Sunday, December 19, 2010


It's amazing where my new-found jewelry skills can be put to use.

You're already aware of Miles's Urban Wildlife Report, of course. His subject? The Black Widow Spider. But of course, you don't know how much he was freaking out over the whole project. Miles is super-intelligent, scoring well into the "advanced" section of California's "Star Testing" program. In fact, despite all of his special challenges which profoundly affect his performance at school, he has been recommended to test out for the gifted program. That test will be administered next May. But back to now.

Miles hates to do reports. They require focus and concentrated attention over an extended period of time that he just doesn't have the ability to put out. As a result, his Dad and I were highly involved in helping him with his report. Dad worked with him on the written part. They had to learn all sorts of facts about the Black Widow, and in the end, Eric typed it up on the computer and inserted pictures.

I, as the artist in the family, on the other hand, chose the artistic part of the report to work with him on.

It was safe to say that by the time we were ready to get started - the day before the report was actually due, Miles had worked himself up into such a state of hysteria that I could hardly get him to sit down and try. He had seen some of the tri-o-ramas that had been brought in by kids early (stupid teacher's pets - lol!), and was particularly intimidated by the one on cockroaches. I had a chance to see it myself and yes, it is pretty impressive. So were many of the other kid's works. I have no idea how involved parents were vs. the kids; all I know is that Miles felt that he was less than the other kids and therefore refused first to participate in the project at all, then, lest he be judged as less adequate than the others at drawing skills, purposely made his backdrop pictures in pencil and awful so that he pre-judged himself. We all know how that goes.

Fortunately, though, I had a vision. Miles could not see it even as I explained it to him, but it was there all the same and I kept insisting that he needn't worry about the backdrop. It didn't matter if it was good or bad, neat or sloppy. The end result of the project was going to be very cool, and it was.

It started by me flipping through pictures by Edi on Facebook and the "It's Better Handmade" group on the same. It was there that I found this amongst her profile pictures:
This is a spider that she wire wrapped and was a custom order for one of her clients.  You should go see Edi's work, by the way.  It's absolutely amazing!  She has nothing to fear from me in the wire wrapped jewelry arena.  You can find her here on Etsy. 

Stop by and take a peek; you'll be amazed and you won't regret the time spent viewing her work, even if you aren't currently in the market for jewelry.  Who knows... you might buy a piece even while you aren't looking.  I keep thinking about doing so myself, even as I know that as a business strategy, except for my wedding ring and my watch, the only jewelry I should ever wear is my own.  That's how wonderful her work is.

Anyway, I took one look at her spider, knew that I couldn't really replicate her work (and Edi, if you're reading, I never steal other peoples ideas for profit, EVER, and also you can see that my execution of your idea doesn't quite match up - lol!, so don't worry), but I also knew that I could do a good enough job in recreating a wire wrap spider for a 3rd grade project featuring the Black Widow, and so I did.

I also knew that we needed flies in the tri-o-rama for the spider to eat...  easily wrapped up out of a tiny bit of wire for wings threaded through one fire-polished glass bead.  And we needed flora.  Lots of flora.
Black Widow living in the country.  Note the "flying" fly.  That was a special tough Miles was particularly fond of.

Miles was, as I said, absolutely hysterical.  he couldn't envision at all what I was going to help him do, even as he was delighted by the Black Widow and the flies that I had created.  But in the end, the project turned out really well, stood up against all the other kid's work (thank you again Edi; the spider was what made the difference), and when we were walking together to his class, me helping him carry in all the different accouterments that were required on this last day of school before the holiday break, a lot of the boys immediately crowded around Miles, and I could hear their exclamations of amazement at his project.  "Oh cool!"  "Wow!"  "How did you make the spider so real?"  "Are those real plants?"
This would be our meditation garden.  In the backdrop on the left, you can see Gabby and Garrett (or the backs of their heads) watching TV while sitting on the sofa.  On the right is the sliding glass door looking into our dining room.

Said the spider in the conversation balloon as Miles realized that this particular spider had hit a gold mine of bead bugs, "Three in a row.  Jackpot!"
 And when I left the room, Miles no longer needed me for security.  He had done a good job, a great job in fact, and he was, in fact, was proud of his work.

Urban Black Widow on the Left, Country Black Widow on the Right.  Flying flies in both scenarios.  Miles would not let me add dog poop to the urban scene, even as we all know that dog poop is the most certain attractor of flies.


Edi'sTreasures said...

OMG that is too cool.. wow, I feel honored to be an inspiration :).. I too have borrowed this spider.. a local bead shop owner had made it.. I believe she'd found it in a magazine.. :) but I sure like your spiders in their natural inviroment :0) awesome job!!!

Anonymous said...

cool splaver family..

hope he receives an outstanding grade..

Miles..Dude..You're Awesome..

Read me a story..LOL

Miles S. said...

i just found this... im "amused" -miles 2016


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