where to start ......

....... it's been such an extraordinary week.
The Etsy Anniversary sale was a great success.  That success provided funding for a psychic consultation (a great story) and an amazing haul at the gem show (the story continues) ... so a huge huge thank you to my Etsy following ... I am so very blessed.

First the story of the psychic. 
I know, for myriad reasons, we've all lost touch with people in our lives.  After 13 years (maybe longer), I just reconnected with a dear friend.  I've tried off and on through the years to find her via the internet.  Back when we were in touch, she was working for her brother's backpack company, Osprey packs (world class, top of the line packs) as well as building a photo journalistic portfolio with a focus on child labor in India and building an adobe house in SW Colorado with her new husband.  We last saw each other when she came east to do a series of technical workshops for the packs.  I road along ... a glorious week of chatting and traveling.  Back in February, I took another shot and there she was. 

Rachel and her family, husband and 2 kids, had moved back to her home town of Santa Cruz, CA.  Along the way, she'd gone back to school and become a counselor.  Turns out she's also been developing her psychic gifts through the years as an added component to her counseling skills.  I emailed her straight away and waited and waited.  No idea if she'd gotten the email or if she was interested in reconnecting.  Then a few days ago, she emailed me back!  I burst into tears when I read her email ... I was absolutely overcome.

It's a teeny picture, but here's my long lost friend, Rachel Pfotenhauer.  Further emails were exchanged and, after my wonderful sale weekend, I decided to splurge and see if she would do a reading for me.  Not being particularly patient, I thought it would be helpful to do the reading before heading to the gem show.  It all fell together perfectly ... yesterday afternoon we did one of her full readings.  I've had my horoscope done with a private reading and I've had two other psychic readings, one in person, one distant - I wrote my questions, she sent me a tape of the reading.  Rachel's currently in Kauai, so our reading was over the phone.  Basically, I was blown away.  This was hands down the most thorough and coherent reading I could have hoped for.  Throw in reconnecting with a dear friend and it was about as wonderful as could be.

A big part of the reading was about my current work - All One Talismans.  The message was clear, brace myself and get ready, these are going to be big.  I asked if there was any advice on things to look for as I wondered through the gem show ... the answer - black something, maybe obsidian and something that looks like tiger's eye.  Basically, just listen to my intuition and I won't go wrong ... and stock up!

So stock up I did!  Here's my superb haul ...

I found some amazing things.  The 'tiger eye' stones I found are way more interesting than plain old tiger eye, they're fire etched agate ... I got a bunch!

The black ended up being black tourmaline nuggets along with some very dark kyanite and some African coconut discs.

I got a bunch of really excellent aquas ... some very cool Chinese turquoise (I just love those thin squares), apatite nuggets and a variety of aquamarine shards and nuggets.

Then there's the greens ... vesuvianite shards and more Chinese turquoise.

I got more nuggets in browns and some rich russets and red ... from right to left - African amber, scapolite, garnet, hessionite garnet and sunstone.

Then there's this very cool find ... apatite nuggets that I'm going to top drill - they're in the 1 to 1 1/2" long range.  I bought six ...

But hands down, the coolest thing I found was agatized bamboo.  I've never heard of such a thing.  But they are amazing ... and hollow!    They make a wonderful sound when they clink against each other.  I just need to clean out the cores.  I bought eight ...

Normally, the gem show is one of my big social events of the year.  Today, I wasn't so much anti-social as supremely focused ... a focus that paid off in spades. 

The mystery component of the Talismans arrived in the mail today ... experiments will ensue, the big reveal to come ... not sure when.  But stay tuned, 'cause like the song says, "I'm just so excited!"

l i g a - kvk