Monday, September 23, 2019

Autumn

Reminder- my book of poetry is out now and is available at The Book Patch! It's priced at $11, plus shipping and handling, and all the money goes towards me being able to move out of an unsafe place.

Book cover image
We Earthbound Stars
$11.00
Buy Now button



It's finally time for an Autumn themed post! I'm likely not doing Blogtober this year but will be doing some post on fall favorites & spooky themes. My Instagram right now is looking perfectly autumnal with my latest projects and pictures of my black cats. Click the Instagram button on the sidebar to check out my page and see more about my latest projects! I've been using up some yarn by knitting tiny clothes in spooky themes- tiny sweaters, scarves & selbu mittens.


Here's my latest artwork- a watercolor of fall leaves inspired by stickers on a card sent to me by my aunt and uncle. My aunt is also an artist and I remember being inspired by seeing her stained glass creations, so I made this watercolor for her in thanks.

In progress

Finished!





I can't wait for the leaves to start changing, it's one of my favorite things about New England. Absolutely gorgeous!! Here are some shots I've taken in the past- I only wish they could convey the sound and smell of walking through a freshly fallen leaf cover.


Home Woodpile, Hopkinton NH

Apple Orchard, Derry NH

Mt. Major hiking trails, Alton NH

Mt. Major hiking trails, Alton NH




Friday, May 31, 2019

Handmade Jewelry, How & Why to Buy Directly from the Artist or their Shop

This post is dedicated to Joy, a representative from a jewelry company that contacted me with a "great paid offer". I thought this would be a great opportunity to show you all the jewelry creators I do support! And if you're here for a writeup of the company's offer and why it's so insulting, stick around after seeing all the art and read my post below.

  

 

 

Resin

Remember the 90s and early 00s- jelly sandals, when jewelry took the turn from 80s loud and funky to bright and pastel? Me too, and that aesthetic never left me. Every time I see colorful resin jewelry it reminds me of the fun, flowery, bubbly fashion I grew up with and I am so happy that it didn't go away. I love all the directions you can go with resin as well! You can use resin to sculpt, to seal in paintings, and to preserve dried flowers!








where to buy:
@meownikaa
on Twitter, shop palaceofglitter.com
@ForagedNature on Twitter, shop etsy.com/shop/ForagedNature
@echoesofetheria on Twitter, shop etsy.com/shop/EchoesofEtheria



Beaded

Beaded jewelry takes patience I don't have at all, which is why I'm extra amazed when I see all the combinations of pieces artists put together to make one bit of jewelry. It takes a fantastically creative mind to see  the little beads and findings and be able to visualize what to make with it, especially to make a set, which requires different findings that still complement one another.
I'm the kind of person that likes to wear about 6 different bracelets on the same arm all summer, are you? Colors and textures just make me so happy, and wearing bracelets made with beads of different colors and materials makes me feel more colorful and happy inside.





















 



where to buy, left to right:
@sunnshineart on Twitter
@RoyalTgifts on Twitter, shop etsy.com/shop/royaltgifts





Wire Wrapped

(Special shoutout to artist @wrappedeggroll on Twitter for this piece I got for my birthday!)






This is basically my favorite type of jewelry to get lost in. I love everything in it, the intricate twists and turns of the wire to not only hold in the beads and stones but to do that in a way that creates another design on top of an already beautiful stone.. that's skill I never stop being impressed by. 

Something I really appreciate in wire wrapping is the range of intricate designs- minimal design that lets the stone speak for itself to heavily worked design that turn the stone into a larger piece.








 













where to buy, left to right:
@floatinggrizzly on Twitter

The Offer:

Not unused to these emails, I usually rely on the handy spam filter to take care of things like this, but this one came in through my primary mail box because they'd done enough to make it seem like it wasn't a scummy offer. 
(To clarify, it's probably not a scummy offer for the type of blogger they should be contacting for ambassadors. Lord knows there will always be people with money privileged enough to be unaware of the effects of what they do with it.)


