Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Bad Case of the Shoulds

I've been on myself to get into production to make more components.
It seems that the jewelry making is more relaxing and can be done in the house watching TV and whatnot and the real work is the focus at the torch. 

I keep pressuring myself to make huge runs of all of my best selling components and then something new and novel to stretch myself creatively.

But I am becoming discouraged by the lack of sales of my jewelry this summer at our local market.
It's always been a given that I could move it in person but this year has been different so far.
Not sure if it's my change in style or economy. I know that I love what I'm making and don't want to go back to old bread and butter items that I used to rely on.
I'm hoping to have some new best sellers.

 Suddenly I'm doing better online than in person.. with components that is.

So I imagine that I need piles of all of them but there's only so much time and I can only handle about 3 hours of torch time in a day.. it used to be 4 but I need to listen to my body and hands and eyes and I will stop at the precise moment I feel I've had enough or mistakes and accidents and burnout can happen.

I did do something that has been on my list for three or four years that I had been procrastinating on.
Moo Cards! 
At least that gave me a chance to improve my photography since I first had it on a list of things to do.

 I want to make more of these stony faceted nuggets.

and these limpet bead caps

The great news though is that I got recognized for my polymer clay work last week.
I got a couple of emails from folks in the know ( thanks Ginger and Richelle)
that I had been featured on the front page of the online  magazine Polymer Clay Daily.
Talk about beginner's luck! Now that was a huge surprise for sure.

Less jewelry making and more components? Really?
I think I should give the "shoulds" a big shove.
I'm gonna do what I want!

Sunday, July 7, 2013


Last post I told you about my conversion from polymer virgin to polymer slut.
I had been referring to buying supplies then. Well, something happened to me last week when I was recommending Blue Bottle Tree's tutorial on making rustic beads with polymer clay.  I was purchasing the tute for a friend that I thought would like it and then I started looking into it myself and thought I'd try my hand at it. She also sells it in her Etsy shop

This first face is an homage to my inspiration Paryb Happy Fish ( Jana) from HappyFishShop on Etsy
She has been a great inspiration to me.

I started with what I was familiar with...headpins of course. I used copper just for a change of pace and made them nice and long so you could get a few extra wraps in 

These came out pretty well I think considering that they looked like brown turds on a stick before I set to a'painting on them.

Why not one honking bigg'un. I haven't gotten to drilling holes in the pendant pieces yet.

Those stamping supplies that I have neatly tucked away for my mixed media and collage work came in handy.

bar bar bar barbar barbedwire

These are smaller than they look. Don't you love macro though?
I love mackerel too...reminds me of a time in my youth....oh never mind...stay on track, Kim

I had a palette of Michael DeMeng* colors from a workshop that got cancelled. I think I may have inadvertently stumbled across some of his tremendous color formulas
*warning creepy doll head blog

Remember my clay pieces that I couldn't fire because of the wire and then I painted them to see the effect? Well now I know it was just one step toward the inspiration for these.

Pastel Rustico



I think these were a pair of my favorites from the bunch

I had started out with a sampler set of colors to begin with. Red white and blue, which has to be one of my least favorite color combinations not very patriotic of me but it was the 4th of July.

It was a strange day Saturday.  I woke up early from a dream about being pregnant.  Not bloody likely at my age and I was pondering the meaning of this dream when I realized that it was my son's 30th birthday. The dream had occurred at about the exact time I gave birth to him.
Then we start on our 100 miles trip to the farmer's market on a cool and clear day and drive through a wall of smoke right near the air force base. Turns out this particular fire was caused by artillery shell practice and it's threatening neighborhoods now and may be still growing. I knew I was in for a day of being lightly and fragrantly smoked like a fine scotch or smoked salmon ( forgive me  the repetition my facebook friends, I only have so much material floating around in my head)
It turned out to be the worst day of sales that I can remember. My one order from Etsy yesterday even topped it. I was feeling mighty discouraged but some cool things happened. People visited, someone brought me some ephemera that was included in one of their Etsy orders that they had no use for, the Ukrainian lady at the Honey Bakery felt sorry for me and gave me some slices of her famous pies....and  then an old flame from way back from over 30 years ago handed me this picture which I don't even recall seeing before
That was some of my embroidery work in my sweatshirt.

