On lightness

It’s dark because you are trying too hard.

Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly.
Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply.
Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.

I was so preposterously serious in those days, such a humorless little prig.
Lightly, lightly – it’s the best advice ever given me…

So throw away your baggage and go forward.
There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet,
trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair.
That’s why you must walk so lightly.
Lightly my darling…  – Aldous Huxley

I don’t know about you, but when I read this quote from Aldous Huxley’s “Island” I really felt it.  Something inside of me, just said “Yes!”  I couldn’t quite put my finger on my own mantra, as a person, and as a mother, – but “lightness”, that is what I strive for.  As a mother, it is my wish to delight in my children as they grow up.  Not to get bogged down in expectations or ambition, but to truly enjoy my kids and to lightly acknowledge their mistakes, as I do my own.  Neither to be too hard on them, nor on myself.  So that they can learn to forgive themselves easily, and others too.  I hope that surrounding them with “lightness” will inspire them to walk away from problems with ease, to comfortably move on from disappointment, and to meet their successes with grace.  But most of all, to enjoy the tiny pleasures that life has to offer when you don’t make it quite so heavy.

And so I wear a feather on my everyday necklace.  I didn’t understand what the feather meant to me,  I just knew that I was drawn to it.  But that’s it! “Lightness”!  I think its amazing how we feel connected to certain symbols without even understanding why.  We just know that we like them, and that they suit us, and make us feel good.  And I think that’s really enough.  But I  feel really happy that I now understand what the feather means to me – and I’m going to hold on tightly to that meaning, and continue to wear the feather and to let it inspire my journey as a person, an artist, and as mom.

I also wear a “hamsa” – I’ll save that for another post!

While writing this I can’t help but think about how much “lighter” my kids have made me already.  We go through stages together:  Sometimes my kids need me all of the time, and other times I am free to focus on my own work.  Never do we rest in sameness and certainty long enough to consider it for too long. This has helped me as an artist, giving me periods of pause to think, consider, grow and change, but never long enough to dwell.

Back Together - the day after the March One of a Kind Show.


Thank you for taking the time to read this rather personal post! 


Wear my hat!

Be the designer

So…I’ve come to realize that I really like feedback!
I think that’s why I love the big retail shows so much.  It’s such an amazing opportunity for me to connect with my audience and to find out which designs are really resonating with you, and what you would like to see more of.

I usually make a list during the show of all of the requests that I receive, and then immediately afterwards, I assess and go about making the designs that I think would be a good fit for my line. I really enjoy this dialogue, so thank you for taking the time to chat!

I’ve been working steadily to add new designs to my “bronze and silver” collection, and will be showcasing many new ones at the upcoming Spring One of a Kind Show in Toronto in March, and will have them online soon after.  Some of these include:  the Zodiac symbols, dragon, compass, kitty, and I just couldn’t leave out the dog paw (possibly the most requested design this past holiday season!).

And now I’m asking you…

Are there any designs that you’d like to see added to my collection, maybe a symbol or a creature that is especially meaningful?

Hop on over to my FACEBOOK, or INSTAGRAM, and leave a comment (on the graphic above) letting me know your idea.

I’m going to select one (or maybe more!) on MONDAY and, as a “thank you” for the  suggestion, the winner will receive the first new charm that I bring to life in studio.

I’m really looking forward to hearing your suggestions, and to turning them into Marmalade charms!

Interested in seeing how I will be bringing the winning suggestion to life?  Here’s a look inside the Marmalade studio, at the process that goes into making each charm.

This is me sanding new models
This is me at my workbench sanding new models
New models - sprues still on
Here are some new designs, sanded, but with the sprues (the little tubes left over from the casting process that need to be sawed off before polishing) still on.
Silver models ready to be moulded
Finished anchor and cherry models
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My favourite tools – rawhide mallet for setting the pendants, callipers to ensure a good fit, steel dapping block, file, flex shaft with radial wheel for polishing.
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Bronze and silver pendant – set but not yet tumbled.
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More bronze and Silver pendants before tumbling
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Finished pendants
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Charm necklace ready to ship!
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Another necklace on its way out of the studio!

Thanks for reading!


LOVE in 2015

Personally I love January.

The holiday season is put to rest, and we are once again handed a fresh start:  A chance to reflect, organize and make plans for the year ahead.   This year I plunged right into my yearly taxes, getting that out of the way so that I could focus on adding new designs to my collection.  I changed my accounting system, dove into new podcasts, and was successful at convincing my husband to build me some crates so that I could reorganize my work space.  I’m a little sad that January is coming to a close; but with every door that closes…

…So, February is upon us,

and that means its time to get down to business in the studio – stop with the planning and start with the real doing. But it also means that the holiday of “LOVE” is just around the corner. Valentine’s day is special to me because it was my daughter’s due date.  She was actually born the following day, on the “Family day” holiday, but still remains my little valentine!  So, in our house, February means birthday invitations, decorations, celebrations, and lots and lots of love.

In the spirit of the beginning of this month, I’m posting some of my favourite photos from 2015.  Ones that make me feel so grateful for my family and the love that surrounds me.

Amelia and me, Mother’s day
Dave and Ari, Vancouver BC
Amelia and Ari, Summer lovin’
My Gram (88) and Ari, Bocci ball

To celebrate this special month,

and the day in the middle known as “Valentine’s Day”, I’ll be doing a giveaway on my Facebook page, and my Instagram page.  So look out for that on the 14th!

If you don’t already do so, please follow me along on Instagram @madebymarmalade and/or Facebook @marmaladejewellery to see my latest creations and other goings on here at Marmalade!