21 September 2010

shifting the energy

It started yesterday morning on my walk - a long overdue visit to the Arboretum and an early morning jaunt along the trails and creeks.  In my mind I was going over the 'silk panic' of last week and thinking about the tasks ahead.  I have big plans for my jewelry and a lot to do to accomplish those big ideas.  Of course, I tend to fret over every detail.  In the midst of fretting and plotting and walking and listening to the woodland chorus, I thought "there are no wrong choices".  This isn't exactly a new idea, but I could feel the deep and timely resonance it held for me at that moment.  My fretting began to subside and I was able to enjoy the rest of my walk feeling much lighter ... a blessed shift from the worries of last week.

I was also enormously buoyed by the wonderful response to my component sale.  Through the day, I assembled and packed, printed shipping labels and loaded up my mailbox with little treasures on their way to new homes.  The rest of the afternoon, I kept an eye on the mailbox ... some of my 'test' silk was due to arrive.  When the mail did run, I made a beeline for the box and, boy howdy, if it didn't just turn into Christmas in September for lil' ol' me.  There was the first batch of silk from Habu Textiles.  I even like the cardboard cones it's spooled on.  Light gray and dark brown, aren't they lovely?

I got an email today that the back-ordered skein of black is shipping today.  I can't wait to try it out for cord-making.

But even more better, jammed into my mailbox after their long trek from London, was the bulk of the Selvedge back issues I ordered last month.  Three more came today, which leaves two that I hope will arrive tomorrow.  It's all I can do to not just plop myself down and disappear into the glorious pages.  Their sale is still on, so it's a great opportunity to try it out.  Fair warning ... it's insanely addictive.  I've canceled all my other magazine subscriptions - this is by a long shot, hands down, far and away, the most inspirational periodical that I have found.  Absolutely delicious.

As I was taking these snaps, it seemed appropriate to include a couple more sensory delights.  While my cup of sublime thé coquelicot  (poppy flower tea we bought in Provence) was steeping, I ran outside to snap a couple of garden pics.  This color combination - deep orange, red and purple, has been thrilling me for days ...

And then I realized I never introduced you to our newest member of the family!  I'd like you to meet Errol, the flying pig ...

Errol's fairly petite, but ever so dashing (hence the name), and supremely fashionable with his blue toes, red suit and ochre wings.  Errol was a present from Dave's mom and now resides amidst the oregano and mint, crocosmia and portulaca.

One other 'Christmas in September' goodie from yesterday - I found out that my favorite author, William Gibson has a new book.  Turns out my favorite book, Pattern Recognition, was the start of a trilogy.  His new one, Zero History, is the final book.  I was just about to order the new one, then got to thinking that I'd see if the library had it and, incredibly there was a copy available at one of the branches.  I immediately put in a request for it and then snagged a copy of #2, Spook Country, at a different branch.  I read Spook Country when it came out and it's not my favorite, but it will be good to refresh my memory before reading the new one.  Perfect!  Now I don't have to blast to the bookstore for the hardbound ... I much prefer trade size paperbacks anyway.

It's interesting, reading back over this, I must seem like quite a consumer.  What I am is moderately obsessive about a few things - magazines (Selvedge always, Vogue and Marie Claire on occasion) and books (jewelry and some fiction and design - clothing and interiors) and shoes (preferably Trippen or Fiorentini & Baker) and lately, Japanese indigo, oh and must not forget pottery (we have amazing potters in this region) - not necessarily in that order.  Okay, so I am quite a consumer, albeit a very selective one.

It is such a relief  -  my stress level is winding down,  my energy shifting back to the productive track I was on earlier this summer, my mind is starting to clear and with that renewed clarity, the vision of a well intentioned path emerging and the deep knowing of how very blessed I am.

Once again, a big thank you to everyone who dropped by for a visit and a special thanks to those who bought goodies.

with enormous gratitude and many blessings - kvk

20 September 2010

kvk SALE update

WOW!  This has been great!  Thanks to everyone who's visited and a very special thank you to those who've helped to clear some space by buying up my little lovelies.  And an even more special thanks to the amazing Andrew Thornton for a very flattering and generous post to plug my little sale.

