Friday, July 17, 2015

Ten things I love about living in the country

   Here they are, in honor of David Letterman (who, like me, graduated from nearby Ball State University): the top ten reasons I love living in the country. 

10. I love the eggs that our neighbor brings from her chickens. I open the carton and the eggs range in color from brown to light green to creamy white. And unlike the ones from the store, they usually have specks of grass on them! Now that's legit! 
And the taste- oh so full of flavor. 

9. I love my drive to work. I use to live on the north side of Orlando and drove across town to go to work. It took over an hour and traffic was nuts. Now the only traffic jam I get in is if I'm behind a tractor on the road. 

8.  I love the view out my kitchen window. Recently my husband removed the old fashioned shutters that have been on the kitchen window for at least the last 40 years. The view that had been covered up for all those years is breathtaking. The shutters will not be going back up. 

6. I love that we have on our property a log cabin. No plumbing or electricity, just a one room cabin in the woods. Can't see it from the street. Perfect little getaway. This year we made into a guest room.


5. I love watching our cats be their feline selves. They hunt, roam, frolic, preen, eat and repeat. Sometimes they even model for photo ops. Never a dull day for cats. 

4. I love how the trees and fields are alive with lightening bugs on summer nights.

3. I love not being in a neighborhood association and getting a warning in the mail if our trash can is visible from the road (it's not) 

2. I love how our address is coordinates on a grid, instead of a president's name or a tree. 

1. And the number one reason I love living in the country: 
Our country art studio: Wallker Art Dept!!

Our plan for Walker Art Dept is to enlarge our studio space to include living areas and a classroom. We are eventually going to offer workshops and classes here. We want to offer weekend packages for people who wish to come to the country for a weekend of good food, wine and art making.  

Want to come? 

I would love to read your thoughts,  but I can't unless you share them with me! 

I made this for you before I met you

    This year I decided to come up with some new show pieces so I could have exciting, attention grabbing jury images. With this goal in mind I sketched, designed, tweeked and re-drew on paper till I was sure I had a strong look. 

Then I assembled the pieces using my chosen materials:  dried paint films, leather, jasper, epoxy clay, handmade papers and canvas. One of the pieces I came up with was this one.

      At work in my studio, I squirrel away for hours on end and come up with a plethora of crazy jewelry pieces. Sometimes at the end of the day I look at what I have made and think to myself "OMG who would wear that?! What was I thinking? Am I crazy?" 

(I am, after all, an artist with an on-going internal dialogue and at times I need to tell it to shut up!)

The funny thing is, when I go to a show, and put those pieces out, someone comes along that is the perfect fit for the piece. It's like I made it just for her before we ever met.

        So at my last show, the Butchertown Art Festival in Kentucky, I put this piece in my display case. And lo and behold, along comes this beautiful woman with her husband, looking for a truly unique neck piece. She sees it and there is an immediate connection. We look at several other pieces and also find the right earrings to harmonize the look. Then, after spending about 30 minutes in my booth, considering several options but still going back to the first one, they do the unthinkable.  They walk off, empty-handed,  into the crowd!

        I could go on about how many times per show I hear "I'll be back", or "I'll think about it" and then you don't see them for dust. Well, the next day they came back! They had walked the entire show, of which there was a good selection of jewelry artists, and decided to come back to me. She tried it on and yes, it was a perfect fit. 

  So one thing I love about doing shows is how I get to meet the customer. Like this woman, who I obviously, yet unknowingly, had in mind when I made the piece. It is hugely gratifying to me when this serendipitous connection is made. It inspires and motivates me to keep squirreling away in my studio on the rest of my new ideas and designs. 

Would you like to see my other jewelry pieces? My shop can be found right here .

Or you can come to my next show and actually see, touch and try on pieces. That is July 25th and 26th at the Art Affair on Main in Belleville, Michigan. 

I would love to read your thoughts,  but I can't unless you share them with me!