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Slightly New Look on the Web Site

I decided to change the look of the home page on my web site to integrate some cool new photos of my silver jewelry designs. So I replaced the slide show for a small javascript gallery and I think that it looks very nice! You can click on any of the photo thumbnails to have a bigger version show on the center of the gallery. I also added a moving marquee on top for news and announcements. I took a shot to show you what it looks like:

Sacred Jewelry & Yoga Designs Home Page shot

Now I want to start changing some of the content to reflect my recent work and the materials and concepts I am currently exploring, which I believe are really defining my creative style. Of course, I have to finish uploading the new designs to the jewelry shop first… If only the day had more than 24 hours!

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New Yoga Jewelry Video

Ok, so I’ve been having too much fun making videos of my jewelry designs, finding the right designs, the right music, synching everything, and so on, so now I came up with a yoga jewelry video that I just uploaded to YouTube. Check it out:

It is kind of hypnotic, and I really like that quality about it. I know, I know… I should be in the studio creating more jewelry, or uploading all the photos I have for the web site, but this was so much fun! Now back to work…

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This Ultralite Kiln Will Get You Started…

I have an Ultralite kiln for sale. This little kiln got me started on the path to metal clay, and I kept it because of sentimental value (yes, it’s cute and has brought me much joy), but the truth is that I don’t use it anymore and I think it’s time for someone else to enjoy it.

It has a crack, but still works fine. You can see it here:

UltraLite Kiln

I found a place where you can actually purchase a $37 replacement for the heating element part that is cracked, if you ever decided to replace it, so I can give you that info as well.

I am asking for $150 (plus shipping), which would include:

UltraLite Kiln1 Ultralite kiln with manual, spatula, and cover
1 Temp controller
2 Ceramic inserts (I broke one of those, but as it is obvious on the pictures, I’ve basically used only one. They don’t break unless you drop them on a hard floor, like I did!)

Even if you replaced the cracked element, you’d still save some good money, which is great when you are just starting to use metal clay, as the clay itself is so expensive! Plus, you’ll obviously end up purchasing other tools as you get more into it… 😉

Please contact me if interested.

Thanks!

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Fear of Rejection and Failure?

Dzi Turquoise Earrings by Sacred Jewelry & Yoga DesignsIf you are a creative type and have ever submitted your work to a contest or a juried show or event, you probably have experienced rejection at some point or another. It is part of the game, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. And if you have never experienced rejection as an artist, well, you are probably the exception to the rule…

Needless to say, rejection can be painful, but it shouldn’t crush you enough to make you quit your chosen form of expression. You may fall, but you have to get up and keep playing the game, especially if you want to achieve some recognition. Yes, the creative process should be rewarding enough in and of itself, and it sure is, but if you want to put your art/craft out there for other people to appreciate and enjoy (that is, beyond your family and friends), then you have to learn and accept the game as it is, and play it as best as you can.

As they say, you win some and you lose some. But you shouldn’t lose yourself in the process, nor the joy of doing what you love to do. After all, jurors are human beings, with a particular taste, and color their judgments with their own perception of the world. What if they had a fight with their spouse and see everything with suppressed anger on the day they are looking at your photos, slides, or artwork? I’m just saying… And of course, your particular style may not fit in all the art and/or craft shows out there, but that is probably too obvious to discuss here.

Magic Ganesha Pendant by Sacred Jewelry & Yoga DesignsI was told once that my jewelry “wasn’t creative enough.” Ouch. I somehow think that the person talking to me on the phone didn’t quite realize that there was a real person on the other side, not just a ”voice.“ Not that she needed to baby my feelings, but obviously that comment was insensitive and, quite frankly, a bit arrogant. This was not a contest submission, but just an application for a local studio stroll, so I wonder why wouldn’t they simply let the public choose which studio to visit and decide for themselves…

Anyway, I had to ask myself, did I feel that my jewelry was not creative or good enough? And then, of course, creative enough for whom? And more importantly, was I making jewelry (or writing, for that matter) to express myself, or just for others to approve of it? In a lot of ways that rejection made me want to be clearer about my purpose, my style, and my choices when doing what I love to do. After all, at least for me, any creative process should be a means to a higher purpose, that is, to truly express and know myself.

Which brings me to another aspect of all this: the fear of failure. I have read and heard about this for years now: Artists expressing how they feel like impostors, not worthy of recognition, afraid that someone will find out that “they are not really artists.” Not that I can’t relate with the sense of fear that taking a leap of faith and expressing yourself entails, but I am driven toward a different and opposite perspective on this issue.

Fear of failure seems too easy of an explanation for the artistic blocks and struggles we all experience at some point or another, or the desire to quit doing what we love. Maybe I just have the tendency to look beyond the obvious, into the hidden motives of our psychological structure, but isn’t the opposite—fear of success—more likely to motivate any self-defeating attitude, simply because it is an unconscious and therefore more powerful enemy? Fear of success is nothing other than that internal censoring voice that whispers, ”You are not good enough…“ and then may get crystallized in the voice of some art juror or show manager rejecting your work.

Mini Gypsy Earrings by Sacred Jewelry & Yoga DesignsSo maybe each rejection is a good opportunity for us to take a closer look at this hidden enemy and discover how we are projecting that fear into the world (hey, maybe your parents didn’t approve of you being an artist, or didn’t allow you to express yourself, or simply didn’t support anything you dreamed of doing). It may also be a great opportunity to look at our work and make it stronger, bolder, and more expressive, no matter what our individual medium.

