Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Continued Progress and Reflection

It is the last day of Art Every Day Month and I am a little sad. 

I have enjoyed the ride. 

Mostly I have enjoyed getting to know the other artists that have participated. Visiting their blogs, reading your comments, sharing emails, supporting one another, and getting to know you. I hope that you'll sign up to follow my blog as I continue on my journey of becoming, growing, and embracing the artist that I am.

Back on November 9th I posted about carving wax and I posted the photo below. 

Well, I've made a little progress since then... (my picture aren't the best, sorry, the BF is still in bed)

I still have a ton of work to do on the flower and plan to make a couple more flowers before I take them to the caster. 

Refining, when working with wax, means adding texture if you want it, smoothing if you don't and most importantly sanding. Ideally you want to make your wax piece be as close to what you expect the final metal piece to look and feel like. Don't get me wrong, once cast, you will still have to sand and buff your final metal piece but if you refine the wax before casting the cleanup will be so much less.

What made these pieces particularly difficult and time consuming is the size - at one point I thought of starting  over but I have always loved little charms so I am sticking with it.

As I continue blogging and creating, I plan to post a few times a week. 

More about that in a future post on Friday so come back to visit.

Thank you for stopping by, commenting, and following my journey. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I Love Flowers. . .

Thank you to all who have visited and continue to visit, read and comment. I have really enjoyed AEDM because of you. You have inspired me and reinforced that I am on the right path. Thank you for being a part of my journey!

Flowers appear in my creative work often.

I really do love flowers. The simple complexity and the beauty. The fact that they don't last long once cut so you have enjoy them (really enjoy them) may make me appreciate them even more. 

Also, I have such fond memories of both my Mom and Gram having such beautiful flower gardens. My Mom's garden is still beautiful.

I photograph flowers all the time. Making specific plans to visit certain parts of Central Park in Spring to specifically shoot the tulips. I simply love them. 

I have, also, often cut them out of silver sheet to create pendents and twisted flowers out of wire. Creating greeting cards with twisted wire flowers on the front of the card. A small bouquet of wire flowers to brighten my desk. 

I've just never thought of sharing and making them available to all of you. Crazy how the obvious just isn't so obvious sometimes.

I recently cut a couple of flowers out of paper to create a card which I hung a pair of my pearl earrings on to give to a friend. I, of course, kept the sheets of paper thus the pattern of the flowers. 

I am going to create necklaces and earrings. 

Now, to create centers from buttons or beads

Flowers are a theme that I rely often in my creative work (photographs, jewelry, sketching, painting). 

Does your work have a theme? 

Do you return to a particular theme when you need be inspired?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Shared Messages from the Universe - Become. . .

1. to come, change, or grow to be 
2. to come into being

I walked past this last week while walking with a friend and I instantly knew I had to take a picture. 

I also instantly thought about my blog, my photography, the jewelry I've started to make again, carving stamps, the etsy store that isn't open, and dreaming of the much needed studio space. 

And then I took a deep breath...took the picture and kept walking.

While at lunch, my friend mentioned that she reads my blog at midnight after her day job and Mom duties are finished and how proud she is that I have started discover the creative part of me again.

I love my friends. They really are an extended part of my family. Thank you!

Looking back on this picture I realized that it is a process. To BECOME. This journey of creating, taking more pictures, living a creative life - my life.

I also realized that right now, at this moment, I am BECOMING...slowly BECOMING the artist that I want to BE.

I need to enjoy the journey, do what I can, not beat myself up when I cannot, and most importantly embrace where I am at this time.  

Don't get me wrong, I still have dreams and goals but part of them is THE BECOMING, the growing, the ride, the journey.

Even though I may not BE where I want to BE entirely...I am BECOMING. Rather than just dreaming - I am doing, creating and listening to the song my soul sings.

Today, I encourage you to BECOME...

Listen to that little voice, that whisper that teases and tugs at your soul. 


How will you take one step (may it be sideways if necessary) towards living your dream - towards BECOMING who and what you are deep down inside? 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday Color Snippets

I've been a little under the weather the past few days - all those plans to do so many things was put on hold. I had been thinking about this post and orignally had a goal of continueing to find colors on the streets and creating mosiacs. But, that just wasn't going to happen - life does just get in the way sometimes. 

