Sunday, December 31, 2006
Azalea and I had fun frogging around with my good friend Jessica Wiesel (known as Weasel to her buddies). She is so brilliant, we have a good time just talking and bouncing ideas around. I wish she lived in Asheville.
My folks came up from Florida for a few days to see Azalea. She and my mom get along supremely well, so much so that this morning, at dawn she woke up looking for her Lula, as she calls my mama, and wouldn't stop looking and crying until I told her we would visit next week. I like that she loves my mom so much, but some primitive part of my brain gets jealous; when Gramma Lula is around, nobody else exists!
We have been working to catch up on work that has accumulated over the holidays, so we are back to being busy, which is good, because I hate feeling like a slacker! I made a few new beads, and sketched in my book, I'll post some pics to show my progress.
I'm shaking off some bad juju, trying to clear my mind of negativity. The holidays make me miss my older bro who's been missing for sixteen years. It puts into sharp focus the importance of being good to each other and not holding grudges - you might not see that person ever again. Which leads me to another source of agitation, folks snooping in my personal files on my lap top. I don't mind someone getting on the internet, but looking through personal files? That's rude. And disrespectful, like looking through someone's purse. I don't want to hold onto that anger (though I think some part of me is largely vindictive and is even now plotting revenge). I'm going to look at it as though I've just been educated about boundaries.
Greg ordered The Absolute Sandman for me! I love Neil Gaiman, but never read his comics, so I'm excited. I think Stardust is one of my all time favorites. American Gods is amazing - disturbing and exciting. I want to send him a bunch of my beads with a note proclaiming my admiration for his skills, his use of imagery, etc.,etc., but don't want to sound like I'm a stalker. Or a lunatic fan that wants to be his best friend, although the latter wouldn't be too far off the mark.
Azalea is asleep, exhausted after a rough and tumble visit to the mall playland. She is so nice, letting other kids go ahead of her on the slide, making sure they know to hold on. She is also extremely fast and hard to see in a crowd; let me just say I nearly had a heart attack when I saw her running away from the playland and into the mall, dissappearing around a corner. Needless to say we left directly, with lots of lecturing on the importance of staying near mama.
Well, I got some reading to do, have a good one!
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
I got started on polymer after looking at a miniature artists work I found online, Angie Scarr, who makes the most amazing tiny things! I couldn't believe how detailed she could make an orange 1/12 scale! You could see individual segments! I immediately wanted to make miniature food. Look at her stuff, and feel the desire to become tiny and live in a dollhouse, www.angiescarr.co.uk .
We have never been this busy with orders! We found more of our pieces in the Special Issue of Bead Style Magazine! I wondered why Greg was working till 10 at night! It still hasn't slowed down this close to christmas, which it usually has in the past. Not complaining, we love it!
Kiwi, one of our lovebirds, had blood on the base of his feathers, and I freaked out and took him to the vet. They tested him for diseases and he's fine, apparently he is doing it to himself. I've been giving him meds and he has stopped. I guess he was itchy with new feathers and groomed a little too vigorously (he's completely fastidious!). My powder blue parrotlet Mochie gets so worked up every time I give him his meds! So jealous! I love my bird babies.
I just read Claudine's blog and noticed she tagged me to name 6 weird things about myself that people don't know, I could name far more, but I don't want to give the game away.
1. I'm catastraphobic. I obsess over the destruction of our civilization as we know it, terrified of not having hot water, refrigeration and online shopping. The mere mention of anthrax and Im hunting for my gas mask. The books 'Into the Forest' and the 'The Stand' gave me nightmares.
2. I'm super envious of anyone that can sing.
3. I love to work in absolute silence.
4. I like being alone and not talking for days and days...which happens very rarely.
5. I LOVE dried cuttlefish and shrimp chips as a snack, and could easily polish off a large bag in ten minutes.
6. I would rather look at seed pods than most fine art.
So, I guess I'm supposed to tag someone else to divulge their weird secrets. I think my bro www.andrew-thornton.blogspot.com and my buddy Tony Blackwell at www.zoaart.com should have to next.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
We put up the x-mas tree today, Azalea loved helping with the ornaments. It will probably stay up until june.
