Friday, January 30, 2015

It is 11:30 on a sunny Friday morning and I am sitting at the dining room table listening to Rod McKuen songs and thinking of my glory teenage years back in the 1970's. It is a bittersweet sadness that I am listening with a deep longing to head back in time to tell everyone I knew, how much they meant to me. When will we ever understand the meaning of how fast time moves? The seasons are nearly gone and I miss my hometown and family and high school and college classmates. I am older now, perhaps a bit wiser and I am freer with the words, " I love you. " Some days I don't think I can even say them enough. Lessons in time, and love come late in life to most of us. Occasionally with a hard won victory over fleeting days and years, we learn, remember and pass on how sweet, short and precious life is.

RIP Rod Mckuen.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The last several days here, mostly shrouded in fog, although I hear there has been sun in Seattle; I have had owls fly closely by me. Once while driving and once again while standing in the back yards, I have been delighted with their appearances. Is it a sign of things to come? Are they visiting for a reason? So close yet not close at all. I am thinking about all this and letting them be my little spirit guides.

Still busy in the studio but all the merchandise for Tucson has been packed and shipped. Set up is on Sunday and selling starts on Monday. Whew! Long, hopefully busy days await me! Now it is time to pack my clothing and the all important knitting projects and sketchbook with art supplies. I think I chose these things for a trip much more carefully than I chose clothing or cosmetics! I must have an activity with me at all times that involves the creative half of my brain.
This is a necklace made of new and old beads and hand forged sterling chain.

Happy little bracelets with sterling links.

Celtic crosses I cast in bronzes.

Sterling silver crosses & crucifixes.
My JOY charm in pewter.

This is a collection of some of the finished work that will be in my booth at the gem show in Tucson where I also hope to find some sun and time to sit out in the dessert and knit by a swimming pool. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Today, Busy as a Bee

Working at the shop, getting ready for Tucson and still trying to be creative has kept me very busy since the holidays. I actually love doing all this and am ever so grateful that I get to make my living by being creative. I have fantasies of living off in the woods by myself in a cozy cabin with a big studio and having no place to go and just making things. Isolation when it comes to being creative and thinking through the whole design process appeals to me. I like being around people, that's part of the reason I love working in my shop, but I crave alone time too. 

Soon all will be crazy as I immerse myself in Tucson and all that it is. Friends, gems, jewelry, gathering, selling, buying, eating, sitting in some sunshine, walking near the dessert; I can hardly wait! Until then here are today's finished works.

Monday, January 5, 2015

A Charm Bracelet Story

I have a gentleman that comes into my shop to have me look over his boxes, bags and trays of junk costume jewelry. He is a sweet funny and energetic guy that is always so excited with the treasures he has collected around town, EBAY, Goodwill and the like. I rummage through it between customers and tell him if he has anything unusual or valuable and once in a while, I purchase something. He gave me a rose brooch as a New Year's present. A sweet guy indeed.

Anyhow, on his last visit as I poured through and over his treasure boxes; I came across this charm bracelet.

It has a collection of sterling charms with the dates on them running from the 1970's through the 1980's. They all say ABWA on them and some inspiring, goal setting word or words. On research it was from different events of the American Business Women's Association. Someone worked towards all these goals and achieved them. She especially achieved them during the 1970's when not many women were in business or in the corporate world. She must have been proud, felt accomplished as she added each charm to this bracelet.

I pulled the bracelet from my junk dealer and asked if I could buy it. He looked at it and said sure. When he and the customer at the counter asked why I wanted it ( was it for the sterling silver to be melted down ? ) -  I said that I felt touched by this bracelet. That someone, a woman who I have never met, worked so hard to gather these charms by her accomplishments only to have it end up in jewelry scrap. I was embraced by her journey and felt an immediate kinship with this woman who probably put this bracelet on everyday as she readied herself for her career, not just a job, and felt pride in herself. I am her sister, having been mostly self employed myself since the early 1980's.

The chain the charms are on isn't much, just plated metal, so maybe her budget never allowed for the frivolous purchase of a lovely sterling silver charm chain. I think that means she was given each of these charms as part of her journey in the business world. She earned them. She treasured them.

What made me even sadder was that she had no one to leave this bracelet to. Perhaps no daughter or granddaughter or son, to pass on her journey, her lessons. That whoever searched through her things after her death ( did she die ? ) just tossed it aside to be given as a charity donation or part of an auction.

I have this bracelet now. I treasure it. It will become part of her legend for me and a reminder of goals set and met, goals worthy of an award that is worn close to the pulse of life that runs through your body. Goals made in life, set in precious metal. I will keep it with this story, this imagined part of her story and pass it down to my own granddaughter, hopefully inspiring in her a life of accomplishment, joy, work and reward.

The bracelet has a home now and a story and a future. An inspirational journey for the next generation of American Business Women.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

It is always just after Christmas is over, and New Year's Day is upon us; that I decide I am ready for the holiday. I want to start at that late date to get things ready. Ideas pop into my head and I think. " Yay, Christmas! Time to decorate. " I think my interior calendar is just a bit off!

Anyhow, I vow that this year I will make more time for my own projects. Things I want to experiment with and things I want to finish. I have all manner of jewelry and metal smithing work just waiting for me to have time to get to it. I am doing it in 2015!

Thank you my friends for the love you have shown me, the trust you put into me as a retailer, the creativity you have that so inspires me and most of all for the friendship shown me. I am ever so grateful and ever so happy! Happy New Year all!