Monthly Archives: April 2007

Thank you

ben 4 months, Canon Digital Rebel XTi

Dear Ben,

I miss you even though you’re in the other room.

I steal glimpses of photos of you on my computer while you sleep and my heart melts and leaps and does twirly loop de loops… Maybe I’m missing you in advance because I know you are going to be with a babysitter today and I’m just a wee bit nervous about that.

Really nervous.
In fact, you are probably not going to be able to go past the park on the corner. This is so I can check up on you at any moment and make sure you’re okay.

Lately you have been seriously checking out your hands. Down with toys! Up with hands! When you wake up in the morning and I bring you in bed with me, it’s the very first thing we do. We examine your pudgy, white, little starfish hands. They are amazing! We marvel at all of the grabbing and reaching they do and how delicious they are to suck on. Today you kept doing a mini me Dr. Evil thing with your pinkie in your mouth that made me laugh. Do you know how funny you are?

And then you remember your voice! You clear your throat with a few grunts and hmmm… hmmm…. and then off you go! You have a high, sweet, soft voice. You don’t project too much yet, just soft coos and shouts that sound sometimes like “Hi!”

Did I mention how cute you are?
This part is simply ridiculous.
You are the cutest baby I have ever seen. Not that I’m biased.
But seriously, you are so cute that people always stop and look at you. Like that lady yesterday in the post office from New Jersey.

Lady: Oh my GAWD Frank. Take a look at this.
Frank: What?
Lady: Take a look at this baby. OH MY GAWD… How old is he? 4 or 5 months?
Me: 4 and a half months, yes.
Lady: Oh my gawd Frank.. Do you see this?
Frank: Yes, I see. You’re never going to see that baby again Helen.
Lady: Look at him smile Frank… Do you see?
Frank: Yeah, yeah. I see. You’re never going to see that baby again, do you know that?

There is so much I want to tell you… about the way you laugh when we sing you that song that daddy made up, or how much you love going to mom and baby yoga and how you follow the teacher around with your eyes so you can get her attention and give her flirty smiles.

Should I tell you that you love the world so much that you want to be awake all the time? or should I mention that you are a big fan of the ladies and smile at every girl that passes you by? (the dudes pique your interest but you are very suspicious and you stare them down for a long, long time…) Maybe I should mention that even though you’re not much for sleep you are always mellow and smiley and sweet as can be. I think it’s safe to say you have charisma. Really, you do.


Anyway, Ben, there is so much to tell you I don’t even know where to begin. I want to tell you about how much we wanted you, how we dreamed about you for so many years and tried everything we could think of to bring you into the world. I want to tell you about Dr. Rinaudo and his italian accent and how he said, “I feel very optimistic for you” and how that gave us exactly the right amount of hope we needed to keep going when things were so hard for so long. I want to tell you that you are our perfect boy who came at exactly the right time.

Every time we see your face all we can say is Thank you thank you thank you…

oh the cuteness

ben 4 months, Canon Digital Rebel XTi

So I have to admit. One of my favorite things is to dress the little guy in the morning. He is ridiculously cute in everything of course, but I have been splurging on some special things for him… After all, he is an internet supermodel.

I was gifted a dandelion jumper from Speesees and love it so much that I ordered a few more things from them yesterday. This is a fantastic San Francisco company that uses organic cotton, fair trade practices and is sweatshop free. It’s worth it to me to pay a bit extra to a company I admire so much! Not to mention their clothes are simply the coolest.

Then there are the socks by Trumpette that look like little Converse…

And another favorite is Little Lark… Ben has the organic hat with the bird on it.

a little interview

hot pink blossoms, Berkeley, CA, Olympus Epic

Kristine Mays asked to interview me this week for a school project and I decided it would be fun to post my answers below:

Survival Skills And The Artist
1. When did you begin thinking of yourself as an artist?
When I was a kid I drew, painted, and danced my little heart out. I’ve always thought of myself as an artist or creative person.

