Sunday, September 18, 2016

Artist's Sunday Special Edition: Revitalize!

As (hopefully) many of our various and sundry followers know, Twinflame Studios has somewhat withdrawn from Etsy due to personal disagreement with some of their recent changes in policy. We still have a presence on their site, to support other artists, but we no longer sell through their company. This has gone on for some months, with no internet shop presence for the Studio, but our dry spell is (also hopefully) over.

Fox has discovered another online marketplace, set up much the way Etsy used to be. Their listing fees are percentage per sale - as in we artists only pay if we sell! Over the next few days, I'll be posting listings at Foxfire Musings, as a sort of test run to see how well the website works. It's all active and ready, just in time for the holidays, so have at! If there's a piece you've been eyeing in our FB or deviantART gallery, feel free to request it be listed for sale.

Support (real!) local, handmade, etc, this holiday season. Try out instead, and let me know what your experiences are like!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Foxfire Daily: Who are you supporting over the Holidays?

For me it's an easy choice... but mostly because of my budget. I'm supporting my family and kids. And I'd like to ask you to do the same. Support your own family and kids first, and then your friends, and then locals you don't know. Or, y'know, my family and kids... *grins and winks*

Don't support the big names. Don't support the corporations.

Do support the little guy. Do support your local (or not-so-local) small businesses and artisan crafters. Your purchases have much more immediate and important impact on these people. Your purchase affects an individual, a husband and wife (or varied permutations thereof), their (possible) kids, et cetera. Your purchase directly impacts how good their kids' Christmas will be. Your purchase will directly affect that business's tax season coming up in a few months, their rent this month, whether they can give their employees Christmas bonuses... you get the idea.

Make a difference. Buy local/small business/artisan craft. For example... yeah, maybe a necklace from me will cost you a bit more than that $5 shiny from Claire's... but your purchase of my handmade necklace might just buy a Christmas tree for my family, or a couple tanks of gas to get Dragon to work and back so he can buy presents for the kids, or it can go towards a couple of tables and displays so we can start doing local craft shows, or... 

To this end, our friend Mr. Marsten has put together a holiday catalog of links to artisan crafters, including us, for your perusal.  So go peruse The Narrator's Study Holiday Catalog for great gift ideas that support individuals and families directly. Or, if you happen to be an artisan crafter who hasn't been in touch with Mr. Marsten, send him the link to your wares so he can add it to his catalog.

Love, Light, and Blessings to you and yours this holiday season!
Merry Christmas, Blessed Yule, Happy Hogmany...
-your Artful White Fox

Monday, November 2, 2015

Foxfire Daily: Onward and Upward...

Also known as: a step in the (hopefully) right direction.

Dragon has gotten a job... 45 minutes away. Prohibitive on gas, but at least he's working. Potential for great things, but also potential for this to be hugely wasted time. We're tired of the knife's edge... we're ready for something stable to stand on. We are both hopeful and discouraged. The oldest child is being overly teenager-ish, and the youngest is potty training. The middle child is wholly and uniquely herself in the midst of all the chaos, bless her. And in the meantime...

Dragon's creativity is being given an unexpected outlet at his work, which he's discovering he is both good at and enjoys - event organizing. Who knew? Parleying that into something greater... looking into it.

I have gotten my first official art commission in years... from a local church member, of all things. (insert absurd giggles here) It's giving me fits, but what does one expect? Church art. Creative brain does not want to even...

One step. Find gratitude. Another step. Synchronicity. Keep walking. Intention. Never stop moving.

This has been just a quick update; this blog and Twinflame Studios in general has suffered over the past few (very) busy months, and I'm feeling the call again, so... one small step. Etsy is no longer a viable option for us due to disagreements with their policies on certain things; Amazon's marketplace is untenable for the same reason. So we're looking for alternate options. Artfire requires a subscription of sorts, which is also unworkable right now. Fox's jewelry is up in several art galleries, including our FB gallery, but it's awkward to arrange purchases. Local craft shows cost money we don't have. It feels like there's too much take and not enough give, but I'm not sure where to prod to get it to come back into balance.

