Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Gambling ghostie

I love that every now and then my grown children want to, I mean really want to, spend some time with me. One of the things my oldest daughter likes to do is take me to Wendover, Nev., just to cash in the free rooms and meals that we are sent in the mail, and to play the penny slots for an evening. I can't stand to waste money, so I usually take along about 20.00 and that has always kept me busy for a couple of hours and all I risk losing is the 20.00 I came with.

We went this weekend and I came home with 50.00 more than I went with. I have to send out props to a little ghostie who was watching me play. I kept seeing this elderly man standing about 4 or five feet away from me. I smiled at him initially, looked away, looked back...and he was gone. Hmmmmm. After that I kept feeling someone watching me and could see someone out of the corner of my eye, but didn't see anything when I looked at him full-on. I had a great time, though, and maybe the ghostie sent me some luck since I never win big.

The ghostie, though, doesn't seem to be that lucky. How boring to have to haunt a smoky casino. Yuck! I can take a couple of hours there, but to have to watch people mindlessly feed money to machines 24/7 would drive me crazy. If God forgets to pick me up when I "go," I would like to haunt a craftstore. I could take all the new products off the shelves and use their backrooms to create works of absolute beauty since money would be no object. I would leave my work out in the open and freak everyone out. "Where did that come from?" they would ask. Then someone would calmly answer, "Well, it must be from our ghostie. We don't know her name, so we call her "Ruby." I like the name Ruby.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Parting with my art

I have been reading lots of magazines about blogging and dropping in on other peoples' blogs to get ideas about how they go. Often they are used to share ideas about new craft ideas, storage and organization ideas, how to sell your products, as well as giving personal information so that you learn a lot about the inner lives of the people who are posting. I am enjoying peeking into others' lives and creativity.

Here's an idea I had about presenting my art to the local craft stores or displaying my art at stores and craft fairs, boutiques, etc: The ironing board! Yes! The nicely padded surface of the ironing board in addition to the sometimes vintage looking covers seems like the perfect place on which to store, categorize and display my products. I love my work even if no one else does, and I guess that is what scares me about parting with it to stores. What if nobody likes my creations? I guess it shouldn't matter because I get so much pleasure from almost every aspect of the creative process.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Another side of Jo-The Lovely Bones

I recently read the novel The Lovely Bones and cried my way through it, so why, oh why did I go to see the movie. Don't get me wrong, it was wonderful. The filming was so original, yet made me feel like I was reliving my teenage glory days in the seventies. The problem with the film, and worse, the book, for me is that they made me relive sad times in my life. The Lovely Bones is about a fouteen-year-old girl who is mudered by a serial killer about the same time she is learning about young romance. She barely misses her first kiss, then meets her end. All that is so sad, but what affected me deeply, especially in the book, was the mother's eventual abandonment of her other children because she couldn't handle the stress of the tragedy.
My mother was a life-long foster child and, according to my dad, married at 17 to escape her sad life. She had 3 children (I was a "honeymoon baby) within the first 5 years of marriage. At that point she decided that she had missed her childhood and left us with our dad to return to her "teenage glory days." Like the mom in The Lovely Bones, she had demons to deal with, and for whatever reasons had to deal with them as a single woman. In those days no one concerned themselves much with how divorce, abandonment, or any upheaval at home, even abuse, affected the child. Not once was I asked if I was dealing well with the loss of my mom. My dad moved us in with our little Italian grandmother (without her permission, she later told me), and not once was I comforted although I cried for my mommy daily for at least a year. I imagine I was considered an annoying crybaby--and that was all. I remained a crybaby (I guess I still am), but after awhile, I grew to hate my absent mother. They deal with that emotion in the book, but not the movie. I don't hate her anymore, but the apathy I feel for her is not healthy either.
So, was the neglect of my young self a good or bad thing? Still, silly
things like fictional movies on the subject of abandonment and rejection can still cut me to the quick. I made the mistake of adopting a six-year-old who was abandoned by a neglectful mother about ten years ago. I realize now that the fatally emotionally wounded is not a good doctor to another with fatal emotional wounds. I have only had self motivational counseling: a strong spiritual belief, a great husband, a best friend, beautiful children who love me, a great career, etc. My adopted child has had over ten years of intense therapy to little avail. Was she hurt worse than I was?
My brother and sister and I have had our share of problems to overcome as a result of my mother's search for a lost childhood, but have become, for the most part, strong adults. On the other hand, a majority of the kids that I meet through involvement in my daughter's therapy,
including my daughter, seem to have a palpable air of damage about them. Although I wish that I had had counseling somewhere along the way-someone that could have told me my feelings of loss and rejection were legitimate, I am also glad that I had to learn self-reliance, gather faith, and build strong relationships with people that actually "HEAR" me and give a dose of sympathy now and then--and then tell me to put on my big girl bloomers and keep on trucking.
Because of what happened to me, I determined when I had children that I would put them before me---even before my own happiness--to give them happiness. This is a very old-fashioned thought, but in doing this I have found happiness beyond my wildest dreams. The love i lavished on my kids because I felt I didn't have it has come back to me a hundred fold.
Ok, I'm better now. Thanks for listening to my rant. I will think twice before going to see another movie I KNOW will bum me out!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Define Serendipity