Today we received news today that we will be the featured artists in BeadWork Magazine spring issue! We are ecstatic, it's such a good magazine - loads of projects that one would actually do (I find lately that many bead publications focus on seed bead crafts, but how many people do you know have time to bead a christmas ornament?) I love Jewelry Arts, but again, really flippin' time consuming! I make a lot of the projects in Stringing - I think it is definitly the most fashion forward one of all. Anyway, we are sooo happy! The last article we were in (Bead and Button 04) really helped our business, allowing us to expand and try new things, like shibuichi casting.
Here are my new earth shoes. They are now extremely comfortable (after intense stretching around the gathered part). So, my walks are a little more strenuous now.
My darling sleeping with 'Roby' (the tattered bit of purple fabric in the background, which I've slept with since I was born!) I hope 'he' lives forever.
Monday, December 04, 2006
These are a few fast paintings I made incorporating layering and pen and ink. I've been trying different styles, but I think I am stuck with the whole foreground, middleground and background theme. Andrew is a whiz at collage and making atmospheric paintings full of textures and subtle coloring. I've been trying to acheive the same depth, and I'm too impatient with all the waiting for things to dry and cutting bits of paper...just give me tempera and I'll be happy. I just like being able to do everything I like! Good luck.
This is an amulet
necklace I made a couple weeks ago. I like it. It puts me in mind of a shaman or medicine woman
Friday, December 01, 2006
Hello! We've had a sluggish couple of days. It's just Greg doing all the work right now (we are out of help at the moment) and I think he needs a break. We won't be able to go to Orlando this weekend because we got rear-ended last night and need to repair the van (and my neck! I still have a headache). A thousand apologies if you wanted to see our booth in Orlando! We will just play catch-up at home, we are still crazy busy with all the recent press and holiday shopping. I usually hate this time of year because of the traffic and trying to get the perfect gift for someone. I like making presents and I love receiving hand-made goods! I make things throughout the year, saving them for months until christmas. I'm making a limited edition ornament for gifts - I just have to finish it. This is an owl bead I started yesterday for Andrew (and anyone else who enjoys owls).
We watched The Fountain a few days ago, I liked it and was annoyed by it at the same time. Beautiful visuals, lovely theme, but really long. I could do without all the long close-ups. A great rental. I'm waiting for the season finale of Avatar:The Last Airbender, I know it will be satisfying, unlike the new Top Chef and other squabble fests. Stop talkin' and start cookin' for crying out loud! I'm done with them unless there's nothing else on. I love cooking and makeover shows for some reason, maybe its all the transformation going on.
I feel like I'm going through a change myself, trying to see myself as a writer as well as an artist. It seems like I just came to terms with seeing myself as an artist. I always felt that title belonged to more 'artsy' people. Folks that made a living from their art. When someone asks what I do (like today, when the stylist asked me if I had the day off - yes and no) I said I make beads and jewelry. I am really fortunate, I stay home with Azalea and make things while shes awake and write when she naps. I started Neil Gaiman's newest collection of short stories Fragile Things, its unexpected and rich, which is why he is my all time favorite. I'm also reading Susanna Clarke's collection The Ladies of Grace Adieu, which is like fairy tales by Jane Austin (how can you go wrong?).
I'm breaking in a pair of Earth shoes I got on www.zappos.com. They are weird because your heel is lower than your toes, making you stand up straight, burn more calories and eliminate cellulite! Wow, I hope they work. Their comfortable, with the exception of a tight spot I'm stretching out. I'm off, Avatar is coming on!
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
It's the holiday season, so it's been hectic around here (like everywhere else). We celebrated thanksgiving at our house in Asheville and the whole lot drove in from NY and FL to partake in the festivities. Andrew and Sheila brought apple pie and rice pudding from Rice to Riches (a rice pudding shop I love with every ounce of my being, www.ricetoriches.com) along with a bunch of gifts for my birthday (I just turned 32 on the 21st). We had loads of fun cooking and goofing around, not to mention eating like we had one day to live. Greg made a maple-glazed turkey and I made the sides: potatoes anna, green beans,candied white sweet potatoes, Weisel's spinach balls and gravy. I think I'm done cooking for a while, although I did enjoy making a roast in the slow cooker today.
