Saturday, March 31, 2007

This post has very little to do with craft...

Ok, so it has been a week since my last post. I don't feel so bad considering last week-end and the beginning of the week was pretty busy. Good busy! Taiko busy.

I play taiko, or Japanese drums. I was immediately drawn into the first taiko show I ever saw, by Japan's famous KODO drummers ( back in 1987 and have been a fan ever since. Last week-end KODO played two amazing shows here in Montreal, the last stop on their two-month North American tour; I am still filled with the energy that they shared with the audience. If you ever have a chance to see them perform, it is more than worth it!

This is Yuichiro Funabashi and Yosuke Oda playing an extremely demanding piece called Miyake.

Taiko is many things - discipline, practice, hard work (very hard!!!), sharing, passion, practice, pushing your limits, fun, practice, acceptance, finding your energy center, and oh yeah... practice. Once it is truly a part of your life it will remain there always; you will want to give and share it with others because of all that it brings to you.

Hard to aptly describe.

KODO inspires most taiko players because they seem to live and breathe and exude what the essence of taiko is. They have many fans and admirers all over the world, and yet they are the most down-to-earth people you could ever hope to meet. Generous of heart and knowledge. We went out for drinks and a chat after the show.

There are taiko groups in Canada (since 1979) and in the USA (since 1968). Our friend from the States, Crissy, a long-time friend of Kodo who studied with them for a year, was also in Montreal last week-end to help KODO with their shows. She is also a wonderful teacher and she generously gave us two workshops while she was here. We learned so much from her. Again, hard to describe just how much.

So this is where I mention my craft... sort of: I made bookmarks for all of KODO's members and gave them to Crissy to give them out while I was not around. They looked a little like this, with my hand-carved stamps of taiko drums on them:

To my utter horror, I was asked to give them out to everyone myself. You're probably thinking I should have been thrilled - absolutely NOT. A crawl-in-the-hole-&-blow-the-hole-up kind of moment... But I did it. This is me giving them to Masayuki Sakamoto and Natsuki Saito. I'm in the orange jacket so you don't see my crazy giddy expression - I don't remember a thing. Such a groupie.

It's now 12:30 in the morning, my birthday! Forty big ones. Looking forward to 40 more...

Friday, March 23, 2007

Happiness is selling something you weren't sure would sell...

I have been selling my creations on since October 2005 and most of my sales have been of my sushi-related polymer clay items, like this sushi pendants and earrings.

I love making these little guys as well as other miniature wearable sculptures, but I also make other kinds of jewellery as well, with semi-precious stones and sterling silver. There are so many talented jewellery makers on Etsy so I dared not put any of these pieces up in my shop - waaaay too much competition.

With a bit of pushing from my sister, I listed some last week and this morning I sold these BLUE DISCO BALLS and PEARLS earrings - faceted quartz, freshwater pearl and sterling silver :

and these FRESH ORCHIDS earrings - olive jade, freshwater pearl, Czech glass, Bali sterling silver:


I'm also pleased with how these two necklaces turned out. Just sent them out today:

Now that I am more productive and back into my work groove, I will be able to post more in my shop soon. I think I will stop here.

No, here...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

First, some ponderings: This is me...

Now that I have a blog, there's pressure to keep it going, right?


I need the pressure to make regular entries...

I'll tell you a bit about myself since I believe I do what I do, and make what I make because of who I am. I grew up in east-end Montreal, the youngest of six children. Here I am with my sisters:

In kindergarten I discovered the joy that a little bit of gold spray paint could inpire... I made this noodle-covered wreath, squirming in my boots the entire walk home, itching to give it to my mom and hang it up. I can remember standing very still (although I must have still been wiggling a bit since my face is blurry but the wreath is in focus) on the arm chair when my brother took this shot. I was actually impersonating Mr. Spock, except my bangs were crooked.

Serious fast-forward now since I do have to get some work done today...

I will be 40 in a week and a half, my first birthday without my mom, who died last June. Sigh...

Apart from moments of sadness missing her, I believe I am a contented person.

I am doing what I love to do, creating things that people seem to enjoy.

I have the best husband, family, friends and a cat who support me.

I get to play taiko (Japanese drums) every week and love every moment of it.

I enjoy my volunteer work.

I can honestly say I feel more like "me" than ever before.

This is a good life to be living. Je ne peux vraiment pas me plaindre...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I've finally gone and done it...

Well, here I am with a blog. Who'd've thunk it? This will be an ultra-short first post.

I will be writing about stuff I'm making, stuff I like by other artists, stuff I love to do, and enjoying the process - creative or otherwise. Seriously now, I really do have to get back to work...