Road Trip

Road trip

new listings in the shop are delayed

We are on a road trip to Santa Fe.

Check back on Wednesday, August 30

Desert Willow – inspiration for my art jewelry

desert willow

I think this photo is a Desert willow tree.  For a long time I thought this tree was an ironwood tree.  But I spent some time on google today and have decided it’s a Desert Willow.  Anyway….  these trees have been blooming around Tucson now for quite awhile.  The bloom looks tropical and exotic – almost like an orchid.  So what does this have to do with my art jewelry??  Well, there is a necklace in my shop in this Saturday’s sale that was influenced by this bloom.

Desert willow bloom as inspiration for a necklace

The stone is a faceted pink sapphire.  

 

 

Here’s the direct link – click on shop the sale now

shop the sale now link button

 

The Tucson Desert is Always Interesting – it’s my desert inspiration

There is always something blooming in the desert around Tucson.  On our walks around our neighborhood I saw a bush like tree with yellow pom pom blooms.  Come to find out it is a Whitehorn acacia tree.  It really is beautiful.

blooming desert

 

And just across the street from us we have been watching a bird build her nest.  I forget though is it the female or the male that builds the nest? Anyway it has been fascinating to watch although I don’t think she chose a very good spot.  It did survive the heavy rain last night.

blooming desert

Speaking of rain the monsoons have been awesome this year.  And I am pleased that even though we have had some heavy rains the wash on our property has not overflowed.  That always makes a mess when it does that.

Out in the Studio

I have been in the studio pretty much every day last week.  I decided to add some gold to a collection of sterling silver pendants that I’m working on.  Here’s a video that I shot of the process that I used. 

 

Can’t wait to open my new shop this September.  I have been working on pieces that really bring me joy.

creating the desert in glass and metalIf you just found my blog I invite you to follow me – you will learn about my processes, my inspiration, and a little about me.  (I post about twice a week).  My tribe of kindred spirits are a group of remarkable people.  It’s fun to be of the journey of life with people who inspire me to be a better person.  

Remember I love to hear from you 

 

 

blog post button

 

 

 
I also send a newsletter which might be more your style….

Stay connected by joining my e-newsletter group

 

Second Saturday Sale Day – Bracelets

Bracelet Sale

It’s Saturday August 12th and there is a sale happening

Here’s the direct link – click on shop the sale now

shop the sale now link button

 

Friendship Day

I am starting to write this post on August 6th – Sunday which according to some is International Friendship Day.  To tell you the truth I didn’t even know there was a Interational Friendship day; but I like the idea of one.  So I did a little research.

History

Friendship day was originally created by the greeting card industry in 1919 by Hallmark.  Friends were encouraged to recognize their friendship by sending each other cards.  But this made up “holiday” eventually fizzled out.

friendship day

However, in 1998 Winnie the Pooh was named the world’s Ambassador of Friendship at the United Nations (believe it or not!), and in April 2011 the United Nations officially recognized 30th July as International Friendship Day; although most countries celebrate on the first Sunday of August!  (wonder why)

Here is what the UN says about Friendship Day…

“Our world face many challenges, crises and forces of division — such as poverty, violence, and human rights abuses — among many others — that undermine peace, security, development and social harmony among the world’s peoples.  To confront those crises and challenges, their root causes must be addressed by promoting and defending a shared spirit of human solidarity that takes many forms — the simplest of which is friendship.  Through friendship — by accumulating bonds of camaraderie and developing strong ties of trust — we can contribute to the fundamental shifts that are urgently needed to achieve lasting stability, weave a safety net that will protect us all, and generate passion for a better world where all are united for the greater good.”

Well, I’m on board for sure.  So even though you all will be reading this a few days late.  I want to say I am grateful for all my friends out there who mean so much to me.  Without them I would not be the person I am today.

So I have to tell you a little story.  

A few Saturdays ago Alex and I headed off to one of the popular Farmer’s Markets here in Tucson.  I was mainly looking for fresh vegetables, but then I saw a booth with 4 woman wearing traditional head scarfs and dresses of the Muslim religion.  So I stopped by their booth and was enticed to see an array of traditional Syrian sweets that they had handmade and were selling.  They were very proud of their heritage and culture and wanted to share.  So of course I sampled some and bought a few to take home.  And I hope they understood it was my way to say welcome them and say I am glad you are here in the US.  But I plan on going back….  the sweets were delicious.

