Sunday, May 31, 2009

paper trail (continued)....

So I am back.... sorry for the delay in postings (I have just been extremely busy this past week with filling orders... lots of time in the studio!). But now I am back and I won't keep you waiting any longer on those scanned images turned graphics.

So last week, I mentioned that I would tell you what some of those old scanned documents from Communist Poland have turned into. I had scanned various documents that had to do with Communism as well as the Solidarity movement in Poland.

Solidarity flyer:

ration card:

I then photoshopped the images so they looked more like graphics:

From there, I experimented with staining paper both with tea and coffee to get the desired effect:

I then printed those graphics onto my stained paper. I wanted to include these documents in a piece entitled "The Round Table Meeting of 1989". Perhaps, you are wondering what is the significance of these documents?

Well, the piece itself is about the Polish Round Table Agreements of 1989 that took place in Warsaw, Poland from February 6th to April 4th, 1989-- these talks are an important part of Poland's history and transition. The Communist government had initiated the discussion with the banned trade union Solidarność along with other opposition groups in an attempt to defuse the growing social unrest within Poland. These talks had radically altered the shape of the Polish government and society---ultimately bringing momentum to the fall of the entire Communist bloc.

I wanted to make a piece of wearable art depicting these Polish Round Table Talks since they were an essential part in bringing change to Poland and essentially the rest of the Eastern bloc.

Here is a little sneak peek:

Can you guess what kind of wearable piece it is? I will post some more images of the piece this week! Also stay tuned this week for Claire's Standout Prom photo shoot with Christy Pelland of c.pelland photography.... the photos are stunning! Here is a little preview:

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I am having a little (almost) summer sale in my Etsy shop. Here are just a few of the items on sale:

Here is link to the SALE section: SALE HERE.

Tomorrow... I will get back to what those scanned documents (from last week's paper trail post) turned graphics will be used for and a glimpse into what kind of wearable piece it will be.

Monday, May 18, 2009

danish credenza.

Well, I hope you had a relaxing weekend. We had some pretty amazing "summer-like" weather here in Washington. On that note, I took a nice little break from some of my studio work this weekend and headed outdoors to some garage sales. I really like to go to garage sales as well as thrift stores, bazaars, flea markets--- I guess for me it is the notion of knowing that whatever I find already carries with it some sort of past. This is also something that I am drawn to when creating my jewelry: having my work tell a story. However, I would like to share with you my wonderful find:

I have needed some extra storage for quite some time. I really like how this piece is so minimal, yet has an amazing amount of space as well as serves a dual purpose--storage + desk. Oh, and it is made in Denmark!

And it was a such a bargain....... I ended up paying only ten dollars! I am so excited to use it.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Tell me those are poppy seeds

Happy Friday to me---I took a look on (a fun little tool that helps you find out if you are featured in any of the gift guides or treasuries on Etsy) and found out my Oval Link- Earrings were first chosen as an alternate item, but now are one of the featured items in the treasury! Thank you budpnq for including them in your treasury. Here is the treasury (please stop by and take a look, before it expires):

*(my earrings are the third image in the third row)
Thanks again budpnq for including me in your treasury!
Link to: Tell me those are poppy seeds
Link to: budpnq

Budpnq (real name Katie) has been creating art since her "little fingers could wrap themselves around a crayon". It was interesting to read Katie's profile and how she came about beading. Take a look @ her bio to find out how her shop name came to be and who encouraged her to take up beading! Link to profile: Katie's Bio As I was looking around her shop...I came across this whimsical necklace filled with pink and green flowers.

I continued to read the description about the piece:

**Original & One-of-a-Kind**

Touched by the story of Cora Paige, I offer this necklace to honor her memory and to say thank you to her parents for letting us in on their hurt and inspiring us all with their enduring faith in God during such a painful time. If you would like to read their story, please visit and

100% of the purchase price ($40) of this necklace will be donated to benefit Cora's Playground.

....what a wonderful piece and a truly touching story.

paper trail.

Here is a sneak peek into what I have been up to lately. I have been scanning old documents that are from Communist Poland for a new one of a kind piece. I am then working with the scanned images in photoshop... take a look:

Original scanned document:

Graphic for piece:

In some of next weeks posts-- I will post what these scanned documents turned graphics will be used for and a glimpse into what kind of wearable piece it will be.

