Sunday, May 29, 2011

i keep promising to clean up the messy basement area known in this family as MY STUDIO. 
if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. 
truly, i try to spend some time in the chaos either small chunks of time every day, or a longer and more meaningful amount of time once a week. 
when i was a kid, legend has it, i used to put oatmeal cookies into my doll case to store for a more useful day down the line. my memory of this is at around 4 years old. i would have to check on this with my own mother. she used to find them. i am unsure if she was charmed or really upset by my earliest squirreling activities. i am hopeful it was more to one end of that spectrum than another. 
either way, the problem is still occuring. i hide things where i want to find them in the best case situations. 
i have lost one shell. it has eluded me for days now. i found it last week after years of having been in storage. i cannot get this loss off of my mind no matter what. and the more it remains out of my grubby pawed reach, the more i find it annoying. 
so i cussed at myself and made a sincere promise last night. today is a good day to spend in the basement sorting and readying. 

i have 3 shows to participate in during the month of june. i am forcing the issue. one of them is in two weekends. need i say that i am wholly unprepared still? i decided that i needed table cloths to be made in advance of the event to gussy up my tables. now it is worth mentioning, i still don't have the tables yet. it is a little cart before the horse. 
i am sure that i will be able to make it all come together. i have as you must surmise already, ideas about the set up and the way to make my tables look sort of nice. i think uniformity of tablecloths and fixtures for display may help. i always seem to take a large collection of stuff thrown together for a crazy display and work it out as i am putting jewelry up for display. it works, but it requires an awful  lot of thinking on my feet and that is just not easy, when i have been making earrings and setting rhinestones until my eyes have crossed and uncrossed a few times. 

this is what a show set up looked like last summer.
you probably have seen all of this at separate points already... but it is good for me to review. 
perhaps you have some ideas?

 then another one later in the autumn.

 and as i kept at it, another one in february. i am trying to make it more streamlined... truly i am. 
but it is taking time to figure things out as i go. 

i feel a little bored with this... maybe adding the neck forms 
WITH a coat of paint and some other fixtures will help 
the overall appearance of things. 
in the meantime, i am due to return to my cleanup and i am bound to create some improvements. they are so overdue. 

that and there are too many family members around for my taste right now.
two ripe teenagers, complete with bad attitudes,
followed by smaller and much more personable ones. 
the younger ones remain delightful, even if they think up is down and down is up. 
and they still can be bribed with the magic that is 
C A N D Y. 
i am sure that the dreams of candy will ebb away, 
but until that time, i will appreciate their sweeter natures. 
the older ones are just not nearly as pleasant and i know you know what i mean.

back to the dungeon. 
i mean cleanup. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

steve miller is the joker...

steve miller band had a song,the joker, that stated several things that his character was... 
Cause I'm a picker
I'm a grinner
I'm a lover
And I'm a sinner
I play my music in the sun

I'm a joker
I'm a smoker
I'm a midnight toker
I get my lovin on the run
Wooo wooooo

i feel a kinship with this.  i too have tragically mixed qualities to my personality. 
i drive a condemned day care center. the inside panel on the left rear door is off the door...
 and it looks like a rube goldberg project.
or maybe leftovers from an abandoned auto shop class project. 
the steering wheel turns sometimes, when it is very cold out, only when two people pull on it. 
(when it is well below freezing and in tight quarters at a total standstill).
but my sweet little beast-mobile, gets me around... 
and its trunk is surprisingly 
generously proportioned. 

i am mother to three teenaged children. 
when they were in the 5 and below age bracket, 
and threw a temper tantrum
(it only happened once... i am very scary)
i laughed so hard. 
my son, who was the villain in this little drama, was told when i swept the tears from my eyes...
that he would be a teen some day. 
his turn would come. 
and here it is. 
i  stop on a dime to examine trash on the side of the road. 
it mortifies him. 
the girls just laugh. 

