25 April 2011

the third millennium light brigade

So I came up with the Third Millennium Light Brigade idea on Friday. 
Then after posting a response to a comment on seeking recruits , it seemed like it deserves a post of its own ...
I think we've got some potential here.  If nothing else, we've got a conversation going  ... our thoughts and words have enormous power. 

My original comment, "I'm working on figuring out what the Third Millennium Light Brigade would like to be. I'm thinking it's about choosing positive over mean spirited, celebrating good work and efforts in every part of our lives, the golden rule and viral gratitude - then sharing this passion and spreading the word.

What is isn't - is fighting against anything. "What you resist persists" or in Borg speak, "resistance is futile". Celebrating and uplifting, moving lovingly forward guided by our hearts - yes, absolutely.

Defining a thing is very limiting and so I think it's also going to be a user defined interface; an exact description will prove next to impossible.  So far (since last Wednesday anyway), it seems like a good addition to my mindfulness toolbox.  If I'm putting this out there for everyone to see, it will help keep me 'honest' and maybe less likely to succumb to the dark side.  It's having an effect already.  I don't watch much regular TV, but I'm a lot less interested in watching Jon Stewart, I'm watching my words and thoughts more and looking for ways to make my life more congruent, having a smile at the ready and if I don't give money to the buskers, I send them a silent blessing and wish them well.  Oh yes ... joyous anticipation, I want to look forward to each day with joyous anticipation.  Not a polly anna approach to life, but acknowledging and embracing the ebb and flow, the good and bad.

That's where I am right now. 
It feels pretty good.
Any thoughts?
You know, inquiring minds and all that ....

with deep gratitude and blessings - kvk

22 April 2011

seeking recruits

I'm thinking of calling my new army, the "Third Millennium Light Brigade".  Not nailed in stone, but for a working title, I'm kind of liking the idea.
Whaddaya think?
Any thoughts?
Wanna join?
Guess I best get to work on our crest and coat of arms.

blessings - kvk

21 April 2011

the pervasiveness of ochre and ruby

It's been a lovely day ... a chunk of time this morning on the computer and intermittent visits through the day, eating up all the comments and traffic - a novelty for this little blog.  Big plus, I actually got done what I was supposed to be doing and now have a bunch pmc pieces ready to fire tomorrow.  But before I head downstairs to fix our evening meal, I wanted to share the wonderful way my day actually started.

While waiting for my tea water to boil, I padded barefoot outside to do a bit of trimming and deadheading in the flower pots on the front steps.  Coming back in, I noticed all the beautiful seeds from the big red maple up the driveway.  Of course, they're everywhere and I started picking up the most vibrant ones - the color is really exceptional.  Then I noticed that the pansies in the flower pots had the same colors.  So I clipped a matching pansy and carried my treasures in to discover the seeds and the pansies matched my Provencal table runner.

Pouring up my tea water, my gaze traveled over to the fruit basket.  The very ripe mango in the basket was an exact color match to the maple seeds and the pansies and the table runner.  They were all so lovely, I had to take pictures.  While doing a quickie photo setup on my worktable, I realized my favorite mug had the same colors as well.  Oh and aren't the dried rose petals I use in my packaging the very same colors?  Sitting down to load the images and do some editing, I saw that the cushions on my meditation bench were also a perfect match.  Chuckling to myself at the pervasiveness of ochre and ruby in my home, I settled down to get some work done and noticed the little dish on my table holding the river pebbles from a recent trip to the Arboretum - wouldn't you know it ... ochre quartz resting next to garnet encrusted  pebbles with one little ruby colored Roman glass disc.

Funny how I consider myself so hyper observant and it took all this time to realize I'm completely surrounded by all things ochre and ruby.  So it's great fun to share this little path to awareness.

The images ........



Okay, time to heat up some dinner......
Thanks everyone for joining in the 'call to arms'.  We absolutely can make a difference!

ruby colored blessings - kvk

p.s.  the little sgrafitto "want - to" dish is by Lisa Gluckin; my favorite mug is by Julie Covington

20 April 2011

call to arms

Hmmmm, maybe it should be call to, I don't know - gratitude or human kindness or equanimity.  Jonathan Field's current post examines this and it's an ongoing challenge for me and a lot of people I know ... how to operate a forward thinking, successful and heart based business in this world where the mean-spirited and underhanded is celebrated and emulated and held up to be the standard mode of operation.

