Thursday, October 28, 2010

What Does 1400 Little Miracles Look Like??

Yep right there is 1400 or 2kilos or 4lbs of milagros (little miracles)!! Now that is a ton of milagros. I think there is enough there to keep me and a dozen of my friends supplied for a couple of lifetimes!! :) But then you know the hoarder's motto, there is never enough!! I found 1kilo (400) of the more detailed, more rustic, and charming ones. I also had to get the smaller less weight ones. They were also a kilo but you can fit 1000 milagros in a kilo. 

The more detailed ones are used by artists when decorating wood statues, crosses and jewelry. They will stand up to being nailed to the wood. These are also casted by hand. So that they have much more character, individualism and nicely rustic!
There are all kinds of little figures, from body parts to cars and everything in between.
 The smaller ones are used in jewelry as they are charm size and light weight. They will remain nice and shiny and bendable. The hand cast ones are more brittle and break before bending. These are much more precise because they are machine pressed and cut. :( They are also far cheaper to make, and sell.
I hear tell there are some folks that just don't have an appreciation of patina and rustic, huh imagine that??!! They actually like bright new and shiny!! Who'd a thought??
 I'm sure most of you know that Milagros are very traditional symbols in the Latin American Catholic faith. They are a visual image that represent a prayer request to either Jesus or the Virgin Mary, to intercede with God for them. They are purchased at a great cost for the poor along with an altar candle. They generally cost $10pesos (90 cents). This can be a great hardship if you only earn $30-$50 pesos for a day's work!!! And yes that is the minimum wage in Mexico. In other LA countries it is much lower then that. So a milagro is not something bought for every ache or pain. Often a meal is sacrificed inorder to pay for the milagro. They truly are saved to use when a miracle is called for!!
Because there are many things in our lives that are needed and must be cared for, there are thousands of milagros to represent our requests. Here are a few I found for the body.
There's eyes,ears,teeth,mouth,heart,lungs,arm,stomach,kidneys,and leg. I have to tell ya I had to really think about the "dumbbells" before it dawned on me they were kidneys. Nothing is left to chance, I guess. When the request goes in they want to be sure it's for the right miracle.
Funny thing is I found that women must be much more comfortable with dealing, praying and discussing issues that relate to them, unlike the guys in our lives. In fact I think I'm going to save these, tie pink ribbons on them and send them as love reminders to my girlfriends in October!! Cool idea don't you agree?? :)
Now if I could find a milagros that looked like our internet server maybe I could get Telmex to fix our loss of internet every afternoon!!

Have a most audacious art filled day no matter where in the world you are.  p;)

PS. I'm still motoring along on the jewelry making track. I'll show you some finished pieces in a day or two.

Friday, October 22, 2010

How Do You Spell Panic?(BAZAAR!)

So there I was voicing my insecurities for all to see when POOF the whole bloody thing pictures and all disappear!!!! Grrrrr!! More then likely it was an errant finger and not Bloggers fault but since Blogger isn't here to defend it's self "it's all their fault!" 

And what was the soul baring about you might wonder? Nothing really except that panic feeling of not being ready for an event. (you know the first art walk & holiday bazaar) That is not a feeling I have very often. I tend to be the work best under pressure, wait till the last minute, burn the midnight oil, kinda girl. But this time is different. At the end of the day I have that sinking feeling of being one day closer and getting nowhere closer to being ready. It's that panicky feeling I use to have when in college I would wake up from that nightmare of today is the final and I haven't studied! I thought I had pretty much outgrown that & adopted the "no worries it always gets done" frame of mind. Not this time though, and I have to confess it's beginning to eat away at my usual self confidence! I keep having that sick feeling like everyone is going to find out that I have no business swimming in the deep end without my water-wings on!! That my work is merely "bleach bottle art" and doesn't deserve to be in the same show as the professional artists. Jeez this is soooooo unlike me and I'm having a dickens of a time remaining positive on this whole experience!! 

Enough already with  all the "woo is me" malarkey. Here is a necklace and bracelet I DO have ready for the shows. 
The angels are some that we found in San Miguel. I really hit the mother load on them. There were these great looking big ones and baskets full of the small ones. In fact I bought 2kilos (about 4pounds) of them!! :) I now have enough milagros to last 10 life times worth of art work! I'll share pictures next posting. Oh and I'm more then willing to do a bit of trading if anyone is interested. 

