Tuesday, October 27, 2009

INFJ What is it, Are you one?

I know some of you have been reading my blog for awhile and have seen me mention that I am an INFJ but may or may not know what that means. I know I promised to answer this awhile back (for Amanda) but forgot and have been busy with other things, but I have remembered and found time so here goes!

The Famous Psychiatrist Carl Jung did studies of his patients and believed that people fell into certain personality or psychological types. His research was studied by two woman a mother and daughter Katherine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers and they helped to refine this to what is know know as THE personality test. To find out your personality type you would take the Myers-Briggs test or commonly known as the MBTI. There are free ones available on the internet and more intensive ones that will take you much longer and you will receive a more detailed assessment for a fee.

There are basically four things you are 'graded' on and it regards how you think, are around other people, take in information, act on that information and make decisions.

You will fall into one of 16 'personality types'. These are designated by four letters, such as mine, an INFJ. Most likely if you have applied for any kind of employment above a fast food job you probably have taken a version of this test, if recently on a computer during an interview. This is used to help employers decide if you are best qualified to do the job you are applying for and how you can be best used to the advantage of the companies needs.

For instance in my case my first letter is 'I', this first letter indicates if the person is an introvert or an extrovert. I think everyone knows what that means so I won't go into that except to say that it has to do with our energy levels not just being shy or outgoing. When you take certain tests it will grade you on each letter as to how strongly you are in that category. I am a high level Introvert, If I remember correctly it was in the 70% area. This does not mean I don't like people but that I am extremely shy around someone until I get to know them and I keep a lot to myself which is influenced by some of my other 'letters' but it also means I prefer to work alone and can accomplish much more when doing so, I gather my energy inwardly not so much from outward influences. :)

The second letter is based on how you take in information and is catagorized by if you do so with your senses or intuition (I call these the inner senses). My second letter is an 'N' for iNtuition (so as not to repeat the first 'I' for introvert).

The Third letter is based on how we take that information and make descisions. Either by thinking or feeling. Thinking types go by past experiences, using logic and objective thinking, the feeling type goes by what could be termed a gut instinct combined with our personal value system. Mine is the latter.

And the final Letter is based on our basic day to day habits and lifestyle. This is how we deal with others and the outside world. Do we prefer organization, schedules, order, this would put us into the Judging category, or are we spur of the moment, seat of the pants, go with the flow types that don't need as much structure in our environments? I am the former. :)

So now you know a bit about what the INFJ stands for! So if you'd like more information you can check out this link to read a quick summary of the infj personality type. If you'd like to find out what type you are there are numerous tests out there and it is recommended to take more than one at different times to get a better, more accurate reading but you can start with this one here.

As you will read if you check that link about the INFJ, you will find that Infj's are very rare, we only comprise 1% of the population, so if you aren't an infj chances are you may have never met one or have and because you didn't understand them because they aren't of more familiar types not gotten to know them which is sad because we are very loving and caring people, not to mention many are very artistic. And that is what I am hoping to do with this post, 1, to inform others so they can understand me a bit more but my ultimate goal is to hopefully find other infj's that are artists. Thankfully through talking about this casually through my internet connections I have found three so far which without the internet I think I never in a lifetime would have run across and they are all wonderful! So if you decide to take the test or already have and are an Infj, I would love to hear from you. You can leave a comment here or write me privately at organicodysseys@gmail.com. I would so love to hear from you even if you aren't an infj but have an intuitive type. I am starting a group for artists only in any medium of all personality types that are compatible with infj's as well as a special spot for infj's to discuss our uniqueness and to help and support each other so let me know!


Monday, October 26, 2009

Bracelets........Copper and Cows

I just finished posting my entry for Art Bead Scenes October Challenge over at Flickr.

This months art piece was very different from the past months, it was a primitive folk art piece done by Ruby C. Williams, chosen by Jennifer Heynen of Jangles.

The title of this painting is 'Piano Playing Cow' and is quite colorful!

Above you can see my interpretation of this art piece. As I described it over at Flickr:

"This is my entry for the October Art Bead Scene Challenge. The painting this month was 'Piano Playing Cow' by Folk Artist Ruby C. Williams.