2.. When did you begin producing artwork? What was your initial medium?
Everything I do now (making jewelry, drawing, painting, taking photos) I have literally been doing my whole life. This is how I know I am on the right track!

3. What are some of the non-art related jobs you have had that have allowed you to exercise your creativity?

Selling clothing at a boutique in San Francisco. Since we worked on commission and I hated the pressure and focus of that, I played a game with myself each day. My intention was to have fun with each person that walked through the door…this made for creative ways of approaching people when they came in, creative ways to have them feel comfortable, and made for more fun and collaboration with my co-workers. (Things can get pretty catty with a team of girls working on commission!)

Once, a man and his wife walked in the door and even though they were dressed conservatively I suddenly had a vision of the man in the most outrageous lime green vinyl jacket we had in the store. I walked up to them with the jacket and said, “This might sound crazy but I’m a wee bit psychic and I see you walking out of the store wearing this jacket. Isn’t that weird?!” They laughed and agreed to try it on. He looked amazing in it and I commented that it made him look like a rock star. They giggled and said they’d like to buy it.

A few weeks later, I was looking through Spin magazine. The very man I had helped was pictured… He was in the band Garbage, and was in fact a rock star.

4. Do you find it difficult to balance making art and being a mom? How do you work with the complexities of this?

So far, I find balance by working with the tiniest of slices of time. It’s amazing what you can get accomplished in 45 minutes when you’re a mom! I also prioritize my creative work over things like doing the laundry, checking my email, or other chores. Those things can wait; they always eventually get done. But your creative work? It takes commitment. It is easy to say you don’t have time for it… if you don’t give yourself that gift, no one else will.

5. Have you hated your work before? If so, please tell me about that experience.

Luckily, I haven’t ever hated my work. The first few years were difficult financially and there were times when I felt really lonely and afraid. Every day I had to recommit to my work and my dream. It was tempting to give in to the voices that said, “This is NEVER going to work! Are you crazy?” I felt like quitting a lot of the time… Looking back, I SO honor myself and the courage I had at that time to keep going in the face of very little money and success. It is one of the things I am most proud of.

6. By your own definition, what does it mean to be an artist?
I’ve always had an aversion to saying that I am an artist… It somehow sounds pretentious to me. I suppose I don’t believe it is an exclusive thing. I believe that everyone is an artist in their own way. I prefer to say that I am a creative person or that I am somethihng specific like a painter or a photographer.

If I had to define it, I would say that it is about finding our unique voice. We all have a voice that is meant to say something special. It is a practice, a discipline, and a lifelong pursuit to get out of our own way and let that voice come through.

7. Do you have any advice for working artists? I always like to say “Follow the Fun” as a general rule. Whatever calls to you as fun will likely lead to the most joy, creativity and ultimately success. We often hold unconscious beliefs that work should be hard or boring or, you know, like work. People are always saying things like, “They don’t call it work for nuthin! or, It’s a job!” I encourage you to create a job that you would truly do for free. Don’t paint with oils when you really want to use crayon & glitter; don’t shoot weddings when what you really love is to photograph dogs. When you choose to be a working artist you are bravely taking a leap of faith in the name of doing work you love. Make it your dream job, for real. I believe this is the key to true success and fulfillment in your work.

My other tidbit of advice to any creative person is to take your tools with you. If you are a photographer, carry your camera with you all the time. Take photos on your lunch break. Take photos of your co-workers. If you like to draw, keep a sketchbook in your purse. Draw the people on the bus during your commute. Draw your baby while they nap. If you’re a writer, definitely have a notebook in your purse. Or index cards. This is a great way of getting down little ideas and thoughts and scenes. Don’t wait to “be creative” for when you get home or you “have the time.” Ha!. Make it a way of life. It is who you are anyway.

