Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Creating New Life!

Some friends sent this video to me of Theo Jansen's living kinetic beach sculptures. Please watch the video it is amazing! Here is the Dutch artists website, Theo Jansen.

Fantastic Christmas Present!


Joe did really well this year picking out a few really good presents for me. He even bought me a present off of etsy! Kelly Farrell sells Tinysaurs, they could also be described as very very very small dinosaurs you build yourself!
You can see the Tinysaur next to a dime! I received the sheet of parts (bottom of image) that I now need to assemble into my Tinysaur, wish me luck and good eyesight! I'll post an image when I get him built! Then I must pick a name...

To match my shoes!


I found an illusion quilt that would match my shoes! I found it on etsy at Uniquely Nancy!
I love how it just pops out at you. I love optical illusions!

I'm back!


Sorry for the long break there! It's hard to post when using someone else's computer especially when I can't seem to post images. (I like posting fun pictures!)

Here is a pair of shoe's Joe bought me for Christmas! Oh how I love them! You can find them in your size at Zappos.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Here is my little 3 foot silver tensile Christmas Tree. I'm up in Ohio this week visiting my fiance's family! Have a fantastic Holiday and enjoy the little moments, the laughter, and know that you are loved.
Valerie

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Gift for me!




Look what I just bought on etsy, it's a reversible pendant! I love it! Sarah Lynne's jewelry is made of resin and she has great designs. Check out her etsy shop.

Paper Cutting...


I love this artist's work, Lucrezia Bieler.
The piece above is cut out of a single sheet of paper and all patterns, designs, and scenes are her own. She is working mostly with scissors cuttings (Scherenschnitte). Lucrezia creates paper cuttings in black and white because she like to concentrate fully on the composition and the dramatic effect of light versus dark.
I've seen her work in person and I hope to one day own a piece, please go and enjoy her website.
This scene above is from Alice in Wonderland, A Very Un-happy Birthday to You!
There is a Guild of American Paper Cutters, I've bought several books on paper cutting and I hope to try it myself!

I bet you didn't know I'm a part time statue!




Last year I found out I have a talent for standing still and scaring people. I've been paid several times to be a Living Statue and wow is it fun! I designed and made a new Statue costume with my Aunt Helen but sadly I haven't had a gig since. I'm hoping in the next 6 months to get back to it. These are some pictures of me in my costume on the pedestal my Dad and I made!

Working Hard!




So this weekend while finishing up millions of Christmas presents I was also repainting and gluing 5 pieces of furniture. I have 4 chairs that go with my kitchen table (they don't match but to me they go) that were painted blues and greens. They are all old chairs but this weekend they became 2 red chairs and 2 black chairs to go with some new decor!

I also worked on a night stand that I'm repainting and adding new drawer pulls to, to go with my bedroom furniture which I previously fixed up. I love buying stuff from the goodwill and making new! The older furniture was built to last!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Star shapes!


This past weekend I was working on Christmas presents I came up with these great shapes. I love the negative space that looks like a star in the middle.

Joe at the bench!


Joe was visiting a couple weeks ago and I taught him how to use the torch to melt scrap silver into little balls. I'm turning those silver balls into a great necklace I need to finish. How soon can I get to the studio to finish it? ; )
Joe was a great studio assistant!

Failure is Success!

It may sound contradictory but failure is success. (thoughts for today)

If it's true that the more we fail, the more we succeed (and it is), then your immediate goal should be to intentionally increase your failure rate! With this thought in mind, you're succeeding even when you fail. Yes, this is a counter-intuitive, reverse thinking philosophy. But trust me, it works!

In other words fill out more applications for books, shows, competitions and art shows. The more applications you send out the more likely you are to get in one. Believe me I get lots of rejection letters, I even got two on the same day. But it means I'm putting myself out there and trying. I'm not whining about my life and not doing anything about it!

Don't mentally punish yourself for failing, occasionally reward yourself for it. You can tell yourself that you're one step closer to success!

For more on Overcoming Failure...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I love pasta!




I know I'm posting a lot today, I'm making up for lost time! Pasta is tasty and comes in so many shapes and sizes and here is a large Flying Spaghetti Monster wall hanging made out of various pastas. Above that is a solid gold pasta necklace by Jennifer Kellogg Jewelry. Both of these make me smile, I love how they're both all about pasta yet extremely different!

Inspiring!



I found this artist on the 18kt blog. I love the clean simple lines and careful protective placement of the pearls. Yum! The company name is Takto.

I heart this!


I love this handwoven bag!

For the love of it.

This post was inspired by Megan Auman's post.

