Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wow!  Has it really been 2 weeks since I have visited with you folks?  Good gravy,  you must all think I have forgotten about you.  Well, I have not!  I have just been busy coming up with some new creations.  Wanna see?

There are these.  Yes, I have gone a bit ring happy lately.  See, there was this challenge, the Blissful Garden Beads Ring Challenge.  You can see all the rings, including mine, here and here: .   No, I did not win but that does not matter.  I was more than inspired by the whole process of it and now I am making more rings to delight all of your senses.

Garden of Bliss Ring

This is my challenge ring.  The bead is surrounded much like a cabochon would be, with 3-1 Half Persian chain and he band is a weave called Forad's Kaede.  It is a nice dense weave that has a wonderful texture that light just glints off of. 

Pearl Solitaire Ring

This is another version of the solitaire style, this time with a 4-1 Half Persian weave band.  The pearl is a freshwater pearl in a wonderfully rich gold.  This style can have any kind of stone, including gemstone beads, crystals, pearls or even set stones if that is what your heart desires.

This one and the Garden of Bliss Ring, above, are amazing to wear, since they move with your fingers.  The slight give of the chain also makes them incredibly durable as well as incredibly delicate looking.

Eternity Band - Mother's Ring Style

Mother's Ring - Bypass Style

The ring on the left is and Eternity Style band.  It is made from many, many tiny little jumprings using the Double Spiral Weave and features tiny Swarovski crystals 'in the channel'.

Here you can see the Mother's Ring.  This uses the same chain weave but is arranged in a Bypass style to hold the 'stones'.  The swarovskis here are the colors for November, May, September and February.  In the image below you can see the ring laying flat in my hand.  Flexible yet strong, this ring is amazingly comfortable to wear.
Mother's Ring off the finger

Another lovely piece I have been working on is a Cross.  Yes, I know, you have seen my Crosses before... you most likely have heard me rant about how it is my copyright design and there are far too many folks who think they can make them without my permission, and yes, I am sure you know that I am in the process of filing my Trademark for them, but trust me, you have not seem them like this.

Baby Celtic Cross

This tiny treasure is just over 3/4 of a inch long.  That is my finger it is sitting on in the image, and you can see that is is not much longer than my finger is wide.  This one is on a tiny pin which is embellished with AB Clear crystals.  These can be made with the baby's birthstones, child and parent birthstones, simple blue or pink, or in any other color that may tickle your fancy. 
Yes, it is THAT flexible!

The most spectacular thing about these is just how flexible they are.  No pokies for baby no matter how much they wiggle and move.

Funny story.  Someone was looking at some of my pieces one day and a woman picked up one of these tiny Crosses and I watched her face as she lifted it.  "Uhm, I think I did something here...." she said softly.  I smiled and took the Cross from her, commencing to watch her face turn dead white as she watched me kinda roll it into a little ball.  When I held it up to her and she saw that it was still as good as new she was thrilled.  Yes, I made the sale... in fact she bought 2.
So small....
View of the pin

In the picture left you can see just how this Cross measures up.

To the right, you see the diaper style pin that holds the Cross to babies undershirt or other garment.  I also sell these with chains, which can be embellished with the child's birthstones.

I have also been working furiously on keychains.  I have a friend here in PA who just moved her store.  Melissa, that is her name, Melissa, and she owns Hidden Treasures, PA in a nearby town called Pottsville.  She sells all kinds of antiques, collectibles and vintage goods.  You should check it out if you are up this way.

Anyways, she wanted some of my work, but was not sure what.  We talked and thought and came up with keychains.  The thinking being that they are a good, relatively inexpensive way for folks to get a taste of EyeCandy work and then they will come back for more... and more precious.

Celtic Cross Keychain
Rose Centered Celtic Cross Keychain

 To the left is a Celtic Cross.  Of course, you had to know that one of the keychains would be my copyright piece.  Well, actually 2 styles.  The one on the right has roses attached in the center of both sides.

These are made from aluminum and are light, flexible and look great!

Byzantine Pentagons w Worry Bead

These are of some of the other keychain designs I worked on.

The Byzantine Pentagon keychain, left, has a worry bead in the center for fiddling.

Below left, are my Byzantine Squares.  These are the same as my Byzantine Squares earrings with the exception of the worry bead that was added to the keychain.

Below right, Byzantine Diamonds.  These are just cute!!!

Byzantine Squares w Worry Bead
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See, I really did not forget you all, I have just been occupied with coming up with wonderful designs.

Okay, so should I tell you a little story.... hmmmm.  Okay!

Tuesday, I went out.  I went to the post office and to the store.  I went by myself.  Now, I know that does not seem a big deal, but bear with me.  See, I have some health issues.  I have fibromyalgia which sometimes knocks me for a loop, making it hard to do much, and I have bipolar disorder.  Lots of folks have that, you might be thinking and you would be right, except I get no relief from the medications.  They just do not work for me and the few that offer some help, I can not tolerate, so I do this all on my own.  So Tuesday was a big deal.

I went to the post office and got wonderful things while I was there.  My ring from Bette Lushka-Gamell came and my earrings from Bobbi Maw came.  I also got some pretties I was waiting for.  I then went on my way to the store, nothing special, just some Swiffer cloths and a broom.  Yeah, boring stuff, I know.  The thing is that I did it on my own and as I was driving home I realized that.  I was not feeling overwhelmed or panicky, which is common for me.  And I did not have the screaming in my head.

