Archive | June, 2007

Magic Rain.

26 Jun

I’m busy this week trying to clean up the house. There are just so many things that are out of place these days that it’s driving me bananas. Part of it is me and my lack of attention span (ie. I take a small metalworking tool and then I wander off to get some component I need to use it and I remember something that had escaped my mind weeks ago and I’ll go tend to that) part of it is having an almost 4 year old that looks at everything as though it belongs in some strange but wonderful interactive museum. Typically I’m putting something away on one end of the large open area that comprises our kitchen, living room, and kitchen table (once an eating area, now my studio..) while he’s on the other end emptying an entire closed with ninja-like stealth.Anyways- I found this giftbag that has been sitting on one of the spare chairs stacked by the kitchen table. It wasn’t really lost so much as I though I’d emptied it and then it just started to blend. It had a giant unopened bag of chocolate coins in it (don’t fret, they are only around 2 months old)… And I wasn’t quite in the mood to just hand Alex a piece of chocolate and I also wasn’t in the mood to play “treasure hunt” with them. So I chuck two of them as hard as I could so they flew across the room and landed around 10 feet away from him. He turns, sees them, his eyes get gigantic and he looks at me all breathless and bewildered, “Chocolate coins fall from the sky. Chocolate coin rain.” He picks them up and says “One for Alex, one for mama”…It was just such a magical sweet moment…Of course tonight at the dinner table he tells Jeff all about it and it’s the greatest big fish story I swear I’ve ever heard.After dinner Jeff and Alex are in the den. Jeff is at the computer and Alex is somewhere in the room where I can’t spot him. So I figure I’ll sprinkle the magic once more.I chuck two chocolate coins in the vicinity of the glass doors that guard the den. They *whoosh* disappear into the room. I’m not the most athletic person in the world and I am known for my terrible aim. Basically if I aim for something I won’t hit it. If I close my eyes and randomly throw then EUREKA! I’ll make the basket, hit my target, etc… I can still hear my basketball coach yelling “open your damn eyes girl”…I thought I hit Jeff as the sound was that of a piece of something thin and hard slapping onto a fleshy part of the body (projection estimate looked like his right shoulder…) but he says that nothing hit him. So I go into the den and there is Alex holding a chocolate coin, eyes all big and dreamy, just vibrating with excitement.”Mama. Chocolate coins fall from the sky. Go boom on head!”Poor kid. Lambasted by magical chocolate coins falling from the sky… Of course then he needed kisses and didn’t even offer to share that chocolate coin – I guess he thinks that if he had to pay for it (by getting whacked on the head with it) then it’s rightfully his, and his alone.I’m telling you. All of us need to wear helmets.

Just a quick hello!

25 Jun

I hope your weekend was everything you wanted it to be!

I’m playing with some new ideas this week and attempting to keep a sketchbook as part of my grand scheme to create some balance in my life. Don’t get me wrong, flying by the seat of my pants is great from a creativity angle, but it usually leads to a massive 20 car pile up somewhere in the middle of the apartment. (note: that is a figurative pile up…other pileups have been contained with my monstrosity matchbox parking garage. Construction of phase 3 begins at 10am tomorrow.)

So I’m trying to find the elusive balance between (in alphabetical order so I don’t have to feel guilty about subconscious thought patterns and such) art, business, family, and health.

If you have any thoughts, please share! (either comment here or shoot me an email or a convo if you are on Etsy) I’ll share what I’m doing and what works and what doesn’t work as I weed through the mayhem! Perhaps if we put all of our creative squashes (squash? squashi? ugh. more tea please!) together we can find something that works and actually helps…

Hugs all around,

and some kisses

Bek

Stay cool…

21 Jun

Stay as cool as I know you really are…

If you have met, or know me, outside of the internet then you know I have hair. A ton of hair. I have long, thick hair which I love for the most part. What I don’t like (aside from a bottle of conditioner only lasting for 6-8 showers) is the heat. Hair this big is like wearing thermals, with a thick wool sweater, and a fleece all at the same time.

So I have a collection of craptastic plastic claw clips that frequently break under the extreme conditions of “Bek’s Hair” and I’m forever buying new clips on every grocery trip. I have pony tail holders which I love but during the summer pigtails or a simple ponytail are still so hot I practically wilt (but that’s usually how I wear my hair all winter long)…

I also have this chronic problem misplacing common household/office items- namely reading glasses and writing implements. And yes, dear reader, you are correct! 9 out of 10 times the glasses are on my head or slipped over my shirt collar and why yes! that is a Pilot gel roller ball in my hair!

