Becoming Collected in 2020

The start of any year is a time for introspection and planning, and when the year rounds an entire decade, it feels like an appropriate time to dig deep and reach for big dreams. I have been spending the last week looking at the results we got in 2019 here at Twisted Dreams- what worked and what didn’t. And I am excited about decisions on how to move this business forward and take it to the next level.

  • We are shifting to creating and releasing 3 Major Collections in 2020. What does this mean? The first collection will be released in late March/Early April ( date TBA). The Second is targeted for July, and the third will be in October. Each time a collection is released, the store here online will be reset- items from the old collection will be removed and the new collection will be featured. You will have a limited time to choose and purchase collection items. New items will not be added to the store other than these three times.
  • It is time to clear Backlog. Backlogged items currently listed, in or inventory and not listed will be put on sale. Either they will find their forever home, or they will be broken down and recycled into inventory to go toward building the new collections. Now is your time to grab that piece you have been eyeing. Once the first collection is released, they are gone forever.
  • Not everything will be sold here online. I am in the process of setting up some gallery shows to go with each collection- some of the higher price-point, wearable sculpture pieces will have a subtheme and will only be available at that location for at least the first month of the collection life. Watch here for dates and locations of where those exclusive sales will be. What we do here is a combination of art and product, and I am excited to take the Art side of this more seriously.
  • Not everything for sale will be unique. Well, the designs will all be uniquely mine– but in focusing on the product side of the business, some items will have to have small production runs to generate the profit needed to justify their creation. I am planning on incorporating beads of my own design and creation, as well as 3D printed elements into some of these products in the collections. These will be limited runs- once sold out, it is unlikely that I will do another production run.
  • Earrings will happen. Truth is, designing and making random, unique earrings is a great activity for both warm-ups to the serious design work, and as an evening unwind after work. ( and it is much healthier than a tequila and TV). This means that there will almost always be earrings I need to sell. I want to keep this store collection focused, so I am exploring other outlets for these. I am interested in your thoughts- would you rather have them in physical stores, in a separate Etsy store, or just posted randomly on Facebook and Instagram when they happen?
  • Custom orders will be more limited. At least, I will limit them for a while, as I prep for the first collection and move stock items. If you have a Birthday, Anniversary, Valentine Day request ( or maybe you just have a piece you have been dreaming of to make you smile) please get it in early, or my queue might be filled when you want it.

I am excited about this new direction for 2020, and can’t wait to reveal the first collection this spring! Watch this blog for work in progress, and hints and peeks before the release.

Now go hit the shop, and find that favorite piece on sale and grab it before it is gone forever!

How you know when to quit

2018-11-17 22.01.43When the light starts to turn slightly yellow gold, despite all the lamps turned on, and the cat keeps blinking, you know it is time to stop for the night and chill just a while before hopping into bed.


More pictures and more products to be loaded tomorrow….

Something New- Stitch Markers

I am not a knitter or crocheter…  but I am a huge admirer of the results.  I was told recently by a yarn maven who saw my wine glass charms that stitch markers are a thing.  I had this set of 4 amazing glass beads whose depth reminded me of the softness of yarn, so I thought I would give it a run and see how they sell.  If it turns out to be something of interest, I will design a bunch of others.   Let me know what you hate and what you love about them.


#DinnersProject gathering in Kokomo, IN

Oct 4, about 40 people gathered in the Community Room in the Basement of St. Andrew’s Church to participate in Creative Capital’s #DinnersProject. We were one of several hundred diners happening across the nation from Oct 4-7.   This event was co-hosted by many of the Arts Organizations and Businesses around the community and was attended by artists and art supporters alike.  We even drew in a few passers-by who smelled the food and heard the discussion. 

Not only did this turn out to be an opportunity for folks of a variety of beliefs to share and discuss both local and national political issues without vitriol or posturing, but it also turned into something even bigger for the community. 

Annie Lightsey, who runs Sol House locally and is involved with Create2030 globally, volunteered to lead the planning and coordination of topics for anyone who wants to use art as activism. Based on the UN SDGs , she will create a calendar that gives a topic for artists and organizations who want to raise awareness or help to educate each quarter.   Since we have also agreed to come back together once a quarter for a dinner ( we do carry-ins like experts around here), we will also use part of that time to collaborate and coordinate efforts for the coming quarter. 

The group also acknowledged that we can get so heads down busy working in and supporting our individual organization or business that we forget to look up and around. The #kokomoartsmatter hashtag was created and all in the room agreed that anytime we see it on an event or art posting, we will all share it.  Hopefully, in the near future anyone looking for insights on the Kokomo/Howard County art scene will just be able to google #kokomoartsmatter and find all the hidden corners of our rich art ecosystem.  We hope each of you will participate in this coordination of information. 

Listen for more information as new projects and collaborations evolve out of this community wide effort, and plan on joining us in January for the next amazing arts community pot luck dinner. 

For the People

person uses pen on book
Photo by on

Although the quote goes back into the 1300s, we know best the phrase “of the people, by the people, for the people” from Lincoln’s Gettysburg address.

If we look back to the occasion of the Gettysburg address, you might remember that he was talking that day because they were dedicating the battlefield to the fallen soldiers of the civil war.  He was admonishing those gathered to work hard so that the loss of those fallen would not be in vain.

Just like at Gettysburg, it often feels today that it is uncertain if our democracy will survive.

Just like at Gettysburg, the only way this will happen is if all of us work to ensure we have a democracy “of, by and for” the people.

Of the People-–  This means that the people who make up the government come from the people. That people like you run for office or serve in appointed roles to make the government work.

