Thought I’d share these “vintage” photos from vending days gone by: The first photo is from the Chumash Pow Wow in Ojai, CA, circa 1994. We’d just finished breaking down our vendor booth. By that stage in my life, I’d already been vending at art shows and festivals for about 7 years!
The woman on the left was a sweet friend from England, who used to import my work so that she could sell it in her stall at the Glastonbury Festival! (Does that event still exist?). The babe in my arms is now 26 years old, and in grad school.
The second photo shows some beaded leather bags that I made around that same era. As you can see, my style has changed a bit in the 25 yrs since these pictures were taken. Some things remain constant: my material choices (beads, leather, natural gemstones), a love of color and natural themes, skilled craftsmanship, and passion for my work and the people who inspire me to create.
This path has not always been easy, but I love it all the same. I’m grateful for all the lessons behind me, and hopeful for many years ahead. Some of you have been with me through this whole journey (thank you, I love you!) and some are just joining now (thanks, you rock!).
Please know that I genuinely appreciate every bit of support and encouragement along the way. May it come back to you tenfold ❤
This piece seemed to fly off my needle last night. Not at all what I intended for this cab, but it seemed to have its own ideas as to what it should be!
The next morning, I read on the Farmer’s Almanac site that the March full moon was traditionally known as the “Full Worm Moon” and it heralds the end of winter and the onset of spring. It’s been a hard winter, so I’m celebrating the idea of spring and change
As the temperature begins to warm and the ground begins to thaw, earthworm casts appear, heralding the return of the robins. The more northern tribes knew this Moon as the Full Crow Moon, when the cawing of crows signaled the end of winter; or the Full Crust Moon, because the snow cover becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing at night. The Full Sap Moon, marking the time of tapping maple trees, is another variation. To the settlers, it was also known as the Lenten Moon, and was considered to be the last full Moon of winter.
Made with : Bali carved bone triple moon, titanium quartz points, shimmering blue kyanite, rutilated quartz and vintage Swarovski.
Artchain day 3 (I’m still doing it, just not consecutively 😉 ) I was nominated to post an item of artwork a day for 5 days, and to nominate others…
I’m choosing my “Snow Queen” headdress, because I think it illustrates something important about the creative process: You have to be willing to experiment, take risks and make mistakes.
This piece began as a mask, around 2004. I was going for a “north wind” theme, but the overall shape wasn’t right so I chucked it in the reject pile. Once a year or so, I’d pull it back out and fiddle with it some more. No matter what I tried, it just didn’t fit nicely. It also looked more like an octopus than a cloud spirit, so it kept going back to the reject pile.
In 2012, I decided to give it one more shot. When I realized that there was no way this thing was going to become a cloud, I decided to hack it in half, and turn the top half into a headpiece (the other half is still with me, waiting to become a crown). This piece has been very popular, and I’m often asked to recreate it, or to riff off of the original design… but it’s worth noting that it started out as a “mistake” that I rescued from the reject pile.
This is the 6th version in this series of masks since 2009. Each one is a bit different, but they’re all made from the same pattern. This one is a gorgeous electric blue, accented with peacock, parrot and pheasant feathers in shades of blue, green and bronze. At the forehead is a shimmering green beetle wing, set in a bezel of glass seed beads.
Throwback Thursday — an early beaded cuff, done in size 15/0 seed beads. This bracelet incorporates a series of semiprecious stone cabochons, including 3 rose quartz and 12 tiny faceted garnet cabochons. Circa 1992.
“Dream Garden” bead embroidered necklace with vintage glass cabochons. Many of the beads and stones feature an aurora borealis coating. This finish creates beautiful play of light effects, which lend an ethereal, dreamlike quality.
This crown is a recent commission. The customer was really nice — not only because of how patient and positive she was with me, but because she commissioned this piece as a gift for a friend. She told me that the recipient nearly cried when it was given to her, and that she decided to go someplace very special for New Year’s Eve so that she would have a reason to wear it!
That makes me incredibly happy. I love creating pieces that are “talismanic” for the wearer… pieces that make women feel beautiful, special, powerful and/or remind them of their own growth and/or healing. I like making pretty things, but what I really strive for is to create pieces that people connect with. Pieces that empower the wearer on some level.
