"Show a little inspiration, show a little spark."
So I know all of you are waiting to find out. Did my muse return or she still missing in action? Frankly, the jury is still out on that one. I did make beads today. I even made a new variation on an old style that I think may be a winner, as long as I don't run out of Dark Silver Plum and Goldstone shards. So it wasn't torture but some of the joy was a bit forced.
Just for a little extra self-flagellation, I decided to try blowing shards again. Fail! And now my work table and floor is covered with cellophane-thin fragments of glass. I also had a first. A hot piece of glass popped off a rod and onto my Birkie, where I stood on it, managing to simultaneously burn and cut myself. But I finished the bead I was working on before I removed the piece of glass from my toe.
It rained while I was working and I thought about using that as an excuse to call it quits. There was thunder but no lightning, Well of course there was lightning somewhere, just not close enough for it to mess with the power. And the rain did make it cooler for a while. I'm all about sunshine but I admit I feel a little bit exultant when the sun hides behind the clouds when I am working in the summertime.
The next three days are break days for me. Tomorrow I have errands. Have my car serviced. I'm 500 miles or so past 60K. Even though I have lived in Sugar Land for more than 5 years, I still go back to Fast Lube on Jones Road, a mere 25 miles from home, because I had my car serviced there for 19 years. A stop at Ulta because I have 3 coupons, to stock up on cheap bath salts and ponytail elastics that I use to bundle my glass because they don't turn into cement like rubber bands do when stored in a Texas garage. A stop at the shop that carries my beads because the owner has made me a mini mobile with some of the bells and elephants that I scored for her on ebay. And then T.J. Maxx is right on the way home.
I did sin a little bit at T.J. already this week. We're going to the wedding this weekend and somehow I have nothing to wear. At least nothing I want to wear. I have all my work clothes, and I could probably pull something together because no one is going to be paying attention to my attire anyway. But I really need to just do a closet purge because all those work clothes have nothing but bad associations for me. For a long time I had been buying nothing that I couldn't picture myself wearing in my post work life, but as it turns out, that strategy was flawed. I just don't ever want to wear those clothes again.
So I got a skirt and two tops and a little sweater jacket thing that is long and swingy and fun and hides the fact that I've temporarily misplaced my waistline. And while I was there I bought a couple of cat bowls because I am addicted to themm as they are so useful for holding the beads that migrate all over the house. And also because I am clumsy and cat bowls, along with dinnerware items, tend to have their lives shortened when in proximity to me. But you can never have too many cat bowls or pencil holders, in my world view.
I also bought 4 insulated mugs for taking coffee in the car because I just couldn't decide between purple, red, blue and green. Purple for me, red for Neil, I could have stopped there. But they were $4.99 and I can never find nice ones and these were nice ones. Even the cashier liked them and said she needed to get one herself and I hope she didn't hear me when I mumbled that, I think I got the last ones. And I got a display rack for my beaded keys for my show this weekend.
So that was the total damage, and the cashier asked me, as they do every time, if I want to open a T.J. account and get 10% off and I always say no thanks because I get mileage on my credit card and I figure I'll wait until I buy something really expensive. So I'm not sure why I asked how long the application would take. The answer is, in case you are wondering, not very long at all. She punched my social and my driver's license number into the register and asked me what my income was. I said I didn't have one, so I'm not sure what she punched in for that but as quick as you can say sucker I was approved. I'll probably cancel the card after I pay the first bill and after I spend just a little more money so that I can get the $10 rebate when you hit $200.
So T.J. tomorrow, maybe, if everything runs right on time. Last stop will be the Stafford Center to do the setup for my weekend show. I mostly like to scope out my space and put down my tablecloths and some of my display pieces and then bring the beads on Saturday morning when Neil will be home to help me portage. The show runs through Sunday, which gives me a very legitimate bead break and with a little bit of luck, some good reasons to make more beads and some idea of what the bead buying public is buying this summer.
I did some thinking today, about how being a bead maker somehow defines me, and what exactly would I be if I didn't make beads. For the last years of my career and even for some of the ones that preceded them, I did not identify myself with my work. I'm a writer but I wasn't working as a writer and being a compliance specialist had not one damn thing to do with who I am. I may not always know exactly who I am, but I always definitively know who I am not.
And now, now I am living my dream of making art my life. Which is somehow ironic because those interest inventories that I took in college when I was trying to figure out what to do with my life predicted that my career preference most closely aligned with the interests of those working as artists. Probably because I checked sleeping late and wearing blue jeans every day and not ever having to have performance evaluations. Sad to say, the tests didn't take into account that I can't draw or paint and my 20 year old self could not see past those parameters when confronted with the career choice of artist. Which is how I ended up in law school, but that is another post.
Back to the present, I will just have to defer how I would define a non-bead-making me, because I am pretty sure I am nowhere close to being done with lampwork. After all, I have 300 lbs. of glass waiting to be melted.
"Ever evolving, ever expanding, ever adventurous and torturous; but never done." Alanis Morissette