Re Visiting.

Which really means re-working.  This post is made of realizing blogger has the perfect format for what I have to share at this moment and as a place holder until I post about my trip earlier this year.  Since my last blog I discovered that many of the photos I'd most looked forward to processing and sharing were eaten by Google, or maybe my friend's Mac.  I'm mostly done mourning them.  So, in the interim...

This necklace was originally constructed for a collaboration with Alex and the Black Widow Dolls:

You can find more pics from The Dollie Collection - and the gorgeous gals who modeled it here.

The necklace was available at my brick and mortar location within Fans & Stoves Antique Mall in Five Points, a delightful home away from home for me that I'll blog about one day, when I have the time and energy to devote to all the awesome characters and things that live there.  Last week, it fell and impacted directly on the connection point for the cameo-style brass stamping.  And broke.

See, almost everything I do is a cold connection.  In this case, JB Weld.  Which is super for most of the metal on metal connecting I need.  Determined not to scrap the necklace, I took the parts to Shannon of Bead Here Now to see if she could do a quick weld for me.  She could.  And there was much rejoicing.

The process left much of the vintage brass drawer pull plate clean and shiny, and you know we can't be having with all that.  So I had to age it back to its former glory.

Then a good scrubbing and a bit of buffing.  Now her beautiful likeness seems to come floating out of the darkness, like some ghost.

After all that there was the simple matter of returning everything to the brass bail and restringing it all on the vintage brass cuckoo clock chain.

Finally, I could re list it on etsy and return it to the brick & mortar tomorrow.  All's well that ends well thanks to the help of others <3


A lot has changed since my last - and only second - entry. 

Blogger looks completely different.  So does my life, incidentally.  My husband Christopher died on January 9th of this year.  Underneath our brave faces and attempts at routine, I can't help but feel that William and I nothing more than stranded orphans.  Many days it isn't a matter of whether I can keep my head above the surface but if I want to.  I'm still here, so that must count for something.

The jewelry continues and my etsy shop is well stocked.  The stagnancy and drain of care giving gone, or maybe simply that grief and loss have given me new eyes, there's a shift in what I'm making these days.  It feels the most right to turn to the broken things I find on the street on my way to the bus stop.  The sharp things that no one wants to look at.  Forgotten fragments of life that have been cast off.

I'm not really sure where all this is headed.  I've begun to incorporate bone, which in the past was too...macabre? honest? for me.  More rust and less sparkle is happening.  My sketches and plans are for things I've never done before, to reflect the places I'm seeing that I'd never been before.  And while on a very practical level I do hope that everything I make is appreciated, loved, bought and cherished - I am widow working part time after all - I've finally started the process of making art for me, I think.  If you're along for the ride, kudos to you.  If you're not, happy trails.

Next time, which hopefully won't be over a year away, I will share pictures and details on my Spring Exodus.  Spoiler alert, I went places, and the grief went with me.


Prunus mume

In March, to celebrate my remaining alive thus far thirty one years, Chris, William and I drove up to Lookout Mountain.  We spent several days exploring Rock City, Ruby Falls and the amazing array of channels in our hotel suite as we don't really watch television at home.  The weather was unexpectedly cool, and necessitated a run to The Evil Place That Never Sleeps - read: Wal-Mart - for hoodies for William and Chris.

Much of the mountain and the surrounding region was brown, brown, brown, and grey.  Even the cultivated and acclaimed gardens of Rock City hadn't quite gotten the memo it was Spring in other parts of the country yet.  After a chilled morning of trudging through wonderful caves and admiring terrain and geography made even more beautiful by the lack of vegetation, try to imagine our surprise when we exited Rock City and towering over the other gabbling tourists was a stand of these:

Labeled as Ornamental Japanese Plum Trees, they were in full raucous bloom and were crazy mad splashes of pink against a very grey cloudy sky.  Prunus mume, with the common names including Chinese plum and Japanese apricot, mei and ume, are an Asian tree species in the Armeniaca (apricot) section of the genus Prunus. The flowers, long a beloved subject in the traditional painting of East Asia, are usually translated as plum blossoms.
One of the "Flowers of the Four Seasons," they are central to the Chinese aesthetic and thus have been frequently depicted in Chinese art and poetry for centuries.  In Japan they are traditionally planted in the northeast portion of the garden to ward off evil.  In Vietnam the tree is so loved mai is a popular girl's name.  The plum blossom has been a harbinger of Spring in the East as well as symbolizing endurance, perseverance and strength as they are their most beautiful during winter.  They are often seen blooming amidst the snow.
Discovering these were an unexpected joy.  We all three were suffering head colds and fevers and after dark caves and slate and boulders their delicate beauty was such a delight.  We continued on with our explorations that day with brighter spirits and a lighter step.

When everything has faded they alone shine forth,
encroaching on the charms of smaller gardens.
Their scattered shadows fall lightly on clear water,
their subtle scent pervades the moonlit dusk.
Snowbirds look again before they land,
butterflies would faint if they but knew.
Thankfully I can flirt in whispered verse,
I don't need a sounding board or winecup.

"Little Plum Blossom of Hill Garden" ~ Lin Bu


This is mah blog!

So while I was setting up this thing tonight we joked about how far we could carry the meme theme.

Hi!  I make stuff, take photos and, you guessed it, this is my blog.  There will be a for-serious post very soon.  In the meantime...Bueller...Bueller?