i picked him up from school yesterday. 
after getting the girls. 
i found that dime on the side of the road to stop on. 
there was a sodden chair sparkling at me like a diamond in the rough. 
it winked at me through its despicably and dangerously yucky cushion. 
i looked through all of its negatives. 
i briefly flipped her upside down to see its nether regions. 
there was very sound construction. 
springs... the old fashioned round kind. not Z-springs. 
a burlap sheathing over the tied springs. 
on top of that were layers of what i suspect is horsehair. 
if not, i will survive. 
the top and more cosmetic part is a solid, non-wobbly wooden frame. 
it has an almost barrel shaped upper, with arms to rest other arms  upon. 
the legs are sexy as hell and are curved with little carved floral protuberances. 
it is in my mind a little bit french country.... 
and the back is solid but the arms are infilled with caning. 
so that part will be a little bit rock & roll. 
{i feel an osmund kind of moment here}

i had only issue when i saw her winking from the side of the road. 
where could that bungee cord be that used to ride along in the trunk for occasions such as this?
finally, i got me some payback for that tantrum the boy articulated 13 plus years ago.
he hoped that i would not be able to lift and fit the chair into my car trunk. 
foolish boy. 
i have driven for many miles and on many highways with safety blinkers on
and my hood open all the way. 
it scared the heck out of my taxi patrons. 
they were respectful and quiet as i trundled down the infamous route 10/6. 
as they ought to have been. 
as soon as she dries out her seat, i will rebuild her. 
she will be better and stronger and more bionic when i am through. 
my only real issue is what color to paint her. 
i want to try out using some chalk paint. 
this is reportedly a tad pricey... but then again, she might just deserve a nice renovation. 
white ?
apple green? 
deep sexy red ?
perhaps, subtle parisian gray?
pale turquoise?
yellow, my husband's fave color?
deep dark turquoise?

i jest cain't choose. 
ya know? 

the process of doing the upholstery will surely lead me to a decision i can live with. 
after all, she does seem to deserve the best treatment i can offer her. 
heaven knows, i have a ridiculous stash of varietal upholstery weight fabrics already
and waiting in the house.

i really cannot wait for daybreak to see if she has dried out sufficiently to start her spa treatments yet. 

please wish me luck. and ease in her transformation. 
i would hate to not be justified in my just due of torturing and horrifying my teens. 
i have been very patient waiting to do just this. 
and a new chair will surely help serve some lucky seat. 


on another sore note, 
please forgive how graphically shameful  my blog is looking right now.
 i spent hours messing it up and trying to fix it today. i think i need a specialist.
i have one on tap... and she may unscrew what i did earlier.
my plan was to try to make easier to read. 
i remain hopeful with crossed fingers. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

she's back.

i have three kids.
 the eldest is 19 and going on twenty. i love her to death. and she perplexes the hell out of me. 
i really NEVER thought that i would either run out of stuff to talk about here. 
so if you think i have, tune out safely now.
 i may have and just don't recognize it yet. 
 the smallest and most unplanned sentence uttered, can inspire me to blather on forever about it... 
ask those 3 kids if this is true... they will do synchronized gymnastics in the eye rolling event 
and moan loudly enough 
so  that you can hear it through the internet. 

years ago, and by this, i mean nearing 28 of 'em....i had a diary.
i was much more mature and was into my second college degree, 
living just on the fringed edge of harvard square
{i even had a tee shirt that said, 02138 on its front...
on its back, it said "the most opinionated zip code on earth"}.
i wore black clothes and joan & david shoes.
i had deep thoughts. 
and my diary was called 
"A Journal". 
if i am poncey now, pity my friends and family way back then. 

it was  just when i had just met my husband. 
he thought that it was fair game to read that diary and then grouse about things i wrote about in it. 
well now i am safe. i can just write and write and write about all sorts of stuff. 
and i can post it all right here!!!!