The kicker: this company claims to care about charity and has a program to donate very small portions of their sales to a charity of the customer's choosing- a great way to feel like you're making an effort while donating less than $1 through a middle man.

They also claim to be reaching out to ambassadors that will be "a great fit", meaning they believe the blogger is the right fit for their style, and has reach to the type of audiences they want to get money from. They emailed me, someone who never quits being vocal about my disability, being on disability, and featuring topics of disability. My audience and mutuals include many in the disabled community.

So, where they're trying to get money from bothered me. The obvious lie that they did any research to find "great fits" for their ambassadors bothered me. But just as much as them feeling like it's okay to monetize the disabled community bothered me, it insulted me that they think I'd ever advertise a company's jewelry on my page.

Why's that? Well, let's consider the life of an artist that uses social media to network & stay immersed in art. My feed is bloggers and artists working hard to make their success happen, it's a huge priority of mine to share art from artists so that the right person to buy it can see it and support that artist directly. Sometimes I'm the right person! I've bought some amazing art from artists on Twitter & Instagram. (so, if they did do even the smallest bit of research browsing my Insta photos and seeing that I've bought jewelry, they completely skipped over that it's bought from the artist)

On top of running a blog, I'm in the same struggle. I haven't made any sales online yet, so the grind of posting, sharing, creating inventory, affording shipping supplies, all of that is very real to me.
So to take money specifically to advertise a company's art on my feed instead, to just spit in the faces of the artists I usually support, for them to even think I'd be willing to do that is an insult to me and to art.

To sum up- there's nothing wrong with studios or companies that consist of artists working together to share capital in order to have more success in selling art. I see them as artist unions. There's no denying we need one another to survive.
What's wrong is running one of these companies in the kind of inconsiderate way I've written about- if you're going to find ambassadors, do the bare minimum of seeing who they are before you contact them. Be aware of your audience, be aware of the effects your sales will have on sales of artists who don't have the opportunity or are unwilling to sell out to larger companies.

Hell, this company specifically could be doing some good with the small amount they claim to be sending to charity from each order. Unfortunately, the complete disregard for their ambassadors and their audience put me off ever wanting to work with, promote, or even think of them in good standing. It's so unnecessary for them to lie that they care about their ambassadors, as they clearly didn't do enough research about my blog and Instagram before trying to monetize them. 




That's all for this week! Thanks for reading :) 

 

Friday, May 10, 2019

Life lessons I learned from my favorite pastimes

img src- pixabay.com/images/id-794978

Outside of blogging and making art, I spend a lot of time doing my hobbies when I feel able. Most of my free time I spend talking to friends through text or Discord, sometimes playing Stardew Valley or other things multiplayer. Other times I feel like sitting back on the couch with my cats snuggled up onto me and reading a book- to view a post about my book collection, read here- https://weearthboundstars.blogspot.com/2018/11/my-bookshelf.html

These are some life lessons I've gleaned from my hobbies and how I spend my spare time. I hope you enjoy!



Practice secondary belief- 
"On Fairy-Stories", an essay by J. R. R. Tolkien

 

 I'm a big LOTR fan ever since I read The Hobbit in 6th grade (and got in trouble for using the word paraphernalia on a vocab test because I'd seen it in there), fell in love with Tolkien's works and set about trying to understand them as I got older. Every time I read them I understand them more, having gotten a little older, experienced more, and just had room to forget the words verbatim so I could read them new again. In an essay regarding Andrew Lang's work in compiling fairy tales in to the classic colored Fairy book range, Tolkien wrote about the notion of fairy tales taking place in a separate realm often referred to as Fae or Faerie realm. He argued that these tales shouldn't be put with things like moral fables or animal origin stories because they describe events that take place in a separate realm, a realm that is very real as long as it exists in fiction and therefore, people's minds.

