10 December 2012

a good idea ...

... not to mention, it's a once in a lifetime opportunity.  The power of one is amazing ... the power of the whole earth ... beyond comprehension.

l i g a - kvk

08 December 2012

sneak peek part 2

Got a few more pics done and still more to go, so I haven't started listing things.  While I'm waiting for my camera battery to recharge, I'll tease you with a few more pieces ... gotta say, it's a rather diverse assortment.  Same deal applies, if you're interested in any of these before I get them listed you'll get the special Peeps Only 15% off and I'll even include shipping.  Just leave a comment here or on my FB page and I'll get back to you.  So without further delay .........

silver nugget with cube and lapis nugget on 16" sterling bead chain  - $120

bronze discs & beads, lapis nuggets and Basha Beads on linen, 30"  - $210

amethyst jangle earrings, 2 1/2" from ear wire  - $130

magpie necklace on 17" sterling bead chain  - $160  SOLD

urban primitive cairn, steel, bronze, fossilized bones, Basha Bead 
and pyrite on 36" silk cord  - $180

Going back to check on my battery, so that's it for now!
Have a lovely evening .........
l i g a - kvk

07 December 2012


Been taking pics of some new pieces to list on Etsy.  They each have my L I G A blessing written on silk and lashed to the chain.  I still need to take some shots of them on Orlando (my mannequin) and so it will be later tomorrow at the earliest that they'll get listed.  I'm thinking I'll offer my readers first dibs with the added holiday present of a 15% discount, so if anyone's interested, let me know ... soon.  These are the 'before discount' prices.     

fine silver cubes and lapis chunk on 28" sterling bead chain  - $210

bead stack with lapis chunk on 34" sterling bead chain  - $250

large lapis nugget pendant with ring stack on 28" sterling bead chain  - $170  SOLD!
raw nuggets - silver and lapis on 28" bead chain  - $155

I've got a few more pieces to shoot and will do the same offer with them ...
have a lovely evening!
l i g a - kvk

04 December 2012

my voice ...

... and part of why I've not been posting so much.

Basically, I'm feeling like I've misplaced my voice.  I've gotten lost in the din of so many people pontificating and posturing ...

I'm super tapped in!
You should listen to me!
I've been there, really, I know! 

I've lost track of why I normally love writing this blog ... somewhere I started feeling like all I'm doing is contributing to the noise, scrabbling for my little piece of the pie.  Of course, when I step back and take a look at where I am and what I've really been doing, there's a pile of perfectly good reasons why I'm a wee bit off track.  

but still ...............
I want this to be a place where I share my inspiration, my journey, my process.  I don't want to get lost in any ideas that I'm more anything than someone else.  I am who I am.  I love sharing what I do.  If that resonates with someone else, I'm thrilled and humbled.  It occurs to me that I've written similar posts in the past ... this is a normal cycle ... I'll come out on the other side with a stronger, clearer voice ... doesn't make it any less annoying or unsettling right now.

This line from a Deepak Chopra article in the current issue of Origin Magazine was something of a revelation and might be helping to break up the log jam in my brain, "Awareness isn't passive.  It directly leads to action (or inaction).  As you take steps to expand your awareness, you will naturally find yourself harnessing your mind's infinite power to create greater health, happiness, and love in your life."

Hmmm, gots to get ready for my class call at 3 ........  so I'm thinking that's it for now. 

l i g a - kvk

p.s.  Richie's home and working on his recovery.  First order of business when he got home on Sunday was a trip to the Guitar Center ... music as medicine!  Thanks to everyone for holding Richie and our family in your thoughts and prayers.  We are enormously grateful.

28 November 2012

proud auntie

... 3 days after surgery.  He's off all the gizmos and is working on stairs.  No word about what's next, but I'm confident he'll triumph over whatever is put before him.

l i g a - kvk

25 November 2012

Richie update ...

I am just now exhaling ... as I'm realizing I've been pretty much holding my breath since Wednesday night.  I'm only now returning to normal breathing. 