sadly, ironically, amusingly, sadistically,  
the best part is that NO ONE in this family will ever know what i have to say. 
Nary a one of them ever reads this blog!
heaven knows they ask a ton of questions and when i am willing to answer some of them, 
they ignore me. 
it is fine with me to be able to "share" my thoughts, and go completely sub rosa.
how much fun is that i ask you?

well let me return to my starting premise. 
my daughter just finished her freshman year at northeastern university. 
she traipsed around Boston alone and with friends. 
she investigated the rage of wearing 'jeggings'.
(if you don't know what those are, you really are better off. they only look good on Cindy Crawford. 
she has too much taste to wear them anyways.  no real person should put them on, especially my daughter).
she went to bed at mostly sensible hours. 
she liked actually talking on the phone  to us every danged day. 
she invited us to visit her at school or would come home to get her braces tightened and stay the weekend. 
she took to eating a pretty repetitive diet. 
included were bagels for breakfast, hamburgers, pizza or soups for lunch or dinner and  salad sometimes. 
she accidentally drank mocha for a month before she realized it had coffee in it. 
and she liked it. i do not believe what she said to the contrary. 
often there was cereal and instant oatmeal consumed during non-dining hall hours, 
since she could make them in her dorm room. 

now that she is home, she is a force to be reckoned with. 
the first two weeks were spent looking for a job. 
ironically, what with her enormous distaste for  all things coffee related,
she works at a national  cafe chain location, near brown university. 
good thing too, since they carry bagels and chowder. 
she can enjoy some of her favorite foods without me having to deal with restocking her preferred foods.
and some of her friends have been spotted visiting her there.

my husband has his own dietary needs to meet. 
these  seemingly include a lot of different foods... at least different from the ones we used to eat. 
i call it the post "event" diet. 
i am worn out by it. 
it is low in sodium and high in fiber. 
and my son is often heard commiserating that he would be really cranky too
 if he never had any flavor in his food.
i wish i could establish this as the cause of my husband's crabby appleton attitude.  
i know it isn't though. 
so we have a lot of crackers here now. 
and hummus. 
and yogurt. 
and olive oil. 
i dare not go on. i feel myself drifting into sleep out of boredom. 

and when i am not supposed to be looking, the big girl, who is the smallest person in the house now, 
other than the dog, 
is noshing on dad's supply of cracker foods. 
she eats saltines by nibbling at the edge of these and going around in circles doing so. 
i eat them like potato chips. 
freaking gluttonously. 
(i feel desperate for crunch and salt and am ensconsed in the ongoing "where's waldo" search for flavor.)

last night we had pasta and sauce and a salad. 
the sauce came from a can. i always amend the canned sauce 
and i can do so because we buy the "traditional flavor". 
since my husband is loathe to cook anything ever,,, 
he has NO idea what i do to make food taste like food. 
so he thinks if he changes it up when he shops, it is a good thing. 
well he is wrong. 
he bought the kind with garlic and herbs last time he was out on a hummus run. 

"she who nibbles" made the sauce and pasta and washed the veg for the salad. 
then whimpered ad nauseum for hours about all the garlic in the sauce. 
i just would love to report that it was minced and she cooked the pasta into the sauce. 
finding minced, twice cooked garlic bits would be a challenge for a scientist with an electron microscope. 
yet on the flat base of her pasta bowl, was a neat little pile of uneaten bits. 

when i make the sauce,
 i sautee hot pepper flakes, some red pepper sauce and about 5 or6 cloves of garlic in olive oil. then i add the can of tomatoey processed sauce, a teensy pinch of sugar, a couple of shakes of dried oregano, some freshly ground pepper (no salt) and at the end, some dried flakes or torn fresh basil. 
i am sure i do more to assault her delicate sensibilities than she is willing to vocalize. 
and that is a very good thing for her self preservation. 
surprisingly, she never picks out the garlic when i make it this way, i cut and mince things erratically to avoid this  insane and picky scene whenever possible. 

