Thursday, May 8, 2014

I can be mighty.

I can be mighty.
Most of the time I think i'm fragile.  I feel like that is how others see me.  Kinda small, pretty fragile.  But I can be mighty.
Fragile isn't all that attractive I don't imagine.  When it comes to people.  Flowers and china sure, but fragile people?  
Does fragile = weak?  I'm starting to think that fragile is a misunderstood word.  I'm pretty sure there are times when being fragile, showing that you are fragile or vulnerable, IS being strong.

There are specific times in my life that I recall being surprisingly strong.  Surprising myself.  And then there are times that should have come easy ... 

Am I just like everyone else?  Are we all weak AND strong?  I don't know.  But what I do know is that it's pretty nice to realize that there is strength living inside of me.  In some corner of me there is strength and will.  I'm 40ahem years old and there are still things I learn about me.  I still surprise me.
I can be mighty.

What I'm learning is that sometimes our strength kicks in just when we need it...maybe it's self preservation, I don't know.  But my strength isn't something I've figured out how to summon.  It just shows up when I need it most.  10 years ago Seven had a major medical scare, like major!  When we arrived at the vet she wasn't breathing anymore and had to be resuscitated.  The vet thought she had ruptured a tumor and was bleeding out.  He advised we let her go.  Tom didn't take the news well.  We were both a wreck, but he was having a harder time outwardly.  His body was physically reacting to the emotions.  We asked them to try surgery to remove the tumor.  That meant Tom and I had to drive to the animal blood bank and get blood for her. I calmly drove us there.  When it was all over and she was safe (no tumor, just a ruptured hematoma on her spleen...sweetest words I've ever heard, "its just a hematoma") I felt myself breathe for what felt like the first time that long, long day.  I realized that I had done well.  I was strong.  I did what I had to do but not because I tried to or forced myself to.  My body, my mind, they just did it.  It was like strength on auto pilot.  Man, I sure wish that would kick in a helluva lot more than it does!

I guess just being alive means we are gonna have weak days and strong days, easy days and hard days, days where we do everything right and the ones where we do everything wrong...but recognizing what you have inside of you is important I think...there is a certain amount of confidence that comes with knowing that you can handle the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I CAN be mighty.

Monday, May 5, 2014

The goods

I've been thinking a lot the past couple of months, thinking about my work, where it's going, what I want to do, am I doing what I need to to make that happen.  I've realized, in all of my contemplation, that I've had my best work year ever.  The last 12 months might have been a struggle in a lot of other factions of life, but work has been truly wonderous.  I branched out this year, I started listening to my insides and I made what my head and heart wanted to make.  I let go of my fear of going big (both literally and figuratively) and as a result I've made work that makes me proud.  I find that most days I just cannot wait to get into my studio!

Now it's just a matter of balancing those big, one of a kind pieces with my more traditional, custom pieces, names, dates, initials, that kinda thing.

These last couple of weeks have been ALL momma, all day, all the time!  Nothing but Mother's Day!  Lots of names and birthdays of kiddos.  But when I can spare a moment or two I try to work on a few new pieces, part of that series I call Buoy.  I've been working up to a big shop update!  And while the custom order deadline has come and gone for Mother's Day, you could snatch up one of these today and I'll pop it in the mail to you tomorrow!

These pieces are what I live for.
Don't get me wrong, I love making everything I offer or I wouldn't, well, I just wouldn't.  But these are the pieces that make the wheels turn in my head, they are the ones that get me giddy like a kid set loose in front of bins and bins of candy.  I love the puzzle of what stone will go with what stone.  I'm excited to pour over words, songs, and poems, deciding what might pair so well with whatever stone, resin, or button concoction I've assembled that you wonder how they ever lived apart, that little lyric and that bit of turquoise...they just sing so beautifully together now, atop that silver ring.

I like to think about what people might fall in love with.  I know it is jewelry and on any day jewelry is a luxury.  But I do make jewelry that I mean to be more than pretty.  If I could have my way each piece I make would be a token of something to someone... This entire side of my work was born because I desperately needed something to buoy my spirits.  And because of that I hold dear each creation.

I'm feeling like I've been a bit long winded and verbose.  So I'm gonna go ahead and stop spouting on and on now.  I'll just leave you with these, a few more things to come out of the studio this week with Mother's Day, Father's Day, and graduation in the back of my mind...

Friday, May 2, 2014

a day in the life of a metalsmith with a new teenager and a whole bunch of dogs

Life has been a bit of a whirlwind since the teenager came to stay.  The other night at book club (aka wonderful group of women who help me keep my head on straight) one of my dear friends looked right into my eyes and said "how are you doing?".  Her eyes said more than her words.  I thought about it for a sec and I said, "ok.  I'm really ok."  When life is careening every which way it's hard to find time to wallow.

The average day goes something like this:

Get up, begrudgingly.  Try to keep one eye open enough to see the kettle so that coffee will save me soon.
Let dogs in and out and in and out and in and out ad nauseam.
Give out a plethora of dog meds to various aged dogs.  Seriously, Pasqual alone gets 16 pills in the morning!!
Make lunch for the teenager (anyone got any ideas for creative lunches that don't have to be heated up?  Poor kid has to be sick of pb&j, salad, and turkey sammies.)
Get dressed.  I use the term dressed loosely.
Deliver a cup of milk with a splash of coffee to the teenager.
Wrangle dogs into place for my 12 minute absence while I drive the teenager to school.
Come home, let dogs in and out and in and out and in and out because since my dogs can't tell time they are all pretty sure that I've been gone all the live long day instead of 12 exact minutes.
Plop down on the couch with a heating pad (for my wretched back) and the iPad and commence to answering work correspondence.
Head into the studio, crank up the pickle pot, turn on the gas, pop in the days dvd selection (100% guaranteed to be Magnum pi, Perry Mason, or Supernatural), wake up the computer, survey the clipboard of orders, and dive in head first!
Work for several hours in my typical skittery fashion, unable to stick to a task from start to finish.
Short heating pad break mid afternoon and another round of correspondence, blog, and the Mg social medias.
More work.  Happily.
Depending on the day there may be a trip to the vet or the veterinary acupuncturist right about here.
Wrangle dogs again.
Pick up the teenager.  Hear about her day, chat about boys and homework and tests and teachers and how freakin' complicated high school is now-a-days!
Home, feed dogs and another round of dog meds.
Scramble around for dinner ideas.
Make dinner.
And either collapse in front of the tv or maybe play a little Wii fit (teenager's idea and I secretly love it!)
Dogs in and out some more....I write this down in the chronology as if it only happens in these time slots when in fact it is happening constantly all day, every hour, every minute, every second.  (I might be exaggerating, but only slightly!)
And bed time.

It's not terribly exciting or terribly fact it's probably down right normal...but lots of it is new to us.  And the thing is, it's nice.  And being busy really is good in stressful times, there just isn't too much time to think and get all worked up...especially when there is nothing you can do to change the situation.

So there you have it, a day in the life of a metalsmith with a new teenager and a whole bunch of dogs...and one cat.