Course I did have to add a bit of patina, it is me you after all :)
You know that rash statement I made awhile back about being able to rust anything?? Well I seem to have bragged to soon. Whatever the alloy content is reacts with the iron-filing paint and turns black?? No kidding. SO I'm wondering if I use some polyurethane sealer then apply the iron paint if it will then rust?? What do you guys think?? I know I can't apply any heat cuz the metal melts before it oxidizes!!
I used a nice thickness of vintage brass chain and some smaller round link antiqued brass chain. Since the angel is nice and chunky,ruff cut, rustic looking I rosary-linked nice big rough cut nuggets of garnets. Along with those I used some large round (adds a bit of sophistication;) don't you think?) rhyolite
See those cool looking pewter rose beads?? I found a woman in Santa Clara de Cobre (the copper art center in Mx.) who sold me a couple of broken rosaries. I made a hook with antique brass, and hung a little rhinestone ball, pewter rose, garnet nugget and a little mirror image angel milagro.

I've been thinking that since I have plenty of milagros now I can use them as a sorta signature for my jewelry. Kinda a little reminder that their purchase helps us rescue and care for some of Nature's forgotten miracles!
There isn't to much to say about this bracelet. It's one of those pieces I get asked for once in awhile. You know the new, shiny, clean (sorta boring to my way of thinking) look. Boy do you know how hard it is to not put just a little bit of age on it?? :)
I used some teal and dark green shell pearls that my favorite little German Blog sister-Renate, gifted me. Little round garnets&a bit of silver chain. Then I appeased my addiction by using a (looks hardly worn), vintage silver and brass etched bracelet. ;)
 The center piece is a vintage barrette (I think) with a bit of rhinestone sparkle. It works perfect for a bracelet because it's curve fits a wrist rather nicely!
I have ten pairs of earrings waiting on my work bench to get their hooks made and added. Sooooo I guess I have made some positive progress but will there be enough?? Well if it isn't I can always take orders ;)

Have an audacious art filled day no matter where in the world
 you are  p;)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Home Again Home Again Jiggity Jig

Oh it's good to be home in our own little nest!!!! No matter how wonderful and this was one of those really wonderful vacations there really is "No place like home" (as Dorothy would say) We stayed in two amazing B&Bs Both in old colonial homes. Both were built in the late 1700s. We ate delicious regional specialties. We saw & (Pattie) bought awesome art work. God love LW cuz he managed to get it all packed in the Yellow Submarine and home without any whining or one bit of damage!! I am a very lucky girl!!! I'm sure there were plenty of not so nice words used when I wasn't within ear shot! :) But best of all we met some remarkable people, found them to be kindred spirits and incredible new friends!!!

I have tons of pictures to share over the next few postings, but tonight I thought I'd show you a few of the fascinating doors we saw. All are over 100 years old, some way over 200 years and some over 300. All are hand made and carved.
These are a set of side doors of a Catholic church in the little town of Patzcuaro. This was the church built for the "Spanish" settlers. Those are all huge decorative brass nail heads
Both the large doors and the smaller "man doors" open. The large doors were used when large processions were taken in and out for special church celebrations. They were also used to intimidate the indigenous people with the power of the "one true God" The "man doors" were even made a mite on the small side to remind humans how small there are in the presence of God. A Spanish soldier would even have to bend and turn sideways to fit through many of the doors when he was wearing his armor.
The doors on this church are much simpler, with no expensive brass or wood. These doors are on the church that was built for the indigenous to worship in.
Aren't these parkay floors amazing??? You can actually feel and see the indentations that many feet have worn over the last 300+ years. These are also in the indigenous' church. In the Spanish one the floors are beautiful carved stone.
These are doors at the hospital. It was built as an extension to the indigenous church. There is a small chapel in the hospital for the hospitalized soldier or family. When they were well enough to walk they would walk across the street to "their" church for mass.
These doors open to private areas for the priests' use. See how there are shuttered and barred windows in the "man" doors?
Doors to the inner court yard of a large home. The street doors always opened into the court yard. The house is built around the court yard with all the rooms opening on to it. Often the kitchen sat in a wing by itself and the wall facing the yard was completely open.
Another set of house doors on a much younger house. This one was built in the mid 1800s see the Moorish influence in the plaster work below the balconies??
Now these are a couple of my favorite doors. Plain old every day doors opening on to a workshop or place of business.
But oh my gosh look at the different layers of paint used over many many years!!
Layers of peeling paint colors, chalking because of years exposed to the sun. Chipped wood, patched in places, it's patina heaven I tell ya!!!
Soooo I bet you can't tell that I have a real fascination not to mention love for old doors?? The things they have seen and the stories they can tell, how could you not love them??

More vacation pictures in another post or two. I promise to give you a warning. Everyone's tolerance level is different, especially with vacation,baby.& pet pictures :)

Have an audacious art filled day no matter where in the world you are.  p;)

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

An ASOTMV & A Delightful Bit Of News!

