Thursday, July 29, 2010

a little anxiety and some kitten pics...

so, here i am, dragging arse this morning. i think i am (trying) to fight off the bug that mr. b has had this week. it is very very importante that i do so, as we are leaving on sunday for a week long vacation in new york city.
i do not want to be sick.
at all.

some of you may know this about me and some of you may not... but i am terribly terribly terribly afraid to fly. i do it, occasionally - because i love to travel and visit new places - but getting on a plane usually takes a great deal of intestinal fortitude and prescription drugs.

i do not like to take prescription drugs. every time i go to the doctor and they ask me what prescriptions i am taking and i respond with "none" they always look at me as if i have grown a third eye.

but, desperate times call for desperate measures...and i have a lovely little bottle of xanex with my name on it ready for sunday.
i took adivan (spelling?) the last two times we flew somewhere and all it did for me was make me throw up. for hours after we landed i was still sick to my stomach. hope the xanex is better.
it would also be nice if it actually CALMED ME DOWN seeing as the adivan did not do that either...

there is one other thing i dislike about travelling though... i hate leaving mah kittehs in the care of others. i always miss them desperately whenever we are away and i worry about them even though we always manage to secure a friend to look in on them.

i am already starting to feel the anxiety of leaving and it's only thursday, so i thought if i talked about it some here, it might help....

and i thought i would share some pictures of patches and cash, each taken around the time we brought them home to live with us:

patches was 10 weeks old when we got here. she was so tiny!!! but a rascal even then!


cash was just a little over 6 months old when he came to live with us. he had lived in a cage at the purr pad for most of his life. i have no idea how he became the sweetie that he is. mr. b and i joke all the time that patches could have used some more time in a cage to help her personality! ha ha!

anyway... that's my story this morning. starting to feel the jitters and trying to fight off this cold.

i guess i better get up and at em...lots to do today...

have a good one!

amber

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

tinkering on a tuesday afternoon...

where has today gone...?
it has flown by sooooo fast.
i just finished up two pieces i sculpted over the weekend:

meet madame belda of the cirque du orleans.
she is the most famously beautiful bearded lady to ever grace the carnival circuit.

and oh, devil may care...
i wonder what mischief she's brewing up?

and here's a big ole group of pixie sticks which i am still working on.
i am not sure these are going to make it into the production line.
but, i am probably just angry because i twinged my wrist trying to get one of the dowels into mademoiselle marie over there...
i will think on it over night and make a decision tomorrow.

patches is sitting here beside me and she wanted me to tell everyone hello!
she's such a sweet girl..

always keeps mama company while she works...

so, that's that on this lovely tuesday!

have a happy day!

amber

Sunday, July 25, 2010

movies and mania...

 i am starting to feel like i do nothing but work.
i live in my little studio --- and it's getting worse.
i feel guilty when i'm not in there working....

i realized this morning that i give it 7 days a week. taking a break to see a movie yesterday was a big deal. we have a newly renovated independent film theatre downtown where you can get a drinky-poo and order real food from the kitchen and have it brought out to your slide over table while you sit in some pretty comfy leather high back seats. it is muy expensive, but man!!! what a treat. the mr. and i went to see THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE, as steig larsson's books are some of our faves. we had a good time, and it was great to get out of the house...but i felt a little guilty that i wasn't working.

but, i suppose i won't get anywhere if i don't try, right?!?

anyhoo... here's few more things i've been working on this weekend:


tattoo lady bust
i really enjoyed working on this one. i see some things i could have done differently, and i will on the next one. it's all about practice.


dia de los muertos figure. tiny.
i love her flaming heart.


marie antoinette blocks.
for the queen in all of us!!!
i may not be able to part with these. wonder if the mr. would notice if they suddenly took up space on his book shelves...?



and last, but not least, some wand-toppers in the works. i still haven't come up with a name for these silly things. i want sooooo badly to call them pixie sticks, but i know i can't. my friend, laurie is helping me come up with something catchy, but it's taking us a while.

don't know how i feel about the mica on marie yet...will have to sleep on that one, i suppose.

so, that's my weekend update.

i hope everyone has had a great weekend and has a great week ahead!

cheers!!

amber


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

joie...

i made this little princess wand ( we haven't really come up with a name yet) for my friend, laurie.
she seemed very happy with it.
it was hard keeping it away from cash. he really really wanted to play with that crepe paper....

amber

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

bonjour...

this little cutie is fresh from the studio this afternoon.

i'm off to have a drink with the girls...

au revoir

amber


Sunday, July 18, 2010

always listen to your inner voice....

do y'all remember that green day song with the lyric that went something like : "sometimes i give myself the creeps" ??!??

yeah. that would be me.

