I’ve always been the inquisitive type, a wanderer, an explorer of sorts, about pretty much everything – and yet there are some people I just cannot hold a conversation with. A couple of weeks ago I was at a party, there was a woman in a boring beige suit, but wearing some interesting earrings. I struck up a conversation about jewelry, then I swung my head to show off the earrings I was wearing (which of course I made). She says: “They’re backwards”. Me: “Um, no, they’re geodes. The beauty is inside, the concave part”. She looked at me like I had two heads. Sigh. Oh never mind.
I can make ‘em so the glittery bits face the back. Your call.
I used to have a friend (well, I like to think I still do, except now that she lives on the other side of the globe, we don’t see each other much). One day we had a discussion about beige. We both decided that as a color, it was a lousy one. She told me a story: shortly after she married her husband, he bought a car while she was out of town. When he picked her up at the airport, all she could do was look at him and say “But it’s beige!! You bought a beige car?! I’m not getting in it!” My friend Lynn and I swore that neither one of us would ever live “beige”. So far both our lives have been interesting, maybe not what we imagined, but not beige.
How about these “not so beige” babies:
For the last couple of years, I have been working on this impractical jewelry business. It’s a little itty bitty endeavor, nothing offensive really (no skulls or body parts, or um, naughty bits) but a far cry from a traditional (beige) jewelry business that offers cast pieces and calibrated stones (common sizes that fit commercial jewelry) or pieces put together with plated stamped findings; I make stuff most people are obviously not that interested in. It’s one of a kind and it’s usually organic looking. (Translation: crooked, uneven, not necessarily balanced or correct). It’s OK with me. There is no point in me making something you can get at Zales or Kays. I usually enjoy working after Christmas best, because then I can focus on the stuff that I wanna make. Not things that I gotta do for the dough, which, sometimes happens. I do draw the line, for example, if you think that “custom” work (by me) is a pendant with a palm tree and a rabbit on it, I am not your girl. If you insist, it’s going to cost you much more than you need to pay. Better you go see someone else.
Some of the things I’ve been working on lately:
A couple of views of my friend Jane’s ruby from her engagement ring:
Now that she is no longer with the guy, we decided that this one would look good upside down (note the symbolism!) and more versatile as a stacking ring.
Now I know I’m not the first person to do this, I just think a lot of rocks look better this way. The other thing I don’t do is set rocks in prongs. I love bezels, even though they take more time and material to make. Or course you can buy those chintzy “pre made” bezels, but those would be for garden variety shapes and sizes which are scarce in my studio.
How about these:
Maybe to “match”?
Last month I got a batch of raw crystals, pink and green tourmalines, some aquamarines and turned them into some trinkets I really like.
You can check out some of the “raw” crystal jewelry for sale here: LedaJewelCo’s “raw crystal” listings.
If you’ve come this far, I’d like to share a couple of “beige” stories here:
A few weeks after Katrina marinated New Orleans and pretty much everything I owned (courtesy of the Army Corps of Engineers). I got married. I wasn’t really ready, but I was supposed to be out of the United States by that time, and here I was dealing with disaster. Charlie (my new husband) put up with my emotional and mental health issues, took care of emptying and salvaging the contents of my house, brought me bourbon and held me as I sobbed into drunken oblivion every night. We were living across the lake at his house, and although he had been in the midst of renovating it, and a couple of trees had fallen on it, it was still more habitable than my house. I was miserable.
Then, after awhile, I got it together and did what I could to get Charlie’s house finished and decorated. Including replacing every single light-switch and electrical outlet from beige (!) to white, not just the covers, the whole apparatus. We also had to deal with my legal status. Our lawyer briefed us on what was in store (if you want to get a more fun and detailed explanation of the process, go rent the movie “Green Card” with Gerard Depardieu). Like a typical lawyer, he was skeptical of our marriage until this happened:
Lawyer: “They might separate you and ask you some questions like ‘what color are the bedroom curtains?’”
Charlie: “I think they’re beige.”
Me: (looking at Charlie and shrieking) “Beige?! What? Are you insane? After all the work I’ve done? There is NOTHING beige in that house!!”
Lawyer: “I don’t think you two will have any trouble convincing INS that this is a real marriage”.
Last summer Charlie and I took a trip to my mother country, Canada. We’ve done a few road trips, but he has not always met every one of my friends or relations on our travels. Every time we go, he meets a few more. This year, one of my kinfolk asked him, “So, Charlie, what it’s like being married to Lydia?”, which is essentially code for “How can you stand being married to Lydia?”. Charlie, being the Southern gentleman that he is, talked about getting married in the aftermath of Katrina, and the challenges a disaster brings to a relationship and how it makes it stronger, blah blah blah. Later that night, I received the best compliment of my life:
Me: “You didn’t really answer the question… so, tell me, what’s it like being married to me?”
Charlie: “I never know what each day will bring”.
Me: “Ah, yes. So, I’m exciting!?”
Charlie: “Lydia, you are not beige”.
I’m going to end this post with a song that expresses the idea of beige, way better than I’ll ever be able to. Wishing you an interesting and colorful day.