the cold is easing

The cold is easing, both in my body and outside. What a difference a few degrees can make. I’m grateful to be off light on this one; the ‘flu this year is a bad one. I already had it, so I’m probably covered, but I was still fearful. I know a lot of people who’ve been down for weeks. The garden seems to have soldiered through pretty well through its own cold spell- I’ll be cutting the bougainvillea back and the honeysuckles have lost quite a few leaves, but it seems that all of the new plantings from this summer have settled in and can shrug off a normal hard freeze.

I still have a whole drawer of citrus in my refrigerator, but I don’t think they are going to make it another month to entertain my next wave of guests. Maybe Jeannette will bring us some Meyer lemons from San Diego.

I’ve been reading through everyone’s semi-final edits (I say semi-final because we are still going to have press proofs to check) and am amazed again at the depth and keen eye of my Edit Team. Each of them sees different things, comes from different places re beading (some are pros, some have never put needle to thread) and I feel confident now that our Basics section can in fact teach beginners and that our deepest technical sections are correctly drawn and explained. I feel really relaxed about it. In these last few days before our plates are cut, I’m reading, re-reading, and suffering over the cover.

I’ve gone through all of the books in my house (which is a lot of books) looking at the covers, and honestly, with the exception of my architecture books (which almost all have kickass covers) they mostly suck. I’m hoping that things magically click for me this weekend. I won’t bore you with the details of my hopes and dreams for it.

One of the things that is carrying me along with excitement in these last weeks of frantic proofing and such is the thought of Volume II, which will not have to “teach” anything. It is simply going to be an incredible extension of the ideas packed into CGB, an exploration, a reaching into space, interior and exterior. One of the things that has been hard for me in this past six months of writing and proofing is that I myself have not had the time to take our ideas and fly with them; instead, I worked on presenting them. Others have taken flight; I wait my turn.

I haven’t made anything in months aside from book pages, and my hands are twitching.

And I really, really want my car back. It’s been over a week since I dropped it off. It’s almost to 100,000 original miles (which is rather stunningly low for a car built in 1989) and so it was time for a deep service. New radiator, new coolant hoses (it turns out a swollen hose and a slightly leaky radiator were the reasons my clean little car failed emissions) and new spark plug wires (fucking packrats ATE THEM) new oil filter, new thermostat…

Kate On her Car by Robin Douglas

The silly thing is that even with all of that wrong, the little car still drove like a fever dream, smooth, swift, strong. If it hadn’t failed emissions, I wouldn’t have known anything was up.

photo of me on my car by Robin Douglas, Jan 2012 

13 thoughts on “the cold is easing

  1. Glad to hear that you’re feeling better. I can’t imagine how you’ve been able to restrain yourself over the last few months. I’ve certainly found your ideas inspiring. Just a quick query: how soon can I tell if the fortune teller bangle is at it’s final size? I’m about two rows into the mini horns and wondering if I need to restart.

    • Boy, that would be a long answer on your Fortuneteller. I say, focus instead on tailoring, and build the bangle with an eye to pulling it in if it’s a bit big, rather than focusing on following a pattern count. Do you know what I mean? Your tension, how much you decrease… adding a round of 15’s or dropping a bead in a run… there are a thousand options other than starting over. Sizing is a fluid concept in growing beadwork. You will enjoy our Sizing discussion in Basics- it’s just one page of bullet points. It could be a whole book.

  2. Glad you’re felling better. you’re lucky the rats didn’t eat the whole wiring harness. Lost the harness on Keith’s truck which had been sitting near a shrubbery hedge for a few months, undriven. $500. Some people say use mothballs, but the hardware store has something they sell for use in stored RV’s that works well. mint and cedar based. ‘Fresh Cab’.
    Your little car is so sweet. A ‘clean machine’ as Keith would say.

    • It’s a fabulous car, a very clean machine. And now with all of its new parts, it’s completely PURRING. The engine looks new, the emissions guys always laugh when I pop the hood, they are like, “No way!” We were all badly shocked when it failed this time.

  3. Apparently the flu is snubbing its nose at flu shots this year. Husband had the shot the week before Christmas and just got home from the doc with a flu diagnosis.
    I’m probably not going to have the time to even have a hot cocoa, much less bead anything this winter, but I’m really looking forward to the book for its entertainment/mind-stretching qualities. Does that make me bad? ;<)

  4. I’ll three-peat and also say Glad you’re feeling better!
    God! What discipline and focus not have scratched the beading itch in months. No such iron in me – I resist but fall and feel a sneaking guilt while I bead …but not enough to stop me :) So looking forward to the paper book to see what goodies you’ve saved for us! Hope you’ll be beading soon too!

  5. I am so glad you are doing better. You are tired and your system is low maybe. The car is a beauty and the color I love. I could not get you close enough to see the neckless you have on. I am a necklace lover and I like to ask of the so many talented beaders, based on the patterns from the book to try to come up with some neck pieces in the next volume as well,
    other than the pendants.
    The bracelets are all beautiful and I will give all a try as for necklaces my imagination stops there.
    Can’t wait for the book Kate it is so close now.

    • I am wearing a beautiful set of Egyptian-style jewelry from the 1970s, given to me as a gift by Gabriella van Diepen and Jeroen Medema, and I cherish them. You would love the clasp on the bracelet…

    • We all love neckpieces, but to me, they are just continuations of elements, and I prefer to teach and show the basic pieces, and then anything on Earth can be built from them. But I agree, I also have some stunning ideas for neckpieces!
      Perhaps the hardest for me in this year has been to have to keep making the book and not have time to fly with the ideas. Giving my ideas before I had fully explored them is normal for me but this time it hurt a little bit because I so wanted to play.

      • I am glad you dodged the flu… My brother was terribly ill after his shot, so I skipped it this year, after discovering its not recommended for folks dealing with fibro issues…(no wonder I was always “beaten down” for a week or more, every November; the timing corresponded with annual flu shots!)

        But enough about poor health…

        I can’t wait for the book! I think you’ll have to get some much-needed rest and put beaded wings to the ideas you’ve not had time for, soon, or you’ll go into a bead withdrawal or worse!!

        Any plans to forge more of your handmade clasps? I’d love to pick one (or more?) up in Feb, while at the show??

        Thanks in advance!

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