Stacie Florer

Metaphyscial Metalsmith

Relationships with others starts with your relationship to yourself.

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For my birthday last week, Shayne and I spent a luxuriously lazy day in Hot Springs, North Carolina, a sleepy little town known for its natural hot springs about 45 minutes from Asheville.

The Hot Springs Spa sits right on the French Broad river, and is absolutely beautiful. The water is piped in to private little hot tubs that line the river, and your view is peaceful and relaxing as you soak in the goodness of the local water. 

We both had massages, and I even had a mud wrap. The mud wrap was a mixed bag for me...on the one hand, I love what it did for my skin, but being wrapped up like a mummy unable to move was really difficult for me. I didn't think I was claustrophobic, but that experience of being encased like a warm sausage will most likely be my last one. 

Otherwise, the day was an absolute dream...and we will most definitely be taking advantage of their spa services in the future. 

I love October. It's my birthday month as well as our Anniversary month too. We have been married 16 years, together for 19. 

October is the relationship month for me...celebrating the day that I came into the world along with the day that I decided to walk in this world in partnership with Shayne. 

I feel so fortunate to be able to spend my life with Shayne.  The really wonderful thing is that we are both dedicated to growing and changing, so every year our relationship deepens, but it is kept exciting because we are both changing, evolving and continuing to individuate into more of who we are at our cores. 

I am learning that life really is about a series of breaths. Looking at my relationship with Shayne, and consciously trying to deepen our connection, I am learning that a long term relationship must breathe. You go and learn, do and experience something that fills you up personally, then you go back into the relationship with a new part of yourself and add it to your shared life by being more of who you are. 

My responsibility is to develop myself, continue to expand, take my individual experiences and learnings and bring them back to the fold to share with Shayne. And he does the same thing with me. 

A healthy relationship with your other is about coming together after you have been apart. It is, as my friend Terah shared with me, a continual series of compressions and an expansions. 

It's ebb and flow. It's breathing. It's sex. The movement..the compression and expansion...is life.

It's what living creatively is at its core. You take something in...you let it flow through you and then you expel...changing it slightly as it goes on to continue evolving and creating its own story. 

It's important, of course, to make sure that your beloved other is on the same page about this...too often, we have been taught that to 'live happily ever after' we have to give up our interests, our passions and our curiosity about life and devote our energy towards the other. 

That's bullshit. Once you go down that road, you give what you have built of yourself away and end up with nothing left to share or contribute other than slavish devotion to the other, which in time, will turn to contempt and pity from the object of your affection. 

This isn't just lip service from me. It happened to me because I walked that particular path during a period in our relationship years ago. I was able to turn it around by going within, and figuring out what lit my own fire.

Once you do that...everything in your life gets infused with your own love light...and relationships with others improve because you are taking care of your own needs and fulfilling what your soul needs to continue evolving. 

Today is the beginning of a new cycle with the 72 Angles of the Divine. My friend Terah is finishing up the book and it is about to go to press, but you can order it now, and receive the Daily Wisdoms right into your email until the book arrives.  Below is a sample of today's wisdom with the angel VEHUIAH...the first day of the Fall/Winter cycle, which happens to focus on Relationships with Others.  For more information, see Terah's Book of Days website.

Everyone has potential, and the truth is, with love everyone’s potential is greater, even unlimited. But respect and care for each other as who you are now — then potential will blossom on its own without your pulling at it.

All that said, the great thing about beginnings is that you get to start again and be the person you want to be right now! Imagine if you allow your loved ones to do that – to become a new person in your eyes and heart!

And yes, there are likely some people in your life with whom it’s easier to be your own ever-evolving self. But over time, you can renew long-time relationships through changes in perspective, attitude or interaction.

Even with family and friends who always see you and each other as you were so many years ago, the repetition of a changed behavior will eventually make its mark in willing hearts.

