Friday, September 10, 2010

this day

an eighteen hour work day.

some days are just like that.
and it's good.
I'd rather have eighteen hour days than zero hour days.

the bling:
a twenty carat aquamarine. right next to my grandma's one carat diamond.
thanks, Gram.

Monday, September 6, 2010

he and me, me and he

the love story of my life.

I want everything good for him. happiness. security. peace.
never a moment of self doubt. never a shadow of unhappiness.

growing up isn't easy. everyone struggles over something or other, as we grow and learn who we are.

this boy and I went on a drive over the weekend. it was a drive I have waned to take him on for years now. to show him a few select, beautiful places that have left their imprint on my heart and soul.

the drive from Tomales Bay to Point Reyes Station, then from Inverness through Samuel P. Taylor State Park to San Anselmo. if you have never been, it is a lovely drive. if you took this drive, and looked around with eyes and heart open, you would really understand who I am.
I would feel happy to share it with you.

the boy and I were able to relax with each other, which feels like a huge gift to my heart. we shared moments of laughter. in some ways, I am sorry I had not taken him before. but not really, because I know we were really waiting for the right moment. now.

::lipinsky's dachau::
in Inverness - over the sea
this is someone's home,
and it is so wonderful; I am in awe that it even exists

this is how I really feel

this pretty much sums up how I feel about my life and everything in it....


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

after a long sleep

after a long sleep

my busy hands make plenty {PLENTY} of jewels

I am loving my work

loving family

loving life

and soon, again, will be loving blogging......

to celebrate ::LIFE:: I will be
giving away one of these diamond-set ingot pendants,
with your custom letter (or two!)

made with my antique steel letter tools.

and love

bring along a friend!

look here for more details

Monday, March 29, 2010

double wow, metalsmiths

this sculpture was formed from ONE SHEET of metal.
which makes me weep real tears of JOY.

this was made by Steve Shelby of Indiana.
{an incredibly talented maker}
read more about the piece and his process HERE

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

tension ring workshop

tension set gemstone rings from Sunday's workshop at the STUDIO...

rings by Melissa, Andrea, Karen, Pam, Sandra, Lori (and samples by me)


I know it was a challenging project

super beach surprise

my dear friend Ginger and I went on a 5:00 am beach walk this morning,
and something TRULY AMAZING happened...

(sadly, we were unable to capture this spectacle on film)

when we stepped into the wet sand, there was a MAGNIFICENT GREEN GLOW radiating from our footsteps, for about ten inches!

we threw sand around and watched it glow.

we splashed around. it glowed some more.

we rolled up our sweats - a look we call "business shorts" (coined after a favorite tune)
and went in to our knees.

we contemplated a swim, but alas we had no suits & no towels, and the morning rowers & runners were starting to come out by then.

we squeaked and squealed and played with joyful abandon like little kids.

(and, yes, I know the dinoflagellates are some sort of toxin, but...)


Monday, March 22, 2010

sometimes i amuse myself...

well... I recently fulfilled a large order of silver jewelry.
it was a fun project, a labor of love, and I feel lucky to have been
helped by so many SKILLED AND WILLING hands...
just to entertain myself, I put up a display in the shop
a handful of the hundreds of pieces that were shipped.
yes, they are ALL the same!
rings in silver with 14k granules, all size 8

views from the garden

spring has indeed sprung in our succulent garden....
the colors are popping out here!

such inspiration

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

a life of abundance

some days I am very in-touch with the abundance in my life....
a bounty of lemons that will yield the perfect lemonade
a jar of ALL COPPER pennies
(I am going to use these at the bench for solder-lifts)
{{I used a zinc penny by mistake recently and plated a complex and gorgeous ring. ugh. more on that later}}
and a great job
{{making LOTS of jewelry}}

