Sharing my passion for handcrafted jewelry, paper making, and living a creative life.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Do you want to be a jewelry artist?

I have to admit. I’m a bit of a jewelry snob. Creativity means much more to me than gold, diamonds and a hefty price tag.

That is why Susan Lenart Kazmer is one of my favourite jewelry artists. Her work is amazing! Last fall, I Jumped at the opportunity to sign up for Susan’s first 6 month Intentional Metalsmithing online jewelry course, a mentored program for beginning and advanced jewelry artists. There was no pressure to complete the course in the six month period as the videos continue to be available indefinitely. This worked well for me.

Susan is once again offering her mentored e-course, Intentional Metalsmithing. Susan teaches her techniques for creating exceptional artisan jewelry while encouraging and guiding participants to discover and use their own unique symbols and talismans in their designs.

Early bird pricing For the course ends tomorrow, July 14 but you can still sign up until July 16. The course starts on July 20. Even if you have never picked up a jewelry torch before, if you love creative jewelry, you’ll love this course!

100 Day Project - Day 2 - I quit!

As soon as I made the commitment to do this, I knew I didn’t really want to do it. One of the things that I love about retirement is having the freedom to wake up every day and decide how I want to spend the day. So why do I keep telling myself that I should do more or be more? I get done what I need to do. The rest is optional.

I was going to just delete the previous post and pretend this never happened😂 but I might as well own it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

100 Day Project - Day 1

Most of you have probably heard of The 100 Day Project #The100DayProject. You choose your own creative project to commit to for 100 days and post daily in the Facebook group.
Day 1 Getting ready
Retirement from my job away from home already meant I had lots of time to finally focus on my art and jewelry making. And now that social interaction has been restricted because of COVID-19, I have even more time. My problem has never been time, I realize now. I'm just a procrastinator.  There is always tomorrow, right?  But this pandemic is also teaching us that....maybe not.

So my 100 Day Project is to build a habit of spending time every day creating in my studio. No set times, just a commitment to do something. 100 Days to Build my Studio Habit.

Yesterday was Day 1 and I reorganized my jewelry studio to make my soldering area for jewelry more efficient. 

Friday, January 17, 2020

Happy 2020! May your foresight be as clear as your hindsight.

Another whole year has gone by without me keeping my word to blog more often. I also did a really lousy job of sticking to my Depth Year for 2019. And in the spirit of my goals for the new year, I don't care. It obviously wasn't my priority.

For 2020, my goal is to play more and make enjoying life a priority. If something doesn't give me pleasure, and it doesn't absolutely have to be done, then I'm not going do it. I am 65 years old and unless something miraculous happens, I don't have a whole lot of years left to waste doing things I don't want to do. Easier said than done, I know, but I'll try my best.

I've lived in this area for over 40 years but I only recently discovered this beautiful lake less than 10 minutes from my current home. There are so many more discoveries to be made.


On summer weekdays I am often the only person there so I can sit on the dock and paint or just drift on my floaty chair in beautiful peace and solitude.
Journal/sketchbook - enjoying the summer sunshine on my floaty chair
I look forward to more of this in 2020! How about you? Do you ever feel like time is running out and you would like to be doing more for your own well being? Try using Marie Kondo's technique for getting rid of clutter and ask yourself, "Does it spark joy?" If not, let it go!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Depth Year 2019

“Go deeper, not wider.”  These are the words of David Cain at raptitude.com (Getting better at being human) in his first post about doing a "Depth Year." He talks about taking a year to go deeper with what you already own or know rather than acquiring more. Check out his blog for the complete post and be inspired!

Like many creatives, I have a habit of acquiring new and shiny supplies and resources when I already own more than I can possibly use in this lifetime. So I am declaring 2019, My Depth Year. My goals for the year are to not buy any new art supplies except to replace something that I have used up, to not buy any magazines or books and to go deeper to learn from what I already own, to not add any new art or crafts, and to not buy any new beautiful journals or art papers that call to me with their beautiful pristine pages and endless possibilities!

So far I have been successful for 10 days!

This is my little art area in an alcove at the top of the stairs. I had too much stuff for it all to fit in my little garden shed jewelry studio so I had to create a space for it in my house.


I love that everything is within easy reach. I'm excited to start going through my books and exploring neglected techniques and supplies.

Last January I took a free online boot camp called Jewelry Brand Makeover to help me figure out the direction I wanted to take my jewelry business. Flourish and Thrive Academy teaches jewelry designers and makers about growing a jewelry business. I went on to take their Laying the Foundation course, too. I learned a lot in both the free boot camp and the paid course and came away with so much information to use in my own business.


Now that I'm retired from my "day job", I am ready to explore further, to go deeper, in my jewelry business. I have so many decisions to make and I'm hoping to get the clarity I need by taking this year's boot camp called Jewelry Brand Marketing Hub as well as revisiting Laying the Foundation. If this is is something that interests you, here's the link http://www.flourishthriveacademy.com/makeover. I love how they are all about "Community Over Competition", jewelry designers helping their fellow jewelry designers.

Happy 2019 and cheers to you and meeting your goals for the year!




Monday, January 8, 2018

Happy New Year (finally)!

Hi everyone! Over a week into the new year but here I am finally. I've been giving this poor little blog disjointed starts for awhile now. This year I plan to change that. I even printed out some cool free Blog Post Planner sheets from a company called Productive Flourishing to keep me on track. They have lots of great planning tools on their website.

I haven't been very good about photographing my jewelry since I haven't been selling online but here are some pieces I did manage to get pictures of before the Christmas craft fairs this year. The leaves are made from old copper roof flashing that a friend found behind his shed. I annealed the copper and fold formed the leaves before using a blow torch to add several layers of enamel. The bails are made from obsolete Canadian copper pennies and I used recycled electrical wire for the jump rings and clasps.





I'm kind of excited to try some new strategies for growing my jewelry business and I'm starting by participating in a Jewelry Brand Makeover Boot camp. I've been a fan of Flourish and Thrive Academy for over a year now. I first discovered Tracy Matthews' podcasts while searching for something motivational to listen to while working in my studio. Flourish and Thrive Academy has a philosophy of Community over Competition and Tracy and her partner, Robin, share an incredible amount of free resources for jewelry designers at all levels. They also offer popular in depth courses for a fee. If you are a jewelry designer, you might want to check them out.

I'll see you again soon!




Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Cuttlefish Casting

I've been meaning to try casting with cuttlefish bone for some time and I finally got everything together so here is my first attempt. 

 

I used reclaimed sterling silver from a variety of sources after testing it first for silver content if it wasn't marked. 

I'm glad the first piece I did turned out because the next three didn't and I might have given up.  I learned from the flops, though, and as soon as I get some more cuttlebone I'll be at it again.  One of the things I learned is that the stench of burned cuttlefish bone doesn't leave the studio for hours!!! so next time I'll do this outside.