Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Heck Yeah, I'm a Gatherer!


I often think about how things used to be, still is in some areas of the world, before the industrial age, before the pioneer age, before the age of exploration by sea. Living off the land you were born to, making use of the resources around you.
I don't know how well I would have fared, being mostly decorative and kinda useless, but I do know I could have gathered the heck out of things!
I constantly walk with my head down, scouring for little things I can collect, so much so that I have to remind myself to look up, look around and see the world around me (make eye contact and smile, Shannon, they're not all demons).
But I can't help it! 
I love to gather; shells, pods, stones, pebbles, nuts, seeds, bits of wood or man made objects left to the elements. Each tiny piece has a story.
I think that is why most women are pegged as "shoppers". We shop in place of gathering now, it's in our biological make-up.
Stores have simply made it easy to gather.
Although reeeeeealllllllllly expensive. 


And so I have titled this piece as; 
The Gatherer 
I had the verdigris brass neck cuff with an African recycled glass bead forever, just sitting and waiting.
Then when Erin and Lorelei's book came out, I added linen to both sides of the focal bead, inspired by their use of cording with metal. But it still sat and sat....... never having any meaning or direction, until I started selling off my bead collection. I pulled every bead I owned out of drawers and found I have a nice little hoard of natural materials that look very cohesive when mixed together; melon buri seeds, panya seeds, horn, coconut, amber salwag and red bahay seeds!
The polymer clay focal is hand carved by Artybecca
It has two, very detailed sides.


I attached it to the African glass with a knotted leather bail and because the back hook of the neck cuff does not have a right or left, you can turn this piece around and wear the sun follower side of the necklace.


Yep, I think I would have done my tribe pride.
:)
Peace and Prosperity, 
Shannon

Friday, January 31, 2014

Ok, Enough of That! Now onto This!


Do you want to hear me talk about some fun stuff for a change?
I had the honor of chatting it up for a podcast with Cara Rae of
Cara is incredibly easy to talk to and she had me spilling the beans about creating, combining children, home and business tasks, production work versus one of a kind pieces and sources of inspiration.
(I promise I do not mention man trouble once during the interview!)
You can listen to the show on Monday, the 3rd.
Here is a link to the chat;
icreateflix radio

I am working on a series of downloadable videos to turn over to Cara that will be available for purchase during the Spring.
They'll be super affordable and a great introduction to basic metalsmithing that I'm sure will spark a fire for creating your own metal components for your art jewelry.
My goal for the video instruction is that you just simply..... 
BEGIN.
Don't get bogged down with acquiring tools and setting up the perfect work bench, just pick up a hammer and start learning what happens when you lay into a piece of metal!

Before I go, here's a joke;

There was an old blacksmith who realized he needed to quit working so hard and start training an apprentice for the small town forge he ran.
He choose a strong young man to assist him.
The old blacksmith was very crabby and exacting;
"Just do exactly what I tell you to do", he instructed the young man.
The next day he took an annealed piece of metal from the forge and laid it on the anvil.
"Now when I nod my head", he barked "Hit it real good and hard with the hammer."
The town is now looking for a new blacksmith.

Hahahahahahahaha!









Friday, January 3, 2014

The Run Down....


There's a video on facebook that I couldn't bring over here. The camera microphone on the computer kept muffling our sound and you couldn't hear what we were saying, so we used my phone and uploaded it to facebook. I don't know what happened to the computer recording microphone, I might have messed with it when I was looking for a way to increase the volume on my netflix movies.

So here is the run down;

1. HAPPY NEW YEARS!!! 
I am so excited to see what is in store for everyone in 2014. 
I hope for peace and prosperity for us all!

2. SALE!!!
20,000 items sold online means a PAAAAARTY!
Here is the coupon code for 20% off your entire purchase until Friday the 10th.
20000ITEMSSOLD
Thank you for your support of missficklemedia.com and I hope you continue to find joy in creating!

3. MAIRE DODD IS BACK!!!
Maire is back at the metal bench and stamping out little copper charm pairs in her special font!
They are selling quickly and she hasn't finished a new batch yet,  so don't wait!


4. CUSTOMER OF THE YEAR AWARD!!!
There were times I seriously questioned my decision to remain in business, the obstacles that I have had to overcome have been substantial and while I wanted to keep it going for the kids, I couldn't if it continued to fail in its provision for them. 
Often times I would wake up to a sale from this customer that did more than ease the financial burden of providing for two kids on my own, it gave me encouragement to keep producing work, to continue to share the designs my brain can't seem to stop and to rest in the fact that someone enjoyed creating from materials I provided them with. 
I don't think she knows what an angel she is.
 But I would love to send out a $100.00 gift certificate to
Debby Bergstresser. 

