Monday, October 30, 2006

I took this photo a while ago, I have stuffed the drawers to capacity, since this picture was taken.

My best friend designed it and is building it for me.
It will have columns, and shelves and arches on top.

The unit will be around 8 feet tall when it is done.

It amazes me how he drew a sketch, in his drawing pad, and then mapped it out on the computer, and then he built it!
It has been in the works since November of 2005.
Click on the photos to enlarge the images and see the detail!

He cleans up after himself too...
I am so impressed. He is SELF TAUGHT!


Friday, October 27, 2006


It is 4:04 am.... and I am so sleepy, but it is chilly here and the landlords are stomping around and blasting the TV upstairs and they keep knocking things around and dropping stuff on the floor. The walls and floor are so thin, that I can hear their conversations without having to put my ear on the wall.....! *frown*
Also, I live on the flight approach to runway #4, I believe, to La Guardia Airport and the planes fly very low, since I live close to the airport and directly over our house. Unless you have experienced it, I don't think that you could imagine the high pitch of that, and how the house vibrates sometimes!
There is an expressway exit into the main boulevard right behind our house, in what most people call a backyard, AND right past that, is a RAILROAD.... the HEAVY FREIGHT trains that blow the LOUD horns (usually no horn blowing until the sun is up though).... The government built a noise reduction wall, between part of the expressway and the railway, but it does NOTHING!

That should help you understand why I am always up at these odd hours!

I decided to go on a diet of sorts-
3 solid days, No T. V., no Radio, and I feel BETTER!
I even lost 6 pounds! Well, in 2 weeks...

I was feeling slightly disconnected with things because I took on so many new tasks this month.
I am already committed to completing 150 mini zine-lettes for my bud Christi Miller's 'zine, "Material". I HAVE made the mini 'zine-lettes already, but I cannot decide on a cover design! The covers are plain black at the moment...

There is also the calendar cover for Anne, the HUGE charm swap I am hosting, needing to list sales for the fundraiser, getting the covers embellished for Beau Ideal #3.5.
CLEANING the entire house, and maintaining my sanity as I brainstorm about what to make as holiday gifts this year! AND MDH has a 2 week vacation that starts in two weeks.... I am so busy that I cannot even go anywhere for a break.

Gillian is also waiting on me to make a collection of work to demonstrate my grunge/gothic/street side of my art persona.
I think people must wonder if I only make "pretty things"... the answer is Uhhhh, NO!
My expression(s) of artistic work, can be quite frightening to some people.
I dislike advertising my darker creative side, since it ties into my tumultuous past (oooh mysterious!)

However, Gillian hosts one of the best online web spaces I have ever ventured through. SO for her, I will get cracking and demonstrate some of my old school techniques and perhaps break out some spray cans and hook up some wild style graffiti for her too!
YES I am a GRAF artist too!
*I have a black book collection!*
I am after all, a NYC girl.
But seriously, I can create dark and deep emotional art that may feel painful to look at for some people.
When I was displayed in gallery shows and events, most of the work that was chosen was bright and ODD... the pretty work won the awards and the dark stuff got a lot of attention, yet I often heard people say that I was freaking them out!
I no longer enjoy the idea of freaking people out, thus the reason why you know me for my colorful and somewhat cheerful work.

In November I hope to stretch some canvas over a few little frames and see what I can paint.
Kate Gallegos sent me a set of Windsor Newton Acrylic paints for my birthday this year, and I will open the cellophane wrapper as soon as I know what I would like to paint.

Would you be interested in seeing some of my ODD and darker work?
4:20 and I think I can sleep now....
I just have to say, that I saw someone today whom I met a few years ago, and although we were only able to say a quick hello... It made my day!
Good people can be FUN to see!!!!


Adding a post that I clipped from Oct. 31st to put here-

This is one of my favorite lampwork inspiration bead sites. Even though the stuff that is shown is not all lampwork, but rather painted porcelain.
I cannot wait to get started.
One of these days I will be able to afford a set of glass rods, and a nice torch.
I bought a Jen Ken kiln with a bead door and I am patiently saving up enough money to purchase a nice kit to have all of the tools that I will need to get started.
I have always been good around fire.
A good cook, a good candle maker/burner, and a great fire starter.
My worry is the tank system needed to run the torches.
That scares me a little bit because of it's combustible contents under pressure.

