Tag Archives: jewelry making

Memoir Necklace, Chapter 1

 

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It all begins with heart, where I feel you and she feels me. My heart knows the story. It is the keeper of my memoir.

Mine is a bleeding heart. Sanguine, it becomes like the surface of the moon. I find it covered with craters from the blows and dusted with rock formed from that which, only yesterday, flowed from deep inside of me. With no air to breathe, I return.

To recall the love that stitches together my life, giving hope, examples, and art. Buttons mending the wounds. Watching her sew, I’m there, lost in reverie.

Running my hand along the seams, I reach the basin left by lemon drops on my soul. I tell my friend how she makes me feel. Did she get it? I don’t know. That precious, scorched space, once safe, did fill leaving only a trace.

High above the mountaintops, I breathe in days and hours spent in meditation and prayer after my heart was finally forced open and soothed with love. Prepare me, God. Give me strength and courage to live and be free. Let love sustain me when the air is thin. It has. It will.

Smooth. I feel the tiny space I held open for love, now, fused with goodness and light. Stronger than before, it was well worth the wait. I am saturated. My heart is lush. Tender. Ripe.

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Each sterling silver and 14K gold bead used in this necklace is handmade and designed just for this piece. The entire necklace is covered in a patina that ranges from heavy to light. The metal beads are wrapped in with 1.5 mm to 3mm labradorite beads. Some of the handmade beads are tiny like the one, here, on top of my finger.

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Human Heart Bead-front

This sterling silver bead is slightly left of the center of the necklace. It is the focal point and the largest of all the beads included in this necklace. The human heart bead turns over to reveal the backside which was designed to look like the surface of the moon.

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Human Heart Bead-back/surface of the moon side

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Buttons and Stitches Beads

These small oval and short bar beads are made of sterling silver and 14K gold. They are included throughout the necklace.

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Lemon Drops on my Soul Bead-front

This bead is sterling silver fused with 14K gold. A droplet was cut into the sterling silver bead and 14K gold was fused at the opening. On the front of the bead, the droplet form remains. The 14K gold can be seen on the back of the bead.

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Lemon Drops on my Soul Bead-back

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Prayer Meditation Bead-front

This one is less obvious than the others. It is sterling silver with 14K gold fused to the top. I see a person in prayer covered in a prayer shawl or a blanket. Her arms are wrapped around her.

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Prayer Meditation Bead-back

The back side of the Prayer Meditation Bead is sterling silver. The raised mountain appears shiny and contrasts with the dark patina.

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Fused Heart Bead-front

This bead was made using the same method I employed with the Lemon Drops on my Soul Bead. Instead of a droplet shape, a heart was cut from the sterling silver bead. With the Fused Heart Bead, the 14K gold can be seen on the front and the back of the bead.

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Fused Heart Bead-back

Thank you for taking the time to read about this necklace. It is special to me.

Johnny, Laurie, and the bees

My work

 

People often ask my why I work with these tiny beads. I’ll tell them that it’s meditative, often really quiet. With the work, I find lots of free association, deepest desires, memories, and prayer. I thought it would be neat to write something to help folks understand what it’s like for me. So, here you go:

I work and find what’s there, what comes to me. Each bead held, wrapped is a prayer I send up:

peace

gratitude

bees

the crying child in the distance

my dad

being with grief

my sweet, witty husband

his daughters

their needs

the tree outside my window

the countless pink blossoms

being here

being present

being at peace

BREATHE

those whom I have loved

those I have hurt

those who have hurt me

release and

BREATHE

I am sorry

I love you

forgive me

thank you

forgive

forgive

forgive

BREATHE

I belong here

doing this

now

I am worthy

I know now

years looking outside

finding it within

this is my intention

to create to be alive, fully awake

and help her, the one who will wear this, to also know

to find new life

to claim her worth

to heal her pain

and know she is loved

loved

loved

BREATHE

Johnny Cash and why he wore black

For all the prisoners who have long paid for their crimes

still there because she’s a victim of the times

these times

BREATHE

we are all worthy

set us free

help us set ourselves free

help us find our keys

KEY

Laurie

how kind she was to me

our backyard

green grass

swinging in the hammock between the big trees

peace

gratitude

bees

Dear God, I give you all of these.

Consarn it!

my stamp

Consarn it! Dagnabbit! Why can’t I get these stamps to come out right?!?

Sometimes, I forget that, part of, the beauty of my work is that it’s small — really, really small. Teeny tiny takes time. I thought I would share an example of what I’m working with and trying to accomplish. These almost microscopic stamps that I put on my pieces don’t stamp themselves. In fact, yours truly stamps them one by one.

Well, yesterday, I got myself all worked up and frustrated, trying to get the stamps to come out right. I was having an especially hard time, so I decided to take a few photos, instead. The photo, above, is my stamp. Notice that my company name is backwards. Go ahead, click on it. The photo on the bottom shows a successful stamp on a piece of silver. Look closely, it’s right there. Working on this helps me become more patient. At least, sometimes it does. Other times, I just get my panties in a wad. I’ll be back at it today.  I put my patient panties on this morning. Wish me luck!

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What I Do

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The work I do requires me to live in the moment, be present, and take care with the materials, tools, and myself. Recently, I’ve found myself living in the past, being distracted, and struggling to take care. Today was especially difficult.

I spent most of today trying to make progress on a piece of jewelry, but I just couldn’t focus. It’s not good and it hurts. After wasting my time trying to wire wrap, I picked up the piece of jewelry and took a photo of it. Next to it, I noticed a picture that I took over the weekend while on a hike. I’d taken a picture of a dead, twisted tree. That distorted, broken tree spoke to me. It was a cloudy day, windy with a little precipitation, gray. The weather and tree matched what I was feeling.

I’ve been struggling with something that happened recently. I’d felt the brunt of it. I got too close to someone’s emotional vortex and got pulled in.  It was stronger than me. I’ve experienced this before and the hurt lingers still. It’s something that comes suddenly, wreaks havoc on me, and then slowly dissipates. After it leaves, I feel gnarled, fuzzy, and heavy. I had gotten used to it before. I don’t think it’s OK, not anymore.

Now, I look at the handmade chain I created out of the tiny beads and ever-so-careful wire wraps. I also see that twisted, dead tree against the backdrop of the mountain. I realize that I can straighten this out for myself. I can gain perspective on it. And allow it to flow through me. It’s not me, not mine. It’s different, now.

My work is to live in the moment, be present, and take care with the materials, tools, and myself. That’s what I do.

wire wraps