A Book I Always Come Back To

Not too long ago, I saw something about this photography book , and I remembered that I had my own copy of it.

the family of man

This book has been with me since my childhood (it belonged to my mother) and I have always loved perusing it and soaking up the amazing images. It is a thoughtful collection of life: birth, death, love….Perhaps this is where my joy of photography & documentary may have started. I would have loved to have seen the original exhibition, but that was way before my time.

If you ever come across the book, pick it up. The images are visually stunning, and even now, some of them really stir up my insides.

Have you heard of Vivian Maier ? I saw a clip about her story & work on Fashion Television while on a plane, and I was instantly hooked. Click here to watch it. Her work is astounding.
Here are a few more photographers that I really love these days:
The Sartorialist
Amy Victoria Wakefield Photography
Irene Suchocki

Is there a particular art form that you’ve always been drawn to? Let me know about here, or over on facebook!

Where to Begin & A Lack of Words

I’m going to do my best to sum up the first half of April. Here goes….

There’s nothing quite like being surrounded by people rooting for you:
Big-hearted abundance.

The generosity of others that help you succeed:

Sharing your work & engaging with new people:

Feeling blessed & always grateful:

My first time participating at the One of a Kind Show in Toronto was so.much.fun! Since I grew up a couple of hours away from the big city, it was a great chance to see lots of people who I don’t get to see nearly often enough.

There truly aren’t enough words to adequately describe how amazing it feels to have the support of friends & family when you’re a teensy bit out of your comfort zone and starting to wonder what-exactly-you-were-thinking-when-you-decided-it-would-be-a-good-idea-to-fly-across-the-country-and-setup-a-booth, and, ohmygawd-I-hope-I-sell-something-whose-idea-was-this-anyway??

Yes, that is my internal dialogue you just met. Once I sent her away to compose herself, my booth came together. That, and the fact that I had huge help from my faithful bestie, without whom, standing in the middle of my empty booth staring at the blank walls for an undisclosed amount of time would have somehow seemed like a good idea.

Here’s the booth in progress:

craft show, jewelry booth
jewelry booth

And the end result:

teal,grey,craft show, jewelry booth, one of a kind show

I was pleased with the overall look. I’ll save the lessons learned in the process for another post, or else we’d be here all day.
I am so appreciative of everyone who took a moment to come by my booth and offered a smile or lingered for a quick chat. Thank you! I adored watching people take the time to get closer to my work and connect with it. When I see someone get as excited about a piece as I felt when I was creating it, it is indescribable.

This card via Danielle LaPorte sums it up perfectly:


Toronto One of a Kind Show

Hello Lovelies!

Today I have an online discount code for you for the Toronto One of a Kind Spring Show & Sale!

Just click on the picture to go purchase your tickets for the show.

toronto one of a kind show

I’ll be at Booth H-50, just opposite the fashion show stage, so I hope you’ll come by and say hello! I’ll also be doing a little draw just after the show for a piece of jewellery!

I hope to see you soon!!

Rejection & Cupcakes. Let’s Discuss.

I like a good cupcake.

I love baking them and sharing them. They make people smile (unless you don’t like cake, and then I’d offer you some cookies because I don’t do pie). It means there is something to celebrate. And who doesn’t like a party?

Rejection on the other hand, I could do without.

Not too long ago I found myself holding an envelope within which would tell me yay or nay when it came to my jewellery. I thought to myself that letters like that shouldn’t come in an envelope. I’d much prefer a cupcake with a little “yay” or “nay” cupcake topper. Then I could close my eyes, and upon viewing my cupcake, I could be ecstatic with a yay! AND I’d get to eat the delicious cupcake and revel in my glory. Or……If faced with the other, less appealing option, I’d fling the “nay” on the ground, stomp on it a few times, then still enjoy the cupcake goodness (no reason to stomp on a perfectly innocent cupcake), and get on with my day.

