26 January 2006

No Name Calling

An acquaintance of mine from a business forum brought No Name Calling Week to my attention. As a parent, I really think that this is a great concept. It would be easy to say that there are two kinds of people, those who are called names and those who do the name calling. Unfortunately, that's a gross oversimplification. I know because I was a chubby, smart, non-conformist child and was called names almost from the first moment that I walked onto a school yard. I have also been guilty, on more occaisions than I care to admit or even recall, of calling names myself. More often than not, in my adult life, my name calling is directed at political figures on television or radio news. But that's really no excuse. My daughter, playing on the floor in front of the television or strapped into her car seat while I listen to NPR, can't be expected to understand the difference between directing hostility at a recording of a person who is not present and aiming that same hostility at a living breathing person...

And, yet, is there really that much difference? Yeah, I understand that the recorded politician cannot hear or be hurt by my venomous language. But the names that we call others change us as much as (if not more than) those who inspire our animus.

I'd love to raise a daughter who understood that it is **NEVER** admirable to call another person names. To do so, I need to remind myself of the same thing. How better to move in that direction than by observing a week of No Name Calling. There's only one day left in this year's No Name Calling Week. If I start with a day, and build to a week, perhaps I can achieve a month and maybe eventually the rest of my life.
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23 January 2006

My beautiful little girl

I realized the other day that I hadn't posted a picture of Miss Mica since the end of November. I had planned on sifting through some of the pictures that we had taken in the last two months to find something cute to post but that was before today...

This afternoon, Mica discovered the pile of laundry waiting to be folded at grandma's house. After pulling out a few different items of clothing, she settled on one of grandma's shirts and played with it for a while. Much experimentation led to eventually pulling the shirt on over her head and running around playing in it. My parents and I laughed so hard as she played in this shirt. It is strange how she can simultaneously look so grown up and so tiny.

I haven't been into the studio in a while. Things here have been a little chaotic. I'm hoping to get some actual work done later in the week. I've been focusing on paperwork, shipping, order fulfillment, etc recently. I'd much rather be in the studio working, but I can do a lot of the computer work while Mica plays. I can't really take her out to the studio to play. It's not a baby friendly place. Posted by Picasa
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18 January 2006

Getting some work done

Miss Mica is visiting her grandmother for a few hours this afternoon so that I can get a few things done. I listed a few new pins in my Etsy Shop. There's been quite a bit of interest in them and I'm really pleased with the response. The pin to the left here is my current favorite. There's a small unakite bead, then a small bone bead, then one of my stoneware beads all framed by a beautiful natural mica disk. I love the colors of the mica and the translucency of it, which I just could not capture in the images for the Etsy listings.

The pin on the right is technically pit-fired although it is glazed with raku glazes and the reduction effect is a raku-like finish. In order to simplify things with the Etsy listing, I just listed the pin as raku.

I'm also trying to get a selection of beads together to donate to a young girl who is trying to raise money for Chiari and Pseudotumor research. I'm doing this for a couple of reasons. The first is that I am so very grateful that Mica is so blessedly normal. The second reason is that I have a long history of headaches and I can wholeheartedly sympathize with the pain that children like Baylie experience.

And, now, I must go get my baby. She probably hasn't even missed me but in the time that it took to get a nice relaxing shower and post a few pins, I can tell you that I have missed her tremendously.

12 January 2006

What's the Baby Sign for "Mommy, I put your keys . . ."

I should probably start by saying that I can finally breathe again. This fact would be deserving of a blog entry all it's own but I had some minor difficulties accessing blogger last night and have since had a full day of quality baby time. And, if the quality baby time is not why you come here, I will save you some reading now. The entire rest of this post is of no interest to anyone who doesn't want to hear about Mica.

Taking advantage of my recovery, Mica and I went shopping today for some materials that I needed for my pins. After a stop at a craft store for wire for attaching embellishments to my large shawl pins I went to Big Lots to purchase some inexpensive pliers that I wouldn't mind messing up in the torch flame while I'm bending the bronze wire for the pins.

