A (somewhat) daily rambling on the life of a polymer Clay metal clay and Fused Glass artist/teacher/author.

Very soon my blog will move to my website...as soon as it is done that is. This blog will be my Theatrical life of directing The Secret Garden

Friday, December 18, 2009

Annoying mis-use of jewelry terms!

It is Carnival Time Again!!!

We are a group of jewelry artists working in various mediums who have chosen different topics to write on as a group.This event takes place about the same time each month. Why not visit the other artists listed below the following blog.

Today's post is on the subject: Which mis-use of a jewelry term most annoys you?

In metal clay it is the term 'Leather Hard'... Hmm? When I think of leather hard I think of supple suede or a fine calfskin jacket or maybe a pigskin purse. I don't think of it as dry. Up until I later learned that it meant bone dry I had always felt that the clay needed some moisture in it to work at the 'leather hard' stage. I am a classically trained goldsmith and the leather hard meant nothing to me. Also, I worked with ceramic clays years ago and felt that greenware was a better term: Dry but not fired. We don't fire leather.

In jewelry sales the term 'Semi Precious' can drive me up a wall. When I was taking gemstone workshops at the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts, in San Francisco, the instructor/appraiser made one simple statement that said it all. She said, "If a fine Paraiba tourmaline costs two to three times as a comparably sized diamond, how can one call it semi-precious?" It really is relative to the value of the stone not the beauty. I have seen amazing peridots that were finer looking than, say, a sapphire. Please, do NOT use the term semi-precious in my presence.

Really. Don't.

In polymer clay it is the term 'Faux'. A lot of the artists say, faux ivory, faux turquoises. It gives the buyer the impression that the jewelry has a 'lesser value' because 'it isn't real'. How about polymer coral or polymer lapis lazuli. It says the artist was able to create the look of of fine jade ... and what an amazing talent that is.

See what these other talented jewelry artists have to say on this subject.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Snowed in by Freak Storm

The above photos were take a bit ago. Yesterday I couldn't see any green. All the trees were weighed down with snow. Most of the power problem arose from the snow breaking tree limbs or the limbs weighing down on the power lines.
I have been out of communications for the last day and this am.... except for calling PG&E to find out when I'd get power. It went off at 5am yesterday and just came on at 9am. I tried not to make too many cell phone calls... the only way to charge it is to sit in the car for over an hour with the engine running. So, no calls except to PG&E... over, and over and over...

To say I was freezing and on the pity-pot is an understatement. My sweet son called me to see if I needed him... Oh yes... All I wanted to do is get more candles and something warm into my tummy. He shoveled snow off of the lower driveway and took me to Walmart... the only place open. The upper end of the driveway is closed due to tree branches weighed down with snow. Main Street was dark as well as most of the county. He brought me a camp stove so I could heat some tea up or food but neglected to teach me how to use it...or, I forgot to ask. I wore just about every warm item of clothing and two, yes two, hats to bed. I was pretty toasty warm during the night... also, I downed two Tylenol PM's to make sure I slept soundly. The cold can keep a person awake.

Whoops. Power went out again at about 9:30... It just came back on at 2pm. Shari Anger called me on my cell and offered me a room at her Inn tonight if it goes out again. I just happened to check in with PG&E at about 12:30 and a canned message said there were no outages in our area. So I waited for a person, and wouldn't you know it, there were only three homes IN THE ENTIRE COUNTY without power. Ah, gotta love that Murphy.

So, I have been bundled up, burning tons of candles to raise the indoor temperature from 48 degrees to 52 degrees.... hey, a little heat goes a long way. I still cannot drive down the road because of the visual and black ice.

Now I just have to wait for the water to heat up for a blessed shower.

So, I am okay.... this is to let you know that the drama is over.... I hope.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Most Precious Jewelry

It is Carnival Time Again!

We are a group of jewelry artists working in various mediums who have chosen different topics to write on as a group.This event takes place about the same time each month. Why not visit the other artists listed below the following blog.

This months topic is:
Out of all the pieces I've created, which one means the most to me and why? (i.e., technical achievement, most beautiful, personal/emotional significance, etc.)

