Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Third Annual Handmade Holiday!

It's HERE!
This WEEKEND....

The show that I look forward to every winter,
 the one where I feel more and more like a friend
 in a lovely community of awesome art-lovers
the one where I love giving my friends and family a chance to see some of the BEST 
and MOST HUMBLE full-time Studio Artists in the Flathead Valley.
(They're good at hiding here in the valley, those artsy cabin-dwelling folk.)
 THIS SHOW IS AWESOME, for so many reasons. 
You can see our event has grown over the past 3 years....

I am even more excited for YEAR 3 because we have grown into 16 artists and makers!
We've got Pots, Jewels, Honey, Bath and Body, Leather, Fiber....
we've got a house full of love, folks. 
We've got our LOCAL brewery tending our bar,
and we've got a community of support!

See a full lineup of our Artists HERE.
and our Facebook Event HERE
Hope you can join us.  It's gonna be a party!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Fireside Studs and a Squirrel

(From last week's shop update. Sorry! A little late on the uptake here, but hilarious nonetheless.  I re-read this little story I wrote along with the post earrings on Etsy, and couldn't resist sharing.)

These photos are taken on my coffee table,
not three feet from the wood stove we keep roaring this time of year. 
It just so happens I was lucky to be part of a great party and wedding this fall,
one where golden animals seated themselves as centerpieces at each table.
It ALSO just so happens I ended up with a golden squirrel,
after much coaxing from the bride herself,
to give up this golden dude...
at least for a photo or two.

The fire roars behind me,
almost burning the low of my back,
through a few layers of hand-me-down sweaters 
and thick work pants.
but I don't really care today since there's an EXTRA thick coat of frost outside.

There really is nothing like wood-stove heat.
I feel some days it heating up my bones,
through the white and into the marrow.
Days when I feel my most gloomy,
there's nothing like warming my inner grump with this heat.

And practically,
this fire is our only source of heat.
Something that is a beast of burden in, oh, FEBRUARY,
when you're so sick of chopping and gathering and stacking and burning wood,
the mere sight pisses you off. 
But today, the chore seems....kinda nice. 
A gift, really.

And so I linger here a little longer,
take stock of the warm home I can sometimes grumble about,
take in the quality of my life.
It's 3 degrees outside,
ten o'clock on a Wednesday.
And I'm inside my home taking pictures of a gold spray painted toy squirrel.

My life is pretty damn good these days.
Pretty damn good. 

Fireside Studs in the Shop. 
and Here too. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Awwww, Nuts. A Shop Update.

There is most certainly a Squirrel living in our wood pile.
I've found little stashes of his stuff here and there,
as I peel through the layers of our fallen Birch and Larch rounds...
I've seen him around.
He wasn't exactly sneaky about it, either. 

Squirrels are hilarious.
Their secrecy is unfailingly flawed,
I can't help but just. laugh. out loud. 
Like I WASN"T gonna find that pile of stuff, SQUIRREL. 
REAL GOOD hiding spot, DUDE. 

The squirrel is such a sweet and lighthearted fellow,
one bounding with playfulness and joviality,
chattering through the trees,
with just a touch of absent-mindedness.
I mean, who DOESN'T like squirrels?!
Watching them, just for a minute or two, 
spreads a smile over my face,
and I can't help but be a little envious of their trapeze-y jumping in the treetops.

This animal represents, in so many different cultures, 
the totemic spirituality of *squirrel-ing* away,
 of preparedness, of bringing to the table what you've got. 
and I could go on and on about how, 
in the middle of November, 
I am feeling like old man winter has, yet again, caught us with our pants down.
Montana is not exactly forgiving when it comes to wintertime.
And JP and I have YET to hit a winter where we felt good about our preparedness.

But this year, it's even worse.

I could say, 
our house,
torn apart, down to it's bones,
is hardly ready for winter.
It makes me uneasy and, well, 
We need a roof,
windows and doors,
and the list goes on and on and on.
The pot of money, however, does not draw a list so long.

Throw that all in a nutshell (bad pun yes) where JP, 
the main steamrolling workforce and construction knowhow,
has been in Wyoming for the past 6 weeks, 
 trying to make that pot of money we really could use.
So I have been in charge of the bones while he's gone, 
which, honestly,
is really just making sure our water lines don't freeze.

(Insert wandering rant about how much I miss him, how much I am OVER the distance, and how much I truly, from the bottom of my being, think another face-time conversation might either make me cry heaving sadness, or make my head explode. I miss that man so very much it makes my eyebrows freeze into wrinkly and tortured canyons of sadness and self-pity. like the GRAND canyon, folks. seriously furrowed. deep. and mean. and dark.)

The Squirrel is all about fun,
so much more than we give him credit.
And honestly, 
I could use a little of that lightheartedness myself...
The adult world gets me down sometimes. 
Homes are full of stresses and worry,
expensive fixes and just plain ol' expenses.
My man is home soon, but honestly not soon enough.

It's so invigorating to truly enjoy my time in the studio,
which, silly enough,
this week includes creating teeny tiny silver acorns. 
I literally giggled through this whole work process.
I kept muttering to myself...."awwww, nuts".....and then,
barely hiding a laugh out loud so childlike it took me aback as it fell out of my mouth.
I am ten.  Maaaaybe eleven.
And I am cracking up, 
over and over and over again,
about tiny little nuts. 

