Status Reports & Other Ramblings
It's unusual for me to do something of this scale that isn't a commission, but last week was a BAD pain week, and by the time Friday rolled around I was all out of brain and running entirely on coffee, ibuprofen, and cheese.
So I grabbed some beads and loaded up NCIS on Netflix.
And started putting them together. At first I figured it was going to be on the dramatic side, but not THAT wild, y'know?
The beads had other ideas. As in "go find more beads, this won't be enough."
Look, I just work here.
By the time I had to leave to go get the short person from school, it was most of the way done.
I spent another hour or so that night working on it (this time with Star Trek Voyager for company, because having finished Doctor Who I am now continuing the short person's sci-fi education by making sure that she's Team Star Trek and not Team Star Wars (don't @ me) and while I personally will always be a NextGen girl, I figured the somewhat faster pacing of Voyager was more likely to hold the attention of Little Miss Oh Look A Butterfly. Also Janeway is an excellent Strong Female Hero and we like those around here.
What was I saying? Right, necklace. Anyway. It's done, and it's up on the website, and wow is it something.
It's not the biggest thing I've ever made - I'm pretty sure the record for that is still held by the Autumn Faerie Necklace of 2007 - but it's up there. Despite its size, it's surprisingly comfortable to wear!
There's not much else to report from last week, since like I said, all the pain ever. (I had three solid weeks of daily migraine activity that finally ended on Thursday. I know what caused it and I'm better now, but it was not fun.) Shipping continues on Earring Club, and I've got some fun new beads that will make their debut later today.
Also the short person has a couple of weeks off camp now, so if you've been wanting custom Tiny Evil Genius Earrings, this is your chance - her commission queue is open. They're usually $15/pair for glass beads, and a third of that goes into savings and a third into her fun money, which is currently earmarked for... more Legos, I think? I'm not sure. She's also starting to do very simple pendants, which are in the $10-$15 range.
(My commission queue is also open, I might add. No minimum at the moment, and usually pretty fast turnaround time unless I need to order materials.)
I think that's all the news for today. Happy Monday! Only 10 more days until Mercury Retrograde is over! Yes I am currently wearing hematite bracelets on both wrists, thank you for asking.
(Yes, that is the hood of my car, and yes, there's a story here. I'll get to it in a minute.)
So, you know how I've been running around like Paul Revere the past couple of weeks bellowing "THE RETROGRADE IS COMING THE RETROGRADE IS COMING" and reminding everybody to wear their hematite?
...guess who totally forgot to take her own advice for all of last week. (Spoiler: IT ME.) On Friday I finally remembered that OH HEY MAYBE I SHOULD PUT ON SOME EARRINGS. Three times, before I finally managed it in the late afternoon. At which point I also chucked some into the bottle pendant I wear pretty much 24/7, and hey this hematite star bracelet I was about to put on the website happens to be precisely my size so YOINK nothing to see here folks move along.
And lo, my stress level dropped, at least until I acquired a second eight-year-old for the night and then all bets were off. But I've been wearing earrings AND my pendant AND my bracelet religiously ever since and I haven't been making quite as many stupid mistakes? I think?
And then yesterday I went to meet an internet friend in person for the first time, and we went bead shopping in the middle of the woods, and... okay, let me back up.
There is a bead store in the middle of absolutely NOWHERE, near the New Hampshire/Vermont line. To get there you drive down a bunch of very twisty dirt roads, and you have to kind of know where it is because your GPS is going to get very confused at some point, and then you park on the side of the road and walk up the driveway to this old farmhouse that I'm pretty sure snuck out of a fairytale. Like, there's a woodpile out front, only it's selenite. There's a duck pond, only it's full of tumbled stones instead of water and ducks. And then you go in, and there are beads handing EVERYWHERE, and two women with flowing white hair who say things like "oh no dearie, not those beads, you want THESE" and one of them is named Butterfly I AM NOT MAKING ANY OF THIS UP.
