Fashion brooches

I love taking bits and pieces of things–paper, wood, anything–and putting them together in different ways. My late grandmother was an expert at this, whether it was putting together a meal, a quilt or a decorative wall covered in magazine pages.

My collage work stems from my earliest memories of that on some unconscious level. And, these recently created fashion brooches–created from bits and pieces of wood and sometimes mixed with other items–do, too. I’m honored to have some of them selected for sale in the Attleboro Museum of Art’s gift shop.

Paying attention to time

“Time is an equal opportunity employer.  Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day.  Rich people can’t buy more hours.  Scientists can’t invent new minutes.  And you can’t save time to spend it on another day.  Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving.  No matter how much time you’ve wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow.”  ~Denis Waitely

I was very aware of the preciousness of time this weekend, given the recent horrific reminder in Colorado that we don’t know when we are out of time. My heart goes out to all of those who died in the darkness of that movie theater and to those who survived and likely will never be the same.

I spent my time this weekend doing things I should do (exercising at an 8:30 a.m. Zumba class); things I need to do (running errands); and things I love to do (taking my teenager  to see a movie, where I had a conversation with him that I never imagined I’d need to have about what to do if there is ever gunfire in a theater).

I also frantically worked on art and jewelry in my studio as the hours quickly slipped away.

Preparing for Open Studios

It’s that time of year again. That time when I stop procrastinating (I mean it) and get ready for the Dorchester Arts Collaborative Open Studios weekend that takes place in October.

I’ve started by gearing up my jewelry making efforts. This weekend I made 10 necklaces (above is one of the new ones). I love being forced to focus on a deadline, well, not really, but looks like I need an ax over my head to get going.The Muse is stubborn sometimes.  🙂 I’m aiming to have at least 20 new designs to show by October, which is very doable. After I get to 20 I’ll switch to making my handcrafted greeting cards.

It’s really great to immerse myself. Once I get going, each project inspires the next. I’ll start going through my bead stash while working on one necklace and get ideas for three more before I can even get that one done. I love those bursts of creativity. If I could just win the lottery, I could do this every day.

Living, drawing, honoring

Weekends slip by so quickly. And this one was no different. I saw “The Amazing Spiderman” with my 13-year-old son–13, still hard to say that. I like going to the movies with him. It’s the only time he allows me within his protective-bubble-personal space for long periods of time, now that he’s a teenager (of which he reminds me often).

I worked on some projects that I’ve long procrastinated over—finally created the necklaces that my friend has been waiting for. Hope she likes them. And I shortened a necklace for a client. It’s so nice to cross promised projects off my list.

I found time to do a quick pencil sketch (above). I may totally change this with some collage work. I haven’t decided yet. Well, I know the hands–my weakness–still need work. So I’ll have to revisit this one again.

I also made another necklace (below). The necklace is in honor of an in-law who died far too soon–although I think that could be said of any age when someone dies. I only spent time with her on two occasions because she lived in Africa. She only spoke the native language and French, and I only speak English, but each time she communicated well–though she was very shy–in smiles and laughter.

As I created this necklace, which is made from beads (stones) sent as a gift to me from her mother  directly from Africa, I thought of her and tried to reflect my vision of her as I designed—her earthiness, the beauty of her nature, the lasting impression she made with a will as strong as stone and a personality imbued with soft shades of loveliness that always managed to radiate the brightest joy.  The last two beads at the end of the necklace are two black beads–a reminder that everything comes to an end, fades to black. The toggle that closes the necklace is a flower–a reminder that more beauty awaits us in the afterlife. Rest, Dear One.

Winter sparkle

The one thing I love about winter (the theme for Creative Every Day Month) is the encouragement to sparkle and shine at holiday parties. I went to a fabulous, fabulous party last night as the guest of my good friend and art buddy. It was at the Boston Public library on a floor that I have never been on–all marble, ornamentation, wall paintings and beautiful lighting. I felt like I was sitting in a work of art all night, and I so enjoyed watching the pageantry of women in their finest sparkly things and stilettos parading in the soft glow of colored lights. No stilettos for me. Instead I hand on sensible low-heeled slingbacks, BUT, BUT, they were (fake) diamond studded and fabulous. I also had on a sparkly necklace that I designed. This was a busy week of design for me. It began with a request to make a red necklace and wrapped up today with me making three more necklaces because I was inspired by beads as I started to put them back in their boxes. I couldn’t stop designing. Here, you see the results (I will put them in my Etsy shop soon). Happy Holidays!

