Sunday, May 1, 2016


When it comes to describing my creative process, I can only say that I start with an intention and perhaps a picture or a sketch.  From there on, anything can happen.  At times I find it so terribly frustrating, and I wonder how many other artisans find this to be true for them also.  ...Sometimes, I get so far off course that I end up with a piece that is nothing like what I had conceived in the first place.  ...Sometimes, there has been an issue with the materials or the design, but often it is simply that the design takes on a life of it's own and leads me on a totally divergent course.

The talisman to the right that I completed, was to have been a single strand necklace.  I prefer the idea of layering strands instead of a single layered-look necklace.  However, as I went along, I found that the raw garnet beads were getting quite heavy, and so a shorter strand was called for.  Then, the look wasn't quite right, and other strands were added to give the design more weight and importance.  I also decided that the frame for the crystal and charms seemed too long and it was a choice between scrapping this one and making a shorter one or altering how it looked somehow.  I am groaning just thinking about it!  ...And I added another strand.

Friday, February 5, 2016


Yaaah.  After the holidays were over, I was in severe lag time mojo studio creative juice.  It was awful.  I literally pace the floor when I am in-between creative projects.  If I could walk vertically, I'd certainly be climbing the walls.  My dear husband has learned these signals and patiently observes without comment.  For two weeks I would walk into the studio and diddle with picking up this and that and make no headway at all.  Finally, I decided I had far too many bits and pieces that had been around for ages ...perhaps had been given to me ...maybe I didn't even like them very much ...but kept them around "because."  It occurred to me that in my state of mind, and after so much time off, any piece I might work on was not likely to be something I was pleased with.  In fact, I spent a day trying to solder pieces, etc., and felt like my skills had been slipping.  ...Talk about frustration and despair!  The following morning, I came across a wonderful video by Ira Glass.  I had seen it before, but this video ought to be on the "watch this" list every time I start thinking my artsy creations are crappy.  The man gives a wonderful perspective for beginning creatives at any level.  His message is basically: our taste is better than our skill and it takes lots of practice, but improvement will come, and it may take years to get to our goal be patient and keep on going.


So, with a renewed outlook, I began to do some simple beading , making  stretchy  bracelets with some wood beads I had.  I really enjoyed combining wood with brass beads, and made several. I will be taking them to the boutique to sell, and I hope they all go together.  As a stack they are quite striking in a casual sophisticated way.

 Then, I turned my attention to some unusual wooden beads of grape wood that came together beautifully with a carved animal charm that had fallen off an old necklace, and some less than lovely rhinestone rondelle spacer beads, a few other odds and ends, and it seemed to me that grunge magic happened.  I love this pair of bracelets and want to make a bunch more!

...And because I felt obligated...
I turned out a few Valentine hearts too.

As it turned out, January ended up leaving me feeling as if I had accomplished far more than I expected to and pushed me into February ready to hit the ground running again.

**MORAL OF MY STORY:  When I am challenged with being stuck in a rut, do something simple and just get moving and it will all come back before I know it.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Fire & Metal

My jewelry work is taking me into new directions.  My creativity has been totally channeled into organic looking bracelets with semi-precious gemstones in their raw or lightly polished forms.

This polished amethyst called to me ages ago as a healing stone for the bodywork I did for others and myself.  Often I would pick up stones such as this one, but I never ever thought that I would one day be making them into jewelry.  As this piece grew, more were added that are all considered healing stones.  It wasn't planned that way, they just wanted to all be together in one piece.

Not quite finished yet, I have to order polishing disks for the Dremel, but I am loving this so much I had to share today.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Falling for Fall

Since the anniversary celebration, I have been playing catch-up with life.  We had a brief few days exhaling, relaxing and being awed by the still beautiful changing leaves and the mountains in North Carolina. Surrounded by beauty and great food, we were content in our visit.  My Sweetie taught a tai chi class for a friend of ours, we spent hours walking and sampling the fabulous Cajun style food of Mayfel's Bistro in downtown Asheville.  Oh they have wonderful gumbo!  ...And beignettes, and everything on the menu is delectable!

There's my Sweetie as we wait for our order to come in.  It is really a fun place and they had it all decked out for Halloween. 

