Crazy Cool Stuff

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funky purple earrings

Funky Purple Earrings

You would be styling in these Funky Purple earrings! Heads would turn (eyes would roll, whispers would abound) and you would be the talk of the party (and maybe the butt of some jokes)! This is just one of the groovy items I got while out doing garage sales.

random brooches and pins

Random Brooches and Pins

Check out the brooches and pins that were in a stash I bought. I love the little bird pin. The gold thin one is also super awesome.

anime watch

Anime Watch

This watch WILL BE a pendent. I love the watch band. The wheels are turning now. I will have to incorporate this band into something. It’s too cool not to have a second chance.

random earrings

Random Earrings

Earrings were not just a source of beauty in the past, they were also a source of pain! I have to admit, I can’t EVER imagine wearing a pair of those earrings. They are all clip-ons and heavy. OUCH! I find they make better necklace clasps or pendents than earrings. The silver cuff bracelet is perfect as-is. I’m just going to wear it. The other bracelets with be disassembled. They will all be recycled and re-purposed and live again as something totally rockin! The past is full of Crazy, Cool, Stuff, someone just has to take the time to find it and appreciate it.

random bracelets

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I Love Austin

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I admit I am tempted to cheat. When we show homes in Pflugerville, Round Rock and Cedar Park, I feel the need to have 2500+ square feet and a bathroom for each member of my family. The seduction of all that space and a kitchen that is 4 times the size of the one I have plus HUGE closets in every room, I could cheat. Dreams of the entertaining I could do and the meals I could make carry me away.

In my haze of huge home land, I realize we are in the car with heavy traffic sounding us. A wave washes over me, I can’t see Austin. Panic sets in and I’m gripping the arm rest. The feeling I get once we come over the hill and I see Downtown has no words. My body starts to relax once we take the 45th street exit. Once we cross Lamar a strange sense of calm overtakes me, once across Guadalupe, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.

People like big homes and big yards. The seclusion of the burbs is their dream. There is nothing wrong with desiring a sense of calm and peacefulness after a long day at work. Free of noise, hundreds of people and crazy traffic is very alluring, especially sitting in front of your fireplace, over looking your very own backyard pool, built-in.

Not everyone enjoys the sounds of screaming sirens all times of the day and night, the chop, chop chop of helicopters overhead rushing a person to the hospital or searching for some criminal, much less the random live wailing of the punk band practicing next door. I personally can’t imagine my life without it.

I have lived in Central Austin most of my adult life, I’ve seen the expansion of Mopac so far North that I didn’t know that far North existed, the warehouse district become the high-rise district, the corner indie movie theater on Guadalupe turn to a $ theater, Tower Records, Intellectual Property, to a noodle house. Austin has grown, changed and expanded in ways I would have never envisioned. 

Ultimately what keeps me here are the things you can’t get anywhere else. A swim in Shipe Park pool, a long run around Town Lake, snow cones at Casey’s, super cheap tacos from the Tamale House, businesses that are owned by a person, not a corporation, and most importantly, the overwhelming sense of belonging.

Austin has seen me through the best of times and the worst of times, it’s not just the town I live in, it’s a true love affair with a beautiful city.

Some of My Favorite Things

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collage

From an Old House-Joseph Cornell

I love to make jewelry but it wasn’t my first love. I studied drawing and painting as an undergraduate. I attended grad school believing I would continue that path. In graduate school a huge part of the curriculum are Critique Classes in which artists of all genres are mixed together. We “show” our pieces several times during the semester and are showered with compliments or beaten to pulp with criticism. (I was the beneficiary of the latter.) It was in these classes that I discovered my affinity for tactile items and a fascination with 3 dimensional objects. I was very fortunate to find two professors who encouraged me to move in that direction.

I miss my studio. Most of my jewelry making is on the floor of my living room. Jewelry is wonderful because it doesn’t take a lot of space and you can easily put it all away when you are finished. Jewelry does give me the satisfaction of creating. I am thankful for that.

sculpture

Monogram – Robert Rauschenburg


Flag painting

Three Flags-Jasper Johnes

In the mean time, I collect objects that inspire me or remind me of long past memories. I paint on little pieces of wood and I gather wooden containers. Cigar boxes, ornate cabinets, wine boxes, anything that can hold other objects of my affection. I haven’t figured out how to make it all work together, but I know I will.
Joseph Cornell’s work had a profound influence on me as well as the work of Robert Rauschenburg and Jasper Johns. I will never forget the day I went to Houston to “just see art” and realized that there was a Robert Rauschenburg Retrospective going on at galleries all over the city. It was a religious experience! Seeing all of the work I loved and adored up close, I felt like I could smell the paint.

I will never forget that all consuming sense of being an artist and what I would be driven to do for the rest of my life .
Here are some of my favorite things.

frames, paintings

Frames, Cabinet and small paintings.

boxes

Boxes and things I’ve collected to use.

Spring Cleaning

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spring cleaning graphic

Spring Cleaning my Etsy Store

I’m a little early on this but I had the time so I just did it. I Spring cleaned my Etsy store. I renewed expired listings, rewrote each every description for all my listings and I added 4 new pieces, the rose necklace and copper earrings as well as the copper and wood bead ring.

