Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy New Year

I had planned on crafting a delightfully philosophical this-year-is-over-and-here's-what-I've-learned post as a way of wrapping up 2008. But, then I got hit with a truly gross wouldn't-wish-this-on-my-worst-enemy stomach flu, and now I'm just happy to be sitting upright. And, well, maybe that's philosophical enough.

Russ and I are headed off super early tomorrow for a mini New Year's bike tour. After taking the train to Santa Barbara and heading north, we'll be toasting the beginning of 2009 on the beach at our favorite hiker/biker campsite (Refugio State Beach). And then we'll make our way up through Solvang, Santa Maria, Guadalupe, Morro Bay and into San Luis Obispo. I'm really looking forward to it.

Russ at Refugio earlier this year

I have no idea what next year will bring. This is the first year in a long time that I don't have any really specific resolutions. All I know is that there are great changes brewing for 2009 and I am excited.

So here's wishing everyone a delightful New Year's celebration (whatever your plans are) and all the best for coming year.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Etsy Front Page

What a fun surprise today! I got a convo through Etsy alerting me that my Window pendant had been on the front page today. When I went trolling through flickr in search of a screen shot, I stumbled on to all of these other shots of my work on past front pages! At least four front pages that I didn't even know about. It's a much-needed boost at the end of a busy year!

Edit: I found the treasury that was picked to be on the front page and grabbed a shot! Thanks CatamountDigital!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Joining the 'net revolution

I had all sorts of mental hurdles to jump over, but I did it... I joined facebook. Web 2.0, here I come. So, if you want to be my friend, scurry on over. I'm still figuring it all out, this new-fangled technology thing, but so far the boogie man hasn't come for me... :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Everything!

Here's wishing everyone a very happy whatever-it-is-that-you-celebrate!

Russ and I will be mostly hanging out at home, enjoying the quiet (and the rain that we're due to get Wednesday & Thursday), watching some movies, drinking some beers, playing some dominoes, and probably eating a lot too.

I'm going to tidy up my studio and then leave it alone, while I start thinking about my goals for 2009 and what direction I'm headed.

I hope everyone out there enjoys their holidays and their time off.

And thanks to my mom for unearthing these delightful old photos of me at Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Procrastinator's Night

Can you believe that it's December 22 already?! Where did the year go? I wanted to thank everyone who came out for the final Pop Up Shop yesterday. It was our most successful of the season, and proof that we're on to something. :)

I just heard about a fun event that I wanted to pass along to any Corvallis, Oregon area readers. It's called Procrastinator's Night and it's from 5-8pm tonight at the Arts Center. There will be live blues music, pizza, beer and, of course, lots of great last-minute hand-crafted gifts. If you're still looking for a great gift, swing by and check it out!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ornament Swap Update

Curious what I've received in exchange for my star ornaments that I sent out for the Swap? I've gotten eight ornaments in the mail so far, and they're all so lovely.

This year, due to lack of space and general not-wanting-to-deal-with-it-ness, Russ and I skipped getting a tree. So how am I displaying all of my new ornaments? Meet the Ornament Mobile...

Sturdy eucalyptus branches collected after this recent storm, tied together with hemp yarn. It spins around freely and the ornaments hang unobstructed. I'm really quite thrilled with it. :)

A few more close-ups of the ornaments I've received...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Could it be..?

Every so often, it almost feels like winter here. The rain has stopped and the storm is pushing through, leaving us with these gorgeous snow-capped mountains in the distance. (I had to snap some photos on my ride to work this morning, since the smog will fill back in tomorrow and obscure the beautiful view.)

In honor of it actually feeling like winter - and the fact that we're just a few little days away from the big holiday - I'm offering a FREE upgrade to Priority Shipping on all orders out of my etsy shop through the end of the day Friday the 19th (that's tomorrow!). (My last holiday ship date is Saturday.)

And if you're really waiting until the last minute... come check out one of these opportunities...

Last Holiday Pop Up Shop ... Sunday, December 21 ... 12noon-6pm
Winterlight @ The Corvallis Arts Center ... runs through December 24

Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday, Monday

It may be pouring outside right now, but Mother Nature held off yesterday, instead giving us a gloriously sunny (albeit quite chilly) day. Thanks to everyone who came out to our second Pop Up Shop! You made it even more successful than the first one!