I am excited that the weekend is here because the cool, soggy weather we have been having thus far will retreat for a bit. The sun is going to make an appearance this weekend in the Pacific Northwest. Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Standout Prom Contest: WINNER!

So yesterday was the big day when we surprised the lucky young lady at her high school with a prom experience of a lifetime. However, before I reveal to you who this lucky young lady is. Here are some beautiful images taken by Christy Pelland of c.pelland photography of the official "swag bag" filled with all the prizes and an amazing bouquet by Paisley Petals.

Here is a little recap of some of the items that this young lady will receive: a photo shoot by c.pelland photography and hair & makeup by Che’mel Salon as well as a stunning corsage by j.robbins florist on the day of her prom! The official Standout Prom "swag bag" also was filled with gift certificates from Museum Quality Framing, CI Shenanigan's, The Shoe Show, The House of the Potter, and a graduation party designed by TLB Events.

Christy had put the swag bag together with all the wonderful prizes in a market tote by Emilie Sloan, a bag designer here in Seattle. The bag had been donated last minute by Laura Stewart who owns The House of the Potter with her husband, Jay Stewart, in Cannon Beach, Oregon. What a lovely bag!

The event was only promoted for two weeks, but I thought it was also really amazing and magical to see how so many community businesses contributed to this.

.....I also made a custom STANDOUT necklace and a pair of earrings.

The young lady that was chosen as the winner had to write an essay describing why she stands out in her high school. Take a look at the winning essay:

Center Stage
By Claire Tran

I walked into the Rogers High School Performing Arts Center on top of the world. I had just spent three years acting for the wife of the director as her leading actress. While I knew far better experience actors resided at the school already, with seniority, I felt that I had it made. How wrong I was, in the end it was not the elders that I watched, it was my own best friends who had spent the past three years doing the exact same thing same. Sure, I was lucky in that I knew I was good enough to make it into every show, but I braced myself for every cast list. Posting after posting those equal to me and younger were given leads and I was sent to “Villager Number One”. Sure I loved working in every aspect of the theatre, however all actresses dream of that big shining moment. I waited, just like I waited to grow up while watching my older brother and sister. I figured my time would come one day, but had to do something in the meantime.

I used my strengths and confidence to stand out in other areas. Stagecraft was my forte, and with a creative eye and focused determination I perfected my Stage Design abilities. I directed my attention on my school work and received high grades. I worked towards my Associates Degree (which I will be receiving in June) and completed my Teaching English as a Second Language certification. I worked as a Retail Manager and kept busy while trying to make something of myself. As the casting began to sound like a broken record, the confidence I had initially gained from theatre began to deteriorate. I decided that I needed to take action, so I began my campaign to bring new lives to the forgotten smaller characters. Receiving a standing ovation as a leading actress is not only easy, but almost expected. However, hearing the cheers and watching the audience rise after playing “Milky White” the dancing cow is not quite as predictable. But I did it, and I began to love the actress I was. My confidence returned and I actually enjoyed the small, quirky roles I received. Relishing in the fact that I stood out in roles less sought out for, I felt like the applause I received was far more meaningful than those from my larger endeavors. Who forgets the dancing cow?

The theatre has given me ample amounts of confidence that I have put to use in my schoolwork, jobs, social life as well as conquering my own insecurities. I can not say all nerves were suppressed when dancing in a spandex unitard as a “Spoon” in Beauty and the Beast. On the contrary, I can say that shows such as that have made me comfortable in my own skin, literally.

Now, not only can I breathe freely stepping on stage but I can plant myself in front of a classroom with self assurance. While theatre was a large part of my last few years in high school, I hope that people also remember the will and determination I had in other areas. I am a teacher of English as a Second Language for Pierce College and am trying to gain accreditation as a grown adult as I finish my last few days of high school.

Dreams of mine came true, making my small yet memorable moments appear on the Rogers Stage. I never wore the daffodil yellow “Belle” ball gown, or sang into the oblivion as “Cinderella”, but I will use my poise gained from other roles to portray my beauty in real life, rather in the fantasies onstage.

......I think Claire Tran is a truly driven, confident young lady who not only standouts in her high school, but as well as in her community. What a wonderful essay!

