Monthly Archives: November 2008

Holiday Sale*

$20 dollars off all bead necklaces!

For a limited time (and while beads last) all superhero bead necklaces will be on sale for 20 dollars off! Come and get your superhero treats early this year.

Happy Thanksgiving…

I am so grateful for each and every one of you. This community has nourished me through so many phases of my life. We have cried together and celebrated together. I treasure your stories, your wisdom and your incredible kindness. So glad you are part of my world.

a fish that has nothing to do with this post*

fish, aquarium, Seattle, Canon Rebel Xti

Some early morning transmissions from the universe:

Go slow. Be even more patient than you think you are capable of.

There is plenty of time.

The grass always looks so green over there until you hear the real deal, with all of its missteps and imperfections. We feel comforted by the real deal because it resembles our own messy lives. It is okay to be comforted by this. It is okay to let go of the facade that our pastures our green and manicured. We are more capable of connection when we let our messy truth be revealed.

Left to our own devices, we will make up the worst case scenario in our heads.

When you are feeling low in spirit, fragile and insecure, sometimes the best thing is to harness the warrior energy in you. Do some yoga, get into warrior pose, do a dance, run around the neighborhood. In the last few days I see how much strengthening my body can strengthen my spirit and help me to access the sleepy, but very powerful energies that exist. After you have honored the grief, the sadness, the disappointment, try using your body to literally lift your spirits.

Get a life.

This is an expression I don’t like so much… but it came to mind as I am writing. When we are obsessing, wondering who likes us, where we belong, if we’re going to be okay, if they’re going to call us back, if we’re ever going to be a success (sound familiar?) we are in full-on icky 7th grade gremlin mode. When we get a life, that is, when we connect to what we are really about, when we connect with what we are really wanting, when we honor who we really are in the world, those voices feel small and petty.

Get a life, better said, is more like “What are you passionate about? What did you come here to do? What is the big picture? What are your gifts? What are you really wanting?” and begin to inspire yourself. Take one step today to start doing it.

“I recovered my immense will to live when I realized that the meaning of my life was the one I had chosen for it.”
– Paolo Coelho

things that give you hope*

Trust cards from Jen Lemen, otherwise known as Lovebombs: A unexpected burst of goodness and hope.

Pure magic in music. This made my heart heart burst wide open.

Brene Brown’s birthday message.

Rebar’s inflatable street furniture: Bushwaffle

Sometimes by David Budbill

tomatoes, Pike’s Market, Seattle, Canon Rebel Xti

“Sometimes” by David Budbill

Sometimes when day after day we have cloudless blue skies,
warm temperatures, colorful trees and brilliant sun, when
it seems like all this will go on forever,
when I harvest vegetables from the garden all day,
then drink tea and doze in the late afternoon sun,
and in the evening one night make pickled beets
and green tomato chutney, the next red tomato chutney,
and the day after that pick the fruits of my arbor
and make grape jam,
when we walk in the woods every evening over fallen leaves,
through yellow light, when nights are cool, and days warm,
when I am so happy I am afraid I might explode or disappear
or somehow be taken away from all this,
at those times when I feel so happy, so good, so alive, so in love
with the world, with my own sensuous, beautiful life, suddenly
I think about all the suffering and pain in the world, the agony
and dying. I think about all those people being tortured, right now,
in my name. But I still feel happy and good, alive and in love with
the world and with my lucky, guilty, sensuous, beautiful life because,
I know in the next minute or tomorrow all this may be
taken from me, and therefore I’ve got to say, right now,
what I feel and know and see, I’ve got to say, right now,
how beautiful and sweet this world can be.

Heard this on the Writer’s Almanac on NPR yesterday morning and it gave me pause… I was struck by how much I’m not living the life that David Budbill describes… that this romantic thought of harvesting tomatoes and drinking tea in the sunshine seems like some quaint little fantasy reserved for a book or a poem.

It reminded me though of all there is to enjoy about the world, all the things that are around us all the time waiting to be noticed and savored. Bright red cherry tomatoes, tropical fish, an 8 pound baby boy called Cosimo that a dear friend had yesterday. Ben’s giggles as he runs down the sidewalk, leaves turning and crunching underfoot, a hot pink sunset over the bay, a ride on my bicycle to work. Maybe the trick isn’t living that life but creating little moments to savor along the way.

What is there to savor in your world?


Caroline, Canon Rebel Xti

You may not know this, but I have a supersister! and her name is Caroline. Perhaps it was something in the water supply in Los Angeles where we were born, or maybe something the hippies were smoking in Santa Cruz where we were raised, but we both grew up to love beads and to make jewelry. We were those ten-year-old girls with the teeny tiny seed beads and dental floss making the dangly earrings so popular in the 80′s.

Times have changed though, and Caroline is launching a brand new online store called Ruby Loves. I wanted to give her a shout out today in celebration! Her work is really beautiful, so go take a look!

Angel Superhero necklace + Sale!

Nicole Socia, Angel superhero necklace, Canon Rebel Xti

Nicole Socia, Angel superhero necklace, Canon Rebel Xti

After a long hiatus, the Angel superhero necklace is back! just in time for the holidays. If you want to get your sparkles on, this is the one…And isn’t Nicole beautiful? I loved photographing her…

While the beads last, I will be offering them for a special sale price of 79 dollars (regularly 99) We could all use a little help these days, right?

