Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I Feel Medieval

   There's something primitive about the chill in the air.  It's saturated; something about it feels archaic and magic.  This isn't the first cold spat we've had; it feels like Autumn and Autumn has that quality of a darker age.  I'm riding high on inspirations of Arthurian Legend, War of the Roses, Pre-Raphealites...
"Queen of Pentacles" by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law 

   I thrive in weather like this.  That energy you sense in the air? that energy unique to Fall? or perhaps Indian Summer? it's hiding something.  It's holding something just out of sight; something that wants to be drawn out into the open. I look forward to the witchery of Fall every year.  The spell it has on me, I feel it brings the past and the dreams we never wanted to wake from.

Mists of Avalon


I am a vessel to the remains of the year and the whims of mother nature.  Come fall I'm empty and needing content.  She brings inspiration and color; the meeting place of death. and rebirth.  To me this season resonates strongly with the Medieval world; then the sidhe were an explanation to most questions subsequently creating a way of life.  They were as commonplace as any faith or belief of our modern age: the embodiments of natural phenomena wrapped up in beings belonging to an invisible realm and influencing our world and its nature. 

"Ophelia" by John William Waterhouse 


   I have this yearning to step into the woods and vanish into the surrounding mists and trees, the undergrowth below, and the canopy above.  I want to dissolve into the Autumn air, to become elemental; I want to sleep, to fade into that ancient world beyond the vale.  I want to return to nature and to become supernature.  


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

New Computer, Old Picture Files, Revisited Ideas

I'm in the process of switching computers and have been subject to a lot of image/picture file transferring and clean up. It's been a nostalgic, albeit, tedious process.  I keep finding more and more pictures of jewelry I made that I had all but forgotten.  This isn't the first time I have been reminded of work of which I was once so proud and that I had gone on to forget almost immediately after it left my possession.  It puzzles me how I could have invested all that time into those pieces never to think of them again. 
I do remember having made the Mariah earrings, but knowing they never sold, in my memory they have remained an idea that was better in theory... until I brought up the old images.  I do really like how they look, and I probably just hadn't given them enough time to circulate before scrapping and swapping them to make them into the more successful necklace pendants.

aren't they presh? :)
I realized something else while doing this clean up: I used to make so much more jewelry.  It almost feels like my passion for it has gone.  I know that today I still make a lot of jewelry, but it's just repeating the same designs over and over again; I feel like a machine. 
When doing what you love becomes a chore of course you fight it, but when you're doing it for the love of it, you are allowed to get lost in it, and for an artist that is a very productive time.  Less and less, over the past few years, have I been privileged to that sweet abandon.  These days I feel like I struggle with the actual work so much, I'm convinced I have put on weight as a result. 
Once I found steady income from the signature series the work became so monotonous I needed to distract myself from the repetition through another creative processes so baking became that outlet.  I have literally gone up 20lbs in the past 3 years.  I believe it to be a combination of the baking and boredom.
I need to do something about this eating to amuse myself.  I would much prefer to get lost in my artwork, like I used to... rather than a loaf of freshly baked bread... smeared  in  herb  butter :/

As simple as this piece is I love it! and it's a great example of the kind of jewelry that used to arise from my boredom.  I would finish something big and beautiful and continue on the roll by moving on to the smaller pieces that filled the spaces of time between before moving on to another large project; there was scarcely a lull.  I would get into scrap materials and make something from pieces I thought I had no use for.     
I want to get back into repurposing as much as I used to.  I don't repurpose nearly so much today and rarely finish original pieces I have ordered specific materials to make.  I seem to lack that discipline today; I had less money invested in my business then and I was forced to make due with what I had and to be far more creative; I had to use everything I ordered-almost immediately.
Little Mermaid Cuff. One of my finest examples of using up scrap material.
So I don't know if I'm being nostalgic and viewing the past with rose-colored glasses (as we tend to do) or if I am realizing things were better then and that I should try to get back to that place as far as my creative process is concerned.  I do see many jewelry artists who refuse to keep regular items.  Regular items do compete with your creativity and battle your artist's motivation.
I have thought about putting a cap on how many Signature pieces I would make in a month so that's something I may look into.  Speaking of the Signature Series I believe I found earlier what I feel to be the origin of  the Lady of the Ocean ring.

Queen of the Ocean
This one is from Christmas 2011.  The magical thing about that holiday season was that it was the first year I had a successful holiday sale and every piece I sold was a unique OOAK piece of jewelry.  I did feel pretty terrible, however, for the few customers who felt they had these one of a kind items swiped from their shopping carts while at the checkout.  It's true, you can experience the thrill of the Black Friday Blitz, from the comfort of your own living room.
I'm already getting excited for Fall.  I'm not sure what to expect this fall, though; this is my first fall ever beneath the Mason-Dixon line.  I have been in Arkansas once on my birthday (Oct. 27), it was 80 and the trees were still thick with leaves.  In Michgan the leaves are almost completely fallen at that time-usually by Halloween.  I guess I'm kind of hoping to have Thanksgiving outside:3

At any rate, Fall is the time of year I'm high on life and making crazy amounts of new jewelry.  I always look forward to fall for that reason, but why wait?  These files from the days of of yore are making me want to begin new pieces now, but I think I need to finish the originals I have started and move onto to the others in my head after.

