Thursday, January 28, 2016

Creativity, Dreams, and Water Babies

I dream about water. Lots of water. Lakes, oceans, rivers, streams, cenotes(what?!)

Cenote; A magical swimming pool in a cave. 

Hot water, cool water, dangerous waters, healing waters. Sharks and Alligators.

I have read that water symbolizes the emotional state in dreams. I am entertained but not beholden to astrology, which claims me as a Scorpio, a water sign(what?, aren't Scorpions of the desert?). Recently, in childbirth, I chose to try a water birth. While pregnant, you could not keep me out of the pool.

There exists an interesting paradox between the safety and danger of water in my subconscious. I crave the womb-like suspension and the open vista of a body of water. But I greatly(beyond reason)fear those creatures that call it home(The Scary Sharks and Alligators). Could this represent a fear of my true feelings? The ones I do NOT share. Even with myself. The ones we would never know I have because I am so busy distracting you with my EXPRESSION as an ARTIST?(yes I  just shouted).

I must admit that the emotional realm is where I feel most comfortable, and in my element. You got feelings? Let's talk. All day. Express yourself!! At least on the surface...especially if its about you...
My feelings run so deep that I can share a lot and seem to have emotional depth when I am truly only scratching the surface...

Interestingly, in my artwork, my design aesthetic reflects more of an earthy and airy vibe: leaves, feathers, butterflies, birds. These are the themes I keep returning to. They comfort me. No threats.

Folk Feather Necklace

Lately my sleep has been choppy and light like a day at a windy, wintry seashore. The upside to this frequent surfacing is intense dream recall. Water. Mother. Death. Afterlife.

My gut is telling me that these dreams need expression in my chosen craft.
My brain and my hands are confused as of yet. They block the expression. Waking, I am out of my comfort zone.
I write these words to help ease the birth of this emotional material I know to be rich with meaning and feeling...the makings of the best of art.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Chosen Family: 24 hour Road Trip!

I went on a Road Trip this past weekend. A short one really, from Atlanta to Savannah(Georgia).  This journey was for a New Year's Celebration. There would be a house party, some bar hopping, a farm. But really it was about reinforcing the bonds of friendship and love with my chosen family.

My friend, muse, and general inspirationess extraordinaire, Darby, is a connector. As Michael said, "Darby brings people together." Its funny how sometimes Darby seems like the quiet one, the low-key one, but still waters run deep. She is secretly a social butterfly and is continually a-scheming to make sure our group of friends convenes for regular good-times.

You see, we are all spread out. All within the great state of Georgia, but scattered in the mountains, the city, the suburbs, the coastal plains.

As the plan for this trip began to unfold, I felt the familiar tugs of anxiety and need for control that tend to present obstacles to me taking a risk on an adventure.  The plan was for me, Michael, and Gabby to ride down together to visit Darby's new farm near Savannah, plus get our New Year's Eve celebration on, then share a hotel room. But what if I wanted to have my own car there? What if I couldn't sleep in a hotel room with other people? When did I turn into a stick-in-the-mudd?

Then my baby got sick.  I got sick. Bob Smiles got sick. I thought, that's it, no way. The universe is telling me to stay home.

Then I began to think: what if things didn't go my way, and I had a GOOD time, as opposed to it being a  tragedy? Maybe what I wanted to leave behind in 2015 was the fear and the worry that threaten to keep the magical experiences at bay.

I thought of my traveling companions, Michael and Gabby. I mean, everyone knows Three is a magic number. I knew my presence was needed and to hell with being sicky and needing to control my environment. Intuitively I knew this trip was to be a bonding experience that I could not miss.

And of course the trip was enchanted. Michael, my forager friend, found a huge growth of chicken of the woods mushrooms on the side of the road. Gabby stepped in dog shit. We decked ourselves out in copious amounts of Madeline Smiles Jewelry. We shook our asses to ODB and Missy Elliott at the queer bar in downtown Savannah that would be shutting its doors forever the next day. Darby drove us back to the hotel even though she was the one on crutches. We made new friends. We shared some secrets.

