Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Two Months Later.....

Well, not quite two months ~ but almost!
The Road to the Blogosphere is Paved with Good Intentions.

I am trying to figure out how I can be more attentive to my blog. How is it I had time for it for a few years and just don't anymore?  I really think it is because I rarely use my computer anymore.  I use my phone for everything except blogging and e-mails that are longer than 5 sentences.

Are blogs dying off?  It is super simple to just post things on Instagram and Facebook.  Granted, the photo quality is poor ( I will pay more attention to my camera on my next phone), but that never was my strength anyway.  Just last week I got 500 business cards printed and took the etsy site off the card, but kept the blog on, so I guess I should re-commit to this...maybe use it as a way to catalog what I have on hand.  Maybe use it to express myself a little deeper.  Maybe use it to figure things out ~ beaded and unbeaded things. I am at a time of transition in my life, but I just don't know what I am transitioning to/toward/into/whatever! I am far from unhappy.  In fact, I am feeling lighter in my heart every day (personally, not globally).  But I feel a change coming and am getting ready to embrace it.  I just wish I knew more about it.  Time will reveal all.  Or some, anyway.

Cynthia and I got together in November for a much needed weekend of Beading and Talking and Silence and Eating and Shopping.  It was Bliss.  I could have stayed until January if I didn't have a bottomless list of commitments. I asked Cynthia to show me the way of the Fringe.  It was one of the main reasons why I started beading all those years ago, yet it always alluded me.  I am still working on the sample piece she used to teach me and I do believe it is going to be spectacular when it is done.  In the meantime, I have been fringing away, with varying degrees of success.  I still have a ways to go, but I am enjoying the learning process immensely.  Touching fringe, seeing fringe, the sway of fringe, the weight of fringe (when done right, as I am still learning) ~ really REALLY excites me!  I don't even mind that is is so damn time consuming.  As of now, all I can say is MORE FRINGE!!!

size 13 charlottes, size 15 seed beads, 3mm bugles, agates ~ my favorite so far!!!

Czech beads,  size 10 and 11 delicas, 3mm bugles,size 15 seed beads, Gram's button

Czech beads, size 10 and 11 delicas, size 13 charlottes, 3mm bugles, Gram's button

One the hand that made it

Gram's Button

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Rocks Off On Hump Day...Late October

When I blogged last week after almost 4 months off, I didn't know I would be bringing myself back to the blog world with my Rocks Off post or that this week would be another one.  I have other bead projects that need to get done, but I just cannot keep my hands off the Rocks.  

Cell phone early morning on the bead table photo...maybe when I get the blog rolling, I will break out the good camera again.  For now, quick and convenient is how I need to do the photos.  Something had to give in order for me to start up again.  And taking good photos (or what I perceive are good) stresses me out!  Who needs stress when it comes to beading?!?  

So here's the latest :

The top two Rocks are from Lake Michigan.  The bottom one is a sand encrusted Sand Dollar from Monmouth Beach, New Jersey.  I don't know if you can see the dark green Rock good enough to see the light green line cutting through the center.  It is really cool!  The beadwork around all three were meant for three entirely different Rocks.  It happens more often than not when I bead around Rocks.  I get to a certain point in beading the mandala or bezel and it stops working for the Rock I picked out.  Instead of cutting it all apart, I hunt through my many many vases of Rocks until I find another one that will work with the weaving and pop it in.  It is a challenge finding the proper size/color/texture to go with the already existing beadwork. 
The freshwater pearls in that first Rock are a gift from Jasvanti Patel. She sent me these pearls and some gorgeous onyx cabs. They came quite a while ago when I took a break from beading.  I have beaded up the cabs several times but cut them all apart each time.  So far, they had brief lives as bracelets and earrings.  I keep them on the bead table at all times and feel like the final inspiration is so close I can feel it tickling me.  These pearls were earrings and bracelets, only to be cut cut cut.  I think this bezel and very very long chain (to be doubled) is a keeper.  Maybe the pearls will pass on their happy vibe to the cabs!  
If you haven't seen Jasvanti's work, you should!  Her beadwork is elegant and stunningly beautiful.  Jewelry by Jasvanti is your next stop!  
See you next week! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Rocks Off On Hump Day!!!!!

Yes, finally!!!  I am working on Rocks again and it just happens to be Wednesday ~ everything lined up nicely ~ Woo Hoo!!!  This is brief, as I am not supposed to be here right now, but I had the urge to blog...even if only for a brief moment.

I wanted to bead some rocks in a bit of a different way ~ a way that would cover almost the whole rock, yet let most of it still show.  Cover but be to go about that?  I also wanted the rock to remain rather loose in its beading, so it can spin a bit.  This particular Lake Michigan Rock doesn't spin as much as I was hoping, but all the rest of it turned out the way I imagined so I am leaving it.

I will make a chain for it later tonight or tomorrow over coffee.  But I wanted to get this posted now, because it is Wednesday...and Rocks Off on Thursday just doesn't have the same punch.  Excuse the photo ~ I took it on my phone because I didn't want to bother with the real camera when I knew I would never capture those bugle beads properly.  That finish is a bitch to photograph no matter what type of camera is used.

Hope you all are having a wonderful, Colorful, inspiring Fall!

I had to add the profile bugles to keep the mandala spikes evenly spaced, though they looked pretty good all free and doing their own spacing based on the contours of the rock.  Maybe I will let the next one go a little more wild. 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

And Just Like That, The Last of June

So much time has gone by, and no beads ~ no weaving, stringing, new purchases ~ to show for it.
It is ok.  I am at a place of acceptance and understanding with this drought.  I know why it came, I know when it will go.  I miss the beads, but they are quietly waiting for my return.  No guilt or pressure from them.

This past year has been unusually booked solid for my family.  And since I am not a multi-tasker, the beads had to be set aside so I could focus on all the big things that came our way.  It has been all good things, but just a lot.  I am bursting with want and need to bead so at the moment, I am content just knowing I WANT to do it.  I carry my beads with me everywhere.  They haven't been opened in so long.  But having them by my side is good enough for now.

We were recently in Acadia National Park.  The senses were filled, the mind was calmed, and there were Textures all around!  I always gravitate to nature for inspiration and replenishing.  But it is curious to me that two of my favorite photos from the trip were built by human hands, as was one of my favorite photos from a trip to Nashville in March.

Carriage House in Acadia National Park.  The mix of details, lines, textures excites me! 

The Underside of a Carriage Road Cobble Stone Bridge, Acadia National Park.  I mean, look at those Rocks!!!

John Steigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge in Nashville, with a ghost-like presence of the "Batman" building that looms high in the skyline.  Those metallic lines against that blue Tennessee sky! 

There is a collective halt in blogging lately.  I am curious if you are all still being creative or if that has temporarily halted too?  Thanks for reading, thanks for being a part of this little community.  And if I haven't visited your blog in a while, that will change soon.  I miss you all!

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!