This was a challenge for me in many ways. First I did not make any polymer clay beads for this, which would have been so easy to do given the colorfulness of the painting :) . Second I choose to not be as literal in my interpretation. And third I had a chance to try out some new tools and also to practice my wire wrapping which I haven't done in awhile and have never done this much in one piece before.

I used the colors of the painting, the grass green, the deep sky blue and the orange of the cow in my bead choices, these are handmade glass beads. To interpret the piano I used white crackled column beads for the white keys and round black beads for the black keys. I also attached a G clef (store bought charm) as I love the look of it, it always denotes music to me. I repeated that curled design in almost all of my beads wrappings with coils, especially the white 'keys'.

I found a pewter milk bottle in my bead collection from a very vintage charm bracelet and attached that, but the cow deserved more recognition, so I added a metal charm I made myself that says 'MOO', the name of this entry. And last but not least, I wanted to include another known bead artist in this piece and since there was so much silver I decided on this wonderful rustic and organic looking silvered glass bead by the Lampwork Diva herself Cindy Gimbrone."

I have been gathering a lot of new tools lately and also stock piling metals for upcoming designs, using any coupons I can from the craft stores and even shopping at automotive and mens tool stores~! I've gotten pounds of clay and think I am just about set for winter since I don't go out unless necessary due to an accident I had in the winter weather that has semi disabled me.

Come November I will be reopening my shops, as well as a new one so stay tuned!

I've also been discovering some new blogs lately and one of these is called Sweet Bead Studio which is a beautifully designed blog by Cindy Wimmer. Her name may be familiar to some and if not, stop by and check it out. Right now (two days left!) she is sponsoring a giveaway of the newest edition of Easy Wire by Beadwork Magazine. Her beautiful copper bracelet graces the front cover, and part of the first prize is all the items needed to make it! I can testify that the magazine is worth getting. There is also a cool pair of earrings she designed in there as well and many designs to help you in your jewelry making skills. Also a beautiful necklace by Sharon of Bijoux Jardin can be found in this issue as well. So stop on over and check out Cindy's blog and see her beautiful bracelet and other wonderful things there!

Enjoy the week as the weather paints the trees in their most colorful array before they fall!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

New things

Been working on some new things lately, in the studio and in the shops over at etsy. I've also been rearranging the house. It is amazing how many things you have to move around and rearrange when summers over and you have to bring in your plants. I happen to have lots of them (picture coming soon) as I love having green living things around me, especially in the fall and winter months. We also decided to not keep our golden koi (who lives in a barrel pond on my porch during the warmer months), in that down in the basement, so off we went and got an aquarium to winter him over in. I just got it set up and will hopefully be able to find something to catch him in tomorrow and get him in there.

I've been wanting to change my banner on my Organic Odysseys shop for awhile and had a temporary one in place, and now I have a semi permanent one. I'm not sure if I like it totally yet but would appreciate a look from you and a comment to let me know what you think, no matter what!

I may change the one here on the blog as well as it's the same one I used to have at the shop. Do you think I should change it? to the one on the shop or maybe something different? All ideas welcome!

OrganicOdysseys at Etsy.

I've also gotten some treasury's recently. I have been looking at these lately like collages of art. And then I take a screen shot of them and can use them later for color inspiration. Kind of a twist on Maggie Maggios color lesson on making collages.

Posted above are the latest ones, take a look and let me know what you think.

You can click on them to take you there, but after they expire I will revert the link back to the larger sized photo.


Friday, October 16, 2009

What eating organic can do for the environment as well as You!

Do you eat organic foods? drink organic drinks like milk, juice, etc? If so you know that it is better for your overall health but did you know how much impact this has on the environment's health?

Organic Valley is a dairy that has been tracking this kind of thing for over two decades. They make all kinds of delicious things besides the best tasting milk, cream, half and half. They use their milk to make delicious cheeses, cream cheese, cottage cheese and butter.

I subscribe to their newsletter and they recently sent me this cool link to see how much of an impact using just their organic products have on the environment. Go there to see what you are saving the planet and helping to keep not only yourself but the earth you live on healthier!

Just with my dairy usage per year I am keeping 60 lbs of synthetic nitrogen from being used and almost a pound of pesticides being sprayed. 90% of my veggie purchases come from my organic CSA farm and frozen organic veggies so that goes up a great deal more poundage in pesticides.

