Having art in your day to day life and in your home can be uplifting and inspiring. Creating a life and home environment that pleases you in small ways can spread out and effect you in a much bigger way. If you want to add art or craft into your life it is getting easier and easier. There's no end of markets and online shops to buy from. I started collecting art at an early age but it is never too late to start a collection of happy making things! Art and craft collecting is an investment but it doesn't have to break the bank.Read More
I've been working on some new things that are pretty cool. I've been really focusing the past year on buying locally and or Canadian made. I've been making a point of supporting local artists and producers. I've been able to buy soap, lotion, all of my toiletries really, clothing, original art, produce, home decor, furniture and stationary locally and affordably. I only buy my beads and findings from Canadian distributors and I support small business when buying my resin and art making supplies in Calgary. I recycle everything and use the green bin which is now half full of frozen goo and will become an interesting thing to watch melt come spring. I'm off the pork and beef for the most part and cutting down on fish. Still eat chicken once a week though, although he is supposedly a chicken who had a good life. Hope so. Life is a work in progress, so I feel like it is progressing in the right direction. Trying to be good is the theme. In that spirit I was looking for a way to expand my product line without looking to an overseas factory to do so. I am pleased to say I have found a printing company in town to make my fine art prints and a company in Montreal to make my line of leggings and accessories. I'm still in the fiddling stages of designing but have gotten some good results and hope to have everything going in the next few weeks.
Notebooks are something I have all over the house and in stacks and piles. I could build a small wall in the garden with some plaster and all my notebooks and sketchbooks to be sure. So I'll be having notebooks and coil bound notebooks made, pencil cases, makeup bags and carry alls.
I'm also having prints made, I know my original paintings are a little pricey. I know I could not afford to buy them myself so having prints is a good option. The way I paint is extremely time consuming, thus the price. I can only make so many paintings in a year time wise so I need to figure out different ways to use my original work.
I'm pretty excited about the leggings. It's fun to design them and they are pretty good to wear. I've been torture testing mine for the past couple months. They are easy to wear out and about and to the gym which I decided to start going to. The leggings are thicker than some I have bought elsewhere and I believe they will stand up to the awesome and terrible thigh rubbing test. I usually can rub a couple decent holes into my superstore leggings, which I have decided to stop buying. They are tantalizingly cheap but that's not a good enough reason to buy them. The idea of having fewer things that are better quality and last longer is sinking in.
If you would like to be the first to know about the new stuff sign up below! I am not a profilic emailer so will not be sending you the daily mail:)
So my blogging is behind the times but that's ok. Usually I think about what I want to blog about and sort of plan it out in my head and then my brain seems to think that that is good enough and moves on to the next thing. The windmills of my mind churning out phantom blog posts. Plus this is called a journal not a blog so maybe shorter posts more often? We will see what happens :) Anyways...
Last month I got to participate in an art show and sale called Calyx. I applied due to the serendipity of the internet. I was scrolling through Instagram looking at what it thinks I want to see based on what I have looked at before. It is usually correct as it was showing me some interesting jewellery, one piece was a one of a kind rustic type salt and pepper diamond ring and one of the hashtags was #calyx so I thought oh yeah I keep meaning to apply but it is never quite the right time. So I googled Calyx and the deadline was in three days. So I have applied for other things in the recent past and have all of my CV and what not ready to go so I figured I'd apply and figured I wouldn't get in. But then I did!
So long story short I managed to get 19 paintings done all at the same time. This is really something that I never do. It is also something that I have been trying to do for the past few years with little success. So this blog post is really just me being happy with finally getting something significant accomplished! I'm pretty good with baby steps but not giant leaps and this felt like a leap. Plus I met many really talented and lovely people and sold a couple paintings... so all around goodness!
Every other March 1st has been a happy day. March 1st is the jubilant end of the vile month of February, it is the beginning of the promise of spring in Calgary, the beginning of my birthday month and March 1st is my Nana's birthday. She passed away in September after two years of slow and gradual change due to dementia. It wasn't a battle or a struggle so much as a long, difficult journey. An endurance test. I like to think things happen for a reason and the only reason I can see for dementia is for the person who has it to let others take care of them finally or for the other people to have the experience of caring for that person. Something must need to be learned from it. I'm still not sure what though. I'm basically still just sad.
