Monday, December 7, 2015

Blog Carnival: December 2015

I am a collector of my own inspiration.
Topic: "Inspiration"

Something as simple as this power cable above can set me on a creative journey. We do not have to use everything we see, we unconsciously will build a collection in our brain file. My secret is that this is now filed in my brain journal and it might get added at some point or I can just enjoy it simply for its beautiful shape, there is an overabundance in this world to use as inspiration, it really is about how you interpret it! 

Inspiration for me comes in every breathing moment of my day. It never ends and is always a factor in anything I see that visually stimulates me. Sometimes it may be a bit of a hindrance as it never shuts off and it can be a bit of a problem when I am out of the house. Thrift shopping, on my walks(always dawdling along stopping touching things taking pictures, picking up leaves and bits for example. But my life's passion to create things, really is dependent on being creative and my happiness so really it is a blessing!
Inspiration can come from people, places & things. I am inspired by people who are driven, honest, compassionate, open, sense of humor & that are educating and challenging themselves to become better people and grow. These are the beautiful people who inspire me! I aspire to be more like them. They become inspiration for me to become a better person. I am always trying to understand myself and change the things I do not like about myself, it's very hard work to face and change some ingrained habits since childhood, but I am determined to never stop trying! And Yes I usually have a therapist in my life and I am grateful for it!
Places, whether they be trips or cultures definitely have a very strong impact on my senses. The ocean for example is a place for me to meditate and lose city lights and pressures. My mind can let go and take its own vacation of sorts. I can sit with a clear mind and let the ideas be my focus and then they get to grow in a different environment.
Maybe it is a bit of the isolation & tactileness when I go visit the beach that can keep me focused on relaxing (which is good thing!) I sit and run my hands through the rocks, nap on the beach, take short hikes, read, sketch, write and just breathe in the fresh ocean air. Its a luxury that fuels me up. And I am way overdue for my little yearly trip.... hmmm.
Cultures, and people of other lands always fascinate me, there's always such a different distinct view and beauty of the world. The storytelling and history comes in forms of their design, it shapes their aesthetic with a deep rich flavor. This is a fascinating inspirational source for me!
Things, can be literally anything! objects, plants, news, architecture, shades of contrast, poetry.... When I use Objects to work with, it is of course something I already like for whatever reason, so I pick it up and roll it around in my fingers, I really try to think outside the box of connections, layout and wearability. I also try to imagine manipulating it if and whenever possible to an even better personal aesthetic. Lately for example, I have been wanting to make boxes to hold these objects whether I change them or not. But most importantly I want them to be able to be taken out and touched. I have also come to a shocking realization (duh) that I cannot take all these trinkets with me when I die, so I must use them now, currently and keep using. I have been saving these things for the right time and I believe it is now! I do not think I am a narrative artist in any way shape or form, I feel I do not have a category, I feel I tend to be more in the moment in my inspired pieces, I get an urge and there I go. I am definitely drawn to organic things like, sticks, stones, bones & non-traditional materials. I love ANIMALS, but birds are a major key player in my inspiration dictionary. Certain shapes and curves, especially curves on bones, certain shades of colors, mostly neutral earthy tones, but secretly Magenta, Fuchsia, Violet & Eggplant are my favorite colors.
I think I have fallen off topic. There is no right or wrong way to create, but obviously it start with inspiration at the core, from your mind and materials. I strive very hard to not be influenced and I always try to make up my own way of doing things. Of course there are certain rules in my metalsmithing category that must be heeded but if I can break them, I try! Although, I think it is good for "me" to have boundaries in which to create, otherwise I can get a lot of scattered. Too many ideas syndrome, it actually hurts my head. I also have to be very careful to edit my own pieces as I go. I get a bit excited and want to do more, but this is not good usually, less is more for me now in most instances. As I grow older I also am changing, my inspirations and style is evolving which is healthy. I rarely make the pieces I really love over, ( I am very sorry to the people who ask for this service)I like to move on and feel the power when the new inspiration hits, that is my adrenaline hit.
If you have any questions I would be happy to answer them, just leave a note in the comments below. Thank you for reading, not sure I was able to fully focus on the inspiration aspect as much as I wanted but for now it will have to suffice as I am running late submitting my article! Happy, hopeful, lots of love & peaceful wishes to all you makers an other lovely souls for the new year! Until 2016! 
Please read my fellow bloggers below on this same topic of "Inspiration" We are a part of the EtsyMetal Team Monthly Blog Carnival where we all reflect on the same topic the first Monday of every month. Its very interesting how we each will interpret a theme, always some really inspirationally great reads! Thank you!
Beth Cyr:
Victoria Takahashi:
Cynthia Del Giudice:
Gracebourne Design:
Andrea Ring:

