This song started going through my head.
I found this sweet video montage.
Enjoy this little blast from the past,
along with some lovely BBEST selections
perfect for the rainy days ahead.
I love them.
They bring rainbows.
Creating is a joyful process. It involves thought, intention, determination, time, focus, and belief. This is the case whether our craft is developed from scratch or if it is the craft of treasure hunting through flea market finds to ferret out and share special hidden treasures. Every creation holds a piece of ourselves, captured in that moment. Our hands, our time, our focus, our thought – all wrapped up in our craft.
Sharing our creations with others requires many of these same things, along with an element of risk. Risk that our art will not be appreciated or understood. Risk that that we take every time we list an item in our shops or create a custom order. This willingness to risk ourselves, to be open to our family, our friends, and even strangers – this risk makes us stronger individuals and more grounded artists. Our willingness to step out and BE OURSELVES with our fellow human beings is a demonstration of faith in humanity and in the goodness of others. It is a great and joyful act, and adds value to each piece of creation we share, each flea market find we offer.
I am delighted to be a part of the BBEST community, which is not only a group of astoundingly talented crafters, but is also an incredible gift, regularly enriching my life and inspiring my craft and art. The influence of this team is broader than we may perhaps think.
SO, my daughter went off to a Fine Arts Academy for Contemporary Dance (a boarding school by any other name) in August, the week after she turned 16. It was a very hard time for her and for me. We were very close, and though we both knew that this was an incredible opportunity for her, we had a very difficult time being apart. The first night was the worst, and she called me several times, whispering into the phone so that her roommate wouldn’t be disturbed. She cried, but didn’t want me to come and get her. I cried too, but not when we were talking. I second guessed the decision to send her away, and rode an emotional roller coaster for the next several weeks.
My daughter was determined and stuck it out, and though she didn’t stop missing home for a moment, she made new friends, learned a new routine, began to understand her teachers, and started to dance. The dance brought her great joy although the discipline required made her grumble and complain. She was inspired by the upper classmen though, and worked hard to grow. She learned about the routine of the dorm and settled quickly into a rhythm of learning and living and laughing. All the things you want for your children!
In October, she told me about auditioning for pieces that were choreographed by upper classmen, and how excited she was to get some opportunities to perform. She was immersed in the creative and learning process (are they separate? maybe it is all one process.) and was very happy.
When she came home at the end of November for a long weekend at Thanksgiving, she was VERY EXCITED. I picked her up and she talked most of the way home. She told me about a boy, a college senior in the Contemporary Dance program, that was a beautiful and breathtaking dancer. She certainly didn’t have any classes with him, but she had seen him perform once and had been very inspired. Right before break her teacher told her that she was actually going to have the opportunity to dance with him in a piece they would be learning in December, to be performed before Christmas. She was absolutely thrilled to be chosen to perform, and even more thrilled to have a chance to learn from someone so astounding. She talked about how he danced – so strong and graceful – and about how perfect his technique was. It made her want to practice and stretch and grow better NOW.
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and when I drove her back to school and dropped her off it was very different from the first time. She had a big smile and a wave, and didn’t need any help into the dorm. She immediately saw friends and they were laughing and talking before I drove from the parking lot.
I was about 20 minutes away when the cell phone rang. It was my daughter, and she was sobbing.
When she and her roommate got onto their hall (up the three flights of steps with their bags dragging behind them), they noticed papers stuck on every room door. Some announcement, they thought as they rushed down the hall to their little room-haven. When they got to their door they unlocked it and pulled the announcement off the door.
They both stood and read. The paper explained that the young man, the senior, the inspiring dancer that everyone knew from his performances, had committed suicide in his dorm room over the Thanksgiving holiday.
My daughter was filled with grief. Overcome. Bowed down. It brings tears to my eyes now, 7 years later, remembering our conversation and what she went through. She had never met this boy. I had never met this boy. But in my mind was the image of his dance, strong, muscled, perfect technique. In her mind was the actual memory. I was filled with grief.
