Friday, August 28, 2009

A Giveaway from Beccas Bead Creations

I'm not one to promote other Etsy sellers unless I am familiar with them, however, this is an amazing opportunity to win a "FREE" Cabochon Bracelet from Becca's Bead Creations. I found this giveaway through the Making Lemonade blog and the bracelet caught my eye. I love the color and how well it goes with silver.

Becca's Bead Creations has some other beautifully designed and handmade pendants as well as gemstone necklaces.

You can find details for the giveaway at Making Lemonade as well as check out the bracelet that is being given away.

I truly believe in supporting fellow handmade designers, artists, beaders, and crafters. What a wonderful way to not only support them but to give someone something that is unique and well handcrafted.

Good luck to whoever wins, but I do hope it is me!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Feelings, Nothing More Then Feelings!

I went on a job interview yesterday and was amazed at the parting words of the interviewer, she said something like this: “I do not care about anyone’s feelings, I will not take you out for a glass of wine, so, if you start working here don’t come to work with any feelings.” Wow, where have I heard that before? Let me take you back a number of years before my Communication Skills Class for Women. I worked for a General Contractor with the title Office Manager/Contract Administrator in a little office in southeastern Colorado. Sure I had worked all my life but not until that moment had I been put in a position of authority that would allow my inner “bitch” to go romping about. Let me just say this “I do not believe there is any position, job, or duty that can truly be successful by being a “bitch”, so, don’t be one.”

Let me get back to the Office Manager position for a minute. You may ask “how was I a bitch?” Well, here is the breakdown:

1) I didn’t care about your feelings; I told it like it was. If your feelings got hurt that was your problem.
2) I didn’t care that you were human and had problems. You should be perfect and have no problems whatsoever.
3) I kept my office door closed, head down, and blinds pulled.
4) I didn’t have time for questions or small chit-chat.
5) What I’m doing is way more important than anything you have to say or ask.

As Office Manager it was also my duty to assist the Vice President of this particular office and he became a dear friend to me. He told me that he knew I was a type A personality but that I really needed to work on how I managed and communicated with others. Ok, I said, let me check into that. I used to get seminar brochures all the time and found one that peaked my interest about “Communication Skills for Women”. I showed it to my boss and he approved me taking the seminar. Let me tell you, I learned a number of useful tips, tricks, rules, and phrases that would stick with me right up until this moment.

The course I took taught me influence and persuasion techniques that I could use to build productive and rewarding relationships with those I work with and in my personal life. It’s no secret that I did not have these much needed skills, however, after I learned them and applied them I could accomplish so much more.

Probably the most important thing I learned was how to control my emotions while staying composed so that I could totally be effective while under pressure. This was definitely the most difficult thing I learned in the seminar I took. Why? Well, since women think with more of their brain than do men, it only stands to reason that we are also much more “sensitive” then they are. That was me, throwing fits, crying over spilt milk or any milk really, and not understanding how everyone else didn’t think that what I said or thought was important to listen to and there were rules that needed to be obeyed and procedures that needed to be followed. That last one is still hard for me; Don’t you know that if you follow the policies and procedures your life will be much easier?

Anyways, I still don’t like voicing my thoughts or offering my opinions. Yes, you can go the total opposite. I’ve had to overcome the “if my thoughts and opinions don’t matter; why should I say anything at all?” That’s not the point, the point is that you do it in a way that is incognito. I’m sure everyone’s grandmother told the something to the affect of “If you let a man think it is his idea, he doesn’t get mad, and you are the better person for doing so, even though it was your idea.” Men definitely need their egos stroked but I’m still not sure why we care as women. Ok, I’m getting side tracked, back to the topic at hand.

I don’t mind public speaking now and I actually enjoy talking with others. I love to go to a park and watch people and I’ll even sit down next to someone to see how they are doing or just to start a conversation. The “old” me would have never taken the time to care or to listen. Everything was about me! I had a job to do, I didn’t have time to talk or play around, I would spend an ungodly number of hours working to get something done because someone else said they needed it right away, and I couldn’t let others see me as weak.

I went back to the office with the tools I needed to be successful with others. I opened my door and blind, hung a wall quilt that my mom made on my office wall, put out a bowl of candy and started doing what I had learned. It worked and I felt better about myself.