One day at a time. Breathe. Center. Believe. Intend. Small mercies. One step.

-your Artful White Fox.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Business update

Unless and until such time as matters change, Twinflame Studios will no longer be selling through Etsy. We are displeased with some of their recent enacted policies and will be withdrawing our business from their site. This includes buying from or advertising sellers' items on Etsy. If you are an Etsy artist but have personal galleries/websites, we will be happy to advertise your work from your personal galleries instead.

Our account on Etsy will not immediately shut down, but you will be seeing much diminished activity. 

We will keep you updated on where and how you may peruse our creations. Currently this is on our Facebook and our deviantART.  You can also find us on Twitter, although we're not currently very active. Thank you, and please bear with us as we transition to something that is hopefully more palatable for everyone.

-your Artful White Fox.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Artist's Sunday, Winter Edition: the Frosty Sea

This Artist's Sunday is dedicated to another of your Artful White Fox's favorite precious stones: pearls!

Pearls are another organic gem; that is, one not formed by mineral crystallization (think quartz crystals), much like amber or jet. Pearls are made by oysters, when a grain of sand or something else irritating gets inside their shell, they secrete a substance called nacre which builds up in layers to protect the oyster's delicate flesh from the irritant. Many oyster farms are dedicated to pearl farming, and often seed the oysters with specially shaped irritants in order to get specially shaped pearls. They're the June birthstone (funny story, this is why my Mom hates pearls... she doesn't like that pearls are her birthstone. I told her I'd trade if I could - mine's blue topaz, which is ok, but I do love pearls). They are also a big favorite for weddings.

This is my time of year, my own personal perfectly uncomfortable and yet fitting juxtaposition... my birthday is on the Winter Solstice. If you know me, then you know I am a scrawny bit of 5'3" with no extra body fat to speak of (too high a metabolism), and before you think, "lucky girl" let me just say that it's a pain the butt... but that's for another post. The point is... I get cold. Very cold. Very easily. Any body heat I create just doesn't stay inside unless I'm wearing plenty of layers, even indoors. So I was born at the height of the time that causes me the most physical discomfort. So I find other ways to enjoy the season... and looking for gemmy inspiration in the middle of the frozen wasteland of winter is just as good as any other.

What gemstones come to mind when you think of winter sparklies?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Artist's Sunday #10: Thanksgiving, or "and now, for Something Completely Different."

I'm going to change it up a bit this Sunday, and instead of featuring other artists' works (yes, I know, that was the entire point of Artist's Sunday and all that), I'm going to present a story, and call for you  artists, crafters, writers, and all you other creative people out there to do the same. I'm going to tell you the story that best demonstrates why I continue to create and share my art.

I'm going to tell you the story that shows most perfectly why I am thankful for the talent and skill and opportunity to make art and share it with the world. (See what I did there, I worked in Thanksgiving. Hee hee.)

In truth, the point to Artist's Sunday was, is, and will always be communion between like-minded individuals. Whatever our internal disagreements - over mediums, materials, techniques, pricing, advertising, etc., etc., etc. - we are still artists, still of like mind, still creating beauty to share with the world.

So here's my story:

It was the Stone Mountain Highland Games of... oh, several years ago, back when I was first learning some of my now-favorite techniques and mediums, back when I was still affiliated with the Wild Highlanders, selling my jewelry under their aegis. I had just finished some classes at a local jeweler's, on Precious Metal Clay(PMC) and chainmaille jewelry. The PMC pieces I'd made went on the table next to my beadwork, my purposely primitive ogham pieces and equally (but not as purposely) primitive wirework... and what do you know, the PMC got the most attention that year. Part of the class had been on how to create a PMC box and include gems in the piece. Mine was an (I thought) ugly little abstract trapezoidal thing with three little gems embedded in the random, pointless swirls on its face. 

