Friday, December 30, 2011
Monday, December 26, 2011
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Side note: I still miss HK A LOT. I watch movies and I'm horribly nostalgic. Yet, I love where I live...it is truly beautiful here. I mean, if this was in your back yard, how can you NOT be inspired? Oh, I seriously am.
But, I have had a dry spell on klutziness. It wasn't intentional. It has been a signature feature of my life for...well, all my life (my younger niece is following in my footsteps. Literally. Poor thing). But, I guess I have lengths of time where I can go and be relatively stable and un-klutzy. And lull people into thinking I'm a physically stable person, and able to walk with grace and elegance. Ooooh, little do they know...
But, I had a glimmer of the usual me on Tuesday. I treated myself to a Starbucks (I was on vacation...Starbucks = Vacation for me). I went through the drive-through and as I was handing my card to the barista, I didn't let him fully grasp the card and then I promptly dropped the card onto the driveway. I also had change in my hand for the tip and attempted to toss the tip into the jar. Missed that, too. The barista laughed and commented, "Batting 1000 today?" I grinned back, squeezed out of the door to pick up my credit card, and commented, "Yeah. I shouldn't have been let out of the house today. I'm a menace to my credit card. In more ways than one!"
Yep. I'm baaaccck!
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
Analysis is the preferred skillset in the business world. Creativity is welcomed, but only within a 9-5 business mentality. The thing is. Creativity doesn't live from 9-5. It’s 24x7. My creativity simmers. Percolates. Strikes in blinding flashes of lightning. And for me, the soaking rainstorm of creative productivity happens between 8 pm and midnight. Some creativity might go to work from 9-5, but drowning in a sea of “must-do’s,” it has very little time to make an appearance. Even if it had time to muse and meander from 9-5, I think most creativity lives outside of the structured box as the factors that influence creativity and innovation can be triggered by anything in our life.
I’ve just given Creativity free reign during my creatively productive hours. It serves many purposes: to turn my brain off to a stressful day, to keep the focus off the pain of a migraine, and just simply for the joy of creating. But now that the artist has been unleashed, I can turn my hobby business into a more active small business. Even as a hobby-business, it still needed the analytical side to manage mundane things like expenses and income.
Now the trick is to get my Inner Artist and Inner Analyst to play nicely together and have fun. I mean, it’s my business. I don’t have to banish Creativity when the business of Business is front and center. Why can’t I figure out a way to make the onerous tasks more enjoyable? Like bookkeeping. (Ugh.) Or filing. (Almost as bad.) I know other people don’t mind these particular tasks as much as me. I think I mind them because I dislike routine. I also hate balancing checkbooks…unless I have software to do that for me.
So, I’m going to resurrect my newsletter in the next few months, reconfigure my website, and develop a series of articles about making the mechanics of my business more streamlined, less intimidating, less annoying. My real life experiences as a girl geek project manager has de-mystified a lot of business processes for me or at least made them less intimidating (like reading a contract, researching copyright or intellectual property, organizing my workday). If possible, I want to find ways to make myself more willing to engage in the parts I really don’t like (bookkeeping, filing) and even inspiring, pretty, or fun. Creative Self, meet Analytical Self. Play nice.
And for a little "Cotton" eye candy...
Necklace: Copper and Argentium Silver (.925) strung on cords of suede and festooned with hand-made glass beads.
Earrings: Argentium Silver (.925), Copper Washer and hand-made glass beads. 1.25”
I just sent in my Cotton Inspired Collection to be posted on BuyPeeDeeArt.com. I am working on developing a permanent Cotton Inspired line of jewelry designed to be souvenirs of the South Carolina Cotton Trail. I haven't decided which pieces will be part of the permanent collection or if I'll continuously re-invent a collection for a season. I'm still figuring this part out.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Friday, September 30, 2011
And yes, I am modeling my own jewelry. A bit. Not brave enough to do this often, but just popping to show you new work.
It's a long necklace...
And this is a picture of my little Molly recovering from surgery to remove skin cancer. She's doing well and the prognosis is good for her! (Sigh of relief.) She bounced back from this surgery like a puppy. It was actually work to keep her quiet the first few days. But she is doing well now. She says, "Woof!"
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
And Pottery Barn wine storage makes beautiful glass storage. I made a creative executive decision only to roughly separate colors. I don't want to get too attached to colors and keep pushing myself to expand and try different things with different colors.
Monday, September 12, 2011
Studio pix soon. I am nearly organized enough to show you the lampwork studio. I have a separate area for jewelry assembly. That one is messier and will take a little longer before it is ready for public viewing.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
I have a separate "studio" that is for assembling projects. Pictures to follow when the studios are organized. That's what took up the month of August. Beads soon to follow.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
MIA Reason #2: Next Post
Sunday, June 12, 2011
And a side note: thank you to Shaiha and ArtyBecca for stopping by and commenting. I've having trouble commenting on other people's posts for the moment, so I just wanted to send to send a thank you for stopping by and welcoming me back to blog world. I appreciate it very much!
