Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Unique Mother's Day Necklace

Mother's Day is next week!  I heard someone say that today and I realized I better get my Mother's Day themed jewelry listed in my Etsy shop, and fast!

I just put these two very unique necklaces up in the shop-  They're both made with teeny silver salt spoons- vintage, of course! The spoons are from Italy. I have a whole set, and each one has a unique headstock. 
vintage salt spoon necklace with cobalt blue beads

vintage beaded spoon necklace
You can visit my Resparkable Vintage shop for all the details on both of them.  I can still easily ship them out to you in time for Mother's Day.  I also have a few "Mother/Daughter" Necklaces I will be listing by the end of the day tomorrow.  Although these are "Mother's Day" ideas, don't feel like you have to be a Mom to wear one!  I have one I wear and I just LOVE it.  I get compliments on it every time I wear it. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Winning and Losing

This weekend, I sang at a Fundraising Gala for the Bath House Cultural Society.  I love White Rock Lake, here in Dallas- which is where the Bath House is located, so I was happy to take part in the event.

The night came with a few unexpected surprises.

While I was singing, Fermin bought us some raffle tickets.  After my set was over, we went to the table of prizes you could enter to win.  There were about 8 gift baskets to chose from, and there was one I really wanted- mainly because it looked like a birdcage, with vintage bird ornanaments hanging on it. Inside the cage were several different cute notepads.  I put all 4 of my tickets in that one basket and exclaimed to Fermin, "I have a feeling I'm actually gonna win this!"  That feeling was so strong, and hopeful, that I posted this photo on Instagram with the caption, "I'm about to win this." 
I'm about to win this!
Well guess what?!  I WON!  Affirmations and visualizations, which I have been practicing lately, really work!

I didn't even realize all the things in that basket, until I got home and took everything out of the birdcage!  I got:
* a pair of tickets to the Nasher Sculpture Center
*the birds!
*notepads, a notebooks, and a couple of small journals
*fancy pencils with a cute pencil holder bag
*a pair of tickets to some theatre production I've never heard of, but am excited to go to!

shoes, post explosion
Although the night was lucky for me, it wasn't all lucky. 

At some point in the night, my shoes started feeling a little soggy. I looked down at my shoes as I stood up from my seat and it seemed I had stepped in a cupcake!  I had little white cake crumbs all around my feet, and white fluff covering the heel of my shoe.  When I tried to wipe the supposed cupcake off of my shoe I realized that my heel had just sort of exploded and the contents of it were spilling out where ever I stepped.  It just wasn't just one shoe, by the way-- it was both! And with every step I took, I was getting shorter and leaving a trail of breadcrumbs behind.

Eventually, I noticed a maintenance man with a broom and dust pan sweeping up after me.  It was only a matter of time before he realized I was the culprit of all of his extra clean up work. 

So I took off my shoes, apologized to the man cleaning my mess up, and put my shoes in a trash bag.

You win some, you lose some.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Sketchbook Skool Starts Today!

Creative License
For years, I've been meaning to make sketching a habit.  My interest started when I read Danny Gregory's book, Creative License.  He said that to really know and understand something, you need to draw it.  For a while, inspired by that book, I was on a roll, sketching on a pretty regular basis.  And I learned that what Danny said was true.  When you draw something, you really have to look at it. You think you know what something looks like, until you try to draw it.  Your brain sees it one way, and the reality of it can be something entirely different.

For those several weeks that I was on my sketching streak, I looked at everything differently.  And I liked it.

It's similar to when I'm writing songs.  I really learn how I feel about something when I write a song.  I guess the similarity might be simply about being in the present moment.  And I'm always trying to do that.  Because as I get older, I realize that life is short.  And I want to be right here in it.  Not rushing ahead.

So...  Sketching.  Drawing. Doodling. Maybe I can slow the world down for myself, just a little bit.  And see it in a whole new way.

Art Before Breakfast
Recently, I bought Danny's newest book, Art Before Breakfast.  Of course, I love the book. So much that I want to eat it, instead of my breakfast. (I wrote a post about this book you can go read if you'd like!)  When I'm into something, I'm really into it... So, I visited Danny's website, read several of his blog posts, and eventually read something about this Sketchbook Skool that he's involved with.  Then, I hopped over to the Sketchbook Skool website and read all about that and knew, this is what I've been looking for, for years!

I signed up for "Beginnings", and it starts today!  "Beginnings" is the first course in the Sketchbook Skool line up, taught by Danny Gregory and 5 other talented artists.  Each artist/teacher takes on a week of the class and gives lessons, insights and homework.  You, the student, get to share your work, check out your classmates work, and cheer each other on.  All from the comfort of your own home, and at any hour of the day or night.  The class goes on for 6 weeks.  There are three other 6 week courses that follow this one.  That means I will for sure be sticking with the practice of sketching for 6 weeks, probably 24 weeks, and hopefully for a lifetime!
for less than $10, i've got enough art supplies to get started!
Today is just the Beginning!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

My 1,000th Blog Post

When I realized the other day that my next blog post was going to be my 1,000th blog post I thought, "Wow.  I better come up with something good to say for that one!"

I got to work, writing about something that seemed really important at the moment. I slept on it, and when I looked at it the next morning, I sort of hated it.  It just didn't seem worthy of being my ONE THOUSANDTH BLOG POST. 
So I rewrote the whole thing.  But, I forgot to save my changes!  And although that was disappointing, it wasn't really a huge loss, because that particular post wasn't really all that great either. When I tried to start rewriting for the 3rd time, I froze up.  Even though there was a lot I wanted to say, I couldn't find the right way to say it.

Since that, I've just sort of been avoiding thinking about it or working on it.  I'm paralyzed by the legitimacy of the 1,000th post.  Which is so silly, right?

This morning I was thinking about it again and decided I'm just going to write this post and get it over with so I can move onto the non-pressured 1,001st post.

I've participated in on online songwriting challenge several times of writing 50 songs in 90 days.  And each time I've started the challenge, I made it to the end and achieved the goal of 50 songs.  They weren't 50 good songs.  Sometimes, I knew I had to write a bad one, just to be able to get to the next. And the next.  And eventually, I'd stumble upon a good one. Maybe even a great one.

In those challenges, I've learned over and over again how powerful it is to create something that isn't great. To create quality, you gotta create a lot of quantity. I am doomed for creative failure when I approach something thinking, "This has to be the best thing ever". 

So there it is.  Number 1,000. And now... I'm over it.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Impulsive Shopper Vs. Calm and Deliberate Shopper

When I was about 6 years old, I talked my parents into letting me get a kitten.  I begged them for a female white kitty with blue eyes.  I wailed on and on about how much I wanted one, and how I would take care of it, if they would just please, please give in to my very specific request.

The first litter of kitties we went to see had only one kitty left- a male black kitten with green eyes.  Not exactly what I had described, but close enough. I had to have him!!
just the kitten i had in mind!

And that has pretty much been my buying style ever since.  Impulsive.

Fermin, on the other hand, is whatever the opposite of impulsive is.  If he's going to buy luggage for example, he's going to go to a few stores, and look at all the different brands he can find.  Then he's going to come home, get on the computer and read all the reviews he can find about them.  He'll probably take a look at Consumer Reports to see which brands they recommend. This research will go on for weeks until he finally feels confident in a decision and he'll buy the luggage he has decided is the best.  Then he will continue to look for it everywhere he goes, just to make sure he got the best deal, even weeks after making his purchase.

A few weeks ago, after we both got eyeglass prescriptions from our doctor, we went to an eyewear store together to pick out our very first pair of glasses.

Fermin looked around at all the men's glasses, trying most of them on, and then decided to continue looking elsewhere. I, on the other hand, tried on just a handful of pairs before deciding on some I thought looked decent on my face. I ordered up the lenses, and was told they'd be ready in about a week. Done and done. Totally happy with my decision.

Until I went with Fermin to the next eyewear store a day or two later.  This store had a way bigger selection.  I immediately found a different pair I liked so much better than any I had seen at the last place.  In a panic, I called the previous store to ask if I could cancel my order.  They said I could.  Whew! 

In the time it took me to buy a second pair, and cancel my first order, Fermin continued trying on more glasses.  They all looked good on him, and in fact, I couldn't tell much of a difference between a lot of the ones he picked out.  But he said he wanted to keep on looking. 

I was so glad to be done with my search and happy with the pair I purchased.  And this place had an in-house technician so I got to take them home with me that day!
my first pair of eyeglasses
I wore them later that night, when we flipped on the TV.  I felt like I was watching HD TV for the first time.  Such a clear picture! But Fermin, of course, didn't have his glasses yet, so I just described how awesome the viewing was.

well, I thought I was happy with these...
seriously, this 3rd pair is IT!
The next day, we went to yet another eyewear store for Fermin.  The second I walked thru the door, I found THE glasses for me.  Much smaller frames that fit my face better and just felt right. 
I had to have them!  Fermin also found a pair he loved at this place- finally.

As it turned out, because of all my buying and returning and mind changing, my insurance needed a little time to get caught up, and couldn't kick in for the new glasses until the 2nd returned ones cleared the system.

Because of that little hiccup, Fermin and I both ended up getting our glasses about a week and a half later.  Now we are a family of 4 eyes. Well, I guess that's a family of 8 eyes.  Plus Lucy and Ricky's eyes.  Okay!!!- a family of 12 eyes! (See? I'm impulsive in my logic, too.)

the final decisions on eyewear have been made!
Fermin and I arrived at the same place-the land of wearing glasses, at the same time.  Our journey getting there was just a little different.  Impulsive Shopper Vs. The Calm and Deliberate Shopper.  In this case, it was a tie.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Vintage Daisy Earrings- Before and After

I had listed these cute enamel daisy earrings in my Resparkable Vintage shop over at Etsy.com during the summer, last year. 
1960s Blue Daisy Enamel Clip Earrings
Lots of people "favorited" the earrings, but no one bought them. 

Listings expire on Etsy after 3 months if no one buys the item.  The seller can either choose to relist, or not.

I didn't relist these earrings, but I did end up repurposing them just the other day.  I think clip earrings can be a hard sell, because really, who wears clip earrings these days?  (A few people, I know! My sister is one of them! But most people wear pierced earrings.) So I was able to make this pair of clip earrings into not just one cute new pair of pierced earrings...

Repurposed Vintage Earrings
but two!
Dangle Drop Enamel Flower Earrings
I'm so in love with them that I think I'm keeping the small pair for myself.  The slightly larger pair will be available in my Resparkable Vintage shop later today.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Is Less More?

The Rolling Stones are coming to Dallas (Technically, Arlington- Close enough).  For the first time in ten years.  And it's their only stop in this great state of Texas!
The Rolling Stones- Dallas Tour Date
The pre-sale tickets went on sale this past Wednesday for American Express card holders (which we are).  I started seeing lots of posts on Facebook about people getting their tickets.  I hadn't even remembered to get online for tickets until I started reading their gleeful posts.

And by the time I did, only one pair of tickets popped up, over and over.  And they were $419.  Each.  In a stadium.  I've seen Paul McCartney and U2 at this same stadium and sort of vowed to never go to a concert there again.  It's just so big, and as you probably know, sound quality isn't awesome in a stadium.

But this is The Stones.  This is Mick Jagger.  And this could very likely be the last time they play in (near) Dallas again.

Needing some advice, I texted my out-of-town husband, and asked him if I should buy the tickets. Although he'd like to go see them too (he claims "as much as" I do, but that cannot be proved or disproved), he thinks it might be smart to wait until the last minute, and buy them the day of the concert.  (We've had luck with this before, but there is risk involved.  Tickets may get scalped for a completely unreasonable price.  Or their might be too few available.) Waiting made me feel nervous.  But so did buying a pair of tickets for a little over $800.

So I asked a couple of my friends that bought tickets what section they were in and how much they paid.  One got a pair of floor tickets (good ones) for $800, and the other got floor tickets further back for $419, like the ones I was considering.  That's PER TICKET!

I got caught up in the idea that "everyone else is doing it".  And I'm a music lover!  And I love the Stones!  Of course I want this!!!  No matter the cost...Wild Horses couldn't drag me away from this concert!

BUT, I went on a long run before hitting the "purchase now" button.  And then I took a shower. My head cleared just enough to make me realize, maybe the wild horses couldn't drag me away from seeing the Rolling Stones in concert- but maybe $419 for stadium sound could.  Maybe it's just one night, and just one concert and not worth nearly a grand for the two of us.

Buying those tickets goes against my current mantra of less is more.

What I decided was simply not to be impulsive.  Maybe it will work out, and either we'll snag tickets for a decent price right before the concert, or maybe we'll skip it all together.  Maybe we'll just listen to our Stones CD that night and Fermin can do his best Mick Jagger moves for me.  And if that happened, he might just prove to me that...

 less can definitely be more.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Doodling, Sketching, Drawing, and Scribbling

This afternoon, I opened up this book that I recently picked up at the library~
The Doodle Revolution by Sunni Brown
If you're like me, your response when the subject of drawing comes up is, "I can't draw."  The author, Sunni Brown, tells us, simply, we are liars.  We CAN draw.  Or doodle. Or sketch. Or scribble. Whatever word you want to use. That is, assuming we have functional sets of eyes and hands.  No one says a doodle has to look like a lifelike representation of reality. Doodling is what kids happily do, and do it well.  So why not me?! 

Coincidentally, I had received an email from the "Uptown Dallas Sketch Group" Meet-Up group that I just ran across today.  So obviously, I took this as a little nudge from the universe and showed up at the meeting spot tonight.  I had attended it a few times in the past, but hadn't been in nearly 2 years. 

I was one of 18 people who showed up to draw tonight!  WOW.  That's a pretty big group of people to gather to sketch on a Wednesday night. 
the doodlers
Everyone in the group just kind of draws there own thing~ Some people sketch other people in the bookstore.  Some people copy a picture out of a book.  Some people just draw stuff from their imagination.  I think people like it because it gives us all a time and a place~ an appointment, if you will, for art.  art with a little a.

Here are my doodles of the night:
my iPhone case
panda images I looked up online and copied

Thursday, April 2, 2015

artist With a Little a

This awesome book, by the amazing Danny Gregory, arrived in the mail for me yesterday-
Art Before Breakfast by Danny Gregory
I love good books on the topic of creativity.  Another book of Danny's, (we are  on a first name basis, only he doesn't know mine) Creative License is one of my all time favorites.  So when I saw that he's just put a new one out, I ordered it immediately.  I'll take all the creative inspiration I can get!

I love the title of this book Art Before Breakfast.  I think that idea of getting important things under your belt at the very beginning of each day is so smart.  For me, I've always done my workouts first thing in the morning- That way, no matter how busy my day gets, I've already carved out the time for my health.  Danny points out at the very beginning of the book that,
"Art will make your life richer. And more fun. And better. And cooler. And less stressed. And...."
So I think I need to put a little creativity into my morning mix as well! And according to Danny, that's not as overwhelming as it sounds.  As long as you can think of yourself as an artist with a little a.

This is how he explains it:
"Art with a big "A" is for museums, galleries, critics, and collectors. art with a small "a" is for the rest of us.  
Art is a business, an industry, a racket. art is about passion, love, life, humanity-everything that is truly valuable.

Art is sold, resold, put under the gavel, and insured up the wazoo. art with a small "a" is not a product. It's a point of view.  It's a way of life.

Art is made by trained professionals and experts. art is made by accountants, farmers, and stay-at-home moms at restaurant tables, in parking lots, and laundry rooms.

Art takes Art School and Talent and years of Suffering and Sacrifice. art just takes a desire and 15 minutes a day.

You may not be an Artist. Big whoop. But I know you can make art- with a wonderful, expressive, teeny, tiny a."