Continuing my theme of things that Erin likes for her self-indulgent birthday week, I turn to music.
I have always liked music. And I have eclectic tastes. From Mozart to Def Leppard. From Taio Cruz to Katie Perry. From Carrie Underwood to Kenny Loggins. My mother liked to listen to Peter, Paul and Mary and had every Beatles album. My dad liked big band and swing and crooners. I like to mix things up and I like variety.
When I am in my studio it can get sort of lonely. I spend a lot of time down here. And that is great if you are in the throes of creating, but bad if you don't pay attention to time. Up until earlier this year I never had a clock in my studio so I never knew how late I was up. That's not true. I had a clock. But it was one of those artsy-fartsy home store clocks where there are no numbers, only hash marks at 3-, 6-, 9- and 12-. Needless to say, I wasn't very good at knowing what time it was.
One way that I can keep track of time is by listening to something. I discovered the joys of Hulu and Pandora over the past year. I love it! It is entertaining, soothing, inspiring and helps me know how much time has passed.
For instance, I know that I have been sitting here too long when Pandora stops playing (as they did just now) and puts up a message that says "Are you still listening?" Yep. I think it is time to step away.
And I love putting on some favorite episodes on Hulu. I am particularly enamored of Glee and Raising Hope. But I have also watched Project Runway and all the episodes of the short lived Dilbert cartoon. (Kathy Griffin plays Alice. Hysterical!)
I have different playlists on Pandora. There are ones for when I am in a peppy mood, or a Glee mood, or a 80s mix. But more often than not I need to have music that is less abrasive, contemplative, melodic and soothing. Or, in the words of Pandora
"Based on what you've told us so far, we're playing this track because it features mellow rock instrumentation, a subtle use of vocal harmony, mild rhythmic syncopation, acoustic rhythm piano, and a vocal-centric aesthetic."
Wow. Pandora really knows me.
Here is a sampling of the music that is playing tonight:
Missy Higgins - Where I Stood
John Mayer - I'm Gonna Find Another You
Beyonce - Best Thing I Never Had
Journey - Separate Ways
Dinah Washington - Is You or Is You Ain't My Baby?
Adele - That's It, I Quit, I'm Moving On
Jack Johnson - Breakdown
Rascall Flatts - I Won't Let Go
I love it particularly when Pandora suggests songs that I might like. And even more that I have the ability to cut them off. When I am listening to music I find that I am am focused. And the music that I chose sets the tone for what I am making as well.
Since it is also Bead Table Wednesday, I thought I would share with you some shots of the inks that I am using in the studio for my latest 'simple truths'. The center pictures shows the assortment of this month's 'simple truth' sampler club that should be reaching them about now. They each received a random charm. I pray that I chose wisely for each of them.
|August 'simple truths' sampler club|
Lately I have been thinking about my word for the year: FOCUS. I seem to have lost a little bit of that along the way. Do you ever feel like that? As if your life is out of whack? I need to redouble my efforts if I am going to get back on this FOCUS train. And I started thinking about what it is that I need to FOCUS most on. So here you have the charm for August 2011, “FOCUS on what really matters.”
Instead of an image decided to go with a very homey feeling and was channeling quilt squares. At the center of each is a word: JOY - PEACE - LOVE - LIFE - HOPE. The pendants are randomly assigned and I truly hope that like a fortune cookie, you receive the exact one that is meant for you. These soft colors are the new finish that I have been delighted to use. The inks that I am using (as opposed to the paint from the June) give the pieces a very light watercolor feel, almost translucent yet something timeworn and well loved.
I feel very blessed that I can share my love of making these special charms with those who have signed up for the club. When I started this back in May I had no idea how many spaces would be filled. I offered different options to encourage participation at whatever felt most comfortable. The choice is 3-, 6-, 9- or 12- months subscription. I have a few at 6- or even 12- months, but most were at the 3-month level. I hope that they feel that they received a value for what they paid, and maybe even sign up for another three or more months.
I have a limit of 20 participants per month. I just picked up the 10th participant. But after this month there will be several that are done with their subscription, which means there is a potential for more spaces open.
Why cap it at 20? I wanted it to be special. I also find it incredibly challenging to make the same exact thing over and over. Those who do production work on their beads, I applaud you. I just can't make it work.
I will be keeping the introductory prices the same for a few months longer. After that time, the price will increase. If you are sitting on the fence, I encourage you to come and play. And check out the Flickr group to see what people have done with them (wowzer! There are some great designs there!). I hope that the entries there will keep adding up, and I have a random giveaway each quarter. It gives me great pleasure to see what people do with my components.
It's My Party: Birthday Week Giveaway Day 1
It's My Party: Birthday Week Giveaway Day 2
For today's birthday giveaway, I will share one of the pendants from August with a random winner. (It will be a random word and color - don't worry! It will be lovely!) Ready to win? All you need to do to enter is answer one of the following questions. Winner will be chosen at random from all comments on this post through Saturday, August 13th.You MUST have your email turned on in your profile to win, or provide your email in your comment. (A good way to know if you are entered is if I reply to you by email. I make a point of answering every comment ;-)Winner will be announced next week.
What music is on the soundtrack of your life? What are you listening to right now in your car, on your iPod or on your clock radio to wake up to? I am always looking for some new great music.
Or what do you feel that you need to FOCUS on that really matters right now?