Well this one is, hands down, easy. First of all, I have the BEST sister in the entire universe. Lelana is, and always has been, the wind beneath my wings. Always supporting me in every creative endeavor, emotional highs and lows, taking care of our dear mother and just plain loving me. What more can one ask in a sibling? She has always treated me as a dear friend .... even had me go to Hawaii with her and her best friend, Patty, just after I graduated from high school. She had a year of teaching under her belt and took a very naive 17 year old on a major vacation... moi. That is my sweet sis.

That said. A while back she was diagnosed with breast cancer..... it shocked us all. Nowhere is that nasty, horrible disease in our family lines. We were blown away! She had surgery and radiation and the docs said they got it all and that it was a slow grower. She must have had it for years. What a blessed relief that she is cured. I don't know what I'd do without her in my life.

So, the first thing I did was to create 'SISTERS' pendants. It was an emotional and loving process that consumed me for days. I had just learned how to fuse glass several months before and decided to use the very same glass in each of our pendants. I took the glass and cut it and layered the pieces and then fused them . Then I ground the glass into shapes I liked and then fire polished them both. The next step was to make pure fine silver pendants for the glass.

And so.....

Wouldn't you know that they are the same but different.... just like us. GRIN

Do visit these very talented artist's blogs to fine what they wrote on this topic.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Jewel Carnival again!

We are a group of jewelry artists working in various mediums who have chosen different topics to write on as a group.This event takes place about the same time each month. Why not visit the other artists listed below the following blog.

So just what is it that inspires me to be designing and working with jewelry? What excites me about it to create a new item?

Well, I do like working with small sculptures. Really small sculptures.....

What is that saying that seems to always work in many circumstances?
It Is What It Is....

How can I actually say what motivates me? Is it the ache to be creative? Is it the joy of working in a craft that I love? How about the passion of being a maker of art?

How about all of the above...? How about just MakingDoingGetting the Hands Moving?

When I am inspired by a new technique, sketch, vision, person, color, shape or form.. or whatever it is that tickles that spot in my essence that says, "Go Forth And Make!!!"

Well, yup! That too.

In spite of the verbage above, I have to admit that all I have to do is sit down around my art materials and the designs pop out on the drawing pad. Since I work mainly in my two clay mediums of choice: Polymer and metal clay, the working design will 'tell' me which material to use.

Then I make ...

Do visit these other, incredibly talented artists and read what they have to say on this subject.

Tonya Davidson
Angela Baduel-Crispin
Lora Hart
Tamra Gentry
Elaine Luther
Marco Fleseri

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tops In Blue - Extraordinary Performance

Tops in Entertainment on Labor Day!

My friend Chris and I went to the California State Fair last night to look at the fine art exhibit and to watch a concert by the Air Forces' amazing entertainers, Tops in Blue. They are active service members who auditioned and got accepted into what the Force calls their Expeditionary Entertainers. They put on shows for service members and their families, Coalition partners and audiences around the globe.
This has been going on for 56 years and it is the first time I have ever heard of them or seen them. Amazing.

This high impact, high energy event kept me smiling and my toes tapping. The discipline and training of their rehearsals show in every hand movement, dance numbers and vocalization. I was astounded at the talent and precision of very person on and off the stage. They also liked to come into the audience to flirt with and engage everyone watching the show. And the spectators loved every minute of it.

Yes I did.

Normally I am put off a bit by too much choreography: too much hands, arms and feet. But, these entertainers were consistent throughout the show. Their vigor and enthusiasm was engaging and so it worked in this venue. This group never let up for a moment. Always in sync.... Always. If you'd like to hear a bit more about them click here. There is also a great documentary to watch here.

There are a lot of YouTube, Tops In Blue, videos available on line. Most of them are pretty fuzzy and have poor sound quality. But, I spent a bit of time on this today to share with you. I lucked out and found a bit from the 2009 tour. Click here for clear video and good sound. We got to see this number last night.

Now, back to making jewelry for the Art Tour.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Jewel Carnival again! Inspiration: design to completion

Welcome to the August edition
of Jewelry Blog Carnival.

We are a group of jewelry artists working in various mediums who have chosen different topics to write on as a group.This event takes place about the same time each month. Why not visit the other artists listed below the following blog.

August: Inspiration from the design
to the finished work.

"Where do I begin?

