Sunday, October 30, 2011

clutter and clarity

i like to think that clutter is a means by which one can perhaps express creativity. 
i have no idea if this is true or not. 
one of my old bosses referred to his magnificent piles of papers in his office as:
ALLUVIAL FILING. 

in a related thread of thoughts, 
i read a fabulous magazine called:
Where Women Create
inspiring work spaces of extraordinary women

i long to be one of these women. 
i long to participate in their gorgeous and carefully crafted workspaces. 
i recognize that it is just not who i am. 
this reality really is frustrating. 
in reconciling the two of these diametrically opposed ideas, 
it has come to my attention that i can make artificial oases of pretty vignettes. 
perhaps this will help form real progress with the taming of the slob. 
which would be me. 

i have a small space in my basement. 
in the past couple of years it has gotten closer and closer to being a genuine work space. 
the only thing keeping me from that is spending significant chunks of time 
sorting,
 organizing and 
throwing things away. 
or sometimes mailing them to other diagnosed beadaholics. 

there are 6 drawers of filing cabinet space... 
now designated  to holding my collections of seemingly unconnected things. 
one of them holds my now retired grouping of drafting tools. 
drawing and drafting with these is now a thing of the past... since it has been nearly
twenty years of not really using them. 
in this time, computers have really come a huge distance...as has computerized drafting.
so why on earth do folks need circle templates or lead pointers anymore?
i am an old fashioned girl. 
i am sure that someday, personal journaling will finally take me by storm. 
when that happens, having this stuff on hand will be really helpful. 
also it will be vintage.
and that is my leit motif. 
perhaps my family crest ought to include a gekko 
as well as an ostrich with its head in a hole in the ground. 
the needlepoint commitment  of this has rolled around in my head for years. 
the gekko for its sticky padded feet and tenacity of hold. 
the ostrich for its awkward appearance and fleetness of foot when needed. 
{did i just out my foot fetish?}
the other drawers are designated to holding disparate items such as a large spray paint collection, that many an inner-city tagger could envy, 
unweeded idea files, 
special magazines, 
larger scaled ephemera,
and vintage wall paper rolls. 
yep, not normal stuff. 


i have some urban crawl happening. 
the space my husband staked firmly as his own when we decided to buy this house, was a huge portion of the basement. 
he created one 2o foot long work bench along one wall and a large flat table that slides along 
a runner at the end of the room.
the table is currently unsliding, since a pile of wood is blocking that action potential.
its purpose is to build or paint or repair upon.
{currently, it supports a lot of my flowers}
one of his two table saws is in the middle of the open space
 that is the yin-void to the yang-bench.
 a huge garbage bin is there too. 
this is a working carpenter's zone and is full of his crap.
totally, unequivocally filled with mixed wires, tools, chisels, piles of screwdrivers, 
plastic lidded boxes of paintbrushes, painting rollers, blue tape, duck tape, etc. 
as well as things for plastering drywall. 
the area is also filled with stacks and stacks and piles of wooden pieces. 
i literally can't bend down to pick something up off of the floor without knocking some planks to the floor elsewhere with my ass. 
i hate how full this is. 
and how there is no place to relocate anything to some other place.
all the other places are as full of the tools and materials of both of our trades.

a while back, i had purchased a couple of costume jewelry lockets. 
they had no means of attachment to anything for my purposes. 
i asked the mr. to drill a couple of holes for me. 
seeing that he could do such a thing, well, i got suspicious. 
how come he had the technology to do such a simple thing? 
so started my love affair with his drill press. 
and it has become a fully blown expression. 
i use the press every day. 
my gazillion flowery bits sit all around in cupcake tins, plastic ziplock bags, plastic shoe boxes, naked on the counter without any corral,
they experience sprawl. 

having everything out in front of me is a challenge. 
it allows me to do a magpie search for just the right thing and then pounce upon it. 
i am just not able to put stuff away all the time to fence in the mess. 
it disturbs me a lot, since i see it as a personal failure. 
when i read and scour my magazine about work spaces it is more pronounced than usual. 
however, when feeling a little personally kind and forgiving, 
i get to make stuff and appreciate that my way of doing stuff works for me. 
it is not the pretty way surely, but it is productive most of the time. 
and that makes my heart soar. 
at least high enough to make some things i find to be pretty
and just like these:

earrings du jour...



the past few days have been spent filling earring orders.
along with all other members of my floral jewelry garden.

here are a few other things culled from the work bench garden. 

















sterility of space is a wonderful thing. 
it is best suited to the kitchen and bathroom spaces for obvious reasons. 
i just do not seem to thrive in it creatively. 
 it is an ongoing challenge to accept this about myself and my practices.
i remain hopeful that this will be soon. 
{oh and that i will find a personal drill press and work messily but guilt-free in my own designated space as a result}

off i go to finish several tasks...
mundane as they are, it is a small step forward for household calm to
do them.
finish editing pics to show you,
do daily dishes,
clean bathroom,
and
have a cup of tea.

nighty night all.
xo. 
w.




