Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I Know More Than I Knew Before

As you may or may not know, I have been trying to take a real, college level art class for years...though this never occurred to me in college. Because I was too scared, or too busy, or too intimidated. Whatever the reason it never worked out.

The last year that I lived in Hawaii I finally registered for Art 101 at Honolulu Community College. I got the mandatory TB test and everything. But, still didn't manage to work it all out so I didn't go.

Here I am, two years later living in Maryland. There are many days I miss Hawaii and am unhappy here. But, then I must remind myself of the bigger and better things the Universe has in store for me. I realized this a few weeks ago when I had an art assignment mishap.

See, we had this assignment involving color values and space and links and knots. I had my paper ready to go. I used the sunshine through my window as a light table to trace my design. It was wonderful, beautiful. Then, the paper ripped.

So, I had to make a 9 am run to the art supply store to buy more Bristol paper so that I could start over. I was not happy at all. I pulled into the vacant parking lot and practically ran to the store. I noticed a women walking in circles around her car. I overheard her say that she'd locked her keys in her car. Just at that moment a police officer drove by. She waved frantically to get his attention but he just kept driving. So, since I was about to cross in front of him, I waved both arms and jumped up and down. He slowed to a stop and I just pointed to the women and kept walking. In the store I found what I needed, paid, and left. As I walked out, I saw the locked-out-of-her-car woman and the cop opening her car door.

Hmmm. A million thoughts ran through my head. Had I not been in this art class, had my paper not ripped, had I not had to go to the art supply store so early I would not have been there to flag the police officer who helped this woman get into her car. Hmmm. The Universe works in such interesting ways. It may not have been a matter of life or death. But it was still a matter.

Then, as I drove home listening to the radio (the awesome NPR affiliate out of Towson, Baltimore, 89.7) a show called World Cafe was on with Feist as a guest. She closed out the interview with an amazing live version of "I Feel it All," a song I've been known to blast and belt out in my car. In it she sings, "I know more than I knew before..." And, yes, I do.

Perhaps this is why it has taken me this long to get where I am. It is at this point on my path that most of the stones have been set. This was always supposed to be the time and place that I made it to. I know more now. Which only brought me back to why I was there in the first place. Because my paper ripped. Because I am taking an art class. Because I have never found a better time to take an art class. Because this is life and this is how it works.

Monday, October 29, 2007

PinkBird's Picture: Byodo-In Temple, Hawaii

I photographed this Buddha statue at the Byodo-In Temple nestled in the Ko'olau Mountain range in the Valley of the Temples on Oahu, Hawaii. The beautiful red temple is a scale replica of a temple built in Uji, Japan. Surrounding the amazing temple are serene gardens and colorful fishponds. This picture of a happy Buddha serves to remind me of the content, calm, and peaceful feeling that would envelop me each time I visited. When I lived in Hawaii I would sneak away to this quiet place when I just needed to get away. To think, to center myself, to reconnect. The sacred temple, in both the man-made beauty of the statues and structures as well as the natural beauty of the mountains surrounding it, always leaves me with a spirit of inner peace and happiness.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

I'm Going to be in an Art Gallery Show!

Well, friends...I got some big news the other night in my art class. My art teacher selected me and my self-portrait (a value-scale painting) to be in my college's student art exhibition. Woohoo!!! She only gets to select a few people, so I feel...well, not just special, but I feel acknowledged (and validated?). My hard work has paid off. The show begins November 29th (and if you're in the DC/Baltimore area and would like to come, please contact me and let me know...I'd love the company!). There will be a reception and awards and everything.

I have been to a few art gallery openings and receptions...but I've never actually been in one (as someone else's signed picture of you dressed up as your alter ego doesn't really count). I'm very excited....now, for this excited part...there's a little piece of my "grown-up, rational, responsible" mind that thinks, "this is just Art 101," or "you're only in a student art show," or "It's not some big art museum." This part of me makes me sad. I know it's only trying to keep me grounded, to keep my head from getting big. But, what gives!? Things have changed though. This voice is tiny...and it's shrinking....

