Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I Feel Like the 60's

Beading and macrame were passions in the 60's and 70's.  I even got the hubby of the moment to get
into the macrame and he helped with larger projects.  I remember hanging rope from a patio arbor to make plant hangers and wall hangings.  I was doing the free-range thing way back then with combining various cords and yarns for texture.  I did many little projects with crochet cord for jewelry as in the bracelet to the right.  It's all that remain of those days.  We didn't have much money, and hippy crafts were cheap.  I loved beads, but hated rat tail cord that always broke during wear and left me scrambling up beads from their scattered landing spots.  I gave it all up until I was a Cub Scout den mommie and my cubbies did some beaded key "chains" to satisfy the Indian badge. It was a brief resurgance and then years later, I had a wonderful Union Bay denim man shirt that I wore the poo out of.  At some point, I got out a shoe box and did some bead work for the shoulder seams.  About 2 years ago I upcycled that shredded shirt into small shoulder bags.  I tried to sell them on Etsy, but Etsy has never been golden for me.

gorgeous wrap bracelet found on Pinterest

This week has seen me returning to beading.  I am drooling over a gorgeous wrap bracelet I found through Pinterest and tangent searches.  After pinning it, it has been climbing in popularity, and I have wanted to make my own version.  The hammer and torch-ering metal is on hold for a while as my right side is sore from neck muscles down to the right hand fingertips due to what I jokingly refer to as "man-handling" (lifting and moving) during care-giving activities. Repetitive stress injury can be devastating and I want my body to heal and take it easy while this level of care continues.  I have moved the bed position so that I am using my left side more, and trying to be more mindful as I lift and move her in the bed.  Now that she has been bed-ridden for nine months, I am simply forced to take better care of myself.

So, this is my little project.  ...Just getting started, and I plan to add some leather and wrapped cord too.  

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Studio Setback

I am so bummed.  The de-cluttering I have been doing has gone well, carrying out at least one bag of trash daily is so great, and I do still have a way to go with organizing the rest of the "stuff."  However, as floor space and table tops began to clear, my mind was racing ahead to how best to move the table near the window and how to arrange the rest of the furniture.  I realized that my plan to remove the computer and all the related paraphernalia to another room was impossible because that room has no space available.  It also hit me that all the furniture would have to hug the walls and would be lined up close together circling the room.  Such a major frustration!

So, wallowing in a pity party and confusion, I missed the deadline I set for myself which was July 31st.   So, my option is to leave the table as it is (and hope for the Dream Plan to evolve in the near future after a great deal of work and planning of other spaces).  The cons are that I sacrifice the natural light, the view, and having a wall at the back of the table, and a lessening of work space since the table butts up against the computer desk at a right angle.  I am also concerned about over-lapping work spaces.  Paperwork done at the computer will certainly overflow to any adjoining space.  I challenging issue is that I was going to hang my Dremel flex shaft from a towel bar on the wall.  Positioned as the table is now, that is not possible and I have been wracking my brain for solutions.  Obviously, from this amusing sketch by The Dremel Amateur I am not the only one trying to figure it all out.  ...Don't worry, I will never go this route.  Backpacking a tool like that would have my hair so tangled you wuold have to hold me down and shave my head to get me free.

My new Dream Plan will have to be a long-range goal.  I'll keep posting as I figure it out.  In the meanwhile, I think I will get another cup of spicy coffee to help clear my muddled brain and then settle in for yet another day of clearing and figuring out how to get set up.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

My Dream Studio 1

...A studio that I can't wait to get into every day and love and feel the space loving and nurturing me back.

I have been putting a lot of thought into this idea.  My Aquarius nature often runs me into the brick wall of other's conservative tastes.  Just recently, in a flash of brilliant decorating, I decided to make the sink window alcove of my country/cottage decorated kitchen more user friendly.  A dark wood surround of old cabinets and poor lighting have frustrated my meal preparations for years.  I got the bright idea to paint the sides of the cabinets facing the window a sky blue like my porch ceiling and it was like instant lighting just from reflected light.  You can actually see this reflecting in the photo.  Good choice!  Then I wanted to hang an old vegetable shredder upside down and suspend a hand towel from it's handle.  To play up the rustic cottage look and add some color, I began screwing down old used paint sticks to the cabinet sides (remember I am a shameless clutter-holic ...and besides, they can always be used again).  I wanted to be able to remove them if/when we move for a more conservative owner.  I mounted the shredder to those and hung the towel.  Love it!  however, when I showed off my brilliant project to the DH his usual state of perfect balance fell away and he blurted out:  "Oh no, we really won't be able to sell this house now!"  I was crushed and have not gone any further with my decorating plan for that window.  ...I will eventually, probably once the studio is done and things are returning to normal this fall.  Anyway, my point is that I would love to personalize every inch of space in this house and see cheerful color everywhere. In the studio with its cream walls?  ...maybe just one wall...  It should be a different one than the working wall which I want to be as bright an area as possible.