The issue I have with rejection in a letter form, is that they’re easy to hang onto. And read. Over. and Over. Oooh, then I can compare it alongside the work I submitted, because *clearly* that’s the best way move on from it. In the end, I’ve taken to letting my paper shredder have its way with the damn thing, and I have to say, it does take a little bit of the sting away.

So I guess I’m trying to just get along with rejection, because frankly, if I’m going to continue on this jewellery path as an artist and designer, (which is turning out to be a little less glamorous than I originally anticipated at times), then it’s going to keep happening. In my younger years, I would have gladly avoided any situation that involved “putting myself out there” in any way, shape or form, but if I did that with my business, then I wouldn’t be getting ready to go to my second big show in two weeks.

Do I think I will really ever like rejection? Nope. Can I get along with it? Yup. Will I be able to deal with it? Absolutely.

My friend Patsy wrote a post on rejection this week, and she asked how others deal with hearing No. So what do I really do? (After a little woe is me, naturally).

I think, What’s Next?…I search out more things to apply to. I look for new opportunities, and I try again. I remind myself that even just applying to an exhibition or show is an opportunity that not every one else has. I GET TO DO THIS. Right now. I GET to follow my bliss and create unique pieces of jewellery, and spend time dancing around my studio space while I work, and be part of an amazing jewellery community. What the hell am I waiting for?

I continue applying to shows, exhibitions and the like. I keep sharing what comes from my heart and my hands. I’d be lying if I didn’t say rejection sucks. It does. It stings. I let it make me doubt myself. I let it make me think I want to eat more than one cupcake.

Screw you rejection.

Who wants a cupcake?

Here’s where I like to indulge my cupcake cravings via the internet: http://cococakecupcakes.blogspot.com/

I promise not to talk only about cupcakes if you want to meet up on Facebook:

A Million Little Pictures Project

Bowen Island, BC

I’ve been wavering on whether or not I wanted to participate in A Million Little Pictures, because I feel like I have lots to keep me busy at the moment, but my resistance proved futile. I came across it upon completing my sketchbook project. If you’re not familiar with The Sketchbook Project, you should definitely check out the Art House Co-op.

I caught on to this awesome creative outlet last June via my good friend Patsy who signed up & then spread the word. I’m grateful she shared, but I’m afraid to admit the amount of time I’ve now spent on the website drooling over the amazing submissions that they’ve since uploaded to the site.

My sketchbook project theme was, This is Not a Sketchbook, and consisted mostly of photos that I had taken, so A Million Little Pictures seems like a good fit. Plus, photos travelling around in an Airstream trailer also sounds pretty cool to me. I had a hard time picking a theme, as I did with my sketchbook, and in an effort to follow along with my “Year of New Adventures”, I went out on a limb (yes, this is my attempt at wild, reckless abandon) and chose the random option. So I won’t know until my camera arrives!

While we’re already thinking about Airstream trailers, I am fortunate enough to have a magnificently talented artist in my studio building who paints them. To see some click here. You won’t be disappointed.

And don’t forget to come back to share your theme if you decide to join the project!

Technique Tuesday #2

It’s the return of Technique Tuesday! Today is #2, and I’m going share a little bit about another one of my favourite processes: Etching.
If you missed the first one, you can see it here.

I love this technique because I can incorporate really detailed & unique patterns into my work. My preferred method for finding a pattern is starting with a piece of lace. I photocopy it, and then trace the largest, most obvious shapes in the pattern. From there I add in my own hand drawn details to make up the rest of the design. Creating the master pattern is time consuming, but it’s also sort of meditative, and definitely worth the end result.

Once I have my master pattern I copy it onto a piece of PNP (Press N Peel) paper. It’s a bright blue paper that you adhere with heat, and then peel off. Here is my piece with my patterns copied onto it:

Next I usually cut up sections of it in order to fit onto whatever size piece of silver I’m using. Here it is ready to be transferred onto the metal:

Next I place my warm iron onto the paper, and then rub the back of the paper to help the resist stick. Normally I use my burnisher, but I had forgotten it at the studio. My panic at continuing on without my trusted tool was short lived because I suddenly heard Tim Gunn‘s voice telling me to “make it work”. So I tried the back of a spoon. It worked perfectly!

