Sleepless nights..

It seems the earliest I ever go to sleep it’s 2am, regardless of the day I had, how early I woke up.

It’s been like this for years and I’ve come to terms with it.

Night time is my time…

Tonight I was listening to “Stand up” by Jethro Tull and I thought I should share this song:

 

I recommend the whole album which you can find here:

I always try to discover new music and listen to music all day long while I work, while I’m doing errands down the street, when I shower, when I’m cooking, when I’m falling asleep (Arvo Pärt it’s perfect for this) ..but I always seem to come back to a few favorites.

I have a playlist that gets me in the mood to do things on a lazy day…

I have music for running…

I have music for stressful days…

I know exactly what to play when I miss certain places..

Music for when I miss certain people..

It is a constant in my life and I am greatful for any recommendations always 🙂

Good night!

*wait.. one more:

 

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.

Why do we collect?- Small Collection- Process

I usually start by displaying materials on a table, I do a small layout to see what I have and the possibilities available, here you can see bits and pieces found on the street, on the beach.. just different walks, as time goes by I also have friends that find little pieces and give them to me just in case I can use them..

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Why is there that innate eagerness of collecting?

Why do we do this? sometimes there is really not a financial value for these objects still, we feel accomplished when we find something that just fits.

But why do we have this light obsession, why do some of us do it, some of us don´t?

I have been very interested in the topic, specially because I try to understand why do I get that light sense of “joy” when I find certain materials, I am attracted to things that have a worn aspect, a sense of time that has gone past them, everything, even the smallest thing has a story.

It is all a way to understand my own nature through making, I like giving these materials a chance, a space, why not?

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“We use keepsakes to stimulate memory, especially to trigger fond memories but even if memory cannot be relied upon to faithfully reproduce a record of the past, it remains vital to our understanding of the past.” Terry Shoptaugh

Photographs, toys, train tickets, the lists are endless and it varies from person to person, do you collect anything?

Back to the piece:

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I made boxes to keep and display them as small treasures and kept experimenting with arranging, re-arranging, and classifying parts of a-big-world-out-there, I found a composition that made sense to me, the piece that fitted each box.

This is the first brooch I made where I did made some boxes specifically for some pieces I wanted to use but for the second one (which I will show you later on) it took a little longer, I made the arrangement and then just waited until I found the correct piece for each box.

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Since this is a brooch I didn’t want the copper to go directly in touch with the clothing so I made a sterling silver frame to give it a bit of volume and stability as you see the boxes are in mixed positions, so having a frame in the back gives me a good space to make the mechanism.

At the same time, I made and soldered bezels, tubes and all the parts to hold the pieces in place.

IMG_1668 IMG_1669IMG_1679Patina and wounded finger:

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Preparing for rivets.IMG_1681

Some are tied with waxed cord, the knots can be burnt and is held securely in place.IMG_1685

Riveting

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And after finishing off, removing some of the patina in certain places, oxidizing and placing the stainless steel needle in the back, this is the result.

It makes a little noise since the bell is  tied and swinging loose 🙂

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After finishing, the piece left me and it’s off in the Museum of Anthropology of Palencia, for a while.

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La Strada

 

 

I decided to go ahead and blog about certain scenes and movies that really get to me, this one for example from “La Strada” , I think what we watch, hear, read, should have an effect on us, if not what’s the point..we are used of just diversion, but details,words and images that stir something inside you are the ones worth watching.

I can’t get enough of  Giulietta Masina she  is perfect in this film, her face is incredible, she is capable of expressing an array of emotions without a word and making you feel closer to the character she portrays..

The Fool: I am ignorant, but I read books. You won’t believe it, everything is useful… this pebble for instance.
Gelsomina: Which one?
The Fool: Anyone. It is useful.
Gelsomina: What for?
The Fool: For… I don’t know. If I knew I’d be the Almighty, who knows all. When you are born and when you die… Who knows? I don’t know for what this pebble is useful but it must be useful. For if its useless, everything is useless. So are the stars!

If you want a  sweet yet powerful movie with amazing acting..you should check this one out.

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