07 June 2019

.tiny observations from a tiny cottage.

I moved into a tiny cottage yesterday in the foothills of the Cascade mountains. It feels like new beginnings, a little bit of stark freshness of my modern apartment in Portugal, a little bit of the Ecuador in the surrounding of deep lush green, a little bit of the openness and silence of my house on the hill in Malawi and even a little bit of that feeling when I moved back to the PNW after 2 years in Ecuador - I guess it’s all the energy greeting me again. Maybe I’m finding my energy again or maybe it’s just showing me I’m where I need to be right now. These tiny little moments always greet me, new and so familiar.

Do you ever have those moments when it all feels connected?

It’s a wonderful little cottage with lots of big windows and every window has a view of green, nature fully surrounds the house. It makes for the best morning shadows painting the walls with leaves and branches when I wake up and slowly drifting around the room while I drink my morning coffee. Last night the wind came in strong gushes around the house making the trees sway and move about in unchoreographed ecstatic dances. Reminding me why I like to live surrounded by nature, you are constantly reminded of the beautiful of it all, even in the tiniest moments. 

01 January 2019

.happy 2019.

2018 was a year of unexpected journeys that took me from the northeast to the southeast and the northwest - known + unknown places offering new lessons and new layers of awareness. Every time I became tired and confused and frustrated it seemed like the universe whispered "stay open" and and asked "what are curious about?"

As I transition into 2019 the potential is based on the ability of letting go of these boxes I put myself in and allow myself to tune into my voice and listen to who I am becoming.

As for AEO, this past year I spent much more time teaching than making and it felt nourishing to connect with and guide aspiring metalsmiths begin to craft their voice into the language of metal. I also made two brooch series translating places into metal, learning how to capture a moment - tell a story - hold a place.

Thank you for being a part of this unknown + beautiful unfolding. Happiest of 2019 to you and yours!!

27 November 2018

.staying open.

It’s been a wild unexpected year - I left Central Idaho at the beginning of September 2017 and drove cross-country back to New England. My stay was short only a few months until a new opportunity presented itself in Western North Carolina so I drove down at the end of March.

From the outside it might look like many things - it might look like a nomadic adventure but internally I found myself frustrated over and over again by things “not working out” or finding that the anticipated path curved to a new unknown direction. This has happened with every move. So now as I am in that place of geographical transition I have felt waves of frustration that it didn’t work out or go as planned until I started listening a little close and seeing/hearing those signs that are always waiting for us. I listened to a podcast with Liz Gilbert talking about how beautiful and magical and unknown life is as it curves and winds and we can’t let fear lead us on this journey.  The next day I saw a friend's picture who is serving in the Peace Corps Morocco, a friend I served with in the Peace Corps with 10 years ago and I felt such profound gratitude, nostalgia and heartache thinking about my time in the Peace Corps. It was the most unexpected journey of my life. I landed into the unknown and it pushed, pulled, and guided me through to find a new more vulnternable more open and more compassionate being. These culminating moments help remind me that it’s not my job to judge my journey but to be present- to listen - to let go of expectations and follow where I am led in order to allow life to let me be the person I am becoming.


I made a small collection of earrings inspired by this moment + idea of staying open to the unknown + unexpected. 

See more in the AEO etsy shop.

24 September 2018

.full moon in aries tea.

Words, Recipe + Inspiration from Steph Zabel:

"I trust that I know the truth for myself."

Trusting ourselves involves connecting in to our own power and taking action with confidence. But before there can be trust there must be truth. Trust -- above all -- involves truth, honesty and integrity.
It can be challenging to trust in the external world as there are many illusions that surround us -- many people and situations certainly prove themselves to be untrustworthy.

But despite what happens in the external world we can always cultivate a deep trust in ourselves. And if we all work on trusting ourselves then the world becomes a more truthful and trustworthy place.
Just as you can only trust another person when you know they are telling the truth, you can only trust yourself when you are completely honest with yourself.

When you doubt yourself you move around in confusion and shadows; when you trust in yourself you clearly see what is right and true for you. 

With this moon tea you can affirm: 
I trust that I am exactly where I am meant to be. I trust that life -- my life and all of life -- is unfolding exactly as it should.
 I trust that I make the best decisions for myself. 
I trust that I know the truth. 

Keep these statements in mind as you make the tea, and especially as you drink it...

(Calendula officinalis)
~ to center us in our power ~

(Crataegus spp.)
~ to offer support & comfort when we feel self-doubt ~

(Foeniculum vulgare)
~ to help us clearly see what is true ~


(Rosmarinus officinalis)
~ to remember who we really are ~


~ Take the herbs above and place as much or as little of them as you feel is the right amount into a clean glass jar. (As a starting point I usually use anywhere from 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of dried herbs per 1 cup of water.)

~ If you don't have all of these herbs, it's ok. Use what you have. You can used dried or fresh herbs. Everyone's moon tea will be a little different. 

~ In the evening pour pure, room-temperature water over the herbs then let your covered jar sit in the light of the full moon overnight.

~ Your tea can steep anywhere the moonlight will touch it. This can be in a backyard, on a balcony, or on a windowsill. Try to place it somewhere elevated and with a clear view of the sky so it can catch as many moonbeams as possible.

~ If moonlight is not able to reach the steeping jar (as when it's cloudy or rainy) that's ok -- the intent behind the moon tea will still be strong, and that's where much of the transformative power of this tea resides.