Saturday, October 29, 2011

feeling lazy

i posted this diatribe last night and am now trying to repurpose the thing 
that my crashing computer did not auto-save. 
these are the breaks when you live by technology. 
sometimes it is not as helpful as a pencil and paper. 

so my thoughts were all over the place the past few days. 
the scatteredness of it all was due to my husband being at home. 
whyyyyyy pray tell?
i had not invited him. 

he was experiencing some light-headedness. 
shah!!!!!!!
what????

so day one was ok. 
he fell asleep sitting up, tried to nest on the sofa and finally went to bed. 
day two
he got out of bed once the kid had been taken to school. 
he sniffled. 
he ate loud crunching things. 
he watched old fart station tv. 
all that there was to see was the re-runs of westerns. 
gunsmoke, big valley, bonanza, daniel boone. 
ETC....
on a good day, i prefer anything over these selections. 
since he was not feeling well, i tolerated them. 
day three. 
more sniffling. more munching. more faux cowboys. 
more interwoven weenies and strong willed nuns.
and my patience was wearing thin. 
seriously,
 any guy feeling ill for more than the ten minutes it takes me to throw up and clean the bathroom is just pushing his luck. 
i hate when my husband gets sick. 
he makes it into a massive drama. 
and to be perfectly honest, i thought he was faking. 
or as he likes to say, he was quite possibly "milking it". 
i must say in addition to putting a crimp into my daily activities,
his uber comfy grey sweat pants were driving me wild with desire. 
i really wanted to throw those ugly suckers out!
and you know  i never throw anything away really. 
so my buttons were getting pressed into overdrive. 

i went to the basement to work. 
the relocation served to do two major things. 
get some stuff made and get away from the irritations on the first floor. 


i made some brooches. 
the colors are a pretty big divergence from my normal palette.
i think i like them a lot too. 
usually, i have a little internal discussion about whether i am on the right track or not.
this is due to the working alone factor. 
i need to be my own toady to get things done sometimes. 


and some rings. 
both large and small. 

i was all kinds of excited to put the rings on these boards. 
they are "vintage" from when folks used to do some gluing at home. 
there used to be quite an industry around here, 
where piece workers were making things for manufacturers. 

the little niceties such as setting rhinestones and gluing up stuff,
 were one of the purposes of these 2 slotted wooden trays that i snagged. 
unfortunately, they did not work particularly well for me. 
i wanted to try to use them for shows to display my rings nicely. 

i loved the patina that had accrued to an age-enriched brown color. 
the kind that only regular use and time passing
would create.  
 still removal of a lot of glue dabs on the other sides  is needed to make the boards worth anything to salvage for my original design intentions. 
{now can i get an at home couch-bound carpenter to help a girl out???}

this is perhaps my favorite new big flower ring. 
i genuinely dislike brown usually. 
i guess i am growing into a more organic palette and evolving preferences. 
and yes, i added a small edging of golden paint to the edges of this after i took this image. 
perhaps we need a pic of what it looks like
 on my time patinated hands to show how cute it looks?


so back to the lazy factor. 
the reason i started to write this to begin with. 
i was hiding out in the drill press area of the basement. 
it is my husband's drill press and shop.
i have taken over a rather nice chunk of real estate surrounding his press. 
he uses it every week or month. 
i use it now daily. 
and in a marathon work session. 
by the photos above, you might surmise i had a productive day. 
accurately so. 

i did experience a ridiculous internal conversation. 
i had been connecting a lot of flower parts together to make
fresh rings and brooches for other projects, 
my wholesale orders. 
what happened was somewhere in between connecting things,
i realized that i needed to change one set of press tools for a small 1/6" drill bit. 
unbelievably, in that solitude, i kind of balked. 
really? 
am i now giving myself lip about my own needs? 
who am i kidding? 
sheesh. 
sense won out and i buckled down to do the minute long task. 
and i spent a few minutes berating myself after that, for considering such 
finely honed laziness. 

later i went to get the widget child. 
she was done with her daily dose of hockey and needed a ride home. 
so i strapped on my big girl attitude and set out to get her. 
i was appalled. 
on the mini-highway 
or local racetrack in this area... route 6 / 10, i got cut off.
more than once.... grrr. 
the usual rhode island crapole. 
the kind where someone is daydreaming and forgot to pay attention to their exit. 
the one that they take 2 times a day. 
the one that can sneak up on you. 
and yes, since it does sneak up very quickly, loads of locals feel just fine when they cross 
two lanes of traffic to exit the roadway. 
IT IS NOT COMPULSORY TO USE TURN SIGNALS IN THIS STATE. 
NO MATTER WHAT YOU HAVE HEARD!!!
 really, none ever get turned on. 
and other drivers feel their way through traffic armed with
extra sensory perception 
and 
skills from learning to drive bumper cars at a carnival. 
gosh i just love driving here. 
and then i had my epiphany. 
i realized that they were not driving badly out of malice.entitlement. or bad manners.  
it was just that they were too lazy to turn on their turn signals. 
head slap. 

