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.