Thursday, August 13, 2020

Grateful for the support of my community

 Of all the making things I do, one became a career for me.  Starting when I left my corporate career I became a full time traveling bead teacher.  It was a good life.  I supported myself well, traveled and met many many people.  

I also became part of a community.  A community of other traveling bead teachers. It's not your normal job, there are a LOT of things that go into making it successful enough to make one's living.

It starts with being proficient in beadweaving, requires a solid design sensibility and moves onto to all the things it takes to bring your design into a teachable state.  There's illustration, photography, sourcing supplies, kitting efficiently, the sometimes dreaded marketing, making travel arrangements, creating contracts and then there is the teaching itself.

Many aspects of this require technology so we need to constantly be flexing that technology part of the brain.  The one that didn't require technology in the past was the arriving at an event and teaching in the classroom.

Covid has thrown a curve ball, elminating our ability to gather together, yet a beaders life goes on.  Quickly, very quickly teaches and students adapted to an online class platform called zoom.

Which was great, but then I'm retired, well except for 2 to 3 engagements per year, those I wanted to do in person to see my colleagues and people who have attended classes many who I have spent a lot of time with over the years.  I wasn't anxious to take on the technology required to join the bead zoom classroom.

 But Covid had other plans, the Beaders Dream Retreat I was looking forward to, out of necessity has become a virtual retreat.  This is great news really because it will open the classes up to more people which is a good thing, but......technology.

So here is where my smart, kind, generous bead community has come together to share their knowledge, hold one another up, encourage one another, answer questions, offer to be available to practice, suggest the best technologies and best practices for this new way of being in a classroom.

I truly could not be more proud or more grateful for the friendships and support of this community.  It makes me teary eyed to be part of this group of men and women who of course need to focus on their own success but are willing in every way to make sure we are succesful as a whole.

So to my friends in this community, I thank you so much for your guidance, for leading the way and for helping me play catch up. I love you all!

Amarissa is my very bohemian pendant I will be teaching at this retreat.  It's small in stature, but it is incredibly wearable and suits a wide array of tastes.  I wear mine with my heavily embroidered Johnny Was clothing and I love it! I always say a nice long dangly pendant makes me tall and thin, at least in my mind.

If you are interested in hearing more about this retreat hosted by Beki Haley, have a look at the Beaders Dream Retreat website and stay tuned for details.  

Monday, August 10, 2020

Fondling yarn

 So we've been through the whole planning cycle of in progress projects, the rule making, the studio re-arrangement and then.....then I fell in love and it was not to be helped.  I was helpless, truly.  My friend Diane Ciolek posted a photo of her Breathe and Hope shawl from Casapinka and there was no resisting, I was head over heels.

Today the yarn arrived from Four Purls.  Emmas yarn and it is soft and squishy and the color is brilliant. It's a merino silk blend and I can't wait to cast on.   

But some rules are not to be broken so I will only be fondling this until Ranunculus is off the needles.  Which is motivation right?  I have two sleeves to do and to day in the same mail was the 16 inch size 9 circular needle I needed for the sleeves, so there you go, no excuses, I will be knitting sleeves like a mad woman.  Plus which I really really like the way this Ranunculus is turning out.  I'm getting better at sweater sizing and this one fits me better than my first one.  

I stil have Mark's vest which is 2/3 done, but that can play side by side with this shawl because I just cannot wait to see the colors show up in those stripes, swoon,

Then my friend Heather had to tempt me with another pretty sweater....Tenga by Kaitlin Hunter and I have yarn for a Calyx as well so who knows whawt  will be next. Tenga is bottom up with a bit of lace at the hem and Calyx is top down with a lace panel down the front and then across the shoulder and down the sleeve.  I am really enaomared with sweater knitting at the moment!