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Brooch-a-Day Challenge 2013!

"a pin as a pin"
I picked up this tiny pin in the 80's from who knows where...
"Challenge: make one Brooch-a-Day, any material, for 365 days."

Taking a deep breath to calm my nerves as I sit here thinking about joining in another 365 day project. As you might not know, a group of fellow artists and metalsmiths worldwide from Flickr and EtsyMetal joined together in 2010 and made a ring-a-day (RAD) a small handful actually made the 365 rings, I myself only made 215 of 365 rings and I very seriously bow down and praise those who did completed the entire year, it was challenging to say the least.  It was a love/hate experience, I wished I had blogged and journalled my journey with thoughts about creativity, the perseverance and determination, the friendships created, and about the community and camaraderie found. An amazing aspect is this was all held online, and then to top it all off like a cherry on a dessert there was a physical show at the Punch Gallery in Seattle at the SNAG  2011 conference and there was also a book published by Lark Books and edited by Marthe LeVan, it was all an amazing experience to be a part of.

All righty, so now I have decided to join in on the Brooch-a-Day (BAD) 2013 challenge. What this means is I will make one brooch on every day of 2013 (crossing fingers). I plan to blog here weekly, keep a personal journal for the year and make and post the brooches daily to the BAD 2013 Flickr group. I am looking forward to it but feel very tentative in the commitment dept, I remember how hard it was sometimes to make a ring-a-day, and also failing at 365 self-portrait a few years too!? But! I have a new plan of attack for this one. I am aiming to make simple fun studies out of materials like found objects, paper and glue for 6 of the days and on the last day of the week plan make a substantial piece. Ok, well that's the plan and we will see where this adventure takes me, as I am not putting any limitations on myself this round, I think too many boundaries make it harder than it really needs to be, I just want to have fun, be creative and laugh!

top left: Cybernacle brooch 2011
top right: My first I ever made before I had jewelry tools! 1992
bottom left: Beachstone brooch 1998
bottom right: Pod brooch 1994?
So, for fun I looked around my drawers and gathered some Brooches and Pins I have collected over the years. And surprisingly I do not have many at all, these last few years I have just started to even consider wearing them more, it makes me wonder if it is an age thing? Or maybe I am just cold all the time now so I wear scarves and sweaters and a scarf and fibers are more canvas for wearing art? hmmm, I will think about this more in the days to come :) 

I do not actively go out looking for things in general, the things I collect and save come to me and say take me home, but now brooches are on my radar and I am open to wearing them so I have a strong suspicion I will be wearing and owning quite a few more brooches this year! Have fun peeking at my humble simple collection :)

Bug pins!
I had the most fabulous realistic giant spider pin at one time, I was so sad when I realized he was gone, he would sit perched on the back of my shoulder, hmmmm....I must find another, or perhaps make myself a new one?
Japanese Tin Pins
I love these simple pins, the top 2 pins on the right I purchased new, the others are vintage.
I cannot tell the difference? 

