September 30, 2012

Studio Tour Sunday

This week I spent some time writing down my goals and desires for my business. I have so many things going on that sometimes I get overwhelmed with all that I want to do.  That leaves me spinning my wheels and not actually getting things done. And there is the perpetual problem I have of not having enough creative time. So I needed some organization.  I wrote down the goals and the things I NEED to do and I broke that down into tasks which I broke down into days of the week.  I think I have a plan of attack now, one that gives me some creative time.  I find that in many aspects of my life, I really need structure to be able to function, as things start to feel too chaotic if I don't have some kind of structure and schedule to hold myself to.  This is partially from being self employed, and partially my personality.  I am feeling optimistic now, though, so this is good!

One of the things I really need to do more is to spend more time reconnecting with my website, etsy, blog, and social media.  So I have scheduled a little bit of specific computer time for being all social and stuff on these here internets!  One of the things I thought would be fun is to set up my Instagram to post to Facebook, in particular so I can show off all the fun creations that my customers at Rust Belt maket.  If you think that's a fun idea and want to keep up with me, friend me on Instagram (I am earthenwood there) or you can always like my Facebook business page, where I will be posting more often soon.
 
Here's what some of my fellow beady friends have going on in their studios this week:
A Bead A Day
Need a bead or finding at midnight? You might find what you need in a pinch at a 24 hour superstore! 
About.com Jewelry Making
There is still plenty of time to make some Halloween jewelry.  
Art Bead Scene
Heather shares some tips of the trade for jewelry designers who are interested in wholesaling. 
Beading Arts
Cyndi believes that you can never have too many ideas for how to use your lampwork beads...  
Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie shows the results of the liquid clay slip application experiments she recently made. 
Resin Crafts!
This week Carmi shows you how to glaze a feather with resin!  
Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Bead Soup, the great book by Lori Anderson, has arrived! Enjoy this review about Lori's delicious concoction by jean! 
The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew shares his latest win! Check out "Night of the Shaman" that top honors in Nina Design's most recent design challenge. 


Melanie is an artist, blogger, writer, and ceramic beadmaker at Earthenwood Studio. Her beads and components can be found at her Etsy shop and her jewelry can be found in her Etsy Galleria. To comment on this post, visit the original post at the Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Blog.

September 28, 2012

Birdie Branch Necklace Design

 I designed this new quick and simple project using some of my favorite fall components, brass, and waxed cotton cording. I think it makes a fun and casual autumn necklace.  This is my favorite kind of jewelry to just throw on when running around, doing errands, and hanging out with friends.  It's comfortable and light with some artsy charm and a seasonal theme!
There are kits for the Birdie Branch Necklace available in several color choices in my Etsy shop.
Also, for the rest of the weekend, I am having a 20% off sale both on Etsy and my website. Use the coupon code AUTUMN either place for your discount.  Good until Monday, Oct 1st.
 

Melanie is an artist, blogger, writer, and ceramic beadmaker at Earthenwood Studio. Her beads and components can be found at her Etsy shop and her jewelry can be found in her Etsy Galleria. To comment on this post, visit the original post at the Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Blog.

September 27, 2012

Clay Slip Experiments

 Remember the experiments I did with liquid clay slip and the slabs that got a little too dry?  These are the results of those experiments.
ooh I love that pewter one in the center!  It looks just like metal.  I really like the organic quality of these pieces. They are all very unique and the way the slip was applied and how the glaze flows over it makes each piece a one of a kind creation.
I will be listing them for sale in my Etsy shop here!

Melanie is an artist, blogger, writer, and ceramic beadmaker at Earthenwood Studio. Her beads and components can be found at her Etsy shop and her jewelry can be found in her Etsy Galleria. To comment on this post, visit the original post at the Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Blog.

September 21, 2012

New Jewelry for Art Fair Application

 I applied to a cool, indie, local art fair tonight with some new work.  I have some of the Earthen Alternative styled pieces, which are much more urban, gritty, punky than some of my earlier jewelry, which was more based on nature and elegant filigree. I have been moving in this direction at Rust Belt and it is well received there, so I am hoping it translates to this art fair too.  I did this show two years and had a great time, so I thought I would try again.
Of course, I am not sure how I will manage to be at the fair and at Rust Belt on the same weekend.  But we will figure that out if I am accepted. I am still working on that Melanie clone so I can do ALL the things, but have been less than successful. ;)
I have really simplified my jewelry line designs over the years, letting the clay speak for itself without a lot of distraction. That would seem to be the best approach for me for jewelry, as I don't have a lot of time or energy to do very labor intensive jewelry to sell.  Wish me luck on my application!

