Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Whimsy Wednesday! Modding Displays!

Hello Everyone!!
Welcome to Wednesday!!

Today I took a little time to play with a few displays that I inherited from a friend that were in less than perfect condition! Oddly enough, neither of these displays are of a style that typically works well for best displaying my Sprite Creations. It is strange but true that these are pretty basic workhorses of most jeweler's displays and yet they don't seem to work as well for me, but c'est la vie!
So! This circumstance encouraged me to play with paint and these pieces.
Let's take a look at our line-up and I'll show you one display already modified today and the second on Fini Friday!

First: The Bracelet Display
This is a beautiful suede display in a dove grey colour that I tend to prefer for my displays. However, the suede has discolored and been worn off in a place or two over time.

Come visit me on Friday to see what happened next!!

Second: A Bust Display
This is a beautiful white leatherette display as you can see in the photo below. What you can't see is some sort of yellow goo that resisted all my attempts to remove it stuck in small globs here and there on the display.

Also, there was quite a bit of that yellow goo around the neck/collar location of the bust, so my first modification quite some time ago was to glue ribbon over it all. This covered up those eyesores, but did nothing to disguise the small globs elsewhere.
I considered other options, such as display covers (Rio Grande has beautiful covers listed under Change Form Covers) as well as just wrapping the bust in different fabric for each show, but I wanted to play with paint!!!!

I retrieved some green paint, mixed it with both black and white to lighten and darken it respectively and set to work! It was so much fun, painting and mixing and playing with the colours! I'm considering maybe painting more in the future!
Here it is, the finished display!

And an excellent view of the detail on the top, including more of that fabulous copper!

And there we are!!
By the way... a added bit of whimsy on this day.....have you noticed our charming little fairy peeking out from behind the bust? No? Go back and look again! Isn't she beautiful!
She seems to approve of the new paint job and I hope you-all like it, too!

See you Friday!!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fini Friday! Egyptian Mythology 101!

Hello Everyone!!!

I hope your Friday has been a stunning success so far!
I'm sad to say that there were no photos allowed at the King Tut exhibit that I visited last week. The exhibit was crammed full of information and excellent displays of wonderful statues, jewelry, a chair, a bed and more!
I was surprised to see that what the Egyptians termed as earrings would probably challenge even the most callused of folks with large earplug-type earrings! Their earrings were very large cylinders (gold, of course) with gold and gold-chased lapis, carnelian and other gemstones finished with dangles of gold! Those must be quite heavy!! WOW!!!
Another detail that I did not know and chose to weave into finished creation you'll see in a moment is the counter-weight that many of those famous collars had. These were smaller pendants that hung down the back as a literal counter-weight to the heavy front of the collar and so to keep it in place. Here is a good example...

So! On to the creation!
Title: Anubis
Ingredients: Hand-made "Raku" ceramic pendant (Peru), sterling silver, black onyx scarab, lead-free pewter, lead-free dyed leather, metal.

The necklace creation needed to stay clean and relatively unadorned, both to keep the Egyptian styling and so as not to overwhelm the Anubis pendant. Three strands of 1mm leather visually evoke the multi-strand collar and gold and silver-coloured accents lent a flavour of royalty befitting a God. (Egyptians believed that gold was the skin of the Gods and so buried their mummies with gold fingers and toe "caps". The counterweight is a black onyx scarab, a sacred symbol of the sun. (Read more about that here). Anubis, of course, is the God of the Underworld and more specifically, of mummification (Read more about him here.) For whatever reason, I've always found the mythology surrounding him fascinating!
So there you have it.. a little adventure through an Ancient World!
Have a fabulous weekend!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Whimsy Wednesday!!! All About Art PerChance-MIA!

Hello Everyone!!!
This post is all about my fabulous time at Art PerChance at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts!!! If you don't know what that is or missed the details about how I'm involved, click over here for an update!

I had so much fun at Art PerChance! I don't (yet!) receive many opportunities to be a VIP, so I was thrilled to be treated so well! There was scrumptious food, delicious drink and elegant surroundings po
pulated intriguing people! But before I say more about the people, let me get started showing you the photos we took!!
Here is me, standing beside the display
of my Sprite Creation.
I was so pleased by the beautiful mounting and other arranging work the MIA did with my Sprite Creation and it was enchanting to be in the company of so many other accomplished artists and their work!

Photos were taken by others, including some that are rumored to be included in Minneapolis-Saint Paul Magazine and October's edition of Minnesota Monthly, so keep your fingers crossed for me!

And now.. the people! The theme was Carnival and some wore elegant dress, some wore comfortable clothing and some of the Art PerChance folks were dressed and working as Carnival barkers to fit the Carnival theme. It was so much fun to play with them all because, as you can see above, I was in full wing-regalia!
I want to take a moment and give a quick shout out to some of my fellow artists here.

