Monday, December 31, 2007
I'm ready for the new-and-improved 2008 me.
What an optimist I am! I know, rationally, that I will not wake up tomorrow with any more abilities or skills than I have today; but, somehow, I still expect that I will. My designs will be fresher tomorrow, my execution cleaner, my results prettier.
No sense in starting something today; tomorrow it will be a New Year!
Sunday, December 30, 2007
And a light touch, I fear.
I'm a bull in a china shop; I plow through and make things happen by whatever means necessary. More heat, more solder, and file off the odd spot; that's my credo.
Holding things together with single piece of wire and a few taps of a hammer scares me.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
But then I wanted to learn different weaves; I wanted to try them in different gauges; and with every piece I made, there were rings left over. Each size went into a little plastic bag, but pretty soon, the collection of little plastic bags outgrew the findings box. No problem; I put all the little bags into a larger bag and stuck it in my drawer.
But then, finding the size I needed started to get difficult. I had to dump all the little bags out of the big bag and look at each one to find the one I needed. Sometimes I didn't find it, so I cut some new rings, labeled a new bag, and dumped the leftovers in the big bag when I was finished. Pretty soon, I had too many little bags, some of them repeats.
Enter my year-end need to organize. Ahhhhh, the big bag is history, and all the little bags are tucked into pockets and neatly hung (ordered by metal, gauge, and size) from binder rings in a cute little 4x6 file card binder. I can flip right to the rings I need; and if they're not there, I know in a minute that it's time to cut.
Life is good.
Friday, December 28, 2007
The centerpiece is a large moonstone cabochon with swirls and balls of silver surrounding it; the main portion of the necklace is Japanese two-in-one maille with large pearls inside of even larger silver rings. Three sections of smaller pearls alternating with little square silver beads swoop around and below the moonstone, enclosing a dangling large pearl and a tiny crystal.
I'm sitting up straighter just now because I'm wearing it.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
But, no matter. I'd made a couple of moonstone links with lots of swirls and balls of silver quite some time ago; I used one for a bracelet, but then I lost momentum and put the other one in my tray to wait awhile. It came out yesterday, and it is going to be a necklace with heavy silver links and pearls. Maybe some Renaissance-y swirls and drapes; I haven't decided yet.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
And for the New Year, I see organic possibilities: my mother and my sister both gifted me with leaf beads this year. My sister sent impossibly delicate and tiny antique, etched, pressed-glass leaves; and my mother found bold, gorgeously carved, gemstone leaves. Flowers, vines, and fairy circlets are teasing me; pearls? briolettes? silver lace?
Ah, what fun. I love the moment when everything is possible and nothing is decided.
Monday, December 24, 2007
But, whatever we end up doing today, it's a beautiful Christmas Eve here. I hope it is equally beautiful where you are, and I hope that you, too, will take a moment to think about what you are thankful for on this day. My heart is full today; I hope yours is as well.
Peace and love to you on this Christmas Eve.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
It is a waiting game.
But, since I really don't know enough about diamonds to judge them, I don't miss the ones that get away. There is always another lot to catch my eye - and my bids - and, sad to say, they all look pretty much the same to me. I guess that's why I'm reluctant to bid high enough to buy; I just don't know enough to know what I'm getting!
But it's fun to hope I'll get some for a song. Tra la la la la!
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Earrings, yes; I've made a whole bunch of earrings over the past few days. I love to make earrings; they go so quickly and even the simplest ones look good. I'm certainly testing the theory that one can never have too many earrings.
Today I'm playing with Jens Pind in silver and gold combined; I'm certain there is some way to exploit the spiral aspect of it, but I'm not finding it. Still and all, it's very pretty. Who could ask for more than that?
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
And it feels so good to have that chore finished. I realized with a start, when I put the last package under the tree, that I'm ready for Christmas. I'll have to go to the grocery store to get the roast for our Christmas Eve dinner, but other than that, there is nothing that I need do but enjoy it.
I think I'll go put some Christmas music on and start now!
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
I'm treasuring the rare moments of silent understanding; hours of acceptance and trust are more valuable to me than diamonds. Hope is a shining star on our horizon; one we must protect and cherish. I expect it is that way for many others; despite fears and very real events, hope keeps us putting one foot in front of the other, hope wakes us up in the morning and gets us out of bed.
Every day I try to find a quiet time to nourish my own hopes; I wish that for you, as well.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Of course, that also means that a lot of clutter was left behind; and this morning I addressed that. Nope, no one helped me, but that's okay. They weren't here to get in my way, either. Their stuff has been delivered to their rooms, and they can deal with it later. I am done and enjoying a last cup of coffee in my nice clean house.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Okay, sometimes I watch.
