Tuesday, October 11, 2011

4 Days Until Glitterfest!!

The last few days before show are crazy! I have been making my way through my to do list while nursing a cold. I feel like I am moving very slowly while the time is flying by. It is clear some things will not get finished and I hate that.

My display is up in my living room and I am pleased with how it came together.  I have a crazy variety of jewelry styles. I am a bit all over the place creatively so there should be something for everyone! I am taking  brief break to blog and catch up with my hubby.

The house is a mess and the laundry is piling up but that will all have to wait until after Glitterfest. Tomorrow I will finish a few remaining pieces of jewelry and then begin packing it all up! This is a show I enjoy so much. The artists are amazing and the customers are the best. I am really looking forward to taking a peek arount the room and snatching up a few Christmas gifts to tuck away!

See you this Saturday at the Elks Lodge in Santa Ana!! Stop by my booth and say hello!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Time flies by!

I got lost in the creative chaos. It is now just over a week until Glitterfest. I have been busy working on new jewelry pieces and creating a display for the show. The question is now- will I get it all done? The answer is no. Surprised? I am not. As an artist I always have more ideas than time allows. The key is prioritizing. I need to balance my desire to do the projects I am most interested with having a balanced inventory for the upcoming show. I have a running list of things I want to make in my sketch book. Each week I re-evaluate my to do list. Some ideas are discarded, some set aside for later and the rest are prioritized. It only takes a few minutes each week but it saves loads of time as I am not spinning my wheels and wasting time.  I am always a little sad when I realize I will not get to a project. But who knows I may revisit the idea at a later time. I look through my sketch book a few times a year both to see where I have been creatively and to see if I see where I might be heading. Patterns do emerge out of the chaos.

So what does a to do list look like the week before a show?

Create levels for my display

rig bowling pins

attach clasps to pendant necklaces

sign pieces

photograph each piece -5 shots each

get a table cover- fabric? tulle??

stamp bags

buy tissue paper

create raffle item.

blog- and social media marketing

preview of merchandise to boutiques that carry Lulu max Jewelry

Solder shadow boxes

finish large bottle for display

something to display earrings

And that is just a partial list. I still have jewelry to finish and jewelry to make. I will not get to all of it but that is ok. I hope I have created something for everyone. I have been very mindful that money is tight for everyone and I have worked very hard to create items for every budget. Art should be affordable! I will post again before the show. Thank you for following along as I prep for Glitterfest. I hope this gives you some idea of what goes into getting ready for a show. The month before a show I work about 100 hours a week. Artists never get paid for their time so I try not to think of it in terms of time spent creating. Creating is what I love to do. Please know that when you buy art directly from an artist you help them to be able to keep creating and you get the most for your money. I encourage everyone to support small businesses and artists this holiday season. I have to committed to buy only products made in America and support small businesses and artists this year. It is a challenge but a fun one. I have discovered several cool shops including an amazing local Ace Hardware. I will use my hour to shop at Glitterfest to do some Christmas shopping!! Ok so I might throw in a goodie or two for me!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

One Month Until Glitterfest!!!

What will I make today??

This weekend we have our last trunk shows before November. Come Monday it is all Gliterfest. I really love getting ready for a show. It is a bit anxiety producing but oh so much fun. Today I spent most of the day assembling necklaces I had designed and set aside. I usually design and plan about 20 pieces at a time. I then bag up all the pieces and parts so they are ready to be assembled. Then I pick a put together day when I am not feeling so creative and I get to work bringing the designs to life. 

Sometimes it can be challenging trying to figure out how to rig a project. When I get stuck I set that project aside and move on to another. My sub conscience must keep problem solving for me as I always find the solution when I move on. I am super lucky to have Crystal Basica as my business partner for Serendipity Salvage. She is an amazing artist and jewelry designer (she has been making jewelry 19 years). She is a great resource for rigging ideas and finishing touches. It is great to have someone to bounce ideas off. Another way to do this is by having a craft day with a few friends. Bring out the tough project you are struggling with and get some input from other artists.   