I’ve talked to high end jewelry artists at shows for years and felt very let down by the fact that many of them are able to make their beautiful work because they inherited money or someone else really supports their habit. I don’t have this option. My professors told me that when I got out of school I’d make very little money. They should have said no one in the jewelry field would pay you a living wage (health insurance is a joke) so you’ll either have to live with you parents or (a phrase I love) fuck a guy to get by. I’ve struggled a lot because I really don’t have a studio (I have space in my parents barn but it’s too far to travel after work), you can’t have tools and torches in an Apartment legally so I don’t. I can barely afford my apartment so I can’t also rent a studio right now. So what do I do?

I’m proud of the fact I still work on my jewelry, mainly sketching now and reading books I’ve purchased. My full time job allows me to look at art jewelry all day and assist other artists with their dream of having their own business. I learn a great deal of the importance of the business end. Having your own business making jewelry does mean at least ½ of your time your working on the paperwork. I get to make things about every other month in the barn. I’m extremely proud of the fact that I live on my own, support myself and have even paid for surgery out of pocket all by myself. I’m independent and it has given me confidence I never knew I had.

There is a wall we have to overcome to reach our dreams. It is there so that the ones that truly want that dream and will fight for that dream and climb that wall. You have to work for your dreams and not be derailed by rejection or rude comments by others. This is your dream, stand up for it and love it. There are occasional days to be sad, it happens and it’s ok. But if it was easy to just start your own art business anyone could do it, it wouldn’t be special. We must all work together, share information, encourage each other, and comfort one another when things get tough. We are a community and a family of artists. Stay focused, take care of yourself, and press on. You have already succeeded!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Buy This Book!!!


Profit by Design! This is a fantastic book for jewelers to buy and read on specifically running your jewelry business. Especially the way the economy is you need this book! You need a plan and this book will help you in so many ways. I've only read the first chapter but I can't recommend it enough! The author Marlene Richey has many years of experience running a jewelry business and running a gallery. Valuable advice in here. It's being sold by MJSA Press! They have many other great books, take a look! (I'm such a geek, I love reading business books!)
Also another great piece of quirky advice. I have this rule that books do not go onto the book shelf until they've been completely read. So I have lots of books on the floor around my kitchen table, much more to read! I didn't buy lots of books to enjoy the color of their spine on my book shelf. I want this knowledge!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I'm tired...


Every time I post I want to post about the jewelry I'm working on. But alas I'm not working on any jewelry. My studio is too far away and the full time job wears me out! Hopefully soon things will be calmer and I'll get to post great new jewelry. I've been looking into plastics and the idea of using them to make jewelry. I'm very excited at the prospect of using lots of color! All my fine, detailed wire work is just silver with no color. Using different types of plastics or resins will give me infinite options!

I've attached a picture of some fun plastic rings with googly eyes. I want my jewelry to be more fun and less serious. Something that makes people laugh and smile!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ladies Who Launch

This week Ladies Who Launch featured Heather Moore a fantastic jewelry artist. Here is Heather's website http://www.heathermoorejewelry.com/
Women are launching businesses at twice the rate of men, and they are doing it primarily for lifestyle reasons–they want more freedom, flexibility, and creativity in their lives. The Ladies Who Launch mission is to make entrepreneurship accessible to any woman with a project, dream or aspiration to start her own business and be successful. Ladies Who Launch have great classes you can take. I've been to some of their lectures and really enjoyed the information they provided!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

JCK Jewelers Choice Awards


I wanted to give a shout for a friend. Good luck to Donna Chambers who is applying for the JCK Jewelers Choice Awards! Donna uses mother of pearl gambling chips in here jewelry as you can see here. They are fantastic pieces of art she carefully sets in gold with pearls and gemstones! If you are a jewelry store you can go to the JCK website and vote for the winners!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Check out Kelly Heck!


My fantastic photographer sister, Kelly Heck, has started her own blog! She also has a great website. This is a picture she took take of a small glass hippo I gave her from my European Vacation. Isn't he cute! She used the lighting so well!

Origin of the word jewelry...


I just learned that the word jewellery is derived from the word jewel, which was anglicised from the Old French "jouel" circa the 13th century. Further tracing leads back to the Latin word "jocale", meaning plaything. (Wikipedia) The word is ultimately from a Latin root that means game or joke, and that also gives us such words as jocular and juggle.
I can't believe two of my favorite things jewelry making and juggling come from the same route word! I love it! I'll remember to not take the jewelry making so seriously, make it fun and playful!
That's me on the left pass juggling clubs with my friend Nick who I taught to juggle!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Good Core Values

I was on Zappos where I love to by my crazy shoes and came across their core values. I liked them enough that I wanted to share! I also thought this related to my previous post:

Deliver WOW Through Service
Embrace and Drive Change
Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
Pursue Growth and Learning
Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication
Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
Do More With Less
Be Passionate and Determined
Be Humble

How do you fair in Uncertainty?

