Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Blues

It's true indeed...I'm a victim of a serious case of the blues.  Life happens to everyone, and I guess it beats the alternative, but sometimes things just seem to come at me from all sides, and that's when I do the unhealthy thing and just retreat.  Vegetate.  Try to escape. 

Even good things...GREAT things, really...involve change that I know is going to rock the world as I know it, and I'm notoriously bad with change.  I like the idea of it and all, but the reality is different.  Which doesn't mean that I've quit wishing to win the lottery, in case you're wondering.

I've been gimping through life at half speed (less than half, to be honest) for a long time, trying to deal with a "condition" (I will not call it a disease)  that I never actually believed existed before my physician ruled out everything else.  It's called fibromyalgia.  See, I've only known a few women...and no men...who claim to have this "condition", and I confess I formed a negative opinion about the whole thing.  Women who take to their beds, who almost PROUDLY proclaim that "Fibro is my new normal" and use it to avoid doing anything they don't really want to do.  Women who have NICKNAMED it ("fibro") like it's an old friend!  Women who seem to my critical eye to be quite fond of their pain medications, and positively joyful at the thought of opting out of life.

So you can see that I've resisted this type of diagnosis...which isn't really a diagnosis, because it's all figured out not by any definitive test, but by "ruling out" everything else.  Dear friends, it's a terrible thing to be grabbed by something you don't want to believe exists.  To be the one who says "I just can't do that today" and "I don't know why I'm so miserable".  To know that although you don't have MS or something degenerative (although I can say for sure that it's degenerated my spirit and my peace of mind), there's something awful going on.

So when I was contacted by the Social Security Administration (yes, seriously...they contacted ME!) to be told that my ex-of-20-years-husband had died, and that I was able to take early retirement and collect his full benefit, imagine how thrilled I was to get the news.  Not that he had died, of course (which I knew, and had done some serious grieving over...we do, after all, have three grown children who were in fairly close contact with their dad until the end), but the idea of not having to force myself to show up to work most days and do an almost decent job - after years of recognition for doing a GREAT job-it just seemed like his gift to me!  So I made an appointment and spoke with an agent at my local SS office, and discovered that yes, indeed, this could really work.  The joy!

So now that it's all out there, notice given at work and so forth, I'm seized with terrible fears.  Will I be the one who stays in bed all day?  Will I become completely unproductive and unable to create a single thing that pleases me?  Will I, like my mother and her mother before her, soon be unable to leave the house except for essential groceries?  Will I withdraw from friends and family, and become a recluse?  In a nutshell, will I take this opportunity...this GIFT, really...and throw it away? 

I really hope not.  As holiday time approaches, and everything I hold dear is right here in front of me, my Christmas wish is to be able to take this gift of time...such a precious gift...and create an entirely "new normal" that has NOTHING to do with my physical woes, whatever they are named. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Bigger pictures

While at work today, I asked my friend Dawn, who is a veteran blogger, how to add pictures to my blog in a less cumbersome way than "adding a gadget" for each...and...every...single...picture.  So inefficient!  So freaking time consuming!  And the pictures are, as you all noticed, quite wee.  Who knew it would be so easy?  I'm going to test it right now!  Watch this!  Oh, wow...

And really?  Just because I can?  An absolutely gratuitous photo of one of the loves of my life, Bella.  The title of this photo is "Bella's Boudoir".  She looks happy, doesn't she?  But, really?  This IS a picture of Bella's happy face.  It's a Persian thing, I think.

On that note, I can't wait to preview and post.

Monday, October 3, 2011


I'm new to this...please forgive!  I forgot that I was supposed to link to all the other Very Vintage posters as well!  Here's the list...check them all out...they do such beautiful work!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton

Boo Beads


Tell Your Girlfriends

Beading Arts

Cynth's Blog

Morning Glory Beading

Donetta (this is me!)
Simply Gorgeous

As I Bead It

SilverRose Designs

We Can Make That at Home

Wild Roses and Blackberries

Laurel Moon Jewelry & Beads

Lutka & Co

Lucid Mood Studio

Bead Lola Bead

MLH Jewelry

Melinda Orr Metal & Clay Jewelry Designs

Michelle H.
Firefly Visions

Michelle M.
Beads & Books

Blog by Salla

Falling into the Sky

Shaiha's Ramblings

MiShel Designs

Beads and Bread

Pixybug Designs

Pearl and Pebbles

Pink Chapeau Vintage Jewelry

The Bead Junkie

Michelle Mach's Very Vintage Fall Challenge

Michelle always offers the prettiest bits and pieces for her blog hop challenges...I've entered two so far, and each time I've been comPLETEly impressed by the gorgeous little goodies she sends.  Try as I might, I simply couldn't use first effort (a charm bracelet) ended up looking like I was trying to use up my stash.  NOT the effect I wanted!  So I hemmed and hawed, and moved stuff around on my work table, and finally came up with a design that actually was quite pleasing to my eye(s).

I made a long, long necklace (no clasp, just over the head and there you go), and it "wears" beautifully.  Um, if I do say so myself.  (I do.) 