I had lunch with the Thorntons today, Cynthia and Andrew, and of course we got around to talking business.  We've all been in the biz for a good while and got to swapping a few horror stories.  Lord mercy, the things we've seen.  Those stories got me to thinking - Why does it seem like the trend is towards the dark side?  That Darth Vadar has the upper hand and Obi Wan and Yoda are struggling.  Am I wrong or missing something?  Now, I have no delusions that the world will ever be all good or all bad.  I guess my main hope is that we might find our way to some kind of balance, no not balance.  I'd like to see it weighted towards the light, towards that equanimity.

So here's the challenge ...
  -  How can we shift the balance from dark to light?  
  -  Anyone have suggestions for new paths to blaze in the world of heart centered business?
  -  Anyone have ideas for subversive techniques?  For instance, I think the proliferation of yoga classes is an excellent subversive technique.  A good, solid yoga practice first changes you physically, but it ever so slowly changes you emotionally and spiritually ... very very sneaky that way.
  -  How do you stay focused, awake and aware?
  -  How do you avoid the intoxicating and alluring world of gossip and reality TV or would-be snarky friends - you know those black-hole people that live in a dreadful mean vacuum and want to suck you down with them?
  -  Can we be straightforward in our approach or does it call for being sneaky?  Hmmm, probably a combination.

Inquiring minds (me in particular) want to know!

I firmly believe in and make every effort to operate from a place of deep love and gratitude.  That's what I want to share, that's what I want people to feel about my work, that's really the only reason to do anything - spread the light.

One more thought - viral gratitude?

Wanna join the party?  Yeah, buddy - jump in ... the water's grand!

with deep gratitude and multitudes of blessings - kvk

p.s.  don't forget - these guys are doing it - the Daily Good: News that Inspires
p.p.s.  thanks to Cynthia and Andrew for the exceptional meal and inspiring conversation

beyond extraordinary

From the most recent post at Tumbleword came links to the work of John Frame - OH MY GOD!  It completely changes my frame of reference for the word extraordinary.  I got chills, sat speechless and in absolute rapture ...
Please take the time to watch both the 8 minute behind the scenes film:

and of course the 12 minute film Three Fragments of a Lost Tale:

And then spread the word, visit his website and learn how to further support the project here.

blessings - kvk

18 April 2011

full moon, radar sightings and good news

On this day of the full moon, I'm feeling satiated, fully awake, engaged and tingly with anticipation.  The only mystery is how to fit everything in, but I do love a good mystery.  There's just so much!  I've been saving up on my radar sightings - got some gooderns..........

Obsolete - a gallery of exceptionally cool artists and antiquities.  Two of my favorites:
 artist, Dennis Manarchy 

 and from the antiquities, this marionette

Lady Grey Jewelry - especially like the archive
 image from Rackk and Ruin blog

Gots to read more about this image from the NYT article ...

And from the current issue of Selvedge, a gorgeous article about the exquisite home of Chinese designer Ma Ke.  Her clothing is just as amazing.  She's got two brands, Exception de Mixmind and the couture side, Wuyong (useless).  It takes forever to load, but has a switch for English and an equally cool look and work.  The Mixmind site is mostly in Chinese, so it's fun to click on things and see what they are, the music is very cool (techno opera?) and the clothing is heavenly.  Here's two of my favorites images ...

And on a different note ... a while back I had the thought that someone should do a "good news" broadcast or program.  Turns out there's a good news blog - Daily Good: news that inspires - yes, that is very good news!

And some really really good news - Sterling Silver Precious Metal Clay!!!!!!!  I have 75grams of PMC Pro sitting by my worktable.  I've hesitated to use it because of hallmarking issues.  Why on earth Mitsubishi came up with this mystery metal 90% alloy is curious and pretty much annoying.  Turns out I'm not alone with my concerns.  The issue is a big deal in Europe where there's actually a system in place to monitor precious metals and alloys.  So there's an article in the new issue of Metalclay Artist Magazine on how to make and fire sterling silver metal clay.  It's a mix of PMC 3 and PMC Pro (an Artclay version is also in there) and is looking fairly labor intensive, but I'm okay with that.  I'd much rather have a product that is a recognized alloy than a product that requires endless explanation. 

