Wednesday, December 19, 2012

happy holidays!!!

as 2012 draws to a close, i am taking some time off to spend with my family, pets, and friends.
i already have ooodles of ideas swimming in my head for what i want to do in 2013.
i want to wish a happy holiday to everyone who has stopped by here, followed me over from Yellow Flower, and who have offered words of support and encouragement this year.
you all mean the world to me and i'm glad that we've gotten to know each other a little bit!!

so, today i will share with you two collages i made featuring some of my favorite pieces from this year....


i've truly enjoyed this journey into sculpting and i hope that i am only getting better.


and i have also enjoyed getting back in to doing my beaded embroidery pendants.
it's nice to just zone out every once in a while and let the needle to do all the work.

i hope you all have a safe and wondrous holiday season!!!
and i hope to see you next year with loads of more creative journeying....

♥amber♥

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

busy beading baubles....

oh, it's that time of year. 
getting ready for the holidays...it always sneaks up on me!! i never get as much done as i plan to.
but, i'm trying!!!

i've put the sculpting on hold for the last week so that i can get some jewelry made:



i've just been sewing up a little storm!!
i have to admit, when i just want to zone out and not really have to think about anything, bead embroidery is the perfect thing!! haha!! i've just been sewing and sewing and living off in lala land!! 

i just finished these earrings:


the are about 10mm i suppose. very tiny. 

and this pendant:


which turned out to be waaaay too heavy for that leather cord. but it was a fun experiment anyway....

and here these are being worked on as we speak:


i may have a hard time parting with the one on the right.

i will not be listing any of these in my shop this season, as there are just tooooo many of them, but if you are interested in a piece, i will be offering them on my facebook page.

and, if you are in new orleans, i have work at THE GREEN EYED GATOR on chartres street and at PLUM on magazine street (where i am also working a few days a week, so pop in and say hi!).

i will also be having (possibly) TWO trunk shows here in town. so, yes, i better get back to beading!! haha!!

i hope everyone has a wonderful holiday this week!!

until next time,

♥amber♥

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

glitter and flocking...


let's see.....there are a few new ladies hanging around the studio today...

meet "ellie and nellie"....


they enjoyed playing together so much, they decided to make it permanent.


they are for a holiday show,so i couldn't help but add a bit of german glass glitter to their party hats.


and the window into their souls shows flying circus banners and red balloons floating away into the clouds. all the makings of a fantastic day!!

this is an as yet untitled piece....


she is a bit simpler than some of the other pieces i've been doing, but i am quite fond of her.


her antlers are my favorite part. they are painted black with a champagne metallic paint overlay. 

this piece is entitled "self portrait with bunny ears"....


she is also for an upcoming holiday show.


her ears are flocked white and her buttons have a bit of clear german glass glitter on them.
at this time of year, it's kind of hard for me to not glitter anything that will stand still!!

and an update on the Magic Sculpt i ordered...i tried it out last night and let's just call it as the disaster it was!! i have no idea how anyone works with that stuff (not to mention it's expensive as hell!!)
it normally takes me about 20 minutes to sculpt one of my doll heads. it took me 20 minutes just to get the Magic Sculpt to look like the guy from SAW
disaster!!!
so, i'll take the longer drying time and having to fill in cracks over that any day, thank you very much!! 

and that's all that's going on over here right now. 
just trying to get some pieces ready for the holidays and juggle the two part time jobs i've had to pick up to supplement ye olde income....

have a great week!!!
until next time,

♥amber♥

Monday, November 5, 2012

getting dollies and baubles ready for the holly-daze....


as you all know, i've been busy as a little bee the last month. trying to catch up and restock all the wonderful shoppes and galleries that carry my work.

i've really been enjoying working on these little wall hanging dolls...




