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And so it goes

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turquoise in progress

I have started a new adventure in creativity. This soon-to-be necklace has been a real challenge. I have taken it apart at least three, and maybe four, times. I don’t usually work on anything so structured, but here I am jumping in with both feet. I wonder what prompts me to take on these challenges and to stick with it until I am satisfied.

The above photo is not my latest. I took out the beads around the neck and I have decided to embroider all that shows through of the backing. This is no easy task. I am using Brazilian embroidery floss: it tangles and twists and makes me crazy. I can’t do regular back stitches as the surface is too rigid. So, it is one stitch at a time. The upside is that I’m using floss that was given to me and which would have been thrown away.

This time, I’m taking notes on the process. It’s hard for me to be organized, but I realize that it makes my future work easier. I have cataloged all my beads and labeled all the boxes my fabrics and trims are in. That alone was an adventure. You just never know what will happen when you try something new.

The following picture is one of those new projects I took on without a pattern. Common sense is a good quality to have. I had the earring pattern, so I did have something to go by, but I was worried it wouldn’t work.

Macrame necklace for Pat

In the past, I’ve been very successful when I’ve learned a new technique. I get books and tutorials and go from there. Sometimes I just incorporate a technique I already know. Sometimes I take hours determining what a rock or piece of wood wants to be. Once this piece is finished, I’m going to make dolls and purses. I need a new adventure.

I do love what I am doing and hope I can continue to share my adventure of art with you.

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It’s Hard to Know When to Quit

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Sometimes others don’t love what you have created as much as you do. Maybe they even hate it. But that’s part of the challenge and the fun of creating art objects. At present, we are trying to create a buzz on Etsy for my stuff. In working the process I realized that I had a piece I’d put about 50 hours into that wasn’t going anywhere. This is the piece:

Butterflies and roses

I love it, others love it, but no one wants to buy it. So, I thought I’d remake it and see how that went. I discarded the butterfly and several of the flowers. I think maybe it was just too much. It’s hard to know when to quit, and that’s what separates the great artists from the mediocre. Here’s the beginning of the re-creation. What do you think? I’ll post it when it’s completed.

Re do butterflies and roses

As you can see, it started out as a beaded collar. I intend to use the green pearls to make the necklace and incorporate the focal piece I’m now working on. And, of course,  I kept the beaded leaves. My method of creating is rather organic and sometimes I work myself into a corner. The best thing about creating that way is that I have to discover my own way to make everything work. I can safely say that creating wearable art is the adventure. It always keeps my mind active as I try to figure out how to turn my vision into something beautiful.

While looking for those pictures, I came across others I had created. I was doing craft fairs then and sold almost everything I made. Going through the pictures reminded me of those I loved the most. They tend to be ones created with found objects and textiles.

Story teller 2

As you can see, it isn’t always jewelry that comes to mind. I love rocks and wood and this happened when a friend gave me the driftwood. It was another of those projects where I had to figure out how to bring the idea into fruition. She is a Storyteller made from the driftwood and flat river stones and textiles and beads. At some point I want to make a dragon from wood and tattered fabrics. I guess I’ll have to live a few more lifetimes to make everything I have in my head. But it is always an adventure.

I also want to give a shout out to a really nice guy. I made a comment on his blog and he had the good graces to send me some marketing tips. Check him out at:  https://affililatelife.blog/. (…and thanks for all the fish.)

A Peek At What I’ve Been Up To

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earring obsession

Earring Obsession

It’s been a bit since I’ve written for this site. I think that’s because it’s been a long time since we have gone on a hiking adventure. Life has been pretty complicated and time at a premium. That doesn’t mean I’m not creating art though. I’ve been obsessed with making fabric earrings. The above picture is only part of it. Our local art gallery is hosting a Christmas Boutique and I have signed up for it. I had already made a ton of earring for a LuLaRoe party my daughter was hosting, and so, I had some on hand. Now I’m making some actual Christmas type earrings.

