Friday, January 30, 2009

Challenge - Irises by Vincent Van Gogh


This month the folks over at the Art Bead Scene came up with a real honey of a challenge. The inspiration was Vincent Van Gogh's painting Irises. I was so thrilled by this challenge that I took nearly all freaking month to think about it. I have been building this necklace in my mind for weeks now and only began putting the pieces that I made together yesterday.

I decided to really push myself to think way outside the box on this piece. My goal was to take only the most essential elements of the painting and still be able to convey the overall feeling in a simple and abstracted version in the form of a necklace.

I broke the painting down into two elements - Color and Texture. Color is the most obvious and would be the main way of making the connection between the original painting and my wearable version. I started with two triangles of porcelain which I glazed in layers of deep purple and clear. The clear glaze created some wonderful visual texture by pooling and creating cells of mottled color. When looking at Van Gogh's painting I was drawn to the single white iris and the few other touches of white that are place here and there - I was thrilled when I found those same points of light had occurred in my glazed pieces.

The focal 'bead', if you will, is a piece of copper which I etched with a beautiful iris design (thanks to Dani for digging through her immense rubber stamp collection and finding this perfect stamp!). I really love how this piece looks! It provides the most literal reference to the original painting while also providing the warm color of the copper and the texture of the etching which echos Van Gogh's bold brush strokes that clearly delineate random leaves and petals.

Two beautiful lampwork beads by Jennifer Jennings of Blue Seraphim give a much need spark of amber/yellow. For some reason I am particularly fond of the stack of copper jump rings I added above the beads. Probably because they hide a rather sloppy wire wrapping job and were a quick and effective fix. ;)

Another favorite little touch is this bead ball toggle thingy. The idea for this type of closure came to me at 4 this morning. I awoke with the idea in my head and knew I had to finish the necklace this way. It works perfectly and the large green bead helps to balance the colors and design. It is attached to a copper link chain which I patinated a gorgeous blue/green, giving the necklace yet another layer of color and texture.


I love the back almost as much as the front! :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The joys of upstate NY

There is enough slush outside to start up my own snow cone business. Mmmmm... nothing like a snow cone with a little road dirt, lots of salt and a touch of ozone! This whole upstate NY, never-ending snowfall, so cold you could freeze your nose off shtick it growing old for me. Yesterday the temperature went up to 30 and it felt like a heatwave. For a moment I actually entertained the idea of walking around town without my coat on. Then a car drove by and splashed me with snow cones and I changed my mind.

In other news... I wanted to thank everyone for all the wonderful comments and support of my new shop, Round Rabbit Extra! Everyone was so sweet and many of you made purchases which warmed my partially frozen heart. I am slowly adding new pieces and soon the shop will be packed to the brim with delightful little things (like these super sweet and almost too adorable daisy components - think Spring!). :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

John Updike - 1932-2009

Today John Updike died. One of my favorite writers - someone who truly influenced the way I think. I am sad as I write this. He will be missed.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Extra! Extra! Round Rabbit Extra!

Today I launched a new Etsy shop, Round Rabbit Extra! Woo-hoo! This shop will have all kinds of handmade goodies from ornaments to buttons to (hold on to your hats my fellow jewelry makers) jewelry components! I have big, BIG plans for this shop so stay tuned. At the moment it is pretty much a Hearts-R-Us destination with a few crescent moons here and there, but as I build up my inventory I will be adding so many fun and exciting things you won't believe it. :) So stop on by and check it out - let me know what you think and what you would like to see. The last time I asked for some requests I got great ideas so feel free to keep them coming and I will do my best to make everyone happy. :)



Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Five things...

Five things you can learn about me from this photo:
  1. My hair is big enough to finally realize my life-long dream to join the cast of Designing Women. Oh wait. That show has been off the air for 16 years???
  2. This is the fourth day in a row that I have worn that green sweater. At this point it's wearing me.
  3. I have a fondness for taking my photo in bathroom mirrors.
  4. I was totally alone in the studio today which allowed me to take many horrific self portraits without anyone wondering what the hell is wrong with me.
  5. I have a look of disgruntled disbelief over the fact that I will turn 37 tomorrow.
In other news... I got a ton of work done today! I stuck to my list, finished everything and even squeezed in a little extra. Yeah! (not bad for an old lady) :)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Dangles!

