You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2011.

It’s that time of year again.  A number of my fellow artist bloggers, such as Lori Landis & Wendy Edsall-Kerwin,  are reviewing what was accomplished in 2011 and what they plan to do in 2012.  I find myself in the same place; reflecting on 2011, thinking about 2012.  This has been a difficult post for me to write.  In part, I think, because it requires self-evaluation.

At the end of 2010, I wrote a post about my thoughts and feelings as 2011 drew near.  What is it about a new year?  The anticipation of what lies ahead?  A clean slate?  A chance to improve?  I think there are many answers.

Now 2011 draws to a close and I find myself reflecting on the events that took place this year.  In 2011, my plan was to be fully engaged in all aspects of my life.  That was my personal mantra whenever I needed that extra push.  This concept of a personal word or phrase is something Christine Kane introduced in her blog, which I started following several years ago.

For 2012, I have chosen adaptability as my personal word.  I selected the word, adaptability, because this year taught me that being fully engaged may not be the best course…at least not for me.  I found I took on too many things and as a result, some of the joy I find in what I do got lost.  At times, I started to feel a bit robotic; I was just going through the motions.  Time blurred.  Summer was gone and I don’t remember enjoying it.  Connections felt lost or distant.  Life was passing by and I was missing out on too many things.  Going forward, I knew things had to change.

This year taught me many valuable lessons.  In that learning process, I found I needed to change how I was juggling all my tasks.  I think it is important to adapt and make changes to pursue what works.  Recognize what doesn’t work and let go of it.  The ability to respond effectively to the inevitability of change is both desirable and necessary.  Adaptability helps to ensure our happiness and well-being.

When I think about evolution, the importance of being adaptable to ones surroundings is paramount.  The alternative can be extinction.  I see adaptation as one way to avoid being stagnant.

I am thankful for all the learning experiences I had this year.  I gained so much from them.  From the shows, I found a new gallery and several holiday markets.  I gained insight and understanding about where I want to take my business in the coming year.

So how does this apply to my work?  That’s easy!

  • I’ve begun a new series that I call Treescapes.  I feel I’ve just touched the tip of the iceburg with this one.
  • I have more ideas for the evolution of my Arts & Crafts Impression series.
  • I’ve already started to adapt and modify my business plan for 2012.  A few more galleries, a few less shows.

You see, the ability to adapt leads to necessary changes and growth for me.

As part of that new mantra, I’ve just redesigned my website.  A new look, for a new year and a new vision.

What word or phrase do you feel will help you in 2012?  I hope you will share your thoughts.

May 2012 bring adaptability, light and love to all of us.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.


My Studio Mascots! (Nocturne – left, Newton – back & Bueller on the right)

Peace on Earth.  Goodwill toward men.  Seasons Greetings!!!

Our delightful bassets, Dan & I would like to wish all of you the very best of the season.  May you have the Merriest of Christmases.  Happy Hanukkah.  Feliz Navidad y Prospero Ano Nuevo.  Happy Kwanzaa.  And I hope I haven’t left anyone out as I wish all of you a holiday season filled with love and light.

Thank you for following my blog, leaving comments, and sharing your thoughts and insights this past year.  All of you have touched my life and I am grateful.

Cooperation can be difficult at times!

We hope you will enjoy this special time with friends and loved ones.  We’ve had a blast of winter with lots of snow and cold, so our Christmas will be wintry white this year.  May your travels be safe.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.

December’s topic for the Blog-o-Sphere think tank is, what I do just for the sake of doing it.

Listen to music.  I love how music can alter my mood, feed the creative juices and bring relaxation or energy!

My mom wanted me to learn how to play the piano when I was a child.  I took lessons.  I never practiced enough to be good, but one thing I took away from it was an appreciation for classical music and I love, love, love piano.  One of my favorite piano artists is David Benoit.  What a master.

Jazz is probably the genre I listen to the most now.  Artists like Brian Culbertson, David Sandborn, Richard Elliot….well, I could go on with quite the list.  Let’s just say my iTunes library has a great variety of my favorites.

Listening to music is something I do everyday, just for the sake of doing it.

Now lets see what the rest of my fellow bloggers have shared!

Andes Cruz:
Stephanie Clark: 

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.

Only 8 more shopping days til Christmas, depending on your threshold for braving the shopping malls.  Are you in need of any last minute ideas for your holiday shopping? How about a pair my Ginkgo Leaf earrings from my Arts & Crafts Impressions line?

