Tuesday, November 29, 2011

An Artful Affair

It's a Holiday Art Fair at Milepost 5!  Come join me and my fellow artists for opening weekend starting December 2nd, which kicks off with December's First Friday Art Walk and an Affair for Charity: A Benefit for JOIN.  

Here is the calendar of events for the opening weekend.  For the full calendar of events for the whole month of December, please visit http://milepost5.net/

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Now through December 25th, I am offering free shipping (continental US only) at: www.sunflowerdesignz.com

Use coupon code:  FREESHIPBL2011

2011 Holiday Shipping Deadlines

CLICK the following link for the USPS's 2011 Holiday Shipping Deadlines for domestic, military, and international mail:

New Pieces Posted to the Site

Finally finished the two pieces that were giving me so much trouble!  But they, along with one other piece are now on my site - and here:

Sterling Silver Pendant with Black Lace Agate stone

Sterling Silver and Copper Pendant

Sterling Silver Chain with Rhodonite

Next up?  Now I'll be creating some popular pieces that I sold out of at Christmas last year, and then I'll start on some new designs and new lines.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Another Rainy Day in Portland

Good thing I like the rain.  I always have - especially in the fall.  I love the smell of the fallen leaves.  I love the smell after it rains.  I love walking my dogs in the rain.  I'm probably in the minority on that one, since most people I talk to hate the rain.

I'm pretty much settled in my living space now - just a few more boxes that can wait a bit.  I'm tired of unpacking and trying to find a place for things.  I really just need to get rid of more stuff that I really don't need!!  Moving into a 210 square foot space definitely takes some getting used to, but I have everything I need and my two dogs and I are adjusting nicely.  Here's a couple of pictures of my little rays of sunshine:

Kenny - pondering the meaning of life

Rachel enjoying the sun

Waiting patiently for their walk

I finally checked out Powell's Books - in one word?  Overwhelming!  4 or 5 floors of wall to wall books.  To me, it's not really a store for browsing and meandering about.  I, thankfully, ordered my book online, walked all the way up to the 4th or 5th floor (can't remember) to the will call floor, and picked up my book.  I did find the metalsmithing section, and did browse for a few minutes, but didn't find anything.  My next field trip will be the Portland Art Museum.

Studio Update:  It looks like I'll be able to move into the new studio this weekend, yay!  It's cheaper than the one I'm in now, and bigger.  I've been working on two pieces that are giving me a headache - mostly because when I first started finishing them a few months ago, I didn't have all the tips and tricks to finishing to a brilliant shine so I still have scratches in the surface that I can't seem to get rid of.  May be time to alter the designs so I can move on!!  I got a new tool that I can't wait to try out! It's a dapping block, which is a steel square block that has different sized depressions in it, that when I put a round piece of metal in one of the depressions, I use the corresponding dapping tool (a steel rod with a bulb head on the end) to create a concave or convex, depending on how you look at it, piece.  I have all kinds of ideas stored in my head and in my sketchbook that I can't wait to execute!  Plus I have some enamel, resin, and Precious Metal Clay that I want to try out also.  For those who don't know, Precious Metal Clay or PMC, is fine grains of silver mixed with a binder that when wet creates a clay like substance that can be worked and molded just like regular clay.  But, when it is fired, the binders burn off, and you're left with nothing but your silver piece.  Most people use a small tabletop kiln to fire it in, but you can also use a torch if the piece isn't much larger than a quarter.

Giveaway Alert!!

If you're interested in a $100 gift certificate from Amazon, head over to the blog www.powered-by-mom.com.  All you have to do is subscribe to the blogs listed - the more blogs you subscribe to, the more entries you have, and the higher your chances of winning :)  And if you win, might I suggest you head over to www.theonlinestoreforyou.com to make your purchases from Amazon through that site?  It will help a small business get off the ground and a mom stay home with her daughter!

Well, Monday is almost over - have a good rest of the week.  And if you hate rain - try to stay dry!  

Caio for now...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

News and such...

...I am pleased to announce that I will be moving my studio to the first floor in the next few weeks!  This will allow me to have a small retail component in addition to my studio!  I'm very excited, especially since it is the same price as the studio I am in now (which is on the 3rd floor amongst all the residential studios and does not allow for walk-in traffic).  Once I'm in my new location I will post pictures.

I've been diligently working away on some new pieces, but as sometimes happens, it is taking a bit longer than anticipated to complete them.  I do have some pieces ready for their photoshoot, which I'll be doing tonight and posting on my site tomorrow.