Occasionally, I even bid again.
But most of the time, I just put in a number and wait until the auction is over to see if I get lucky. I've got two auctions ending tonight; one I might watch and see the end of, the other I definitely won't. I'll be asleep long before it ends, and, unless someone outbids me early, I won't know until tomorrow if I'm getting it or not.
Do you think I'll get lucky tonight?
Saturday, December 15, 2007
I want it all, I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now!
I won't deny that many of the things I make take a lot of time to finish, but it isn't patience that keeps me going.
Nope, it's desire. I want to make the things I make, I want to make them more than I want to do anything else, at least at that moment. If I didn't, I wouldn't do it. If I couldn't feel it, couldn't see it happening, I wouldn't do it. I work fast. I work hard. And I like it that way.
Friday, December 14, 2007
The kids, lucky dogs, went off to school at the usual time, so hubby and I took to our shovels and freed up the van. That was one heavy mess! Not too deep, thankfully, but very, very wet. In some places it was so dense that it came up in chunks.
I'm feeling it now. Thank goodness we only had to get the one car out; the rest of the driveway can stay covered until it melts, as far as I'm concerned!
And the picture? That was seven years ago. I haven't seen grins like that after shoveling snow for quite awhile now!
Thursday, December 13, 2007
A few minutes ago I thought about going outside and shoveling the driveway, but I decided not to. It can wait. We don't have anywhere to go today. And I really do appreciate having a nice warm fire and a good roof over my head.
I'm very thankful.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods, — They kill us for their sport.
Anyone remember reading Lord of the Flies? I must have been about 15 or 16 when I read it, and I found it seriously disturbing. So disturbing, in fact, that I had a hard time remembering enough details to pass the test on it. I wanted to put it out of my mind as quickly as possible; if it hadn't been assigned reading, I never would have finished it. It gave me nightmares for quite a long time; it still makes me shudder just to think about it.
So why am I bringing it up now?
Recently, I had cause to do some excavating into the dark underbelly of the teen world on MySpace. I know, on the surface, it simply looks like a fun way for teens to express themselves and have fun chatting with their friends. And for many, that's exactly what it is. But for others, it is a world unto itself, a world as dark as anything Jack could ever imagine. Perhaps it is just pretend; no more real than the novel that disturbed me so.
Or perhaps not.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Now I just find it mildly annoying. Probably because I know that when I was younger, I was just as ridiculous; I pounced on other peoples' errors and flaunted my superiority with the best of them. And that's still a tad embarrassing.
I guess I'm not quite old enough yet.
Monday, December 10, 2007
But there are other ways to work.
And a chance comment got me thinking about that today. I wonder what would happen if I slowed down?
I can't guarantee I'm going to find out anytime soon; but it's a thought.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
This year, I am not obsessing with the decorating; if it gets up, well and good, if it doesn't, that's ok too. I must find the kids' stockings, though; that's non-negotiable. But anything else is gravy.
Jingle Bells, anyone?
Friday, December 7, 2007
So I'm simplifying things. Letting go of some of the details that would be pretty but aren't actually necessary; settling for getting the important things done and letting the rest go by.
Monday, December 3, 2007
We actually have several wood sheds; two on the side of the garage, one out the back door, and a very attractive wood holder just out the kitchen door. The one out the kitchen door is on the porch; it's covered, and it's my bad-weather emergency stash. I hardly ever use it, preferring to wait until really bad weather hits; usually I take the wheelbarrow out to one of the outlying sheds, load it up, and put it on the porch for easy access.
A good wheelbarrow load will fill my inside wood box twice; we go through nearly that much in a day. So I haul in a load of wood pretty much every day. I don't mind; it keeps me in shape. And I'd much rather be getting a workout by keeping my family warm than by going to a gym.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
The first snowfall of the season is always pretty; it has been long enough since last winter's snows that we no longer remember the drudgery of shoveling and only see the pristine beauty of the landscape.
We're having that first real snowfall now; we have had a few flurries, but this is the first one that actually covers the ground. It isn't supposed to last; in fact, it's predicted to turn to ice and rain by tomorrow. But today we're enjoying it; today it is covering the earth with a soft blanket of white and sticking thickly to the branches, making the yard look like a postcard.
I hope you will enjoy it with me!
Saturday, December 1, 2007
It had gotten so bad, I had my daughter bring in the shop vac. We call it R2D2 because it looks like the character from Star Wars and it's every bit as useful. I can vacuum in record time without worrying about it getting clogged.
