Dipping my toe into the wallowing pool

Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in my own ass-hole-ism. There are times when I feel I should really be speaking to people like I’m this amazing person that I really aspire to be. Other times, (like, when my skills really aren’t paying any bills) I feel ridiculous about the choices I’ve made in my life and just want to slink back to my corner and cry over my student loan bill.

I’ve really been struggling with my work and getting it out to the “right people”. There’s a whole dog chasing its tail thing going on with money. I make a little money and I have to spend it on a bill or new tires. Then I’m broke again. I’m working my ass off on product and sending pitches to boutiques along with line sheets and price lists. Research is exhausting and I really wish I had gone to school for this. What did I go to school for? Animation. HAHAHAHAHA! Boy, that degree is really paying for itself! Trying not to feel sorry for myself is the hard part. I made all of the decisions that put me here. Maybe this is just a low point that I can laugh about later?! Gross.

The funny thing is even when I’m feeling sorry for myself the creating doesn’t stop. That part of my brain hasn’t stopped at any point in all of this. *Shakes fist at the sky* What does it all mean?!! Maybe I’m possessed by a spirit who likes to make things and enjoys nothing but a steady diet of carbs and citrus.

Anyway through all of this, my experimentation has led me to some results I’m quite pleased with. So, I’ll just move on to that for now.

Image

I’ve had this idea sketched out for quite a while but, I thought there was an issue with my kiln. Turns out there wasn’t. It was just a testy outlet. Anyway, it’s a sugar skull necklace. I wanted to have the piece be interesting on both sides. The front side is the enamel skull and the back part would be a pierced piece. The black underside of the enamel provides the negative space.

sugar skull fnb

It’s still a little rough-looking, but I’m pretty proud of something I made from sketch to final product. It can only get better, right?

Here’s some geometric experimentation with gold leafing. I friggin’ LOVE gold leaf! I want to gold leaf everything!

enamel pendants

Gold just classes everything up a little.

enamel 2frings

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned how much I love my prehistoric kiln. It’s one of my most coveted tools to date. It helped me make these yummy 2 finger rings. I also finally made a color chart for some of the transparent enamels so colors can be mixed without any nail-biting. Here are some better pics of the rings:

Nalgene bblgm2

Nalgene blubll3

Nalgene shamrock3

Sometimes I’m fascinated by the depth and intricacies of the color that comes out. You can get them in my shop here.

Looking at these items again makes me temporarily forget what I’m going through in order to create them. I guess that’s the point right? I know that someone will always be better at it than me. I accept that fully and it will never stop me from chasing my dreams. My love for it is what will always get me to keep going. It’s the only constant in my life. Always there challenging me, bringing me to tears, breaking my heart, filling me with joy, pushing me, comforting me, calming me, consoling me, inspiring me…

I’ll just keep my head down and push through. It’s worth it.

In the meantime I’ll leave you with this little nugget from one of my favorite bands of all time. Top 5 at least…

 

New projects

I’ve been in creativity land now for a week and it’s been lovely. For awhile there I was bogged down with work and falling behind on my business duties. i.e.; my shop, my consignments, this blog…

Now that I’m caught up and well rested it’s like the creativity flood gates have opened! I finally got my kiln going this weekend and spent my entire Saturday getting to know it better. I had recently purchased a pyrometer. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a doohickey that allows you to see what temperature your kiln is. Anyhoo, the pyrometer didn’t work. Ugh! Oh well, it didn’t matter though cause the kiln works wonderfully! It heats evenly and I used it all day. It took me awhile to figure out a routine (Its been awhile) but, I feel pretty confident in what is needed¬† to make things run smoother.

Here’s the first actual piece of jewelry made yesterday. It’s a large pendant.

I can’t tell you how exciting it is to be working with something new!

Speaking of which, I’ve been working on some new headpieces for a photo-shoot next month. I actually made my first headpieces for a bride and bridesmaid. The bride requested a detachable veil…which for some reason had never dawned on me. They came out great! She’ll be taking photos for the wedding and I’ll share them with you later. Until then, this is my first dramatic headpiece. It features poppy red leather flowers, (from an ugly leather jacket via the 1980’s) Russian veiling, pheasant feathers, and vintage lace.

This project was a blast! The other pieces are still in production at this moment but as soon as they’re finished you’ll be the first to know. Let me know what you think.

I’ve been getting the itch to paint lately as well and had the opportunity to do some small ink pieces. They’re different that what I normally do but, it was a really fun exercise for me. I call the maroon-ish one “the flood”, the green one “the storm”, and the orange one “the lightning”.

I mounted the pieces in little vintage frames which I spray painted matte black. I’ve got this obsession with matte spray paint lately and bought a crap load from a hardware store nearby. They actually carry some really good specialty paint at an unusually cheap price. Which made me suspicious, but not suspicious enough to not fill my cart and spend $60 instead of $120. I am so not gonna tell you where this place is.

