20 July 2010


oh and by the way ...

Happy Anniversary to me!  It was 30 years ago today.  I've had to start telling people that when we got married I was 6 instead of 12, you know an arranged marriage or something to that effect.  The reality is just very hard to comprehend.  Well except for the part where we know each other alarmingly well.

Of course our BIG celebration was our trip to Provence, but tonight I'm fixing a lovely dinner inspired by our trip - slow cooked roast with tiny new potatoes, sauteed green beans and a crusty baguette with herbed goat cheese with our favorite French champagne (Saint Hillaire) and some to be selected decadent dessert from Greenlife market - they really do have the best desserts - maybe pot de creme or dark chocolate truffles or creme brulee or some of each - oh my mouth's watering already.

Just doesn't seem possible. 
We are so very blessed. 

moment of clarity

Sitting meditation this morning ... not minding the circular saw + hammering + sawsall on metal background ... thoughts of the tasks before me passing in and out ... one stuck ... I saw my usual m.o. when I get to work on a big project - absolutely driven ... today I'm altering my operation quotient and changing driven to joyful and happily engaged.  It already feels very different.

Still listening to Cat Power ... This is the one I was looking for yesterday and ran out of time ... first heard it in Wrong-Eyed Jesus and thought it was Beth Orton.  Similar or not, I love this song.

happily engaged and sending copious blessings - kvk

19 July 2010

more juice + the work ahead

There's so much happening right now.  Lots of inspiring bits and a concerted effort to be in this moment and awake.

Joy of joys, this morning I finally got back out to the Arboretum for a walk.  Amazingly the parking lot was virtually empty (yes!) and I set off with dark clouds gathering.  As I walked along a favorite section of the trail through the pines, little drips started to fall.  Halfway through the walk, it turned into rain.  I cannot remember the last time I walked in the rain, no raingear, no hat, no 'protection'.  I walked for half an hour in a steady rain, pretty much soaked, water dripping down my forehead, my glasses fogging up, enjoying every minute and giving thanks for such an unexpected gift.

Now back to the studio and a sample of some of those inspiring bits to peruse ...
. . . the current issue of Surface Design Journal is a small treasure, full of glorious and exceptionally yummy images.  I started to scan something to post here and couldn't bring myself to choose.
. . . the imagery of Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison - talk about testing my comfort zone (which I've decided is more like a soap bubble than a rigid circle).
. . . a new book Experimental Pattern Sourcebook - which I bought mainly for the images of Sarah Renshaw and Cipriano Martinez.  Unfortunately there's not much on-line about either of them, so I'm very excited to have the book.

Then there's my own image experiments.  Right now I'm loving this triptych.  It's still a w.i.p., but I'm thinking this or something similar is going to show up somewhere in the near future.  It may just end up on my wall, we shall just have to wait and see ...

And then there's the work ahead.  The jumbo box with my samples arrived today ...

In the next couple of weeks I'll be disassembling all the stitched silk pieces, doing a thorough perusal of everything else, running components through the tumbler and reassembling, giving the whole body of work a summer cleaning and sprucing up, then shooting new photos for the catalog and website and any other promotional materials I will need, updating my print catalog, then updating the website and this blog to tie it all together into a lovely new package.

On top of all that, the Gem Show is this weekend (I'll be going over on Thursday).  That means shopping for sparklies to complement what I now have and, with my Pantone Fall 2010 palette in hand, putting together some delicious new color combinations.  Inspiration is surely to follow, so I have no doubt I'll be designing some new additions to the catalog, then make and photograph, etc etc etc.

One more thing - some new background music.  Cat Power aka Chan Marshall..... 

joyously onward .....
blessings - kvk

15 July 2010

juicin' up

This would be me playing hooky yet again. 
I didn't really get much done yesterday after Phuni's email and it worked out that it was kind of a holding pattern day anyway - waiting for components and earrings to run through the tumblers.  I had been planning today's excursion for a while, so I just went with it and am so very glad I did.

