Monday, December 31, 2007

A New Year

"Well, at least this year's ending better than it began," she thought with a flicker of a smile. Although, really, at the beginning of last year, she'd had no idea how bad things were. Nor did she really know how good things were now. So perhaps there wasn't much difference after all. She'd been as hopeful a year ago as she was today; however, she sincerely hoped that she was not as clueless as she'd been 365 days ago.

"Nice way to begin," she thought, ruefully, "not exactly a strong start." But never mind. Today was the last day of what had been a very difficult year; and tomorrow morning would present her with a beautiful, brand-new, shiny clean new year to start her life all over again. Perhaps this time...

She felt definite possibilities.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, freshwater pearls, moonstone necklace. Hand fabricated.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Catch me if you can

She flung out her arms and twirled around; enjoying the brief sensation of flight that she always found in dizziness. She heard her daughter giggle as she copied her; did she feel the same sudden loss of contact with the earth? She darted off, twisting and turning, running crazily, but never going very far.

Her tiny daughter followed her every step; arms outstretched, laughter contagious.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, amethyst. Hand forged and hand fabricated.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tamesa Aestuarium

The river Thames ran long before we came, and it will run long after we leave. It has run under many names; its waters have nourished and carried many people, from well before recorded time until now; there is no reason to think it will not see many more generations.

It is an estuary; the river flows into the North Sea and the sea rises in turn to meet it. Its tides have brought people from many lands to its shores. Beneath the river lies the evidence of many lives; tesserae from the Roman occupation joins the skeletons of fish consumed in Celtic times and create homes for the peculiar denizens of the brackish waters.

They keep their own counsel, these waters; they have seen the rise and fall of more than one civilization.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, lampwork by Donna Millard of Fyrebeadz. Hand fabricated.

Sunday, December 9, 2007


She loved to lose herself in museums, and the Museum of London was ideal for that purpose. More than any other she'd found, it let her disappear into another time in this very place. Between groups of schoolchildren, she imagined peeling back the layers of asphalt, dirt, stone and mortar that was London today and walking on the mosaic floors that were hidden from view, virtually everywhere in this city.

But the more things change, the more they remain the same; romantic fancies aside, she knew that this very spot, where bits of Hadrian's wall still stood, was every bit the business center then that it was today. She grinned ruefully; no doubt it would be just as hard to find a late supper downtown, regardless of the time she found herself in.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, lampwork by Donna Millard of Fyrebeadz. Hand fabricated.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Love me, love me knot

She wasn't ordinary. She had a style all her own, and had lived a life that was an inspiration to the girls and women who had known her. Her humor and her creativity were her legacy; her granddaughter thanked her silently as she worked, grateful for the gift of letting the work lead her to its own conclusion, thankful for permission to happily make changes midstream and follow the flow of the design as she worked.

Her granddaughter hadn't been born with that ability; oh, no, quite the contrary. As a young girl, she'd wanted to make things do what she wanted them to do, and she'd been quite humorless about it when they didn't cooperate. It hadn't been easy for her to accept her grandmother's easy attitude toward changing things; she'd struggled and tried to force fabric and thread to bend to her will. She could not laugh about failure at all.

It was only in her later years that she appreciated her gift.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, lampwork by Donna Millard, freshwater pearls, czech glass. Hand fabricated. In the private collection of Ida Newcomer.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Fairy Wife

Once upon a time in fairy land, a mother was busily airing out a tiny house in preparation for the arrival of her daughter and new son-in-law after their wedding trip. She'd opened up the door and all the windows, shaken out the cobweb lace curtains, swept the floor, and made up the bed with the softest dandelion fluff linens imaginable.

She was such a round little thing, as she flitted hither and yon; her iridescent gown sparkled in the sunlight and her golden head and toes shone gaily as she went about her work. Just moments before their arrival she cut a few of the roses that grew around the door and placed them in the foyer on her way out.

She wanted her daughter to start her new life surrounded by love.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, gold-filled beads, jelly opal. Hand fabricated.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Shining light

She smiled as she unpacked the box of decorations; she wasn't one of those people who buy new every year, no, her decorations may be a bit shabby looking to anyone else, but to her they were priceless. She carefully hung the ornaments her children had made in kindergarten; they were all grown now, but how easy it was to remember their gleeful faces and little fingers hanging them on the tree that first year. She hung them low, just like they had.