I'll be back to jewelry soon, but hopefully, I won't neglect my chores in December quite as badly as I did in November.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Which I was. It's no secret that I've been cranking lately; I'm so far behind on taking pictures and writing stories that I could suffer a huge dry spell and still have something new to put up every week for several months. But, in spite of my recent burst of production, I woke up feeling a little stale this morning.
I'm feeling very fresh now.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
The bracelet is Euro 4-in-1 with a fabulous focal bead by Donna Millard of Fyrebeadz. This bead makes me think of something found in an archaeological dig; it looks positively Roman. I made the maille very lacy and it just slinks around my wrist. The clasp echos the bead with its spirals and dots; I am so pleased with this one, and I had so much fun making it.
Nope, no photo yet; but in a few days, pop over to Jewelry Tales and I'm sure you'll know which one I'm talking about.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
But not today. Nope, today I had a very strong idea of where I wanted to go, and I got there. It took a little filing, but I got there.
Monday, November 26, 2007
I have to buy new jeans. Here's the good news: I've lost some weight, and the old ones are too big. I've been affecting the gangsta boy look with my pants falling down and it's not pretty. The bad news? I have again waited until my jeans have holes in embarrassing places, and I'm down to one functional pair.
Which needs washing.
So I will hie myself off to Wal-Mart today and see what evils lurk in the jeans department. I am sincerely hoping that low rise jeans are OUT (is it really sad that I don't already know this?) and I'll be able to find jeans with an actual waistband. I'd promise to keep you posted, but I'm quite sure this is more than you already want to know about my wardrobe!
Sunday, November 25, 2007
I've already got too many, and yes, I want even more. Every time I see new beauties from my favorite artists, I just want to hold them. I love the colors, the textures, the translucency; oh, my, they are even prettier than gems.
And more expensive, some of them.
Oh, not that they are not worth it; not that the artists who create them don't deserve to be compensated for their gorgeous work; no, it's just that I cannot afford to buy them all. I buy as many as I can, but oh, I covet even more. Keep making those pretty little things, all you wonderful glass artists; you add such joy and beauty to my world.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Do you know how exciting that is?
I know, I know: you're probably laughing at me. I'm laughing, too.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Guess what I did today?
So a little later on, perhaps this afternoon, feel free to hop on over to Jewelry Tales and see what I've been up to. I've taken enough photos today to keep me telling stories for oh, at least a week or two!
Monday, November 19, 2007
It's something I forget to do. I used to break them often enough; but now I'm more likely to wear them out than snap them. They wear slowly, though; and I have yet to pinpoint the moment when they are really too worn to be of use. I'm thrifty, you see; I don't like replacing things that still have some use in them.
But today I realized that my saw blade wasn't really cutting very well, and I replaced it. I compared it to the new blade I was putting in, and got quite a giggle. The difference was very obvious, and I realized that I had used that old blade a good bit longer than I should have.
Ummhmm, that's the story of my life.
Friday, November 16, 2007
There's no rush; this one's for me. And experimenting is my favorite way to work.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
This has been a long, slow autumn; the trees in our yard have clung to summer and are only now at their peak fall colors. Most of the leaves in other yards have already had their day; they have been tidily gathered into paper bags and set out for collection; ours are very late. They are always late, these leaves of ours; most years we don't get them raked until spring because the snow falls about the time they do.
I used to wonder why; now I just accept it.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Making something with a specific person in mind is fun. It draws me outside my usual box and dares me to think from a different perspective. Although the finished jewelry is still very much me; there is always a subtle difference to each piece that I find exhilarating. It's like looking at myself from a new angle; I see things that I didn't know were there.
It's time for me to get back to work; I'm looking forward to new discoveries.
Monday, November 12, 2007
And it has been chaotic here.
So this will probably not be a good week for those who like big, chunky jewelry; I'm in a much smaller frame of mind just now.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
This is the widest piece of maille that I've ever made, and yup, I'm hooked. I don't know if it will really protect me from anything, but wearing it does make me feel oddly comforted.
Friday, November 9, 2007
Does the word annealing come to mind? Erm, not to mine, it didn't. Not before hitting it with the torch, anyway. Afterwards, oh yeah, that was all I could think of as I watched little rings pop off my bracelet when I tried to get it off my wrist after the clasp mushed up and refused to release!
Not to worry; I fixed it. I put the rings that had gone AWOL back, and hammered the clasp back into rigidness. I tumbled it, and for good measure, I hit it with my little plastic hammer to make sure it was good and hard.