We had been ready and waiting yesterday for news since about 1pm our time.  When my little brother called yesterday about 3:30 with the good news, we each each let out enormous sighs of relief ... none of us realizing how tightly wound we had become. The release and residual effects are intense.  Getting wound up and now, trying to wind back down.

Richie is doing extremely well ... either getting out of ICU as we speak or tomorrow at the latest.  The doctors are not speculating about what's next, saying they'll just take it one day at a time.  Test results won't be back until later in the week.  Sounds like weaning him off of pain meds will be later in the week as well.  Rick continues to be blown away by his son, his incredible positive attitude, his strength and the ongoing sea of visitors coming to check on him.

As this Thanksgiving weekend winds down and I begin to catch my breath and look back, the last few days have been filled with small miracles and large blessings ...  I'm enormously thankful that my older brother, Gene, was here with us ... so much better that he wasn't on his own in Nashville and so much better that our family was not so spread out.  Dave and my brothers have always been my three pillared support system.  There is such safety with them ... for that I am incredibly thankful.

From what Rick says, the facilities, doctors and staff responsible for Richie's care have been incomparable.  We're still amazed at how lenient they've been with visitation, allowing him to have his instruments in his room, and holding his impromptu performance from his ICU bed the night before his surgery ... effects of medication making him giggle when he'd forget the words to one of his own songs.

And of course, I am deeply thankful for each of your readers, your good wishes and prayers.
sending love and light filled blessings ..........
l i g a - kvk

24 November 2012

YES !!!

Rick just called ... "everything went as well as it possibly could!"

Richie is back in his room, answering all the questions correctly, moving all limbs and digits and even remembered to wish his mom a happy birthday.  I'm thinking Veronica just got the best birthday present imaginable.

So some amazing, serendipitous things about all this ...

They live in Dallas ... The hospital where Richie just had his surgery is one of the top neurological hospitals anywhere. 
The ICU is for brain patients only, so everyone on staff is extremely knowledgeable and patient. 
Turns out his surgeon is one of the top brain surgeons anywhere ... people come from around the world just for him.
Last night, after he had his dreads cut off, Richie held a little concert in his room.  The hospital allowed him to have his violin and guitar in the room and Richie serenaded 15 or 20 people in his room with his own compositions - the i.v. only got in the way a little.  This is an 18 year old kid facing a 5 to 6 hour brain surgery the next morning.   

Pretty much blows me away.  Rick said he just sat there utterly amazed.

What's next ... they don't know.  It will probably be tomorrow before they know anything else. 

Lots of repeated sighs of relief are being heard ......... Thanks to everyone for including us in your thoughts and prayers ... I'll keep you posted.

with deep gratitude and heartfelt blessings
l i g a - kvk

waiting .......

............ to hear from my little brother, Rick.
Our beautiful nephew, Richie, is in the middle of a 5-6 hour brain surgery ... right now is about as early as we could expect any news. 
It's all happened so fast.  Rick called late Wednesday night.  He called while following the ambulance taking Richie to admit him to a neurological hospital in Dallas.  Richie had been having migraines and then started feeling nauseous and they took him to the emergency room.  It didn't take long for them to say, this boys going to the hospital.  He's been in ICU since then, but you'd never know it by looking at him.  The surgery was originally scheduled for the 29th, but they decided their was no reason to wait and moved it up to today ... so much better not to wait all week.

So on this weekend after Thanksgiving, I am so very aware of how thankful I am, how blessed and loved and supported I am and what a wonderful family I have ... so much love, so much light, so so very blessed.

This is an amazing young man ... loved by everyone with a truly extraordinary support group of friends and family.  I would be even more grateful if you would send love and prayers and light to Richie as his surgery continues in Dallas.

21 November 2012

just had to share .......

........... these amazing hoops!  They're OTW to my sister-in-law for her birthday.  My niece put in a request a while back ... mom gets hers for her birthday ... Alexis will have to wait until Christmas.