She hung the stockings at the mantle, next; one day, when her children had families of their own, their stockings would go home with them to hang on their own mantles. She patted them, smoothing out the wrinkles, remembered making them when her children were still babies. Perhaps she would make more, one day, for her grandchildren.

She put all the boxes away, poured herself a cup of tea, and lost herself in the lights.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, cubic zirconia, freshwater pearl. Hand fabricated.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Hello again

He looked familiar, but not totally so. Perhaps he just reminded here of someone she knew, but she couldn't quite put her finger on who it might be. She had the oddest feeling that she'd known him well; but, if that were the case, surely she'd remember.

Nope, better just forget about it; she was far from home and the chances of running into someone she knew were slim to nonexistent. She was probably just projecting her homesickness onto the most attractive man in the room.

She glanced around the room again; yup, he was definitely the best looking man there. Did it really matter if she knew him or not? She wanted to know him now. She walked over to his table before she could change her mind.

"Hello, again!" She said, merrily. "Remember me?"

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, lampwork by Glass and Splinters Lampwork Art. Hand fabricated.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Angels Unaware

She hated the old pump; hated the way it froze up; hated going outside to fetch water every time she needed some. She'd heard of people rich enough to have water piped right into the house; she'd heard that all they had to do was turn a knob and watch that water pour out, never stopping until the knob was turned back the other way. She wasn't sure she believed it, but oh, she wanted to. Just once in her life, she'd like to turn a knob and have water pour out; she wouldn't turn it back the other way, oh, no, she'd let that water pour in until it filled the house. What an idea!

She laughed at her own fancy as she lifted the buckets and headed back toward the house; she saw the men, working hard in the fields behind the house, and she quickened her step. The dishes would wait, and she could always pump more water.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, aquamarine, lampwork by Gail Kops of Beadles. Hand fabricated.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Pilgrim's Progression

Christianne automatically leaned to the left as her overloaded handbag began to slip off her right shoulder; she caught it in the crook of her arm with a jerk that would have made her lurch into the woman in front of her if she hadn't already counter-balanced herself. She took advantage of the moment to rub her shoulder ruefully; the bag had worn such a groove, it was amazing that it ever slipped off. Her husband always wondered if she had bricks in there; she wasn't sure why it was so heavy, but she was quite certain that there wasn't anything in there that she could live without.

When it was her turn, she rummaged in her bag, found her wallet and paid for her purchases. She added the new bags to the ones she was already carrying; re-shouldered her handbag, and went on her way.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, lampwork by Donna Millard of Fyrebeadz. Hand fabricated.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Morning glory

She stepped out the door and headed down to the stables, fastening her jacket against the early morning cold; rubbing her hands together to warm her fingers enough to do what she had to do. The garden was nearly finished; not enough there to bother picking. She stopped and looked at the sky; clear and bright, all the way down the mountain to the sea. There was a hawk, lazily surfing the thermals; he'd already had his breakfast and the orphaned calf was reminding her that he hadn't had his.

"I'm coming!" she called, but he wouldn't be convinced until the bottle was in his mouth.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver and turquoise bracelet. Hand fabricated.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Leaf Frost

Fall lingered late this year; the leaves turned very slowly and took their own time leaving the trees. Our first snow came long before the leaves fell, just an early morning dusting, but the backdrop of red, orange and yellow made the fat flakes look very exotic and unexpected.

It melted before I thought to take a photograph; but even now, when all the leaves have fallen, I will picture them behind the next snowfall.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver and lampwork earrings. Hand fabricated.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


She sat on the edge of the pond and tossed nuggets of koi food into it; she watched the crisscrossing patterns of the ripples as she sent each lump into a different place. The fish were new, they were hiding from her largesse; they didn't understand that these small missiles that disrupted the surface of their lives were actually sustenance that would nurture them and help them grow.

She leaned back on the bench and felt the morning sun on her face; she closed her eyes briefly and enjoyed the moment. She wished she could just explain things to them, somehow show them her purpose; but they would have to figure it out themselves. She knew that, in time, there would be those who welcomed her with glad hearts; those who followed the others, wishing that they knew what the first seemed to know; and those who stayed forever hidden, fearful of her very existance.

