Monday, September 29, 2008

12 Hours 'til Portland

It's 8:00 at night, and I've just finished my last piece of art I'm bringing to Portland Art & Soul. I leave at 6:00 a.m. tomorrow morning, so I do have a little time left to pack now. The attendees of Art & Soul were given an unglazed pottery fish plate, to do with what we will. The idea is to decorate it, then bring it to Portland to display for all to see. I got the idea to break it into pieces and make multiple works of art. They all fit down in a decorated cigar box, decorated with the "By the Sea" theme. Here are some pictures of the box.

When the box is opened, you can see all the mini artworks I did with the pieces of the fish.

I made a blue pendant on black cord from the tail; a couple small greenish pieces wrapped in silver to make a bracelet; a black pendant with aged metal chain for a necklace; a red piece with a black piece that lifts up to reveal a book; a hanging piece made from five individual pieces, and collaged; and a red piece wrapped in beads, on a box, enclosing a set of silver-wrapped earrings.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Calendar Round Robin

When I went to Portland Art & Soul last year, I met so many wonderful women, all amazing artists. At that point, I hadn't done much with journaling, but I had done some collage. After Portland, I was ready to try anything. I joined an online group, the Calendargirlz, and signed up to do a calendar round robin for the year. I had no idea what it was, and it took me awhile to understand what the project was, but I was game for it. The quick summary is: each of 12 artists choose and purchase an engagement calendar for the next year. Most of them have two-page spreads per week, which gives you 8 pages to work on for the month. The calendars are mailed to the next name on the list, and that woman decorates the pages for the current month, using paint, ink, fabric, ribbons, buttons or whatever. Then you journal on it -- writing as little or as much as you want, about whatever you want. At the end of the month, you send it to the next name on the list, and you'll receive someone else's calendar to work on. Since we're at the end of the year, I now have the last calendar in my hands. I've worked on everyone's calendar, and will be receiving my filled, decorated calendar, back at the end of next month. I haven't seen my calendar in 11 months. I know it will be wonderful! Then it is mine to keep. Here are some pages I've done in other artists' calendars.

Portland Trades

I'm heading to Portland, Oregon on Tuesday to attend the Art & Soul retreat. While there, I'll be taking classes from Nina Bagley, Richard Salley, Michael deMeng, Lisa Kaus and Leighanna Light. This is my second year going to Portland A&S. I love meeting all the other artists, and finding out what they make and how they get it out there. I'll break the ice by asking to trade with someone. Last year I wasn't shy, and traded about 40 items. This year, I've made over 100 trades to take with me. About half are charms and half are ATC's. Here are some of the ATC's I made, with the By the Sea theme. Most were done on a base of an old Palm Beach County post card, so the backs have pictures of palm trees and the ocean. The fronts were painted or inked. I rubber stamped fish on some, from a gyotaku stamp by Fred B. Mullett. Some have ribbons, yarn, or tags. Here they are.

I have a date with a group of artists I swap charms with throughout the year while I'm in Portland. We'll be meeting up to do trades in the evening. Again, I went with the By the Sea theme, and I made charms that are stamped with a fish, and have a shell and bead dangle.

Each of the women from the charmsters group will also get their own ATC. I made these on water color paper covered with a few different colors of ink. The seahorse stamp is another one from Fred B. Mullett.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Some of My Jewelry

I've been quite productive lately, making a lot of jewelry. I'm increasing my inventory to be ready for the holiday season. This necklace is called Shades of Purple, because it contains four different purple elements. I like the way I've attached the purple glass bead dangle, by making a loop of seed beads. And I love how the silver toggle adds to its funky look.

This next necklace has a square glass focal bead that was given to me by my neighbor. She went on an amazing mediterranean cruise and brought me some glass charms from Venice.

This last necklace is rather long, 32", but sometimes I just love that look. The stone pendant is new to me -- I had never seen a rectangular shape like this. I got this in a bead store in Cocoa Beach, and immediately went home and designed this necklace around it.

Where I Live

I'm a Florida girl, a native, actually. I grew up in Cocoa Beach, and if people ask me where I'm from, that's where I like to say. Mom, Dad and 5 kids lived in a house on a canal off the Banana River, five minutes across the street from the beach. We spent long hours swimming in the canal, paddling our surfboards over to the islands in the river, and playing at the beach. For the last 22 years, I've lived in Royal Palm Beach, which is 2 1/4 hours south. Despite its name, our town is 12 miles west of the beach. It was actually built as a land scam in the 50's to attract unknowing northern retirees to a town with a beachy-name but no beach. It worked. I'm here because my first job after college was in West Palm Beach, and my husband's firefighter job was in Royal Palm Beach. So here I am, with a husband and two kids, in a town that was ravaged by hurricanes in 2004 and 2005, but was voted one of the best towns to live by Family Circle magazine in 2008.

This is the view of our back yard -- a typical Florida day: lots of green, blue sky. It's probably 85 degrees here. We won't get cooler weather until December.

And here are some flowers from our front garden. These caladiums are about 18" wide. They keep coming back every year, bigger and bigger. In a week or so they'll die, and we won't see them again until April.

In five days I'm leaving for Portland, Oregon to attend the Art & Soul retreat. I'll enjoy the cooler weather and beautiful flowers of that city.

Monday, September 22, 2008

First Post

Hello and Welcome to my Blog --

I've been making so much jewelry lately, I figured I needed a place to show it off. My space is called Blue Sand Studio, simply because I grew up on the beach, and blue's my favorite color. Yeah, I know, real simple. I'm a jewelry designer and a collage artist, mostly self-taught. Presently, my faves are working with sheet metal and wire. I've also been experimenting with journaling techniques, combined with collage, using paint, inks, pastels, paper scraps, fibers, and whatever else I can get my hands on. I'm new to the whole blogging thing, so forgive me if my blog doesn't yet have a lot of bells and whistles. It will always be a work in progress.

Enjoy -- and please comment.

-- Suzanne from Royal Palm Beach (formerly from Cocoa Beach, Florida)