Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My Winged Heart Art

This is where is all began for me...the first pieces of artwork I ever made involved hearts with paper and wire wings, and sometimes messily sewn fabric ones, back in 1999. The wire elements were inspired by one of my favorite artists, Brian Andreas.  I was fortunate enough to be featured in the wonderful book, Taking Flight, which featured an article with a mirrored piece I did with the same signature paper and wire wings. Cloth Paper Scissors featured an article about me and my work (the first time i was ever published in a magazine!), and I just found an image of my work on their Pinterest board! So nice to see those again...they have long since been given away or sold...but seeing my assemblage work inspires me to want do this again. Assemblage jewelry and art is my heartbeat made tangible. Broken pieces made whole and beautiful again....that is me. It refreshes my spirit to read these old heart is still the same kind of heart. I still want the same things from life. I still want to make a difference in the world, even in the smallest ways. Perhaps the smallest ways are best.

photo by Jennifer Valentine,  "Writing in Books"click to visit link
Did I ever tell you how much I love old pencils? I think about the history they hold. Writings I'll never see...signatures, tests, apology letters...I love that about old things. They have stories to tell if we are just quiet enough to listen. This piece required me to very carefully drill holes through the tops of  about 15 old pencils! The wings were actually those cheap puffy fabric wings that I painted with a paint that you can rust.

Below is a heart from years ago (my mother's heart) that was featured on KellyRaeRoberts.Com. It was for an interview and It is made with old garter straps and stained up fabric from an old ironing board (I think i still have some of that.). Oh, how I love old raggedy fabric!
image by Kelly Rae Roberts, click for article

I used the same kind of silver thread for my hearts for years until the last bit left the spool...and I have not been able to find the same thread since. Would you like to learn to make the paper and wire wings? I was thinking about a little tutorial. It isn't as hard as it might seem. I have a little suitcase FULL of old, yellowed tissue paper that I have found stuffed inside old hats at garage sales and various places. This has really got me going now...i feel some more heart art coming on!

Here are a couple more paper and wire winged pieces featured years ago on Lovely Liz Lamoreux's blog back in 2009, when she did an interview with me (SO honored.)!

"Leaving" by Jennifer Valentine
"Flying Irony" by Jennifer Valentine

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

No Matter How Lonely

"You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body 
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
call to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.” 
― Mary Oliver

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Free Easy DIY Earring Display Idea

 I don't like my favorite assemblage jewelry to hide in a box, so I made something simple to display my assemblage earrings that is easy to make, and makes each pair easy to see and enjoy, wear and replace.

What I did~
I added small eye screws from a picture hanging kit to an antique rubber carriage wheel. The rubber is very hard, but very easy to screw into. I used a saw tooth picture hanging bracket for the back. Just nail it right into the hard rubber.
I also used a chemical called "Novacan Black" to make the bright metal of the eye screws look dark and aged.
I did something a bit differently in another post here,  
to display my favorite necklaces with a large antique tricycle wheel.
Hope this inspires you! I love to display my artful collection of earrings. Earrings pictured clockwise from the top are Sacred Cake,  Age Before Beauty, Sacred Cake Fanciful Devices, and Read Between the Lines.

I've even found some for you! just follow these leads by clicking on the photo:

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Affirmation, a Mother's Day Letter to My First Born

My Dear "Little Prince",

            Mother’s Day morning is here, and I reflect today in the rare stillness of early morning; my thoughts turning to you. My first child. Born to me on the edge of 18. I could not stop looking at you. So incredible. So beautiful. So mine.
            I was a natural, even at that age. I know I've told you that before haven't I? I surprised everyone. I just knew what to do somehow, as if guided by something unseen and unknown. A force of pure love. I imagine that is what is called maternal instinct...
            I fumbled through your later years, as I imagine all parents do. We grew up together. I made mistakes that, in my mother's mind, are completely unforgivable. But you have forgiven me before I have even begun to forgive myself. Thank you for that.
            I am writing because I want to share with you one of my fondest memories. I have years upon years of memories stored up in my mind of you and your four siblings...fleeting glimpses of the past, like tiny movies I can play and re-play. And I so agree with  Pavese who once wrote,  “We do not remember days, we remember moments. The richness of life lies in memories we have forgotten.”  Isn't it strange how a memory that only lasts just a few seconds, can change a person so...but the richness of the moment stays with us like sweetness on our tongues after desert is long gone.
            It was 2006. You were graduating from high school. Your father and his wife had the “good” seats, while I had to sit in the balcony section for guests... straining to find you among the sea of caps and tassels and gowns. And it was ok. Your father and his wife are the ones who were there in person, and urged you onward and finally got you to that place, a graduating senior, while i lived 3,000 miles and five years away from you.
            You had just received your diploma and I only applauded loudly as requested by the high school staff. You must have known how hard it was for me to stay reserved. I am never one to be demure! I had to quietly swallow the burst of pride that I felt, and tears of joy mixed with regret and longing leaked from the corners of my eyes. You walked by your father and his wife and found your seat and then it happened.
            As I watched in earnest to catch your eye, you turned around in your seat, searching the balcony crowd for my face.  My face. We made eye contact. You raised your diploma in the air and smiled at me. I waved and smiled back.
            It was two seconds. The most life affirming two seconds of my entire life.

            To be loved by you, I find such grace.
            There are the broken places inside of me that still ache for a second chance to get some things right, though I know it isn’t possible. And I know, as a parent, all parents have those tender, achey places.
            On this Mother’s Day, I want to thank you for your love. For loving me despite all of my faults. For forgiving the seemingly unforgivable. Imaginative, dynamic, beautiful child of mine;  thank you, for your unlimited love and grace.

                                                                                        Love Forever,