nereidas_jewels: (Flower Child)
[personal profile] nereidas_jewels
Name: Nereida Azucena Lourdes Sandoval, aka Neri (or Nerei for those who want to use the correct Spanish pronunciation)
Gender: Female
Orientation: Straight
Age: 28 as of 02/02/2010

Note: For those of you who have seen Neri's original bio, the revisions are for her current life in Santa Barbara.

Personality: Outwardly, Neri displays the personality of an extrovert with a capital E. Warm and energetic, with an infectious grin for everyone, she radiates the attitude of a sassy, bohemian artist and party girl. She does have occasional flashes of temper, but they're usually short and timed for dramatic effect; arousing her real ire usually takes some effort. Though she may seem carefree and careless on first impression, her underlying tough practicality surfaces during rough going. She's smart, smarter than many people realize, and a forgiving and loyal friend.

Deep below the surface, Neri keeps some inner demons on careful lock-down, demons that stem from the chaos and uncertainty of her parents' addictions. Her self-image problems and insecurity about whether or not she was worthwhile and lovable took the form of body image issues in her teens and a few ill-considered relationships. With the help of therapy, Nar-Anon and a major dose of determination, she has largely reclaimed control of her life from those malicious inner voices, but she's still very aware of their presence. The things that touch her heart most deeply, she usually hides beneath a sunny exterior.

History: Nereida was born in Oregon to Arturo and Lourdes Sandoval, a painter and a sculptor. When she was five, the Sandovals moved south to Summerland California and made an art commune their home. Her parents abused a wide variety of drugs over the years, her mother because she self-medicated certain psychiatric issues, but they both cut their use mostly to marijuana and uppers by the time she was born. As Neri herself would put it, "Look, it wasn't some huge tragedy, okay? No little bebé all hungry and filthy because Mamá and Papá were too stoned to take care of her. Most of the time at least one of them was fine, and if they ever were both out of it, it was a commune, right? There was always someone around to keep an eye on what was happening and make sure I got what I needed. And I had really good times with my parents too, learned lots from them. But ... I was a kid. What kid can understand this thing that keeps taking Mamá and Papá's attention away? What teenager can keep from resenting having to be the grownup before she's ready?"

Neri will have to know someone very, very well indeed before she'll delve any deeper into the emotional damage done, hurts and insecurities that led her to bad relationships during both high school and art studies in college. That hypothetical someone would likely need at least one more "very" tacked onto how well they know her before she'd discuss her past boyfriends, but because of them she sought help from Nar-Anon and therapy, both of which she still turns to at need. As she worked on her mental health, she used the yoga practices she was already studying and a budding interest in tai chi and belly dance to improve her body image and self-confidence. She also traveled in her study of the jeweler's craft, a medium that combined the love and understanding of color, design, three-dimensional shape and varied materials that she learned from both her parents. She spent some time living and creating in La Jolla, but eventually moved back north to be closer to her family. She currently rents a small house and studio space in Santa Barbara from a friend, teaching adult education jewelry classes (and the occasional yoga class) to make ends meet while she works to turn her creations into a going concern.


Mattéo Quintana: Neri met Matt (and his chocolate lab Frog) at a local art fair and sale where she had her jewelry on display, though she didn't find out until later that the tall puertoriqueño was a successful glass sculptor and gallery owner. Their initial interest in each other's art deepened into a quirky, teasing sort of friendship under cover of a semi-professional association, wherein Neri relieves Matt of his discarded and broken sculptures for use in her own pieces. Though they met after Matt's divorce (and before his bad glass burn), his alcoholism combined with her personal issues to make her a little wary about going anywhere physical with their relationship, no matter how attractive she finds him. Whatever attraction he might have for her, he usually refers to her as "midget", "tree stump", "little hobbit girl" and "la loca guajira", while she throws back "jirafa", "sequoia" and "skyscraper". (Visions Dancing - Neri doesn't see so much of Matt since she moved back to Santa Barbara, but she keeps in touch with the odd email and phone call.)

Eduardo "Lalo" Inocencio (PSL): So far as Neri knows, Lalo is a handsome Spanish vintner close to her own age, with whom she shares meals, weekends and a playfully sexual relationship whenever he visits California. The fact that he's only around part-time and doesn't try to dig into her past any more than she does his suits her admirably, in her current uncertainty about long-term relationships. She has only just learned that not only is she more attached to Lalo than she ever intended to become, he is far more dangerous than she realized ... though she still doesn't know exactly how dangerous he truly is.

Tadhg MacEibhir: Another artist and metalworker living in Santa Barbara, Tadhg occasionally trades material or swaps the loan of equipment with Neri. He has also taken over teaching her jewelry classes on the rare occasions she needs a substitute. Neri is of the opinion that Tadhg actually might be more out there and new-agey than herself. Little does she know how right she is.

Height: 4'11"
Weight: 120 pounds
Build: Short and curvy
Eyes: Dark brown
Hair: Naturally medium brown, often lightened to a dark blonde, curly
Skin: Light bronze
Defining Marks: Tiny body, huge hair, three small burn scars on her arms
Eyesight: 20/20
Hearing: Normal
Dominant Hand: Right

Behaviors: Neri bounces, gestures, grins, flips her mass of hair around and generally projects a far larger personality than her petite form would seem able to hold. Her warmth and vivacity make her a popular teacher. When she works on her jewelry, however, she radiates intense focus and concentration from design stage to finished polish.

Weaknesses: Other than needing a taller than usual step stool to reach cabinets and shelves, Neri's main weaknesses lie mostly in the realm of old mental habits: her tendency to get into "fixer-upper" relationships and sell herself short emotionally, lingering traces of body image issues (too short, too hippy, too brown), with her childhood fears that she's not worth loving lying deep beneath it all.

Special Skills: Most aspects of jewelry making - designing a piece; sawing, casting, soldering, and otherwise shaping metal; choosing, cutting, polishing and setting stones; antiquing, enameling and various other finishes; incorporating other materials such as found objects and precious metal clay; and so on. She has also practiced yoga for years (primarily the Ashtanga form, though she has studied others), and can teach both this discipline and the jeweler's craft. Fluent in both English and Spanish.

Hobbies/Interests: Yoga, belly dance, tai chi, sailing, swimming, reading, dance in general and salsa specifically, socializing, trawling through swap meets, antique stores and curio shops for found objects to use in her jewelry.

Relationships: Other than the people in the storylines listed above, Neri's relationships include her parents, Arturo and Lourdes, other members of the commune where she grew up, an eclectic assortment of friends, students and fellow instructors and her pet hedgehog, Fernando. This section will get fleshed out as we go.

Random Trivia (some of which is not so trivial):

  1. Neri will not touch most psychoactive drugs (prescription or illegal) and is cautious about having more than one or two alcoholic drinks in an evening, if that.

  2. She is fluent in Spanish, but she was raised speaking English first and thinks in that language.

  3. She got Fernando, her pet hedgehog (yes they're illegal in CA. Shh.), from one of her adult ed students who had to move and couldn't take the little guy with him.

  4. Nipple piercings. 'Nuff said.

  5. She has a habit of listening to the most heart-wrenching love songs she can find in both English and Spanish ... but strictly in private.

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