once a long time ago, i made some scalloped potatoes au gratin. 
she managed to pull the pureed onion out of that delish dish as well. 
she was seven then. 
things have not changed as much as i would have thought they could. 
she tests me. 
and then she eats popsicles.
there are a freshly hatched series of the sticks and white wrappers everywhere. 

she sleeps late, 
she wakes later.
her biological  internal clock allows her to stay up very late and sleep enough.
unless there is a firm appointment to make, she can be very fluid about this waking up process. 
she is a night person. 
she always has been one since infancy. 
no getting around that one, it is what i have passed down to her. 
i am truly sorry about that. 
oh and her funky little toes. seriously, they are totally funky in shaping. 
i adore them. 
but i am legally bound to. 

of her time with us family so far this summer has been dedicated to reading comics on line. 
she is after all, an art student. 
one with honored writing skills. 
one with a 2220 on her SAT's. 
one with not one, but two national latin exam silver medals 
and a gold medal for a third year. 
she has a voracious mind. 
she has always been a lot smarter than us mortals here. 
and i have begged her not to be an art student. 
but here i am... 
with a funky toed, intelligent, quietly extraordinarily witty and beautiful girl....
for the next couple of months. 
and i will undoubtedly be screaming at the top of my lungs inside the walls of my tiny skull. 
she will perhaps be the undoing of me yet. 

and i love her the best. 
 as i tell all three of them. 

i have my fingers crossed that all of us make it through this summer. 


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

goodies and design trade...part two

recently, i posted about a trade i was making with brenda sue of b'sue boutiques. she and i have had a running dialog about the pressures of living with a lot of work, and not enough fun (in fairness, she really works her butt off, i whine and wring my hands and then make dinner for my family... not the same i know). it became more evident during the conversation that brenda sue could use a little more fun time. maybe just  not always being in the driver's seat might be a step toward a  small change or solution.
 i often have these insanely inappropriate, jump up and down with excitement moments... and i share them without perhaps thinking them all the way through. this could have been one of them...
 luckily i did think it through as much as i needed to. 
it was simple. if i could get my grubby hands on some of her goodies, i would make her a necklace featuring her components. i really wanted to use only her parts, but they inspired me to release my death-grip on some of my own stuff. i knew that i could feature her goods, but if i  needed just a little extra to fill in the blank spaces i could use some of my own unused scraps of fabulous stuff. 

so let me review from my last posting on this topic... there was a 8 1/2 lb. box of things that winged its way from ohio to me in little rhody.

 b'sue was able to clear some of the surface clutter from the place she calls her "messy workshop".
 this allowed us both to clean up. 
{personally, i know i could benefit from a good purge... but i have trouble  letting anything go.
 and i really mean ANYTHING.}
 i was really proud that she was able to do just that and not look back. generally, my big problem is that i never know when i will need in the future and if i do give or throw stuff away, 
it stays with me for such a long, long time.
 i am a work in progress... sigh.
 little steps, little steps. 

i had several color-ways or motifs to consider after i had meticulously and delicately traipsed ham-fistedly plowed through the magic box, giggling and squealing all the way. 
1.} something along the lines of "fruit salad" suggested itself to me. this is an old fashioned name for things that are multi-colored. at least as i understand it. also there were the little fruity things that i now had. i also have amassed a lot of vintage lucite beads over the past decade and many are in cool finishes like moon-glow(if you don't know about them, they are a whole lot like cat's eye beads). they are in bright colors. so they would go well with all sorts of stuff. 

2.} there were a lot of golden yellow things or stuff that reminded me of huge sunflowers. kind of a matisse, southern france idea. 

3.} again, i also was gifted with a large grouping of lavender and floral brooches in varying degrees of finishedness. i again was reminded of the south of france and the fields of sun drenched lavender fields. 

