Monday, July 25, 2011

Rising Temperatures, Rising Costs and Rising Prices

Watching the price of gold continue to increase so drastically over the past couple years, I've been a bit like an ostrich - with my head buried in the sand. Occasionally I'd peak out flutter my prices up a bit and think that was good enough and how I felt bad for increasing the price for my customers. Alas, the time has come that I'm having to truly evaluate everything with a fine tooth comb. Part of this occurrence is the fabulous accountant I have. I've become a lot more organized and actually calculate my profit and loss each month. *Gasp* (That's what I do when I see it calculated)

And it is time I quit keeping my head buried, quit being in denial, and realize that my cost of materials has gone up so. much. more. than I have raised my prices. In the past year, gold has gone up about 33%.... in the past TWO years - gold has nearly doubled... While, apparently I've raised my prices less than 10%. So if you know anything about math, I think you can see how the price of gold really affects my income. Instead of getting a raise, I've been demoted... It all goes back to that being in denial and thinking the price of gold will go down and it'll all be okay.

So I've been doing some seriously calculations and changing prices - some quite a bit and some not so much. But I am feeling a bit more secure that I'm not merely buying gold and giving it away.

I'm puttin' on my big girl pants and realizing, that yes, this is what it means to run a business. I love my customers and I want to provide an excellent product at a fair price - fair, for both of us.

Oh and what do raising temperatures have to do with it all? I have no idea, but it is darn hot in my studio. I'm ready for fall - and falling gold prices. One will come in a couple months - the other... well... I don't think I can keep my head in the sand that long.

Monday, July 11, 2011

EtsyMetal Blog Carnival - 7.11.11 - Artist Inspiration/Influence

This month's EtsyMetal topic is:
Artist's Work That Has Influenced My Own

It is a really interesting topic - particularly because I've tried to not be influenced too much by anyone and really prefer to try to find my own way. For a long time I didn't want to look too closely at any other jewelers' or metalsmiths' work. Going through art school - we were often assigned projects where we had to choose another artist and base something off of their work. I generally tried to pick artists far away from metal! For years I did a lot of mini nude female pendants and rings inspired by Gustav Klimt. I loved the flowy nature of their bodies in paintings like Medicine and Philosophy - which are a bit different than the standard you think of when you hear the name Klimt...



You can read more about these paintings - on wikipedia of course!

Though to look at my work now, you probably wouldn't see the influence so much, but I know it is there.

Another artist I love that I think has influenced me on a deeper level is Andy Goldsworthy. If you aren't familiar with his work, you should check it out! His connection with nature is truly incredible as is his way of looking at patterns and attention to details.

Make sure to check out all the other participating EtsyMetal bloggers!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Look for photo updates on Facebook Fan Page

Recently I got an iPhone - which I love - including the amazing Hipstamatic app which is really fun for taking interesting photos. I also figured out how to post photos on my fan page really easily and have started updating with progress photos of customers rings! So "Like" my fan page and keep an eye out if you've ordered a ring from me - you may just catch a glimpse of the process!!

Friday, July 1, 2011


It's create your own quote day!!

Okay, so I doubt that is ever really a day... but today is mine!

I woke up super early this morning - feeling full of inspiration. So early, it was still dark and I was hoping to fall asleep again. Lots of thoughts were coming up, mostly about inspiration. Not just the inspiration for being an artist and being creative, but inspiration to DO things.

and the thought I had (here it is... my quote! and yes, you can quote me if you want)

Allow your inspiration to become action.

How often I am totally inspired by something, but nothing further than lovely and pretty thoughts. Which is great, the feeling of being inspired is wonderful. But it is totally another world to put that inspiration in to action and actually create something from it. Is there some sort of inspiration threshold. Something is SO inspiring it triggers some sort of action button in the brain? maybe... after thinking about it further though, I am going to work on it being an awareness - harnessing that inspiration and allowing it to come out.

What am I so inspired about... skydiving. Elephant Journal posted this video (loove the elephant journal) and it nearly brought me to tears (not so much the swimming w/ the sharks or base jumping from the Eiffel tower) as the gliding in the special flying squirrel suit - which after some reading is apparently called proximity flying. and the song is amazing - I bought the album and now I think about skydiving when I listen to it...

I've only been skydiving once (tandem, wonderful present for my 25 bday from my boyfriend/now husband), but it was possibly the most amazing feeling ever. My thought at the time was, "when I have the money, I'm going to take lessons." Then it was more like, "when I have the time, I'm going to take lessons." And that is currently where I am - finding the time to have a "hobby", much less a hobby that needs to be taken seriously. I can't even seem find the time to paint - which wouldn't require going anywhere or buying anything! But skydiving is something I want to do, not something I want to have only done once. So my goal - within the next year, go tandem again. Get that feeling back first hand, not just the fabulous feeling of watching an inspiring video. (which by the way, Roberta, the gal in the video, is only a year younger than I am) Then I'll talk to them about the specifics of taking lessons. Sounds reasonable right? Making a (very public) declaration I find is also extremely helpful in following through.

But even more than this one instance - it really has sparked this internal dialogue of what inspiration is. Not just what is inspiring, but what do you do with that inspiration? What do I do with that inspiration?