California living and adventures in creativity

Nov 2

Jonsi concert at Oakland’s Fox Theater

It’s been a long time since I’ve witnessed true creative genius at a concert. My husband recently introduced me to the Icelandic artist Jonsi, and we had the privilege of seeing him perform live at Oakland’s Fox Theater. As a side note, the Fox Theater is stunningly beautiful and in my opinion has the best acoustics in the Bay Area.

Jonsi’s music is very hard to describe. He sings in English and in Icelandic, but for me, the lyrics seem insignificant compared to the grandeur and complexity of the music. His music is bold and mysterious and takes you on a journey, building to a point where you are left heartbroken.

I didn’t know what to expect seeing him live - I thought it would be impossible to pair visuals with his music genius - Turns out I was very wrong. As you can see in this video my husband took, his videos complement his music perfectly. I felt as though I was transported into a musical short story with illustrations.

The true test of a concert in my opinion is how long it stays with you. It will be a long time before my mind stops drifting back to Jonsi’s performance. What a rare treat!

tags:   music   inspiration   art
Jan 11
Stacey Winters Photography

Inspiration

Maybe it’s a beginning of the year thing, but inspiration is the key to many great things in life and should be shared on a regular basis.  According to one definition, inspiration is “the arousal of the mind to special unusual activity or creativity”.  One of the most treasured aspects of being part of the Etsy community for me is the exposure to so many inspiring artists, their creations and their stories.  As a result, I’ve decided to start an Inspirational Series on my blog.  These features may include an object, a photo, a story, anything that I come across that inspires me.  I hope by sharing it on my blog, it will also inspire you.

To kick off this new series, the first thing that came to my mind is Stacey Winter’s photography, specifically her awe inspiring Daily Photojournal Blog.  Her blog is truly like a breath of fresh air.  Her photos are so fresh and gorgeous, and in my opinion the lighting literally pulls at your heart strings (literal example above).  For me, she captures the everyday beauty that surrounds us all, but frames it in her own signature way.

Visiting her blog provides me with the dose of inspiration I need.  Stacey also has a charming Etsy shop where she sells primarily photographs of vintage items.  The combination of her photography and one-of-a-kind vintage items is a stellar combination.   

What inspires you today?

Stacey Winters Photography

Inspiration

Maybe it’s a beginning of the year thing, but inspiration is the key to many great things in life and should be shared on a regular basis. According to one definition, inspiration is “the arousal of the mind to special unusual activity or creativity”. One of the most treasured aspects of being part of the Etsy community for me is the exposure to so many inspiring artists, their creations and their stories. As a result, I’ve decided to start an Inspirational Series on my blog. These features may include an object, a photo, a story, anything that I come across that inspires me. I hope by sharing it on my blog, it will also inspire you.

To kick off this new series, the first thing that came to my mind is Stacey Winter’s photography, specifically her awe inspiring Daily Photojournal Blog. Her blog is truly like a breath of fresh air. Her photos are so fresh and gorgeous, and in my opinion the lighting literally pulls at your heart strings (literal example above). For me, she captures the everyday beauty that surrounds us all, but frames it in her own signature way.

Visiting her blog provides me with the dose of inspiration I need. Stacey also has a charming Etsy shop where she sells primarily photographs of vintage items. The combination of her photography and one-of-a-kind vintage items is a stellar combination.

What inspires you today?

tags:   etsy   pretty things   art
Sep 22

Mad World

I absolutely love this video and feel a need to watch it ever so often.  It is equally haunting and beautiful.

We actually saw Gary Jules perform in a tiny venue in San Francisco and he was great; very laid back and authentic.  I really enjoy his music,  especially his CD Trading Snakeoil for Wolftickets, which reminds me of my time living in San Diego.

