Tuesday, December 29, 2009

newness and lights

this limbo between christmas and new year's has never been one of my favorite times, but this year so much has been going on that i really haven't had a chance to get good and sentimental about the ending of another year. ( that could change if i open a bottle of wine right now...  )

 i really don't put that much importance on calendar years, but this next one marks a milestone for me that, believe it or not, i am looking forward to ... hello 40! and a new tattoo.

after a trying 2009 -
seeing a counseller once a week because of how much i hated my job and the anger and resentment i felt at constantly getting stepped on and bullied; getting  laid off from said job (and having that news dumped in my lap on the eve of my vacation) and then called back in --- then finally growing some much needed balls and quitting - oh, yeah, that was actually a good thing; oh, and how could i forget - dislocating my own damn wrist which put me out of the jewelry making business for the last half of the year. all of these things conspired to give me, in hindsight, the opportunity to explore who i am and what i want. and in an actual productive, make it happen kind of way.

i have a real studio now - although at the moment it is 40 degrees and stacked to the ceiling will the fella's books. after the holidays we'll get it sorted out, i suppose. the cats love to play hide and seek in there, much to my chagrin.

i have had the opportunity to sell my jewelry ( thank god for that unemployed stretch in the summer when i was actually making things) at the fantastic store where i now work. oh, and i get to hang out with niki and myrtle.

 i have re-discovered my love of paper crafts ( which i have also been selling ) and painting and have been amassing quite a little collection of rubber stamps and paper goodies which i hope to explore in the coming year. and glitter. beautiful shiny glitter!

and finally, i honestly feel happy. i mean real, honest to goodness, doity doity doity through life happy. and i feel pretty good about where i am with my art - what i am doing with it - and what i want from it and where i want it to take me. i think i will just let it do the talking from now on anyway....it knows what it wants better than i do anyway.
 i am no longer  pressuring myself to SELL SELL SELL and to make things I DO NOT WANT TO MAKE JUST BECAUSE THEY SELL. done, finito.

i am making art for ME. hello. what a novel concept.

i have so many people to thank for inspiring me and keeping my head above water this year. for reminding me to be me and that is why they love me. even if i am a square.

that is truly the greatest gift a girl could get!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

just me rambling a little

wow! i can't believe it was october the last time i posted anything.
the last part of this year has just flown by!

there has been so much going on, that i can't even begin to catch up, so i'm not going to even try...

but, i can tell you there are some changes ahead for my work and for this blog. i see both going in a completely different direction next year.

i hope you will come along....

Thursday, October 15, 2009

beads-perles interview with yours truly

a few days ago i was contacted through flickr to do an interview for a lovely blog dedicated to beading called beads-perles.
click on the title to go to the interview. i usually ramble a bit, but tried to keep things concise this time.
and, yes that's me in my lovely cree mccree hat during mardi gras last year.
i totally needed to have on some make up.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

updates and decisions

well, i guess i've been away for a while.

this wrist thing really took a WHOLE lot longer than i could ever have imagined.
it's just been this week that i can type without pain.

so, cheers!!! here i am!!! whoo hoo!!!

and now for an update... it appears that i not only pulled a tendon in my wrist but i also very probably dislocated it. how? i have no idea. but i can tell you it hurt like hell the day i popped it back in.

so, i've been in a splint off and on for over a month. i have been pushing myself to heal and pushing myself to bead, and neither one has been happening. i have a doctor's appointment on monday and i hope the "prognosis" is good. i feel pretty good. better than i have in over a month.

and i've been doing a little beading.

unfortunately, i had to make the call i had been dreading today - to high gloss in houston and tell them that this season was a no-go for me. after several days of long thought, inner turmoil, and a very long distance talk with the mr. ( who is in germany on business) i decided that i just can't make the amount of work needed to fill two venues this season. so i chose to fill the venue that i actually work at, and tell high gloss that i would like to sit this season out.

it was hard to do.

but i did it.

quality over quantity.

i have also been struggling with the fact that all the funky, bold, 80's inspired pieces i worked sooooooooo hard on this summer ( and thought were my best, most innovative work to date ), are just not speaking to the masses. so, i've had to take a few steps back - or to the side - and look at my work, what i want it to say, and what my customers want. so, after mucho guidance from friends and peers i am going back to doing the flat, square stitch pendants as well as utilizing my color palette a bit more. i am also going to change up my bead embroidery to make it more shiny, more color rich, and more wearable.

i got it in my head that i needed to pick a color palette and stick to it. not deviate. ever. and i think i beaded myself into a corner.

a friend of mine told me ever so constructively yesterday that not only do i need to start thinking outside the box, but i need to chuck the box out altogether.