I've been making sterling silver hoops all day. They look pretty cute and dainty. :)

They can be found in the shop!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bring on the hearts!

With Valentine's Day just weeks away I begin my insane heart onslaught. I always have a pretty good selection of heart related pieces in my shop but I'm excited to introduce some new designs this season. First up are these super cute conversation heart earrings. Pretty darn awesome, eh? I've just listed these posts in my shop and will list some dangly styles in the coming days. Stay tuned for more hearts!



Thursday, January 15, 2009

Back on the horse... and eating it, too!

OK, so I'm not eating horse, don't worry. But I am finding it hard not to eat nearly everything that crosses my path. I finished my 14 (freaking!) day fast and let me tell you - my love affair with food has been revived. I had a rather intimate breakfast with this bowl of vegetable soup. Sadly, the soup did not survive our encounter. Nor did the curry chicken salad sandwich this afternoon. And I am currently eating avocado like it's my job. I am sure my obsession with all things edible will die down soon and I will get back to a normal routine. But not until every last piece of cheese is gone from my fridge.

In other news, I have been working like mad. The past two days were spent glazing. And glazing. And glazing some more. Working with such small pieces tends to feel very unrewarding at times. I can glaze for 8 hours straight and only fill two kiln shelves. Granted, that could mean hundreds of pieces, but they look so tiny. After eight hours I want to see three loaded kilns, two chocolate cakes, a hand built chest of drawers and a group of people cheering me on. Instead I have my two shelves with a zillion tiny pieces and a static-blasting radio that plays the same 12 songs on heavy rotation.

Anyhoo, tomorrow I can unload my treasures. Yeah! I have many new and exciting things to share with everyone. I can't wait for show and tell. :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Stuffed

I picked up this fantastic new magazine today - Stuffed: A Gathering of Softies. It is the first issue and sure to be a collectors item so run right out and pick it up! It is jam packed with patterns and instructions to make every kind of wonderful freakishly odd and adorable softie. (even owls, for you owl lovers out there:)



Sunday, January 11, 2009

Whatever will I do?

Today is the 11th day of my fast and all I can think about is my coffee-free future. Sunday mornings were made for coffee, in fact, just the word 'Sunday' triggers happy thoughts of a big greasy breakfast and large, bottomless vats of coffee - I can smell it now... Whatever will I do now that that avenue of pleasure is being cut off? As I sat around pondering the situation I felt myself developing an increasing hostility towards the Kraft Foods company for discontinuing Postum. Postum was my favorite coffee substitute and a pretty darn good one at that. It was healthy and hot. It was brown (which really helps when you are trying to pretend that you are drinking coffee). It had that coffee-ish flavor that made me feel like a grown-up when I was a kid and reminded me of being a kid as an adult.

I learned about the demise of Postum after the fact. I was shocked and saddened. It was like hearing about the death of a friend two weeks too late and missing the funeral. I missed the mad rush to the grocery store to hoard all remaining jars on the shelves. I was left Postumless. I even ransacked my grandparent's pantry in the hopes of finding a jar, but no such luck (I really thought my chances where pretty good considering that they still have jars of pearl onions dating back to the 40s). Then I looked on Ebay. Jars were going for $60 a piece! I guess I am not the only one in need of the mighty Postum.

Sigh.

So, what do I do now? I am sure that there are other coffee substitutes out there but will any of them measure up to Postum? Any suggestions? :)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Not so cute and little...

Yay! I've started a new line of post earrings! It finally hit me that post earrings don't have to be just cute and little (sometimes these realizations take me a while). Don't get me wrong - I love, love, love my cute and little posts but it's time to branch out a bit.

This bunch is inspired by my fondness of mid-century modernist jewelry. I often look upon the modern designs of that era and try to figure out how I can make my own versions in clay. I am very please with the way these came out. They are light and comfortable and, most importantly, they look incredibly awesome when worn. :)


I will be putting them in the shop over the next few days.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Stock

Today I have reached the halfway point in my two week fast. It's been seven days since my teeth have had a workout and I must say... I feel excellent! The first few days were a little rough, much more difficult than either of the other times I fasted, but I stuck with it and I am feeling fine. For those who are interested you can learn more about the detoxifying Master Cleanse here. (and don't listen to the hype - this is a very safe and healthy cleanse!)