I just read this article, 'Some 'types' thrive in times of uncertainty.' There is a quiz you can take to see if your optimistic or pessimistic. Are you taking advantage of the economic situation do you see it as an opportunity? I do. I took the test and I got 18 our of 20 for being a Type T or "Big T" (risk-taking, thrill-seeking, optimistic!)
I'm definitely a do it yourself find a way to make things work kinda girl! ; )

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Yummm!


Lately I've fallen in love with illustration, go to this link, Kapitza and drool over the lovely images!

Great Article on Ganoksin

There is a fantastic article on Marketing and PR for jewelry artists on Ganoksin today. I actually printed it out, it's short simple and gives you a good to do list. Though if you have this all done pat yourself on the back.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

2009 AGTA Spectrum Awards™ Collection


Go check out the AGTA Spectrum Awards! They've posted all of the entries to the competition online. Go look and be inspired! The image above is a piece made by Danielle Meshorer.

Friday, November 28, 2008

I bought on Etsy!




For the first time I bought a few things off of Etsy! I don't shop much, no need to be spending money but for Christmas presents what I didn't make for people I wanted to buy handmade. My favorite gift I bought was from avrilloreti, this handkerchief with mustaches! I bought the white one for my cousin Elijah, it cracked me up!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I'm in a magazine! Wahoo!

My Reflection Necklace was published in the December 2008 issue of JQ International Magazine! I'm on page 44! This is so exciting! I love publicity, and I want to thank my friend Cynthia for her help on this!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Working at the Bench


This weekend I got the chance to work in my studio! Mainly working on Christmas presents but also experimenting. The image above with the dots of silver on my soldering block are a great idea for earrings I'll show you soon. I found a way to use my big box of scrap wire bits! I'm recycling!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Jewelry Fair at the Walters


Nov 20 - 23, 2008 come meet 20 world class jewelers at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore! Come see the work of PATRICIA MADEJA! I've posted an image of one of her kinetic bracelets here.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Tracing is not cheating!


I drawing class this week we were told tracing is not cheating, it's good practice. The Walters Art Museum has so many beautiful jewelry books full of pictures and sketches! Here is a brooch I traced with a very sharp pencil!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Jewelry Drawing Class Part II




I had my second and final session of Jewelry Drawing & Rendering. We learned how to paint a more faceted stone. (Last week was cabochons.) It helps if you back up from the computer and look at the stones from a distance. This class was held at the Walters Art Museum. They are having a really neat jewelry exhibit this week and this weekend a jewelry show. You should go!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Wedding Cake Topper


I found a wedding cake topper that I love, why must I have such good taste? It's Lladro, I want it!

It's time to VOTE!

I know you're sad the election is over, all that adrenaline you had right up until the announced the results is gone.
Now here is your chance to cast your vote!
This past weekend Joe and I worked on our wedding registry, let me tell you that little gun that scans zip codes is fantastic. I might go register at stores just for the sheer fun of it. It's like buying a ton of stuff without spending any money. I didn't come home with anything, I just had fun!
We're trying to decide what china we'd like, I have two options.
The plates above, Rutledge Legacy, are fine bone china that are oven safe, microwave safe and dishwasher safe. I love the whimsy of the design, it's not as serious as most china.
The Engagement Dinnerware by Lenox is fine bone china that is dish washer safe.
I love both but I feel the Engagement Dinnerware will go with however I decorate better. The Rutledge Legacy plates have a very specific color theme.
Let me know what you think! I'm open to suggestions!

"Getting to know you, Getting to know all about you..."

I have been tagged by KMJewelryStudio

Here's how this works:THE RULES:*

*Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
*Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
*Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their name as well as links to their blog.
*Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1) At a Halloween Party this year I ate part of a barbecued Scorpion, I felt brave once I got past thinking I might die!

2) I love it when my fingers and fingernails are dirty, it means I've been working in the studio.

3) Every time I walk into Home Depot I breath in the fantastic tool/plastic/dirt smell. Can you bottle that please?

4) I live completely on my own, support myself by myself and I'm very proud of that. I even paid for surgery out of pocket this past year and did it without any help. (Except my fiance did come and take care of me for a week! Thank you!)

5) I have a long Christmas chain made out of strips of old cards hanging in my apartment from one vent in the ceiling to the next. I add one link a day and have been doing this for almost a year. This one's a long story, I'll leave you guessing.