I better get back to work!!!


Monday, September 5, 2011

Bead Shop Hop and the Glitterfest Shuffle!

This is a big week on the road to Glitterfest. I have at least a dozen projects on my workbench all needing some attention. This is the time in my show prep that I really have to budget my time and keep on schedule so that I have enough inventory. This year I have an added challenge- Serendipity Salvage trunk shows. 

Crystal and I are hitting the road with our Serendipity Salvage wares for the Bead Shop Hop. This is a great event here in Southern California. The bead stores have created an event where shoppers are encourages to go hopping from store to store during a week long shopping extravaganza! Each store has raffles, charms, prizes, trunk shows or something special going on. We start the Hop at the San Gabriel Bead Company in Arcadia. ( www.beadcompany.com) We will be there Sep 9 through the 11th. We have special goody bags for our shop hop customers. We are also brings all sorts of new merchandise. We have loads of vintage brass stampings, Pre WWII glass pearls from Japan, game pieces, new brass stampings, rare vintage intaglios, vintage cameos in both resin and glass, brass gears, ephemera and so much more! We have been saving many items from our travels just for this trunk show. 

San Gabriel Bead Company is an amazing store. They have everything. Need a special finding? They have it! I just love this store. I have purchased everything from Roman glass beads here that are hundreds of years old to Swarovski crystals. The have the best selection of seed beads I have seen. They always have a great selection of interesting beads for every price range and style. This store is worth a drive if you have not been and the bead shop hop is the perfect time to do it!

For all the details and to find the participating stores near you log on to www.sclbsa.org! 

Back to work for me. See you at The Shop Hop! 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Too many balls in the air!

So I seem to have a bunch of balls in the air but I don't really juggle. This feeling can only mean one thing. Glitterfest is coming!!Plus I have trunk shows with Serendipity Salvage and we are doing my fave little flea market at Whimzy in Tustin. We will be at the Jamestown flea market in Tustin and as a bonus all the stores in the area are having sales and customer appreciation deals! I hope I have a moment to sneak away and shop. I have had my eye on a few things at Whimzy and Truly Tattered. Two great little shops right at the flea market.

Crystal and I will be bringing all of our mixed media supplies plus loads of vintage treasures we have been collecting! This flea market is well worth braving the heat for! See you Sunday!! All the details for Whimzy are on the right side of this page!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Trudging ahead!

The creation phase of preparing for a show is in full swing now.  There are bound to be bumps in the road so how do you handle them? This week I had to head to San Diego to dog sit for my mom. It is impossible to pack up your studio so I chose a few necklaces to work on that required some wire wrapping and cold connections. The components were already prepared and ready to be linked up. Long story short- I forgot some key things. I did not bring a single clasp nor did I bring any silver wire. As much as I hate to leave a necklace partially finished, I laid them out clasp-less on the table. Sometimes you just have to roll with what you have available.

I did not get nearly enough done this week but that is ok. I have prioritized my projects and sketches and made myself a schedule to get it all done. I know life will continue to get in the way but I have a secret. No one knows what I have planned or how many pieces I plan on making. When I set up for Glitterfest only I will know of all the unfinished projects languishing in my studio. So go ahead and think big and plan on doing a load of stuff. Just be alright with not getting it all done. As an artist there are always more ideas than one could ever get done for a single show. Just let it be your little secret!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Journey to Glitterfest Begins

Glad you are along for the ride as I gear up for Glitterfest. This story really began the day after my last show in March. Exhausted , I needed a few days to rest before I could even think about what was next. I had my application for the fall Glitterfest but I needed to decide what to create. Jewelry? Yes, but how was I going to grow as an artist? What new techniques could I incorporate? How do I come up with something fresh? Many more questions than answers. 