Also exciting... I'm finally mailing off my gift for our EtsyMetal Secret Santa swap! I had to fight some feelings of "are they good enough?" when I started seeing what other folks are sending off. But, when I think only about the earrings, I must say that I'm quite happy with them! Eco-friendly sterling silver with dried nasturtium petals.

And now I am off to brave the downpour, bundled up in lots of goofy-looking layers, on my ride to my day job.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Here's hoping for some sun

When you live in Southern California, you start to forget that planning an event outside in the middle of December might be slightly problematic. Here's hoping that google weather is wrong and it will be perfectly sunny for this week's Pop Up Shop...

Edited to say that in case of rain, we'll be under the theater marquee.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pop Up Shop, take two

If you're looking for some shopping fun this weekend, head on down to the second Long Beach Pop Up Shop! Last weekend was a great success and a lot of fun - and we have so much more in store for this Sunday...

Photos by Russ Roca

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Head badge update

Yesterday, I mailed out a duet of head badges for a couple that owns a bike shop. It was a lovely job to work on.

That said, I'm going to push the pause button on making head badges. They have become more time-consuming than I had intended and I really want to give myself the space to focus on my jewelry right now. So, I'll be taking down the listings on my etsy shop until further notice. Thanks for your understanding.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Art, art

I'm at home this afternoon, finishing up some work, packaging up some sales, adding a few more books to the aforementioned stack, and hopefully cleaning my studio after I'm all done. It's nice to have some time away from my day job, especially when my brain is full of ideas.

I thought I'd pop in to post a really sweet video that I found on the Scoutie Girl website and finally had a chance to watch today. Enjoy.

(My favorite part comes around 1:47)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A few small changes

Russ and I had an interesting discussion last night about ways to better position myself and my work. I won't let you in on all the craziness just yet, but suffice it to say that we came up with the beginnings of some really great new ideas - and there will be a few small changes in the works. Not so much with the style of jewelry I'm creating, as with the way that I talk about it, promote it, and put it out into the world. I'm excited, because I think it will be really good me and help me move forward and grow as an artist.

But, first, I have some big ol' books to look through.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Small joys

Woo hoo! Nothing like checking the Etsy Treasury room and discovering that you're in 3 (yes, three!) different treasuries, all featuring different pieces. Take a look...

we carry each other
Wonderful Wonderful

Come One, Come All...

The 1st Pop Up Shop is tomorrow! Come join us - We'll have lots of great gift items and yummy things to nibble on.

Just a Reminder...

Today's the last day of my Kick-Off-The-Holidays Sale in my etsy shop. Hurry on over for Free Shipping and a Free pair of Seedlets or Seed Hoops earrings with a $150 purchase.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A mini milestone

I finally crossed to the other side of 500 hearts for my etsy shop. :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bringing back an old favorite

In hunting through my stash of jewelry tonight, I discovered some silver chains that I had forgotten I had made. (Don't you love when that happens?!) These are made of large loops (varying from 1-2.5" in diameter), hammered for texture, oxidized, and buffed to a nice shine. There's no point in them just sitting in a box in my studio, so I put them up in my etsy shop.

Monday, December 1, 2008

It's December!

I can't believe it's December, can you? Russ and I are back from our Thanksgiving weekend bike adventure. What a lovely time we had! My camera didn't get much of a workout, so for lots of great photos, check out Russ' flickr.

As a welcome home surprise, Etsy featured my cuff bracelet in a Storque article mentioning items with free shipping. Woo hoo. I'm offering free shipping until the end of this week, so take advantage of it while you can!

And even though I just had a four-day weekend, I took today off from my day job so that I could get some work done in my studio. Ornaments are finally done! I am packaging them up today to ship off tomorrow to my swap partners. And the extras are up in my etsy shop.

Happy December everyone!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I thought I'd post a few things that I am thankful for this year...

... Being a part of Fall Festival, and having the opportunity to put together a large display of my work

... Greater overall visibility as an artist

... Finally having the confidence to call my workspace a "studio"

... Working out some ideas about the direction to go with my jewelry and my business

... All of the comments and compliments I have received about my work

... More interactions with other artists

... The prospect of (dare I say it?) moving out of Southern California

... An increased amount of bike travel, a greater confidence about circumnavigating the world on bike, and finally getting rid of my car

And, on that note, I'm headed out of town for the next few days. We're dining on turkey with Russ' family and then heading South for a bit of a bike tour.

