bumper car syndrome and beyond

It's all been kind of swirling ... feeling like something of a muddle ... no clear direction ... no clear motivations ... move forward a step or so ... slam into something borderline annoying ... fall back two or three ... turn back around into what feels like a bumper car ride or moving head on into a gale force wind or being trapped in a riptide ... stop and go and stroke, stroke and just slog on ...

I haven't been keeping up with blogs, have started multiple books and can't find anything I want to stick with.  I haven't done much of anything that requires a lengthy conscious engagement, visually or intellectually.  I just haven't been able to focus on anything for any length of time.  Where I've tended to go on-line has been Pinterest ... small bursts of visual juice without human interaction.  I've made brief visits over to Facebook and will post a sentence or two ... so I haven't been completely out of touch.  More often than not, I have felt like I can't do anything right which, a couple of weeks ago, led to something bordering on one of those nasty dark nights ... laying in bed, sobbing and lost - poor Dave next to me, worried and equally lost as to what to do or how to help.  The next day, I said "enough."

I applied to an on-line business workshop and got accepted.
Make Your Mark - Tara Gentile is team teaching with Adam King.  I told them in my application,
"I believe my best future lies in ... developing a new business model that supports direct and very personal relationships with shops and individual buyers."  I told them, "I want to be called on my sh*t and embrace my full potential."  To myself I said, I have to stop doing the same things I've been doing for the last four years, all the while hoping for different results ... btw, that's my favorite definition of insanity.

The class started on the 9th and goes for 12 weeks - 3 weeks on, 1 off.  Each month is a different focus - first is personal, second is purpose, third is product. It's small ... not really sure, but I think there's no more than a dozen women enrolled.  We have homework.  We do Skype conference calls with this background chat thing that's taking some getting used to.  There's FB interactions and office hours with more Skype instant messaging.  I am so out of my comfort zone ... but that's the whole point.

This past week, our assignment was to record interviews with our most ideal customers.  For me, I added in business owners as part of the mix.  Picture little old me, miss anti-social, serious hermit person ... conducting three face-to-face interviews and one over the phone.  One person I didn't even know before this past week.  Adding complexity to this assignment is my absolute unwillingness to ask anyone for any help or pretty much anything.  My underlying m.o. has always been, don't ask because you won't get it ... I have to be 100% self-reliant.  Needless to say, with this new adventure, that's getting tossed right out.

On top of all that face time and hard core human interaction, Cara talked me into attending two local art events, the Project Handmade fashion show and a Handmade In America (HIA) social to launch their IndiGoGo fund raising campaign.  It gets crazier ... I joined HIA and signed on to be one of their "ambassadors", which means more human interaction and further expanding the boundaries of that old comfort zone.  

Then, on Friday, I hauled off an emailed a jewelry designer in Paris, asking if she'd be willing to share how she's built her line of one-off jewelry into an international sensation.  Okay, so I haven't heard back and I have serious doubts that I will actually hear back at all, but I asked and it's a start.  

As for my work ... I've got a bowl full of Talisman components waiting patiently, I've filled a couple of orders, one being a pick box of the steel Urban Primitive pieces (I did mention that in my last post).  It took a bit to get back in the flow of that work, but I'm really pleased with the results.  Not sure what all she kept.  I'm kind of hoping this one comes back ...

And then another crazy-making component of this past week's outings ... whatever on earth was I going to wear?  I can't believe how much sleep I lost, my mind racing ... running through my closet over and over and over.  I have a very spare closet and it turns out that my normal 'go-to' pieces no longer fit ... you see, I've lost 17 pounds and most of my clothes are now way too big - that's a lot of weight on a 5'2" frame.  I do know this is kind of a nice problem, but that didn't help when I was trying to assemble 'put-together' looks.  I will say the outfit I wore for my interview with local style icon, Constance Ensner, was my favorite.  I don't have any pictures, but see if you can visualize this ... a very crisp and tailored, black Brooks Brothers dress shirt with French cuffs, layered with a Cara May asymmetrical black linen knee length tunic, over Japanese selvedge denim jeans (an eBay steal for 25 bucks!) with my Fiorentini/Baker brown oxfords, topped off with one of my chunky Urban Primitive Pieces and steel/linen earrings.  That seems to be what 'my style' is turning into ... a mix of tailored and edgy, bargains and consignment store finds with well-crafted, handmade goods.

Then for the HIA social, I swapped out the tunic (so's Cara and I wouldn't be twinsies) for a light gray, vintage Lilith tailored linen knee-length coat ... one of my favorite consignment store finds from Port Townsend ... that used to be a bit snug and now fits.  I woke up on Friday morning with an idea for a new necklace using some of my recent haul from the gem show.  I bought a bunch of raw lapis in this crazy electric blue.  Joanna Gollberg was at the same vendor and going for the same thing ... she allowed as how she just wraps the big chunks up in a towel, takes a hammer and whacks away.  Sounded like my kind of lapidary work ... lord knows I love whacking things.

The main idea though, was for the pmc components.  I wanted to make tapered cylinders and coordinating tube beads and rings, take them straight out of the kiln - no polishing or tumbling, chuck them into a strong liver of sulfur solution until they were a nice color, add a couple of layers of Renaissance Wax and call it done.  I got up Friday morning, ditched my exercises, went straight for my vegan/spelt blueberry muffin and multiple cups of PG Tips and set to work.  By mid-afternoon, I was assembling the components.  I added some unpolished raw bronze and a rather spectacular Basha bead and, lord mercy I've got to say, I think I came up with a show-piece ... the Moon Goddess.  I'm hoping that, over time and through being worn, the surfaces will develop a 'personal patina' and the raised areas will start to have a bit of a shine.  Whaddaya think?

Here's a close-up ...

So, where I am today ...............
I still don't have a bloody clue where I'm going or what's next.  Mainly, I'm using this model from Danielle ... just doing what I'm inspired to do.  I don't have any holiday orders to fill (every time my new rep goes on a road trip, she ends up in the hospital - not a promising trend), or shows lined up and I don't have anything new to list on Etsy, well unless I decide to list the Moon Goddess.  I've got a homework assignment that is making me cross-eyed.  I'm letting it rest for a couple of days and will dive back in tomorrow.  Times like this, I'm always reminded of Geoffrey Rush's character in Shakespeare In Love ... how will this all work out?  "I don't know, it's a mystery."

All I can do is face the wind, put my head down and keep moving.
Onward ........

l i g a - kvk

p.s.  and just so's you know, I really am in a better place and for a wee bit of a Sunday chuckle, I'd like to offer you a bit of Christopher Walken.