Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your family. I thought I would share with you photos of our town New Market, Maryland decorated for the holidays.

Doesn't this one look like it's from the movie Scrooge?

Happy Holidays from my family to yours!

"Light up your world." by Madi

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Time For Giving Back

Madi and I worked on a project together for the holidays. I knitted 6 scarves for a small group of homeless people that my yoga class has kind of adopted. Madi did a wonderful job decorating gift bags to put the scarves in. I dropped them off with my yoga instructor this morning that is gracious enough to deliver them for us. It feels good to know that we can make a small difference in someone's life. Hope you find your own way of doing something extra for someone during this holiday season. If you would like to share, please do in the comments.

"Being nice is a joy to others and to you." by Madi

Saturday, December 17, 2011

New Journal Pages!

I finally had some time to work on my journal for The Sketchbook project. The first page I used a credit card to paint with acrylics. I was inspired to create this page after doing sun salutations at my yoga class this week. The next page is of course full of Zentangle! I had to include a Zentangle page. The silver page was created with acrylic paint and Pitt marker. The birds are made from a fabric paper that I made a while back.

Looking forward to working on more pages over the holiday break. Hope you are enjoying the season!

"The only treat that is healthy is Art." by Madi

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Muse Craft Open House...A Success!

The Teachers...Me, Liz Matheney & Chrissy Gemmill
What a fun event! We had a great turnout and everyone really enjoyed creating all the crafts, sipping wine and snacking on delicious cheeses and cookies. And the best news, we raised nearly $300 for Lily's Hope!

Margaret Hluch & Whitney with the Lily's Hope display.
Margaret was kind enough to let us use her amazing studio space. Margaret is a fiber artist and her husband Kevin is a ceramic artist. You can take a peek at their wonderful work by visiting their website Hluch Arts.

The Christmas tags went over very well. Love how everyone puts their own unique touch to a craft. Someone got creative and combined the stamped ornament and the tag:

Liz had everyone in a festive mood creating Pom Poms.
Liz crochets and sells her work through The Muse. If you look at Whitney's button cowl that she is wearing, you can see a sample of Liz's work. 

You already had a chance to see some of Chrissy Gemmill's work on my December Artist of the Month post. Chrissy also sells her work at The Muse and at her Etsy shop.

Hope you are surviving the hectic holiday preparation time. Try to find a minute to relax and just enjoy the season.

"An open mind is an open thought." by Madi

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wishes for 2012 Treasury

"Open up your Art. Open up your World." by Madi

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The 12 days of Christmas!

In celebration of the 12 days of Christmas, I will be listing a new piece of jewelry each day! Make sure to stop by and see what's new every day!

"Branch out to Art." by Madi

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Muse Holiday Open House

This week I am participating in The Muse Holiday Open House. I will be teaching how to create these fun Holiday gift tags. 

The event is this Wednesday, December 14th from 7 to 9 pm. Here is a little info about the event:

"Please come and enjoy refreshments at The Muse while you make and take crafts taught by the teachers. In the past some of the items have been wine charms, felted jewelry, metal stamped charms, etc. No charge for this event, however a donation is requested. All donations for the evening's events will go to Lily's Hope."

Event Location:   113 West All Saints St. Frederick, Maryland

The charity, Lily's Hope is for a little girl who was in Madi's dance class that is battling a rare form of bone cancer. Here is the information about Lily's Hope:

Lily is one of 50 children in the nation who will get diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma this year. Lily's Hope is created to build funds and bring the community together in support of Lily and the Weaver family.

"Lily has not once given up and knows she has the fight of her life. She is ready and we are too. Lily has and will always twinkle." Amy Weaver

To help the family get through this time, please consider donating to the Patty Pollatos Fund and/or a Message of Hope

For more information or questions please email:"
There will be two other teachers at the event, so it should be a lot of fun. If you are in the area, stop by.  Hope you are enjoying the holiday season. 
"Helping will help you." by Madi

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Artist of the Month - Chrissy Gemmill

This month's artist is Chrissy Gemmill, an amazing jewelry designer. I first fell in love with Chrissy's work when I happened upon it at The Muse in Frederick where I also sell my work.  I absolutely love Chrissy's work.  I enjoy her style, texture and overall design.

Chrissy grew up in Sparks, Maryland which is in Northern Baltimore County and then moved to Baltimore city where she met her husband, Matt. They now live in downtown Frederick with their son Marcus who is now 3 years old.

