March 25, 2008

Rainbows in the Sink

Sometimes I have one of those days: Nothing is going well; someone tried or did run into me on the drive into or while parked at work; machinery stops working or starts working like it's possessed by evil gremlins; no matter how gently I work the wire, the gemstones still break. Sometimes it just feels like the world is out to get me. 

Eh, we all have days like that, right? No point moping and sulking about it though. Too much to do. So, like a lot of people, I take steps to get over it. Occasionally, besides deep breathes and premeditated exercises in perspective, I'll also get a sign that everything is still just fine. 

In the form of rainbows. Not always in the sky either. In fact, as I age, the sky type seem to come less and less frequently but, the indoor types seem to get more so. I see them on the ceiling, on the walls, on the floor, in the sink... no prisms necessary! 

This last one came to me in the bathroom sink. There are these great blocks in the window that refract light - if it hits at just the right angle - into wonderful rainbows all over the place. I see the rainbows, stop, and everything seems much better. 

March 13, 2008

Mommy... Where Do Ideas Come From?

Ok. So I don't have kids tugging at my skirt asking me questions about life, the universe and everything but, I have had a lot of people ask me where I get my inspiration lately. A question I've always found odd. 



Just because. 

Ok. Not just because. Because it seems like a strange question to ask. Like: "why do I have a mouth?" or: "why do I think?". Strange because, what do you do with an answer to that question - where does inspiration come from? Do you use it to look for your own? Does it concretize the object the inspiration creates in some vast bubble of "Ohhhhh."? It's just something I've personally never wondered about in regards to anyone else's art or anything else. Personally. Myself. Plus, it's such a complicated question to answer. You might as well ask: "why do we exist?" 

Inspiration. Some people have it. Some people don't. That's it. Like being able to dance or play an instrument. Like seeing the sun rise and knowing life is good. Like watching the sunset behind a storm and being mesmerized by the color and shapes of the storm clouds roiling before it. It's just there. Or it isn't. No specific place. No specific thing. Many places. Many things make up inspiration. Sure. Skills can be learned, but there has to be talent to develop behind those skills or there is just robotic motion. Same with inspiration. Can't force it. Just has to be there.

Ok. That said. How does one answer such a question. Most artists say:
"I don't know. It just happened."

Or some such thing. Which makes art critics crazy so they wind up making something up; which is why they looooove to critique dead artist's work. No one to say: "That's not it at all." Which inevitably, all living artists do; at some point. 

Right. I just make jewelry and I make it mostly from other people's things. True. Right now. I have, however, created small metal sculptures from nothing. And choreographed movement to music. Something else I've at some point in my life created from nothing. Words form in my head and get translated into poetry and short stories and essays from time to time as well. Sometimes I draw things that are recognizable or swirl paint around so I can have pretty colors on something. I didn't go to art school. I have taken classes in different art forms. There is much I want to learn and more I want to do. I will. No. I don't consider myself an artist. I do consider myself artistic - though, sometimes I feel more autistic. 

(a picture of my favorite small sculpture - in Sterling)

I digress. 

I'm supposed to be answering the question: "Where do you get your inspiration?" aren't I? Ok. Here goes:


Really. From the things I see around me. From music and sounds I hear. From things I read. From the materials I have to work with. From my dreams. Sometimes things just pop into my head and I have an overwhelming desire to make it. Or write it down. Or move with it. 

Of course, sometimes there is no inspiration. Things won't work the way I want them to or my hands aren't working; or my mind. So, whatever I'm trying to do at the time gets set aside until a better time. This is a good thing to learn: If it isn't working out, walk away from it and come back later. If it still isn't working out, leave it alone a little longer and try again later. Eventually, if it's something you're supposed to do, it will work out. If not, there are always other ideas to work on. Personally, there are dozens of ideas still in my head - that's where I file them, mostly - that are just waiting for the right time to come out into the world. If the time is never right, there are dozens more that might get the chance. 

So, anyone else got a different outlook on inspiration? Leave me a note for all to see. 

March 5, 2008

The Perimenopause Blahs

Wow. Early menopause sure sucks. Well, certain parts of it anyway. Like the random headaches and nausea and worsening PMS symptoms... I did manage to make most of a necklace today. Ran out of light and then started getting a headache - which, apparently along with night sweats, dry eyes and nose, tenderness, nausea and achy joints - is something I'm just about getting used to getting. 

When this all started a year or so ago, I thought I was just getting intermittent fevers and chills and flu. Put it all together with a monthly cycle, month after month after month though, and it's pre-menopause. Which is fine. The night sweats aren't really bothering me that much any more - though, it is winter and if I don't keep covered I wind up getting chills; with night sweats. But the whole idea of getting to menopause early is great. Seriously, I've been looking forward to it for years now. And, since I don't have and don't want children, that whole getting old and barren depression aspect of it isn't an issue for me either.

I'm actually looking forward to post menopause now. This pre-menopause headache and random nausea, dry eyes and nose thing... Well, I guess I'm one of the lucky ones - only a small percent of women get ALL the symptoms and it looks like I'm pretty darned close. I don't have the mood swings and, well, and that's about it. I've got all the rest. So this part is like being sick all the time. That sucks. Oh, and all of a sudden, my younger than 40 year appearance is not so younger than. My skin is really getting the rough end of this. But, eh, character.

Maybe that's why I'm so obsessed with using old jewelry parts these days. Well, that and the fact that the quality and design is often so much better than modern costume jewelry parts. Which is probably why a lot of people are finding them and using them AND/OR making copies of the originals. And it's a great way to recycle.

Reuse doesn't really apply to most of the vintage I use since it never was used in the first place. There are a few people who have hoards of vintage beads and parts that were (or still are) part of original stashes of unused stock that've been hiding away in a warehouse for a few decades. There's actually a lot of it out there too. It makes more sense to use good condition parts from these supplies before contributing to the production of future unused stock. Though, it is necessary to get new supplies for some things, I still prefer to use as much old as I can. Old, like me... older!

Speaking of old... I just finished three Lucky Charms necklaces using mostly 60+ year old parts. There's a few (thank you all the vintage supply people on Etsy) copper and brass I got that are FRom the 60's, and 70's, but most of it (including the MOP pendants with the REAL four leaf clovers) date back to the 40's. Have a look:



Silver, Steel, and Rhodium Plated Brass (mostly)

Look for them in my Etsy shop next week. I'm off to enjoy some more night sweats - wheeeeeeeeee!