Monday, January 23, 2012

Lemons and Lemon Souffle

There is so much stuff I want to blog about right now, but I barely have time to do the regular work I do, let alone write.  BUT I do have a little bit to say.

What I DO want to blog about today is my silly new beads.  The Unfortunate Pet ornaments have had a new incarnation as beads... they'll soon be jewelry as well.  I've had pictures of them on Facebook the last few days to get feedback and I'm pretty sure they've had the Facebook seal of approval (yay!)

My friend Keith told me that when life handed me lemons, I would make "an imaginative lemon-based dessert that would be the perfect follow-up to any meal."   The two of us referred to this as "lemons to lemon souffle" from then on.  Little did he know that HE would become a lemon souffle.  That sounds bad... this isn't a Hansel and Gretel thing, he wasn't cooked into a souffle!  What I mean is that his death this summer was what caused me to make those crazy Unfortunate Pet ornaments.... so they are the good that came from the BIG FAT STINKIN' LEMON that was the death of a friend.

and now there's a new batch of lemons in town... the shakes.

While I was in the studio last week, I was trying to control my hands and I had one of those big light-bulb moments (which I'm pretty sure was divine intervention, but we won't go into that now) and I thought that I should embrace the spastic-hand thing by making the Unfortunate Pets as beads instead of ornaments... the blown ornament thing wasn't happening with the shaking, but I thought I could handle a big solid-glass bead.... so I tried it and it worked....shaky hands and all.  In fact the shaky aspect sort of gave me permission to be loose when I might have tried to control things TOO much.  The hollow ones can't really be controlled, but that's what gives them character.  My spastic hands actually kept me loose and spontaneous making the solid beads, which is what gives them character.  Now I've got a fun collection of Unfortunate Pet beads....  So, I'm taking them to Tucson... thanks to Keith and the basket of lemons I was given.

Here's a picture of some of the Unfortunate Pet Beads...

I know he's laughing at the beads AND at me.  He thought I was a sit-com waiting to happen and often I am.  I miss him bunches, but I'm glad he had the idea of making lemon souffle... lemonade is WAY over-done.

p.s. He would have said that my hair unexpectedly turning pink was just another great episode in my sit-com of a life.

tiny blah blah blah...

coffee - free and yummy
music - not sure yet... whatever I can sing to and not shake!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Flower Power

My studio days lately have been flower after flower after flower. I'm prepping for my two Tucson shows and the kits I'm replenishing need flower beads... And lots of them. Luckily, my color schemes go from project to project, so I can make lots of the same colors and divide them between projects as needed.

At the same time that it's lucky that they are all the same flower... It's horrible! I'm going batty making the same thing day after day, BUT my hands are cooperating and I'm able to make flowers, so I'm being grateful in my frustration.

As a reward for the production, I've been letting myself make one or two of my "Unfortunate Pets" at the end of the day...when there's time.

My stringer control still isn't all the way there, but it's getting better. You can't see the whiskers on these guys so you can't tell how shaky I was on a couple of them, but here are a few (in the background you see a few of the hundreds of spacer beads I'm making too)

Back to work!!

Coffee- oh yeah... CDL thanks to blog readers
Music- not sure yet, but probably something to sing along with!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Not enough hours...

"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read and all the friends I want to see." 
~John Burroughs
 I love that.  It totally captures what goes on in my mind half the time... just add in "art I want to make" (and maybe subtract a few walks)   I have come to love this fall purely because it is one GIGANTIC inspiration-extravaganza.  Every time I go there, I pin a bunch of things that were "oooh! That would be great as a....." sort of stuff.   Those and the millions (well, maybe not MILLIONS) of doodles in sketch books and on Starbucks napkins.... all of things I want to make, or at least TRY to make.

And there aren't enough hours in the day.  There are barely enough hours in the day to make the things I ALREADY thought of... let alone adding NEW stuff...
but it is almost that time of the year.... the scary time that comes between Tucson and spring shows.... the time when income is not guaranteed, but that production time is accompanied by no travel, which means time in the evenings to write patterns, play with new ideas... TO CREATE!!!  
That window of time is often too short, and this year, because I'll be doing art festivals in addition to teaching and bead-shows, it will be a little chaotic.... but I'm READY for some creative time... to let my mind wander and take chances that something won't be perfect... and just MAKE ART.
 But for this month... there are definitely not enough hours in the day to think all the thoughts, read all the books, etc.  Because this month's quote is from the 1980's Dunkin Donuts ad....

It's time to make the donuts....
tiny blah blah blah...
coffee - YES!  Cinnamon Dolce Latte which continues to be FREE!!!  Thank you blog readers!!!
music - not yet... but I need something that makes me feel warm because it's COLD in my studio today!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I totally didn't expect that...

Those who have read my blog for a long time know that this isn't always the "sunny side of the studio" blog.  There are definitely highs and lows in being an artist, and I haven't shied away from the lows... they're real.  I definitely do the "happy dance" whenever possible, but this isn't one of those days.

It has not been a stellar week in the Sylvie studio.  First shaking hands, then more shaking hands, then just feeling less than excited about what I'm working on in general.  I needed a boost.... but that's not what happened yesterday.