For the heart is made for new beginnings. No matter what hurts have been harbored, in the face of true caring, compassion and understanding the heart reawakens and welcomes new relationship.
— Terah Cox, Birth Angels Book of Days, Volume 4





Jessica Hall of Bluebird Designs

Stacie FlorerComment
Jessica's jewelry is happy and fun...and she is a hard working jewelry designer that is teaching me loads!!! Love her!

Jessica's jewelry is happy and fun...and she is a hard working jewelry designer that is teaching me loads!!! Love her!

So I walked into her studio that is just down the hall from mine to introduce myself a few weeks ago, and met Jessica as she was busy enameling some of her signature bluebirds for an upcoming show.

As I interrupted her, she graciously shared some time with me as we discussed her recent move to Asheville from the western part of the US, and how much she loves it here.  She had three shows coming up and no one to help, and I decided on the spot to volunteer my booth sitting services. I used to do booth shows and I always had Shayne as a backup for pee breaks and food/drink runs...something that I took for granted.

The photo above was taken on our first show day in downtown Asheville. Isn't her booth cute? The first thing she made when she started metalsmithing and enameling was a bluebird. Where she is from in snow country, a Bluebird day is a sublime skiing experience where there was an overnight snowfall and the day after is sunny with perfect blue skies. 

Her bluebirds were a big hit with all the local lady skiers...and her business took off.

Now she has an assortment of birdies in all colors, along with owls, a friendly whale, an amazing elephant and some other little cuties that are waiting for their happy owners. 

I love her jewelry, will have to have an elephant or two for my own collection, and above all, I've met a really cool new friend. 

She used to be a professional snowboarder too...isn't that awesome? The woman is fearless...and strong and just so...nice. 

She casts some of her work, and I have been lapping up all the neat tips and tricks to running a business from her. This weekend, our last show is a whopper in Lexington, NC at the annual BBQ Festival . Over 100,000 people attend this event and it will be crazy insane tomorrow, but loads of fun! If you happen to be attending this grand eating event, look for the Bluebird Designs tent and give us a wave...we have never been to a show that is this huge

And I just checked the weather...a bluebird sunny day with 73 degree temps...perfect!

Jessica has a website at  www.bluebirddesigns.com.  Her jewelry is great to give as a gift to anyone of any age...we have kids that love her work and adults in their 80's...super fun! 

Have a great weekend...it was my birthday yesterday and I spent it eating at the Biltmore with a friend, talking and enjoying the atmosphere on a perfect Fall day. Couldn't ask for more!

XO!

Lightening my heart to create...

Stacie FlorerComment
We can choose how to relate to our feelings once we understand that they are temporary. 

We can choose how to relate to our feelings once we understand that they are temporary. 

Usually every morning, I read the Daily Wisdom from my series of books written by my friend Terah.

 It's a way to frame my day based on what the prevailing energy pattern is on a Universal basis, and knowing before my day gets started what flavors I am likely to experience allows me to more fully present as I experience them, offering me an opportunity to gain more wisdom in the process. 

Yesterday, I didn't read the above entry and therefore had no prior knowledge on a conscious basis what that day's energy pattern was. Which is really cool because sometimes I like to review my yesterday to see if that pattern really showed up in a significant way without my being aware of it.

And so this morning, after reading yesterday's wisdom, I thought I would share with you an experience and the insight it afforded me as it relates to our feelings and how we can choose to move on from a horrific experience, learn from it, and transform the learning into something that doesn't give us pain to carry around anymore.

I had a revealing conversation with a new friend of mine where she shared a personal experience that was horrific. It was a matter of life and death, and fortunately, life prevailed.

But after surviving an experience where your personal sovereignty is compromised, you are left with internalizing the fact that it happened to you. 

I have had a few of my own horrific experiences that involved someone else trying to hurt me, on purpose. 

During a particularly bad experience, I remember observing the scenario from a space outside of physicality and time..."I" literally walked through an inner doorway into another place and watched the experience unfold without any emotion. In that space, "I" was able to figure out a way to move my physical container out of harm's way. 