I’m still not perfect, but I make much more of an effort on a job then I used to of being the nice person. I remind myself constantly that I am only human, no employer is worth killing myself over, and there are 168 hours in a week 56 to 80 of those are sleeping and only 40 to 50 of those could be spent at a job. With those numbers I also realize if I take the number of hours I sleep out it leaves me 112 hours a week. This is approximately 16 hours a day to either work or stay at home and take care of business here. If I work 8 to 10 hours a day that leaves me approximately 6 to 8 hours to do “at home” stuff. I’m not sure about you, but I am not happy with the liberated woman and the fact that those of us who wouldn’t mind staying at home now have to figure out our days like this.

What does all this mean? It means that instead of taking care of business at home, I know have to go work for someone else that has no communication skills, can’t handle high-stake situations because they don’t know how to, or makes mistakes and crises without confidence. My job interview yesterday was maybe 5 minutes and I could have answered her “confident” statement with “I hope that goes both ways or I used to be a bitch like you”, but I’ve learned not to say things like that and walked away giggling that there are others like that and I have chosen not to be that way.

You may ask, “So, what did you learn?” There were five key points that I needed to learn, which were recognizing words, gestures, and speech patterns I was using that were not allowing me to have any power in any situation and eliminating these, essential communication techniques that allowed me to be able to have positive responses from others that were predictable, which wouldn’t upset me because I knew what to expect, getting others to like, respect, and support me, being able to perform confidently in tough situations including negotiating, conflicts, important meetings, and crises that could come up from time to time. The most important of these was learning to LISTENI as those of us Type A personalities know, we do not do this very well at all. If there is anything I learned about communicating it is this or maybe that, I get confused. Is it my job to understand what you are saying or is it your job to make what you are saying clear? This is where, in my personal opinion, we get stuck thus leading to being a not-so-nice person. We are intelligent and hard workers that just want to be heard and understood.

My advice is this: “You are the important one; no employer is worth being emotionless, and that the old saying about attracting more flies with honey has obviously been proven so you should consider it!”

Monday, August 24, 2009

My Blog Interview with Beadwright

In case you didn't see the interview with Beadwright or just simply missed it for whatever reason. I thought I would post it here for you to read in hopes that it gives you a better insight into who I am.

A little something about me:

I was born on September 13, 1969 in an El Centro, CA hospital on a day of 120 degrees at 1:51 p.m. Why all the detailed information about my birth? Well, this information helps to explain who I am and why I have become the person I am today. I am ingenious, sharp, discerning, crafty, and can be diplomatic. I am to the point and subtle when speaking, I have been known to be a real diplomat. I have weaknesses like everyone else including being petty and sometimes over-critical. I have an insane attention to detail, which can often lead me to be nit-picky and fussy.

I have big ideas; I will evaluate and weigh things up before making a decision about anything. I have good judgment and can express myself clearly. Before coming to an opinion on any subject, I listen to the opinions offered by others and can compare them before making up my own mind. I can sometimes be happy-go-lucky or just-along-for-the-ride.

I really try to be sincere by showing frank and warm affections. I can be full of tenderness and I like to live and satisfy my need for intensity to the fullest. I will protect and make friends with people from all types of backgrounds. My strong sense of right-and-wrong allows me to fight against principles, society, or a philosophy that I feel is negative. I am a reasoning person with the ability to explain things, be logical and can debate. I have a revolutionary spirit.

I have a sweet, attractive and sunny disposition. I believe in justice, which I trust wholeheartedly. I am a well-developed artistic person that is able to investigate just about anything by asking a lot of questions or by doing extensive research. I do not consider myself shy but I do have anxiety issues with large crowds of people.

I have a great memory, or used to anyways and consider myself quite intelligent, imaginative, vivacious; continually developing throughout my life. I believe in being frank, honest, optimistic and generous. I love to cook and the friendships I currently have are dear to me. I try to be a grounded person and I consider myself to have the "gift of the gab". I love literature; any literature.

I have a “bucket” list and so far have completed some of what is on it. I hope to be able to live up to being a strong individual and even in my current setbacks, I know I can pick myself up, dust myself off, and continue going forward. I love my ability to look at something and tell what is going on at a glance. My hunger for knowledge can be overwhelming to me, which can often lead to my over organizing everything. I am an independent person who enjoys my freedom and quiet time.

I love designing and creating, but I think I love buying supplies and other items even more. I think I am just a shopper at heart with BIG ideas. I have so many ideas swimming in my head that half of them drown before I can get to them. I found out recently that I like numbers very little and that I LOVE the arts, every area and aspect.

