Wednesday, September 19, 2012

On Adulthood

I wrote this poem about 10 years ago when we were making the decision to  move up to Alaska....  And dealing with a difficult pregnancy.  Atwood's quote made me think of it.  I don't want to grow up, not really, but I like a lot of the perks of being an adult.  There has to be some where in between- where you can handle the responsibility, but still remember the joy of childhood.

Being an Adult

I whisper longingly of joining the circus,
transforming myself into a clown, or a high wire artist.
I dream of running away-
from our tidy condo where never, never echoes in the shadows.
I need to start over
like pulling clean warm laundry from the dryer.
Here is only sighs and promises.
Now is only collectors and debts,
dirty dishes and bills.
I miss running through the sprinkler and laughing as the water hit my skin.

I hate adulthood
dealing with it
and making something of your life

Wish there really was a net under this high wire act

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Thinks I'm Thinking...

Farmer's Market is almost over (just two more days- tomorrow & Saturday) and I'm thinking about this winter...

Some yucky home stuff means that Two Sisters will not be at many Christmas bazaars, probably only two or three.  So what shall I do this winter to keep from going insane?  I was planning on taking metal-smithing, but the same yucky home stuff means I didn't get to do that this semester.  Boo!

I'm expecting to get to play a little more with polymer, and I'm hopeful about how that will come together in the next couple months. 
Deborah is learning violin and will be a little mouse in the Nutcracker. 
Abigail will be doing her Occupational Therapy (Sensory Processing Disorder) and she will also be starting girl scouts this Saturday.

But what else?  I have to have something solid to get me through the cold and dark....  I'll let you all know more when I know more.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Saturday Smiles

On Saturdays I post about a couple of things that have made me smile over the last week.

1) I found a great place for beaders on Facebook! 

Creative Bead Chat is a group for beaders to share what they have made, to ask for help, and to find community.  I'm so lucky that I have my sister making jewelry with me and that we can share our work & difficulties and inspire each other.  However a lot of other beaders don't have that kind of immediate response from someone, and the CBC group is a place to get responses and community.  A place to have people flip over the amazing piece you just finished, or offer advice about how to get the perfect patina on a cuff bracelet...

1) I started back at work.

I like my job.  I'm a 1st-3rd grade "Early Reading Intervention Specialist".  It's not perfect (I have to be outside with the kids for one half hour recess every day, and that part can be very stressful), and I wish it were full time (if I were more than 15 hours they have to pay me benefits, so it's cheaper to have 3 of us at 14 hours a week). 
But I like working with kids and helping them learn to read.  I enjoy watching them grow and get better, understand more and learn to enjoy reading.  I enjoy figuring out with them what their individual reading quirks are and how to fix them.  I like feeling that I am actually making a difference for these kids- that because I am helping them now, maybe they will be able to finish high school and go on to a good paying job.
Although I'm not working with students til next week, I'm back at the school and prepping for my new students.  I am getting to know the kids through the recess time and introducing myself to them.  I really enjoy working with kids.  I admit I prefer kids to most adults.  They are more honest & more fun, as a general rule. 
I remember what it felt like to be a kid- how big everything was, and how overwhelming social conflicts were.  I think a lot of adults forget what it's like to be a kid- how out of control everything feels. I WANT to remember and not forget. 

2) I started a Beth Moore Bible study at church.

I'm so excited!  I haven't been in a good Bible study in probably 2 years, and I really miss the in-depth work and reading my Bible for change and growth.  Listening to God's voice and laying my heart out...  Hope I can buckle down and do the reading and study necessary.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Saturday Smiles

On Saturdays I post about a couple things that have made me smile over the last week.

1) Polymer Clay and paint
I'm really having fun.  =)  I'm just jumping in and figuring it out as I go...  I've read a couple of good books, and looked in a couple of library books with different polymer clay jewelry.  Some of it I liked and some of it I just don't.  I'm hoping to grow and get better.
I think I like the painting as much as the clay.  I'm trying to remember to photograph my pieces before I sell them!

