Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Treasure Hoard

This past weekend I went to a bead show, as I do every spring. The bead show comes through town twice a year, once in March, and again in September. I always anticipate its arrival, reminding my fiance constantly that "the bead show is coming!!" for weeks before it gets here.

I buy most of my jewelry making supplies online. Copper wire, tools, all the chemicals and such I use for etching, and often times beads as well. But there's nothing quite like being able to sort through them in person, picking each stone, deciding between this strand or that one instead of relying on a vendor to do it for you.

I came away with a small hoard of gems, all sparkling and shimmering in their rather unglamorous brown paper bags. I didn't spend as much as I usually do, simply because I will hopefully be buying a house within the next few months, and I'll also be getting married this year. No matter how tempting a gigantic pile of sparkly jewels might be, I would very much like a proper work room to keep them in.

Here's a sampling of what I've made so far with my new pretties:

I'm really loving the aquamarine beads. I bought two strands of those, because I knew I'd be kicking myself if I only bought one. They were my most expensive purchase, but I think they were plenty worth it.

The next show won't be here until September, so I've got a while to play with new designs and work with what I bought this time around. Hopefully by the next show I'll be all settled into a new work space, with a proper bench for my anvil and other tools. Oh, and lots of floor-to-ceiling bookcases, because I plan on having a work room/library. Then my fiance would probably never see me again, because I would only emerge from that room to eat and use the bathroom.

Monday, March 8, 2010

So long, Jack Frost

Today was the first truly warm day of the year. The temperature made it all the way up to 63 degrees, which meant that people everywhere were wandering around in shorts and short sleeved t-shirts. Not being a true Kentucky native, I never fully adapted to the colder weather. I can tolerate more than my fellow native Floridians, but I will never be brave enough to pull out the shorts until the weather is well into the high 70s. The people here will put on shorts as soon as it gets above 50 degrees.

This weekend I went shopping for a bit, enjoying the sun and the promise of spring. The stores were full of women buying pretty spring dresses, sandals, and sunglasses. Like Goldfinches we seek to shake off our drab hues and decorate ourselves with brilliant plumage as the weather heads towards something more tolerable. This was a long, difficult winter. Not just for us, but everywhere seemed to be hit hard by snow and ice. Here, it just seemed to be never ending bitterly cold weather, punctuated by inches of snow.

Having plenty of pretty dresses, I did resist the urge to indulge in something that will only languish in my closet for a while. I still need to do my seasonal closet purge, and I need to seriously reconsider my shoe collection. My knees have not been very happy with me, which means high heels are right out until my knees get better. I realized this past week that I have very few pairs of flat, practical shoes. I've been wearing the same pair of hastily purchased comfortable boots nearly every day, because about 95% of my shoe collection consists of heels. I bought the boots one day when I was walking around the mall and thought "I cannot take many more steps in these shoes". Luckily for me, Dillard's was having a massive sale on boots, so I got them for cheap, and they're my favorite comfort brand of shoe (Born).

I am looking forward to putting away the bulky layers of winter. I feel like an onion sometimes, shedding scraps of clothing everywhere I go, leaving trails of gloves and hats and scarves around the house, in my car, in my desk drawers at work. I've been viewing the world through the slit between the constrictor-like twists of my scarf and the bottom of my fashionably slouchy (and therefor cumbersome) hat.

Bring on the warm weather. Like Gypsy Rose Lee, I'd like to strip off a glove or two.