Monday, February 27, 2012

Going's On

It's been a busy and productive week, but not a very interesting one in terms of blogging. We're setting up a new exhibit at the museum, so I got an extra day off, spent being domestic and later watching the Oscars. I spent some time out at Pitt Community College, covering beginning metals and lab hours, which made me miss teaching metals while simultaneously making me doubt all my fabrication and teaching skills. My art appreciation class is getting ready to take their mid term this week. I've made lots of progress on the necklace show, but still have a ways to go. All of this, of course, has been interrupted by regular bouts of lavishing the demanded attention on the cats.

I'm making things here and there, sticking to my "Make something everyday" with limited success (some books I like, some pins here and there). But I'm trying not to beat myself up about it. I feel worse about not making anything of value for nearly a year now. I've done a lot of playing, something I felt was needed and well earned, but now I'm starting to feel like I'm losing the race in a big way. I am trying to set the goal for myself to make a significant piece of work by the end of the semester, but I'm not sure if I'm going to make it. We'll see. Wish me luck.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Make-a-Day 2/12 - 2/18

After a slow start, it was a pretty productive week for making. The first few days were devoted to making collage examples for my Art Appreciation class, but I did manage to finally get my accordion book content sorted out. I'm pretty happy with my final results. By Thursday afternoon, I found myself with no pressing deadlines, so I took time to make some pins (not pictured) and start some pieces to ultimately sell at the Trunk Show at SNAG this spring. Saturday, which seems to have replaced Friday as my hard core studio day, was super productive. I made several charms and finished several pairs of Mica earrings. I fired up the kiln and spent some time enameling, which I hadn't done in months. After a few more found object brooches, I even got some time to just relax and watch a movie.

Gearing up for another jam packed week! I'll be subbing metals classes for my dear friend Autumn Brown, while she's rockin' it out at the Yuma Symposium!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Studio Serious

So I've finally decided to get serious about investing in my future studio, now that I do have a small, but steady source of income. I'm stealing an idea from Amy Tavern where I plan to buy one tool a month. Some months will be smaller, less expensive tools, but hopefully some months I'll be able to splurge a bit. It's my goal by this time next year to own a flex shaft, an enameling kiln, and some sort of electroforming set up.

I'm happy to say that I'm already well on my way with this goal! I spent my first paycheck from the Children's Museum on a flex shaft, which came in the mail yesterday! I had a difficult decision to make, when I was offered a partial scholarship to Pocosin's Cabin Fever Reliever. While I was grateful and wanted very much to go, I just didn't feel I could afford it, even with the scholarship. Especially with all the hours at work I would have had to miss, and there fore not get paid for. I was heartsick over this decision for days, and flipped flopped back and forth so many times. (Complicated by the fact that I wanted to do something nice for myself for my birthday.) Finally I decided to compromise, and give up the workshop, but allow myself to buy a flex shaft. I know flex shafts aren't exactly cheap, but it was less than the remaining cost of the workshop, and allowed me to work all my hours at the museum.

I'm realizing that my life for now is all about compromise, sacrificing one thing in favor of something else, and trying to choose the best solution, based on time or cost or priority, etc.

Happy weekend. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tin Finds

So I went to my favorite antique store yesterday to hunt for a tin to cut up and make something out of, and I discovered I'm more interested in using the tins to store things than to make art. I snagged these two tins for a song, and I love them just the way they are. One is an old pencil tin, and the other, cylindrical one is an old snuff tin. I went to another store and found tins I liked and would like to cut up, but not for the price. So I think I might be done with the whole tin experiment. I might mess around with the bottle caps some more, since I have a bunch, but I'll never be a tin smith. Which is fine, because I know so many people who already make awesome things with this material. I'll just stick to what I'm best at. Whatever that may be.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Make-a-Day 2/4 - 2/11

Well, it was another crazy week, and another one is coming up, but I did manage to make everyday this week. Still playing with the bottle caps, I made this charm yesterday. I'm fairly happy with this one, but I'd like to buy an antique tin to cut up and use before I put this whole tin as a material thing to bed.
I made a bunch of these found object brooches this week, mostly because they're quick, and come together in a few minutes. I like making these and I'm considering for using them for the pin swap at the SNAG conference.

I also made a couple books this week, including an X book with pockets out of an old map. This was trickier than I expected, since the structure wanted to follow the existing creases in the map, and not the creases I'd made. The creases are also only 3/8 of an inch apart, so I kept confusing which was which. It took me a couple days to complete the blue book, and I started an altered book, which I now can't find. I'm having trouble coming up with the content for the simple accordion book. I know the theme I want to use, but I'm not sure about the imagery.

Well, lots to do as usual! Happy weekend!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Etsy Adds

A few of the recent adds to the shops! Check 'em out!

Jewelry Shop

Paper Shop

Monday, February 6, 2012


A few more notes from the ECU symposium, here are two charms I acquired during that weekend. The blue and green fuzzy one I needle felted in Masako Onedera's workshop entitled "Fibersmithing". She covered various techniques of needle and wet felting and even though I have some feltmaking experience, I still found this workshop exciting and informative. I always thought I didn't care for needle felting, having tried it once before for about 5 minutes. But this little piece was a lot of fun to make! I added the polka dots to make it a bit less floral.

The red plastic and copper charm was made by Molly Mitchell, which I received in the Charm Swap. Sadly, I didn't get a chance to meet her and thank her in person, so Molly if you're out there, Thank You! Tina Lazzarine, current ECU grad and co-coordinator of an awesome exhibition, The Art of Influence, that took place during the symposium got my enamel and pyrite charm.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Make-a-Day 1/29-2/3

I thought I'd been doing so well at blogging until I noticed if was Friday and I hadn't blogged since Monday. Oops. Sunday through Tuesday went well for making things and I made the three little bobs pictured below. The star hangs on the wall, the other two are brooches. It's a good and fun challenge to actually USE all these things I've picked up over the years.

Wednesday was the deadline for Hot Under the Collar, and I got COMPLETELY swamped with emails and entries. I'm still going through them. I did manage to make some sunprints (not pictured here). Thursday and Friday. . . . I fell off the wagon. Already. I didn't make anything either day. Work at the museum and dealing with the show just crowded everything else out. I've decided not to beat myself up over it, and just keep trying.

So yesterday I was off and after a few errands in the morning, I spent most of the day in the studio, doing both metals and book stuff. Many of my friends use tin in their work and after watching Marlene True's workshop at the ECU Symposium, I'd been wanting to try my hand at the material myself. After all, I've been saving all these bottle caps. So I made two bottle cap charms, start to finish yesterday. While I like the look of tin in other people's work, I doubt I'll ever be part of that club. I also threw together two more charms out of stuff I had laying around the bench. You can find all of these charms for sale in my Etsy shop.

I also managed to make a book yesterday too. I bought a copy of Making Handmade Books by Alisa Golden, and I'm trying to make my way through it. Yesterday I made this X book with pockets. It was a little tricky, but I'm please with the overall end result.

So that's where I'm at. Happy Sunday!