i really am here, although you'd never guess it by coming here to Ornamental. i used to be diligent about writing posts - sometimes three or four times a week. what happened? i have no less time now than before, or more. i've just shifted priorities, i suppose, and realize that taking the large chunk of time required to sit down and pull my thoughts and images and words together is more of a commitment than i'm currently able. sorry, folks. i've not been the best of blog upkeepers here.
i'm as busy as you all are, i imagine, making and primping and hanging a little of this and that on a tree or a shelf or a table. this year, first time in three, i've a christmas tree in the house - one that is simple, and frosty white, one that reminds me of the forest in winter. there are minimal ornaments - a few glass pine cones, a bird, a nest, a couple of blue-green garlands, a tiny little snow village underneath the bottom boughs. it has brought me great comfort and peace to sit of an evening under the glow of those tiny white lights. sometimes there is a fading pink sunset out over the mountains behind the reflection of my little snowy tree.
pardon the double vision - what you see here is a reflection of my porch starry lights shining onto the sliding glass door, and the purple lingering sunset outside my living room windows...
(thank you, little wintery forest beauty, for bringing the spirit of the season into the house with me.)
walter has been caught up in the firefly festiveness as well: yesterday when i was in the next room, i heard what i now recognize as excited, playful barks, and walked back into the bedroom to see that he had dug down into a plastic shopping bag and pulled out the toy i had bought to give him for a christmas present. that dog was bouncing all over the bed, elated over his discovery. a friend told me that his behavior reminds her of a toddler - which is so utterly true for this boy. this is where he can often be found, late into the evenings, when i am working with jewelry designs in my lap. the look? toleration, with a trace of long suffering. it's hard for me to ignore. (an instagram friend said that walter was hanging out in the "brocade arcade". i will never look at that chair the same way again.)
i thought i would give you a little peek at some of the work that is keeping me so busy and distracted these days. when i first began putting these latest wrap bracelets together, i had no concept whatsoever of the time/hand pain involved.
in chatting with a fellow artist friend long distance on the phone the other day, i lamented at those laborious amount of stitches, and said i didn't want to reduce the work involved by going the less- expensive no-stitch route. she suggested i call them the "bracelet of 1000 stitches" line, and we laughed - then agreed that it was actually a wonderful name. each stitch holds an intention, a memory, a little wish from me to she who will wear the ornamental piece around her wrist. i love applying little stitched X's onto the whipped-stitched leather pieces, tiny little antique faceted steel beads that were once made for french beaded purses are now finding their way, bead by miniscule bead, onto my beading needle, then from that needle to a larger, sharper leather needle, pulled through the leather, once, twice for security, then on to the next pearl or little row of beaded X's. x marks the spot. x is a kiss. x is here. x is a crossroads. x is two fingers held up and interlocked.
i think of a rubber band, and how folks used to wear one as a reminder of something, anything. i think of the red thread, tied around a wrist, around a soul. i think of buddhist beads, i think of rosaries. i think of everything, late into these soft nights when i am sitting before the glow of my tree, sitting in winter silence as the forest beyond this house sleeps quietly in the velvet dark, and i am stitching my heart into the leather bit by bit, thread by thread, thought by thought. it works like that. it is worth the work. it is what i do. every evening, i stay up far too late. when the clock strikes 12, i stand on creaky feet and make my wobbly way to bed, where i climb under flannel sheets and drift off to dream of old friends, of old places, of talks with those who have gone on to the beyond. in the mornings, i wake to a not yet risen sun that waits until after nine to climb up over the mountain ridge; a blanket of white and frost-kissed fog descends into this little cove, i make my dark, dark coffee (roasted long, french pressed, with a beautiful fragrant sheen of oil that floats to the surface of those first few sips) and i settle down with walter on the sofa for a few quiet moments before the day's actions unfold.
afternoons find me in the studio, sipping the smoky goodness of hot lapsang souchong tea or pungent orange and cinnamon market spice - each of these comforts, gifts from friends afar. i lift my cup to you all, i lift my cup to you here. i sip, and i ponder, and i quietly honor and celebrate. i hammer words of gratitude. i live. i linger. i move on ahead. xo