Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Time capsule

I've been home from Long Island for a few days now but it seems to be taking a while to get back in the swing of things. I jumped right into work upon my return and feel a little discombobulated and spun around after being away. It's hard for me to take time off (even though I know I need to if for no other reason than to get this annoying eyebrow twitch to stop!). I tend to get fidgety and antsy when my hands can't be making something.

Anyhoo, I was able to get a little bit of work done on the film project I am part of. I don't believe I have ever blogged about it but in one of my other lives I am an art historian and I am very fortunate to be working on a documentary film about a little known artist's model named Antonio Corsi. I call him "little known" but in his day (late 1800s into 1900s) he was one of the most recognized faces in the world, having posed for nearly every major artist and appearing hundreds of times in some of the most famous and iconic works of art of that time. After his early death he disappeared, in name, from the pages of history. For more in depth info about this project click here (otherwise I could prattle on for pages and pages).

The images you see here are of Corsi's personal scrapbook which contains literally hundreds of letters from artists, art schools and personal friends. We will be transcribing everything and trying to piece together the details of his life through these pages and the vast photo archive that inspired the entire project.

Work on the film will be kicking into high gear this coming year. Hopefully I will get to share some of the process with you (and hopefully you will find it a little bit interesting:).

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy day!

Happy day to all! Whether it is a holiday for you or just any other regular day, I hope it is a good one. I am taking off for Long Island any second now and will be back on Sunday so this bloggy will be taking a holiday as well.

Be safe, eat well, pet your animals (that includes significant others) and get some good sleep. :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Challenge - Puttin' on the Glitz!

This month's challenge theme over at the Art Bead Scene was Puttin' on the Glitz. I must admit, this was a true challenge for me seeing as how I am not all that glitzy. At least I don't think I am. And I'm not all that convinced that I achieved full on glitz status with this necklace, but I gave it the old college try.

When I thought of glitzy the Art Deco period came to mind. I just love the streamlined look of that era - mixing chrome and diamonds with silver and nice linear design. Well, that is what came to mind, but that isn't really what happened. I started with a lovely Deco inspired porcelain peacock focal bead (I made the mold for this piece from the gaudiest 1980s earring) and chose some vintage aurora borealis crystal beads to compliment it. It was the use of copper wire, rounded links and a vintage copper tassel that kind of killed the Deco look and sent it back a few decades, but that's alright with me. I am pretty happy with the end result. :)



To see more photos click here. And to see other entries this month click here.

And the winner is...

CYNBAD!

I wrote all the entries on paper, put them in my Petey planter and drew out a name. Congratulations to Cynbad! Just email me your address at naneliz2@yahoo.com and I will get the pieces in the mail to you right away.


Thank you to everyone who entered! This was really a lot of fun. And as I stated before, I plan on having regular giveaways and artist trades in the coming new year so stay tuned. :)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Wow!

I am amazed by the response to my giveaway! There are still a few days so feel free to add yourself to the drawing. And just to let you all know - I plan on having regular giveaways and artist trades in the coming new year so there will be many chances to get some really cool stuff. I am currently working on tons of new things including jewelry, ornaments and pottery and all of that will make its way into drawings and trades. There are also some pretty awesome collaborations in the works and I can't wait to share that with everyone as well.

Let's all be inspired, get inspired and kick some creative arse in this coming year! :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

For the taking...

I was doing a little cleaning today (very little, trust me) and I came across these porcelain tabs I made approximately 300 years ago. I think I had originally made them for necklaces but I haven't used them in years. Instead of tossing them in the jar of reject pieces (it is a very full jar, mind you) I thought I would give them away to some super crafty, creative person. There must be someone out there who can do something interesting with them, even if it is just sticking one on your dog's collar. As you can see there is a variety of colors, some shiny, some unglazed - 28 in total. Just leave a comment on this post and I will enter your name in a drawing to be held on Wednesday, December 24th at noon (eastern time). Thanks for helping me to destash! :)



Saturday, December 20, 2008

Do you have a shovel?

If so, would you please come over and dig me out? This little part of the world had about 10 inches of snow dumped on it yesterday and last night. Some people look at this kind of weather and smile. I am looking at it right now, not smiling, wishing that my neighbor with the snowblower would show me some kindness. The fact that I am working on my second migraine of the season doesn't help matters either. Ugh...

Anyhoo, the above photo is the corner right up the street from my house. That big building is the local bookstore. The photo below is of the Susquehanna River right across the street from me. Believe it or not just a few years ago this river flooded the entire town of Owego. The water was level with that bridge you see in the photo and it covered the area that I stood in to take the picture. Somehow my home was spared but that was not the case for all of my neighbors.

Anyway, back to the snow. And my dead car battery. And my headache. And, I think, to bed.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Still time!

