Getting More Sparkly

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Oh man, I just love these pendants I am making.  I am very much into vintage everything, so these get me very excited.  It’s like a little antique you can wear every day!  Because they are vintage glass, they are translucent and sparkle which I just can’t capture via camera.  Either way, I’m plugging away at my collection and I hope there are people out there that find them as special as I do!

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This week I’ve also been working on some cell phone holders.  The idea stems from at least 4 devices on my counter at all times.  Does any other household have this problem?  I am creating little 8×10″ pockets to attach by the outlets and hopefully get my counters back! I’m making some to sell at the holiday shows too… Again, we’ll see if my choices resonate with holiday shoppers this winter…

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On a final note, I dragged my loving mother 3 hours away to Bennington, Vermont to see the Milton Avery exhibit.  The Bennington Art Museum has an exhibition of his work until November.  I am obsessed with Milton Avery.  I adore his loose impressionistic arrangements and his killer use of color.  In fact, I believe the museum called it his “dissociative” use of color.  Meaning he makes trees that are blue even though humans associate green with trees.  To me, creating these amazing color compositions, takes what could sometimes be considered a very boring landscape and transforms them into something magical.  Mark my words, you will see an intense inspiration of Milton Avery in my painting this upcoming January.  I have been quietly studying what direction I want to go with my painting and this genre feels just right.

OK. off to make mosaic jewelry…I haven’t shown you pictures of that yet…but I am creating up a storm.  Feels Great!

 

 

Let the Jewelry Wild Rumpus Begin!

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I just started committing to holiday shows. This means jewelry-making for the fall is official!

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I have scoured the old Providence mills for over ten years and own WAAAY TOO MANY jewelry components.  I used to make jewelry for small gift shops along the New England coast as well as The Boston Museum of Fine Arts gift shop.

 Just recently a fellow  jeweler passed away and she wanted to make sure someone would put her materials to good use. I was entrusted with her belongings which was enough to say OK I WILL MAKE JEWELRY ONE MORE TIME!!! 

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I’m trying very hard not to buy any more supplies, but it’s hard, I have purchased a few more things… just a few!

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I figured my autumn pottery session should be devoted to jewelry vessels for my holiday booths as well.  These jewelry trays have a small bowl for rings and earrings.

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However, my pottery instructor says they make her crave sushi!  Hey that can’t be entirely bad. They’ll be multi-purpose!

I have oh so many ideas for both jewelry and vessels… you’ll have to stay tuned to watch the progression.

 I BETTER GET CRANKING!!!

SCRATCHING THAT CREATIVE ITCH

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If I’m being honest, I’d have to say organizing, creating print media, picture framing and the overall creation of the 365 Art shows is driving me crazy!

All of the administrative work has kept me from creating.  I haven’t picked up a paint brush since December.  I don’t even want to count how many days have passed.

One thing that has kept my creative urges in check is the pottery studio.

Especially the first few weeks of January when my 365 challenge ended.  I had no idea what to do or where to be.  I found myself wandering over to the pottery studio, where I’d poke and prod clay, still not knowing what to do.  Somehow the physical manipulation of the wet cold clay, the cutting, molding, stamping allowed my mind to drift and not worry about what needed to be done. I guess one could call it “coming back to earth”.

From this time of “just being”, came many jewelry pieces.  First I worked in the studio creating the pendants, next I glazed them and soon the project found its way home.  I’d select some beads here, string a pendant there. The simple act of creating this jewelry gave me an outlet, a ritual, even a purpose when I was feeling lost.

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I am thankful for my pottery muse.  I needed this to keep my hands busy and my mind at peace.  Luckily The Guild where I take pottery is having a pottery show next week.  I will bring my wares there in hopes of finding interested patrons.

You’ve probably heard this before from many an artist, but it’s worth saying again.  For those who need to create daily, just to be able to breathe freely, it’s generally never about amassing their creations.  It is like the Buddhist monks who spend a week designing mandalas in the sand only to sweep them away when finished.  I have this incredible urge to make things, to use my hands and to work with color.  If I don’t, I begin to feel like I am going to explode.

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I certainly miss painting, but alas I have “grown up” work to do.  Until I get back to my art studio time, I will have to derive pleasure from the small creative processes that make my heart sing.

http://www.becreativemary.com

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DAY # 364 – BUTTONED UP

 

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I spent Day 364 home sick in bed.  Well actually, I did go to the doctor to get antibiotics for my mangled throat and then I got in bed and slept – a lot.  It’s funny, this is what I envisioned doing on January 2nd – minus the sore throat and ear ache!  I guess I’ll have to find something else to do now on January 2nd – Like be healthy!

