Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hide and Seek Mouse

"Hide and Seek Mouse"

I'm starting a new line of rings (although I am learning that my cuffs are most popular!  market research...)  This ring is named because there is a cute pink mouse that hides in it's garden-like bloom.  The ring part is made of sterling and adjustable.  Cute!

I'm off to Thailand on Friday so I won't be able to blog at all until about March 9th.  
I promise I will have some fun pics and stories to tell when I get back!
(ps. My hands look like my mother's...)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Letting Go

"Toxic King Frog's Boots"

I had a mini epiphany this weekend.  I was putting too much on my "plate" of stuff-to-do.  At first it was out of a genuine excitement and fire for being a productive artist preparing for the rest of my life, but after weeks of good motivation, creative fire, applications and deadlines met, I burned out.  I realize that I wasn't taking enough time to appreciate the things I have accomplished.  I also realized that going to residencies isn't the biggest desire in my life.  If I apply to a few less, and spend the extra time fantasizing and planning for our future house in Vermont, reading books and spending time with Mikel, my life will be much happier and I will still have applied to a ton of residencies.  What's a few less applications?  It doesn't make a difference in the end.  The only thing that does make a difference is if I feed my creativity and allow it to go where it wants to.  At first it wanted to apply to a bazzilion things which was great because I got a lot done, but now it's ready for new tasks and focus.  I appreciate my efforts and also my willingness to let go of a few things I had on my To-Do list.  Time for some new fun!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Cherry Berry Swing

"Cherry Berry Bloom"
"Hide and Seek Mouse"
"Cherry Berry Swing"

So much jewelry on my blog lately, and so little non-jewelry art.  

Lately, I have been trying not to croak from some stomach craziness, organize our upcoming trip to Thailand (OK, Mikel has done most of the organizing...) and get some goodies packed up and mailed to awesome people in Florida.  

I have found a little time to be in the studio which has consisted of constructing my "Landscape of Enough" for Firehouse Gallery (by steadily gluing lots of fun bits together with my handy-dandy glue gun), and working on some acrylic image transfers (I forget if I can do a transfer using poly acrylic...  I guess I will find out!)  I refuse to use wintergreen oil at this point because I used a little too much my freshman year in college so to use it might not only make me feel a it ill, but it might transfer me back to that time period (smell is a strong memory sense).  There were many good things about that year, but really it was quite a difficult year.  Anyway, I refer the texture of acrylic transfers.

I'll get some non-jewelry images up soon!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Cool Spring Fun Summer

"Cool Spring" 

This is a new cuff I finished this weekend for a friend in Florida.  I chose the colors as a combination of Spring in Florida and Spring in Japan: not quite full-blown summer, but a lush, sweet, newly sprouted landscape growing from the cool, sleepy winter.  

Our Valentine's Day was fantastic yesterday!  We ate late breakfast made by my lovely husband (vegan quiche, coffee cake and fruit/sake smoothies) along with a surprise cheesecake delivered to our door by a friend in the Board of Education.  Then we took a long walk in the sunshine (It was the first day in months that I could wear short sleeves.  Amazing!)  We got a new video camera this week so we took a lot of exciting footage of us babbling on and on about the trees and landscape-- just the thing for us to force our relatives to watch in the future (just kidding ;)  Then we ate lunch by the pond near our apartment and started brainstorming for our future business.  We will be opening an ETSY shop this summer called OKNOSLEEPING.  I'll let you know when it's up!  We have tons of ideas about what we will make and post.  We both want to be self-employed and have it be a choice whether we want to work for someone else.  We are also day dreaming about the land we hope to buy in VT this summer.  We're thinking about a big barn and a small cottage/cabin with lots of trees, a field and some water (pond or river) would be perfect.  If you are in Vermont keep your eyes out for something like that for us!  For now we are working on envisioning our shop's aesthetic and enjoying our last few months in Japan.  Time's flying! 

Happy Valentine's Day!! 

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Fukki Fire

"Spring Fire"
Shadow free at last!  I had two failure photo attempts but I finally did something right!  My next photo challenge is to be able to photograph my new rings on  my hand.  Every time I try, my skin looks horrid.  Yay for new challenges.

We just got back from a long walk.  We found two fukki (spring vegetables) which we will make into tempura later.  Mikey is totally passed out next to me, pooped from carrying a HUGE bag of rice on our walk (we stopped at the grocery store at the beginning of the walk).  The sky is getting ready to do something dramatic and I am ready to prepare for an evening of art writing and jewelry posting.  

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Spring Inspired

"Golden Seedling"
Spring is already in the air here.  
These were inspired by my desire to see new leaves.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Avatars and Kicked Pigeons

"Together and Apart"
3 inches long (including the hook) and very light.  
The hooks are sterling silver.  
Other materials: glass, pearl, plastic, sealed paper, and mono filament.

I am having a great Saturday working in the ol' studio. I just finished 8 pairs of earrings. Here are the four pairs I made as models for my sister to check out for her bride's maids. I am totally up for feedback (color changes, length differences, additions of other stones or colors, etc.) This is just a starting point. I admit I didn't take the best pics (I didn't notice that I let the branch's shadow take up so much of the image. Oh, well. It's hard to see the camera screen when it is so bright outside... and I when am impatient because I am actually still in my PJs and hoping no one I know would pass by.)

