#120 – NIP IT IN THE BUD

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Pottery day today.

You can tell I have spring perpetually on my mind!

  Today I trimmed and under glazed a collection of bud vases.  Each have a bright color, but after they are bisque fired, I am going to add translucent colored glazes over them. This way I will have subtler colors on the outside with a pop of bright color shining through from underneath. I am hoping they will be sophisticated, yet fun.  The vase with the flower attached is going to be turquoise with a red flower.  It just seemed like that little bud vase needed a little something extra. It’s cute as a button. I also created a Swiss dot pattern on the little bowl because I am going to add a periwinkle glaze that will fill in the holes and hopefully create a nice smooth pattern. You can’t see it, but I stamped a cool peace sign in the center.  I’ll have to show you in the finished product.

We’ll see. You never know.  You hope for one thing, you sometimes get another.  Either way, I am ready to fill these vases with the fruits of my gardens! Stay tuned. They’ll probably wind up in my paintings!

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#119 – SWEET MAGNOLIA

#119- Sweet Magnolias

I know I said I was going to do jewelry for a little while, but when I stepped outside this morning, I saw that the Magnolia buds had opened on the trees.  This completely derailed any other objective I had for the day!

I quickly grabbed some clippers, cut some blossoms and went inside to study them.  Give me another week or two and I may be ready to withstand the elements, but for now, it is still a little chilly. I went all over the house looking for a bud vase and couldn’t find any.  Then I remembered my milk glass collection above the fireplace and selected a sweet little vintage vase.

It was this time last year that I created these Magnolia paintings:

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The two from last year were watercolor, so I knew for today I wanted to push myself to try something different.  Also today, in the distance from the Magnolia tree, was a spectacular Maple tree with bright yellow-green buds.  I knew I wanted to incorporate that green somehow because the two were just vibrating off each other in nature.

Well, I’m happy with the finished product, it is way different from last years paintings in so many ways.  Mainly, it’s looser since I only got to spend a fraction of the time on it.  Sometimes being strapped for time makes you be more decisive which is good for the painting practice.

I will try to get back to jewelry in the upcoming days, but I warn you, I see something in bloom I’m stopping!

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#118 – JEANINE”S WOODLAND ADVENTURE SUBDUED

Jeanines woodland adventure 1

This morning I decided to add another page to the book my girlfriend is writing.  It is a family hiking guide.

Here was my last attempt:

#98 - JEANINES WOODLAND ADVENTURE

I’m not sure if she’d admit it, but I may have totally freaked her out with the color overload :)

So today, I tried a more subtler, earthy, monochromatic border.

We toyed with the idea of maybe doing a few different borders within the field journal section of the book.  I like this idea because then we could use both! But it’s Jeanine’s book and I have to try to get to a point where my work matches up with what she was envisioning.  It’s not as easy as I thought.  Everyone has their own vision!

So I’m going to make this quick, because all of this painting of nature has made me want to get out into it!

We have some absolutely grand weather today.  I have a few more plants to dig up, transplant and divide.  Some hate yard work.  I wait all year for it!

Out I go into my suburban woodland adventure!

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#117 – GETTING EARTHY

#117 - GETTING EARTHY 1 (1)

It is so funny, for months I’ve been assembling these necklaces a little bit at a time, and it never occurred to me to add them into my Creative 365. So here is a glimpse of some of the things I’ve been doing at night after my daily post for the day.

#117 - GETTING EARTHY 1 (5)

There was a pottery show last night at the Guild here in Wakefield.  These necklaces will continue to be on sale for the next couple of weeks. Like a dummy, I brought them over without taking proper photos, but here were 4 I just added today.  I have two more I am finishing and will bring over too.

If my work is generally too bold and bright for you, then today is your day.  This is as earthy as I get!  These are my pottery pendant experiments.  Some have a real Provence look to them.  Very rustic with hints of yellows, greens and blues.  Some are really bright, and others have an Egyptian motif.