4.} there were a few little buttons with faces of sweet girls on them. i also thought that it may be a good idea for a bracelet or charm necklace. 

all of these things may still be made, since there are many things still in this treasury trove.
there is no rush now either, so i can take some time to do things properly. 

in my last blog, i mentioned that i wanted to offer a giveaway of some kind. 
i said that i would be most likely to offer some jewelry piece.
 this may be equal to the task... some of you might like a hodge-podge of nice components to add to your own groovy designs to play with instead of something i made
perhaps, you might weigh in on this and help me choose a path to pursue.
 i am thinking of paying some of the leftover items  forward to a lucky reader... 
as yet i have not figured out how to do this best... but i think it would be swell to offer someone their own  box  with goodies. i surely did not touch the mother lode. 

well i went with option 1.}
fruit salad. 
it started out a little like this:

then there was this first pass at the chains and flowers...

then a little more got filled in. beady swags were added too...

tendrils of fruity beaded goodies draped down....
vintage strands of rhinestone chains got their due too.

finally, i dotted the eyes of the flowers with rhinestones to complete the 
giggedy mass of sparkle and flowery pop. 

brenda wanted to be surprised.
 so i needed to hold myself back on showing her what developed. 
today she got her own box of goodness.
i think she is happy, she says she is. that is where i am gonna leave it. 

anyways, i am happy with this little sharing. 
and now i am done in with all the
fruity colors
and all other 
joyous whatnot
at least for a little while. 

so play on brenda sue. 
add some length. 
add some color. 
add some other stuff. 
make it more yours than i did. 
i hope you will truly love it. 
it was a very enjoyable experience for me. 
thank you. 


Sunday, May 22, 2011

lost ... not found.

often i write when i am dog tired. ok, i mean dog tired after as in hours of squirrel chasing in the woods without a leash on. done with completely untethered abandon. 
that is how tired i tend to be when i get into a blog posting. 
i did this the other night about  4 a.m. it was after a truly trying day. 
and then i hit the publish button so i could save it to be edited later.
 i knew it was not one of my finer ideas, but i figured i could fix things when i was more cogent. the next morning i looked and looked and looked again. i found that in my fatigue generated mental fog, i had deleted the whole thing. i suppose i ought be a little less aggravated, but that would be someone else. 

generally, the content of the missing posting, was that i had, had a pretty good day. good enough to warrant describing it. i usually can tell when driving someplace, earlyish in the day, what kind of day will ensue. if i hit all the lights and have free flowing traffic experiences, it feels like a very nice thing. honestly,  i really appreciate a little bit of ease in my getting from one place to another. this was the case. i had an appointment with an old friend, i was anxious to see, but hadn't left enough time for all those unexpected oddities of getting from place to place. anyways, we had a nice visit, since i got there before i thought i might. 
all the other stuff in the day fell into place too. there was enough time and money to cover all of my varied errands and tasks in good time. it made my day. 
all this was fine, and came to a screeching stop. the screeching was inside my own head. 

the last errand of the day was to find some work clothes for my daughter.
 she is now employed by a
kind of shop.
 other than her shift supervisor being a "low talker" and hugely like her younger brother... she held up well for her training that day. of course, her feet hurt. so our newest task was to find and purchase some black shoes. ones that would provide comfort first and foremost with sincere structural integrity. they had to be all black. they had to fit her tender tootsies. and perhaps, in her set of requirements, they needed to be a pair of the ugliest shoes i have ever laid eyes on. 

when she was a little girl, my husband used to try to take her shoe shopping. the atrocities those two would bond over were so awful, i decreed that they never would shoe shop together again. they could not handle the prospect of decent shoes, decent prices and the ever special fashionable aspect that would moderate my sense of reality,  it is a tall order, but it can be done. 