There are a few groups left, so I thought I'd re-post them.  I've also added an email link in the right column (duh, sorry, I can be a bit slow).  Just email me with which components you'd like and I'll send you a PayPal invoice.

#1  13 pieces; average size 20 x 5 mm  - $33
These are pretty hefty with lots of potential - woven together or multiple strand necklaces or bracelets???

#8  9 pieces; 17 x 15mm to 13 x 9mm  - $30
These were made from really chunky PMC slip and have a very distinctive look - very raw and earthy

#11  18 pieces; 54mm to 15mm  - $45
These were inspired by claws and talons - very tribal.  Some are lightly textured, a couple have soldered jump rings attached.

#15  Raw apatite nugget with yogo sapphires
         22 x 22mm  - $38
Yogo sapphires from Montana are just amazing and the apatite nugget is like a translucent arrowhead shard

#18  Faceted peridot; 39 x 11mm  - $32
I love the textures in this one - kind of urban organic.  It has a darker patina, but can be brightened up with a quick swipe of a 3M scrubby or steel wool or me, I just pop it into the tumbler.

Well that's it for now.  Thanks again to everyone for making my little sale an enormous success - in so many ways! 

with enormous gratitude and many blessings,

18 September 2010

p.s. Plan B

You can tell I don't do this very often ........ I just realized that if you choose your components via the comments box, everyone can see what's already been snagged.   

So, moving on to Plan B - leave a comment as to which components you'd like with your email address and I'll send you an invoice as soon as possible.  If you don't want to list your email in the comments, you can still contact me through the link here.

Goodness, I'm so green. I'll figure this out eventually .............. 

with enormous gratitude and many blessings - kvk

KVK components SALE!!!

When I'm designing new work, I tend to make lots of different components.  It's kind of a stream of consciousness thing or improvisation if you will.  I rarely have an exact plan as I'm forming and pinching and nudging and smushing and smearing - those are the technical terms for my process.  I make dozens of elements and then lay everything out and start composing.  Composing and designing, smushing and nudging ... my version of bliss.  But the reality is, I tend to end up with a fair number of components that I don't use.

A week or so ago, I got an email from a reader asking if I ever sold my components and well, you know it turns out I do have some components that would love new homes.  The couple of times I've done this in the past, I've listed things on Etsy.  I've taken beautiful snaps and written wonderful descriptions and spent hours and hours going through the whole listing process.  Bottom line ... right now I'm feeling very strongly about doing some space clearing - good feng shui, you know, but I'm also pretty short on time. 

SO HERE'S THE DEAL ..........
Below are snaps of a bunch of components that I'm going to sell - priced wayyyyy below what they'd normally be.  This may work and it may not, but my idea is if anyone is interested, they can email me via the link here, tell me which ones they want and I'll send a PayPal invoice for the total plus shipping (1st class USPS plus insurance).  I'm thinking this doesn't seem too complicated.  You can click on the photo to see it full size.  So here goes ...

#1  13 pieces; average size 20 x 5 mm  - $33
These are pretty hefty components.  I think these could look really cool woven together. 
#2  23 pieces; average size 21 x 3mm  - $58


#3  10 pieces; longest 28 x 5 mm, shortest 22 x 6mm  - $25

#4  6 pieces; large 21 x 3mm, small 11 x 3mm  - $20

#5  6 pieces; average 12 x 12mm  - $15

#6  16 pieces; longest 35 x 9 mm; shortest 11 x 9 mm  - $52
The long ones can be curved to make a really cool bracelet and the shorter ones make great earrings 

#7  7 pieces; 23 x 14mm to17 x 12mm  - $24

#8  9 pieces; 17 x 15mm to 13 x 9mm  - $30
These were made from really chunky PMC slip and have a very          distinctive look - very raw and earthy

#9  38 pieces (these are fairly thin); 10 x 10mm to 7 x 7mm  - $38
These look really great stacked.  I've also folded them in half and layered them like the roof of a pagoda.

