Tuesday, August 24, 2010

All things must pass...A Tutorial of Sorts

Didn't George Harrison say that?  He was right.  They do, however I don't find myself thinking, "Hey Lis, all things must pass..." when I am tremendously happy...just when I need to get through something.  Through it, gone, done, and now I am revelling in happiness.  I pulled out some fun and silly work, just a little break....and it started with these.  Pomegranates from a friends tree, some lemons and limes thrown in...buried in my studio for at least a year now, perhaps longer.  Hmmm...All things must pass Lis, and apparently that includes my memory. 
So thanks for being here, and if you're interested, I suspect this is my first attempt at a tutorial of sorts.  Very informal.  So where was I...oh!  The poms are probably just a year old.  The natural colors, even though they've long since dried out and hardened, are still lovely and rich, another year or so and they become really dull.  I took my trusty drill and put holes in them and glued in some dowels, about 6 inch lengths or so, and left them to dry.  When I sauntered back to them, I got out the Paperclay and some glue, and fashioned noses...and wandered off to do something else again.  By now you're ready to bounce, but wait!
This is really fun and I'm just getting started.  I love all these different shapes, they lend themselves so well to odd and simple little faces.  When my 15 little noses were adequately adhered, I pulled out the Gesso and put two or three coats on...I don't know why, except sometimes the color from the fruit will bleed and I like playing with Gesso.  Then I had to go find something else to do again, not a difficult task around here.  When the gesso was dry, I started slathering on white acrylic paint.  Not antique white, but frosty white.

Aren't these little faces shaping up?  And notice my clever use of a brutal looking flower frog. 

Hmmm, I don't think I took a picture of them after white base paint, but you get the idea.  So then I went back and spent about 2 minutes painting freehand details on each one.  Simple, primitive faces very loosely inspired by antique Queen Anne dolls. 

Oh dear, I neglected to tell you that I put crackle glaze on them when the paint was dry, and then rubbed some watered down brown paint in to the surface crackles....This was all done gradually over the period of several days as you've no doubt gathered, and dressing their little selves will be done much the same way. 

Ultimately, these ladies will get primitive pillow type bodies, clothing, and little accessories or something.....and hats, definitely hats.  Well, maybe.  I like the little "crowns" on some of them, but they do break off sometimes.  Most likely I will use twigs from one of the apple trees for their limbs.  Was that an accidental pun?  I will post when I have a few dressed.  It shouldn't take too terribly long.

Meet MammyCat.  She came from last year's pomegranates.  Well, I think it was last year...hmmm.
Mammy lives with me, but all the finished dolls above will eventually adopted out.  Wouldn't they make great little handmade gifts? 

I will put some out at our craft faire, at September's end, and maybe a couple on Artfire.
Thank you all for your lovely comments, and for stopping by periodically. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

More Customer Love

So this is what I've been doing while under some little bits of stress. I don't usually admit to stress in public ever, I hate the word, the condition and it's just not done in public, especially on the net where everything is a permanent record...and not in my family, my mother would gasp at these words.  I surprised myself with what I've done recently and I hope it pleases you. 
This ensemble was inspired by Sugapea, thank you dear girl!  Edwardian brass and enamel pieces complemented by vintage brass and drop dead blood red czech glass beads, earrings too...

Long story on this set but these cameos are all so lovely and were worth saving, the necklace and earrings were reconstructed using some gorgeously patinaed clasps acquired from my friend Danette Darbonne, Proprietress of EmbellissezlaReine.  I have had a wonderful time using rhinestone elements acquired from her shop, amazing collection she has, do visit her, and her designs are ultimate. The reverse of one of the earrings has resin and a tintype, a perfect and funky mismatch, but so sensible!  I will elaborate more on these pieces in the listings on my sites.

Moved to create more pieces from Victorian mourning elements by a dear and wonderful lady who I shall simply refer to as SP, or sweetiepie?  Those are the initials my stepfather uses for my mother...This focal is antique chalcedony and I managed to find matching beads from FoxyFindings, a near miracle imho, I had to look everywhere and judge color via a monitor...the tightly woven hair of the beloved is intact, but I had to remove shattered glass and replaced it with IceResin..I usually get it stuck in my hair and everywhere, this dome is unsinkable, Molly Brown, thank you very much and take a bow!
And last but not least, are earrings constructed from the most fabulous black tourmalines I've ever encountered.  I will never be able to replace these, I've tried.  1920's czech rhinestone buttons....and believe it or not, but you should because I am telling you the truth, inspired by the Jetsons robot housemaid.  Go figure.  This is what I do, who I am and bless you for spending even a moment of your time here.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Just a Quick Chat....

I have to tell you ....I really love my customers, and gosh I learn so much from them.    Recently I was a bit lazy when listing a piece and didn't post a picture of it on a mannequin or form, the alabaster bust photos are very pretty but not a substitute.....it was hot or whatever lame excuse, the mannequin was not readily available, lame, lame, lame-out....I just didn't do it.  SO!  A very interested lady very graciously emails and asks if I can snap a quick photo of it on a neck.  Hmmmm, no cute teen girl children about, they're all in Florida, Ron's neck wouldn't do the piece justice, and my neck, well, I wanted to do that about as much as I wanted to use Ron's.  A sale is a sale though, and so I told her that I would, but if she didn't want to purchase the necklace after she saw it on my wrinkly throat, I didn't blame her.  Crossing my fingers.....I sent the gorgeous necklace on (my) wrinkly throat picture, she purchased the piece, came back a few days later and put another on hold.  Wow.  Just wow!

Why do you think they call it a mannequin??
I have another customer, a local lady who pops in periodically, purchases a treat for herself, something to gift someone else, offers her very intuitive opinions about what I have in the works, and off she goes.....  There are a few of these ladies all over the world now, it gives me huge warm fuzzies.  I feel good about the growth of my work, I feel great about my sales,  it has taken a long time developing.  It's a painful process to put yourself out there on the web, and I have deliberately kept my shops separate, vintage for sale is apart from my work.  Watching those numbers creep up, oh so excruciatingly slowly!  It's very personal when it's your work, and not a pair of 1950's earrings....Antique and vintage sales are important, yes, but I think you know what I mean.
A Cameo Appearance...

I've learned to test drive all my necklaces before offering them up for sale, it's very aggravating to have a piece that curls, crawls, flips or pulls....not good.

Yes, I have some truly wonderful customers, if any of you happen over here now, see me standing front and center applauding you? Thank and bless you for your encouragement, support and friendship! 

While I was working on this piece, I was thinking about the number of cameo's I've purchased and been gifted over the years, and next time, hope to share some of them with you. Cameo's are such a classic, and I've been working with that theme much of late.  When I get them all out in to one place, it really is quite a respectable collection.  I like collections.  The cameo below is really a nice one.  The brooch could have been repaired, but what fun would that have been?  Yes, a really nice piece.
These pieces are available on either Artfire or Etsy....and I love them both.  I think the thing with confidence (mine) is that even though I know I am not the best at what I do, I still immensely enjoy doing it!

Till next time...