But, I am gonna tell you where some good eatin’ is! Although the blog is entitled “New projects”, and these 2 places are a) not new and b) not projects you’ll still love me for giving you the scoop anyway!

The first place I’m going to share with you is called “Scramble”. It is located in the shopping center on the Northwest corner of 7th St. and Mountainview in north Phoenix. It is very yummy and it is very reasonable. I took a photo of one of my delicious breakfasts there.

This is their Santa Fe eggs Benedict. And before you ask…yes, that is turkey on it. I’m back on the meat. *sigh* I’m hanging my head in shame right now. Moving on…All of their menu items are under $10, their patios are doggy friendly (they even put out little bowls of water for your furry friends), aaaaand they serve breakfast till 2pm. The honey bunny has a box at the Post office across the street and we use that as an excuse to eat there.

The next spot we like for happy hour is…..Cherry blossom noodle cafe. They have an awesome happy hour menu from 3-6pm Monday through Friday. We eat like pigs and we were both very full and happy for $30. The desserts look pretty awesome, but I didn’t make room. Here’s a picture of a few dishes we got.

Cherry Blossom Noodle Cafe is located at 914 E. Camelback rd. It’s in the Shopping center next to Oregano’s on 10th st. I have some more places but, I’ll wait till I get some pictures first. If you have any suggestions on good places to eat share them in the comments below. If you’re nice enough I’ll share the location of that hardware store…..maybe.

’till next time!

xoxo

-Xappa

Getting Out.

I’ve had a very exciting and busy week!

First off I have to tell you that I’m now employed by OUMA Clothing.

il_fullxfull.34918873

What a great opportunity! I couldn’t be happier. My friend Monique offered me a job pretty much as I was leaving the the Trunk. Everything just seemed to fall into place. I’m going to be doing some seamstress work for her as well as the usual assistant type stuff. My first day was Thursday and I had a blast! It is an honor to work with someone so talented! Okay. Enough gushing…I just can’t help it!

Thursday afternoon we got quite a few things accomplished. Along with it being the first day of employment for me, it was also the day I finally went to the hardware store to get a new cord for my old kiln.

My sweet old girl
My sweet old girl

As you can see, she’s quite the oldie! Therefore, her cord was old and made cracking and popping noises when you touched it. There was no way I was gonna plug that thing in. So with the assistance of a very nice man in the electrical department, we got the correct gauge wire and a new plug.

old wire and plug
old wire and plug
new wire and plug
new wire and plug

I also ordered some equipment and I’m saving up for a stainless steel workbench. I’m starting to get antsy! I can’t wait to fire her up. I’ve already got a ridiculous amount of vintage enamels just waiting to be used!

one of 3 boxes of enamels
one of 3 boxes of enamels

sorry about the blurry pic. It’s a little dark in my living room…yes, my living room. Once we get some storage space, it’ll go outside…I promise.

And on First Friday, the Honey bunny and I went out. He was invited out to play records (the real ones, not serato) with some friends at The Hidden House in Phoenix. We’re not ones for outings at bars, however this was a special occasion. Being that he hasn’t played records in public for a REALLY long time AND he was able to play along side his friends in a mellow small venue. Needless to say, we had a blast!

Lovely folks at the Hidden House
Lovely folks at the Hidden House
Jeff and Tige gettin down
Jeff and Tige gettin down
Tige doin' the dinosaur
Tige doin' the dinosaur
The honey bunny a.k.a. DJ Organic tearin' it up
The honey bunny a.k.a. DJ Organic tearin' it up

Although there was great music being played no one really danced, which is a shame. It must be exhausting being so cool! Boo cool people. Boo!

We got home around 3ish after some IHOP. *Thank you Darryl D!* We went straight to bed and passed out! The next morning we were up at 9, got some grocery shopping done, and vegged out in front of a t.v. watching several movies. I’m pretty sure we lost some brain cells, cause we just couldn’t get it together enough to do anything else.

Today, I was able to finally get some items up in my shop for a destash! Yayyyy destash! I really had to talk myself out of keeping the little guns. Then I said to myself, “Self, you’ve had those for 2 years and haven’t made anything out of them!”¬† So, I snapped out of it. I’ll be listing those boom boxes soon as well. I need to go through some other items and see if there’s anything else I can get rid of.

I’ve begun to put together the beginnings of some new pieces for the upcoming shows I have.

A few ideas
A few ideas

And another blurry pic, but you get the idea. I’m really excited to be moving forward on some new stuff. It’s exciting for me to just pull the materials out and start grouping. I’m nerdy like that. I gotta get busy though, the first show is coming up next month. I’ll be at First Friday with other members of PHX DIY. If you’re in the area make sure you stop by our booth! We’ve got alot of talent in our group. I’m proud to be a part of something so creative! Ah, crafters. You gotta love ’em! I’ll keep you posted on the other dates and where we’ll be on First Friday. Gotta get back to work. Have a great week!