The entire school student body felt the impact of the young man’s passing, and December was a more somber time than we ever expected. When Christmas break came, though, I felt strongly that we needed to have some serious conversations about what had happened. We talked then, and truly, we talked for the next several years. My daughter worked through this loss in her dance and when SHE was a senior, she danced in a piece dedicated to this young man – and it was a phenomenal and emotional experience.
Trying to make sense of the senseless must be a human foible, but we did come away from all this with a lesson that reminds us of this young man. Our lesson, that neither my daughter nor I ever forget – You can never know the impact that your life has on another person. You may never even meet them, you may never see them, you may never know that they saw you. Your interactions may be slight, may not be in person, may be oblique. But your influence and contribution to the world and the lives of others is greater than you know, your impact ripples out from your life touching those you see and even those you don’t. Your gift is grander than you ever imagine. So share it, and give it, and make your impact on the world. Go!
Thank you BBEST. Every day.
Have you noticed just how many diverse products are available from members of the Bbest team? I love researching items for the blog, and part of the fun is deciding which aspect of a letter of the alphabet I'm going to feature. Of course I was a little spoilt for choice this month, after all, 'E' is for Easter - and that is just around the corner......
I decided, that this month E is for.......
'Don't be silly, I bet you can't find anything' I hear you say, well...................
How about this one to begin with!
Posted by Myfanwy Hart at 12:01 AM
When I'm reading a blog post and run across a crafting how-to piece, I feel as if I've been given a special gift. I sit back and ask myself, "Really? I get this information for free?" That's the power of a tutorial.
Tutorials often teach you something unexpected, something that is potentially useful just for you, or they provide inspiration for a next step you are considering. After I read a post on BBEST artist Liz Plummer's blog about How to create a concertina book, for example, I was inspired to purchase several books about bookmaking. Liz also writes about her Gocco printing process on her blog, as evidenced by the moleskin journal below that includes a Gocco-printed cover.
I was just taking the homemade chocolate mayonnaise cake from the oven when I heard the doorbell. Setting the cake on the rack to begin cooling, I then hurried to the door.
“Sally!” I beamed. “Come in! You are just in time to frost the cake when it cools!”
“Oh, it smells delicious!” exclaimed Sally. “I don’t know if I can wait.....maybe we will just eat it warm without the frosting,” she drooled.
I laughed. “You know, one of my Boomer friends thinks you like chocolate cake more than looking at the things they make!” I said. "But, you know what I said? They love chocolate just as much as you do! Come sit down here by the computer. I want to show you my Facebook page.”
“What in the world is Facebook?” asked Sally.
“Oh, my goodness!” I replied. “It is a way to connect with almost anyone you know. And what fun it is, too,” I continued. “You remember I told you I had taught elementary school for 32 years and been a principal for the next four years of my career?” I asked.
Sally answered, “Yes, and you said the last 34 of those years were at the same school.”
“Yes,” I replied. “And guess what? I have had such fun connecting with so many of my former students! It is great to see them all grown up and to see their children. And to learn about their careers and just to chat with them. One of my former students just arrived in Afghanistan a few weeks ago. Another is a landscape architect. One is a doctor who just today posted that he was caring for his baby for the first time alone and hoped she didn’t have a poopy diaper! I just laughed at that and commented on his page that our son had thought that, too, but that he is an expert now at the poopy diaper thing!! Some are stay at home moms. One just got a new job. It is amazing what everyone is doing. And you connect with one, then another, and it is just really exciting!”
“That sure sounds as if you are enjoying chatting with your former students,” Sally said. “What about your Boomers and Beyond friends? Are any of them using Facebook?” asked Sally.
“I know a few who are. And I expect there will be lots more join Facebook. It is free, of course, and it is a great way to spread the word about your own Etsy shop and to connect with members of your team outside of Etsy chat. And, there is another venue called Twitter where teams list their items, and somehow what goes on one gets to the other. That will have to be a whole topic for another time because I sure haven’t figured it out yet! But, for now, let’s look at a few I know who are on Facebook and also some others that you maybe haven’t seen before,” I suggested.