As an example, the children's book The Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. I hope you've read it or had it read to you at least once, but if you haven't it's pretty easy to sum up. Three children move to a house in the country and to occupy their time, they go exploring in the forest and discover a magical tree whose branches reach so high that the tops of them break through the clouds and touch different and strange lands that can be traveled to by climbing the tree, as long as those who do are mindful to come back before the tree branches shift and are no longer touching that land.
Every time the children go up the tree, there is a different land to go to and each land has unique and bizarre features like the ground constantly spinning under their feet or rolling like the sea, and the children must learn to accept and navigate the quirks of each world to explore it. When they enter a new world, it's there for them physically and they don't do much questioning or disbelieving that the ground rolls or animals talk, because that's just how it is there as the rules of that land.

When we open a book, it's a portal to a world another person has already created. In his essay, Tolkien says that when you write a book, you create that realm somewhere in existence, and it's real as long as at least one person holds it in their mind. Those who read the book are allowed to visit that realm, to experience its history through the creator's account and then to explore the world at their leisure through imagination, once the idea of that realm has been established in their heads.

When I struggle to become invested in a book because I can't suspend disbelief, it's often because the rules of that world don't make sense in my comparison to the world we live in. The idea of suspending disbelief works to a point, because the practice is telling yourself "It's okay that this doesn't make sense, it doesn't exist in my world." It's a method that brushes putting aside the content you're trying to get into as a separate universe from ours, but it misses the vital part of investing yourself in this new world with different rules.


Talking about Blyton, my fairy tale fascination, and reimagined fairy tales is a great segue into my next example-


Getting over the fear of starting/ being afraid of your potential-
The Magic World- E. Nesbit
Book 5- "SEPTIMUS SEPTIMUSSON"
 

Another fantastic classic Children's writers is Edith Nesbit. One of her books, The Magic World, is a collection of short stories about magic happenings. The 5th story follows the classic pattern of a young man who must go out and seek his fortune, and because he has a kind heart, he helps people and animals along the way who show up later on when he's in need.  
The message I take away from it is that making progress towards a goal is often less daunting when you begin it for other people, and find a purpose in it for yourself along the way. Even if it's scary, the only thing you can do it just start anyways because you'll never truly be prepared. Here's the part that was most meaningful for me-












" ‘I can’t speak to the wind, I won’t,’ said Sep, and almost at the same moment he heard himself call out, ‘Oh wind, please come and blow up the waves to save the poor mussels.’
The wind answered with a boisterous shout—
‘All right, my boy,’ it shrieked, ‘I’m coming.’ And come it did. And when it had attended to the mussels it came and whispered to Sep in his attic. And to his great surprise, instead of covering his head with the bed-clothes, as usual, and trying not to listen, he found himself sitting up in bed and talking to the wind, man to man.
‘Why,’ he said, ‘I’m not afraid of you any more.’
‘Of course not, we’re friends now,’ said the wind. ‘That’s because we joined together to do a kindness to some one. There’s nothing like that for making people friends.’
‘Oh,’ said Sep.
‘Yes,’ said the wind, ‘and now, old chap, when will you go out and seek your fortune? Remember how poor your father is, and the fortune, if you find it, won’t be just for you, but for your father and mother and the others.’
‘Oh,’ said Sep, ‘I didn’t think of that.’
‘Yes,’ said the wind, ‘really, my dear fellow, I do hate to bother you, but it’s better to fix a time. Now when shall we start?’
‘We?’ said Sep. ‘Are you going with me?’
‘I’ll see you a bit of the way,’ said the wind. ‘What do you say now? Shall we start to-night? There’s no time like the present.’
‘I do hate going,’ said Sep.
‘Of course you do!’ said the wind, cordially. ‘Come along. Get into your things, and we’ll make a beginning.’"



Discovering your true potential by facing your fears and insecurities-
  Bleach vol. 13 ch. 111 "Black and White" / ep. 39 "The Immortal Man"



Bleach is one that I started watching as a teenager but didn't really get into, and recently re-watched it up to the end of the rescue arc (where it ends like a good anime should. Right? Right.)

In this episode, the main character Ichigo is fighting to retake his sword from a manifestation of the corrupt version of himself that wants and threatens to take control if Ichigo slips up.