Sharon Wagner, an artist and illustrator with a fresh insight and bold colours that she weaves into her works. Sharon was also kind enough to mention and post a photo of me in her blog! THANK YOU SHARON!!!
Maren Kloppmann, who was the Mistress of Mingling and creates phenomenal ceramic works.
Yi Ellis, who exudes quiet exuberance and creates such meaningful work.
Joseph Wehrman, an all around pleasant and talented guy fresh from Seattle!
And!! Billy Curmano, a witty, "extreme peformance artist", who was gracious enough to spend bits of the evening here and there chatting with myself and my husband Paul.
These are, of course, only a few of the gifted artists that were there so feel free to hop over the Art PerChance page and peruse the links!

More photos!!! These are of me at one of the impressive entries to the building, which is flanked by guardian Temple Dogs and Greek-inspired columns.
Whimsical? I say YES!!! But seriously.. aren't they awesome Guardians?!

A mischievous pose, inspired by the famous photo with Marilyn Monroe..

My Sprite Creation was not sold at the Charity Auction, but was raffled off for charity later in the evening! In fact, I was standing less than 10 feet away from the lucky lady when she found out she won and was so excited to give her a congratulatory hug! as she zoomed away to claim her prize! WAHOO!!!

I'll end this now with a few last quite whimsical photos of me. I hope the elation and frivolity of the event and my time at it shines through and leaves you-all with a warm heart and big smiles!!

Until Friday!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fini Friday! King Tut!

Fini Friday - Egypt and King Tut!

Hello Everyone and Welcome to Friday!!! I'm excited to say that I'm out on WalkAbout this Friday and am vising the King Tut exhibit at the MN Science Museum! If photos are allowed, I'll attempt to come home with acceptable examples of what is in the exhibit! I've always been quite interested in Egypt, the culture and mythologies as well as how all of these shifted over time. And, of course, being the Egyptians, there should be lots of beautiful, ancient, Shiny! Shiny!! things to admire!

In celebration of my visit and all the nifty things I'll see and learn, I'm going to show you an Egyptian-inspired Creation that is in-progress!

As you can probably guess, this creation centers around the focal, which is a hand-made ceramic pendant (Peru) with Anubis (Egyptian God of Death & Afterlife) that is Raku-fired (which that gives that fascinating smoky finish to the dominant blue glaze color you see). I took inspiration from the visual full-ness of those fabulous Egyptian collars and distilled it down to a few strands of thinner leather cord. This is so as not to overwhelm and to keep the attention centered on the Anubis pendant. Accents of bright gold and(or silver?) deep black (which remind me of the kohl that the Egyptians used to line their eyelids!) are an absolute must! And this is where the creation's growth stalls... I haven't yet found or created the perfect clasp and am not quite ruling out a few other adornments such as lapis or carnelian or?

So, stay tuned for further developments and the completion of this creation!
I'll see you back here next week and I hope your weekend is as full of mystery and wonder as mine!

Whimsy Wednesday!! Art PerChance at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts!!!

I'm so excited about tomorrow!!! What is tomorrow, you say? Art PerChance at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts!!!!
You didn't hear?
One of my Sprite Creations has been chosen to be part of Art Perchance 2011! This fabulous creation along with several excellent others of all sorts of media will be auctioned off on August 18th during Art Perchance . Here is MIA's explanation of Art Perchance!
"Art Perchance, an evening of art and artfully clever carnival games, will again partner with the MIA’s Third Thursday. On August 18, Target Park will become a midway where participants may play, feast, and frolic ­­-- and vie for a chance to win art generously donated by artists and galleries.
Art Perchance is a fundraiser benefiting the outreach programs of the Friends of the Institute. The Friends support the MIA in many ways: funding educational initiatives, busing schoolchildren to the museum for docent tours, purchasing and providing conservation for works of art, sponsoring major exhibitions such as “The Louvre and the Masterpiece” and the upcoming “Edo Pop” (opening this October), and much more."
Isn't that awesome!! I'm so excited!!

Where is the Whimsy in all of this, you ask? See below and all will be revealed!

Title: Roman the Universe
Ingredients: Hand-crafted lampwork glass pendant by A. Ray, ancient glass shard(dating back to Roman times), mood bead (with glow-in-the-dark stars), hand-dyed fiber (USA), furnace glass (USA), dichroic glass, lucite, goldstone, copper, sterling and bali silver, thread.

Isn't that gorgeous??!
I'm so pleased with how it turned out!!!
Did you get the pun in the title, too? Roman glass - Roman The Universe? Hee!!
All of the fiber you see here is hand-dyed by an artist in Idaho, USA. She actually is no longer dying fiber so these fibers are irreplaceable! I love the vibrant colors that peep out betwixt the more sedate blues and blacks. I especially love the bits of silver in some of the fiber that echoes the silver in the focal and elsewhere! The stunning lampwork glass pendant is by artist A. Ray and evokes galaxies within galaxies to me!
The shard of glass you see on the right is actually from Roman times (a nice tribute to a museum collection, don't you think?) and the lucite flower from which sparkly goldstone stars cascade nicely echoes the glow within the pendant and the universal(HA!) theme. There are furnace and dichroic beads nestled here and there as well as a mood bead with glow in the dark stars!!! How awesome is that??!!!
The necklace creation is finished with luminescent Bali silver cones (99% silver) and Sterling Silver wire and clasp. Both the cones and the clasp continue the galactic theme with spirals (Spirals are a type of galaxy!) stars and moons.
Maybe I'll see you tomorrow?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Fini Friday! KEYS!!