They were a great exercise in design and problem solving.  They're 4" long!  Veronica will totally rock these - she's very statuesque ... a yoga teacher that carries a Chanel handbag with a truly unique sense of style.

Hoping she likes 'em ........

once again ... to my U.S. peeps - Happy Thanksgiving!
l i g a - kvk

20 November 2012

quick like a bunny...........

......... So very happy to say I've been listing Talismans on Etsy!

Have a safe and blessed Thanksgiving Holiday ......
with deep gratitude
l i g a - kvk

28 October 2012

p.s. ...... inspiration fuel

a wee bit of a postscript - some visual juice from the gem show ............

amethyst chunks

tangerine quartz points

amber nuggets

and last, but a long ways from being least ... slabs of lapis

seriously yummy .....
ciao for now
l i g a - kvk

bumper car syndrome and beyond

It's all been kind of swirling ... feeling like something of a muddle ... no clear direction ... no clear motivations ... move forward a step or so ... slam into something borderline annoying ... fall back two or three ... turn back around into what feels like a bumper car ride or moving head on into a gale force wind or being trapped in a riptide ... stop and go and stroke, stroke and just slog on ...

I haven't been keeping up with blogs, have started multiple books and can't find anything I want to stick with.  I haven't done much of anything that requires a lengthy conscious engagement, visually or intellectually.  I just haven't been able to focus on anything for any length of time.  Where I've tended to go on-line has been Pinterest ... small bursts of visual juice without human interaction.  I've made brief visits over to Facebook and will post a sentence or two ... so I haven't been completely out of touch.  More often than not, I have felt like I can't do anything right which, a couple of weeks ago, led to something bordering on one of those nasty dark nights ... laying in bed, sobbing and lost - poor Dave next to me, worried and equally lost as to what to do or how to help.  The next day, I said "enough."

I applied to an on-line business workshop and got accepted.
Make Your Mark - Tara Gentile is team teaching with Adam King.  I told them in my application,
"I believe my best future lies in ... developing a new business model that supports direct and very personal relationships with shops and individual buyers."  I told them, "I want to be called on my sh*t and embrace my full potential."  To myself I said, I have to stop doing the same things I've been doing for the last four years, all the while hoping for different results ... btw, that's my favorite definition of insanity.

The class started on the 9th and goes for 12 weeks - 3 weeks on, 1 off.  Each month is a different focus - first is personal, second is purpose, third is product. It's small ... not really sure, but I think there's no more than a dozen women enrolled.  We have homework.  We do Skype conference calls with this background chat thing that's taking some getting used to.  There's FB interactions and office hours with more Skype instant messaging.  I am so out of my comfort zone ... but that's the whole point.

This past week, our assignment was to record interviews with our most ideal customers.  For me, I added in business owners as part of the mix.  Picture little old me, miss anti-social, serious hermit person ... conducting three face-to-face interviews and one over the phone.  One person I didn't even know before this past week.  Adding complexity to this assignment is my absolute unwillingness to ask anyone for any help or pretty much anything.  My underlying m.o. has always been, don't ask because you won't get it ... I have to be 100% self-reliant.  Needless to say, with this new adventure, that's getting tossed right out.

On top of all that face time and hard core human interaction, Cara talked me into attending two local art events, the Project Handmade fashion show and a Handmade In America (HIA) social to launch their IndiGoGo fund raising campaign.  It gets crazier ... I joined HIA and signed on to be one of their "ambassadors", which means more human interaction and further expanding the boundaries of that old comfort zone.  

Then, on Friday, I hauled off an emailed a jewelry designer in Paris, asking if she'd be willing to share how she's built her line of one-off jewelry into an international sensation.  Okay, so I haven't heard back and I have serious doubts that I will actually hear back at all, but I asked and it's a start.  

As for my work ... I've got a bowl full of Talisman components waiting patiently, I've filled a couple of orders, one being a pick box of the steel Urban Primitive pieces (I did mention that in my last post).  It took a bit to get back in the flow of that work, but I'm really pleased with the results.  Not sure what all she kept.  I'm kind of hoping this one comes back ...

