The other night I dreamed that I was back in Muncie, Indiana, finishing—I believe—my journalism degree. Graduation was looming, and I discovered some jewelry-making classes. The first one I was going to take was something like “working with big beads.” We had to pick out several big “beads,” which weren’t really beads as much as trinkets and what not. Once I saw the bottles of nail polish, I knew that we were going to change the appearance of those items and turn them into “beads.” I wanted to go back and get a small plastic chicken leg that I’d seen, but the instructor (a woman who taught PR classes in the Journalism Dept. at Ball State University when I was there in the late ’90s) had packed them all up.
I was so excited about this class and the whole series of classes/jewelry program. People were hassling me because I hadn’t signed up for the fall semester, but I told them that I’d only just found out about the program. I needed to jump into class, but I could hardly wait to get online and see what other classes were offered.
And then I woke up. At 4 a.m. I started looking into classes at Pratt and Danaca Studios. I found an image transfer on polymer clay class I want to take. And, I’m tempted by a master class in working with metals. I’ve done a little of that, but I just don’t trust most of my metal skills.
There’s much to think about these days. The best time for that is when I get in my creative zone. If only I could pinpoint when I’m most apt to get answers. At least the dream, I think, was getting me to think about things in new ways. Paint a plastic chicken leg? Why not?! I’ve used the stamp that says “It must be true; I saw it in a dream” twice this week. Maybe my stamps are affecting my dreams.
And the real kicker is that when I got to work (in real life), my badge had given up the ghost and wouldn’t let me in to the building.
On a note of thing rooted in reality, I tried two image transfers onto painted backgrounds. On, those remaining bits of paper out to get me. Grrr …
Maybe these two will become journal covers. Maybe not. It all depends on my battle with paper fibers.
Here’s a quick glimpse at the rest of my creative week.
Lastly, before getting out of bed this morning I began to wonder how easy it would be to bead on craft felt. I know it’s floppy, but an embroidery hoop might just do the trick. I have some fun printed sheets (why??) and think that the colors and prints could look great with beads. I suppose I’d better go and find out.
I took Monday off for some crafting time, and it was very much what I needed.
I broke out my wood-burning tool, glitter acrylic medium, beads and more. Monday opened the door to wanting to create, and that feels good.
Mostly I’m trying to use up some of my inspirational bits and bobs. There’s no sense starting from scratch.
Here’s a quick visual journey of the rest of my week.
Here are a variety of pieces that needed to be strung, fixed with resin, beaded around, altered or assembled.
The top right two pieces will likely go to mom. I feel like I did very little to construct them and just can imagine selling them. The open circle on the bottom right is made from glitter, resin and dried flower petals from the roses I got when Slinky passed away. (sigh …)
While I was fixing a few pieces with resin, I finished a few more that incorporate foil, glitter and dried flowers. Oh! I bought a primrose yesterday and already have petals tucked away in a book. I also bought some seeds to plant that I will grow, then pick, then smash, then turn into jewelry. I’m ready to get that ball rolling.
Lastly, here are the journal covers I showed last week. I have a hope they’re salvageable. I have some ideas, but that’s what I said seven days ago. If they’re notsalvageable, that’s why the art gods gave us gesso!
I don’t have much to show for this week. Taxes and work stuff ate up a lot of my evening time. That’s OK. I finished one sock for Mirgan. I worked on a birthday gift. And, and fixed some jewelry for me. (Luckily, it wasn’t something that I’d made that needed to be repaired!) And, best of all, I’m taking Monday off as a craft day. I need it!!
Another non-productive thing I did this week was read a chunk of a journal from ’94 into ’95 that made me appreciate time and maturity. Being in my 20s was fun, but also foolish and self-indulgent. I’m left to wonder if I just had a lot more energy, or if the unknown of what lay beyond library school was enough to keep going and feeling unfettered and full of life and possibilities.
One of the highlights was the last page, decorated with Crayola stamp pens. I remember the night Jeff forbade me to stamp on his legs—I’d already stamped on mine. When he fell asleep, I made a puppy paw peace sign on his leg, with Asha as my accomplice. He was livid when he woke up. Come on, man! They were washable. There was no need for that kind of outburst. Maybe I was bratty, but I think that was the clearest sign that he and I were not meant to be together.