Interestingly enough, the woman called to say “I love the headdresses that you have on your website, and I wondered if you have any more that are not up there yet?”. I told her about this one, which had been sitting unfinished since Jan 2013. I knew what I wanted to do with it, but between the move and a whole lot of custom work, I just haven’t had much time to actualize my own ideas this year. As it turned out, my plan for this piece was right in line with what she’d been hoping for … so I suspect that maybe it was just waiting for her to find me 🙂
Made from hand cut and sculpted leather, accented with a 1960’s vintage aurora borealis glass cabochon, Swarovski crystal, 1930’s vintage German crystal and glass seed beads. The snowflake medallion at the center uses a series of rough quartz points and a single piece of kyanite.
Not sure if I’ll make this a regular thing again, but today I feel like sharing a random assortment of art that has inspired me recently:
This spectacular concert poster was created by Jeff Wood of Zen Mystic Studio. I’m so taken with the imagery, the colors, the details and just the feeling that comes through in this piece.As an aside, when I went to his site to see more of his work, this blog post was the first thing I saw. Without going in to too much boring detail, it was one of those crazy synchronistic experiences for me, where you stumble upon exactly the right words and ideas at exactly the right moment. It probably doesn’t hurt that he quoted Henry Rollins and Hunter S. Thompson in the aforementioned post. Between his art and his ideas, I am definitely appreciating this artist today.
Another person who is inspiring me right now is my friend Talia. In truth, she always inspires me and for more reasons than I could possibly list; but one specific reason that I’ll share with you here is her wildlife photography. I’ve shared a few of her photos on my blog before, as they’re always amazing. Recently her work, her skill and her passion for it seems to be growing by leaps and bounds. It’s incredible to watch! She has created a facebook page called “County Line Wild” if you’d like to see more.
The beadwork to the right was created by my new friend, Mat Enloe (AKA “The Beadman of Santa Cruz”). He creates amazingly intricate and impressively large bead embroidered works. I chose this image because the fact that he is holding it helps to give a sense of scale; however, he has several equally amazing pieces in his facebook photo gallery.
His images are set to public, and I did get his permission to share them 🙂
Last but not least is a new (newer?) piece by Raina Gentry. Her work just speaks to me, and I especially love the vibrant colors in this one.
Interestingly enough, I wrote about her work last year in one of my very first “Inspiration Wednesday” posts. Talia’s work was featured in another such post. Maybe that’s an indicator that it’s worthwhile to pay attention and follow the work of those that inspire you … as they may continue to do so 🙂
I’ve been a bit stressed and down lately. Nothing major, just working through changes and fear of the unknown. In my heart of hearts, I know that everything will work out right; but sometimes my heart and my head aren’t in synch. My heart’s in a good place, but my brain wants to over analyze everything and think me to death in the process.
At times like these, I instinctively reach for my beads. Creativity has a healing element to it, and of all of the crafts that I do, this seems most true of beading. It’s hard to explain, except to say that there’s this very zen space – a meditative place – that I go to when I bead. It soothes me and helps me to let go, and in the process I often find creative solutions. Last night as I sewed, I remembered this story that my friend Beki Haley tells about her Nana, which sums up that feeling so much better than I can:
My grandmother did almost every craft imaginable, knitting, crochet, needlepoint, tatting, shrunken apple head dolls, ceramics, watercolors, we even made toilet seats out of resin with seashells trapped in it! She was a very energetic and sometimes nervous woman who couldn’t seem to sit still or calm down. Until she picked up her beads. Then she would become very calm and quiet. When I was about 8 I asked her, “Nana, how come when you play with your beads your leg stops shaking and you get so quiet”? She called me over to her chair and said, “See all these little beads in here? Do you see the little tiny holes?” I nodded yes while squinting my eyes to look into her metal cigar box lid that she used for her beading tray. She said, “When I bead I climb inside that little tiny hole and there is no room in there for anything else to bother me. No worries, no aches, no stress.” At 8 I didn’t quite understand how that made her leg stop moving. But by the time I was an adult I fully understood and her words have never left me. I climb inside that little tiny bead hole whenever I need just a moment of calm.
Thank you Beki, for giving me permission to save and share this story <3
Happy Mardi Gras! Enjoy 15% off all costumery until Fat Tuesday, 3/5/19 :) Dismiss