Posts Tagged ‘time’

2 Sides of Art

April 10, 2011


It has been a while since I posted about Art Musings but this week I just have to revisit the subject. You may remember this post if not it is a fun read about what I went through to get clean dirt.

This whole idea stems from the book Art & Fear Observations on the perils (and rewards) of Artmaking. The idea is that art has two mindsets.

With the recent Rock Purse Swap I was lucky enough to receive a wonderful green rock purse. The first thing I saw was the color green, the wonderful craftmanship, and the playfulness of the artist. I am only showing you the inside because we still have to wait a few more days in the hopes that the international participants get theirs before I go on vacation. I will post all pictures one day this week.

I have to wear green to work every Friday and so my first thought was I have a new Friday necklace Yea for me! I was next drawn to the wonderful craftmanship as all the features looked perfect. I as the art admirer was drawn to the nose and mouth area because they looked so perfect and real. I also loved the way the rock purse was joined at the seams. It was not a straight line but rather one that had a wonderfully fitted point. The playfulness came out with the wonderful treat on her nose.

The artist started with a lucky find of THE PERFECTLY SHAPED ROCK that only has one imperfection at an end. The artist intends to take great care of her special rock as it really is the one to make rock purses of this style out of. Her challenges making the rock purse were the release, and time. She began by using Pearlex as her release but later switched to Armour All and got great results. At times while using the Pearl Ex the clay would not form to the rock in a pleasing manner but the switch to Armour All allowed her to form the clay tightly to the rock without the fear of the shell breaking while removing it from the rock.

My purse was the second version where she intentionally made him (yes her vision is a him) with his eyes looking up at the owner waiting for the okay to eat the treat on his nose. The whole time she is making him she knows his eyes are looking at her waiting for the okay to eat the treat this astonishes me as the art receiver. I never once thought about the eyes and I feel bad about that. You know I will look at the eyes now first thing and of course point it out to my customers on Friday at my desk at work.

So in a nutshell you have it whether it is finding clean dirt ( I was so crazy heck I still am) or the BOY puppy waiting for the okay to eat a treat. Art has two mindsets!

Have you ever taken the time as an artist to see that and embrace it?

A Day is What Cha Make It

September 1, 2010

What the heck?

 A day is what cha make it? I thought this blog was to be about art and clay not philosophical stuff. Bear with me for a few hundred words and  learn about me and maybe yourself in the process.

We all have bad days. I am talking the lose your job, car crash, illness or loss of a furry friend days. Those times in life are just bad days and on those days laughing, crying, friends and alcohol can not even help. All you can do on those days is just get through them the best way you can.

What about all the other days? The ones you do have control over?

Case in point our 23rd wedding anniversary was August 27th. This is the one day of the year I get to be sappy, and have him tolerate being sappy with me for at least a few hours anyway. We have dinner or orderves (sp?) and just enjoy talking of our life together and talk about how far we have come and where we think we will go together in the years to come. For me that is what I want on my anniversary and I am a happy camper.

Usually I get my wish but this year someone  in our lives came to town and needed (or so hubby said) a ride from the airport. I tried gently reminding hubby about our anniversary without actually coming out and saying it.

Me: What day is Saidi coming again? Did you find out what time yet?

Him: He is coming Friday and no I do not know what time yet I will call him on Thursday before he leaves and find out the flight information.

Next Day

Me: Do you have to go and get him Mahmood is closer wouldn’t it be more convenient for him to go and get Saidi?

Him: It’s Saidi Julie even if Mahmood can pick him up we will go together and get him from the airport.

Me: ((inside hmph! Go get him WITH Mahmood))

next day

Me: Did you get a mattress for Saidi yet?

Him: No I will do that Friday with Mahmood.

Me: Did you find out what time he is coming yet?

Him: No I just know he is coming the 27th. Whats today? The 25th? Yea he is coming Friday the 27th……….(huge eyes I mean huge eyes) Ohhhh that’s why you keep asking about Friday. Its our Anniversary.

Me: Honestly its okay I just want to know when you will be home because if its late I am going to go for a mani pedi with Roseanne.

Him: Dont you ever learn? You are going to go with her? Good Luck!