Happily, because of the BF, I was able take some photos even though I haven't felt well. I fell in love with these while waiting in a checkout line. I not only bought them because of the colors (which is why I picked them up in the first place) but also because I knew there would pleasure in the consumption.

These are beautifully wrapped dark chocolate bars. I love dark chocolate.

The BF craved chocolate and because he's such a doll he asked which bar(s) he could taste. It gave me the chance to photograph them before he tore into them.

I love the colors, the patterns, the fact that each bar is made with cocoa from a different country. Simple joy.

Oh, and Tucker (our cat) was even curious and wanted to help. 

Here you can see the countries listed on the side of each bar. 

Are you surrounded by color?  

Can you find color in your everyday?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Bit of Brooklyn and Distraction...

I and the BF visited new friends in Brooklyn for Thanksgiving. 

Walking from the subway stop to the waterfront in DUMBO - I of course was distracted (textures, shapes, colors) and before knocking on the door we had to meander so I click a few pics.

By the way, this is a normal thing - me getting distracted by something I see. Something that most people walk past every day. So, if we are walking together and I am not keeping up, it is probably because I've taken my camera out to capture something that I noticed. 

Peaking at the Brooklyn Bridge...

Pattern - texture everywhere...

And, just across from the front door of their building someone had spread a whole lotta love. I couldn't resist capturing the love.
What has recently distracted you? 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Twisted Thanksgiving. . .

The BF and I spent Thanksgiving with new friends and had a fantastic time. The food was beyond delicious, the sense of community heartwarming but what touched us most were the open arms and how welcome we felt. Simply beautiful.

Our hosts repeatedly mentioned that had meant to purchase drink charms so that we could keep track of our drinks through the night but they hadn't found any that they liked so no purchase was made. I noticed that there was wire formed to create her name in her home on the wall and asked if she had more wire. 

She returned with wire and tools. 

I proceeded to twist and wrap and create. 

My first were simple, my and the BF's initials.

I then started to ask what people wanted and the requests began; a camera, a fork, a crown, an owl, a heart, a snake, and glasses. SO MUCH FUN!

I have to say that my favorite are the three below because of the complexity and plus - they were really fun to make.

I hope your Thanksgiving was filled with joy.

How were you creative yesterday?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gratefulness Abounds

Sending our love to our family and friends across the country and around the world.

We are sincerely thankful for the every day joy and love in our lives.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Twisting and Wrapping

Twisting more pearl earrings. 

As you can see, I have a large collection of pearls; freshwater, natural, man made, dyed and I'm sure that if I looked I probably have more.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I tend to work in stages. In the photo above you can see groups of pearls in plastic bags. As I watched tv last night, I sorted and selected pearls for more earrings. I then cut wire. I have a couple of pairs finished. Now, I just need to twist and wrap the wire to make more.

HINT: store your silver jewelry in a jewelry box or in individual plastic bags with a piece of  regular chalkboard chalk. The chalk will absorb the airborne substances that causes tarnish. Remember to change the chalk every couple of months. 

Well, twisting wire and pearls will need to wait - I need to go shopping for tomorrow. 

I am looking forward to spending the holiday with new found friends.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Shared Messages from the Universe & AEDM

Shared Messages from the Universe

 I saw this sign yesterday - 3 times.  As an artist this is so important. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't want everyone to become arrogant and over-the-top pompous. But, I believe that you must create from the heart and not create something because it is the latest and greatest "thing" that is selling.

I believe that as an artist it is so important to create what you love - that your art comes for your soul. Since, as an artist, you are also the person who markets and sells your creations you must also be proud of what you do.  I'm not sure about the rest of you, but a little piece of me goes into to everything that I make. How I see something that I photograph, the angle, the focus - the piece of jewelry that I make, too.  My art is who I am - at least it is a huge part of me - so I need to be proud of it.

So, live proud - proud of who you are and of what you create.

Have you noticed any Shared Messages from Universe?

Share your message by joining my Flickr group by the same name: Shared Messages from the Universe and link your photos.

I'd love to see the messages that have inspired you.


