Sketchbook

Tucson

Tucson

Somehow it's already been a month since I wrote on here last.  Oops, sorry.  It's been a busy year so far.  In early January, I packed up my studio and moved it into my apartment and my daily routine has completely changed for the better.  Life is a little slower, less stressful.  But I still need to figure out how to take a day off since I've worked more weekends than not this year.  

Last week, I went to the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show and dragged my friend Monica along for the ride.  It's definitely the most focused I've ever been at a gem show- usually I come home with a lot of pretty things that I end up never using.  I spent my time on the flights to and from Tucson working out the designs for this year and part of the next- which you would think would be great, but it's left me totally distracted.  And then today, the box full of stones that I bought at the show arrived and I don't think I can make anything else until I get to play with them.  Just getting the ideas on paper isn't enough, I need to push beads and findings around on my desk until I'm satisfied.  

If you're curious, here's my current plan for the next year of collections.

Summer 2016: Green Aventurine + Pink Opal

Fall 2016: Lapis + Labradorite

Holiday 2016: Mother of Pearl + Onyx

Spring 2017: Feldspar + Moonstone + Australian Opal????

Don't hold me to it though ;)

 

M

January Purge

January Purge

This Saturday is the big studio move and I'll start packing tomorrow.  I've been spending time trying to get myself in the right mindset to be able to make quick decisions about what gets moved and what needs to go.  This stack of books in the photo is among the first to go.  These books represent many years of self doubt that kept me from quitting my job and running my business full time.  It took me 9 years to figure it out and these books did absolutely nothing to help.  I would buy a new book, hoping it would have the magic recipe to solve all my problems only to be disappointed.  We would always joke that I should write one myself, but after reading so many, I'm convinced that this is one topic you don't need a book for- there isn't one formula for making a business work.  
This year, I want to try harder to stop looking at and worrying about what everyone else is doing and focus on what I really want to do.  It's so easy to accidentally absorb the same design sensibility as everyone else after hours of scrolling through Instagram and Pinterest.  While I'm cleaning and packing these next few days, I want to evaluate everything and ask myself if it truly represents me and my business.  I want to start this year fresh- with new ideas and less stuff.  
Check back later for a post studio move update!
ps: I'm actually keeping the business 101 book on top.  And here's a little known fact for you- I almost went back to school for my MBA in 2010.  I still wish that I would have gone for a business degree in undergrad, but I guess I should be satisfied that I made it this far with degrees in Painting and Psychology :/
M
Moving/End of Year Thoughts

Moving/End of Year Thoughts

While my posts in this "sketchbook" have certainly not been polished- far from it, I was originally intending for it to be a lot rougher.  I wanted to give a glimpse into the real behind the scenes that often gets edited out on other social media channels.  I remember when I was still figuring my business out, I would look at other jewelry designers and see what they were doing.  Some had blogs on their websites, but they weren't anything like blogs are today.  It would be a few totally imperfect photos and a paragraph about what they were up to.  And I loved getting to feel like I knew the designers because I saw where they worked and lived and their struggles and victories.  I wanted this space to feel more like that.  I'm hoping that when my studio and living spaces get blended back together in the next couple weeks, that I feel more comfortable finding the time to share those little moments similar to the ones that inspired me to keep working a decade ago.  

This next week, I plan to start cleaning my apartment to make room for my studio (and Steve's studio) which we are moving into our small one bedroom apartment.  This move might seem totally backwards to most people, but we've decided that we will work better if we don't have to commute to the studio and can work at any time of the day. We're also looking forward to having more privacy- our current space doesn't have walls that go to the ceiling!  And I won't even try to describe the bathroom situation.

Above are photos of my current messy studio (left) and my future messy studio (right).  I'm going from one tiny window to an entire wall of windows.  I'm also going from sharing a 400 square foot space to having my own tiny space.  I love change and a good challenge.  I also love the end of every year because it's when things start to slow down and it gives me time to reflect on how my plans went during the current year and what changes I can make for the next year.  

Coming soon- lots of end of year lists!  And probably pictures of moving boxes all over my apartment.....