Faith was always a choice.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Gold-filled and tourmaline bracelet. Hand fabricated.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Slings and Arrows

"Time to do battle," she thought grimly, and dressed accordingly. Nothing weak or uncomfortable would do; no high heels, nothing that would need adjusting or have to be accounted for; thongs and dangly earrings were out, out, out today. She would be completely, totally, prepared.

No matter what.

She synchronized her watch with the clock on the microwave; it wouldn't do to be late. Being caught unaware gave her opponents too much advantage; she calculated that she had ten or twelve minutes to spare. Her coffee cup was still in the microwave from this morning when she'd punched "reheat" and forgotten about it; she punched it again and vowed to remember this time.

Dang it. The bus was early today. Her teenagers were home.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Copper and lampwork bracelet. Hand fabricated with a heat patina.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Searching for hope

It was the dust, more than anything, that wore us out. It coated everything. Even the water we sipped got muddied from the dust on our lips. We held out as long as we could; cursing the sky when the promise of rain was delivered to other parts, the clouds building, and then vanishing, before our very eyes.

Every day we woke up to find more people gone. It seemed they'd decided at bedtime and took off before the sun rose, too worn out to stay, and too embarrassed to say goodbye. We didn't fully understand until it was our turn. We left the same way they had, the pre-dawn darkness hiding our shame, the truck filled to bursting with household goods and children.

We vowed not to stop until the land gave us flowers.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, lampwork by Melissa Vess of Inner Realm Creations. Hand fabricated.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Summer Skies

The sky is heavy today; winter is coming, and although it is not cold enough, the clouds look like they hold snow. Summer is a pleasant memory; I have lost the oppressiveness of heat and humidity and only remember the deep turquoise of the summer sky as thunderclouds build for an afternoon storm. The summer sky of my memory isn't this sky, uniformly heavy and pale grey; it is a dramatic and noisy sky, demanding and receiving attention as we gather up our towels, find the lost sand toys, and scurry back home before the storm breaks.

That summer sky is from such a long time ago; my children were small, then, and summer stretched out for months and months ahead and behind us. We went to the beach every day under that summer sky, and we knew its pattern as well as well as we knew our own swim-suited bodies. We lived by its rhythm.

Today's sky asks for nothing.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Bracelet; sterling silver, amazonite, lampwork by Gail Kops of Beadles. Hand fabricated.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Glacier Lakes

I had been climbing for hours and there was still a lot of mountain in front of me. I had been promised a great view from the summit, but I seriously doubted I would get there. I raised my hand to shade my eyes, tipped my head back, and looked up. Way up.

I ran through the entire motion, backwards, and looked down at where I'd been. I looked at my watch and did a little mental math. I couldn't fool myself into believing that I could significantly pick up my pace; the climbing was getting harder, not easier. And even if I pretended that I could come down the mountain at four times the speed I'd gone up, I was not going to make it. Not before midnight; and, even though the trail was excellent, and well-marked for beginners like me, I was not keen to be going down the mountain in any sort of dark, let alone pitch dark.

I looked around; it was too early to give up and head back now; but going forward just to fill the time seemed pointless. Aha. A trail marked in blue branched off the the right; that would do.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Earrings; sterling silver, lampwork by Gail Kops of Beadles. Hand fabricated.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


I'd gotten to the point where the reflections in the water seemed more real to me than what was being reflected. It was, after all, just a simple paradigm shift; a trick of perception; a game I played and, depending on how you considered the outcome, lost or won.

Such a strange mirror; the water deepened the color of the sky, and, where it slid over boulders it obscured things with frothy bubbles that shimmered and made the world look even more abstract than usual. I realized suddenly that I preferred the reflection to reality; its fluid dance swiftly eclipsed the staid, solid world and replaced darkness with its own light.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, amazonite, lampwork by Melissa Vess of Inner Realm Creations. Hand fabricated.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

River Run

The river was central to our lives; as she ran, so did we. In the summer she ran slowly; our children played in her shallows, and we were careful to use no more of her water than necessary. We planted our crops in the rich soil that the river relinquished to us; as summer slowly cooled into fall, we harvested and stored food for the colder months ahead.