On another note, proud Mama got to witness her daughter’s first pottery exhibition:

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Rhea del Rosario from Plum Pottery East, designed this totem in her kid pottery class.  My daughters submission is the one on top.  It was cool to see all the children’s work together.  Each piece has its own personality.  I left a link here to Rhea’s website, click on her name above.  I just love her slogan “IN ART, AS IN LIFE, FINDING YOUR CENTER IS EVERYTHING” .  Aint that the truth! Well said.  Wait a minute…I’m having a really tough time centering in pottery…is that a metaphor for my life? Am I off-center? :)

One more bit of sad news:

#117 - GETTING EARTHY 1 (2)

It appears the planter I made for my mother’s birthday is not to be.  It came out of the kiln broken in six pieces. I’m sorry mom.  Here’s a photo to let you know, we were thinking of you!  Better luck next time…I’ll make you some bud vases for the spring…maybe you’ll get them for Thanksgiving :)

So if your local and looking for some not-so-blingy-bling stop on down at the Guild.

Enjoy your weekend everybody!

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#116 – “WILD” flowers

#116 - WILD flowers b

Yep, pretty sure these flowers aren’t from my garden.

I went “wild” today, choosing some crazy colors and a medusa-like spider mum of sorts.  I’m obsessed with flowers especially this time of year!  Everything is just busting out of the earth. It makes my heart skip a beat!

This necklace was made with polymer clay and vintage rhinestones from Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic.  I have amassed a wonderful collection of rhinestones over the years.  Like a raven, I am attracted to anything sparkly!

I knew I wanted a necklace full of flowers, but I wasn’t sure how to go about it.  I created each flower with wire built into it for assembling afterwards.  I figured out quite quickly, this wasn’t the way to go.

First of all the wire I chose was too rigid, making it hard to connect the flowers to one another.  Second, because they flowers were all separate, it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be to overlap and get the pieces to fit tightly.  They also flopped and tipped forward a bit.  Third I made some of the flowers too thin which makes them difficult to hold up to frequent usage, they crumble.

Pretty much, this necklace isn’t very wearable.  But, I did learn a lot.  I learned exactly what I needed, to be able to create another idea I have.  Back in the day, I’d spend a week to 2 weeks Just constantly trying every darn thing I could think of.  By the end of that period, I’d have 50-60 finished pieces.  Then, I would pick maybe twelve that I loved and figure out the best way to mass produce those twelve.

With the 365, it is different.  I can’t create 50 pieces and leave them unfinished and scattered around my studio for two weeks.  I have to start and finish something in one day.  Where as today I probably knew 3/4 of the way through that it wasn’t going to work, I needed to see it through, otherwise I’d have nothing to show for my days work.  It’s a little hard for me to step back and just allow myself to be inefficient.  This 365 has its plus and minuses.  For the most part they have been pluses, so I’ll let the inefficiency go and focus on the journey…

That being said, the not so functional necklace is finished and looks quite pretty.  It just means I have to find a different purpose for it…

#116 - WILD flowers

Here you see, kitchen art.

  I have a lovely wall of pigs in my kitchen and I am always dressing them up.  The little piggy won’t move or get the necklace caught on something, snag it or break it.  The perfect recipient! And I get to enjoy the wild colors which is all I generally really care about anyhoo!

I’m looking forward to taking what I learned today and trying again.

With a 365, there’s always tomorrow!

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#115 – POLYMER CLAY MOSAICS

 

#115 -POLYMER CLAY MOSAICS (1)#115 -POLYMER CLAY MOSAICS (2)

These necklaces are something I have wanted to make for some time now. They are based on some of my old designs from probably 2002-2003.  I wanted to make new ones because I never saved one for myself.  I sold them all!

What I cannot communicate via photograph is the amount of sparkle in these necklaces.  They are LOADED with Swarovski crystals.  I’d estimate at least 100 crystals per piece, so when you are wearing them, they glow! Any white spec you see above is a mirror reflection of a crystal, so if you actually saw these necklaces you would notice the crystals first and the color second.  Not true for this photograph though.

