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Indulged myself today by going to Wakefield. (A moderately local town, about twenty minutes away by train, which I'd never actually visited before.) Spent the afternoon wandering around the place. Happened to wander past a sewing machine shop, and got some oil there, and will try oiling my machine tomorrow.

There was a woman in the market there (a rather nice, fairly modern indoor market) who had a stall of beaded things she'd made. While I was standing around looking, she was kind enough to compliment me on my earrings (these ones), and I mentioned that I'd made them myself, and we got talking. Her name was Chris Linacre, she has her own website, and generally it was very pleasant and, hm, validating, talking with her as a reasonably competent beadworker and if I knew what I was talking about. You know what I mean. The step from "I am a total amateur" to "I am a reasonably competent amateur", even if it's not "I am a professional with my own website and so on". Nice feeling. :)

Got home. Was so inspired that I launched into a frenzy of earring-making. Realised a bit later than scheduled that supper might be a good idea, and left out a number of half-completed bits to finish off tomorrow.

Still got the weekend left before I have to go back to work again.


The Bell-man

Along the dark and silent night,
With my lantern and my light
And the tinkling of my bell,
Thus I walk, and this I tell:
-- Death and dreadfulness call on
To the general session;
To whose dismal bar, we there
All accounts must come to clear:
Scores of sins we've made here many;
Wiped out few, God knows, if any.
Rise, ye debtors, then, and fall
To make payment, while I call:
Ponder this, when I am gone:
-- By the clock 'tis almost One.

-- Robert Herrick
incandescens: (Default)
So instead of complaining about work or politics today, I will put up some photos of recent jewelry and patchwork.

Mother-of-pearl and onyx earrings
Agate and copper necklace (view one)
Agate and copper necklace (view two)

Christmmas stockings (made for parents)
Green cushion (front view)
Green cushion (back view)


You Are Old, Father William

"You are old, Father William," the young man said,
"And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head --
Do you think, at your age, it is right?"

"In my youth," Father William replied to his son,
"I feared it might injure the brain;
But, now that I'm perfectly sure I have none,
Why, I do it again and again."

"You are old," said the youth, "as I mentioned before,
And you have grown most uncommonly fat;
Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door --
Pray what is the reason for that?"

"In my youth," said the sage, as he shook his grey locks,
"I kept all my limbs very supple
By the use of this ointment -- one shilling a box --
Allow me to sell you a couple?"

"You are old," said the youth, "and your jaws are too weak
For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak --
Pray, how did you mange to do it?"

"In my youth," said his father, "I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength which it gave to my jaw,
Has lasted the rest of my life."

"You are old," said the youth, "one would hardly suppose
That your eye was as steady as ever;
Yet you balanced an eel on the tend of your nose --
What made you so awfully clever?"

"I have answered three questions, and that is enough,"
Said his father. "Don't give yourself airs!
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Be off, or I'll kick you down stairs!"

-- Lewis Carroll
incandescens: (Default)
Moderately busy Sunday today.

a) phoned second branch of local shoe shop to see if they had a pair of the boots I wanted in the colour I wanted. They didn't. But at least that spared me the decision of whether or not I wanted to go out this afternoon to try and get them. And there are branches of said shop all over the UK, and I can always order a pair after Christmas if I don't mind waiting. So no big deal.

b) cleaned bathroom.

c) made earrings for coworker (for his wife - he requested "Bollywood style").

d) finished small purple quilt. - front view - back view

(And here are photos of the cushion from a few days ago.) - front view - back view

e) watched Patrick Stewart in A Christmas Carol.

f) wrote Christmas cards and wrapped presents for coworkers.

Tomorrow involves a long meeting. It also involves work Secret Santa, which should be more fun.


“Spirit,” said Scrooge, with an interest he had never felt before, “tell me if Tiny Tim will live.”

“I see a vacant seat,” replied the Ghost, “in the poor chimney-corner, and a crutch without an owner, carefully preserved. If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, the child will die.”

“No, no,” said Scrooge. “Oh, no, kind Spirit! say he will be spared.”

“If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, none other of my race,” returned the Ghost, “will find him here. What then? If he be like to die, he had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

Scrooge hung his head to hear his own words quoted by the Spirit, and was overcome with penitence and grief.

“Man,” said the Ghost, “if man you be in heart, not adamant, forbear that wicked cant until you have discovered What the surplus is, and Where it is. Will you decide what men shall live, what men shall die? It may be, that in the sight of Heaven, you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man’s child. Oh God! to hear the Insect on the leaf pronouncing on the too much life among his hungry brothers in the dust!”

