pegkerr: (Default)
Some of you may know that Delia has been studying jewelry design with [ profile] elisem (fabulous teacher) for nine years now. She started out as an apprentice but now has achieved the status of journeyman.

Elise is having an online sale, and a little over a dozen of Delia's creations are included (including three wandering wire necklace crowns). Please go admire and buy! Remember that you are helping a very bright and beloved daughter with her college expenses.


(And if you like the work she's doing, please leave a comment here for Delia. Creators can always use artistic encouragement!)
pegkerr: (The beauty of it smote his heart)
Delia has been learning jewelry-making from [ profile] elisem for the past six years. Elise is having an on-line sale, and for the first time, some of Delia's work is being offered, too. Delia's pieces will be available for only one week, so take a look and if you see something you like, grab it now! Delia would be thrilled to make a sale, so I hope you will stop by to check it out. At the very least, she would love comments on her work. Thanks!

See here.
pegkerr: (Default)
From one of my favorite poets, Elise Matthesen ([ profile] elisem), a poem in honor of the team that brought you Curiosity. Reposted with permission (original link here):

Now, gather round, younglings, a story I'll tell
Of the smart careful humans who staff JPL
All humans have missions, and these sure had thars:
To get Curiosity safely to Mars.

To go very far takes a wonderful mix:
Some humans who build, some humans who fix,
Some humans who watch and take copious notes,
Some who grew up dreaming of airplanes and boats,

And some of them dress like the person next door
And others like nothing imagined before.
Some paint up their hairdos with colors from jars,
and the Bobak Ferdowsis have stars upon thars.

Now all of these humans use science and math
To keep Curiosity safe on her path
Combining their knowledge, invention and skill
And in the control room, they work with a will.

You can see them, intent on their consoles and charts,
With bright shining eyes, with hope in their hearts,
They come in all colors, all shapes and all sizes,
And so do their hairdos -- they're full of surprises.

We thank every one as the roll is now called,
The long-haired, the short-haired, the fuzzy, the bald;
They sent Curiosity safely to Mars.
(And the Bobak Ferdowsis have stars upon thars!)

(Elise says: "link away with gladness, and reprint if you like, but please credit Elise Matthesen. Thanks!")

(and for those who don't know, re: Bobak Ferdowsi)

Edited to add: Also see the Tumblr NASA needs more mohawks (*Sporfle*)
pegkerr: (Default)
I left work at 12:30 and arrived at the con. As I mentioned yesterday, I had been crabbily wondering whether I would enjoy it, but the first day was a great success.

Day One )

pegkerr: (Default)
Bruce and Karen ([ profile] minnehaha) hosted a party at their home last night. Delia seemed to be coming down with a bug at the last minute, and so although we had all planned to go, I went alone, which meant I was free to stay out quite late, a fact which I really appreciated. As Noel Coward says, it was a marvelous party. ) Finally left, very reluctantly, at almost 2:00 a.m., yawning, sneezing, but very, very happy.

I didn't manage to get up in time to take the girls to church. Ah, well.

pegkerr: (Default)
I got together with [ profile] elisem on Friday night, going over to her house. We grabbed a couple of bottles of hard cider and retreated to her workshop in the attic, where I oohed and aahed over the necklaces that she is making for World Fantasy Con. I was particularly drawn to one which was titled "Down All Those Glittering Halls." I held it up and thought, hey, it reminds me of the ice palaces (I just had the book delivered to me)--pale and glittering, but with faint tones of other pastel colors, like when the ice palaces were illuminated. If she has sold it by the time I finish the book, she'll make me another, smaller one (this one was about twelve feet long, so it could be worn as at least a quadruple strand). If she hasn't sold it by the time I finish the book . . . well, we'll see. I held it and admired it for close to a half hour as she repaired the clasp on my charm necklace. It's fascinating to watch her work. She bends over her worktable with intense concentration and talks to whatever she's working with as she shapes the wire with needlenose pliers: "There, now bend over that way, yep, um hmm, no, go that way. Excellent. No, stop that!" She wears an industrial hood with a plastic visor over her face to protect her eyes.