I love the creative process. So often I feel I lack imagination, inspiration, or motivation, but once I get started on a project, things just seem to flow and one idea sparks another. Years ago, my husband and I enjoyed making chimes of old silver spoons. When he lost interest, I had to stop too because so much of the process called for muscles. But, I discovered my spoons again recently and have gone from making chimes to the spoons featured in a past blog to pendant style necklaces. I was experimenting with smaller spoons like souvennir spoons, sugar spoons, baby spoons, etc., and came up with some ideas for jewelry. I already had a ton of spoons to recycle, as well as old beads and wire. Take a look and follow me to loose sparrow on, too.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Babies, Babies Everywhere

For us, the last two weeks have been filled with babies. I love babies. A couple of my daughters' friends have either recently had a baby or are expecting. We have had showers and hospital visits and even a couple of days worth of babysitting. Bringing new life into this world in this point in history is a scary but exciting prospect. When I was a child, _____years ago in the stoneage, kids grew up free to run and were relatively safe. Today, children are regularly kept in the house or yard for fear of strangers, and in from recess because of "red air days."

I don't envy today's moms and dads, and I like taking the role of adopted "grandma." I get to snuggle and tickle and tease without worrying about how strict or lenient I need to be. One thing that hasn't changed, though, is how fast they grow. I waited 3 1/2 years after being married before I had my first child, and 3 1/2 years between my second and third. It took forever, it seems, to get them all here--and then whoosh------they were all leaving the nest. It's a good thing I have my two little chihuahuas to love and cuddle or I would be one of those crazy ladies who carry a doll that looks just like me wherever I go. Congratualtions to all you new mommies and daddies out there.

I would go back and do it all again, and this time I wouldn't complain so much about the dirty diapers and the toys I was always tripping over. I would savor it like it was strawberry shortcake.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Must. Craft.

Hi. One thing I've discovered lately is that not everything about crafting comes easily to me. Don't get me wrong....I love getting paint on my new jeans (not), dirtying my fingernails so badly that people wonder if I'm a mechanic, and being followed around by two little chihuahuas covered in splotches of glue and glitter. These little things don't bother me. Taking pictures of my wares does!! I am a crappy photographer. Or maybe I need a much more expensive and fancy camera. I spent the weekend setting up my projects on various colored backgrounds in various lights. Agghhhh! I need to spend some time learning how to shoot without blurs, glares and orbs over my handicrafts. Sometimes I luck out and get it right, but I don't know how I did it. See top example as compared to bottom. What to do...What to do. I guess I will hit the web to see if there are any suggestions. I thought this was going to be easy!!!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

I have missed you all (all one or two of my readers) over the Christmas holiday. It's nice to be back on track. We had a great family time. We celebrate Christmas Eve with my brother and his two daughters and take turns at one anothers' houses. This was my year, but we actually had the party at my daughter, Misty's house. Being my year, we also made raviolis, and from the left-over ravioli dough we made a special Italian cookie called scalini. It is supposed to be rolled out, braided and fashioned into fish. All of this cooking takes a lot of time and a team of thousands (well, 3 or 4), but it is great family fun and an awesome tradition.