Scene4 Magazine: Claudine Jones |
Claudine Jones

Thought Boing


August 2014

I'm excellent at coming up with ideas; projects? I got a million of 'em. No sooner have I hatched one but I'm on to the next.  Tiny, small, medium, large, extra large.

Example: I got an empty mahogany 15 ½" Regina music box case at a white elephant sale, stripped it of the some hardware I needed for another one & then proceeded to fantasize for a couple of months about how I could design & build a hydraulic system that would raise & lower a miniature player piano inside the box.  It's a very nice box.  I'm still working on this.

Meanwhile, an actor friend who has just recently closed a show & looking for something to do, I guess, posted a query on Facebook: 'I gotta get a hobby! Which should I do: Découpage or macramé ' & the first thing that popped into my head was 'tatting'.  I have done tatting. Yes, I have.

In fact, over the last 45 years or so I have made (or attempted to make) in no chronological order:

Crocheted potholders faced with felt, shaped like fruit.

Macrame lampshade—horrible.

Beaded curtain out of sunflower seeds—mice ended up eating it & the box it was stored in.

Table: plywood, wooden floor tiles, hardwood veneer edges & turned legs—wobbled incessantly.

Kitchen floor with gorgeous sliced agate tiles, 1/8" vinyl separators (don't ask)—pretty cool.

Cross-stitch with years & name of the show I did three separate times; most of the work done onstage.

Foyer wall covered with combination of beveled mirror-tiles & strips of polished wood

Twin size quilts with fabric squares—design layout from a computer circa 1977 (got help on that).

Kid's playhouse with a dutch door & shuttered windows.

Mini persian rug hand knotted with silk embroidery floss (half-finished).

Dollhouse curtains on brass rods with turned finials—miniature lathe! Works like a charm.

Completed an afghan in time to put it on the couch last night of the show where I played a crocheter.

Wall panels covered with cross woven dupioni silk (actually not that hard to find at a discount).

5 Chandelier shades each reworked with a different color of crystal drops, beads & spare jewelry parts.

Half-scale two story dollhouse with carpeted rooms & linoleum kitchen & bathroom floors.

Needlepoint pillows with names & dates of the show I was in at the time.


 (I seem to do this a lot)

Ceiling trim around the living room periphery hung with 700 crystal spears & random lamp prisms.

Wire exercise wheel (large) hung with 50 prisms—right where the afternoon sun hits the kitchen.

Okay, enough. I also realize I've included kits—not my original creations, just my choice of pastimes, with tangible byproduct. 

Can't usually say that about being in a play. It opens, it closes; done (unless somebody takes a video of it & you have to watch it at the cast party—yeesh—or it ends up on YouTube, which for my oeuvre wouldn't apply since, blessedly, YT didn't exist.) 

And the musical stuff? O my lord I am glad pretty much nothing exists that points to that (except of course the famous taped session of my family singing Christmas carols when my brother got stuck on an endless loop in Jingle Bells.)

Pictures are enough, I think. Just my opinion. Of course, if you lose everything in a fire, as many people do, then you are thrust into that Ram Dass moment of your life when you must move to the next phase, shed of these encumbrances—if you want to call physical stuff by that somewhat pejorative term—which could end up a good thing.

No, for the most part it is a blessing not to have concrete evidence of something live; I mean, why? Would you want a recording of that seminal dinner with your lover at a Thai restaurant when you were so exhausted from activities you fell asleep in your soup?

Much better to savor the memories, as long as you have them. 

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Actor/Singer/Dancer Claudine Jones has worked steadily in Bay Area joints for a number of decades.
She also writes a monthly column in Scene4.
For more of her commentary and articles,
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©2014 Claudine Jones
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