If you love something, let it go…

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If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, it’s yours forever. If it doesn’t, it was never meant to be.

Remember me? I used to create jewelry and blog on a consistent bases. I went on a detour in the middle of the 2012 and it lasted until the end of the year. I took classes and passed my exam to become a licensed real estate sales person. It was a wonderful trip, (for the most part) but I miss creating. The love of making jewelry and writing about it came back and it’s mine forever. When I lose my way, there’s one sure way to find it.

I visited my favorite bead shop, Bead It! and bought a few things that caught my eye. I’m on a copper kick right now so along with the copper earring wires and headpins, I had to have these little copper hearts

copper hearts

Little copper hearts with the word April

as well as the copper Celtic crosses.
copper celtic crosses

Copper Celtic crosses

black beads copper bails

Black beads with copper and copper bails

I LOVE the black beads with copper on them.

Isabelle wanted a key! I have a collection of keys but she wanted to pick one out for herself and have me make a necklace for her. You will see the finished piece!

silver key

Isabelle’s silver key

I also picked up these beautiful red wooden discs with carvings and a little silver turtle.

red wood discs

Red Wooden Discs

I adore turtles.
silver turtle

Little Silver Turtle

Of course the day wouldn’t be complete without stopping my one of my favorite thrift stores. I am a bad jewelry maker because all I’ve ever looked for there jewelry wise is pieces to take apart and reuse. I find myself at the back of the store and lo and behold, they have a craft section…I got this pile of buttons for $2.99!!!

pile of buttons

Pile of Buttons

At Bead It! buttons are $5 bucks for a 2×3 inch zip bag. I LOVE the color and size of the buttons I got. I’m overfilled with ideas. I even created a new Pinterest page for Beautiful Buttons.

So the word on the street is, I’mm Baaack! Thank you everyone for all your support along the way.

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Brace Yourself

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Close-up of Peasant bracelet

Life has changed dramatically. I left my permanent job, I’m working with my spouse in real estate, I’m studying to become an agent, and I have more time to work on jewelry. The last part I’m really excited about. It’s been chaotic since I left my job. I still haven’t worked out my routine and I must have a routine. I want next week to have more structure…I know, an artist who wants structure.

With a little more creative time on my hands, I’ve made 2 bracelets and I’m delighted with the outcome. Two principals of design, movement and scale have been the focus of my pieces. Bracelets seem to be the prefect art form for my experiments. They are always moving around the wrist. I’ve found that by using more than one type of chain, I can achieve more motion, play with the scale, and I get the added benefits of dimension and texture.

Close-up of Rouge bracelet

Rouge is typical of my style but with a twist. It’s monochromatic and small and it jingles. I found the bells at BEAD IT! and I had no idea what I would do what them. They just caught my eye. I used three types of brass chain for the base of the bracelet. I added red glass hearts, glass squares, brass colored glass hears and red crystals in groups of 3’s along with the bells. I love the rich, lush color of the bracelet and the added bonus is that it makes a beautiful sound.

Rouge, charm bracelet

I created Peasant from a kooky vintage belt that I found at a garage sale. I love the wooden rings and I added turquoise, vintage brass buttons and green glass beads that I acquired from a vintage pair of chandelier earrings. The bracelet is large but very light weight because of the wooden rings. Honestly, this one is out of my wheelhouse but a divine example of texture and scale. I’ve learned that I don’t have to make beautiful pieces I would wear, I have to make beautiful pieces.

Peasant, charm bracelet

I believe you have to challenge yourself and get out of your creative pigeon hole. You always learn from it, and brace yourself, you could create something that you didn’t know existed within your realm. I’ll leave you with this.

I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it. — Pablo Picasso

I think therefore I garage sale

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I haven’t been as regular on my blogs, but I have been a garage sale regular. I’ve acquired a lot of chain, some funky charms, some vintage pins and a seriously unusual girl pendent as well as a ray gun.

The Ray Gun

When I’m out and about hunting for strange and unique things, I have two modes of thinking. The first is looking for practical items such as chain, clasps, basic jewelry findings, and beads. I also buy all the cheap jewelry boxes I can find. I decorate or customize them and use them to store my completed pieces. I also plan to use them to display my jewelry when I make the leap to do shows. I find a lot of boxes from the 50’s and 60’s and they always have room for rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets. The latest purchase has a musical box component that still works!

The other mode is looking for things that catch my eye and I fall in love with. I don’t always have an idea of how I will use the item. The rule is that if an object entices me to pick it up and ponder it, I buy it. I will spend more money on these finds, but I will also ask what’s the best price the seller can do. Remember to let them throw out the first price. Most of the time they give you a better deal than you would offer. The truth is, I’m probably the only person who has picked it up because it’s just that out of the ordinary and no one else has a use for it. People love their stuff and want it to go to a good home. If you show interest and inquire about a price, they will negotiate with you.

