Thursday, May 26, 2011

Gardening

I am not a gardener. Somehow, that particular skill was not passed along in my family. The only gardening activity I remember was my sisters and me sitting on the front lawn with our parents on hot summer evenings, pulling weeds, with the promise of a trip to 31 Flavors keeping us motivated. Later, as teenagers, we sometimes shoved the old push mower around that same lawn, but that was about it. There were flowers and trees and shrubs all over the place, but darned if I recall how they stayed looking nice. Mom probably did it, but she never shared her secrets.

Last weekend I planted some herbs in a big pot outside the front door. This was my big leap into gardening. I figure I can handle a pot of herbs, and if I keep them alive, I get to cook with them. So far so good. I've always kind of thought if I was going to grow something, it might as well be something I can eat. Then my neighbor gave me three little baggies of flower seeds. Morning glories, zinnias, and cosmos. There went my plant-it-to-eat-it theory. I hate wasting things, and I like flowers, so what the heck. I planted the morning glories along an ugly wire fence, and the zinnias in front of the little guest casita. I'm not sure where to put the cosmos yet. I need to consult with Rick, the resident master gardener, to see if he has a plan for the area below the living room windows.

Part of my morning routine now includes dragging the hose across the yard, and walking along the fence to water the seeds. I watch for them to come up, and pull a few weeds as I go along. I feel as if I've adopted that fence line. We have an acre of land here, and enough weeds to make us buy 3 goats a few years ago. The goats didn't work out, and we gave them away. The weeds are winning. But I think I can handle a fence line and a pot of herbs. Maybe I'll get the hang of this and expand my territory, but I'm going to take it slow.

A funny thing has happened though. Some little roundabout connection clicked in my brain yesterday, and I went out to the studio and plugged in my kiln for the first time in months. Then I sat down at the the dusty torch table, and made beads... I honestly didn't think I'd ever make a bead again, but there I was, music playing, CZs scattered on the table, and my hands remembering how to put tiny flowers into beads as if I'd never stopped. I made 5 little flower beads before I called it a day, and when I went to retrieved them from the kiln this morning, I was actually surprised at how nice they turned out.

The gardening connection seems obvious. I always sort of thought of myself as more of a "glass gardener" than a real one. Maybe now I can do both. Of course it would be nice if I could sell the beads, since I can't eat them. But rather than blasting back into my old "career" as a beadmaker, I think I'll keep it more on the semi-retired hobby level. I'll do it when I want to, never when I don't. I'll sell them when I can, and give them away sometimes too. That always makes me happy, like a real gardener sharing a bumper crop of corn or peaches with her neighbors. No promises. No custom orders. And no, even suggestions are not welcome. I am an uppity old bead-farmer.

So here's yesterday's crop. If you want to buy one of these, send me an email at kim@kimmiles.com. From left to right, let's number them 1 to 5. The background colors are transparent pale aqua, purple, lime, teal, and sky blue. The flowers are white, lavender, or blue, and all have sparkling CZ centers. These are my classic encased CZ flower beads, still as pretty as ever. And they're less expensive than they used to be. I'm feeling less competitive I guess. They're just $25 each, which includes shipping, and they measure about 16mm across the hole. I'll send you a PayPal invoice, and can mail next biz day most of the time. I hope you like them, and hope some of you who have been after me to get back to the torch already will take advantage of this little surge of creativity. It might turn into a big surge... or it might not. It's summertime. The livin' is easy. And I have a yard to tend to.


Thanks bead lovers! These sold out within minutes!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Awesome beads!!! I miss your beads.....but no pressure...just saying.
diana

Anonymous said...

Sold out already?!
As you can see your fans are still there and as fast as they used to be!
Happy gardening -- glass or otherwise ;+)
Francoise

Anonymous said...

Your fans are still definitely here... you know, just the other day I was talking to someone about your window beads -- the ones where there was a scene inside... I always wanted to collect one of those, but I was never quick enough...

Beth

Merikay said...

Beautiful! Your hands know the way even if your heart got lost for awhile.

Many years ago when we lived in Texas I stopped doing my animals and got a "real" job for family and financial reasons. Didn't do a bit of art for four years. Then I couldn't stand it anymore and had an emotional meltdown telling my husband I was going to go back home and become an artist again. He persuaded me to just quit my job and resume my craft.

You haven't been away from making beads for very long, but it should be interesting to hear if any new designs pop into your head "fully" developed.

It was as if my mind was quietly refining my designs and when I retuned I had made some major improvements in the concept and construction.

Anonymous said...

By the time I got this, they were GONE!!! and rightfully so....But I NEED one or two. debbb7

Sue said...

Love your beads! Hope the inspiration continues...

Anonymous said...

Allo Kim

Let me add my congratulations to those applauding your 'getting back to the torch' :)

I love your beads and they are in a class of their own. I, too, wish there had been even one left when I got here.

As a long time marketer, it makes sense to me that when you have a buying market for your products, creating enough to feed the market makes sound business sense. Just a thought ;)

Keep up the good work!

M (Berry) Dunstan
in Western Australia