i think lazy behavior is partly learned,
but there may also be something transferrable from the waters of the scituate reservoir. 
we all drink it,
so maybe it is affecting us. 

here is the third sample of how lazy i know things are  becoming normal fare. 
in between drill press bouts  and husband ague, i was above basement level. 
this needs to happen periodically, since no one else here has ever taken or heard of 
HOME ECONOMICS. 
you know, the class where some kindly teacher shows you the rudiments of 
sewing a button on, making an apron, even sewing a zipper into place using a machine? 
also you get to make popcorn balls and learn proper time tested techniques for 
washing dishes well. 
it can be done both by hand 
and now since i am an adaptive critter, by dishwashing machine too. 
so i was cleaning up from the morning toast/tea/cereal on the counter clutter and saw a fresh circle of hell in front of me. 
there was a 3/4 empty large jar of peanut butter already in progress. 
no one bothers to put it in the cupboard, since it is in regular use. 
there was a little sister, only one time used jar of pb as well. 
both were smooth. 
so i asked mr. couchspud, why there were two jars currently taking up counter space 
"side by each", as they say in these parts. 
i was told in complete sincerity, that husband dearest found it harder to get any pb out of the larger jar, so he started a new jar instead. 
holy shit!
a new winner for the use of laziness in day to day living. 
really, i believe that requires repeating. 
HOLY SHIT!!!
{genuinely, i try not to cuss on this blog. sometimes, it is merited.}
so i took out a rubber spatula and put the 1/4 jar remaining into the newly opened jar, 
swirled the two pb's together
and 
went back to the basement. 
sometimes it is just too much for me to bear. 
i know. this is marriage. 
and it is not the big fights that wear you out. 
it is the little odd insignificant weird day to day stuff 
that grinds you down. 
just plain laziness. 
and we are all prone to it. 

sigh. 

tomorrow, 
when the light returns and the sun is hiding from the expected nor'easter 
that is 
significantly predicted...even perhaps accurately so...
perhaps i will have a shot to take some fresh photos of the nearly 30 pairs of earrings i fabricated today. 
oh yeah, i can tell you are setting your calendars for this huge event, 
my earring show and tell, that is. 
so i will brave the snows of october 
the 57 degrees inside of our house as well and 
you will be treated to that little demo of my vanity.
i hope you like the little darlings. 
i sure do. 
yellow squashy colors dallying with olive green and purples 
well... they speak of this season. 
no matter how out of whack it is. 

nighty night all. 
xoxo. 
w.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

toast and pink as a necklace and silence as a thermometer

really, nothing has hit my radar recently that was worth a second look. 
nor did any of it need much fresh ranting. 
it seems it all has been done before. 

like how my husband likes a full gas tank and yet, 
he never puts gas into my car, even if he uses it all the time. 
like how my kids are picky eaters. 
like how i never can find any tape in this house. 
{even if there are 8 empty tape dispensers + no car with gas to get some refill rolls}. 
nor do you need to hear about how my son cleans his room every sunday, 
now that he is in college. 
his efforts start from the ritual of his sheets being laundered
 to  clearing his underwear and socks from the place where they fell on the floor that week. 
when he returns home, everything hits the floor even if it doesn't need to. 
he says it is just a habit that's part of being home. 
or that my daughter will tell the 200+ comic book driven readers of her blog what she wants/loves/needs.
 i have to ask her time and time again,
 since i am banned from reading this scrolling evolution of her existence. 
if asked enough times, she usually will share what is on her mind. 
the jaws of life are needed here to attain real information.
she remains very private and guarded.

i feel through the mists of this crazy crap with my mom tentacles.
testing my sensory perceptions to their fuzzy max...
trying to ascertain what i can do long distance... for my satellite brood.

my own mother was off kilter. 
i learned at a very early age that silence is an awful thing. 
she had some seemingly unresolvable issues. 
ones that could have ruined a person for life and 
ones that could be rendered into near happiness these days.
i have chewed over what may have happened to her, since i think
her childhood was bad in so many ways. 

 things have evolved a lot over the past few decades.
better psychology/psychiatry and better drugs have improved lives. 
i will never know what really happened in her life...
assumptions have been made. 
a life time of reading mystery novels and an ability to read into situations with a wild 
creative strand, has allowed me to make these. 
we have Never discussed any of them. 
she has never been willing.
all i know is that she might have had a happier time if she had been cared for better.
or if she had more strength for introspection with aids now available.
our family has a very long streak of depression running through it.

the last time i tried to talk to her about any of our stuff, 
i got into quite a fracas.
it happened at home with both her and my stepfather. 
i swore i would not return there again.
i needed some answers.
they were unable to offer any.
instead i was met with lots of crying.
all i wanted was something that i realized i would never get.
my mom just can't talk about stuff.
it is all there inside and buried.
not something that will ever be set free in her lifetime.
my stepfather wasn't there for any of it, and i think he sees me as attacking his wife.
not having any personal experience, he is very protective of her.
i guess this is as it should be.