But before I sign off... I wanted to let you all know that I'm offering up some great kick-off-the-holidays specials in my Etsy Shop! Order anything from my shop between November 27 and December 5 and receive FREE shipping. Even better? Spend at least $150 in my shop during that same time period and receive a FREE pair of Seedlets or Seed Hoops earrings (your choice). All in-stock orders placed over the weekend will ship on Monday.

Enjoy your holiday everyone!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Pop Up, here we come...

I spent a good part of today with my fellow "poperatives" sanding and painting and starting to piece together the display for the upcoming Pop Up Shop. When I was part of a small gallery a few years ago, Jen wowed us with her amazing display-creating talent. Today, she has done it again, with the help of Chris' prolific alley-scavenging trips. I can't wait to see this all put together in two weeks!

(Photos from Cari)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Ornament Update

I spent the afternoon today working on my ornaments for the Swap. I'm collaging each of the copper stars with dried red leaves...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

New Earrings!

I've had this idea fluttering around in my head for a few weeks now and finally sat down this weekend to create them.

These swinging beauties are made from 100% eco-friendly sterling silver and feature a delightful pop of color from dried rose petals.

A few pair are now available for sale in my etsy shop. You'll also be able to find them at the upcoming Pop Up Shop events.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Twinkle, twinkle

Working on ornaments today. Ten of them will go off to my swap partners and the rest will go up for sale in my etsy shop and at the upcoming Pop Up Shop events.

Let's see... how many can I get out of a single 6x12 sheet of copper?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Pop Up Shop

Introducing... the one and only... absolutely fantastic... Long Beach Pop Up Shop!

I'm part of a group of artisans and creative type folks here in Long Beach that has come up with a killer idea for this holiday season and beyond. The Pop Up Shop! We take our beautiful wares and pop up at various locations around town.

This December, we'll be at the newly revamped Art Theatre for three afternoons. There will be fun and treats and beautiful gift items and who knows what else might pop up. Come out and join us!

Check out the website for more information! And visit our flickr to see what sorts of goodies to expect.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Gone to India...

... the little variety, that is. Artesia, a city just up the road from us, has a large Indian population, and I've always wanted to go check it out. So, Russ and I and a couple of friends headed off on a bicycle day trip. Did I remember to bring my camera, though? Of course not. But, I did bring back a few goodies...

Two fancy new tunics for bike touring...

And some interesting Indian and Pakistani spice mixes and snacks...

I also managed to get a shot of the headbadge that I've been working on this week. The time change has made it nearly impossible for me to get decent photos after I get home from my day job, so I had to wait until today...

Happy Saturday!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Friday Update

Whew... what a week! I've been so out of touch with all things political for the past few years that I've felt like I needed to play catch up in the wake of Tuesday night. Which has been truly delightful and insightful, but has swallowed up my week.

So, I'm looking forward to getting back to work this weekend. I have a headbadge sitting on my bench, drying, that I need to mail out. And another custom order waiting in the wings. Plus, my head is now swimming with ideas for new designs, and I want to get started!

But, in the meantime, I thought I'd share a couple of misc. updates...

First, for anyone in the Corvallis, Oregon area, Winterlight opens tomorrow! They have lots and lots of wonderful handmade items - including some of my jewelry - and I urge you to go check it out this holiday season.

Next, I jumped on this year's Ornament Swap (put on by FreshlyBlended and Cake & Pie). I've never done this sort of thing before, but I've been itching to make ornaments this holiday season, so what the heck. Sign ups end on the 10th, so hurry on over if you're interested in joining the fun. Oh, and check out the Flickr group from last year.

I've also updated my gift wrap (and wanted to share a sneak peek)! All online orders are automatically shipped with gift wrap, and I'm happy to wrap up any in-person purchases as well.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Jumping with Joy

I think that I have been anxiously holding my breath for months (or, truly, for the past eight years), in a sort of tempered hope that folks would wake up and all of the fear would melt away.

I used to be incredibly involved in politics, in the nitty-gritty of causing change at the grassroots level. After the 2004 election, I just burnt out, horribly saddened, and walked away, needing to preserve my own sanity. My hope for a positive outcome to this election was always balanced by the memory of the crushing disappointment four years ago.

