Category Archives: Momo

Forgive My New Year Rant.

Via ModernHepburn.

Let’s talk about disordered eating.

To paraphrase the frequently reblogged quote: “be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” This is especially true of women, who with everything we still deal with in this day & age should be supporting each other so much more than we do. Obvious example: the odds are good that no matter who you are -especially if you’re a woman- you have something you don’t like about your physical self, a belief that you are somehow “in progress”, a work yet unfinished & requiring constant vigilance & evaluation. You may not even think about it that consciously, but I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t have something, however small.

Everything in our environment feeds this body dysmorphic disorder , even the “health”-focused publications, which have their own agenda. They have investors to feed too, you know. {I do not apologize for bad puns.} I think that the women I know {including myself} walk around isolated in their issues -job, relationship, body, health, weight… it all seems to come down to weight. A personal example is that I’m trying to get healthy again after three months of total inactivity, & while facing limited weight bearing movement for the next year or so. I’m not happy with where my body’s at – who would be, after playing couch potato for any extended amount of time?

What I’m getting at is that we’re all walking around wrapped up in our own issues, bumping into each other long enough to look up, startled, & make a snap judgement of the person in front of us. I’m lucky: I have an awesome metabolism, & beautiful parents. I’ve been told many times since I became an adult that I look like a perfect 50/50 mix of the two of them. I am my mother in miniature, with my dad’s jaw, & I got the Japanese legs from his side of the family, but stretched out along a 35″ inseam, which I proudly declared to so many people before I realized one day that it really pisses them off.

I’m realizing that I piss a lot of people off. Because I’m wrapped up in myself – I would smack me too. I assume like so many people do that when people see me, they not only see who I am physically in front of them but also everything that I see when I look at myself.  However irrational, I think that they’ll see that I’m slightly over my usual weight, & that I’m tired because I stay up too late stressing over the same things they do. I assume that they will understand any blunders in whatever I say because they know that I’m essentially a nice person, who isn’t actively trying to piss them off. Alternately, when I’m looking at them, I only see a beautiful woman who’s wearing boots that I totally want, & who has gorgeous posture, & I can’t possibly know what their personal issues are at that moment unless they tell me, which they haven’t, & because I’m too wrapped up in what’s wrong with me by comparison to think about what’s going on with them.

We are all to some extent extremely self absorbed, & I consider myself to be pretty bad. I blindly & joyfully join conversations about food; talking about the food blogs that I read, the recipes I love that call for three sticks of butter, my unabashed love for the Top Pot Maple Bar. I assume this is a conversation that I’m welcome in; most of the time, the women having them are friends, or people I’ve met & have been talking to, & I assume that my input is as valid as everyone else’s.

But no fewer than twenty women, & probably a few more than that have stopped, their looks now icy, & coldly made cracks about how “cute” I am, because I talk too passionately about food “as though (I) actually eat it”. True quote, no paraphrasing.

I’m sure they think they’re so original, because they all laugh so loudly at the hilarious joke they’ve just made. They wait for me to laugh too.

It’s a snarky thing to say*. It’s wildly inappropriate at the best of times, & alienates & isolates me by labeling me as “other”. It puts them on one side of the line, & me squarely across from them. It makes me feel bad. On the one hand, I want to say to all of them, “Of course I fucking eat – you eat, she eats, we all eat. What the Fuck?”. {I try not to swear, & I realize that it would only undermine my point, but when people make me feel small, I get upset.}

What I find myself saying instead is something idiotic about ha ha, that’s hilarious, but you know, I do eat, & here, I’ll eat this, & that, in front of them – just so they’ll welcome me back into the conversation. Oh, & if they might never say it again. There are repeat offenders. I know why they’re saying it, & I know that for the people I know well enough to be around them & give them time to say it again, it may just be part of that social dance we sometimes do. Especially when you’re having a bad body day – we all have them, even if you think mine might be less alarming than yours, because it’s mine, & not yours. I have the same feelings as respects mine, for the record.