This blog certainly is off to a random start, but at least, I have my Tuesday post in;)


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Chain Obsession

In addition to the jewelry that didn't make last weeks deadline are some really fun pieces.
I guess being that this is a preview and it's 11:50pm, I'm gonna keep this brief.

I have the more exotic variety of jewelry in the making this week: a body-chain, slave bracelets. One of these days I want to work a headdress into the mix. I made one for a friend not long ago, and the finished piece blew me away; I couldn't believe "I" made it.
So that's something I definitely need to do again.

this one has only a little ways to go.
this one... much farther to go ;)
Lot's of work to get to!! don't want to disappoint!


Friday, July 4, 2014

4th of July

The thing about holidays, forgetting the day is a holiday is sort of an occupational hazard of mine.  I do have the discipline of a 9-5 (technically 8-6) schedule so that I will get my work done.  Even though I could work in my pjs at 3am, I attempt to do the responsible thing: get up at 6am, workout, shower, and get dressed in the morning, pretend I'm off to work (because really... I kind of am), etc. 

I take scheduled breaks and a lunch; everything thing you would expect from a job at an office I do here in my home just so that I'm productive and don't fall into bad habits... bad habits resulting in me feeling like crap.  Not to mention, my schedule wouldn't be in sync with any of my friends or, more importantly, my husband.

I'm beginning to realize I'm not even as nice to myself as a real boss would be.  I let myself go back to work after dinner and I'll work on weekends, but the most diabolical thing of all: I never give myself holiday breaks. 

For the first time in the history of my etsy store, last Christmas, I set the shop to vacation mode and closed up, but not really.  Behind the scenes I was still answering inquiries (concern expressed over orders placed for x-mas gifts, etc.), and it was only a 3 days vacation to start with.  At any rate, it feels like a lie to say any kind of vacation happened.  I was still making jewelry on those days off because customers shop that time of year, not only for gifts, but for sales; I was getting orders up to the 22nd and the orders resumed immediately when I opened on Christmas day. 

So you may have guessed, I'm not shutting down for anything less than Christmas.  If I actually closed my shop and turned my back on it for a week I think the world explode.  So when I was out to dinner this past week and there was a lot of excitement expressed over Friday it took a moment for it to sink in: I knew Friday was the 4th and that we were all going to the same cookout, but the excitement seemed a little excessive... then I realized everyone else at the table was escaping their job and had the day off.  I work at home soooo... I guess I can at least sleep in.

To say things like this make me sad makes me seem unappreciative of how good I have it, and then a little obnoxious.  But just the same, I wanted to experience the same rush of escape.  So while I'm sure I'll do a little work tomorrow, I'm definitely turning my alarm clock off (now I'm hoping I remember to do that when I finally get into bed).  I plan to wake up when I wake up, lolly-gag around the house, maybe do a chore, do little work here, and finally, go get some wine in me at that cookout.

What I'm not going to do is stress over getting those pieces of jewelry (featured in Tuesday's post) listed in my store by tomorrow.  I'm not going to tell myself I failed because I didn't meet the deadline this blog is meant to set for finishing new jewelry (this blog can do other things.  I mentioned I might change it up a bit.  Stop being so hard on yourself, Julee).  The 4th of July has thrown a monkey wrench into my plans so I'm just gonna go with the flow and start over again Monday:)

Next time I'll be on the lookout for a holiday just so I can work with it and not have to worry about working against it.  I'm gonna take a "kind of" holiday.
Happy 4th!! go enjoy you friends and family, some grilled food, and fireworks^.^



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

I Put a Spell on You

Bringing you a little good juju on your Tuesday.
Here's a look at what I'm working on this week. 
They're a few pieces I began fall '13. I'm hoping to finish them for this Friday's Blog, and they will be available @ Etsy by then . 

Each piece was made at completely different times of Fall (I mean, that pink skull may have very well been made in Winter). What amuses me is when I brought the photos up for editing the grouping sort of developed this wonderful Voodoo theme. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do :D
working on a jeweled chain for this guy

i'm thinking layers of chain for this one. a little sparkle. we shall see

this creepy little piece shall be a bracelet

There may be another piece or two. For now just expect these. Also, let me know what you think. I'm working on these this week and welcome any ideas or suggestions you may have to contribute ;)