Hmmm? Isn't that what a lot of us makers think just before we start? Or, are a lot of you so visual that you can just jump right in and flow from A to Z in your work without a left-brained moment? Does it just flow through you as a river:bending and unresisting yet becoming a force that moves rather than is moved? Or are you sketching and erasing and putting tracing paper down over old designs and using the base design to create new, with more and more tracing paper and more designs. And, of course never throwing any of the rough copies away? Then listing the pieces and parts, ordering what you don't have, finding what you do have and having it all in front of you as a, say, one-of-a-kind production set up.

Do you do that?

Oh, and what is it that inspires you or me in the first place? A sunset, a first dawn flash of light on a mountain just before sunrise, the core of a freshly sawn tree stump, the movement of water during a storm or the incredible light in your mates eyes? The world is our inspiration for our art. It can be beautiful or beastly. From Monet's sweet impressionistic landscapes to Goya's tormented black and whites of war torn bodies. Or maybe a fellow artist taught you a technique that brought out a new passion in your soul to create.... even if only for this moment in time or for many moments if this new fervor becomes your permanent 'voice in art'.

This artist uses ALL of the above. Simply put I am inspired by a vision: be it internal or external. I then sketch it out and begin the process of being a maker of art. I forgive myself if it doesn't turn out exactly as the drawing because art is a moment in time. The time of SKETCHING is gone forever but the PROCESS of being artful is ever changing. When I sing in a musical on stage... my moment changes. The basic story of the song is the same (sketch) but the emotional impact of an evening performance is ethereal to my space and time (process). The art of production in my work below is ever changing..... each earring in a set doesn't match exactly. This is what I am doing now... what could it be tomorrow? I'll just have to wait and see.

Art like love is always in motion and ever changing... and isn't that grand?

August 2009: Batik earring series: Polymer, sterling, niobium, alcohol inks
Gold Country Artists Gallery, Placerville, CA.

Please visit these incredible artist listed below. Click on their names and go see what inspires them from beginning to end.

Tonya Davidson
Angela Baudel-Crispin
Lora Hart
Tamra Gentry
Elaine Luther

Friday, July 24, 2009

July Carnival - DEADLINES: how do I feel about them?

Welcome to the Jewlery Carnival Blog for July

Deadlines:are they a necessary evil or something I left behind in school?

Well this could be a rant, or a rave. Years ago my mother told me never to hate. Good words to live by.... so, okay I STRONGLY dislike deadlines.... But, again, there is the ying yang catch-aroo here. I have to have deadlines or I'd never get anything done. I'd make jewelry, play solitaire on the computer, chat with my friends on-line or on the phone. Oh, and I like to watch the free movies on Comcast or watch the wild finches feast at my feeder... well, you see the picture here, now don't you?

Sometimes even deadlines cannot get me going. I really need to be motivated. Like with jewelry repair... I absolutely do not do repairs anymore... oh, except I DO barter with my hairdresser. Even then, it is so very hard for me to get started. We had to do it all the time when we had our jewelry/gallery business. After eleven years I was/am totally burned out. I'm sorry mom, I hate jewelry repair. Problem is, I am pretty good at it. Sheesh!

Honestly, I LOVE deadlines. My life flows at an even, calm and purposeful pace with them. You see the ying yang thing-y, now don't you. When I have deadlines for ANYTHING, I actually accomplish the deeds I have set out to do.

Like with the two events this month in the Chicago area. The International Polymer Clay Association's (IPCA) Retreat with the Metal Clay World Conference (MCWC) happening at the same hotel on the heels of the first. I have volunteered to help and demonstrate at the IPCA and at the MCWC I will be teaching a pre-conference workshop and then will present a seminar on three days during the conference.

Without deadlines to prepare for these happenings, I would be lost and VERY embarrassed.

Yup, ying - yang, love - hate: deadlines have it all.

Check out these other marvelous artist's blogs on the very same subject:

Tonya Davidson
Angela Baudel-Crispin
Lora Hart
Tamra Gentry
Elaine Luther

Friday, June 19, 2009

Jewel Carnival again! My Most Influential Historical Metalsmith.

Oh, my Gosh.... Ever since I was at the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in San Fransisco I have been in love with the art and beauty of Henry Dunay's jewelry designs.

And he is STILL creating.

Not only is his work MAJOR EYE CANDY, it is crafted by his skilled goldsmiths... working to create his designs. While I was learning the basics of becoming a goldsmith, I learned to appreciate the intricacies of the designs.

My work has always had a bent towards the abstract and 'edgy' as a friend says. But that doesn't mean I cannot enjoy and be impressed by the fluidity, grace and feminine essence of his work.