realizing that this mystery is part of what holds them together
and true to my stubborn streak, i have not pursued the hunt for answers
any further.
this all happened over 20 years ago.
 being stubborn is not a good thing,
 it is just a tool in my arsenal to deal for when i need to deal with
 or not. 
sorry for this depressing little segue. 
it is coming out of my fingertips and onto this page. 
it leads me up to the agenda of silence. 

silence 
 has become a very good barometer for what is happening. 
its presence lets me think what might be going on. 
sometimes, my kids and husband infer things by not telling me about them.
usually they aren't good either. 
i hate silence 
unless i need it.
it is that tiny catch of it that suggests something may be amiss. 

in my home, i often work in the living room. 
i put together necklaces, word strings, notes, color palettes, 
ideas and other things. 
it is in these moments, that i prefer the calm of quiet.

plenty of people enjoy working to music. 
on very rare occasions, this appeals to me. 
my preference is to either watch t.v. or shows online. 
my newest passion is to watch via hulu.
{there are less commercials}
choices of programs are made
it is set on auto stream and i get to  watch depending on what i like. 
generally i work in the quiet of my house. 
quiet is not the same as silence.
i see it as
 calm thoughtful,productive time
vs. 
the noise free deadly sense of foreboding.


in the calm,
there are still  sounds of laundry in progress, the dog shuffling around the house
 or traffic on the street outside.
it is not sterile, just empty of artificial sounds. 

 when i feel a catch in a conversation with one of my kids, 
i try to probe until i can determine what is the cause of this. 
like i said, it is a barometer or thermometer.
sometimes,
i can read between the lines.
sometimes it works really well for me. 
it's a test to attain information and potentially work towards some kind of solution
it can be very helpful.
i need to listen more carefully than usual in these moments.
this is hard work. 
i like to talk
that too comes from nervousness in silences.
it is all interwoven
for good ornot so good. 

anyways, my eldest finally gave way this week 
and let me know that her glasses are now 7 years old. 
how on earth did i miss that so much time had passed?
well, i will admit that there have been many lean days here. 
and the money and the time have not always aligned to take care of her needs well. 
it is not a fault thing, just a juggling act. 
that particular thing did not make it onto the to-do list as soon as it should have. 
i hope to take care of it this week. 
the girl is trying to come home for the next weekend. 
that would be so wonderful if it could happen. 

the boy has had a rough start at college. 
he and a local friend found they were both going to matriculate at the same place. 
so they opted to become roommates. 
the cute guy that my man started to room with his freshman year, 
suffered a small stroke. 
seriously, an 18 year old football star and business major 
has overcome some stuff to just get to go to college.
and this is how he is treated?
a stroke?
turns out that this runs in his family.
i know so very little about his life, but really, who knows much of anything about anyone?
right?
so he left school to come home to providence and get into re-hab. 
my son is left with a room he hates being in.
for all purposes, he has a single. 
to retain a single, he is expected to pay the college 
an extra $600 for the remainder of the semester. 
he is in need of selecting a fresh freshman to fill this other bed. 
it is part of the overwhelming stuff that is going on. 
then there is the kid down the hall, that is from about 20 minutes away
 {someplace in maine}
and he has been hospitalized for depression this week. 
another one of graham's friends  is utterly broke. 
it breaks my heart to hear that this other boy's father is in the military, 
and has been left with a mom that is too deep in drink and drugs to do right by her son. 
i thought you went to college to get an education. 
it seems that school now requires  a social worker's skills and sensitivity. 
it is getting harder all the time to become a mensch with a lot of spare 
things being tossed down in front of you. 
and for this, i heard a small catch in my son's voice. 
i felt a certainty of something unspoken recently. 
the camel's back has broken. 

i believe in him, 
but am unsure if he is able to reconcile so many of these pieces of a puzzle 
most adults might have a hard time putting back together. 
to make a decent run at it all requires perseverance, 
perspective,
discipline, 
sorting, 
list making,
cold calls, 
accepting help, 
and most hard to hear, 
listening to that little voice inside of your head. 
do you hear me graham?

as for my dealing with my own life and its stress points...
i make stuff. 

this is one of my only over the top statement necklaces put together recently.
life has been both busy and busy. 
mostly my work has been more simple in nature. 
which although i love,
 it is not toothsome enough to occupy my hands and mind fully. 
this piece is what  i call:
 "pink roses and toast". 

i always have needed a creative outlet and will always need one too. 
when we drove the boy to school to drop him off, 
 a 'palette' of enamel flowers was dragged along with me. 
 trying to fashion something out of them
to keep my hands and heart busy was the plan. 
i need to do this always... it is how i cope with things. 
some pleasing product needs to have a physical manifestation for stuff that is going on.
as we drove north, i had limited space to work. 
so i laid out the order of things as i played with them and took pictures. 
the layout exercises were useful
 to get a sense of making a choice  and a  commitment to which way to go
design-wise.