He has to fight that part of himself to retake the sword, and his dark self laughs at him that he hadn't taken the time to try and understand his sword's true power.



Your true self, as much as it seems like some future goal, starts with the potential within you, and it's what you're afraid because you recognize your future but for some reason from and fight. 
There are moments in life that you can put yourself in that will either be enjoyable experiences or learning experiences. This episode reminded me of a really poignant experience I'd had, where I'd spent a while doing some soul searching staring in the mirror.  I saw in my features the kind of features I'd til then disliked or thought intimidating in other people, and I realized I'd felt that way because I saw them in myself but denied it. What also struck me was that the kind of features I'm so often drawing and see as loving and maternal were also there in my expression, like a shadow of a person I might become in the future.
 







Dedication and patience, aka Slow and Steady Wins the Race-

Zen and the Art of Knitting- Bernadette Murphy


I love to knit, especially so I can make things for my fiance (or often our cats so I can put them in silly hats or every now and then make them a new felt mouse to roll in catnip and surprise them with). My grandma taught me to knit and sew when I was around 10, and I did it as a hobby making scarves and small blankets from then til I was about 19, which is when I started branching out and trying new techniques like making lace, fair isle knitting, more complicated designs like socks and sweaters, etc. A couple years ago I picked up this book at the library, and it got me thinking about the positive effects of knitting and how it applies to life.

In order to reach a big goal you don't have to be fast, you have to be consistent and not stop in order to reach your goals, so have patience- if you rush the quality will suffer.

It will always be a process, and you can either be mindful of it and use it as a meditative process, or allow it to become a mechanical habit that you do while seeking other distractions. Like anything in life that causes us to want to rush through it or daydream to take us away from the monotony, there's that choice to do it fully and mindfully or to distract yourself until it's done. You'll never get that time back and if it's working or studying it's what you'll return to the next day and the next. If you spend all of it wishing you could be doing something else, getting through it so you can spend a small amount of time doing something better, you'll have spent years in denial doing what you hate.

Sometimes, to get better at it, you have to do it wrong to figure out how to do it right. If you can't understand the pattern or directions fully no matter how many times you hear or read them, sometimes you have to start the project knowing it won't be right, so that you can look it over and see the problem and try it again.




Communication is important, and difficult for everyone indiscriminately-
Frasier



Frasier is one of my all time fave comfort shows to marathon, for all its faults and parts where it hasn't aged well. Kelsey Grammer and
David Hyde Pierce are so fun together.



What I really love is how it shows that even when you know how to communicate well- meaning what the pitfalls of communication are, how to avoid mood swings, etc, knowing that is way different than being able to put it in practice. 


Many times you know what you should do but aren't able to make the decision to do it, other times you are able, but stubborn and it's more cathartic to react negatively. It takes more energy to put what you know into practice, and even those (especially those, in this case of a family of psychiatrists getting into communication breakdowns constantly) who should know the most about it struggle doing this.



_______

So what's our conclusion?


The great thing about blogging sometimes is that although I may start writing a post not intending for it to have a theme, as I go along putting it together and reading over it I see themes within the things that I thought were scattered and mostly unrelated. 

You're free to take away whatever message you like from these little anecdotes, but the theme that I feel is presenting itself to me and why all these moments were so meaningful to me lately is this-



it takes time, nurture, and practice to become your true self and you have to allow the person inside you to talk, to voice their personality through preferences and morals. although that journey is frightening and is something you want to be prepared for and do properly or not at all, there's no way of knowing which way is 100% right til the end when you look back, so at some point you have to just make up your mind and begin







Take care of yourselves, friends. Til next Friday-

























Friday, May 3, 2019

Fluid Art Paintings







(Reminder- myself and 2 other artists are doing a Twitter giveaway til 5/11, to enter and possibly win all of this amazing art go to - https://twitter.com/Real_Stars24/status/1116397162315821056 ) https://twitter.com/Real_Stars24/status/1116397162315821056https://twitter.com/Real_Stars24/status/1116397162315821056 )ht

 











This week I wanted to show you all the paintings I have that are finished and ready to sell. I don't currently have the cash for shipping materials to ship these, which is why I haven't listed them on here or my Twitter. But that doesn't mean I should keep them hidden from your beautiful eyes!



