Monday, November 30, 2009

Getting Back in the Groove

I apologize that this will be a no-picture-post, again. I am sitting here keeping an eye on my sick puppy : ( He apparently has a tummy ache (I hope that is all). He has thrown up a couple of times (tmi) and won't eat or drink anything. He won't even eat treats. He keeps quaking like he's shivering. The vet said that could mean he is in pain. Poor baby. I am supposed to keep an eye on him today and if there is no improvement he's going in. I shutter when I think about how much money we have spent at the vet since getting Amos just over 2 months ago. Who knew dogs could be so expensive. I just hope he can get over this on his own. We still have to get him neutered...and that's not cheap.

I sure hope things have been busy at the galleries because business at the home office has been slow the past couple of weeks. I have been so busy getting everyone stocked up FOR the season and now that it is here I find myself with more time on my hands than I'm used to. Despite this extra time I have had I have hardly been in the studio lately. I've been busy taking photos, editing and listing to update my etsy shop and getting it ready to "do" more with. I have been enjoying this little break. My Christmas shopping is nearly finished and I feel pretty relaxed. But I know that things will pick up again. It always happens that way. I just kick myself when I do start to get busy again that I did not do more to prepare for it. So this week I am going to throw it into gear and start makin' jewelry. I am anxiously awaiting an order of turquoise cabs. I ordered a bunch off of ebay. I can't believe I am admitting to this, but it was the first thing I ever bought off of ebay. I hope it comes today. That would get me nice and motivated. Well, I've got to get going. Lots to do.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Landing on Two Feet

The phrase "leap of faith" just took on new meaning for me. My mom has wisely said upon many occasions that your 20's are some of the hardest years. That they are all about establishing yourself in every way, work/career; marriage; parenthood; home life; and personally. I think about what my twenties have been like so far and she couldn't be more right. Many trials and tribulations both in the world and in my soul have come to me throughout my twenties. It is hard to describe in words, but I wouldn't change anything so far. Every hardship has made me stronger and better able appreciate the joyful times. Like a master sculptor, my Maker has been chipping away at me with each of these moments, both the good and the not so good. And I am starting to see the shape He is giving me. It is an exciting unveiling!

Suddenly I am able to look back and see each of the times I have taken the leap. Sometimes I have jumped freely by my own free will. Other times I feel like I have been shoved off the edge. But I find myself standing on the edge again, ready to jump. However this time I am anticipating a better landing. A landing on two feet. I am not sure what has changed. But I like it. I feel great and excited to see what will come.

This Thanksgiving I am so grateful for too many things to write. First and foremost I am grateful for my faith. It has gotten me through! I am also grateful for my best friend/husband. He has gotten me through as well. I have never known such an inspiring person. His good example always lays before me. I am grateful for the talents and gifts God has given me. I still stand in awe of the fact that I have been given opportunities to let them flourish. What a blessing! And I am grateful for my family in whom I find the best friendship a person could ask for. I hope your Thanksgiving may be blessed and happy!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Shop Update Turned Shop Overhaul

A couple of days ago I decided to add some new work to my website. "Some" new work turned in to all new work. I didn't realize how many new designs I had! So my once hodge-podge etsy shop is finally starting to have a cohesive look. I have wanted that for my shop from the beginning but it always ended up being a dumping ground for gallery rejects or random new experiments. The 24th will be my year anniversary on etsy and I am now determined to fill 'er up with all new jewelry and an all new look.

I should have known it would take me this long to finally find a merchandising look I am happy with. I have almost gotten there a few times throughout the past year. I'd pull together new props and do a batch of new listings but then tire of the photos within a short period of time. That is how it always goes with design...home decor...wardrobe... It always takes me some time to find something I can really live with. So thanks for being patient with my ever changing "look". We'll see how long this one lasts. I hope I don't quickly tire of it's rustic simplicity.

