Long day, but so worth it.
I taught a beginning soldering class today to four lovely women, all of whom were brand new to it. And look what they did! They layered and hammered and designed and laughed (there were a few tears, too) and watched and asked and explored and soldered and at the end of the day, they left with earrings and a rocking ring (or pendant) that they were happy to wear. And although the day was long and had its own challenges and frustrations, my heart is just… full.
Those moments… when that voice inside someone’s head is silenced. You know the one I mean. It’s the one that says, “You could never…” or “Why bother…” or “That won’t work…” That voice, the one that keeps us timid and afraid and coloring inside the lines. Sometimes, when she’s focused and doing the work, there’s an almost audible click when the switch flips off, and she’ll take a deep breath and meet my eyes and say in surprise, “I did it!”
And I’ll say, “I know!” And then we celebrate, and she’ll smile huge.
And sometimes, like today, I have to master tears of my own. I don’t want to scare anyone, how deeply I feel about all this, but seriously: who puts those voices in their heads in the first place? And how can I help in the work of turning them off for good?
I know the work isn’t mine to do, of course. And it will seem silly to some, I suppose, but this is ministry for me. This is feeding women’s spirits and encouraging them in something that can be uniquely theirs. And maybe this is the only time they’ll ever take up a torch and light the flame and create that alchemy of metal and fire… but one day, they’ll look at the thing they made and remember they are strong, and made for a purpose, and eminently capable of being taught and learning well.
I’m so grateful for my life, and the privilege of speaking into the lives of others. And I am even more grateful for the people who are willing to receive this love and this passion I have for them. So even while I’m deeply tired and the shadow of fibromyalgia wraps itself around my body and demands attention, it’s all worth it. Every bit of it.
Because look what they did!
I’m working on a lot of projects right now… and one of them is me. Happy Friday.
It’s been a while since I’ve been able to participate in one of Art Jewelry Elements’ monthly component feature – life has just been too busy. But when I saw Caroline Dewison’s gorgeous moth focal, I decided I needed to make time for this one.
When she introduced this focal to the AJE team, we were offered the opportunity to make a color choice. I opted to be surprised, and I was just delighted with this gorgeous soft silvery grey. I knew immediately what I wanted to do with it.
I am very fond of those tornado links and I use them a lot. They seemed particularly appropriate for this piece, since they reminded me of cocoons, and I wired in some very small peach coral beads for just a touch of color and to evoke the idea of seeds. Something about cocoons and seeds and spring just seemed right for this focal.
I finished it off with two short lengths of sterling silver chain and a simple hook clasp. The colors are perfect for the outfit I’m planning to wear to a friend’s wedding on Friday, so it’s entirely possible I’ll be keeping this one for myself… at least for a while.
Thanks for such a gorgeous focal, Caroline! To see what everyone else did with this beauty, head on over to the AJE blog for the links.
There was a time in my professional life when I dreaded Mondays. But Mondays are different now.
Even when I’m working on tasks I don’t particularly enjoy – paying bills, prepping and analyzing financial reports, working through an administrative to-do list – I am here in the this place that I love. Those sparkle lights make me absurdly happy, and the prints were a birthday gift from my husband and daughter a number of years ago. I think of them both whenever I look at these.
This view is filled with small things that resonate – a sand dollar I retrieved from a beach I loved as a child, a gift from a friend, a brass vase that sat on my mother’s vanity for all of my growing up. Beyond them are the tops of Texas oaks and a brilliant blue sky – I love that view even when the weather is bad. I am learning to curate my life more carefully than I did when I was younger.
And Mondays are different now.
Well. When I said I was “making space” I honestly didn’t intend to disappear for three months. I suppose there’s no really good way to cover the lapse, except to say that opening a business – even when it’s with good friends and the full support of one’s family – is not for the faint of heart. I’m not sure I’ve ever worked this hard in my life.
We’ve gone from this…
… to this.
We have six weeks’ worth of classes under our belts, and we’re having a blast.
And Gail and I are getting ready to host our first major Roadhouse Event next week – a Jewelry Retreat in the Texas Hill Country at the gorgeous Sage Hill Inn.
It’s going to be a week with old friends and new ones, and it is completely full, which is both humbling and a little scary.
So life is very full, and very good, and I’m sorry I’ve been away. I’ve missed the writing, and as I was typing this post I realized that the photos up above don’t bear any resemblance to the work I’m doing (they’re TWO YEARS OLD, for heaven’s sake!!) so this website is long past due for an overhaul. I’ll get to it and I’ll check in more often. In the meantime, visit the Roadhouse website and see what we’re up to. We have some very exciting announcements coming about guest instructors in the next few weeks and months, and our summer and fall class schedule will be coming out shortly. Lots and lots going on…
Hope all has been well in your corner of the world these last three months! More soon!