Top 5 Ways To Get Your Holiday Spirit Back

I’ve had a difficult time getting into the holiday spirit because for the last 18 years, I’ve spent most of the holiday seasons traveling from city to city attending and working art shows while staying in chain hotels. I was forced to listen to Christmas music 12 hours a day – day after day – which can also put a little scrooge into the festivities after so many years.

Now that I’m no longer doing these shows, but instead spending more time in my studio creating- I have had a long enough break and a little more time to once again re-learn how to get back “into” that holiday spirt. But of course, I cannot dive in head first. I need to slowly ween myself into the month of December without getting too overwhelmed and frustrated. So I decided to do 5 things that will help regain my holiday spirit without getting over my head. I think they are all good reminders for anyone who would like to find a little lift in the spirt without over doing it.

Top 5 Ways To Get Your Holiday Spirit Back

christmas tree in snow

1. Decorate something small

Don’t try to cover your entire house with Christmas decor or throw the Vatican version of the nativity scene in your front lawn. There’s no need to compete with friends or neighbors with how much you can over decorate your home and yard. Instead find one small specific place in your home that you enjoy being in and spend a little time decorating that room or small area. It can be a room, or a corner, a dresser, or a desk.  For me, I decided to decorate the mantel over my fireplace. This seemed the easiest for me and the least intimidating. I bought a fresh pine wreath that I hung above my mantel piece and then added some LED white tiny Christmas lights. I will soon add a few other small decorations. Now it feels very festive and holiday like.

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2. Listen to some classical holiday music.

The last several years have been an array of Rock, Jazz, Country, Pop, Alternative Rock, and even heavy metal Christmas music. The genres have overwhelmed me and I’m tired of hearing so many versions of the same songs. This year, I’m going to spend time listening to the most classical versions of these songs. No lyrics, just simple, easy, soft orchestrated versions of some of my favorite holiday tunes. Hopefully this will help with getting my love for Christmas music back.

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3. Make some Christmas hot drinks and cocktails.

I love hot drinks and there’s something very fun about a toddy or hot chocolate with peppermint drink. A friend of mind had a few people over for some hot butter rum drinks and guess what’s in hot butter rum? You guessed it. BUTTER! And lot’s of it. I was shocked at how good it was and decided having one of these once a year probably won’t kill me.

hot toddy

 4. Wear pajamas around the house and the studio by putting your mind in a ‘stay’cation mode

Instead of going out of town for a vacation, have a stay home vacation (stay-cation). Being comfortable and in pajamas around the house remind me of being a kid or when I’m on vacation and there is nothing more simple to help get me into the holiday spirit. I plan on taking some old pajamas that I’ve had packed away for awhile and getting them covered in paint just so I have more fun clothes to hang out and work in.

 

pajamas

 

5. Watch Christmas movies with friends.

There is no doubt that this is one of the very best ways to get me into the Christmas and holiday spirit. I usually start with “It’s A Wonderful Life” and work my way to “A Christmas Story” and “Elf”.  There is nothing more effective than spending time with friends (and family) while watching films like these that get’s me into the spirit and is also something easy to do right from my own living room.

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Enjoy the season and stay safe. I’m going to really enjoy some reflective down time during the Christmas week around my fireplace listening to classical holiday music drinking my hot toddy!

Love,

Jaime

NOTE:   Please feel free to share this post. But plagiarism is not okay and very uncool.
©2014 Jaime Byrd.

The Secret to Doing What You Love

Back in my little red studio in North Carolina.

The place where I love doing what I love to do

Everywhere I look, there is the greatest beauty.

Yes, even in December – where winter has decided to delay itself a bit longer and grant us with an amazing 65 degree sunny day today and tomorrow!

I have been feeling so fortunate in the last week with things that have made my heart explode with joy, love, and gratitude.

The Secret to Doing What You Love

First of all, there is no secret. You just do it and keep doing it.

I have been offered so much from every direction. Questions I’ve been asking for some time now, are being answered. I’m moving in a direction that I feel happy and fortunate about. I don’t know if I could have imagined these things a year ago. I realize that having focus, direction, and clarity has not only put me on the right path, but has taken me down an amazing road I’ve chosen that has many wonderful options.

white roses

I’m sharing this with everyone because I want you to know it’s possible for anyone to take this step – sometimes into the unknown. If I can do it, anyone can. Jumping off the edge feels so crazy at first, but once you leap, the feeling is exhilarating and indescribable.

Do what you love. Don’t accept anything less. Celebrate the life you have. Make it count. Be grateful. If you need encouragement, I will do my best to cheer you on. Thank you for being there for me when it matters.

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I begin working in my studio this month with a custom order for a very dear friend of mind. The sentimental aspect attached to these pieces have been a wonderful part for me as I spend time – emotionally – involved in the making of this art. To me, this is what creativity is all about. The giving and taking. This is the kind of creativity I want to celebrate and share with others everywhere I go and hope that I will continue to experience throughout the rest of my life.

