Wednesday, June 23, 2010

To Everything There Is A Season

What’s amazing to me about Barbara Gerber is that she grew up in New York City yet has the greatest sensitivity to the nuanced details of the tiniest leaves, petals and bits of garden flora she cleverly assembles into card messages of hope, joy, and encouragement.
Using dried flora, her creative eye reveals an iris as a dress, petals become faces, a pansy bud is a hat, weeds are dancers…

 a bleeding heart becomes the bodice to a dress & and countless more enchanting ways she has "painted" with her garden's bounty.

Barbara now lives in North Carolina where she employs a lovely gingko tree and all assortment of flowers, leaves, weeds, seeds and stems from her garden to create her original, copyrighted artwork that she reproduces into cards.

I’m very happy that she came into the Gallery to introduce herself.   Her distinctive work is in a league of its own.  Come by to admire the selection for yourself if you are in the area.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Classic Woodie and Gallery shot

What are the chances of this classic Woodie car parking in just the perfect spot near my Gallery in Black Mountain, NC...and me having my digital camera handy to get a photo while the parking place in front of the Gallery was empty?!!!  This was better than seeing a double rainbow.   Check out the surfboard and the license plate which reads "REALWOOD".   Does anyone know the year of this model?

Faded rick rack

I don’t have a lot of photos from childhood so when I received this picture by computer today…I keep looking for something…but I’m not sure how I’ll recognize it.  The effort reminds me of Highlights Magazine hidden pictures.  Where is the camouflaged predictor of coming sorrows, spouses, new diseases, cures, computers, Internet, a black President, more than 3 TV channels, and…please please…answers to my spiritual grail?  There we were in our 1960’s rick rack unaware of God’s brush strokes toward tomorrow, still on the edge of innocence and open to adventure.  Did things go wrong or did things go right?  Is there a hidden door drawn here, newly exposed as game play continues and trees fade to gray, that I only need to land on to enter?  I’m hoping so, I’m definitely ready for some fun and more clues. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Making Peace with the Evil Eye

After working on a project for a lot of this past year, I found out it isn’t going forward yesterday. Wow. Ouch. You kidding me? Unfair. Unjust. Deep.   It’s so easy to get stuck in a victim mindset.   Sometimes it’s the oddest things that remind me to just deal with the moment and let it go afterwards, and yesterday it was a relative’s cat.  This old cat is alive to whatever new possibilities present themselves to it…whether it’s a new lap, moved furniture, moving feather…and never seems to withhold enjoyment from herself while fuming over why the kitty litter was moved for the 1000th time & other such humanoid injustices placed upon her.  Yep, I’m moving the cat carvings at the gallery into direct view of my workbench.  So far, I notice I’m getting very very sleeeeepy.  I like that better than being resentful.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Artful Reverence

With all of the jewelry I have made over the past 29 years…for me to carry jewelry work in the Gallery made by someone else says that there is something absolutely extraordinary to me about the design and execution.   I couldn't resist sharing these.   You know how a certain pillow on the couch perks up the rest of the furniture?  That’s the case with these exquisitely detailed 18 kt hydrangea blossom rings on textured earthy sterling bands in my Gallery.  A tiny diamond accents the delicate single hydrangea flower.  They are so precious I want to eat them. Entirely made by hand, these rings can be ordered in any size & easily shipped.  Delivery is generally around 2-3 weeks.   As with all things from the Gallery, they can be mailed.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Owls and the rest of the story...

The best normal job I ever had was a seasonal position with the National Park Service in the early 1980s. One evening, for reasons I no longer recall, I was walking along the park lake and a man was sitting with a flashlight. He said he was watching baby owls learning to fly. For an hour I shared in their silent flights from branch to branch… miniature owls I’d never seen before. Years later I learned they were Saw-whet owls (Aegolius acadicus) which are native to North America.
As a designer, my jewelry work is mostly biographical on some level or another…often with connected stories to something or someone.   Mostly these stories go untold.

Last year, after keeping my park service hat in it’s original cardboard box for more than 25 years, I decided to start the half hearted effort to declutter our house. The hat had traveled with me from North Carolina to Georgia, California, Virginia, and then back to North Carolina and it was time to say goodbye to that youthful longing. It sold on ebay for four times what I paid for it…the original receipt was with it. I like to imagine it in some museum-like diorama depicting the NPS before the strangling budget cuts of the past twenty five years.
That's the rest of the story Paul Harvey.  By the way, I miss you.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Some things just resonate.

Susan lives over the mountain and down a hill in North Carolina. Since my first shop, I have shown her watercolor work.  What I want to tell you is that not only is her work lovely and inspired…she and her husband Clay are wonderful, caring people…as her work would lead you to Believe.  Susan creates 5 x7 prints that fit in standard frames that are very popular in the Gallery given the number of religious conference center visitors that  surround the town of  Black Mountain .  This is how I wish I could paint!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Who knew ceiling tiles could be this beautiful!

