Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Aten



16mm diameter - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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Today we reach back to the annals of Ancient Egyptian history. 

So the Ancient Egyptians always had a multitude of gods, that is, until this dude, Amenhotep IV, decided that Egyptians should worship just one god, Aten, a sun disk. Did he do this because he was a religious zealot sunbather? Did he wanted to wrest power and riches from the high priests? Did he have a short attention span and was sick of attending a million rituals? Whatever it was, he forcibly imposed monotheism, AND got the chick: the stunning Nefertiti, long thought to be one of the most beautiful women who ever lived. 

Of course, once he died, everything got changed back. His fancy new city Amarna was abandoned, and all the Aten temples destroyed. His son, Tutankaten, changed his name to Tutankamun, who we all know as King Tut (and we only really know about him because he had this tomb that was barely robbed, compared to all the other tombs, otherwise, the kid was pretty unremarkable).

There's probably a moral to this story somewhere, but I got nothing. 


Careful with messing about with people's religions. You might get your face scratched off.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Looking Forward



28mm by 7mm - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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I have spent almost 8 months in Egypt between February 2017 and today. To quote a famous book opening, "It was the best of times, and the worst of times." There have been highs and lows. I have a bit more time in this great country, and I am still very much enjoying that, but I admit I am looking forward to a change. Looking forward to new and revisited horizons, and unforeseen possibilities. Looking forward to the sea. I am ready to move on, and excited to see what unexpected treasures the future holds. 

Monday, May 28, 2018

Bruised But Not Broken



45mm by 15mm - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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I love to jump in waves that roll in off a sea, an endless amusement. I love to get tossed about, sometimes with just a touch of danger, getting a bit battered, bruised, but always standing up laughing (after adjusting the bikini to make sure no one gets an unexpected peep show). I love to catch a wave just so and body surf into the shore. When I find good waves⏤not too tame, not too raucous⏤I can stay out there until I'm a prune-y, salty mess. 

Unlike those happy, carefree waves, he came thundering down on my soul, unceasingly. But you see, I have practice and experience with waves, and I can ride them. So while I may have gotten caught in the undertow for a while, I'm back up on my feet, bikini sorted, a few bruises, but far from broken. 

Friday, May 25, 2018

Ferris Wheel




50mm diameter - Mosaic gold, filati, vintage Venetian cabochon in sterling silver
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Big ferris wheels are obviously a thing, as I have noticed so many in a variety of cities on my travels. While on a very brief trip to Dubai, I saw at least two, though one was under construction. It seems that ever since the London Eye was built, no city can be without a ferris wheel. Humans may have a problem with going around in circles. I sure know my brain does from time to time! 






Thursday, May 24, 2018

Welcome to the Jungle



28mm by 7mm - Mosaic gold, smalti in sterling silver
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So Egypt is, well, a certain special kind of crazy. It's hard to explain the traffic, and a video, doesn't quite convey the level of sphincter squeezing that occurs when trying to get anywhere, either by car or foot. Perhaps the best way to explain it is an anecdote from Canada.

The whole family (six adults) is piled into my dad's minivan, one a road trip from the Fraser River Valley to Seattle. The Father is driving. Suddenly the entire family, save me, jumps in unison, with loud cries, "Whoa!"

I look up, completely confused by everyone's sudden reaction. Turns out a car had gotten too close for Canadian comfort. I, however, was completely non plussed⏤that car wasn't close! I quickly realized that I had a new level of what passes for "too close" thanks to Egypt. 

So be careful, it's a jungle out there.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Under the Sea



20mm diameter - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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There are days when I'm inspired simply by the brilliant colours of gold in my repertoire and a combination I create with them, rather than by something I see or experience. The creation of this piece was one of those times. 

Trust my friend Blythe to come up with a great name and explanation, "It reminds me of when you're under the water, looking up to the sunlight. You know how it looks so different from when you look at water outside the water?"

