Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Round Robin Reveal

I posted the premise and inspiration of this Round Robin Challenge below, in a previous post.
...Here is the beginning of my bracelet before Carla and Steph added their magic...

The Round Robin began a couple of months ago, and during that time our three bracelets have been shipped across the country, pondered over and creatively expanded.

~~~~~Here is my finished Bracelet!~~~~~

I can't stop looking at it and rolling it around my arm and appreciating all the little bits of it!
It is soooo gorgeous and it is already one of my most favorite pieces of jewelry.
And the personal feeling it gives me, knowing my friends thoughtfully labored and created;
warm emotions just overflow my heart.

Steph added some fabulous metal daisies near the closures that I just adore! A world charm, to represent the distance between us, a snowflake (appropriate for Maine!), a C Koop enameled ring and some bright colors that are showcased in aquamarine, swarovski crystal and Lucite that are so very Steph! The colors mesh so well with the other vintage bits!

Carla added some silver with an oxidized silver anchor that represents hope, a beach stone bead from her own beloved lakeshores, and aquamarine because she knows I adore the color! As is Carla's style, it is simple and understated. Carla is my hero when it comes to simplicity and restraint!

I loved getting their unfinished bracelets but I anguished over adding to them, since both ladies have such different styles than mine. Carla is earthy and outdoorsy and loves order. Steph is bright and colorful and sparkly. I was hoping I had something in my stash that would honor their styles, but still reflect my vintagey feel. As soon as they have posted their bracelet on their blog I will post their links so you can see all three finished pieces.
I am still blown away by the creativity, thoughtfulness, and care used to pick and design each other's pieces.

Then there was the journaling aspect of this project...
I began with watercolor paints and markers and stamps and everything I think I own in my scrapbooking stash...heaven forbid I keep it simple....
Here is my first page.....

Steph has 25 jobs, runs 48 businesses (yes, I'm slightly exaggerating) and has a wonderfully artistically talented young teen daughter and husband. She must have a cache of elves to keep her household running because she is juggling so much in her life, I am amazed how she does it all! As we began this project, she was leaving on a bead-buying trip to Tuscon and had barely a moment to begin her journal. But she added a beautiful page to mine! It even has glitter! Oh, I may love the old rusty part of me, but glitter does something to make the girly in me happy! (I did some photoshop editing to the picture of her page to highlight my favorite part)

Carla is a wonderful photographer and she shared her thoughts and processes with me in pictures and newly acquired scrap booking supplies. As usual, Carla's eye for balance and symmetry was reflected throughout the pages she created even though this was a medium she had never played with before. I appreciated her thoughts about the challenges and learning experiences she experienced. It was like a revelation when she said this was a group project and she mostly works alone. Huh. Me too. Us artists can be a solitary bunch. All the more reason to participate in things like this Round Robin. It reshapes our creative ways!
(This photo is also photoshopped!)

I know we all have grown as artists.
Every bead, charm and embellishment was thoughtfully placed and every page is full of the essence of who we are. I have learned new things about my long-distance friends and gained an insight into their character and lives. It is amazing how you can discover such incredibly extraordinary people through such an impersonal vehicle as the internet.
Through this Round Robin Challenge, not only have I acquired a bracelet, I have gained friendships with two very wonderful women.
And THAT, dear reader, is the real treasure.

Please check out Stephanie's Journey here at Pixybug Designs

Monday, February 28, 2011

Fiddlehead Fever

I have finished my sewing project and today I am indulging in some clay playtime. I get lots of requests for these little fiddlehead pins and necklaces so I am gearing up for the spring rush.
For those unfamiliar with fiddleheads:

Fiddleheads, an early spring delicacy in Maine, are the young coiled leaves of the ostrich fern. Ostrich fern fiddleheads, which are about an inch in diameter, can be identified by the brown papery scale-like covering on the uncoiled fern, as well as the smooth fern stem, and the deep ”U”-shaped groove on the inside of the fern stem. They emerge in clusters of about three to twelve fiddleheads each on the banks of rivers, streams, and brooks in April and May. You must cook fiddleheads thoroughly before consuming them.

With another 9" of snow arriving today, it seems these tasty treats will be hibernating underground a few more weeks.... I am anticipating the spring day when the first bag of fiddleheads are dumped into my extra large sink for the 3 or 4 washings before cooking. Spring will truly be here!

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Jewelry Round Robin

Inspired by an article in my last issue of Belle Armoire Jewlery I decided to ask a couple friends I have met online to join me in an exciting Round Robin. The premise is, you begin a piece of jewelry and begin a journal as you create. You send the unfinished piece and journal onto one of your friends and they add to your jewelry and journal in your journal, while you receive one of your friend's pieces and add to it and journal in their journal. It continues around until all the friends have added their part to everyone's jewelry and you get a finished piece at the end of the project!

So my friend C sent her piece to me for the first round.
She lives on the shores of Lake Michigan and is an outdoor kind of gal. (She sells those gorgeous blue beads in her Etsy shop.) So I have been pondering what I can make that is unique to me that would be a compliment to the style she has begun. I began a little experiment this afternoon and I think it is going to work. I can't show you pics, since we want the bracelet reveal to be a nice surprise, but it is earthy and beachy!
My bracelet was mailed to my friend S. Here is the foundation for my bracelet. You know it HAD to be old stuff, didn't you?
Lovely old buttons and trinkets. I like to imagine who the original owner of these little baubles were. They are such silly things, but so pleasant to gaze upon. I will update our progress as we move along in our journey!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Organized and ready for Creativity

It is done. I love to be organized and sitting in a space that makes me feel happy. Now I want to get to work!

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Great Reorganization

With children leaving the nest, hubby and I have been doing some home renovations which included moving my studio from the upstairs to the first floor. Having worked in the same room for 15 years, you can imagine the accumulated dearth of "stuff" collected over all that time. It has been wonderful to clean out and reorganize, assess some needs (like new tools!) and rearrange my workspace into a more user-friendly configuration.
Although there are still piles of stuff stacked on the floor and desk waiting for their new home on the 12 ft wide wall of shelves (thank you, my helpful hubby), I have organized things to within an inch of it's life and the "done" stage is almost in sight. The room has beautiful blue/green walls, chocolate velvet curtains and

some gorgeous primitive watercolors done by my friend H..... I have surrounded myself with colors, creative inspiration, and objects I love to look upon. I may never want to leave this room again. When it is finished and looking properly organized, I'll post some more pics. I love this organized life.