It shouldn’t be any surprise to anyone that my favorite concept and mystical beast is the phoenix. The symbolic meaning of the phoenix is about renewal. The phoenix is about overcoming darkness and rising to the challenge to become powerful and succeed over adversity.
It’s a symbolism that I have used a few times, but never like this piece that beautifully displays the body language of both anguish and freedom.
I wanted to create a piece that showed the transitional moment of someone taking a leap of faith into the unknown. This leap is taken with complete abandon and freedom.
Several years ago I took a leap of faith that was terrifying. I remember thinking that I had to forget everything I thought I knew, because all those thoughts were telling me I was crazy. I was essentially burning the bridge to my old life, a life that was all I knew for 30 years. It wasn’t the most happy life I could live, which is why I decided to change it. This required me to hop in my car and leave all security and certainty behind… which was absolutely terrifying, yet was such a pattern interrupt in my monotonous life that I needed.
Essentially, from the ashes of my old life which had completely self destructed, I rose and felt stronger than I ever had.
The thing is, I could have stayed in my old life… there is always a way to keep things going, but I had made a decision that I wanted things to change.
I feel like the Phoenix is a powerful reminder that no matter what, you can always be reborn from the ashes of your old life.
Happy Valentine’s Day!!! Time to sacrifice a goat in a cave, slap people on the street with its bloody hide to help with fertility and purity, and then party all night! Well, maybe not any more. Luckily, the origins of this very loving Hallmark holiday is way in the past, so today we celebrate each other and our loved ones in a less sacrificial blood and chanting way.
I’m sure everyone who is in a relationship is planning dinners, gifts, and private moments, so I’ll get right to the point. I would like to add a little something else to this day, to be your own Valentine. I’m saying, let’s take the opportunity to watch how we talk to ourselves, trust me it’ll help your relationship.
Much of our self talk has a huge impact on our relationships. This stems from low self esteem and negative self worth. Many people find themselves not good enough to do or be something, and they make sure to remind themselves of this often.
In the area of love, this is one of the things that complicates our relationships. We sometimes get into a relationship with someone and convince ourselves that happiness lies in the other person. This is because we feel we are not worthy to make ourselves happy, and that we are incomplete.
Incompleteness is a silly concept, although it may sound romantic to tell someone that they complete you, really when you think about it, it’s stupid.
It is a concept full of expectations and assumptions. You expect the person to always complete you, and that will lead to resentment and judgment because ain’t nobody got time for that.
We tell ourselves that we are incomplete without this other person because we think they fill the void we feel in our being. They do not fill this void, they remind us how to fill it ourselves because they love us and we temporarily see ourselves through their eyes. This wears off eventually, and oh boy can things get complicated.
Hey, all I’m saying is if you love someone, you better love yourself and be nice to yourself, or you’ll be making yourself miserable no matter who you have around. You’ll also be making the person you love miserable. Food for thought.
Maybe it’s the fact that it’s the beginning of a new year, maybe it’s because I’ve been feeling under the weather the last couple weeks, or maybe it is because its been gloomy all day, but I’ve been thinking about happiness.
I figured that happiness is all about creativity. What I mean is you create your own happiness. You can’t really find it in your pocket or in the glove box. So, here are the Three things I came up with today that allow me to be happy. I figured I would share, and see if you can enjoy them as well.
Come up with your own definition of what it means to be happy. Make sure it is your definition. I like this one, I borrow it from time to time.
Happiness is being the creator of your experience, choosing to take pleasure in what you have, right now, regardless of the circumstances, while being the best you that you can be.
Whenever I’m in the moment, and I’m really present to what I’m feeling, seeing, hearing, or doing, I allow myself to experience a sense of euphoria. It isn’t often that in our fast paced society we are able to stop ourselves from thinking about the future, or dwelling over the past, so a nice dose of now is a refreshing change.
Don’t Become, Just Be.
If you’re constantly thinking into some future where you can be happy, you’ll be in the habit of trying to be happy. If you are trying to do happy, you aren’t doing it, you’re just trying. Instead, if you just become happy with your current situation, you can be happy any time and place.
When you’re working on being happy, you are the type of person that created the possibility that you are not currently happy.
And that’s it… I know that hardly covers what it takes to be happy, but it is definitely a start… Besides, I have art to create. 🙂
Valentine’s Day is coming! Whether you are shopping to spoil those you love, want to splurge on yourself, or don’t believe in celebrating a hallmark holiday, the lead-up to Valentine’s Day is rife with sales and specials.
