Thursday, April 29, 2010

How I Do It All

How do I do it all? Create beautiful gemstone jewelry, handcraft essential oil and gemstone candles with beautiful labels and matchboxes, paint pins for kids, work 4.5 hours a week as lunch lady and volunteer another two hours in first and fourth grade classrooms, shop, cook, pay bills, maintain my fit figure and beautifully colored hair, maintain my tidy house?  I don't. I can't do it all. I have to pick and choose every day. My house is frequently a pit. My roots are long and grey. My garage is overflowing with crap. I choose art and artistic endeavors because they make me happy. I think it is important for my sanity to do things that make me happy. I also don't think kids grow up remembering how neat their house was (in a good way). You never hear someone's life being celebrated by the cleanliness of their house.  So I steal my precious moments doing things I love, like making films of Kieran and her friends, reading with Aidan, napping, meditating, creating, listening to my inner voices that flood me with ideas while I am showering or trying to sleep.

I guess I have been doing too much though, for today I am sick. sick. sick.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ta Daaaa


Here she is!!

JUST KIDDING! That's me. Just wanted to make sure you were ready.

Now, don't look any further if you are squeamish. I'm warning you!

Consider yourself warned.

I'll go backwards, showing the most recent pics that I have moving back to Tuesday morning, the day after surgery.

WOW! Look at that pretty chin!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Are we ready?

Because Mom is permitting me to create a documentary film about her uplifting experience with cosmetic surgery, she has created a more neutral observer out of me. Brilliant maneuver on her part. Now, the question is, whom of my readers is ready for the graphic nature of the footage? I will simply say that the procedure went well and that the "after" shots are not too bad. One can see sculpted features and a wrinkle-free, albeit, swollen complexion. I liken Mom's image to a cross between the invisible man and cleopatra. Please comment if you would like to see.  If I get enough curiosity, I have permission to publish preview shots.

Monday, April 19, 2010


Mom had her surgery today. As it turns out, this was her first time ever under general anesthesia. Pretty amazing for  63 year old. The procedure went "well".  She was in surgery for over 2 hours and in a pre-op consultation, her cosmetic surgeon talked her into a chin implant. Maybe the problem wasn't so much that her neck was sagging but that there just wasn't enough chin to hold it up. I can't imagine why the doctor waited until this particular moment to make this suggestion. Mom, as many of us know, is NOT quick to process. I can just imagine it; Mom, nervous, hungry, a little apprehensive in her surgical gown and shower cap with an authority figure making a suggestion to "add a little chin". I know her, she said "yes" whether or not she really thought it was a good idea.  I am a little bit upset about it all, but, Oh well. We can laugh about it, I guess.

I took some pre-surgery footage and pictures so we could really appreciate the whole process.  I touched up a couple of the before shots so we can get ready for the smoother, tighter look to come. I don't know how to airbrush in some extra chin though, so we will just have to wait for the real thing tomorrow to get a good look.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Mom's Neck Movie

My Mom is allowing me to chronicle her surgical improvements. How could I refuse? I love telling a story through film. I have started with a few stills and short clips from a beautiful hike we took this morning. It was absolutely stunning out there. Last year, during the first week in May, the very trail we were on burned in the huge flames of the Jesusita fire. The fire took out all the brush that had been holding the soil in place. This year's rain had brought much rubble and rock down the creek ravines and allowed me access to fossils that are 60 million years old. Heaven! Hiking is like a shopping trip to Tiffany, without the blue box!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My Boy

Aidan turned seven on Monday. He was my angel friend when I was pregnant. I dreamed of a boy with brown eyes and blonde hair (written in my pregnancy journal- just to prove it). Without ultrasound or amniocentesis proof, I was sure he was a boy.  I was sure of his sweetness. I was sure of his calm wisdom. What I was not sure of, and have seen time and time again over the last seven years is his stubborn, willful, unwavering capacity to stand firm in a decision to NOT do something. Like a big horse, thirsty as ever, led to a crystal clear brook but refusing to drink the life-giving water. For example, yesterday, our sweet son was scheduled to have his second one on one karate lesson, the first of which he loved, practicing all week his blocks and horse stance beautifully. He had talked about it, the time and date of his lessons. An hour before lesson time he was asleep on the couch presumably in a post cake-snack coma exacerbated by the fact that he had broken his brand new N scale model locomotive (not mortally, though- just a flesh wound).  We woke him up and he insisted that he did not want to go. When asked why, his reply; "I don't really know". I asked Tom to do his Dad thing, somehow getting Aidan to do the thing we wanted him to do without his consent. I have had many a moment of pleading bribery, threats, hissing, screaming, and crying that got us nowhere. Maybe Tom would do better.