These are sketches I made recently; ideas, new pieces, experiments. Gifts from Sheila and Andrew: glass repro of the coral in The Marriage of the Arnolfini painting, golden twig spoon for sugar, and gold-leaf ink pressed in the shape of a locust.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
These are some rocks I carved: (top left)rutilated quartz, labradorite, ruby, r.quartz, ruby, moldavite,(next row) ruby, orange garnet, kyanite, labradorite,ruby, kyanite, sapphire,(last row) kyanite, labradorite, 2 sunstones, moldavite, lapis, garnet,lab., sapphire and garnet. Carving (some)rocks is very relaxing, therapeutic almost. I have a lap grinder and it makes shaping stones easy, the only hard part is drilling (some will shatter). It's a time consuming hobby, but I like carving stones especially for a jewelry piece and giving it as a gift, like an amulet. I can't make them for sale because of how long they take, and I can hardly bear to part with them. They seem magical to me, comforting to hold. I plan to drill a bunch tonight, after Azalea is asleep. I almost finished the texture tool molds today, but I'll finish them tomorrow, I need to do something fun right now. It's pizza night and I'm excited about that.
I've designed loads of new pieces for tucson (new clasps! connectors! Yay!) hopefully I can make them all by february. I've misplaced a few bracelet masters (my desk isn't messy, it's just full) which are supposed to debut in tucson, they'll turn up in some weird place (those pixies!). Maybe I'll try making some rings...I just shudder at having to stock sizes.
Once again our designs are getting ripped off, this time by a company called Oriental Trading.com. I guess they liked our bead holder so much, they cast mine and are now selling it online. I wish I could send them a s**tbomb with a letter lecturing them about how it's bad kharma to steal (especially from artists just trying to make a living). But I won't, just a stern letter asking them to cease and desist or get sued (and then a s**tbomb, even if my lawyer advises against it). I should be used to this crap by now, but it still bugs me. It strikes me as severly lazy (a quality I hate)-why can't the losers sculpt their own bead holder? So, if you want to annoy these creeps as much as I do, email them some hate mail, letting them know they are snatching the food from my babies mouth (feel free to be just as dramatic) www.orientaltrading.com. We would really appreciate any irritating comments in their in-box.
Well, before I get too fired up, look for Greg in Virginia this weekend, he's
doing Jane's Bead Mercantile Show. If you've never attended one of her shows, try to visit one next time they're in town, they are small, but have a good variety of vendors. We do nearly all of her shows. We have only two more shows before our season ends, then we can relax and make fun stuff. I'm hoping to take a trip (one that is pure leisure-no beads!) maybe we can find some cheap tickets to Fiji or Thailand (we found round trip tickets to Rome for 300$ once!) so we can decompress after this year of working like maniacs. Sheila will be in Burma, suffering like a monk at a retreat (and loving it), so maybe we can visit her there. Expect to see her new work at our tables in tucson! Well, I think the pizza's here, good night!
