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Showing posts from January, 2011

Me Me Me

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Rick is out of town this week, and though I miss him, I'm also enjoying some quiet time, doing things at my own pace. I'm doing something I almost never do. I'm taking care of myself, and I'm finding that I actually deserve it. What a surprise.

So what am I doing that's different from my usual routine? Well, yesterday, day one of Camp Kim, I wandered around the house for a while wondering what to do. Then I threw in a load of laundry (we now have a washing machine, thanks to a little miracle, an anonymous Fairy Godmother, and a strong friend who helped Rick muscle the beautiful beast into the house), and while the wash was washing, I vacuumed up some dust and dog hair. Clean house, clear head, I was ready to go.

I spent the day testing out two new DVDs I bought for myself last week, in honor of my kids' birthdays. It occurred to me that 25 years after my youngest was born, I still had not gotten around to taking care of mommy-me, and losing that "baby weig…

Laughter Always Helps

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When my kids have birthdays, I feel... older...
This helped me feel a little better about it today.
Don't be fooled by the "expected" beginning.
Expect to laugh.
Enjoy--

Hail the Birthday Queen

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My youngest daughter, Lauren, is visiting from Seattle, here to celebrate her 25th birthday. I could get sappy and emotional. I could get freaked out and let myself feel old. Instead I got creative and made her a Most Amazing Tiara. I think every Birthday Girl deserves a beautiful crown.


Today is her last day here in Taos, so there's more fun to be had. I expect I'll get a little sentimental tomorrow when she leaves. I always do. But today I'm just enjoying hanging out with her. She's grown up to be an amazing, beautiful, talented, smart, capable young woman. She inspires me, and I'm a very proud mom.

Bread Crumbs

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Rick and I hosted Soup Night here last night. It's a simple, fun weeknight party plan we came up with a couple of winters ago, to keep friends together and connected in this part of the year when it's easier, but not necessarily more beneficial, to hide out in our own homes. Week nights work great, because everyone has to work the next day, so it never goes too late. And it's important to keep it simple, because if it gets to be a lot for work, it becomes a burden and no fun anymore. We make a big pot of soup, always vegetarian/vegan, get out bowls, spoons, and wine glasses, and everyone else brings wine, bread, appetizers, and desserts. The one Rule is, everything but the soup has to be finger food that needs no more assistance than a paper napkin. This cuts down drastically on the amount of dish washing to be done. We don't have a dishwasher, so this makes a big difference to us!

Last night we expanded the group to include a few new people. I think I invited about 2…

Still Here

I'm sorry for starting off here with an apology, which I never like to do, and now it turns into two, as I apologize for my inattentiveness here of late. Many of us hibernate to a certain extent in the winter months, but for me, it's chaotic here underground. So much life preparing itself to burst open in the spring, and it all seems to require my attention.

The new jewelry is taking up a lot of time, and I don't mind a bit, because I love it. I'm getting so much positive feedback and encouragement that even though sales are slow at the moment, I know I can get this thing to fly, if I can just get it a little ways off the ground. The possibility of putting it in select, high end stores is very tempting. I haven't done the wholesale/retail thing in so long, I'm not sure how to price this new work with resale in mind. I think I'll have to raise the prices in order for it to be worth while for both a shop and for me. That of course means prices would have to g…

Alchemy Jewelry Studios is Open!

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The new website is up and running! Come see me at AlchemyJewelryStudios.com!

Forging Ahead

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As you can see, I've been busy in the studio, making necklaces and tiaras and then piling them up to take pictures of them. I'm also working on a new website, just for this jewelry. I hope to have it up and running in the next few days. Like the jewelry itself, the name has morphed to something slightly other than what it started as. Steel Alchemy, which was a good name, has been replaced with Alchemy Jewelry Studios. There's a good reason for this. The new name leaves both ends open for expansion. By leaving out "steel", I can explore other metals, as well as any other materials that interest me. I can even use my own beads, if I ever feel drawn back to the torch again. And by calling it "studios," plural, I have the option of inviting other artists to join me at some point. It's that cooperation thing I was talking about yesterday. I don't know for sure that this will happen with this particular new website, but I like having the option. Meanw…

Competition and Cooperation

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I don't play sports. I don't watch sports. I don't like that for one team to win, the other has to lose. I basically have a deep dislike for competition. I will admit to enjoying the challenge of a rousing game of dominoes with Rick, taking the luck of the draw and doing our best with it. But we'll play all evening and never keep score. For us, the fun is in the playing, not the winning. There's enough fun to go around, and we're good at sharing it.
Does anybody remember the New Games Book? It came out in 1976, and is based on the theory that there's a lot of playful fun to be had, without any competition at all. Everyone plays to the best of their ability, everyone is included, everyone has fun. I loved it back when it came out, and just ordered a used copy from Amazon. I think it's time for a second edition. Anybody in publishing out there? Take this idea and run, skip, jump, and twirl with it!
I've been thinking a lot about competition, in contrast …

Come On In

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Baby, it's cold outside, and there's another storm just settling in. My weather widget says it's 16º, and feels like 6º, snow today, with a high of 18º. Can that be right? Oh yeah, this is Taos, land of extremes and challenges and chaotic beauty. Checking in on the internal contentment widget, mine says, Happy with a chance of Euphoria, Highs and Lows to be ignored as much as possible. Personal dips and blips aside (three big ones in the last few days), I'm riding the storms like a rodeo queen, and luckily, doing it from the warmth of our cozy adobe house.