The first thing I remember beading was with the plastic beads my daughters use today. I was probably around 8 at the time I joined the Brownies. We used to do all kinds of crafts and my favorites were always the ones that had to do with stringing something on string. At a camp I went to I made this really cool necklace with dried alphabet soup, plastic beads, and a round piece of wood, which we painted and decorated. My true love for beading came to me about 10 years ago when I lived in Durango, CO and started going to Pow Wows with my Sister-In-Law who happens to be Navajo. I couldn’t get enough of the little beads that were referred to as seed beads. I just kept buying them not really caring about what I was supposed to actually do with them. Then my sister-in-law introduced me to her sister who did beadwork for the family on ceremonial outfits and the like. She taught me how to bead using the Navajo techniques that she learned from her mom. Let me just say, I have a true understanding and respect for how difficult beading can be. That sparked my love for it and the rest is, as they say, “history”.

My passion for crafting is something that no matter where I am or how bad my life is, I can trust to always be there. I can sew, do beading, and I absolutely love photography. Although, I am learning that you just can’t go out and snap a picture, you really have to know what you are doing! :0)

My husband is the most supportive in my endeavors to be a stay-at-home crafter. He just wishes I could actually make a full-time living at it.

You have great color sense how or what leads you to color coordination in your art? I use a color wheel or I simply look at whatever it is I am doing and decide what color(s) I think would go with it. I use the color theory for my pieces, sometimes. Mostly I like to just roll with ever comes up that needs to be created. My inspiration comes from everywhere and nowhere.

You can find my work mainly on Etsy, but I hope to have my website up and functional to my standards before school starts next month. I have been Etsy so long, it really is hard to pull away from it.

When I first purchased Nicole's BeadBacking and FlatWork book, I honestly had no idea what I was going to do with it. I just had to have it though. Before we moved from Colorado to Oklahoma, I purchased the instructions for making those Scrabble tile pendants that everyone else is making on Etsy but didn’t have the money to actually go out and buy any Scrabble replacement tiles. I just kept thinking I don’t want to do what everyone else is doing. Then, I remembered Nicole’s book and bead backing. I frantically looked for both after I made the 1” wood disk pendants. So, there it was in easy to understand instructions with awesome pictures. After going around the pendant with the “contemporary” flatwork beading technique, I then decided that I wanted to use flatwork beading to hold the pendant down to the bead backing. This is where the “Fancy Bolo Tie” instructions for “shelving” came in handy. The pendants turned out absolutely amazing and I couldn’t wait to let Nicole know about how I used the supplies and book I purchased to achieve this beautiful look around my pendants.

I have to admit, at first, I was totally intimidated by the book. My instinct for acquiring knowledge and my ability to sit and go one-step-at-a-time kicked in and I believe, no I know, I have found my next beading passion.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Hummingbird Sillouette, Butterflies, and Spider

I took this photo of a hummingbird tonight at my in-laws house. I am currently addicted to trying to capture their photo on my 35mm digital camera. I have also tried with my up to 200mm camera. If you have ever tried to capture a hummingbird on camera you know that they are quick, never sit still, and extremely hard to photograph.

Out of 100 shots I can honestly say that maybe 5 of them are focused and clear. I was excited when I caught this shot because:

1) The hummingbird was sitting still and...
2) What a cool sillouette shot.

I have also caught on camera this week the amazing black swallowtail butterfly:

Red Admiral Butterfly:

and a very intimidating looking St. Andrews Cross spider:

I love nature and have been away too long. I am loving this new found freedom to really getting back into it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

This is Home Project

I recently viewed an RSS feed in my Outlook that said someone was working on a This is Home Project. Curious as to what this entailed I immediately went to the blog and read what others were saying about "home".

I recently lost my house due to foreclosure as my husband and I lost our jobs in October and December of last year. While the bill collecting hounds are hot on our heels; it isn't what matters. What matters is my family and I are still together. I have my husband and kids and have moved to this place called Miami, OK or what I like to refer to as "stuck in time". While I sit and complain about all the things that irritate me about this place I know what is most important is that I haven't lost my family or that single 1/16th piece of hope.

It's the little things, it really is, in life that make wherever you live a home. I submitted my phrase and you should too.

This is Home Project!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Am I an Artist or a Crafter; Is that Art or a Craft?