Saturday, November 11, 2006
New piece! Inspired by my friend Jeremiah Ketner's painting ' This could be something special'. This is part of a line I'm creating for his small and round work, to be sold in galleries and on his online shop. I hope he likes it. I have a couple of little figurines on my work bench, just armatures right now, but soon to join an army of odd ball characters from Jeremiah's wonderland. O.k. back to work.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Tomorrow I will make molds! All this fun, people will think we're a bunch of liberals or something (and they would be right)! Moldmaking is a pain in the ass. There is no nice way of putting it- you can spend hours (and generally you will) building a mold, only to discover afterwards that there is some flaw, some reason you have to do it again. I hate making molds, even if I am good at it, but I will because there are like 500 people waiting for their swirly texture tool. I promise I won't start a new project until they are done, even though I have been obsessing over making dolls again. I went through a stage of making loads of doll parts, heads, hands and tiny feet with shoes sculpted on (I LOVE sculpting little shoes, its like making the shoes I wish I had), my desk would look like Vlad the Impalers battleground with all the little parts on sticks, except without all the impaling. Since I'll be making molds anyway, I might as well cast my tiny house sprite ( a little fey person that lives in the unused parts of peoples houses, doing nice things, like running off roaches and finding change), I have all the parts and she is super dang cute! If I can find mine I'll photograph it, but I probably won't, because everytime I say I will put pics of something up, I don't finish it, or my computer won't let me, so I can only post pics by surprise. I think I will make a jointed fairy doll in pewter! I should start right now, so cute, so jangly! Or the day after tomorrow. Here is the word of the day: Boundless. Thinking of that word all day, what it means, what images it conjures...oceans, space, autumn skies...anyway have a good night.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Friday, October 27, 2006
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Hello! Hawaii was a good time: made money, visited friends,shopped,ate loads of sushi,and sat on the beach. Now back to work! I made this necklace for a crystal book, it didn't get in, but I really like it ( I guess it didn't utilize enough swarovskis). Greg got me a fine laptop for my birthday (so I could write anywhere in the house) and I love it! I'm learning how to use photoshop and how to put pictures on my blog...who wouldv'e thought! I'm designing new pieces, making components to use in my finished line, which will be ready probably in 10 years. The biggest problem I have is being a perfectionist! Nothing is ever ready, or good enough, I always think whatever I've made could be better. I think when a person has such high standards for their work, it can be debilitating to the creative process. At what point do we say "Yes, this is good?", its easier to just set the almost finished piece aside and start on the improved version. My studio is a battlefield of half-finished pieces, waiting to be complete.I love making things, I just wish I could finish a project! I have doll heads waiting for bodies, fairies needing wings, purses without catches, skirts almost hemmed...the list is long. I should make a goal to finish one project a week, and not start another till they are all done. Although I did see a pattern for a cute leather skirt in Blueprint magazine, I will just get that done, then I'll get to the other things. Maybe next week.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Hi! Sitting at the GSP airport waiting to go to Hawaii. Whew! Made it! Worked like a dog getting ready: fixing waxes, making jewelry, and loads of finishing (my fingers are black!) Look at my girl! I miss her already!
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Azalea Belle in her new dress! She was good today, she let me work on my outline and notes, happy in some independent play. Just finished a couple books 'The Stolen Child' by John? Donohue? (I seem to have misplaced it already) it was pretty good. The fairies of the story were like grubby kids wandering in the woods for all time. I've been reading whenever I get the chance, mostly kids books, dissecting style and plot. I really liked 'FableHaven' by Brandon Mull, lots of magic and funny dialogue. I wouldv'e been all over it as a kid. Greg has been reading 'The Witches Boy' to Azalea and I right before we go to sleep, we are really enjoying it.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Hello! This is my entry for the annual Saul Bell Jewelry Contest. I hope they give me the go-ahead to create my design. I actually started the pmc chain, and its nearly done. What a pain! It would be far easier in wax, but the challenge is for precious metal clay. The cage is the hardest part, I'm building it on a cork clay armature. I like the cage concept, even if it does't get picked I'm still going to produce it.
I make lists continuously in my sketchbook, here are a few:
Avatar:The Last Air Bender
The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy
things to do:
carve new waxes
work on story
prepare for Hawaii show
food eaten today:
cocoa puffs/cheerios mix
coffee w/ kahlua
peanut butter oreos
create new line of mini charms
learn to use my serger
make Azalea new dolls
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Monday, September 11, 2006
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Monday, August 21, 2006
Sunday, August 13, 2006
I put the big canvas away and took out my pigments and painting accoutrements. I haven't painted with egg tempera in long time, I thought I would have to learn it all over again, but it came back as if I had never stopped. The pigments are so rich and beautiful, such a pleasure to paint with! I used a new kind today from Guerra Pigments and I have to say, I am smitten with love! These pigments are archival, super smooth and ready to mix into any medium. I use egg yolks for tempera, but gel medium or linseed oil would be great. I was surprised at the tinting strength and how far a small squeeze could go (that means more paint for less money!) okay, enough about how I adore Guerra pigments (the staff are nice and incredibly knowledgeable) the store is in N.Y. but the website will do www.guerrapaint.com . All painters should check them out.
