Sunday, April 29, 2007

Here is the latest bead I've been working on, a flying castle! Its really rough right now, but the next step is to sharpen up all the straight edges and smooth out the walls. I like the idea of tiny
worlds that travel with you. I like to imagine that if you look into one of the windows, you could be transported into another world. I know I was talking about new clasps...its just a pain to design, they have to be absolutely secure, or theres no point. Ive purchased several lovely bracelets (by reputable designers) and found the clasps less than dependable. Which is irritating and the main reason I like making my own. So Im still sketching.

I just got a new sewing machine (a little Singer 7442) and I have to say, why did I suffer my old garbagey machine for so long? Had I realized that most machines don't bunch your thread and sew utterly wonky stitches I might have done it sooner, but I thought this was normal. I am a novice. My mama can sew anything and is completely annoyed with my skill level, she says "I don't know why you can't sew - you see me do it all the time!" which is like asking someone why they can't drive when they've been riding around in a car for half their lives. Anyway, I love it and plan to make Azalea and I all kinds of strange clothes. I've already mended two skirts!

Friday night Azalea, Steve and I went downtown to join the weekly drum circle. Steve is amazing on the drums and we had fun watching (me) and dancing (baby girl). We walked down to the Chocolate Fetish and picked up some fleur de sel caramels and a variety of truffles. My new favorite is the dark chocolate basil pistachio - absolute heaven! The aztec pleasures (cayenne and cinnamon w/ dark chocolate) is pretty amazing. I feel chocolates add happiness to almost every occasion and a drum circle is no different. It was a lot of fun to watch Azalea playing with shakers and chasing other kids. Being surrounded by so much music inspires me, I feel more productive. Maybe Greg will teach me to play the guitar ( in our spare time :) ).