Photo tip: I have been shooting a lot of photos with my little Olympus Epic film camera. It takes incredible photos and is only about $75. I adore this camera. (Don’t get the zoom version of this camera however; the optics are not as sharp.)

the hyper-efficiency gene

matt and ben, Canon Digital Rebel XTi

No one told me that when you become a parent you actually inherit a brand new gene – the hyperefficiency gene! My friend Stef came over to take Ben for a stroll and in two hours I got a ridiculous amount of work done. It was as if I had 25 arms. Who knew you could check your email, chat with your sister on the phone, design some jewelry and pump at the same time?

Now I understand why women are the multi-taskers in the family. I had no idea how much time I whittled away doing only ONE THING AT A TIME. What a waste!

I’m actually kidding about being an advocate for multi-tasking. In theory I believe in doing one thing well, with presence and focus. Trouble is, in my new world I have already let go of so much of the doing of my life (brushed teeth, combed hair, answering the phone, not to mention creative projects, photography, blogging) that when I have free slices of time I am a doing machine. And it feels great.

I heard an interview on Fresh Air years ago with the Pulitzer prize winning author Carol Shields. Somehow she raised five kids while she was writing her books. Terry Gross asked her how that was possible. She said that every time the babies/kids took a nap she knew she had one precious hour to write. She promised herself she would complete 2 pages in that hour each day. 9 months later her book was complete.

This story inspred me long before parenthood. As creative people, we spend an inordinate amount of time setting the stage for our creativity. We go through all of the reasons in our mind why we should just quit because we SUCK WAY TOO MUCH to be writing/painting/designing/etc. We spend hours getting our studio just so, getting “inspired” (read: surfing the internet, one of my faves), catching up on email, and doing just about everything but getting our creative work done.

With much less time on my hands I am hopeful that my creative projects will still fluorish. They will be done in the smallest of slices, but that is how I prefer to work anyway. And now that I have inherited the gene for hyper-efficiency nothing can stop me.


little dude is 4 months old, Canon Digital Rebel XTi

Wow! You all are keeping me very busy with orders! Thank you… My apologies to everyone I haven’t had a chance to respond to yet. My goal is to get everyone their jewels by Mother’s Day so wish me luck!

More transmissions soon…

*Dude onesie made by Richele Silva

Superhero shop is open for a limited time!

my gorgeous pals in their superhero jewels, Canon Rebel XTi

I have a confession.

I have been selling a limited number of superhero necklaces on the sly since my maternity leave. It all started with the fabulous Melissa Summers of Suburban Bliss wearing one of my pieces on the Today show. So many folks wanted to order so I created a secret link… It was a great experiment to see what I could pull off with a baby in tow. (Answer: So much less than I imagined!)

Nevertheless, I miss working with those colorful bits and spring is coming and so is mother’s day… so the shop is open for a limited time! (free t-shirts for those who order two necklaces)

When little Ben is crawling all bets are off. No more tiny glass beads that look like candy floating around the house. It’s possible that I will reopen for the holidays but if you’ve ever wanted a superhero necklace, I would suggest getting one now! This motherhood thing indeed changes everything, even the things I didn’t imagine.

Huge thank yous to everyone who has shopped with me over the years! And if I may be so bold as to ask, please let your friends know to order their superhero necklaces soon as well…


stripey guy, Canon Digital Rebel XTi

Where I’ve been traveling these days:
Design Mom(yummy eye candy)

Jen Lemen (always inspiring)

Jinky Art (the most inspiring kids photos I’ve seen. The color is edible and so are the kids.)

Chookooloonks (I adore Karen)

Portrait Party Rama’s excellent creation.

(We just decorated Ben’s room with a painting from Baby Muse, a piece from Penelope, and a painting from Deb. He has quite an art collection forming)

Ali Edwards (I want to be Ali when I grow up)

Boho girl (brave friend)

Jonatha Brooke’s new album has finally been released. Hooray! Give a listen… it is amazing.