Sensory Bliss

April 5, 2008

The calendar page has turned to April yet the Northeast has experienced only subtle changes to prove that Spring has finally arrived. We’re stuck in a seasonal purgatory of mild cold and rain that leaves my bootsThirteen Moons Boro Perfume Vessel muddy and my sandals stashed away in the closet still. Luckily my internal clock seems to have instituted it’s own dramatic change of season which I am infinitely thankful for. This morning it dawned on me that inspiration doesn’t necessarily disappear on us. As artists, the challenge we are perpetually presented with is allowing ourselves to be open enough to recognize what is right in front of us and put it to good use. Obviously when dealing with something as subjective as inspiration, I can only share my personal experience in hopes that it might light a fire in another add add something positive to their creative journey

At this moment in time my Creative Spirit seems to be in a state of absolute Thirteen Moons Unobtanium Goddesssensory bliss. The exhilarating effects of this awakening fuel my creativity and productivity with physical, mental, and creative energy. Not to mention it puts me in a great mood even on the most dreary of days. I am finding inspiration in things that are fleeting and barely noticeable, things that have always been in front of me, and even things I once knew that have reappeared. Ideas have come to me in dreams, through collaboration with other artists, and influenced by music, friends, old work, books, and of course my boys. As a result my work has shifted in new directions, doing things I never imagined I was capable of.

Thirteen Moons Unobtanium GoddessBreaking out of the box and monotony of production work has been exactly what this chickadee needed. It’s empowered me to grab the tiger by the throat and shake it senseless with one hand while I use the other to jot down ideas in my notebook. Going to sleep and waking with a smile and fresh artistic vision, certainly helps to push the clouds of winter and circumstance away.

Smile. Seize the day, the inspiration, and shake your personal tiger by the throat… if you know what I mean

Take a look at new work on the Thirteen Moons Website and in my brand new shop at Etsy.com!

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Inspiring Your Creative Spirit

January 8, 2008

6378creeksm.jpgDuring the holiday season we find ourselves spending most of our time following schedules and rushing to meet deadlines. This rings especially true for artists and small business owners. I often find that my most brilliant ideas come to me when I can’t possibly spend even a moment making them a reality. Talk about creative frustration! We try to cram so much into one month of joyful chaos, that when it’s over, we’re spent and a little lost.

Each Winter, most of us need to restore our artistic senses to some degree. This quiet time of year is perfect to start anew and nurture your creative spirit. When the time comes to get back to work, there are a few scenarios that as artists, we know all too well. The ideas may pour out faster than one can actually create and at other times, a little prodding to rattle the imagination is necessary. In the worst case, nothing short of committing to guerrilla warfare will do.

6389frozenleafsm.jpgHere are a few inspiration seeking tricks that may come in handy when fighting off the winter chill. I always carry a small notebook with a fat rubber band around it so I can write down my ideas and refer back to them later. Along with my doodles and lists, I stick in swatches, sticky notes, clippings, leaves, and anything else that grabs my attention. I also use my camera phone as a “notebook”. The other night I saw tissue boxes with great color combinations in the grocery store. Yes, tissue boxes! I snapped a couple pics to peek at before my next torch session.

6459berriessm.jpgWalks in the frozen woods, bundled in boots and down, armed with my camera, always seem to help. I challenge myself to find color in the sleeping landscape. This should explain my affinity for snow covered berry bushes. Taking a class to learn a new technique is a tried and true tactic. Trying out a new tool or glass, a subtle change in your studio, a new scent, or different music while you work can help jump start new ideas too. Recently I’ve also discovered the value of the “inspirational blog collective”. It’s like having an artistic work out partner to get you moving and creating. Check out Modern Savages and Creative Every Day 2008.

6396cattailssm.jpgSometimes completely walking away from my normal discipline is what becomes necessary. *refer back to the camera in the woods scenario* I’ve even been known to pull out my book binding materials when I’m really stumped. Meticulously cutting and folding paper is something I can “zen out” on. That leads me to Yoga. Yoga is my quick fix for everything. Especially an achy back. When I honestly stop thinking about it and just relax, is when the amazing stuff really happens. The best idea I’ve had in a long time came to me the other day while baking cookies and dancing around the kitchen to Maroon 5 with my 2 & 5 year old sons. We LOVE dancing in the kitchen! It’s just a matter of time before we get caught doing it.

Go forth artists! Take a walk. Take a class. Buy some glass. Do a dance. Take acoustic guitar lessons. Shake those winter blues and find the inspiration your creative spirit craves! Have an amazing, creative, and productive New Year!!!


Declaration

December 28, 2007

Many times over the past twelve months I declared that next year will be amazing. An eternal optimist, I can never resist the urge to crack a joke, especially in the worst of situations. The line, “maybe next year”, turned into a running joke early on. This past year, life has taken me on the proverbial roller-coaster ride. At times it felt like a kiddie ride and other times, never ending and out of control.

In 2007, I sent my oldest son off to Kindergarten, started a new website, opened a shop and glass studio, began teaching again, and ventured into tool manufacturing. I took steps to remove myself from bad situations and dove head first into new ones. I followed my instincts even when they scared the hell out of me. I felt intense happiness, great inspiration, grew artistically, and emotionally. I let my heart get pounded like a volleyball, fought to hold on to things I thought were important, accomplished things I’ve dreamed about for years, and realized sometimes you need to just let go and leave things up to chance. I received excellent advice and often ignored it, hurdled obstacles, and dusted myself off when I didn’t quite clear them. I also took time to enjoy simple things, just breath, live in the moment, laugh until it hurt, hug my boys until they couldn’t take it anymore, take walks in the woods, enjoy the warm sun on my face, and a crisp breeze on my neck. The simplest joys are most important to me.

