Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Snowed in...

My crazy selling season has come to an end. I am ready for a much more leisurely pace which is just how I'll spend the winter. We've had so much snow (2'?) and I'm trying to embrace it with lots of photos, hot cocoa, and cooking. I'm also making presents (very last minute) which gives me so much joy.  Below is a custom "Rags and Riches" necklace in coral and turquoise which looked quite festive.
Little Kiwi makes the snow look all the more dramatic.  
Happy Merry to All!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Winter Wonderland

I awoke to a crystal world on Friday.  It was just magical...
The ice lasted until last night and made the sunset incredible.  

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Solstice Pendant, exclusively for the Sweet Lady Jane Trunk Show

The word "Solstice" is derived from two Latin words: "sol" meaning sun, and "sistere," to stand still.  As the darkest time of the year falls upon us, we can be reminded that very soon the days will grow longer and the sun will slowly come back into our lives. This is the Solstice Pendant that I will be selling exclusively at the Sweet Lady Jane Trunk Show. I just made a small batch and its first come first serve till they're gone! It is pure silver with 24k gold on top. It features a spiraled sun on the front and the back is signed. It comes on a red silk cord. It will be offered at a special show price.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Exciting News!!!!

I wrote a "how to" chapter on my fabric earrings for a Lark book called "Stitched Jewels: Jewelry That's Sewn, Stuffed, Gathered & Frayed". They chose my work for the cover! It comes out in May.  I'm beyond thrilled!
Click HERE to find it on Amazon.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Trunk Show at Sweet Lady Jane!

I'm so excited about this show!  I had one there last year and it was so much fun.  It is such a beautiful boutique and the staff is so sweet.  I'm working on a limited edition pendant that I'll sell exclusively at this show so stay tuned for more on that...

Monday, December 1, 2008

New Bronze pieces in my Etsy Shop

The Women's Festival of Crafts was great.  I made soooooo much work to get ready for that show and now I'm able to put some stuff in my Etsy shop.  I added about 20 pieces today.  I can't believe it's December now.  Sheesh.  No time to rest, gotta get ready for my Trunk Show at Sweet Lady Jane on Dec 13th.  More on that soon...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

And then it was Winter

Things seemed to have sped up and slowed down all at the same time.  The days are shorter (and colder) and things seem quiet and still, my crazy summer/fall pace has simmered way down.  BUT I can feel that Holiday train building up steam and heading right for me!  I'm busy getting ready for The Women's Festival of Crafts, which takes place the weekend after Thanksgiving at City Hall in Burlington, VT.  
Above is a photo of one of my new "Key Chains".  This time I made the key, I used BronzClay and carved it. 

In Etsy news, I've created a shop for Celie, check it out HERE.  

Friday, November 7, 2008

Photographing Jewelry

Recently members of my Etsy Metal Clay team asked me to write a tutorial on jewelry photography. I was honored to hear such a request because this is something I’m really proud of and that I’ve worked hard at during the past year.  The following is just what works for me and I'm excited to share it with you.

Posting work in my Etsy shop has made me a better photographer. There, the photo is everything. A good photo will make your jewelry look even better. A bad photo will make even good work look bad. On Etsy, there are 5 photos to show off your work, so the first one shouldn't be about showing the whole piece, it should be about enticing your audience. It should be an interesting and amazing photo on its own. The space they provide is a horizontal rectangle, so I always shoot horizontally to get the most out of the space.

