Sunday, February 28, 2010

School starts tomorrow!

I arrived in Virginia yesterday and was greeted with flowers, a teddy bear, drawings and hugs! I told Joe I expect that when I get home. ; ) The picture above is of the flowers, they are dyed all different colors! Very cheerful.
I began reading The Theory and Practice of Goldsmithing by Prof. Dr. Erhard Brepohl last night. I had forgotten that silver kills germs and is the best conductor of heat and electricity.
Tonight I get to go to school, I'm very excited!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Encasing Nature

Beverly Tadeu creates these wonderful cages with branches inside or a cage made out of branches. Check out the rest of her work, I love it!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My Parrot Bentley's new favorite Place!

On Saturday I was playing with Bentley on the couch. I had a blanket on me and when I lifted my arm and made a little tent he ran right in! I did it a bunch of times and every time he ran into the tent. Bentley has a hammock, the blue towel above that he loves to run around on. He also rolls over on his back a lot while playing with toys.
Since Bentley seemed to like tight spaces I decided to make him a Bird Snuggie. I put a second towel right under his hammock towel. So there is a little space between the two towels. Above is a picture of him napping on his side in his Snuggie.
Here he is not happy that I'm using my camera flash while he's napping.

Bentley coming out of his snuggie to play with me.

Charmed Exhibit at the Society for Contemporary Craft

Sarah Holden

Stacy Rodgers

Go check out the 'Charmed Exhibit' at the Society for Contemporary Craft online. They've posted images of all the charms so you can easily purchase charms without being in the gallery. It's fun to see a little piece of an artists's design aesthetic.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Facebook or Blog? Tweet or Friend?

Back to my trip to the Buyers Market.

On Saturday I went to a seminar called 'Facebook or Blog? Tweet or Friend?' and it was about using the Internets social-networking tools strategically to increase your store traffic and boost your sales. The seminar was put on by Amy Larrimore the Vice Chair of Technology for SCORE. You can look up the seminar here.

One of the main points of the seminar was to teach you how to use social media and not be overwhelmed by it.

Here are some of the main points from the seminar:

First you need to make a goal for how social media will help your business. Make sure to add value so your not just an irritating commercial. Find ways to get your viewers involved.

The speaker recommended you use to see when someone mentions you on the Internet.

If a customer posts a bad review don't delete it. Use it as an opportunity and respond to it and find a way to resolve the issue. Everyone knows that no one is perfect. It's good to know that you fix issues when the arise in a professional manner.

Your main goal is to drive traffic to your website using social media and convert visitors into sales.

For tips on working on your blog go to I Will Teach You To Be Rich.

Recommended Social Media Sites:

I thoroughly enjoyed the seminar and have been working on some of the suggestions.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Olympic Medals, What are they made of?

I was watching the Olympics last night with Joe when it hit me, is the gold medal really made of solid gold? That's a lot of money. Joe thought it had to be made out of solid gold but I wasn't so sure. I read on Wikipedia that since 1912 the gold medal was made of sterling silver and plated with at least 6 grams of gold. The medals must also be 60mm in diameter and 3mm thick. Who foots the bill? The Olympic Host of course. I also read that the Olympic medals this year are made from metals collected from old computers, so they're recycled.
That would be pretty awesome to design the Olympic Medals.
Go meet the adorable Vancouver Olympic Mascots!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Fun night out!

Last night we went out to eat at the B-Spot, another Michael Symon Restaurant. The food was great and affordable. My favorite are the lola fries and the chips Parmesan fondue. Both have rosmary on them and I could eat them as the meal. Above is a picture I took at the restaurant. That B in the background is made with beer cans, the entire wall is beer cans! There are also some really hilarious Symon Says Rules that you are to follow while eating at the restaurant.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I made jewelry the other day!

A couple days ago I went to my friend Melissa's studio and we worked on our rings for the '30 Minute Ring' Book. The ring above I just made for fun. I also accidentally drilled into my finger while making it, ouch. I forgot how much I love just messing around at the bench. Sometimes it's hard for me to sketch and playing at the bench produces better results.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Few Seats Available

The New Approach School still has a few seats available! Class starts March 1st. I'll be learning, come join me. ; )

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Jeweler's Resource Bureau

I just got an email about a class the Jeweler's Resource Bureau is hosting. The class is called 'Designer CEO Summit'. It's a day filled with expert advice on the business side of your jewelry business. The class is happening in March in NYC, I'd go if I wasn't already in school!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Are you a member of the Society of North American Goldsmiths?

If you are a member of SNAG you should know that they are seeking images for their Professional Guidelines. They want images of SNAG members while working in the studio or selling their work which will be printed in brochures. This is an opportunity, seize it!

A little bit from my field trip to the BMAC Show

Let me start by saying that I used to work for the Buyers Market of American Craft Show as their jewelry rep. I was in charge of the jewelry section of the show which is about 1/3. The BMAC Show is a wholesale show for American and Canadian Artists. The show happens twice a year in February (Philadelphia) and in August (Baltimore). A third show in Vegas is in the works. It's always a good idea, if possible, to visit a show before being an exhibitor. The picture above is a view of the BMAC show from the show office, this picture shows about half of the show.

Apparently before I arrived at the show, Jane Seymour was there. She's good friends with one of the jewelry artists. When I was a kid I loved her show, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.

I arrived at the show Friday night just in time to see the 2010 Niche Awards. One of the winners, in the category of silver, lives in my own back yard: Davina Romansky of Cuyahoga Falls Ohio. Her necklace is pictured above.

