The Moment is Now

I spend so much time thinking about what next that I often don't notice what I am doing at the moment. I am working on relaxing my mind so I can be open to the flow. Seems like when I am creating something the hours in my studio fly by.

My creative process, great learning resources, and ways to help the planet by repurposing are the theme of this blog. You are about to enter "the world according to Jan." Hope you find it a-musing.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Mayan Calendar and 2012

Is the sun rising or setting?
 I have to make an editorial statement about all this fear around the Mayan calendar and 2012.   Really, there is nothing to fear. The  calendar does not end it simply starts over again. The calendar is a wheel or Great Cycle that began in August 3113 BC and is completed in December 2012. The calendar reflects our planet's movement through the galaxy which is also circular. The Mayans were connected to the natural world and understood its cycles and seasons. Change is in the air most definitely and this is an opportunity for us to move in a more harmonic direction.
The Mayan calendar is made up of 13 bhaktuns of slightly less than 400 years each. In 2012 we will have completed the Great Cycle of the Piscean age and will be aligned to the Aquarian age. Remember the Age of Aquarius, harmony and understanding, trust, living together in peace. You may be saying, " I don't see more harmony, I see the "end times."

In an interview about 2012,Sai Baba explained:
"There is not more evil...there is "more light". Imagine that you have a room or warehouse where for years you have been storing your things and is lit by a 40 w. bulb. Change the bulb to a 100 w. and you will see what happens. You will see the mess and the dust you didn't think existed. The dirt will be clearer."

As the wheel turns and the light increases, I believe we are being given the opportunity to come back into alignment with nature and the feminine. The masculine energy has dominated the planet for too long. The Great Mother Earth is no longer going to just let us "have our way with her." We have moved so far away from the natural  world and become so reliant on technologically that many of our children have forgotten how to go outside and play.

Since we are all just making up stories about the future, if you want to make up a horror story I guess that is your choice. I like to imagine a future where we get our population under control, respect and love each other, and live more in harmony with nature. We only have the moment, the rest is a mystery. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

ReUse as a Way of Life- A tribute

I am old enough to remember the original Earth Day and am wondering what happened to this consciousness. My father started the family recycling in 1969. We washed our cans and flattened them, cleaned glass, saved newspaper. When there was enough to make a trip across town to the recycling center at Portland State, we took them. Having grown up during the Depression Era and WWII my dad believed firmly that resources were precious. The clock radio I received from Santa when I was 12 still sits next to my bed. Sure it is old, but it works so why send it to the landfill. Really, you don't need a new phone, Ipod, gaming system every couple of years. Even the computer I am writing this on is a refurbished model.

My studio is a great example of this philosophy. Years ago I had a hot tub and living in the woods in needed a roof over it to keep out debris from the trees. After giving the hot tub away, we enclosed the structure to make my shop. The windows and door were discards from a neighbors remodel. The wood stove was from another neighbor who was no longer heating with wood. The screen door is from my childhood home and is almost a hundred years old. I cherish the scratch marks in the wood from Susie, my family's dog, who died 40 years ago.

When you throw something away, it just moves to another location. Like my husband annoyingly points out, there isn't another planet we are shipping the toxic garbage to. As I learned from my dad, newer isn't always better. We wouldn't have all those great antiques and vintage items without the preservers of the world.

All I am asking is that you just think about what you are consuming and why. I'd love to hear about your efforts and/or great finds.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Repurposed Jewelry Displays - Do It Yourself

Earth Day will soon be upon us and jewelry displays can easily be found at thrift stores. I like the part of the Goodwill that has metal "stuff", candle holders, CD racks, hooks etc.  This is usually really close to the tins (which of course make great jewelry).  So here are a few examples of things I have found. 
Cassette Display - Who Needs That
I Do.  Great for pin
 I like to look for things that can be turned on the side or upside down and become something useful.  When I saw the little slats of wood, I immediately knew this was exactly what I needed for the twenty or so pins I make.  Since many of them are made from bottle caps and recycled tins it seemed perfect that the display was also something I had repurposed.

I have a wide range of items I offer and differing price ranges.  For my expensive one of a kind pieces, I use the traditional black velvet busts and jewelry trays you can purchase.  For my "production" pieces like OM Rocks, Trashy Tinsel, bracelets and such the repurposed displays are perfect.  I can hang lots of jewelry on them and people seem to like to "dig". 
Scale with missing trays
Candle holder turned upside down
I love things with arms and swirls.  I can hang tons on these pieces and they don't take up a lot of table space.  This leaves more space in the booth for my upper end art pieces of jewelry.  Pillar candle holders are great turned upside down and screwed to a board to broaden the base.  There always seems to be a number of these at the thrift stores. I bet people get them as gifts :-)

With the help of my husband who is handy with a saw I have a box repurposed into an earring display. While I am no carpenter, what I understand is that grooves were cut into wood with a table saw.  The earring cards hang on this groove.  The boards were glued to the back of the box with waterproof wood glue.

What I really love about this, is I can just close it up and take it with me at the end of the day.  No more time spent hanging up earrings and taking them off  to store them.  This box was given to me by a coin collector, but the same thing could be done with those old boxes that stored flatware. Heck, you can make jewelry out of the silverware and repurpose the box too.

Would love to hear what others are doing to recycle, upcycle and repurpose.  Save our planet and Happy Hunting.