Something like this painted wall I shot at Black Lion on a visit to Charlotte, NC...

...a beautiful wash of color, peachy pink first, then faint touches of a warm thin gold, and a white wash lightly brushed over all, it would be a beautiful touch to my studio, and not necessarily in that color.  I also like the idea of beige tone on tone, or white-washed blue.  I have not painted anything in the house blue yet, but it might be too calming for a room meant too encourage inspiration.  I really like lime green, but have three green rooms already, ...and I love purples too but it is so dark.  It has to be light and bright in this workspace.


...or perhaps I may wain Poetic, and take a more artistic approach writing snippets of positive thoughts with a chiseled brush a la calligraphy





...or maybe I will go WabiSabi!

...and the list goes on!  I love having so many wonderful choices.  The possibilities are exhilarating.  The important thing is to choose a total look that will enthuse me with satisfaction every time I enter the room.  It must be a look that sets the tone for artistic expression.  The studio must give me the feeling of a comfortable nest.  ...That means a bit on the rustic side yet with touches of whimsy to encourage playfulness in my creativity.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Race is On! Week 1

I am actually doing "it."  

The "it" is the de-cluttering that I have lusted after for so many years now.  In the week since my last post, I have managed to remove one trash bag of junk to throw out every day.  Well, almost.  I had one day that I just simply crashed.  My momentum had been rising and I was so proud of  myself that I went ahead and ordered the Ott light that I chose for my work table.  I found exactly what I wanted from Lowe's.  It is so perfect that I am giddy waiting for it's delivery. It has a 38" reach so that I can have it well out of the way of my work and tools and still provide bright, full-spectrum light.  It's LED and I won't be sweating under it.  When I am working with the Dremel Flex Shaft I can position it so I won't catch it with the cord. On tracking delivery of my light, I see it will arrive on Monday and not Wednesday, as expected, so I really need to ramp up the clearing process because I planned that it would arrive when I was ready to place the table and I am not ready yet.  It's my carrot.

I have had "carrots" before this, but nothing helped much.  I was never able to get past a small amount of organizing one thing and at the same time making another mess in the process.  ...Like the time I organized all my yarn.  I bought hanging closet shelves and stashed like colors in different shelves.  That was great, but I continued to buy more yarn and didn't have room for more.  Then there were boxes and bags piling up and scattered around the floor in front of the closet, making it harder to get to the organized yarn.  You get the picture.

In all fairness to myself, I have not had it easy in this room.  I have a business, my husband has a business and we have yet another between the both of us.  I have several hobbies.  Combine all that in a 10 X 10 room, and have it all organized and I will be awestruck.  In the book,  Organizing From the Inside Out, Julie recommends the kindergarten classroom approach of having distinct areas for each activity.  Well, I decided to boot a few to another room.  I will make it work, and am happy with the prospect of having the business stuff in another room.  The book makes it such a simple vision to hold onto.

I began reading about the emotional aspects of why people hold on to the stuff.  I can relate to many of them.  Our past is often filled with wonderful memories and memorabilia that it is hard to let go of.  Mostly, I go about organizing in a very attention deficit way.  I read one author who described it as the "butterfly" approach.  The butterfly starts out in one spot, then flies to another (perhaps to put something away in another room) and then gets distracted there until the same thing happens again.  The result is I make a mess everywhere I end up and I am totally overwhelmed.

Julie's solution is to begin sorting through the clutter as a first step in the hands on approach.  In sorting, I keep a trash bag at hand to get rid of the all the old papers and junk that has no current or future purpose.  ...As I said, a bag each day is going to the trash!  I am so grateful for this slow but steady progress.  Because I stay in one place, I am not making messes all over the house, and slowly I am clearing both those vertical and horizontal square feet. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Choices & Facing Demons

I have not been posting for quite a while now.  I have not been creative either.  It seems they go hand in hand.  After the respite, I had to get ready for company.  Now, I hate to admit, but I am a messy artisan.  I get tunnel-vision and tear threw projects like  a tornado and make the biggest messes.  SO, getting ready for company is a "deer-in-the-headlights" moment for me.  Big reality check!!!!  To use another animal phrase, I had the "elephant in the living room" look.  Cleaning up after myself is fraught with decisions and such a bore because there is so much more fun to be had than the drudgery of housework.  However, once I got the living areas of the house looking company ready, I felt so much better about the view, and have determined that I am going to keep them clear and re-organize my everything room into a real studio.  I have been reading a very helpful book by Julie Morgenstern, named Organizing From the Inside Out.  I am such a hopeless case that I have to admit that I started this books years ago and never got beyond the third chapter.  For several years now, I have had a reminder on my bulletin board that "This will be the year that will end my clutter!"  I took it down this January 1 because I didn't want it nagging at me ANY MORE.  Little did I know what was in store for me just a few months ahead.

