Heart Strength Energy

The power of leading with your Heart!

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Heart Strong Pendant #2

Last Monday I took a step into uncharted territory and lead with my heart. The heart that has guided me through my entire life, the one that has connected me with my love of 20 years, the heart that has trusted in a lifestyle made from the art created by her and now by me. This heart that raised two amazing children and now is Hunny (Grandmother) to two amazing boys know as the Little Lockwood Brothers.

I had an amazing and supportive response to my news of donating 100% of the proceeds of the sale of my first Heart Strong pendant to the Children’s Heart Foundation. My heart was full of love and gratitude and continues to be as the inquires and questions pour into my FB feed and email!  Thanks to all those who shared and showed the love I reached over 3,499 people on my Circle Stone Designs FB page post!! That’s results from the heart!!

So I guess it’s time to clean up the details and make my heart a bit stronger. I am so grateful in knowing that my intention was received and appreciated in the most amazing way!

Finn’s Truth:

First and foremost I am doing this fund raising to donate to research for children’s Congenital Heart Defect (CHD), in honor of my Grandson Finn. He is approaching his 2nd birthday in March and is a strong and vibrant toddler! He was born with Ebstein’s Anomaly and will be facing a heart valve repair at some point in his life. Truth….the longer he can go without surgery the stronger he will become. So it’s a waiting game for him and the family. For now, he is perfect in every way!! Testing his boundaries and keeping up with his older brother Holden. IMG_3821

Details of the Heart Strong Pendants:

I had intended to only release a 1 unique pendant each Monday in order to raise 100% of the proceeds going directly to the Children’s Heart Foundation, but the inquiries and responses were such that NO was not in my heart!! So moving forward with great excitement here are the details.

  1. Each of 4 new designs released in February will have a numbered edition of 10 that will have 100% of the proceeds paid with a check to the Children’s Heart Foundation. Making your purchase 100% tax deductible.
  2. Checks for each necklace will be made out the Children’s Heart Foundation directly. I will collect them and send you the necklace that you have committed to purchase. Shipping charges of $10.00 if necessary will be paid to Circle Stone Designs in the form of an additional check.
  3. Once you notify me of your commitment and choice your hand crafted pendant will be shipped to you after I receive your checks.
  4. The first week in March I will send all of the donation checks along to CHF in honor of Finn Sawyer Lockwood’s name.
  5. Each pendant is hand made by me in my studio, so there might be slight variations due to my hand forging techniques. I attempt to make them as similar as possible without compromising my process. Satisfaction is guaranteed!
  6. I will only be offering one necklace option unique for each pendant design. If you prefer a different length then offered I am happy to make a substitution.
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Heart Strong Pendant #2 Brass

With great excitement I present to you Heart Strong Necklace #2 created from thick brass and soldered sterling silver bail ring. This pendant is 2 1/8″ long and hangs from a 30″ stainless steel ball chain. Strong and rugged this pendant is hand forged with my signature pattern and left untreated the brass will oxidize naturally over time. It can be kept shiny by a polishing cloth or a scrub with a toothbrush with baking soda and water. Once again there are slight variations in every pendant, but I strive for a continuity even while I hand work each of my designs. $100 is the price of the necklace with the edition of all 10 being donated 100% that means $1,000 to CHF for CHD research!!!

As I continue my journey of giving back with my heart and Heart Strength creations this month, I am reminded of how important love, family & friends are. I have come to understand that immense feeling of gratitute once again for this Little Lockwood Family. Take a moment to reach out to those who need support. Sometimes its just a hug, a note or any small commitment to help someone can go a long way.

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Thank you again for making this amazing journey of creativity and giving back with my heart’s strength possible!FinnHunny2016FEb

 

 

 

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Circles of Strength

  Let’s be clear, I am inspired by so much at times I feel my head wants to explode, yet I always come back to a shape that feels just right…the circle. A circle has so many meanings that of … Continue reading

Indian Summer on a Maine Beach

 

There is nothing better than the last days of summer in September when the temps are above 75 and the beaches are deserted. I feel blessed to be able to take advantage of this beautiful time of year, to feel the warmth of the sunshine and the wash of the water over my bare feet. It is these walks that fill my well with creative energy and peaceful meditation. It is these adventures that begin with a fog bank so thick you think it might never lift.

