Sunday, December 2, 2012

Supporting Local Independent Shops

I recently faced the same dilemma that many of us will face over the next few weeks.  I was in Winners and I saw some big plastic trucks for 19.99 that my two little nephews would probably love.  I stood there for quite a while in front of them, thinking that for 19.99 times 2,  I could be finished my Christmas shopping for them, but I would be doing exactly what I said I didn't want to do - buy plastic and buy from big mega stores.  So I walked away.  I walked away and this past weekend I went to Kids Books on Broadway where one of the very helpful women working in the store knew exactly which books they had on space for 4 year olds.  I bought a beautiful book about a mouse who goes to space and a rocket ship board game.  I walked away happy that I was supporting local independent shops.

I want to live in a city where local independent shops can thrive.  

Below is a list of the amazing local independent shops and galleries who carry my handmade one of a kind jewelry.  I hope that you support some of these shops and other local independent retailers over the holidays.

British Columbia

2412 Granville Street

Edgemont Village Jewellers
3102 Edgemont Blvd
North Vancouver

Stock Home Design
38036 Cleveland Avenue

Salon D
166 Selby Street

120 Mackenzie Ave


Influx Jewellery Art Gallery
201-100 7th Avenue S.W


Mysteria Gallery
2706 13th Avenue


Distill Gallery
55 Mill Street #47
The Distillery District

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Eastside Culture Crawl Paper Bag Project

I am honored to work with such a talented group of artists at The Onion Studio.  Last year for the Culture Crawl 5 of us participated in The Ring A Week Project.  This year 7 of us have participated in The Paper Bag Project - Recycling our Brown Paper Bags into Wearable Art.  

There have been little bits of paper bags overtaking a corner of my apartment for the past couple of months now.  This has been a true challenge for me....figuring out how I can manipulate paper to fit with my twists and turns that I crave for my designs.

In the past couple of weeks things have all come together.  This is the time when we finally see each others work, exchanging photos for posters and press releases.  This is the time when I find myself catching my breath because I realize that I am a part of this amazing creative group that continually inspires me and keeps me pushing my creative boundaries.  

This is the time when we sweep the polishing dust off of our studio floor and prepare to let you in.

This is the time that we hope some of the creative spirit that happens behind our studio doors will also inspire you.
Eastside Culture Crawl,  November 16-18.  The Onion Studio 1103 Union Street. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Paper Bag Project

This year 7 Artists in the Onion Studio Building will be participating in the 
Paper Bag Project - Recycling Brown Paper Bags into Art Jewelry

Friday, September 14, 2012

My Life In Jewels

I've been working on a new side project for the past little while.  I have started a new blog called My Life In Jewels.  I created My Life In Jewels because I wanted a place to tell my personal jewellery history and I wanted to learn other stories of jewellery.  I know that lots of people have pieces of jewellery that mean something to them and I want to learn about those stories.

vintage garnet brooch

Please have a look and if you have a story that you would like to share with me, I would be honored to share it on my blog with creds and links to you.

Monday, July 30, 2012

New Jewelry

New Cherry Blossom Necklace
I live on a street that is lined with big lovely cherry blossom trees. These trees are charming all year round, but they are absolutely divine when they are full of bright pink cherry blossoms. I so wish that this divineness stayed longer, but the cherry blossoms, like so many beautiful moments in life only stay for a very short time. The Cherry Blossom Necklace is a special necklace for those moments in life that are the most divine. 
Sterling silver, copper, enamel, freshwater pearls.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Renkum Artist Residency - A Little Movie.

While I was on my artists residency in Renkum Holland I created jewellery pieces based on the theme of movement, change, and growth.  I watched spring bloom around me and sewed brightly coloured felt into flower petals.  I accepted the changes that have been heaved my way recently and twisted wire into wheels.  I propelled myself to the other side of the world to solder wire into wings.  While I was doing this, my beau was making this video.  It's not until coming back to Canada until I realized how connected this video was to the work I was creating.  

Thursday, June 28, 2012

What Makes Me Ecstatic About Being a Jewellery Artist?

What makes you ecstatic about being an artist?
This question was given to me in a course I'm taking from Alyson B Stanfield.  In one of the lessons the other day she asked us what makes us ecstatic about being an artist.  What moment in your life have you seen something or done something that made you stop in your tracks and feel completely connected to being an artist?

I am grateful that I recently got to experience some of those moments while I was doing my artist's residency in Holland.  We spent a few days exploring Amsterdam.  We went to the Van Gogh gallery.  After waiting in line with the hordes of tourists we went inside and I led my beau downstairs to check out the "Dreams of Nature, Symbolism from Van Gogh to Kandinsky"exhibiton.  I knew that somewhere in this exhibition I would see for the very first time a Wassily Kandinsky painting.  I whizzed through the exhibit......and got to the end.......and there it first up close and personal view of a Wassily Kandinsky.................I stopped......I stared.......I felt........I felt elated.......I felt my soul stir..........I felt a connection to the past, I felt my body firmly rooted in the present......I felt ecstatic to be adding art to our world.  

