Friday, September 21, 2018

Dark Matter Pendant...

For the Inspired by Reading Book Club at Allegory Gallery we read “Dark Matter” by Blake Crouch.  We all really enjoyed it and agreed that it was a fast-paced adventure that makes you wonder what your life would be like had you made different decisions.  This is what I made inspired by the novel!


Whenever they “travel” in the book, the characters have to go into a cube that becomes a tesseract. I decided to fabricate a pendant out of sterling silver and bezel-set a labradorite in the middle. I had this idea that I’d make one that was more three-dimensional, but it turns out constructing very precise, geometric, intricate, architectural pieces is not my calling!

Instead, I made a simpler version. It was still not as easy as I thought it’d be, but far more simple than the cube within a cube that I thought I’d make at first. Even so, I could imagine a citizen of the futuristic city of glass and steel wearing this.  I sawed out a square and stamped the words “new worlds” on the back, because each choice creates a new one.

During the reveal, I posted the piece online and tagged the author.  I never really expected anything, because you know authors are busy writing books and stuff.  About an hour later, Blake Crouch replied and said that my work was beautiful!  I know that he's just a regular person and all that, but I totally had a fangirl moment.  It's really amazing when someone who created something that moved you and inspired you to make something interacts with you.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Do You See What I See...

I just adore Christi Friesen!  Not only does she have a good heart and a wonderful sense of humor, but Christi is a talented artist who is always playing, experimenting, and trying new techniques.  What I appreciate about her practice the most is that she doesn't take herself too seriously.  Don't get me wrong!  She's a dedicated craftsperson and has an extensive career as a teacher, author, and internationally exhibited artist, but she's not afraid of whimsy and having fun.  This sense of child-like glee and mischief makes her work sing!

Over the weekend, her latest book, "Do You See What I See: From Seeing To Making: A Hands-on Look At Creativity" arrived.  It's part sketchbook, part travel journal, part creative guidebook, and it says so right on the cover!  I was so happy to see that her voice was ever-present in the pages of this book and her humor, charisma, and sense of adventure shines through.  The book is loaded with mixed media tips, tricks, and ideas about making art.  (I also really loved that I recognized so many of the pieces in the book and that several of them were exhibited at Allegory Gallery!  We even have one or two of her creations featured in the book!  It is so nice to feel connected to her journey.)

Christi is most known for her work with polymer clay and she doesn't disappoint!  The book has a load of different polymer clay ideas.  She also has useful information about epoxy clay, resin, and other mixed media techniques, including dozens of different surface treatments!

CLICK HERE to check out Christi's new book and get an autographed copy for yourself!  She always has tons of workshops and events planned!  CLICK HERE to see some of the great things she has in the works.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Bead and Craft Bloggers...

I'm always curious to see what the Bead and Craft Bloggers will come up with next!  There's always so much creativity on display.

Crafting for a Cause
In this post, we're reminded of the importance of knowing your body and staying proactive about your health.  Terry Jeanette shares her experiences with PE and DVT.

Halloween Doll Fashions
It's that time of year again!  Tammy embraces her spooky side and sews Halloween-inspired dresses for her Blythe doll collection.

Of Cats and Color
Ann breaks out some of her brightly colored beads to create a whimsical feline necklace.

End of Summer Necklace
Cyndi celebrates the end of summer with her last beaded rope necklace of the season – a ruffled beauty in shades of purple peyote stitch.

Getting Swirly
Even with a major overseas trip, Sarajo shares her creations for the August Art Elements Blog theme: SWIRLS!

Sitting down with Diane
Allegory Gallery Interviews launches their second podcast!  This time William talks with Michigan-based ceramic artist, Diane Hawkey.  As a bonus, William and Andrew talk about how they met Diane.

Spring/Summer 2019 Color Forecast
Pantone just announced their 2019 Spring/Summer Color Report.  Check out what they think will be the hottest upcoming colors!  They usually pick the Color of the Year from this selection.  What do you think will be the Color of the Year for 2019?

Friday, September 14, 2018


I remember a conversation that I had when I first moved to New York.  I was talking to a friend about a mutual acquaintance who had just received their first solo show.  I'm ashamed to say that what I said was unkind.  Instead of being happy for them and their good luck and hard work, I was resentful and jealous.  Bile fills my mouth when I think about it.  And... I still think about it. Even years later, I remember how I let my higher self down and allowed my lesser self revel in meanness.

While I regret that conversation, I am thankful for what it taught me.  When you're negative and allow poison to cloud your mind, it festers and grows.  I could have had a wonderful friendship and a relationship built on mutual respect, but instead I gave into bitterness and spitefulness.  What could have been sweet had been soured.

Years later, I tracked down the person that I had talked badly about and apologized to them for what I had said.  The person said that it was so long ago and that they didn't remember it and that bygones were bygones.  It's a testament to how forgiving and kind they were.

