We like to explore as many as possible different types pf art and one thing we noticed recently is a bias towards musical arts, possibly because – as we noted recently – music is often playing around in the background some where, whereas other types of art usually need to be noticed in some way.
One neglected art form is the art of jewelry making, and the reason I think of this one is the fact that I recently attended a jewelry making class in Cleveland.This is teh link to the website that offers the classes - http://lakeerieartists.com//class-packages.aspx - and I had an extremely entertaining and educational time in the class.
I know there are a number of famous jewelry designers out there such as Van Cleef and Arpels, who’s website is here - http://www.vancleefarpels.com - but the smaller jewelry designers tend to get largely ignored by the main stream and I wonder why that is.
Is it because of snobbery, or simply because they do not come to the attention of anyone in the media. And if the latter is the case – how does a newly started jewelry maker go about getting themselves out there? Look out for another post on that question soon.
For now, what I suggest if visiting some of these places and asking around if you are looking for a new jewelry maker with a different perspective than the usual establishments:
- Flea markets
- Local art galleries (such as the one I took the class at)
- Small jewelry repair shops
- Local technical colleges
- Art and Craft fairs
You never know – you might buy a piece at a reasonable price before the maker becomes famous, and you might even help them on their way to that fame if you are lucky. In the meantime, keep a look out for interesting approaches. I certainly had my eyes opened by taking a 4 hour class – made me see the whole business in a new light. And – don’t forget to have fun at the same time. This is an example of a new maker’s work:
Music makes the world go around. Wherever you are, most times of the day there will be some kind of music playing away in the background. Maybe you’re out shopping, driving, visiting with a friend, or at work – chances are someone, somewhere has got some music playing.
For me, music is all important. I come from a time when music (in popular culture) was really finding its feet, and because the world of media was beginning to make massive inroads due to advancing technology, my childhood and early adulthood was awash with a real smorgasbord of choice:
- Folk music
- Glam rock (70’s)
- New romantic
You can imagine, given that I love such a broad spectrum of sounds, how much fun I had trying to nail down the type of music we were having when my other half and I got married – the music for the evening entertainment, the wedding ‘march’, the background ‘ambient’ music for the wedding breakfast, the first dance. Buying the rings was easier (which we picked from this online jeweller, simply awesome), and even the seating arrangements got sorted quicker.
So yeah, music. So much out there, not enough time to listen to it all. But can we live without it? Historically, man has always made music. Since time began, we’ve beat out tunes on whatever instruments we’ve had to hand. Music is a source of comfort, a method of communication, and ultimately it’s always brought pleasure to the listeners.
Back in the day we used sticks on walls, clapping, humming, feet tapping, we found a rhythm and we played a tune. These days we’re far more sophisticated but we’re still trying to achieve the same end – to make music that touches the soul.
I’m sure you’ve used your creative talents to make beautiful gifts for friends and family, but have you thought that how you wrap gifts can also be an expression of your creativity?
I first thought about this when I stumbled across this video on YouTube, which shows you how to make gifts look like Rudolph’s face, Santa’s belly, a lump of coal, and a snowman.
I love this lady’s enthusiasm and creativity, and was inspired to look for more unusual ways to wrap my Christmas gifts this year.
Gifts for adults tend to be nice regular shapes, and easy to wrap. Kids Christmas toys are usually much more challenging, with uneven sizes and pointy parts trying to break through the wrapping. To accommodate this difficult objects you could first smooth the shape by wrapping in tissue paper. Alternatively, if you are feeling really clever, you could adapt your wrapping design to match the shape – maybe that pointy top could be an elves’ hat, or a ball could be Rudolph’s nose.
There are two themes I have seen this year that I love – newspaper, and brown paper.
Newspaper themed gift wrap ideas and tips:
- Wrap the gift in newspaper, and decorate it with a rainbow colored ribbon, and even a colorful initial of the person receiving the gift.
- Or wrap the gift in a plain single color sheet of craft paper, and decorate with the name of the recipient cut out of newsprint.
- If you intend to wrap a gift in newspaper you need to wrap very tightly and neatly, with a beautiful crisp finish, otherwise it will look a real mess.
- Before you wrap it may be an idea to very carefully press the newspaper with an iron.
- Also a broadsheet newspaper with tight, small newsprint all over the page works best.
- If you are giving the gift to kids, be sure to check that if they do read the story printed it is appropriate for their age.
Brown paper gift wrap ideas and tips:
- Wrap the gift with plain brown craft paper, then decorate with a gold glitter ribbon, and the initials of the recipient, cut from gold sparkly card.
- Or decorate with a Christmas themed shape, such as a tree, star or snowflake, cut from traditional gift wrap paper.
I’m sure I’ll be able to add to this list as I get nearer the big day, but hopefully this is enough to inspire you to create your own projects.
