Friday, May 30, 2008

The Happy Worker Bee

This evening, to wind down from tooling leather, and just before I go in to sing at the piano, I decided to do some silversmithing. The amazing thing about doing this is rather complicated to explain, but so blissful:

When I get an idea in my head that's made of leather I have no choice but to follow it and make the item in question, and that normally involves a few dummy tries and a sense of aspiration to perfection. Not when I get out the torch and heat the pickle pot: I am once again a child in front of my lego set, building and playing with no one over my shoulder, with no expectations and only joy as my goal.

This is all evident in the picture, which shows me looking five and feeling just as free as that number indicates. In my mind I am running down grassy hills and catching fireflies, so great is my joy. ( Schmilly appeared in the doorway and said, "Turn around!" and this is what he saw I guess :) )

Here are a few pictures of today's wee projects, one of which will become my first Lariat Necklace ever: I have been wanting to make them for some time now.

*pant pant pant*

Thursday, May 29, 2008

On Arkansas, Cats and Cameras

Packing for Arkansas I left out one thing: our Nikon. Upon on arrival home my only regret about our fantastic trip was the lack of pictoral evidence to back it up: that makes for a relatively photo-less post to recap what turned out to be a very important and geographically gorgeous trip. Arkansas is beautiful, and the people are warm and inviting. I feel so lucky to have an experience that validated my belief in the innate goodness of mankind.

Our dearest friends looked after our cats and noted ( and cleaned -- thanks, Lordee!! ) a few masses of vomit. When we got back there was more -- it is Jones, and if he throws up again tonight we are taking him to the vet tomorrow. I hate to think of anything being wrong with my sweetest clown, but if there is, we will confer as a family and handle it.

He's still acting completely normal. Except for the night we came back: he curled onto my pillow with me, facing me as we slept through the night. It's only odd because he's normally sleeping at my feet. And never through the night. I am crossing my fingers.

Tomorrow I am going to share a new treasure with you -- an unexpected gift from the Ozarks and history ( and Grandma Kelly ) to me :)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ozark Bound

Never been to Arkansas before, except when driving across the country with my ( then ) very dark-skinned boyfriend of African descent. We stopped for gas soon after entering the state as the sun set, and upon seeing the way glances came our way with the force of a bullet, we opted to drive all night and make it into safer territory.
Flash forward six years and my (now and forever ) fiance's grandparents are the proud owners of a home in the Ozarks. Not only will I see Arkansas by day, but I, too will be seen very differently with my pale and tall drink of water beside me.
Hm. Something bittersweet in all that: cheated out of all a state has to offer by the first handshake -- I've been lucky enough to live in cities surrounded by all kinds of people. And lucky enough to have been raised by parents who told me that outside appearances are just that: appearances - the mark of a man or woman lies deep inside their heart. I have to remember that things are different in places where people don't have much access to the throngs of humanity, walking past you in every shape, color, creed and size.

I will be in Arkansas visiting my new family, whom I love and cherish, for five days with little or access to emails. I am officially on vacation :) I will add so much sweet to the recipe that is Arkansas I'll likely come back having made steak tartar into sweet potato pie :) Bonnie, John, Larry, Kelly, Schmilly of Mine, Beth, Steve, Bernetta, Jim, Rosie and Trigger: here I come!!!!!!!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Beginner Questions

So today I used my Creme Brulee torch to start the adventure that is silversmithing, thanks to the expansion of my workspace:

There's room for everything!!! I made a really simple silver band and a pair of wispy earrings that I actually listed on Etsy. I have so many questions that I wish I could get answers to: how do you make a ring a foolproof size if you're going to hammer it? How do you make uniform shapes? It was by sheer luck that my earrings curved in opposite and uniform ways, thank goodness :) Being that my creme brulee torch is faulty ( locking mechanism doesn't work ) is it better just to bite the bullet and get something like a Smith Little Torch now, since I am pretty sure I am hooked?

And why is Jones calmly beautiful even when he's just been particularly rowdy?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Great Bee Bag

Is finished!!! I could actually wear it out if I so chose now. The leather on the underside of the strap is raw as is the inside of the bag: there is something in me that loves it that way. Should I ever make this bag for general consumption, it would likely be lined: I cannot imagine everyone has my odd taste, and some care for more refinement.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Panel Two

This week has been odd and difficult: all the global suffering and Anthony's beloved grandad is sick to the point of the entire family racing the clock to get to Arkansas and must I mention to those who have husbands and lovers how hard it is to watch them ache? It breaks my heart.
He is leaving on Monday to go, five days earlier than our trip was supposed to be: it was to be a mirthful visit: I hope the tide turns and we all -- including Grandpa Larry -- get to have the time of our lives in the beautiful Ozark spring.

