30 April 2012

Monday morning giggle

This little video's been all over FaceBook, but I couldn't figure out how to share it here.  Finally got a YouTube link ... so much fun.

Got my mondo Nikon all set up - the big SLR instead of my mid-size point and shoot  -  and I'm heading over to Cara's to take pictures of her sweaters ... bodies and big stuff is a whole different ballgame then jewelry on a tabletop ... wish  me luck!

l i g a - kvk

27 April 2012

as of right now ...

... I still need to do a couple more tweaks on the Maker's Mark - maybe later today.  But I'm close ... darn close.

Earlier in the week, I made a good start into my assortment of Danielle books and workbooks and audios and videos.  For all this study and searching and for all these changes to be lasting and meaningful, I plan to work slow and deliberate and not blast through (my normal m.o.).  There's a lot of work ahead, enjoyable and inspiring and enlightening work ...... 

But when it got to Thursday, I had to pause and get back to working on jewelry.  I got my table cleared and my strategy laid out and then the power went out ... a rare thing around here.  I still managed to do a bit of work, but it was one of those dark and stormy afternoons and it kept getting darker, so I just gave in and sat on the front porch, reading a novel, watching the storm blow in with even more force - an even rarer thing.  It was evening before the power was back on ... so much for the afternoon's work. 

This morning I'm ready to go.  My worktable is cleared and the sun is pouring in ...

I've got a steaming mug of PG Tips (thanks to Hillary's advice) and just inhaled the last few crumbs of a maple pecan scone (so decadent).  I've cruised around Pinterest a bit (total addict) then a short stop by FaceBook and, when I saw how lovely my table looked, all empty and shiny and sunny, I decided to snap a few pics to share ... and THEN I'll sit down to work.

Plus, I've got a couple of recent additions to the "Aspiring Eccentric's Reading List" ... just in case I need to take a visual juice break once I sit back down to some real work ...

I donated to HandEye Magazine's IndieGoGo fundraiser and just received my premiums - two lovely issues.  This is such a gorgeous publication.  I was especially pleased to see articles by India Flint in both issues.  There's also a nice little article on-line about amulets and talismans.  I'm savoring these and pondering a subscription ...

I pre-ordered this a while back.  It got delayed and then ended up coming a week earlier than I was expecting, and it's every bit as sumptuous inside as the cover suggests.  The Natural Home is full of dark, rich, luscious greys and unbleached linen and delicious textures and way more 'stuff' than I'd ever be comfortable with, but makes for such enjoyable perusing.

And speaking of natural linen ... for all those fabric junkies out there - I found a site for all sorts of European linen, all kinds of widths and weights.  I'm particularly interested in the 120", 7.5oz. from Spain and the 120" lightweight scrim from Belgium - Celtic Linens.  And then there's silk scrim here, 54" wide in nice earthy colors.  Who knew?  No idea what I want to do with any of it, but it makes me ever so happy knowing it's there.

I'm enormously pleased with the progress I've made on my various websites.  I have no doubt I'll keep finding little things to change and update, but I'm finally feeling like I've got most of the dots connected and I'm closing in on having an on-line presence that feels fully congruent, lacking in pretense ... a hoity-toity free zone.

Before heading back to work, I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to comment on my last couple of posts and to welcome all the new members who've decided to follow this mining project of a blog.  I'm such a solitary creature and knowing my work and my words and images have an audience ... well, it really means the world to me. 

with deep gratitude and heartfelt blessings.
l i g a - kvk

p.s.  click here for a good time

23 April 2012

hoity-toity tendencies

Yeah, I got 'em.  It's those sneaky little tendencies to plug in words and phrases that I think will sound all profound and eloquent and inspired.  And I'm really making a concerted effort to cease and desist. My recent website revamping is all about ditching those last vestiges of pretense ... to ensure what I'm putting out in the world is 100% down to earth, genuine, little ol' me.

I'm finally seeing that for all those years when I felt like a poser, there was a small part of me that was in fact - posing.  It wasn't blatant or overt or horribly in-your-face, but as I've been rewriting my Maker's Mark and Nuts & Bolts and my Etsy profile pages, I can see it in the way I'd written about my work and myself.  Little phrases meant to impress or mask or appear more accomplished or sophisticated or just a bit more something.   When I re-design anything, jewelry or websites or graphics, I don't call it done until I've gone back multiple times over several hours or a couple of days and look for those little niggling things that might have escaped my initial changes.  Last night, I did a quick perusal of those updated pages and saw that I still had a bit more work ahead.  I've spent this morning on further rewrites and I'm thinking I might be done.

