Back to the Garden…

June 15, 2011

I thought I had lost it forever. 

When I had to leave my home during my divorce, I left behind extensive gardens that I had been working on for more than 10 years.  Gardening was my passion, my creative outlet, my therapy. 

Then I had to leave it, and it was devastating.  I left that house in December, so in Wisconsin that means it wasn’t able to be dug up, and I was moving into a rental, anyway.  I felt the loss of my gardens keenly, and it hurt so much I stopped looking at gardens and landscaping, magazines and catalogs – all of it.  I thought the passion had died.

Last year my Dad tilled up the space between the two porches of my duplex.  I got a few plants “gifted” from friends gardens, and it made me happy.

This year?  The plants have  already been dug up and moved  around; I’ve bought new ones, divided some, potted several pots and baskets and am frustrated that I don’t have room for more!

It’s back.  The passion for gardening is flowing back through me and making me happy again.  It hadn’t died, it had just been pushed down while I dealt with all my other losses.  Now I know there will be other gardens in my life and that love will always be there when you are ready for it to blossom again.

Photo

A Creative Mess…

May 5, 2011

“A creative mess is better than idle tidiness.”      ~ Michael J. Fox

No idle tidiness on my beading table…I am and always will be a creative mess!

 

I don’t know when I started collecting antique purses.  I just know that somewhere in my late teens or early 20’s I bought one and my collection just kind of grew from there.  It’s not a huge collection, but I have some classics and a lot of memories.  Many of the memories come from the shopping excursions my mother and I took, and the many hours we spent in secondhand stores and wonderful antique galleries.  We hit the best places! Other memories come from the occasions that myself and others used these beautiful bags…

This is the most popular purse in my collection.  Several of my friends have borrowed it for their wedding day, as well as a couple of friends of my daughter for prom. It is patterned with sequins and crystals sewn on to it and is a lovely ivory shade, making it a perfect vintage accent.

Here’s another bridal/prom favorite. It is embroidered all over with white seed beads and sequins.

Here’s one that my mom gave me…I’m not sure where she got it from…probably on one of our shopping trips when I had already bought too much and couldn’t justify another antique purse!  It’s a really pretty lavendar and covered in seed beeds, although it really doesn’t show in the photograph.  It has an embellished lucite handle that is gorgeous.  I don’t know when I got custody of this purse, either, but that was probably my mom’s plan all along… 

While I love my huge purses, there is a part of me that wishes to be back in the time of elegance, when all a woman needed to carry was a lipstick and a handkerchief in a gorgeous purse like this.

A Flood of Creativity…

April 26, 2011

 

For a long time I was really struggling with creativity – it was like pulling teeth trying to come up with new ideas.  The stream was dried to a trickle.  Between working full-time in a job that utitilized every brain cell I possessed, being a single mom to two busy teens, bills, laundry, cooking, groceries…well, the well had run dry.

Now, however, it is like a flood and I can’t get one thing done without a hundred other ideas crashing over me like waves! It’s awesome and overwhelming and I just love it…I just have to figure out a way to live without sleep, because my mind will not shut down at night. 

I think being laid off has been similar to a dam breaking for me.  I didn’t have time to pursue the creative side of me, so it got dammed up and now I’m experiencing the flooding of all that backed up inspiration.  Contrary to the damage when a flood occurs in nature, this flood  is re-creating me as an artist.  I am rejuvenated and filled with optimism I haven’t felt in a long time.

Although my studio does look like a natural disaster, that much I must admit.  It’s even messy by MY standards, and I like to work messy!

But I am enjoying the awesome force of my creative nature, and I am sure there will be times in the future when the well runs dry again.  So it is as an artist.  For now I will ride the force of the creativity flood while it roars – there will be time to sleep another day.

May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us;

establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands.”

   Psalm 90:17

Photo via http://www.geology.ar.gov/geohazards/othergeohaz_floods.htm

Spring Fling…

April 24, 2011

Tutti Fruitti

 I am busy getting prepared for my upcoming Spring Fling at Trends and Traditions, a local shop that carries my jewelry and a ton of really fabulous stuff.  Another artist and I are doing the event together next Saturday, April 30th and I am really excited to debut lots of new jewelry!  I love events like this with great music, fun snacks and lots of interaction with people.

Gaye of Bag Lady Originals makes fabulous painted silk scarves in wonderful bright, bold patterns.  The color blocking she does is so very current in fashion right now.  She and I are combining to create a day to really promote accessorizing – how it’s not only about clothes, but how you bring it all together with accessories that really makes you stand out.

