Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Ricë Freeman-Zachary on Art Babies and Santa Fe

I do not have TIME to blog every day. I do not have TIME to blog every day. I do not have TIME to blog every day. I do not have TIME to blog every day. I do not have TIME to blog every day. I do not have TIME to blog every day. BUT...

I've enjoyed reading Ricë's visit to Santa Fe, since I live just 45 minutes south of there (and therefore half a planet away). Um, no offense but her posts do get a tad long and stream of consciousness-ish for this incorrigible skim reader (gimme pictures any day), so I'm slogging through the latest post about a panel discussion on creativity, when all of a sudden this line pops out at me:

"I just don't know how closely creativity and gallery contacts are related. It's like romance and babies."
SPLORT! Thank you, Ricë!
Many years ago I did the Santa Fe gallery scene. Back then Santa Fe got 200,000 tourists during the summer who actually had money, and even in the Fall (pre ski season) I sold every blessed thing I put into a gallery. But dealing with the owners wasn't something I had the stomach for as a young artiste.
For example, I made the mistake of walking into Origins (yes I had an appointment), only to be verbally abused by the gallery owner about the substandard quality of my work (batik clothing) and how she couldn't possibly pay me the full commission on it because no one would want it. Wrong. I sold out within a month and never went back.
Right after that I had another not-so-wonderful experience. Another gallery featured my batik t-shirts, tote bags and address books. Not having heard from the dude for awhile, me and the DH decided to stop by on our way home from Northern NM. There was a bankruptcy sign on the door and I was horrified -- all my inventory was in there, along with whatever the guy owed me (turned out to be a few hundred $$$). I persuaded a state employee who was in there doing inventory to unlock the door and let me get my stuff.
Depressed, I handed my DH the big batik tote bag stuffed with T-shirts and whatnot, and we walked along the plaza to find a bite to eat. These Native American vendors sitting there told him to come over and show them what he had in the bag. We ended up trading for a bunch of jewelry -- Christmas presents for our families that year. A much more enjoyable experience than the previous two!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Prima Ballerina Earrings

Last night I watched a documentary about Margot Fonteyn. How dramatic it was to watch her dance -- I never realized how often she changed speeds while dancing -- sometimes it was like watching little rivulets in flowing water, in slow motion; sometimes it was like watching an athlete spin through a marathon! Well anyway, afterwards I got out my vintage ballerina findings and chose PINK for this dancing diva. In my Etsy shop, y'all. 8-)

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Few Squidoo For You

I've taken a liking to Squidoo, though I'm not really sure why...well, I think because it's a bit of a challenge and also because you can build in various types of interactive modules into your "lenses" (Squidoo's fancy word for web pages that are about opposed to...oh nevermind.)

Anyway, here are my lenses so far. They're rearranged quite a bit from my first post on the subject, and one or two seem to be getting a ton of hits, for reasons I've yet to figure out. Feel free to link to them! 8-)
  • Twisted Wire Earrings
    A tutorial on how to make delicate little wire and bead earrings.
  • My Bead Embroidery
    I update this lens every now and then with new surveys, "debates," polls, and other fun activities. Mainly, though, it's about the techniques I use to create certain pieces (thumbnails are included).
  • Mystical, Magical Beadwork
    Beadwork (mostly seed beads) that goes deeper, into myth, ritual, and self-discovery.
  • Bead Embroidery -- Awesome Artists
    This one I update a little at a time, to give just a taste of what's out there, and what the possibilities are.
  • Joseph Cornell, Artist
    A favorite artist of mine, this lens introduces him and provides lots of web and commercial resources.

UPDATE: Probably the easiest way to keep up with my Squidoo lenses is to "join my fan club." <--I know, I know, sounds hokey but that's how they are at Squidoo, LOL. The "fan club" link is below my avatar picture, on the left side of the page.

NOTE: You can subscribe to all of the lenses above (individually) by click the Subscribe button at the top of each page, or by retrieving or blogging it via a number of other options (scroll partway down the left side of each lens. That way you can be notified whenever the lens is updated.