an early pass at the placement order
and components





usually, i like to play until i find a happy starting point. 
then there is some infill treatment.
and some progress photos. 

this was coming along nicely, but i needed some undercoats. 
some swags and drippage and drops. 
more falling quirkiness ...

so more stuff was added. 
more beaded chains.
more rhinestones.
more rhinestone chains. 
more over the top. 
more wendy. 
just plainly 
MORE
period.
from this to this.
period. 

so 
more of these wildly organic pieces need to be made this week. 
i feel stressed out... either genuinely
or 
artificially. 

my youngest says,"mom, it is just hormones."
it never would have occurred to me, 
that this was why i was ready all day to cry for no good reason. 
yep, 
the same person is playing chopsticks on my soul and heart right now
 with a pair of ball peen hammers. 
thus explaining my horrid headache, 
my sleevelessness with sweat forming in the rolls of my wrist lines, 
and my moodiness. 
i am a heartbeat from dropping tears like noone else can. 

can you tell i have had a long week so far?

next color play is in brown, purple, orange and perhaps some white. 
i dunno. 
the bandaid for my ague, is tomorrow's 
FLEA MARKET!!!

MUST GO TO SLEEP. 
penultimate flea market tomorrow!!!
night night folks. 

xoxo. 
W.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

knitting is not for the faint of heart.

if you want to knit, you gotta dig in. 
it is not for anyone who is just thinking that they want a nice scarf. 
it is for folks that have some gumption in their stride. 
they mean what they mean even if they don't know what that is. 

i have been trying to teach a small group of ladies some tricks.
they are part of a small and almost hidden club tucked in a little from the main street. 
the building outside looks demure.
inside it is opulent. 
there are murals that are both hand painted and wrap the rooms. 
not only are there the gorgeous murals,
but also there are lively colored silken hand knotted oriental rugs.
the kind that you see once and realize that they are the real deal.
they are the kind that shimmer as light skims their surfaces.
i had to suborn my squealing inside of myself, in order not to be found out.
{as so easily impressed and overwhelmed by beauty}
really, the place is a hodgepodge of levels and contiguous rooms.
it has age and utterly authentic patina.
the kind that only regular polishing and dust removal can attain.
as one enters, you see
 a small collection of cups.
i think they are old wedgewood.
they are set into a display on shelves that are built in between the void created
between joists of that wall.
it is an adorable display. 
there is a stone floor in the kitchen. 
 a dining room 
a library. 
and i could go on and on about how remarkable i find it.
it is just the first floor that i have seen. 
and all of it is worth looking at much more closely. 

in general the members of this club take classes in this gem of a building. 
it is across the street from 
a RISD hall and the RISD museum
the ATHENAEUM Library
the State and/or Supreme Courthouses
(i may have this part inaccurate. sorry if that is the case)
the location is ideal. 
the building is a statement or remembrance of how folks lived during the last century. 
it was with elegance and nonchalance.
i  remain mindful that it represents only a small population though.

i answered a request on facebook. 
an acquaintance of mine shouted out for a knitting instructor
for the club. 
i answered the call, on a lark mostly. 
luckily for me, in spite of not having knit for the past 5 years, 
i was qualified. 
or so i thought. 

i am very confident of my knitting skills. 
i thought that there was little likelihood
 of being asked to show anyone one specific technique that is a
middle to advanced style of knitting.
 it is entrelac. 
i was sooo wrong. 
but this entire topic was covered in another posting... 
so i dare not continue to repeat my boring old self. 
it took me two classes before i was willing to give entrelac a good try
it took about an hour or two to get the hang of it.
and yes, i felt the gauntlet had been tossed down. 
in fact, it is remarkably easy and fun to knit. 
so i did an evening of easy and fun.

backing up now, i thought i would get some beginner knitters. 
what i got was 4 very different kinds and levels of knitters.
by week 4, i was certain that i would be fired.
what i was trying to do was not going at all well.
it was because i felt that i had been hired under false assumptions.
and perhaps they had all been mine.

i was in a royal funk last night.
 i thought that perhaps it was due to the 
upcoming night of monday night free for all with the knitters.
it is like herding cats with these ladies.
they have all been very accomplished in many ways in their lives.
and had a variety of interesting as well as painful experiences. 
on a good night, there is often the sensation of a wild melee and a lively conversation. 
more sedate evenings are so, since not everyone is able to come to the class. 
tonight i felt good though.  
the president of the club was in brainstorm mode. 
we talked a lot about why one of her recent projects was not admitted to the in-house show. 

the best part of this discussion was that we were able to talk.
 get closer to some of the earlier beginning 
techniques and concepts.
and insert a gross overview of some essential concepts. 
 perhaps this was a response to the smaller class size and my grabbing ahold of it.
they have a lot to talk about generally between themselves.
they have known one another for years.
it is pretty interesting to watch how their chemistry works.
what i found was that missing one personality,
we could get to the meat of the issues.
when that one lady is in the house, she overwhelms everyone.
me included.
i know understand the dynamics more and will be wrestling my position into
a more authoritative place.
i feel like i can offer them things now...
the ones i would have if i had pushed my agenda from the start.