#10  9 pieces; 17 x 13mm average  - $25

#11  18 pieces; 54mm to 15mm  - $45
These were inspired by claws and talons - very tribal

#12  3 pieces; 2 with citrine, 1 with ruby - 12 x 8mm  - $10

#13  Raw apatite nugget with 3 raw diamonds
        25 x 15mm  - $34

#14  Raw apatite nugget with yogo sapphires
        19 x 24mm  - $34

#15  Raw apatite nugget with yogo sapphires
         22 x 22mm  - $38
click to see the 'non-skewed' image

#16  Yogo sapphires; 23 x 18mm  - $32

#17  Yogo sapphires; 43 x 10mm  - $36

#18  Faceted peridot; 39 x 11mm  - $32

So that's it.  I'm hoping this piques some curiosities out there.  I'd really love for these pieces to find new homes.  So tell your friends and neighbors and stock up on this rare opportunity to snag a deal on some KVK goodies.

with deep gratitude and many blessings - kvk

17 September 2010

calming down

Well, it's been a week ... probably to remember, but I wouldn't mind forgetting.
I've been parked here in front of this computer searching and searching for silk in all the variations and permutations I could think of.  This has been a week of being thankful for my reasonably well-balanced right and left brain.  Sometimes I bemoan the balance, wishing I resided more in the outer limits and eccentric realm of creativity.  Ahhh, but this week, those analytical left brain skills have come in very handy.

I've known about this, but have been waiting until I had no other choice ... there's a seller on Ebay with dwindling quantities of the Gudebrod silk.  It's full retail pricing, which I hate, but it's still half the cost of the Japanese silk option.  I've ordered the two sizes of the two colors I use the most and that should hold me for a while.  Boy do I hate paying retail!
I've also made several trips into town to various weaving and yarn supply stores.  I was still hoping the bamboo yarn might work, but in person, the colors are not so great and there was still that 'fuzzy' problem.  Then there was Euroflax linen that seemed promising, nice colors, good weight, reasonable price.  It ended up too fuzzy by itself and, when waxed, too much like hemp and with a decidedly 'Holly Hobby' look - ew ... bad bad run away. 

I've spent hours and hours searching on Ebay and finally landed on some hand-dyed embroidery silk from China.  I am having a bit of an ethical debate with myself.  I am not happy about ordering anything from China.  Then I think - probably most of the gemstones I buy come out of China and lord knows what else is sitting on my worktable that is of Chinese origin.  It's frustrating.  So, for now I'm going with it ... the colors are gorgeous, the price is excellent and the shipping options are really good - everything shipped with tracking and expedited shipping is available.  The seller has been very fast with communications and I've ordered several skeins to try.   For the time being, desperation has won out over ethics.  Not happy about this.

With my ethical dilemma still nagging, I found one more option.  I've known about Habu Textiles in NY for a while and found some silk yarn on their site.  It only comes in four colors and costs six times as much as the silk from China.  I called to order the three colors I can use and they were out of one of them - several weeks to back order it from Japan.  I went ahead and bought the two colors they had on hand.  Heavy sigh ......

This has been a very expensive, very exhausting and very emotional week ... I guess it's literally the cost of doing business.  I'm still working on what lessons are lurking in here.  I know they'll show up eventually and I'll be all the better and wiser and happier and I know the work will be all the better as well. 
Right now, I'm just plain tired. 

Deep breaths ....... onward.
blessings - kvk

16 September 2010

the quest continues

To everyone that's offered support and suggestions regarding my silk dilemma - Thank you so very much!  I'm finding the Gudebrod silk here and there, but I know the quantities are dwindling.  I'm leaning towards Japanese embroidery silk found here (thank you Hillary!).  It's more expensive, but the most important thing is the look and feel is perfect .  I'm still on the hunt for cord/plying material.  After 3 days of Google and Ebay searching, I can feel my eyes crossing and my backside broadening.  I've got emails in to several suppliers (China and India) for product details.  I'm definitely keeping an open mind along with staying positive, knowing amidst all of the fretting and worrying and jaw clenching and stomach knots, lurks great opportunity.

