Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Packing it in

First thing you need to know: I'm getting punchy. We've been packing for several days now, and I swear, the plastic organizer boxes full of junk are breeding. No, I'm not delusional; well, maybe I'm a little bit delusional; but they definitely outnumber us. And they are filled, or semi-filled, with the craziest things.

We are moving cross country, from New York to California, so we really don't want to pay to move anything we don't want or need. Unfortunately, that requires going through everything and deciding what to do with it. Keep or toss?

Guess which category most things seem to be falling into?

Yup, most of it is stuff we neither want nor need. How did that happen? Well, time is part of it. That, and having a rather large storage area. Instead of getting rid of the things we'd lost interest in, or outgrown, they were sentimentally put into . . . plastic organizer boxes.

But they've met their match. I've emptied them all. If there are more in there tomorrow, then I'm not delusional: they are breeding.

I knew it all along.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Mandelbrot it's not

There definitely is an order-out-of-chaos thing going on in the piece I'm working on this week. I don't know if it is in reaction to packing up the house for our move, or just sort of what happened, but I can't look at this piece without thinking about Chaos Theory.

Whatever happened to Chaos Theory? Fifteen years ago, it was everywhere. It was beautiful, fascinating, and held the promise of finally finding the elusive key to a unified theory. Or so we thought.

Physics dilettante that I am, once it was no longer in front of of my nose, I stopped thinking about it. I feel a google search coming on.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

We're on our way home

So, okay, we're not on our way yet, but we're packing up. We're moving back to California in a couple of weeks, and oh my goodness, but have I ever collected a ton of stuff. I've been sorting through it and giving away quite a lot; the movers told us to think in terms of $1 per pound as the cost of moving. So I'm mentally weighing everything, calculating the cost, and deciding if I'd rather have that or something different for the price.

It's astonishing, really, how very much I own that I'd rather not spend the money to keep. Stuff is going to Goodwill by the van load. So far, I think I've donated upwards of 500 lbs; a lot of that was books. Books are heavy! It sure is a lot of work getting rid of things; it was a lot easier bringing them home. But we're down to the kitchen things; the extra set of silverware and the odd pots and pans are going to find a new home with a friend who is setting up housekeeping on her own for the first time; I hope she'll think of me when she uses them.

I love New York, but it's time to go home.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Which came first?

I've heard that there are actually people who buy jewelry to go with an outfit. What a novel idea! As you might guess, I buy clothes to go with my jewelry. Yesterday, after I finished my Crazy Quilt necklace, I went to my closet and tried on everything I owned because I wanted to wear it.

Nothing worked.

I did not own a single shirt that looked good with that necklace. How frustrating. So, of course, today I went shopping. I am now wearing my new necklace with a brand new plummy dark purple top. It was a surprise color choice; it doesn't match the necklace. But it complements it wonderfully.

Hmmm. Plum and yellow. Must remember that!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

It's finished!


Bead Embroidery isn't something that can be knocked out quickly; but it sure is fun, and very addicting, at least for me! I've always loved embroidery; there is something so comforting and soothing about it. I love the repetitive nature of the stitching, and I love to see the picture emerge, ever so slowly. I've been known to embroider until my eyes are gritty, unable to stop, because I can't stand not seeing just a little bit more.

But all good things must come to an end; after awhile there is no place to put another stitch. You can see my finished Crazy Quilt on Jewelry Tales.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

It's too darned hot

No matter when we get our first heat wave of the season, it always seems like it's too early; but this one really takes the cake. It's barely June!

The poor peonies are crisping, and I'm wilting. The humidity is frightful; this afternoon it rained so hard it looked like someone had upended giant buckets over the house. I wish I could say that the downpour wrung all the wet out of the air, but it didn't. It's still very, very hot and very, very humid.

Perfect indoor beading weather.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

A crazy quilt life

This has been an interesting year; almost nothing has gone the way I thought it should. It has been a year of letting go on so many fronts; letting go of expectations, plans, and fears; it has also been a year of finding the things that really matter. Family. True blue friends. The strength and power of love and hope.

Things have, at times, seemed very, very dark. Darker than I thought possible. There were times when I did not know how, or if, I could go on. But I did. It's been a very difficult year.

Today, the piece I am working on transformed itself into a crazy quilt; not just any quilt, but the quilt that has been passed down, and stitched, by my great-grandmother to my grandmother, to me. There is room yet for a few stitches by my daughter. I hope she will want to leave her mark on the crazy quilt of our lives.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Mondrian and Me

I'm working on a bead embroidery piece with a large lampwork focal. The focal is gorgeous; very organic with great flow and movement. The embroidery is carrying out the colors and some of the shapes in the bead; but while I'm working, my mind is on Mondrian. You'd laugh at me if you looked at the piece; you'd think I was kidding. This piece is not geometric, the colors are not primary, it looks nothing like Mondrian at all.

But there it is. My mind is full of Mondrian.

And this piece is like nothing I've ever done before. It's Mondrian, filtered through my brain. Blocks of color, in organic shapes, lightly textured instead of flat. Red, yellow and blue rendered into shades of indigo, plum and sepia. Outlines that wander instead of forming grids.

It's not Mondrian; it's what I take from Mondrian.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Brace yourself

. . . I just added a third color. Am I living dangerously, or what?!?!?!?

No, it isn't a wild color addition. It's analogous to one of the colors I've already used; it's a very tiny step over the color line, but it's definitely not the same color.

Mmm hmmm, I'm a wild woman.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Color breakout!

Okay, so it's not really wild by color-mad standards. But I have been working very monochromatically lately; for me, this is a huge departure. Erm, actually, I'm only using only two colors, but hey! That's twice as many as I have been using together. And there are several shades and tints of those two colors; that's gotta count, right?

Probably not. But it's a breakout for me.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Left turn!

After taking the other piece apart and sorting through all the beads, I decided to put those beads away and start on another project. I knew that I didn't like where I was going on that one, but that's about all I knew. So I'm setting that stone aside to wait for some new ideas to blossom.

But I know what to do with this one. I'm putting a gorgeous lampwork bead into a bead embroidery. I've been wanting to incorporate lampwork into bead weaving for some time now; I just couldn't figure out how to balance the weight of the lampwork bead with the delicacy of the seed beads. Bead embroidery to the rescue; the foundation gives enough support and weight to support the bead.

This time, I'm liking it right from the beginning!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Another Edison moment

It's not that it didn't work at all; it just didn't work for me. I could have finished this piece; someone else could have worn it. But I just couldn't do it. First off, there was the stone. It was my birthday present from my husband. It's a stone I want to wear. And, secondly, I don't want to make something I don't like. What is the point of having complete creative control if I don't use it to make what I like?

So I ripped it all out. This is what it looks like now; next up, sort out the beads, get them all into their little containers, and toss out all the little bits of thread. Start over. Another Edison moment. I now know what not to do with this stone, and I know what not to do with my designs and labor. For better or for worse, for me, making jewelry is all about me.