Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I have put away all the winter supplies for creating and today begins spring design!! The winter jewelry line for Lulu Max is officially sold out!! The last few pieces found a home on Christmas eve. Thank you to all of my loyal and new customers. I adore creating and your thoughtful purchases allow me the honor of creating for another season.

This spring promises to be exciting. I will be vending at some of my favorite venues and a few new ones. For my Orange County crowd I will of course be at Glitterfest with jewelry and mixed media creations and I will be selling supplies for all of your creations at Create in the Spring.

So what is on my workbench for spring? Loads of rhinestones of course! Plus some beautiful laces and fibers, mother of pearl buttons, bakelite, lucite, trinkets and treasures of all kinds and some really unusual ephemera. Most of you know that there is usually a theme loosely woven into each season. This spring will be no different. Stay tuned for some hints and a preview!

This week I will be preparing the kits for my Enchanted necklace class at Whimzy in Tustin on January 19th. (Pictured above) Last I checked, there were a couple of spots available so come play with us. We will me exploring my new favorite medium for mixed media art and jewelry. A great way to start the new year with a new skill for your persona tool bag.  Join me and I will share my inspiration with you to jump start a dazzling and creative 2013.

I hope all of your holiday celebrations were filed with joy and love. May 2013 find you happy, healthy and inspired!


Thursday, December 6, 2012

An Enchanted Necklace

Kim Caldwell will be working her magic again this spring creating another memorable event- The Enchanted Affair! I am already signed up to attend. Kim got me thinking about Snow White and all the other princesses of fairy tale lore. So of course, my new necklace is influenced by Snow white and the Huntsman. If you have not seen the movie the jewelry and costumes were amazing.

My workbench has been filled with new products and mediums this year. A particular favorite is a two part epoxy that is unlike anything I have ever encountered. So much fun playing with this new product! Now I am ready to introduce you- guaranteed to be your new go to product in all your creations. This necklace class will teach you everything you need to know about working with this magic clay!

Then we will transform the material using color washes and metallic finishing products to recreate the look of leather, metal or anything your heart desires. Your finished necklace will be wire wrapped together but no jewelry experience is necessary! So, will you create a good potion bottle or something for the evil queen? Everything is included for this class. Just bring your apron and I will bring the good messy fun! January 19th at Whimzy in Tustin 11 until 4.

Whimzy Classes

Check out Kim Caldwells's spring event!

Enchanted Affaire

Back to the studio!


Monday, November 12, 2012

Art is You Fundraiser

There is a great need for donations to help the many victims of hurricane Sandy.  So many lost everything. We can all help. We are a community and we either thrive or fail as one. Each of us has something to contribute- a kind word, a smile, a warm blanket, a slice of pizza or your talents! I am donating a necklace to the cause. I hope each f you will visit "Art is You" on Facebook or on the web.

No matter your personal situation I am wiling to bet you can do something to help. It takes more than money to rebuild lives. Maybe you could lend an ear to someone having a tough time. Don't get me wrong, your hard earned cash has the ability to change lives. Please give generously.

Here is the link:

Art is You

Here is a sneak peek at the necklace I am donating.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Creating Synergy and Conquering Fear!

Women Helping One Another

This is a shot of part of the group that came together Sunday. (Sorry to those I cropped out- I have to learn photoshop.) What a room full of beautiful artists! Jenny Doh came and inspired all of us to be authentic and live in gratitude. We talked about regrets we might have in our lives. We all have them- so what do we do with them? I have a new perspective on regret. I will use my personal regrets as information for future decision making and as a personal motivation to make different choices. 

The past few months I have been looking for ways to grow artistically. I have been working in new mediums and taking more risks. It is just art- so why am I afraid? So my commitment for 2013 is to jump in with both feet and do what is scary. I will take the risks. I am sure the fear I have imagined is much scarier that the reality.  

First scary thing to give a shot? Photoshop!!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Shadows in the Studio

As the shadows grow on the walls of my studio I am aware the days are growing shorter. This can only mean one thing, Glitterfest fall is almost here! I am at my happiest creating for this amazing mixed media art show held twice a year. I love spending long days in my studio, or more likely the kitchen table, creating something sparkly and new. I also love hearing about what my fellow artists and friends will be brings to the show.