We both really love Roseanne but she has a bad history of actually showing up for our mani pedi’s the first three or four times they are scheduled. We did end up going out to get our mani pedi’s on Friday night and I told her how happy I was to spend the time with her. I honestly think that if she stood me up too I may have had a bad day. While getting our pedi’s I heard of her anniversary woes and she has got me beat hands down. Hers is the 28th of August and now I feel responsible to remind her hubby because all she wants is to have her hubby remember and he isn’t doing that if she has to remind him. (ohh we went around and around that one for a long time and all she wants is for him to remember).

I could have been mad, cried, thrown a hissie fit, started a fight when I did not get what I wanted from hubby. But right now in my life that is not where I am as a person. Years ago not so but now I am okay with it and spent the time with a dear friend laughing and talking about our marriages and children. It was a really nice day.

In art we can have a bad day heck any real artist will admit they have them all the time. Say you sit down and nothing flows from your fingertips or what does is not good looking at all to us anyway. Remember we are our own worst critics with our art. So when these days happen what are you going to do as an artist?

Well you can cry, cuss, learn from your mistakes and cry, post pics on Facebook for where/how did this go so wrong feedback from our friends and family there are so many things you can do. One of my favorites is to reach into the bowl! Another one is to make Natasha’s.

Being an artist is such a solitaire life. I mean it is us sitting at the work table or bench, by ourselves, all the time. I know we have the great option of clay groups and Facebook but in the end it is us sitting down to make that blend, or cane and no tutorial will ever prepare us for that moment when we actually do it. Having it not turn out the way we want to can really lead to a bad day but only if you let it.

The next time you doubt yourself as an artist get feedback to either help you get better, or help you get over your feelings of inadequacy. A day is what cha make it!

What will you make your next studio day be? Uplifting? or  Nothing but negative?

Only you have the power to choose because in the end it is you sitting solitaire at the table!

Facebook Focus Continued

May 30, 2010

If you did not take the poll last week there is still time to take it to be included in the results next week.

I want to continue with the Facebook theme this week with a post that may or may not hit a nerve. It is the games on Facebook and my intent was to delete all games (I only play Farmville) with this posting but I am just not sure I can bring myself to do that. It is not that I enjoy screaming at the screen while whatever I am trying to do freezes, but I really love some special moments that I have had while planting and harvesting. This week Just the facts Ma’m.

I understand that not all of you play Farmville your favorite may be Mafia Wars, Fishville, Cafe World,  Restaurant City, Castle Age or insert your favorite here. Honestly I want you to think of it in clicks how many do you do each and every day when you could be clicking other things? Last week it took 5 Clicks to create a business page on Facebook. 5 Clicks……

When hubby said that he would spend an hour on his farm daily I told him he was crazy and asked if he had a tractor? Do you have a Harvester? What do you have? Let me see your farm!  He removed his reading glasses and explained that he was saving his money. I told him he needed to buy all the machines and get some arborists and farmhands so he just had a few clicks not a million. Our son came into the room in the middle of the conversation and after laughing and shaking his head at us left the room and said we needed to get a life.

This got me to thinking of how much time I spend on my farm every day. And so I had to  of course do some research and find out how long I did spend on the farm every day. This is when Farmville  introduced the newest building a greenhouse! So everyone was trying to get this or that to finish building. Also that was when they made the last upgrade to how you accepted your gifts which led to me getting a lot of error messages and wasted time. At one point this month there was a two-week period where I could not touch my gifts in any way it kept going to the market  no matter what I tried. Believe me I was trying to get to work on the farm I kept clicking and cussing. I almost thought it was a sign from the Farmville Gods that I was supposto quit playing.

Once I finally was able to play again I was amazed at how long it takes to do things.

I will admit I went crazy in the beginning timing how long it takes to do things doing them 5 times to get an average. I timed things like how long it takes the farm to load (11 seconds) go full size (07 seconds) accept 10 spring eggs in your gift box THE NEW WAY (47 seconds) you get the idea?

I know it seems like those are seconds but how many times do you do it in a day or a week? How many clicks? That is the question I kept asking myself. How many bleeping clicks to get that mystery gift from the request stage actually to the farm! So I timed it this time with 3 as the average. Note this part of the research was done on my new laptop (yea for me) which is a lot quicker.

It mattered how quickly and smoothly Facebook was moving at that particular time. One night I spent 11 minutes and 54 seconds and got so frustrated. I ended up spending 26 minutes going through all gifts and getting many error messages but cleaned it out so I could get accurate information for tracking next day.

