Thursday, July 8, 2010

Listography: Live Your Life with Lists

While idly browsing through Blick a few days ago, (which I must stop doing. Damn those art stores so full of awesome) I was checking out one of the cool tables full of funky products - you know, full of amazingness I DON'T need.

Anyway, I saw this book called "Listography", which is an illustrated notebook that prompts you to fill in entries in the form of lists. I keep a journal personally, but I liked the idea of having suggestions to guide you in recording your life at this point in time. I actually thought of my little sister, who graduated 8th grade and is now heading into Archbishop Williams High School (My high school, btws) - she's really not a journal-keeper, and I thought this would be a unique way to preserve a piece of her thoughts and dreams at this point of her life. Aw, look at me :)

I made Olivia a handmade book, bound some blank cream paper covered in coral-orange and turquoise. I really liked the contrast of the complimentary colors, especially lining inside with a beautiful deep navy paper. And since I do calligraphy, I figured I could give the book a personal touch by not only making it, but also writing out some lists for her to fill out. Not sure if this idea is mass-produceable, but for a one of a kind, personal piece I thought it was perfect.

In coming up with inspiration, I found this website called It's so cool! You can create your own lists, edit them, and have the chance to really sit down and think about what's important to you, what memories you value. There's also the lame lists like "to-dos", but you can also browse other people's profiles and get inspired from their lists as well. It's fun to do when you're bored, and there's a random "generate list topic" option if you don't know where to start.

The books are definitely worth picking up and flipping through at a bookstore. The cutesy illustrated look is not exactly my style, which is why I made my own, but I really do love the concept. As an artist in this instance, do you feel as though borrowing this concept is okay?

My username is aosgood - look me up and let me know what you think of my lists!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Rose Quartz Bangle

The latest piece in my handmade jewelry line is this delicate Rose Quartz Beaded Bangle. This was a really fun piece to work on - using 2 different gauges of wire, 16 and 22, it was almost like braiding. I had to string a head, curve the thicker wire around the rose quartz sphere, then wrap the 22 gauge and start over again. Seriously complicated. And thus awesome. Fellow artists will understand. :)

Due to the size of the beads, the resulting piece echoes organic shapes reflecting the beads natural beauty. Not to mention how great rose quartz looks against the bright silver plated wire: and on a tan model ;)

This is a delicate bangle piece is intended for tiny wrists, as the thicker wire forms the shape and holds it in place. I am going to experiment with different beads and bead sizes to make a larger size: I just bought some Amazonite beads, which are a deep jade green color. I think that this would look great against the silver - but for now, the pink quartz looks awesome!

You can find this Handmade Bracelet in my shop for sale at $15. Shoot me a convo if you have any questions, or let me know what you think about this new design!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Book Review - The Tenth Circle

I've been reading way too much.

So I just finished The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult, and I have to say that I was pretty disappointed. She's my favorite author, and while I normally lament the fact that her books plots are predictable, she strayed from her usual controversial - court trial formula and it didn't quite work.

The premise of this book is that a 14 year old girl gets raped by her ex-boyfriend, and an ensuing torment of the victim at school and a huge press scandal results in a small Maine town. It was a real page-turner until just a little over halfway, where she uses up her :gasp: twist too early.

That being said, I really fell in love with one of the characters, Daniel, the victim's father. He was a comic book artist that was married to a Dante "Inferno" college professor (the victim's mom) - his latest project, inspired by his daughter, is a comic book illustration themed around Dante's levels of hell, and Picoult includes comic book pages into the novel, which were really cool. She was brilliant with the dynamic characters as always and she weaves the intricate complexities of a developing storyline beautifully. However, while the whole concept of the book had a lot of potential, it never really delivered.

What I felt was lacking was the usual "kick", as her biggest twist happened in the middle of the novel, and I felt myself dragging to the final predictable "twist" at the end. (Well, maybe not predictable, but I for some reason had a feeling about it...) That, I didn't like how the character Daniel had run away from Alaska because he hated growing up with the natives so much, but then Picoult belabored Eskimo stories and culture into nearly every one of his thought processes. Annoying. I wasn't too crazy about his daughter and wife's characters, either - I found both to be very whiny in contrast to Daniel. But hey, that's me.

Bottom Line: Okay read, I have liked her other books better. It was a refreshing attempt at a new direction for her, but slightly frustrating and ultimately unsatisfying.

As always, if you have read the book, let me know what you think!

Featured Etsy Seller: ScapHappyLyrebird

In love of the Victorian aesthetic as so clearly represented by her shop, ScrapHappyLyrebird, the shop's owner loves scouring antique shops for cabinet cards and other 19th century photographs. Pictured above is her shop pick, which is a one of her keepsake boxes with an example of its contents.

"This photo represents my shop because it evokes a feeling of romance and nostalgia with ideas of what it could be used for."

Tess, 26, a huge Red Sox fan btws, is fascinated with faces of people from 100 years ago and glimpsing into their lives. With this, she also likes attaching stories to the photographs, trying to understand what they were like. When beginning a new decoupage project, she looks through her collection and tries to create something she thinks that these people would have used.

"Maybe a beautiful young girl would keep a mirror box on her vanity, or perhaps a gentleman would keep all of his travel souvenirs in a box on his desk. Doing this gives my pieces connections to the past, which I think is very important."

She considers her greatest strength to be the cohesiveness and overall aesthetics of her products. As far as weaknesses go, she thinks that her etsy photography needs some work, and hopes to reach for the high quality of photos that are now on etsy. Speaking of Etsy, her favorite shop is MamasLittleBabies: with the edgy Victorian jewelry that celebrates the Victorian obsession with oddities and curiosities.

For new artists, she advises them to never give up - while it's easy to doubt yourself at the beginning, if you are making something that you love and believe in, than other people will love it, too.

You can visit her blog here:, and she features Victorian inspired artists on Etsy.

Below is my favorite item of hers, The Sweet Bee Keepsake Box, $17. I love boxes, period, and the look of this one makes me really happy. :D

Great work Tess, and holla for Boston Etsy artists!! :)

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