But I do still bead and this sweet pendant got it's marketing trial today.  We actually went out for lunch, bayside in San Diego, beautiful breeze, distantly spaced tables, excellent food.  The Fish Market San Diego.  The hostess fell in love with my pendant and lost her train of thought, so I think that is success.  It is called Amarissa and this is my favorite color way, well except for the gray and aqua one, that might be my favorite and the silver one is pretty too.  



Here is Amarissa with a Light Turquoise frost rivoli on grey.  This pendant plays really nicely with all of my Johnny Was clothing.

So excuse me while I go fondle some yarn!


Thursday, August 6, 2020

Creating a new space

I woke up on Tuesday deciding that I needed to change up my studio, as in seriously change up.  It's been a bead studio for a long time and the bulk of storage is still devoted to beads, but now there is sewing and shrink plastic and the need for computing and printing remains, and I have a new silhouette for cutting that needed a better home.

Plus which my large center table had become a catch all for everything and the visual clutter was unsettling.

The two main areas, computing and sewing I totally flipped.  The sewing corner was dark which is not as much of an issue for computing.  It was also up against a corner which made me feel a bit claustrophobic, and the need for the ironing board made it tight quarters.

I've had this particular desk for at least 15 years.  A long since discontinued IKEA desk that has served me very well.  In it's new role as the computing desk those drawers hold paper and labels and mailing supplies.  It's also super deep so it feels really spacious when working on it.

Here is the new sewing station.   The grey cabinet to the right and underneath holds sewing notions and patterns.  The rectangular ironing board is directecly behind my sewing chair so it's easy to get too. I ordered some Tula pink fabric to cover it and make it a colorful element in the room.  I also moved the large cutting mat to that end of the table.I took the remaining leaf out of the table.  When I held classes here the space was important but I don't see the need for that anymore.  I also removed excess chairs leaving only one at the table and one for each of the work stations, computing and sewing.

Those are masks waiting to be cut, one project at a time on the table.  The space is so inviting now and ready to be used.  I realize old habits are hard to break and sometimes a creative storm takes over and creates a creative mess.  For now though I'd like to try working this way.The tall cabinet is for books and the long cabinets hold mostly beads, with one cabinet now dedicated to shrink plastic supplies. The set of wooden drawers holds prisma pencils and alcohol ink pens for drawing on shrink plastic.   The stack of fabric folders holds the sheets of shrink plastic and various embellishment possibilities.  I used to want to keep the counter tops clutter free but I think now it is better to stage in progress projects here and then remove the one to be worked on to the table.  Now here is the key....when it's done being worked on put it back!  


There is a half wall with posts between what is essentially two rooms. You can see this best behind the desk with computer.  On the other end I hung ikea shades to give more of a separation.  I use a nail on the post to hang some of my favorite makes.  Having a little inspiration out is always nice.
I feel completely re-energized in this new space, ready to work on one project at a time!  Today will be finishing up masks for a friend.  I may cut out a muslin for a dress I want to make or I may decide it's a day for knitting.  I'll let that decision unfold.

I am beyond grateful to have this perfect space for all my making supplies.  When we looked at this house, this space was a complete mess.  Mark recognized that to convince me about this house that promising to do this room first would be wise and that is exactly what we did.  It's evolved over the years but it's a great space.  Someday we'll want to move but I really can't quite imagine my makers life without this beautiful room.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Over committing my time

I have figured out part of my issue  with too many makes and it's that I totally underestimate the time!  

Let's just start with an example.   We're having some work done in the house today so we'll move into the airstream.  Work starts around 9:30, ends maybe at 4:00 or 5:00 and I also need to do a grocery errand.

So what did I bring to the airstream.

MyTula pink sunrise quilt paper piecing. 
    one center panel to stitch 
    fabric to be cut for next medallion

Ranunculus
    I've gotten to the mindless round and round of the body, 9 more inches until the ribbing

Urth sock
    I've turned the heel, picked up and decreased the gusset so now it's all foot until I get to the                             toe, 3 1/2 more inches.