Nana and I got along like peas and carrots. We talked almost daily and almost always for an hour and 18 minutes. I didn't talk so much as I listened so maybe that's just about how long it took her to say what she had to say everyday. Nana was known to be bossy, spoke her mind and if she had a critique for you she would not hold back. She had a quick wit and a sharp tongue. We had a fair few fights about silly things usually. She would steal my holey clothes out of my house and repair them and surreptitiously put them back, chop down my bushes when I wasn't home so they would look smart, whatever that means, and give me supreme shit if I had not shoveled my sidewalk right after it snowed. She was also incredibly helpful, thoughtful and generous. I'm not sure how I would have managed with my glamourous singlemom/singleincome lifestyle I found myself in if it where not for Nana. I got a lot of that sort of "you made your bed now lie on it" kind of advice. Lying in your bed is about the last thing you get to do as a single mom :) Nana spent so much time with Aubrey and was always there when I needed her. I was able to go back to school for a year and finish my degree. Nana would pack up 4 year old Aub, a low tech stroller, a bunch of sandwiches and a wet jay cloth in a zip loc bag and go off to Fish Creek for hours at a time. When he was older she would take he and his stinky, noisy friends. She was a saint really.
I can still hardly believe that she is gone. I still think oh I should phone Nan, see what she thinks. I think the whole time you are in hospital and the nursing homes it's almost not real, I think just trying to manage day to day and get through what you have to do takes all of your energy. It took most of mine anyway. I really wish she were here to see Donald Trump as president. The word "nonsense" I think she would use a lot in regard to him. She would also just love Justin Trudeau. We would have lots to chat about these days.
Nana always supported all of my ventures, pursuits, hobbies and pastimes...except drinking coffee of course, tea is the only way to be. She babysat my 3 dogs and 2 cats and one snake for two weeks when she was 90 without batting an eyelash. She would drive she and I to Sunshine to go skiing in a Pontiac in the 70's in a snowstorm. She ate a salad every god damned day. I can only hope to be as independent and fearless as she always was.
I miss Nana more than anything everyday and feel very alone sometimes. I also feel like it's time to make a concerted effort to get back to life, back to my business and back to being happy more often. It's time to surrender the need to grieve, to let go of the idea of loss and accept the fact that everything changes all of the time and I can't control it. We'll see how that goes:)
Crisp copper leaves underfoot... rose and mauve coloured sunsets...
this is what I've been thinking of for fall this year. For some reason I'm drawn to pink again, and dusty rose of all things. I know the Pantone colour of the year is rose quartz and you need to bow down to it a little bit but the other is serenity blue and it's not doing much for me. The pink though is good. I get to see the sun set from my kitchen every night and often times it goes through a whole range of pinks and mauves.
Dusty rose petals are something I seem to hold onto. I feel like the petals are prettier when they are dried up. The stones I have been using that represent warm rosey peach and pink to me are rose quartz, rhodonite, moldavite, lepidolite, pink opal, peach moonstone and sunstone.
There are several ways to prolong the life of your jewellery and keep it looking it’s best. Especially jewellery that has porous stones like turquoise or delicate materials like pearls, shell, coral or amber.
- Avoid spraying your jewellery with perfume or getting lotion on it. They say your jewellery should be the last thing you put on and the first thing you take off.
- Do not wear it in the pool or hot tub and don’t put it away wet if it gets wet.
- Store your jewellery in separate plastic baggies to protect it from oxidization, especially sterling silver which tarnishes very quickly. Separating things also keeps them from scratching each other.
- Do not wear your jewellery when you are participating in sports or roughhousing if you can avoid it. Watch out for babies and toddlers! They love jewellery :)
- Keep an eye on beading wire and clasps, prongs on settings and open jump rings… most everything will break or need to be restrung eventually through normal wear and tear. If you catch it before it breaks, you won’t lose any pieces.
- When wearing a longer necklace be aware of how it swings around. It can smash into counters, coffee tables or get hooked on things.
- Avoid dropping your jewellery on hard surfaces! Large stones can break, smalls stones can pop out of their settings and glass beads can get chipped. Bathroom tiles are very unforgiving so I always take my jewellery off on my carpet…This brings me to the tale of woe!
Before the Incident
Sarah and I made these some time ago after a bead shopping trip we went on. Sometime later that evening I received a text message from Sarah. She had gotten home and when she was taking her bracelet off, it fell onto the tile floor and one of the beads broke:( Larger flat stones are susceptible to this sort of breakage. I said I would try to fix it up. I have had success in the past with gluing big beads back together. Your other option would be replacing it altogether, which would mean restringing. Sarah opted for the glue as this bead has a nice pattern on it.
There’s two different types that I would use. One is called E-6000 and is quite toxic smelling and the other is called Bead Fix, which I think is just crazy glue from the smell of it...also toxic smelling. Use either in a well ventilated area! The benefit of E-6000 is that it is flexible.
The repaired bead is not obvious when it is in with the others. So we will see how this bead holds up with the glue. I have glued a jasper bead together before and it is still stuck together and looks fine, so it is possible.