When we arrived at the store, Miss Mica was sleeping. I carried her into the store, laid my coat in the bottom of the cart (I was only picking up a couple of things and didn't see the need to wake her) and laid her on top of my coat. She slept there sweetly for all of about a minute and a half before being awakened by a loud noise. She then sat in the cart for a while before managing to fish my keys out of my coat pocket and starting to play with them. Ever mindful of Mica's safety, I removed the mini box-cutter from my key chain and let her play with the keys. (Little did I know how much I would wish that I'd just stuffed the entire keychain into my pocket.)

While there, I can never resist wandering around and looking at all the little odds and ends they have around the store. I stopped in the baby section to look for stacking cups for Miss Mica and some onesies for a project that I want to work on...

After purchasing some Kix for Mica, my pliers, and a couple of odds and ends from the super clearance section (who can pass up $0.25 ouchless ponytail holders) I removed Mica from the cart and headed out to the car. It was then that I realized that my keys were missing. I checked my coat pocket, my jeans pocket, my bags, etc. The hatchback of my station wagon was unlocked, so I loaded the bags into the car but I couldn't really load Mica into the car that way, and we weren't going anywhere without the keys. I headed back into the store to check the cart, and try to find the keys.

I alerted the cashier to my situation and he very kindly called members of the staff to help me with the floor search. To add to my stress level, it was obvious that Mica needed a diaper change and her appreciation of the humor in our situation was waning fast. After a couple of quick calls, first an unsuccessful attempt to reach my mother in hopes that she could come to get the baby and I, then to my hubby for suggestions and moral support, we managed to devise a plan. I went back to the baby section of the store to purchase diaper change supplies, scooped a squalling baby out of the cart and wandered up to the check-out.

I explained to the guy at the check-out that my husband was on his way with the spare keys, that I needed to change the baby, and then was going to try to crawl into the car through the hatch and wait for the keys. (In addition to her diapering needs, Mica was also making it very clear that she was ready to nurse. I really did not want to whip out a breast in the store since I was already feeling really conspicuous.)

So, now we get to the part where I re-construct the disappearance of the keys. I got into the bathroom and managed to get Mica's overalls off for the diaper change just as one of the female stockers who had been involved in the great key hunt came in to find me. I was just taking stock of a suspiciously key-shaped impression on Mica's inner thigh when she coughed to get my attention. There, dangling from her fingers were my keys, which she had found on the floor near the diapers.

It would appear that after playing with my keys for a few minutes, Mica decided to stuff them into her overalls. She's very fond of stuffing things into her overalls. Wads of paper, bits of food, the things that we have found after unfastening her bibbies to change her have amazed and confounded us. It had never even occurred to me that she might have stuffed my keys down her pants.

I can only assume that when I scooped her out of the cart by the diapers, the keys became dislodged and fell out of her pantleg. Because she was crying at the time, I didn't hear the keys when they fell. The stock woman wandered into the section just after Mica and I left and took the keys up to the cash register where the cashier told her that I had taken the baby into the bathroom to change her and that she might be able to catch me.

So, in addition to "Eat", "Drink", "Milk", "Hat", and the various other baby signs that we are trying to teach Miss Mica, it looks as though we'll have to try to find something that communicates, "Mommy, I stuffed your keys in my pants."
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08 January 2006

Pinning down a few thoughts

Thought I'd post another pin for my loyal readers before venturing into the black hole that is my random thought processes. I've uploaded the rest of the pins that I have scanned to my Etsy shop. My sweetie is taking Mica to visit her grandparents for a while this evening so that I can lock myself out in the studio and try to get some more work done. If I have to be miserable, there's no reason that I can't be miserable sitting at the torch for a half-hour or so.