Now just imagine how much more you are saving if you are eating grains and veggies and meat that are organic too!

If you haven't tried Organic Valley products, go here and check out their products and then go to the top links and on the far left click on 'Products' and then choose 'Coupons' down at the bottom. This will bring you to a page where you can choose coupons to print out so you can try their products!

Bon App├ętit~!


Thursday, October 15, 2009

What are YOU 'rapping' with? - Recycled Packaging

I've been trying to come up with a suitable blog post this week and haven't been too successful. It has been a dreary week for me and today is the two month anniversary of Jazmines death, I can't believe it's been two months already! So as you can imagine I am down a bit. I've been working on revamping my shops and getting them ready for the 'busy' season, and had my one shop opened to work in it and actually made a sale this week. So as I was wrapping this up I decided to do a post on packaging and took some pics to show you.

I've wanted to do so for awhile but never got to it, so now is as good a time as any and maybe you can use some of these tips for this coming mailing season.

You all know I am an organic artist but that also means that I am green too! Many of my pieces are shipped out in hand made recycled gift boxes I make from the few prepared foods I can find that are gluten free. So this means I have a lot and I mean a LOT of Amy's GF Rice Mac and Cheese and Rice Pizza boxes, not to mention my favorite Gluten free and organic Cereal by Environkids. The pile was just getting unmanageable and since I used up a bunch of my boxes sending out my commissions lately, I decided to take this down time and make some more. A couple nights ago I got 10 done along with two new templates.

I've used various tutes on the internet and also experimented with my own. I will leave you some links to try for yourself down at the bottom, but first some pictures.

This is the package I sent this week. Up top and here on the right. The top pic is the front and this is the back side. This envelope I made myself, recycling an old Ready Made magazine which is rather ironic since this magazine is about recycling and repurposing and green earth type things. But I saved the pages I wanted for future reference and tore out the rest. You pick the nicest ones for your front and backs and then you layer the so-so ones underneath, about 3-4 pages, top with the nice page and sew a straight stitch all around. But before stitching you make your back side about an inch and a half shorter than the front side. This will give you the fold over area you need. Then do the same for the front side keeping the page the full size which should be 1 1/2" longer than the back side. Again straight stitch these all around the four sides. I used black thread because I wanted it to show. You can use variegated threads, or use one color that matches your pages for the straight stitch and choose another for when you join them together, as so. Line up the front and back with the right sides out and the bottoms even. Start stitching at the top of the front page which should be facing down and your back side, the shorter side, facing you. Hold pages together and feed through machine, stopping and pivoting on the corners, finishing off where you started and your envelope should be complete.

I used a simple zigzag stitch over top the straight joining stitches which helps to give it another design element and to hold it together better. I also used a quilting foot which made it easier to push all these slippery layers through. Now the envelope is ready for sending.

Inside this one is the item, wrapped in bubble wrap (recycled) with a few peanuts (recycled) to fill in the gaps ( 4 or 5 peanuts), then it is tied with a ribbon (sometimes I have recycled ones for this too) and placed in the envelope. I print out my copy, the customers copy of the invoice and the mailing label all on one sheet of recycled printing paper. I cut apart my copy and file it, then their copy and add that to the envelope, and then tape the mailing label on the front. Try to choose an area that doesn't take away from your design on the pages. I also use these printer stickers which are recycled from my husbands office. They don't print a whole sheet and they can't put it back in the printer so they throw it away. He retrieves it and brings it to me. I use it to put whatever 'signs and labels' I want on there such as: FRAGILE, Do Not Bend, Please!!, Handle wt Care, Hand Cancel. These I place strategically on front and back of package. If sending first class I put two blank labels in the corner for them to have a place to hand cancel. This one was sent out Priority and then just wrapped the label around the top corner and onto the back, so no problem there unless you have cranky postal people. :)

Inside is one of those boxes, and here's a peek inside, I used a left over strip from one end of the package to reinforce the structure. once inside if you have small pieces you can use this to section them off plus when you close the box and push on the top you will see how the strip keeps it from collapsing. Just make sure your strip is the same width as the depth of your box.

