Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Let me tell you about my adventure at Art and Soul in Asilomar almost 2 weeks ago. I had so much fun going with two of my art buddies, Riki Schumacher and Stephani Gorman. We all stayed together in a great room in Asilomar which had two bedrooms and fireplace....it was just perfect for us. Asilomar is a gorgeous place along the Central Coast of California. A perfect venue for an art retreat. Such a relaxed, nature-filled location is so conducive to creative play. The air smelled of the salt air, pine and faint fireplace smoke....I felt as though I was camping again as a child. Riki and I took Nina's 3-day Mystorian Necklace and Book class and Stephani spent her three days with Richard Salley.
It took me several days after returning home to complete my book that I began in Nina's class. The photos above and below capture my finished project. What a pleasure it was to finally spend time with sweet Nina Bagley and to learn some of her special techniques. The first day we designed our necklace which was to take part in the story that the book would soon tell.
-covers and binding-
Before leaving for Asilomar, life had thrown me a curve ball in the form of a few vertigo episodes which literally set me in a "spin." I allowed myself to get so very anxious not knowing the reason why this was happening to me and started imagining the worst things possible which made me even more sick. Getting so anxious about what "could be" actually made the situation a lot worse. After several tests, my doctor was able to rule out the major concerns and I was told that it was an inner ear condition called Benign Positional Vertigo Disease. I usually do not like to use my blog as a forum of what is happening in my personal life, however, this experience was an important factor in me deciding the focus of my book and necklace. I decided to dedicate my book to a very special, spiritual place where I feel very grounded and centered. My thought was that if I should go through times like this again, I could have my book as a gentle reminder of how important it is to stay focused, centered and grounded even through the most challenging times in our life.
Such a place for me is Point No Point on Vancouver Island, Canada. Each time I visit this place, my soul feels as though it has arrived home and I am safe. I have shared this special place with some of the people in my life who I love the most...my husband, son, sister and mom.
Before going to Asilomar, I decided to work on my front cover. I wanted to incorporate some of the new soldering and bezel making techniques I learned in Stephanie Lee's workshop that I took a few months ago. I was also inspired by the gorgeous books that Stephanie had on display at that workshop....thank you Stephanie for sharing your talents.
Each page in my book includes something from Point No Point or the seashore. Photos I have taken, shells and stones I have collected, mohair from island goats, tree bark, feathers or seaweed....all grace the pages, bringing to life the magic of this place.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh's book "Gift From The Sea" seemed to be the appropriate book to grab as I packed for inspiration and quotes. The page I featured below was so very perfect. ....it reads:
"For the natural selectivity of the island I will have to substitute a conscious selectivity based on another sense of values -- a sense of values I have become more aware of here. Island-precepts, I might call them if I could define them, sign-posts toward another way of living. Simplicity of living, as much as possible, to retain a true awareness of life. Balance of physical, intellectual, and spiritual life. Work without pressures. Space for significance and beauty. Time for solitude and sharing. Closeness to nature to strengthen understanding and faith in the intermittency of life: life of the spirit, creative life and the life of human relationships."
Monday, June 1, 2009
I thought you might be interested in how I designed my little Flower Fairy (alias "Pretty Girl").....so here we go.
1. Using the cut-off wheel attachment on a flex shaft or Dremel, cut an antique silver napkin ring in half (or perhaps you might like to use a piece of etched or textured metal).
2. Using a nylon hammer, flatten half of the napkin ring.
3. Using the sanding attachment of your Flex Shaft (or Dremel), sand edges and corners.
4. Attach torn ephemera, edged with distressed inks, to napkin ring with Diamond Glaze and let dry.
5. With a tiny paint brush, paint the desired details on your doll with acrylic paints of your choice. When dry, seal with Kryon matte clear glaze.
6. Cut the individual petals from a small linen or silk flower. Cut a small strip of tulle and, using a needle and thread, take small gathering stitches along the edge. Attach the flower petals with needle and thread also.
7. The skirt and wings (which are flower petals as well) can now be positioned on your doll and secured with clear caulking. Let dry completely.
8. To form the weave around the perimeter of the metal background, using a 1/16" drill bit, drill holes around the edge.
9. 2 inch lengths of 24g sterling silver dead soft, round wire were cut equal to the number of holes drilled. Ball up one end of each of the 2" lengths with a small butane torch.
10. Insert your balled-up headpins into the holes around perimeter alternating the insertion points front to back.
11. Tape the wires in place with masking tape so that the wires are sticking straight out to the side.
12. Using a length of 24g steel wire, start weaving around the headpins forming a woven frame around your piece.
13. When desired depth of frame is achieved, straighten and work harden the sterling silver pins straight out again. Place your crystal bead onto the wire and trim wire to about 1/2 inch. Spiral this length of wire tight up against the crystal. Continue around perimeter of frame.
14. Attach your Flower Fairy to the main piece with E6000.
15. Using a length of 20g sterling wire, create a wrapped loop to attach your chain or silk fabric strip.
I added a pmc bird bead before adding my torn dupioni silk ribbon.
Now see what clever ideas you can come up with using these precious pewter Charlottes.