I am not saying that you won’t experience rejection again, no matter how closely you look at the complexities of your psyche, because it is part of the game of life, but letting it bring you down, making you feel that you ”failed,” will simply reinforce the negative experience and the energy it brings with it—more rejection. Instead of letting the world crush you when you experience rejection, and letting the fear of success quietly creep in, feel and acknowledge the anger and sadness that comes with it, and use that powerful energy to drive you to create more. Go in your studio and dive into your work. You will feel a million times better, not to mention a lot stronger, I can guarantee it. And you never know, you might come up with your best work yet!

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New Designs for Asheville Art in the Park

Yep, that’s right, Gaucho Glass and I will be sharing a booth at the Asheville Art in the Park show June 12, 19, and 26, in downtown Asheville, NC, from 10 am to 5 pm. So I have been getting ready for these shows by creating some of my unique fine silver pieces and also many affordable jewelry designs, especially lots of earrings, although I haven’t had a chance to put them for sale on the web site yet.

Lava Stones with Pure Silver by Sacred Jewelry & Yoga Designs
“Moon Stones Bracelet” (Lava Stones & Pure Silver)

One of the unique aspects of Asheville Art in the Park is that it is a local art market that gives back to the community by donating 10% of all sales to a local non-profit organization, which I think is very cool.

Jade Bracelet by Sacred Jewelry & Yoga Designs
“Grapes” Jade & Sterling Silver Bracelet

Even though they are expecting some rain, I think it’s going to be a beautiful sunny day but not too hot. So come say hi if you are around, and support local merchants and non-profit organizations at the same time!

Crystal and Garnet Earrings by Sacred Jewelry & Yoga Designs
Crystal and Garnet Earrings

I will try to post a few more designs before the weekend. Till then…

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Plagiarism and Unoriginality at Sacredjewelry1.com…

I just bumped into a blog that markets Tibetan and sacred jewelry, and first found a paragraph from my web site, word for word, simply pasted on the blog! How unoriginal and uncreative is that?? Don’t they know that it is plagiarism?

Then, as I looked a little further into it, I found that these people are also posting images of my jewelry designs and the text accompanying them on my web site without a link, or a mention of where the jewelry pieces come from. My jewelry designs are not the only ones on the blog, but there are MANY of my designs on it!

Their site is sacrejewelry1.com, so to begin with, they obviously couldn’t find a more original name and went for the cheesy solution of adding a number 1 to their domain name. Ah, the unoriginality of web marketing… What else is the blog about, other than stealing photos and text from other web sites and blogs? NOTHING. There is no original comments about any of them, or anything else but text from other sites (which sometimes doesn’t even make sense out of context).

Are they trying to fatten up their blog with whatever they can find before actually posting original content? Or are they going to start placing links on the blog to sell viagra? Or maybe they are trying to get better rankings from google before selling the domain? Whatever they are doing, I am sure it is something sleazy that has nothing to do with sacred jewelry, since they obviously don’t care about it or respect original designers and craftspeople, and I am really upset at the fact that they intend to use my designs for whatever their purpose may be. I will keep an eye on them and file a complaint about this somewhere…

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Silver Jewelry Designs for Upcoming Craft Shows

I haven’t had the time to upload the pictures of my new designs to the web site store, since that is a much more time consuming process that involves writing descriptions and such, and I need to keep producing pieces for my upcoming craft shows, so I thought I’d just keep posting a few at a time here.

Given the state of the economy, I’ve been trying to find a middle ground (price wise), so that people who cannot afford my pure silver artisan designs can still enjoy some of my smaller fine silver pendants or earrings. And of course, I keep making sterling silver pendants and earrings, not just because they are more affordable, but because I simply love to pound, twist, and solder that silver wire!

Moon Spirit Pure SIlver Pendant by Sacred Jewelry & Yoga Designs
“Moon Spirit” Pure Silver Pendant
Agate Sterling Silver Pendant from Sacred Jewelry & Yoga Designs
“Fire Pendant” - Carved Agate and Sterling Silver
African Moon Fine Silver Pendant from Sacred Jewelry & Yoga Designs
“African Moon” Fine Silver Pendant

I draw inspiration from universal symbols, ethnic cultures, and the elements, but it is obvious that the moon is one of my main sources of inspiration for silver collages. Perhaps it is the feminine energy of silver? Or perhaps it is just me being a woman, but what is certain is that the moon is one of my muses! I do believe and feel its energy affecting everything on the planet, how it brings water, love, and life, and balances out all the other elements. Can you feel that, too?

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Another Peak at the New Jewelry Designs…

Here’s a few more shots of the new designs I will bring to the Montford Arts & Music Festival tomorrow. I am just waiting for a few silver metal clay pendants to come out of the kiln today, and maybe I will have the time to photograph and post them here, once they’re finished and polished. If not, I will do it later on…

Coral Air Sterling Silver Pendant
“Coral Air” Sterling Silver Pendant
Agate & Turquoise Necklace
Agate & Turquoise Necklace
Colorful Copper Doodle
Colorful Copper Doodle

Even though they are expecting a thunderstorm tomorrow in the Asheville area, I think it’s going to be your typical mountain weather, and the festival should be fun. So come on by! Gaucho Glass and Sacred Jewelry & Yoga Designs will be sharing a booth. Stop to say hi!

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More Designs for the Montford Festival!

I haven’t had much time to photograph all the new designs I am getting ready for the Montford Arts & Music Festival, but here’s a preview of a few of them:

Five Elements Fine Silver Pendant by Sacred Jewelry & Yoga Designs

Carved jade & sterling silver pendant by Sacred Jewelry & Yoga Designs

Turquoise & coral necklace by Sacred Jewelry & Yoga Designs

Again, the Montford Arts & Music Festival is in Asheville, NC, this Saturday, May 22nd, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. I will be sharing a booth with my friend Alex from Gaucho Glass, so come and check us out. Great music, fun people, and lots of creative and friendly artisans!