And for an extra kick in the pants and a supercharged dose of clarity, I took some time to revisit the Gee's Bend Quilts. 

There is nothing on this earth that moves me more than those quilts and the extraordinary women who made them.  I first heard about the Quilters of Gee's Bend in 2003 on the CBS Sunday Morning Show.  The Whitney had the quilts on display and the art magazines were writing about them and Martha Teichner did an inspired profile on that never to be forgotten morning show.  I was floored, blown away, in tears and have yet to recover.  Martha traveled with the quilters on their bus ride to NY, singing all the way and filmed them walking through the museum, voices raised in song and praise.  I was overcome and I bet the Whitney has yet to recover as well. 

To this day, I cannot speak of that video or the quilts without a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes.  I didn't get to see that original exhibition, but I did get to see the second one in Tacoma ... one of the best birthday presents ever.  Thankfully, when I walked in the gallery, there was a bench so I could sit down and compose myself before going in to finally see some of the quilts in person.

You see, the thing that gets me about those early quilts ... they are the truest, most genuine expressions of creativity I've ever encountered.  For me, nothing compares.  No pretense, no airs, light years away from hoity-toity.  And that's the underlying goal for my work ... for whatever I do, whatever I write or create and put out into the universe, it must come from the deepest part of my heart and soul, free of pretense, to just be me and radiate. 

From here on out, I need to keep them in mind.  No more hoity-toity ... I'm over it, done, finished, kaput, fineto.   

l i g a - kvk 

21 April 2012

towards congruence

Well, it took the better part of the day, but I've finished the re-write of the info pages on my website.  If anyone feels so inclined, check them out and let me know if I've got any typos or glitches.  The goal was to make the Maker's Mark / artist bio / statement more ... well, more me ... not so stiff and not a repetition of Nuts and Bolts.  And then the Nuts and Bolts page update was about, well, the nuts and bolts - process, ordering, etc etc.

That's it for now ..........
l i g a - kvk

12 April 2012

an aspiring eccentric's reading list

Mansuetude got me to thinking about this whole eccentricity thing.  I've been pondering the idea a bit and I came up with a couple of clues regarding my aspirations.

A good one came last night as I finished reading Seth Godin's We Are All Weird, the very last sentence in the book kind of summed up my motivations, "... someone brave enough to choose precisely what it is they want." 

Then I decided to see what the on-line dictionary had to say.  I like both of these:
1.deviating from the recognized or customary character, practice, etc.; irregular; erratic; peculiar; odd: eccentric conduct; an eccentric person.
2.Geometry . not having the same center; not concentric: used especially of two circles or spheres at least one of which contains the centers of both.
So  maybe it's not so much being eccentric as just being my own person, being brave enough to follow my own vision, to not compromise my values or aesthetic voice.  Lately I've been getting a lot of encouragement from the printed page ... lots. This got me to thinking about my personal library.
Like most artists, I am a total visual junky and Pinterest is turning into a daily fix, but first and foremost, I am a book addict.  I cannot see me switching to one of those electronic thingies anytime soon ... just don't see the point in them.  Second, I take great pride in my library ... I've got some real treasures and, color me surprised, there's a bunch of juicy tomes that I thought would be fun to share with other aspiring eccentrics.  

Here are some of my favorites, an aspiring eccentric's reading list ...

There's the navel gazing section.   These are pretty good.

But the way to really judge how much I like a book is by the neon fringe of stickies.  Ignore Everybody has a slew, but the hardcover hides them.  I really love this book!

The one with the most stickies is The War of Art ... a really good book.  He's got a new one (Do the Work) that's pretty much the same thing, just hardcover and more the "pithy purls to ponder" format. 

There's the clothing and fashion section, alternative to contemporary ...

... I just found this one - it's chock full of clothing and design in general - I'm looking forward to a thorough perusal ... I love Japanese and German design!

then there's a big home/style section ...

... and anything by Sibella Court is sure to end up on my shelf.  These are such beautiful publications ... useless on a Kindle.

And the last category is jewelry inspiration.  It's always fun to see what the avant garde is up to and these are two good ones ...

But I'd much rather look to the past and these are full of good visual juice ...