Painting is the best cure for anything that ails you! I was in such a funk all week, really crabby and easy to aggravate, but unbelieveably, I am cured of my bad mood. Azalea was really good, playing next to me with her baby dolls (really realistic ones from Berengner toys) trying to feed them and checking their diapers. She was so good today, she used her potty seat! I was ecstatic, of course, dreaming of a day when diapers are a thing of the past. Although recently I keep fiddling around with Azaleas dolls. I think the primitive part of my subconcious is trying to get me to breed. Not yet! Maybe later.
The days pass so quickly. It shocks me when I see how many pass between blog entries! We get so busy making stuff that several days will go by and I haven't left the house once. A touch depressing, since we live in such a beautiful place, but work comes first in this house. Its almost midnight and Greg and I have a date to sprue up more waxes. I painted all day, and I feel giddy with having spent the day so luxuriously. Tomorrow I will make more pieces to cast (our last batch was an amazing sucess, not a single loss! Greg is a magician!) and hopefully they will cast clean. Well, to work I go!
Monday, August 07, 2006
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
I have been accumulating loads of unique items for making kits , gifts ,or packages of inspiration for years now and i think i might be ready to make them. We get so many requests for kits and finished jewelry that i think its time to just do it! I have amazing ribbons, vintage beads,hand carved stones ...i love my hoard. My sister Sheila can't believe how much stuff i have, she says im like that dragon Smoag from the hobbit. O.k., i will share. I plan to assemble gift packs I would want, with art, chocolate,and beads. Well, we shall see, maybe doll kits. I love dolls! I will take pics of my girls and see if anyone would like to make poppets of their own.
Sheila and Andrew are leaving for N.Y. soon and i am trying not to think of how sad im going to be. Especially since Sheila is such an amazing nanny. Back to being mommy full time. Well i better work fast while shes here!
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Speaking of many people, our house has been filled to the gills with company! Our artist friends like to visit and make things (our studio holds lots of fun equipment). I think the atmosphere is really positive, full of a great energy. All the music being created, the art, the conversation has really inspired me. Now im ready to go back to work!
Monday, July 17, 2006
We are currently working on new silver designs and hope to have them available for fall. The cost of silver makes me cringe, but hopefuly this silly price hike will go back to normal. Im thinking september for the new clasps. I love silver and want everything cast in it, but its hard to compete with mexico and their cheap labor. Thats half the battle in the arts, make something good and make it affordable. Or send it to mexico. Its funny i make beads for a living because i went to school to be a painter. Actually, i started out with dreams of being a special effects artist (after seeing The Dark Crystal as a kid) then i saw Jurassic Park with all the 3-d animation done on a computer and switched majors. I think im just rambling. I so wanted to make movies! Well, one day i plan to.
O.k. its late and im getting ready to work, but first, to answer a few comments.....Jeremiah Ketner was approached to do the kids book with his paintings, he kindly thought of me do the storytelling. He plans to hook me up with his connection the next time im in Chicago. So i might get my own contract (fingers are crossed). Im sorry ordering online is disappointing for some of you (kristine.....i want to make you happy! Email me and tell me how i can change your opinion!) but we are putting forth our best efforts! Please remember that Green Girl Studios is just a bunch of artists that are ecststic that we can do what we do, so let us know how we can improve.
im designing all night tonight, mostly clasps. If anyone wants to mention something they always wanted me to make, feel free to comment. I think water is my inspiration tonight. Or pirates. Or voodoo queens. Can you tell I saw Johnnys new movie? Off to work!
Friday, July 14, 2006
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Sunday, July 09, 2006
I brought some paints and inks with me, im always so optimistic about making art on the road. I haven't yet, all this running around. Im trying to to make collages with my images. its hard. Ill put up some results later.
Im missing my girl like crazy! Azalea is my baby (shes almost two) and i cant wait to see her on wednesday.