Thursday, June 25, 2009

It Feels Good

When I finish a project, I want to jump and click my heels together like the Lucky Stars leprechaun in the cereal commercial. Finishing a huge one this last Tuesday was just that exhilarating.
I admit it, I have the crazy ability to finish one project, only to jump into another. Then, shake my head and ask myself....why did I do that? I really do know the answer.
For many years, I sat outside, what seemed like the Great Wall of China, trying to find that artistic whisper that seemed to be calling out to me. It was always just beyond my reach.
The blogging world has answered that whisper, and continues to open up the most wonderful opportunities for me. Now, it is like a flood that just keeps coming. And, I find myself saying, "Come on, dive in, you can take it.....the water is great!"
This Friday I will be traveling to Austin to take a Magnetic Personality Doll class with the inspirational, Stephanie Rubiano on Saturday. I will be with two other very talented artists, Deryn Mentock and Sally Turlington. I really am beside myself, but am trying to act like an old pro. Don't laugh. Reality is~I am not. I have had much more jewelry experience than mixed media art. Doesn't matter, really. The chance to experience these three will be worth it and more. Yes, I will share pictures upon my return.
But, before I leave, I must tell you about the new Visual Poetry Online Workshop my friend Susan Tuttle is beginning. Sign up starts August 1st. Her digital art skills have intruged me for some time, so when she announced her newest online venture, I decided I would do it. Photography is my second passion. So hop on over and check it out. It may be just what you were searching for. The answer to that whisper that's been calling out to you. The wall that needs to be scaled. You never know until you try. And, just like my friend, Colette Copeland recently said, "We never know our strengths until we up and do something!" I couldn't have said it better.

Friday, June 19, 2009

the beginning

Is tomorrow the first day of the rest of my (teaching) life?
This is a question I have asked myself a couple of times this week, while preparing for my very first class. It is small (and private), but it is still teaching. I am prepared, but still have questions. Am I really ready to begin?
Yesterday I showed my husband, who by the way is an excellent teacher, the flyer I had prepared for the class. He read it patiently, and expressed that he liked it. Ah, thank you! Then looked at me, and said, "You must be patient". What? Me? Yes, I know. I am that kind. Not with friends, and this is one coming over to learn tomorrow. Then he looked at me, with very kind eyes, and said, "I have known you for over 30 years". Yes, he has. And, yes, I will be. Thank you for reminding me.
On my bus ride into town, the one I take every morning, which by the way is a very comfortable Park & Ride bus, I thought back on the teachers I loved and respected in school. They were strict, but fair. They demanded alot from me, as well as ALL the students in their class. This worked for me.
But this is not school. I am not even thinking about teaching that way. I am thinking about the teachers I have enjoyed at different art retreats.
I have a short list.
The very first teacher, at the very first Art & Soul I attended, was Albie Smith. VERY organized, knew her stuff, gave handouts; AND I walked away with a finished project that day! She pushed us. Gently, but firmly. That is what I like. I LOVED that class. Albie is GREAT!
Susan Lenart Kazmer was another one I dearly love. I will attend her classes until forever if possible. She is quite the instructor. She shares from down deep within, and makes everyone feel as if their project is the best. Her jewelry design skills are remarkable, innovative and beautiful. She is EXCELLENT!
Then, most recent, was my adventure with Stephanie Lee. Oh, I cannot tell you what that weekend with her did for me. I simply must say, it was the BEST. She is a divine teacher. She is patient. And, her knowledge runs out like water. She teaches from her heart.
That is what I want to do when I grow up.
Teach from the heart.
Love from the heart.
Live from the heart.
Give from the heart.
So.....wish me the best. I am taking the step, be it small. With help from my Lord, I will do what He has called me to to do......tomorrow.
This is all He asks.
Let’s Play Princess
Saturday, June 20th, 2009
10 am – 4 pm
Learn the basic knowledge needed to make your very own
Crystal Princess

Monday, June 15, 2009

Uncommon Austin

For many years I believed that Austin would one day be my home. I loved it there. The city was not quite like any I had ever known.
Last Friday, a week ago, we were in Austin for a granddaughter's high school graduation. Now I remember why I loved it there. It was the quirkyness, the people, the music & the art. And, the restaurants. Ahhh...and the shops. Stephanie Rubiano, who lives in Austin, suggested that I not miss this one, when I told her I would be in town.
uncommon objects is located in a part of Austin that cries out quirky. Uncommon. Located on South Congress Avenue, SoCo, is quite the place to be. Especially on First Thursday's.
And, is just down the road from the state capitol.
I looked more than I bought, which is hard to believe, for me. I did get away with a few goodies.

We had started ealier that morning at the Austin Farmer's Market. It's located downtown at 4th and Guadalupe. The event ~ Taste of Summer. Lookie at some of the goodies they had to offer that day. Oh, and we did eat lunch at a favorite of ours, Threadgills.
That is a another story.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Pay It Forward Winners

Please contact me (my e-mail link is in the right margin) with your snail mail address, and within the month you will have your pay it forward gift! It is a surprise, and I know you will likey!
When you receive your gift, please post about it, linking back to me. To see more details, look here.
Thanks to all who left such sweet comments, and wanted to play along. If you didn't win, why not start your own pay if forward? Isn't that the whole idea?
~Congratulations Cindy and Ya-Ya~

Monday, June 01, 2009

Sometimes I get stuck...

....but I always seem to pull out of the muck,
that sometimes tries to pull me under my work table.
Just in time, I remember who I really think I am.

My talented California friend, Diana Frey, has once again designed the most beautiful jewelry line for Robin Kaplan's Fall Collection. Diana has been both a wonderful friend, and an honest inspiration to me. This time her twisted wire and stone choker sang out to me.

"sari cross"

I decided to begin with one of the turquoise crosses bought at the Bead Market in Stafford this past weekend; along with recycled sari silk ribbon I found in an Etsy shop, Northcott Wilson Artisans. I attached the cross using a bail I hand-formed from my stash of brass etched in California. I bought the raw brass strips, yes! at Kit Kraft; but I'm also able to get them at my local hardware store in downtown Katy. Hobby stores will most likely sell them as well, perhaps even Hobby Lobby. They measure 12" x 1/2"; and I bought the 12" x 1/4" size. They are precut and ready to alter as you like.

I added copper chain, which I formed, soldered & oxidized; then gently stretched the loops using my long chain nosed pliers. I styled my chain using the method Stephanie Lee shared with us in class; but she also showed how to make this type of chain in her article called Totally Plastered, published in the January/February 2009 Belle Armoire Magazine. And, she shared it in her book, Semiprecious Salvage. My take has the loops linked together using torch shimmered spacers, bought from Silk Road Treasurers, at the Gem Show last year. They have the most beautiful shimmer & texture, and mirror the shimmer on my bail. I sprinkled a few in the wrapped part of my necklace.

Little did I know that Deryn mentioned in her latest post, Michelle Ward's Crusade No. 31~Make it Your Own. Deryn shared her wire nest charm as an example. (She sells the tutorial in her Etsy shop). Deryn said she was inspired by the wonderfully creative artist Susan Lenart Kazmer's resin-on-paper technique, which lead her to add wire and paper leaves and vines to her wire nest charm. She didn't use Susan's exact technique...but, was certainly inspired by it. She put her spin on it and re-spun her original design in the process.

I believe this is the highest form of flattery!

The ability for an artist to share what they know with others. Then, drawing from it, we add our spin on it....making it our own. Yes, Make it Your Own. I did.