-- A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
incandescens: (Default)
Bead fair in Harrogate was very good. I got some excellent bargains, some things which I had decided I needed, and some things which I had no idea about but which I couldn't refuse once I saw them.

Got a taxi from the railway station to the place where it was happening (a large show ground area, apparently regularly hired out for this sort of thing -- there was a book fair and a paper/card convention of some sort going on in the general surroundings at the same time, but alas, I didn't manage to visit either, as they all closed at 4pm.) I know it was only two miles, but it was raining, and I would have had to find the way by map, and I did not find the thought encouraging. Had a nice friendly taxi driver who was kind enough to wait while I checked the location (we got misdirected by the traffic guy at the gate) and didn't charge me extra for it.

Lovely day, anyhow. Got back to Harrogate around 4.45pm (there was a bus which went back Harrogate-wards, and it's always easier to take the bus back than the bus to, since at least that way you know when to get off) and managed coffee and cake. Which was needed, because in the enthusiasm of bead fair I had managed to miss lunch.

Part of it is the beads, but the other part is being around people who understand your enthusiasm and share it. Like any convention.

LJ has got its act in gear again, it seems, and I can once more do things with my photos/scrapbook. Which means I have updated my knitting and jewelry folders.

This baby blanket was a gift for a coworker whose wife should be giving birth shortly. He liked it.

And here is a load of new jewelry I've been doing, everything except the first one on that page, which is older. This goes back several weeks. I'm bad at remembering to upload photos. But that's the memory wire stuff I've been talking about.


Last Answers

I wrote a poem on the mist
And a woman asked me what I meant by it.
I had thought till then only of the beauty of the mist,
how pearl and gray of it mix and reel,
And change the drab shanties with lighted lamps at evening
into points of mystery quivering with color.

I answered:
The whole world was mist once long ago and some day
it will all go back to mist,
Our skulls and lungs are more water than bone and tissue
And all poets love dust and mist because all the last answers
Go running back to dust and mist.

-- Carl Sandburg
incandescens: (Default)
Back to work tomorrow.

Oh well.

Managed to finish some jewelry over the last week:

Tigers eye necklace and earrings
Bracelet in red and silver
Glass drop bracelet
Pentagonal earrings (and I swear the crystals are all the same colour)
Amethyst earrings
Necklace (most complicated thing yet)

I've been watching bits of the Winter Olympics in between, and thinking how glad I am that I'm not going down mountains that fast.


Reading A Medal

who, minter of medallions,
casting or striking, caused me so
to speak with double voice in bronze,
I may not help and cannot know.
but I am Pallas, and I bear
the mask of war by wisdom; you
shall spin my olives to despair:
all my reverse will say is true.

(Turn me, and read that other side;
you must return: for, mask and coin,
I give no rest unless you ride
the felloe where my faces join.)

My face is Aphrodite's - she
that rules by myrtle and by dove;
I loose my zone to let you see
the end of reasoning by love.
Nothing my obverse tells is true:
turn till you read me as it was;
turn till you know me, and renew
my helpless paradox - because

-- Terence Tiller
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Feeling better, so back to work tomorrow.

Finished a necklace and a pair of earrings today. Moderately pleased with them: I think they don't look too amateurish.

Two new starters on the team at work tomorrow. Fingers crossed: well, not so much that they'll be reasonable people, but that I'm not expected to spend too much time in briefing them on what our part of the team does. ;)


For Four Guilds: III. The Stone-Masons

We have graven the mountain of God with hands,
As our hands were graven of God, they say,
Where the seraphs burn in the sun like brands
And the devils carry the rains away;
Making a thrift of the throats of hell,
Our gargoyles gather the roaring rain,
Whose yawn is more than a frozen yell
And their very vomiting not in vain.

Wilder than all that a tongue can utter,
Wiser than all that is told in words,
The wings of stone of the soaring gutter
Fly out and follow the flight of the birds;
The rush and rout of the angel wars
Stand out above the astounded street,
Where we flung our gutters against the stars
For a sign that the first and last shall meet.

We have graven the forest of heaven with hands,
Being great with a mirth too gross for pride,
In the stone that battered him Stephen stands
And Peter himself is petrified:
Such hands as have grubbed in the glebe for bread
Have bidden the blank rock blossom and thrive,
Such hands as have stricken a live man dead
Have struck, and stricken the dead alive.

Fold your hands before heaven in praying,
Lift up your hands into heaven and cry;
But look where our dizziest spires are saying
What the hands of a man did up in the sky:
Drenched before you have heard the thunder,
White before you have felt the snow;
For the giants lift up their hands to wonder
How high the hands of a man may go.

-- GK Chesterton


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