Sometimes beauty is right under our noses and we don't even realize it. Take a moment to stop and look around to appreciate the small things. Happy Monday!
*Pebbles at the beach in Big Sur
Let me justbegin by saying that I love turquoise, in all forms. Be it tropical turquoise water, clear arctic turquoise lakes or the stone itself, turquoise will always be one of my favorite stones to work with. My latest jewelry designs use turquoise stones, sterling silver and/or gold. Turquoise jewelry is so fun to wear as it can brighten any outfit.
Hope you you enjoy my latest turquoise jewelry designs!
My hubby and I live for adventure, so when some friends contacted me asking if we'd be interested in going to Zion National Park to do some canyoneering, we were chomping at the bit. Gear was prepared, the canyons were researched, the Green Machine Westfalia camper van was packed and two weeks later we were in Zion, Utah. To say that Zion is beautiful does not do it justice. Larger than life sandstone plateaus and canyons were highlighted by the contrasting colors of brilliant green trees and the stained iron oxide rock.
There were these cool roadside stores selling all kinds of interesting stones and rock. I sifted through many boxes of geodes, stones and fossils for jewelry ideas. Split rocks with patterns that looked like sunset horizons, piles of blue glass and agate were everywhere.
Arriving a few days earlier than the rest of the group, we decided to do some hiking and exploring of our own. The picture above was taken from the Angels Landing hike which was an absolutely breathtaking hike for more reasons than the exhausting switchbacks!
Navigating through one of the many subterranean caverns in Pine Creek Canyon. Gorgeous canyon, however, we had to swim through very smelly stagnant water on more than one occasion. Sometimes you have to deal with some unpleasantries to experience such beauty!
The shot above depicts one of the many upward views we had while navigating through the canyons.
Hubby's rappel into Keyhole Canyon.
We had the pleasure of staying in Zion for seven days with a total of three back to back days of canyoneering. We completed Keyhole Canyon, Mystery Canon and Pine Creek Canyon. Each canyon had it's own unique approach and special attributes. Canyoneering essentially consists of hiking, down climbing and rappelling all the while following the flow of rain water that over thousands of years have carved deep canyons between mountains. This was our first time canyoneering and will not be our last!
This past week I went on an adventure! My sister, husband and I backpacked a 40 mile section of the John Muir Trail: Red's Meadow to Tuolumne Meadows. The turquoise blue alpine lakes, switchbacks zigzagging up mountains, babbling brooks, curious marmots and blue jays have combined into a memorable experience. I feel lucky to have experienced such serene beauty!
Funny enough, I brought 5 pieces of jewelry I sell online, along on the trip. I brought the jewelry in hopes of taking some cool photos, however, after the first day of vigorous hiking it became apparent I had been too ambitious. I brought hand harnesses to photograph but my hands looked worn and dirty, definitely did not want to document that! The turquoise jewelry, long dangle earrings and layering bracelets sat in a special case on the side of my bag, untouched. Oh well! Next time I will plan better.
This week I helped in celebrating my grandmother's 87th birthday. Looking back and knowing what I know about her past, it is quite a remarkable life she has lived thus far. Growing up in the coastal city of Hamada Shimane and in a powerful militaristic country, Yasuko was just shy of her 18th birthday when one of the most devastating acts in the history of war took place. On August 6th, 1945 the first atomic bomb was dropped in the city of Hiroshima, less than 100 kilometers away from her. Although she was fortunate to be outside the area of destruction, many of her friends and acquaintances suffered a different fate.
In 1952 my grandmother married my grandfather, a Japanese-American soldier and immigrated to America. Her act of marrying my grandfather was one of rebellion in the eyes of her family since she was marrying the enemy, but she never looked back. At the time, she was pregnant her first daughter, who would be my mother. She proceeded in raising three beautiful daughters, each unique yet sharing a common bond with each other.
My grandmother remains the center staple of our family. She and my grandfather helped raise me and I wouldn't be who I am today if it weren't for that. Although she now deals with Parkinson's, she is still impressively capable and still enjoys the finer things in life, such as beer and ice cream (often at the same time!) Kampai!
It has been a long time coming with my new website where I can sell jewelry online. I have been doing some traveling and getting much inspiration for creating some new jewelry designs. I am really excited to show you all what I have been up to! Stay tuned...
(Washing an elephant at the Elephant Sanctuary in Ubud, Bali.)