It sure would have been easier had I made the decision to patina it before weaving it.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Have you treated yourself lately? Go for it!
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
I had a shared dream, once, which also involved dreaming that I woke; when my sister and I were very young, we both dreamt one night that we woke up, went out into our backyard, and discovered that we could fly. Oddly enough, neither of us dreamt that we left our own yard; we just flew in circles around the lawn, about ten or fifteen feet in the air. Only the fact that we could not fly anymore convinced us that it had indeed been a dream; a shared dream, but a dream nonetheless. It can probably be explained by Peter Pan; but for a few hours, we were convinced that it had been real.
In my dreams last night, I faced each situation as it arose; and even when the results were not stellar, my courage was. Perhaps I am stronger than I suspect.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
And yes, I do know that I can exclude them, but it's more trouble to figure out how to do that than I want to get into most days. I'm writing this because I'm currently locked out of my photo host. Too many failed tries at getting my password to match up with my user name. I eventually looked it up, but by then it was too late. I'd tried too many false combinations and it wasn't having any of it.
Wonder if it's unlocked itself yet?
Monday, November 5, 2007
I am giving up the idea of selling jewelry, at least for now. It wasn't happening, and I don't have the time or the energy to do the required marketing to make it happen at this point in my life. There is just too much else that needs my time and attention. I make jewelry because I love to make it, and I write because I love to write. I wasn't really doing it for anyone but myself, anyway, and I feel such relief at admitting that! So, thank you to everyone who encouraged and supported me, but it isn't what's best for me right now.
I'm keeping what I make, or giving it to those I love.
Friday, November 2, 2007
Heat, stitching and pressure.
I've explored them again and again and not found an end; only the means, repeated with endless variations. My life unfurls, its fabric pleating and gathering; its colors bleeding, one to another, its pen describing circles and swirls.
What will I find?
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I had a small epiphany yesterday; I wanted to make a very simple looking pair of earrings using some gorgeous little lampwork beads from Melissa at Inner Realm Creations. Nothing complicated; just the bead sitting on top of a ball of silver, and a small coil of silver above the bead to keep it on the over sized ear wire.
I wasn't happy with the first way I tried it; it was the obvious way to make it, but it just didn't work up to the look I wanted. The silver ball wasn't big enough, and the bead was floppy on the 20 gauge wire required for the ear wire. So I mucked about, made a bigger ball, soldered thicker wire to the smaller ear wire, and was really unhappy with the results.
I set the beads aside.
And then it happened. Serendipity. A whole new way to look at the problem dawned on me; it was easy, and, better yet: it gave me exactly the look I was going for. I just had to be open to doing things differently.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Draw your own metaphors from this one, I'm keeping mine close today!
Monday, October 29, 2007
But I am making it to soothe my soul. Yes, it's all in the details. Those tiny stitches comfort me and ease my mind. Creating something beautiful, stitch by stitch, gives me strength and courage. It will take many hours to finish; and that is comforting right now. I can see my progress, and that is reassuring right now. I'm moving forward.
Time is on my side.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
I'm not a statistic; I'm alive. I made it out, and I made a good life. Yes, I still have challenges, and life is not always easy; (as the past week or two has certainly proved!) but I know now that I do not have to suffer abuse ever again. I wanted to share my story in the hope that it might give someone else a chance to learn that, too. I faltered many times along the way; I wrote, erased, rewrote, and quit many times before September 27th. I didn't really finish writing it; I simply ran out of time.
The bead that I used in the necklace was a very strong factor in my decision to persevere; it was listed on ebay shortly after I made the decision to go public, and I could not get it out of my mind. It said everything that was in my heart, and, although the bidding was fierce, I knew I had to have it. At the very end of the auction, there was somewhere else I had to be, and I could not stay to make sure I was the winner. I put in a final bid, and left. No one else bid after me.
After that, there was no turning back.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Sometimes I use them immediately; other times they sit for quite awhile. Some lampwork artists only sell in large lots, so after I've used a few from the string, they end up in a sectioned drawer with my pliers; if I'm between projects, I pull them out and think about them. Sometimes I even use one or two. A few of them have been in there for so long, they've actually surprised me into almost regarding them as new again.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
It's hard not to think about how things are formed while making jewelry; every day I'm shaping and filing and sanding and polishing; wearing away the scratches and deposits that my work puts into metal, doing my best to smooth out the damage that is an inevitable effect of shaping it to my vision.
I am made of softer stuff; I wear faster than stone or metal. But even my changes, which seem to happen so quickly to me, become invisible in the trajectory of smaller creatures.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
So no more staying inside, I'm outta here!