Plenty o' nuts.
Some fall timey tributes.
A squirrel or two.

xo yours truly,
the nut,

Friday, November 7, 2014

Voices of the Wilderness: Of space, and a little sumthin for the cause!

TONIGHT! The Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation is at it again! The 8th Annual Fundraiser, 
held in part by local artists, speakers, cowboys, and those of us who find peace in this awesome chunk of land.  I know I do. 

(here's a list of what i mean. herehereand here.)

Here's to this awesome wild place, 
and what it means to us all. 


Jesse and I, circa 2009.  
On the edge of the Chinese Wall, in the heart of the wilderness complex. 
My first trip into "the Bob". 

And a good and soggy one,
 of our pack raft trip last Fall.


There's nothing better than getting lost in the woods.

I'll be donating these pretties to the Silent Auction TONIGHT!  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Charming Gardeners

The Charming Gardener

A little on this piece.  

I've been hoarding this stone for my Mother for almost a year, promising her at every long-distance conversation that something grande was in the works...something she could wear everyday, something she could brag on, something that fit her. well. And that was a lie, at least in the physical form.  Sometimes It takes more time than you think to watch an idea come to fruition. And I've really only had a chance to get my hands dirty with silver here in the last few weeks, after recuperation of my little surgery and the tricklings of the rest of my crazy summer season. It's all I could do for awhile, really, was sit...try not to stretch funny, and try not to breathe too hard.  Pain killers make your head fuzzy, made me so tired, and so it felt like absolute freedom to FINALLY walk into that happy little studio, bathed in yellow light, and create something after a full week on the couch... crystal clear and overwhelmingly free. It was both perfect and introspective, that time to sit, truly sit, and become part of this promise of something awesome.

 It's been a real dose of reality, that in fact, we are all so fragile, yet so very tough too. 

And It's a surprise, but this piece will end up in her hands after my plane lands in Denver next week.  I never want to make my mama cry, but I know her well enough.....that this might just do it. 

I know not everyone is blessed with a great relationship with their parents, and so this makes it all the sweeter, because my Mama is really a dear confidant and friend. As the years between us matter less and less, the obvious gene pool we share is more a common core than a battlefield.  No doubt, the mirror that is your mother can truly be separating, but for now, I revel in our common denominator. 

Love you, mama, and Happy Birthday. 

Friday, October 17, 2014


Oh the bee bee. 
He's gone for a Month,
for work, 
for this home,
for us.
It's not easy, 
missing your best friend.
But it's better that you know the marrow of your bones 
miss this man
than glide lightly through the next decade
without him.

Missing on him.

But for now,
my bed is a cocoon of heavy blankets
sketchbooks and reading material,
journals and late night drawing sessions.
A pile of Rolling Stones stack up near my knees,
and I promise to devour them all before his return.
And don't tell, but there's an old stinky yellow lab
right next to me
whose blonde hair will surely give me away.
No dogs in the bed is a stupid rule anyway. 

It's a great morning, a great time for thinking about the next adventure,
to dream in a singular term,
only to enrich what *we* are. 

I dig my toes to the bottom of these sheets,
and stretch to his side of the bed,
which he would argue,
isn't more than a foot or so.
I am a notorious bed-hog,
and I revel in all the space this morning. 
But the dog keeps me on my side,
and I feel a bit guilty for shoving him out of my elbow's way.  
I do wish someone would bring me some coffee,
but I fight the urge to close my eyes a little longer,
and get up to make the coffee myself.

The house is chilly, 
the October air sneaks through the cracks in our drywall.
The barely-sunrise air calls me back to bed as I force a teapot to boil.
My nose is sniffly from the chill,
but the slippers keep these feet off the icy floor. 
That's what you get for tearing off half your home
at the sign of fall's first frost. 
I've never been more appreciative of an already-built fire in our wood stove,
roaring before the sun was up.

And insulation.  Yep.  Insulation is awesome. 
I swear I just saw my breath condense. inside. 

I believe it's imperative for a couple to spend time apart.
I really think it's easy to loose touch of your roots.
of who you were before there was a *we*.
And it's important for me to know it,
feel it in these slippered toes,
that yes,
I am a better version of myself than I was last year,
and the year before that. 
I am good.

I could be alone. 
I am not afraid of it.
I could build that fire and warm up our home. 
I made that coffee for myself,
and I'm going to work on what I can of our construction project
today. alone. too. 

But I am better with him.
No doubt about that. 
This home is warmer with him here. 
I am a better me when he is here. 

The teapot crones it's whistle,
I jump out of this bedding nest,
startle the dog,
and start today.

But it's the *we* that I start today with,
And it makes me crack a quick morning smile. 

up and at 'em. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

On the Pass, In the Clouds: Catching up on September

It started out a sunny and blue day up on the pass....

But the clouds had other plans. 

Not every day you get to walk through the clouds....

From the Boardwalk, at the top of Logan's Pass,
in September.
My Mama in the cute hat, her man, and I.