Last night my other half and I ventured out to the beautiful Hippodrome Theater downtown to see "Cirque Dreams." Let's just say I am a HUGE fan of Cirque du Soleil, so much so that when we were planning our wedding, I was pushing for a cirque theme. I lost that battle when my husband said, "I'm trying to get married, not go to a carnival." But I digress. I love the artistry of the shows, the colors, costumes, textures, lighting, music, make up and masks. And I love the stories that cirque builds the show around. I always leave feeling inspired to be creative. I envy the costume and mask designers- that has to be the best job in the world. To my disappointment I figured out about half way through that "Cirque Dreams" is in no way affiliated with "Cirque du Soleil." First tip off, all the English speaking. Second, no band. Third, pretty bad vocalist. All right, voice wise she wasn't that bad, but the song lyrics were really bad and she was singing something just about every 10 mins throughout the 2 hour show. Annoying after the 3rd song. As I was reading the play bill trying to figure out what was going on, I saw that Cirque Dreams was started in Florida in the 80's....hmmmm...... Needless to say, the acrobats, jugglers, balancers and contortionists were right on par with "Soleil's," so we did quite enjoy ourselves. But there is nothing like sitting under that crazy stripped tent when Cirque du Soleil comes to town...
That there was so much math involved in jewelry making???? Last night was my first class in ring making at MICA, with the very talented Kirsten Rook, who by the way is featured in this book
"1000 Rings." I was doing fine with all the tools, terminology, and materials, until she began writing on the board the formula for finding the inner circumference of a ring. My eyes glazed over. It involved multiple multiplications and additions and I think even the use of "pi." I haven't see that since I almost failed algebra 2 in high school. Let's just say that a certain somebody WANTED to be a veterinarian until that somebody discovered just how much math was involved, and then that somebody ended up in art school. And now that math is back to haunt me. The flip side is that I have somehow grown into a "bit" of an anal retentive perfectionist, so getting the equation right equals a perfect fit. I realized just how much trouble I was in as Kirsten began explaining how you had to file the ends of the ring "perfectly" so they fit together nicely, and I realized I had already worked up a sweat with just my filing. It's going to be a long semester....
Enamel, copper and sterling silver "Teensy" earrings. Hand sawed for an organic shape with a concave curve. Fun colors and enameling applications. No 2 will ever be alike.
"Lil Blu Bird" chokers. Enamel on copper and either copper, sterling or gun metal chain. These delicate chokers hang just under the collar bones. I recently discovered this great "gun metal" chain, and I can't get enough of it. It's a shiny black and compliments the bright enamels nicely.
All have been listed in my shop, along with many more new goodies!
Anatomical hearts have been showing up in my work for quite sometime now. In undergrad, part of my thesis was an artist book made out of red velvet and satin that was in the shape of a heart (anatomically correct of course). The viewer "un-sewed" it to reveal rolled up images on fabric, small books with text, and little trinkets. Even further back in my repertoire is a series of photos where the only light source was a slide of a heart projected on to a model. I just searched to no avail, for digital images of these works, only to find traditional slides- yep they are pretty old. When I began working with metal, the heart re-surfaced. Below is my "Heart Shaped Locket." While not totally anatomically correct, you get the idea. And I like the thought of wearing an actual "heart shaped locket" around ones neck. Yes, the piece has some construction problems- but hey, it was my first attempt at a hollow form, and bending that solid piece of sterling wire for the artery gave me a lot of trouble.
"Home is Where The Heart Is," is the result of a cold connection and patina assignment, and still is one of my most favorite pieces. While not jewelry, I prefer to think of it as a wall piece and it lives in a shadow box.
"I Gave You My Heart," is my latest flirtation with the anatomical heart. Instead of being so ambitious as with "Heart Shaped Locket," this lovely is strictly a pendant. Created from copper and nickle silver, with sterling rivets to hold it together. I made it a couple of weeks ago, but never posted about it. I am thinking of making several more for Valentine's Day- appropriate no?
Check it out! B.E.S.T, Baltimore Etsy Street Team, has a treasury spot till Monday, and one of my brooches is included! Yay! "Cream and Butter Blue" treasury, what a nice surprise...
This is one of my new favorite pieces! Enamel on pierced and sawed copper. The metal is slightly domed so it creates lovely lacy shadows when worn. Today only it's %30 off. Was $55, today it's $38.50. Head to my shop for a more detailed description and to purchase.
Today's Anniversary Sale item at www.dandelionblu.etsy.com!
Carmella Earrings- smokey quartz, carnelian and copper. %30 off today only! Enjoy!
All this week, I'll be choosing a different item each day to offer at %30 off to celebrate my one year anniversary on etsy! Today's choice is my Sweet Pea Earrings. These spring time lovelies are made from vintage lucite and sterling silver. A favorite here at Dandelion Blu. They were $22, but for today only they are $15.40. If the chosen item sells, I will choose a new item to replace it at %30 off. Keep checking back to see what's on sale each day, it could be your favorite piece. You can find the sale piece in my featured items, or under the sale section. Thanks to everyone for their love and support this past year!