On another one of these days I will find someone local who will be willing to teach me flame working for free or trade.

I LOVE these little cuties!
The little Halloween jester trick or treater, the checkered trick or treater girls with masks, and the Jack in the Box Jack o' Lantern.
They are very unusual and freaky cute.... kinda like me!


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I am so proud to say, that this is what my custom wall unit looked like several months ago... It is now much more elaborate, yet not completely finished.

The counter top is *8* feet long!!!
There are 24 clear acrylic front drawers... And since this photo was taken, there are now knobs and handles on each one.
Although it is not yet complete, I have already filled each and every drawer up to it's capacity!

I feel so lucky to have talented friends and family who share their time making things for me!

To the one who made this for me, *THANK YOU*!!!!!

This is a mini book that I made from scratch, for the Beau Ideal Arts handmade mini art book swap, 2006.
Rather than swap it out. I decided to add some extra touches to it and send it to my dear friend Nancy.

Monday, October 23, 2006

77 people have joined in on the International Handmade Artistic Charms Swap so far.
I made a group to host the event on yahoo so members of the swap can keep up with details and rules.
Check out the site that inspired the swap
It is really great to be involved with a swap like this because I love making charms and wearing them, all year round.

Today is a cleaning day for me...
As usual, I am finding lots of fun stuff that I tucked away in bags and boxes.
Such cool stuff that I will be able to use for making my charms.

In other news-
I took my kiln off of the floor last night and put it on top of a small wooden stand.

I have not used it once since I bought it. It is still wrapped up in it's shipping 'gear'.
Perhaps I will experiment with it sometime next week.

The kiln has been sitting on my floor, under a pile of other supplies for over a year.
Honestly, I have so many ideas, but no clear direction for using it yet.
When I purchased it, it was for me to use for making flame/torch beads.
So I bought one with an annealing door. It is a Jen Ken kiln with an octagonal shape and a digital controller. I love the shape.
Sadly, I am too chicken to set up the tanks to use the torch in my house so, well, who knows what I will try first.
I can always fuse glass, fire PMC, and fire earth clay.

If you would like to trade supplies with me, I would LOVE to have things that I can fuse, fire and enjoy!

Off to clean some more... more news later.


Friday, October 20, 2006

Yesterday, Regina and I went to both Fabric City stores, on Northern Blvd. and 101 st street in Queens. We saw some really cool trims, fabrics, notions and stuff. I bought a few pieces of fancy venise (venice?) lace for $1.00 each and a skein of Kool Wool. I also walked away with a gift bag of Austrian crystal AB baguettes. I spent $5.00... but while Regina was paying for her goodies, a NICE sale caught my eye. A HUGE ROLL *200* yards, of SHEER BLACK *WIRED* RIBBON with gold thread edges... $5.00!!!!
So in total I spent $10.00 and walked away GIDDY!

I love the wide variety of products that they carry between the two stores (both on the same street). AND they are VERY kind, and VERY helpful!

Today- I went back to the tiny thrift store I mentioned before called "Just Things" in Long Island City.
I purchased a black dressy Sag Harbor Wool 3/4 length skirt NWT (new with tags), for only *$3.00*! The tags said $48.00! Sitting at the bottom of an apple crate was an entire set of cast metal Monopoly pieces, with dice, which I had my eyes on the last time I was there ... for only $2.00... I was so glad that they were still there!
Laying on a chair in the back room, was a large clear heavy plastic portfolio ... in like new condition, I picked it up for only $2.00. The item I found last, was some sort of contraption hidden on a lower shelf in a dark corner. It looks like it would hold some sort of spice bottles maybe?
It was marked $3.00 and as much as I wanted to ask her to lower the price, I left it as it was and just handed her the money. My vision for it, is to use it to hang my polymer beads from, while they dry, after glazing them.