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Can you say proud mom?
It hardly seems possible that he's almost 17 years old. I can still see that wiggly, talkative, full-of-ideas 6 year old (and I know Sensei can, too!) and, although the evidence of that little boy is not always visible in the square-jawed, muscular young man he has become, he still has the capacity for pure joy and unadulterated fun. Today we will celebrate ten years of karate lessons, and we will recognize that all of us have learned more than kata and kumite.
Friday, October 19, 2007
So today, I'm expecting a friend to drive up, and from here we'll go up to Cold Spring. It is a lovely old town, named by George Washington, who noted on his map that there was - you guessed it - a cold spring of water there. Cold Spring is now known for its antique shops, but it should be known for Momminia, a darling bead, gemstone and jewelry store. It's one of my favorite places.
So we'll head up there, and hopefully the rain that is threatening will hold off!
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Yes, the Robert Burns lines did spring, unbidden, into my head just now,
The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley
from To A Mouse, On Turning Her Up In Her Nest With The Plough, and yes, my nest has been very recently turned up! But we have not given up making plans, we just make new ones; we build our nests again and again.
But enough of nest building. Today I will be invincible; I will bend steel to my will!
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
So now we've settled in to walking this new road; the unpleasant will become ordinary; the unthinkable will become routine. We will live with what we never imagined we could bear, we always do. Our resilience is astonishing. What is it that we need to learn this time? I don't have any answers yet, but I am very grateful for the overwhelming urge I had a few weeks ago to clear the decks and get myself extricated from unnecessary activities and responsibilities. The Lord was looking out for me and preparing me for what I need to do now.
For that, I am very grateful.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Beauty is functional.
Oh, not at the expense of food, or a roof over one's head; there are issues of subsistence that must be addressed before the aesthetic can be admitted; but, to risk cliche, a thing of beauty is a joy forever.
After the home show, we stopped at a local bookstore for a cup of tea and a browse, and I found myself looking through the art books. It's something I do a lot of, actually, and yesterday I was very aware of how lucky I am to live in an age of print. I don't have to own beauty to enjoy it.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
It's the not-quite-but-almost ones that give me fits.
That's when I discover that sometimes it's better to just leave well enough alone. For example, the ring I made yesterday was an experiment, and, as experiments go, it was a good one. I learned a lot; both what to do, and what not to do. I'm not quite happy with it, but I don't hate it, either; and that makes it very hard to set down. This morning I woke up with a few ideas for "fixing" it; and yes, you guessed it, no matter what I tried, it just didn't work. It's gone right back to where it was yesterday, and this time, it's going to stay that way.
The weaknesses in the project could not be turned into strengths. And covering them up only made them look, well, covered up. It's not a bad ring. It's not a good ring. It is what it is: a lesson learned.
Friday, October 12, 2007
"...the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world."
Remember the old philosophical discussions we used to have in our late teens and early twenties? The ones that started out assuming that we were dreaming a world that was dreaming us, and what about that tree falling in the forest?
The center of the universe, we were; our perceptions defined everything. Infinity plus one; the eternal conundrum. How heroic Rick was to give up Ilsa: we all knew that he knew that their problems were bigger than the rest of the world, but he gave her up anyway. We wondered if we could be as selfless; we liked to think we could, but secretly, we had our doubts.
Fast forward to today. No beans. Really. Not a one, much less a hill. Rick was a realist, after all.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
I've turned into a reactive automaton. Answer the phone. I'll go to the store right now. Delete, delete, quick answer. Yes! No! I'm sorry! Uh, what was I supposed to do? Did you do your homework? Pot roast! They're in the drier! It's in the car. Worse than this?
And yes, this is the point where I stop. These things won't go away, even if I deal with them all today, they'll all come back tomorrow with the same urgency; the same shouting, touting, self-importance. But when will I have the chance to tell my son how pleased I am with the young man he's become? Where will I find the time to build a relationship with my daughter-in-law? Do I have enough love to let my daughter choose her own way? Those are the things of consequence; they wait patiently for me, they do not tug at my hem or shout.
But they will not come back if I let them go away unanswered; they are important, but not urgent.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
I've been spending too much time on the high wire lately; pushing myself, feeling the pressure of time and wanting to do so very much. More, really, than is possible for me. Perhaps others can do it; but I just can't. Not and stay sane, and sanity is a very good thing.