The first one I wanted to do in Starry Night colors. I added coconut milk serum to add cells, because I knew I wanted more cells and swirls than the bold, crisp shapes of fluid art done with straight paint (see Dancing Ghosts and Granite below for examples). But other than that I really had no idea how it would turn out. It's often a silly idea to go into this kind of art with expectations anyway.

I used one cup to do a flip-cup technique for this one, and I did zero swirling of the paint so all the swirls, I genuinely can only say it must have been the fluid art gods granting me those because I wouldn't know how to do those on purpose if I tried.




Next, this one I wanted to do in shades of purple, inspired by a friend whose favorite color is purple. I hit the cell jackpot with this one!! The space where all the little cells are were originally big patches of light purple but as I hit it with the butane torch, all these wonderful little cells began to appear til it looked like a coral reef scene that I'm absolutely in love with.





Another one I wanted to do in shade of purple, but I wanted do do a drip effect over a background of solid white. I call it Purple Rain 




In contrast to the cool hued purple drip painting, I wanted to do one that looked like magma, but over a solid black background. 





These ones I already had finished-


 the 2 Riddler drip pours



























Dancing Ghosts



Granite










































Wave





Fire Elemental




























5x7s I've sold & sent out-







This one I made & kept, it sits on my desk now to keep me focused on the way to make progress in art & recovery. The bottom is an eggshell white and metallic gold that's not pictured well here.





That's it for this week! I hope you enjoyed :)




Friday, April 12, 2019

Little life update

Hey everyone! I'm gonna show you all what I've been doing recently. Lots of new paintings and drawings I made for myself, which is rare for me to do. The great part of making things usually is that I can give them away to people I know will be really happy to get them.


Some character sketches of my favorite character from Brion Foulke's webcomic Flipside




Acrylic paintings of Tamako from Tamako Market, Brewster from Animal Crossing and the movie Doubutsu No Mori, and Tsu/Froppy from My Hero Academia



I've also been finishing magnets to sell at craft fairs this summer. 

 Trying to figure out the most cost effective material to fill them with has been a process, so here you can see the latest experiment which is rubber sealant.

So far I've tried-
-clay
-clear resin
-craft resin
-rubber sealant











Two of my magnets and a handmade teal choker (pictured below) are being given away in a month-long giveaway on my twitter. To check out the rules and enter- twitter.com/Real_Stars24/status/1116397162315821056





There was also a low point, some secondhand shoes I'd ordered to replace my 10 year old converse for my birthday got stolen right from my door. If you understand depression/anxiety/CPTSD at all or even just have compassion for someone who's had their only birthday presents stolen for two years in a row, you'll understand how derailing something like that can be. 
It felt miserable, wondering if I'd still be safe to order supplies to send out art if I can't trust that things will be delivered safely. Wondering why someone would steal used, $20 shoes from someone that bought them for their own birthday with disability money. Wondering why someone wouldn't think about things like that before just stealing something.

If you have an answer, please tell me.


I also finished a bunch of chokers. I mean, a LOT. at least a dozen. I'm still building a supply to sell at art fairs with my magnets and (long shot) hopefully some paintings.

 

I've also started going to poetry events, and read for the first time this week (and from my book, too!) That was terrifying, but it was an awesome experience participating and getting to judge in the slam.



Spring is here! Well, kind of. I'm looking forward to warmer weather and real Spring but also not sure if I'm ready for the too-hot weather and having to shave half my head again, my undercut is grown out and fluffy and I feel cute!

I played around with makeup when getting myself ready for the poetry slam, so you can see me showing off my not-so-skilled makeup skillz here with an eyeliner star and a gel peel (that went horribly, made my lips bleed, and transferred ZERO color to my lips. RIP)
























That's been my week! I hope yours went well.