcohol. The spirits are abysmal, but luckily there is a drinkable wine, and the beers are tolerable, but all lager style. So whenever I manage to get out of Cairo, one of the first things I do is find myself a strong, hoppy IPA.

Blythe is also a firm believer in this course of action: