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.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Artfire Collections- Power in those Eyes

My Third Eye Pendant has been in more ArtFire Collections that any other piece in my shop.  There seems to be something about the eyes that really inspires artists to put together a collection.  When I make an eye pendant, I hang it around my head and wait until my husband notices and laughs. Gotta love that third eye. 

Eyes are considered Windows to the Soul  In Turkey, evil eye beads are hung around the livestock to keep them safe.  The Evil Eye does not cause evil, but protects.  The belief is that some individuals can cause harm with their evil eye, but the eyes looking back keeps this from happening.  I remember as a child my Dad definitely had "the look" which would stop me dead in my tracks.

I find talking to someone in dark glasses a challenge because I want to see their eyes.  I don't know how many times I have heard a parent say "look at me" to their unruly kids.  Lovers gaze into each others eyes.  According to Wikipedia the power of the eye can be found in numerous cultures.  Love to hear your thoughts or stories about the power of the eye.

To read the article click link.   History of Evil Eye  

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Another Upside to Drinking Beer

Henry's cap upside down is Celtic Heart
 We all know that beer is a must with pizza and Mexican food.  Well today after a gorgeous day at the coast, I find an e-mail about one of my beer cap pins being included in a blog post.  My inspiration for using beer caps came when a friend asked me to make her a pin from a beer cap.  Since that day, beer caps have taken on a whole new meaning for me.  I often spend time in the beer aisle just looking at the beer caps.  Random beers come home in a six pack because I love the cap.  No taking these caps off with an opener because I don't want them scratched.  I was very excited to see all the people who recycle beer caps, cans, bottles into great jewelry.  If you click on the link below you can read the original blog. 

Beyond the Pull Tab

Friday, May 20, 2011

Social Networking through a Blog Hop

Found some blog hopping on Facebook and got to wondering what that was all about. Looked like a great way to connect to other bloggers and support each other. I am seeing it as a way of being a part of the oneness.

Now I am giving it a try. Looking forward to linking to your blogs in this blog hop. Wish me luck. This is my third try so hopefully it is a charm. Did you know that expression is because there were three fates?

You just click on the link and add the name of your blog or Facebook page. You can also look at others on the list and follow their blog if you like. I am definitely looking at everyone on the list. Look for my Iris logo in your followers.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hey, I did a Print Screen

Amy's Body Decor has great pictures of collections.  I asked her how she did it and she explained how to do it on a MAC.  Too cheap to have a MAC, I attempted it on my PC and I kinda have it.  This is the result.  Not as hard as it seemed, PrintSreen button, paste it in Paint, then crop.  Of course cropping was the hardest part and you can see I didn't actually get it all cropped correctly, but hey it is 70 degrees outside right now which is hot for Oregon so I will fuss with this later.  Looks like I have the basic idea just need to keep playing with it. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Jewelry Making Books I Love: Great for the Beginning Wire Worker

I have a number of jewelry making books I have bought through the years.  Unfortunately, some have excellent pictures and very poor instructions.  Now that I have been making jewelry for a few years I can guess at what they mean, but in the beginning they were impossible.

Having taught school for 30 years, I understand the importance of being very specific.  Now, instead of running out and buying a book, I check them out of the public library to see if it something I really want to buy.  If you don't have a great library and need to purchase books sight unseen here are a few of my favorite beginner books.

Mainly a beader but you want to start wireworking,  All Wired Up by Mark Lareau is a great book.  The directions for each project are step by step with illustrations so there is no guess work.  He even tells you where your fingers should be on the wire and he is funny.  This book has everything for the beginning wire worker. The section on making your own findings will save you lots of money.   I have dog earred many pages.

Bead on a Wire: Making Handcrafted Wire and Beaded Jewelry by Sharilyn Miller is also a goody.  This one has beautiful photos of each step in the process and some really great designs.  Again, this is a perfect beginner book with step by step instructions.  What I like is the combining of beads with the wire working. Her designs are great and  the brooches are especially nice.

If you are wanting to learn to make jewelry just from wire , then Making Wire Jewelry by Helen Clegg and Mary Larom might be your book. The instructions are very detailed with illustrations and templates you can lay your wire component on to make sure you are doing it correctly.  The book has 60 different projects using wire and a number of them look very Egyptian.  

All Wired Up will show you how to do a basic cabochon wrap.  However, you might find you want to make more then just wire wrap pendants.  Wire Wrapping: The Basics and Beyond by Jim McIntosh will show you how to make bracelets and rings out of wire wrapped cabochons.  The last section of the book is on design and encourages you to make  wire wrapping  designs of  your own.   Jim really wants you to think outside the box when it comes to wire wrapping.   He explains his process and how sometimes the pieces he really thinks "Yuck" someone else dearly loves.  Great black and white photos and wonderful advice.

Speaking of advice, here is my mine.  Practice with copper wire before moving on to sterling or goldfill.  Copper wire is very forgiving and when learning a new design even if you are experienced, you will make some mistakes.  With the current prices of sterling and goldfill, it will be a costly mistake.  I was stubborn and learned this the hard way.  Well that just about wraps it up. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Earring Winners

Earrings will be popped in the mail soon  to a couple of the blog followers.  I'll be giving away more jewelry  in the future.  I appreciate all of you following my blog.  The current recipients of new earrings are Sun Down Alpaca Farms and Barlee Creations.  They also have wonderful blogs and great shops you might want to check out.  Click on links below to see blogs.
Barlee Creations
Sundown Alpaca