Thursday, June 27, 2013

Edwardian Asymmetry

An antique gilded enameled button, a bronze cage locket with worn topaz, gumball horse and vintage AB faceted crystal drop on three vintage chains with vintage brass box clasp.  The pottery piece was caught up in 18 ga. steel (rebar tie wire), in an asymmetric l'art noveau style.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A New Project, Perhaps

I adore the old china bits that wash up with the tide, for their evocative poetic powers, but also because they challenge:  how to set them without breaking, how to use their unpredictable shapes without altering them, how to present their honorable nicks, crackles and scratches so their beauty can be admired.

This piece has a lovely scrolled edge, and a color that is not quite cream, not quite yellow, exactly like the top of the milk bottle long ago, before homogenized.  Can anybody remember how in winter they froze and the rising cream expanded and popped the cap?  Yummy with toast.

So this is actually not an American parvenu, but a British peeress, Hariot Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava, a fine contributor to the diplomacy of her era, who accompanied her husband to a post as governor-general of Canada, and many other assignments before the sun set upon the Empire.  Really, there should be a biography of her, so that her accomplishments might be recognized, in her own right.   I found her picture in my old 1904 Cyclopedia, a rich resource.

It's quite battered, which means I have no guilt about cutting it up -- look at that hamfisted repair job of browned cellophane tape.

Not sure where this will go.  I plan to take my time and let the materials tell me what to do.

And now to share my latest treasure from the beach:

Ah, the crackling and crazing, a network of lines colored with saltwater algae and rust!  Isn't it gorgeous?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


At last.  Done as it will ever be, and much improved, I think.  It took only two trips to the Dollar Tree for small containers to wrangle those little bits of beads.  I actually wiped down a couple of shelves -- can't tell you what it was that got wiped up.   Some mysterious sticky stuff once used to alter something, with 5 years of dust encrusted.  Eewwww.  The floor has been swept.  The lap top has returned to its place after taking asylum on the dining table downstairs.  In a space like this, storage means stacking, and making means disturbing the stacks, alas.  I think The Mess is a cycle, like the Sanskrit kalpas, a unit of time encompassing birth, growth, and ultimately, destruction, in this case, full ripening of The Mess that Prevents Thought.  'Think I'll just sit here and think for awhile.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Whatta Mess

The problem of working with found objects, etc., is that you generate chaos before it comes together properly.  Which is ok if you don't mind spending a good bit of time sorting through it and getting organized again.  I. Don't. Like. Sorting. At. All.

But the chaos interferes with my thinking.  And now my studio space is so messed up I can't bear it another day.

I sorted the beads & stuff on my work bench into muffin tins in preparation for sorting them back into storage containers.  This has been going on all week.  It would be easier just to pitch it all and start over again, but I am convinced bad luck will land on me if I throw beads away, even seed beads.  You would think a person that compulsive would enjoy sorting beads, but no.

It's so bad Abbie can't look at it, either.

I have a tiny work space made much tinier by the current mess.  One of these days I'll be organized and I can start on a new mess.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Found Objects

Found in the trail on a hike of Kachess Ridge yesterday, a wild hazelnut and a sparkly chunk of druzy quartz, which got named My Precious:

More Wildflowers

The Steer's Head, a fumitory (the bleeding heart family) tucked under winter litter on sunny ridge tops; you wouldn't notice unless you were looking for it -- look for the foliage first.  Here shot under the shadow of my cap.  When you  bow down and look closely, amazing!  Rolling, rolling, rolling; keep them dogies rolling ---

The Oregon anemone, on the forest floor, in the company of Vanilla Leaf, another wildflower you won't see often (the anemone, not the Vanilla Leaf, which is all over the place and welcomed).  Vanilla Leaf is also called Sweetly When Dying, because its aromatic qualities become so strong when the leaves are dry.  It used to be added to frontier tobacco or sprinkled among folded bedsheets for the scent.


A fritillary, the chocolate lilly or checkered lilly, found nodding in a blazing field of balsam root (native sunflower), modest and quiet, until you look closely and notice the rather feral pattern on the petals, which hang bell like, hiding an astounding interior from all but qualified pollinators.

Not my best shots, the little point and shoot appears to be on her last legs; she'll get one more chance and that's it -- I've lost shots of some really wonderful flowers, scarlet gillia, Calypso orchid,  to name a few, all too blued, gray, or off focus to rescue.  Have you ever noticed how a flower growing on a shady forest floor is so reflective of the light it comes out over exposed and colorless, even when the rest of the shot is too dark?  Handy for the bees, I guess -- like, "here it is girls, come and get it"!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Cypridium Montanum, the Lady's Slipper

My friend Jena found this beauty alongside a trail in eastern Washington.  I am not saying more about the location because there are people who actually pick these or tear them up to take home, which destroys them.  We have many opportunities to learn to love without doing harm, and this is one.

Our planet is so precious, just filled with treasures.  

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Destash, Deaccession, Whatever

It's all about making space and clearing my mind.  Old things I made for a gallery back at the edge of the millenium, while I was still distracted by a day job in the mainstream world where a certain amount of conformity was motivated by mere survival.  I love the old, antique and ancient beads I collected then, but it was before I began to groove on the found object.  They're so pretty, but I don't wear them myself, in jammies or jeans most days, and I feel they are holding me back.  Just an earlier chapter, and hanging on to them means there's a mess in my studio, while letting go frees up a smidge of space there and lots more in my mind.  They gotto go!

For the longest time I didn't feel I could list them on Etsy because the components were too valuable and they didn't fit in with the readbetweenlines style.  You know, inconsistency and credibility.  Another conformity thing, though, so I am listing them in the fond wish to bid them adieu.

Abby approves.  Note the glowing expression of complete approval of all things me; she feeds my soul every day.  Corgum rock!