A chronicle of the meanderings, false starts (which in retrospect, while sort of embarrassing turned out to be highly instructive), epiphanies, selective apathy (still evolving), wild mood swings, opinions (subject to frequent change), and life lessons of an inveterate dabbler (and her latest dabblings).

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bored to Death...

with my own schtick. Bored, bored, bored. Here's how it happened: I was shopping on Etsy the other day and fell prey to some of Sue Kennedy's (Sue Beads) enameled skinny cones. These are what I bought:

I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do with them, but I had to have them. And the moment I saw them, I became instantly sick of everything I'm currently making and everything that's sitting in my shop. Hate it all. I want to do Something Completely Different. But I have no idea what it is. Whatever it is I hope to God it involves all the crap I already have because I can't afford to acquire a completely new collection of crap. I don't have anywhere to put a completely new collection of crap. And I hope it isn't going to take a bunch of time because I don't have that either. Perhaps it's just a mood. I do have a sinking feeling, however, that scratching this itch will probably involve buying more tools and related paraphernalia. Or at least some resin. And maybe an enamel setup (I just feel suddenly captivated by enamel--Maire Dodd started me like on the subtle, "gateway" version and then Sue Kennedy hit me with the hard stuff and I was powerless to resist. And of course now Barb Lewis has virtually everything in her shop that you need to do your own enamel). I don't have time for this obsessive crap. Crap is such a great word, isn't it? Sounds like exactly what it is. Crap. No mistaking "crap" for anything else. And my existing crap has already taken over the kitchen and living room. I don't have any room for new crap, unless I get rid of the old crap. (Do I really need all those clothes? The closet and bedroom chest of drawers would be so handy for all my jewelry crap. Not to mention the medicine cabinet...Maybe we could keep our dishes on the porch and I could put more jewelry crap in that cupboard...)

Color, I think I need more color. Color in unexpected places. Which I think is why the enamel is appealing to me--Look! a chartreuse toggle clasp! Look! Purple bead caps! Oh look! Pumpkin headpins! (And I think I am also going to have to transfer some more of my supposed-to-be-going-to-savings funds to Shannon at Miss Fickle Media for the same reasons. I will expect you one day, Shannon, perhaps thirty years from now, to spring for a can of cat food for me to take back to my lean-to under the bridge.) I am also slowly picking up, here and there, with each order of staple items various hues of silk string and ribbon. Without any clear idea of what to do with it (tie my crap together so it doesn't get lost?). Unfortunately none of the silk string I bought turned out to be the color it was advertised as (teal and sea green are apparently the exact same color--dark ELECTRIC aqua, and "olive green" is actually BRIGHT GRASS GREEN), but oh well. So I think the next few months are going to consist of torturing myself to figure out what to do with my new crap (which I hope won't take up that much room), while having it still be wearable. Maybe all I need is enameled bead caps. And that'll do it. Or maybe I should just color my hair and get a tattoo. Maybe this is what a mid-life crisis feels like (although I'm WAY too young for that). Anybody ever had one of those?

So without further ado, here's some more tired crap (because I don't have the enameled cones and silk ribbon yet):
Lampwork, burnt horn, chrysanthemum stone, brass and greek leather:

Lampwork by Karen Hardy and porcelain by Macarroll (the two UN-crap (and absolutely fabulous) elements in this more-of-the-same-crap necklace), and some ebony wood and moss agate:

Unakite and copper, with bone, of course. (I don't particularly like this one).

And one of my recent custom pieces. I actually sort of like this set, especially the earrings. It's wooden jasper, a little moukaite, and copper:

Ho-hum. Not sure where my blahs are coming from. Maybe I just need a life. Like somewhere out of the house. With some people in it. Other than me.


  1. Well Keirsten, I still get excited about your same old boring crap, that probably doesn't help but it's all I can do. Oh if you want to get rid of any of your crap keep me in mind :)


  2. you are so silly! I love your crap! Sue Kennedy is an enameling/lampworking goddess! I have been making those bead caps, but they don't quite hit the quality mark of Sue's. Don't take Barbara's class/tutorial if you don't want to get obsessed with more crap!

  3. I love your creations! I don't consider them crap but... I'm not you! ;o) What if instead of going full force into more cr... ahhh stuff you add some of it to your line, see if you like it enough to go all out?

    (FYI.. you can do enamel w/ a torch... which I know you have... and what about other ways of coloring before jumping into enamel? But enamel is so pretty and shiny... argh! I feel your pain but please dont' give up on what you do now - it's "totally awesome" and i love the way you finished your recent leather piece!! .. PS... if it's 'crap' how come you are about to hit your 100th sale? :o ) )

    Hugs from another keeper of crap! :o) I highly recommend a computer armoir for your stuff. I'll take pics of mine again - w/ all the stuff in it.