Now, one must wonder, " How are you influenced by his work, it is not at all like yours?"

Easy answer: Finish. Completion. Balance without being static. Love of gemstones, texture on metal and always keeping the wearer in mind.

Henry Dunay, you rock!

Don't forget to visit these other fine artists and see what THEY have to say on the subject.

Tonya Davidson
Angela Baudel-Crispin
Lora Hart
Tod Pardon
Tamra Gentry
Elaine Luther

Friday, May 22, 2009

Jewel Carnival Blog time... Again!

Who was my most influential metal artist or teacher?

Many MANY teachers and artists' have jump-started my art life. Many... far too many.

But far and away it is Carolyn Morris Bach.

I have loved her work since I saw my first Piece of
Art Jewelry in the late 1980's. What impressed me the most was the clean simplicity of her work, the balanced artistry and the whimsy she delectably adds to each piece.

She IS my hero of art jewelry.

Sadly, I have never purchased her work, nor I have ever met her or taken a workshop from her. I just have to clean the drool off of magazines with her work featured or in ads. Ornament is great place to see her artfulness.

Bach's work never ceases to amaze me, delight me and inspire the muse in me to create new work. To be a maker without a thought if it would be 'saleable' or not. Without talking to her or studying her words on her work, I have learned the most valuable lesson in my art life: To make what comes from my spirit without fear of criticism. To be able to show my soul in my work for the pure joy of the process. This is what I have cultured from studying her art. And it IS fine.

Take a walk through her web pages... but start here with a review of her work by the Patina Gallery in Santa Fe, NM. You will be so delighted... Don't be surprised if you to try and purchase one of her works of art.

Then browse through these other blogs on the same subject of teacher/artist. You will love this Carnival Friday and so have I.

Tonya Davidson
Angela Baudel-Crispin
Lora Hart
Tod Pardon
Tamra Gentry
Marco Fleseri

Friday, April 17, 2009

Jewel Carnival Blog for April

It is Jewel Carnival Time again!
What is my Favorite Technique?

Now, this is a very difficult topic to write about. I have SO MANY techniques that I absolutely love. Really. So instead of blogging on my FAVORITE technique, I will make it the plural.


  • Keum Boo.

  • Impressing stamps.

  • Carving out negative space

  • setting stones

  • Making bails.

Okay and my fondness is not necessarily in the above order. I love Keum Boo because it adds not only a contrasting color of 24 karat gold to the design, but it brings a warmth to the work. Keum boo, simply put, is adding 24 or 23 karat gold FOIL, not leaf, to very hot fine silver. At that point a burnishing tool is rubbed over the gold to marry the metals. When the piece has cooled down the whole work can be burnished again or put into a tumbler with steel shot and a bit of soapy water to burnish the entire jewelry. If the Keum Boo process has been done properly, then the gold will not come off. Tumbling, by the way, is a very good test to make sure the bond is perfect.

I don't just impress commercially purchased stamps into the wet metal clay, I prefer to make my own stamps. I use a Photo Polymer plate to make my own stamps, or I carve into polymer clay, erasers, stamp blanks or I impress Castaldo(tm) molding compound with unusual textures.... such as leaves, rocks or even my grasses. The stamping process gives all of my work a one-of-a-kind essence.

Another technique that is a fav of mine is carving out negative space. The piece above was pierced in the greenware state. The stamp is called Bamboo and I got it from Donna Kato's site. Prairie Craft. I will gaze at the design and then mark the areas to be removed with a Sharpie pen(tm). Then a small drill bit is placed in a pin vise and carefully drilled out. Next I insert a jewelers saw blade through the hole and cut out that marked area. After that I love to file, carve and sand to my heart's content to make the area look perfect.

Setting stones is just a flat-out given. I even wrote a book on a lot of different ways to set stones. Click on my website and you can even see a page. Well, okay, click here to see a sample page.

Making bails is a joy to me because it is so easy. My preference is for a curved hollow addition to the top of my pendants. This is what the neck chain will pass through to hold the pendant. I first started out by pasting many layers of slip over small curved branches and after the kiln process was done, the wood burned out and an unusually textured bail was created. I wrote a tutorial for this technique in the April 2004 issue of Lapidary Journal. But now I use the Makin's Extruder with the Hollow Core Adaptors to push out a looooong hollow tubing. Then I cut them into differing lengths,. Then when dry I sand and burnish them and store them in to an Altoids(tm) tin that is lined. This way I have a bail ready at the moment of inspiration. I have a tutorial in my gem setting book on this process. These adaptors can be purchased on line with a lot of sellers. Just google for merchants.

