The Adventure of Myself

Sounds pretty exciting, doesn’t it? It’s not at all.

School ended for the kids at the end of May and I casually decided to take a week off from the studio. Not because I needed a break but because, well, I could. And, not like I can’t do that any other time. I just consciously said, “I’m taking a week off.” I find it stressful to try and get out there while the kids are home. Even though they’re old enough to take care of themselves, I just can’t disconnect the mom-brain enough to get into the headspace I like/need in order to be the creative genius required in this line of work.

That one week off has lasted until now, what, like 6 weeks? That’s not entirely true as I had to get a few pieces done for some juried stuff. This week marks the end of that break and back into the studio, armed with all kinds of new ideas.

During my little sabbatical I have had the above-mentioned Adventure of Myself. I have pondered and realized a lot of things about myself. Many of those things come and go but some of them have stuck with me.

Geometric Bead

I have realized that I hate summer. Yes, it’s hot in Arizona but that’s not what I don’t like. I don’t like the freedom of sleeping in and doing nothing because, well, I take the opportunity and then I feel like crap because nothing got accomplished. Oh sure, I’ve gotten things done, baked bread, made it to yoga class, gotten my work into a few exhibitions, came up with some new techniques, blahbidy blah. But, really, I could have done so much more, and not just work. Stuff that I could have enjoyed. I don’t mourn the lost time but I do judge the lethargy that oozes out of my pores in summer.

Some may say that that is what summer is for. Relaxing, taking it easy. Well, maybe, but if you enjoy work and being productive, relaxing and taking it easy to extent that I’ve just done isn’t as satisfying as being in the studio creating.

The pieces shown in this post will be in the ISGB Geometric exhibit at this years Gathering convention in Rochester, NY. You can read the requirements at that link if you’re interested.

Geometric Bead

While this piece may look very basic (the design is), the technique is a multi-step process combining cold-working and fusing as well as lampworking. While there is a big focus on going beyond the bead, incorporating other media into beads or using beads to create something more than jewelry, this is an example of combining techniques within the glass toolbox to come up with something different from the traditional torch-worked-only bead. I like it.

The idea popped into my head right away when I read the Geometric guidelines. Clean simple design with no color, it had to be. I flashed back to a retro feel (I think).  It is not my preferred aesthetic but it works for this brilliantly. AND, the good news about this is that it has led me to an idea that I am attempting to incorporate into the micro mosaics. Of course I will show it when I have an example.

Beads of Courage Charm Swap and Reveal

I recently participated in a charm swap along with many other artists where I made 11 charms based on the theme of “laughter”. I sent them in to the coordinator, the wonderful Jennifer Cameron and she sorted them all out so I got back charms from other artists.

Here is the charm that I made:

It was a lot of fun to see what others made and you can see them too. You can visit the other blogs below. You can also browse the ebay auctions of all of these charms. All proceeds go directly to Beads of Courage through ebay’s charitable giving auction services. Why not pick one up for a holiday gift? All of the charms will be listed there in the next few days.

Thanks to Jennifer Cameron for all of her hard work!

Alenka Obid

Alicia Marinache

 Babette Cox

Carol Watson

Carolyn Chenault

Cassi Paslick

Charlene Jacka

Cheri Reed

Cheryl McCloud 

Deb Kauzlarich

Denielle Hagerman

Emma Todd

Erin Prais-Hintz

Ginger Bishop

Inge vonRoos 

Jean Peter 

Jeannie K Dukic

Jennifer Cameron

Kia Dallons 

Kimberly Roberts 

Kristi Bowman

Lea Avroch

Leslie Schenkel 

Linda Florian

Lori Greenberg

Lynnea Bennett

Mallory Hoffman

Marcy Lamberson 

Marsha Neal Studio 

Maureen Connolly

Melissa Meman 

Monique Urquhart 

Natalie McKenna 

Perri Jackson  

Renetha Stanziano 

Robin Koza

Shaiha Williams

Shannon Hicks

Shelby Foxwell

Shelley Graham Turner 

Shirley Moore

Stephanie Haussler 

Susan Kennedy

Toltec Jewels

Vanessa Gilkes 

Observations from 8 days of Facebook fast…

Cutting out Facebook cold turkey has been an interesting adventure for the past 8 days. While I can’t say that it’s been fun, I do have to admit that it has been very interesting. I have always been one to enjoy digging into the psyche so I have carefully watched what has come up for me. Very revealing.

Things I have noticed and experienced:

  • Facebook addiction is real. While I don’t think I would call it a full on addiction for myself (or is that denial?) I can now see it as an addiction.
  • I have heard recovering alcoholics saying that the booze talks to them, especially in the first stages of sobriety. I think I know what that means now. “just one status update, just one peek, it won’t hurt you. You can stop at just one.” It tries to trick you into feeding it.
  • I found that I didn’t really miss what you all are doing (sorry)…I missed showing you how cool I thought I was. Many times I would see something that I want to take a picture of to share, or a cool site I came across, or an awesome recipe, or some other little quippy thing that popped into my head. When that happened, and without the outlet of sharing it, I sat back and thought, “What am I REALLY wanting to do right now? Why do I feel compelled to share this?” While my answers are more complicated and I will delve into it more, the bottom line is, I have a part of me that wants to be cool.

Should I go on?

  • Probably along the lines of the second point above, I found myself trying to rationalize how I could get back on Facebook and it still be ok. That right there told me that something isn’t right. You know, “What if I just posted one way and didn’t go on to check what everyone else was doing? What if I just left notifications off so that I wouldn’t be distracted during the day? What if I only facebooked on my phone when I was away and needed to kill some time? What if I only gave myself 10 minutes a day?” etc. and it still keeps popping into my head as to what would be acceptable Facebook behavior for myself.
  • I have been blogging more. Maybe not a huge amount but, having this urge to communicate my thoughts and not being able to shoot them off on Facebook has pushed me back into using my blog to communicate. I like that.
  • I have felt that I have been letting people down. Going with the wanting to be cool observation above, I have received positive feedback about my Facebook persona and now I feel like I’m leaving people cold. Not too self-centered there, huh? Just trying to keep it real.

That is probably enough for now. I am going to continue the Facebook fast until I don’t feel these, what I call, addictive pangs. I will pop in to approve friend requests because it is still a marketing venue for me…my various blogs will continue to auto-publish however, I won’t see comments on Facebook…you need to put them on the actual blog post for now.

I would love to hear your comments here. Have you felt any of this? Do you know or are you in recovery…are these things similar to a withdrawal or addiction (I’m curious about that process)? I would also be interested to know if you would take this challenge for a week and report back (maybe in a guest post or on your own blog) what your experience is.