You’ll just have to take my word for it!

So back in the day, I would make these circular pendants (no hole in the center).  They’d have a sterling silver backing and generally measure about  1  1/4 inch in diameter.  For these new ones I made for myself, they are 3 inches in diameter.  Big statement pieces.

With all the crystals, they can be a bit dressy.

Oh hubby, you need to take me out for dinner so I have somewhere to wear my new necklace!

:)

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#114 -BULLSEYE

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The bulls-eye has been a common theme in my jewelry from the beginning.  Mostly because it is an excellent way to bounce color combinations off one another.

I am sure it is without saying, that the Master Wassily Kandinsky has greatly influenced my work, being one of the Father’s of Color Theory.

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I can remember seeing his work at an early age and receiving energy from it.  As if I understood this unspoken language.  I can’t say that about all artists. Kandinsky believed art & music went hand in hand.  I think he tried to communicate this.  Creating movement and rhythm in art as one does in music.

I haven’t created a piece of jewelry in about 2-3 years.  I honestly don’t remember anymore.  As I started up this morning, I pulled all the relics from my old art studio out of a box.  When we moved, I literally took all the contents from my desk and threw them in a box.  My pencil jar, beads I was working with that day, notes on concepts I was working on that month, even unfinished pieces strung but without clasps.

It was bizarre.  It was like revisiting the person I was two years ago that I am not today.  Does that make sense?  Total time warp!

So, I read the notes to myself from that time and decided to finish some of the concepts that I had wanted to create but never got around to.

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You see, back then, I was working on these link bracelets that had really small bulls-eyes on them. Now today, I created a bracelet with big bold bulls-eyes. Where as before they were dainty bracelets now it is more like a bangle.  Throughout the 90’s, jewelry was very conservative.  Now, everything is bold, ethnic and large.

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I have been struggling with creating a matching necklace for these link bracelets. Back then, I tried using the metal links, but this made the bull’s-eyes tip forward unevenly.  It just wouldn’t work. This time I created each bead with an arched hole at their top, so they wouldn’t tip forward or flip around.  It seems to have worked.

Speaking of the necklace from a design perspective , I’m just not there yet.  I tried really large bulls-eyes as a choker necklace, I tried medium-sized bulls-eyes and I even created small ones to see if that was what I might want. None of the sizes jived with me.  I settled with a jumble of all three sizes…but this will not be the final necklace.  I will wear it a few times, figure out what I like and don’t like about it and then try it again.

That is the tough thing about a 365.  Most creative endeavors are not created merely in one day.  But, you get to catch a glimpse of my process and I get a new bracelet and necklace to wear.  Not a bad deal if I say so myself.

I look forward to trying again tomorrow!

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#113 – UGGH ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE DAYS

#113 -Uggh another one of those days (3)

Man oh man, did I have a bad day at pottery class.  After Saturday’s major accomplishment of learning how to center the clay on the wheel, I thought I’d just saunter in today and be able to accomplish anything…

Wrongo!

The day started off with no car which wasn’t a big deal until I realized all of my stamps and texture sheets I planned to create vases with today –were in the car!

This sort of left me unprepared for today.  I grabbed big hunks of clay and threw them on the wheel not knowing what I was going to make and they all just flopped.  I did get them centered though!

Four attempts at creating vessels failed.  I applied pressure unevenly, I opened the centers of the vessels unevenly; I created buckle after buckle. I just couldn’t pull it together!

I did manage to ask for some help and instruction which resulted in this bowl here down below.

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Hopefully, the lessons will sink in and I’ll do better next week.

There was one saving grace to today’s blur of a pottery class though.

This bowl was completed:

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I just love the colors of this bowl and its organic shape.

It’s nice and big.  It could fit a whole bag of tortilla chips.  I will have to use it for my upcoming fiesta.

This cheered me up.

Ya know,  I’d really like to think I could live every day like Super Woman.  I guess some days, it’s just not meant to be.

“You gotta know when to hold em, know when to fold em, know when to walk away, know when to run….”