It is a tiny little shop, with things that you would find at a yard sale, or estate sale. It is not a pretty store, and is not at all glamorous. Yet, I felt something unique about the store, and decided to ask the owner, Ann, if she would like to TRY and sell some of my stuff there.
Now, I know what you might be thinking... Oh Amber, NOT YOUR DESIGNS!
In a JUNK store?
*MY* designs, in a junk store!
I cannot describe it.
There is something about it that I feel compelled to TRY.
The last time I was there-
Ann had voiced an interest in her daughter learning how to make the beads that I was wearing. After describing the process step by step, I think they felt it was a bit much, as far as work was concerned, for such small beads. But Ann, made a huge deal about the ones that I made, telling her daughter that she should make them to sell.

Although Ann takes a 50/50% commission.
It is pretty much what I would get to show at any low end retail shop.
The higher end boutiques in Manhattan ask for 40/60% and that does NOT thrill me!
When I show work in galleries or stores, I usually do it more for advertising than sales anyway.
What interests me more than money, is to SHOW my work, and have people react to it.

I like my idea because the store she has is seen by all kinds of people, a VARIETY of people. It is not too far from Manhattan, it is close to Silver Cup Studios, and LOTS of other COOL stores, boutiques and hot spots. I just want to have FUN!

There is also an Art-O-Mat STORE/Gallery down the block from "Just Things" and I hope to go there the next time I am in that area.

I spent the rest of the day and night on Roosevelt Island at my friend's house teaching her how to make a polymer clay rose cane, and how to write letters with clay forming canes, and how to reduce them.
We watched the DIY channel, as she had TIVOd several shows to share with me.
OK, just so you know, I do not have cable TV. When I do watch TV, it is regular TV, or I watch my own collection of DVDs and tapes.
I don't have much time to sit an' watch TV.
I saw Donna Kato make some very pretty cane motifs, and create pendants with them.
I would like to try her technique.

These beads above were designed for a glitzy bead swap that I hosted on Polymer Clay Central years ago.
The image transfer lays beneath glass, and is set in Premo polymer clay.
The matching Angel & Wings beads, are covered in ultra fine glitter and set with Swarovski rhinestones.

I would really LOVE to hear your feedback!


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Polymer clay name beads made as holiday gifts for 2 kids who took my free summer art classes, "Art On The Streets" The bottom one, features cane work by Candice Matthewson. I designed the bug monster one myself. The names are made by producing INKJET transfers. The bottom one was just over 2 and a half inches long.

I decided to post this picture because it matches the noise around me.
There is a cricket outside of my window playing his song....
I took pictures a few months ago, as it was crawling up my window.

It was actually very cute!

I wonder what he feels while he plays...

Do you ever wonder what creatures think about?

I do... Often....

I hate it when someone I find interesting moves far away, or dies.
Do you think insects notice when some of their comrades never make it back to see them again?
Someone I found interesting is moving FAR away, and it bothers me to feel sad about it.
I hate killing bugs and things, because I would hate to cause this pain in their lives, and for those that care, IF they do care...
I have studied insects, a lot of them are problem solvers!
I have seen them "hang out" too. With each other, so I know they communicate. I wonder what they talk about.

Some fun and jewelerific bracelets that I made in 1999-2000. I LOVE making assemblage and collage jewelry!

This piece was originally designed for a swap, but I decided to use it in the 3rd issue of Beau Ideal. It is titled, WORK AT IT. I used it as a reminder to myself to focus on things that felt, just too far out of my reach. By realizing that I needed to put my energies into these goals of mine, I decided to WORK AT IT... I have been, and my goals ARE being reached!
One day at a time.
Some faster than others, some with more effort as well.
Some just "magically" fall into place all on their own.

This is a glass which I sold to a woman in Israel via EBAY, several years ago. It was the very first one that I assembled for sale.
I really enjoy making elaborate and decorative magnifiers. Over the last 6 year I have sold them to all kinds of people. The nice thing about it, is, it is a functional AID in addition to being a piece of decorative art.

Monday, October 16, 2006

This is the top of a cigar purse that I made for a swap... Someone out there named Jean owns it.
It was so much fun for me to design it. Every side and surface was either painted or embellished. It even had elegant little feet glued to the bottom. There are dyed Emu feathers, Swarovski crystals, porcelain flowers, vintage buttons, tulle, vintage lace and flatback domed crystals layed over a few of the images. I believe that the image of the woman came from Art-E-Zine. I made this purse circa 2002.