So the age long discussion on art versus craft is still going. I know this because I recently posted the question "Is there a difference between an artist and a craft person?" I was truly amazed to find out how people felt about the two and what others' reasoning was for how they answered the question. The following is what I posted for my latest response to what has been written so far:

"In the MacMillan Webster's Thesaurus Third Edition copyright © 1997 the following words are listed:

"1.[Skill or creative Power] - Syn. skill, craft, technique, artistry, craftsmanship, artisanship, trade, creativity, skillfulness, expertise, faculty, talent, knack, flair, ingenuity, inventiveness, imagination, adroitness, artifice, cunning, craftiness, artfulness, wiliness, finesse, facility, mastery, virtuosity, know-how.
2. [The study and creation of beauty]...
3. [The product of art, sense 2]...
4. [The study of humanities; plural]..." (Laird, 1997)

After all the words listed for Art there is a paragraph that states:

"SYN. - art, the word of widest application in this group, denotes in its broadest sense merely the abililty to make or do something [the art of making friends], but in narrower sense implies making or doing that displays creativity and unusual perception; skill implies expertness or great proficiency in doing something; artifice implies skill used as a means of trickery or deception; craft implies ingenuity in execution, sometimes even suggesting trickery or deception; in another sense, craft is distinguished from art in its application to a lesser skill involving little or no creative thought." (Laird, 1997)

For the word "artist" the first two sections state for the definition:

"1. [A creative worker in the fine arts]... and
2. [A highly skilled workman]..." (Laird, 1997)

In conclusion and in my opinion we are a little bit of artist and a little bit of crafters. We are artists in that we all have or have developed various types of talent and application with what we do and it is in the eyes of the beholder to interpret what we have done. We are crafters that have learned a skill or talent and are using it to create something wonderful.

When I originally started this discussion it was my true intention to find out what others thought about the two. After reading all of the very insightful responses, I know now that it isn't about what you call yourself, but how one feels about their work on an individual basis.

This has been one of the more interesting discussions I have ever started or followed. Thank you to all who have made this topic a little more understandable.


Here are some interesting thoughts by others outside this group:
Pixelated Image
On Art(s) And Craft(s)

Wiki Answers
What is the difference between art and craft?

Denis Dutton
The Difference Between Art and Craft

Tangle Crafts
The difference between art and craft

I'm sure there are more articles out there, but I just wanted to list a few for now."

Since I am not the first to bring up this question I feel relieved in knowing that I am no different than others and we are all artists and crafters in our own accord.

Laird, C. G. (1997). Webster's New World Thesaurus (Third ed.). (M. Agnes, Ed.) Cleveland: Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

How I See You!

Me and my 2 daughters sat on the floor in a triangle and then proceeded to draw each other. Molly, Sierra's cat got her portrait done since she decided to walk in between all of us. Sierra did not like how her portraits turned out, except for Molly's. She has decided to stick with just drawing wolves.

Find more photos like this on Mixed Media Workshops

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Diary 2010 Project

Make sure to support handmade and buy next year's 2010 Diary made by artists and crafters from all over. Each page of this diary is designed by a different artist/crafter around the world.

Help support artists and crafters worldwide.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Photo Manipulation Lesson 1

I am taking a photo manipulation class online in one of my social networks. I am really enjoying it and it is being taught by a 13 year old from the United Kingdom. She is seriously talented and the nicest person. She also happens to be a very kind and patient teacher. Here are a couple of the images I have done using the layers, erase, and merge functions in Gimp 2.

This is the photo we used for the class. There are 3 layers here: horse, landscape, and transparent.

This is a photo of a House Sparrow I took where I live. There are 2 layers here: house sparrow and background.

This is an image I drew titled "Self Portrait". There are 3 layers here: my drawing, text, and background.

This is an image I took of one of my pieces of jewelry. There are 6 layers here: my jewelry image, (2) flowers, flip flops, glitter sun, and background.

My Sierra in Blue!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Mod Fashion & Carnaby Street

In looking back at a question I asked on a “Beading” discussion board, I was directed to an article relating to Mod fashion on Wikipedia. Since I rarely take what is written on Wikipedia as “true”, I decided to follow the links at the bottom of the article to get a closer look at what “Mod” really meant. In doing so, I was directed to the website Carnaby London.

I was amazed to learn that Carnaby Street, historically, was originally built in 1683 and over the years became known as “the swinging city”. Carnaby Street is just a hop-skip-and-a-jump from Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus in London and a rich history of fashion, music, and is all about being unique and independent. Carnaby, a one-of-a-kind approach, is considered home to some high end international “flagship” stores and exclusive independents. There are no cars on Carnaby Street, like China Town in San Francisco, but is more of a place for that person on foot that wants to stroll visiting an array of shops offering just about anything. Located in London, United Kingdom, in the Soho district, near Oxford Street and Regent Street, Carnaby Street’s name was originally derived from Karnaby House, which is located to its east and was erected in 1683.

