During this past year that my husband and I have been in our first home together, I have been having such a great time discovering my design aesthetic through my adventures in home decor! I'm always on the look out for fun, interesting things to make our home "our home"...and even when I'm not thinking about home decor, my subconscious mind is doing a living room makeover for the eleventieth time.
One of the things I realized about myself in this decor adventure is that I really love watercolor art. There's just something about it that resonates with me more than most other art mediums. I love the organic nature of how the colors flow together, lack of well defined lines, and the incredible gradient of dark and light shades that can be created with a single color! And color without form can elicit so much emotion while leaving everything to the imagination!
Is it strange to get so excited about color?
Needless to say, I'm always on the lookout for great watercolor art that I can incorporate into our home. My current project is to put the finishing touches on our master bedroom and I have found some fantastic art prints from minted! Here are some prints I've been eyeing...hopefully, one or two of these will make the final cut. I'm pretty sure I'm getting that ink-blot print, as it is a fun nod to my psychology roots.
Geometric + all of my favorite colors? Yes, please!
This one reminds me of relaxing in the ocean and the happy colors evoke all the great vacation memories we've had.
Or a sweet daily reminder of what's important in my life...
Have you been to minted? Not only do they have gorgeous work by artists from around the world, they also do adorable prints for all special occasions, like Minted's new save the date cards.
Which of these should I go with??
Stay tuned for which prints I'll choose for the bedroom makeover!
2015...it still seems a bit surreal to type that set of numbers together in that sequence. The last time I officially wrote a date down, I believe it was 2007. It was the year I completed my dissertation, which I guess is pretty official. It was also the year I had my first baby, another rather official event in my life. Oh, and I also got to marry my soulmate that year. This was not the correct order of events, but you get the idea. Big changes happened and they all happened that year. I then officially decided to suspend my career path and pursue this full time parenting gig. And the next thing I know, it's 20friggin15!!!
I don't know exactly how it is for others, but having kids and being home with them full time tends to make me feel like I'm living in one big blur. The past 7 years has been the quickest 7 years of my life so far. It also raised the bar for being the most challenging yet the most incredible. I have loved almost every minute of it, but if it weren't for my DSLR and phone cameras, I don't think I'd be able to remember any of it. I'm excited for 2015! And this year, I'm going to get a better handle on it.
So we're already well into January and it's time to think about what I need to do this year. First thing I need to do is get organized. Clutter makes me crazy and that is easily done with 3 small kids and their million-part toys. It's also very easy to clutter up a small jewelry studio as you can imagine. And to add to the challenge, I like to surround myself with the things I adore and find beautiful and inspiring. This certainly does not help in my mission to keep things minimal. It's a constant act to maintain balance, but I am a Libra and that is my fate. Stay balanced or die trying. But at least the wall in front of me is organized and ready for action (see photo)! So organization...check!
Next up is to carve out some time for my business...real actual segments of time. Time that I can actually do work and nothing else. I can't continue doing things minutes here or a half hour there, during nap time, after the kids go to bed at night, or whenever I have a free moment. It's unpredictable, the free time is rare, and my use of it is completely inefficient. One of my biggest frustrations has been feeling like I'm spinning my wheels and I think this is the primary reason why. I have ideas pile up in my mind, then when I get a moment to do work, I feel completely overwhelmed and don't know where to start. So many times, I've gone into my studio, looked around to figure out what I want to work on...then I take a deep breath, exhale, and leave feeling defeated. I'm striving to prevent this from happening this year. I've always been an organized person, but having kids totally kicked that out of the window. I'm generally organized with child-related events and happenings, but everything for me has just been relegated to fitting in where they can, if at all. And I've come to learn that I can't possibly grow a business this way.
And finally, I need to break out of my comfort zone. That means reaching out more, taking more chances, and just doing. It makes me uncomfortable simply thinking about it. But I will never get to the next level if I stay comfortable.
Let's do this!!!
What are your goals for the year? And what do you do to stay on top of everything?
Last weekend, I attended the first KC Blogger Meetup workshop. The topic was How to Beautify Your Blog. It couldn't have come at a better time because that's exactly what I'm trying to do...breathe some new life into this old blog of mine. If you haven't been here in a while, you'll notice that I've given it a little make-over! I wanted to match the look and feel of my main website, but ultimately, I wanted to have a fresh and airy space that would inspire me to write and blog more. So one step in the desired direction!
First to speak was Sarah of One Sparrow Creative. She is a Kansas City lifestyle portrait photographer whose work I've been admiring since I discovered her on instagram. She covered photography basics, including lighting, editing, and manual mode. As someone who takes about a million pictures a day, you would think that I would've ventured into manual mode by now, but nope.
I have taken a couple of intro photography workshops in the past, but for some reason, my brain can't make sense of the counter intuitive (to me, anyway) settings for ISO, apperture, shutter speed, depth of field....or are two of those the same thing?? Ugh..see?? And for a couple of those settings, the higher the number, the smaller the opening or the shorter the depth or something opposite of what my brain wants to think it is. I'm not sure why I have to think so hard to process that information, but there seems to be a black hole in my brain where manual mode skills are supposed to be. So naturally, I gravitate to the wonderful and easy world of auto mode. Plus with the magic of photoshop, I can tweak the light balance in the levels setting and voila--a decent enough photo to get by on. But yes, I realize that if I want to take the next step into beautifying my photos, I need to switch to manual.