example of earrings with necklace

Re-purposed trim with earrings

I have been making jewelry for some time now and the earrings were styled to go with the necklaces I’ve created, but they weren’t always in fabric, which is my primary medium for my art jewelry. Then I designed and created those below for my brother’s jewelry store in Ames, Iowa and got hooked on them. No two pair are ever exactly alike and I create them from fabric samples and quilt scraps, so I’m re-purposing things that would go into the trash heap–something I can’t even contemplate.

green-earrings

Batik, peridot and onyx

That’s where the adventure comes in. I had to design shapes, select fabrics and then figure out how to bond the fabric to an inner-facing such that the edges don’t fray. Even after I worked that out, I found I still might have to run a thin bead of glue around the edges.

earring samples

Earrings made from silk and from quilt scraps

The ones I made for Iowa have gemstones on them. The ones I sell locally have Swarovsky crystals and seed beads. It takes me from two to five hours to create one pair of earrings. That being said, it is a labor of love. I love the adventure of finding the perfect fabric and then the perfect beads to go with them. And a good friend gave me her quilt scraps which are most batik. I love batik, as these clearly show. And the scraps are just perfect for earrings.

embroidery-for-bag

Thai silk with quilting

My next great adventure will be making a bag from this piece of Thai silk that I am quilting and finishing with bead embroidery. I intend to combine it with leather, of which I have a drawer full. So the adventure continues.

I’d need another lifetime to create everything that is in my head as I have only a limited time left on planet earth.

My daughter is helping me with an Etsy shop–another great adventure–at silkandstoneboutique. The adventure there is getting people to even look at it, much less like and send it around. It seems people are more and more caught up in their own lives and have little time for anything else. I guess I’m guilty of that too. There is only so much time in the day.

I hope you have enjoyed the pictures. You can see more fun stuff at my Etsy store.

Life is the adventure

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Adventure isn’t always what you think it’s going to be. For me, it always has to do with family, hiking, writing or art. Recently I’ve put a lot of work into an Etsy (silkandstoneboutique) shop and getting earrings done for my daughter to have a LuLaRoe party. That work is in conjunction with finally getting my book written and teaching yoga and senior strength training. All of those I love. So, all in all, life is good.

This is my lovely granddaughter modeling earrings made for the party. The earrings were made from quilt scraps given to me by a friend. I try to make everything from re-purposed items.

Belle in red earrings

All of my jewelry creations are either fabric based or created from things found while hiking. We have some really great rocks, discarded metal, and wood in this area and I find pieces that I eventually turn into something.

My method is to put pieces I love on my work space and let ideas simmer. Another great source of inspiration is Pinterest. I also see metal jewelry on TV and wonder how I can make it out of fabric. I would need two more lifetimes to create everything I envision. I’ll certainly never live long enough.

This is a piece made from leather given to be because a furniture store went out of business. I have all of their furniture samples–a good example of why I need two more lifetimes. I want to make hand bags too! Something is always cooking in my brain.

leather leaves

It turns out that the greatest adventure is life itself and what we make of it. We are all creative and just need to find out what makes us sing inside. That is adventure.

Another Art Adventure

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I haven’t really had an adventure in a great long time. At least not the kind you’re used to seeing here. My latest adventure is learning to teach chair yoga. Sounds easy? Not so much. It turned out to be a lot harder than I’d ever imagined. I teach seniors. I’m a senior. We all have limitations.

But I am trying some new things in my art world. Here’s a picture of a piece of silk I’m embroidering with floss and beads. It is stuffed in the trapunto method. Later it will be combined with leather to make a bag.

embroidery-for-bag

I am also making a different style of earrings. These are fabric with semi-precious gem stones added. I have them on display at Gilger Designs in Ames, Iowa. He has this great fine design shop and I am honored to have them there. And they are such fun to make. I made a pair for my niece and my nephew’s girlfriend. I made me some too.

Of course, these are in progress here, but they turned out beautifully.

Now, a friend of mine is setting up an Etsy shop for me–another great adventure in the art world. Everything takes time and energy. But creativity is the domain of us all. We are by nature creative and for me it has become a real need. I suspect it is that way with all artists. For this new year I hope you all have lots of time and opportunity to create the things you love and that this brings you great joy and peace.