Sunday, October 30, 2011

Studio Time: Winter 2011 Earring Collection - Ice and Frost

Winter 2011 Earring Collection
"Ice and Frost"

Warm sweaters, sipping hot chocolate or hot cider,       snuggling down into blankets next to a crackling fire. The Frost and Ice collection is a beautiful neutral collection of etched glass beads reminiscent of frost and ice paired with hand-formed Argentium (.925) silver. Perfect for a glittering winter event and neutral enough to wear year round.

I created a 12-piece collection of earrings for a winter show. I will be posting these earrings to my Artfire store. This collection will be available through December 15. Each piece will be made upon order, so allow at least 2-3 days for creation before being sent.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Effectively Organized: Challenges of the Business of Creativity

There has been much discussion over the right side of the brain being creative and the left side being analytical. I just read somewhere about recent studies showing that there really isn't a divide. Whatever. In my world, Creativity and Analysis live very different lives.

Analysis is the preferred skillset in the business world. Creativity is welcomed, but only within a 9-5 business mentality. The thing is. Creativity doesn't live from 9-5. It’s 24x7. My creativity simmers. Percolates. Strikes in blinding flashes of lightning. And for me, the soaking rainstorm of creative productivity happens between 8 pm and midnight. Some creativity might go to work from 9-5, but drowning in a sea of “must-do’s,” it has very little time to make an appearance. Even if it had time to muse and meander from 9-5, I think most creativity lives outside of the structured box as the factors that influence creativity and innovation can be triggered by anything in our life.

I’ve just given Creativity free reign during my creatively productive hours. It serves many purposes: to turn my brain off to a stressful day, to keep the focus off the pain of a migraine, and just simply for the joy of creating. But now that the artist has been unleashed, I can turn my hobby business into a more active small business. Even as a hobby-business, it still needed the analytical side to manage mundane things like expenses and income.

Now the trick is to get my Inner Artist and Inner Analyst to play nicely together and have fun. I mean, it’s my business. I don’t have to banish Creativity when the business of Business is front and center. Why can’t I figure out a way to make the onerous tasks more enjoyable? Like bookkeeping. (Ugh.) Or filing. (Almost as bad.) I know other people don’t mind these particular tasks as much as me. I think I mind them because I dislike routine. I also hate balancing checkbooks…unless I have software to do that for me.

So, I’m going to resurrect my newsletter in the next few months, reconfigure my website, and develop a series of articles about making the mechanics of my business more streamlined, less intimidating, less annoying. My real life experiences as a girl geek project manager has de-mystified a lot of business processes for me or at least made them less intimidating (like reading a contract, researching copyright or intellectual property, organizing my workday). If possible, I want to find ways to make myself more willing to engage in the parts I really don’t like (bookkeeping, filing) and even inspiring, pretty, or fun. Creative Self, meet Analytical Self. Play nice.

And for a little "Cotton" eye candy...

Harvest Time
Reminiscent of a wagon trailing bolls of cotton, this necklace is for the woman who enjoys the rustic rambling of various materials comprised of the necklace and earrings.

Necklace: Copper and Argentium Silver (.925) strung on cords of suede and festooned with hand-made glass beads.

Earrings: Argentium Silver (.925), Copper Washer and hand-made glass beads. 1.25”

I am working on developing a permanent Cotton Inspired line of jewelry designed to be souvenirs of the South Carolina Cotton Trail. I haven't decided which pieces will be part of the permanent collection or if I'll continuously re-invent a collection for a season. I'm still figuring this part out.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Studio News: Cotton Ready to Harvest

Okay,  here is my news. When my family moved to South Carolina, I was fascinated that cotton was still a vital part of South Carolina's economy. It clothes, feeds, and even pays for things (our dollar bills are 75% cotton). I visited the Cotton Museum on Friday to do additional research on the subject of cotton.

AND! I was juried into the Artisans of the South Carolina Cotton Trail! My mom does photography and had participated in an art show last year. She has been forwarding invitations to various art events in rural South Carolina and the Artisans of the South Carolina Cotton Trail piqued my interest. So, I scrambled and put together a cotton-themed jewelry collection... in two days! I'm really excited because this was a juried selection. This is the first time I've had the guts to apply for anything where my work is judged. Although my heart is always in my jewelry, I was able to put this in perspective... I made up my mind beforehand that if I wasn't accepted, this was a great learning experience. But, I was accepted and all the practice that has come from writing a blog (marketing), developing my unique voice in jewelry, branding my work, learning to present my work... all of that has come together in a good way for me. 

I'll be posting pieces from the collection that I presented over the next few days and then I'll be posting them for sale on the Buy PeeDee Arts SCCTA website. I will continue my OOAK pieces and other designs made available in my ArtFire (finished jewelry) and Etsy (bead) shops. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Studio Time: Cotton

Does look like a bowl of cotton bolls? Kinda? I was going for the cotton theme. The above bowl of glass beads is a teaser for what I have been working on. I will share more later ... I hope by the end of the week. :-)