6) My fiance and I were best friends in elementary school and he proposed to me when we were only five.

7) I love blowing bubbles! Some kid things should never end!

Now the seven people to choose...

12 Linden
Alisa Miller
Imogene
Freshie & Zero
Whitney J. Marsden
SherrisDigitalSketchbook
The Sterling News

Post if you dare, I'd love to learn more about all of you!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Artistic Luxury


This weekend I went to the Cleveland Museum of Art and saw the Artistic Luxury exhibit. There were works by Faberge, Tiffany, and Lalique. I highly recommend seeing the exhibit. I've attached an image of the Pendant with Serpent Motif, 1901, by René Lalique made of Gold, pearls, enamel.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show


Today for work I'll be attending the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show. My friend Petra Class will be there with her goregous gold and precious gemstone jewelry. It's a great show, you should check it out if you have a free day this weekend!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Show & Tell from Drawing Class!




Here are some of the drawings/paintings I did this evening. We worked on drawing cabochons and getting the lighting right. We used markers, colored pencils, and white ink. The cards are drew on are paint chips from Home Depot. I love it!

Drawing Class!

I'm taking a Jewelry Drawing & Rendering Class tonight at the Walter's Art Museum. I'm very excited. I've posted many sketches on my blog previously and I've been working to improve my ability to draw realistically. I've been working on several drawing books but it's still hard to sketch something that other people can easily tell is jewelry. I am working hard on improving so my sketches are as lovely as my jewelry. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lark Book Design Challenge: 30-Minute Earrings!

I found a great new Book that is coming out, everyone should definitely try and apply!

Jewelry Design Challenge: 30-Minute Earrings
Editor: Marthe Le VanEntry
Deadline: January 26, 2009

Are you a skilled and imaginative jewelry designer who is up for a challenge? Great! Your mission is to design a pair of earrings that can be made in 30 minutes flat.30-Minute Earrings will showcase more than 50 incredibly stylish step-by-step projects that can be created without investing too much of a valuable commodity—time! The selected earring designs will be modern and sophisticated and encompass many different styles and techniques. The common denominator will be fast projects that look terrific! PS: In 30-Minute Earrings, we won’t be teaching fundamental jewelry making techniques. Designers can assume that their readers are already proficient (and quick!) at skills such as sawing, soldering, and finishing. Accept the challenge! Get more info here!

Letter From Wendy Rosen to Artists & Retailers

I had to share this letter that is for all Artists and Retailers and Everyone:

For many of us, today we feel that our nation has exhaled a breath, one we’ve been holding for years.Today, it is time to move forward. Regardless of whom you supported, yesterday’s election was a testament to all of us and the world of the importance of the collective impact of individual actions. Going forward, we feel assured that Main Street’s needs will be at the top of the list of “special interests” for our next president. Now is the time to share and promote our stake in the revitalization of our nation, our economy and the world at large. We encourage you to join us by taking action toward sustaining and supporting the economic importance of craft industry. Many of you – artists and retailers – have struggled over the past weeks, months and in some cases, years. Each of us owes it to each other to work together toward making our community a strong partner in creating a new small business-dominated economy. But before the turnaround occurs we need to be sure that we keep our own promises to each other, sharing resources, keeping informed and increasing both business and artistic skills so that when the time comes we are prepared to take our place as the small flame that ignites the resurgence of a stronger economy.You can begin by sharing with friends and neighbors the incredible difference that can be made to our economy with each dollar they spend locally on products made by hand in the U.S. and Canada. If the thousands of members of the craft family took one simple action a day – even one a week – imagine what we could accomplish in raising our community’s profile, and our individual prosperity. In the coming weeks, we will be offering easy, step-by-step small tasks that will help to create social action, craft and good cause consumerism. Visit us on Facebook, our blog, and on Twitter to hear our thoughts on spreading the word about our community. And we hope that in exchange, you’ll share your suggestions with us and others as well. We can no longer retreat into the isolation of our studios and galleries or stores. Building relationships inside and outside our community benefits us all. If you have not already committed to attending next February’s Buyers Market of American Craft, we encourage you to do so today. Our community’s strength is built upon the personal contact made during those four days each February and three in August. If you are retailer, please visit http://go.ennectmail.com/BroadcastRedirect.asp?Cid=20656085&BId=34716&U=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.americancraft.com today to register. Artists may download an application at that same website. Today is a new day – we hope you will join us on the journey.
Warm Regards,
Wendy Rosen & the Staff of the Buyers Market of American Craft

Working in the Studio, Yay!