Today, I feel like I can finally exhale.

In fact, from the moment ABC called the election for Obama, I have been sobbing in complete and utter elation.

There are so many reasons to be excited about this win and what it means. For me, it means a return of hope and optimism, and the fact that I don't have to pack up and figure out how to rebuild my business in another country.

And, like Obama said in his speech, "the chance to create the change we seek."

Yes we can.

(Photo from the LA Times)

Today is the day...

... that all of the TV commercials, endless leaflets, and automated vote-for-such-and-such phone calls finally come to an end. I'm on edge for the outcome (national as well as some state measures), but mostly I'm just ready for this election to finally be over. But, I thought I'd throw my hat in the ring with everyone else and say that if you're eligible to vote, please do so today!

In other news, I donated a pair of my seed hoops earrings to a drawing on the lovely Scoutie Girl website. If you're hoping for a pair of your very own, scoot on over and find out how to enter.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Foggy Inspiration

Okay, I'll admit that sometimes I actually enjoy living by the beach. Like today, when a fog as thick as pea soup rolls in, and I get to bike my commute home down a beach path completely swallowed up by a surreal otherworld. Fuzzy shapes slowly emerge out of nothingness, and the sounds of the city are replaced by the deep voice of a foghorn.

Have I mentioned that I'm an Oregonian at heart and that grey weather is more inspirational to me than sunshine?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Lately, I've been feeling a little bit scattered. Nothing serious, I just don't have one main thing to focus on at the moment. Rather than fight it, I thought I'd just let you into my funny little world right now.

I've been doing a bit of baking (mmm, banana bread)...

Reading a lovely new book...

Wading through all the propositions on this year's ballot...

And trying to figure out what sorts of jewelry to make next...

So, forgive the lack of posts. Oh, but I did manage to update my flickr.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Adventures in photo-taking

With the holidays looming and a large stock of jewelry sitting in my studio waiting for a new home, I decided it was time to shoot some more photos. Plus, I've been wanting to update the photos in my etsy shop and on my website.

So I spent my weekend testing the limits of my camera. I'm calling it the little camera that could, because Russ is convinced that it won't do what I want, and I'm determined to prove him wrong. :)

I went to our local arts store and picked up some nice big sheets of paper to use as backgrounds. And I rolled them out on the desk in my studio, next to the nice big windows that bring in lots of natural light.

In all, I think I'm pretty happy with the photos. Okay, so they're not exactly slide-worthy, high-art photos, but I think they show off the jewelry well (which is really the whole point). There are still other shots rumbling around my head that I want to try to capture, so stay tuned for more new photos. But, in the meantime, I've updated my website and my etsy shop. I hope to have my flickr page updated in the next day or two as well.

P.S. The update in my etsy shop means NEW pieces, so scurry on over!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Braving my studio again

As it turns out, it was a good thing that I didn't sell out at Fall Festival. I so completely burnt myself out prepping for the show that I'm still avoiding getting back to work in my studio. Which has meant that I've been able to fulfill orders out of the "leftover" stock and give myself a nice long break from creating new work.

And I would continue to procrastinate on getting back to work, except that I have an order for a head badge that I need to make and get in the mail. So, today, I am officially braving my studio again.

Meet Reynard the Fox...

Friday, October 17, 2008


I left my day job early today (since I worked late for an event the other night) and I spent this afternoon packing up jewelry to send off to the Art Center in Corvallis for their Winterlight event.

Since this is the first time that I've sent off a large quantity of jewelry to one location, I had fun creating a method for packaging and labeling everything. And let me just say that clear mailing labels rock!

I don't think I'm going to make it to the post office this afternoon as I had hoped, so I'll be dropping this off first thing tomorrow morning. Fun, fun!

For those of you who are in the Corvallis area, Winterlight opens on November 8 and runs daily (except for Thanksgiving) through December 24. I'm also plotting some great Long Beach area events, and I'll post more when we get more of the details hammered out. You can also skip on over to my website and sign up for my mailing list.

Happy weekend everyone!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Enough lounging around

I put together a fancy new ad tonight to run on the Scoutie Girl site. I even learned how to create an animated gif! Of course, I can't figure out how to get Blogger to let it play through, but here's the first slide...

And an update for folks in Oregon - I'll be a part of Winterlight at The Arts Center in Corvallis.