Nancy Cain has always been fascinated with handcrafts, whether it was clay, paper, buttons, fabric or simply found objects.Cain studied art in college and worked as a graphic artist for 16 years, all the while exploring various handcraft techniques. She found her artistic niche in beads.Cain’s favorite stitch is peyote and over the years has only added two other stitches, netting then herringbone.
Her style is clean and contemporary with minimalist embellishment. She likes the structure to shine through.“I feel that the beads alone give me the most inspiration. If you understand the physics (mechanics and technicality) of the stitch, then you can create whatever your heart desires.” Cain explains.
More of Nancy Cain‘s amazing beadwork can be found at http://nancycain.com/.
Lamp worker and designer Melissa Schmidt works out of her 120 year+ studio in St.Louis, Missouri.
Her glass mastery is mostly self taught, having experimented with years of refining techniques.
She uses borosilicate glass material with frit, glass powder, grinding, sewing, and 35 mm slide film, as well as foils and precious metals.
Schmidt’s creativity is a delight to the eye, a unique sparkle in the world of jewelry.
More of Melissa Schmidt‘s amazing glass work can be found at http://www.melissaschmidtstudio.com/.
Pierre Sterlé (1905–1978) was a French jeweler, known as the ‘couturier of jewelry’.
His lyrical, highly-engineered creations are some of the most distinctive designs of the 20th Century—and some of the most collectible.
But because his business was so exclusive and his clientele so elite, his name isn’t as widely known as some of his contemporaries.
Considered during his lifetime to have been an inspired innovator, he reached his apogee in the 1940’s and 50’s.
His well-crafted jewelry often used motifs from nature; birds, flowers, leaves and feathers.
Coupled with personal tragedy which plagued him throughout the 1960’s, he ultimately was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1976 and liquidate his stock.
Jewelry maker Jeremy Mays designs wearable pieces from the layered pages of vintage books, transforming their content into unique works that are nearly impossible to trace back to their paper origin.
To make these multi-shaped works, May first laminates hundreds of sheets of paper together.
He then creates the shape for the piece and finishes it off with a high gloss coating.
After production, May often inserts the works back into the books, bringing the transformed and colorful pages back to their material source.
The rings may lose the words and image of the original book, but May keeps references with photographs and copy of the ring’s former life.
The rings May makes all are inspired by books he thinks are perfect examples of literary beauty.
A beautiful way to keep the written word.
A ring is a halo on your finger. ~Douglas Coupland
In 1874, Louis-François’ son Alfred Cartier took over the company, but it was Alfred’s sons Louis, Pierre and Jacques, who were responsible for establishing the brand name worldwide.
Cartier created unique and individual creations for celebrities and royalty alike.
Their revolutionary ideas, such as using platinum in jewelry, earned Cartier the title of ‘Jeweler of Kings, King of Jewelers’ from King Edward VII.
Cartier is considered to be one of the top names in luxury products globally.
But. Cartier has never forgotten their history of producing custom-made or one-of-a-kind beautiful jewelry and wrist watch creations.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
~~Lord of the Rings
More unique and gorgeous rings can be found at https://www.mysecretwood.com/.
As we head into the “Last Vacation Weekend of the Summer”, I want to show off a couple of new Sunday Evening Galleries I’ve added recently. I have to admit the images are stunning, the artwork remarkable. Please go check them out if you get time!
See you on the other side of Reality!
Australian abstract artist Dawn Whitehand starts off her “about” page this way:
I am an Australian artist, making unique mixed media sculptures from clay, found objects and textured materials which are based on organic natural forms.
I have always thought of myself as a traditionalist when it came to Art — Renoir, Rembrandt, Redlin — those people I can understand.
I never really paid attention to Abstract Art until I wandered into Dawn’s world.
Working from my studio on the outskirts of Ballarat at the base of a slumbering volcano, I am very aware of my environment, its constant changing, and its vulnerability. I am also very aware of the current global environmental crisis.