Beaded Pendant Amarissa
    Third color way close to complete - then all three colorways need  beaded ropes.....

Well at least I won't be bored!  But truly that is too many things in too short a time.  Likely that knitting will wait it's turn until this evening.  Although I love to knit in the airstream so I may knit a few rounds.....

Now that I have a vision for my beaded object class I've been busy  acquiring some of the things I need to make it happen.  I am becoming an expert at one-click or in the case of Apple Pay the two click! I have a couple of more things to source and then I can begin the prep work.  First though I need to watch the provided videos as they have a lot of good information.  That should get some time this week. Perhaps I should get a notebook and sketch some ideas.  Not my usual approach but in this case it may be appropriate.

I'm also mask making which is something I really like.  It's small and satisfying.  Mark often joins me sewing masks on the featherweight while I use the Juki.  It's kind of endearing.  Little ones seem to like having matching masks to their parents so I've accommodated that request this week and will make a couple of more matching sets for a friend and granddaughter this week.  I'm not sure why mask making is soothing.  I guess because it's somethign I can do to help and the fabrics are so nice to work with and it's something we do together and it's something I do for my friends and family.

Yesterdays makes with some Tula Pink and some Kaffe Fasset.  I love the bold florals of the Kaffe fabric.  the pale pink with the little birds is for the youngest mask wearer per request. It's called Pinkerville Cotton Candy Fairy Dust!  Is that a grand name or what? Oh and the plain black in the back, that is for the man of the family, no bold florals for him.



Here is some more Kaffe for the next round of mask making this week.


It is funny that I worry about time when in reality I have nothing but time at the moment, not a real deadline or outing in sight!

Friday, July 31, 2020

Grateful

I've heard of gratitude journals of course and have participated in online gratitude challenges but I'm not sure that in my past busy life I really ever internalized the importance.

This week has been a mix of emotions and I think to some degree the putting to pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard to write about them brings them more into focus.  My overwhelmed ness (spell check suggested the separate 'ness' so I'm going with it) was as real as my feelings about accomplishment.  Two very opposite ends of the spectrum.

In the middle was my figuring out why I was so stuck in one particular project I've undertaken.  I've got several sets of friends that I chat with during the course of the week and today while chatting I had the opportunity to explore what might be at the  root of the impass.  The insights shared were very helpful and I was able to view the project in a new light.  I have renewed energy for it and will be spending time exploring how to proceed.  What was missing was an idea that grabbed me with excitement.  So thank you dear friend, for providing that.

Which brings me back to gratitude.  I am so incredibly grateful for the friends who are walking this journey alongside one another.  Who can provide a bright spot of enlightement when you think  there isn't one.   I am grateful for the friends who feel vulnerable enough to share their struggles and are open to hearing whatever wisdom I might have to offer them.  I think when it's a two way street then trust becomes a permanent bond and love grows.

Which brings me to my Bead Museum tile.  On their website the museum of beadwork describes the beaded square project. 

As part of our core mission the Museum of Beadwork explores ways in which beads build relationships, and bond us together. To this end the Museum of Beadwork is mounting a new community project which grows out of a desire to commune on a joint project while safely sheltering; marking this very particular time we are going through together, apart. The end result, which will be exhibited at the Museum of Beadwork, will be a bead based ‘quilt’ visualizing the individual and communal experience of this distinct moment in history. 

Several of my  friends who I talk with on a regular basis during this time gave me words.  Given the core mission stated by the museum, these particular woman are all connected to me through beads.  I captured each of their words on Shrinket petals and decorated each one.  I surrounded them with a band of gold and added my 'LOVE' letters below. The words are Trust, Kindred Spirit, Similitude, Friendship, Love,  Tenacity, Embraced and Peace.


I wish for each of you to have something that you can be grateful for.  It's not an easy time for sure but for me the remembering to be grateful has been huge.  

