So first and foremost … It is officially my birthday month!!!  I like to celebrate the whole month – I think that’s best.  The actual day is the 17th, but my celebration starts today.  Let’s hear it for an easy slide into 54!

Goodness, such an amazing week – where to start …

I’m thinking the biggest stunner of the week was an out of the blue phone call from Barbara Metzger, aka Basha Beads!  I was blown away.  She has Google alerts set up for her beads and saw my blog entry, followed links to my work on my website and the Etsy site, liked what she saw and read and decided she needed to give me a call.  We chatted for the better part of an hour – easy conversation, much common ground and shared aesthetics and lots of laughs … lots of laughs.  You’d never know it was our first conversation.  The upshot of the conversation – Barbara’s going to send me a ‘pick box’ later this month.  This also means that I don’t have to nudge Lynne out of lampworking retirement!  My mind is swirling with possibilities and I’m about to bust with excitement.  Bzzzzz, Bzzzzz, Bzzzzzz – my little brain is just a buzzing.

Which got me working on the next part of the project – the vehicle which will support the new work.  I’m still on my weaving and fiber thing, not that I’ve ever been off.  Lynne told me about some sari silk ribbon on Etsy.  Of course I had to check it out and immediately bought three skeins.  The colors are gorgeous, but I’m thinking it’s too irregular and the seams too bulky for my needs.  Then I thought about a small stash of hand-dyed silk ribbon that looks pretty cool woven … bulky, though.  Just as well.  For my next design phase, I really want to focus on generating virtually all of the content own my own – Basha Beads excluded.  I bought some really luscious silk a while back with plans to cut and dye my own strips.  Here’s three of the experiments and the initial ‘ribbon’ cuttings.

sari silk/leather, silk ribbon, sari silk

After trying to cut slinky silk into ribbon with scissors, it became quite clear there must be a better way.  Tools, must have more tools … Enter the world of rotary fabric cutters and mondo self-healing cutting surfaces.

new tools and accoutrements


So, I should be all set.

I’m also thinking about doing a bit of ‘retro-fitting’ to some jewelry.  I’m wanting to replace the chain elements with either my own silk ribbon – woven or plain, or braided silk cord … soften the look and bring out the color of the raw sapphires.

awaiting renewal

The essence of my aesthetic is raw yet refined, organic but contemporary.  As my hang tag says, “… rustic elements in classically inspired silhouettes … jewelry designs that, while being firmly rooted in my own urban sensibility, have a primal and somewhat ancient quality.”  I love how the components are coming together.  Oooooh, it’s going to be interesting!

Having spent so much time and energy on updating the website and installing the shopping cart, it was time to take a few days off.  I got to cruise around town and do a thorough perusal of a couple of my favorite haunts.  On Friday, Dave and I rounded up my darling friend, Marilyn, in Bryson City and headed off further west to the Stecoah Valley studio tour to catch up with old friends.  It’s hard to imagine a more idyllic setting than the home and studio of our long-time friends, Jeff and Crim Bassett of Bee Global.

jeff, marilyn and dave in the gallery

cruising the property

my walkin one and only

Such a glorious day, crisp and clear, seeing old friends and enjoying the special charm of Stecoah Valley.

I’m still taking a bit of a break, well for maybe another day or so.  I just finished up another project that I’ve been thinking about for months.  I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect bag for – well seems like forever.  I accost people on the streets, I frequent T J Max, consignment and thrift stores.  I guess the caveat here is I want a really nice bag, but I don’t want to pay a fortune for it.  A couple of years ago, I thought I’d found it.  I got a bunch of gift certificates to Sundance Catalog one year and put them together to buy what looked like the perfect bag.  Turns out the color was not great, the shoulder strap was too short and would not stay in place and I decided I didn’t like the white accent stitching – phooey!  So that fancy, expensive bag’s been sitting in the top of my closet for a good long while.

I struggled with this for a bit, but figured what the heck, it’s better than just sitting in the closet … I got out the black shoe polish and scissors and went to work.  Gone is the annoying shoulder strap, replaced with a new adjustable black cotton webbing one; the odd reddish color and white stitching are now a much improved mottled dark brownish/black.

my "new" bag

It took multiple trips to multiple stores to round up the antique brass snaps and rivets and eyelets and all the appropriate tools, cannibalizing an old belt for it’s buckle and other hardware, but I’m quite satisfied with my finished product.  Not bad for 20 bucks.

It’s been a good break, very good.  My Yogi Tea ‘fortunes’ have been spot on …

My updated table shrine brings me such joy whenever I sit down to work …

And, thanks to Dave’s constant search for new and different music (he’s a bit compulsive actually, Amazon downloads  are so addictive), I’ve got some new background music.  I haven’t listened to everything he’s gotten, but this one is especially lovely.  Sufjan Stevens …

Now, I’m stopping to take deep breaths.  I can feel the forces assembling … creative impulses, ideas, concepts, motivations.  It’s the inexorable current beneath the icy crust.  Exhilarating, joyous anticipation.  Readying myself to leap, for I know without a doubt, the net will appear.

blessings – kvk