Saturday, March 6, 2010

these days

yesterday: I metalsmithed in flip flops (hey, I know it's a no-no)
and I worked on what is JUST POSSIBLY the coolest ring I have ever made

a wedge of tourmalated quartz tops a bold and modernist reliquary
on a wide band, with a super-smooth brushed finish

rough diamonds. twelve of them.
{{nope. I'm not kidding you}}

here are a few other treasures.
I also made a ring from a STUNNING 20 carat star ruby

today: I metalsmithed in ugg boots (chilly day)
and I worked on a (somewhat tedious) production project.

not quite as cool as yesterday, but still a joy to be doing what I love

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

today in california...

clear blue, perfect skies...
beauty, appreciated, in the moment.
photos taken today by Ian, my most wonderful 16-year-old son.
{{thanks for sharing these with me, Ian}}

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

virtual metalsmithing...?

I am pretty much a hands-on, old school, manual arts type person.

this said, I was recently shown this amazing metalsmithing tool - the imakejewelry app for the iphone (or ipod touch), by incredible jewelery artist Victoria Lansford.

I would usually scoff at some techie thing like this... but this is AN AMAZING BENCH TOOL. every imaginable gauge, weight & length conversion, ring sizing by gauge, and all sorts of info on stones... IN YOUR POCKET!

all that and it's under four dollars. worth it's weight in silver.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


I had a very productive afternoon... I made some loot!
ruby, giant dendritic quartz, druzied agate, lapis & pyrite
all in the etsy shop

I made a mess of the desk...
and a bigger mess of my bench... I mean HONESTLY,
how many tweezers does one person need to have out at the same time???

Friday, February 26, 2010

super sale

free worldwide shipping AND 25% discount on all items (made before the flood)


if you write a note telling me you heard about the sale via my blog....
I will toss in an extra super-sparkly pair of handmade earrings along with your sale purchase.
they'll be gorgeous, trust me :)

listen up, metalsmiths

for all my metalsmithing friends:

buy these. buy these. buy these.
(I think you can get them on amazon for ten bucks-ish)

if you've been in the studio with me, you'll know I'm not a big fan of the hand shear. I will tell you to saw it out. I honestly met a woman in Atlanta this past week who said "I never saw anymore".

personally, I wouldn't go that far, but I did cut a piece of 20g sheet with great accuracy & zero warping/distortion.

THE TRICK IS TO KEEP THE BOTTOM BLADE IN COMPLETE CONTACT WITH THE SHEET, the whole time you are cutting. it feels awkward at first, but prevents warping. entirely. I promise you.

you may never saw again

Thursday, February 25, 2010

good morning

I just wanted to say good morning.
and I love you.
you and your face :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

hope springs eternal

well well well

we all fall down sometimes. the trick is not to stay down.

this photo is one of the most inspirational things i have ever seen with my own eyes. it pretty much says it all, right? hope. grace. resilience. tenacity.

i took the photo on my honeymoon trip to the eastern sierra mountains. it was late may. dave fished in the snow, and i chased him around. i soaked in the hotsprings. it was beautiful. if you ask my idea of paradise, it is soaking in the springs of the eastern sierra mountains, looking up at the sky.

i needed to be reminded of these moments. in particular, of those spring buds pushing up from the snow. pushing up as if their lives depended on it (which they do, in fact).

i am just pulling myself out of a period of worry and inaction... worry over my child, the possibility of litigation against my orthodontist, and the disheartening blow of some flooding at the shop {which led to rust on EVERYTHING. durston rolling mill. break my heart}. i have had a hard time staying motivated. i have indulged in plenty of sitting around feeling sorry for myself. i cancelled my annual gem-buying-spree to tucson. i toyed with the idea of cancelling my seat in the upcoming metal workshop of my dreams.

but then something happened. a snap-out-of-it, wake up sort of thing.
despite some struggles, my little one is going to be ok.
i found a new orthodontist.
i got an order for {several hundred} ruby necklaces & {several hundred} garnet earrings
{so a last minute jaunt to arizona is in order}
and my enthusiasm for the stone setting workshop with John Cogswell {which i have so been looking forward to} is renewed.
i can't wait to go to that workshop and tell you all about it.

my closed-for-the-flood etsy shop will FINALLY reopen tonight, with a BIG after-the-flood sale on all in-stock pieces.

