Vacation Review

I'm not really sure where to begin...This was by far the best visit I have had with my parents!  There was mucho quality time, bonding with the new family dog, a mini road trip to the "big city", a Passover celebration with old friends and family, a day full of touring artist lofts and witnessing amazing feats of creativity, and to top it all off I got to spend one very special day at a silver smithing studio which was filled with so much inspiration and mentoring love that I can hardly describe the warm fuzzies I am STILL experiencing as a result of my time there...I'm sure I left out a few other happenings, we'll get to those and many others in the visual review below...

Our first stop on the road was Long Beach and Studio DeLucca, where I spent an amazing day banging and sawing my through a project the likes of which I never thought I could create...The focus of the work was on mastering rivets, which I have been wanting to attempt but had not gotten to yet!

My work station, and "happy place"

Sorting through Khobe's stones to find my "perfect" one

She's HUGE!!!!!


I'm so happy with how this piece turned out, learning to rivet was a great lesson and once I get my mini drill press I'm going to be a riveting machine!  I really love the architectural aspect they add to a piece of jewelry and this particular design, I think is such a cool way to set a stone...Thanks Melinda and Khobe for your amazing mentoring, warm hearts, and for the tips and tricks I picked up!  There's something about the creative space of this studio, filled with inspiration, support and sisterhood power, a sharing of techniques and ideas, that has left me so full of love and respect for my fellow sistersmithers!!!  

Next stop...Old Town Pasadena!  We stayed right off the main drag in old town so there was plenty of window shopping and coffee shop time! We were just a few minutes from Allan and Amy's house where we were going to be celebrating Passover...there were many hours in the kitchen in the company of my favorite women!  There were 18 of us for the Seder, quite a large group...just the way it should be!  It was so great to be able to share this tradition with so many wonderful people.  A few of them, including one of our hosts, Allan have been friends with my dad since he was in middle school in the Bronx.  It's so great to see them all together laughing and sharing traditions together after all the years that have gone by...All in all I think it was the best Seder I have ever been to, the food was amazing and the sister bonding that occurred in the kitchen was monumental!!!!

Another fabulous adventure we had was a day filled with meeting of new family members and then heading out to the Brewery Art Walk in Downtown LA...I do not quite have the words to express how awesome this day was so I'll try and keep it brief and get to the pics!

My cousin Suzanne (in the first pic), and her wife Robin adopted two beautiful children last year and this was my first time getting to meet them...we did a very typical Jewish ritual, the eating of our peoples favorite brunch, DIM SUM!!!!!!  I has so much fun sitting with Tesfanesh (my newest young lady cousin), she is so full of energy, has a contagious smile, and such a happy energy about her!  I made her a necklace of shells I found on the beach, and strung on a piece of turquoise leather...she loved it and I have heard from Suzanne that she has yet to take it off!  Her brother Elsae is equally adorable and quite squirmy...the only place he stopped moving around was when he sat on my dads lap for a few minutes at the end of our meal!  OH those cheeks!  I think he has the longest eyelashes I have seen on a human!

The second portion of our adventure was the Brewery Art Walk, an event that happens twice a year.  In downtown LA, there is an amazing place filled with artists living and working in re purposed warehouses and commercial buildings that used to be the Pabst Blue Ribbon Brewery complex.   There are 11 buildings on 23 acres of property, we were there for 6 hours and probably only saw about half of the spaces.   Not that I can even dream of moving away from here, but if I did, I would want to live in this amazing live/work space filled with so much inspiration and creativity!

Amy, Allan, Dad, Gili, and Mom

I LOVE this one...made from scrap electrical wire!

Love the message on the window, we though it was a cafe among all of the lofts...just another amazing work space!

They made a veggie garden out front and had a cute little sitting area

This guy made the craziest rugs!  This is 100% hand knotted wool rug, his daughter told us it takes 3-6 months to complete a piece!

Wood stain on plywood

Windows hug as a room divider separating the kitchen from the work space

His bedroom loft above the work space and the vintage Cal-Oaks drug store sign from Pasadena.

Add caption
 After six hours of hoofing around the complex we called it quits.  I left this place feeling so amped up on creative energy and filled with the confidence to press on with goals of becoming an accomplished silver smith.   In the past when spending time with other artists, or in looking at the work of others I have gotten caught up comparing my situation with theirs or wishing that I could, "make that, live there, be as talented as them, etc...in other words jealousy.   This is a slippery slope that leads to all kinds of self doubt, questioning my skills, my vision, my goals...not a healthy thing for an artist to do.  In the past year I have really been trying to leave those thoughts behind and rather focus on the feeling of appreciation for the art and creation of others.  I was happy to find that in this situation, I never had those feelings of jealousy, I was genuinely filled with inspiration from the experiences I had that day.  I felt a push to really focus my energy toward my goals of turning this new hobby into a successful business and I think my confidence in my work was bolstered by the experience of being surrounded by so many talented artists!  I am absolutely brimming with ideas, and could not be more grateful for such a fabulous adventure!!!!!!!!

So with one more morning in Pasadena, I knew I had to get my butt down to the coffee shop I had been frequenting every morning.  Let me provide you with a brief explanation...I moved from Seattle, the land of coffee, to Hawaii a few years ago, and while coffee does exist here it is simply not the same.  I won't get into the details and politics of the coffee culture in Hawaii, but I will say this...I have yet to find the perfect Americano in Hawaii.  Among the things I hunt for when I leave the island is the place in the area with the best espresso, and friends, I found it in Pasadena and I drank it every morning.

The stylish and talented baristas who made my delicious morning beverage

 Mom, Dad and I hit the road and headed back to Palm Springs.  I spend the next day lounging and chatting with the parentals, snuggling the dog, and squeezing in the last few moments of family time before heading home to the islands!  One of my favorite things about my parents place is the back patio, and the collection of cacti and succulents my mom collects...so I pulled up a chair, grabbed a stack of magazines and kicked back.  

Now I'm home sweet home, back in the land of humidity and my skin is finally recovering from its shock of 11 days in the desert.  This trip will go down in the books as one of the best visits to SoCal ever! 


  1. what a great view & lovely trip! I am so glad you shared time with us in the Studio..... you are welcome here any time! xo

  2. Many thanks for an incredible day! I look forward to my next visit! Aloha Khobe!

  3. Sierra,
    Now I see your ink, I like the detail!!!! Pretty. That ring is a whopping doozy and I really like the rivets and the extra added textured detail! What a smashing vacation!!!!!!

    Happy Friday,

  4. Thanks sister! I really love it, and am saving my pennies for my next trip to Seattle so I can have the same artists work on it again...As we say in Hawaii, Happy Aloha Friday, hope your weekend rocks!