So it is time for me to weave a cocoon; to wrap myself in the quiet, slow, and steady march of tiny beads.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Counting calories is still not part of my mindset. I spent too many years burning them as fast as I ingested them; I still expect my body to work that way, though it has been awhile since it did. How many other things do I expect to continue forever, just as they once did? Erm, too many. I like consistency. I like knowing that if I do x, then y will follow. I'm not thrilled about the fact that z has taken over from y and given me a whole new paradigm to understand.
Odd how I love to learn some new things, but not others.
Monday, October 8, 2007
Tedious: too long, slow, or dull: tiresome or monotonous : a tedious journey.
Erm, that's housework. Not making lace. Not embroidery. Not quilting. Not making jewelry, for goodness sake!
I'll concede too long, slow, and even monotonous moments. Dull? Uh, sometimes. But never tiresome. Oh, no; quite the opposite. The process of making things, those small, repetitious movements, serves to quiet the turmoil in my soul and concentrate my energy. Why this, and not other, equally small and equally repetitious movements, like washing windows? I wonder.
It isn't because of the end product; no, I am notorious for putting the things I make away and forgetting about them. I actually spend a lot more time appreciating the results of my housework. But the process of cleaning does not have the same effect on me. I rush through it, intent on the goal of finishing, seeing only the results, which never last long enough. Spiders are even more industrious than I, and I see defeat on a daily basis. That's tedium in my eyes.
Hmmmmm. Perhaps I need to live my life as I create: one bead at a time, put the results away quickly, and welcome the chance to make something new.
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Nope, no big problems or concerns to resolve; nothing that needed my immediate and undivided attention; things are going as well as can be expected in a house with two teenagers and a retired husband. I'm even caught up on the laundry and the visible cleaning; those dust bunnies under the couch can breed for another day or two without running out of room under there! So I gave in, and let my mind wander. A few new designs came of it; I don't know if I will make them or not. I am terribly wasteful of designs; so many times I am entirely finished with something immediately after visualizing it. The path between imagining and creating is not always a straight one; quite often it veers suddenly.
I don't know how long I stayed awake; I don't remember falling back to sleep. But suddenly, it was light out there, and there was no more arguing with my stomach: it was breakfast time.
Saturday, October 6, 2007
I don't know if this will be something that reaches fruition soon, or if it will go back into the recesses of my mind to perk again. It's been up here before, but thinking about the mathematics of it is new. All I know is that today it's so close that I can almost see it. Not quite clearly enough to take out paper and pencil and make the calculations, but just there enough to make me want to figure out the formulas I'll need to use.
If I make it, that is.
Friday, October 5, 2007
But it's not just my lungs that can breathe again; over the past few months, I had gotten myself in over my head on a project that didn't turn out the way I'd expected it to; in fact, it had begun pulling me in a direction that I didn't want to go. It seemed like a good idea when I started, but it just got to be more than I could handle. I was making compromises that were not comfortable for me, and I was getting pretty cranky about it! I finally had to admit that I just couldn't breathe, and I took on a more manageable role. Others will pick up where I left off, and they will be more capable than I of seeing it through.
Breathing is good on all counts.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
- making a maille ringinto one project.
- learning euro 4-in-1
It was a very cool project, actually. I did the weave the way one would for a maille shirt, instead of the way it is usually done for jewelry, and I really like the way it looks and feels. It sort of hugs my finger, and stretches and contracts as I move. It's not the least bit rigid, like other rings; and done this way, it really looks more like a knit than anything else. I added some labradorite dangles to it which give it sort of a funky medieval look. If it were oxidized, it might look goth, but it's shiny bright, so it looks like me!
If you want to see, click here.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Every once in awhile, I have to just stop and remind myself of that. I can easily give into the temptation to make things too ornate, to hide behind a very decorative facade. I like pretty things, and I like to make them. But when they begin to take on a life of their own...when they pull my life out of balance...then it's time to knock them back to their very foundations.
What is important to me?
People, not popularity. I don't need to be well known or important in my community; I need the loving fellowship of my friends and family.
Making, not validation. I can't please everyone, and if I try to, I'll please no one.
Honesty and loving kindness.
It's reality check time. This is who I am, and this is what I do.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
I wanted to use this very unusual bead to begin telling Greta's story; I wanted to use it to express her hope, loneliness and anticipation of a new and better life with this bracelet. It's always hard to leave behind the people and places that we know well; it often takes something out of the ordinary to make us begin.
Greta's journey has begun; where will she take me next?
Monday, October 1, 2007
Yeah, a few hours spent sketching is a really good time.