there has been theme recently.
one where i feel like i have swum into the slipstream current of an ocean.
it is a nice ride and all, but you do need to have a feeling of where you want to go
as well as how you want to travel while riding in it.
just a little bit of "finding nemo" if you know what i mean.

anyways, progress is never easily made.
and i know i always express growing pains while i test myself.
perhaps the funk is just some growing?
growing into a smaller household population.
growing into greater financial participation in my family.
growing into acceptance of having mothered my children into neo adulthood.
or just growing as a person.
i dunno.
i am gonna keep challenging myself and all the little pieces of each day.
i remain hopeful that the knitting part will come together at its conclusion.
i hope i will figure out how much milk to buy when we are now 3 instead of 5.
i hope.
and while i do that, i will knit my entrelac scarf.
it seems a good learning curve to follow.

xoxo. 
w. 


Monday, October 17, 2011

tv is my friend...

we have been without tv for weeks now. 
my husband broke first. 
he went and got a tv converter box. 
this is because we have tv's that do not have internal digital conversion elements.
we are anachronists through and through. 
that and we are frugal most of the time. 

it is because of the tv freedom, i discovered the love of hulu. 
granted, this doesn't really make me tv-free, 
but it allows me to catch a lot less ads as i try to catch up on this season's opening shows
as well as some i never saw cause they were on cable. 
we have never had cable. 
in spite of the revolution in watching shows developed for this venue...we never were able to see what all the fuss was about 
hulu has leveled that playing field somewhat. 
now if i could only get PBS and masterpiece theater on my schedule, that would be an act of religious magnitude.

i've missed a lot of stuff... and you must know exactly how important it is to my social iq. 
i mean pop culture acumen. 
i like having some way to cross communicate with my kids, 
since they don't get my old fogie references. 
we need some commonality and context to frame our conversations. 

for years they hadn't gotten my seinfeld comments. 
nor did they appreciate how i identified with elaine. 
her thinking she was low maintenance, in spite of her in fact being the definition of very high maintenance to all those around her.
yep, that is me. 
delusional. 

all things considered, i am back on my steady diet of one hour shows, 
re-runs of "the office" and my new favorite show,"suits".
there are fresh protagonists in masterpiece theater...
ones that make me wish for more, more, more. 
however, i shall try to be patient. 
it will not be easy. 

in other time chunks, 
between the resolution of the first field hockey season, 
{tess looked up the rules on google and decided that she would be a varsity player her first  season. i doubted her. fool that i am. she is playing swing for both j.v. and varsity. scoring goals for each team. i am very proud of her and ashamed of myself for any doubt i fostered}
the overlap with ice hockey season resuming, 
{field and ice hockey games are at the same times... yikes!}
the start of instructional hockey at GPYHA
{greater Providence youth Hockey Association}
{home away from home for my husband+ my youngest as hubby tries to hook her into it. }
and referee season. 
{the boy came home for the second weekend in a row.}
{this was to re-up as a level two ice hockey referee.}
it makes little sense to go for a level 3 ref classification, cause until he is 21, he can't ref high schoolers. so he will keep up with what he has already done well.  
{hopefully, he will pick up some games during the holidays.} 

my eldest and her roommate who is awesome, went to the big apple to enjoy the 
new york comic con 
experience. 
she has not filled me in completely yet, 
but she did develop a small crush on mark hamill while she was there. 
he is apparently a truly nice guy and also has been "luke skywalker" for many years.
also she and her roomie who scored the tickets to comic-con... however you spell that...
went to the exit area of the theater to see 
daniel radcliffe
as he had completed his performance 
on broadway in
"how to succeed in business without really trying" 
i squealed a little when she texted me that. 
my husband just asked who daniel radcliffe is. 
see what i mean. 
only one of us stays relevant. 
the other can skate. 
i do draw the line at rap and hip-hop.


in the mean time, i feel out of sorts. 
i can't put my finger on it at all. 
i spent a sweaty and tiring summer in Providence. 
long hours spent making flowery jewelry, and now i am out of the loop. 
it is nearing holiday show season and i have little to show for my time. 
yet, i have been working a lot. 
the past two weekends, i went to shows just to see if i want to do them. 
i went to the scituate RI art festival. 
it was a mob scene mixed with carnival life. 
could not get any grip on that. 
then went to SOWA the next day.
and 
to RISD alumnae show yesterday.
i thought i would blog on about these three shows, but don't really feel the love i should. 

like i said, i feel out of sorts. 
and i have no idea what is up with that. 
perhaps after i finish the last two silver chain necklaces that were tonight's obsession, with a side of PBS mystery...
well i will feel more accomplished. 
tomorrow, when the light returns, 
so will some photos. 
i am loving the look of the chain and flower combo.
it was one of my earliest summer necklaces, and i let it go  by the wayside. 
shame on me. 
i got excited about making some other things and forgot to replace the ones i sold. 
really, i am happy to be doing what i am doing, 
i just feel out of sorts. 

so i bid you night night. 
i think i can catch an episode of "Castle" on hulu as i work through another necklace. 
just need to find that box of silver chains i squirreled away. 

xoxo. 
w.