And then another crazy-making component of this past week's outings ... whatever on earth was I going to wear?  I can't believe how much sleep I lost, my mind racing ... running through my closet over and over and over.  I have a very spare closet and it turns out that my normal 'go-to' pieces no longer fit ... you see, I've lost 17 pounds and most of my clothes are now way too big - that's a lot of weight on a 5'2" frame.  I do know this is kind of a nice problem, but that didn't help when I was trying to assemble 'put-together' looks.  I will say the outfit I wore for my interview with local style icon, Constance Ensner, was my favorite.  I don't have any pictures, but see if you can visualize this ... a very crisp and tailored, black Brooks Brothers dress shirt with French cuffs, layered with a Cara May asymmetrical black linen knee length tunic, over Japanese selvedge denim jeans (an eBay steal for 25 bucks!) with my Fiorentini/Baker brown oxfords, topped off with one of my chunky Urban Primitive Pieces and steel/linen earrings.  That seems to be what 'my style' is turning into ... a mix of tailored and edgy, bargains and consignment store finds with well-crafted, handmade goods.

Then for the HIA social, I swapped out the tunic (so's Cara and I wouldn't be twinsies) for a light gray, vintage Lilith tailored linen knee-length coat ... one of my favorite consignment store finds from Port Townsend ... that used to be a bit snug and now fits.  I woke up on Friday morning with an idea for a new necklace using some of my recent haul from the gem show.  I bought a bunch of raw lapis in this crazy electric blue.  Joanna Gollberg was at the same vendor and going for the same thing ... she allowed as how she just wraps the big chunks up in a towel, takes a hammer and whacks away.  Sounded like my kind of lapidary work ... lord knows I love whacking things.

The main idea though, was for the pmc components.  I wanted to make tapered cylinders and coordinating tube beads and rings, take them straight out of the kiln - no polishing or tumbling, chuck them into a strong liver of sulfur solution until they were a nice color, add a couple of layers of Renaissance Wax and call it done.  I got up Friday morning, ditched my exercises, went straight for my vegan/spelt blueberry muffin and multiple cups of PG Tips and set to work.  By mid-afternoon, I was assembling the components.  I added some unpolished raw bronze and a rather spectacular Basha bead and, lord mercy I've got to say, I think I came up with a show-piece ... the Moon Goddess.  I'm hoping that, over time and through being worn, the surfaces will develop a 'personal patina' and the raised areas will start to have a bit of a shine.  Whaddaya think?

Here's a close-up ...

So, where I am today ...............
I still don't have a bloody clue where I'm going or what's next.  Mainly, I'm using this model from Danielle ... just doing what I'm inspired to do.  I don't have any holiday orders to fill (every time my new rep goes on a road trip, she ends up in the hospital - not a promising trend), or shows lined up and I don't have anything new to list on Etsy, well unless I decide to list the Moon Goddess.  I've got a homework assignment that is making me cross-eyed.  I'm letting it rest for a couple of days and will dive back in tomorrow.  Times like this, I'm always reminded of Geoffrey Rush's character in Shakespeare In Love ... how will this all work out?  "I don't know, it's a mystery."

All I can do is face the wind, put my head down and keep moving.
Onward ........

l i g a - kvk

p.s.  and just so's you know, I really am in a better place and for a wee bit of a Sunday chuckle, I'd like to offer you a bit of Christopher Walken.

23 September 2012

recent acquisitions and diversions + the haircut

It's a gorgeous first day of fall ... cool and crystal clear.  And what have I been doing?  Grocery shopping, laundry and making juice.  The laundry is close to being done so it seemed like a good time to share some recent finds, personal trends and diversions.

My most recent acquisition came on Friday and what a yummy deal it was ... 9 yards of vintage indigo homespun hemp or kaya/mosquito net from Japan ... forty bucks!  Okay, so the color is not very deep, but it's a lovely steel blue.  No idea what I'll do with it, but I knew I would surely regret not getting it.