All artist are challenged by those that copy. I really try not to worry about those that imitate. My goal is to constantly push myself and work slightly outside my comfort zone ( more on that later). It is funny to me when I hear jewelry artists complaining about people copying their designs. Much of what we are seeing now like wire wrapping and using found objects is not really new. In the late '70's I bought a necklace at the Sawdust festival made of leather, chain, shells and old bolts. Looking at what artists on Etsy are selling you would think it was made recently. The bottom line- it has all been done before. So worry more about pushing yourself as an artist and less about who else is doing something. There is one very important rule though! ALWAYS give credit to those that came before you and taught you , inspired you or helped you grow as an artist. 

I am grateful to many many people for their knowledge and support. Robin Dudley Howes taught me to solder and shared so many tips and techniques. Many have showed me how to wire wrap over the last 30 years. I admit, I was a little slow to catch on to the wire wrapping. Artistic classes not geared for jewelry always stretch me creatively and are just a whole lot of fun. They always add to my skill set. Lisa Loria taught me a lot about composition in her Bling Baby class and reminded me how fun it is to play with power tools. Michael DeMeng reminded me how much I love to paint and sculpt. His class brought back so much that I thought I had forgotten and left in the fine arts department at Campbell University.  Ann Besack, my wonderful and crazy advanced sculpture and 3d design teacher encouraged me to trust my own aesthetic.  Most recently, Brenda Sue of B'Sue Boutiques has inspired me with her blog, youtube videos and Five and Dime Challenges. You must visit her store and read her blog. She is beyond generous and knowledgeable. I buy a ton of my findings from her and she always has hard to find vintage items. (Bsueboutiques.com)  Remember and acknowledge the artists that have helped you.

To reignite my creative fire I headed to Treasures and Junk in Ontario. There is nothing like a good antique store to get me thinking. I have always used found objects in my sculpture and interior design elements. I find that a theme just sort of emerges for me.  The theme for my next show is often inspired by a piece of fabric, ephemera, an object or a piece of scrap book paper. Once I have some over arching theme to create a cohesive line I am ready to shop. This time around it is all about the 1940's, the dust bowl, traveling shows and gypsy souls. I have chosen colors, textures, design elements and ephemera. Have I made you curious? Save the date October 15th and come to Glitterfest to see how it all comes together. 

As soon as I had the "theme" I made a few pieces and decided the scope of my line for the application to Glitterfest. With that in the mail it was tome to gather the things I needed to bring my vision to life. The above photo is a small pile of collected beads and objects I will be incorporating. 

The next couple weeks are often filled with shopping. ( I love that part). I assemble and arrange the bits and pieces in my studio and the ideas start coming. I keep a sketch book handy for design ideas, to do lists, note and lists of supplies needed.

The next step. Planning how I am going to get it all done before Oct 15th. It is good to have a game plan. Tune in next time for the chaos portion of our journey.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Creative Burst!

Time to create!
I have been busy gathering goodies for my new line and now it is time to make some new things.  I managed to fit in a few quick trips to Boston, Myrtle Beach and North Carolina. I brought back a few goodies to play with. In my bag of tricks I have bottles, leather, persian lamb fur, gears, rhinestones, vintage glitter, brass, chain, prayer cards, tiny light bulbs, ceramic animals, cracker jack prizes from the 1940's, Miriam Haskell pearls, carved ivory flowers, vintage Swarovski crystals, lucite, .999 silver, millinery flowers,  lace, ribbon, sari fabric, pine cones, miniatures, baubles, playing cards, brass tags, lockets, charms, ephemera, circuit boards and so many crazy little items I hardly know where to begin.

I made a few new cuff bracelets and today I began soldering a few pendants. I have been sorting and combining and I am ready to fill my days with jewelry making. Save the date October 15th and I will knock your sox off at Glitterfest!  

So, this time you can follow my journey here. I will post a few surprises every week and of course some sneak peeks. I will share the truth about what goes into a show and hopefully give you some insight into how I keep the creative juices flowing.  Getting ready for a show is a bit of a roller coaster ride so hop on and ride with me!


Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Polka Dot Pixie

This amazing little mermaid was a gift from the Polka Dot Pixie! Jenny Hernandez is an amazing artist and friend and this siren of the sea is one of her creations. Jenny and I had a quick visit last night before she headed down to Whimzy in old town Tustin to teach a class. She is a paper mache sculptor and painter extraordinaire. If you have not seen her work you must hop on over to her web site at www.thepolkadotpixie.com.  She is also an artist at Glitterfest and will be back October 15th for that show at the Elks Lodge in Santa Ana.

Jenny's work is whimsical and charming. I have a favorite Christmas piece and I hate to put it away after the holidays. Her creations put a smile on your face. A great dose of inspiration. Thank you Jenny for my gift- I love her!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Ready set go!

This Saturday is the first trunk show of the new business! Please join Crystal Basica and I as we launch Serendipity Salvage. We are a vintage mixed media art supply company. Come see all the treasure we have collected June 4th at Garden of Beaden in Upland CA ( 10am until 5pm). Maybe I will bring a sneak peek of what fall holds for Lulu Max!

 I enjoyed  a few weeks off from the designing and making side of Lulu Max. I have been doing a little restocking and shopping. I enjoy hitting flea markets and garage sales looking for that special something to include in a piece. I also spend some time at a scrap book store looking at paper for inspiration. I might use the images or the colors as a starting point to my designs. I usually have something like a sheet of scrapbook paper that provides an over arching theme to the season I am working on.

While shopping I have been picking up so many cool items I decided to share them with you. My friend, artist and business partner Crystal Basica was in the same boat so we have joined forces and Serendipity Salvage was born. We carry vintage mixed media supplies for your every need. You will find us on Etsy and doing trunk shows. So much fun I can hardly stand it! Please follow our blog to see what new items we have and where we will be. We hunt for the deals and pass them on to you. We love a bargain and hope you will too. Come see us June 4th at Garden of Beaden in Upland for our next trunk show.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A little organization never hurt anyone!

I spent the better part of the last week organizing my workspace and studio. While sorting and organizing I quickly came to the realization that it was not all going to fit. I also wanted to be able to see many of my supplies like paper, glitter, trim and jewelry supplies. I purchased a section of slat wall and the fixtures. Trays for glue and glitter and paper trays for my paper. Now I can see everything. My sweet husband had to agree to let me expand my space to the other side of a studio wall and into the bedroom. It looks great! I love being able to see it all and find what I am looking for.

The store I purchased the fixtures from has closed and has a ton of really great fixtures left. Send me an e-mail or comment and I will supply the details so you can get your own slat wall or fixture. The total cost of the slat was and all the plexiglass shelves etc was $160. A great investment in organization. Now I am inspired to create. I began laying out items for my fall line today. A few are in the picture- so there is your hint at what is next. Now go get crafty!!


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

New Class at Garden of Beaden

Join me at the Garden of Beaden in Upland this Saturday, May 7th at 10 am until 2pm. All materials are included to make one floral cuff. Class price $45.  We will add patina and color using 5 different techniques. Each student will explore each technique before deciding how to design their cuff. You will also learn the basics of punching holes in metal and riveting. Materials to make additional cuffs will be available for purchase. There are three spots left in the class so call to reserve yours now. 

                                                     313 N 2nd Ave # J
                                                     Upland, CA 91786-6076
                                                     (909) 949-7107

You do not need to bring a thing but if you wish, bring your bench block and a small hammer. Everything will be provided for you so come join the fun!  

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Instant Inspiration Available at Urban Barn!

Please join Lulu Max and My friend and fellow Gypsy Hoarder, Crystal Basica at Urban Barn April 15 through the 17 for their anniversary flea market. We have a huge assortment of all things vintage for your jewelry and mixed media creations. We will also have our jewelry and art for sale. 

We are bringing something for everyone and bargains galore. I know you will find some little trinket to spark your creative soul. The Urban Barn is an amazing vintage lifestyle store located in Escondido at 155 Cress Street. I hope you can join us to help celebrate a year of amazing vintage finds!!