you see, sometimes i completely ignore my inner voice. actually, i've been ignoring it a lot lately.
and i KNOW better. 
i do remember college and what happened when i didn't listen to my inner voice: bad roommate situation squared.

 i know better. follow your first instinct. listen to that inner voice.

but, you see, sometimes i let other people influence me instead of just following my own path. it's not often, but it does happen. i'm man enough to admit it. i let their words get in and i start to put waaaay too much pressure on myself to do things a certain way. and that makes me absolutely, stark raving angry and resentful.
at myself. and really, that's just not productive.

i'm being cryptic, aren't i? well, let me lay this out for you....

a few days ago i asked to bend your ear. i was putting a whole lot of pressure on myself to CREATE CREATE CREATE. but what i didn't tell you was that i was putting pressure on myself to make my little clay figures in a certain style...that really ( and i can be honest now ) wasn't my style and did not make me happy. they just didn't look like anything i would even want to buy. and i just wasn't happy working on them. the few that i have managed to finish, i have not been very happy with either. i know i appeared so, but truthfully, i wasn't.  i was lying to myself. i kept looking at them and thinking...it's just not me. but, i wouldn't stop trying. forcing. square peg, round hole.
i spent pretty much most of last week just screaming at myself in my head because nothing was coming out like i planned. but here's the kicker - i really wasn't planning. i didn't have a clue what i wanted to make, so i was winging it. i can admit that now. and i was forcing myself to try and make them all creepy, because so many of the artists' whose work i admire - well, their work could be categorized as a little on the creepy side. and that's great. i love looking at it. but, i'm not them.

so....i was sitting at the beading table during this little rant, and i was bored, so i started looking through old sketchbooks to find cuff designs (since i really do need to make some of those). and while i was looking through one of my sketchbooks from last year, i found these little sketches i had made of some pudgy faced girls - there was a little red riding hood, a queen bee, some anthropomorphic cuties. i was surprised they were in there. i had pretty much forgotten about them.

that night when i went to bed, i was still thinking about these sketches. i started thinking about all the things i could do with them, but then i kind of frowned inside and thought "yeah, but they're cute. and i don't do cute".
and then i sat straight up in the bed, scaring the bejeesus out of mr. b and the kittehs, and said out loud " WHY CAN'T I DO CUTE???"
 honestly, i like cute. in fact, i love cute. i love sweet little girly things. glitter. fairies. princesses. i love vintage french circus art, vintage halloween, vintage christmas. i like crepe paper and sweet expressions. pouty lips. anthropomorphic dolls.

I LIKE CUTE!!!!

there. i said it.
that's a load off, really.

so....i got up yesterday and... did nothing.
 i read all day. but i also thought a lot. took some time to really think about what i wanted from my little crafting adventures. i dug out the sketchbook i started this spring. it had been shoved under a pile of bills, if you can believe that. and i sat it beside the bed while i read and thought some more.
around 9pm last night, i picked it up.
and by midnight i had 4 pages of sketches for new - well, they're not really dolls - i guess busts would be a better word. (((i really love making busts. i can concentrate on the face, which is my favorite thing to draw)))
and they are all kinda cute.

so, this morning i got up bright eyed and bushy tailed and with only one cup of coffee in me i headed to the studio.

here are the first of my attempts at making the pieces I WANT TO MAKE:


i know they aren't much to look at right now - really just lumps of clay. 
 but, i am happier with them than with anything i have even attempted to make over the last 6 months.
i totally re-designed the look of them based on those sketches i found. i really enjoy making pudgy, rosey cheeked faces and those skinny necks i was using just weren't cutting it, so i thickened the neck up - which makes the piece more stable and gives my little pudgies a better proportion.
no more buggy doll eyes. all facial features will be painted on. that's the fun part, really.
i am seeing them as very vintage inspired. a little primitive. 
that's how i've seen them all along, really.  i just would not admit to myself that what i really wanted to make were pieces that were cute or sweet or girly.
listen to your inner voice, amber...
 it's ALWAYS right.

i hope that i can make this vision a reality.
and since it is MY vision--and not someone else's--that really shouldn't be a problem at all, now should it?....

thanks for listening to a freak like me and have a good one!!

amber




Wednesday, July 14, 2010

pendants, pendants, and more pendants....


i've been steadily tackling the big box o' pendants that i've been sewing since the beginning of june. i love sewing them, but i don't much care for finishing them...can you tell that i bore easily? 

 i am trying something new this year, as far as hardware is concerned. and i am trying to add a bit more oomph to the chain area for some of them.

here is the first one i finished:





i think it turned out pretty well. it was my first time doing a double catch on the sides for the chain. but, again, i was pretty pleased with the results.

over the next few weeks i have to really get beading if i am going to have the work i promised myself i would have by the first of august. it's hard though. sometimes i just don't feel the beading needle, if you get my drift.