"Dream for Two"
3 inches long
Hooks are sterling.
Other materials: plastic, glass, fibers, pearl, and mono filament.

"Stacked Bouquet"
3 inches 
Other materials: Shell, plastic, glass, sealed paper.

"Love Sprout"
3 inches
Hooks are sterling
Other Materials: plastic, glass, pearl, fibers, mono filament, sealed paper.
(these are my favorite!)

I'm not sure if I like the titles yet.  I like the idea of naming commissions based on the concept of the commission, in this case these are for Clare's wedding so the names should be about love, or Clare and Geoff's relationship.  Whatever the final design is for the ladies, it will have a cool name (I thought about naming a pair "Kicked Pigeon" due to Clare's recent experiment with the reflexes of birds in Hawaii... but I didn't think it was romantic enough.)  

I'm going to upload a few earrings to ETSY today too so check it out if you wanna see some new designs!  I recently received some really good advice and feedback from an ESTY seller BlueCanvasStudios which made me really excited for my jump into being self-employed because she gave me some concrete things to do to take more steps toward marketing my work better, like:
1. Trading on ETSY.  She said that her sales were boosted when she did them between 8-10pm.  I honestly haven't done any trades before so I don't know how to do it yet, but I'll find out!
2. Put an ETSY mini on my Facebook page.  I have one on here but I never thought about putting it on Facebook.  THAT'S BRILLIANT!
3. Hold Jewelry parties.
4. Make treasuries, comment on other people's treasuries as well as articles on Storque.
5. Change my avatar often... (what's an avatar?  I have a lot to learn...) because it's free advertising every time it gets changed and people click on it.
6. Put up an ad somewhere (like Facebook).
7. Throw my business cards around more often (which I will do when I live in civilization again.)

Good advice huh?  Concrete and doable.  
Her work is really beautiful and classy so it was such a compliment to get feedback from her.  
..now, to figure out what an avatar is...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Peaceful Nuggets

GUESS WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!
(did you guess yet?)

My proposal was accepted for Firehouse Gallery's Human=Landscape show next August!!!  Yay!!  I'm so jazzed!  It's perfect timing because I will already be back in the USA and most likely (99.9999999% sure) be living in Vermont so it will be superrrr!  I don't have any new art images to show you (as I have been doing more writing as well as intense tourist-ing- and yes, that is a verb- with my sister and her husband, Geoff) so here is an old one:
"Pink and Yellow Bouquet"
I sold these recently on ETSY.  Yay!!  I'm happy that they are finally going to another happy home, but when I was packaging them up, I remembered how much I like them and therefore how I will miss them.  I guess that means I will have to make a pair I like even more.  Perhaps for Clare's bride's maids? 
The furry creatures you see behind us are snow monkeys.  ACTUAL monkeys!  They are amazing!  Mikel drove my sister, my brother-from-another-mother, and I up to this hot springs where Monkeys come naturally to bathe in the warm water and do various amazing things like using their human-like hands to pick things up, cuddle into ridiculously cute balls of monkey hugs, and climb wires.  The small ones were so cute they received the nickname "nuggets" from my husband.
If that's not cute, I don't know what is.  
In case you don't see it yet, that big monkey is holding a "nugget".
This is totally going to be a scene in a future book I am going to write.  I think it will have a character who is a professional trapeze artist who can't sweat.  Through some interactions with other characters, a few beers and maybe the appearance of an essential lost sock, he will have a cathartic blast which will start his sweat ducks a-pumpin'.  He will have to quit his job but he won't know if it is because his now overly sweaty body is too dangerously slippery for a life in the big top, or if it is because his catharsis has changed so much that he no longer needs his old way of life to feel whole...
N E way...
Thanks to Mikey for taking this photo.  This is a lovely and flattering shot of Clare, Geoff, Ali and I at Kappa Sushi (did I already tell you the joke about how you know you're a foreigner who has been living in Japan too long if you think it is okay to make a peace sign whenever someone takes your photo?)  Even though we had Clare and Geoff in the back of our car for about 4 hours of their vacation in Japan to go to see Monkeys and then had to rush them through dinner here at our favorite cheap, frankly overwhelming, sushi restaurant, they both claimed that those two things (monkeys and sushi) were possibly their favorite parts of their WHOLE vacation (which, I would like to point out, included San Francisco, Hawaii, Okinawa and our tiny farm town, Anan).  We almost didn't make the trek!  It was SOOOO worth it.  
We also experienced the drive-by look at the melting buzz of an ice sculpture festival trying to happen by the castle in Matsumoto.  It was a bit warm and therefore sad that they kept unloading huge blocks of ice into the park, only to drip rather than chip.  At least we saw Taiko drumming, snow sculptures, a sweet rock band (who's hair's personality could compete with Blagojevich's for most prosperous independent hair colony.)  Clare and Geoff's two day Japan blurr ended with a hilarious train station goodbye, followed by a night with our best bud in Japan, Ali.  We watched an old movie called Parenthood and drank some warm spiced apple juice with brandy while I tried to tame my inner "I-want-to-have-babies-now" voice (awakened and exacerbated by the video).  mmmm....  What a weekend!!  I am already excited to go to Clare and Geoff's second wedding next summer...  I better get on with the earring design and production (not to mention sleep!)