Tuesday, November 18, 2008

dang...its getting cold!

It's unpleasantly chilly outside, but toasty in my studio! Look how nice I cleaned it! Yes, that's organized for me. I long for a japanese minimalism, but its the same kind of wishful thinking that gets pitch black-haired girls like me, goin' blond....a little unnatural, you might say. I've been home for a couple of days and I have to admit its slow getting back in the swing of things. We ran around town, checked out all the new buildings that are being raised in the Biltmore area (a new Barnes and Noble! Stadium seating theaters! Restaurants! Maybe an Anthropologie! ok, pushing it) Then we drove over to the new Wal-Mart, which I proceeded to look at everything and come out with just milk. After all that excitement, I parked my butt on the couch and continued my reading marathon, only stopping to get something for Azalea. I count my lucky stars that she has days when she feels like crafting and is too busy for mama.

Well, I finished the whole Sookie Stackhouse Series (only 8) in about a week. I'm very depressed now. I know I should have paced myself, but I couldn't stop. Now I have to wait till MAY of 2009 for the next one! Perhaps I could implore Charlaine Harris to get me a copy if I made her something, anything that she might like. Kidding. I know no amount of groveling ever made me do anything faster. So, in my agitation I decided to go through a pile of junk that had been in the trunk of the Mustang, which proved to be an unwise decision.

The box in question was a collection of bits and pieces from high school to my days in Ohio, so it had the stink of teen anguish, disappointment and finally, apathy on it. Yikes! The box was filled with many smaller boxes, so I could open one and remember the things within (or not) and move on to the next. The majority of the lot was papers and receipts, reminding me of foolish purchases and just how inexpensive things used to be. The big prize of the batch was old sketchbooks that I thought were lost, a nice thing to come across. I found a list of goals written in one and on it were the following things: 1. Move to L.A. to work at Lucas Films ( I longed to work on Star Wars) 2. If 1. doesn't work out, move to N.Y. to become a painter 3. Go to store and get pistachios, chocolate and dr.pepper 4. Finish painting. Well, well looks like only managed to get the last things on the list! I did move to L.A. but I didn't go to work for George Lucas, by then all the special effects were done on the computer and my sculpting abilities were pretty much useless. Some things don't change though, I still have pistachios, chocolate and dr.pepper on the list. I no longer have the desire to make movie props or to move to N.Y. I remember being so passionate, so on fire, so ready to challenge anyone who said it would be too hard for a girl. I am now content to make things peacefully, procrastinating only for as long as I can get away with it, which in my case, isn't long. So, I walked most of the pile to the trash, wanting to be free of the 'old' me, a person I don't know anymore. It was nice to get rid of it, like weeding a garden. I think I'll do a little more of that tomorrow.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Hello folks! Here is a sneak peek of a texture technique that I will be sharing in my book.

Darlene D'Agostino (my editor) and Joe Coca (photographer) setting up a shot.

That's me, grinning like fool. It is so wonderful to see everything coming together!

This is a bezel encasing a pearlecent moonsnail. Its super tiny, less than an inch long. I will also be sharing this fun technique.

Ok! Today we worked hard to finish up photographing the technique section of the book. There was a lot to cover. I'm not being stingey here! The projects will have step outs to show exactly how everything is made, but don't get scared into thinking its all complicated and overly time consuming. I have lots of tricks to make the projects go fast. I hate dawdling and like instant gratification (thus my dislike of seed beading) which is why I love the immediacy of polymer clay and pmc (most of the book features pmc, followed by a good helping of polymer and then resin). So it should be useful. I've also been working on a section about finding and harnessing inspiration and how to develop your own symbols. This section will be full of drawings, paintings and pics, demonstrating a few methods to kick start your creativity. Sound fun?
Well, I am so wiped out, all I can do is curl up and read my books. It is quite a luxury to spend an evening just reading! I read a couple chapters every day, any more and I'm filled with guilt. I just finished Diana Wynn Jones 'House of Many Ways' a kind of sequel to 'Howl's Moving Castle' - both of which are very good. I started Neil Gaiman's "The Graveyard Book' a week or so ago and its really quite dark and mesmerizing. I should be doing some line drawings or working on text, but my brain is soft and fuzzy and needs the escape of my current obsession, the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris, which are as addictive as sweet tea ( I think that's how my bro put it). I feel like if my eyes are open they should be staring at a project! Anyway, this book making business is quite exhausting. I have to say, I am very glad Andrew and I worked so hard to organize everything for the pics, otherwise I'd be crying. It is a lot of work! I'm slightly horrified that this is just the first section and there are many more to go. I feel like I did when I was a young and ambitious freelance artist, working all hours of the night and always saying 'You need it when? No problem.' Those were the days. Well, its easier now, I know how to budget my time, which was my biggest problem back then. The trick is to start as early as possible, because its never enough time. Well, its meetings tomorrow to talk about the cover and design of the book. I may get a chance to drive to a doll shop outside of town that carries ball jointed dolls. I've never seen any in person and would love to take a peek. We shall see!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Here we go! A few pieces for my book! Blood red heart with golden bird caught within, polymer crystals and resin.

Magic egg, polymer, crystals, gold wire and drops.

Chained heart, polymer, crystals, acrylic, glass and chain.

These are for fun, more bird girls, one from the owl family, the other decended from rare pink doves.
Hi! I'm in Colorado now, at Interweave, working on photographing basic techniques for my book. There is a lot to cover, hopefully we can finish it all in two days! I spent today with my editor, the charming Darlene D'agostino and we sorted through the loads of pieces and step outs, organizing it all. It was fun. I was so nervous this past week, worried I'd forget something, or not have enough to show. I'd carried so much anxiety that my shoulders are knotted like a macrame planter! So, after a day of hard work, I decided to go to Barnes and Noble, thinking it would be nice to roam around undisturbed for awhile.
I was mistaken. I went to look for the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris (I knew I'd finish the first one within a few hours and would want the next, and the next...) and found them and began flipping through them absently. I became really annoyed when I didn't see any mention of my favorite vampire in book three and began to wonder what the heck happened and why did I have to go around snooping so far ahead. Now, i will have to read non-stop for a week to find out what happened to him. I really like Bill, the tall, dark and handsome 1860's vampire. I will have issues with this Charlaine, if she kills him off. Or writes him into a jerk. No me gusta. I got so aggravated I went to Target next door to take my mind off it and bought a couple of t-shirts, aspercream, the next two Sookie books and Midol. I went back to my hotel and got into the hot tub and began reading like it was my life's work. I think I got cooked and had to drag myself out, weak and bright red. I now know it is not wise to take a riveting book into the hot tub. I can be a real wing nut.
Interestingly, I'm no longer nervous about my book. I feel like I'm ahead, with new ideas on how to make it even better. I can't wait to get home and start right up on more projects! One of the ideas is to write it like its an artists sketchbook, an artist that encounters magical beings and makes things inspired by her experiances. I'm really excited by the concept and have been sketching up a storm! I think I may include an encounter with a certain magical creature that only comes out at night...ok, enough about vampire's! I can't help it if I have a natural obsession with mythical beings, especially ones that horrify me. I'm one of those folks that can't stand the sight of blood. I get really lightheaded and dizzy at the thought. See, now isn't it obvious why I can't get enough of vampires? Used to love Anne Rice till she got weird. Same thing with mermaids, I am terrified of deep water, can't swim, can't stand being on a boat out in open water. Anyway, back to the book, its coming along swimmingly, with loads of techniques already, so you get your money's worth. Ok, I think my new favorite show is coming on, gotta go.