Monday, June 28, 2010

Bold. Colour. Passion.

My life is filled with bold passionate colour. It is not always pretty colours. Sometimes it's angry reds, some days it's crushing blues, and sometimes it's even head under the covers gray. But it is always interesting, engaging, and colourful.

When I was little I used to draw faces over and over again. I had one of those amazing cases of crayons with every colour imaginable and I would sit in front of a blank stack of crisp white paper and draw women's faces for hours. I would give everyone of them a name and a number, hole punch them and stick them in a binder. Some had dangle earrings, necklaces, bold make-up, and crazy hair. I was enchanted by all of the different colours that I could play with.

Playing with colour is something that I still get to do and is why I am so drawn to enameling jewelry. The colour combination possibilities are endless and I am constantly inspired by my colourful world to try new things.

I saw these photos the other day by photographer and former Heatherette designer Traver Rains.

Bold. Colour. Passion. Incredible......

All photos Traver Rains Photography

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Living The Creative Life

I have spent the past three days in my studio making Gracie's Love Story Necklace. It has felt fantastic to be locked up in my creative space, surrounded only by other artists working, amazing art everywhere I look, and my own creative ideas flowing.

I am sooooo close to finishing Gracie's Love Story Necklace. It's turning out fairly amazing. I was hoping to have it finished today, but I figure two more nights of final touches and I will be able to show it off.

Being able to spend the last three days focusing only on my creative passion, making jewelry, has felt incredible. Sometimes it is easy for me to get caught in the tunnel of "I shoulds", I should be blogging more, I should be tweeting more, I should have more facebook fans, I should have more stores, I should be doing what everyone else is doing.........It is an easy place for my mind to get stuck in, but it is a tunnel. It keeps going around in circles and the only way for me to get out is to physically do something about it. Picking myself up and moving my whole body to my studio does it. I start to tap on some metal, I start to play with some stones, sketch some designs and I remember what I am doing. I remember that life is about finding the things that you love to do and to keep doing them over and over again. It is so easy for all of us to get stuck in our "I shoulds", but those things will happen. I will get more facebook fans, I will get more stores, but to get there I need to keep doing what I love, what I'm good at, and what feeds my soul. I need to keep creating.

A fellow artist and blogger, Lori Koop shared this video link on her blog this week and I thought I would pass it along. It is Elizabeth Gilbert speaking about nurturing your creativity. I found it insightful, funny, and honest. Definitely worth the watch.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

You Are A Beautiful Freak

I have had some great conversations with some amazing women in my life this week about risk taking and embracing our unique selves.

I have always felt a little bit like a freak. I have never chosen the easy path in life, the straight road, the road that society feels comfortable around. I have been a vegan for 12 years. I worked for 5 years of my life in feminist women's centres. When I was 28 I took a giant leap and went back to school to pursue a career as a jewelry artist.

There are times when I am at a restaurant trying to devise a vegan meal from a meat and dairy heavy menu, when I will tell the server that I am allergic to dairy. For some reason, I think that I will be taken less seriously as a vegan. In my mind I see the server going back to the kitchen and snickering to the chef that there is a freaky vegan in the restaurant tonight.

I am often told by people that the way to make money as a jeweler is to cast everything. To mass produce. To come up with a simple design, make a mold, and produce it over and over again. Yet, still I continue to make every piece with my own two hands, too make pieces that are one of a kind, and to push myself to continuously come up with unique, original jewelry designs.

What I have learned in the past few months of my life is that I need to trust who I am. I need to embrace my freak, not apologize for it. I need to to trust my instinct. Trust that there is many other people who embrace the unique, who want jewelry that is one of a kind, who will buy jewelry that is authentic, and made by hand. Trust that other people are also embracing what is freakish or different about themselves and honoring it.

On my living room wall I have these two Papaya Art panel prints with a mirror beside them. Every time I look in the mirror, I am reminded that I am a beautiful freak. A big thank you to all of you other beautiful freaks out there! You inspire me!

For some more beautiful and unique inspiration this week check out Papaya Art Designer Anahata Katkin's blog.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Custom Making A Love Story Necklace

What’s so special about having a custom necklace made for your wedding day?

When I was a little girl my Nana, who lived in Australia used to send my sister and I gifts of jewelry for our birthday every year. We never were given the exact same piece, which caused more then a few sisterly fights. But now I look back on it and so appreciate that each piece was chosen just for me. Because of who my Nana saw that I uniquely was, she chose something that was intended to be special, unique and truly me. I still have all of these jewels and they are beautiful memories that I will always cherish, and one day will hopefully pass on to my future daughter or granddaughter.

For your wedding day jewelry you could easily go out and choose from a gazillion pre-made necklaces that very well could look quite lovely on the big day. But by infusing how unique and special you are into a piece of custom made jewelry, you can make your wedding day even more personal, unique, and memorable. I think that the jewelry you wear on your wedding day is just as important as your wedding dress. I know I’m a little jewelry biased, but maybe it’s even a little more important. The thing is, you really can wear your wedding jewelry again for another special event, say maybe on your 10 year anniversary?. And in the case of the Love Story Necklace, it is also a piece that not only represents who you are, but also symbolizes who you and your partner are as a couple and the road that you traveled to meet each other.

I am in the process of designing Gracie’s Love Story Necklace for her wedding day. Gracie was one of the lucky winners of my Love Story Necklace Contest. The Love Story Necklace is the perfect necklace for a bride like Gracie, a bride who has been through a lot, but who has always believed in love. Gracie’s unique love story, was the initial inspiration for my design for her necklace. I then asked Gracie to send me pictures and details of her wedding. Gracie told me that her wedding is taking place at the Wine & Roses Country Estate in Auburn, WA. The ceremony will take place on the lawn in front of the farmhouse and reception inside the old barn. The theme is woodland/ rustic. Lots of moss, twigs, mason jars, and wild flowers. The color scheme is greens, creams and brown.

Doesn’t that sound just about perfect?! She also sent me a picture of her fun, beautiful wedding dress and to die for shoes. I can’t show you the picture of the wedding dress, since that will, of course be a surprise on the big day, but I can show you the shoes, which are pretty amazing, and of course, I am loving this girl’s tattoos!

So, armed with Gracie’s inspiring love story, and pictures of her unique dress, shoes, and perfectly rustic wedding venue. I sat down and started to design her necklace. This is what the final sketch looked like.

Custom Love Story Necklace
The necklace will be hand constructed in sterling silver. I use a square wire and hammer out the shape of the necklace, twisting and turning it in all the right places as I hammer it. I will use a combination of white and chocolate brown freshwater pearls and then chocolate brown enamel for the pattern on the silver circles.

This necklace will be truly one of a kind. This necklace is Gracie’s Love Story Necklace. It is unique and exquisite just like Gracie. It has been inspired by the highs and lows, twists and turns in Gracie and Steve’s love story and the love and beauty that they have put into planning their unique wedding. They will have this necklace that represents their unique love for each other to cherish forever.

Next week I will be posting pictures of me making the necklace and of the finished piece!

For my other one of a kind custom made necklaces from my wedding collection check out my etsy store and please feel free to contact me with any questions.

To get notified the next time I launch a super great contest like the Love Story Necklace Contest join my facebook fan page.