Archive for 2014

Getting Off The Grid

Friday, May 30, 2014

The drive to Sequoia National Park // California
I can't wait until everyone is on Steller because it's a great way to share stories. I love being able to add video and text to an image. I learned about it from Jenna at SweetFineDay. If you sign up, be sure to follow her because she posts recipes that are so much fun to watch/read/see.

Sequoia National Park // California
It was our anniversary this week and we got off the grid for a bit.

I made a tiny Steller book for the occasion, but you'll have to download the app on your computer (or phone) to watch the video snippets. I suppose it makes sense that they would create an incentive for you to download, although I wish it were easier to view the books in their entirety across all devices. It's worth it though. The whole experience of watching stories in this way feels like you've dropped into Harry Potter for a bit. Is that too dorky? No matter. It's a fun app.

The Log House Lodge // Three Rivers, California


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Sutro Baths  //  San Francisco, CA

There has been a lot of self reflection lately. This is the 8th year that I have been doing business as Prismera, the little jewelry brand that grew out of a desperate need for a creative outlet.

I had been out of school for 3 months when a hiring agency called me for a position doing data entry for a private label garment company. I was told there was potential for a hop into the art department but did I really want to create allover prints with characters from the Simpsons or Spongebob? None of the skills I developed at RISD seemed usable in the real world. (I was wrong.) I didn't understand then that it was only the beginning- I felt like a failure, like I didn't fit in with the rest of the world and that I had let my alma mater down. Like I had let myself down.

The first pieces were made using basic techniques I had learned from Youtube videos. Really simple stuff, made from wire and crystals (prisms, hey yup). I pored over Adobe How-To books at Barnes and Noble, because the Photoshop course I had taken less than a year ago was completely useless. I needed an online store. I needed a WYSIWYG. When you can't afford help, you learn to do everything from scratch and beg for information from people you barely know. Thank you, Mr. Hanson.

I looked for mentorship and found other women who were doing what I was doing, sprinkled across the US. Took a proper basic metalsmithing class- breathed toxic fumes, sliced and burnt and ground my fingers many times over. Played with molten metal. Began to develop the style of work that I ended up staying with for many years. It started as brass, then sterling silver, then stainless steel. Multiple outside forces came together- the recession was the largest. But I was hungry, literally and figuratively, and I was going to make this happen. There was no safety net.

Scarfshop  //   Muji  //  Mane Message

So. At first it was just about rebranding because it was time. As that process continued, there was an itch to change more. There is so, so much to come and I cannot wait for it all to be public but right now, I am reveling in the minute decisions that need to be made. Prismera is getting a complete makeover and it's both bittersweet and very, very exciting.

When the new year started, we took a couple trips into San Francisco proper. There was this strong desire to escape without going too far a distance. I needed to be close to the ocean and to feel small. I love that we ended up here, at the Baths- and with the word symbolizing cleansing, renewal- those trips turned out to be a harbinger of what is to come.

That is pretty cool.

The Watcher

Friday, January 17, 2014

I participated in an ornament swap last month.

Handmade Sea urchin Jellyfish ornaments

These guys are made with urchin shells, bits of sparkle yarn, sequin strands, and beaded thread. I wanted to photograph them all together before sending them out into the world.

Handmade Sea urchin Jellyfish ornaments

It wasn't long before I felt someone's eyes on what I was doing.

Nervous cat with Jellyfish ornaments

Nervous cat with Jellyfish ornaments

It's all right, Herbert. I have this under control.

A Grateful Heart

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Fresh oysters
Mission Street Oyster Bar, SF

My parents raised me with the mindset that I should strive to do what makes me happy, to be 幸福. Translated, this term means "happiness". The feeling is deeper than what happiness might imply though, and leans closer to joy. Over the years, the choices that have set me on the path to 幸福, both voluntary and involuntary, have not always been obvious.

Sunset over Napa
Sunset over Napa.

Somehow, all those little winding paths, occasionally forked or fractured, have culminated in this utterly wonderful present.

My fluffy kitty on my shoulder
Attempting to teach Dorothy, unsuccessfully, how to stand on my shoulder.

I don't want to be presumptuous enough to suggest that anyone should take my advice. But I do know this for myself: a grateful heart leads to joy.

A content boy in a bookstore
At Strand, NYC.

And I have so very, very much to be grateful for.

A sweet Persian cat face
My ever melancholy Herbert.

Happy new year, everyone. May your 2014 be filled with as much promise as I hope mine will be!