Thomasin Durgin gifted me this beautiful 1960's Enamelled Peruvian brooch.
Janos Gabor Varga gifted me this handmade Filagree brooch made by his friend Bongera Filigrana.
My niece Aji-san makes these sweet flower pins which she tidily and carefully sews an piece of felt on the back so you can slip out the safety pin and add a bobby pin so it can dual as a hair "pin"!
Then there's Mr. Bunny given to me by my talented friend Lisa to make me smile, it works!
And last but not least this sweet handsewn felt heart made by another uber talented friend Diem.
Thrift & Antique shop finds.
*Bare Dancing by Cavin Richie 2000.
Brass Eye, not signed.
Half-Fast badge.
Pin pin.

*I have to mention the odd bear pin was my latest purchase last week. My friend saw it in a shop last summer and we took pictures and laughed so hard as it was so funny at the time. I went for a visit back last week and it was still there! SO with the BAD challenge coming up I thought why the heck not, its definitely a conversation piece. I am fixin' to call Mr. Cavin up and ask him the story to this brooch, he writes a bit about it on his website but I am curious for more of the story now.
SNAG scatter pins 2011
Sara Westermark "lute"
Norsola Johnson "flaming heart"
Maureen Brusa Zappellini "shell button"
The pins above I received for the style of pins I made below. I wasn't able to go to the pin swap party, but I was luckily able to still see a few acquaintances around town and the gallery walks. I made a batch of 30 vintage Ivory brooches and happily gifted them away all weekend!
I kept these three below :)
"handmade vintage ivory tongue brooches"
 Well I must sign off and rest as the new year is approaching quickly, we have a big year ahead of us and I plan to try my hardest to focus and stay focused on my creative tasks ahead. I hope I can inspire others to make things and to just sit down and play, experiment & explore! I am hopeful and excited for many new discoveries in 2013, mainly personal ones and hopefully very adventurous ones!

Please take care and be safe this new year's eve 
and I will see you in 2013 with my first BAD brooch!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Blog Carnival: August 2012

Topic: "The Five Senses"
Describe your 5 senses.
Which are your favorites and least favorites?
this was taken on a riverbanks edge, it reminded me of sensory hairs....
This months topic is a hard one for me. It's very hard for me to pick any favorites as they all are so vital to me in very different ways!

Sight~ I cherish my sight, I have noticed my eyesight getting a bit fuzzy over the last few years, I asked the doctor about it and he had said something to this effect, " its an interesting thing, before your eyes get worse they actually get a little better when this change begins..." hunh? well my eyesight prescription had changed a schmidge I guess. So I guess it is happening, things be a changin'!
Diablo Dam in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
I love the feeling when I see something beautiful whether it be a surreal scene in nature to something as simple as a beautiful pattern of a twisted piece of rusty metal, when you can look at an object and it just sucks you into it, you can see the beauty in all its ugly imperfections but they are seemingly perfect when sought out and individualized. 
Here is an example of a object I picked up on a walk last week...
I do know now what it is, can you guess!?
Alot of what I see and experience in nature or see in old mechanical tinkerings heavily influences my creative muse. What I see may never directly take a physical shape but it is there in feeling or spirit. For example when I see something old I more than often like the item overall but there will be something as simple as worn away bits of paint from an old toy that has oxidized at the seams, these little nuances are very inspiring to me. I feel eyes' are the old saying "windows to the soul" we are what we see & experience, its what makes each of us so unique! I could go on and on about what I love to look at so I think I better stop for now!

I really dislike seeing anything in pain or suffering, the last horror movies I saw were SawHostel, yup I'm feeling I do not need to have those images in my head anymore no thank you very much.... I dislike seeing road rage, and I am not a big fan of seeing massive bunches of maggots either, something about the slithering wall of undulating texture just make me shiver...

Sound~ I love the sounds of my pups chewing specifically on fat juicy fresh snap peas, it makes this delicious wet crunch-crunch sound when they eat them, It makes me kinda giddy.