I've been sick since New Year's Day. (I'll spare everyone the details...) I'm calling the doctor's office first thing tomorrow morning to let them know (as I was advised to do when I went in for a follow-up with my doctor mid-week) that the anti-biotics do not seem to be helping with my illness. We really cannot afford for the consistent wage-earner in the household to take off more than a week from work because I am too ill to care for the baby. I'm averaging about 16 hours a day in bed. I wake up every time I cough, my breathing is labored, and (because I can't breathe through my nose) I'm snoring loud enough to drive my beloved downstairs to sleep on the couch. All told, this means that (as if I weren't feeling miserable enough) I've spent way too much time inside my own head this last week.

I want to thank Maryellen, Jennifer and Cinnamon for their feedback on my crisis of self-worth. It really **IS** comforting to know that I'm not alone in my experiences with the untimely endings of valued friendships. It makes me feel a little less defective, a little less as though there is something inherently wrong with me that makes this type of disappointment inevetable.

As the bio on my website says, I grew up in a military family. This meant that, in addition to wonderful travel opportunities, my family moved frequently. I never formed the kind of lasting friendships that people who live in one place their entire lives take for granted. I moved away from my friends and had to make new ones every 4 years. I have always envied people who have friends that they've known since elementary school. Intellectually, I know that these life-long friendships are rare, that they are the exception and not the rule. That doesn't change the fact that, on some level, I have always hoped that maybe one of my adult friendships would develop into the type of profound, unshakeable relationship that I have envied from the outside.

As a consequence, when one of my friendships ends, (especially if it ends badly) I'm always sure that it is my fault. I'm certain, on some level, that I lack the tools to sustain a friendship. Did my nomadic childhood somehow train me for friendships with a limited shelf-life, rather than enduring friendships which could weather the ups and downs of real life and still survive to nourish the spirit.

The idiotic thing is, I have been fortunate enough to find one of those solid, unshakeable, profound friendships. I married him. I wake up beside him every morning... (Unless I'm sick and he's gone downstairs to sleep on the couch to escape the deafening snores...) We're raising a beautiful baby girl together. And I should really be more appreciative and grateful for my good fortune than I have seemed lately. So, that's where my week of talking to myself in bed has gotten me... I've realized that the friendship I was grieving was far from perfect and has taken the route that it needed to take. I am ***NOT*** defective and unbefriendable. And my creative life owes far more to a husband who works 40+ hours a week at a job that he does not love to provide a steady income, health insurance, and security so that I can work in my home studio for as many (or as few) hours a week as I can tear myself away from our beautiful baby, than it ever did to a friendship that was obviously more flawed than I wanted to admit before it ended.

05 January 2006

A productive new year

On sunday, in spite of a mild sore throat, I managed to find my way out to the studio to get some more pins done. Unlike the previous pins, this batch featured some of my beads. (Thanks in part to my brilliant decision to pick them up from Helena's Studio/Gallery.) I started simple, just the bead on bronze wire that had been artfully twisted in the torch flame to form a hook and ensure that the bead didn't slip around too much. From there I got increasingly bold (with a little encouragement from my beloved.)

I still love the really simple ones. They showcase the beads so beautifully. I can actually imagine wearing three or four of them as scatter pins. These more ornate ones are a bit bold. They need to stand on their own. i don't think that they'd enjoy sharing the glory of a scarf or sweater with friends.

I've posted five of the pins in my Etsy shop. I'll be adding more over the next few days. I'd love to hear what people think.

I've made quite a few of the pins in both styles, which is surprising considering that the sore throat that I had on Sunday evening sentme to Urgent Care on Monday and to my primary physician today. Poor Miss Mica has the cold too. Surprisingly, not even illness dampens her spirits. I'm not sure where she gets her sunny disposition. It certainly isn't from me this week.

If you've tried emailing me, please try again in a couple of days. I've been having some email problems that I haven't felt equal to tackling this this week. Hopefully I can motivate myself after a few hour's sleep to send a note to tech support and see what can be done to fix things.
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01 January 2006

Happy New Year!!!!

A new year, a new tagging script, a new body of work... So much is going on that I don't know where to start. I hope that the holidays were good to everyone.
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