It had to happen eventually. After a long, gloriously warm and clear Indian Summer, the cold winds of winter have blown in. The fresh herbs in my kitchen garden are sad, soggy heaps. I’m wearing my Uggs every day, and the down jackets are now hanging “on call” by the back door by the gloves and hats. The sun’s arc is low and far to the south, shorter every day. Brrrrrr.

What became of November?

I lurched through November and into December, an itinerary of stops and starts in quick succession, alternating weeks in and out of town. Way back in early November, Craig and I went to the Atlanta Contemporary Jewelry show, this year held at the Carter Center, a beautiful 30-acre park-like setting which houses the Jimmy Carter Library and buildings for various other functions. Apparently too busy talking to customers, we missed President Carter, who strolled through the show with his wife.

A couple of shots taken on the grounds of the Carter Center, Atlanta.

We jokingly posed for a friend’s snapshot at the show, and it didn’t come out too badly! It is a small, intimate show, fun for both artists and attendees. I enjoyed visiting with both old and new customers and friends.

Super Moon!

We returned home just in time for the super moon phenomenon. The closest high point is Holmes Lake, an artificial lake in the middle of town which provides an island of nature and tranquility when you want to get away from it all but don’t have the time.

Perfect evening for a peaceful pre-moonrise walk.

Ta da! People waited at the top of the dam for an unobstructed view of the moonrise, and it was as splendid as promised.

Bopping back to Boulder

The day after Thanksgiving, I jumped in the car and zoomed out to Boulder for a weekend with a couple of my college friends who still live in Colorado. What a treat to spend time with friends you’ve known for decades! They’re like family, and Boulder is my second home town. We’re already plotting a 10-day hike in the West Highlands of Scotland for next September, so the visit was also an opportunity to strategize.

Jumping for joy to be back in Colorado!

Soundsuits

I don’t always make the time to see what’s happening with the arts here, so it was time for a field trip to the University of Nebraska’s Sheldon Museum of Art, a small but fine art museum housed in an elegant Philip Johnson building. One of the pieces I love in the current exhibition relating to “Identity in Flux,” is a Nick Cave soundsuit.

An artist whose work is a combination of sculpture, installation and performance, Cave intends his soundsuits to “conceal race, gender, class, forcing the viewer to look without judgement.”

Though not as flamboyantly colored and embellished as many of Nick Caves other soundsuits, I love the restraint in both design and color which made it easier for me to focus on the textures and craftsmanship involved in its construction.

The Overview Effect

This term was coined when, after astronauts first saw the Earth from space, they were profoundly moved by “the perception of the interconnection of all life, and a reinforced desire to take care of our one and only home.” Photographer Benjamin Grant has, more recently, created an Instagram feed called Daily Overview, with his composite satellite photos showing the effect of human activity on our planet. The result is a series of gorgeous photos displaying amazing colors and designs– but the real story is how those images illustrate what we’ve been doing to the planet.

My daughter, Nora, just sent me this beautiful book for my birthday, aptly envisioning it as a design source and as a fascinating perspective on our physical world.

A start on 2017

In the studio we’ve worked all fall to build up one of a kind inventory for shows. For a little while we’re taking a hiatus from that to focus on new Designer Line pieces. Narrow, easy-to-wear cuffs have been popular, so that’s one direction. Designing is an evolutionary process. At least for me, I can’t sit down and say “ok, I’m going to design my 2017 line.” It happens in small steps, working out new ideas and improving on existing ones. By February, I’ll be ready. Here are a few so far.

Vine cuff, also available with diamonds.

Narrow Intersection cuff, a simpler, more casual version of a wider cuff.

Feliz earrings

Feliz cuff, with 3.5 mm sapphire

Pearl oval earrings

Feliz necklace. 36″long, it can be rearranged on the body in various configurations.

Finally grabbed that carrot!

When you’re self-employed and live where you work, to get away and relax you need to go somewhere. As a year-end reward, I’d bought plane tickets for New York, but after rushing through shows in DC and Atlanta, enduring a stressful election, and with birthdays to celebrate, a better idea floated to the surface. We traded in the New York tickets, packed bathing suits and beach clothes and…..

There we were, back on Tulum beach just a week ago. It was all I wanted: warm blue-green water, soft white sand, no TV, a hammock for reading and snoozing, falling asleep to the monotony of crashing waves. The biggest decision of the day would be where to eat. While traffic and tourism have changed the area for worse, our favorite little hotel is still the same.

Craig contemplating the morning from our veranda.

The front “garden” right on the beach.

Mexico’s colors and flavors are vibrant and inventive as always. Here’s a sampling.

At a taqueria in town.

Tulum Cemetary

Blue gate

Hand-embroidered pillow covers.

There’s always a happy hour!

Birthday sunrise.

Beach architecture.

Mayan spin on the jackalope?

While Caribbean blues are still in my head, I’ve been designing several tropical-inspired pieces. You’ll be seeing those in January.

Wishing you all a very happy holiday season. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or prefer to simply enjoy friends and family, here’s to you! Thank you to everyone who has reached out with an email, or has come to see me at a show, or called in an order. Whether you’re making, giving or receiving handmade jewelry, ultimately it’s all about connecting with each other.

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