well said.

so, i have some new cabs coming next week, and in the meantime i am going to pull out all those colors i stopped using last year, and re think them as well as my pendant patterns.

truth is, i got it in my head ( see a pattern here? ) that no one appreciated my work and it didn't sell well because it was flat. so many of the beaders i know are working three dimensionally that i thought it made me less of an artist that i work flat. yeah, i know. i'm my own worse enemy.

so, hopefully i will be able to start freeing myself up a bit, bead wise. experiment more with color. start improvising a bit more. and even go back and look at what i was doing 10 years ago. those are the pieces that get the biggest response when i wear them, even to this day.

so,here's to throwing out the box, throwing caution to the wind, and to getting back on the horse.

and healing.

and beading.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

what i've been up to while my wrist heals....

vintage style gift tags.
tea stained, hand stamped, with german silver glitter.

i was amazed to find out how important it is for me to create something...anything. the minute i knew i couldn't make jewelry - i started looking for a new way to creatively amuse myself. and ladies and gentlemen we have... rubber stamping! ha!

i knew i would be out of commission for a week or so, but i had no idea it would be this long. with the exception of lengthening a bracelet a customer purchased from me and the failed attempt (see back in splint) on monday to make stuff for high gloss, i haven't touched a bead in over a month.

in all honesty i am seriously considering laying down on the floor and crying. i feel like my wrist is NEVER going to get better. and i am going to miss the holiday sales i so badly need.

but, i now have a new hobby to keep me occupied in some respect, i guess.

fingers crossed i will be back at the bench in a few weeks.

until then, i hope all my friends are enjoying the paper products i keep dumping on their doorsteps!!! :)

there's more to come, ladies....i gotta do something with all this stuff i've made. heh heh heh....

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

a few long overdue pictures

my wrist is finally out of the splint and feeling stronger by the day.
since i haven't been able to bead i have been working on some other creative interests, and i finally took a few shots of the new pendants that are at GoGo now. they pics were pretty much on the fly, but i think they turned out ok.
i will post more in the coming week.
off to other pursuits tonight...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

changes and sharing

many of you may - or may not - know that i hold down a day job. i wish i could make a living with my jewelry, but that has not happened yet. so i punch a time clock. whether i want to or not.

it's something i don't really like to talk about here, because i feel that is not something that defines me. i feel that my art defines, inspires, and motivates me.
so that is what i normally like to talk about. selfish? maybe. cathartic. definitely.

well, today is a big day for me. it's the last day at my current job.

some of you also know what this job is and where. for those of you who do not, i am afraid i am not going to elaborate. i feel that would be a little tacky. but, i am going to tell you that this decision was a long time in the making. in fact, it was a decision i never thought i would or could make - out of fear. but in the great words of the jedi master, yoda : fear leads to hate. hate leads to suffering.

i got tired of suffering.

so, after many months of deliberation, i decided a few weeks back that it was time for me to move on.

and i have.

i cannot tell you what a relief it is to be moving forward with my life. to not feel trapped or stuck on this hamster wheel any longer. to feel that i am making changes that will help me to move in the direction i want to go. i guess you never really know what the future will bring. but you have to just move some times. make a change. put the wheels in motion. shake things up a bit!

i have always been the kind of person to grab life by the horns and just let it take me where it wants to. until the last few years. over the last few years, i have become very very afraid. of living.

i can tell you exactly where these feelings of fear stem from. and i will:

from may of 2004 to august 2005 i had my car stolen, my insurance rates increased over $400 a year because my car was stolen, my house was robbed, i lost my job, and i went through hurricane katrina. having evacuated with friends, i stayed on the road, with friends, and family for about 6 weeks before i could return home. although my apartment was untouched and i was physically fine, i hadn't realized until recently what an affect these incidents had on my frame of mind. i was actually shocked to come to the realization that i was still dealing with all of these things and that they were making me afraid to move. to do anything. i have been paralyzed with fear. i have not embraced change of any kind.

it's taken me a while to feel safe again. but i am finally starting to feel that way. slowly but surely. it's still a work in progress.

we just moved into a great new apartment and now i am starting a new job. a job i have long hoped would come my way. i cannot tell you how happy i am. and how good i feel. excited. a little less afraid.

so, i just had to share this tidbit of information with you all.

i am sure you will hear all about my new job in the new future. i won't be able to keep this one to myself.

wish me luck!

and thanks for listening.

