Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Happy Valentine's Day!

Came home from Tucson to a little snow.  It made me happy to experience two ends of the spectrum in one day.  We had a really fun, frenetic and productive time.  I got lots of wonderful new goodies and tools that I can't wait to use (I'll post about all that soon).  I met lots of new people who will be in my memory for a long time.  Paul and I met 2 men from California who are jade divers at Big Sur.  I spent a long time talking to Dana Suess a computer engineer who creates apps for smart phones that make keyboards easier to use.  Dana is the son of Miland Suess, who makes some of the best jewelry tools around.  I met a man from Morocco who imports giant slabs of fossils to be used as counter tops for kitchens.  I talked with a man from Haiti who sells beautiful metal wall art made from discarded oil drums.  I watched geodes being cracked open to the delight of the young and old at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society Show.  I had a long talk with a guy who sells meteorites from all over the world (and bought a couple from Siberia).  Who knew there was so much to know about meteorites?  I met an American, living in Bali who in search of a simpler life, now makes jewelry from things he collects on the beaches there. I went to the GJX show just to buy stones from Gary Wilson, who cuts cabochons in the most interesting, distinctive way that I've seen.  Ask Gary about a specific stone, and he always has a wealth of information about it.  I've learned so much from him. I went to another show to see Ebrima Sillah, who I know from the Bead and Button show.  My friend Gail introduced me to Ebrima and his wife Ruth a few years ago.  Ruth has a wonderful bead store in Oberlin, Ohio called Bead Paradise. Ebrima sells beautiful, old African beads and is eager to share what he knows.  On my last day in Tucson, a few miles south of all of the sparkly things at all of the shows, I saw people living a much slower and simpler life on the Tohono O'odham Nation.  Afterwards, we stood alone in the desert, listening to the silent, ancient saguaro cacti and looking up at the clear, blue sky.

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