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).

Saturday, June 27, 2009

If I Had This Hammer, Could I Do This?

If I had this hammer

Could I do this?

And this?

Sweet Bead Studio, a jewelry artist I just discovered thanks to a post by Lorelei Eurto on Facebook, is having a giveaway. The hammer, the necklace, and the bracelet above. I can only assume the hammer, or one like it, played a role in producing the pendant and the bracelet? I see little dimples on the copper and brass that look suspiciously like they might have been made by the hammer. Checked out her Etsy shop and I just melted with covetousness, and envy. I'm not exaggerating, it made my heart hurt it was so beautiful. Seriously, look at this:

And look at this:

As if that weren't enough:
(do you believe this is only $42.00? for all that sterling, and handmade glass beads?)

I want to make jewelry like that, and I want to make it NOW!!! *Sigh*. The tools, you gotta have the tools. It's all about the hammer, right? Maybe I need some different pliers. And some more time. A LOT more time. And some classes. And maybe an art history degree. Probably need a torch. And some butane. Or propane. Or methane or whatever you put in a torch. And an asbestos shower cap.

I could add more photos from her shop, but it would just be sycophantic* and creepy.

As sometimes happens, I started this blog post purely for the sake of winning a hammer, and became a genuine fan. It's like a movie.

OK, just one more:

*Sycophant: A servile self-seeker who attempts to win favor by flattering influential people.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The New Lexicon--Brought to You by Robitussin

I've been fascinated by the charming pseudo-words that I am asked to duplicate when I leave comments on other Blogger blogs. I've been keeping track of the more useful-sounding ones. I've been tempted to look them up because they sure sound like real words. Feel free to start using them, we need some new ones anyway. For the sake of clarity, I have used each word below in a sentence.

SOUNT: variant of "sound" in the northern plains area of the United States.
"We hauled Ernie all the way from Bismarck in the trunk and I'll be damned if he didn't make no sount."

SINGESSE: the art of maintaining your poise even when you've just burnt your eyelashes off.
"The match fired in the darkness with the sudden aroma of burning hair; I casually patted out the flame with a studied singesse."

ROPHIE: Recreational smoking material made from hemp rope.
"Dude, pass me that rophie."

SWARAN: a brand of plastic wrap one uses when one is inebriated.
"Nodonthrowthataway. Thassstilgood. I'lleatthat. I'lleathattomorrow. Pussomeswaranwraponit."

SNOCHIN: Making out with a bad head cold.
"No way, Todd, I am so NOT snochin with you. Gross."

BLEAVA: One who believes, mostly in New England.
"You made a bleava outta me."

CROOD: in the California educational system, accepted variant of "crude", along with "krewd", "krud", "crewed", "krood" and others.
"Dude, that is so crood."

MINGSTO: specialty shop for old Chinese pottery.
"Don't worry about that vase, Charles; I'll just go to the mingsto and get another one."

REEPUS: from the Latin, species of icky male.
"He was a real Creepo reepus."

UNICLU: one step up from clueless.
"Yeah, he was a real uniclu, only knew how to do one thing."

LESHES: really REALLY yummy, in a naughty kind of way.
"Oh Tony, those leather boy shorts are positively LESHES."

This is the kind of thing that dextromethorphan and guaifenesin does to you--really makes you see the world in new ways. And dream about evil clowns and your third grade art teacher.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Happy Mango Beads--A Happy I Can Live With

I am quickly becoming a rabid fan of Happy Mango Beads. Of course they sent me an email yesterday about their 20% off pewter pendant sale, knowing full well that it's their pewter pendants that sucked me in. I think that email was directed at me personally, and they figured if they caught a few more fish in their little net it would just be gravy. And it worked. I was reminding myself as I drifted off to sleep last night, "Go to Happy Mango tomorrow. Go to Happy Mango tomorrow." It's my new happy place. Well, actually it's my first happy place. I've never had a happy place before. Tried to find one, couldn't. (Made therapy problematic).

