Saturday, January 1, 2011

happy new year!

you might want to grab a cup of tea; this is a long one.

after taking a break and closing the etsy shop for almost two weeks, i had intended to return from my respite and be productive. however, my holiday turned out to be quite damaging and when i returned home, what i needed from my time out in the shop was not productivity, but therapy. if you are a regular reader of this blog then you know that when i am suffering the number one best remedy for me is to transform raw material into something beautiful. so i have spent my time this past week creating pieces that were slow and steady, with a lot of attention to detail and a lot of meaning. each of these three necklaces took one whole entire day out in the shop to make. and i feel 100% better than i did before creating them. i have found some clarity and reached some very painful but necessary conclusions this week. it occurs to me now, as i am sharing them with you, that they may have very little meaning to anyone other than myself. i hope that is not the case; i believe the emotions i have been struggling with are universal, and i suspect you can relate to what i am trying to convey with these necklaces.

the first one is the "because of you" necklace,
with garnet and aquamarine

this piece is in honor of my beloved husband. because he has put up with me for so long, and been there for me through so much, and loved me unconditionally, no matter what. i am so lucky to have him, and i too often take him for granted. when i need him to be strong, he is solid. when i need him to be tender, he is gentle. when i need a sounding board, he listens. he is an incredible father. we have worked so hard together. he is the balancing force in my life and i am so grateful for him, especially now.

this piece is very large and heavy. the image was actually inspired by a ukrainian folk art egg. and the quote on the back is from one of my favorites, herman hesse.

from narcissus and goldmund.
have you read it?

after teaching and before the days of silver sparrow designs, i had many odd jobs. i was a bartender, a babysitter, a caretaker, a resale shopgirl, a health food store clerk, and a barista. throughout all of those jobs i also worked for an old german woman. i did odd jobs for her, cared for her garden, and helped with her animals. she had a very old horse, goats, sheep, chickens, alpacas, and llamas. she had one llama that was really special. her name was dolly. (dolly llama. dalai lama...) she was so sweet. she was the first llama that i ever knew and i grew to love her. the alpacas were always hissing and spitting at me, but not dolly. ever since then, i’ve had a special place in my heart for llamas.

this here is dolly. she is peaceful and strong. she believes in herself, despite all of her quirks and idiosyncrasies. she trusts in her strengths, even if they often seem like weaknesses. she stands up tall and asserts herself, even when it’s not easy to do so. and she’s not afraid to voice her opinion, even when it’s not a popular one. she’s so proud and somber and demure, with her big ol’ blinking eye.

llamas are a symbol of secure footing, of perseverance while under a heavy burden, of standing up for yourself, expressing preferences and distastes that are not generally approved of. wear this necklace and let her remind you that you have all of these qualities.

the "be who you are" necklace,
with opal, pink peruvian opal, pink tourmaline,
llama, and flowers

because it is one of my very favorite quotes of all time, i put on the back e.e. cummings’

to be nobody but yourself, in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.

and this is the "sweet, sweet mountain tranquility" necklace,
with an incredible crazy lace agate

this one was inspired by our cabin solitude.

in the mountains, the middle of nowhere, no electricity, no cell reception, no wireless service, absolute tranquility. total removal from all of the day-to-day stresses. time to just be and to focus on what is right there, and what really matters.

this necklace is for you, so that you can experience that state of mind, that tranquility, whenever you want, whenever you need it.

this is the "ruby mae" ring,
with, you guessed it, a ruby.
(it may actually be a star ruby, but i can't say for certain.)

it is named after the felice brothers' song:

her name was ruby mae
she danced the cabaret
such a lovely girl was she
that ruby mae

in the open window breeze
she pulled her stockings
above her knees
such a lovely girl was she
that ruby mae

on a lonely winter night
i followed her under christmas lights
so low down was i
to ruby mae

in the bitter morning air
i hid her body there
in the heart of old times square
so she'd not lose her way

her name was ruby mae
she danced the cabaret
such a lovely girl was she

this ring is dark and mysterious, like the song. it is heavily oxidized and the extra wide band has a lot of texture.

