Getting back to Florida and settling back into something of a routine….my brain seems to be racing constantly….I’m mentally making lists of all the things that need to be done…the things left undone before we left in June….THEN, while at Target picking up a few things, I wandered past the Christmas lights….and that pretty much put me over the edge. Wasn’t it just June?! The freak-out has started in my brain….it really couldn’t have been avoided but since I’m already feeling like I just crawled out from under a rock….WELL….

So, I dug in this week and started designing, first some of the new pieces I showed you earlier this week, then into some more affordable pieces. A few months ago, I was on the receiving end of a large cache of dilapidated malas that came from a sale. They were in a large box of other jewelry supplies and were stuffed into a big ziploc that I thought was mostly junk but I gone through to be sure. To my delight, I rescued them before in a mad cleaning rage, I dumped the whole bag in the garbage.

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I decided on these simple bracelets. Each one features the original wooden mala beads, along with one special bead. These beads are special beads I’ve been saving. Some are my own polymer clay beads, some are special beads I’ve been saving from other artists. Some are beautiful orphans from stone or shell, and some are really lovely vintage beads. I’ve finished them all with a special copper tag that I’ve hand stamped with positive messages or words. By adding these accents and reworking these tattered malas, I hope they will continue into a new life as simple wearable reminder to the wearer.

 

 

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Oh, and I also finished up these beads this week. This is actually a style I started working on last year(!) but was never happy with the finish. There was something…missing….but I’m glad I finally worked through them. They might be some of my favorite to date.

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All these have been listed in my shop if you’d like to help me buy cat food….

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I finally sat down today to start on some new jewelry. Long overdue. And since my most recent batches of beads…I’ve been trying to hold some back for some making….so here’s some eye candy from today….

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Carved nugget, pebbles (on the dangle), and copper elements by me, big sky blue round by Suburban Girl Studios, and african krobos glass, along with some beads that Kate Richbourg sent me with my last bead soup.

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detail of the carved and my handmade bits…..

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Variation with the hand forged copper bits…More Suburban Girl Studio rounds (that girl kicks major ass), amazonite, czech & indonesian glass, waxed linen, and one of my gypsy coin charms…..

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detail.

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wearing and declaring!

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total shot. czech glass, dyed tiny jasper, dyed agate, picasso seed beads. hand forged copper and polymer clay detail charm.

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hand made copper ear wires, my own antiqued copper twisted wire, and hand made copper chevron axe blade charms.

All the new pieces are for sale in my shop.

 

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I’m having a 15% off sale right now in my shop! I’m back in Florida now and had to go through the rigamarole to find a doctor to continue the care for my leg. The next phase of this is really something I had to be home in Florida for, although I really grew to like my dr. in NC. Where we stay in NC is not winterized and is not home. In the last 3 weeks, I’ve listed lots of new things in my shop, and I’d love for you to stop by and take advantage of the sale and simultaneously help me defray some medical bills. I’m trying to fit in as much work as I can in the next few weeks as the next step will likely be an expensive procedure of some sort. If any of you have gone through the journey of finding new doctors or even getting second opinions or just transitioning care, you know how expensive, exhausting, and time consuming it is.

I hesitate to even ask because I know that so many are in a tight spot right now financially….but I’m crossing my fingers and continuing to work hard and believe that everything will work out how it’s supposed to.

 

I’ll leave you with some pieces that I’m especially proud of lately…..

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this is the back side of the one in my sale picture….warm and cool, fire and water……

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these are small charms that I designed to work with bracelets….

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and carved bead sets…this is one of my favorite sets…..

 

Today is the autumnal equinox which seems fitting because yesterday rendered a beautiful wet, rainy cool day and this morning when I woke up very early before the sunrise, I stepped out into the cool clear air and a sky filled with stars. The farmer who plants the fields here at the farm has begun to cut the corn for silage and today the sun has warmed the wet ground and the air is sticky sweet with the smell of cut stalks, the ionized earth and the faint smell of manure as they begin to prepare the fields for the winter crops.