Friday, October 14, 2011

dog hair, chains and clutter

i wish i could say that i lived like an architect. 
i used to practice like one.
now i seem to embrace my constant hoarder.
it is nothing internal... it is all out there for the world to visit. 
ugh. 
my social interactions are lessened by my need for friends to take me at my word. 
i just can't let them see the real clutterist that i have become. 
it is from real life being lived here. 
real life i tell ya. 
not the stuff we used to stage for portfolio photographs. 
stuff that we could arrange as we liked, 
using filters on 
single lens reflex cameras. 
the ones with the uber sexy, 
robert redford in a trenchcoat from the 70's kind of way. 
the looks that were achieved from learning how to jiggle and adjust the few dials on top of the cameras to achieve the most carefully composed 
and wonderful images. 
the kinds that if you were lucky, you could send in to potentially have published in a fantastic magazine. 
the architectural ones like 
"Progressive Architecture" 
or for more interiors based professionals 
there were "INTERIORS" magazines.
boy did those folks know how to stage things well. 
borrowed, begged and stolen for  documenting our 
maximally rendered drawings to executed fabulous buildings. 

now it is more about stuff like trying not to be pea sensitive as a princess. 
i dislike wearing shoes in the house. 
this allows me to walk barefoot. 
and catch quite a sharp bead relocated errantly and accidentally
or a jump ring
or a snippet of chain. 

so in spite of having more than just a few irons in the fires... 
and messes on the counters,
the husband is requesting a section of the basement to be returned to his domain. 
i think he is extra greedy. 
but he thinks the same of me. 
i have been co-opting his drill press bench. 
and rightfully so. 
he uses a burner on my fantastic stove daily.
 i am happy that he uses that.
 it keeps him both happy and lightly occupied. 
so for now, i will need to apply myself to the task at hand,
 of finding some boxes to put lots of small findings corraled as i clear and clean up the space i just got both neat and organized. 
the only one of that kind at all under my solitary purview. 
dang. 
i guess most things are really just in the timing. 
and i am notorious for inconvenient timing. 

now it is time to crash and burn after an entire, long, exhausting day of packing up 
many old and un-coralled jewelry items to get ready to send them out or post them in other orders. 
snorrrre. 

xoxo. 
wendy

please, be warned that i have not as yet read this mess through to edit, alter and appropriately check for content or grammar.
reading it is at your own risk.
i need sleep badly,
and tomorrows seem to come way too quickly.
there is hockey, field hockey and instructional hockey in play at 7 a.m.
i am just the walrus and chauffeur.
nighty night. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

self employment, who knew?

self employment offers quite a few perks. 
basically, i have been self employed since i was pregnant with my first child. 
now i find myself 20 years later still enjoying this. 
or so i keep telling myself. 

i have the pleasures that we all know about that include: 
a good commute to work; 
access to refrigerator and no one stealing my yogurt, at least that i can prosecute; 
i can work in my jammies; 
i freely watch tv or movies... since listening to music is not higher on my preference list; 
and when i leave my stuff everywhere, only my family can be displeased. 
a major perk is one where i can eat leftover pizza from last night's dinner over the sink. 
there is a lot to recommend this lifestyle. 

BUT...
not really having someone to report to, is hard.
 to keep a good pace  on the act of being solidly productive is a challenge some days. 
i feel driven about most of what i am doing.
it is organizationally challenging to complete a design from concept to conclusion. 
there are many many little components that can trip me up. 
my worst one is the dread of shipping. 
now over time, i have managed to get loads of stuff out of my door. 
it just takes some frustrating runs to the stationery store and to be cohesive in my purchases. 

 redundancy is frustrating. 
i enjoy about 8 shipping tape containers now. 
since they keep on disappearing, i find myself replacing them. 
this is a pre-amble to finding the one{ i like best at that moment}, 
in a child's room. 
i hate going in their caves to find my stuff, cause i get off track. 
the filth and the clutter stymy me. 
clearing crap out becomes a highly placed to-do item on the list. 
and there i go all over again. getting way far off track. 
the self loathing revisits me, 
since by this point, the tape dispenser unit has been replaced 
AGAIN.

finding scissors. 
they are in each room to perform specific tasks. 
paper only, plastic only, fabric only, 
multitasked 
and on and on and on 
again. 
the act of reaching for the pair of orange handled ones at my right is often thwarted by 
my daughter and her midnight sorties to do some crafty homework assignment. 
i do not begrudge her the use of my tools. 
what i get cranky about is that they are rarely where  i want them
when they are needed. 
once again, a shipping issue. 
and so it goes. 
the tap dance. 
the ebb and flow 
of productivity. 

now i am off to find the completed liquid brains in a cup... aka coffee. 
no secretary is near at hand to brew up a pot or cup just for me. 
this is just sad. 
i can of course try my utmost to tackle this persnickety issue 
as soon as possible.

in the mean time, i shall continue making things.

 earrings,


 bracelets, 


necklaces,



 rings



and other goodies.
{these may or may not include dinner. }
{a big bubbling pot of minestrone!}



forcing sparkly glass cuts into centers of blooming colorful jewelry pieces that are being shared with the rest of the country. 
but not until i have that little power pack of caffeine 
sloshing around inside of me. 
every little bit helps. 

xoxo. 
W.