I have painted the second panel on my bee bag. I shall continue as the week progresses, praying while I paint that all things happen in their right time.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

One Panel

I took an hour today to work on my bee bag from a few months ago: it felt selfish as I am furiously working away on custom designs, but I think it was better than a catnap for my soul :)

Monday, May 12, 2008


Las Vegas proved to be amazing in every way possible, no attention was paid to the things that previously scared me about the city. Would we have had more time in the old strip I would have likely taken too many pictures, the crumbling sense of glamour is so intoxicating.
I learned how to do some simple tricks on a moving horse: observe Comet, the love of my life, horse-wise.

I have never felt more comfort with a horse, having had a series of riding hijinks and a strong sense that horses take advantage of my own skittishness towards them. Not Comet.

Observe me on comet doing things I never imagined doing:

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Vegas, Baby!

The title of this post is a phrase you will never hear coming out of my real mouth. I have been to Vegas once and was so overwhelmed with sensation and underwelmed with the malnourished sense of community and human kindness that I wanted to flee.
This weekend one of my dearest best friends is there, and so I will go and be so money I wont even know how money I am.

I will also not have access to emails at all, so if someone makes a purchase i won't ship until Monday and I won't write until Monday saying "Thank you!" -- please be advised -- and if anyone has ever made a fortune on the penny slots, please share their story so I won't feel like I am wasting the five dollars I will bring to gamble with :)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Lens Flare

My fiance hates it, but I could think of no better way to portray dress-up fairies dancing around a body than the glory of lens flare on my new banner. The font reminds me of great big 50s Chevy cars and I wish I could incorprate every idea I have every day but then I might have confused customers wondering if they've come to the same shop.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Found and must finish...

This ballpoint pen drawing...goodness, I bury these things away everywhere. Any suggestions on what I could put in the bottom that would tie it all together?

A Leafy Blush

One of a kinds are always pretty amazing to make: there is no pattern of choices set out before you, it's just what your imagination dictates at that second, with no pressure to recreate the exact same thing again. I am really excited about this particular design: a line of leaves that blush cherry at their base and are golden at their tips. It feels exquisite on, and fits a very small wrist: 5.5- 5 3/4 is the sizing for this ode to nature.

Friday, May 2, 2008

The haul

Going to bead stores can be miiighty dangerous, even more so after the delicious jolt of morning coffee fills you with extra appreciation for all things earthly.
I needed turquoise, which I bought, but did I really 'need' that string of green turquoise briolettes, faceted, delicate and of the most surreal color I have ever seen in a stone?
Technically, no.
But my customers sure do. I noticed after I looked at them and handled them I felt....lighter. Brighter! Braver and better. I cannot wait to pass on the sensation to anyone who might snatch up the koi they'll be attached to today or tomorrow!!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Dear Diary

If I was an LOLcat picture, the text would read "I has bin crying". My day was excellent in-studio. I adore those who visit my shop and love the emailing and figuring and nailing down the perfect custom order, as well as making them. And I wrote a song, and it was so satisfying: it's a song from a man's perspective, which makes me so happy. He's built a boat and is looking for a bride. I wrote it for my best friend Matt, who is recovering from heartache.

I went to work at the leetle yoga/pilates studio I normally call my sanity 15 hours/week and it was slightly chaotic. Nothing I normally couldn't handle. The thing that made it nearly unbearable is I discovered upon driving over there that I am having the kind of day where I BLUSH. UN. CONTROL.ABLY. Ack, they are so awkward and painful, those days. It's the days when I am most psychic and most vulnerable, and there is no rhyme nor reason to it, just a redness that comes and goes at will. And today at the studio someone pointed it out and as I got redder and redder her laughter got higher and higher as she announced my escalating color to the group of five people standing around me and I cannot even type it without crying. I don't know why it ached me to my soul.

I think the vast majority of the time I thrive when unseen, when writing a song or tapping on leather, and sometimes I am completely unprepared for strangers and being noticed or seen. I think I should work on this.