Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Water Child - Exploring the irresistible pull

There is something I find utterly irresistible about water. It features prominently in a lot of my designs, the staging of my jewellery, and as a person I find myself lured by it. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what is is about water that I find so captivating, but there are definitely powerful forces at work!

I am a very sensitive person, who is very in tune with her environment. Early on in my life I discovered that water has a certain energy to it. My favorite place to be was in the middle of Lance Aux Epines bay in Grenada, on a small kayak. I'd paddle out far enough away from land to feel utterly surrounded. The thrilling surge of energy I'd get from being out at sea is what kept me going back, again and again. It's hard to hold on to petty problems and concerns, when you're being saturated by something so inspiring.

When I moved back to Canada from Grenada, I immediately had to get a fish tank. I live in a city now and instead of the sprawling beaches I was used to, I have had to contend with acres of concrete. Not so enriching for the soul! Nothing compares to the untamed majesty of Grenada's salty beaches though.
I believe in doing what feels right, and making choices that nurture your soul. This is why I have taken a bit of an aquatic turn with my jewellery design. Most people are starting to get a feel for my style and can see that Caribbean themes and materials are constantly popping up in my designs. Certain choice jewellery items that I am working on seem to come alive when I add a little water at the photo shoot, so I am running with this, and listening to my intuition.

My latest creation (seen to your left) draws inspiration from Aquarium Beach. We frequent this beach to snorkel because a short swim off shore are some wonderful coral reefs, just begging to be explored. It's a perfect location, great for photography enthusiasts. I've taken some of my best photographs of the island from this beach, and I intend to go back to stage some of my jewellery at this hot spot.

There is a restaurant (which hosts amazing parties) along this beach called...what else...Aquarium! The owners are wonderful, and often times we'd walk into the bar after a swim and enjoy a delicious tropical beverage. Aquarium also happens to be one of my favorite restaurants, so naturally we go there frequently to eat. The owners wife is an artist, and she does amazing paintings which I love to check out. She's done a great series on mermaids, and when I'm rich and famous, I intend to buy one! If you're interested, check out Aquarium's link:

Well, you can be sure I'm not going to be done with the whole Caribbean sea/aquatic thing anytime soon! I'm just getting started and have only begun to flex my muscles. Grenada is gearing up to host some of my items at local boutiques, so I aim to impress! Plans for an amazing sea themed photo shoot are in the production phase.

This is such an amazing career to be undertaking, because I'm able to pull so many different talents together to make things work! It's so true that when you find the thing you were meant to do, it will never feel like work! I can't wait to see where things will take me in the future. In the meantime, I'm gearing up to do some swimming!



Friday, October 24, 2008

Boing! Curly girl!

Why is it so hard to find people in the fashion industry who LOVE curly hair? I have lost count over the number of makeover shows featuring stylists brandishing flat irons. I have walked by numerous booths at the mall, staffed by eager sales associates, who eye up any hair with a whimper of a wave, and attempt to stamp it out of existence. Curly hair isn't always seen as pretty, and it makes me really frustrated.

I spent the majority of my life thinking I had horrible hair. I'd brush it out once it dried, and the most I could think to do with it was pull it back into a ponytail. I looked at my sleek straight haired friends and burned with envy. Unfortunatly, a former stylist of mine used to help feed my negative self image. My hair was permanently straightened, many years ago at his salon, and after examining it he said "It's a good thing you're doing this, because you really have horrible hair." He even took pictures of my hair, so we could all re-live the dramatic before and after transformation. I paid hundreds and hundreds of dollars to keept it straight, and purchased a slew of top of the line hot styling tools, just so I'd look more mainstream. After all, if my natural hair was horrible, how could bear it?

My salvation came oddly enough through my mother. She was at the Woman's Show in Toronto many years ago, and there was a stlist there who specialized in curly hair. My mom always wore her hair short, and teased out (blech!) and he took her sorry curls, and with a new technique, and the right products, he turned her hair into magic. Instead of poof and frizz, she had glorious curls! S he kept going to his salon every few months, and gradually grew out her hair. It looked amazing the longer it got. I was watching her go through this process, and I was amazed. Seeing her success made me wish that I had curls to work with also. (At this point, I only thought my hair was wavy.)

