Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Frenzies

Now just what has Diana been doing during the last few weeks?? Well, I've been immersed in teaching my first series of classes. What fun I have been having. Last weekend there were 14 lovely ladies in my soldering class. For most of the class, this was their first soldering class and for those of you who solder you know how frustrating it can be learning soldering techniques. I congratulate them all for making it through and encourage them to practice, practice, practice.....and oh yes, I also congratulate them for not setting the place on fire.

This is the first time I have taught publicly and I have developed a deep appreciation for anyone who teaches. So much time is spent in preparation for classes (i.e. class handouts, outlines, kits, designing prototypes, setting up the classroom, shopping for and gathering supplies, brochures, etc.). My husband has taught at the college level for several years and I never had a true sense of the energy it takes to teach...now I do. And I also have experienced the rewards of sharing with others what I have a passion for....which is very exciting for me. Best of all, I have the pleasure of spending an entire day with friends and new friends creating art. I have had the most delightful women in my classes and look forward to new friendships as a result of it. I am now preparing for my next class in a week and a half on the basics of metalsmithing....so I continue to "hammer" away on the details for that class.

I have also been shopping.....but of course, when am I NOT shopping you ask!! Yes I LOVE to shop. These precious dollies finally arrived on my doorstep yesterday. They had a very long trip from Canada which took three weeks as Customs decided to keep them for a while. But it was well worth the wait. They came wrapped in a wonderful box and filled with extra goodies from Carmi who sells them. Look at the sweet little felt beds each one of them were sleeping in when I opened the box.

I've also been gathering glitz and bling for pieces I will be designing for my friend Robin Kaplan who is getting ready for a photo shoot of her spring collection. I have the pleasure of assisting her with her photo shoot once again and showcasing pieces of my jewelry with her romantic clothes. Love it!

My soldering station....

My studio has been holding me captive as of late as I prepare pieces of jewelry for a journey to San Francisco this coming weekend. I have an appointment with an art gallery/boutique who has expressed an interest in my work. How exciting!! I'll keep you posted on that one. While in the bay area I will also be attending the Alameda Point Antiques and Collectibles Faire....how wonderful....another opportunity to SHOP!! Is there anyone in the bay area who would like to join me?? One of the aspects of mixed media art that I so love is the quest, the hunt to find all of those forgotten treasures out there.

Here are a few collections waiting patiently for me to put them together.

This is my wire wrapping station in my studio.

And this is one of the pieces I completed late last night. And speaking of studio, I must say goodbye and get in my studio as I have a lot I would like to accomplish today. How blessed I am to have the opportunity to play in my studio everyday and create, create, create.......
Diana

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Class Is About to Begin

Welcome to Chameleon located in the Village of Arroyo Grande. I am preparing to teach my first classes beginning this Saturday and have been busy getting everything ready.

Students will be surrounded by beautiful fabrics and amazing "Chameleon Style" furniture which is just that....."Chameleon". Camay and her husband have designed a line of furniture that can change its style, mood, color and season with a few flips of pillows, cushions and accessories.


This is the classroom area as it looked a few days ago when I took these photos, however, by Saturday it will look entirely different. Students will feel right at home don't you think?

Yesterday, a good friend of mine and I worked on getting all of the packets ready for my students. That's just one more thing to cross off my list......now on to the rest. Every kit includes my favorite energy pick me up.....Peanut M & M's.....I take a large bag with me to every art retreat to give me that extra boost in the afternoons.

Well, wish me luck. I must get back to my "to do" list. In addition to getting ready for class, I am also working on a "collection" of romantic jewelry for a shop here in San Luis Obispo that will be installed on Monday. I still have a few more pieces to design. I'll share more soon. Hope you are well and enjoying your summer day.


Tootles

Diana





Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sneak Peek



Sneak peeks of the Autumn issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry Magazine are out and I am so honored to have been selected to be one of the "Sneak Peeks." I invite you to visit Stampington's website to see some of the artists who will be featured. Don't you just love Beth Quinn's cuff bracelets! They are so romantic and feminine. Congrats Beth! Can't wait to see Deryn Mentock's article!

P.S. I am not as computer savvy as a lot of you and I can use some help. I don't know how to when adding a link to a blog post (like in the paragraph above) to show only the name of the link and not the entire url address. Is there anyone out there who could give me a little instruction on that? I would be most appreciative.