Don’t forget about the importance of jewelry… and friendship

Jewelry has always played an important role in Friendship.  Remember those friendship bracelets we used to make at summer camp?

friendship day

I think knowing that jewelry can make someone very happy (both giving it and receiving it) is one of the reasons I make jewelry.  We all need more happiness in our life.  Reach out to a good friend today!

 

Sale – August 5 is Earrings, Earrings, Earrings

Sale - Earrings

It’s Saturday August 5th and there is a sale happening

Here’s the direct link – click on shop the sale now

shop the sale now link button

 

Rituals

A Ritual is……. according to Webster

  1. of or relating to rites or a ritual :  ceremonial ritual dance

  2. according to religious law ritual purity

  3. done in accordance with social custom or normal protocol ritual handshakes 

 

I just finished reading an article in the Arizona Star of a high tech product that I didn’t know about, but now am fixated on buying…. Maybe.  

What is it?  A machine to brew tea.

a picture of a machine to brew tea

 

Really cool – right? 

Err…. but you might ask – what does that have to do with rituals?

 

Tea

I love tea.

I love to drink hot tea and iced tea.  I even drink hot tea in the summer.  I like to drink my hot tea from a porcelain tea cup that my Mom gave me.  I have had it for 30 years.  Drinking tea relaxes me.  So when I saw this machine that touts it brews the perfect cup of tea I got very interested.  And I started to think about my cup of tea and why it made me feel so good.

tea ritual

On a trip to Japan in the 80’s I attended a tea drinking ceremony, which I realize now is not about drinking the tea, but is a choreographed ritual of preparing the tea and interacting with the host.  It is about the aesthetics of the bowls, the pot and even the utensils.  And it’s about beauty and peace and serenity and reflection.

So, I think it’s more than just the tea that I love.  When I lived in Ohio and it was a rainy cold day (which happened a lot) my mother and I would have tea in the afternoon.  ( my Mom lived with us after my dad died)

She bought me a lovely wood box to hold my teabags.  We would get it down and choose which tea to have.  Then I would put on the kettle and we would sit and chat while the water boiled.  And chat some more while the tea steeped.  And finally, we would sip the tea before going back to real life.

I have liked to drink tea most of my life. I realize that when life dealt me things that were hard to deal with, sitting with a nice cup of tea helped me to sort things out.  Last summer – one year ago in fact, my husband and I went on what was supposed to be a fantastic holiday in Great Britain.  I drank a lot of tea there.

 

So back to the perfect tea brewing maching….

this high tech product is the Teforia Leaf  

It looks high tech and beautiful and graceful all at once.

It really appeals to me, but…

Do I really need a $400 gadget to brew tea?

Do I really want a whole new ritual for brewing tea?

Probably not…..

  But damn it looks so cool!

creating the desert in glass and metal

 

Design Element Inspiration

Artists can be fickle

Artists generally love their freedom. They want to experiment. They love a challenge. They crave variety. All that is good.  Except the artist wants their work to be recognizable.

I am very guilty about freedom in my creativity.  I like to try new techniques.  I love taking classes and trying new things.  I tend to get bored easily and want to move on.

But this year the word I chose was “focus”; and that is what I am trying to achieve these days – a cohesive line of jewelry incorporating my glass beads and metal – all inspired by my love of the desert. 

I would like you to see a piece of jewelry and say – “Oh, that’s a Louise Little design”

Repition is Reputation

I have a clear vision for my upcoming “Harmony” collection.  And I can’t wait to share it.

the harmony collection incorporates the sword like leaf of the yucca as a design element inspiration

One of the shapes I am experimenting with for this upcoming collection is the leaf from the yucca plant.  I love everything about this plant.  But the leaf is very special.  It is sword like and distinctive.  And is the basis for a lot of the design elements in this fall’s collection “Harmony”.

 

Here is a sneak peek at a pair of earrings……

these earrings use a design element inspired by the sword like leaf of the yucca plant

Harmony is set to launch on September 6th, 2017

in a brand new shop

Hope to see you there

creating the desert in glass and metal

Alexander Calder

The artist

Alexander Calder was an American sculptor known as the originator of the mobile, a type of moving sculpture made with delicately balanced or suspended shapes that move in response to touch or air currents.  

