Friday, March 30, 2012

Repurposed and Redesigned :)

Sometimes I look at some of my older designs and ask myself, "What were you thinking?" Not that those pieces are ugly or anything, it's just that they stop speaking to me. So I end up pulling them out of stores and put them in the 'someday I'll figure out something else to do with these' box.
                                             Well, this is that moment.

 I decided to try something a little different and I absolutely love the results. I was browsing around the bead store last week and saw these bags full of ribbons of cut up saris. AHA!!!!!! Bought some. I ran home, well, drove home, and ran up the stairs to my studio, pulled out some of those older pieces out of that box and just started going crazy. I have brought new life into them and am just ecstatic.


These are coiled guitar strings from my Guitar String Jewelry line that I wrapped with the sari ribbons.  I can't wait to make more of these in different colors.

     These guys are pieces that I wove, wrapped and knotted ribbon around and through to give them a whole new and unique, unboring look.  I also added some bobbles and charms.  



The crazier part of all this is that I had a skirt hanging in my closet that is made of recycled saris.  Boing went my brain again.  Out came the scissors.  Now all I have to do is wait for the strips to dry because I have them "crinkling" on my shelf.  

So, another project, another creative adventure, another reason to get my butt out of bed in the morning.  And most importantly, another awesome collection of cool jewelry designs.  

Blessings to you all and thanks for stopping by and reading my blog

Monday, March 19, 2012

~ Culitvate Moods ~
Week 4 in my interpretive series on “How to be an Artist” by Sark
It’s spring and for those of us gardeners it’s the most intense part of the season.  We have to prepare the dirt for planting.  This involves clearing the old dead stuff from last year, amending the soil so plants have the nutrients they need, and tilling to soften the soil so roots have room to grow.
Last year my husband helped me build raised beds for the veggies.  The reasons for this were twofold.  First, to help optimize the conditions for growing healthy veggies, and two to help me take care of them more easily.  I have a pretty busy schedule these days with running my jewelry business, a band, and a household.  But I did not want the garden to suffer.  It is too important to me.  
My Uncle Johnny had the most amazing vegetable garden which he tended for 70 years.  Every year the local newspaper would write an article about him and his remarkable garden. Through those years he figured out the best way to cultivate his garden for the most abundant and glorious crop which he always shared with neighbors, friends and family.  You see, it wasn’t just about what he needed.  Although he got so much joy from nurturing those little seedlings to a full harvestable plant, canning and preserving enough for himself for the year ahead, but he also made sure there was enough to give away.  I think he liked that part most of all because he grew up in an era where that’s what you did.  
I think about my Uncle everyday as I walk out to my garden.  His vision and passion and how hard he worked everyday.  My garden as his was is the culmination of personal history and heritage.  It is a reflection of everything else I do.  It’s indicative of the way I have tried to live my life. 

So every year as I do with the garden I clear away the old dead stuff that impedes my growth and put it in the compost pile so that it is transformed into rich life nourishing organic food.  I amend any negative thoughts and attitude with fresh and more effective positive energy.  I make sure that I remember to Stay Loose and Laugh a lot to ensure that I won’t get bogged down with life’s challenges so I have the healthiest outlook, room for my dreams to grow, and the ability to sing in the sunlight and dance in the moonlight.   
As with the raised beds this year it is my intention to keep improving on the way I cultivate my own happiness.  In doing this I know that I will always have enough love and compassion to not only sustain myself but also enough for family, friends, and neighbors.  
Thanks Uncle Johnny.  I miss you.  

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Opportunity is missed by most people 

because it is dressed in overalls 

and looks like work

~ Thomas Edison ~

Monday, March 5, 2012

Cinnabar: Its Brutal History and Modern Transformation by ShadowDog Designs

Ever wonder about the history or discovery of certain precious or semi-precious stones that jewelry designers use.  There are some wonderful blogs out there by these artisans.  Here's one of them.  She goes into great detail and shares other artists designs in her articles.

