Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Why am I Awake at 4:30 a.m.? Featuring Istria Design

Well, sometimes we, as humans, can't sleep.  Right?  Right.  So I thought I would get up and write.  That is what I have been advised to do, from those that know how to do this thing called life.  So here I am.  Well, what to my wandering eyes should appear...I took some photos of new work and logged on to Etsy, and I had a message.

For a couple weeks or more, I've been carrying around these receipts and wrinkly papers with phone numbers of women.  I've been living this new way of life for "a few 24 hours" and it's really the best way of life, for me.  I have immense gratitude.  I was sad to move away from my Franklin, Tennessee group of women, but I am warming up to the Owensboro, Kentucky group.  Anyway, these wrinkly pieces of paper I began to fear I would lose by throwing them into the trashcan by mistake.

Back in high school and college I had this cute tiny address book and it was filled to the brim with numbers of all my friends, then maybe people I would just meet and hang out with for a minute or two (this was before this new way of life).   Well, over time, I didn't have the need to carry such a book, since I really only call my mom or my sister, and cell phones store their numbers.

 In life, things change and this is good, the way it should be.  The need for a phone book is a good thing, and that is what started to roll around in my mind's eye-this pretty little phone book to stash in my pocketbook.  A beautiful place to safely store my precious numbers of the women I meet in the rooms that save many lives.

I am an artist, so I could have just made my own phone book...but I happen to know someone who actually makes such things in a professional manner.  So look what I found in my virtual mailbox this early morning:

Those are photos of my new phone book!  I couldn't have imagined it, better.  Don't you love the little pocket with tags for notes and whatnot?  Yes, you do; you want my phone book.  The artist who made this is Ivana Watkins.  She grew up in Croatia and now lives in the United States.  

 Map of Istria.  See the little plane?  That means go visit!
 After reading about Istria, the beautiful place, now I want to go there.  I want to go see Green Istria and you will just have to do some research to find the difference between Blue and Green.  It definitely peaked my interest to research more.  My favorite thing, one of them, to read about places and people.  I can understand how Ivana might be homesick, sometimes.  I can see that making her romantic products keeps her connected in heart to her past history.  

Map of Europe-Can you find Croatia?

This is Washington; Ivana is here.  Washington is way up and over on the globe in comparison to Istria.

You can read more about Ivana on her blog "Handmade Is Better."  Here is the link: http://handmadeisbetter.blogspot.com/.  

I ran into Ivana's work on Etsy in these little things called Teams.  It's a place to get help with your store, meet other sellers, see other's work and gain exposure for your own work.  Well, I'd explain why I really just love her products, but it would be better if you just looked at them yourself, but you can't have my little phone book.  It was custom built for moi.  BUY YOUR OWN!  She has a store on Etsy called Istria Design and you can find something you want there or just ask her to make what you are dreaming.  Here is the link to Ivana's store on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Istriadesign.  You better hurry, though, because I think her work is a very hot commodity.  

I've pulled some pictures of items from Ivana's shop-just a small handful of what you might find should you go browsing around.  Sure, I could have found some kind of phone book at T.J Maxx or Big Box Blah Blah, but how brainless is that?  Ivana writes in her blog about why Handmade Is Better.  There are too many reasons swimming in my head that explain why Handmade Is Better.  So I'm going to go all Zen for a minute.  Tangible Spirit is shared when a conscious connection is made, simply speaking.  People working in factories in countries where company wages barely feed a soul are real people that exist...


I hear it said that life is exactly how it is supposed to be.  It is said that "Life is Good."  That is probably true.  My life if good.  I am excited for change, which is also part of the weave.  

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Little Painted Owls

In addition to painting little owls and other animals, I've started coming up with some Yoga inspired works.  These two are available on Etsy:


My intent with these earrings was to incorporate some polymer lotus beads (cut from the same cane as the chakra choker shown below);  I liked the simple elegance of the alternating glass turquoise beads, and decided to leave them simple.  I finally got to use some of the fine silver ear hooks that I bought from http://www.etsy.com/shop/RockisMetalworkMini French Hooks in Sterling Silver are the ones I chose to use and I think they really add to the elegance of the jewelry.


Making this choker was really fun.  I utilized some beads in my cache that I haven't tapped into since I've started on this jewelry extravaganza.  I really love the bright pink jade beads.  I ordered them from  BeadFrenz on Etsy (http://www.etsy.com/shop/BeadFrenZ).  This piece is really cheerful and full of positive energy!  The polymer clay abstract lotus inspired pendent gives it youthful charm without being childish.  The image is abstract enough, that if Yoga is not your thing, then we can call it an angel or a floral image.

As the Road Narrows

As the road narrows and the everyday myriad of choices veers toward only unacceptable answers, I have full faith we will learn much by the way of the crow.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Finally Painted Yesterday!

Yesterday I finally got to paint!  It has been a long time.  I seem to always find an excuse to do something other than paint with the ol' paint brush and paints.   Here is a picture of the kids and me, that Cliff shot, while we were working.  Friday nights might be craft night:

I'm painting some little polymer clay animal totems that will be pendents for some kind of neck wear.  So far only the great horned owls are ready to be glazed with glass clear coat.  The sharks are almost done and the "rat" and barn owls have only solid undercoats (no detail) completed.  My husband doesn't seem to think these are very practical as far as time goes and what you get when you are done.  I am just delighted and thankful to paint, again, and to feel like the outcome was successful.  I am happy with the little horned owls.  Creating these brings me back to when I was a kid.  I collected little animal trinkets.  In my 6th grade yearbook I stated that I hoped I'd make greeting cards when I grew-up, so I think I would have thought making little animal sculptures was Super Cool!  My daughter agreed.  She is painting her own owl in the photo.  My son is doing an abstract painting.  He really has an eye for that abstract, which drives his sister crazy!

I've also been working on a new type of earring to add to my collection on Etsy.  STUDS!  I've had some issue with posts and finally resolved them.  I ordered some hypoallergenic titanium posts and nuts from Unkamensupplies (http://www.etsy.com/shop/UnkamenSupplies) on Etsy.  I've been wearing my test pair for awhile and am finally satisfied, so I just posted two pair today:



I really love studs and I have a bunch of these in other clays ready to be baked and "posted." 

I also really miss writing and hope to do some more of that, too. 

Tonight, I went with my husband to listen to a man speak about changes he's made in his life and how having a faith in higher power has made all the difference in his life-the way it is today.  It was  very inspiration.  I am so thankful to have a God of my own understanding and to be free of fear in my life when I choose to grasp that freedom!  I wish peace and love and happiness to you all!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Making Polymer Clay Beads

Making polymer beads is pretty fun.  I love making the canes and cutting them.  I don't love rolling them into balls so much and poking the little holes in them, so impatient, geesh.  My daughter made a camel and her baby out of white clay, see them in the background.  With the swirly balls are two small great white sharks getting ready to be cooked before painted and glazed.  I can't wait to paint all the little animal totem pendants I've made-owls, crows, and little fox-like creature!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

New Photos for Etsy Store Using My Best Model

Of course these pictures are special to me because they are from my first photos shoot with my daughter, who is extra special to me. I hope they will add some fun and pizazz to my store. Of course, I will be biased to them and they will look different to me than they will a regular shopper, but we shall see what happens. We had fun and the cutie pie did a good job!