Friday, December 31, 2010

Artfully Meandering: Sand and Sea Necklace

My life is on the move again! This time I'll be staying in South Carolina but moving 3 hours away from where my family lives. So, I had to buy a new car, get insurance, get new work clothes, move. Again. But, I have a job! I'm so excited to start it. So, it will probably be another bit of blog silence while I get acclimated in my new location.

In the meantime, I'm posting pictures of the bead soup necklace I made with the beads I picked up in Albuquerque. It doesn't look very southwest, does it? I saw these Amazonite nuggets and picked up smaller beads built around the Amazonite. I went with mostly shell beads...small and medium size and then some silver and cream seed beads.

I don't feel like it's finished yet. I have my lampworking stash ready to go, but nowhere to work. Sigh. Again. I'm going to try to remedy that. But, my idea was to make some glass beads to weave into this design to round it out.

The colors in this necklace remind me of the sand and sea. But I realized my brain has been marinating in 10 & under television when I was composing my post for this necklace. The first thing that came to mind as I was thinking about this necklace was "Mermadia", which is my younger niece's favorite Barbie movie at the moment. I get to watch it a couple of times a week. pick: Sand & Sea or Mermadia. Either one. Both are oceanic and water-oriented. ;-)

Hope y'all are creating happily away! I've been reading the blogs, but not commenting lately. And I'll probably still be a bit quiet for a while until I'm a little more settled.
Take care and chat with y'all soon!

And in the meantime, I wanted to point out a new blog to sister's blog, Stories to Share about animals and kids. Please stop by to visit her and welcome her to our online world.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Artfully Meandering: Finding Myself

Nancy, I didn't take a lot of time to look around, but the scenery kept me captivated for such a long drive (CA-TX = 25 hours) that it was very hard not to stop and just soak it in. I did, however, spend 3 days in Albuquerque. It was raining the day I went out and interviewed with a recruiter. But it snowed one day and I had another bout of jetlag and ended up sleeping on the snowday. In the meantime, these are the photos I snapped while driving.

I didn't realize there were mountains around Albuquerque until I left. They were hidden in the precipitation. I did, however, manage to find an outstanding bead shop, a gorgeous leather furniture store (the kind of southwest furniture I drool over). I went through the downtown. I was looking for an adobe casita with detached studio listed on Craigslist. Didn't find it, but I enjoyed the vibe of Albuquerque. I could live there for a year or two on a consulting gig if something popped up out there.

Best co-pilot ever!!! She made it safely from Hong Kong and was a great little companion.

I rented a mini-van to see what it was like. I have to say...I loved having a mini-van. Funny story though...did you realize that 98% of the mini-vans on the road are white? (Okay, maybe that's a little bit of hyperbole) but I got into THREE (not just one) DIFFERENT white mini-vans at different times. One was a Honda and a guy was on the telephone in front of it and I heard him say, "Hey, that's my car!" Oops. The second one...well, there were actual people in it, so I narrowly escaped that embarrassment. And the third one...well, I opened the door, but realize it was nothing like mine and quickly closed it and ran over to mine. I guess that's what happens when I don't drive for two years and learn to recognize the subtleties of your "own car." But, I still love the mini-van. I probably won't turn soccer mom (for an old Maltese) just yet, but I'm not getting a white mini-van.

How can you not be inspired by high desert mountains? Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm..... Mountains. Love them. Miss them. I'm living in "low country" now. I think where I live in South Carolina is 70 feet above sea level. But, there are beautiful things here. Some serious history on the east coast. I'm conflicted with my inspiration at the moment. I'll have more to say on that subject later, but some of it is getting resolved with getting supplies for things I need to do. Once that Creative Monster is unleashed...well, it's like a Pandora's box. You can't put it back. Besides the jetlag and getting and upper respiratory infection, I was feeling seriously off-kilter and out of whack the last few weeks. I think not working leaves me a little adrift, too. I'm trying to get a schedule going, but I keep getting smacked down by the jetlag (it took two weeks) and now the upper respiratory infection. I need to be patient with myself because I was sick for two years with migraines.
The good news, I haven't had major headaches since I've been back. I must have some extreme sensitivity to the pollution. It's disappointing to me, as I think my two years in Hong Kong will be the extent of my ex-patriate experience. But, I got to have the experience. I'm grateful. I miss my friends dearly and other aspects of Hong Kong. I'll definitely go back for a visit when I have friends that are ready for their big China adventure.

Back-seat driver.

High desert mountains. Yummy.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Artfully Meandering: Resurfacing

When I returned to the States, I got to do something I've always wanted to do...see the Southwest. I drove from LA to Dallas and met my dad there and we drove the rest of the way (he did) to South Carolina. I have SOOOO much to say I really don't know where to start. I'm feeling adrift. I don't know where I'm going to live yet. I don't know where my job will be. But, I do know my headaches have reduced considerably. To the point where I had one on Tuesday. And none the rest of the time. The decision to come back was good.
As for the Southwest, I drove through Arizona (desert mountains) and New Mexico (higher in snow was on the ground) and just fell in love with it. As I knew I would. I have many more pictures. I spent a few days in Albuquerque and found a darling bead shop. I'm working on a seed bead soup I made (inspired by Beverly Ash Gilbert's soups) with Amazonite nuggets as the anchor. I'm loving working on it so far. It's not far enough along for a picture. But, I thought I'd surface and give you just a hint of where I've been.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Artfully Meandering: A little hiatus

As if you can't tell, I'm on a little hiatus. I'm moving back to the U.S.! So, it will take some time before I settle back in and find a studio. I also gave all my jewelry I made away as gifts to my friends here in Hong Kong so they can remember me. They were adorable wearing the pieces the last times I saw them.

Now that I'm returning...I'm looking forward to finding the tools I need to do the crafts and jewelry I don't have access to here. I struggled with too many migraines to have time to figure out where to get the tools I needed to do a good job with things like the polymer clay. I have a confession: I like big box stores like Home Depot, Lowes, Hobby Lobby, and Michaels so I can find at least starter items for what I'm looking on.

Keep you posted with pictures later!