I take the majority of my photos using an old, African wood tray as the background. It is a dark, almost black, aged wood and there's just something about it. It is matte but has a bit of a sheen to it, it looks professional yet it has character due to the subtle wood grain and scratches. It looks different in every photo due to the light but it ties them all together. A simple background is a good idea, you don’t want it to compete with your jewelry.
I use a Canon PowerShot SD 1000 digital Elph. I bought this camera before a trip to England last year and my hopes were that I could use it for travel pics as well as for jewelry. It does a wonderful job with both. I place my wood tray on a desk by a South-facing window. I only use natural light. Early or late day works best. If it is really cloudy I'll take the photo outside. I adjust 4 settings, I set it to manual, cloudy, macro and no flash. I hold the camera low down, and try to find that magical angle, really close up, where the light is raking across it; where the texture pops and the piece comes alive. I see a lot of jewelry photos on Etsy that are taken just too far away.Rings and pendants are easy to take because they fill up that little rectangle so well. If a pendant is quite long, I'll take the photo so that is lies diagonally to fill up the frame.I found that if you try to show both earrings equally in a photo, you can't get close enough. So I stagger my earrings, and take the shot from bottom-right, often with the light coming from the upper left. The angle draws you in and the photo becomes more interesting. Being that close, offers a lot of information yet you can still see the pair.For necklaces, I'll often shape them into a spiral so that they fill up the whole frame. I'll take several photos so I can choose the best one.I'm even taking some photos of Celie's work and they are coming out great!  It is such a thrill for me to capture her magnificent work and that she's diggin' the pics.  

My second photo in every listing shows the full piece, it’s never a great shot but it shows the actual shape of the piece (since the angle of the first photo can distort what the piece really looks like).

So that’s it. Simple really, I don’t use any fancy equipment or lighting. If anyone has any questions I’d be happy to answer them.  Happy snapping!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Interview in the Burlington Free Press!

I was so excited to be interviewed by Myra Flynn for the Burlington Free Press!  The article is out today.  

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Exciting things!

This past week I was  featured on Tonya Davidson's newsletter and on her website: Whole Lotta Whimsy.  What an honor!  I was also interviewed on a great blog called: Wunderbug. In Etsy news, several members from our team Etsy Metal Clay are having an Etsy Trunk Show in the Virtual Labs this Thursday at 7pm (EST). Click HERE and click on the tree house room in order to reach our Trunk Show. Each member will be presenting 3 of their items during the trunk show. There will be 3 door prizes available for those that are paying attention. What fun! I'm also busy getting ready for a trunk show at a friend's next week.  I thought things would slow down a little bit before the holiday madness but they are picking up!  Gotta get to work.  

(The photo above is of a special order that I did last week.)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Last Market of the Season

So last Saturday was my last market day, it was bittersweet and bitter COLD.  Most of the day lingered in the 40ºs, just too cold to stand outside all day.  It's so sad when the market season ends but it also means my schedule eases up a bit which is quite welcome.  The rest of the weekend was friend filled and fun!  Now I have a little break before the holiday shows.  As I write this, it is SNOWING outside.  It's not sticking but it is still a shock to see the whirling white outside my window.  I'm not ready for this. Fall feels like the firework finale of summer, very intense and it's over way too soon. Now I'm working on a few special orders, my fall catalog, and more Modern Relic silver and bronze pieces.  

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What a weekend

I spent much of last week making the bridal jewelry for my good friend May.  I've made bridesmaid's jewelry for other weddings but never jewelry for the bride.  So it was an honor, as well as a bit of pressure!  I made her these necklaces and matching, single leaf earrings.  I made her mom, sis and lovely bridesmaid Kina matching single leaf necklaces. My good friend JP (JP Candelier) was her wedding photographer and we went to her beautiful home, before the ceremony.  I got to place the jewelry on her once she was in her dress, as JP documented:
May lives an hour and a half South of me and for that reason, we always meet half way when we get together.  This was my first time visiting her at this house and now that I've been there I know it's worth the drive and I'll be visiting again.  The scene couldn't have been more picturesque and it couldn't have better captured Vermont at its fall finest.  It was a sunny, blue sky day and the temperature was just right, warm with a slight breeze.  The trees were at their peak, the rolling fields still lush and green.  