Someone didn't agree with my assessment of the underestimated little box, however. A woman stopped by the tent, browsed over my now-ex-husband's handmade knives (the Wild Highlanders tend to celebrate the more ancient and primitive Celtic ways over the more modern Bonnie Prince Charlie stuff), and then gave my jewelry a quick, brushing glance. Now, I'd seen this woman stop at several other tents, give their merchandise that same brushing glance, and move on. I noticed she was wearing jewelry from a couple of the other artists at that Games, namely Marc of Kent and the Crafty Celts, and with an idiotic, delusional certainty, I just knew she'd pass by my work, same as I'd watched her do at the other tents. 

I was dead wrong. It took her less than five minutes to decide she wanted that ugly little box. I was thrilled, because her eyes sparkled with a delight that lit up my life. Now, un-remembered to me, this dear lady was the same customer who had, the year before, purchased an antler pendant inscribed with a harp and the ogham for Taliesin the Bard. I told her a little of Taliesin's story, and as things will go, I'd forgotten the incident. If you've ever been a vendor at a craft fair, you know how it goes; so many people stop and chat, some purchase and some don't, but it ends up being hard to remember faces after a while. So, anyway, I told her how excited I was that this particular little piece was going to a good home, and she looked at me in this piercing sort of way, and told me that the Taliesin piece had been a blessing. It took me only moments to put it together - the Taliesin piece had been one of my favorites, after all - and as soon as she saw the recognition in my face, she went on to explain it. She was a harpist (harper?), specifically playing the Celtic lap harp, and she'd fallen out of practice for a few years before purchasing my Taliesin piece - health, life, etc getting in the way. The pendant had been like a talisman for her, inspiring her to get back into playing, and she wore it every time she sat down to practice.  Due to my work, my art, this dear lady had gotten back into doing something she loved, that warmed her heart and blessed her spirit. 

Come to find out, she was the wife of one of the Games commissioners, and her purchase of the ugly little box came just as some inner commission politics were trying to edge the Wild Highlanders out of the Games. She and her husband (who was proudly wearing one of my ex-husband's knives in his sock), argued our case to the Games Commission, and ultimately won.

Not only was my art instrumental for this lovely lady's own artistic life, but it aided in avoiding an unpleasant situation and the loss of the biggest Games the Wild Highlanders attended. And this is why I continue to make my art... because it touches lives, in ways I can never predict, and I can't wait to see how the ripples spread. 

Now, it's your turn! My call out to all you other artists this Sunday, is to dig deep (or maybe not so deep?) and find the story that best displays why you continue to make art in spite of all the mud that life flings in your face.

Live, Love, and Make Art
-your Artful White Fox.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Artist's Sunday #9: Delicious, Rich, Creamy, Sensual...


I bet you were expecting something like "lotion" or something foodie-related... but instead today is about Amber.

Amber is a fossil; tree resin (sap) that hardened and fossilized to form the delightful gemstone that ranges in shade from an almost-white cream to a deep brown that is nearly black. There is also Green Amber and Blue Amber, which is the most rare, and found almost exclusively in the Dominican Republic. In fact, blue amber only looks blue in certain light, because of its inclusions. Some of the most desirable pieces have preserved insects or small lizards captured within. Its colors are perfect for harvesttime, blend seamlessly with silver, and go with nearly any other color imaginable. It's the perfect statement accessory, and can be found in so many varieties of color and shape that the possibilities are endless. It is easily carved, polishes beautifully, and even looks gorgeous in the raw! When in the raw, it exudes an oil that is mildly anesthetic, hence its popular usage as a teething remedy, effective for both moms and babies. Essential oils and perfumes can be made from it.

This is, in my opinion, *the* gemstone for autumn. If you've ever seen it or touched it you know what I mean. The colors mirror the changing leaves. The texture is smooth when polished, like a misty autumn day... and it's one of my favorites, if you couldn't tell.

Now, on to the arts!

I have featured this artist before, but these wearable sculptures were too perfect for this edition of Artist's Sunday, so I had to feature another piece:

Until next time...
-your Artful White Fox