You’ll find everything from free desserts to naughty items, and it can be a whole bunch of fun. I personally like the idea of taking a day to remember the people you love most and celebrate that love.
Klee has designed something special for this 2019 Valentines day. It’s on sale for 20% OFF until February 10th 2019.
The symbol of the open heart is as timeless as it is cherished. Representing love in all of it’s various incarnations: romantic, family, friendship, passion for life… it reminds us to keep our hearts open and to give and receive love to the world around us. This pendant necklace is a beautiful and simple representation of a universal and powerful symbol.
I start with solid 12 gauge sterling silver which gets hammer formed, soldered and shaped completely by hand into a beautiful and unique open heart with it’s own rustic texture, no two are ever the same. After the hammer forming, it gets meticulously refined, filed and polished by hand, to ensure that it is beautiful and long lasting. Finally it is placed free floating on your choice of chain for her or cord for him to complete the design.
This necklace is made to order and each one is unique, just like your love.
-Hand formed solid sterling silver rustic heart pendant with hammer texture. -Heart pendant measures 25mm (1″) across when measuring from the top of each arch to the opposite flat side. (please expect very slight variations as these are hand forged). -Stamped on backside with .925 sterling stamp. -Free floating setting allows the heart to move freely on the chain or cord and flip around.
The rustic free floating heart is my representation of unconditional love. It is not tethered or restrained. It is kept close, but free to move as it will. It can be sometimes rough-hewn and even bumpy at times… but it is real, tangible, textural, unique and beautiful.
Happy Valentine’s Day from both of us! Although we try and celebrate the people we love daily, it’s nice to have an excuse to announce it to you! We love you!
I know what you’re thinking, but I can be quiet… kinda… sometimes.
To be fair to myself I’m not really talking about keeping your mouth shut, or not speaking your mind, I think you should always speak your mind.
I guess I’m talking about meditation. Yep, I said it, meditation… It’s cool. You can believe that from someone who still occasionally uses the word “cool” and thinks its… well… cool.
So, let’s get right into it. What are the benefits to an artist of quieting your mind for at least 5 minutes a day?
When you allow the myriad of thoughts and emotions to settle, you might just find that you open up the way for valuable creative insights and “a-ha!” moments. Especially when it comes to that project that keeps looking like a turd no matter what you do.
Staying focused on your work.
It’s incredibly difficult to sit down and complete any sort of creative project when your attention is constantly being pulled away by phone notifications, social media updates, and zombie attacks.
Perhaps the single most valuable use of meditation for the creative person is in warding off unwanted distractions. A number of studies have shown meditation to improve focus, attention, and self-control. Distractions keep us stuck on the shallow surface of the mind. If we want to come up with truly creative ideas, we must have the focus to “go deep.”
Overcome fear and self-criticism.
Fear is the most powerful creativity-killer there is. Meditation helps overcome fear of failure and harsh self-judgments. By turning down the volume on the voice of our inner critic, meditation helps us move into a place of pure self-expression and enjoyment.
You’re essentially training your thinking muscle. Most of us have thoughts come in and take control over how we feel, yet they’re our thoughts, we think them. Meditation helps you flex and work out a process of understanding that you don’t have to believe and feel every thought you have… you can observe it and pick and choose what to think about. You think your thoughts, your thoughts don’t think you.
Being present to what’s around you.
Great artists are great observers — of life, the human condition, nature, their environment, and social norms. Creating art requires being deeply attuned to life in the myriad of ways it presents itself.
Relaxed and at ease.
We’re more creative when we’re relaxed and at ease. It’s as simple as that. Meditation has been scientifically proven to lower stress levels, lessen feelings of anxiety and depression, and reduce negative self-talk while also boosting mood and overall well-being, thereby putting you in your most energized, creative mindset.
This time of year I always seem to find myself more contemplative than ever. It’s almost like I can’t help but evaluate my experiences of last year and come up with a fuzzy idea of a plan that is not really a plan for the new year.
I think everyone does this to one extent or another. I remember back in my less optimistic days, this time of year was only a reminder that time was running out. I would spend most of my time thinking about lost opportunities, and how terrible my year went. Yeah, I was not a ray of sunshine back then, and to be honest, my life was a reflection of my attitude.
Luckily for me, I stopped being a dumb-ass and started to appreciate this thing we call life.