Saturday, March 19, 2011


Such an amazing show today! Thank you all for coming out today. I enjoyed meeting so many amazing, art loving people. The room was filled with so many beautiful things. Robin Dudley Howes had a beautiful display filled with such whimsical lovely jewelry and tid bits. I had to bring home a pair of earrings!

 The small bottle with the beaded top and the beaded key are my finds from the Magpie! Melanie is a seed beader and mixed media artist extraordinaire. I cannot wait to make a necklace for this very special bottle to go with my new earrings.

Next, I ventured onto the patio where I fell in love with a painting. She will live in my studio.  On my way back in I decided I had to have this sweet shadowbox. I will post more about these artists when I can think straight. The show was a blast but I am beat! ore pictures of the show to come.  My Mom purchased a necklace from Lisa Loria  and a soldered tree from Crystal Basica that are both to die for and I will post pictures of those too. Enjoy your Sunday!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Creative Chaos

Spring is coming!

Deep in preparation for Moulin Rouge and Glitterfest the house is alive with spring blooms. 
I adore the pinks and greens of spring and have been inspired by the spring color pallet. 
Color can evoke so many emotions and can give such a pick me up. 
So, I am ready to move away from black and cream and step into some color! 
What color speaks to you??

Please join me at the Elks Lodge in Santa Ana March 19th for Glitterfest where more than 50 artists will share their mixed media creations. The show is open from 10 am until 4pm. 
I promise you will be inspired!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Glitterfest is coming!!

So I began the process of setting things up today for the two shows I am doing in March. First the amazing Moulin Rouge a weekend adventure in art and shopping put together by the amazing Kim Caldwell. Next is Glitterfest hosted by the sparkly and talented gals from Whimzy in Tustin. The house looks like a bedazzeler exploded in the living room. Every surface is covered in all things jewelry and mixed media art.

I secretly enjoy the chaos. I love having all the rhinestones, beads, found objects and findings out to look at in one place. I like to design when I can see everything I have to find unique ways to pair thing together. I have been working hard all week and I am forcing myself to take the day off tomorrow to play with friends in Orange County. I have no doubt the gang will re-energize me. I am lucky to have such a cool group of amazing women ( and a few significant others) to spend the day with!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Spring preview

Here is a quick peek at what I have been up to lately. These shots just give you a taste of each piece. I hope to see you all at Moulin Rouge or Glitterfest next month! I have a few new tricks up my sleeve and I cannot wait to share them. 

The yard is looking like spring. My apricot and cherry trees are blooming and it has me in full spring mode. I just love that first blush of spring.  What inspires you? I hope you will post a comment and share!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Don't just admire the rose!

I was running errands today and it took me near one of my favorite stores, Gilding the Lily in Fullerton. This little shop is packed with treasures. I could spend hours in the place! It always seems like I have to hurry and look. Today feeling pressed for time as I shopped I had a realization. I am in charge of my time. I had no appointments, no deadline looming and no where to be. So I took a deep breath and gave myself permission not to hurry. I looked at every shelf, opened every drawer and enjoyed every second I spent in Gilding the Lily.

On the way home I was thinking I need to slow down and experience things more fully. I was thinking about how pretty roses are. The colors and the shapes are so appealing. But is it enough to just look at a roses beauty? I say no! To really appreciate a rose one needs to feel the velvety petals and breath deeply their subtly sweet aromas and perhaps be reminded of their thorns with a little prick! That is experiencing a rose.

So I give myself permission to take a moment once in a while and smell a rose. We all deserve to experience all life has to offer. All the little things we overlook on a daily basis have the potential to bring us great joy if we would just slow down long enough to notice them.

I came home feeling very creative and I had a very productive afternoon. My schedule is a bit crazy as I will be a vendor at both Moulin Rouge and Glitterfest. Did I mention both shows are the same week?? The photo is a simple Valentine's Day necklace I just listed on Etsy. I will post a sneak peek of my new wares for the shows next week.