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I tried to figure out what I could do from bed today in between resting.  I have this giant box of buttons just begging to be played with, so I pulled it out.

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First I went through and picked my favorites and then I had to figure out what I wanted to do with them.

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I have these gold-plated bangles with an empty bezel in the center.  I use to fill them with polymer clay designs and sell them to gift shops.  They just happen to be the perfect shape for vintage buttons.  I assembled different combinations of buttons and then wired them to the bangles.

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Next I made myself a necklace.  I tried to make the necklace symmetrical in design yet each button is different.  I love that look.  I’m definitely not matchy-matchy. I guess you could call me mixy-matchy!

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Of course my daughter popped in to see what I was up to and had to join in on the fun.  She found the wiring a bit difficult, but as usual, she’s always keeping up with her mom! Her necklace looked great.

So although my head is pounding, and my ears ache, I still made time to be creative. Tomorrow, when I’m feeling better and I’m on my last day of my 365 Challenge, I will now have something fun to wear.

OK. Off to take my evening dose of amoxicillin.  Tomorrow I have something fun planned, so I better rest up!

http://www.becreativemary.com

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DAY #307- OFF THE CUFF

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In order to complete a week’s worth of necklaces, I had to make a few bracelets to go with them right?

I’ve had a very busy weekend, but I squeezed in three bracelets today.

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In one way or another, these three tie in to the necklaces of the week. One by technique, one by materials and all by color.

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I have a bag full of these vintage 60’s acrylic and brass clasps.  They are what I call “Grandma Sheek”.  I love costume jewelry from the 50’s to the 70’s.  Hmm.  Maybe that’s because my grandmother would always let me play dress up with all her baubles.  Boy she had a wonderful costume jewelry collection.

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I always get asked, where are the earrings???

Well, I only where studs.  I figure with the bright clothing, colorful jewelry and crazy eye-glasses, I really don’t need to add one more thing!

I do when I sell jewelry, design earrings for other people, but the pieces this week were for me, so none are required.

I’m pretty psyched, I wore one of my necklaces out last night.  It worked perfectly.  It wasn’t scratchy.  It didn’t twist and turn.  All of the features I am generally looking for in a necklace.

So, I think this is it for jewelry.  I’m getting the itch to try making a print with hand-crafted stamps again.

So that will begin tomorrow.

I hope everyone enjoyed their extra hour of sleep this morning.  The turning back of the clocks always symbolizes hibernation for me.

http://www.becreativemary.com

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DAY # 305- STRANDS

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At the bottom of one of my jewelry totes, I found a note to myself:

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It had all the ideas that I’ve been trying to keep straight in my head.  Too bad I didn’t find it in the beginning of the week.  I feel like a squirrel who hides acorns for the winter, only to find them the following spring!

So this was an idea I wanted to get around to.  I wanted to create an accent jewel that was off-centered to the left and a bunch of strands of glass beads running through it.

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The accent jewel is created using polymer clay, glass seed beads and Austrian crystals.  I created a black backside that was open and could allow five strands of beads to pass through it.

I never made something like this before. It would take one or two more times to get it just right, but this necklace is good enough for me!

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It is so crazy, so funky.  It’s perfect.

By the end of this week I will have plenty of cool pieces to get me through the winter.

Now where did I leave those acorns…

http://www.becreativemary.com

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Day # 304- CRYSTAL CLEAR

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Before I go into my art for the day, I just wanted to say Happy Halloween!

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You know us proud parents, we just can’t help but share pictures of the kids!

We had a wet, warm and windy Halloween here in Rhode Island.  I think it may have even been in the 60’s.  It was a perfect night for trick-or-treating.

Let’s just say their buckets runneth over and I lay claim to the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups!

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Today’s piece of jewelry focuses on a few things.  I have some tiny seed beads and I have Chinese Laser cut crystal beads.  If you’ve ever seen these crystal beads, they sparkle like nobody’s business!  The two are paired up and fastened to jewelry straight pins.  This means you take a straight pin and pliers and bend the pin to create an eye.  Let’s say for this project, roughly 60 times.

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Next each bead combo is attached to a silver chain.

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I also added clasps.

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and now I have one super sparkly necklace.

Have you noticed a theme this week?  Maybe that I create rainbow jewelry?  That I add every color under the sun to my jewelry pieces?  Guilty.  I do.  I love every color under the sun!