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#112 – FOUNDATIONS IN POLYMER CLAY

#112- Foundation in Polymer Clay (1)

I’ve tried really hard to have something tangeable for every day of this 365, but if I am going to make jewelry with this polymer clay, then I have to allow myself to count a day for conditioning it!

You see, polymer clay is not ready to work with right out of the package.  It needs to be kneaded repeatedly. Because I work with mass quantities, I use a pasta machine to knead and condition the clay.

#112- Foundation in Polymer Clay (4)

Ideally, you want the clay nice and soft so that as you run it through the machine it stays together in one long sheet.  I run each block of clay through the pasta machine around 20-30 times.

#112- Foundation in Polymer Clay (2)

What you don’t want is this – crumbling clay.

 I will not mention a certain online source where I just recently bought 20 blocks of polymer clay.  I was on my 8th bar and all of them thus far had exploded into dust as they entered the pasta machine.  I couldn’t put those blocks together if I spent a year trying to do so.  I swept the polymer clay dust into Ziplocs, returned them promptly to the site and tried to find some clay locally. I didn’t even realize my local art store had a full assortment of polymer clays. How did I miss that? Anyway, I went in, inspected the blocks closely, gave them a gentle squeeze and could tell instantly they were soft, new and hopefully going to work well.  Good Stuff.  THANK YOU SOUTH COUNTY ART SUPPLY!!!

Back in business and ready to get started!

#112

So the good blocks take about 7-10 minutes each and the drier crumbly blocks take god knows how long….but today I tackled the one tough block in 20 minutes. So let’s just say it took me 3 1/2 hours…and let me tell you, it is absolutely brutal on my hands and wrists.  I can barely type as we speak!  So that’s it, I am out of commission for today and will start fresh Wednesday morning (pottery class tomorrow).

I have an extra hour, so I will sketch and plan out some of the ideas in my head.  I created & sold jewelry for almost ten years.  I think I’ve recently burnt out, I am on Day #112 and have not wanted anything to do with my past jewelry designing.  But slowly, I am feeling the creative juices returning.  Plus I am really craving some new pieces for myself!

Whenever I create something new for myself, I feel like it is a hit.   Whenever I get tangled up in others expectations the designs are lacking…or maybe it’s just my passion lacking.  Regardless, I am hoping for good things.  Not worrying about selling or the potential customers preferences can be very freeing and good for creativity…  Oooo wait a minute. I sound a little bit disgruntled and negative.  I better look at that closely, figure out what that is all about and release it. Yuck!  You see what I mean?  I think I did the jewelry thing too long.

I will go inward, clear out my negativity and get ready for some new creations!

Stay Tuned!

Here is some past work…

collage copy Jewelry show - CopyBackup_of_Jewelry show Invite 2010Sneak Peek

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#111 – CAT ON A COUCH

#111- I COLORED IN MY DOODLE

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You know me, I just couldn’t leave well enough alone.

I have the stack of art I created in Florida sitting on the table in my dining room.  Every time I walk by something has continued to bother me about this airplane doodle (refer to post #108 Airport Doodles While Stranded).  The fish doodle I just love in black & white.  It is simple, It is graphic, I wouldn’t change a thing, but this cat on a couch….I dunno…It needed something….Umm…What was it…Oh yeah…

COLOR!

It’s funny, as I was doodling, I was envisioning colorful patterns on the pillows, definitely some splashes of red and I was envisioning my dream couch – green with a chevron print.  I just love green. It’s my favorite color.

So, I colored the doodle in.  I added a little depth and I definitely added color.  It’s probably a little too over the top.  If I was to color it a second time, I would probably show a little bit of restraint, but heck, I had fun.  It was like asking a 5-year-old what color they want their room…they’re never going to say white right? 

It’s like going berserk as a decorator but not having to live with the consequences!

Hey, it just occurred to me, I can print out the black and white version and create a couple more dream color schemes.  That would be awesome.

Am I the only freak that would find this fun?

Oh well :)

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