 I love the sound of the flute and violin, I love minor scales with dramatic soul pulling notes that can carry you along in an invisible story. I love the sound of the oceans waves rolling in for high tide, it is so powerful, and the sound when the small tinkly pebbles roll in & out with the waves, it's natures music, so rhythmic & relaxing for me.

I cannot take the sound of a hurt animal in distress, it actually can take my breath away. I dislike the sound of a blood thirsty mosquito trying to attack me while I'm lying in bed in the dark. I really dislike hearing racist, sexist or homophobic remarks.

Taste~ This one I need to try keep simple because if I do not, I will be writing for a long time! For starts I really just love to eat. Yes I do! Here are some of my favorite flavors and textures.
Caviar, the "pop" of rich oily savory goodness you get with salmon eggs, the flavor might seem fishy to some but I think it is more about the umami it has. The little ones from other species of fish are all slightly different in textures, if not mainly because preparations are done so differently on each, but I haven't met a caviar I have disliked yet! I love sushi & sashimi, the fresh fish when served cold is like eating the ocean, unprocessed from sea to mouth.

my birthday Uni 2010.
One more seafood, fresh Uni, this is one that people either love or hate. I think the best description I have come up with is that it tastes like the sea, creamy and plastic, now I know this sounds just horrible ha ha! It doesn't really taste like that but you just can't describe something that has no standard words for it! It does not taste like chemicals or anything I have ever tasted before, just an unusual flavor that I have grown to love. But I must confess to you, I 've only had it "fresh live" once, and It was the MOST amazing flavors I have ever tasted, but sadly I probably will not ever order it again for personal reasons.  I also love Thai young coconuts, the "water" and the opaque tender moist meat (also known as jelly) is ever so slightly sweet and dare I say buttery? it has a slight nutty finish, it has a slight resistance in texture while still being delicate and is best scooped right out of the shell into your mouth! The coconut water is light, rich, fresh, clean and lightly sweet flavor, the water is most delicious served cold.  I also love avocados and they are definitely creamy buttery and savory at the same time, just the extra added bonus of summertime! I love raw frozen cashews too, oh man they are the BEST snack!

I dislike *Natto the Japanese super food, tried it twice just to be sure, but maybe Natto needs to be in the bad smell category, because I cannot honestly tell you how it tasted because it smelled so horrible like feet that were stuck in a pair of wet rotting wool socks for a year...
Smell~ I love the smell of air at the oceans shore, but you probably knew this already, I love the smell of kitten & puppies, yes I'm one of those people. I love the smell of a tomato vine when you rub your fingers on it its such a green bright oddly savory scent. I love the smell of my down pillows, maybe this is a kitten puppy kind of thing... Okee-dokee, here's some weirder ones for ya, I like the smell of an old cars exhaust, I remember when I was a kid (maybe that's what is the matter with me) and we had a kick ass full sized Ford LTD station wagon, it was pea green with wood panelling, (I've had a thing for station wagons ever since.) And another odd one, Johnson Paste wax, yup, no explanation for this one...  Oh and one more, I love the smell of tanned leather, oh yes I do buckaroo!

I must confess I am a big sniffer as I hate certain smells and have to steer clear of them. I detest mildewy items, this can be a problem when I run across something I really would love to possess but have found that its nearly impossible to get that old musty mildew out. Its not impossible depending on the item, but just alot of work. I dislike the stinky rag smell meh! meh! meh! Some people just cannot detect this one, its a weird phenomena to me, but my entire family feels the same with this particular one, so I know I am not that crazy, heh heh... I can't stand the smell of the water in our fish tank. I do not like to smell like a greasy stale french fry after being in a restaurant, its in your hair and on your clothes for the rest of the evening, bleh. Ok one more, when a person wears what I consider too much perfume or cologne, achooOO-ey!  I do love when I hug someone and I then can smell their scent, I personally feel less is more, ok and more considerate!   Ok that's enough sharing of those secrets for now.