Art Every Day

Yesterday, the BF and I walked across Central Park to Columbus Circle and then north on Broadway. 

Happily at Columbus Circle we stumbled upon these elephants. Life size bronze elephants. This is me next to one of them (the BF took this picture).

Have I ever shared that I love public art installations and sculpture? 

Well, I love public art installations and sculpture. I am always fascinated when I see them in the city. I walk all around them, I will lie on the ground to see them against the buildings - I can get lost looking at them, touching them, and photographing them.


Sculpture, so much fun! 

On the streets of NYC so unexpected and so much fun!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Color Snippets

The past few weeks at the farmer's market I have been seeing purple.

Purple was my Gram's favorite color.

As I was editing photos this week, I kept pausing on the purple pictures and my mind would wonder to a memory of my Gram. It is interesting how seeing something can make your memories surface.

Gram, I paused this week on your birthday, and remembered all the love you shared during your life. You are missed.

Does a color ever bring back memories for you?

I hope your Sunday is full of color.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sway, Embrace, Dance

Art Every Day

When most people look at Ginkgo trees

they see fans -

well I see skirts.

Skirts that dance in the wind.

Do me today!

Put your favorite song on and dance!

Celebrate you!

Friday, November 18, 2011

AEDM & Friday Frenzy

Art Every Day

Editing photos is time consuming. I'll be honest; I get lost, bored, and frustrated during the process because I would rather be out taking more pictures. But in the end, I am always amazed at the colors, the angles, and that I have so many keepers. I have had a lot of fun taking pictures recently and the best part is honestly sharing them with you.

I felt and acted like a child as I walked around in the leaves. It was liberating.

Friday Frenzy
[this is my regular Friday post]

Thinking about everything I want to do this weekend is a bit overwhelming thus the frenzy...but happily I don't just have a weekend - I have a week! I have taken next week off from the "day job" - yahoo! A whole week to create, do yoga, meet with friends. I am more than excited.

  • Creating glass pendants out of my photos. (I have shared the set up with you in a past post but this next week the creating begins.)
  • More photo taking.
  • A visit to my old job for a couple of volunteer hours.
  • Scheduled visits with long time girl friends and new found friends.
  • More jewelry; more work on the charms I am carving from wax, more earrings to twist and I am hoping to finish the bracelet/watch, too.
  • Very much needed reorganization in my apartment.

So much fun frenzy I am not sure what to do first...

What are your week/weekend plans? What's your frenzy?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Random Thoughts

Art Every Day

I admit it, I love color. I live in a city where black is the norm and it is acceptable if you wear it every day. I am guilty of it.

So, lately, I've been taking a lot of pictures and upon review of all the photos, I discover that I focused primarily on one or two colors during my expedition.

This past Saturday I took over a hundred photos. Part of my creative process is to sort through all the pictures I took; delete the really bad ones (yes, there are always really bad ones), keep the ones I want, sort and file them, and determine how to use them. This honestly can take a lot of time and often doesn't feel very creative but it has to be done. This task is often spread out throughout the week and done after a long day at the day job. It does remind me about my passion and what I love to do.

On my short walk home from Central Park I stood on the corner of Madison Avenue and 79th street and chose to take pictures of everything red. In this post are a couple of mosaics of all things red that I could see. I plan to return to the same corner this weekend and see if I can shoot other colors - I'll share what I discover.

What color do you notice most often? What if you challenge yourself to notice another color?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Escaping Reality

Art Every Day - Day 16 my day 10

I get homesick this time year. Well, not necessarily during this month because in Wisconsin it is cold now but if I could time travel I would go back to the first and second week of October. See Autumn unfolds in the city much later than back home but it reminds me of home every year. I long for the smell of Fall. Hot apple cider, the smell of the earth as it starts to settle in for winter, long walks in the woods, the beauty of Rockbridge (a small area north of my hometown), the Wisconsin River Valley, visits to the apple orchard. . . I could go on and on.

So, I left my office day job during the middle of the day (an amazing achievement in itself) and took a walk yesterday. I almost always gravitate to a small park just to see trees and divorce myself from the concrete. Inside the park there is a fountain and it was filled with leaves. I was fascinated. They appeared to have been painted and stuck behind resin...then I laughed because only an artist would describe them that way.