I am so lucky to have friendships with people who inspire me and who also recognize the importance of nurturing and cultivating relationships. People I can be silly with, share music with, get crunk at the club with, crack up with...but also: philosophize with, get deep with, be vulnerable with, open my heart and soul with, be real with...

New Year's Day Breakfast at Waffle House, duh.

Me butchering chicken of the woods. I let Michael take over as he is the Mushroom whisperer.

I love this picture. Teamwork with Michael and our new buddy, the Awesome Phil.

Triumphant beauties Michael and Gabby.

Me & Gabby, experimenting with facial hair thanks to abundant Spanish Moss 

For Darby, #crutchlife had her chillin' in the car while we scored the 'shrooms, but she looked damn fine doing it!(Note the Spanish Moss festooning her cap)

The look on Michael's face is perfect. #mushroomgangster

Darby's new Tiny House, which will be deserving of its own blog post soon!!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

In the Misty Morning Fog

This morning, I woke up to a fog so thick, it was as though my yard had donned a new mysterious and moody personality. And I found this new persona quite compelling indeed. So I grabbed my fancy camera.

Test Shot: My instincts are on; the foggy glow is working.

I thought this soft and unusual light might just be perfect for capturing some of my feathers and feather vases. You know,  the wispy and whispery factor.

Feather Vase, Copper, Sterling Silver, Fine Silver

Feather Vases, Copper, Sterling Silver
Silver Feather Cuff. Available in my etsy shop!
Today's blog post was brought to you by the Foggy Ways of Mother Nature and the mood was set by this out-there Swedish artist, Anna von Hausswolff. For when you are feeling like you need a mixed drank of one part Kate Bush, two parts Neverending Story.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Pressing Feathers, Freezing Time

Emily wanted a crow feather necklace. In fact, she wanted two. To represent the pair that she and her husband make. He is her rock. I know how this feels. I have a Bob-shaped rock.

Emily brought the crow feathers to the Farmer's Market, plus a ridiculously awesome bag of goodies for me.

I pressed the feathers into silver with my rolling mill. Its kind of like making a fossil. Now they will last and we won't have to worry about them flitting away on the breeze.

I must share this song I was listening to on repeat while I created this post. Philip Glass,  his music whispers to the soul.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Kindred Spirits: The Order of the Chrysocolla

Today's blog post is inspired by Monday's Google Doodle, which is inspired by the author of the Anne of Green Gables books, Lucy Maud Montgomery. I read and re-read every single one of these growing up, over summers spent at my Grandmothers small-town Alabama home, dreaming of when I would find my Gilbert Blythe.(Anne's true love).
 Anne's character is impossibly romantic, loyal, full of integrity, and sometimes takes herself too seriously. I love her! She gave me some favorite phrases I still use, "Kindred Spirits" and "Bosom Chums" in particular, and left me with an everlasting fascination with redheads.

Bosom Chums Anne Shirley and Diana Barry. Rockin' those flower crowns!

My favorite redhead, my Bosom Chum, Kindred Spirit, and Muse and Model,  Beautiful Kimmy.  This is image is on my business cards.

This past weekend, I got to be next to a Kindred Spirit, Gretchen of Thrive. She makes amazing things like the shibori-dyed meditation cushion and hand-painted watercolor cards shown below.
Gorgeous hand-dyed shibori meditation cushion by Gretchen of Thrive
Dreamy hand-painted watercolor cards in "Iris" by Gretchen of Thrive. Yummm...

Gretchen and I are totally rabid fans of each other's work and always request to be next to each other, where its pretty much a lovefest/spazfest. Check out our synchronicity in the photo below. Two vastly different media, yet so much cohesion....
Hand-painted watercolor card by Thrive, swimming alongside chrysocolla and silver ring by Madeline Smiles Jewelry

Chrysocolla is such a mesmerizing mineral! A lot of people confuse it with turquoise, and it is also found alongside copper, like turquoise. But, it has its own unique personality...
Macro shot of chrysocolla
Unreal chrysocolla I bought in Tucson. This piece is available in my shop!!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Folk Singer

Working alone in the studio is either
A. A creative paradise of flowing in the "Zone"
B.  Sometimes kinda lonesome
C. A rad opportunity to delve into the wonderfully diverse world of readily available music, new and old.
D. All of the above(and more!)