Path to Morning Foggy Beach

Path to Morning Foggy Beach

When the temps rise and the fog lifts the excitement of the hunt begins and the sounds of the waves become the mantra that fills my head. Today I am with my partner, my rock, the person that makes my world possible. Today is a good day, one that she is able to accompany me to enjoy this beautiful Maine Beach Day in September.

 

Resting After Rock Collecting

Resting After Rock Collecting

Being on a beach with no one in site, with the beach to ourselves is an amazing experience, a true gift of life in Maine. I can take the time to connect with all of the beauty of the beach, beyond the stones that I collect, the seaweed, the larger stones within stones all fill my soul with wonder and a peace that is a wonderful meditative process.

Rocks within Rocks

Rocks within Rocks

Colors of Seaweed

Colors of Seaweed

One last look at the place I spent my day with the person that means the most and a memory of a perfect day and the excitment of getting home to examine the treasures we have picked to become a part of my work.

Sunny Maine Beach Goodbye

Sunny Maine Beach Goodbye

When we arrive home it’s time to sort and wash the stones that have been collected with care. Chosen one by one in the hopes that when they are examined closer that they will be great additions to my jewelry. Each stone has the potential to be the focal point of  my beach stone & silver jewelry that I will forge in my studio. Sorting by size and washing with the garden hose, on our handmade table on the deck, is the perfect end to a perfect Maine Beach Day. It’s time for a great dinner and listening to the rain outside I have a wonderful feeling of peacefulness washing over me, like the water rushing  over the stones today on the beach.

Washing & Sorting Beach Stones

Washing & Sorting Beach Stones

Hammers, Maine Beach Stones and Tools of the Trade

I love Hammers

I love Hammers

I am a collector of things. Yes I connect with many objects whether it be of natural origin or of antique and vintage aged items, they infatuate and inspire me. They all have a story to tell, through their lines and markings  and worn areas, you are left to wonder what journey they have been through in their previous existence?

Forging 4g Wire Flat

Forging 4g Wire Flat

Working on a New Design Forged 4g strips & 14g rings

Working on a New Design Forged 4g strips & 14g rings

Work in Progress Links Necklace

Work in Progress Links Necklace

The stones that I am a drawn to have been part of the earth for more years than I can even fathom. I am forever imagining the paths they have taken while being tumbled by the ocean and from the depths of where they have come, only to be transported to the beaches via the rolling and often times crashing waves. These beach stones, beach rocks or, amazing treasures of the sea as I like to call them, are my inspiration daily. In order to showcase them in the way that I envision them I start with simple things, tools of my trade you would say, most importantly my hammers.

I am fortunate enough to have some very meaningful sources for my tools, as with my stones the story of how they came to me is as important as the hammer itself.  Each time I reach for my treasured ball peen hammer I remember that it is a tool that hung amongst the throngs of well-worn tools from my Father’s work bench. This man who willed me his passion to attempt to try anything, this mechanic who spent his life fixing anything and everything he could get his hands on. I feel his energy with the blows of the hammer and revel in the feeling that he is always watching me from his place high above and guiding me through my processes with both pride and criticism, of which I deserve both.

I have been given the privilege to live across the street from my partner Pam’s Grandfather’s house for 9 years now. His workshop is filled with tools that were from his father and his grandfather and so on. These hardy Mainers from Cushing & Thomaston were seafaring folk and their tools have stories that even I can’t imagine being a part of. Bump, as Pam would call her Grandfather, had many jobs in his 96 years of life, a few were working at the Bath Iron Works and the crew that constructed Maine Yankee in Wiscasset. He came to be a caretaker here on Montsweag Rd for the “summer people”, so each and every tool had a journey through many lives. Several of these treasures are in my possession and when I grip their aged handles I am reminded of his steadfast spirit and once again he shared my fathers ability to attempt most of any project.

