Monday, December 17, 2012

It's Been a Rough Year

You gain strength, courage and confidence
 by every experience
 in which you really stop
 to look fear in the face.
  ~Eleanor Roosevelt

I haven't posted anything since March, because I haven't spent any time in my studio this year.  It's been a rough year for me and my family, as I was diagnosed with cancer back in January.  I've undergone 3 surgeries earlier this year, and am having another major surgery in early 2013.  I went thru chemotherapy treatment, finishing the end of August, but continue to get 1 of the drugs every three weeks. This will continue until the end of next May.   Throughout all of this, I've kept a very positive attitude that I'm going to beat this!  I'm finally feeling pretty good again, although I get tired very easily.  Needless to say, my creativity level has been at zero. 
Since I wasn't working in my studio, it quickly became quite a 'catch-all' for assorted junk that I didn't know where else to go with. It got to the point that even if I wanted to work in it, I wouldn't because I couldn't stand the mess and clutter that overtook the workbench, table and floorspace.
Fortunately, I am finally beginning to get the urge to start working on art again.
I took the bull by the horns yesterday, and began the process of reclaiming my workspace.  I'm proud of the progress I've made so far, but I still have a lot more to do.  I took a few photos of the areas that I have finished, but my metalsmithing area is still in a state of shambles.

 This is only half of my studio space.  It's the part I got organized yesterday. 
 The wooden cabinets are full of assorted found objects.
 This is another view of the workspace.  The table under the window is where I can work on journaling, stamping, and mixed-media projects.
This photo is taken from my workbench where I do all my metalwork.  All the studio space from this point on is still in a state of chaos.  Hopefully, I'll get more organizing done on it today.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

An Afternoon Roadtrip

Yesterday morning I called my friend and fellow artist, Kim Nugent, to see if she would like to go on a little outing with me. It's been ages since the two of us went on a road trip, so I thought it would be a great day to get out and have some fun scrounging around at a few antique malls in search of some little treasures.

One of the many things I love to collect is old religious items.  I've already got a pretty hefty hoard of little medals, crosses, prayer books, etc., but my motto is that you can never have too much.   That was my main focus of my search.  Unfortunately, the antique malls that we went to didn't seem to have much that was religious.

The time seemed to fly by as we were on the hunt, but neither of us ended up buying very much.  We had a great time, though!

Here are a few pictures of the things that I came home with....

 A smaller sized celluloid photo album with pages that are in good condition for $25; An old tintype for $10; A really pretty photo locket with black cameo for $8...

 A heavy brass crucifix for $10; A box of old bullet casings for $1; 14 religious medals for $5...

 A few other little odds and ends that were cheap...

And finally this little baby...An old brass turning pocket shrine.  This is my favorite item from the stuff I found, and I got it for only $8!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I know it's been months since I posted...

"You gain strength,
 and confidence
by every
 in which you
really stop
 to look fear
 in the face." 
~Eleanor Roosevelt
I know I haven't posted in months, and I feel really bad and somewhat guilty about it.  I have always tried to use my blog to focus strictly on posting about what I have been creating in my studio; I really didn't want to get into my personal life on it.  But the New Year rang in a lot more than I ever bargained for.

As a result, the chain of events started in mojo equaled no creating.  No creating equaled no blogging.  And no blogging equaled guilt at no creating.
I did make a wonderful pendant to honor my mom and dad last month, and I wear it often. But other than that and a few pair of earrings...that's about it.  I felt a burst of inspiration today, so I made this collage of my sister and myself.
So now I feel a little less guilty because I did finally post something, even though it isn't very much.

Monday, November 7, 2011

I Got Some New Stuff!!!

 I know, I know...... I go from not posting in almost a year to posting twice in one day!  

UPS left a package at the door for me today from Otto Frei.  I've got a birthday coming up in a few weeks, so Mike told me that I should order some tools that I want as a birthday present.  I am a tool junkie, and always have a wish list of things that I'd like, so I went to the Otto Frei website and honed in on the Fretz hammers and stake sets.

I got the Fretz Miniature Stake Set, along with the Fretz Double Ended Insert Hammer with 9 different tips.  I also recently got both of Bill Fretz's DVD's: "Metalsmith Essentials: Basic Jewelry Hammering and Forming, Vol. 1," and "Metalsmith Essentials: Hammering and Forming Jewelry, Volume 2."   I watched a good portion of the first
DVD already, and can't wait to start working with the different stakes.  Hmm...he makes forming  cuffs look so easy on the dvd's....  I also got a round bracelet mandrel.  I already had an oval one, but from what I've viewed on the dvd so far, he always uses a round one.  And finally, I got another barrette file.  This one is a little coarser than the other barrette files that I always use.  Guess you can never have too many files...