Sunday, September 30, 2012

I cannot believe....

 fall is here...

Morning Poem

Every morning
the world
is created. 
Under the orange 

sticks of the sun
the heaped
ashes of the night
turn into leaves again 

and fasten themselves to the high branches ---
and the ponds appear
like black cloth
on which are painted islands 

of summer lilies. 
If it is your nature
to be happy
you will swim away along the soft trails 

for hours, your imagination
alighting everywhere. 
And if your spirit
carries within it 

the thorn
that is heavier than lead ---
if it's all you can do
to keep on trudging --- 

there is still
somewhere deep within you
a beast shouting that the earth
is exactly what it wanted --- 

each pond with its blazing lilies
is a prayer heard and answered
every morning, 

whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy, 
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray. 

from Dream Work (1986) by Mary Oliver 
© Mary Oliver

Monday, September 24, 2012

Locals Call to Action!

This weekend, at Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell.

One time a year, the first annual

Right in my backyard.
lucky is an understatement.
If you live in the valley, you don't want to miss this.
The link above is chalk-full of information.

Montana Arts Council is hosting an Artists showcase here in the valley, with over 90 artists from all over the state, most of whom were on the bus to Jackson with me, and lemme tell ya, what an unbelievably talented bus that was.  We are talking class acts folks.

I can't wait to see this go up.  It's going to be a sight to see for sure. I will be able to put artists faces and their work together, as the Jackson adventure was kind of a prelude to this event.  I met so many wonderful and talented folks, I am excited to see this connect artist, face, talent, style and personality. 

Join us!

Friday, September 21, 2012


 into the shop today...

from left...

Solitaire Feather with Tibetan Turquoise,


Solitaire Biggie Feather with Tibetan Turquoise,


Sugilite and Sterling,


Red Jasper and Sterling.

Happy Weekend Folks!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Jackson etc.

So now the time has passed,
I am coming down from this jackson *high*

and it may take some time to digest..
the big question...

Is that rag and stone?

honestly I don't know.

Meanwhile, the etsy shop fills up with things trickling back.
Stuff I believe in, work I think is good.
Pieces of me in stone and silver.
Pieces that pushed me in directions 
I might not have found without a little applied pressure.


and I have been in the studio...
Once in the past three weeks.

My mama came for a quick september trip,
too short for me.
Once a year is just not enough.
my sister has called her home my home all summer.
and now has left for bigger and more fitting things.
Flown the coop, so to speak.

So the quiet of my home,
my empty nest...
the hum of the studio...
it's peaceful.

September has been one big blur...
I thought I would be pumping the brakes by now,
a quieter house and a calmer autumn.
but it's full steam ahead.
An Artist's gathering at the college in one week,
an invitation to a local *art walk* downtown in October,
custom work coming out my ears.
catch-up time. Piles of papers. invoices to be sent.
Sh** to get done.

Friends to be friends with.
Family to be thankful for.
Eggs laid. Carrots grown.

Build build build.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Jackson and then some...

Gallery nights was a freaking blast.
One of the most fun open house style Gallery walks I've ever been part of.
Wine, snack'ems, good company.

This was an installation of a woman's work I really felt could go well in my backyard : )
or downtown denver...
or in a museum.

Industrial and orange.


Jackson's vibe is great.  No really, no sarcasm.

I loved the youngness...the hipness...the overall appreciation and wholehearted support the community gave to the arts and artists in the valley.  I couldn't believe the amount of talent in one
 kinda-sorta-glammy-cowboy-ski bum-bro-bra town.  

yep. that's it.
and I really dug it.
I could see myself, maybe in another reincarnation, 
living in Jackson.

I also peeked my head into a small arts community building in town...

It was a sunday, so nobody was around.

I think it's funny....

it's been ten years since my high school art days...
And I still am drawn to art departments.
I can smell 'em out.
Like melted chocolate in a hot car,
or strawberry pie in a tiny east side Montana town.