Sometimes when I feel that meanness squirm in my stomach, I remember that conversation.

Instead, I try to focus on being happy for others and their successes.  When I feel sad or angry or frustrated, I try to fill my heart with gratitude and pride.  Eventually there isn't enough room for all the bad stuff.  It gets pushed out by all the good.  I'm not perfect and am far from enlightened.  I know that I'll never be free from those negative feelings... they'll always be around, but it's up to me to determine how much I give those feelings permission to impact my life.  It's up to me to decide whether I empower the positive or the negative... and deal with the consequences of my thoughts and actions.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Swarovski 2019 Jewelry Trend Study...

Swarovski is a huge player in the jewelry industry and as such, they expend considerable resources to develop trend studies each year.  These are used to create new products, offer suggestions and applications of current items, and touch on current influences.  For 2019, they've boiled down the Jewelry Trend Study into four categories: be calm, be kind, be unique, and be excessive.  Those four groups are then broken down further into different descriptors.  Regardless of whether or not this is useful to you and your practices, it's fascinating to see what they feel is important and influential.  CLICK HERE to read the full report.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018


I was going back through some old blog posts and I realized just how important this place that really isn't a place used to be to me.  When I was struggling to find my voice, dealing with illness, or searching for long lost family members... this blog was here for me.  I wrote my heart out and wore it on my sleeve.

It isn't the same anymore.  I guess nothing ever really is.  We're always changing and in this world that moves all too quickly, why would it be any different?  I tried to think of a moment where it all started to change, but I couldn't really remember a single moment.

I think it was gradual, where the words dried up and I felt thinly spread.  I felt all talked out.  Over 12 years of posting, I suppose it wasn't a surprise.  With all the other platforms and only so many hours in the day, it was only natural that the steam would eventually start to wane.

Over the past few weeks, I've attempted to blog more regularly and it has certainly been a challenge.  Even so, I still want to capture the magic that was once there, to shake it up and make it live again.  I don't know if it's possible.  Or if I'm just grasping at straws and being nostalgic, but it doesn't feel over yet.  It especially doesn't feel done when I read back over some of the things I've written over the years and they still feel like something.  They don't feel dead and cold yet.  So, I guess I'll keep trying.

Monday, September 10, 2018


My birthday is just around the corner and it seems like it's always a catalyst for deeper reflection.  I get more pensive this time of year.  With the shifting of the weather and the changing of the season, I think back over the past year.  As the crisp autumn air enters my lungs and the chill creeps up my limbs, memories and emotions start to crystalize and form a picture.  I try to take a few moments to examine the image, learning from what has come before.

The past year has been a tumble of emotions, a swirl of triumphs and sorrows.  I've felt so fragmented, as if to carry on through the highs and lows, I've had to compartmentalize and embrace the individual facets more.  I have to admit that I was struggling with this.  How can you be happy and sad at the same time?  How can you be excited and fearful all at once?  How do all the pieces and parts fit together to form a whole?

Most days I vacillate between an iron will to push forward and get things done and being immobilized by this sense of being lost and weeping not only for myself, but the world.  I know that my tears aren't an elixir to cure the hurts of the world and that there is little accomplished by feeling the way I do, but I can't help it.  It's like the more that I try to be productive and proactive, the more the other feelings grow.  One cannot eclipse the other.  They're locked in a battle of escalating emotions.

Do you remember a game of plucking petals from a flower alternating between, "he loves me" and "he loves me not"?  As I was contemplating the past year, this image popped into my head.  At first I dismissed it.  Why was THAT relevant?  But I kept coming back to it.  And then it hit me.

Life is like a flower.  A flower is made up of petals.  Even though the petals feel wholly individual, they are all connected and form a single object.  When we look at a flower, do we see each petal or do we see the collective whole?  I think I've been looking a little too closely and need to step back to really appreciate the whole picture.  While certainly there has been sadness or hardship, there has also been moments of joy, happiness, and peace.  And perhaps because of the former, the latter is made all the more beautiful.  Life is bittersweet and full of texture.  It is made up of highs and lows and can be appreciated more fully when considered together.  The fragments form a mosaic, a picture that can only be seen from a distance.  Being myopic can be useful, but it's just one way of seeing.

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Pantone's Spring/Summer 2019 Color Trend Report...

It's here!  That's right!  Pantone has just announced their latest NY Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2019 Trend forecast.  You'll be seeing these colors a lot in the upcoming year.  This report is all about vibrance and strength!  It's about combating challenges and facing the future full on.

Usually the Color of the Year is picked from this line-up.  What's your guess as the future 2019 Color of the Year?

Last year they started a special palette of neutrals.  While this might see not quite as much fun as the regular report, they're actually a wonderful foundation to build color stories.

You can read the full color report by CLICKING HERE.