Yes, yes I do. "Under the Sea" it is. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Under African Skies



20mm diameter - Mosaic gold, filati in sterling silver
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I have been in Africa about half of the last year, and nearly 8 months total since the beginning of 2017. It's mainly been in Egypt, which isn't the sub Saharan Africa that most people think of when they think "Africa". However, I did spend some time in Tanzania, and met some lovely people, one of whom then visited Blythe and I in Cairo, and brought each of us some kanga cloth. I knew immediately that the stunning colour combo in mine would have to be reinterpreted as a pendant. 

Friday, May 18, 2018

Mood Swings



28mm by 7mm - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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Yesterday, depths of despair, could barely stand being around myself (don't have much of a choice there). Today, wake up, and boom, felt great! Got some work done, ran on the treadmill, ate healthy food, used some nice body products I was given. 

The highs and lows of personal growth are both annoying and delightful. Humans are funny, aren't they?

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Butter


12mm by 12mm - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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Not too long ago, I was asked to make a pendant as a special gift for a very special woman, Sybil Jordan, who was one of the first black women to graduate from Little Rock Central High School. She was the first black student to attend all three years and graduate from this Arkansas school.

As part of deciding what to make to help honour this incredible woman, I was sent an incredible article about her experiences there and her life. The one anecdote that stood out most was how she emotionally coped with much of what she went through: she promised herself she would get what she wanted when she was older. Case in point? She hated margarine growing up, and vowed that when she was an adult she would have butter whenever she liked. Today, she buys butter 6lbs of at a time. 

Naturally, I made her a butter pendant. 

As a lover of stories and human experience, I relish commissions like this that have greater meaning behind them. Thank you for letting me make something special!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Shine On



14mm by 10mm- Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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My mother often calls me a bright light. She tells me I shine. She's my mom, so she might be biased, but she has known me since before birth, so I'm pretty much bound to accept her word (thanks Mom!).

But the truth is, we all have a glimmer inside. Somedays it can be tough to keep that spark lit, but I think it is each our calling to nurture that spark within, whatever it may be. So whether life is great or challenging, shine on. The world needs more bright lights. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Lapis Lazuli


12mm by 12mm - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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I recently went to the Egyptian Museum a second time, and as usual, spent quite some time poring over the treasures of King Tutankamun. We probably wouldn't know about this short lived pharaoh except that his tomb is the only one that has been found nearly intact (there were some items missing, but on the whole, it escaped the usual rampant grave robbing). Many of the items in the tomb were inlaid with lapis lazuli, which is one of my favourite semi precious stones. The rich blue colour is so luxurious, that I'm not surprised it was deemed a fitting adornment for kings. It also looks fabulous with all the gold the ancient Egyptians were inclined to use. 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Olive A Sudden



45mm by 15mm - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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It never ceases to amaze me how life can change in an instant, turned upside down from one moment to the next. Sometimes those changes can be negative, unfortunately, but sometimes they can be a sudden flash of positivity (sometimes, of course, the negative changes can turn out to be positive changes in the long run, but that's just an endless spiral down a rabbit hole that I'll save for another day). So while I keep marching out of the fog, getting lost at times, I know that any second,  I could have that sudden moment of life change, for the better. As my good friend Lesley says, "Anything can happen!" 

And it usually does. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Fog Lifting



18mm by 13mm - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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I can imagine it's relatively easy to figure out when I'm "going through some s%#t", as I obviously have been for much of the last couple of months. I'm happy to be able to write that things are looking up, and I'm getting out of the fog. I can't guarantee there won't be other ruminating posts in the future, but things are finally looking up.

There have been a number of people who have really helped to make this possible, and have spent so many hours with me as I muddled my way through the dark trenches. Thank you all, from the bottom of my slowly repairing heart, for the hours on the phone, chatting in person, messaging, and hugs. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Jacaranda


14mm diameter - Mosaic gold in sterling silver
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When I returned to Egypt, spring was in full bloom. This apparently means jacaranda trees in glorious lavender bloom. I first saw jacarandas in Africa some 20+ years ago, and was as amazed by them then as I am now. Unfortunately, I have not managed to get a great photo of their glory, but imagine a whole big tree of this: