31 July 2010

Reaching Higher...and Feedback Requested

Even if I don't reach all my goals, I've gone higher than I would have if I hadn't set any. ~Danielle Fotopoulos

I did it.

I delivered my magnum opus to the Gallery Q this afternoon. It took a lot of wee hours creating to get it done, in this last stretch it took me two nights and a better portion of today from 9am-1pm just to get it all priced and tagged and ready for sale, but I did it.

And just in the nick of time, because we hosted the end of the year baseball party at our house tonight. {So fun! A good way to break in the new home with a party, AND ensure that it gets my once a year top to bottom cleaning. I am going to miss my 'tribe' - and my clean house - until next summer!}

Accomplishing a goal is so satisfying, isn't it?

I will keep you posted on any other exhibit news, but for the time being I wanted to say thank you.

You, dear readers, really bless me with your kindness and support.
You, dear readers, spur me on to creative challenges and pushing my limits.
You, dear readers, are people that I would spend every day with if I could, and I hope that I get the chance to meet you someplace where we can bead until the wee hours together - laughing, sharing, creating.

For that, there is nothing more to say than thank you.

I will be absent for a few days as I am leaving Houston in the morning. I am attending a trade show for my day job. Nothing too exciting. Although I was hoping that I could get a whiff of Lois the corpse-flower blooming the botanical gardens like once every 14 years. I hear she is a real stinker. Wish that I had more time to do anything other than staff this booth at this lame-o trade show. Do you think they would miss me if I 'ran to the bathroom' and came back three hours later? You would never be able to see a tiny bag of beads. Or two.

I really don't have much to say, except that I really treasure you. And you. And especially you.

TOOT ALERT!

In the meantime, I thought you might like to read something other than me blathering on and on. Maybe whilst I am away, you can satisfy your beading and inspiration needs by reading some of my favorite bloggers. Recently, these two talented and so very cool ladies {and two of my very favorite bloggers - I never miss one of their posts} blessed me with features on their sites.

Beth Hemmila of Hint Jewelry is one deep thinking soul. The care that she takes with each of her metal clay silver charms is so wonderful but it is what she writes about them that makes me fall in love every single time. Her blog is a treat to read because it helps me think of things in a way that I never would have, and helps me to slow down and appreciate all that is around me, like her recent post about the bumblebees in her garden, or the joy journal she is keeping. She inspires me with her Your Story charms. Every time she releases and writes up a new one I am instantly smitten. {I wonder what a bracelet with every single one of her charms would sound like. I imagine it would jingle all the way.}

Someday I WILL have one of those charm necklaces. That day may be coming very soon if this show goes as well as I hope. Like this one. For all you Leo gals out there. Courage when you need it most.


I knew that I had to have Beth's charms in my gallery exhibit and they were ever so much lovelier in person. And I have come to find out that Beth once lived and worked in my neck o' the woods, making this connection even more special.

Beth did me a great honor recently by featuring me on her blog. I invite you, dear reader, to go and read all about it, but please don't stop there. Keep reading. I guarantee that you will be as enchanted as I am.

And just on Friday, I was the featured artist on Lisa Crone's A Bead A Day blog. I admire anyone who can commit to blogging every single day. I know that I couldn't do that. I don't even try. {And truthfully, would you really want to read such long-windedness every day? I think not.}Lisa had offered me the chance to be on her blog back in June. But at that time I was so overwhelmed with my show, that I knew it wouldn't work. Besides, I said, I really wanted to get something for sale in my new Etsy shop which as you can see has not happened...yet. {Curiously, I have several people who have favorited me... how is that possible when I don't even have one item for sale? I have so much to learn about this stuff!}

I asked Lisa if we could wait until my show was going. Well, yesterday I was fortunate to be the featured designer on her blog. I invite you, dear readers, to hop on over there and check out the kind words that she had to stay, but don't stop there. Keep reading. I love that Lisa finds treasures in unexpected places. Particularly the dollar bin at Big Lots. I love that about her. I know that we would both have a blast shopping together. Plus she recently wrote a book called A Bead in Time that I have GOT to get my hands on. {Don't worry, Lisa. It is currently in my wish list on Amazon. And I have that birthday thing going on soon. I think there may be a virtual book shopping trip in my future.} Check it out.

Lisa was kind enough to mention the unveiling of my brand spankin' new website. I designed it myself. Yep. Me with little computer savvy-ness could do it. I started it about 9 months ago, around the time that the idea for my gallery exhibit took root. I knew that I need a website overhaul, I wanted it to still look like me, but what I really needed was for this to be a gallery itself, sort of a calling card of my best work. And if it could someday work as a vehicle for e-commerce, all the better. Enter Wix.com. If you can upload a photo, you can make one of these. The biggest hassle came in with the switching domain hosting and email. The rest was easy. And best of all? I can control it myself. {Bet you didn't know that I am a closet control freak, did you?} I can update photos and when I get too big for my britches, I can add that scary e-commerce to it.

I would really appreciate hearing your comments on my new website. It still needs a bit of tweaking, but it is definitely a step up and in the right direction.
  • Do you like it? Or do you hate it? Go ahead! You can tell me!
  • Does it seem like 'me'? Or are you confused when you look at it?
  • Is there anything that is not working to your liking? Or what is really working well?
  • Would you want me to change anything? Do you think that I missed anything? Is there something that you hate intensely about what people put on their websites, and did I put them there?
Do tell!

If you are so inclined, use the comment form to send me a note {or your favorite quote, or your Nana's recipe for lemon bars, you know just to make sure that it is working. But I do love a good lemon bar. And a good quote ;-}

So...how is that for trying to keep the post simple with little to say? That is how it works for me when I have 'no words'.

;-}

Enjoy the day! (See you soon!)

29 July 2010

Having New Eyes

"The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes."
~ Marcel Proust


The countdown is really on now. As I type this there are but two more full days until I have to have all of my pieces of jewelry in for my first ever gallery exhibit. {By the time that you read this on Art Bead Scene, the opening will be but two days away.}

When I started this whole process it was like setting sail on a big vessel with no one on board but me. I had to do everything from swabbing the deck to hosting the sails and steering this massive vessel into the clear skies visible on the horizon.

I set sail on this voyage back in January. The Gallery Q crew had been seeking me out to mount a show. I really didn’t believe that I had a whole show in me. I mean, how can one humble jewelry designer create enough to fill a whole gallery, let alone entice people to come and see {and buy!}.

I'm so glad that my inner critic is incompetent. ;-)

This exhibit has been one incredible voyage of exploration and discovery for me.

The most satisfying {and, if I am being completely honest, challenging} aspect of this whole experience has been in the collaborations and pairing just the right artists together. At first I really thought I would just create beautiful jewelry and find the beads myself, but then it hit me that this could be so much more if I asked the right bead artists if they would 'play in my sandbox' as Barbara Lewis put it. I didn't know if they would want to play or have time in their busy schedules, or just think I was nuts. But every single person I approached was more excited than the last. And many of them have told me that I challenged them and that opened their horizons to trying new techniques or colors or patterns. That is such a great feeling to know that not only have they inspired me, but I have inspired them right back! That tickles me more than you know.

Let's see what I have explored, shall we?



I have explored color with Brenda Wenberg, Kerry Bogert and Barbara Lewis and Jennifer Heynen. I discovered that although I usually shy away from bright bold colors, I seem to have a knack at combining them in odd and fanciful ways. Since one of my goals this year was to really experiment this year with color, I think that these pieces satisfy that desire, don’t you?



I have explored shape and movement with Roberta Honl, Juliana Cannon and Nancy Schindler. When patterns are so vivid as these it is easy to feel them morphing right in front of your eyes. There is such a strength and unpredictability in this art, as well as a very exciting graphic quality and I really hope I captured that.



I have explored botanicals and natural forms with Ann Waisbrot, Kate Clawson, Heather Powers and Beth Hemmila. Tulips are my sister’s favorite flower, so that is what drew me into this painting. I really liked the pop of orange and knew that would stretch me creatively. But when I saw what Kate did for me with the tulip beads I was really blown away. Taking the familiar forms of the flowers and breaking them down into more abstract concepts really pushed me. In a good way. And it was a challenge to come up with ways to make components mimic the beauty of nature, the light, the color, the predictable unpredictability.





I have explored free spirits and joy with Ann Singsaas, Christine Damm and Beth Hemmila. I have never ridden a horse, but they are fascinating creatures. Scary, but intriguing. I can just picture the ponies that inspired these paintings as wild and free and full of unbridled joy. I wanted to be sure that I didn’t cage these beauties in but let them run with abandon. And when you have such amazingly detailed beads it was not hard to expect wild abandon.


I have explored the bitter and the sweet with Ann Singsaas, Heather Powers and Mary Jane Dodd. I like the idea of opposites. And I think that Ann, Heather and Mary Jane do too. Heather was challenged to come up with a new natural motif, one that I know she as sold to others already, and that makes me happy. Although most of the beads and components you see in these pieces were made specifically for me and I am the sole owner of them, but I am so happy that I was able to inspire Heather to make something so fabulous that others want to share them as well. And Mary Jane shares my love of words and the deep and abiding power that they have. Blending these two talents has been a delight. There is a sweet quality to this seemingly innocuous plant that is really full of poison. I like that dichotomy.


I have explored precious things with Ellie Honl and Mary Jane Dodd. Learning a bit about the history of the Wardian cases that inspired Ellie to make this mixed media artwork was part of the fun. Knowing that these cases transported precious seedlings from far flung places was very intriguing. I had a lot of fun with these mixed media pendants of my own. {I hope to make more. I hope people will love them as much as I do. If I made them, would you want to buy them, too?} My original ideas did not pan out, and I am happy for that. Because it forced me to explore a different aspect of my creativity which I think turned out far better. And that is an integral part of the voyage of creative discovery.




I have explored transformations with Jen Selwyn, Lynn Davis, Melanie Brooks and Kate Clawson. The idea that you need to let the butterfly emerge from the chrysalis on its own so that it can stretch its wings to fly is something so personal to me. I wanted to capture that fleeting moment when happiness alights on your shoulder before flitting away. And I wanted to honor this moment of my own transformation.

I have explored storms with Ann Waisbrot, Kate Clawson and Heather Powers. There is something so wonderful about a storm. Okay, not when it blows your house away, but lately I have discovered that my new house has a wonderful system of gutters that simply sing with the water rushing through them during a good soaking rain. And I have witnessed more double rainbows in this new home than I ever did before. {Maybe that means that this is where my pot o' gold resides. I hope I find it soon.} I love it when the storm breaks and the clouds roll back to reveal those golden rays of liquid happiness. That is what I hope I have captured here.


I have explored contrast with Mary Ellen Pollock and Dora Schubert. When you distill something down to its black and white basic you need to pay even more attention to the details. I enjoyed the challenge of making the intricate elemental and the elemental go ka-pow. The fact that these beads were made just for me, inspired by this pen and ink drawing makes them priceless in every way. I am deeply touched that Dora went to such lengths to make these beads what they are, and they are nothing short of majestic in their elemental simplicity.

It has been my privilege to throw this party and invite all of these artists to play along with me. Since I was never the one that anyone wanted to party with I am so thrilled that they all accepted my invitation. I have learned so much about my processes and my style through all of this. One of the greatest lessons I have learned is to trust who I am and what I am doing and to let others do the same. I didn't give any of these artists much to go on other than I wanted a set of beads inspired by the artwork. If I had given them more direction I am certain that I wouldn't have received nearly the caliber of beads and components that I did. They have astounded me with their commitment to this project, amazed me with their masterful insights into the art, and humbled me that I, who am so new to this world, get to create what is sure to be my magnum opus.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your kind comments over the past few weeks. Your interest and critiques have been an incredible support. I wish that you could all be here to enjoy the show...and my birthday cupcakes!

Enjoy the day!

23 July 2010

Countdown...Inspired by Contrast

Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.
~John W. Gardner

Paying attention to detail is what sets someone who dabbles in art apart from a true artist.

I really believe that the devil is in the details as they say. Details to me are unexpected surprises, finished edges, intriguing materials, making sure every i is dotted and every t is crossed. After I started designing my own jewelry I tended to look at any jewelry piece with a more critical eye. Not that I would criticize it, but that I would see it through the eyes of one who knows better.

My dad spent the past 25 years or so as the Vice President of Sales for one of the largest children's book publishers. He recently retired. But it is not uncommon for him to pick up a book that we might have lying around and open the binding to check the construction, picking up on details that the rest of the world would likely overlook. But he can spot a poorly made book a mile away. I guess that when you become an expert in your field, you can do that.

For my friend Mary Ellen Pollock, it is no surprise the details are what makes her work stand apart from the crowd.

From afar you may see that the pen and ink drawing is a seemingly random cacophony of lines and shapes. But as you move ever closer to her drawings you see that there is a complexity. It blows my mind how intricate they are. One of my very favorite ones that she had in her show earlier this year had all these ants crawling around in it. You couldn't see that from back. You had to be practically breathing on it to see that detail. But that is what sets her works of art apart from the rest.


Mary Ellen's art in her own words:

I have an unending appetite for things linear, patterns repeated and the tactile pleasure of making elegant marks on paper. Usually my pen begins to crawl around a space until composition emerges. Often these drawings have a narrative quality, sometimes as with this piece the outcome is more elemental.

When I was looking for the best artist to pair with Mary Ellen I was really stumped. I knew that the bead artist had to deal in very minute detail but also very graphic. There is a whimsy to Mary Ellen's drawings so I wanted to represent that. And I also set out to be sure to represent as many different mediums of art bead as possible.

I wanted glass.

But I had no idea where to start.

Enter my friend Kerry Bogert. I figured that the glass world would be small, and I was right. Kerry enthusiastically recommended that I check out the work of Dora Schubert who, she told me, was the best at stringer work in the world.

Seeing what Dora does with glass is really extraordinary. Each line on the bead is created by melting thin rods of colored glass onto a base bead. The intricate details were just what I was looking for. I poked around on her Flickr site and then found her Etsy shop, her website and her blog. That is where I read that she had a strict no custom order policy.

Crushed.

But I also found out that she would be at the Bead & Button show. So I took a chance and emailed her. She responded almost immediately, which is wild owing to the fact that she lives in Germany. I explained my proposal and how I found her through Kerry and how her style would be the perfect complement to Mary Ellen's work. Would she like to play?

Dora graciously accepted and told me that she would bring black and white beads for me to choose from at her booth. How cool is that? Out of curiosity she asked to see the drawing when I had a copy.

Well, when I started this whole thing, I knew that Mary Ellen wanted to participate and I knew her style well enough, but I hadn't seen what she was creating just for my show. {Did I mention that getting all these varied artists to play along with my time frame was like herding cats?} So I begged Mary Ellen for a picture. She finally gave me just a portion of what was done. And I sent it off to Dora.

When I went to Dora's booth, she seemed to immediately know who I was {could it be that swell picture of me as my avatar?}. She went in the back and dug out a small, carefully wrapped bundle. Inside were two of the most gorgeous lentil beads I have ever seen. When I placed them on top of the photocopy of Mary Ellen's drawing it looked like a puzzle piece that had been missing. It fit perfectly.

{Close-up detail of 'Elemental Surprise'}

I was stunned. Dora said that she was so inspired by what I was doing that she decided to be flexible and break her ban on custom orders. Did I like them? she wanted to know. I was nearly speechless {completely speechless would be an impossibility for me}. And she asked if she could make more for me when she returned to Germany. Would I want her to do that?

Despite the fact that these are likely the most expensive set of beads I have ever purchased, it was an easy answer.

Yes. A thousand times, yes!

A few weeks later, at the beginning of July, I received the most thoughtfully packaged set of eight round beads perfectly in sync with the first two.


{SQUEEEEEEE!}
{Thank you, Miss Dora, for making me an exception to your rule!}


{'Delicate Balance'}

The contrast between the stark black and white is my muse for this series. I wanted to go graphic and keep all the elements as simple as possible. And most of all I wanted to honor the tremendous beauty that a simple line and curve can have.

What do you think?

22 July 2010

Inspiration Zany

"If we weren't all crazy, we'd just go insane."
~Jimmy Buffet

Thanks to Kelley Wenzel of Kelleysbeads {I think those are MY EGGS on the top of her post. Suh-weet!} I am rockin' out with my bad self with best rap song and video I have ever seen called 'Dad Life'. If rap was this good, I would be a totally rap fanatic. This is inspired lunacy at it's best.

Check it out.



Lest you think that the mommies are forgotten, check this 'Mommy Rhapsody' out.



These videos were produced by the Church on the Move. I don't think that I could get my parish priest to put on something like this, but they sure look like they had a lot of fun doing this tribute to moms and dads everywhere. If I could I would so be up there on stage singing my heart out with them.

Can you relate to either of these videos? Tell me what you think!

Enjoy the day!

20 July 2010

Opportunities Knocking::Measuring Up

“When nobody around you seems to measure up, it's time to check your yardstick.”
~ Bill Lemley


I don't know about you, but I have a problem with measurements.

It is not even that I am stuck in ye olde British way of measuring with yardsticks and I am trying to convert myself to that newfangled metric system {I think I am too old of a dog to learn that 'new' trick}, I just have a problem with making my jewelry come out to the length that I think it should be. Long necklaces are too short. Short necklaces are too long.......



...Go read the rest of the post over at
Art Bead Scene.


I am delighted to be writing a monthly column on Art Bead Scene I call "Opportunities Knocking" {can you guess why?--------------->}.
I would love to hear your feedback on this post, either here or over there.

You know I love a challenge. Do you have a topic you would like to challenge me to write about, either here or there? Do tell!

Enjoy the day!

19 July 2010

Coming To My Senses::S'mores

I see... topaz tongues dancing, cracked logs teepee'd, enveloping shadows

I smell... melted chocolate, pungent smoke as it swirls about me in the wind shift and know that my hair will need to be washed


I hear... crackling logs, hissing steam, giggles of my kids

I taste... liquid pillows of sugary goodness, ,the crunchy char on a flaming puff, the melting chocolate ooze on a bed of grahams, and the smoke stinging the back of my throat


I touch... the crumbling crackers, the rough logs, the cold beer bottle quenching a flaming thirst

I feel... that summer is slipping through my fingers, the lingering kiss of my beloved making my whole face light up (not just the side facing the flames), there is a delight in simple pleasures.

What is coming to your senses today?

Enjoy the day!

14 July 2010

Countdown... Inspired by Shape & Movement

"...black is the queen of colors." ~ Auguste Rodin

Of all the colors in the crayon box, my favorite was always black.

I loved the color names, but black is the one crayon in every kids box that was always a nub come October.

Black goes with everything.

I own more black shoes, pants, skirts, dresses and shirts than all my other clothes combined.

So when I saw this monoprint by artist Roberta Honl I knew that I had to use it in my show.
Roberta is a local art teacher, and her daughter is a talented artist as well {in fact, her daughter is also one of my artists...more on her later}. This monoprint is one of a triptych of three that are different sizes. Placed together they are quite striking.

There is shape and movement in these pieces. In fact, when you walk up to them you would swear they are 3D, like those Magic Eye books of the past. As if you stared hard enough at them the colors would morph and a new shape would appear.

In thinking about bead artists that would complement this piece, I didn't have to look hard. Nancy Schindler of Round Rabbit makes some extraordinary ceramic components. Her pieces can be lush and baroque, fun and whimsical, or downright modern and clean lined. Nancy made me some links to complement the shapes shifting throughout the monoprint.

But I knew I needed more. And so I asked the delightful Julianna Cannon of Julsbeads to be inspired. And inspired she was. So much so that I am overwhelmed by the glass that she worked for me in the oppressive heat of her Alabama studio.

Here is what Juls had to say...

What inspires you?
A song, a sunset, a person, a dream~ all of the random things that touch my soul on any given day. Regardless of the medium, my style is impressionism. I create what I feel.

What was your inspiration for this particular piece?

Balanced duality: The random intention in the dimensional layers of color, both organic and elegant, is equally inviting and inciting.

Shape Shifter lariat style necklace
featuring Round Rabbit connector and JulsBead glass masterpiece


I had to stop myself from licking these beads ;-) {you wouldn't blame me if I did, right?}


I think that they both hit this one out of the park. What do you think?

Enjoy the day!

P.S. I just placed an order for postcard versions of all of these teasers. My artist friend Ann Singsaas says that they will become collectors editions!

12 July 2010

Coloring False Notes

"If the colour is wrong, everything is wrong: just as, if you are singing, and sing false notes, it does not matter how true your words are." ~John Ruskin

First and foremost I have to say
thank you in really big letters for the show of support I got from my breakdown, woe-is-me post from this past weekend. For those of you who took the time to write such insightful, supportive and gosh-darn all-around encouraging thoughts, I thank you. And if you were lurking and thought I was just being full of myself, well...you caught me. I fell off my high horse and got a bit bruised. Being away from any sort of electronic medium as well as anything that passes for jewelry making supplies for a full three days will put your life back into perspective.

Since I got my camera to talk to my computer, I thought you might be interested in seeing a sneak peek of what has been keeping me up late.

But first you have to understand three things about me.

First...I live by a self-imposed goal of living a creative life and also a life without regrets. I don't want to look back in a decade or even a month and feel that I didn't give it all I've got. You all made me realize that I am giving it my all....and that if I don't do all that I set out in my mind, the only ones that will know are named Me, Myself and I.

The second thing is that I picked two words at the beginning of the year. They are completely coming true with this exhibit. What are these words you ask?
INSPIRE
and
UP

I want to be an inspiration and to be inspired by everything around me. {It is no accident that this exhibit has been named "Inspired by..."}

And UP is all about the positivity that I really do need to work at. I had a pity party, and you all came and brought the chips and dip and a big ol' bottle of wine with your chocolates, but now it is time to start pulling myself UP, looking UP and maybe lifting UP someone else. Because that is about the best way I know how to ensure that UP works.

And the third thing...is all about color. I have a tendency to use very dark, brooding colors. I realized that I needed to shake my tree a bit this year. So I set a goal to be all about the color. Especially the colors that scare me the most.

So of course, I had to seek out inspiration. There are a lot of color palette lovers in this world. Are you one of them?

Here are a few of my favorites:

ColourLovers: COLOURlovers™ is an international community of designers and artists of all kinds who visit the site to get color inspiration, ideas and feedback for both their professional and personal projects. COLOURlovers' loyal members create colors, palettes and patterns to nurture their ongoing love affair with color. They join color-inspired groups and forums and share the love by commenting on their favorite creations. The COLOURlovers blog fuels the world’s online discussion of color with its entertaining posts on color trends and news, including interviews.

Color Collective: Laura Wilhite, a graphic designer, created Color Collective as a designers' resource for color. The color palettes are pulled from the work of various designers, artists, and photographers that she is inspired by. Her hope is that you will be inspired too, and use these palettes in your own creative projects!

Brandi Girl A Life Inspired by Color: is a blog devoted to sharing inspiration, whether it is her thoughts for pieces in her jewelry shop, Catie's Blue; colors that inspire her; or things that bring her joy. Through brandi girl, she wants to connect with other artists and art lovers, and support the handmade community.

Many of the palettes of the artwork that I am using for my exhibit are very colorful. That made it at once easy to break my color mold and hard. Easy because the colors to use were right in front of my face. But I really had no beads in these bright snappy colors. It has entailed many an online shopping cart.

One such local rtist who works in riots of color is Brenda Wenberg. Her canvasses are full of a wonder-filled palette of bright colors and layers upon layers of acrylics. There is a child-like innocence in these pieces but also a playful exuberance. Brenda says that she often will paint over earlier paintings and scratch designs in them allowing a bit of the story from the previous art to peek through. I like the idea of layers and stories peeking through as a teaser.

Kerry Bogert noticed element that right away. She wrote that she used a layering technique in her glass beads to show that aspect of Brenda's work. I can't tell you how much in awe I was with the beads that Kerry sent me. Not only were they the first ones that I received, but I think they actually took my breath away when I opened the package. I know I was trembling when I saw them. And I might have licked them. Or at least drooled on them. Just a bit ;-) Kerry went above and beyond what I could have expected for this exhibit. I am so glad that she agreed to participate and that she took this challenge so willingly. And it seems that I picked the perfect bead artist for Brenda's work.

I took my cue from the vivid color palettes that both Brenda and Kerry used. I layered different textures and beads in all the pieces so far including ceramic from Jennifer Heynen at Jangles, enameled beads from Barbara Lewis of Painting with Fire and recycled bottle caps from Glass Garden Beads. I wanted to honor Kerry and her Totally Twisted book so I got my coiling on with all sorts of snazzy colors. Here is a teaser...


Art: Lookin' Good by Brenda Wenberg
one of two paintings that I interpreted...


What do you think?
Am I coloring false notes, or true ones?
Do you think I picked the right bead artists to carry out my inspiration?
Truthfully, that has been the most amazing part...
Do you have some color communities or inspirations you would care to share?

Do tell!

Enjoy the day!

09 July 2010

Countdown...Fish Out Of Water


The phenomenon known as Parkinson’s Law states: “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

If you give yourself a week to do a task, it will take a week—but give yourself two days, and it will take two days.

I started my Inspired by... exhibit in January. I naively thought that by starting that far out that I would be completed with the entire exhibit plans today and I would just be coasting until the big party. I would be wrong. As Parkinson's law states, my work is expanding to the time that I have to complete it. Like the children's story I love called A Fish Out of Water. I feel like that fish, that is outgrowing the spots of water that the little boy keeps dumping him in until he winds up in an Olympic-sized swimming pool. All because the boy fed him too much. Perhaps I am like that fish that was fed too much. Or maybe bit off more than I can chew.

I am faltering a bit right about now.

I had promised back in June to blog about my progress with my pending Gallery Q art exhibit. I haven't made good on that promise. And I won't start making excuses, except to say that blogging does take time. Time that I can't bear to steal from creating.

I am staying up waaaaaaaayyyy too late. Well past my 9pm-1am limit.

I am getting frequent headaches. Literal and figurative. Yesterday I had a migraine (that I get very infrequently) because of the lack of sleep and stress.

I went home at lunch today to photograph all the pieces that I have made thus far for my exhbit which officially opens one month from tomorrow. And my computer crashed. I need to get all those pictures off the camera so that I can clear it out and get to the business of photographing the baseball traveling team at our tournament this weekend. So that I can make slideshows for all the families since that is what I have done for 4 years. A self-imposed necessary task.


{My new business cards... aren't they pretty?}

I have new business cards coming courtesy of my friend Jodi at rethink ink designs. But I need to order postcards that can be mailed to Gallery Q patrons, left out at the Gallery, given to friends and family, mailed to my mailing list {wha?! I have to have a mailing list?!}.

I also need a bio and a press release for the PR committee to send out for me.

I had expected to make a booklet of all the different art pieces and bios on the artists including what inspires them. Not sure that will be a reality at this point. That is disappointing.

And this coming Wednesday, at my regular BNI meeting, I am the featured 10 minute speaker. That means that I have 10 minutes to educate my BNI colleagues about my business and what sort of referrals I am looking for {how about anyone that has money to spend that likes one-of-a-kind jewelry?}. I planned to share information about my gallery exhibit, complete with those postcards and brochures about the Gallery. That means that I will have to check out some of the artwork so that I can show the inspiration.

I finally got the last of the beads that I had contracted for last week. They came all the way from artist Dora Schubert in Germany. I guess I can cut some slack for that. They did travel halfway around the world for me. And they are some of the most beautifully crafted glass beads I have ever witnessed. And they were not cheap.

I worry that I will not have time to complete all the pieces.

I worry that I will not have enough pieces for each piece of artwork. Because I also worry about what will happen if I sell every single piece at my opening event {I know, that would be a great problem to have, right?} and then there is not one piece of my jewelry left for the exhibit that will last until the end of September. What then?

I am parsing out my art beads to make as many pieces per artwork as possible. Because I also worry that I am walking a fine line between pricing things so that they sell and getting top dollar for them to recoup my investment {and it has been a hefty investment, let me assure you.}
I wanted to have my Etsy shop filled {sorry, not one bloody thing. But you can favorite me if you want! I am not sure how I got somebody to heart me already with out one thing for sale!?} and my website revamped by mid-July. Looks like that ain't gonna happen.

And in addition to my computer freezing, my credit card froze. Seems that the payment that I made online in mid-June didn't actually take on their system. Even though I swear I saw the message that said that my payment had been scheduled. So I was delinquent by 10 days even though I ALWAYS pay my bill on time. I had even written it in my check book at the time that I did it. Either that or I thought that the screen was shown to me saying that I had paid and I really hadn't but yet I still chose to remove that money from my checking account voluntarily. So I just made a double payment to be sure {ouch}. And then I got locked out of my banking online because I did that from a different computer than I was normally using. I am so glad that they are making me safe......um, from myself.
My brakes are grinding. And my other house is Still.Not.Sold {pending offer...but contingent...grrrr}.

I am sure that you would rather see the glamor that my life apparently is {not}. But you would be wrong. It is not shiny and bright. It is not all sunshine and roses. It is not always fun to spin straw into gold, as my favorite Zen Master-in-training, Margot Potter is fond of saying. It is not easy to be uber-creative under duress. Because although this is a fabulous opportunity, and I never shy away from a challenge, it is becoming a tad bit unbearable. And that is making me insufferable. And that cannot be tolerated. {Just ask my very patient, loving husband. And my two kids who never see me unless they want to string beads.}

I feel like a frown has taken up residence on my face. But I am not sure that I can get it to leave. And let's not mention those pesky gray hairs. I hope they will vanish next Tuesday.

So please forgive my rant. And my rave.

