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!

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