'The little space within the heart is as great as the vast universe. The heavens and the earth are there, and the sun and the moon and the stars. Fire and lightning and winds are there, and all that now is and all that is not.' -The Upanishads.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Summertime blues ---- and pinks

When the weather starts to heat up, my brain just shuts down.  It did have one brilliant idea before it closed shop for the summer:  I had two things I wanted very much to incorporate into necklaces but they were just "too pretty" for their own good.  One is a free form glass heart that I bought on Etsy that's PINK.  I don't do pink.  I guess I thought I could work it into a charm bracelet somehow.  The other thing was a square of abalone shell that was part of a necklace in the 60's, very iridescent and all, and actually, pretty boring.  But collaging them has elevated them from the banal and I'm much happier with them.  I have 5 coats of Mod Podge protecting the leaves and paper, but I'm wondering if I need to also use a micro-wax or something in addition.  I thought that resin might leave the finish too glossy.  The Chinese writing is from a box of ointment I once bought in a Chinese pharmacy in NYC on a field trip with my friend and acupuncturist, Liz.  I loved the graphics on the package and the instructions in English that said it was for radiation burns.  The stuff smells like a mixture of hoisin sauce and beanpaste and works really well on non-radiation burns.  And the bonus is that over the years, the oils have made the instructions all lovely and translucent.


post-collaging the back
tip:  don't use black velvet if you share your house with cats and dogs.  you will NEVER get all the hair and linty bits off.

Friday, June 8, 2012

seen and unseen ...

In person, I think that the red jasper beads work - looking at the photos, I'm not so sure.  They're more rusty than red in real life.  I guess I'll give it a few days to "cook".


I happened upon this link when I was Googling the word "amulet" the other night.  The page is about Edward Lovett's collection of the amulets created by people living in London at the beginning of the 20th Century and the photos are fascinating (to me at least).  People have always wanted to feel that they had some way to control some small aspect of their lives.  My friends and I carried brightly colored rabbit's feet as children and always had our eyes out for four-leaf clovers and lucky rocks and charms.  The world we lived in was so beyond our control;  it required magic to tame it.  I find it incredibly touching to see these ordinary objects that gave their makers a link between the seen and the unseen.

I was at a bead show not too long ago and bought beads from a couple of gentlemen from Mali.  They had a tray of North African pendants, mostly poor quality Berber-style pieces, but one dirt-encrusted Tuareg pendant caught my attention.  I asked one of the sellers if it was worn for protection and he told me very sternly:  "No piece of jewelry can protect you - only God can protect you!  And for that to happen, you must open your heart to God."  Well, perhaps he's right.  But by my belief system, that act of opening your heart to the Divine, whatever you happen to call it, puts you in a sort of alignment or balance with other forces in the Universe - seen and unseen.  Physicists and mystics of all persuasions know that everything is vibrating, dancing if you will.  What if the hopes and wishes and prayers put into an amulet have their own vibrations?  What if we can access those vibrations by contact with those objects and they can help us to open our hearts to the Divine within us?  Or not.  Maybe they're just curiosities that remind us about being very vulnerable human beings.