A few of us Glitterfest girls had breakfast last week and it was reinvigorating hearing everyone talk about the treasures they are creating! Crystal Basica will be bringing more of her amazing art pieces with her usual nod to the dark side but she has added a bit of intrigue with a Houdini inspired twist and secret trick or compartment in many of her pieces! Arrive early as I am sure these pieces will disappear!

Julie Nutting was full of amazing news! Her book, Collage Couture, is a beautiful and inspiring book filled with great instructions to recreate some of her signature styles.  She will of course have some original pieces at the show. She has a few tricks up her sleeve too! She has partnered with Leaky Shed Studios to create some amazing and hard to describe paper dolls ready to embellish. Trust me - when you see them yo will have to have some!

See what I mean!! They are just too cute! Speaking of dolls- Lisa Loria is bringing some handcrafted dolls that will make you swoon! Lisa has been busy as a bee in her studio and, as always, will have a diverse table of beautiful things. I got a sneak peek at one of her series of necklaces and, while I have been sworn to secrecy, I can guarantee you will just have to have one!

Today I stopped by the Garden of Beaden to say hello to Robin Dudley Howes! She had some of her treasures with her and they were all drool inducing. I purchased a lovely little charm of a hand holding a heart. Each one of her jewelry pieces incorporates something quite special and unusual. Her distinct style speaks to the gypsy is each of us. She will have gorgeous kits and treasures with her at Glitterfest so make sure you stop by her booth too!

I have a trick or two up my sleeve too! I was lucky enough to find many bakelite and vintage lucite beads to incorporate (which is fun as I die over bakelite). I also found some Miriam Haskell pearls and loads of art deco vintage brass. It is so amazing finding stashes of never used old stock from the 1940's and 1950's. I cannot wait to share my sparkly little pieces of history with you October 13th at Glitterfest!!

Please stop by and say hello!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Craft For A Cure!

This is a little make and take I will be donating to the Craft for a Cure event. Many of you know that I am a cancer survivor and this is a cause near and dear to me. In fact, I am willing to bet each of you has had a friend or loved one with cancer or you are a survivor! My friend and fellow artist has found a fun and meaningful way to raise money for breast cancer research. This one day event brings together many artists who donate their time, profits, and supplies to raise money. The event is held at a private home and each guest is pampered with a delicious lunch and amazing projects. This year the event will be held In Rancho Cucamonga  on Sunday October 14th.

Two of my favorite ladies will be joining us this year and sharing really special projects. Jenny Hernandez will be helping us create one of her darling birds! I just love all her characters, plus she is one of my favorite people!  Jenny puts a bit of herself in every whimsical piece. You will fall in love with her art and begin collecting her pieces as so many of us have.

The delightful and devilishly funny Karen Aguirre will be helping us create on of her paper cake decorations. She is an amazing artist and such a smart and funny gal. You will love her guaranteed! Her blog- Creative Chaos is also one of my favorites.

Seating is limited so please reserve your spot as soon as possible. Denise Hahn is the creator and curator of this event so please visit her blog, In My Blue Room, and look at the other beautiful projects and sign up.

Here is the link:

Thank you in advance,

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Out of Chaos Comes Clarity

The past 8 months have been a roller coaster in so many ways. Despite a few health woes in the recent month, the chaos has been banished. I have reclaimed my studio and created a nice workspace for making jewelry. After six months of Murphy's law ruling the day I was really ready for change. It is interesting to look back and see that emotional clutter turned into actual clutter. My stash of treasures became unorganized and seemed to take over my work space. 

As I have moved through all life could throw at me I have grown in so many ways. I have been nesting for the last two months. Organizing my treasures and supplies, getting rid of clutter, creating a beautiful and inspiring studio, redecorating all of my living spaces. I have learned to let go. I am a control freak by nature and admitting that there are things I cannot control is hard. Letting go is also freeing. I feel a sense of calm in our home now. The spaces reflect my husband and I and the things that are important to us. 

