Tag Archives: art

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.

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

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.

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.

Buttons, Bye Gone

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Buttons Bygone, brass charm bracelet



It’s finished! The bracelet that took forever is finally finished and listed on etsy. This project was really tough for me. It required a lot of planning and executing. There are 25 individual pieces on it. Nine are hand-crafted findings. Creating those findings took quite a bit of experimentation to get the look and length I wanted.

I’m not complaining by any means. I know it takes time and effort to accomplish your goal. I’ve learned that time and time again with running and weight lifting. You can not make your objectives happen over night. There is no amount of hoping and praying that will work. You must put in the time and dedicate yourself to the task at hand.

Buttons Bygone is a piece that I’m really proud of. I’m thrilled with how it turned out and I’m super excited to do it again. Attaching the charms to the chain will be less time-consuming now that I know the proper way to do it. There is a method. I’m inspired. I can’t wait to go out this weekend and look for charms and items I can make into charms.

I have to admit, I am a little sad about giving up the buttons. I have a bad habit of getting attached to certain objects. The look or feel of an item will appeal to me. Sometimes it’s because I bought it at an estate sale and I feel like I know the person who used to own it. They kept for a reason and although I don’t know their reason, it makes it special to me. Other objects come from a thrift or antique store. I’ve made friends with the owners so I think of them when I see the objects and that gives them meaning.

Brass Buttons

Maybe I’m just a sentimental person, but I think that describes most artists and in particular jewelry artists. You are making pieces for people to adorn their body. Most jewelry is given for a reason or sentiment. It only makes sense that jewelry pieces have meaning.

Ultimately, I’m glad I was able to finish because now I’m ready for a new challenge. Like any good race, you savor the ecstasy of the moment you finished. You enjoy bragging rights for day or two. Then it’s back to work. It’s the same for artists.

So bye-bye buttons….Be gone! Bring on the next challenge…

Buttons Bygone, a labor of love and learning...