So between all this, and the arrival of some lovely new beads I have started making hair sticks. Hairsticks don’t work for everyone- but for my thick, long, wooly mane they are perfect. They are absolutely no fuss- especially for me as I’m typically not the up-do type. I now have an embellished set just for me in a mug near my soldering station. I just twist my hair up in the back, slide in the sticks and voila. Cool. Comfortable. Elegant. and a little different from the other sticks I have been seeing lately…

Now if I could just stop taking the sticks out to gaze at them I’d probably move on to the next project….

Seen in this post are two pairs I made that can be found in my Etsy shop (completely new and unworn, of course… I kept looking at them longingly and wondering if I should or could keep them so I made myself similar styles so the rest of the world can benefit from these pretties…)

I’m back from outerspace…

20 Jun

Ok. So not *actually* outerspace, more like innerspace (and no, Dennis Quaid was not there and I was not stuck in the 80’s :-)

June 14th, Flag Day here in the US, is always a “holiday” in our home. It is the anniversary of my diagnosis with Type 1 (“juvenile”) diabetes and each year we celebrate (Jeff takes the day off and there is usually cake or chocolate involved- kind of a way to safely give the big D the ol’ stinkeye….) . Some folks just don’t understand and think it’s sick that we’d celebrate another year of such a shitty, all consuming disease. We call it D-Day in our home and we definitely celebrate- we aren’t trying to make light of such a serious disease (although I do make plenty of corny diabetes jokes) -we are actually celebrating another year of my hard work to keep this disease from maiming or killing me. It’s a big Hip-hip-horray! for another year without complications.

This year was different.

Despite a lot of hard work after 14 years of ups and downs and strange happenings this was the first D-Day where I couldn’t celebrate another year being complication-free. In the past couple of weeks my docs have all agreed that it seems that I have autonomic neuropathy. Basically it means that the nerves that regulate my heart rate, breathing, digestion, balance, etc are crapping out. Actually, it’s not just my autonomic nervous system either. My hands shake and detailed work is a challenge- a challenge I happily take on but yeah, there are tears and a lot of frustration. I’m glad this didn’t happen when I was younger. I’m more levelheaded now. I’m also more bullheaded- but it’s a focused bullheadedness. I don’t just lower my head and strike whatever is in front of me, these days I aim and focus all that energy at appropriate (most of the time) targets.

With creating/crafting/metalwork/jewelrymaking this means that I’m modifying tools and techniques where I can. I’m using a pistol grip rotary tool instead of a traditional flex shaft. I’m learning to push myself less physically – I can no longer work until the muscles in my hands and wrists go numb or cramp up because that means I can’t even pick up a pencil for at least a week. So I’m pushing myself more creatively. I’m reading a lot more. I’m languidly playing with materials and discovering as many of their possibilities as possible – sometimes without the intention of actually making anything with a largish scrap of silver- sometimes I just hammer and play. Melt and play. It’s meditative. It keeps me out of trouble. And I’m writing down everything and instead of spending hours figuring out a new piece I’m actually keeping a sketchbook fairly regularly. That way I’m being smarter with the little time I have to fabricate. I’m learning to take baby steps again and once the initial frustration passes (and the little patches of residual frustration!) I’m finding it to be calming and centering. It’s like I’m letting go of the material (the finished product to introduce to the public…keeping up with listing new stuff on venues such as Etsy) and just enjoying the process, the experience…. The interesting thing is that by reaching this meditative point of creating I’ve also found myself to be more productive than before I got my big news… I’m also finding the materials to be more malleable and creating with metal is less a recollection of what I’ve learned in the past (I’m self-taught and learn by doing and experimentation, if I don’t do it that way everything escapes me) and more of a natural motion- as natural as breathing in and out. As natural as the rhythmic pumping of a heart. As natural as standing up without blacking out. I’m focusing on my creations to work through this but also as a reminded of what I do still have control over.

Ok now a little poll/survey question thingy:

If you have arthritis/carpal tunnel/hand tremors/structural issues- what mods have you made to your crafting tools/equipment or are there any tools and/or accessories you have found particularly helpful?  Thanks in advance!

Wickedly Chic!

13 Jun

Yay! I just got a note from Liz over at WickedlyChic.com that my Starlight Mint earrings are being featured in their Daily Ditties column today!

starlight mints

This is a huge honor for me and I’m all giddy and bouncy right now!

Yay!

Please visit WickedlyChic when you have a moment! It’s a thorough, fun, and of course wickedly chic place for hints on where to find some fabulous treats. From skin care to jewelry and artists/craftspeople they cover a fabulous range of goodies.

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