Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Guest Bedroom Dream


Aren’t dreams awesome? I wish I could remember all my dreams—they are so bizarre. The other night I had a particularly vivid dream that I was able to recall when I awoke.

It is told in fits and starts, the way it came back to me.

We’re riding in the car, all 5 of us. We are driving through a field with enormous houses scattered about on either side of the road. Like a golf course community, but only 10 times more grandiose. We pass one house that looks as if three homes have been attached together. I am taken by the beautiful decks that connect the parts of the home.

We continue driving until we arrive at a massive all brick home. It is the size of a large high school. It could fill an entire acre of land.

We are now in the guest bedroom where we will be staying. All 5 of us. The room itself is larger than the footprint of our current house. There is a family of deer in the room. The fawn walks by me while I am sitting in an office chair. She puts her little front hooves on my lap. She looks up at me and bleats like a goat. I say we should name her Bambi. The buck comes over and nudges her along. They casually leave the area, but they do not leave the room.

There are people working here. In this guest bedroom. With the deer. A young woman in a business suit sits at a desk. The desk is huge. Like two banquet tables at a 90 degree angle. She only has a framed picture on one side and a spilled drink on the other. She walks into the office of two male employees. I take note of her shoes. Plain pumps.

I’m in my husband’s tattered old pajamas and my hair is disheveled and dirty. We will be joining the owners soon and I am aware that I look rather unfortunate. I gather some of my hair in a scrunchie. I point out to my husband that I have not merely donned a pony-tail, but have pulled back a simple, flattering amount of hair. I say I don’t want them to think I’m poor.

Our dog is also in the bedroom. I’m worried because he has no tags. He might chase after the deer and run away. In this really big guest room.

Perhaps this is why I cut the heads off of spoons and grind glass when I’m awake.

Old colony silverplate keychain

Adam Silverplate Keychain

Winthrop silverplate keychain

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Receiving Gifts at Craft Fairs


I love craft shows. I love going to craft shows and I love selling at craft shows. Art is my hobby, my passion, and my part-time job. I never fail to get excited when talking about my art: the materials, the techniques, the ideas. And I enjoy hearing shoppers tell stories of their creative endeavors and sharing their art experiences. Fairly low on the list of reasons why I do craft shows is actually selling things and making money. Still, I stir at the possibility of a sale…

The woman and her children approached my table with purpose. Something had caught her eye. She picked up a simple ornament, beveled glass diamonds, soldered together to resemble the Texas star, and turned it in her hands. The little piece is a sensory treat- the glass, thick and smooth, is usually cold, the soldered tips-just pointy enough, and the weight is just right. It feels good in your hand. They all nodded approvingly, she smiled at me, offered the obligatory compliment and then gently set the piece back on the table. She’d need to show her husband. They wandered away and I returned to my perch, a bit confused. I thought I had a sale. The woman returned later with one of the children and asked if I would mind holding the star for a while. This felt promising and I readily agreed. Later, one of the children tugged her father up to the table and showed him the star. He exclaimed over it as well, agreed it was lovely and returned it to the table. The woman returned once more to look at it and then left again.

When she left the room, neighboring vendors voiced their opinions on this odd display. “God woman. Get a backbone. If you want it, buy it! Why do you need your husband’s approval?!” “Like she can’t afford $10.00.” “You ought to tell her you can’t hold it all day.” I have a policy of never, ever, speaking negatively at craft shows so I kept my thoughts to myself- but don’t worry, I did think the same things. It was just so strange. I was definitely confused and slightly irritated by the idea that purchasing my little star was something that required a unanimous vote. It was frustrating. I didn’t like holding my inventory in reserve but I had promised I’d set it aside for her and I wouldn’t go back on my word.

Toward the end of the day, the family returned to consider the star one last time. Finally, they all agreed to buy it. As I began to complete the sale and wrap it up, the rest of the family slipped away, and the woman stepped next to the table. “You must think us a peculiar bunch making such a fuss over a little ornament.” I dismissed her concern with a smile and noted that I like to get my husband’s opinion on things, too and I thought it was nice. It was ok, but she needed to continue. “My sister died a few months ago and we decided that for Christmas we wanted to get an ornament that would remind us of her and represent her beautiful spirit. It had to be just perfect and everyone had to love it and be sure it was right. This star is just perfect for her. We love it. Thank you so much.” And she walked out.

From time to time, I think about this.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Studio bliss and a cup of tea

You say 'messy'... I say 'creative space'?

Down in the basement, nestled behind the staircase closet, and past the extra bath is a small room. It is messy and cold, cluttered and disorganized. It smells of oil, dust, chemicals and old candles. But it is also filled with treasures: rocks and post cards, watch parts and broken china, a soldier's course of stained glass sheets, coils of reclaimed wire and tools of every kind.

There's an antique enamel table that sways under the weight of two small kilns, it's little doors ajar. At the entrance, an exterior beveled sidelight creates a splashy, oily show of whooshing rainbows. It was that sidelight, found at a junk shop off a back country road, that inspired this room. As soon as I saw it, I had to have it, and Steve (my wonderful, supportive husband) crammed it in our mini-van, along with three little boys in three car seats and we drove it to our new home. It sat in a corner for four years. And then we finished the basement. The guy who did the remodel was incredulous, but I was insistent. It was my find. For my room. For my studio.

And it is simply fabulous.

My studio is like an old cherished friend. I don't spend nearly enough time in her presence, even though it fills me, nourishes me and uplifts me. I love being in there. I do more in my studio than make things. I take a step back. I sing songs from my youth, really loud. I burn candles: rose, patchouli, cinnamon. I pass incredible amounts of time just looking at things. Touching things. Thinking about things.

I've discovered all sorts of things in this room. Some about art. More about me.

This blog will explore the creative process, from design idea to finished product. And in doing so, we will also explore the human process: the beautiful, the strong, the tragic and the interesting. Grab of cup of tea and let's go down to my studio for a minute.
The soldier's course of stained glass

So many spoons... so little time!