If you love Japanese art as much as I do, then you probably love to visit art galleries that specialize in it. The only problem that I have is that I live in northern Maine far away from any Asian art centers. That means that I have to plan a vacation to go shopping. Well if I’ve got to plan a trip, then it might as well be a big trip to the big city. It doesn’t get any bigger than New York City. One of my most favorite Asian art galleries there is the Ronin Gallery. It’s been around since the mid-1970s and its got one of the largest Japanese print collections in the United States.
I love to take everyday objects and turn them into art. One of the easiest ways to do this is with wall art, is to use beautiful wall calenders. So each year I select a couple of beautiful Japanese calendars to display in my home. The Ronin Gallery makes it easy to find these. I also can be pretty sure that my neighbors won’t have the same calendar.
Kawase Hasui Calendar from the Ronin Gallery
Look at the tranquil Japanese scene portrayed above. Artist Hasui originally created these scenes in watercolor and then they were transformed into woodblocks. You start off the year with peaceful snow scenes at a Japanese temple. During the Autumn you’ll love the scenes of Autumn leaves gracefully outlining a waterfall. The only hard part will be throwing out the calendar when 2013 arrives. No I have to admit that I don’t save calendars from year to year. I only have so much space. I just think of the beautiful one to come.
The Ronin Gallery’s large inventory of prints lets me get creative in my gift giving each year. This Christmas season, I’m thinking of Japanese prints for several friends. For example, I have several guy friends of my husband, who are seriously into martial arts. They have black belts and everything. So I’ve been considering some of the Warrior prints for them. They’ll love these warriors in traditional clothing, with their impressive swords.
While I love visiting the gallery and have lunch in NYC, I understand if that’s not possible for you. But don’t forget there’s always online shopping. Check out the roningallery.com.
Deciding to learn how to play the guitar is a big decision for many people. Music lovers look forward to the opportunity to be able to play the music styles and genres that they love, and many of these styles are guitar-driven. Guitar music is universal in its appeal, transcending cultures and generations when it is performed excellently.
Not everyone who wants to learn to play guitar, however, gets the chance to do so, for whatever reason. Some would like to study but are too bogged down by other responsibilities in life, such as career, family, or other endeavors. There are also those who are set back due to the cost, because the prices do vary depending on location, such as guitar lessons in Chicago. So if you are one of those people who gets to benefit from guitar instruction, you should maximize the opportunity and get the most that you can from this art.
Think about your music goals from the very beginning. What would you like to achieve from learning the guitar? Some people want to learn the instrument because they want to be able to play their favorite songs. Others simply want to add the guitar to their list of regular hobbies, and this is actually an excellent idea because music has been known to have many therapeutic benefits for the body and mind. Some also take up guitar in the hopes of finding a professional career out of it.
Maximize your guitar lessons by not only relying on your scheduled lessons, but also practicing and going over the lesson content on your own the rest of the week. Practice will make you master the instrument faster. A student who only picks up the guitar and plays during the lessons will progress much slower than the other student who practices every chance he gets. The cost of lessons can also be quite steep, so it would be a waste to not try to master the techniques on your own. Take advantage of the opportunity to learn, and practice every free moment that you can spare.
It’s not even halfway through your workday, and already the group assignment is quickly turning into a clash of personalities with everyone throwing bad ideas into the hat, the coffee machine broke and that inevitable deadline is rearing its ugly head, and the luxury bedroom furniture that you ordered 8 weeks ago isn’t arriving for another 3 weeks! If you have to stay late at the office tonight, Little Annie’s cupcakes for the bake sale will not be ready for tomorrow morning. Uh-oh, did you just send that email to the entire office?
Well, if you are like most people who are looking for effective ways to de-stress, there’s nothing like some rockin’ jams to transport you into a better state of mind and well-being.
Beethoven, a man of tremendous musical endowment, wrote some of his best work during periods of encroaching deafness. Adele has beautifully translated heartbreak and sorrow into Grammy Award-winning hits. Everyday there are stories about artists scribing moving vignettes of their lives set to music, and one can only ascertain that stress or some other poignant situation has spurred such creativity and marvel.
If you think only spa music is worthy of any calm-inducing status, consider adding these to your playlist:
1. “Do It Again”, Steely Dan.
This band defines the quintessential “I’m-having-a-backyard-bbq” discography for any commendable host looking to win extra brownie points with his guests. What this particular song is actually about is open to interpretation, but if you are reading too much between the lines on this one, maybe it is time to call it a day. Something about good old American jazz rock that works to calm even the most frayed nerves, so let’s not take it too seriously.
2. “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin”, Michael Jackson. If you really want to get revved up, the King of Pop will get you out of your seat and onto the dance floor, of your office or wherever you happen to be working, that is! He’ll have you moonwalking that report to the boss’s door in no time!
3. “Comfortably Numb”, Pink Floyd. Okay, I am not advocating self-medication in any form, but there’s no denying this song has quite the soothing quality.
4. “Turn! Turn! Turn!” The Byrds. Despite its conception during one of history’s most tumultuous times, this song always evokes thoughts of long days, faded denims, braids and yes, peace.
