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Friday, June 14, 2013


You really light my fire, do you know that?
I'm endlessly awed by your support and I will never, ever tire of telling you so.  
Thank you.
THANK you.
Thank YOU.
You keep my spirits ever encouraged, you keep food on our table, you remind me that this life path is exactly where I want to be, you make possible this life that we're cultivating.
I appreciate you with the whole of my heart and soul!  And I really, truly want you to know it!
* * *

On a business note:
There are some big shifts happening here!  The blog will be shut down for a period of time this weekend as we make the BIG switch to the all new (and if I say so myself, GORGEOUS) UmberDove website!  It's been such a long time coming and I can't wait to reveal it to you.  Big things friends, big things.  To make it easy, you will always find me at, and I appreciate your patience as we fiddle with the technical stuff this weekend!
* * *

In summary:
You're great. 
I'll see you next week!
~ U ~ 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

On Love and other Small Fortunes

The Anthology of Pocket Sized Fortunes
A Postcard Pack of Collections!! 

For the last year I've had so many lovely friends request another pack of postcards for the etsy shop - and for about as long, I've been jonesing to create one! 

I am a collector of curiosities; there is no other way to admit it. These cards are full of the small treasures I fill my home with, gifts from nature slipped into pockets, treasured items from dear friends who know me well, bits of the natural world that give me pause, objects d'art that make my heart flutter.  Creating these wee vignettes is such pure play for me; I ransack the mantles, window ledges, side tables, studio corners and naturally, every pant pocket, gathering up a host of treasures on the dining table.  I hem, I haw, I try this with that, I take those out and add these.  I sip more coffee, I dig through jars of sea glass.  And before I know it, I've spent the better part of a day just having fun.  True, light-hearted, nimble fingered play and an every refreshed love for this world I'm blessed to wander.
* * *
Agape Rings
(sterling silver and rose quartz)

We all love.  We love puppy tails, peonies, sherbet colored sunsets, that first hot beverage of the day, the feel of a cool breeze when the day is warm.  We love our chosen families, the friends who meet us for dinner, the people who inspire, the ones who shower us with love.  I have no doubt that every single one of us loves, and loves in spades.  But every now and then, love is tricky.  We forget to turn that shining beacon of love we project to our favorites upon our selves.  Self-love takes intention, and in my life, continual reminding that I am worthy of love, worthy of my kindness, my gentleness, my own unconditional love.  It's a practice new every day, and just in case you are practicing too, I made these rings.  
The tallest domes of rose quartz you ever did see, luminous, vibrant, and rising up high.  Stacks of sterling silver swirling and flowing out, up the arm, straight up to your own heart.  She's light but you'll know she's there, delicate, but substantial enough to pack a love-filled punch.  As I worked on these, I filled my heart with so much love for the fingers who will wear them and soldered in little prayers that they remember to love themselves whole.
* * *

(you can find both the postcard packs and the agape rings in the shop right here!)
I wish you a cheery Tuesday birds!
~ U ~

Monday, June 10, 2013

A Day in the Life of the Dove - A Seattlish Saturday

[A photographic account of a single day in my life - a day of dearest friends visiting for the first time and more young'uns on all fours than any one knew what to do with.]

~ June 8th 2013 ~
9:14 am
11:04 am
11:05 am
11:49 am
11:57 am
11:59 am
12:37 pm
1:32 pm
2:40 pm
2:57 pm
3:48 pm
4:07 pm
4:14 pm
5:06 pm
8:13 pm
8:38 pm
9:01 pm
9:42 pm
9:48 pm
11:31 pm
* * *