Calder also created over 2,000 pieces of jewelry over the course of his career, many of them as gifts for friends and relatives. They were mostly made of brass and steel, with bits of ceramic, wood and glass. Calder rarely used solder; when he needed to join strips of metal, he linked them with loops, bound them with snippets of wire or fashioned rivets.   I love the organic look of Calder’s jewelry.

Some other interesting facts about Calder that you might not know…

  • he was commissioned to paint a Douglas jetliner for Braniff airlines in 1972 calder
  • in 1975 he painted a BMW car which became the beginning of the BMW ar ar projectcalder
  • he gave Peggy Guggenheim huge mobile earringscalser

Calder – Mobile exhibition at the Whitney Museum, NYC 2017

We spent a week vacationing in NYC last week.  And one of the highlights was a visit to the Whitney Museum to see an exhibit of some of Calder’s mobiles.

calder

calder

I think I even got some inspiration for jewelry from seeing these mobiles.

creating the desert in glass and metal

 

 

 

 

Jewels

Tonight I am excited to be going to the ballet Jewels at the Lincoln Center.  And its not just any ballet.

1. This is its 50th anniversary. Originally created for the New York City Ballet (NYCB), Jewels premiered on April 13, 1967, at the David H. Koch Theater (then the New York State Theater), where it will be performed once again as part of the 2017 Lincoln Center Festival (July 20–23).

2. History is being made (again) this year. Lincoln Center Festival’s presentation of Jewels is an unprecedented three-way collaboration between the Bolshoi Ballet, New York City Ballet, and Paris Opera Ballet, three of the most renowned ballet companies in the world sharing the very stage where Jewels premiered.


3. The costumes are epic. NYCB dancers will wear original costume designs created by Karinska, while the Paris Opera Ballet and Bolshoi Ballet will bring their costumes (designed by Christian Lacroix and Elena Zaitseva, respectively) with them from overseas.


4. Jewels features the music of three different composers. Each act features the musical work of a different composer: Emeralds is set to Fauré, Rubies to Stravinsky, and Diamonds to Tchaikovsky.


5. George Balanchine is regarded as the foremost contemporary ballet choreographer. As artistic director of New York City Ballet, George Balanchine choreographed some of the most highly regarded contemporary ballets, including The Nutcracker, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Don Quixote, and, of course, Jewels. He also choreographed for Broadway, including On Your Toes, Cabin in the Sky, and the Ziegfeld Follies of 1936.


6. It was inspired by a visit to Van Cleef & Arpels. After a chance encounter with Claude Arpels, nephew of Estelle Arpels, Balanchine was invited to visit the French jewelry boutique on Fifth Avenue in New York. He told journalists that the elegant jewelry inspired him to begin working on what would later become one of his most classic ballets.


7. It wasn’t always going to be Emeralds, Rubies, and Diamonds. Balanchine initially considered several additional types of jewels, including pearls and sapphires.


8. Balanchine was also inspired by three countries. Each section of Jewels is believed to have been choreographed to evoke the mood and style of a different country where Balanchine had once worked and danced: Emeralds for the silky elegance of France, Rubies for the jazzy vibrancy of New York City, and Diamonds for the imperial grandeur of Russia. On the opening night of Jewels at Lincoln Center Festival, each ballet company will dance the section that evokes their respective home country. (On subsequent performances, NYCB and Bolshoi will alternate between the second and third acts.)

9. The style of each section differs dramatically. The romanticism of French ballet, the bold playfulness of American ballet, and the precision of Russian ballet contrast and complement each other throughout Jewels. It’s a rare—and fortunate—occasion to be able to see such a variety of styles within the span of a single performance.


10. It’s heralded as the first three-act, plotless ballet. Unlike other ballet classics—think The Nutcracker or The Taming of the Shrew—this ballet isn’t propelled by distinct characters or a storyline. But don’t be fooled! Even without a narrative, the impeccable dancing, lush music, and vivid colors of the elegant costumes keep audiences engaged.

https://youtu.be/q7ARFCFOyf0