SO what is a ASOTMV?? Well doesn't everyone know the initials stand for Almost Spare Of The Moment Vacation?? My friend Debbie who lives in the State of Veracruz (on the east coast of Mexico) is going on a buying trip for her store Milagros Para Ti. She will be shopping in San Miguel de Allende and Patzcuaro. Both towns are in the center of the country. So when she emailed me the other day to say she was going we decided it was the perfect time to get together for a few days. I mean what can be better then staying in B&Bs shopping for San Miguel shoes&incredible Mexican artists works, and have LW play chauffeur and trip organiser?? Of course the Almost part is because we need to secure firkid care for the two big girls. :) But LWwas able to magically create a vacation out of two women's "I sure wish we coulds"!!  I don't know how I got so lucky to have such an amazing,handsome,intelligent,loving man as a soulmate!! I will be forever thankful!!!

According to LW's plan we will leave here in the morning drive to Guadalajara spend the night then drive to San Miguel to meet Debbie. A few days shopping there and then south to Paztcuaro for a few more days of shopping. We'll be home around the 17th of this month. I promise to take the camera and I'll even try to do a bit of posting while we are gone. That's if it doesn't cut into our shopping merrymaking time! :)

Now for the big news of the day. My little Post Card tote that I submitted to Somerset Life magazine's muslin challenge last year was published in the fall/winter issue of Stampington's Haute Handbag!!! Woooo I can hardly believe it!!! It's such an amazing honor to have a piece of my art published in any of Stampington's incredible magazines!!! They provided me with a widget to put on my blog. 
See it over there in the right hand column!! I would love to be able to post a picture of the article but alas I have not received my copy yet. If things run true to form I should get it...ohhh around the end of the month :( So I have a really big favor to ask. The next person who finds themselves standing in front of the magazine rack in a store would you mind telling me how my little bag looks??? It's in the Gallery section. I do have a couple of pictures of the little darlin that I can show off. They are not the best and I apologize.
Now I must run I need to finish packing my little suitcase so LW can load the Yellow Submarine for a morning departure!! Have a most audacious art filled day no matter where in the world you are.  p;)

I promise to post lots of pictures for my bloglandian family!!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Do You Test Drive Your Finished Pieces???

Just asking you know. This inquiring mind would like to know. When you are finished making a OOAK piece of wearable art do you take it for a bit of a spin?? Make sure the ride is comfortable, smooth while hanging right and looking ever so good. Girl, I sure do!! I would much rather be the one that finds any of the flies in the ointment instead of a customer. There are those little nuances that separate a great handmade piece from so so piece. And I think the damage has been done even if you correct the boo-boo for your customer. Now there are those times when something totally unforeseen goes wrong. You know one of those "acts of God" But I test drive to be sure there aren't any of those stupid overlooked issues. Like a wire that just isn't tucked in tight enough and rubs. A focal that doesn't want to hang right or wants to flip backwards.   A clasp that looks stupid no matter what  you do!
Course it always does your ego good when you are out on a test drive and receive a complement for said piece. Always give me a bit of a thrill and assurance that somebody out there might just want to purchase it. 

Here are a few more pieces I've made for the art walk and bazaar. Yep they were test driven, well all except the earrings. I just don't feel right wearing a pair of earrings and then selling them someone. Oye, that's kinda like sharing drinking straws with a stranger, eeuuu!!!

Here are two bracelets I wired the stones in the center of the circles the same way I did Luci's birthday present.
The top one is faceted tourmaline and little tourmaline stones. The bottom one is faceted button aventurine with little green opals
I also made three pairs of earrings Two with this cool brass chain. But you can only see a picture of the little green aventurine hearts cuz the dork who inhabits my body from time to time forgot to take a picture of the tourmaline pair! :)
But I do have a picture of the brass hearts, turquoise and coral pair I made.
I also finished this turquoise and coral necklace.
It's a nice long necklace that I intermixed the two different stones with some antique brass chain. It seems chain is being used a lot this year, have you noticed??
  The clasp is a heart and antique brass wire hook I made. I placed it along the side instead of the back, for a bit of interest.
For the focal I had this rather cool looking piece of coral. I added a couple of random slices of turquoise and a small sacred heart milagro that I rusted ever so nicely! :)

This week I've been working at the sewing machine so I'll be back in a few days with pictures of the totes I made. However I'm signing off now while my luck is holding. We have been playing hind n seek with our internet connection for a couple of days. Only we have spent most of our time in the seeking mode cuz the internet is very adept at the hiding part!! :( Jeez everytime you go to hit the send button or are in the middle of a download the bloody thing goes AWOL!! Grrrrrr!!Ahhhhh the rainy season, it truly is a love/hate relationship if there ever was one!

Have an audacious art filled day no matter where in the world
  you are.  p;)
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