One of my good friends won in the category 'Gold with Stones' Patricia Tschetter of Tschetter Studio Dallas Texas.
I'll tell you more about the show tomorrow!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Back from BMAC!

Sorry I've been away. I went to the Buyers Market of American Craft Show. I literally just got home an hour ago from I think an 8 hour drive. Tonight or tomorrow I'll post some tasty tidbits for you! Good luck and be safe to everyone traveling home today and tomorrow from the show.

Friday, February 12, 2010

New Jewelry Book

Lark books is coming out with a new book, '30 Minute Rings'. There is still time to submit your work so get to it! I've been sketching some designs for mine. Simple is really hard to do, I always make such complicated jewelry!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Good laugh at Math!

I've always had trouble with math, though not when calculating tax on a sale, that's easy. The math problems above are from xkcd which is a website with hilarious cartoons. You can see the cartoon closer here. I've especially always had trouble with those equations where two trains are heading towards each other one at 20 miles an our and the other at 50 miles, when will they hit. Why am I doing math, someone needs to call the train operators stat! The above equation is something your life depends on, that I can do. Enjoy!

OhioJMAG Meeting!

I was searching the Internet and found a fellow Guild member with a little article on the Guild meeting held at my house. With a great picture of me showing how to patina copper. Thanks so much for putting that up!

Also, Lark Books is calling for submissions for a new book '30 Minute Rings'. I will definitely be submitting. I had made a whole project for '30 Minute Earrings' and submitted it too late, somehow I mixed up the postmark by date.

I can't wait to buy the book, it looks really good!

Right now I'm business planning, sound boring, yeah it is though sometimes I come across a 'Eureka!' of an idea and that gets the juices flowing again.

Here is the pile of paperwork I'm going through to add great ideas to my business plan, it's stuff I've saved over years. There is about 12 inches in the bin, and to the right there is another stack of more in depth stuff that's about 2 inches thick. It's a lot to go through, but the more great ideas I can implement in my business the better.

You want to see my snow?

I know, everyone is probably sick of the snow but I hadn't shared snow pictures yet. Here is my backyard.

A view from the backyard of my house.
A beautiful treee covered in snow.

The grill which hasn't been cleaned off during any snow storm.

The front of the house, before I snow-blowed and shoveled.

Here is our street, there is a rule in this area that side roads (like this one) are not plowed until 48 hours after the snow has stopped. Their goal is to keep the main roads completely clear. I didn't know this rule for a while and I just thought they didn't plow anywhere.

My car covered in snow.

After I snow-blowed and shoveled.

Here is the front of my house from the end of driverway, after it was cleared.

The juniper bushes in my front yard covered in snow.

I liked the holes and gaps in the snow around the junipers.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Go over to Tool Time Tuesday!

Go check out my friend Melissa's blog! Every Tuesday she has a tool tutorial. I helped take photos for the latest one, it was a lot of fun. She's really great at explaining techniques.

Kinekt Gear Ring

My cousin found this awesome ring on the Internet, it's called the Gear Ring. And yes the gears move, go to their website and check it out! I want one but the smallest size swims on my thumb, though they do say they'll try to get your size in. That ring would be a joy to play with, all day long. While getting nothing accomplished!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Adornment and Excess: Jewelry in the 21st Century

The Miami University of Art Museum in Ohio is having an exhibition that involves jewelry! Adornment and Excess: Jewelry in the 21st Century running from January 21, 2010 through July 10, 2010. This exhibition will be a bit of a hike for me but I hope to go!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

My new favorite Gemstone...

So I got board working on the business plan and I've been perusing ebay tonight and found this gorgeous 13.29 Ct. oval Confetti Sunstone. I want it something bad but right now the price is a little much for me. I have tools I'll need soon and the business start up money needs to go toward that. If you would like to buy this gorgeous stone click on the image and it'll take you to ebay. And if you do buy it, show me images of what you made!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Ring a Day, Tweet!

I love this little bird ring by Amuck Designs, it's made of stop sign, license plate, and sterling. So in the right light the body of the bird should have a reflective quality!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Where have I been?

Where have I been you ask? Very busy, that's where. I leave for the New Approach School for Jewelers in less than a month, I'm very excited and a little nervous. Before I go away to school my goal has been to write a very comprehensive business plan. I have a 12 inch stack of paperwork I've saved over the years full of great business ideas. Right now I'm kinda wishing I had added them to my business plan as I found them. But it'll all work out.
My Dad let me borrow his book on CD The E Myth Revisited and wow is it good. It's about strategically planning a well developed business. I recommend if you haven't written a business plan to get started. Without a plan how do you know where you are going? Don't feel bad, 95% of small businesses don't have a plan but now is the time to change that.
Also my good friend Melissa suggested I turn in my silver scrap, since I had a lot. Wow was that a fabulous idea! Once I weighed the metal and calculated the worth I got worried that I've just been keeping this stuff in a box that traveled from MD to OH. At this point it is safely to the refinery, when I get my check I'll let you know how I made out.
I've also been trying to get as much done as I can before I leave for school. Like preplanning birthday presents for people so I don't have to worry about it when I'm away. Doing some repairs on the house, and trimming the apple tree so it produces bigger apples for next year instead of lots of small ones.
The other night I hung out with my friend Valerie Mayen who makes awesome coats. She's coming out with a new line of fabulous clothing. We've been talking once a week and telling each other our goals that way we have more incentive to accomplish things since we check in on each other. I do that same thing with my friend Melissa when it comes to sketching. We give each other sketching homework. On that note I need to go work on my homework! Goodnight!