Within this context my art practice attempts to address these issues by making sculptural artworks that attempt to remind, though subliminally, the viewer of their innate connection to the Earth, and our reliance upon it for survival.
And I started to understand. A little. That all art doesn’t have to be literal. That trees don’t have to look like trees, and volcanoes didn’t have to look like volcanoes.
That Art, like Emotions, like Life, is different for everyone. Some just choose to share their unique view through creative arts.
The thrill of interpretation is the same thrill we take with each breath. And that there’s always someone willing to share their breath — and view — with you.
Dawn is a multi-talented spirit. She creates jewelry and pottery and custom-made art sculptures. You can find her art at https://dawnwhitehand.wordpress.com, and contemporary poems, art, and drawings at https://apoemandadrawingaday.wordpress.com/.
Stop by and learn a little bit of Abstract Art for yourself.
Now, I’d never heard of this phrase before. Sitting having coffee with my oh-so-chic bestie, the word came up in conversation. So off to GoogleLand I went.
One site said Boho-Chic is “a style of female fashion drawing on various bohemian and hippie influences, which, at its height in 2004/5, was associated particularly with Sienna Miller and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. The twins went off with a ‘homeless look’ (or, as some call it, everything-but- the-kitchen-sink look).” I must admit I’ve never put Sienna in the Peace/Love/Dove generation, and, seeing as I barely know who the twin kittens are, I didn’t count much on their ideas of fashion. But with all those negative, scrub-woman adjectives, the style seemed perfect for me.
Another site said the Boho style of dress has been described as the “retro-hippie-shabby-chic.” That seems like a lot of hyphens to describe something you wear. And since I’m a little closer to the senior world, retro is relative. A third described this style as “sweet and tough, grunge meets Chanel.” Since I own a bottle of Chanel (it’s 15 years old), I would have no problem spraying some on something grungy. (Although I must admit, “grunge” is not one of my favorite words.) I don’t mind the word “hippie,” since I always wanted to be one of those (I was much too dorky to be one). Chic has never in my repertoire of words (or thoughts), and I still can identify with shabby.
I have always loved the Bohemian look, although I always thought it was more for young, willowy things. But I love the idea of looking like I blew in on some oak leaf. Boho-Chic is wild and flowy and free — something my size, wallet, and creativity can handle.
And I mean — Fringes! Shawls! Beads! What perfect timing! I really don’t like any of my clothes; too tight, too conservative. I’m tired of curling and fussing with my hair, and I’m too flighty to have to match shirts and pants all the time. My favorite place to shop is second hand stores. So why can’t I start adding shawls and beading and mish-mash accessories to my every day wardrobe? I love embroidery and vests and skirts, and have been known to sit and sew beadery around necks of tops and loungewear. I love sparkly jewelry, and now that I’m older I don’t have to worry if it goes with the outfit. I have been looking for the day where the blue in my shirt doesn’t have to match the blue in my pants, and the liberating thought of wearing two different patterns — oh my word! Dare I dream?
You have to understand that the first two-thirds of my life were pretty conservative. No…boring. Vanilla. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But I do so love jewelry and skirts and shawls and sparkles. I just haven’t felt secure about myself to wear those things until right now. I have always been afraid to experiment, to be myself. Now that I’m getting older I really don’t care if I fit in with everyone else. If I don’t slip out of the box now, when will I do it?
But the thing that sealed the deal on my current Boho-Chic thing was watching American Horror Story-Coven the other night. I saw the queen of the gypsies, the gravelly voiced Stevie Nicks sing and swirl around in her beautiful flowered shawl, and I decided — I want to be her. She is 65 and still going strong. Go Your Own Way, as the song goes. Maybe I’m a few pounds heavier, and don’t have the styled hair or the great voice, but I sure can twirl in a shawl.
Let’s get bohoing!
