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Original Hardware--Hip, Handcrafted Silver Jewelry Designs's Fan Box

Monday, March 5, 2012

A New Web site, New collection....

"Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle.

The world you desired can be won. It exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours.
Ayn Rand
Russian-born American Author

There is so much to learn in this life and I am on the road trying to hard to learn it. I am not driving this road in a Cadillac with the top down. No, this stubborn girl is walking it, foot by painful foot.

The season of winter has been a tough one for lessons. Many lights have been shined into the darkness. Many truths have been spoken. Many truths still have yet to find a voice.

I can't say that this period of my life has been an easy one at all. In fact, it has not. But I have faith that with this difficult road will come some revelations that I hope to God will be worth the price of admission. If they aren't, a true tragedy has just been unleashed.

All this philosophical talk may have you wondering, what does this have to do with jewelry? Art? My art and my jewelry are part of my truth. They are part of the tapestry that makes this life mine. They are part of my soul, just waiting to get out. They are part of the light and the darkness. The good and bad. The difficult and easy.

With all these revelations have come the birth of some new and wonderful things: a new spring/summer collection and a new Web site. The "personal" work I have to do behind the scenes is far more serious, but I am so proud of this work--my art, my soul--nonetheless. I am proud that these things have borne fruit. And I am proud to share them with each of you.

I wish for each of you to emerge from the winter with new buds, new life. Let your blooms sprout through the tendrils of wood and rain and fire to see the sun.

And let your happiness shine within you, like the first happy rays of springtime...


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Out of hibernation....

"Let go of the past and go for the future.
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined."
Henry David Thoreau

It's been months since I've made my last post, but updating my followers and friends on this blog has played second fiddle to the long to do lists of the day....

Life has had it's share of joy and challenge these past few months, but with each new day and each moment I emerge even stronger and with a stronger sense of clarity and purpose.

My work in the studio is blossoming, probably because I took a much-needed break from it during the holidays to replenish soul and spirit. Opportunity has knocked and knocked again--and I keep eagerly answering the door. Honestly, each day feels like Christmas!

I am busy juggling life in many forms: single mother, artist, freelance writer, etc. But this is my life, and for once, I like the direction where it is headed.

I just sent more samples to Sundance for the catalog's fall/holiday books (cross your fingers that something will get in!) and my rep is putting Original Hardware designs in stores all over the West.

Meanwhile, I continue to pursue freelance writing in my "old" career (marketing for technology companies). I find the balance of using my left brain and right brain to be energizing, even though at times I find myself exhausted from the work!

Not much else to say today, except that life is good my friends.

Love has shone into my heart, opened me like a door and let the sunshine in to the cracks where it hasn't been for some time. I am open to what other doors could open for me, and yet others that may close. I look to the future without anxiety or fear or doubt.

Whatever is out there is waiting just for me, like closed hands ready to open and reveal the secret message. Today, like many days in the past few months, those closed hands have unfolded to reveal just one word: happiness.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Yes, I am ALIVE!

"Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
Look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

Think only for the best, expect only the best.
Forget the mistakes
of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
Give so much

time to the improvement of yourself that

you have no time to criticize others.
Live in the faith that the whole world

is on your side so long as you are true

to the best that is in you!
--Christian D. Larson

As you can tell from my posts, life has been just a tad crazy. I have been burning candles at both ends (and then some) and still can't figure out how to get more done in a 24-hour period. I about to ship my last order of the year to Sundance, and in the process I feel lighter and looking forward to the holidays!

I have emerged from the ashes of trauma and heartbreak to become stronger, beautiful, resilient. I wanted to post this picture of me smiling because it is who I am in my heart. It is REALLY me. I am this happy. (Ok, most days anyway!)

I am awaiting word on whether I'll have more pieces in the Sundance catalog this coming year (I'll know more by November) and am working on designs for next fall. I have really focused much of my effort in the jewelry design business this past year on the Sundance opportunity, forsaking the creation of a pair of earrings here and there on a whim for something more long-term. I am honestly not sure if this will bear fruit in the way I hope--meaning, I still really don't know if artists--even ones with work in Sundance--can make a living at this.

That's an important question these days as I try to figure out my life as a single parent. I am pragmatic and not getting any younger, you know. While I want to follow my heart, I must also eat.

But for now, I am sitting with the questions. I believe it was Rumi, the poet, who implores us to "live the questions and the answers." I have learned through my own life's challenges that forcing the answer doesn't make it come any faster or clearer. It must come in its own time.

I so appreciate each of your words of encouragement, support and cheerleading this past year. You have put the smile on this woman's face. And each of you have put a little light in my heart.

Best wishes as we head into the coming holiday season!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

1 Plain Brown Box=Big Dream Come True

"The flower has opened,
has been in the sun and is unafraid.
I'm taking more chances;
I'm bold and proud."
---Paula Cole

The plain brown box to the left is simple and unassuming. It is 10x10 inches wide in diameter with clear packing tape carefully wrapped around its outer shell.

It doesn't make noise when you shake it, like those Christmas gifts from years past that showed up from grandparents. It is square and boring; sturdy and strong.

It may not look like much, but this box represents a major intersection in my life and my business. Tomorrow, this box is destined for a special place: Sundance headquarters in Salt Lake City!

Shipping my first order to the Sundance Catalog is the culmination of a dream come true for me. I remember flipping through the catalogs wistfully as I sat at my corporate desk--sandwich in one hand, a red pen in the other. I'd circle all of the designs that I totally loved, then daydream about whether one day I could be like the artists featured in this fabulous catalog. I wanted to be one of them. I wanted to be an artist.