How does this relate to the wonderful world of Mod fashion? “In the 60s, when little villages could be found in every region, the Time magazine article called London "the swinging city.” (TIME, 1966) What the Time article actually said about Carnaby Street was “From Carnaby Street, the new, way-out fashion in young men's clothes is spreading around the globe, and so are the hairdos, the hairdon'ts and the sound of beat; in Czechoslovakia alone, there are 500 beat groups, all with English names.” (TIME, 1966) The 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s fashion, and 60s Mods were said to be influenced by designers on Carnaby Street. While the days of the “groovy” shops may have changed, Carnaby Street still offers shoppers a wide array of selections from the weird to the brilliant and has, once again, become the source for cutting edge fashion. The Carnaby Street reliant of “Swinging London” took North American by storm and helped to increase its international awareness after the April 15, 1966 publication of Time magazine's cover and article that celebrated Carnaby’s role: “Perhaps nothing illustrates the new swinging London better than narrow, three-block-long Carnaby Street, which is crammed with a cluster of the 'gear' boutiques where the girls and boys buy each other clothing.”

Carnaby Street became home to independent fashion boutiques and designers such as Mary Quant, Marion Foale and Sally Tuffin, Lord John, Take Six, and Irvine Sellars. All were located in Carnaby Street along with various underground music bars such as the Roaring Twenties. The Carnaby Street boom and origin was also home to a few canny “Soho” tailors, which helped the trends that were rising to be better understood.

Sherry’s, which sells 60’s accessories, womenswear, and menswear, was established in 1979 and has a more authentic feel than some of the larger chains on Carnaby Street. Mary Quant called Carnaby Street home back in the 60's at the same time that The Beatles and The Rolling Stones were frequently spotted among the ultra stylish large crowds. This is during the time when Carnaby Street was labeled the epicenter for worldwide coolness.

John Stephen was a Glaswegian clothes designer who had several shops on London's Carnaby Street. According to the plaque on one of Carnaby Street’s buildings: “John Stephen was founder of Carnaby Street as World Centre for Men’s fashion in the 1960’s.” His men's shop became known as a focal point for the London mods. In 1959, John moved to Carnaby Street and set up the first men’s clothing shop, after a fire had claimed his original shop.

There was a musical based on Carnaby Street during the 1960s called Carnaby Street the Musical, which followed the tale of The Who, the Spencer David Group, The Moody Blues and The Yardbirds. The Marquee was where these musicians played just before their careers began to take off. The musical includes not just music but also some of the fashion that became popular back in the 60s. The story concentrates on Jack Flash, who is said to have been the “man-about-town” who helps Jude to get into the band “Wild Thing”.

Carnaby Street has staked a claim on fashion’s frontier since the 1960’s and continues today to be at the heart of eclectic fashion and design. So, where do the Mods come into play here? Well, in the 1960s it was said to be the Mods that made the Mod style popular and then became closely associated with the Swinging Sixties. This is when many independent music shops, fashion boutiques, and designers such as Mary Quant were located there. Although Carnaby Street's time as a fashion centre was limited; Carnaby Street is still popular today amongst shoppers and sellers alike. Carnaby Street is included in a song by The Jam called "Carnaby Street", which was written by bassist Bruce Foxton.

The area surrounding Carnaby Street has seen a number of changes in the last few years, especially at the southern end, including new stores, a passage that goes through to Kingly Court. There are three floors of one-off 'concept' shops and studios hosting items that are not sold anywhere else in London. There are shops and cafes and no-car intersections; where one can purchase clothes from Diesel jeans to antique hippie wear. All of this within “bag-swinging distance of London's top 5 shopping spots for women at Oxford Circus” and today Carnaby Street is more of a tourist attraction. While Carnaby Street may not be as cutting-edge as it used to be, that’s not exactly what it is striving for today.

There was a significant amount of rebuilding that happened between 1820 and 1825, after the Carnaby Market was closed, which is when most of the property was purchased by a Lord Craven. 5 and 6 Carnaby Street was demolished and houses were erected in the 1720's, which were of some interest. When Lord Craven began building his pestilential disease house in the 1730's, the street was extended eastward, which later became known as South Row because the houses on its south side also formed the south side of Carnaby Market.

Does anyone actually go to Carnaby Street today? Sure, for those that don’t mind the lines for dressing rooms and cash registers; the village like atmosphere of pedestrian-only Carnaby Street is the perfect flipside. With over 100 shops, bars and restaurants in and around Carnaby Street there is something for anyone looking for that unique look and experience.


Related Posts with Thumbnails