Last week I visited some new places full of fun supplies and interesting things! My new friend took me with her to get a hair cut, and while she was busy with that, I explored the street a little.

It is in an area that has SKY HIGH prices for apartments as they are trying to make it a REALLY HOT SPOT in NYC, I think the zip is 11101. There are so many artistic hang out spots and fun things to do and see in that area.
There are also OLD shops there, that are just as hip and fit right in with the booming real estate all around.
In Fact, one of the stores which I saw as we circled the block for parking, has a little toy children's easel standing outside the door which interested me enough to have a look.
The name of this place is, Just Things...(If you go, tell them the polymer clay girl, Amber sent you!) It has a junk shop/thrift shop feel to it. It has all kinds of things piled up to the ceiling. The merchandise and the quality varied, but most of the stuff, for me, in my opinion, was FUN.

On top of the counter, I found a large and lovely pin made up of musical note/brushed and oxidized metal stampings collaged together, on top of a metal stamping of sheet music for only $2.00.
Hidden under a table I found some unusual plastic pieces and metal stampings that I will be using for the CHARM SWAP which I am hosting. I spent in total less than $4.50 and I really did find GREAT BARGAINS! I was able to buy some items at below wholesale prices!
After that, we went to an interesting discount fabric store in a neighboring town, my new friend likes to shop there for fun stuff. They have some really fun and funky silks!
I found a roll of fine sheer silk with crazy WILD scribbles and doodles on it that looks like it was copied from someone's notebook cover! I would love to make stockings out of it.
Also of interest to me, they carry thicker black and white checkered SILK and I am thrilled with that! I am going to make several necklace pouches to hold wallets, Ipods, glasses, and celly tellys (cell phones)
On the counter, hidden below several bolts of fabric, and cards of beaded trim, I spotted some unique and interesting trim made of
~*FLAMINGO*~ feathers!
Well, they are
egg shell white, and I heard that they also sell black too, but they couldn't find any left so I will have to go back for some next month. It was only $2.50 a yard for that, and it would be FABULOUS on a lamp shade!
With the 1 yard of feather trim which I had purchased, I designed a dazzling wrist cuff so once I decide upon a proper and well functioning closure, I will post it to the blog.
I am definitely donating this to the fundraiser that I will be hosting.
The store had lots of ELEGANT and truly fun fabrics piled high, and although I could not afford to get every wonderful thing that I saw, I left the store feeling like I got a LOT for the small amount of money that I paid.

In other news-
I am also learning the correct way to crochet.
Since I was little, I have been crocheting little things here and there.
Yet I have always wanted to know how to make things like sweaters and follow other patterns to make art to wear, and table decor etc.

When I showed the woman who is teaching me to crochet, a flat panel I had done months ago, she looked at it with a puzzled look.
Turns out that, the way I have been crocheting for the last 24 years, is WRONG!
I have been crocheting using half of the stitch... In other words, when the hook goes through the chain to make a new row, I was continuing to only use half of the links on the chain. I never realized that I was supposed to go beneath each complete link of the chain to make the stitches.

I could never understand why my work did not match fancy patterns.

It is so relaxing to crochet!
It melts the stress away!

Thanks Regina!


Monday, October 09, 2006

(Email her to tell her that you saw her work, it will encourage her!)
I have known about her for years and have been SO madly in love with her work.
Her name is Marilyn Scott Waters
She is CLEVER as can be, and a wonderful down to earth person.
It is a FUN place to visit- Be sure to see it all!

Here are some free paper toys that you can make yourself.
Just print them out, cut, glue and enjoy. I've tried to keep
them easy to figure out. I hope that they amuse you. ~ Marilyn

Here are PERFECTLY cool HOLIDAY paper toys!

And this is her blog which I just discovered today!

Rubber stamped sequin/spangle charm bracelet that I made a couple of years ago.

HAVE A SIT! This is a chair that I painted back in 1998. It was previously a plain brown wooden school chair.
I painted a few of them, this one just happens to be my favorite of them all. It is VERY detailed. I will have to go back one of these days and take a photo with my macro lens!

TREASURE vials that I designed for the altered treasure vial swap. Lilla LeVine and I were the only two who followed through on that swap. She had made some really nice ones, and I got to keep them all.