Monday, August 10, 2009

more new beaded pendants

i've been working on some new bead embroidery pendants over the weekend.
last week was taken up with groceries, house keeping, etc. not a lot of time spent in the studio. the weekend was very busy too, but i got a few hours in, and i have to say, i'm pretty happy with the result.
personally, i think that zebra striped pendant is the bomb!!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

sunday around the city

yesterday we made our own little home tour around the city.
we started in the lower 9th at brad pitt's make it right houses and worked our way up to the garden district.
here are some high lights:

Saturday, August 1, 2009

fear and wisdom

fear is the main source of superstition and one of the main sources of cruelty.
to conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom
----- bertrand russell

Thursday, July 23, 2009

lesson learned

well, yesterday was productive until about 5pm, when i completely and unutterably effed up the pendant (above) that i had been working on for a week. it is unrepairable. completely unrepairable. all i can hope for is to be able to cut out the cabs and re-use them on another pendant.

so, lesson learned.

first of all - don't try to be too aggressive when just starting a new technique. i thought i had enough experience and had been getting better with my embroidery techniques that i could go for a bigger project. aiiighh. that's the sound of a game show buzzer signalling you are not only wrong, but completely out of time and luck.

second - use a pen - not a pencil - to trace your outline onto whatever it is that you are beading on. that way you can actually SEE where you need to end. in a nutshell - your circle won't come out wonky. hopefully.

so, i cried yesterday evening.

i felt like a failure. i felt like i had wasted this entire month learning a new technique rather than churning out the earrings, bracelets, and pendants that needed to be made. joseph had to talk me out of spiralling into a fit of anger and depression. i got the edison talk. i get this a lot. this time it worked. it usually just makes me mad. and i let him take me for cannoli's. that definitely helped.

i guess if i look at it realistically, after a great deal of trial and error, i HAVE taught myself a new technique and for the most part, i am very proud of the pieces i have completed.

maybe this month wasn't such a waste after all....

but today i am making earrings, bracelets, and pendants. sometimes you just have to got your happy place!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

waiting on the glue to dry

i've been at the work table for about 5 hours now - pushing myself to finish 3 more pendants for the show on saturday. truthfully, i have more than enough product to take with me - but the new pieces are important to me and i wanted to have a nice showing of them.

i think i might be obsessed with bead embroidery. i'm not sure. but i think i am.

so i thought i would pop in here while i am waiting on the glue to dry and share with you THE MOST BEAUTIFUL print that i received in the mail this week:

vanessa over at A FANCIFUL TWIST painted this beautiful portrait of frida kahlo a while back and i just fell in love with it. i had the rare (for me) opportunity to see frida's work in person last august while in san francisco and as she is my favorite painter, i knew i had to have a print once vanessa put them in her shop.

you can read all about the painting and the process here.

i have been collecting prints for about a year now - all with interesting words or sayings on them - to make a collage out of over our bed, and now frida will be added to that wall.

actually and honestly - nothing is framed yet - but i am hoping to start this weekend and get some art hung before i am too old to enjoy it! i can see the wall over our bed from my work bench, so i think that is the best place for my lovely collection. you can never have enough inspiration or words of encouragement!

so, that's what's going on here today. guess i will go and see if my glue is dry.

pics tomorrow if the sun shines.

Monday, July 20, 2009

3 finished pendants

i finally got on a roll this weekend and just this morning finished two of the three pendants pictured here.
i am very happy with each of them. in fact, i am not sure i want to even sell them!
well, back to the studio... vintage sequin pieces to be made this afternoon...

Friday, July 17, 2009

isoism jajo expo - july 25th, new orleans

i have been getting ready to this show next weekend.
( click on the title of this post to take you to the page on facebook with all the info!)

it's the first annual jajo expo and of course, my first time as a vendor.
there are going to be a lot of very talented new orleans artists showing.
i am very excited to be exhibiting with such a great group.

i will be "debuting" my embroidery and mixed media pendants - ok, i only have one mixed media pendant ready to finish, but i still have a week so you never know...

so, if you live in the nola area, come by, say hi, and brink me a drink. j has to work, so i'll be going it alone at this one!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

working in the dark

it's been raining here most of the day.
the lights went out for about 2 hours.
as soon as they came back on, i tried to photograph the finished pendants.
i will take some more pics tomorrow if it's sunny as i am not happy with these, but here ya are anyway:

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

catching my breath and hitting my stride

this last week has been a whirlwind of studio activity and more unpacking.
i've had to deal with a lot of unpleasant daily duties out in the "real world" that i had to smile and endure in order to make the most out of my studio time.

we had a little wine tasting party last night - i know - on a tuesday! and several of our close friends were able to come over. needless to say, i'm dragging a bit this morning!

