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I am UmberDove.

And by that, I mean an artist.  One who hears stories in the wind, who paints because it is what her soul tells her to do, who smiths because the muse moves through her fingertips, who loves nothing more than the promise of an unexplored trail, the sound of the ocean in her ears, and scent of a serious cup of coffee.


The Joy Project


Here is the truth:
The waters of my soul have been anything but smooth lately.  Swift currents have kicked up and left me speechless, gritty waves have threatened the light of hope I hold tight against my sternum.  There is no one tidy answer, no magic pill, just a determined plunking of one muddied boot after the other.  There have been days filled with so much light and goodness that I've had to shade my eyes, but also days where the fog has rolled in and I've wandered in silence through the river beds.
But if I can tell you one thing about me it is this:
I am a fighter.
My name, my birth name, is Kelly Nichole which very directly translates to Victorious Warrior.
And there is something deep within my heart that is shifting, some hidden mortar crumbling, some tectonic plate of soul that is stretching and ripping as it moves in exactly the way it was meant to move.
It's uncomfortable to say the least.  But I know that somewhere, some hold on my life is being wrenched free and that when I emerge on the other side a brightness will spill from my chest the likes of which I've never seen.
So until then, I'm finding all the small joys I can gather.  Purposefully acknowledging the slightest things that move the corners of my mouth, marking them as GOOD, as a GIFT and holding on to them for dear hope. 
And here is where I'd love for you to join me.
I've just begun a new Flickr group.
It's called The Joy Project.
The idea is simple: take a photo, it can be a self-portrait (in the broadest sense), a snippet of your home, a snap of your daily view, WHATEVER you feel a sense of joy in for that day, for that moment.  Upload it to the group with a short caption of one thing that you have taken joy in that day.  And that's it!  Safe, easy, no huge commitments to months or years, just a gentle sharing and fostering of like-minded community.
Would you like to join me?
Pop on over to the group, The Joy Project, right HERE.

And while we're on the subject of joy, I need to express just how much the rhythmic thrumping of hammers and soft glow of metal has bouyed my heart lately.  I can't stay out of the studio!
My sketchbook is stuffed with ideas and my bench is covered with works in progress.  So much so that I think there may be a very official shop update in the works shortly...
But for now a little sneak peek:
Ten Thousand Small Histories No 2
Sterling Silver and Northern California Beach Pottery 
To learn about the inspiration behind this piece, click here
(Can I tell you one thing about these bits of perfectly sea-weathered pottery?  I've carried these two  slices with me for years now, in a tiny mason jar, pulling them out every once in a while to admire and roll about in the palm of my hand.  The off-white piece features a beautiful bit of illustration - I believe it was a branch at one time, but now is a lesson in the perfection of abstraction.  Sigh.  I even remember the squeal I let out when I found it.)
(Lastly, I'm planning a shop update for next Monday, December 5th - whoot! - however if this necklace speaks to you before then, it is absolutely RESERVABLE!  Just drop me an Etsy convo HERE.  Reserved!)