Also in the fiber world ... my regular person stopped selling sari silk and very graciously suggested a different shop - JMozart.  The espresso and deep ocean skeins are even more gorgeous in person.  And I was relieved to find a couple of cones of my dark brown EuroFlax linen at a yarn shop in Maine.  It's a smaller size fiber, but much better smaller as I can easily ply it to the thicknesses I need.

Yes, I'm still deep into my chocolate and indigo obsession ... but there are certainly worse things to be obsessed about!

Another vintage treasure is this sweet little bottle I found at the same antique mall as the kaya - seven bucks!  It has a wonderful patina and will make a great little vase or prop for my jewelry photos.

I've also scored some good finds at the local used book store (Downtown Books & News - DBN) - especially nice as we still have a trade/credit balance.  Years ago, back in the early days of the Nick Bantock craze, another author put out a sweet little volume that is still one of my favorites ... Barbara Hodgson's Tattooed Map.  I knew she'd done other things since then, but none had crossed my path until this one ...

... The Lives of Shadows is now waiting patiently for me to dive in.

An ongoing interest has been sacred geometry and DBN had a couple of books to get my inquiry started - Drunvalo Melchizedek's Flower of Life books.  Then I remembered one I'd seen a while back and found one of those Amazon threesome deals - Quadrivium + 2.  Thinking a full perusal will be a winter project ...

Then for some further inspiration, I went on a Kiki Smith binge.  I found a copy of the DVD documentary, Squatting the Palace for a whole lot less than it's listed right now.  She's such an inspiration ... definitely an excellent role model.  The film is short, but really well done ... leaves you wanting much much more.

So I've been having a really hard time settling in to work.  I thought it was just me, but I've read a couple of fall astrological reports and it seems the universe is having an equally crazy time.  When I sat down to my worktable yesterday, I decided to consolidate my desktop juju.   Not an arrangement for the long haul, but it feels pretty good right now ...

And for an extra challenge, one of my shops wants a pick box of the Urban Primitive steel pieces.  It's been months since I worked with the steel.  I threw in the added challenge of trying a different version, made up a bunch of pieces and kept my fingers crossed with the firing.  Well, the first few pieces I fired did not sinter at all ... not one piece.  They all crumbled.  I went back to Hadar's blog and her insanely long instruction booklet and may have figured out the problem.  I'll try again tomorrow.

And then there's the haircut ...
So, this is from one of our staycation hikes in the beautiful Panther Town Valley.  Even with the hat, you can see that what I had was basically a fat triangle of hair ...

I didn't take any pictures of the between cut.  Nothing against the stylist, but it just wasn't what I wanted.  So here's the after ...
the side view

the back view

and the front of lil' ol' me

Like I was saying before, it's not so much a hairstyle as a haircut.  And since my hair has a fair amount of natural curl, getting it to look chopped up is not easy - it ends up just looking layered.  But, it's a whole lot closer to what I want and as it grows out, I'll chop it up some more.  You see, it's actually quite a bit shorter than I originally intended.  Thing is with that razor - you can cut a lot of hair really fast ... before you realize what you're doing and golly, if I didn't just take out a sizable chunk from the left side and then have to cut everything else to go with that empty space by my chin.  So, it's a start.  The fear is gone and, as I transition into fall, I'm looking forward to tackling a few more of my fears.

Okay, the last dryer load is about done and I'm heading out to sit on the porch, enjoy this nice afternoon and maybe finish my novel - for the second time - Shadow of Night.  This is #2 of a trilogy and I don't think she's even started on #3 ... gonna be a long wait for the conclusion. 

with deep gratitude and heartfelt blessings ........
l i g a - kvk

16 September 2012

the edge

Been in hiding for a bit ........
I'm pretty sure that much has transpired.  New samples were designed and made, put into a presentation for the rep and shipped off - that took up much of August.  There was our staycation which included beautiful hikes and some lovely day trips.  I did have a burst of inspiration hit, thinking that was a couple weeks ago ... not sure ... and made a handful of over-the-top pieces, a couple I listed on Etsy straight away, the last of them finally got listed yesterday.   They're not for the faint of heart .........