One thing I must get going on is networking!  There is a large artist population here in Portland and many organizations that I would like to check out and possibly get involved with.  I've never really networked before, so will be firmly placing myself outside of my comfort zone.  One thing I'd like to do is bring in speakers to talk about business set up for artists, how to market yourself, etc., as well as host various types of workshops in addition to presenting some myself in different artistic mediums.  There is space available to me to do this, and I think this would be a good way to bring the community to Milepost 5.  I'll have to speak to the interim Creative Director about combining our efforts and resources since we have the same goal - bringing Milepost 5 into the mainstream of consciousness and promoting the artists' work, including my own.

Well, fall is officially upon us, bundle up, drink lots of hot cocoa, and stay warm!

Ta ta!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Happy Hallow's Eve Everyone!

I can't believe it's November tomorrow - where did this year go??  I think it partly has do with the fact that we had a very tiny summer.  But, the summer we did get was beautiful!!  I wonder what kind of winter we will get?

So, come tomorrow, I will have a set schedule for working in my studio.  I think that will help me get some kind of regularity and structure to my day.  I'm looking forward to adding some new lines for christmas that I should be ready by mid-November - more to be revealed soon!

I would like to announce a new way to shop and a way to support a small business that is run by a friend of mine who is hoping to make this a full-time venture which would enable her to continue staying home with her daughter.  If you shop at Amazon.com or Amazon.ca, go there via this link:  www.theonlinestoreforyou.com
Buying through her website, rather than Amazon directly, pays her a small percentage for very sale.  She also features blogs and websites of other small business owners, moi is one of them :-)  If you have a blog or a website and would like to be included on the Community page, you can contact her through her contact form on her website.  There is strength in numbers and the more we cross-advertise for each other on our respective blogs and websites, the more exposure we all get.  A win-win all around!
(originally posted 10/31/11)

Not So "Daily" Yet....

...closer to bi-weekly for the time being!  Well, my studio is finally functional - here's a picture of my bench and mini soldering station (I call it the "poor man's" soldering station) - but it works and allows me to do my thing, so for me it's perfect!
Soldering Station

Up Close and Personal

My Bench

I've updated my site with a few more pieces - more to come though, as those pieces are what's left in stock and going forward I will be creating more organic, artistic pieces.  For those who don't know what that means, it means I play around with the the metal until I "see" something, which of course does usually end up morphing as I go along - it's a fantastically fun process!  I love it!!

I started wax carving today - yay!  Definitely different than sculpting in clay, which is what I did in a past life, since clay is much more malleable, but on the other hand, once you get to the point with clay where it's hard  but still wet, you shape it with similar type tools, and you can add pieces to it by "fusing" them together with slip.  Anyway, I'm excited to see how it turns out.  I did do a wax carving once of a ring, my step-mom was  a jeweler and had given me some wax, and I had it for years - wish I had it now, I'd cast it and see how I did with the carving. 

I'll be taking some more photos tonight, so I can get the rest of what's in stock up in my Etsy store.  Etsy, in case you haven't heard of it, is an online, handmade marketplace where I have a "store" which I link to from this website.  So those will probably be posted in the morning.

'Till then...
(originally posted 10/29/11)

Settling into Portland, My Website, My Studio

Whew, this has been quite the busy, hectic, crazy last couple of months.  I'm finally moved in, though the unpacking continues.  Especially in the studio.  I can't wait to be done so I can start creating!!!  But it is coming along...My living space is almost done, so will be posting pictures soon of that.  And will post pictures of my studio once it's done as well.

Finally got my website up and running, though this may not be the final version - I'm happy with it, and am ready to put it "out there."  I did learn an invaluable lesson during these past couple of days - if someone (who is trying to sell you something) tells you that as long as you follow the directions given, you will have no issues (i.e. to implement an ecommerce theme on WordPress), ask to see the directions!!!  Because, WRONG!, you will have issues if the directions are geared towards people who know what FTP is and can upload files from here to there via FTP, for example.  Which I did manage to do, but nothing worked, so I obviously did something wrong.  The rest of the directions were also as clear as mud - so had to abandon ship, for now anyways.  Maybe I can set up a trade with someone in building who knows this stuff.

So, about my blog.  For the time being, it will be somewhat of a diary documenting my experiences here in Portland and at Milepost 5 - the artist community in which I live.  In the new year, I hope to start going more into the direction of posting small tutorials, tips and tricks, and various interesting things I find on the internet, that I think, you dear reader, will find interesting too.  

For now, my blog will be housed here directly on my website, but will be, at some point, migrating it over to WordPress since there are more options available.

Ciao, Ciao!!
(originally posted 10/14/11)