Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Emotional inebriation

I wanted to show you the bracelets that I wear pretty much every day. They're made by me, out of a great variety of beads that all have a history to me. some were made a long time ago, some were made just before I left for England. The brass bangle was my mothers when she was a teenager- she was almost a complete drop-out hippy, but her mother stopped her. I was never stopped- the bangle keeps me mindful.

There are the marbled brown polymer clay ones, made long ago by a good friend who I've lost contact with. He recently contracted HIV, so I think of him and send good thoughts whenever I see his fingerprints in the swirling surface of those beads. Rudraksha prayer beads, tiny coconut beads, carved Tibetan beads from a friend's shop- now mysteriously vanished. I do not know where she is, or what happened to her shop. I'd like to find her, and these beads keep me mindful.

There are big beads made of seeds, odd creatures that seem to have patterns carved into them, but it's just the nature of the seed. Red resin beads, big brass bells, amethyst rounds...all from different places, different times. People and places I may never know again, but the beads keep me mindful.

treasures in the studio

These bracelets are the kind of pieces I want to create. Earthy, natural pieces that fulfil something in me- they come from a healing place, rather than the wounded place I spoke of a few months ago. My natural tendency toward the wild and feral aesthetics that were born in my childhood watching fantasy films and learning to draw by tracing Conan comics. Aesthetics that were honed in my 20s when I met a tribe of people known in Australia as ferals- unique to Australia, friendly, passionate and fond of doing the impossible. Ferals are rare creatures now, but they taught me much.

my soul sister Phoebe and one of her 3948392 friends--- I get to spend all weekend with her! :D Also note in the background, many ferals.

Most of the beads in those bracelets come from that time in my life, that time that I somehow wandered away from, and recall in the night when I've no one to talk to but myself and I become reflective. The last few days, while working on new pieces in my mind, I am drawn by ideas of wood beads, leather, clay amulets, wood, brass...barbarian hoardes and tribal warriors. Ideas that evoke the best of my past, that bring it forward into the now to be reborn as the present.

Ideas that keep me mindful.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Clearance Sale

I'm having a clearance in the shop to get rid of old pieces, in readiness for a whole sweep of new gear. If anything in this lot is something you've had your eye on for a time, now is the time to pounce.

You never know when they'll be gone- either bought by someone else, or taken down by me to be dismemebered and re-worked, their pitiful body parts destined for the supply shop. They might last a week, they might last 2 days. I can't tell when the horror will take me!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Feral adornment

I spent 2 hours on this beautiful treasury last night, and when I saved it Etsy had a burp and broke- the whole thing disappeared! I went back today to do it over and there it was, sitting pretty.

I've been re-immersing myself in the richly coloured nomadic style that I had going before I went away- I'm sure my recent dusty dickens resurgence is due to my growing unhappiness at being 'in the wrong country. But now I've put that dyspepsia from my mind, and things feel more grounded. As a result, I'm moving back toward colour again.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Step One

Thank you to all who commented on my last post- and yes, I know the answer as well as you do, to follow my heart!

Of course that is exactly what I will do, in time. Though it's not possible to jump ship immediately, I have given myself 6 months breathing time, to get back into my own little facets of life -for I have not had bare time to myself since I came home- and become settled in my mind. In that time I shall also save my mother-loving behind off, because I have no savings right now (hello poverty line, I'm down here), and I need at least 3 grand in the bank to have my visa approved.

It calms me to think that I have concrete steps toward a goal now, rather than just a desire with no practical means to achieve it. I'm fond of telling people anything is possible, and it's true. If in 6 months I am still as heart sore for England, I shall have the where-with-all to set sail. The other part of the problem- the people I leave behind- will just have to be dealt with case by case. the family I shall simply placate with the fact that my brother is over there already and perhaps I should go look out for him for a while. That's what big sisters are for. :)

I think I should like very much to live in London. I'm not usually a city person, but there's something so familiar and well balanced about London- I only had 3 days there and it felt as if I'd always known it. Perhaps I have.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

in which it doesn't get any easier.

I realise that I've yet to tell you of my adventures in England (and Wales for a day). I mean to, certainly. I have so much to tell and so many pictures to show you- but it's still hard. To write about the most joyous period in my life since I don't know when, even just to go through the photos, all the while knowing that outside my window it's the wrong country- it's heartbreaking.

I miss England with a savage pain. It makes me cry just writing this entry. I wrote great lengths of rambling that didn't make much sense, but then I deleted it again. I don't know how to say what I feel, which is weird for me because I'm often quite capable of spewing out great monologues on what's going on in my mind. It's overly dramatic to say 'an emptiness' but there is a sense of hollow purpose. I don't feel a long term connection to anything, because there's something inside me that thinks 'not too long now and you'll be back in England.'

Interestingly enough there's another desire pecking away at my mind- I want to get married. I want to have a house and children and a husband, in the countryside somewhere. To bake cakes and make art and generally potter around being domestic. To have a gallery and a shop and sell my art, his art, and vintage craft supplies. Oddly I mostly see this happening in Australia; the visions for it are very Australian in appearance. But I can't see how that fits with my constant yearning for England. How can I have a vision for one life while another one pulls at me so? I'm the chariot- my horses going left and right and I haven't a hold of the reigns at all.

