Sunday, November 1, 2009

Organizing a Creative Person - SHUT UP!

OK, I admit it, I am an OCD person's nightmare.

Guess who is OCD? Yes, my sweet husband. Who, I think to some degree, has just thrown up his hands and said "it is not worth it."

I remember one summer when his sweet Dad came to see us. We were newlyweds. Probably had not been married a year.

His Dad said to me, "You do know that my son loves everything in its proper place at all times?" This is while dear ole father-in-law is looking at the stack of things I had on the end of the kitchen table that were works in progress (WIP). I just smiled.

He said it again, "YOU DO KNOW that he likes things neat and orderly don't you?" I just smiled and nodded yes. Finally, he just couldn't take it any more. He said "What does he think about this mess at the end of the table?" I said "Well, he hasn't said anything about it."

Poor Jim. Poor sweet father-in-law who had no idea that my husband just didn't care any more about "neat and orderly" because there is no way to organize a truly creative person.

I know people write about how they organize their WIP's into neat little plastic bags and/or have them on bead boards stacked neatly somewhere. OH get over it! That is just such a crock! A truly creative person may have several things going at once. You just don't have time to be neat. I will have one thing on the formal dining room table, another one on the coffee table in the family room, several things stacked on the end of the kitchen table and supplies and more beads just about anywhere there is a clear surface at the moment. Please people --- just stand up and be honest. Truly creative means we might not be quiet so OCD.

After all, our minds move to the beat of a different drummer. If you are putting things neatly away and have it all organized, then you are one brick shy of being truly creative. That is my therapists take on it too. You are also late for things. You forget about what time it is when you are creating. There aren't enough hours in your day to do everything you want to do, nor do you like having to interrupt your creativity with the normal everyday things like cleaning, cooking, ironing, mopping, DUSTING (double yuk!), or anything that has to do with housework.

Creative means "go away and leave me alone I am in my own little world and the people who live there like me!" I read these blogs by "designers" who have photos of their work areas, and I am thinking "I am so not convinced that is your everyday look!"

Yes, I do take time every few months to put things back where they belong, but it has to be because of an act of God, like my mother-in-law is visiting. And then, I am grumbling the whole freakin' time! "This is my home! Get a grip. Get a Swifter if you don't like dust! Write your name in it - just don't date it!"

I admit I am a frustrated jewelry designer. Mainly because my Mom, God rest her soul, was Polish. I am convinced that stands for "you must be able to eat off my floors."

When I was a child in the summer, we did not play all day. We had chores. I don't mean the normal chores like making your bed, and keeping your room clean, or clearing a table after a meal, I mean CHORES. You had to do all the other things I just mentioned, but then my Mom's list included waxing her hardwood floors with paste wax on your knees. Did you get that, "on your knees." Or, washing baseboards, or taking everything out of the closets and dusting, vacuuming and putting it all back, and my all time favorite: take everything out of the kitchen cupboards and relining them and then washing all the things that were in there and putting it all back. (My children would have considered these chores "boot camp for the unruly.")

Yes, I know how to do all that, and I have always had nagging guilt when my house was not spotless (which means no dust, floors vacuumed, bathrooms spotless, kitchen no dishes in sink, all clothes washed, dried and put away properly etc.) Really, I get crazy at times when I am pulled by my addiction in two directions. So, I try to do all the cleaning at a certain time of the day in order to have other hours to "create." The problem is that there just aren't enough hours in my day!

In another life (which means another marriage that we will not dwell on known as "living in hell with satan), I had to wait until the devil went to bed to create. That was after a full day of work in an office, coming home late because overtime was just part of the job, and finding the jerk sitting at the kitchen table waiting for dinner. The words "fast food" come to mind in that life. But I digress, so, once he was gone to bed, I would quietly creep up the stairs to my jewelry room and go to work. Sometimes, at 3 a.m. he would haul himself up the stairs and say "what are you doing?" To which some of the language has had to be edited out but it all boiled down to "what does it look like?" Honestly, it was my body and my lack of sleep, not his. Oh, well that was a life long, long ago in a far worse time and place.But it just shows that a person who is truly creative has to find the time to do what they love. Otherwise we are a bit crazy. It is our addiction.

We start taking our latest projects into the bathroom and sitting on the floor with the door locked so no one knows what we are doing. Especially if they hate the fact that they are not the center of our world at the time they are up. Now, truthfully, I was much more organized when I had children in my house. I made sure they could not reach what I was working on or lose something for me. But, no children people! They are grown and have their own now. (hehehe) So, when they come to Mimi's it all fun and games.

However, in some sort of idiotic fit of "the thought of exercise" we are the owners of 2 blond labs who are 15 months old. Well, I have never had dogs in my home. NEVER. But somehow they have their own little area blocked off with "baby gates" on the terrazzo tile floor (supposedly easy to clean up while we were potty training, if there were any accidents. They can come out into the house but only if someone is supervising them. And, of course, during the cooler weather they LOVE outside. So thank God it is getting cooler here and if it would just stop raining I would be happy.