More good things:
– An essay about being Titi Mayra to her friends with kids, by my pal Marya Padilla.
The Weepies have gone muppet in their most recent music video. I totally want a muppet version of me and Matt.

harvest party*

Marcia’s hands, McEvoy olives, Petaluma, CA, Canon Rebel Xti

On Saturday I had the pleasure of going to a harvest party at an olive ranch in Petaluma. As a guest to my dear friend who is a food writer (she was fabulous on the Gayle King show last week!) I often get to do some amazing things, and being invited to this party was no exception.

Imagine a ranch full of olive trees, organic gardens, an art collection that rivaled most museums, and a frantoio where the olives were pressed (with two enormous wheels made of marble that rotated and spun and crushed the olives into a beautiful green and purple pulp) The smell in there was so alive and fresh it was intoxicating.

We had a gorgeous sit down meal with beautiful cheeses and bread (with olive oil of course), polenta and roasted vegetables, and finished with vanilla gelato drizzled in fresh olive oil.

Marcia, McEvoy Ranch, Petaluma, CA, Canon Rebel Xti

As we picked olives, I contemplated the idea of a harvest party… and realized that I spend lots of time thinking about what I’d like to create in the coming year, the coming season, the coming week, but rarely consider the seeds I have already planted and celebrate the reaping or harvesting of those. It begged the birthday question: What did I harvest this year? What seeds did I plant? and did they come to fruit?

Mostly, I planted seeds of strong marriage and partnership this year, a healthy happy boy, and a balance between my work life/creative life and being the best parent I can be. All in all, a good harvest and lots to celebrate. There were also seeds I planted that may not come to fruit until next season or perhaps next year… and this metaphor somehow helps me feel more patient about those.

What seeds did you plant this year? and have you seen them fruit?


Jonatha Brooke, Andrea Scher, photo by Thea Coughlin, Canon Rebel Xti

Birthdays are a funny thing. They are often a trigger for people, a marker of something… their beauty, how far they have come in their lives, how much they are loved. This could be good news or bad news depending on how you feel in your pretty little head.

I notice that each year I have my own complicated relationship with my birthday and how I celebrate it. For a long time I insisted on parties. I loved to gather lots of people, not to be the center of attention so much as to see, to make visible, how I am loved and who I love.

It has taken me nearly 37 years to realize that I don’t actually like having parties though! and often feel a bit sad afterwards, like I didn’t get to really connect with anyone in the blur of faces and chaos, and that hosting left me slightly anxious and stressed.

I am inspired by my friend H’s process with birthdays. Each year she has tried something new… One year she decided to have a huge party and design it exactly how she wanted. She planned each aspect of the bash down to her cake. She realized like I did last year that controlling each aspect of the celebration didn’t allow for others to give to her and something was lost.

The next year she decided not to plan anything, and guess what?

Nothing happened!

This made for a sad birthday…

The following year she decided to invite people she loved to spend time with her at different parts of the day. One friend came over and cooked her brunch, another came by to do a sewing project with her. Her husband’s gift (at her request) was to help her complete every unfinished project she had in the hopper (the chair she was going to refinish, the drapes she was hanging, etc) Another friend took her out to dinner. All in all, it was a great birthday.

This year, she had a sudden intuition to walk a labyrinth. I was inspired by this! and hoped for the same kind of intuitive hit for how to spend my special day this year. But nothing came.

This morning I went to Nia dance class for the first time in ages. As I moved, I realized how much joy, frustration, and energy I had to dance off and release. For the first time in a long while I felt alive and that’s when the intuition I had been waiting for found me: This year is about making alive choices.

In the spirit of that, I plan to shake my booty with some dear friends and family on Sunday at Slim’s. Jonatha Brooke will be performing! and I’m pretending it’s my birthday party but I don’t have to host it. If you are in the Bay Area, you should come on by too.

How do you celebrate your birthday?

yes we can*

Obama sticker, Chinatown, SF, Canon Rebel Xti

I’m a bit giddy about it all.

The Bay area is all aflutter today and it feels like a holiday, like we shouldn’t be working but instead parading in the streets or feasting together and banging on pots and pans. As we drank champagne last night with friends and cried and hugged each other, it felt more like New Years eve than election day.

I’m sure not all of you voted for Obama, but I hope that we can all be inspired by his message of hope and our shared vision for a more peaceful world. I thought McCain’s speech last night was very gracious.

I will be crying many tears of joy today; every time I hear Obama’s acceptance speech I am so moved…I hope you are celebrating with me and feeling the excitement of this new day. Off to go bang on some pots and pans!

election day*

prayer flags, Santa Cruz, CA, Canon Rebel Xti

Because my friend Maya said it so well…

This day opens
I don’t think it is possible
to want too much.
The morning isn’t even here
but already my heart is racing.
We can’t always make sense
of what we yearn for, but the act of yearning
is what keeps everything alive.
Even the silence of 2 a.m. is full of promise.
This day opens like a poem
waiting to be written.
Maya Stein

Now go out and vote!