I met Linda at a Wildflower Art and Craft Show where we were both exhibitors.   Surrounded by her wildflower artwork, it gave her an air of femininity and grace.   A few years later when I opened my current location, I asked if I could represent her work in the Gallery, and she was delighted.   I love that she paints on distressed metal ceiling tiles that serve as frames.   The simple but elegant paintings depict lady’s slippers, jack in the pulpit, trillium, ferns, hydrangea and poppy blossoms…all hard to find in artwork.   They are well suited for displaying in pairs or trios…her work is affordable for those who appreciate original paintings without an exorbitant price tag. I know, I bought one years ago.   A sampling of current offerings are pictured.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Love You Forever

When my son was little, my good friend Ellen gave me this little paperback, Love You Forever, about a mother’s enduring love for her child.  I could hardly read it, even today, without a tear.  There is something so sentimental, so achingly true about the eternal connection between a Mother and a child that author Robert Munsch captured perfectly in this tender book. With permission by the author, and inspired by a customer’s request, I designed this sterling silver charm with Munsch’s famous lines:

I’ll love you forever
I’ll like you for always
as long as I’m living
my baby you’ll be.

for more details, see Dee Sharp Jewelry website.

Interesting Characters...first of series

Interesting Characters…
that’s who Keith is.  Keith is a North Carolina potter and a man who beats to his own drum.  I think he communicates best in glazes…luxurious floating glazes he calls “ocean” and “fire” that remind me of far away times and places like Krakatoa, Vesuvius, or Sumatra.  If I’m buying a teapot, a mug, a vase…I want to hear a story about the pot.  With Keith’s work,  it speaks for itself.  Teamugs, coffee mugs, teapots, teabag holders, coasters, mini vases, vases, lotion bottles, & bath cups.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

It's raining Nests

If there is one thing I have a fascination with…it’s nests. As I was anticipating opening the Gallery, I even toyed with the idea of naming it “An Artisan Nest”. But “Nest” doesn’t have a great deal to do with my own jewelry work so I’ve stored away the idea for now. It was quite a serendipitous day when knitter extraordinaire Vicki walked in and left her card saying that she had chosen my little Gallery as the simpatico place to share her nests in a retail setting. Glee is a good word to describe my reaction to the photos of her work. Knitted with at least 50 types of yarn, they also sport bits of ribbon, paper, plastic shred, beads, and other exotic finds to “feather” her nests. My oh my they bring joy to the heart.   Like a mother bird to her precious nests...she found the Gallery that will tend to them well.  There is a generosity in her heart that is more about sharing her creativity than selling so Vicki prices her work so that people who are drawn to them will be able to afford this truly unique and completely handcrafted work of art.  The Gallery price is $44 and shipping is $8.50 for a total of $52.50 should you want to order one of the "Sissies".  Every nest is unique, she doesn’t make a lot of them, so first come first served.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Happy Storefront

For five years I had a large shop called Recollections...a two story 1905 historic house built by Biltmore Estate junior architect Richard Sharp Smith. It was located near the Biltmore Estate. Those five years were a blur of continuous work and stress that left me with almost no time to do creative work. It was an unhappy time for me though financially it was successful. I was very glad to sell the business to return to jewelry design work. After three years I decided to try another attempt at a store and wanted a small vacant space in Black Mountain that I had been visualizing for a long time. I opened in May of 2009 and it is exactly what I want in a Gallery. While a larger space would be financially advantageous in order to carry more selection, I am currently happy in my little space and place. As a friend recently told me, “It is so you”.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Perfectly Beautiful, Perfectly Handmade

One of the joys of having my own gallery is finding and being surrounded by art and particularly craftwork that I find simply wonderful.  Barbara Chadwick is one of those creative people who find a way to blend whimsy, beauty, and charm into one of a kind porcelain birdhouses.  If I had had one of these as a child, I would have created a whole imaginary life inside.   As an adult, they just make me happy to be around.  If you are in the Black Mountain area, come visit and see what selections I have to offer.

Staying Present

Staying Present means so much to me this year.  It's about continuing with my effort to make a living at my own Gallery rather than travel to craft shows.  It's about staying in the moment so that my mind doesn't get carried into areas of fear, judgement, or worry.  It means continuing to be a parent when times are tough.  It means continuing to grow in my relationship as a daughter and as a daughter caring for a mother.  It means showing up if I'm trying to actualize my visions.  It means appreciating things right now rather than when this, that , or the other is done.    For me, at this midlife point, life has condensed into two significant (to me) steps.  Staying Present was the first step that's taken every ounce of my focus these past couple of years to recognize how far I've come and how far I have yet to go.  Now I'm on to step two...transforming what isn't great about my present into peace.  

"Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God" Matthew 5:9.