Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Maybe it's all about me...?

As I have mentioned, I have been in a bit of a creative rut lately. I'm struggling when I try and torch, and my intention to get a backlog of sets to auction while I get back into the swing of things at work hasn't panned out. I have at least had some other creative outlets lately. After a gap of almost 2 years, I have a concert coming up with my theatre company. We perform this Friday and Saturday, so this week has been full of rehearsals and such, and there has been no time to torch.
I went shopping the other day, and bought several new tops for work. While I was ironing and getting everything ready, I started to think about the patterns and colours, and wondered if perhaps what I need to get out of my slump was to stop thinking of auctions, and make jewellery for me. I very rarely make something for me, with the intention of keeping it. I sometimes start wearing something I had intended to sell, but I almost never plan beads or jewellery just for me. It's actually one of my worst flaws when it comes to marketing my work - I have very few of my own creations to wear.
So, I took some photographic 'swatches' of the designs on some of my tops. Taken out of context like this, I think they are very interesting - hopefully interesting enough to spark some creativity and return my muse.
So, what do you think? Will they get the creative juices flowing?

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Inspiring Colour

I took a little drive to Doncaster this morning, to get some glass from Lily at Hotbeadbox. I have been scraping the bottom of the barrel with my Morretti colours for quite some time, so it was way past time I stocked up. It has been well over 2 years since I made a substantial glass order. Ive bought bits and pieces, stocked up on fundamentals like black and white, and bought glass back from Lauscha in January and from The Gathering in August. But it was getting pretty hard to plan sets when I didn't have enough rods of anything to make more than a few beads....
Anyway, I'm happy as a clam today after stocking up, and as I had the glass spread out on the kitchen table, I found the colour ranges really inspiring. I see a set of pink, purple and yellow beads in my future - doesn't that combination look gorgeous?

Sunday, 13 January 2008

14 years and counting...

It was our 14th wedding anniversary on Tuesday. It's always funny to see the shocked looks on people's faces when I tell them how long we have been married. What makes it even funnier, is that I actually wasn't all that young when we got married - I was just shy of 23. Which wouldn't be considered young at all to earlier generations... Anyway, we went sailing on the bay yesterday as our anniversary celebration, and then to dinner in the new Docklands area of Melbourne. The weather was absolutely perfect - sunny but not too hot, with just enough wind to keep us moving along at about 16 knots, without it being too dramatic (apparently the day before they had 25 knot winds and it was bit hairy). We got some lovely views of the city skyline throughout the afternoon. Melbourne does have a nice skyline... lots of interesting new architecture has gone up recently. It has grown a lot in the last few years. We drove over that bridge on the way home... and then under the river through the tunnel as well. It seemed odd that we had been on the water, over the water, and under the water in one afternoon :) .
It would have been close to a perfect day if I hadn't managed to get sunburnt, through the long sleeved shirt I was wearing. *Sigh* I was so careful, reapplying sunscreen and wearing a hat - unfortunately, the relative merits of fine cotton as a sun barrier didn't occur to me. A day spent on the water for me always ends badly - I just cant be trusted out in the sun. I think Jason will make me where a full body snow suit or something next time....
Oh well, off to apply more Aloe Vera....

Thursday, 10 January 2008

The gift of music....

Jason bought me an iPod for Christmas. Its tiny, in a physical sense - I'm terrified of losing it. But it has an 8 GB capacity - not the largest by any means, but able to put all my CD's on and still be only half full....
I love music, and I have fairly eclectic tastes. But, I have to admit, I don't listen to my CD collection often. Neither of our cars have CD players, and I very rarely put music on to listen to at home. Unless I'm torching. I have rediscovered some of my CD's lately, playing them on the stereo near my studio. But it's tended to be a a few faithful favourites that I have played repeatedly.
In the last 2 days, I have set up my iPod to play in my studio. It was rather a performance - taking my laptop in, finding a spare powerboard so I could also plug the iPod in to charge, then plugging the speakers into the laptop... (yes, I know, I need a docking station for my birthday!). But Oh so worth it! The music! On Monday I played my 'Suzanne's Favourites' playlist - and found that to make it to my favourite list (which was created in a big hurry the other night, after I accidentally wiped everything from my iPod) a song basically had to suit me vocally. I cant listen to music without singing along, but the songs I had selected all specifically suited my vocal range and style, and I had a pleasant couple of hours, belting out tunes while I tried to get my torch mojo back (and remembering to stop singing when doing detailed stringer work - the vibrations, you know).
Yesterday, I scrolled through my album list, and found Hot August Night. Yes, Neil Diamond. Seriously. His studio recordings have never inspired me, but live - well, that would have been an amazing concert to be at. I used to listen to that album on tape on long car trips with my parents when I was a child - I know every word, even though I haven't listened to them in well over 10 years. I had forgotten I even owned the CD's. What fun it was to listen to that album, to sing along with all the songs and remember the crazy lyrics. It's very creative music - perfect for torching - a good beat, and great visuals. I completed a whole set in one sitting, which is the first since well before Christmas.
We often bemoan some of the changes that technology are causing - but thank heavens for the iPod, for giving me the gift of instant access to my CD collection, and for getting my torch time jumping!

Friday, 4 January 2008

Flaming Hot: Out with the Old and in with the New

The topic for the Flaming Hot blog this week is all about plans for the New Year. It's actually a tough topic - I'm not sure I have any solid plans just yet, for my beadmaking anyway. I plan to get back on a production roll with the last few weeks of my holidays, and to make a large glass order, as I am getting low on my Effetre rods. I intend to continue to post auctions regularly, and build up the number of new sets I post, and therefore the number of sales I make. I also plan to start teaching - hopefully with my first student in January. So I suppose there are some things to set in motion, and I need to get moving on that. I have had a break over Christmas, but I head home from Canberra tomorrow and will hit the studio, hopefully with some new found enthusiasm and inspiration.

Long Time, No Blog.....

Happy New Year!

I don't really have anything exciting to blog about... I am staying in Canberra, our Nation's capital this week (which might explain the lack of exciting content). Canberra is not the most 'happening' city. The fact that I have been sick as a dog this week probably hasn't helped. Jason, however has been having fun training and armouring, which was the object of the trip, so he is happy.

As you can see above, I did catch the tail end of some fireworks on New Year's Eve. I have also been catching up on an awful lot of TV shows on DVD... a pretty quiet week.

Today I am off antique hunting I believe, and tomorrow we head home. Then I will have to hit the torch and make some pretties for you to look at, as it's been weeks since I have torched.