5. “#9 Dream”, John Lennon. Whether this song was about feeling lost or about nothing at all in particular, it is quite ethereal and can make anyone temporarily forget about that troublesome workday.
In today’s world, people like to collect work of arts and want to invest in beautiful creations, which can be either for the office or for the home. There is no doubt that when you invest in such art forms, you are bound to gain considerable returns on your investment. It has been jokingly said that when you invest your hard-earned money on art, you can enjoy it while you wait to reap the fruit of your investment. Investing in art is definitely a form of business and like any other business type; you are governed by the forces of supply and demand. There are other aspects as well which affect the arts business which is rarity, the state of the art form, validity and the aesthetic value. It is definitely important to have some basic knowledge about arts and paintings, so that you can make a good choice regarding your investment in art.
When you have made up your mind regarding making the investment in arts, you will find that you can do this through numerous ways. You can start by visiting renowned art galleries that have been known for selling authentic artwork. You will be surprised to learn that some of these galleries only sell limited artwork editions.
If you have been looking for some of the beautiful paintings, then you can search for these paintings at museums, galleries, auction houses and also on the internet as well. Also, you will find canvasses that can offer you a good sell. Equipping yourself with the first-hand information about art is quite important before you plunge into buying any work of art. If you want to find out the right knowledge regarding arts and paintings, you can get hold of books and magazines which will help you to educate yourself. If you are looking for such kind of magazines and books, you can look for them in libraries and bookstores and you can search them out in the arts and crafts section of the library.
You will be able to amass great knowledge by reading such books. Once you have got hold of the right knowledge, you will be able to buy the best of the paintings. Also, before you buy the painting, make sure that you carry out a good amount of research on that. Do not go in for buying any paintings in the peak season as you might end up paying double the real cost of the painting. While you are purchasing paintings online, make sure that you utilize the discount codes that are available to you.
Make trendy charm bracelets using European style beads and tags from the Charm Factory – a shop that specializes in unique arts and crafts supplies for those who make jewelry. Imitate the popular Pandora, Chamilia, Biagi and Troll charm bracelet designs using silver or pewter Luv Link beads, Murano or Lampwork glass beads and funky letter and rhinestone beads as well as unusual colorful enamel pieces.
Customize your jewelry with tags that can be engraved with a message, date, name, image or logo. Put your creative talents to a practical use by designing a series of charm bracelets for Christmas gifts and attach a personal jewelry tag with your very own logo. Just like the designer Juicy Couture signature bracelets that come with a heart-shaped tag that says “Juicy”, you can create a charm with your name or brand, even a simple phrase like “made with love”. Choose your own charm bracelet tag design from the sterling silver, silver plated, stainless steel, copper or gold plated collections that include rectangular shapes, hearts, and ovals. There are funky charm-style tags in black oxide that can be engraved with what appear to be pink letters – actually achieved because the base metal is copper which looks pink against black oxide. No matter what tag you choose to customize, they’re all easy to attach to any bracelet using jump rings.
Want to go the extra mile to customize your charm bracelet designs? Then order custom cast pewter tags. There are crosses, butterflies, footballs, hearts, long slender rectangles, ovals and round shapes – each with a custom engraved logo, message or name. If you make arts and crafts through a church group, youth camp, or a club, get your name or logo set in pewter and attach the tag-charms to funky European style beaded creations. By adding a personalized tag to any handmade bracelet, you convert an ordinary item into a unique gift, a promotional giveaway, a school carnival prize, or an extraordinary summer camp souvenir.
If you would like to learn more there is a great article about charm bracelets over at 1forjewelry.com.
If you want to improve your health and keep your mind sharp spend a little less time watching TV and more time listening to or playing music. Whether you are stressed because you’ve recently discovered you have a gluten intolerance and need to start a gluten-free diet, need more motivation for your workouts or you want to boost your memory listening to music can help. There are a few specific ways that listening to music can provide benefits to your brain and your body.
Listening to music can relieve stress by lowering your heart rate and relieving stress can provide a range of other benefits. It can also improve your mood and take your mind off of those stresses for a while. Taking a break from stress can improve your ability to heal and it reduces the amount of stress hormones that are secreted.
If you spend about 30 minutes per day breathing along to music that has a slow, soothing beat you can reduce blood pressure. This specific exercise can also reduce stress and provide a sense of calm.
On the other end of the spectrum if you need more motivation for your regular workouts, or motivation to get you to start a workout routine music can be incredibly helpful. Using energetic music you love or simply music with a good, strong beat can help you get more out of your workout. It can help you workout longer or more intensely and it will make your workout more fun so you are more apt to make a habit out of it.
Listening to music fires neurons in your brain that help improve memory and helps improve other mental functioning. Besides stimulating your body it helps to stimulate your mind too.
Believe it or not music may even help you maintain better hearing, if you don’t turn up the volume too loud on a regular basis. Playing music seems to slow the aging process in the auditory cortex, the portion of the brain that can lead to hearing problems. It’s never too late to take piano or guitar lessons.