Love Me Do Bracelet

If possible, talk to the person holding the sale or running the table if it’s a flea market. You will be surprised at how much knowledge you can obtain by sharing what you plan to do with the stuff you buy from them. Sometimes it’s just fun to get a little history on the items you’ve purchased. My experience; people offer to help me get started selling my jewelry, give me advice on what I need to set-up a booth and even offer to give me things I could use for my jewelry. You are now a friend, who loves the same things they do and they want to help you succeed.

On a side note, I wore one of the necklaces I made while g-selling for the first time. I lost count on how many people wanted to see it close-up, asked where I sell my stuff and wanted a business card. HELLO! This little action, created an entire now marketing strategy and endeared me to the people I was purchasing from. It was exciting, inspiring and motivating. Why didn’t I do this before now?

Love It or Leave It Bracelet

All this positive energy invigorated me to create a couple of bracelets. I also wanted to share my girl pendent. I still don’t know what I will do with her but there’s no denying she’s special. BTW, the seller wanted $5 for her and I got her for $3. You have to buy the things you love, and you will find a purpose for it, but there’s nothing wrong with getting them at a discount 🙂

Strange Girl Pendent

Focus

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Focal Swap Clasp

Focus, a condition in which something can be clearly apprehended or perceived. I for one tend to get easily distracted with all that I have going on, work, family, and house chores. Lately, my days have been a blurry haze of the daily grind that is my life.

This changed with my family suffering a surprising loss this past week. Loss makes you realize how short life is and that you have to make the most of every day you have on this earth. In my funk of the last month or so, this poignant moment gave me clarity. I gave notice at my job and registered for real estate classes. I decided to pay more attention to my creative endeavors. This is what makes me feel alive and gives me a purpose.

The red beads with the clasp, brass button and a brass dragonfly charm

I was fortunate enough to sign up for a Vocal Focal Swap. I felt like this would energize and motivate me to create. My swap partner Bonnie, sent me this beautiful clasp created by Melinda Orr. I’ve never really created pieces in which the clasp is the focal point of a necklace so this was an excellent challenge for me. I journeyed to Bead It! one of my favorite local bead shops and found some beautiful red beads.

I had some ideas for my necklace, but I wasn’t excited about any of them. I played with chain and beads and nothing sparked my imagination. I put it all away for a while and decided to marinate on my plan for the clasp. I tried to work on it last week but it seemed selfish to think about anything other than my family and the loss of a loved one.

Finally, the time came to shut down the “stuff” that has clouded my mind for weeks and concentrate on jewelry and completing my swap. Emphasizing the clasp was tough but it changed the way I approach creating and assembling a necklace. It forced me to get out of my design box and ultimately, motivated me to work, even when life is chaotic.

Contemplation, the finished necklace

There are aspects in life over which you have no control. We are human and death seems to be the one thing that makes us contemplate our existence and focus on what is important. My pondering has led me to appreciate life, celebrate my creativity and keep the focus.

Where the heck is Tarkington Prairie?

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Hoot, glass owls on copperI’ve lived in Texas all my life and honestly I’ve never thought too much about it. I guess when you live in a state that still has the right to succeed from the union, tortilla chips created in the shape of Texas and is ultimately famous for the show Dallas and oil wells, you just learn to accept the things that go along with living here.

Living in Houston or Austin, is a world apart from living in a small town in Texas. I grew up in Houston the majority of my elementary life. We moved to Tarkington Prairie at the beginning of my 5th grade year. To say I hated it, would be a lie. Moving from the metropolis of Houston to a tiny spot in East Texas that doesn’t exist as a town, wasn’t that bad. I had a lot of time to learn about myself and experience many animals, reptiles and amphibians. We lived on 10 acres with a variety of barns, outbuildings and fenced plots. The best part of it was that the land behind ours was owned by Champion paper company. It wasn’t fenced and it was kept clear of brush. Huge pine trees wrapped around low water creeks was my playground.

Life is a little harder in the country. If the power goes out, you have no water, because you get water from the well that is electric. The other thing about the country, you experience life and death first hand. From watching a baby calf born to smashing a snake with a shovel, everyday reminds you that life is awesome and fragile at the same time.

Steer, charm necklace

What does all of this have to do with the art I’m creating now? I began working with things I was naturally drawn to and like all artists, pondering why these seemingly disparate objects belong together and make sense in your head as well as visually. Sometimes art starts with a memory, sometimes art brings back a memory. Either way, we understand ourselves a little better and it drives us to create.

Chicken, charm necklace

Most of the new pieces came from my second home in Tarkington Prairie. Once ashamed of living there, I can now laugh at the crazy celebrations such as Dairy Day and anointing a Dairy Day Queen to lead the parade of pick-up trucks down the main street of Cleveland, Texas. I can relish the time I spent with cows, horses, pigs, chickens and ducks and the complete freedom I experienced while trekking through the woods behind our house.