So...I have to lift this funk, this haze, this weight from my shoulders. I have to square around, pull my big girl panties up and realize that I am only one. That I can do only that which I can do. And I know that with the right circumstances I can do it quite well.

Because I am making a whole hell of a lot of beautiful jewelry. And just as soon as I can get my camera and my computer to start playing nice with each other I will show you. I promise.

And then maybe I can get my fish bowl in order so that I don't feel as if I am about to burst.

What do you do when the whole world seems hell-bent against you?
Do you turn to chocolate?
Or wine?
Do you watch sappy movies and just cry it out?
Or would you rather put in a comedy and laugh yourself silly?
Where do you turn to when you need instant inspiration?
Tell me about your triumphs this week so that I know that there are others out there having a better week.

And if you would rather tell my your tales of woe, bring 'em on. We can clink glasses of whatever your poison is and commiserate.

Enjoy the day! And have a great weekend!

08 July 2010

30 Words::You're My Greatest Gift



Today is the day
that we
celebrate

you.

Today is the day
that I get the
greatest gift

of all...

another year

of journeys and chances
with you.

My love.

xox

Enjoy the day!

(P.S. I should clarify....it was my love's birthday yesterday, not our anniversary. BUT...we did just celebrate the 19th anniversary of the day that he proposed to me...July 2nd, on a large paddle boat called the Chief Waupaca on the Chain o' Lakes under the moonlight with the band Janet Planet singing my song "My Funny Valentine"...so I guess it counts!)

04 July 2010

Inspired by...Fireworks

Fiery flowers bloom
I
n the night:

Roses, carnations…chrysanthemums, too,
Emerald green, red,
W
hite, and blue. Silvery fountains spill

Out of the sky.
Rockets of gold sizzle and sigh.
Kaleidoscope colors cascading in space,
Showering glitter all over the place.
Poem written by a retired educator and librarian named Elaine Magliaro who taught a children’s literature course at Boston University.


There is something thrilling about watching the night sky bloom in a cascade of sparks.

Hearing the boom and the crackle and the oohs and the ahhs.

Little children squealing with delight and seeing the wonder in their eyes as the sky explodes.

That twinge of sulfur that assails your nose from the sparkler smoke.

In Wisconsin there are fireworks stands dotting the highways and byways. I don't go into them, but there are some seriously cool fireworks that you can pick up every year around this time.

Our fireworks this year were rained out. But we made the most of it with three foot long sparklers in the garage at my sister-in-laws house after the traditional cookout. Not the same, but still fun.

These pictures were taken last year at two different celebrations. One was the fireworks on July 4th in Sleepy Hollow, IL. I traveled there last year to surprise my college roommate at her surprise 40th birthday party. The other was the July 5th fireworks above the Wisconsin River at Riverfront Rendezvous in Stevens Point. We have a deck overlooking the river by this park and it is the perfect viewing platform without having to jockey for prime real estate on the banks of the river. And we have a bathroom just steps away.

I thought that it would be a great time to see what might inspire you about our celebration of Americana. So July's challenge is to be Inspired by...Fireworks.

How it works:

• Create something beaded using the inspiration of the Fireworks.

• Post your pictures to the Flickr account here.

• If you are so inspired {and I hope you will be!}, feel free to create as many pieces as you like for the challenge and post to the Flickr account, and this month your name will be entered for each piece. {For extra BONUS ENTRY opportunities, see below}. You have until 11:59 pm CST on Saturday, July 31st to post to the Flickr account.

In the description of your picture be sure to add the following:

•Title of the piece
•Short description of your inspiration
•Your Name
•Your email address, blog or website

BONUS ENTRY OPPORTUNITIES:


• If you use an art bead in your piece {art bead is defined as a bead or component created by yourself or another artisan}, be sure to point that out in your description {with a link to the appropriate artisan’s website, shop or blog} and you will have TWO extra entries.

• If you blog, Facebook, Twitter, sky write or take out a billboard to publicize each week’s challenge, be sure to let me know {leave a comment here} and your name will be in for ONE extra entry.

NEW! Be a FOLLOWER of Treasures Found for ONE extra entry. (Be sure to post another comment for this to count!)

•That's a total of at least FIVE ENTRIES!


And for the winner....there is nothing more spakle-y than crystals, don't you think? As part of my Design Team duties for EK Success brands and specifically the Jolee's Jewels crystals line, I sometimes get product from them. I have asked if it would be okay to share some of the bounty since I won't ever be able to use it all. I have selected an assortment of items including:
  • Lt Sapphire 6mm cube crystals
  • Crystal AB 6mm bicone crystals
  • Coin charms with crystals
  • Royal design red crystal sliders
  • Star charms with crystal AB
  • Large stone and crystal pendant
  • Open heart charms
  • Maltese cross with crystals
  • black satin cord necklaces
  • one strand faceted white frost fire polish Czech beads
  • Estimated value: $60
So, what are you waiting for? Go out and get inspired!

Enjoy the day!

02 July 2010

Is this YOUR name?

What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
~William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet


{I watched Shakespeare in Love the other night while making jewels. I love that movie!}

I am obsessed with naming my jewelry pieces.

