Today I got to visit old friends and recharge my creative batteries. I needed some funky old keys and I knew that if anyone would have some it would be my friend Vicki who owns Primitives and More, in Milford. Sure enough she had what I needed and I gleaned fifty (50!) keys from her stash. Old keys are not the only item Vicki and her husband Tom have in their lovely, quaint shop in Old Milford. Furniture, cabinets, flags, dolls, signs, candles (Evening Mocha~heavenly!) vintage quilts, fabric, florals, music, I can't even remember half of the cool stuff they have artfully arranged in little nooks and crannies. There is always a new surprise around each little corner with several rooms to explore. If you are in the area stop in and chat, Tom and Vicki always have time to say hi; if you're not in the area this makes a great destination store to plan a trip around. And Old Milford has some nice eateries as well. So the next time you need a bit of inspiration head down to Primitives and More, they have lots!
It's funny that for a person who tries to be scrupulously honest in my daily life I have so much fun making "phony" stones, metals and artifacts. Of course, I know that I am not fooling anyone, nor do I try; the fun is in seeing how close I can come to the real thing. I don't try to hoodwink anyone but rather capture the feel and look of a vintage piece without the high prices.
So looking for some new inspiration I started looking at some Tibetan pendants I have been hoarding and will probably never part with, then I went online and wasted...um...spent time researching and absorbing the feel and "spirit" of the work. A few Red Bulls later and I was well into the clutch of pendants you see. I loved them so much that I think today will be another RB day!
If you are interested in any of these they will be going up on my etsy site later today.
Thanks for stopping by!
It's pretty clear I'm not a fancy, frou-frou sort of girl. I like old, gritty, dirty and worn; the ancient bead holds a fascination for me that new baubles just can't match. Of course, since I have limited funds I can't always buy the real thing and so I make my own. My last beads were Moroccan-inspired and with my mind still on the African continent I have tried my hand at Krobo beads, skunk beads and old trade beads. Similar beads that I have found online run the gamut from newly made and shiny to chipped and dirty, barely intact beads. I decided that mine would have the look of being worn and pitted from years of use; looking like they have been packed away in trunks and saddlebags. After mixing the clay colors and applying the eye canes I pre-distressed them with coarse sand-paper and my carving knife. When they were baked and cooled they got a coat of acrylic (burnt umber) to further the illusion of age and decay. A finishing spray of Pym II and now they are ready for a cool tribal necklace or two. Extras will get listed in my etsy shop.
Ever since I was a child I have been escaping into my imagination; I think most artists do. I always loved books because they could ignite that spark of fantasy. And I have always loved anything that could fan that spark-wire, clay, paint, wood and in my latest endeavors, transfer paper. I have tried out two kinds of transfer paper and have settled on one sold by Hilla Bushari in her etsy shop. As with any medium there is a learning curve and it takes some time to learn how to use it, but this product is relatively easy to use. Besides even if you are a slow learner Hilla is very helpful and will guide you through any questions you have. The pictures below show some of the pieces that I made using her transfer paper, digital images and polymer clay. I sell the finished necklaces on my etsy shop as well as the loose beads to use in your own creations.
Recently I went to visit my friend Mary Karg and just hang out in her cool studio. As always we just talked non-stop catching up on the months between visits. Now, Mary has some very impressive beads and finished jewelry. She works in glass and metal (and I suspect a bit of alchemy); I am seriously in awe of her work. It would be easy to say that she never makes a mistake but I know she has; occasionally I will see an wonky bead hiding in some forgotten place, but it is unusual to see one. You can check out her Artfire studio here to see some of her beautiful work. So as I was leaving I was checking out some of her recent beads and came across a truly odd one. Mary explained she was trying new mandrels that allowed you to blow up a hot bead in order to make it hollow (and lighter weight). Usually it works but in this one case it was like a tire blow-out and the bead lost its integrity. As I was musing over it Mary gave it to me charging me to figure out a way to use it. We both were thinking some sort of jewelry, however as I was just smooshing (technical term) clay in my hand I came up with a different take on it. It isn't a finished piece, just a preliminary work up.
Just a few new beads going into my etsy shop Monday morning....
These have been selling fast so you better grab them while you can!
Not everyone's cup of tea but Tim Minchin is one of my favorite rock stars (yah I know you've probably never heard of him-but he is still a rock star). He is smart and funny, obscure and obvious. He is also basically a happy person, as am I. One of his songs is called Dark Side and he writes about being a basically happy person percieved as having no depth in their work. We (he and I) are the type that even though things get us down we look for the pony in the poop. As artists that can leave people wondering if we have any deep thoughts in our head or is it all unicorns and rainbow farts; let me assure you that I too can have a dark side...
Oddly enough, while I was creating the odd little works I'm showing below I was happy and not having the dark thought associated with the subject matter. Perhaps it was because I was creating, making something with my hands to shock and surprise - move the viewer in some way or another. I will be listing these beads for sale on my etsy site for people to add a bit of darkness to their own designs. So here is my dark side...