In the past year I learned a lot about myself. I need to surrender to the fact that I can’t control everything, can’t do everything, or be everything… I’m only human. I learned lessons about trust, ambition, following my heart, expectations, forgiveness, and that sometimes there are just no answers. I came to appreciate what a truly extraordinary group of friends I have. I’ve realized that one can never expect to achieve their goals or find true happiness if they’re not willing to take a chance and work at it. For that, I hold no regrets. Time is never wasted when you learn from your lessons, whether they bring you joy or pain. Most importantly I’ve realized how very strong I am and that I’m “capable” of just about anything I put my mind to.

With that in mind, I declare that 2008 may not go according to plan but it is going to be an amazing year! I hope yours is too! Salute!

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Finding “Normal”

December 13, 2007

Over the past few weeks my life has been in hyper drive. I’ve written a million blog posts in my head but never actually sat down to type them. Keeping up with normal business and getting the shop ready for it’s grand opening this past weekend didn’t leave much room for slowing down. Now that the big event has come and gone things are finally slowing to the normal fast pace I’m used to.

It’s been fun going to work in my own place everyday. Each day at noon I open the door, turn on all of the display lights, light the candles, hook up the iPod, and then sit and admire my creation. After being a working studio for so long, it’s come a long way from the half empty pole barn it was just a few weeks ago. Over the course of the day my “To Do List” grows at breakneck speed. Laminate flooring and track lighting are at the top of the list, along with buying blue thumbtacks and a new stapler. I’ll tell you why they need to be blue some other time.

Currently there’s work on display from eight Pennsylvania based artisans with several more planning to come in between now and January. We have the most delicious soy candles from Lisa Colyer’s Teaberry Mountain Candles, stunning stained glass pieces by Edwin Jameson, cuddly and stylish knits from Bad Kitty Knits’ Sue Draus, unique hand painted stationary and cards by Kristy Rice of Momental Designs, dichroic fused glass Tree of Life pendants by Jenn Feldman, Blue Violet Designs jewelry by Nancy Lotz, one of a kind handbags by Nicole Cook, blown art glass by resident artist Jeremiah Jones, plus my own line of Thirteen Moons Designs hot glass and lampwork jewelry.

The greatest part of this venture is taking the opportunity to promote and support other artists along with my own work. My biggest challenge is going to be finding “normal” and balancing between creating my own work, teaching, and running the shop. I think my boss will go easy on me until I get the hang of it though.

If you’re in Northeast PA, please support our local artists and take a peek at the beautiful selection of unique, handcrafted gifts they have to offer here at Thirteen Moons.

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Busy as an Elf!

November 27, 2007

While so many of my friends were out cruising sales and getting their Christmas shopping done this past weekend, I was busy as an elf in my workshop. I got some productive torch sessions in, lots of computer work done, and a few special orders filled. I have several new jewelry pieces available on my website, new beads up for auction on Just Beads, and I’m even working on reopening my Ebay Store.

Here’s a new piece just listed on thirteenmoonsdesigns.com

Amethyst Mist Hollow Lampwork Bead Necklace

I also spent time aligning my ducks for the grand opening of the studio on December 7th and 8th. Some finishing touches were made to trim, flooring, and displays in the studio. The most exciting thing I got to do was chat with several of the local artists and craftspeople who will be offering their work for sale at Thirteen Moons. Soon we’ll be arranging displays of pottery, candles, handbags, jewelry, leatherwork, handmade cards and stationary, stained glass, and art glass of every kind. In the next couple of weeks I’m going to be profiling some of the artists who’s work will be available at Thirteen Moons. One of the best parts of this endeavor is the opportunity to help support the artists in my community. Everything in the shop will be fully handcrafted by PA based artisans.

We have a list a mile long to complete each day for the next two weeks. The last step will be to haul in the Christmas trees, hang the lights, prepare the refreshments and put out the “Open” sign. Seeing the sign hung and the first customers coming through the door will feel amazing!

I’ll close with a peek at a new heart focal I have up on Just Beads.

Blue Hearted Focal


Under the Gun…

November 18, 2007

Isn’t it funny how as a deadline approaches the days and moments seem to progressively pass more quickly? December is right around the corner and with it comes our Holiday Grand Opening Celebration! We have so many exciting things planned so if you’re in NE PA, please stop by and check out the flameworking studio, hot glass and gifts, and maybe you’ll win some prizes!

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Bouncing Back!

November 13, 2007

About four Wednesdays ago I recieved a call from the school nurse to pick my son up early from school. He had a 103° fever and was absolutely miserable. Over the following weeks, my entire family, including myself, fell victim to what seemed to be a super flu. It was not pretty. It got our friends, neighbors, teachers, and even the babysitter. Our lives about shut down for the better part of four weeks. Luckily, my family and the rest of the town seem to be bouncing back now. It’s amazing when you rejoin the world of the living how it hits you… the rest of the world doesn’t stop even when yours does.

After a week of madly scrambling to catch up with normal everyday things of family, home, and business, I’m mostly back on track. I’m torching, shipping, teaching, and auctioning away. I have a full kiln at the moment and a nice big smile on my face anticipating my evening torch session which will hopefully leave the second kiln full. Tomorrow morning I will have some new auctions to list on Just Beads and Ebay. By afternoon I’ll be ready to dig in to the major task of planning the Holiday Grand Opening of our studio and gallery on December 7th and 8th. If you’re in Northeastern PA be sure to come check us out!

Until then take a look at the goodies I’ll have available on Just Beads!

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