(My friend Kate promptly hauled me out there when I first moved to New Hampshire, and now I make the trip at least a couple of times a year, because it's on par with the NYC wholesale district. And... I guess I've gotten used to it, because it wasn't until my friend stopped spluttering and went speechless that I realized that oh, right, this isn't exactly what you'd expect when somebody says "come to New Hampshire and I'll take you to my favorite bead store!")
So anyway, we both bought a lot of beads, and then I ended up making jewelry on the side of the road, using the hood of my Subaru as an impromptu workbench, supervised by a plush honey badger that my friend had knitted for me. My job is very weird sometimes.
My Patronus is a honey badger, and there's a story there too that you might remember if you were around a few years ago when Ursula Vernon and Elise Matthesen and MCA Hogarth and I spent a weekend being utterly ridiculous with art and beads and honey badger violence. But suffice it to say that I made very undignified squeaking noises upon being presented with a knitted honey badger, and upon returning home she was promptly put in charge of guarding the bowls of random beads that live on the top of my desk:
...and yes, I did buy yet more hematite yesterday, and it's about to start going up on the website, along with the onyx and astrophyllite (!!!) and smoky quartz hypersthene and OKAY FINE YES I WAS VERY CRANKY ABOUT THIS RETROGRADE NONSENSE SO I BOUGHT A LOT OF SOOTHING BEADS. (Also the very last strand of that silvery-grey moonstone that's been selling as fast as I can turn it into pendants, and I stocked up on labradorite and garnet and citrine because the Sundering Persephone series is coming back this fall.) Oh, and some dark blue fluorite that I am going to try very hard not to keep completely for myself.
Yep, there definitely is some Monday/Mercury Retrograde nonsense happening, and I am already VERY OVER IT.
My day started with spilling very very very hot water over both my wrists, because apparently the combination of hand tremor + migraine aura + not being caffeinated yet = FUN WITH NERVE PAIN BUT THAT'S OKAY IT'S NOT LIKE I NEED MY HANDS FOR WORK OR ANYTHING oh wait.
(I'm mostly okay now, since I'd forgotten the water for long enough that it wasn't boiling anymore and I promptly slathered on the Horribly Stanky And Very Effective Herbal Burn Cream that my friend Karoline makes me keep in the kitchen at all times and then slapped lidocaine patches on for a couple of hours with the aid of some hair ties. But yeah, that was not how I wanted to start my Monday, thanks.)
It did, however, inspire me to make good on my threat to add a new Intent Pendant to the lineup, so... should you also be experiencing a bad case of Monday and/or Mercury Retrograde, may I suggest acquiring one of my Are You #@&%?! Kidding Me? pendants? I can't promise that it will fix anything, but it might help you remember to use your words instead of biting people. Also I'm putting the entire line on sale for the rest of the month, because it seems like the thing to do.
Other than that, uh... not much to report over here. Let's see:
- I'm sticking with the Morning Wire Meditation project, pretty much any day that I'm at the workbench, and it's teaching me some stuff.
- July Earring Club starts shipping today, and it's another Educational month, in which I will surprise you with one of my very favorite stones (yes I have a lot of favorite stones, hush you) that tends to not photograph well. Muwahahahaha.
- Oh, and I'm going bead shopping with a friend on Sunday, so if you have any requests, now would be a good time to let me know. (Yes, I will try to get more of the grey/black moonstone.) Mmmm beads.
(actual photo of me upon realizing that Mercury is about to go retrograde)
Y'all, I am normally Madame Skepticalia McDoubtfulpants about anything that can't be proven with science, but Mercury Retrograde is just a whole bunch of Bad Stuff Happening All At Once and I would really like to hide under a rug until August, okay? Except I can't, because bills and parenting and stuff.
(BEING A GROWNUP IS SERIOUSLY OVER-RATED HOW DO I RESIGN)
Since I can't hide under a rug, expect to see me hauling out aaaaaaaall the hematite and obsidian and smoky quartz and onyx and... well, basically anything associated with protection/grounding/GTFO vibes. Because if nothing else, it calms ME down, and that means I probably won't yell at people. Much.