Why does it seem like there aren’t as many amazing music videos out there? Or am I out of the loop?

tags:   art   music   gary jules
Aug 31

Etsy artist of the week - Nothing But String

category - textiles; crochet

The name of Nothing But String’s Etsy shop is absolutely perfect.  It is truly amazing that from simple string, Emily makes her complex creations.  Shown in the first picture is her Sugar Cane 3 Piece Lariet in Irish Crochet.  This scarf is truly a work of art.  The colors, the design, the texture and the 3D nature of the piece is one of a kind.  Also pictured is another breathtaking scarf she calls Handmade Crochet Applique Field of Flowers Scarf.  The detailing of this cascading scarf is mesmerizing.   Emily offers a wide variety of creative, whimsical pieces for sale in her shop.  I loved her delicate crocheted rings so much I had to purchase one for myself :)

Emily shared her story of how she got started with crocheting which she tributes to her Italian grandmother who taught her crocheting at a very early age.  Over time, she began to be interested in Irish crochet and tapestry crochet.  Often inspired by flowers and chainmaille, Emily has created a unique niche for her pieces and signature jewelry.   Definitely take a moment and look at her lovely work in her Etsy shop.

tags:   etsy   pretty things   art
Aug 4

A special place.

Situated about 20 miles north of where I live, the Allied Arts Guild is a breathtaking  garden oasis which is home to open artists’ studios, a wide variety of unique shops and a lovely restaurant. The history of this place is fascinating, and since 1929 Allied Arts Guild has consistently supported a rare combination of priorities to include; providing an inspiring environment for working artists, maintaining beautiful gardens and historic buildings, offering unique shops showcasing handmade goods, and perhaps most significantly, supporting critically ill children via donations to the Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital.

The grounds are simply spectacular, and the buildings are the old California Spanish style architecture which is my favorite.  I feel incredibly proud to have californiablue jewelry being sold through Allied Guild’s Artisan Shop and to support such a unique and admirable combination of priorities.

tags:   art   gardening   home   pretty things   Allied Arts Guild
Jul 17

Etsy artist of the week - Shanineal

category - Felted textiles

I couldn’t choose just one of Shanineal’s gorgeous clutch purses to picture so I picked 4 of the same design, but in a spectrum of colors to give you an ideal of how lovely these are!  As you can see, the colors of each are incredibly rich, and the photos beautifully depict the texture of her felted works.  In addition, the detailing on each purse gives off a vintage flair, and is uniquely continuous (see other photos of her entries).  Shanineal’s Etsy shop offers a wide variety of beautiful felted work making it extremely difficult for anyone to pick just one favorite.  She states in her profile that she has “a love of color and an addiction to wool”.  The marriage of these two passions are beautifully presented in each piece.

Lavender Poppy Felted Clutch Purse

Tangerine Poppy Clutch

Poppy in Pink Felted Clutch Purse

Plum Poppy Clutch Purse

tags:   art   pretty things   etsy
Jun 29
Etsy artist of the week - Alison Woodley Woven Textiles
category - textiles
It is hard to make any generalizations about Alison Woodley’s unique textile pieces.  They all seem to have a story to tell, starting with a foundation or infastructure from which the piece is slowly revealed thru it’s details.  The pictured piece, Quilted Purse, incorporates a beautiful grid pattern within the handwoven wool which acts as the backdrop to the carefully selected accents.  The choice of materials and placement of the pink outlined cell and the application of printed material which occupies 2 cells is whimsical and provides a signature to this lovely little purse.
Alison’s textile work expands into what she terms original textile artwork.   These pieces are actually cards, but work perfectly and perhaps more appropriately framed.
I like the aura of simplicity her work gives off while at the same time presenting  the true complexity and detail each piece offers.  Each piece is truly a work of art.

Etsy artist of the week - Alison Woodley Woven Textiles

category - textiles

It is hard to make any generalizations about Alison Woodley’s unique textile pieces.  They all seem to have a story to tell, starting with a foundation or infastructure from which the piece is slowly revealed thru it’s details.  The pictured piece, Quilted Purse, incorporates a beautiful grid pattern within the handwoven wool which acts as the backdrop to the carefully selected accents.  The choice of materials and placement of the pink outlined cell and the application of printed material which occupies 2 cells is whimsical and provides a signature to this lovely little purse.

Alison’s textile work expands into what she terms original textile artwork.   These pieces are actually cards, but work perfectly and perhaps more appropriately framed.

I like the aura of simplicity her work gives off while at the same time presenting  the true complexity and detail each piece offers.  Each piece is truly a work of art.

tags:   art   etsy   pretty things

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About me

I live in Northern California with my husband and three cats (Pinky, Newbie & Henry). This blog explores creativity in many forms and simple daily pleasures. californiablue handcrafted jewelry is my creative outlet and inspired by where I live. Contact me

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