Friday, April 30, 2010

New Website!

My dear friend Kate (of jetkatdesigns) redesigned a webpage for me. My last whole site was very much out of date and though I don't have the time or energy in to getting a whole site redone, I needed at least a new page. Though, in total, way more went in to it than just what you see.

It all started because I got a new fax machine... and was running out of business cards.
I need a new phone number and the fact that I was almost out of my business cards was perfect. So I got a new phone number for calling purposes, while my old number stayed with the fax machine. But the phone number on the old site (which was pretty much inaccessible) was wrong and if you had seen it recently, you'd have known how out of date the whole thing was.
Now, its just a landing pad for the most important of my sites - my two etsy shops, blog, flickr, and my artfire site. And has all the current contact info. It's clean and simple and I love it. The old email platform (is that the right word??) was horrid and I hated it - now w/ the same email address - its set up through google. And all of my email addresses come to one location. Its almost so organized I don't know what to do!
I have my new business cards, new web page, new email, new phone number and I also got new ring boxes that are pretty great. Now that I think about it, its no wonder I've been so overwhelmed! I'm one of those people that likes change. I really embrace new things and love that every day is different. Sometimes if too much is going on, its like my brain capacity can't handle it. But now I feel like its all falling back in to place.

In the future - may it be 6 months or several years - I'll get around to having a whole site set up that will have its own gallery of images, shopping cart, etc. Right now, that's way more organizing than I can deal with - b/c afterall, I do have rings to make!

Make sure to check out Kate - she is an amazing artist, designer, photographer and new mother... her website and etsy.

Monday, April 26, 2010

new business card possibilities

so i've been working on a slightly new business card, not too different from the last one, but it needed some updates... i can't decide which orientation i like better.... i've had them horizontal and so i feel more drawn to that one, but i'm not sure if its just what i'm used to or that i do like it better. oh and imagine them w/ rounded corners.

which do you like better??

edited horizontal version:

Friday, April 23, 2010

Dandelion Rings and Tea Tab Quote of the Day

I had a custom order for the men's band and finally got photos of a set taken of the gold dandelion wish bands. I think they turned out so lovely and with the giant crop of dandelions everywhere, its the perfect ring to post for today! Doing them in yellow gold seems so natural. Love them!

and there was a new tea tab quote today! The past few days have all been repeats. This one may be from a long time ago... but I don't think I have posted it before.

True wealth is the ability to let go of your possessions.

have a great day!!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!

one of my favorite trees

I am sure many of you are aware that not only do I love nature in general, I love trees in particular.

So for Earth Day, I decided to do a couple of things.

1. Give the gift of trees through This is something I've done before and a group I like to support. Its not just planting trees, its helping people, the economy, and well, the world, through trees! If you'd like to give a full gift of trees you can, or you can donate a small portion that will go towards the full gift. You can check it out here.

2. Make a donation to the Sierra Club and Sponsor the Giant Sequoia National Monument. I have yet to make it there, and hopefully my small donation will aid in its being there by the time I can make it! If you'd like to sponsor a wild place, you can check out Sierra Club's full list here.

and yes, i do live in a garden paradise

I know everyone can't donate financially, but I hope that everyone can at least stop for a minute and think about their actions and think about how beautiful and amazing our earth is. And then turn those actions in to something positive. Plant a tree, plant a flower, donate your time (or money of you have more of that than time!), use re-usable bags, recycle, eat local, eat a veggie instead of a burger, tell a friend to not throw their cigarette butt on the ground, walk, bike, carpool, buy a hybrid!, buy organic, or don't buy and grow your own, every little bit helps. Happy Earth Day!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Engraving pt 2

I recently posted a photo of the script style, but didn't have a photo of the Block style of engraving available. Here it is! This style is all upper case only, a little bigger and a little easier to read.

check out the script style here.

Gold Nature Collection.... sort of

This little collection just happened to all be ordered and cast/cleaned up at the same time and I loved how they all looked together!! So I thought I'd share since I've been quite delinquent in posting recently.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tea Tab Quote of the Day and studio update

so, apparently, with a new box comes new quotes! fantastic!

Travel light, live light, spread the light, be the light.