These polymer clay picture frames were designed for a swap, and then featured in Beau Ideal Arts zine issue #2 - "Pirates & Treasures" which I self published.
They are small. I am thinking about making some like these for the charm swap I will be hosting.

I hosted an altered vintage tin swap. It was a LOT of fun! This is one of the tins that I altered. It is an old watchmakers tin that was filled with cute little watch parts.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

This is a pin that I designed for my GodMother when she had to go to a funeral.

As I was editing this photo, I got an email telling me that someone part of our extended family has passed away.
(I got the email about 20 minutes ago)
The timing of things can be wild I tell ya!

Would you like to exchange ART CHARMS?
LOTS of charms, all kinds of creative HANDMADE charms?
Yes, I am rambling about C-H-A-R-M-S now at 1:30 am on this beautiful Sunday.

I was chosen to host the big to do by Anne Downen, THE MIXED MEDIA ECCENTRIC PASTICHE CHARM swap.
It is so much fun to make artsy and wonderfully unique charms, so if you would like to join the swap, let me know and I will sign you up!
It will be a pretty cool exchange/swap so I do expect LOTS of people to join in.
I am hoping for a 30+ membership.
What it will be, is a swap of handmade artistic charms. You make a certain number and get a certain number of them back.
If over 20 people sign up, I am thinking of a 21 for 20. That means, you craft, create and concoct 21 wonderful mixed media charms, and I send you 20 in return.
Here is the INSPIRATION post that I sent to the first group that the swap will be open to-
Hi Everyone.
Before I post swap rules and details I wanted to inspire you to join.
Take a look at what some other artists have done in their own swaps and art work.
Each of the links below relate to handmade art charms.
Some are miniature altered pieces, while others are made from scratch.
Have a look and start to imagine what you could make.
Amber Dawn

Some supplies from this BLOG-

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Oh how I wish my hair was colored today. I have an unused box of Revlon (red) sitting on my shelf. But the evening news states the coloring is bad for one's health.

This picture is of me back in May of 1991. I used LOTS of color in my hair back then. Most of it was vegetable dye from Manic Panic, or Ricky's.

The color of my hair here is actually pink, and bright magenta dyed over bleached blonde/light brown hair.

The lipstick was a nice purplish pink shade which matched my hair quite nicely.

I met my husband a month after this picture was snapped... He was not thrilled with nor attracted to the amount of cosmetics and hair products I used... Nor did he care for the colors either.

Over the years he has put up with my CRAZY and wild styles. We have been together ever since! (You know that it MUST be love!)

These days my hair is very long and brown... I'd say it is kinda boring if you ask me. I haven't really had a decorative hair style in a while.

Many years ago, I used to go through several bottles of hair products in the course of a year. Mouse, gel, sprays, glues, goops, pomades, oils, etc.

I even carried around a spare travel size bottle and toothbrush for touch ups with a horrid little cordless curling iron. The toothbrush was not used for my teeth, it was for teasing my hair! (I learned that from a drag queen)

This month I have been thinking a lot about what I can do with my hair to give it more of an artistic look. The problem is, I have the type of hair that is wavy, gets VERY frizzy and looks dry all of the time, even though it is really soft. Doing some research online helped me learn why the hair looks dull. My hair type does not reflect light the same as other hair types because of the strand structure...

Well, I found a few hair products that tame the frizz and give it a softer silkier look. It is just not too cool having to brush such large amounts of this stuff through my hair when I need to look polished for work or an event. But what else can I do?


When I was much younger, I had VERY cool hair, it was silky,thick,strong and shiny looking, but was so straight that my first perm didn't even curl my hair!

After all of the processing and dying and bleaching etc. I am left with strange strands of dull looking hair!

The moral of this story is- Kids- don't mess with your hair! But if you do- MAKE IT LOOK AND FEEL FABULOUS!

My father gave me a fun bag, a few years back, filled with champagne corks/toppers/caps, fun doodads and some 'thingamabobbers'*. Included in the mix were some beautiful Champagne Perrier Jouët caps, so what did I do with 'em? I made them into jewelry and art to wear of course. One of the pieces that I invented was a necklace style jewel bib using a Deutz Champagne topper. This is a close up of the center.
*Thingamabobbers is a word I like to use in place of thingamajigs and is a part of the sub class of whatchamacallits!-Amber Dawn

This is a very sweet pin that I made back in 2000.
I made it as an experiment and then sold it on Ebay.
It was purchased from me by the AMAZING Kate Kelly Gallegos (of PhotoArt Stamps fame. It was through my Ebay relationship with Kate Gallegos that I came to learn about online art groups.

