It's Spring on the Piedmont Plateau. It was still very much Winter when I left New York nearly a month ago and although I wouldn't miss waking up to my 13 week old granddaughter's smiling little face and spending weekends with my other grandchildren for anything, I do wish sometimes that I knew the secret of being in two places at once. I dream at night about the roof of my house on Long Island collapsing and of huge sinkholes opening up and swallowing the laundry room. My daughter and I try out fabulous new recipes that we find on Pinterest and my husband at home is surviving on Costco rotisserie chickens.
The trick, I think, is just to live in the moment (as I was typing this, I wrote "love" instead of "live" and that's right too I suppose). Be here now. And so I am.
I've managed to get some new pieces photographed, using a wonderful rusty gas grill side tray as a background and I'll try to get them listed on Etsy tomorrow. Meanwhile, here's a preview:
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Friday, April 5, 2013
"Scorpio - The work that you recently invested in yourself is almost ready to be presented to the world. Although it's not wise to stand on the sidelines and watch silently, you aren't quite ready for prime time yet."
This was the horoscope that popped up when I went to check my e-mail this morning after spentding most of the morning packing and repacking some pieces to send off to Belle Armoire Jewelry. I'm not sure how I want to interpret the second sentence. I've worked myself into what I can only call a tizzy. I keep reminding myself to have no attachment to outcome. It is was it is and whatever it will be - will be.
I was not always so Zen about this kind of thing. I came across a portfolio with some prints of a few of my quilts while cleaning up my very disorganized workspace tonight. I thought I only had slides but I must have had these printed for some reason. I was always entering shows and they all had different requirements. I got into some and didn't get into others. The big show that I was heavily invested in emotionally was the biennial Quilt National. My work never made it in and it was always a crushing disappointment not to get that validation I wanted so badly.
|"Motorola 68000" pieced quilt, featured in a Japanese quilting magazine|
A fancy schmancy Japanese quilting magazine did a multi-page spread on my stuff. I never found out what they said about me, since I don't read or speak Japanese. That might be my name on top. Who knows?
This one and the one after it were based on computer chip circuitry designs and were representative of my tight-assed accountant mind set. Those are called prairie points around the edge of that bottom quilt. There are about a zillion of them, all folded into perfect points, perfectly spaced and stitched in place. All this while working full time, raising three kids and going to school at night. I must have been insane. Actually, I'm really impressed that I made them. My attention span must have been a lot longer back then.
|"Monolithic Memories" , machine-pieced, hand-quilted|
And here I'm starting to lose the ruler and rotary cutter and get a little less obsessed about making all the corners line up perfectly. Hmmm. If I didn't know better, I'd think that a progreesion like this shows some kind of mental breakdown.
|"PMS 2", machine pieced, hand-quilted|
|"The Empress", hand painted, machine-pieced, hand-quilted|
Tie-dying and hand painting. This is what happens when bookkeepers go wild.
|"Root", hand painted fabric, machine-pieced, hand-quilted|
"Root" was one of my last quilts. By this time, I had started to study shamanism with a student of Michael Harner's and I felt like I had found my path back home to my real self. I dropped out of my accounting and finance classes and started stringing beads together.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
|chinese bronze repro coin amulet necklace|
I reworked another piece from last year that I just wasn't quite happy with. I like it much better now. It was a little too "cutesy" before, even if it's kinda on the heavy side now.
I've also started signing my work. Someone bought one of my bracelets recently and is re-selling it, at a hugely inflated price, on her website. Not like I have any control over what someone does with my stuff once it leaves my hands, but this just isn't sitting well with me. Like it dilutes the energies I try to put into the piece. So I bought a little battery operated engraving tool and I'm signing my pieces; "maggie zee" if there's enough room and "mz" if there isn't.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
It's a good thing I don't feel about my children the way I do about my work. I usually think that the piece I've just finished is my best work ever and I don't see how I'm going to be able to part with it. Sometimes that feeling forces me to go back and rework an older piece, like I did last night with the necklace I wrote about months ago on the post, shell beads ..
|shell amulet necklace, quartz crystal, bone, shell, coyote tooth, citrine, pearls, moonstone|
I added some more dangles, some vintage bone beads I "won" on E-Bay, a coyote tooth, and I used waxed linen cord instead of the hemp that wouldn't behave itself. (What did I expect from hemp? Now really.)
|detail, shell amulet necklace|
Much, much better. I had to lose some of the more delicate mother-of-pearl beads that had holes too small to accomodate the waxed linen. I think it looks more primitive now - more like something a shaman would wear. It was a little too "bridal" in its previous incarnation.
