Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Bible List

I've been honoured enough to receive no less than three awards recently! I'm really flattered, I never expected to be someone's favourite when I started out...though it's nice to think it happens. :D

Sayraphim and TuscanRoad both awarded me "one Lovely Blog Award", and Joan awarded me the fabulous blog award!

Part of the rules for receiving these awards is that I link to a certain number of blogs- if I added them up it would quite the list! So I've settled on 20 places I go for inspiration- these are the core places that really make me squirm for the wonderfulness they are. They're not all blogs, some are websites and some are online shops, but they are all absolute wells of inspiration to me. I guess you could call this my Bible list- when things look a bit bleak or boring or hopeless, and I don't know where to turn or what I'm doing with myself, I turn to these people. The internet wouldn't be the same without them.

In no order of importance:


1. Gibbous Fashions

2. J. Morgan Puett

3. India Flint

4. Keith Lo Bue

5. Skingraft


1. yyellowbird

2. bruce baycroft

3. moggierocket

4. daily poetics (especially the collage set)

5. katiachausheva


1. photoshop disasters

2. red velvet

3. forestbound

4. Amy Hanna (I cry with jealousy at her trinkets!)

5. The Cart Before the Horse

:::Etsy shops:::

1. Black Spot Books

2. Rackk and Ruin

3. Fanciful Devices

4. masaoms

5. Desert Talismans

So there you go. I'm sorry for the absence on my part lately, I've been all kinds of distracted and thinky. I'm almost finished with future tribal I think, I'm nearly ready to take the core elements and move on to my next theme. I had 'organised' (as much as you can tell the muse what to do) for it to be a kind of Victorian Momento Mori kind of thing with much black and cobblestone blue...but I watched all 3 pirate movies in a row the other day, and now I'm rather immersed in the whole 'decayed 18th century with a touch of tribal' vibe.

I wonder what it will be? Dickens memori, or Dickens pirate? Maybe both! In space. In the furture. With post-apoc steampunks.

I think I'm just hell bent on making myself impossible to market. :D

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Something old, something new...

Creative evolution is always inspiring. It's a wonderful feeling when suddenly a door in your mind opens and everything is flooded with a new light, a new way to see. I've been moving in this direction for the past month or more now, as you've all been witness too (and have been so very supportive in).

But it's coming to the time now where I find myself at a crossroads. I don't know if what I used to make a few months ago is something I'm ever going to go back to, and the idea of letting go of it for good frightens the toast outta me. This New Age space thing I've soaked myself in shows no signs of abating- in fact it's settled in quite nicely and now has it's feet on the couch eating all my food- to speak metaphorically. Dickens is sitting at the back door, staring balefully at me with sad eyes and wondering what's it done to be pushed out into the cold like that.

Writing in my bedside journal the other night I was trying to analyse what my shop is, in the attempt to better market myself. I started listing all the usual stuff; 'Derelict Victorian, cogless steampunk, faginpunk...and then I realised these words don't really fit my shop any more. I'm not steampunk without gears anymore. I'm ancient astronauts and Future tribalists; New Age post-apocalyptic androids. Granted there's still an essence of the worn-out and the ragged, but the make do and mend of the working classes of history has become a sort of survivalist foraging of found objects, like Mad Max or Escape from LA.

There comes a time in every change where we must acknowledge and let go of the past. In order to move forward we must release the old...and that's scary. No less scary in terms of art; what I have made and sold here online in the past year has been wonderful, interesting, joyous and (to be pragmatic) popular. I've always felt it come from the heart and I've always loved and believed in it. But there are chinks in the armour.

Is my derelict Dickens something I will ever come back to? Is this space age business here for good, or will it pass just as Dickens seems to have? Even just writing that my Dickens theme seems to have passed fills me with sadness. I still love it so much, I still have ideas rolling around in my head but most of them I can't get to without some basic metalwork skills. (Semiprecious Salvage and Complete metalsmith are in the post, thank you for all your suggestions!)

Most of this is mostly just panic. The fear that comes with sweeping out the old to make way for the new. I know that some things - the important things- will stay. You don't throw the baby out with the bathwater and there are times of positive light where I feel that by going on this space trip I've actually stripped my art down to the core of what I want to do, and that I'll be able to go back to the Dickens thing with more conviction.

But there are shadow times like this, where I worry that everything is lost. I have to let go of some things and have faith that something better will come along to fill the void. It's like dumping an old boyfriend- you still love them but some thing's between you isn't working any more. And you get a feeling can do better.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Future is still to come

There's a new necklace in the Etsy shop- I really love this one, I think it's probably my favourite piece in the Future Tribal series so far.

And it seems the consensus so far is that Semiprecious Salvage is indeed a brilliant thing and must be owned by all. So I shall sally forth and purchase said book! Thanks, chaps.

Thursday, June 18, 2009



I've made a decision that it's time I expanded my construction techniques. I'm bored with all the usual things I do and I want to explore riveting, soldering, hammering...basic metalsmithing.

Making my own bezels, joining bits of metal to other bits of metal, being able to work with all the neat little trinkets I've collected over the years.

I've come to you for help! What books do you recommend to someone starting out? I'm quick to learn, my Dad has a shed full of tools I can borrow (vices, hammers, soldering irons etc) but I don't really know where to start. I plan to head to the library tomorrow to see what they have in the way of books but I don't mind buying one or two good ones. But which ones?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

New Favourites

Photographer Tim Irving was kind enough to feature me on his blog this week, and I readily return the favour. I know many of you out there will appreciate the cool, pure style of Tim's as he documents his home surroundings in Southern Europe.

These are birdcages on a neighbours doorstep- I think I'd have a minor meltdown in my neighbours were that aesthetic! (Although the Italian couple across the road have painted their balcony in gelato pastel stripes, so I'm not totally without fulfilment.)

Tim also has an Etsy shop where you can buy prints of his images. Moon over pink clouds is my runaway favourite:
In my own news I have updated the Little Brown Sparrow shop with some new collages and a couple of photographic cards. I've tidied up there generally- putting all non-paper goods in the yart sale section and giving myself a new banner and avatar.

Sparrow Salvage will be updated tomorrow with the first lot of my new space tribal jewellery. That's a bit exciting, isn't it? :)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Are the shaman and the artist so different?

Things are already coming together, paths crossing back and returning to where I left off. My obsession with space and futuristic designs shows no sign of slowing down, though it has mellowed to a point where I am able to calmly sort what comes into my head and assign it to it's rightful place in my internal thinking. Tribal elements have quickly developed as a kind of bridge between the future and the 19th century. There's a very interesting seed of thinking in the realisation I had today, that futuristic design made shabby and decayed has a very strong tribal appearance about it.

When geometric shapes are smooth, white and polished they have a very Star Trek feeling. When those same shapes are dirty, roughly textured and hand-drawn they become very ancient in feel. It makes me think of all the theories that the Gods in most mythology are just extra-terrestrial beings- I read a report the other day that there is substantial evidence to suggest diamonds are formed from 'seeds' carried on crashed meteors when the world was still young, since there would not have been enough sufficiently rottend vegetation to have them form the way we think they do.

This was made all the more interesting to me when I found out that the ancient Romans believed diamonds to be star-shards or tears from the Gods. Not too far from the truth perhaps. This is coming along in my mind with the growing fixation I have for hexagons, pyramids and crystal points. I'm starting to feel like Indy!