Today was the first day of the Southern Highlands Guild fair ... and for me, usually a mixed emotional bag.  I have lots of friends in the SHG - lots.  I've applied to the Guild, oh I don't know, at least 4 or 5 times.  Over the years, I've gotten to various stages of the application process and the last time (early last year), I didn't even get past the first photo stage.  Luckily at this time in my life I have a great deal of confidence in my work and don't have my self-worth tied up in not being in 'the Guild'.  There was a time ........ but that time is long gone.

The other thing is the SHG membership is heavily weighted towards traditional craft and very light in the more contemporary world I like to travel.  The work is very high quality, but on the whole, (as Jeane says) not my flavor.  Ahhhh, but today was different.  I had a purpose in mind, an agenda.  Firstly to see my good friends Crim and Willow.  Crim is half of the BeeGlow team of Bee Global. 
Crim and Jeff live on an amazing property in the beautiful Stecoah Valley about 2 hours west of here.  Crim grows and presses all the flowers they use in their candles and is one of my favorite people on the planet - kind of like a little sister.  We actually managed to squeeze in a lovely chat, narrow down a time to visit and maybe put some of my jewels in their beautiful gallery.

Next I got to visit with Willow for a few minutes.  Willow has quite a following and is always busy, so it was nice to have any time with her at all.  She does the most incredible woven bead jewelry - truly spectacular.

Next on my agenda was to track down Barbara Zaretsky of Cloth Fiber Workshop.  I'm a huge fan of her work as well (didn't get any of her images - sorry).  She's one of the new breed of more contemporary artists that have been infiltrating the SHG.  She has a new space in the RiverArts District for hosting workshops and I've been wanting to take something for ages, just nothing really hit me.  But there's one the end of this month that I'm going to sign up for - an embroidery workshop with Heather Allen-Swarttouw - another artist/Guild member that was on my list to track down.  I figure it's good timing since I'm on this hand stitching thing, also good to get out of my secluded little world and work on my social skills.  Here's one of Heather's mixed media pieces that was at the show today.

She also does really excellent things with steel wire and gut - there's a workshop for that late October at another new discovery - the Asheville Book Works.  Well, actually I've know about the shop in West Asheville for a while, just didn't know they teach workshops and a wide variety of workshops to boot.

I've got more discoveries, but it's time to stop and work on our evening meal. 

and blessings - kvk

14 July 2010

intense perspective

I received an email this morning from Phuni Meston, the owner of Karma in Newton Center, MA (one of my accounts) with the message that her husband Daja Wangchuk Meston had died on Sunday "after a long battle with depression".  The news is especially poignant because his story is such an incredible one.  Here's a link to an article about their history in the Wall Street Journal .  Since first reading this article last year, if I ever doubt just how blessed I am and how easy my life really is, I've tried to remember the amazing stories of Phuni and Wangchuk.  

For an enormous dose of intense perspective, I encourage you to read the WSJ article and Wangchuk's blog, American Tibetan Nomads

My love and prayers to Phuni and her family

blessings - kvk

10 July 2010

distractions ...

... large ones.

First there was the purple kale that was on its way out and turning these amazing colors and then wasn't it a lot of fun to mess with the image a bit .....

Then yesterday was a whole new level of distraction.  I woke up thinking about self-portrait Friday and had been thinking about a different approach.  Where I've been, where I am now - but in fabric.  I knew the old me was definitely muslin - unadorned but full of potential, not too strong, but with some very nice qualities.  I was originally thinking of silk for the new me and then I remembered the amazing piece of linen I bought in Provence.  Perfect natural color, incredibly strong, also unadorned and absolutely okay with it.  So it began ...

I decided to stitch the two panels together with red silk - the spine, the blood and the support.  

  It was very satisfying, sitting on the floor, hand-stitching and thinking about what to do next ...