Next three attempts average for 30 items from request to on the farm not in an egg or box 🙂 13:45.

Harvest, plow and seed were all within seconds so the average time for all was 2:52.

To harvest all buildings, animals and trees with arborists and farmhands 1:04

To fertilize 15 friends 17:19.

That is a lot of clicking that is all I have to say. Think about it how many clicks for you today? This week?  This month? I will focus next week on the special moments while playing Farmville, the poll results which so far have been very surprising, and the decision Delete or not to Delete.

Facebook Focus Month Cont.

May 14, 2010

Facebook Focus month continues with the way to set up a business page. It is very easy.

From your profile page go to the very bottom and click the advertising link.

This brings up the  Advertising page where you will click the pages button.

When you do that you will click on the create a page button.

Fill in the information. I am in the Artist category, and I am the official representative for my company so I do not the steps you will go through if you are not. Click create official page. And look what happens!

OMG how many clicks was that?? My page is created? Hmmm let me Edit my page.

This is what comes up when you do.

This is where you will add a profile picture and change settings and add the mobile aplications if you want them enabled. You can also set up an e commerce site on Facebook!

I had hoped to have that as the focus for next week but I have found a different site and liked the way the photos looked and the ease of site set up. The ones on Facebook are rather small and for my art I need for the items to be bigger quality pictures. So next week not sure what exactly the focus will be :).

The Regional Pendant swap is going great almost all the packages are here and the photographing is almost complete. I can not wait to show you guys the pictures!

You may remember this swap post…if not it is a real cool read and I am not just saying that. If you have not read it read the update first THEN read the post!

I called her today and she answered the phone. She agreed with me that her comming into the bank was meant to be  so she would come in, sit at my desk, and be freeken motivated!

Even though she just had a major operation she is painting for me, and her friends. She has already given some pieces away and I am so proud of her. Even better she has ideas for the projects she WANTS to do. She thanked me for getting her back to painting and not Quitting! Our swap date is set for about the third week of June and I am so excited I am going to finish her swap flower right now!

Back To Basics

January 17, 2010

So I took my son snowboarding yesterday and since I do not ski or snowboard I decided to take some of the books and print-outs I have on hand to get organized and hopefully inspired.

What a rude awakening I got.


I learned that I do not think I am doing some of the basics right! We are talking clay 101 here people!

I mean I know that there were times that I made the same silly mistakes a couple of times then remembered to jot it down in my tips binder but man o man.

Was I ALWAYS looking in the binder? NO!

There are a lot of the foundations in clay that unfortunately I am not following every time. No wonder my stuff is not as good as I know in my heart it can be. I am not following some of the basic steps. You know the baby ones that you take before you run with a technique and make it your own.

I now have another binder but I plan on looking at it every time I start on or am working on a project. Every time I sit down to work I will look at that book for my baby steps. It is divided into a lot of sections that are very specific so I do not waste time trying to find what I am looking for. I also will add as I remember or encounter new clay facts to the appropriate place in the binder.

If I do not do this then I will never have the simple important professional ways implanted in my brain.

On a positive note I am really doing a lot of great things with clay and I know I am very talented. My work will only improve with this wonderful new addition to my claying repertoire.

Photo Set Up Tips!

November 27, 2009

The photo taking question was recently addressed on the clay list City O Clay and since that is #1 or #2 on my to do list I am tackling that subject today! Please weigh in and let me know what you think!

So you want to take good pictures of your jewelry(or insert your item here)…… items hunh? Do you have the cash to buy a set up?

The camera is something you are going to have to figure out yourself. Since a camera is on my Xmas list I am using what I have which is a HP Photosmart M525. This is going to focus on the set up you can work with to take great pics.

What is a small photo set up you may ask?
Here is a company that sells table top studios. If the link is broken I searched studio lighting setups.

Basicly it is lights with a box.

Here is a way you can make one.
I made that one I recommend if you make it please make sure you use only one large piece of thin white paper. I made it when no store around me was open and used 8/2 x 11 which left sections of the paper that met visible no matter how hard I tried to tape them so nothing would show. I also had the problem of the corners being visible in the jewelry pieces I was photographing. Hours wasted!
If you want to see one that is close up and somewhat focuses on that exact issue in my opinion try here!
I think this is a really good table top set up you can make. For me unfortunately it did not work out it could have been operator error but I still want to take good pictures.
During this time the lighting set up I used was the ones you get from your local hardware store and I snapped them to the sides of closet doors and one from above like this.
(example of early lighting set up)
Okay so you have to picture the way they would look from the top set up this way. Just clip one onto the shelf and point it down toward the object your photographing.
Okay that didn’t work NEXT! This is what I got for Christmas last year.
I chose the economy kit! It took real good pictures but honestly the box was a pita for me. I mean the lamps came with covers for the light so why did I have to use the stinking box. Why not get a back drop and take pics?? Got the lights, got the covers for them to diffuse the light sounds like a plan to me.
Kind of something like this.