Many themes and ideas for blog posts have come and gone ...  But mostly it just seems like time has passed and I'm not sure what all I've done ... feels like my brain's been in a dense fog.   

I did make up and fire two big batches of bronze components this week ... that's one of the few things inspiring me ... making piles of nuggets and discs and cylinders.  But today, my intention was to work on Talismans ... I've got a slew of components made up.  They've been waiting patiently, but the inspiration wasn't flowing so they'll have to wait just a bit longer.  Some things I can nudge along ... forcing the Talismans would be a large mistake.

So to do something and feel productive, I started cleaning out my fresh haul of agatized bamboo ... oh yeah, I got a pick box from the vendor.  I still don't have tons, but I've definitely got more than eight.  Most of them have plugs of hard ol' red clay that I drill out.  It's a messsssy messy process ...

I got all of them opened up, but still need to do a final cleaning.  Red clay dust leaking out onto nice clothing would probably be a bad thing, so I'm soaking the pieces and will do some more cleaning, well, I guess I'll see when I get back to them.  It's that lingering foggy problem.

So about that bronze inspiration ... Yesterday's firing went extremely well - out of more than 100 grams of bronze, only one or two pieces didn't sinter.  Today's question was to polish or not to polish.  I do love the way they look straight out of the kiln ... ever so wabi-sabi.  As of right now, I'm going with not polishing.

What I keep wanting to do is make more big, over-the-top pieces.  I've got bits of ideas floating in my mind ... just bits and pieces, nothing specific.  But what got me this afternoon was this monochromatic palette ...... I've no idea where this will lead - maybe nowhere - maybe something amazing.  But I do love the look. 

Mostly I've had a pervasive and fairly strong urge to look for my ever elusive edge ...  do things out of my comfort zone.  I've been creeping along, testing the waters.  A big one was cutting my own hair.  I've always wanted to just chop the s**t out of my hair.  I just got a haircut last week, but it wasn't what I really wanted.  So I went to the beauty supply store and bought a razor and went for it.  I'm quite pleased with the results ... it's definitely more chopped up and, according to Cara, "it doesn't look like a hairstyle."  Exactly what I wanted. 

Now that I've conquered my hair cutting urge, I want to keep testing my boundaries.  Where I'm going with my jewelry feels like a total mystery.  Only a couple of things are very clear ... keep working on designing and making my own clothes and I'm going to finish designing my forearm tattoo and have it done.   

Moving through my fog ... to-do lists are useless.  All I can see to do for now is follow my inspiration and intuition.  Right turn or left, I won't know until I get there.  It feels like an ongoing leap of faith ... trust in the universe and look for opportunities to do good work ... in all aspects of my life. 

Resistance is futile ... take a deep breath and let go ......
l i g a - kvk 

13 August 2012

just a quickie ....

......... because I don't have much time and really need to get dinner going and I'm dying to write a really juicy post 'cause I've got a whole bunch of things to share - thoughts and new work and inspiration and ... well - lots ... but it's going to be a few days.

So for now, a quick preview ... I finally finished the first piece using some of my new treasures.  Here's my Amber Goddess necklace.  It's going to be next week before I have time to list it on Etsy and I just couldn't wait to share.

There's steel and bronze metal clay, jumbo nuggets of rutilated quartz and amber (thank you Andrew!), some of the fire etched agate (amazed to discover they're translucent!) and of course the yummiest piece of the agatized bamboo - a long and graceful cylinder ... all on antique brown leather with a bronze pebble closure and leather and linen wrapped cushioning at the back of the neck.

I'm thrilled ... hope you agree.