Once the whole surface has cooled, I peel off the paper, and it’s almost ready to be etched!

Here it is ready to go! I use clear packing tape to cover the back of the sheet so that the back stays nice & smooth.

Here is a completed sheet ready to be turned into jewellery!

This is just a little glimpse into the process, but I hope you enjoyed it! I definitely recommend taking a class that teaches the specifics if it’s something you’d like to explore. You can read a little bit more about it here, or here.

New Year, New Venue: Magpie Lovely

Magpie Lovely is an online boutique with a thoughtfully curated collection, and I’m happy to be sharing a few of my pieces in a space with some of my favourite designers.

Kate asked me a few questions, and you can read our little interview here. I’m looking forward to being a part of this lovely little community!

Stop by Magpie Lovely for some unique finds for your home, the little one in your life, or yourself!

magpie lovely

Side Project Sharing

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a hard time sitting still & not making something. The past couple of years knitting has taken up a fair bit of my spare time, and I am easily distracted by attempting to make the perfect scarf…or hat…or two…..

Design*Sponge is one of my favourite regular online reads, and I hope you will check it out if you don’t already! Last month they posted this fabulous DIY journal, and I knew I had to make one for myself.

I looooved my journals growing up, and I still have most of them. These days I liken them to sitting around looking at childhood photos (something I love, but always with a mixed feeling of adoration and hilarity). The older I get, the less I have kept one up, and to be honest, I’m not sure why…Maybe I’m more self-conscious about what I’m thinking, but also, I don’t know if I could sit & write for the same periods of time the way I used to. I do enjoy being able to look back & remember specific events and times in my life, and this little journal is the perfect solution!

I didn’t have any postcards like they suggest, but I did have a favourite calendar from last year that I was happy to recycle into this project. I also just wrote the dates on myself, since I don’t have a date stamp, and all I purchased were the index cards. I followed the tutorial, cut down the images I wanted to use, & voila! ..I still have to get my hands on a little berry basket or something similar, but I’ve already written things down, and I plan to leave it on my bedside table so I can quickly jot something in it…no more excuses! Here’s mine so far:

What I especially like about this journal is that after a couple of years I will be able to see my previous entries at hand, and think back to the same day. I guess I like a little nostalgia every once in awhile.

If you missed the links above, you can find the project here.

Have you done a little side project lately? I highly recommend it, you’ll be glad that you did!

Happy 2011: The Year of New Adventures

Wow, 2011 is here! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday filled with lots of love, friends, and family.

I took full advantage of the holidays this year relaxing with family, and eating more than my fair share of goodies! I feel refreshed, and ready to get back into the swing of things! I’m excited for lots of new adventures both personally, as well as with Simone Richmond Jewellery.

The past couple of years my dear partner in crime has taken to naming the year, based on what sets the tone over the course of the New Year festivities. He coined 2010 “The Year of Disaster Narrowly Averted.” Needless to say, I was on the edge of my seat most of the year! Despite a few bumps in 2010, overall it was great, and I have lots to look forward to in the New Year. After trying on a few different “titles” for this year, I’m sticking with “The Year of New Adventures.”

And getting this after my New Year’s Eve dinner, I think it’s even more fitting:

fortune cookie

I don’t know that I will be able to do something “unusual” every single day, but I will try & add something to the mix as often as possible.

Simone Richmond Jewellery has some new adventures coming this year as well! Among them are: participating in the Toronto Spring One of a Kind Show in early April (scroll down for the dates, the Spring site isn’t up yet), hopefully making it to the SNAG Metalsmith Conference in Seattle at the end of May, refreshing my work bench space, and getting more of my work out into the world.

I am so grateful for all of the support this past year, not only from those who have purchased my work, but from everyone who has taken the time to help me and my business. I wouldn’t be here without everyone’s willingness to share a little something with me: your time, your experiences, your feedback. Here’s to a wonderful New Year, and I hope that you will continue to follow along with some of my new adventures, and share some of yours too!