I then walked back to my daytime reality and dove back into a series of spreadsheets. Oh, don't get me wrong, I was still daydreaming of home but duty called.

How do you escape your reality?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Art Every Day & Tidbit Tuesday

Art Every Day - day 15 my day 9 (I've played hooky a few days)

Garnets, rose quartz, sterling silver, flat headpins - maybe a watch...maybe just a bracelet.

I'm not sure how everyone else works but I tend to work in stages. In this case, I will thread each bead with a headpin and bend the headpin at a right angle then to keep the bead in place. I will move on to the next one. I can do this while I watch tv. Later, I will wrap the wire around the pliers to make the loop on each bead. It may not be efficient - I'm not sure but it does mean that I can do two things at once.

I'll share more as it continues to evolve.

Tidbit Tuesday
Tidbit: a choice or pleasing bit (as in information)

Little tidbits about me...

  • I love to be pampered. Mani/Pedi, massage, bubble bath.
  • On a rainy day, I love a cozy blanket, a hot cup of tea, a purring cat and a good book.
  • I love my early mornings. Coffee, my iPad to read blogs and post to mine, my cat next to me - the BF is still in bed. Selfish, I know, but I like the solitude. Giggle, FYI my apartment is a studio apartment - one room, no door between the sleeping and living spaces - he sleeps only feet away - I guess it is my kind of solitude.

Share a little tidbit about yourself in the comments.
I'd love to know more about you to.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Shared Messages from the Universe

No, AEDM post today but instead my regular Monday post.

During this past Summer, I participated in the Do What You Love e-course and one of the exercises that Beth had us do was search for messages from the universe. This touched me so deeply and it inspired me to pay more attention to the world around me. I honestly see little messages all over the place.

A couple weeks ago there was a comment left on my blog by one of you that stated that you wish you could find these where you live. I took this to mean that it must be easier for me to see them because i live in NYC. It made me think about this but only for a moment. It also inspired me because I honestly see messages in magazines, newspapers, inside stores and I take my camera out and snap a photo at any time. I also realized that I have only posted the messages That I've seen when on the street.

So, the message this week comes via my addiction, oh, I mean love, of travel magazines. I embrace the stories of far away places and fall in love with the photography so much that I get lost for hours. This message was noticed in multiple magazines during the past week. A message to me that I need to keep reaching for my dreams - it validated my current journey of my creative life.

Have you noticed any Shared Messages from Universe?

Share your message by joining my Flickr group by the same name: Shared Messages from the Universe and link your photos.

I'd love to see the messages that have inspired you.

Also, do you have a favorite travel magazine? My new favorite is AFAR (nothing gained by putting that out there), the photography is so rich and inviting. I would love to know if you have a favorite.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday Color Snippets

Art Every Day - my day 8

How beautiful leaves grow old.
How full of light and color are their last days.
- John Burroughs

I fell in love yesterday.

Giggle, let me clarify. I left the BF in bed, bundled up and with cameras in tow I ventured to Central Park. I'll admit that my expectations were low - the Autumn colors this year just haven't been their best.

Well, I fell in love. At the Eastern edge of The Ramble I stumbled across leaves that looked painted. The colors weren't consistent across the leaves. It was almost as if a mixed media artist had created a background of color on each leaf.

This maple tree had worked so hard to deliver Autumn that I felt the need to honor it's efforts and share my love.
I played and like a child picked leaves from the ground.
Nearby, I said thank you with all my heart.

May your Sunday be captured in color.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Combining My Love for Photography & Jewelry Making

Art Every Day: Day 12 my day 7

My supplies were delivered, well the bulk of my supplies were delivered, I need a few more things but I am so excited I can't wait any longer to share this with you.

Fellow Flyer, Tracey at Chickpea Studio, posted a step by step how to make your own glass tile necklaces and Michelle at Shells in the Bush posted her most recent pendant creations from her paintings on her blog so I am more than inspired.

I am excited.

What a great way to combine my love of photography with my love of jewelry making. I have always wanted to learn to work with resin but until I have a separate studio space (it can be quite smelly) that will have to wait - so this is the next best thing.

