Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Like Candy...

Inspiration awaits. Free time, where art thou? There are new bracelets and earrings in my Etsy shop, though. Click here or see link at right.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Yay Me! (again) and Thanks to Shonna of Twisted Figures

The above goodies are winging their way to me, courtesy of Shonna Bucaroff of Twisted Figures. I entered a drawing on her blog for her '100th Follower' celebration, and somehow her cutie son drew my name out of a jar.
You might recognize another piece of Shonna's art, "Busy Bee," which I bought from her Etsy shop and blogged about here. Shonna also turned me on to Suzi Blu's Web site and art classes. Love this style! Thanks, Shonna.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Big Hair is Always Good

Just some crazy big-haired Marie Antoinette artist trading cards I made Sunday for a swap in the Marie Antoinette Mail Art group. Marie was well-known for trend-setting and elaborate hats and poufs were at the top of her list. She is said to have worn a replica of a ship on her head and live nature settings; I wonder if she ever had a fish, a bee skep, bird's nest, fruit salad or sea shells on her head?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Finally! My Prince Cometh.

Along with some great swaps of a darling painted canvas from Kelly of Little Pink Trailer and an altered tin from Heather of Creative Solace, my prince arrived in the mail Thursday. And he even brought my favorite pie. Okay, so he's still a frog. But, I'm working on that. And he's, well, metal. But I've always had a thing for heavy metal and big hair. And so he didn't bring a pie, big deal. The fact remains: he's here. And he's mine.
Actually, Mr. Squibb/Boric Acid (you know those heavy metal types) comes from Mike in Wisconsin from Etsy. I first posted about Mike's work on Vintage Indie in my review of the American Visionary Museum. Mike and I then decided to do an art swap and we're happy as clams, er frogs.
And besides, my prince doesn't hog the strawberry/blueberry pie I made.
Here's what I sent Heather: a nicho. And here's what I sent Kelly: a bracelet with vintage beads; and here's part of what I sent Mike: ephemera. I have more listed on Etsy. That pack is marked reserved- for yet another trade, with Fishstikks. But there's always more ephemera.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I Love My Little Office

My upstairs office is where I do 'real' work, unlike my downstairs office and studio, where I do 'unreal' work, I guess. This office is 'close' enough to be called cozy, and I do find it cozy to work in here: surrounded by my art treasurers, stuff I've made, stuff from friends. I can try to get inspired to do spreadsheets and reports by looking at some of my 'fat books,' my 'library' of art books, cook books and fiction, my antiques, even my old stuffed animals.
My office is very neutral- a little beige and sage- so it's a good foil for anything I want to display. My unstuffed, real cats have a bed in here, too, an actual breakfast tray that they claimed. So, I bought a rug for inside it and made it no longer a breakfast tray, of course!
The sun comes cheerily in through two windows, so I can catch it from the north or east. These photos were taken at 8:30 p.m., and the Indiana sun is still making big shadows. I spend a lot of time in here, so I might as well make the best of it!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Insomnia Must Be Purple

With a 6 a.m. alarm looming, I found myself unable to stop stringing pendants for this charm bracelet, even at 1 a.m. I didn't even get the idea for this until about 10 p.m. And actually, stringing is a misleading term: there's no string, not even wire. It simply means forming the danglies on headpins (straight pins) and wire-wrapping the stem to make a loop. This pink and purple beauty has over 25 different charms and lots of whimsy.
After forming and wrapping all the charms, I attached each one to the chain with jump rings and then attached a sterling-filled magnetic clasp closure to the ends. It's going to take a bold outfit or a bold wrist to wear this one, as it should be. And go figure: I woke up at 5 a.m. ready to photograph and blog about it.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Still beading away, a little collage and Georgia O'Keeffe