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We’ll be traveling back south soon to our coastal home in Florida and while I’m ready for the steady days of sunshine and humidity (I tend to like my weather sunny, 75, and unchanging), there is a peace that only spending time here at the farm in the country brings to me. While my time here this year has not been as fruitful as I would have liked with my leg injury, I think I’m also becoming more relaxed about my expectations. I’ve spent a lot of time this summer watching movies with my leg propped up in a chair, or reading endless historical fiction, to keep the part of my thinking brain off the other part of my brain which was registering pain and discomfort and the only solace I could find was the distraction of some other worldly/ other timely place that could get the recesses of my creative brain functioning.

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Some weeks ago, while watching a movie, quite bored, I spied on a shelf above my desk, a whittling knife, that came from Mike’s grandfather, that he gleaned from somewhere around the farm and left it on a shelf. It has three blades, like a typical pocket knife, but from some browsing at some books recently, I immediately now recognized it as a whittling knife. It was dull as all get-out and all oxidized from years of neglect. Sharpening knives has never been my strong point, but I tried to sharpen it as best I could with a stone, and sort of angrily grabbed a dowel rod that was there for forming purposes in my studio to see what could take shape.

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Several weeks later, I found my regular sharpening steel for my kitchen knives, sharpened the blades up a bit better than with the stone, and took off across the farm for some nice twigs. We have lots of big beautiful nut and fruit trees that regularly shed their limbs….and so I have started whittling. My tools at this point are rudimentary and I have so much to learn….but with the rebirth of my creative juices recently, I’m seeking not grand things but what is comfortable to keep the flow going. The shapes are very familiar and similar to the work I’ve been doing. I’m comfortable with that right now. I have so many creative possibilities that lie in color and form that I feel like I need to start there and keep it simple.

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Finally, some new work that I’m posting in a relative time frame that it’s posted online. My Etsy shop is closed for now because of some rotten experiences and I just don’t have the ability to keep up with it on a day to day basis and everyday it seems more and more like ebay…. So, for now, I’m trying to do some regular updates to my web store. If you want to stay up to date when I’m getting ready forto list, I suggest you follow me on Instagram or on my business FB.  I’m uploading everything to my web store right here, but I post all of the pictures with direct links on my Second Surf FB page, so if there’s something you really want, that’s the way to go for now until I figure out a better way that works for everyone involved. I will also try to do a post here to keep you all in the loop! :)

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I’ll start off by showing you my favorite thing I’ve made this summer, I made this about three months ago but have been remiss in posting. I think I told y’all that until very recently, I felt like my polymer clay bead mojo was gone….I just had no desire to make beads and so my work shifted to copper work and I was really tickled with this wire that I’ve been using. I had the opportunity to score a LARGE amount of 20g. copper wire and I’ve been using it to make twisted copper wire and headpins. If you are in love with art beads, large holed ethnic beads,  and copper like I am, than you know how sticky it can be sometimes to find a nice soft wire that fits the holes without the use of mass produced spacers and is still nice and pliable to get a nice tight wire wrap…so this fit the bill for me. It takes a lot of time and effort to make but it really does have a beautiful end result so I’m also selling it regularly in my shop.

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Earlier this summer, in between bouts of leg healing, I’ve been experimenting with new polymer clay finishes. I retired all of my old finishes back in May, just because everyone needs a change. Creatively, for me, I need to keep things switched up a bit. I don’t mind doing production type work for short periods of time but I realized that I have to keep things more manageable, especially since I’ve had this leg injury…..there’s only one of me, that has to make stuff, list it, sell it, and keep the creative fire going…so I’m having to learn to say NO, you don’t have to make XXXX thing 1000 times because it sells well….I do best by making something to the best of my ability as long as it feels good to me…and then I need to move on to something else. And now, healing is taking up a great deal of my time, so I have to maximize the time I have to feel creative and inspired, and I think that by doing that, everyone will be inspired! Let’s hope! Crossing my fingers…..

 
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