…at the Lexington Market in Baltimore.
Art students drawing…
To visit our son Robin and his fiancée, Stephanie. Her parents, Tim and Cathy Austin will be driving in from Connecticut on Friday. Will we talk about wedding plans? With no date set yet? Will we talk about dates? Stay tuned. This is new to all of us. What I do know is that these guys look pretty happy together.
Those bags of silver scrap from the studio clean up 2 weeks ago? $990 worth of credit at Rio Grande.
I just spent it all on an order of fresh PMC, fine silver wire, Argentium sterling wire, fine silver and Argentium tubing, a case of earring size jewelry boxes, a tiny anvil and a brass hammer, some heavier black 49 strand beadalon, polishing pads, a rubber block, a cone doming plate, and some spiral wax cutting saw blades to use on the Faux Bone™ I am itching to try. Fine silver pendants with riveted Faux Bone insets are calling to me, “Try something new! You’ll like it!”
I can’t help it. Island living is fine for buying jewelry supplies from a catalog, but when I actually get out of town I try to go through Freeport, because it’s a blast to spend some time at the Beadin’ Path. I usually have about a half hour to spare and my mind goes into design overdrive as I try to imagine what I will need to buy for future projects. Their inventory is colorful and diverse, and I feel so much more creative in that moment of spending! It makes the rest of the drive, back to wherever, go very quickly. This time there were some resin beads that I had not seen before.
If only I had unlimited time to create, I would love to try making my own funky shapes of resin beads. (and I would like to try lamp working, and I would like to know more about beading with seed beads, and I would like to get back to doing something really different with polymer clay….) I mentioned something to this effect as the sales person was ringing up $200 MORE that I had planned to spend. She looked at me oddly and said, “you mean you’d like to know how to make every kind of bead in the store, and then use it?!” Um, yeah. In a perfect world maybe. Oh those ideas that percolate for “some day…”
I’ve already started a necklace of the orangey flat resin beads, the triangular shaped bluish beads and the deep rose round beads, mixed with some pearls. I think a double strand, knotted, would make a striking necklace to wear with a white shirt and jeans.
I’m ready to get down to work, but we’re headed for Baltimore on Thursday. We’ll get to stay with our son Robin and his fiancée Stephanie, and we’ll met up with her parents Tim and Cathy. It sounds like fun and I’m happy to go. (I’ll be bringing a sketch book for the jewelry ideas that come flying at me, knowing that I will really have some good time available in the studio at the start of February.)
Don’t forget a stop at Nomads on Commercial Street. My sister-in-law Kelly Fernald is having a great sale right now and she’ll be getting in some great stuff for spring. (Woo hoo! Click on the Nomads link in this post. Kelly took a dip on the island last week!)
During our recent weekend together, Susie and Cathleen bought new hats!
Brenda and I were wearing our very warm and stylish down coats, purchased recently right here at Nomads.
…if anyone else ever feels like they are in some weird application process to write copy for a J.Peterman Catalog, when they are trying to come up with descriptions for their Etsy page?
Making just a bit more progress today before going away for the weekend. Today’s posts on Etsy were easier to make than my first attempts last night. It helped to start taking photos earlier in the day and to have good light. As for the “J. Peterman” part…I have to admit, I kind of like it.
Etsy has been hanging over me for a while now. I kept putting off taking the plunge, due to self doubt about my ability to get just the right photos and my ability to still be excited about the work I did a month or two ago, or my ability. Period. I also felt like I had to have enough pieces to make them worth listing without looking like a lame little shop of three items.
Well, tonight I have fulfilled one of my big New Year’s resolutions, and my ETSY shop is underway with a whopping 3 items! Yes, it is a big learning curve. I realized that I have quite a few pieces to list and I worked on writing some descriptions this afternoon. Then I took some photos before the light was gone. I’m not especially happy with the background that I used, but hey, I don’t have to use it next time. I’ll learn. As I nervously listed my first item, and moved on the the photo upload section, again a photo snafu. My photographs were too big. Too many pixels. I needed to resize. WHAT?? I could find nothing in my iPhoto program that said anything about resizing. Argh. On to Photoshop, with which I am much less familiar, and I finally figured out how to resize my photos to fit the Etsy format. By the time I got to the third pair of earrings I was getting the hang of it. It was taking less time. The hard part now will be not to read and reread and judge every little thing I have written. To just keep moving forward with conviction.
It is a little like our Dip of the Month Club here on the island. You can’t think about it too much before going in the water, or you’ll never be brave enough to go in. Especially in January, February, or March.
These photos were actually taken in January, 2 years ago, but 4 of us just went for our January 2010 dip last week. The water was about 40º. Everyone in this photo has been going in for a dip, once a month, for over 7 years. It still cracks us up!
While I was busy jumping in to Etsy tonight, my dear friend Holly was taking the plunge into our “rivet challenge.” She has succeeded with a truly inspiring pendant using tube rivets. Wow, Holly! Bring on more rivets! Your designs never cease to amaze me.
One of the first things I did today was to finish sorting out and bagging up the scrap metal from my studio overhaul. It was like a treasure hunt going through bags like this:
Really old designs I had put high on a shelf, out of sight, out of mind. Unsold earrings from a different time in my life. What a relief to let them go!
In some of my “sort” drawers there were things like tiny sterling silver spring rings. Findings purchased ages ago, when silver was $7 an ounce. Like clothing in a closet that hasn’t been worn for years, I was ruthless in ridding myself of things I no longer needed or wanted to find a way to use. The result was 40 ounces of silver scrap and 8 ounces of silver with some gold keum-boo. I also came up with one ounce of gold which included someone’s gold tooth crown (?!), a gold pin from a boyfriend I dated almost 40 years ago, and have not worn in almost as long, and snips of gold wire and sheet scraps I have saved over the years. I sent them all in to Rio Grande for refining and they will give me 75% of the value in credit. I know how I am going to pay for my next PMC order!!
As I get back to work, the snippets, scraps, and rejects will start to gather again in the little dishes around my studio. But today, seeing the bare surfaces of these little plates and bowls was a lucrative treat!
I finally have room to turn around in my creative space, and show you that it really was possible to find some order in all of the previous chaos. It took all week (minus two days when I had to be off the island) but it was so worth it.
Behind the door, a spot for paperwork, box and mailer storage.
That poster on the wall is a satellite shot of the coast of Maine so I know where to find my tiny island home in case I ever feel lost. Little Cranberry Island is only a mile by a mile and a half, but it can still be seen from space!
The work area for stringing beads and assembling earrings, etc.
A clean surface to begin the 2010 metal clay work.
That’s it. 360º of improvement in an 8 by 10 foot room. Phew. All of those little drawers? About 60% sorted and labeled. This is the only room in the house where it would be okay to be out of sorts.