Thursday, February 26, 2009

Teaching Thoughts

I'd thought about teaching for quite some time. Indeed, I'd revisited that idea every time it was mentioned to me. For various reasons, not the least of which was lack of confidence and lack of desire to teach, I haven't taught many people. However, circumstances converged in January to convince me otherwise. A few chance encounters in town helped me to realize that perhaps I do like teaching and that this may be a direction I want to go. So, I've offered a Beginner's Beading class through my local Continuing Education facility. I offered two dates, one in February and one in March. The February class was canceled for lack of participation. I haven't heard about the March class yet. Initially, I took this a bit personally (as is my wont) and was sad. However, there are many reasons circumstances work out as they do and we rarely have the opportunity to really know all the whys and wherefores.
As I visited my local Art Center to print out materials for my upcoming visit to stores and shops for consignment and wholesale opportunities, I was invited into a class being held by a fellow wire-working artist for the local school children. I hovered in the background, as I waited for the printing to be finished, listening and watching. And walked away feeling rather good about the design and materials I had prepared for my class. And feeling rather pleased about my skills as a teacher. So, if this March class is canceled for the same reason as the previous class, I'll still move forward with the teaching; consider what other classes I might offer, when and where.

I'm including this picture of Leonardo Di Vinci's work in this post as his sketches have always seemed to me to be wonderful teaching materials. These sketches and drawings are lessons in and of themselves. Portraits of a brilliant mind and bright ideas.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Reorganzing, Clearing and Making Way...

I'm using this post to mention my progress on reorganizing my space, business and life.
I've felt compelled, as of late, to do this clearing and reorganizing. It has become more clear to me what does and doesn't work for me right now and I decided to take some time to help my space work for me.
I have reorganized a great deal of my beading station. After brainstorming about ways to improve my current workbench/area, I took the time to put ideas into action. Also, I now have excellent computer capabilities and I'm running entirely on Linux or Mac. The last is important to me. It is just another way I can reinforce my 'indie' business as well as have good-quality tools at my disposal. I cleared off my desk and it is now Admin Station. It is here that the computer, keyboard, etc. reside and any necessary paperwork, etc. I've still got a bit of tweaking to do, but the clear space is WoNdErFuL!

I also took the time to clear off the two tables that are set in an 'L' shape next to my Admin Station and contain some of the beads and tools I need to create. I have that down to one table. This was important to me as
a)I wanted a clear space with only ...oh... 10-15 projects in my immediate bead area. This helps me feel less cramped and overwhelmed and lets me focus better on the projects at hand. It also helps me sane. If I can find what I need, when I need it, I'm less likely to ponder if I've forgotten something important in the jumble of life things.
b) Since I share this space with other people and where those two tables are is an EXCELLENT Sunny Spot, I wanted to keep one table clear for others to come over with a laptop, book, or whatever and a cup of their favorite beverage and hang out in the sun.

I have a proto-type shipping station in this area, too. I'll see how this works for me and adjust as needed.

One last reflection:
Personally, though the economy is still in a downturn and many resources are limited; I can appreciate one aspect of this time. If it encourages many of us to take a thoughtful look at how we spend our resources (our time, our money, our emotions, our energy, our very lives) and jettison what no longer serves and reclaim what does or will serve us (including our politics, our governments from the local on up, where we shop and with which company and so forth), then I am happy about this, indeed. I believe that there are too many of us just surviving. Certainly I would say this both of those I care about and those I have yet to know. I would like to see more of my friends and more of this world *thrive* (with positive changes).

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Steampunk or Vintage Watch Part Creations, Part II

So! Remember that wonderful box of vintage watch parts I posted about a little while back?
I have creations with a few of those components to show you!

The first is titled: Red is the Color of War.
Ingredients:vintage watch parts, glass, aluminum jumprings, Sterling Silver earwires.
These watch parts remind me of war machines of some other time and place.

Next up is: Clockwork Jewels
Ingredients: vintage watch parts (with synthetic garnets inset), natural garnets and Sterling Silver.
Garnets are used in some watch parts due to their harness and therefore durability and resistance to wear.

Finally, Wheel of Days
Ingredients: Vintage watch calendar wheels, vintage metal stamping, glass, natural brass wire, Sterling Silver jumpring.
I fell in love with this Art Deco style vintage metal stamping and knew it had to come home with me. Months later, when I saw these calendar wheels, I KNEW I had to do something with them.
When the title popped into my head one day, the rest of the creation followed rapidly!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Update Vignettes

They went well. I was well-prepared due to another member of my household having filed self-employed taxes for more than a few years now. I learned a lot about what information the government(s) do and do not care about and I am moving forward with this information. I will use this to structure my systems for the future.

New and different sales (adoption) venues:
There is a new place to find me on the web in addition to my Etsy shop. Check out my new ArtFire on-line shop
I will have different creations for sale at each place, so please do me the favor of checking both this store and my Etsy from time to time.

I am also checking into more brick and mortar store opportunities so that you have a chance to see my creations in person! I'll update when I have more news about that!

Convention: I attended a small Sci-fi/Fantasy convention this past weekend. This particular convention has an Art Auction whose only rule is that all Art entries must be made at the convention. I created two pairs of earrings (Warriors of the Forest and Swimming). I am proud and honored to say that one of the pairs, titled Swimming, inspired a bidding war and ended with a request to make a second pair; with all proceeds charitably donated. Though this is a rare thing for me to do, I was happy to create a second pair. I am thrilled to report that everyone is pleased with their creations.
Also, Swimming sparked a commission, also completed at the convention, titled The Depths of the Ocean.
I've included pictures.

Commissions: Also delivered to it's person at the convention was a commission entitled: The Well-Fed Cat: Today's Menu: Fish! This is the first in a two-part series of commissions for the same person. The commission is an ensemble of four earrings and an earcuff.