May 20th & 21st
Take a Creative Vacation this August
Check out my Eventbrite profile with all the events, dates and details listed. Supplies for the described projects are included, 12 and up is great and if you would like to arrange different payment options email me firstname.lastname@example.org!
Mother's Day, the day that we seem to make dinner anyways in my family and do the dishes and then get a card...from the other mother's:) I have decided to temper the injustice of Mother's Day with buying my own gift every year! This year I have already bought my gift(s) a book about painting icons and a wood-burning book that is pretty interesting. My next gift will be sitting down and actually reading them. I will most likely buy myself another gift or two within reason in the next few days leading up to the big day. If you are in need of a Mother's Day gift for yourself or another awesome mother I will be posting some jewellery ideas for the next five days. If you are in Calgary you can pick up some unique semi precious gemstone jewellery that I have for sale. One of a kind pieces for one of a kind Mom's who deserve something special with that card! Or maybe get something nice for yourself :) Like I like to do.
I've always had little treasures that I have kept, arranged, loved and carried with me from place to place. Being someone who has a natural tendency to make things, objects have always been special to me. I think you have to enjoy objects and the material world to make things. The objects I have always been drawn to the most are rocks. Luckily for me I discovered that when you drill a hole through a rock it turns into a bead and has a whole new purpose. That's what drew me to making jewellery.
If I only had glass beads or plastic ones to choose from I doubt I would have started making jewellery at all. My background is in sculpture so making jewellery is a perfect fusion of rock collecting and tiny sculpture! The variety of gemstones is almost too much for me to handle. There are very few of them I don't like! I always say this one is my favourite and that one is my favourite. They can't all be my favourite but they kinda are.
Garnet Astrophylite Kyanite Chrysoprase
I could go on and on but since I am trying to blog daily I will stop now:) There are so many things to write about and I am supposed to get up early tomorrow so I will be good and go to bed.
One of my favourite things for sure is pearls which are the main focus for the If Mermaids... collection. The idea being If Mermaids wore jewellery perhaps it would look like this.
I always feel like I am not getting enough done. I'm not great at relaxing at all. I very much feel like there are never enough hours in the day yet I also think I am a chilled individual until I blow my stack and then I think hey I'm actually a really big spaz. Sigh. Blogging I am not so good at. I always think it needs to be epic and amazing and it never really is so I am going to post something daily for awhile and see what comes of it. I may not even check my spelling which will really freak me out. I have been doing the #DailyBead on Instagram since January 1 and I must say I am getting bored of it. So the three month rule may not apply to me. I intend to stick with it though so we will see what happens! Blogging on the other hand makes me shiver. I'll start with something safe, a Daily Bead round up! I love visuals - colours, textures, balance and symmetry and contrast and all the components of visual language - so easy. Real language, not so easy :) But like anything you want to get better at...practice!
I have been trying for quite some time to cram three things into one web site! It has not been working out very well. I am stubborn though so I have kept at it until finally I have given up and made a separate site for my Jewellery, Art and Social Media Services business. The relief I feel now! Maybe that's the fun of being so stubborn, finally giving up is such a nice feeling.
Coming up with brand names, logos etc is very time consuming and sort of gets in the way of the creative process. Trying to define who you are and what you are all about in a word or two and an image or three is challenging. You must remember that you can always change things in the future, it is not written in stone. It is an evolution. That's what I've been telling myself anyway. So the name Natural Icon I came up with years ago for a series of paintings I was doing. I had just graduated with my fine art degree and was out of school, floundering around a bit, free from instructors, thesis statements, artist statements or any other sort of structure for my art. So I got to meditating about what I really cared about, what really moved me and made me happy. I started thinking back to my childhood and what fascinated and inspired me way back when. What I came up with was animals, leaves, rocks, stars, the sun, flowers, shells, bones, sand, dirt and water. So basically Nature!
The architecture of the natural world follows mathematical equations. Now math is not really my thing, like Barbie said "math is hard" or at least I have to think about math way harder then other things. Probably the only thing I have in common with Barbie:) Math is magical though and mysterious to me. According to Wikipedia " two quantities are in the golden ratio if their ratio is the same as the ratio of their sum to the larger of the two quantities. "
Now if I think real hard about that it makes sense! What I am all about is the visuals, and the visuals associated with the Golden Ratio are amazing and magical. The example to illustrate the Golden ratio is more often than not the cross section of a nautilus shell. The Nautilus is a living fossil, remaining unchanged for millions of years. It is a mysterious creature that builds it's own home a chamber at a time, perfectly and beautifully. The above fossils are cephalopods, much smaller than a Nautilus but illustrating similar construction. So that's where the idea started, the magic of the Natural world...the Icon part I will write about next time!