Now that I sent out
the totally faux eggs and the one Tiger's Eye Egg that I had
finished I felt comfortable about working on the three Tiger's Eye
eggs that were cured and ready for sanding and finishing. I
don't know about anyone else but wet sanding, for all it's
positive results, is tiresome. I find my back bothering me as I'm
hunched over the sink wet sanding. My hands get pruney being in
the water too much. The water gets cold. Whine whine whine...
I decided I wanted to
smooth out these eggs but I wanted to be horizontal and watching
TV at the same time. Out come the wood and jeweler's files. A lot
of the smoothing process is by feel anyway, no need to keep one's
eyes on it all the time, let your finger tips do the checking to
see if something is smooth. Use wood files to get the large bumps
ground down. Jeweler's files or even emery boards will act like
finer grit sand paper. You'll be surprised to see how smooth you
can get it this way.
Also using a finish
isn't always necessary. If you wet sand just a bit after the big
lumps are filed off try polishing the egg with a soft rag, use a
bit of nose oil like they do to old tobacco pipes to keep them
shiny and the wood oiled. You'll get this matt effect that is nice
for a change from the shiny shine one gets with a coat of Future
or other products.
I had forgotten how
nice the eggs could come out this way. So last night I was a couch
potato watching wonderful old black and white movies, getting to
feel more appreciative about these Tiger's Eye eggs here and
wondering when someone will guess the Movie Quote Quiz of last
When these eggs were
slated for the swap I didn't feel they were up to snuff. Oh they
are nice and all but you know how expectation leads to
disappointment and I was disappointed. Now that they are just for
fun, I'm having fun with them again. Which leads me to want to
make a mention about SWAP STRESS.
Swap stress is when
our expectations don't get satisfied by our efforts. Dead lines
are looming which makes one make hasty mistakes. One feels bad
that they aren't keeping up and it all of a sudden becomes NOT
I don't want Lenora to
feel stressed about running late, this swap isn't supposed to make
our tummies tight, it's to encourage us to buy more eggs, blow
them out and clean them, cover them with clay and see what comes
of the effort. The swap is to be a FUN way to working through a
technique the only way that works...by doing it a couple of times,
do it a half a dozen times and you'll be more assured with this
technique. Do it a couple of dozen times then you can do it when
you're half asleep because muscle memory will carry you through.
Now that the stress
was bypassed by making totally faux eggs I can appreciate these
Tiger's Eye eggs for their intrinsic beauty, accept them for how
they are once smoothed and polished and treated with a bit of
love. poor eggy weggies went unloved....
I can now carve a line
around the middle and carve the clay out and break through the egg
shell and fill the innards and do a hinged egg. These not quite
right Tiger's Eye cane eggs are just perfect as a base for a
hinged egg that will give me two little scenes to fill with what
ever takes my fancy. Just like the turquoise and gold cane that
disappointed me a while back became a God's Send when needing to
come up with this egg assignment that I upped the ante for by
making it deal with faux stone and gem mixes.
Me thinks I challenge
meself too much...LOL
But when you feel
yourself getting stressed out and that makes you make mistakes or
not see opportunity in a miscalculation, hold off for a
while...chill out...have a cuppa chamomile and peppermint tea and
read Peter Rabbit to a small child.
This clay thing and
the swaps and all the stuff that goes on here are supposed to be
fun. And if we miss a deadline it doesn't mean that folks don't
love us anymore.
Case in point: I just got my !@#$%^ tea set swaps...and my
own unfinished !@#$%^ tea sets are here on a tray stuck at some
mental speed bump in the road to completion.
I don't know why I
can't just finish them. They're getting dusty, things are falling
on them and I've invested so much time and effort and got stressed
out and then I just said...whoa nellie....this ain't being fun
anymore and I'll get these puppies done and when they are done
they are going to be magical. Their flow time just ain't happening
for me because of other things cutting in queue in front of them.
But that happens sometimes, the flow just stops and you got to
move in another direction because something else is calling
calling you like the Sirens to Ulysses.
Important point alert:
If you say to
yourself...I'm not going to do another thing until this ONE thing
is done....and that one thing's flow has stagnated for what ever
reason, you will effectively STOP ALL CREATIVE FLOW...and all for
not just accepting the fact that maybe this time you're not going
to be on time for a swap deadline. no no no..don't do that,
counter productive that would be, ya? If an effort isn't
DOING IT for you....step around it, do something else, put it
aside and let it simmer on the back burner of your brain and move
to something that doesn't make you grit your teeth so much. Keep
the creative flow going and jump over the speed bumps in this road
to mastery of your art and your craft, ok?
Both Marcy and I are
of a mind that cracking the whip of Deadline inflexibility isn't
conducive to having fun or fostering creativity. I'm not the first
nor will I be the last person who got their swaps any way even
after falling down on the journey. This is so nice, this love and
understanding swap process we have here that I'm feeling more
kindly towards my !@#$%^ tea sets
Just thought I'd
mention that because the newly arrived !@#$%^ tea sets are just so
cute and because they are here I'm looking at my tray of
unfinished sets and thinking...ya I can face these !@#$%^ puppies
now, my swap mates showed me that they can do it...so I can do it
too, bless their hearts.
So there it is then
...an early Saturday morning's ramble about the creative process
being more important than swap deadlines and expectations that
lead to disappointment getting in our way. If it happens to me,
obsessed that I am with polymer clay, it must happen to some of
y'all as well and it is for you who have also suffered the tight
tummy of tension due to swap stress that this shout out is
dedicated. Relax, have fun, be of good cheer.
Nora-going off to go