(and the photo is from my castings this week - only a rush order sent out, but I got a lot done and will work on getting these all finished up the next few days. Some really lovely pieces in there!!! 11 individuals or couples are represented here - look at all that love!!!)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Snow Leopard Network Team "Talk About" April Edition

I'm on another street team - the Snow Leopard Network - and we're having a monthly blog "carnival" as well - where many of the members will all blog about the same topic and link to each other so readers can get a wide range of viewpoints all on the same topic.

This month's topic is:

How do you view the topic of "copying"? What does it mean to you? I.E. - is it a concrete thing of an exact duplicate of your work, or do you consider design elements and style? Have you felt you have been copied by other artists? And, how do you deal with this?

*** disclaimer: this is a really long post and in order to go ahead and get it posted, I didn't go back and edit/proofread, so... i'm sure there are some random run-on sentences, horrible grammatical errors and the like... ***

This is a very interesting topic and one that I'm not quite sure about anymore. I think in the days before the internet, it may have been easier... then again, maybe not.

When I was in school, we had a "multiples" project. I created a little rose, molded it and cast a dozen roses, created stems for them all and had a sweet little bunch. Maybe not the most original idea - a dozen roses are everywhere, though I hadn't personally seen it done in metal like that. A few weeks later in class a girl said she was going to make a rose. I completely called her out and said, "NO! You can't do that, thats copying." and probably a few more words as well... We were in class together! I was utterly appalled A. that she would think it, B. she would say it and C. had no problem at all about planning on doing it.

In an enclosed setting like a class - for one person to see your work in a critique and then start to do the same exact thing, to me, isn't open for debate on whether or not it was copying.

Now in the age of the internet... the lines are much fuzzier. There are many pieces I've created that the online community hasn't seen. I may have felt it was a totally original idea and then I happen to see some one else has created something nearly identical. With no way of seeing my design, it gets chalked up to "great minds think alike". Others will say "there are no new ideas" (which i don't agree w/, but thats a whole other topic)

But then you move in to the realm of work that is created and put out there. Visually in an online gallery or something like flickr, or for sale on any of the many websites available.

Or take two artists that create something similar around the same time and start posting images nearly simultaneously. Artist A. is more popular, has more fans, more followers etc. Artist B. is more obscure, tinkers on the weekend and has sketchbooks filled with ideas going back years. Artist B. recently started creating one of the ideas they had had years before because they lost their job and now have more time to actually create. Though specific designs are not duplicated down to a minute detail - the ideas are remarkably identical. A fan of Artist A may stumble upon the work of Artist B and scream copy cat... but how can it be proved. Since my case is purely hypothetical - I can say clearly that neither copied the other, however, it would blatantly look like it. The popular artist is presumably the one that was copied! There were is out there more, more available, more seen, more open for the taking, surely they were being copied b/c no one else could create something like theirs right? Or maybe the popular artist A got popular by capitalizing on stealing designs of lesser known artists and being able to mass produce them and market them in a way that makes them seem special and talented.

This is the sort of thing I think about. I often give everyone the benefit of the doubt, because without concrete proof, it can be so difficult to say. If you've had friends on either side of being the accuser or the accused (or you yourself been there) the feelings of conviction are there regardless of proof. When you put your heart in to something, it feels like it is yours. And to see it appear somewhere else is heart-wrenching.

So when can something be considered copying? I was actually having a brief discussion w/ a customer who happens to be a law professor at UGA and teaches copyright and trademark law. For actual designs he said, it is really difficult to be able to prove anything. Where a line can be better distinguished is in the entire presentation.

Take Etsy for example.... (since we're all on etsy) Some one has a "copier". They start creating a product that is nearly identical to someone elses, but they don't stop there. They copy the whole description (hey, if the design is the same, why not just use their description too!) and then take photos that are really similar and then market them to the same blogs, etc. This IS the sort of thing that will appear more blatant as far as any law is concerned.

Or repeatedly coping design after design, even through slight style changes and stone choices...