In the past I have fasted for 10 days and it is usually around day seven that I begin to pour over my cook books and eat vicariously though them. This time is no different. My cookbook of choice is Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. This is perhaps the best cook book on the planet (thanks to Susan for turning me on to it!) and I never tire of it. The information Fallon gives is so straightforward and important that you will want to change your eating habits pronto (just read some of the reviews on Amazon to see what I am talking about). One of my New Year's resolutions is to eat better and do more cooking at home and this book will be by my side, no doubt. I am already getting a head-start by making some staples that I can freeze in anticipation of eating again. Today I have had chicken stock simmering on the stove all day. The smell is nearly making me insane but it's a great test of my willpower (yes, I am one of those weirdos who like to test themselves now and then). Tomorrow will be fish stock. That smell might be less tempting. Or maybe not. Everything smells pretty yummy at the moment. :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Land, sky, outer space...

Three of my favorite ways to travel. Especially the space rocket - I have a launch pad in my backyard. :)

All three necklaces are available in my shop.

Drawing redo!

It just occurred to me that I never heard from my drawing winner. Oh my! So, I decided to break up the lot into 4 groups of 7 and I drew four new names.

Lorelei
High Desert Dvia
Judy Richards
Jen Vecc

Congratulations! Just send your address to naneliz2@yahoo.com and I will pop those in the mail toot sweet! :)

Monday, January 5, 2009

It worked!

Yesterday was spent in the studio and let me tell you, I kicked some major rear in the work department! I stuck to my resolution and made a list of things I needed to get done and would you believe it, it worked! It also helped that I didn't take any time off to eat (I'm in day five of my fast). I usually take a leisurely lunch break which tends to break my stride but yesterday I had my pot of mint tea next to me and it kept me going like a dream.

Here is proof of my list!

I have so many new things in store for Round Rabbit this year. I am also open to ideas so feel free to leave some in a message! :)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy New Year starting... now!

So it is day three of the new year and I have been missing in action. I am in my third day of a two week fast. The past two days were spent feeling very caffeine deprived with a droning headache and a strong craving for gallons of blue cheese dressing. Today, however, all is good. The cravings have subsided along with the headache, I am energized and raring to go! So...

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

I have many goals set for this new year and I plan on carrying out each and every one (I say that today - next week could be another story). I will share a few with everyone so that you can all help to keep me on track. :)

  1. I will eat healthier. For me this means eating out less and cooking more at home. No more coffee and only the occasional (very occasional) soda. I have learned that caffeine is not my friend so it must go bye-bye.
  2. I will get organized and try not to be such a slob. I tend to be very organized in my work but my house is quite another story. I have always been a cluttered mess and I don't really know if this old dog can learn a new trick, but I will give it a shot. My first plan of action is to finally clean this. Yes, I admit that I have never fully cleaned this area since that post way back in May. (do I get any points for honesty?)
  3. I will work more efficiently. I work hard and I work a lot but I am certain that I could get even more done if I prioritize a bit better. That means making lists of what I want to accomplish every time I enter the studio and not leaving until they are all done. That also means setting deadlines for myself and perhaps hiring someone to stand over me with a gun to my head (I need the pressure, trust me!).
  4. I will work on my communication skills. OK, so this is a tough one. I am HORRIBLE at returning emails in a timely fashion and this is only exasperated by Etsy's awful covo system (placing blame on others - also a new year's resolution:). So here is my open apology to any all that I have not responded to yet. You know who you are (dad, abbey, tad, lorelei, chris, rosanne..). I haven't forgotten any of you and there is really no good reason for me not writing other than... um.. see? No good reason.
  5. I will do something creative every single day. This isn't really a resolution, more of a promise to myself. I can't imagine a day going by without creating something, whether it is physical or simply planning something out in my mind.
OK. That is all for now. There are a zillion more things I need to work on this year but I won't bore you any longer. I hope everyone will achieve their goals this year no matter how big or small they might be. :)