I resized some of photos yesterday just to see if I created the right size, how they would look, blah blah blah. And, I love them.

I gravitate toward many specific things when I take pictures; texture, color, patterns but in looking back through the last few years of photos I realize that I really love flowers, messages from the universe, and street art. So, I've decided to create a mix of pendants from the last three.

Next steps print on glossy photo paper, get the rest of supplies and then wait until next weekend. I need to clean my desk and create some space in my tiny apartment in order for this work to get done in a more efficient manner.

Hmmm, I wonder what I can get rid of - this might be fun.

How you spending your weekend? What are you creating?

Friday, November 11, 2011

AEDM - Phases

Art Every Day - Day 11 my day 6

I knew early yesterday that creating for AEDM just wasn't in the cards. I honestly tend to either crash Wednesday or Thursday nights after my day job and since it didn't happen on Wednesday I knew that it would on Thursday.

So, I consciously decided to take 3 pictures out my window at work during the day.

I work in Manhattan just 2 blocks away from the Empire State building. My office faces North, the sun would be at my back, and one of the buildings across the street is not gray - it is brown, orange and brick. I wanted to capture that building, the sky and the light at 3 separate times.

I took the following pictures close to Noon, 3pm and 5 pm out my closed 11th floor window. These are untouched and unaltered.

Notice how the sky changes, the shadow on the building, and the colors. The light at Noon was so white but by 3pm had become warmer and made the building and the sky richer in color. This is good to know when you are taking portraits. Portraits taken during the middle of the day will be washed out or highly shadowed but if you wait just a few hours the colors will be richer. If you wait too long, you'll miss the best light.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Art Every Day - A Necklace via Knotting

Art Every Day - Day 10, my day 5

I have been working on this necklace for about a month now.

No, not consistently, as you can see by other posts I jump around and work on a lot of different projects. This is a necklace of pearls and shell. Each bead is individually knotted. The knot should be placed as close to the bead as possible. Once the knot is secure it is glued.

It has taken me awhile, because I honestly, I cannot work on knotting consistently for a long period of time. My hands just don't let me - they cramp due to the tension that you must keep on the silk thread when pulling the knot tight. So, I do a few knots a couple times a week.

I choose to not get discouraged because there is no deadline. The process is different than my other endeavors so, I choose to embrace it. I have also come to accept that when a piece speaks to me and needs to be knotted (trust me, I sometimes sit down with a design and the beads end up leading and changing the plan) I quickly know that I just need to trust and go with the flow.

This piece will be finished on the ends with French wire (which basically is shaped like a very tiny slinky). I will create an s-curve clasp and then I will decide to part with it.

Sometimes, parting with a labor of love is the most difficult part of creating.

Do you ever fall in love with your creations?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

AEDM - Carving Wax

Art Every Day Month - my day 4
I participated in jewelry making classes a few years ago. Yes, "fine" jewelry making classes. I learned how to carve wax so that my piece could be cast. I learned how to use a jewelers saw and cut a sheet of sterling silver, pound, file, sand, solder, and form my design into wearable art.

Oh, how I miss all of it - so, I've decided that even though I can't have an acetylene torch in my apartment, there are other ways that I can continue my craft.

I sat down at my desk and started by sawing a piece of wax (much harder than candle wax) into a smaller piece, then into a shape resembling what I want in the end. I have decided to create my own small charms: hearts, flowers, a butterfly maybe.
I love to see where this takes me because honestly carving isn't my favorite part of jewelry making. I prefer a sheet of metal. I prefer to take the flat sheet and form, saw and pound it into a 3 dimensional piece of art (see below). I do have to admit though that I had fun starting my charms. For me, the difficult part is next -  refining and sanding the wax piece. It needs to be as perfect as possible - meaning no blemishes so that the casting result has few imperfections.

Below is a necklace I designed and created out of sterling silver and bronze using Swarovski Gems. This was featured in Swarovski's 2010 Gem Visions book and can be seen in full by clicking here.

I love to make jewelry - it really is what makes me dance inside. I get lost in the process and hope one day to create full time with metal and a torch.

What makes you dance inside?  Does your soul sing when you are doing what you love? 

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