I’m in the midst of a bunch of different projects, all jewelry-related and it’s been an ABSOLUTE joy to start creating again. A new collection will hopefully drop this month after I hold a raffle for Puerto Rico (more deets below). I’ve thoroughly enjoyed challenging myself as a new mom and jeweler this past month and feel like I’ve made some breakthroughs. And hellllloooo October.

I’ve Got a Guy

In my last year in Spain, I had moved to a new city and barely knew anyone. As I was walking around my neighborhood, I noticed that I was surrounded by all these fabulous speciality food shops and decided to try them out since it’s something that I don’t have here in New Mexico. Pretty quickly I had a honey guy, a fruit and veg guy, an organic herb guy and as they got to know me, they’d set aside foods for me to try. I would ask them how they’d prepare certain dishes and they’d eagerly share their knowledge with me. My biggest takeaway from that experience was getting to know your vendors because they can offer you a lot more than just the sale of a product. Now for my business, I have carefully chosen local vendors where I know I can get high-quality gems, tools and materials while also asking for their expertise. Life is good.

The Shop

Off a noisy, bustling street, there's an alleyway with a single dim light hanging over a sign. The sign has no name, just an image, which feels like an invitation. With just a glimpse into the shop, there is what seems to be a hidden world. The inside has the appearance of a cabinet of curiosities covered in fresh-cut flowers. The humming in the background isn’t that of a bee, but rather of a jeweler’s saw cutting through metal. The old wooden floors are lined with rich antique rugs and the shop smells spicy. Upon entering, there’s a tray with Turkish delight, baklava and Moroccan mint tea. Amongst the curio are the jewelry treasures, glistening with precious metals and gemstones. Each piece depicts a scene from a faraway time weaving the story before your eyes. The painted horses can be heard stampeding in that one, and the women under the apple tree appear to be whispering in this one. The jeweler continues humming away, bringing to life the mythological musings from a distant past.

Ok, enough daydreaming.

Raffle for Puerto Rico

For this first week of October, I’ll be holding a raffle for the victims of Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico. I’ve decided on an organization called Techos Pa Mi Gente (which translates to Rooftops For My People). I have roots in Puerto Rico, my grandparents were both from the island and the town where they were from was hit pretty hard. I still have family there and even though they are distant cousins, they are still people I grew up knowing and having in my life and it is important for me to contribute in some small way. I’ve created several bronze pieces: two earrings, one cuff. While the notifications for this raffle will be announced through my email list and Instagram, all donations/raffle purchases will take place right here on my website. The raffle will last for one week from October 3-9, mark your calendars!

New Logo

Not much to say on this other than I’m super excited to finally have a new logo. See it at the top of my page? I wanted it to represent history, art, and my love for statement earrings and I think this sums it up nicely.

Bulgari-Inspired Capsule Collection

Madre mia, new work! It’ll be coming your way soon. I like to take my time with photos to create a proper mood but this collection will be great for your holiday needs. It focuses exclusively on gemstone earrings. Some of them I’ve left unfinished so that you could choose whether to finish them with a hook or post. Email subscribers will get first dibs as always.

Newsletter vs Email

A few of you asked me about why my newsletter, which is normally in the emails, is now on my website. I’ve decided to be more democratic about my newsletter so that we’re ALL informed as opposed to only some of us staying informed. I want to keep emails pretty short and sweet from now on. They will mostly be reserved for first dibs on any collection drop (along with a discount code) but I don’t want to bombard you with a big, chunky email anymore. Every month, I will be sharing with you anything that is fit to print in regards to AyC in the form of an online newsletter.

Here's what to look for and how to stay informed:

  • Instagram is the place to watch for weekly process, be notified of (possibly sudden) updates, and to view the upcoming work.

  • Emails will be sent out with a discount code one day before a collection is released to the public.

  • Newsletters are casual, monthly, fun, and available all right here on this website.

I hope that makes sense and please reach out with any questions. Thebest way to contact me these days is via Instagram DM.

Ok, that’s all. I’m getting excited for when baby girl gets older and we can celebrate Halloween properly. Do I want to dress her as a black cat every year for the rest of her life? Certainly. Ughhh, she’s going to be the cutest little kitten ever and you’re so damn right that I’ll be making her jewelry to match. Don’t get me started, I’m signing off.

Mmmmmmmm byeeeeeeeeee.

Ugh. It feels SO good to give this page a new name, a new purpose, and to stop trying to be a blog. I honestly struggled with the name blog or journal and time and time again it would keep me from writing. A newsletter is just a list of short updates, which is perfect for my type of writing. Plus it feels like it's got a little more swagger.

Let’s get to it.

Back in the Studio and It Feels Sooooo Good

The past few days, I've stepped back into my studio (with the Bebé laying on the floor right next to me) and it's been totally satisfying. I spent most of last week putting together gemstones and prepped them so that this week I could just sit at my bench and solder. That hard work paid off and I have been able to get a lot accomplished so far. I spent a good amount of time playing (ahem, working) with gemstones to get the perfect color harmonies and I'm really excited to finish this batch of earrings. Expect to see anything from statement to stud.

A Nod to Bulgari

If you've been watching my IG stories, then you know that these latest earrings will be inspired by the Roman jewelry brand Bulgari. On one of my trips to Rome, my mom and I stumbled on an exhibit that was all about Bulgari jewelry and it made such an impression on us. I never forgot about it and when I decided on this Rome collection, I knew that I wanted to make earrings inspired by that exhibit. They use a lot of colorful gemstones, repeat design elements, and snakes. I’m imagining these being worn by the old Hollywood celebrities like Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Sofia Loren, and Anita Ekberg. I want glamour, I want decadence, and as always, I want them to be fun.