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I started with painting tiny acrylic paintings onto canvas paper. I love the look and feel of canvas because of the texture and feel. Something some artist may prefer not to show. Each one is painted individually using brushes, pieces of plastic, palate knives, and my fingers. Each painting is then covered with a sealant once they are completely dry.

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Glass is an important part of this process, since in many cases, I cut my own glass to get the exact fit I want.  After the glass is cut, I clean it extremely well to avoid any of my dirty paint covered finger prints!  ☺

tiny paintings with glass

Soldering is one of my other favorite things to do! Working with hot silver and guiding it in different directions while creating unpredictable designs is exciting to see right before your eyes!

Once the soldering is complete, I sometimes add embellishments, stones, toggles, and other wire wrapping before putting the piece through a wash that creates the antique dark finish. Buffing the pieces to bring out the highlights on top while keeping the rest dark is the desired end effect.

More items like this are available on my website.

Stay tuned, more to come.


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Best Jewelry of 2013: A Sparkling List of Handmade Achievement

By Claire Thomas – guest blogger

I highly doubt anybody appreciates handmade jewelry and the artists behind this list more than I do. As an amateur jewelry maker I know the struggles of making goals to sell my jewelry, creating cohesive collections and finding better ways of doing things. Discovery of fellow handmade jewelers that inspire you can be a big part of the process. The following list is comprised of designers and artists that inspire me in their magnificent jewelry making success.

 

Byrd Designs

I found Jaime Byrd’s work while searching for vintage jewelry and hair accessories. Her eclectic style keeps surprising me with everything from rosary style necklaces that impart culture as well as beauty, to the beautiful vintage locket shadow box necklaces, decorative hair clips and barrettes.

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©ByrdDesigns

 

The piece above is truly a work of art, as are all of Jaime’s jewelry pieces.

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©Byrd Designs

Byrd Designs is at the top of this list for more than the vintage necklaces. There is also the Titanic Collection which feels at home in Kate’s hair and jewelry box as Jack draws her like one of his French girls.

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This collection has brilliant emeralds, bold blues and mesmerizing violets to commemorate the RMS Titanic. The Victorian and Edwardian eras are represented as well as the bold women that were on the cutting edge of fashion at the time.

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Kei Jewelry

This interesting jewelry designer is made by Keyla Viviana in San Juan, Puerto Rico using gemstones, sterling silver and gold filled metals. She is inspired by the colors of her warm home on the island of Puerto Rico. The Chrysocolla point necklaces below are regal yet mystical with the use of color of gold and the turquoise and green gems.

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©KeiJewelry

Keyla’s designs evoke the natural colors of the Earth in fun new ways. She balances bold and classy very well. The sky blue druzy necklaces below look like the Caribbean waters and refreshing blue skies.

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©KeiJewelry

 

 

MIRTA

Andrea makes her jewelry by hand in Zagreb, Croatia while she studies architecture. Her jewelry is all interesting elegance with unusual pieces like the one below.

Mirta

©MIRTA

Her studies of architecture influence the jewelry along with nature as seen in her stick pieces like the one below.

mirta-jewelry-3©MIRTA

 

Frosted Willow

Katrin is the mastermind behind Frosted Willow in Boston, MA. This shop deserves recognition for the beautiful metal work and use of color in specialties items: bangle bracelets. They range from simple and elegant to bold and colorful in silver and gold. They are stackable and can be personalized with names or initials.

frosted willow
©Frosted Willow

Making jewelry by hand is one of the most rewarding things you can do. These artists inspire me to be more creative, and to follow my dreams.

Claire is a lean mean crafting machine and freelance writer for Wubbers. When she’s not whipping out everything from jewelry to repurposed furniture she is gardening with her daughter.

 

 

 

 

Texture for Canvas

Recently, I’ve been prepping for a show and thought I would share some of the process I do when it comes to my paintings.

ocean-sunsetThis is one of a series of landscapes I’ve been making.  Lot’s of heavy texture and colors.  Each piece is painted with acrylics on either canvas board or 1.5 inch wide framed canvases.

The first thing I do, is prep the canvas with molding paste or plaster to get that thick luscious textured look.  And then I paint layer, after layer, after layer!

pastepaste-on-canvas primed-canvas

 

feild-day Red-harvest fall-landscapeMy paintings, sculptures, and jewelry can be found at my Etsy page here.

Vintage Silver Necklace with Hollywood Starlet photograph

I’ve been using anything I can find lately to make some of my new pieces.  One of the things I love is old vintage photographs or images that spark my imagination.  I also love movies.  It’s one of my ‘other’ favorite things in the world.  So it’s only natural that I would be using more and more old and vintage movie like items to make my designs.  This is an image of a young starlet from the 1930’s. Possibly one of the many who traveled to California from a small town in the midwest to make it on the big screen.  This is a small tribute to those women who did what they could to attempt the Hollywood dream.

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This item can be purchased at my Etsy store.

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This item can be purchased at my Etsy store.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/163182923/vintage-starlette-silver-and-crystal

 

 

 

Jewelry In Spanish

Having grown up only minutes from the US and Mexico boarder, I’ve had a life long fascination with the exotic and colorful country of Mexico.  The food, the people, the art, and of course, the language.

