Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Challenge of Music: I'm Through

I had the most amazing musical experience on the first of this month, I went to a little "pop-up" concert by Ingrid Michaelson in Portland (Oregon, for those of you who don't follow my blog :)).  I have always thought her a good artist, have always enjoyed her music, thought her voice beautiful... but I have to tell you... there is absolutely no comparison to her live.  Watching her interact with her audience, listening to her tell us about her music, catching glimpses into her sweet and warm and funny personality all made me adore her.  But the truly spell-bounding moments were when she sang, her voice is so pure, her emotion so real you feel as if you can grasp it in your hands as it winds around your soul.  Even singing lighter, more upbeat songs, her voice is so beautiful it just captures you.  I cannot for the life of me remember the last evening I enjoyed that way, I was about ten to fifteen feet from her the entire concert and it was incredible.

Every piece was amazing, but the song that pierced me to the quick was "I'm Through."  She confided that we were the first group to ever hear it live and told us in her own words what the song meant.  She told us it was about trying to move on, going out with someone for the first time after losing someone you loved very deeply.  And the new person is really wonderful and ordinarily you might really like them, but you are still too broken over your previous relationship.  When she began singing, it was just her on the keyboard, I was overcome by the beauty of the music and her voice... and the sadness.  Yet there wasn't just sadness, there was the bitter-sweetness of a relationship that was life changing.  There is even a hint of hope, or more correctly, a knowledge that it won't always be so difficult.  That moving on will happen, but when you are ready, in your own time.  Here are the lyrics, courtesy her official website:


I'm Through

I'm going out again tonight
the first time in the longest time
he holds the door and holds my hand
but doesn't feel like you

we laugh at all the people in
the restaurant across from us
he talks a lot but not too much
but doesn't sound like you

it's all because of you that I'm through
it's all because of you that I'm all through

I know there'll come a time again
when everything will fit right in
and I won't have to see your face
in strangers on the street

but I would rather feel the sting
than never to have felt a thing
I'll always know that you were the one
to rip me from the ground

it's all because of you that I'm through
it's all because of you that I'm all through

it's all because of you that I'm through
it's all because of you that I'm all through

I did manage to take a video of her on my ipod at the concert I went to, but the quality is wanting.  But I did manage to find another video on youtube of her singing it at the pop-up in Seattle!  Here it is:

And now, finally, here is my piece inspired by this incredible song and the lady who performed it:

The picture came out brighter than it really is, the sari silk is actually a deep navy blue.  I wanted the whole piece to be rich and moody and slightly tattered feeling which is why all of the metal is Fallen Angel Brass.  I chose this amazing pendant from Marsha Neal Studio that I have been hoarding, I love the way it's glazed dark and smoky blues, greys, and browns and looks distressed.  To me it represents the fact that the love had before was beautiful, as she says, she would have rather had it than not... better to have loved and lost.  I used grey fire agate, dark faceted sapphire rounds and a single grey glass pearl.  That pearl is that knowledge that someday it won't be as painful, that life can be good again when the time is right.  

I'm through...

Thank you so much, Erin, for hosting this amazing challenge, I have loved every single moment!  I hope you will take the time to visit all of the other participants on this wonderful ride of a challenge!  

Music speaks to the soul, don't you think?  


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Music soothes the soul...

I love music.  Music has always been such an enormous part of my life.  My earliest memories are of dancing with my mom when I was around four years old, to songs like "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson and "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go" by Wham... My first crush was on the incredible David Bowie as Jareth in the Labyrinth, I blame his voice.  Even now I can't help but love that movie... and him ;).  I can tell you what I was listening to in order to get through some of the most difficult times in my life... and which songs for some of the most joyful.

I don't discriminate, I love so many kinds of music!  And I am always eager to hear new songs and learn about new styles of music, new artists, new songs!  I find that, for me, the perfect music always seems to arrive at just the right time.  When my Grandma Ruby died freshman year of high school?  It was Backstreet Boys, and I am not ashamed to admit it, their harmonies and light melodies kept me feeling light, helped me survive the trip south and staying nights in her house without crying nonstop.  When my Great-grandmother Madeline died in 2003, I was in college, I was listening to a mix of Evanescence, OTR (an a capella group based at the UO that I was friends with), John Mayer, and Miles Davis.

Happier moments... singing along to Bing Crosby music on Christmas Eve with my dad... we did it every year he was home.  One of my absolute favorite memories. Singing "He Loves Me, He Loves You Not," (ok ok and dancing..) in a group of girlfriends for the school talent show my senior year was nerve wracking, but fun. I can likely name several songs from every dance I went to in middle school and high school, but I won't.  One of the ones I remember best was arm in arm in an enormous circle with my fellow classmates at my Senior Prom singing altogether, Vitamin C's "Graduation".  First song that was Eli and mine?  "Kiss the Rain" by Billie Meyers... our first dance as a married couple was to Louis Armstrong's "A Kiss to Build a Dream On..."  I adore that song.  First song I sang to Addy as a lullaby?  "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes".  Julie's favorite band as a baby?  Paramore, go figure.  Toby loves just about everything, but the kid can't go to sleep without me singing "MacCrimmon's Lament".

There's a wonderful English version of it, that I'm going to have to purchase so I can learn the words better (the version I have is all in Gaelic, which I don't speak, though I wish I did!).