So that's it for now.  Except for one more image ... I love this one of Ma Ke, designer/maker extraordinaire.
sending celestial light and full moon blessings - kvk

17 April 2011

WOW, what a week!

Goodness, it's been quite a week.  You may recall my recent resolutions about intention and motivation  - I can't keep doing the same things and expect different results coupled with staying awake and aware of things that, for better or for worse, catch my attention and pique my curiosity.  This week, it's been everything from getting back into my yoga practice to cleaning up one of the front door hinges, switching the cushions around on the sofa to attending a couple of events at the Asheville version of Hatch.  I've been following my nose and my heart, seeing where my eye sticks and my mind wanders and it probably has something to do with spring cleaning, but it's been very satisfying to address all those little nit-picky annoying things around the house.

Business is good!  Working on orders, checking in with my local gallery, writing more orders and, while waiting for pmc components to fire and then tumble, I fired my little pinch pots with their mason stain washes ... the results are not quite what I had in mind.

They're not intended for food and I don't want to use glazes but, in the past, I've had good results with acrylics ... so later this month, when orders are out the door, I'll pull out my paint box and see what happens. 

Then there's the healthy stuff ... making up a big batch of super yummy veggie juice and morning yoga.  Okay, so let's just say that the yoga thing is a challenge ... oof - after the first day, those sore 'wings' from repeated chaturanga's.  I am weak as a kitten and facing a long road back to the strength and flexibility of last year - a good road, but a long one. 

But the biggest out there happening for the week was attending a couple of events from the Hatch Festival.  I knew all this was going on, but in typical KVK fashion, figured it didn't apply to me or wouldn't be anything I might be interested in.  A feature article in Thursday's paper changed my mind - almost.  It took getting out my little pendulum and giving it a swing to sway me into mobilizing my backside.

Thursday was a panel discussion called "Maximizing Digital Marketing for Creative People" ... two hours, five bucks, what the heck.  So I got on my 'artist garb' and headed downtown, did lots of observing, asked a fair number of questions and picked up a couple of techie tid-bits.  I now have a 'QR' code for my website.  I had seen these little barcode looking thingies, but had no idea what they were.  Got home, googled "QR generator", et voila, here's the QR code for my website. 
So the thing is, if you have one of those smart phones, you can scan this code and it will link you directly to my website ... who knew?  Of course, I don't have one of those phones - my cell phone is about 7 years old and doesn't do anything but make phone calls.  But if you did, well here you go.

I redesigned my business card and included my new little gizmo.  Also turns out the tech guys on the panel think 'apps' are going to be the next big thing for individuals and creative types - linking all your web presence into one of those smart phone applications.  That one's going to be a good ways down the road for this little luddite.

 Here's the info side of the new business card ...

Then on Saturday, Dave talked me into venturing out rather than staying hunkered down and working for the duration.  One thing lead to another and I ended up donning more artsy garb and attending my second Hatch event - their fashion show.  Turns out the best part of the fashion show was before the show.  I was early (I'm always early) so I decided to check out the new Grove Arcade location of Niche, a boutique that carries lines like Blue Fish and Cynthia Ashby.  I've been following the shop on-line for years, so it was fun to finally see it in person.  Ah, but then there was the serendipitous part ...  in the spirit of putting myself out there and stretching my boundaries, I kind of horned in on a conversation between the owner, Colleen, and a woman that was wearing some seriously cool and obviously artisan made clothing.  Turns out the nattily dressed woman was the designer/maker and I had read an article about her in a local women's mag - Valerie HohHere's the article

This is the back of the dress she was wearing ...

And the bag she was carrying ...

Also turns out she's a potter and is interested in metal clay and, after her friend arrived, we kept on chatting, watched the fashion show and continued chatting over iced beverages at a little cafe.  We're planning on doing some metal clay tutorials and trading and who knows what else.

Wow, am I ever glad I ventured out into the world.  With such amazing results I guess I'll  keep following that ever-wandering gaze of mine.   
Ah yes, onward!
blessings - kvk

10 April 2011

reliquaries of hopes, dreams and intentions

That's kind of a mouthful, but that's what they are ... the newest addition to my Talismans For Fellow Travellers collection.  I can't remember now when I started thinking about the concept, it's all kind of a blur - but here goes ..........

