Tag Archives: Brown Paper Packages

Rainy 4th…

4 Jul

It has been raining on and off all day. We desperately need the rain down here in SW Florida to hopefully keep anymore gigantic fires at bay. I hope people use their melons tonight and are more on the safe side of things as far as fireworks go (but I’m not holding my breath :-)

Alex is so excited about seeing fireworks that I’m amazed he’s sleeping right now but we had a busy morning/afternoon visiting with my folks (my dad is in town for the week) and going to the little eatery and shopping area near their home… There was a “Most Patriotic Dog” costume contest so the place was a mix of the usual folks we know from Mom and Dad’s development and then people who are obviously “dress up your dog like a small child and parade them around in hopes of winning a prize” veterans (complete with camping chairs and coolers and outfits to match what they’d decked out the dogs in)…

It was interesting. It was mostly a bunch of chihuahuas in denim. There were a few older dogs (including a 14 year old poodle who I was cheering for), a beautiful leggy great dane (they painted his white spots in blue and red…yeah. pretty disturbing.), but then out of nowhere comes this sweet cottonelle commercial yellow lab puppy. Cuteness in a little furry package. Wagging his tail. An American flag on a stick in his mouth. Sunlight glinting off his blond fur.

Yeah. The cute blond won. Like I didn’t see that coming from a mile away. Sheesh.

Anyways- made these last night… I made a similar pair in February and it just blows my mind how much my style and skill set has changed since then. These are completely different earrings from the original set (I’ll find a pic of the old ones when I get a moment)…. Spent some time on these yesterday and had a ball. It was a long (napless for Alex and me) day and I definitely was in the mood to play with my doming set and my mallet and a weight was lifted as soon as I fired up the torch…

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!

Wow! They are here already!

8 Jun

Yay! Just a quickie for now…Hopefully I’ll have a little time to update more thoroughly during the upcoming weekend…

Can you believe that my business cards ordered June 5 arrived a couple of hours ago? With ground shipping from California to Florida?  And they are absolutely perfect?

The cards are fabulous and shiny and crisp and bright…

I’m thrilled with overnightprints.com on this order!

Woohoo!

Ok. Have to go wrangle boy down for a nap so I can take my meds (more on that this weekend) and sprawl on my bed for a few winks…

Hugs all around!

Happy Friday!

Bek

How it comes out in the end…

27 May

I have been hard at work writing an official business plan. One of the puzzle pieces is coming up with a mission statement, which can be difficult when you have a big case of craftsperson A.D.D.

So I decided to look at the Etsy mini gallery of my art to see if anything came to mind and I am completely floored by how chipper my creations are. Seriously. My personality can be summed up this way:

Annie & Alvy have a kid. Lisa Simpson & Ralph Wiggam have a kid.

The offspring of these two couplings meet and have a bizarre one night stand involving a small and amazing folk rock show and a wood paneled station wagon.

Somehow Wednesday Addams gets involved in a weird genetic alteration/mutation kind of way and adds a bit of herself to the formula.

And that kid. That neurotic, scientific, whimsical, lighthearted, overthinking, paste eating (yummy minty paste!), dark humored and sometimes funny (intentionally or not!) kid is me.

So I’m thinking that my art:


Keep Your Sunny Side Up, Spring Day, and Cheep Pink Earrings

just comes out as sunshiny, happy goodness because it is being filtered through the better parts of me: the strong will, the need to make people smile, the joy of sometimes taking things at face value and not overanalyzing them (I over think. I obsess. I can’t fall asleep at night.), and a pure and basic love of handling the materials and forming them into good cheer. I love what I do. The process of making stuff, the physical and the emotional aspects, are all for me. The finished piece is for you – the light at dusk, the first buds pushing through the snow, the circus without the scary clowns- those I want you to have.

I bought a little painting on Etsy a few months ago because in the wee hours of the morning it made me smile when I really needed to smile as things were frighteningly serious inside the old squash. I thought it would be a fun addition to Alex’s bathroom. Now I realize that it is pretty symbolic of the relationship between my temperament and my art.

The pooping cloud by freebird aka Claudia Crespo

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