Saturday, June 26, 2010

Belated Birthday Gifts and a Work of Art

Before I get into anything else, I must first make sure to acknowledge my friend Taiya, whose birthday was June 24.  It's not really that I haven't acknowledged her birthday, it's just that I am terribly late in making her birthday gift.  Seeing as how she's probably my biggest and bestest fan (aside from my hubby) and my best marketing tool (read: brag book) I have to make sure that her presents are always special.  So after more than a month of brainstorming, You Tube-ing, and driving my husband crazy with indecision, I finally came up with the perfect idea for her present.  Only I haven't had the time to make it yet.  The foundation has been laid (hint-there are three envelopes glued together), but so far schoolwork and studying has kept me out of the studio.  So I've decided on a new tactic.  I will leave clues as I get a step completed.  This way by the time it is finally complete and it arrives in the mail she can't help but be excited to see it.  Sounds like a good plan to me.  :-)

The other topic I wanted to cover during this blog update has also been pushed aside due to studying.  Has anyone else been watching Bravo TV's Work of Art?  Think Project Runway meets the art world.  I think it is Bravo's attempt to reclaim some its glory since losing Project Runway this past year.  The show's not half bad, though I never would have known about it if I hadn't been watching something else on Bravo.  It didn't help either that the series premier came on at 11pm.  The show as settled into it's regular schedule of Wednesday nights at 10:00 est.  As I said earlier, it's not half bad, but it certainly leaves some things to be desired.

If we're considering Work of Art to be a Project Runway replacement, I think a simple comparison between the two is the best place to start.  And when you think of Project Runway the first person you think of when you think of is Heidi Klum.  Work of Art's answer to Heidi is China Chow and Heidi Klum she is not.  I don't blame China, it's more the fault of the writers.  China has the attitude, but she lacks the catch phrases that Heidi is known for.  As a result it leaves her looking meek.  No "You're out."  Instead it's "You're work didn't work for us."  What's that supposed to be?  And while we're on the subject of tag lines, they didn't do much better for Simon de Pury, the Tim Gunn of Work of Art.  There is no "Make it work."  There is no anything.  He speaks and the artists don't even realize he's leaving the room.

There is a good side to Work of Art.  You get to see works of art in progress.  With Project Runway everyone is sewing.  Great.  It's the finished product you're looking to see.  With Work of Art you actually get to see it being made.  You get to see the thought process and the design process of the different artists, all of whom work in different ways.  My only complaint about that is that there is not nearly enough time to explore them all and really get an in depth look at what they're doing.  I'm sure as the number of artists is whittled down we'll get to see more.  For now what we'll have to do with what we get.

Despite its faults, I do enjoy Work of Art and would recommend it to others.  It's a bright, creative spot on the summer line-up.  And we can always enjoy some creative television.

~Jennifer Gayle

Friday, June 18, 2010

What to do? What to do?

I'm sure this question has been asked by all of us at some time. There are so many ways out there for us to express our creativity, too many for me to possibly name. I've tried a bunch of them. There were some I didn't particularly like--doing watercolors is the first that comes to mind. I still remember vividly the class I took one summer. My Mom and I lied to the rec center where the class was being held. The age limit was 15, but I had just turned 14. Needless to say, I was the youngest in the class. The instructor had a tendency to treat me like the young student that I was and was fondness for taking my brush out of my hand to show me how I should be doing things. Perhaps it was this that turned me off of watercolors, or maybe its lack of instant gratification. All I know is it's not something you'll see me doing anytime soon.

I may not be doing watercolors, but there's no telling what you will see me doing. I have a voracious appetite when it comes to learning new things. I played four instruments in three years of marching band. I've been fortunate in the past couple years to be able to take advantage of stores like Panopolie (I'll have to hit up Ornamatea now that she has closed) and Archiver's. I've dabbled in jewelry making, metal etching, and have been shown card making techniques that would have made my Mother's head spin. And the DVR has exposed me to even more art forms than I could have imagined.

But that's the problem--there's more. There's so much more. And I want to try it all. I don't necessarily have to become a master at it. Take weaving. I don't really want to be a weaver, but wouldn't it be cool to say that you've actually done under-water basket weaving? There's a really cool pair of earrings that I'd like to have, the only problem is that they only exist in my head. So, why not learn how to make them? Maybe someone else would like to have a pair just like them, so I'll make a few. Maybe I'll dislike the process so much that they become true one-of-a-kinds. But I won't know until I try, will I.

So, I ask myself the question, what to do? Alas, I don't think I'll ever find a final answer to the question. At least not as long as there is some form of creative expression I haven't tried.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Identity Crisis

One of the great advantages of taking an e-course with hundreds of people is that you get to share in the creativity of those hundreds of people. Every one has their own take on the same thing. For a while now I've been kind of bored with the look of my blog. It needed something, I just didn't know what--or how to achieve it for that matter. Then at the beginning of the Flying Lessons course by Kelly Rae Roberts all the participants took the time to introduce themselves and share their websites and blogs. All of a sudden I was inundated with designs of all types--elegant, fun, wacky. Above all they were creative. And I was dying to be one of them. Lucky for me the blogs weren't the only thing that was shared. A few generous souls were kind enough to share how they came about designing their unique blog. So for the past few days I have been playing around with the design of my blog. The current look is from a website call They've got some great pre-made blog templates. Before that I played around with an image that I had created years ago. I've also used a couple templates provided by Blogger. For now I think I'm going to stick with the glitter heart design from Shabby Blogs. The glitter makes me think of Mom, since she was often known to have glitter in her hair. I'm sure, however, that I'll be playing around with the design again before too long. I guess that's one thing about being creative--I'm always working on something new.