One more day of work for me and then we're on our 'staycation' through the weekend ... short road trips and eating out and chilling for a few days.

ciao for now!
l i g a - kvk

08 August 2012

can you help ...

... an on-line friend and fellow Ashevillian in need?

Patti Digh's given so much to so many ... really glad I can do a little something in return.

sending love and prayers to Patti, John and the girls .......
l i g a - kvk

26 July 2012

where to start ......

....... it's been such an extraordinary week.
The Etsy Anniversary sale was a great success.  That success provided funding for a psychic consultation (a great story) and an amazing haul at the gem show (the story continues) ... so a huge huge thank you to my Etsy following ... I am so very blessed.

First the story of the psychic. 
I know, for myriad reasons, we've all lost touch with people in our lives.  After 13 years (maybe longer), I just reconnected with a dear friend.  I've tried off and on through the years to find her via the internet.  Back when we were in touch, she was working for her brother's backpack company, Osprey packs (world class, top of the line packs) as well as building a photo journalistic portfolio with a focus on child labor in India and building an adobe house in SW Colorado with her new husband.  We last saw each other when she came east to do a series of technical workshops for the packs.  I road along ... a glorious week of chatting and traveling.  Back in February, I took another shot and there she was. 

Rachel and her family, husband and 2 kids, had moved back to her home town of Santa Cruz, CA.  Along the way, she'd gone back to school and become a counselor.  Turns out she's also been developing her psychic gifts through the years as an added component to her counseling skills.  I emailed her straight away and waited and waited.  No idea if she'd gotten the email or if she was interested in reconnecting.  Then a few days ago, she emailed me back!  I burst into tears when I read her email ... I was absolutely overcome.

It's a teeny picture, but here's my long lost friend, Rachel Pfotenhauer.  Further emails were exchanged and, after my wonderful sale weekend, I decided to splurge and see if she would do a reading for me.  Not being particularly patient, I thought it would be helpful to do the reading before heading to the gem show.  It all fell together perfectly ... yesterday afternoon we did one of her full readings.  I've had my horoscope done with a private reading and I've had two other psychic readings, one in person, one distant - I wrote my questions, she sent me a tape of the reading.  Rachel's currently in Kauai, so our reading was over the phone.  Basically, I was blown away.  This was hands down the most thorough and coherent reading I could have hoped for.  Throw in reconnecting with a dear friend and it was about as wonderful as could be.

A big part of the reading was about my current work - All One Talismans.  The message was clear, brace myself and get ready, these are going to be big.  I asked if there was any advice on things to look for as I wondered through the gem show ... the answer - black something, maybe obsidian and something that looks like tiger's eye.  Basically, just listen to my intuition and I won't go wrong ... and stock up!

So stock up I did!  Here's my superb haul ...

I found some amazing things.  The 'tiger eye' stones I found are way more interesting than plain old tiger eye, they're fire etched agate ... I got a bunch!

The black ended up being black tourmaline nuggets along with some very dark kyanite and some African coconut discs.

I got a bunch of really excellent aquas ... some very cool Chinese turquoise (I just love those thin squares), apatite nuggets and a variety of aquamarine shards and nuggets.

Then there's the greens ... vesuvianite shards and more Chinese turquoise.

I got more nuggets in browns and some rich russets and red ... from right to left - African amber, scapolite, garnet, hessionite garnet and sunstone.

Then there's this very cool find ... apatite nuggets that I'm going to top drill - they're in the 1 to 1 1/2" long range.  I bought six ...

But hands down, the coolest thing I found was agatized bamboo.  I've never heard of such a thing.  But they are amazing ... and hollow!    They make a wonderful sound when they clink against each other.  I just need to clean out the cores.  I bought eight ...

Normally, the gem show is one of my big social events of the year.  Today, I wasn't so much anti-social as supremely focused ... a focus that paid off in spades. 

The mystery component of the Talismans arrived in the mail today ... experiments will ensue, the big reveal to come ... not sure when.  But stay tuned, 'cause like the song says, "I'm just so excited!"

l i g a - kvk