This box measures approximately 2 3/4" x 4" and will fit nicely into the magazine envelopes. The envelopes can be used alone as well if you wrap your piece in bubble wrap well and slip into a match box shell. A match box shell is the outer part of a large box of matches, recycled, or use this as a template to make your own from cut up cereal boxes or other cardboard. Just wrap your piece in bubble wrap, tie a ribbon around it and slip it in the match box shell and pop into your envelope!

You can also sent flatter and small things in these single envelopes. Just pick out your pages from the magazine. You will only need one outer piece, this will be your star. Add two more fillers. Now stitch around all four sides joining the three layers together. Now with the right side down you will fold up your envelope to 1 1/4 -1 1/2" from the top. Make a sharp crease along the bottom. Now stitch up with straight stitch or decorative stitch up each side. Then fold over the flap and you have a study mailing envelope! I like to use a rotary cutter with a deckle edged blade in it to trim the edges. Label as with the other envelopes.

I hope these have given you some ideas of how to reduce your footprint and put a little less in our landfills and also to make a unique little extra to go with your special handmade items. Many of these items are again also reusable for your customer so it can keep on going green! Everyone I've sent these too always comments. It is a interesting and unexpected surprise in the mail and good for the environment too!

Here's some links to help you get started.

I've tried this one and it gives you a good sized sturdy box. Remember you can always downsize the dimensions to fit your item you want to box.

From EcoEtsy here is the tute for making the magazine envelopes!

How to fold a simple origami box You can fold these from calendar pages or study magazine front or back pages. I also use up my calendars for these as well as old scrapbooking paper. You just need to square it off first and to make a closed box cut one square 1/4" shorter on two sides first , this will be your bottom.

I'll look some more for the tute on how to make the box I made using the Mac and Cheese by Amy's for some reason can't find it now but will post it as soon as I do!


Friday, October 9, 2009

Interesting bit of news!

I just found out that of the many Treasuries I've curated for Etsy, one finally made it to the Front Page! I was sleeping but others caught it and now I have it documented over at my Flickr Stream.

Take a look if you'd like. It's dreary here today and I've really been wanting to get into my clay but spent yesterday taking advantage of the sun and doing some photo shoots and lots of cooking and baking for the weekend, so this cheered me up a bit!

Organic Odysseys Photostream.

Oh, one other thing I'd like to add. I want to thank Eugena Topina for taking some photos at the Baltimore Clayworks Museum, Adornment Adored Opening and posting them to her blog. This is the show I was so enthusiastic about at the beginning of the week. I must say that my enthusiasm has deminished quite a bit and I am not exactly thrilled with the 'museum standards' they applied in displaying my work and was quite a bit disappointed in that. You can see in the pictures how the necklaces are just hung off the branches with no other support. I haven't posted my most intricate piece for you to see yet but I hope it doesn't suffer too much! I was planning on taking a trip there to see it in person but I don't see the need to now, I know it wouldn't be a pleasant experience. I just hope what doesn't sell comes back in the same condition I sent it in.

UPDATE! After trying for two days straight I finally got another Treasury, take a look, it's called, Give me Life, Not Death!

Tis whispy fine threads that carry this seed to unknown parts to bring life were there was none...

I didn't think it possible to capture the finest threads of the head of a Dandelion seed, more delicate and fine than a spiders thread, but I am amazed at the capabilities of Polymer clay once again.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Lots of Bead winnings!

I have just recently (within the past few months) started to enter beading contests, something I never thought I would do even though I have been beading on and off for over ten years. In doing so I think in everything I have entered so far I have won something which again is something new for me. I think the last creative award I won before this past year was a cooking contest! And that was so many years ago I don't care to think back that far! But as things go, I have been blessed with these winnings of late.

First from ART BEAD SCENE I won the Designer of the month contest which gifted me with some wonderful beads from renowned artists.

The two pewter ones on the right , one a tubular bead with birds and the other a fat little owl are made by Green Girl Studio's and the rest are made by Cindy Gimbrone, titled The Glyph Series beads, antique silver coated ceramic beads and a faux stone hand pendant. Another great prize from this challenge is a Gift Certificate from Evie's Tool Emporium, which I can't wait to go spend! Thanks to all three of you! What wonderful prizes!

I will have to see what I can come up with to highlight these interesting beads. Perhaps I can combine them with some of my winnings from the House of Gems contest. I was again surprised to learn I'd won a consolation prize of $100 shopping spree. There were 300 entries and my submissions were chosen. I recieved the Environmental Awareness award. You can see my entries here ( bottom of page) and here (top of page).