But here's the kicker: I never refer back to the sketches and notes I've made. Once I've made them, I'm done with them. And here's a secret: I've made the same sketches over and over again, I know I have. I stick with the same book for several visits, dipping in and out of a few favorites on a regular basis. My eye often goes to the same thing I sketched the last time I was there; and as I start drawing, my motor memory kicks in and I feel the lines etching their way deeper and deeper into my mind with every repetition.
When they've cut deep enough, then I can use them.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
But now I see these times of deep breathing as a respite; a time to let my mind go silent, my fingers rest, and the seeds of new ideas germinate. Without this time, they cannot push their way out of the darkness; without this time, they will never see the light of day. They will grow, flower, and fruit in good time. And I don't have to do a thing to help them; all I have to do is watch and wait.
And when they're ready, I'll be ready, too.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
I have some beautiful wooden beads that have also been whispering turquoise...perhaps it is time to play with them. I don't know exactly what they want me to do yet; perhaps if I go out into the garden and do a little work there, they will tell me.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Today is that sort of day. Maybe I'll get some more done, and maybe I won't.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Today is the Bloggers Unite to Stop Abuse event. Bloggers all over the world are writing with one theme in mind: stop abuse. Any and all abuse, large and small. If you have a moment, please read my story, Heart's Ease, on Jewelry Tales. And if you have a blog, please consider adding your voice; if we can stop even one instance of abuse, we can change someone's life forever.
I know, because mine was changed 15 years ago.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
So, after I clean up, I'll set up my equipment and take some pictures. Then I'll finish up their stories, start posting them on my Blog, and list the ones that I'll be selling on Etsy. I'll most likely steal a few minutes for making up a new design that's bouncing around in my head even as I type; but I really have to focus on the part that lets you see my stuff.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Oh, and in case you were worried about me, I'm not setting the precious metals aside forever; just tempering them with a bit of steel now and then. I expect my designs and I will both be stronger for it. I had such a wonderful time yesterday, playing with maille and glass, and today I'm going to make some more. Umm, right after I do the grocery shopping. Yeah, there's not a lot to eat around here!
So keep an eye out at Etsy for my Paperback Line, 'K? It will be debuting in a day or two. I'm really excited about it, and I'm having so much fun putting it together!
Monday, September 24, 2007
It is for my spirit, not my work. In that place, I do the work I was made to do; not divine work, but the work of my hands and my heart. This quiet place is a gift, a very great gift. When I enter, I am given comfort and joy in my own ability to work. No matter if the work is good, bad or indifferent. The outcome is not important. The privilege of going there, is, I suspect, the only reason that I make anything.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Yes, I was cleaning out my studio yesterday. It holds the evidence of a lifetime of arts and crafts; my lifetime. It is an amalgamation of material objects that says too much about my life and how it has been spent; I found far too many unfinished items for which I have no passion left. I have given away a lot of it; so much of the excess has gone to people who care about using it. But the things I have made, or had begun to make, remain.
I cannot tear them apart. Not yet.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
OK, yes, it might very well be part of the weaver woman's plan. But I'm fighting her a little bit on this one. I'm not sure I'm ready for it; but I will make the lace and find out.
Faith. It's all about faith.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
But I really like this new idea of hers; I'll keep you posted as we work through it.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
So why is this entry about change? Because the moonstone links are just too big to put two of them into a bracelet. The original plan was to alternate a mirrored pair of Not Tao 3 links with a moonstone, making a balanced bracelet with three chain sets and two moonstone links. But that would have left the moonstones either sitting awkwardly (and uncomfortably) on top of the wrist bones, or having one up and one down and a clasp on the side. Uh, no. Not pretty. Yeah, the bracelet looked great sitting on the bench, but it was not supposed to be a paperweight.
So it was time to let things change. Hmmmmm . . . if I make two more Not Tao 3 links and put one of the moonstones in the center . . . with four links on either side . . . oooh, yeah I like that. All it needed was a simple hook to hold it together. Between the weight of the links, and the size of the focal, I don't suspect there will be a lot of slippage.
. . . and the other moonstone setting? Remember that mosaic bracelet I want to make? Yeah, I think so. Unless it has other ideas.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
My usual way with maille is delicate; I like tiny, thin, rings and chain that serves more as a background element than as a focal point, but yesterday, I reached for 16 gauge wire and began coiling and cutting rings. That is very thick wire for me; I am most comfortable with 18 and 20 gauge. I had a vague idea (OK, you caught me, NO idea) what I was going to do with the links, but I went to work and made them anyway. Six of them.