But what if a copier loved... lets say... caterpillars. They were looking around to buy a caterpillar photograph and happened to see... a cute brooch of a caterpillar chewing lines through a leaf that spelled out someone's name. how cute would that be? I haven't seen anything like that before, though it is entirely possible someone has had that idea and portrayed it in some manner (sounds like a kids book doesn't it?) But the copier loves it so much they think, Oh, I'm going to make one of those, but just for myself. But then some friends see it and want ones made for them w/ their kids names on them, etc etc. So the copier starts to sell them. They market them towards moms, kids blogs, do an entirely different photography style. Fast forward and the original artist finds out/ sees it etc... and feels certain they were copied. They would in fact be right (b/c this is my hypothetical story, so I know), but the copier denies it. etc etc... Still, it is a blatant copy. The original started creating the design a few years earlier and has plenty of documentation to prove they'd been selling it ahead of time.

What if the copier was a painter. And they thought, oh what a great idea. I'm going to start doing custom paintings of the same caterpillar chewing on a leaf w/ the names of kids, market it towards parents, and on and on... I still consider this copying. I don't consider it "making it their own" or "being inspired". Maybe its a whole other market and they aren't competing for jewelry sales, but the integrity of the person copying, to me, is lacking. Making it their own would have been painting ants tunneling through the underground to spell out a kids name - well, much more creative - and honestly not too far of a stretch from Charlotte writing out words for Wilbur. I mean, we all know insects have extraordinary abilities :)

I've been witness to many accusations of copying. In most cases, I find it difficult to say. Though its nice to side with friends, I'm finding myself to be more and more objective. Maybe its that I've had friends on both sides and been able to see both sides of being accused and being the accuser. And after having seen the accused and knowing that they were in fact NOT copying, well, it makes you see the whole debate in a new angle. I've seen designs that I think are possible "copies" and sure my little feelings get hurt. But I'm going to keep creating new designs and keep pushing myself to be the best that I can in both creativity and techniques. I hope that no one creates a blantant ripoff and I also hope I don't inadvertently step on someone else's toes and have them accuse me of copying them.

Since this is turning out incredibly long, I guess I'll sum it up by saying - I do think copying is wrong. I do considered "it" to be copying based on the intent of the copier. Whether it is specific designs down to the very detail or whether it is a general idea. But how can you prove the intent of someone? Most of the time, you can't. And honestly, I think its a waste of time to get sucked in to the drama of it. And just because two people have similar ideas, it doesn't mean one copied the other. With no intent, I don't think it can be considered copying. It is all very nebulous.

I'm sure I could keep writing on and on about this, but you should check out what others have written too!

ArtJewel designs-
Andes Cruz -
Jewelry by Natsuko -
Tosca Teran -
Tamra Gentry -
Mary Spencer -
Thomasin Durgin -
Susan Moloney -
Rosy Revolver -

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tea Tab Quote of the Day and studio update

Yay for springtime!

Well, my tea tab quotes may be a bit on the way out. I think they must have one for each of the tea bags in the box, but I am starting to have more and more repeats. Today's was a new one though!

Serve humanity so that people feel we are kind to them.


Things here in the studio are quite busy. And by "quite" I mean, the busiest I've ever been. Its very good and very exciting, and I'm doing much better about prioritizing, which means my computer time is being cut short so I can stay on top of the incoming orders. This means my blogging time is one of the first to go, especially w/ repeated quotes coming in! I've been trying to take photos of the week's groupings, though I often mail out a few during the week, but this is one shot from last week:

and from the weekend's batch (I normally take most of the weekend off, but this was a little bit of a work weekend)

(These are also counting as my ring-a-days #90 - 104!)

Friday, April 9, 2010

front page!!

The front page is up from the "voter favorites"! I love being on the front page. For etsy, that's about the best free advertising you can get!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I'm a Winner!

Thank you so much for the support in the Voter. I'm super excited and really appreciate each of my votes :) Thank you thank you!!

Tea Tab Quote of the Day

Be Happy so long as breath is within you.