I only had until Sept 30th to take advantage of this GC, and I waited until the last day. Perhaps it was because the win was bitter sweet, I had entered the contest on a whim on the day before Jazmine died. I was trying to get my mind off her illness, and really afterwards I forgot all about it. I had read that we were supposed to be notified but that didn't happen. In fact I never would have known I had won if I hadn't been reading a fellow PC'ers blog, Sharon of BijouxJardin, and saw that she won the Grand Prize, congrats again Sharon!! So make sure if you do enter a contest to check back since they don't always notify you!

I spent my prize on some interesting beads and findings, along with some silver and Gold wire so have lots to work with now.

Last night I was reading ART BEAD SCENE's Blog and wanted to see the new artwork for the challenge and just happened to read one of the following posts from Saturday and found out I'd won another bead offering!

So as you can see I have lots to work with in the coming months!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Baltimore Clayworks Exhibit

This past Spring I was contacted by a representative of the Baltimore Clayworks Museum asking me if I would be interested in participating in an upcoming Exhibition featuring Jewelry made from ceramics, Polymer Clay and PMC (Precious Metal clay). I was hesitant at first, always thinking my art isn't worthy enough but was convinced to participate and I started to think of what designs I wanted to submit.

I wanted a variety since this was a jewelry show and the patrons would be able to actually purchase any of the pieces that caught their eye. I had a few months to work on these and then get them photographed to use for publicity. We were allowed to submit between 10 and 15 pieces.

I chose to use a variety of methods and finishes that I've come up with featuring many different botanicals. I choose herbs, flowers, plants vegetables and even some abstract designs to round out my offerings. The show is titled, 'Adornment Adored' and I wanted my pieces to not only be works of art but accessable in that they would be loved and easily able to fit into the wardrobe of many women and worn on more than one occasion. Now that it is officially started I wanted to share with you some of the pieces I submitted.

They have been advertising the show for about a month here and when I first visited the upcoming shows page I was very surprised to see that one of my pieces was chosen out of the hundreds sent in to be part of the slide show of a few examples of what would be there. There are only 10 pieces shown, from out of over 30 artists (in PC, PMC, and ceramic , which all are represented in the slide show) exhibiting with each at least 10 pieces exhibited so I am honored to be featured in this way. You will find the piece of mine that they included in the slide show right after the stunning circle necklace of the wonderful Louise Fischer Cozzi. Also in that slide show, you will see the works of Versatile and talented Artist Eugena Topina of Maryland and the amazing Elise Winters from New Jersey, my home state. I am humbled to be featured with these fine artists.

Also included in the show are other fine Polymer Clay artists such as Jan Geisen, Angela Hickey, Jill Kollman and Wandie Ortiz, each having their own distinctive style.

They gave me a press release to publish but you can click on the links above for the same info. Just basically:

Adornment Adored

October 3rd – November 6th, 2009
opening reception on Saturday, October 3rd, from 6 to 8 pm.
Admission is free.

If you are in the area during this time, stop in, it's free and I'm sure you will love being able to see such beautiful works displayed professionally covering the mediums of earthen clay, synthetic clay and metal clay. Let me know if you go!

Pieces shown, Picture one, this is a 'fish fossil' brooch with beaded border.Picture two is one of many sets I sent, this one is titled Herbes Organique, and each PC 'coin' features a different herb with the French word for it stamped into the clay and each one is given a different metallic treatment. Necklace and matching earrings with bronzed findings. Picture three is another set, the Wild Carrot done on a three shaded Skinner blend with copper findings. Necklace, Earrings and Ring set. Picture Four is a Necklace designed around the pendant of the fish fossil against a background of bubbles. I made matching beads in the copper clay and placed them with black lava beads on the one side and the other has various moss turquoise on the other. It is finished with Turquoise chips and a copper clay covered magnetic clasp. Picture Five is of the Sage Leaf Barrette that is featured on the Baltimore Clayworks Exhibit page for Adornment Adored! I'll post more of my pieces in an upcoming post. For some reason I can't get Blogger to publish a clear picture.To see these pieces more clearly, just click on them and you will get a clear larger picture. Just be sure to hit your back button to come back to finish reading this post! :)



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