Well, naturally they are somewhat snoopy and I often find the female, Star, looking at the piles of beads and I know she is thinking "why doesn't this lazy witch make me a beautiful beaded collar?" because she truly is a Diva. The reason most certainly is that when they are playing outside, their favorite thing to do is to chew on each others collars. Its like kids again, people!

What do you think about your need for creativity? Does it ebb and flow? Do you get so many inspirations some day that you spend half of that day writing or sketching? Do you really have a nice clean work area? If you do, you must send me a picture. It is a must. I have to see it for myself.

Oh, by the way, I have started mysteriously receiving some magazine or booklet regarding organizing your work area. I think it is called Cloth, Paper, Scissors. I usually look at it while I am eating breakfast. It all looks so great, but maybe I am just meant to be more creative than organized.

I have been thinking of hiring a high school girl for after school to help me unclutter my mess. There is no telling what I will find in my boxes and boxes of inventory. And, I too made a serious vow to myself and my Mother, God rest her soul, that I would get something made ever day and if I didn't make something I would force myself to clear up the work area. She used to get so annoyed me about this. Its that built in Polish need for clean that haunts me! It was not a bad trait to inherit -- its just aggravating on a day that all I want to do is MAKE something!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I can't remember what I ordered!

Well, I was in a complete state of craziness over the weekend. It seems that everytime I am utterly ingrossed in ordering beads, or findings, my husband has to come into the room and interrupt my train of thought. He is on the stand alone computer I am on the laptop. (where are my headphones to my iPOD!} Ok. We are networked. So, we share a printer. If he is "playing a game" and I print out my invoice. I blow him out of his page. So then he knows I am buying something and we end up going back to the same questions "why do you need more stuff?"

I am at the point that I want to scream. We need more stuff because not everything is working the way we thought it would when we ordered it and it looked purple on the monitor when in fact it was some weird shade of magenta and it is NOT WORKING for me! I am ordering another COLOR!

I truly adore this man. But, my independent, rebellious, "bite me" side starts to come out when I hear those words "why do you need more stuff?"

I truly have tried to breathe deeply and count to 10 before I answer. Really, I have. But, why should a grown person have to tell another grown person WHY everytime?

If he is going to play "Fantasy Football" and he is griping and moaning about who is sitting on the bench and he lost 10000000 points because of this, and remember people it is "fantasy" football, and I am actually trying to work, I have to leave the room! Fur is gonna fly, guys!

Oh I am just losing it.

My second option to this whole thing is to take a nap, which for someone like me is not hard, in the afternoon, and then stay up past his bedtime to take care of my business. Duh. What if I have something planned for tomorrow and need to get to bed early? What is it with men?

OK, I have ground my teeth and stomped back into the room to say "I need to print an invoice" the whole time knowing what he is going to say. Well, the invoice prints, he looks at me and I say "DON'T SAY IT!" He looks at me and says "What?" I start to say the words that send me into orbit and he says to me "It is printing in weird colored ink, do you think we need to change the catridge?" Oh............ I just snatch the invoice from his hand and say "whatever,dear"!

Just when I am prepared for the inquisition, he throws me a "curve" ball! I am sure all the stomping and snorting and muttering under my breath had nothing to do with him changing his tactics! We have had this conversation so many times I think I have an ulcer. I have bit my tongue until there is a permanent groove in it.

Well, needless to say I inflicted all that pain on myself, and tomorrow will arrive the shipment of 5 boxes of beads that I have no idea what I am going to do with but they were on sale and the one thing I was trying to buy is on the "wait list." What can I say? The beads were on sale!

This was the last day to purchase them. I put in the code that gave me the sale price. It was exhilarating to watch the numbers go down and the prices change. Oh I do so love those sales!

Hot pink shell beads. Hmmm. Are we thinking next spring or summer? I will have to let you kinow. I did order them in every size they had just to be sure I would have a lot to work with.

Well, now I must go and take pictures of other things I have made recently. This is probably the only time he understands anything about me. While he watches me photograph my creations.

Then he is happy for me and comes and helps me set everything up. Maybe I should just take up photography? Ta-Ta for now. Please Mr. UPS come before 6 p.m. tomorrow!!!!!!

Now I have something else to worry about! Your crazed beadaholic friend, Sophie

Friday, October 9, 2009

"Where did you get so much inventory?"

"Where did you get so much inventory?" my accountant/husband asked me a few days ago, while he is dragging me down the hall to my so-called "Jewelry Room."

Well, this question is a hard one for me because I am biting my tongue to keep from asking a question like "Why do you have a Harley Davidson motorcycle in the garage that cost a ton of money that you never ride - and out of 8 years you have probably ridden it 5 times?" The smart woman knows when not to bring up an issue like that.