"Cossacks" Wassily Kandinsky 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Jewelry For Your Wall

When I was in Holland my workbench faced a big window overlooking a garden.  I would start my work day by quickly sketching one piece of the garden.  I didn't want this act to take up a lot of my time.  I wanted my eyes to hone in on one detail from the garden and quickly transfer it to paper.  It was like my little daily exercise before I started "the real work".

The garden I was looking at bloomed while I was sketching it.  Pinks, purples, reds, and oranges opened into life in front of me.  Each day I was excited to wake up and see the changes happening outside, and then one day I started to see my sketches differently......I started to add metal to them.  I was twisting wire that represented movement, change, and growth.  I was making these little wire tornado like earrings, so I started sewing them onto my sketches. They became these little objects for your wall......a huge stray off of my regular path.  Something I wasn't even quite sure I was comfortable with, but it felt right so I kept making them.

When I was presenting this work at our dinner in Renkum one of the artists there suggested I view it as jewelry for your wall, which I loved!

So here it is, your first glimpse at my Jewelry For Your Wall and the blooming gardens which inspired them.

wall piece, paper, felt pen, wire, cotton thread
jewelry for your walls
jewelry for your wall, paper, wire, felt pen
renkum holland
Renkum, Holland

Monday, May 14, 2012

My Biggest Struggle With Creating Is My Mind....

I have been at OBRAS artist residency in Renkum, Holland since the beginning of April.  My goal was to create 30 new one of a kind pieces while I was here.  I'm not sure if I will reach 30 will be close. 
My biggest struggle with creating here has been my mind.  Big surprise.  I keep saying these things to myself "Just play, explore, experiment, take risks, try new things"....."but, what am I doing? Is this going to become a sellable line? How am I going to make money?"   It's like the 2 sides of my brain are debating inside of me.  
I try to remember what Heidi Schwegler said when I heard her speak about doing 4 artist residencies in 1 year, at last years SNAG conference.  She said that the real work happened when she returned from the residency and she learned that her job at the residency was to take in as much information as she could - to take photos, to explore,  and to really take the time to see things.  
I've spent a lot of time creating at my studio space here in Renkum, but I have also taken the time to really see things.....
At a Farmers Market on my trip to Prague.  Hippy boys and hot metal.
Prague, earth, buildings, sky.
Prague, The importance of inviting beauty inside. 
kroller muller museum
Sculpture Park, Kroller Muller Museum, Holland. 
sculpture park, kroller muller museum

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Telling The Truth

"Telling the truth is like spreading the underside of your wings, you see that part only when you fly" 
- Sabrina Ward Harrison. 

I brought the above words with me on my artist residency
I also brought images of birds in flight, wings, butterflies, flowers, flying sculptures........

Sculptures by Ranjani Shettar
Papaya Art

My life for the past couple of years has been moving.  At times I've been pushing it..... and dragging it forward. At other times its been tunneling right over me and I haven't been sure if I can catch up with it.  
Through-out all of this movement I've had my feet firmly planted on an earth that was familiar, my home, my life, my apartment, my street. 
Until now.  I needed to firmly step off of solid ground - on my terms this time......and fly.  
For these reasons my work while in Holland has been influenced by the ideas of flight, moving, propelling forward, leaping, taking risks, changing, evolving, wings, wheels, growth, petals, freedom, letting go, growth, renewal.......

felt and copper brooch
"Telling The Truth", Brooch - copper, wire, felt, thread

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Finding the Details in Amsterdam

In a city as spectacular as Amsterdam it is hard to stop looking at EVERYTHING and start connecting with something.  It took me some time and a lot of letting my eyes wander to focus in on the things that captured my heart. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday, April 9, 2012

That's not who I am and that's just fine.....

I have been thinking about doing things simply. My work for the past number of years has been anything but simple. I am always adding more details, more colour, more pattern, more twists and more turns into my pieces.

I have thought that since my life is a little less twisty and turny these days, my work should also be less complicated. I love the look of modern minimalist pieces of jewelry.
But I was really trying.....almost forcing myself to think and work this way and of course, I kept hitting road blocks. I spent hours yesterday morning fighting with the Swedish sewing machine that I have here trying to make it do what I needed it to do. I was frustrated and annoyed and just tossed it all up to having a bad day.

Then a couple of things happened during my day and I was reminded to stop fighting myself. I love pattern, colour, textures, twists, turns, and lots of little details. I'm not going to make minimalist jewelry, that's not who I am and that's just fine.

I came across this Dutch fashion designer Winde Rienstra. Her designs are complex, with many shapes, textures, and patterns. Many people would look at them and think "how would you possibly wear them?" But I looked at them and thought "Yes, these are amazing and intriguing, and I want to see more"

Later in the evening our hosts here in Holland took us to an art opening at this little place called Telpost Millingen - It was this tiny little watch tower, originally used for counting ships. In 2011 they invited a number of artists to spend 11 days each in the tower to be inspired by their surroundings and create art while there. They recorded the results by publishing a little book where each artist showed the work they created and told the story of their creative process. What interested me the most about this project was how different each artists work and process was even though they were all at the same location for the same amount of time. first finished piece while in Holland with all of its twists and turns and tiny little details.........

Necklace. hammered copper, hand fabricated brass chain, sterling silver beads.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Finding Inspiration in Holland

Trying to be open to what's in front of me........

Trying to look at things differently.......

Trying to see things clearer..........