Wednesday, January 31, 2007

New Wire Wraps & a sneek peak at my booth for this weekend's show!

I've been busy. I'm down 8 lbs in 3 weeks ( yeah! go Kat go!) and I've got a show this weekend.. my first show of the year. I'm excited and nervous, I've got some new display ideas I've been working on.. I've got my new drop cloths.. and I finally have Maddy all assembled ! Maddy is one of my 2 manikins. Maddy ( short for Madeline) is my table top version.. I've also got a 2/3rd stand up model ( named Maude) I'm very proud of Maddy, and she's such a dear, she sits holding my jewelry so patiently! And she's the type of person that you can see some of yourself in her... hehehe..

ok, before you think I"m totally nuts, her face is a mirror. I've had Maddy since this summer, with her face ( a lovely mosaic frame my friend Dorrie created for me) but I finally got decent hands and arms worked out. The hands are from an art supply store, and are fully articulated. I love that word!! The arms are just jewelry displays .. they are overly long, but I think it adds to the artistic effect. I'm going for fun and funky but with class...

Also pictured are 2 wire wraps I've done in the last couple of weeks.. Ocean Foam is a vintage Japanese Cab done in sterling wire. I think the front turned out great..
the back..
not so great.. I want to get good enough that even the backs look OK, because what pendant doesn't flip around ?? though I've made the bail wide to keep that from happening much. The other cab is also a vintage Japanese cab, a scarab.
you can't see the chain in these pics, but it's on a spiral chain done mostly in root beer AB hex beads. Yum! I should take a pic of the chain sometime.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

New Year's Resolutions -- the WHY of Art

New Years resolutions.. everyone does them. Usually by now, 13 days into the new year, they are forgotten or dismissed. This year I plan to keep mine, really really keep them. For those who don't know me, Hi, I am Kat BarronMiller. I'm 38, happily married, 1 child of incredible cuteness and intelligence, 3 cats and a bead business going on it's tenth year. One of my resolutions is to start a blog for my art, and keep it updated at least twice a month. I also want to loose weight ( and kept it off) and exercise more. Oh, and world peace, for fellow Sandra Bullocks fans out there.
So I've started the diet, I've lost 6 lbs so far. I'm trying to get back on track with exercising every day. And I realized I hadn't done the blog yet. Which made me think hard about why I wanted to set up a blog in the first place. I mean, I do have a website already for the business ( ) why did I set up a goal of starting a blog?? I can't keep my website up to date, what was I thinking?? I even started a blog the past summer.. never got the first message posted on it.. in fact I just figured I'd take that and start over.. but I've lost all of my sign in info and couldn't even figure out what the name had been!! So why do I want a blog???
So I've been thinking about this for the past week... and I realized it's all of a piece. I wanted to start a blog to give myself some accountability for my art. You see, the last few years I feel like I've been just doing the motions of being an artist... I've sort of lost myself as an artist. I started to look through my inventory, and realized some of the pieces I absolutely hate. How can I sell something I hate?? I don't mean the bread and butter pieces.. anyone who sells art for a living is always going to have stock stuff, that's part of the business. But you have to make pieces you love, to balance out the pieces you make to stay in business. While I made pieces I am proud of, I should feel pride about all of them. I used to take joy in every step of the process, in every piece I made, even stock ones... I lost that along the way. While this is a business for me, it's also my creative release, a release I desperately need. Somewhere I have lost that essential Kat.
And that's why it's all of a piece. I am overweight, I've been overweight my entire life. I've always stuffed down my problems with food. I have to learn new ways. When I started beading 11 years ago, it was such a revelation to me, I felt like I'd discovered how to fly. I want that feeling back. I've gained more weight in the last few years... instead of using my art as the creative release it ought to be, I've used food to shove the bad things in. I'm going to lose the weight, and learn how to fly again. So this is sort of another resolution.. if I don't like a piece, it's not going into inventory. period. I will rip it up and try again... but if I like it or had fun making it.. even just the simple pleasure of "why, this is well made and it's pretty" then it's not going into inventory. It might be a very salable piece.. but if it's not doing it for me, then out it goes. Money is all good and such, but not at the cost of me. I will probably not make as much money this year, but the only thing I"ll "loose" is weight, bad vibes and bad jewelry. It seems like a good trade to me.