my husband is a two style shoe guy. he wears steel toed work boots or black clogs. not much in between these days. on rare occasions there are wing tips and other classical formal shoes or comfy doc marten's.
i kind of have a foot fetish. 
i LOVE shoes. 
always have and always will... in spite of wearing only wooden based clogs for years now. 
my most incredibly sweet and comfy shoes are a pair of lime green, extra pointy, ostrich and leather cowboy boots. 
totally comfy. and striking too!
they embarrass all members of my family. 
this is a generous bonus for me. 

 my daughter has some different ideas about footwear
(and absolutely everything else).
they are becoming more pronounced now that she has been on her own 
as an art major, college student in boston over her freshman year.
 and this most recent shopping at a discounted shoe warehouse was not without its moments, glimpses into her new persona. 
she and her brother were looking together ... i had to leave their sides. 
my son has a very classical eye for these things. he is addicted to his own "signature look". he is dressing mostly these days as a guy that sails or is a preppy golf bum. this is all moderated  with a hit of inner city butt-hanging-out, high school senior in carefree living mode.
it is mostly conservative if i dare pigeonhole his style. the blending is 
 nothing i ever saw coming. if  i let him think he is driving me insane, it gives him a sense of self and power.
i shrug internally. 
good thing he is so self absorbed, he is clueless. 

daughter dearest selected a black pair of those skecher sneakers that cause a rolling style of walking. their intention was to give an extra intense work out from walking. 
the last time i saw a pair of those shoes, they were on a nun. 
seriously, if you are taking your design clues from the vatican for a minimum wage job, perhaps you ought to have your mother reconsider her own values. then she should push her ability to live with them.
 (by the way, my husband's older sister was a nun. she has passed away and was in no way informative on this topic. just letting you know i am not smearing this kind of woman, i just have some personal experience with it. most of you never saw that coming right?).

after some deep thought ... sartorial splendor son in his own 'happening' sport shoes,  my dear daughter selected different work shoes. i breathed a huge sigh. 
 it was premature.
 her second selection was of a pair of black "grasshopper" style sneakers from keds. i paid for them after a lot of eye rolling and pleading for her to find at least a stylish pair of sneakers. she stood firm in her decision. i paid. she wore them out of the store. happily as could be.
 i think i kind of died a little in my own mind. 
everyone in the family gave her some grief about how UGLY those things are. again, she remains extraordinarily happy and her feet feel great.
 she is considering learning how to play mahjongg and drink pink squirrels though. 

parenting is not at all easy.
 as understatements go, i am sure this is a whopper. 

oh, and the next day started with my oversleeping, the realization about the lost blog posting,as well as the unpleasant location of a rather large,dead moth in my coffee  i had brewed from my last household grounds, to take it on the road with me. just so you know i am not always a princess, i fished the moth out and stirred extra strokes then sucked the coffee down. i hit all the stop lights on my way to meet my friend too, since i was already late... just the normality of my quirky life. 

i am surely boring the peach pits outta you by now.
 but for info, i am trying my  best to be patient. i have several other things to let you in on. there just needs to be a smattering of work, research and more patience. 

1.} i am planning a giveaway for the readers of this blog. i need to figure out how best to do this... it will be for a piece of my jewelry. 
i hope that isn't too self serving or pathetic.
 usually folks like it, and i am going on how many kind comments i have received on my work. 

2.} some of my flea market goodies were transformed into sweet jewelry stands for shows. i will reveal what they look like once i have painted them. i think they will look a whole lot more interesting then. 

3.} a surprise has been mailed out and when its new owner has received it, i will share all of those details. this is the part that is making me the most anxious. 

4.}  a new kind of necklace is coming to bendywho, my jewelry making alter ego. 
it is actually a style that i made a lot, about ten years ago. i think current sensibilities and interests may be merged with old techniques. hopefully this will be as exciting for you as i am finding it. 

so that is all for today. i need to consider sleep soon, since tomorrow is flea market day!
 i am thrilled that it is here again. 

i bid you adieu.