The winter rains sent the water tumbling and rushing over her banks; we kept our children close and told them terrifying stories of her powers so that they would stay by our sides and shun the fascination of the raging current. We were not always successful; our stories had the bitter taste of truth to season them.

But every year, Spring would bring a gentleness to the river, and we worked beside her with respect, leaving the fear behind.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

This bracelet is made from sterling silver and ocean jasper. Hand fabricated. 8 inches long, fits 6-7 inch wrists.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Soul of the earth

How deep must I dig before I find something? I couldn't let that thought stay; I had to keep scratching up the earth beneath me, my mind empty and my hands full. I will break up and move this ground, inch by inch if need be, until I find it.

That's the kind of person I am. I don't give up easily, I'm not afraid of working hard or being bored. Honestly, sometimes, I just don't know how to leave well enough alone. It isn't my imagination (or at least I hope it isn't my imagination, I'm tired enough to hallucinate, honestly I am); there is a flash of light and color there, or there was, until something moved; I don't see it right now, but that doesn't mean it wasn't there, does it?

I will keep digging until I see it again.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Bracelet; sterling silver, faceted jelly opal, lampwork by Gail Kops of Beadles. Hand fabricated.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The crest of the wave

Long ago, and far away, in another time and place altogether, the coral grew in dense forests on the ocean floor. Oysters opened their shells, offering up their best pearls, and anemones pursed their lacy mouths into pretty pouts as we floated over them; cradled in the soft embrace of the water, we rose and fell with the tide.

It took no effort at all to float; it would have been hard to sink in those rich, mineral-laden seas. The salt crusted into glittering diamonds on our brows and lashes as we rolled like seals over the crests of the waves, and dissolved into long streams that bent the light into a spectrum of colors when we dove to escape the waves that broke over our heads.

And then we grew up; we grew up far too soon.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

This bracelet cuff is made from copper, seed beads, and freshwater pearls. Forged and hand fabricated, free-form peyote stitch.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Leaving an opening

Mari's instinct for self-protection was only semi-developed; she was always finding herself in situations that made more sensible people cringe. Not that she was a disaster waiting to happen; no Mari's luck was extremely well-developed, and she nearly always came through the strangest situations, totally unscathed.

Or so we thought. In reality, her armor was impenetrable. If there was an opening, no one ever found it.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Chain maille ring from sterling silver, with labradorite. Hand fabricated.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Greta Sails

She was all alone on the deck of the ship, taking the morning air with the rest of the passengers; the endless sea rolling, rolling, rolling on all sides of her, blue and green and silver in the sunlight. If she closed her eyes, she could see Johannes and the children back in Denmark: waking up, eating their breakfasts, and working, working, working to make enough money to follow her to America.

She would labor long and hard while she waited for them; she needed so little, and the money she made would make the time apart so much shorter. She wished that she could breathe deeply enough to fill the sails with air and make the ship go faster; the sooner she began her new life, the faster the old could catch up to her.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, turquoise, black walnut bead by Joan Jensen of Tazwood Creations. Hand fabricated.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Heart's Ease

Stop Abuse

It's going on 15 years now; for the first five, he invaded my sleep and I would wake up struggling to breathe, the feeling of his hands on my throat more real than the 2500 miles I'd put between us. When I went, I left without a forwarding address. It seemed utterly unreal and dramatic; swearing my family and friends to secrecy and taking off for the opposite side of the country. I'd never lived more than 25 miles from where I was born, and suddenly I'd multiplied that by 100.

It took me ten years to leave. Looking back, there were warning signs, but they were easily explained away. He always apologized; he never knew beforehand that I was going to get upset; he was just a bit clueless. He was frustrated at work, he wasn't getting anywhere, and he was always so sorry when he brought his anger home with him. He drank too much, but he was an easy drunk. He just fell asleep, and truth be told, I encouraged him to drink; he was happier when he drank. Usually. And on the occasions when he wasn't, it was easy for me to understand. He was drunk. He didn't know what he was doing.

He never knew what he was doing, not even the night he sat on my stomach, pinned my arms to the bed with his knees, put his hands around my throat, and squeezed. He was screaming. I could not understand a word he was saying. That was what bothered me the most; I was going to die and I didn't know what I'd done to deserve it. Our dog knocked him off and saved my life. He swore he was asleep, having a nightmare about being attacked, and I wanted to believe him. He'd always walked and talked in his sleep, and he was quite horrified at what had happened. When the nightmare returned a few weeks later, bearing a large kitchen knife, I finally woke up.