I am in love with the earthy colors of this latest bracelet I put together tonight. It's a really unusual mix- sort of burnt umber, burnt sienna, magenta, browns, coppers and some animal print. It has a nest, birds, leaves and beads of glass, resin, pewter, ceramic and lampwork. I don't want to love it too much, though, because I really want to sell it.
The coral and silver bracelet has some really great findings, especially some lacey bead caps on the tiniest bits of coral. This one is just waiting for me to string up the turquoise table-cut beads and then assemble the whole thing. The beads look like Chiclets to me: a gum I used to obsess about. I've also always been partial to turquoise and coral when they are done up like this- in an Indian or southwest/cowgirl style. Oh-oh, another bracelet trying to talk its way into my jewelry box.
I'm pretty sure after that one, I am done with jewelry-making for awhile. I've pretty much exhausted my stash of beads and findings, so I need to make some more mad money!
The collage above is part of an 8.5 x 11 inch collage I started last year. I thought it was finished once, but I found some more great ephemera to add to it. I still haven't figured out if it is done yet, or what it means, since I've never seen any of those sites.
Speaking of southwest, I did some interesting reading today about the great American painter Georgia O'Keeffe and her husband, the great photographer, Arthur Stieglitz. O'Keeffe is known for her paintings of the flora and fauna of the southwest, but Stieglitz is best known for his nude photographs of O'Keeffe. When one pictures O'Keeffe we probably think of her in her later years- small, gray, wrinkled, weather-beaten, sort of an artistic version of Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies. But O'Keeffe was aparently quite the sensual creature in her earlier years, becoming Stieglitz's muse and most important influence.
I was doing a little refresher because there is an O'Keeffee exhibit in Kalamazoo until Sept. 13 that I would like to see: Georgia O'Keeffe and her times: American Modernism along with Through the Photographer's Lens: O'Keeffe and her circle. You can find more about it at the Kalamazoo Art Institute here. And thanks to Joanne Thieme-Huffman for the heads up.

What I've Still Been Up To

I've been making jewelry- frantically it seems- until 2 a.m. Friday, 3:3o a.m. Saturday and for eight hours straight on Sunday- 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. without a lunch break. I'll even accept the title frantic or manic, because it does seem when I get "on a roll" as they say, time just flies, to use even more euphemisms, and I don't even want to stop.
It's almost therapeutic, I think, to express myself this way. It bewilders even me sometimes. Some of these beads I bought more than a year ago, and just simply have stared at them ever since, unable to make anything happen. I'd string some up and then cut them back apart because I didn't like what I had created. And now, all of a sudden, everything looks good to me, makes sense, matches, falls into place. My wire-wrapping and bead-crimping skills seem to have returned.
The only thing on my mind when I am spending so much time making jewelry is that I'd also like to be painting, drawing, writing, making collages and altered art assemblages. In fact, I even keep an art 'to-do' list. I don't like to have "works in progress" as I mentioned some time ago. It's just not my style to have several things (or even two) going at once. It bugs me. I like to finish one thing at a time, although I will admit to having another afghan about half done. But, I really have to take breaks from crocheting or my golfer's elbow comes back. It happened once before- lower than tennis elbow and aggravated from repetitive motion- like crocheting.
So, what's on my to-do list? I have two 10 x 10 canvasses and some paint and colors in mind for some impressionistic painting, a la Ceza'nne for a Somerset challenge. I have some weird parts gathered up for an Alice in Wonderland challenge. I want to make a little robot out of scrap parts. I have a couple doll heads waiting for bodies out of bird cages or bottles. I have an Americana canvas I want to paint. I have a project on "colors" that I want to do. I have some rusty numbers I want to use. I want to do some more rubber-stamping and card-making to submit. I have a nicho I want to fill. I have at least one more charm bracelet in mind, and I just accepted an invitation to a Marie Antoinette charm swap and maybe a fabric journal page swap. I have a poem about escalators in my head and a short story about waking up at Teesha Moore's fun house in my pajamas. I have a novel started (okay, so that's a major WIP). I have five short stories that need edited and sent out. I want to make some more sugar skull ATCs. And I do want to finish that afghan. Nevermind about a full-time job and sending a child to college. Weeds to pull? What weeds? Girls just wanna have fun and do art.
I attended a nice little wedding this weekend in Michigan in the midst of all this creating. Congratulations to my co-workers Amy & Brian who are on their way to an Alaskan cruise now, via Vancouver.
Where's all this jewelry going? Not sure, but definitely for sale soon. Happy creating. How great to live in a free America where we can be as creative as we want, whenever, however we want.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

What I've Been Up To....

...a little doodling, a little jewelry-making, a little painting, a little cooking, a little traveling, a little paper mache, a little reading (Double Image by David Morrell), a little writing, a little poetry, a little wedding today.