Art is never finished, only abandoned…

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brass pendent

Time Flies

I’ve been working on this piece well over a year. I looked at the date when I first uploaded the picture and it was February 2, 2012. I admit that I was fairly happy with it at the time. I really loved the rustic aeronautical look. I debated what type of chain I would use and ultimately decided to go with leather cord. I was satisfied with my decision, took pictures and put it up on my etsy site.
brass pendent

Time Flies

A few weeks ago, I pulled it out my jewelry box and as I was looking it over, I decided I didn’t like the look of the leather cord and the weight seemed all wrong. I cut off the leather and started experimenting with chain. I altered the top of the pendent and how it was connected to the cord and added jump rings and beads. I believe the heavier chain looks better and the toggle clasp has more purpose.
brass pendent and necklace

Time Flies Revamp

Ultimately, I don’t know…I may just abandon it a while longer or maybe I will destroy it and start completely over.

close of of brass pendent

Time Flies Close Up

Copper Is The New Black

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Copper is my new black. Everything I’ve created recently involves using copper chain, wire, and findings. Usually I’m inspired by a theme or an object. Hearts, birds, watches and buttons have been a few of the items that have driven me to create. I can honestly say that a metal has never been at the center of my creative forces. This is part of growing and evolving as an artist.

leather rose necklace

Leather Rose Necklace

The rose necklace was a labor of love. I found the leather rose at a garage sale. It was stuck all by itself on a matching leather braided cord. It looked so sad and I knew I could give it new life. I struggled creating the pendent. I used leather cord to attach the rose to the wooden bead. The next hurdle was creating the leather bail and using the copper wire to hold it in place. I’m thrilled with the way it turned out. I have various types of copper chain but ultimately, the simple look of the beaded copper chain won. I think it places all the focus on the best part of the necklace, the leather rose.

The cluster ring came about because I wanted to use copper wire to make a ring. My “go tos” are usually silver and brass. I used neutral colored wooden beads (another first for me – I like high contrast). I love the sense of calm and balance the ring has and I also love that only two materials were used to make it, wood and copper.

wood and copper ring

Wood and Copper Ring

chandelier style earring

Chandelier Style Earring

The green beaded earrings were the first project I created with the copper earring wires. I had one copper chandelier earring that I was given at a garage sale because there was no match…I love it when that happens but that’s another blog…I simply cut the chandelier and freed the beautiful vintage green beads and attached them to the earring wire. I adore the simple look and the contrast of the copper with the emerald green beads.
vintage green beaded earrings

Vintage Green Beaded Earrings

celtic cross earrings

Celtic Cross Earrings

The Celtic cross earrings were a little more thought out. I found the Celtic metal charms at Bead It! and knew they would make a great pair. I continued to hunt for something else with copper and I found the awesome black beads with copper on them. At the time I didn’t plan to put the two together. I completed the earrings, the beads were on the table right next to me and I decided to add them.

I’ll be posting the pieces on etsy soon. If you have interest in any them or want more details, please send me a comment. Who knew copper could be so inspiring?

One Shell of a Necklace

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collection of shell buttons

Collection of Shell Buttons

A friend gave me a small baggie of vintage Mother of Pearl and Shell buttons that she loves to make her a necklace. The first thing I noticed when she handed them to me was the weight. It was so heavy. Buttons are made out of plastic now and are virtually weightless. I was intrigued.

I open the baggie and spread them across my rug. Most buttons were round, but there were oval, rectangle, and square ones.

odd shaped buttons

Odd Shaped Buttons

I also found these beautiful moon shaped buttons that I loved. I had no clue how I would use them on a necklace. I found a heart shaped button. I knew I had to use this one. I’m a sucker for hearts! Another interesting detail to these vintage buttons is the carving. Some were smooth, but the majority of them have intricate carvings on the front of the buttons. It’s strange to think that buttons contributed to the overall aesthetic of a piece of clothing. Nowadays buttons serve almost completely as utilitarian items that close the ends of fabric.
carved buttons

Carved Buttons

close up shell button necklace

Shell Button Necklace Close-Up

I pulled several buttons out that I thought I could work with to make the necklace. The large one with all the holes around would be perfect for the central part of the necklace. I knew I could hang other buttons and charms from it. I built the necklace from there and added a dragon fly charm. I remembered that my friend has a delicate tattoo around her wrist of elephants. I removed the dragon fly and added an Indian brass elephant…PERFECT!

Next, what type of chain do I use? I thought about a beaded chain but it just seemed to ordinary. I found an old brass chain with little flat metal charms attached. This could be it. I loved the metal charms but I feared it would take away from the beautiful center piece I had created. I removed them all but kept one to add to the end of the necklace. I also added a couple of inches of larger old brass chain. Now she has the option to wear the necklace long or as a choker.

LIGHTBULB GOES OFF! The little metal charms hanging off the base chain gave me the idea to attach a few of the moon buttons in a similar way. I arranged them a few times to make sure that the length of the necklace would feature the moon buttons as well as the centerpiece independent of the length she chose to wear the necklace. shellnecklace1

This is my favorite necklace to date. It’s always special when you don’t have to struggle to make something work. Struggle can be good and teaches you. It’s the magic of creating. Your mind directing your hands in a seamless way. That’s what drives an artist. I also made some earrings from two matching buttons. I couldn’t help myself 🙂 Thanks TJ for the experience.

shell button earrings

Shell Button Earrings