I thought about that for a moment and then I laughed.  The voice (no, I don't mean I hear voices, I am referring to that little voice that we all have that plays in our heads as we go through our days) really is kinda funny sometimes.  I will think, I need to go get something.  The voice will say, "You mean out there?  Someone will see us!  They might talk to us!  Then we will have to talk to them and... and... what if we say the wrong thing?  What if we forget how to get there?  What if the sun comes out and it gets on your skin?  What if... What if... "

I have been told that many folks have dialogues in their heads like that, but mine seems to have the ability to stop me from doing the things I want to be able to do.  It works better than an armed guard and locked door to keep me inside.  That, apparently is what the anxiety part of my illness has the power to do.  But anyways, Tuesday was a good day, and most of all, that is what I wanted to share with you all!  Good days are the best!!

I am slowly getting my new pieces into my shops.  You are all invited to stop in and take a look around.  Maybe, just maybe, you will find something wonderful that just wants to come home to you.  I promise to pack it lovingly and ship it off to you quickly, if that happens!!

All Blessings,

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Inspiration is not always an artist to artist thing...

Hello!  I am getting this written and up a little late this week.  For those of you who have been looking for it, I apologize, sometimes my schedule goes kafloowy and things get mish mashed around.

So, reading the title today you may be asking yourself, "Is she off on a tangent?  This blog is supposed to be about folks... artists, who inspire her and her work."  Well, no, not really.  Sometimes the best of inspiration comes from the most ordinary of places. 

I am sure you know how it is.  You are walking down a street and you see something that you just cant take your eyes off.  A gorgeous rose bush not quite fully in bloom but close enough that it is just spectacular, or that fabulous outfit the person who walked past you 'threw' together today, or even the amazingly rich azure blue color of the sky when it is in the 50 - 70 degree range in mid-spring.  Inspiration comes to us from all kinds of place and from nearly everything we do.  That is kinda how it works.  Our creative brains just sort of function that way.

Well, sometimes the inspiration comes from the kindness, curiosity and praise from others.  I have a friend up in Canada... well, let me correct that.  I have a number of friends up in Canada but today I want to mention Eileen.  She is a very energetic and enthusiastic gal nearly my age (I am a very proud 46) who lives with her husband and two daughters.  She works for HP and has a part at home job and part at the office job.  She has some of the normal teenager frustration with her daughters, her oldest a bit more right how since she is in the beginnings of her teenager years.  Eileen also has some health issues that are more of a nuisance than a debilitation.  She also loves the hot, sunny weather and this past Dec went to Mexico with her family.  I know these things because over time we have talked about ourselves in our exchanges. 

But I digress.  I met (was contacted by) Eileen when she saw one of my Celtic Crosses on a jewelry site.  If I can recall correctly she had purchased the tutorial at the site and then bought an Argentium Ring kit to make the Cross.  She had a ton of questions about closing rings correctly, making things shiny as possible without a tumbler, how to figure out what she needed for another project since the size she wanted to make was different and would the rings she had work.  Honestly, as I read the first couple of emails she sent to me, I thought at  first, "Wow, she has lots of energy and enthusiasm!," with a big smile on my face; and second, "Wow, she has lots of energy and enthusiasm!," shaking my head just a bit wondering if she was bouncing in her chair as she was typing.  Yes, her enthusiasm is that infectious and intense!  After a few days, she sent me this:

Yes, it is one of the Celtic Crosses I designed.  That was the point of the conversations, but what floored me is that for someone who seemed so nervous about starting it and had so many questions for me, Eileen had executed the design magnificently and the results, as you can see, speak for themselves.  There have been many, many more conversations.  Sometimes the questions impress upon my sense of color and ask it to move in ways I am not normally prone to do.  Sometimes she asked me to help her solidify the thought of a color that she has no name for and we come to something amazing.  Sometimes she asks me to take something to another level, like when she asked me to help her come up with earrings to match a bracelet she was making. 

 Those earrings became what I now sell a tutorial for as Spirals & Chains which you can see in the pictures.  A thousand times more important than the product I ended up with is the fact that Eileen inspired me to do the work needed to learn how to micro size the chain weave and sharpen my skills doing precision soldering, which is how the studs in the pic on the right are made.

Eileen had also purchased all the rings to make the inspiration bracelet from me and then came back and asked me to help put together an order for a necklace using the same weave.  Below you can see her results, which I can tell you are stunning!!

See!  I told you it was stunning!!  More to the point, it is inspirational.  Her amazing success and her willingness to take the little bits of information I offer and make finished pieces that are so amazing inspire me.  It inspires me to continue to help her and others.  It inspires me to continue creating.  It inspires me to allow other folks to offer opinions and give advice that I can, if I wish, incorporate into the pieces I make and design.

My inspiration to continue to share information and advice has brought me many new friends, including a  young lady who is just starting on her journey of creation and hobby to business building.  Julia, of is an friendly, outgoing and talented young mailler who I am sure we will all be hearing from for a long time to come, since she is just a teenager now.  I would recommend checking out her site and, if you want, drop her a note to say hi and encourage her a bit.  With her parents support, she has managed to build her love of maille into a website and I hope lots of sales.  I hope that by keeping in touch with her I can offer her, if only just a touch, of the inspiration everyone has so kindly been able to offer me. 

In the end, I think that what I really want to say this week is that inspiration, for me at least, comes from everyone and everything that touches my life.  Does it matter if you are mentioned here today?  No, not really.  Is it the case that those folks need to be a permanent part of my life to be considered inspirational?  No way!  Everyone I love and care about, everyone I meet or even see become a part of all that I am and all that I create.  I owe you all a big thank you and, that is why I named the blog I get by with my Friends since without all of YOU the well of creation would run dry.

All Blessings!