About a year ago I logged into my website comments section to find this post: "I don't think your work is very creative. It all looks the same."

Well, my first reaction was, "screw off...." then it hurt my feelings.... and then believe it or not .... I let this fool get under my skin. BUT. let me say this was a good thing. I took a good long look at my line and I thought well.... maybe this person has a point. I have some redundancy. So I removed some items from my line, cut some other lines down, introduced some new lines and then threw out all of the collections and built just the one; Edge Collection. And then yes, I added the Pebble Collection. I think perhaps the intention of this person was not from the very best place but I am not in need of a yes man or woman and I thought the critique valid after some consideration. It really helped me to look at my line with a critical eye and to take the salt out of a slight and use it for good.

I must admit though.... there are some elements I just love and I will come back to them again and again. I love little granules. I love texture. I love darkened metal. I love these things and grouped together they are what I create. I become obsessed with certain stones and looks.... have you noticed my recent obsession with Montana Agate? Can't get enough of it and want to play with it and set it and make pretty things with it and I don't care if not everyone loves it because the colors make me think of Fall and feed my soul and make me want to make homemade soup! Giggles!

So when you feel the breath knocked out of you from time to time.... learn when to take a good hard look and learn when to smile and do it anyway!



Can I just tell you the truth? I have always been one of those people who sets a goal and becomes completely obsessed with it until the moment I achieve it and then it is onward to the next goal. I love being in flux. There is nothing more exciting than the chase. I'm sure this is attractive and off putting all at once.

However, I think this is why I love the torch and the metal so much. The opportunities to create something new are endless and there is always a new technique or a new tool or a new twist! It keeps things moving...

My friend who is also a jeweler and I constantly debate the optimum length of a product's life cycle. I look at the world around me and see a population infatuated with new, new, new. What is the newest thing you have..... what's next? I believe that being "connected" by the Internet has created a constant buzz.... a constant need for stimulation. In this I find that I feel the need constantly to be designing.... the next collection, next piece, next spin.... next, next, next, NEXT!

I'll be honest I love it but I will also admit that there is the smallest part of me that fears that one day I am going to wake up and find that I have no more new ideas. What if my creativity is like a battery and it only has so much life before it is drained completely. I am so obsessed with this idea. I think it stems from childhood. I remember adults discussing how once people grow up they lose their ability to imagine. It created such an impact on me and I began to worry about losing my imagination. Silly, I know but here I am still haunted by this fear that we only have a limited amount of creativity.

As a solution or a counter plan in case the inevitable ever comes true.... I hoard sketchbooks full of designs that I sketch as ideas for future pieces, collections, etc. It's my back-up plan.... I feel like I am "gaming" destiny with this idea that I will save them up so I can use them later .... just in case.

It's just one of those things.... those strange ideas that get in your head and for some reason you can never really let go of.

Thank goodness, I have a plan! 

It’s the August “Talk About” Blog ~ With the Handmade Division Team

Augusts topic is Talk about something you'd like to create, that you maybe don't have the skills or technology to do currently?

Yes, Yes, Yes! I am planning on correcting this as soon as the class I am waiting for becomes available but I have yet to take a course on forging hollowforms.... Now, I can fabricate a hollowform ring but I'm talking sculpture here! I have seen so many amazing and talented artists forge hollowform sculpture and I have long been waiting to acquire this skill set. However, there is only one instructor who I am yearning to learn this particular skill set from and the class has not been offered for awhile. So I am waiting, waiting, waiting and hoping to rectify this situation soon.  

To read more great blog posts:

NEDbeads: http://www.nedbeads.blogspot.com/
Lisa Hopkins Design: http://lisahopkinsdesign.blogspot.com/
Jewelry by Natsuko: http://jewelrybynatsuko.blogspot.com/
Beth Cyr: http://bcyrjewelry.blogspot.com/
ArtJewel Designs: http://www.artjeweldesigns.blogspot.com/
Abhaya Fibers: http://abhayafibers.blogspot.com/
Purified Art: http://purifiedart.blogspot.com/
Nova of Sweden http://nova-designs.blogspot.com/
Bella-Bijou Jewellery: http://bellabijoujewellery.blogspot.com/
Pink Crow Studio: http://www.pinkcrowstudio.typepad.com/
Sand Fibers: http://sandfibers.blogspot.com/
Alice Istanbul: http://istanbuldesigns.blogspot.com/
Thomasin Durgin: http://metalriot.blogspot.com/
Moxie & Oliver: http://moxieandoliver.blogspot.com/
Andes Cruz: http://andescruz.wordpress.com/
Tosca Teran: http://nanopod.wordpress.com

Something Different....

If you have read my blog for any length of time you will probably notice that I have had trouble with balance for quite some time. Recently though and I must admit I'm almost afraid to jinx it.... I have found a bit of a foothold on this concept.

What was once so beyond my imagination is beginning to form into a perfect dance and my stress level has been greatly reduced. I am finally finding a way to align the business and personal delias side by side.

First I realized that I need help. It took me a long time to realize that by not hiring help I wasn't saving money but really spending money in a way that was not realizing a profitable return. I am coming to terms with my own limitations. There are many things in my business I do well and there are many that I just don't. So first I have hired an assistant to help me in the day to day operations and second I have hired an accountant to do all my paperwork. This has been such a great relief for me and I already feel so much lighter and with renewed strength to look at all the things I still want to do creatively.

My very favorite part of this new direction is that if I work hard all week I get to reward myself with a free Friday. On Fridays I get to enter the studio and make whatever I feel like making. It's so exciting that it helps me stay focused the rest of the week because I know if I stay on task I get to look forward to Friday where the studio really is all mine again and the metal, the torch, and the inspiration can go anywhere I want.....

So here's to what once formed an enigma..... balance..... let's see how long I can stay on the tightrope!