Through that single hook up, I met thousands of supportive and talented artists and designers.

Thinking about it- I also have my older brother to thank too...
I am where I am today, as an online interactive art zinester and now experimental blogger because one day while chatting with him, he mentioned Ebay. Ebay is what started it all for me with my online sales and barters. I am glad to have experienced the chain of events that have lead me here to this very moment.


I just put on some DKNY perfume today for the first time, and it is so intoxicating! I am so enjoying the scent as it as it circulates in the air! *takes a deep breath*
It has a subtle melody of woods mixed with gentle florals, and a light clean citrus.

One of my favorite 80s songs is playing on Jack FM "Don't you forget about me..." From the movie "The Breakfast Club"

My new friend Regina gave me some of her super thick tigertail wire, so that I could fix my "Paris" art-to-wear purse strap.
I am going to submit it to Stampington for one of their publications.
I am not sure if it is what they are looking for.
This will be the first item that I ever submit to a magazine for consideration.
It was actually designed for a book that another artist was trying to publish, but the publisher declined the project and so I have this purse ready to be put in print somewhere!
Hey, if they don't want to use it, I will have to find someplace to print it.
It will not be posted to the blog yet... You will have to wait to see it!

These earrings were custom made for Donna back about 7 or so years ago.
I don't think she was too happy with them...
If I remember correctly, she felt that they weren't long enough for her particular face structure...
Oh well.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

This is a hand sewn mini quilt necklace that was made for Alma Stoller's Fabric Arts Zine group, "Bling Bling" necklace swap. The materials include fabric that Alma had given me in a secret pal swap, Swarovski crystals and rhinestones, and an image transfer. The image came from Gillian Allen's, Art-e-zine.
It is now pictured in Somerset Studio as part of the Sept./Oct. issue on page 55. Alma's zine, "FAZ" is reviewed.
My work is featured all over the page! It was a fun surprise for me to see! (And my name is printed 4 times within the pictures!)
Use a magnifying glass to see it!
The best part of seeing this in the magazine was, I was actually with Alma, and her cool kids, Rose and Julian at a Barnes and Noble bookstore. My sister and I took a trip uptown to meet with them for the very first time. It was nice to meet a fellow zinester and artist from the web in person.
As soon as I get a copy of the FAZ I will scan the pages and post them here so you can see.
Alma makes a great zine, an it has LOTS of color!
Here is where you can learn more about the FAZ
Check out her blog for cool art work and funky ideas!

These are Fabric Artist Trading Cards.
Made by me for Linda Lynch's FATC Swap.

I made these image transfer name pins for a swap that I hosted several years ago. There is no paint, the only ink used is the toner, used to print the names.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I am hosting a fundraiser next month and decided to list some of my supplies and stuff on eBay to help kick things off.
Be sure to check back here on the blog for more details!
I will be selling lots of COOL vintage jewelry components, odd and unusual embellishments and rare bits and pieces to use in collage type jewelry.
And if I have the time, I will be making some Polymer clay beads with Swarovski crystal embellishments.


I just LOVE this tricked out glam Deco Assemblage purse so much that I wanted to post it here on the blog.
It was totally designed without being preplanned, and everything was glued together with a glue gun!
Notice the Beau Geste postage stamp at the bottom.

It took approx. 45 minutes to assemble and was SO much fun to carry around!
While I wore it in Manhattan, it got quite a lot of attention.
I was invited to submit pieces to several boutiques and high end stores made requests for me to make pieces for their windows.
Although I appreciated the attention, this was my 1 of a kind creation that I was not going to mass produce!

The keychain dangles from the left side of the handle. Isn't it cute?

This is a name tag that I made for a necklace I am designing. It is made with Premo and mica.

~*These four buttons are made with Premo polymer clay and mica powder. *~

I got to use my new scanner, but the software is faulty, so I am scanning through the system's hardware wizard.