Saturday, August 1, 2009

Sweet Wearables and ... Hangables

We've been busy bee's. And here in Jersey the summertime weather has been an agoraphobics dream. When it's not restrictively hot, it's pouring rain and lightning bolts. So we've been locked inside, filling orders, creating new stuff, and praying that the lightning doesn't fry our hard working air conditioner. As for the aforementioned new stuff, we are super duper excited! As an artist your latest project should always feel like your best work yet. Of course you can't always expect this to be accurate. Art can't really be micro-managed. Just because you want to always be better doesn't mean that you can force it to be so. There's a bit of it that's out of your hands. A sort of invisible magic ingredient that you can't buy at the craft store. And then there's the issue of being in touch with the zeitgeist. Art works best when it's the right thing at the right time. Fashion designers know this better than anyone. They are absolute slaves to the zeitgeist. They have to see what's not yet there...well, they have too see what we'll all want to see a year from now. In fashion if you design for today then you may as well quit. You have to design for next year and the year after that. That concept has always been so thrilling to me. And if you try...if you tap into that secret source...if you read between the lines...You'll see it. You'll know exactly what the world should look like and WILL look like a year from now. For years fashion has been a private addiction of both me and Aaron. We'll go as far as to create entire fantasy clothing lines...fully illustrated scrapbooks with fabric swatches and all. But I'm getting off track. I really just wanted to talk about making new stuff. As an artist it's so very very important to keep things interesting. And not just interesting for the fans of your work but for yourself as well...It's equally as important. You need to feel an excitement...try your best to recreate that feeling you get when you just start dating someone great. That fluttery butterfly in the chest feeling. This of course is very hard to do because in the end it really is WORK. And it's just you at home doing your thing...the thing you always do. How interesting can you make it? A good method is to challenge outside your comfort zone...out of your depth. Another way is to change your point of view...try to look at things with fresh eyes. Do what you normally wouldn't do.

For our new work we did a little of both. First, the jewelry. I know that jewelry making is a fairly common practice. Especially in the etsy world. On etsy, as far as jewelry goes, you can find pretty much anything you can possibly think of. Somebody out there is making it and they are doing a darn good job. The talent pool is deep and full of amazing swimmers. So, when we took the dive into jewelry making we never ever considered that we would be extraordinary. I'm much more humble than that. My motivation had to do with change, excitement, and challenge. I absolutely love handmade jewelry and I love our paintings. And I have to say, the thought of combining the two gave me a bit of chills. When I was putting together a purchase order of jewelry making supplies I got a little bit of that fluttery butterfly feeling in my chest. A simple act...buying the glass-like lacquer that seals my miniaturized artwork and makes it into a tiny jewel like pendant. This gave me chills! That's when I knew I was on the right track.
Also, it was about the collectors. I just knew that these would be things that friends of mine would like. I like to think that we've got similar tastes : ) So, that was it...I was making jewelry. And it turned out to be great fun. Definitely not one of those projects where one day you'll say" oh yeah sure, I gave that a try once..." This was more like "Wow! This is just the beginning! I've got a thousand more ideas that I can't wait to put into motion." It's hard to say what my favorite piece is so far. In general, jewelry is funny that way. It's a day to day thing. That's why we don't own just one necklace, one bracelet, one pair of earrings...every day you've got a new fave. So yeah...Everyday is a Holiday jewelry is here...Sweet Wearables. I'm hoping to provide a new fave or two for my fellow jewelry lovers out there!

So...there's working outside of your comfort zone...using new mediums...strange skills...doing new tricks while being an old dog. And then...there's the simple idea of changing your point of view...looking at something you look at every day but seeing it with fresh eyes. That's where our new Favorite Photos collection comes in. For these I didn't have to learn anything new...I could still rely on my old dog tricks. But what I did do is put to good use a resource that was sitting right under my nose all the while. I use photos as inspiration. In fact they are my number one source of inspiration. The content is ever changing but the medium is always the same. Whether they are tangible photos like tear sheets from magazines...or the stream Flickr favorites I stare at every day. I could not survive without photography. As a designer, as a decorator, as a collector ... photography is my skeleton key. It's a resource I simply can't live without. And I try not to be greedy. I hope to contribute to this medium at least a smidge. I do my best to create worthy vignettes and upload them to Flickr or right here on this blog. But I've always seen photos as a method of communication. A photo is the tool that I use to show you my artwork. Or it's simply reference material that I use to create my artwork. But then, late one night, ( it's always "late one night." ) I looked at it with new eyes. What if the photo was the artwork? Again, I'm well aware of the art of photography : ) ...but I mean personally. These vignettes I've put together over the years. These images I stare at day after day. Why should they be relegated to the reference section of the library? I realized that they're much more than that. Maybe the inspiration for the art is actually the art. And these are mine...I didn't find them...I generated them myself. Well, I stopped thinking about it and just did something about it. I selected a few faves and made them into properly sized prints, just like we do with our paintings...and then I mounted them to wooden plaques, just like we do with our paintings...handpainted the borders in corresponding colors, sealed them with a satin clear coat, distressed them, gave them an antique wash, and all the other stuff we do when we make our artwork. And presto!! I absolutely LOVE these! And I hope I'm not the only one who does. They're something totally fresh and yet they've been right here in my possession all along only in a different format.
So...there's my two latest tales from the world of art. As my eyes scan up the page that I just typed I realize that I use a whole lotta words to say just a little bit about my newest creative projects. But I hope some of you are on the same page with me. I hope to get across a little bit of the process. I see art as sharing. It's always a key ingredient and motivation for me. When I think about what I'm gonna make next...what I'm gonna put in my etsy shop. I'm never thinking about salable products. I'm thinking about this stuff that I love...these visuals...and how I can share them with other people like me. What's the best way to put these pretty things in the hands of others. And hopefully, when I do it right...this blog will be about the process of all that. No big secrets revealed. Just a glimpse into my personal artistic process.