P.S.S. My son came to mom's rescue and he taught me how to put in links so you don't have to look at the extensive url addresses.....that is so very cool!! Thank you, Jeremy, for helping the mama out!!! Love you!!

Diana

Friday, July 4, 2008

How Do You Define Your Personal Style

In preparing for the classes I am teaching in a few weeks, I came across an article in the current Step By Step Wire magazine by Connie Fox that was very thought provoking for me. At one time I was a fashion consultant and worked with women assisting and encouraging them to discover their own "personal style." ...a true sense of "self". Through self-reflection, observation, dreams and physical realities, women were able to identify their fashion personalities and to project to others their best self.
In Connie's "Beyond Technique" article she takes new jewelry designers through similar steps and processes in defining their signature design styles. First, she has readers open their closets to look at how they are currently dressing and to consider what they might be wearing if they were a little bolder. Looking into my closet these are the words that describe what I see: texture, warm colors, monochromatic color schemes, vintage, feminine, artsy, glam/glitz, classic and sexy. What's in your closet???
Next, readers are encouraged to look at how they decorate their homes as our surroundings are a reflection of our personalities and of course, our budgets, the people we live with, etc. If your home is not decorated to your liking currently, what would it be like if you had your dream home? Look through magazines and cut out pictures of your favorite rooms, colors, styles, etc. I have had the opportunity to work on my home for several years and have a very supportive husband who allows me to decorate pretty much the way I would like. Words describing my home are: organized, casual, cottage, shabby chic, romantic, texture, Asian, European, comfortable and inviting.
Welcome to my home.

The next step in this process is more difficult.....defining what drives you, what motivates you. Connie says "recognizing what motivates you, and respecting these drives can be used to your design advantage". In each category she lists words for you to circle which describe you.

In this self examining "Motivation Awareness" section I have a lot of factors that influence me: beauty and aesthetics, intuitiveness, attention, love, self-esteem, achievement, competency, peace/quietude, change/growth, spirituality and wisdom. Can you look deep within and identify what motivates you? I know you can do it.....and don't be quick to judge....be kind to yourself.

The final step is to "synthesize the elements you defined in the last three exercises in order to create a Signature Style Phrase." This is where I am finding it very challenging. Here is what I have come up with at this time:

I am a hopeless romantic on an ever-evolving artistic journey who uses eclectic influences mixed with classic styling to create one-of-a-kind mixed media art jewelry.

Now, I challenge you to define your "signature style"...if you haven't already done so. "Your style is an expression of your personality, sensibilities, experiences, knowledge and even your soul." I would like to hear about your experiences doing this exercise. Please leave comments.
Love
Diana

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Beauty Arises in the Stillness of your Presence

Sweet little hands bearing gifts for Nana. Yes, we had our two dear grand-daughters visiting with us again and what a joy they are. It is so inspiring to see the world through a child's eyes once again. With trips to the children's museum, the zoo, the park, craft time, manicures and pedicures, games, snuggles, laughs and oh yes, let's not forget watching Barbie movies and the Wiggles!
Being around my grand-children reminds me why playing in my studio brings me such contentment and happiness.....I, too, become a child once again. I feel safe and free to express who I am and be totally present and focused in my own little world at the time. I never was encouraged to experiment in art growing up as a child, in fact, I grew up in a very dysfunctional family and the child in me hid out surviving each day's chaos. Not until recently (during the last 20 years or so of my adult life) have I invited that child out to play.....and believe it or not I have to work at playing.

With each new art project comes the opportunity for me to be totally present in the moment, totally focused and so enjoying every minute. I hope that you can also feel that freedom and fulfillment. Now not all projects are joyful, I do have to say that. Like today for instance. I am working on a piece for a magazine article and have had one stumbling block after another. And I am trying to look past the irritation and stay present and "engaged" in the process itself.....there has to be something I am supposed to be learning here....perhaps patience. Whatever your day is bringing you today I wish you the ability to see the beauty in it.
And on that note, I would like to share with you a section from Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of Now"....
"Beyond the beauty of the external forms, there is more here: something that cannot be named, something ineffable, some deep, inner, holy essence. Whenever and wherever there is beauty, this inner essence shines through somehow. It only reveals itself to you when you are present. Could it be that this nameless essence and your presence are one and the same? Would it be there without your presence? Go deeply into it. Find out for yourself."
Tootles
Diana