Monday, November 19, 2012

Go Ahead - Judge the Cover

Lela: I know, right? I was inspired to take that shot after I got a look at Kathy Van Kleek's stash on one of her blog posts.
Janet: Done and done. You're the best!
Sue: My thoughts exactly. And you feel good about recycling / salvaging, too! The exam went pretty well, in the end. Yay anesthesia! Or, more appropriately, yay anesthesia to be over!

So after picking up those crinkly paper ribbons and flowers at the thrift store last week, I was inspired to do some creative wrapping brainstorming.
I ran around grabbing things I thought might look cool combined with brown kraft cardboard jewelry boxes. This included paper scrapbooking borders, strips torn from an antique dictionary with subtle brown aging on the edges of the pages, dyed paper ribbon, white and ivory ribbons in assorted styles, wooden beads and buttons and lots of brown gardening twine.
I was going for the soft - vintage - ivory - bohemian - rustic vibe.  Also, I thought it might be nice to show at least *somewhere* examples of how I wrap items for shipping. This is, of course, without the bubble wrap. But I gotta say, these little boxes do a lot to cushion fragile items from the Post Office.
Oh, right, and I am immensely proud of those little wooden buttons. The story: I found these cute little bebe log slice coasters at - you guessed it - the thrift store several months ago. There were probably 25 of them glued tightly onto a larger rustic wooden slice as the bottom of the coaster. With some effort, I was able to pry some of the little wooden slices off and then I was a little stymied. They felt too rough to use in a necklace . . . so I sat on them for a while, as I do with so many things. 
 I was browsing on Etsy one day when I found these cute wooden buttons and I thought "Ooh, I love these! They would look so great with my packaging!" Then I thought a few more moments and thought "Heeeeeeeeeeey . . . " And I got out my drill. End. Of. Story.
 I just *love* seeing the creative ways people package their pretties to send to their new homes.
 I also find it really interesting how the way I package items to ship has changed along with my creative style over time. That's why I don't like to specify how items will arrive - in a box, most likely. Wrapped? Of a certain. But with what materials? Can't say for sure. Just let the creative muse do its thing!
 Like it? Love it? Want some more - oh. I mean - have more ideas for me? Want to share your own wrapping ideas?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Rock Shop + Thrift Stores

After an exam, I always have the need for shopping therapy. However, as I am a grad student and have virtually no money, I try to stretch my negative dollars by shopping at second hand places and thrift stores. Today seemed to be a "cool stuff to package stuff in" sort of day.

Today I found this unopened box of paper sunflowers from the pottery barn and new rolls of colored paper ribbon. Also, a handful of honkin' huge sea urchin spines.
No, really. Huge. See?
Then I drove to a local rock shop that I found online after reading about the glories of local rock shops. I really shoulda taken pictures. The place was a rock tumbler's dream - full of bins brimming with slabs of rough stone - jasper, quartz, flint, obsidian + mas y mas. The owner was super sweet, too.
I got three slabs of beautiful drusy agate slabs. I'd love to get into cabbing, too. Still - one thing at a time.
They had a bunch of rough specimens, too. It is tough trying to catch the flash of mexican fire opal, but I did my best. Truly delicious.
I'm new to the thrall of opals, but I'm a fan.
What else? Yeah, and a handful of rough North Carolina emeralds. Hardness of 8. Debating if I have the patience to try and drill 'em . . .
Bonus shot: the really yummy stuff I've been organizing. Indian brass, ammonite, African trade beads, artisan lampwork glass, artisan ceramic beads, raw rubies, ocean amber, Roman glass, fossilized bone and belemnite . . . oh yeah.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Putting Holes in Things

I have decided reply to comments in my blog rather than in the comments, since *I* always forget that I have commented and often miss the reply by other bloggers.

Sue- thank you for your solidarity! Maybe we can switch earring pairs and finish the other one's off. ;)
Richelle - I think asymmetry may be the key to staving off insanity - as long as one is properly organized enough to be able to *find* coordinating elements!
Shreen - knitted things are probably even worse, 'cuz I imagine a slipper takes a while longer than an earring to produce.
Monica - welcome to my blog and thank you for the compliment!

Modeling one of my new soldered-ring necklaces with the lovely Shreen.

I have a new toy! One of several that I have been picking up recently. Just wait 'til my new bracelet mandrel comes in.

I have a happy new drill press – er – dremel press. I was inspired to acquire one by the lovely Pipnmolly, as well as the intriguing bone shard fossils I had recently acquired that were practically begging for holes.
9 fossil bone relics of the miocene epoch
I can now put holes in things. Most things. Quartz things are too hard, and by that I mean they take too long and I don’t have the patience for them. Plus my diamond drill bits are just regular hardware store quality and I don’t have supreme faith in them.

Lesson here? Sparkly rocks are not easy to drill. *sad face*
Fossil bone earrings, Long dangly rustic wire wrapped fossilized whale bone shard - Secrets of the Deep
I am nearly vibrating with the excitement of being able to gather tumbled beach stones to drill and use in pieces. I made one trip to the river near my house and found mud, copious amounts of beached algae, large snails, and horrifying quantities of poison ivy. There were no tumbled stones. 

So now I need more things to drill!

