Luscious Metals ~ Luscious Light

November 27, 2015

I’ve Moved

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The time has come to do away with the old to make room for the new so I’m moving my blog over to my new website.  Come check me out at Nathaperkins.com!

September 21, 2015

Success Part 1

I originally posted this in November of 2013.  I am republishing it now because I want to post the entire series as part of (finally!) making the shift from being the artist and lead design of Luscious Metals into starting (well,continuing really) my new endeavor as a teacher, author and guide:  Wellbeing Engineered.  

Love,

Natha

success

This is part 1 of a 3 part series
I’ve thought a lot about this notion of success. What it means to me and what I need to do or be in order to really feel successful. Over the past few years, I had some things happen in my personal life that left me feeling extremely unsuccessful. It’s funny how that feeling bleeds out into everything. It created the ubiquitous snowball effect and it was hard, but it provided me lots of food for thought. It brought me the opportunity to reassess everything in my life, to deconstruct and rebuild the things that weren’t working for me. Luscious Metals has been one of my ‘babies’ for many years (since 2001). Obviously it was one of the major forces in my life that called for evaluation. What does it mean to me to be a successful designer, artist, entrepreneur? Does it mean that I make a lot of money? Sell a lot of jewelry? Gather social media fans and followers? Get into the best shows? Gain notoriety as a designer? I thought it meant all of the above. Leveraging my personal value against those things was something that (kind of) worked for me. Until it didn’t. Once I realized that these reliable old ‘props’ weren’t making me feel good the way they used to, the question became who am I now? The question insinuated itself into my entire reality like a little pebble in my shoe and it wouldn’t go away. It forced me to look at everything through an investigative lens but the answers weren’t clear.

Confession: when my personal life fell down around me, so was did my business. Selling became burdensome, metalsmithing became a chore and designing became depressing because my creativity had disappeared along with my self confidence. I spent the good part of 2 years agonizing over what to do with my business, this baby that I had poured so much of myself into, this passion that had kept me sane and given me respite when I was knee deep in infants and toddlers. It had given me a sense of pride and autonomy and of self. Quite frankly, I didn’t know who I was without it but I knew that it wasn’t making me happy any more. Should I sell it? Should I hire people to run it? Should I just shut it down, close shop? But mulling over these questions made me feel fuzzy and checked out and just led me to distract myself with something else.

Up until this point, Luscious Metals had excited me and had been a source of pure passion. It kept me constantly dreaming and shooting for higher aspirations. Over the course of developing my company, I commissioned 3 websites each one better and more beautiful than the last, sold hundreds of pieces of jewelry, got accepted into popular shows, got major press in national magazines like Cosmopolitan and Parenting. We sold $50,000 dollars in Sweetheart Necklaces alone in 6 months time just from that Parenting spot. I hired employees and developed production lines, designed packaging, orchestrated  major photo shoots both with the jewelry itself and models wearing the jewelry. I don’t say all of this to brag, but rather to point out that even after all this, I still didn’t feel successful. I started and grew this amazing business but because I was in personal turmoil, it seemed pointless and I was totally discouraged. My question became what nowWhat next? What is my passion and my calling now?

In the midst of this time period, I taught a jewelry class here in Boulder. During that class it became obvious to me that I had the potential to take these amazingly open and curious women to a much deeper place than just “learning how to make a cool necklace”. I saw the places in our conversation during that class where we could have skipped the usual “Hi, my name is…” and instead gone straight for “this is where I need some inspiration in my life. This is an area that I want to work on”. Art is an amazing medium for self exploration, it lends itself to introspection. It facilitates questions like Why am I feeling pulled toward the reds and the oranges? Why am I feeling like I can’t make something beautiful to save my life? Am I feeling bright and shiny or dark and muddy? Of course this idea of exploration fascinated me because it was so relevant to my experience. I did feel muddy. I felt dull. But I knew I was drawn to reds and oranges and colors that represented fire and I knew that I wished that I had someone to guide me through this, to help me express myself in a different way. I wasn’t alone either. Many of the women in my life were in similar boats. Everywhere I looked, lives were turning upside down because of divorces, new babies, ‘losing’ kids to kindergarten, huge cross country and international moves, health issues, new careers. We were all going through major changes and metamorphoses and nobody knew how to handle it or what to do. We were shell shocked and full of questions. So I left the class with a tiny seed of hope and the idea of somehow marrying art and soul searching. The question then became; how? How can I make these two things work together?

Stay tuned for Part 2

May 22, 2015

Mercury Retrograde

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Fluorite is a balancing stone and excellent for use during Mercury Retrograde.

It used to be that I didn’t know Mercury Retrograde even existed.  To think of all those years that I hummed merrily along and never stopped to think about the stars at all!  In my world, there was no rhyme or reason. Things happened to me (as if I had nothing to do with it) and I went with the flow… unless of course I went against it.

