i wish i could capture a clearer photograph of the creatures i've taken to calling ellen's friends, the ones who stay out on the corner of the deck these days eating and talking and hopping around - they move so fast, these little ones, and were i to walk out outside with camera in hand, they'd swoop up into the branches of the nearest tree. as it is, i sit here at my table before the wide, wide windows, camera always close, and should i happen to catch them unawares, i snap a shot straight through the open wooden blinds and screen. it's raining this morning, raining and raining, and i wonder where birds go when it's wet like this, or when it's cold and dark and they retire for the night. these birds are not deterred by the elements, and i can look out and watch them perched on the railing, their puffy little bodies reflecting color in the rain.
you ought to see this house right now (it's best that you don't) - trays of jewelry components on every table top, piles of brown leather and lace and pearls and ribbon lying about like wilted seaweed and sand and pebbles that have washed up on the wet shore. that's what this current work of mine brings to mind when i see a growing collection wrapped up in cloth, or curled up on the table here, the flotsam and jetsam of my handiwork washed up by the forces of my own imagination.
see what i mean? do you see my jewelry forming there, in the early morning light of puget sound? i do, i really do.
i see the seaweed fastened to rock like old birds' feet, i see the worn smooth shapes of opaque glass, i see the driftwood and the twigs and the pebbles roundly shaped from being tossed in stormy seas.
"I consider lace to be one of the prettiest imitations ever made of the fantasy of nature; lace always evokes for me those incomparable designs which the branches and leaves of trees embroider across the sky, and I do not think that any invention of the human spirit could have a more graceful or precise origin." -Coco Chanel, April 29, 1939
i'm beginning to have wayyy too much fun with this new look of mine, this fresh gathering of embellishments and trinkets that have been resting tucked and hidden away in weathered boxes for a good twenty five years. i spent yesterday evening playing dress up with abigail in the lingering light of dusk, and as i layered the necklaces one by one, i saw a certain look emerge that caught me a tiny bit off guard. it's always at this point that i question my work, when i'm on a fevered roll and am making new jewelry with no preconceived regard or thought, but more with an excitement to simply keep on going, making, creating well into the night; i question it because it all begins to look the same, to look as if one thing bleeds or blurs into another. and it is then i remember that a collection does precisely that: it takes on its own traits, its own slant, its own character and personality. and that is what makes a collection what it is. i decided last night that i'm calling these tattered, wea- thered pieces the "gatherings of miss havisham"; those of you who've read dickens will understand. this morning as i look again at photographs taken in yesterday's fading, waning light, i'm thankful for this renewed force that urges me ahead; i'm thankful for long foraging walks on treasured beaches; i'm thankful for my wooden trunkful of lace snippets and worn hankies, for the times i worked before with leather, for the beveled jars of old pearl buttons, for the lessons of my mother and my sister, for my love for all things tender, for all things connected to the achingly beautiful world of nature that surrounds me. i am thankful; i am thankful; i am thankful, i am blessed. xo