Found on Pinterest – Artists Synchroblog

Found on Pinterest – Artists Synchroblog

Pinterest kind of reminds me of YouTube – there’s lots of oddball stuff, and you can do almost any kind of obscure search and find something.

So it wasn’t really a surprise when I recently did a search for “white board ideas” and found dozens of diy applications.

While working on MAGazine, my white board was my best friend – all of the various sections and articles got listed, and it was easy to add and subtract notes as I thought of new ideas, or finished working on a page. Unfortunately though the one I was using was old and heavy and had a nasty habit of crashing to the floor. Eventually the poor thing was so completely bent out of shape that it wouldn’t stay on the wall.

Knowing that buying the same type would only end up with the same problem, I was happy to find a peel and stick version from Martha Stewart at Staples. Three 12×12 inch squares now form a customized wall next to my computer. The package contained 4 squares, and the last one wouldn’t fit my space. I didn’t know what to do with it, but didn’t want to throw it out.

Then a few weeks ago, while organizing myself for my class in Haliburton, I saw this white board backed iPad case on Pinterest. (Original source.)

That inspired me to take my spare square with me and use it as a portable and reuseable sketching space when I’m explaining things to my students. It worked brilliantly:

White Board

Because I was able to draw out a much larger-than-life version of the vernier calliper, teaching this segment was a breeze compared to what it’s been like in the past. The students were able to see exactly what I was referring to, and as a result were able to instantly use the calliper for their project. Since I don’t always have access to a blackboard or chalk, it was a perfect tool for sitting with students and helping them work out design problems.

This is definitely forming a permanent part of my teaching kit from now on!

The Artists Synchroblog is a group of bloggers who post every other month on the same topic, sharing our experience or perspective. On alternate months we undertake a Pinterest Project where we each take inspiration from a Pinterest picture, create something (art, a meal, a DIY project, etc) and then post about it.  You can read more about the Artists Synchroblog here.

Please visit the other synchrobloggers this month and read their Pinterest inspirations!

http://amyestellemetalworks.blogspot.com/
http://www.islandgirlsinsights.blogspot.ca/
http://www.wrapturewirejewellery.on.ca/blog
www.elenorbuffington.blogspot.com
http://doxallodesigns.blogspot.com/
http://www.journeyinjewelry.com/blog/My-Journey-in-Jewelry
http://simpledesignjewelry.blogspot.com/
http://designsbylynnea.blogspot.com/
http://marikach.blogspot.com/
www.createrecklessly.com
http://design.kcjewelbox.com/
www.allwiredupjewelrydesigns.blogspot.com
http://shaktipajdesigns.com/blog/
www.beadsbythebay.blogspot.com

Early Bird/Night Owl – Artists Synchroblog

Early Bird/Night Owl – Artists Synchroblog

For this month’s Artists Synchroblog we were asked to write about what time of the day we are most productive.

Once upon a time, I was an early bird.

I’d get up at the crack of dawn, because I liked how quiet the house was before the hustle and bustle of the day started. My mind was always clearer after a good night of sleep. I’d hear my Dad get up and leave for work. I’d watch the sun come up through my bedroom window.

By the time I was in university, the only way I could be an early bird was with the help of a very large mug of espresso. Night time was when I did my best work.

In my early years of making jewelry I’d regularly only get about 5 hours of sleep a night. I’d come home from my day job, eat dinner, and then start on whatever jewelry project I was working on, and finally drag myself to bed after midnight. That trusty mug of espresso would get me going in the morning again.

Then I had kids.

Anyone who has followed my Year of Jewelry blogs over the years has read my stories about trying to juggle working on jewelry with trying to care for small children. There is no best time of the day, only 10 minutes bursts coupled with complete and total exhaustion. Espresso intravenous, stat!

Over the years, it hasn’t so much become a matter of what time of the day I physically feel most productive. That seems to always be in flux, as I juggle seasonal changes of shows, teaching, the children at school, or on vacation, or a husband who works Monday-Friday or a rotating 12 hour shift schedule. People gasp when I tell them I maintain eight calendars, but it’s the only way I maintain any sense of order.

I gave up caffeine six months ago. Adjusting has meant learning to really listening to my body and its rhythms. If I need a nap at 2 p.m., I take a nap at 2 p.m., and then I’ll work from the time the boys are in bed until midnight. If I wake up at 4 a.m., I’ll take advantage of the quiet and do planning and research or answer emails.

What I need to be productive is a focused start point and peace and quiet. Right now, the focused start point comes with the help of a Job Jar. I wrote a bunch of things I need to do on individual pieces of paper, scrunched them up and threw them into a jar. I’ve included projects that are long neglected, as well as routine jobs. I shake the jar, pick one out, and do it, regardless if it takes five minutes or five hours.