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Trials of Earrings

When I consider the items I have up for sale in my etsy shop, I realize that although necklaces take forever to make and use more materials I have approximately 5x more necklaces than earrings. I have a good reason for this.

I hate making earrings. 

Earrings can be as simple as leetle drops on a hook, but something within me rebels against this. “It’s too easy,” I think. “Anyone could do this,” I think. And yet, sometimes, I fold and make these kind. I feel cheap. But I do it. 

If I don’t make these simple drops, then things get even more complicated. Then the earrings require a design. This is hard enough. But when I think one up by trying dozens of trials on one earring and finally finish it to my satisfaction, I’m not finished. I have to make another one.

The problem with earrings is that you have to make two of them. That’s kinda the point. Furthermore, earrings are intrinsically meant to be two little matchy-matchy pieces. I have found that once I make one of them, I’m done with that design and want to do something new with the second one, which invariably makes finishing the pair a tedious process—or else an unfinished one—since I generally can’t find the parts that I want to finish the second earring to make it complement the first but not be a carbon copy. I have a very short attention span.

Why are earrings so hard?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Creek Becomes a River

I am still alive. Just wanted to clarify that.

I spent the summer working at a veterinary clinic as a vet nurse. I've spent many hours in vet clinics before, but always as an observer or a "little helper." Never been paid before.

I worked hard. My standing muscles developed so that my back didn't ache after the 11 hours on my feet. I learned a lot. I got to do jugular blood draws, insert venous catheters, draw up and give injections, identify parasites under a microscope, and clean a lot of nasty dog/cat teeth.

School has started again, and just like that my need to blog has returned. I don't understand my neural connection between book-learning and the absolute necessity of creating new things and charting them online. My crafty drive is back - it is a river again instead of the trickling little creek it was this summer.
I'm trying something new with the photographs; instead of simply photoshopping, I'm trying this online editor called pixl. It's fun experimenting with it, and I enjoy the effect.This is an example of how I feel like it makes the colors pop more without making them untrue to the real colors of the piece.
You can do montages, too.
What do you think?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Muse Has No Hands

The Muse, or Inspiration, has a thousand other names I call that feeling that grips me when I can feel a new idea tickling the back of my cerebellum. (Medically, I doubt that the Muse should be tickling at the cerebellum--it's probably somewhere in the cortex probably, but this is taking-the-metaphor-too-far.)
Sometimes the Muse seems to know exactly what it wants, and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes I don't think it knows how to put the feeling or picture into being. Sometimes I just second-guess it and refuse to let it do what it wants. Because, you know, the Muse has no hands.
The Muse wanted a copper bead to put into the above necklace - and these are things I made that the Muse rejected for this particular piece (mostly because the little buggers kept on taking on minds of their own and turning out quite different than I expected, but I was patient and let them do what they wanted. It's the same deal I made with my hair in high school - I let it do what it wanted, and it would in turn not look dreadful.)
This is, without question, the most frustrating part about being Intuitive (Myers-Briggs personality testing). I can only start with a vague idea of what I'm looking for (the Muse knows, but I don't), and I simply tinker and mix and discard until I end up with something that I like, regardless of how closely it resembles the foggy original picture misting through my imagination.
This is what I finally ended up with. It's very "out there," and when I finished I thought "Who's brave enough to wear this?" But the Muse insisted that I was finished, and so here it is.

And here, for no particular reason, are the posters I drew for the rooms at the CVF conference this weekend!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Natural and Rustic Show Display Ideas

I was invited to do my very first show this summer at the Columbus Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show. I’m uber excited about it, and have spent waaay too much time since then planning out my booth.
 I’m wanting to evoke a natural / rustic theme, with dark weathered wooden crates and boxes mixed with natural elements like a hulkin’ big grapewood branch, animal sculptures, and stones. 
I couldn’t resist making creatures a mini-theme, ‘cuz of the whole “vet student” thing.

I’ve been looking for day valises and small vintage suitcases to use to add height to the display, and I struck it big at a local consignment/antique shop. I found this adorable leather suitcase with two separate compartments AND this weathered white shutter that will be perfect for displaying earring cards. 
I already know that by the time the show rolls around, I will have had the opportunity to gather approximately 6 times the amount of stuff that I need to adequately display my pieces. I am steeling myself to say “NO” to the wondrous items that I know I will find, because I also know that I won’t be able to stop myself from searching, just in case the *ultimate* piece appears. 
Hee. Mebbe I could run a side business selling the extra display items that I find . . .

Saturday, March 10, 2012

See? I can make things.

I've been playing with my polymer clay and leetle letter stamps. 
It started with a mammoth the Muse  demanded I make and went on from there.
 This one I drew on with a black Sharpie and then sealed with wax.
 Means, loosely translated, "Art lasts forever, life is short."
 Y'like that upside-down "e"? Yeah, I did that on purpose. Really.
 For some reason, this one is screaming, "Sexual tension." Or "Britney Spears." Yikes.
 I like this one. Looks vaguely like a continent.
Not too hokey?

After that, there were the letters.
 And the numbers.
 Alcohol inks with a sponge.
 Then reeeally fine copper wire found at a thrift store.
 And smash 'em a little with a hammer.
 That's good, clean fun for you. Actually, my fingernails are still sorta purply-red.
See? I can make stuff. Nice things! So creative. So crafty. So clever.