So, I cannot say I have just one technique that is my fav. I have tons too for polymer clay

This Summer I will be giving a one hour seminar on each of the three days of the Metal Clay World Conference in Chicago. The topic will be Bench Tricks for Metal Clayers. This is going to be a great event with a lot of wonderful presentations, pre-conference workshops and meeting and greeting many artist friends. I will be there the days before for the International Polymer Clay Association's Retreat too.


Go visit our other Jewel Carnival Bloggers below to find their favorite techniques.
Tonya Davidson
Elaine Luther
Angela Baudel-Crispin
Lora Hart
Tamra Gentry
Marco Fleseri

Monday, April 6, 2009

So you want to be in community theater....?

Click on images to enlarge

So, after a lot of my friends 'urged' me to get back into theater.... for therapy.... I auditioned last weekend.

Our local community group, Imagingation Theater!,had auditions for the musical Beauty and the Beast. And to get my self prepared - I hadn't tried out for a show in ??? years, I called on my dear friend and acting/vocal coach, Chrissie Addison. She had directed me in Fiddler... what, almost 30 years ago? All my recent shows with my drama mama's had been pretty much pre-cast, so this was going to be a 'new' adventure. We set up three one hour coaching sessions and she worked me gently but firmly.... " T's & D's at the end of words.... don't wrinkle your brows (when singing the higher notes)....find the purpose of each scene... why are you there?"... Oh I could go on. She gave me a gazillion discs to take home to listen to and practice to.... a lot. Well, I didn't do it a lot because of the redecorating I have been doing to my home. I am having new front and back doors installed as I write. So, I just practiced my audition song and Mrs. Pott's solo ... over and over. Over and over. And I remembered the final consonants, thank you very much.

By she way she is fabulous. I recommend her to all for general vocal and acting classes. She is doing it full time now. Also, she is one of the best directors I've had. She directed us drama mama's in "... A My Name is Always Alice".... go see that one if you get a chance. It is an incredible ensemble show about women...

So, Saturday morning I showed up at 8:45 in the morning for auditions... let me tell you it was a
cattle call. I was number 58 and I think there were over 70 people auditioning. It was freezing in the theater but I immensely enjoyed watching all the nervous Nellie's and Normans up on stage risking it all for the love of trodding the boards. There was a four year old... he was so cute I almost cried. Yours truly didn't get to sing until after 1 pm!!!! And then he didn't let me finish my song...Yikes! The director had me read the part of the Wardrobe a lot and it IS a funny role... We danced and read parts all afternoon and I didn't get home until after 4pm..... Sheesh! What a long day. I was so tired that I ate junk food and fell asleep in front of the TV... several times. I was so zonked that I was thinking about not doing this ... this silly thing called theater. Then, about 8 pm, I went online and read the call call backs... cool! My name was there. "Show up to call-backs at one pm on Sunday." I called Chrissie and we talked for a long time and she pretty much wanted me to sleep on it.

I did. Then my N.Y. friend, Debby Kirkwood wrote me the clincher.... basically she said that it shouldn't really matter what part I got. Just so I was busy during the Holidays next Winter. My dearest friend/therapist, Ellen Mechling agreed. She was more excited about the call backs than I was... Wow!

That was the clincher. I went to Call-Backs with an incredible attitude. That - what would be ... should be. And had so much fun reading the parts. The director, Peter Wolf, (no kidding!) was very inspiring and creative. Made me want to be in the show even more. So we worked our little tushes off for about three hours. Then they had us wait around to about 5pm for the cast list to be posted. Peter wanted to talk to the cast right away... so we stayed and hung out for about an hour.

You can call me Mrs. Potts! Huzzah! She has the lovely song, 'Beauty and the Beast' that is sung as the two young leads dance for the first time. Very romantic.... sigh. This was a very nice thing to take place yesterday. It was the four month anniversary of my sweet Phil's passing. I met another auditioner who lost her husband in December too.... we had some talk time. Click Here is the final cast list.