Job Jar
PIcking something from my Job Jar helps me to get focused.

I feel an energizing sense of accomplishment when it’s done, and that, more than anything else, gives me the jump start I need to tackle the other things on my To Do List.

 

The Artists Synchroblog is a group of bloggers who post every other month on the same topic, sharing our experience or perspective. On alternate months we undertake a Pinterest Project where we each take inspiration from a Pinterest picture, create something (art, a meal, a DIY project, etc) and then post about it.  You can read more about the Artists Synchroblog here.

Please visit the other synchrobloggers this month and read their stories about being an early bird or a night owl!

http://amyestellemetalworks.blogspot.com

http://www.islandgirlsinsights.blogspot.ca/

http://www.wrapturewirejewellery.on.ca/blog

www.elenorbuffington.blogspot.com

http://doxallodesigns.blogspot.com

http://lesliervillarreal.blogspot.com

http://www.journeyinjewelry.com/blog/My-Journey-in-Jewelry

http://simpledesignjewelry.blogspot.com

http://designsbylynnea.blogspot.com/

http://marikach.blogspot.com/

www.createrecklessly.com

http://design.kcjewelbox.com

www.allwiredupjewelrydesigns.blogspot.com

http://shaktipajdesigns.com/blog/

http://silversmithblog.com/

http://stonezjewelry.com/blog/

 

 

 

Found on Pinterest – Artists Synchroblog

Found on Pinterest – Artists Synchroblog

For June, the Artists Synchroblog task was to find inspiration via Pinterest.  Pinterest is a hugely popular online bulletin board, that lets you “pin” links and images for later reference. I used to use it quite a lot, but scaled back after concerns about copyright infringements surfaced last year.

Those concerns aside, it is a very useful tool for collecting ideas and inspirations. With a studio renovation underway, I’ve been bookmarking links like crazy for working effectively in small spaces.

One of the things I need to be able to do is photograph my work.

After investing in a good DSLR last year, I discovered one very annoying downside: it didn’t work with the light tent I’ve been using for the last seven years. My DIY setup of a food umbrella and a white pillow case worked perfectly well when I was using a portable digital camera.  Most of the photos for my tutorials were shot using that setup. Unfortunately though, with the DSLR, I needed to position the camera further from the subject, and the awkward angles resulted in ugly photos. One of the links I found last year was a portable light tent by Modahaus. Much of the Modahaus system is actually intended for use with iPhone type cameras.  The Tabletop Studio TS216 is slightly larger than a legal size file folder, which makes it portable and easy to store when not in use. What really attracted me to it were the background sweeps. I’ve used all kinds of things for backgrounds, from matte board to scrapbooking paper, and most recently plastic cutting boards.  All have some degree of texturing, which is fine, if all I’m doing is taking Etsy shots. Jury photos need to be on a dark background, de rigueur, and magazine photos work best on white.

Most of the other light tents I’d seen used fabric sweeps, which tend to be wrinkly. The Modahaus sweeps are made of plastic, and come in black, grey, white, translucent white, red and blue.

The TS216 turns out to be a bit small for my needs. I find that I have to add risers to the diffuser to make space for my props.

Modahaus Tabletop Studio setup
My tweaked setup of the Modahaus Tabletop Studio

 

So far, I’ve been quite pleased with the results I’ve gotten, but there is the inevitable learning curve of figuring out how to position the lights on the jewellery to avoid excess glare or shadows. I like the little bit of reflection I get with the black sweep and as long as I take care to minimize dust, there is less photo editing needed than my old setup.

I’m constantly experimenting with different tricks, and while taking these shots, I added a small light bounce card to reflect a bit of the light to the underside of the rings. It made a huge impact.

The effect of adding a small light bounce card to increase the reflection on the bottom of the rings was astonishing.
Adding a small light bounce card to increase the reflection on the bottom of the rings made a big difference in the final photo.

I’ll continue tweaking the setup over the coming months, but on the whole this was a very worthwhile investment, found via Pinterest!

The Artists Synchroblog is a group of bloggers who post every other month on the same topic, sharing our experience or perspective. On alternate months we undertake a Pinterest Project where we each take inspiration from a Pinterest picture, create something (art, a meal, a DIY project, etc) and then post about it.  You can read more about the Artists Synchroblog here.