I wanted to unpack my high-school backpack,
eat my brown bag lunch at one of those tables,
and hide from all the "cool kids"...
all the awkward lunch scenes where there isn't enough room to sit at the "cool" table,
the cafeteria I dreaded, and avoided at all costs.

And I found myself doing this all over again.
Hiding in an art building.
Alone and comfortable.
Eating my lunch in peace.

I have to admit, I felt at times
Jackson's Western Design Conference was a collection of "cool kids"...
But this classrom I stumbled upon, this relic of my high school drawing classes,
was a nice reprieve from the pressures and politics of a high end arts show.

I could breathe easy...

Monday, September 17, 2012


Jackson was beautiful.

80 degrees in the afternoon,
near freezing at night.
Crisp. Clean. Warm.

I have visited Jackson many times before,
it's the middle place between my childhood hometown
and the place I now call home.

But I've never *seen* Jackson.

I felt like, this time around, I actually got to see some wonderful country, at a gorgeous time of year.  September in the rockies should be noted for it's awesomeness. It's by far my favorite time of year, and also my birthday month.  

I turned 28 the beginning of September. a big ol' 28. A defining number for someone who has embraced 27 like it were 50. I have spent a lot of this year growing, building, investigating, and spending a lot of time with mentors at least double my age.  People who are on their third or even fourth reincarnations...
I've been very serious about rag and stone this year.
very focused. I've worked very hard to understand my business.

And now, after this trip and these windows I've peered through,
 I don't even think I could say this caterpillar has even cocooned. But it sure is helpful to see others who have.

September in Jackson is the week of the
 Western Design Conference,
The art walk called "pallettes and palates", The locals only Art Fair in the square, and dozens of open house opportunities from galleries in the valley.

Someone said, on the bus, that Jackson 
was the Las Vegas of Art Galleries....

man they weren't kidding.

Any small town girl from Montana can tell you,
Jackson is a big pond.
lots of little fish.

Old soul or no, this weekend was an eye opener for me.
so many experiences that has lead me to know one thing.

I like what I do.
and I like who I do it with.
I am young enough to change,
young enough to want to change.
I am old enough to understand that people
sometimes are fools.
people are hard.
people are the most complex creatures.
and some people just suck.

But then there are those shiny rocks you pick up in the parking lot of some dingy motel in the middle of nowhere.
Maybe you had seen that rock a million times before,
but this time it's different.
This time you actually bend down to pick up that rock,
and slide it deep into that tiny pocket of your jeans 
that pocket you never use.

This time, that rock is a diamond.

So there's this shift I feel in me,
something older than me,
that I can hold onto.
Some understanding.

Some understanding
that experiences are diamonds too.
and they aren't always the las vegas kind.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Montana is a big state.
Most people would agree, but what they don't understand is...

Montana is a big f*#*ing state.

It takes 9 hours to drive north to south, at 315 miles, and 12 hours (570 miles) from west to east.  There's less than a million people living here, in more than 147,000 square miles.  

To say Montana is a big state is an understatement. 

And to say it's rural is just plain......plain.
Wide open spaces and kind people,
small towns and tiny stops...
Miles and miles of road,
thousands of acres of gorgeous farmland.
greens and tans and sandy yellows.
The biggest blue sky you've ever seen.

and the best damn cafe EVER.

We drove through Ennis, MT on the way to Jackson. Population 800.

Best Lunch I've ever had.

I dreamt of this pie for days after.


simple and sweet.


Sometimes, that's all ya' need.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

talkin' bout Jackson...

Jackson, Wyoming.

On the bus this weekend, thinking of spaces that are big.

big and wide and blue and dry.

Thinking of possibilities, and arguments for or against.

Trying on my big girl panties for a change.


And all I could hear was....


a little background:

"we been talkin' 'bout Jackson...."

for awhile actually.

The Montana Arts Council bussed 35 artists down to the Western Design Conference held every year in Jackson, Wyoming...

and I was one of the lucky.

My head is still reeling.

Those big girl panties don't quite fit yet.


to be continued...