TGIM: Thank Goodness It’s Monday

Thank Goodness it’s Monday. I can finally get some rest after my very busy weekend. Friday I had a craft fair from 11 to 4 p.m. Saturday I had another craft fair from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Both required lots of loading and unloading. At least I got some exercise. The craft fair on Friday was a great success; the one on Saturday, not so much. Live and learn. It’s all about the venue and the perspective audience. Regardless, I enjoyed all of the wonderfully supportive comments about my jewelry and handcrafted cards. One of my favorite parts of doing a craft fair is the time between customers in which I create little pieces of quick art. It makes the time fly in a very productive way. This little Zentangle-lish drawing (Sharpie marker on paper) is my version of snowflakes in keeping with the winter theme of Creative Every Day Month.

On Saturday evening, I had dinner with friends in celebration of a birthday. We all had a great time. And it was so nice to see my friend’s reaction to the Shrinky Dink angel I made to decorate her gift box and then to the two pairs of earrings I made. My friends are so supportive. They keep me going.

Sunday morning after returning from my son’s swim class I had to rush off to bead stores to get supplies to design some custom necklaces. At one of my craft fairs, someone asked me whether I had any red necklaces to show her. I did not. So funny, I love red, but I don’t seem to design with it very much. So I took on the challenge of designing some red necklaces to show–three of them by TODAY, Monday. That meant that I spent most of last night designing. I felt like I was on Lifetime’s “Project Accessory,” which fascinates me (on the first show contestants were taken to a dilapidated building and given a few minutes to basically go through trash to find materials to design accessories. They came up with fabulous pieces). Art under the gun. Love it. What I love about this request is that  it pushed me to design in a color that I love, filling a gap in my line of jewelry. The jury is still out on whether this very stylish potential client will like any of the three necklaces. I love them and plan to do more.

Whew! I’m exhausted. Goodnight, art project waiting on my craft table. Goodnight, laundry still in the dryer. Goodnight, dishes. Goodnight, moon.

New jewelry

Busy. New jewelry for Open Studios in October. Shrinky Dink.

New jewelry, courtesy of Hurricane Irene

While the power was out after Hurricane Irene hit, I had a chance to focus on making lots of jewelry. Here are just a couple of the necklaces. I’ll post more later. This display unit is courtesy of the brainstorm I awoke with this morning. I’ve had this “body” for years after picking it up from a retail store that went out of business. They used it to display lingerie. I knew it would come in handy one day for something creative. I made the top of the dress out of tissue paper and the skirt is made of wire mesh. These items will be in my Etsy shop soon.

CED: Shrinky Dink red

I had a great time playing around with Shrinky Dink plastic this weekend making this pair of red earrings, which are perfectly fitting for the “red” theme for the month of August for the Creative Every Day Challenge.

Wow. August is almost over, and school will start soon. Can’t believe summer has passed by so fast. Time flies. This evening as I went for an walk around 7 I could feel and see time slipping away in the unexpectedly cool breeze, the dwindling of the daylight so much sooner than last month, and the yards full of children romping out the remaining days of summer break. Halloween decorations are already out in the stores. Bah Humbug! Why are we in such a rush?

Child’s play, artist’s work

Leave it to a child to remind me that art is all about play. A co-worker’s young daughter was in the office recently. I noticed a cute little necklace she was wearing. It was a little plastic flower-shaped pendant with stripes. It turns out that she made it herself using something I had never heard of: Shrinky Dink. I asked her all about it.  She gave me all of the details and even help me find it in the local art store (accompanied by her mom). I tried it this weekend and OMG! I’m hooked! I created these earrings using this material, which is basically some kind of magic plastic that you can draw on, bake and turn into a hardened object of any shape that can be used  in many imaginative ways. You’ve got to try it at least once. Thanks so much, Co-worker’s Daughter.

%d bloggers like this: