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Smoky skies over Lake Pend Oreille

View across Lake Pend Oreille (Idaho) towards Monarchs.


Since the middle of July we've had mostly smoky skies with occasional breaks for a couple hours.  This past Sunday morning brought cool temperatures and some intermittent showers.  Just what we'd hoped for so we could walk outside and take deep breaths.  It's been so long since I felt I could do more than take shallow ones for fear of damaging my lungs forever.  Our eyes have been dry and itchy.  Headaches, tiredness, breathing issues...

Lake Pend Oreille Sunset August 2015

A little clearer this night.


This is nothing, NOTHING, compared to what so many have endured in the west this summer.  We can talk about our fellow citizens that have lost their homes, their businesses, everything.  We can mourn the towns that will be forever changed and may never recover fully.  Wildlife and farm animals alike have suffered.  The loss of breathtakingly beautiful scenery that for many of us will never reach our memory of it in our remaining lifetime.

Fireman's Talisman Pendant

Fireman's Talisman

Prudent Man Plumed Agate from Idaho, Blue Topaz, Aquamarine

Ceramic by MakuStudios

Bead embroidered with Japanese glass seed beads


However it's the firefighters that have worked unbelievable hours in trying to do what seems to be the impossible that inspired this small series of jewelry pieces.  The firefighters that have come from other countries like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have honored themselves and their country's friendship with ours.  The families of those firefighters also are in my heart, especially those who lost their brave selfless relative to the flames.

Cherry Creek Jasper earrings

Indian Summer

Cherry Creek Jasper set in copper



It's awesome to celebrate the power and love of humanity at its best.

Prudent Man Plumed Agate earrings

Western Summer 2015

Prudent Man Plumed Agate from Idaho

Blue Topaz briolettes


I can't help but wonder if the head in the sand approach and infighting to the inconvenient truth (thank you Mr. Gore for trying) of climate change has taken us beyond human repair.  Certainly no one can want to take a wait and see approach at this time.


Monarchs, Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho

Same view back in May.  You can practically touch the Monarchs!


"Firemen never die, they just burn forever in the hearts of the people whose lives they saved." ~Susan Diane Murphree


I have lived in Colorado

I have lived in Colorado through some of the fire seasons. The visibility and breathablility are nil and the destruction of the landscape, wildlife and man made structures seems endless. My roommate volunteered to feed the firemen and brought some home to shower. I think that was against some policy, but they did it and were grateful nonetheless. Smoke and fire season has brushed against your muse in a sad and beautiful way. The droplets of water are the most thoughtful touch.

water is life

What a nice thing to do for those firemen. If we had a group close by I'd bring them baked goods or something. I know they feed them well and have good shelters for them, but when you see the photos of them just lying down on rocks to get a rest you just want to take them home and give them a nice bed to sleep on for sure.

I spoke to a forest ranger a couple weeks ago at the county fair and the reality is that this was needed. Many of the fires they are managing to direct away from homes and buildings and letting them burn out on their own. The forests are filled with fallen over trees, brush, etc. that normally would have a fire go through and clean it up every so often. We have stopped these fires for so long that the fuel is tremendous. Man and nature again don't always have the best balance.

Inspired by fire

Having grown up in the PNW it has been particularly devastating to see the destruction these fires have brought. My first living in SF was the year of the Oakland fire, I can remember sitting on my deck in Noe Valley and having the sky cloud over almost like dusk only to find out that a fire had broke out. Yet one more devastating fire.

I am with you on climate change, and worry about our future if nothing is done. Not just in the US but globally. We are all truly connected and need to learn to share, replenish and care for this earth.

Your pieces bring out such beauty in an otherwise bleak discussion. I do so love these colors and the stones are stunning. Really loving your metal work Janet. Makes me want to pick up a torch, but not sure I can find the time to add another technique at the moment. But so very tempting looking at the beauty you are creating!


I am thinking that the internet will bring about more change than if we didn't have it. I look at what Humans of NY has done to bring people closer and understand our differences are few. If the positive folks can outweigh the trolls we have a chance. However, it seems the political leaders listen to the people even less than they did before. That might be a perception rather than a reality that they never really did.

You'll find that time at some point, Cynthia. You've got a lot going on right now with work and your family. Yet, you still are creating so many beautiful cab pieces yourself. I'm sad that my studio time is dwindling here. I won't have much this month due to a lot of visitors. I enjoy the time with friends and family, too, so it's a good balance. I guess. :-)

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