I cannot believe another year has almost gone by. I remember last year right now pouring over FAQs on the etsy sellers page trying to learn and get the courage to open a shop. I am so glad I took the plunge and finally did it! I didn't know what to expect for sales or anything else. But I have had fun with the sales I have had and met a few wonderful etsians and been inspired beyond imagination. Here's to a new year (on etsy), a fresh look and a new effort. I hope this year brings twice as many learning experiences as the last.

Reflecting on my business in every other aspect over the past year makes me smile. To have my best year yet in these hard economic times really gives me hope for a good future for my little business. I hope and pray that I can keep my studio put for the time being (two major studio moves in the past year has played a toll on everything business related to be sure!). I love that it is right "there" and so easy to just pop in and start playing any time of the day or night. I hope I can continue to strengthen the relationships I have with some wonderful galleries/boutiques and maybe even find one or two more to entertain. I hope to continue having home parties and may even dabble in art fairs a little this next year. We'll see. I just want a year of stability, growth, and endless hours in my studio.

I am so excited for today. After I am done writing this novel I am going to list more jewelry. Then my sister is coming over and we're going to go hike around our favorite nature reserve. My other sister and her family are coming up from Chicago to stay for a few nights with us. Then me, my mom, three of my sisters (I have 6 sisters by the way, and one brother) and one of my sis' friends are all GOING TO SEE NEW MOON!!!!! I cannot believe I actually fought the urge to go see it yesterday. So, I better get going, there is jewelry to be listed, showers to take, hiking to do and movies to see. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Shop Update

I should be sleeping...but no, I am blogging. Huh? I thought I'd just show off some of what's new in my etsy shop. I've been listing all night and have lots left to do. Plus a lot of new jewelry yet to photograph and edit. And even more yet to make! Now if I can just avoid all of lifes distractions and spend some time in the studio.

I don't think I have kept my love of paisley a secret. I've got a whole bunch of paisley necklaces in the works. I expect there will be some paisley cuffs and rings in the near future. And possibly some earrings, we'll see.

My new Whisper Wishes charms. The by line is "wear your dearest wish close to your heart". A little sappy, but sweet. I like this one, the fish, leaf and bird are meant to represent each of Mother Natures eco systems. I think I have become a "tree hugger". Not only because my style (in almost every way) is leaning towards a rustic-nature yet feminine theme; but also because whenever I am at our local nature reserve I find myself literally hugging a tree. There is something therapeutic about doing that. Try it sometime (although my guess is that you already have at one point in your life).

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ooh la la!

As much as I LOVE my engagement and wedding rings, I have been itching to create a new rustically wonderful wedding set. I made time to play around in the studio today and created these rings. They turned out better than I hoped they would! And they have sentimental value. The three large gold balls were made out of my promise ring that Mike gave me while we were dating. It was a pretty little thing but the prongs which held the opal kept breaking and we gave up on having it repaired (this was before my jewelry making/repairing days of course). Ironically enough, the last time it broke was the morning after our wedding. I suppose that was appropriate since his "promise" was kept at that point : ) Anyway, the band has been sitting, stripped of it's stones, in a baggie in my supplies for years. I am glad to have finally done something with it. The three gold balls go with the tradition of representing our past, present, and future.

We have enjoyed a relatively relaxing weekend (finally). Days like today are numbered; it was sunny and somewhat warm so we took Amos to our local nature center to hike and explore. We packed a picnic, it was lots of fun. We decided to be adventurous and do a little off-trail exploring. We hiked, well, really we slid most of the way, down a steep hill down to a ravine that leads to the St. Croix river. Even Amos, who has the advantage of having 4 legs had a bit of a hard time making it down the hill. But we all made it in one piece. However, shortly after we got home I realized that one of my favorite bracelets was missing from my wrist. It most likely fell off while I was trying not to tumble down the hill. We're going to go look for it sometime this week. Hopefully the rain/snow we're supposed to get can hold off.

I am getting super excited to see New Moon this weekend!!! I'll be one of those people who sees it a couple of times I am sure...I'm such a dork : )