Now, some (cough) years later, I still love stamps, colors, markers, paper, journals (and puppy paws and peace signs and …). That love is evidenced by these journal- covers-to-be that I started weeks ago. They’ve languished on my kitchen counter until today. I know, I shouldn’t have covered the whole thing with napkin, but I did. And, it’s what I’ve got to work with.
So, I took a stencil and added some color. My next step will be to go around the edges with some dark color—maybe one of the Tim Holtz oxide dyes that I’m eager to try. Then some shiny metallic paint, some gelatos used as water color, a hight of glitter and … they should be great. At least that’s how the finished product looks in my mind.
Another recent experiment with paper happened around the time of the inauguration. I took some pages out of a pro-“Agent Orange” book and started by covering them with gesso. I realize now that I should have added a second coat *and* taped the pages down better. Anywho … This is what I came up with. I do kind of love the metallic foil dots! Neither is perfect, but (imho) it’s better to make something, anything, rather than nothing at all.
I took the day off on Friday, and Morgan and I hopped the ferry to Bainbridge for some breakfast and wandering around. It was what we needed.
At the art museum’s gift shop Morgan tried to teach me the lesson of pricing my items correctly. I just don’t know that it stuck.
Last night a gallbladder attack impinged upon a good night’s sleep. So, I spent a good couple of hours watching videos about Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan. I’m bummed that only parts of Tonya’s story were told back in 1994. I’m not making any comments on guilt or innocence, I only know that she had certain circumstances working against her that I didn’t hear about back then.
After less than four hours of sleep, I’m about as sleepy as a girl can be. I’m trying to keep moving, like a shark, to stay awake
Enough of that! Last night I turned the ankle on the first sock. I’ve reached the fast part and am for sure in the home stretch. Yahoo!
Earlier in the week I worked on two gray sheep. It’s fascinating how the bodies take on a life of their own no matter how I try to repeat a shape.
Yesterday I took a class on applied patinas. Liver of sulphur is fun, fun, fun, but I most enjoyed adding color. It’s always nice to have new uses for craft products that I already have. Iris blue might be my second favorite Gilder’s Paste color after German silver.
While looking for the metal pieces I worked on in the heat patina class last year, I found these painted filigree pieces. These are what I call inspirational, not aspirational, clutter. I see them and am inspired to make something with them. I’m only kind of bummed that they’re all painted and not bare and ready for what I learned yesterday. On the other hand, that fact that they’re ready to be finished or incorporated into something means that I’m kind of ahead.
OK, time to keep on moving. I can feel my eyelids getting heavy. Maybe I should give in and take a little nap. Grr … I do not care for feeling this way.
It’s my common lament lately: My creative mojo has walked off.
In fact, Morgan and I were talking, and I said I’d like to have a day off. He asked what I’d do with a free day, and I said that the way I’ve been feeling, I’d probably clean/tidy instead of making something. It’s a sure sign that my (the) world has gone sideways.
All things considered, I shouldn’t complain too much because reading mojo has taken my craft mojo’s place. It’s been nice to actually read and not just listen to books. But, I’ve realized that even if one is a physical book and the other is audio, I cannot have two books going at once. Silly brain.
I have about 20% of Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac to go. I think I’ll make resin Sasquatch pins for the book club attendees when we meet in April.
This week I made some progress on the socks; in about one more inch I’ll start turning the heel. Goodbye rib knit!!
I do have an order for five more of the sequin sheep. It’s taken a few false starts, but I now know that 7mm is the magic number regarding sequin size. I have also amassed more sequins than I ever thought I’d own. (Two sentences I never imagined would come out of my mouth/fingertips.) I also think that my struggles with the sheep head showed me that a basic hedgehog head should be pretty easy.
It’s breaking my heart that my beaded cat isn’t coming together. I know I’ll figure it out, it just won’t be today–or even this week. I think I need to loosen up on the sketched outline.
On a more positive note, I did manage to etch a few more pieces of copper last Sunday. Ta da!
On the 25th I’ll be taking a class about the various ways to apply color to metals. Who knows how these will evolve after that. I’m also harboring a hope to etch a few more before then.
Now it’s time to tackle organizing receipts. Oh, the joys of micro-business ownership.