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
But, I am Allergy Girl. (Picture red-nosed, red-rimmed eyes, and sensitive skin. If you must, you can add a cape, but no superpowers come with Allergy Girl except for sneezes that could blow a person away.) I have inherited "the best of" my parents allergies. From dad, I have been graced with all the pollen allergies. My mom, sinus and allergies to insects of all kinds.
1) In my early twenties my hayfever and pollen allergies were at their height. I would sneeze my way through a box of family sized kleenex. (They started including lotion about this time...thank goodness, or I would be noseless to day.) These, have followed my dads pattern where we still have allergies, but not as severe as in our 20's.
2) I used to have a much worse reaction to mosquito bites. For example, on a camping trip in Alaska when I was 11, I had about 50 mosquito bites from Alaska sized mosquitos (that means they were the size of B-52 bombers) and welts to match. Weirdly, mosquitoes still cause an itch, but it's relatively minor compared to the way it used to be.
And now I live in the fertile south (legend has it that anything you plant will grow), I am inundated with all things pollen and mold. Also, the deep south is a bastion of all things poisonous (snakes, spiders).
I will sacrifice myself for the sake of art though.
This series of Firewheel photos taken in Texas were at the expense of my legs. I sacrificed them to a horde of chiggers. I spent maybe 30 minutes taking about 100 pictures from all angles of a patch of Firewheels. LOVE THESE WILDFLOWERS. Sadly, I had no clue I was standing in a wicked nest of them until the next day when I woke up with welts all over my legs. 300+. Yes. I counted. Because you need to dab a bit of nail polish or Chig-a-Rid on each bite to suffocate the little monsters that burrow into your skin. That was fun. (So not.) But, the photo results...well, the chigger bites are a distant memory and I LOVE the photo results. But, it does make me think twice about tromping off into the woods. Especially since we have copperheads. And water moccasins. And fire ants. And spiders. And alligators. Yeah, alligators. One of the places my parents camp has a sign before you cross a boardwalk across the swamp that says, "Don't feed the alligators." Um...if the boardwalk is the equivalent of an alligator smorgasboard, I'm thinking I'm going to avoid that boardwalk. I have no intention of feeding alligators.
And don't get me started on fire ants. Evil little beasts. They are actually NOT native to the southern US, but they are making their way north, bit by bit. They are actually native to Brazil and as they move north they decimate the local ant populations. And a single ant can bite you several times. The first time I was bit in Texas, my foot swelled abnormally. Each time I was bit, it was worse to the point that I was going to the ER for antibiotics and steriods as the reaction was close to cellulosis (skin infection that could become systemic). My sister recently had a scary systemic episode. I haven't been bitten in 4-5 years, so I'm hoping my reaction would be less severe the next time I'm bit.
But. But. But... I can't resist the beauty of the outdoors! I have honeysuckle bushes at the entrance to my apartment and while they were blooming the scent collected at the top story to the entrance of my apartment. What a heavenly way to come home.
So, I modify how I interact with the outdoors. For example: these are photos taken at a local gardening store. Mmmmm....purty.
And I used to love to run...I'm hoping with my health stabilizing, I'll be able to return to walking and then eventually running again.
I have even done big outdoorsy things like a two-day-camp-in-tents-overnight canoe trip on the river between the border of Maine and Canada. And a one day trip climbing Mt. Katahdin in Maine which is one of the ends of the Appalachian trail. Those were my most adventurous outdoor activities, but I was on the coattails of true outdoorsy people. I think I have it in me, as my family likes to hike and camp. I like hiking. Camping...well, not as much, but I can be coerced into it. I bought a truck for that reason. I love rafting and have done some fun rafting trips with friends. But, in lieu of a group of outdoorsy friends, I'll hang with my artsy friends and stick to trails instead of tromping off into wild woods. Or wear wellies for foot protection. I don't know. But, it's SOOO pretty around here. I have visions of me being outdoorsy, but then the misery of Allergy Girl sets in an I modify or retreat, depending on the severity. Sigh. I'll figure it out.
Monday, May 30, 2011
My parents love this video:
I totally get it. I definitely have a woman's brain... everything is related to each other. AND IT DOES NOT COME WITH AN OFF SWITCH. Or compartments.
So, I installed an off switch. Mmmm.... maybe a better phrase is a method of compartmentalization that mutes the buzzing in my head from a stressful day or week. I highly recommend 2,000 degrees of fire to make you focus on the "here and now" and not the "earlier in the day" or "tomorrow". (And no, I don't mean pointing it at your head... I prefer pointing it at glass.)
On the other hand, a brain that does not shut off often finds unique, creative ways to let items come together. For me, it's part of the creative process...letting random colors of glass land next to each other, or odd combinations of beads, fiber, chain, metal get laid in a mess on my work table. Creative epiphanies arise from that chaos. So I embrace it. I also have to learn to live with it. Sometimes living with something means installing the "off switch" or "compartments". Creativity currently is my off switch...and for particularly hairy, daily issues that my brain wants to obssess over, fire is the answer for me.