I didn’t know that I was a co-creator or that there was this wonderful thing outside of me, outside of the world even, that existed and brought a specific rhythm to the planet, the pull of the tides, the emotions of the humans.

But now I know that there’s more.

The alignment of the stars, the rotation of the planets all have specific and direct effects on, well everything.  We are currently in a period called Mercury Retrograde.  I’m sure you’ve heard that term as it seems to be everywhere I look right now and it also seems to be effecting everyone.  I hear cries of “watch out!” and “oh no!” every time our friend Planet Mercury stations in the sky and appears to go backward for a few weeks.  Mercury is after all the fastest moving planet and it does rule over all kinds of communication (among other things).  So when it goes retrograde, it can make life, especially the parts of life that fall in the realm of communication (electronics, relationships, travel etc.) go a little glitchy.

But…and here’s the view I like to take: retrograde of any planet provides the chance to do some great work.  REview, REtrace, REvisit.  “RE- things”  Get it?  So yes, you will likely experience some unanticipated confusion and obstacles during a Mercury Retrograde cycle but you also have this wonderful window in which you have the opportunity to zoom out and put on your birds-eye perspective.  What hasn’t been working?  What needs to change?  How can this thing or relationship in your life function more fluidly?  These are the kinds of questions and answers involved in a Mercury Retrograde.  So get excited!

What do you want to examine during this period that lasts from May 18-19-June 11-12, 2015?  What needs to be said?  What needs to be addressed?  Be intentional.  Decide what it is that you’re ready to make better.  The answers and the solutions will arise.

{Want some more information on Mercury Retrograde?  Check out these amazing astrologers}

Chani Nicolas

Melody Scott Zindell

Hibiscus Moon (check out this great article for more information on crystals and gemstones that help during Mercury Retros!)

May 3, 2015

May

I have an early May birthday.  Every spring when the lilacs begin to bloom, my dad likes to remind me that the day I was born, was the day that the lilacs began to bloom that year.

So I feel somewhat proprietary about the lilacs, like they belong to me…IMG_4560

April 5, 2015

Trusting the Process

 

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I’ve been in the transition from artist to teacher for a few years now, and as one of my amazing mentors Michelle Vos says, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.   Well said right?!   For years now (this is not an exaggeration) I’ve wanted to make the decision.  Decide what to do with Luscious Metals, decide how to move forward in a coaching capacity.  But this transition has been a process and a practice in patience.  Grrrr.  Up until this point, I simply didn’t have the clarity I needed to make the decisions.  Life is like that you know?  We want something now.  We want the change now.  We want the fruit now.  But it doesn’t work like that.  I liken it to a growing season; if we want to harvest, we have to do the work.  We need to plant the seeds and water the garden and that takes time, but what we learn about the land along the way is invaluable to the process.  The answers simply don’t present themselves without doing the work.

Last night there was the second eclipse of a 2 part series.  The first eclipse on March 20 coincided with the  spring equinox and was a solar eclipse on a new moon.  The eclipse was all about release. What am I leaving behind?  In a nutshell, needing to know.  I’ve driven myself almost crazy trying to know.  I wanted to know what to expect, where I stood, what to do.  In The Secret to Achieving Your Goals class that I teach, there’s an entire section in the curriculum dedicated to the idea that “success is just a decision away.”   I believe that to be true but in this case it took me 2 years to be able to apply that concept to my career.   In my case, the decision I had to make was to be okay with not knowing.  It was really easy.  And just making that single decision felt like an entire growing season filled with drought and fire.  But once I got there, some answers started to appear.  And that brings me to now, still soaking in the charge of the full moon eclipse that occurred last night.  This eclipse was all about making the shift, changing.  So I’m setting intentions and making plans that feel really good.  I’m bringing in fresh energy to create what I want and transitioning.   There are still so many unknowns but I’m okay with that.  I’m trusting the process.  Taking it one tiny step at a time feels good and the tiny step for this week is to put a ton of the jewelry I have in the studio on sale.  Check out that sale here.  There are old and new pieces, one of a kind and some production — everything is beautiful!

So my question for you is what are you releasing?  What do you intend to bring more of into your life in these next few months?

 

 

March 20, 2015

Worthiness

This was taken for a jewelry shoot we did a few years ago by Beth Sanders and it’s one of my favorites.
natha (15 of 172) Beth Sanders is a visual storyteller.  She takes astonishing images and she’s like the very best parts of your mother, best friend, coach, mentor and teacher all in one.  This woman makes you feel comfortable and beautiful in front of the camera and that’s important; if you don’t feel confident as the photo is being taken, guess what?  It’ll show in the finished product.  This is why the subjects of her photos all look so damn good- they feel good as they’re being photographed.  So these days she’s doing way more than just photographing people.  She’s just launched something new.  It’s called The Worthiness Project with partner Marlene Zaleznick.  Marlene and Beth work closely with women who are exhausted with the task of hating their bodies.