Our dear, sweet, adorable husbands "need" toys after they raise children. All the things they did without while putting them through college and the the weddings, and the wedding gifts. These guys have worked hard to support their children and they should be able to have a toy or two? Right?

Well, some of us women worked and did without the things we wanted, as well. I could no longer justify my shoe obsession when I went into jewelry design, because you just can't be caught wearing expensive designer shoes with sweats and a t-shirt, no make-up and your hair in a pony tail. Something had to give. Actually beads are cheaper when bought in small lots. So, I consoled myself that everytime I bought some new beads it was still cheaper than some of my favorite Jimmy Choo's, right? I could feel better just buying $40 worth of beads, or findings, as opposed to a pair of shoes that cost several hundred dollars.

So, as I am being asked this question that I hear on a regular basis, I just draw a complete blank.
I can actually feel myself getting that "deer in the headlights" stare coming across my face. When asked about my other obssession of shoe buying, I was working in a professional setting and making money to cover one shoe so, of course the full price was never disclosed!

Now that is not good. I need a snappy come back, ladies! Something to redeem myself with, but all I can think about is the large bag in the trunk of my car that I have not even brought into the house yet, and believe me it is going into hiding for a few months.

The truth is, that beads, like anything you are addicted to, just draw you into that place where you cannot say NO. I am telling you we need a 12 step program. But, am I willing to stand up in front of all my peeps and actually admit I have a problem? They say, until you admit you have one, you will not get better. Hmmm.

I actually start to feel bad, that I have enough inventory to feed a family of 4 in my possession. But, once again, the mail comes, and along with it is the newest copy of Sundance catalog. Oh...I have to be alone when I look at the jewelry designs. Sounds coming from my mouth may draw attention to me and the EMS may be on its way before I have a chance to explain I am merely oooing and awing over the new designs, and not having some sort of seizure. I literally wipe the drool off my mouth, as I stare at the newest designs of some of my favorite designers.

I come out of our bedroom and my husband is still standing there waiting for an answer -- but he looks in my hand and sees the catalog. With a shake of his head, he heads back to the office to balance the accounts. I know he knows, he will not get an intelligent answer out of me until I have digested my latest catalog and tried to figure out how everything was made and whether I have some Labradorite beads to make something similar to a necklace I saw in that book. I am once again, off in my little land of creating, and I block out the world and just enjoy what I do.

Do you ever have these "bead confrontations?" Or are you sneaky and hide your stash? I always wonder which works better.
Till next time, happy beading and don't get caught with a bag of beads in the trunk of your car and if you do, tell me what excuse you used, don't know how much longer that "deer in the headlights" thing is going to work.
Ciao, Sophie

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Introduction to My Bead Obsession or "I need a 12 Step Program!"

A big hello to anyone who actually share's my addiction. You are welcome to come and let out you feelings here -- you are among friends. And as in any 12 Step Program, we shall not use our real names. Just call me Sophie.

I think it started years ago [we shall be polite and not indicate the exact number of years, in order not to humiliate the writer], when I first saw my Mom put on rhinestone earrings. I was quite young so "rhinestone" earrings looked like diamonds to me. I loved the flash [which we now lovingly call bling] and the way the light hit them just the right way so that everything seemed bright and shiny. [I am now reminded of other creatures that are attracted to bright and shiny objects and that could be quite frightening...... but I digress.]

There, right then, began my love and obsession for jewelry. Of course, in those days no one was obsessing over how many beads, they could buy, and hoard, on the pretense that it was a "business" and that they NEEDED them because they were on sale.

And then it hits me ! Since I stopped working in a professional office, oh my God, I have traded my shoe obsession for BEADS! How could this have happened to me. I loved my Prada, my Gucci, the smell of the leather of a new pair of Jimmy Choo strappy little heels, or boots by Marc Jacobs....what has happened to me.

And right in the middle of my distracted state wondering what happened to my shoe obsession came in the mail a new "Bead Catalog"! I could not turn the pages fast enough trying to see what was "in" and what was "out". Was I going to have to buy more of something because I didn't have the right colors?? Oh, I am just wringing my hand, as I think of all the things I need to create my latest design with.

No one understands us. This obsessive desire to obtain every bead available that you just have to have at the moment, and a month later you look at and say "what was I thinking"? That is when you throw those beads into a pile you humbly call your "destash" to list on your on-line shopping venue. You feel sad, but whatever money you can get for those babies goes for more beads! Ahhhh. There is a sense of poetic justice after all.

Join me. Tell me your obsessions with beads. Let me in on your last big trade-off "food for the children" or "beads". "Paying the light bill on time" or "beads". I know you are out there. I am not alone in this place where I cannot control myself. I have heard women in the bead store talking to the telephone company trying to pay partial amounts on their bills because they have found a "once in a lifetime" deal on some special beads.

Oh - have to go - someone has a 60% off sale on line. I might miss something I need right now. I will be back tomorrow to share with you what I bought.

Ciao, Sophie