The other part of me is ecstatic! Here I am, 28 years old, with a degree, and finally going to school for something I am sincerely interested in and doing well at it. Dare I say, I'm succeeding?! It actually took me awhile to feel comfortable enough with myself to admit that I am doing well. When I started I was a wreck. I was nervous and eager to prove myself to myself and anyone who doubted I could really be an "artist." (And, were there even doubters, aside from perhaps myself?)

This painting took me forever...well, not really. It was assigned on a Wednesday, and I finished it the following Tuesday, the day before it was due. Basically, all I did for a week straight was work on this painting. I started it in class. I brought it to work to do on my lunch break. I sat at my "studio" (kitchen) table for 72 hours straight. Almost. I am very thankful that my hard work has paid off.

This class was a huge step for me in following my dream, my Personal Legend. Doing well is as surprising as it isn't surprising. Being invited (or selected) to be in this show is simply the sprinkles on the cupcake.. My Path has finally caught up with me, and I with it. Some days I think I can actually feel the Universe unfolding. Thank you.

Happy Birthday, Sylvie!

Sylvie is one of my bestest friends in the whole wide world! I love ya! Happy Birthday!

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Origins of Some Selected Creations Part IV:

Hello, friends! It’s been awhile since I’ve shared with you some of the stories behind the jewelry that I create…which makes me a little sad because I love to know and to tell the stories behind the things I wear…so, here goes:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love postal services. I save canceled stamps. Yes, it sounds super nerdy….but, I also made these rad (yes, I used the word “rad” too!) frames by collage-ing and sealing actual stamps onto them.

I adore these next earrings, and would keep them for myself if I ever really wore gold…These are the Vintage Holiday Tree Earrings. The trees (and chain for that matter) once belonged to my maternal grandmother. They are both vintage and really beautiful. There is something both classy and kitschy about these earrings.

I had the bits and pieces of this necklace just lying around for a really long time. Then, back in May we went to Jam on the River in Philly and I saw a girl wearing a necklace that had lots of chunky beads surrounded by smaller beads. In the center of her necklace hung a giant pendant. As soon as I got home, Viola! I had to make this necklace. I love the balance of small and large, chunky and smooth here. It all seems so natural.

Next are these really simple, really pretty coral red earrings. I bought a fantastic strand of these beads from an interesting shop in the middle of nowhere in southern Illinois. I was on a roadtrip--by myself--and saw this kitschy shop (it had a tee-pee and a giant buffalo out in front of it). I had to stop. It was almost magical inside.

And, finally for this (very short) edition of "Origins," I will leave you with these earrings, made from colorful guitar picks, because they are so awesomely cute!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Have You Thought about Holiday Shopping Yet?

Hello there, friends!

If you haven't browsed the PinkBird Creations shop in awhile...you might want to head on over to www.pinkbird.net. The holidays will be here before we know it and it's always wonderful to have your shopping done early. Plus, heaps of items in the store are limited edition or one of kind, so once it's gone, it's gone. If there is something you simply must have, might I suggest buying it before the big shopping rush?!

If you're planning to make your gifts, don't forget that I also have various supplies for sale in my Etsy shop.

Until next time, Best wishes, jellyfishes,

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Missing Aloha...

I drove home from work in silence last night. I just needed a break from sound. Finally, I opened the sunroof and listened to the wind. In truth, I'm really missing living in Hawaii right now.

(It may have been over a year ago, but it feels like yesterday).

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Wanting to Wander....

Standing outside the other night...with the moon reflecting off of a few strands of hair that were stuck in my eyelashes, I began thinking about how I am getting the itch to travel. To feel the buzz of an airport. To experience someplace new. I'm in the mood to wander. My toes are wiggling...where should our next journey begin?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Best Compliment...Ever?!?

The other day I got the best email from a friend of mine (the same friend I quoted in this blog entry). She told me the sweetest, most flattering thing I've heard in awhile...or maybe ever! She told me, "I printed out your one blog entry in fancy lettering on colored paper and framed it for my office. The entry that starts off "Today is the day I jump in!" It sits on my desk for when I need a pick me up!"