On our stroll of the old downtown area, I discovered that the iron iron had been yarn-bombed!  That was just too cool!

We also took a tour of the Grove Park Inn, which we had not visited on years.  It is such a wonderful historical site, and a beautiful architectural wonder.  Nearby, we toured the Grovewood Gallery and Antique Car Museum.  Sweetie really enjoyed the cars.  My favorite was the old fire engine.  I had to do the "hot babe with the sports car" pose for the camera. Wouldn't we all like to drive that sweet little auto just once?

The Grovewood Gallery is a haven for artists and I could get lost in there for hours.   Just outside is a forest of metal trees that I suspect come to life in the rain.  They appear to be little cups that would become cascading waterfalls.  Isn't that a delightful idea?

My Fall colors

We came back home to stir the old bones back into action.  Knitting came up again with a new KAL on the Jane Thornley Ravelry group.  We are knitting Fall, and with such a recent and glorious eye feast, I am picking up an old pattern that I have done a few times but love its simplicity and adaptability.  My yarns run the gamut of all those colors I saw in North Carolina.  I am so taken with the golden leaves of Aspens, and since "my colors" are those of Winters, I am using lots of yellow to brighten up my Fall sweater.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

THE Event

I can't believe that it has been so very long since  my last post.  Sorry ...sorry to those of you who find my ramblings informative and perhaps inspiring.  There was a momentous event that I had to give my "all" to and that took every ounce of concentration I could muster.  My Sweetie celebrated his 30th year in business AND his birthday at the end of October with a public demonstration featuring his students kung fu skills.  It was so off the charts amazing and I was busy helping with that and putting together a fifty page commemorative album on the history of the my husband and the school + students to present day.  The South Carolina State Legislature presented him a beautifully framed resolution for his years in business, military career and community contributions.  I thought it would all never end, but it has and I am slowly trying to pull my focus back to being creative with my hands.  Never mind that the holidays are crushing down rapidly!
Master Saleem Alamudeen is presented his Legislative resolution by his students on October 24th 2015.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Finally Done!

Oh yes, I have been "nose-to-the-grindstone" for the past three weeks now.  The DH's kung fu school is about to celebrate its Thirtieth Anniversary(BIG YAY!) in another month, and I have been putting together an album to commemorate the event.  There are always technology challenges when I attempt any project of that sort, so it has been a huge relief to have finally dotted the last I and crossed the last "T."

All that time, I was mostly absent form my jewelry studio.  I longed to take the time to finish the pink Imperial Jasper bracelet that I had started for the store event I wrote about last post, but I knew if I got into it, the book deadline would suffer.  Yesterday, I was able to really have a go at it and finished it up.  Here you see my finished piece....

Monday, September 7, 2015

Wine & Cheese

I have been selling some of my jewelry.  OK,
I stumbled into a fabulous little boutique that specializes in Interior Design and has some wonderful items for the home and features hand-made decor too.  I have often wondered how jewelry fits in ...but why not???  We women love our jewelry.  One for the house and one for me!

A few days ago the store held an open house with wine and cheese tasting and invited customers to come in and meet their artists.  I have never done anything quite like this and I don't do wine or large parties, and not so much cheese, but I am looked forward to enjoying a good time out of the house.  An event like this absolutely requires a "canvas" for showing off my artisan OOAK (one of a kind) jewelry, and I worked against deadline to make something to wear with an outfit I will be wearing for the first time.

For over a year now (I have had a very long "To-Do" list) I have planned to incorporate a knit lace edging for an old knit silk camisole.  It's OLD.  Old enough that I didn't mind once that it stopped right at my waist and showed just a little skin.  Now, the horrors of my muffin top would leak out of that gap and I ain't showing no one my muffin!  So, when I came across this gorgeous pink yarn that matched color perfectly I set yarn and top aside.  Now, finally, it is complete and I will be wearing that with my white linen pants and big shirt.  But what jewelry to wear?!!!  ...So off I went to Michael's and struck gold.  Beautiful slabs of pink dyed Imperial Jasper to make a "Pebble and Bam-Bam" style necklace, and bracelet too, but the bracelet didn't get done in time for the event.