We have our read through on April 20th and rehearsals start in earnest in July. We were told that we had to be off book at the start of practice. This is going to be a new thing for me. I normally learn my lines best along with the blocking. My movement is the motivation for the lines and the lines are motivation for my movement. But, some actors do push the limit by not getting their lines down, so I can understand why he has this in the schedule.

o, with the Metal Clay World Conference coming up in July in Chicago and rehearsals right after... I am going to be pretty darn busy. Jackie Truty, the head woman, chief, top honcho, president,major inspirer-er at Art Clay World wants us to sing a duet together.... it WOULD be fun to do that at the conference. Hint - hint Jackie. She has done a ton of theater too. We'll see. Double dare you Jackie... lol!

I am going to use this blog to be a little journal of my theater journey. I will try and grab some images during rehearsal and post them. If you would like to get the updates... just sign on to receive the blogs as I write them.

Oh, don't forget to feed the fish and to tell me to 'break a leg'.

Friday, March 20, 2009

What was your biggest mistake or worst workbench disaster?

It is Jewel blog time again...

Hmmmm? “What was my biggest mistake or worst workbench disaster?”

Oh, that is easy. Way back in the early ‘90s we were struggling to make ends meet. The recession was in full force and I was doing custom and repair work, running the gallery, posting sales and inventory and trying to keep up with the paperwork. My sweet Phil was delivering the Sacramento Bee newspaper in the wee hours of the morning to help keep us in the black. At one point I broke my ankle… went back to work the same day. There was no one to work the gallery but moi.

We were a young business at only 3 to 4 years old and had a very small space to work. It is very hard to start a jewelry store/gallery. The jewelry is what brings in the rent money and most people are VERY loyal to the store they have been supporting for years. So, they need to be unhappy enough to search out a new place or have moved into the area and need a new brick and mortar to repair their jewelry or to purchase new.

We had a great client who brought in a ring to be sized. Oh my gosh it was beautiful. It was a 14k gold and hand fabricated. It was very ornate band with a bed of pansies carved and soldered into place. I have never seen one before or since. It was fabulous. I was thinking at the time that it was made in Germany or somewhere else in Europe. It was beyond beautiful and had a craftsmanship to die for.

I had a very cool system for bringing in repair work…. But that time it didn’t work. I was starting to get more business than I could handle and so the paperwork suffered too. I was to enter stuff on the computer and then file the work in chronological order for repair, custom or catalog sales. I sometimes slept overnight on the floor because I was working so late and we didn’t live in the community where the gallery was located.

You guessed it. I lost the ring. I spent more hours than I can imagine looking for it. Even when we moved into a larger space in ’94 I kept my eyes out for that amazing ring. So, I figured that, during one of my, “Let me get this paperwork cleaned up” stages that it inadvertently got into the garbage. My client was so understanding. I had put a huge value on the ring and she took the cost of the jewelry out in trade: more repair and many pieces of jewelry. I was so fortunate she didn’t want the cash.

My biggest lesson was to 1) have my garbage cans with covers 2) never have the latter near my office nor bench work area. Needless to say, it never happened again. But, wow, was I ever humiliated and embarrassed. Just thinking about telling her was pure agony.

Oh, yes, that was my biggest mistake EVER.
Do visit these other wonderful artists and read what their bench disaster was... they are very interesting.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Creativity, is it finite?

In my world it is. During the time when we had our gallery I was making jewelry and running the business. My sweet Phil was a major player in the business once we had started bringing in enough money to keep us alive. He was marvelous…. And he was too cute as a salesman. All the women and men just adored him. Sigh.

During this time I pretty much was the administrator of the gallery and the chief goldsmith and salesperson. We had an incredible staff and the store was a fun place to work and visit and play. We were in a new community and our gallery was kind of THE place in town. We had clients bring in their families during the holidays… as if we were Disneyland.

Click on the image to see my new head shot page for auditions.

My community theater adventures were limited to three in those eleven years of entrepreneur-ship. I did notice, however, that when I was in rehearsals, my creativity in jewelry went downhill fast. I really had to work on staying grounded when working with a client on custom orders. It was hard.

So, in my case I know it is finite.

That said, I haven’t made a new piece of jewelry since before Phil and I left for Europe last November. I have felt the creative juices flowing during my classes I have taught, but have made none. Right now I am painting the insides of our…my home and redecorating. Also, many of my friends have been urging, no insisting that I get involved with theater again. So, I have signed up for three audition/singing workshops with my good friend Chrissie Addison to prepare for an early April tryout. The show is “Beauty and the Beast” and I would like the part of Mrs. Potts – the teapot. Rehearsals do not start until summer and the show would take place during the holidays.