***the 4 dolls above are available at The Green Eyed Gator here in New Orleans***

this is pretty much the direction my work is going in these days...but, i have had to find a better sculpting medium than the paper clay. it just will not dry over these hand built armatures AND it is cracking like it's nobody's business!! i normally don't have to fill in many cracks on the shelf sitters, but these guys...they have been driving me crazy!! i feel like i've spend the last 2 weeks waiting for stuff to dry and filling in cracks and filling in more cracks. on the recommendation of cassandra at doubleparlour, i am trying magic sculpt. it is a fast drying, very hard resin and i am looking forward to giving it a test run this week. i will still use paper clay for my shelf sitters and ornaments, but for these wall pieces, i need something that dries faster with no cracking....so wish me luck!!

i've also been getting some jewelry together for the 2 shoppes here in new orleans that carry my jewelry designs....






these are all vintage glass cabochons which i have encased in bead embroidery.
i don't make much jewelry any more...sculpting is my primary passion these days, but every once in a while, it's fun to just sit at my bench and zone out sewing and wrapping beads.
i will also have some pieces available through my facebook fan page and if you live in new orleans, i am going to have trunk show sometime between thanksgiving and christmas.

well, i guess that's all i have to share with you this morning.
i just wish i could turn out more work faster.  i feel like i never get enough done...

i hope everyone is having a great start to their week!!

until next time,

♥amber♥

Friday, November 2, 2012

where has the magic gone?....

i always get a little down after halloween (and mardi gras).
it feels like all the magic has gone out of the world...
i suppose it hasn't, as A.) i live in new orleans where every day is kind of like halloween and mardi gras, and B.) we make our own magic (or so i'm told)

this year was fairly low-key for us. i just couldn't get in to halloween until the last minute. but we rallied and made it to the quarter to meet up with some friends for a few hours.
i didn't get many pictures, as i was too busy just being....

no, that is not a brain burger....

yes, this is me, in all my glory! haha!

the only "decent" picture of the thriller flash mob at jackson square.

i kind of spaced out later in the evening, as i am finding i am having trouble hearing in crowded situations. something about the pitch of people's voices. 
but, i guess i'll get used to it and figure out how to deal better with it.

all in all, i think we had a nice halloween.

i'm not a big christmas fan, to be quite honest with you, but inspiration has come this year...
so i might as well run with it...


i hope everyone has a great weekend,

until next time,

♥amber♥

Friday, October 26, 2012

a little circus party....

it's friday! 
time to par-tay!!

leopard skinned girl, hoochie coochie girl, masked devil, and the lion tamer

this little new orleans party is heading out to nashville next week....

have a great weekend everybody!!

♥amber♥

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

a few new faces....

whew!
i've been working like a madwoman the last week or so....trying to catch up from being down so long after my surgery.
there are so many things in the works in my studio right now, that i can't keep up!
haha!

here's a little sneak peek at a few lovely young ladies who are whisking their way to a very special address in california....





more details will follow!!

i hope everyone is having a great week and are getting ready for halloween!!
boo!

until next time,

♥amber♥

Thursday, October 18, 2012

new tools, new dolls, new workspace (kinda)....

i have been all a flutter this week with the prospect of getting in some serious studio time !!
i bought new tools...



reorganized my work area....





and got a massive amount of sculpting done, of which this is just a smidgen...



and, as you can see from my "fancy ass pictures", playing around with editing them on picassa! ha!

i've been working at home now for over a week and I AM LOVING IT!!!!! i hope and intend to stay here!! i am proud to say that my work is now in 7 galleries....the 7th i've just added and my work will be in there on november 12th...i'll post the details closer to their opening day.

so, with the holidays coming up, i'm just trying to get a jump on things.

i'm basically just skipping halloween this year, and going directly to christmas. i love halloween, but with my ear still fairly tender and not really feeling motivated to get in a huge crowd, i am probably just going to sit it out this year. or take it very quietly and simply.

how about you? what are your plans for halloween? 
are you craftily getting ready for christmas?

it's still very hot here in new orleans, which is ok by me for now, since i am going to be washing my hair in the kitchen sink for a looooong time.... 

until next time,

♥amber♥

Sunday, October 14, 2012

look ma! hAnds....

things have been moving at the speed of light around here the last few days...
as opposed to the speed of smell they had been moving at...
i've finally gotten some energy, some inspiration, and the pain has subsided enough for me to get back to my daily activities. 
i've been working on dolls, dolls, dolls all week long!!

here are a few shots of some new work in progress pieces. 
i'm so excited about these, i cannot tell you!!!
these are for an upcoming show....