I feed my soul with a good  “find” while visiting the Montsweag Flea Market as well as yard sales and other great antique markets all year-long. These tools are those I know no stories about, but from markings on the faces and surfaces I understand that each worn handle was held with a need, a passion to complete the task at hand. I have created patterns in the faces of some of these hammers and it is with that hammer blow I achieve my own unique and one of a kind texture. This hammer blow and the pattern it leaves behind brings me the joy of a job well done and I feel guided by everyone before me who has held each hammer in their hand.  Whether it be a carpenter, ship builder, mechanic, cobbler, farrier, iron worker, plumber or a woman like me who hammers silver, the energy they left behind is with me guiding me through each strike.

Tools are what allowed these people to problem solve and fix what was broken and build the foundation for projects both small and large. These same tools are now the tools of my trade along with some new purchases and I hope that someday they will part of someone elses life, so that they too can feel the energy that I have added and the passion I feel for each one’s unique shape, weight, age and smooth worn handles.

Beach Stones and the Authentic Self

Creating the Vision

Creating the Vision

As with all blog posts I tried to organize my thoughts this morning while quietly drinking my tea.  I spent much time updating and making some much-needed changes to my blog. Much like this inspiring pile of beach stones, it takes time to choose which beach stone will be transformed with forged silver into what kind of focused piece of jewelry, it too takes time to choose images and words to convey the thoughts and emotions that best describe my work and the space I am in at the moment.

I had an amazing opportunity this past week to attend the #inbound13 marketing conference in Boston, thanks to my son-in-law who works for Hubspot. I got to witness the energy of the current technology boom in a way I never have. Noticing all the time that I was one of the few in the entire audience of 5300 that was gray-haired and over the age of 35. I got to listen to one of my favorite bloggers in the world of marketing, Seth Godin who brought to everyone’s attention that we all needed to, “Be one of a kind, own it and live it”. His call to being “remarkable” and to “delight” people with our stories was refreshing and inspiring. In a world where there is so much information in order to be recognized and be appreciated for what we do, give people the information of most value, what is it about what you do that is special?

I also listened closely  to  Arianna Huffington speak about the need to reconnect, recharge. Remove technology from your down time, stop living a life of hurry up and take note of ourselves.  Most notable was when she said that “life only makes sense when you are living it”. Well, in this world of day to day responsibilities I am learning from the words of these entrepreneurs, these people who are taking the world by storm and being authentic.

When I looked at this beautiful organization of beach stones that I collected and remember the feeling of being at one with the ocean and it’s offerings I realize that I am authentic, I am doing what I was meant to be doing. I am truly focused and my world makes sense and  my process takes me to a place of feeling connected to the earth, this I know is my calling in life.

Balancing life is what poses the challenges and if there is anything I take away from this busy time in Boston or this beautiful and peaceful time collecting each ocean tumbled marvel from the beach is that time is of most value. Giving, sharing and loving are the mantra that fills my well. I feel the well is full and I am in need of the creative step, so onward I go.

Thank you for following my journey.

Anita

Recharging with Ashley, Casey & Holden

Recharging with Ashley, Casey & Holden

 

 

I Heart Beach Stones

Up-cycled Leather Belt Beach Stone Bracelets

Up-cycled Leather Belt Beach Stone Bracelets

Heart Shaped Beach Stones & Beach Stone Rings

Heart Shaped Beach Stones & Beach Stone Rings

I love what I do. Simple times begin on Maine beaches looking for smooth, worn beach stones. I come across many different sizes, shapes and colors, but am always amazed each and every time I am graced with a heart-shaped stone. It is not whether it is a perfectly shaped heart, it is simply that the shape evokes an emotion.  A feeling that the symbolism of a heart signifies love in so many ways.  Love of beaches, the earth, nature, my partner, my dogs, my family, my friends, each of these connections are evoked when I find a heart stone nestled among the many other shaped stones on the beach.

Treasured and collected by many, heart-shaped beach stones are revered because they are created by the crashing of the waves, the rubbing together against other rocks and worn smooth by more years than I have been on this earth.  I revel in the shape that nature has bestowed upon this simple stone, one that is not common.

When I bring my hand-picked stones home from my excursions I am able to recount the days and time spent on the beach and the moments of excitement I felt when these special stones were chosen for my collection. When I analyze how to drill them and in turn what to create from these treasured heart stones I then am able to share with others the love I feel.

