Friday, January 24, 2014

Midnight Earrings

“Honey, are you awake?”
“Honey, what do you think of these earrings?”
“It’s dark in here.”
“I’ve been up all night making these. They need to be ready for the show. What do you think? Do you think the glass drops are too long for the fishhook earrings? Or do you think they are simply fantastic, major overdrive statement jewelry.”
“I’m sleeping.”
“I think they’re just too long. I just spent three hours opening jump rings and closing jump rings, making these fish earrings too big, and the acorn earrings too small. I think I’m going to go back, and open all those jump rings again, and switch the fish hooks and the French ear hooks. The long dangles need the short earwire, the short acorns need the long fish hooks. What do you think, Hun?”
“I hate earrings.”
“But then have I created a whole set of earrings that are the same length essentially. Instead of having short and medium and really long, as some women have short necks, medium necks, and long necks. Or are long earrings just IN and everything should be sort of pumped up, you know, today’s short is yesterday’s hanging down to the navel.”
“Earrings give me a choking feeling.”
“Just tell me straight, you’re beating around the bush. You think one dangle on one earwire – boring! They need the third heat. The third heat! What can I do to punch these things up?”
“I hate jewelry.”
“You just won’t tell me what you really think, will you. You’re trying to be nice. What you really want to say is, ‘Those earrings make you look fat.’ That’s what’s behind this, isn’t it? You’re thinking I don’t have the neck to make these earrings work, and they make me look like a fat schlub. “
“Take those seriously sexy earrings off, and go to bed, hun.”
“Mmm. Seriously sexy? Are they really seriously sexy? Maybe I could get some sleep tonight.”
“Seriously sexy.”
“Maybe I did some good work tonight. Cool. Yeah. These are great. Yeah. I’m gonna get my PJs. Thank you honey. I knew I could talk to you. I just knew, all I have to do is run this past my honey, and I’ll know just where I stand.  Awesome. Tucson is going to be great! Love you hun. Good night.”
“Goooood night hun.”

Friday, January 10, 2014

What my Lampwork Studio has in common with the Empire State Building

They both have heat and insulation.

My husband came out of my under-construction studio one day, two years ago, covered in little flecks of spray foam insulation. He said, "I didn't know it could be like that." When I ventured out, I found the walls insulated, beautifully, looking like brain coral all over the walls and ceiling. And brain coral babies stuck to my radio, my step stool, and my husband. Everything that had been in the room and not covered, including the windows, and his glasses, was encrusted.

Another studio construction day, my husband came into the house, and puffed up with deep fulfillment. He waxed lyrical about the heater he'd just installed. "So efficient. No terrible heating bills with this." Punctuated with eyebrows bouncing, a wise nod. "Yes yes! You have heat. You'll be toasty warm in here."

And he has been absolutely right, on every count. Lovely heater, click a button, whisper whisper, and  delightful warm air gushes.

My  husband is an extremely accomplished home construction guy. He is the kind of handy who tells the architect, "Hey, you got this wrong on the drawings. We need it corrected." And they say, "You are absolutely right. Glad you caught that." Whilst drawing an eraser from behind their ears.

So I am happy to say, my studio was 55 degrees when outside, the arctic blast brought Maryland to its knees. 5 degree air froze the state into a big, crab-flavored ice-cube. Everything was peachy, and I sat in my creative oasis, thrilled to grind earrings, and wrap orders for shipping.

So its not tall, like the Empire State Building. So its not historic, it far more to me than even the Guggenheim Art Museum.  Because it is my creative sanctuary. Thanks to my honey!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

When “Just Get Brave!” Isn’t so much help.

Yes, sometimes, I feel like, “pull yourself together!” is like someone hitting me in the forehead with a baseball bat. Not so much help.

Fortunately, there are more tools in this toolbox. Checkout this awesome video.  A TED talk about how standing in the wonder woman pose for two minutes a day changes the hormone levels in the body, enabling success. 

The whole talk:

The tiny talk:

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

 It's December 31st, and I'm staring at one slim little bleak winter month to ready myself, my studio, my inventory, my business, for the big wholesale jewelry shows in Tucson, Arizona.

February in Tucson means five weeks of jewelry shows, mineral shows, rock shows, bead shows, and more craziness. And as always, it is a matter of faith that I can just hunker down, and make the lampwork glass beads I will be selling in thirty days.

There are piles of earrings ready to go... I think. ARE they ready? ARE they ... not ready?  I just don't have time for this in January!!
There are dark Goddesses. Strange beads of attitude, cross, perhaps even crabby. And I am sure there will be more. I must love and chereish them for who they are, as they are truly my mirror. But I wonder if they will be loved in Tucson. It takes quite the woman to see the Goddess in the Goddesses I make.
And there are the piles of beads. Bird beads, parrot beads, Owl beads, painstakingly created in lampwork glass, hoping to find their forever home. They are like piles of rubies and diamonds to me. But when I go, will anyone in Tucson think, "Yes! This is it!" Or will I watch the thousands of shoppers pass me by, looking for a good smoothie, that isn't too sweet. Or asking me over my table, over my lampwork glass wildlife beads, "Where is the Tamale vendor? Are the Vegetarian ones any good?"
Creativity, in whatever form, jewelry, glass, sculpture, beadwork, gardening, cooking, even fashion, Creativity requires bravery. I know everything will work out fabulously. I will have a great time, I will reconnect with friends I haven't seen, I will refresh myself. I will drink in the wild rush of the show, and have the power to run for many months. But this month, January, I have to face the fear, face the doubts, and win this wrestling match every day.