Do you remember the story of Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel? This old children’s book has many important messages, not the least of which is about when the old (steam shovels) begin to be replaced by the new (those run by diesel, etc.) In this book, Mike bids on the digging of the basement for the new city hall and says that if he is unable to do it in just one day, he won’t need to be paid. Of course, he gets the job done, but then realizes that he and steam shovel, Mary Anne, can’t get out. As best I recall, Mary Anne stays in the basement and takes on a new steam task for the building which Mike manages.
Today, I pulled a Mike Mulligan. My six week old puppies have figured out how to escape from their temporary outdoor fence. Disgustedly, since I couldn’t get anything done due to chasing puppies, I got in the fence and put up quite a formidable barricade so those little darlings would stay put. As I eyed my work, I suddenly realized that I had no way to get out. There is no gate and I had just sealed the only opening. Eventually, I stood precariously on a rubber tub, grabbed the porch railing and hoisted myself out. It was NOT a graceful happening.
I’ve had some Mike Mulligans with my new bracelet designs. While starting with great enthusiasm, after adorning the armature with the first beads, I’ve sometimes realized that I didn’t leave myself a pleasing way to finish the piece. The goal with these bracelets has been to create depth in the design without sacrificing comfort, Often when I achieve a large focal point on the top of the bracelet, it flips much too easily when being worn, but this style has done great – no flipping! The first picture, taken from the side of the bracelet, shows the dimension. You can see how the wire form layers to which small beads may be attached. The beads help hold the distance between the layers. The Mulligan happens when I get “stuck” on one layer and can’t figure out where to go next. This bracelet with red magnesite, lapis and amethyst is still in progress. The one below is finished and wears nicely.
In the end, Mike Mulligan and and steam shovel did not grow obsolete but rather found themselves in a new line of work – all because they got “stuck” Let’s just hope that as I get stuck on layers of these bracelets, I’ll find a new creative and attractive way to finish things off.