Monday, June 11, 2007

Vote for us - Designer on the Rise!

That's right, it's that time of year again! It's the third annual "on the rise" awards brought to you by Style Bakery recognizing the hottest emerging designers as nomited by their readers. Plus, just for voting, you could win a $500 gift certificate to Ravinstyle! Nominations end July 1st, and only one ballot per email address may be submitted, so, go VOTE!

Thanks (in advance) for voting!
Have a wonderful week,
You are light, Bekki

Friday, June 08, 2007

The Origins of Some Selected Creations Part II:

Again with the stories....
As I mentioned before, I love, love, love handmade crafty stuff (art with a function) and believe it can also be very personal. I think it is important to wear/showcase/appreciate objects that have meaning, history, stories, or convey ideas (or ideals). So, in what may be come a sort of recurring theme, I would like to share a few more of the stories behind some of my favorite PinkBird Creations.

First, I should start with an item that is pretty important. It is a one of a kind and was part (one of two necklaces) of the very first PinkBird Creations order. This awesome re-done vintage necklace was basically the first piece I sold after opening the web-shop. (The order was also placed by one of my most rad friends, Sylvie).

The other necklace Sylvie bought for the first-ever order was this one that features a worry stone pendant focal point. The best part about this nature-inspired, one of a kind piece was that I had gotten that worry stone years and years ago when I was a child.

Next, in my last post of this nature, I spoke of my wonderful paternal Grandmother. Well, here I will mention another wonderful woman, my maternal Grandmother. This Grandma was a crafter herself. She made everything too. She was a jack-of-all-trades. She took us to little independent toy stores and let us pick out anything we wanted. The following pieces were all made with (vintage) beads that belonged to her:

This next pair of earrings called simply, "X-Ray Earrings," are one of my favorites. The picture actually doesn't do them justice. There is something so, well, almost elegant about them, and the fact that they are this odd chest x-ray charm sort of throws that off. I also love the blue Czech glass beads which I had originally bought (from a bead shop in Honolulu) for a project I never finished.

My birthday is April 6th (I'm an Aries). For this last special day I made myself a necklace and earring set using bright yellow beads. I love the earrings I made so much that I made one very similar pair. Each pair is still one of a kind since, though they are similar, they are not identical, which is pretty cool. I call them "Special Lemon Drop Earrings" because I made the original pair for my own "special day!"
When I was a kid I did all kinds of crafty projects. Most of the time these creative little gems where created during the summer with my mom and sister in our backyard. But, even on days we weren't outside getting crafty, we were indoors doing projects. I used to love making colorful coasters with those fun fusible plastic bead sets. So, what better homage to the art of making coasters that tiny "coaster" earrings?

These earrings to the right are my Green Tea Earrings. They consist of small Aventurine gemstones hanging from silver teapots and green glass beads. I drink (at least 2 cups of) Green Tea everyday. Seriously. Enough said.

These Cherry Chain earrings are made with lovely cube-shaped cherry quartz gemstones that I bought in the cutest little bead shop in Kona, on the Big Island, Hawaii. I have used these beads in a few different pieces, but had originally bought them to use in a earrings and necklace set I made for my sister.
Also at that cute little bead shop in Kona I bough the beautiful fossilized coral drop pendant that is featured in the necklace to the left.

Next, I really like the look and feel of Mahjong tile game pieces. I knew I wanted to make jewelry out of them, the only problem was that I could only find tiles that were made from animal bones which, personally, kind of weirds me out. So, when I finally found plastic tiles I went crazy with them. They are so fun and colorful.

And, finally for this installment of the "secret lives of PinkBird Creations," I'll tell you about this piece even though it is sold. When we lived in (a small town in) Germany we would buy Kinder Surprise Eggs all the time. Kinder Eggs are a fun and delicious candy treat--a milk and white chocolate layered egg with a special toy inside (the toys were very collectible and often something you had to put together). Apparently you can't buy Kinder Eggs in the US (and, if you can, please, please, tell me where!!). Anyway, I made this fun necklace from a car--that I had to build--that I got from a Kinder Egg.

So, as easy as it may be to walk into any cheap-o chain store and buy some mass- produced-trend-of-the-moment item please remember that original and one of a kind creations (be they mine or some other talented artist's) give you something to be proud of. Something to talk about. Something to connect to. It's a wonderful feeling to support lesser-known artists. It's a wonderful feeling to know the story behind what you own. It's a wonderful feeling to be know that name of the person who created the jewelry you're wearing, the pants you just threw on the floor, or the lip balm at the bottom of your purse. I hope you can say that about at least a few things that you own.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Travel Differently...

Well, once again my fabulous traveling companion (my husband) and I took a trip last weekend. (In case you missed it, we went to Philadelphia, which is only 2 hours from where we currently live, for Jam on the River). Once there, we had the same conversation we have almost every time we go someplace. "Well, now what?"

It's not that we are boring, or that we don't want to be there, but that we tend to travel so "unprepared" that once we are there (or while in transit) we ask each other, "so, what are we going to do there? What's the plan?" Half-way through a very long flight to Tokyo my husband looked at me and said, "what are we going to do in Japan?" We do this a lot. We'll go someplace, like Amsterdam, Paris, Maui, or Tempe, Arizona and just wander around (and get "lost" a lot). It's basically like we think of someplace we'd like to go and then just kind of show up. We do a sort of "authentic intentional wandering," perhaps. It's not often that our trips are about destination over journey. What's the saying, "getting there is half the fun," right?

I actually like this type of random, take it as it comes, go with the flow, no schedule, type of exploring. I would much rather be an explorer, or traveler. (Don't get me wrong, "touristy" things can be fun; like going to the top of the Sears Tower in Chicago. I'm a Chicago native and have been up there once--or maybe twice). I just don't want to feel that I have to go someplace or do something or I'd be missing it all. I want to feel like for that present moment I am actually there. Living there. Actually being. Not just seeing a place or culture through a travel book or through holes in a map. I still ask myself, "Did I go to The Louvre because I wanted to or because I felt like I had to. Seeing the Mona Lisa is what you do in Paris, right?!"

This brings me to the whole point of this entry....traveling differently. We are going to Morocco in a few weeks and in trying to prepare myself (which really just means gathering clothing that is appropriate for the climate/culture) I began thinking about how and why I travel. Paulo Coelho has a great list of 9 ways one can "travel different." Once I read it, I realized how he had put into words all the things I was already doing (or am trying to do) and feeling. (Which can be a very affirming feeling). I strongly suggest reading his list.

There is something about traveling and exploring that can really change a person, and I know has changed me. I think the part of it that I am most intrigued by is not the physical act of moving from one place to another across oceans and mountains, but the sort of mental and emotional travel and exploration that can take place during a journey. And yet, these are the same journeys. The fact that no matter where you go and no matter how hard you try, you will not be the same person you were before you took your journey, be it to Marfa, Texas, Valencia, Spain, or Tata, Morocco.

Maybe I am lucky that I am able to do this. Maybe I just need change once in awhile. Maybe I want to have good stories to tell my grandchildren. Maybe I like What-Ifs. Maybe I seek out uncertainty. Maybe books and pictures just don't do it for me. Maybe I just want to live now. Whatever the reason that I go I always feel wonderful for having gone.

We are stardust. Travel lightly, Bekki