Here's what I did: I picked an antiqued brass chain with great big alternating rectangular and round links.  I created my focal piece, gluing one of the filigree diamond links to the largest Lucite piece...try as I might, I can't label it with one of the descriptions on the supply list.  It's large, oval, and a beautiful tortoiseshell color.  Anyway, I used it as a base for the filigree diamond, and popped a rhinestone into the center.  I found two really big decorative antiqued brass ovals, and added them to the chain (making them part of the chain), near the focal.  To the ovals, I attached charms.  On one side, the charm is comprised of the Lucite carnelian teardrop Deco hoop, to which I attached the second filigree diamond and the brown vintage Lucite "bauble".  Onto the other oval, I attached a rusty little key, as well as a charm I made using the leaf-shaped metal blank as a base, and attached a sienna Lucite poplar leaf and a wee antiqued brass ladybug charm.

Since I'm taking Deryn Mentock's "foundations" online class, and have been practicing my wire-wrapped loops, I made a total of six (three for each side) wire-wrapped baubles, using some vintage amber-colored fluted glass beads, and very tiny daisy spacers on each end of each bead.  I connected them with jump rings, and added them to the chain...kind of in the middle, where they will be very visible (I like pretty!).  Then to one side of the chain, just below the wire-wrapped beaded baubles, I added a little "bunch of grapes" I made some time ago, using top-drilled amber glass beads, a Lucite leaf, and some curly wire grapevines. 

To balance it out, a bit higher than all that on the other side, I added a really rusty old key that I glammed up with a thick silver spacer and a raw brass bird. 

I'm thinking that I used about half of the "ingredients" Michelle sent.  Actually, I made a pair of earrings as well, using some of the Lucite heishi beads and Lucite leaves.  Swingy little earrings, molto cute.  Alas, I left them on my desk at photo.  My mind...

At any rate, I really did enjoy the process, although the charm bracelet gave me pause.  Thank goodness.  But I'm happy with the finished product, and hope all of you are, too!    

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Michelle Mach's Very Vintage Fall Challenge

After my very first experience with a public forum (Michelle's Mostly Metal challenge), I was thrilled to see that she is hosting another challenge...the "Very Vintage Fall Challenge"! Wait till you see what Michelle sent to me; I have so many beautiful vintage components to play with...tons of vintage lucite and some gorgeous metal pieces as well.
I still haven't figured out how to tame the enormous bracelet picture; still working on that.  It's intimidating, starting a blog...there are so many GREAT ones out there, and let's face it, my computer skills are pretty much limited to the applications I use every day at work.  Hopefully I'll figure it out as I go, and maybe I can press my son-in-law (who is a genius, no kidding) to give me a hand.  Meanwhile, I have to get this up and running or I won't be able to join in the blog hops! 
Have you ever had days (or weeks, even) in which everything you touched turned to...ugly?  I'm having that week.  No inspiration and no imagination, or so it feels.  It's not from lack of supplies, I can promise that.  I think it's time to start Flickr-ing and peeking at what other people are doing.  Not to copy, never that!  But just to kick-start my creative side again.  You know how it see something Simply Gorgeous, and you say to yourself, Wouldn't that be great with these beads, and maybe doing this with some chain...and before you know it, you're back! 
Later, bye...

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Saturday, 9/3/11

Allow me to introduce myself: I'm Donetta, who creates really pretty pieces of jewelry and accessories.  That's a true statement, it really is.  But I'm also Donetta, who just last week tripped over a crack in the sidewalk WHILE LEAVING A LIQUOR STORE ON HER LUNCH HOUR!  Another true statement, although I wish I was making it up.  I don't even drink (much), I swear.  And certainly not on my lunch hour!  And what I drink,when I do drink?  It isn't the $36 bottle of Grey Goose vodka I had just purchased, no indeed.  No, I was buying the vodka for one of my best friends (birthday present!) who actually has a palate and enjoys the taste of good vodka.  My taste runs to coconut rum mixed with a variety of fruit juices so it all tastes like a delightfully healthy beverage...almost like a vitamin drink, you know?  (I have no palate, when it comes to alcohol.  Wine gives me a migraine, and the good stuff just tastes like I imagine gasoline tastes.)  Apparently I was so traumatized by the event that I didn't hear my friend Dawn say (and she swears she said it first thing) "OMG, are you okay?"  No...what I heard was my friend Dawn saying "OMG, the vodka!"

So I've been in a world of hurt for a full week.  The only good news?  The bottle didn't break.  But for some reason I'd forgotten all about the basic law of gravity.  That disgustingly swollen knee?  Oh, it's not so swollen any more.  But I have what looks to be a big growth on the inside of my shin bone, and my cankle defies description.  It's all very colorful, too.

Here's my promise: if I can figure out how to operate the mechanics of a blog, I will be blogging.  With pictures, even.  (I mean, what is UP with that ENORMOUS picture on my home page?  How did this happen?  I need help!)  Pictures of my "stuff", pictures of my adorable little house, and pictures of the most important things in the family and friends and my two completely unspoiled cats.  It's a good thing, blogging...I have so many other blogs in my Google Reader that it's almost a full-time job to read them all!  Maybe somebody will be interested in me, too!  We'll see. 

As my good friend Peggy is fond of saying...Later, bye!