There is still time to get in your holiday orders! I am shipping all orders immediately - as in the very second that payment is received. Like a shipping super hero I will brave the horrendous blizzard that is raging outside and claw my way up the street to the post office. Neither wind nor sleet nor my very warm and snuggly couch will stop me from making it to the PO. :)

All of these pretties can be found in the shop.












Thursday, December 18, 2008

Studio blather

I took my eyebrows to the studio today and had a nice full day of work. Incidentally, the brows aren't as bad as I first thought. However, they are pretty thin and I did receive a call from 1995, and yes, they did indeed want their eyebrows back, but no one in the "outside" world seemed to even notice my resemblance to a transvestite. Which leaves me wondering if I always resemble a transvestite....

Anyhooo, I got a ton of work done and I feel very satisfied with my day. The photo above gives you a little glimpse at some pieces I am working on for a new line. They look innocent enough but trust me, getting them to the stage you see here took hours (so many, you wouldn't believe me if I told you and if you did you would think I have completely lost my mind...). I can't wait to introduce these new pieces but that will have to wait a little while. :)

Believe it or not I have already begun to make ornaments for next year. I figured that I would get a major head start because I have big plans for them in the coming year. Big, BIG plans so hang on to your hats! I would love to hear from all of you - tell me what kind of ornaments you like - shapes, themes, colors. Any and all input would be greatly appreciated so lay it on me! :)


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A tale of two eyebrows

Today during my regular visit to the hair salon to have have my youth restored I asked my hair girl if she could tidy up the old eyebrows a bit. She did. And I have since spent the better portion of the afternoon looking in the mirror wondering what the hell happened. I look like a cross between Divine and Uncle Leo (from the Seinfeld episode when Leo's eyebrows are burned off and Elaine draws them back on). OK, so it's not really that bad, but they are a bit on the slim side and a little too groomed for my taste. The eyebrow pencil will be my friend for the next few weeks while they grow back to their usual Brooke-Shields-circa-1983 form. The Mona Lisa look just isn't for me. :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

One word: Deodorant

This day consisted of photographing, listing new work in my Etsy shop and shipping for an eternity. The photo above shows what part of my shipping load looked like today. It was kind of brutal, but I survived it. What I did not survive, however, was the long wait in line at the post office. I stood for approximately 15 minutes in a crowded and hot room, wedged between a teenage girl who was wearing her fanciest pair of pajamas and a man who looked like a cross between Wayne Newton and the Godfather. That wasn't the bad part. The horrendous scent of body odor that filled every nook and cranny of the room and my lungs was the bad part. This is the third time within a week that I have encountered people with BO so strong that not only did it bring tears to my eyes but it put me in a headlock, punched me in the stomach a few times and laughed as I laid on the ground gasping for air. Did I miss the memo stating that deodorant was no longer fashionable? Is bathing suddenly passé? Is it now acceptable to walk around smelling like a mixture of compost, raw onions and death? I for one will balk this trend and carry on with my clean, fresh as a daisy ways. I hope all of you will join me. :)

Thankfully I was lucid enough when I got home to open up a Christmas card from my grandparents. Every year my very talented grandmother, Shirley Geller, creates a card for the holidays using one of her original pen and ink drawings. I think she outdid herself this year with this fabulous peacock (and little friend). Isn't it just wonderful? I would love to have this design printed on a t-shirt or, better yet, tattooed somewhere. I think I might be due for some new ink.... :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Headless...

Today I woke up with the body of a chicken and my head was missing. Don't ask me how I was able to know that I had the body of the chicken when I had no eyes to see it, but trust me, I was a headless chicken alright. Ahh, the holidays... I can see the end in sight. That is both good and bad. Though I am completely burned out from doing shows, filling orders and trying to squeeze in the last few special order requests I am also all too aware that the financial flow I have been enjoying is going to come to a screeching halt any second now. And that... is a real bummer. Those who support themselves with their craft will understand what I am talking about. We are so dependent upon the holidays and have to make those earnings stretch into the next show season when we can start all over again - it can be stressful to say the least.

Anyhoo, enough of that! This is the last day of my Studio's annual sale which means that I am officially done with shows for the year. I am so anxious to get started on new ideas that I am nearly frothing at the mouth (lovely image, eh?). I was at the studio until late last night loading kilns and trying to glaze the last of my special orders. Meanwhile I desperately wanted to get my hands in the clay and work on some new designs that have been swirling around my head for weeks now. Perhaps today I can finally bring them to life. I hope, I hope!

The above photo is of my little table in the studio sale. There are around 25 people participating this year - a mixture of instructors, studio assistants and students. It is a nice little sale - if you happen to live in the Binghamton area come on down!