“Okay,” said Sally, “But, why don’t we stop and frost that cake first? Then, we can eat and look and look and eat........:
“Sounds good to me,” I laughed. We did, sat back down, and sighed with pleasure at that first bite of cake and marveled at these gorgeous creations from our Boomers and Beyond team!
Night Sky Jewelry
Salt Lake City, Utah
Indian Princess Nacczari Turquoise and Black
One Dog Talking
Raleigh, North Carolina
Floppy Cotton Frog Hat
Misty Spring Morning
Native American Tribute
to the Eagle Earrings
Beth Peardon Prods
In a Lather
Rosemary Mint Shampoo
Stoneware Carmel Wave Mug
Posted by Pam at 1:16 AM
I am pleased to introduce Chris, from Chris1 !
1. What is/are the name of your shop/s?
2. What kind of items do you sell?
Chris1 sells all kinds of one of a kind fused glass items including platters, night lights, glass ACEOs and business cards along with all kinds of one of a kind dichroic jewelry including wire wrapped and silver metal worked jewelry.
3. How long have you been engaged in your art/craft?
29 yrs first starting with stained glass then moving on to stained glass stepping stones while experimenting with the kiln back in the early 90's. Then in 2001 full time fusing with new large kilns and more equipment. Now and again i go back to stained glass but not very much.
4. Do you consider yourself a hobbyist or a professional craftsperson?
With all the classes and knowledge I've gained in the last 8 yrs I consider myself an artist.
5. What inspires you?
Everything inspires me! Music, nature, designs, landscaping, everything makes my head spin out glass thoughts and how would I do this in glass thoughts.
6. Please share with us what a typical day is like in your workshop or studio? It's hard to answer this one cause my studio is in the basement and I have a room on the 1st floor where my computer is located that has my mid size kiln and 2 small kilns in it so I do a lot of firing here. I spend my time doing lots of house work stuff while I am waiting for my kilns to finish firing, or my enamel paints to dry or or whatever has to be done. I guess I'm very lucky in some ways.
7. What keeps you company while you’re working on a project?
In the studio it's the radio that keeps playing all my great oldies but goodies music. In my computer room my TV and computer keeps me going.
8. What is your favorite 'task' related to your art/craft?Opening the kiln after it's been fired....and seeing how everything looks! Most of the time it's a surprise and it's just like Christmas Day when you open presents!
10. What are some of the venues you use to promote your shop/ware?(Do you blog?)
Yes I do have a blog, here is the link. http://fusedglass.blogspot.com/ I have this shop also http://www.1000markets.com/users/chris1 Also this shop http://www.artfire.com/modules.php?name=Shop&seller_id=25101 and of course I use twitter http://twitter.com/lpi...most all of my sales come from word of mouth and Etsy. I belong to the BBEST TEAM which stands for Boomers and Beyond Etsy Street Team and CGGE TEAM which stands for Creative Glass Guild of Etsy.
11. Related to your craft,tell us about a funny, strange or unusual situation you found yourself in.
At the moment I can't think of any but I know that it happens to all of us.
12. Tell us something about you that we wouldn’t necessarily know by talking with you in the forums.
That is a difficult one also. That I tend to follow the thought of what will happen if I do this or try that with my work that is.
13. What’s your favorite book and why, favorite movie and why, favorite kind of music?
My favorite books were romance but then I got bored with them so switched over to mysteries. Janet Evonavich is one of my favorite authors, JA Janice is another. I have many others that I like their style of writing and will pick up books from the library where I work 1 day a week filling the for sale books that are donated. Check them out at your local libraries...50cents to 2dollars a book beats paying full price for them. Music I like is most all of the oldies but goodies..music from the 60's - the 90's.
14. Would you care to share any 'words of wisdom' with other aspiring artists or crafters?
Just let your mind go... don't be locked into something...take it and roll with it. Think outside of the box...and have fun!
Please leave our team mate a comment, about her work, her life, her artistic process! She would love to hear from you!
Posted by Kim at 9:09 AM