I love [ profile] elisem's workshop. It's cluttered and dusty, more than I would be comfortable with if it were my own space to work in, but there are so many fascinating things to look at and admire that it's certainly a wonderful place to visit. I saw: clothes racks with vintage clothing, wooden pegs hung with her finished necklaces, a wire dressmaker's dummy hung all over with finished earrings, baskets full of sea shells (she had made one by weaving a twig handle through a birds nest) art postcards, boxes of lace and ribbons, dolls (like a mermaid sewn out of raw silk, with sea shells covering her breasts; embroidery floss for her hair, in a wild array of green and blue colors), books on every conceivable subject, from Minnesota history to the pre-Raphelites. There was a chest with labeled drawers: "tacks, tags and rude mechanicals" read one. (?) Ribbons were woven through dried grapevine over the window, and paper mache goddesses hung from fishing line. There was a row of strange alien creatures made of pottery, lined up in a ledge on the window frame. Mardi Gras beads draped over a window frame. There was a basket she had sewn from a rainbow array of tiny seed beads. In the hour and a half I sat with her, I kept finding more and more things to look at, both whimsical and beautiful--when I could tear my attention away from the stunning necklace I held on my lap. We chatted about the book as she worked on the charm necklace clasp, speculating about how I could work the Minneapolis Aquatennial in as the summer magical counterpart of the St. Paul Winter Carnival (hey, it even has a torchlight parade)!

When I finally left around 11:00, I carried a bag with the charm necklace, about three books she was lending me for research, a black velvet coat that she gave me ("I got it last year when I went shopping last year with Betty Friedan"), three pairs of earrings that she had whipped up for me on the spur of the moment ("I'll make you a pair with owls since you love Harry Potter so much"), an art ribbon for me to sew on a jean jacket, and a Juliet cap of silver beads ("Better on your dark hair than my blond hair.")

That's what an evening with Elise is like. Surrounded by beauty, with absorbing, humorous conversation, ending with gifts.

Damn, I admire her so much.

pegkerr: (Default)
I have the honor of knowing a woman named Elise, a poet and jewelry designer. I was wearing one of her necklaces today, and I was looking at it and thinking "This is so cool."

Elise's work is imaginative, playful, and experimental. She delights in playing with color, mixing beads of all different vintages, experimenting with new ways of twisting and forming wire to set off the beads. Even more unusually, her poetry has gotten wrapped up in the creation of her jewelry; she titles many of her completed pieces, names that are whimsical, evocative, imaginative. One long necklace I own is called "'Betrayed,' the Rose Queen cried, and Her Hand Flew to her Throat." Other titled pieces Elise has made include "Under the Waves was Her Home," "After the Dragon, She Learned to Love Her Body," "Galadriel in Her Wild Youth," "The Insolence of Leprechauns," "Dancing to the Rumble of Distant Guns," etc. And once you see the necklace, you understand why that title is exactly correct.

Another necklace I named myself (a lovely iridescent piece I called "Whispers from the Twilit Lands") but Elise sternly told me that I was only allowed to name one of her necklaces if I wrote a poem using the title, and so I did. She calls it one of her Artists' Challenge series: From her web site:

"For those of you who don't know yet, the Artists' Challenge involves the trade of a titled piece of my work for a copy of something you, the artist, create in response to my piece, plus a donation to the bead fund, which lets me create more Artists' Challenge pieces. Ask me at a show to tell you more, if you're interested, or check with various writers and artists, including folks like John Calvin Rezmerski, who wrote a poem for the necklace 'Looking for a Good One,' who might be able to tell you more about the process."

Elise sells her pieces at galleries and private shows around the Twin Cities and at a few conventions--you'll find her booth at Minicon and Wiscon, among other places. She delights in helping each customer find the perfect necklace to wear or to give as a gift for a friend. She doesn't call it "selling her work," she calls it "helping the piece find a good home."

