Tuesday, May 3, 2016

April Came and Went

And now it's May.  But here I am, at long last.  Whether I am talking to myself or not, I am just happy to be here!

To tie up a loose end, I finished the Artist's Way on May 1st.  I was pleased with my pace this second time around but I doubt there will be a third time for me.  I am glad I stuck with it, though.  I do want to make Morning Notes and Artist Dates a regular in my routine.  Both clear the mind of crap that lingers too long.  And they also enhance creativity.  More good came out of those two activities than the tasks in each chapter.  For me, anyway.

The one blog I have been able to keep up with on a weekly basis is Amy's.  For the month of April, she did an A-Z challenge and used food and drinks as her subject.  If you haven't seen her post for A-Z, you really should go take a look.  Those food photos will stimulate your appetite and maybe even your creativity in the kitchen!

Here is the ONE item I managed to make in April.  I am in love with the twist in the chain.  There will be more focals dangling from chains like this in the future.  The focal is from a bead shop and the small agate rounds are from Cynthia.  She knows how much I love them! Cynthia, send me your source...I need to order more!  They are perfect for so many projects.

I am hoping to be here more often, but we will see how it goes.  This school year, there were so many places my attention needed to be and I just didn't have the head for beading and blogging.  All good stuff, but I can't multi-task, so this is the part of me that shuts down first.

I hope May is good to each and every one of you ~ thank you for being part of my little world.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Rocks Off On Hump Day

Just a little something.
And a little something is all that is needed at the moment.
Hope this week is being kind to you.

Lake Michigan Rock

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Artists Wahhhhhhhhhhh! I Just Don't Wanna

Weeks six and seven of the Artist Way have passed and I am finding myself brimming with so many ideas about my future job prospects that I just don't want to forge ahead and finish the program.  I will though, but I might speed things up a lot.  I am ready to get to work and try out all the things that are swirling in my head.  More to come on all that when the time is right!

None ~ absolutely NONE ~ of my ideas were about beading.  That scared me enough to send me into the workshop yesterday. I forced myself to bead and I made these two necklaces on some thick C-Lon crochet thread I had leftover from a failed bead crochet project from another lifetime ago.  I didn't think, I just slid beads on the thread.  I am debating the first one, and really like the second.  The Rhythm of Stringing is very healing and inspiring.  I am headed back out there today.  I am hoping to weave, but willing to string some more.  The beads will let me know.

Agates, garnet rounds, and fiber beads I received from Honey From The Bee/Janet (love those fiber beads!)

Agate daggers and matte hematite rounds 

Sorry about the photo quality.  I didn't take time to tweak anything...just trying to go with momentum.  Sometimes, that is the way to roll!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Weeks ThreeFourFive

I am still on track with the Artist's Way but broke the rules and pushed fast-forward button.

Week Three was uneventful...did the tasks, wrote the Morning Notes, watched a subtitled French Movie in the quiet of my bedroom for my Artist Date.  I forget the name of it, as it was that forgettable.
Week Four, I did the notes, tasks, and I took myself to an exhibit at the Museum called Between the Covers : Altered Books in Contemporary Art.  I was there for 2 hrs and 25 minutes, and for all but 5 minutes of it I was alone...alone with Book Art!!!  BLISS.  The artists are brilliant and talented and I wish I could have photographed the pieces.  Some of the highlights were : Stones made of books, a quilt made of children's book pages, mobiles, an Einstein bust, a mountain range that melted into a prairie, carved encyclopedias and dictionaries, a hammer handle, flowers made from fabric book spines, "those" magazines literally swept under a rug with more socially acceptable thinking books stacked on top,  a desk and chair made out of books.  And so many more.  I will probably go back with Sunshine Girl. She is never without a book and is pretty damn creative, so she would really love this.
I have been taking a calendar week approach to this ~ Sunday to Saturday.  But the Week Three Sunday was dicey.  Not enough solitude on Sundays.  So Week Four I started on Monday.  My intention was to shift to Monday through Sunday for the weeks, but after starting Week Four a mere 5 days ago, I already started Week Five yesterday.  Why?  I failed miserably at the biggest task on Week Four.  I will tell you what it was in a moment and how I plan to recover the task and do it for real this week.  Or one of these upcoming weeks anyway.
Julia Cameron (who created the Artist's Way) talks about synchronicity in every chapter and it has been very apparent in my life.  Any thought I tell someone or put on paper ~ thoughts about what kind of work I want, what old leisure activities I miss, the tasks for the Artist's Way ~ seem to pop up in my life in what could be tangible events.  It is interesting to see how it will all unfold.
So back to the Week Four Failure ~ I had planned since early January to go the Altered Books exhibit this Monday.  I was astounded when Monday rolled around and there was no mishaps to sidetrack me.  Before I left the house, I read the Week Four Chapter.  Well Hell.  The biggest task of the week was that she said NO READING FOR A WEEK!!!!!  No books, magazines, newspaper articles, on line reading, letters, emails.  If it has words, turn away for one solid week.  I was moments from going to an Altered Books exhibit!!!  WTFriday?!  Well, I wouldn't be READING the books, just looking at the sculptures they became, so I could lead myself into this temptation and still come out clean.  Three artists in and I realized I was reading every sign.  Crap.  I WAS reading.  And promised myself I would not read anything from the moment I left the museum and for the next 7 days.  The museum is in a park, so I took a walk after the exhibit...and read every damn sign I came across.  Then that night, I found four articles on line that I just HAD to read.  By Tuesday morning, I was ready to rally and avoid reading, but I read on the treadmill and told myself, "It's just poetry.  Julia said to get back to what you loved and miss."   Then that night, while I was killing time when Sunshine Girl is in choir and I usually read for 2.5 hours while I wait,  I took a walk in what is/was the mall (it's almost dead).  I stumbled on an express library that also had books for sale.  So guess where I spent those 2.5 hours?!?  And of course I purchased two books before leaving.  Wednesday brought many more articles that had to be read in the name of good parenting.  And Thursday, I woke up utterly defeated and decided to move on to Week Five (which of course meant more reading).  So Miss Julia telling me not to read threw me into a frantic readeverythingmyeyescanpossiblytoucheventhelabelsonclothing.  I am hoping to incorporate the Do Not Read into Week Five, though I did fail again last night.  So maybe Week Six?  And maybe (excuse time!) if it wasn't winter I would not miss reading so much.  I could plant the veggies, kayak, walk outside, fish, use my workshop.  Her thoughts were if you weren't reading, you would be cleaning out the closets, painting the bedrooms, de-cluttering, exercising, cooking...ya REGULAR EVERYDAY.  So I guess I was resentful that the one luxury I have everyday was being taken away from me.  As I write this out, I have no fucking clue if I will go a week with no reading.

