Monday, July 28, 2008

FIVES

sarah posted her fives on her blog today.

here are mine:

If you don't want to do all 5, pick one or two! I'll go first:)

What are your 5 favorite art works? Have you seen them in person? Do you have plans to?
And I mean art in a very broad sense here.

Gustav Klimt’s Adele Bloch Bauer – I saw it at the Neue Galerie in New York last spring. It was more amazing in person than I could have imagined!
Frida Kahlo’s house/museum – I doubt I will ever get to go, but I would love to.
Egypt – all pyramids and tombs. Especially Luxor. Have never been. Really really want to go!
Van Gogh – saw his works at the Neue Galerie also. Amazing!
Versailles – was supposed to go this summer. Didn’t work out. One day.


What are 5 crafts you couldn't live without? Have you done them? Any good?

Bead weaving/jewelry making. – I think I’m pretty good. Would like to get better.
Calligraphy – I used to be better. I need to practice more.
Book binding – no, but I appreciate and collect other’s work
Movie making – such a movie junkie. Never will do it, but appreciate the craft.
Painting – not very good. Will try it again when I have more space and time.



What are 5 crafts you'd like to learn? Have you ever tried them? Will you?

Book binding – probably not, but i collect other's work.
Metal work – trying. Slowly.
Lamp work beads – when I have more space
Chocolate making – when I have more space and a better kitchen
Enamelling – one day.


What are 5 arts and crafts you've tried that weren't for you?

sculpture
Ceramics
Oil painting
Sewing
cooking



What are 5 things you aim for with your art/craft?

Quality
Modern
Wearable
Stylish
Unique

Thursday, July 24, 2008

an open letter to my right wrist

dear wrist ( you know which one you are),

first of all, i just wanted to let you know that i appreciate all that you have done for me over the years - most especially keeping my hand firmly attached to my arm.

however, we need to talk about this cyst.

my doctor tells me it is a tendon sheath and is brought on by repetitive movement. we both know he means bead weaving.

yes, i realize i have been hitting the beads pretty hard lately, but i thought you could handle it. in 15 years of beading, you've never done this to me before! why now? after all, we have been together for over 38 years. i thought you understood that i need to make things. WITH MY HANDS.

anyway, i have been told that the cyst is nothing to worry about - that, in fact it will probably go away on it's own if i downsize the beading for a few weeks. that's fine. i do have a vacation coming up.

however, i am not giving up making jewelry. i HAVE to create! you know this. you've been with me from the beginning. so, what i am proposing is this...i will not ask any more of you over the next few weeks than to help me lift the glasses of pinot i am planning on drinking in california to my lips, you get all healed up, and we start weaving again in late august. how does that sound? good. because that's how it's going to be.

i am sorry, but i really do have to lay down the law on this one.

i hope you understand that i really do need for you to step up to the plate, rub some dirt on it, and shake it off for me here, because we both know i am not going to stop beading. i also promise to try to spend less time on the computer. but i have people and groups i like to keep up with . i cannot guarantee that won't spend at least some time on flickr, etsy, indiepublic, and blogger. but, i do promise to limit my activities over the next few weeks.

so, with that being said, i assume we have reached an agreement.

please feel better soon. i do need you, you know.

hugs and kisses,

amber

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Midsummer Madness Sale with the EBW

the etsy beadweavers are having a midsummer sale this week -
july 21st - 27th.
lots of beautiful beady goodness on sale.
here is a list of what everyone is offering.
enjoy!

yeah, these are my friends

last night was mr.legs VIII - the fundraiser for the bridge house here in new orleans. bridge house is a alcohol and drug rehab center, and for the last 3 years, my friend, steve has participated in the event. his invitation always states that we should consider a donation to the bridge house a down payment for the day when we will all need their services.

this year steve won best costume - angelina jolie, womb raider.

i had waaaaay too much fun ( can we say open bar?)and am sincerely paying for it this afternoon.

below are some shots from last nights festivities.

enjoy and try not to be too afraid...




the competitors



kim's reaction at seeing angie the first time



how he comes up with this stuff, i will never know...



angie looks lovely, doesn't she?



laura, sarah, shannon, & joseph - a much more subdued lot.

Friday, July 18, 2008

indiepublic

i just joined indiepublic tonight.
i am not sure how i feel about it at this point.
all this " marketing", connecting, etc that i have to do
to get my work out there is a tad tiring.
but, i love talking with other artists and designers,
so that might be nice.
over to the right is a little link to my indiepublic page.---->
it's really just the same old photographs, which everyone has seen a million times over. but, check it out anyway if you get a chance.
i realized tonight that i have a huge stash of jewelry to take to san fran,
so i am not sweating making new work as much as i was.
good thing, too.
i haven't gotten squat done this week.
cheers!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

can a skirt be perfect? yes, yes it can.



i just got this from sweetteaco on etsy.
it is luscious fabulousness in a a skirt!

the fabulousness that is sophie staerk



i found this artist from watching HGTV's SMALL SPACE BIG STYLE about a week ago.
i won't get up early to work out, but i will get up to watch that show.
so sad.
anyway... her name is sophie staerk and i think she is the most exciting painter i have seen in a very long time.
enjoy!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

redirecting my energies

i was reading this post a few days ago and it got me to thinking about how i have been approaching my business as well as what i need to do to make it better and more profitable.

