tenacious bits ...


Those niggling bits are not letting go without a fight.
Dreams have been crazy and erratic.
Some 'letting go' efforts have been more successful than others.  
I've emptied out that bowl full of components that's been sitting on my worktable for months and sorted out fine silver bits that have been sitting in my supply bins for even longer.  Most have been listed on Etsy.  Some bronze elements I cut off the silver bails and chucked straight out.  

Some of the silver components that have been listed on Etsy ...


And some pieces from my All One Talismans series ...

I've also listed five of my eco-dyed silk scarves.  I'm really really pleased with my results and can't wait to use some of the plant stuff I've been stashing in a jumbo zip-loc in my freezer.   
This one's my absolute fave ...

But back to those tenacious bits ...
I guess I shouldn't be so hard on myself.  Behavior modification, breaking long-held patterns and habits, changing how I operate in the world ... this is big time stuff.  
Some days and nights are better than others.  A couple of days ago, I woke feeling like I'd been to war with my subconscious ... flat worn out.  I've been working on weaning myself off of the nightguard I've worn for the last 18 months.  The thing does nothing to stop me from clenching my jaw, it just keeps me from further cracking and wearing down my teeth.  It's a classic western solution - don't fix the problem, just use this really expensive gizmo and cover it up.  So that morning, I woke with my jaw in pain and a huge headache.  My mind was still reeling from layers of convoluted dreams.  The next night I wore the nightguard.  

But, that was it ... it's an ongoing challenge to stay aware through the day.  When I catch myself clenching my jaw, I try to stop and say "it's okay, let go" then take a minute or two to massage the joints, repeating my little mantra.  Needless to say, it's a process. 

One thing I keep coming back to ... it feels vitally important ... my work - all of my work - must be my own.  I'm down to my last few Basha beads, but for now, I'm not going to order any.  As much as possible, I want all the elements in my work to come from me.  Granted, for the most part I've been doing this for years.  But I'm finding this urge is spilling over into things like my clothing ... curious.

It's also why some of those bronze elements got chucked out.  Last year, I had what felt like a huge inspiration.  I have a very talented friend that has a singular artistic voice and style.  I had this idea to take some of her decidedly quirky images, translate them into rubber stamps and do a series of components and jewelry ... a collaboration of sorts.  I approached my friend and she very graciously gave me permission to use her images.  I spent hours and hours choosing images, photo-shopping them, laying out my proposed stamp sheets, pricing then ordering the sheets.  But the images didn't translate like I was hoping, I'd made most of them too big and should have done 'innies' instead of 'outies'.  I remained enthusiastic and hopeful, but the finished pieces just weren't working for me.

So they've been sitting on my worktable for months.  I wasn't really sure why my inspiration flagged and evaporated.  Surely, I could have revised the size of the images and had new sheets made ... but I resisted.  Now, and I feel this very strongly, I'm glad it didn't work out.  

As I'm moving forward, it is essential that I stand on my own.  It's enormously tempting to pursue a path where I can glom onto someone else - that "guilty by association' thing - get sucked into their wake and propelled along in their momentum.  I know it very well ... been there, done that ... and it's a nasty nasty habit.  I want to feel the exhilaration generated by my own momentum.  
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely believe in partnerships and collaborations.  
But for now, I need to see what it feels like - me, all by myself.  

My over-analytical brain keeps wanting to know "why" ... "what caused all this in the first place?" - don't I need to know all those "w's" to really let go and move forward?  I'm sticking with my current idea - don't try to figure it out ... just keep letting go.  
Yep, those niggling bits are indeed tenacious.  

l i g a - kvk