And this picture of the old homestead shack I lived in for two years with no electricity or running water.
The day ended with a wedding of a couple that had been together over 30 years ago that had reunited  only just recently. It was a reunion of sorts as well. It seems that a lot of history of my life was presenting itself to me that day.

And then I danced!
Can't you tell I had fun!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Blogger Meet Up & Escaping the Smoke

I have been corresponding and following artist Kim Henkel of "Letting in the Light" for a few years now.
She does some of the most soulful nature inspired artwork , journals and mini books as well as jewelry making.
This picture is the little accordian book that she gifted me.
We have more than a little bit in common despite the fact that we live in different countries she is one of my nearest neighbor bloggers actually living right off of the same highway as we do.
The great Alaskan highway separates us by almost 400 miles. ( they call it the North Highway)
We both are named Kim and live in remote subarctic junctions and both have the nearest city about 100 miles away from us. She goes to Whitehorse and I go to Fairbanks.
Both of our husbands studied archaeology and I just found out this weekend that we are both from a family of five kids.
We had spoken of a meet-up for a few years now and in fact my husband had already met them at their home when he was driving through a few seasons ago.
I also knew that they had a place on beautifully spectacular Kluane Lake that I had driven by on the highway several times in my travels.
It was our 6 year anniversary and Canada Day which seems to be a tradition to take a trip to Dawson City, Yukon. This year I suggested a different more relaxing trip for a couple of overnights. The smoke was getting oppressive from wildfires and we hoped to escape it and breathe a little fresh air after our heatwave and subsequent smokiness. Although Kim's husband is very busy with the fire season she agreed to meet us and let us park my little teardrop trailer at their lovely spot in the woods by the lake.

This is their modest abode by the lake that I dubbed the Shakwak Shack since it is planted in the Shakwak Trench situated between the mountains and Destruction Bay on Kluane Lake

And then I got to meet Kim. I was very happy that she could make the trip as well because I knew that she was still recovering from a concussion from a hockey injury from over a year ago and it has been a slow but steady healing. Imagine getting the instructions to stay in a darkened room and not think for hours a day. That's what she had to endure among many other limitations to her normal life.
The lake is least 30 miles long with not many inhabitants or residences on the Bay.
Their little place is one of only a few that have a road to it.

We went walking and beach combing

Honey was getting a little too close to the terns here. He was about to get dive bombed.

wild fireweed

A driftwood cache for plundering

Sand encrusted patina-ed copper!
Got to get me some of that. 

I was able to find a few pieces that weren't impossibly secured to underground pilings

Next time we go back I'll bring some wire snips. I'm sure it will still be there.

I can see where Kim gets her inspiration and solitude

Modeling my HappyFish earrings (with a cee-gar of course)

The ol' man was enjoying hisself. Totally in his element.

He had a dream the first night about where someone had caught a lake trout so he went to that place first thing and caught us some lunch

We did a little exploring in the nearby village of Burwash Landing

Can't get enough old wooden boat textures

So peaceful and windswept with the sounds of the waves lapping and steady strong breezes...OK wind I mean

They had a nice little fire pit that was sheltered from the harsh wind and we cooked up  the trout. 
A total collaboration as Dave caught it, I seasoned it and Kim did the cooking.

My spoils from the beach combing

Saw this guy ambling on down the road on our trip home. 
Surprisingly I haven't seen many bears in all my years up here in the north so I was kind of excited to see this one up close.

As he went behind our trailer he took a good sniff of it as we have a little kitchen back there and I think if we had remained any longer he may have tried to open it like a sardine can  so we went on our way.