It seems more important than ever to incorporate Thanksgiving, the practice of recognizing gratitude, into each day. I'm especially conscious of it during these times, when we begin our days filled with the compulsion to check the insanity level of the morning news feed, knowing there will be multiple toxic situations that we'll try to  
avoid inhaling too deeply.   
So, thank goodness for friends and family, for the abundance of good food and living that many of us enjoy.  I'm grateful for living in a safe neighborhood where, after returning last week from six days in New York, I discovered that we had forgotten to lock the front door, and that my Fed Ex delivery guy, thinking he was doing me a favor, had left a package containing around $15,000 worth of jewelry sitting outside the back door for four days!
I'm grateful for having spent time with my daughter in New York, and for seeing her again here in Nebraska, over the Thanksgiving weekend: Yay!  And for a week of perfect weather. The photo above is the view from Craig's brother's house in the countryside, where we enjoyed our turkey feast.  Let's all raise our eyes from our screens, look around, breathe deeply, and be thankful for at least one thing in that moment. 
Recap of the Atlanta Contemporary Jewelry Show
Held at the Carter Center, the ACGS invites a diverse group of about 35 jewelry artists to an intimate show that is relaxed and friendly, attended by a terrific group of Atlantans who are truly interested in contemporary jewelry.  Thank you to all who came by my booth.
We had a moment of drama while setting up on the opening morning. The room where our booths were located is normally a concert hall, and my booth was situated on the edge of an in-floor elevator used in performances.  While Craig was trying to adjust a necklace on a display form, the chain slithered out of his fingers, disappearing into the crack between the elevator and the main floor.  Rescue operations were set in motion with successful results!
    Details of West Highland Ave. where we stayed during the show.

Farmers market at the Carter Center.

 New York City!
Never relaxing, always energizing, any visit to NYC is pretty much nonstop.  After all these years in the midwest, I relish, at least for a few days, being back among fellow fast-talking, fast-walking east coasters. 
My daughter, Nora, lives on the Lower East Side in a neighborhood of old buildings, small restaurants and coffee shops, bountiful markets, and Chinatown a few blocks down.  Her job involves looking for writing talent in comedy and theatre, so we hit Caroline's comedy club, Ars Nova for experimental theatre, and the Public Theatre.   
 Craig and I jostled with crowds at the Met; Nora and I took an hour-long, sardine-packed subway to the Guggenheim; I relaxed for a tranquil hour at the Frick.   
 ~Two of the millions of pieces at the Met:
A 13thc. reliquary of St. Yrieix, silver over a wooden form, which used to contain the saint's skull.

~ A delicate 17th c.drawing by Claude Lorrain, Perseus and the Origin of Coral.
When Perseus rescued the princess Andromeda, he laid Medusa's head on a bed of seaweed.  Her blood turned the seaweed into pink stone. 
New York = great food!  
We raved over ramen in Queens, slammed down a slice at the pizzeria across the street from our apartment, sampled sakes on the next block, lunched at my favorite Indian place-Masalawala on Essex Street, tasted tacos at Tacombi near the Flatiron, and ate ALL of my first chicken and waffles at Sweet Chick.  Whew!  I was relieved when my walking app showed 9.2 miles at least one day.  
  ~Tacombi Flatiron: Fun and noisy. Mexican street food at three times the price.

~Mu Ramen in Queens: heavenly broth. Try the house special of which they make only 20 portions per day.

 Christmas is coming!
             Traditional or contemporary, the city gets glitzy for the holidays.
           Macy's sparkles dependably, just like when I was a kid.
      Bergdorf's windows, a must-see extravaganza of over-the-top festive creativity.
 What's up in the studio 
 We've been so busy keeping up with shows and orders, there hasn't been much time  making new work. But with a lot of items recently sold, everyone is back on task again.   
Here are a few new pieces.    
PLEASE NOTE: my October trunk show at Terra Firma Gallery in Sonoma was ultimately postponed due to the wildfires.  I've just sent them a new collection for the holidays, so if you're in the area, please stop by the store to take a look.   
          A beautiful spiderweb turquoise from a collection cut in the 70's.
      A simple, elegant necklace to frame a shimmering baroque Tahitian pearl.
     Everyone loves opals!  Another variation on an opal Twig cuff with tanzanite,    
     emerald and sapphire.
When you need something fast, easy, and delicious for a party  
as I did the night after Thanksgiving, I came across this recipe for leek tart.
A shout out to Laura Chenel, thank you for this inspiration! Everyone loved it.   
Laura Chenel's Leek & Gruyere Tart
Flour for dusting
1/2 lb. puff pastry, thawed
2 T olive oil
3 medium leeks, rinsed well, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise
1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper 
2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
3 oz. thinly slice proscuitto ( I made mine without)
Step 1 
Preheat oven to 475.  You can dust a surface with flour and lightly roll out the puff pastry, forming it into a square or loose circle.  Or you can be in a hurry like I was, and unroll the puff pastry, leave it as a rectangle right on the parchment paper in which it was packaged, and plop it onto a baking sheet.
Step 2
Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet, and saute the leeks and thyme, seasoning them with salt and pepper.  Cook over a moderate heat until soft, about 5 minutes.
Step 3
Sprinkle half the cheese on the pastry, leaving a 1" border.  (again, being in a hurry, I didn't read the directions accurately and put the cheese on all at once.  I think the correct procedure would produce better results even though mine still tasted delicious!)
Spread the leeks on top of the cheese, distribute the prosciutto if you're using it, then sprinkle the other half of the cheese on top.  Fold up the edges of the pastry to form a rim.  Bake until golden, about 20 minutes.  Cool slightly and cut into squares.  
Nature's sculptures, my moment of Zen 
I don't think any of the art I saw in New York museums was as breathtaking as the collection of mineral specimens I happened to walk by in a high-end mineral "boutique" on Madison Avenue.  When I'm at the Tucson gem show, I'm so focused on buying cut stones, I miss out on most of these stunning examples of pure nature, which undoubtedly influence human-created art.  The store is Mardani Fine Minerals, and the specimens they displayed were some of the most beautiful I've seen.  Here's a small sampling:
  Quartz crystals on hematite. 
Mesolite on stilbite. 

Calcite edged in tiny pyrite crystals.

( I forgot to make a note of these orange, needle-like crystals.) 
One more big thank you to all of you for reading my newsletters and staying in touch! 
© 2015 Sydney Lynch Jewelry, Inc.

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