Although I could choose names like "Purple pearl and Dradonfly necklace" I think "Fly Away Home" has a nicer ring to it. Don't you?

When I was charged with naming a person {or two} I took that very seriously. I wanted names with a bit of history...names that didn't have obnoxious nicknames or shortened versions...names that would sound as good on a toddler as they will on an octogenarian...names that aren't so overused that when you call them half the class looks up. I ended up with Calvin Peter {actually named for the cartoon character} and Olivia Charlotte {positively Shakespearean and my favorite aunt}.I actually think that I did alright in that department.

Today I stumbled upon this website Is This Your Name? and I was intrigued enough to play along. I am pretty sure that I am the only Erin Prais-Hintz in the world {although that has never been proven} so I wondered what it would say. You put in your name and then hit enter. It spits out all sorts of fun facts about your name. Here is what it says about mine {my comments are in italics}:

Top 5 Facts for this Name: Erin Prais-Hintz

1. 36% of the letters are vowels. Of one million first and last names we looked at, 47.7% have a higher vowel make-up. This means it is averagely envoweled.
Did you know that 86% of statistics are just made up? I think that this is an actual verifiable statistic, but nonetheless I am glad to know that I am "averagely envoweled".

2.In ASCII binary it is... 01000101 01110010 01101001 01101110 00100000 01010000 01110010 01100001 01101001 01110011 00101101 01101000 01101001 01101110 01110100 01111010
Is there anyone who an actually read that? What good would that do me? Maybe if I ever want to start writing in a barcode font...

3.Backwards, it is Nire Ztnih-siarp... nice ring to it, huh?
Well, I am sometimes labeled a bit backwards. I'm not surprised.

4.In Pig Latin, it is Erinway Ais-hintzpray.
My best friend from grade school could talk for hours in pig latin. I never had a clue as to what she was saying. And looking at this, I would have no idea even if she wrote it down.

5.People with this first name are probably: Female. So, they are constantly overcharged for beauty products.
Duh. And double-duh.

Name Origin and Meaning: Erin
Origin: Celtic
Meaning: Peace

3 Things You Didn't Know (because they're fiction):

1.Your personal power animal is the Tae-kwon Dodo
Erin Prais-hintz, your Power Animal is the Tae-kwon Dodo.  Discover more at www.IsThisYour.Name
Always good to have a power animal on your side.

2.Your 'Numerology' number is 6. If it wasn't bulls**t, it would mean that you are responsible, careful, and compassionate. A giver, you are there to support and care for the most vulnerable.
Yea. That number is bulls**t. My lucky number is 11 {do you know why?}. But I am a giver...

3.According to the US Census Bureau°, 0.148% of US residents have the first name 'Erin' and fewer than 0.001% have the surname 'Prais-hintz'. The US has around 300 million residents, so we guesstimate there is only 1 American who goes by the name Erin Prais-hintz.
That is the only thing they got 100% right!

Try it yourself! Click on my power animal to discover yours!

And one last quote that made me snort so loud I couldn't resist...

"All British people have plain names, and that works pretty well over there."
~Paris Hilton


Enjoy the day!

01 July 2010

Winner x 5!

"You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win."
~Zig Ziglar


Let me first start by saying that you are all winners in my book!

The Mad Tea Party hosted by the fabulous Miss Vanessa Valencia was a great success! Unfortunately, Miss Vanessa's dear pooch Baby passed away during the festivities. Go over and see why Baby was such a dear and leave Miss Vanessa some words to sooth her anguished soul.

There were 90 commenters from the party. Wowza! And the comments that I received were so insightful as to what your Jabberwock is to slay and how you can find your 'muchness' again. Many of you expressed that you hadn't yet seen the movie and were moved to go and rent it or buy the DVD now that you read my review. I do hope that it lives up to my flowery words!

And I got quite a few more followers, too. I started around 340 in the middle of the month and now I am rapidly nearing 400! When we hit that milestone I believe there will have to be another giveaway opportunity! Sweet!

So without further ado, here are the random winners of the Mad Tea Party giveaway:

Moonlit Fantaseas wins the "Fly Away Home" necklace. Congratulations!

BleuMoon wins the letterpress coasters from 1Canoe2 {and a special surprise treat from me!}. Congratulations!

BlueRose Dragon wins the letterpress frameable print from EightHourDay {and a special something-something from me!}. Congratulations!

Off the Beadin' Path wins the home tweet home birdhouse kit from my gal pal Lisa Falduto of Paper Fashions Boutique. Congratulations!

And last, but certainly not least, the random prize winner for the June Inspired by...Paper Crafting challenge is......Kate from OrganicOdysseys! Congratulations, Kate! I have a paper crafting birdhouse kit for you and a W.O.W. pendant to customize for you.

You each have until July 9th to email me your mailing address at enjoytheday{at}tesoritrovati{dot}com to claim your prize. Any prizes not claimed after that date may be awarded again for another giveaway.

Thank you all for stopping by to be inspired. I hope you will stick around for more!

Enjoy the day!

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