The change has definitely freed me creatively as well. For the moment, in the shine of the zen, I am not feeling the need to add grunge and patina to everything. For the moment I just want everything to shine. We cannot control the bad things that happen in our lives but we can control our response. We turn to many things for comfort in our lives, food, wine, mementos, objects from the past that have no place in our now, weight and clutter. All of these things just get in the way.  Love yourself, live healthy, create a space that is calming and free of clutter and enjoy all the wonderful things life has to offer. You deserve it!

Next step, making more time for friendships. It is the people that we surround ourselves with that make life so rich. I am treating myself to the Winter Wonderland Affair. A long weekend of  amazing and inspiring women, art, swaps and laughter. I cannot think of a better Christmas present! If you have not been to a Kim Caldwell event perhaps this spring you can treat yourself and begin your journey! 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Little Bit of Pearl Heaven!

Despite having pneumonia I recently went on a buying trip to the east coast. On my last trip I heard about a warehouse with a large but incredibly messy room filled with old jewelry findings, stones, glass pearls and assorted weirdness. Of course I made this my first stop.  It was a hundred degrees and I considered not going because I felt awful. I just could not stay away. 

I am so glad I went. I spent five hours digging through piles and boxes of untold treasure. The picture above is part of my haul. The pearls are all glass made in Japan during the 1930's and '40's (all pre WII). I grabbed creams and blush strands in many sizes and lengths and cannot wait to use some. They are the best glass pearls ever made and nothing of their quality is currently produced.

The paper packets are filed with foil backed rhinestones from the 1930's. The story behind these chatons and navettes is quite interesting. As the Nazi party in Germany was becoming stronger and it looked like invasions into other parts of Europe were imminent, one glass stone maker fled Czechoslovakia. He landed in Austria and founded a new company there. His name was Swarovski! So these are all Swarovski stones made at his factory in Czechoslovakia and I have a huge supply. In the trade these are referred to as Czecho Swarovski.  I also purchased many faceted glass beads in crystal and jet from the same factory. These beads are destined for Glitterfest fall. 

I spent several days hunting through warehouse after warehouse and found some amazing things. I hope you will come to Glitterfest October 3rd to see all the treasures I will use in my jewelry!

For now I have to rest. The heat and hunting did not help my pneumonia and I am back where I started. I do not like being sick and resist resting. My body now requires rest so I will listen and give myself a few weeks to recover. I will gaze at my table of pearls and quietly think to myself that it was worth it.


Monday, July 9, 2012

Risky Business: Legal Checklist Final Chapter

You have probably seen the mayhem commercials for insurance. Mayhem is not your friend. We often go about running our little businesses without giving him much thought. Today is the day to consider what Mayhem could cost your business and perhaps your family.

I advise all of my small business clients to do a liability assessment every year. This is pretty easy but most people would just rather not think about the what ifs.

1. Drag out all your insurance policies.
      Is your inventory covered to be replaced if your home or place of business burns down?

      If you are creating your product in your home and using a torch does it void your homeowners  

      What business activities do you need extra coverage for? Soldering, welding, glass fusing??

       Jewelry almost always requires additional insurance! You must find out exactly what your policy

     How much liability coverage do I have and is it enough? Could I loose my home if I am sued.

2. Make a list of things that could result in a lawsuit.

      Someone injured on your property or in your store.

     Defective merchandise.

    An injury during a class.

     Are you giving warnings about dangers? Are students signing a liability waiver? This is a must!

     Did you know soldering with a torch destroys your retinas and the damage is cumulative? All
     persons soldering with a torch must wear didymium lenses to prevent damage. I bet your instructor
     did not mention that every time you use a torch you are risking your eyesight.

     An injury at an event or show- someone trips in your booth.

3. Research what permits you need and any laws that might regulate your business.

     Many cities limit the type of business you can run from home.
     How does California proposition 65 effect my products?

     What warnings must I post or give?

     What type of license or permit do I need?

Play the devils advocate and figure out all the things that could go horribly wrong. Now take steps to protect yourself. Insurance is not as expensive as you think and it is part of running your business and is necessary. Make insurance expenses a part of your financial business plan. I cannot afford insurance is not an excuse it simply means you need to tweak your business plan to realize a profit.