I am hard pressed to find a woman over the age of 12 who doesn’t have at least a small amount of criticism regarding her body.  I see it surface all the time as I coach clients and I see it in myself and my friends.  We’re living in a culture in which body shame is is accepted and expected.  We hear our mother’s lamenting over their imperfect bodies and we learn that we must do that too.  We see that same sentiment repeated over and over in the media and modeled by our peers and figure it must be normal.

And where this steady diet of body shame used to be an accepted norm for females, I have begun to see and meet many women  that are tired of that paradigm.  These women are refusing to perpetuate the self hatred.  They’re doing the inner work so that they can take back their power and their own perception of themselves.

Through a unique combination of body centered, empowerment coaching and art photography, Beth and Marlene are helping their clients do just that.  The images of their work that I’ve seen and the stories I’v heard them tell (with the permission of their clients of course) have all been profoundly moving.   If you’re tired of hating your body and you’re ready to see your yourself in a new and appreciative light, check out The Worthiness Project for more information.

March 6, 2015

And another one! Goals Class 3.0

Okay I’m releasing another Secret to Achieving Your Goals class!  It starts Monday April 6 and meets from 1-2pm MST for 12 consecutive weeks.  This is a tele-course so anyone can take it.  Have you been looking for something?  Knowing there was something out there that could make you feel better, change your perspective, shift your life?  Well, consider this your sign.  This is what you’ve been looking for.  Oooh I have the chills just typing that.  Check out this link for more information and to register.  goals class promoOh and guess what- this class is on sale for $125!!  But not for long– I don’t know when TSTLC (I teach this class through them) will be ending the sale so act fast!  If you have any questions please message me, I would love to connect with you and answer them.  natha(at) nathaperkins.com

February 25, 2015

The Amethyst Scarab

The Scarab

What do dreams mean?  Do any of you know?  In my experience,  the quality and quantity of my dreams really run the gambit.  Sometimes they’re a total blur, other times they’re vivid.  Sometimes I get distinct messages and sometimes they make no sense at all.  I do have reoccurring dreams.  Occasionally I have reoccurring dreams that take place in specific houses and then actually see those houses in real life (in places I’ve never been before).  No, really.  And I’ve been flying in dreams for as long as I can remember.  In fact, being able to fly in my dreams feels so very real to me that I’m actually surprised that I can’t manage to get lift off in my waking life.  So I think there something more to our dream states than most people are willing to see.

Throughout my coaching training and spiritual studies, I’ve heard it said that dreams are actually our lives happening in parallel dimensions or that we work on emotional pieces of our current lives that we aren’t capable of reaching when we’re conscious.  Both of those explanations make sense to me and then again, dreams might just be our subconscious running on autopilot.  And that makes sense to me too.  I suspect it’s a combination of all that with a few dashes of magic thrown in just for interest.

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This is Amy and she’s a painter and she’s the one who started this whole topic.  Her paintings are bright and vivid and have a very dream like quality to them.  I’m telling you this because this Scarab Amulet began as a literal dream.  My client Amy contacted me after having a dream about an Amethyst Scarab pendant.  There’s beautiful symbolism linked to the Scarab; they’re regarded as sacred in ancient Egypt and actually considered a symbol of infinite life.  The Scarab is also associated with sacred knowledge and astral travel.  Typically a Scarab is a beetle carved out of stone but in this case, I happened to have this amazing 14 carat faceted Amethyst already.  As soon as we began to discuss the idea of her pendant, this beautiful juicy stone popped into my head.  This Amethyst is seriously as big as a halved grape and it is every bit as luscious.

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Amethyst is the stone from her dream and it’s also Amy’s birthstone (it’s the stone for February).  Amethyst has some very distinct healing properties.  It is said that wearing an Amethyst can heighten your intuition and bring you a sense of inner peace and it’s also good to wear when you’re wanting to change old habits and patterns.  You’ll notice that there is also a tiny little blue sapphire set in the third eye position of the piece.  Sapphire is said to bring good fortune, heavenly insight and awareness.

In researching for this project, I got really excited because the symbolism of the Scarab itself (sacred knowledge, infinite life), the Amethyst stone (heightening of intuition), the blue sapphire (insight and awareness) and the inscription she chose (Infinite Love) all fit with each other so seamlessly.  She even thought up the idea in a dream (astral travel)!  We didn’t choose them to fit like that- they just did.  She came to me with her dream and ideas and I transformed them into a pendant and it was all totally synchronistic.   I chose the blue sapphire based on the color and she chose the inscription because of some work she’s been doing.  Never once did we get together and start looking for stones, ideas and words that fit a common theme.  This happens with myself and my clients all the time.  It’s as if the Universe has a certain idea or prompt if you will and the two of us work together to manifest it.