"all sewn up"

you can see the clay is still wet....

look ma! hAnds!! this was my first real attempt at making arms and hands. 
i think they turned out pretty well. it's weird seeing arms on my pieces, but something
i've been planning and wanting to do for a while. i think i'm addicted to making them now....

"self portrait with bunny ears"

i guess all my pieces from now on will have scars....my poor little ear still hurts.
i wonder if it will ever stop hurting?

so, that's what's going on here.
i guess i better get back to work! ha !

until next time,

♥amber♥

Monday, October 8, 2012

finally, a little studio time...

i finally felt like working a little in the studio yesterday....


painted this little gal. she still needs to be crackled and antiqued and what not.
felt good to work, even if just for a little while.
 i'm now obsessed with making these hanging pieces.
expect more in the near future.

tomorrow i get the stitches and packing out of my ear. wonder what my hearing will be like? i imagine everything will seem very loud at first.
will i be able to get a proper shower? i hope so!!
i'm a little nervous as i am still very tender from the surgery.
guess i will just have to trust my doctor.
but i could really use one of those stress ball thingies...haha!!
wish me luck!!

♥amber♥

Saturday, October 6, 2012

frida and me....

greetings everyone!
i've been told it is now october, but i haven't been able to enjoy it the way the rest of the world seems to be doing....so many postings about getting ready for halloween.



time seems to have just stopped at our house.

i am still recovering from my ear surgery - i had NO idea it was going to take this long!! i suppose i should have, being that my ear was removed,  i had bones drilled out, growths removed, and ear drums rebuilt, but you know, sometimes the optimist in me comes out. i was told by my surgeon that ear surgery was not that painful to recuperate from. liar.
 unfortunately, i got a rude awakening over the weekend that i was no where near healed enough to venture out in to public. and i haven't felt strong enough to be in the studio either. mainly, it's been me, the kitties, hArry pOtter, and HGTV. oh, and some SUPERNATURAL.( dean - yum.)
but, i am feeling perky enough today to do a bit of laundry (mainly because i'm running out of shirts that will fit easily over my ears) and i keep dreaming of maybe painting a few wall pieces i was working on before all this nonsense. but, i have a feeling that the couch and hArry will win out....

just before my surgery, i started a tumblr account. i may not be the best artist in the world, but i love what i do, have tried hard to develop an interesting style and subject matter, and i really enjoy sharing what i make with the world. i would LOVE LOVE LOVE to be able to make my art full time and make a nice living from it, but at the moment that is eluding me. and, you know, that is just the way it is at the moment. i could cry and bitch and whine and complain about it, but it wouldn't do me any good.  but, i still love making dolls - it gives me such joy, i don't think i could ever really describe it. there is such freedom in it.
 honestly, i don't think i have that great of an imagination and i also don't think that i think about my art enough. i spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about silly, stupid things (like dean, from SUPERNATURAL. hee hee.), but again, i enjoy making things very very much. and when i do get in to the studio .... that's basically when my imagination comes alive. i start sculpting and all sorts of ideas and possibilities come in to my little noggin. that's the fun part.

but, i digress...

back to the tumblr page...so, yeah, i put up some pics of my work there, thinking it might be a nice way to meet other creative people and get my work seen a little bit more.
well, what happened over the weekend before my surgery made me very very sad.

i posted a picture of my frida day of the dead doll (which now lives in her forever home in austrailia),


i made this piece because frida kahlo is one of my heroes and because i love the day of the dead tradtion. it was a piece i made for a show entitled MUSES. for me, it encompassed so much of frida's life and trials, as well as how much her work and words have meant to me over the last few years.

but, someone ( i will not post a link to their "blog" as they are hateful and racist, and i do not want to drive any more traffic there than i can help) "reblogged" it, saying that a "white girl" should not be making day of the dead dolls, that it looked like tim burton, that i describe my work as "ugly - cute" (which i have never done, although i am a member of ETSY UGLY CUTE, and proudly so!), and at the end of the "post" told me to "fuck off".
 needless to say, i reported the poster to tumblr for harassment, and tried to get through the weekend without letting it bother me, especially knowing what i had to deal with on monday morning.
it was hard to think i wasn't facing my own death.