Don't forget to browse through her other categories too.  She does a terrific job.

Here's my cinnabar necklace.

Carved Cinnabar necklace with white bamboo coral and mottled glass

Friday, March 2, 2012

Guitar strings and what I learned from them

I have attempted in the past to do something with all the used guitar strings that both my husband and I have been saving for several years.  Trying to find a way to recycle them into jewelry.  I dabbled in trying all kinds of bending and wrapping and twisting and crimping.  Trying to find my voice in the design.

Well, I finally found some inspiration.  Not exactly sure where it came from but I’m not going to complain.  I took out a coiled up guitar string and just stared at it for the longest time.  My thoughts went in 
and out of my bead cabinet trying to imagine what would work the best.  I put this bead on with that spacer, took them off, tried another combination, yuck!!!  That’s the way it happens most of the time and yes, yuck is a perfectly suitable reaction.  Then, eureka!!!!!!  A flash came to my brain, the right side cause the left was still asleep.  Why not just treat it as you would using regular wire wrapping techniques.  Ok.  So I pull out my wire wrapping instruction book, ponder this and that.  Hmmmm.... OK, maybe this will work.  

The one thing I do remember one of the artisans on Artfire saying about wire work, you can’t force it, the wire has a mind of its own sometimes, just follow where it takes you.  Ahem.... Well guitar strings are from outer space because they definitely will walk their own walk and bend however they want with no regard for what you might have had in mind.  So I let it flow, eased my grip and went along for the ride.  
Now, any kind of string vibrates to a certain frequency and each one makes a unique and beautiful sound.   Once that string is plucked that sound moves out into the universe and just keeps on going and going. These have echoes of both my husbands and my personal history.  I actually got a little choked up thinking about it.  I asked myself why it took me so long to tackle this project again.  Was I  holding onto those memories in those old guitar strings?  Is it even possible to hold a vibration?  No.  And those strings I believe are still alive with all the songs we ever played with them.  
Might sound corny but I don’t care.  All I know is that I put away my expectations of what I thought those darn strings should do and allowed the reverberation to create a unique and soulful piece of jewelry.  It works for me and it’s pretty cool that I am able to share an important part of our lives with all you folks out there in an unexpected, creative and somewhat uncommon way.  

So, it's time to get back at it so that I can make more cool guitar string jewelry for your listening enjoyment.

Thanks for visiting my blog
Blessings to you All
(aka Martie)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Drawings on your walls

This new Facebook timeline thing got me thinking.  Not about the "OMG I was really hoping everyone would have forgotten about that party 5 years ago and what an ass I made of myself" moments that will FOREVER be imbedded in the web physique.  Not that I ever did that.  More about how far I've come in my music, my business and what cool friends I've made along the way and how that is reflected in the history, my personal history, through this timeline.  I know, it can be a little disturbing because we are such an 'in the moment' society now and most people never think that that post they clicked enter on will still exist 3 years from now somewhere, able to be retrieved from some archived data base in the back room of Facebook.

But this timeline - it reminds me of the cave drawings.  Those folks managed to record the events of their lives using the most convenient and practical materials at hand.  But their intent was that it would last for all time and be a documentation of their time on this earth.  Well, I guess you could say that is what a lot of our social media is today.  Modern day versions of cave drawings whether we want them to be or not.  If you choose to participate then you will live forever, or at least your words and pictures will.  Just like those cave drawings.

So, when you are "drawing" your status update today on Facebook or Google + or blog, just remember that you are a cave man. ( Bwaahahahahaha.  Ok I couldn't resist ) That word, that picture, that event, will be your mark in history.  Whatever your intent is, be it just ramblings of what you made for breakfast, promoting what band is playing this weekend, your political views, sharing a great photo or quote, it will reflect the things in life that mattered most to you at that moment in time.

So remember, ten years from now when your kids google your name and that post comes up about that party you were at, be prepared to do some esplainin' Lucy.