What a way to make my day! Thank you so much, and Happy Birthday! (Welcome to another year closer to 30!) :)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Jennifer's 30 years on Earth:

My lovely friend Jennifer turned 30 a few weeks ago (ok, so time is flying and it's more like 2 months ago!). Anyway, she posted the following blog about all the things she now knows after living this life for the last 30 years. I really liked what she wrote so I wanted to share it with all of you. First, let me tell you that Jennifer has a kind and strong soul. She has lived a very interesting life, about which she not only has great stories, but can tell great stories. She is also a (professional) dancer, and no, not the dirty kind. She is currently in Grad School at the University of Hawaii pursuing her dream of dance (Ballet, Modern, etc). Here are her thoughts on Turning 30:

"So I've been contemplating my life over the past week...thinking about what turning 30 really means to me. It's looked at as such a monumental age....old enough to know better but not old enough to be claimed as a true wise one. Two years ago the idea of turning 30 was ridiculous and a bit strange with a frightening twist but over the past year everything has changed. Age is irrelevant. 30 is just a number that counts the years of your survival....it's what you do with those years that count. And through heavy thought, this is what I've accepted with this new friend called 30.

By 30 I will know that....
*I don't want to survive without my friends and family.
*Money is nice but it's not everything.
*I will never be able to do 4 piourette turns but I can do a good double and be satisfied with it.
*I will always find good times in getting dressed up in various costume items while sipping wine and listening to fantastic music until 3am
*There is nothing wrong with silence between two people.
*I don't have to keep in constant touch with someone to remain close in their heart and likewise
*God is my friend and not this powerhouse that is keeping a sin tally board above my head every time i wake up
*Expectations will get me in trouble every time
*I'm harder on people than I have a right to be
*I'm even harder on myself than I should be
*I cannot live without music
*It's ok to question religion
*Forgiveness saved one of the most precious friendships that I will ever know
*Death brings pain and it's ok to feel pain
*I am not the same scared little girl that used to mask her life behind drugs and dysfunctional circumstances and I should be proud of that
*It's ok to not know what the word 'ambiguous' means and to announce that out loud in front of your peers
*I can take a health condition that tests my sense of mortality and use it to my advantage
*I have found my second love....Bikram Yoga
*The radio has gone downhill as far as good music is concerned
*It's ok to not finish a book...ever
*Tori Amos is still the most influential artist in my life
*Gossip hurts and I'm working on that
*You aren't perfect and neither am I
*I don't care for tours...in fact, they're completely boring to me
*I am terrified of the ocean
*I could be a mother
*I have the most incredible husband
*I don't have to have just one best friend in my life...I can have 7
*I will probably never get rid of my phobia for roaches and it's ok
*Dance changed my life
*The world is small so I travel frequently
*What happened in high school is insignificant and I shouldn't hold a bitter pill in my mouth about it
*I have accepted the idea of not knowing where I'll be in the next 5 years...and it's exciting
*I almost want a tattoo
*I have the best group of friends in the world....they are constantly contributing to this person that I am today and I am grateful
*Shutting my mouth and listening is getting easier
*Life really is short and I am reminded of that more often than not....so I try to live it to the fullest..and I'm not just saying that....Etc Etc Etc

This could really go on forever. You get the picture.

It really is wonderful in my world these days. I'm not bragging but just sharing. Breathe. Forgive. Open your eyes. Don't be scared to take chances. Listen. Have faith in yourself and OTHERS. Relax. Do something....anything, that makes your happy. It's taken me 30 years to get to this point and it was HELL. But with the help of my loved ones, I am exactly where I should be in life. My 20s were the years of blindfolded hell...weeding out the bugs that I carried with me in my life. So oh yea, I'm more than ready for what is next. I am nowhere near knowing it all but I do know that I have enough tools in my pocket to get me through the next 10 years.

