Saturday, February 17, 2007

Blessed Beyond Measure

Its been a few weeks since I've posted. Life is hectic and busy as usual. I've shared so many of my trials with you all lately that today I really wanted to share some blessings.

First is the blessing of time. I've managed to find some joy filled hours over the past few weeks to finish up a few projects and start a few more. Time with art is time to heal, to regroup, refocus and find a place of serenity within.

I created this piece today from an antique glass optical lens which I have drilled a hole through the middle of in order to attach the two antique buttons that swing freely around the hand forged center pin. The back has been collaged with text from a 1914 interest table book.

I love the mix of materials, notice the bit of antique purple cloth with the slightest green cast that backs the piece, and though it is hard to tell in the photo, it matches the purple and green hues of the vintage mother of pearl button nearly perfectly.

I have finally put to use some of the skills learned in a class taught by artist Keith Lo Bue to create the iron wire armature and handmade clasp that match the antique cuckoo clock chain so perfectly, but I really have to credit the awesome artist Richard Salley for his long distance help in understanding the technique. If you'd like to try your hand at it, Richard has generously posted a step-by-step photo workshop on his web site. His art is amazing!

I have titled this piece "The Number of Our Days" based on Psalm 90:12
"Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom". How much I take each day for granted. I pray the Lord would help me to grow and learn from his word each day and appreciate every hour he has blessed me with, no matter what the task he gives me for that time.

This piece is titled Morning Light "he is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings the grass from earth." - 2 Samuel 23:4,
Also created from an antique glass optical lens, a hole has been drilled through the glass on this piece as well, to enable the antique button (or is it some type of cuff link?) and the vintage dog tag to swing freely.

I have collaged the back of the glass with vintage text and music using a technique that creates a translucent effect. This enables the bit of pale pink and gold antique cloth to be viewed through the glass as well.

The clasp is the ring and hook that were attached to the antique cuckoo clock chain that I have used as the necklace.

I'll be listing both necklaces on Etsy later today.

A few blessings this month involve opportunities God has brought my way for my art. One is the opportunity to be published in a book about collaborative jewelry making. One of my goals for this year was to be published in a book and that opportunity came very early through the charm swap that I participated in last year. I won't be able to share what I've been working with you for a while, but you can read more about how the book came to be on Kelly's blog.

You might remember this piece titled "Tree of Life"....

And this one titled "Faith"....

And "Sublime"...
I've had the privilege of having them professionally photographed at work (thanks to Gus in the creative department for his help!) and all 3 have been accepted into a juried art show titled "Women's Works 2007". This is a first for me and an answer from God to another goal for this year. I have wanted to enter local art shows for a while and have not had the nerve before now.

I truly am blessed beyond measure. I am loved and highly favored. Saved by grace. When hope is gone and darkness has fallen, I will Rise Up and call myself blessed. I have a Savior in heaven. He sees me and knows my name. He has held me up by His right hand and leads me. When I stumble He will not let me fall, and if I fall He will pick me up again. My eyes will look with hope to the hills for I know my Savior lives!


  1. Crystal,

    I am so excited for you. This is fantastic news and I am not surprised that your work is being published and part of an art show. Your work is always outstanding and original. I totally doing a happy dance for you right now. Praise God. He is forever faithful in all things.

  2. Congratulations Crystal! Your work is so awesome I'm sure it will be well received. These jewelry pieces are beautiful. I have to agree...Richard is one of the most talented and generous teachers I know. He's teaching at Art Unraveled in Phoenix this Aug. for anyone interested.

  3. Congrats, Crystal! I'm so glad I happened to click on your blog and see if there was anything new. Richard Salley is awesome, he's been one of my faves for awhile. I've seen the tutorial your'e talking about, and I love working with wire, so there are quite a few helpful tips on there. Thanks so much for your praise report, I'm glad things are going so well!

  4. way cool!!! love the different layers and mix...
    and love that 'tree' :) :) :)

  5. Congrats Crystal! Love your new pieces and the jewelry is amazing. I've been wanting to start doing some more metal working and hand forging. Thanks for the Richard Smalley link! I saw the charm swap site a couple of months ago and am organizing a similar swap for Artiscape here in Ohio. Should be fun. Hope more blessings keep coming your way!

  6. WOW! Crystal! what a amazing piece of jewelry!
    I love all the details you put into it! :) The freedom you have with found objects is amazing to me!

    Yes, I will be In Chicago on the 4th of august, right after a week in Ohio filming out book :) how close are you to east dundee? My girl friend has a bead shop there and I will be teaching a few classes, it would be great if you could droop by! :)

  7. OHHHHH CRYSTAL! You really are blessed with a talent that is so inspiring!

    Glad I am getting to know you, and I'm glad you are finding your way!!!



  8. Hello, I read about you in the Artella Muse Letter, and I love your work. I am glad you included a link to your blog, I will come back.
    I love the quilt, I took a class from Janet Cooper last year at ArtFest, and she is amazing.

    Gwen Delmore

  9. Glad to see your back...missed your posts and pics!

  10. Amazing as always! zowie. :)

  11. yes, you have an abundance of blessings (and talent!). May goodness continue to flow your way freely!!

  12. You have not posted lately so I know you must be real busy. I hope it is a GOOD busy! Praying that all is going well with you. May you be blessed today by our gracious Lord Jesus!

  13. Thank-you all so much for your wonderful support and encouragement. I feel so humbled to receive any comments to these posts, let alone hearing so many caring and postive voices!

  14. congratulations to you on achieving your ambitions, your work is amazing so this recognition is deserved, love Judy xx