New Book, Old Holidays

The new book is finished and available for pre-order at 10% off the cover price (regularly $24.95) for a limited time. Orders will ship within the next week or so.

All Chained Up is part of the Metal Techniques of Bronze Age Masters series and focuses on fused link chains, 4 ancient Mediterranean patterns, and 4 patterns that I invented.

Having put out 2 publications in 9 months, bopping back and forth from coast to coast to teach workshops, and creating tons of new work, all while being Mom and partner, I thought sitting down to blog with a dish of pasta and a glass of sweet iced tea (a redundant term in the South) is a more than well deserved break. This is the first time I've been alone in the house since... uh... since... well... I really can't remember. It could have been before Halloween. There are usually 2 of us here if not 3, which is certainly not a complaint. I love having my honey work from home, and I wouldn't trade unschooling my son, Skyler, for anything. It's not as if I can't get work done or be my wild bohemian artistic self with the guys around. I can, however, create in complete peace without the guilt of explaining to a 9 year old, "No, I can't play Nintendo right now. I have to work another 18 hours today."

I just got up from doing collage at my drawing table for the first time since both the temperature and the humidity in Hotlanta were about 100. Collaging might be one of my favoirte things to do in life, although I'd hardly call it a break. It thoroughly recharges my creativity, but it is more physically exhausting than it ever seems it ought to be. There are down time moments in metalsmithing, even if it's just to wait for the pickle to remove the oxidation caused by soldering. Not so in collage. I can work the same 11" x 14" board for 2 hours without looking up, only to have to stop and wash out my brushes and realize my back is sore, and I can't cope with looking at intense colors for a while.

Perhaps the greatest achievement of the day was not furthering a work of art, or even the beginning of holiday baking, but cleaning my desk. I haven't seen this much expanse of wood on a raised horizontal surface in quite some time. (It could have been 2007.) At the rate I'm going, I could kid myself that I'm finally catching up on things from the last few... ok, I"ll be honest, from the late 90's. I have come to realize that I could create 2 full time jobs managing actual work. There is a sign outside an art gallery near my house; "To make art is work. To sell it is art." Add photographing work, maintaining a website plus social networking sites, applying for shows, updating resume and PR materials, keeping up with emails, shipping work, shipping publications, and packing for workshop trips, and I start wanting to clone myself.

So call me Scrooge, but all that leads up to my busiest time of year (which started in January!) has made me less than thrilled to see Christmas come 'round again. Don't get me wrong. I'm thrilled to have my work given as Christmas gifts to other people, and quite happy about the cool gifts I found for Skyler at the coolest toy store in the universe, San Marino Toy's & Books. I even love having an excuse to bake 5 different kinds of treats in one week, but when my honey and I were running errands yesterday, I looked at him and said, "I have to confess something. I've come to hate Christmas music."

"Me too," he replied, making me feel, as his always does, that I'm not alone. I'm just never ready to hear seasonal songs when every store and restaurant decides it's time to play them. Just give me some good mellow jazz and let me chill with cucumber slices on my eyelids to reverse the sleep deprivation damage of the past 5 months. Of course, presents are always welcome too. ;-)

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