    Many hugs - I still love your stuff! :o)

  4. I think your CRAP and my CRAP are conspiring to TAKE OVER our lives! I sure wish we lived closer so that we could have CRAP EXCHANGES and share the fun. Or maybe get together with Kelly of Silver Parrot and get that 12 step program started (wherein we all OBSESS about the CRAP that is taking over and show our support but talk each other out of getting rid of said CRAP. Oh, that and we would drink weak coffee, I am sure). Because if there were three of us it would be a group right?

    You make me laugh so hard!
    Enjoy the day!

  5. This too will pass when you decide the enameling is crap... or maybe not! I look back at some of my stuff and wonder who's going to buy it.. and then someone does! So glad I don't have to look at it any more, and it is quite pleasing that someone else is getting the joy I once had for it. It must be an affliction of the insanely addicted to crap peeps? Make sure you get a big tent!

  6. your work is absolutely stunning... the subtlety of color and your exquisite sense of design and metal working are inspiring... but - i understand... i needed a way to create my own color... and so i took on enamel... i love it too - and there is so much one can do with it... my hunch, you will be able to integrate that wonderful color and rustic effect with what you are doing... no need to get rid of what you have!
    p.s. everything in your shop is stunning... as you are aware, when you get that uncomfortable itch, it means growth is upon you - have fun!

  7. Thanks everybody! HAHA Erin!!! That would be some 12-step program, wouldn't it? 1) admit you are powerless over your crap. 2) buy more crap. 3) admit you are powerless over that crap, too. 4) buy more crap. 5) repeat steps 1 through 4.

  8. Keirsten...I love what Mary Jane said (she is soooo smart)..."when you get that uncomfortable itch, it means growth is upon you". You must be itching like crazy...I can't wait to see what you make with those awesome cones because YOU are one talented lady!

  9. Sounds to me like you have the CRAP BLAHS! Which means, new ideas are slowly germinating. Get out of the house and get some colourful inspiration. How about a museum? Then have a medicinal dose of wine (or whatever your personal "fave" medicinal dose is) and relax. And watch what happens!

  10. boring crap, my foot! all of your work is awesome, keep it up! ;)

  11. I love your crap! There is such a unique sense of style about your work. I'm sure whatever new direction you take will be beautiful.

  12. I LOVE your crap. Especially the crap containing Karen Hardy lampwork and MACarroll porcelain beads. Awesomely fantastic work, Keirsten!

  13. I took Barb Lewis's class with Sue and she did SUCH a good job. I need a refresher course this October because with my lampwork torch, I'm burning everything!

    Does it help if I say I love what you do? But I know how you feel. I'm there, too. I have another blog, http://www.anartistsyearoff.com, that is slowly (and often painfully) chronicling some of the new things I'm trying. But I keep coming back to my old ways, with maybe a bit of enamel here, a bit of asymmetry there.

    (PS -- your stuff isn't crap.)

  14. LOOOOOOVED your write up! Even if you feel your stuff is crap (which it is not) know that you made me laugh out loud today! Thanks!

  15. Thanks Lori and Elisabeth! I think I'm just sick of looking at the old stuff in my shop and singing the same tune all day long. Or maybe I just have a short attention span!! Lori, I LOVE those metal pendants you posted recently, the riveted ones with all the pieces? Really stunning. I would love to do some things like that one day! (I have some little copper tacks already, and a book on cold connections but I need my jewelry saw to come, and some copper tubing....) Really inspiring, love the mixed metals. I love your little jelly bean lampwork spacers too, I really like that size of bead.

    Thanks again for stopping by, and your encouraging words! And comforting to know it's a common ailment--I guess it's a sign that we're all growing!

  16. That's some pretty yummy looking crap! BTW, enameling is a blast (of fire) and once you get started, you can't stop. You should invest more money in the whole shebang and make more crap than you can shake a roll of toilet paper at. I'm just sayin'...

  17. kiersten!! You're too strict with yourself .. we all accumulate a lot of things .. and we grow .. and the crap too. I find your jewelry more beautiful every time. you'll find your way! is on!

  18. heeheehee!!! CRAP SWAP!! I like Erin's idea!! You guys are welcome to come to faaaar west Texas and we could have a crap meet....After all
    isn't one woman's crap another's treasure???

  19. i happen to think your crap is just beautiful!! :)
    hopeyou find your way out of the slumpy feeling... your jewelry is divine! :)