Friday, January 30, 2009

Lark Books

Is anyone else itching to find out if they made it into the 30 Minute Earrings book? I think the anticipation is going to get worse over the weekend. Good luck to all who applied!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Back To Jewelry

I started refining the links to my polka-dot jasper necklace. I'll be at the assembly stage soon! I still have to figure out a clasp for the links, and I'm not quite set on my idea to attach the centerpiece to the links. All in good time though.

I also finished some ocean jasper rings. Pretty simple bezel set rings, with an open back to see the beautiful backs of each stone. Each ring is a little different from the next.

What Will You Do When You Retire?

In the midst of the blustery winter weather that January brings to western New York stands my dear old Dad with his bike. Equipped with studded snow tires, special space age clothing to help him bear the negative temperatures, and a mustache to catch the drips- he starts his 30 mile trek.

Pop retired this past December, and hasn't let grass grow under his bicycle seat shaped butt. He can ride his age in miles faster than I can scrape the ice off my car windshield.

Biking isn't a recent hobby, but rather a reclaimed one. When he was much younger...younger than I can ever imagine him being- he and a just-as-crazy friend rode their bikes from Boston to San Diego in 50 days. With a tent and few spare tires on their backs they pedaled across the country.

My Dad has indirectly taught me that life is like a bicycle ride. Overall it is good. Often there are tough hills to climb, but always with a down hill reward. Sometimes you hit a pothole and get jolted from your path- other times you can take your hands off the bars, and feel the wind blowing through your hair. Pedal fast, and then let your feet go to see how far you can coast. Always keep your eye out for traffic, then take the back roads to slow down and enjoy the wildflowers along the way.

This is the poem that Dad left for me when I went away to college. I can never read it without crying.

To A Daughter Leaving Home

When I taught you

at eight to ride

a bicycle, loping along

beside you

as you wobbled away

on two round wheels,

my own mouth rounding

in surprise when you pulled

ahead down the curved

path of the park,

I kept waiting

for the thud

of your crash as I

sprinted to catch up,

while you grew

smaller, more breakable

with distance,

pumping, pumping

for your life, screaming

with laughter,

the hair flapping

behind you like a

handkerchief waving


Linda Pastan

Dad, you've taught me a lot about life. I've always admired you and your many passions.

Enjoy your retirement. Make it long and fulfilling. And as I begin my journey in your bike tracks, I'll aim to fill my life with enrichment as you've done. I love you.

Here's a pic!

It's Blue!
I work for a gemologist, so I think Mike had a lot of fun picking my boss's brain about stones. Mike wanted a blue one, so this is the diamond he picked out. It's set into an antique looking setting with little bead set diamonds up and down and all around. Very pretty and unusual!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I had about 5 different things to blog about tonight- pictures and all... but I got engaged instead!

I'll blog tomorrow.

Monday, January 12, 2009


It sounds funny, but I love Mondays. I get to spend them in the studio-except today. I was planning to get a bunch of jewelry finished, but instead had to run errands. I hate when that happens.

One of those errands though, was a stop at the post office to drop off my application to the Roycroft summer and winter festivals. So that's good to get out of the way.

Then I had to run to Home Depot to get a new space heater since the basement this time of year is colder than cold and the last heater gave up on me. While I was out, I noticed that Office Depot was going out of business, so I had to stop to see what they had. I picked up a cheap rolling chair for my studio, packaging supplies, a calculator and stapler for my shows, and finally a wireless printer. I wasn't going to buy one for a while, but my other one crapped out and I need one to print the rest of my applications.

It must be the cold weather, or lack of light- but by the time I got home I was exhausted and instead of being productive in the studio I snuggled with my pup until my pilates class.

I put a little package of pieces together that I'll be working on tomorrow. Everything is all organized and ready to go. Tomorrow I'll get some pieces done.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Filters, Proposal, and Banjo

Today, after a month of sitting in my basement, Mike and I put the filters in my dust collector. This little project was supposed to be done way back in October, but due to some ordering mix- ups, I didn't receive the filters until mid December- and by then I was knee deep in Christmas.

I also got my proposal e-mailed to Lark Books for the 30 Minute Earrings Publication! Wish me luck! I've never applied to anything like this before, so I'm just excited to have the guts to do it.

Last but not least, I got some good banjo practice in today. I practiced Friday and Saturday too. My fingers are sore, but my speed with changing chords has been improving!

This new calendar thing is working out great! I look at it every morning for my general obligations of the day. Then based on that, make a detailed list of things to do. At the end of the day I write my specific accomplishments on the calendar and check them off. It's such a good feeling to be back in regular (and very productive) routine.

Tomorrow, I'll be re-familiarizing myself with my studio. My task for the day is to look at all of the unfinished pieces I intended to have done for Christmas, and put a timeline on them. I get to start working again!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Meet My New Boss

I went out and bought two calendars yesterday. A new one for my purse to keep on me at all times, and then a GIGANTIC calendar for the fridge. I need the whole year to be on one page so that I can prepare for my endeavors appropriately. No more turning a page, and then- SURPRISE! There is a big deadline in two weeks that got forgotten because it was covered by April.

I filled out all of my yearly obligations...and yes they are all color coded because it's just easier for me to comprehend. Every day has a commitment, weather it is just to practice my banjo , a designated studio day, or a show. I have to stay organized in order to be able to accomplish everything I want to do this year with my jewelry.