Wednesday, October 12, 2011

plates smashing and a planner

i know i prattle on ceaselessly about my family.
of course, you all know why. 
it is my blog and they fill me with things to think about. 
sometimes i brag, 
and sometimes, i whine. 
this is gonna be a mixture of the two. 

firstly, i  think that the Greek culture supports the act of smashing plates. 
i have heard that it is considered good luck. 
also when i was young and the "Ed Sullivan" show was on the air, there was an act
i very much enjoyed. 
there was some kind of juggler that spun dishes on sticks. 
it was an act of huge unreasonable faith that they all stayed up in the air spinning. 
i never witnessed any crashing to the ground. 
many, many times in my life, i have felt like i was in charge of spinning plates. 
if any had fallen, i was sure that they were going to heaven with all the crockery
that Greek people had thrown in acts of happy lucky moments. 
i am sticking to this, for obvious reasons. 
i need the luck mostly. 

hard work is part of my lifestyle... at least i think so. 
it may not seem like it is, but i really try to get some stuff done. 
here is where some bragging comes into formal focus. 
i often feel like the to-do list is longer than i can possibly attack. 
also, i am prone to easily being distracted. 
at some point, i may even have had a sharp mind. 
now i am on screwy sleep hours, 
funky dietary directions, 
and 
just trying to stay on track. 
since i am the master of my track, 
one might think that i was aware of what i was trying to get accomplished.
well, it just is not working out that way. 

i was talking on the phone with my eldest recently. 
she came home from college last spring, filled with the certainty that she knew a lot. 
this quantification, nibbled at the intersection  of "everything there was to know"... 
and its sneering twin,
 " i have been on my own for a year now and know more than my parents".

who the heck knows? 
maybe she was right and i was jealous of her opening the lock on that can of solid
universal knowledge. 
i sure know as time has passed,
 and menopause introduced itself to me,
and that i am stupider than ever. 
{please remember that my brain is swiss cheese filled and teflon coated}.
{remembering things has become more challenging and filled with more pitfalls than ever.} 

daughter number one acquired a job in food service this past summer. 
it took her 3 weeks of grueling door knocking and on foot introductions. 
she was hired by 
au bon pain, as a cashier. 
anyone doing her job also needed to fill in as a salad maker, sandwich tech, 
and coffee drink barrista 
or 
work at one of the newly created outposts. 
also anytime my darling refers to the store, she blithely calls it ABP.
i call it the school of hard knocks. 
she was introduced to the scummiest of customers, 
some delightful ones too; 
picky ass ones, 
and ones that were there because no other place would let them linger for as long. 
 the academics of the  hard knocks school
 entitled the girl to find out how things really worked in 
many instances. 
her ability to be a little softer around the edges was a delightful reminder that 
i no longer needed to be the laser like focus of all nagging or irritations to her. 
others could supplant  my god given skills and 
make her see that i was not completely barking mad. 
once some perspective had entered her focus, 
we were able to converse like humans occasionally.

and now back to dropping dishes for luck and having a few left to eat from. 
i ask the girl to help me out sometimes. 
she made a sell sheet for me for my infant representative trip to the 
new york international gift show. 

she also prepared a fresh version of my business card.
this will soon be in color too. 
with flowers instead of or in addition to the beads. 
WAHOO!

and now for the braggiest part. 
she suggested that i keep a planner to keep my thoughts, 
and ideas and even some of my lists in. 

i often do these things. but they are not adequately represented. 
and remember swiss cheese is stringy when heated. 
lovely and delish flavored, yet without
ORGANIZATION.
all of those bubbles within are very randomly and organically created.

so i will take a page from little "miss organized". 
i will find a planner book to apply some rolling to-do lists in. 
after all, it was advice from a college woman. 
one that has few cracked and spun plates. 
one that has taken some shit from cafe customers, 
and one that could be onto something. 
i am not that old that i can't learn something new from 
my freshly minted 20 year old. 
she does know how not to drop dishes...(as far as i know) yet.  
especially if they are ones made of paper and from 
a chain of restos. 

thanks hal, good advice is just that. good advice. 
and now i am sending myself to sleep. 
i have fresh purpley flowers to play with in the morning. 
and orders to fill. 
and a hunt for a good planner book to use.
before i drop any more lucky plates. 

xoxo.
 w.