My inherited insatiable thirst for discovering new and new-to-me music comes from my Mother. Setting the mood with the right tunes has been somewhat of a pre-occupation for me, and one of my fave things about being a self-employed creative. I can recall the tyranny of working in restaurants and retail where they would torture us employees with repetitive, uninspired background noise that was probably threatening to our mental health and definitely threatening to our morale!
Like my Momma before me, I love to find kindred spirit "music buddies" who share in my passion for discovery of the exquisite and the unknown. My Mom's music buddies were two Alabama boys, Bullet and Kenny.
I have several: Kimmy, Darby, Ian, Almeta, Mike...
This next artist comes by way of a true music nerd, Ian. His Dad used to own a record shop, so I guess that's his excuse.
If you like folky (think Joni Mitchell, especially her first album, Song to a Seagull) and/or moody(think Iron &Wine), I think you will dig Jessica Pratt. I even created an etsy Treasury for you to gaze upon while Jessica sets the mood... Enjoy!!

"Strange Melody" by Jessica Pratt

'Folk Singer' by littlewingdesigns

Inspired By Jessica Pratt

Original Folk Art Girl, Cute...

Vintage Folk/Ethnic Tunic - ...

Aurora Necklace

RESERVED for Yvette -Bears &...

IN STOCK Winter White yarn b...

Ukrainian Traditional Boho L...

California Poppy. Poppy Prin...

Single Gold Key

Wooden Bird Folk Art Sweden ...

Owl Illustration Painting, W...

Scalloped Shield Earrings - ...

Turquoise Silver Ring, Bohem...

Musician's Special Guita...

Feather moon stacking ring -...

Hand Built Ceramic Dish - da...

Watercolor Art, Nature Paint...
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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

I'm down with OPJ (Other People's Jewelry)

This blog post is dedicated to a true love, The Indie Craft Experience. Since I gave birth to my Little Bug in September, I took the year off from selling at ICE.

Me & Bug

Which meant I got to go as a shopper!!! For holiday gifts, right? Aaaand maybe a few goodies for moi. But just because its important to support local artists;)

I was super excited to check out the new pieces from Cuyler Hovey-King.
Cuyler's sweet set-up and a bonus shot of the happening' crowd. Photo credit, Cuyler Hovey-King

I own a pair of Cuyler-made earrings already, and had been drooling over a hair stick she recently unveiled on social media.
If I were a magician, I would have loved to have shown this beauty off IN my hair. Trust, its sexy gorgeousness.
Hair Stick in Brass by Cuyler Hovey-King

Sold! The beauty of buying from Culyer at the show was that we chatted our brains out and totally crossed the tenuous threshold of being warm acquaintances to being kindred spirits. I also adored her bestie/helper, Tamara, who was hilarious and real. We even made plans to go to the gem show in December! Shopping + Frands = Blisssss...

Still high on my hairstick purchase, I made my way to Brandy Schuman's booth, A Sensible Habit. My bestie and first-string shopping buddy Jeanee and I both fell head over heels for her modern minimalist & playful ceramics. I bought a gorgeous blue half-moon necklace that I am so feeling! And because, clearly, I NEED more jewelry:)!

I'm thinking this piece is gonna layer like a dream machine with some Madeline Smiles pieces!!
Blue ceramic necklace by A Sensible Habit.
Brandy also makes other ceramic goodies like ring cones and teensy dishes. I scooped up this mini dish, with the fully pre-meditated notion to use it in my product photography:

Babykiss Stacker Rings, Fine Silver, Sterling Silver, by Madeline Smiles Handamde Jewelry. Made to order in your size. Buy here.
Ceramic glazed dish by A Sensible Habit.