Thoughts on “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert (Note, all of Ms. Gilbert’s words are in Italics, mine are in regular font. Some quotes are paraphrased.) I just finished reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s book on creativity, “Big Magic”. This post is not a book review but more of an attempt to organize and put down in writing some of her ideas that resonated with me as a artist. Although much of the book speaks to the experiences of writers (she is one after all) there are some universal themes that apply to all creative people. The cover blurb, in which much of the book’s message is distilled,Read More →

At home in the grass –  “Earthing” There’s No Place Like Home It’s been a long time since I posted anything in my blog. It’s one of those things that started out enthusiastically then my enthusiasm soon fizzled. What can I say? It seems that in these modern times there are so many things that compete for one’s attention. For me my #1 joy is making things but there are other things to do such as Facebook and other online distractions (too much time spent here), walking, gardening, cooking, strumming my ukulele, playing mah-jong or having lunch with a friend, watching TV and movies, hangingRead More →

As you may have noticed, as of today my blog has a (slightly) new name. When I googled it I found out that someone else had a blog with the same title (My Life in Knots) as mine and (gulp) she had it first!  Now any truly smart person would have checked this out before naming their blog but I didn’t – so henceforth my blog will be “This” not “My” Life in Knots. No big whoop… Waxed Linen Hair Ornament by Joan Babcock But since I’m here I thought I’d share something I did recently that doesn’t have anything to do with knots butRead More →

Sundial Earrings New Book Coming Soon (I hope!) Wow, it’s been a long time since I posted! So for those who may have wondered – here’s what I’ve been up to. Last year was busy, busy, busy with more teaching than I’ve ever done. On the whole it was a good experience and I have no complaints about the students I met, who were a real joy to hang out with. But (isn’t there always a “but”?) frankly I got really physically burned out with the traveling part and yearned to spend more time at home. So that’s what I’ve been up to – hangingRead More →

Sometimes I think back to those days not so very long ago – before we had the “internets”. I remember the actress Anna Paquin from “The Piano” (who was just a girl at the time) on the TV telling us about this strange new thing called “the information super-highway” and how it would change our lives. And for better or worse, it certainly has. It has made a wealth of information instantly accessible. It has allowed me and countless other creative souls to have websites to show (and sell) our creations to the whole wide world. And it has enabled me and my husband to haveRead More →

As those artists who have been around a while can attest, sooner or later you will be approached to donate a piece of your artwork to a charity for their fund raising auction. In years past, when I was participating in a lot of arts and crafts fairs I got loads of requests – it seemed like every other week at times. I must admit to having mixed feelings about the whole thing ranging from “Sure, I’d be happy to help the woman’s shelter or the animal shelter – they are definitely a worthy cause” to the less charitable “Not again! Why don’t they ask some richRead More →

OK, it happened again. I was working on a new idea, a macrame flower, “exploring the possibilities and potential of the materials” (i.e. nylon cord and beads) and I got to a turning point (several hours of tedious work later) when I had to make an important decision. The decision was – “Do I continue pouring more time and energy into this piece or do I stop now and add yet another half finished thing to my shoebox?” I didn’t want all the hours I’d already spent on this thing to go to waste, but as it progressed with only so-so results, I kept thinking,Read More →

R.I.P. old bag I’ve been thinking lately about recycling. Not the environmentally conscious stuff that we should all be doing but the kind of recycling that relates to jewelry making. And no, I’m not talking about making earrings from bottle caps and old keys (although that could be fun). I’m talking about taking a pair of sharp scissors and (yikes!) dismembering a piece of jewelry for the parts. Perhaps it’s partially a reaction to the ever escalating prices for beads, but I think – “that particular necklace or bracelet may have taken many many hours to make, but what the heck, it wasn’t my greatestRead More →

J.Babcock Medicine Bag 2006 There’s something special about a little pouch made of velvet or silk or deerskin. Maybe it’s because of the size and that you can only fit something small and significant or maybe even precious inside. Deerskin Medicine Bag After moving to New Mexico in the late ‘80s I first became aware of Native American medicine bags – these are usually made of soft deerskin and containing personal items of protection and power such as stones, fetishes, sage, bones, hair or fur, roots, leaves or feathers. J.Babcock Medicine Bag circa 1992 Around that same time I also began noticing other types ofRead More →

One of the most frequent questions that I’m asked by people who see my work is “How long did it take you to make that?”  After all these years of creating and selling jewelry, I’m still somewhat flummoxed by that question, because the answer isn’t as apparent as it would seem. There is so many aspects that go into creating a piece of artwork and each of these takes time. First there’s the ruminating (or you might call it the gestational) period when an idea is taking shape in your mind. This is an undetermined amount of time but I suspect it can take anywhereRead More →