Sunday, January 23, 2011

Some times you need a goose...

Not the honking kind but the kick in the rear to get you moving. I'm writing this so it's out there and I have to follow through.

I'm sending some jewelry to a friend to be photographed. Not for jury shots but for all kinds of other uses, including Etsy. Doesn't sound like a big deal but I've turned it into one. He's doing this as a favor and it seems like a lot to ask. But look at this beautiful booth shot he did for me!

I'll be posting the results...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My 2011 Goals

My goals for this year are very practical. Nothing warm and fuzzy, just things I can actually accomplish and that need to be done. Considering that I'm not particularly practical and I think everything in life should be warm and fuzzy, this could make for an interesting year!

1) Update my logo. Although it doesn't sound like much, this will be a big one. I stopped using my old, very dated logo a few years ago and have been trying to figure out a new one that captures what I'm currently doing. This is NOT something I have any skill doing myself but there's no money in the budget to hire someone so I'll have to figure it out (with the help of friends of course). Once this is done I need new boxes, cards and a new banner for my booth. All with the new logo tying them together.

2) Figure out how to use silver and get the same feeling in my work. Even silver is expensive these days but it seems cheap in comparison to using 22k gold so I'm going to try to use more of it. A lot more of it in fact. Very little 22k... This is the ugg goal. I'm not happy about having to do this but it's necessary and I will adapt, although I'll probably grumble while I do!

3) Stay closer to home for shows this year to help stay on top of things. I LOVED traveling the country last year doing shows but I couldn't keep up with anything at home! Personal, business, whatever. I didn't stay on top of anything. That can't continue. So I'll still be traveling but just not quite as much.

4) Keep on top of phone calls, e-mails, orders, repairs etc. This really ties into #3...

5) Clear out the clean side of the studio. Oh boy, this is a big one. My studio is 1/3 the dirty side where I make the jewelry and 2/3 the clean side. That's where anything clean happens. Major storage plus working areas. When Julia was working with me, she kept me on top of it but without her, I tend to dump things there to go through them later. Yeah, sure. That time hasn't come in a very long time. But it's now time to just do it! I need to get rid of things that I'll never use again like those exceptionally beautiful oak jewelry cases from way too long ago. How many years should I actually store them??? I may need to call Julia...

There's nothing earth-shattering here. No lofty goals for me this year, just very practical ones. We'll see how I do!

Monday, January 17, 2011


Every year in January, the women in my artist group all share their goals for the year. First we have to admit to what we did and didn't achieve on our goal list for the previous year. Lots of laughter and excuses during that part. Then comes the actually speaking out loud what we want to accomplish this year. That's the hard part. There will be some silly, some heartfelt and some slightly wishful. All of us looking forward with anticipation...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tiny boxes

The following is by Don Ament who is a photographer and used with his permission. I loved this story and wanted to share it.

Friday night the Lexington Art League had the opening preview party for the 25th anniversary Nude Show. It's a major show that attracts international work. Seemingly, the entire town (and beyond) comes out for the pricey opening. My studio is located in the same building as the LAL's galleries, it's an 1852 building that looks like a castle.

I have a set of eight tiny handmade paper boxes I acquired several years ago, made by a former president of the LAL. They are 1.25 inches square by 3/4 inch tall, have lids, and she decorated them to look like little presents you might get at a birthday party. For the preview party, I put a few of my little "Buzzguy" caricature signs around the studio like I wrote about on this forum awhile back, and then tried something new with the little boxes.

I put the boxes in a conspicuous place, and put a Buzzguy sign next to them that said, "Hey, put a Cool Treasure in one of these boxes for me." I wasn't in my studio the whole evening, so had no idea if anything would be in any of them or not. Well, at the end of the night, six out of eight boxes had cool treasures in them.

I got an earring that looks like a volleyball, a stretchy hair thing that women use, a compliment about my work, a business card, an offer from someone who informed me that she is a treasure and wants to model for me (I was showing some of my figurative work in my studio), and this quote from Yogi Bhajan: "Grace is the most effective tool. It will bring you love, appreciation and prosperity."

I'm going to save every one of these cool treasures and do this again.

Friday, January 7, 2011

a new decisions

This month is deliberately free of shows to help me decide where I want my work to go next. Using 22k gold in the amounts I do is no longer an option so, what's next for me? After almost 35 years at this, can I still make a living this way? What do I need to change?

There have been discussions on Facebook among the jewelers/metalsmiths who use primarily silver about how they're dealing with the rising price of metal. Are they making changes in their work, making things lighter, changing their designs, we're all trying to find the answers. I don't have any answers yet but I'm looking.

For me some of the changes are really hard. I'm dropping my line of 14k gold wire earrings that I've done forever. Love these earrings since they give me a chance to pound steel against gold and come up with something fun! Some of my designs have been around a long time, some are brand new but I've loved making them. Maybe I'll still make a few for fun...

Going back to my beginnings and working in silver again will allow me to play more. I'm going to start making some silver rings which I'm really excited about. Years ago I was known for my gold rings but it's been a long time since I've made rings of any kind so this will be a fun change.

Change doesn't come easily for me right now but I will! And I'm excited about the possibilities. Stay tuned for a new chapter!!!