I'm going to switch up this week's Fini Friday and show you the beginning of a creation process for me! Then you can walk along with me as we see this through to a complete Creation! Let's start with keys, shall we?
I love keys! Much like a few other artists I know, keys are mysterious, fascinating things to me. I always wonder what they unlock, where they came from and what treasures they guarded!
So, I have a ring of several keys that were given to me by a good friend after her father's recent passing (the keys were his).

I was so excited and honored to receive all of these nifty keys!! There are so many intriguing kinds!
However, I'd like to do more with them than simply use them as pendants... so! I'm going to attempt to make molds from the keys and then make my own!

This is the part where we will walk together through the creative process... I'll post and show you how the mold-making progresses. I've not tried mold-making before so this should be interesting and we'll learn a lot!
So!! With that adventure in mind, have a fabulous weekend and I'll see you next week!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Whimsy Wednesday! Squinkies!

Today is a beautiful summer day and I have an absolutely endearing (perhaps I should say "enbearing"!) creation to share with you!
The bear in this creation is actually a Squinkie. I was introduced to Squinkie by an artist colleague who uses the bubbles the Squinkies arrive in for other creations and so had Squinkies left over that needed a home. Though I tried not to fall in love with them, I did, and brought home four! I think you'll see why when I show you the other three!

Did you see the mermaids? And that awesome little fox? Aren't they delightful!?
OK!! Now to the bear!!!
This is simple creation is easy to underestimate. I used fiber for the cord that feels comfortable and warm to the touch, matching sunny and light colours and completed it with little touches such as the four-leaf clover charm and simple hearts on the toggle clasp.

Title: Charming Bear
Ingredients: Bear Squinkie, fiber, metal, lead-free pewter

This creation is all about comfort, playfulness, light-heartedness and having an open heart.

Now, with such an entrancing end to the post... I'll see you on Friday!
P.S. This necklace will be in my Etsy shoppe within the hour!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Fini Friday!! A little early!

Hello Everyone!
Fini Friday is a little early this week as I'll be away from the Internets for most of tomorrow and this weekend! So!
I've some bubbly, light and faerie-like creations to show you today!
I started these earrings last week but ran out of time and so i picked them up and completed them today!
This is a bit of an unusual style for me and I really enjoyed the organic nature of the wire-wrapping the effervescent bead around the aluminum link.
Title: Bubbling Up
Ingredients: repurposed painted acrylic beads, aluminum, copper wire (permanently coated, USA), glass, silver-plated surgical steel earwires.

The second creation is centered around the ceramic butterfly wing from Earthenwood Studio. This was a remainder left over from one of Melanie's bulk orders of doll parts.. I believe. I was enchanted by the wing and determined to use it in a new and different way! I was delighted to match it with a length of Faerie Ribbon and accentend with a Heart of Gold (Venetian glass) and Sterling Silver.
Title: Faerie Flight
Ingredients: Hand-crafted ceramic wing from Earthenwood Studios, Faerie Ribbon (hand-dyed silk ribbon), venetian glass, sterling silver.

This necklace, to me, is almost a recipe for how to fly as Faeries do... First, you must have wings, then a heart of gold, and finally be willing to follow and trust your intuition (silver is thought to help with tap into one's deep inner knowing and to assist with intuitive decisions).

And with that, I hope your weekend is full of that which helps your heart soar!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Whimsy Wednesday!

Hello Everyone!!!

I hope your weekend and week so far has been as good as mine!!! I became reacquainted with some old friends and had the pleasure of making new ones at the 10th Anniversary Celebration and Bean Factory Artist Market this past weekend! Thank you to everyone who stopped by to visit and help us celebrate!!

I have a Creation with a suitcase to show you today!! How's that for whimsy?
This started with the idea of using the mixed fiber necklace cord as I've had it in my stash for a while... and I wanted to make certain the creation was something unusual. I don't often start with pre-made cords like this as I usually like to create my own and so this was a little bit of a challenge from the start. Pairing it with the suitcase charm gave the creation a sudden infusion of both whimsy and interest. Adding the vintage-styled boot charm and a pair Swarovski crystals grew the creation in the direction of Neo-Victorian and possibly Steampunk as well as an intriguing creation! And here it is!!
Title: Traveling
Ingredients: Swarovski crystals, Czech glass, fiber, metal.

In composing this blog entry, this creation seems quite appropriate as I'll be doing a great deal of traveling for the month of August!

So there you have it!
The Whimsy Wednesday post is now leaving the station!
I'll see you on Friday!!!