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the chronicles of a wondering artist

I just read an article that is completely elating. I don’t know how to describe it. This is the stuff that fantasy adventure novels are made of. I can’t quite explain why this article gave me so much hope for the world and quite frankly, hope for me in my day to day struggle to live a significant life. Without messing it up for you, click here for an astounding story. After reading it, if you get what I mean, we’re kindred spirits. If it does nothing for you, that’s okay. It’s all good.

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photoI finally feel like I’m turning the corner with this new medium that I’ve been working with. I know, that was vague. I am working on a post to talk about it more in depth.

It’s taken me over a month and a handful of failed projects to get to a significant turning point today. That is not to say that today was a fail-free day in the studio. There were some projects that ended up in the recycling bin for silver.

I also found a really cool vendor to collaborate with on some of the ideas that have been floating around in my head. Even though working in solitude has its amazing benefits for a personality like mine, it really makes me happy to work with people who are efficient, creative and capable.

That’s all she wrote.

 

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My grandmother had an apartment in Downtown Los Angeles. As an eleven-year-old whose family just situated in very Korean Korea Town, visiting my grandmother in not so Korean downtown LA felt very novel and very American. She lived there until she passed away in 1997.

Downtown has changed dramatically since then, and because I really didn’t visit her that much, I had long forgotten where exactly her apartment was. Since about 5 years ago, because of my growing enthusiasm for Los Angeles Kings, amazing new restaurants that kept popping up around Staples Center and my new craft – jewelry making, I have been frequenting downtown more than ever before.

Not long ago, I took my mom with me for supply shopping in jewelry district. We were about to cross an intersection at Olive street to where my supplier was, when I said to my mom, “I wonder where grandma’s apartment is. I just don’t remember anymore.” My mom stopped me right there and literally pointed to the building next to us and said, “This one, right here.” Boy, talk about something hitting you like a ton of bricks. I recognized the building instantly even though I had passed it many times in the past without realizing that it was my grandmother’s apartment. A flood of my childhood memories washed over me along with a shock of realization that so much time has gone by since those days. I’m no longer that child just as clearly as downtown is no longer what it used to be back then. A lot has changed since.

I looked around the gentrified, vibrant and beautiful city and thought to myself I hope I also have changed for the better. What else could you hope for as you grow older with each passing year?

Sometimes I feel like I have never grown up even though the numbers reflect that I should have by now. Certain things happen in life, in everyone’s life that really has a reaching and altering effect. And then you seem to circle and circle in the world that the consequences have created for you. To some, it’s a good thing and they grow and thrive in that world. For others, it becomes a big waste of time – years and years.

These days, I often think about “the rest of my life.” Maybe because my dad’s passing last year is still getting me thinking. I wish to have clear sense for what it is that I’m supposed to do for the rest of this life. I want to build a good one. I want to speak the truth. I want to stand up as I am.

What do all these things have to do with this post announcing new items in my shop? Haha, I don’t know. It just came to me as I started typing.

Living honestly. Not that I lived a lie or that I’m suggesting that I am a deceptive person, but simply creating things with my hand and selling them to people who like them; quietly standing firm in what I believe in and the way I want to live my life and what I expect of others; and not making myself small or even invisible for the sake of other people’s momentary feelings; these are becoming acutely important to me as of late.

The worth of a person is often determined by observers around them, but in reality, the only person who has the right to put a price tag on you is yourself.

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If I told you this is accessible from our backyard, would you believe it? It’s true. Well, kind of true. We don’t literally step out into this, but this trail and the hills are right behind our casa. All we have to do is put on our hiking shoes and start walking up.

There are many mornings that we would decide to go up this 7-mile round trip hill, and without a fail we would find deer and coyote tracks. Often, on foggy mornings, we’d end up peaking above the clouds. This hill and the likes are some of few reasons why I can’t seem to leave California. I think I wrote a little bit about that sometime ago.

After poking around for some race websites, I have decided to sign up for Verdugo Hills (our backyard) 10K. It feels a bit daunting whenever I look at the elevation chart. The last time that I’ve attempted anything similar to it was the Tough Topanga 10K couple years back. Verdugo, Topanga, Pasadena, Tujunga… If you ever wondered about these funny sounding words for cities, hills and streets of LA County, those are Tongva native American tribal words. They were here way, way before we even started building the 110 freeway.

I haven’t been running much, if at all, since LA Marathon, so this 10K will kick my lazy butt back in gear.

Boston Marathon is coming up soon, everyone. I am so excited about it. Not only because it will make a statement against last year’s atrocity, but also because my two running heroes are back in the elite fields this year. Shalane Flanagan and Ryan Hall are back and back with a vengeance this time. I CAN’T WAIT!!!

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In reality, things look quite messy in my studio. I was hoping to turn out some exquisite items by now, but I’m still learning, and not everything is going my way. After a solid day of wrestling with silver, I ended up with what appeared to be a metal splinter in my pinky.

The tiny little thing, it was impossible to pull out. After messing with it with tweezers for a painful while, I decided to take a long shower until my fingertips got wrinkly. And then I clipped out the flesh around the metal. Yeah. I won’t irritate you with the details of how it felt and what it looked like, etc.

Slow going. Kind of getting me depressed. All I want to do is make an honest living with things that I create. I will get there, right? Gotta have faith.

When we met years ago, we each had a senior dog–his was a chocolate lab, and mine, a Siberian husky. The two old pups were never interested in playing together. They sort of stayed aloof and respected the other’s space. It’s been a while our dogs passed away and we often talk about getting a new one. A puppy? Another lab? Rescue a mutt? These discussions never amount to any action as we both end up agreeing that we still are not ready for a new pet.

We are perfectly aware of the commitment it takes. We know that we will and can make a dog’s life super happy, but somehow, we both know not now, not for awhile. But we will one day, for sure.

So until then, we will find ourselves wandering through a local humane society just to daydream about the prospect some more, over-zealously admiring other people’s dogs or going to goofy canine events such as one pictured below.

Dogs are the best.

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