Posted by Rebecca Stone on October 17, 2011
Oct 172011

Due to a recent family illness, my cats and I have relocated to the beautiful — yet often drizzly — Oregon Coast. Los Angeles gave me a 90-degree send-off, which endowed the move with qualities akin to walking through quicksand in the NINTH CIRCLE OF HELL. Thank the Lord for Oz’s support and the kindness of my friends, kindred spirits all. And had it not been for my sister, who flew in to help on that last day, I may have set my hair on fire. As a result of all of the art and jewelry-making supplies, plus regular stuff I managed to collect over 20+ years, we crammed a 10-foot U-Haul as full as we could get it and still were able to roll the door up and down without too much of a struggle.


One of the many waterfalls on the Oregon Coast.

With my two cats riding shotgun between us, we hit the open road, spending the first night in Ventura (having left town in the early evening). By the time we got to Northern California the next evening, STORM WATCH 2011 (or some such thing) was in effect. This basically amounted to a light drizzle. It felt wonderful. We spent the second night in Benicia (really cute little town, for those who’ve never been).

My cats seemed to be enjoying themselves — so many hotel rooms to explore. And thank God for those pet-friendly places. The Best Westerns we stayed in have the beds sitting on boxes so the critters can’t get underneath to hide. But there are still plenty of things to jump on. By night two, my male cat, Stevie, having slept in his carrier all day, had stored up massive amounts of energy and started running around, meowing with abandon — at 3 a.m. So much for a good night’s sleep!


Stevie not in motion.

Making a long trip like this into a conversation marathon is practically undoable. At least for us. I mean, who has that much to say? Really? Watching the scenery glide by is nice, but thankfully we brought some audio books to distract us from the odometer. By the time we reached the Oregon border, we were well acquainted with Julia Sweeney and Carrie Fisher. Bless them.

We stayed the last night of our journey in Ashland. It was the first time I’d stayed there without going to see a play. Of course, I had a whole evening’s worth of entertainment courtesy of Stevie, who amped up his act to grand finale status. So I stayed up much of the night, cat on lap, working on an assignment that was nearing deadline, hoping to give my sister a chance to sleep so that at least one of us could drive the following day.

We made it in one piece (speaking figuratively, of course, since there were actually four of us plus my stuff and the truck). After an arduous unload (I wonder how many calories we burned…) and a final assist on a couple of heavy pieces from my sister’s husband and his friend, our adventure was complete.

Of course, for me, the fun was only half over. As I write this, my “studio” is a catastrophe — boxes and, let’s face it, STUFF everywhere. “But I’ve already made several trips to Goodwill, the library and have donated to the Viet Nam Vets and the SPCA!” I whine in my defense. It looks like a few more trips to Goodwill are in my future. But that’s OK (I keep replaying what my friend, Linda, said like a mantra: “It’s just stuff…”). I figure 20-some years of life crammed into a 10-foot truck isn’t bad, really. In the past month I’ve let go of a lot of stuff. At first, it hurt. But the more I let go, the easier it’s gotten. Of course, there are things I’ll never want to give up — but not as many of them as in the past. Maybe it’s midlife crisis, but letting go is starting to feel good. Let’s see, what next…. maybe I should cut my hair or just shave it all off? Losing weight would be nice. I guess it’s like purging. Starting fresh. And besides, the extra room will come in handy for more jewelry-making supplies — like the torch I just bought!

More Pairings From The Field

Posted by Rebecca Stone on June 1, 2011
Jun 012011

Life has been taking me in a few different directions lately, so it’s been a while since my last posting. Before Spring fades into a distant memory, I thought I’d better share a couple more pieces inspired by my walks in the hills. Both use semi-precious stones and Swarovski crystal to create the blossomy, sparkly effect: flowers after rain. Both pieces are currently listed in my Artfire shop.

citrine and crystal necklace

Pairings of honey-colored citrine and deep fuchsia Swarovski crystals, some suspended from delicate silver chains, remind me of the tassley flower sprays borne by the Coast Live Oak trees that dot the hills around L.A.

coast live oak blossoms

Coast Live Oak in blossom.

Feathery ceanothus flowers and buds.

blue lace agate and Swarovski crystal

I found inspiration for this two-strand necklace in my own backyard. Ceanothus flowers offer shades of powder blue and dusky pinks, set off by dark stems. Here the look is reflected in blue lace agate, black onyx and Swarovski crystal.Feathery ceanothus flowers and buds.

Mar 292011

Happy vernal equinox! We’ve been getting some rain here in Hollywood lately, and it’s so inspiring. What can I say? I’m from Oregon. I get excited when the sky goes slate-gray. Anyway, I got to looking at raindrops shimmering on blades of grass out the back window one morning, while brushing my teeth, and thought, “Hey, that looks like a necklace draped in crystals.” Next thing I knew I was snapping photos of all the weeds, wildflowers and garden cultivars I could find.

Swarovski crystal, tourmaline and tourmalinated quartz
I call this The Fairy Princess of the Hollywood Hills necklace. It just looks like something a fairy princess would wear. And I can see the colors of jade plants and wild grasses that dot the hills up here reflected in its colors. The 16-inch piece is composed of Swarovski crystals, tourmaline and tourmalinated quartz, punctuated with Miyuki seed beads and hung on drapes of sterling silver chain. A delicate explosion of variegated color.
grass and jade plants

Jade plants tinged with the blush of the new season clutch the ground under an arc of wild grass dripping with liquid diamonds.

For the last couple of weeks, whenever there’s been a break in the weather, I’ve been grabbing my camera and heading outside. My travels have taken me as near as my own yard and as far as Griffith Park (which is really just up the street). Thanks to the precipitation, the park is ribboned with fast-moving streams (as opposed to the usual slow trickle) and waterfalls. Yes, even in the heart of Hollywood, we have waterfalls! After my shooting safaris, mud still wedged into the treads of my boots, I rush to my studio to design necklaces. I mainly use semiprecious stones and Swarovski crystals in my effort to reflect the colors I’m seeing, some complete with “raindrops.” Each piece is combined in some way with sterling silver, which, I think, imparts the look of dewy gossamer. The result, I think, is quite nice. I hope you’ll agree. Stay tuned for more. Additional wildflowers are emerging every day — as are design ideas.

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