Her first introduction into jewelry design was a basic beading class that she attended when she was 14 or 15 and loved it! Chrissy actually had her own business in High School after taking that class. After High School, she took an enameling class at Towson State and then transferred to Maryland Institute College of Art to participate in a certificate jewelry program.
Peony by Chrissy Gemmill Jewels

I asked Chrissy to tell me a little about her design process and here is what she had to say:

"To keep track of all my inspirations I try to jot down a lists of my ideas, sometimes I sketch my ideas out and then sometimes I sit down and play around at my workbench and see what happens.    At times I do a fair amount of research before I even begin executing.  My peony flower collection, which was inspired by my mom and made in honor of her 60 birthday, started by studying the flower itself.  After consuming my mind with facts, folklore and beautiful images I then sketched and cut out stencils to figure out how to layer the petals to resemble the intricate, delicate peony flower itself.   

 Many of my pieces (like my peony flower collection) begin with a piece of sterling silver sheet metal.  I draw on the metal with my sharpie and then cut the design out with my jewelers saw.  From there I may do light metal forming then solder, oxidize and sand to a finish.  Some of my 3 dimensional detailed pieces (like my tree) are cast from molds so they can be reproduced more than once.  And then there are the pieces I make from vintage findings and baubles, often these pieces are reworked slightly, like my vintage copper flower necklace which I recreated into a toggle."
I really love the combination of soft floral designs and the more rugged stronger look of the silver metal work. Chrissy's favorite part of creating jewelry is when an idea comes to life. She feels that the finished product is so rewarding. She also enjoys seeing other people wearing her jewelry, especiallly people that she doesn't know. I understand what she means there, I love seeing someone with a piece of my jewelry on. Makes me feel proud. Once I was mailing something at the post office and the woman working there was wearing my earrings! How fun.
Chrissy's least favorite part of her work is sanding and finishing cast pieces. She said there are a lot of loud tools that she uses and metal can go flying. Another not so favorite part for Chrissy are some of the business aspects involved that she has to force herself to do since she creates jewelry for a living.
Chrissy sells her work online through Etsy, if you'd like to look at more of her work check out her website Chrissy Gemmill Jewelry. Besides the Peony and beautiful Tree necklace shown above, here are a few of my other favorites:
Lotus Earrings by Chrissy Gemmill

Lotus Petal and Garnet Triple Strand Necklace by Chrissy Gemmill

Sparrow and Vine Silhouette by Chrissy Gemmill

While Chrissy is not busy being a Mom and a jewelry designer, she teaches classes. Here is what she has to say about her teaching experiences so far:
"I started teaching a little over four years ago at The Muse through their Wine & Cheese Craft Parties.  The Muse's owner, my friend Whitney, is actually responsible for getting me into teaching.   I also teach at  Frederick Community College and recently I began hosting classes in Baltimore with Kaleidoscope.   I absolutely love teaching.  What I love most is meeting new people and I am always amazed by the full lives some of my students have, yet they still make time to learn something new!  They inspire me.  It's also really fun seeing someone design for the first time and seeing what bead colors and combinations the students select from the kit I provide."
Whitney also got me into teaching too! If you'd like to take a class from Chrissy or find out what other exciting things she has going on in her life be sure to visit her blog at Chrissy Gemmill Jewelry.

Chrissy also designs some really creative pieces with Owls, look at these:

As for the future, here is where Chrissy sees her business going:
"Although jewelry design will always be the foundation of my business I see myself spending less time at my actual work bench and more time working with students and designers. Recently I began working as a bead rep.  I am so excited about this and things are set to really get in gear in 2012.  Next year I will have set dates where people can buy beads from me on a once a month schedule either in Baltimore or Frederick. It is so rewarding for me to work with people and help them learn a technique or offer them my selection of beads and then see their designs evolve over time."
"It is also a goal of mine to create a Mommy and Me or Daddy and Me jewelry making workshop for young children.  This was a special request from my nieces Cameron and Blythe!   I feel it is really important for kids to be exposed to art and craft as early as possible so when they grow up they will already recoginzie the importance of appreciating and supporint arts or maybe even become a crafter themselves!"
I hope you enjoyed getting to know Chrissy this month. Make sure to visit her Etsy shop and blog to learn more about her and her amazing work.
"Find the pattern of life." by Madi