And I did just that.

Some people choose to stay with the pain and humiliation, the disbelief and the fear after these experiences. 

Others move on with their lives, understanding that what was done to them physically is now over. The villain can't touch the inner you unless you provide them the door to enter. 

Fortunately, my new friend and I both came to the same conclusion that we can choose how to feel about the experiences in our lives that were painful at the time...but that we don't have to carry the pain with us into our futures. 

We can choose how to feel about them right now. 

Lightening my heart was the key to my own recovery from a life and death situation perpetrated by some that didn't know 'me'...I was just a random person that they decided to use for their own sick purposes. 

And I was able to have an extreme experience that allowed me to 'know' that I am much more than a body. "I" was able to transcend the experience and throw my consciousness someplace else. It allowed me to opportunity to experience transcendence in a way that not available in books or conversations. For that...I am immensely grateful. 

Mental force is a great tool to decide to not focus on what 'could' have happened, what 'might' have occurred and so on. It takes mental discipline and an internal understanding that the way you feel about a particular situation, person or 'fill-in-the-blank' will change as your heart lightens and you let love come through. 

I have found that by doing anything creative, you have to deal with your feelings on a daily basis. When I was unsure about a physical ailment for months, I did let those feelings of anxiety and fear interrupt my creative flow for a while because I lost sight that I am the one in control of the way I can choose to think about my life experiences. 

If you want un-interrupted creative flow in your own life, I have to say that from my own experiences, getting a handle on your feelings about your past, your present and what you project about the future is paramount to creating anything. 

Your life. Your art. Your relationships...all of it. 

Towards the end of yesterday's wisdom, I found this gem...

 

When you sort through the information your feelings are offering and deal with any unresolved hurts and issues, your mind may attain the ballast of peace it needs to advance your purposes without the inner turmoil and impaired clarity that can cloud your thoughts and weaken resolve and results.

That 'ballast of peace' is important to moving forward and claiming your spot in the world with the joy of creating the life you can dream of. 

But to do that...you have to understand and work with your feelings regarding your experiences. Understand that they can change...and watch your world open up to all that is positive and life affirming. 

XO!

If you are interested in Terah's Book of Days books...go to her website at www.terahcox.com







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Why I love masking tape in my studio...

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I don't know what I would do without masking tape!

I don't know what I would do without masking tape!

Welcome to my 'newish' website! I have been using Squarespace and I LOVE it for my site, but they changed platforms last week, and I changed my template and decided to upgrade and get a logo along with the new template. 

So...long story short. The logo that I bought from an Etsy designer just didn't feel like what I was trying to convey after I sat with it for a few days, (not her fault since I was not very clear in my own mind). And I realized that it was really an opportunity for me to journey inward, and ferret out for myself how to visually portray online and in my packaging my own evolution as a jeweler. It was so much fun! I may tweak this a little in the next few weeks, but I really like the metal colors (silver, copper and brass) and the ancient looking design in the corner. I use a lot of circles in my work and thought this swirly, Chakra-inspired symbol was a nice representation about what I write about here, both about jewelry and the inner processes we all have regarding creating our lives. 

Ok....

MASKING TAPE!

There is no way I could make all the texture marks I do on metal without masking tape. One of my favorite ways to use it is to tape down my work on my bench block and hammer away. This is great for doing fine stamping work or using screen and a chasing hammer to 'press' the texture in also.

Another fantastic use I have recently discovered is for making ring shank templates...

I have been making a lot of 'Dead Simple' rings lately, and getting the right measurement of the shank is time consuming, even when using the measuring system on any standard ring mandrel. 

So...I decided to make it easy on myself; I make a ring shank out of masking tape that is approximately the width I want to use for the ring. 