Melanie is an artist, blogger, writer, and ceramic beadmaker at Earthenwood Studio. Her beads and components can be found at her Etsy shop and her jewelry can be found in her Etsy Galleria. To comment on this post, visit the original post at the Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Blog.

September 17, 2012

Rust Belt Return

Over the weekend I returned to my little part time retail storefront.  I took a big leap and signed a 24 consecutive weekend contract which started last weekend and takes me past the holidays.  It's a bit of a risk, although judging from last year's holiday season, it is a well planned risk.  And the weekend was a great reminder of how good the holidays were, as there were two big art fairs that brought in lots of customers and sales.  Fellow vendors were happy to see me and customers told me they have been waiting for my return.  That was good for my ego.
I am streamlining my display and the process and selection that is available for people to make their own necklaces.  Choices are good, but too many can be overwhelming, so I am trying to narrow down the metal charm and chain/ribbon choices.  If I am going to expand, it is in my clay choices, as it should be... that's the part that brings me joy.  I have also decided to add some simple finished bracelets and earrings to the mix for add on sales.  And I really want to bring in some more carvings and maybe even some sculptures. 
It was an exhausting weekend, but it lit a bit of a fire under me and I hope to build up some momentum again for holiday sales.  I have a bit of confidence again that I have a pretty good thing going when I work hard at it, and I would like to be able to keep up this crazy artist lifestyle if I can.  I can't really imagine doing anything else.

Melanie is an artist, blogger, writer, and ceramic beadmaker at Earthenwood Studio. Her beads and components can be found at her Etsy shop and her jewelry can be found in her Etsy Galleria. To comment on this post, visit the original post at the Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Blog.

September 6, 2012

End of Summer Cleaning and September Sale

Can you believe it's already September?  Back to school time, the start of Autumn, getting ready for the holidays...

I am going on one last little end of summer trip this weekend before my busy season begins, but I wanted to leave you with a sale for this weekend only!  I have added a bunch of items that have been piling up around the studio, so you have a full shop to select from!

Thi weekend, take 20% off your order at my Earthenwood Etsy shop

Enter the code SEPTSALE for the 20% off discount!

Sale ends Monday, September 10th at noon.
 
 While we are into some end of summer cleaning, I am getting ready to launch my fall line of jewelry.  Time to clear out the Earthenwood Galleria to make way for new fall and holiday jewelry!

Use the same SeptSale code for 20% off the Earthenwood Galleria on Etsy too!  Sale ends Monday at noon.


Melanie is an artist, blogger, writer, and ceramic beadmaker at Earthenwood Studio. Her beads and components can be found at her Etsy shop and her jewelry can be found in her Etsy Galleria. To comment on this post, visit the original post at the Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Blog.

September 2, 2012

Studio Tour Sunday

  I made two new tile plates this week! I love when they are newly carved, leather hard clay.  This is my favorite state.  They look like chocolate. I wish they could stay this way!  I am really enjoying carving again. These quick little line studies are a really great way for me to express myself a bit, to work on some new imagery, and to play around with clay, which I haven't been doing enough of in the last few months.

That's the news from my studio. Here is what some of my creative friends have going on in their studios:

A Bead A Day
Design inspiration...the Sun! Lisa shares her Ode to the Sunshine State jewelry project.  

About.com Jewelry Making
Dig around in your jewelry box for those hoop earrings that need a little jazzing up. 
Art Bead Scene
School season is almost here and that inspired Erin to blog about some of her favorite creative classes she has taken over the years.  

Beading Arts
Cyndi shares her thoughts on Kim St. Jean's magical book, Metal Magic! 
Beads & Books
Win a copy of Japanese Beadwork with Sonoko Nozue. While you're entering, you can also download a free simple spiral necklace project from the book.  

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie makes lemonade out of lemons, or at least out of clay slabs that got too dry, and creates new pendants in the process 
Resin Crafts!
A litte paper and paint can result in a wonderful Frida pendant!  

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean discusses the worldwide jewelry, mixed media and Blythe doll project which she has been involved in throughout 2012, and invites you to follow its progress! 
The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew announces the future plans for Allegory Gallery and the NEW annex space! 



Melanie is an artist, blogger, writer, and ceramic beadmaker at Earthenwood Studio. Her beads and components can be found at her Etsy shop and her jewelry can be found in her Etsy Galleria. To comment on this post, visit the original post at the Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Blog.