Feed Your Muse!


My muse is mysterious and wonton in her ways.  Do not ask me her name.  I do not know it.  She is elusive, fickle and quite severe on some days, cracking her glorious whip – driving me forward without regard for my need for sleep, nutrition, fresh air, etc.   My back aches from leaning over the bench, my wrist from an injury less than a year ago still fresh on my mind, my eyes cross due to sleep deprivation and still she drives me.
I do not direct my Muse.  She directs me.  It is my job to follow, to be slave to her whims and master her desires.  My muse takes me down rabbit holes, where bright ideas are born in the ‘moments’ fire.  Wonderful accidents lead me in a whole different direction than I set out intending to take.  That leads to breakthroughs.  My success is all to her credit.  I am just the vessel that she fills.

So how exactly does one find their muse?  I recently found this article on finding your muse by Alisha Burk and realized that I couldn’t say it any better.  Check it out and let me know if it helps you find your muse. Here is a small excerpt to whet your appetite:

There’s no doubt that the Muse can speak to us through others. But what makes your work original is knowing which influences to use and which to tune out. It’s an interesting life these days: TV (yay!), internet, IPhones, US Weekly (double yay!), check your email, check your texts, voicemail, multi-tasking (boo!), news, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, “Like”, “Unlike”, post, delete, upload, download . . . . .repeat! This constant snowstorm of information clouds my brain. I wake up in the middle of the night wondering about my inbox (I know, it’s totally obsessive!) Where does it end?! Is there an end?

In the middle if this madness, where does our Muse get a chance to speak to us? Can our inspiration sing if its voice is drowned out by all of these digital voices and influences? I mean, it’s great, this new communication, but every blessing brings its own kind of curse! How do we manage this flood without drowning in it? …”

To read the rest of this inspiring article, follow this link : http://findingyourmuseonlineclass.blogspot.com/

And by all means, if you are a jewelry artist looking for inspiration, be sure to catch my 50% off sale on all of my tutorials in my Etsy shop. Today is the last day of the sale! Remember to use coupon code Happy2014 at checkout for the discount! https://www.etsy.com/shop/TutorialShop


Copyrights and Inspiration by: Mary Tucker

Mary Tucker recently added a very thoughtful post to her blog, The Angsty Artist, regarding giving credit when it is due but also knowing when to take credit for your own work.

…. I have made a design that is 100% the same as Sharilyn Miller without ever seeing that design until years later. Sometimes the matter comes down to whether or not you believe what someone tells you. I have actually felt pressure to LIE and say I was inspired by someone else even when I wasn’t. Just so that I would not look bad. Maybe you have also felt that pressure.

Though I believe in honoring our inspirations and teachers, I don’t believe we should be enslaved by them. I don’t believe it is empowering to set down every jot and tittle of their influences on each piece we make. …

READ THE FULL BLOG POST HERE:   http://theangstyartist.blogspot.com/2010/08/copyrights-and-inspiration.html#links

Making Gemstone Soaps

I have something different to kick off the New Year with today. A fantastic free tutorial on making gemstone soaps. While I am not a soap maker I found myself drawn in with great interest as I read this article by Bonnie Bartley of http://www.Soapsmith.artfire.com and this moved me to share it with you. I really enjoyed seeing the process for making these fantastic soaps. According to Bonnie, it’s not as difficult as you might think. Have a look at Bonnie’s beautiful gemstone soaps and use her free tutorial to make your own.

Guest author Bonnie Bartley on Soap Making:
Hello friends,
I often do demonstrations at soap making conferences. One of the most popular classes is for making my gemstone soap rocks. Today’s blog post is drawn from the handout notes that I offer to soap makers who attend my presentations. Through the years, I have emailed these notes over 700 times to soapers who have requested them. Today I share them with you

Yes, these are truly easy to make. Even my very first attempts came out great, yours will, too. Here’s how!

To read more and see Bonnie’s free step by step tutorial, click here: Soap Rock Tutorial


    Back on Thanksgiving I shared my discovery of spiked apple cider with all of you.   I enjoyed the warm an fuzzy feeling that it brought to me, especially the evening of black Friday, after some hectic Christmas shopping.  I wound down in the studio by experimenting with some new techniques at the bench while Jay, my other half, sat at the other end researching and reading aloud about all manner of Christmas traditions and spirits from around the world.  It was fun stuff, much of it surprising.  For instance, have you ever heard of Krampus?  A mean and nasty goat man who travels with Santa to punish the naughty children.  And how about the three witches who ride brooms over Italy dispensing presents.  Does that amount to contract labor? 

     Lucky for all of you Jay has written two fun and informative articles to share his research with!  You can find them on his blog God Drink’s Beer, or by clicking the links below.

Eight Christmas Characters Most Americans Don’t Know

And in tribute to a wonderful cup of warm spiked cider and the traditions associated to Christmas Carols and Wassailing, see below:

Here We Come A-Wassailing; The Roots of a Christmas Tradition

     ” It’s not Christmas without Christmas carols.  Many of our most traditional carols are filled with lyrics and lines that leave the modern caroler bewildered.  One of my favorite holiday tunes is “Here We Come A-Wassailing,” also commonly known as “Here We Come A-Caroling.”  Just what is wassailing?  Is it just an archaic word for Christmas caroling? … To read more, go here: Here We Come A-Wassailing; The Roots of a Christmas Tradition