You may wonder, well what in the world would you wear them with?  surprisingly, everything!  Of course black clothing helps showcase my wares, but I also like to wear a lot of olive, red and emerald-green.  Sometimes my outfits contain every color under the sun and on those days super-charged highly-colored jewelry is perfect too!

I’ll leave you with what my sister constantly says to me “Mary, if I wore what you wore people would think there was something seriously wrong with me, however on you, it’s perfectly normal.”

Yeah, I take that as a compliment!

http://www.becreativemary.com

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Day #303- PRINCESS BERRY SPRIG

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If you’ve been following me this week, you know I’ve been bitten by the jewelry bug!

I have a function to go to Saturday night.  I don’t see myself shopping for a new outfit, so I better put something over-the-top around my neck as a distraction!

I named this necklace “Princess Berry Sprig”.  Isn’t that wonderfully silly?

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That was the vision I had the other day.  What if I strung all my favorite globe beads the way one would create a berry wreath.

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Of course this required wiring hundreds of little beads!

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After I finished winding the beads, I just knew there was NO WAY I would be comfortable wearing wires around my neck.

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So I created a satin ribbon buffer.

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I simply love the result.

Ya know, for many years I filled orders for stores that liked my designs.  However, I’d get these crazy little notes attached.  They’d say things like “Customer says no yellow” or “blacks and purples only please” or “store owner really loves hearts…can you add some?”  And of course I did.  I’m a decade older now and when I think of these silly requests I think of how those stores never really received “My Work”.  Can you imagine telling Kandinsky to only work in purples or maybe he should omit all yellow from his paintings?  What it did, was throw off my designs.  My natural talent and intuition is what comes out, if you ask me to change it, I’m just not sure what you get.

My point is, the past couple of days I have made pieces just for me and it feels great.  They are my colors and they are my style.   Now that I’m a little bit more mature, I feel like I can say to the world “You want more traditional? – Go to Kay Jewelers” , “You want something a little more earthy? – Go to your local smoke shop!”, “If you hate the color yellow, then probably my work is not for you.”

There are so many artists in this world and we are all so different. I used to worry about people stealing my ideas or copying my work.  I don’t any more.  I’m going to put my art out there and expect that it is not for everybody.  It is for very specific people and somehow I will figure out how to connect to those people. If every artist tries their hardest to stay true to their own vision and their own style, then there is room for us all.

When this 365 is over, I’ll probably set up an Etsy shop to sell all my wares.  And guess what?  You can count on there being yellow in my work, just a little purple and probably not a lot of hearts ;)

http://www.becreativemary.com

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DAY#301 – NOT FOR THE TIMID

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I dropped the ball today.  Minor case of the Mondays. I didn’t take any photos of my process!

By the time I thought of it, I was here:

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…and then I flaked again and didn’t take any more photos until I was done.

Sorry about that.

It appears I have gotten into a little bit of a jewelry mode.  It’s strange, at least 2 or 3 times during my creativity challenge, I’ve attempted to get into jewelry making and I’ve lasted only a day. I designed jewelry and sold it to gift stores for almost a decade. So in that sense, it may have just been old-fashioned creative burnout.

Now, I’ve finally gotten to the time and the season. I personally feel like I need to spruce up my own jewlry wardrobe.  I NEED SOMETHING NEW!  I own SO MANY jewelry components, I would not dare buy a piece of jewelry from a store, so that forced me to get my creative jewelry cap on.

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Here’s my faithful friend…always at work interfering with my photo shoots!

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Here is yesterdays necklace photographed in the day light. I finished so late last night I had to take yesterday’s photo in the dark!

OK. I have one more piece rattling around up there in my brain…

I’m going to go try to figure out how to make it!

http://www.becreativemary.com

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DAY #300- A FUNKY KIND OF FLORAL

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DAY 300 WOO HOO!

Sixty-five days left baby!!!

Guess what I’m doing on January 2nd… NOTHING!

OK. Now I can get back to my jewels…

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Today and yesterday were spent on the road visiting relatives.  I decided to try making a beaded floral necklace while sitting in the car. I realized, I didn’t really show how I was making each flower yesterday.  Here is a break-down.

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After I made all the flowers, I then wired each single flower to another thicker gauge of wire.

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To protect myself from scratchy wires I glued black satin ribbon to the back.

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I finished up with some black beads and I am now in business.

It’s perfect timing too, I have a fancy fundraiser to go to next weekend.

Instead of picking some jewelry to go with my outfit, I am going to have to find an outfit to go with my new necklace!

http://www.becreativemary.com

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