Those people who don’t know me – I write this for you, because I started this column with that quote about how everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle, & I’m about to make it relevant. You don’t know that I have genuine, 100% legit allergies to most of the artificial ingredients in shelf stable junk food, which means that my food choices can’t & aren’t fairly compared to those made by women who can eat everything in QFC without a trip to the hospital. You have no way of knowing this, & so you might feel alright about your back-handed compliment, but it’s important that you consider that whenever you’re talking to someone, you just don’t know everything about them. Maybe you’ll consider wether it’s really necessary to make that particular crack, or if you could keep the conversation positive. I guarantee that I have yet to meet someone who is intentionally trying to piss you off just by existing. {I’ve also had someone get upset with me for this…it was awkward.}

One woman I worked with about 6 years ago actually decided that this was an “allergy” – quotations to mean that my allergies were bogus, a cover for some kind of bizarre healthy food eating disorder she’s declared I had early on in the office gossip. She subsequently tried to get me to eat something she swore was homemade but was actually commercial box cookies with a particular dye in them – to prove that I was lying about why I eat organic & healthy food. {I knew how that particular cookie smelled, & called her on it. She went off in a huff.}

I’m looking at this draft & wondering if I’ve said this well – all of what I’ve written ought to fall into the “well duh” category, or the “she said what??” category, which is always validating to me, of course. But at the end of the day, I keep finding myself in this same awkward position, replaying the conversation at the end of the day & wondering what relationship/connection I’ve lost because I handled it badly.

Covering myself by joking that if they feel that way now, they’re really going to hate me in a few months when I get back into shape only further entrenches me in the “other” category. I know, I face-palmed when I got home. What is the right comeback, anyway?

What I’m trying to do here is change the conversation & start over. I promise not to rattle on about my “problems”, which are really only my business anyway, if you promise to talk about the food you love in the future without all those deprivation-mindset qualifiers. I want a more compassionate relationship for all of us, & I hope you understand.

♥ Momo

*Who’s said this to me? A family member, women I’ve worked with, friends of friends, former friends, girlfriends of boyfriends’ friends. Women in a store who overheard me talking to a friend in line at that store. I kid you not.


Motopresse on Etsy

Alice Necklace

New pieces up on Etsy! Rutilated/tourmalinated quartz drop necklace finished with a stack of tiny rubies, on a fine double sterling silver chain.

I’m sure I’ve talked about my octopus designs before; I’m awfully fond of them. I call him tako-chan, & I hope he’ll find a good home!

I tried something different this time: offsetting the clasp. I also placed a corresponding ring on the other side for balance, & like the effect. The ring also doubles as an additional loop for the clasp to shorten the necklace if you like. If it goes over well, I might bring it back in future pieces!

I’m not sure why I call him “he”, when he’s got several sweet faceted garnets keeping him company. Habit? In any case, I’ve named it the “Olivia”.

I’m so excited to have these up! A couple of people have actually made my first piece a favorite, and I hope that means that people like my work. I really wasn’t sure what to expect as far as Etsy traffic goes: I’ve heard from people who sold their pieces within 24 hours of listing, and some who have been on for a year before selling anything at all. I have high hopes.

♥ Momo

Blueberry Lemonade Necklace; Thoughts on Value

Blueberry Lemonade Necklace. Silk.

I’m reading the discussion of perceived value on LinkdIn, which starts with a quote from Japanese Economist Noriko Hama:

“When you buy something cheap, you lower the value of your own life.”

…I buy that. {I also crack myself up} Pricing is the issue that haunts all artists, & value is an even more nebulous issue. I work with perceived value materials: precious stones, sterling & fine silver, gold. Our world gives these things value that goes beyond their physical properties. Your brain will automatically classify rubies & diamonds above garnets & quartz, without giving it a second thought. Forget that you can buy some rubies for a dollar and some cuts of quartz – which is a much larger range than you know – can cost hundreds of dollars. These things are relative.

The trick is apparently to price so that you’re paying yourself an hourly wage & covering the cost of your materials. From there? No one seems really comfortable talking about it. I’ve worked for boutiques that marked their retail prices at six times what they paid the artist/vendor they bought it from. In pricing & selling my own work, I don’t have to worry about the retail cost of things – except that I do. If I end up selling my work through a gallery or boutique, they’ll take 50%. I also need to make sure that people will want to buy my work, which as it is really doesn’t represent my full aesthetic or skill set. I’m just starting out. I almost feel as though I shouldn’t be selling my work right now, because I’m just not there yet.

That’s a silly concern, though – as though I’m turning away buyers. I do crack myself up.

In pricing to my insecurity, I run the risk of lowering a piece’s value simply by making it affordable. In class last weekend, a girl whose work I love made another excellent point: “If I’m pricing to my tax bracket, I may never make any money at all”.