Vermont, 2015
not reading, just listening

Friday, January 29, 2016

Week Two ( I Guess Last Week Was Week One ) : Reflections and Shadows

I am winding down Week Two of the Artist Way by Julia Cameron (if need be, check Week One to see what this is about).  Two Weeks in and I am not behind, so I am already doing better than the first time I did the course!  Go Me!

Among the many tasks this week, I had to come up with 5 MORE dream careers.  Two of my five were Bread Baker and Photographer.  I just didn't have it in me to Bread Fail this week.  I Bread Fail each time I try and make it.  Yeast is not my friend.  I have always had a deep and unwavering love of bread.  If I had to, I suppose I could live without cheese (can you even imagine?!?), avocado, grapefruit, coffee, and yes ~ whiskey.  But I could never be without bread.  When I go to Farmer's Market, I usually have half a loaf finished before I get home.  It is a comfort, a friend, an aphrodisiac, a meal.  NOTHING beats a good loaf of bread.  I was raised on Arnold's Thin White so when I had bakery bread for the first time.....well, use your imagination, then blush.   Someday, I will hit on the recipe that works for me.  This week wasn't going to be that day.
I picked up my camera to play Photographer.  Batteries all dead.  Cards all full.  I only had time to go to the pharmacy for a new memory card.  $35. W.T.Friday?!?  So...I came home, deleted a bunch ( I really have to get back to the "...was..." series because I have hundreds of photos of abandoned structures!) and started taking photos.  I will try and get to Target next week for a card devoted to playing Photographer.  Because I cannot get a series out of my head ~ Reflections and Shadows.  It is probably not very original, but it has been swirling around my brain for a while now.  We'll see how that goes.  Here is a reflection shot with no editing.  I call it : Tree in Coffee (hahahahaha).

I actually took a few photos of my bookshelf reflecting onto my closed computer.  And a grapefruit half reflected onto a spoon.  I was going to post those.  They were eh, but it was a start.  As the photos were opening on the computer, I reached over to the windowsill to get my coffee and saw this.  MUCH better.  The course talks a lot about when you put your wishes out to the universe, opportunities start presenting themselves.  Many things have happened this week to make me believe that.  And this Tree reflection is just a small symbol of that.

Another task was to make a list of 20 things I like to do and the dates I last did them.  Some were 20 years ago!  The follow up task was to pick one and do it.  Due to the weather, I had limited options, so I picked read and write poetry.  Yesterday, I realized I was probably going to fall short of that task.  So instead of reading my treadmill book (Centennial.  Cynthia, one solid year later and I am only a third of the way through.  But I do love it...finally!), I read the first 30 pages of Leonard Cohen's The Book of Longing.  I read it out loud. he could dance me to the end of love.

