Toasting to Love

Hello, My Sweets!

It has been a wonderful week in Portland. The sky was grey most of the time, but the week whooshed by unencumbered by it. 
Valentine's Day was wonderful here, and I hope yours was, too! David and I fixed up a huge amount of home-made sushi and seaweed salad, finished off with wine and local chocolate truffles from our favorite truffle maker, Missionary Chocolates. Honestly, it was the best Valentine's Day I've had in long time.

My study load has been steadily increasing--this semester I'm taking Art History, Nature & Culture (which is right up my alley, dealing with the nature and culture of us, the world, everything), Digital Tools for Artists (which is definitely teaching me new skills and ways of looking at creating art in different ways), and Drawing. It's all very 2-D, and honestly, my body is aching for some metalsmithing. 

I'll be teaching a workshop to high schoolers in a month, so I'll definitely get some metal work done between now and then with prepping samples and such. I'll keep you all updated! 

What's new in your world?

On Forgiveness: The Healing Power of Anger

I think, and write, about Forgiveness a lot. Personally, I believe that it is one of the most important experiences of ones life, and something that we should continually be working at.
I also think Anger has a lot of importance, especially when it comes to healing.
There is a lot of anger in my heart right now. After months of waiting & wondering, feeling any number of emotions from guilt to self-blame and beyond, I finally got closure the other day in the break-up of a friendship. While there may not have been an actual explanation, it was a response, and one I needed. I had given myself permission a few weeks ago to feel angry about this, and immediately felt relief. This response just proved to me how right I was, and how much better off I will be in my life without that particular friendship. But, it still hurts. A lot.

The anger I feel ebbs and flows, fluctuating depending on my situation and surroundings. It is certainly not all I feel--I am constantly countering it with forgiveness, but I know the importance of really feeling anger to help heal and move on. 

In a situation where one person is hurt by another, especially in break-ups, I have often seen (and felt) that person feeling a mix of anger and an attempt at being understanding and forgiving. Unfortunately, this often results in the hurt person putting the other persons feelings first. I often advise my friends to let themselves feel their anger--they can come back to the good feelings later, because those won't go away, but that frustration and hurt needs to come out in order to remember how freakin' awesome we are.

Anger allows us to remember how to stand up for ourselves. Saying that, I do have to make the point that when I talk about anger, I'm talking about internal anger. I'm not advising that you take your anger out on anyone else. What I am talking about is that moment when you pause, and think, "you know what, screw them. I am amazing! I deserve better than this!" That is the moment that you take back your power, and really start to move forward.

I look forward to the days when I can reflect on my friendship and smile. I really do. It was good. But until then, I am going to remind myself that I am amazing and that I am better off, even if it doesn't always feel like it (fake it till you make it, right?), because we all deserve better.

One of the keys to forgiveness, as well, is to really let go of that anger when you're ready. If we hold on to it, we're only hurting ourselves. Feel it, move forward, let it go, move on. It is a tool, not a way of life.

I know my ramblings about forgiveness don't have a whole lot to do with metalsmithing, but I hope they help someone out there. I'll soon be sharing how I am utilizing forgiveness and positivity in my artwork!

Like Starry Night Skies

I made these for you...
They remind me of sleeping out on the porch during summer, staring up at the stars, attempting to name constellations that I could never remember...
The Big Dipper, Orion's Belt, Ursus...

When I moved to Australia 11 years ago, one of the most jarring experiences was looking up at the night sky and not seeing The Big Dipper.
But soon, I found The Southern Cross. It made my heart swoon.

These gorgeous earrings and necklace are made from Australian Boulder Opal, and shine like the night sky. They're in my Etsy Shop!