Its funny, a random lady at the post office said almost this exact same thing to me the other day. We were headed out the door at the same time and I guess she'd been talking to someone at the counter about why she was happy. And she said to me, "Any day is a good day I'm breathing". I told her that was a great attitude!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Recycle Your Packing/Packaging Material

So often I hear people say they buy their packing material. I've never had the need to, I recycle! I order so many of my supplies and most boxes come with their own stuffing. Some have styrofoam or the eco-friendly dissolving peanuts, the little inflatable air packets, others just use paper or my favorite, bubble wrap! Though I know its fun to simply pop it, save it instead and reuse it!

I have a large bag I use to collect the variety of materials I receive and then I simply pluck something out when I am mailing my own package. If I happen to be using a flat rate envelope instead of a box, old bubble mailers are great for an additional inside cushioning.

Plastic bags are great to reuse as are old newspaper, magazines or even shredded bits from your paper shredder (just make sure they are thoroughly mixed up!)

Bottom line - recycling your incoming packing material is not only good for the environment, its great on your wallet!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tea Tab Quote of the Day

May your inner self be secure and happy.

... and allergy free!
Not as "pretty" of a photo as I usually post, but goodness, check out that pollen. Yesterday the pollen count was around 1900 and today it is a bit over 2900! in a day it jumped that much! It is definitely the time of year that the neti pot comes in handy. I'm hoping that this year I will consistently stay with using it and not have my one week of allergies. Many people I know feel terrible during this time of year. I only have a tiny dose of one particular plant in my yard that seems to affect me. I'm not sure what it is, but it's usually later in the season a bit and I think is something I've never been around before b/c it never happened until I lived at this house. Though I'm hoping this year it just won't happen! I'm planning on keeping my immune system boosted and "cleaned" out. Spring time already makes me feel like a super hero, so I'm hoping I'll just plow right through with no problem!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Voter Update!

I'm currently in the lead!! Yayy!!! if you haven't voted yet, but would like to, I would really appreciate it! Every little vote counts and that saying about "it ain't over til its over" is totally true! Even if I don't win, I'm hoping to just stay near the top!! :)

the tea tab quote for this morning: By listening, you comfort another person.

hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Please Vote for Me!

My rings made it in Etsy's Wedding voter!
Please vote for me! (its the rings above) and here's the link.

How wonderfully exciting!!!

Tea Tab Quote of the Day

Delight the world with your compassion, kindness and grace.

My sweet little Japanese maple is so lovely right now and looks better than it ever has before!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Blog Carnival: The Creative Process: How do you plan and organize for design?

So EtsyMetal's Blog Carnival this month is: The Creative Process: How do you plan and organize for design? and we're supposed to take a photo of our workbench. Which is pretty funny. I promise I did not clean it up at all (uh, of course I didn't, drawers open, tools ALL over the place) - I'm wondering how many of us will??

As far as answering the question - thats an easy one - I don't plan or organize!

Well, that isn't entirely true, but the vast majority of the time I don't. I'm much more of a process oriented creator. When I'm working on new designs, its very much material based in terms of deciding what direction to go in. My themes are all kind of connected - in my head anyway. Mostly nature and plant based - though I go through periods of liking bugs and being inspired by them. I really like earth sciences, rocks, trees, oceans, bugs, animals, etc. If I am interested in doing something new, I think about all these things and what I'm most interested in on that day.

If I have a stone I want to work with, I look at it, and see what it reminds me of and then base the design and texture off of something in the natural world that goes with that stone.

If I'm working in wax, I just like to play with it and see what it reminds me of and then build off of that.

If I'm working with metal, pretty much the same thing. I like to "see" what might want to appear.

The idea of a sketchbook is nice, but I hardly ever keep one. There IS a new project I have rolling around in my head that I think I might need to use a sketchbook as it is a bit more complicated than I usually work. It involves non-existent insects, or hybrid bugs. Even if I do a sketch though, I know the final product won't look quite like the sketch, so that is why I rarely do them!

Most of my creative process is looking and thinking and then doing.

Checkout the other participants from this month's carnival!

Victoria Takahashi/Experimetal

Thomasin Durgin/metalriot
Su Trindle/QuercusSilver
Inbar Bareket
Stacey Hansen
Nina Gibson
Danielle Miller
Corliss & John Rose/2Roses
Maria Whetman

Tea Tab Quote of the Day

Appreciate yourself and honor your soul.

Thats a good one if I do say so myself :)