This week, my Artist Date was The Danish Girl.  What an emotional and beautiful movie!   The self awareness, bravery, love, and trust depicted in this quiet film was a loud shout out to being true to yourself.  The relationships were strong and meaningful, the scenery was sparse and lovely on the water in Copenhagen and decadent in Paris.  I read a bit about Lili/Einar and Gerda Wegener after the movie.  She was so incredibly in touch with who she really was and who she needed to become.  What a spirit and what a pioneer!

Have I bombarded you with enough words and enough "me" "my" "I" ?!  I am sick of myself so you must be too.  So Adios and I am beading a little...simple peyote.  Hopefully the next post will be almost no words, but some jewelry.  Fingers crossed!

Friday, January 22, 2016

I Like The Bearded Look A Lot Better

2016 is not off to a strong start for this lonely little Blog.
There is a lot going on at home (all good, just too much for my preference) and I am too scattered to do much of anything for myself.  When I have a few moment of Me time, I prefer to sit in silence.  But I also am feeling the pull to get back to using my Me time more productively...not that stillness isn't productive, because it sure is needed for recharging.

So I decided to do The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron again.  The last time I did it was probably 5 years ago and it took me 9 full months to do a 12 week course.  This time, I am hoping to do it in 12 weeks, but will allow myself 6 month, if necessary.  Progress ;-)

Each week, there is a chapter to read and tasks to do.
Throughout the whole 12 weeks, and presumably forever, two of the constant tasks are to write Morning Notes and take oneself on an Arist's date.  Morning Notes are 3 full pages of writing before the day begins on anything that pops into the head.  Since my day begins at 5:45, I refuse to get up earlier to write the notes, so I have reset the time to accommodate my schedule rather than the best time to empty my mind for a clean, clear start to the day.  When I did this 5 years ago, I went from resenting the Morning Notes to looking forward to them.  It is a great way to purge.  Feel it...and let it go.

The Artst's Date was not what I was hoping for, especially not for week one.  I was hoping to go see The Danish Girl.  My schedule for the week could not accommodate this.  By last night, it was looking like Week One would have me fall short already.  And then this Gordon Lightfoot concert came up in my Facebook feed.  And I decided this would be my Artist Date for the week.  I will not make a habit of it, because the dog was a nudge and the phone kept ringing and it was easy to get distracted while I tried to have a home based Artist Date with myself.  All that being said, it was time well spent with Gordon and the nuances of his voice and those words that just transport me to another time and place in my life.  Shallow me misses his beard in this one, but he is in fine voice.

Have you ever done The Artist's Way?  More than once?  I am thinking it might be just what I need to feel inspired about beading again.  And Blogging for that matter.  I remember it helped a lot the last time I did it.  But like most things that require optional dedication, I let the Morning Notes and Artist's Dates fall by the wayside.  
We'll see how it goes this time around!  

Monday, December 21, 2015

Skylar ~ Beauty All Around

Today is the first day of winter.  And it doesn't feel that way.  We are expecting temps near 70 this week.  I do not like snow and cold, but if I had my choice, winter would hold steady between 30 and 40 degrees all season long (with no snow!).  This 60+ degree weather is unsettling.  I wonder what Mother Nature has up her sleeve?

Appropriately enough, today is partially about my dear pain in the ass friend Gaia.  I first introduced you to her here.  But you didn't catch a glimpse of her until here.  After that post, I asked Skylar of Brising Beads if she wanted to have a go at her.  She was willing so I put Gaia, the bouquet of flowers, and the sari ribbon in a padded  mailer and sent her off to Skylar.  I figured once Skylar was done creating some magic with her, she would keep her, gift her, donate her.  To my surprise, Gaia showed up at my house once again.  She settled into her new look beautifully and seems to have finally found herself!  Skylar must have had a long talk with her before she began embellishing.  Maybe that was my problem.  I wasn't hearing who Gaia wanted to be.  I was forcing her into what I wanted her to be.  She clearly is not the quiet type!  I adore every detail of this necklace and  her story.  Skylar truly brought her to life.  Thank You Skylar :-)

I may just have to wear her for all the upcoming Winter Holidays.  She is sheer joy, abundance, and a good reminder that Winter ~ no matter the temperatures ~ always gives way to Spring and Summer.

If you don't follow Skylar at Brising Beads Designs, you really should go over and see what she creates.  She does a lot of bead embroidery and felting and enjoys making necklaces, brooches, bracelets, belts, and scarves.  Her colors blow me away.  There is warmth, richness, vibrancy, and a feeling of having been there in everything she makes.  I greatly admire her lush style.  Her friend J makes the jewelry with her and they sell together at shows and on Etsy.

The following photos are from her Etsy Page :

Bead Embroidery

Spiral Raku Necklace

Vintage Brooch Necklace

Bead Embroidery Pin

Felted Beaded Bracelet

Felted Beaded Belt

Thanks for taking a few moments out of your day to go visit Brising Beads and for being here.  My blog community holds a very dear place in my heart.
 I love you all ~ Have a Wonderful Holiday Season!