rubies are said to light the darkness of ones life.
they also encourage gentleness and discourage violence.

i tell you, this is one powerful ring.
glenn says it looks like someone in harry potter should be wearing it.

i also made a new resolve ring;
this labradorite is fabulous.

i made the original resolve ring this time last year,
to help you with those new resolutions.

and speaking of resolutions, i am taking a tip from my dear friend rachel this year. in light of everything else that is happening in my life, more than ever it is clear to me how important it is to just be present with my family, with my girls.

as much as i want to stick to the other resolutions, like comb and braid the girls' hair every night before bed, and keep the house clean, and limit the amount of time i spend on the computer, i know that what really matters is that hazel and june go to bed every night knowing that they are loved and cherished. at dinner last night, i asked hazel if she had any resolutions she wanted to make. she asked me what a resolution was and i told her it is something you can do to make your life better. she said "actually, i can't do that because i love everything about my life."

in other news, we finally had a really magnificent storm. at least two feet of snow.

it has been amazing.

and today i finally got to go ski my boggy draw trail.
it was so incredible, just what i needed.

i hope that you are all well, that you have enjoyed your holidays and that you ready for the new year! i am on my way to put all of these pieces in the etsy shop now.


Cinder says said...

Happy New Year Kristi!

Wow! I love your necklaces, so original and beautiful.

I am so envious of your cabin get away. What a wonderful spot.

Lucky you to get that wonderful snow storm! We are waiting for the temperature to drop...50 degrees and rain all day today. Our snow is ALL GONE. : (

Enjoy your sweet family, you are on the right path, hold them tight and love them with all your might.

Tracy said...

Happy '11' Kristie! This blog post brought a tear to my eye. Beautiful.
Blessing for you in this new year.

Metallo Bianco Jewelry said...

So I didn't have a cup of tea...but I enjoyed a cup of hot coffee while reading your post. :) You know, it seems a lot of people that I know (including myself) are struggling right now with life in one aspect or another...but wow...the pieces YOU make while working through it are just amazing. The detail and thought behind each piece really make them so special. I really, really love the llama necklace...I know this is such a small aspect of the pendant, but the two little flowers are just gorgeous. Beautiful work as usual. I hope the New Year brings you much happiness, peace and 'tranquility'!

DalaHorse said...


Love your latest batch...they are beautifully inspiring. The Llama pendant is so lovely...i love the story that goes with it. Also the first piece, quite a size, love the ukranian folk art egg inspiration there. The mountain a page from a enchanting. Liked the pics from your cabin solitude from a previous post...You're far braver than myself....I'm way too dependent on creature comforts. Were having a warm spell with our weather now(Ohio) and all our snow is gone...your snow pics are amazing! Happy 2011! Sue♥

susie said...

It has been an honor to watch you stretch and grow, each new limb marked by an amazing piece of art to share. It inspires me through my difficulties and shines a light.

Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy new year. My resolution is the same, to simply be present here in love with my children and husband, to let myself enjoy the small moments and not drown my mind with thoughts of all of the other things I feel I ought to be doing.

p.s. Particularly love the ruby mae ring (I'm a Susie Mae,and my grandma was Zella Mae). Your work is filled with layers,meaning, textures and color- love that.

Silver Sparrow Designs said...

you are all so very sweet! thank you so much for your lovely comments and support; it means more to me than you could know...

6512 and growing said...

Kristi, you look great. But even more important, you sound clear and resolved and wise.
Your new pieces are gorgeous. I'm glad that despite the disappointments, you do have so much beauty and love in your life.

Emily said...

I LOVE so much what Hazel said about how she already loves everything about her life so she didn't need to make any resolutions. I bet that just melted your heart into a little puddle when she said that :)