Blessings and loves...Jennifer"

I really love Jennifer's list...it is very personal, but also so universal that a lot of us can relate. So, thanks Jennifer! You're amazing.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

PinkBird's Picture: Reflecting on a Bridge, Tokyo

The lively, hectic, bright, and colorful city of Tokyo surrounds this Palace, though once on the palace grounds, you would never know it. Away from the busy glitz that is Tokyo sits this truly amazing and serene place. The vast area around the the Kōkyo, the Imperial Palace of Japan and home to the Emperor, is tranquil and almost silent—albeit for a few tourists and guards. This beautiful scene is the Nijubashi Bridge at the Palace, it was early in the morning and everything still had a dusting of dawn upon it—the clouds were hidden and the breeze was low-- leaving the trees and water motionless. The peacefulness of the area and of the moment gave us pause to reflect and take a break from the energetic urban wonderland of Tokyo, Japan.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Still Here.

I have not slipped off the Earth (though some days that sounds pretty good...) I have been quite busy. I spent most of last week (and all weekend) doing this painting:

So, aside from the fact that art supplies are so expensive, after doing this painting, I now have a better understanding of the cliche, "starving artist." When you are working on a big project with a deadline, who has time to eat?! And, because I am a little nerdy, I took a picture in class before our critique...here you can see the photo I used to paint this portrait.

In previous posts when I spoke of "jumping in" and following my Personal Legend, I was referring to creating/pursuing art. I think the hardest part about all of it was the fear that I would fail (and yet, on the other hand, if I did, the consolation that at least I tried). Now that I have been doing a few different pieces I am less afraid of failing. Even when I am stumped, or think, "I can't do this," or even have tears over a project (yes, I have had tears over basic Art 101-type assignments) I feel something pushing me to keep going. It all seems so much more possible than it did months ago. Maybe because I am actually in the water now, and swimming (more than just keeping my head above water), rather than just waiting to "jump in."

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Crafty Bastards

Wow...it's been awhile. Sorry, I've been super busy with art and work and working on art.

Anyway, a few weekends ago my friends and I went to the Crafty Bastards Arts & Crafts Fair in the Adam's Morgan neighborhood of DC. It was so awesome...and perhaps they should consider re-naming it,"Crowded Bastards" 'cause that place was packed! And, if you're a vendor that's fantastic, but as a shopper (yup, no booth for PinkBird), well, it can get discouraging when you're wandering around in the heat being bumped from almost all sides by other crafty-shoppers. I have a few picture here, but if you really want more, you can see the "official" Crafty Bastards photo pool here.

Not only did I get to see a lot of cute indie items live in person that I'd been browsing online...I also got to meet (or at least see) the artists behind the shops. I will admit though, I was a bit sad when I went to Tina Seamonster's booth and she wasn't around (her site/blog, that I adore, is ilikeseamonsters)....because I read her blog so much I already feel like I know her, and I was really looking forward to meeting her...but, I think she was probably taking a lunch break. Or a break from the heat. That's OK. Maybe another time. I did manage to purchase a lovely "some day we will all be ghosts" magnet (since she was out of "I like Sea Monsters" shirts in my size, and that's awesome for her!). Here is a picture of her super-cram-packed booth:

I also managed to buy some really cute accessories from Art School Dropout (you gotta love that name!) I always browse her online shop, and, once seeing all her colorful fantastic jewelry in person, I had to buy some. I got some owl earrings, some bee earrings (like these, only in white) and a little camera bobby pin (that one is a gift, actually). What I really want to know is if she buys these colorful bits and pieces, or if she makes them (by, oh, I don't know, pouring got wax into molds, how cool would that be?!?). I wish I would have asked when I was there shopping.

I made special PinkBird Creations coupon codes (which I mounted on the back of PB stickers) to pass out at the Craft Fair, but that didn't quite go as planned, so, if you're reading this, and you didn't get the sticker/coupon code, here it is: 07CRAFTYBASTARD. Don't wait too long, it won't last forever.

So, Crafty Bastards seemed like a terrific success....maybe next year PinkBird will have a booth.

(from November 2006 when I was the Washington City Paper's
"Craftiest Bastard of the Week").

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Inanimate becomes Animate

It's not VooDoo, it's my latest Art class assignment....making something inanimate become something animate. So, a cute little spoon curls up to become a cute little snail. I then took that snail, abstracted it and tessellated it. Fun stuff. (There's a final composition, where I had to combine the two pieces into one, which is much bigger and I currently don't have a photo of).

(P.S. There's some new stuff in the PinkBird Shop).