The finished 'spine' ...

Next, I decided to embellish the backbone with a row of raw diamonds that I had been hoarding and a treasured gift, some Herkimer diamond beads- thank you thank you Cynthia!.

The base of the neck is another treasured gift - one of Lynne's classic lampwork bones. 

I got to a stopping place and didn't know where to go next.  The piece is hanging on my workroom door and I had thought to show the current stage and then decided no.  There's definitely more to do, but it needs to rest and, for now, I must leave it be.

Today, I was back to working on orders, but got distracted  yet again by a small pile of river pebbles on my worktable which lead to these ......

Not sure where these will end up, but love the look.  I do have a bit of a plan for the self-portrait piece which involves photo collage and images of me then and now and maybe some layers and beeswax and .......... guess I'll just see where I'm inspired to go next.

further along and continuing onward.

blessings - kvk

07 July 2010


'works in progress' ...
hard not to be inspired when surrounded by gorgeous gems and silk and fine silver.  The final pieces for a couple of orders going out today waiting to be tied onto earwires.

I'm itching to get all my orders out ... I've got a new book OTW (thank you Lynne for the recommendation!) on manipulating images via Photoshop Elements - it should be here today or tomorrow.  I've been taking pictures of things to use for textural overlays or backgrounds or I guess we'll just see, playing around with depth of field and soft focus or blurred or whatever I can do with my not-so-fancy camera.  Three of the juicy possibilities ...

So I'm dashing about and sneaking in this little post and getting ready to go back to work.
We headed back to the record store on Monday and discovered three more Jim White albums just waiting for us to snatch up, 2 used and 1 new - total investment for the entire Jim White catalog $27 - gotta like that.  Very different background for me, but I'm loving it.  When we get inspired by something new, we always dive in full force ... that means hitting the all libraries in town for DVD's and related books.  One library had both Wrong-Eyed Jesus and In the Realms of the Unreal - the Mystery of Henry Darger.  We watched the Henry Darger last night - amazing and strange.  If I finish up orders, I'm going out to a couple more libraries to stock up on all the outsider art books I can find.

Just following my instincts right now, remaining in observation mode and not trying to think too much, well except for that brief period where I'll engage my left brain and turn into shipping manager. 

blessings - kvk

05 July 2010

curious fascination

We spent all day Saturday putzing around town ... breakfast, the wine store for Cotes de Provence wines, 12 Bones BBQ for lunch, picking up some lovelies for my flower beds (luscious crocosmia and a new red double echinacea!) ...   We started with breakfast at West Asheville Bakery, then cruising the strip until Harvest Records opened.  Dave was on a Lyle Lovett hunt and me, well I haven't been buying CD's much, feel kind of bad about that.  But I end up just listening to my Pandora stations and the CD's collect dust and look much too forlorn and I don't want to add to them.

But sitting in the newly arrived section of the used CD collection was this little musical gem ...

 The Mysterious Tale of How I Shouted Wrong-Eyed Jesus! by Jim White

We first found out about him through the amazing but ever so strange film Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus.  The link will give you a good taste of what the film is like.  Okay, so I'm not really tapped into the world of outsider art or vernacular art or I'm not sure what the PC name is these days.  Mostly I just know a little about Rev. Howard Finster from those old REM videos and bits and pieces of other artists from here and there.  In keeping with my current M.O. of staying open and awake for anything that piques my curiosity, I snapped up this CD.  It's not at all what we were expecting - translate curiously quirky.  What it is, an exceedingly listenable, sometimes quirky, but really different album that has sent Dave on a Jim White quest to find out everything he can about this strange and talented man.

As for me, I'm loving the artwork on the CD and the Luaka Bop site (David Byrne's record label) and loving listening to it and will let Dave continue his research and after lunch at 12 Bones (if it's open) we'll go back to the record store to look for more.

Here's a great video sample.....