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If you want to work on creating a custom power Amulet for yourself, please send me a message at natha (at) lusciousmetals.com .  I have a really fun process that I use with my clients when we’re creating to help you get clear on what you want.  Know too that these pieces will hold the energy of your intentions so they are really quite powerful in helping you to create what you want (and what the Universe wants for you!)

 

February 20, 2015

Freedom…

Beth ring3

Blue Topaz can assist in opening up ones throat chakra, which in turn heightens the ability to communicate.  This makes it a very powerful stone to use when you wish to express yourself in a meaningful way, both when speaking and writing.  This is also a brilliant stone to use in guiding one to think more freely and easily.

So the word FREEDOM as  it turns out,  is such a fitting word to inscribe on this custom ring.  It really is a stone that represents the beautiful and liberating freedom of the voice and the mind.  In my coaching practice, I’ve noticed that more women than ever are exercising their voices, speaking about their experiences and asking for what they want and this relates very fluidly to the idea of freedom and “coming out of the closet” with who we really are.  As a designer, I have found that the majority of the orders I work on these days are custom amulets, so this ring is of course completely in alignment with what I see happening on a large scale.

Beth ring1

I loved creating this ring for Beth.  She came to my studio and actually chose the stone and the word long before we researched the symbolism, so learning about the healing properties of the stone really makes this ring even more powerful.  This stone is a rose cut London Blue Topaz, set in 18k gold bezel on reticulated silver.  There are 3 10k gold bolts and the band is set with 6 tiny 2mm stones in Emerald, Blue Topaz, Blue Sapphire, Zircon and Aquamarine.

Beth ring2

 

 

Beth came to me wanting to design a ring to celebrate her life as it looks these days.  Beth Walker is a well known makeup artist in the Denver area and quite often has photographs taken of her hands as she applies makeup to models.  Her rings get seen, if you know what I mean!  Because she’s a visual artist she expressed to me that it was very important to her that the things she wears are aesthetically beautiful and also that they make her feel good.  In designing this ring, she not only got to choose the colors, stones and metals that she was in love with, she also got to infuse the piece with the energy of the word FREEDOM.  Makes me want to take a deep breath and relax into that!   To see more of her work, go here.

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Designing power pieces for clients is something I feel very passionate about and I’m always delighted when I get to work on a new piece that I know is going to be very special and meaningful for that person.  If you have custom inquiries, please send me a message and I can answer any questions you may have.  Customer service (at) luscious metals.com

 

~Natha

February 3, 2015

The thing about roses…

Does anyone else out there have an interesting relationship with decisions?

I mentioned a few months ago that I was in a place of transition with my life and was going to shut the doors on Luscious Metals and moving into coaching full time.  And that seemed like the logical thing to do a few months ago when I wrote that post.  In fact, I spent the better part of the fall and holiday season, preparing for and talking about doing just that.  I was ready to close the business and start coaching and teaching classes full time.  Done deal.

A little disclaimer– I make slow decisions.  It’s not because I’m waiting for something better to come along, or that I put my head in the sand and avoid.  It’s more like… I can’t decide because I just don’t know.   I have to weigh the options and wait for the answers to appear and sometimes it takes a really long time.  I thought the answer had appeared (although on deeper inspection of that statement, no I didn’t.  I forced an answer because I thought it was the thing to do).  “Make a decision and stick with it!”  (Who did I learn that from?)  Fast forward into February and that super concrete, absolute,  precarious decision has changed a bit.  The truth is,  so did the information I was using to make the decision in the first place.  Am I making sense here?  Welcome to my world.  I always used to think I was a flake but it turns out, I’m just fluid.

So here we are, a whole month into this brand new year and I’ve been fluidly coaching classes AND running Luscious Metals and it’s actually working out nicely.   I’ve had a slew of the most amazing custom orders come across my bench and I’ve been loving creating again (as opposed to just doing production on existing designs.)

I’m launching another series of The Secret to Achieving Your Goals class.  This 12 week course is so phenomenal by the way- I am so honored to be teaching this class.  I’m watching women grow by leaps and bounds as they learn about themselves right before my very eyes, and that is exactly why I’m coaching.

So life is good and while there are still some major changes that will be happening, they are a few months off.  In the meantime, I feel like the chaos of last year has settled down and I’m settling into this dream life I’ve been working on creating.  Changes will come and decisions will be made and instead of rushing the process of any of it, I’m letting things unfold organically.  The most beautiful part of the rose isn’t necessarily the full bloom, every stage is amazing in its own right.  From seed to sprout, vine to bud to blossom… I’m enjoying it all.

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