2) My girls like school this year!
It feels like a miracle to see them happily walking into school each morning... 
Abigail's kindergarten year was torture- every morning she would cry and refuse to go, and I'd end up having to carry her in crying.  First grade was better- good teacher, yucky social issues....  Have you ever noticed how mean little girls can be?
But finally, second grade has turned a corner for her.  She can read, and she can talk to people.  She likes playing with the other kids.  She likes her teacher.  She likes math, and stories, and music, and gym...  It's just amazing.
And Deborah has a fourth grade teacher who is emphasizing writing!!!  Truly, he is an answer to prayer.  She writes different bits (sometimes fiction, and sometimes non-fiction) every day and is doing so well.  Math is still a struggle for her, much like it was for me, but she is surviving.

3) Mercedes Lackey Elemental Masters Series
This is my last week before I go back to work tutoring, so I am taking advantage of my last few days with the girls in school and me at home.  I'm cleaning and reading.
Currently, I am re-reading Lackey's Elemental Masters turn of the century fantasy novels, and enjoying them again.  I've read each of them about twice, but never straight through back to back. She has a new one, and I want to read them all again before I jump into the new one.
I enjoy the little cross-overs.  Each story is complete in and of itself, but they all tie together and have some repeated characters.
I don't always agree with some of the moralizing/philosophizing that Lackey includes, but I always enjoy reading a book that makes me think.  The series starts right about 1905, and then continue into the start of WWI.  I like Lackey's characters- she creates people who you would like to know and hate to see go when the book is over.  And I always love re-telling of fairy-tales.

The second book of the series, and honestly my favorite- The Serpent's Shadow is a re-telling of the Snow White story, with an Indian touch.
I'm currently reading Phoenix and Ashes, the fourth book in the series.  It is a re-telling of the Cinderella story.

One of my favorite quotes from Phoenix is a comment made by a local village witch/mid-wife and the fairy godmother in the re-telling of the story:

"Eleanor looked up and lifted an eyebrow.  'I think I see why you never married, Sarah,' she replied, with irony.
Sarah laughed.  'Well, and I reckoned if I wanted something that'd come and go as he pleased, take me for granted and ignore me when he chose, I'd get a cat.  And if I wanted something I'd always have to be picking up after, getting into trouble, but slavishly devoted, I'd get a dog.'"

Friday is my Fun Day! - Polymer Charms

This week I worked with Polymer clay, and I had so much fun!  I started a couple weeks ago when I made the heart for my Bead Soup.  And now I've made some other pieces- Forget-Me-Not charms & butterflies.

Forget-Me-Not Charms

I used a flower stamp, cooked the clay, and then hand-painted the charms.  I'm pleased with them, and I can't wait to use them.  Maybe earrings?  Maybe more than 2 and I'll make a charm bracelet?

Butterfly Charms
I used the same procedure on these- a butterfly stamp, cooking the clay, and then hand-painting the charms.  The only difference on these is the sparkle.  I used a dab of glitter glue on each of the wings, to achieve the iridescence of butterfly wings. I will be making earrings for my girls out of these.
I have a lot of different butterflies- green, yellow, turquoise, red...  They were so fun, I couldn't stop making them!

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Amazing Give-away

I just read about this wonderful give-away over at Gardanne!

But I don't want you to enter!  'Cuz then I'll have less chances to win. 
So, DON'T go over there, and DON'T enter!

Polymer Butterflies Awarded

Well, after some discussion and debate the decision was made to award TWO commenters some lovely butterflies.

And the winners are: ALICE and CRAFTY HOPE! 

Ladies, please contact me with your e-mail!
Thank you to all who commented & read my Blog Hop Post!

Saturday, September 01, 2012

My Butterfly Charm Give-Away

It's 11 pm, and it's time for my girls and me to choose the lucky person who wins the butterfly charms.  Except my girls are in bed...  and asleep (which is rare).  And I don't want to wake them up. 

But I have the bowl all ready with the little paper slips!  So we'll choose early tomorrow.  'Til then, little slips of paper...

