Monday, September 29, 2008

A few snaps

I'm still digesting everything that happened at and came out of Fall Festival. But, Russ put up some great photos on his flickr, so I thought I'd post some shots here too.

Thank goodness for many pairs of hands to help with set up and take down - and family that's willing to help me in my crazy biking adventure! Russ and my brother Matt helped haul everything from the tables, canopy, plexi cases, display materials and more on a combination of bikes and bike trailers.

Friday, September 26, 2008

I promise to remember you all when I'm famous

Holy crap. I made the front page of my hometown newspaper today!

Today we set up the booth. And, today, the Gazette-Times ran a truly lovely article about me returning home, on my bike, to participate in Fall Festival. I am so delighted! (Not only to be in the paper, but to share the same page as the stunning news of my hometown football team beating #1 USC last night!)

Many thanks to Theresa Hogue for writing such a beautiful article and to Cynthia Spencer for tipping the G-T to my story!

Monday, September 22, 2008

And we're off!

Tomorrow, Russ and I (and our bikes) will hop on the Amtrak Coast Starlight train up to Albany, Oregon. I'm excited for this trip and I'm excited for the show, although I feel like I have no idea what to expect. Did I make enough jewelry? Did I make enough of the kind of jewelry that will sell well? I'll find out in a few days.

A few photos to leave you with...

The mountain of jewelry that is traveling with me, all tagged and individually bagged.

My bike, loaded up, as it will look when we ride between Albany and Corvallis.

Thanks everyone for your support over the last few months! I'll see you again in a few days.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Musings from a tired woman

I'm tired. Every part of me is tired. My brain is tired. My arms are tired. I'm just completely and utterly tired.

Over the last three and a half months, from receiving my acceptance letter to Fall Festival until now, I've been effectively working two full-time jobs. There's the job I go to during the day, that currently pays my bills, and the job that I squeeze into my evenings and weekends, that creates all this jewelry.

But, no matter how tired I am, I feel like I can't really complain. Because, over the last three and a half months, I've been slowly pushing myself up to the next level. Which was one of my top goals for this year.

The funny part is that, when I set this as a goal, I said that I wanted to work full-time as a jewelry maker. Apparently I should have been a little more clear, because, at this point, I am working full-time as a jewelry maker (I'm just also working full-time somewhere else too).

A few years ago, when I first stumbled onto the lovely blog of Penelope Dullaghan, I found my way to this slideshow she created about her experience with making that giant leap to working for yourself. And she mentioned that it got to a point where she was juggling her own work with the job work and just had to break free from one or the other in order to keep her sanity. And that's how she knew it was time to leap off on her own. I loved the slideshow, but I always hoped that I wouldn't have to get to the same sort of breaking point. Turns out, I think that's exactly how it'll work out.

So, my new goal is to work only for myself as an art jewelry maker (or other creative whatnot, but not work for anybody else).

Is that clear enough, universe?

I've been so tired lately that my brain hasn't been thinking particularly creatively. I've been in production mode, churning out pieces for upcoming shows. I haven't been conceiving of new ideas. But, apparently, even in my tiredness, my brian is able to recognize just what excitingness I'm in the middle of, and where I should be headed next. (And, trust me, even as tired as I am, I can tell that there's great stuff coming.)

In the meantime, if you're in the Corvallis, Oregon area next weekend, drop by Fall Festival and say hi. I also just got word that the Artisan Show & Sell is definitely on for October 4 in Signal Hill. So, if you're in the Southern California area, swing by that evening. And, while I'm planning on taking a bit of a break after these shows, stay tuned for exciting holiday events and announcements (which, amazingly, is just around the corner).

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Lists, lists and more lists

The last several weeks have flown by in a flurry of making pieces, finishing pieces, organizing my display, planning my packaging and more for Fall Festival.

I have to-do lists and to-do lists for my to-do lists. And, while I think that I'm actually on track, we leave in a mere week and a half... and I'm definitely starting to feel the pressure.

I will not panic, I will not panic, I will not panic.

So, I thought I'd take a moment to post a photo of some new pieces that will debut at the show...

And while I'm finding time to be online, here's a hint about how I plan to get everything up to Oregon and remain totally car-free...

The boxes will ship out on Monday. The bamboo is part of my display and obviously still needs to be packed (I'm planning on digging up a poster tube somewhere). The black case will hold all of my jewelry and will go with me on the train (and then will be strapped to my bike).

Friday, September 12, 2008

Head badge lovin'

I discovered something really fun this evening... Momentum magazine ran a small blurb about head badges created by yours truly...
Jewellery For Your Bike

I am not normally a fan of "bike bling," but who can resist jewellery for your bike?

While quite a few craftspeople are making jewellery and wearable art from old bike parts, one is making it to put on your bike. And if you want something truly unique, design one yourself. She says that if you give her a black and white line drawing, she will transform it into a head badge.

Replace or cover that old painted or plastic head badge and make your bike feel like a million dollars. What? You think bikes don't have feelings? Insensitive philistine! Now about the matching earrings to hang from your bar ends...

How freakin' cool is that?! Now, I just have to find a copy somewhere...

Thanks to my friends Dominic and Jayme for letting me know!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Saturday Update

Okay, this is totally not jewelry-related, but I just have to post about the most awesome new bag that I bought yesterday. Totally handmade, beautifully constructed, holds everything I want it to (and not too much else so it's not overly heavy). From my friend Jayme... isn't it pretty? (p.s. You can buy her bags on etsy now too.)

And, back in my jewelry world, I cleaned my studio the other night so that I could see and focus on what all is left to do before Fall Festival. And, wow, look at this assembly line!

My goal is to have the remaining metalwork (off camera) finished this weekend so that I can focus on some other important aspects, like my display. Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A couple of fun things...

Apparently, I made the front page of Etsy today! Which is so exciting, but I totally missed it, so I don't have a photo. Bummer. Did anyone happen to catch it?

But, I do have some photos of head badges that I've worked on recently. One is going in the mail shortly and the other I finished up some time ago.

Also, Russ just put up a short video of a beautiful downhill stretch on our recent tour. If you've ever wondered why people are crazy enough to slog uphill for hours on a bicycle, it's because we get to go downhill afterwards!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Forgotten, broken-down landscapes inspire me too

I am back in my studio today after a bit of a mini getaway. Russ and I pedaled our way north from Ventura, through Santa Paula to Ojai and back. Nothing too wild and crazy, but I really needed a bit of a break.

As it turns out, there's a really lovely paved bike path that runs all the way from Ojai to Ventura. (And, even more lovely, if you ride it from Ojai to Ventura, not the other way around, it's all downhill.)

But, the most interesting thing to me about this path is that, somewhere along the way, you pass the remnants of some industry... old buildings literally left to decompose on their own, seemingly forgotten by everyone except the taggers and a few brave plants.