After I left, I overcompensated by being hyper-sensitive to anything that reminded me of him; I still have buttons that get pushed from time to time. I'm working on that. Getting out was the best, and hardest, thing I ever did. I'm proud of that.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Necklace; sterling silver, sapphires, lampwork by Gail Kops of Beadles. Hand fabricated.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Moonstone Beach

The moonstones that once littered the beach were long gone; perhaps they had never been here in great numbers, but she preferred to think that they had. It wasn't beach weather today; the fog was heavy and wet and the sea was surly. There wasn't much warmth coming from the sand, either. But she was dressed for it; the sweatshirt under her windbreaker kept her comfortably warm. She actually preferred the beach on days like this; except for a dog who was sniffing some seaweed, she had the whole bay to herself.

As she walked, she looked hopefully for moonstones; perhaps the wind had shifted the sands and there were some left after all.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, moonstone. Hand fabricated setting and chain.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Promises, Promises

"Yeah, sure, Mom," Lyndie said, fingers crossed behind her back, only feeling a little guilty about her deception. She only did it when her mom was being totally over-protective; sometimes it felt as though her mom thought she was five years old. She was fifteen! Old enough to know who to hang out with. Old enough to pick her own friends. How pathetic did her mom think she was, anyway?

She hurried off to the bus stop; just like her mom to make her late with her little talk. As she approached the corner, she saw a cop talking to her new group of friends . . . whoa, what was up with that? Her best friend since kindergarten grabbed her and pulled her off to the side. "Bus-ted!" Karen whispered. "I'm so glad you were late this morning!"

"Me, too," Lyndie said, fingers open wide.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, peridot. Hand fabricated sterling silver chain, bead and clasp.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


I could see the light reflecting off the leaves long before I could see its source. The forest floor was still dark, but the canopy was beginning to glow as if lit from within. It was more than just my eyes becoming accustomed to the darkness; although that was happening, too.

Ahead I saw an owl glide between trees; his eyes were sharper than mine, his hunger greater, his dinner closer and more frightened than mine. I closed my eyes against the sharp squeal of his prey; when I opened them, the moon was there, full of light and reassurance.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver and corundum. Hand fabricated.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Hidden Fire

It always surprised her to hear people describe her as calm and sensible; she wasn't a bit, and she knew it. But she cultivated it; oh, how she cultivated it. Inside, her temper slashed and burned; she raged against injustice, and wiped out legions with her fury. This battle did not show not on her face; her lips hinted at a smile, always, and her brow was still smooth, even at her age. Her shoulders were relaxed and her stride easy; her voice well modulated and pleasant.

But her eyes gave her away; they flashed with the fire that never left her heart.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Gold, gold-filled, sterling silver, Mexican fire opal in matrix. Hand fabricated.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Lime Rickey

She perched on the stool, crossed her ankles delicately, and said, "Lime Rickey, please," when the counterman appeared in front of her. He winked, and she gave him an icy glare.

He set her drink down with a flourish, and she busied herself with it; pretending that she was drinking a real cocktail at the Jockey Club in Manhattan, instead of this overly sweet version at a drugstore in North Hollywood. In her mind's eye, her pale pink twin sweater set and matching skirt turned into a black cocktail dress - Dior's New Look - and the counterman's shaker left off making milkshakes, and switched over to martinis.

She inclined her head gracefully as literary critics congratulated her on her latest novel.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, lampwork by Melissa Vess of Inner Realm Creations. Hand fabricated.

In private collection

Friday, September 7, 2007

Hugs and Kisses

"Dear Mom, " she read, and the tears poured down her face so fast and hard that she could not even see what came next. Where did that come from? She had been haunting the mail box for days; she was now on a first name basis with the postman. When he'd handed her this letter, you would have thought he'd written it himself, his smile was so wide. She'd had enough self control to thank him, walk into the house, and sink into her favorite chair before ripping the envelope open.

