Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems. ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Asilomar II ~ Gifted Hands

These hands are gifted. They belong to the jewelry artist, Nina Bagley. I have been reading her blog, Ornamental, for over a year now. Not only does she make wonderful jewelry, but she is a photographer and writer too. My sister and I had tried a few times to sign up for Nina's workshops but failed to get in because they fill up so fast. So, in September of last year when Sis was visiting for a weekend we were looking for a workshop that Nina might be teaching at and, lo and behold, we found a 3 day class on making a necklace( my sister's favorite thing to do ) and making a collage book( my favorite thing to do )..., so we signed up that night and sent in the deposit. We were finally going to take a class from NINA BAGLEY. Wow!!...,and it would be within driving distance from home and it was in Asilomar. This was a dream come true.

There are not too many things that get me really excited anymore. Guess I'm getting old and..., I don't know, I'm just a farm girl who loves where I live and take life as it comes.
I believe that each day is something to look forward to and I always love the unexpected things that happen...,thing you weren't expecting ..., the beautiful Gray Fox that ran across our road in front of me today when I came home; the King Snake at our entrance yesterday trying to climb a rocky incline and sliding back down, as his beautiful markings moved with his skin to find a firmer grip. These sights and all of nature move me to tears sometimes but travel and events lately have been for others and this time I was going JUST FOR ME. I was really looking forward to this workshop.
When we left my sister's house it was with great trepidation because our mother was not doing well and we had almost decided to stay home, but with Mom's blessing we got into the car on Sunday and drove to Monterey. Both of us were like kids again. Not only were we excited to learn all the new artistic techniques but to meet NINA and see what she was like. Well, she's a dear sweet person who wears her heart on her sleeve. I should have known this from her writing. She is a clear drink of water with a lovely southern drawl and she speaks her mind. The drawl is very charming. It's North Carolinean.
She showed us how to make a necklace with all the right tools. We learned how to make jump rings and how to connect beads.We made p-loops, s-hooks and what we call "Nina knots" (wire that is wrapped around itself) that make each connection look beautiful.We made coils, clasps and toggles until my fingers just wouldn't straighten out without making strange noises. We learned so much the first day that my learning curved brain could hardly eat dinner and go to bed that night.
The next two days were spent building the book. We were given the front and back metal pieces which we tarnished and embellished and then we were to make 8 to 10 collage pages. I got 3 done. But, in my defense, only 2 people out of 19 of us completed the book. We weren't expected to finished everything and the last afternoon I worked on my necklace instead of the book. The necklace is an on-going artistic endeavor. I have enabled myself and invested in a BOOK. It's called Making Wire Jewelry; getting started. This is hard to admit but I think I'm jump ring challenged.

These last photos are some of the class work. I will not tell which ones are mine. When the book is completed I will take some pictures and post it. The necklace will never see the light of day.
My sister's necklace was stunning. She wore it to dinner Wed. night. Everyone that saw it commented on it. ..., next year I think I will take the "demented doll" class.

I talked to Mom this evening. She is doing much better. She sat in her wheel chair for 2 hours today and even sat outside in the sun for a while. She sounds good and was watching TV when I called. The physical therapy person came yesterday and showed her some light exercises she can do to gain strength. They will be coming again to help her. She also has a home health nurse that comes to see her and she says that the ladies that are there at the rest home have been so good to her. They are wonderful people. We are so lucky that she is in such a good place. Here's to all the CNA's at Sunnyvale Care Home. We love you all!

I will continue to post photos of Asilomar tomorrow. Hopefully before 9:00 p.m. at night. I had to go to the doctor today in Sacramento so I got this post going a little late.
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  1. Hi Connie !!!

    Great to know you made it home safe and sound. Wasn't that workshop the thrill of a lifetime? The setting was gorgeous. Love your photos, they really capture the beauty of Asilomar.

    I am so, so glad to hear your mother is having good days. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers. Tell Lisa (I sure hope I remembered that correctly . . . I think I did !!)I said a big HELLO.

    Look forward to keeping in touch through our blogs.

    All the best,

  2. First I am glad to hear that your mother is doing better. This post was a delight to read. The pictures were great. I know you had a good time. Have a great day. Madeline

  3. cool stuff i am not talented in any shape form or fashion like that! glad to hear your mom has had a good day! hugs and grits

  4. Good news about your mom having a god day.

    I am so living your trip vicariously through your words and photos. Thank you so much for sharing.


  5. This is soooooooo cool! I wish you'd show us what your talking about, inquiring minds want to know?
    what a fabulous wonderful time! I would have loved this too.

  6. What grand news your mom is doing better. I know you must be so very relieved.
    I am anxious to see your book, does it look like Nina's?


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