I'm so glad Sarah shared some of her photography tips and tricks, and am very glad I took notes. Hopefully I'll be able to share some of my ventures into manual mode in a future blog post, because that would mean that I didn't chicken out again and finally put things into practice.
Next up was Karrie, creator and artist of Happy Habitat, who then shared her success story. For me, it's always such a treat to meet local artists and small business owners that have found a way to keep doing what they love. And she was so sweet to chat with me and answer my business questions. I have zero technical business knowledge and often feel really intimidated by it all. So I really appreciated the fact that she took the time to give me some really useful and truthful pieces of advice. I'm trying to soak it all in and apply everything that I can.
To close out the afternoon, Lauren of Creative Reasoning laid down the laws on how to achieve a visually pleasing blog. I never gave much thought to font type, size, and color, or the colors used on a blog background beyond whether or not my color palette coordinates nicely, but as it turns out, these elements are pretty crucial. Less is more. I will need to go take another look at my layout and potentially make some more edits.
So with this refresher, I think I'm on my way to a better blog! And lookie here--I actually created a blog post! ;)
Thanks to the ladies of KC Blogger Meetup for a wonderful afternoon! If you're a KC area blogger and aren't yet a part of this group, you should definitely join!
A few weekends ago, I was invited by Andrea of Style My Way to take part in a blog tour, where each blogger on the tour introduces themselves and a few of their favorite bloggers. Of course I agreed to participate! And what a perfect opportunity for me to get blogging again!
|Photo courtesy of Style My Way|
As a continuation of this blog tour, here are some tidbits about me:
|me in my studio --photo by Orangepeel Photography|
On my work bench, there's always a scattered array of jewelry parts in various stages of completion. Currently, I'm creating new jewelry pieces for the upcoming Holiday Chick Event. It's in November (13th-16th..you don't want to miss this one), which seems like a while away, but it really isn't a whole lot of time to make at least one hundred original pieces of jewelry. I like to be prepared!
How does my work differ from others?
With so many incredible jewelry artisans out there, it really is difficult to stand out from the crowd. But I feel that I do offer something in my designs that my customers love, and that is versatility. Since first starting my jewelry line in 2007, all of my original Signature pieces are designed with versatility in mind, which means they can be worn a number of different ways. My most versatile design, the Wrap and Thread necklace, can be styled up to about 20 different ways! At least that's what I could come up with. Perhaps my fabulous customers have come up with other style possibilities I hadn't thought of before! I also feel like my work differs in that aesthetically, it is a nice blend of elegance and edge! Edgy elegance...the two "e"s in eNVe. ;)
Why do I create what I do?
I have a ton of creative energy. This can sometimes be a curse because if I'm not directing it somewhere, I feel completely out of balance. Jewelry design offers an outlet for me that hasn't really been matched by anything else that I've dabbled in. It might have something to do with my addiction to natural gemstones and all things pretty. :)
What is my creative process like?
Usually, I treat each piece like a painting. I start with a blank slate and just let the stones and materials speak to me. It sounds a little silly, but honestly, that's where my best work comes from. It's organic, and just really exciting when it all comes together and I have that "eureka!" moment. I'll know when I've hit it because it's almost like my hands and fingers can't move fast enough to execute my vision. And at times, it can be frustrating because I don't have the right materials to complete the piece as I envision it. It's a thrilling roller coaster ride for sure! And oh my gosh, the icing on the cake is seeing a customer gravitate toward a particular piece of jewelry that is just perfect for her, like it was created for her. That's actually my favorite part of this whole process.
So there you have it, a little bit more about eNVe Designs and my creative process.
To continue the blog tour, here are a couple blogs that I have discovered and really love:
Olive Bites Blog -- A wonderful resource for the independent, handmade artisan. The woman behind Olive Bites is Cat Ivins. I met Cat through etsy when I first started my shop over 6 years ago (the good ol' days of etsy when it was more of a community of handmade artists, rather than the conglomerate entity it is today that seems to have forgotten the little guys on its rise to fame and fortune...anyway, that is a soapbox for another day). Cat is a brilliant jewelry artist, but so much more! Her blog is overflowing with positive energy, useful advice, and extremely thoughtful and real posts that I've really connected with. She is business savvy and environmentally conscientious, characteristics I feel are vital in this day and age. On top of it all, she is a genuinely nice and wonderful person. Go check out her blog already! ;)
KC Moms Blog -- This blog is a recent discovery of mine that I'm still exploring. I'm wondering what rock I've been living under these past 5 years that I've been living in KC! Their team of bloggers is a gathering of moms across the area, from a variety of professions. They cover many different aspects of being a mom...from nutrition to discipline, to all the fun things motherhood and KC has to offer. Their posts are easy to relate to and such fun to read. I'm hoping to attend one of their future MNO events and get better acquainted with this community of moms in KC!
There you have it.. just a couple of my favorite blogs. I'll be sure to share more in the future, as I do have more favorites!
What are some of your favorite blogs and why? translation: keep me in the loop and help me emerge from this rock I'm living under! ;)