So... what does this have to do with my work?  A lot, actually.  I listen to music almost constantly, so chances are?  A piece I have created was influenced by a song... a lyric... an album... something.  One of the latest pieces I did is called "Rose Kissed", I have to admit to being a sucker for Taylor Swift.  She is so cute and her songs are just... captivating. Her latest single "Ours" inspired this piece which features the most amazing focal by Diana of Suburban Girl Studio:

I love the chorus: "Don't you worry your pretty little mind/ people throw rocks at things that shine/ and life makes love work hard/ stakes are high/ the water's rough/ but this love is ours".  Plenty of Fallen Angel Brass, sweet freshwater pearls, and soft sari silk ribbon from GoldenOneToo on Etsy give a sweet, though slightly roughened look to this piece.  I love it :).

I think I have been thinking about music like this because Erin's Challenge of Music is coming up!  I finished my piece and now just need to do my write up :).  The piece was both easy and difficult for me, but I think in the end, it turned out just right.  I am so excited to show everyone,  the reveal is on the 29th.  Also, don't forget, the Bead Soup Party reveal is on March 3rd.  I have been working on that one too and am also excited!  I will be having a giveaway on my blog for that one, so don't miss out.

I'm recovering from the worst flu I've had in years, so if this post was a bit scattered... blame it on that ;).  I hope you are having a great week!


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Thank you!

Why am I thanking you?  For reading this post.  For following my blog.  For being a part of my world :)  I am so grateful to all of you!  I am also so very grateful to have been blessed with Janice of J-Lynn Jewels for a friend.  She has been such a huge inspiration for me both as a person and an artisan, she's so uplifting and always willing to help no matter how busy her life is.  And now, she has written the most beautiful article about me!  I am just so incredibly honored!  This community of beaders, artisans, crafters... has been so warm, so welcoming and I feel like I have a place outside of the house for the first time in so long.  Thank you, Janice, for everything!!  Thank you, all of you, for being such warm and wonderful friends.  I am so very blessed!  Here is a link to the article, and if you haven't started following Janice yet, you should :)  She always has such wonderfully inspiring posts and brings such amazing things to light with such beautiful photography!


Also, she has something up her sleeve with this sandbox of creativity!  I, for one, can't wait to see what all is coming!  It will be so much fun, of that I have no doubt, not to mention inspiring!

I have to go make the little ones lunch, but before I do... I wanted to show you all two pieces I just finished and got up yesterday!

Rosy Dawn is inspired by the beautiful blushing dawns I have been privileged to see in the last few weeks:

The lampwork beads are by Mermaid Glass on Etsy, they are from a set of orphans I got and I just LOVE them, the colors are so wonderful.  These are a peachy orange, just gorgeous!  And the sari silk is from the wonderful Mudhound Studios, also on Etsy :).

The second is a set of earrings called Rain on the Sea, I love these boros from Iris Glass Art.  I used stainless steel to create the ear wires and made them veeeeery long, the ear wires that is.  I LOVE the way they look :)

What do you think? Do you like the long ear wires?  What are your favorite type of earrings?

Ok!  Time to make lunch!  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


Friday, February 3, 2012

The Wonderful Lesley and Kari's Delicious Bead Soup!

Let us see how many things I can fit in one blog post... or if I will end up breaking it in two lol.  Where to begin? I suppose to be fair we should start with the farthest back thing that matters :).  Right before Christmas I received a lovely package in the mail all the way from the UK, the thrill from holding something that has traveled so far and from such a sweet soul is indescribably wonderful.  Lesley Watt is an incredibly talented artisan who lives all the way in Dorset, I have loved reading her blog for quite some time now and she is a warm personality (I highly recommend following her if you don't!).  To own a piece of her wonderful jewelry means a lot to me.  Here are some examples of her work:

Aren't they lovely?  Those are two of my favorites!  And here is the gorgeous piece that I wore to my Christmas gatherings:

I hope you will check out her blog and shop!  Here are her links:

Next up... are you ready?  I AM!  Getting a package full of bead soup in the mail is pure heaven!  I have been exchanging emails with my sweet and wonderful partner this time, Kari Carrigan (she is awesome, by the way), and couldn't wait to see what she sent me!  When I opened the package... I totally squealed.  I admit it! I am a squealer, I love pretty packages, ask my partner last time (Elisabeth Auld) I squealed for hers too!  LOVE!  Kari used the sweetest pink gerber daisy!  And then I opened it and the oohs and aahs just didn't stop!  I decided I am going to put up a main pic of the whole awesome soup and then I made a little slideshow for those of you who want to drool over goodies with me ;).  

Here is the link to the wonderful Kari's blog:  http://weegemsdesigns.blogspot.com  Hopefully she will be getting my soup soon!  I can't wait!  
Talk to you soon about Ingrid... ;) 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Quick post to tell you of an awesome giveaway!

The wonderfully talented Pippa is giving away some of her gorgeous petal and flower capped beads!  If you haven't seen them yet, you have to check them out, so gorgeous!  Here is the link to the giveaway:


And here are some of the lovelies!

Aren't they amazing?  And here's a link to her shop for a closer look at her work:


Ok, I promise, a long post about me today or tomorrow :)  I have many exciting things including.... my amazing bead soup has arrived from the wonderful Kari Carrigan and I am so geeking out!  Cannot wait to show you!  Also I went to the best concert of my life... and have new things in the shop... and have to tell you about the awesome Lesley Watt... yes, long post coming!!!