And in other news, I'm playing with pastels and experimenting with more generic photographic backgrounds (unlike my previous post). This version is in the blues that match my business cards.
And these are patinaed, fine silver charms. They are part of my Re-Blooming collection. I hand-carved my own "chintz" stamp, which is the texture of these small charms.
And on the subject of brains...I was re-reading some of my Hong Kong posts and figuring out how to recapture that humor I was able to concoct about my life in a foreign country. I'm in my home country now, so life is "normal" again. But, I still have a sense of humor somewhere. (I think it's still packed, ready to go off globe-trotting again. And currently that suitcase is lost in the black hole where socks and keys go.)
Meanwhile, I'm physically in South Carolina and mentally trying to lasso my imagination and humor back into my consolidated Kanna Glass Studios Jenn. I fear parts are still scattered around the globe (part of the reason for the procrastination). One statement hit me as I contemplated my first Hong Kong-erversary: I still take pictures like a tourist; I am a resident adventurer. Ya' know...I can do that here. I already do that here...take pictures like a tourist. I wander. I'm a resident. Now we just have to roust out that sense of humor and figure out how to put those puzzle pieces of me back together.
I started realizing what caused this "reverse culture shock" besides landing in the deep south. (BTW, deep south is not the reverse culture shock for me because I lived in Texas before. Yes. Two different states...different cultures... but, different in ways I've already adapted to.) The reverse culture shock comes from coming back to a place I'm used to...people drive on the right side of the road, there are big box stores, there is ice cream I like, and fruits and veggies I recognize. Even though I was getting used to Hong Kong, there was always a daily adventure. Well. I guess there is adventure...but, maybe it means taking some things out of my subconscious processing and looking at them from a different way. I find myself reacting to busines situations in a way I learned in Hong Kong (interesting retrospective there on that little point).
Putting the puzzle pieces back together of the Kanna Glass Jenn is where my theme for Re-Blooming arises from, since I still feel mentally scattered across the globe. My heart is still in Hong Kong, part of my heart is here in South Carolina where my family is. Parts of my heart are in Texas and Wisconsin where I have very good friends. I somehow expected to land in a place like Seattle or New Mexico or back in Texas. South Carolina was a surprise. Greenville, SC was a really pleasant surprise. It fits me in many, many ways and I find I'm beginning to recover my energy and health (to a certain extent) here, plus having a day job I like.
Writing is cathartic for me...everyday stressors and frizzlers still make my brain explode. But, I haven't yet learned to convert life that is ingrained into my subconscious into Funny Friday stories. Well, there I go. I just gave myself a challenge: instead of frizzling or exploding my brain, I'll challenge myself to turn it into something funny. I don't guarantee much wit to begin with. I'm going to have to start over on the story-telling... but, I've found I loved telling the stories...yet a another creative challenge for me. :-)
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
I mainly wanted to try creating backgrounds for my jewelry for variety. I need to get some smaller canvases for the plainer backgrounds and thought I'd just play with the pastel. Although I don't think I'll use this as a background in general, it gives me some ideas to play with in the future.
In the meantime, here are some of my western pieces in patinaed silver and blue Halong Bay beads.
Some pretty brass beads from...wait for it, Hobby Lobby! I don't buy a lot of beads from Hobby Lobby, but these were quite appealing to me.
And I saved the best for last. One of my friends has THE cutest little boy. From my Low-Tech Silversmithing Class, I decided to make a mommy pendant. The pictures aren't good because I took them with my phone and couldn't wait for my good camera before I gave them to my friend. But, here is the back. The pendant is metal clay. I carved my own stamp in a faux "chintz" which is the design on the back. I made a bail and attached.
Then I made a rough bezel, dried it, shaped it, fired it, burnished it, patinaed it. Next, I shrank the photo to size, and sealed the picture in with resin. My first attempt at a mommy pendant was a bit "rustic" but the mom loved it. I think I'll make some grandma and mommy pendants for my sister and mom to continue to improve the technique before I release them into the wild. :-) They were fun to make!
Monday, May 16, 2011
Re-blooming is what spring is all about...the dogwoods bloom, the cherry trees bloom. Sometimes we need to re-bloom. We get re-potted and re-planted in a new place and need to make the best of our new circumstances. I am re-blooming...I have been re-potted in South Carolina soil from Hong Kong... I am re-blooming.
Nearly 2 1/2" of spring deliciousness in handmade (by me!) lampwork beads in pink and green, with hand-textured "chintz" silver disc in silver clay (also made by me). Findings are in fine silver. For those who have allergies to sterling silver, give this silver a try...it's .999 pure! Patinaed for a bluish tint. Available in my Artfire store!
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Available for $25 USD. Comprised of copper, .999 fine silver, and my own handmade lampwork beads. They are 2.75" long. No patina has been applied, so they are currently bright and shiny. The fine silver will stay bright, but the copper will darken with a lovely patina with exposure to air.