Please visit the other synchrobloggers this month and see how Pinterest inspired them:

http://amyestellemetalworks.blogspot.com

http://www.islandgirlsinsights.blogspot.ca/

www.elenorbuffington.blogspot.com

http://doxallodesigns.blogspot.com

http://lesliervillarreal.blogspot.com

http://www.journeyinjewelry.com/blog/My-Journey-in-Jewelry

http://simpledesignjewelry.blogspot.com

http://designsbylynnea.blogspot.com/

http://marikach.blogspot.com/

www.createrecklessly.com

http://design.kcjewelbox.com

www.allwiredupjewelrydesigns.blogspot.com

http://shaktipajdesigns.com/blog/

http://silversmithblog.com/

http://stonezjewelry.com/blog/

Words have Meaning – Artists Synchroblog

Having wound down my time as editor of MAGC’s MAGazine, I’m now refocusing my energy on my own work and my long-neglected blog.

The Artists Synchroblog is a group of bloggers who post every other month on the same topic, sharing our experience or perspective. On alternate months we undertake a Pinterest Project where we each take inspiration from a pinterest picture, create something (art, a meal, a DIY project, etc) and then post about it.

ChakraMeditation.jpg

This month’s theme is “Words have Meaning”.

I became a big believer in the power of affirmations years ago when I used the ones published in Louise Hay’s book “Heal Your Body” as a starting point to cure myself of asthma.  I went from having multiple daily attacks and monthly refills of Ventolin to nothing. My last inhaler was so little used that it expired with most of its contents intact.

I always know which affirmation is the right one for me now because I take an involuntary deep breath. It’s like my body says “AHHH! Yes!”

So it was no surprise when I reacted a few weeks ago to a graphic with Chakra affirmations posted by one of my Facebook friends.  Unfortunately I didn’t save the graphic, for which I’m kicking myself now, so this is my (revised) version. Starting at the base chakra and going up through all the affirmations, ending with “I AM WHOLE” has been a fabulously healing meditation for me.

A wonderful side effect of this meditation has been finding inspiration for a bunch of new projects, which I’m looking forward to working on in the coming weeks.

 

Please visit the other bloggers this month:

http://amyestellemetalworks.blogspot.com

http://www.islandgirlsinsights.blogspot.ca/

www.elenorbuffington.blogspot.com

http://doxallodesigns.blogspot.com

http://lesliervillarreal.blogspot.com

http://www.journeyinjewelry.com/blog/My-Journey-in-Jewelry

http://simpledesignjewelry.blogspot.com

http://designsbylynnea.blogspot.com/

http://marikach.blogspot.com/

www.createrecklessly.com

http://design.kcjewelbox.com

www.allwiredupjewelrydesigns.blogspot.com

http://shaktipajdesigns.com/blog/

http://silversmithblog.com/

http://stonezjewelry.com/blog/

 

SATeam Blog Carnival August 2011

It’s time for the SATeam’s monthly blog carnival! I haven’t managed to participate in one of these before, but this month’s topic was just too good to resist: “When you travel, what jewelry related stuff to do take with you?”

Well…

The first thing I always take with me is good intentions. After all, I’m on vacation, I should have lots of time to work on a pet project…

Riiiiight…

In years past I have carted my tool box, a couple of bead boxes, some currently favourite cabochons and a full complement of wire to campsites all over Southern Ontario. Most days were spent hiking, swimming, touring, making feeble attempts at building fires with wet wood, and otherwise doing nothing remotely resembling wirework. In fact, by the time the kids were snuggled in their sleeping bags, I was too tired – and it was too dark – to even think about putting pliers to wire.

So the whole kit stayed in the van, along with my good intentions.

In 2007, we rented a cottage in Prince Edward County, which meant we were basically stationary for the week. While I did manage to work on a project, it still remains unfinished.

This year, as we prepared for our trip to the East Coast, I pondered whether or not to bring my tools. I had a basketweaving project I’d been working on for several weeks. It was small, compact, and would only require me to take one spool of 28 ga wire, and my most basic tools – flat nose pliers, round nose pliers and nippers. In fact, everything could fit into two small project boxes I’d be able to carry around in my purse! Perfect!

I did pull the boxes out… to get at other things in my purse, like my camera and my passport.

I even opened the box and looked the project over… once. Then I decided that I wasn’t really in the mood for it, and carefully packed it away again.

Next year, I think I’ll just take my sketchbook, and maybe some watercolours. You never know, I might just be able to get some painting in…

*****
There are several other SATeam members participating in this month’s blog carnival:

Galadryl Designs
Bead Sophisticate
Beadsire
J3 Jewelry

You can find a full list on the Starving Artists blog.

Starving Artists Holiday Wrist Candy Giveaway – Oct. 26-Dec. 6, 2009

SATeam Holiday Wrist Candy Giveaway

A bunch of members of the Starving Artists Etsy Team pooled their talents for a Christmas Promo this year.  We all contributed a charm, and put together this wonderful bracelet.