Here is the SURPRISE part of the day. Christy Pelland had made plans the previous week with a counselor at Rogers High School (where I actually went to high school) about us coming by and surprising Claire as well as coordinating her busy schedule with her drama teacher, Mr. Wernofsky. Since Claire also attends Pierce College making things a little bit more complicated, it was important to make sure she was on campus. Yesterday morning I met up with Melissa Anderson, the owner of Che'mel Salon and Christy Pelland from c.pelland photography to make our way to the performing arts center where Claire was in class.

All of us were so excited and anxious to present her with the prizes as well as to see her reaction.

Taking a sneak peek through the auditorium doors into the classroom of students....

We walked in with our gifts, bouquet and camera in hand. We stopped right by where Mr. Wernofsky was taking role and asked about whether "Miss Claire Tran was available?". Mr. Wernofsky pointed towards the stage and told Claire that she had visitors.

We walked up on stage where we all greeted Claire with hugs. We were so happy and she was all smiles! Christy announced to the class (while I played photographer) that Claire had entered for the Standout Prom Contest and was chosen as the WINNER based on the essay she had written of why she stands out in her high school. Christy went on to explain to Claire's classmates how she will get the most amazing prom experience ever!

We presented Claire with the gifts and informed her of some details. It was really great to see her so happy and smiling!

Congratulations Claire!!!! You deserve it! It is so great to see such a young lady be so driven in life.

I am really happy that I was a part of this whole experience and also am excited for Claire's special prom day and graduation party! Once again..... CONGRATULATIONS CLAIRE!!!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

busy bee...

My posts have been a bit sporadic this past week. I'd like to share with you what has been keeping me so busy. Perhaps as busy as Maja the bee (one of my favorite cartoon characters from Poland).....

First off, the Standout Prom Contest came to an end last week and a lovely young lady will be getting the prom experience of a lifetime. For those of you who perhaps haven't followed my blog on the contest, here is link to a previous post I wrote about the Standout Prom Contest. A number of entries were received, however, this young women truly is what we were looking for--confident and driven. Today, we are going to her high school and surprising her with the official "swag bag". I can't will be such a great experience to see her reaction.
This past week I have also been really busy working in my studio---filling orders. I am really excited about including my production line pieces in some new shops. I will keep you all posted on the new locations as orders get filled. I will also keep you updated in these weeks to come on my experience as I prepare for the group show at Traver Gallery.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Otter Woods Pottery Studio: studio opening.

House of the Potter @ Otter Woods Pottery Studio.
Jay & Laura Stewart invite you to their first ever studio opening.
Saturday May 9, 2009 • 10:00am - 5:00pm

The event will include: Kiln Opening, Demonstrations, Clay to play with, Raku Firings, Pottery for Sale, Walk in the Woods. And also, they will be featuring Studio Potter-Chris Johnson.

Link to: House of the Potter
Event link: Studio Opening Invitation


Monday, May 4, 2009


You probably are wondering what this blog title is about.....

Metal-Urge is a metal arts event that will be taking place throughout the city of Tacoma from June 6-September 20. The event will include more than 100 metal artists at 24 different downtown Tacoma venues. Metal-Urge coincides with two major metal art-oriented exhibits at the Tacoma Art Museum:

"Ornament as Art"
Avant-Garde Jewelry from the Helen Williams Drutt Collection
June 6 - September 13, 2009

"Loud Bones"
The Jewelry of Nancy Worden
June 27 - September 20, 2009

Not only will there be various exhibits....there will also be workshops, festivals and more.

I also wanted to share some great news! I had sent in an application to take part in Metal-Urge. Last Thursday, I found out that I have been chosen to show some of my work at Traver Gallery in Tacoma. It will be a group show with narrative jewelry from Nancy Worden, Ron Ho, Laurie Hall as well as beautiful forms and vessels by Catherine Grisez. I am really glad that I will be taking part in Metal-Urge and am thrilled that I will be showing my one of a kind work at Traver Gallery. I am also truly excited to be showing my work with artists that I have admired.

Friday, May 1, 2009

like a kid in a candy store.

I wanted to tell you about a new addition to my studio tools: a lovely alphabet and numbers stamp set. I already had a 1/8" set and now I have a 1/16" set. I can't wait to use them.

Whenever I get a new tool in my studio it feels like I a kid in a candy store!