Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Control............. and other ramblings

"I like a man that can run faster than I can... " purrs Jane Russell in Gentlemen prefer blondes. Good Good movie, if you like old movies. Even some great shots of jewelry! In fact I fell in love with the earrings Jane wears in 1 scene, and I plan to try to make a version of them in wire... If it comes out even halfway kewl I'll post it soon... ( I've got the beads and wire picked out, sitting on my work desk, just not had the time to work on it yet!) I love love love old movies, especially the color musicals from the 1940-1950's ... lots of glam. I like glam! for you youngsters out there, I mean "bling" or "bling-bling". I've always loved old movies, got that from my mom. ( thanks Mom! ) Some of my best memories growing up have to do with old movies and my Mom. For a few years a theatre downtown showed old movies- including some silent ones, on a big screen on the weekends.. and for years the local PBS station had a show on weekends called Matinee at the Bijou's. Every Saturday afternoon Mom and I would have a late lunch/early supper and end it with hot chocolate with marshmallows and cinnamon sticks and watch the movies together. (bijou's was a great concept, they showed movies just like you would have in the 20's through 40's.. you would get a news reel, cartoon and shorts, and then the movie!! ) Now as an bead artist I have yet another dimension: great jewelry to gawk at. Seriously, next time you see a old movie, start looking at the jewelry and the costumes. Yummy!! Even if the movie tanks, you can find redeeming value in costumes !
Nothing proves that we have no control over our lives like the computer biting it. Starting Saturday, my computer had a nervous breakdown. finally about midnight this morning, I got just about everything working again. I don't trust it anymore.. I plan to back up daily, in the event it kaput's again. I feel like it's the walking wounded and likely to expire of natural causes at any moment. After all, it's 4 years old, which in computer terms is a rip old age. But still, it proves you only have control over yourself. I moped for awhile. I ranted and raved. I wanted to cry... 4 years of my life on it.. yes I do backups, but the last one was over a month ago... and I'ld had at least 1 show since then. All those receipts to re-enter!!!! arrgh!!

But finally I finished my pity party and started the long road to fixing the damn thing. And that made me feel better... just doing something about my situation made me feel soooo much better. Because ultimately doing something beats the heck out of not doing something. Even if it hadn't worked (and frankly, it hasn't completely.. I can't recover my website software and certain programs don't run quite right.) dealing with the situation and getting some sort of resolution was better than moping about it. It's all in your attitude.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Read Mindless Eating! and how I can relate anything to jewelry making!

OK, this diet thing isn't working so good right now. However I absolutely will get back on track... in fact I just finished reading "mindless eating" by Dr. Brian Wansink. A great read... easy to follow, funny, and has tips on lifestyle changes that I can actually do! What I love about this book is instead of testimonies from "successful" dieters, Dr. Wansink details actual scientific studies he's directed in his decades long career as a psychologist. So while I've heard some of this before in diet books, he tells you why it works. For example, the trick of smaller plates. It actually works. The theory is most folks rely on several cues, mostly visual to tell when they have eaten enough. Take a 5oz steak, 1/2 cup green beans, and 1/2 cup of corn on a big 12 inch plate. It doesn't look like much... but the same amount of food on a 9 inch plate, and it is a big heaping pile'o supper. It signals your brain that this is a large, full meal. Yummy!

Lots of great info, and it's very assessable, written for the average reader, not the geeks of science journals (which I love BTW), which is where most of the research was originally published. And all of his recommendations are very doable, and he activity encourages you to take your time to make changes. In fact, he seems slightly uncomfortable with calling this a diet book. It's a bunch of recommendations based on hard research. So many books/programs, you have to completely rewrite your life overnight, and that's just about impossible to do for most people, including me. So many books make you feel like a failure if you don't follow it exactly, to the letter and start this second... This book says start with small goals, and keep in mind your in this for the long hull. I really really like this book! You can see & read some of this on the website: but I definitely recommend a trip to the library.

Now just about everything in my life I relate back to beads and jewelry.. as they are my main expression in life. so reading this book, chapter 6: The Name Game jumps out at me. It's about how naming food can influence our buying and eating decisions. (for example, labeling spaghetti something like authentic Italian basil recipe spaghetti will sell more than just plain spaghetti) Now, again I've seen and read this all before as it pertains to jewelry.. i.e. give jewelry styles name, use descriptive words on your website etc. Another words, talk it up. I just couldn't bring myself to do it.. besides I didn't believe it worked. But somehow relating it to food research and I really get it. Now I don't mean lying about what something is... but the more descriptive you can be, the better the connection you make with your customer. I've always had a hard time tooting my own horn, and I need to get over it. Besides if I had more general self confidence then losing weight would be easier, and I probably wouldn't be fat to begin with. If I had more general self confidence, then talking about my jewelry in more positive terms wouldn't seem like bragging, tasteless or somehow untrue. The strange thing is I really do love to make jewelry, I really do think I'm good at it, I think some of my designs are outstanding ... but telling people this.. that's hard. Because when I talk to other people about my jewelry, I am talking about myself, and well, I like my jewelry, but I"m a stranger to myself. My jewelry can be the best part of me, but I don't see it. Maybe If I see it, I see all the bad stuff too...... maybe I think it's all a pose and if I get my jewelry out there, all the blocks will come tumbling down, and everyone will see me as I see me, instead of seeing my jewelry. This is painful to think about.

But I'm getting better at liking myself.. I have so much to be grateful and happy about now in my life, most of the issues that drove me to eat are non-issues now, immaterial and unimportant.. but life-time habits die hard and just when you think you have left your mental luggage on the dock, some helpful porter in your mind finds it for you again. Just the fact that I can post stuff like this in this very public forum, that's a huge step. As a fat person you spend so much of your time hiding, or trying to.

You know, something I'm really looking forward to is as I self-heal, how much better my art will be. Considering how much I hold myself back in life... I bet I hold back in art an equal amount. Just thinking about this makes me want to run to the studio and make something. I think I will!