I cranked out 13 pairs of earrings this weekend, actually on Sunday. I'm trying to get lots of presents made for Christmas and the upcoming year, I can't always get to my studio so it's good to be prepared!

I made this pair while waiting for the other 12 pairs to pickle and I love them! I've been working with jump rings trying to make them something other than circles and I think I really hit the nail with these!

The Wedding Dress


So I'm planning a wedding, my wedding and wanted to give you a sneak peak of my dress. I found it in one day! Thank goodness! Luckily the dress was off the rack too so it doesn't need to be ordered (that takes 12 weeks!). It fits almost perfect, needs a little adjustment but I love it. I put it on and we all knew it was the one. (I honestly didn't think that would actually happen.) The store that we bought the dress at is in Hanover PA and is called Yvonne's Bridal, 717.632.2561. Of all the places we went they had the best dress selection and they were really good at pulling out dresses that looked good on me. I was open to trying anything on.
The dress is ivory with some champagne color and it really helped my Mom and I get started on planning other aspects of the wedding. Which is good! Now I need to make some jewelry to go with the dress!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Sketching!


So apparently my minds been a spinning with ideas this week. Think several layers and think kinetic! Oh how I love jewelry that moves and can be played with! The images in the top left hand corner is a brooch made by Poppi, great work!
Stay tuned I'll be in my studio this weekend so I'll try to post in progress pictures!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

My Fiance


Since many of my friends haven't met my Fiance Joe I wanted to post a picture of us together on our European trip. Joe does exist!

METALinclinations


Check out the online exhibit METALinclinations, it is an online metalsmithing and jewelry exhibition presented by the Society for Midwest Metalsmiths. This exhibition includes selections of the most exemplary fine metal art created by metalsmiths, silversmiths, goldsmiths and jewelers all over the world.

I've included the image a piece by Alexia Vargas that is chased and repoussed. Wow do I love what those techniques can do, where is my hammer I'm ready to get making!

Women's Jewelry Association


We are officially our own chapter, the MD/DC/VA Chapter of the Women's Jewelry Association. I've been working with the board of the group to help plan events and get new members to join! It looks like we're well on our way, Congratulations to everyone on the board!

If you're interested in attending some of our meetings just let me know or click on the link above to see where our next event will be. Members benefit from educational and networking opportunities, scholarships, design competitions and recognition programs. Get involved!

Good fun!


I had dinner last night with a good friend, Liz Mathews, who I attended Towson University with! It's so nice to hang out with a fellow jewelry designer/makers. Check out her jewelry! This is one of her newer pieces and I love it!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vote!


Make sure to VOTE, otherwise you are not allowed to complain! ; )

Sunday, November 2, 2008

What to do?

I found this great piece of jewelry on etsy, it's a maze and the stone moves on a track through the maze. Check out KanfeiYoanh's page. I was trying to find a piece of jewelry that explained how I'm feeling right now, a little lost. My fiance and I will be getting married soon, Yeah! And we're both type A personalities so we plan, plan, plan. The problem is I'm just dieing to get making jewelry (need a studio since I prefer to use a torch and hammer a lot) but we also want kids. I don't feel comfortable working in a studio around dangerous chemicals while pregnant. It's just difficult. Do I start the business full time and get it going and hire people to make the jewelry while I'm pregnant or do I put it off and really get it going once we're done. Or maybe I just need to chill out! Really I should probably just relax, work on my jewelry and let things happen as they will. It all works out in the end anyway! ; )

Monday, October 27, 2008

Crafhaus

I was invited to this cool new artist networking website, Crafthuas. I highly recommend checking it out, a great way to met fellow artists and get inspired!
They also list gallery events going on, books being published, and other exciting things.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Halloween Party!


I'm really going to try to post more about jewelry making but I had to share some pictures from the Halloween Party I went to this Saturday at my friend Laura & Sande's house. Everyone had to come as a dead ________. You fill in the blank. So I was a dead Raggedy Ann doll. I had more makeup around my eyes then the rest of my life combined. People didn't recognize me, it was great to surprise them!

This picture is of me a sexy Freddy Kruger in his boxers!

Long Wood Gardens







A couple of weekends ago Joe and I went to Long Wood Gardens up in Pennsylvania. It is absolutely beautiful! I wish I could have a studio right in the middle. There were ponds, and fountains, out door gardens, beautiful indoor gardens, the orchid room was my favorite. And since it's fall there are pumpkins everywhere, and pumpkin carving. There was also a tree house exhibit, I love tree houses! As I've gotten older I want one even more.
I hope to find a local arboretum I can go to and sketch flowers and design jewelry.