My goals are easier to fulfill if they're organized on paper-looking at me in the face every day.

On another note, I signed up to take an online course to learn QuickBooks. (That's on the calendar too).

Only a little over one week into 2009 and I'm moving right along...and looking at my huge calendar-I have a feeling this year is going to fly by really fast.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Booth Advice Needed

In the previous post I have a picture of a mock setup for an indoor display. I need some advice on what to use for walls to frame my 10x10 allotment of space.

I have an idea that would use PVC pipe, and it's appropriate angle joints (if that's what they're called) to create a big cube. Something I can easily assemble, and strong enough to hang curtains and lights from. Maybe even concealing extension cords within the tubing.

Is this a common way to construct a booth- or bad news? Do any of you indoor show do-ers have any suggestions for me? I'd appreciate any suggestions. I have until the end of may, so time is on my side....right?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Here I Go!

I sent out my first show application of the year today! I had to do some major preparation because I have never done this type of show before. I needed a photo of my booth, however, I've never had to set one up for the previous shows that I've done.

Soooo, I turned the dining room into my jewelry booth! Complete with my new glass cases, neck pads and earring displays.

The booth looks pretty good for a mock-up, but will definitely need more additions and alterations by the time of the show. I'm hoping this is good for the judges.

For the application, I also had to include a picture of myself working in the studio. This is to prove that all of the work is handmade by me. This is me "at work". :)

Besides getting the application in, I got a list together of all the other shows I'm going to apply for this year. I'm hoping to do 6- if I get accepted. This will be a big challenge for me while working a full time job, but I think I'm up for it!

I also got all of my tax info together! I can't believe how much I've done this week. I'm usually a last minute kind of girl, but I'm having fun being on the ball.

Tomorrow, I'll be photographing some materials so I can finish my application for the 30 minute earrings book. That's an exciting step that I'm looking forward to completing. I don't know if I'll get accepted, but I'm so glad that I'm ready to put more effort into promoting my work!

Wish me luck!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Super Cute Pajamas

My Grandma got me these pajamas for Christmas. I just had to post some images of them. I can't get over how cute they are. Thanks Grandma :)

Different For Me

This necklace isn't really the style of jewelry that I make on a regular basis, but was a custom order I did for Christmas. I think it turned out very pretty. I have never Incorporated beading in my pieces-that I can remember anyway.
The chain is sterling silver, with 14 karat yellow gold hammered links. The charms and findings are all handmade, and the beads are pink quartz and colored pearls

It's a very sweet looking necklace. And happily, the last custom piece I will be doing.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Crafty Mom

My Mom stopped at my work yesterday with a little gift she had forgotten to give me for Christmas. She had made me these hand warmers! What a nice surprise. I'm wearing them right now, and they're great for typing. I love the color too! Thanks Mom!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Conquering the Beast!



I'm of to a great start! I now have a clean studio! My list of goals has really motivated me. The studio is mine again and doesn't belong to the ghost of Christmas present anymore!
Also, today I began researching venues to put my work in, and shows to do this year. This weekend I'll be going to check out one potential shop with my friend Sue. I can't wait to get the ball rolling!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

One Big Task Done.

I had a big dilemma after my first busy Christmas season. What do I do with all the stuff I had to buy for the show? I have two giant glass cases, display pads, and many large boxes of many smaller boxes. All of this was piled in the middle of my studio making it impassable. I went out and got a sturdy shelf, and cleared out a good spot outside of my studio, and set it up. Stacked all the goods on it, leaned my display table and two pedestals next to it and cleared out my studio. I took a deep breath and felt some accomplishment!

Now that I can walk in my studio again, my next task will be to organize the mess that I made getting ready for the holidays. For the most part, all of my tools have a resting place somewhere in the room. Once I get my tools reorganized, I'll be able to organize my projects. I'm getting there!

The Year Ahead!

I'm ready and excited to jump into 2009! I've got big plans this year starting off with some home organization. I want to get the house and studio in ship-shape condition... It's getting close!

Next, I've got ambitions to search out and apply to more jewelry shows/ venues. Which means I'll be making more time to be in the studio. I'm going to focus on pieces that I want to make. A good combination of production and one of a kind pieces. No custom work- allowing me to explore more. Ultimately, I want to be able to create more pieces, taking time to learn and improve along the way-no pressure-just fun :).

I also want to better my abilities to organize the business aspect of my jewelry. I need to finally take time to learn QuickBooks, get better with online sales and promotions, and maybe take a step forward and join Etsy Metal. I'd like to become a part of a group of like-minded artists to keep my motivation and excitement high.

Beyond my jewelry aspirations, I'd like to make more time to go fishing with Mike. Keep up with my banjo, yoga, palates, and also take more walks and bike rides. I want to be able to spend more time outside this year. As much as I love my basement studio, I definitely need to get some fresh air once in a while.

Another thing I need to improve is spending more time with friends. I've been quite the hermit the past year being busy with other things. I've got to make more of an effort to be near those who mean the most to me.

Lastly, my biggest challenge, I'd really like to improve my diet. Pizza and Tacos need to become more infrequent on my dinner plate. I have a terrible fear of the kitchen and planning meals. I am going strive to change this. Healthy eating, more home cooked meals, and conquering my fears. Cooking can be creative...I just have to figure out how.