Wow that is exactly what I tried so now I get to show you what I came up with! I do not have a garage so I used my table lights.
Like this! Please note for illustration purposes I am showing the marketing that was the piece of paper I used for the background.

So here are some examples of the photos I took. I was amazed at how they differed by just a faint change in the lighting placement.

I will start with

2 lights diffused one on each side this one from a little further out.

2 lights diffused one on each side this one close in. I think that looks pretty good wonder what it will look like with 3 lights?

On the following set of photos there are 3 lights.
There is one on each side that is diffused ………..and one handheld that moves and is not diffused.

3 lights not diffused with one light on each side with the third light shining from the front of the piece. See the shadows!

3 lights not diffused with one light on each side with the third shining from the middle of the piece.

3 lights not diffused with one light on each side with the third shining from the back of the piece.

Nice now what happens if I take the two diffused lights on each side and then diffuse the third as well, of course while moving it around again?

3 lights diffused with one light on each side with the third shining from the front of the piece.

3 lights diffused with one light on each side and the third shining from the top straight down at the jewelry.

3 lights diffused with one light on each side and the third shining from the back of the set up.

This is the same picture from the Flickr site I think it just looks better on Flickr. No I am not going to tackle the fact that the pics on Flickr look better than on the blog I am putting on the to do list though!

3 lights diffused with one light on each side and one to the front right of the picture.

Here is what I have come up with for a basic set up.

So thats what works for me! So far. Now just to decide which placement of the photos I like! What do you think?? I am still amazed at how the lighting changed depending on where I placed the lights.

This week was fun!

But did I figure the whole thing out or even come close to understanding?

Not really which stinks I wanted to have simple posts that have a begining and an end in one session. This didnt end for me I now have to face the fact that what looks good in Flickr may or may not look good in WordPress or insert your favorite program here.

My only other option is to save in WordPress as a larger image hmmmmm

That is what full size looks like.

Only other option is this

So here I am with no end, again, photos on the brain still.

Oh well this was a good blog post! Patting herself on the back and getting out her clay.

New Blog Direction

November 23, 2009


I just can’t figure out what to do. I mean I think I am a writer and dont have the time to write what I want. There are so many things that I have not written about that have happened since I started this blog. What the heck how am I going to be able to do it?

Discipline I guess is the key hunh? And you can add a little Focus? Dont forget the family that always gets in the way? And Life of course.


So I guess I will do a quick top 3 lately!

  1. Clay Swaps at City O Clay
  2. Polymer Clay Cafe
  3. Tumbler Working



So I became swap mistress at City O Clay. A lot of work but honestly the first swap is not completed and I am getting more out of it than the clayers I think. I am so happy that my hard work is translating into their hard work! Nothing could make a mama clayer happier than others having ideas and needing to GET THEM ON PAPER before they forget. Or being inspired by trying a new technique even if they are not new to clay. This is something that has taken a great deal of my time the last few weeks but I can see this is something I really am going to get a lot out of.


Polymer Clay Cafe published one of my how to articles in their April 09 edition. This was a natasha bead that had a cool checkerboard pattern on the outer parts of the bead. For me that was so cool being a published artist. Whoda thunkit? I really love writing articles and plan on writing the next one over the Thanksgiving weekend if I have the camera then. Cant wait to try I am very excited about this next article. First time do you know that I forgot to include any contact information. Always remember they print what you send so make sure you send it all the first time.


I have a working tumbler now it is so nice. The first time I used the tumbler after purchasing I did not line it and the clay turned black. It just so happened the item in the tumbler was the next project for Polymer Cafe. Life is funny sometimes.


So I guess even though I want to write longer more involved posts I must shorten them so I can start a subject and finish. No more of this follow-up stuff. I will have to work out in my mind how to tell you something two months from now that is happening today because I just didnt have time.