As Valentine’s Day approaches I look back on the heart stone necklaces & bracelets that I have created and those who purchased them. Sometimes they are purchased as gifts of love, sometimes by collectors who just can’t get enough of the heart-shaped stones. No matter what the reason I understand the draw of the shape and the sentiment behind the love of this simple beach stone.

From my Collected Work

From my Collected Work


Creating Hand Forged Beach Stone Jewelry in my Home Studio

 

 

 

Elemental Designed Forged & Oxidized Silver and Maine Beach Stone Cuffs

Hand Forged & Oxidized Silver Rings with Maine Beach Stones

Re-purposed leather belts with Maine Beach Stones & brass rivets

Re-purposed leather belts with Maine Beach Stones & brass rivets

2013 has started out as a year of adjusting to changes.  The excitement of having a home/studio and creating my jewelry from a bench just steps from my garden, the chickens & beautiful Montsweag Bay is a wonderful thing!  The closing of The Creative Turtle after 5 seasons was a bittersweet moment in November of 2012, but a necessary step in my new path as a productive metalsmith.  I will miss the visits from amazing people in the gallery that were part of each day, but I will cherish the focus and quiet that I will have as I forge and design my silver pieces and drill my stones without interruption.  I have come to realize that focus is truly what is needed for completing my projects in a way that is not only enjoyable & efficient, but also affords me the ability to absorb my amazing environment and draw from it  all the while being able to do so at home.

After the year of many transitions and realizations in 2012, I am making plans for new shows, additional gallery & shop representation as well as new designs.  I added three very exciting new concepts to my work last year, Silver cuffs & rings that are hand forged and oxidized to highlight the patterns from my special hammer.  These pieces each incorporate the use of brass tube rivets as a focal point to compliment the beach stones.  I repeated this concept in the up-cycled leather belt bracelets that have been so successful for me and great price point as well as a fresh new look.  I find it important to remain challenged and excited by adding new creations to my repertoire of elemental designs.  I always keep in mind how to focus on the stones that I collect from the Maine coast and how I can highlight them while staying true to my organic style.  I am happy to say that I am satisfied with 2012 production and look forward to expanding in 2013 with so  much extra time on my hands with which to focus on my work.

I will start my shows off this year with a wonderful opportunity to show my work at Craft Boston this year in April. As a juried member of the Maine Crafts Association I will be exhibiting in a large shared booth opportunity in a market that I have been anxious to connect with.  Spring will bring a flurry of activity to get ready for this show as well as getting the studio ready for an Open Studio” event to be announced soon.  January and February is full of applying for shows and creating work for spring placement in new galleries and shops that provide exciting opportunities to expose many more people to my Beach Stone Jewelry.

I am looking forward to achieving the goal of a more regimented attempt at blogging, social media and staying ahead of the curve so that I can enjoy some time to feed my creative well.  Trips to the beach to forage for just he right amazing beach stones on the Maine coast as well as gardening, kayaking and taking care of the homestead will be high priority as well.  Most of all helping my partner Pam get well and make this the year of healing from Lyme after her long 4 year battle will be a constant in each of my days.

I want to thank everyone who has supported my journey through creativity and my attempt to create a life that is rich with nature and expression through my jewelry. Please share my blog with those you feel would enjoy my work and my words!

Here’s to 2013 a year to settle into a rhythm of creativity.

Time for an adventure!

As winter melts away my thoughts turn towards my strong desire to get to the beaches of Maine. I long for the sun and sounds of the water as it breaks on the rocks that are so precious to me. Unlike the sounds of the sand beaches, stone beaches have a far different feel and sound. Smooth stones of all sizes rumble and rub against themselves with each crashing wave, a music to me that is both meditative and full of energy.

As I spend my time surveying the landscape and hand pick each treasured stone, I imagine what beautiful piece of jewelry that I might make from what the earth has provided and what the waves and water have tumbled into a smooth supple stone. I spend hours stooped over and bent to pick up what I am moved by. I could spend days on end in this same position if my body would allow. I am thankful for my flexibility and patience and am fed by the smells, sounds and colors that I see.

As there are changes on the horizon for the place I use as my studio, I realize that everything begins here at the beach. It makes no difference where I create, but where my creative process begins will always remain the same.

Natural Beauty