cheers!

amber

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

could i bend your ear for a moment...?

yeah. i need to talk.
wanna grab a cup of coffee and just chat for a while?

where do i start?...

well, i just finished this little gal and i have to say, she has sort of become my studio guardian:


i love her mismatched horns, her "oh don't start with me" expression, and of course, her glittery dress. that's vintage silver glass glitter and i can't wait for it to tarnish and then her transformation will be complete!

i've also been working like a mad woman on those 40+ pendants i showed you earlier as well as making earrings ( gawd, i hate making earrings! you know why? there's 2 of them! ha ha! ) and i dug out half a dozen cuffs i had started last year before my wrist injury and i am working on finishing them. right now, inspiration is not forthcoming regarding the cuffs. i had this great vision of very free form textural pieces, but my experiments have flopped grandly. so, i am back to patterns, but the inspiration for those is not there either...so i am working on other things in the meantime.

but, like i said, i just need to chat for a few minutes.

i haven't been feeling like myself these last few weeks. i just don't feel happy or inspired. and i keep getting freaked out about the fact that i am not really working right now.
I KNOW!!! WTF!? RIGHT???!!!
i should be OVERJOYED to be in my little corner of heaven, sculpting faces, beading cabs... and i am. i really am. but i am scared shitless too - and that feeling is dominating all the other feelings and i am afraid that i am weaving fear and anger into my work instead of joy and whimsy.

so i told myself to STOP!!!

i mean, for chrissie's sake... i can only do SO MUCH! i push and i push and i push myself... but i can only make so many things in a day, week, month.

 none of these things have a home yet. so, of course, no money is coming in.

the shop i work at here in new orleans has been closed all summer as the owner relocates to a new location on magazine street. the renovations are taking waaaay longer than anyone could have imagined ( and i wanted to go down to part time anyway ) so i have no local outlet for my jewelry. in september i will have work in high gloss in houston once again. but, right now september feels very far away.

but i also keep stressing myself out that i won't have enough work. and then if i go back to full time from october - december - how am i gonna have time to make stuff!!!
AAIIIIGHHH!!!

deep breaths.

i look around me - on the internet mainly - and see a great many crafters who have their work in many galleries, who know EVERYONE in the crafting world, who teach, who are published, who go to workshops and conventions. i dont' do any of this stuff.... i feel like i am treading water. how do i get started doing shows? how do i find galleries that might be right for my work? do i want to teach? do i want to submit work for publishing? etc etc etc.
i just feel lost right now.

i keep telling myself that i have to start slowly. i am basically starting over after being out of commission most of last year. but, you know, it's just not going in. thick brained, me!

wash. rinse. repeat.

that's all i can do: keep reminding myself that i can only do so much. enjoy what i am doing. and make little baby steps to get where i want to be. i assume i will figure out how to do that. i'm not what you'd call stupid. but i am emotional and that holds me back quite often.

so, i just wanted to say that out loud. you know... bend your ear. just bounce some stuff off the universe.

i feel better already.

and i should get to work...

today i am going to work on several dolls i have going as well as make some more earrings. the mister will be out of the house this evening which means i can work later, so that's good. i usually quit when he comes home so we can eat dinner and chill out a bit.

i hope that everyone is having a good week so far, and i hope to have full fledged pics of new stuff up by week's end.

thanks for listening!

cheers!

amber

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

my first (nearly) finished doll...

while i wait on the paint to dry on a new devil doll i'm working on, i thought i would share with you my first really - honest - to - goodness - finished - doll!....


hoo ray! whoo hoo! yippie!

well, honestly, they still need their skirts and base (which is gessoed, and also drying and will be painted tomorrow morning)... but, this one has hair and jewelry, so i think that's an accomplishment, considering all the half assed in progress experiments i have laying around here.

they do not have names yet, either, but i'm close. i am lucky i had a small army of great aunts with funky names when i was growing up.

i have to get back to work (massive amount of beadwork to take care of as well as one more coat of paint), but,in the meantime...here are a few photos to show my process along the way:


sometimes, happy accidents occur. i didn't plan on having the gold eyes be so full of surprise or dim wittedness, but once the green ones were in and seemingly skeptical, their personalities started to take shape

i cannot tell you how many times i've gotten paint on these eyeballs. finally figured out to tape them up. much easier

i love purple eyeshadow! don't you!? i had to paint over it twice to get it the way i wanted, and this wasn't it

getting dressed

back tattoo... one day i'll have one too...

it took me an hour to make that hair, but i was very happy with it. for some reason, i kept channelling helena bonham carter...

love my crackle medium... and how bout that bling!?!

so, there are the sisters, from start to (near)finish.

thanks for taking a look and i'll be back soon with loads of bauble to share with you...

cheers!

amber