Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My Empty Head

I haven't posted in awhile. Oh I've managed to put up some pictures here and there. I always like pictures when I read so I try to include pictures here.

I haven't written lately because I have not had anything interesting to say. Do you ever have times like that? I think we all do. I want to keep up my blog so I feel bad when I just don't have anything to write about. I don't think my rambling would be of interest so I usually just don't write anything at all.

I've thought about writing some tips on picture-taking. Like there aren't already enough tips out there. I wouldn't be writing anything new. It would just be the knowledge that I have accumulated in my own head. But maybe it would be of use to someone.

I could write about the weather.

It's spring.

Well that was short.

I could write about sales being slow. But I really can't stand whining.

I have a lovely picture on my desktop of a very old abandoned house. It is a very old picture of a very old house. That is something that thrills me. I would love to go inside that house. But fear would keep me out. I'd be afraid of the floors collapsing under my feet, or the roof caving in on top of me. I'd also be afraid of trespassing. But I would love to just see what it's like inside. Thankfully there are others who are not afraid to go inside of these places. They actually take their cameras inside abandoned houses, hospitals, asylums and prisons. There are websites full of their incredible pictures. So I do get to go inside, through their pictures. I have them listed under my Very Cool Sites list, here on the blog.

I've tried to figure out what is behind the fascination of these abandoned places. Is it the beauty of the architecture when everything was made by hand? That is certainly part of it. If you look at things that were made a hundred years ago, even the tools were ornate. Everything was made with beauty in mind. That was before the giant factories and the assembly lines. Those things were made to last, so we are fortunate that we have an abundance of antiques still with us.

The beauty of these places is what draws me in. But then I want to know their stories. What were the lives that were lived in these places? Sometimes we know their history. There are also websites that have some of those stories. I have one in particular that is very fascinating, called Willard Suitcase Exhibit. You can find it on my list of Some Very Cool Sites. They found an attic in an abandoned asylum, full of suitcases with some of the personal belongings of the former inhabitants. It is the most fascinating site I have ever seen. It is haunting and sad but their stories are finally being told. I highly recommend it, especially if you are looking for a dose of darkness.

Well I guess that's about it for today. If I get inspired later I will write more. Time to get to my domestic duties. I wish you all a wonderful day!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Saturday, March 20, 2010

First Day Of Spring?


Yep. It really is the first day of spring. It's 30° Fahrenheit and it's been snowing since last night and all day today and is still coming down. I took this picture this morning. It's ok with me. It covers up all the yard work we will need to do once true spring arrives, sometime in April or May.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Learning New Skills

Hello dear readers and fellow bloggers!!
I've been learning a new skill, making chainmaille jewelry. Oh boy, it is challenging! But the rewards are so nice and somehow almost addictively satisfying. I'm not sure exactly why. Maybe the puzzle-solving that is involved in order to figure out how to put these things together. Maybe just that the results are so beautiful. Whatever it is, I feel myself being drawn in a little more with each piece I complete!
Of course my 'maille' is not going to look quite like the pieces that other people make. I love the beautifully polished and perfect pieces out there. The chainmaillers I've met do incredible work!
But my pieces are something you would dig out of an ancient ruins, so I use dark annealed steel in a heavy gauge. This is rugged stuff. It's hard on the hands because it is thick and stiff. It polishes to a nice pewter color, with a nice dull sheen. The ends of the links are never going to be perfectly smooth and perfectly seamed together just because of the nature of this wire. I like that rugged look so it suits me perfectly.
Here are the pieces I've made so far. I'd love to hear feedback! Always feel free to leave comments!!

A bit of European 4-1 in this necklace


Spiral Bracelet


A 'unit' of Scherzo in the first pair of earrings.


The second pair is just links, my way.


My variation of Helm.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Wolfie

This is Wolfie.


She is my assistant.


She helps me make the jewelry.


She is always there to lend a helping paw.

She appreciates the fact that I put a nice warm lamp here, just for her to nap under.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Is It Spring Yet?

Good Monday morning!! I have been hibernating for most of this winter and have not written much here for awhile. I'm digging my way out of my cave and hope to have something interesting to share soon!

I had the great pleasure to play a concert with Waukegan Symphony yesterday. We have more violins now than we have had in years and it is such a joy to have that many! The sound is awesome and the feeling of playing in unison with so many is even better! We had a wonderful piano soloist to play Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue. It was a tiring but wonderful weekend!

I cleared off my desk and rearranged the drawers - yes, again. I'm still looking for that perfect set-up. You know, the one where everything I need is at my fingertips and everything is neat and orderly all the time? Has anyone succeeded in achieving that goal? If so, please, please leave a comment explaining it!!!

I'm so happy that I finally get to see the Olympics on the NBC website. We have no reliable TV reception since the digital change so we were unable to see it live. But now that they are over all the events are available online! And I don't have to listen to the yammering commentators. I get to see the events as they happened without the criticisms!!

The weather is definitely becoming more spring-like. The snow is slowly melting and the ice cycles are almost gone from the roof. I can't see any grass yet but if these above freezing temps keep up, it won't be long.

I've been making some new jewelry pieces. I'm trying to push myself to create and list more often. My one year anniversary on Etsy is tomorrow!! I am so glad I have my little shop. It's such a joy to wake up everyday to making jewelry!

Here's a little preview of some pieces I'll be listing later today:


So, that's it for my random thoughts posting for today! Happy Monday to all!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010