My new year resolutions are not the typical “I want my butt to look better in jeans” type of resolutions (my butt looks great in jeans, btw), they have more to do with realizations I had throughout the year.
The one that is really on my mind is based on our recent trips and around 60 hours worth of conversations on said trips with Klee.
Appreciating every single individual moment that I spend being alive, and really taking advantage of the fact that I am breathing and able to make decisions that impact my life now. Essentially, not waiting around for things to happen, but just living now. Our experience last year was a solid realization that life is extremely short… So EVERY moment is precious.
Remembering that I am unique, but so is everyone else and there really isn’t such a thing as normal. Everyone is weird, but there are those who embrace it, and there are those who hide it. Embrace it always.
Well, that’s all I have so far, it’s still a work in progress and Klee and I will probably have some long conversations about feelings, goals, life, and other fun stuff. Have fun figuring out your awesome resolutions for 2019.
Oh yeah, play more guitar, write more blogs, film more videos, create more amazing art, and try to ween myself off of Snyder’s buffalo pretzel bits, those are on the list as well, so we’ll see how those go for 2019. Just kidding on the pretzel bits, I’m never gonna give those up.
Ho Ho Ho and such! I’ve got some important news about ordering, Holiday shipping times, and all the craziness involved.
I also wanted to make sure you guys are aware that today is the last day to order Calendars. That is December 5th, 2018 until 11:59PM Central Time. At midnight I will be pulling the listings down. Thank you so much to everyone that ordered a Calendar! I appreciate you guys so much.
Last year some people missed the deadline, and wanted to know if I can “help a brotha out” but alas I could not, and I felt really bad about it, but it would have messed up the orders that were already placed.
Also, in the last blog I put information about holiday ordering and shipping times, it’s important, so I’m going to share it again.
HOLIDAY ORDERING AND SHIPPING FROM RAFI AND KLEE
Order cutoff dates are as follows, to ensure timely delivery for Christmas. Domestic orders (continental US), for bespoke (made to order) items: December 11th. Limited collection (ready to ship) items: Dec 17th. All international orders: December 3rd.
Usually, it takes 2-7 business days, but most shipping companies do not work during weekends. Strikes, severe weather conditions, flight delays, increased volumes, and other unforeseeable issues may cause an increase in shipping time. So keep that in mind.
Oh, btw… You’re awesome and we love you. I know it’s been all business with deadlines and ordering for the Holidays, so I want to take the time out to say, I really appreciate you and thank you for being so supportive.
That time of year is upon us where we desperately try to remember what the people who are near and dear to us would like in their stocking. In the spirit of the holidays I have compiled a list of our most popular stuff to stuff a stocking with.
These are gifts that are both affordable and meaningful from our collections of fine jewelry and fine art.
PLEASE NOTE: While people are generally overflowing with joy and uncontainable excitement, this season can also cause a bit of stress for us with increased orders and workload or winter storms that can drastically impact delivery times. It is important to us that you get your gifts.
Ok, now that’s out of the way, on to the fun:
Tiny Hammered Disk Earrings – Sterling Silver and 14k Solid Gold “Mini Gong” Earrings $59.00
Three Little Birds Wall Art by artist Rafi Perez Original Artist Enhanced Print On Wood $25.00
Green Fluorite Crystal Necklace – Solid Sterling Silver – Raw Fluorite Octahedron Crystal – Long Layering Necklace $60.00 (Was $75.00)
Four Seasons – 4 Piece – Tree Paintings on Reclaimed Wood By Artist Rafi Perez $131.75 (was $155.00)
Also! Don’t forget! Calendar Order deadline is tomorrow, December 5th. Please order yours before they are gone.
I am so appreciative and grateful of the response I’ve been getting to the Calendars. I’ll be honest, I was a bit surprised at how many of you showed excitement over the new designs. Truly, from my heart, I thank you.
My plan is to have all the calendars ready to ship no later than December 15th, which will put the calendar in your hands before Christmas. My goal is to ship them the same day I get them from the printer, so it may ship earlier, either way I will keep you updated.
Once the deadline passes in 4 days, its go time. That’s when the craziness begins and the process truly gets started. Speaking of deadlines, I noticed that there are several calendars sitting in carts, I really hope whoever you are, you don’t miss the deadline, because once I have my final order number, that’s it, these are coming down.
If you haven’t gotten one yet, please order online, by following the link below. I have it set up this way so that I can keep track of the orders. I will not be selling calendars in person at the market, sorry.