i thought i'd share with you all a few photographs i snapped while visiting the underground cafe in town yesterday - see how cozy it is? filled with young folks, mostly, sitting quietly and sipping coffee while working on their laptops, it is a lovely respite that i'll now be frequenting. it was once an old barbershop, located below street level (hence the clever name), and one wall is lined with small wooden and glass cabinets, now filled with mugs and paper cups. john, the owner, is quite the dedicated worker, there every waking hour his place is open - seven days a week... not good for john (but maybe it is; he seems to love his job), but certainly good for those of us who want to spontaneously pop in and sit a while. you have to love a place that has handpainted open and closed signs on simple cardboard, after all. he grinds his own beans (you can see the machine there behind him), gives a discount if you bring your own coffee mug, offers a delectable fare for munchies, lunch, dinner. i am a huge fan of low lighting - it is a borderline phobia of mine about overhead lights, and i've passed that on to both of my boys (and it was passed on to me by my mother, who strictly uses table lamps except in the kitchen); so i found the quiet, eclectic ambience with satellite radio music very much to my liking. going into town, now, will be a pleasure - a reward - and not a chore, with its twenty minute drive from firefly road.
ah, the drive home. here you see the rainy day before me as i made my way back to the house yesterday late in the afternoon. beautiful, isn't it? i mean that. beautiful in an aching, wistful way. and when i got back home and pulled the car 'round back, i was caught for a moment by all those glistening raindrops hanging from every twig and branch in the surrounding woods. i tried in vain to capture the effect on film - impossible. but what i did manage was a row of clear "pearls" hanging from a horizontal branch, and noticed when i turned the image vertically that the drops were similar to buds of pussy willow. amazing, where inspiration will strike. i'd been working with pearls in the evening hours, sitting watching a movie with a tray in my lap, wiring and twisting things into very basic pussy willow form. do you see? wiring pearls is a bit like knitting to me (although i don't know how to knit, so how can i say?); i'm able to quietly sit and work with my hands, while not having to concentrate too closely on design. busy work for idle hands, i suppose, and a fine thing to do when talking with a parent or a friend, or listening to music, watching a film.
one thing led to another, as things are wont to do, and before i knew it, i was scrambling back to the studio to complete a focal center for my next necklace design. this one seems quite dear to me - the notion of tender buds poking their heads out in the spring, after a long and silent winter's sleep. out came the antique embroidered flannel from an tiny trunk that held my mother's doll clothing when she was a child, which is now stuffed to overflowing with old laces, ribbons and trims. placed within an antique, silverplated optician's testing lens "frame", i included some poetry snippets from the eugene field poem "the Brook". what is so endearing about this piece, to me, is the poetry hammered into the silver backside, what the observer doesn't see (but which - and i love this - grows warm against the wearer's throat or heart):
pussy willow, excellent perfect fuzzy, looks like two caterpillars on a stick, feels like cotton, my excellent pussy willow
the writer's name is alex, who in 2002 was in the first grade of greentown elementary school in north canton, ohio. his teacher had brought some sprouted twigs of willow to the class for them all to plant, and they then created artwork by drawing the twigs and placing cotton Q tips for willow buds along each stem. this won my heart, as you can see, and alex's words will now be worn as ornament - this makes me very happy.
it's a warm, sunny day on this firefly tuesday; perhaps those willow buds won't be toooo far behind.