Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tucson 2012

Going to Tucson is a bit like Christmas morning. I can hardly wait for it to get here, don't sleep much the night before and am never disappointed when it finally arrives. To be in the same town with beautiful beads, cool tools, plus catching up with gemmy friends.....it's looking like it's gonna be a great week!!!

Most of my first day was spent at the JOGS show; which is an interesting combination of high end designer jewelry, serious gemstones and some of what we in the biz affectionately refer to as cheap crap.  I've always been enamored of gemstones, but this year I was on the hunt for raw, unpolished stones and beads. I was not disappointed...blew my daily budget by 2 pm.

I also met Lana May, a wonderful weaving artist who heads up classes and the "One of a Kind" exhibition at the JOGS show. One of my pieces is on exhibit there and I'm tickled pink because someone actually wants to buy it!


After spending my daily allowance, I headed to Tucson Electric Park which is where all the rock hounds and tool geeks meet. Met more gemmy friends, checked out the jewelrytools.com booth (where I will be teaching Thurs & Friday) and resisted the urge to by every cabochon I saw.

A beautiful sunset as I was leaving made the 20 minute parking lot search for my car a teeny bit less aggravating ....

Monday, January 30, 2012

The best way to grow your business......

  • Make your customers love you.
  • Give until it hurts.
  • Say yes to everything you possibly can.   Don't say yes to things completely outside your comfort zone, beyond your talent or capabilities.  Be a modest artist: if you truly can't, freely admit it.   But where it is possible to say yes, say yes as often as you can. 
  • If you are able to share a technique with a fellow artist or offer some really savvy advice, please do it!   But, do it in a humble, gentle way..........no looking down your nose at a neophyte. 
  • Don't be jealous of others' successes.  They have worked hard, too.  
  • Don't disrespect your competition.  They are banging their heads against the wall too....     
  • Develop an attitude of respect; always have integrity in your work and business ethics.  Worry about what's in front of you, what YOU can do to make people smile, and let others worry about what they are doing.
  • Be sure to SMILE, yourself.
  • It's NOT about you,  it's about the CUSTOMER!
  • May you all enjoy success in what you do, and joy in doing it, this year--and for many years to come.

    Thursday, January 26, 2012

    YOJ Week 4 - Scrapbox Ring

    I'm heading to Tucson in 2 days for a week and a half of teaching, working and of coarse; shopping. As per usual, I have a million and one things to do before leaving, but I absolutely, positively had to get this ring done. I have one of those slightly anal personalities that won't let me move to step 3 until step 2 is complete. It makes meeting deadlines somewhat challenging but I've learned to roll with it.... :-)

    Sunday, January 22, 2012

    5th Bead Soup Blog Party

    I am participating in the 5th Bead Soup Blog Party as sponsored by Lori Anderson of Pretty Things. The last one gave me a much needed creative kick in the pants, so I am really looking forward to this next challenge. My delightful partner Elisabeth Auld writes the blog Beads for Busy Gals and I'm already a fan! Elisabeth, I hope you like my bead soup....here's a quick snap for you.... :-)

    Friday, January 20, 2012

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

    Hardware Store Jewelry

    Recently I came across a call from Art Jewelry Magazine for jewelry designs using hardware store items. Which reminds me...a few months back, I made these pieces using copper washers while experimenting with enamels. Guess it wouldn't hurt to send 'em in.....
    The submittal deadline is Feb. 8, 2012 in case you're interested.

    I won!

    Sylvie over at Beaded Laughter has one of the funniest blogs around. The concept involves finding a pic of a hunky guy and putting your best girlfriends slightly sarcastic words in his mouth, using inside jokes that beaders, jewelry makers and mixed media artists can all relate to.

    So last week she had a guest blogger contest and I won!!! I never win anything so this made my day!!!

    Monday, January 16, 2012

    So you want to be a serious artist?

    I believe everyone is creative. If you're fortunate, you find your medium while you're young and have a lifetime to pursue and perfect it, but it's never too late to start. I was well in my middle years when I began playing with beads as a way to spend time with my daughters.  But those tiny wearable works of art, handmade by me, bought so much creative satisfaction, I became infatuated! Within a year, I traded in my architectural career and opened a bead shop. Don't tell anyone, but the shop was just an excuse to surround myself with jewelry making materials, creative friends, and build a serious studio.

    Early on I received great advice from a talented and established artist that has served me well in my evolution as a jewelry artist. For the past 2 years, I have consistently put these principles in practice and can now testify to their validity. Whatever your medium, apply these principals and I guarantee you will be taken seriously as an artist!

    1) Build a body of work.
    2) Put it out there.
    3) Never stop learning.
    4) Start teaching.

    Friday, January 13, 2012

    YOJ Week 2 - Emerald City Rings

    Two different versions of a coiled copper ring with emerald swarovski insets...I call that a productive day! :-)

    Monday, January 9, 2012

    First Post for Year of Jewelry 2012 - Birds Nest Ring

    "The Year of Jewelry Project  (YOJ) was conceived in 2004 by the Creative Wire Jewelry Forum as a personal challenge for members of the forum.  The challenge was to create one piece of jewelry per week, photograph it, and post it to both a personal and group blog.  Each week had a different “theme” which the participants could choose to use for inspiration; alternatively, they could follow their own goals and creative impulses."

    This is my 4th year of participation and I can honestly say it has been one of the most creatively stimulating and enjoyable challenges and I look forward to doing it again in 2012!

    Stand provided by Premiere Prop Co.

    Tuesday, January 3, 2012

    It's Official!

    My good friend Beth Martin and I are writing a book about designing jewelry using beach glass! We have been working on this project for the better part of a year and have a finalized contract as of Jan 1. Now to get serious about checking, double checking and in some cases rewriting tutorials. Yikes!!!

    Eva                                                  Beth
    Can you tell we're excited?

    Monday, January 2, 2012

    I'm a Free-Wheeling Architect

    According to this personality profile; my preference for concrete, visually pleasing things, combined with a sense of confidence and respect for order make me an ARCHITECT.  My charismatic nature, liveliness, and independence make me FREE-WHEELING. 

    Interesting assessment, as I was an architect in my former life. Designing jewelry came about quite accidentally, as a way to spend time with my daughters. But once I began creating small works of art by hand I became bored with the static nature of working drawings. It was also the mid 90's when CAD software became available and we all went from hand drawing and sketching to drafting with a computer, thus removing the physical and differentiating aspect of design drawings.

    I'm not quite as sure free-wheeling is an accurate label, I am anything but spontaneous and I don't think my kids would exactly put me in the charismatic category...  ;-)

    Here is the link if you would like to take the test, it's about 11 pages long and will take approx 20 minutes. Ready? Go!

    Sunday, January 1, 2012

    Ringing in the New Year!

    Lately I have a thing for rings. Maybe it's the challenge of designing within a limited space. Or maybe it's the unlimited possibilities created by the combination of wire, metals and beads; which just happen to be three of my favorite artistic mediums.  Or maybe it's cuz they're relatively quick to make and that meshes perfectly with my limited attention span. Whatever the reason, here are a few more....

    Happy New Year Everyone!