Then I take the tape and wrap it around the ring mandrel to measure the right size, cut it and label it so that when I make another ring in that size, all I have to do is hammer or saw out the metal, and make sure the length matches my template. 

I keep all of these little tape sizers in a container on my bench and it is easy-peasy to make rings with the assurance I am going to cut or hammer out the metal to the correct size based on the ring size the customer wants. 


So much easier! 

And how do I clean all that hammered tape residue off of my bench block?

Straight razors!

Be very careful, but the gunk scrapes right off!

On an exciting note...

Shayne and I are settling in great in our new digs...and my business has kept me really busy making jewelry and shipping it out. 

I am very grateful...and hope that these little tips are helpful for you if you are embarking on your own jewelry making journey!

If you liked this post, please feel free to pin to your favorite boards! The photo below is the long version, otherwise, feel free to use the first introductory photo at the beginning of this post...I really appreciate it!

XO!





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Passion, Purpose and People...What Depression Taught Me.

Stacie FlorerComment
I made these Carnelian earrings for myself...to remind me about passion and the energy it brings with it.

I made these Carnelian earrings for myself...to remind me about passion and the energy it brings with it.

Last week, I had an interesting conversation with a friend about the feelings associated with depression.

I've had a couple of periods in my life where I've experienced extended periods of feeling low. I think most people have, and I went to see a therapist about mine years ago before I became serious about making jewelry.  I felt like I needed some professional help dealing with a particularly difficult passage in my life, and am so grateful I did.

My friend asked me what I did to overcome my feelings associated with the different levels of depression, and the conversation prompted me to think about what I could share regarding what worked for me to get to the other side of those every day feelings that prevented me from living life as fully as possible.

As I sit here writing this, there are three things that jump out at me that helped me more than anything, and all three were up to me to ultimately figure out how to implement in my life. 

Passion, purpose and sharing what I learned with other people were instrumental for me at that time, and continue to be.

Passion led me to what I discovered to be my purpose, and sharing what I learn about myself on a spiritual level with other people helps me to feel fulfilled, valuable and happy.

I really lucked out when I made my first appointment with my therapist, because I felt like I had an instant connection with her as soon as we began discussing my issues.

One issue that I had trouble with that she was able to help me immediately with was regarding my passion. 

I love that quote by Oprah about passion and energy, and how passion gives you energy. I know it does for me.

Living your life without engaging in something you are passionate about drains your inner energy battery in tiny, incremental ways. 

I felt like something was missing from my life for years...and after a long time, I was just drained emotionally.  I was short tempered, tended to look at the negatives in life, and got physically sick a lot.

When a car's battery is low...it doesn't want to go and the lights get dimmer and dimmer. 

My therapist told me to watch what I did with my time when I didn't have to do anything, and to follow that spark or passion on a daily basis as far as I could.  

So I did.

There was one thing that I enjoyed doing when my have-to-do's were done, and that was beading.  I never in a million years thought that my hobby would be the key to my overall well-being that it turned out to ultimately be. 

With my therapist's gentle help, I began excavating my childhood for clues about what I used to be passionate about. Before I had to worry about feeding and clothing myself...when I had time to just explore and discover what I fell in love with. 

I was passionate about telephone wire and making things with it to give away to others. I loved to hang out with my friends, using our imagination to build things and I loved art in all forms. 

I was a heavy reader and writer too...I loved to learn what others thought about life and expression.  Reading a book is reading someone else's mind. As a kid, this was super cool. 

I loved journals and writing. I kept a journal as a teenager and young adult, and it helped me figure out what I thought about the experiences I had while growing up.

None of my interests had changed, I just wasn't actively involved with them anymore.

My passions eventually led me to my purpose. 

When I started down this road of self discovery, I had no idea how it would turn out.

And that is ok. 

You don't have to have your whole life mapped out. Once you start acknowledging and working with what makes your own lights turn on...your life expands in ways often unimaginable at the time.

I didn't know that I would eventually be writing tutorials for other people to follow to make their own jewelry out of metal and wire.

