Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year - New Outlook

Well, I hope everyone survived the Christmas season. I did, it was questionable for a minute, but I came out on top :)
I always get stressed this time of year because I am working so hard to make jewelry for shows and to fulfill custom orders then after all that is done I get to start my Christmas shopping. It works out though, it always does. That is usually my mantra for November and December. "You have enough jewelry, you always do"... and "everything always works out just fine."

Now what? That is what I keep saying to myself. What is the next step for me?
I am trying to get my studio cleaned OUT and re-organized. I just don't really know which corner to start in. A cleanse is always good! I have old beads that I am not using, junk jewelry that is just sitting around collecting dust, etc. etc. etc. 

I am also making room for more metal working tools such as a kiln for firing metal clay and all the tools to go with that. Very exciting!!!
I am planning trips to Dallas, Tucson, and New York City. I am going to meet a couple of friends at the Dallas Market in January. I want to check out the jewelry artists to see if this is something that I might be interested in doing in the next year or two.
Tucson, is my annual buying trip!  I am not sure who is going with me yet... I booked my flight yesterday and I'll have 3  1/2 days of shopping. This is a little intimidating because it is my first time to travel alone. I'll either meet friends from Eureka when I get there or a friend from Little Rock. Flying solo is what intimidates me :/ I hate flying...
Then, the last week of February Matt and I are driving to New York. He has a Geography conference and I have shopping to do!
In the middle of all that I'll be designing new jewelry for my website and booking a few shows this Spring. 
I hope to cut down a little on my traveling this year. We'll see if that works out for me.

I still dream about a storefront... I mentally decorate and design my space everyday. I guess you could say this is good prep for when the time comes that I am in a more permanent place and can open Bella Vita Studios!
Until then, I am going to clean, organize, plan, and design, design, design. I am very excited about what is to come in 2012! I wish you a very very very Happy New Year! 

My very best friend has been looking for these keys for quite some time now. She finally found them and I have them. I think this is a good sign for 2012.
They are just beautiful!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Featured Artist Series - Introducing Kendal Drew

I met my first featured artist about a year ago when I was visiting Little Rock. Kendal is a beadchick at The Argenta Bead Company in North Little Rock and that is where we met. I had seen a few of Kendal's earring designs when I first met her and really loved what I saw. I even encouraged her to teach a class on one of her designs. I wasn't surprised at all when I visited again this past October to find her designs have grown and are even more amazing than when I first met her. I hope you enjoy reading a little bit about Kendal but I hope you love her earrings as much as I do. I have a small collection of 6 of her original designs available in my online shop

Meet: Kendal Drew
  "I began making jewelry when I was about 10. I've always loved little things and working with my fingers so I'm pretty sure my aunts were just using me to finish projects that they're cornea's couldn't comprehend. Either way it was something that I became quickly interested in and was an excellent way for me to spend time with the fam. 
  I took a few jewelry classes in high school that pertained to materials that weren't readily available to me at home such as pewter, soldering and enamels. Since then, though, I haven't really dabbled in jewels until I got a job at Argenta Bead, where the creative wheels began turning...and quickly at that. Before I knew it I had all these great ideas. I bought a sketch book for the first time in years, which, unfortunately I don't use as often as I like because I'm too busy making stuff. I gain inspiration from all the other interests that I keep in my life. Interests that I thought would hold higher priority over making jewelry. My dream is to have a paid job in agriculture. Really it could be whatever, but if I had my choice I would own 80 acres and have a small farm with a home I built myself, a good size garden and enough live stock to make up a petting zoo. I mean I really wouldn't have a petting zoo, but you know goats, chickens, a cow or two, pigs and if I'm lucky some sheep. My other career of choice would be to rebuild old cars. Antique automobiles are glorious and full of character. Plus, engineering is just plain cool. My jewelry reflects these things. I gain inspiration from both nature and mechanics. I feel my pieces are a juxtaposition of natural colors and materials arranged in mechanical shapes and patterns. It's funny how I have subconsciously found a way to cross those paths without doing either one of them at all.     
   Well, I've had my rant. Besides jewelry making I work at a pizza joint, hang out with my friends and try to use the little time I have to concentrate on my others hobbies and interests. I hope you guys enjoy what I have to offer. I do" 

Meet Kendal's Designs!!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Thrifting with the Queen of Thrift

  Yesterday my Grandmother and I set out on a journey, our main destination was the Simply Scrumptious Tea Room in Eureka Springs. But, along the way we stopped at the many thrift stores and antique stores along the way.
It started off as a very interesting trip to say the least. Our first stop was a flea market on the Berryville Square. I was a little surprised to find the owner chain smoking the whole time we were in there... surprised in this day and age of non-smoking businesses... it was a little gross and unfortunate because they had some really cool furniture and quilts but I am sure it all smelled like cigarette smoke. 
Anyway, from there we stumbled into a thrift store and I immediately spotted these two Dooney and Bourke bags hanging on the wall. I picked them up because I thought they might be real but after conversing with the lady that worked at the store I learned that they weren't real. She actually schooled me! She pointed out that if it were a real D&B bag the zipper would be metal, the inner pockets wouldn't be lined in vinyl, and that the bag would be a lot heavier. After she pointed all that out it started making sense. To me they looked like bags from the early 1980's... they could have been. I ended up passing on them. They aren't really my style or taste I was hoping to make a few bucks on this one ;)

  After this thrift shop we continued on around the square and stumbled upon an antique store straight out of a nightmare. We stepped inside to find a barking dog and 4 cats staring us in the face and were overwhelmed by a horrid ammonia and cat pee smell and immediately had to leave. It was disgusting! The sad part is we really wanted to look around. Gram's and I just knew there were goodies in there. But, no sane person could spend more than 45 seconds in the place. I honestly don't know how/why the health department hasn't shut them down... perhaps they don't regulate antique stores???
  After that we were done with Berryville and headed out of town! 
We stopped at a couple more thrift shops but weren't having luck finding treasures so we headed to our lunch spot which was the Tea Room in Eureka.
Simply scrumptious is exactly what it was! We both chose the asparagus, bacon and cheddar quiche, salad and I got mushroom bisque and Gram's got the chilli. Everything was very fresh and delicious!
Lunch special. YUM!
We shared dessert which was a white cake with blackberry spread and butter cream frosting.
A beautiful pansy that came on our cake.
Me and my Grandmother.
  After lunch we shopped the antique store that was connected to the tea room. This was a fun stop, they had some beautiful primitive antiques... everything that was out my price range but really fun to look at. The man working the store was really  nice too. He pointed out a few other antique shops we might be interested in. So, after that we started the journey back home. We stopped at one last shop, it was one that my Grandparents used to stop at when they were still in the biz. It was in the back yard of a little country home between Eureka and Berryville. The woman that owned it was very interesting and helpful. She pulled out a bunch of junk jewelry for me and even had antique buttons for Grandma.
  Yesterday wasn't the most successful day of junking/thrifting but it was the most fun day because of the company I had!