i bought some fresh spray roses that made me soooo happy. i never buy fresh flowers so it was a real treat. evidently, patches thought they were a treat too:

i've been working on some new bracelet designs for fall, took some of my vintage glass pieces to a great used bookstore that also carries jewelry and stuff on consignment, and got the bails in for the embroidery pendants which i will finish and photograph, hopefully today.

my dear friend, niki has encouraged me to move in a different direction with my work - a direction i am giving some serious consideration to. it would take my work in an amazing direction and be soooooo totally different from what i've been doing. experiments will start soon, i am sure.

and a humongous thank you to everyone for the positive response to my gouache pieces! it's so amazing to have positive feedback on something i am just starting to experiment with. and a special thank you to kim creagan who is an amazing artist i discovered on etsy one day while poking around the forums. your encouragement really means a lot

here's another one i have been playing around with. the pattern is actually a combination of two patterns from two different pieces of vintage fabric:

and with that i will leave you with two of my favorite pics from this week:

aren't they just the cutest kitties ever?! yeah, i think so too!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

close up and personal

close up of the two pendants i worked on yesterday.
i need to order my bails and finish them off.
they should be ready some time early next week.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

tuesday's experiments

gouache, pen, ink, colored pencil on water color paper.
learning how to make the paint flow like i want and still give me the color i desire.
using the liquid frisket is a challenge. dug out my colored pencils and was happy with the melding of the two media.
still have lots to learn, but painting makes me happy.

mixed media pendant. the beginning. still don't know if i like it or not. we'll see.

ps. jess gonacha over at pecannoot - one of my favorite blogs and the place i go to get my daily dose of abundance - did a little feature today on new orleans artist art by mags
check it out if you have a chance.

Friday, July 3, 2009

sometimes you just gotta throw caution the wind...

playing with a few ideas i have had rolling around in my head these last few months....
mixed media pendant of vintage glass cabochon, vintage and contemporary sequins, and seed beads on ultra suede.
looks nothing like the sketch i started with this morning.
after several false starts, i decided to just let the piece talk to me.
turned out it wanted to be sequin-y.
who knew?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

i'm back!

well, we're all moved in to our new abode.
it has definitely not been the most pleasant of experiences.
but, the fun part is ahead - decorating!! yay!

of course, the first thing i unpacked was my studio.
a girl has to have her priorities straight, right?
it's still a work in progress. i don't have many pics yet.
it's just a jumbled mess at this point.

but here are a few just for the fun of it:

keep those tools handy

this is our room, too right?

delicas and round seed beads by color

vintage and contemporary cabs for pendants and wall hangings

Sunday, June 21, 2009

copy right theft is wrong, damnit. stop bloody doing it!!! now!!!!!

yet another copyright violation of a talented, original artists work.

please check out her post and comment. show your support.

i have had my own designs "altered" over the years and have been too scared, lazy, etc to do anything about it.

but we all have to stand up for our original designs.

thanks for sharing this post, carol dean. i know you've had more than your fair share of copyright theft.

original artists unite!!!!

Bead-Mused: Bitchy, Vindictive Me Who Does Not Want To Play Nice

Saturday, June 13, 2009

home again home again

well, we are back from our little vay-cay to see the parental units and go to j's 20th high school reunion. fun! i know it wasn't' MY reunion, but i had a helluva good time! met some really nice folks and did some shopping at anthropologie. *love*

i can't believe how much barbeque and fried food i ate. i had trouble buttoning my new pants this morning. but, just let me be honest... i would walk across hot coals for fried dill pickles. yes ma'am. hello!!

this morning was the first decent cup of coffee i have had since leaving b'ham.
my folks think maxwell house is good to the last drop. yuuuccchhhh. and i'm not sure they've even heard of half and half. but the biscuits were good!

now we really have to buckle down and pack for the move.

this lovely view from my work bench is no more. i have already packed up all of my inspiration wall. so sad. i have nothing pretty to look at anymore. just boxes.

but, i don't want to pack up my supplies just yet as i am ITCHING to work on SOMETHING - ANYTHING!!!!

i wasn't able to bead while i was home - my parents are smokers and i just can't have that smell lingering on my bead work or anything else, for that matter - but i started a small crewel piece while in b'ham that i have been wanting to work on. i am still in the practice stage although i have moved on to linen twill. i will post pics as i get more done.

i also bought a book on bead weaving - which i never do! ha!

i am not sure that the techniques here lend themselves to my style, but i really want to try and learn something new - and hopefully be able to apply it to my own aesthetic.

i am really chomping at the bit to get started, but unfortunately lots of packing to do and a few social engagements to attend this weekend.

perhaps on monday i can take a break and MAKE SOMETHING!!!!