I'm finding it really interesting that I'm getting really drawn into this world.  I'm thinking it ties into my childhood days of summer Bible school and fervent preachers and tent meetings, Marjoe Gortner (remember him?) and Robert Duvall in The Apostle and the Wrong-eyed Jesus and, well ... it's all so very very compelling and fascinating and curious and uncomfortable and strange.

This little journey is proving to be pretty interesting so far, interesting and unexpected.  I think the unexpected part's the best one.
Looking forward to more surprises........

blessings - kvk

01 July 2010

just a bit further

It occurred to me that my earlier post could be read as being grumpy and dissatisfied ... au contraire.  Since returning from our trip to France and then the blitz trip to Dallas, I haven't really had time to figure out what exactly I feel.  I'm just now starting to sort through it all, but one thing I do know ... I am feeling an enormous sense of potential, not lack, not grumpy, not dissatisfied.

There's a quote I sort of remember from The Secret, and I can't remember who said it, but it's something to the effect of, what can be dreamed and what can be conceived in our minds, can be created in our world.  Everything begins with thought and mine are feeling pretty juicy right now.  I've spent most of my adult life looking outside of myself for guidance and inspiration.  I've 'known' that it's all within me, that god is within me, that I am the source.  But today, I am so much closer to really and truly knowing.  What an amazing gift!  Come to think of it, this may be the biggest gift ever and I'm going to savor the opening and discovery, every delicious bit.

blessings - kvk

random thoughts

I've been working on orders this morning, but keep stopping to write down all the thoughts that are popping into my head.  It started last night as I was hoping for sleep to come sooner than later.  Racing thoughts that actually started after an inspiring conversation with Lynne.

First there's my concept for a vision board of sorts ... I want to start with a large piece of muslin.  Stitch onto the muslin vertical panels of natural colored silk organza with intermittent rows stitched across each panel.  Slice across the panels to make pockets.  The pockets should be a variety of sizes, some big enough to hold 8 x 10 photos, some small to hold collected pebbles or other treasures.  Position tabs of copper mesh with grommets at the top for hanging.  Maybe use Lynne's rediscovered magnifying glass technique to burn patterns into the fabric, maybe hand stitch text or more patterns with matching cotton or silk thread ... I don't know what all, but it's killing me that I can't just drop everything and sew muslin.  I did buy the muslin, still need to buy some silk organza and, more importantly, I need to take my sewing machine in for a good cleaning.  In the meantime, I'm loving thinking about my 3-D vision board to be.

Second, I spend way too much time looking for inspiring and innovative websites and blogs on the internet.  I'm always looking looking looking for I don't know what.  As sleep remained at bay, it occurred to me that I need to create the website and blog that I can't find.  This morning I realized that this actually translates into, "be the change you wish to see in the world". 

There's a huge difference between hearing something, maybe understanding what I hear and having the feeling of a deep visceral knowing.  That's the shift, I will be the change I wish to see.  I can feel it, I know it.  So creating this illusive website or blog or building my 3-D vision board may not be world altering events, but it's feeling like an important KVK event is in the works. 

There will be changes.   I have a sense of the kind of images I need and want for a backdrop, so I'll be learning more about Photoshop.  I'll be sewing, maybe tweaking my jewels a bit, definitely I'll be following my gut and my nose.  The raw materials are being assembled; bits and pieces, odds and ends that call to me.  Maybe it's best that this new vision is not instantly falling into place.  There is more power in the prolonged and the sustained, a gathering of strength and resolve.

Onward .......

Ah, but I do have a couple of internet treasures to share .....

Ruth Tomlinson - I saw her incredible jewelry a couple of years ago at the NY Gift Show.  She's updated her site and has a ton of new work ... breathtaking!

And a newly discovered shop - Pergolina.  I have absolutely no need for this, but what a joy to see such inspired treasures for the home.  Actually, I could probably use the glasses........

So for now .......
sending my enormous gratitude to the universe and many blessings - kvk