Monday, April 21, 2008

Use By This Date:

Inspiration and how it works has been on my mind today. It seems to me that inspiration (for me, anyway) has a shelf life. It is best used when fresh. I already told you that I don't consider myself an artist, really. I am going to show you why. I tend to dive into a project or technique with both feet and go crazy overboard with it. But, it runs its course, and then I am on to the next thing that catches my eye. I am the dream consumer for the craft industry. I have been like this all of my life. I can remember in high school sitting with a pile of buttons, taking the shanks off with a huge metal file and glueing earring findings to the back.

Another craft I did in my youth (this is a young person's craft because the older you get, the harder it is to see what you are doing) was cross stitch. I always had a Counted cross stitch project with me. Being from a family with several project oriented, creative people, nobody thought I was weird. In fact, sometimes, they participated. This little cross stitch project I am showing you? My Dad and I went down the street and ripped grapevines off the fence of the cemetary and made these frames. Even today, my Dad can be counted on to pitch in on whatever project I am working on, if asked. I don't have any cross stitch projects left,except this little piece, but my poor Mother does. She is really great at displaying the junk I made throughout mlife. You really can throw some of that stuff away Mom, I won't cry.

Sometime in the late 80s or early 90s, I decided that I should shrink down stuff and make jewely out of it. I made earrings and pins out of seed packages, tea bags, famous paintings, fabric swatches, and here you see a paint bottle. I still have a box of this stuff in my garage someplace.

One of my Grandmas taught me the basics of knitting when I was small. I didn't do much with it until I was an adult. Then, I decided to become a great and prolific knitter. I took a class and went to town. Not satisfied with scarves only, I made a goal to knit a sweater. Yeah, I made a couple sweaters actually. One was gorgeous and I could not get my head through the neck. One was very cool and the sleeves nearly touched the floor. You can tell how long ago I was knitting because the size of this unfinished sweater is teeny. The only person I know that could possibly wear this sweater today is Niece 2 who wears size -3. Knitting has died hard in me and sometimes yet rears its ugly head. Not long ago, I did some knitting for felting. I always feel like knitting in the fall.
I have been making some kind of jewelry steadily since high school. In 2000, I had the idea to make my own beads in an effort to make beading less expensive and to get what I want for my jewelry pieces. Here is one of the first bracelets I made. I tried selling my jewelry about this time and found that I did alot better selling just the beads and letting other crazy beaders make their own jewelry. I hope my lampworking skills have improved and we can consider this bracelet is a piece of history.

And then multi media collage on cigar boxes. I did piles of these cigar box purses. I bought stinky cigar boxes in stinky shops from Michigan to Texas and on Ebay. It was fun. How many cigar box purses can one person have?
I didn't even talk about trying to be a painter.
I am sure this is perfectly normal behavior. I have friends who do the very same thing. Well, one. You know I am talking to you Queenie. And hence my reason for classifying myself as just liking to make stuff. I think an artist is dedicated to learning, growing, experimenting and improving the art she feels is within her. I have all kinds of junk trying to get out of me. Scary.
Normal Girl