~ Remember that other readers are placing their tea jars out to steep on the same evening, and send them telepathic greetings and well-wishes. Keep the intent in mind as you do so. 

~ The next morning strain out the herbs (and compost them, if possible).

~ You can drink this brew throughout the whole next day or all at once. Remember to keep the intention in mind as you drink:

"I trust that I know the truth for myself."

22 September 2018

.autumn equinox.

We meet in the middle the point of transition from the building light to the growing darkness. We still have the summer heat here in North Carolina but the morning light has a new dullness that reminds me the light is fading. I seem to live in transitions - life is just a big transition but I seem to like to jump into dramatic transitions, hungry with deep curiosity and the reality that I seem to learn best through swift challenges. I’ve been resisting this transition of moving south but a few days ago en route to a equinox celebration I was overcome by feeling so alive driving through the Blue Ridge Mountains with the setting sun and the peach, orange, fuchsia sky reflecting a golden shimmer on the lush hillsides. I realized that it’s my choice to accept this moment/transition - to be present with curiosity instead of reacting to the insecurity the unknown can bring. It seemed like such beautiful timing with the approaching equinox where the light transitions into the darkness. A time that allows/invites/requires us to dive deep into the darkness (challenge/self) to see what there is - to learn a new layer/level of awareness. 

If I accept this invitation to dive deep instead of reacting/resisting to the darkness how much can I learn? 
What peace can I find? 

The equinox ceremony was facilitated by Katie Vie and she told us of the archetype of the mermaid how the mermaid in all of her wonderful weirdness (authenticity) shows us the beautify of diving deep into the darkness of the ocean. It’s required. It’s an invitation. I realized that if I continue to resist this invitation/moment it will only keep me in a state of stagnancy. To truly continue on a path of learning and self-awareness I need the dark. The darkness is the greatest teacher, if I allow it to be.

15 September 2018

.control :: comfort.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of “home” what it means, what it represents, what it fulfills within us. Home can be a place of deep belonging, ownership, comfort, ritual, knowledge...a place to grow deeper in the way of a long slow practice.

I’ve been frustrated in my new city. It feels hard here. It feels like door are closed and I kept knocking and knocking and I’m tired of knocking. I start feeling frustrated with this place. I start questioning being here because if I’m meant to be here would things open up...wouldn’t opportunity find me? I started to feel like this must be a sign I need to pay attention to! 

This isn’t a new feeling for me. I feel this at some point everywhere I go and live. So on top of feeling like everything is hard here I started to react to the fact that I’m right here again. In the cycle I am trying to change. I came here to change it and it found me, again. 

A few days ago when I was feeling super frustrated I drove out to my favorite place, the arboretum. It’s a magical lush land right on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I walked along my favorites trails and began recognizing my frustration during this time coming out in forms of trying to control my environment. I started to gain awareness that my frustration is really discomfort of the unknown. The ambiguity and instability that surrounds all aspects of me right now makes me yearn for control. So I began to think about home and this desire to have a home to be home. Whatever that means.... I started to wonder if this idea of home is really an interconnected relationship between comfort and control?

Why do we find comfort in home?
Is the comfort found in the control of knowing? 
What is home? 
How do we define home? 
A specific place? 
A landscape? 
A person? 
A feeling?

I mentioned meeting Barbara the Buddhist on a flight a few months ago and when we were talking about “home” we were referring to the West in that conversation. As we were beginning to land she said "when I look out at Asheville it isn’t home but when I see my Husband then I’ll be home". So she’s referring to a “home” landscape and a person. 

How do you define home?

I’m just starting to peel away the layers of this expansive thought. I see the deep potential to learn here, in this place of unknown landscapes and culture. Amongst all this frustration I’m able to see this as an opportunity for deep practice in self-awareness and understanding my tendencies. Im grateful. 

26 August 2018

.full moon tea.

Inspired by the words + recipe of Herbalist, Steph Zabel’s most recent newsletter that contained blend for a full moon tea I am making my very first full moon tea tonight! 

A full moon tea is blended and then soaked in the full moonlight overnight. Full moon tea can be a grounding ritual to help align with the cycle of the moon, a moment to meditate, a nourishing self-care practice to give gratitude, a release of energy of the past moon cycle, a moment to set intuitions for the a start of a new moon cycle, and a hundred other reasons. For me it offers a moment of pause to set intention for the next few weeks.

I connected with Steph’s words: 

"When we are drawn away from our center we lose some of our strength, power, and clarity. We are more prone to anxiety, worry, fear and anger. We have a harder time knowing what is true and right for ourselves. We are more likely to react to external situations rather than respond from our centeredness.
The intent of this moon blend is to return our attention back to our internal world, that place of peace, truth, joy and possibility. This place is our center.

Keep this intent in mind as you make the tea, and especially as you drink it

Her blend included:Wood betony, St. John’s Wort, Sage and Rose. I didn’t have all these herbs so I made my own blend.

|| Full Moon Tea || 

1 tablespoon Raspberry leaf
1 tablespoon Calendula
1 tablespoon Milky Oat Tops
1 tablespoon Rose Petals 

Raspberry leaf, Calendula and Milky Oat Tops are great herbs for awakening the heart and calming/nourishing the nerves and Rose Petals hold a balancing energy.

Blend herbs and place in a glass jar, fill the jar with water and set the jar outside or in window where it can soak up the moonlight! Leave overnight. Strain herbs in the morning and enjoy the tea!