Trends and Traditions is a happy place for me.  There is a lot of unique, wonderful stuff there that fits right in with my philosophy of fashion – it should be FUN and FABULOUS!

Tutti Fruitti Earrings

My Mother and My Jewelry…

February 19, 2011

 

Ever since I was a young girl, I have been fascinated by jewelry.  I spent hours with my mothers’ jewelry box, examining and trying on every piece of jewelry in her box. I would wear my mothers’ jewelry whenever I got the chance.  In fact, I was wearing her class ring one day when my friends invited me to the beach. I forgot I had the ring on, but when I came home it was no longer there.  It was so hard to look at my Mom and tell her I had lost the ring.  We went back to the beach and searched and searched but the ring was never found.  I know she was disappointed in me and in the loss of her ring, and I am still disappointed in myself.

 The only time I ever remember being punished by my parents revolves around my kleptomaniac tendencies with my mothers’ accessories.  I was in my room playing, wearing my mothers’ watch.  I was oblivious to the commotion in the other room, but apparently there was quite a search going on for the watch.  Was my Dad ever mad when he found out I was wearing it without asking because my Mom had been so worried.  I went without supper that night for the only time in memory. 

 I think that’s when I decided to start collecting my own jewelry.

The community is in shock today after the hostage situation here yesterday.  Students are home from school, counselors are talking to anyone who needs help coping, parents are wondering how to keep our kids safe, law enforcement is trying to figure out what happened.  Shock.  Chaos.  Hurt.  Sadness.  Maybe some anger.

Who at?  I’m not sure.  The gunman?  Maybe a little, but he was still just a boy with a lot of hurt and unexpressed feelings  bottled up inside.  But why?  What caused him so much pain?  I keep coming back to the question “how does something like this happen?”  Was there something someone should have seen?  Why didn’t he talk to somebody?

From all accounts he was smart and well-liked.  He wasn’t a troublemaker.  Basically your average 15 year old boy.  What happens to his parents now?  How do they cope? What about his brothers? 

I hope that they lean on God.  Because He was there.  He heard, and He listens.

I was thinking the other day while I was watching my vibrating polisher work on my tarnished Sterling Silver beads.  It’s almost hypnotic the way the process works.  Through the use of stainless steel shot of various sizes and shapes in water (and a little soap), this machine agitates and uses high-speed oscillation to polish the silver clean.  The stainless steel media, some of it pointy and sharp, some of it rounded, works it’s way repeatedly into every nook and cranny of the beads especially the spots where a polishing cloth could never reach.  The process is not a passive one – the beads and shot move continuously and wear on each other during the cycle in a frantic cleansing dance.

We, too, cannot be improved without trouble and agitation.  Trials and problems wear on us like the polishing media does on the beads.  Sometimes we may get pulled under the surface and feel like we’ll never surface again.

But we do finally emerge, shinier and polished – and better for having made it through the polishing process as shinier beads and stronger people.

 

We had a great time making beaded snowflakes at yesterday’s class held at The Old Church Gallery in Cedar River, Michigan.  Carlyn Lynch opened up the gallery for us to have our classes and we soaked up the heat while beading lots of wonderful snowflakes. 

The interesting thing about these classes for me is how much I learn from the students.  Sometimes I think I have seen every possible color combination of beads possible, and then you see what other people put together and get inspired all over again!  What fun.

The Old Church Gallery…

August 20, 2009

old church 2

Once in awhile I get to have the pleasure of working at the Old Church Gallery in Cedar River, Michigan.  I love this gallery!  Last weekend was one of those rare occasions and I had an awesome, inspiring day there. The ladies who own it – Carlyn Lynch and Cindy Schmidt – are two of the sweetest ladies ever. 

These two women converted an old, unused church into an art gallery in a somewhat remote location and have turned it into a must-stop place on Hwy. M-35 between Escanaba and Menominee, Michigan.  It is primarily filled with art from local and regional artists.  There are so many talented artists represented here!

When I first met the ladies of the Old Church Gallery, I was newly divorced and lacking self-confidence.  My friend Karen encouraged (nagged) me into approaching them with my jewelry designs. I was so nervous!  But the ladies were fabulous and we have had a wonderful working relationship ever since.  Karen and I have done an artist-in-residence day,and this fall we are teaching classes.  It has been such a great relationship for me, and I know Karen feels the same.

During my hours there, my brain flooded with ideas!  I kept jotting things down in my notebook, barely able to keep up!  Creativity spurs creativity in me, and this place is SO inspiring!

If you’re ever in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, make it a point to stop in to see the ladies and their wonderful gallery.  You won’t be sorry!

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