Today's horoscope ....
 Your head may be quite muddled due to the influx of different ideas on how to proceed, dear Sagittarius. You are uncertain, and it is hard for you to come to any concrete solution or standpoint. Do not pressure yourself into coming to an answer that does not flow naturally. You may be feeling outside pressure to settle down in one way or another. Don't feel like you have to live according to someone else's rules. Follow your own.

Seems like good advice.  The quest continues .........

blessings - kvk

13 September 2010

freaking out

Today I was getting ready to order all the silk I'll need before I launch my new catalog.  I just found out that the company that makes the silk I've been using for years is in some sort of deep trouble and the silk is impossible to get.  Remember, this silk is the basis for my existing wholesale line of jewelry and a whole a new direction in my work which I've been designing and making and totally immersed in for weeks   I am stunned, dizzy and absolutely reeling.  The main distributor has come up with a sort of similar silk in a lot fewer colors on ridiculously small spools.
trying to remember that things happen for a reason ... trying to think what to do next ... trying not to cry.

oh my ...................

09 September 2010

today's theme ... retrofitting

Retrofitting ... that's a word I learned back in my days at the old NOC outfitters' store ... taking something old, adding some this' and thats to make something new.  These days it's upcycle or eco something or anything that sounds earth friendly.  Me, I still like retrofit.

The day didn't start out that way, well maybe it did. 
I needed to make some closures for an order.  For the extensions I used some salvaged links from a couple of necklaces I'd dismantled.  Finished closures were deposited into the tumbler and I started mulling over what to do next ... flush out the silk cord group seemed the right direction, but I was also thinking about hand stitching and hadn't I seen an Etsy seller with some indigo dyed sashiko thread and wouldn't it be nice to include some hand-stitched indigo graphic elements in the new catalog and website, but I probably need something sooner than later and that seller is in Japan, but hey!  what about that bamboo thread I bought several months ago with hopes of using instead of silk ... turns out it wasn't anywhere near strong enough for my jewelry, but it would be great for stitching and it comes in lots of beautiful colors and there's a shop in town that sells it and gee, I wonder what it would look like made into cord as an alternative to silk, surely multiple strands twisted together would be way strong, so I go back to thinking about the silk cord series and try out the bamboo ... first just plain, then waxed with beeswax and then a double strand for heavier cord ... and while I'm waxing cord (as opposed to waxing nostalgic) I'm listening to the wind chimes out my front window and I don't hear the lovely new ones that are tuned and sound like a mini chamber orchestra and I'm thinking it's because that dern flapper thing is too heavy and you know I think I've got some thin metal sheet that would work very nicely for a new one and I bet it will only take just a few minutes to whip up a new flapper thing.  After I come in from installing the retrofitted wind chimes, I stop to check email and see if there's any new blog posts and there's one with an image of some spiffy boots and why am I lusting after those boots when I've got a very similar pair, albeit not nearly as expensive, that've been sitting in my closet for years, and I do mean years and why on earth don't I wear them.  Well I think I don't wear them 'cause I don't like the color and they've got nasty shoe laces that I've always hated, so why not take the black shoe polish to them and buy some bloody new shoe laces - sheesh!  As I was finishing up with the boots, that's when I realized there seemed to be a theme to the day. 

Here's the fruits of my efforts thus far ...

The jury's still out on using the bamboo for cord, but I'm definitely going to check into some other colors for embroidery.

My suspicions were correct - the new lighter weight flapper thingy is much more better, it doesn't match, but at least it works.

The boots weren't quite the success that I'd hoped.  Turns out because they're work boots and I've never worn them that much, the waterproofing was still pretty much intact and the black shoe polish didn't absorb into the leather.  I polished them twice with the cheap old black and then finished off with the nice brown polish.  I definitely like them better, kind of a distressed look ... don't really like that term, but don't have another ... anyway, now I just need to find some good laces and I've saved myself 250 bucks.