Here is an assortment of pendants I just bought at the 20% off sale, and a few I bought before. I haven't made anything with them yet, I'm sort of hoarding them. Whatever I make is going to have to be REALLY REALLY special. Which means it will take me three days of shuffling beads around (per pendant), staring at them, changing them, changing them back, more staring, putting them all away and starting over with other stuff and then deciding the first thing I had going was better and hauling all that out again. More staring. Some minor pointless changes. Mild anxiety. Some Klonopin. Maybe a brief spate of weeping. And then some tough love self-talk, "Oh for f$%&k's sake Keirsten, just put something together. Someone will like it." Do that, look at it critically, say "Eh."

So here they are, most of them--apparently Blogger has a per-post image limit and I hit it (sale is for a week, hurry!!!):

Tuareg Ring (is this not the coolest)
Tuareg Cross
Maori symbol (probably should find out what it means)
Squash Blossom
Fire Goddess

Good God, did I really buy all this stuff? Apparently I believe I'm going to be in business for several years.

Ethiopian Coptic Cross
Celtic Knotwork
Cambodian Spirit Lock (I don't know what that means but I probably need one)

Holy crap, there's even more. No wonder there's no money in my PayPal account.

Balinese Shield
Ashanti Cross
African Shield

Yes, I bought ALL of these (for ridiculously low prices, and FREE SHIPPING ALWAYS, $15 minimum order). Plus three more I couldn't fit in here, and I bought two of the brass Ethiopian Coptic Crosses. Getting ready for Christmas shopping season, don't you know. Not to mention all the other stuff I bought from Happy M--bone and wood beads, recycled glass, etc. I am choosing to believe the Great GREAT Depression will not start before I can unload all the finished products (several years from now, because I didn't mention the 30 gemstone pendants I bought for even more ridiculous prices from GemMall--sorry, you missed that sale by like, weeks). And I figure if the Great Great Depression comes before I can turn this stuff into wearable jewelry I will have lots of trinkets to trade for soap and firewood and I won't have to use sex to get that stuff which would be bad because antibiotics would be like GOLD during the Great Great Depression. You'd have to know someone. The only doctor I know is an ophthalmologist and we don't talk anymore.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Better Than a Poke in the Eye

One would hope so because that sounds awful. These bracelets I made are better than a poke in the eye, but maybe not better than fur handcuffs. I guess it depends. On a lot of things.

This one is made from the same materials I used in my Eritrean house pendant and the other bronze pearl necklace.

I added two more of the double cone beads from that pendant, and a couple antiqued brass round beads I found at a bead shop in Whitefish, Brought to Life Beads. (They have some awesome stuff--some Vintaj even--it's great that such a great shop is so close by). I just love this palette. It would be so lovely against dark skin. Maybe an Eritrean woman will buy it and repatriate the beads!

This bracelet below is my early work (Wednesday, I believe it was) in asymmetry. Asymmetrical designs are surprisingly hard to do. I've attempted them before and they looked to me like an upended junk drawer. Lorelei Eurto is the Preeminent Empress of Asymmetry, and I am once again stumbling along in her footsteps. Bracelets are much easier to do in an asymmetrical design because they slip around and around your wrist all day long anyway and who can tell which way is up. This bracelet isn't terribly asymmetrical, just a little. I'm stuck on the wood-and-amazonite thing right now. Just seems so summery--you know, cabin by the beach kind of thing. Wood and water. And bone. Something summery about bone too, can't put my finger on it. (Stumbling across remains in the woods at Kamp Karefree?) The little ivory colored spacers are made from bone. I don't know what kind. Best not to ask. I think they're from Africa, so perhaps wildebeest. Or goats.

This one turned out kind of gothic looking, or perhaps Old Spain. I guess just because of the dark steel wire. The stones are "pineapple quartz" glass, and just lovely. They are really made to mimic the irregularities of quartz and they practically glow when the light hits them.

This collection of beads and pearls sat around on my glass top Japanese-style workbench for a few days before I strung them together. I'm really drawn to dark, rich, wintry, melancholy kinds of colors so this kind of thing is a stretch for me (can't wait to make stuff for the Christmas shopping season). Too damn happy. But the world is full of happy people, who can tan, and one of them will buy it, love it and wear it.

Phew! I'm really fried now. This must be how pizza guys feel about pizza at the end of the week. Doesn't even look like food anymore. I've lost my desire to wear jewelry. I don't want to see another bead as long as I live until at least Tuesday. I'm going to go throw a sheet over all the crap on my glass top Japanese-style workbench and read a Jack Reacher book and maybe fall asleep.