By the People- This means quite simply, that the people vote. To vote for representation, to vote for leadership, to vote to settle issues.  If the people are not informed and making decisions, democracy fails.

For the People – There is an implied “the benefit of”.  As in “For the benefit of the people”. Too often today, people read “for” and think – “instead of me”.  This is not “here- let me do that for you”.  As the first two clauses try to make clear, the people must act- Sometimes within the government and sometimes outside of the government- to get things accomplished and keep democracy healthy.  This was a warning not to let the interests of other entities come before the interests of the people.  Instead, what has too often evolved out of this means that people have great ideas and then try to find the person/department in the government to do it “for them”, instead of acting themselves.

What steps are you taking this fall to ensure that our democracy thrives and government stays “of the people, by the people, and for the people”?

Wire Wrapping for MakerMayhem

The layout worked through, now to dream up the wire wrapping design. The big piece is actually shaped and polished Kokomo Opalescent Glass oven slag. #makermayhem (at SHAK Makerspace)

Controlling Consumption as an act of Revolution

Controlling Consumption as an act of Revolution

For the majority of the 20th century, the US economy was based around consumption. Somewhere in the late 1960s to early 1970s, that percentage began to decline.  It is not a phenomenon unique to the US, it is part of an overall global decline in % GDP contribution globally.   A decline in GDP % does not mean we are manufacturing or producing less, it just means that the profits from Manufacturing…

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Controlling Consumption as an act of Revolution

For the majority of the 20th century, the US economy was based around consumption. Somewhere in the late 1960s to early 1970s, that percentage began to decline.  It is not a phenomenon unique to the US, it is part of an overall global decline in % GDP contribution globally.  worldmfg A decline in GDP % does not mean we are manufacturing or producing less, it just means that the profits from Manufacturing make up a smaller percent of the revenues in a country or world wide.  One natural conclusion of this is that manufacturing is less profitable.  But this is not the simple truth.  The revenue per share for Apple, which manufactures computers, tablets, ipods and phones have increased in a graph that is the inverse of this.  Certainly, some manufacturing areas ( automotive comes to mind)  have struggled- but overall this is not true.  The number of small to mid manufacturers making a happy profit continues to grow.

The other way to have your percentage decrease is to have some other area grow disproportionately.  And there is an area  that shows this very clearly- the financial industry.   ( Graph from Professor James Kwak)


A year ago, Bloomberg gave us some more insights into the growth of the financial sector.

“Let’s start with the question of why finance has grown so much in recent years. We can get some clues to this by considering which parts of finance have grown. Financial economists Robin Greenwood and David Scharfstein took a look at this back in 2013, and found that the acceleration since 1980 has come from two sources: 1) asset-management fees, and 2) lending to households.”

That is, the largest area of profits for the Financial Sector are coming from everyday people- the households who pay what seem like small fees ( 1 or 2 % management fees here and there that add up)  and the households who use credit more and more.

Why is this interesting and important?  What is the link to “compliance”?

In Requiem for the American Dream, Noam Chomsky looks at the impact of the concentration of wealth and inequality , and how it is both a natural progression/cycle and a backlash to the movements in the 1960s that increased democracy. He shows how some of this was even seen as an “excess of democracy” by the people threatened by it.  This is cyclical,  a teeter/totter seeking a balance point and often tipping from one side to another.  But every teeter totter only changes position when force is applied to it.

When the GDP12118999464_37f54f6d3b_m ( and the profits of the super rich)  were significantly made up from the profits of manufacturing, then the people had easy pressure points.  Strike, Sit in, Slow Down, Destroy property– all of these were easy physical actions that had an immediate bottom line impact and quickly built of pressure that required a release of power and an increase of democracy.

We are now playing a different game.  If you are a worker trying to get concessions from a single production company, a strike may still make sense.  But when are are trying to make wide sweeping changes, to put overall general pressure on the pockets of the super rich so that they have no choice but to relieve their pressure by decreasing inequality just a bit, general strikes and the destruction of property have little impact at all.

Let’s go back to those two points where the financial industry makes a profit.  M2823255013_9fa5d21650_management Fees and Credit.  Management Fees will require shopping around and pressure on the asset managers.  For the most part, 401K investments and the like are chosen by companies, not by individuals.  We can and should make sure we are informed and put pressure on people making the choices to make the choices most in our favor, this is a long game.

The second was credit.  Yep, that percentage you pay on your credit card(s), the interest and fees on every loan you take.  This becomes more of a psychological battle than a physical one.  The pressures put on the market place by advertising are powerful and designed to make you feel unhappy and dissatisfied– and to spend to feel better.  I am not saying “Do not buy things”.  That is an absurd statement and would quickly fall apart. But what if we really focus on “Only buy within your means”?  Some would argue that for them, this equals “Do not buy things”, but I say this is where we need to gather together and make this possible.   Everyone has something to offer– there are ways to get those birthday presents or other necessary luxuries that do not always mean going into debt.  Exchange of services or products without exchange of cash can assist in lowering credit usage in some of these cases.

How we can we collectively work to drop the profit out of the credit economy?  How can we force the market out of being a credit market and back to being more of a production market, where the pressure points on our economic teeter totter are more accessible to all?

For me, this means consumption that I am in control of- and not something that is an impulse that continues to drive profits into the pockets of the super wealthy.  It also means careful monitoring of the data to watch for the right pressure points to move the teeter totter back into balance.   The actions of a single person will be close to meaningless.  But the actions of a single person multiplied across millions can be a driving force.

What changes  will it take for you to not contribute to the profits generated by credit?