So I’m struggling with pricing. I’m looking at Twist, where the pricing includes the name of the artist; you’re buying the prestige of wearing their name. There are pieces made from knotted silk & rocks that are several hundred dollars. {The same logic that makes a sterling necklace from Tiffany & Co. $300+} There’s the experience, too: Anthropologie has this down. They have zero advertising, and you only get their catalog if you subscribe, implying you have already found them through the dark underground of Anthro addicts….or, if you buy your niece a gift card for Christmas….sorry Uncle Steve, you will be getting Anthropologie catalogs until the end of time. The point with Anthropologie is that you’re not buying a piece of jewelry or a dress, you’re buying a lifestyle. You’re buying a ready-made look, which is made unique by nature of the cost – not everyone can afford to have a complete wardrobe from their store. I barely scrape by, & I’ve managed with a number of pieces found used, but I’ve also spent money I didn’t have in order to buy into their life. I think about this when I’m pricing my own work; I’m not empowered to make other women spend money they don’t have, but I know that people do; can I be held responsible for that? Probably not, but I’ve never been comfortable with the money aspect of retail.

But if I were pricing for my tax bracket, I’d never make any money.

My jewelry is worked out on the foundation of my aesthetic, which is simple, organic, clean, and classic. {Find me a designer that says their work is anything else.} I’m trying to make something organic and beautiful out of a pile of silk, silver and stones, of varying perceived & actual value, with a skill set that’s still growing.

I don’t know how to describe what I’m looking for when I look for materials; I probably have a better developed sense of the materials I want than skills to work with them. In the end, I’m looking for stones that speak to me. When I see them, something clicks.

It’s a lot like fashion; when you look for clothes, you go right to some pieces, right past others. Some just make you shudder.

I don’t have an answer yet. All I can do is keep making jewelry, failing faster as Shawn says. Sometimes I hit upon something that clicks. Say hello to my newest project:

Prehnite is apparently useful as an aid in meditation. While wearing it, I was able to juggle a purse, hot coffee, a glass of lemonade, and a pound of Strawberry Daiquiri Jelly Belly’s four blocks, up and down escalators and stairs….this is lot more than I typically can manage without some sort of epic disaster. Maybe it gave me inner calm, keeping me from spilling hot coffee on myself? Not a bad thing to hope for, even if it is psychosomatic.

Don’t ask about the Jelly Belly’s.

Thanks to everyone who sent me messages of support since my first piece went up for sale! Let me know what you think of the silk piece in this post; I’m thinking of making more.

♥ Momo

I’m an Etsy Seller! {Woo!}

Sterling & Rutilated Quartz

My first piece is up on Etsy; it can be found here{Now if only I could get my heart out my throat, and get my breathing back to normal without the aid of a paper bag.}

Tell the world, alert the press, and find someone who will love it! {I love it, but Shawn has informed me that I’ve reached my limit of kept items.}

I’ll have more up over the next few days, including some lovely pieces with ruby rondelles, chalcedony, & more involved metalworking, hopefully working the anxiety levels down with each piece.

Let me know what you think?

♥ Momo


After a recent conversation about my choice of pseudonym, I rmade a point of Googling “Momo”, & came up with a few Urban Dictionary definitions I like. {And a few I definitely don’t.}

Momo is:

1. “The quintessential form of a woman. goddess, the perfect model of cuteness and innocence. Irresistible, with the power to melt ones heart.”

2. “Someone who is fun to be around/someone who knows the best places to hang/someone who can always have fun no matter where and when.”

I like this Momo; don’t you?

TGIF! Today will be a good day, and tomorrow will begin with a gem show, so it has to be a great day. Photos of loot soon.

♥ Momo

June Pics


There’s this fancy house on the corner of our street; they try to sell it every once in a while, & bring landscaping crews in to make it nice, but the rest of the year the house is occupied by college students, and their greenery goes rather awry….{if you look at “awry” too long, it looks suspiciously unlike a real word, but it is, I checked}. The resulting overgrowth can be a little annoying to walk over because it extends past the middle of the sidewalk, but this one redeemed itself by sprouting little fluffy things. I’m a huge fan of little fluffy things. Have you seen our cat?

People were staring at me crouching on the sidewalk to get all the pictures I wanted, but I don’t care:

It was just too sweet to leave alone ♥

♥ Momo

Tachikoma + Business.

Business names! Oh, business names. What do you think about Momo Designs?

Looking forward to the gem show next week, & finishing some work with what I have to make room & also to go into the show with a better sense of what I want to make.

I’m still a nerd at heart, so sometimes you’ll have to suffer through pictures of my work with, say, a tachikoma. {Ghost in the Shell. Robot Tanks, with little-girl voices. Very cute.}

♥ Momo