And now here she was, unable to stop crying long enough to read it. It wasn't a long letter, and her eyes were able to focus on a large row of letters above the signature: XOXOXOXOXOXOXO. She smiled; rubbed her eyes dry, and read the PS, "I made 'em big 'cause I knew you'd be crying."

College would not be wasted on her son.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Copper. Hand fabricated.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Fairy House

I'd never found one, though I always looked; even long after I stopped believing in fairies, I still looked. Every wild thicket, every vine that ran rampant held the possibility of hiding a fairy's tiny, intricate house. Would it be woven of pine needles and twigs and bound together with the stamens from flowers? Would fairies use sap and leaves to make their roofs tight? Would she be home, twinkling opal and gold in her tiny doorway?

I never found out, but I still wonder; and now, when I walk with my daughter, she looks for me.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, emerald chips, tourmaline, opal, gold filled beads. Hand fabricated.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Growing Wild

In gardening books, the clematis ran delicately and prettily through trees and shrubbery; but in her garden, it looked as though it had thrown a party and invited too many questionable guests. It lolled drunkenly from the arbor, raced crazily across the flower beds, and was far too familiar with the peonies. It's deshabille had once seemed romantic; now it was just tawdry.

She took her shears in hand and began to cut away the excess.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, charlotte seed beads. Hand crocheted and fabricated.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Buried Treasure

"What on earth was I thinking?" I wondered, as I looked in the basket that was still more than half-filled with crocus bulbs. I'd been planting them in the lawn; stomping down on a punch-like device, dropping in a tiny bulb, and then putting the plug of dirt and grass back into each hole for most of the day.

How could there be so many bulbs in the basket? There wasn't a whole lot of lawn left.

In desperation, I turned to the flower beds. I tossed aside the official bulb planting device and grabbed my shovel. It was time for a trench. I dug around the shrubs and perennials and dotted the newly turned earth with crocus bulbs. Much faster. Yup, this was doable after all. I planted the last of them under the roses; there wouldn't be much happening with the rosebushes when these babies came up, and I called it a day.

As I washed the dirt off my hands and arms I pictured a sea of purple on bare earth; we would have an early spring.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Copper, lampwork by Lorraine of Glass and Splinters. Hand fabricated.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Grain of Sand

"Faith? Yeah, right." She scowled and kicked the sand, sending it into her own eyes. "Figures," she muttered, still wanting to attack something, but loathe to try that again. She ran toward the sea instead, intending to swim off the questions (and hopes) that he'd just raised.

"Karin? Come back!"

She let the wind pick up his voice and carry it away from her, pretending that she hadn't heard. She swam furiously until she was spent, then flipped onto her back and let the ocean swells rock her into a calmer place.

Faith. It was still there, a grain of sand in her eye.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Copper, seed and bugle beads. Hand fabricated.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Wading In

The bottom of the lake was soft and yielding under her toes; she wiggled them and watched the water cloud up around her ankles. The lifeguard had gone back to school, the kids who had splashed and yelled all summer were gone, and she had the whole lake to herself. The water was warm and inviting where she stood; she knew it would be colder further out, it always was, no matter how hot the summer had been.

She walked forward, her hips undulating as the water swirled around her legs, the weeds and grasses caressing and releasing her thighs until she was deep enough to swim. She dived, and the cold caught her by surprise, as it always did.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, aquamarine, zircon, lampwork by Gail Kops of Beadles. Hand fabricated.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Skipping Stones

We stood there, our heads together, both of us looking at the stone I held in my hand. "It has to be roundish, and flat, and about this big," I told him. He looked at the stone in my hand as if to memorize it.

"Does the color matter?" he asked, his little boy voice soft and low, not wanting to be overheard by his big sister who was sitting on a blanket a few yards away, her back to us, pretending that she didn't know us.

"Nope," I said breezily, and we transfered our gazes to the ground, hoping to find another one.

"Is this a good one?" he asked.

"Yup; I think so. Let's find out." I showed him how to hold the stone and how to release it, pointing out how my index finger curled around it before I let it fly. "One, two, three, four! Yup, that was definitely a good one. You try now." I handed him the example stone.


"It takes practice."

"I know."

