i'm beginning, finally, to realize a few things about myself, about the way that my mind and heart and soul operate now that i am in the older, more "mature" years of life. i mentioned yesterday that i've begun to let my grey hair show itself, without trying any longer to cover it up; i am less positive about the wrinkles that are deepening and spreading farther across the map of my face, but they are a simple fact of this life, they show stories and symbols for the paths that i've followed along the way. one thing i've learned about myself in regards to the artwork i create is that if ever (and always) i have a long stretch where i am unable to work on jewelry, if i'm not near the studio and the usual tools, if i am out of town and tied up with other pressing family matters - whenever i am coming through on the other side of these stretches, in the homeward bound part of this, i find it more and more difficult to get myself back into a groove where the inspiration and the creativity are flowing without being dammed somewhere far in the recesses of this cluttered, scattered mind of mine. this will resonate particularly with those of you who are older in years, i think: we are creatures of habit, to be sure, and our routines are what they are for a reason. they comfort us, they give us a strong sense of stability and security; they define us, these predictable patterns, and when schedules get thrown into the wind - with holidays, with vacations, with detours, with delays, with extenuating circumstances that always, always do crop up - we can almost hear the squeaking and the screeching of the rusty wheels as they fight to begin turning in a smooth, well oiled rotation once again.
do you remember this photo? i found the marble at the river's edge last winter, buried halfway in sand where pebbles wash to the side. i loved it for its round shape, for the color hidden within that tumbled, weathered surface where once there was a smooth and polished finish. that marble reminded me of myself - a little bit scarred from actual and emotional scrapes throughout the years, worn at the edges, older, altered.
i think that i've always been strongly attracted to weathered things because of how i was raised - a father who started his own demolition and architectural salvage business, an artist and teacher mother who instilled a love of creativity in me - but i love these old relics even more now that i am a woman of mature years. my jewelry is beginning to reflect this approach in a much stronger sense, and for months i've been trying to reach way down deeply into what drives my soul and to pull out ideas that would stand on their own as direct expression and connection to all that i do. but nothing appeared from the depths of a very thick fog, or at least i felt that it didn't, until out of nowhere right into the very middle of here came these latest little treasures.
i've worked with great effort to give them character and history, to encourage their hard surfaces to show a bit of fray and weather around their edges. i've hammered the brass on an ancient, heavy cast iron surface so that pits and pockets show wear and tear; i've drilled larger holes to accommodate vintage brass eyelets, darkened with age; i've cut and sanded, glued and stained small rectangles of very old embossed book covers of linen and board, i've sandwiched the two together into a thick and substantial talisman that will remain blank at the studio table until you choose to make a purchase and tell me what words you would like your notion pendant to bear.
i'll have to ask that you limit your word (or words) to two lines that are a maximum of eleven characters/letters each, including one count for each space if there are two words to a line. you may wish to have a single word - one for an affirmation, a goal, a dream, an emotion. you may wish to have a tiny phrase of two or three words; it is up to you, with the only limit being the number of letters and spaces per pendant. each will come with a small snippet of lovely ribbon, and will have an aged brass-wrapped, faceted pyrite drop that dangles from the bottom. the loop at the top is steel wire, aged and burnished, strong enough to withstand wear and tear and lovely to tie with ribbon to pearls or to thread onto leather or ribbon or chain. it's all up to you. i love the heavier weight, the weathered metal and book cover, the wise old look that they carry on their own. looking at this photo, i'm reminded of the look and feel of an old set of dominoes that my brother and i used to play with when we stayed with our grandmother Mimi. she kept them in the top drawer of a marble-topped chest of drawers, in the front room of the house. yes, that is what i am thinking of now - those dominoes. i can feel them in the palm of my childhood hand.
i'm going to try a different approach in offering these for sale this time around: look over in the upper right hand column and you'll see a "buy now" Paypal button. click on the box with shipping charge (it will scroll down for selection), adjust for where it will be shipped, and then click on the "buy now" button. the total charge includes the cost of shipping. once you get to paypal, there will be a spot under your shipping address that says "add special instructions to seller" - and this is where you can tell me what your word choice/choices will be. i'm not bright enough to go back and adjust the button to feature a shopping cart - if you want to purchase more than one, let me know via email and i can send you a paypal invoice. if this seems too complicated, or if i see that it would be better to do this through my etsy shop, i'll make the necessary changes; but one less step is one more way to cut time from this whole making and selling process, which is always a very good thing.
ok, that's it. old and new, weathered and smooth, found and lost, memories regained, inspiration out and inspiration back in again - the cycle continues. life rolls forward. i walk the woods, the streams, the little meadow where the deer love to come at twilight and graze. i see snowflakes lightly falling, i see the sun come return. the temperature falls, the fire is lit, i finally sleep in the middle of the night, i wake in the morning to get up and start moving all over again. and i thank you for coming back to check on me again and again; many of you have written me privately to ask if all was well, and i'm grateful for the encouragement. hang in there. spring for us in this hemisiphere is somewhere down the road, around the bend. xo