I really admire Elise. She is generous, cheerful, always looking for beauty, kind and an amazing font of creativity. As a member of my writing group, she has been a very positive influence on the development of my fiction. An ideal critic, she possesses at once a lively sense of humor, a keenly critical eye, and a warmly human heart.

Here is a story that tells you the kind of person Elise is: she was celebrating her birthday in a local restaurant with a wide circle of friends. Elise, of course, was wearing one of her extravagant signature hats and generally holding court as she is wont to do, exchanging stories and laughter while enjoying a fine meal. Suddenly the waiter came up with a bottle of wine on a tray and said, "The lady sitting over there in the corner saw your party, and thought you seemed like such a bright happy group that she sent this over to help you celebrate."

Elise, being the kind of person she is, immediately bounced over to the tall, stately woman, thanked her effusively, and stuck out her hand and introduced herself. The woman smiled in return. "I'm Maya Angelou," she said. Elise, a poet herself, of course felt as if she had had an audience with the Queen.

That's the kind of person Elise is. She reminds me of the description that Aral made of his wife Cordelia in Lois McMaster Bujold's Shards of Honor: she pours out honor like a fountain, all around herself.

Part of nurturing the creative life in oneself is surrounding oneself with other creative people, people who take great joy in their own work and nurture your own creativity in you. Sometimes writers and artists make the mistake of getting intertwined with bitter, unhappy people, who thwart and twist the creative impulse; that can be death to one's art. Elise, in contrast, pours out honor and creativity around herself like a fountain. It is a privilege to know her. I think that she's an excellent model of living the creative life for me.

I just thought I'd say that.


Afterward: I found [ profile] elisem has a LiveJournal!


Apr. 28th, 2002 02:05 pm
pegkerr: (Default)
This morning, with much whispering and giggling, the girls came and rousted their Daddy out of bed. I barely registered this as unusual before drifting back to sleep (Sunday's Rob's designated day to sleep in) They all trooped back about fifteen minutes later proudly bearing a breakfast-in-bed tray for me (my usual breakfast cereal, garnished with strawberries). And then they all sat around on the bed and watched me eat it. They had brought the newspaper, but it felt too odd to read it, with two little girls staring at me, rather like cats staring up at someone opening a can of catfood.

I just finished (again) Juniper, Gentian and Rosemary by Pamela Dean. I was crossly wishing for an annotated version--and just found one on the Internet! Squee! There's an annotated Tam Lin, too. I also found the ballad the story is based upon ("Riddles Wisely Expounded").

Huh. Maybe I should try writing a book from a ballad. I've already written one from a fairy tale. Stealing somebody else's plot seems to help.

Pamela Dean is one of my favorite authors, and Tam Lin (especially) is one of my favorite books. I know that some readers may find the style unrealistic--and some find it downright annoying--all those quotations, all those allusions! Although ordinarily my taste runs to a much more transparent style, I adore Pamela's. It's the sort of writing I'm not too confident I can do myself, but I enjoy watching Pamela do it.

Another thing, rather odd: when I read Pamela's books, I hear Pamela's voice as the central character's voice. Perhaps that's because both Gentian (the protagonist of Juniper, Gentian and Rosemary) and Janet (the protagonist of Tam Lin) remind me a lot of Pamela--certainly they have her habit of sprinkling poetic allusions through their conversations. I was in a Shakespeare reading group with Pamela for over five years, and it was a feast of wild delight. Other members included Mike Ford (John M. Ford is his publishing name), Elise Matthesen, Patricia C. Wrede, Lois McMaster Bujold, and aside from the joys of Shakespeare, the conversations were fascinating, although I often felt totally intellectually outclassed. There aren't many groups where I'm aware that I'm less well-read than the people around me, and I think it was good for me.

But I was speaking of hearing the author's voice in one's head when reading certain books. Pamela is one, Eleanor Arnason is another (with that dry, drawling Icelandic wit). And Steve Brust.

Oddly enough, however, I never hear Lois' voice when I read any of her Miles Vorkosigan books. Miles has his own very distinctive voice, quite different from Lois's.

I wonder if people who know me hear my voice when they read my characters.


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