We took the house off the market the other day, and have decided to make this work, this too-big house with its too-big mortgage. I don't know how we'll make it work, but I trust that we will, because we always do. Looking through the storage shed out back yesterday, I found a couple of favorite purses, a coffee maker we no longer have the need for, and the prescription glasses I was convinced I'd sold a …

Tech Support

A friend sent this to me over the holidays, and I liked it so much, I thought I'd share it with you on a day I don't feel like writing... today is good! Enjoy!


Installing Love
Tech Support: Yes, how can I help you? Customer: Well , after much consideration, I've decided to install Love.   Can you guide me through the process? Tech Support: Yes. I can help you. Are you ready to proceed? Customer: Well, I'm not very technical, but I think I'm ready. What do I do first?   Tech Support: The first step is to open your Heart. Have you located your Heart?   Customer: Yes, but there are several other programs running now. Is it okay to  install Love while they are running? Tech Support: What programs are running? Customer: Let's see, I have Past Hurt, Low Self-Esteem, Grudge and Resentment running right now. Tech Support:  No problem, Love will gradually erase Past Hurt from your current operating system. It may remain in your permanent memory but it will no longer Disrupt other programs. Lov…

No. Yes.

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Two simple words, No and Yes, carry so much power in our lives. No is important, especially to women, who are traditionally taught from infancy to be good little pleasers. We need to know when to use a good strong Holy No when we know from somewhere deep down that it will serve us best. No can be life saving. It can also be stubborn. Underused, we allow ourselves to be trampled by the needs and wants of others. Overused, we can become blind and deaf to those closest to us.
Yes is just as tricky. It isn't a mere absence of No, but an active agreement to whatever is being asked. Yes is an absolute "allower" that often requires setting our Selves aside, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Both Yes and No need to be used with care and thought and feeling. Before ever using either of these simplest of words, there should be a pause, a count to 10, an internal checkpoint, a deep breath. Used hastily or incorrectly, these tiny giants can cause astonishing trouble. There …

Steel Alchemy

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I have a name for my "new business", if that's what it is. It's at least a new "line", this steel and CZ stuff, and I've zeroed in on "Steel Alchemy" for the main name, and will use other related names for individual pieces. I like it, the idea of turning something of "no value" into something precious. Value is all in our perception anyway. Gold and diamonds are precious and valuable to humans because we've told each other they are. Dogs and daffodils and palm trees don't care so much for these things. Precious and valuable to them are water, light, air, and food; things we tend to take for granted.

I'm hoping that Steel Alchemy will assist me with some Life Alchemy. When working on something new that really grabs my attention, I go to a place where the world disappears and Things Of Interest come to me, springing one from the other. It's meditative and productive at the same time. It's how I operate, how I allow…

It's a Dirty Job

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I finished up three necklaces yesterday, and had Rick take pictures of my hands holding them. I love the contrasts; the dirt, the sparkle, the hard metal, the soft skin. These pieces are truly a labor of love, and as with so many things that are worth doing, it takes a lot of mess to uncover the beauty. I'm about ready to part with these, and will probably take "clean" pictures today, and post them in the BeadShop. But first, I really wanted you to see a bit of how these are born.

Relationship

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All I can think about right now is  wire and sparkles. Maybe it's this dark, cold time of year, or a post-holiday need to cling to the magic. I don't know, and I don't question the Why of it. What's important is the What, and to a lesser degree, the How. I've been in the studio at least a little bit each day since Christmas, bending, sawing, and hammering wire. My hands are sore and stained from the dirty steel, but I don't care. I am in love with the stuff, and every minute I spend with it teaches me something.

In my internet travels to various woo-woo sites, I keep coming across discussion of "relationship," meaning not only close romantic partnerships, but a more expanded view that includes how we relate to everyone and everything we come into contact with. Think about it. We actually do have relationship with everything, and though it may be only momentary, it still matters. I'm particularly focused on my relationship with steel baling wire. …

The Future's So Bright...

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Rick and I stayed home last night, choosing to celebrate New Year's Eve safe and warm, in our own little house. It was so cold and icy outside, we just couldn't find a reason to bundle up and slip-slide around with all the crazy drunks on the roads. Most of our friends did the same, and it was fun to have Facebook as a meeting place. We had beautiful gourmet party snacks and champagne, and while Rick played DJ, I brought some wire and beads in from the studio, and made... tiaras. I'm not sure what sparked this idea, but it was a lot of fun, if a little tough on my hands. I made two, and have ideas for a couple more at least. I love these. I think they have a sort of medieval look to them. I could see one on Gwyneth Paltrow, in Shakespeare In Love. And I love wearing them. I wore the white one last night... in fact I'm wearing it now. I might wear it every day, that's how much fun it is.


I woke up this morning to a glistening new day. I grabbed my camera, ran out the…