Sunday, January 31, 2010

january art bead scene challenge...

I am squeaking in just under the wire here...
the Art Bead Scene challenge for January ends at midnight tonight.
(You can see all the entries here.)

This month's challenge was based on the painting La Pie [The Magpie] by Claude Monet. I was very drawn to the soft colors of the snowy landscape, and wanted to create beads from polymer clay that would echo that. There's a bit more brown in these than I had envisioned at first, but I liked them anyway...and I think they coordinate nicely with the colors in the copper.

This bracelet slowly evolved over the course of the month. I wasn't sure if I wanted a copper focal piece or not, and by chance I created this one and I was happy with it.

Then the matter of putting it all together had to be decided. I had already put the polymer clay beads onto the leather cording, so all I needed to do from there was link it all together.
But it felt a bit unbalanced, so I came up with the spiral charm and linen yarn/seed bead combo.
All in all I'm happy with how it evolved. I don't think it's at all what I started out thinking it would be, so it's a happy surprise for me!

I don't always enter the challenges...I'm not good with deadlines and time constrictions...but lately I'm finding that the challenge itself becomes a journey for me. The process itself leads me to create something that I never knew that I could!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

trees and wires...

We've had a strange start to the week this week. On Monday our power went out, came back on for about a half hour and then toggled on and off for a minute before going out completely.

Dead trees and electric wires don't mix very well.

This pup would probably tell you that...if she could...



and I know for sure these guys have a story to tell...



Maybe they're still in shock, or worried that the one tree still standing might be coming their way next...
It's holding up the moon for now...
but you can see below how the tree's mates have fallen...one to the left, the other on the ground to the right (maybe you can't see that one)...

They were all part of a tree with three trunks. There's an x on the trunk that's still standing...hopefully that means the tree is marked for removal soon, otherwise we'll be without power for a few days again when the next strong wind blows...



And this was only the beginning of the story. The tree that landed on the wires must have pulled on them enough that two telephone poles, further up the street, were brought down as well (I was told that one cracked in two). So we spent Monday waiting for the tree to be taken off of the wires, and then Tuesday waiting while PECO or Verizon (they both own the poles) set new poles into the ground and set the wires back up. All things considered, we didn't do too badly to be out of power for about 28 hours. And we're very fortunate to not be in the middle of that arctic blast of cold weather that we had recently.

It does kind of reset your priorities, though, when you can't just turn on the computer or even the lights (or the heat!). It's peaceful and brings you back to basics, which is actually nice to do. It was an odd feeling though, when my cell phone battery was ready to give up, and the home phone stopped working...one of those chargers for the car would have been nice to have at that point...
I felt pretty disoriented for a bit...everything that was part of my normal day had changed...so things tend to feel a bit weird. The funny thing is, that I enjoy not being dependent on so much technology...how did it all creep up on me so insidiously? Well, I hear the heat cycling on now, and that's definitely a blessing...but I do want to start limiting my computer time and finding more time out in nature and back to my own natural rhythms.

I'm still feeling disoriented...it could have something to do with the planetary transits this week, too.
As Robert Wilkinson says...
"We've now made it through the first opposition [The first opposition of Venus to Mars falls on January 26-27], with Sun opposition Mars still occurring between now and Friday's Full Moon. This is the eye of the storm, with heart strength and a greater sense of higher purpose the rewards for those who persevere."

Funny how the words just seem to fit the situation, not that planetary oppositions mean power outages...but that was just my experience with this one...and also it's all part of a larger movement of the planets, each step being part of a larger whole.
What I feel that I've gained from this one, seems to relate pretty well to Venus as the representer of all things artistic and beautiful, in relation to Mars, representing action, but in retrograde the action is curtailed, so there's a sense of taking time to 'stop and smell the roses' ;-). Always a good thing to do!