IF- Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it.

Black Cloud-Carlos Amorales

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“Sometimes, seeing one of these moths that have met their end in my house, I wonder what kind of fear and pain they feel while they are lost. As Alphonso had told him, said Austerlitz, there is really no reason to suppose that lesser beings are devoid of sentient life. We are not alone in dreaming at night for, quite apart from dogs and other domestic creatures whose emotions have been bound up with ours for many thousands of years, the smaller mammals such as mice and moles also live in a world that exists only in their minds whilst they are asleep, as we can detect from their eye movements, and who knows, said Austerlitz, perhaps moths dream as well, perhaps a lettuce in the garden dreams as it looks up at the moon by night.”

W.G. Sebald

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This past weekend I saw this beautiful piece in the Contemporary cultural center of Barcelona.. thousands of black butterflies surrounded the place.

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And in this video you can see the motivations behind the piece and a few glimpses of the installation in another place.

Michio Kaku

“Beyond work and love, I would add two other ingredients that give meaning to life. First, to fulfill whatever talents we are born with. However blessed we are by fate with different abilities and strengths, we should try to develop them to the fullest, rather than allow them to atrophy and decay. We all know individuals who did not fulfill the promise they showed in childhood. Many of them became haunted by the image of what they might have become. Instead of blaming fate, I think we should accept ourselves as we are and try to fulfill whatever dreams are within our capability.

Second, we should try to leave the world a better place than when we entered it. As individuals, we can make a difference, whether it is to probe the secrets of Nature, to clean up the environment and work for peace and social justice, or to nurture the inquisitive, vibrant spirit of the young by being a mentor and a guide.”

Jean Dubuffet

                     
                    
                                                                       Apartment houses ,Paris, 1946
I have always directed my attempts at the figurative representation of objects by way of summary and not very descriptive brushstrokes, diverging greatly from the real objective measurements of things, and this has led many people to talk about childish drawing…this position of seeing them (the objects, fh) without looking at them too much, without focussing more attention on them than any ordinary man would in normal everyday life..
   
         
Character, 1944
People have seen that I intend to sweep away everything we have been taught to consider – without question – as grace and beauty; but have overlooked my work to substitute a vaster beauty, touching all objects and beings, not excluding the most despised – and because of that, all the more exhilarating….

I would like people to look at my work as an enterprise for the rehabilitation of scorned values, and, in any case, make no mistake, a work of ardent celebration….

I am convinced that any table can be for each of us a landscape as inexhaustible as the whole Andes range… I am struck by the high value, for a man, of a simple permanent fact, like the miserable vista on which the window of his room opens daily, that comes, with the passing of time, to have an important role in his life. I often think that the highest destination at which a work of art can aim is to take on that function in someone’s life.

                                   
 A little secret that I have sought for a long time by way of a fortuitous encounter quite unrelated to the matter: for example six months I try to draw a camel in a way that satisfies me, and I make a thousand attempts without ever managing to do it. Then one day it is a drawing of a plump on the label of a pot of jam or the shadow thrown by an ink pot, or something or other equally unrelated to the matter that provides me with the solution. This kind of thing has happened so often that I have acquired the habit of always being on the outlook, and when I want to draw a camel I no longer limit myself, as I once did, to looking (only, fh) at camels…
                                                          
                                                                                             Il flute sur la boss (1947)
On Art Brut: Those works created from solitude and from pure and authentic creative impulses – where the worries of competition, acclaim and social promotion do not interfere – are, because of these very facts, more precious than the productions of professionals. After a certain familiarity with these flourishings of an exalted feverishness, lived so fully and so intensely by their authors, we cannot avoid the feeling that in relation to these works, cultural art in its entirety appears to be the game of a futile society, a fallacious parade.
                             
                                                                                                           more here

I’m not afraid to say, that I want everything

Don’t you wish you had the time to just try different things, to experiment with new materials, to spend days in a single project without feeling guilty about not working?

I have a small list of things I want to learn, starting with baking, I wish I could be really good at it and also I want to learn to sew and learn to make specifically 2 things, long dresses and loose straight pants , the list goes on but each craft,  really is a small world with techniques l,tips, secrets, takes practice, patience, money for materials etc

And then try juggling that with real life, work, house work, family time,that thing people talk about mmm yeeee sleeping! and those of you who have children and still have Etsy shops and work from home, I tip my hat to you and admire you so much.

I want to learn about jewelry because is what I do, and when I see other things such as textiles I just think of how to incorporate it in jewelry, and my brain functions toward how to wear something.

And since I got to Antigua like a year and a half ago, for the every first time i traveled here,  I met  him, he is from Japan and who I bought the stones from, and from then and my travels here to today of me living here he has been my stone supplier, then one day I stop by and see him pulling out of some boxes the most beautiful leather bags

– I lost it-

Specially when I found out the whole thing was hand stiched all the little pockets, all by hand because is too thick for a sewing machine.