The outcome?   Bribery with a cookie, a visit next weekend to the B-17 Bomber coming to town, threats, hissing, crying and guess what.. NO KARATE LESSON. He refused.  That's my boy. My sweet sweet stubborn seven year old boy.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What's My Deal?

My mom is scheduled to have a neck lift, eyelid lift and under eye fat removal on Monday. I am, and always have been, vehemently against this kind of elective surgery. Now, understand that I am a beautiful woman. I am not being vain, I was born with full lips, a symmetrical face, really nice teeth (from braces and diligent upkeep), a tall, strong curvy figure and an ass the size of a pick up truck. My sisters are beautiful, my children are beautiful, my nieces and nephews, brothers in law, husband and step dad and friends are beautiful. My mother is a striking, radiant beauty and always has been. So here I am surrounded by beauty, why am I so against the amplification of it?  Here is my theory.

Since I was seven, the age of soul recognition, I have felt a certain conviction about kindness, love, beauty, treatment of others, and what was right. I knew/know that the body is a vessel, a vehicle to experience the lifetime we are presently in. It is not the end-all be-all. The body is not the IT. It is more the HOW. So the body can flex and shrink, move or be still, it can be flawed  or "perfect" but it isn't the soul. It is the house, apartment really, for the soul to exist, feel and learn, interacting and experiencing as much as it can in the time allotted.

How many children have to be born with cleft lips or flippers for hands and how many times do The Elephant Man, Mask, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame need to be made and re-made before we remember the lesson of where true beauty resides?  Just because we live in a culture where physical beauty is valued as much as it is doesn't mean we are evolving in a direction that moves us forward in our soul lessons. Are you happy with the state of focus that the media places our society in?  In my opinion, we as a society and culture have it all back asswards.

Trusted friends, beloved sisters, nieces, nephews, brothers and sisters in law, children, husband and parents, if ever I become deformed, obese, hideously ugly, smelly, broken, saggy, wrinkled, blotchy, bald, hairy, wear a diaper, or encounter any other physical situation that leaves my body less than desirable to look at, please close your eyes, plug your nose and feel my radiant soul energy wash over your being like a wave of golden loving light, because that is where my true beauty resides.

No matter what you do to yourself Mom, I will always look at you as the golden violet orb of shimmering light that you are, with the really tight neck and alert eyes.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Physical Energy

The physical follows the energetic. Your thoughts become your reality. What you focus on, you create. Your fears become your experience. You dream your future. Manifest with intention. Meditation teaches you how to visualize physical health and connect to energetic support in the form of spirit guides, guardian angels and your own higher self. Your chakra system needs your attention, quiet yourself and visualize the rainbow starting from your red root, orange sacral, yellow solar plexus, green heart, blue throat, indigo third eye and violet crown. Feel the energy flowing and surround yourself in golden, healing light. Create the energy to shift the physical.

Monday, April 05, 2010


This is a collaboration between Kieran and myself to honor the bright and helpful kids at Hope School. Kieran draws on the wood pieces and I paint them in. I glue the pin backs on to the little pieces of wood. The kids themselves requested things like a skateboarding elephant, a Domo in a sombrero with maracas, a pug, a dolphin and a pony together, a penguin on an iceberg holing a flag with my name on it, a purple dog kicking a pink soccer ball and much much more. The only shortage we have is time. Lots of love all the way around.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Candle Evolution

I started with beading. Learning the basics from my sisters. I moved into beading jewelry with gemstones. I found that I preferred working with natural earthly substances. My jewelry became more about the stones and their therapeutic properties than about the jewelry itself. After falling in love with Aveda body oils and generating an expensive habit, I decided to blend my own and infuse the oils with gemstones. My first blend was simple. I called it "Aura Oil" and it had lavender and Tibetian crystal quartz. I loved the energetic component and my skin has never felt softer. I also enjoy creating beautiful labels for the oils.

 The next progression was therapeutic candles, made with essential oils and gemstones, just like my body oils.  I made them with soy wax which is cleaner and longer burning than paraffin and has a delightfully creamy texture. I use simple mason jars and have included a special box of matches with every candle. The match boxes and mason jar lids have been my canvases for creative expression. I paint them and include a picture and inspiring words.  My friend Jill has allowed me to use her original paintings as graphics for my labels. It makes for a beautiful finished candle.

I will be adding these to my website, very soon. They will be $24.

The second picture shows a grouping of stones that went into a very special candle. From top going clockwise, carved carnelian elephant, crystal quartz, black tourmaline, kyanite, ruby,
aquamarine and apatite. Yum!