A full circle…decades in the making.

An epiphany.
Or perhaps more like a sudden realization.
Maybe just a stirring of memories.

Whatever. I’ll get on with it. But first a bit of my personal history, if you don’t mind……

I grew up surrounded with art supplies and books. On rainy days Mom would cover the dining room table (and the floor) with newspaper and bring out the watercolor paints and paper. PlayDough, my favorite, was permitted everywhere. The 64 Crayola crayon box – with built in sharpener – a hoarded treasure. I loved to draw, but at a certain age, (most likely early in grade school), I was told I “couldn’t draw”.

My love of books has stuck. (According to family lore, I had cloth books with me in my crib. It occurs to me perhaps I should have at least one book cremated with me. Bit morbid. Sorry.)

PlayDough morphed into polymer clay. My jewelry is on Etsy and I put up my tent at local shows. I also love making small animal totems, especially bunnies.

Drawing. All these years and never picked up pencil. Cause I couldn’t draw right? So now I’m taking this class I keep blathering about. I’ve had varied successes in class. I seemed determined to clench up and disappoint myself – knowing what I’ve brought to the table, pretty quickly done. So today I asked myself, “what inspired me to draw all those years ago?” Easy. Dr. Seuss. I still have my books:

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I have found my happy moment! What a good morning/afternoon!
Have a great day and thank you for reading!

I feel dazed…..

The songbirds have returned. Standing in my yard, listening to their celebrations of an early spring and eavesdropping on serenades to potential mates, I’m too grumpy (distracted?) to enjoy their glorious songs.

Those last couple of weeks of January were bit too rough, a little too much, I’m still processing events. I think I’ll just talk about one such event today.

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Our Brandy died ten days ago.
A ball of light and love wrapped in silky red hair
Brandy was our heart: sweet, silly, ornery, and little bossy
All gone.

Still youngish, never ill, she was gone in a flash.

Now, this is the part that in time will be a delight but is still a bit difficult: She died chasing a bunny. Seriously.

Dave said she was chasing the rabbit then stopped and then started running again. Her usual. (We had assumed her arthritic shoulder hampered her chases of late.). This time, however, she laid down and was gone.

Anything heart/brain/vascular could have happened. She was current with everything at the vet’s. I do believe it was simply ‘her time’. And what standard dachshund wouldn’t want their last act to be chasing a bunny? (Except for those who want to be noshing on a bit of something.).

All that being said does not make this easy.

I know we will heal. I know, given the time to process her dying, we will be fine. Not quite yet.

Pleasantries

Pleasantries. I love that word.
You run into someone at the grocery and you exchange pleasantries.
You meet an acquaintance for coffee – pleasantries.
A friend for lunch? First come the pleasantries.
The last couple of days, I have been fighting a nasty cold. I have avoided the news, the bills, the house cleaning, and instead focused on taking vitamins and resting (and reading). In short – living the pleasantries.
My head cold adverted, I’m up and functioning. No more pleasantries.
Drat.
I had high hopes for today. My WW purple would have kicked in showing a lovely loss. I would have finished my sketch from last night, (we started charcoal. Which I loved), over a very sensible breakfast. Then yoga, followed by shoe shopping. A short break for an espresso then blogging and clay. Wonderful. In short, the pleasantries tinted version of life.
The truth – –
Had nightmares. The dogs woke me up far too early for an emergency bathroom trip. Recycling didn’t pick up today. Dragged the full bin back into the garage. Realized I left my charcoal pencils in the classroom last night. Added too much black to my turquoise clay and created a sickly mud. The news…cant even go there. The icing on my cake? A text from my sister requiring a specific time to receive her phone call. I’d rather study current affairs.
Now, sitting at my kitchen table with Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries on TV, I am reminiscing about the pleasantries.
Well.
It’s still earlyish. Come what may. Thanks for reading. Today’s photo, bold reds and all:

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https://www.etsy.com/listing/736696186/very-bold-and-beautiful-red-and-burgundy?ref=shop_home_active_23&frs=1

Bits and pieces

I can’t believe we are halfway thru January. Did it speed by or creep?

I always think I should be accomplishing great things. Constantly. Yes, I know it is illogical and impossible and I’m working on changing this mindset, but there you have it. Unreasonable expectations leading to a general dissatisfaction. Yep. Well, I have managed to teach myself to look at the stuff I did do/start/maintain.

One thing I am truly delighted about is my drawing class. After all these years of wanting to take a class, I am actually doing it! This inspired me to also buy Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. I was able to do a couple of the exercises before my class last night. I was thrilled at my progress. Our assignment was to bring in a photo to draw. I brought a photo I took while on vacation a couple of years ago:

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I drew one duck:

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For me, last night was all about the duck. But I think I’m making real progress. Slowly but surely.

I seem to be spending all my emotional energy on my class, leaving little – if any – for my Etsy site. I tried to sit down several times to create a piece (or several!). Nope. Nothing new or exciting perking in my head. Maybe once I feel a little further along with drawing I’ll be able to focus on my clay. Still, the earrings I have been working on are almost done and looking good!

Sooooo I’m thinking that even tho I haven’t leapt any tall buildings in any number of bounds, maybe I have done alright so far this month. Yes. I think I have.

Update update

Today seems a bit, well, unreal. Or is it surreal. I’m awake, I’m moving and doing and have that sense of accomplishment but I don’t exactly know why. Hmm. I have done a couple of nice things in last couple of days tho….

