Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Creativity Can Be So Elusive

My plan to write a blog entry each week has fallen flat. Seems difficult to come up with ideas - seems like I am better at one per month.

We are into 2012 and I haven't been in the studio for a month or so. I can't seem to find my creativity - it ran away and is hiding somewhere warm!.

Thought I would write about some of the changes happening in my life and maybe it will provide impetus for me to get upstairs to work..

The biggest event happening this year is that my daughter is pregnant and we will have another baby girl in our lives. That's so exciting for me and Elaine. Alya is now 2 1/2 and looking forward to having a little sister..

Sheryl and I have signed up for a wire-working course the end of January. I am wanting to learn a few new techniques, especially Viking Weave and how to create interesting sterling bezels. Should be a fun weekend for us..

Here is an example of the kind of weaving I am wanting to do. I wish I knew the artist's name but I don't:.


Finding the motivation to push myself to create is up there on my list of goals for 2012. We sold so much of our stock last year (which is a great thing) that we need to be producing to get ready for another busy season. I think last fall I got wiped out, was sick for a lot of it, and am still rebuilding my energy. It's easy to come up with excuses - the studio is so cold in the winter, my mind is blank, I have too much to do..

But in truth, I feel stuck and unable to motivate myself to get off my ass and work. I am hoping that writing this will help open the gates again..

In March Sheryl and I are taking a metal-smithing course, something we both have wanted to do for a long time..

Here is an image of a pendant style I would love to create. It was created by Adobe Sol Designs:.


So there is lots to look forward to..

I'm going upstairs now - wish me luck..



Sunday, December 4, 2011

Jewelry Party with a Twist!

Sheryl and I had a jewelry party at our house the other week. First time we have had one in our home. Usually we have a traveling road show and go to someone else’s home.

When my spouse Elaine came home from work and saw the house taken over by tables and sparklies – she said it was like walking in to Macy’s during the Christmas Season. There was nowhere to rest your eyes – every inch of the house was sparkling or dangling.

I loved hearing that. I love making people smile.

Whenever we do one of these parties it’s like the old line flashes back “suppose I give a party and no one comes”. Well, it didn’t happen this time. Our house quickly filled up with our friends, who came to shop, to eat, to schmooze and to hang out. Oh, they did lots of shopping and lots of eating, and it was so wonderful to see everyone so calm and just enjoying the evening. Of course, the highlight was our two year old grand-daughter taking folks by the hand and showing them where the “pretties” were. She was, without a doubt, our best salesperson. Who could resist that face of hers.

There was somehow a different feeling to this party. These were “our friends” and though I sometimes can feel I am being judged when people come to our booth at craft fairs to see the work, this time the feeling was stronger and yet somehow less. I know my friends, they will quickly tell me what they don’t like. None of that polite “oh, yeah, that’s pretty” and the walk away you get from some customers. These folks would let me know their opinions. And they did.

And the comments were positive, and they bought lots of things, and we had a great evening. It was exhausting setting it all up and doing the cleaning and the fussing and the cooking. We sat around the house the whole next day. I was pooped.

And I can’t wait to do it again.

Happy Holidays everyone! Terry

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New Season - New Direction

It appears that fall has finally arrived here in Massachusetts. Took it’s own sweet time getting here; we had some almost 90 degree days a week or so ago. And the leaves can’t decide whether to turn colors or just fall off the trees.

In the spirit of changing seasons, Sheryl and I have made up our minds to go with a new direction in our business. We are moving away from the large stones, and chunky jewelry, to our new love, which is freshwater pearls. All kinds, all colors, all shapes, all kinds of wrapping and styling. We are both captivated by the appearance and feel of the pearls and the colors are energizing. But for those who love are chunky, semi-precious stone necklaces, we aren't totally giving it up, so not to worry.

We recently sold a piece from the website which we both loved. It was called “Burgundy Lights”. The person buying it told us she loved the “chaos” of the design. Now, that’s not how I would have ever described it, but somehow it felt right. And it felt right that someone could see something very different in the piece than we saw. And I think that is the magic of pearls. They can be whatever you want them to be.

One of the questions though, is how do you move into a whole new direction in your craft and not become disloyal to those who have been your loyal customers all along. I guess we have decided to make some of the older designs for those who want them, but it is difficult as we seem to want to devote all our energy to the new direction. Should be interesting to see how it all fits together.

Such a dilemma!


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Predicting Trends?

A friend of mine recently attended a workshop on predicting trends. Her workshop was specifically about predicting trends in needs and services for persons with disabilities. The goal of the workshop was for agencies to position themselves in a special niche of services in anticipation of decreased funding and needs of an aging population.

Listening to her made me think of how I go about predicting trends in jewelry and fashion and trying to position myself to be at the front of the line when new trends surface. What will be the next “have to have” piece?

As most of you probably do, I read fashion magazines, peruse sale flyers, and devour catalogs looking at the jewelry worn by the models, And when all that fails to offer inspiration, I go with my gut. And sometimes my gut gets it wrong.

I decided the new fall season was going to be about smaller pieces with lots of pearls. In all kinds of colors and shapes. So I geared up. That is what Sheryl and I focused on and created lots of pieces of pearl necklaces and earrings.

The show we went to last weekend was the first one since my revelation. We had tons of pearls on display. And you know what happened? The large chunky gemstone necklaces that I made last year were the biggest sellers. Folks wanted the large showy necklaces. Full of color and shape and form.

OK, so not only did I guess wrong, but the catalogs and sale flyers were all wrong too. Or maybe I just need to get better catalogs.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Love Is In The Air!

I was paid the greatest honor a few weeks ago and am still overwhelmed. A friend asked if I would design and produce the jewelry for her wedding. It sounded so exciting and I was thrilled to take this on.

Then I got home and the reality of the enormity of the responsibility hit. This was to be my friend’s biggest day of her life. She will be the showpiece and all eyes will be on her. And the jewelry had better be up to the task. Yikes!

I knew the colors of the gown for the Maid of Honor. I knew the size for the flower girl. Those pieces didn’t seem to scare me as much. But the necklace the bride would wear. Holy Thunderbolt, Batman. That’s a biggie.

After a zillion tries and a half zillion color combinations, and a trazillion attempts, I finally came up with an idea I thought would work. Took the sample necklace to the Bride for her appraisal. Would she like the color combo, was the length right for her gown, would the Maid of Honor's necklace not detract from hers, would the flower girl’s necklace appear too cutesey, or not appropriate for a young child?

Guess what, the Bride loved it all. Brought the pieces home, did some final touches to the closures, finished them off and stood back in awe of what had just happened.

Here is the necklace and earrings for the Flower Girl. I wanted to create a piece that she would want to wear after the wedding and this Wish Box Locket seemed like a good choice:

And the necklace and earrings for the Maid of Honor:

Here is the set for the Bride - the colors were chosen to match the Groom's suit, the Maid of Honor's dress, and the Bride's beautiful gown.

Someone had trusted me enough and my sense of style enough to allow me to design and produce the jewelry they would wear on the day they would be the center of the universe.

How cool is that?

Love is in the air!!!!!!!