Thursday, May 5, 2011

Red Reading

I just started a book called "A Perfect Red", all about the history of red. It is so fascinating! It's not new -- it's from 2005 maybe? Besides being about red, it has the most amazing information about textiles, and dyers, society with regard to color, society with regard to dyers--I found that probably the most fascinating. Dyers were considered second class citizens, even though people paid thousands to wear the Bright Colors they made. They were apprenticed for years to learn the secrets, and only a precious few really made it to the top. But at the same time people looked down their noses at dyers, they were also coveted by their cities--the great dyers of Lucca that fled to Venice actually had prices on their heads for taking the secrets out of the city, although their city was torn by war. (Incidentally that also happened to glassblowers who tried to leave Murano in Venice---they would chop their hands off. Those Italians did not like to share their Craftsmen...)

Back to the History Lesson--so get this--there used to be something called "sumptuary laws". What is that? They are literally laws on how sumptuous your lifestyle could be according to Who you Were or Were Not. Like if you were a Serving Wench, no sleeves or silks or jewels for you. Isn't that nuts? I always believed that they just couldn't afford the nice things--when you see movies and the help is all in greys or black. There were LAWS that said they couldn't wear color.

No pic today---and sorry for the School Girl Writes A Paper tone to this Post!

Go look at some Red and really think about it!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Perpetua's Finest

I finally received my first batch of teas from my Tea Guy out of India a few weeks back and have come up with my first blend! This is a very fine Ceylon Black Tea, with hints of vanilla warmth and cream, completely wrapped in Orangey Citrus Goodness! It's good with milk, of course, but also just fine by itself. It is on sale on Etsy, so head on over there to check it out.

Also, I am Giving Away Teabags of all my new blends as they happen, with any purchase on my Etsy site. Because I have such a small quantity of each, the supplies are limited. But hopefully I can keep doing this. Blending tea is a lot like baking bread, you take your time with it, going to it, then letting it rest. Scent is a funny thing, after a few minutes you can't find where you are in the blend. You have to step away. Maybe I should have been a perfumier! I think I would have enjoyed it.

Well--more packing happening today. The big countdown has begun!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Happy Birthday

Another Birthday, another Year!
Yesterday was an unexpectedly wonderful day, full of Lovely People and Lovely Surprises!

My Honey spent the day with me. He completely outdid himself-- he surprised me with an amazing Annealer (that's a kiln for glass--) that we got from a Lovely woman who was downsizing her studio. It's bigger and in better condition than I could have possibly hoped for! What does this mean?? It means that now I can do my glass work right in my studio, and I don't have to go and rent from other people and schlep work from one place to another. It's The Most Major of Tools. We visited S.'s 72 year old, 3rd generation Italian barber, Lou, who wooed his wife of 51 years in a horse drawn buggy. Lou chatted our ears off and then pointed us to a beautiful place nestled in the woods to have lunch--this old Inn that is in the middle of no where, beautiful with leaves, and ducks, so amazing! We actually (I kid you not) discussed marriage---something both of us have never thought we would want....whew?

I cannot tell you how lucky I feel. I think back to all the Mismatches I dated over the years....I mean, if I was honest with myself at all back them, I would have kicked them to the curb Day Two. I had DOOZIES. Like, real headcases---I was the original "Oh I'll Fix You" Girl. Yep. You know her, or you are her...

But I didn't get how easy it's supposed to be. We are in our 4th year, and it's like, it's still such a treat to spend time with him. He amazes me at every turn. And he is still funny to me! He makes me laugh, and --- you know -- I wish I could take this knowledge and inject it into my twenty something self. I want to take her by the arm and lock her in her room and tell her she can't come out til she realizes that life is so much bigger than this repeating Drama with guys. I would have saved myself a lot of trouble and wasted emotion. But I guess that's AGE talking. At least I finally got WISE. So, I guess, the abridged edition is: I'll take the wrinkles over being that Koo-Koo Bird Twenty Year Old any day.

Monday, April 25, 2011

I Ran Away

Saturday I dropped some Friends off at The Airport, and on my way home, I had the profound urge to continue driving. Perhaps it was because of all the planes, but I did not want to be home, I did not want to be at the new place, i just wanted to GO. I drove til I saw a sign that said New Hope, passing my own exit long ago, and thinking that a place like New Hope would be a good spot to think, I turned. And I found a park. And I walked on a path of chalky plum colored gravel, made brighter by all the Spring Green around me. I walked and walked. Then I drove some more, through winding streets and Green Green Green and Pink blossoming everywhere! I thought about all the things that have been on my mind, and organized them and formed game plans. I didn't turn on the radio, I just hung with myself in silence. It was very very good.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Productivity Sighting

I started working again this week. It's been slow. Sort of like going back to yoga after 3 years or somethig. Which I am also contemplating!! But I am playing with threads again. We are starting to look at kilns for glass work which is great because I have like 45 waxes waiting to be cast:

All in glass. Some of the waxes like this bird above are a year old. I know I should spin that photo around, but I am too Lazy this morning to wait for PhotoShop to open and blah blah blah. It's funny how one gets used to the particular tics of the computer they are Friendly With. But today, much like any relationship, I just don;t Feel like Dealing. So you will have to spin the bird in your minds eye. Anyways--They are waiting to be cast.