Texas is my home and will always be my home. I live in Austin now and I adore it. I do miss seeing loose cows in the road, rabbits running across your path and the occasional jump from seeing a snake. I’ve just learned how to enjoy those memories and let them inspire me in a whole new way.

Austin, charm necklace within watch

For those of you who are curious, here is Tarkington Prairie

How Daylight Savings Time knocked me off the wagon.

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Daylight Savings Time...or Death by Daylight?

WOW!!! It’s been way too long since I’ve posted. I wish I could say I’ve been busy making jewelry to sale, but I haven’t. I have started several pieces but I have had a serious bout of bad time management. Is it just me, or does everyone try to get more done when there is more light at the end of the day? It’s the same 24 hours but somehow, I’ve managed to add more things to get done just because it doesn’t get dark until 7:30 – 8:00 pm. Arrggg. I’m going to fix it this week. I will rule the Daylight Savings Time demon.

A few positive things have occurred in the past 10+ days despite my DST demon. I created a beautiful charm bracelet for my daughter’s friend Mazzy. Isabelle picked all of the pearls and the crystals and I put it together. I enjoyed collaborating with her.

Mazzy's Bracelet. Her favorite color is green.

I admit that because she is only 9, I don’t give her the credit she deserves for having a great eye for color and design. This experience has made me determined to work with her more and trust her judgement. This is what leads to great artists, someone taking the time to take notice of your abilities and encourage you.

Garage sale finds have also been on the up and up. At one sale I bought a bag of buttons and a bag of beads.

bag of buttons purchased for $1

I wasn’t sure about the beads until I saw the chicken, then I knew I had to have it.

random bag of glass beads

At one sale, I got a great bundle deal for $4. I’ve actually worn one of the necklaces and received several compliments. I wish I would have made it, but I love it none the less. My four dollars bought 4 necklaces, 1 pair of earrings, 2 bracelets, one a copper cuff, a silver decorative key, and a little wooden box with brass sides. I think she was still sleepy when she made the deal. A couple more sales and I acquired two small tackle boxes. They have the see-through top that divides all the little lures, one was 50 cents and I paid a whole dollar for another. Those things are great for storage and much more expensive in a craft store. Did I mention that I really love that chicken!

The infamous chicken charm

Other big news, big to me anyway. I ordered chain, brass, antiqued copper and gun metal from chaingallery.com. They are an awesome wholesaler of chain and I got some great deals. The chain prices are basically half of what you would pay retail. The more you order, the cheaper it gets. I hate to cheat on my beloved bead stores but, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. I’m super excited to get it and start creating. As much as I love my g-sales, finding good quality chain is probably the hardest thing to do. Many times people will realize they have sterling. They price it accordingly which is more expensive than I can purchase it from a store. Brass and copper are really hard to come by and they are my favorite to use in my designs. I have found a few nice brass and copper chains at sales, but it’s just not enough. I had to find another outlet for quality chain and that’s one of the things I accomplished.

I guess these 10+ days haven’t been wasted; they just unfolded in ways that I didn’t expect or plan. I’m sure this is a good lesson, but I need a little more order and planning in my life. So now I’m officially back on the creating jewelry and blogging wagon. I find myself armed with my new g-sale finds, chain, and the knowledge of my daughter’s creative abilities.

I will slay that DST demon and grasp just a bit more control over the daylight filled hours. DST lasts until November 4th so the sooner I get a hold of it the more time I will have, or something like that…..

Hooked on a feeling

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Last week, I got a taste of what I want for my future and it tasted great! I visited several vintage and thrift stores and found a few items I could use for jewelry.

The jade turtle. I bought this necklace for the turtle

The highlight of my day was visiting a little shop, Blackbird.It’s a small boutique in an up and coming neighborhood. I’ve actually admired the building for years and it’s good to see it finally put to good use.

I spoke with one of the owners about selling my jewelry there. It’s hard for me to talk about myself and my jewelry. I don’t know why. That’s a question for another blog. I was proud that I mustered up the courage to do it this time. Guess what, it paid off. I emailed her the link to my etsy store and received some very nice compliments. If it all goes well, I will be represented at Blackbird in April! WOW!

Days like this compel me to keep creating jewelry and writing. Mixed emotions of excitement and happiness with a little fear and anxiety, all good. It’s not just the memory of this day that stays with me, it’s the feeling I get when I remember this day. Sounds silly, but I smile from the inside out.

Beautiful red mohair yarn I got from a thrift store.

I long for more of these days on a consistent basis. I want to be an artist and freelance writer full-time.
The way I felt that day is how I want to live my life everyday. That taste still lingers. I am hooked on a feeling.

I love hematite, plus the jade turtle. I got this at a vintage store.