One day I hope to try a hot stone massage, it sounds so dreamy....
Touch~ Oh... one of my favorite favorite things is a deep tissue back rub first thing in the morning, ahhhh this is my bliss, its such a good pain and It works out my stiff muscles and begins my day with a smile! I have a contraption called a "backnobber" and it is kinda awesome if you like the direct point style of pressure, I press slowly and then harder as I breathe into the muscle where it is touching, I swear it helps to release those gnarly knots!  I love to touch animals, too much maybe so, I have gotten ringworm from touching stray animals but I just can't help myself to give them a little bit of pleasure when they want to have human contact, so I've definitely paid for it. I have been more selective nowadays because of this. I love the feeling when I press on the top of my fingernails and give a little pressure, is this odd? I dunno, my partner dislikes it when I do it to him he thinks it feels oogie. I love to touch the spot between my dogs eyes, my thumb fits perfect in this crook, i pet up from the nose and up between their eyes where the fur is kinda cowlicked, they seem to like it, snicker... I love to hold my arm (or foot) out the car window especially when its hot and feel the warm wind between my toes and I like to pretend my arms are airplane wings and play with the airs resistance. Everyone does this too right? I love fresh cotton sheets, the feeling when you first make a fresh bed! sigh...

I love the feeling of a particular antler piece I kept, it has a double curve, I love to (not kinky shush!) stroke it, petting it really. I think this is why I love them so much because they just feel so good, they're so tactile and strong and nothing needed to be put to death for it which is pretty cool, and to think every year they make new beautiful crowns!

I dislike to touch polyester fabrics, my hands are generally dry so they tend to snag feeling on these types and its really yucky feeling to me. I am also not too fond of the feeling of pavement on my bare feet, I do not know what it is, we have a person in my family that is allergic to cement, maybe I have a bit of this allergy perhaps too.
Well thank goodness I am almost done, I could go on and on forever! But I need to go and make dinner! Thank you, its been a lovely day reflecting on these things. These monthly posts have been great exercises for me, as it forces me to reflect inward which is a great thing for me nowadays, I get to remember old family memories, dig through my archives of photos and stretch my brain!
Thank you again for visiting and I will hopefully see you for next months blog carnival!
have a lovely day!
Please click here to see other EtsyMetal team member thoughts on this months topic!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Blog Carnival: July 2012

July 2012 Topic:
This month we were asked to share
"what is currently going on in our lives!"
2012 is a course altering year for me. I have come to the conclusion to make some changes for my future. I recently watched 2 dvd’s, “Fat Sick and Nearly Dead and Forks over Knives”. These 2 innocent little dvd’s have started a domino effect of self-reflection and a new hunger for knowledge. Coincidentally this is happening at a perfect junction of my life. I am going through some physical changes and not feeling so hot, ok maybe “a lot of hot” excuse the pun, these changes are allowing me to open my eyes to seeing beyond my plate. If you feel inclined the first link below is the inspiring joyous dvd of one mans story, but I really highly recommend them all if you're feeling inspired!
Fat Sick and Nearly Dead trailer:
watch the FULL movie here!
Forks over Knives trailer:
The Future of Food trailer:
FOOD Inc. trailer:

On the creative front, I have found a new outlet! I discovered the joy of leather this year, and it feels like such a natural addition to my artwork. Both leather and metalwork feel very similar in a hand tool and intuitive forming aspect to me. On the same token I would also assume that if you are a leatherworker that fabricating metal would be just a natural transition for you as well. Ok, now I must confess to you that I am in love with it, ok I said it… Maybe it is really only puppy love, but I just love how a tanned hide smells, I love the sensual feel against my skin, I love its flexibility in my hands, I love its versatility and I do not forget to appreciate, honor and respect all the animals’ lives that it comes from...  I have no idea where this path will take me but I am going to enjoy every minute of the ride.
Jewelry news, this last year I got accepted into 3 publications;
All of which are published by Lark Books
and edited by the incredibly diverse Marthe LeVan.
I have been trying to take all the little thoughts and tid-bits that have been backing up in my brain and setting them free, I am making these pieces just for my Etsyshop. I have been making big earrings lately, and having a lot of pleasure making them so there will be more, I am not finished by any means with this run! So my Etsy goal is to try to be more consistent about listing these new pieces, and I have been a tiny bit better with this lately! I am finding a new clearer focus this year and thinking about where I actually want to go with my artwork. So many ideas so little time! I currently started fabricating a new group of work for Facere Gallery in Seattle that I am pretty excited about too, I am aiming delivery to the gallery for them very soon.