I keep saying over and over again that I’m not getting older, that technology isn’t getting the best of me. After all, I do work in an office; I do code copy for the Web; I do work with spreadsheets and word documents, and do design a website here and there. So it’s not like I’m a rookie here.
But I recently bought a new laptop with Windows 8, and I can’t tell you how lost I am.
There are boxes on the startup screen that mean nothing to me. Boxes I want nothing to do with. Yet it is nearly impossible to figure out how to get rid of them. I’ve been looking for how to open the DVD drive (besides pushing the button on the side), or how to put an icon on the desktop. Every corner is a link to another universe. Is this supposed to be the new wave of enlightenment? The “world” at my “fingertips”?
I am beginning to understand why my father wanted to cocoon himself in his apartment in his later years. I can see why seasoned veterans would rather make phone calls with a flip phone or turn on the telly and have only 5 stations to choose from. Every time I turn around I have to learn something “new” which, to most of us, means “complicated.”
I am all for growing and learning something new. Or reinforcing what we already know. You’re never too young or too old to develop or refine your skills. I know a lady who is learning to speak a new language, a girlfriend who is going to cooking school, and a couple of guys who are building a car practically from scratch. What’s not to learn? So it takes some of us a little longer to put piece 1a3 into 2f6; sooner or later we figure it out, and are (hopefully) wiser for the fact.
But back to Windows 8. Who really needs all this stuff? Who needs three different browsers and two photo saving programs and clouds and Skypes and skies and a dozen game icons? I know – they all have their special place in others’ lives. My girlfriend used Skype to talk to her husband who was in Thailand, and many people would never know what their nieces or nephews or their kid’s friends’ kids look like if it weren’t for downloading their photos into one of the galleries. Listening to your own music from your laptop is really nice, too.
But what I don’t need is to click on four different corners to change screens, or a plethora of icons that will take me weeks to figure out. Am I just lazy? I don’t like that word. Stupefied? No…not that word either. Mystified? Well, I do like that word, but I hate to use it on such a three-dimensional object as a laptop. Maybe it’s more like being … distracted. I am such a sensitive, awakened, seasoned, middle-aged persona (like you) that I don’t have time to waste learning things that aren’t important to me (kinda like the subjects in college).
I already have a hard enough time coordinating jewelry and outfits. Or keeping my laptop files in some semblance of order. I’m not up for figuring out squares and corners. I just want simple word documents and chat boxes and an easy way to get to WordPress. For me and my limited play time, all I really need is a laptop with a smooth keyboard, a bit of Photoshop to play with images, and, okay, I-Tunes. And that mahjong game. And the link to Yahoo TV. And, okay. The link to my horoscope. You get my drift.
My head’s already in the clouds enough the way it is. I’m not sure I need my laptop there, too….
When I was in high school, charm bracelets (along with getting “pinned”) were the big thing. Some girls had wads of charms so thick they would leave dents in the wooden desk tops. Others, like mine, had a half dozen mementoes of graduation, birthdays, and a few others that, to this day, still make me wonder what they stood for.
These days there are expensive, modern versions of the charm bracelet. Some have bead-type charms you string on sterling bracelets, everything from baby carriages to roses to moms charms to birthstones. There are token charms hanging in displays in department stores, shopping malls and internet jewelry stores, still an ode to the special moments of one’s life.
I no longer have bangle jangle charms around my wrist, but I do have a handful of sparkles on a simple, long, not-gold necklace that I often wear. What’s on my necklace? Well, I’ve got rings that my kids bought for me when they were in kindergarten, a ring that symbolizes my role-playing days, a silver “coin” for money, a rune with “enlightenment” carved on it, a dream catcher that used to be an earring, a plastic blue unicorn with his horn broken off, a faerie holding a blue globe (also a remnant from a pair of earrings) ― all sorts of nonsense that brings back memories and keeps me in good spirits.
Do you have a charm bracelet or necklace? What hangs from your life’s testimony? What kinds of charms do you wear? Of if you could put one together, what charms would you add?