Hasta la vista for now, y vaya con Dios!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Arzie Hodge's U Bead It Doll Forms

Oh my goodness -- check out these handmade beadable doll forms from Arzie Hodge's Etsy shop! She makes her own embellished dolls, too, and they're amazing, but thank goodness she makes extra forms for us non-sewer types.
What I really like about these is the way she pieces the fabric together to make dramatic designs. I can envision beading over portions of the fabric, to highlight the pattern, or beading over the whole thing (as many beaded art doll folks like to do), using the pattern as inspiration.
Nice job, Arzie!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

To the one I love...

To the one I love...
Originally uploaded by mary_tafoya

Did ya know you can subscribe to weekly emails of clip art samples from Dover? Yep. Each week they send a link to rotating samples from their various publications. I loved this one. When I met my DH, back in the day, I dreamed we were two swans flying, landing on a lake. 8-)

Click this link to sign up:

Sunday, January 20, 2008

How Do I Love Him?

. . . . let me count the ways:

Wellllll, there's Goodwill, and thrift stores, and estate sales, and. . .

Today my DH brought home FOUR (count 'em) 4 watches made by Peyote Bird designs in Santa Fe -- GORGEOUS watches, 3 of them look brand new, all with sterling silver fittings. My favorite has a big link chain like an ID bracelet. The rest have braided leather straps, all sterling findings (all with toggle clasps) with stamped Southwestern designs.

Nice early Valentine's Day gift, eh? A whole wardrobe of Peyote Bird watches!

GOOD hubby!

Friday, January 18, 2008

LOC Copyright-free Photo Images

What a great resource! Just saw this linked on another list -- the Library of Congress's Flickr albums. Here's Maggie Jones of Cleveland! (Well Sarah found her actually, while I was groovin' on old barns and boxers...). She's from a folder of news images from around 1910. Click the photo to go to Flickr, or click this link to see the main LOC Flickr page:

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Japanese Blossom Necklace

Japanese Blossom Necklace
Originally uploaded by mary_tafoya
Would you believe I found about 10 ft. of sterling silver chain I'd tucked away and forgotten about??? Well, everything around here is "getting chained" tonight.

I even snuck a few dunks into the liver of sulphur while the DH was out doing errands. Heck, my kitchen doesn't usually smell all that great anyway, he probably won't notice ::snorts!::

Well anyway...this necklace was made possible thanks to a great find by the aforementioned DH -- a box of vintage stuff from a silversmith's studio. I am still working my way, slowly, through the concho links (I suppose he intended to one day set stones in the bezels). Collaging them, painting, embedding little bits of things like tiny vintage rhinestones.

Click the image to see more details on the materials, in my Flickr photos. Or better yet -- this one's up in my Etsy shop, you can check it out there. 8-)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Bird House Pin

Bird House Pin
Originally uploaded by mary_tafoya

Mmmm, feels so good to get my hands into "making stuff." I mean, I love stitching, but these little pins are so fun and satisfying, in a totally different. way.

No particular goal in mind, just playing with house shapes, working the metal, and using whatever is handy -- in this instance, an antique label and a twig from the backyard. Oh, and my new hole punching pliers from Rio Grande (my second favorite Christmas present next to my awesome Virgen de Guadalupe steering wheel cover ;-)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

9/11 Bead Quilt Catalog

As the volunteer organizers of the 9/11 memorial Bead Quilt move forward on securing a permanent home for this awesome project, please don't forget that Andrea Adams, Rosa Meyer, Julia Pretl, and the other volunteers rely on donations from the beading community to sustain, ship, store, display, and publicize the project.

Never known for resting on their laurels, Julia and Andrea recently produced a gorgeous comb-bound catalog of artist statements, with each quilt square beautifully photographed by Julia (a professional graphic designer I might add). The book is available in limited quantities, and the money raised is used to offset project costs (do you have any idea how much is costs to ship the panels to an exhibition???)

Andrea, Nikia, Sarabeth and Rosa
I am so proud and so humbled by the efforts of these women over the past six years. They don't toot their own horn (nor do they profit from the quilt in any way!), so it may not always be obvious how hard they work behind the scenes. They are bead angels!

So there's my pitch -- if you are interested in getting a copy of the catalog while they last, and saving a piece of down-home, grassroots, U.S. art/craft history, scroll down the page below until you get to the book...

(Of course, if you need a preview, check out each square here:


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Twisted Wire Earrings Tutorial

I am revamping a few of my Ebay tutorials and publishing them at Squidoo -- and here's the first. Or, "foist" as Bugs Bunny would say. ENJOY!