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Hi there! Made a nice dinner using Nigella Lawson's delightful roast lamb recipe (I had been anti-lamb, then decided I should try it once) and unfortunately for sheep, I really liked it. I didn't think I would. It went nicely with gratin potatoes an roasted pepper salad. I love to eat. We made a complicated drink called Basil Grande (1 shot chambord, 1 shot grande marnier, 1 shot vodka, 3 shots cranberry juice, muddled with 4 strawberries & 3 basil leaves, shaken w/ ice and finished w/ black pepper) my new favorite drink that I will have to make myself if I ever want it
again. It has been a week of slow food, long drinks and a whole lot of relaxing and dreaming. Our good friend Steve Gornick is in town, visiting and playing music. Having Steve around means music is in the air! Greg gets out his instruments and everyone starts playing. Except me. I listen and draw. Azalea gets into it, I might get her a tiny djembe (african drum) so she can rock it. Its a great atmosphere to work to. Im designing new stuff, really thinking about flat charms that feel organic. A new direction...I think I need to stay up all night. I found this mandrake sculpture by Brendan Monroe while googling for images of the plant ( . I think I want it for my porch to greet me when I come up the steps. If only it was an inexpensive resin garden sculpture! That always gets me thinking how fun it'd be to make garden art that strange kids like me would enjoy. My garden would be filled with bird people, sphinxes and fairies more akin to insects than cute little girls. Maybe when my girls in school, then I'll have time. The Denver show is this weekend and I should be cranking out samples, but I have to say, I am not into it. I'd rather be carving. So thats the plan until 3 or 4 am. Night,all!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Hello everyone! Just working away here! I've been experimenting with pens, drawing patterns that could be sea life. Really fun exploring new images, I'm not sure how these drawings will fit with my work,(backgrounds that are hidden by layers of medium,details on clothes, I don't know) but they are interesting to me. I'm trying to loosen up-but that didn't happen! I enjoy doing noodley stuff (is it any wonder that I love carving small and am passionate about egg tempera?) this whole business of making spontaneous and free paintings is tough.
The same follows for jewelry, its in my nature to make semetrical, simple pieces to wear, but I love jumbled, layered necklaces that look like they have an interesting history. It takes a lot of work to make things that look effortless. I've made several pieces to take to our upcoming show in Denver, CO that feature some of our newest pieces. I love this little head bead, it has a pretty swirly pattern on the back of the head, perfect for making these fairy pendants. I used a bit of chain under the loop to hang all the little lucite leaves and stone droplets. So fun. I know, I use this technique a lot, but its a useful design, easy to swap another pendant on cord or chain.
Greg leaves for the Denver Show (check our website for details ) on thursday and will be set up next to the talented Bob Burkett (renowned silversmith, martial artist and all around nice guy). If you are in the Denver area I highly recommend attending this show, not only will Bob have loads of amazing goods (some one of a kind), we should have some brand new treasures on the table. That means I need to stop typing and get cracking on some waxes! Let me know what you think of the drawings!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Hi! We have had a great time this past couple of weeks, visiting with friends, discovering new towns (Saluda is super cute!) and creating like mad! I've drawn like crazy, inspired by the excellent suggestions left on my comments area. I'm trying to figure out lockets for production. I love them, but have no desire assembling little hinges - no way. I will make pieces and parts, but I hate production. I made these necklaces for Stringing magazine, and it took me days. I am sooo slowwww. I hope they like them. Tony and Lisa left and I am sad, sad, sad! They are so much fun and their work is fresh and well made. Lisa and I are working out a class, a two day pmc, polymer and resin extravaganza! Think ornate reliquary, capturing intricate relief sculpture. Lisa will teach how to make the bezels and I will teach how to make relief molds of tiny architecture, faces and text, using polymer and acetate. I haven't taught a class since Art Fest a couple years ago (got pregnant...everything changes!) so I'm pretty nervous. I have a tendancy to try and teach as much stuff as possible (forgetting breaks, like lunch and bathroom) so everyone feels satisfied. I love the feeling of inspiration in the air, that excited whirlwind sensation that something new is about to be discovered. I dread seeing disappointment when obstacles are hit (which happens when teaching something like sculpting). I think teaching is hard work, draining but rewarding. I forgot how much I liked doing it. I found an old issue of Ready Made and read an article about living in small spaces and how it forces you to consider all of your belongings and to pare them down to ones you use every day. Currently, all my work tables in my studio are occupied with sewing projects and paints, so I've moved my beads on the dining room table. Anyway, as I read the articles, my eyes swept over shelves and tables filled with my collections of dolls and books (they have over run this house) and I suddenly felt an overwhelming desire to buy an Airstream and drive it all over the world, making art, writing and having a grand time. So, Greg and I have been scouring the internet, looking at the shiny contraptions. I rather like the idea of traveling to the sea or the desert and having a bathroom and my art supplies. Tomorrow I shall organize and pretend my house is an airstream.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Yay! Tony and Lisa Blackwell visited us from Tucson and brought the grandbabies to play with Azalea. Those girls got along like tea and cake! We ran around to various playgrounds and the Greenville Zoo (surprising nice). We had the best time watching the girls and talking. Tomorrow we will have an experimental resin day (making pendants from polyurethane resins, embedding objects,permantly sealing them in). Hopefully we have some luck and some inspiring creations occur.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Hello! We spent a great weekend in Atlanta, the show went surprisingly well ( the Beadwork article has been huge for us!) and we had a lot of fun with our friends Cindy and Ernesto. The aquarium was amazing, but jam packed, Azalea loved the octopus and the beluga whales. I found this iron tea pot warmer at Teasan and I have to say, I flippin' love it! With a single tea light it can keep a pot of tea hot for two hours (possibly longer!).

I drew three names: j.j. rohmaller, katarinasmama and cindy - send me your addresses and I will send you a prize! I really enjoyed all the input and will have more 'contests' . I am currently sketching pieces to be revealed at Bead & Button in Milwaukee. The whole process is so time consuming, but really fun seeing a sketch evolve into a permanent piece (hundreds, possibly) and find homes all over the world. Well, its time for tea and some sketching...