I’m offering free shipping via Priority Mail in the continental US only. You can shop from the comfort of your home or other location via computer! If you see a pair you would like to give as a Christmas gift, I would strongly recommend ordering them no later than Sunday, December 18th so that I can ship them by Monday, the 19th.

Ginkgo Earrings ~ Approximately 2″ long
Arts & Crafts Impressions

All of these earrings are light weight, which my clients really like. No two pairs are exactly alike. I cut out each individual Ginkgo leaf so they are very natural, just like you would find in nature! The Ginkgo leaves are copper with a bit of oxidation to emphasize their textures. The rest of the earrings are sterling silver, including the ear wires. I did not do a high polish on the silver sections because I thought adding an oxidation to them would compliment the coloration of the copper leaves.

Ginkgo Earrings ~ Approximately 1 1/4″ long
Arts & Crafts Impressions

Ginkgo Earrings ~ Approximately 2 1/4″ long
Arts & Crafts Impressions

Ginkgo Earrings ~ Approximately 2″ long
Arts & Crafts Impressions

Hopefully one of these will speak to you as a nice gift for someone in your life.  If you have questions about any of these, leave them in the comments section and I’ll respond.

Currently, I am working on a Storefront where you can buy more of my work through my Facebook Fan Page.  However, I have run into a few technical difficulties and you can imagine how frustrating  that can be for a techie like myself.  I will continue to work on that and make an announcement here when I have that Storefront up and running.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.

“Awareness” by Anthony deMello is a book that I read over 10 years ago. It has left a lasting impression. One of the most important things this book did for me was make me aware of  the very negative emotion, fear. Mr. deMello discusses how to recognize the signs that fear is trying to take over your decision making.  As far as I am concerned, fear is one of the most insidious emotions.  Decisions based on or out of fear are the worse ones anyone can make.  This book came to me at a time in my life where I could have easily made some horrific decisions had I done so out of fear.  Thanks to the information in this book, I have an awareness that allows me to recognize when fear is trying to influence what I want to do.

Today I want to discuss how fear can block your creativity.  The fear of failure can and does stall us in our creative explorations.  Yet I have found that failures lead the way to successes.  Let me show you some examples.

Variety of soldering experiments and failures.

These sad little gems are in my scrap pile.  Things that seemed like a good idea on paper, but in reality, not so much.  Some are soldering mistakes.  Some are designs that just didn’t work.  I just kept trying things, not letting the fear of failure stop me in my tracks.

Melted bezels

The dreaded melted bezel.  Some can be salvaged.  It’s just one of those discouraging thumps to the head when it happens.   Does it stop me from continuing?  No.  Some days I just know I need to take a break, turn off the torch & the pickle pot, close the door to the studio and come back another day.  The important thing is to come back and try again another day.

I persisted, in spite of those failures, that could have very easily taken me down the path of fearing I just can’t go any further.  Determination is one of my key success factors when battling the fear of failure.  If it was easy, anyone could do it, right?

I believe my persistence paid off.  Elements is a new series I haven’t discussed much in my blog.  Here’s one of the examples from the series.  Those little triangle shapes in my soldering experiment photo show that persistence with that idea finally paid off with this pendant.

Serentiy from Elements
Photo by Daniel Krucoff

Veracity is another new series for me this year.  Putting a bezel around a heart shape can be tricky, but I found a way that works well and have had so much fun with these heart shapes now.  Well worth the initial struggles.

Picturesque from Veracity
Photo by Daniel Krucoff

You see, all those failed attempts eventually led me to something that worked.  The key, I didn’t give up.  I kept trying.  I refused to be afraid to try something else.  I’ll admit that this year I explored many avenues for new works.  Initially, I know I was blocked by a fear of failure.  Once I realize that fear is trying to play a role in what I want to accomplish, I literally relax and block it.  That step, in and of itself, is freeing.  I am able to just go forward, know that I may and will make mistakes as I’ve shown here.  Yet when I keep trying, something wonderful is waiting for me.  In a sense, it’s  like that story about the optimistic child who is presented with a room full of horse manure.  He excitedly exclaims, there must be a pony in here!

We need to seek the positive.  Ignore negativity and adversity, they are fear’s companions.  Their role is to bring us down.  Please don’t let them.

Why this post?  I want all of you to look FEAR in the eye and stare it down.  Become Aware of it and what it tries to do to you.  Don’t let it beat you.  Overcome it.  FEAR is powerful and strong.  It will rule anyone who succumbs to it.  The mere fact that you can recognize it, be aware of it, when it rears its ugly head, puts you on the road to success, new ideas, being creative, tapping into the creative channel that is there waiting for you.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person.

Kathleen Krucoff

Artist and Metalsmith

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