Hollow forms in pmc - be it an amphora, lentil, rectangle, cube, cylinder - enscribed with symbols or text or glyphs.  Ahhhh, but within the form lies the magic.  Written with graphite on onionskin paper ... a prayer, a name, a hope, a dream or an intention is rolled up and inserted in a cavity in the cork clay core.  The cork clay core is fully enclosed, sealing the prayer, the intention, the hopes and dreams.  When fired, the cores burn up, embedding the essence of the well intended fragment within the metal clay.

The idea for my reliquaries came from one of my favorite programs of all time - the National Geographic special, the Living Treasures of Japan.  One of the Living Treasures is a maker of enormous and exquisite bronze temple bells.  Surrounding the enormous cauldron, parishioners, priests and patrons drop prayers written on copper foil and thin pieces of paper into the molten bronze, forever a part of the finished work.

I've got four prototypes that I'm listing on Etsy ...

The Forgiveness Reliquary, has OM on one side and the Adinkra symbol for "by God's Grace' on the reverse.
The message that went inside, "I forgive myself and am released from all regrets."

 This amphora, representing the body and life force,  is a Reliquary of Hope - a stamp representing the spine and chakras on one side, the spiral of life on the reverse.  
The message inside, "That which you are seeking is within you."

... and this one is another Reliquary of Intention for Transformation.  Three words are stamped into the sides, "Portal, Gate, Transformation".  See and acknowledge the Portal, walk through the Gate, experience the Transformation.  The message inside, "Leap and the net will appear."

And the last of the prototypes is another Reliquary of Intention - the spiral of life on one side, OM on the reverse.  The message inside, "honor your vision, follow your bliss."

When I nail down the shapes I want to use, I'll be doing custom made Reliquaries.  The most important aspect will be the personalized messages and intentions.  I'm still mulling over the logistics for this part ... the easiest approach would be to email me the message and I write it on the paper.  A slower version would be the client writes their intention on lightweight xerox paper and mails it to me.  An even slower version would be I mail onionskin and then it gets inscribed and mailed back.
I like the aesthetics of the graphite on onionskin paper, but am wondering if clients may want to have their messages be private and known only to them.  Any opinions or feedback are welcome.
Well, it's getting too late for me to be on the computer and expect to fall asleep any time soon.  So I bid you goodnight and sweet dreams.
celestial blessings - kvk   

09 April 2011

inspiration download

Thursday, during my morning meditation, I got what felt like a big ol' inspiration download.  Images of two necklaces and a matching bracelet flashed into my, aspiring to be empty but definitely not, mind.  It was a tough one ... I wanted to jump right up and get to work, my breathing grew short and my pulse quickened.  I took some deep breaths, acknowledged and thanked the universe for the new ideas, managed to calm myself down and returned to something of a quiet mind.

Yeah, but when that half hour was up, boy howdy I headed straight over to my worktable and started hauling out components.  The resulting pieces are what I'm pretty sure will be the theme of my KVK Luxe series.  They feel luxurious and kind of over-the-top.  No scrimping on materials, no worrying about the cost, no hesitation ... and I am thrilled with the results.

I debated and debated about where, if anywhere (for right now), they should go.  My first thought was to hold onto them and build the collection.  Then, after our morning outing for breakfast and a blitz trip to the used bookstore, I came home and decided to put them on Etsy ... kind of a run the flag up and see who salutes marketing approach.  Here's the first three pieces of the collection:

the Vertebrae Pendant
the Standing Stones Pendant

The Vertebrae Bracelet will be listed tomorrow

And for the same reason, I also decided to list the Starry Night Cross ... ahhhh, it is just lovely.

I've also got the prototypes for another new series adding to the Talisman Elements collection, but you'll have to wait a day or so as I nail down a few more details.

Goodness, so much to share!  I've still got St Augustine photos and stories as well ... so look for more posts to follow.

with deep gratitude and many blessings - kvk

07 April 2011

geekin' hard

I've got pics to share from our St Augustine trip, but just found a couple of things that have me about to explode ... they are so bloody cool and incredibly incredible.  Wow, can you tell I'm excited?  So you absolutely must visit  AntlerMag.com and then there's this jewelry site - BjorgJewelry ... exquisite ... this will be me, sighing in ecstasy at this discovery.  The lookbook is divine.

back later with pics and tales to tell.....

blessings - kvk