Debby, thank you, from my family to yours.
(I've got your address, Girl!)

Oh, and look what I made...
Aren't I dramatic and fancy?

Happy New Year!!!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Re-purposed Christmas Accessories

Although they are slimming down a bit there are still great pickings of antique and vintage brass stock that can be cleaned up, drenched in color and re-assembled into modern fresh accessories.

Like this extra long woven link chain!

And this one; domed teardrops in black combined with antique chandelier crystals 

I'm really hoping I get invited to a Christmas party so I have a place to wear it!!!

Peace and Prosperity,
Shannon   

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Mood Indigo

Oh Nina, sing to me....



You ain't never been blue
Till you've had that mood indigo



While I just sit here and sigh
Go along blues


And in the evening when the lights are low
I'm so lonely I could cry


I'm just a poor fool that's bluer than blue can be
When I get that mood indigo...



Saturday, November 9, 2013

Copper in the Arts and my new friend Jennifer

I was recently interviewed by author Jennifer Hetrick for a digital magazine called Copper in the Arts, which is sponsored by the Copper Development Association.
This online publication was a new discovery to me and I poured over its pages, learning technique and artistic skill from the talents of admired artists like Cynthia Jimenez,

This publication also has fascinating articles about the history and smelting of copper which I never really gave much thought to until having read some of the information made available to us through the various sources that this online magazine gathers for us. 

This was a positive experience for me and I dare say I learned a little bit about myself through the process.
Here is a link to the article;

But I want to talk about Jennifer....
Every once in a while the internet puts me in contact with a truly beautiful soul. It amazes me as I know that before 2005, I would have never had the opportunity to meet some of these souls that not only open my eyes to unique perspectives but makes a connection with me that touches my heart.
Jennifer is most definitely one of these souls; friendly, open hearted, patient, easy to communicate with and intelligent. She is also genuinely appreciative of artists and supports handmade as she demonstrated to me by sending me one of these magnificent sample boxes of homemade fruit butters from her town of Sassamansville, Pennsylvania;

Oh So Worthy of indulging in a few carbs.

These fruit butters are made by The Bauman Family using natural ingredients and no preservatives. I'm sure I do not need to tell you this would make an awesome gift!

Thank you to Copper in the Arts for the work they do, promoting this sublimely versatile metal that has given my own work such beauty, Thank you to Jennifer for your wonderful article that gave my self-esteem a badly needed boost and thank you to Christi Dick of Lost Marbles Jewelry who mentioned my name to Jennifer.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sharing...... but just the Good Stuff

Oh my. I can hardly remember how to write. What sign in? What log in? How do I start a new paragraph? Where's my pictures? Can I just write in abstract poetry?

I do not know how I had the time to write and read blogs before. It is a comforting time to think of though, curling up in my comfy chair with chocolate coffee and a sense of wonder and empathy for my ladies...
"Oh she's making that! Ooooooo, pretty."
"you're doing how many shows?!?! Girl, that's just crazy."
or
relating to what is being written by the author and wanting to connect through comments so you start with 
"YES! I feeeeeeeeeeeel the same way........" 

Things are different now; my feeeeeeeeelings aren't always positive and shouldn't be shared. That cuts down on the writing and sharing and relating.
(Plus I still do not have living room furniture so I have no comfy chair in which to write from.)

But I have been creating!

I've brought a few things back that I enjoy making;






And some new Fold Formed Leaves in a rainbow of color!

With little fluttering pairs for earrings!

 I made a pair with grey moonstone brios;

Then I took a new Weavings offered by Maire and created this necklace with a leaf pendant, seed beads, cotton cording and more moonstone....

Some soot black pieces...

Some large, flamboyant chain for my bold ladies;


And some hammered and stamped Neck Plaques for us Divas;

Ahhhh, yes, the satisfaction and reward from creating....
Just plain Ol' Good Stuff.

Now I'm off to spend an afternoon visiting some fun designs with Diana Patszynski's
I'll see you there in comments.....
Sharing. 
:)


Sunday, July 28, 2013

I Bow to You in Respect...

I have visions in my head that I cannot complete because of my inability to invest in anything new.
I KNOW you know what that feels like.
The need to create a special adornment for your body that reflects the state of mind, body and spirit that you ARE, that you feel at this moment in your life.
I feel it when I look at the work of Kathy Van Kleeck , Lorelei Eurto, and my special Maire... 