Don't be afraid to understand your potential liability. Knowledge is power. Safer, conservative business practices often mean higher profits long term. You can do this without all the risk!! This is just a partial list of all the things you need to consider but it is definitely enough to get you started! Go out there and realize your business dreams! You can do this!


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Ramblings of A Madman, Ok Woman

Sorry for the blog absence- things have ben a little crazy. Good crazy but crazy. Glitterfest seems like a distant memory as I begin prepping for my fall jewelry line. I am having such fun gathering all things sparkly and shiny. To my surprise I have been using loads of color too. I often shy away from color but not this year- it is all about color.  I have found the perfect vintage color pallet to work with and I am really enjoying all the possibilities.

The best laid plans often become an entirely different journey. I intended on listing a few summery pieces on etsy but Art and Soul beat me to them! I have tons of jewelry at Art and Soul on 101 in Encinitas so if you are looking for a little bit of summer that is the place to go. I just mailed them the rest of my summer goodies so they are well stocked with Lulu Max jewelry. I will actually have to make a few more items for etsy. That will be a pleasure as I do not often get to work in season. Most jewelry is actually created one or two seasons ahead. For me it is always Christmas in July. It will be fun to work with summer colors and still be enjoying the summer! I just scored some amazing butterscotch bakelite swallows and I am pleased I will not have to wait until spring to debut them!

Tomorrow I am going to take a little break and head to the beach for some surfing! Sometimes you just need a day at the beach.

Back thursday with our legal checklist wrap up blog post!!


Friday, June 8, 2012

Grab your Partner Do Si Dos: Legal Checklist Part 5

As you can see my three dogs were able to come to an agreement about sharing the tiny bed. If only it was always this easy for people to agree and work together.  Frequently we fall into business with friends and family. Most experts would recommend against this idea. The reality is people do not always agree especially friends and family.  Since I know advising against doing business with people you enjoy will be ignored I will tell you how to make it work. The key is communication. A partnership agreement is just a document that reflect the conversations you have had and the decisions you have made about your business. Every partnership must have an agreement in writing. The simple task of putting your agreement into writing ensures that there is a clear understanding of your agreement. This clear understanding will help avoid most of the common problems partners encounter. The document itself can be very simple or excruciatingly detailed. Either is fine as long as all the questions about the business are answered.  The purpose of a partnership agreement is to avoid conflict.

The following is a list of some of the questions you and your partner must answer. You will have to add more items to meet all the specific details of your business. Be complete. This is just a start for you to get the ball rolling.

Who owns what?
What are my responsibilities?
What are the responsibilities of the other partners?
How will profits be shared?
How will taxes be paid?
Who will pay the bills?
What type of bookkeeping will we use?
What if I decide I do not want to do this any longer?
If I quit is the business dead? Who keeps the name?
What if I get hurt? What if I can no longer do my part?
What if someone dies?
If we disagree who has final say?
How will vacations work?
Who can sign a contract?
Who has access to bank accounts?
How are decisions made?
Can one partner sell their share?
How do we wind down and close the business?

These are just a few of the questions you and your business partner need to discuss. Include everything in your partnership agreement. Of course if everyone agrees you can change the agreement later. If there is anything you do not understand in the partnership agreement you create you must hire an attorney before you sign the document. A partnership agreement is a contract and should not be taken lightly. There is just one rule you must follow with contracts. Never sign any document you do not understand.

Next week we will discuss your risk factors and talk about doing a liability assessment.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

To Fly Solo or Incorporate? Legal Checklist Part 4

As I was setting up to be a vendor tonight at the Create Mixed Media Retreat I was looking around the room admiring all the amazing art that was being unpacked. Somewhere in the back of my mind a little voice was asking whether they were incorporated or a LLC or perhaps a sole proprietor? Sorry, my mind just wanders off into legal land sometimes. I would have loved to take a poll of the artists and vendors to ask what type of legal business structure they had chosen. I would be willing to bet that many of those selling there wares had not made a choice but had simply begun operating as a sole proprietor.