Valued at over $400, it will be given away to one lucky customer!  With each purchase at one of the participating shops, your name will be entered into the draw!

For a list of the participating shops, check out the SATeam’s Blog.  Or, do a search on Etsy using the tag SATEAMWRIST.  Members have also contributed items to the SATeam Etsy Shop, so be sure to check it out as well!

This holiday event runs from October 26 to December 6, 2009!

“The Vik-Knit 3000”

In preparation for my class at the Haliburton School of the Arts this summer, I asked my beloved husband to prepare some tools for the viking knitting segment.  My older son, Thumper, was very keen to help.

Thumper has recently become complete fascinated with machinery.  I’m not sure if this is a reaction to the movie “Wall-E”.  Anyways, he’s been drawing fantasy machines and coming up with all kinds of interesting names for them, most of which end in some denomination of 1000.  “This is a Cheese Grater 2000!”  “This is a Hopping Frog Truck 3000!”.

vik-knit3000.jpg So, of course, he was very interested in what Daddy was constructing.  It’s just simple dowel holder, which gets clamped to a work surface.  Thumper decided it needed a name.  After asking what it was used for, and being told “viking knitting”, he said “Let’s call it the “Vik-Knit 3000!””

I keep trying to come up with a “Ginsu Knife” type infomercial to go with the name.  “The Vik-Knit 3000 will make your viking knitting a breeze!  Clamp it to the desk and you’re ready to go!  It will practically do the knitting for you!  But wait!  There’s more!  Order the Vik-Knit 3000 now and you’ll get two – count ’em – TWO! different sizes of dowels!”

LOL.  Anyways, it was just too cute not to share.

Recent Etsy Treasuries

I joined Etsy.com last year as part of my research for an article. Since then I’ve joined two “Street Teams” – groups of people who work collectively to promote each others shops. One of the ways to promote a shop is through the “Treasury” – an exhibition of work curated by Etsy members. At any given time there are 333-500+ treasuries on display, with a wide range of “themes”.

Many of my fellow street team members have been kind enough to include my work in their treasuries, so I’ll take the time now to say “thank you” collectively to them, and to post a gallery of the recent ones.

Secret Santa 2008 – Sneak Peak :-)

I’m participating in the Secret Santa on CWJ again this year, and as usual, I’m choosing to work outside my comfort zone.  Back in the summer when I was teaching at Haliburton, one of the projects we did was a “freeform” bangle.  Now, anyone who knows me and has any familiarity with my past work, knows that I’m not a freeform kinda gal.  It was the notes I got for my Secret Santa recipient’s preferences that made me think freeform would be the best approach.

SS2008-2mini The starting point for this bangle was the Illingworth Necklace by Sir Alfred Gilbert (1854-1934).  This is the second time I’ve used this necklace for inspiration.  The first time was during the YOJ 2005.  The results this time look to me like “Wonder Woman meets Jackson Pollack”  LOLOL

The frame was made out of 16 ga round copper.  Then, making use of the miles and miles of Artistic Wire I have, I wound in 20 ga purple and 28 ga tangerine wire.

Gilbert spent literally years working on his necklace, tying and retying the wire knots.  Originally, I was intending to make the interweaving more dense, but time is getting short, and the bracelet needs to be in the mail in the next day or so if I have any hope of getting it to its destination before Christmas.

Funny, I haven’t made much jewellery in the past two years, partly because I haven’t felt very inspired.  But working on this bangle made me feel very energetic – I have the “itch” to do more work.  Unfortunately there are other deadlines looming, so I have to put off making for a little while longer.  I’m starting to have ideas for new pieces though, and am faithfully sketching them in my notebook.  Feels good…

Here are some process photos I took showing the stages of construction.

Metal Arts Guild Pin Swap 2008

dscn7454 As part of this year’s Annual General Meeting, the Metal Arts Guild of Canada hosted it’s second annual Pin Swap.  Intended as a “get to know you”/game for the participants, it’s a great opportunity to try out new ideas. Participants make anything they like and trade with each other.  At the end of the evening, I was the proud owner of pins made by Mary McIntyre (a copper bar pin, made with rare earth magnets), Alistair Crombie (a Google map pin), Sarah Hamel (a plastic conglomerate pin), Sara Cummins (a pierced rectangular stick pin) and Robert Mitchell (a sterling silver swirl with pearl drop).

Prior to the event, I was wracking my brain trying to come up with something, and finally thought, “Well, it’s Fall, so why not do leaves?”  So, that’s what I did.  It was great fun, and I’d encourage anyone coming to next year’s AGM to join in!