He  is so kind, and sweet and told me he can teach me a little bit, and I gave him ideas for belts and jewelry and we both have been collaborating this past week making some bags for my shop, using stones I love and that I would have used for jewelry. He makes the structures this while I learn to set stones with leather and make the right stitching so if over time one stitch got loose all the rest would still be there perfectly not like it would with a machine (you know when you pull it and the whole thread comes out 😛  )

It’s so hard because it’s new, is really cool the new tools, the stitching, the leather itself, it’s so beautiful and like he said, in the begining it was made this way, in an artisan way with a few tools and a lot of love and creativity

You know what I learned this week?

I learned that people are ok with teaching about what they do, if they know you will give it your own twist and you will respect the craft, because it’s true I could teach someone how to do the basics in jewelry but if I felt that person is going to make the exact same thing as I , changes everything, so this harmony of collaborating, sharing ideas, it’s so so so beautiful.

Well let me show you the first 2 bags :

 

This one made with ocean jasper, I am obsessed with mustard/yellow tones, and this stone has them all , and along the leather it looks so nice.

And this one with a faceted agate with a little pocket druzy , a belt with a pocket perfect for jeans and a tank or with a long dress like this…

As for mine I did a little stiching of it and is not done but is also one with a belt , I’ll post photos when it’s done..

I’m leaving in 15 days and well I’m a bit sad because I won’t learn as much, but back home I’ll experiment by myself and see what comes out, also I can’t wait to see my family it’s been way too long.

And now I’m off to list these 2 bags on my shop and I leave you with this song where the title of this post comes from and that I can’t get it out of my head..

 

All last month, and a whole new year.

The last month of the year has been really,really special, I’ve been doing so much, seeing things for the first time and learning about how rich and how beautiful traditions and people are here in Guatemala,prepare because this post might be a little long,  this is what happened in December:

First it was the burning of the devil, I had never heard of such thing and well after asking around, the version is pretty much the same but  I liked the most was the one of a taxi driver who told me that when he was a child  people would grab all their old stuff in December, their clothes, matresses back then made of hemp, etc and they would burn them in the front of the house in a way of saying “off with the old, on with the new” this is not done like that anymore because of pollution and sometimes because the whole burning of things got out of hand.. but we have the devil, that it was a must see.

Sadly I waited for it for like a week and then went to ship some packages to the city and didn’t make it back on time for the burning and couldn’t take photos, but you must see the Devil on a bicycle

This was on early December, then there were more celebrations which I managed to go to,

Folkloric dances,delicious food,music,costumes,good friends tons of laughs..

I made a whole album of the folkloric dances that you can find over here

Then there where the celebrations of the Virgin, the cutest thing in the world, with a bunch of little kids dressed up in typical clothing.

the little girls where so cute, and the little boys with painted mustaches it was just too adorable, they had this little scenes where they could take a photo with the virgin

I have a photo with the virgin but I didn’t fit in the chair , some little kids where cracking up when they saw me go in there to take a photo too, and then I told them my friend forgot to dress me up 😛

You can see some photos of this day over here

Ohh I’m so in love with this country, can you tell? I feel so happy, I smile so much , I can’t remember the last time my neck was killing me from the stress..

I had a very mellow christmas with some amazing people around me who I’m happy to have in my life, and got so many cute presents that where completely unexpected that really need a blog post of their own.

I am a horrible blogger and didn’t do a Merry Christmas post, so MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Then some relaxing days where I did manage to make some jewelry, not pressuring myself too much just enjoying what I do.

Some just for fun:

Now the year is done and I am here on the first day of the year thinking what comes next, there is a lot going on, many decisions to take, isn’t it nice we have the power upon our own life to guide it to the path we choose?

There is a trip coming soon, there is a long journey , some sad decisions, some opportunities for growth,one more time of giving it all away to start in a new place, but all this I have to tell you later because is too early and I still have to figure out things myself.

I like the new year, I feel really good, today I’m starting RAW today, remember the ring a day??? now everyone is making a ring a week, is such a wonderful group of jewelers who do amazing work and support each other,  this time we are doing a ring a week, which is very exciting because there is really more time to make some really nice, more planned pieces.

Feeling ready to work, to move, to take on this year..

And wishing all you that this year is the best one  of your life and only my heart knows  gratitude  I feel , for all your support, in so many ways this past 2010

Happy new year!

-Nat

René Magritte

“If the dream is a translation of waking life, waking life is also a translation of the dream.”

Attempting the impossible.

magritte49.jpgI Like this quote

… they evoke mystery and indeed when one sees one of my pictures, one asks oneself this simple question ‘What does that mean’? It does not mean anything, because mystery means nothing either, it is unknowable.”

Elective Affinities.

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“Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see.”

Dangerous Liaisons

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      “The mind loves the unknown. It loves images whose meaning is unknown, since the meaning of the mind itself is unknown.”

The Acrobat’s Exercises

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 by Rene Magritte

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