It is important that you choose the type of business entity you will be running. One word sums it up nicely LIABILITY. You choose the type of business to form based on two factors: tax liability and personal liability. Tax liability is simply the amount you will have to pay the IRS in income taxes. (You should have learned about this from your visit with a CPA. It is not too late- go see a CPA for tax advice.) The second type of liability is personal liability which simply put is what assets creditors (those the business owes money to) can get from you and what can you be sued for if someone is injured.

As a sole proprietor you have zero protection. This means that your personal assets like your car and home are not protected from creditors or law suits. This is really important especially if you teach classes where there is the possibility of an injury. You might be able to purchase insurance to cover these potential issues and I would encourage you to look into liability insurance. The good news for a sole proprietor is that your business earnings just go right onto your personal income taxes. Easy!

A LLC stands for a limited liability company. This type of business for allows you some protection in limiting your liability.  It is the most common type of business for recommended by professionals like CPA'S and attorneys.  The paperwork is simple as is the book keeping. You can have business partners too. Talk to your insurance agent about having liability insurance for your business. The information is free and a policy could be very affordable! Taxes are slightly more complex here but manageable.

Of course you could just go for it and incorporate! This costs money in state fees and requires annual document submissions to the state and record keeping. Go to for loads more informaion. Use the California government websites to give you an idea what you need to do to incorporate and what type of business for is right for you!

Spend some time researching your options and keep in mind that you can always change your business form! We are working our way through the checklist and next week I want to spend some time talking about partnerships and having a partnership agreement.

Feel free to ask questions and I will do my best to point you in the right direction!


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Time for a professional!: Legal Checklist Part 3

By a show of hands how many of you have taken positive steps towards reaching your goal of owning your dream business? I see a few hands are still not up. It is not too late! We know you have an idea or you would not be here. Most of you have a name for your business so get your research done and get ready for the next step. This next step sounds scary but I promise it will be ok. You are about to make your first monetary investment in your success. It is time to make an appointment with a certified public accountant known as a CPA. This might be the person that prepares your taxes or you may need to find someone new. Your CPA should service small businesses on a regular basis. You will need to rely on your CPA to help you decide what legal form your business should take. Ask around and get references!!

Why do I need a CPA to advise me on my business? Shouldn't I hire an attorney? Right now you need financial and tax advice. An attorney cannot offer you financial advice. A CPA can talk to you about your personal tax situation and discuss different business set ups that will be comfortable for you. You also need to set up a bookkeeping system. This can be a simple thing so do not panic.

For a new business the most important thing for you is knowing how to track your business expenses. It is easy to overlook things like mileage on your car which at .51 cents a mile add up quickly.  Only your CPA can tell you what records you need to keep and what you can use as a tax write off. You must capture ALL of your expenses as most new business operate at a loss. This appointment with a CPA will pay for itself almost immediately! You can expect your consultation to cost between $150 and $300. You will save more that $300 per year in deductions you never even thought about. Painless!!

Make your appointment with a CPA and get ready for next week when we talk about what type of business forms are recommended from a legal viewpoint. Are you looking to set up a partnership? Be a sole proprietor or go large and incorporate? Part four will be an overview of these different types of business set ups and loads of resources to help you decide what is best for you and make it happen! Stay tuned we are just getting to the good stuff.  See your CPA and avoid the mayhem at tax time!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Legal Checklist: Finding a name!

Naming your business is your first legal decision! So now you have polished up your idea and you are ready to find that perfect name for your new small business. I see loads of really cute and funny or clever names out there but rarely does the chosen name tell me anything about what they do. Consider a business name that gives customers at least a hint about what you will be selling. For me, Lulu Max is not just my business name she is my alter ego. My name was being used for my law practice or I would have just used Tara Wilson Art Jewelry. Instead I used the names of my chihuahuas Lulu and Max to create Lulu Max Art Jewelry.

Now that you have a few ideas for potential names it is time to do a bit of research. Are you sensing a pattern yet? At each step of the checklist you will have a bit of homework. Sorry- I know we all hate homework. You could pay someone to help you start your business and do the research but it it not necessary. (Not to mention expensive.) You can do this!

