March 28, 2002
Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

In the midst of working on big projects that can take months or even years to see completed, I need to do small things that I can finish and feel good about. I especially enjoy getting crafty in the company of a friend--to draw inspiration from, or make something for, or create something to represent our time together. I like making stuff with someone in mind, using colors or forming a style that I think will fit them. Tonight I made an necklace for Sandi, who gave me some clear blue beads, and her favorite color is orange, so I put them together.

Monkey, with chillin' with me tonight, was the inspiration for the wackiest necklace I've ever made. It started with a fishing lure she picked out, then I added porcupine quills, a skull bead carved of bone, an arrow head I've had for many years, a part of a broken necklace I brought back from Tepic, Mexico, and a bead stamped with a "C". Monkey calls me "Captain C." She is a Monkey, too--always so silly and playful. The necklace was perfect for her; a great conversation piece, that she'll have fun making up stories to explain.

The above necklaces I made for myself last week. I have lots of beads sitting in containers. Might as well make them into something. If I don't like what I made after awhile, I can take it apart and make something else. My taste changes over time, so it's necessary to be continually creative, so that my outside appearance reflects my inside. Jewelry and others accessories say a lot about a person; it's all symbolic. Gifting jewelry that I have worn for a long period of time or made is special. It makes me happy to see my goods on friends. It is as if they are carrying a piece of me. And if someone else sees it who knows my style, they will know that the person wearing it is a friend.

It can be intimidating, challenging, even daring... to attempt to create something. You got that big blank white paper or canvas and all those colors. Where do I start? What will be the first mark? Once you got something down, it gets easier, then you go with the flow.

The below left painting was inspired by Tracy, as we were sitting on the floor in her bedroom, looking at a book about Pixies. Many of my friends are interested in Pixies and Gnomes, and happen to be very Pixy-like and Gnome themselves. Tom's nickname is Pixy. Carolyn is The Blue Fairy. Eric is working on being a wizard who can blow out a candle flame with a thought. I know folk who call themselves Druids and Witches. Our art is being who we are.

The below right painting was created at Shonah's house after a few days total indulgence, and appears to be a black woman with purple eye shadow, whacked on smack.

I buy second hand clothes that are too big or too small, then do some sewing to make them fit. I never throw out clothes; I just save them and make'em into something else. The camo skirt was made from a pair of shorts I grew out of. The dress I got from a Frenchy's bin, then added a strip of cords down the sides to make it wider. The skirt I'll give to Jill. I promised Leanne the dress, and will mail it to her in Vancouver, where she is participating in Katimavik. I sewed both of those last week. I must be avoiding something. I always get extraordinarily creative when I am procrastinating on another project. An then there is the female, such a beautiful distraction.