(Story time: many years ago when I was a wee young thing working in the non-profit world, I always kept a big chunk of hematite on my desk. I told people it helped me stay calm under stress, which was entirely true... but what I usually didn't mention was the part where it worked because I was too busy visualizing chucking it at the head of whoever was annoying me at the time to actually say what I was thinking. And this is why I no longer work in the non-profit world.)
ANYWAY. I've already been busy with the hematite, in the form of these earrings, and I restocked the NOT TODAY, SATAN pendants and earrings while I was at it. And if those aren't your style (or if you already have them) there are a few intent pendants that might come in useful over the next few weeks.
(Maybe I should make an intent pendant called "NOPE" or something. Hematite, obsidian, onxy, smoky quartz, black tourmaline, and... *rummages* larvikite, maybe? *puts it on to-do list for next week*)
Also! Let's talk about customization, because that's a thing I've been doing more and more lately. If you've ever looked at one of my necklaces you've undoubtably seen the "can be adjusted to any length between X and Y" in the description, and I've also always offered free extenders for bracelets (although I've only recently remembered to, y'know, SAY THAT) and you probably know all about the many varieties of earwires and pinchy things I can put on earrings. BUT! I can also often make other changes to things upon request, or make a different version of something if you like some of the elements but want to change something.
In general, it's always easier to add than to take away, so if you want me to add [insert stone of your choosing] onto something, or build up the wirework in one spot to make something more symmetrical, or make a longer version of any given earring design, that's usually pretty easy. If you want something removed, that's trickier, but sometimes I can do a fast swap on a stone, or shorten a bracelet, and making shorter versions of earrings is almost always possible. So if you're looking at something and going "it's ALMOST perfect buuuuuuuuut" feel free to ask me if modifications are possible, because they often are! Sometimes it will affect the price, but rarely more than $5 or $10 unless you're asking for something really major, and I'll tell you up front how much it will cost, if there's a charge at all.
One of my favorite hobbies is rearranging furniture (which is a rather unwise choice of hobbies for somebody with hEDS, seeing as how it usually ends with some spectacular bruises and an equally rearranged skeleton, but as usual I digress) and a few weeks ago I decided I was tired of working in this corner of the living room and relocated the studio into the bay window instead, and I think it's my favorite workspace EVER, actually. With the windows open I get a lovely cross-breeze and hardly ever need to turn on the air conditioner anymore, plus there's a female hummingbird who visits the honeysuckle in the front garden several times a day, and I also have a front-row seat for the entertainment provided by the small children who live across the street.
(Mom: “What do we do when we’re mad at someone? Do we have a conversation about it, or do we throw things at them and push them off the swing?”
Small Human, very indignantly: “THROW!!”)
Another bonus: the natural light is FANTASTIC over here, so I can now surround myself with plants when I'm at work. I, uh... tend to have a lot of plants, and a few more followed me home this weekend. And by a few I mean ten.
(In my defense, all but one was in the clearance section! But my child has informed me that she's going to take away my wallet if I buy any more plants this week, and she's probably not wrong.)
Speaking of my child, she is blessedly at camp this week, which means NO ONE IS TALKING TO ME RIGHT NOW. And I am about to go be very very productive until I have to go retrieve her at 5:30!
Other than the plants, the only other thing of note that happened this past week is that I've started a new morning practice of experimenting with scraps of wire the first time I sit down at the workbench each day. The rules I've set for myself are that I can only use scraps of leftover wire - I can't cut extra from my spools, and no beads or stones get used - and I have to push myself to think outside the box. It's proving to be quite interesting; if you want to take a look at what I've been doing, here's the collection so far.
...and while it technically isn't morning anymore, it IS about to be the start of my workbench time for the day, so I'm off to see what scraps I left myself yesterday and what they turn into.