I'm off to bead!  A third colorway for Amarissa, a cubic right angle weave tassel pendant. 

 It has a Bohemian feel because apparently starting with the Bohemian Collection three years ago and my love of all things Johnny Was I am not yet out of my Bohemian period!



Thursday, July 30, 2020

A brand new baby day

This Melanie song  has always been a favorite

We were meant to see the beginning of the day
I believe it was planned to lift us this way
Take you an apple and take you a song
Watch a baby day be born


I've always been a morning girl as far back as I can remember.  I suppose I had a few teenage years of 'sleeping in' until 9:00 or so, but my preferred hour is 5:00 a.m.  Mark being his own creature of habit gets out of bed these days at 7:00 and I've taken to mostly joining him, but my very favorite thing to do is get up with the sun.


Of course it's summer which in San Diego means marine layer, so it's not exactly a sunrise.  But there is a peacefulness to the new day that I adore.  I make a cup of coffee and settle into my favorite chair and pick up some knitting.  Knitting is the best activity for this time of day.  It's more meditative then my other endeavors, it's more portable and it has less of the creative anxiety that's been plaguing me.

My Ranunculus is growing and I'm beginning to love fabric the linen is creating.  I'm always a little disappointed at my stitch eveness at first and then I get into a rhythm and as the work grows I see the beauty in it more.  Linen is like that, it gets better in time.  I think at first it rebels at being twisted into stitches and then it relaxes into it's new shape and becomes beautiful.  While I still wish I had considered white for this sweater I am enjoying the oceany blue that I chose.



So what else will this baby day hold?  I pretty much frittered yesterday away, but sometimes you just need a good day of frittering, right?  I don't have a plan for today, do you?


Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Owning it

I just took a scroll through my facebook posts for the last 4 months looking for a particular post (the search engine didn't turn up what I was looking for and neither did my scroll....sigh).

What it did turn up was a LOT of photos of things I've made, some in the last four months and some just memories I shared.   As it turns out I made a lot of beautiful things.  Many for beautiful people in my life.

I've made masks for family, a skirt and a sweater for a grand daughter, two shrink pendants for dear friends, a beautiful jacket in a watercolor print, a love note sweater for me, 2 pairs of socks, a couple of dozen pair or worded earrings, a linen pair of pants and top from a Tina Givens pattern, 3 or 4 project bags to contain projects,  and a new peace sign!  

That's a lot right?  


Here I've been lamenting my imperfectness, worrying about anxiety (is that redundant?) feeling less than, stressed and a tad overwhelmed about the 'in process' projects.  It seems it is a lesson I need to learn over and over.  Sometimes it just pays to look behind you at what's been accomplished and not in front of you at the 'list'.

When I was actively in my bead career and writing books, I hung bulletin boards and as projects were done they were hung up so that I could visually see the progress.  Not sure exactly how that would work with my current makes, but listing them here sure helped.  

So I am going to own, I am accomplished, I am vital, I am productive, I am creative, I am a maker and just because I'm in the throes of it, I am technically capable!




Not every day will I remember that, but it helps to acknowledge it here.  I don't love every single thing, but really that would be crazy.  If you make every day there are going to be things that you love less than others.  In general this is a body of work that I am proud of.  For the moment I seem to be in a tad bit of a slump and I've decided I'm not going to try to figure it out.  I'm just going to be kind to myself and appreciate the gift of making that I've been given.

 

Own your greatness!  Look for your proud accomplishments and acknowledge them.  I have so many talented friends and I suspect we all suffer at one time or another from feeling 'not good enough'  That's my suspicion but at least for today 'I am good enough', and I wish that feeling for your as well.  If you're my facebook friend or instagram friend (beadknitsew) then shout it out!  I want to celebrate your greatness.

Here's my practice....my striped socks are adorable, my double craw unit has sublime colors, my kindness and gratitude earrings have whimsical drawings, my painted lady cabachon is very artistically finished. What are you proud of?