Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wednesday update...

I am at home again today, recovering from the cold bug that's been going around. But, it's sunny outside right now and it almost feels like spring, so I thought I'd pull myself out of my hibernation and post a few things that I've been working on.

First up, a couple of headbadges. I'm still in the process of re-working how I'm going to accept headbadge orders, but in the meantime, I received a few requests that I couldn't pass up...

I've also been doing a bit of hand-lettering for my catalog. And I'm starting to wonder if I might have another career in doing this sort of work, I just enjoy it that much.

I've got a few other things up my sleeve that I'm excited to work on and show off when it's time. (Hint: you'll be seeing the above text again very soon.) Until then, I hope it's sunny where you are!

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Year of the Leaf

Last year, I pushed myself to make a catalog of some of my work, with the idea that I would then be able to sell my work to shops. Except, I was kinda never fully happy with the design of the catalog, or with the pieces that I was putting in it (have I mentioned I'm a perfectionist?), and I kinda wasn't even sure that wholesale was what I actually wanted to do. It was a good exercise, but after all that work, I never ended up sending out the catalog.

Fast forward to now... and I'm thinking that wholesale to select shops makes a lot of sense for me. Not that I'll give up my etsy shop or 1000markets shop. The key is to diversify. :)

So, I've started sketching out a new catalog. And, I must say that I'm quite excited. I have a truly lovely and amazingly creative friend who's ear I was able to bend on this matter and I think this catalog is going to be really fun to put together and send out to folks. No doubt it'll take me a little while to finish it all up, but since I'm so excited and all, I thought I'd share a sneak peek...

P.S. Did I mention that I'm proclaiming 2009 to be The Year of the Leaf...?!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Back from our escape

We're back - and our weekend was exceptionally lovely. We slowed down the pace a bit for this trip - and spent a lot of time stopping for coffee, taking pictures, enjoying the scenery. I definitely needed the time to relax.

Most of the weekend turned out to be gloriously sunny. Not particularly warm, but really beautiful. And all of the recent storms meant that the air was clean and the horizons were clear and the mountain tops were dusted with snow. Pretty surreal, really, to ride through orange groves with a view of a snow-covered peak in the background.

And, then, at about midnight Sunday night, the sky just broke open. It poured and poured and pounded on our tent all night and into the morning. And, I am still amazed that our little tent took such a beating and didn't leak once!

And, so, we are back from another adventure. And already planning the next one. :)

Russ' photos (always better than mine) are on his blog.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Speaking of running away...

Russ and I are off again this weekend. To Ojai and the surrounding mountains. I swear this is the only thing keeping me sane these days. Now, let's just keep our fingers crossed that, if it rains like they say it will, it's not too much of a soaking sort of driving rain. :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Etsy on Epicurean Cyclist

The more time I spend on my bike, the more I'm realizing how easy it is to wind up looking like a bum. So, I've been on a quest for the past few months to build a cycling wardrobe that, in no way, resembles bum-wear. And, lo and behold, I've found that turning to Etsy can yield great rewards. (Plus, I think that shopping on Etsy creates good karma for me as a seller.) My guest post today on Epicurean Cyclist points out two such finds, so check it out.

Next quest... to create cycling-friendly jewelry... :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Random thoughts on a Tuesday

Lately, I've been finding it hard to be my usual optimistic, positive self. I think it's partly the muck of the economy and all the related stresses (although I've been trying really hard to not pay attention to the gloom and doom reports). And I've been really wishing that I could just run away with the circus. Leave behind all of my stuff and pedal away into the sunset.

There is a part of me that truly wishes that I could be made happy by just going to a job everyday and sitting in an office. But, that will never be me, I think, because I've always been attracted to the idea of just falling off the grid and experiencing life in a very non-status-quo sort of way.

Which, I guess, is why bike touring is so appealing to me. The world just drops away, and all that matters is moving your legs, eating, enjoying the gorgeous views, and finding a place to sleep at night. This past weekend, we went back to O'neill Park. It rained almost the entire weekend, even hailed at one point. I and my gear were soaked through many times. And it was glorious, for the simple fact that the aforementioned muck just disappeared from view. Oh, and the way that everything glistened from the rain and reminded me of Oregon.

Russ and I have already started plotting our next trip, for this coming three-day weekend. If we could figure it out, I think we'd hit the road and not come back for months. Sitting here, eating my lunch, I'm not sure if this is a head-in-the-sand sort of mentality, or a new and exciting direction for my life...

Have you ever just wanted to run away from it all? What did you do?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Pedaling away

This weekend, my sketchbook and I are hitting the road for another mini bike adventure, with Russ in tow of course. With any luck, the weather will continue to be grey and moody (it keeps Southern Californians in their houses) without actively raining too much (which is what it's doing right now, believe it or not).

I'll pick up my to-do list again next week... :)

(Photo by Russ)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Drum roll, please...

In thinking about my next direction, I realized that I want to pull back from collecting and then incorporating all sorts of wonky bits of nature and, instead, focus on a few key items that have worked well for me. It gives me a chance to put more emphasis on the metalwork - and this has gotten the creative juices flowing again. :)

So, without further ado... let me introduce the first few pieces in my new Leaves Series.

I'll be rolling out lots more designs over the next few weeks that will all incorporate these red and orange autumn leaves (and perhaps some yellow or green spring leaves, if I can find some that I like). So, stay tuned.

Also, I'm delighted to start stringing these pieces on sterling silver chain. It took me a while to come around to the idea of using chain instead of fiber, but now that I have, I really love the look!

The above pieces are now available in my etsy shop. And if you have any feedback, I'd love to hear it! :)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Things are looking up...

Oh, how I love weekends... and this one was exactly what I needed after this past week. There has been much sleeping in and working in my studio. There was paella with a great group of friends and enjoying the fact that, because we're in Southern California, we could sit outside well into the evening. I even had a letter to the editor (about possible bicycling facilities) published in our local paper!

Here's a sneak peek at some of the designs that I've been working on this weekend...

I still feel like I'm not entirely sure of the direction that I want to take with this new series, but I like what I've worked up so far.

And I got a package on Friday that included some sample chains. I'll be introducing sterling silver chains in place of the silk cord soon, and I needed to actually see some in person to make a decision. More to follow...