Friday, April 13, 2018

Color therapy

"Even now by the gate with your long hair blowing
And the colors of the day that lie along your arms
You must barter your life to make sure you are living."

Before we even moved here, Neil looked up the number of rainy days a year and said the number was close to our Texas annual days of rain.

I won’t dispute it, mainly because Neil is usually right, and also because I’m too lazy to look it up myself.

Still, it feels more rainy and gray here.

The nice days are really nice. I haven’t been through all the seasons yet, but so far the weather has been mostly all right. Winter wasn’t as cold as I’d feared, or at least I was able to dress warmly and stay warm enough. Summer, the jury is still out, since we got here on September 21.

It does feel like we have more gray and dreary days here. Maybe it’s because gray days tend to stay gray. There’s a saying in Texas: if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute. So we had a lot of days when it rained, but then it cleared and stayed clear.

I wonder if the statistics Neil looked at counted any day with a rain shower as a rainy day, even if the storm passed and the sun came out.

Of late, it’s been particularly dreary. We went to the nursery for plants. Neil planted eight tomato plants. That night the temperature dropped to 33 degrees and he lost five. His lilies never sprouted and the little fig tree we planted in the fall is showing no signs of life.

It’s discouraging.

Making beads is a bit like color therapy right now. I think that’s the reason I love lampwork so much, all the colors.

I just ordered more glass that I don’t really need because there was one color I had to have. So I put enough glass in my cart to get free shipping. That’s how a pound of glass becomes five pounds.

Bead sales are still limping along. I sell just enough to keep me listing on Facebook. Intermittent reinforcement I guess, the strongest kind. Plus I haven’t figured out what to do with the time I’d save if I stopped selling, not to mention the beads.

I’m doing an online trunk show this weekend, and promoted it every way I can think of, short of spending money for a sponsored post. I never found those to drive any business my way. I’ve created an event, shared it on my business page, my timeline, and in my buyers group. I’ve literally begged for validation.

It comes back around to the same old thing. Despite some 1400 friends and 1200 some followers of my page, I don’t think a lot of people are seeing my posts. I rarely get more than a small number of comments on anything I post. My cat had to die for me to get the most comments I’ve ever gotten on a post.

Yet I see others post some enigmatic vague-book nonsense and get dozens of comments. Shades of high school unpopularity again, I’m thinking. Even on Facebook, I’m invisible.

Yawn. I’m over it. Or faking it. Same difference.

Really, my investment in doing the trunk show is small. I'll spend an hour putting up listings. Boilerplate, copy and paste, with the briefest description on the beads. “2 pairs. Stacked dots on apple green and turquoise.” Just enough for me to identify them.

That’s not counting the fun part of making them, cleaning and stringing them, the photo shoot, photo editing. I’ve got it down to assembly-line efficiency.

I’ll check in periodically, maybe add a few more listings as/if things sell. Let it ride until it's over, then delete the listings, move on.

Just to shake things up a bit and create some gratuitous anxiety for myself, I applied to a juried art walk and was accepted. So April 14 will find me doing my first live show in years and my first outdoor show ever.

And since it’s not a bead show, I have no idea if beads will sell. Reason says people will want finished items, something they can wear home. My one experience doing a craft show at a friend’s church tells me something different. I strung a lot of necklaces for the show, but I sold more loose beads than finished jewelry that day.

So I’m planning to take some jewelry, wire wrap some focals into pendants, maybe make some earrings, or maybe I won't. I'll have some beaded keys, some big-hole beads, and some ribbons.

My goal is not to emotionally invest in a specific outcome, especially not one that involves moving a lot of merchandise. I'm going to try to enjoy the day, people watch, talk to people, and keep an open mind.

If it's a fail, I just won't do it again. One and done. My new motto.

Depending how things go, I may take a short break from bead making.

Of course, when my new glass gets here, I'll probably want to test it out and have a play.

I'm not saying it will be a long break.

Neil will be away for two consecutive weekends. The first is another softball tournament in Virginia Beach. He really wanted me to go, and when he showed me the hotel pictures online, right on the shore, it looked great. I'm there for you baby, I said. But then it turned out it was another hotel in the chain where the team had booked a block of rooms and Neil had made the reservation.

It may be selfish, but I just don't want to be in a situation where I'm spending three days in some inboard hotel, while Neil plays ball all day. Even if I have a car, meaning we take mine, I'm not enthused about exploring the area on my own. If we stay at the beach, great, I can walk on the sand, read by the sea. If I have to drive there, find a public beach, worry about parking, it's not the same.

I honestly think Neil will worry about me more and be more unhappy with me if I go and don't have a good time than if I just stay home.

The weekend after that falls during his six-day trip to Texas, which I've also opted out of.

I have things I want to do here, but I know I will have time to kill too, and bead making always makes time pass quickly.

Especially if I have taken some time off in the interim.

That's the plan anyway.

Although another thing my mom used to say was this. Man plans and God laughs.

Do I hear a hahaha?

The lady comes to the gate dressed in lavender and leather
Looking North to the sea she finds the weather fine
She hears the steeple bells ringing through the orchard
All the way from town
She watches seagulls fly
Silver on the ocean, stitching through the waves
The edges of the sky

Many people wander up the hills from all around you
Making up your memories and thinking they have found you
They cover you with veils of wonder as if you were a bride
Young men holding violets are curious to know if you have cried
And tell you why
And ask you why
Any way you answer

Lace around the collars of the blouses of the ladies
Flowers from a Spanish friend of the family
The embroidery of your life holds you in and keeps you out but you survive
Imprisoned in your bones behind the isinglass windows of your eyes

And in the night the iron wheels rolling through the rain
Down the hills through the long grass to the sea
And in the dark the hard bells ringing with pain
Come away alone

Even now by the gate with your long hair blowing
And the colors of the day that lie along your arms
You must barter your life to make sure you are living
And the crowd that has come
You give them the colors
And the bells, and the wind, and the dream

Will there never be a prince who rides along the sea and the mountains
Scattering the sand and foam into amethyst fountains
Riding up the hills from the beach in the long summer grass
Holding the sun in his hands and shattering the isinglass?

Day and night and day again and people come and go away forever
While the shining summer sea dances in the glass of your mirror
While you search the waves for love and your visions for a sign
The knot of tears around your throat is crystallizing into your design

And in the night the iron wheels rolling through the rain
Down the hills through the long grass to the sea
And in the dark the hard bells ringing with pain
Come away alone
Come away alone with me.

(Judy Collins)

1 comment:

Kathy C said...

Are the striated beads (3rd from the top left) available? I didn't see them on facebook.

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Thanks for your comment! I will post it as soon as I receive it. Liz