First, you must make sure your chosen name is not being used. Start with a simple Google search of the name and see what pops up. There should be nothing similar popping up on Google. If you get hits on the name go back to the drawing board. Once you pass the Google search without finding your business name it is time to proceed to the California state website at Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development. There is a ton of information including links to check and see if the name is incorporated in the state of California. The site is complex so give yourself time to explore it fully and take advantage of all the amazing FREE information that is offered. They use checklists too which I love.

Even when you have carefully researched the availability of a name it is possible that the name you have chosen is already taken or a copyrighted phrase. Be prepared and have a "plan B" name. If you are contacted in any manner by a company or individual claiming that you cannot use your chosen business name do not ignore the request. It is time to seek legal advice immediately. There is always risk in starting a small business. Good research will help you avoid some of the risk so take the time and do your homework.

FInding the perfect name for your business is challenging but it is your first step is creating your brand and launching your idea! I would love it if you would post your business name and a brief bit about what you sell in the comments!

Lulu- I mean Tara

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Head Full of Ideas! The Legal Checklist Series #1

It begins with an idea. Perhaps a head full of ideas. Or in my case simply having more inventory of supplies than one person could ever use. So with a surplus of art materials an idea was born. I should sell the excess and keep my eyes peeled for a bulk lot great buy when I am out hunting for treasures. So, with my good friend Crystal Basica and a few hunting tips a business selling vintage mixed media art supplies was born! Lulu Max Art Jewelry now had a companion in Serendipity Salvage!

This is the first blog post in a series I am doing based on a speech I gave at Launch your Creativity- your legal checklist for starting your business! Perhaps you have always wanted your own business or maybe you are just looking for a way to supplement your income. You have an idea or a spark of an idea but don't know hot to begin.

Time to do a little research. Jump on your favorite search engine ( google) and search for your idea. You ned to see if it is already being done. Ask yourself:

                         1. Are they doing it well?
                         2.  Where are they doing business?
                         3. How is my idea better or different?
                         4. How much are they selling theirs for?
                         5. Will I be in direct competition with the sellers
                             I have found?
                         6. Do I need a new and fresh idea?

Now time for a little product research. Jump on Etsy and any similar online seller of goods that might carry a product like the one you have in mind. How are they presenting the item? What is their price point? How is the item tagged? ( This is how a vendor uses words to list an item so buyers can find them.)

Time to fine tune your idea! This is the beginning of developing your item. Begin with a product you are passionate about. Now that your idea is complete you will need a name for your business. If possible the name should tell customers something about what you do and who you are.

Next post- How to find out is your proposed name is legal and available! This series will be posted every Thursday for the next 15 weeks. Stay tuned and take that first step! You can do this and make your dreams of your own business a reality! Please follow my blog so you do not miss a step and share with your friends on Facebook!


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Chicken Feeders and Briolettes!

Glitterfest Spring 2012

What do chicken feeders, Glitterfest, briolettes and junking have in common? Inspiration! Read on to see what inspires me to buy crazy vintage items.

The show is over and it is time to recharge my creative batteries and put on my Serendipity Salvage hat! As always, Glitterfest wan an amazing show. It is such fun meeting other artists and loads of new customers. I, of course, had time to squeeze in a little shopping.  There was such a room full of pretty I could barely stand it! I bought a purse - no a work of art- from Lori Gutierrez. She hand painted a pin up girl on an old army canvas bag that was embellished with trims and bling. I adore Lori and ALL of her amazing art! I have several pieces of hers that inspire me every day in my studio. 

This past week was spent getting ready for a show at Brea Bead Works. Crystal and I packed up all our treasures and headed off to Brea for a trunk show with our Serendipity Salvage hats on.  So a big thank you to all of our friends and customers that came out to see us! I managed to do a bit of shopping at Brea Bead Works. I purchased the cutest little carved coral roses for a little project I have in mind for fall. I also picked up a few wire wrapping supplies. Such an amazing bead store. They are well stocked and have a huge selection of items. They carry everything from semi precious briolettes to  sheet metal.

