Please, please, please support the Craft Emergency Relief Fund. The picture above is the Valerie Mitchelle "Cedar Seed Structure Charm" for Cerf's 2009 fund raising charm. It's the end or the year and if you need to or want to make a donation to the organization it would be wonderful. CERF has helped artist friends of mine with cancer and another friend who lost her home and studio to fire. We artists are family and need to support one another. Check out the CERF website and see what you can do.
Like I said earlier I spent a lot of time cleaning the very dirty chandelier last night. On the left I'm holding the clean strand. The other bunch of strands where very dirty from my joyful grinding of the concrete floors.
Here is the clean chandelier, I also replaced 6 light bulbs that were out. Only two where working so when I turn it on, it's like the sun!
I found these Melissa & Triton Rubber Clogs last night while playing on the computer. I really love the shape. Sadly they only seem to be sold in one place and shipping is over 25 pounds if you aren't in the UK. It's also a good idea to try on a shoe first because the size isn't always quite right.
I was cleaning the chandelier at our house today wishing it was as funky as the one above, it can be seen in this previous post. I don't love it, but wow is it nicer when it's clean and the 6 dead light bulbs are replaced. It's not as nice as this Atlantis Chandelier. I love how it's asymmetrical and reminds me of the ship I posted below.
I was playing around on the Internet, checking out my fellow bloggers when I found this beautiful print by Emily over at Art of the Masses. Please go check out her work and buy something. This piece inspires me to make jewelry, I love the shapes of the sales.
Wink, wink, the studio is getting much closer to done so hopefully, you'll finally see some of my own jewelry on this blog!
Years ago Joe and I went to see the Cherry Blossoms in DC. I took the picture above myself, and the painting at the top I made this year for my Grandparents for Christmas using the picture I took. I don't know if you can tell but I tend to paint thickly so this painting took many sittings to get done! (acrylic paint)
I was trying to find something holidayish and lovely for you and I stumbled across this image. How would you like your own star shaped island for Christmas? Yes Please Santa! Turns out this is Fort Bourtange in Germany and was originally built in 1593. Within the star shapped battlement of the fort, there are soliders barracks, a captain's house, a synogouge, a protestant church, a windmill, a market square, restaurants, a candy store, a clock maker, a candle maker and more. How does this relate to jewelry you say? Well I'm actually trying to learn to speak and read German using the Rosetta Stone. I have always loved Schmuck Magazin which is a german jewelry magazine and I'd like to read it in German. (Schmuck means jewelry, that cracks me up!)
I received the course catalog for Peter Valley's Spring 2010 session the other day. Several years ago I attended a Granulation class there taught by Douglas Harling. The class and school location were wonderful! I'd be in class 24/7 if I could. Check out their classes and see what wonderful things you can learn!
The above piece is a pendant I made in Mr. Harling's class. We used fine silver and handmade each of those tiny balls you see. I also made fine silver dust and fused that to part of the pendant. I love this technique!
On Black Friday I bought a pair of Sperry rubber boots. I love them! They are comfortable, tall, keep my feet dry and apparently fashionable. All I get is compliments! The boots above are another pair that I want. The yellow makes me smile!
IslaySpalding of Dundee Scotland creates really expressive surrealist resin jewelry. I found her jewelry on The Association for Contemporary Jewellery. The group is based out of Europe and says they are similar to our Society of North American Goldsmiths. They have a great member gallery you can look through for inspiration!
I don't know if you recall one of my previous posts on what the floor used to look like and how I made it blue. Well it's finally complete. I bought a couple of koi stencils and my friend Melissa and I painted koi swimming around on my studio floor! It's far better in person but I took a photo of each fish to share with you.
Today I stopped by the Cleveland Last Minute Handmade Market. I met Kathryn of Smashing Handmade (jewelry above) who had a booth and organized the show! I'm impressed! It was nice to meet her and see her enameled jewelry.
Also at the show was Valerie Tyler Designs. She and I had spoken before by email. Joe found her blog for me one day when I was down. Before I moved to Cleveland many people I talked to would wrinkle up their faces and say, 'Ugh, Cleveland! Why would you move there'. That kinda got me down but Valerie Tyler had posted something like the top 20 reasons to live in Cleveland and that made my day! (Her jewelry is shown above.)
Have you taken the Handmade Pledge? Here is a shocker, I haven't. I thought about it, last Christmas. But guess what, it's really hard for me to buy handmade things for the men in my life. My husband, father and grandfather. Now if I make something I know they appreciate it (like this painting I made for Joe for his birthday). I even went on etsy.com and looked at their suggestions for the men. Sorry guys those aren't happening. Hint: someone needs to make good handmade products for men, I'm sure they are out there on etsy somewhere but I can't spend two years searching for them.
At least though I give the gift of knowledge, like a art magazine, a book on something they like, or Rosetta Stone for Joe. If it isn't handmade normally the recipient can learn something.
My philosophy is present giving is the buy something that I believe the recipient would really like. I hate getting 'fluff', or stuff you just set around the house and have to dust. I do my best to give something the other person will really enjoy.
As much as I can I'll buy handmade or make the gifts myself, though I've been learning that the buying needs to be done in person. Several items I've bought on a certain site turned out to not be made very well. I ordered a sketchbook and was very excited. The pages were so thin that they were see through (and they weren't vellum). I don't want all my sketches to affect the next 3 pages, not very nice. I know that the book just isn't going to work for my sketching. So when I shop handmade I can order online but I want to make sure I've seen the products for a while and they really are quality.
On another fun Cleveland note it's Cleveland Handmade Market Day! Check out Valerie Tyler's Designs blog for more info.
I've long admired the beautiful glass jewelry of Sydney Cash. In my short years I've seen a lot of jewelry but no one makes glass jewelry like Mr. Cash. He also has some really great sculptures on his website.
I'm in love with these earrings made by Margaux Lange, she uses barbies, cuts them up and makes very wild jewelry. These earrings are called Clover Smile Earrings. If you read my blog you know I love four leaf clovers! I'm hoping to buy these but I do need to save up a little.