Monday, June 3, 2013

Fragments from a Weekend

 I live in the city.  Sometimes, like this morning, this still strikes me as an oddity.  I wish he wasn't at work as my coffee for one feels lonely.  Simultaneously solitary and yet enough as I pad around the property scuffling under the juniper and squatting in the dewy grass.  This morning there was a single vertebrae left atop eight month old detritus I've yet to clear in the name of "forest compost."  I'll add it to the collection because clearly the crows left it for me to find.  
* * *
First there are take out breakfast burritos and drive-through coffee.  The glare of sun on the lake and consequent wall of cloud cover.  It's never the temperature I expect.  We tromp, they gallop, I whistle, we talk.  Everything is so green, the chroma bursts and makes me heady.  There is such an art to joint dreaming but somedays it comes easier than others.  Today, as we pick out properties, discussing important details such as where the studio with its conjoined solarium will sit, I know it's one of the easy ones.  
* * *
Is it common to stride through life unaware of the exact weight we carry in stress until it leaves?  I hold my breath awaiting medical results - as though the act of testing itself makes real the possibility of illness.  But for the first time in three years, the weight was matched by a single beacon of belief in health.  After all, I'm learning.  After all, I'm restructuring each level of my being towards wholeness.  After all, I believe my work here is barely begun.
And after all that, the results came back.  Utterly, perfectly healthy.
(Healer Ring, sterling silver and prehnite)
* * *
Sometimes I hold an image for a long, long time.  Sometimes it just needs to gestate, sometimes I'm waiting to see more, sometimes it's just too much and I find the excuses to stall.  Three years is a long time and this moves straight past all my comfortable barriers into the realm of unknown possibility.   Now it's begun.
It may be finished in a week's time, it may be finished in three months.  I'm not rushing it.  But around here, it will be referred to as "the painting Hummingbird blessed:"
Sketching with a long brush, details of gesture, details of the red-tail, details that will come.  I step close to work, I stand back to view, maybe five feet, eyes squinted.  At that distance, the hummingbird flew down between my physical self and painted self.  It hovered inches from the painting, back and forth between the face and the hawk, rose up, nearly landing on the top edge of canvas.  It turned to face me, lowering its busy body to the center of the canvas and hovered.  For a long second it just buzzed there midair, looking at me, looking at it.  And then with a zip and that flash of iridescence, it was gone.
And that is how I know I'm on the right path.
* * *

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

True Center eCourse: We Have Our Winners!

Before I say another word, I want to thank you.
As I always do, I read each and every comment with great relish, with growing excitement, and was yet again swept over with how amazing this community is.  Your support, your belief, your kindred hearts always bolster my love for humanity and encourage the work of my soul.
So thank you.
Thank you.
Know that I mean it from the whole of my heart and the depth of my soul.
* * *

Here's the truth: when I first woke this morning, I immediately felt the giddy thrill of wondering who the True Center scholarship winners would be.  And as I know you'll want to know too, I'll jump right to it.  With a prayer and the randomness of the draw, I pulled two names:
Jaccalyn (of the fingers crossed)
Bev (who's been peeling away layers for decades)
LADIES, I'm so thrilled to have you join me!  Please send me your email addresses and I'll get you set!!

Again, I'm so grateful to each and every one who took the time to enter, who shared, who will join me in this course, and who is just here believing.  YOU are the bees knees.
You can now officially sign up for the True Center eCourse right HERE!
It's going to be beautiful.  
I can't wait to begin with you and all the brilliance I know you'll bring!
In all love and belief in the work of your hands, heart and soul,
~ U ~

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Huge Horizons, a Give-a-Way, and the all new True Center eCourse

It's such a big day.  
As in heart-pounding, breathless, giddy, just-peeded-a-little excited.
For a handful of years I've felt the tug to teach, to share my experiences, processes, and successes (and not so).  I adore creating, I love story telling.  I believe that the making of my personal art is the first half of its life (albiet the only half I need to find fulfillment in the making): the second half is completed when another person sees that art and it speaks to them, reveals meaning to them, reminds them of their importance, their beliefs, their own life experience.  THAT is my favorite facet of art; the connection, the sharing, the inspiring that in turns inspires others.
All of this in mind, about a year ago I decided to answer the [growing louder and louder] call to craft a course that could be offered across the globe to all kindred spirits.  I've spent months building content, documenting the things that I do to garner and gather inspiration, the ways I translate those ideas into tangible forms, and preparing it in this offering to you.  
And so I present, with the sticky thrill of exhilaration,
True Center.
- The Offering -
True Center is an eCourse focused on the concentrated cultivation of your artistic life.  Over these six weeks we'll join to establish, develop, and grow the creative practices that open the flood gates of inspiration.  We'll talk about where ideas spark and how to open our hearts and minds to receiving more of them.  We'll talk about what it takes to move from vague concept to raw form to polished piece in your medium of choice.  We'll break boxes, expand boundaries, and fearlessly step into the fullness of your unique potential as a creative being.  This course is a safe place for experimentation. for taking leaps into the uncharted waters of your personal well of inspiration.
This is not a course to teach you how to make a pretty painting, to snap the perfect photograph, or to create the loveliest piece of jewelry - although we'll talk about all those concepts and more.  This is a class crafted around unlocking your True Center, working with the deep beauty you already hold inside, taking what lights you up and sets your soul ablaze, and then learning to create from that authentic and inspired place.  This is a course for those willing to delve into soulwork, to use their utterly individual experience as a glorious human being to inform their art.  This is a course for those who want to add depth, intention, meaning and story to the work of their hands.  This is a course for finding your True Center.