Next month, I will be on my way to that dream coming true. Five of my designs are in this box, part of the Fall Catalog that will hit doorsteps early next month. This box represents months of blood, sweat and tears; of patina and solder. Of many late nights and too many Law and Order episodes to count. Of mistakes and lessons, experiments gone well and some not so much.

This is a first step toward my larger goal of someday being a Featured Artist at Sundance. My goal is to do such a stellar job with high quality work that they have no other option but to include my name and my work in their exclusive ranks. I will not stop until I am!

It has been a busy six months preparing for this moment. This unassuming box means so much. It symbolizes taking a chance--and garnering a positive response after so many negative ones. It symbolizes being determined that my passion would unfold itself so lovingly into a business.

It symbolizes a woman whose heart was torn to pieces only to be healed, if only in part, by art. It symbolizes a person who has grown up in so many ways, and who is so very proud of who she is and what she stands for.

To you, it might look like just a little brown box.

To me it's a new life. To me, it's everything.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New Fall Designs--Finally!

"Drive a nail home, and secure it so faithfully that you can wake up in the night and think of your work with satisfaction."
--Henry David Thoreau

So it's been one hell of a year, and I feel like I've changed virtually everything about my life. Front and center in all that change has been the business, which I've adapted, grown, and adapted again.

I am looking to the horizon with hope and a positive attitude--I am proud of what I've done, survived and accomplished in spite of it.

I've been busy adding new work to the site today, and I finally have new pieces to show my customers! I have lots more to add, but will save it for future fall days.

Next week, I ship my first Sundance Catalog order--the first of what I hope will be many to come. I am thrilled and nervous and excited--it is the culmination of lots of hard work this past year.

You won't find the Sundance pieces on my new site--they are all exclusive to Sundance. But you will see many other wonderful finds, inspired by the Road Less Traveled. The Fall collection is inspired by far off places rich with textured prints and landscapes; of dusty roads and marketplaces filled with merchants and bustling women and men; of exotic lands that tug at my heart and hold a special place in my soul.

View the new work at!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Living with Out Fear, Eyes Open

"I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible,
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance,
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom,
and that which came to me as blossom
goes on as fruit."
-Dawna Markova

It has been a crazy couple of weeks, and my blog posts have become woefully at the bottom of the priority list. I've finally had a chance to catch up on life's to do list, and this past weekend actually had time to sit down and do something I hadn't had time for in quite a while: design.

I'm working on final pieces for my Spring/Summer collection for next year, and then it's on to designing the body of work that I'll be selling out next fall. When you work so far in advance, and then come back to the pieces you created for that particular season, you also remember what the world was delivering at your doorstep at the time--what was influencing your creative processes.

I was reminded of this over the weekend, as I came back to finish some pieces that I had started during a very tumultuous time in my life. I remember being inundated with thoughts of anxiety and fear; fear of what was coming, who I would be, and what impact it would all have on my life and my son's life.

In the past, fear was the rudder on my ship: fear of failing; fear of uncertainty; fear of losing; fear of abandonment. I made decisions (or didn't make them) based on fear. A girlfriend of mine recently said, "Well, all of these things have happened to you even though you feared them--so I guess you don't have to fear them anymore." It was like a lightbulb had gone off and it changed my entire way of thinking.

I am trying to live each day now with no fear. Living this way has brought me opportunities that I can't even have imagined. It has brought me a life that is truly mine, a life in which I try to see each day as it comes and look it straight in the eye and say, "I am not afraid."

Stay tuned for fall/holiday work, updates about Sundance (it's all good!) and just on life. In the meantime, live without fear. Do not live in fear of falling or catching fire. Savor each moment, each second of this wonderful gift we call life.

Monday, June 21, 2010

"Happiness is not in another place, but this place....not for another hour, but this hour."
--Walt Whitman

Recently, I've tried to focus a great deal on the here and now vs. what's coming or what's happened. This is easier said than done for obvious reasons: (1) there's a lot of crap from my past that I have to go back and look at in order not to make the same mistakes again (2) there's a lot of uncertainty about the future and who I'll be when I grow up, and (3) we are not wired to just be in the moment (in particular, I am not wired that way.)
While it might be a difficult task, I am trying in earnest to focus on the now more often. Outside of to-do lists and checklists and pieces to make and pieces to think about, I have this little reminder each day who helps me be in the now: my son.
Children have this amazing way of not having any clue what's coming up next, or not even caring much about it. While I try to scoot Evan to the car to get to school on time, he's on the floor of the car looking for dropped Fruit Snacks. When he finds one, he pulls it up gleefully and shouts, "Mom! Guess what I found?!"
He has no interest in what time it is or that we will be late for school, no care that I am irritated and absolutely no worries about such things. I believe that our children come to us to teach us something about ourselves, to help us change the little things that tend to creep their way in over time and influence our thinking about the here and now.
Do I have a huge to do list? Yes. Yes, I do.
Am I worried that it won't all get done? Sometimes I am.
Instead of letting myself get whipped up into a frenzy inside about it, I tell myself "I can only do so much in a day." It actually helps to calm me down and helps me recenter on the things that are important.
This morning, my son woke me up with a Chuck E Cheese crown on his head and a flashlight. "Mommy, let's play super heroes," he said happily. I resisted the temptation to get up and get moving. Instead, I grabbed the flashlight and spent 5 minutes running around the house with a really neat little boy.
I may not have a cape or magic powers, but 5 minutes was all my son needed to have a little fun with his mommy.
And the lesson to me was an invaluable one.