That will be a hard time for me without my darling Phil. So, I am hoping that I do get cast so Thanksgiving and Christmas won’t be so hard.

That said, I am keeping the option open that I might not audition, but if I do, I will be prepared.

So, yours truly is keeping my options open on the future. And will see if my jewelry/theater creativity can survive while not working 9 to 5. Here is hoping that it is not finite now.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Jewel Carnival again! Rituals!!

Some of rituals I do before starting work on any project is cleaning, organizing the tools of workspace and pulling together the parts of new design I have in mind. It goes without saying that I start with a sketch. That is the way I work. Now, that is not to say that during the creative process the design won't change.... no, no, I would never avow to that......

The cleaning is to rid the area of any metal filings, polymer bits and other material scrap that could ruin the integrity of the piece. It also cleans my mind and relaxes me. It is like wrapping a Christmas present... just getting it all ready to open my consciousness to creativity. No junk to distract the PROCESS. And I am distracted easily.

When I am organizing the tools for the new jewelry, I am assuring myself that all is at hand. Nothing can frustrate me more than watching the metal clay dry while I look for a tool..... now where did I put it. Also works with the polymer clay.... looking for a tool will distract me...

Pulling together the parts of the work will allow me to see if I need to order anything. Say, the stones, more clay.... anything. Wow, that is a distraction... walk to the office to get the order form, see the mess on the desk, start to clean up the desktop so I can write, pick up the phone to order and a dear friend is already on it.... two hours now gone.....! Did I say I was easily distracted?

With all in the ready, I put on my I pod with classical or new age music. I love to sing and if I know the words... well, you know the rest. So with out ANOTHER distraction, I can lose myself in the creative process and let the time and the art carry me away.

And that is the Best of All Possible Worlds.


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Friday, February 13, 2009

I am almost back!

Happy Friday the 13th everyone. This will be my first Valentine's Day tomorrow with out my Phil... so I mailed cards to my kids instead. Yours truly is getting back to her old self. The sadness won't all go away, not just yet - if ever... it just gets easier.

On monday I went to my Sacramento Area polymer clay guild... Clayville-California, and watched a demo by Victoria James. That started getting the creative juices going. I have an idea for some salt and pepper shakers. I will post as soon as the are made.

My friend Sonja Patel came by yesterday to put the photos we had on display at Phil's service in a scrapbook. She got about half done. I was picking up and arranging my studio at the same time. I have a Level I Art Clay Certification February 27, 28 and March 1. Then the next Saturday the 7th I have an introductory workshop set up.

Both workshops are nearly full. I just know that teaching will get me excited about creating again.

I have done nothing since November.... no ideas, not a single piece of work. It is very okay... it is more important to get the paperwork in order and things done around the house that Phil used to do. Derek (my son) has been a rock and has helped me immensely. So, I will post some very old work. I taught the above project at the 2006 Bead and Button show in Milwaukee, WI. It is a hollow box with a positive and negative stamp I made from a photo polymer sheet.
Next week our Jewel Carnival will be posting again and I will join them. Haven't done so since November.
Oh, and don't forget to feed my fish.... click on the water and the fish will come and feed. Hover your mouse over the water and they will gather around and 'beg' for food.
Glad to be posting again.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Robert Scott (Gram) Jackson

This has been a very sad time for the Davis-Jackson family. As most of you know, my darling Philip passed from our lives on December 5, 2008. Now, my Dana-girl daughter's husband has finally lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. He passed from our lives around one in the morning on Monday the 12TH.

This man was full of life and loved our daughter with a passion that few experience. He was brilliant and loved his life. The previous summer (2007) he finished with a major remodeling project on his home. He prepared everything to protect the love of his life.... my Dana.

He will be missed.... greatly. My son, Derek, said that Gram was like another dad to him. We are all grieving and taking just one step, just one day at a time.

Now Dana and I will share with each other the challenge of living without our soul-mates. This will be difficult but therapeutic. I just wanted to post to all that he was a wonderful man and it is a crying shame he is no longer with us in the flesh.

We know that Phil and Gram are with us in spirit and that comforts us.