I’ve created many pieces – with more to come – of my jewelry and shrine work with Spanish word stampings. Each meaning something special and different for different reasons.

 

 CORAZÓN (Heart)
A way of giving your heart to another soul.  I’ve been making hearts out of clay and giving them a high polish that I believe reflects the wonderful red colors of Mexico.  Many of my “Corazón” pieces varie in a number of mixed media designs that include found objects, soldered silver, gemstones, and plenty of sparkling Swarovski Austrian Crystals.

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mixed-media-heart

 

AMOR (Love)
I have made a few pieces with AMOR stamped in somewhere.  This anatomical heart with a lock and key sold early on.  As many people know, I am in love with the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and use this image for many of my pieces and art work.  The below pendant is filled with tiny details that make this one of my favorites.

amor-lock

guadalupe-amor

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“HERMANAS” (Sisters)
This is a design I thought would make any sister happy to get from another.  A great way to show sisterly love.  I used two lovely señoritas in full folk outfits then hand painted with pastels, and then soldered behind clear glass.  Copper plate is hand stamped and beads are glass, crystal, and gemstones.

hermanas-e

 

OTHER SHRINES and DAY OF THE DEAD ITEMS
I need to do an entire post just on the day of the dead holiday and it’s influence on me and my work.  Some of my pendants are painted with pastel chalk and glittered in full Mexican Folk Art style!  Lot’s of crystals,  flowers, and accents. It’s all part of my “portable shrines” that are perfect for the home or to wear around your neck.

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I put a santos hand holding a heart in this shrine. Representing dual nature: Human and Divine.guadalupe-shrine-pendant

 

Thanks for visiting!

 

 

Best Summer Hair Styles and Updo’s

Summer time is not the time that you want to be doing “too” much with your hair.  Or over thinking about it.  It’s time to hit the beach or outdoors with ease, but still look great and stunning!

For over 20 years now, I’ve been making hair accessories.  And over this time, I’ve had people from around the world show me ideas – old and new – and interesting hair styles using barrettes, hair combs, hair sticks, pick combs, bobbie pins, and even pencils!   Here are some of my favorite which seem perfect for the summer in the city and the beach!

 

1.  The French Roll (or French Twist)
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This has been a long adored hair style ever since we first laid eyes on Audrey Hepburn and her amazing hair do.  Women spend hours trying to recreate this stylish look, only to have to have a hair dresser help.  Now, with modern tools and knowledge, we can do it ourselves in a matter of seconds.  Yes, I said seconds.  Our HOW TO VIDEO shows you how to do this!

2.  Bun or knot twist

This is a very popular look these days.  It may appear easier then you think, but once you get the hair into the desired bun or twist, you can secure it easily with one of our French combs (as shown below), pick combs, or set of bobbie pins.

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knot hair

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3.  Roll using bobbie pins
Bobbie pins are not just for holding your bangs back!

 

What is the Value of Art and what is Art Worth

I’ve come to realize that the 2 hardest things for an artist to do is to: 1. Promote and sell their own work 2. Decide what the true value of their art is worth. This has been troubling for me for most of my life as well as many of my artist friends. We have trouble understanding what we should be charging for our art because we feel that almost “anyone could do what I’m doing” and “it shouldn’t cost a lot because it was so easy for me”.  What is the value of art? I would like to start changing this issue and I want to help other artists in the process – by making everyone accountable for arts worth. Here is what I propose. Right now, in my life, I want to allow anyone to have a piece of my work. So, YOU tell me how much you think this item I have listed below is worth to you – and how much you are willing to pay, and if I feel it’s reasonable, it will be yours. All you have to do is pick your length, and pay with the “buy now” button below with the amount you are willing to pay, I will sell it to you for that amount. Then once you pay for the item, you agree to post and provide me with links to all the posts – on all your social media groups (including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, etc.): 1. A photo of the item, 2. Who the artist is (Jaime Byrd in this case), 3. How much you paid for it, and 4. A link back to my website and Etsy store. Some IMPORTANT information about this item that may be useful in you deciding the worth: • Amount of raw materials to create this piece: Aprox $16.00 • Number of hours it took to create this piece: Aprox 5 hours • Artists years as professional artist : 25 + years • Artists education years in the arts: 6 years Pick your length, and pay with the “buy now” button below. Thank you for supporting artists and what the value of our art work is really worth! Jaime

What is the value of art - landscape

What is the value of art?

How do you determine what the value of art is? This is an original acrylic landscape paintings on canvas, then soldered behind a clear glass frame, and accented with Swarovski Crystals, gemstones, and brass. The chain is a Victorian rosary style with crystals, gemstones, and pearls! This is really a work of art that reflects a time gone by. This piece really looks amazing on! With a vintage and romantic style, this makes a great item for the home when not wearing it as a necklace! I will make the chain to fit up to 29 inches. Frame is 1″ x 1″. Entire pendant is 3″ long.

Length