I Finished the Aeneid

Literally no one cares about this except me, but I have to say it: I’m proud. Very proud. I made it a goal four years ago to read the three main Classics—The Iliad, The Odyssey, and The Aeneid—and I finally read The Aeneid. I felt like something was missing for me when I set out to incorporate art history into my work and I realized that I had no background in the Classics. Now that I’ve read them, I understand the context and the stories behind the art. Anyway, it’s done. I can finally say that I’ve read all three books.

Capsule (themed) Collections over One Giant Mammoth Drop

I have too many ideas for this Rome collection to do one giant earring drop so I’ve decided to do smaller drops beginning soon (hopefully) and continuing through next year. Some collections will be larger than others, it’ll really just depend on the theme and how many designs I can come up with each. I've always admired artists who take their time with a theme and dig deeper into a collection and not just do something impulsively. I was like, "if you like it so much then why aren't you doing it?" and that's exactly what I'll be doing with this theme. Mini drops, digging deeper, enjoying the process, making art.

I’m Going to Start Signing My Work Again

I haven’t signed my work in a few years because I felt like I just wanted to make the work and not think about my name so much. But I recently started looking through my personal collection of jewelry and kept looking for details or any sign that could give me some information on the piece. I realized that any information I put on a piece of jewelry is not about me and I needed to stop thinking that way. I’m still trying to figure out the perfect symbol to represent my work which is making me think I need an updated logo as well. Spiraling!

Ok, that's all. Happy September. I don't know know why, but I saw September 1st on my phone yesterday and felt a huge sigh of relief. Cooler weather, snuggling in front of the fire, and wearing my favorite velvet pants again. Life is good.

Mmmmmmm byeeeee.

I’m entering my third month of motherhood and I’ve been feeling this deep need to write about my birthing experience. It keeps coming up in my head and it’s like I want to talk about it. I’ve always been drawn to artists who can take their life experiences and turn them into art—Frida Kahlo is one of my favorite examples of this—but for me to do it personally has always been difficult. With the age of the internet, there’s a fine line between sharing and oversharing and I tend to avoid sharing personal life stories. But this feels different. I think that writing about the birth will actually help me move forward and in that process, I’ll find some truths to take with me on my creative journey. Does that make sense?

As I had mentioned on IG, I had to have a c-section and honestly, it’s the best thing that could’ve happened to me. While pregnant, I was terrified of the actual labor part and the thought of trying to have a natural birth for 20+ hours just seemed unbearable. The hospital I went to really advocates natural births and when I was taking the labor class, they made c-sections sound like it was a last-resort option. I just never considered it as something that I’d go through but when I went into the hospital, it’s like my conscience and my body were actually in tune because I had the fastest delivery imaginable; my baby was out in the world in 50 minutes.

It all happened so quickly that the event itself feels like it didn’t occur to me. I didn’t have time to get scared or upset or to cry or to think it all the way through. I checked into the hospital, they hooked me up to a few machines and then suddenly there were 10 nurses in the room with me. I knew that something was serious. I was lying down on my side and a doctor appeared in my face and said I needed the c-section and was asking for my verbal consent. As they were carting me down the hall to the operating room, a nurse was telling me that everything was going to be ok but then she also had to tell me that the operation could be fatal.

Did she have to use that f-word?

When she dropped the word ‘fatal,’ I kind of turned off to what was going on and questioned whether I wanted to cry. My own voice replied, “no, not now” and I just blocked it out of my mind as they stripped me down and transferred my body to another bed. In the operating room, there had to be about 15 people working in there at once. They were rushing all over the place, and I distinctly remember this man giving orders and laying out a fresh supply of tools on a metal table. Someone told me to lay my arms out in a T shape and my first thought was of a crucifixion. Why did my mind have to go straight to that? I silently chuckled to myself because it felt reassuring to have my sense of humor with me while everything else was outside of my control.

The epidural went in and they literally had me sign some paperwork as the needle was going into my spine. My husband came in, the lights overhead were super bright above and a curtain came down to block our view of the surgery. I could feel my body being tugged this way and that, like my hips were being jostled between the whole crew of doctors and nurses on the other side of that curtain. I imagined that the bottom half of my body was moving around like one of those roadside air dancer tubes. I couldn’t tell when my baby came out of my body but I did hear her cries and my husband poked his head from out of the curtain and just said, “oh my god, she’s here!”

Before I knew it, they brought her to me and it was kind of like I already knew her. It wasn’t surreal or emotional for me the way most mothers describe it. She just was this part of me that I already had met or grown to know over the months. What’s interesting is that during my pregnancy, I had made the Vanitas Collection. I was starting to feel a deeper connection with intuition because I was thinking of myself as a mother and who I wanted to become. That intuition spilled into my creative process and it felt like I knew what I wanted to make so the Vanitas Collection felt very different from my previous bodies of work. I was working with her and learning from her even before she was born, and because creativity is how I communicate when I say that I already knew her, that’s why. Meeting her and seeing her for the first time felt very normal and natural.

I think the quick labor and c-section are symbolic of our personalities. I absolutely do not enjoy having my time wasted and tend to strive for efficiency. She is already showing signs of someone who knows exactly what she likes or doesn’t like and does not have time for anything else. I know that her confidence will be something that I learn from and will ultimately shape how I create pieces in the future. Is that weird to feel that way already? Maybe because I love how motherhood, or even major life events, push artists to connect more with their art. When something big like this happens, they learn from it and absorb it until it becomes their art.