The other way I cope with the "last is best" problem is to work in series. Short series because of my short attention span issue. Do two pieces qualify as a series? I may be pushing that a little.
|wearing of the green, equinox amulet necklace, prehnite, green garnet, amber|
|close-up, Wearing of the Green Equinox necklace|
So here's my dilemma: I had an e-mail from the editor of Belle Armoire Jewelry about a month ago saying that she had been following my Etsy shop and inviting me to submit work for possible publication. She suggested four pieces that are still listed. Do I send off the latest stuff, taking it off the market for six months or so, but getting it great exposure if it's selected? Do I send the older stuff that doesn't compare to the latest (and greatest)?
Good thing my kids don't read my blog.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
In honor of the Spring Equinox, I thought I'd stay up way past my bedtime and refresh my blog's look (and then of course, I had to redo my Facebook page and Etsy shop header. Kinda like painting one room and then thinking that the fresh paint makes everything else look so shabby that you just have to keep going.) I thought about changing my avatar, but couldn't find anyone I liked as much as the teacup lady. Talk about magnificent bosoms!!
Monday, March 18, 2013
Grey skies - too cold to get the peas planted but perfect for photographing my latest pieces outdoors.
I've been home from the Land of Barbeque and Hush Puppies for a week now, missing my grandchildren terribly. I found out that airport security doesn't seem to care how much wire and beads of all persuasions you've managed to pack into your carryon, as long as you have nothing in a liquid state, they are not interested. And also - even though you've brought everything you thought you could possibly need, there will be some essential thing that's sitting on your worktable at home.
And then of course, there was this slight distraction:
Here are my latest offerings:
|green man amulet necklace|
|close-up of green man|
|earth & bone charm bracelet|
|amethyst peace charm bracelet|
|the deer shaman's necklace|
|close-up of deer shaman's necklace|
|red jasper warrior's amulet necklace|
Saturday, February 16, 2013
It is just not possible to make jewelry when this little munchkin is so cuddly and sweet and delicious. At three weeks, the entire household revolves around her, as well it should. I dragged a storage bin full of beads and wire down here and in two weeks, I'll schlep it back to New York again and maybe find the inspiration to make some new stuff.
And in the meantime - what could possibly be better than this????
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Friday, January 4, 2013
In less than a week I leave for North Carolina where, hopefully, new granddaughter Izzy will be waiting patiently to make her grand entrance. At this point, her mother says she seems to be trying to kick her way out of the womb. For months I've been dreaming of her and thinking of how she carries my grandmother's grandmother's grandmother's mitochondrial DNA back more than 40,000 years. We are the daughters of "Jasmine". Her clan lived near the Euphrates River in what is now Iraq, and her descendants traveled north through Turkey and Anatolia and Greece, into the Balkans before making a left turn and making their way into Northern Europe more than 8,500 years ago. According to Brian Sykes in his book, "The Seven Daughters of Eve", her clan brought farming with them to Europe after the last Ice Age.
|"Walking on Broken Glass" amulet necklace|
They brought domesticated grasses and sheep and goats. The women were most assuredly weaving baskets and cloth. I wonder if they were the people who built homes on the banks of the Danube with shrines for the goddesses of fertility - of life and death.
Izabel enters a world so different from her Neolithic ancestors that it boggles the mind. And still she carries in the mitochondria of each cell, the echo of their lives.
“At the heart of this new field is a simple but contentious idea—that genes have a ‘memory’. That the lives of your grandparents—the air they breathed, the food they ate, even the things they saw—can directly affect you, decades later, despite your never experiencing these things yourself.”
From the BBC television program The Ghost in Your Genes
Sunday, December 23, 2012
My unemployment insurance did end though. Now I'm retired instead of "out-of-work". It feels better somehow. I'm still one of the "47%", but now I'm not feeling guilty about it.
|Blue Crystal Night Amulet Necklace by Maggie Zee on Etsy|
|The Diviner's Amulet by Maggie Zee|
|(detail)The Diviner's Amulet by Maggie Zee|
It's hard to live every day as if it was your last if you're a born procrastinator. I do have a special reason for being glad that the Earth did not end on the 21st and that is that I have a new granddaughter who is due to make her entry into the world on January 21st. I would have hated not to have gotten to meet her.
I think she has my nose.