There are nights like tonight I sit here and think I'll never be happy till I am back there. But it's hard to go half way around the world and leave the people you love behind you. They're all big enough to look after themselves, they don't need me around. At least that's what I tell myself, but I think they disagree.

Perhaps I'm just desperate for happiness. I know that sounds so melodramatic and of course I'm not really unhappy here in my life right now. Things are good, I have wonderful friends and few worries, and my living circumstances are quite easy and no shortage of projects to keep me company. But the simple, un-laboured happiness and contentedness I felt in England is something I haven't had in my soul for a really long time. The constant displeasure with my artwork, the moving houses every 6 months, no successful romance to speak of and the lack of any true direction- that's been my lot of late, and I'm thoroughly sick of it.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Three more rabbits down the rabbit hole...

dusted- a ragged maid in muddy colours

fancyflight - whisper quiet and pretty, there's a secret twinkle like a romance in the attic...

the collector - a serious gentleman with a sizable hoarde of pretty things!

shop update - rags and ruin

Three more creatures in the shop for your consideration...

Lily in rags- a delicate necklace of barely-there cream hues, like a ghost in a Georgian attic.

Life after Death - a statement piece as bold as an undertaker, hanging out in back alleys waiting for that next poor soul down on his luck.

Moocher- encrusted with gothic splendour, rake thin and sharp-angled.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

New items in the shop!

I have quite a few more things to put in the shop later as well, I've been spending alot of time on the sofa (where I do most of my stitching!) on account of recently acquiring the second season of Larkrise to Candleford - and I just found out there's a third season!

If you have any interest at all for period dramas (or as I call them 'bonnet movies') then please seek it out. It's more of a comedy for the most part, though it can make you tear up in an instant, and I find it generally more lively than most 19th century novel adaptations. (Good God save me from Jane Austen!) And all those west country accents make me homesick for a country I wasn't born in.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Last Chance Hotel

Mudlarking finds from the banks of the Thames

Just popping in to give fair warning- my shop prices are about to go up a little, or a lot (depending on the piece). I promised myself that after I returned from the UK, I would take my own advice about pricing and self-value, so it's happening! I'll be doing the deed in 24 hours, so if there's something you want- you better get in now while the gettin's good! There's currently a free shipping promotion going on there as well, while I'm away from home on family routine 'come see me when you get home' post-holiday obligations.

This is a big bold step for me- advancement in business nounce but also evolution in self-realisation. The notion that I could make something that people will pay higher than average prices for is something I've long found hard to believe, despite the fact that I'm hammering it into other people all the time! But I've decided- if my shop were my best friend's shop, I'd be at them constantly to raise their prices. It's good personal policy to treat yourself like a best friend.

More is more

Inspiration for upcoming projects...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Old Friends and new methods

lantern light

I know. I know.


Like some magical incantation, all I need do is state 'I'm taking a break from jewelry for a while' and I will be creating in less than 48 hours. You could plant seeds by it, it's that reliable.


Although most of this is actually from a little pile of stuff on my desk that I'd finished before I left, but never listed. The rest is just stuff that needed a clasp or a back. But I am making again, as I'm sure you all expected I would.

In Vino Veritas

In truth I really did think it was it this time. I had no interest in making anything what-so-ever, and really hadn't felt the need at all while I was away.

green earth

But talking with fancifuldevices about the whole 'losing my mojo', and then perusing her shop, and finding this:

...with it's achingly attractive porridge tones and just a hint of stripeyness... something clicked in me. I wanted to make something. Start something new, not just finish old projects. I tried starting a necklace that night but I gave up halfway through, unimpressed with my efforts.

The next day I went wading through my sold items to find something, and found myself almost in heartbreak. How wonderful my work used to be, how complex and dark and ornate and alive.

Questions clambered in my mind, all desperate to be answered. How did I do it? What happened? Why did I change? How did I change? What's wrong with me?

Luckily I know there's nothing wrong with me, not really. (It's the rest of the world I swear.) I just burned out a little. I wanted evolution in my work and as I've said before, all growth is good. even if it doesn't look right or feel right, because as soon as you know that, you can go back (you can always go back) and put things right, and then you know even more what it is you want, even if you only know what you don't want.

I've come to realise that here, I don't have enough space. I told myself I did, and I tried to work around it, but it's just not happening. I catch myself putting things off because I have to clear the table of yesterday's project (man those tiny collages take up alot of space!) , and that's a tell-tale sign that productivity will suffer.

Anyway- I've got my groove back a little. I'm studying my favourite sold works (the ones that illustrate this post) and in the mean time I've a huuuuge box of unfinished work that feels easy to do- less plumbing of the depths is needed than when a new piece is started.

I'm feeling a melding of styles at the moment- tribal faery and Dickens dust combining- as it was always meant to, really. Looking through my favourites there's a distinct pattern- dark and rough with just a hint of sparkle. It's a starry sky over Chancery lane, a bit of faery dust on Fagin's old coat, a diamond on the Havisham gown. And as the two mix, I feel in love with my work for the first time in a very, very long while.

So in future, when I say I'm not doing jewelry any more, don't believe me, will you?