Last summer was so hot that I lost a few waxes here and there. Soft pudgy puddles of wax. I am going to reserve a drawer in the fridge this summer, at the new Place. We move the First!

When we moved into this place, we had a freight elevator that has since broken down. I have no idea how we are going to move half of this stuff out of here. I get a headache just looking at it all.....

Ok--today we work and paint. I will take nice photos of the place for my next post!


Monday, April 18, 2011

Ew that Limbo before you move.

I am deep in the throes of a Split Personality. Personality A. is scoring clean boxes from the dumpster behind the beauty supply, and winding bubblewrap around breakables, and arranging for The Man to take them to the new place, a carload at a time. Personality B is the Doozy--she is decorating. I am like a bee without a hive and I keep scurrying to build one as fast as the original one is dismantled. In the OLD SPACE. What IS that??? I sorted my Fibers, or some of them, today. God, I have so much Thread! And then I decided they belonged in trees.

I have always liked a Decorated Tree. Circa BF (That's Before Martha) my mum was decorating trees for many a holiday. Like, Easter, for instance. Every Year we would walk around the back Yard and search for a perfect stick. Some Years, it was good As Was. Other Years, we White Washed it. Then her collection of Handpainted Czech Eggs came out, and the ones my father had painted by hand on wood he had turned on a Lathe in the workshop. Tiny little details, dots and dots, and diamonds---I think those Eggs colored my Idea of Beauty. PAAS was not in our Vocabulary, and I didn't even understand what those egg shaped Plastic things were hanging from trees in front yards so many years later. An Egg Tree was a Thing of Mastery. Our Egg
Tree, if you Added Up all the Hours, from all the artisans that it took to make it look as it did, was 1,000's and 1000's. And if you added in all the time that it took each artist to learn how to do what they did to contribute--well, you see. It was, if I may say, an Honour to Grow up with such beautiful Hand Wrought Things about me.

So I decorated Two Fig Sticks that stand near my bed. They were originally Fig Trees, but these little black buggies got to them last year, and all I have are the Two Fig Sticks. That I draped in Tangled Silk. I'm not sure it Translates into anything, except that Personality B seems pleased with herself.....

In other news, I have just imported TEA! What? yes Tea. I have a Habit, and I have decided to just go with it. I am "just going" with a lot right now. Just doing what comes natural, instead of trying to find the Angle that will lead to some Career. So I bought up a bunch of Basic Teas from an Old Friend in India from My Tea House Days in NYC (I was a server in Tea Houses for 7 years--it's where the Habit began!). And in the next month or so, I will be offering Hand Blended Flavored teas. I'm just going to mix the ones that I mix for myself, and we'll go from there! I am excited. It's close to Art, but not Art, and I think I need to expand my Horizons a bit!
That's it from here.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Moving and Cleaning

Good Lord--- we are 6 weeks away from moving into our new studio. It's crazy. I am really happy with how it is coming, but when people tell you that renovating is a huge stress that will test your sanity? Believe them. When people said that to me in the beginning I completely thought, "Yeah, but I make stuff for a living. I'm used to this stuff." And I was CompletelyWrong--in fact, I can pretty much say I will never renovate a place that was in the Condition This Building Was, EVER AGAIN!! You know what it is? All the paperwork! Permits and Permits and Liscenses, and old rules on the book, and zoning!! Zoning?? ZONING!! The zoning of our building was originally we can sell art from it but not make any art in it. What? The whole Kit and Kaboodle was like that.

We have pretty much all the plumbing in--we still have to turn on the water, so that happens sometime this week or next. And i have started to paint--which has changed the place dramatically. I consider myself an expert with color and yet when I got a beautiful buttercream out of the can I bought and painted it on the moldings, it was a no-holes-barred School Bus Yellow! So rethinking that one.....

So the upshot is I am packing this weekend so we can move slowly over the next 6 weeks instead of killing ourselves in the heat of early summer. And as I am Packing, I am also Sifting. So on my Etsy Site I am listing a lot of great Threads--I use primarily silk threads, And I am combining them into Colored Bundles --- great stuff if you embroider. I also have a bunch of Jewelry findings, so those are up there too. Piles of Suff. It's overwhelming how much stuff I have, but I am trying to be organized and just sift through, step by step.

I'm running a little sale to help get rid of this stuff: coupon code: DESTASH15. It's usable on the knits too, but it's getting a bit warm for knitwear! I will run it til my birthday--April 29th! And that's a whole Other Discussion--does anyone else feel time is speeding up at an incredibly Brisk Pace?

Ok, so that's it for now--