and lastly, I need to give credit where credit is due.
i absolutely love wearing the work of other jewelry makers.
there is something vital to me in wearing pieces made by other strong, capable hands.
there are two special pieces i have NOT TAKEN OFF this last month, which have helped me to keep sight of possibilities and hope, during some bleak moments.

these delicate, simple-yet-perfect earrings made by jj have not left my ears.

and i have worn this miracle necklace that jillian made for me, nonstop. i even had an inspirational dream with the necklace in it a few days ago, which was when i finally woke up and decided to snap out of my funk.

so, thank you dear ladies, for allowing me to wear the work that you have made.
it fills me with strength and lifts me up in a way that i can not quite describe.

here's to standing back up.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

flash flood

there was flooding in our neighborhood yesterday & though I sandbagged the door at the shop, water came in and flooded the floor in the studio.

luckily, the floors are refinished concrete. and water only pooled in the low spots (more in the retail area than in the workshop area). it could have been much worse.

we are busy with cleaning up.

I am wondering if anyone has good tips for drying out the now-moist environment, I am very concerned about my tools (precious peddinghaus hammers, my anvils, etc) rusting more than anything else.

tips? please?

Friday, January 15, 2010

WHAT a beautiful day

I am so grateful for this small, perfect little miracle. my heart is full.

Monday, January 11, 2010

vintage. yardsale.

vintage yardsale HERE
{i'm working on adding more.... there sure is a LOT to get through}

Saturday, January 9, 2010

every little thing is gonna be alright

three little birds on my doorstep

and a collection of rings in the shop {photo taken by Ian}


being back in the workshop yesterday after having been out for a while was.... different than I expected. my first project was a giant druzy ring I'd been working on since before the holidays. I'd just made the bezel beforehand, and yesterday attached the backplate. when I went to solder the band onto the setting, I overheated the backplate & melted two holes in the bezel, at places where I'd filed! ummm.... can I get a little mojo? please?

I guess every once in a while something like that is bound to happen... but I haven't had a piece not "go my way" in quite a while. grrrrr.......

and then I completed two lingering custom pieces, without a hitch.

and then I made this lovely BIRD RING,
using the face from an antique brooch that I've had about ten years & always wanted to do something special with.

so, everything turned out beautifully, after all.

Friday, January 8, 2010

cleaning out the cupboards

1930's colorful tea party goodness

you may or may not know that I am passionate about 1930s California pottery.
and tile.
and furniture.
and paintings.
it's just my thing.

Dave & I are purging the cabinets, and I came up with all of these goodies that need new homes. these babies are all on their way OUT. the funny thing is, my kitchen looks unchanged, just a little neater. still loads of color in there!
looks like I really need to have a big ol' yardsale. or something.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

the grapefruit and I

yesterday, my friend and I were marveling at the wonders of the oft misunderstood grapefruit.
in my own opinion, the grapefruit is the most delicate and PERFECT of all citrus.
so sweet on the inside, yet wrapped in a slightly bitter, thick casing.
you have to work (a little bit) to get to the best part.

the (marvelously homegrown) grapefruit I was enjoying had a lot of seeds. I mean, A LOT.
I said to my friend "why does this grapefruit have SO many seeds?"
and she replied:

"it's just trying to survive, out in the wild."

I thought about that all day... the grapefruit and I. trying to survive, out in the wild.

that got me thinking, about seeds.
a beautiful quote from the buddhist monk, thich nhat hahn about seeds:

...consciousness is said to be a field,
a plot of land in which every kind of seed has been planted,
seeds of suffering, happiness, joy, sorrow, fear, anger, and hope.
The quality of our life depends on which of these seeds we water.

today, I choose to water the seeds of peace, of rest, treading lightly.
tomorrow, I will water the seeds of my creativity, of hope, of fulfillment.
my first full day in the studio this year, and I have a TON of work to do!

it is definitely time for me to increse my awareness of which seeds I am watering.

thank you, little grapefruit.