On the fur children front, my sweet Winter bear is still a squishy cutie face, Ms. Ebi is just as beautifully as sweet as ever and both are in good health. We have a new addition to the pack as of December 2011. Her name is Yuki. She is a 3yo brown-eyed white female Alaskan Klee Kai wild child! We are thinking about agility training for her as she has such a spritely spirit, we see great things in her future. We love this oh-so-goofy little girl! Go Yuki Go!  Ok well we mean, please slow down Yuki, please!
Speaking of babies, I also have a new camera in the family, a Nikon D90. Trying to understand what “F stops, apertures, ISO’s and all the secret settings mean… I will be slowly investigating all the many buttons and dials of this new wonderful toy, so I imagine there will be classes and lots of photos in my near future.
Garden front & back! We have added five cute garden boxes to our front yard this year. We are growing bush & snap peas, red & green shiso, mixed beets, curly kale, swiss chard, kohlrabi, tomatoes, lettuce, arugula, and tree collards, basil, mint, parsley, and artichokes. We have planted brussel sprouts & broccoli along the whole front yard that will hopefully make a wonderfully green prehistoric looking fence in front of the house. It is a bit of an fun experiment to see what will happen! And in the back we have loads of elephant garlic and regular garlic, garlic chives, chives, more shiso, and icicle radish. We just cut the  elephant garlic scapes off and have been eating their tasty goodness :) 
So this summer will be spent tending the garden, time with my family, playing and training the dogs, making new jewels, tooling lots of leather, sketching on beaches, long walks with my camera, relaxing with books and eating lots of fresh delicious foods while inventing new recipes which I plan on sharing these discoveries with you (here) as well!
Thank you for taking the time to take a peek at what I’ve been up to.
Until next time!
Please click here to read other EtsyMetal team members articles.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

EtsyMetal 5th Anniversary Sale!

"new works!"
by Victoria Takahashi

Many EtsyMetal team members have decided to join together and have a "5th Anniversary sale" for this landmark year. So below I compiled a list of all the shops that will be having some kind of special offer, discount, or free shipping, just use the coupon code "ETSYMETAL" at checkout time! 

Have fun looking around!
Event runs Sunday October 16th through Saturday October 22nd
Thanks for visiting!
*all items in my shop will be 10% off.
(*no discount on reserved lisitngs)
Inbar Bareket
Juju By Sarah
Maria Goti
Shirlee Grund
Lichen and Lychee
Under Distress Jewelry
Panicmama Jewelry
alisa miller
Cynthia Del Giudice
L. Sue Szabo
Erin Austin
Jennifer Lawler
Michele Grady Designs
Karla Wheeler Design
Quercus Silver
Kathryn Cole
Ashley Akers
Ruby Iacuaniello
Sarah Hood Jewelry
Rebecca (Lunasa)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

medallions, tongues and a totem!

"medallions, tongues and a totem"
Here is another handful of goodies I just listed in my Etsy shop :)

As always thank you so much for your support, you all make it possible for me to do what I love to do!
Have a wonderful weekend and I hope you all get to give your poppas big hugs this weekend!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

rockin' some RAD rings

A new round of RAD rock rings
More from the 2010 Ring-a-Day project finally listed,
 slowly but surely It's happening...
and dang it feels good!