Lastly, I wanted to draw your attention to a new magazine I picked up the other day. It's called Stitch and it is excellent. It is full of great projects and patterns. I bought it for the skirt on the cover and was thrilled to find out that the magazine is full of great ideas and articles and it is a huge promoter of everything handmade. There is even a little article about handmade buttons which made me happy since just moments earlier I discovered that Joann Fabrics is now selling mass produced ceramic buttons, made in China, for a fraction of what I charge for my handmade buttons. Boo hiss on that! Anyway, do pick up a copy of Stitch - you will be extra super tickled that you did when you see all the wonderful projects inside. :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I want...

...anything made by Happy Clay! You can see her work on Etsy or on her website which includes a blog (and you MUST click on the Flickr link to see even more of her amazing work). I wish she would blog a little more (hint hint, if you are reading this) because I can't get enough of her work and process. If I could I would hang her cups on my wall - her glazing is THAT exquisite!



P.S. - I just bought myself this cup and I am already imagining how incredibly cool I am going to look drinking out of it. :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

New pretties

Here are some new designs that can be found in the shop.

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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Let's belly up to a raised bar!

Ah yes, home at last... I had a show in Syracuse, NY this past weekend that was held by the Syracuse Peace Council. What a wonderful show! The atmosphere was excellent, I had the great fortune of being set up near all my friends, excellent food was available and the customers were some of the nicest, kindest people I have ever met. The best aspect of the show was, without a doubt, the high quality of work offered by the many artists and craftspeople. It was a true pleasure to be surrounded by such talent from potters to basket weavers to glass blowers and metalsmiths. The variety of jewelry was magnificent - there was a ton of it (as is always the case) but each artists had their own distinct style. The organizers did an excellent job of jurying the show and as a result the people that attended were treated to a real visual feast.

There are many who poo-poo juried shows and over the past several years there has been a big push toward "indie" shows and DIY shows. They can be excellent venues, there is no doubt about that, but there is something to be said for the strictly juried show. I am a firm believer that all craftspeople and artists should be continually striving to raise their own bar, improve their quality of work and (at the risk of sounding ridiculously corny) be all that they can be. There seems to be a collective attitude that being just average is just fine. In fact, I have watched with both disappointment and fascination as low-level craft tutorials are promoted as hip and indie when the reality is that they are the same crafts being taught to children in grade school. I fully understand the appeal of naive art and the charming simplicity that can be found in a child's painting is undeniable but as grown adults who desire to make a living from the work of their hands - well, shouldn't we want to aim higher?

The hipsterizing (yes, I made that word up) of low-level craft has been an interesting development over the past several years. Some call it a "Craft Revolution" but I seriously doubt that this era will be going into the art history books as such. Take a moment to review the true Arts and Crafts movement of the early part of the last century, or the work and astounding amount of talent that came out the Bauhaus school in Germany.

Speaking for myself, I have a long way to go. There are many, many skills I have yet to learn and there is much I want to do to improve my work and advance forward. I do believe that we are a reflection of those we surround ourselves with and the same goes for our craft as well. If you want to improve and raise your own bar surround yourself with the work you admire. (Do NOT, for the love of Jebus, copy it - use it to inspire!) Let's all aim high!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Thanks Gaea!

It was another happy mail day for me! Yay! Last week the wonderful ceramic bead and pendant maker, Gaea, announced a random drawing in her blog and by some miracle I WON! I don't think I have ever won a random drawing before so I was tickled pink, especially since the prize was for one of her adorable new squirrel pendants. Well, when I opened the package today I was tickled BEYOND pink (possibly all the way to fuchsia) when I saw that she so generously included the sweetest lop bunny pendant I have ever seen. To borrow a phrase from my friend, Andrew, I am a smitten kitten! I plan on making some special pieces for myself with these beautiful little works of art. Thanks so much, Gaea!

To see more of Gaea's amazing work (that she does allllll by herself!) please be sure to visit her website and her Etsy shop. :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I'd hammer in the morning, I'd hammer in the evening...

Today consisted of shipping (for three hours, OMG!) and working on pieces for a show I have this weekend. I am making some variations on my dragonfly necklace - different styles of chains, beads and colors. Once again my fingers are sore and my ears are ringing a bit from all the hammering. And I still have a way to go. I would like to have five necklaces ready for the weekend and I also need to make some earwires for my 4 in 1 earrings, so my hammering is far from over. I'll have to put cotton balls in the rabbit's ears. :)
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Monday, December 1, 2008

Reaching goals & saying thanks...

I came home from the studio sale yesterday to discover that I met my goal for November and had reached 700 sales on Etsy (701 actually). My goal for the end of the year is 900, but I think that might be a stretch. 200 sales in a month seems, perhaps, on the side of fantasy but a girl can dream, can't she?

I'll take this opportunity to thank all of my customers and blog readers. THANK YOU! I also want to mention those who have been kind enough to take the time and let me know how they found their way to Round Rabbit land. Many have found me via this blog. People as far away as Norway, Alaska and Turkey. I couldn't be happier that for some reason I have been able to hold the attention of total strangers and perhaps even entertain you all just a little.

Thank you, thank you. :)
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