Monday, December 26, 2016

Seduced by the Impractal

Post-holiday, I was online shoe shopping. A semi-regular occurrence in Blue Piranha-land, but not for fun and whimsical heels (which is the most regular shoe shopping). Just looking for some simple ballet flats. I'd gone through eight pages of options, when I realized that the only thing I'd "favorited" was these:


And there I was again...seduced by the impractical. Suede. A bold blue that isn't one of my "regular" colors, so it would be hard to match with a fair portion of my closet. But...that blue...how to resist?? 

(for the record, I *have* resisted. So far....)

But this made me realize just how often I am waylaid and distracted by the sheer gorgeousness of impractical things. Though I suppose that one woman's practical is another woman's in love...

Beautiful suedes, sparkling chandelier earrings, fantastical high heels, significant cuff bracelets, a delicately embroidered coat. Colors like lilac and cornflower blue - even though my wardrobe sports a lot more red, teal, and green. If the devil really is in the details, then I sold my soul a long, long time ago. 

I suppose that's what drew me to making jewelry with fabulous gems, bold, bright, and large rainbow hues that some people tell me, "Oh, I couldn't wear that!" "Oh no, I could never carry that off!. Without even trying something on. It's funny (and a little sad) how people will put themselves in a box, if you let them. A box that only they have constructed. 

What's that saying?? 


(you'll notice that this is also deliciously cornflower blue)

Maybe it's time for more women to open that box and start climbing out...try on some rainbow feathers for a while. Feel the long earrings tickle your neck. Smile when you see the bold red pumps on your feet instead of the basic black. Let yourself be seduced by a big, bold statement ring (or necklace). You might just find that the impractical...becomes your practical...

You'll be the better for it. I promise. :) 

Vividly,
Jill 


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Hello, April...

...such a tumultuous, topsy-turvy month. I'm gearing up for the first of five (I think, maybe it's six) events in three months, things are alternately blooming and hiding because our weather has been so unseasonably warm and then briskly chilly, and my - excuse me, our sixteenth wedding anniversary was last Friday.


From one of my morning walks last week. Georgia at its most colorful...from late March through early May. :)

As usual, life is in a bit of an uproar.

We did manage to get away this year, and celebrate the anniversary in Highlands, NC, just over two hours from Roswell. One of our favorite mountain towns here in the Southeast; it reminds me the most of Prescott, AZ. Downtown charm, good food, friendly folks. And of course, all that gorgeous mountain scenery. Of which we didn't really get to see. Because we didn't hike the falls, climb the gorges, take the photos...because it was DAMN COLD. Like 39 degrees, with 25 mph gusts. Brett is always hot and was quite happy in this weather. I, on the other hand, run very cold and was FREEZING for most of the weekend.

We made the most of it though, doing some teriffically yummy dining  and drinking, and buying some small treasures for the home. A pair of candle holders, a photo of a mountain vista to frame and hang, a small Raku vessel to complement one we already have...bits and pieces of art and decor are finding their way home to Roswell:



I got a little carried away with the closeness of the camera, but this is our newest ceramic piece from Harry Hearne, an NC potter whom I first met (and purchased from) at the Tennessee Craft festival in September of 2014. Purchased from Smitten



A small indulgence for my bath time. These are so ridiculously fantastic smelling. Especially that prosecco bellini...



A cool weathered-looking pot for Brett's ever-expanding collection of plants. From C K Swan




These will be so much fun with tealights inside. :)  From The Summer House

And now it's studio time, all the time, until next Friday when I head to Melbourne, FL for the Melbourne Art Festival. I'm currently mid-process with....well, a LOT of things. As is usually the case right before a festival. It seems like no matter how much I work on designs, there's still that week-before-the-show-I-just-don't-have-enough-finished craziness...I'll be working on finishing designs straight through next Thursday. And then..look out Florida! I'm coming back! :)

Friday, March 4, 2016

No Mud, No Lotus


Last week, after three weeks of running - Florida, Arizona, Florida again - I crashed. Hard. My husband even got sick (AND he has an amazing immune system - AND he didn't do the AZ leg of that trip) and while I was sniffly, I managed to mostly avoid a bad cold. But I was WIPED, both physically and mentally. 

So I did what my body told me it needed - after more than twenty years with Fibromyalgia, I have learned that if I don't, things will be even worse - and rested. But...I did not enjoy it. Because when I rest, I tend to start getting "head stuff". The hack voice, the noise that says you're no good, you'll never be any good, everyone is doing much better, more complex, more exciting work than YOU are...I could go on but I suspect most of you know this voice very well. 

And then I thought about the lotus. 





I have to say that for years I thought the Om-y people, the Yoga girls, who were all about the lotus were....well, lotus-freaks. I'm all for Zen and calm and betterment. But for a while there, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the lotus / Yoga / Om "stuff" was everywhere, and I got tired of being smacked in the face with it. 

But then, years later (maybe when I was ready for it, hmm?), I came across the phrase, "No mud, no lotus". The first time I ever read that, it felt like someone had shouted "EUREKA!" into my ear. It just clicked. The lotus begins in the muck, in a swampy pond, and grows into a singularly lovely bloom. In Buddhist culture it represents spiritual awakening and enlightenment. I think of it often, as I am pushing through my own muck. 

We all go through ups and downs, and you just have to work through the downs until you find yourself up again. Whether that's resting your body when it hurts, or pushing into new designs, or taking a mental break, scheduling a massage...maybe just a few hours with a good book and a hot tea. For me, this time, it was about a week of literally nothing. 

So I'm at the end of another long week..but a week made possible by the one before it. Some lovely new works are in process. And I've pushed through the "head stuff" (for the moment) and am still moving toward my goals. For some weeks...that's more than enough.  :)

I hope you are in a good place for this weekend!