well, my surgery is behind me, even though the recovery has been slow & painful, and i've been housebound and bored.  i've been thinking a bit about this post . AND i've been thinking a lot about frida kahlo.


you see, when i first discovered frida's work back in the mid '90's when i was living in tucson.... I HATED IT!!! i thought it was gross and disturbing and i didn't understand it AT ALL. i'm not sure when i actually started to appreciate it...i think it must have been upon my move to new orleans, but i couldn't tell you when or how. but, i did. i became a HUGE fan of her work.  i've been slowly reading her biography for a while now, and i've seen selma hayek's FRIDA more times than i count. and when the mister and i were in san fracisco in 2008, i had the rare opportunity to attend a museum exhibition of her work. we got up at 6am to get tickets for it, and i ventured down to the museum alone. i got in line for my time slot and when i walked in to the room with her work for the first time, i cried. i had never seen anything so beautiful!! i couldn't believe i was there. i could reach out and touch canvas that she had touched.
it is one of the best experiences i have ever had, art wise. and i will never forget it.

one of the other reasons i am drawn to frida kahlo, her life, and her work, is the fact that she painted these breathtaking works of art and led a full, rich, exuberant life while struggling with intense  physical (and emotional) pain. i don't think the pain that i deal with on a daily basis could be considered "chronic" although at times it feels that way. some days i think " i wonder what it would be like to not hurt"...but i have friends who are suffering through far worse than my daily aches and pains and nonsense. creative, beautiful women, just like frida, who have so much beauty to give to the world. and they, like frida, keep working through the pain and bringing wonderful pieces of art in to it.
these are my heroes.

but, now, after going through this ear surgery, and having to do most of my recovery without any pain medication ( i had an allergic reaction to it), i think i may have even more love and respect for frida than i did before. she has been on my mind constantly since i got home from the hospital. every day when i think i'm not going to make it; will it ever stop hurting? will i ever be normal again? i think of frida and what she struggled with throughout most of her short life.


also, i have a huge respect for the dia de los muertos tradition and culture. again, it was something i discovered while living in tucson.
 i lost my own mother when i was 8 years old. i lost my grandmother, whom i was very close to, when i was 19 -- my brother and i being her only living relatives, we were left with the decision to sign the DNR. there's not a day that goes by that i don't think about that. or miss them greatly.
 last year i wanted to honor them with this muerto:


i didn't realize "white girls" couldn't feel loss or honor a tradition just because it is not part of the culture they grew up with.

which brings me back to the person who posted such derogatory remarks about my doll...and how i see over and over and over again on the internet what a callous, cold, and hateful society we seem to be living in. where people jump to conclusions, make judgments, and attack those who aren't like them (or they think aren't "cool"). i have been so lucky to meet the many wonderful, creative, kind, generous people i have met online. i finally feel that i have a little bit of a creative community that i am a part of....where we support and nurture each other's dreams and work. it makes me very thankful that i do live in this age, despite all the negativity and hatefulness i see so often around me. i have had opportunities i never would have had if i was not living it the computer age. we don't have to be hateful. we can be compassionate, kind, loving, and supportive. before you judge someone, maybe get to know them a bit. try to have some empathy.
but i guess haters are gonna hate. it's just that simple.

but, i don't have to hate. i am not even going to hate this horrible, sad person who is so miserable in their own life that they have to lash out at others as a way to make themselves feel better. i will pity them. and hope that eventually they find peace and happiness and love. i hope they can struggle through their own pain and come out better on the other side.

i am having a really hard time recovering from this surgery. one day i will feel great, and the next it's like someone drained me of all energy and hope.
i keep trying to take it easy, but i am so ready to get back to my normal life. so tired of hurting. and itching. and feeling week and sad.
i just want my life back. i want to go to my studio - not the sofa - when i get up. i want to sleep well and not wake up in pain. i want to smile again. and not be afraid.
i know that i will one day. hopefully soon.

i think frida said it best when she said

" i think that little by little i'll be able to solve my problems and survive"....

♥amber♥