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Copper, lampwork focal by Melissa Vess of Inner Realm Creations, lampwork accent beads by Lorraine of Glass and Splinters. Hand fabricated.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Sunset Stroll

The sun was getting ready to be swallowed by the sea when I turned to walk back over the dunes; my campsite was hard enough to find in daylight, I could not imagine having any success finding it after dark. I could picture myself peering into other people's tents, wondering if they were mine; and imagining the headline in tomorrow's paper, "Peeping Tina Popped at Pismo Beach."

I picked up the pace. But I soon learned that trying to walk faster on sand dunes is counterproductive; the faster I tried to go, the more I slipped, and the less progress I actually made. So I slowed down. To a stop, actually. As I shook the sand out of my hair, my clothes and my eyes, I saw the sky for the first time since I'd hit the dune. The sun hadn't given up without a fight; it had left its colors all over, like a child who doesn't want to pick up her crayons before going to bed.

I climbed slowly up the dune, marveling at the tough grasses and tiny flowers that had found purchase there. When I reached the top, I saw the lights of a hundred campfires, guiding me back.

I laughed. My campsite would be easy to find; my fire was the only one unlit.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Copper, sterling silver, hessanite garnets, lampwork by Melissa Vess of Inner Realm Creations. Hand fabricated.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Moon and the Stars

The night was indigo blue and the stars shone silver bright; the moon was a dish of cream and she was the cat. He stood next to her, his arms wrapped around her, and she leaned against him, testing his balance. It held. She drank deeply of this moment, knowing that she would keep it close forever.

Not a single star fell from the sky that night; they held their places while the earth spun, far, far below.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, iolite. Hand fabricated beads, chain and clasp.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

First Kiss

She listened to them talking, out on the front porch, measuring their silences, poised to jump up and walk by if they were quiet too long; torn between remembering how wonderful it was to be in love for the first time, and wanting her daughter to be five again. Not that it had been so easy then; but it was familiar, and she suddenly craved the familiar. This part of mothering was uncharted territory; her daughter's vulnerability was more than she could bear. This was not going to be an easy afternoon to shoulder; but shoulder it she must, and she resumed typing with one ear out the door.

And then he was gone; and as her daughter wafted into the house, she was suffused with memories.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, peridot, lampwork by Gail Kops of Beadles. Hand fabricated.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Blowing Bubbles

It was 1969 and she was ten years old. Two numbers. She thought she probably ought to feel pretty grown up by now, but somehow she just didn't. She looked longingly at her little sisters, dressed in shorts and crop tops, and pulled angrily at her own dress. Stupid thing. It was so short that she was afraid to do anything, but she'd begged and begged for a micro-mini dress, so now she had to wear it. After all, she was ten now. Practically grown up. Too old to make mistakes.

The little girls squealed and laughed as they blew bubbles, and she'd have given anything to be nine again.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, freshwater pearls. Hand fabricated.

In private collection

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Pull of the Moon

bangs the screen door
drops off the porch, melts into air
parents folded from sight, pressing
hard against skin, everything pocket-thin

watches the night-blooming
cereus slowly open, scolds dandelions, works fingers
under roots, holds onto earth, breathes
hard dark-secented air

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, lampwork by Gail Kops of Beadles. Hand fabricated.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Go Lightly

Even when she was dead broke, she still went shopping. It never hurt to look; that was her philosophy. And it certainly never hurt to try things on. Trying things on was almost as good as buying them. Over the years she'd tried on lots of things: clothes, jewelry, jobs, men; not all of them fit, but she didn't regret looking. If she didn't try things on, well, then, she'd never know, would she?

She'd gone lightly through life, taking as many items into the fitting room as she could carry; discarding the ones that didn't suit and enjoying the ones that had, even when she was too broke to take them home.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, cubic zirconia. Hand fabricated.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Moss Maiden

This was deeper into the forest than I'd ever been, and I'd gotten used to being dwarfed by the giant redwoods. Even the occasional clump of sword fern no longer felt out of scale; I was small and had never been any larger. The light that must have filtered through the needles at the top of the trees was almost totally absorbed here on the floor of the forest; I did not cast even the faintest shadow. My footfalls were soundless on the mossy ground; the moss was so thick and soft that it tempted me to sleep.

and then I began to dream . . .