I know I've shared some of these in the past, but it was fun to pull them out from a slightly different perspective.  Unfortunately, most are not going to show up on any local bookseller's shelf.  I've tried to show the names and authors in the images, but if anyone wants more details on one or another, let me know and I'll send you the full 411 .
Okay, off to do some more pondering and fix dinner.  Thanks again, Mansuetude for the nudge.
l i g a - kvk

11 April 2012

circling ... further along the road of acceptance

So, it's been a couple of weeks since my amazingly well received "accept or resist" post.  I am deeply grateful for all the comments and new members ... so very reassuring to hear I'm not alone on this journey. 

Since that post, one of the things I've been working on accepting is the evolution of my work habits.  Time was when I could sit down to work, stay on task, stay on target and stay focused for hours on end ... these days, not so much.

What I seem to do with most everything and how I operate in general, I can only describe as circling.  I get things done, just not in a straight line.  I used to work on things start to finish ... push push push, drive drive drive, focus focus focus.  Lately, I sit down to work, focus for a bit, go look something up on the computer, go back to work, make some tea, peruse a book or magazine or recently printed eBook, work some more, comb Zoe, water the plants, back to work and maybe I'll stay there for an hour or so.

I don't know, circles, cycles, spirals ... maybe it's spirals.  Like I said, I'm moving forward and getting things done, it's just a different m.o. that's in place.  It doesn't feel like a bad thing, it's just different ... and I'm really trying to be okay with it, 'cause I'm pretty sure those days of parking my backside with laser focus for hours and hours are long gone.  Yep, probably not a bad thing, a paradigm shift for sure and I'm pretty sure I've got no choice in the matter.

The trouble is fitting this new working paradigm into selling and marketing my work.  Back in the fall when I was wholly gung ho about the new steel and bronze pieces, I was putting together a fairly aggressive marketing strategy.  I was going to approach a slew of high end boutiques and schedule trunk shows and travel, I was looking into on-line wholesale options, etc etc etc.  Then, in January, I had to change gears and get the revamped sample presentation of my existing wholesale line to my new sales rep.  When I sat back down at my worktable, momentum had shifted and the work I was being inspired to make changed as well.   

And to make my business and life more challenging ... I've always worked from a wholesale business model ... develop a body of work that I can replicate, turn it into a catalog, ship it off to the rep to take around to galleries and museum stores to write orders and then fill orders and on and on.  Thing is, when the Urban Primitive work came into being, I realized it wasn't going to fit into my existing business model.  The big difference, the firing limitations of the base metal clays guarantees I won't be making tons of anything.  I can fire hundreds of fine silver pmc components at one time; bronze I might be able to fire a couple of dozen and the steel is even less.  Definitely not a recipe for mass production.

I've always made a broad range of work, but it's been stretched out over longer periods of time.  The core of my work was the wholesale line and I'd make a few one-offs here and there to amuse myself, keep the juices flowing and my Etsy shop occupied.  But since September, goodness ... I'm truly amazed by the range and diversity of my jewelry.  I think the newest pieces are all still fitting very nicely under my "Urban Primitive" moniker, but it's been really interesting to look at the last few months work ... I go from delicate, woven fine silver pmc chokers to seriously chunky, darkly tribal neckpieces to minimalist steel and bronze constructions to aethereal gemstone and silver pieces, to my deeply spiritual talismans and back around or to the middle or wherever.  It's all me, all my work, all my inspirations, but I wonder if anyone else thinks I might be just a bit schitzoid.  

Case in point - my newest work ...

This is where the acceptance thing comes in again ... I'm a big believer that "where attention goes, energy flows," so I'm trying not to worry that all this circling around styles of work will affect my wholesale business.  What I'm working on now is being okay with my new m.o., my new working paradigm, with the range of styles and looks and inspirations, with circling.  My plan of attack is to not have a plan of attack.  I'm going to keep making what I'm inspired to make, I'll send love and good juju to my far off case of samples, I'll keep selling on Etsy, but continue looking for additional options and I'll not worry if anyone thinks I'm a team of designers or just one crazy creator.  The bottom line, it only matters what I think and how passionate I am about what I'm creating.  When in doubt, I just need to go back to my foundation statement :

" I am a maker.  I create work that I love and am proud to share; work that is deeply felt, resonates with and is supported by an audience of like-hearted souls spreading the love and joy that is the foundation of all I do." 
And, for more inspiration, I can go back to a post from last summer for the reminder that, the only rule is, there are no rules.  

l i g a - kvk

p.s.  that first image features the newest addition to our family, Orlando.  I finally found a mannequin!  It's kind of gender neutral, which reminded me of Tilda Swinton and Cara thought Orlando was a fitting name.  I concur.  He's in great shape and was a steal at $150. 

  Plus, he's got a cute butt ...

okay, bye .......