May and Justin live on a farm and there were chickens and cows and lovely old buildings and a pond and the house had a great long porch.  Just breathtaking.  The actual ceremony went by in a flash and then it was back to the farm for the party under a huge tent.  It was fun spending time with many of the friends I used to work with.  The food was delicious, there was a fab bluegrass band and everyone was full of smiles, including the blushing bride.  I have an amazing photo of her that will be in my upcoming catalog. 
It was one of those rare days that I took a deep breath and soaked it all in.  Time slowed down a bit and I could feel all this positive energy renewing my spirit.  

By late afternoon, as the party was wrapping up, I had the bright idea of calling my friend Lauren in MA, since I was half way to her home and have been meaning to visit her.  As luck would have it she was all for it and my wonderful weekend continued.  We had dinner in Northampton, MA, a town that I've got to go back to, it felt very similar to my favorite place - Burlington, VT.  The next day we met up with JP and his girlfriend Meghan in Brattleboro, VT (another favorite town of mine) for brunch and a photo session of Lauren and Meghan for my catalog.  I spent he rest of the afternoon wandering around the town, then leisurely driving home.  It felt like I'd been gone a week!  Now I've got a bit of catching up to do...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

EtsyMetalClay Team

I'm part of a great new group of Etsy Metal Clay artists called "EtsyMetalClay" or EMC.  As of now it's a small group but the numbers are growing as is the excitement and enthusiasm.  In just 2 months the group has come up with a logo, banner, website, mini mall, blog, and a flickr group and we're always making Treasuries.  Today our team is being featured in Etsy's blog the Storque.  Thanks to Lora Hart for creating this team and all the talented members that have moved this team so far in such a short period of time.

Monday, September 22, 2008

And then it was Fall

When did this happen?  I do have to say, this might be the first fall that I'm okay with, even a little excited about.  I usually dread this season as it is the messenger that whispers winter's on its way.  After so much heat and humidity though, the crisp air and lack of bugs is quite welcome. The changing landscape isn't bad either. 
Saturday was a frigid but fun day at the market.  I embraced the day decadently with raspberry hot chocolate topped with fresh whipped cream.  The response to my new bronze and silver Modern Relics has been wonderful.  I just made this pair of bronze earrings and they sold seconds after I put them out, luckily I remembered to snap a photo of them.  I can't believe I only have a few markets left.  I'm already filling my holiday schedule up with craft shows and trunk shows.  AH!

This photo is from a few weeks ago but I forgot to post it then.  Fall pics coming soon...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Modern Relics come alive

Been a while since I last posted, I've been busy making these!  
Blue Buddha pendant (well, blue/green).  Bronze set in Silver, with silver beads and Peruvian Opal.
The back features the 8 auspicious symbols of Buddhism.
Unearthed Ring (aka Bronze Knuckles).  Bronze set in silver spanning two ring bands.
On my hand.
Patched Tablet Ring.  Bronze set in silver.
Fern Fossil Pendant. The bronze came out with a beautiful rainbow of patina.  I polished up the surface and this fall leaf 'emerged'.
It is set in silver and it is reversible.
Round Fern Fossil Pendant.  Love that patina!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Work with what ya got...

As I worked on a pair of new Raga earrings today, I contemplated how these evolved and how many of my creations have come to be. For so long I COLLECTED. All of the beads and treasures that I was finding and buying amounted to more than I could make with them. I was taking in more than I was putting out. At a certain point I had to STOP the madness! I was running out of room, I was forgetting where I put things and I felt overwhelmed by all of this STUFF. It was time to start using it, 'to work with what I got'. Now there's a certain rhythm to my work. The excess from my "Rags and Riches" necklaces becomes a pair of Raga earrings.The trinkets and charms that don't make there way into Journey necklaces become little "Key Chain" necklaces. Only a few beads leftover from stringing a necklace? Those get wired together to make a little charm. Leftover bits of chain become chain extender. I get a sense that I'm finishing what's on my plate. Sometimes just sorting through what I already have leads me in totally new directions. All these things that I've hoarded and admired get to become new things and go out into the world. It's better for my wallet, for the environment, for my living space. All this 'working with what I got' reinforces that concept within my life and its not a bad thing to be reminded of.