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Copper, freshwater pearls, seed beads. Hand fabricated and strung.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Elf Magic

The hush was the first thing I noticed every time I entered the redwood forest. There was a point where the sound of the outside world disappeared; I never could pinpoint it, but the world just went away and left me altogether. I walked deeper into the forest, the earth a soft carpet of needles and moss beneath my feet, feeling smaller with every step. The trees were not only tall, they were larger around than any other trees, and I always had the sensation that it was me that was smaller, not the trees that were larger.

I passed a clump of sword fern that was nearly as tall as me, and was transformed.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Copper, freshwater pearls, seed beads. Hand fabricated using traditional bobbin lace, coiling, embroidery, and needlelace techniques.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Tied up in Chains

"Well, so they're metaphorical. Doesn't really change anything, does it?" Amelia was sitting across from me, her raspberry chocolate frappachino whispering sweet nothings to my taste buds, when I suddenly realized that I hadn't really been paying enough attention to our converation. I had no idea what she was talking about.

I sipped my black coffee (I hate dieting, but it's necessary) and tried to get back into wherever our conversation had gone while I was communing with her drink. "Chains?" I echoed. "Really?"

"Tied up." she said decisively. "Bound and delivered."

"She's just a baby!" I laughed.

"Yeah . . ." she said with this weird little smile, looking down at the bundle in her arms while the whipped cream melted down the side of her untouched frapp. "But she's mine."

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, faceted corundum. Hand fabricated.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


It was amazing that a place so beautiful could be this close to New York City. All she had to do was cross the GW Bridge and head north. Everyone else was heading south, so there wasn't even any traffic to speak of; she made good time and pulled into the small parking lot off Seven Lakes Drive. The creek was high; it had rained all last week. But today the sky was blue, and the ground was only slightly mucky. She stepped carefully, knowing that the trail didn't need much to wash out.

She stopped when she came to a large rock, and flopped down on it. She took her time with her equipment; she enjoyed selecting a lens, spinning the polarizing filter to minimize reflection, choosing the right f-stop, setting the exposure, and moving her tripod by fractions of an inch to find the best shot.

There. In a ripple left by a green frog was a lichened stone and a leaf torn from the tree by last week's storms.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, lampwork by Gail Kops of Beadles, Brazilian Amehtyst. Hand fabricated.

In private collection

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


She grinned ruefully as she realized that there really wasn't much left this time. She'd had some close calls before, but this time she'd really done it. He was hard to please under the best of circumstances, and lately it seemed as though nothing she could do would satisfy him. Ah, well, at least she still had her tools; they'd survived her fall from grace, and together they could stand more heat than he could produce. She gathered them up off the ground and squinted up at the window where he no longer stood; waited a few minutes more to make sure that nothing else was going to join her on the sidewalk, and then took a hard look down the long road ahead of her.

Her heart burned a few minutes more, and then her hopes began to rise.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, green tigers eye, citrine. Hand fabricated.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Corn Maiden

The sky was quite blue already, even though the sun had not made it up over the mountain. She was in a rather deep valley, and it would take the sun awhile to find her. She rolled up her bedroll and strapped it onto the frame of her rucksack. She boiled just enough water for coffee and drank it black, leaning against a tree, overlooking a clear stream. Morning was the best time for walking and she didn't want to waste a moment of it; although she had no set itinerary, she still had far to go. Breakfast would wait.

She shouldered her pack and set off to meet the sun halfway.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Fine and sterling silver, Sleeping Beauty turquoise. Hand fabricated pendant and chain.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


She stood there, on the shore, wondering what it would be like to swim out beyond the breakers and let the water close over her, wondering if she would remember everything she'd been taught about using the breathing equipment, wishing that she didn't feel so clumsy in her flippers, and that the tanks on her back weighed less than they did. Suddenly, this did not seem like a good idea at all. She was the last one on the shore, the others were swimming off, if she didn't leave now, she'd be left behind. She took a deep breath and walked backward to avoid tripping herself until she was deep enough to swim.

She kicked gently and was propelled forward; the fins were no longer awkward appendages. She found herself automatically doing everything she'd been taught, and was relieved. Her breathing was regular and easy, no panic, no fear. The tanks on her back no longer tugged on her shoulders, even they felt as though they were a part of her body. She gently allowed herself to sink below the surface and entered a whole new world.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, two-sided lampwork bead by Lisa of Touch of Glass Designs, amethyst. Hand fabricated.