One day I found myself calling up this salon, to see if he'd help me style my waves. I was nervous (I didn't want ANOTHER person telling me I had horrible hair), but determined. What I discovered that day was amazing. I was still growing out some permanent straightening I had done, but they were able to work with what was left and show me what my hair was really capable of. My curls were a bit limp because the majority of my hair had been straightened, but the roots had serious promise, so I was encouraged.

I focused on growing out my hair and going in for frequent trims to keep it healthy. Before I knew it all the processed hair was gone, and I was back to the natural me. That was 3.5 years ago. I now know what products curly hair should avoid (anything with silicone in is a major NO), and better yet...what products my hair loves. I learned how to style curly hair too, which is really important. It's so easy, and takes me minutes a a day. Now, I get compliments on my hair all the time. I run into numerous people who come up to me to say they love their hair, and wish their frizz could look like this. I tell everyone that it CAN! (See the picture below. That's my hair before all this happened.)

What kills me is that most of the women who come up to me DO have hair that has major potential. They just haven't learned how to manage it yet. It's because society right now has tunnel vision, and straight hair has become the be all and end all. The majorit of hair stylist out there have no clue what to do with a mass of curly hair. ALL my former stylists used to flat iron mine, and then cut it as if it were straight hair. Naturally my hair would look really weird if I did attempt to forgo the flat iron for the day.

Well I'm not buying into it the whole straight hair thing anymore. Being me has never felt better. It costs much less money, is saving me considerable time, and I get more compliments now than I ever did with straight hair.

If anyone out there has gone through a similar situation, I strongly recommend you check out this forum:

http://www.naturallycurly.com/ I found the people there a HUGE support. I learned a lot, and discovered some additional techniques and products that my new stylist didn't recommend, but that are really working for me. If you're in Toronto, and would love to learn how to get amazing curly hair, check out my stylist. His name is Jonathan Torch. His website is http://www.frizzoff.com/ He is so passionate about curly hair, and I always feel amazing after leaving his salon. He understands how to properly cut curls (very few stylists do), and he has develped some great products for curls. (My favorite product of his is a runny liquid gel called Curl Keeper. It works miracles, and gives curly girls amazing shine!)

Another tip is to check out this book by Loraine Massey called "Curly Girl". Loraine has another technique for working with curls that works well for a LOT of people.

Anyway, I hope this little blurb helps anyone out there who is struggling with their natural hair! Curls can be gorgeous, so love what you were born with, and hold your head up high!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Thirst - Themed Earrings

These have been getting a lot of attention online recently. I found out today that they're being featured in a blood themed treasury on Etsy.com, so I'm thrilled!
When I first started working out the design for these beauties, I was definitely inspired by sinister Halloween imagery. Tired of the standard ghosts, skeletons, and pumpkins I'd spy hanging off ear wires, I was determined to create something unique. I wanted my creation to touch upon the Halloween theme, but also remain classic enough to stand alone and be worn all year long. What's the point in investing in something so luxurious that has limited usage?
Visions of vampires, and Gothic motifs guided my imagination. I found a gorgeous chandelier type earring emerging, that was dripping with rubies, sapphires, and a large quartz briolette. (The quartz looks red in the picture, but it's actually perfectly clear. A real gorgeous cut of crystal.) Once I oxidized the sterling silver metal, the piece finally came alive.
As I made these earrings, a vision of the woman who would wear them emerged.
A scene unfolded in my mind, featuring a sultry female vampire. This woman would prowl dark alleys at night, draped in luxurious gems and clothes, in order to entice unsuspecting human prey. Similar to a venus fly trap, her victim would creep up to her in curiosity, in order to get a better look. Suddenly she'd attack, clamping down on them with white pointy teeth, draining them dry, and they'd be doomed. Gliding back to her darkened apartment, she'd gingerly wipe her blood covered mouth off with the back of her hand, take off her earrings, and flick them onto her counter. Blood would splatter everywhere, and that's when I'd take my picture of these earrings at the scene (see above). What else was I to call them but "Thirst".

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

In the beginning...


I made the leap and now I'm an official blogger. I will be using this hallowed space to update people on my latest artistic creations (namely Jewellery design), plans for future projects, blurbs about myself, and any random thought that pops into my head! Check back soon, because I will be adding pictures often, and I'd love to get feedback from people who are interested. In the meantime, check out my work at http://www.meghant.etsy.com/ It's a very new store, but it's growing rapidly! I have some amazing bracelets and necklaces that I'll be adding to my store soon, so keep your eyes peeled!

Thanks for stopping by!