as i mentioned a few posts down, i recently changed my pricing on etsy and here at gallery i/o to reflect the prices on my pieces carried by the gallery high gloss in houston ( who is moving my work on a very regular basis).

i have also been doing a lot of thinking on where i fit into the etsy world and what other outlets i might look into. i have been especially disappointed in how my work has done on etsy. but i can't blame anyone.
there is no one to blame. my work is what it is.
i do not know if it is my photography or my pricing that is keeping the buyers at bay, but i have a sneaking suspiscion it's the latter. but, i refuse to lower my prices to fit into a certain market. i know what i need to get out of a piece and i am not going to lower that number for anyone or anything. i don't think my work is overpriced - but i think it's high for etsy.

over the last 10 years ( when i have been sporadically making and marketing my work) i have tried several different venues - all with different results. i am a firm believer in if you don't try something, you will never learn. what i have learned is that my work sells best in a gallery environment. i am not putting down etsy nor anyone who sells there, because i love etsy and i buy from other artists there fairly regularly. but, i am slowly coming to the realization that it may not be for me. i have spent waaaaaaay too much time obsessing over why i am not selling there and not enough time on actually making, photographing, and marketing the work. i think it's time i turned my attention to those things. i am looking into other venues that i think (hope) might work better. i am not giving up on etsy. i have just simply decided to take a look at other outlets which might work better.

i have been experimenting a bit more of late with my designs. however, i don't want to experiment too much, when i should be directing my energies into producing the work that is selling. but, i need to grow as an artist and i don't want to be a one hit wonder.

i have a trip coming up to san francisco, and i am working on items to take with me in the hopes of finding a venue in the bay area. i may not get one, but i have to at least try. if anyone has any suggestions on galleries or boutiques that i might try, feel free to leave a little note. i am pretty much flying blind here folks!

so, i guess that is where i stand right now. it's been a week of good food, good friends, good wine, and waaaaay too much good fun. it gave me some time to think about what i am doing and where i want to go.

now i just have to get there....

Monday, July 14, 2008

weekend work





2 new pieces from the weekend.
LOVE LOVE LOVE that brown and turquoise one. it looks FAB-U-LOUS on! i may have to keep that one por moi.
tried something new with photographing them. and i don't like it. at all.
but here they are anyway.
also, am working on pieces to take with me to san francisco next month as well as a new endeavor i am looking into as well.
spent today experimenting and will be posting pics of those pieces soon.

Friday, July 11, 2008

price changes










after much consideration and a chat with lisa at high gloss today, i have decided to raise the prices of my woven pendants. i really was never happy with the price, but i was trying to keep them in line with some of the other items on etsy ( and since my bracelets are pretty pricey, trying to see if a lower price point might move), but i really never felt comfortable with the price point.
lisa called today to tell me that they LOVED the new pieces and really thought they were priced too low. since high gloss ACTUALLY SELLS my pieces - well, nuff said. so, upon their suggestion, and to keep all of my work consistent, no matter where you buy it, i have changed the prices in my etsy store to reflect the price that high gloss will be selling them for.

this week's adventure

it's been a fairly busy week for me. i have not been making jewelry, but have been doing other things instead. i am taking a bit of a break. regrouping, if you will.

i attended the botero exhibit at noma on wednesday night.
it was very delightful and interesting. i didn't know much about him, and was only vaguely aware of his work. i enjoyed it so much, i will probably go back and see it again.
here are a few pics i managed to snap before the security guard kindly informed me there were no photos. aww. well.
and this great shot of my sushi dinner after the show...



dinner after the exhibit. yum!



hmmm....



i liked this one a lot




jeanne striking a pose

Monday, July 7, 2008

monday's work



this one is going to high gloss as well. they really do better with the black and white pieces, but a little soft pastel is nice now and again. this one is based on a background patter of one of klimt's paintings. i have sold several of these since i started making them. it goes with pretty much everything.




a new cuff for high gloss in houston. this has become one of my favorite new designs. wonder how it will look in copper and turquoise?!



new work for etsy. my best friend, laura designed this piece.
we called it BE A BRECK GIRL because the colors reminded us of the BRECK
shampoo we used in the 70's.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

summer time in new orleans...



... is actually the title of a song by anders osborne.

this is a pic of my favorite home in the french quarter. i took this on sunday when we went down to drop of new vintage pieces to the ragin' daisy. it was hot as h-e-double toothpicks, but we roamed around a bit before heading back up town.

have tomorrow off ( thank god) and hope to drink a bit of beer and make a bit of jewelry ( not at the same time, though).

cheers! and happy fourth,

amber

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

snippets of new pieces



just a few of the things i have been working on the last week or so.
most of these are destined for high gloss. some for etsy. some for the junk pile.
i just can't seem to find the time to really sit down and work like i want to lately.
i hate it when i have too many other things to do during the week that i can't sit down and bead. i get angry.
lately, i have been trying to stay calm about all the extracurricular activities that have been coming up. i have been promising myself that i will do what i can, and can do no more. some days just don't allow bead work. it's as simple as that. but, on the other sided, if i am ever going to grow this business, i have to work harder and longer. oh, to have more time to myself to do what i want to do!