Inspiration and Prototypes

After a super slow start to the year (where I found myself dilly-dallying around because I didn't want to fall back into the same crazy overwhelming sort of routine that ended the last decade)(and where my son has been documenting his thoughts and the world more beautifully than i could have imagined {turtle,elephant,tiger}) I have surprisingly entered a major inspirational and creatively productive period. I think it is in part due to the fact that I will be taking part in the VOLTAGE fashion show again this year, which allows me to give myself more freedom to explore some of (what I tell myself are) the less practical ideas that are floating around in my head. I have filled more pages in my sketch book in the past 2 weeks than I did all last year... using drawing to get ideas on paper, but then immediately allowing myself to spend some time figuring out how to physically make it work. It is an exhilarating experience to go through the design process...to be creatively active on a daily basis is really working for me. The last half of 2009 had me focussing on other sorts of creativity, but not creating. And, of course I still have to take care of all the other less creative work, too - but it's like I'm releasing natural endorphins into my brain with the simple act of testing out my ideas. I haven't been exercising as much as I'd like to, but this creativity is having the same effect on me as a good run...well maybe not on my legs! (note to self: come back and read this entry when I hit my slump...which is bound to happen sometime in the future)

So on Tuesday I took part in a VOLTAGE preview show for press and retailers and I got to see some of my prototypes on models, with my designer's clothes, in a show. I was happy with them and I can't wait to get back to refining the details of these pieces -- and to expand on the collection for the show in April. I'll share a couple things now and some others a bit later.... Again, keep in mind they are prototypes....

COIL bracelets

FLEX bracelet


Order and Chaos

Sometimes I think that my life can be simplified down to the basic goal of trying to find order within the chaos. I'm one who believes that you need a certain amount of one to define the other, so I guess that could partially explain my tendency to attempt to do far too many things at once; to create chaos to order. Or maybe I just crave it because our bodies are made to function in many ways simultaneously.
My son and I were reading this amazing book that he got for Christmas about the human body and all of the systems (and their intricacies) that make our bodies function every second of every minute of every day....and it illustrated for me the greatest example of order ... and chaos, too -- my mind struggles to fully grasp the scale of ordered chaos at work right now making it possible for me to type this.
My sister and I just finished watching the box-set of My So-Called Life ... which has brought back so many memories of being 16 and relating so much to the introverted Angela Chase... While I was perhaps more extroverted than she was, I relate/d to the depths of her analyzation of the happenings in one's life.
I also recall a time, when I was even younger, that I became conscious of the fact that my uncle was 35 and from that point I sort of considered all adults to be 35 years old. When I think about the fact that I am now in my thirties I start to understand the feeling of being differently. My Grampa, at 98, simultaneously marveled how he could have lived so long on this earth and how quickly his days had passed. I understand this in my heart now in a way I didn't used to understand it in my brain. It is how, at 32, I can still feel so similar to my memory of being 16. It is the way in which I still feel so young when I am now what I used to consider old. I realize that I am talking about the essence of things. I am fascinated by the ways in which the essence of something interacts and intersects with the practicality of it.
This week I have begun the process of designing again: pulling the essences of ideas down out of the lofty spaces in my brain and working through details to make them practical. Attempting to create order from so-called chaos. Taking inspiration from my so-called life ... It is the practice of bringing these miscellaneous elements together that fuels me and allows me to find meaning in my work.


new old

Last fall my HIVE necklace and POD earrings were featured in a fashion segment on Twin Cities Live. I saw the segment live on my TV but they hadn't posted a video back then ... at least at the time that I checked. Well, I've stumbled upon a blog post from the stylist (who just so happens to know my friend Paige) that was featured in that segment and who so generously mentioned Silvercocoon on the air. Thank you Catherine! Here's the link to the show. (better late than never)


how to get back on the horse....

Happy New Year to you!!
Well, I had a wonderfully relaxing holiday. I honestly can't remember the last time I took time off in a fashion that resembled a vacation or that lasted longer than an extended weekend. We were literally unplugged from the Internet, with no TV, in a cabin with a wood burning furnace and fireplace, where we brought food in to cook all of our meals - making it possible to just stay there...with no agenda and no distractions...except for the snow, a book, some LEGOs .... and a game of Uno before bed. It was peaceful. Quiet. Quiet enough to not even have to think. Quiet enough to make me wonder why I keep my head so FULL all the time. Restful enough to make me question why I push myself so hard, take on so much and allow myself to get so stressed. It had me confused and somewhat frozen about how to get back to work without falling back into the same old habits.

It's not like this is the first time I've been in this sort of spot. I'm cyclical to a large degree ... so I'll probably be back here again in a year's time. But I think the lessons I've learned over this holiday are directly connected to my mission and vision for my work. Back in September, I spoke about the catalog project in a way that touched on the importance of every day moments ... about how they collectively start to determine more than the sum of some their sometimes-boring individual parts. Over time patterns can be found - cycles (again) - and so I realize the key for me is to work simply on the construct of my day if I want to have an impact on my life as a whole. Making sure that I allow time for all the things that are important to me -everyday- so that they can create routines and then habits. It's the little bits that could impact my life by this time next week or next month or next year. Much like practicing a musical instrument, or training for a running race ... or simply taking vitamins. This has been my gut-instinct for the past several years when New Year's resolutions come around and I've made excuses about why doing just one more bit of work is more important than ____ (fill in the blank), but I think this new comparative insight could be ticket. (as my dad would say..."that's the ticket!")
So I have been (clumsily) trying to find my way into this new place, organizing things around the house to accommodate new habits. For example, while we were at the cabin, there were only 3 of us, so we washed the dishes by hand after each meal instead of filling the dishwasher. It was so easy and quick (and you immediately KNOW if you got the dish clean) but why does this only have to be a cabin-thing?? So I bought a dish drying rack and we haven't used the dishwasher all week. Silly small things....but so far they are rewarding.

Some other "house-cleaning" that I've done for our business to make communication easier, is to create a facebook page for silvercocoon in addition to/in lieu of using my own personal page. If you have a facebook account and want to follow, you can become a fan by visiting the page. I have even opened a twitter account, although I'm not sold on that yet.

New (exciting) things have already started pulling me in and I have great hopes and goals for the coming year (or should I say the future accumulation of 365 days?) Can't wait to share it with you!