23 September 2012

recent acquisitions and diversions + the haircut

It's a gorgeous first day of fall ... cool and crystal clear.  And what have I been doing?  Grocery shopping, laundry and making juice.  The laundry is close to being done so it seemed like a good time to share some recent finds, personal trends and diversions.

My most recent acquisition came on Friday and what a yummy deal it was ... 9 yards of vintage indigo homespun hemp or kaya/mosquito net from Japan ... forty bucks!  Okay, so the color is not very deep, but it's a lovely steel blue.  No idea what I'll do with it, but I knew I would surely regret not getting it.

Also in the fiber world ... my regular person stopped selling sari silk and very graciously suggested a different shop - JMozart.  The espresso and deep ocean skeins are even more gorgeous in person.  And I was relieved to find a couple of cones of my dark brown EuroFlax linen at a yarn shop in Maine.  It's a smaller size fiber, but much better smaller as I can easily ply it to the thicknesses I need.

Yes, I'm still deep into my chocolate and indigo obsession ... but there are certainly worse things to be obsessed about!

Another vintage treasure is this sweet little bottle I found at the same antique mall as the kaya - seven bucks!  It has a wonderful patina and will make a great little vase or prop for my jewelry photos.

I've also scored some good finds at the local used book store (Downtown Books & News - DBN) - especially nice as we still have a trade/credit balance.  Years ago, back in the early days of the Nick Bantock craze, another author put out a sweet little volume that is still one of my favorites ... Barbara Hodgson's Tattooed Map.  I knew she'd done other things since then, but none had crossed my path until this one ...

... The Lives of Shadows is now waiting patiently for me to dive in.

An ongoing interest has been sacred geometry and DBN had a couple of books to get my inquiry started - Drunvalo Melchizedek's Flower of Life books.  Then I remembered one I'd seen a while back and found one of those Amazon threesome deals - Quadrivium + 2.  Thinking a full perusal will be a winter project ...

Then for some further inspiration, I went on a Kiki Smith binge.  I found a copy of the DVD documentary, Squatting the Palace for a whole lot less than it's listed right now.  She's such an inspiration ... definitely an excellent role model.  The film is short, but really well done ... leaves you wanting much much more.

So I've been having a really hard time settling in to work.  I thought it was just me, but I've read a couple of fall astrological reports and it seems the universe is having an equally crazy time.  When I sat down to my worktable yesterday, I decided to consolidate my desktop juju.   Not an arrangement for the long haul, but it feels pretty good right now ...

And for an extra challenge, one of my shops wants a pick box of the Urban Primitive steel pieces.  It's been months since I worked with the steel.  I threw in the added challenge of trying a different version, made up a bunch of pieces and kept my fingers crossed with the firing.  Well, the first few pieces I fired did not sinter at all ... not one piece.  They all crumbled.  I went back to Hadar's blog and her insanely long instruction booklet and may have figured out the problem.  I'll try again tomorrow.

And then there's the haircut ...
So, this is from one of our staycation hikes in the beautiful Panther Town Valley.  Even with the hat, you can see that what I had was basically a fat triangle of hair ...

I didn't take any pictures of the between cut.  Nothing against the stylist, but it just wasn't what I wanted.  So here's the after ...
the side view

the back view

and the front of lil' ol' me

Like I was saying before, it's not so much a hairstyle as a haircut.  And since my hair has a fair amount of natural curl, getting it to look chopped up is not easy - it ends up just looking layered.  But, it's a whole lot closer to what I want and as it grows out, I'll chop it up some more.  You see, it's actually quite a bit shorter than I originally intended.  Thing is with that razor - you can cut a lot of hair really fast ... before you realize what you're doing and golly, if I didn't just take out a sizable chunk from the left side and then have to cut everything else to go with that empty space by my chin.  So, it's a start.  The fear is gone and, as I transition into fall, I'm looking forward to tackling a few more of my fears.

Okay, the last dryer load is about done and I'm heading out to sit on the porch, enjoy this nice afternoon and maybe finish my novel - for the second time - Shadow of Night.  This is #2 of a trilogy and I don't think she's even started on #3 ... gonna be a long wait for the conclusion. 

with deep gratitude and heartfelt blessings ........
l i g a - kvk

16 September 2012

the edge

Been in hiding for a bit ........
I'm pretty sure that much has transpired.  New samples were designed and made, put into a presentation for the rep and shipped off - that took up much of August.  There was our staycation which included beautiful hikes and some lovely day trips.  I did have a burst of inspiration hit, thinking that was a couple weeks ago ... not sure ... and made a handful of over-the-top pieces, a couple I listed on Etsy straight away, the last of them finally got listed yesterday.   They're not for the faint of heart .........

Many themes and ideas for blog posts have come and gone ...  But mostly it just seems like time has passed and I'm not sure what all I've done ... feels like my brain's been in a dense fog.   

I did make up and fire two big batches of bronze components this week ... that's one of the few things inspiring me ... making piles of nuggets and discs and cylinders.  But today, my intention was to work on Talismans ... I've got a slew of components made up.  They've been waiting patiently, but the inspiration wasn't flowing so they'll have to wait just a bit longer.  Some things I can nudge along ... forcing the Talismans would be a large mistake.

So to do something and feel productive, I started cleaning out my fresh haul of agatized bamboo ... oh yeah, I got a pick box from the vendor.  I still don't have tons, but I've definitely got more than eight.  Most of them have plugs of hard ol' red clay that I drill out.  It's a messsssy messy process ...

I got all of them opened up, but still need to do a final cleaning.  Red clay dust leaking out onto nice clothing would probably be a bad thing, so I'm soaking the pieces and will do some more cleaning, well, I guess I'll see when I get back to them.  It's that lingering foggy problem.

So about that bronze inspiration ... Yesterday's firing went extremely well - out of more than 100 grams of bronze, only one or two pieces didn't sinter.  Today's question was to polish or not to polish.  I do love the way they look straight out of the kiln ... ever so wabi-sabi.  As of right now, I'm going with not polishing.

What I keep wanting to do is make more big, over-the-top pieces.  I've got bits of ideas floating in my mind ... just bits and pieces, nothing specific.  But what got me this afternoon was this monochromatic palette ...... I've no idea where this will lead - maybe nowhere - maybe something amazing.  But I do love the look. 

Mostly I've had a pervasive and fairly strong urge to look for my ever elusive edge ...  do things out of my comfort zone.  I've been creeping along, testing the waters.  A big one was cutting my own hair.  I've always wanted to just chop the s**t out of my hair.  I just got a haircut last week, but it wasn't what I really wanted.  So I went to the beauty supply store and bought a razor and went for it.  I'm quite pleased with the results ... it's definitely more chopped up and, according to Cara, "it doesn't look like a hairstyle."  Exactly what I wanted. 

Now that I've conquered my hair cutting urge, I want to keep testing my boundaries.  Where I'm going with my jewelry feels like a total mystery.  Only a couple of things are very clear ... keep working on designing and making my own clothes and I'm going to finish designing my forearm tattoo and have it done.   

Moving through my fog ... to-do lists are useless.  All I can see to do for now is follow my inspiration and intuition.  Right turn or left, I won't know until I get there.  It feels like an ongoing leap of faith ... trust in the universe and look for opportunities to do good work ... in all aspects of my life. 

Resistance is futile ... take a deep breath and let go ......
l i g a - kvk