But anyway...speaking of my etsy shop! All this new stuff is in there go check it out!

As I always do when writing a new blog entry, I just went back and re-read all the comments you guys posted on the previous entry. Thanks so so much for all the congrats about the NY Times feature! We were very surprised at the response we received from it. Even though our names were only included in the photo credits which were only visible via microscope...we were excited to see that people were resourceful and tracked us down through etsy. My gosh did we get a lot of emails!! Still trying to reply to them now.
As I stated above, it's now very hot here in Jersey. So you guys in Texas aren't alone anymore. I know you guys are in the hundred degree range and we're only in the 80's but if you felt the humidity here you'd jump right back on the plane. That is, if it's not delayed due to the lightning storms we seem to get every other day. It's been weird weather...absolutely terrible for the boardwalks and waterparks. Because even when the weather reports are wrong, which is like 70 percent of the time...people still cancel their plans based on them. I mean, there have been thunder storms but not half as many as they predict. Anyway, big thanks to you guys for all your well wishes! And hey Amy Bunny Rose better send it! Believe me, there is a girl sitting at her desk just Waiting for your piece to arrive! That's the way magazines work. They Need us! Send it! : )

Be Back Very Soon! xoxo, Jenny!


  1. Jenny, Your new projects are just darling. I love the idea of wearing your art, how fun is that. Your Blog was one of the first Blogs besides my friends Jenn AKA Old painted Cottage that I enjoyed soooooooo...
    much. All the darling things around your home that you captured in pictures. So I really think your Art Photos will sell very well. Great Luck, Hugs, Diane

  2. I really, really like the new pendants! Three cheers for stepping out of your comfort zone.

  3. Jenny,

    Bravo Bravo....awesome work Jenny & Aaron...its like a kaliescope of art all roll up and you guys are allowing us from blOZ land to view inside...way to cool..

    The jewelry is to die for, I can't wait to be an owner of a piece..I will definitely be treating myself since this is my birthday month and the photograph are sooo unique.....again bravo bravo...

    have a honey of a day - may sweet things come your way!
    grace peace & joy 2 U

    P.S. Ocean Grove is calling my name for a cupcake LOL

  4. Just ordered a cupcake necklace. These are GREAT!!!

  5. Those are perfect extensions of your art....that jewelry is too cute. Who wouldn't love to wear a cupcake?? :) I can't wait to see what you come up with next.

  6. Jenny, I've wanted to purchase something from your shop for ages. I love the necklaces! I wanted to purchase the pink cupcake with sprinkles but couldn't find it on Etsy. You must have sold out very quickly. When will you have some more, or did I just miss it? We're leaving for Las Vegas in a few days but I'll still have my trusty laptop.

  7. your work is SO amazing and inspiring!

  8. *darling', darling' and more darling'...darlings'!!! Your artwork makes us happy! Lovely ideas and treats for the sweets'!
    cupcake love, diana

  9. All your new stuff is fabulous!! Once we get settled in the new house, I may have to treat myself to a sweet print, or two :) Congrats!

  10. Jenny and aaron, your creatons never cease to amaze me! I love them all! That carousel B&W has me swooning!
    xoxo, Tiffany

  11. Little note from a long time lurker - I love the new "sweet wearables". I need one of each or perhaps two because my daughter will be "borrowing them forever", I just know it. :-)

    Mego's mom

  12. soo much to comment on... i will forget!
    Weird summer weather... 60 and late 50's over night making the 80's and 70's wonderful. We are lucky, but it still is all weird and the weather people are wrong when in the past my fav weather lady was always right!

    LOVE your new line of jewels!!!
    hey, we will be a walking add for your entire line!!! GOOD thinking! :)
    where there is a will there is a way... we see something we love and we WILL find out how to get it!

    Inspiration and growth... yep! :)


  13. I love it all, but I am loving the carousel picture. Love, love it!
    HUgs, Tricia

  14. Hi Jenny,
    I'm loving the bunny picture and all of the cupcake necklaces, so fun! I hope you are having a good summer.

  15. Your creation are truly a work of art. I would love to wear them. Good luck on your next project.

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xo Jenny & Aaron