The thing I like about this author is that her story is just like mine.  She found a way to tackle her problem, and that gives me hope.  I also really really really really really want to have a beautiful clean and ready space to work in and to be able to walk into my studio without twisting and turning around piles and boxes of things that got there from previous quick clears for company visits.

Looking ahead, I have been planning out the new workspace on Pinterest and getting excited about having an optimum place to work with my supplies and tools all at hand with good lighting and and and and and.....

But in the meantime, I am struggling.  I pace the floors because I am not being creative and making jewelry, or sewing items I need, or knitting garments I want , and all those other projects that I have set for myself on Pinterest and that is just a start.  Julie suggests that we start setting up the space as soon as enough clearing will allow because it sets up a feeling of progress and reward.  This would be the solution for me, but I need to clear out the corner of the room, find someplace for all the clutter on the worktable and move a heavy 60" table, that has been used for paperwork, over by the window where it will be a craft table instead.

Anyway, here I am, publicly declaring to be a clutter addict ...resolving to change my ways.  I will post my progress every week until I get there, and be proud to share my new space at that time.  As I go, I will share my plans and dreams with you for my perfect space. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


It had been a very long time since my Sweetie and I were off to ourselves.  Last week, the hospice team arranged for a five day time out for me and took my mom into their care.  We left the same day, heading for the hills.  ...Mountains actually near Asheville, North Carolina.  I captured a haul of gemstone beads at Beads & Beyond.  The store used to be in the historic downtown area of Asheville, but has recently moved to a small town a few miles away.  I say town but it really is off in the boonies on a winding mountain road.  We thought we were lost but kept going and eventually found it.  We had an educational  and red-carpet tour of the new store by it's owner, Barry, who loves talking about his treasures from all over the world and ancient beads were in abundance.  I loved the patina that time that had left.  Some of the beads were worn smooth and had a luster from hands passing over them countless times.  I came away with beads I had been wanting to work with ...lapis lazuli, faceted quartz nuggets, ocean jasper, lovely larimer, faceted crystal beads, ancient glass, cinnabar, and several other gorgeous stones and beads.  Not many in count, just a good handful, but I like to use just one or a few in a piece.  I think it features their special beauty better than large numbers in repetition.  ...And did I mention that I even got an assortment of Freebies?

In the Historic Downtown, we found street performers on every corner.  We especially enjoyed this musician playing his steel drum and didgeridoo...


I had a great time spending my pocket of fun money.  Terrible thing what shopping deprivation can do when one is set free in an extraordinary place intended to make one's purse strings get loose.  I found fabulous leather scraps, to include some jade ostrich leather that I drool over, a soft beautiful olive green, textured chocolatey brown and metallic silver as well as natural linen cord at Earth Guild institution for artisan weaving and textile supplies.  I grabbed aromatic incense at their next door neighbor, The Open Door, where you can find lots of hippie style clothing and jewelry.  ...'scuse me while I go light up a stick of Jasmine and get heady....

I was hoping for a perfect trip, but began to feel ill the afternoon of the second day.   ...Digestive tract.  The following morning, I noticed that the manager of the Quality Inn Motel where we stayed was handling the food for the Continental breakfast with his hands.  BIG UGH!!!!  Ya just don't know where those paws were last!  ...And what does that say for the behind the scenes preparation?  So, it may have been a bit of a bacterial thing and/or eating strange foods.  It took 24 hours to get myself right using my trusty oregano essential oil.  I haven't traveled without it for years.  Anyway, my plan for non-stop feasting and marauding though stores and sightseeing was stopped dead in it's tracks.

All in all, it was a delicious trip and the hubby and I find ourselves wishing we could return very soon.  That's all in greater hands than ours however, so we are just very grateful for the time and adventure we had.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Soulful Fill-ment

...Or soul fulfillment. ...Which ever way you want to look at it, it's not usually something that any one of us really wants to delve into.  Why?  ...Because after all, it is one of the scariest things we can do.  No one wants to fail, and Heaven forbid that we fail at that which is meant to really make us feel nurtured and whole.  If we have but one chance to achieve personal success and we miss it, what then?  Do we fall into a Black Hole of the Universe and disappear into a Void of Nothingness because that's where all failed humans go?   Is it a sort of Hell where everyone floats about in suspended animation with a dull stupid look on their face as if they were about to say something but forgot what it was?


I shudder to think of it!  But if you do think of it, doesn't it feel as if that is where we are and what we do if we DON'T pursue our dreams and fulfill our souls?