I took a look at their class schedule and was really impressed. Offered is a wide variety of projects in both style and skill level. I am really trying to add a new skill each season and this time around I am intrigued by seed beads. I know- I said it seed beads. I have always appreciated the medium but I have kept my distance. So I think I will dip my toe in the water with a basic project and class.

When I need to recharge creatively I often wonder through an antique store and try and focus on items I find appealing. I look at the shapes or the colors or maybe the way it catches the light. Perhaps there is a quality I want to replicate in a jewelry design. Or maybe I do need the antique chicken feeder I purchased last week. Ok maybe I have a problem I really bought 3 antique bird feeders. I have learned that if I am drawn to an item I will find a way to use it and give it a new life.

I try and write about inspiration but tonight I am wondering what inspires you? How do you recharge your creative side? I hope you will leave a comment and let me know what you do to keep the creative juices flowing. Tell me about your chicken feeders and briolettes.


Friday, March 2, 2012

Making lemonade is not enough!

This little rhinestone embellished tiny perfume bottle will be coming to Glitterfest! The theme this time around for me is old Hollywood glamour! I have been having so much fun giving new life to rhinestones. I mean serious rhinestones. The more the better this time around. My muses have been Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn. I was thinking about what they might be wearing in 2012. Why save rhinestones for that little black dress? I say why save the fun stuff for a special occasion. Everyday needs rhinestones! My goal was to see that each piece has a touch of that old style glamour and a bit of whimzy. 

I have needed a bit of a laugh these last few months as there has been one challenge after another.  I have tried to keep this blog about inspiration and have been very focused on keeping inspired artistically personally. I have been introspective lately and this has actually helped to put more of my feelings into my art.  As I do in my life, when something is serious I try to find a bit of levity in the situation. I have tried to do this in each piece of jewelry this season. Each piece is meant to have that little something to put a smile on your face. 

While I might have been quite on the blog front I have been quietly working like crazy. I was forced to take a break this week due to a nasty kidney infection. So as I am resting, ( when I should be frantically getting ready for Glitterfest) I thought  I would catch you up.  I am choosing to not panic over all the partially finished pieces on my work table. Life always gives us a choice. You can choose to give in to life's challenges or you can power through and find that hint of a silver lining. The old saying goes "when life gives you lemons make lemonade".  Not good enough! I choose to make a lemon meringue pie and I know it will be delicious!

I will post a few sneak peeks at the goodies I will be bringing to Glitterfest March 10th. If you have not been to this show it is a must. It is a beautiful mixed media art show filled with amazing and talented artists. I am truly honored to be a part of this event. Glitterfest is March 10th at the Elks Lodge in Santa Ana. Please visit for all the details. I hope to see you there!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Time Flies When Your Having Fun!

This is the focal of a brass cuff  that I made as the class sample for Whimzy. I wanted to incorporate as many techniques as possible into one project. Creating a class project is a challenge because it is not enough to design something pretty. Students want value for the money they spend on a class. So you have to come up with something that is jam packed with skill building and techniques.

This cuff incorporates 3 techniques for adding patina, 2 techniques for distressing brass and other metals and 3 techniques for adding color. That just gets us started. Then we punch holes in metal and set a rivet by hand. And no project would be complete without adding some bling. Their are kits for each student with enough brass pieces to play with to try each technique we explore and a number of color possibilities. The combinations are endless.

We will work with a number of products that are not traditional for jewelry makers. All the more fun I say! I love adding color with alcohol inks that are usually reserved for scrap bookers. You will be pleasantly surprised at all the things you already have in your craft stash that can be used in your jewelry making. For this class you will not need to purchase a thing. I supply all the materials and pieces for the cuff and plenty of extra goodies to make it fun! I hope you can join me at Whimzy April 28th in Tustin. Perhaps a Mothers day gift or just a treat for yourself!

Please visit for all the details!

Now I have to get back to creating my spring line for Glitterfest March 10th! I have been having so much fun hunting for Serendipity Salvage and making jewelry the last couple of months have just flown by.

All the best!