My drawing class was lovely. My instructor spoke briefly about drawing, pencils, shading, and course objectives. And then she gestured to a table cluttered with random objects and said “get started”. Um. So we did. And she walked around talking about our drawings. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the class. Of course, the more practice the better. Haven’t drawn yet today but the day isn’t over.

Oooo….Today was weigh in day for Weight Watchers. I lost! All is right in the world again! (Heehee). Yesterday I tried the WW site’s questionnaire to see which program I would be sorted into (I suppose it is just me, but in my head I hear a tatty hat crying,”Better be Gryffindore!”). It was purple. Change is good.

Maybe it that’s it… The weight loss has given that feeling of accomplishment! That makes sense. Still, from my to do list: today I am to finish the two pairs of earrings on my work table and start on a large statement sort of necklace. I should do that. Right. Best get started.

I did get these earrings listed:

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https://www.etsy.com/listing/754459022/large-black-and-gray-polymer-clay-dangle?ref=shop_home_active_1&frs=1

Off to work. Thank you for reading!

Tonight

Tonight I is my first drawing class. I’ve had spotty art lessons all my life, but I don’t remember a drawing lesson. So this is something very new for me. I’ve mentioned it before, but it is worth saying/writing again… I have a mental block about drawing. I’ve decided it is long past time to get past childhood bullies. Don’t know if I have any talent or potential, but I plan on having fun trying!

Today’s polymer clay piece:

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https://www.etsy.com/listing/749196947/bold-shapes-and-textured-polymer-clay?ref=shop_home_active_27&frs=1

Thanks for reading! Wish me luck!

The day after

Some people will make New Years Eve/Day the Day(S) for a mini life review. Create and make/break oaths, commitments and resolutions. For me, that somewhat (or very) unpleasant/uncomfortable/despairing day is the day after Christmas. Yesterday, I was sucked down that rabbit hole. Somewhere in my journey I made the decision to do something different on this, my day after day. Something just for me: I signed up for a drawing course.

I’ve always wanted to take a drawing course. I’ve got this mental block about it – a kind of embarrassed childhood “they’ll make fun of me” sort of thing. Rather terrible when I think about where it can from; but it is a feeling that has been slumbering virtually unnoticed for a very long time. Well. Next month I start a very short night course, Foundations of Drawing, at my local community center. It is a start. And one I am proud of taking… a little gesture of bravery to end the year.

Thank you for reading and wish me luck!

Christmas Eve

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I got to thinking about one of my favorite childhood beliefs. Somewhere, sometime, somehow, I was told that at midnight on Christmas Eve, animals can speak. (I mean our languages not theirs.). I not only believed, I wanted to have a conversation.

I remember asking my mom about our pets. I got her usual eye roll and snort,
“They do not speak. Go to bed.”

I tried dad.
“I want to talk to Ophelia, (my guinea pig), at midnight. You have to get me up in time to hear her.”
Dad, who always sort of understood about such stuff, said:
“Sweetheart, I can’t get you up because you might run into Santa. I’ll talk to her for you. Go to bed now.”

Thus assured, off to bed I went.

In the morning, I asked dad what Ophelia said.
“She said Merry Christmas and then fell back asleep.”

Mom rolled her eyes and snorted.

A couple of years ago, after a couple of eggnogs, I prodded my dachshunds awake at midnight.
“Merry Christmas!”

They rolled their eyes and snorted.

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Have a magical holiday everyone!

Harry Pottering

I just realized I haven’t blogged for a over a week.

I haven’t listed anything new on my Etsy site.

I haven’t IG’ed. (Is that a verb now? Don’t know.)

It isn’t that I am depressed, or sad, or really even that busy with holiday preparations. I just haven’t, well, felt like it. No reason. I just seem to want sit on the couch with a nice cup of coffee or wine depending on the time of day.

Whenever I am in one of these moods, (shall I call it a malaise? a funk? sulking? – no – all those are sorta right and sorta wrong), I reach for my Harry Potter books.

I know I am a grown up. (Very grown up if the truth be told.) But there are indeed times when to escape to J. K. Rowling’s world is just what I seem to need. I’ll pick a book at random and keep reading until it is time to stop. And I’ll realize it is time blog, list items in Etsy, and in general, come back to reality. This time, I’m just in time for the holiday!

A peek at the last pair of earrings I listed:

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https://www.etsy.com/listing/759247177/large-lovely-and-light-weight-purple-and?ref=shop_home_active_1&frs=1

Changes

I always seem to be altering something in my life.

Jobs for one. I was once the corporate employee. For quite awhile. Then not.
I’ve done retail. Part time because I really don’t think I could ever handle a full time retail job.

Then of course there are the “self improvement” moments. Scrupulous about taking my vitamins and sticking to WW. (Closely followed by mouthfuls of ice cream eaten out of the pint container.)

I could go on, but the point today is to say: No matter what, I always return to clay. And that is sort of changing too. Or perhaps evolving.
When I started, I made rather small and intricate pieces. I still do technique driven pieces such as:

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https://www.etsy.com/listing/751427607/abstract-swirling-red-orange-and-white?ref=shop_home_active_15&frs=1

I do like the above ring… quite a bit actually … however, I find myself drawn to the design driven pieces:

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https://www.etsy.com/listing/748658535/simple-chic-asymmetry-in-shades-of-blue?ref=shop_home_active_30&frs=1

Minimal and asymmetrical. Yep. That is definitely what I am gravitating towards these days. Perhaps that means I’m streamlining? I don’t know. I do know I am really enjoying this current tangent. I think it will be fun to see where it goes – and how it changes.