I totally didn't expect it to have the kind of effect it did, but when I logged onto Facebook yesterday, everyone was posting about the opening day of registration for Bead and Button... teachers, students, EVERYONE.  It seemed like every post on my newsfeed was about it.  It hit me WAY harder than I was expecting.  I have talked a little bit about not being accepted to teach, but I haven't ranted about it... I really didn't want to go there.  I still don't.  This isn't about whether I should have been accepted or not... it's just about how I feel as a "not"

So... they didn't pick me.  It doesn't mean that my work has less value... it just means that the women sitting in the room picking the pieces didn't choose mine (again).  But as much as I say it doesn't make my work have less value, it DOES effect my opinions about my work.... whether I want it to or not.  When you're the last kid picked in P.E. for dodge-ball, you don't sit there and say "well, I know I'm a great dodge-ball player, but I'm just not what they need right now.... NO, you say to yourself, "I must be really really bad at dodge-ball to be picked last AGAIN"  So, whether I should or not... I take it personally.  I'm not the only one that was rejected... but I'm the only one living in my house and writing this blog, so I can only speak to what I'm going through.... and yesterday... it sucked. It sucked more than it did when I saw people announcing they'd been accepted.  I don't know why, it just did.

Seeing a whole newsfeed of it all at once was just too much... and I didn't want to be jealous of people I really like....personally AND professionally.  They are fabulous artists and I know their students are excited and it's because they're going to be great classes.... and that's why they were posting about it every 5 minutes.  I just had to get out of there because my own jealousy was going to get in the way of me being excited for them.

So, I've excommunicated myself from Facebook for a few days.  I've had a pretty good cry about it and I'll be ready to move on come Monday... but for now, I just have to steer clear of the happy dance.

I'm off to get some coffee and give beadmaking another try.  Right now my hands feel a little better than they did earlier in the week.  Let's hope that stays the case once I'm in the studio.

tiny blah blah blah...

en route to coffee -which is still a treat provided by the silly blog.
music - I'm pretty sure I need something Adele.  (and to prove that I still have my sense of humor about this...  I'll start with THIS song)

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Back in the saddle...

Back in the studio today... for reals.

It wasn't a long day because, as I told my followers on Facebook yesterday, my hands are NOT wanting to cooperate.  Of course, they wait until right before Tucson to do this... but that's part of WHY they do this.... stress and anxiety.

My hands shook for almost a year from 2005 to late 2006 and then almost overnight they quit.  Looking back, I see that I was under a lot of stress and much of it was below the surface... I didn't know I was stressed and anxious till I wasn't.  Sure, we all have stuff, but mine comes out in my hands.... which is OH so helpful since my hands are how I make a living.

Anyways... I was back in the studio for a couple of hours today and it was almost funny... whenever I was singing along with a song, the tremors would almost disappear... but then inexplicably, on the next song, they'd be back.  (apparently the Black Eyed Peas are not calming, but Cee Lo Greene and Usher are... and I wasn't even singing along with Usher!)

Tomorrow will be another stab at getting back to normal.  Blackboard of Bossiness is up, but today I erased it and just wrote "chill"  I needed that.

Thank you to all the people who told me they were praying for my hands.  Seemed like such a funny thing to ask for, but I know that it helped.... it helped to calm me down more than anything.

back to work (on non-torchy stuff... seems like there is MORE of that to do between now and Tucson than ever!  But that might be because someone INSANE (me) signed up to do TWO shows!!!  aaaaaaaaaaahhhhh!)

coffee - oh yeah and it was GOOD and it was paid for by my other blog... and that just ROCKS!
music - my "Groove Tunes - extended version" which has TONS of songs that make you wanna dance (which is hard when you're working with fire, but somehow I manage)

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

And so it begins...

It's the countdown to Tucson... less than a month away.... TWO shows???  What was I thinking??!!

I'm pretty sure the rest of the month's blog postings will say something like this...


The blackboard of bossiness is up and ready to be filled with directions to keep me on track.  Baggies are ready to be filled with seed beads for kits.  Instructions for classes (did I say that?  I'm also teaching there!) are written and ready to be printed.

It's ON!!! 

(and then what happens???  I remember I'm out of propane..... )

For information on my Tucson shows...

Tucson Classes
Classes at The Whole Bead Show - Tucson

My friend, and former assistant, the LOVELY Alex will be working at the Best Bead Show and will have lots of fun kits and lampworked glass beads for you to oogle and buy.

I will be teaching from a suite at the Whole Bead Show and will have a sales area available for people to browse and buy during show hours... lampworked beads and beadwork kits.

I have a LOT to do this month!!!  But first... go get propane!

tiny blah blah blah...
no coffee YET, but I'm headed that way!
music - not sure yet!
p.s.  I have a new blog.  If you're not a bead or jewelry person it will be total nonsense to you... trust me.  It's a whole blog of inside jokes.... but evidently they're pretty good inside jokes because I've had over 5,000 hits in 3 days.  WOW!  This blog is at about 24,000 in 6 years!!!   I think I must be funnier than my work is interesting....  if you're a beady person, you can probably find it on your own, but if you need help, message me.  If you're a stalker-y person... it really isn't going to interest you.... really.... there is NOTHING about my personal life there.... NOTHING.