- The Details -
Through the True Center eCourse you will receive:
- Six weeks of concentrated instruction in a private virtual classroom.  Each week will hold new themes, vibrant lesson posts, videos, assignments, journaling and projects.
- Two LIVE group Question and Answer sessions to address the your questions on art, making, technical skill, broad concepts, and what ever else comes up!
- Entrance into our "secret" FaceBook group, a place to share inspirations, artistic breakthroughs (and the plateaus that always come before), build like-minded community and find support in this path of life and artistry as one.

- The Other Details -
- The True Center Summer Session will open on Monday June 24th and run for six full weeks, with instruction ending on Friday August 2nd.  All content will remain available for an additional six weeks to ensure plenty of time for completion.  
- Registration  for the True Center Summer Session course is $99; sign-ups officially going live on Wednesday May 29. 
- This is an OPEN MEDIUM course.  What does that mean you ask?  The True Center eCourse is designed to meet you where you are, in the medium in which you love.  Much of the assignments and projects we'll do will take place in our sketchbooks and journals in order to develop the resource tools to inform your personal artwork.  We will discuss moving ideas, from the thought phase, through various mediums and how to interpret inspiration across the mediums you prefer to work with.
- The FaceBook group is optional, and in no way a requirement for taking the course.  I strongly believe that we must be true to that which feeds us, supports us, lifts us up in order to boldly create art; for some a high integrity community is a vital part of this process.  Either way, know that I believe in the decisions you make.
* * *
Now here's the best part:
In the joy and excitement of this offering, it is my glee to gift two people with a scholarship to the True Center eCourse.  All you need to do is leave me a comment here, on this blog post, with the words "TRUE CENTER" somewhere in the comment!  It's that easy! 
 If you'd like to enter more than once, then I'd like that too! Every time you:
- "like" the UmberDove FaceBook page
- share this post via FaceBook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest etc. (your social media of choice),
- reblog this post
Simply leave me an additional, separate comment to let me know and consider yourself double, triple, quadrupled entered into the give-a-way!
The Give-a-way opens NOW and closes at midnight Tuesday May 28th.  I'll be back on Wednesday May 29th to announce the winners and open registration for the summer session!
* * *

My friends, my sisters, my kindreds, I just want to thank you for being the bright shinning stars you are!  I can not wait to begin this next part of the journey with you!
~ Umber ~

Monday, May 20, 2013

Ancestral Mythology, Vol 1.

This is a story of the People.
Long, long ago when the earth was still bright eyed and the People did not yet know Her fullness, the sun shone harsh and baked the soil.  For weeks the People stood with parched tongues at the valley edge, watching the storm clouds high above the mountain range.  High, higher than anyone had dared climb, so high their eyes watered and wept, so high the trees sighed and released their leaves.  In the valley the grasses withered and the children cried out for the hunger in their bellies.  The women huddled and in hushed tones wondered where to lead their tribe. 
The eldest woman cried out "Deer Mother, Deer Mother, how do we save our babies?  Where will we lead our men?"  And so Deer ran down from the trees and walked among the People, noting their empty baskets and innocent hearts.  She looked to the high mountains, flowering and lush.
"You must travel North," Deer said, "You must follow the rain for in its path the land springs green eternal.
"But we can not climb so high" lamented the People.  "Our feet are too broad for the narrow trails, our toes too tender for the shale.  Our legs are not strong enough for those steep sides and we shall surely fall to our death."
Deer looked at the People with their wide open eyes full of hope and fear.
"Climb," she said, dropping to her knees.  "Climb and I will carry you."  And so the People clambered upon her back, the young, the old, the men, the women.  She carried them high, higher than any had ever traveled before, so high that when the People turned they saw the whole of the Earth stretched out before them and their eyes were opened to Her fullness.  Deer carried them until the air was scented with the tang of damp loam and the grasses grew thick and dark.  The People slid off her back, kissed her neck, and ate their fill.
And that child, is how we became a People of the Deer.
Ancestral Mythology: People of the Deer
(sterling silver, prehnite, amazonite, and gaspeite)