I set each one down on my bench as I finished it, and looked at them, rather askance, as they marched across the surface. They're big. Very big. About 15mm across. Whatever am I going to do with these behemoths? They are certainly not going to go with the 4mm turquoise cabs that I'd originally envisioned using, and nope, they are not going to be part of the mosaic bracelet that was enticing me . . . what to do, what to do?
Walk away, I decided. Let them sit there. They wanted to be made; now it's their turn to do some talking. Let them decide what to be; they'll tell me when they are good and ready. And they did tell me, much later, when I was almost ready to go to bed, as a matter of fact. Luckily, what they wanted to do only took a few minutes. Oh, yes, there's more to be done today; but I'm going to tease you the way those rings teased me, and stop right here.
Monday, September 17, 2007
So am I Jens Pind-ed out? For now, yeah, I think so. Not that I won't be using it again, I surely will, but my obsession with it seems to be waning. It's thread is moving to a less prominent part of my mind. My mind works rather like a serial: one story is beginning, another is in full bloom, and one is ending at pretty much any given moment. Lots of overlap! There may be a Jens Pind or two still in me before it makes its way off-stage; I never know what will happen next.
But I do know that there is a very exciting new story line bubbling to the forefront of my mind; I can hardly wait to see what develops with this one! Stay tuned; same bat channel, same bat time . . . .
Sunday, September 16, 2007
I didn't see.
She never shows me the pattern, just the colors. She is the weaver woman, the lace maker, the embroiderer of my creativity. She leads; I follow. There are days, weeks, and years where my only task is to thread the warp of her loom. I used to fight her; I would argue and rage against the mundane chores she set in front of me; complain that she didn't understand me, didn't support me, didn't give me what I needed and wanted. She would look at me sadly and wait for me; she placed the threads in my path again and again, until I reluctantly picked them up and did her bidding.
I'm older now, and we've been together nearly half a century. I trust her. She has never withheld the threads I needed, never designed anything that hurt me. I have come to understand that the pattern is not for my eyes; not for my glory. It is not mine to know. I pick up the threads she is offering me; feeling the comfort that comes from working with faith.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
I must say, they were very, very nice about it. Of course, I didn't tell them I was spying; and since I look a lot like every other New York matron of a certain age, I had a really effective disguise for my secret agent task. They let me handle their pretties and try them on, and they were very quick to show me their special details.
My mission was a complete success.
I came away with so many ideas . . . so many pieces made me think. My mind was reeling by the time I left. Here are a few of the highlights:
- Mobiles made with teeny tiny origami cranes. They danced even when they were motionless. Repeated elements in asymmetrical juxtaposition...YES!!! What a great idea.
- Wooden jewelry chests that hang on the wall and look more like art than cabinetry. Well, besides the fact that I want one, maybe sometimes function should follow form.
- A hidden hook on the back of an earring can be used to secure the ear wire. Form hides function on that one.
- A loose rivet lets everything twirl and move. That's fun.
- Ear wires can be any shape. Really.
- I have to make a mosaic bracelet. Soon.
Friday, September 14, 2007
The jewelry is like that, too. Some of it is very ornate, some of it is almost stark -- and some pieces are just fun and playful. They all come from different places in my mind, from my many moods and desires. My inspiration for a piece may come from a stone, from a weave, from the arc of a rose cane climbing into a tree in my garden, or from a baby frog sitting on a lily pad in my pond.
Now: how do the stories meet and marry the jewelry? They meet in the spaces between thought. Quite a lot of the time I spend making jewelry requires much from my fingers, but very little from my brain. Coiling and cutting rings; weaving chain; wrapping teeny tiny faceted rondelles and briolettes; all of these take a good deal of time and dexterity, but not a lot of conscious thought. And so, my mind wanders.
One day, I was thinking of a friend whose only son was going off to college, and then I noticed that the bracelet I was making looked like the Xs and Os that I used to sign my letters with when I was a child; the story for Hugs and Kisses came from that meeting. Another day, I was pondering my own faith, and the seed beads I was using looked like grains of sand . . . which of course led me to the thought that small as my faith seems some days, if I have faith only the size of a grain of sand, I can still move mountains. And from that comforting realization, I created another woman whose faith was small, but perhaps large enough, after all.
There are more stories of the marriages of words and jewelry, but that's enough for now. Both ultimately come from my heart and soul, but I think you already knew that . . .
Thursday, September 13, 2007
I've done it big, medium, and small.
I've done it in copper, silver, and gold.
And I'm not even going into some of the other things that I've done with it, 'cause, I haven't taken pictures of them yet!!! But I'll make another entry when I take some pictures and tell you about some of the other things I've been doing with Jens Pind.