Monday, May 30, 2011

Studio Time: I'm perfecting my procrastination...

I have been working diligently on my procrastination projects, if you can't tell already from my blog silence. I seem to be perfecting my procrasination abilities too! I'll show you the projects another day, though, since I had already started this post and want to finish posting.

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

Artfully Meandering: Other creative pursuits

I bought pastels the other day. I have no good reason why. Just felt like it. I like colored pencils better at the moment. I did pastels in art class and I always had A's in art. Even though I graduated a year early in high school, I kept art and orchestra throughout high school. I think I felt it was important to maintain my creativity even though I didn't think it was "practical" at the time. So, this was my first drawing I've done in over 20 years in pastel. I was using my current designs with circles and florals.

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

Studio Time: Spring Deliciousness

Pink and green deliciousness bring spring to the mind and wearing it makes you live in Spring.

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's .999 pure! Patinaed for a bluish tint. Available in my Artfire store!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Artfully Meandering: Re-Blooming Bud Earrings

I made something! These are long and luscious. They are made of hammered copper posts and wrapped in fine silver headpins dangle with a white bud.

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.

Long, elegant, unique, different... in what ways do you envision you re-blooming?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Artfully Meandering: A sample of things to come

A sample of things to come! I made a polymer stamp to imitate the dogwood. The picture is a little dark, but I'm so pleased with how they turned out. I wasn't as happy with the circles...I thought that would be easier! Heh...the flowers turned out (didn't expect that) and the rings didn't. I want to use Liver of Sulphur to highlight the details in the flowers.

More coming!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Artfully Meandering: Blooming Everywhere - My Mother's Hobby

I do believe I get the majority of my creative genes from my mother. Yet, my dad is also a good photographer. We grew up with the idea of creating the majority of our own toys out of construction paper, tape, scissors, needle, thread, fabric, misc. discarded boxes, and a few "real" toys like Barbies. My mother is a paper-holic. So am I. But, she's very busy in volunteer work these days, so she has pruned her hobby to her most favorite...gardening. Embracing the south, she has endeavored to turn her southern home into a southern garden retreat, much like the gardens you would see in Charleston. I could...and did...spend hours taking pictures around the garden and learning my new camera. (Which, BTW, has me quite excited that I have the potential to take the photos I have dreamed of. I learned a bunch of features through practice. Now, I have to get the lighting down well.)

A table decoration.

The start of cosmos...

A rusty castle...

Morning glory??? My mom will have to tell me... (Edit: clematis. I have the best readers. Thank you, Kristin!)

Their front entrance....

On the stairs...

The fountain... now, I'm excited about these two photos because I learned the very cool trick of a slow shutter speed to let the moving water blur. I can't wait to try this effect on a waterfall.

The fountain taken at regular shutter speed.

Just a little eye candy to entertain while I'm working on the components for my "Re-Blooming" series.