Thursday, February 11, 2010

Winter Work

If you choose to live in central Vermont, you've got to embrace winter. As we like to say up here, Vermont's weather is nine months of winter and three months of bad sledding. Actually, this winter other parts of the East coast are experiencing better sledding than we--and Vancouver!-- are and I know that's the understatement of the century. And when you're digging your car out of a snowbank, you tend not to think about winter sports.

You've got to get into the cozy-- fuzzy things to wear that feel like your kitty's fur, flannel blankets, rough handknit wool sweaters. There are many positive sensory advantages to winter. Nothing on earth feels like the wave of woodsy heat that comes off a blazing pile of crackling oak logs. This weekend we sat in front of such a fire, chatting with old friends and munching Asiago and crackers. Ahh, the best part of winter!

And the long months from November until April are ideal for the incubation of ideas. It's quiet, you aren't distracted by needing to work in the garden or going swimming and your daily walk is inevitably shortened by concern for frostbite and frozen digits. You have time to think.

And think I have been. I've been experiencing a veritable flood of new ideas. And now I may have the makings of a book. I'm as surprised as anyone by this turn of events, as my next goal this year was to decide where I might want to offer my beads and jewelry for sale-- be it craft shows, bead show venues or other online opportunities besides Etsy. Now my Muse seems to be pushing for a larger commitment to sharing my work than simply by way of this blog. So I'm listening to Her and making notes and thinking up a title. Stories They Tell is going to be showing up in a worldly context in several new ways in the coming months so somebody may actually think a book written by me might be a worthy venture to sponsor.

For now, I'm letting the subtle colors of winter inspire me, either to craft subdued shades in complex designs or to revolt against the subtle palette of the season with a riot of color as I put together submissions to magazines for their Fall issues. The colors of Fall are my favorite but winter is the best season for contemplation and imagination, locked away from the cold in a warm home with a sketchpad and your imagination for company.

Colorado Earrings - in my Etsy shop

Strata Earrings - in my Etsy shop

Marrakesh necklace - my submission for the Art Bead Scene challenge for November 2009

Marrakesh -- detail


  1. Well hello, Christine! I'm so happy to have a brand new post here to enjoy...I just love your writing style and all that you share with us. I wish I could embrace the Winter as you have..we haven't had any choice lately with this snow! That squirrel picture is adorable, btw.
    Your new pieces are all so beautiful...all with such different colors and complex clay techniques, such as the Strata earrings. You always leave us wondering, "How did she do that?" :-) I just love your Nov. ABS challenge necklace...I'd love to see more of it. Looks like a long one wrapped several that concept. I think I would wear this one every day if I could! I especially love your signature bezel-wrapped bead I see in the detail picture - perfect! I am behind you 100% on where you are heading this year.... I can already see your book becoming a reality - it seems a natural path for you, a talented writer and someone with so many mysterious techniques to share! I say take steps each day to make this a reality! :-)

  2. Yes! Yes! You write so eloquently Miss Christine. I am with Cindy on this one. I am excited to watch you blossom this year and continue to grow into the artist you are meant to be. And another book for my vast collection? Well, that would be the best news. I do like all the seasons, fall being the best, but I agree that there is a natural contemplativeness that accompanies the crunch of snow under your feet, the lingering wisps of breath on the air and the crackling of a fire. Looking forward to joining you on this adventure...and as for books...I have one in my head as well. Saving it for someday...
    Enjoy the day, Christine!

  3. Wonderful post, Christine! And I love that Marrakesh necklace!!