Here's the before on the right and in progress on the left ...

And the finished product ...  (there's those nasty laces in the background)

I think I'm done retrofitting for the day, at least for now.
Back to it - following the flow and staying awake ..........

with deep gratitude and many blessings - kvk

08 September 2010

facing off the new moon

Over the last year or so, days of the new moon have been a challenge.  I'll be well into my day, fighting mood swings, feelings of dis-ease surging and ebbing, then look at the calendar or something on-line and realize it's the new moon.  The last couple of months, I've been trying to be more aware of the moon cycles in relation to my own mood cycles.  So I've been bracing myself for the coming new moon.

Today, I'm pleased to say, I feel invigorated and my level of excitement about the new work remains high.  It could be related to the new components I just removed from the tumbler ... tiny tiny beads, some hollow, some solid, some discs with smeared edges.  They have a delicious weight, some are very ragged looking, some are quite pristine, I love them all ...

My good mood could also be inspired by a feeling of accomplishment.  I've been busy ...

Continued feelings of exaltation when gazing upon my work-in-progress ...

Throw in a quiet morning, freshly made veggie juice (thank you again Nina!), a large mug of scalding black tea and the music of Stephan Micus and I feel up to the challenge of facing off this new moon. 
Excerpts from a couple of favorites ...

Then there's this one from the same album - heaven ...

This will be me welcoming the new moon and embracing it's potential ... now it's back to work for this little peep............
blessings - kvk

02 September 2010

intuition confirmed

Overall for the day, I've done pretty well.  Right now I'm struggling to stay focused and avoid distractions ... gee, like doing a quick blog post ... but I was starting to get kind of fried and needed a bit of a break ... so I figure this is still being productive ... well, sort of.
I just now read today's horoscope ...

Don't go out today if you can avoid it, dear Sagittarius. This is too perfect a moment to pursue solitary activities, such as meditation and the study of scripture and other spiritual works. This is also just the time for artistic inspiration, so you won't want to be very far from the tools of your trade. Relax and let your mind go; whatever you do may seem to be propelling itself.

well, sort of.
I tend to read my horoscope at the end of the day, rather than the beginning.  Funny thing is, I've usually done just what it suggests - all on my own.  When I read them later I confirm that my intuition is steering me in the right direction and that some part of me instinctively knows how to proceed.

Happily, the new work is coming together; I'm starting to edit, see what's missing.

Today's favorite pieces ... 
This is a very raw looking nugget on a 14" double silk cord with my button and loop clasp.  I wait for the PMC to get pretty dry before shaping the nugget - that makes for lots of cracks and raw edges, which I love.  I'm really liking the idea of the 14" length, although for production, I'm thinking it will be 14 1/2 or 15". 

And I'm thrilled with how these have come together - multi strand cord with mondo focal components.  The finishing on the first couple of incarnations was just too messy, so I decided to make some end caps.  I wanted very clean details - the sheen of the 10 strands of silk cord and neatly finished closure - to contrast with the seriously rustic cubes.  There's two more versions - cylinders and my vertebrae looking rings, and two more colors, black and charcoal gray.  Did I mention how much I love the silk cord?

And then, yesterday I was trying out a couple of component ideas - big focal pendants.  They're hollow, formed over thin cork clay cores.  There are some gaps and holes in them (intentional), so while tumbling they collected some water.  I put them in the oven to dry them out and, when I took them out this is what I saw ...

This is the residue from the oval pendant, a perfect ghost of the original - it looks like a print, but brushed away like dust - one of those little moments of wonder that I try not to take for granted.

Well this worked out very nicely ... I'm finishing up just in time to start working on dinner and then a movie - Becoming Jane - we've heard good things, so we'll just have to wait and see.

ttfn with many blessings - kvk

p.s.  what I'm listening to ... Stellamara