I didn't know that I would meet people that would become lifelong friends that were interested in using their imagination too...to make art jewelry, to paint beautiful paintings, take breathtaking photographs or write stories that would touch me in surprising ways.

That would open my heart up and allow me to expand in ways unimaginable at the time. 

Passion isn't just for the bedroom when you grow up.   

Why do so many of us leave our personal passions back in our childhood, forgetting that all that energy that children naturally have comes from passion. 

Danielle LaPorte has written a book that is a great tool for discovering what your own desires are for the life you want to live. Desire Mapping is my go-to for inner excavation regarding what I am most passionate about, what I currently desire and where I want to take my life.

I truly believe that your passions will lead you to your purpose, and to a more fulfilled way of being in the world. 

I am so grateful for the help I received from my therapist that led me back to myself, to my passions and for helping me find my purpose.  

XO!

Why Character Matters

Stacie Florer2 Comments

Character is important to me. 

I found this quote this morning and immediately thought of this photo that I took a few years ago, but didn't know what to do with it. 

Sometimes, you see something and it clicks, but you aren't sure why.

I've learned over the years to collect those things that grab our attention, even if we don't know why or can't fathom why we must in that moment, but that's another post. 

Character is a big reason why I make handmade jewelry. It's a way for me to understand myself, my community and the world, and to put those understandings in action.

When I was living in Singapore, one of the things that deeply bothered me was the in-your-face-all-of-the-time mass produced whatever that was constant. Singapore, in large part, is a long series of air-conditioned malls. 

Except for Little India. We hung out in Little India because the place had character and patina. There was an authenticity there that I craved after all that exposure to the shadow world of commercialism. 

I was in the studio yesterday, working on the next Step by Step Wire magazine tutorial that has to be submitted in two weeks. And I was devoid of ideas.

This happens to me when I have something brewing under the surface that needs to be expressed. My creativity gets blocked until I get it out, and this is in large part why I write. 

Sometimes I write to myself, privately, or I show up here to help with my creative flow process and to share what's going on, hopeful that in my sharing, something new might be discovered by me or you. 

I watched Kevin Costner's movie, Draft Day, a few days ago with Shayne. The story revolves around a football team's General Manager and what his gut feeling says about potential NFL contenders' character. He weights character heavy in his picks. The movie is about what repercussions can occur when you don't weigh a person's character in hiring or in life.

But even more importantly, the way other people try to persuade you not to consider it at all if money is on the table. 

Our culture used to value a person's character. Now, I feel that collectively, we don't. 

The repercussions of not weighing a person's character are being felt in very painful ways all over the world.

Politics, education, health care...it has all become a game to wrangle out as much money from someone as the law allows. Or even if the law doesn't allow it, people are doing dishonest things anyway, with no personal repercussions for their actions. 

Those that are responsible for enforcing the laws, don't anymore, if the cost is too high.

Their actions are harming our society, and often, people that had nothing to do with the reprehensible actions themselves, are being hurt personally. 

There comes a time when one makes a decision to support it, or not. 

There are many ways to make a difference...and to turn the tide. One way is to not support someone with shitty character with your money. This goes for individuals, small businesses and corporations that act without regard to character.

Another is to weigh personal character heavily in your daily life, on a deep-down personal level.

Taking personal control is to continue to concentrate on yourself, by developing more character; or in others, by saying something or making sure there is an uncomfortable consequence when you see a child or adult acting without personal character.

An important consideration, the most important to my mind, is to define for yourself what character is...and what it looks like in action. 

It's something that I am doing for myself...questioning my actions, my thoughts and my value system. It's a journey, for sure...but one that is important if you are concerned about changing the world to be a better place, filled with more kindness and consideration for others and taking a long view about what impact you want to make on the world with your own definition of character.

Tree wisdom...again, is showing up for me in all sorts of interesting and creative ways. 

XO!