I am an admitted ceramics whore, I flit from one to another, as if I was the fickle miss my shop name suggests. But the yearning stays the same, to feel the weight of fired clay in my hands, against my chest and brushing against my neck is a very REAL need. There is something infinitely satisfying about creating with something directly from the earth, molded and shaped from the hands of women I admire so much.

And it is even more poignant as I research.....
1. the cost of a kiln (did you know there are several different types that you use for specific techniques?)
2. the cost of a studio... (I researched any where from 100 a month to 300 a month JUST to sit and use their clay, firing schedules where priced differently)
3.  the temperatures needed for different clays, (high fired is simply not offered).
4. I don't want to sit at a wheel: I want to form, shape, texture, cut, color.... and then just magically wear the finished ceramics (all that comes between is often not mentioned in product descriptions because they know no one READS, but they are still steps that require time, experience, muscle control and knowledge in order to complete successfully). I couldn't for the life of me find a class just for that, they all involved a wheel and learning firing temperatures. E-gads!!! Numbers!!! 

And so I pay homage to my loves;

(you will forever be the original rustic clay shard creator)




(you are my first love affair with ceramic beads!)








And my new loves...


I do not know if the future holds clay shaping for me, but until then I will be haunting the shops of these artists!

Peace & Prosperity;
Shannon

Monday, July 22, 2013

Just Keep Walking, Shan

You know things go awry in your body when you stop.
An unbalance begins again, an unbalance that you fought so hard to overcome.
If you let yourself stop, you become stagnant in your brain, muscles and momentum.
Your emotions roller coaster and you cannot let yourself be overcome with emotions right now, at a time when your children's well being depends on you.
Familiar aches and pains return and haunt you like painful memories from the past brought into the physical realm as obstacles that keep you from pushing forward.
Chemicals rise and fall, altering behaviours and decision making that keep you from living harmoniously.
Fatigue sets in and you reach for the bad foods as if their quick fix feeling is actually what you need when it is really a poison that takes away your full potential.

Just keep walking.
And when your legs ache, remember how much more your heart ached and push past that. When your ribs constrict and cut off your breathing, slowly sip the fresh oxygen you need to fuel yourself. 
And when you stumble, lean on the shoulders of the women that have their feet firmly rooted in wisdom and perseverance.
Walk like the nomad your ancestors were, like your body was meant to do to find shelter and food.
Walk like your very life depends on it, because it actually does.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Every Day She Reached Out To Me

Every. Single. Day.
Even when months went by without me being able to say a word or respond back. She still emailed, convoed, called, chatted and texted.
Sometimes it was just an
 xoxo.....
Letting me know I was not alone.
Letting me know someone cared.
When my anger had pushed everyone away, when I couldn't trust myself to fulfill expectations, when I acted like a complete brat, she forgave me and still reached out.  
Friends like that are rare.
And to be blessed with her friendship has taught me so much, so much that I hope to be able to show others and respond in kind.


Isn't she beautiful? 
Maire Dodd has been a huge source of comfort to me, loving me unconditionally through-out my darkest days of despair. She has also been a huge source of inspiration to me in my work, teaching me things I egotistically thought I had nothing left to learn in. 
She is a private person and I respect that, but she has given me permission to share that she has not been well. She too has experienced life at its cruelest, dealing with blow after blow that has literally knocked her off her feet and laid her up with a debilitating illness that almost took her ability to walk.
Recovery has been very slow and painful.
She has not been able to work.
And as a working artist, this has been devastating to her life and spirit.
She fights daily to overcome the difficulties of being a single mother with 3 kids and now has not been able to do the work of her hands and heart for months.
Can you, for a moment, imagine?

Being unable to create?

Maire is now at the point where she can sit up in bed and move slowly around her house. She is not able to make it up and down the stairs to her workbench, but she has been working on Tibetan calligraphy and weaving when her recovering body allows her.

She has allowed me the honor to stock these pieces in my own shop so that I may take care of the sections of business that her health is not able to allow her to complete right now.
(shipping is both mentally and physically painful to me, a completely healthy person)

And wouldn't you know, it fueled one of the most beautiful artistic collaborations I have ever been involved in!!!

   
Maire's weaving;
Paired with some hammered neck cuff bars;

Makes for some peace, love and happiness.....


It feels good on; the fringe a soft caress, the join between metal and fiber, flexible and light weight.
We are pleased. :)


And we hope you are moved to create some one of a kind pieces from the pairings of metal and woven fiber!
Please visit the "Weavings" sections of our shop here;
missficklemedia.com

Thank you for letting us share what has come from our collaboration. Born from darkness, but always reaching towards lightness!


Peace and Prosperity,
Shannon