Challenge of Travel Blog Hop- Ireland

I am so excited to be part of Erin Prais-Hintz's Travel Blog Hop!  When I saw her invitational post about it, I wanted to be part of it immediately.  The idea of finding inspiration from another country excited and fascinated me.  I didn't even think about not joining, I just jumped right in with both feet.

I wish I had looked at my calendar and thought about everything happening this week! =)  I got my travel inspiration piece done, but it was part of a mad, crazy week.

My girls started school last week, My Bead Soup Blog post was last Saturday, I started work this week (tutoring 1-3 graders in reading), I started metal-smithing class again, my daughter's 7th birthday was Friday...  It's been a good, but CRAZY week.

However, if I had thought about it I might not have signed up, and that would have been VERY sad.  I would have missed out on this exciting, cool event.  I wouldn't have made a fun piece, and I wouldn't have gotten to meet you, dear reader.


My Country:  Ireland

 I feel compelled to be honest with you.  I chose Ireland for one reason:  My favorite color is green.  And when I think of green in the context of a country, I think of Ireland.  That's kind of a silly reason to have chosen a country, but it's the truth.  I like green, and I thought I would make a fun green piece.
And then I started exploring pictures of Ireland- beautiful pictures of Ireland.  Luscious, green pictures with rolling hills and cliffs, old castles with green moss, brilliant sunsets over the ocean off green coasts.  (Some great web-sites for pictures: Brides without Borders; TrekEarth)
I was entranced with the photos of Ireland- totally in love with the country-side, mood and age of the land.  I loved the old crumbled castles, buildings, and graveyards.  Since I grew up on the West coast of the U.S., I'm not around old buildings very much.  Alaska wasn't even 'civilized' until the 1970's, and most of the old crumbled houses around here look that way because of the melting permafrost not because of true age.

More than the countryside and old buildings, though, I was drawn in by the coastal pictures.  I grew up on the Oregon Coast, and the pictures of Coastal Ireland looked like home to me, in a way I can't quite explain.
 I LOVED the photos I found, but I didn't have any ideas about how to put them into a piece of jewelry...  Until Tuesday of this week, I felt frustrated, stymied and stuck.  I spent time looking at more and more landscape and castles...  Trying to find something that inspired me to make jewelry. 
And then I thought I'd look at Irish stories.  So I started looking at the mythology, and the fairy-tales....  And I discovered a treasure trove of magic, mystery and allure.  I read about banshees, leprechauns, and selkies. 

And finally I read about Irish mermaids, or merrow from the Gaelic murúch.  And I had my inspiration.

On the Wikipedia site, I found more information about Irish mermaids:

They appeared, as in other cultures, to be human from the waist up but have the body of a fish from the waist down. They have a gentle, modest, affectionate and benevolent disposition.
There are other names pertaining to them in Gaelic: Muir-gheilt, Samhghubha, Muidhuachán, and Suire. The merrow were capable of attachment to human beings and there are reports of them inter-marrying and living among humans for many years. However, most times they eventually return to their former homes beneath the sea.
Merrow-maidens are reputed to lure young men to follow them beneath the waves where afterwards they live in an enchanted state. Merrows wear a special hat called a cohuleen druith which enables them to dive beneath the waves. If they lose this cap, it is said they have no power to return beneath the water. Sometimes they are said to leave their outer skins behind, to assume others more magical and beautiful. The merrow has soft white webs between her fingers, she is often depicted with a comb parting her long green hair on either side. It is said that Merrow music is often heard coming from beneath the waves.

 My piece is not green, which I find very humorous.  Instead, my Mermaid's Treasure is in shades of turquoise.
 I combined my wire-work with a Green Girls Mermaid pendant, and two Michael's waves.  Then I added Sea Opal, Amazonite, Apatite, shell, freshwater pearls, and Swarovski crystals.
I wish my photography captured the luminescence of the shell pendant, but it just doesn't do it justice.

I'm delighted to combine the low-end Michael's waves, with the stunning Green Girls Mermaid.

Thank you, Erin!  I feel so lucky to have been able to participate in this Challenge.  It wasn't easy, but I had fun, and got to be inspired in a different way.
To continue on with the Blog Hop, go HERE.