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I first came across [livejournal.com profile] elisem via [personal profile] kaberett. Or it might have been [personal profile] oursin. It doesn't seem to matter; this morning I saw [personal profile] zirconium, whom I know from a completely different corner of the internet, posting in the Magpie Telegraph too. Sooner or later, I would have found the beautiful things that [livejournal.com profile] elisem makes. Loveliness. And there is a sale on.

I'm wearing some at the moment: Explaining Tigers, which are all black and shiny and sophisticated, but a little bit world weary and dangerous with it. I've just been singing Evensong: they go with the black-and-white dress code, but are subtly outrageous at the same time. Not a tame tiger. Oh no.

They came in my first ever package along with Miss Prometheus Jones, I Presume, which are possibly my favourite of the lot. Part of it's the lovely skew-whiff myth of the title. Part of it's the weight and the swing. Part of it's the fact that one is wearing a shooting star, damn it!

My other favourite is my only [livejournal.com profile] elisem necklace, Lipstick Mermaids. It's the one I'm wearing in my userpic, shameless reds and pinks, roses and cockle shells and all sorts of gorgeousness. Mermaids are secret code (not very secret!); cockle shells are important to me because of Saint James. It was my reward for finishing a significant stage of the mermaid project, and I wear it to invoke useful mermaid powers. Or just because I want to.

The rest are all earrings. The Balloonist Replies: light and airy and all about reflections. The Landscape From The Inside, another pair that I wear a lot; the brown-green-gold scheme reminds me of autumnal afternoon light, and King Arthur in Avalon, and things like that. [personal profile] kaberett connected me and All Dressed Up and Everywhere To Go and they were right. How To Talk To Friendly Monsters is a skill that I have been working on recently, and these are good earrings to wear when the conversations in my own head are getting out of hand. And, just for the hell of it, electric frog pond.

Loveliness. All of it.
kafj: headshot of KAFJ looking over right shoulder (Default)
Some (but not all) of the things I made this summer. I couldn't share them before either because they were birthday/confirmation presents or because I was planning to wear them with the most fantastic outfit in the world.

Pictures under the cut )

I have been making other things, too. More on that reasonably soon, I hope.
kafj: headshot of KAFJ looking over right shoulder (Default)
... or round my neck. Same difference.

Over the past year I have become a fan, to the tune of a necklace and four pairs of earrings, of [livejournal.com profile] elisem's jewellery. It's absolutely beautiful, but I half-think the best part of it is the names. When I wear Miss Prometheus Jones, I presume, for example, there is the thrill of OMG I am wearing a shooting star, but there is also the resonance of the myth, the glamour of the have you met Miss Jones echo, and so on, and putting them on reminds me of all that and makes the day better before it's even started. I bought myself Lipstick Mermaids as a reward for finishing a particularly tricky phase of the mermaid project, and have been wearing it more or less constantly (probably at least twice a week) ever since.

It hadn't really occurred to me before I came across EliseM that one could name jewellery. I used to do quite a lot of beading, but I'd never named anything. The first piece I did name was Snow in April - my first adventure with crimps, and I was quite pleased with the floaty effect, but it didn't turn out quite how I'd meant it.

I got my bead box out the other day. I'd been invited to a hen night and all the guests were asked to dress in blue. I had a blue necklace, but no earrings that would go with it. Earrings are, thank goodness, pretty quick to make. Because of the evening's blue theme and its location in Southampton, these became Amphitrite's Night on the Tiles.

Amphitrite's Night on the Tiles

My next piece was a present that I've completely failed to post as yet, so I won't talk about it. It has a name, though.

Now we get to the interesting part. The other site that has been particularly useful to me recently is Havi Brooks' The Fluent Self, which is full to bursting with helpful concepts and beautiful ideas. These include, every Friday, a salve. A couple of weeks ago, the salve was this:

Here is a Reusable Hug Box.

It is a tiny box with a heart on it and inside is a beautiful piece of paper that says HUG.

It is a message wrapped like a gift. It is a moment of remembering that you are loved, still loved, more loved, as if all the love from all the different sources, no matter how forgotten, can suddenly land. In pure form, without expectations, rules or desires, just love.


And this, combined with the wonderful store of Future Hugs and the new idea of wearing the jewellery with the qualities in it, became The Box of Future Hugs:
The Box of Future Hugs

Many of the beads have hidden meanings. All the love, from all the different sources, indeed. The smiley faces, for example, are for my little brother, and also for how I am smilier than I think I am, and the people who told me so. The medal of the BVM was given to me by a French pilgrim in St-Jean-Pied-de-Port, very near the beginning of my pilgrimage to Santiago. There's one with a marking that looks a bit like a pineapple, to remind me of Mike. There are little seed beads there left over from making my wedding dress. The box really does say HUG in it, though you can't really see it:

The Box of Future Hugs (detail)

The other thing that is really incredibly significant to me is Havi's wish for I See the Secret Holiness of Everything. That, and this, is what this necklace is about:

The Secret Holiness of Everything

It's very hard to wrap a heart. I feel as if that ought to mean something.

I notice, too, how very satisfying it was to make these, and how it didn't seem to matter that my mind is playing up and I'm not feeling very loved or remotely mystical. Working with physical objects, getting away from words for the moment, was very helpful. No matter that my brain is telling me that everybody hates me (or, when I pointed to evidence that actually they didn't, 'well, they might not now, but they will do when you unleash a plague of rabid mermaids on the world'), deep down inside I know that I am loved, and in the choosing and twisting and snipping I sneak past the voices that tell me I'm not. And reality doesn't cease to be holy just because I can't see that at the moment. Wrapping a fragment of broken red plastic in gold wire reminds me of that. The day will come when I just have to stop and look at it, because it will be so wonderful.

The Secret Holiness of Everything (detail)

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Kathleen Jowitt

April 2015

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