I am starting a new feature where I interview artists and crafters about their creative process. I figured this blog shouldn't be only about me and my work, but about the larger creative community as well. My first interview is with the lovely and talented Becky of this chickadee. Enjoy!
1. What do you create?
as much as i can! mostly i knit, sew or crochet items but there are all sorts of ways to create and be creative. playing music, making food, writing...all of these things count too.
2. How and when did you get started?
a tricky question, because i have always dabbled...but if i have to trace back, i think the genesis of my current creative compulsions was a christmas way back in 1998. that year my mom gave me knitting needles, some yarn and a how-to book. it changed my life. seriously.
3. Who or what inspires, influences and motivates you? i have so many answers for this question. my mom and grandmother are huge inspirations. they sew, knit, crochet, cook amazing meals and live life with joy. my gramma is 91 and she is still making beautiful handcrafts. they also give me quite a bit of motivation. when i think that i can't do something i remind myself of everything that my they have accomplished with determination and strength. also, i have some incredibly talented friends who are whose creativity is electric and exciting. and then there is music! and art! and nature! and really crappy, terribly made, mass-market goods! those are excellent motivators. they make me want to go home and make things immediately.
4. Do you make your living as an artist/crafter? i'm trying. that's the goal.
5. Did you formally study, and if so where? haha. nope.
6. When and why did you start your own business, and how did you choose the name? i've been working informally for a little while now. but this past year i decided to buckle down and get somewhat professional. so i started a blog and chose a name, this chickadee. i gleaned that from my mom and gramma (again). it is something that they've always said, a way they referred to themselves. as in: 'this chickadee is going to bed' or 'this chickadee is going for a walk.'
7. What are you most proud of? i'm proud whenever i complete a project. especially if it is something that i then get to wear or use, or i can see other people wearing/using. one of the best feelings was making a dress for the first time and wearing it out.
8. What is a challenge you face in your work?
the business aspect is a challenge for me. i'd rather not bother with the facts and figures, but i suppose you do have to pay to play. if i want to make a living this way i do have to remember to honor the 'work' as well as the play.
9. What are you working on right now?
these interview questions. after this i'm going to start on a tote bag that someone has commissioned. i love making things with people in mind. it gives the project energy and life.
10. What goals do you have for the coming year?
to tackle some of these looming business issues. to have fun. to learn more. to keep the joy in what i do. to get around to actually making some of the projects that i imagine.
11. What is a little known fact about you?
i have a nice collection of smurphs and i like to play the recorder. in fact, some day i hope to have an album of beatles covers, recorder duet style.
Thanks Becky! Check out her blog, this chickadee, for more info on her work and to purchase or commission her lovely designs.
Next Friday January 18th is my one year anniversary on etsy! To celebrate I'll be offering a different piece of my jewelry each day on sale for %30 off. It will start on Monday Jan. 14th through the 18th, and I'll be featuring a different piece each day. So check the shop daily to see if your favorite is on sale! If the initial sale item is sold, I'll choose another that day, so keep checking back! Thanks to all my customers and friends for their love and support this past year. Cheers!
Keeping to my handmade pledge, I made these light switch plates for my husband for xmas. As if you already didn't know, we are in the midst of rehabbing our 1920's house from top to bottom. Even the switch plates in this place have to go. So I did a little research on art deco patterns, and created these lovelies to grace our walls. They are hand sawed nu-gold, brass, and copper pieces and then I did some texturizing with my flex shaft. A little love and sparkle for my walls...!
Smokey quartz, copper & carnelian
Peach quartz, copper & glass
Meet my Carmella earrings! For some reason- probably because I was re-watching season 2 of yes you guessed it, The Sopranos, the name Carmella struck me as a great name for this series of earrings. I stumbled across these great copper bead caps at one of my favorite bead haunts, they remind me of sea anemones or little acorn tops. The ear wires are delicately curved and have little ball accents to match the caps. The quartz is faceted for a little sparkle. I think they make fun everyday earrings. I haven't listed the orange pair in my shop yet, I think I ''ll keep them for myself! Enjoy!
"Orion," hand sawed copper and kiln fired enamel
"Cora earrings," copper, branch coral, and vintage lucite
"Orion," hand sawed copper and kiln fired enamel
"Small Orion," hand sawed copper and kiln fired enamel
I admit it, I've been dreadfully negligent of my blog. I needed a break! But it was not all xmas cookies, wine, and Sopranos (although I have moved on to "Rome") here at the dandelion house- oh no! Between the wall framing upstairs, searching for the perfect tile for my "spa" at every tile outlet in MD, trying to force a jacuzzi tub up stairs that are too narrow, bashing holes into walls, and general holiday merriment (don't ask about New Years...), I did manage to get into my studio for a bit. Now, to get work listed on esty....
****Update! new listings in my etsy shop!!