Friday, February 21, 2014

Are hyper Eddie, the Universe and the Subconscience One?

Butterfly Ropes: Matinée, Lariat
and 3 strand-bracelet
Yes they are, because of It.

I blogged about a creative whirlwind not long ago, and beaded like crazy, so many ideas popping up in my brain, beading them up immediately, writing tuts immediately too... The Butterfly Ropes in January, two new creations this month and wonderful other things I cannot show you now... Of course my shoulder said stop. And I will have to listen because the stitching / weaving movement certainly may become responsible for about 50% for RSI or a frozen shoulder, the remaining 50% being Fibro's fault. So I will not be able to bead for the Battle of the Beadsmith or another big contest. Fortunately I will have adorable visitors from Paris next week. Perfect timing! That will rest my arms and lift me up.

Keira Bracelet - made me think
of a bracelet of a 'piratesse'
My muse, Eddie, (I think of him as a guy), is hyper, and driving me nuts. I love to have so many ideas... what I like less is having only two arms in not so excellent condition. Eddie is the imaginary personification of my creative juices. My studio is in a typical after-hyper-Eddie state: Hiroshima. I will tidy up while having this forced break. This is also the reason why I bead in such an incredible mess: I know that there always comes a time that I can only fondle my beads by putting them back in tubes and bags. I don't waste time doing that when my arms are good enough for beading... 5 beading trays are always covered with stuff.

A few days ago, a video with John Cleese presenting a talk about creativity went round on Facebook and it was so good, that I can't help but sharing it here. This long one is full of funny jokes,

and this second one, shorter, is also good but more serious and straight to the point. Watch both! or at least the short one now.

I discovered with my latest design, the Keira Bracelet, that everything he said, the exploring aspect, the playing (with beads), an 'open mode' (spirit) as he calls it, enough "pondering time" (especially long in this case) and a 'closed mode' after the 'open mode' (to let experience and technique master the job) are certainly the key to new designs. He explains this extremely well and I encourage you to watch both videos, really excellent, sure funnier than goats...

Pippi with black cat and gold
fishies, an autobiographic necklace
I just don't know if, as he says, it is our subconscience working behind the scenes, or the Universe. The name of 'It' doesn't matter, because It is the same thing, for sure. It is also the same thing which the Japanese wish to let flow when practicing an art, the essence of what makes them consider the handling of arcs and swords, drinking tea, practicing calligraphy and Ikebana as an art. It must be some sort of universal energetic flow which wants something to come to existence and uses me, and you, and them, to co-create.

I am writing about this because I am generally not a 'what-if' person - I am used to have 'It' talking to me (or through me) pretty loudly and I think that I practice the open / closed naturally. The nature of beads is greatly encouraging open-closed switches of the brain. But the Superduos / Twin beads which I always though of as 'that fatty little double-hole-bead provoking tons of weaving with other tiny little seed beads to hide the thread' obviously needed a long, very long pondering time to suddenly become a favorite.

Keira Beaded Bead
The use of it as a design element together with pinch beads first came up in my Pippi Longstocking's necklace (which I submitted it in the Design Contest organized by Bead Style Magazine). I actually focused on them because I could use them as anchor points for headpins... Then I made the Butterfly rope - which was already designed by the Universe because I had dreamed of it before, and now this. Hurray! They are a catalyzer and not an obstacle anymore and now have my full appreciation.

And while Keira wanted to become a beaded bead, a choker to go out to a wonderful theatre in Milan in Italy and another bracelet and earrings too, I thought by myself that it is good to sit down, play, ponder, wait, and see things unfold in our hands.

Sera alla Scala
You may have noticed that I sell my jewelry very rarely. I have offered the jewelry set (necklace and earrings) Sera alla Scala to Linda Roberts as a fundraiser to support her daughter and son-in-law who is facing tremendous difficulties with his health and, as happens often in such cases, they have to deal with many bills to pay... See the fundraiser here in her Facebook Album.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Fish love

14 liter - this is now a nursery
I wanted a cat. But hubby didn't. Admittedly for good reasons.
One day he asked if he could adopt 3 fishies looking for a new home...

It may sound strange, but I knew that once we would have those 3, it would only be the beginning. I knew his love for fishies and maybe that is why he asked my approval, so I said "I don't know where this will bring us, but it's OK, as long as you don't ask me to care for them." (He's had fishies when he was a kid, and loves water; I actually don't like water that much)

60 liter for the 3 adopted fishes,
now he shrimps and 2 little baby GF 
are living in this one
 They arrived in a 14 liter aquarium, far too small. We bought a 60 liter. That was too small too, they grew so fast! and the pump was not ok. Needed a new pump. We wanted nice plants, I love greenery. Search for a big tank began. I think that he would have bought far more if I hadn't said stop at a certain point... Gold Fishies are to my hubby what beads are to me.
60 liter - first home of the
Ancistrus, this is now a 'Medical' (empty)
tank (filled only in case of need)

With the big tank a couple of Ancistrus also came along... they now are in a 100 liter in the living room and have had 4 reproductions and dad ancistrus is taking care of his 5th nest... They are so many, I can't even count them. We are trying to find the right filtration system for them... have tried a few pumps already. Don't believe what is written on the box, if it says 700 liter, it makes you think that it will filter 700l. per hour. that is a lie. Grand maximum will be the half, and most of the time only a quarter of that.
100 liter tank with Ancistrus, hiding
in the decor. The babies are not
present in this picture - it is now
strongly overpopulated...

We hope to be able to differentiate the young males and females soon, to sell or give them. If we can't find a home for them, we'll need to separate the female from the male... Which would sadden me, because they are so cute when they 'date'.

New friends arrived (more GF). Shrimps too, which were supposed to be in the same tank but the GF were too much after them... So they now live in the 60 liter tank. We regularly bought new plants, some are constantly eaten by the fishies, some not and become  bushy...

400 liter, planted, before introduction of GF
It is between me and hubby in our 'studio'
That's 3 tanks + 2 tiny tanks for reproduction and 1 'medical tank' - the last fishes which arrived had to stay in there for observation. And we did well, they had to have a treatment against a nasty parasite... Nothing enters the tank without treatment (plants) or observation and eventually medication (fish) anymore.

Because our last Christmas was horrible. All our fishies became terribly sick and 9 out of 10 died.

We did everything we could to save them. I cried everyday for another one, or sometimes two, passing away. It litterally broke my heart. That's when I realized that I loved my fishes and that there is nothing I could do to help them, and that in our country we don't have access to the right medication for fishies, because of legislation, only very mild products. We could not even find something to ease their suffering.

Surprisingly, one survived, bravely, all alone. A chocolate Gold fish (the brown, 'wild' variety). It took him some time to eat again, but real appetite didn't seem to come back. If we hadn't had two babies in a little nursery, I guess that we would have given him to another fish lover. The two babies gave us the courage to start the tank over. Cleaned everything and introduced new sand, new plants, and new fishies, because gold fishies need to live in groups. The veteran is the biggest fish in the tank now, strong and always hungry. It is wonderful to see him like that again, after weeks of no eating at all...

This video is not the best quality. Will do better for the newbies next time... But it is worth watching, because you can see the parents laying eggs... those eggs which gave birth to our two little babies.


A well-known philosopher said: "To really love, you've got to have your heart broken". I believe that it is true. I now love those fishies more than I could have imagined. It may sound incredible but those little fellows in the water are really good at 'communicating' with us. They do the 'belly dance' to say hello and ask for food. Hubby talks to them all the time... 

It's a strange world. 

Filled with love.